Quinoa Sunflower & Chia Seed Crackers

Mmmmm crackers. I love me a good cracker. Oddly, however, I rarely buy crackers. It’s one of those things I just never grab when I’m on autopilot at the grocery store. So maybe I enjoy crackers so much because they’re novel to me. Or maybe it’s just because I love carbs.

Vegan & Gluten-free Quinoa Sunflower Chia Seed Crackers

Well, I guess these crackers aren’t that carby. They got quinoa in them, but they also pack a buttload of healthy fats – polyunsaturated from the sunflower seeds, and omega fatty acids in the chia seeds. Also, hello holy fiber. These babies are packed full of them.

Quinoa Sunflower & Chia Crackers - Sunflowers

Can we talk about sunflower seeds for a minute? I seriously think they’re underrated. They’re not only tasty, but mega-cheap, and seriously nutritious! They’re one of the foods highest in polyunsaturated fatty acids – aka the best fatty acids, and the ones that can help you lower your blood lipid profiles when used to replace other fats and/or carbs.

Quinoa Sunflower & Chia Crackers - Quinoa

Anyways back to crackers. These were kind of made on a whim based on what was in my pantry at my mom’s house in Wisco last week. And then they turned out really great. Like, way better than I had expected. I love when that happens. It makes me happies. Much more happies than when you make something you think is gonna be great and then it’s totally meh or you leave it in the oven way too long by accident because you can’t get your dog back inside from playing with frogs in the lawn and then you totally burn the crap out of whatever your’e making. Not that I speak from experience.

Quinoa Sunflower & Chia Crackers - Vegan & Gluten-free

These crackers are hearty, flavorful, and satisfying. They pair great with avocado. They would also be pretty great with hummus, or are perfect on their own. You can also omit the garlic and pair them with sweet toppings, like nut butter or jam. You do you.

Vegan Quinoa Sunflower & Chia Crackers

Let’s take a second to acknowledge the avocado in the photo above is a little bruised. Let’s also acknowledge that it is still perfectly edible and since I hate wasting food and avocados are darn expensive, no, I did not run to the store to buy a new one for this photo. Sorry, guys. But this is about the crack-tastic crackers anyway.

Quinoa Sunflower & Chia Crackers Vegan

Say cracker again. *cracker.*

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes
makes about 6 large crackers

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 clove garlic (optional)

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mince garlic clove if making savory crackers. Otherwise, skip this step.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well.
  4. Line a baking pan with parchment paper (I used a 9″ x 9″ pan). Spread cracker mixture over parchment paper.
  5. Place in oven for 30 minutes. Carefully remove from oven. Place a second piece of parchment paper over the crackers, and flip crackers. Return to oven and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until just set/crispy.
  6. Remove from oven. Allow to cool and enjoy.

 

Vegan Gluten-Free No-Bake Cookie Dough S’mores Bars

I should be writing my thesis. Really, that’s what I should be doing. Not baking, not rearranging my apartment to put my table by the window to take pictures of my baked goods, and definitely not blogging about them either. But here we are.
Vegan S'mores Bars Cookie Dough

Finishing this thesis has been like so meh. I’ve never been so good at procrastinating anything in my life. So many other things just seem important right now. Like frantically finding a job. And signing up for a free barre class and arriving wearing sticky stocks to realize that you and your friend missed the memo that it’s actually a free HIIT/cardio kickboxing class. And then doing that class wearing sticky socks. And then trying really hard not to roll your eyes while biting your tongue listening to their partner “holistic nutritionist” talk about “good molecules” for your body after. Phew. Stay calm, Kathy.

Vegan S'mores Cookie Dough Bars  Gluten-Free

Anyways, part of me procrastinating editing my thesis involved S’mores bars. I know right? Vegan, GF S’mores bars. Now what if I told you that these are also better-for-you. Like the cookie dough layer is actually pretty healthy.

Vegan Cookie Dough Healthy

Shut the front door, right? Right. But this magic is REAL.

Vegan Marshmallows

So recently Trader Joe’s debuted their vegan and gluten-free marshmallows for $2.99. G’bless you TJs for real. Normally, vegan marshmallows are like $6 for no apparent reason. And thus I’ve refrained from buying them and haven’t had a damn marshmallow in like 3 years. Until these puppies hit the shelves and like a dream come true.

Vegan Marshmallows Trader Joe's

Speaking of dreams, you could take a nap of one of these marshamllow-topped bars. Marshmallows are fluffy, just like pillows. Except then you’d have crumbs and chocolate in your hair. But if you surround yourself with the right types of people they may actually dig that sort of thing.

Vegan Gluten-Free S'mores Cookie Dough Bars

Back to the bars: what do I dig about these? Well, they have all the things I look for in a dessert: they are carby and sweet but not too sweet, and they have chocolate, and they have a graham cracker crust, and when you eat them they don’t make you feel like you just ate a garbage truck.

Vegan and Gluten Free S'mores Cookie Dough Bars

In fact, marshmallows aside, these puppies ain’t bad for you. The middle layer is full of whole grains, protein, and plant-powered goodness. And dark chocolate is rad, too.

Vegan Gluten Free S'mores Cookie Dough Bars

The graham crackers and the marshmallows? Well, those are for fun. Which is allowed when you’re eating. Because eating should be fun and not boring. In fact it should be s’mor-ing. <—I’m the worst. Kudos to you if you’re still reading this post and putting up with me being a cluster.

Vegan &amp; Gluten Free S'mores Cookie Dough Bars

Now let’s do this.

Vegan S'mores Cookie Dough Bars Gluten-Free

Ingredients – Crust:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about a sleeve and a half)
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

Ingredients – Cookie Layer:

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour or other flour (you can make oat flour by pulsing oats in a food processor or blender until a flour forms)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated white sugar (can sub coconut sugar, etc)
  • 3/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Ingredients – Topping:

  • 12 ounce bag vegan gluten-free marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Directions:

  1. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking sheet.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs and coconut oil. Press into baking sheet to form a bottom layer. Store in the freezer for at least 10 minutes to set.
  3. In a food processor or blender, puree chickpeas until a smooth paste forms. Add vanilla extract and pulse again. Transfer to a bowl and add oat flour, rolled oats, sugars, and mix well. Then add chocolate chips and pecans and mix again.
  4. Transfer cookie dough into pan and press on top of graham layer.
  5. Top with chopped marshmallows, chocolate chips and pecans. Torch with a fancy kitchen torch, or broil in your oven for 2-3 minutes to crisp up the marshmallows.
  6. Cut into squares and enjoy. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Vegan Peaches and Cream Chia Seed Pudding

Holy heck it’s finally happening: it is finally HAWT in NYC. Yes, HAWT. Not hot, or Hot, or even HOT, but HAWT. Like oh-my-goodness uncomfortable hot.

Peaches &amp;  Cream Chia Seed Pudding Vegan

While I’m admittedly a drama queen, the forecast does predict temps to be in the low 90s all week, which when combined with humidity that makes you feel like you’re swimming through thick, moist air when you’re walking down the street, combined with the urban heat island effect…well let’s just say I’m currently thanking my lucky stars for my A/C unit. So worth the $130. So. Worth it.

Peaches &amp; Cream Chia Seed Pudding Vegan

Life updates regarding post-grad-school life: I’m still confused. Transition periods and decision making are two things I find to be challenging and often turn me into a muddled anxious shell of already normally quiet anxious and insane self.

But hey, it may be hot, and I may be a mess, but at least my dog is cute, and at least I have prospects of potential pathways to go about after I wrap up my thesis. And at least I have chia seeds, which means I can make chia seed pudding.

peach

So you be thinking to yourself that this recipe is basically this recipe in chia seed pudding form. Well, you would be correct in that thought. But when I’m on a kick, I’m on a kick, and right now peaches are my go-to snack-thang. And there have been some super duper sales on the little stone fruit babies, so I’ve been going at them hardXcore. Next on my list is doughnut peaches. I saw them at TJs yesterday and almost bought them, but decided to wait until my regular peaches in my fridge run out. This pudding should help me reach this point fast.

Peaches and Cream Chia Seed Pudding Vegan

So this pudding. It is creamy dreamy and seriously refreshing on a day as hot as today. The cold chunks of tangy yet sweet peaches add the perfect flavor and texture punch to the pudding, and add so much extra delight for your palate that very little sugar is required.

Peaches and Cream Chia Seed Pudding Vegan

I used coconut milk, which was wonderful, but you can use any plant or regular milk your heart desires. And while it’s optional, I would highly recommend NOT skipping the coconut whipped cream, as it adds just that little bit of luscious love to take this chia seed pudding from regular chia seed pudding to tasting and feeling like an extra special treat.

Peaches &amp; Cream Chia Seed Pudding Vegan

And you deserve that treat. Because adulting is hard and no one is perfect, but whipping up chia seed pudding makes you sure feel like you’re doing something right. Kudos, kiddos. #BlessUp.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Chill Time: at least 4 hours, preferrably overnight

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (in a carton, or canned if you’d prefer something a bit richer) or other non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar or maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut whipped cream, divided
  • 1 ripe peach

Directions:

  1. Cut peach in half. Cover half and set aside in the refrigerator to save for serving. Meanwhile, chop the other half into bite sized cubes.
  2. Mash cubes with the back of the fork to allow juice to bleed from them slightly. Transfer to a small bowl. Add coconut milk, chia seeds, sugar or maple syrup, vanilla, and 1/2 tablespoon coconut cream, and mix well.
  3. Cover pudding and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or, preferably, overnight.
  4. Chop remaining half of peach and use to top pudding. Dollop 1 tablespoon coconut whipped cream on top of pudding and enjoy.

 

Vegan Lemon Cheesecake Bars with Almond Chia Oat Crust

I love love love lemon desserts. Tangy, sweet, tart, epic. They are everything in one bite.

Vegan Lemon Cheesecake Bars Almond Chia Oat Crust kbaked.com

I also love cheesecake. Pre-plant-based days I used to be famous for my special cheesecake torte that I used to top with fresh fruit and apricot glaze. I had some tricks up my sleeve. Haven’t made that in years, but will be veganizing it very soon. Cause that sh*t was good.

Vegan Lemon Cheesecake Bars Almond Chia  Oat Crust kbaked

For some reason I’ve been craving some lemon cheesecake bars. I couldn’t get the craving out of my brain / taste buds for over a week. Thus, on Friday night, I decided it was time to transform my craving into a reality and got to work in my pseudo-kitchen.

If you want to know how I cook, I’ll have you know I do all my prep work on my desk which requires me to move things off my desk (like books and my computer) and move things onto my desk (like my food processor, mixing bowls, utensils, ingredients, and my cutting board. Why do I do this? I literally have *zero* counter space…#newyorkproblems. Which if you knew how much my rent was, would probably make you very upset. Sadly, I’m somehow used to these quirks of NYC and accept them for what they are.

Vegan Lemon Cheesecake Bars Almond Chia Oat   Crust kbaked

And therefore, I make almond chia oat crusts and lemon vegan cheesecake on my desk in my living room. And then I bake the cheesecake bars in my toaster oven in my bedroom.

Now you may be asking, why do you have a toaster oven in your bedroom?

Vegan Lemon  Cheesecake Bars Almond Chia Oat Crust kbaked

Well, I will have you know that I actually DO have an oven in my apartment, but it has been broken since I moved in and my super still hasn’t fixed it. So I took matters into my own hands. This wasn’t as easy to do when my toilet broke. That sucked – I lived without one for 5 weeks. And again, if you knew how much my rent was, you’d probably feel very upset.

Vegan Lemon Cheesecake Bars  Almond Chia Oat Crust kbaked

Back to these bars: the healthier crunchy/chewy nutty oaty crust is delightful and makes these bars like 5% healthier. But honestly they’d also be wonderful and possibly tastier with a regular graham cracker crust. I ended up going this route because of what I had on hand and was pleased with the result. But you do you. I’m not in your kitchen watchin’.

So many these bars and #blessup with lemon goodness.

And again, welcome back to kbaked. Feels good to be home😎.

Ingredients – Filling:

  • 8 ounces vegan cream cheese, softened (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/4 cup canned coconut cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • juice and zest of 2 lemons

Ingredients – Crust:

  • 1/2 cup almond meal or 1/2 cup almonds, pulsed
  • 1/2 rolled oats, pulsed
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Directions: 

  • Preheat oven to 300 °F. Zest lemons and then juice them. Set zest and juice aside.
  •  In a food processor, combine all ingredients for the crust and pulse until a soft, sticky crumb forms. If mixture does not hold together well, add more maple syrup and/or coconut oil, 1 teaspoon at a time.
  •  Lightly oil a 9×9 inch dish. Press crust mixture into greased dish. Set aside.
  •  In a bowl, combine softened vegan cream cheese, canned coconut cream, vanilla, and lemon juice and zest. Mix with an electric beater or stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 4-6 minutes.
  •  Pour filling into crust and place in the oven until lightly browned and set, about 25-30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before enjoying. Store in the refrigerator or freezer. Taste best kept cold.

Vegan Peaches and Cream Oatmeal

So it’s June. Exactly 3 months after I wrote my very first blog post and the day that gay marriage was legalized in Wisconsin. Such memories, many nostalgia.

Vegan Peaches &amp;  Cream Oatmeal Kbaked
Late June means a lot of things: like June bugs and sweaty days and picnics and sunglasses and those moments of “omg where is summer going so quickly?” It also means stone fruits, like peaches.

So the base of the oatmeal is pretty much normal oatmeal with a few tweaks (like the addition of baking soda and vinegar) to improve fluffiness and some diced peaches for fun and flavor. The result is a fluffy bowl of oats studded with peach pieces that have been cooked to elevate their flavor.

Vegan Peaches and Cream Oatmeal I Kbaked

And if I were to describe this breakfast in one word it would be luscious. Very luscious indeed. The dollop of coconut whipped cream on the top sort of sends it over the top, taking it from blah and normal to a little bit decadent and indulgent in the best way possible.

Vegan Peaches and Cream Oatmeal : Kbaked

The recipe was born out of a meh peach I found in my fridge that was stuck behind a yogurt container and I somehow missed until it got a little bit past it’s prime. Not wanting to waste food, I decided to use it up in my oats. I had some leftover coconut whipped cream from making this pie (also found in my ebook), so the marriage of these ingredients only seemed nature.

So let’s cut the talking and get to the eating and upgrade some oats with this scrumptious recipe:

 

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or whatever milk you want
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar (any kind)
  • 1 ripe peach, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract (optional)
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts (optional)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon coconut whipped cream or canned coconut fat (optional)

Directions:

  1. Add vinegar to almond milk and allow to sit at least 10 minutes.
  2. Combine rolled oats, baking soda, almond milk and vinegar mixture, peach cubes, vanilla and cinnamon in a bowl and mix.
  3. Cook in the microwave on medium-high for 4 minutes. Stir and cook an additional minute or until oats and peaches are tender. Allow to sit one minute.
  4. Dollop coconut whipped cream on top of oatmeal and allow it to get all melty and delicious. Enjoy!😀

The B(aker) is Back

Hello from the other side….of graduate school!

I think that was an Adele reference and tbh I don’t like that song. And I think the title of this post is a Real Housewives of New York reference but we can pretend it’s not and also like I watch intelligent quality programing when I reality all I watch is Bravo, E!, and Food Network. Anyways…

Baker_Katherine_Farro_Salad_Apples_Arugula

I’m well aware that I legitimately sucked at blogging this year. It was sad and pathetic. It was like I didn’t even make an effort (srsly, sry). But then again I don’t know why I’m apologizing since I’m not even sure if anyone actually reads these blog posts or just scrolls over things to look at food pictures.

Baker_Vegan_Peanut_Butter_Cups_inside_Out_Final_One_Bite

I feel you.

Anyways, I spent a year in the MS program at Columbia University Medical Center Institute of Human Nutrition and came out a completely transformed human being.

**Baker_Katherine_Vegan_3_Ingredient_Banana_Pancakes_Cooking_allDone

I literally feel like my brain has evolved. I LEARNED SO MUCH. So much. Not only about nutrition as a science and clinical practice, but also about food policy, sustainability, food security climate change, and how to read and interpret science.

And I became like, deeply, dorkily committed to issues and integrity and putting people before profit and all that corny kind of stuff. Like, holy shit is all can say. Educational opportunity of a lifetime. I feel very #blessed to have had the experience and  I am so motivated to tackle big issues and save the world, etc.

Baker_Katherine_Black_Bean_Butternut_Squash_tacos_2

I also spent the year doing some nutrition intern(ish)? work at Spoon University. Tbh idk what my exact title is. Basically, I sit there and write shit about being healthy. Cool story, I know. I also sometimes secretly cry over the world of journalism (seriously, I think I care too much). But I did some recipes and whatever and a bunch of writing. The photos floating around this post are from some recipes I did.  And for those who ask, no I don’t get paid.

Here are some links I’ll share from the collection:

And many, many more. You can find my whole author archive for Spoon University right here.

Baker_Katherine_chocolate_PB_college_done1

I also poured hundreds or hours of work and my heart and soul into a published a nutrition and healthy eating guide right here!

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 7.09.03 PM

Phew. So that’s all great and all but I’m also happy to have my own space back. It feels good to be “back home” on the blog. I love blogging outside of structured journalism because I can post whenever I want on my own schedule and have no one tell me my ideas are bad and I don’t have to worry as much about things like share-ability and click-bait and stuff.  I can just do me and be weird and that’s okay.

Banana Bread_Option3_KatherineBake

Except there are also benefits to journalism like having stories picked up by places like Buzzfeed and Food & Wine and other neat stuff that happened to me this year. And prob the greatest: Sam finding my thousands of spelling errors (TY Sam, srsly, plz help me always).

Either way, kbaked is back and ready to  bake and cook in my teeny tiny Manhattan apartment where I have literally no counter space and cook out of a toaster oven that resides in my bedroom and a microwave that’s in my living room.#NewYork life is truly glamourous.

Vegan Blueberry Flax Muffins Gluten Free kbaked 13

Anyways, welcome back!! First recipe of the summer will be out in a few hours. Also thanks to whoever made this recipe (pictured above) kinda popular and kept the traffic goin’ while I was away. You da best!

Side note: WordPress just informed me I started by blog exactly 3 years ago today!! What a fun coincidence and the perfect day for a comeback😎. Have a good one friends!

 

 

 

Salted Caramel Date Truffles (from my ebook!)

Hi everyone! If anyone is out there still.

I must apologize for my disappearance! I had a major cross country move, and then I started grad school for human nutrition at Columbia! I’m also working some and interning a bit with Spoon University. I’ve never been so busy in my whole life! But that said, I’ve really been missing blogging and am going to try my best to get back to it! Winter break will CERTAINLY be full of blogposts!

But I thought I’d share this Salted Caramel Date Truffle Recipe that’s from my ebook, (which you can buy here), and also featured on Spoon University, here.

These are honestly amazeballs. Like, way better than they have the right to be. With the salty crunch on the somehow seemingly sinful date filling, combined with the creamy nut butter, they blow the senses a bit, and create a cravable, not-actually-unhealthy treat.

You can use any nut butter you want, but for these, sunbutter is ma fav😀

Enjoy! Ps I used Iron Salt on these babies (that’s the pretty pink stuff on top).
PPS – WordPress is being a pooper and I’m having mega-trouble uploading photos, so for now, I only have these two on here. Will add more laters!

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12
Level: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 8-oz. dried, pitted dates or date pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup sunfloweer seed butter (can substitute almond butter or peanut butter)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)

Directions:

  1. Soak dates in warm water until softened, at least 15 minutes.
  2. Drain dates. In a food processor or blender, process dates and vanilla until a smooth paste forms. Add sunflower seed butter and ¼ teaspoon sea salt and continue to blend until well combined.
  3. Roll mixture into small balls, about 1-inch in diameter. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and place into the freezer until set, about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate in 30 second increments, stirring after each increment, until melted (about 60-90 seconds total). Stir in coconut oil.
  5. Remove truffles from the freezer. Dip each truffle in melted chocolate and return to baking sheet.
  6. Sprinkle with remaining sea salt and return to the freezer until set, another 15-20 minutes.
  7. Enjoy! Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.