29 December 2011

Chocolate Mint, Mint Chocolate, and More Chocolate Mint

Right around the Christmas Holiday, I went chocolate mint crazy1.
Every recipe idea that popped into my head was some combination of chocolate and mint. Of course, they were also all vegan, gluten free, soy free... (you know how I roll).

It started with the idea to make filled chocolates as holiday gifts. I knew I was going to make "No-nut Reeses" and Chestnut Caramels.  I was also definitely going to make "Peppermint Patties". Then another genius2 idea developed. I had a bunch of fresh mint leaves and a little bit of rum in the freezer. You know what that means...

Mojito-Filled Chocolates!!

Yep. Mojito-Filled Chocolates!! My (other) BFF decided to share them at her little gathering, and they were a big hit with everyone - non-vegans included! That always makes me happy.
I felt like the zing of the rum mellowed out overnight, but it's still in there, so they're definitely not recommended for children.
One of my close friends had a double reason for celebrations this holiday season. He is also vegan and adheres to a gluten free diet, so what better treat for double celebrations than double chocolate cupcakes? Still being on a mint kick, they turned into Double Chocolate Mint Cupcakes.

Minty Chocolate Frosting!

They were perfectly fluffy and moist, with no refined sugars!

I thought it was over, but yesterday I passed the frozen section at Whole Foods and I couldn't resist grabbing a So Delicious® No Sugar Added Mint Chip coconut milk ice cream.

Not everything I make is sweet.3, And although, I do have the most fun experimenting with gluten free baking, I had actually planned to post a yummy and very simple raw salad today. Unfortunately, I neglected to take a photo of it4, so the Easy Guacamole Kale Salad recipe will have to wait a quick sec. So, so sorry, but doesn't the anticipation make it more exciting?

Create a Fabulous Day!

1. If that's even possible. 
2. If I do say so myself. 
3. Or contains chocolate and mint. 
4. Before it was gobbled up. 
Read more ...

23 December 2011

Gingerbread Muffins w/Crystalized Ginger Glaze

Until very recently, I strongly disliked ginger. I mean, strongly.

Fresh ginger, pickled ginger, ginger juice, crystalized ginger, chocolate-covered ginger... it didn't matter. I did, however, like gingerbread and pumpkin pie.
I'm not sure why or how my tastebuds changed, but they've decided that ginger is not so bad. In fact, they quite like it now.

Gingerbread seemed a natural inclusion in my holiday treat recipe line-up. Of course, gingerbread doesn't always have to be a crisp cookie. Maybe something that was a bit more conducive to being enjoyed with a holiday morning coffee. A muffin? Oh, yes.

At first glance, gingerbread muffins may not appear to properly illustrate my new-found appreciation for ginger, since I've always liked gingerbread.1 However, a few years ago, I wouldn't have been caught dead with this muffin glaze anywhere near my lips.

Mmmmm... gooey Ginger Glaze
Now look at me. I'm not only dreaming up vegan, gluten free, ginger-glazed gingerbread, but savoring it.
These muffins are really good with a mug of homemade vegan hot cocoa (Non-dairy milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, hot water, sweetener of choice), eff-why-eye.

I used store-bought organic crystalized ginger,2 which means, by default, there is some cane sugar lurking around the recipe. The ginger glaze is a sweeter topping than my tastes would normally dictate, so I preferred a more lightly glazed muffin. Feel free to be heavier-handed with the glaze.
I must admit, that I also really enjoyed the muffins without the glaze. This had nothing to do with the ginger. Honest!

Gingerbread Muffins
(makes 12 muffins)
  • 2 1/2 Cups (320g) All Purpose Gluten Free Flour (I used my own blend)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 6 Tbsp (60g) Coconut Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp (40g) Unsulphured Molasses 
  • 1/4 Cup (55g) Earth Balance® Coconut Spread
  • 2 tsp (10g) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Chia Eggs (2T ground chia + 6T water)
  • 1 Cup Non-dairy Milk (I used So Delicious® Unsweetened Coconut)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tbsp Vinegar
  • Crystalized Ginger Glaze (see below)
Oven 350F/180C

Lightly grease your muffin tin(s) with coconut oil or line with baking cups, then get a few ingredients ready:
Prepare the chia egg, and set aside to thicken. In a separate glass or small bowl, combine the coconut milk, vanilla extract and vinegar; set aside.

In a mixing bowl cream together the buttery spread, coconut sugar and molasses. Gently stir the chia egg into the butter mixture.
In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Stir together, using a whisk, to ensure it is mixed well. Add the flour mixture to the butter/chia egg, and stir in before adding the coconut milk/vanilla/vinegar.
Mix all ingredients until the batter is smooth and even. Fill your prepared muffin cups to about 3/4 full and bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow the muffins to cool completely on a wire rack, before spooning on the Crystalized Ginger Glaze.

Crystalized Ginger Glaze (or Icing, if you prefer)
  • 1/2 Cup (30g) Tapioca Flour
  • 1/4 Cup So Delicious® Unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 Cup (80g) Chopped Crystalized Ginger
  • 2 Tbsp (15g) Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tbsp (20g) Coconut Sugar
Bring the coconut milk to room temperature or slightly warmer. Warm the coconut oil, until it becomes liquid.
Mix all ingredients together, and allow the glaze to sit at room temp for 10-15 minutes - this will allow the coconut sugar to better dissolve and meld.
Use as desired.

Create a Fabulous (Holi)Day!

1. You probably noticed where I mentioned that previously, but if you'll graciously indulge my repetition...
2. I've made my own in the past (and so can you!); I was just a bit lazy this time.
Read more ...

22 December 2011

Truly Sugar-Free Chestnut Truffles

Have you ever roasted chestnuts in your oven and overlooked "venting" one or two (or three) of them?

I have.

When my bff and I were roommates, one winter evening we decided to roast some chestnuts. I tossed them all onto a baking sheet, vented them with a knife, and popped them into the oven. Then I went to hang out in the living room. An indeterminate length of time passed before we heard a very loud bang coming from the back of the house. We stopped to listen, thinking something had fallen off the roof, or something had fallen off of a shelf, or someone was trying to break in. Another loud bang came from the back of the house. I wondered if we were hearing close gunshots1, but the bff thought it was too loud. You might have noticed that not once did I consider the chestnuts.2
If I'm making it seem like we were sitting and listening for a while, that wasn't the case.3 It was really only a couple of minutes, at most, before the bff exclaimed, "The chestnuts!" Which, of course, it was (Occam's Razor). Two of them had violently exploded all over the oven, very much like Mr. Creosote in "The Meaning of Life". Not to be outdone by its siblings, one evil chestnut waited until I pulled the pan out of the oven to detonate.
Despite the carnage, we thought it was pretty funny. It also helped that we escaped being mutilated by that last chestnut.

The moral of this story is: Don't dump all of your chestnuts onto a baking sheet, and then try to slice/vent them; slice them one by one as you place them on the baking sheet.
I cannot stress enough the importance of not taking a lackadaisical approach to venting your chestnuts4; however, it did make for a pretty amusing story.5 We still talk/laugh about it.

No chestnuts were explosively harmed in the making of these truffles
I actually had another recipe set to post first, but I was so excited about the truffles, I wanted to share them right away.
This recipe is another one inspired by my Italian traditions. I know chestnuts aren't just Italian; although, they are very Italian. Chestnut flour is still widely used in Tuscan baking - the traditional castagnaccio (a simple, dense chestnut flour cake) is always vegan and gluten free! Italian street vendors sell roasted chestnuts (caldarroste), even in the summer.
Italy is one of the world's largest producers of chestnuts. In fact, most chestnuts in the U.S. are imported from Italy.

The truffles are simple to make and have very few ingredients6 - four ingredients to be precise; five, if you use vanilla or cocoa. I try my best to keep my recipes simple in the sense that you're not left searching7 for hard-to-find ingredients; however, I realize that this could be an iffy one. I get my chestnut flour from the Italian market. If you don't have access to such a resource, it's possible to locate and order online.
As I mentioned above, chestnut flour is naturally gluten free (yay!). Chestnuts are also naturally sweet, so I made these truffles truly sugar free. Really. There is absolutely no sweetener of any kind, although you would never think it, after tasting them. I even tried one batch with a bit of coconut nectar, and I found them to be too sweet. You may have to try it to believe it, but they really do turn out with the perfect truffle sweetness.

Chestnut Truffles*
(makes 12)
  • 1 1/3 Cup (120g) Chestnut Flour
  • 1/3 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Cup (120g) Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 3 Tbsp (45g) Non-Dairy Milk (I used So Delicious® Coconut Milk)
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract (optional)
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder for dusting (optional)
Bring your non-dairy milk to room temp or slightly warmer.
Gently warm the coconut oil, so that it is a soft, semi-solid consistency; not quite a liquid, if possible. If it melts to liquid, it's fine.

In a mixing bowl combine chestnut flour and sea salt. Stir in coconut oil and non-dairy milk (and vanilla, if you're using it), and mix well. Your mixture should be a consistency somewhere between batter and very smooth cookie dough. Cover the bowl with foil or plastic (eep!) wrap, and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30-45 minutes or overnight.

Once your truffle glob is chilled, roll into small (approx. 1") balls. When rolling truffles, you don't want to handle them too long. Work quickly, and then gently roll the truffle into a bit of cocoa powder or even some chestnut flour, if you really want to go "maximum chestnut". Place the finished truffles onto a plate or baking sheet lined with parchment/waxed paper.

Allow the truffles to chill again (20-30 mins) before serving.

*Chestnuts have a distinct but delicate flavor that can be overpowered by some other ingredients. I wanted the chestnut flavor to shine through, so I chose to keep it simple. Feel free to create any variations; some other fun ideas are:
  • Chocolate Chestnut Truffles: Add 2 Tbsp (10g) of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (depending on your sweet tooth, you may want to add a tsp or two of coconut nectar or a few drops of stevia)
  • Eggnog Chestnut Truffles: Add 1/2 tsp of Nutmeg and sub So Delicious® Coconut Nog for the non-dairy milk. Roll the truffles in a mixture of chestnut flour and a pinch of cinnamon.
  • Lower-Fat Chestnut Truffles: Sub an equal amount of mashed ripe banana (make sure it's room temp) for half of the coconut oil. You may detect slight hints of banana. The banana flavor can be well-hidden, if made into a chocolatey truffle.
You can also play with rolling the truffles in crushed hazelnuts, powdered coconut sugar, cinnamon, cinnamon & cocoa, coconut sugar & cocoa, coconut sugar & cinnamon... the possibilities are virtually endless.
Drizzle (or douse/dunk) the finished truffles with chocolate sauce (1T Cocoa Powder, 2T Coconut Oil, Stevia/Coconut Nectar/Agave to sweeten) or melted chocolate chips.

Have fun, and enjoy!

(and Create a Fabulous Day.)


1. We didn't live anywhere "dangerous", but it wasn't out of the realm of possibilities.
2. I'm typically more astute.
3. That sounds, uh... like it should be some sort of double-entendre, but it's not. This is a family blog!
5. It was not an amusing clean-up. The bff didn't help with it either.
6. As most conscious meals/recipes should.
7. And shelling out extra money
Read more ...

20 December 2011

Panettone (Panettini) di Natale

I'm Italian. It's December.
In Italy, this is the time of year for Panettone. If you're not familiar with it1, Panettone (tradizionale) is a tall, anise-kissed, sweet bread speckled with raisins and candied orange peel. Like most Italian baked goods, it's on the dry side2, but that's because it's meant to be enjoyed with a hot beverage or a sweet wine.

Panettone typically come wrapped in parchment paper stamped with gold designs; they're always cylindrically shaped, but they can come in different sizes. I think cupcake size is nice...

A twist on tradition: Vegan/GF Panettone Muffincakes
(Gold-printed cupcake liners, would've been amazing.)
When I was little, our home was never without Panettone around Christmastime. My father, who rarely strayed from his typical cookie/pastry Italian breakfast3, loved to have Panettone with his morning juice/ coffee. I, on the other hand, was not Panettone's biggest fan.4 It might have been the anise flavor or maybe the extra dryness of the store-bought ones. I'd always try to eat a piece, end up picking out the raisins, and leave the bread behind, which my father would happily finish.
These are Panettoni; I didn't make them.
(Photo Credit: Google Images)
It wasn't until I was older that I developed something of an appreciation for Panettone. Panettone, however, is not traditionally a vegan-friendly item.5 It is possible to make a relatively successful vegan Panettone. Gluten-free Panettone is much more difficult - those flat little imposters are never real Panettone. Gluten-Free and Vegan Panettone, is a near impossibility.

Making even traditional (egg & gluten-filled) Panettone is a long and somewhat challenging process. A truly authentic Panettone is made over several days - most of which are dedicated to proofing the dough. It's not easy6 to get it right either. So, after you've spent the last two days carefully preparing, proofing and baking, and your, still cooling, Panettone falls off of its hanging sticks and compresses itself, you're not left feeling the holiday spirit.7

Last November/December I was obsessed with Panettone. It all began with me wanting to make a healthier version for my father (and for my bff, who had been missing Panettone ever since he became vegan). It would have to be vegan, of course, but it didn't need to be gluten-free. I wanted it to be as unrefined as possible, but Panettone doesn't want to be made with whole grain flours.8 I must have made 45,000 Panettone over the course of one month. Each time, I got the flavor right, it was the consistency and rise that became the bane of my existence.

I learned a lot about Panettone last year.

This year, I decided that I don't need to make the perfect vegan Panettone. I couldn't eat said (gluten-ey) Panettone anyway, and I had other simpler, ideas... Knowing that I could get the flavor right, I set out to make vegan, gluten free, tastes-like-Panettone... cupcakes!! Yes!!!

I decided not to call them cupcakes; they're kinda somewhere between a cupcake and a muffin. This also means they don't have the "bready" consistency of Panettone (just an eff-why-eye).  Anyway, I've decided to call them muffincakes. Maybe it's not the most creative thing I've ever come up with, but whatever.
Just like Panettone, these little guys can be eaten for dessert and/or breakfast.9 Muffincakes are not as sweet as one would expect of a traditional cupcake, which is perfect, if they want to be Panettone.
They do want to be a Panettone (or since they're small, Panettino). They're trying their best.

Panettone Muffincakes
(makes 6 Panettini)
  • 1 Cup + 2 Tbsp (145g)All Purpose Gluten Free Flour (I used my own blend)
  • 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 3/4 tsp Ground Anise
  • 2 Tbsp (35g) Coconut Nectar (or 1T + 2tsp Agave; you can also use Coconut Sugar, but it will give your Panettoni a caramel color)
  • 1 Chia Egg (1T (5g) ground chia + 3T (30g) filtered water)
  • 2 Tbsp (30g) Earth Balance Coconut Spread 
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp (60g) Raisins (soaked in 2T of water or orange juice)
  • 3 Tbsp (30g) Candied Orange Peels (I made my own - YAY! to no refined sugar; it's really simple.)
  • 1/2 tsp Almond Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk ( I used So Delicious Coconut Beverage; you can sub anything except for rice milk - it doesn't work quite right.)
  • 1 tsp Vinegar (I always use Bragg's)
  • 1/8 tsp Turmeric
Oven 350F/180C

Lightly grease a muffin tin with coconut oil or line with muffin cups.

Make up your chia egg in a small bowl or glass and set aside to thicken.
In a separate glass, mix coconut milk, vanilla extract, almond extract, vinegar and turmeric. Stir well until the turmeric has dissolved and the mixture has achieved a uniform yellow color.

In a small bowl, whip together the buttery spread and sweetener. Stir in the chia egg and set aside, while you combine the remaining dry ingredients in a separate mixing bowl.
Whisk the dry ingredients to ensure they are well-combined, then stir in the soaked raisins and orange peel. Once the fruit looks evenly distributed, add the chia/buttery spread mixture, and mix until evenly combined and somewhat crumbly.  

Stir in the coconut milk mixture, until the batter is smooth. This shouldn't take long. Once you've added your liquid, try to work efficiently, so your leavening doesn't lose it's steam.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin; the muffin cups should be 3/4 full, or even slightly more (you want to try to get the muffincakes to be "tall"). Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the muffincakes to cool for 3-5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack - it's best not to let them cool in the pan, they'll get "sweaty".10

Enjoy them for breakfast with espresso, cappuccino or regular old caffè. OR after dinner with a bubbly glass of prosecco (espresso is nice too).

Create11 una Giornata Meravigliosa!

1. I'd guess you've at least seen the colorful boxes of Panettone on display in your local supermarket. They've become ubiquitous this time of year, even in the States
2. For most American tastes
3. Yes, Italians eat cookies for breakfast.
4. Although, I loved the fancy boxes in which it is packaged. 
5. Oh, the irony!
6. Something more like, tear-out-your-hair frustrating.
7. True story.
8. It didn't mind the raw sugar though.
9. What? Haven't you ever eaten a cupcake for breakfast? A Donut? Eh. Same thing.
10. Grotty
11. I'm not using Itanglish here. It really is create [kre'ate... (kreh-AH-teh)] (you, pl.; imperative)
Read more ...

19 December 2011

"Non-Edible" Kitchen Creations (Holiday Gift Edition): Exfoliating Sugar Scrub

Still need some gift ideas? Well, do you know how easy it is to make your own inexpensive and eco-friendly "spa" gifts?
Answer: Ridiculously.

Clove-Orange Sugar Scrub
On top of that, you don't have to worry about what you or your loved ones are putting on their skin.
I firmly believe that what you put on your body is as important is what you put in your body.
The skin is your body's largest (albeit least vital) organ. The compounds and substances you put on your skin can be absorbed directly into your bloodstream in varying percentages.1 Pharmaceutical companies take advantage of dermal2 absorption as means of administering medications - think nicotine or contraceptive patch. The rate of absorption is dependent on a several factors; concentration and length of contact being only a couple. Bubble & Bee Organic has an interesting and unbiased blog post on skin absorption.

Like all of my "non-edible" kitchen creations, this is technically edible. Unlike the Natural Deodorant Nugget however, you might actually quite like to eat this one... eh, but probably not in the shower.

This scrub has few ingredients and numerous benefits. Let's list some of them, shall we?
  1. Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil:  Moisture retention; natural antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidative properties.3
  2. Organic Cane Sugar: Exfoliant (cane sugar produces Glycolic Acid - a natural hydroxy acid; the sugar crystals also provide an exfoliating action)

OK. I guess that was only two, but they are the most important. This is the base for your scrub.
For the "recipe", start with this basic ratio:
  • Three parts sugar 
  • One part coconut oil (I used Nutiva). 
You can adjust from there, depending on how moisturizing you want your scrub to be. Sweet Almond Oil can be substituted for some of the coconut oil - avoid this option for those with nut allergies.

If you prefer simple, you can stop with just the sugar and oil, or you can be as creative as you like with  fragrances and additional healing ingredients. Ground clove or cinnamon can be both stimulating and soothing  (be aware, when gifting; some people may be sensitive to the natural oils in these spices). Citrus zests are fragrant and invigorating.  Organic flavor extracts (vanilla, almond, peppermint...) also add fragrance.
Add 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of pure Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) powder for an extra antioxidant boost that may help smooth wrinkles. Aloe vera gel4 is soothing and healing.

Remember, this scrub is essentially a food, with no funky, synthetic preservatives. The coconut oil will naturally help to preserve the life of the scrub, as will cloves and ascorbic acid. Still, it will be in the shower, exposed to tap/unfiltered water and grubby5 fingers. If you think the scrub will be hanging around for a bit, add a bit of lemon juice, citric acid or a few drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract.

Package your scrub in a cute jar, and your gift is ready for a lucky recipient... if you can manage to try not to keep it for yourself.

Create a Fabulous Day!

1. There are several claims of percentage of absorption but no conclusive studies.
2. Of the dermis; like, you know... skin.
3. There are so many benefits, but we'll stick to topical for the purpose of this post.
4. REAL aloe vera gel; the kind you could/drink. NOT that weird neon-green stuff they market for sunburn.
5. This isn't meant as an insult to anyone's hygiene. Bacteria just naturally hangs out on the surface of the skin; it's a fact.
Read more ...

18 December 2011

(Vegan, GF!!) Graham Crackers!

It had been a while since I've had graham crackers. To be perfectly honest, I hadn't exactly been fiending for them; however, at my recent birthday gathering, I thought it might be fun to make s'mores. Sadly, I couldn't find any graham crackers that would be suitable for a gluten-free vegan. I grabbed some standard organic grahams for my guests, and then tried to experiment, very creatively, with a GF, allergy-friendly cookie.1 The results of the pseudo-s'more were way too sweet for my tastes, but several people preferred them to the graham cracker version. Go figure.

Gluten free graham crackers are becoming somewhat easier to find, but, is it just me, or do most of them seem to be little animal shapes? It sorta puts a damper on things, if you're interested in making s'mores, and I'd feel bad crushing all those cute little bunnies into a crust. The shape isn't really relevant, I suppose, since classic2 graham crackers aren't vegan anyway - you know, honey.3

Not too long after the s'mores experiment, I was concocting a cheezecake recipe. Cheezecake = Yummy Filling + Graham Cracker Crust.  I have a go-to recipe for a graham-like crust, but I thought it would be nice to make a crust out of actual crushed graham crackers (GF and vegan ones, obviously).
While, honey certainly contributes to the signature graham cracker flavor, you won't miss it. Even without the honey, the flavor is exactly how I remember graham crackers to be. Unlike graham crackers made with gluten, these grahams don't create that gummy paste that sticks to your mouth. Instead, they are pleasantly light and crisp, and don't require keeping a beverage within close reach.4
Mini-caveat: these little guys require a bit of patience, but only because the dough can be a bit temperamental if it gets warm. The results are so, so worth it though.

Gluten Free, Vegan Graham Crackers
(makes approx. 8 4"x2" crackers)
  • 2/3 Cup (85g) All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour (I used my own blend)
  • 1/3 Cup (45g) Buckwheat Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder (or 1/4 tsp Baking Soda + 1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar)
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/8 tsp Sea Salt
  • 4 modest Tbsp (35g) Coconut Palm Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp (20g) Unsulfured Molasses
  • 1 Tbsp (21g) Coconut Nectar or Agave
  • 2 Tbsp (30g) Earth Balance Coconut Spread (or your preferred vegan buttery spread)
  • 2 tsp (10g) Vanilla Extract 
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground Chia
  • 1 Tbsp Non-dairy milk
  • Additional Tapioca Flour for dusting
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon + 1 Tbsp Coconut Sugar for topping (optional)
Oven: 325F/160C
Bake time: 12-14 mins

Lightly grease or line a baking sheet (rectangular works best) with parchment paper, and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, chia and salt. Mix well.
In a separate cup or small bowl, mix together coconut sugar and molasses, until thoroughly combined. The resulting mixture should be the consistency of brown sugar5.

Add your brown sugar to a separate bowl, along with the (very cold) buttery spread, coconut nectar and vanilla, and beat/cream together - a fork works quite nicely. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients, and mix until evenly combined.
Add the tablespoon of "milk", and continue to mix, until a smooth, uniform dough forms. You can use a food processor for this step, as well. Shape the dough into a ball and dust lightly with tapioca flour.

Turn the dough onto a sheet of parchment or wax paper and flatten into a rectangular shape. Thickness isn't important, but you can aim for approximately 1/2 to 3/4. Cover with another sheet of parchment/wax paper, and allow the dough to chill and rest in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Remove the dough from the fridge, and carefully roll out into a rectangle, between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thickness. Try to work quickly in order to keep the dough from becoming too warm. Dust lightly with tapioca, as needed. You can also place the dough back into the fridge or freezer for a bit, if it gets too unruly.

Once your dough is rolled out, cut your grahams into any size or shape you prefer. You want space between your grahams so they don't stick to each other. If you're going for the classic rectangular shape, you can either:
--(carefully) Peel each cracker from the parchment and arrange on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
--Use a pizza cutter or pastry wheel to cut 1/2 inch (or greater) strips between your grahams. Carefully peel up the strips. Slide the parchment directly on to the baking sheet, and use the dough to re-roll into more grahams. This method may require the use of more than one baking sheet.
I used a Japanese chopstick to poke the classic "graham cracker holes" in each cracker. This, of course, is optional.

Once the grahams are rolled and arranged on the baking sheet, pop them in the freezer for  approx. 5 minutes, before transferring the baking sheet to the pre-heated oven.

Sprinkle the grahams with cinnamon sugar, if desired, and bake for 10-12 minutes. The grahams should be lightly and evenly browned; you don't want the edges to darken.
Allow the grahams to cool on the baking sheet; they will continue to firm up as they cool. Then carefully remove them from the sheet with a metal spatula.

Enjoy them as they are; top them with a few slices of banana6; try ripe banana and dark chocolate for a twist on the traditional s'more, or grab your favorite vegan marshmallows, if you're not into "twists".
When baking them strictly for pie crust, I'd (highly) recommend just rolling out a few sheets/blobs/what-have-you. Skip trying to cut out nice even rectangles; it will make your life7 easier.


1. Yes; they were store-bought [cringe]. I was really short on time.
2.  Some of those little chocolate (animal) "grahams" are vegan, though.
3. The stuff collected by bees. I wasn't calling you honey, Honey.
4. This is the difference between enjoying your grahams with a beverage, and requiring a beverage, for the prevention of a potentially hazardous situation. 
5. You just made your own unrefined brown sugar! Aren't you excited?
6. This is ridiculously good.
7. OK, so it probably won't make your entire life easier, but you know what I mean.
Read more ...

14 December 2011

Chocolate Cherry Chunk Cookies

I make my own baking powder. It's easy, inexpensive and I can control exactly what goes into it - no concern over corn, GMOs, aluminum or gluten-contamination.

In fact, I used some to make these1:
Chocolate Cherry Chunk Cookies (GF/Vegan)
Baking powder is a quick-acting leavening agent (unlike yeast). Baking soda is another quick-acting leavening agents. So what's the difference, you ask?2 Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate; it requires a liquid acid to activate and create those fun little gas bubbles3 that give rise to baked goods.
Baking powder is essentially sodium bicarbonate with an activating acid (usually Cream of Tartar) and a drying agent (usually corn starch) added. Some baking powders also use aluminum4 compounds (sodium aluminum sulfate) to produce the desired reaction. Because it already contains both a base and an acid, baking powder activates as soon as it comes in contact with a liquid. It's for this reason that recipes call for liquids to be added after all the dry ingredients have been combined.

Gluten-free, corn-free baking powder always seems more expensive than it should be. Also, because baking powder is unstable, if you don't do much baking, chances are it will "go bad" before you are able to use all of it. Baking powder needs only to get damp or humid in order to begin to lose its power. The added starch helps to keep the mixture dry longer,5 but it is only slightly delaying the inevitable.

The other nice thing about making your own baking powder, is that you can mix it right before you use it. Thereby guaranteeing a leavening reaction.
It couldn't be simpler: one part baking soda, two parts Cream of Tartar. It's not even necessary to mix them together before adding to your recipe. You can simply add each one directly to your dry ingredients, and then mix.

And now the part for which you've been waiting... Chocolate Cherry Chunk Cookies!
This is another wonderful winter/holiday/anytime cookie. The cherries and chocolate chips add plenty of sweetness, so I've reduced the sugar in the dough. The result is an almost scone-like cookie with bursts of chocolate cherry sweetness.
They could easily stand in for a breakfast scone, enjoyed on a lazy Sunday morning with a nice cup of tea.

Chocolate Cherry Chunk Cookies
(makes one dozen)
  • 1/2 Cup (68g) Sorghum Flour
  • 1/4 Cup (32g) Tapioca Flour
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Powder (or 1/4 tsp Baking Soda + 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar)
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 Tbsp (20g) Coconut Sugar (if you prefer a sweeter cookie, add an additional 2tsp - 1T)
  • 3 Tbsp (42g) Earth Balance® Coconut Spread (or sub your favorite vegan buttery spread)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 (45g) Chia or Flax Egg*
  • 1/3 Cup (40g) Dried Cherries (soaked overnight in 1/4 cup filtered water)
  • 3 Tbsp (45g) Chocolate Chips (I used Enjoy Life® SemiSweet Chocolate Chunks)

Oven 350F/180C

*To make a chia/flax egg, combine 1 Tbsp of ground chia or ground flaxseed with 3 Tbsp of filtered water. Stir well, and allow the mixture to sit and thicken, while you begin to prepare the other ingredients.

In a small bowl cream together the coconut sugar, Earth Balance and vanilla extract. Set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl combine the sorghum, tapioca, salt and "baking powder". Mix well. Stir in the soaked cherries and chocolate chips, then add the chia egg and Earth Balance, sugar, vanilla mixture.
Stir until thoroughly combined.

Spoon out batter in 1" balls and drop onto a lightly greased (I use coconut oil) cookie sheet. Lightly press the cookies down using your fingers or the back of a spoon, so they begin to spread slightly.
Bake in a preheated oven until lightly browned. 10-12 minutes for softer cookies; 10-15 minutes for crisper cookies.

Serve with a steaming mug of vegan hot cocoa, or a (So Delicious® Coconut) Nog Latte, if you want to get fancy.

Create a Fabulous Day!

1. And countless other things.
2. Or maybe you're not asking because you already know; in which case, please bear with me. 
3. Baking soda and vinegar "volcano", anyone?
4. If you've ever eaten a metallic-tasting muffin, it's due to use of (too much) aluminum baking powder - although, any aluminum is too much, IMO.
5. The starch is not an active component and is only necessary for storage purposes.
Read more ...

11 December 2011

Caramelized Leek and Mushroom Tartlettes

I've been playing with some different flour blends (and baking ratios) lately. You might have noticed1 that I bake by weight. I strongly recommend it; it's a must for truly consistent results. Good digital scales are easily found for under $30, so cost shouldn't be a deterrent. My scale was $25, and I love it.
When bakers speak of ingredient ratios, they mean amounts as measured by weight. I'll illustrate using a 1:1:1 (flour:sugar:fat) ratio and say that our weight is 100g. Each item needs to weigh 100g. Easy. By volume, however, the measurements are not equal. Let's convert.
100g of each item looks something like: 3/4 Cup of flour; 1/2 Cup + 1tsp of sugar; 7 Tbsp of fat.
Allow me to note here that for small measurements, such as 1/4 tsp, weight isn't as much of a factor; it's perfectly acceptable (and common practice) to use volume.

I do my best to include approximate volume measurements for my recipes. Unfortunately (and the reason I said "approximate" just then), you're now left with a couple of variables that can result in significant deviations in outcome.2 Remember, these variables affect baking by volume alone. If you bake by weight, you're pretty much good.
  • Variable #1: Flours have different weights. I mix my own GF flour blends and use different ones, depending on what I'm baking. If I measured 100g of each blend by volume, I would undoubtedly notice differences. For instance, brown rice flour weighs more than sorghum by over 30g! If another baker subs flours or uses a packaged blend, the recipe results could be quite different... and not in a good way.
  • Variable #2: How the flour is measured.3 Do you scoop flour out of the bag and level off the cup? Do you spoon flour into the measuring cup evenly up to the rim? Depending on your method, you can end up with weights ranging  from 110g to 150g. This translates as potentially 30% more or less flour than the recipe requires.
How's my argument for baking by weight? Convincing? Maybe a little?
Once you've converted to baking by weight, the lovely thing about understanding ratios is that, you have a freedom from recipes and can play with being more inventive and creative. Of course, gluten-free ratios don't quite work the same as ratios for gluten-based flours. Now add Vegan into the mix4, and you've got a pretty different set of "rules" with which to work.
Enter intuition.
I once thought5 I could improve upon recipe ideas by plugging my GF, vegan ingredients into common ratios for recipes. I had baked enough6 to know how a batter or dough should look, but when my cupcake batter turned out to be the consistency of a half-melted milkshake, I defied my better judgment, and popped them into the oven anyway. They were not a success.
One might say that baking requires Scientific Intuition.7 Gluten-free, vegan baking seems to require a tad more intuition. Since we've been talking ratios, let's say, Intuition:Science = 2:1 

Well, now I've taken the circuitous route to bring us to this point:
Caramelized Leek and Mushroom Tartlettes... and some really green arugula.
A point that is not unrelated to my previous ramblings, since I used that Scientific Intuition to create this (vegan, gluten free, nut free, soy free...) recipe. The filling was all intuition; the crust was a combination of both.
Here's where I add my disclaimer: In the event of volume measurement, I cannot guarantee crust outcome.

Is it tartlette or tartlet? I prefer the look of the former; I'm going to use that.
Since it's that time of year, these struck me as a lovely hors d'oeuvre  for a holiday dinner or New Year's gathering. They can be snapped up in two little bites. The mushroom filling has creamy undertones without being too rich; the leeks are mild, so there's no need to worry about onion-breath in a social setting; and you get a nice boost of B vitamins from the nutritional yeast.
Honestly though, nothing says you can't bake them up for tomorrow's lunch.

You'll need a mini tart pan for this recipe. It could work in four ramekins or a 6" pie plate as well. If anyone tries one (or both) of those variations, I'd love to hear.

Don't be discouraged by the written length of the recipe. There are a few steps involved, but it doesn't take much time to prepare, and the labor intensivity8 factor is low - "special occasion" not required.

Caramelized Leek and Mushroom Tartlettes
(makes 12 tartlettes)

For the crust:
  • 3/4 Cup (102g) Sorghum Flour
  • 1/4 Cup + 1 tsp (33g) Tapioca Flour
  • 2 Tbsp (15g) Potato Starch -(not Potato Flour)
  • 2 Tbsp (16g) Buckwheat Flour
  • 1/3 tsp Guar Gum*
  • 1/3 tsp Sea Salt
  • 6 Tbsp (85g) Earth Balance® Coconut Spread (or any vegan margarine or shortening)
  • 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp (25g) Ice Cold Water

    For the filling
    • 8oz (224g) White Button or Crimini Mushrooms
    • 1 Large Leek
    • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I used a homemade rosemary-infused9 one, but plain EVOO is just as delicious)
    • 2 Tbsp Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk (I used So Delicious® Unsweetened Coconut)
    • 1 tsp Coconut Sugar
    • 1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast Flakes
    • 2 tsp Tapioca Starch
    • Sea Salt to taste
    Oven 350F/180C

    Prepare the crust.
    *I tried it without the gum, but the crust was a bit too crumbly when served warm. It would work perfectly sans gum for a dessert pie/tart meant to be eaten cool/cold. 
    Make sure everything is really cold - place a few ice cubes in your water; measure out the buttery spread and pop it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
    Using a food processor, pulse together the flours, starch, guar gum and salt. Cut the frozen buttery spread into smaller pieces; add it to the flour mixture, and pulse until the fat is uniformly distributed and the mixture is crumbly. You can also cut the fat into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. If you prefer this method, it may be helpful to use a cheese grater to grate the frozen buttery spread into your flour mixture; it will help with even distribution.

    I highly recommend using a food processor for this step, even if you cut in the fat by hand. Once your flour/buttery spread mixture is the proper consistency (I once saw someone refer to it as being like beach sand after a light rain; I like that analogy), with the food processor on low, begin to add the cold water 2 tsp at a time. The dough will begin to come together. Watch your dough. You may not need to add all of the water - just enough to make a dough that is neither wet nor too dry or flaky.
    Form the dough into a smooth ball, and pop it into the fridge, while you...

    Prepare the filling
    Leeks are notorious for hiding little dirt and stone surprises in their layers. Make sure you wash them well. Chop off the end and slice the leek lengthwise. Chop into quarter inch pieces, leaving the tough green tops out. Chop mushrooms into small pieces and set aside.

    Add the leeks, olive oil and a pinch of salt to a covered wok or large saute pan, cook over medium heat until softened and translucent. Add in the coconut sugar after a few minutes to help them caramelize.
    Once the leeks are tender, add the mushrooms and another small pinch of salt. Cook until the mushrooms are tender and have released their water.
    In a small bowl or glass, create a slurry by adding the tapioca starch and nutritional yeast to the (cold) non-dairy milk and mixing until there are no lumps. Add the slurry to the cooked mushrooms and leeks. Stir for a minute or so until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.

    Now assemble.
    Grab your chilled dough from the fridge. If you're using mini-tart tins, as I did, your life crust prep just got easy. Pull off small pieces (enough to form an approximately 1" ball), and press the dough evenly into each tin. Allow the crust to be slightly thicker around the top edge.
    Poke the bottom of each crust with a fork, and bake the unfilled crusts for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and spoon the mushroom mixture into each crust, filling the tartlettes to the top.
    Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes. The filling should be bubbling and the tops should be a bit brown.

    Allow the tartlettes to cool slightly before removing from the pan and serving.

    The crusts didn't brown quite as much as I had hoped. I think it was the fault of my tart pan, which needs to be replaced for a number of reasons.
    Regardless, the tartlettes were still fully cooked and delicious!!

    Create a Fabulous Day!

      1. If you've seen my recipes, read my "About Me" page, etc... etc... 
      2. If significantly unappetizing variations.
      3. And/or who is doing the measuring. 
      4. Ha-ha. Mix! Get it? Mix?
      5. Rather naively
      6. Of other people's recipes... and some of my own.
      7. I say it all the time. 
      8. I may have just made that up, but whatever.
      9. There's that rosemary again; no one was around to stop me.
      Read more ...

      06 December 2011

      Coriander Avo Crackers

      I mentioned in my Raw Chili post, how nicely Coriander Avo Crackers paired with the, uh... Raw Chili.1 After creating some cracker-hype, I figured I'd actually post the recipe, and let others make their own assessments.
      Both Golden and Dark flax seeds were used in the making of these crackers
      These crackers are light, crisp and ridiculously easy make. Better yet, they're gluten AND grain free and loaded with healthy Omega3s! I make these lovelies in my dehydrator, but I understand they can be made in an oven as well (NB: If using an oven, they won't be a raw food).
      You may already be familiar with flax crackers2. Maybe you even already make your own? If you're shaking your head to either or both of the aforementioned, this post is for you.3

      What I find pretty neat is that you can make a flax cracker from nothing more than water and flax seeds.4 The beauty of such a simple base is that you are free to experiment with any flavor ideas or ingredients that strike your fancy.  Be creative as you like!
      There's only one "rule": Regardless of what you add, make sure the cracker mixture is the proper consistency. You should be able to easily spread it evenly over your dehydrator sheet/teflex/parchment. If it's too thick, it will be really difficult to spread out.5 If it's too watery, your crackers will just flake apart6.

      Eclectic or classic - I've made countless variations, that were far more delicious than anything I've found in a store. I think my Rosemary Garlic version is my favorite.
      Please, don't take that to mean that the Coriander Avo are any less yummy! They're equally as yummy, just in a different way.7

      Coriander Avo Crackers
      (makes approx. 8 (4"x2") crackers)
      • 1/3 cup Whole Flax Seeds (Golden, Dark or a combination of both!)
      • 1/2 Medium Ripe Avocado
      • 1 Tbsp Filtered Water
      • 2 tsp Nutritional Yeast Flakes
      • 3/4 tsp Ground (or crushed) Coriander Seeds
      • 1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
      • Sea Salt to taste
      Dehydrator8 110F

      In a small mixing bowl, mash avocado with a fork until it reaches a smooth consistency. You can also use a food processor, if desired; however, it's not as effective (and more of a hassle) when making a small batch.

      To the mashed avocado, mix in nutritional yeast, corander, cumin, and salt. Now add your flax seeds and 1/2 Tbsp of water; stir until evenly distributed. Let the mixture sit for a couple of minutes. The seeds will begin to form a gel and thicken the mixture. Average oatmeal is best way to describe the desired consistency. Check your mixture after 2-3 minutes, and add the remaining 1/2 Tbsp water, if necessary.

      Once the mixture is ready, spread evenly onto a dehydrator sheet (or parchment, if you're using an oven) to about 1/8" thickness. I find just using the back of a standard spoon works quite nicely, and I like the resulting slight "imperfections". Another very effective method is to place a piece of parchment over the mixture and use a rolling pin to even it out. Check for any thin spots or holes as you go.

      Allow your crackers to dehydrate completely (at least 12 hours or overnight). Break (or try to cut) them into desired-size pieces and enjoy!

      Create a Fabulous Day!

      1. Obviously, right?
      2. And LOVE them.
      3. Well, this post is for everyone really. We're all-inclusive.
      4. The result, however, may be a bit lack-luster.
      5. I will also happily add rosemary to as many dishes as possible, unless stopped. 
      6. As in: Hugely Enormous Pain in the Rear. Don't say I didn't warn you.
      7. It will be ridiculously easy to spread your flax mixture, and also your victory will be short-lived.
      8. I've never made these in an oven, so I'm not currently qualified to provide specs.
      Read more ...

      04 December 2011

      Allergy-friendly Cream Cheeze Frosting

      I'm finally posting the recipe I excitedly tweeted about many days ago. I needed to go back to my laboratory to work out some kinks. I also had to put up my holiday tree.
      When I went to recreate that first frosting success, it was absolutely not coming out the same. Grrr... Naturally, then I was obsessed; I couldn't rest until I'd figured it out. Unfortunately, subsequent attempts actually took me even further from the original.1

      The initial failed re-creation(s) spurred me to believe that the original recipe was a complete fluke, so instead of starting out with a minor adjustment, I went straight to bigger (and not better) ones. The whole process was rather a good lesson for me.

      “It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.” - Chinese Proverb

      To be fair, I honestly believe that in certain situations or at life "crossroads", you sometimes need to take a great leap - tweaking a frosting recipe is not one of those situations.

      Small steps...
      As a vegan, it's not difficult to find friendly substitutions for just about anything traditionally made from animal products. If I want a cream cheese frosting for my carrot cupcakes, I can have one whipped up in under five minutes. All I have to do is grab a tub of vegan2, non-dairy cream cheese from the grocery store3 pop it open and whip in the other frosting ingredients. Voila!
      Well, that's simple enough, if you/loved ones/etc... consume soy.
      Another pretty simple idea is to create a cream cheese base using soaked raw cashews. Now you've got a soy-free option plus the added benefit of having less weird ingredients in your food, if you/loved ones/etc... consume nuts.

      A bit frustrated with "limited" options, I envisioned the day when a vegan, soy-free, nut-free frosting would exist - a frosting that was also gluten-free4, lower in sugar5 and allergy friendly. 6 7
      I think the future is now.8

      Allergy-friendly Cream Cheeze Frosting
      Frosts 4-6 cupcakes or one single layer cake
      • 1/2 Cup (70g) Tapioca Flour
      • 1/4 Cup (56g) Earth Balance® Organic Coconut Spread (or any preferred vegan spread equivalent9)
      • 1/4 Cup (55g) So Delicious® Plain Cultured Coconut Milk Yogurt
      • 2 generous Tbsp (45g) Coconut or Agave Nectar (or sub 20 drops of liquid stevia and reduce tapioca by 2T, for sugar-free option)
      • Scant 1/8 tsp Salt
      • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract (optional)
      Results are best, if a chilled glass or stainless steel mixing bowl is used.
      Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream together tapioca, Earth Balance, agave and salt until smooth. The mixture should be fairly stiff, like a very thick paste. With the mixer on low, (carefully) add cultured coconut milk and vanilla (if desired), and continue to whip until smooth and fluffy.

      Spread over thoroughly cooled cakes, cupcakes, cookies, brownies or whatever your little heart desires.
      If you find it's a little too soft after mixing, just pop it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes before using.
      Like any frosting, it is best served when slightly cool.

      Adorning some delicious Carrot Cupcakes
      My taste buds thought this was more than sweet enough, but if you prefer sweeter, add a bit more sweetener and balance it out with a couple extra pinches of tapioca. If using stevia, just add a few extra drops; no need to adjust the tapioca.
      Coconut-sensitive individuals could experiment with a rice-based yogurt (and sub out the Coconut Spread, of course). If anyone does, I'd love to hear the results!


      1. This can also be read as: "The subsequent attempts were posing as really bad frosting impersonators."
      2. "Non-dairy" doesn't always mean vegan, but I bet you savvy shoppers always read labels :-)
      3. Even your run-of-the-mill, standard grocer carries tons of vegan "alternatives" (I kinda dislike that word).
      4. I've seen several frosting recipes that allow you to avoid powdered sugar, but call for unbleached flour.
      5. Unrefined, of course.
      6. The idea I'm striving for here is healthier. "Healthy Frosting" seems oxymoronic though, so I thought it better left implied. 
      7. If you have a coconut allergy, which I sincerely hope isn't the case, I apologize.  
      8. Further apologies for the dorkiness of this statement.
      9. Solid coconut oil could work; I haven't tried it though.
      Read more ...

      01 December 2011

      Raw Chili (Nut Free!)

      As many of you may (or I guess, may not1) know, many "gourmet" raw food recipes rely pretty heavily on nuts for texture/consistency/creaminess/etc... I don't have any nut allergies, but I do find that nut-heavy raw dishes can be... well... just plain heavy in general. While I like nuts, and I love raw food and interesting raw food creations, my stomach doesn't want meals to consist primarily of a big ball of ground nuts.

      So yesterday, after my driving-home-from-work dinner idea morphed from a nut-free raw burger into nut-free raw chili, I thought my substitute ingredient idea was so clever. I went straight to the food processor to experiment, and when a delicious batch of nut free raw chili emerged, I was pretty thrilled and rather impressed with myself.

      Then I sat down at the computer and found2 that I am hardly a trailblazer. Nut free raw chili has been done before (many times) with some differences here and there. The main ingredient, however, is always the same... mushrooms!
      Oh well, I'm going to post my recipe anyway because, who knows, this version might be just different enough, and someone might really like it.3
      If you are weirded out by the thought of don't typically like raw mushrooms4, at least consider giving it a chance; maybe make a smaller batch to try it out. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

      Raw Chili (Nut Free) 
      Serves 1-2 

      • 170g (6oz) Crimini or white button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
      • 85g (3oz) Carrots, coarsely chopped or julienned
      • 1 Medium Roma Tomato, chopped
      • 1/2 Red Pepper, chopped
      • 1/2 Clove of Garlic (or more, if you're in to garlicky - just remember, raw = more potent)
      • 1 Tbsp Coconut Aminos (or 3/4 tsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos - not soy free.)
      • 2 tsp Chili Powder
      • 1/2 tsp Cumin
      • Scant 1/8 tsp Cayenne (Optional)
      • Salt and/or Pepper to taste
      • Hot Sauce (Optional)
      In a food processor fitted with an S blade, pulse together chopped mushrooms, carrots and red pepper until the mixture is crumbly but still coarse - the goal is not to puree it. Transfer the mixture to a separate bowl and set aside.

      The mushroom/carrot/pepper mixture should look something like this.
      Add chopped tomato, garlic, aminos, chili powder, and cayenne (if you're using it) to the food processor and blend until more or less pureed.

      Pour the tomato mixture into the mushroom mixture and stir together until uniformly combined.
      Let the mixture rest for 5-10 minutes, and it's ready. Easy, eh?

      Gobble it up as is, or garnish with sliced avocado and maybe a few (or more, if you like the heat) dashes of hot sauce and serve! It paired quite nicely with Coriander Avo Crackers.

      The Coconut Aminos impart saltiness, but you can add a bit more salt to suit your taste buds. If you use Bragg's Liquid Aminos, exercise a bit more caution in adding additional salt - Bragg's is saltier.
      You can add a dash of cold-pressed EVOO, if you'd like a richer mouth-feel. You could also try playing with other vegetable additions that might strike your fancy: fresh raw corn (if part of your diet), celery, onion... go nuts!5

      Create a Fabulous Day.

      1. I really shouldn't make assumptions.
      2. Via the magic that is Google.
      3. I do. 
      4. They're (magically) delicious... no, really.
      5. Without even adding them to your food!
      Read more ...