Soy Ginger Maple Baked Tempeh

This right here is my recent go-to baked tempeh recipe. It’s the perfect combination of savory umami flavor, with a hint of maple sweetness, and a bit of heat from ginger. You can up the spice level with some Sriracha, but more on that later.Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 11.37.38 PM

Never had tempeh? Well perhaps you should give it a try.  Two important things about tempeh: 1) tempeh is made out by fermented soybeans into a weird dense cake thing, and 2) tempeh is way better than I just made it sound.

When I try to describe tempeh to people, I usually go with “it’s kinda like tofu, but heartier and with a toothier texture.”  If you’re looking for a cheap ($1.99 for an 8-ounce package at TJs!), versatile protein, give tempeh a try. It’s great on salads, in grain bowls, or in tacos.

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Someone recently asked me on Instagram how I make my tempeh, and actually this is a question I get a lot when I recommend it to people: “Like, what do I do with that log thing made of soybeans?”

Personally, I love tempeh so much, I can eat it cold, plain, and with salt. But for those less obsessed than I, here is one of my favorite ways to prepare it:

Prep Time:  5 minutes + at least one hour to marinate
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: at least 90 minutes, the longer you marinate, the more intense the flavor
Servings: 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces tempeh
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, liquid aminos, or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon sesame or other neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger, or 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (depending on desired level of ginger-heat)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Sriracha (optional)

Method:

  1. Cut tempeh into slices, cubs, or triangles (however you desire it)
  2. Mix soy sauce, maple syrup, oil, ginger, and Sriracha in a small bowl.
  3. Place tempeh in a small shallow dish and pour marinate evenly over the tempeh.
  4. Place tempeh in the refrigerator for at least 40 minutes, up to 24 hours. The longer it sits, the more intense the flavor becomes.
  5. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350 F.
  6. Place tempeh on a backing sheet lined with parchment paper. Pour extra marinate from the pan over the tempeh.
  7. Bake for 22 minutes, then flip, and bake an additional 18-25 minutes, until desired texture is reached.
  8. Remove from oven and enjoy!

Thoughts on Exercise, Calories, and Intuitive Eating

Kbaked.com formerly focused on recipes, but I’m hoping to change that moving forward and get a lil more real. Today I wanted to share some reflections I’ve had recently and give a general life update. Are you buckled in? Brevity isn’t my strong suit, and I have no editorial team on this blog to tell me I’m talking too much, so I feel like this is going to be a long one…Soba Noodle Salad Edamame Vegan

First, let’s back up a few months. Or more like 8 months. Let’s go back to August of 2016. After completing my master’s degree in nutrition at Columbia University, I traded two job offers and a life in the city I knew and loved for what I thought was an opportunity of a lifetime.

I wish not to go into detail in the interest of being respectful and aware that my experience was highly personal, but what I’ll say is that I quickly realized I had traded a lot of what I’d worked so hard for, for what felt like a series of never-ending empty promises, disappointment, and most importantly, for something I realized my heart wasn’t in.

When I left what I was leaving, I left something certain that made me miserable to move home at age 26 without a job or a solidified future, feeling like a complete loser.

Delicious Vegan Samoas with Date Caramel

I’d be lying if I were to say the past few months have been easy; they have not been. But something good has come out of them: during the past few months of unemployment/feeling frustrated and angry at the world, I actually finally feel in tune with my body, maybe for the first time since childhood.

After a lot of emotional stress and constantly feeling like I had totally ruined my life/was a giant failure/that I’d generally fucked up big time, I slowly but surely somehow decided I needed to stop holding myself hostage.  I started really getting into self-care, and not even intentionally.

This is going to sound cheesy, and I hate to sound like one of those cliche fitness-saved-me people, but I really think getting into barre helped kick me in the right direction.

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After weeks of debating if I should or not, I tried a class at my local The Barre Code. I loved it. The atmosphere was so positive, and the whole class was about challenging yourself, taking time for yourself, and getting stronger, physically and mentally.

I almost immediately signed up for a month unlimited deal, and started going regularly.

This was the first workout I’ve genuinely adored and looked forward to since my competitive dance days in high school. The more I went, the more I wanted to go back.

All the instructors were kind, and the strength focused movement was really great for working out lingering aggression.

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A funny thing happened when I started going to barre regularly: I also started eating more based on hunger/fullness cues, and less according to clocks/schedules/what and when I normally eat. I also started letting myself sleep – like actually rest and sleep – for a full 7-8 hours a night, for the first time in years.

In grad school, even though I was studying nutrition, I look back and realize I was really unhealthy. Between the rigor of school and research, working two jobs, and my anxiety, I was averaging 5-6 hours of sleep on a good night, and I was constantly so wound up that I actually induced terrible migraines and muscle spasms in my shoulders, neck, and back, all of which lead me to countless doctors appointments, physical therapy, and therapy therapy.

When it came to eating last year, I’d like to say I was healthy – and generally speaking, my diet probably looked healthy to an outsider. But I look back and realize how planned everything was. I was on a tight budget and would grocery shop once a week, buying basically the exact same shit every time, perfectly calculated to get me through the week ahead.baker_katherine_chocolate_chip_single_serve_vegan_dip

There’s nothing inherently wrong with this; I hate food waste and think it’s good to plan ahead so you don’t end up with lots of spoiled food, BUT the way I was eating was very structured, based on routine, and didn’t really allow for too much flexibility. My eating routine became a habit: just another thing I had to get out of the way to move on and focus on other things, not really checking in with what I wanted and needed as much as I probably should have.

Occasional dinners and desserts out aside, I ate mostly the same things almost every day, at almost the same times, for a year.  Didn’t matter if I wasn’t as hungry one day, or if I was famished another. I somehow became a highly routine eater, probably as a result of my insane schedule and tight budget, and also probably because I was too exhausted to take care of myself.

Over the last few months, however, I started eating more based on intuition, and less based on what the clock said. And I stopped pre-planning my meals. Granted, this is much easier now that I live a 2 minute drive from an amazing grocery store with good prices and my schedule is currently WAY more flexible, but still, it’s been a really awakening experience.Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 11.37.38 PM

Somedays I eat lunch at 11am. Somedays it’s at 2:30pm. And sometimes lunch is a giant plate of snack foods like veggies, dips, avocado, and crackers, other times it’s nut-butter slathered waffles and fruit, and sometimes it’s lunch that actually looks like a ‘lunch’ like salad or sandwich. Some days I eat a lot more than other days. I’ve learned my body has ebbs and flows with when it’s hungry and that’s okay.

I’ve also finally gotten a handle on stress eating. Stress eating is something that has been an issue for me in the past. I am generally a healthy eater, but could get out of control around sweets when I was overtired or stressed. I used to inhale entire pints of ice cream or packages of cookies in a single night and feel like total garbage after. Sometimes it wasn’t even because I was craving sweets. I think, honestly, I was craving the rush.

Now I can have some ice cream or a cookie or a chocolate bar and not feel crazy. Some days I want a lot of sweets so I eat a lot of sweets, and other days I can eat half a cookie and be done with it (minus chocolate, chocolate is an everyday food to me). But it’s so nice to not feel like food is a coping mechanism.Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 11.38.01 PM

So my food habits have shaped up, not necessarily in terms of nutrition, but in terms of intuition, which is something I believe I have lacked since probably high school, and something I believe is overlooked in terms of importance when it comes to food. I just feel so much more sane now.

And sleep: SLEEP. Sleep is the best. I can’t say enough how much sleep has helped me mend my overall frame of mind on a daily basis. I just feel so much better when I get enough, and would 10/10 recommend you prioritize you do the same. I’m going to post more about this in the future.

As mentioned above, much of the positive shifting in my life in terms of being more in tune with my body was unintentional; I was actually awakened to just how much progress I’ve made with I attended a free Orange Theory Fitness class last week.peach

I’m going to preface this by saying I have nothing against OTF, but it simply wasn’t a positive experience for me. Besides having an instructor who wasn’t my style, shall we say, I didn’t like how the entire workout and OTF concept is so heavily focused on numbers: how many minutes you spend at your max heart rate and how many calories you burn seem to be what’s prioritized in an OTF class.

I didn’t want to wear a heart-rate monitor, because personally I don’t think it’s healthy to focus on how many calories you burn while exercising (any anyways, those monitors are notoriously inaccurate). When I asked if I could NOT wear the heart rate band, I was told that that was “the point,” of the workout.

And it made me reflect: at barre, I don’t focus on calories or numbers or my max heart rate. I focus on releasing stress, turning the anxious part of my brain off (temporarily), and getting stronger, not smaller.Vegan Miso Hummus

These two very different exercise experiences and my recent shift towards self-care have reminded me of the following things:

  1. Your body is not a calculator. You’re not meant to live your life crunching numbers (calories, macros, etc). This is stressful and puts you out of tune with your body.
  2. Your body is not a machine. You cannot run around ignoring it’s needs forever. You are a living organism. Just like your dog needs sleep, water, and plenty of healthy food, so do you.
  3. Exercise can be wonderful: it can make you feel stronger physically and mentally, relive stress, and improve your mood and confidence,
  4. Exercise can also be not so wonderful: it can make you feel inadequate, weak, and anxious about if you burned enough calories or fat.
  5. You have the right to choose your exercise. I suggest going with #3 instead of #4.
  6. Eat what you crave when you are hungry. Stop when you are full. This may or may not happen at the same time every day, and may or may not involve the same foods two days in a row.
  7. Sleep is the best thing ever.
  8. Sleep is the best thing ever, except for maybe dogs.

That’s all for me today on this long rambling post. Hope y’all have a restful, delicious, happy, wonderful, productive day.

More food for thought: Thinking Out Loud – Running with Spoons

Copycat Vegan Cinnamon Crunch Panera Bagels

I JUMPED on a chance to make these babies for a project for Spoon University (where I sometimes write, lol). VerticalKatherineBaker_Bagels_Cinnamon_Crunch_Panera

So I’m also sharing the recipe here.

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Cinnamon Crunch bagels at Panera contain dairy, and are therefore not vegan. And technically you don’t have to make this recipe vegan if you don’t want to (swap non-diary butter for butter). Do what works for you. I’m not here to tell you how to live your bagel life.

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While you’re checking out that post, check out my two smoothie recipes I also did for Spoon this week: Copycat Panera Green Goddess, and Strawberry Smoothie. nom

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Speaking of fruit and smoothies, can we talk about a recent food trend for a hot second? The fruit-is-bad-for-you-and-messes-with-your-hormones garbage has GOT to go.

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What is with these Instagram influencers who have *zero* nutrition or science education background giving health and diet advice and info with nothing to back it up? Makes my skin boil.

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Guess what ladies? Eating bananas will not ruin your hormonal cycle. And I’m so sorry people with hundreds of thousands of followers are telling you so. Eat bananas and be happy, y’all.

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Anyways, rant over. Here are the bagels.

*KatherineBaker_Bagels_Cinnamon_Crunch_Panera

Also published on Spoon University.

Copycat Panera Cinnamon Crunch Bagels

Prep Time: 10 hrs
Cook Time: 0 mins
Total Time: 10 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 6 bagels

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar or honey – divided
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt – divided
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter or non-dairy butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, combine warm water, yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar or honey, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Allow yeast to bloom for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add flour and mix with an electric mixer and a dough hook for 3 minutes, or by hand for about 5 minutes. The dough should be tacky and fully moistened, but not wet. If the dough is dry, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Allow dough to rest for 10 minutes. Then, knead with an electric mixer and dough hook or by hand for an additional 4 minutes.
  4. Transfer dough to a clean, oiled bowl and allow to rest at room temperature for at least an hour. Bagels will rise better if rested overnight or for at least 4 hours. If resting overnight, move to the refrigerator.
  5. If chilling dough, allow dough to come to room temperature for about an hour before shaping.
  6. When dough is at room temperature, shape bagels. You can shape bagels by rolling dough into 8-inch logs about 1 inch thick in diameter and then pressing the dough together to form a loop. Or you can roll out the dough to be about 1 inch thick and use a large circular cutter to cut a large ring, and then cut a small ring in the middle with a sharp knife or small circular cookie cutter.
  7. Allow shaped bagels to undergo a second proof on an oiled sheet pan for an additional 60-90 minutes.
  8. After second proofing, preheat the oven to 500°F and prepare poaching liquid by combining 8-12 cups water to a boil.
  9. While waiting for water to boil and oven to preheat, prepare topping by combining sugars and cinnamon in a small bowl and melting butter in a small microwave-safe dish. Set aside.
  10. Once water is boiling, add 1 tablespoon baking soda, the additional 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar or honey, the additional 1 teaspoon salt, and stir gently.
  11. Grab a slotted spoon, wooden spoon, or spatula. Gently lower bagels into simmering pot, 1-2 at a time (the bagels should float). After 1 minute of boiling, flip bagels, and boil for an additional 30-60 seconds before removing and transferring back to the oiled tray, domed side up.
  12. Brush the tops of the bagels with melted butter or non-dairy butter, and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of the melted butter. Drizzle any remaining butter over the tops of the bagels.
  13. Once all bagels have been poached in water, lower the heat of the oven to 450°F and place the bagels into the oven.
  14. Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning the tray halfway through to ensure even browning.
  15. Allow bagels to cool and enjoy.

Peanut Butter & Sriracha Veggie Sandwich

Hello and welcome to a recipe post that probably sounds very strange at first. But bare with me. Let me walk you through my logic.

Vegan Peanut Butter and Sriracha Veggie Sandwich

Behold the PB&S. PB&S? Can we make that a thing? Okay great. Because it’s surprisingly delicious. Sure, the combination sounds weird and perhaps even a bit icky at first, but think about it: do you like pad thai? Of course you do. Pad Thai is delicious. Pad Thai also has a peanut butter-based sauce. And is spicy and has veggies in it and is paired with carby noodles.

So why not pair peanut butter and Sriracha (or not if you don’t care for spicy) with some crunchy veggies on bread, add some cilantro, and call it lunch?

So here we are. A savory veggie-packed peanut butter sandwich. This is a highly satisfying combination, and makes for a fun way to switch up your lunch time game. I suggest pairing it with a nice crunchy apple with additional peanut butter for dipping.

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And then eat something sweet for dessert. Maybe a cookie. Or maybe a marshmallow fondant covered spotted dick. Have you been watching Great British Bake Off on Netflix?

I can’t stop. I binged the entire three seasons available on Netflix in 4 days. And now I’m rewatching it. If you haven’t seen it yet, you simply must. It makes every other food show feel inferior. I don’t think I’ll ever look at the Food Network again.

Vegan Peanut Butter and Sriracha Veggie Sandwich

There’s just something about how compassionate the contestants are towards one another that is simply beautiful. Also, the hosts are hilarious.

Would anyone reading this be interested in me diversifying my content? Because that’s what it’s about to happen. I realized I like blogs that share things like daily life info and eats so I’m going to try and experiment with that soon, instead of just recipe post after recipe post.

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Also, I apolotize that pictures look blurry on WordPress lately. All of them look crystal clear on my computer, but WordPress keeps distorting them. So I’m working on figuring out how to fix that since it’s been stopping me from uploading content. So for now just deal with my blurry pics plz.

Anywho, happy spring. And on your mark, get set, MAKE (a sandwich) !

Peanut Butter Sriracha Sandwich

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: ~5 minutes
Servings: 1 sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of bread, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • Sriracha (as much or as little as you please)
  • 3/4 cup chopped vegetables of choice  (I used carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, and lettuce, because that’s what I had in my fridge, but any of your favorite crunchy veggies would do)
  • small handful of cilantro (optional)

Method:

  1. Toast bread.
  2. Spread peanut butter on both pieces of bread.
  3. Chop vegetables and cilantro and add to bread.
  4. Drizzle with Sriracha.
  5. Assemble sandwich and enjoy.

Vegan Samoas (Caramel DeLites) with Date Caramel

Girl Scout Cookies.

Yummy Vegan Caramel Delites (Samoas) with Date Caramel

Don’t pretend you don’t like them. Almost everybody has a soft spot for at least one of those delicious, seasonal sweet treats.

Delicious Vegan Samoas with Date Caramel

Coincidentally, several varieties of Girl Scout Cookies are vegan (#bless). Which is honestly such a gift to dairy-free and vegan people. It’s so nice to not miss out on the Girl Scout cookie fun.

Vegan Samoas with Date Caramel

Thin Mints: vegan. S’mores cookies: vegan. Peanut butter patties: vegan.

Vegan Date Caramel

But what’s not? Sadly, samoas (or caramel delites, depending on who you ask). Boo.

Vegan Caramel Delites with Date Caramel

Now. I have seen a million line-extensions of Girl Scout cookie products on the shelves that hypothetically I could enjoy. Girl Scout cookie cereals, granola bars, candy bars, even teas – but nothing is quite as satisfying as the cookies themselves.

Amazing Vegan Samoas with Date Caramel

So when life won’t give me a vegan Caramel DeLite, I will make one myself. Because I am a strong, independent woman and I do not need a mass-bakery to support my inner-cookie-lover. I will get creative and I will succeed. Just watch me.

Vegan Caramel Delites (Samoas) w: Date Caramel

So here we are: vegan samoas. I played around with two versions. One batch I made used date caramel. The other used this Coconut Milk Caramel. You could also just melt a bunch of these heavenly nuggets and use that instead. You do you. I’m not here to tell you how to live your best samoa life.

Anyways ~ On to the cookies. A little prep work is involved, yes, but I promise it’s worth it. Perfect and impressive and tasty for your next party or Instagram. Or in my case, empty Friday night.

#bless up, Girl Scouts:

Vegan Samoas (Caramel DeLights) with Date Caramel

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes, and at least 20 additional minutes or refrigeration
Servings: 12 cookies

Ingredients:

Shortbread Cookies:

  • 1/4 cup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (can sub additional vegan butter)
  • 3/4th cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (can sub additional AP flour)
  • dash of salt
  • Date Caramel Coconut Layer:

  • 8 ounces pitted dates (roughly 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter, cashew butter, or coconut oil (optional, adds richness)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • Alternatively, you can sub one batch of this Coconut Milk Caramel
    Chocolate:

  • 1 cups dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)
  • Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • In a large bowl combine softened vegan butter and melted coconut oil. Add sugar and vanilla extract and whisk well. Add flour and fold into dough until just combined. If dough seems dry, add a tablespoon or 2 of water or non-dairy milk. Place dough in refrigerator to set, about 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, soak dates in 1 cup water for at least 10 minutes. Once dates have softened, drain them and place in a food processor. Add sunflower seed butter, vanilla and salt. Pulse until a smooth caramel dough forms; the caramel should be sticky.
  • Transfer date caramel to a bowl. Add shredded coconut and mix until coconut is coated in date caramel.
  • Remove dough from refrigerator. Roll out dough to be about 1/8th inch thick. Use a circle cookie cutter, and/or an inverted drinking glass to cut dough into circles. Use a knife to cut a smaller hole in the middle of each cookie, to resemble a doughnut shape.
  • Place cookies onto a parchment paper-lined pan and place in the oven until golden brown, about 18-23 minutes.
  • Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool.
  • Once cookies have cooled, use a spoon or your fingers (fingers are much easier, honestly) to distribute date caramel around cookies. Aim for about 1/4-1/3th inch of date caramel.
  • Once cookies have caramel layer, melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave using 30 second increments, and stirring occasionally. This will take 2-4 minutes. Once chocolate is melted, stir in coconut oil.
  • Pipe chocolate or drizzle it in a zig-zag pattern using a pastry bag, and/or by letting it run off the back of a spoon. Once all cookies have a chocolate drizzle, dip the bottom of each cookie into the remaining chocolate, placing back onto the parchment baking sheet after each dip.
  • Allow cookies to set in the refrigerator until chocolate has hardened, at least 30 minutes.
  • Enjoy!
  • 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheerio Bars

    Hello! It me. I bring to you another dessert recipe from Wisconsin since my flight to NYC was canceled this morning due to the wind! Blah. I suppose this means even more time to experiment with dessert recipes since I will no longer have the opportunity to stuff myself with Van Leeuwen vegan ice cream this weekend (my absolute fav).easy-vegan-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate-cheerio-bars

    Now I will preface this recipe by acknowledging that I’m aware I did not break any culinary boundaries in creating these. And that’s fine. But these bars are beauties because they’re super duper easy and super duper delicious. They’re also vegan and gluten-free, if you’re into that kinda thing.

    They’re also highly addictive. My mom ate like 3/4th of the tray in one sitting. We are definitely related. Chocolate is a food group, according to us. vegan-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate-cheerio-bars

    So a lil history on these bars: they came about because as a constantly-on-a-budget TJs fanatic, I am always looking up ways to create cheap after-dinner sweet snacks. In grad school I starting buying bags of chocolate chips for $1.99 (yup, TJ’s chocolate chips are vegan) and boxes of TJ’s Joe’s O’s (which are the Trader Joe’s equivalent of Cheerios) also for $1.99. I would mix chocolate chips and Joe’s Os in a wee little bowl and nibble on the mixture while studying.

    The mix is a bit sweet, a bit carby, chocolatey, and crunchy. It’s highly satisfying, easy-to-prepare, and cheap as can be! It really stretches out a bag of chocolate chips, and has the added bonus that Joe’s O’s are decently not-too-shabby-for-you, making it a snack that’s easy to eat every night without feeling icky.

    Then one day last month, I  was making puppy chow for my sister when she was in town, and I ventured to the grocery store to get a box of Chex. And then I got home and saw my Cheerios and I was like…I wonder if….!

    And so this month, I tried it. I basically used the puppy chow idea (melted chocolate + pb) with Cheerios in place of Chex, but pressed them into a pan instead of coating them with powdered sugar.vegan-gluten-free-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate-cheerio-bars

    The result is a crunchy, easy peasy snack that satisfies any crunchy chocolate peanut butter craving. They’re just damn good and damn delicious.

    Anyways, without further audieu, I present to you…

    vegan-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate-cheerio-bars-gf

    Vegan Salted Coconut Milk Caramel

    Caramel! Do you say it “CARA-uh-mel” or “CAR-uh-muhl” or “KAR-mul?” I say it “delicious,” and something I enjoy swirled into my ice cream or as a dipping sauce for a hot doughy pastry (hello, mini churros).yummy-vegan-coconut-milk-caramel

    So once upon a time I found and fell a bit infatuated with these vegan caramels made from coconut milk. Me being me, I instantly starting working on how I could recreate something similar.

    I typically make my vegan caramel from dates, which is delicious, but this was a fun new challenge and I can’t wait to bake with this stuff and incorporate it into other fun desserts and treats.coconut-milk

    What are you up to right now? As I’m typing up this post, I’m watching Vanderpump Rules. It’s the best worst show ever.

    Life is still a bit of a doosey for me lately. I’m experiencing multiple transitions and am exploring new platforms for freelance, and in the meantime I find I have a lot of create energy and am unsure where to place it. It feels like I’m going to pop creative juice all over the carpet. So when this happens I end up baking breakfast cookies and making homemade vegan caramel. I need a life. Or a friend who will eat my food that isn’t my dog.vegan-coconut-milk-caramel

    In other news, I am experiencing a really adorable adult acne breakout. This acne does not help me in the she-looks-like-a-teenager-don’t-take-her-seriously-department. Which is starting to get a wee bit frustrating. But that’s okay. I recently read a tweet from a vlogger I follow about letting people who doubt you and try to take advantage of you be your motivation to succeed. So I’m going to try to go this route. Which I guess means caramel, among other things.

    Enough of my talking. On to the caramel:delicious-vegan-coconut-milk-caramel

    It’s easy, delicious, and has a lovely coconul undertone. It’s wonderful swirled into yogurt, on top of ice cream, AND in the recipe I am going to post next (stay tuned ~ I’m really excited about this one).

    Oh, and if you’d like the mini vegan churros recipe here it is: 1) Go to Trader Joe’s. 2) Buy frozen mini churros. 3) Eat.

    Prep Time:  2 mins
    Cook Time: 35-40 mins
    Total Time: ~40 minutes
    Servings: ~1/2 cup caramel sauce

    Ingredients:

    • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
    • 1/2 cup sugar or coconut sugar
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt

    Method:

    1. In a small saucepan, combine coconut milk and sugar.
    2. Heat mixture to a boil over medium heat. Maintain slow boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened, roughly 35-40 minutes. Stir in coconut oil and vanilla and remove from heat.
    3. Transfer caramel sauce to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!