No Bake, Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

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I have to confess that I ate quite a lot over the Thanksgiving holiday. Lots of turkey and ham, of course, but also more refined sugar than I’ve had in a while. Sugar, I have found, takes no time at all to make me feel bloated and irritable. The longer I eat cleaner foods, the bigger the impact sugar has on me, and it is not good. So in the midst of the holiday food extravaganza, I was very happy to find and try these no bake, gluten free gingerbread cookies from blogger My Whole Food Life! If you haven’t checked out her blog, you might want to mosey over there. She has a wonderful array of lovely–and healthy–snacks, desserts, and entrees. I made her recipe with just a couple of tweaks for my flavor preferences. I like gingerbread to be heavy on the ginger and molasses, so my version reflects that. HERE is her original recipe, which would be perfect if you want a more delicately flavored cookie, and especially if you are making these for children, who might not want the fresh ginger kick.

I took a couple of these cookies with me to fuel up for our 11 mile training run this weekend and appreciated them so much!

No Bake, Vegan Gingerbread Cookies (makes about 16 cookies)

  • 2 cups raw pecans, shelled
  • 10-12 medjool dates, seeds removed
  • 1″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 4 pieces honey candied ginger (not sugar crystallized)
  • 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
  1. Put the pecans in your food processor and chop until fine.
  2. Add all other ingredients and process until mixture is a thick dough. It will be quite moist.
  3. Roll into 2″ balls, put dough balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet and flatten each ball slightly with the bottom of a glass.
  4. Chill cookies in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  5. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to a week.
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Pineapple Whip Ice Pops

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I love going to Disney World. I know it’s all manufactured happiness, but sometimes I really need that. Walking mascots to hug? I’m in. Lunch with princesses? Absolutely. Fake safari rides? Save me a seat.

Two of my favorite treats at Disney are the chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream pops in the shape of Mickey’s head and a frozen pineapple sorbet-ish treat called a Dole Whip. The ingredients in a Dole Whip are not very nutritious, but I’ve made my own ice pops to taste just like them–but without the sugar overload and preservatives. Now I can try to recreate the happiest place on earth in my own kitchen.

It’s a small world, after all…

Pineapple Whip Ice Pops (makes 10, 3 ounce popsicles)          One ice pop has 49 calories, 0.3 grams of fat and 39% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin C.

  • 1 lb. fresh, chopped pineapple (or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup vanilla or honey flavored organic Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 cups soy milk (exact amount will depend on how juicy your pineapple is)
  1. Put pineapple, yogurt and 1 cup of soy milk in a high powered blender. Blend until very smooth. Add more soy milk if needed to thin the mixture enough to blend.
  2. Pour mixture into ice pop molds. Freeze 4-6 hours or overnight.
  3. Unmold and create your own happy place.

Chunky Monkey Ice Pops

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Well, my experiments with vegan, dairy-free ice cream were ok, but I have found greater success making creamy ice pops in interesting flavors! These pops are sugar-free, gluten-free, raw and vegan. And magically tasty! Like a fudgesicle that actually has loads of flavor instead of just sugar. I also like that we have individual servings all ready to go–no scooping needed, although I do need to tap the mold on the counter a few times to get rid of those pesky air pockets 🙂

The real secret to these ice pops is bananas. They give the popsicles a lovely, creamy, thick texture without any dairy (I’ve also used soaked and drained cashews–this works well, too). You do need to freeze the bananas ahead of time, but we always seem to have bananas on the brink of disaster, so freezing them before they turn too mushy is a regular habit. I take ripe bananas, peel them, cut them into slices and freeze them on a parchment lined baking sheet. When they are frozen, I pop the slices into storage bags and keep them in the freezer until I need them. They are terrific in smoothies!

Since ripe bananas are pretty sweet on their own, I didn’t add any sweetener, but you could add some raw honey if you wanted to (this would change the nutritional profile). As is, these are cool, creamy, and have a great banana/peanut butter/chocolate flavor.

Many thanks to fellow blogger, The Midnight Baker for sharing her success with the Norpro Ice Pop Maker. Check out her recipes–they look amazing. The Norpro mold makes 10, 3 ounce ice pops, is BPA free and is very affordable. Click HERE for more information.

Chunky Monkey Ice Pops (makes 10, 3 ounce ice pops)
Each ice pop has 100 calories, 5 grams of fat and 3 grams of protein

  • 2 organic bananas, peeled, cut up and frozen
  • 1/4 cup raw, unsalted peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup organic almond or soy milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Put all ingredients into a Vitamix or Magic Bullet blender and blend until very smooth.
  2. Pour mixture into the ice pop molds. Tap the mold on the counter a few times to release air bubbles.
  3. Freeze several hours or overnight.
  4. Unmold the pops and enjoy!

Raw Honey-Almond Butter Truffles

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Pinterest is an amazing thing, isn’t it? I can start looking at garden ideas and POOF! an hour is completely gone. If I spent as much time making the things I pin as I do looking for new things to pin, my yard would be pretty incredible. While Pinterest seems to be a collector area for canned soup and crock pot recipes, I’ve also found some pretty delicious raw recipes there as well. Like these honey-almond butter truffles from Raw Food Recipes. These are very sweet and really make the most of the beautiful flavor of raw honey. They remind me in a way of lovely honey Greek cookies I used to buy at a local Greek festival. Raw honey (or at least local honey) has an amazing, lovely flavor that processed honey loses. Not sure if it’s the processing or the time it spends on the shelf, but if you have local honey available, buy it!

This is another recipe using coconut flour. Coconut flour is gluten free, vegan and has all the vitamins and trace minerals of coconut without the fat. I find it makes a wonderful addition to raw desserts. It gives some of the texture of flour, but it is very light. What a great new discovery!

I followed the instructions and coated these in raw cacao powder, but if I made them again, I’d roll them in coconut instead. I don’t think the chocolate adds anything, personally, and I’m one who LOVES chocolate. You can experiment and find what works for you. Chopped pistachios might be great…or ground, toasted flax seeds…or cinnamon…or…

Honey-Almond Butter Truffles (makes 12 2″ truffles)

  • 1/2 cup raw, organic coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup raw almond butter (you can make this in your food processor)
  • 3 Tbsp. raw honey
  • 1 Tbps. ground flax seed (you can buy flax seeds and grind them in your coffee maker or food processor)
  • 1 Tbsp. raw cacao, raw unsulphered coconut or chopped raw almonds (for topping)
  1. Add first four ingredients to a medium mixing bowl and combine well using your very clean hands or a wooden spoon (I find using my hands a lot easier). Combine until you have a soft, sticky dough.
  2. Roll dough into a log about 2″ in diamter. Cut the log into 12 equal pieces.
  3. Roll each piece into a ball. Put topping (cacao or coconut, etc) into a small bowl.
  4. Roll each ball in the topping to coat.
  5. Put truffles in a storage container and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before serving.
  6. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Double Chocolate Raw Fudge

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Raw fudge–who knew??? Well, clearly lots of people, but not me. Until today.

This super chocolatey fudge could be called Million Dollar Fudge, because the ingredients are a bit pricey and also because it is worth every penny. I’m here to tell you that this recipe is really great. It is gluten-free, vegan, free of refined sugar and absolutely chock full of healthy ingredients. Prepare to be amazed!

I have been wanting to try some more raw recipes after out Clean Energy Bar success and I had heard a lot about raw cacao powder. Processed without heat, raw cacao is full of anti-oxidants and trace minerals like magnesium and vitamin k. Being a chocolate lover, I was ready to try some recipes that use it to its full advantage. I love fudge, but it usually has way too much sugar in it for me, making me tired and feeling bloated.

But I was really jonesing for some chocolate.

And I found THIS recipe from Gourmande in the Kitchen.

Seeing as how my local grocery (and even Trader Joes) don’t carry raw cacao, I trekked out to Whole Foods with Tom. It was a crazy experience. First, why in the world are cashews so expensive there? $13.00 per pound is crazy talk for nuts (they are $7.99/lb at Trader Joes). We asked several store employees where raw cacao powder was and no one had a clue. Not the baking aisle. Not the chocolate area. Not the bakery itself. Turns out, it is in the beauty aisle. Why? I still have no idea. But at least we found it (thank you, nice store employee with the many piercings!) and, after a trip to Trader Joes for raw cashews, we were in business.

Did I say this fudge is amazing? It is smooth, rich, chocolate-y and very filling. One square was definitely enough to satisfy my chocolate craving. I see this becoming a favorite in our house! The ganache recipe is something we have used for several other raw desserts–it is very delicious.

This recipe is easy to make and comes together very quickly. You definitely need a 7 cup or larger food processor to handle the mixing, but that is really the only equipment you need!

Double Chocolate Raw Fudge (makes 24 squares, 2″ x 2″)

Each square has approximately 186 calories

Fudge

  • 2 cups raw, organic cashews
  • 2 cups unsulphured, unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup organic dates
  • 1/2 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1 cup raw, organic cacao powder

Ganache

  • 1/2 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup organic, virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs (optional)
  1. To make the fudge, start by lining an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.
  2. Process cashews in a food processor until very finely chopped.
  3. Add the coconut and pulse a few times.
  4. Add the dates and process until the dough just starts to come together (about 2 minutes).
  5. Add the maple syrup and cacao powder and process until the dough is smooth and sticky. I had to scrape down my food processor several times to keep things going.
  6. Press the dough down into the prepared pan, making sure it is evenly distributed. Park in the fridge while you prepare the ganache.
  7. Wipe out the food processor. Add the maple syrup, coconut oil and cacao powder. Blend for about 30 seconds, until smooth.
  8. Pour over the fudge and spread evenly. Sprinkle cacao nibs on top.
  9. Return to the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  10. Cut into squares and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.
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