Oh, man. These. These are… I can’t even… If I cursed, I would be using expletives about how good these are!
So here’s a little back story. Mountain Man and I are at our favorite little restaurant (one of the very few where we can actually eat off the menu, called Dobra Tea West in Asheville). We finished our meal and my honey wanted a sweet treat. I sighed and said, “I’ll look but most of them have a lot of oil.” So I meandered over to the dessert fridge and took a peek. Nope, not really anything. Well, my man has a sweet tooth and was not giving up so easily. He decided to look for himself. A few moments later he came over to the table with this huge BALL of something, a big smile on his face. I said, “Really? Doesn’t it have oodles of coconut oil?” I got up to look at the ingredients… nope! No oil. And wow, was it incredible. Okay, so this recipe isn’t really mine but I just had to make these the next day, based on the ingredients given, and share them with you!
They turned out great! Possibly better… Mine are about half the size of the ones at Dobra because, really, they were ginormous and I can’t eat that much sweet in one sitting. I’m bringing these to an event this weekend and working on creating a little pistachio filling, just like a real truffle… shouldn’t be too hard. So, stay tuned for a possible upgrade! 🙂
For the relatively small amount of ingredients, the flavor profile of these little treats is very deep and rich. If you love pistachios, like we do, and are a fan of matcha tea, like we are… you will love these. They are also sweetened with dates only, so yeah. These will be on my dessert rotation plan.
Pistachio Matcha Truffles
A delectable treat for the sweet tooth in all of us!
- 1/2 pound raw, shelled pistachios (see notes)
- 1½ cups pitted dates (I used medjool dates which are perfect for this as they are nice and soft)
- 3 TBS tahini
- 2 tsp chia seeds
- 2 tsp matcha tea powder
- 1 tsp powdered vanilla bean
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut + ½ tsp matcha
- Place the pistachios and the dates in a food processor and pulse until well incorporated.
- Add the remaining ingredients and process until the mixture holds together well when pinched.
- Form into balls, about the size of golfballs.
- Mix the coconut shreds and the matcha tea until the coconut is coated. (see notes)
- Roll the balls in the coconut mixture and store in the fridge until ready to eat.
**It's sometimes not easy to find shelled pistachios. If you have a Trader Joe's near you, they usually carry them.
**Instead of rolling the balls in coconut shreds, you could also pulverize some pistachios in a nut grinder and roll them in that.
Wow! I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that I finally, finally, FINALLY nailed this recipe. I feel like calling this “Carrot Cake: Take 3,455” … because that’s how many trials and errors I seem to have endured. I have posted a raw carrot cake recipe, and that one was wonderful in its own right, but it’s simply not the same as a genuine, classic carrot cake.
I’m all about texture when creating baked goods, and it just wasn’t happening. Carrot cakes usually call for TONS of oil. That’s probably why I had such a hard time. But I finally did it. A prefect crumb, not too dense, not too sticky, not heavy at all and NO OIL. Yay! And the timing couldn’t have been better since I was asked to bake this wonderful dessert for a dear friend’s birthday.
One of the most important factors in getting that rise and texture just right is the particle size of the dry ingredients, so make sure to chop the walnuts pretty small and use the finest grater setting for your carrots. In keeping with that particle size, I also opted for currants instead of raisins, but raisins would be fine, too.
So here it is! What may arguably be the perfect, plant-based, oil-free carrot cake.
A decorative and scrumptious tradition, made oil-free and plant based!
- 1½ cups light buckwheat flour (see notes)
- 1 cup tightly packed almond flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups finely grated carrots
- 1/2 cup raisins or currants (I used currants)
- 1 cup chopped raw walnuts
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar (or other minimally processed, granulated sweetener)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 cup unsweetened, plant based milk (I used soy)
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 2 TBS ground flaxseed + 1/4 of the orange juice listed above
- 2 cups raw cashews, soaked at least 5 hours
- 1- 1½ cups water
- 1 TBS lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla bean powder or extract or a couple of drops of orange oil flavoring
- 3 TBS maple syrup or sweetener of your choice
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Combine the 2 tablespoons of flax meal with 1/4 cup of the orange juice and set aside.
- Line 2 round 8-inch cake pans with wax paper or parchment (I use wax paper, cut to match the size of the bottoms of the pans and also use just a touch of cooking spray oil both beneath and above the paper for ease of unmolding after baking)
- Place all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir well to combine. NOTE: it's important to separate all of the carrot shreds so they aren't sticking together.
- Combine all of the remaining wet ingredients except the flax mixture and stir well, adding the flax mixture last and stirring gently.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans as best you can and smooth the tops with a spatula.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool for about 20 minutes, then turn the pans upside down onto wire racks to unmold. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting, simply blend all ingredients in a high powered blender. Add bits of water at a time, as you don't want the mixture to become too thin. You may need more water than is mentioned above, it really depends on how long your cashews have soaked.
- Blend until smooth.
- REFRIGERATE, covered, for several hours before using as it will firm up as it cools and be easier to use.
- Decorate as you like! I used candied pineapple, chopped pistachios, dried rose petals/buds and fresh marigold flowers (yes they are edible, just make sure they are organic if purchasing)
I prefer to use LIGHT buckwheat flour in this cake, though you could certainly use regular buckwheat, but it would change the color considerably. I find mine on Amazon, available from one or two sellers. Alternately, you could certainly use wheat or spelt flour. I just prefer to keep mine gluten-free. But don't use the GF mixes, they won't work. Trust me, I've tried so many kinds of flours. Enjoy!
Greetings, lovely ones! If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I am no stranger to Chia Pudding! To me, it is the the ideal plant-based dessert (besides just fruit of course). The nutritional profile of chia seeds is just off the chart. And it’s so easy to make, which is a huge bonus for most of us! 🙂
I recently attended a Dr. Fuhrman conference right here in our own mountain backyard! It was wonderful to see him and it’s always good to get “reminded” of why we eat the way we do. I made a few awesome new friends and gleaned some new and important nutritional information, too. There’s always more to learn in the field of nutrition, right?
I’ve been super busy getting my art business off the ground. I’m almost there! I have a couple of local retail establishments that want to carry my prints and greeting cards so this is very exciting and a long time coming. Wish me luck! If you want to visit my website to view my gallery you may do so here–>> New Consciousness Art by Harmony Grace. It’s still a work in progress, but I do have about a dozen products uploaded now for sale. Any support you can send my way is much appreciated!!! I’ve mostly been doing digital art. Here is a sample of one of my paintings:
Well, back to the matter at hand; this recipe is as simple as all of my other chia pudding recipes with the addition of in-season berries which have been outstanding this year! So without further ado, here it is in all its simple amazingness. Enjoy!
A simple and highly nutritious dessert that is both beautiful and tasty!
- 2 cups unsweetened plant-based milk (I used soy milk)
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1 pint fresh blackberries
- 2 TBS sweetener of your choice (I used maple syrup)
- 1 tsp vanilla bean powder (or vanilla extract)
- Combine the milk, chia, sweetener and vanilla. Stir well to incorporate all the ingredients.
- Let stand for about 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally until the seeds are well incorporated and not sinking to the bottom. I use a whisk for this process.
- In the mean time, crush half of the berries so they resemble a thick jam. You can sweeten them if you like but mine were so sweet I didn't have to.
- When the pudding is set up, layer in the crushed berries into 2 serving vessels, like parfaits.
- Top with fresh berries.
- Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
I got this idea from Dr. Greger who promotes hibiscus for lowering blood pressure and I’m hooked! The flavor is divine on its own and adding a bit of peppermint is delightful in the summer months for a tasty, refreshing drink. But how much of this can you drink? Can there be too much of a good thing? Well, any food, be it a tea or an herb or a flower, that has some kind of pharmacological effect should be used with some caution. Dr. Greger also addresses this particular issue in this video.
You can use whatever sweetener you prefer in this tea but I like to use erythritol as it has some health benefits and zero calories. Another calorie-free sweetener that I sometimes use in this recipe is xylitol, but erythritol has more health benefits. It actually contains antioxidants! Check out what Dr. Greger has to say about this sweetener: ERYTHRITOL
I hope you try this delicious beverage and enjoy it as much as we do! It’s the perfect addition to a whole food, plant-based diet. In case you’re wondering, I have a family history of hypertension and so it works perfectly for me. But hubby Mountain Man is just the opposite—his blood pressure usually runs VERY low. However he also enjoys this tea, of course in moderation, and it has no ill effect on his already low blood pressure.
A delightful and refreshing tea that will also help to lower blood pressure!
- 1/4 cup loose, dried hibiscus flowers
- 1 TBS loose, dried and crushed peppermint leaves
- 2/3 cup erythritol or sweetener of your choice
- Place the hibiscus and peppermint in a pyrex or other heat proof container (I use a 2 cup measuring cup)
- Add boiling water to fill to about one cup.
- Steep 10 minutes.
- While the tea steeps, dissolve the erythritol in hot water and add it to whatever 2 liter vessel you will use to store your tea.
- Strain and add your steeped tea to the dissolved erythritol and fill with cool water to make 2 liters.
You can also use tea bags for this though I haven't tried it. I would use 5-6 hibiscus bags plus one peppermint bag and that should work just fine.
Greetings!!!! I’ve been meaning to share this simple and tasty, plant-based recipe with you for a while now. These burgers are a cinch to put together and are just perfectly delicious. As the summer months get to a start here in the northern hemisphere, plant-based burgers are always a great idea for lunch or dinner. These guys also freeze well, which I LOVE because that means an easy future meal for me! So go ahead and double the recipe if you like and freeze a bunch for future use.
I have a secret to share with you… you may already know about it but it’s an ingredient that I will now never be without! The binding agent extraordinaire, otherwise known as PSYLLIUM HUSK. Woohoo! It’s just the best, not only for burgers but it also works great for baked goods and bean loaves. The thing I am really loving about this ingredient is the perfect texture it gives my burgers. They’re not soggy or pasty. You know what I’m talking about right? When I first started making bean and veggie burgers it took a lot of trial and error to get that texture just right, playing with varying amounts of chia, flax seed, oats, etc. Well, not any more!
Psyllium husk is becoming more and more popular. I saw some huge conatiners of it on an end cap at my local Whole Foods so I guess maybe it’s not such a secret anymore. 🙂 Besides holding things together like a champ, psyllium husk is also a prebiotic AND a wonderful source of dietary soluble fiber. Score!
I get mine on Amazon here –> WHOLE PSYLLIUM HUSKS
Anyway, without further ado, here is the recipe. I hope you enjoy these burgers as much as we do! They’re are a staple at our house now…
An easy-to-make, plant-based yum burger!
- 1 cup cooked rice (short grain brown rice is best for these)
- 1 can red beans (about 1½ cups) I used Eden brand adzuki beans
- 1 TBS almond butter
- 2 TBS whole psyllium husk
- 1 TBS Spike salt-free seasoning or any favorite salt free seasoning you prefer
- 1 tsp tamari or other low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp coconut sugar or other minimally processed sweetener
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ garlic powder
- Drain most of the liquid from the beans. Mash HALF of them with the liquid you have left, leave the rest whole.
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl (see first NOTE).
- Let the mixture sit for about 10-15 minutes to give the psyllium a chance to do its magic.
- Shape into burgers. I used about 1/2 cup of the mix per burger. An ice cream scooper is perfect for this!
- Cook on the stovetop in a non-stick pan on medium-low heat until golden brown on both sides. Alternatively you can bake them at 350°F for 30 minutes, flipping at 15 minutes.
- Let the burgers cool off just a bit before serving. They firm up more when they cool off.
I usually like to cook my rice at the same time I put these together. When the rice is warm it mixes much easier with the other ingredients. I usually make a big batch of rice and save what I don't use for a future meal.
You can certainly adjust these to suit your taste! Add some salsa and cumin for a zesty Mexican burger, add some fresh veggies, too. Chopped green onion is nice as well as red bell pepper. These make a good base for just about any additions you want to use.
Hi lovely readers! I posted a recipe for plant-based, cashew cream cheese AGES ago but it was pretty involved as it used rejuvelac, which is a culturing medium made from soaking grains. This process was pretty lengthy. So some time ago I experimented with using probiotic powder instead, and voilà! It worked like a charm and was so much quicker and easier.
I use a very high quality probiotic for this recipe. You can find it HERE on Amazon. Yes, it’s quite pricey but the only thing I use it for is this recipe so it lasts a long while. And since I get a consistent, good result every time, I feel it’s totally worth it. You can also use good quality capsules, which you can find in most health food stores, and just open them up, but I find the powder so much more convenient. Make sure to keep your probiotics in the refrigerator!
You can also use this recipe to make sour cream… just thin it out with a little water. Yum! 🙂 Feel free to add some fresh herbs at the end or even fruit! Spruce it up however you like or enjoy it plain.
To make this recipe even easier for you, I’ve created a video which I hope you will find helpful. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to my YouTube Channel. It’s a work in progress, with many more instructional videos to come.
Sorry it’s taken me so long to post this delicious plant-based cheese! Enjoy!
CULTURED CASHEW CREAM CHEESE VIDEO
Cultured Cashew Cream Cheese ~ plant based!
A tangy, real cultured, vegan cheese filled with healthful probiotics!
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 1/2 cup pure water
- 1/2 tsp good quality probiotic powder (see my post for a link to the one I use)
- pinch of sea salt (about 1/8 tsp)
- Soak cashews overnight or for at least 5 hours. (see IMPORTANT note)
- Rinse well and drain.
- Add to high powered blender with 1/2 cup pure water and the salt.
- Blend well, scraping down the sides as needed. It should be pretty thick.
- Add probiotic powder and blend again until smooth.
- Transfer to a glass bowl, cover with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel and secure.
- Set on the counter.
- WAIT. The culturing takes anywhere from 24-48 hours depending on various factors, most importantly the ambient temperature of the room.
- When the cheese is done, the mixture will PUFF UP with air. You can also taste it to see if it is tangy enough for your preference.
- When it's done, stir it well to remove all the air, cover and refrigerate. The mixture will firm up more as it cools. It lasts quite a while in the fridge, at least a week, especially if you keep it covered and prevent moisture from getting in.
THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT!!! Do not use city tap water for this recipe. Almost all tap water in the US and Canada contains a form of chlorine called chloramine. Its purpose is to KILL bacteria! It will kill all the happy microorganisms in your mixture and you'll wind up with nothing but blended cashews. So use fresh spring water or distilled, or if you have well water, that's fine too.
Greetings from the mountains, Dear Ones! Ahhh… warm weather is finally gracing us here in the northern hemisphere after such a harsh winter. I am so happy to have gotten our garden started and the open windows with the fresh breezes are a pleasure!
Well, you know me. I love a good soup, be it in the winter or summer months. Nothing beats the ease of a one-pot meal like a hearty soup. And THIS is one I’ve been wanting to make and share for a long time. It’s called an “Indian” soup because of those ever-aromatic Indian spices but it actually has its origin in Great Britain! Who knew? But wherever it began, it ends up in my happy belly! So without further ado, below is the recipe for a flavorful, plant-based Mulligatawny soup!
NOTE: PLEASE don’t be put off by the long list of Indian spices. I have built my spice cupboard bit by bit. If you don’t have all of them, use what you can find easily. It will still be yummy. I will include some Amazon links above the recipe card, if you want to purchase some of these spices to build your own Indian arsenal of flavor. 🙂 Enjoy!
Mulligatawny Soup ~ plant-based, oil-free!
A hearty, flavorful and aromatic soup!
- 1 pound dry red lentils
- 2 apples, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup coconut milk or other unsweetened, plant-based milk
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped carrot
- 2 tsp ground coriander seeds
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 2 tsp minimally processed sugar (I used coconut sugar)
- 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
- 1 tsp ground fenugreek seeds
- 1 tsp anise seeds
- 1 tsp ground fenugreek leaves
- 1 tsp cinnamon (try to use Ceylon cinnamon, it has a more mellow flavor)
- 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- pinch of asafetida
- 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
- 7 cups pure water
- Add all ingredients to a soup pot and simmer until the lentils and carrots are tender (about 30 min), stirring occasionally.
- Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. BE CAREFUL! You may want to wait until it's cooled a bit, depending on your blender. You can also add more water if you prefer a thinner, brothy type of soup. I like mine thick!
- Garnish with some cilantro leaves if desired.
Ahhh, smoothie bowls! One of my favorite ways to “break fast” in the warmer months. And those days are just ahead! So I thought I would share this scrumptious, whole-food, plant-based winner of a recipe with you. It’s a snap to put together. Top it with some of your favorite superfoods and you have a nutrient-rich bowl of sunshine!
So, what’s this superfood giveaway about? It’s about the magic berry called amla, also known as golden berries or gooseberries. They are SUPERCHARGED with antioxidants. In order to qualify for this giveaway of Terrasoul Amla Powder, simply leave a brief comment below and watch an informative video by Dr. Michael Greger on YouTube, in which he reveals the amazing benefits of this Indian berry. That’s it! One winner will be randomly selected. Oh, and if you haven’t yet, I would greatly appreciate it if you would mosey on over to my Facebook Page and hit the LIKE button there. Thanks for checking in!
This giveaway will close in seven days, so don’t delay and good luck!
>>> CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY CONTEST! <<<
Golden Amla Smoothie Bowl
A super yummy antioxidant-rich smoothie to start your day!
- Add all ingredients plus one cup of the coconut water to your blender and blend, adding more coconut water as needed to reach a smooth consistency. Remember, this is a smoothie BOWL, so you want it to be as thick as possible.
- Garnish with your favorite toppings and serve!
Greetings lovely, plant-based voyagers! Well, how long has it been? I don’t know… that’s how long! So much has happened over the past few months. In fact, the whole of last year was a blur. I spent a lot of time with my mom, traveling back and forth to Florida, selling her condo, getting her set up in an assisted living facility, etc. She had some serious health issues and started declining after a bout of pneumonia which she never really came back from.
We finally wound up moving her up here to be nearer to us, as the facility she was in was not all we thought it would be. My son and daughter-in-law and I drove down to fetch her… on the brink of Hurricane Irma! We got out just in time and spent 23 hours driving back in bumper to bumper I-75 traffic insanity (on what is normally a 10 hour drive). What a wild trip! That was in September. A month later Mom was gone. 😥
It was a blessing to be able to spend so much time with her before she passed and we had a wonderful moment together just prior to her departure. I am so thankful that she was up here with us and not in Florida for this event. I still miss her… every day. But I am relieved that she is finally out of pain.
I’ve taken the last few months to reevaluate my life—my goals and purposes, my true callings. Some connections have grown stronger, others have dissolved. I feel that the universe—the Divine, God, Creator, my Higher Self, whatever terminology you use for the greater aspect of our selves and our lives—has been leading me in a new direction. It’s been interesting!
My art has taken center stage in my life of late. It’s become rather all-encompassing. And I’m going with the flow! I haven’t forgotten about my blog. I’m still planning on creating a cookbook with ALL of my recipes (new computer is on the horizon, yay!) and I will continue developing and posting new recipes for you. This part of my endeavors will not be front and center though, as it had been. I will be focusing more on a business for my art—creating a website, making prints, approaching local art studios and vendors, etc. My artist name is Harmony Grace. It came to me in a dream! I’ve been working in colored pencil, watercolor, and just recently discovered the magic of digital art. Here is one of my more recent digital pieces. It’s called Divining.
Mountain Man and I are still enjoying our glorious life here in the Smokies. We are planning on creating a retreat, either here at our current home, or at a different homestead with a bit more room for guests. That will be in about two years. We will offer whole-food, plant-based fare along with T’ai Chi and Chi Gong, Tibetan singing bowl concerts, meditation, massage, Reiki, hiking and the quiet reflection that is so needed in this modern world; achievable in an idyllic setting such as the one with which we are blessed.
So… now to this fantastic recipe! I’ve been working on this one for a while. I wanted to create a recipe that didn’t require a lot of “unusual” ingredients, but used things that most folks have in their pantries, that was low in fat, and easy to make. And, of course, it had be whole-food, plant-based. Voilá! This banana loaf is hearty, satisfying and a snap to put together. It’s not too dense, just sweet enough and you can include your favorite additions, like nuts, raisins, seeds, etc. I used walnuts, which are always a nice accompaniment in banana breads.
Thank you dear readers for sticking with me all these years. As the whole-food, plant-based movement continues to grow with so many more wonderful recipes available, I appreciate your visits to my site more than you know.
Enjoy and, as always, healthy trails,
A hearty, plant-based treat! Great for breakfast, too!
- 1½ cups rolled oats (not instant!)
- ¾ cups walnuts
- 1TBS whole flax seeds
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- pinch salt (optional)
- ½ cup tightly packed, pitted dates
- 1 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
- 2 small bananas (one heaping cup, sliced)
- ½ cup applesauce
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or use a small amount of oil to prevent sticking.
- Place the oats in a food processor (or blender) to create a flour. I used my food processor and the result was a slightly course flour, which was perfect for this loaf.
- Add the remaining dry ingredients and pulse to combine making sure to leave the walnuts chunky, not pulverized.
- Transfer the dry mixture to a mixing bowl.
- Place the dates, vanilla and milk in the processor (or blender) to create a slurry. Blend well.
- Add the bananas and the applesauce and pulse just a few times. Again you want the bananas to still be chunky.
- Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and stir well to combine.
- Spoon the batter into the pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Let cool completely before slicing. The loaf will get firmer with time. Wrap and refrigerate to store.
You guys! This dressing is SO good! It’s got a ton of herbaceous flavor and will make your taste buds do a happy dance! 🙂 I swear I could eat this on every salad. It’s low fat so pour it on!
Yup, it’s been a while. Way too much going on. Had to drive to Florida to rescue Mama from the big, bad storm. She’s living up here now, very near to us. Yay! Anyway, that was a TWENTY hour drive just to get to north Georgia and another two and half to her new place. So not fun. But we made it back safe and sound.
Otherwise I’ve been working on my art nearly full time. It’s going great but, as you know, takes me away from my blog. I’ve been working with colored pencil (mandalas) and just started diving into watercolor. I love it! Here is a link where you can view my work and see what I’ve been up to: Harmony Grace Art
We had a pretty decent crop this summer though it was much cooler than last year so the peppers weren’t as happy. But we had tons of cucumbers and tomatoes and lots and lots of greens! Still harvesting some things and will be drying out some herbs soon. I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to Fall! I love this time of year…
I hope you were out of harm’s way for hurricane Irma. I’m thankful that things are slowly returning to normal for most folks. xo
Low-fat Vegan Greek Dressing
A delicious, low-fat alternative to traditional Greek dressing. Enjoy!
- 2 cups chopped zucchini
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 1 TBS ground chia seeds
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp Spike salt-free seasoning
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 pitted dates
- ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
- 1 TBS fresh chopped oregano
- pinch of salt or to taste (optional)
- Blend all ingredients, except the fresh herbs until smooth.
- Add the fresh parsley and oregano and pulse until incorporated but not fully blended.
- That's it!