Quick Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

VeganCinnamonRolls

This recipe is a bit out of the norm for me, as I typically don’t post sweet recipes, but for some reason I’ve had a hankering for cinnamon rolls lately, and with Easter coming up, I found an excuse to make some.

I originally set out to make my own recipe, but things didn’t go as planned this week, so I did a little research and ended up discovering an easy, yummy vegan recipe online. I made some slight changes to the original recipe to reduce the overall sugar content, but I don’t think it affected the taste one bit, in fact I think they turned out pretty great! This recipe is really so simple, so if you’re looking for a last minute Easter brunch idea, I suggest you throw this one in the mix.

Quick Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

1 package vegan crescent rolls
1 tablespoon Vegan Butter (I use Earth Balance)
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon organic coconut sugar

Vegan Icing

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon Almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or temperature advised on crescent roll package)

Roll out dough (there should be two separate rolls of dough) and pinch together the dough so its all one piece

Combine maple syrup and cinnamon in a small bowl, spread vegan butter then syrup mixture on each piece of dough, sprinkle sugar on top

Roll dough lengthwise and cut into 1/2″ slices (to make mini rolls) and place each slice in a greased mini muffin tin

While the rolls are baking, prepare the icing by combining the coconut oil, almond milk and vanilla and heating in microwave for 15 seconds to melt the oil. Then mix in the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.

Pour icing over rolls as desired and enjoy.

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Wishing you all a Happy Easter!

Recipe adapted from Peta.



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Easy Cashew Milk

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I’m not sure that I’ve ever fully discussed my dairy free lifestyle on the blog before, but I’m pretty certain you’re all aware that I’m dairy free. Its been almost three years to the date since I cut dairy out of my diet, right after watching the startling documentary, Food, Inc. This documentary was so eye opening for me that I immediately began to abstain from all animal products.

While I was only a vegan for one year, I have since continued being dairy free and only meat on occasion (usually once or twice a week). I struggled with my decision on how to raise Berlin, while I considered raising her vegan in the beginning, I decided against it since we do still eat meat from time to time in our household. I then decided to raise her dairy free, and did so for the first fourteen months of her life, however with a strong suggestion from pediatrician to at least introduce dairy to her for allergy precautions, I eventually gave her yogurt and butter. She now drinks Kefir on occasion and cashew milk as her replacement for breast milk and I’m happy with my decision as it stands currently.

This recipe only takes a few minutes, the hardest part is soaking the cashews overnight, but as long as you remember to do so, you can have creamy, delicious milk when you rise in the morning. Its perfect with your coffee, on your cereal, in smoothies or just alone (or to dip your cookies in, if your my husband). Now let’s get down to it already!

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Easy Cashew Milk

1 cup raw cashews
2 cups filtered water
1 tablespoon raw honey (if vegan, use pure maple syrup)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt

Soak raw cashews in 4 cups of water overnight. In the morning discard the water and rinse cashews until the water runs clear.

Place cashews and all other ingredients in a high power blender (Vitamix is best) and blend until smooth, approx 2-3 minutes.

I personally find no need to strain cashew milk, however if you don’t like the consistency you can strain through a cheese cloth or nut bag.

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I prefer my milk to be thick and creamy so I use little water in my recipe, but if you like yours more the consistency of regular milk I would suggest adding a cup or two more of water when blending.

Wishing you all a Happy Friday. Enjoy!



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Berlin Bites: Cherry Coconut Smoothie

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Can I start off this post by saying just how excited I am that Berlin is (almost) walking! I mean, now there is no stopping this kid. Today she had her sights on a toy from across the room and bolted for it, she took over 10 consecutive steps, and was stable and sure of herself. It’s really amazing to see, brings a tear to my eye just thinking of it now.

Ok enough about Berlin’s monumental milestone, let’s talk smoothies. I have been making this one for Berlin since she began eating solids. It has the perfect amount of sweetness while being packed full of powerful nutrients. The cherries are rich in antioxidants, the almonds provide a good source of fiber and protein, and both the coconut oil and almonds are a great source of healthy fat-all of which are crucial for our young ones developing brains.

This recipe will make enough for a toddler size drink and some left over for yourself. Enjoy!

 

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Cherry Coconut Smoothie

1 cup of almond milk (homemade is best)
1 cup of frozen organic dark sweet cherries
1 tablespoon of raw almonds
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup organic spinach
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

Place all ingredients in a high power blender and blend until smooth.

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I am honestly not a huge fan of coconut, but I love this smoothie. If you prefer more coconut I would suggest adding a full tablespoon. I’ve also added honey and/or cinnamon to this recipe and both are great.

We are off to the wine country for the weekend, celebrating Ryan’s birthday. Can’t wait for a relaxing weekend at the hot springs! Wishing everyone a fabulous weekend.



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Berlin Bites: Sweet Potato Hot Pockets

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I’m always trying to come up with recipes that are easy, on-the-go meals for Berlin. I would much prefer to pack a meal that can be eaten with her hands, rather than pack a fork or spoon while we are out and about.

When I’m in a rush (which is always) I end up falling back on the food pouches (she likes the Wise Punkin brand), but of course I prefer to have homemade food prepared if at all possible.

I came up with this idea when I spied the frozen Hot Pockets on the shelf (you know, the ones from when you were a little kid?) while strolling through the freezer aisle of the grocery store. I thought for sure I could replicate these, but in a healthy way, and the filling possibilities are endless.

I chose to use spelt flour as it is rich in both fiber and protein and has a high water solubility content; making it easier to digest than other flours (such as whole wheat). I added sunflower seeds for a little flavor and texture and considered next time maybe adding a bit of honey for some sweetness (give it a try and let me know what you think).

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Sweet Potato Hot Pockets

Dough Ingredients:
2 cups spelt flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup warm water
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds

Filling Ingredients:
Medium sweet potato
1/2 cup organic, no salt canned black beans
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 cup organic shredded spinach

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Pierce sweet potato and bake for approx 45 minutes on 400 degrees (I threw mine in the toaster oven in the morning).

While the sweet potato is cooking prepare the dough by combining all ingredients (except 1/3 cup of water) into a food processor and pulsing until a dough forms

Slowly add in the additional 1/3 cup of water as needed, you may not need it, or you may need all of it

Lay the dough in-between two pieces of parchment paper (if rolling impaired like me) and roll until flat

Next use a cookie cutter of choice and cut out the dough (in case you’re wondering, this is a porcupine-doesn’t look like much of anything really)

Once the sweet potato is done baking, remove from the skin and place in a medium mixing bowl, add black beans, cumin and spinach and mash together

Then place your filling on the dough shapes and either fold over or place another shape on top (if small), then crimp the edges with a fork (be careful not to overfill).

Then bake on a cookie sheet in the 400 degree oven for approx 10-12 minutes. Pockets are done when dough is browned.

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You can use just about any filling your heart desires, I chose these specific ingredients as I knew they would satisfy Berlin’s picky tastes.

They will keep in the fridge for a day or two, but then I suggest freezing the leftovers for a quick grab-and-go meal. They can be heated in the microwave for a minute or so, however I prefer throwing them in the toaster oven to keep the dough from getting soggy.

Enjoy!




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Valentine Goodness

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I’m not much of a sweet person, well in truth I actually love sweets, but I avoid the temptation.

But hey, its Valentines, and who doesn’t want a yummy, fat-laden treat for lovers day!? I know I sure do.

I’m not all that good when it comes to baking sweets, so instead I rounded up some special goodness from a few of my favorite food bloggers.

Vegan & Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Balls / Oh She Glows

Double Chocolate Cake Doughnuts / Joy the Baker

Raw Almond Linzer Cookies / Oh Lady Cakes

Happy Valentines Day!




 

 

 

 

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Mama Meals: Quinoa Fruit Salad

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I photographed this recipe several months back but never posted as I wasn’t happy with my shots, but as I prepared my Thanksgiving menu this past weekend I remembered this tasty recipe and wanted to share with you all (regardless of my out-of-focus shots).

This recipe came from my favorite vegan blog, Oh She Glows. If you are not familiar with this blog I suggest you check it out, vegan or not. Her recipes are healthy and delicious and always simple to prepare.

This recipe is great as a side during the warmer months, but its also good as a light dessert after a heavy meal (hello Thanksgiving!). I plan on preparing this as a healthy alternative to the usual fat laden pumpkin pie. You can use seasonal fresh fruits or frozen ones (as I plan to do), either work well.

Quinoa Fruit Salad

2 cups cooked quinoa

2 cups sliced strawberries

2 cups blueberries

1 cup cherries

1/2 cup chopped almonds

For the Dressing:

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon lime juice

Mix all wet ingredients to make the dressing in a bowl.

Add cooked quinoa to a large bowl and add all chopped fruit. Top with dressing and chopped almonds. Voila!

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I am so looking forward to spending the first holiday in our new home. We had a new stove delivered today, just in time for the Thanksgiving feast, couldn’t be more excited! Hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend with family and friends. Happy Holidays!

 




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Berlin Bites: Sweet Potato Spinach Balls

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I’m always trying to figure out new ways to make healthy finger foods for Berlin since she refuses to eat anything that involves using a utensil.  I love using the mini muffin tin to make her meals, but I’ve lately been experimenting with making anything and everything into rolled balls (why does that sound so weird!?).

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Sweet Potato Spinach Balls

2 large organic sweet potatoes

1 cup organic finely chopped spinach

1/2 small onion finely chopped

1 tablespoon garbanzo bean flour (or flour of choice)

1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

1/2 teaspoon of cumin

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray baking sheet with olive oil or use parchment paper to avoiding sticking.

Boil chopped sweet potatoes for approx 10 minutes or until soft

Saute spinach and onions in a skillet for approx 3-4 minutes

Mash sweet potatoes in mixing bowl and add all other ingredients, mix well, adding more flour if necessary

Roll into small balls and place on baking sheet.  Bake for about 20 minutes

These are perfect finger foods for the littles while sneaking in some veggies-yahoo!

 

 


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Berlin Bites: Banana Oat Bars

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Most mornings I enjoy the homemade oat bars at our local coffee shop, which are mainly healthy, however they do have a generous amount of brown rice syrup, making them a bit sugary.   And since Berlin only wants to eat what I’m eating as of late, these are not the healthiest option for her.  So rather than fending off her insistent pleading I resolved by making her own sugar-free oat treat.

These bars can be modified to anyone’s liking by adding various kinds of dried fruit, nuts and even applesauce.  I chose to increase the fiber by adding plums and ground flax to the recipe due to Berlin’s constant battle with constipation.OatBar103OatBar104

Banana Oat Bars

3 large, ripe bananas

2 cups Gluten-Free Oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill)

1 tablespoon ground flax

3 large pitted dates (softened in water for 10 minutes)

1/4 cup chopped plums

Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease baking dish

Mash bananas well in mixing bowl.  Add oats, then flax and mix well.  Add the remainder of the ingredients and then spread evenly in baking dish.  I made my bars quite thin so it only took approx 25 minutes to cook, if you choose to make the bars thicker it will take up to 30 minutes.

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This recipe takes no time and is a healthy snack option for all children.  In my opinion they are far tastier than any store bought energy bar.  Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Kitchn

 




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Energy Eats: Coconut Date Chia Pudding

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Coconut & Date Chia Seed Pudding

1/2 banana

2 soaked dates

6 tablespoons Chia Seed

1 1/2 cups of Organic Coconut Milk (non-BPA)

1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla

Soak dates in 1/2 cup water until soft (approx 45 mins), save liquid

Add pitted dates, soaking water, banana and coconut milk to blender and blend until smooth.  Pour mixture into a bowl and add chia and vanilla, cover and refrigerate overnight.

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This recipe was intended for Berlin but I ended up eating most of it (go figure!).  Its a perfect meal for both mama and baby due to the high omega-3 acids contained in the chia seeds, and I added the coconut milk due for the high saturated fat content (good for brain development and to fatten my skinny baby!).  The chia seeds are also beneficial for constipation, which is a constant issue with Berlin.

So all in all the perfect food.  Enjoy!

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Energy Eats: Acai Berry Bowl

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Acai Berry Bowl

2 packets of frozen Acai (I use Sambazon packets from Whole Foods)

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 cup of frozen organic mixed berries

1 frozen banana

1/4 cup sliced strawberries

1/4 granola (I love Nature’s Path Pumpkin Flax Granola)

1/2 sliced banana

Break up frozen Acai packets then place in blender with orange juice, frozen berries and frozen banana

Slowly blend ingredients on low speed for aprox 30 seconds,  being careful not to over blend as it will get to soupy

Pour Acai into a bowl and top with sliced banana, strawberries and granola

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Health Benefits: Loaded with antioxidants which helps repair cellular damage, high in fiber, protein and healthy fats which lowers cholesterol and protects the cardiovascular system.

I frequently wolf this down after a tough workout or just enjoy on a warm day.  Berlin also loves (and I mean LOVES) acai.  I have to wipe the drool from her face every time I make it.

Give it a try, I promise it won’t disappoint.

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