Tag Archives: clean eating

Coconut Brownies [vegan, gluten-free]

I feel like we’re apologizing all the time for abandoning the blog. Again we haven’t written in a while. Not only is Tiia’s laptop broken and she can’t edit pictures, I also had to install mine completely new  and some of the already edited pictures are gone. Still it won’t make much longer and we should really get at least one new one.

A lot has changed in the past months. A few weeks after we moved to Lüneburg I already found work in a lovely café. Now the summer is over but the October is starting with beautiful weather and 15°C. Perfect weather to enjoy some vegan treats!

The whole October Lüneburg is part of the event “Lüneburg is(s)t vegan” which means “Lüneburg is/eats vegan”. Tiia and I are also taking part, so today I want to post a recipe for a chocolate brownie that is also gluten-free.

Coconut brownies [vegan, gf] |2women2cats|

These brownies are perfect for everybody who can’t eat gluten, sugar, dairy or eggs. They are completely made without any flour and to make them a bit sweet, dates are thrown into the mix. The recipe also doesn’t use any commercial butter or margarine – instead I made some from desiccated coconut.

The delicious brownie recipe is adapted from this blog. The original isn’t vegan and I actually tried half of the recipe using eggs but I didn’t really like the result. The brownies with egg weren’t really brownies but more like a fluffy chocolate cake and that wasn’t what I was looking for at that moment. With using flax eggs as a substitute the brownies turned out perfectly moist!

Coconut brownies [vegan, gf] |2women2cats|

If you want to you can decorate the brownies with a vegan whipped cream or a berry mousse. I used some vegan whipping cream made from oats and added some blueberries.

Coconut brownies [vegan, gf] |2women2cats|

Ingredients (4-6 pieces)

225 g desiccated coconut
5-8 pitted dates
50 g vegan dark chocolate
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
3 flax eggs (3 tbsp ground flax and 9 tbsp water)
sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
cacao nibs

100 ml vegan whipping cream (optional)
1 tbsp blueberries, frozen or fresh (optional)

Preheat the oven to 175°C and grease your tin or baking pan with coconut oil. I used cake rings for the brownies which made them quite big. You can also use a small springform or a square baking tin and cut the brownies a bit smaller later.

For preparing the flax eggs mix 3 tablespoons of ground flax with 9 tablespoons of water and set aside.

Start making the coconut butter by placing the coconut into a food processor and process until the coconut releases all its oils and turns into butter. Depending on your food processor this might take a while. Scrape down the sides once in a while but don’t give up! It will work out in the end. If you have a high speed blender this might not even be a problem.

Once you have coconut butter you can add the dates and blend until everything is smooth. Then add the flax eggs, chocolate, cacao powder, soda and a bit of sea salt and blend together. Incorporate the cacao nibs without grinding them. Transfer everything into the baking tin and smooth the top out with a silicone spatula. Bake for around 17 minutes. It might take a bit longer if you don’t use individual cake rings like I did! Let the brownies cool down completely before decorating.

For the blueberry whipped cream I first strained the thawed blueberries (you can also use fresh ones) through a fine sieve and whipped up my vegan oat cream with the blueberry juice. I formed little clouds between two teaspoons but you can just serve the cream in a bowl with the brownies or pipe it on top of the individual pieces. Enjoy!

Stef

Coconut brownies [vegan, gf] |2women2cats|

Coconut brownies [vegan, gf] |2women2cats|

 

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Vegan Coconut Macaroons

Vegan Macaroons (gluten-free) | 2women2cats |

My experiments to veganize recipes continue. At the moment I am trying to make vegan macarons so a substitute for egg foam is needed. Apparently you can use no-egg but I didn’t want to buy something ready made for it.

A while ago on Pinterest I saw some vegan meringues made from flaxseed gel so I wanted to use that method to make macarons. My first attempt didn’t turn out perfectly, so I’ll give it another try later. With no more almonds in the house and more flax seed gel I decided to make coconut macaroons instead.

This recipe is really simple and good for people with food restrictions since it doesn’t include refined sugars, nuts, dairy products and is also gluten-free. If you are on a low FODMAP diet you can eat around 18 g of shredded coconut according to the app provided my Monash University. Depending on the size of your macaroons that would mean 2-3 pieces.

Vegan Macaroons (gluten-free) | 2women2cats |

But first let me explain how I got whipped “egg foam” from flaxseeds: you basically don’t have to do anything else than boil flaxseeds with water, strain them and beat the cooled down flax gel into a fluffy and shiny white egg foam!

I have to admit that I had my doubts. The gel that you get from the flaxseeds doesn’t look that appetizing, but then again egg whites don’t really either, but it works! The only problem is that it is not as stable as beaten egg whites once you try to bake it (it can’t be baked higher than 100°C). On the good side, the beaten flax foam doesn’t collapse like egg foam might, so you don’t have to be super careful while incorporating other ingredients into the flax fluff. I haven’t made simple meringues yet but at least for the macaroons I can say that they didn’t taste any different than macaroons made with egg.

Flaxseed gel

55 g flaxseeds
3 cups water

Mix everything in a saucepan and bring to a boil on medium heat. Turn the stove down to low-medium heat and let it simmer for around 20-30 minutes. To get the gel, strain the liquid out of the seeds by sifting through a fine sieve into a bowl. It will more gel like once it has cooled down. I recommend making the gel the day before. When I made it first, the foam got way firmer the second day!

Vegan Macaroons (gluten-free) | 2women2cats |

Macaroons (~ 14 pieces)

75 g cold flaxseed gel 
3 tbsp agave syrup (or other liquid sweetener like maple syrup)
100 g desiccated coconut
30 – 50 g vegan chocolate (optional)

Preheat the oven to 100°C and line a tray with parchment paper.

Beat the flax gel around 5 minutes using a hand mixer until it’s fluffy and firm just like beaten egg whites.

Vegan Macaroons (gluten-free) | 2women2cats |

Add the syrup and the coconut using a silicone spatula to incorporate everything. You can then either pipe the macaroons onto the tray, form little balls or drop the macaroons with a spoon onto the tray. I molded them between two tablespoons. Bake them for 1h 15m until they get lightly golden. They will be still soft, so let them cool down completely.

Melt the chocolate in a hot water bath. When the macaroons are completely cold, dip them into the melted chocolate and put on a baking paper to dry. Store in the fridge until serving. Enjoy!

Stef

Vegan Macaroons (gluten-free) | 2women2cats |

Vegan Macaroons (gluten-free) | 2women2cats |

Vegan Macaroons (gluten-free) | 2women2cats |

Homemade Peanut Butter

Yesterday I wanted to make some vegan chocolate chip cookies until I noticed that I didn’t have any peanut butter at home and of course that was needed for the recipe. I decided to quickly roast some peanuts and make my own.

2women2cats: Homemade Peanut Butter

Making your own peanut butter is the easiest thing ever, way better and cheaper than store bought one. Also no additives, salt, sugar or oil. For peanut butter you’ll only need peanuts, that’s it. Should be obvious but when you look at the back of peanut butter jars in the store you’ll often be surprised.

2women2cats: Homemade Peanut Butter

Ingredients

200 g peanuts (with skin or peeled)

Heat up your oven to around 175°C and gently roast the peanuts for a few minutes on a tray. Don’t let them get too dark, otherwise the peanut butter will be quite bitter. If you bought peanuts that still have the skin, you need to let them cool down a bit and take the skins off. If you bought already peeled ones you can go ahead and start processing the nuts in a food processor. Depending on the type this might take while. I don’t have a Vitamix (unfortunately), so I need to scrape down the sides every once in a while so everything will be mixed evenly. The peanuts will first turn into flour and eventually into butter when the oils are released. Take a deep breath, it will smell awesome! Continue processing until the texture suits you. Store in a jar in the fridge or eat immediately. Enjoy!

Stef

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the cookies I mentioned in the beginning: they turned out perfect and I will put up the recipe here soon.

2women2cats: Homemade Peanut Butter

2women2cats: Homemade Peanut Butter

Raw Chocolate Chip Cookies

2women2cats: Raw chocolate chip cookies

Since I’ve never had raw cookies, although I have seen some in the cafés, I thought it would be great to try that next. These were really easy to make and don’t need that many ingredients. For the chocolate chips you can of course buy ready made raw ones or just plain chocolate chips if you’re not a raw foodist. I decided to make some myself because I wanted to keep the recipe raw. I have to say that I definitely need to work on those. They are more like flat chocolate circles than chocolate chips but tasted great.

Start out with making the chocolate chips if you don’t want to buy any. Otherwise you can skip this step. This recipe makes around 6-7 cookies.

For the chocolate chips

1 ½ tbsp raw cacao butter
1 ½ tbsp raw cacao powder
1 ½ tsp coconut blossom syrup or other sweetener
sea salt

Carefully melt the cacao butter making sure that it doesn’t get hotter than 40-45°C. Mix in the cacao powder and sweetener. Spice with a bit of sea salt against the bitterness. I like my chocolate quite salty. Let it cool down a bit before piping chocolate drops on a piece of parchment paper. Let them set in the fridge and prepare the cookie dough.

2women2cats: Raw chocolate chip cookies

For the dough

½ cup almonds
½ cup oats
2 tsp coconut blossom syrup
1  ½ tbsp coconut oil
sea salt

In a food processor first grind the almonds to flour, then the oats.

2women2cats: Raw chocolate chip cookies
Doesn’t look that pleasant at first.

Mix everything together with a bit of salt in a bowl forming a dough.  Depending on what size cookies you like seperate the batter. Then roll each piece into a ball and flatten it afterwards. You can then add the chocolate chips or first make the cookies and put them on top later. I went with the second option because I made the cookies first and the chocolate wasn’t firm enough yet.

2women2cats: Raw chocolate chip cookies

2women2cats: Raw chocolate chip cookies

You can eat them right away at room temperature or let them set in the fridge for a bit. If you have chocolate chips left over store them in an airtight container for next time or melt the chocolate and spread it out on a parchment paper sprinkling it with dried berries. Enjoy!

Stef

2women2cats: Raw chocolate chip cookies

2women2cats: Raw chocolate chip cookies

2women2cats: Raw chocolate chip cookies

Raw Goji- & Mulberry Cupcakes With Salted Chocolate Frosting

Yesterday had been a bit slow and for some reason there was left over avocado and a craving for sweet things. Perfect reason to have a raw dessert! I just bought some mulberries which I had never tried before and thought they would fit quite nicely in a raw cake. I wanted to do something different with the shape and that’s why decided to make cupcakes.

2women2cats: Raw Goji- & Mulberry Cupcakes with Salted Chocolate Frosting

For the cupcakes (makes 4 pieces)

65 g raw pitted dates
65 g raw almonds
65 g raw hazelnuts
2 tsp raw agave nectar
50 g dried goji- & mulberries (plus some for decorating later)

Process everything except the berries in a food processor until the ingredients start sticking together. This will take a few minutes. Add the berries and just process the mixture until the berries have the desired size.

2women2cats: Raw Goji- & Mulberry Cupcakes with Salted Chocolate Frosting

2women2cats: Raw Goji- & Mulberry Cupcakes with Salted Chocolate Frosting

For the shape I used a silicone muffin pan. Press the mixture down really firmly so they won’t break later. Let them rest in the freezer for around half an hour. Meanwhile you can start preparing the frosting.

For the frosting

1 ripe avocado
4 tbsp raw cacao powder
4 tbsp raw agave nectar
1 heaped tbsp raw cacao butter
sea salt

Melt the cacao butter really carefully and not too hot if you want to keep it raw. Blend together the avocado, nectar and cacao powder in a food processor until everything is really smooth. Add some sea salt to your taste and at the very end the melted cacao butter. Mix until it’s nicely incorporated.

2women2cats: Raw Goji- & Mulberry Cupcakes with Salted Chocolate Frosting

Take the cupcakes out of the freezer and carefully out of the silicone pan. Pour the frosting into a piping bag and decorate the cupcakes.

2women2cats: Raw Goji- & Mulberry Cupcakes with Salted Chocolate Frosting

2women2cats: Raw Goji- & Mulberry Cupcakes with Salted Chocolate Frosting

Decorate the cupcakes with some berries. If you don’t eat them right away keep them cool in the fridge. Enjoy!

Stef

2women2cats: Raw Goji- & Mulberry Cupcakes with Salted Chocolate Frosting

2women2cats: Raw Goji- & Mulberry Cupcakes with Salted Chocolate Frosting