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.

Mini Vegan & Gluten-Free Banana Pancakes

Why is it that mini foods are more fun? At first it seems paradoxical, especially in a culture where bigger is better. But it’s undeniable. Mini food RULES.

Mini Vegan Banana Pancakes. Easy & Gluten-Free!

You know what I mean. Mini m&ms and mini chocolate chips >>>>> than their regular sized counterparts. And whenever things are miniaturized, whether they be burgers as sliders or bite-sized cupcakes or those tiny peanut butter cups, something is always more fun about mini food.

Mini Vegan Banana Pancakes! Gluten Free & easy!

I believe it has to do with food ratios and textures. Also visual appeal and general cuteness. But that’s just my two cents and super scientific take on the matter. Feel free to agree and/or disagree, my opinion is pretty much set.

Mini Vegan Banana Pancakes!  easy & gluten-free

Mini foods also makes them Millie-sized, and we all know any mention or thought of my sweet pup fills my heart and soul with joy. What’ can I say? She’s just ma girl.

Easy Mini Vegan Banana Pancakes. Gluten-Free.

So the idea for mini pancakes is actually inspired by the Silver Dollar Pancakes at Trader Joe’s in the frozen section. Lots of moms tell me their kids love them. I tell them my mom loves them. Go pita, shattering stereotypes.

Mini Vegan Banana Pancakes! Easy& Gluten-free

Mini Vegan Banana Pancakes. Easy & Gluten-Free!

Mini Vegan Banana Pancakes. Easy & Gluten-Free !

I was off work today and wanted to do something a wee bit special for breakfast. As I had the time, I decided that I was going to make banana pancakes, because 1) I love bananas and 2) I wanted to “pretend like it’s the weekend, now” as that one Jack Johnson song goes because the way my work week falls at this moment Tuesday is my Sunday aka pseudo-weekend on a weekday. Confused yet? Cool. Let’s talk pancakes.

Mini Vegan Banana Pancakes. Easy & Gluten-Free

These wee babies are fluffy yet hearty, thanks to the creation of pseudo-buttermilk by combining almond milk + vinegar for a little bit of fluffy umpf, and the almond meal gives them a wonderful nutty flavor, reminiscent of banana bread with a density and satisfaction that will actually keep you full, unlike say, pancakes made with all-purpose flour.

Easy Mini  Vegan Banana Pancakes. Gluten-Free

I really loved these little guys. They are not only delicious, but adorable, and oh-so-dippable, which is an added bonus for me because I’m not a real adult yet and I really enjoy that sort of stuff / eating with my fingers. How sticky and delightful.

Mini Vegan Banana Pancakes!  easy & gluten-free

Make these wee ones and enjoy them plain, or with banana slices and maples syrup. Enjoy. Eat pancakes. Be happies. Go bananas.

-Kbakes out!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 m inutes
Level: easy
makes 16-18 mini pancakes, serves two

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/3 cup almond meal (can sub more oat flour)
  • 1/2 large (or 2/3 small) very ripe banana, mashed
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened nondairy milk (suggested: almond, coconut, soy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar (any kind will do; can also be omitted with slightly less fluffy results)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon almond butter or coconut oil (can sub other nut butter or nondairy spread)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Directions:

1. In a small bowl or glass, combine almond milk and vinegar and allow to curdle for a few minutes. This is optional, but making this pseudo-buttermilk increases fluffiness. 🙂

2. In a large bowl, combine oat flour, almond meal, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add mashed banana and nondairy milk and stir gently until just combined.

3. Heat electric griddle to about 300 degrees (temperature may vary greatly among griddles) or heat a small amount of non-dairy butter or coconut oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Allow to heat completely before cooking pancakes. When you flick water onto the griddle and hear a sizzle, it’s time to go.

4. Place about 1 tablespoon of batter in small circles on the griddle. When the top begins to bubble and edges begin to brown slightly, flip pancake and cook on the other side. Each side should take approximately 60-90 seconds to cook.

5. Serve with banana slices and/or real maple syrup. 🙂 Enjoy and dip away~!

Almond Plum Thumbprint Cookies

Cookies equal thumbs up, at least in my book. And thumbs-up make me want thumbprints, which is a wildy appropriate cookie equivalent to match the motion I instinctively make when someone mentions cookies. So why not make Thumb Print cookies and give those the thumbs up. Am I getting too meta over here?

Almond Plum Thumbprint Cookies made with California Dried Plums. Vegan and Gluten-free

Moving on. I should stop playing puns and starting playing some seriously perfect cookies. I would categorize these cookies as breakfast or tea cookies. Not too sweet, filling and substantial, and satisfying without a crazy sugar buzz or gross feeling post-consumption.

Almond Plum Thumbprint Cookies. Vegan and Gluten Free. made with CA Dried Plums

These are super easy to make and come together quite quickly. The almond flour give them a hearty texture and lots of nutty flavor to pair nicely with the California Dried Plum filling.

California Dried Plums Almond Thumbprint Cookies. Vegan & Gluten-free

I used California Dried plums as a healthier substitute for overly-sugary jelly or jam. I honestly really love plums, and not only do they provide a wonderful plum flavor, they also bring a lovely natural sweetness to dishes as well as a nutritional boost. One serving (about 4-5 plums) provides 3 grams of fiber, a healthy dose of potassium, magnesium and more vitamin K than any other fresh or dried fruit. Got that? K great. Lol that was a terrible pun.

Almond Plum Thumbprint Cookies made with California Dried Plums. Vegan and Gluten-free

Fun fact, California Dried plums have also recently been shown to support healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis. I actually care about this sort of stuff because as you may or may not know, I have osteoarthritis like that of an old woman. Shout out to good shoes and physical therapy for making my daily life tolerable, but I must say I’m doing all I can to strive for good bone health, making CA Dried Plums the perfect addition to my diet.

Almond Plum Thumbprint Cookies made with California Dried Plums. Vegan and Gluten-free

These are super easy to make and come together quite quickly. The almond flour give them a hearty texture and lots of nutty flavor to pair nicely with the naturally sweet filling.

Almond Plum Thumbprint Cookies made with California Dried Plums. Vegan and Gluten-free

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 10-12 minutes
Level: easy

makes 12 small thumbprint cookies, easily doubled

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond butter (can sub other nut butter)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup oat flour (can make by processing rolled oats in a food processor or blender)
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed or chia seeds + 2 tablespoons almond or soy milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dried California Dried plums
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon water

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small dish combine ground chia or flax seed with soy or almond milk and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine nut butter and brown sugar and mix until well combine. Add oat flour, almond meal, salt, and flax and soy milk mixture. Mix well. If mixture is still dry, add an additional tablespoon of nondairy milk.

3. For best results, allow dough to chill int he refrigerator or freezer until cold.

4. Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, combine dried California plums, dried cherries, and water. Puree until well combine until a smooth jelly-like consistency is achieved.

5. Removed chilled dough from refrigerators and roll into 1″ inch balls. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, at least 1 inch apart. Press a small, round indentation with your thumb in the center of each cookie. Fill each indentation with a small scoop of California plum mixture (about 1 teaspoon). Place in the oven for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned. Allow to cool and enjoy. 🙂 Thumbs up, and cookies to the face!

Almond Plum Thumbprint Cookies made with California Dried Plums. Vegan and Gluten-free

For more scrumptious recipes made with California Dried Plums, click around below:

Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal for One

This title of this recipe should come as no surprise to those who know me. I love bananas. I love oatmeal. Boom: it’s a Banana Bread Oatmeal Bake for One. YUM.

BananaBread Baked   Oatmeal for One Vega

What’s more surprising than the title of this recipe, and the fact that it was nearly 70 degrees today and I actually started sweating while outdoors (which hasn’t happened in approximately 6 months) is the fact that I’ve never put this recipe on my blog. This is strange because I eat it all.the.time.
Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal    for One Vega
It’s a longtime favorite. A best friend in the breakfast department. A midnight post-all-day-study-marathon-at-Bobst meal. A lunch-time go-to when I feel like breakfast for lunch. A second breakfast when my typical 5:30am breakfast doesn’t hold me over til noon. In essence, I eat this baby several times a week, yet I’ve never shared it. Today, that changes.
Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal
Allow me to describe my BFF breakfast to you: It’s hot, fluffy, satisfying, creamy, filling, and tummy-friendly, and the whole thing tastes like you’re own personal hearty loaf of banana bread goodness.
Vegan Easy Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal for One
Bonus: it makes your kitchen smell amazing and takes less than 2 minutes to throw together. Then you let it bake up nice and quick in the oven, and the smell of sweet, sweet banana bread will waft all throughout your house, tickling your nostrils and getting your tummy oh-so-ready to eat it all up. It’s also vegan and gluten-free, making it highly allergen-friendly to you and your kin. I don’t know why I just referenced a Christmas song. Anyways…
Easy Vegan Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal for One
I really hope anyone looking to mix up their breakfast or late-night-snack routine gives this baby a whirl. It’s never let me down, and I believe it won’t let you down either. You can add syrup, sugar, or honey to the top if you desire, but I find the sweetness of baked bananas to be plenty. I like it best fresh out of the oven, covered with a splash of almond milk to cool it down, and drizzled with ooey gooey almond butter that gets all melty when it hits the hot oatmeal bake. But that’s just me. You do you. And you eat dem oats, homie.
Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal for One Vegan
 …because as my BFF Jake Tully’s senior quote reminds us all, “It’s a whollllleee lotta oats.” 😉

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Bake Time: 18-25 minutes
Level: easy

serves one, easily doubled

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons oat flour or other flour (can sub additional oats if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons nut butter or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup almond or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1-2 teaspoons honey, or maple syrup to top (optional, I think it’s perfect without it)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. In a small bowl, combine oats, oat flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Mix.

2. Cut banana in half. Mash half of the banana and add to the bowl. Add nut butter or coconut oil and non-dairy liquid. Mix well.

3. Transfer to an oven-safe ramekin or dish. Slice remaining half of banana on top of oatmeal mixture. Place in the oven for 18-25 minutes, until fluffy, browned, and liquid has all absorbed. Serve with almond or other non-diary milk, non-dairy yogurt, and syrup or honey as desired.

Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal for One Vegan

Oatmeal Raisin Cinnamon Roll Cookies

[Disclosure]: “By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Raisin Marketing Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

Truth time: the first time I attempted to make these cookies, I totally forgot I had them in the oven until I smelled a lovely wafting burning scent making its way into my shower, approximately 45 minutes later. As I was shampooing my dreadlocks, I wondered what smelled like burning. Couldn’t figure it out. Continued to take my leisurely shower.

Screen shot 2014-12-06 at 11.24.49 AM 

Then, halfway through my conditioning routine, I remembered: THE COOKIES! THE RAISIN CINNAMON ROLL COOKIES! That was what was burning. Oops.

Screen shot 2014-12-06 at 11.24.14 AM

So yes, my first batch was totally, shall we say crispy, but burning the first batch gave me an opportunity to bake again and eat more cookie dough. So I guess I can’t even be that mad about the whole situation. Because who doesn’t love more cookie dough to eat? No one, that’s who.

Screen shot 2014-12-06 at 11.25.31 AM

 These cookies are a play on oatmeal raisin cookies. Which I love dearly and think are terribly neglected and underrated. Yes, I love chocolate and chocolate chips. But there is also something about an oatmeal raisin cookie that I simply adore. Squishy sweet raisins and soft and chewy oats. It pleases every square centimeter of my textural-contrast-loving-mouth.

Screen shot 2014-12-06 at 11.22.57 AM

So when presented with a Recipe Redux challenge to make something naturally sweet using California Raisins, I instantly thought of oatmeal raisin cookies. Being me, I wanted to give them a twist and had happened to see many drool-worthy pictures of cinnamon rolls on Instagram that morning, sparking an idea to make a rolled-up-log of cinnamon roll cookies, slice them, and make cookies that are sort-of look like cinnamon rolls.

Screen shot 2014-12-06 at 11.26.12 AM

The California Raisins add such a wonderful juiciness and natural sweetness that the cookie dough truly doesn’t need much sugar.  The dough itself is quite good with almond butter or coconut oil (I made them both ways, and loved them both) and full of oaty goodness to fuel you up and provide plenty of mouthfeel. These cookies feel satisfying, not junky, and are the perfect little treat as an afternoon pick-me-up, dessert, or even breakfast. Also, they’re pretty fun to make, and a unique little twist if you feel like mixin’ up your routine of traditional oatmeal raisin cookies. They are also vegan, gluten-free, far less sugary and more nutritious than your average cookie, full of fiber, potassium, and iron courtesy of the California Raisins. Extra bonus: raisins are cheap, and you know how I love a deal. These cookies also have some quality healthy fats, and a substantial dose of one of the most important nutrients: Vitamin Y (yum).

Screen shot 2014-12-06 at 11.23.35 AM

That may have been my worst joke yet, so I’m going to sign off now. Have a lovely day and make some cookies, and may you remember their presence in the oven before filling the house with the scent of burning carbs.  Peace, love, and raisins, from your friend at kbaked.com.

Screen shot 2014-12-06 at 11.25.09 AM

Prep Time: 2 hours (includes chilling dough)

Cook Time: 12-15 minutes

Level: Easy

Yields 16-20 cookies

Ingredients – Cookies:

  • 1 1/4 cups oat flour (can make using 1 1/4 cup rolled oats processed into a flour in food processor or blender)
  • 1 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup almond butter, peanut butter, coconut oil, or nondairy butter spread or butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (or one single-serve) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup almond milk or other non-dairy milk

Ingredients – Filling:

  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup California raisins

Directions:

1.In a large bowl, combine oat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Mix well. Add almond butter or coconut oil, brown sugar, and applesauce, almond milk and mix again. Add rolled oats and mix until a soft dough forms.

2.Roll dough into a large bowl and chill until firm in the refrigerator, about an hour. You can speed this up by putting the dough in the freezer if you’d like.

Screen shot 2014-12-06 at 11.18.07 AM

3.On a clean surface, roll dough into a large rectangle using a rolling pin.

4. Melt coconut oil or butter in a small microwave safe dish. In another small bowl, combine cinnamon and granulated sugar. Brush the dough rectangle with melted coconut oil.

Screen shot 2014-12-06 at 11.18.27 AM

5.Cover dough with cinnamon and sugar mix.

Screen shot 2014-12-06 at 11.19.23 AM

6.Cover the cinnamon and sugar layer with raisins.

Screen shot 2014-12-06 at 11.20.32 AM

7.Roll the dough from one end of the rectangle to the other into a large log.

Screen shot 2014-12-06 at 1.14.44 PM

8.Chill the log until firm, another 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

9.Slice dough into 1/3 inch thick slices and place on a baking sheet. Place cookies in the oven for 12-14 minutes, until golden brown and puffy.

Screen shot 2014-12-06 at 11.21.02 AM

10.EAT.

Screen shot 2014-12-06 at 11.25.31 AM

For more recipes made with California Raisins, click around below !

nutty brown rice krispie treats

IMG_5234love making homemade granola and granola bars. In fact, that might be the next recipe I post. but today, I wanted something a little sweeter and decadent than my standard healthy granola bar recipe produces.

I was also in the mood for something with a little more crunch. For me, texture plays a huge part food. Sometimes i just want to eat something soft, like a big chewy cookie made even softer with oatmeal baked in. Other times, only something with a bite will do, and a nut-infused candy bar is the only thing that will satisfy me.

Today, the mood was crispy. I was specifically craving one of those crispy-style granola bars that Kid’s Cliff Bars makes, but i also felt like cooking, so i decided to make my own.

This recipe, like all recipes really, is just a guideline. Use whatever you have around the house – toss in your choice of nuts and toppings. Whatever you end up with, it’ll likely taste delicious!

another bonus – not that i am – but this recipe is gluten free for those who must be conscious of it!

IMG_5238

For the bars:

  • 4 cups brown rice krispies (regular will also work)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey (or agave)
  • 1 cup peanut or almond butter
  • 3/4 cup nuts (i used almond and cashew today)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (or butterscotch or white chocolate chips)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, melted (for optional drizzle on top)

 

Directions:

  • Melt butter in the microwave (about 30 seconds). Add brown sugar and mix.
  • Add honey to brown sugar/butter. Mix again.
  • Add peanut butter. To make stirring easier, it may help to microwave for about 20 seconds before mixing.
  • Fold in cereal. Mix with a spatula or large spoon until evenly coated. If they aren’t “sticky” enough at this point, add more honey until they are sticky!
  • Add nuts & chocolate chips.
  • Pour into a 9×13 pan that has been buttered or sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Melt remaining chocolate chips in the microwave, and drizzle on top of bars.
  • Place in the fridge to let them firm up.
  • Cut, eat, enjoy! 🙂

 

IMG_5241