Did You Know?

Did you know??
Although using avocados and bananas are all the buzz now to get soft and shiny hair, all it will get you is a messy kitchen and bathroom. These products are great to help your hair for one day, but the proteins in them are way too big for your hair to absorb. And unless you are going to use them each day (yikes!), then you should head to a beauty supply store and check out some Vegan products that use "hydrolyzed" proteins - proteins from avocados and bananas that actually are small enough to help your hair.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Vanilla Sundae Cupcakes (& the Ultimate Variation)


These are my godson's (J) favourite cupcake. He's 5 now, and he's got a pretty bad dairy allergy, so he loves it when I bring these to visit because they are treats he can eat (and his brother & sister, though they have no allergy, eat them too!)

The cake part is pretty much my standard go to recipe - you'll see me use it for just about every cake I make. But, here it is!

1 c vanilla soy milk (I typically prefer almond milk for these recipes, but J is also allergic to nuts)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 c sugar
1/3 c oil
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 tsp caramel extract, if desired (sometimes I use a chocolate extract)
1 1/4 c flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Mix the milk and the apple cider vinegar and let it curdle for a minute. Add in the sugar and the oil adn the extracts, and mix thoroughly.

Sift in the dry ingredients in order.

To the batter, you can add: chocolate chips, rainbow sprinkles, or oreo pieces to make these more heavenly.

For the frosting:
1/2 c shortening
1/2 c butter
3 c confectionary sugar
3 tsps vanilla extract
1-3 tsps vanilla non-dairy milk

Cream together the butter and shortening. Add in confectionary sugar, stirring after each 1/2 c addition. Add in extract, and non-dairy milk to desired consistency.

Pipe onto cool cupcakes.

For a more awesome variation, see below!


These guys are way more intense.

In a saucepan, melt 1/3 - 1/2 c non-dairy chocolate chips into 1/4 c non-dairy milk, using a rubber spatula to stir frequently to prevent burning. Let the ganache cool until smooth but pliable.

Next, you're going to make the butterscotch sauce, OR make a caramel ganache, depending on your preference.

The caramel is tricky, since most caramels use real milk. If you're not 100% vegan, you can use the ones at the store (but be careful, because some even use animal ingredients in their colouring).
So, I usually go this route:

In a saucepan, melt 1/3-1/2 c vegan white chocolate chips into 1/4 non-dairy milk. Add 1 tsp of organic caramel extract. Follow the same directions as the chocolate ganache.

For the butterscotch sauce, melt 1/3 c brown sugar, 1 tsp caramel extract, 1 tsp butter and 1 tsp non-dairy milk in a saucepan. Allow to cool.

For all ganaches/sauce, drizzle onto frosted cupcakes. Add sprinkles and walnuts and bananas and a cherry on top for an all-out masterpiece.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Banana Grape Smoothie


This shake is a delicious follow-up for your workout.  Full of nutrients and vitamins, it tastes good and it's good for you!  Like every shake, you can adjust it to your tastes-- just remember that you want to keep at least half of the drink vegetables in order to balance out the sugar content of the fruit.

1 cup grapes
1 frozen medium banana
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 ice cubes
1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
1 tbsp flax seed

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Home-made Vegan bacon

I'm not usually a fan of vegan meats, especially the store-bought ones, but having a vegan bacon substitute is extremely useful when you want to mix it up for breakfast, brunch, or brinner, so I've been trying different recipes to come up with a solid vegan bacon recipe that tastes good, is healthy, and can be frozen and stored for later.  The end result is this beautiful fak'on.

1/2 cup dried black beans (or 1 and 1/5 cup canned beans, rinsed)
1/3 cup dried whole grain buckwheat groats (NOT flour)
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp liquid smoke
1/4 tsp ground thyme
2 tsp paprika
5 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp grapeseed oil (or other oil if grapeseed is not available)
1/2 tsp sea salt

The process for this recipe requires you to begin prepping the ingredients the night before.  With that in mind, I'll divide the recipe by day.

The night before:

Rinse the beans and buckwheat and place them in a large bowl filled with cold water.  Make sure that the water covers the beans and buckwheat and allow at least a few inches for the beans and buckwheat to expand.  Cover with a towel and allow to soak overnight.

The next day:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Drain and rinse the beans and buckwheat.  Get your food processor out and combine all of the ingredients.  Pulse repeatedly, while intermittently scraping down the sides and bottom of the inside of the processor to grind all of the ingredients equally.  The goal isn't to create a puree, but rather a finely ground mix.  Think of the texture of real bacon, it still has a crumble ability-- this is what you're going for.

Find a casserole dish or a baking sheet that is roughly 1 square foot in space or a bit larger, give or take, and cover with parchment paper and a light spray of olive oil.  Brush the oil around, making sure to cover all of the paper.

Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the end pieces start browning.  Allow to cool for a 10-15 minutes.

Slice into strips that match a size you'd like, and either place them in a ziplock bag for the freezer or heat up the skillet to fry up the strips.  I find that it isn't necessary to fry them and will sometimes bake for another 10-15 minutes, but the frying definitely gives the bacon a 'real' bacon crunch.

Caloric Info
Servings 6
Total Fat: 1.5 grams
Sat Fat: 0.2 grams
Polyunsat. Fat 0.8 grams
Monosat. Fat: 0.3 grams
Cholesterol: 0 grams
Sodium: 442.1 mg
Potassium: 335.8 mg
Carbs: 29.5 grams
Dietary Fiber: 5.0 grams
Sugar: 11.2 grams
Protein: 6.1 grams