vegan apple banana bread

A revision of my blueberry banana bread , this recipe calls for two and a half bananas and one apple, as that’s what was in the house.  You could make ‘normal’ banana bread and leave out the apple, using three bananas; apples are a nice fall or winter touch.  Toasted walnuts and tart dried cherries put the flavor over the top!  Feel free to switch that to pecans and raisins.  Pictured with homemade vegan butter and orange marmalade.



2 1/2 slightly overripe bananas
1 apple
1/3 c almond milk (original unsweetened)
4 T brown rice syrup
2 T lemon juice
1 c all-purpose flour
1 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 c raw wheat germ
3/4 t baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 c walnuts
1 cup dried tart cherries
coconut oil spray

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 till fragrant and golden brown.
Step Two: Mix together in larger of two bowls the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Step Three: Mash bananas well with a fork. Peel apple and cut into small pieces.
Step Four: Combine wet ingredients into smaller of two bowls: mashed banana mixture,apples, 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 walnuts and tart cherries.
Step Six: Bake at 350 till golden brown, 50 -55 minutes.                     20150302_082934

Slip the loaf out and cool on a rack. Serve warm, or toasted piece by piece (my favorite way to eat this)!

vegan spicy lentil spread

This creamy, garlicky green lentil spread/dip is a lively alternative to hummus.  Toasting the walnuts takes nine well-worth-it minutes and adds depth of flavor.  Inspired in part by this nonvegan recipe at Food & Wine and also this one from Vegetarian Times.  Omit peanut butter and brown rice syrup if you want the cayenne and garlic to knock you over!


Prep Time:  30 minutes to cook lentils,+ 10 minutes to prepare.

1 cup dry green lentils (2 1/2 cups cooked)
1 cup walnut halves
1 cup kale
1 cup cilantro
1/2 red onion
6 – 8 cloves garlic
1 scant T brown rice syrup
2 T olive oil
2 T peanut butter
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 t ground cumin
1 t ground cayenne
1 t salt
1 1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t cracked black pepper



Step One: Cook lentils for half an hour or till soft, in a bit less than 3 cups water. Drain cooked lentils well in a colander.

Step Two:  While lentils are cooking, toast walnut halves in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon here and there as they turn fragrant and tinged with golden brown. While toasting, gather all other ingredients and put them in the food processor.  (Be sparing with the spices at first unless you like it pretty wild!)

Step Three: Add lentils to contents of  food processor.  Close it up and whir on high setting for twenty seconds. Remove lid and scrape sides a bit, to get everything in on the whirring.


Step Four: Process another 40 seconds or till creamy and hummus-textured. Adjust seasonings to taste.

That’s it! Enjoy this in wraps, sandwiches, scooped over salad greens, or as a dip for carrots or chips.

rosemary & cracked pepper onion rolls

Cold weather has brought on my breadmaking urge.  Found a scrumptious-looking recipe at SImply Scratch and decided to veganize it!  Olive oil replaces butter; brown rice syrup replaces honey.  Flax seed adds nutrition and an earthiness to these great-with-a-hot-bowl-of-soup rolls.  I grind up peppercorns with a mortar and pestle to get the flavor-burst of pepper I like.  If you have a spice grinder, you can get similar nice big pieces by grinding coarsely.  20131023_173342

Prep Time: 30 minutes, plus 1 1/2 hours rising time
Bake Time: 18 – 20 minutes

1 c whole wheat flour
2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t salt
2 t cracked pepper (I used a tricolor blend)
2 T flaxseed
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 1/2 c warm water
1 T brown rice syrup
4 T olive oil
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Step One:  Mix flours, salt, and cracked pepper in a large bowl.



Step Two:
Chop the onion and sautee in 1 T olive oil till golden; meanwhile, mince and add in garlic. Continue sauteeing till onion is caramelized. Set aside to cool.

Step Three: Stir brown rice syrup into warm water. Sprinkle yeast into water and brown rice syrup, and stir gently with a nonmetal spoon till disolved. In about ten minutes the mixture will be bubbly; in the meantime move on to step four.

Step Four: Grind flaxseed, chop rosemary (removed from stem) and add both to flour mixture.

Step Five:  Add yeast mixture, onions and garlic to flour mixture.  Stir with wooden spoon, then knead on a floured surface for about five minutes or till dough is springy.

Step Six:  Place dough in large bowl coated with olive oil, rolling dough slightly to cover with oil so it won’t dry out.  Let rise, covered with dishcloth, in a warm place for one to one and a half hours.


Step Seven:   Separate dough into twelve rustic round pieces, placing them onto lightly oiled baking sheet.  Let rise about fifteen minutes.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees as the rolls are rising.

Step EIght:  Bake for 20 minutes or a bit less, till golden brown; brush with olive oil halfway through baking.  Your kitchen will smell fantastic!  Serve warm.

jen’s roasted peppers

This easy broiler method for roasting peppers has me making them often! They’re a colorful, intense-flavored addition to salads, wraps, hummus, over pizza, straight from the jar…you name it.  You choose how much of the charred peel you want to stay on; it adds more smoky flavor.  Store the roasted pepper strips in jars with olive oil, a little sea salt or a splash of Coconut Aminos, and some garlic cloves to use them within a couple of weeks.  Or, store them longer in the freezer in a tightly covered container.  The peppers shown (equivalent to 6 bell peppers) made two pint-sized jars plus a little more.

Bake Time: 30-40 minutes
Prep Time: 15 min. cooling time + 10 or more minutes (depending how many peppers)


Bell peppers: 6 red, yellow, and orange
Olive oil, several drizzles
Coconut aminos, Bragg’s aminos, or sea salt to taste
Several cloves of garlic


Turn oven on to Broil.


Step One:  Place washed peppers whole in Pyrex baking dish.  While waiting for oven to get hot, peel two to three cloves of garlic for every six peppers.  Smash the cloves just a bit to release flavor and/or cut them in half.  Set them aside.

Step Two:  Place baking dish full of peppers under the broiler, about five inches from heat.  WIth tongs or a large fork, turn them about every ten minutes, till each of four sides is about halfway charred, but not blackened completely.

Step Three:  Remove peppers from oven.  Let them sit and ‘wilt’ for about fifteen minutes.  The wait time makes them easier to handle heatwise, and seems to release the stems so they will come off easily with most of the seeds.



Step Four:  With compost bowl handy, or over the sink, take hold of each pepper stem and twist.  it will come out easily and pepper will split open.  Gently scrape out any seeds that strayed from pepper stem.  Leave most of the charred peel on; some will naturally fall off.  It’s a bit messy, but not ridiculously so.

Step Five:

Cut peppers into strips and place in jars.  Drizzle with olive oil; you don’t need to cover them, it’s the general moistening effect that matters.  Place smashed garlic cloves in jar as you add peppers.  Finish with a few splashes of coconut aminos or pinches of salt.  Serve at room temperature (or warm!) for best flavor.


three-ingredient essene raisin bread ‘muffins’

Sprouted wheat, raisins, and cinnamon — how simple is that?!  Dense-textured, naturally sweet, they do take some time but most of that is waiting time.  So get out of the kitchen and go for a run, forget you’re making sprouted wheat muffins, and on the third morning you’ll wake to see the wheat berries are ready to go.  Then it takes thirty seconds to grind them up in a food processor, one minute to mix in the raisins and cinnamon, another two minutes to put them in a muffin tin, and two and a half  hours to dehydrate in your oven.  I like to turn them over after about an hour and a half so they are fully dry on top and moist on the bottom.  You can tell when they’re ready to flip, as your kitchen will smell heavenly!

essene muffins

I first learned how to sprout wheat and make Essene bread from Ann Wigmore’s The Sprouting Book, in the 1980s.  I hadn’t made any Essene bread in a couple of decades, but now that I’m vegan again (for good!)  have been revisiting some of the earlier health pioneers’ ideas.  How’s this for ‘early’ — this is Bible bread!  See Raw Food Coach’s blog for more information on the excellent nutrition in sprouted wheat.  Note, these are not light and fluffy; don’t expect them to rise or to taste like flour-based muffins.  Also, the photo shows mostly the dry tops, with four upside-down muffins so you can see how moist the rest of the muffin remains.

Prep TIme:  4 days.  yup, 4 days.

Effort Time:  5 minutes.

‘Bake’ Time:  2 – 2  1/2 hours


1 1/4 c winter wheat berries 

1/2 c raisins

1 heaping t cinnamon


Step One:

Soak wheat berries overnight in water to fill a quart-sized mason jar.  (Start soaking them by 5-6 p.m. if you can.)

Step Two:

Drain and rInse wheat berries, drain again, and set them out, jar on its side, anywhere airy and without direct sunlight.  RInse them twice more during this day.  Repeat another day.

wheat sprouts ready

Step Three:

Examine your sprouts.  Somewhere around the third day of sprouting, they are ready to go.   The little stems are about the same size or a bit less than the berry itself (better to err on the side of less).  There will be little thin stringy roots too — don’t judge by those; they’re a little longer.  If you see green, they’ve gone too long — wheatgrass on the way!   Skip the last rinse; they’ll be drier and bake up faster.

wheat in processor

Step Four:

Place sprouted wheat berries in food processor.  Grind them up for about thirty seconds.  They will be textured and gummy, not pureed.

mix by hand essene

Step Five:

Place ground wheat berries in medium-sized mixing bowl; toss in raisins and cinnamon.  Mix together with your hands.  The dough will stick together nicely.  If it doesn’t, wet your hands and keep mixing for several more seconds.

Step Six:

Form patties, about two tablespoons each, and place into ungreased twelve-muffin tin.  Bake at 200 degrees for two to two and a half hours, turning them over about halfway through.  Muffins on right in photo below have been turned; see how they are moist underneath.  You don’t want to lose all that moisture; use your judgment as to when to take them out.

essene muffins baking

lime coconut banana breakfast cake

Warmed-up cake for breakfast? When it’s got coconut, banana, chia seed, and very little added sugar, why not?!   O.K., call it banana bread. There you go — permission to have cake for breakfast.  Improvised from a recipe at Maple Spice.   Take this to any gathering — no one has to know it’s vegan, but it may start a conversation.  Ha, maybe I’ll call that ‘cake activism’.  Readers of Honk if You’re Vegan will understand that!


Toasting coconut makes it crunchy and nutty.  it’s almost as if there are walnuts in the cake.   You can lower sugar content even further by skipping the lime glaze, but it does add a nice citrus zing.

Prep Time: 25 minutes (includes time to toast coconut flakes and squeeze/zest limes)

Bake Time:  45 minutes


2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c chia seed
1 1/4 c flaked unsweetened coconut
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 ripe mashed banana
1 14 oz can coconut milk
1/2 c light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 c lime juice (juice of about 5 limes)
zest of 4 -5 limes
1 t vanilla extract

Lime Glaze:
1/2 c confectioner’s sugar
1 T lime juice


Preheat oven to 350.
Lightly grease (with vegan buttery stick) and flour ten-inch Bundt pan or two eight-inch cake pans.

Step One:  Gather all ingredients.  Toast coconut on stovetop over medium-high heat, stirring pretty constanly once it begins to brown to avoid it burning.  Set aside 1/4 cup toasted coconut for topping. (If skipping glaze, go ahead and put all the coconut in with the dry ingredients.)

Step Two:  Zest and Juice limes for both cake and glaze (5-6 limes including glaze, 4 -5 limes if skipping glaze).

Step Three: Mix dry ingredients, in larger of two mixing bowls: the flours, chia seed, coconut, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Step Four: Mix wet ingredients in smaller bowl: banana, coconut milk, brown sugar, lime juice, zest, and vanilla.


Step Five: In larger bowl, combine wet ingredients with dry.

Step Six: Spoon mixture into cake pan and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or till golden brown.

Step Seven: While cake is baking, whisk lime juice into confectioner’s sugar and save it in the fridge.

Step Eight: Remove cake from oven. Let cool fully. Drizzle glaze over cake and press reserved toasted coconut over top. Some of it will fall off; that’s so you can sample it.   Slice and enjoy!


almond butter chocolate chip clementine cookies

These sumptuous cookies are tender, moist, chocolatey, almondy. They stay soft in the middle and have a delightful citrus zing.    And no flour!  You will need a spice grinder or coffee grinder to make the flax eggs, which are explained further here at the blog, Becky Bakes.  You could substitute coconut butter for the flakes, as when you grind them they magically become coconut butter.  (Coconut is a lot less expensive in flake form).  I made these on a whim because we were completely out of cookies — an emergency situation!  I surfed for almond cookies, and landed happily here  with an easy almond butter cookie recipe at Vegan in the Freezer blog.  The simplicity of that recipe got my wheels spinning as I eyed a bowl of bright orange clementines.  Don’t leave out the almond extract; it’s a surprisingly yummy note.

Enjoy!  And let me know how the cookie-making goes for you.


Prep time:  10 minutes + 15 minutes chilling pre-bake

Bake time:  16 – 18 minutes

(Wait till dough is chilling to preheat oven to 350).

Grease cookie sheets with vegan buttery sticks.


2 cups almond butter, roasted unsalted

3/4 cup organic cane sugar

4 T flax seed

2/3 cup boiling hot water

1 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened

2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips (Ghiradelli are vegan)

zest of 2 clementines, tangerines, or oranges

1 t almond extract

Step 1:  Make flax ‘eggs’:  Grind flax in spice mill/coffee grinder.  Stir ground flax into hot water and let sit for five minutes.


Step 2:

As flax mixture cools and gels, Grind coconut flakes in same grinder.  Zest clementines with a small grater or zester.

Step 3:

Mix all ingredients well in large bowl.  (or you can mix all but the chips, and add them last if flax needs to cool a bit more).

Cool cookie dough in refrigerator for fifteen minutes so it will shape easily. Preheat oven to 350 during this time.


Step 4:

Scoop cookie dough into tablespoon, rounded slightly but not stuffed, onto cookie sheets. almondcookies


Step 5:

Bake in 350 oven 16 – 18 minutes.  Place on cooling rack after waiting one minute for them to be ready to lift off sheet.

Store in covered container on the counter if you want them to be eaten soon, or in fridge or freezer to avoid eating them all at once!  Makes 36 cookies.

five-minute tomato coconut sauce and soup

1 can coconut milk 2 c tomato sauce 1/2 c sundried tomatoes 1 large garlic clove 1 c cilantro  1 serrano pepper 3 limes 1/2 t ground ginger
1 can coconut milk
2 c tomato sauce
1/2 c sundried tomatoes
1 large garlic clove
1 c cilantro
1 serrano pepper
3 limes
1/2 t ground ginger

Confession:  I attempted to make a quick and easy Thai tomato coconut soup.  It turned out to be  a nice thick sauce.  I then discovered it works just fine diluted and heated as soup!  What do you know, a ‘twofer’! Keep a jar of the made-up sauce in the fridge for wraps, salads, or to top steamed vegetables.  For soup, take 1/4 cup of sauce and stir it into piping hot water.  Squeezing the limes is the only ‘work’ involved here.  It turns out quite limey, so if you prefer it less so, two limes will do.

Step 1:  Gather ingredients; squeeze limes.

Step 2:  Blend all in Vitamix at high speed till smooth, about 2 minutes. Taste, and add a little salt or Bragg’s Aminos if you like (especially for soup; I leave it out for sauce).

two minutes!
two minutes!

That’s it, for wrap sauce.  This made two 2-cup jars of sauce.

as wrap sauce, with steamed broccoli, strips baked tofu, red pepper, garlic & onion sprouts, and romaine lettuce
as wrap sauce, with steamed broccoli, strips baked tofu, red pepper, garlic & onion sprouts, and romaine lettuce

For soup, add 1/4 c sauce to 1 c piping hot water or vegetable broth for each serving.

as a light, nutritious soup; 1/4 c sauce + 1 c hot water or broth
as a light, nutritious soup; 1/4 c sauce  plus 1 c hot water or broth

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