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Vegan Lemon Bars

Blustery, wintery, February day?

Make your own sunshine with these LEMON BARS!

A perfect harmony of tart, nutty, and sweet, you’ll never guess they’re grain-free, plant-based, and free of processed sugar.

Just look at that texture!

Can you guess the secret ingredient?

A roasted sweet potato.

Say WHAT?!

Yup. Trust me.

Let’s also take a moment to talk about that crust…

I used the Vanilla Almond Nutsola mix – almonds + coconut + dates + chia + vanilla + cinnamon + sea salt. That’s it! So fabulously delicious.

The ingredients in these are fairly simple, household staples, but if you need substitutions…

almond milk: any other plant-based milk

sweet potato: for a less orange-y color, try a roasted Japanese sweet potato

arrowroot starch: cornstarch would work!

One final note: Let these cool and set in the fridge!

I know I know. Patience is hard.

But it’s a virtue. And they’re worth it!

Lemon Bars (paleo/vegan)

A perfect harmony of tart and sweet, you'd never guess these were grain-free, plant-based, and made without refined sugars! One of my favorite recipes to date – like edible sunshine.
Course: Dessert
Servings: 18 bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Nutsola Vanilla Almond Mix
  • 2 lemons *zest and juice
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • 1 roasted sweet potato
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil *melted
  • 1/3 cup arrowroot powder

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  • Firmly press and flatten the Nutsola mix into a 8×8 pan lined with parchment.
  • Bake crust for 15 minutes.
  • While crust is baking, blend all of the filling ingredients until smooth.
  • Remove hot crust from oven, and pour filling on top.
  • Return to the oven to bake for 40 minutes.
  • Cool for a bit on the counter, then chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
  • Slice and enjoy!
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Paleo Vanilla Cake with Berries & Cream

I celebrated my birthday last week with ice cream and cookies.

Don’t get me wrong – no complaints here – but did a birthday really happen if there wasn’t cake?

Just to be sure…this happened over the weekend.

And let’s just say it went above and beyond the birthday cake requirements.

The cake itself is only 8 ingredients: eggs, almond milk, olive oil, coconut sugar, vanilla, cassava flour, and baking powder.

While it’s obviously not your typical vanilla cake in terms of texture, it’s still bomb. Just take a look!

Also those simple ingredients = no tummy ache and allergy friendly!

So i’ll take it!

I had a heated debate with myself concerning the icing for this cake.

You see, dairy and I have a complicated relationship.

I typically skirt around it, preferring almond milk and other alternatives any way.

But let’s be honest: It’s hard to beat traditional butter cream.

So I bit the bullet. And my taste-buds thanked me. It was pretty perfect when paired with a light, fluffy wild blueberry whipped cream.

I’ll be the first to admit this cake is quite *extra* – especially for a girl making her own birthday cake and eating it alone…

But hey, why be basic when you can be fabulous?

Also I’m practicing top make my brother’s wedding cake next month. So it’s all in the name of science! Right?! Right.

The batter for this cake starts out with whipped egg whites.

Why? Creating a meringue with the egg whites will add shape and volume to a cake with non-traditional flour. Cassava can become tough and dense – the voluminous whites counteract that.

The rest of the wet ingredients get whipped together and then folded into the meringue.

Finally the dry ingredients are very carefully sifted and juuuuust combined.

Try to keep the fluff!

Divide the batter evenly into three 6″ pans. You could use larger vessels, but be aware the layers will be thinner.

Is that a bad thing though? Better cake-to-icing ratio!

These puppies go into a 325 degree oven for about 18 – 20 minutes.

Remove from the pans and COOL COMPLETELY.

Please be patient. The icing will become a gloopy mess if you try to slather it on warm cakes. No bueno.

Now lets talk about the buttercream.

This is about the easiest icing there is.

GOOD quality butter + powdered sugar + vanilla extract = YUM

Who wants to come lick the mixers?

Totally my favorite kitchen clean-up task.

Now it’s time for the whipped cream! No cans around here – the homemade stuff is where it’s at!

How to make perfect whipped cream every time? Stick your bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes before you start. Make sure your cream is very cool. Add the sugar after you’ve whipped the cream for a solid 2 minutes.

Voila!

I folded some mini wild blueberries (Trader Joe’s frozen section) to really take this whipped cream to the next level.

Once your icing is made and your cakes are cool, you are cleared for assembly!

Gather up the goods and build yourself a masterpiece.

Start with a layer of cake.

Spread on some buttercream and then the blueberry whipped cream.

Place another layer of cake on the filling and press down slightly to secure it.

Repeat with another layer of buttercream and whipped cream, then the final tier goes on top.

To finish off the outsides, add a bit more buttercream to the gaps. Then with bottom to top strokes, create the lined with your knife.

Obviously doesn’t have to be perfect, the rustic look is totally hip right now duh.

A think layer of buttercream gets smeared on the top, followed by a big dollop (or seven) of blueberry whipped cream.

Then it’s time to get extra fancy with the berries.

Strawberries, raspberries, and extra blueberries are truly the cherries on top.

And perfectly festive for the Fourth tomorrow!

Now take a set back and admire your handiwork.

But not toooo long, cause we all know you wanna slice of that masterpiece.

So go for it! And don’t forget to add more berries and whipped cream to that slice.

Those layers y’all.

So pretty!

Almost too pretty to eat…

Almost…

Paleo Vanilla Cake with Berries & Cream

A simple vanilla cake with all of the flavor and none of the grains. Piled high with berries and cream cause it’s a celebration y’all!

Ingredients

Paleo Vanilla Cake

  • 6 egg whites
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cup cassava flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup butter one stick
  • 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Blueberry Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup frozen wild blueberries thawed

Instructions

For the Cakes:

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  • Separate the egg whites from the yolks, reserving 3 of the yolks.
  • Add 1/3 cup of coconut sugar to the egg whites and beat on high until the eggs are white, glossy, and peak.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks, remaining sugar, olive oil, almond milk, and vanilla. Fold this mixture into the meringue. 
  • Sift together the cassava flour and baking powder, then add to the wet mix until just combined,
  • Pour into three 6″ pans that are greased and lined with parchment paper on the bottom.
  • Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.

For the Buttercream:

  • Bring your butter to room temperature. Then whip with the cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar.

For the Whipped Cream:

  • Place your bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes before whipping.
  • Add the cream to a bowl and whip for 2 minutes. Then add the sugar and vanilla. 
  • Continue whipping until stiff peaks form.

To Assemble:

  • Make sure your cakes are cool.
  • Start with a layer of buttercream on top of the first layer of cake. Dollop and spread the whipped cream on top.
  • Add the next layer of cake and repeat filling steps.
  • The final layer of cake goes on top, then buttercream is spread along the sides.
  • Add a generous portion of whipped cream to the top of the cake and decoratively place berries.
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Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Coconut Bars

Well hello there.

Talk about a heavenly stack.

Monday done right!

(aka filled with ooozing caramel)

Would you believe me if I told y’all these are paleo, vegan, and only 6-ingredients?

That’s right folks!

and you thought they couldn’t get any better…

My schedule right now is pretty darn packed.

Teaching ever morning, working all day, and studying for the GMAT at night.

Woohoo crazy town!

I do this to myself though…wouldn’t change a thing!

But running around like a crazy busy bee necessitates two things: easy recipes and sweet treats!


Six ingredients and no baking required. Holla.

Peanut Butter. Caramel. Coconut. Chocolate. Double holla.

So you ready to make ’em? Alright let’s do this.

First say hello to the star of the show: Emmy’s Organics Coconut Cookies!

See them in the back there? Yummm.

A mix of the peanut butter and chocolate flavors creates the perfect base for these bars.

Just crumble them up and press into a lined pan.

Next up is the caramel layer.

Guys I was straight up spooning this. It’s soooo freaking delish!

Peanut butter, dates, and almond milk.

Blend into creamy heavenly goodness.

Georgia Grinders peanut butter is my all-time fav, but feel free to use your go-to natural nut butter!

Also – SOAK YOUR DATES. Creamy caramel is only achieved through soft dates.

Now it’s time to assemble!

First, spoon the creamy caramel over the Emmy’s base.

Then sprinkle on a generous handful of peanuts.

Press these slightly into the caramel so they are anchored down.

And the final touch?

CHOCOLATE.

I am thiiissss close to licking the screen.

Anyone else?

Just drizzle it all over, smooth it out, and top with some sea salt.

Into the freezer they go!

Pro Tip: After they have chilled for 5 minutes, remove and “score” the chocolate with a knife. This will allow for easier bar-slicing!

Remove from the freezer and pull out of the pan.

Check out those layers!

Carefully slice the bars.

Use a sharp knife heated under hot water to help!

There ya have it folks.

Delish dessert for the week!

Or day…let’s be real…these won’t last long!

What sweet treat should I make next?

Leave a comment and let me know!

Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Coconut Bars

Everything you ever needed in one simple, vegan, no-bake treat! Cause can you really go wrong with peanut butter and caramel?
Servings: 8 bars

Ingredients

  • 12 Emmy’s Organics Cookies *I used peanut butter and chocolate
  • 1 cup dates *soaked in hot water
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 1/3 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Crumble the cookies and press into a lined loaf pan.
  • Blend the soaked dates, peanut butter, and almond milk until smooth and creamy.
  • Spread the caramel over the base.
  • Sprinkle the peanuts on top, pressing into the caramel.
  • Melt the chocolate chips and pour over the peanuts.
  • Sprinkle on some sea salt to finish, then stick in the freezer to set.
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Maple Tahini Nectarine & Pear Cobbler

It’s my birthday week!

Woohooo Yay!

So blessed with all of the opportunities I have had over the past year – and pumped for new adventures in the next 365 days circling around the sun!

That’s great Katie, we’re happy for you. But shouldn’t you be posting a cake recipe?

Valid. Very valid.

But let’s take another look…

I mean, if someone served this up for your birthday, would you be disappointed?

Didn’t think so.

It’s fruity and cinnamony and baked to perfection.

Also it’s insanely simple to make.

So as a gal who would have to make her own cake?

I am so down for this.

(aka the whole skillet for myself with some vanilla almond milk ice cream please and thank you!)

Ready to celebrate with me?

Let’s start with some beautiful nectarines and pears from Misfits Market!

(really any fruit will work, these are what I had on hand)

Just slice ’em up and toss in a baking dish.

(side note: aren’t those colors gorgeous? don’t look like misfits to me!)

Spice up the filling with some cardamom and cinnamon. Nutmeg and ginger would also be lovely!

A pinch of arrowroot starch will help the filling transform into the classic silky, flavorful gloop we all love.

Mix the fruit around, then set aside.

Time for the easy peasy cobbler top!

Maple syrup, tahini, almond milk, an egg and vanilla come together for a party.

After they get beaten together, add some cassava flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

Mix until the just incorporated.

This batter might seem more thin than your traditional cobbler dough.

Just trust me.

It will fluff up to create a perfectly crisp outside and tender, airy center.

Just scoop or plop or spoon or pour the batter over the fruit.

IM-perfection is key here.

The messier the better.

This skillet puppy gets stuck in the oven for about 25 minutes.

Come on. You can wait less than a half hour for golden deliciousness!

Now that’s worth it. Right?!

It will come out sizzling, bubbling, pipping hot.

Pro tip: Douse it with a general drizzle of maple syrup.

Then dig right in!

Are you drooling yet?

Do you get why this will TOTALLY suffice as my birthday treat of choice?

Thought so.

Maple Tahini Nectarine & Pear Cobbler

All the summer fruit goodness. None of the dairy, gluten, or grains! Perfect for nectarines, peaches, pears, berries, etc.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

Fruit Filling

  • 3 nectarines
  • 1 pear
  • 1/2 tsp arrowroot starch *sub cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom

Cobbler Batter

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cassava flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Slice fruit and place in a baking dish.
  • Mix starch and cinnamon into the sliced fruit.
  • Beat together the egg, almond milk, tahini, maple syrup, and vanilla.
  • Incorporate the cassava, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon into the wet mixture.
  • Spoon the batter over the fruit.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.
  • Drizzle on extra maple syrup and enjoy!
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Tahini Coconut Salted Almond Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Now if that picture doesn’t make you crave dessert, I don’t know what will…

And it would be 110% valid.

Cause these vegan, grain-free cookies have the creamiest tahini base and are jam-packed with coconut and giant almond chocolate chunks.

Oh and that flaky sea salt on top…

I’ll take another batch please!

Like all classic cookie recipes, start by beating the wet ingredients together.

Tahini has a tendency to coagulate, so make sure you whip it; whip it real good.

When that’s nice and combined, add your flours and Emmy’s Organics Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies.

Mix. Mix. Mix.

And then the chocolate chunks…helloooo.

I feel like this could be a serious debate: chips or chunks?

Honestly, I’m all about the chunks.

Especially when they’re chunks of an Lily’s Salted Almond Dark Chocolate bar.

The best.

Warning: This dough is sticky.

So when you scoop onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, it would be wise to have slightly wet or oiled hands.

And don’t forget to top with salt.

That’s just not optional.

After baking for about 10-12 minutes, these might still seem goopy.

THAT’S OKAY.

They will solidify as they cool and maintain a doughy center.

That’s it folks!

Go ahead and grab one.

Or five…

Tahini Coconut Salted Almond Chocolate Chunk Cookies

The vegan, grain-free cookie of your dreams! Creamy nutty base taken to the next level with coconut and dark chocolate chunks.
Servings: 8 large cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup cassava flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt *plus more to top
  • 3 Emmy’s Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies
  • 1 Lily’s Chocolate Bar *or other chocolate chunkc

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Beat together the tahini, olive oil, almond milk, sugar, and vanilla.
  • Add the almond flour, cassava flour, salt, and cookies.
  • Fold in the chocolate chunks.
  • Scoop onto a lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10 – 12 minutes.
  • Let cool for a bit so the cookies can solidify.