Broccoli Cheese Soup

broccoli-soup-bryons-lrgI wanted to post a recipe today for something sweet, especially for all you party goers who are joining me from the UBP; but I finally perfected my Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe and had to share – now both dairy free, gluten free and delicious!

For the past while, I have been just making a straight creamy broccoli soup, which was ok, but I missed the cheese. And the kids, who use to gobble it up, were kind of taking it or leaving it when I made it. In fact I wasn’t eating it at all (ha ha)!

So earlier this week when I was making it for lunch I decided to experiment. First I decided to use brown rice flour instead of regular white flour, as I am trying to make more things gluten free in our house (plus I have noticed that I feel tired after some things with gluten). Then I decided that I was going to throw in some of this fabulous non-dairy cheddar cheese that I discovered by Daiya foods. See one of the things I really do miss about not having dairy is cheese. And though there are lots of choices out there now for non dairy cheeses, I just couldn’t find one that I liked. They either didn’t melt well, or taste good and they definitely weren’t tasty enough to put on a cracker (yuk!). But recently I discovered this vegan cheese made by Daiya, a Canadian company actually (Go Canada) based in Vancouver. It melts, it tastes good and everyone gobbles it up! I think it is very close to tasting like dairy cheese and they make it in all kinds of flavours! They even sell it in slices so, guess what? We are now having grill cheese once again, which honestly used to be a staple for lunch.US-Shreds-Cheddar

Anyway I tossed a handful of the Daiya grated cheddar into the blender and mixed it all up.  It was fantastic! Luke gobbled it up, I ate it and will eat it again (this is a good sign). And it tasted really cheesy, like you would expect a nice cheesy soup to taste. I think this means I can go back to making my Cheesy Potato soup now….

The recipe for this soup is really easy and doesn’t take any time at all to make. Give it a try! You won’t be disappointed.

And for those of you who are looking for a little sweet treat, check out Chocolate Peanut Butter Cereal Squares, Marshmallows, Chocolate Macaroons.

Do you have a favorite cheesy soup recipe? Please share it with us in the comments below.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

2 cups     fresh cut broccolibroccoli

1 cup      water

1 ¼ cup reserved juice, plus water if not enough juice left

1 cup      almond milk

1 tsp       chicken bouillon powder

¼ tsp     sea salt

1/8 tsp   pepper

2 tbsp    brown rice flour

1/3 cup   grated vegan cheddar cheese

Cook broccoli in water in covered saucepan until tender. Drain and reserve juice. Put broccoli in blender.

Add remaining 6 ingredients to blender. Process until smooth. Return to saucepan. Heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture boils and thickens. Makes 3 cups.

Serves 2-3

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cereal Squares

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.