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Lime Popsicles

My Top 10 Vegan Popsicle Recipes of the Summer

If any of you have been following my Twitter feed in the last couple of months, you’ll notice a definite trend in content: popsicle recipes. I admittedly have been obsessed with popsicles lately, and now I feel the need to post my top ten fave popsicle recipes of the summer.

Disclaimer: some are easier than others (check out my pick from Jillian Harris!).

Here they are; all associated images were taken from the websites in which the popsicle recipes were found:

1

Summer Berry Chia Pops

By Daphne Cheng; Found on Well + Good

Vegan Treat

Ingredients

  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • Agave (optional)

Method

  1. Blend all ingredients until well-blended but still slightly chunky for texture.
  2. Taste and add agave to sweeten, if necessary.
  3. Slowly mix in chia seeds, whisking while pouring to avoid clumps.
  4. Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze at least 2 hours or until solid.

2

Tart Rhubarb Ice Pops

By Kelly Irwin, Found on Vega

Vegan popsicle

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rhubarb
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup agave syrup or maple syrup
  • 1-2 Tbsp. orange zest (depending on your citrus love)
  • ½ inch fresh peeled ginger

Method

  1. Place chopped rhubarb, raspberries and water in a small pot on the stove over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a simmer, then turn down heat to low and continue summering for about 15 minutes (until rhubarb is tender).
  3. Pour mixture into a blender with the syrup, peeled ginger and orange juice.
  4. Blend until pureed.
  5. Add in orange zest, then place in the fridge to cool.
  6. Once mixture is cooled, pour into ice pop molds, freeze, and leave for at least 5 hours.

3

Grapefruit Popsicles

By Jillian Harris, found on Jillian Harris

Grapefruit vegan popsicles

Ingredients

  • Sweetened ruby red grapefruit juice

Method

  1. Pour slightly sweetened ruby red grapefruit juice into your favorite popsicle molds and freeze!

4

Roasted Blueberry, Coconut and Lime Popsicles

By Alex Caspero, Found on Delish Knowledge

Roasted Blueberry, Coconut and Lime Popsicles

Ingredients

  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
  • 1 can coconut milk (either regular or light), divided
  • 1 large lime, zest and juice
  • very small pinch of sea salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place blueberries in a single layer in a glass baking pan.
  3. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon maple syrup and roast for 10 minutes or until bubbly and piping hot.
  4. Remove from oven, allow blueberries to cool completely then transfer the blueberries and any blueberry juice into the base of a blender along with ¼ cup coconut milk and a pinch of the lime zest.
  5. Puree mixture until creamy and smooth, then divide blueberry mixture among the popsicle molds.
  6. Return the blender to the base and add the remaining maple syrup, coconut milk, lime juice, zest and very small pinch of sea salt.
  7. Puree to combine and add to the molds. (You can keep the mixture layered like this, or give the molds a quick stir for a marbled look.)
  8. Cover and freeze until firm, about 2 hours.

5

Red Paradise Tea Pops

Found on Amoda Tea

Tea Berry Popsicles

Ingredients

  • Your tea of choice
  • Your preferred sweetener (we like organic cane sugar)
  • Berries or sliced fresh fruit

Method

  1. Steep a pot of tea!
  2. Sweeten if up a little more than you would if you were going to drink it, then put it in the fridge to cool it down. (Alternatively, you can cold steep it overnight or steep it double strength and pour it over ice.)
  3. Pour the cooled tea liquid into popsicle molds and pop them in the freezer until their slushy.
  4. Give it a stir so the sweetener doesn’t end up in the tip of the popsicle and add fresh fruit.
  5. Freeze overnight.

6

2-Ingredient Mango-Coconut Popsicles

Found on Simple Vegan Blog

Vegan popsicles

Ingredients

  • 2 cups diced fresh mango
  • ½ cup coconut milk

Method

  1. Blend the mango and the coconut milk in a blender until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into the popsicle molds.
  3. Freeze for 35 minutes and gently insert popsicle sticks.
  4. Freeze until solid.

7

Creamy Dulce de Leche Pops

By Dana, Found on Minimalist Baker

Vegan pops

Ingredients

  • 14 medjool dates, pitted (If dry, soak in warm water for 10 min. then drain)
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut cream or full fat coconut milk (if using full fat milk, add 1 Tbsp. melted coconut oil)*
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • *Optional: 1 Tbsp. bourbon

Method

  1. Add pitted dates to a food processor or high speed blender and blend until a caramel-like paste is achieved. If you have trouble blending, add 2-4 Tbsp. warm water to help achieve the right texture – thick and spreadable. Scrape down sides as needed and blend until a thick, caramel-like consistency is achieved.
  2. Once the date caramel is smooth and creamy, add 1/4 – 1/2 tsp sea salt depending on how salty you prefer it. Taste and adjust as needed.
  3. Scoop out caramel and set aside. Then add coconut cream (or coconut milk + coconut oil), vanilla, 1/2 cup of the date caramel, and 1-2 Tbsp. maple syrup or agave nectar for additional sweetness.
  4. Blend until creamy and smooth and taste and adjust flavors as needed. Bourbon is optional, but recommended for flavor.
  5. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl, cover and chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours (or freezer for 1-2 hours) for best results.
  6. Once chilled, add the remaining caramel back in in small spoonfuls and loosely stir to combine/swirl.
  7. Scoop/pour into popsicle or ice cube molds (about 10, depending on their size) trying to evenly distribute the caramel swirls, and tap to remove air bubbles. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze for at least 6 hours or until firm.
  8. Once set, remove from freezer and let rest for 5 minutes to soften. Then gently pull out of molds and enjoy.
  9. Pops keep covered in the freezer for up to 1 week, though best when fresh.

8

Peachy Vegan Vanilla Pudding Pops

By Jennifer Chait, Found on InHabitat

Vegan Pops

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch.
  • 2 and 1/2 cups vanilla soy milk or other alternative milk.
  • 2/3 cup organic white sugar.
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance (vegan butter).
  • 2 teaspoons fair trade, organic pure vanilla extract.
  • 1 to 2 organic peaches, washed, peeled and chopped into small pieces (about 2 cups worth). (You can also use frozen organic peaches or another fruit of your choice.)

Method

  1. Whisk 1/4 cup milk plus the cornstarch together. Set aside.
  2. Heat the rest of the milk and the sugar in pot on the stovetop.
  3. Heat the milk and sugar on medium low heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. When the milk starts to steam whisk in the cornstarch mix.
  5. Cook on medium high heat, stirring occasionally until thick and starting to boil (about 5 minutes).
  6. Turn the heat down very low and cook 5 more minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat and whisk in your butter and vanilla.
  8. Allow mixture to cool down. then fold chopped peaches into the vanilla pudding.
  9. Pour into molds and freeze.

9

Mint Chocolate Popsicles

By Miryam Quinn Doblas, Found on Nuts.com

Vegan Mint Chocolate Pops

Ingredients

Popsicles:

  • 14 oz coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp. cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1-2 tsp. spirulina
  • 2 tsp mint extract

Drizzle:

  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, vegan

Method

  1. Place all the popsicle ingredients into your blender and pulse until the mixture comes together.
  2. Divide the mixture among the popsicle molds and place a wooden stick in each compartment.
  3. Freeze for at least 3-4 hours.
  4. Before serving the popsicles, place the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave-safe dish and melt in 30 seconds intervals until completely melted.
  5. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the frozen popsicles. Enjoy!

10

Honeydew Green Tea Popsicles

By Sarah, Found on Well and Full

Vegan pops

Ingredients

  • 3 heaping cups cubed honeydew
  • 1 cup brewed green tea

Method

  1. In a blender, combine honeydew and green tea. Blend until everything is smooth and mixed.
  2. Pour your honeydew green tea mix into your popsicle mold, and set in the freezer for at least four hours or overnight, until popsicles have completely hardened.
  3. When you’re ready to eat the popsicles, run the molds under a little hot water to loosen, if needed.

To find more popsicle recipes by these amazing people, please visit the links that I’ve included in this post. If you’re interested in learning to make fun and plant-based baby food, check out Baby Nosh (my latest; released in March), and if you’re into sneaky smoothies, see HERE.

Happy summer! xo

Recipe: Vegan Bran-Banana Bread

When two full loaves of vegan banana bread are gone within an hour of baking them, I know it’s been awhile since I’ve baked. I mean, I have three kids who love to eat, but still.

Sheesh. Carb, much?

I wanted to share this week’s recipe, because miraculously, my older son wolfed it down, too. (He’s 16 and usually picks at everything and comes up with lame reasons why he shouldn’t touch it. Examples are “the chocolate chips aren’t big enough” or “the bread looks dark—you know white bread tastes better” or “IS THAT A CHIA SEED?!”)

But this time, he ate it. Happily. So here’s what I did to create this little miracle:

Vegan Bran-Banana Bread

banana bread

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp. flax seed meal
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 5 ripe bananas (large)
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups whole grain flour
  • ½ cup bran
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine flax seed meal (ground flax seed) and water in small bowl, stir well, and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mash bananas then add the applesauce and sugar. Combine well.
  • After letting sit for about 5 minutes, stir flax seed mixture into the rest of the wet stuff. You should now have one large bowl containing all wet ingredients. Set aside, please.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine flour, bran, baking soda, and salt. Mix well, then add to the wet mixture.
  • Stir until combined, but take care not to over-mix. Add chocolate chips and stir 3-5 times.
  • Using loaf pans lined with parchment paper, pour batter evenly into both.
  • Place in oven and bake for 50 minutes, or until golden brown on top. If in doubt, conduct the clean toothpick test.
  • Remove from oven and transfer from loaf pans to cooling rack by gently lifting up loaves using the parchment paper.
  • Let cool, still in parchment, until barely warm. (If you try and remove while still hot, the bread will stick.)
  • Remove parchment and serve! Enjoy!

For more recipes your family might enjoy, check out my new(ish) book Vegetarian Comfort Foods. xo

 

Are You a Dirty Vegan?

As Canadians and Americans increasingly make the move towards veganism, some are doing it right, and others are…not. It seems pretty straight-forward, right? Vegan equals no animal products. But just because you aren’t consuming animal products, doesn’t mean you’re making healthy choices that are synonymous with veganism.

Three Major Reasons People are Taking the Plunge

Health

Health

One reason people decide to cut animal products from their diet, is to reap the health rewards that come with eating mindfully. Those who view their bodies as temples and are reluctant to consume foods that harm rather than help, are more likely to give veganism a try. By cutting down on animal products, you automatically shave many processed foods (deli meat, hotdogs, pepperoni sticks, beef jerky), trans-fats, hormones, and unnecessary antibiotics from your diet.

Sustainability

Another reason to go vegan, is to stop contributing to unsustainable farming practices and the inevitable catastrophic results that occur from mass factory farming. The stats on land decimation caused by concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) is devastating, and the water used to hydrate food animals directly takes away from water that could be saving the lives of thirsty human beings.

The system doesn’t work, and more and more consumers are recognizing that.

Ethics

The third reason people explore veganism, is an ethical one. Why kill animals if we don’t have to? Sure, in some parts of the world, animal products are mainstays and necessary to the survival of that area’s inhabitants, but not in most of North America. (There are some northern regions, where the people living there rely on animal blubber and meat to survive.) Unnecessary suffering seems…unnecessary.

Since more people than ever before are becoming open to veganism, it’s interesting to take a look at their eating practices. Despite point number one above (health), many vegans are unhealthy people, and there are a variety of factors that contribute to one becoming a ‘dirty’ vegan.

Three Signs that You’re a Dirty Vegan

Dirty vegan

You consume A LOT of sugar.  As in, waaaaaayy too much. A bowl of saltwater taffy is definitely vegan (I think…), but it has zero nutrition. If you have a sugar addiction, don’t hide behind your new-found veganism—kick it to the curb with a fruit replacement, or, if you drink soda, convert to sparkling water.

You rely on processed foods. Again, a box of Oreos is vegan—this one I know for sure. But nutrition-wise? Another zero. Homemade granola or even grainy crackers are a better alternative. You have to be careful to not fall into the “it’s vegan—I’m good” trap. Just because it doesn’t contain animal products, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Don’t assume a processed veggie dog has the same quality protein as a cup of chickpeas. It doesn’t.

You’re unaware of your nutrient intake. Many may feel that a stellar diet might consist of consuming only apples and carrots, but that’s incorrect. Remember that we, as human beings, require carbohydrates (brown rice, quinoa, millet, and other whole grains, fruits, seeds), protein (beans, tofu, nuts, seeds), and fat (avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts). Consciously consuming a great variety of the above foods as well as a plethora of vegetables and water is what makes your body happy and healthy, and that’s the main purpose of anyone’s intent when going vegan—to make the environment, animals, and ourselves happier and healthier.

So don’t be a dirty vegan. Remind yourself what your initial motivation was, why it’s important to you, what other amazing reasons there are for going vegan, and what your ultimate goal is.

Being dirty can be fun, but not at the expense of your health.

Ditch the Dairy + Go Nutty for Nuts!

Raw Unsalted Cashews

As a wannabe vegan (I consume seafood, but no other meats, and very rarely dairy, but no eggs—how’s that for confusing?), I’ve come to love the benefits of nuts in my diet. These tiny protein and good-fat powerhouses make a fabulous replacement for dairy products, and this post intends to convince you of that. There are even DIY videos for making nut cheese are the end!

Here we go…

Whole Nuts

Nuts are an amazing way to pack protein and good quality fats into your plant-based diet. Adding a handful of almonds to a salad, or eating a few walnuts with a banana for your morning snack is crazy healthy. The key is to only consume 6-10 nuts at a time—they are high in calories, and it’s very easy to throw back your entire day’s caloric intake by snacking on a whole bag.

Best nuts to consume? I love raw, organic, unflavoured almonds, cashews, walnuts, beech nuts, and pecans.

Nut Butters

Ditch the boring peanut butter, and say hello to a whole new world of other nut and seed butters. Cashew, almond, sesame seed (tahini), sunflower, and brown pea butters are my absolute faves. Always be sure to purchase organic nut products, because unfortunately, nuts are one of those crops that are usually soaked in pesticides.

Yuck. Go organic, all the way.

almond milk  

Nut Milks

Ok—you’re in Jen-Land, now. I am the absolute connoisseur on milk alternatives. (Cow milk is nasty—even the organic stuff. It does not work well with our bodies, and is usually full of hormones, additives, antibiotics, and even (gulp) pus from the animals’ mastitis issues. Gross.)

Anyway…

Milk alternatives have come a long, long way. In the past, the only alternatives available were soy (but not organic, and tasted very chalky), and goat’s milk, which was incredibly wild and pungent tasting. Welcome to 2015—where milk alternatives rule the universe!

Although there are many notable brands that make a fab milk alternatives (Silk, So Nice, So Good, etc), my go-to is Vancouver’s Earth’s Own. They make an insanely delish cashew and almond milk, as well as other types. SERIOUSLY—try these products. They’re to die for.

It’s also pretty simple to make your own nut milk using soaked nuts, a Vitamix, and a cheesecloth, but honestly, I just prefer to purchase it ready-made.

Nut Cheese

For the non-vegans out there, I can almost hear you think “Errr…what? Nut Cheese?!”

Nuts make a great base for homemade, plant-based cheeses. My favourite way to make nut cheese, is to soak 1 cup of raw, organic cashews in water for 2 hours. Ditch the water, and place in Vitamix or other high-powered blender. Add 2 tbsp. almond or cashew milk, a pinch of sea salt, and 1 tbsp. or nutritional yeast (Red Star is my fave). Blend until smooth, and use to top steamed or raw veggies, in pasta, or anything else you want.

If you’re looking for a hard cheese, check this awesome 3-part series on YouTube:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNpqqE25RYI]

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3eYP6EmWWU]

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSTAfaFeT5k]

You’re welcome! xo

Win a Free Copy of The Vegiterranean Diet!

Vegiterranean-Diet-Cover-200x300

Hey, friends! Happy Sunday!

As many of you already know, a new healthy book giveaway is introduced on the first day of each month, and February’s is a goodie! This month, enter to win a free copy of The Vegiterranean Diet by Julieanna Hever (the Plant-Based Dietician) HERE!

Good luck; the winner will be announced on March 1st. xo

Meatless Monday Recipe: Vegan Honey-Glazed Blueberry Scones

Vegan scones

My 14-year-old neighbor makes amazing scones. I can’t attest to this fact first-hand, since I’ve never seen or eaten one, but I’ve been assured by my kids that his scones are the best. Which is why I decided to make my own last night.

To compete with a 14-year-old.

Like most of my baking, these suckers are vegan; I converted an old recipe. Immediately upon pulling them out of the oven, my 8-year-old commented that our neighbour’s scones were:

“better and fancier, because they’re triangle.”

Uhhh…

So I decided to brush them with honey to give myself a little edge on the competition. (Yep—I play dirty.)

Both of my little ones awoke this morning, took one look at the scones I had arranged for them for breakfast, and burst into tears because they weren’t warm, like our neighbour’s. After closing my eyes and cursing myself for somehow producing seemingly very spoiled children, I took a deep breath, and invited them to at least take one bite.

I’m happy to say that the bite turned into an entire scone each, plus I was begged to throw another into their school lunches.

Moral of the story?

(No, really, what’s the moral here? To not bake? To keep my kids from the neighbour’s delicious triangle scones? To beg the 14-year-old for culinary lessons? To make my children realize how disgustingly spoiled they are? Please tell me.)

In the meantime, give these a try. They’re actually very good, and I’ll be making them again. (If I want to really scar my children, maybe I’ll throw some raisins in them, next time…)

Happy Meatless Monday! xo

Vegan Honey-Glazed Blueberry Scones (Makes 8 large)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp. water
  • 3/4 cup vanilla soy yogurt
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup Earth’s Balance Buttery spread
  • 1/2 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup organic blueberries
  • 2 tbsp. organic raw honey

Vegan scones

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine chia seeds and water, stir, and let sit for 5 minutes until “gloppy,” then combine with yogurt, mix well, and set aside.
  • In large bowl, mix together flour, powder, soda, and salt.
  • Cut buttery spread into flour mixture until it resembles small peas.
  • Add sugar and blueberries, mixing.
  • Add chia/yogurt mixture and using your hands, mix and kneed softly until mixture is a one giant soft dough ball. (If too floury, add a little water.)
  • Place ball on floured surface and pat out until 2 inches thick.
  • Divide into 8 sections, then roll into balls.
  • Arrange on ungreased cookie sheet and gently pat balls down a bit.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, and immediately glaze with honey.
  • Let cool on rack before storing.

Vegan scones

3 Ingredient Substitutions for Converting Conventional #Recipes into #Vegan Masterpieces!

Vegan Baking

Hey, y’all! I don’t know about you, but homemade STUFF is in full-swing around here. I’m hosting my annual cookie exchange next week, and it has me pouring over recipe books, looking for incredible-looking cookies that I can transform into vegan holiday treats.

(Spoiler alert: I found them!)

There are always three ingredients I am more than ready to substitute when looking at conventional recipes: eggs, butter, and milk. To greatly lower saturated fat, keep my IBS in check, and try and stay as plant-based as possible, these three gotta go. Wanna know how?

Flax seeds for vegan baking

  • Eggs. Eggs can be replaced by ½ cup of anything gloppy (think fruit puree, like applesauce, pumpkin, or avocado), but so can butter, and you don’t really want to substitute both ingredients for the same thing, because your recipe will end up flat and dense. Also, eggs are used in recipes as binding agents, so you need to find something else that will hold everything together the way eggs do. So with eggs, I use flax seeds and water. One egg can be replaced by 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds, mixed with 3 tablespoons of warm water. Let this mixture sit in the fridge for about 15 minutes, until it’s kind of congealed. Mmmm…congealed…(Just kidding. That word’s gross.) You can also use ground chia seeds instead of flax.

Coconut Oil.

  • Like I stated above, butter can be swapped directly for anything wet and gloppy. Pumpkin puree, applesauce, coconut oil (melted), and avocado are my faves. If the recipe calls for a ½ cup of butter, then use a ½ cup of one of the above, instead.

Almond milk instead of dairy

  • This one’s easy: swap milk for organic, unsweetened soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, or hemp milk. Keep in mind that the latter three are thinner than 2% milk. If you need thick, use soy or canned coconut milk. If you can get away with thin (like skim), then use one of the other three.

And there you have it! Easy ingredient substitutions that will help your recipes become vegan beacons of deliciousness. (Too much?) If anyone has any suggestions, let me know! If I forgot something, call me out, ok?

Happy baking! xo

#Food #Porn: #Vegan #foodie pics of the week

TGIF! Is everyone as stoked for Friday as I am?! I get excited for the weekends, because it means food. (I know–you’re all shocked.) But weekends allow more time for creativity in the cooking department, and that makes me happy. Which is why I thought the term “food porn” was appropriate. When you get excited to see images of food that you want to eat NOW, and it inspires you to create and cook and want to taste stuff, it’s kinda fun. Right? Think The Joy of Sex, but with food.

Kind of…

Aaaaanyway…I can feel myself definitely beginning to ramble and get off topic, so let’s just do this. Without further adieu, here are some of my best foodie pics of the week–drool-worthy, instantly-hungry, get-in-my-belly (as Austin Powers’ alter ego might say) vegan foodie food.

Enjoy. xo

Fresh Fruit Salad with Walnuts

Vegan Fruit Salad

Dark Chocolate Vegan Granola Bars 

Chocolate vegan granola bars

Pomegranate Smoothie with Orange, Kiwi, Strawberry, + Banana

Vegan smoothie

Vegan Garden Wrap with Anti-Inflammatory Green Juice

vegan wrap and green juice

Layered Oats with Coconut, Banana, Pomegranate, + Cinnamon

Vegan oatmeal

Tropicana Smoothie with Homemade Granola + Pepita Seeds

Vegan smoothie and granola

For more pics, visit www.instagram.com/vegheadjenniferbrowne

#Easy #Homemade #Chocolate Granola Bars: Nut-free for the kiddies

Chocolate vegan granola bars

Happy Tuesday, friends! Over the weekend, I tried my hand (again) at making homemade granola bars for my kids’ school lunches. I absolutely loathe (yes, loathe) the fact that I can’t find good quality granola bars anywhere. If you look at the list of ingredients on any package of granola bars out there, you will find at least one (but probably 3 or 4) of the following ingredients: corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, soy lecithin, corn starch, modified palm oil, etc.

When I read these words, all I see is ‘GENETICALLY MODIFIED CRAP.’

So I’m on a mission to create at least 3 recipes that take almost zero time (I’ve already told you I’m lazy), have minimal ingredients, and are relatively healthy. The sweetener I use in these is much lower on the GI (glycemic index) than regular sugar, and they are high in plant-based protein and fiber.

So here’s my first real winner (2/3 of my kids love them, which may not seem totally successful, but it’s TOTALLY SUCCESSFUL). This recipe is also vegan and gluten-free, (except for the dark chocolate chips, which you could totally substitute with carob).

Chocolate Granola Bars

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups oats
  • 3/4 cup NutraCleanse (use ground flax, if you can’t find this)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp. raw cocoa
  • 1 cup brown rice syrup (you could also use pure honey)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla

vegan granola bars

Method:

Combine first 5 ingredients in large bowl and mix well. In smaller bowl, combine syrup and vanilla. Mix everything together well, and pat down into an 8×8 inch pan, lined with parchment paper. Score bars (pre-cut half way down) to make 16 squares. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Remove from oven, and let sit for 5 minutes. (They’ll seem soft, but they’ll harden up.) When the 5 minutes is up (don’t wait much longer), fully cut bars and lift parchment paper to remove contents from pan. Set on baking rack to cool completely.

Ta-da!

Vegan granola bars

One more hint: don’t eat one, unless you’re okay with eating half the pan. I know this from experience, so don’t question it. (You’re welcome.)

Have a great night! xo