Sunday, March 29, 2015

Raw Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pie





Nom nom nom.
These were way too fun to make.
Like really. Thoroughly enjoyable.
But even better to eat...you with my dear. ;)
Sorry, we are writing Fairy Tales in my classroom as of late, if you can't tell.


Just a little while ago, it was this beautiful girl's birthday. She turned 27. OMGAASH! She is so old!
Haha, just teasing big sis. I am turning 25 in just a few short months--which is crazy!

Anywhoozles (language from my husband, I apologize), I thought: Man oh man, I need to make something epic for this girl's big day. So I did, and it was glorious. (Insert Heavenly chorus here.)

We're talking layers of dense peanut butter cookie crust, banana soft serve, chocolate peanut butter cups, flecks of gold dust...you get the picture.


Literally.



"And it's happy to see you!" (quote from the movie Mulan)


Sorry, I couldn't resist. (Totally unintentional smile, by the way.)


Mmmm...


Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pie

raw, vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free



Base (inspired by my raw peanut butter cookies):

  • 1 cup raw, whole almonds (or almond meal)
  • 1 cup pitted medjool dates
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
  • couple pinches of salt (to taste)
In your food processor, blend the almonds until they resemble a coarse meal. Add the dates, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt. Process the ingredients until the mixture starts to form into a ball. This will take anywhere from 1 to 2 minutes (depending on the strength of your food processor). If it isn't coming together, add another tablespoon or two of peanut butter, stir, and process again. You can even add in a teaspoon of water. Spread at the bottom of 4 ramekins (or small glass bowls).
*Note: you will have leftover cookie dough--you can thank me later. :)


Banana Soft Serve:

  • 4 bananas
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt

Blend ingredients together until a smooth texture is reached (a food processor works just fine, or a blender if you want to wash more dishes, ha). Pour banana mixture into ramekins (or small bowls) and set in the freezer for 2 + hours.


Peanut Butter Cups:

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Peanut butter

Mix together coconut oil, cocoa powder, and maple syrup, in a small bowl. Pour chocolate mixture into the bottom of the mini cupcake liners (no need for a mini cupcake pan), just enough to cover the bottom. Set these on a plate and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. Remove from the freezer and spoon a small amount of peanut butter in the middle of the cups (a small spoonful is perfect). Pour the rest of the chocolate mixture over top of the peanut butter. Try to cover peanut butter completely. Place in the freezer for 20-30 minutes to harden the chocolate.


AND AT LAST!

Once everything is completed and ready to go, remove the ramekins and peanut butter cups from the freezer. Roughly chop the peanut butter cups. Place the peanut butter cups on top of the banana soft serve bowls. Use as many as you like. Serve and devour! :)




It was a fun day! To see pictures of the process of making this dessert, look below!


Devin pretending that our nephew Shem locked him out of the house. :)







Inspired by this recipe.
And of course by my peanut butter cookies.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

"Raw" Peanut Butter Cookies (vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free)



Okay seriously, I LOVE peanut butter. I have a slight obsession with the stuff. Sometimes after school, I come home and just dip a spoon into the jar. I deserve it---it's exhausting teaching 3rd graders! ;)

This weekend, my sister and her cute family came to visit us. It's her birthday on Wednesday and I wanted to make her something special. Both her and I are health-fanatics and don't eat the regular sweets that people enjoy on their birthdays---cake, ice cream, cupcakes, cookies, etc. I really wanted to make her something somewhat birthday-oriented, so of course my mind went straight to peanut butter! 

And the end result? Raw Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pie. (That's a mouthful. Really it was, and it was delicious.) I will post the recipe later this week. Keep an eye out for it! For the base, I made this Raw Peanut Butter Cookie Crust. I had extra so I made little peanut butter cookies with the traditional criss-cross pattern.



Raw Peanut Butter Cookies

vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free

  • 1 cup raw, whole almonds (or almond meal)
  • 1 cup pitted medjool dates
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • couple pinches of salt (to taste)

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. If you are using whole almonds, process them until they resemble a coarse meal in the food processor. If you are using almond meal, simply pour the almond meal into the food processor and you can move to step two!
  2. Add the dates, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt.
  3. Process the ingredients until the mixture starts to form into a ball. This will take anywhere from 1 to 2 minutes (depending on the strength of your food processor). If it isn't coming together, add another tablespoon or two of peanut butter, stir, and process again. You can even add in a teaspoon of water. (That's what I had to do because my dates were a tad dry.)
  4. Form the dough into bite-sized balls and place on a baking sheet (or plate) covered with parchment paper. Press each ball gently with a fork to make the classic peanut butter cookie criss-cross pattern.
  5. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.






Those are my cute little peanut butter crusts just ready to be made into birthday pies!





 Thank you Sweetest Kitchen for the inspiration!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Peanut Butter Snowballs


This weekend it's supposed to snow. A lot...apparently. ;)
Snow--please make your way to Wyoming! This girls needs to go snowboarding.


Even if the lack of snow prevents me from hitting the slopes, I will not let it stop me from making Peanut Butter Snowballs! Not on your life.

I found this recipe in a magazine this winter. And I am so glad I did. It has been the hit of many parties. But don't you fret, I "healthified" it. :)




Peanut Butter Snowballs

gluten-free, can be dairy-free


What you need:
  • 1 cup all-natural peanut butter (salted)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup honey, melted (adding more honey will hold mixture together better)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup chocolate chips of choice
    • white chocolate chips for "snowball" look
    • semi-sweet chocolate chips for dairy-free option
    • half milk chocolate & semi-sweet chocolate for pure deliciousness


What you do:
  1. In a bowl, combine peanut butter and honey. Stir in vanilla.
  2. Take a spoonful of peanut butter mixture and roll into a ball. Place on a baking sheet covered with wax/parchment paper. Repeat this process until all of the peanut butter mixture is gone.
  3. Place baking sheet in freezer for about 20 minutes, until peanut butter balls are firm.
  4. In a double-boiler, melt together chocolate chips with coconut oil, over medium heat. Stir until smooth. (Don't skip adding in the coconut oil, it is essential for all over melting and effective covering of the peanut butter balls.)
  5. Remove baking pan from freezer. Take a peanut butter ball and roll it in the melted chocolate, (with a spoon) until completely covered. Place peanut butter ball back onto the wax/parchment-covered baking sheet. Repeat this process until all peanut butter balls are covered. Place pan back into the freezer for about 20 minutes.
  6. Once "snowballs" are firm, remove pan from freezer and place balls in Ziploc baggies. Store in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to chow down!
NOTE: If you use another type of peanut butter, such as Jiffy/Skippy--you will need to add in a few tablespoons of powdered sugar to "firm up" the peanut butter mixture. If you skip this step, you will end up with a gooey mess.




As you can see, these Peanut Butter Snowballs have been quite the party animals. Once you start making them, they will be requested by everyone. Trust me.






Similar to these guys: Healthy Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Deck the Halls with Granola Balls!


Deck the Halls with…Granola Balls…falalala!
Christmas is so close, and I am so…
so…
so…
indifferent.
I just want to feel that magic of Christmas I experience every year.
The feeling of leisure, excitement, and pure happiness.
No school. No pressure to do anything productive.
It's glorious.
But this year, I feel kinda…well to put it bluntly. Crappy.
The snow is missing and all those wonderful holiday feelings are missing along with it.


But you know what has made me feel better?
Chocolate. And lots of it.
Nutella, Ghirardelli, Dove. Dark, White, Milk.
I don't discriminate against any type of chocolate.
You simply can't feel "crappy" when chocolate is around.


Nutella Granola Balls

gluten-free

1 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
1/2 cup oats
1 cup Nutella
2-3 tablespoons honey, melted
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together cereal and oats.
  2. In a small bowl, stir Nutella with honey and coconut oil. Add in vanilla.
  3. Pour Nutella mixture over cereal mix. Stir well to combine.
  4. At last, stir in white chocolate chips. Make sure your granola mix is not too warm, as you do not want your chocolate chips to get all melty.
  5. It's ball-rolling time! Get your hands wet with a bit of water. Grab a small handful of granola mixture and roll into a bite-sized ball. Make sure to apply enough pressure with your hands, that way it stays in its shape. Place in a Ziploc bag. Continue to do this until all granola balls are made. Seal the Ziploc bag and store these in the freezer.

DELISH.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

homemade 100 Grand Bars


Guys. Did you know that Thanksgiving is just hours away?! 
I don't know how you feel about Thanksgiving, but I love everything about it.
Food. Family. Traditions. Food.
That's what I am talking about!


This year, Thanksgiving is going to be a very interesting one.
Rather than have a traditional meal of Turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and pies--we are going to Las Vegas. (Vegas, baby!)
Bring on the casinos, the strip, and the pool hotties! (Haha, just kidding!)


Actually, we already celebrated Thanksgiving this past Sunday.
It was lovely, of course.
But you know... I am so over Thanksgiving that I think I will start decorating for Christmas tomorrow.
Don't judge.


Oh yeah, speaking of Thanksgiving…this treat is sure to please all your guests.
It's super duper easy.
And who doesn't love that chewy, crispy, perfect 100 Grand Candy Bar?



Homemade [Copycat] 100 Grand Bars

gluten-free


30 unwrapped Kraft caramels, at room temperature
1 bag milk chocolate chips (12 oz)
3/4 cup crisp rice cereal


DIRECTIONS

  1. Flatten out all the caramels into small rectangles (about 1/4 inch thick), using your warm hands. Lay out all the caramels onto a cookie sheet covered with wax paper.
  2. Start melting the chocolate chips in a double-boiler, on medium-high heat. Stir until smooth, but make sure not to overheat. If chocolate starts to clump, stir in a teaspoon of coconut oil.
  3. Remove chocolate from heat. Stir in cereal.
  4. Dip each caramel into the chocolate mixture, using a spoon. Make sure to coat well. When done, lay onto cookie sheet covered with wax paper.
  5. Cool until firm. For faster cooling, chill in the freezer.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

vegan cookie dough ice cream [gluten-free, all-natural]


This ice cream dish is one of those things that you (and I) will crave all summer long.
Yes, it's really that good.


On day one, I made Vegan Cookie Dough Bites. I was like, "Holy crap, these are good."
On day two, those cookie dough bites were just begging to be made into ice cream.
And why not? Cookie dough ice cream is so good, it's like legend in the ice cream world.



It's been a long time since I have had cookie dough ice cream (at least 10 years, yes…years, folks).
You want to know how to make easy vegan ice cream? Frozen bananas, non-dairy milk, vanilla, cinnamon. Done. 
Yep, that's it.


Oh, and you may want to add in some more cookie dough bites. 
Just sayin. 


After popping it into the freezer for a little while, it will come out in perfect scoops. 


Top with homemade hard shell topping.
Perfection.



Vegan Cookie Dough Ice Cream [gluten-free]


Super Easy Vegan Ice Cream

2 to 3 frozen bananas (let them thaw for a few minutes)
1/4 cup dairy-free milk (I prefer almond milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 dashes salt
a pinch of cinnamon (my favorite secret ingredient)
10 (or more) Vegan Cookie Dough Bites
a small handful chocolate chips (optional)

Homemade Chocolate Hard Shell Topping

1/2 cup chocolate chips (dairy-free)
1-2 tablespoons coconut oil


DIRECTIONS

  1. Put all ingredients for the ice cream in a food processor. Pulse ingredients at first, as the bananas may still be hard. After bananas have broken down a bit, process ice cream until smooth, stopping periodically to scrape down the sides. 
  2. The ice cream will be soft at this point. Pour the mixture into a small glass pan (or medium-sized bowl). I absolutely LOVE chunks of cookie dough in my cookie dough ice cream, duh! At this point, I recommend roughly chopping up additional cookie dough bites and stirring them into your ice cream. Once finished stirring, place ice cream in freezer for about 30 minutes, as you want your ice cream to be "scoopable". 
  3. While the ice cream is cooling in the freezer, make your chocolate hard shell topping. In a microwave-safe container, stir together chocolate chips and coconut oil. Melt chocolate mixture for about 30 seconds, stir, then put in for another 30 seconds. Stir until smooth.  
  4. Once ice cream is frozen, scoop out as much ice cream as your heart desires. Drizzle chocolate topping on ice cream. As soon as this chocolate topping touches the cold ice cream, it will harden just like Magic Hardshell Chocolate Topping. It's amazing!


Once again, thank you Lee Hersh, for your inspiration.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

vegan cookie dough bites [gluten-free]

sometimes i feel inspired.


to make cookie dough.


is it so bad that i crave it?
that's totally human of me, right?


ohmygahsh. 
don't that look so tasty?

and maybe try fudge-dipped too?
why not?


pop them in the freezer, and voila! you got a snack to eat on the go. perfect.



Vegan Cookie Dough Bites [gluten-free]


Cookie Dough

1 cup ground oats (oat flour)
1/3 to 1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 to 4 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 pinch of salt
1/4 cup chocolate chips (dairy-free)

Homemade Chocolate Fudge Topping

1/2 cup chocolate chips (dairy-free)
1 tablespoon butter substitute (Earth Balance works great)


DIRECTIONS

  1. Place all ingredients together in a food processor with the mixer-attachment (or medium-sized bowl). If mixing in a bowl, use a wooden spoon. Process ingredients together, until smooth. It should have the consistency of regular cookie dough. 
  2. Scoop out small portions of cookie dough. Roll each scoop into bite-sized pieces. Place these on a parchment-covered cookie sheet and cool in the freezer for about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, create chocolate fudge topping by heating chocolate chips in the microwave. After about 30 seconds, give chocolate a good stir. Melt chocolate for another 30 seconds. Afterwards, stir in butter substitute. As you stir in the butter substitute, the chocolate should cool and thicken a bit.
  4. Remove cookie dough bites and dip/cover in fudge sauce. (You don't need to dip all the cookie dough bites, I only covered about half of them.)
  5. Place cookie dough bites back in freezer for about 10 more minutes. When they are cooled, store them in a small tupperware or ziploc bag. Make sure you keep cookie dough bites in the freezer or fridge, as they will soften a bit at room temperature.


This girl was my inspiration for this. Stay tuned for Vegan Cookie Dough Ice Cream tomorrow. :)


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