Peanut Butter Chocolate Bliss Balls

Blissful is an understatement. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pitted and softened dates
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla extract

Toppings or Add-Ins:

  • Coconut
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Chocolate nibs or chips

Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until combined. The consistency should be sticky and moldable.

Roll in coconut, nuts, or chocolate for a professional finish.

(If you want just chocolate bliss balls, omit the peanut butter. If you want peanut butter bliss balls, omit the cocoa powder.)

Vegan Baklava, Oh Yeah!

IMG_0750I started with a recipe from  CrandleCakes and made slight adjustments, but not much!

IngredientsIMG_0742
1 T cinnamon
6 oz each- pistachios, walnuts, pecans
⅔ cup raw sugar
1 pound (1 package) thawed phyllo dough
4 oz. coconut oil (if you don’t  like coconut oil, use all margarine)
4 oz. vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance)
2 cups agave
1 cup water
¼ cup orange juice
1 t lemon juice

Process

If your phyllo is frozen (it probably is), thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then set it out for an hour or so before you use it. Don’t thaw on the counter!

Open the dough and unroll. Trim it to fit in your pan size. It will be around a 13×9, but I found myself trimming about ½ inch length and width. DD used the extra to make a separate mini baklava.

In a food processor or mixer, chop together cinnamon, nuts, and sugar until the pieces are the size you want them. This took about 15 seconds in the Vitamix, but will depend on your appliance. A little more fine will make a more dense pastry.

Put margarine and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl and heat until just melted.

Use a pastry brush or new painting brush to apply a layer of the melted margarine. Lay down a sheet of phyllo. Repeat 9 times (total of 10 layers). Curse and wonder why you started this.

Sprinkle around ⅓ of the nut mixture over the dough.

Add six more layers of phyllo and margarine, then ⅓ of the nuts, then six more, then ⅓ of the nuts.

Finally, do 10 more layers of the phyllo and margarine. You’ll probably be sweaty and oily by now.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350*. Leave the oven on.

Remove from oven and slice into squares or diamonds or whatever. I meant to do diamonds until I realized it was hard to slice and decided squares were great!

Bake for 30 minutes at 350*. Yep again.

While it’s baking, combine agave, water, orange juice, and lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Turn off to cool.

Remove baklava and allow both that and the syrup to cool for 30 minutes or so. Recut if needed. Drizzle with about ¾ of the syrup (I actually just put it all on, but if you want to save some for serving).

Cover and refrigerate 6-8 hours before serving.

Optional: Drizzle slices with more syrup right before you serve.

Super Easy Vegan Banana Cream or Milkshakes

I love ice cream. I LOVE it. Vegan ice cream is ok, but it’s not easy to find brands that are really good, and almost all of them are very pricey. So, I’ve worked out what is a perfectly good substitute for me. And, you can make it yourself with a blender or food processor and some simple ingredients.

Ingredients

2 bananas, peeled and frozen overnight
1/4 cup of soy, almond, rice, or coconut milk (more if a milkshake)
Your choice of additional flavors, including peanut butter, chocolate syrup, cookies, chocolate chips, nuts, other fruits, preserves

Process

Chuck the frozen bananas and non-dairy milk into your blender or food processor (I like the processor for “ice cream” and the blender for a milkshake). Blend until smooth adjusting liquid as needed. Add additional flavorings.

Eat and enjoy!

Two of my favorites are to add chocolate and peanut butter and make it a milkshake, or to add frozen or fresh strawberries. Yummy, not that bad for you, low in added sugar, and easy.