July Foodie Penpals Reveal

It has been a while since I last posted.  I’ve been SO busy with my class, working at Leo’s, trying to spend time with friends, and I scored an internship!  I even missed the deadline to post about foodie penpals.  Well, better late then never right?

 

What a beautiful package Jenni sent me.  At first, the person who was supposed to send me a package never contacted me and Jenni said she never got a reply either.  After a couple days of no response, Lindsay paired us together.  Jenni is from St. Louis, MO and sent me some great local foods!  And yes.. it’s ALL VEGAN!

I’m wrapping all my goodies in cute paper from now on.

Sorry I just got this camera and I don’t know how to turn off the flash so the picture quality is not the best

 

 

Jenni sent me two samples of granola.  It was AMAZING! I e-mailed her begging for the recipe.  She said she just threw in a bunch of stuff together but said she would try to think about what ingredients she used. Here’s the recipe.  I haven’t tried making it yet because I don’t have wheat germ.. but since I’ve already eaten all the granola she’s sent me I need to make some SOON.

“I think I may have figured it out!  I used a few different recipes I have and combined them to make this granola.  I suggest playing around with the flavors you like, it’s very forgiving!  I think you could also omit the brown sugar in this one.  Honey is normally used, but I decided on the corn syrup to make it vegan friendly.  You could also use agave, it’s lighter.  I hope that helps and if you make it, it tastes the same!

3 cup Old Fashioned Oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 carob chips, optional
Mix oats, coconut, pecans, wheat germ, cinnamo,n, brown sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Mix corn syrup, vanilla and vegetable oil in a glass measuring cup.  Pour over oat mixture.  Combine until everything is mixed very well, place on a large baking sheet.  Bake in a 350 degree oven, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow to cool, then add the cranberries and chips.”
When I do make this granola, I think I’ll use honey instead of corn syrup because it’s healthier.  Although honey isn’t technically vegan, I will use it occasionally in baking.
Oh my dark chocolate…
Jenni also sent me a few other goodies that are not here because the picture quality is so low.  One in particular was locally made peanut butter!  Because it was packaged in a plastic container, a bit of oil leaked out.  Nevertheless it still tasted delicious! I even made chocolate chip peanut butter cookies the next day.
Thanks again Jenni!!

 

 

Flax French Toast

Since I’ve been a vegan for almost a week now, I’ve decided to set some blog goals:

  1. Bake/blog a new Vegan friendly desert once a week.  I’m thinking cupcakes for this week….
  2. More on recipes…blog a new Breakfast recipe each day.  (Lunch and Dinner recipes will follow in the future)
  3. Follow more Vegan/Vegetarian blogs.  I stumbled upon a post yesterday by Brittny, who blogged about her favorite spring “vegan treats and eats” and her overall transition from vegetarian to vegan.   Her post was inspiring and motivating.

And now for Monday’s Breakfast Recipe… 

Flax French Toast
Adapted from VeganMonster

Ingredients

  1. 2 slices of Whole Wheat Bread
  2. 1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp Almond Milk
  3.  2 tbsp Flax Meal
  4. 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
  5. Ground Cinnamon
  6. Ground Nutmeg (optional)
Instructions
  1. Mix together the milk and flax in a bowl.  Microwave for 30-40 seconds and beat lightly with a fork.
  2. Add in the vanilla and cinnamon and heat frying pan
  3. Dip both sides of the bread in the mixture and bake on pan.
  4. Fry until golden color appears.
  5. Serve with maple syrup, dried fruit, fresh fruit, or granola
Tips:  Important to heat the milk and flax or else your french toast will be cold.  Also, if your bread is very thick, slice it because the too much milk absorbed will make the toast very soggy.

 

Vegan Fruit and Nut Bar Recipe

Three graduation parties this weekend… what to give as gifts?  Well, since I’ve been browsing through vegan blogs lately I wanted to try out this cool fruit and nut bar recipe I found on Oh She Glows.  The bars look so cute wrapped up in parchment paper and tied with a ribbon.  They make for perfect graduation presents!  And I would practice my baking skills.  They turned out really great!  I did, however, make a couple of mistakes that could have improved the overall quality of the bars.  I have italicized the mistakes so YOU will not make the same ones!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup of Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/8 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/8 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup of Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1.5 cup toasted peanuts (chopped! IMPORTANT!)
  • 1/2 cup Craisins
  • 1 cup or 9 Medjool Dates (pitted and chopped) or 
  • 1/2 cup dried Turkish Apricots
  • 1 “Flax Egg” (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water)
  • 1 tbsp Almond Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Step by Step Instructions
  1. Preheat Oven to 325F.  With your 9×9 inch pan with wax or parchment paper.  Make sure there is extra paper on two sides so you can easily lift it from the pan.
  2. Mix the Flax egg together in a small bowl.  (I forgot to do this immediately, make sure you do!)
  3. TOAST your peanuts (or any nut that you’re using)  in the oven at 325F for about 10 minutes.
  4. While you are waiting for your nuts to toast, remove the pits from the dates and chop the dried apricots.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda/powder, cinnamon, and sea salt.)  Then add in the peanuts and dried fruit.
  6. Make sure that the dried fruit is covered with the flour
  7. Mix the vanilla into the flax egg after it has thickened up for about 10 minutes.  (I accidentally added it in before it thickened…)
  8. Add the flax egg mixture and the Almond Milk with the rest of the batter and mix well.
  9. Spread mixture into the pan.  With your fingers or a rolling pan, gently even out through the pan.
  10. Bake for 35 minutes until a golden color is reached.  With the loose parchment paper, lift and place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
  11. Then put it back in the pan for a 10 minute cool in the freezer.
  12. Let it sit for 10 minutes on the cooling rack.  Afterwards, place on cutting board and cut the giant block with a large, sharp kitchen knife
    This is where I had problems.  The wax paper was sticking to the dried fruit and the peanuts (since they weren’t chopped) were too big and if they were on the corners they easily snapped off.  I managed to only loose one bar and saved 14 🙂 (three cuts on one side and 5 cuts on the other)
  13. I then took the wax paper and wrapped the bars neatly with a bow.

    Jonah, the grad, is going to Duke next year so I thought it would be appropriate to incorporate his school colors with the bows!  7 Blue and 7 White (okay so it’s actually creme).  For the gift bag I even attached a cute ribbon on the handle.
I have another graduation tomorrow and I think I’m going to bake bars again!  But they will be a different recipe..involving bananas.  Stay tuned!