vegan pfeffernusse cookies

Reblogging my favorite vegan Christmas cookie!

jen goes vegan

Cardamom, clove, anise, and cinnamon make these lightly powdered traditional German/Dutch Christmas cookies (‘peppernuts’) a delightful respite from the season’s overly sweet sugar cookies.  Since I have quadrupled the spices, they are somewhat intense.  Feel free to lighten up on them if you want a gentler flavor.  I keep freshly ground Ceylon cinnamon and clove around, but freshly ground the anise seed, cardamom seed, and a peppercorn tricolor blend the first time I made them.  Second time around, I used already ground white pepper.  Both batches were fantastic; play with the spices as your cupboard sees fit.   Adapted from Down to Earth’s holiday cookie section.   They require chill time (an hour or overnight) to make it easy to form little balls that won’t flatten while baking.

pfeff bow

The lovely texture of these cookies improves with time — a light crunch as you bite in, then a soft pillow of spice in the…

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miyoko’s artisan vegan ‘butter’

butter closeThis creamy ‘butter’ spreads beautifully, melts well, and works fine in baked goods.  You can smoosh fresh pressed garlic into it for garlic bread.   It’s ridiculously fast and easy.  Even better, it tastes so sweet and fresh you won’t miss butter, let alone Earth Balance’s (or various others’) tub of unpronounceable ingredients.  All you do is measure out six ingredients, whir them up in a blender, and chill.

The recipe is completely Miyoko Schinner‘s; the vegan cheese genius Miyoko gave me permission to blog it.  Found it on the lovely blog Luminous Vegans.  Adjust salt to your liking, from 1/4 tsp for extra sweet, to 1/2, to a whole teaspoon for lightly salted.  You can find plant-based lecithin in the health food section of most groceries or order it from Amazon. 

Ingredients:

(makes 2 cups) ingred butter

1 cup refined organic coconut oil (liquefied by warming)

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/4 cup canola or other mild oil

2 teaspoons liquid lecithin

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

Method:

1.  Whir it all up in the Vitamix or blender.  It will turn light yellow and smooth very quickly.

2.  Pour into a glass container, cover, and chill for about an hour.  It stays fresh in the fridge for about two weeks.

 

*Miyoko’s book, Artisan Vegan Cheese, is a real winner!  If you like this vegan butter, you may let someone know you want to experiment with vegan cheeses and end up receiving it for your birthday!

vegan blueberry banana bread

Lemon zest completes the mix of delightful flavors in this fat-free vegan breakfast bread. Thanks to Susan at fatfree vegan kitchen blog for her excellent recipe.  After two months of nonblogging/winter hibernation, repeated success with this bread inspired me to go ahead and blog my tweaked version.  Confession: I don’t measure the nutmeg. I just grate enough to dust the mashed bananas well. 20140311_150036

Ingredients:

3 slightly overripe bananas
1/3 c almond milk (original unsweetened)
4 T brown rice syrup
2 T lemon juice + zest of half a lemon
1 c all-purpose flour
1 c whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 t baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
3/4 t cinnamon20140311_134427
1/2 t or so freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 c walnuts
1 heaping cup blueberries

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray or grease loaf pan (9 x 5) with coconut oil.
Step One: Chop walnuts coarsely, then toast for about seven minutes over medium heat. Stir them every once in a while as they become fragrant and begin to turn golden brown.
Step Two: Mix together in larger of two bowls the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and walnuts.
Step Three: Mash bananas well with a fork. Grate nutmeg over them. Zest half a lemon and toss it over the bananas. Juice lemon(s) till you have two tablespoons of juice.
Step Four: Combine wet ingredients into smaller of two bowls: mashed banana mixture, almond milk, brown rice syrup, and lemon juice.
Step Five: Pour wet mixture into dry mixture. Stir gently till it becomes a nice dough — don’t overdo it. Fold in blueberries.
Step Six: Bake at 350 till golden brown, 55 minutes to an hour.

The banana bread slips right out, pretty much right away. Cool on a rack and serve still warmish, or toasted piece by piece (my favorite way to eat this) with Olivio spread.!

vegan spicy roasted squash spread

This recipe evolved from an urge to fill wraps with something other than hummus.  I adapted a fabulous recipe for cashew ‘cheese’ from the blog Positively Vegan.  It works well with butternut squash or yellow winter squash.  The spread received enthusiastic thumbs-ups at home, so I’m sharing!

tiptopspread

Time:  1 hour soak/roast + 15 minutes prep.
Yields 4 cups spread
Ingredients:
1 cup raw cashews (soaking them will take an hour)
2 acorn squash
4  cloves garlic
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 t smoked paprika
1 t cayenne
1 t red pepper flakes
1 heaping T white or red miso
tamari to taste
1 T tahini
1 T apple cider vinegar

ingredsquashspread

Method
Step One:
Cover cashews with water and set aside to soak (allow an hour or more). Preheat oven to 425.

Step Two:
Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds (delicious washed and roasted, later). Cut squash into fourths or a bit smaller. Place open side down in baking dish with a little water in it. Toss in the garlic cloves, smashed slightly to get the peel off easily. Cover with aluminum foil and bake forty-five minutes to an hour, or till soft.

postroast

Step Three:

Scoop squash away from its peel and place in food processor. Drain cashews and add them, and all other ingredients, to food processor. Whir it all together, about a minute, scraping down sides a couple times and adding a little more (or less) spice as you like. That’s it!

foodprocspread

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