Chocolate Shake (or Frappuccino)

Chocolate Shake (Frappe)

Here is a treat that’s good for your health. A real food, chocolate shake that’s made using whole, plant-based ingredients, and no refined sugars. Just last week in Podcast Episode 27, Patryce and I were talking about ways to create a healthy relationship with food, and during the podcast, I started the discussion about how to create a healthy shake.

Here is what I came up with after looking around online a bit. I found that many recipes use Dandy Blend Herbal Tea mix in many frappuccino-like drinks that usually contain coffee. And guess what? I just happen to have some on-hand.

I used to make an icecream/coffee drink way before I ever became aware of Star Bucks. Yet, by the time I because aware, I was no longer consuming what they put into their drinks. I have to admit, that I’ve never been a Star Bucks fan (too much dairy and sugar and coffee – coffee makes me very nervous/shaky).

But hey, here is one “shake” that I can handle. Since I couldn’t decide between the flavor of coffee or chocolate, I decided to have them both. But, of course, you can make this your own by choosing one or the other if you prefer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of plant-based milk
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats (Added this particular ingredient because of Chef AJ)
  • 1/2 tsp of flax seeds & 1/2 tsp of chia seeds (or 1 tsp of either)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3-5 drops of Stevia (vanilla flavor) or 1 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1 TBS Dandy Blend Herbal Tea
  • 1 TBS Cacao Powder (or 100% Cocoa Powder)
  • 2 – 3 Mejool dates (or 5/6 Deglet dates)
  • 2 frozen, ripe bananas
  • 1 cup of ice (optional, makes more like a frappuccino)

Directions:

  1. First, I like to blend everything together except for the bananas and ice.
  2. Then once thoroughly blended and smooth, I add the frozen bananas and ice.

Notes:

  1. Using coconut milk/cream will add more calories and fat to this recipe and create a very “rich” shake
  2. The flax seeds and chia seeds add fiber and omega 3s
  3. You can also simply use 2 TB Dandy Blend Herbal Tea or 2 TBS Cacao Powder
  4. Medjool dates have a caramel flavor which I don’t think the deglet date has, but usually, they are a bit smaller so I suggest using a bit extra Deglet dates if those are what you have on-hand.
  5. Instead of using ice, you can freeze some of the plant-based milk in ice cube trays for a bit “stronger” flavored drink.
  6. Uncle Bill D, You can add greens to this shake too. A handful of spinach will be undetectable. (Smile.)

ENJOY! — Shonda

Mixed Berry Sorbet

Cool and refreshing! A nice whole food, plant-based dessert which avoids refined sugars and contains fiber.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of mixed frozen berries
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1 fresh, ripe Altaufo mango (peel and remove the seed)

Directions:

  1. Blend in a high-speed blender (using the tamper) and enjoy!

Notes:

  1. You might substitute a regular mango or fresh peaches.
  2. You may need to add 1/4 cup of liquid (plant-based milk or juice or water) if the fresh mango isn’t very ripe/soft.
  3. You can even hide red beets in this recipe.  Try a bit at a time for a “punch” of extra nutrients.

Oatmeal Bars with Berries and Seeds

oatmeal bars with blueberries and pumpkin seeds

I usually just have a bowl of oatmeal in the mornings to keep things quick and easy. There are many options when it comes to adding flavor to oatmeal.  Similarly, the same is true for these oatmeal bars. You can easily switch out the types of berries and seeds.

Berry options include blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or cherries. Also, I suggest using your favorite nut or seed in this recipe. The recipe shown in the photo uses blueberries and pumpkin seeds.

Oh, and as always, you can use whatever sweetener is your favorite. Even a banana or pureed dates would be excellent options. 

With these oatmeal bars, you can be just as creative as you can with a bowl of oatmeal. 

And, guess what else? This recipe allows you to begin your day with G-BOMBS! G-BOMBS is an acronym that you can use to remember the best anti-cancer, health-promoting foods on the planet. These are the foods that you should eat every day, making up a significant proportion of your diet. 

Here are links to our podcasts regarding G-BOMBS. Each episode includes some ideas on how to incorporate them into your diet.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1+ 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1+ ½ cups oat flour
  • 1+ ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 TBS ground flaxseeds
  • 2/3 cup applesauce
  • 1  to  2 cups of berries
  • 1/2 cup nuts or seeds
  • 1/3 cup liquid sweetener  (or pureed bananas/dates)

Directions:

  1. Mix the ground flaxseeds and applesauce. Put to the side.
  2. Add all the remaining dry ingredients and the nuts/seeds to your mixing bowl.
  3. Add the liquid sweetener and applesauce mix and mix well. The mixture will be thick. You can add water or nutmilk if you need to make it thinner, but it should not be runny and much thicker than pancake mix.
  4. Gently stir in the berries.
  5. Place some parchment paper on the bottom of a square (8×8 or 9×9) baking pan for easy removal once baked. Press mixture into a square cooking pan.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned on the top and edges.

Looking for other ways to enjoy oatmeal? Check out Oatmeal Options.

3 Ingredient Date Balls

Date Ball Snacks

 

Date ball snacks are quick and easy to make using only 3 ingredients and a food processor. Loaded with real food for energy, vitamins, and minerals. This makes 12 – 15  1-inch size date balls.

Ingredients:

  • 6 dates, pittedDate Ball Ingredients
  • 3/4 to 1 cup dehydrated apples
  • 1 cup of walnuts (or any of your favorite nut)
  • pinch of salt (optional)

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients into the food processor and process until well mixed.
  2. Form into balls. You can use a tablespoon to measure out the mixture.

Date Ball After Mixing

Notes:

  1. I usually make my own dehydrated apples. This way I can avoid added sugars and sulphur-treated appples. So be sure to look for “unsulphured” apples.
  2. I also soak the nuts for 4 – 6 hours and dehydrate them with the apples. Soaking nuts/seeds helps them to be more digestible.
  3. I’m sure you can substitute seeds (such as sunflower or pumpkin) if you have an allergy to nuts. Start by adding only 1/2 cup of seeds.

Another similar recipe that uses only 2 ingredients: Homemade Larabars

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Whole Grain, Plant-Based)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I came across this recipe a few years back. I thought for sure it was already included in the recipes here.

I’m posting two dessert recipes in a row!

Why? Because I want to help you make some better dessert choices during this Holiday season. (I consider 100% fruit-based desserts as the best choice.) So, check out this week’s podcast. Sugar – The Holidays and Your Immune System.

Related Podcast:  Sugar – The Holidays and Your Immune System.

Vegan Sweet Potato Pie

vegan sweet potato pie

Here is a vegan sweet potato pie recipe that I found on YouTube. For now, this will be the one I’ll be making to bring to the holiday gatherings. In the past, I have always been asked to bring desserts. Are desserts my specialty? Hmm…well, we will see what happens this year because anything I bring will be plant-based. I hope you like it.

More desserts/sweets for you to try.

Vegan Meringue Cookies – Using Aquafaba

meringue cookies

Yes, vegan meringue is possible using aquafaba. Aquafaba is the left over water after cooking dried beans or legumes. The only one I’ve ever used is that which I have after cooking chickpeas/garbanzo beans. I think chickpea water is the most popular one for most recipes. (See the aquafaba recipe below.)

I cannot eat pure sugar, so these cookies are not for me, but I wanted to make a dessert that my daughters might enjoy and for those of you who might enjoy them too.  But really, I just wanted to try to try a substitute for egg whites to create a meringue cookie. And it works great!

Oh, and before you get started, the recipe below calls for the use of a pastry bag with a star (decorative) end. You can use a pastry bag with a hole cut in the bottom. Or simply use a spoon to plop the meringue onto the cookie sheets. Don’t worry…these cookies will taste the same once baked no matter what “shape” they are in.

Once baked and cooled, the cookies will be crispy. Store in an airtight container to keep away from moisture or they will lose their crispiness. Also, keep them away from heat because they will melt.

Leftover Vegan Meringue…

I had left over meringue, so I decided to make vegan lemon meringues desserts. Not pie, because I didn’t want to make a crust. I used this recipe . This recipe also contains good tips on making the lemon curd thicker (such as using agar agar flakes). I simply used the basic recipe even without the vegan butter. There is also a link to vegan pie crust recipe and suggestions for store-bought brands.

Leftover aquafaba…

I always like to keep aquafaba available for use in some requires that list eggs as an ingredient. I often use aquafaba in pancakes and cookies. But, if I don’t use the aquafaba right away, I freeze some in ice cube trays for later use.

How to make aquafaba

I enjoy using chickpeas in many recipes, therefore, I always have aquafaba on hand. I think chickpeas and pinto beans are my favorite legumes. Although, I’ve never used pinto aquafaba in any recipes…I supposed that you could, but it would give it a pink tint for sure.

I prefer to soak the chickpeas overnight (or at least 8 hours). Note: The cooking times below refer to soaked chickpeas.
Drain off the soaking water, prior to cooking.
Instantpot: Cover with 1 inch of water. Stovetop: Cover with 2 inches of water.
Instantpot: Cook for 13 minutes. Stovetop: Bring to boil for 1 minute, then simmer on low for about an hour.
I usually use a spoon to remove some of the froth that appears in the pot after cooking.
Strain the aquafaba into a container for later use.

I usually put the chickpeas into the freezer for later use in soups, salads, hummus, stir-fries, tacos, and making tortillas/wraps.

More Vegan “Sweet” Desserts

Apples and Dip Party Platter

I’ve had the opportunity to share this recipe at quite a few parties this Christmas season and it has received great reviews. Most are very surprised when they discover that the ‘caramel’ dip doesn’t contain any sugar or dairy. (Surprise…it’s made using dates!)
Ingredients:
  • 4 large Fuji or Gala Apples (I think I would even enjoy Granny Smith)

Date ‘caramel’ sauce:
  • 8 Medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond (recipe says that coconut milk is also an option)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder (alcohol free vanilla extract is also an option)
  • dash of sea salt

Other toppings:
  • Walnuts and/or pecans
  • Raisins and/or dried cranberries
  • 2 tsp tahini or almond butter

Directions:
  1. Blend together all the ingredients for the caramel sauce until smooth. If not using a high-speed blender, it would be best to soak the dates in the water prior to blending
  2. Cut the apples into thin wedges, arrange on a platter, pour on sauce and add toppings.

Note: This was adapted from the  ‘Apple Nachos’ recipe from the Medical Medium’s website. 

Real Food Rocky Road Ice Cream



I wasn’t planning on posting this tonight, but it’s the weekend and it’s nice to have something cool and sweet to eat while chillin’, right?

Well this is my own version of rocky road ice cream. I don’t think I was ever a fan of rocky road ice cream beore, but this dessert just ‘happened’ today. And after taking the photo and deciding to post it I thought it looked like rocky road and… I needed to give it a name.


This is a real food ice cream. This is made of fresh real food ingredients. Banana ice cream (made only of frozen bananas and cinnamon) topped with dates, dried mulberries and homemade chocolate (raw cacao, coconut oil and raw unfiltered honey). I will definitely be making this again and since I forgot to add nuts, next time I will be adding pecans or some other nuts to the mix for sure. Note: Many have termed ice cream made from plant-based ingredients as “Nice Cream”.

Ingredients:

Ice Cream
    2 frozen bananas
    1/8 tsp cinnamon

Raw Chocolate
    1/8 cup raw cacao*
    1/2 to 1 TBS raw, unfiltered honey*
    1 TBS coconut oil

Additional Toppings
    dried mulberries*
    dates*
    nuts*

*High FODMAP food – remove from ingredients to achieve a Low FODMAP recipe.

Directions:

  1. Before making the ice cream. mix together the raw cacao (or cocoa powder of choice), honey and coconut oil with a spoon. Add more coconut oil or honey if still too dry. Spread onto wax paper and put into freezer for about an hour.
  2. Place frozen bananas and cinnamon into a high speed blender and process until you create a smooth, ice cream consistency. This is where a Vitamix is very useful.
  3. Put ice cream into a bowl, break chocolate into pieces over the top and add other toppings as desired.

Alternatives/Add-ins:

  • Add vanilla extract or vanilla bean to the bananas in addition to or in place of the cinnamon
  • Use ready-made chocolate chips if you are short of time, but I hope you would try to make your own dark raw chocolate because it’s simple and made of simple real food ingredients
  • Add avocado and mint to flavor the ice cream so you can create mint chocolate chip ice cream (It’s likely that I will try that one this week too.)
  • Swirl in some nut butter or full fat coconut milk (or both)