Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Caramel Smoothie Bowl

Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Caramel Smoothie Bowl

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Since I already wrote a bit about why I made this bowl in the first place on Instagram, all I will say here is that I made this smoothie bowl (or nice cream, depending on how you define it!), because I was tired, had a rough night the day before and really needed something comforting and delicious.

Enter this bowl. I can’t decide if it’s a smoothie bowl or nice cream — I put just enough almond milk in the base to make it slightly more than nice cream texture, but not quite smoothie bowl texture. I could debate this in my head for hours.

Anyway, one of my favorite combinations for smoothies and nice cream is to combine dates with mama powder. It creates such a delicious flavor that is very similar to caramel. Then when you add in old favorites like chocolate and peanut butter, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a winner whether it’s a soupy smoothie bowl or a firm scoop of nice cream.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • Smoothie Base:
    • 4 frozen bananas
    • 2 pitted medjool dates (or use about 5 regular pitted dates, but the medjool ones are worth springing for on this recipe)
    • 1/2 cup of almond milk, optional. You can use as much or as little as you want depending on how thick you want your smoothie bowl.
    • 1 scoop of chocolate plant-based protein (I use ALOHA chocolate), OR 1 tbsp of raw cacao powder
    • 1 tbsp of raw maca powder
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Sauce:
    • 1/4 cup of vegan chocolate chips
    • 2 tbsp almond milk
    • 1 tbsp peanut butter (I used a coconut oil & peanut butter blend because I love the coconut flavor)
  • Toppings:
    • 1/4 cup of vegan granola (use as much as you want)
    • 1 tbsp raw cacao nibs
    • Small handful of hazelnuts (or other nut)
    • 1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut

Method:

  1. Place frozen bananas in high-speed blender (I use a Vitamix) or food processor. Blend until it starts to get creamy, adding almond milk if you desire (I personally like to add some so it’s more of a very thick smoothie consistency, but if you add none, you will have more of a thick ice cream texture).
  2. Add in pitted dates, maca, protein powder (or cacao), and blend until smooth and well combined.
  3. Pour into a bowl and place in the freezer while you make the sauce.
  4. To make the chocolate peanut butter sauce, place all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and stir, and microwave more if needed. You can add more almond milk if you want the sauce to be runnier. Stir it well until you get the consistency you want.
  5. Remove smoothie bowl from freezer and drizzle chocolate sauce all over, then add your toppings.
  6. Enjoy!
Broiled Grapefruit

Broiled Grapefruit

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The first time I heard about broiled grapefruit, I thought it sounded incredibly strange and had no desire to try it. I’m so glad I did though, because it has become one of my favorite breakfast (or dessert!) foods.

It’s so easy to make too. From start to finish, it takes less than 10 minutes. Not long to wait for such a sweet, warm treat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 grapefruit, any variety*
  • 4-6 tsp coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • A few dashes of cinnamon
  • Coconut or almond yogurt, for topping (optional)

Method:

  1. Turn on broiler and line a baking sheet with tin foil. Do NOT use parchment, as it could catch fire under the broiler.
  2. Cut grapefruit in half (through the middle, not the stem end)
  3. Place on baking sheet with the flesh facing up. You can cut a tiny bit off the bottom to make it more level when sitting on the tray.
  4. Using a knife, cut around the edges of the grapefruit and between each piece to loosen the flesh. This will make it much easier to eat once it comes out of the oven.
  5. Spoon 2-3 tsp of coconut sugar on each half.
  6. Add a few dashes of cinnamon to each half (can omit if you don’t like cinnamon).
  7. Place under broiler for 5-7 minutes. You will see juice oozing from the grapefruits and the tops will be a bit brown and flesh elevated.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Serve with coconut or almond yogurt if you’d like.
  9. Enjoy!

 

* Yellow grapefruit tends to be more sour and will likely require more sugar to get the taste right. I personally prefer ruby red for broiling.

Curried Blood Orange Fig Spread

Curried Blood Orange Fig Spread

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I’m honestly not exaggerating when I say this is one of the best things I have eaten in a long time. Now, I probably enjoy figs more than the average person (I mean, duh, right?), but there is something about the combination of sweet figs + citrus + curry that makes this spread just so drool-worthy.

I found a version of this recipe on a print-out from probably six or seven years ago. I have no idea where it came from. When I first went vegan, I liked to collect recipe ideas in a Word document on my work computer, then print it out and try different things. I’m not sure how I overlooked this one back then, but I’m excited I have re-discovered this relic from my past.

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I also came across a similar product in a store, in a jar with preservatives. I’m super excited to share this recipe because it’s a much fresher version of anything you’ll find in a jar. As I sit here, I’m trying to decide how to eat it next (and trying to be more creative then just ‘shove spoon in jar’).

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried Turkish figs
  • Juice from 2 small blood oranges (or 1 large)
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tsp agave, or bee-free honey (or regular honey if not strictly vegan)

Method:

  1. De-stem the figs and place them in a bowl. Cover with filtered water, and allow them to soak for at least a half an hour to soften.
  2. Place all ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender and process until smooth. I would suggest adding the curry powder last, and adjusting this to taste. Depending on the taste and quality of the powder, you may want to use more or less.
  3. Enjoy! This dip is great on toast, with crackers, or my favorite way — on a grilled sandwich (might I suggest fresh sourdough?) with cashew cheeze and arugula. For my sandwich, I spread vegan butter on the outside, and grilled it in a pan until warm and gooey.

 

Note: There are some people who freak out and say that figs shouldn’t be consumed by vegans, and I just have to say: I am definitely on the side that eats figs. Never heard this before? In short, certain types of figs are pollinated by a fig wasp during a very natural process. The enzymes in the fig convert the wasp into protein to grow the fig, so it’s not like you are eating a full bug or there is any way to tell.

To me, it’s sort of like saying you won’t eat bananas because the skin might contain a pesticide with animal products. And if you’re eating truly organic produce, I guarantee a dead bug has slipped in there a few times, even if you wash your produce. I once found an entire preying mantis in a bag of organic greens.

It’s extremely difficult to live a fully vegan life, so don’t be so hard on yourself. In my opinion, eating figs is not the same as eating a product like gelatin, which is made (by humans) from boiled animal bones, or like eating honey, which absolutely exploits bees in most cases. No wasps are being exploited or harmed to grow a fig. In the end, do your research and decide for yourself, but I’m staying on the fig train.