Category Archives: Vegan desserts

Purple Sweet Potato Pie with Raw Pecan Crust

purple pie cover

This pie was absolutely fabulous! It not only tasted great, its mostly raw so its super healthy! While I was making it, the taste and the aroma kept my toddler coming back for “tastes” so if your a mom, your kids will love it. We’re told to eat more fruits and vegetables to keep us healthy but if you want to live longer, we need to eat more purple foods. Their simply packed with antioxidants but most people don’t get enough of this color in their diet. According to a Nielson poll, over 2,400 people were asked which color from produce they eat in a typical day; 85 percent said green, 79 percent said yellow and orange, and only 18 percent said blue and purple!

So what could be smarter than sneaking in those purple foods into desserts and pies? Studies have shown purple foods contain properties such as anthocyanins that improve our memory and vision, slows aging, controls blood pressure, fights heart disease, and prevents cancer. According to the USDA, darker potatoes have more than 4x the antioxidants than other potatoes.

I’m a big fan of raw food but sometimes we can absorb more nutrients by cooking certain foods. But not all cooking methods are equal in retaining the most nutrients. A study has shown boiling sweet potatoes can help keep most of the antioxidant power than roasting, steaming, or baking. This is because boiling thins out the cell walls of potatoes and gelatinizes the starch, which enhances the bio-availability of nutrients. Another bonus in boiling is the glycemic index ends up about half that of baking or roasting giving us a lower spike in blood sugar!

The skin of sweet potatoes have almost 10x the antioxidant power as the inside flesh. When you bake sweet potatoes, the peel loses most of its nutritional power. Baking also reduces its vitamin A by a whopping 80% while boiling, substantially less. From a nutritional stand point, boiling is just better for cooking sweet potatoes. I didn’t use the skin for this recipe but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat them after peeling them off! 😉

If you want to retain ALL of the antioxidant power of purple foods, I recommend using them in juices and smoothies. I love juicing purple fruits and vegetables for their superior antioxidant and anti-aging benefits. Click here for a delicious and super anti-aging juice, Purple Roots of the Earth posted right here on Vegan Health and Yoga.

Ingredients for Purple Pie Filling

  • 2 large purple sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or raw honey if you prefer)
  • 2-3 packets stevia sweetener (I use Sweet Leaf)
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice

Ingredients for Fully Raw Pecan Crust

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup soaked & chopped dates
  • 3/4 cup raw pecans
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder

Instructions

  1. Boil thickly cut purple sweet potatoes with the skin on for about 20 minutes. Leaving the skin on prevents them from getting too mushy for this recipe. After their cooked, allow them to cool.
  2. Peel off the skin. Using the skin in the recipe will give you lumps in your pie which is why I left them out but if you want to include them you can.
  3. In a mixing bowl, stir in all the pie filling ingredients. Fluff up the batter with a hand mixer for about 3 minutes on high.

purple potato filling

4. Next, add all the pie crust ingredients into a high speed blender and pulse until everything is incorporated. Use a spatula to push down the sides. Mixture should be sticky and minced.

Raw Pecan Crust

5. Spray olive oil onto a round pie pan to prevent the crust from sticking and breaking apart when serving. Empty the mixture into the pan and push down to form your crust.

raw crust ready

6. Now add the purple pie filling and smooth it out. You can top your pie with anything you like but I used extra pecans and coconut to compliment the ingredients in the pie.

purple pie

7. Refrigerate for a few hours to set. You can serve your pie warm by placing it in a 350 degree oven for about 5-7 minutes.

I served this for Thanksgiving with some cranberry sauce and it was perfect! You can also use your preferred whipped cream or fruit sauce.
Hope you enjoy it! 😀

slice of lifeslice of pieslice2

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

Resources:
Why You Should Eat More Purple Fruits and Vegetables
Is it Better to Bake, Boil, or Steam Sweet Potatoes?
The Power of Purple Foods-Dr. Oz
Americans Don’t Eat Healthy

 

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Black Bean Walnut Brownies with Avocado Chocolate Frosting

brownies3
Would you believe these brownies have absolutely no sugar, no dairy, no eggs, no flour, no gluten, and not drenched in oil?! Its true! These plant based brownies are actually very healthy and full of fiber and heart healthy ingredients! Contrary to what most people believe about the vegan diet, this dessert proves there are infinite possibilities in being plant based.

Transitioning from the usual “boxed” desserts found at the store filled with processed ingredients doesn’t have to be hard and certainly not tasteless. Making brownies from scratch using plant based ingredients is so easy. Avocado frosting may not sound appealing at first but honestly, you won’t even taste it. This frosting is simply amazing and powers up these heart healthy brownies with an ultimate chocolate rich flavor! I used the pineapple to keep the mix moist and for added sweetness. The cranberries give another dimension of tart and sweet. Black pepper brings out the flavor of chocolate.

Ingredients for Brownies

  • 1 can organic black beans, drained and lightly rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pitted soaked dates
  • 1/3 cup carob chips (or vegan chocolate chips)
  • 1/3 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 heaping tablespoons carob powder (or cacao powder)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Ingredients for Frosting

  • 1 fully ripened medium avocado
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey if you prefer)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon carob powder (or cacao if you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil

Instructions for Brownies

  1. Preheat the oven at 375 degrees. Start by soaking the dates in water for about 10 minutes. Medjool dates are softer and would be ideal, otherwise drain the water and chop dates into little pieces for easier blending.
  2. In the mean time, drain and lightly rinse the beans but don’t soak them. Gently shake out the water from a filter bowl.
  3. In a high powered blender, add beans, pineapple, cranberries, dates, carob powder, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, lemon zest, baking powder, pepper and salt. Everything EXCEPT the carob chips and only 1/2 cup of the walnuts. Pulse blend until everything is fully incorporated. Push down ingredients sticking to the sides as needed. Mix should turn out sticky and heavily minced.
  4. Next, remove the blade and fold in the carob chips and the remaining walnuts.
  5. Spray some olive oil in a square glass baking dish to lightly cover the sides and bottom. Spread and press down the batter into the pan evenly. Spray the top with a light mist of olive oil to keep from getting too dry.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. Sides should be toasty and slightly dark. A knife should come out mostly clean.

baked brownies

Instructions for Frosting

  1. Add and mix all ingredients for the avocado frosting into a mixing bowl with a fork.
  2. Then, with a hand mixer, blend all ingredients thoroughly for a minimum of 5 minutes. The hand mixer works to fluff up the frosting more generously than using your hand.

avocado chocolate frostingfrosted brownies

After the brownies have cooled, spread the frosting on top. The coconut oil in the frosting gives your brownies a beautiful sheen and keeps the frosting from becoming too runny. Serves a minimum of 9 people.

ready to eat

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

Pumpkin Granola Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Granola Cookies

If your looking for ideas on using that pumpkin, here is a great recipe for fall! These cookies have got it all, oatmeal, figs, almonds, coconut, and the best fall flavor of all, pumpkin! Their very healthy and packed with satisfying taste, fiber, loads of nutrients and is a great snack for taking on hikes for sustained energy! Enjoy 🙂

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3-4 minced dried figs
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour or other gluten free flour
  • 1/2 cup wide sliced coconut shreds
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup vegan carob chips (or if you prefer, cacao chips)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, smash and whisk bananas until as smooth as possible. Add and stir in stack of cookiespumpkin puree, baking powder, vanilla, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and brown rice flour until fully blended.
  2. Next, mix in rolled oats, coconut shreds, almonds, figs, and carob or chocolate chips.
  3. On a cookie sheet, drop and form cookies with about 2 tablespoons worth of batter for each cookie.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. Edges should be golden brown.

Makes about 14 cookies.

cookie batter

`baked batch

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

Raw Pumpkin Carrot Cake with Pumpkin Cashew Frosting

cover pic

Pumpkin flavor is back and what better way to celebrate than with a pumpkin flavored carrot cake! I already stocked up my shelf with some canned pumpkin puree for smoothies but yesterday I decided to get a little more creative. I’ve made raw carrot cake before but for this one, I added pumpkin and created a seasonal flavor for fall. I love carrot cake but what makes eating it more enjoyable is when ALL the ingredients are healthy and raw! Adding pumpkin and carrots to any dessert can only maximize your intake of beta carotene and who couldn’t use that?? Even the frosting was perfect and complimented the cake with just the right amount of pumpkin flavor!

Ingredients for Cake

  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups moistened dried plums
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup dried coconut
  • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • juice of 1 lemon

Ingredients for Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder

Other Ingredients

  • raw slivered almonds
  • raw sprouted pumpkin seeds

Instructions

  1. After soaking cashews for about an hour, drain the water. Blend all the ingredients for about 2-3 minutes. Mixture should be very thick and smooth. Scrape out the frosting with a plastic spatula into a bowl, cover and chill until ready to use. The frosting will thicken up by the time your ready to frost the cake.
    frosting
    2. In a high powered blender or mixer, add lemon juice, pineapple, and pumpkin puree first. Then add the remaining ingredients. Pulse blend and stop to push down ingredients as needed until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed . Be careful not to over blend. You want to aim for a MINCED batter, not a smoothie batter.
    batter

    2. Add half the batter into a small springform cake pan. If you don’t have a springform pan, you can just use a regular cake pan and line it with wax paper. Just make sure you leave enough sticking outside of the pan to be able to pull out the cake. The wax paper helps make removing the cake easier after its frozen. Press the cake batter down firmly into the pan. Create your middle layer by adding some frosting and almonds on top. You can add fruit such as crushed pineapple instead if you choose.

raw cakefrosting layeralmonds layer
3. Now add the remaining cake batter on top of the middle layer and press down firmly smoothing out the top. Cover and freeze for about 2-3 hours.
4. Once frozen, remove side rings and frost your cake. Its much easier to frost a raw cake when its frozen. Feel free to decorate your cake as you please. I kept it simple and just added almonds and sprouted pumpkin seeds on top. Hope you enjoy! 😉

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer
whole cake

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Chocolate Cherry Walnut Ice Cream!

chocolate cherry

Another no guilt healthy dessert using only 5 simple ingredients. Absolutely no sugar is needed when you use carob and whole fruit. The walnuts give it a nutty flavor plus the healthy fats help make this recipe decadent! For a more tart flavor, use more cherries. Hope you enjoy this delicious raw and vegan chocolate cherry ice cream!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups frozen bananas
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen pitted cherries
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 heaping tablespoon carob powder (or cacao if preferred)
  • up to 1/4 cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk

Add all ingredients into a high powered blender with just half of the milk. Spill in the vegan milk only to keep the ingredients moving. The texture can come out too runny if you use too much. It only took about 1 minute to blend everything in but it depends on your blender. Serve immediately or refreeze in a covered container. Will stay fresh for about 2 days. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

ingredientsblender

ice cream

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

Strawberry Cashew Cream Pie

strawberry cashew cream pie

Real Ingredients Make A Difference!

We don’t need mechanically changed or processed ingredients to make delicious recipes or to get the flavors and textures we want because its amazing what REAL food can do!  Once we start experimenting with food in its whole and natural state, we will start to see all the potential our food actually has such as with bananas, soaked chia seeds or cashews. When we allow ourselves to break free from the “established” ways of cooking and instead start to think of how we can combine food, then we can appreciate REAL food.

When we compare “traditional” ingredients used to make a strawberry cream pie to the ingredients in this one, you’ll see a dramatic difference because most dessert cream pies require refined SUGAR as a main ingredient. Some of them even request artificially flavored powdered puddings to be added in for setting purposes. Then comes the popular cream cheese request, which only provides unwanted fat, cholesterol and unhealthy preservatives. But after all of that has gotten mixed in, how are we to even taste the FRUIT these recipes are named for with such an overwhelming call for acidic ingredients?

We need to realize that these processed ingredients only highjack our taste buds and ruin our health. Sugar, fat, and cholesterol all feed cancer cells and promote heart disease and diabetes. Cancer cell walls are actually MADE of cholesterol but if we’re eating a plant based diet, cancer can’t grow because plants don’t have cholesterol. So don’t wait till your diagnosed with disease to CHANGE your ingredients, change them now and start with some pie! 😉

Ingredients

  • 3 cups organic strawberries, stemmed and thawed
  • 1- 16 ounce container coconut milk yogurt, unsweetened
  • 3/4 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked in water for 1 hour
  • 1 medium very ripe banana, (lots of brown spots)
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk, unsweetened and lite
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds, soaked in 1/3 cup water
  • 2 packets stevia sweetener
  • 1/4 cup dried shredded coconut
  • 1- 9″ gluten free pie shell

Instructions

  1. Start by soaking the cashews and chia seeds in separate containers since we won’t be using the water from the cashews. Stir the soaking chia seeds to prevent lumps and to promote even absorption of the water. Let soak for about an hour.
  2. Start by blending the coconut milk, yogurt, and cashews first to create that creamy base. This will make the rest of the blending easier too.
  3. Blend in the rest of the ingredients (strawberries, banana, lime juice, vanilla extract, chia seeds, and stevia) until everything is incorporated and smooth. This could take a few minutes or pulses.
  4. Pour the strawberry cream into the 9″ pie shell. Top with shredded dried coconut shreds and sliced strawberries. You can be creative and top or decorate your pie with any other berries if you prefer.
  5. Freeze for about 2 hours to mold and set. 😀

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

strawberry cream pic

Coconut Fig Oatmeal Cookies

Coconut Fig Oatmeal

I really love these cookies! They are simple, easy to make, and loaded with heart healthy ingredients and fiber! Most cookies you find at the store are full of sugar which can be addicting. This homemade batch of goodness ended up with the kind of texture that go perfect with a glass of milk, vegan milk that is. My toddler devoured 3 and drank 2 whole glasses of cashew milk along with them! I’ll know better next time to double the recipe for a bigger batch because 10 cookies just wasn’t enough!

Ingredients

  • 2 large bananas
  • 10 dried figs, chopped
  • 1 cup oatmeal, rolled or quick oats style
  • 1/2 cup shredded & dried coconut
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. First, in a mixing bowl smash the bananas and stir them into a creamy consistency.
  3. Next, add and stir in the vanilla, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and molasses.
  4. Now stir in the flour and oatmeal until completely blended.
  5. Last but not least, stir in 1/4th cup of the shredded coconut and the chopped figs. The shredded coconut gives the batter a texture that holds everything together and prevents it from being runny
  6. Spoon drops of cookie batter onto a cookie sheet sprayed with olive oil and with a fork, press down and form the cookies. Use the remaining shredded coconut to sprinkle tops of cookies before baking.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes until lightly golden brown. Makes about 10 cookies.

Coconut Fig Oatmeal4

We were out of real vanilla extract so we were stuck using the imitation. By all means, use the pure vanilla extract to avoid any artificial flavorings and chemicals. Besides, twice as much imitation vanilla flavoring is usually required to match the strength of pure vanilla so you get your moneys worth.

Coconut Fig Oatmeal5

I rarely use added sugar in my baking but for a batch of cookies, I’ve started using Madhava’s unrefined coconut sugar. As you can see, I’m very conservative using it, especially with a diabetic in the family. I only used 2 tablespoons in this recipe. Nutrition TIP: If you find yourself needing to add more sugar to satisfy your taste buds, work on gradually reducing it from your diet. Unlike all refined sugars and artificial sweeteners, organic coconut sugar actually contains some nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, and B vitamins.

Coconut Fig Oatmeal2

I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

Coconut Ginger Oatmeal Raison Cookies

COOKIE2VH

Oatmeal isn’t just for breakfast. Oatmeal is actually pretty versatile and can be added into smoothies and used in baking recipes too. These cookies have NO DAIRY, NO EGGS, and NO REFINED SUGAR. They are easy to make and come out nicely from the oven with the added shredded coconut. Their not only delicious but their loaded with fiber, potassium and exploding with spicy flavors!

BENEFITS OF OATMEAL

You can do your heart a lot of good by eating more oatmeal. Oatmeal is known for a phytonutrient called Beta-Glucan which can reduce the risk of heart disease. It can boost the immune system and lower blood sugar spikes in diabetics. Just one serving each day can reduce high LDL levels (bad cholesterol) by 8-23%!

Cook time: 25 minutes. Yields: 12-15 cookies

Vegan Ingredients:

•3 bananas, ripened
•1 1/2 cups rolled oats
•1/3 cup brown rice flour
•1 cup raisins
•1/2 cup shredded coconut, dried
•2 teaspoons Chinese 5 spice
•2 teaspoons ginger powder
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1 squeeze bottle raw honey

Batter and Baking

1. Place bananas into a mixing bowl. Smash and mix them until they are completely mashed.
2. Next, mix in the ginger powder, Chinese 5 spice, and vanilla extract.
3. Then mix in rolled oats very well and then add the flour until completely blended. Now last but not least, mix in the raisins and shredded coconut.
4. On 2 sprayed cookie sheets, spread out cookies with about 2 tablespoons of batter for each cookie.
5. Form the cookies by flattening and rounding them with a fork.
6. Bake for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Their done when just the edges of the cookies start to turn golden brown.
7. Use a spatula to remove them onto a plate. For a little extra sweetness, lightly drizzle cookies with honey after removing.

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer