Friday, May 29, 2009

Pancake Bread (Banana, Blueberry and Chocolate Chip Bread)

Ok, the name is weird - Pancake Bread! I wanted to make a bread that contained all the things I like to eat on a pancake. My nephew thinks the name is totally wrong; as he feels pancakes are flat NOT bread. He wants me to call this Pudding Bread (The bread is EXTREMELY moist and when he ate it warm, the bread did have a pudding quality). Whatever you want to call the stuff, I think it tastes yummy and my Mommy agrees! Here's what I used (as best I can remember): 


In a large mixing bowl: 
~squish three large, ripe bananas (mush 'em up really good)
~1/4 heaping cup of apple sauce (unsweetened)
~Slightly less than 1/4 cup olive oil
~3 to 4 heaping spoonfuls of blueberry preserves (I used an organic, low sugar jam from Trader Joe's)
~3 tablespoons maple syrup (the real stuff)

Mix all the wet ingredients around. Then add the following dry ingredients to the bowl:
~1.75 cups of whole wheat flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
~2 to 3 tablespoons flax meal
~1/3 cup brown sugar
~approximately 1/4 cup (quick cook) rolled oats
~ a couple shakes of ground nutmeg
~1 teaspoon (or more to taste) of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of finely ground sea salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda

Mix all the dry ingredients with the wet. Use a mixing spoon. Taste and add more jam, maple syrup or brown sugar to get the sweetness you like. Remember, there will be chocolate chips, so don't go crazy with all the sugar!!

Add the following to the bowl and mix together: 
~1.25 cups of blueberries (I used frozen, organic ones that were defrosted)
~a couple handfuls of walnuts (I broke these apart with my hands, but you can chop these up)
~ a couple of handfuls of chocolate chips (I used the semi-sweet ones from Trader Joe's)

Pour ingredients into a loaf pan. I used a glass (pyrex) loaf pan, but I'm sure metal will be fine. Just spray the pan first with some non-stick cooking spray. 

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on rack.  

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Key Lime Pie

Yesterday I was craving key lime pie. Many years ago, when I lived in Florida, I was a total connoisseur of the stuff. Despite my lactose intolerance, if it was on the menu, I had to order it. One slice of that tangy pie with its sweet graham cracker crust was worth two weeks of excruciating belly aches. Since going vegan, I haven't had key lime pie nor gave it much thought until yesterday. I've never made key lime pie, but I thought I'd give it a whirl. Here's what I did and the result was soooooo freakin' delicious that I have to seriously stop myself from devouring more slices. 

Pre-bake one store bought (vegan) graham cracker pie crust. 

Meanwhile, in a food processor blend together the following (my measurements are approximations of what I actually used, I tasted my filling as I went and made adjustments on the sugar, agave and coconut extract): 
~1 block firm silken tofu
~3 to 4 tablespoons of vanilla soy yogurt
~1/3 container of soy cream cheese
~3/4 cup lime juice (I had regular lime juice on hand, but I'm sure it would be better with actual key lime juice. For a less tangy pie, cut back on the lime juice)
~1 tablespoon coconut extract (add more to bring out the taste)
~1 tablespoon vanilla
~1/2 cup of sugar (add more if you like it sweeter, I like my pie extra tangy!)
~2 to 3 squirts of agave nectar (add more to make it sweeter)
~2 heaping spoonfuls of corn starch

Pour mixture into pie crust. (mine was REALLY full, but it didn't flow over the edges)

I refrigerated mine overnight to let it settle before baking. I'm not sure that was actually necessary and it made the crust quite moist. So you might be able to go straight to the oven. 

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes. The top will get a nice golden color. Make sure the center gets firm before removing it from the oven. 

Cool on rack. The pie will firm up even more as it cools down. 

Think of palm trees and flamingoes. Enjoy!