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Tag Archive: no-bake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

March 13, 2014 Print this page

A pie celebrating the marriage of two of my favorite ingredients: chocolate and peanut butter. It’s like a party in your mouth, and indulgence was certainly invited.

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time
Total Time 6 hr 15 min
Yield 1 9-inch pie (about 10-12 servings)

FOR THE CRUST:

1 1/2 cups of gluten-free rolled oats (substitute almonds/walnuts/buckwheat for grain-free)

1 1/2 cups of pitted dates

1/4 cup of smooth peanut butter (substitute sunflower seed butter for paleo)

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

A pinch of salt

FOR THE FILLING:

2 cups of whole, raw cashews

1/4 cup of smooth peanut butter (substitute sunflower seed butter for paleo)

1/4 cup of coconut oil

1/2 of a large avocado

2 cups of soft pitted dates

1 tablespoon of maple syrup

1/3 cup of water, plus more if needed

1/2 cup of good-quality cacao powder

FOR THE DRIZZLE:

1 tablespoon of coconut oil, melted

2 teaspoons of smooth peanut butter (substitute sunflower seed butter for paleo)

Cacao nibs or dark chocolate curls, to garnish

Directions

Soak the cashews with enough warm water to cover them completely for at least 3 hours and up to 6. If you soak the cashews for too long, they’ll be slimy and gross; if you don’t soak them for long enough, your blender or food processor will make so much noise your cats will run for cover. Moral of the story: soak wisely.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the oats, dates, smooth peanut butter, cinnamon, and salt until the texture of coarse sand. The ingredients should hold together very easily when touched, and no crumbs should flake off; when in doubt, add another date or two or another tablespoon of peanut butter.

Press into the bottom of a spring form pan and refrigerate for an hour.

Drain the cashews and discard the soaking water. Give them a gentle rinse over, and throw into the blender or food processor with the peanut butter, coconut oil, avocado, dates, maple syrup, and water. Process or blend until smooth.

Pour in the cacao powder and process or blend until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the blender or food processor bowl if necessary.

Now, it’s time to examine the texture. If it’s like a thick pudding, you’re good to go. If it’s more like raw cookie dough, keep adding water–a little bit at a time–to get it smoother and creamier. If it’s too liquid-y, add more peanut butter or dates.

Once your desired texture has been reached, take the crust out of the fridge and pour the filling on top, taking care to scrape the bowl’s sides. Put back in the fridge overnight, or freeze for at least four hours.

When ready to serve, combine the coconut oil with the peanut butter, and stir to combine. Using the stirring spoon, drizzle the peanut butter-and-oil mixture all over the top of the pie. Because the pie will be cold, the drizzle will solidify almost immediately, creating a cool pattern.

To enhance the prettiness factor, sprinkle the top with cacao nibs or dark chocolate curls, if you’re feeling fancy. Serve cold.


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Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie (gluten-free, vegan)

March 13, 2014 1 Comment Print this page

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When normal high schoolers play hooky, they go hide under bridges or eat greasy pizza or whatever.

Not this girl. I made chocolate peanut butter pie, inspired by Rawsome Vegan Baking, a cookbook I have been eyeing for months. And, technically, I wasn’t playing hooky. I just didn’t feel like spending a majority of my day being bored.

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As we all know, I am not a raw vegan, nor am I a vegan, nor am I even a vegetarian. I am a girl that likes to eat, and likes to eat a wide variety of things, including meat, dairy, seafood, and other animal products. That said, I do love raw vegan desserts, particularly for their creativity. I mean, it’s pretty amazing that you can use infinite combinations of nuts, fruit, coconut oil, and raw chocolate to create everything from cakes to cookies to ice cream. They’re also almost idiot-proof: you throw a bunch of ingredients in the food processor, squish them into a pan, and refrigerate or freeze. Easy-peasy!

In this recipe, I have used gluten-free oats and peanut butter, two ingredients that aren’t featured on Yes to Yummy very often. These were matters of personal preference: I felt that oats provided a lighter, crunchier texture for the crust, and peanut butter is just awesome. Sorry, sunflower seed butter, but peanut butter takes the cake (or pie, shall I say). While I prefer to soak and sprout my grains and legumes, I’ve found that I digest oats and peanuts pretty easily, regardless of preparation method. Also, soaked and sprouted peanut butter is…uh…not tasty. Like at all. (Trust me, I’ve tried. Just no.)

If you’d rather use a grain-free alternative, I’d suggest substituting blanched almonds, walnuts, or buckwheat groats (buckwheat is a grass, FYI) for the oats. If you don’t want to venture into legume land (though paleo people have recently shifted a bit) or are allergic to peanuts, use sunflower seed butter instead of the peanut butter. Really, this recipe is very easily adaptable for any eating style, which makes it perfect for feeding a crowd of picky eaters–or just eaters, for that matter.

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Ready to make this delicious 9-inch circle of heaven? Good. Let’s go.

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Soak 2 cups of whole raw cashews with enough warm water to cover them completely for at least 3 hours and up to 6. If you soak the cashews for too long, they’ll be slimy and gross; if you don’t soak them for long enough, your blender or food processor will make so much noise your cats will run for cover. Moral of the story: soak wisely.

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In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together 1 1/2 cups of oats (or preferred substitute, see above), 1 1/2 cups of dates, 1/4 cup of smooth peanut butter, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and a pinch of salt until the texture of coarse sand. The ingredients should hold together very easily when touched, and no crumbs should flake off; when in doubt, add another date or two or another tablespoon of peanut butter.

Press into the bottom of a spring form pan and refrigerate for an hour.

Drain the cashews and discard the soaking water. Give them a gentle rinse over, and throw into the blender or food processor with 1/4 cup of smooth peanut butter, 1/4 cup of coconut oil, 1/2 of a large avocado, 2 cups of soft pitted dates, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, and 1/3 cup of water. Process or blend until smooth.

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It will look disgusting. Do not be afraid. You shall soon be saved by the power of…chocolate.

Pour in 1/2 cup of good-quality cacao powder and process or blend until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the blender or food processor bowl if necessary.

Now, it’s time to examine the texture. If it’s like a thick pudding, you’re good to go. If it’s more like raw cookie dough, keep adding water–a little bit at a time–to get it smoother and creamier. If it’s too liquid-y, add more peanut butter or dates.

Once your desired texture has been reached, take the crust out of the fridge and pour the filling on top, taking care to scrape the bowl’s sides. Put back in the fridge overnight, or freeze for at least four hours.

When ready to serve, combine 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil with 2 teaspoons of peanut butter, and stir to combine. Using the stirring spoon, drizzle the peanut butter-and-oil mixture all over the top of the pie. Because the pie will be cold, the drizzle will solidify almost immediately, creating a cool pattern.

To enhance the prettiness factor, sprinkle the top with cacao nibs or dark chocolate curls, if you’re feeling fancy. Serve cold.

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Ohhhhhhhhhhh yesssssssssss.

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What is your favorite kind of nut (or legume) butter? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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Black Cat Cake Pops

October 28, 2013 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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Happy Halloween, everyone…or shall I say, happy MEOWoween.

To tell you the truth, I haven’t experienced a true Halloween in years. In 2011, a massive snowstorm (which my friend dubbed “Snowpocalypse”) hit my town and shut off power for a week, thus cancelling school and rescheduling Halloween, too. I went trick-or-treating with my friends in town and on the first Saturday in November, but it still wasn’t the real thing. Last year, we got hit by Hurricane Sandy, once again leaving us powerless and without school for Halloween. I think I spent the night of October 31st huddled up with five jackets and a blanket in my bed, most likely reading book.

This year, it looks like Halloween might actually happen. Hooray, right? Eh, not really.

Halloween used to be my favorite holiday. Back when I was a real-food rebel, I saw Halloween as the perfect way to get away from my parents’ portion controlling and healthy meals and gorge myself on a boatload of, well, crap. My friends and I would hide up in my room and stuff our faces, eating as much as we could before our parents could get to us. It was satisfying and fun…until an hour later, after the wrappers were squirreled away in an empty box and the stomach ache set in. While all of that sugary chocolate was delicious as I was rapidly chowing down on it, I felt so sick afterwards simply from the amount I consumed. Now that I am more sensible about what I eat,  the fun from Halloween is gone for me. Sure, I could dress up, but I would rather spend costume money on cookbooks or stuffed animals.

So now, I am being the Grinch of Halloween, because really, we’re just fueling America’s rising obesity rates and big corporations who don’t need the extra money. Granted, I’m a fifteen year-old: for kids (and normal teenagers, I suppose), Halloween is awesome and magical. That’s great, but I don’t agree with it. Why can’t we celebrate National Produce Day, where children dress up as farmers, fruits, or vegetables and go from house-to-house to get apples and butternut squashes to take home?

Common, it’s a good idea, right? Am I the only one? Well, National Produce Day will be a thing. ONE DAY. You know, when I take over the world.

Now, this weekend, I was planning on making you guys a cranberry crepe cake or gingerbread; that may happen in the future, but Saturday morning, my plans were interrupted by Giada de Laurentiis, my favorite Food Network chef. She was having a Halloween-themed party…and was making Black Cat Pops, which she immediately announced were “gluten-free.” My ears perked up: I’m always curious when a celebrity chef makes something gluten-free. Usually, it’s just making pancakes or bread or whatever with a store-bought mix, but Giada’s recipe was anything but: there was REAL food! Dried figs, almond butter, coconut oil…it was right up my alley. I immediately turned to my dad and said, “I have to make that.”

This thus began my little weekend project. I went back to the supermarket to get more figs and to Michael’s to get lollipop sticks, then dug through my pantry to find the perfect decorating ingredients. They wound up just as I envisioned: adorable and super tasty! These kitties are great for kids, especially those with allergies: they’re gluten-free, vegan, and can be made nut-free with a few decoration swaps. There’s no added sugar, either: your little one will be eating fruit instead of the refined sugar usually found in candy. What’s not to love? It’s a win-win for both the parents and the children: sweet treats, but in a much healthier way!

Did I mention they’re no-bake, too? SCORE!

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You’re first going to need figs: Turkish ones, to be exact, and 16 ounces of them! (For me, that was 22 figs.) Using a sharp knife, take off the stems (they’re tough and not pleasant to eat) and cube the fruit up into small but not micro pieces. Place them in the food processor and pulse until a ball starts to form, about 30 1-second pulses.

To the figs, add 2 tablespoons of sunflower seed butter (or creamy almond or cashew butter), 3 tablespoons of apple cider (or water), 1 heaping tablespoon of cocoa powder, and a generous pinch of salt. Process until no big pieces of fig remain and the added ingredients have been full incorporated, about 3 minutes.

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Line a large baking sheet (rimmed or not, it doesn’t matter) with parchment paper. Dip an ice cream scoop or large spoon in cold water, then scoop out a little more than a tablespoon of fig mixture. Drop it into your hands, roll it into a ball, and place it on the baking sheet. Repeat until you run out of figs: I made 14 decent-sized balls.

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Stab a lollipop stick deep into the center of every ball. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes just to firm up a bit.

Meanwhile, in a double boiler or a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt 8 ounces of dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Stir frequently with a spatula and remove from the heat as soon as it’s melted.

Take the fig pops out of the fridge. Dunk each one gently in chocolate and use a fork to cover every nook and cranny. Let the excess chocolate drip off over the bowl, then place the fig pop back on the parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining pops, then return to the fridge for 15 minutes so the chocolate will solidify but not completely harden.

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Meanwhile, prepare your decorations: use almond flakes (or pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or large coconut flakes) for the ears and blanched almond slivers cut in half (or sesame seeds, raisins, or mini chocolate chips) for the eyes. For the whiskers, use a pair of scissors to cut some dried guava (you could also use mango) into thin strips, then cut each strip into 4 segments. Make the noses by cutting two or three of the strips into little triangles or squares. You should have 2 ears, 2 eyes, 1 nose, and 4 whiskers for each cat.

To assemble your kitties, stick an almond flake on either side of the lollipop stick…

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…then use a little chocolate to paste on the eyes, whiskers, and nose.

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You could leave it like that, but I thought my cats looked kinda creepy, so I used some more chocolate to paint on pupils and color in some of the ear.

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My black cat, Felix, was very curious about what I was making–so curious, in fact, that he resorted to near cannibalism.

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Repeat with the remaining pops, keeping them as cool as possible so the chocolate won’t melt. I highly recommend keeping the pops you’ve finished or aren’t working on in the fridge or outside, if it’s cold out.

Let harden at a cold temperature for at least an hour before serving. Keep these guys in an airtight container in the fridge: DO NOT keep them at room temperature, especially if you have the heat on! I got intense about preserving my kitties at school: I invaded the world language workroom’s fridge so my cat pops wouldn’t melt before I gave them to my teachers. Bref, the German teacher wasn’t happy.

I think it was worth it, though, don’t you think?

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What is your favorite Halloween treat? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Thanks so much to Giada de Laurentiis for the inspiration. <3


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Black Cat Cake Pops

October 28, 2013 Print this page

Rich, chocolaty, and filled with delectable figgy goodness, this cat cake pops are sure to please anyone this Halloween!

Ingredients

Prep Time 1 hr
Cooking Time
Total Time 1 hr
Yield 14 cat cake pops

FOR THE POPS:

16 ounces of Turkish figs (for me, 22 figs)

2 tablespoons of sunflower seed butter (can be substituted with creamy almond or cashew butter)

3 tablespoons of apple cider (can be substituted with water or apple juice)

1 heaping tablespoon of cocoa powder

A generous pinch of salt

Lollipop sticks

FOR DIPPING:

8 ounces of dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips

2 tablespoons of coconut oil

FOR DECORATING:

Almond flakes (can be substituted with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or large coconut flakes)

Blanched almond slivers, cut in half (can be substituted with sesame seeds, raisins, or mini chocolate chips)

Dried guava (can be substituted with dried mango)

Directions

Using a sharp knife, take off the stems of the figs and cube the fruit up into small but not micro pieces. Place them in the food processor and pulse until a ball starts to form, about 30 1-second pulses.

To the figs, add the sunflower seed butter, apple cider, cocoa powder, and salt. Process until no big pieces of fig remain and the added ingredients have been full incorporated, about 3 minutes.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Dip an ice cream scoop or large spoon in cold water, then scoop out a little more than a tablespoon of fig mixture. Drop it into your hands, roll it into a ball, and place it on the baking sheet. Repeat until you run out of figs: I made 14 decent-sized balls.

Stab a lollipop stick deep into the center of every ball. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes just to firm up a bit.

Meanwhile, in a double boiler or a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the dark chocolate with the coconut oil. Stir frequently with a spatula and remove from the heat as soon as it’s melted.

Take the fig pops out of the fridge. Dunk each one gently in chocolate and use a fork to cover every nook and cranny. Let the excess chocolate drip off over the bowl, then place the fig pop back on the parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining pops, then return to the fridge for 15 minutes so the chocolate will solidify but not completely harden.

Prepare your decorations: use almond flakes for the ears and blanched almond slivers cut in half  for the eyes. For the whiskers, use a pair of scissors to cut the dried guava into thin strips, then cut each strip into 4 segments. Make the noses by cutting two or three of the strips into little triangles or squares. You should have 2 ears, 2 eyes, 1 nose, and 4 whiskers for each cat.

To assemble your kitties, stick an almond flake on either side of the lollipop stick, then use a little chocolate to paste on the eyes, whiskers, and nose. You could leave it like that, but I thought my cats looked kinda creepy, so I used some more chocolate to paint on pupils and color in some of the ear.

Repeat with the remaining pops, keeping them as cool as possible so the chocolate won’t melt. I highly recommend keeping the pops you’ve finished or aren’t working on in the fridge or outside, if it’s cold out.

Let harden at a cold temperature for at least an hour before serving. Keep these guys in an airtight container in the fridge.


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