Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve been on a baking rampage these last few weeks: cakes and sweets are pretty much all I think about! I’ve been trying out a lot of recipes, tweaking them and coming up with my own. This week, I wanted to finally bake the perfect chocolate chip cookies. These are chewy, naturally sweetened and so easy to prepare.

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Here is what you need:

  • 6 pitted dates soaked in 1/3 cup warm water for 15 minutes
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tbs tahini
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Here is what you do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. In your blender or food processor, mix the dates with their soaking water until you have a smooth paste. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Mix in the rest of the ingredients until you have a smooth paste.
  4. With wet hands, make 6 to 8 balls out of the mixture and place them on a lined cookie sheet. Press down on each ball to make out your cookies. These won’t spread too much or change shape while baking so make sure they look good!
  5. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the cookies are golden all around and slightly soft in the middle. Remove from the oven and let cool before removing them from the cookie sheet. Enjoy while they are still warm. They will keep in an air-tight container for a few days in the fridge if you can resist them! Enjoy!

Man, these are amazing cookies! The rims of the cookies are nice and crunchy while the middle is so chewy! I love that they are made from wholesome ingredients and are completely gluten-free. I used mini chocolate chips because they are so cute! Let me know if you try this out!

Blueberry Cheesecake – A raw vegan treat

It’s blueberry season over here, and they have been so good. I love that blueberries are so tasty and so beneficial for the digestive system. This cake is slightly tart, creamy and purely delicious! The hardest part is really just waiting for it to set overnight. It’s perfect for a family dinner or an end-of-summer picnic.

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Here is what you need:

For the crust:

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Process the almonds in your food processor until they form a loose flour.
  2. Add the dates and the vanilla and process until the mix is smooth and starts to stick together. If you take a small handful of the mixture, it should stay together after it has been pressed.
  3. Spread the mixture at the bottom of a springform pan. Use a glass to even it out. Let sit in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the cake.

For the cheese layer:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashew nuts, soaked in water for at least 1 hour
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 2 to 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • the juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a little almond milk, as needed
  1. Place all of the ingredients in your food processor and processor until you get a smooth cream. You might need to add a little bit of milk to help smooth everything.
  2. Pour over the crust and put the cake back in the fridge. Let sit for 15 minutes.

For the blueberry layer:

  • 2 cups of fresh blueberries
  1. Process 1 1/2 cups of the blueberries in your food processor until completely smooth.
  2. Pour over the cheese layer and sprinkle the rest of the blueberries all of the cake.
  3. Place the cake back in the fridge overnight. Enjoy!

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I really hope you try this recipe because it’s so delicious! I’m always amazed to see how thick the blueberry layer sets to be all naturally.

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The cake is very refreshing and perfect to end a meal. Let me know if you try it out!

Blueberry Crumble

I love summer and the abundance of fruit that is available. Since the beginning of the season, we have be enjoying a ton of strawberries (strawberry sorbet anyone?), prunes, peaches and now blueberries! These are like candies: so sweet and fresh. Turned into a crumble, they become juicy, wonderfully purple and so delicious!

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This crumble is very simple to make and you can change the nuts that you want to use. I really like the way almonds make this extra crunchy, while the pecans are perfect for their crumbly texture.

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Here is what you need:

  • 5 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup whole almonds
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

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Here is what you do:

  1. Wash the blueberries and place in a colander to drain while you prepare the rest.
  2. In your food processor, process the oats until you have a course flour. Add the almond meal and pulse a few times until combined. Place in a mixing bowl.
  3. Place the almonds and pecans in the food processor and process for a few seconds until you have chunks. You don’t want flour here. Mix the nuts to the oat flour until well combined. Add the maple syrup and coconut oil and mix well. The mixture should just come together but crumble easily.
  4. Place the blueberries in an oven-safe dish. Pour the vanilla extract on the fruit and mix. Add the nut mixture on top in an even layer.
  5. Place in your oven at 350F for 20 minutes until the top of your crumble is a nice golden colour. Enjoy hot or cold!

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This was so good! The crumbly layer is crunchy, rich and just sweet enough to balance out the wonderfully tart blueberry jam under it. It’s probably my new favourite crumble: sweet, tart, crunchy, and unctuous. It’s so perfect! I think it would be even better with some vanilla ice cream. Hum, I guess I’ll have to make another crumble to test it out. The sacrifice! Let me know if you try it out!

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Homemade Almond Butter

If you have 20 minutes to spare, almonds and a food processor, you need to make this!

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I was craving almond butter to spread on some apple slices, but unfortunately I didn’t have any left in my pantry. I did have raw almonds however. After eyeing my food processor for a few moments, I tried it out: raw almonds in, sweet and creamy butter out. This is perfection!

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Here is what you need:

  • 1 cup almonds

Here is what you do:

  1. Place the almonds in your food processor. Process with the ‘S’ blade. I gave my machine a one minute break after each 3 minutes of processing so that it would cool off. This also gave me a chance to scrape down the sides of the bowl. It took 20 minutes of processing for me to get a nice butter consistency. This will give you 1/2 cup butter.

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That’s all there is to it! The resulting butter is creamy, sweet and so satisfying. There is no way I will ever buy any nut butter ever again. And, I’m super excited to try to make hazelnut butter, walnut butter, sunflower seed butter, macadamia butter and all the combinations in between. I think I’ll also try to add spices or cocoa powder to some. A glorious and delicious future to come!

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I really enjoy how simple and cheap this is. It was perfect and so fast! The almond flavour was intense, and I was surprised to see how sweet it was. There is no comparison possible between this fresh almond butter and the store-bought kinds. Let me know if you make your own nut butter and what’s your favourite!

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Simple Fruit Leather

I really hate to throw away food. When I see that the produce I bought is getting old and will go bad soon, I try to transform it to extend its life to avoid waste. I have to say, however, that meal planing reduces and often eliminates waste as you are only buying what you need. Still, sometimes, fruits or vegetables get forgotten in a corner. This is what happened to two wonderful prunes this week.

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I few hours later, my two wrinkled prunes were transformed into a magnificent fruit leather that is eaten and not wasted. Cheers to that!

Here is what you need:

  • 2 prunes (or any other fruit that is getting old or very ripe: pears, bananas, apples, oranges, etc..)
  • 2 tbs ground almonds (optional but makes it more filling; use one table spoon per cup of fruit)
  • 2 tbs lemon juice (optional but helps reduce browning)

Here is what you do:

  1. Peel and pit your fruit. This makes your fruit leather smoother.
  2. In a food processor or blender, puree your fruit and ground almonds until smooth. If you are using fruits that have the tendency to brown (bananas, apples, pears for example) you can add a few tablespoons of lemon juice.
  3. On a lined cookie sheet or on your dehydrator mat covered with silicone paper, spread the pureed fruit evenly. Tap a few times to remove bubbles.
  4. If you are using a dehydrator, set to 145F or 60C and let sit for 4 to 8 hours depending on the thickness. If you are using your regular oven, set on the lowest temperature and keep the oven door open for 4 to 6 hours, checking often to avoid burning.
  5. Once dried up, cut the leather into strips, roll and store in an air-tight container.

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This is really super simple and so delicious! It makes for a great healthy, sugar-free snack that can easily be taken with you anywhere. You can also make it your own by adding nuts or seeds to the mix, or by combining different fruits. the texture of this is similar to fruit roll-ups without being overly sweet or filled with artificial coloring. And really, the hardest part of this recipe is to wait for it to be ready!

Let me know what you favourite fruit is for this or what you do with your not-so-fresh-anymore produce to avoid waste. And if you are looking for a dehydrator, I bought an Excalibur a few years ago, and it’s perfect! If you are in Canada, you can check out Upaya Naturals: that’s where I got mine, and the shipping was super quick.

 

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Matcha Energy Balls Recipe

I looove matcha green tea! The taste is so smooth, green and energizing. I have to admit, I am completely falling for anything marked “matcha”.

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So yesterday, as I was craving something sweet, I came up with this recipe. The result is a refreshingly smooth, green, sweet, energy ball.

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Here is what you need:

  • 1 cup raw cashew nuts
  • 7 pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/8 cup chia seeds (this adds some crunch)
  • 1 tbsp-2tbsp matcha (adjust to your own taste)
  • 1/8 cup water or coconut oil
  • 1/8 cup maple syrup
  • a dash of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almond powder or topping of your choice

Here is what you do:

  1. In your food processor, pulse the cashews until they are a fine powder.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the water. Add this only if the mix is not sticky enough. Mix until everything forms a ball in the food processor. The mix should be sticky enough to hold its ball shape.
  3. Form balls with one tablespoon of the mix and roll in almond powder.
  4. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge.

These energy balls have a really nice crunch because of the chia seeds but are still very smooth as the base is cashew nuts. The almond powder goes really well with the matcha flavour as well, and gives a really soft look and feel.

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I really love these little things, and even my boyfriend who is not the biggest matcha fan enjoyed them. They are also a great alternative to chocolate.

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Let me know if you give them a try!

Chocolate Sea Salt Nut Bars

Yesterday I saw that I had a Kind bar lying around. After a quick taste test, I realized that they were really good and yet simple in their ingredients.

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However, their version of this chocolate and sea salt bar contains honey, which is not vegan per say. I quickly remembered that my friend La Végé d’à Côté had given me coconut syrup saying that it was even better than rice syrup for making bars. Apparently, rice syrup contains heavy metals that are not good for you, but coconut syrup does not. Huh, here you go!

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So, I went on an adventure and tried to recreate this wonderfully flavorful bar.

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Here is what you need:

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup coconut syrup
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup roasted amaranth seeds (this adds a really nice corn like flavour)
  • a few pinches of sea salt

Here is what you do:

  1. In a double-boiler or in the microwave, melt the chocolate and set aside.
  2. In a sauce pan, roast the peanuts if you buy them raw and the amaranth seeds (some of these will pop just like pop-corn!) on medium heat for a few minutes. You know they are ready when they start to brown.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the nuts, amaranth and coconut syrup until everything is well coated.
  4. On a cookie tray lined with parchment paper, pour the melted chocolate and spread until you have an even layer.
  5. On top of the chocolate, spread the nuts and sprinkle with some sea salt (I used Himalayan actually).
  6. Put in the fridge over night before cutting in small bites.

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The result is a chewy, crunchy, sweet and savory bar. The only thing I have to say about it is that it is a little bit sticky, but overall I think it gives justice to the Kind bar.

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Let me know if you try this out and also tell me what’s your favourite “granola” bar recipe.