dessert

Completely Board Post #15: Maple Pecan Cookies

Veg-am's Completely Board - Vegan Month of Food 2014

It just wouldn’t be MoFo if I didn’t bake cookies.  Cookies are probably my favorite sweet, and they’re fun to share.  And while it’s not always a popular idea with a certain sister of mine, sometimes I just want a non-chocolate cookie.  These Maple Pecan Cookies from Wholly Vegan (MoFo 2012) seemed to fit the bill.

Maple Pecan Cookies Pin

From the picture, they looked soft while still a little chewy, so I decided to use the flour mixture that I use in the similarly textured Sparkled Ginger Cookies: 1.5 tsp xanthan, 1/4 cup sorghum flour, 1/2 cup garfava flour, 3/4 cup tapioca starch, 1/2 cup of arrowroot. In case you haven’t read my posts on cookies before, instead of a using a sifter, just “sift” the flours through a fine mesh sieve.  Unless there’s something I’m missing, cleaning xanthan out of a sifter can’t be done.

My review of my version of these cookies is mixed.

The dough is super sticky and hard to work with (refrigerate or freeze it for a little while and lightly flour your hands and it helps).  Unlike the gluten version, this dough does need to be flattened out.  I flattened the cookies out some and still ended up with puffy, cakey cookies instead of the chewy ones.  I did flatten out a few toward the end and got closer to the cookie in the picture and closer to what I would want.  I also made them too big (only got 35 out of a double batch…oops) and had to cook about 14 minutes.  At the correct size, I think 11-12 minutes would have been perfect (longer than the original, but that usually is the case with my gluten free cookies)

Gluten Free Maple Pecan Cookies

Honestly, if cookies were always all about me, I might not bother again or would at least make them all smaller and flatter.  They were good, but they weren’t crazy good to me.  The best part was that lovely pecan half right in the center.

However, I took them to my church small group meeting and people seemed to love them. I’ve come to the conclusion that it wasn’t a failure of a cookie so much as a failure to reach my own expectations.  They haven’t become a new staple, but based on other people’s reviews, I would make these again occasionally.  So, try them…they might be right up your alley.

Completely Board Post #12: Dairy Free Pumpkin Ice Cream

Veg-am's Completely Board - Vegan Month of Food 2014

My family got together yesterday to celebrate my mom’s birthday.  Her birthday is actually on August 17, but that’s another story.

It’s easy when we celebrate her birthday *on* her birthday because I know the sweet should be something summery.  But what do you do for a birthday party just a couple days before the official start of fall and it’s over 80 degrees outside?  I found the perfect answer on my Pinterest board: Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream.

I used this recipe from MindBodyGreen that boasts only 5 ingredients.  I have a bit of a pet peeve of recipes boasting few ingredients and then one of them being something like “yellow cake mix”?  Hello…there are probably 12 ingredients in that.  But, since the “offense” here was pumpkin pie spice (actually a mix of 4-5 spices that I always have in my kitchen), I won’t ding them on that one too badly. 😉

I set out to try the non-ice cream maker version just to let y’all know how it worked.  I was making a double batch and after 2 hours of the mixture being in the freezer I could hardly see any progress.  I’m sorry I can’t report on this for people that don’t have an ice cream maker, but I only had 2 hours left until the party. I switched over to the ice cream maker version.  I followed the instructions on my ice cream maker (use cold ingredients, freeze the canister for at least 30 minutes, churn for about 30 minutes).

So do you want to see it?

Dairy Free Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream

It was as delicious as it looks.  Seriously, it was pretty much everything I hoped it would be.  Creamy, sweet but not too sweet, pumpkiny and spicy.  The only thing I did differently was add about two pinches of salt to enhance the flavor/offset the sweet and churned for about two more minutes to mix it in.  It didn’t taste salty, but I really do think it brought the pumpkin and spice flavors out a little more

This will be made at our house again.  and again.  I’ve also gotten the confidence and inspiration to try some new flavors.

It does freeze hard after a few hours after returning it to the freezer, so eat it soon after churning and then when you go back for more (because you will go back for more), you’ll need to let it sit out and soften a bit so you can scoop it out.  After you’ve done this and refrozen it, it’s becomes a tiny bit icy, but not so much that it’s a deterrent.  I’ve had a few scoops since the party.

I sent some home with my nephew and he said he was going to mix it with his espresso and make a frappe.  I now officially think he’s a genius.

Speaking of my nephew, he’s getting married in a few weeks.  After the party we were going through old family photos to find ones of him growing up for the wedding slide show.  I came across this one of me in my red checked zip-up polyester jumpsuit.  Based on the hairstyle, I figure I was in second grade so we’re talking 1978.  My sister told me she remembers it definitely had bell bottoms.  Second grade me would have liked the ice cream too.

Second Grade Dawn

Completely Board Post #11: Peach Polenta Upside Down Cake

Veg-am's Completely Board - Vegan Month of Food 2014

 

In the post about the jello pretzel salad, I mentioned that I wanted a cake for my veggieversary but hadn’t had the time to make it yet.  That has been remedied.  It may have been a week late, but it did not disappoint.

Peach Polenta Upside-Down Cake Slice

I made the Peach Polenta Upside Down Cake from Braisen Woman (a vegan site).  I followed the recipe as written, only making a substitution for the all-purpose flour.   In place of the all purpose flour, I used 3/8 cup sorghum flour, 1/8 cup tapioca starch, 1/4 cup arrowroot and 1/4 tsp xanthan gum.  If you don’t have an 1/8 cup, 1/8 cup=2 Tbsp.  My original intention was to try it without the xanthan, but the batter was too thin.  That 1/4 tsp really did make a huge difference.

That being said, this batter still seemed a little thin for a cake, but go with it.  The polenta swells up in cooking and it just works. The cake is moist and a little bit gritty.  Normally, I would consider gritty a bad thing in a cake, but when it’s coming from polenta, it is so far away from bad.  The cake is also sweet without being too sweet.  It would be a perfect addition to Saturday or Sunday brunch.

I don’t really know how else to say how good it is, so I’ll let this photo do the talking. I took a slice to my friend at work the other day.  She had not eaten it yet when I left.  When I returned to my desk the following morning, I found my plate just like this:

More Please!

That says it all.  I’ll definitely be making this one again.  I’m already thinking of variations :)

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For the original recipe, click on the image of my pin below

Pin of Peach Polenta Upside Down Cake

Completely Board Post #5: Jello Pretzel Salad

Veg-am's Completely Board - Vegan Month of Food 2014

 

You know how are there some foods that you think probably should disgust you, but for some reason you just can’t make yourself not want them?  They’re usually born out of the 60s and 70s, the decades of all things processed being thrown into a casserole dish together.

For me this Jello Pretzel Salad falls into that category.  I feel like I shouldn’t have wanted it.  I tried not to want it.  I couldn’t stop wanting it.  I wanted it so badly that even though the pin I pinned initially went to just a photo, I hunted down the recipe that went with the photo.  I found it over at The Girl Who Eats Everything (consider this your non-vegan site warning).  She posted the recipe noting a source of Lisa Poulsen.  There was no link to her site if she has one.

As in Septembers past, I like to have a little something sweet for my veggieversary (7 years today!).  I was initially planning on making a cake for today and saving this post for later in the week, but plans change and I just didn’t get to the cake yet.  It will be coming later in the month.   But for now, let me introduce you to a vegan, gluten-free, soy-free “jello” pretzel salad.

Vegan "jello" pretzel salad

We’ve had some nasty weather this week, and it’s already not the most photogenic of dishes so the picture isn’t as pretty as I wish it were. But, let me tell you, the photo does not do the tastiness of this dish justice.  My lovely testers had seconds the first night and there have been third (and possibly fourth helpings since then).  It’s kinda labor intensive and pricey, but it’s a great treat that will show up again.  Our household of three gives it six very enthusiastic thumbs up.  We decided it would be perfect to take to a pot luck or cookout.

The real difference between the original and this one is that I didn’t have anything to use for Cool Whip (although I hear that So Delicious is coming out with one soon).  So, I made a homemade vanilla pudding/filling that I’ve made before and mixed that with the cream cheese and sugar.  Instead of a fluffy center, this one had a cream cheesy-custardy center.  Honestly, I think I liked that better than I would have the other anyway.

So here ya go…

Vegan “Jello” Pretzel Salad

Ingredients

  • 1  – 8 oz bag of gluten free pretzels (i used the little round ones from Ener-g. It’s the only one I know that’s soy-free), chopped/crushed
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup soy free earth balance
  • 1 pkg Simply Delish strawberry dessert jel  (I found it at this great little local store that carries a lot of gluten free & vegan items.  I’ve seen similar items at my local Asian market)
  • 1 lb fresh strawberries, washed, capped, and sliced
  • 1 carton Daiya plain cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 recipe Vanilla Filling (recipe follows)

Instructions

  1. Combine pretzels, brown sugar, and melted Earth Balance and press into a greased 9 X 13 pan. You can use more EB if the crust isn’t sticking together and make the pretzels more crushed than I did. Bake @ 350 for 10 minutes.  (those instructions about not sticking together came from the original recipe, but even though mine didn’t look like it would stay together, it did…i like the slightly bigger pieces of pretzel for crunch – you can see the size i used in the photo)
  2. Make vanilla filling (recipe follows). Let cool for a minute or two but not so long that it starts to set more.
  3. Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Blend in vanilla filling. Spread mixture over cooled crust make sure you spread completely to the edges to create a seal so your jello doesn’t leak through. Cover the filling layer with a piece of parchment paper so it doesn’t form a pudding skin. Refrigerate.  (it will need to set about 30-40 minutes before you add the strawberry layer)
  4. Make dessert according to directions and stir in the strawberries. Refrigerate until partially set (mine took about 30 minutes) *If it is not set enough it will leak through your cream cheese layer and make your pretzels soggy.
  5. Pour/spread strawberry layer over the vanilla layer.  Refrigerate until completely set.

 

Vanilla Pudding/Filling

3 cups almond milk, divided
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
Pinch salt
1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a small sauce pan, combine 1 cup of almond milk and cornstarch with a fork until cornstarch is dissolved.

Whisk in the remaining milk, the sugar and salt.

Whisking occasionally, bring mixture to a boil over medium heat.

As soon as the mixture boils, reduce heat to low and begin whisking continuously until it filling has thickened. This should take about 7 minutes.

Stir in vanilla.

 

Also from the Vegan Slow Cooker: Creamy Polenta with Mushroom Ragu & Warm and Fudgy Bread Pudding

I started writing this in October and for some reason just realized it was still a draft so I finished it up :)

I finally broke away from the soups in Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson.

This week I tried a main dish and a dessert.  I couldn’t find any links for the recipes for you, but they are both part of the Google preview if you haven’t worn out your privileges with this book yet.  If you have, maybe you should just buy it, eh?  (It happens to be on sale right now)

The one thing I found surprising about this book, is that the methods for everything aren’t what I would consider a traditional slow cooker meal.  You can’t just toss everything in, be gone for 8-10 hours (or in my case nearly 12) and come home to a complete meal.  Some are like that, but be aware that they aren’t all.  Neither of these are that way.  But they worked out nicely.

On Sunday morning before I started getting ready for church, I put in the polenta so it was timed perfectly with my return for lunch.  As a southern girl, these “grits” were the perfect consistency.  They weren’t stuck together, but you could get away with eating them with a fork.  I do fear though that using broth that they would have been way too salty if I had added the salt called for in the recipe.

The Mushroom Ragu sauce didn’t even hit the slow cooker so this was a half-n-half slow cooker meal. But, using the Trader Joe’s classic organic marinara, it was delish. I added some fresh arugula for a little extra nutrition and had a delicious comfort food lunch.

Creamy Polenta and Mushroom Ragu - Fresh From the Vegan Slow Cooker

 

And then there was the Fudgy Bread Pudding.  Oh my word.  The picture does more for this chocolatey goodness than words ever could:

Warm and Fudgy Slow Cooker Bread Pudding

I added about an extra 1/3 cup of non-dairy milk (almond in this case).  For the bread, I used the brown rice bread from Food for Life.  Since bread pudding is ideally made with stale bread, this heavier bread worked perfectly.  I cooked it for about 2.5 hours and we ate it warm.  It was decent cold, but the bread lost its softness.  Heating it back up in the microwave brought it back to it’s original texture.

Happy Birthday, John Chapman: Apple Butter Donut Holes

So, you don’t know who John Chapman is? If you’re from the US, you probably learned about him in school by the name of the folk hero Johnny Appleseed. Chapman was a practicing vegetarian who is credited with establishing many apple orchards as the American frontier expanded. You can read more about him on biography.com

Chapman’s planting wasn’t as random or goodhearted as the legendary character Johnny Appleseed. It was for profit and making of apple based alcoholic beverages rather than growing tasty apples for mamas baking pies or for kids to give to teachers. But, I’m still thankful that he planted orchards that would eventually lead to the orchards we have today that provide fujis, galas, jonagolds, granny smiths, and many other delicious varieties of apples.

I discovered the other day that I had a little jar of apple butter hiding in my pantry. It was the last of several I had gotten from a friend of mine. There was also a set of pastry bags/decorator tips that my sister gave me that had not been used yet. In that set was a bismarck tip (used for filling). I had been wanting donuts. All of those together led to the birth of the apple butter donut hole.

Although I’ve lived most of my life in the homeland of the yeasted Krispy Kreme Doughnut, my donut loyalty will always lie with the heavier cake donuts of my early childhood. Naturally, I thought of the lovely sugar covered mini donuts from the even lovelier Cara of Fork and Beans. She kindly granted me permission to repost with my changes.

The only change I made in the dough itself was I switched to canola from coconut oil. I figured why waste the more expensive coconut oil if I was just going to turn around and fry it in canola anyway.

While these are technically “filled” and not stuffed, I hope their sugary goodness will convince you that they belong in the Stuff, Wrap and Roll series. If not, just ignore me. I’ll be in the corner polishing them off.

Apple Butter Donut Holes

Apple Butter Donut Holes

(makes 16)

For Donuts:

    • 1/2 c. sorghum flour
    • 1/2 c. Brown rice flour
    • 1/4 c. potato starch (not flour!)
    • 1/4 c. arrowroot powder
    • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 c. brown sugar
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
    • 1/2 c. buttermilk (1/2 Tb apple cider vinegar + 1/2 c. almond milk)
    • 1 1/2 tsp Ener-G egg replacer + 2 Tbs warm water, mixed til frothy
    • 1/4 c. canola oil + more for frying
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For Filling:

    • 1/2 cup (+/-) apple butter

For Topping

  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used organic evaporated cane juice)
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Mix dry ingredients for donuts together until fully combined.
  2. Make a well in the center of the bowl. Add all the remainder of wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just incorporated.
  3. Roll into 16 equal sized balls
  4. Heat about 1/2″ to 3/4″ oil in a large skillet to medium high heat (about 375F if you’re checking the temp)
  5. In small batches, fry donut holes until golden brown. Since that’s not enough oil to completely cover them, they’ll need to be turned halfway through. Total cooking time is about 2-2½ minutes.
  6. Remove from skillet and put on paper towel lined plate.
  7. After all donuts have been cooked and are cooled enough to handle, using a pastry bag with the apple butter in it and a bismarck tip (filling tip, I used Wilton 230), put a hole in one side of the donut and squeeze apple butter into the donut until it starts to come back out of the hole. I found this easier if I put the donut hole down on a plate. When it is properly filled, you will see the donut hole become a bit larger and will also probably see tiny oil droplets being pushed out of the sides of the donut. Wipe off any excess apple butter from the outside of the donut hole.
  8. After all have been filled, fill a large zipper bag with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp cinnamon. Shake to mix. Then working in batches of 3 or 4, shake donut holes in the cinnamon-sugar mixture until well coated. Place on a plate and serve. Or eat them straight out of the bag 😉

Note: My apple butter was homemade and possibly not as thick as some store bought ones. If your apple butter is too thick to go through the tip easily, I suspect adding a bit of apple juice or water would take care of that.

Reality check: This was my first time filling any kind of baked goods. So they weren’t all as full as the one cut open in the picture. Some had more. Some had almost none. That one was about average. There’s a learning curve. Be patient with yourself :)

On this, the 239th anniversary of your birth, I appreciate you, Johnny Appleseed.

Happy Birthday, Johnny Appleseed

 

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It’s my Veggieversary – or – the One where I finally try a Pumpkin Roll.

I have a Pinterest board that I call “Would be great to veganize (and most likely deglutenize and desoyatize)”  It’s for all those recipes that I think are beautiful, but are going to take more effort on my part.  Ok, it’s really for those recipes that I’ll probably never get to.  The recipe that made me start the board over a year ago was Libby’s Pumpkin Roll.

Pretty much anything with pumpkin is going to whisper my name.  But, when you put a creamy filling inside, it is screaming loud and clear.

Since today is my 6th veggieversary, I figured it was the perfect time for me to try something big.  Something I really wanted to get right. I was setting myself up for some big baking win.  Or an epic fail.

Do you want to judge?  Check this baby out…

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free Pumpkin Roll | Veg-am

For more pumpkin goodness (and to keep from using a cream cheese analogue), I replaced the original cream cheese filling with a creamy pumpkin filling.

The filling is super sweet, so you may want to keep the pieces small.  The original recipe says 10 servings.  I estimate I’ll get about 14.   But, if you’re like my sweet-toothed mother who said she didn’t notice that it was super sweet,  you might want to stick with 10.

Yum.  Happy veggieversary to me.

Pumpkin Roll, gluten-free, soy free | Veg-am

 

Pumpkin Roll with Pumpkin Filling

Cake:

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1½ Tbsp Ener-g Egg Replacer
  • 6 Tbsp warm water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)

Pumpkin Filling:

  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1/2 cup soy-free Earth Balance
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F.  Line a 15×10 jelly-roll pan with parchment paper.  Lightly oil and flour the paper.  Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

For Cake: With a fork or whisk, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a small bowl.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer on medium speed, combine the egg replacer and water until foamy, about 30 seconds.   Add the granulated sugar and continue beating until it thickens up, about 2 minutes.  (It won’t be as thick as eggs, because the ener-g can’t be whipped in the same way, but the sugar/egg replacer come together nicely).  Beat in pumpkin until just combined.  Stir in the flour mixture until well combined and all lumps are gone.  Don’t use the beaters for this or you’ll risk gumminess. Spread evenly into prepared pan.  Bake for 15-17 minutes* (see note 3) until top of cake springs back when touched.  Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel.  Carefully peel off paper.  Roll up cake and towel together working from the narrow side.  Cool on wire rack (about an hour)

For Filling: Beat earth balance, powdered sugar, pumpkin and vanilla extract in a small mixing bowl until smooth.  Refrigerate until cake is cool.

Carefully unroll cake.  Spread pumpkin filling over cake.  Reroll cake.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

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Notes:

1. Use a non-terry style kitchen towel or you may end up with some of it on your cake.  Be sure you really sugar that towel or it will stick to the cake.
2. I don’t own a 10×15 pan.  I used a larger one and just didn’t spread the batter all the way to the edges, but did do it as evenly as possible.  It still did fine.  One edge was a little thin so it got a wee bit crispy.  No matter, it still rolled and all I had to do was slice that one end off. In fact, before serving to company, I would cut a tiny slice off the other end too because it makes for a cleaner/prettier edge. There’s nothing wrong with the ends though, so save them for later :)
3.  The original recipe says 13-15 minutes.  All my gluten-free baking seems to take just a little bit longer.  But, if you’d be more comfortable checking at 13 – go for it.


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Classics are Classics for a Reason: Banana Puddin’ Pie

Continuing with the thought that classics are classics for a reason… While it’s true that we like things that have stood the test of time, it doesn’t hurt to mix it up.

Take “10 Things I Hate About You” for example. Same basic ingredients as “Taming of the Shrew”, but with a new spin on it.

It was no longer Shakespeare, but a classic in it’s own genre.

With that in mind, I give you …

Banana Puddin’ Pie

I don’t know if banana pudding is a classic in the rest of the world, but in the American south it is everywhere. So whip up this pie the next time you’re serving up burgers and slaw (more on those later in the month) or take it to your next picnic or potluck.  And if you’re in the south, by all means, drop the “g”.

Crust (using the instructions from the Old Fashioned Chocolate Pie at the ppk)

1-3/4 cups Vanilla Wafer crumbs (about 24 of the cookies)
4 Tbsp melted soy-free Earth Balance
3 Tbsp turbinado sugar
1 Tbsp almond milk

Combine all and press into a 9″ pie plate>  (I used a deep dish so there would be room within the crust for the cream topping, but a shallow dish would work too.)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Bake the crust for 10 minutes, remove from oven and let cool.

Filling
2 cups almond milk, divided
2-1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup white sugar
pinch salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
a couple dashes of turmeric, optional (just for color)
2 large, ripe bananas – sliced

In a small sauce pan, combine 1 cup of almond milk and cornstarch with a fork until cornstarch is dissolved.  Whisk in the remaining milk, the sugar and salt (and turmeric if using).  Whisking occasionally, bring mixture to a boil over medium heat.  As soon as the mixture boils, reduce heat to low and begin whisking continuously until the filling has thickened.  this should take about 7 minutes.
Stir in vanilla.

Form a layer of bananas in the bottom of crust, pour in half of pudding filling.  Then repeat with another layer of bananas and the remainder of the pudding.

Let cool for about 15 minutes, then top with a circle of parchment paper to prevent a skin from forming on the pudding.  Refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours.

Serve with your favorite whipped topping .

I used the sweetened coconut cream from Vegan Pie in the Sky – though this batch didn’t thicken like usual.  Ideally, it would have been thick and I would have just spread a layer of it on top of the pie.  Either way, it was delicious!

My entry in the Fork and Beans Valentine’s Bake off!

Strawberry Dessert Pizza with Cocoa Crust

Ingredients

Crust:
1/3 cup garfava (garbanzo/fava bean) flour, plus a little extra for working crust
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa, plus extra for dusting
¾ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons almond meal
1 Tbsp gluten-free yeast
1 Tbsp xanthan gum
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup warm water
1 tsp canola oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling:
3 cups almond milk, divided
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
Pinch salt
1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Topping:
1 pound fresh strawberries, washed/capped/sliced
1 Tbsp sugar

Directions:

Crust:
Preheat oven to 350. Line an 16” pizza pan with parchment paper. Add all dry ingredients together in a food processor outfitted with an s blade and combine well. Process in the liquids until a stiff but sticky dough forms. Take out the dough in 3 small batches working in a little garfava flour to make the dough more workable. I used about 1 tbsp extra flour, but it may require a little more or a little less depending on the stickiness of your dough. Then combine the 3 small batchers into one larger flattened ball. Let sit for about 20 minutes. Lightly dust both sides of the dough with cocoa to make it easier to roll. Using a pastry roller, roll out the dough into a circle (easier if you spin the pizza pan as you roll) about 12-13” (You need the larger pan because it will grow in the oven). Roll up the edges a little to form a rim for the filling to stay in. Bake for 25-30 minutes until edges are browning. Just so you know what to expect – it will rise A LOT and then fall when you remove it from the oven. The final product is about a 15” crust.
Remove crust from oven and set aside. If there are large bubbles in the crust, poke them with a toothpick and flatten with the bottom of a measuring cup. Technically, you could do it with your hands, but there’s steam in there and you risk burning your hands.

Topping:
Sprinkle strawberry slices with sugar, toss to coat and set aside. Be sure to do this before you make the filling so that you can put them on while the filling is still hot.

Filling:
You can start the filling while the crust is in the oven, but don’t start before you only have about 5 more minutes to bake or the filling will sit around hardening before the crust is ready.
In a small sauce pan, combine 1 cup of almond milk and cornstarch with a fork until cornstarch is dissolved. Whisk in the remaining milk, the sugar and salt.
Whisking occasionally, bring mixture to a boil over medium heat. As soon as the mixture boils, reduce heat to low and begin whisking continuously until it filling has thickened. This should take about 7 minutes.
Stir in vanilla.
Assemble Dessert Pizza:
As soon as filling is ready, pour into pizza crust and spread evenly with a spoon. Immediately put strawberries on top of the filling. You don’t have to be to exact about it, just drop them on like you would pizza toppings. If you’re the kind who lays out pizza toppings exactly (I’m known to do that myself), feel free, but do it quickly before the filling starts to set.

Cover the pizza with another sheet of parchment paper to keep the filling from forming a skin and to keep the strawberries from drying out. Place the pizza in the refrigerator to cool at least a couple hours. I think it’s even better the second day.

When you are ready to cut it, skip the seemingly obvious pizza cutter for a knife. The pizza cutter will just pull the strawberries around and not give you an even cut.

1 food 5 ways, Bananas, Way #2: Banana Split Ice Cream

I love ice cream. I especially love ice cream that you need to chew. I like it to be hard and have other stuff in it. When you are a soy free vegan who doesn’t own an ice cream maker, there aren’t a ton of choices out there that fit that description. One of my favorites growing up was a banana split ice cream. Not a real banana split, but the banana flavored ice cream with the fruit and chocolate mixed in. Lucky for me, Dreena Burton made a cashew banana ice cream that I was able to adapt to replace this childhood favorite.

Banana Split “Ice Cream”



“Ice Cream”:
5 very ripe bananas, cut into large chunks and frozen (1.25 lbs after being peeled about 4 cups frozen chunks)
1/2 cup salted all natural peanut butter (the stir-in-the jar kind)*
1/4 cup agave nectar

*If you have unsalted peanut butter add 1/8″ tsp salt

Add-ins
1/2 cup chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand are vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free)
1/2 cup frozen pineapple, cut in 1/2″ dice
1/2 cup frozen strawberries, cut in 1/2″ dice
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts

Directions:
Mix the add-ins together in a large mixing bowl. Put bowl in the freezer while you make the ice cream base so you won’t end up with strawberry juice streaks in the “ice cream”.

Put the frozen banana chunks in food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. If you have a small processor, you might want to do that in stages. Even with my large one, it almost tossed the processor around a bit. Add the peanut butter and agave nectar and process until smooth.

Get out the add-in bowl and scrape the “ice cream” on top of the add-ins. Then fold in the add-in ingredients until they are evenly distributed.

Put the entire mixture in a freezer-safe container and freeze ice cream until hard, overnight-12 hours. I put that time on it because at 5 hrs after making it was too soft, when I woke up at the 12 hour mark it was perfect! If it’s too hard to scoop after refreezing, just leave it sitting out for a couple minutes and it should scoop perfectly.

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I kinda hate to admit it, but I ate this for breakfast as soon as it was frozen hard enough. I just couldn’t help myself. Then again, with all that fruit in it, I guess it’s not so bad.
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Liebster Award:

Thanks to Richa from Hobby and More , Mel from Veganise This! and Kelly from Three and a Half Vegans for each awarding me a Liebster. “Liebster” is German and means ‘dearest’ or ‘beloved’ but it can also mean ‘favorite’. The idea behind this award is to bring attention to bloggers who have less than 200 followers and show your support during Vegan Mofo!
The rules of winning this award are as follows:
1. Show your thanks to those who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal 5 of your top picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Post the award on your blog.
4. Enjoy the love and support of some wonderful people on the www!
I’d like to award Liebsters to the following:
1. Amanda at In My Vegan Life
2. Celyn at Miso For Breakfast
3. Celeste at Growing Up Veg
4. Cara at Fork And Beans
5. VeggieAmanda at Newman Improved

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