A “Thank You” Cake, for All of You!

Dark Chocolate Brownie “Thank You” Cake, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow

10000 views… I can’t believe that my tiny,  homemade, low key, experimental, and very much just for fun blog recently hit a phenomenal milestone: 10000 views!

I am still in a bit of disbelief about it all, to be quite honest and totally humbled, yet thrilled.

Although I can’t explain how I went from my very first posted to 10000 views in less than 6 months, I’m guessing that this is a sign that there are many of you out there who are looking for guidance, inspiration and help in transitioning to 100% plant-based eating and cooking, while at the same time staying within a reasonable budget.

I can only hope that at least some of you have found my recipes to be yummy, homey, inviting, creative, entertaining and pure fun, which is what this entire transition to vegan cooking has been for me. Thank you for joining me on this journey and for helping me along the way with your kind comments, suggestions and many, many engagements.

And… this being a vegan, plant-based, healthy cooking type of a blog I thought that it would be cool to say a huge “Thank You, All” with some cake. So, thanks everyone – I hope you enjoy this Dark Chocolate Brownie “Thank you!” Cake, and come back again for seconds!!!

The recipe is super simple and uses ripe bananas as an egg replacement, and lots of dark, Dutch process cocoa. It also uses a simple trick to transform almond milk into almond butter milk by adding a tiny amount of cider vinegar to almond milk and letting it stand for fifteen minutes at room temperature before using. Finally, to help the dark cocoa release its color you will need to use some hot water.

Putting all this together, you will start by mixing dry ingredients in a large mixer bowl separately from wet ingredients (all except water), combine them together and then add the hot water gradually as you mix, keeping a close eye on consistency. You want your batter to be smooth and fluid, but not completely liquid. The recipe below makes two 8 in (20 cm) round brownie cakes, or one 9 x 13 in (23 x 33 cm) rectangular cake. I recommend lining the bottom of your baking pan with some parchment paper, as this helps get the cake out. In principle you could bake this cake in a springform pan, and it should pop right out.

The cake tastes rich and decadent, yet it’s relatively light in terms of the ingredients and especially in terms of added sugar. The bananas help not only hold the cake together, but add natural sweetness to it, so you can use 1/3 amount of sugar that a cake of this size would normally use. Of course, you are not limited to sugar and can use a sweetener of your choice, including artificial sweeteners if that’s what you like or need to use.

Dark Chocolate Brownie “Thank You” Cake

What you’ll need:

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa, Dutch-processed

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup almond milk, unsweetened

3/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup canola oil

2 bananas

1/2 cup powdered sugar, vegan (+ 1 tablespoon for dusting)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup hot water

2 tablespoons coconut flakes, unsweetened (optional)

Zest of one orange (optional)

What you you’ll do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
  2. Mix the almond milk with apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice) and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. This will be your almond buttermilk.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of your standing mixer, combine all your dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder).
  4. In a separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients except the hot water. Note that powdered sugar and the bananas count as a wet ingredients. I recommend that you use a blender to cream your bananas, although you could simply mush them with a fork. Either way, make sure that your wet ingredients are fully mixed together and as smooth as possible.
  5. Next, slowly add your wet ingredients into the dry ones. For this, I keep my standing mixer runing on low, and pour the wet ingredients in, bit by bit.
  6. Let everything combine before adding the hot water. I recommend adding 1/4 cup water at a time, slowly so that you are in full control over the consistency of your batter. It should be smooth and pour out with ease.
  7. Line two 8 in (20 cm) round cake pans with parchment paper and pour the batter in.
  8. Put in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
  9. Take the cake out, flip it out of the pan, and leave it to cool for 1-2 hours.
  10. Cut into wedges and sprinkle with powdered sugar, coconut flakes and orange zest. Serve and enjoy!!!
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Saying “Thank You!” with a Cake, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow

Copyright ©Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2017

Good Morning, Sunshine! Smoothie

Good Morning, Sunshine! Smoothie, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow

It’s a bit ridiculous to share a smoothie recipe like it is a thing. After all, smoothie is nothing more than throwing couple of things in a blender and pressing a button. But, I’ve now made this version a few times, never straying from the original recipe and it is a keeper. Even people who usually refuse to drink almond milk were able to get behind this one, so I decided to share it with the world.

The recipe is super fast, super easy, super cheap, super convenient – all in a real superlative fest! All you need is a banana, five frozen strawberries, some almond milk, preferably unsweetened and vanilla flavored, a dash of unsweetened coconut flakes and a sprinkle of vegan mini chocolate chips. These last two ingredients are completely optional but they do elevate this smoothie to the seventh heaven.

I do recommend using frozen whole strawberries. First of all, they have great flavor all year round as most brands use the best looking whole strawberries for freezing. Note that you should stay away from chopped frozen strawberries because I am not so sure that you can tell what those looked likes before they were chopped, and you should definitely check that strawberries are the only ingredient in the bag, just to be on the safe side. Frozen whole strawberries are usually cheaper than fresh, and they are really handy to have on hand in your freezer to use for smoothies, or other recipes. For the purpose of this recipe you can definitely use fresh strawberries if you have some. In that case you may want to add an ice cube or two, if you like your smoothie cold. The benefit of using frozen strawberries is that no extra ice is needed – they give this smoothie a nice, subtle chill that is just fabulous for summer breakfast at home or on the go.

Final note for those who like a sturdier breakfast. This smoothie is light, has no added sugar and a minimal amount of fat that comes from the almond milk, coconut flakes and the mini chocolate chips. If you want to make this smoothie thicker and more filling, you can simply add two to three spoonfuls of rolled oats. If you are adding oats, I recommend you letting the smoothie rest for five minutes or so before enjoying to let the oats soften just a smidge.

Good Morning, Sunshine! Smoothie

What you’ll need:

1 banana

5 frozen whole strawberries (fresh will work too!)

1/2 cup almond milk, unsweetened, vanilla flavor

1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)

1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips, vegan (like Enjoy Life) (optional)

2-3 tablespoons rolled oats (optional)

What you’ll do:

  1. Place chopped banana, strawberries and almond milk into a blender. If you are using oats add them now. Blend until smooth and to consistency you like.
  2. Pour into a glass or a travel jug if you are taking it on the road.
  3. Sprinkle coconut flakes and chocolate chips and walk into the sunlight, figuratively and/or literally!

Copyright ©Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2017

Quick and Easy French Toast

Vegan French Toast
Vegan French Toast, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow
There’s nothing easier than French toast – and nothing that brings as much smiles and sunshine to the breakfast table. The secret to a great French toast is the bread, and my preferred kind is of a spongy variety. After all, the point is to get as much as that rich, delicious egg mixture absorbed. Except that for vegans, French toast may seem unattainable given all the eggs, milk, cream and butter that go into it.

Well in the same way I shattered your misconception that you have to kiss your popovers goodbye if you decide to go 100% plant-based, I will now share the amazingly easy and wonderful way to make vegan French toast.

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Vegan French Toast with Strawberries and Powdered Sugar, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow

Quick and Easy French Toast

(4 servings, with 3 slices per serving)

What you’ll need:

12 slices bread, soft and spongy

6-8 oz (170-225 g) silken tofu

1 1/2 cup almond milk

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

2 cups strawberries

1-2 tablespoon powdered sugar

Cooking cooking spray


What you’ll do
:

  1. Place all the ingredients, except bread, strawberries and powdered sugar into a blender and blend until well aerated and smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into a flat bottom dish big enough for two pieces of bread to soak at the same time side by side. Common pie dish works really well for this.
  3. Soak the bread for couple of minutes, flipping once.
  4. Spray the bottom of a frying pan or a griddle with some cooking spray and bring the heat to high. Place the soaked bread on hot surface and cook for 1-2 minutes on high than 1-2 minutes on medium heat. Flip over and repeat the same process to finish off the second side.
  5. Serve with fresh cut strawberries and a dusting of powdered sugar. You can also go for vegan butter, coconut flakes, chopped nut topping, maple syrup, jam, or a drizzle of melted super-dark chocolate. Regardless of what you choose to top this French toast with, it will bring joy to your breakfast!

 

Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2017

Blueberry Cheesecake 2.0, a Real Space-Age Treat

Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake
Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow
First time I had cheesecake I was twenty five! Yes, it’s true – I spent the first twenty five years of my life in a blissful ignorance, completely unaware that cheesecakes existed. But, soon after moving to US I did partake on a slice and fell in love immediately and over the years things just better and better.

First of all, cheesecakes are easy to make. They are also very versatile because you can customize them in many different ways. I used to make pumpkin cheesecake topped with baked apples and pecan caramel for Thanksgiving because pumpkin pie is sort of boring.

My other favorite cheesecake I used to make was plain vanilla topped with homemade blueberry syrup. So one night, as I was making myself a light dessert of blueberry smoothie, I got inspired to try and make Cheesecake 2.0 – the 21st century version that is dairy-free, gluten-free, and egg-free.

Being the space age type of dessert, this recipe uses an ingredient that you can’t find in a grocery store: agar powder. Chemically speaking, agar is a sugar polymer and I’ve used it a great deal to make many, probably thousands, of agar plates in Petri dishes, which I then used to grow bacterial cultures. (For those interested in the source, agar is isolated from algae (seaweed), so although not of plant origin, I think it is safe to say that definitely plant-like in many ways and not animal-derived.)

So, when I discovered that agar has a culinary application I was skeptical. But when I thought about what I need agar to do – act as a jelling agent in the same way gelatin would – I concluded that my skepticism was not founded in reality and chemical facts but some silly prejudice. Thus, I bought a small jar of agar powder and I’ve been using it to make hard (and shreddable) cheese quite successfully. In this recipe I took agar powder a step further and used it as the firming agent for the cheesecake. It did the trick and the result was a yummy cake with excellent smooth yet firm texture.

Blueberry Cheesecake 2.0
Blueberry Cheesecake for the 21st Century, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow

Blueberry Cheesecake 2.0

What you’ll need:

FOR THE CRUST

1 cup walnuts

1 cup cashews

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon vegan Butter

FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING

2 cups blueberries, frozen

1/2 cup oatmeal

1 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk, unsweetened

4 teaspoon agar

2 cups water

What you’ll do:

  1. Use a grinder or a food processor to grind walnuts and cashews to a relatively fine meal.
  2. Pour the ground nuts into an 8 to 9 in (20 to 23 cm) round springform pan.
  3. Add brown sugar and mix well.
  4. Add melted vegan butter (30 sec in a microwave should be enough to melt this amount) and using your fingers mix the melted butter in so that all of your nut and sugar mix is moist. Press the mix into the bottom of the pan to form a crust. Set aside.
  5. In a large blender mix almond milk, blueberries and oatmeal until smooth.
  6. To prepare agar powder, bring 2 cups of water to boil and add the agar. Use a whisk to mix everything together lower the heat to simmer and keep mixing and simmering for 4 to 5 minutes.
  7. Add hot agar to the blender in small batches, 1/2 cup at a time. Pause to incorporate then add more until the entire amount of agar is incorporated.
  8. Pour the filling into the springform pan and use a spatula or a flat spoon to spread around and flatten the top.
  9. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, best overnight.
  10. Pop it out of the springform pan, cut and serve as is, or with fruit and/or vegan whip cream. I made one from chickpea water (aquafaba), but you can make any one you like or skip it!

 

Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2017

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow
Today is a double whammy of a day. It’s the National Oatmeal Cookie Day and at the same time the National Raisin Day. So I just had to join in the celebrations by putting those two together into these lovely, healthy and chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies that use couple of very simple ingredients and take no time to make.

I decided to start with some naturally sweet ingredients in order to completely omit using added sugar. So I went for a combination of carrots and raisins, both with an amazing amount of sweetness that baking brings out to an amazing extent.

For my oatmeal, I decided to toast some of it to add extra dimensions of nuttiness to the flavor of these cookies without the need to use any nuts. Additional trick I used is to grind most of the oats which made it easy to skip using flour. Still, I did add a bit of corn starch to help the cookies along, and “flax egg” to bind everything together.

Of course, you can’t have a good batch of moist cookies without adding a bit of fat and in this case I decide to use solids out of the can of coconut cream. I used all the liquid and couple of tablespoons of solids for my Bread Fruit Curry, so I had some solids leftover. You can also use coconut oil in this application as well. The oil does not need to be fully melted but it does need to be softened so that can mix well with the rest of the ingredients.

So without any further ado I give to you on this special day gluten-free and dairy-free, no sugar added Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, No Sugar Added Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow
Gluten-free, Dairy-free, No Sugar Added Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

What you’ll need (for 24, 2 in (5 cm) diameter cookies):

3 large carrots

1 cup raisins

2 cups oatmeal

1/4 cup flax meal

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup corn starch

1/4 cup coconut solids

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

What you’ll do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
  2. Place raisins into a large cup and cover with hot water. Let them soak for 30 minutes.
  3. Add flax meal to a large cup and mix well with 3/4 cups of hot water. Let stand for 15-30 minutes.
  4. Toast 1/2 cup of oat meal in a toaster oven until they begin to slightly brown and start smelling lovely and deliciously toasty, which should take about 2-3 minutes. Keep an eye on the toaster oven though as the oats will burn quickly. You can toast the oatmeal on the stove top, using a frying pan. I recommend dry toasting them, although you can use a drop of oil or cooking spray to help the toasting along.
  5. Add the toasted oats to a food processor and grind to a fine meal. Pour the toasted oatmeal into a large mixing bowl.
  6. Add another 1 cup of oatmeal to the food processor and grind as finely as the previous batch. Combine with the ground toasted oatmeal.
  7. Add reminder of the oatmeal (1/2 cup) into the mixing bowl without grinding for added texture.
  8. Grind carrots finely using the food processor and add to the oatmeal mix.
  9. Drain the raisins well and add to the oatmeal and carrots.
  10. Add “flax egg” and mix well. The mixture should be moist but not runny.
  11. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. If your coconut oil needs a but of melting, put it in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds. Keep an eye on it because you don’t want it to be completely melted, just soft enough to be able to mix well.
  12. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spoon out the cookies with a tablespoon. This should yield 24 cookies, 12 per baking sheet. Use your fingers to shape the cookies into nice, flat rounds or any shape you like. Their final thickness is about 1/2 in (1 cm) and they will not spread or rise much so make sure that you do actually flat them out before baking.
  13. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes. The cookies will be soft to touch but will firm up a bit as they cool.
  14. You can frost them with simple sugar frosting if you like, but I did want to keep this recipe “added sugar” free and they are delicious as is. Enjoy!!!
  15. Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2017

Chocolate Bon Bons with Dates, Walnuts and Apples

Chocolate Bon Bons with Dates, Walnuts and Apples
Chocolate Bon Bons with Dates, Walnuts and Apples, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow
It is Easter Sunday, so you might as well kick back, relax and have some bon bons. So I wanted to share with everyone who observe Easter today and everyone who are just looking for a simple, nutritious and adorable dessert recipe this super-easy and kids-friendly recipe for Bon Bons. This recipe was my entry into Food52 contest Your Best Recipe with Dates.

Dates, especially Medjool dates, are fabulously sweet fruit of date palm trees and have been used in Middle Eastern and North African regions for centuries. Growing up in Serbia (ex-Yugoslavia), dates were a special, almost candy, treat we’d get especially for Christmas Eve.

You may have seen dates in your dried fruit aisle, and that is exactly where you’ll find Medjool dates as well. Some stores have also been featuring them around the produce stands, but don’t expect to find raw dates – at least I’ve never seen them raw. Not to worry though, dried dates work really well in a recipe like these bon bons with a little help of warm water and thirty minutes of rehydration.

The bon bons come together really quickly and there isn’t much to making them really. But, in order to make them easier to handle in the last stage where they meet the melted chocolate you should let them sit in a freezer for half an hour. That will help them hold their shape during their chocolate bath.

Not fan of chocolate? You can skip it and roll the bon bons in coconut flakes, chopped walnuts, slivered almonds or anything else that will make your taste buds jump for joy!!!

One last thing: this recipe is super kid-friendly and if you are looking for something you can make together with any little chefs in your life this is it. There is a bit of mixing and a bit of hands on digging into a mix and making bon bons with your hands, which is sure to please. Plus: as the recipe is no-bake everything is safe to try and lick for those without tree nut allergies. If you are looking to make this recipe tree nut free, you could try doubling the amount of oats and skipping the walnuts. I am not 100% sure this will work, but I am about 95% sure it will – I hope this is good enough for you to give these bon bons a try.

Chocolate Bon Bons with Dates, Walnuts and Apples

What you’ll need:

medjool dates

cup oats

cup walnuts

Granny Smith apple

teaspoon cinnamon

ounces chocolate, vegan

cup coconut flakes, unsweetened

What you’ll do:

  1. Remove the pits and soak medjool dates in warm water for 30 – 60 minutes.
  2. Place oats and walnuts into a food processor and grind them into a fine meal. Pour out into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Core the Granny Smith apple, but don’t peel it. Add it to the food processor and processes it until very fine. Add the apple to the walnut and oats mix. Add the cinnamon.
  4. Drain the dates. Using a small food processor or a hand held (stick) blender, blend the dates into a fine paste. Add the paste to the mixing bowl. Mix everything together using a wooden spoon or a spatula.
  5. Using a measuring spoon, measure out 1 tablespoon of the mix out into your hand. Form a ball (a bon bon) and place it on a freezer safe tray covered with wax paper. The recipe should make 18-24 bon bons.
  6. Put the bon bons in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  7. Just before 30 minutes is up, melt the chocolate either in the microwave or using a double boiler.
  8. Place 1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes at a time in a flat dish. Take the bon bons out of the freezer, dip them into the melted chocolate and roll them in the coconut flakes. Alternatively, you can skip the chocolate and roll the bon bons in coconut flakes only!
  9. Leave the finished bon bons on the kitchen counter for about 30 minutes to allow the chocolate to harden.
  10. Enjoy!
  11. Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2017

No-fumble Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble with Vegan Ice Cream
Apple Crumble with Vegan Ice Cream, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow
Mmmmm, apple crumble! Need I say more? This sort of pie, sort of pudding, sort of fruit bowl has been my go to dessert for some time now for couple of simple reasons. First of all, it does not require much careful measuring and weighing as dough and batter based desserts do if the cake or cookies are to come out just right. Second, it comes together very quickly and uses ingredients that I have on hand almost all the time. So, in the words of the American football jargon from the title of this post, it is practically impossible to fumble this recipe. But just to make it even more error-proof I simplified the recipe further.

Apple crumble goes under another name that you may be familiar with and that’s apple crisp, because the characteristic topping this dessert has is crispy and crumbly at the same time. The classic recipe starts with tart apples, like Granny Smith, and then uses lots and lots of sugar to sweeten things up, some flour to bind things together, and lots and lots of butter to get the topping, made of nuts and oats, crunchy. So basically you star from delicious fruit said to keep the doctor away, and add reasons that will in the long run likely lead you to pay your doctor a visit.

Apple Crumble Apples
Apple Crumble Starts with Apples, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow
In my recipe I removed the flour to make it gluten-free (I used corn starch instead) and removed the need for butter by adding some walnuts and almonds to my topping. Walnuts excel in the amount of polyunsaturated fat they have and are a great substitute for butter here, and almonds add more monounsaturated fat and some extra fiber. Needless to say, both walnuts and almonds taste more interesting than butter so the crumble/crisp flavor will blow you away!

When it comes to keeping things sweet without adding sugar, I decided to use raisins as natural sweeteners and to get them to their juicy magnificence I soaked them in hot water for 30 minutes, then drained, before use.

Apples, Raisins and Cinnamon
Apples, Raisins and Cinnamon on Their Way to Apple Crumble, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow
One last note is that I used some lime juice and lime zest and at the end I think that this small amount of very aromatic citrus made a huge difference. The crumble was delicious and had a wonderful aroma, so much so that we ate the whole crumble in one sitting. So much for portion control!

Apple Crumble

What you’ll need:

4 large tart apples (Granny Smith or other)

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup walnuts, raw

1/2 cup almond, raw

1/2 cup oats

2 tablespoons corn starch

1 lime, juice and zest

1 tablespoon cinnamon, ground

Cooking spray

What you’ll do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C)
  2. Soak the raisins in 2 cups of warm water for 30 minutes.
  3. Cut the apples into slices and place in a large bowl. Squeeze the lime juice over the apple slices as you go and mix the juice in to keep your apples from oxidizing (turning brown) while you work.
  4. Drain the raisins and pat them dry. Add them to the sliced apples. Add lime zest, corn starch and cinnamon. Stir well to coat and combine.
  5. Spray the bottom and the sides of a square 8 x 8 in (20 x 20 cm) baking dish with cooking spray. Add the apple mix and spread around. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
  6. While the apple mix is baking prepare the crumble. In a food processors chop roughly the walnuts, almond and oats. You don’t want to make a fine meal, rather pulse the food processor and stop at a point where some of it is very fine but there are still plenty of chunky pieces left.
  7. Remove the foil from the baking apple mix and sprinkle the crumble on top. Don’t mix!
  8. Put the apple crumble back to the oven for another 15 minutes.
  9. Take it out of the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes to cool just slightly.Enjoy the Apple Crumble warm or cold!

Note on serving suggestions: I realize it is customary to serve warm apple crumble with cold vanilla ice cream, and that is swell! But give this crumble a try on its own – it is fantastic!

Note on peeling apples: I prefer not to peel my apples as peeling takes time and the peel adds a nice texture to the crumble. But if you like the crumble to be smoother then do peel them.

Note on the featured image: The featured image on the home page includes two small scoops of green ice cream. This is homemade coconut milk ice cream that owes its green color to food coloring – sorry for not coming up with something more natural… yet!

Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2017

Gluten-free Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins

GlutenfreeCarrotCakeMuffins_DONE
Gluten-free Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow
Baking does not come easy to me and gluten-free vegan baking is even more difficult. But, creating a recipe for carrot cake muffins that fits into my philosophy of vegan cooking with minimal amount of added sugar was hard to resist. This recipe is simple and uses simple ingredients like carrots, apples, walnuts, and raisins. It also uses couple of ingredients that make this gluten-free and vegan, like flex meal, rice flour, and tapioca starch.

The result is a recipe that is fun to make, and works well as a family activity that can teach very young children about measurements and mixing, as well as using some basic kitchen equipment. Because the recipe uses ingredients that don’t require cooking to be edible (like carrots, apples, raisins) and don’t pose any health risk, unlike common muffin recipes that use eggs, the recipe is very worry-free when it comes to licking the bowl and spatula, putting messy hands in the mouth, or other types of ad hoc tasting that young chefs gravitate to.

One tip for making this into a smooth sailing assembly line is to use the food processor to do most of the work, and start by chopping carrots, followed by apple, then move to walnuts. Additionally, starting the flex meal vegan egg mix prior to all the chopping is a good idea as well. Finally, the mix will be sticky so do spray your muffin tin liners with some cooking spray. It will help peel the wraps off, and has minimal impact on fat content or the baking process.

This recipe makes 12 large muffins, and each muffin is very filling so you may want to start here and scale up if you find the muffins irresistible (which you will!). Do these muffins need frosting? I don’t think so, but if you’d like some then a frosting with a hint of orange zest would work really well and build on a bit of orange juice that I use in the batter.

Gluten-free Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins

What you’ll need (makes 12 muffins):

3 large carrots

1 Granny Smith apple

2/3 cup walnuts

2/3 cup raisins

2/3 cup shredded coconut flakes, unsweetened

2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup rice flour

1/2 cup tapioca starch

2 tablespoons flex meal

6 tablespoons warm water

Cooking spray

What you’ll do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
  2. Mix flax meal with warm water and set aside for 15 minutes.
  3. Wash and peel the carrots. Using a food processor grind the carrots to a fine grind. Put the ground carrots in a large mixing bowl. Core (but don’t peel) the apple. Grind it to a fine grind and add to the carrots. Next, grind walnuts to a fine meal. Add to carrots and apple mix.
  4. Add the flex meal that has by now become a very gooey and viscous to the carrot-apple-walnut mix. Continue to add the rest of the ingredients except the orange juice. Mix well and check for consistency. The mix should be soft and wet, but not so fluid that it runs from the spoon. Use orange juice to adjust and go easy as you may discover that you need to use more or less than 1/2 cup I list here. The total amount will depend a bit on how large and juicy your apple is!
  5. Leave the mix to rest for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Line the bottom of your muffin tin with liners and spray with cooking spray. Fill them with 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of the mix.
  7. Bake for 45-50 minutes then check for doneness using a toothpick. If the inserted toothpick comes out dry, you are done. If not, proceed for another 10-15 minutes.
  8. Take out of the oven and let rest for at least 30 minutes. If you plan to frost them let them cool completely before taking the next step. For a good vegan frosting recipe you can try one that uses coconut oil and add some orange zest for add kick!

Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2017