Tag Archives: Vegan

Easy Stovetop Peanut Butter Granola

Hello! I’d say happy Wednesday, but it’s…just Wednesday. The Wednesday after a holiday weekend in the middle of a pandemic. Happy is a stretch.Easy Stovetop Peanut Butter GranolaBut you know what is happy—er, what is making me happy? This Easy Stovetop Peanut Butter Granola. It’s super crisp, crunchy and peanut buttery, and took fifteen whole minutes to make. That’s the magic of stovetop granola. When you skip the oven, it takes 1/3 of the time! Oh, and it only makes a quart. Add this to the list of small batch recipes we all need this year!Easy Stovetop Peanut Butter GranolaThis isn’t my first go-round with peanut butter granola or stovetop granola. Nope! This is a combination of two of my favorite granolas for maximum efficiency. Maximum efficiency is important when we’re discussing how to get Easy Stovetop Peanut Butter Granola into our faces. We’re trying to do it efficiently. To that end, there are five steps in the stovetop granola-making process and they’re all super easy.Easy Stovetop Peanut Butter GranolaCombine the wet ingredients. Whisk your oil, brown sugar, maple syrup, natural peanut butter, vanilla, cinnamon and salt together in a measuring cup. This provides the majority of the flavor in your granola and help it get good and crispy.Easy Stovetop Peanut Butter GranolaToast the dry ingredients. Combine your oats and chopped peanuts in a heavy pan over medium heat. Stir them around for about 10 minutes, until fragrant and a little darker in color. Don’t burn ‘em.Easy Stovetop Peanut Butter GranolaAdd the wet ingredients to the dry. Pour your peanut butter/maple/brown sugar/oil mixture into the oats and peanuts.

Toast everything together. This is the part where you stir everything for another five minutes, until the sticky stuff is all absorbed and everything has darkened and smells very peanut buttery.Easy Stovetop Peanut Butter GranolaCool. Scatter your granola on a rimmed baking sheet on a rack and let it come to room temperature. This is the part where your granola gets real good and crispy while you decide how you want to serve it. I highly recommend yogurt, raspberries and an artful drizzle of peanut butter.Easy Stovetop Peanut Butter GranolaYou may notice that Easy Stovetop Peanut Butter Granola isn’t particularly cluster-prone. This doesn’t bother me in the slightest, but if you are a cluster person, you can reduce the oats and peanuts down to three cups total volume and keep everything else the same. Alternatively, swap the maple syrup for a thicker sweetener like honey or brown rice syrup, and maybe bump it up to 5-6 tablespoons. Either of those should work some clustering magic.

But, real talk? This salty-sweet stuff is already pretty magical. I mean, maybe this year has lowered my expectations, but peanut butter granola you can make in fifteen minutes? Magic.Easy Stovetop Peanut Butter Granola

Easy Stovetop Peanut Butter Granola
makes about a quart

1/4 cup olive oil (or coconut oil or canola oil)
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup well-stirred natural peanut butter (creamy-style works too)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups honey-roasted or salted peanuts, roughly chopped

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.

Combine oil, brown sugar, peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and salt in a liquid measuring cup. Whisk together with a fork. Set aside.

Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add oats and chopped peanuts. Cook, stirring constantly, until very fragrant and toasted (about 10 minutes). Do not burn.

Add liquid ingredients and stir to coat the oats and peanuts. Continue cooking, stirring constantly for 4-5 additional minutes, until sweeteners are incorporated and granola no longer looks wet.

Remove granola from heat. Transfer mixture to parchment-lined pan and allow to cool completely.

Store granola in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three weeks.

Easy Stovetop Peanut Butter GranolaEasy Stovetop Peanut Butter Granola

Homemade Chocolate Shell

Homemade Chocolate ShellHomemade Chocolate Shell has appeared on here a few times over the years, but always as a part of another recipe. I’ve used it to finish an ice cream cake, as a dip for truffles, and just as a drizzle, but we all know chocolate shell shines brightest on a scoop of ice cream. It’s high time that it gets its own post.Homemade Chocolate ShellChocolate shell is both entertainment and dessert. It goes on ice cream (or anything cold) like chocolate syrup and then magically transforms into a hard edible shell right in front of your eyes! It’s no wonder the popular store brand is marketed as Magic Shell.Homemade Chocolate ShellThe “magic” of chocolate shell was a mystery to me for years—how did they do that?! Turns out, mostly with ingredients and preservatives that I’d rather not ingest whenever I get a hankering for a bowl of ice cream with a snappy chocolate topping. Imagine my utter delight when I discovered Homemade Chocolate Shell could be made with just two easy-to-find, vegan ingredients!Homemade Chocolate ShellHomemade Chocolate ShellYes, all you need to make Homemade Chocolate Shell are four ounces of bittersweet chocolate and two tablespoons of coconut oil. Melt them together, stir until smooth, and then drizzle—or let’s be real, pour—it over a scoop (or three) of ice cream. Then watch as the glossy sauce magically turns into a matte shell in a matter of seconds! It works because coconut oil solidifies at 76F, but that’s way less fun than calling it magic.Homemade Chocolate ShellNot only is Homemade Chocolate Shell made of less-terrifying ingredients than the store bought stuff, it’s more delicious, too. You control the quality of ingredients here, and that goes double since there are only two of them. This batch was made with Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Dark Chocolate and refined coconut oil because those are things that I like and keep on hand.

You may wonder, why refined coconut oil? The answer is simple: because it doesn’t taste like coconut. I like my Homemade Chocolate Shell to taste only of chocolate. That said, if you only have extra virgin coconut oil and don’t mind a little coconut flavor in your chocolate shell, it will work just fine.Homemade Chocolate ShellHands down, my second favorite part of eating Homemade Chocolate Shell is thwacking through it with the side of a spoon. There’s nothing quite like that satisfying snap and the shards of cold chocolate that melt in your mouth.

My first favorite part of eating Homemade Chocolate Shell? Actually eating it. Duh.Homemade Chocolate Shell

Homemade Chocolate Shell
makes about 3/4 cup

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons coconut oil (preferably refined/high heat)

Combine chopped chocolate and coconut oil into a small bowl. Microwave in 15 second increments, stirring in between, until melted. Let cool 8-10 minutes for optimal pouring consistency (so it doesn’t melt off whatever it’s coating). Pour or drizzle over ice cream or use as a dip for other frozen treats.

Leftover chocolate shell will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Reheat by microwaving in 10 second increments, stirring in between, until pourable.Homemade Chocolate ShellHomemade Chocolate ShellHomemade Chocolate Shell

Oatmeal Waffles

Oatmeal Waffles {Vegan & Gluten-Free}It seems like every July my mind goes to Maine while my body stays in New York and bakes in preparation to join it…in Maine. That’s how it’s been for the last five years, but this isn’t most years. My mind has been in Maine since March 13th, but I didn’t think I’d physically get there this year, considering literally everything.

I think most of you will agree with me when I say that 2020 blows. It blows hard. That said, as of this past weekend, one thing this year from hell has not taken away (yet) is our annual trip up the coast. It won’t be during the summer and there will be face masks and social distancing and many considerations we would never have imagined six months ago, but—2020 permitting—we will head north in 70 days.Oatmeal Waffles {Vegan & Gluten-Free}I’m not saying I manifested a Maine trip, but I’m not saying I didn’t (with a lot of VJ’s help and a big check). What I am saying is that when I started testing these gluten-free, vegan Oatmeal Waffles a few weeks ago, I could only daydream about making them on a sunny Swan’s Island morning…someday. Ten test-batches later, I’m looking forward to making them this October, while sipping a hot cup of coffee and doing some leaf-peeping out our kitchen window.Oatmeal Waffles {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Until then, these Oatmeal Waffles are my current weekend breakfast obsession. They’re fairly quick and easy to make, and have a slightly sweet whole grain flavor—no cardboard here, I promise. These are real, delicious, syrup-in-every-divot, Saturday morning-worthy waffles, just without the gluten, eggs and dairy.Oatmeal Waffles {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Oatmeal Waffles {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Oatmeal Waffles {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Oatmeal Waffles {Vegan & Gluten-Free}The batter is made with eight ingredients: gluten-free old-fashioned oats, non-dairy milk, applesauce, touches of oil and sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. It comes together in the blender and, after resting for ten minutes, makes four burnished, crispy-edged, fluffy-centered waffles—enough for two or four people, or eating one now and freezing three for when a craving hits. And oh, it will hit.Oatmeal Waffles {Vegan & Gluten-Free}For those who don’t need or want their waffles to be vegan—something I did intentionally so that VJ and my other friends with dietary needs can enjoy them—the change over to traditional eggs and dairy is very simple to make. Swap the non-dairy milk for whole milk, the applesauce for two large eggs, the oil for melted butter, and bump the oats up to 3 cups. If you don’t need your waffles to be gluten-free, you can just use regular old-fashioned oats—simple as that. The rest of the recipe remains the same, including waiting for the steam to dissipate to determine doneness, rather than trusting the manufacturer’s light on your waffle iron. VJ taught me that last piece of advice, and that lady knows. her. waffles.Oatmeal Waffles {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Again, I’m not saying I manifested a trip to Maine, but if you put intention—in this case, waffles and a dream—out into the world (and write a check and ask VJ to send a series of emails to the powers that be), sometimes good things happen. Like vacation and a freezer-full of Oatmeal Waffles.Oatmeal Waffles {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Oatmeal Waffles {Vegan & Gluten-Free}
makes about 4 large waffles

For waffles:
2 2/3 cups old-fashioned oats (certified gluten-free for gluten-free)
2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons canola or coconut oil
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt

For waffle iron:
cooking spray

For serving:
butter (vegan or regular)
maple syrup
fresh seasonal fruit

To make this recipe with traditional eggs and dairy, see the post for swaps.

Combine all waffle ingredients in a high-powered blender. Blitz 45-60 seconds, until mostly smooth (there will be some small flecks of oat). Let batter rest at room temperature for 15 minutes while the waffle iron is heating.

Preheat oven to 200F. Place a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet.

Grease waffle iron with cooking spray. Pour about 3/4 cup of the waffle batter into the center of the iron and close the top. Let cook until steam dissipates and the waffles are crisp and browned, about 8 minutes.

Transfer cooked waffles to the prepared rack-over-pan and place in the oven to keep warm. Re-grease the waffle iron and cook remaining batter.

Serve waffles with butter, maple syrup, and seasonal fruit, if desired. Enjoy immediately.

Leftovers may be layered with parchment, placed in a freezer bag, and frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat in the toaster.Oatmeal Waffles {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Oatmeal Waffles {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Oatmeal Waffles {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Creamy Avocado Salsa

Creamy Avocado SalsaI posted three salsa recipes in this blog’s first year and haven’t published one since. It’s not that I have stopped making salsa or fallen out of love with it. Ohhh no. I want to make it clear that I love salsa more now than ever. Men and friendships have come and gone, but salsa and me? We’re in it for the long haul.Creamy Avocado SalsaCreamy Avocado Salsa is a relatively new addition to my repertoire. I began tinkering with it a couple of years ago in an effort to match one of the offerings at a local taqueria, and it’s been a favorite ever since. Creamy Avocado Salsa is creamy, refreshing and delicious–we’re talking all the flavors of guacamole with a smooth, dippable consistency. Yum! If you’re going to try one new salsa recipe this summer, let this be the one.Creamy Avocado SalsaThis recipe is a snap to make. Simply pile an avocado, a tiny bit of onion, some garlic, half a jalapeño, fresh cilantro and lime juice into a blender with some salt and cold water, and let it rip. After about a minute, you’ll have a super smooth, bright green salsa. It’s pairs well with tortilla chips, of course, but may I also recommend trying it with cheesy scrambled eggs or sautéed shrimp or with zucchini noodles? Because it’s good with all those things.Creamy Avocado Salsa As with all my salsas, guacamole and other dips, this one is made with my own flavor preferences in mind. I love it the way it is, but I recommend that you taste and adjust as you go, adding more salt, jalapeño or lime until it’s exactly how you like it. You’ll notice that there’s a lot of wiggle room in the amount of water you can use in the recipe. The pictured batch was made with a large avocado and seven tablespoons of water to achieve the texture of a thick, creamy dressing, but you may like yours thinner or thicker. Start with a little water and adjust as needed until it’s to your preference.Creamy Avocado SalsaCreamy Avocado Salsa keeps shockingly well considering the usual trajectory of avocado-based treats. It’ll stay good in the fridge for a couple of days, but if you’re anything like me, it won’t last that long.Creamy Avocado Salsa

Creamy Avocado Salsa
makes about 1 1/4 cups

1 medium-large ripe avocado
2 tablespoons finely diced onion
1/2 clove garlic
1/2 jalapeño (with or without ribs and seeds)
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, loosely packed
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 medium lime)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
4-8 tablespoons cold tap water

For serving:
tortilla chips
cheesy scrambled eggs
sautéed or grilled shrimp
zucchini noodles
literally whatever you can imagine

Combine avocado, onion, garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 4 tablespoons of cold tap water in a high-powered blender. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Continue to blend in more water by the tablespoon, until the texture is like a thick, creamy dressing (or to your specific liking). Taste for salt, acid (lime) and heat (jalapeño) and adjust as desired.

Serve with tortilla chips or whatever you like. Creamy Avocado Salsa will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Stir before serving.Creamy Avocado SalsaCreamy Avocado SalsaCreamy Avocado Salsa

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

Homemade Chocolate SyrupMy dad is the kind of person who just *needs* something sweet at the end of each day, probably because he was raised by someone who always had a chocolate cake on her kitchen counter. Aside from brownies though, he’s not much of a baker and neither is my mother, so homemade desserts weren’t a huge part of my family life growing up. Still, we were a small-dessert-every-night sort of family. We always had something sweet in our weekly grocery haul–Oreos, pecan sandies, popsicles–but I think, if asked, we’d all agree that the best dessert was always vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup. Homemade Chocolate SyrupFast forward fifteen-ish years to me living the professional home baker life in New York in the middle of a pandemic. I can pretty much make whatever dessert I want, and maybe it’s because the weather is warming up or I’m feeling nostalgic or a little homesick, but all I really want right now is vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup.Homemade Chocolate SyrupNow, I do not have much desire to begin making my own vanilla ice cream, but Homemade Chocolate Syrup? That, I need. Like many of us, I grew up with Hershey’s Syrup in the fridge, but now that I’ve started making my own chocolate syrup, I’m ruined for storebought forever. Deeply chocolaty, a little tangy, just thick enough, pourable even when it’s fridge-cold—this is the stuff my ice cream dreams are made of.Homemade Chocolate SyrupHomemade Chocolate SyrupHomemade Chocolate SyrupHomemade Chocolate SyrupAlso, my chocolate milk dreams. I generally cannot abide liquid dairy, but put some chocolate syrup in a glass of whole milk and I. am. interested.Homemade Chocolate Syrup beats the pants off of every storebought version I’ve ever had. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t turn up my nose if someone offered me a scoop of ice cream with a drizzle of Hershey’s Syrup on top—I’m not a monster!—but it simply can’t compete with this stuff. Where the syrups you’ll find on shelves are cloyingly sweet, lacking in chocolate flavor and full of ingredients none of us can pronounce, this one is super chocolaty from cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate, has a little depth from brown sugar, and requires six ingredients that you very well may have in your pantry right now. Oh, and it’s vegan.

If you’re wondering if it’s worth the effort to make Homemade Chocolate Syrup, the answer is a resounding “yes.” This is essentially a souped-up simple syrup with a little chopped chocolate and vanilla extract stirred in at the end. We’re talking twelve minutes start-to-finish for a pint (that’s two cups!) of chocolate syrup. I haven’t done the math, but I’m fairly certain this is less expensive than storebought, too.Homemade Chocolate SyrupWith that, I rest my case…and also tiptoe into my kitchen at 2am for some ice cream and Homemade Chocolate Syrup. Homemade Chocolate Syrup

Homemade Chocolate Syrup
makes about 2 cups

1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups water
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a small pot or saucepan, whisk together brown sugar, cocoa and salt to remove any large lumps. Add water and whisk to combine.

Place over medium heat. Stir occasionally until it comes to a simmer, then constantly for 5 minutes while it simmers. Mixture will expand dramatically. Remove from heat.

Whisk in chopped chocolate, followed by vanilla. Let cool a bit in the pot before transferring to a jar (or other container) for storage.

Chocolate syrup will keep covered in the refrigerator. Stir before using.Homemade Chocolate SyrupHomemade Chocolate SyrupHomemade Chocolate Syrup