Easy Sugar-Free Dessert: Berry Medley 

When it comes to desserts, people tend to over complicate everything. You do not have to eat an extravagant cake everyday (or every week)! In fact, I’m a huge fan of eating plants in their whole state, with just a few exceptions. That means that 99% of the time, my only dessert is fruit. Sometimes I’ll have an apple, sometimes a simple fruit salad with more exotic fruits, often it’s just whatever is in season right now and not too expensive. On some days, however, when I’m in a particularly bad mood, I just crave something more extravagant that’s still healthy and not too difficult to make. This recipe is my go-to recipe, which is known as “Rote Grütze” in Germany and Rødgrød in Denmark. It is made with just frozen mixed berries, tap water (hey, that’s free!) and some cornstarch.

  

  • 2 cups frozen mixed berries
  • 1/3+1/2 cup water (use apple juice for extra sweetness, especially if your berries are very sour)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch (use more to make a really thick dessert)
  1.  In a medium saucepan, combine berries and 1/3 cup water. Bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk water and cornstarch together. 
  3. As soon as the berries start to boil, add cornstarch mixture and simmer for about two minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Place in beautiful bowls and let it cool for a couple of hours. Alternatively, place in the freezer for half an hour or eat warm.

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

This Banana Bread is incredible: it’s not only gluten-free, but it’s sugar, oil and salt-free as well and it’s still moist and fluffy.

Banana Bread
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Banana Bread
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: loaf
Instructions
  1. Grind oats and millet in a high-speed blender until they form a fine flour. Transfer to a large bowl and stir the baking powder.
  2. Blend date paste, applesauce and bananas. If you are unsure about the quantity of bananas, blend date paste and applesauce first and slowly add the bananas while the blender is running. The mixture should reach the 3 cups line.
  3. Mix dry and wet ingredients and transfer the dough to a silicon pan.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F.
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Christmas Cake

Christmas Cake 1

This is actually a modification of a recipe that I posted on my German blog two years ago. Why did I need to modify it? I was not whole-foods plant-based back then, so my recipe called for over 100g of margarine and 250g sugar, and there’s no way in hell I’d eat something like that nowadays. So I made some adjustments, but it still tastes exactly the same: gorgeous!

If I had to describe the taste in one word, I’d say “Christmas”, as it just incorporates all the familiar tastes of the season in one stunning cake: sweetness, the taste of gingerbread, vanilla, currants and nuts.

Christmas Cake 1 Christmas Cake 2

 

2 1/3 cup oats
1 1/3 cup millet
1 cup almond meal
2 cups plant milk
1 cup date paste
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp gingerbread spice
1 cup currants or raisins
1/8 tsp ground vanilla
4 tsp baking powder

1. Blend oats and millet in a (high-speed) blender to a fine powder. Dump in a very large bowl and add almond meal, gingerbread spice, currants, vanilla and baking powder. Stir to combine and break down any lumps.

2. In another bowl, combine the other ingredients.

3. Mix wet and dry ingredients, stir well and place the dough in a silicone bundt pan.

4. Bake for 40 minutes at 350°F.

Possible variations:
• add some orange zest and an ounce of orange juice
• use cinnamon in place of gingerbread spice

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Winter has arrived and with it comes the beautiful season we call “Advent” here in Germany, which is the time between Christmas Eve and the fourth Sunday before it. It’s also the time of the Christmas Baking Season, which I’m starting this year with a favourite of ours: Apple-Cinnamon-Muffins!
Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Unlike the recipes that I used last year, these beauties are not only oil-free, but also sugar free and thus guilt free and even my boyfriend who a lot of times doesn’t like my pastries [or anything SOS-free, actually] loves them, so I guess that says quite something!

They come together within a few minutes, so why don’t you give them a try? 🙂

1 cup millet
1 cup rolled oats
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1.5 cups diced apple
1.5 cups date paste
1 cup applesauce
1 cups plant milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup diced apple to garnish

1. Blend oats and millet to a fine flour using a [high-speed] blender or a strong food processor. Put flour into a large mixing bowl. Add baking powder and stir.
2. In another bowl whisk together the rest.
3. Combine the dry and the wet ingredients and spoon into 12 silicon muffin tins.
4. Garnish with the rest of the diced apples, then bake for 30 minutes at 350°F.

Brownies

I love, love, love brownies! Hot, fudgy, chocolatey and slightly fruity brownies. Brownies are what makes my heart sing.

When I initially went vegan, I didn’t really have a hard time to find a vegan recipe for the perfect comfort food brownies. Looking back, however, I have to admit that all the recipes were extremely unhealthy- some called for up to 2.5 cups of pure oil!
Once I went plant based, I noticed that there were quite a few recipes for Black Bean Brownies. Believe me, I’ve had a fair share of them until now and I just don’t like them.

So, I had to come up with another recipe. And since my silicone brownie mould arrived today, I thought that today was the perfect time to whip up some brownie perfection. Here’s what I came up with:

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They look pretty decent, don’t they? What makes them even better is the fact that they are not only SOS-free, but also gluten free, so they can be brought to any potluck, as literally everyone will be able to enjoy them.

Ingredients:

1 cup millet
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground vanilla
3/8 cup cocoa powder (use very low fat if you can!)
1.5 cups date paste
1 cup sugar-free applesauce
1 cup plant milk

1. Grind millet and oats in your blender. You want to have a very fine flour, so you may let your blender run for a couple of minutes. Transfer the flour to a large(!) bowl, add the other dry ingredients and combine.

2. Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Now add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.

3. Place the batter in a 9″ square silicone baking pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350°F.

Infused Brownies: To make infused brownies, pour 1/2 cup of your favourite flavory liquid (fruit juices, coffee…) over the brownies when they’re still hot. Let them soak for at least 20 minutes before eating/serving.

Chef’s Note: Regular rolled oats may be used in place of the gluten-free ones.

Pecan Pie /Nut Pie

Pecan Pie usually has a lot of corn syrup in it, which makes it not exactly a health food. My version doesn’t use any processed sweeteners, so it’s clearly a better choice for the holidays. Enjoy with some sugar-free vanilla sauce or even Cranberry Relish.

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1 cup rolled oats
1 cup millet
2 medium bananas
1/3 cup plant milk

3 cups pitted dates
3 cups water
1/2 tsp ground vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup plant milk
3 tbsp cornstarch

1.5 cups pecans or any other nut(s)

1. Grind oats and millet to a fine flour using your blender. Transfer to a food processor and add the bananas. Process until small “pebbles” form and the dough starts to stick together. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in plant milk. Evenly press into a silicon pie dish or a spring form lined with parchment paper.

2. Bring water to a boil. Once it’s cooking, add the dates and cook for two minutes. Transfer to a blender, add cinnamon and vanilla and blend for one minute. (WARNING: do not do this when you have a blender with a glass jar! Let the mix cool down in that case before blending)

3. Transfer filling to large pot and heat. Meanwhile, dissolve cornstarch in plant milk and add once the filling has reached the boiling point. Stir for one minute, then add one cup of nuts.

4. Put filling into the crust and top with the remaining nuts.

5. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350°F. Let it cool down completely before eating. Enjoy!

Cherry Orange Chocolate Muffins

I always had issues with muffins and cakes when I used whole wheat flour. Every time I used date paste, they came out gooey and sometimes even bouncy, so that I was just about to give up even trying to make muffins. But then Cathy Fisher’s recipe for muffins based on millet and oats came along… and what can I say? The oat/millet-flour is really, really great as it behaves better than whole wheat flour. And it’s gluten free, which is even greater.

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These muffins are just… perfect. Sweet, but not too sweet, they have a slight taste of vanilla, an awesome scent and the moment you bite onto a warm, baked cherry is unbelievable. Go ahead and try them, if you start now they’ll be in your mouth in less than an hour!

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1 cup rolled oats
1 cup millet
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup applesauce
1 cup plant milk
1/2 pound dates (8oz)
1 tbsp baking powder
zest of one orange
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground vanilla
1 cup frozen and defrosted cherries

1. Grind oats, millet, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon and vanilla in a blender. I do this in my Vitamix, which makes a very, very fine flour.
2. Blend plant milk, applesauce and dates to a fine paste.
3. Whisk flour and plant milk-mix together until just combined.
4. Fold in lemon zest and cherries using a large rubber spatula.
5. Transfer the dough to silicon muffin tins (about 3/4 cup batter in each). You can also use other silicon forms like this one here.
6. Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F.

Dampfnudeln and Vanilla-Caramel-Sauce

Anyone who’s ever been to the Alps -especially in winter- will know Dampfnudeln (literally “Steam Noodles”, you see that our language doesn’t make much sense ^^). They’re basically small balls of yeast and flour which are steamed in milk. Or, as Wikipedia puts it:

Dampfnudel (pl: Dampfnudeln, lit. “steam-noodle”) is a sort of white bread roll or sweet roll eaten as a meal or as a dessert in Germany and in France (Alsace). It is a typical dish in southern Germany.”

As you see, they’re usually not very healthy. Not my version, of course!

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10 oz whole wheat pastry flour (use white whole wheat if you can find it)
1 oz fresh yeast (about 1/2 cube)
1/2 cup plant milk (I used rice milk)
1 cup date syrup (see below)

2 cups plant milk

1. Combine all ingredients and knead until you have a uniform ball of dough. Use more flour if needed. If you are as lazy as I am, just throw all your ingredients into your bread baking machine and let it run on the kneading cycle for about 10 minutes. Cover and let the dough rise for half an hour.

2. Line the bottom of a large saucepan (for which you have a lid, a lid is definitely required, glass is best) with  the additional two cups of plant milk. Form the dough into about eight smaller balls. Put the lid on, turn the heat up to Maximum and let it boil for two minutes. Turn the heat down to medium for additional 13 minutes or until all the plant milk has been absorbed. Do not open the lid before that has happened, otherwise the balls will collapse.

Pressure cooker method: Place a small plate on your pressure cooker’s trivet and place the balls on the place. Cover the bottom of the pressure cooker with two cups of plant milk. Seal the pressure cooker and pressure cook for 10 minutes, then release the steam. They won’t come out as perfect as when you do it on the stove, but they will still be quite good.

Vanilla-Caramel-Sauce

2 cups plant milk
1 cup date syrup (see below)
1 oz cornstarch
2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tsp ground vanilla

1. Put one cup of plant milk and one cup of date paste in a small saucepan and heat.
2. Combine the other cup of plant milk and the rest of the ingredients. Once the plant milk is boiling, add the cornstarch mix and stir vigorously for one minute.

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Date syrup

Two cups pitted dates
Three cups boiling water

1. Blend both ingredients for about 2-3 minutes. Store in your fridge.

 

Un-Tortilla Soup a.k.a. Fruity Southern Tomato Soup

Yesterday I just had a craving for Tortilla Soup. About a year or two go, I made Happy Herbivore’s (page 68 in “The Happy Herbivore Cookbook”), but she uses tortillas (obviously) which I just can’t get a no-oil version of here in Germany. And I was just not in the mood to make them from scratch, so I had to think of something else. I came up with either corn waffles or unsweetened corn flakes, but when I tasted the soup, I figured out that it tastes AMAZING even without, so I ate the cornflakes for breakfast.

I also went to about five different stores to buy dates to sweeten the soup, but they were all sold out! Instead, I bought dried pineapples, which tastes even better because it tastes not just sweet but also fruity.

Join me on a trip to the tropical South with this amazing soup, and if you do it in the pressure cooker, the flight isn’t even long.

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Ingredients:

Two pounds tomatoes
Two large onions
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup salt-free tomato paste
3/4 cup dried pinapple
6-8 cups vegetable broth (enough to cover the veggies)
1 tsp Persian Cumin (Caraway)
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp majoran
1 tsp parsley

Pressure cooker: 

1. Roughly chop the tomatoes and the onions and transfer to the pressure cooker. Add all other ingredients and pressure-cook for 10 minutes.

2. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth (you might have to do several smaller batches, it just about fits in my tall Vitamix container which holds 8 cups)

Stove:

1. Finely dice tomatoes and vegetables, mince the garlic and add to a large pot. Cover with broth, add all other ingredients and bring to a boil.

2. Let it simmer for 25-30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

3. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Torte

Would you believe me when I said that this cake contains absolutely no sugar, oil or salt? I swear, I am not kidding!

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Ingredients:

One pound pitted dates
1 cup water
1 cup whole wheat flour
5 tbsp low-fat cocoa powder
1 tsp ground vanilla
1 pinch baking soda
1.5 cups plant milk
Frosting: 
1 cup date paste
3/4 cup real peanut butter
1 box extra-firm silken tofu
3 tbsp. low-fat cocoa powder

1. In a food processor, combine pitted dates and water until you have a very smooth date paste (this might take as long as ten minutes!). Set one cup of the date paste aside for later use (frosting).

2. Transfer date paste from the food processor to a very large bowl and add all other ingredients for the cake. Stir until just combined. Pour into a silicone baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes at 350°F. Let it cool down completely and flip to remove the pan.

3. Put all the ingredients for the frosting in your food processor and turn into a fine mousse. Spread the mousse on the cake and enjoy.

To make a version that is lower in fat, you can use less peanut butter or even leave it out all together!