Vegan Carrot Cake (Double Layer)

Vegan Carrot Cake (Double Layer)

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Makes two layers of cake.Serves 12 – 14 (depends on your slice size!)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups + 1/4 cup four
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder powder
  • 2.5 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (add more if you’re a cinnamon fanatic)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 9 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 cups of sugar (I prefer using coconut sugar)
  • 2 cups oil (I prefer coconut oil, melted, but vegetable oil works, too)
  • 4-5 large carrots, grated

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two 9-inch cake pans (or use one and reuse it for the second layer).

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix the flaxseed and water. Add the sugar and oil. Pour the wet mixture into a blender. Add the carrots and blend until the carrots are broken down into crumb sizes.

Pour the wet mixture into the large mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Combine until smooth. Pour half of the mixture into one pan and the rest in the other. If you are using one pan, just wait for the the first batch to finished baking before making the second. Bake each layer for 18-20 minutes.

Once they are both cool, frost with vegan cream cheese frosting!

Carrot Cake Batter
It is OK if your batter is not completely smooth. The carrots will prevent that. Just make sure all the dry ingredients are completely mixed.
Carrot Cake Layers
First frost the bottom layer. Make it thick and slowly place the second layer on top.
Carrot Cake Frosting
Go nuts with your top layer of frosting. I like making it really thick.
Carrot Cake
If you have more frosting, don’t stop here! Cover the sides, too.
Carrot Cake
Give this to all your friends and don’t tell them it’s vegan until after they eat it. They’ll be surprised!
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes about 1 cup of frosting.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 1 hour
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup, or agave nectar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Instructions

Combine all ingredients into a food processor. Slowly add 2-5 tbsp of lukewarm water until the desired texture is reached. Use this as the frosting for cakes or your favorite carrot cake muffins!

Vegan Cheesecake

Vegan Cheesecake

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Makes 1 9-inch round pan, about 12 slices

Ingredients for the crust:

  • 2 cups pitted dates (soaked in hot water for 30 minutes)
  • 2 cups raw walnuts

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 2 cups raw cashews (soaked in hot water for 2 hours)
  • 2 large lemons, juiced
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp of coconut milk (full fat!)
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

Optional ingredients for topping:

  • frozen blueberries
  • shredded unsweetened coconut
  • lemon zest (use from the juiced lemons)

 

Instructions:

Lightly grease a 9-inch round pan. I used a cheesecake pan so it was easy the get the cheesecake out.

To make the crust: Add the dates to a food processor or blender. Blend until only a few chunks are left and the mixture is sticky. Remove the dates. Add the walnuts and blend until a meal texture if formed. Lastly, add the dates back in and blend together with the walnuts for a few pulses. Using your fingers, spread the mixture around the bottom of the round pan, pressing firmly. Put in the fridge until ready.

To make the filling: Add the cashews, coconut oil, coconut milk, lemon juice, agave nectar, and maple syrup to the food processor, or blend. Blend until smooth and all traces of cashew pieces are gone. Take the crusted pan out and pour the filling in. Use a spoon to spread the filling out so an even layer is formed.

Place pan in the fridge overnight, or freezer for 4 hours if serving that day.

(Optional) When ready to serve, heat the frozen blueberries in a saucepan for no more than 5 minutes. Decoratively pour the blueberries over the cheesecake. Sprinkle the coconut shreds and lemon zest. EAT!

 

Crust
Step 1: Make the crust by first blending the dates and walnuts separately, then blending together.
Step 2: Use your fingers to the spread the crust around the bottom of the pan
Step 2: Use your fingers to the spread the crust around the bottom of the pan
Step 3: Let the crust sit in the fridge while you make the filling
Step 3: Let the crust sit in the fridge while you make the filling
Step 4: Make the filling by blending all the filling ingredients together until smooth and creamy
Step 4: Make the filling by blending all the filling ingredients together until smooth and creamy
Step 5: Pour the filling into the pan. I used a cheesecake pan, so it was easy to remove the edges and take this picture!
Step 5: Pour the filling into the pan. I used a cheesecake pan, so it was easy to remove the edges and take this picture!
Step 6: (optional) Add your toppings and make it look pretty!
Step 6: (optional) Add your toppings and make it look pretty!
After the cheesecake sets, you can cut this into about 12 slices
After the cheesecake sets, you can cut this into about 12 slices
YUM!
YUM!
Peach Crisp

Peach Crisp

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Living in Nashville has brought many perks into my life, one of them being an abundant supply of peaches. I knew living close to Georgia farms was going to benefit me in some way, but I did not think that my summer would be filled with boxes and boxes of peaches for cheap prices. Everywhere we went: peaches, peaches and peaches. Of course we took full advantage and came home with a nice big bag of these juicy yellow fruits after every grocery shop.

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One day we had just way too many. And what do you do when peaches are overflowing in your fruit basket? You make a peachy dessert!

This recipe is not only delicious and easy, it is also packed with loads of fiber by making a granola-like mixture to cover the peaches while they sizzle in the oven.

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Servings: 5-6

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 ripe peaches
  • 1 cup whole, rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup flaxseed meal
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (Oat flour is the healthiest option. You can use whole wheat flour if desired)
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease an 8 inch casserole dish.

Chop peaches into halves. Chop in halves, again.  Chop into slices, and then chop each slice into five small pieces. Spread the peaches in the casserole dish and make an even layer.

In a mixing bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Mix vigorously with a wooden spoon until all ingredients have mixed well with the others. Pour over the peaches. Make sure to cover the peaches as best as you can while creating a new even layer.

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes. The peaches should be sizzling under the crispy layer, which should have browned a bit. Server warm with a scoop of coconut milk cream or ice cream.

Veggie Mac ‘n Cheeze

Veggie Mac ‘n Cheeze

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The only “dish” I knew how to cook until I was about 15 was Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese. No Joke. It was the go-to meal in my family when mom and dad were both working and 4 girls were coming home from after school sports looking for food. So how about a vegan version? I was grocery shopping the other day and saw a vegan mac n’ cheese in a box. That inspired to make my own, and bake it!

Vegan mac n Cheeze ingredients

This recipe calls for 1 or 2 cups of greens. I opted for broccoli and kale as they are two my favorites. Feel free to not use any greens at all, but it does make this meal more filling.

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Adding the greens before the pasta allows them to cook just a little so they decrease in size and mix better with the pasta.

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Honestly, I could’ve easily not baked this and ate it right after I mixed the pasta. But baking is fun and crispy mac n’ cheese is delicious.

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Serves: 5-6

Ingredients:

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and grease a pyrex.

In a large pot, boil water and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and set the pasta aside in a separate bowl.

Using the large pot, melt the butter on medium heat. Add the nutritional yeast and half of the milk. Whisk together. Add the rest of the milk and all the spices (cayenne pepper, paprika, black pepper and garlic powder). Whisk again. Now add the vegan cheese. Constantly stir this until all the cheese has melted. There may be a few shreds that have not melted, which is OK because it will upon baking. Add the greens and mix well. When the greens seem to have decreased in size a bit, add the pasta and mix altogether.

Pour mixture into the pyrex and (optional) sprinkle nutritional yeast on top. Bake for 20 minutes and serve warm.

 

Pantry Must-haves

Pantry Must-haves

Switching to a vegan lifestyle is the not easiest, I will admit that. However, once you have done enough research and get into the groove of it, it is actually too easy. The most important part is to always have your kitchen ready for you when you need to make something of substance. Having a stocked pantry with healthy items will keep you fit and lean by helping you stay away from buying unhealthy food when you are heading home. I have compiled a list of items I always have in my pantry and constantly buy if I start to run out. (This list does not include items I buy once in awhile for specific recipes).

  • Unsweetened Almond/Cashew Milk
  • Vegan soy-free Cheese (Daiya cheese is my usual choice)
  • Vegan Butter (Earth Balance)
  • Nutritional Yeast (Briggs)
  • Brown Rice
  • Quinoa Pasta (I am a frequent buyer of Ancient Harvest)
  • Quinoa (red or black)
  • Whole Oats
  • Chickpeas
  • Avocado
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • FRUIT and FRUIT and FRUIT – whatever is in season, have it in your house at all times. This will cure any sugar cravings you have and keep the extra pounds off
  • Bananas
  • Leafy Greens – Spinach, kale, romaine or arugula
  • Natural Nut Butter – Buy nut butter that has only two ingredients or less!
  • Peppermint or Ginger Tea – Drink these every night after dinner
  • Organic inner leaf Aloe vera  liquid (George’s is the best!)
  • Raw organic Apple Cider Vinegar (Brigg’s)
Dark Chocolate Truffles

Dark Chocolate Truffles

I’ll make this post short and sweet because that is exactly what it’s like making these gooey, dreamy truffles.

Dark Chocolate Truffles

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ripe banana (VERY RIPE, mashed)
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter (Earth Balance!)
  • 1/4 cup of vegan chocolate chips
  • A dash of sea salt

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking pan with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, combine the oat flour, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, banana, and vegan butter. Once mixture is smooth, fold in the chocolate chips. Roll the batter into bite sized balls and lay each on the pan. Be sure they are not touching. Throw a dash of sea salt over the balls before cooking

Bake for 12 minutes. Let them cool before biting into them, the melted chocolate chips will be hot!