Watching the great British bake off on a rainy fall afternoon has got me thinking about desserts and baking, and let’s be honest, I will do anything to trick my mind into thinking it is spring time, to experience the wonderful feeling of a clear spring day, while a fresh bake is in the oven, there’s no better feeling. Of course now that I was thinking about it, I had to go ahead and bake. This got me thinking about quick, delicious and non-wasteful vegan and vegetarian desserts. People are always afraid of vegan desserts because all the “good stuff” can’t be used, but in fact, vegan desserts can be even tastier, all the while being much healthier. So if you ask me it is a win-win type of situation. To get you into that wonderful great British bake of spring mood, where the birds are chirping and the sun is shining, I want to share some wonderful and easy vegan/vegetarian recipes that use ingredients that we would otherwise throw away. This is the best type of cooking, when you use up every ingredient to its utmost and full potential. Knowing that you are not wasting anything makes the dessert that much better, and not wasting is so easy, probably easier than actually wasting. For example, I want to show you throughout this article how to use overripe fruits and other surprise ingredients that most of us don’t even know can be used in baking. I want to share four easy recipes, namely: fluffy pancakes, vegan truffles, a delicious matcha ice cream and an avocado brownie. Yes you read that correctly, you can have both the chocolate and avocado goodness all in one dessert.
To start off I want to show you how easy these American style egg-less pancakes can be. This is a vegan recipe but can be used by people who have both egg and dairy allergies and it tastes just as good, if not better than the original recipe. If you have never heard of it, in this recipe you will be using aquafaba which is the liquid that you find most tinned legumes in. More specifically, it is the liquid that remains after legumes such as beans and chickpeas are cooked in water. So when you make a delicious falafel dinner for example, save that chickpea liquid either form a can or from having cooked them, as that is the essential ingredient for our pancakes. For the pancakes inspired by Korasoi you will need:
- 275 grams of plain flour (you can use any flour, even almond just be careful because different flours have different consistencies, therefore you may need to use more or less)
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons of caster sugar
- 320 milliliters of any plant based milk of your preference (you can also use normal cow milk)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or 1/4 of a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
- 100 milliliters of aquafaba (in this case chickpea water)
- 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of groundnut oil (or any other frying oil)
The method is pretty simple as are most pancakes:
1. First combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a bowl.
2. In a second bowl mix together the milk, the apple cider vinegar (which will act as an agent to make the milk into a sort of buttermilk mixture, which is the secret ingredient of a good American style fluffy pancake), the sugar, vanilla and oil. Leave the mixture to sit for 5 to 10 minutes so the vinegar has time to activate and do its job.
3. In another bowl, mix the aquafaba or chickpea liquid with a mixer, because it will act as an egg or binding agent. A quick tip is that 3 tablespoons of aquafaba equal one egg, while 2 tablespoons equal one egg white. Keep mixing the liquid until stiff peaks form, it looks exactly as if you were mixing egg whites into a meringue.
4. Now add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and whisk it until it is combined, do not over mix.
5. Lastly, gently fold in the whipped chickpea liquid mixture until you have a light and fluffy batter.
6. Heat up a pan or pancake pan on medium heat and scoop out pancakes either with an ice cream scoop, or make them any size you prefer. Cook on one side until bubbles form and then flip over and cook until nice and browned. Make a wonderful pancake stack and enjoy with some jam, maple syrup, or spice it up in any way you like.
These are the easiest and tastiest pancakes you have ever made. To make it more exciting in the cooking process you can also add some fruits to the pancake, for example blueberries or bananas. Enjoy this delicious, resourceful and non wasteful breakfast or dessert, because if you ask me pancakes are a meal for any time of day.
As we move on, the recipes get easier and easier. Here you will be making delicious, indulgent and super easy vegan truffles. The recipe is both for dark and white chocolate truffles. For the dark chocolate truffles inspired by Crazy Vegan Kitchen you will need:
- 130 grams Vegan dark chocolate ( for example Alter Eco)
- 100 grams of coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- A pinch of espresso powder
- 2 teaspoons of organic maple syrup
- Pinch of salt
- Cocoa powder for the final coating
- And if you are feeling frisky, one teaspoon of liquor of choice
The method is as simple as the ingredients:
1. Heat the coconut milk in a saucepan on low heat, do not let it boil, instead simmer it. In another bowl, break up the chocolate into small squares, once the milk is hot pour over the chocolate squares.
2. Let it sit until the chocolate melts completely. Mix it through until you have a smooth and silky ganache.
3. Chill the ganache in the fridge for about 2-3 hours and stir occasionally. The ganache is ready until it is firm enough to be scooped out.
4. Once the ganache is firm, scoop out bits and roll into little balls, the size of your preference.
5. Once you have rolled the ganache roll it in the cocoa powder, refrigerate until you are ready to devour them and enjoy!
The white chocolate truffles are indulgent in their own original way, they are creamy and nutty and taste just like summer by the beach! The ingredients for the recipe you will need are:
- 70 grams of macadamia nuts or any other nut with high fat content (Yum!)
- 120 grams of desiccated coconut
- 55 grams of chopped and melted cocoa butter or vegan white chocolate
- 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
- 1 – 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
How do you make these delicious summery treats in the midst of autumn? Here is how:
1. Add macadamia or other nuts and desiccated coconut into a food processor and blitz until you have a nice creamy paste, because the nuts will release its oils and fats.
2. Add the sugar vanilla and melted cocoa butter or chocolate to the mixture and pulse once more to combine the ingredients. Add in a final pinch of salt and mix one more time.
3. Put the mixture in a bowl and refrigerate for 2-3 hours until the mixture becomes firm, just like the chocolate mixture from the dark truffles.
4. Pour some desiccated coconut in a dish. Take the mix out of the fridge and roll into little balls. Once they are ready roll them in the desiccated coconut, you can also add some chopped or ground nuts of your choice to add to the wonderland of summery flavours! I also like to put a hazelnut in the middle to give me that Raffaello vibe! Your treats are now ready for eating, enjoy them, I know I do!
This vegan dessert thing is looking pretty easy and delicious by now! What if I told you it gets even better! The easiest most delicious 2 ingredient matcha ice cream is here to convince you that it does get better!
What do you need for this yummy treat?
- 2- 3 overripe bananas
- 1 teaspoon of matcha green tea powder
That’s correct, those are all the ingredients! How do you make this ice cream? Simply chop up the bananas and freeze them overnight. Take them out and put them in a food processor and let them blend until they have achieved a completely silky and smooth texture, this may take a while but stick with it, it is worth it! When you have achieved the right texture, add in the matcha and blend it in. Serve as a delicious soft serve ice cream and freeze leftovers for the next time you feel like eating a delicious and healthy ice cream!
Last but not least, we have the king of dessert, the brownie but this time with a twist. It is an avocado brownie. It is perfect to make when you have avocados that are about to get thrown out because they are very ripe. But why should they be thrown out when they can be used in a delicious brownie. To be honest I was unsure about this the first time, avocado in a brownie, sounds a bit wacky. But trust me, it is much better than it sounds! This one does include eggs as it is an important binding agent for the brownie, but of course there are substitutes as we have learned, aquafaba works wonderfully as an egg substitute. Similarly, one tablespoon of flax seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water equal one egg, however be careful as it does have a nutty flavour to it, but that shouldn’t be a problem in a good brownie. After going through dozens of brownie recipes I have come to the conclusion that this one is the clear winner, so without further ado here it is! The ingredients you need for this recipe that I slightly tweaked but originates from Frugal Mom are:
- 300 grams of dark chocolate or chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
- 2 avocados, pitted and peeled
- 170 grams of honey or maple syrup
- 1 (or 2, you can never have enough of it) teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 50 grams of cocoa powder
- 50 grams of coconut flour
Any brownie is really quick and easy yet so delicious to make, and better yet it can be made in big quantities for parties and dinners and it is always a winner, so the method is as follows:
1. Preheat your oven to 200 ºC. Line your 23×33 cm baking tin with non stick baking paper.
2. Put your chocolate and coconut oil in a heat proof bowl and set over simmering water until it melts. Mix together and move off the heat.
3. Put avocado in a food processor and mix until its smooth and silky.
4. Stir the avocado, honey or maple syrup and vanilla extract into the chocolate mixture.
5. Stir in eggs or egg substitute, one at a time, making sure they are well incorporated before adding in the next one.
6. Lastly, stir in the cocoa powder and coconut flour, but don’t over mix.
7. Pour the batter into your prepared baking tin and bake for about 15 minutes or until it is firm to the touch, keep an eye out on it just in case.
8. Take out of the oven, let it cool and enjoy your fabulous brownie, with others or you know, eat the whole thing by yourself, because it is that good!
There you have it, vegan and vegetarian dessert recipes that I personally would make again and again. Don’t be tricked or scared by substitute ingredients, they are just as good, but much better for you, so look at the bright side because you are the double winner here! Waste less, don’t make a mess and eat well, its never been easier with these delicious recipes!