Raw Vegan Chocolate Caramel Hearts

I’m not a romantic. If you’re my boyfriend, you’re lucky if I remember your birthday. Chances are, I won’t remember our anniversary, when we met, when we first kissed, held hands or other dates with any romantic significance.

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Ok, I’m not literally that bad. If we’ve been together long enough (say, three years), I’d probably remember your birthday. But I probably won’t remember your phone number. Isn’t that’s what contact lists are for, anyway?

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In saying that, I do cook chocolate hearts for my dearest once in awhile. When the stars are aligned I feel like whipping up some bittersweet chocolate love for him. Like tonight. You don’t need to be a romantic to make chocolates for your loved one. Or do you?

Why I love these chocolate hearts

Although you don’t need any excuse to eat chocolate, here are some, just for fun. These raw vegan chocolate caramel hearts are intensely chocolatey (almost bittersweet) with a nice sweet caramel centre. They are refined sugar-free and contain more antioxidants than your normal chocolate bar. The chocolate is made with raw cacao, which is from unroasted cocoa beans and is the purest form of chocolate you can consume. Romantic or not, this is love.

Raw Vegan Chocolate Hearts With Caramel Centre
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Keren
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 30 hearts
Ingredients
  • Chocolate
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, liquid
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (organic and alcohol free if possible)
  • Caramel
  • 5 medjool dates, pitted
  • 3 heaped tsp cashew butter
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tsp water
Instructions
  1. For the chocolate, whisk all chocolate ingredients in a bowl.
  2. For the caramel, add all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth.
  3. To make the chocolate hearts, add 1 tsp of chocolate into heart shaped silicon mould, add 1/8 tsp of caramel and fill the remaining space with extra chocolate.
  4. Plate in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours to set. Serve.
  5. These chocolates will melt at room temperature so keep them in the fridge until the second you want to eat them.

Note: Quality ingredients are the secret for a delicious raw dessert. Make sure you buy the best you can afford. I used Loving Earth cacao powder; JaxCoco coconut oil, organic and alcohol free vanilla extract; and cashew butter from Naturals by Melrose.

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to share a picture on Instagram and tag me. I’d love to see your creation.

 

With love,

Keren x 

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Superfood Sushi, Newtown

Firstly, I have to say that just by virtue of being completely plant-based, Superfood Sushi automatically gets in my good books. Just like any good Thai restaurant, because I like Thai food and because I’m a vegan. However, as for where it sits on the list, well, read on. I had the opportunity of visiting Superfood Sushi a while back with my non-vegan boyfriend and put their menu to the test. I’ve had some Superfood Sushis at a couple of previous events but this time, we tried almost everything.

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The Superfood sushi concept came about when mother-and-son duo Pepe and Guy Marshal were unable to find sushi that was cruelty free, healthy and enjoyable. I dig that. I love it when people create a business from solving their own personal problem. It’s very cool. I did an interview on Pepe just before the launch of the restaurant, so I’m glad everything worked out and Sydney gets her first all-vegan sushi restaurant. You can check out the interview here.

As I said, the whole premise of Superfood Sushi is to serve better, ethical and healthier sushis. I get the ethical bit but healthier? I thought sushi is already healthy?

Well, not exactly. I started to research this and it turns out that although sushi can be healthy (i.e., low in fat, low in calories and nutrient rich), it can also be a dietary disaster depending on what’s in your sushi. Those big ‘crunchy’ hand rolls with mayonnaise sauce and white rice are really not much better than a Subway sandwich. Seriously. That’s kinda scary.

Superfood Sushi recognise this so they created their own super-healthy sushis to feed the hungry crowd of health foodies, vegans and vegetarian alike. But how good can healthy, plantbased sushi be?

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As a vegan who is used to having very limited options at sushi restaurants (cucumber rolls anyone?!), I was quite impressed by the broad variety of sushis they have on the menu. They all have unique flavour combinations and they taste quite delicious. I also love how they were presented. They look gorgeous. You could tell that a lot of care was put into the making of these sushi rolls, just as in any other good sushi place.

Here’re some of the things we tried:

Bento Box (you get two half rolls of, 2 sushiboats, salad, fruit, and miso).

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Salad and fruits as part of the bento box

A whole heap of sushis:

Sweet Kiwi Nut – Black Rice packed with Roast Sweet Potato, Walnuts, Rocket, Avocado and Kiwifruit

Magic Mushroom Green Rice packed with Portobello and Shiitake mushrooms marinated in Garlic and plum vinegar.

Cheeky Chi -Inari Pocket, Rice, White Kim Chi and Zucchini

Mushroom Soy – Turmeric Soy Gunkan, Portobello and Shiitake mushrooms roasted in Garlic and Umeboshi Plum vinegar

Super Salmon – Watermelon Nigiri

Soba soup – It was the special of the day, light and comforting soup with soba noodles and lots of vegetables

Black Jack– Nori Gunkan, Black Rice, Jack-fruit Salad and Kelp Cavia

Twisted Zucchini – Turmeric Soy Gunkan, raw Zucchini Spaghetti with Basil Pesto and Edamame

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Top: Soba Soup, Black Jack, and Cheeky Chi. Bottom: Sweet Kiwi Nut, and Magic Mushroom Green Rice

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Twisted Zucchini and Mushroom Soy

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Super Salmon

Since I’m quite biased here, I turned to my non-vegan boyfriend to get his impartial non-vegan opinion of the food. He said it was “Very Good” (as opposed to ‘Alright’, ‘Not Great’ and ‘Excellent’). I’ll take that as 4 out of 5 stars. He enjoyed it as much as me so we had an equally pleasant experience… which is not all that frequent when dining at all-vegan restaurants.

Would I recommend it to anyone? Hell, yeah. Check it out next time you’re in town! Sweet Kiwi Nuts and Mushroom Soys are my two favourites so you must try them.

Checkout Superfood Sushi Website for store location and opening hours.

With love,

Keren

Rhubarb Onion Chutney

Sometimes you feel like something that is both sweet and savoury. So you make something a little like this Rhubarb Onion Chutney…

 

Why I love it

It’s a delicious chutney for whenever you wanted something sweet with a savoury twist. I like it. It’s one of those dishes that plays trick with your head. It looks sweet but it also tastes savoury so you don’t really know what to do with it. It reminds me of the first time I had cranberry sauce with roast (back in my pre-vegan days), it’s weird in a delicious kind of way. This chutney is great with baked tofu or salad… or as a dip with freshly toasted olive bread.

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Rhubarb Onion Chutney
Recipe Type: Dips and Sauces
Author: Keren
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: Two 300ml mason jars.
Ingredients
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/3 cup xylitol *see notes
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 knob ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Trim rhubard leave and cut into 1cm pieces
  2. Using Cuisine Companion with a chopping blade, Chop rhubarb and onion 5 seconds speed 5.
  3. Add vinegar and sugar and cook at speed 3, 30 min, 100C
  4. Remove the lid and cook for another 30 min, speed 3, 100C until the liquid reduced and the mixture becomes thick.
  5. Transfer to a sterilised jars.
Notes
*Xylitol is a natural sweetener that is extracted from any woody fibrous plant material. It tastes just like regular table sugar but contain less calories. You can replace 1/3 cup of xylitol with 1 cup of normal sugar.[br][br]*If you want a more subtle savoury flavour, use half an onion instead a whole onion.[br][br]*For manual method, chop everything by hand and then bring to a boil on the stove and then bring the heat down to simmer, stirring once in a while until the mixture becomes thick.

 

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and/or share a picture on Instagram and tag me in the picture. I’d love to see your creation.

Keren x 

Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes

Finally! Gluten free, refined sugar-free, vegan pancakes that don’t suck. It’s super easy to make too!
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Why I love these pancakes

Well what’s not to love. It’s sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan, and the batter sets beautifully to allow for some flipping action. Peanut flour gives this pancake a lovely nutty taste and also gives it a protein boost (the one I use contain 16g protein per 1/4 cup). You can find peanut flour at the health-store (I got mine from iHerb). Combined with banana, these pancakes are mildly sweet, protein-dense and every bit delicious.
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Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Protein Pancakes

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cups gluten-free oat flour* see tips
  • 3/4 cups peanut flour
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • Rice malt or maple syrup
  • Your favourite fruit and topping (I use blueberries and match powder).

Method (Cuisine Companion)

  • Place all ingredient except the peanut flour in the bowl  fitted with the kneading/crushing blade. Mix at speed 10 for 30 seconds. Gradually add the flour through the opening on the lid, still at speed 10, until just mixed.
  • Cook 1/4 cup of batter on an oiled non-stick pan over medium heat.
  • Cook for about 4 minutes until bubbles appear on surface. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until cooked through
  • Serve with some maple/ rice malt syrup

Notes and Tips

1. Make oat flour by processing rolled oat in a food processor or a blender
2. Mix rice malt or maple syrup with peanut butter for peanut butter sauce.
3. You can also use a blender to mix the ingredients or manually by hand using a whisk.

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and/or share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #littlegreenhabits
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Vegan Sweet Potato Blondies

A little comfort food sometimes go a long way. Especially when it’s this good. I made these Vegan Sweet Potato Blondies during the Christmas break in place of gingerbread men and boy did they change my life.

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These are sweet, comforting, and every bit delicious… this recipe is an adaption of Sweet Potato Blondies recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar (awesome cookbook by the way!) – I’ve reduced the amount of sugar, double the amount of spices and included coconut cream to make them slightly less sugary and more nutritious. And the result, boy oh boy…. everyday is Christmas as far as these bars concern.

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Why I love these blondies

First of all I love sweet potatoes. I think they’re superfood – rich in fibre, beta-carotene and vitamin A.  They also contain lots of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. The spices thrown in the mix (cinnamon and ginger) are also great for digestion, cold, flu, and pain relief among other benefits.

These are super easy to make and the result is nothing short of spectacular. They’re mildly sweet, moist, spicy and decadent. Best of all, they’ll make your house smell like Christmas morning. These are beautiful when warm but they also make a delicious cold snack. I highly recommend serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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Vegan Sweet Potato Blondies
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Keren Natalia
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
A delicious bake that will make your house smells like Christmas morning. And no one would be able to guess the secret ingredient that makes this cake so moist and flavourful, sweet potato!
Ingredients
  • Wet Ingredients
  • ¾ cup cooked, mashed sweet potato (skin removed)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup coconut cream (or you can also use coconut milk)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Dry Ingredients
  • 1¼ cup plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • Topping
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped roughly
  • ⅓ cup non-dairy chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Line a 20 cm (8 inch) square pan with aluminium foil. Make sure foil covers the sides of the pan. Brush or spray the pan with cooking oil.
  2. Arrange walnuts on a cookie sheet in a single layer, bake in the preheated oven for about 5-8 minutes, checking every couple of minutes. Let cool for a few minutes.
  3. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Mix to combine.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients together.
  5. Stir in the wet ingredient into the dry ingredients and mix just enough to moisten the mixture. Do not overmix.
  6. Fold in the chopped nuts and chocolate chips.
  7. Pour mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with the back of the spoon or spatula. Bake for 28 minutes. Cake is done if a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out mostly clean (a few moist bits are ok). If it’s still a bit wet, bake for another 2-4 minutes. The key is not to over-bake the cake. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes for the texture and flavour to develop then slice into bars.
Notes
*You can replace coconut cream with any non-dairy milk.[br]*If you’re super lazy, you can just use chopped raw walnut, they won’t taste as ‘roasted’ but they’ll be just as delicious.

If you make this, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or find me on Instagram and share your creation. Don’t forget to tag me @passionatelykeren so I won’t miss your post.

Keren x