The “Blues” are #1

Blueberry Chia Pudding

Blueberry Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are a superfood and can be added to a variety of foods for increased nutrition. They make a wonderful pudding that can be enjoyed anytime of the day - even (especially) breakfast.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups freshly made almond milk
  • 1/3 cup organic chia seeds
  • 1 Tsp organic pure vanilla
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries

Instructions

  1. Combine almond milk, chia seeds and vanilla in bowl. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  2. Stir several times while chilling to ensure pudding is well blended.
  3. When ready to serve layer pudding with fresh fruit in a pretty parfait or wine glass.
  4. Enjoy.
https://jazzedupveggies.com/2016/07/the-blues-are-1/

Blue is the rarest of colors in the comestible world. Bet that is a little tidbit of information you’ve never given much thought to, am I right? Go on, try and name more than one or two blue-colored foods! While this is a tough challenge, chances are good almost everyone came up with a little blue fruit called a blueberry.  Native to North America, blueberries are the second most popular berry (next only to strawberries) contributing to their expected 2016 commercial cultivation reaching 750 million pounds on this continent and 1.4 billion pounds worldwide. While available year round blueberries are at the peak of perfection right now, so enjoy them.

I can remember when I was a little girl, I spent hours gathering wild blueberries on the hill behind my grandmother’s home in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.  I ate most of the berries I picked, despite having a basket to bring berries back to the house for everyone to share, and didn’t mind in the least being scolded for it.  I was pretty sure then, (and now) that God must have created blueberries just for me.

They may be small, but blueberries pack a lot of nutrition into their tiny packages. Blueberries are #1 in antioxidant capacity among all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings.  The antioxidants in blueberries support our whole body and have particularly awesome benefits for our cognitive health and blood sugar management.

Blueberries are definitely a food you should buy organic.  The pesticides used in conventional agriculture today are particularly problematic for foods like blueberries.  For more information on The Dirty Dozen – Foods You Should Buy Organic, check out the Environmental Working Groups website by clicking here.  To get the most nutritional benefit from blueberries consume them in their raw state. They are perfect to take to work or school, make a great mid-day snack, are delicious on top of your favorite non-dairy yogurt or ice cream, and are a quick and easy addition to your morning cereal.  Here is one of my favorite ways to enjoy blueberries!

Blueberry Chia Pudding

Blueberry Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are a superfood and can be added to a variety of foods for increased nutrition. They make a wonderful pudding that can be enjoyed anytime of the day - even (especially) breakfast.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups freshly made almond milk
  • 1/3 cup organic chia seeds
  • 1 Tsp organic pure vanilla
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries

Instructions

  1. Combine almond milk, chia seeds and vanilla in bowl. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  2. Stir several times while chilling to ensure pudding is well blended.
  3. When ready to serve layer pudding with fresh fruit in a pretty parfait or wine glass.
  4. Enjoy.
https://jazzedupveggies.com/2016/07/the-blues-are-1/

Check out the incredible nutritional benefits of chia seeds in my blog “Pudding for Breakfast”.


Nutrition Facts – 1 Cup Raw Blueberries (84 Calories)

Vitamin K 28.5 mcg 32% DRI
Manganese .50 25% DRI
Vitamin C 14.36 mg 19% DRI
Fiber 14% DRI
Copper 9% DRI


 

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This Holiday Week-end Let’s Play a Game of “Instead Of”

This game is designed to challenge you to think about healthy alternatives to your usual holiday week-end food choices.  I am always surprised at how quickly people abandon their commitment to nourishing their bodies when celebrations come along.  For example, birthdays are often celebrated with rich, sugar-filled cakes covered in sugar-filled icings and laden with fats and artificial ingredients. Yet, there are wonderfully delicious, much-healthier alternatives like my Chocolate Cake made with quinoa and cacao. And, don’t get me started on the consumption of soft drinks at parties. One small can of Coke contains 39 grams of added sugar, 45 grams of sodium and 34 milligrams of caffeine. YUCK!  So, one can of coke contains more than the World Health Organization’s recommended total daily sugar intake of 25 grams of sugar (natural and added) for adults. And we give this junk to children!!!! So, to make a point:  one 12-ounce can of Coke contains 156% of an adult’s total recommended daily sugar consumption. 

Instead Of Soft Drinks

Instead of choosing beverages that have absolutely no nutritional value, way too much added sugar, and in the case of Coke that also has caffeine known to contribute to dehydration, choose one of these thirst-quenching beverages. Yes, fruit and veggie drinks have some natural sugars, so drink lots of plain or infused water and unsweetened iced sun tea throughout the day as well.

Instead of Salty Snacks

I can’t remember ever being at a celebration where these salty snacks were not a big part of the party food fare.  Potato chips (or crisps as my husband calls them) and pretzels are easy and inexpensive snack foods to serve but they are nothing but fat, sodium and empty calories. A 1-oz serving of potato chips – and, let’s be honest, who only eats 1-oz – contains 3.1 grams of saturated fat and anywhere from 170 to 215 milligrams of sodium depending on the type of chip. While sodium is important to our bodies, we get plenty of it from other more nutritious foods, so the added sodium you get from these salty snacks simply can’t be justified.

Roasted Veggies – asparagus, cauliflower, carrots – are really delicious served cold and make an awesome, healthy snack. Raw, unsalted nuts and edamame are great finger foods packed with protein and fiber; and raw veggies such as celery, carrots, red peppers, broccoli and cherry tomatoes have a great crunch and flavor factor as well as lots of vitamins and minerals to keep your body in peak shape.

Instead of Meat

Grill a delicious homemade Black-Bean Burger that is a much healthier not to mention cruelty free alternative to ground beef or hot dogs. Another tasty option is to grill some Tofurky Artisan Sausage. I love these with some grilled onions! A lovely selection of salads such a my Carrot, Cumin and Coriander Salad and Simple Summer Chickpea Salad as well as my Bits and Bobs Salad will add nutritious variety, color and texture to your meal.  Add some traditional sides such as my Picnic Perfect Potato Salad or try something new instead of a coleslaw like Wildbrine Beets & Cabbage Sauerkraut.

Wasn’t this game of “Instead Of” fun?  There are so many wonderful foods you can bring to your holiday picnic or while enjoying time with family and friends at home.  Nourishing your body is easy. Make the choice now to live without regret.

THIS HOLIDAY WEEK-END, PLEASE DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE

4th July

 

 

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The Queen of Spices – Cardamom Transforms Muffins from Everyday to Exotic

cardamom cardamom pods

Cardamom, known as “The Queen of Spices” is a wonderful aromatic spice that you’ve probably tasted but didn’t know it. If you have ever enjoyed the exotic flavor of Chai tea, (and if you haven’t you really need to because it is just that lovely) then you have enjoyed the unique and deliciously Eastern flavor of cardamom. This fragrant spice is also a key element of garam masala one of my favorite Indian cooking spices. Cardamom plays nicely with other aromatic spices such as cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg, so it is no surprise it is a good spice choice for baking. BONUS – baking with any of these spices will make your home smell so marvelous too. Cardamom not only adds a wonderful, exotic, citrusy flavor to your food; it also offers some great health benefits.

Awesome Health Benefits of Cardamom

Cardamom is full of important nutrients that have been shown to be helpful in improving cardiovascular health including improving blood circulation and controlling cholesterol levels,  relieving sore throats and upset tummies, supporting urinary tract health and respiratory health, and inhibiting the growth and spread of microbes that cause food poisoning.  Minerals such as manganese, magnesium, iron and zinc are abundant in cardamom as are vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin and B6 and C. Cardamom is also a good source of dietary fiber and protein while being low on the caloric scale.  Cardamom pods and seeds can also be chewed to keep your breath fresh. Cardamom has excellent antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties and Cardamom essential oil is also credited with having anti-depressant properties. Cool, right?

Cardamom Apple Muffins – Plant-Based Deliciousness

Cardamom Apple Muffins

Muffins are a great breakfast food, are a healthy snack especially with a hot cup of chai tea, and are easily transported for a picnic or sports outing – so what’s not to love! With muffins, size does matter even though they have nutritious ingredients. Monster-sized muffins can add hundreds of calories to your daily intake – especially the ones you find at your local coffee shop or bakery; so keep them on the smaller side to manage your caloric intake.

Cardamom Apple Muffins

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 23 minutes

Total Time: 43 minutes

Yield: 12 medium sized muffins

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Cardamom Apple Muffins

These muffins are delicious. The fresh apple pieces add some light crunch, great flavor and additional moisture - not to mention more fiber (and who doesn't need more fiber, right?) Apples are definitely a food you should only buy if they are organic due to the use of pesticides in non-organic orchards. Fill your muffin tin to just below the top to make the perfect sized muffin.

Ingredients

    Dry Ingredients
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp salt
    Wet Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil - melted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 apple cut into small pieces (leave peel on)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your over to 350 F
  2. Lightly grease muffin pan with small amount of coconut oil
  3. In a large bowl, whisk all dry ingredients together. Make sure they are combined well.
  4. In another bowl, combine all the wet ingredients except the apple and mix well.
  5. Add apple to wet ingredients and mix again.
  6. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and gently stir until mixed. Be careful not to over mix as that will make your muffins dense and tough.

Notes

Let your muffins cool on a rack. They are delicious warm or cold. Freeze any muffins you won't be able to eat in a couple of days. To add additional protein, substitute 1/4 cup of quinoa flour for 1/4 cup of the spelt flour.

https://jazzedupveggies.com/2016/03/the-queen-of-spices-cardamom-transforms-muffins-from-everyday-to-exotic/


EARTH DAY 2016-2

Earth Day 2016 is April 22; but don’t wait till then.  Plant a Tree for Earth’s Sake now!
Go to www.earthday.org to learn more about the things you can do to help our planet get healthy.  There will be events all over the world – so hopefully there will be one in your community. If not, plan one – www.earthday.org has all the tools you’ll need to make your event a great success.

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An Herbalicious Wrap

Wraps and HandsI came across another awesome non-gmo vegan product the other day at Whole Foods that I just couldn’t wait to share with my friends and family. I wanted to make a delicious wrap to enjoy for lunch that would leave us feeling quite satisfied and would also “wow” us with the incredible taste and texture of whole plant foods. To my delight, I discovered Indian Life Spinach Wraps that were not only vegan but also easy on the budget and turned out to be full of incredible flavor. These wraps are Non-GMO verified – a certification I insist on for everything I consume and serve my friends and family. Here is the recipe for our Herbalicious Wrap. It is so easy to prepare and definitely a dish suitable for company and totally restaurant worthy. As you can see, our guests couldn’t wait to try them.  Let me know what you think!

Herbalicious Wrap

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 5 - 10 servings

Herbalicious Wrap

These wraps are delicious. A half-wrap is more than enough for a light lunch - especially served with some raw veggies (carrots, celery) or some fresh fruit such as apple slices. The pine nuts add a wonderful crunch to the wrap and the beets add an awesome sweetness. This wrap is a stand-out in terms of nutrition too.

Ingredients

  • 1 package Indian Life Spinach Wrap
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup fresh spinach - chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh Arugula - chopped
  • 2/3 cup roasted red & golden beets chopped small
  • 1/4 cup roasted pine nuts
  • salt & pepper to taste
    For Dressing
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Bee Free Honee
  • Black pepper & salt to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl:
  2. Chop greens and herbs into bite sized pieces
  3. Add beets and pine nuts
  4. Season to taste
  5. Toss
  6. Just before serving
  7. Mix dressing ingredients
  8. Add to greens and toss gently
  9. Heat large frying pan on medium
  10. Warm one wrap at a time
  11. Remove each wrap, fill center of wrap with dressed greens
  12. Wrap tightly, slice in half
  13. Serve

Notes

These fresh herbs & greens wraps are delicious and very filling. A half-wrap is perfect for a light lunch or an after school snack for a hungry teen.

https://jazzedupveggies.com/2016/03/an-herbalicious-wrap/

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Asparagus – I adore this awesome antioxidant-rich veggie

IMG_3538

Asparagus is one of my very favorite veggies.  As a warm side dish or a cold snack, fresh asparagus is so delicious, has a satisfying crunch, and for a bonus, is packed with awesome nutrition. I even loved asparagus as a child – mom didn’t need to keep telling me to eat this vegetable!  Fresh asparagus is now available in many farmers’ markets and shops, and as this is the season for asparagus, the price is great. I purchased 2 pounds of fresh organic asparagus for a dinner party this week and paid only $1.99 per pound.  There was plenty for all six of us and enough left over to send in my husband’s lunch the next day.

A POWERHOUSE OF NUTRITION

  • Excellent source of Vitamin K, Folate, Vitamin C & Vitamin A
    Vitamin K supports bone health, helps your blood to clot normally, and protects your cells from oxidative damage. Folate supports our circulation and prevents our blood from high levels of homocysteine (associated with cardiovascular disease). Folate also helps make red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout our bodies, supports cell production( i.e. skin cells, intestinal cells), and provides critical support to our nervous system. Vitamin C offers excellent antioxidant protection, regenerates our vitamin E supplies, assists with iron absorption and is believed to lower cancer risk.
  • Protein and Fiber
    Yes, asparagus is a very good source of protein – 4.7 grams per cup. The cool thing is, this awesome plant food also supplies 2.9 grams of fiber per cup – animal protein does not offer any fiber (just sayin’).
  • Other Nutrients
    Asparagus is a very good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin and Niacin – important B vitamins; phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese.  It is also a good source of iron, zinc, magnesium, selenium and calcium.

It is remarkable that such a small, unassuming plant can be so powerful, right? Now, here’s even better news: asparagus is a very low calorie food too.  There are only 43 calories in a 1-cup serving.  So to recap: you get great flavor and texture, awesome nutrition and almost no calories. Who wouldn’t like that?

The best way to prepare asparagus is to cook only until it is al dente. Asparagus is great on the grill, but I like it roasted. Here is my simple recipe for delicious roasted asparagus that is awesome warm or cold.  Enjoy!

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Zest

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 - 6

Serving Size: 4 - 5 stems

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Zest

Roasted asparagus is great cold so add it to your packed lunch. It is delicious in a salad too. Of course, it makes a wonderful side dish for a light lunch or dinner. For a slightly fancier and even more nutritious side dish, toss the cooked asparagus with slivered almonds.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh, organic asparagus - washed and thick ends removed
  • Organic Virgin Olive Oil (only enough to very lightly coat asparagus)
  • Lemon Zest ( I prefer to use Meyer Lemons)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper (for easy clean-up)
  3. Add oil and lemon zest to glass baking dish
  4. Add asparagus and coat evenly
  5. Spread evening on baking sheet - leave room between each stem for even cooking
  6. Roast for 10 minutes - until just al dente
  7. Serve warm as a side dish or cool and refrigerate for a snack

Notes

Don't overcook asparagus. Cooking too much will deplete all the incredible nutrients this wonderful vegetable offers. No one likes mushy asparagus so less is definitely more when cooking.

https://jazzedupveggies.com/2016/03/asparagus-i-adore-this-awesome-antioxidant-rich-veggie/

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When Life Gives You Lemons – Get Baking

The Best Lemon Loaf Ever

LemonLemon has such a lovely, refreshing scent it is no surprise it is so common in everything from air fresheners to beauty products. In addition to being pleasant, the scent of a lemon has been shown to have a number of positive physical and psychological effects on people including improving mood and cognitive function, helping fight fatigue, boosting stamina, and even heightening self-esteem. Incorporating lemon into our healthy diets, then, affords all of these benefits as well as awesome nutrition and wonderful flavor.

Here is a delicious recipe for The Best Lemon Loaf Ever. I’ve adapted it from a wonderful recipe book “Quinoa The Everyday Superfood 365” written by Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming. Quinoa is a staple in our home. When a friend in Chile recommended this recipe book to me recently, I was inspired by the number of ways quinoa was used, and all I had to do was “Veganize” the recipes. I hope you enjoy it. As always, I have chosen to use only the best organic ingredients possible and, I believe, been successful in marrying awesome nutrition with wonderful flavor your whole family will enjoy.

The Best Lemon Loaf Ever!

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

The Best Lemon Loaf Ever!

Use only fresh, ripe organic lemons for this recipe. Conventionally grown lemons often have pesticide residue and a wax coating is applied to increase their shelf life. Fresh lemons will have a thin, soft, supple skin texture; will be completely yellow; and feel heavy for their size. Avoid lemons with a green tinge, wrinkled skin with hard patches, and those dull in color. When preparing lemon zest, be careful not to include the white pith between the skin and fruit as this will add a bitter flavor to your loaf.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks)
  • 2 Tbsp organic ground flax seed soaked in 6 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup organic silken tofu (shelf stable package)
  • 1/2 cup vegan sour cream (Follow Your Heart)
  • 1 Tsp pure organic vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa flour
  • 2 Tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 Tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp organic poppy seeds
  • 2 Tbsp grated lemon zest
  • Optional Glaze
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup organic cane sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F (180 Degrees C)
  2. Prepare 8" x 4" loaf pan - line bottom with parchment paper
  3. Using mini food-processor, process cane sugar into fine granules and transfer to large bowl.
  4. Using mini food-processor, blend soaked flax seed and silken tofu until smooth.
  5. In large bowl, cream cane sugar and vegan butter until well blended.
  6. Add flax seed/tofu mixture, sour cream and vanilla. Blend well until smooth and creamy.
  7. In separate bowl, thoroughly combine quinoa flour, baking powder, salt, poppy seeds and lemon zest.
  8. Add flour mixture to sugar/vegan butter mixture. Mix until well combined and smooth.
  9. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  10. Bake on center oven rack for 40 - 45 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting toothpick into center of loaf. If it comes out clean your loaf is done.
  11. Remove pan from oven and let cool completely.
  12. Prepare glaze, if desired, by combining the lemon juice and cane sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  13. When loaf is completely cooled, remove from loaf pan. If using glaze, poke small holes in loaf top, bottom and sides with a toothpick. Brush loaf lightly with glaze on all sides.
  14. Slice and serve.
  15. Loaf may be stored in sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

Ovens can vary in temperature. Loaf will be done when edges are lightly browned and have slightly come away from the side of the pan. Insert a toothpick into the center of the loaf to ensure your loaf has baked through. If it comes out clean, your loaf is ready. If more time is needed, add time in increments of 1 minute to prevent drying out.

https://jazzedupveggies.com/2015/10/when-life-gives-you-lemons-get-baking/

Nutritional Information:

  • Quinoa Flour: a non-gmo whole grain milled flour. Quinoa is a complete protein plant-based food.  It is also a concentrated source of iron necessary for energy and metabolism, a good source of phosphorus for bone health, an excellent source of manganese and copper to protect the body from free-radicals and supporting bone density, and a good source of magnesium that supports a healthy heart and relaxes blood vessels.
    Quinoa flour can be used alone in this recipe or combined with other gluten-free flours such as amaranth, garbanzo, buckwheat or almond.
  • Flaxseed: ground flaxseed mixed with water in this recipe is used as a vegan substitute for the leavening attributes of eggs. 1 Tbsp of ground flaxseed mixed with 3 Tbsp of water = 1 egg. Flaxseeds are the most concentrated food source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) an omega-3 fatty acid that provides energy to the body, is essential for proper skin function, has important anti-inflammatory properties. Flaxseeds also support a healthy heart.
  • Silken Tofu: silken tofu is used in this recipe as a flavorless vegan substitute for the moisture provided by an egg. 1/4 cup of silken tofu, blended to a smooth consistency = 1 egg. Silken Tofu is available in shelf-stable tetra packages and can be conveniently kept, unopened, on  your pantry shelf.  Silken Tofu, a heart-healthy food, is an excellent source of additional protein and a good source of manganese, iron, selenium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.
  • Lemon: lemon is an excellent source of flavonoid phytonutrients that support a healthy heart, and vitamin C known to be an immune-system booster. Lemon also acts as a digestive aid and liver cleanser, inhibits inflammation, boosts energy, helps fight fatigue, and strengthens blood vessels. As a bonus, lemon adds wonderful flavor to foods and is very low in calories making it an excellent healthy-diet option.
  • Poppy Seeds:poppy seeds don’t just add a nutty, crunchy flavor and texture to this recipe; they are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids that help lower bad cholesterol and support good cholesterol. Poppy seeds are also an excellent source of B complex vitamins, fiber, iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and magnesium – all essential to a healthy body.
  • Organic Cane Sugar: it is difficult to talk about nutrition and sugar in the same post. Sugar is definitely a significant contributor to our obesity epidemic as well as many other serious health concerns. There are many nutritious foods that have enough natural sugars that cravings for sweets can be easily satisfied; but baking presents somewhat of a challenge when it comes to making substitutions. Apple sauce, bananas, prunes, and dates can be used to add sweetness to some baking; but the need for texture, density and moisture all present challenges when trying to make any substitutions. I believe Organic Cane Sugar is one of very few unrefined sugars available for baking that somewhat reduce my angst over this subject. It is really important, however, that only organic cane sugar be used, as the conventionally grown cane sugars are known to contain health-threatening pesticides. Even then, this “least bad” sugar should be consumed in very conservative, limited quantities. Cane sugar is more coarse, so I have recommended you process this sugar in a mini-food processor before using in this recipe. One way to reduce the amount of sugar in this recipe is to eliminate the glaze on top of the loaf. This loaf is just lovely without it!

 

 

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A Vegan Muffin By Any Other Name Would Taste as Good!

Vegan Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

These muffins are beyond delicious! They are lovingly made with the most nutritious ingredients available so guilt or avoidance is definitely not necessary. Store-bought muffins, on the other hand, come with a lot of baggage (i.e) lots of refined sugar and preservatives to keep them “fresh” while on the shelves. You know you’re in trouble when you can’t pronounce the majority of the ingredients, right? Baking muffins at home allows you to control the ingredients, to have some fun experimenting with flavors and textures, and ties in beautifully with our Make Nutrition a Family Affair initiative. Muffins are so easy to make even small children can lend a hand; and they are so quick to prepare it won’t be long before you can devour them together.

My recent batch of Vegan Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffins, pictured above, were so good they were gone in less than 24 hours.  One of my friends who’d stopped by for a visit asked if she could take a few home. Of course I obliged! Muffins are easily portable in lunch bags, make a great morning or afternoon snack, pair well with a luncheon salad, and are perfect to take to the sports park or for an after-exercise boost.  So give this recipe a try. I can assure you the myths that vegan muffins have no flavor, have texture like wood chips, and need a herbalist to decipher the recipe will all be put to rest with the first bite.

Vegan Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 12

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Vegan Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

Size matters with muffins, or any sweets for that matter, so bigger is not better here. While the ingredients used are individually healthy, eating sweet foods should only be enjoyed in moderation. For added nutrition add chopped organic almonds or walnuts. You can also substitute any nut milk for the almond milk.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 6 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 cups organic spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup organic whole ground flaxseed meal
  • 3 tsp baking powder (I prefer Bob's Red Mill no added aluminum)
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp organic white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup melted organic coconut oil
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup vegan dark chocolate baking chips

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift together dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add all wet ingredients (chia seeds, almond milk, vinegar, coconut oil, blueberries) to dry ingredients until blended. Be careful not to over mix.
  4. Add vegan chocolate chips and combine with as few strokes as possible.
  5. Drop mixture into prepared muffin tins (grease sparingly with vegan butter or use muffin cups). Fill only to just below top of muffin tin.
  6. Bake for approximately 25 minutes. If your muffins are bigger they will need more time.
  7. Remove tin from oven to cooling rack.
  8. After 10 minutes, loosen muffins with knife or spatula. Allow to cool.

Notes

If you choose to use a stand mixer to prepare this batter, keep the setting on low to ensure the batter is "just mixed". Over mixing will make the muffins dense. Remember the chocolate will be quite hot when the muffins come out of the oven, so make sure little fingers and mouths are patient before eating.

https://jazzedupveggies.com/2015/09/a-vegan-muffin-by-any-other-name-would-taste-as-good/

Please let me know how you like this muffin recipe. Got some ideas on variations? Please share.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why I Love Vegan Cookies (And You Will Too!)

Welcome to Jazzed Up Veggies!

Tahini Chocolate Chip Vegan Cookies

Mmmm. These vegan Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies are so scrumptious you will have a hard time just enjoying one. I feel good about serving these to family and friends because I put only the best plant-based ingredients into them and throw in an extra dash of love for good measure.

There are two very good reasons for baking cookies from scratch: 1) you have complete control over the ingredients; and 2) the aroma of fresh baked cookies wafting through your home is intoxicating.

The stars of this cookie recipe are tahini and vegan chocolate chips. Tahini is a seed butter made from sesame seeds. It has a lovely, nutty flavor. Sesame seeds are a wonderful source of copper and manganese as well as calcium and magnesium. Many people use tahini in their hummus recipes and in a sauce for soba noodles. I also like to spread some on crackers or use as a filler for celery sticks. My very favorite source for tahini is Once Again. (unpaid endorsement) I only buy organic, of course, and Once Again’s Tahini is verified by Non-GMO Project and certified USDA Organic and has no added sugar or salt. Need I say anything about chocolate? We all know chocolate is good for the soul; but if you need more reasons to eat chocolate it is also a good source of fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium. Whew! That’s good enough for me. Vegan organic dark chocolate baking chips are available in organic markets like Whole Foods and Sprouts or by shopping at ThriveMarket.com. (unpaid endorsement). 

As with almost all cookie recipes, sugar is a significant ingredient. I use only organic coconut sugar and non-gmo verified cane sugar.  The non-gmo verification is really, really important because more than 90% of cane sugar is genetically modified and not labelled as such – so please check the package.  Flour is also a common ingredient in cookies. I use Organic Spelt Flour for these cookies because I love it’s slightly nutty taste and the texture it provides. Spelt flour is known as a wonderful source of fiber, iron and manganese and is certainly much more nutritious than highly processed and refined white flour. Even though these are cookies, and not high on the nutrition scale, it is important to still use the most beneficial ingredients possible.

Well, here it is, the recipe for vegan Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies. Why do I love these vegan cookies? They are delicious, affordable and so easy to make the whole family can be involved. I know you will love them too.

Vegan Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 12 - 14 Cookies

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Vegan Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe will make 12 - 14 cookies that will not last long in the cookie jar. They are slightly chewy in the middle and crunchy on the edges. You could add a few finely chopped almonds or walnuts to the dough, but may need to add an extra tsp water to keep the liquid/dry ingredient ratio optimal.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2/3 cup organic tahini
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter (Earth Balance)
  • 1 tbsp organic blackstrap molasses
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp organic vanilla
  • 1.5 cups spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cups vegan chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat over to 375F
  2. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In large bowl, cream together sugar, tahini, vegan butter and molasses.
  4. Beat in water and vanilla.
  5. In separate bowl, sift together spelt flour, baking soda and salt.
  6. Add dry mixture to wet mixture and beat to combine thoroughly. Dough will be stiff.
  7. Fold in vegan chocolate chips.
  8. Using a generous heaping tablespoon, form balls with dough and arrange on a cookie sheet leaving space between each cookie. Flatten balls just slightly.
  9. Bake for approximately 8 - 10 minutes or until edges are slightly golden then remove from oven.
  10. Let cookies rest for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.
https://jazzedupveggies.com/2015/09/why-i-love-vegan-cookies-and-you-will-too/

 

 

 

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