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Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats

Ideal for those who don’t like to cook, this is more a breakfast suggestion than a recipe. It’s really simple to put together, and although it’s a single-serving, it’s easily doubled or even quadrupled for a great family breakfast.

Ingredients

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chocolate almond milk (or other chocolate plant milk)
1/4 tsp fairtrade vanilla essence
1 banana
1 tbsp peanut butter
Cacao nibs or suitable-for-vegan fairtrade chocolate chips to garnish, if desired

Method
1. Stir the milk and vanilla essence through the oats. Leave to soak overnight or for at least 20 minutes.
2. When ready to serve, add a little more milk through the oats, if desired. Layer with peanut butter and banana, and top with chocolate chips.

Speedy Chocolate Mug Cake

Rich, spongy, sticky: this chocolate mug cake is wholewheat and free from refined sugar. However, if you’re feeling decadent, you can serve it with some suitable-for-vegans chocolate sauce and/or peanut butter. Serves 1-2, depending on how much of a sweet tooth you have.

Ingredients

Suitable-for-vegan spray oil, for greasing the mug
1/2 small banana
70g dates, pitted and soaked for 5 minutes in boiling water, then drained
4 tbsp wholewheat flour
1 tbsp fairtrade cocoa powder
3 tbsp plant milk
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp bread soda/bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
1/4 tsp vinegar

1. Grease the mug with some spray oil, or a kitchen towel dipped in a little vegetable oil
2. Blend the rest of the ingredients until smooth.
3. Transfer to the mug, and microwave on full power for 2-3 minutes until cooked.

Strawberry-Chocolate Parfait

Although this breakfast seems decadent, it takes under 10 minutes to prepare and will make enough for 4-6 servings. The strawberry cream, chocolate cream, and granola keep well in the fridge in separate containers. This is “technically” breakfast because it’s full of fruit and cereal, but it also makes a really delicious dessert.

Ingredients

2 cups frozen strawberries (or substitute with other frozen fruit, if you prefer)
2 tbsp + 1 tbsp maple syrup
2 cups suitable-for-vegan muesli or granola
300g silken tofu (available in your health-food shop, or in the Japanese aisle of your supermarket)
1 tsp lime juice
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 pear per serving, chopped

Directions

1. Place the strawberries and 2 tbsp maple syrup in a bowl in the microwave and zap for 2 minutes, until the strawberries start to thaw and soften. If you have got a microwave, you can use a saucepan over a medium-low heat.
2. Meanwhile, in a frying pan over a medium heat, toast the muesli until golden brown (2-3 minutes).
3. Transfer the strawberries to the blender with the tofu and lime juice, and blend until smooth.
4. Remove half of the strawberry mix and set aside. To the rest, add the cocoa powder, the peanut butter, and the remaining 1 tbsp maple syrup. Blend again.
5. Layer a glass or bowl with alternating layers of pear, strawberry cream, muesli, and chocolate cream.Top with some granola, and some more chopped frozen strawberries.

Peanut butter, chocolate breakfast bar with dates and figs

Simple, nutrient dense, no baking, no gluten, no added sugar, no added oil, and covered in chocolate.

Ingredients

1/4 cup whole grain teff
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened plant milk (I use soy)
1T cocoa powder (I use a Dutch-processed, fair trade brand)
A pinch coarse sea salt
1/4 cup unsweetened, unsalted peanut butter (I use crunchy)
1/4 dried, soft figs, stemmed and finely chopped (I use calimyrna)
1/4 dried, soft dates, pitted and finely chopped (I use medjool)
2T boiling water
1T tapioca flour dissolved in 2T  water
80g dark chocolate (I use a fair trade, organic bar)

Optional: Add a little chili to the chocolate. Double the chocolate for more of a dessert. Use cashew or macadamia nut butter or even sesame seed butter as an alternative to peanuts. Add a tablespoon or two of coconut sugar for a sweeter tooth.

Method

In a small, heavy-bottomed pan with a lid, toast the teff on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the water and bring the pan to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and and simmer for about 20 minutes (until the teff is pulling away from the sides of the pan), stirring more frequently at the end).

Add the plant milk and cocoa powder. Stir to combine. Increase heat to medium low. Simmer another 5 minutes. While the teff finishes, add the boiling water to the figs and dates and rehydrate a little. Add the tapioca mixture to the teff slowly, stirring continuously until it thickens. Remove from heat.

Mix the peanut butter in with the dates and figs but leave it marbled rather than fully combined. Pour into a 3″ x 9″ loaf pan and let cool 1 hour to setup.

When the bar has setup, turn out of the pan onto plastic wrap top down. Let stand about 15 minutes. Melt the chocolate using a double boiler, two doubled up pans, etc. When the chocolate has melted, turn the bar over. Spoon the melted chocolate over the bar and spread evenly.

Let stand about 30 minutes at room temperature for the chocolate to firm up. Chill uncovered about an hour. Wrap with plastic and chill until ready to serve (at least a few hours, or overnight).

Lemon, coconut milk panna cotta with blueberries and a chocolate, teff brownie crust

Teff is a versatile, nutrient dense cereal grass commonly used in Ethiopian cuisine. If you’ve had injera, you’ve likely had some teff; cooked as a whole grain, it’s also an easy to prepare and flexible alternative to corn meal in many savory, polenta style recipes.

In this application, the grain is cooked whole to give it a soft, chewy cake-like texture. Along with the cocoa powder, the white miso, and the blueberries, it provides a rich but not too sinful dessert. No baking required.

Ingredients

For the teff brownie:
1/4 cup of teff
1 cup of water
3T of cocoa powder
3T of agave nectar
2t of black strap molasses
2T of coconut oil
Pinch of sea salt

For the panna cotta:
1 1/2 cups of coconut milk*
1T of white miso
1T of lemon juice
1T of agar flakes
3T of agave nectar
Pinch of sea salt

For the blueberries:
2 cups of blueberries
2t of lemon juice
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup of sugar
1T of arrowroot powder dissolved in 1T of cool water***

Instructions

Prepare the teff, the panna cotta and the blueberries in that order.

For the teff, in a pan with a lid, bring 1 cup of water to a boil.
Add a pinch of sea salt, the teff, and the coconut oil.
Reduce to very low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat, add the remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly to combine.
Spoon the teff out into a 6″ pie plate (or similar) to cool and smooth with the back of a spoon.
It will be a little gooey and sticky at this point still — that’s expected.
Refrigerate uncovered while you make the panna cotta.

For the panna cotta, bring the coconut milk to a light boil (you won’t need a lid).
Add all of the ingredients and stir thoroughly to combine.
Simmer lightly for 15 – 20 minutes to dissolve the agar.
Aim to reduce the liquid to one heaping cup.
Remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes.
Pour over the brownie and return to the refrigerator uncovered.

For the blueberries, warm a pan on medium heat.
Add half of the blueberries, lemon juice and sea salt, and stir to combine.
If the blueberries are slow to start, or don’t produce much moisture, add 1 to 2T of water to the pan.
Once the blueberries have started to lose their moisture, add the sugar.
Stir to combine, and cook for about 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly.
Add the remaining blueberries and cook for another 5 minutes.
Whisk the arrowroot with the water.
Add the mixture to the blueberries slowly, stirring continuously until thickened.
The blueberries should be quick thick.
Let stand to cool 5 minutes.
Pour the blueberries over the panna cotta.
Refrigerate for about 15 minutes uncovered.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.

*To reduce the amount of fat from the coconut milk substitute a cup of unsweetened soy milk. The result will be lighter but not quite as rich.

**Although manufacturing processes are changing, some commercial table sugars are still filtered/bleached using animal bone charcoal. As a rule, organic sugar, beet sugar and a number of other types are not filtered using this kind of a process at all. Agave and other liquid sweeteners also provide substitutes, although you may need more thickening agent in this recipe.

***You can use corn starch in place of arrowroot powder if that’s what you have on hand. Add the mixture slowly and no need to add the whole amount if you don’t need it.

Raspberry ginger tart in a cup of bittersweet chocolate with orange sesame topping

A simple, no-bake dessert that really brings out the beautiful ruby red of fresh raspberries and combines their sour flavour with ginger, chocolate, orange and other flavours.

Ingredients

For the raspberries
4 cups of raspberries (separated in half)
1/2 cup of sugar*
2T of agave nectar
2T of vegan margarine
A small pinch of sea salt
1 1/2T of agar-agar flakes
2t of arrowroot powder dissolved in 1T of water
2t of fresh ginger, grated

For the chocolate cups
50g of chocolate**

For the topping
2-3T of sesame seed butter***
1T of orange juice
2t of lemon juice
2T of sugar (or to taste)*
A small pinch of sea salt
2t of orange zest for garnish

Add 2 cups of raspberries and the other ingredients to a sauce pan on medium heat.
Stir to combine, and once the margarine has melted, reduce heat to medium low.
Cook until reduced to about 1/2 to 2/3 cups and the agar has dissolved (about 20 minutes), stirring frequently.
Add the arrowroot mixture pouring slowly stirring constantly until it thickens (should be almost instantly).
Let stand to cool for 5 minutes.
Add the remaining berries and stir to combine.
Pour the mixture into two ramekins.
Chill for 30 minutes uncovered until the mix thickens (it will be springy to the touch).
Cover in saran wrap and chill at least another 2 hours (overnight is fine).
Freeze for at least 1-2 hours before melting the chocolate until good and solid (go by the feel rather than the time, since freezers vary).

When ready to add the chocolate, remove the raspberries from the freezer.
Carefully turn the raspberries out from from the ramekins onto a plate.
Use a microwave, a double boiler, or a make-shift double boiler (lightly simmering water in a pan with a second smaller pan poised at water level to ensure a consistent but soft heat) to melt the chocolate. If you haven’t worked with chocolate before, don’t add water, cold liquid, don’t put it directly into contact with high heat source, etc (your chocolate will likely seize and it’s very difficult to fix).
Stir continuously until the chocolate has melted, and then pour gently in spoonfuls over the raspberries and smooth with the spoon so that a bottom layer of chocolate forms, but the chocolate runs over the sides to form something that resembles a chocolate crust.
The chocolate will cool fairly quickly, but refrigerate uncovered for 10-15 minutes when done to ensure the chocolate is dry.
Wrap in saran wrap, freeze for 30 minutes or until firm but not frozen, unwrap and serve.

About 10 minutes before serving, whisk the sesame seed butter with the lemon juice, orange juice and water.
Add the remaining ingredients and whisk thoroughly until combined.
Let stand about 5-8 minutes to thicken.
Add a little more sesame seed butter if you find your topping is not very thick (consistence of the butter itself can vary quite a lot).
Spoon the orange and sesame topping onto the raspberry tarts.
Garnish with the orange zest.

*Production methods are changing, but some white cane sugars are still bleached using animal bone charcoal. Beet sugar, organic sugar and other unbleached sugars are typically fine.

**There’s no penalty for using more chocolate — up to 75g for a nice, thick cup. I use a nice fairly traded bar with organic beans and organic sugar.

***Although sweetened sesame pairs very nicely with sour flavours, it can be an acquired taste. Substitute cashew butter for something more neutral.

Single-serve bread pudding with chocolate, walnuts and cranberries

A simple, seasonal dessert that easily doubles.

Ingredients

1 slice, stale whole wheat bread
1T plant only margarine
2T sugar (1)
1T brown sugar (1)
A pinch of cinnamon
1/2t baking powder
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
1T packed sweetened dried cranberries (1)
1T chopped walnuts, divided and a few pieces for garnish
20g bittersweet chocolate, divided (1)

Directions

Once the bread is stale, preheat the oven to 375F.
Spread the margarine evenly on the bread.
Tear the bread into even pieces and pack about half in the bottom of a ramekin.
Mix the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and baking powder.
Sprinkle the cranberries onto the first layer of bread.
Add half the sugar mixture.
Chop coarsely and add half the chocolate.
Sprinkle with 1/2T walnuts.
Add the remaining bread.
Add the rest of the sugar mixture.
Sprinkle with 1/2T walnuts.
Pour the soy milk evenly over the bread.
Push the bread down a little so that it’s well-soaked in the soy milk.
Cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Bake covered on the middle rack for 10 minutes.
Remove the foil.
Bake 10-15 minutes until the bread is starting to brown. Ovens vary; use the colour as a guide.
Add the remaining chocolate in squares or chop if you like.
Bake 5 minutes, then remove from heat and add a couple of walnut pieces for garnish.
Allow to cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

  1. A growing number of cane sugars do not use animal bone charcoal during the manufacturing process. Organic, beet, or otherwise unrefined sugars are typically fine. Organic or fruit-sweetened cranberries and organic, free-trade chocolate are good choices.

Peanut butter and chocolate millet mousse

Millet provides a light, airy texture to this very simple, rich dessert, garnished here with a few blueberries.

Ingredients

1 cup water
1/2 cup millet
1 1/4 cups unsweetened soy milk
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup unsweetened, unsalted peanut butter
A pinch coarse sea salt (or to taste)

Directions

In a small sauce pan with a lid, bring the water to a boil.
Add the millet, cover, reduce to low and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the water is absorbed.
Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes to fluff.
Puree the cooked millet with 1/2 cup soy milk until smooth.
Add the remaining ingredients and puree until smooth.
Refrigerate cover for 2 – 4 hours to setup (the millet will continue to become lighter while it does).
Spoon out and serve.

Chocolate frozen dessert with almonds

Four ingredients, simple, creamy and delicious.

3 frozen bananas (about 2 1/2 cups)
2T cocoa (I use a Dutch-processed, fairly traded brand)

1/4 cup soft dates, pitted and finely chopped.
1t sliced almonds, crushed

Optional: 1t powdered maca

Puree the bananas, cocoa and dates until smooth, spoon out, and garnish with almonds.