Yummy Easy Vegan Treats (with chocolate!)

I love shopping at Community Natural Foods, a local organic and natural food store. Not only do they have a wide variety of products available and good prices, they often have someone there sampling yummy recipes. Not only do they provide the samples for you but they also have the recipe printed out and ready for you to take a copy!

Not only are the recipes delicious they are good for you, often a vegan recipe with natural sweeteners and usually a little pinch of some kind of superfood in there. This is where I have gotten the Cinnamon Salted Caramel Brownie recipe that I made and shared with all my friends in Kananaskis last January – which everyone loved and would never have known that it was no dairy, no sugar unless I had told them. So I was quite excited when I went in on Saturday and discovered 2 yummy recipes to try.

I was so excited I came right home and made them both, even having to run back out to the store to grab a missing ingredient. Fairly quick and easy they both turned out fabulously! I even shared a sample with a couple of my neighbors who quickly asked for the recipe.

I love it when I find good recipes like this as I think that a lot of people feel that eating healthy means more fruits and vegetables and that you have to give up a lot of the sweet treats, which just isn’t true. You can find many, if not even more delicious in some cases, treats that not only satisfy your ‘treat fix’ but provide many essential vitamins and nutrients that our bodies need. It’s great, have a sweet and it’s actually healthy and beneficial for you!

No Bake Chocolate Macaroons

1 banana

1/4 c. coconut oil

1/4 c. pure maple syrup

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

6 tbsp. cacao powder

1.5 c unsweetened coconut

1 tbsp. chia seeds

small pinch sea salt

In a medium size bowl mash banana well until there are no clumps. Stir in melted coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Sift cacao powder and stir into banana mixture. Stir in chia seeds, coconut and salt.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop a teaspoon at a time onto parchment paper. Put in freezer for 20 minutes or until firm. Store in freezer until ready to enjoy.

Makes approx 15 macaroons.

Almond Butter Rice Crispy Treats

1/2 c. chunky almond butter

1/2 c. brown rice syrup

1 tbsp. vanilla

1 tbsp. Earth Balance

1/2 tsp. sea salt

3.5 c Erewhon Brown Rice Crisp cereal

Chocolate Drizzle

1/4 c. homemade raw organic chocolate, left in liquid form

1 tbsp. almond butter

pinch salt

Shredded coconut for garnish

Line an 8×8 inch square pan with parchment paper.

In a large pot put in brown rice syrup, Earth Balance, almond butter and salt. Melt over medium low heat until well combined and heated through. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla; then stir in brown rice cereal.

Scoop and spread evenly into 8×8 pan. Press down with finger or roll with a pastry roller (just a note about the pastry roller – I had never thought of using this before and seriously it is the cat’s meow. Way easier then trying to press it into the pan with your fingers and makes it flatter and smoother). Place in freezer for 5 minutes while you make chocolate glaze.

Make raw organic chocolate according to recipe (cacao butter, vanilla, natural sweetener and cacao powder – for full recipe and directions go here). Stir in almond butter and salt.

Remove pan from freezer and drizzle with chocolate. Sprinkle with coconut and place in freezer until firm – about 15 minutes. Slice into squares.

Bars will hold their shape quite well at room temperature but may be stored in freezer or fridge.

 

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cereal Squares

As promised I am sharing with you today the sugar and dairy free recipe for one of my all time favorite sweet treats. I have no idea where this recipe originally came from. It was one that my Mum made all the time when we were growing up and we all loved! It was very hard to have just one or two, as they were so good.

When we went sugar free at our house I thought that I would simply not make these anymore as they are so full of sugar and I had no idea what the possible substitutes could be. It seemed like a daunting task as many of the ingredients needed to be changed. But as I learned and adapted other recipes, discovering the various natural sugar substitutes out there I started to feel that I could easily adapt this recipe too. It might be a challenge and take a little time but I felt I could do it.

The first challenge was finding a brand of rice krispies and cornflakes that did not have any added sugar (because many cereals do). In my search I discovered Erewhon, a cereal company by Attune Foods that had both of the cereals I needed. Their brown rice krispies are sweetened with brown rice syrup, while their cornflakes have no added sugar at all.

Slowly slowly over the period of about a year I found what I was looking for and determined what alternatives could work in this recipe. And finally a few weeks ago I had everything I needed so I gave the new recipe a try. I am happy to report that they turned out great! and taste very similar to the original square. Taste tested by Matthew, he said that they did not taste different at all! And they must be good because he kept going to the fridge and scooping a few at a time.

Pleased with the results I shared the new recipe with my Mum and sisters – happy to have an alternative to our favorite treat. And today I am sharing the recipe with you. They are an easy no bake square and can be put together in less than 30 minutes. Make sure that you have your powdered sugar alternative ready and premixed as this can add to your time if you have to make this as well. The recipe for this is below.

My only tip is once they have set in the fridge, take them out and leave on the counter for a few minutes so they soften a little, this will make them easier to cut. I usually precut the whole pan and put them in a container in the freezer – the only downside is that they are too easy to grab and feast on! But great when you want to pull something out for company!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cereal Squares

Bottom:

3/4 c. coconut nectar

1/2 c. coconut sugar

1 c. unsweetened peanut butter

1 1/2 c. crushed Erewhon Corn Flakes

1 c. Erewhon Brown Rice Krispies

Heat the coconut nectar and coconut sugar until coconut sugar melts. Add peanut butter. Mix well. Then add corn flakes and rice krispies. Mix together well and press into greased 9×13″ pan.

Filling:

2 tbsp. fat free Jell-o vanilla instant pudding (this is not an ideal replacement due to the asparthame in it, but it is sugar free – I am on the lookout for a better substitute for this)

Rice or almond milk (approx. 2 tbsp.)

1/4 c. melted Earth Balance vegan spread

2 1/2 c. powered sugar replacement

Beat together well. Pour over bottom.

Top:

4 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted

1/2 c. Earth Balance vegan spread

Melt chocolate and Earth Balance in a small pot on the stove over medium heat. Stir frequently to ensure that chocolate does not burn. Lower heat if necessary. Mix together. Once completely melted spread on top and refrigerate.

Sugar Free Powdered Sugar (replacement for regular icing sugar)

1 cup nonfat powdered milk (for dairy free use powdered coconut milk)

1 cup cornstarch

2/3 cup Krisda Stevia for baking

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and whip until blended and powdered. Store in an airtight container.

This replacement can be used in any recipe calling for icing sugar.

Yummy!