Mango Coconut Lassi

I’m still on a mango kick because I absolutely love mango season! Also, this mango coconut lassi is divine and my husband and I always want to order one every time we go out to Indian food. This vegan version is just as tasty, creamy, coconutty, and packed full of mangoes! You can’t even tell it’s vegan. It’s so easy to make too. I got this recipe inspiration from my Minimalist Baker cookbook. I LOVE this cookbook and highly recommend it! This mango coconut lassi definitely helps us get through this southern heat! It’s been so hot and humid lately, all I want to drink are smoothies. Go get some mangoes and make this yummy Indian drink!  Mango Coconut Lassi
Serves 2

6 ounces plain or vanilla coconut yogurt (I used Silk vanilla yogurt)
2 small ripe mangoes, cubed (about 2 cups)
3-4 Tbsp unsweetened plain almond milk
1/8-1/4 tsp cardamom, to taste
1-2 Tbsp pure maple syrup or coconut sugar
1/4 cup ice cubes
2 Tbsp coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk (optional)

Add all ingredients to the blender and blend until creamy and smooth. You can add more almond milk if you are having trouble blending.

Taste and adjust flavor as needed.

Enjoy!

(Adapted from the Minimalist Baker)

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Strawberry Mango Salsa

This strawberry mango salsa is the epitome of summer! It’s so refreshing and has the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. I’m loving all the fresh fruits in season. Mangoes and strawberries are probably my favorite fruits. I could eat this salsa by the spoonful, it’s so addicting. You can eat it with tortilla chips or top it on your favorite tacos. Also, it’s so easy to make and you can eat it right away. Definitely a great summer side to any party!  Strawberry Mango Salsa 

1 1/3 cup diced strawberries
1 cup diced mangoes
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
3-4 tsp pure maple syrup
Juice of 1 lime
1/8-1/4 tsp chipotle chili pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Serve immediately with chips, tacos, or just eat it by the spoonful! 🙂

Best when eaten fresh. You can store leftovers in the refrigerator, but note that it will get more watery from the fruit the longer it sits.

Easy Strawberry Crisp (vegan+gf)

I love strawberry season and I love strawberry crisp. In fact, I love any kind of fruit crisp. I always have an apple crisp for my birthday instead of cake. I decided to make a strawberry crisp this time since strawberries are so good right now! The sweet and tart strawberries with the granola like crisp on top makes for the perfect summer treat! It’s refreshing and doesn’t weigh you down after a big meal or from the heat. It’s also quite healthy too: vegan, gluten free, and no refined sugars (#wining). The crumble crisp top is so delicious and I could eat it plain. I also love crisps because they are so easy and fast to put together and way less of a hassle than pie. Don’t get me wrong, I love pie, but I don’t always have the time to make my own pie crust. 🙂 With this crisp, you can make it super fast and also change out the fruit to any fruit you have on hand, like apples, blueberries, or peaches. This will be a great 4th of July dessert to share with your friends and family too! Easy Strawberry Crisp

Filling
2 lbs strawberries, halved and quartered
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 Tbsp arrowroot starch or cornstarch

Topping
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup almond meal
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup melted coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C). Spray a 9×9 (or you can use an 8×8) baking dish.

Add to a large mixing bowl all the filling ingredients. Toss to combine. Add to the baking dish.

Rinse and wipe out your mixing bowl and add all topping ingredients. Stir well to combine. Pour over the strawberry filling in an even layer and smooth it out with your spatula.

Bake for 35 minutes (uncovered) or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is a deep golden brown.

Let it cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Best when fresh, though leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator up to 3 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat in the microwave or in a 350-degree F (176 C) oven until warmed through.

Enjoy!

BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches with Homemade Avocado Slaw

To all you meat lovers who think that vegans or vegetarians are missing out, doubt no more and try these BBQ jackfruit sandwiches! Jackfruit, fresh or canned, can be found at pretty much any Asian store and I’ve seen them everywhere in Taiwan. They are an awesome meat alternative because of the texture and how well it absorbs flavors. You can also buy it on Amazon too! Just make sure you get the jackfruit that is in water, NOT brine or syrup. I got this recipe inspiration from Minimalist Baker and gave it a try. It is seriously SO SO good! My husband loves it…maybe because he loves BBQ sauce and chips? If you are looking for a good summer BBQ dinner idea, you HAVE to try this! It’s so easy to make too! Also, let’s not forget about this yummy avocado slaw. I love anything avocado and this just adds to the sandwiches perfectly. I can literally eat the whole bowl of slaw by itself. It’s so tasty. Oh yeah, the BBQ jackfruit and avocado slaw are great inside tacos as well! If you need a quick meal and want to impress those meat lover friends of yours, BBQ jackfruit is a winner!  BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches with Homemade Avocado Slaw
Serves about 4-5

BBQ JACKFRUIT
  • 2 20-ounce cans young green jackfruit in water (NOT in syrup or brine)
  • 1/4 cup BBQ seasoning (2 Tbsp brown sugar + 1 tsp paprika + 1 tsp garlic powder + 1/2 tsp salt + 1/2 tsp pepper + 1/2 tsp chili powder)
  • 3/4 cup BBQ sauce (ensure it’s vegan) + more for topping
AVOCADO SLAW 
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1.5-2 Tbsps pure maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
  • 1 lemon or lime, juiced
  • Salt + Pepper to taste
  • water to thin
FOR SERVING
  • 4-6 whole grain vegan buns (GF for gluten free eaters)

Rinse, drain and thoroughly dry jackfruit. Chop off the center “core” portion of the fruit and discard. Roughly chop the jackfruit. Place in a mixing bowl and set aside. (I personally don’t cut off too much of the core because I don’t want to waste all that jackfruit! If you thinly slice the core up, it softens as you cook it and you won’t even notice it.)

Mix together BBQ seasoning and add to jackfruit. Toss to coat.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1-2 Tbsp oil of choice and seasoned jackfruit. Toss to coat and cook for 2-3 minutes to achieve some color.

Add BBQ sauce and thin with enough water to make a sauce. I put in about 1/4 cup of water. Stir, cover, and reduce heat to low- medium and cook for about 20 minutes (up to 35 minutes on low for a deeper flavor).

Remove lid and stir occasionally. TIP: For finer texture, use two forks to shred the jackfruit as it cooks down.

In the meantime, make slaw by adding all ingredients except vegetables (avocado through salt + pepper) to a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Thin with water until a thick sauce is made, then add veggies and toss to coat. Set in the refrigerator until serving.

Once the jackfruit has been properly simmered, turn up heat to medium-high and cook for 2-3 more minutes to get a little extra color/texture. Then remove from heat.

Toast buns and place generous portions of slaw on the bottom buns, top with generous serving of BBQ jackfruit. Serve with extra BBQ sauce if your heart desires! Or serve as tacos!

Leftover jackfruit keeps for up to a couple days in the fridge, though best when fresh.

(Recipe adapted from the Minimalist Baker)

Healthy Flax Peanut Butter Banana Bread (oil-free, refined sugar free, vegan)

Any type of bread, sweet or savory, is my weakness. Banana bread is one of those quick breads that I can never turn down. I’m always in the mood for it and often crave it. Bananas are seriously something I cannot live without. I eat one everyday without fail, so when it is in bread form, I am truly in heaven. Bread + bananas + peanut butter = PERFECTION. Now can you understand why I’m so obsessed with this banana bread?! Most banana breads are packed with sugar and high in fat. I wanted to make a banana bread recipe that I could feel good eating lots of, because really, I can’t just have one slice. 🙂 This banana bread is packed with ground flax seed, whole wheat flour, natural peanut butter, and is only slightly sweetened with a little bit of pure maple syrup. Let me just emphasize, this banana bread is NOT sweet like most banana breads. It is just barely sweetened and that’s why I love it so much. There are no refined sugars and oil too, which is an added plus! This banana bread paired with some extra peanut butter and freshly sliced bananas makes for the perfect breakfast, treat, dessert, or snack. Also, the added sesame seeds makes it even better! Let’s just say it did not last very long in my house. 

Healthy Flax Peanut Butter Banana Bread (oil-free, vegan) 

3 extra ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 1/2 cups mashed banana)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup all natural peanut butter (or any nut butter or tahini would be yummy too) 
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flax + 3 Tbsp water, mixed and set aside for a few minutes)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk 
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or white whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp white or black sesame seeds (I love the crunch and texture it adds)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray.In a large bowl combine the wet ingredients: mashed banana, maple syrup, peanut butter, flax egg, vanilla, and almond milk until smooth.

In a separate large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: whole wheat pastry flour, flaxseed meal, sesame seeds, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overmix!!! Pour into prepared loaf pan and smooth top with a spatula.

Bake for 45-55 minutes or until tester comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Remove from oven and allow pan cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove bread and transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Bread is very good toasted and spread with extra nut butter of choice.

Tip: Make the bread the day before, cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap and put it in a big ziploc bag. Slice and eat the next day. The bread will be SO SO moist and the flavors will have had more time to mix. SO good the next day!!! But of course, still slice yourself some the day of if you can’t wait like me. 

(Recipe adapted from the Ambitious Kitchen)

Dang Good Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies (vegan and gluten-free)

Sorry I’ve been MIA recently. This new baby of mine has kept me busy and tired! I’ve had this cookie recipe that I have wanted to share for quite some time. It might be my new favorite vegan chocolate chip cookie. It’s healthy, gluten-free, refined sugar free, and vegan. Best part is, you can’t even tell! I think I could eat all of them in one sitting if I let myself. They freeze well too and make for a great dessert when you are short on time. Not to mention, they can be made in ONE bowl. You can’t get easier than that! These cookies are SO dang good because they are perfectly nutty and sweet. Also, what can be better than biting into a cookie filled with ooey gooey dark chocolate?! Mother’s Day is just around the corner and these babies will definitely please those hard working mommas. 🙂 Dang Good Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 16-20 cookies

2/3 cup plus 1/2 cup oat flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts or walnuts
1/4 to 1/2 cup dairy free dark chocolate chips or chocolate chunks
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
3-5 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk, as needed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine all dry ingredients and mix very well. Then add the wet ingredients, combine well, and form into a big ball. Now make little balls from the big one. For soft cookies, refrigerate until cold (otherwise, just bake right away). Bake 7-8 minutes, or until they’ve spread out and look just a little undercooked. Remove from oven when they’re still a little undercooked. It’s important to let cookies cool for at least 10 minutes before trying to remove from tray, as they’ll continue to cook while cooling. For soft cookies, store in a lidded plastic container. For crispy cookies, store in a lidded glass container. You can also freeze the dough balls for a quick dessert later. Enjoy!

(Recipe adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie)

Oil-free Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Easter is right around the corner and these oil-free double chocolate zucchini muffins will make a great healthy treat for the kiddos and family. No one will even know they are oil-free and whole grain. The whole wheat pastry flour in this recipe makes these muffins light, while still being whole grain. It’s a winner. I love how these muffins are healthier because most chocolate muffins are loaded with sugar and fat. You can actually feel good after eating one or two. 🙂 The zucchini makes these muffins moist and who doesn’t love sneaking vegetables into a muffin! I got this recipe from Oh She Glows and tweaked it a little. I could eat these muffins all day! I think my favorite part when eating these muffins is when I get a bite filled with dark chocolate chips, especially when they are warm and gooey. Mmmm…go make these now! Oil-free Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Makes about 14 muffins

1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flax + 3 Tbsp water)
1 1/4 cup lightly packed shredded zucchini, skin left on
1 1/4 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
scant 1/2 cup cane sugar or regular white sugar
1/3 cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly spray muffin pan with oil or line with muffin liners.

Mix flax egg in a small bowl and set aside. Grate zucchini using a grater box (regular grate size). Set aside.

Mix almond milk and apple cider vinegar (or sub fresh lemon juice) in a glass measuring cup and set aside for 10 minutes. It will curdle, creating vegan buttermilk.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar).

Mix together the wet ingredients (flax egg, almond milk mixture, maple syrup, and vanilla) and then pour over dry ingredients. Stir until just combined, do NOT overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips, shredded zucchini, and walnuts if using…remembering not to overmix.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each tin 3/4 of the way full. Bake for about 15-17 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until muffins slowly spring back when touched. A toothpick should come out mostly clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. With a knife, loosen around the muffin edge and transfer to a cooling rack until completely cool.

Store in a ziploc bag or airtight container. It gets more moist and flavorful the next day. 🙂 Enjoy!

(Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows)