Category Archives: Desserts

Sweetness with no fat!

Vegan No-fat “Aussie Bites”

No-fat Vegan “Aussie Bites”

My husband loves Aussie Bites.  You know, those crazy-delicious bite sized cookie-cakes that just ooze honey, butter, fruit and coconut.  We originally became hooked on the Costco bins of these things, to the point that we carry a container of them in our vehicle at all times, just in case we need a fix.  Finally, I pulled down a recipe from the internet so that we could have a never-ending supply at a more affordable price.

Needless to say, this buttery confection does not quite fit my new vegan no-fat lifestyle, so I have created my version with no fat or coconut.  This new “Aussie Bite” is only roughly similar to the original, but can honestly serve as a delicious stand-in, and might be fairly called an “awesome bite”, and my husband loves it!  The foundation of my “bite” is orange marmalade and graham flour.  I use St. Dalfour Orange Marmalade, but any favorite brand will work.  I have also made my own marmalade from scratch, which is very affordable.  These are very quick to put together and bake only 6-7 minutes (do not over bake)! You will need a mini muffin pan for these.

No-fat Vegan “Aussie Bites”

1/3 C seeds (combination of whole flax seeds and/or raw shelled sunflower seeds)
1/3 C dry rolled oats
1/3 C graham flour
1/3 C dried fruit (combination of golden raisins, chopped dates, chopped apricots)
1/4 tsp. each: baking soda, baking powder, salt
1 heaping TBSP. potato flour
1/3 C no-sugar orange marmalade
1/4 C agave or maple syrup or honey

Instructions

1. Stir together all the dry ingredients.

2. Fold in the marmalade and syrup or honey and mix thoroughly.

3. Using a non-stick mini-muffin pan, fill with each muffin with about 1 TBSP. of dough, pressing with the back of your spoon to ensure there are no air pockets.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 6 to 7 minutes or just until the top edges begin to brown.

5. Remove from oven and immediately use a sharp knife to loosen the edges around each bite. Give the pan about 5 minutes to cool, then use your knife to remove each bite.

6. Cool completely and store in an airtight container. Makes 12 bites.

Vegan Custard

Vegan No-fat Custard Sauce

I’m a custard freak. My mother always had baked custard with nutmeg around for dessert when I was a child.  I loved to break through the nutmeg crust with my spoon and sample the delicious cold, caramel-flavor of that smooth egg custard.  As a no-fat vegan, I use non-dairy milk and cornstarch to achieve a similar concoction.  This can be made as a sauce to use with fruit crisp or as a stand-alone pudding.  Use whatever non-dairy milk you like best!

Vegan Custard

2 C vanilla non-dairy milk (I use almond, but any, such as soy or rice, will work)
1/8 C agave or honey
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (or amount to your taste)
pinch of salt
Cornstarch

Instructions

1. Mix the first 4 ingredients in a saucepan.

2. Whisk in cornstarch as follows:

  • For custard sauce: 2 TBSP
  • For pudding: 3-4 TBSP depending on how thick you like it

3. Cook on medium heat until it just thickens.  Remember, it will firm up considerably when chilled.

4. Pour into glass dish or pitcher and chill.

No-fat Vegan Summer Fruit Crisp

No-fat Vegan Summer Fruit Crisp

My brother and I recently went on a no-fat vegan shopping spree at the fantastic Poulsbo Central Market.  We just went crazy in the produce section of the store, and for those of you who are familiar with this amazing supermarket, you know that is like going to Disneyland for a vegan. We left the store with a bounty of local  and fresh produce, including fuzzy nubby lychees, plump ruby and black currants, nectarines and local strawberries. For the 4th of July, I put together a no-fat fruit crisp using fresh currants and nectarines.   This is quick and easy, and you can use any fresh summer fruit or fruit-combination!

No-fat Vegan Summer Fruit Crisp

1. Toss together:
8 Cups fresh summer fruit (berries, nectarines, plums, rhubarb etc.)
1/2 C 100% whole wheat flour
1/2 C light brown sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon

2. Place in large pie plate or baking dish and drizzle with about 1/2 C agave (or honey).
3. For topping, mix well:
1 C 100% whole wheat flour
1 C dry oatmeal
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 tsp. each: baking soda, baking powder, salt,  cinnamon

4. Stir 1/2 C water + 1/4 C honey + 1 tsp. vanilla into dry ingredients. You should have a very thick dough about the consistency of cookie dough.
5. Drop spoonfuls of the dough onto the top of your fruit.  It will spread out a bit as it bakes.
6. Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Lay a piece of loose foil over the top and continue baking for 25 more minutes or until fruit is bubbling and topping is evenly brown. Serve warm with chilled custard sauce, or just plain with a cup of coffee!

Dana’s Bread

Dana’s Bread

Today is my regular baking day, a decadent weekly ritual. I press some dark roast to sip and pull out my favorite old kitchen tools: my vintage McCoy bread bowl (inherited from my mother-in-law) and my Rosti melamine mixing spoon. It is just a lovely experience to grind my spices fresh and to feel the grainy warmth of flour and meal as I mix dry ingredients with my hands. I always feel connected to the familial spirits who mixed bread in this bowl in decades past.

I make Dana’s bread. Dana is my brother-in-law, and a true renaissance man. He is an expert “learner”, constantly starting new projects from scratch and persisting until he has completed a ___________ (add in just about anything: a boat, a suit of armor, a full-size castle, a bread recipe). He developed this recipe when he started hand-grinding red wheat. I love it because it is a healthy no-yeast recipe that can be made without oil or dairy. It uses flax meal and water in place of eggs. You can also adapt the recipe to make gingerbread or banana bread or anything you dream up. This bread is a staple for my no-fat vegan lifestyle. My family never gets tired of the many flavored forms it can take!

Dana’s Bread (basic recipe)

3 Cups 100% whole wheat flour
1 Cup white flour
2 Cups flax meal (ground from flaxseed)
1 ½ C brown sugar (light pack)
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt (optional)
2 Cups water

Instructions

1. Get out your giant bread bowl and assemble your dry ingredients inside.

2. Mix with your hands until the lumps of sugar are fully integrated with the flour and meal

3. Stir in the water and mix well until you have a very thick batter.

4. Put the batter into a non-stick angel food cake pan with a removable bottom.

5. Bake at 375 degrees for 65 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 5 minutes.

6. Run a knife around the outer side of the bread to loosen it from the pan. Using a towel to protect you from the hot pan, pop the outer pan off of the bread, leaving the loaf seated on the bottom of the pan. Run the knife around the inner hole to help bread come out easily. Wrap in foil or plastic wrap and keep on the counter or in the fridge.

Variations

Gingerbread:
To dry ingredients: add 1 tsp. each cloves, cinnamon, ginger
To wet ingredients: add ¼ C molasses and 1 C applesauce
Bake an extra 5-10 minutes

Banana bread:
To dry ingredients: add 1 tsp. cinnamon and ½ tsp. nutmeg or cloves and 1 C raisins
To wet ingredients: add 4 ripe mashed bananas

Fruit bread:
To dry ingredients: add any one or combination of nuts and/or dried fruit – cranberries, cherries, chopped apricots/figs/dates, raisins, etc.