Before you jump ahead and read the ingredient list on this cake and get pissed at me for adding a vegetable to your dessert – please, please hear me out and give it a chance! This cake is life changing. It is creamy, thick, rich and so decadent.
I know I tell you guys this all of the time, but the true litmus test to a successful gluten-free dessert or baked good that I create – is the reaction of my husband. As a man that literally can and will eat just about anything, the gluten-free treats that I get so excited for are oftentimes totally unappealing to him. He likes traditional sweets, the sweeter the better – that man most times would prefer a cookie from a tube, than a less than perfect homemade gluten-free cookie fresh from the oven. The same also goes for (and usually more-so) the vegan creations I develop. I can’t blame him though – he literally can eat anything, no food intolerances, no responses or reactions. Just a stomach of steel!
The thing is, when I can create something gluten-free, that isn’t made with refined sugars, that uses an alternative to cream and butter that he actually goes nuts for – nothing makes me happier and that’s how I know I’ve created something amazing. He really loved this one and he cannot stop talking about it, he actually ate a piece for breakfast today. That’s a WIN!!
I’ve been obsessed with cashew cream cakes a while now, I love the versatility and how it appeals to all eaters, vegan or not. The No-Bake Vegan “Cheesecake” I made last summer is something I have made for many of our friends and every single one has always been impressed that the creaminess is all from soaked cashews.
This cashew cream cake has the perfect amount of subtle mint flavor, both from the fresh mint and the mint extract and the chocolate of the crust and the chocolate chips on top compliment it so well. I love serving it with a little whipped coconut cream on top. Plus, rather than the beautiful green color coming from an artificial dye, it comes from some fresh baby spinach! Whether you want to believe it or not, there isn’t a bit of flavor from the baby spinach – just a beautiful, fresh and natural green hue. [click to continue…]
Just some of my haul from this weekend at Expo West and this with my being shy and selective grabbing samples. INSANE RIGHT?
Me and Meg in the Cabo Chips Expo West Booth
If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you know that I was at the Natural Products Expo West this weekend in Anaheim as a member of the press. I have never even been to anything like this before in my life. I had heard it was coming, as many of the brands I have worked with in the past would be set up there introducing their new products and they had contacted to ask if I would be, too.
I honestly had no expectations going into this event, just that I knew if there ever were a trade show or product expo that would best support me and my lifestyle choices, this had to be the one. It was overwhelming, encouraging, exciting, exhausting and yes at some points, disappointing, too.
It was wonderful to check-in with so many different brands in the various industries to gauge where the trends in food and natural products are currently and where they are going in the near future. It was super great to connect with larger brands I was already familiar with and currently buying – to see what was new on the horizon for them and to sample products not yet on the market. I also had the opportunity to meet up with brands and PR folks that I had previously worked with, in some cases finally putting faces to names and of course, most especially it was really exciting to find some all new brands and products that I have never seen before.
I was happy to see many of the larger brands listening to the consumers and taking their products to the next level, getting non-GMO certification and the like. This is the largest and fastest growing trend in food labeling right now and it was interesting to see which larger brands are taking this seriously and implementing it. Our voices are being heard as consumers, how we spend our money CAN change things and to me that is some really powerful stuff to witness going on right now in front of us. [click to continue…]
This post is part of my ongoing restricted diets series with the Free People Blog BLDG 25.
Since it seems this winter is hanging on until the bitter end for a lot of folks this year, I decided it was the perfect opportunity for one last comforting winter meal, like this simple to make spinach, lentil and sweet potato slow cooker soup
OK, sure, I am in California and our idea of winter weather is the low 60s and some rain, but even with our (not so) cooler than usual winter weather — I want hot, comforting foods, that literally feel like a warm hug with every spoonful.
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Over the past few years, whipped coconut cream has become one of my favorite tricks I’ve come up with in the kitchen. I love whipping up (literally) a batch for dinner guests, not even bothering to tell them it isn’t heavy whipped cream. I love how amazed people are when I tell them that it’s totally vegan and just 3 simple ingredients. I have shared how to make this glorious stuff within several of my recipe posts before, but I thought what better way to kick off my new Tutorial Tuesdays series than with this favorite how-to!
Plus, since canned coconut milks can vary drastically, I wanted to give you my comparison of 5 different coconut milk brands. You’ll be shocked at how different each one is. Because of the vary degrees of whipability (is that a word?) – the results and the work can be quite challenging if you choose incorrrectly. Due to the different stabilizers in each brand and sometimes even where the coconuts originate from, these can cause the much needed separation of the coconut cream from the water to just not work – no matter what you do.
Outside of the varying brands, I have also read that extra air in the can, may also cause less separation to occur. This isn’t something I have tested too much myself, but if you want to shake cans of coconut milk at the store, I say go for it. You are listening for little to no swishing around of the liquid in the can.
Whipped coconut milk is creamy, rich and thick, much like traditional whipped cream and the coconut flavor is very faintly there. Not nearly what you would expect it to be. The best part about homemade whipped coconut cream is all of it’s many uses and how much you can vary the flavor. You can add raw cacao powder for a chocolate cream, muddle some fruit and fold that in, maybe a squeeze or two of your favorite citrus, or even just a good quality all natural extract, you can even add a bit of your favorite liqueur. It would be hard to choose my favorite way to customize my homemade whipped coconut cream, but the easy part is actually making it. So, let’s get to it. [click to continue…]