The 3-Ingredient Apple Pie Pockets

by Anda Mtshemla

One of my favourite things about grocery shopping is finding accidentally vegan items. My latest “Not-Made-For-Vegans-But-Perfectly-Suitable-For-Them-To-Eat” discovery is ready-made puff pastry. The stuff famous for being packed with a tonne of butter to produce its flaky texture? Yup, vegan.

While most store-bought variations are vegan, there are some brands that contain animal products so make sure you read the ingredient list.

For this recipe, I’ve used this amazing accidentally vegan find as a shortcut to one of my favourite desserts at the moment and yes, you only need three things!

You will need:

1 cup applesauce

1 roll puff pastry (400g)

splash of soy milk (to be used as egg wash)

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 180°C

Roll and smooth out the puff pastry sheet

Cut the pastry sheet into equal sized rectangles (a sheet this size gets you about 12 rectangles)

Spoon the applesauce into the centre of half of the rectangles, leaving room around the edges

Place the empty pastry rectangles on top of the applesauce filled ones, gently pressing down the edges of each one

Secure the edges of each pie pocket by gently pressing them down with a fork

Lightly score each of the pie pockets and brush generously with soy milk

Place in the pre-heated oven to bake for 12-15mins

Serve warm and enjoy on its own or with a serving of vegan ice cream

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3-Ingredient vegan apple pie pocket

The 3-Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

by Anda Mtshemla

As a vegan, most chocolate products are pretty much out so you’ll find yourself consuming a lot less chocolate. The upside, I’ve found, is that you consume higher quality chocolate because, with the animal products omitted from the chocolate you’re eating, there’s a lot more room for that cocoa to shine.

This is an important thing to remember for this next recipe. Since we’ll be using a little bit of an unconventional ingredient, you need to make sure you find a good quality cocoa powder, or just one you know you enjoy, to use because that’s what’s really going to transform the flavour of this simple dessert.

You will need:

1/4 cup cocoa powder (sub for cacao if raw vegan)

2 tablespoons sweetener of choice (agave, maple syrup, granulated sugar)

SECRET INGREDIENT: 2 ripe avocados

If you prefer a richer, more chocolatey mousse, you can skip the sweetner in the recipe completely!

Method:

Scoop avocados into blender along with your sweetener

Blend until completely smooth

Blend again while gradually adding cocoa powder

Serve as is or refrigerate and serve chilled

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Delicious and Healthy 3-Ingredient Rich Chocolate Mousse

 

The No-Bake Carrot Cake Bites

by Anda Mtshemla

Ever since my month-long raw vegan journey in February, I’ve been loving incorporating more raw foods into my diet. Raw foods are not only said to be better for you, as you avoid cooking away the nutrients in your food, but I’ve personally fallen in love with this diet because it encourages me to eat more whole foods which, even as a vegan, I often struggle to do.

I particularly enjoy creating raw vegan desserts because, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, I have a major sweet tooth. And there is nothing more fulfilling than a dessert that satisfies your sweet tooth without experiencing any guilt!

You will need:

2 large carrots, grated

1 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup dates

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon ginger, minced

desiccated coconut, for coating

Method:

Puree dates with water then incorporate coconut flour

Add the carrots, spices, and ginger then stir until mixture is a cookie dough-like texture

Scoop the mixture and roll into bite-size balls

Coat the balls in coconut and refrigerate overnight or until firm

 

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Raw Vegan Carrot Cake Bites– and a great new way to repurpose your old egg tray!

 

 

 

 

 

The Homemade Applesauce

by Anda Mtshemla

Applesauce is one of those versatile ingredients that can be added to a variety of dishes and absolutely make it. Whether you use it as an egg replacer when baking, a sweetener for smoothies or just to add that classic apple-pie flavour to your morning oats, it’s a staple for every vegan pantry.

While most store-bought variations of this smooth, sweet stuff are vegan, they’re packed with sugar and preservatives and I’m of the belief that if you can make something at home healthily, cheaply and easily, you should.

My favourite thing about this recipe is that it’s a great way to put your overripe apples to good use– plus the natural sugars your ripened fruits have developed will make for an even better sauce!

You will need:

(for 1 cup of apple sauce)

6-8 small apples, peeled and cored

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup water

sweetener, optional

Method:

Peel and core the apples then place in a large pot over medium-low heat

Add lemon juice and stir until apples are coated (add sweetener now too, if you choose)

Pour in water and give a final stir before covering

Leave to simmer for 20mins or until tender

Drain and allow to cool before pureeing in a food processor or blender

Store in airtight container and refrigerate for up to two weeks

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Homemade applesauce, ready to use

 

 

 

 

The Hot Cross Cinnamon Swirls

by Anda Mtshemla

With my first Easter as a vegan around the corner, I wanted to create a recipe with the feel of any other Easter, while minimising time in the kitchen and maximising on the long weekend.

While I was never a fan of hot cross buns as a non-vegan, there’s just something about things that you can’t have. So I put my own vegan twist (or swirl) on the classic Easter treat, which combines the ease of a cinnamon roll, using a simple hack, and the unique flavour of a traditional hot cross bun!

You will need:

1kg bread dough (get this fresh from your local grocer)

3 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon nutmeg

1/2 tablespoon crushed cloves

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup sugar

for the “cream cheese” glaze

4 tablespoons icing sugar

1 tsp water

1 tsp lemon juice

pinch of salt

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C

Halve the dough to make it more manageable

Work the raisins into both sections of the dough

Roll out the dough to about 1-2cm thickness

Cut off the sides to make sure the dough is rectangular in shape

Combine coconut oil, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a separate bowl

Spread this mixture evenly onto the sheet of dough then roll the dough into a tight log

Slice the log horizontally into 3-5cm swirls

Pack the swirls into a greased baking pan of your choice, leaving space around the edges

Bake for 20-25 minutes

while the cinnamon swirls bake…

Combine the icing sugar, water, lemon juice and salt in a bowl until the mixture reaches a thick but pourable consistency

Once the swirls have baked, drizzle the cream cheese glaze over them and serve warm

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Vegan Hot Cross Cinnamon Swirls crossed with a “cream cheese” glaze

The Raw Vegan Chocolate Brownies

by Anda Mtshemla

Valentine’s Day is upon us and with this Raw Vegan Challenge I inflicted on myself (because some days, it truly is painful), I’m thinking “Yikes, I’m going to be alone, eating cold food,” not that I have anyone to eat my uncooked meals with on any other night. There was just no way; I had to come up with something to treat myself!

When I originally started working on this recipe, I thought to use Agave or Maple Syrup to sweeten this decadent treat but the dates on their own added the perfect sweetness and gave the fudgy flavour we all love in brownies!

PREP TIME: 30mins  COOK TIME: Overnight/6hours  MAKES: 24

You will need:

1 cup sweet potato, grated
1 cup coconut/almond flour
1 cup dates (soaked, if they are dried dates)
1 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup water

Method:

Line a baking pan with baking paper and set aside

Place sweet potato and dates into a food processor and blend until combined

Add choice of flour and water and blend again until well combined

Add the cacao powder and blend until combined

Fill the lined pan with the mixture, which should resemble cookie dough, and press until even all around

Place in the refrigerator or freezer for at least 3 hours to set

Once set, cut as desired and serve with fresh fruit or vegan ice-cream

image

Raw vegan chocolate brownies served with fresh strawberries

The 3-Ingredient Vegan McFlurry

by Anda Mtshemla

Believe it or not, “Milk’s Favourite Cookie” contains no milk. Or eggs. Or butter. Or any animal products at all, in fact, making them vegan-friendly. Many people’s favourite Oreo recipe, McDonald’s innovative take on famed “cookies ‘n cream” ice cream, is not vegan. But we can fix that.

PREP TIME: Overnight  COOK TIME: 5mins  MAKES: 2 servings

You will need:

4 frozen bananas

1 tsp vanilla essence

6 Oreos, crushed

Method:

Place frozen bananas in blender and blend until smooth and creamy

Add vanilla essence and blend until combined

Add crushed Oreos and pulse until combined

Transfer to mug or bowl and serve

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Yup. Just bananas.

NOTE: Keep in mind that this recipe should be enjoyed immediately as the “ice cream” will lose its creamy texture as the bananas thaw

The Chocolate Chip Cookies

by Anda Mtshemla

Pre-vegan me enjoyed chocolate chip cookies so much that I  nearly considered not going vegan thinking that I would have to give up my favourite sweet treat. While I did, for a while, because no cookie was cutting close to the decadent, crunchy-outer-soft-centre biccies that I was used to, I gathered inspiration from all over the internet and poked and tweaked and I’ve found it.

They’re so simple, I almost always already have all these ingredients in my pantry so I’ve found myself making these regularly over the past couple of months, which has been quite naughty of me… But since Christmas is coming up and Santa is on his way, I’ve paired the cookies up with some cinnamon oat milk and I’m going to serve this combo up to Santa on Christmas Eve in the hopes that he’ll forgive me!

PREP TIME: 10mins  COOK TIME: 12-15mins  MAKES: 12

You will need:

1 cup dark chocolate chips/1 slab dark chocolate, chopped

3/4 cup soy milk

1 cup sugar

2 cups All-Purpose Flour

6 tablespoons refined coconut oil

1/2 tsp salt

For cinnamon oat milk:

1 cup rolled oats

2 cups water

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Method:

Preheat oven to 180ºC/350°F

Lightly grease/line baking pan

Cream sugar and coconut oil together

Add milk and stir until well combined

 

Add salt to flour and gradually stir into the wet mix

Gently fold in chocolate chips/chunks

Roll a tablespoon’s worth of mixture into ball and place on tray

Pop into the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes

While the cookies cool…

Pour rolled oats and cinnamon into a clean bowl and add water until covered

Leave to soak for 20 minutes or overnight

Once soaked, drain the excess water and pour oats into a blender with 1-2 cups of cold water

Blend for 1 minute

Pass blended mixture through a mesh strainer a few times until only smooth, milk remains

Voila!

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Vegan chocolate chip cookies served with cinnamon oat milk

The Carrot Cake Squares

by Anda Mtshemla

Making vegan desserts can be tough since eggs and dairy are usually the centres of most beloved sweet treats. However, from chia seeds and light oils to apple sauce, you’ll find that nature has provided a number of binders for us to use.

In this recipe for a moist, rich carrot cake, I’ve kept it simple and used ingredients that are within arms reach and it’s so easy, you won’t be able to wait to try it!

PREP TIME: Overnight/20mins  COOK TIME: 25-30mins  MAKES: 10-12 squares

You will need:

2 large carrots

2 cups All-Purpose Flour

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tablespoon of nutmeg

2 tablespoons of cinnamon

Pinch of salt

1 cup soya milk

1/2 cup canola oil/

For cream cheese frosting:

NOTE: This recipe requires you to chill 1 can of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight. Make sure your coconut milk is full fat and made with the fewest ingredients possible. This will ensure that the coconut milk separates and hardens as the recipe requires.

1 can coconut milk

3/4 cup icing sugar

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

pinch of salt

Method:

Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/356°F

Grease 20cm x 15cm baking pan

Wash, peel and grate the carrots then set them aside

Whisk soy milk and canola oil until well combined

Add sugar and stir until dissolved

Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt mix to the wet mix and fold until well combined

Add the carrots and gently fold into mixture

Pour mixture into pan and bake for 25-30 minutes

Cream Cheese Frosting

Remove chilled coconut milk from fridge

Turn the can upside down when opening to allow easy separation of the coconut water and coconut meat

Add the thick, coconut meat to a mixing bowl and whisk until fluffy

Add the icing sugar and whisk again until well combined

Lastly, add the salt and lemon juice and give the mixture a final whisk.

Spread the frosting over the carrot cake once cooled and cut into squares

Sprinkle a mixture of chopped nuts over top if desired, and serve

ENJOY!

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Vegan Carrot Cake Squares with a cream cheese frosting top with an exotic mix of nuts