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Crispy Coconut Bacon

5 Oct

If you enjoy bacon but not the part about it coming from a pig, you are in luck because there are various tasty alternatives available (one such version is my Tofaken). The latest craze, however, is coconut bacon. People go cuckoo for this stuff and I can understand why. While coconut flakes pack a lot of calories and fat, they are also low in carbohydrates and high in fiber (source).

To further boost the nutritional value of this coconut bacon, these crispy little guys are seasoned with liquid aminos (which boasts 16 different amino acids) and practically melt in your mouth. They make an excellent addition to nearly any salad, sandwich or wrap, and can even be enjoyed by themselves. Enjoy!

Coconut Bacon

Crispy Coconut Bacon
Yields 1 cup

1/4 cup liquid aminos
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 cup dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
oil for the pan

Place first three ingredients in a small bowl and mix until combined. Add coconut flakes and stir to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 300° F. Grease a large baking sheet with oil.

Evenly spread marinated coconut flakes on prepared baking sheet and spray with oil. Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until desired crispness is achieved. Remove and allow to cool before consuming.

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

17 Aug

Poppy seeds, which come from the opium poppy plant, are widely used in European, Indian and Jewish cuisines (source). A very good source of calcium and manganese, and a good source of copper, dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and thiamin, these tiny seeds help provide healthy bones, heart and nervous system (source).

Fun fact: though opium is harvested from seed pods and not the seeds themselves, poppy seeds do contain small amounts of opium alkaloids, therefore can sometimes cause a false positive reading for opiates in drug tests (source).

Lemon and poppy seed are two foods commonly combined. Not only do they compliment each other flavor-wise, the vitamin C in lemons assists poppy seeds with iron absorption (source).

As you may have noticed, I’ve been dabbling in gluten-free baking and seem to have found my ideal ratio of gluten-free flours and starches. The addition of xanthan gum provides a slightly chewy feel, which mimics that of gluten. Check out this recipe for moist, Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins:

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Yields 12 muffins

zest and juice from 1/2 organic lemon (approximately 1-1/2 tablespoons juice)
1 cup regular unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup sweet white sorghum flour
1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
1/2 cup potato starch (NOT flour)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1-1/2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract

Preheat oven to 375º F. Lightly grease a muffin pan or line with paper/silicone baking cups. Set aside.

Place lemon juice in a 1-cup measuring glass and add coconut milk until level reaches the 1 cup mark. Stir and set aside.

Combine all dry ingredients (including lemon zest) in the bowl of a stand mixture and mix until combined. Add oil, lemon extract and coconut milk mixture and stir until combined. Beat for approximately 1 minute to incorporate air into the mixture.

Divide mixture evenly among muffin cups and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick when inserted near the center of a muffin comes out clean or with a few crumbs.

GlutenFreeLemonPoppyseedMuffins-CloseUp

Product Review and Recipe: FoMu Ice Cream

8 Jun

FoMu Premium Alternative Ice CreamOne thing I love about the vegan lifestyle is that many of those involved are committed to the environment, and the folks at FoMu are no exception. Specializing in premium alternative ice cream, the company’s ingredients come from local sources, their disposables and packaging are compostable or recyclable, and their stores are built from recycled materials (source).

Based out of Watertown, MA, FoMu (short for “faux moo”) started making and selling their gourmet ice cream in 2011. FoMu’s products are 100% plant-based and certified kosher, using organic ingredients whenever possible, and sweetened with agave nectar and unrefined cane sugar. Not only are their ice creams, toppings and inclusions made from scratch, most of their ice creams are coconut-based, some of which are free from gluten and nuts.

Upon first glance at their list of ice creams, my interest in FoMu was piqued when I noticed flavors such as Avocado and Bourbon Maple Walnut. Alcohol in ice cream? Yes, please! Should you not be the adventurous type when it comes to ice cream, have no fear, among their current selection of 21 flavors, FoMu offers classics such as Mint Chip, Strawberry and Vanilla Bean.

If you don’t live on the east coast, this will come as great news to you: FoMu ships their ice cream to nearly anywhere in the Contiguous United States! With summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to enjoy some of this sweet, creamy goodness.

FoMu Banoffee Pie Ice Cream Banoffee Pie
The word I would use to describe this ice cream is magical. FoMu’s Banoffee Pie is a banana and toffee ice cream studded with dark chocolate chips and graham crackers. Basically it is a pie turned into ice cream. Clever! The various inclusions in this ice cream go very well together, with each bite giving you different flavors to enjoy. Banoffee Pie is perfect for anyone, especially the kids.

FoMu Cake + Batter Ice Cream Cake and Batter
Tied for first place as my favorite FoMu ice cream, Cake and Batter is vanilla cake batter ice cream with chunks of homemade cake. I find this particular flavor to be refreshingly sweet, and the chunks of chocolate cake bring it to the next level. This is one of those ice creams that someone could easily eat a whole pint of if left to their own devices. It’s sinfully delicious!

FoMu Dark & Stormy Ice Cream Dark and Stormy
The most creative and mature ice cream of the bunch, Dark and Stormy is fashioned after the popular cocktail, which features dark rum, ginger and a hint of lime. With a softer texture, this gluten-free ice cream is ready-to-eat right out of the freezer. Upon first bite, Dark and Stormy has a strong ginger flavor, which is a bit overpowering for my tastes; however, this ice cream is an excellent choice for those who like the spice. The ginger provides a very slight kick, which is accented by the rum undertones.

FoMu Salted Caramel Ice Cream Salted Caramel
I like salted caramel and am somewhat of a self-proclaimed caramel snob. There is a particular sweet to salty ratio that needs to be met in order for me to approve of it. When I tried FoMu’s Salted Caramel ice cream, I was very impressed! The salted caramel flavor is excellent and keeps me going back for spoonful after spoonful. One minor thing I noticed, however, is a slight burnt aftertaste. Depending on how you look at it, it can be a good thing as it adds an extra dimension of flavor. This gluten-free ice cream is tied for first place as my favorite of the bunch.

I’ve always enjoyed going against the norm by having breakfast for dinner, so why not have dessert for breakfast? Feeling adventurous, I wanted to try melting one of FoMu’s ice creams and using it in pancake batter…it worked! These pancakes are gluten-free (if you use a gluten-free ice cream) and can be flavored with any ice cream of your choosing.

Banoffee Pie Ice Cream Pancakes
Banoffee Pie Ice Cream Pancakes (pictured above)

Gluten-Free Ice Cream Pancakes
Yields 8 (5-6 inch) pancakes

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup sweet white sorghum flour
1/2 cup + 4 teaspoons gluten-free oat flour
1/2 cup + 4 teaspoons potato starch
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon gluten-free baking powder
pinch salt

Wet Ingredients:
3/4 cup gluten-free FoMu ice cream, melted*
1 cup regular unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons canola oil

In a medium-size bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined.

Heat a non-stick frying pan or pancake griddle over medium heat. Pour approximately 1/3 cup batter into the pan.

Allow pancake to cook for 30-60 seconds, or until bubbles form and edges lose their gloss. Flip over and cook an additional 30-60 seconds on the other side. Remove and place on a paper towel-covered plate.

Repeat until all batter has been used. Allow to cool slightly before consuming.

*There are currently four FoMu ice cream flavors that are not gluten-free: Banoffee Pie, Chocolate Brownie, Cake and Batter, and Cookie Dough.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream Pancakes
Salted Caramel Ice Cream Pancakes (pictured above)

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NOTE: The products noted above were free samples provided by FoMu, which has no affiliation with Vegan Food Addict. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely that of Vegan Food Addict and do not necessarily reflect that of others.

Product Review and Recipe: UB Super

10 Apr

UBSuper-LogoLiving proof that “you are what you eat,” Scott Kanyok nursed himself back to health after suffering from a chronic upper thoracic injury in addition to being involved in a life-threatening bicycle accident. By nourishing his body with a mix of superfoods, protein, vitamins, minerals, prebiotics and probiotics, the first UB Super Protein Superfood Nutritional Shake was born and Kanyok is now thriving (source).

Given that I am a runner, I find nutritional protein shakes very beneficial after a workout. Each packet of UB Super provides at least 15g protein in addition to 10 superfoods and a complete amino acid profile, and is free from gluten, soy and GMOs (source). All you need to do to enjoy one of these tasty shakes is to place one (1.2-ounce) packet UB Super in a drinking glass or shaker bottle and add 10 ounces of water or non-dairy milk of choice.

Today I am reviewing two UB Super flavors: Chocolate and Vanilla.

UB Super Chocolate UB Super Chocolate
Choosing to mix mine with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, I found the chocolate flavor and amount of sweetness to be very pleasant as if you are drinking chocolate milk. I could also taste slight earthy undertones which is a testament to all the beneficial nutrients contained within. One minor thing I wasn’t a fan of are the small flecks of solids in the smoothie. An easy and likely remedy for this though would be to put it in a high-speed blender and puree until smooth. Very tasty nonetheless!

UB Super Vanilla UB Super Vanilla
I enjoyed the pleasant vanilla flavor of this product and the amount of sweetness was just right. Feeling adventurous, I decided to create a muffin recipe that utilizes UB Super Vanilla. In addition, I made it gluten-free to continue the theme. As you likely already know, baking is a science, and for me, gluten-free baking even more so. The result of my baking experiment is sweet little tasty muffins. While a little dense, these guys are not only full of beneficial superfoods, prebiotics, probiotics and various nutrients, they also have a nice touch of chocolate goodness.

UB Super Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Vanilla Muffins and UB Super Chocolate Shake

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Vanilla Protein Muffins
Yields approximately 16 muffins

1-1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1-1/2 cups regular unsweetened almond milk
1 (1.2-ounce) package UB Super Vanilla protein powder
1 cup sweet white sorghum flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1-1/2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
1 teaspoon xantham gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup gluten-free chocolate chips

Place apple cider vinegar in a 2-cup measuring glass and add almond milk until level reaches the 1-1/2 cups mark. Stir and set aside.

Combine all dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add oil and almond milk mixture and stir until combined. Beat for 1-2 minutes to incorporate air into the batter.

Stir in chocolate chips by hand, just until mixed and set aside, allowing to rest.

Preheat oven to 375º F. Lightly grease a muffin pan or line with paper/silicone baking cups. Set aside.

Once oven has preheated, divide mixture evenly among muffin cups and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick when inserted near the center of a muffin comes out clean or with a few crumbs. Allow to cool slightly before consuming.

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NOTE: The products noted above were free samples provided by UB Real, which has no affiliation with Vegan Food Addict. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely that of Vegan Food Addict and do not necessarily reflect that of others.

Good Morning Pineapple Smoothie

18 Jan

Nothing says “good morning” like a fresh smoothie to kick-start your day. Many of us are not big breakfast people, so why not enjoy a drink rather than trying to prepare and consume an entire meal? This will help you get the nutrients needed to get going in the morning, in addition to filling you up.

One of the best nutrients to consume in the morning is protein. One serving of this healthy and satisfying morning smoothie provides over 18 grams protein, which is about 1/3 of the recommended daily value (source). Also featured in this smoothie is a healthy amount of fiber and potassium. Enjoy!

Good Morning Pineapple Smoothie
Yields 1-2 servings

1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
1/4 fresh pineapple, skinned and cored, and cut into chunks
1 banana, peeled
1/2 cup quick-cooking or rolled oats
2-3 tablespoons unsweetened protein powder (i.e. pea protein)

Place ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth, approximately 1-2 minutes.

Oatmeal Banana Breakfast Cookies

8 Oct

Oatmeal is a breakfast staple in many households throughout the country. Often enhanced with brown sugar and various other sweeteners, prepackaged oatmeal can contain a large amount of sugar, rendering it less healthy than intended. One such example is that of a popular fast food chain who’s oatmeal contains 32g sugar!

Inspired by a recipe I enjoyed on one of my many detoxes, these Oatmeal Banana Breakfast Cookies are an excellent way to start your day. Containing natural sugars provided by fruit, these cookies are also perfect as a pre-workout energizer.

Oatmeal Banana Breakfast Cookies

Oatmeal Banana Breakfast Cookies
Yields 8-10 cookies

3 large ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup unsweetened peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2-1/4 cups quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup oat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 rounded teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350º F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Mix together bananas, peanut butter and applesauce until combined; set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add to banana mixture and stir to combine.

Place 1/4 cup fulls of batter approximately 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick, when inserted near the center of a cookie, comes out clean.

Prefer more sweetness? Add 1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup as well as an additional tablespoon or two of flour (as needed) and proceed with the recipe as directed.

Apple Cinnamon Quinoa

9 Jun

Quinoa is most often used in savory dishes, however, this versatile seed can also be enjoyed in a sweeter setting. With the addition of applesauce, cinnamon and maple syrup, the following recipe for Apple Cinnamon Quinoa provides a sweet start to your day. Check out the health benefits, in addition to a savory recipe featuring quinoa here.

Apple Cinnamon Quinoa

Apple Cinnamon Quinoa

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1-3/4 cups water
1/2 cup plain unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2-3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Combine all ingredients except for maple syrup in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 15-30 minutes, stirring half-way through, or until liquid has absorbed and quinoa is fluffy.

Remove lid and carefully mix in syrup. Allow to cool slightly before eating.

Coconut Peanut Butter Granola

14 Apr

My love for coconut and peanut butter is no secret since I’ve used them together before in these Moist Coconut Peanut Butter Muffins. Coupling the two ingredients creates a magical combination of deliciousness. This easy recipe for Coconut Peanut Butter Granola is a favorite of mine and is delicious by itself, eaten as cereal, or even enjoyed with fruit and yogurt as a parfait. Use your imagination and enjoy!

Coconut Peanut Butter Granola

Coconut Peanut Butter Granola
Yields approximately 6 cups

3 cups uncooked oatmeal
1/2 cup flax meal (ground flax seed)
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil (using refined will provide less of a coconut flavor)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 225º F.

Combine all ingredients and spread out onto a large ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool before eating.

Coconut Peanut Butter Granola

Flaky Green Onion Parathas

23 Mar

Originating in the Indian and Pakistani state of Punjab, parathas are a popular type of unleavened flatbread that is commonly consumed for breakfast. The word paratha is a combination of the words parat and atta, which means “layers of cooked dough.” (source)

Traditional parathas often contain ghee, but many are prepared with cooking oil, making them vegan-friendly. These flatbread can be stuffed with various vegetables and served with non-dairy butter, chutney or yogurt, or simply enjoyed plain. They make an excellent accompaniment to curries and other saucy dishes.

This paratha recipe uses green onion, or spring onion as many like to call it, and is perfect even as a snack.

Flaky Green Onion Parathas

Flaky Green Onion Parathas
Yields 6 parathas

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided*
1/2 – 2/3 cup regular unsweetened almond milk
1-2 stalks green onion, sliced
extra flour for dusting
oil for the pan

Combine flours and salt in a large bowl and mix to combine. Add 2 tablespoons oil and almond milk and stir until mixture begins to form a ball. Kneed for 5 minutes then cover with a damp towel and allow to rest for 1 hour.

After the dough has rested, separate into 6 sections and roll into balls. On a clean, lightly floured work surface, roll each ball out until approximately 1/8-inch thick.

Spread approximately 1-2 teaspoons oil evenly over the top and sprinkle with approximately 2 teaspoons green onion.
GreenOnionParathas-3

Roll each circle into a log. You should end up with a strip of dough, approximately 1-inch tall by 8 inches wide. Press to flatten dough slightly and stretch so that it is approximately 2 inches wider than before.
GreenOnionParathas-4
GreenOnionParathas-5

Roll the strip into a ball, similar to a cinnamon roll. Repeat with remaining dough until all has been used.
GreenOnionParathas-6

Place balls on a plate and cover with a damp towel for an additional hour.
GreenOnionParathas-8

After resting the second time, again, roll each ball into a circle approximately 1/8-inch thick. Set aside.
Green Onion Paratha

Heat a teaspoon oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add a paratha and cook for approximately 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown spots appear. Remove paratha from pan and repeat until all remaining dough has been used.

* NOTE: If you wish to have a nice buttery taste, simply substitute vegan buttery spread for the oil and proceed with recipe as directed.

Flaky Green Onion Parathas

Chunky Monkey Smoothie

3 Mar

Looking for a sweet and energizing start to your day? First and foremost, eat breakfast as it provides a boost of energy and gets your metabolism going. Secondly, there are many foods you can eat for energy, two of which are bananas and dark chocolate.

Raw bananas are a very good source of Vitamin B6, and a good source of Dietary Fiber, Manganese, Potassium and Vitamin C (source). There are three kinds of sugar in bananas, and both complex and simple carbohydrates, all of which are used as sources of energy (source).

Dark chocolate contains a small amount of caffeine as well as theobromine, a central nervous system stimulant (source).

For this quick and simple morning smoothie, the addition of cacao nibs provides little crunchy notes for a fun change in texture. A product of the chocolate industry, cacao nibs are created when cocoa beans are roasted and de-shelled, then broken into pieces (source).

Chunky Monkey Smoothie

Chunky Monkey Smoothie

1 ripe banana
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup vanilla almond milk (your choice of sweetened or unsweetened)
2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs

Combine the first three ingredients in a blender and process until smooth, approximately 15 seconds. Add cacao nibs and blend another 5 seconds, so as not to crush all of the nibs. Enjoy!

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