Date Sweetened Cherry Almond Granola

Date Sweetened Cherry Almond Granola

The Mr. has been begging me to make a big batch of lower sugar vegan granola for a very long time now. I used to make tons of it for us but I just kept putting it off this time around for who knows what reason (oh I know, because I was feeling lazy!) Well that was a poor excuse because this is really simple to make. It takes a tiny bit of babysitting (stirring) but since it makes so much you won't have to do that every day to have yummy bowls of granola. 

Oh and can you see the big clusters in this granola? Nice trick I picked up all thanks to the oat flour! Such a simple solution, isn't it? 

Date Sweetened Cherry Almond Granola

We like our granola just barely sweetened so if you like it on the sweeter side feel free to add more dates. The 1/2 cup was perfect for our tastes, especially with yummy dried fruit mixed in! Oh and feel free to add whatever fruit you like. Raisins, dried cranberries, or whatever you enjoy best. 

You can also trade out some of the nuts or seeds and add in oats if you'd like it to be a little less calorie dense. Granola is pretty flexible so play around with it! 

Oh PS - this granola is totally oil free (plant strong!) 

Date Sweetened Cherry Almond Granola

Date Sweetened Cherry Almond Granola 

  • 6 cups rolled oats, divided (gluten free if necessary)
  • 1/2-1 cup packed pitted dates (7-12 medjool dates)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup hemp seeds
  • 2 cups raw almonds (chopped or slivered)
  • 1/2 cup whole flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 & 1/2 cups dried cherries (or another dried fruit if you prefer!)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat baking mats

Take 1 cup of the rolled oats and blend into a flour using either a food processor or blender. 

Dump the oat flour into a large mixing bowl. Mix in the remaining oats, hemp seeds, almonds, flax seeds, chia seeds and dried cherries. 

Add the dates and water to your food processor or high speed blender. Blend until the dates and water have become a smooth thick liquid. Add in the applesauce, cinnamon, salt and almond extract and blend until very smooth. 

Stir the date applesauce mixture into the oats and mix well. I used my (well washed!) hands for this part to make sure that every bit got wet. 

Spread out the oat mixture onto the baking sheets and put in the oven. Stir gently every 10 minutes to ensure even browning. Cook for 30-45 minutes, or until nicely toasted. 

Let it cool completely before packing into airtight containers (like these!) Serve up with almond milk, unsweetened yogurt (homemade!) or eat it however you enjoy your granola!

 

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Tempeh Breakfast Sausages - Vegan

Tempeh Breakfast Sausages

Yup, another breakfast recipe. I can't help but just love the heck out of breakfast these days. Between overnight oats, chocolate waffles and biscuits with gravy I just couldn't help feeling like I was missing something. Some vegan sausages, that's what! 

They are made with tempeh. Do you cook with tempeh? It's my favorite but I'm sure that there are some recipes that aren't so fabulous that are floating around out there that may have turned you off from it. Or maybe it's the texture? Grating and then simmering the tempeh gives it a totally different texture and flavor. It's very "meaty" and doesn't taste much like beans! 

Tempeh Breakfast Sausage

They're spicy but not too hot, crispy, moist and best of all they are plant strong so you don't have to worry about eating a couple extra of them on a lazy weekend morning. 

They make perfect breakfast sandwiches, taste lovely with a bit of maple syrup on them next to some waffles and they also taste really good crumbled up on top of some homemade pizza - mmmmmmm!!! 

Tempeh Breakfast Sausages

Oh and these do freeze well (either cooked or uncooked!) so if you feel like doubling the recipe you can save some for later! 

Tempeh Breakfast Sausages

Tempeh Breakfast Sausages

  • 2 cups grated tempeh (about two packages worth - grate with a box grater like this one
  • 1 & 1/2 cups water
  • 4 Tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated with a microplane grater or finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons rubbed sage
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • a couple of pinches of red chile flakes
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat non-stick baking mat

Bring the tempeh, water and tamari to a simmer in a large pan over medium high heat. Let it simmer uncovered until the liquid has all been absorbed and evaporated. Transfer the tempeh to a bowl and let it cool for a few minutes. 

Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix well. Form the mixture into small patties and place on your lined baking sheet. 

Bake for 12-15 minutes, flip and cook for about 10 minutes longer. 

Serve up with some Plant Strong Biscuits and some Creamy Peppered Country Gravy - Yumm!!!

 

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Chocolate Orange Overnight Oats

Chocolate Orange Overnight Oats

I've got another super lovely overnight oatmeal for you here that has really opened my eyes to even more possibilities with these! Can you tell that I am totally obsessed with having these for breakfast? It's by far my favorite meal of the day now. Just a year ago I was complaining about how much I hated breakfast and now I want to eat it all the time. Since I love variety I just keep coming up with new fabulous ways to eat overnight oats!! 

This was the first time that I've soaked my oats in juice instead of a vegan milk and let me tell you what - it is crazy delicious! I didn't think so. If I had stopped to think about it, I might have actually not even tried it because I always said "ew!" when people said they poured juice on their cereal. Well oats are just unprocessed cereal, right? Oh anyway, now I have a whole new world to explore in overnight oat recipe creation! 

Oh by the way, that's a blood orange in the pictures! They were actually the oranges that were on sale at the store (though usually they are really overpriced) so it's what I wanted to use. Besides, they are really beautiful, aren't they? 

Chocolate Orange Overnight Oats

Chocolate Orange Overnight Oats

(one big serving!) 

  • 1 cup Chocolate Sweet Potato Pudding (I recommend making double the recipe and always having some ready for you to eat when you get the craving! Of course that is coming from a chocolate pudding addict!)

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

  • 3/4 cup orange juice (fresh is great but I also LOVE to use Columbia Gorge Organic Juices)

  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds 

  • 1 large orange, peeled and chopped up 

If you haven't made your chocolate sweet potato pudding yet then go ahead and get that out of the way first. 

Before bed - The mix the rolled oats, orange juice, and chia seeds together in a jar. Cover it and stick it in the fridge.

When you wake up the overnight oats will be nice and thick. Layer them with the chocolate pudding and chopped orange. 

 

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Strawberry Lemon Shortcakes

Strawberry Lemon Shortcakes (vegan)

Oh hello there, I know it's still just BARELY March but I am still ready for spring over here. The weather, the produce - THE PRODUCE! Hello!! I miss berries, corn, peaches, tomatoes and every other delicious fresh fruit or vegetable I will be able to get at the Farmer's Market this spring. Oh yes... I will be eating a ton of all of it! 

Strawberry Lemon Shortcakes (vegan)

These shortcakes aren't really your typical crazy sweet and decadent shortcakes. They are lightly sweetened but the fruit really stands out beautifully. And the creamy layer is just some delicious vegan yogurt (I used homemade!) so you can eat these for dessert or breakfast without the guilt! Oh and that also means you can give them to your kids for breakfast and look like the coolest parent ever.  Score one for the plant strong parent! 

Strawberry Lemon Shortcakes (vegan)

Strawberry Lemon Shortcakes

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. You can use a cast iron pan to cook these or a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. If using cast iron add that to the cold oven and let it preheat as well. 

Mix together the soy milk and lemon juice. Let it sit for a few minutes until thickened.  

Sift together the flour, baking powder, lemon zest and salt into a large bowl. Mix in the pureed silken tofu, 3 Tablespoons of the sugar and soy milk mixture. Mix until JUST COMBINED. A few little lumps is okay.  

For drop biscuits just spoon it out onto either your cast iron pan or lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle the tops with the remaining sugar. 

OR For cut biscuits lightly dust flour on your work surface. Dump the just combined dough onto the surface and pat into a 1/2-3/4" tall round. Cut out your pieces and then combine the scraps, pat together again and repeat. These will be very delicate and may slightly pull apart while moving them if you are not careful. Just be gentle and pat them back together once they are transfered to the pan. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining sugar. 

Bake the biscuits for 15 minutes or until they just begin to lightly brown.  

Cut the lemon shortcakes in half and spoon in some yogurt. Top with sliced strawberries and the top half of the shortcake. Feel free to spoon some more yogurt on top and more strawberries on! Then just chow down! 

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Vegan Chocolate Pancakes with Strawberry Creme Sauce

Vegan Chocolate Pancakes with Strawberry Creme Sauce

When I made the Chocolate Waffles I left a few people without waffle irons feeling pretty sad. I know, it wasn't totally fair so I'm making up for it with these chocolate pancakes with a super DELICIOUS Strawberry Creme Sauce! YUM!!! You could put this sauce on almost any dessert and it will be fabulous. 

Vegan Chocolate Pancakes with Strawberry Creme Sauce

We love having pancakes, waffles or biscuits and gravy on the weekends - do you make a different breakfast on the weekend too? I really love waking everyone up with a special meal in the morning when I get the chance - I know, totally sappy. It's just so fun even though the kitchen is a total wreck by the time I'm done!

Vegan Chocolate Pancakes with Strawberry Creme Sauce

Totally worth the wreck to have chocolate for breakfast though, isn't it?!  (And you don't have to talk about how they are whole grain, plant strong and of course vegan because everyone is going to have their mouths so stuffed they won't care!) 

Vegan Chocolate Pancakes with Strawberry Creme Sauce

Chocolate Pancakes with Strawberry Creme Sauce

(makes about 12 small pancakes) 

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour - I use this one (you can also use whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder (This is my favorite and has a rich deep chocolate flavor. I usually see it at every grocery store in the baking isle.) 
  • 1 & 1/4 cup soy milk (or other non dairy milk substitute)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar or a 6 drops of liquid stevia 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Measure out the soy milk and add the lemon juice. Set aside. (It will curdle like buttermilk and adds really nice flavor to the pancakes.) 

In a large bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. 

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Now add in the soy milk mixture and vanilla extract. Stir only until incorporated (you don't want to overmix batters.)

I made our pancakes using about 1/4 cup of batter. I could easily make four at a time this way. Make them whatever size you want but be sure to cook larger ones longer. 

Pour batter into the pan and make sure not to overcrowd if you are making more than one at a time so that you can get your spatula in to flip them.

Cook until the edges dry out slightly and you see bubbles formed in the batter (2-3 minutes for small pancakes.)

Flip and cook for an additional minute or two. Undercooking is actually delicious with these chocolate pancakes so go for slightly undercooked rather than overcooked. 

 

Strawberry Creme Sauce

Blend everything together (I used my immersion blender) and serve! It's best eaten on the day it is made but it should last in the fridge for another day or two if covered well. 

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