Sunday, October 30, 2011

Allergy Friendly Vegan Chocolate Pudding

A few weeks ago, I made a Vegan Chocolate Pudding (delicious) that used tofu (soy) as the base ingredient. While this pudding was the perfect gluten & dairy-free solution for me, it wasn't for one of my readers.

I soon had a request for a gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and corn-free chocolate pudding. Wow. Deb, this post is for you.

After spending some time determining what would provide a nice and thick pudding texture, I came up with this allergy friendly dessert. Coconut milk is the main ingredient and a combination of tapioca starch and arrowroot powder help create a thick and creamy texture, that’s perfectly pudding-like.

The end result? A yummy chocolate pudding safe for the masses. :)

Allergy Friendly Vegan Chocolate Pudding
by Laura Friendly

Makes: 4 to 6 servings
start to finish: 30 minutes (not including refrigeration)
  • 2 cans coconut milk, room temperature (I used lite coconut milk)
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups vegan chocolate chips, melted (depending on how sweet/chocolaty you like it)
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp salt
Mix ½ cup coconut milk with tapioca starch and arrowroot until dissolved. Set aside.

In a medium non-stick sauce pan, add the remaining coconut milk and stir over medium heat until liquid starts to bubble. Reduce heat to low and whisk in the melted chocolate, vanilla and salt.

Slowly add in the tapioca mixture while continuously whisking. Allow liquid to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring constantly, until the liquid becomes nice and thick.

Transfer into individual glass containers, cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.

• Excess condensation will form on the lid or cover while the pudding is cooling, so remove the cover gently and shake off any excess water
• This pudding has a tendency to form a thick skin on the surface, that’s perfectly good to eat… but it you don’t like “pudding skin,” lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding surface, smoothing it out completely before refrigerating.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Maple Glaze

‘Tis the time of year for all things pumpkin… and yes, I do have another pumpkin post for you today.

I’ve been doing a lot of baking lately. Something I’m always striving for when I bake is to “fool” people. Meaning, I want someone to taste my food, think it’s amazing and not have a clue that it’s gluten & dairy-free. I think this Bundt cake does just that and the pumpkin is the key.

The pumpkin helps make this cake incredibly moist and flavorful. It’s definitely the star ingredient but it’s followed up nicely with hints of vanilla and cinnamon. This cake is not overly sweet, but just sweet enough to enjoy even without the glaze… if you aren’t a glaze kind-of person.

But lets not forget the glaze! We’re talking Maple Glaze. Very simple and SO EASY to make, it’s the perfect compliment to this spiced dessert.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake
by Laura Friendly

Makes: 8 to 12 slices
start to finish: about 1 hour (including baking time)
  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free All Purpose Baking Flour
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp arrowroot powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup dairy-free creamer, room temp
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier,* (can be replace with 1 tbsp vanilla)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a medium Bundt cake pan.

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum, arrowroot powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix the pumpkin, coconut oil, dairy-free creamer, eggs, vanilla and Grand Marnier.

Combine both mixtures and blend well. Once the ingredients are well incorporated pour into the lightly greased Bundt pan. Bake in the center of the preheated oven for about 40 to 45 minutes until the cake is firm when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool down for about 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving platter.

Once the cake is completely cooled, drizzle with Maple Glaze. Enjoy!

Maple Glaze
by Laura Friendly

Makes enough glaze for 1 cake
start to finish: 5 minutes
  • 2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 to 2 tbsp dairy-free creamer

In a medium size bowl, combine sugar, maple syrup and dairy-free creamer and whisk together well. The glaze should be the consistency of a heavy cream. Use immediately.

note: if the glaze seems too thick, add additional dairy-free creamer, one tsp at a time, until smooth. If the consistency of the glaze is to runny, add more powdered sugar, one tsp at a time, until thickened.

*note about Grand Marnier: Alcohol is something of a debate among celiac’s. Most authorities say that drinking distilled alcoholic beverages are safe for people with celiac disease, because distillation is said to remove all gluten protein from the alcohol, rendering it gluten-free. As always, I would use your personal discernment. I have no problem with Grand Marnier but only you know if your body will tolerate this alcohol. Please use your best judgement. Here is a link for more information:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Vegan Cinnamon Pumpkin Ice Cream

Yes. It’s time for more ice cream. Cinnamon Pumpkin Ice Cream, to be exact. 

Jon has been encouraging me to make a cinnamon ice cream from the moment I brought home my ice cream maker. I finally decided it was time to indulge my guy. I conveniently had some left over pumpkin and this got me to thinking a Cinnamon Pumpkin Ice Cream could be a nice combination. Perfect for Fall and perfect for Jon.

One of my goals for this ice cream was to find a way to make it creamier. I’ve noticed that the ice creams I’ve made so far have had a more sorbet like texture and I’ve been craving a more creamy, dairy-like texture. So after doing a bit of research and experimentation I’ve discovered a few things.
  1. First, using a fuller fat milk provides a creamier base. So for this recipe I’m using regular caned coconut milk, not the lite stuff.
  2. Second, adding a little bit of cornstarch will help thicken the ice cream base, making it creamier.
  3. Third, adding a little alcohol also helps to prevent the ice cream from fully freezing (because alcohol doesn’t freeze). 
The result? A creamy cinnamon flavored ice cream, with hints of pumpkin, perfect for Fall.

Vegan Cinnamon Pumpkin Ice Cream
by Laura Friendly

Makes: 1 quart of ice cream
start to finish: 20 minutes (to make the ice cream base)

  • 2 13.5 oz. cans of coconut milk (use the regular coconut milk, not lite)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup roasted pumpkin puree, canned or fresh
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 to 2 tsp cinnamon (depending on your taste)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp alcohol, optional, I used Grand Marnier
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with ¼ cup of the coconut milk, until the cornstarch is dissolved. Set aside

In a medium size sauce pan, whisk together the remaining coconut milk, pumpkin, maple syrup, agave nectar, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Heat over medium heat and continue whisking until the mixture starts to bubble.

Reduce the heat to low and slowly whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Continue to simmer for about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, allow to cool and whisk in the Grand Marnier.

Allow mixture to chill in the refrigerator for about 3 hours (or over night) and then freeze according to your ice cream makers instructions. Before serving, allow to thaw for about 15 minutes.

note about Grand Marnier: Alcohol is something of a debate among celiac’s. Most authorities say that drinking distilled alcoholic beverages are safe for people with celiac disease, because distillation is said to remove all gluten protein from the alcohol, rendering it gluten-free. As always, I would use your personal discernment. I have no problem with Grand Marnier but only you know if your body will tolerate this alcohol. Please use your best judgement. Here is a link for more information:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Vegan Pumpkin Mousse or Pie Filling

Fall is “officially” here. The Maple Trees are in full color and apples, pumpkins and squash are on glorious display. I’ve mentioned it before but I’ll say it again, fall is my most favorite season. All sorts of pies and sweet delights are given center stage as the weather starts to cool down.

Over the years I’ve made my fair share of pumpkin desserts: pumpkin pie, pumpkin mousse, pumpkin cookies and pumpkin whip-cream, just to name a few. The recipe I’m sharing today is one of my easy, go-to desserts. It’s a Pumpkin mousse that doubles as a pie filling. No baking required, just a bit of blending and then some chilling. It’s the perfect dessert for the days when you only have about 10 minutes to spare, plus its high in protein and fiber and tastes amazing.

I hope you enjoy!

Vegan Pumpkin Mousse or Pie Filling
by Laura Friendly

Serves: 6 to 8
start to finish: 10 minutes (not including refrigeration)
  • 2 cups cooked pumpkin (fresh or canned)
  • 1 12 oz package of extra firm tofu, drained
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of sea salt
Combine all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Fill individual dessert cups and chill until firm. (If you are using this as a pie filling, pour the mousse into a pre-baked pie crust and chill until firm).

note: If you would like this to be lighter and more whip-cream like, use soft tofu in place of the extra firm.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Vegan Chocolate Pudding

Have you ever had one of those days… where nothing seems to work? You burned your cookies… over-mixed your dough… got carried away and over-spiced your meal… This was me last week. Nothing seemed to be going my way in the kitchen. After one more failed attempt at a culinary delight, I closed shop, grabbed my yoga mat and headed to the studio for a much needed detox.

Some days just go like that. They are messy. But messes can be beautiful things too because they help you to take a step back and reflect. The messy days make you appreciate the other days… Where everything seems to fall into place. You just click.

So in honor of the other days here is a simple dessert, from my lovely friend Tammy (from The Sweet Tomato). Vegan Chocolate Pudding.

If you are craving chocolate then this is for you. Pudding that gives the Jello Pudding Cup a run for its money. No joke, this is ridiculously easy, fast and delicious. Soft tofu provides the base for this dessert and trust me, it really is just as smooth and creamy as the real thing.

You can proceed without caution and indulge without fear because this dessert… you really can’t mess up. :)


Serves 4
start to finish: 10 minutes (not including refrigeration)
  • 1 12 oz package of soft tofu (I prefer Silken tofu because it has a mild flavor)
  • 1 cup gluten & dairy-free chocolate chips, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla, optional
In a small nonstick sauce pan slowly melt chocolate chips over low heat, stirring continually. Once melted, combine chocolate sauce, tofu and vanilla in a food processor and blend until very smooth. Pour into 4 ramekins and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Quinoa Pancakes

Quinoa. This trendy grain is getting a lot of attention these days and for good cause. It’s a complete protein, it contains all 9 essential amino acids and it’s loaded with magnesium. It’s a wonderful food source for the vegan at heart and it can also satisfy the meat lovers out there. Knowing how good for me this grain is, I’ve been making an effort to add it into more of my meals.

I have to thank Martha Stewart for this recipe. I am a lover of all things Martha and I receive her Everyday Food magazine. It never fails to inspire with its breathtaking photos and mouth water recipes. I’m always blown away at what her team accomplishes.

But I digress… in the November 2010 edition I came across a recipe for Quinoa Pancakes. Feeling excited about a new way to use this grain I came up with a gluten & dairy-free version for myself. Part of the genius of this recipe is using left-over quinoa (if you have any in your fridge) and adding a few tablespoons of maple syrup into the batter. The resulting cakes have a springy texture with a sweet flavor that can be eaten alone (because they are that darn good) or dolled up with your favorite toppings.

The recipe below is simple and straightforward but there are endless possibilities here! Try changing up the spices and adding in lemon zest, nutmeg or even pumpkin purée. Quick, delicious and nutritious, could you ask for anything more?

Makes about 12 pancakes
start to finish: 20 minutes
adapted from: Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine, November 2010 edition
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • ¾ cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free All Purpose Baking Flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp coarse salt
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp oil, plus more for the skillet (I use avocado or coconut)
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated ginger

In a medium bowl, whisk together quinoa, flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl whisk together eggs, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, oil and ginger until smooth. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and whisk to combine.

Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet with oil and heat over medium. Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls into the skillet. Cook until bubbles appear on top, about 1 to 2 minutes. Flip cakes and cook until golden brown on underside, about 1 to 2 minutes. Wipe skillet clean and repeat with more oil and remaining batter.

Serve with more maple syrup, fresh fruit, preserves or powder sugar.

note: These can be made ahead of time: Freeze cakes between sheets of waxed paper in zip-lock bags, for up to 1 month. Reheat in the toaster.