Raw Vegan Chocolate Balls and Sugarless too!

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Chocolate balls, anyone? How about raw, vegan chocolate balls that is sugar-free? Here’s a very simple way to do it.

I just came back from Sicily with a boatload of almond nuts. Aside from Almond Milk, Almond Cookies and Almond Cake, here is another way of using these nuts.

Unless sprouted or soaked, most nuts are acid forming except almonds. In fact, considering my high acidity, I use almond milk as my antacid.

Apart from their protein content, Almonds are a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium. But take note, we only need about 30 grams of nuts and seeds per day.

Now, for the chocolate balls recipe you need:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cup Raw Almonds, soaked for at least 6 hours and peeled or 1 Cup of Ground Almonds
  • 10 Dates, pitted
  • 1/2 Cup Mixed Raw Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon Raw Coco Powder or Carob Powder

Procedure:

  1. Grind the almonds until they resemble a granulated sugar.
  2. Add the mixed nuts and roughly grind them or you can leave them whole.
  3. Add the dates and the coco powder. Grind until the mixture turns into a sticky lump. If you are using dried dates, it’s better to soak them first for at least half day.
  4. Form them into a ball or a bar and enjoy!
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Ciabatta_Perfetto

This is my 12th Ciabatta to date. I don’t always make it because unlike rice, I don’t want to eat the same bread over and over again. Although it’s easy to make because it doesn’t require kneading, it does, however, require a long time to rise or prove–18 hours. All the previous ciabattas I made didn’t rise as beautifully as this one. They all tended to spread out instead of rising up. For this recipe I used the following flour mixture:

Brown Ciabatta Recipe

  • 1 1/2 Cups Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 1/2 Cups Strong White Flour
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1/4 Tsp Yeast
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Unrefined Sea Salt

Now, you will notice that it’s not 100% whole wheat. The reason for this is because you simply can’t make it 100% whole wheat. Even Chef John said so. I tried to make it a hundred percent whole wheat but it was too wet. I think it’s because fiber retains water. I tried to make it 50/50 but with my method it’s still too wet.

Procedure:

I cut my dough in half so the bread will cook evenly from the sides to the middle. I then use a copious amount of wheat germ to shape the dough to make up for the whole wheat ratio against the white flour.

  • Just mix all of them together adding the water last. Cover with a cling film or foil and let sit for 18 hours.
  • After 18 hours, knock down the dough with a spatula and cut in two.
  • Preheat the oven in Gas no. 7 and place a baking dish with water to provide steam.
  • Spread a copious amount of wheat germ on the baking tray and put half of the dough on it. Cover with more wheat germ until you can’t feel the sticky dough. It will be very soft but very easy to shape. Do the same with the remaining half.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is slightly burnt.
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empanada_step_3

I, finally, made a real empanada with crusty, flaky pastry. The first vegan empanada I made used a bread recipe which wasn’t too bad. It actually tasted like a stuffed pizza.

My only hang-up with empanadas is that they are too oily because they are normally deep-fried. However, here at Jem’s Recipes, I always try to use a healthier alternative so I baked them which called for less fats and the result was as crunchy as they should be but without the sickeningly oily taste.

For the dough/pastry I used Laylita’s Empanada Dough.

This vegan empanada recipe uses very simple ingredients.

Vegan Empanada Filling 1

1 Broccoli Head
250g Chestnut Mushrooms
1 Medium Onion
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt to taste
Optional: Vegan Cheese

Step by step Preparation

Step 1: Prepare the pastry and while it’s being chilled in the fridge, prepare the filling.

Step 2: Stir-fry the onion, mushrooms, and broccoli for a few minutes. Remove from heat while the broccoli is still crunchy.

Step 3: Take the chilled pastry and make your empanadas. There are instructions on youtube that you can watch if you don’t know how to make them.
empanada_step_1

Step 4: Line a baking pan with greased parchment paper. Brush oil on the stuffed empanada and arrange them on the pan.

empanada_step_2

Step 5: Bake them at 400F/200C/Gas 6 for about 30 minutes or until they turn golden brown.

Bonus Recipe:

Sicilian-Style Vegan Impanata

1 Pack Spinach
Black Olives, pickled
Salt to taste

Cook the spinach in a pan until they become soft. Press with a flat ladle to release the water and let it dry.

Then do steps 3-5 from above.

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Zucchini alle Parmigiana

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how to cook zucchiniDo your eyes look blurry? Is it the picture or your eyes? Well, I think it could be your eyes. You probably have been staring too long on the computer and your eyes are strained. I kid! I apologize that the picture is blurred and I don’t have any other image. It was my stupid mistake to take only one shot confidently thinking that it was going to be okay. Although I admit I did think I should take more photos just it case this one won’t come out nicely but laziness overpowered the better off me and this is the result.  I can’t take another photo now because these zucchini alle parmigiana have been gobbled up. I am hoping I would make another one this week to render justice to this recipe. But for now, you and I have to settle for this.

This recipe is similar to Melanzane alle Parmigiana and the only thing that was changed is the aubergine as this one uses courgette. But because the recipe is Italian it is just and right to say zucchini instead of courgette. Also this recipe is a bit modified because I didn’t have fresh onions so I used onion granules.

Ingredients:

3 Zucchini or Courgette

1 Can Tomato Sauce or 5 Large Tomatoes

Vegan Cheese

2 Tbsp Vegan Stock

Preparation:

Cut the zucchini in half. Brush with oil and cook in the oven until the top has got brown patches.

Meawhile, cook the tomato sauce over medium heat until it’s almost dry.

Add the vegan stock and cheese.

Lay the zucchini in a platter and put tomato sauce on top. Sprinkle with vegan Parmesan and enjoy!

 

 

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Vegan Chocolate Spread

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Here it is in all its glory!

non-dairy chocolate spread

Who doesn’t like chocolate spread on their bread? I’d be lying if I say I don’t. I love chocolate just like anyone else but I have my limitation — dairy.  So I decided to make my own. My first homemade nutella tryout was a failure because my blender is not powerful enough to grind the nuts super fine. But I don’t give up just like that.

As a result, I have created my own vegan chocolate spread that is not sickeningly sweet and is tolerable by my hyper-acidic stomach.

Vegan Chocolate Spread Ingredients

50g Dark Chocolate (Check the ingredients and make sure it doesn’t contain any dairy.)

150ml Soya Cream

3 Tbsp Soya Butter

Sweetener (Sugar or maple syrup)

1/4 C water

Method

Heat water, butter and sugar (if using it).

Bring to boil until sugar is melted.

Add the soya cream and the chocolate bar.

Stir until it gets a bit thick.

Let cool.

Enjoy!

 

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