Strawberry Chai Cashew Milkshake [Vegan/GF]

Strawberry Chai Cashew Milkshake [Vegan/GF]It’s almost the big day. Are y’all ready for hearts and emergency trips to get flowers and stuffed animals?

We don’t go too crazy over here for Valentine’s Day, but consuming something pink or red seems appropriate. It’s just so beautiful and healthy and dreamy and spicy and sweet. It is everything boxed chocolates wish they could be.

And, to sweeten the pot, this is such an adaptable recipe. Don’t like chai? Take out the spices and boost the vanilla. Not sweet enough? Add a few more dates or some stevia. Hate strawberries? Muddle the fruit of your heart’s desire.

Strawberry Chai Cashew Milkshake [Vegan/GF] Strawberry Chai Cashew Milkshake [Vegan/GF]Do note, though, that this won’t be as smooth as a typical milkshake. If you’d prefer, you can blend the cashews and water on their own first and then strain the mixture before adding in the rest of the goodness.

There are just so many things you can do to this recipe to ensure that you love it with every iota of your being, as if Cupid himself shot down arrows between you and the blender. Isn’t that nice of him?

Ingredients:
- 12 strawberries
- 2 cups cashews, soaked in water overnight
- 2 1/2 – 3 cups water, according to preference
- 10 Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger

Directions
- Muddle strawberries with the back of a fork in a small bowl until no chunks remain. Divide between 2-4 glasses and set aside.
- Combine remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If too thick for your liking, add extra 1/2 cup water.
- Pour milkshake overtop of strawberries in each glass. Place in freezer to chill or add ice cubes, serve immediately, and enjoy.
Strawberry Chai Cashew Milkshake [Vegan/GF]

10. February 2015 by Elisabeth
Categories: Desserts, Gluten-free | Tags: | 7 comments

Vanilla Peanut Butter Blondies [Vegan/GF]

Vanilla Peanut Butter Blondies [Vegan/Gluten-free]Peanut butter is the mortar that holds all good things together.

Sure, I’m a little biased to the wonders of peanut butter. I will happily admit I ate peanut butter sandwiches (sans crust) every school day for 10 or so years. But even so, I think this nut butter cement theory is solid.

It’s the sticky base for granola bars, smoothies, and these blondies, among a million other delicious things. Relationships can be bonded by peanut butter, too. Anytime I give the basset some peanut butter, he loves me more and more, lick by lick.

Vanilla Peanut Butter Blondies [Vegan/Gluten-free] Vanilla Peanut Butter Blondies [Vegan/Gluten-free] Vanilla Peanut Butter Blondies [Vegan/Gluten-free] Vanilla Peanut Butter Blondies [Vegan/Gluten-free]And honestly, going out on a sticky, nut butter-y limb here, I think peanut butter sweets deserve more love than they get during Valentines season. Y’all know I love chocolate, but peanut butter is just such a fun twist.

Imagine making these blondies for your pb-loving significant other (or yourself, because you deserve it), and then just drizzling the tiniest bit of chocolate over top. That is love.

You’re also showing your Valentine you care about their health with these blondies. No added refined sugar and they’re naturally vegan and gluten-free. Could you be any sweeter? No. The answer is no.

Moral of the mortar story: give peanut butter some love and it will love you back and become the sticky cement to keep your life together, in every possible way.

Ingredients:
- 1 cup natural peanut butter + 1/2 cup for topping
- 1/4 cup cacao butter, melted
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 3/4 cup Grade A maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups garbanzo bean flour
- 1/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts

Directions:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup peanut butter, cacao butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla bean paste. Stir with a rubber spatula until thoroughly combined.
- Stir in baking powder, salt, and garbanzo bean flour in 1/2 cup increments until smooth. Dough should be thick. Place in the 8×8 and pat down into an even layer.
- Add remaining 1/2 cup peanut butter on top and swirl into the dough. Sprinkle peanuts over top and lightly press down into the dough.
- Bake for 17-20 minutes until edges start to brown slightly and a tester comes out clean. Let cool completely, then serve and enjoy.
Vanilla Peanut Butter Blondies [Vegan/Gluten-free]

03. February 2015 by Elisabeth
Categories: Desserts, Gluten-free | Tags: | Leave a comment

Triple Chocolate Ginger Cookies

Triple Chocolate Ginger CookiesI’ve been savoring life a little bit extra lately.

Cooking rich, healthy meals in our sunny kitchen with no timetable. Walking the basset just for fun. Taking impromptu trips to Whole Foods in the middle of the day with Lawrence.

Graduation is looming over me and many things will change by summer. So, right now, I’m in the phase of just wishing I had a never-ending weekend, filled and stuffed with adventures and lazy days and cookies.

Cookies make everything better, especially when chocolate (x3) is involved. The delicious layers happening in these particular beauties are as wonderful as curling under a mound of blankets on a cold night. Which is to say pretty wonderful.

Triple Chocolate Ginger Cookies Triple Chocolate Ginger Cookies Triple Chocolate Ginger CookiesChocolate bursting at the seams, balanced out by the sweet spiciness of ginger. Soft on the inside, but not too dense, with just the right crispiness on the edges. These are the chocolate cookies that senioritis dreams are made of.

You won’t need a stand mixer for this recipe (which makes 22 cookies), but the dough will need to chill for at least 30 minutes. Additionally, I used rye flour for some added depth, but all-purpose will sub in just fine.

Let’s all savor things in our lives some more and celebrate with cookies. There’s no time like the present.

Ingredients:
- 1 3/4 cups dark rye flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups dark chocolate chunks
- 16 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
- 1 cup crystallized ginger

Directions:
- Whisk together dark rye flour, cocoa powder, ginger, baking powder, and salt in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Place butter in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted. Let cool slightly. Stir in sugars with a rubber spatula until smooth.
- Add in eggs and vanilla extract and mix until fully incorporated. Stir in flour mixture in three increments, until thoroughly combined. Fold in in dark chocolate chunks.
- Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes and preheat oven to 350 degrees while chilling.
- Using a two-tablespoon scoop, place dough on lined baking sheets. Press down on each scoop to flatten slightly, then bake for 8-10 minutes, until edges set and centers look just undercooked.
- Let cookies rest for several minutes on the baking sheets before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cooled, dunk each cookie halfway into the melted semisweet chocolate, then place on parchment paper. Sprinkle crystallized ginger over top and let set completely (place in fridge to speed up the process). Serve and enjoy.
Triple Chocolate Ginger Cookies

29. January 2015 by Elisabeth
Categories: Desserts | Tags: | 4 comments

Sweet Breakfast Polenta [Vegan/GF]

Sweet Breakfast Polenta [Vegan/Gluten-free]Let me give you two scenarios right now. One has me as a social butterfly with night owl tendencies and the other has me as someone whose idea of a hectic Friday night involves sitting down on a couch with a snoring basset hound while drinking my second smoothie of the day.

I think you can probably sniff out the fact vs. fiction there. I like a calm home environment and the quiet that engulfs me every time I head to the kitchen and chop up some vegetables.

Even when I go on trips, I opt for the relaxing side of things. No visits to bars or staying out late – leisurely exploring and adventuring are becoming more my pace. And I’m grateful that Lawrence is that way too, because these peaceful moments are made all the better by experiencing them with someone else.

We just went on the most wonderful mini vacation (read: sightings of mountain goats and no cell service), and when we got back to Austin I was craving to continue feeling the comfort that kept in pace with us out in the wilderness.

2015-01-16_SweetBreakfastPolenta4551 Sweet Breakfast Polenta [Vegan/Gluten-free]Enter this sweet breakfast polenta. It’s sticky and warming in all the right ways, balanced with vanilla bean paste and coconut milk. It is the perfect quiet breakfast to start an easygoing day. Add some Sam Cooke tunes while you’re whisking all the goodness up, and your heart will be full of happiness.

But let’s return to the fiction portion of my life, the one where I’m zany — but with perfectly disheveled hair. In that life, I wouldn’t enjoy that polenta with only Lawrence. No, we’d throw a sweet breakfast polenta party! POLENTA. PARTY.

There’d be toppings galore – cinnamon, cacao nibs, fresh granola, berry compotes, roasted nuts, etc., etc. And our apartment would be filled to the brim with friends enjoying polenta, mingling and going back for seconds in smooth fashion.

Maybe my alter ego will have to make an appearance, because a polenta party sounds pretty sweet, in all senses of the word. It’s all about balance, right?

Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup medium grind cornmeal
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/3 cup Grade A maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
- Bring coconut milk and water to just below a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in cornmeal and shredded coconut and immediately reduce heat to low.
- Add maple syrup, vanilla bean paste, and salt, and continue whisking for 7-10 minutes until the polenta reaches your desired consistency.
- Portion out into two, three, or four bowls, and top with desired add-ons. Serve warm and enjoy.
Sweet Breakfast Polenta [Vegan/Gluten-free]

17. January 2015 by Elisabeth
Categories: Gluten-free | Tags: , | 3 comments

Mini Mexican Chocolate Bundt Cakes

Mini Mexican Chocolate Bundt CakesLiving and breathing hot Texas air for all 21 years of your life will do a few things to you.

One, it will bring you dangerously close to buying a framed replica of the Gonzales Flag to hang in your living room. Consequently, you’ll get bummed out and question your Texanhood when you don’t buy it.

Walking Lone Star soil will also make you ill prepared for cold snaps, forcing you to hide under layer upon layer to brace for temperatures that would seem pleasant anywhere north of the Red River.

Mini Mexican Chocolate Bundt Cakes Mini Mexican Chocolate Bundt Cakes
All of this to say, I’m both a proud Texan and a coward when it comes to cold weather. If you’re ever driving around Austin and see a puffy marshmallow walking a basset hound, it’s me — anything less than one million layers won’t do.

During Austin’s most recent frozen tundra spell, I’ve looked for every excuse to turn on the oven and add some extra warmth to our apartment. And my new mini Bundt pan seemed like just the right excuse.

Olive oil subs in for butter to provide another jacket/coat/layer of flavor to these cakes and the cinnamon and cayenne pair with the chocolate in such a warming, spicy, and sweet way.

I think I’ll keep my Texas air, even when it’s cold, because it lets wonderful things like mini Mexican chocolate Bundt cakes happen. Come and take it, y’all.

Ingredients:
- 2 cups spelt flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder + 3/4 teaspoon for glaze
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 10.5 ounces dark chocolate (70-75%)

Directions:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease Bundt tins. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together spelt flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together sugar and olive oil until combined. Then add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
- Add half of the almond milk and combine, followed by half of the flour mixture. Repeat and beat until just combined.
- Divide batter between 12 mini Bundt tins. Bake for 15-17 minutes until a tester comes out clean, then remove from oven. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before inverting cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- For the glaze, melt dark chocolate and whisk in 3/4 teaspoon cayenne powder. Use a spoon to pour glaze over each Bundt. Serve immediately and enjoy.
Mini Mexican Chocolate Bundt Cakes

11. January 2015 by Elisabeth
Categories: Desserts | Tags: | 3 comments

Cardamom Walnut Butter Granola Bars [Vegan/GF]

No-Bake Cardamom Walnut Butter Granola Bars [Gluten-free/Vegan]“We rarely repent of having eaten too little.” That’s a quote from the third U.S. president, Thomas Jefferson, who was reportedly as close to a vegetarian during his time period as there was.

He chronicled vegetable growth cycles, ate significantly smaller amounts of meat compared to his peers, and had his table filled with produce that was grown on his own land. Supposedly, peas and cucumbers were two of his favorite sides.

I don’t care for cucumbers, but, generally speaking, I think I can get behind Jefferson’s sentiments. They’re Michael Pollan-esque (“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”) and it’s certainly a good ideology to have when you’re facing a box of stale doughnuts and don’t know how to proceed.

No-Bake Cardamom Walnut Butter Granola Bars [Vegan/Gluten-free] No-Bake Cardamom Walnut Butter Granola Bars [Vegan/Gluten-free]There is an exception to every rule, however, and that exception in this case comes in the form of these no-bake soft and chewy cardamom walnut butter granola bars. I would certainly regret it if I didn’t eat enough of these and let Lawrence gobble up all the goodness.

They are everything you could ever want in a granola bar, but without all the weird additives and preservatives and chemicals you can’t pronounce. Plus, the natural sweetness of the maple syrup pairs in a crazy wonderful way with the spiciness of the cardamom. Only good things happening.

So, skip over T.J.’s presidential notions of food moderation and eat like kings and queens when it comes to these granola bars. Or else you might have to repent.

Ingredients:
- 2 cups rolled oats (use certified gluten-free if preferred)
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 cup almonds, chopped
- 1/2 cup flaxseed meal
- 2 teaspoons cardamom
- 1 cup walnut butter
- 3/4 cup Grade A maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
- Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together oats, walnuts, almonds, flaxseed meal, and cardamom. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt walnut butter with maple syrup and vanilla extract. Stir constantly until no lumps remain, then pour over oat mixture. Using a rubber spatula, stir together the granola until thoroughly combined.
- Place granola into the 8×8 pan and pat down into an even layer. Place in fridge for at least 1 hour to set, then cut into bars, serve and enjoy.
No-Bake Cardamom Walnut Butter Granola Bars [Vegan/Gluten-free]

07. January 2015 by Elisabeth
Categories: Gluten-free | Tags: | 2 comments

Orange Caramel Chia Parfaits [Vegan]

Orange Caramel Chia Parfaits [Vegan]This isn’t going to be a retrospective on my year or the year for Food Mouth. I just don’t think I’d be good at that, and too many wonderful things happened to even list.

We’re not going to talk about how I moved in with Lawrence or how our sweet basset Guss gives me so much joy every single day. We’re not going to talk about how we signed up for a CSA and have been introduced to a whole world of produce we never knew existed (hi, kohlrabi!). And we’re definitely not going to talk about how this blog is now 1 year old and the grateful feelings I have for all of you out there.

No, instead, I think I’d rather talk about chia parfaits. I mean, who wouldn’t want to talk about these? See that gooey date caramel? It has spicy orange zest in it. Oh, and the chia pudding itself has a sneaky serving of maca powder to give you an extra boost and more caramel flavor. Mmmm, yes, I think we can all agree this is a tasty alternative to talking about the past.

Orange Caramel Chia Parfaits [Vegan] Orange Caramel Chia Parfaits [Vegan] Orange Caramel Chia Parfaits [Vegan]If we’re being honest, though, I should come clean and tell you that I used to strongly dislike the idea of chia pudding (such a 2014 attitude!). If you’re not using a good recipe and pairing the pudding with wholesome toppings, it’s kind of like alien goop. Yeah, I said it. I had to. Gotta keep it real in 2015.

But don’t worry, you don’t need to be Sigourney Weaver and put on your spacesuit. No alien goop over here. Just pure vegan (!!!) caramel citrus-y goodness that takes next to no time to whip up.

Another total pro of this recipe is how you choose to serve it. From the pictures, you can see that I made three big jars (one for me, one for Lawrence, and I might steal the third…), but you can easily get some smaller ramekins and divvy this up into six portions. Or you could make one mega parfait and set yourself up for the best day ever – I won’t tell anyone if you keep it all to yourself.

So, here’s to a new year with lots of healthy orange caramel chia parfaits in store. Raise ‘em high!

Ingredients:
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon maca powder
- 1 medium navel orange
- 8 Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 tablespoon warm water

Directions:
- The night before serving, whisk together almond milk, chia seeds, and maca powder in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge overnight.
- When ready to serve, place dates and the zest from the orange in a food processor fitted with an s-blade attachment. Process until a ball forms, then scrape down the sides and add the tablespoon of water. Process again until a thick paste forms. It will be sticky.
- Peel and slice the orange and set aside. Remove chia pudding from fridge and stir gently. Grab preferred ramekins or serving bowls and layer chia pudding, caramel, and orange slices. Serve cold and enjoy.
Orange Caramel Chia Parfaits [Vegan]

01. January 2015 by Elisabeth
Categories: Desserts, Gluten-free | Tags: , , | 4 comments

No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Macaroons [GF]

No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Macaroons [Gluten-free]Confession: I’m a terrible gift-giver when it comes to Lawrence. At least, that’s what I used to think.

Aside from the occasional small or sentimental gift, I’ve always felt at a loss for finding just the right thing for him — partially because he’s a minimalist in most senses of the word (except for the sense that applies to taco toppings).

The self-described Scrooge of sorts is hard to buy for and I have this pesky habit of wanting to gift things that aren’t quite practical. It’s a predicament and needlessly stressful.

No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Macaroons [Gluten-free] No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Macaroons [Gluten-free]Well, come this gift-giving season, Lawrence essentially told me to take a chill pill because, as he put it, I get him presents all the time. Things like surprising him with his favorite nutrition bar after running errands or whipping up some raw desserts to leave in the fridge are the gifts that keep on giving, apparently.

This absurdly sweet sentiment melted my stressed and Grinch-like heart. And so, with a newfound take on the act of gifting, I took to the kitchen to wrap up something else for Lawrence this year. And it’s pretty clear these macaroons were winners.

Sweet, but surprisingly good for you, they’re like the hidden surprise in the bottom of a stocking. Maybe I do know a thing or two about giving gifts after all.

Ingredients:
- 1 cup almond meal
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/3 cup coconut chips
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup Grade A maple syrup
- 3 heaping tablespoons chocolate chips

Directions:
- Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place almond meal, almonds, and coconut chips in a food processor fitted with an s-blade attachment. Process on high until combined into a fine meal (you may need to scrape down the edges).
- Add the coconut oil, vanilla extract, and maple syrup and process until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.
- Using a one-tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop dough onto the lined baking sheet. Place in refrigerator for at least 25 minutes before serving cool and enjoying.
No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Macaroons [Gluten-free]

20. December 2014 by Elisabeth
Categories: Desserts, Gluten-free | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Chocolate Berry Kale Shake

Chocolate Berry Kale ShakeIf you’re not near your closet right now, you might want to be, because by the end of this post, you’re going to need to find your old superhero cape.

Bold statement, I know. But here’s why. This dessert shake is sneaky in that nearly every ingredient is a “superfood.” SUPERFOOD. Superfood befitting a superhero.

And I’m not talking gross, sludgy superfoods. I’m talking all the good stuff that will make you glow and fix your chocolate craving at once. Boom! Kapow! That’s what the superheroes say, right?

Chocolate Berry Kale Shake Chocolate Berry Kale ShakeIf you don’t have kale on hand, spinach is a good alternative. Maple syrup can go in for the honey if you want to keep this vegan. Cocoa powder can also sub for the cacao, but I recommend trying to keep all the super-ness happening.

Anyway, run to your nearest telephone booth and strap on that cape. Super things are about to happen.

Ingredients:
- 2 frozen bananas
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/2 cup fresh kale
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon cacao nibs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons raw unfiltered honey
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Directions:
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If too thick, add more almond milk. Serve and enjoy.
Chocolate Berry Kale Shake

16. December 2014 by Elisabeth
Categories: Desserts, Gluten-free | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Salted Honey + Dark Chocolate Chunk Frozen Yogurt

Salted Honey + Dark Chocolate Chunk Frozen YogurtDo you hear that? That’s the sound of sweet (but refined sugar-free) freedom. I finished my next to last semester of college and said goodbye to a job that I’ve had for three and half years. AKA a tasty celebration was in order.

And this healthy salted honey and dark chocolate chunk frozen yogurt made with Chobani did just the trick. This stuff is so good for you that you might as well eat it every chance you get. Forget ice cream. (And, full disclosure, this is coming from a girl who downed Ben & Jerry’s freshman year). Fro-yo forever!

Salted Honey + Dark Chocolate Chunk Frozen Yogurt Salted Honey + Dark Chocolate Chunk Frozen YogurtThings to note are basically nonexistent because this recipe is about as easy as it gets. So, here are some Guss links to peruse while you wait for your ice cream machine to swirl up this goodness.

— I’m making these savory roasted almonds stat for my favorite snack addict.
— This creamy green smoothie is just right for all holiday-necessitated detoxes. Plus the photos! Love.
— Go look at this entire blog. It is everything.
— Herbed. Quinoa. Muffins. Good morning to us all!

Anyway, I scream, you scream, we all scream for frozen yogurt! Happy weekending, y’all.

Ingredients:
- 2 frozen bananas
- 2 cups plain non-fat Chobani Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup raw, unfiltered honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 ounces quality dark chocolate, chopped

Directions:
- Place bananas, yogurt, honey, vanilla, and salt in a blender or food processor and blend until thoroughly incorporated.
- Add the mixture to your ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions (mine mixed for 30 minutes).
- When finished, stir in dark chocolate with a rubber spatula, and then spread into a standard loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Freeze for 1 hour then serve and enjoy.
Salted Honey + Dark Chocolate Chunk Frozen Yogurt

12. December 2014 by Elisabeth
Categories: Desserts, Gluten-free | Tags: | Leave a comment

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