Posts Tagged ‘Nuts’

My new favorite egg replacer in baked goods is coconut yogurt!  I’m obsessed with trying it out for all kinds of things.  This kugelhopf recipe turned out great the very first time I tried it.  I just took a non-vegan recipe I found on the web, replaced two eggs with 4 ounces of yogurt and voila!  Light and tasty kugelhopf.  For those of you who’ve never had it before, kugelhopf is a breakfast sweet bread from Austria or Alsace, depending on your nationality.  I did use the “traditional” kugelhopf pan, but really, any 11 cup (or greater) bundt pan will work just as well.


1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water
1 cup almond milk
7 tablespoons Earth Balance, or other vegan margarine
6 tablespoons cane sugar
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 ounces plain coconut (or soy) yogurt
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries or raisins
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange or lemon zest
About 20 whole blanched almonds
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar


1.  Stir together yeast and water in a small bowl and let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)

2.  Heat almond milk with 6 tablespoons Earth Balance and cane sugar over low heat, stirring, until mixture is warm, butter is melted, and sugar is dissolved.

3.  Sift together flour and salt into large mixing bowl. Make a well in flour and add yeast mixture. Add warm almond milk in a slow stream, mixing at low speed with paddle attachment (or with a study wooden spoon, if mixing by hand – yes, it can be done!). Increase speed to medium and beat in yogurt, then beat in craisins and zest. Continue to beat until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. (Dough will be very sticky.)

4.  Grease kugelhopf mold with remaining tablespoon Earth Balance. Put 1 almond in each depression in bottom of mold (the almonds are only decorative; you can skip them altogether if your mold has no depressions), then scrape spoonfuls of dough evenly into mold (dough will be very elastic). Cover top of mold with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a warm place until it fills pan, about 1.5 – 2 hours (depending on temperature in room – to speed things up set heat the oven to its lowest setting, then turn heat off, but let dough rise in the warm oven).

5.  Remove pan from oven, if using that to rise it.  Preheat oven to 400°F.

6.  Remove towel from kugelhopf and gently peel off plastic wrap. Bake kugelhopf in middle of oven 15 minutes, then loosely cover mold with foil and continue to bake until golden and a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes more. Cool in pan 2 minutes, then invert cake onto a rack to cool completely, about 1 hour. Dust with confectioners sugar.

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Almond-Cinnamon Granola and CM YogurtHere’s another granola that goes excellent with some So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt (which is, in fact, so delicious – just as it says on the label). This recipe makes about 3 C, so feel free to double if you want more. It didn’t make the big clumpy, crunchy chunks that is so good in granola, but the taste more than made up for the lack of big crunchy chunks. Mocha and I thoroughly enjoyed this granola, and I know you will too! Now that there’s no more left, I’m wishing I had doubled the recipe…so I’ll be making more this weekend, and this time, doubled for 6 C! 🙂


1/4 C shredded coconut
2 C rolled oats
1/8 C oat bran or toasted wheat germ
1/2 C slivered almonds
1 TBSP ground flaxseed
2 tsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 C agave nectar
4 TBSP Earth Balance vegan butter

Directions:Almond-Cinnamon Granola

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and spread the coconut on top. Bake until toasted, about 2-3 minutes. Let cool.
2. Reduce heat to 300°F. In a large bowl, toss together coconut, oats, oat bran or wheat germ, almonds, ground flax, sesame seeds, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir to combine. Stir together melted vegan butter and nectar, add to the oat mixture and mix thoroughly.
3. Spread onto baking sheet lined with parchment (the same as what you toasted the coconut on will be fine). Bake until golden, about 25-30 minutes, stirring after about 15 minutes for even golden-goodness. Let cool, and store in an airtight container.

Almond-Cinnamon Granola

I also turned this into a bowl of cereal – pour into bowl, top with hemp/almond milk. So it can go naked – as a quick, dry snack – or in yogurt, or as a bowl of cereal.. it’s very versatile!

Happy Baking!

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Cashew and Almond Cream

It never occurred to me to make my own milk alternative, until my friend (and fellow vegan) Carrie from work told me that she makes her own rice milk. That inspired me to try out making nut milks and the results are delightful. The amount of water given here is for a thick cream, but you could add another cup for a thinner milk.


1/2 C raw cashews

1/2 C raw almonds

1 TBS agave nectar

pinch salt

2.5 C water


1. Boil the nuts in 1 C water for ~15 minutes. Set some more water on to boil in your kettle a few minutes before the nuts are done.

2. Transfer the nuts and remaining water to the food processor or blender, and blend for a few minutes, until thoroughly ground.

3. Add the salt, nectar, and another 1.5 C boiling water. Blend until mixed.

4. Pour through wire mesh or cheese cloth to strain out the cream into a jar.

Keep the cream in the fridge and use within a couple of days (shake before using), or freeze to keep longer. The nut paste left in the strainer could be kept to add to baked goods or doggie treats.

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I adapted this recipe from one published in Food and Wine, December 2007 – though I think I revamped mostly every ingredient, I should say this recipe was more inspired than adapted. Using the brown rice syrup in this granola, as opposed to using a regular maple syrup, helps reduce the glycemic index. You could also reduce the amount of sugar and increase the nectar if you wish to further reduce the glycemic index and make it that much healthier. This recipe makes about 4 pounds worth.granola1


4 TBSP Earth Balance vegan butter
1/2 C oat flour (*if you want gluten-free, be sure to use a GF flour)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 C vegan granulated or turbinado sugar
1/2 tsp saltgranola2
large pinch of ground cinnamon
large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
3 C thick-cut oats
3/4 C brown rice syrup
2 TBSP nectar
1/2 C walnut halves, roughly chopped
1 C peanutsgranola3
1/2 C pepitas
1/2 C sunflower seeds


1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a roasting pan or large casserole dish (or line with parchment). In a food processor, pulse thegranola5 EB vegan butter, flour, baking soda, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg until crumbly. Transfer to a large bowl.
2. Stir together the oats, walnuts, peanuts, pepitas, sunflower seeds, and the brown rice syrup; transfer to prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally (about every 10-15 minutes or so), until crisp. Let cool. granola4Divide among 8 gift bags and seal tightly.

*Note: I sent this in ziploc bags to Dad as a surprise care-package…be sure, if you send this to someone, that everything is sealed tight and no sticky finger residue is on the outside of the bags. This attracts ants and other little buggers..but it does travel well, and is mighty tasty! 🙂


Happy Cooking!

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Contrary to popular opinion, a salad can be a very satisfying meal. One critical error that many people make is to treat the leafy greens as the focus, rather than the basis of the meal. A proper salad is not some lettuce with tomatoes tossed on top, but rather a mixture of vegetables, fruits and nuts brought together on a bed of greens.

This recipe should make enough for four salads. You could assemble the salad in one large bowl, and then serve it out, or assemble each person’s salad individually (my preference).


6 C baby spinach

2 carrots, grated

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 C chickpeas, cooked and rinsed

1 C pecans, toasted

1 apple, sliced

1 C croutons

4 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp salt


Divide spinach between four bowls. Top with carrots, tomatoes and chickpeas. Drizzle 1 tsp of olive oil over each bowl of veggies. Add a few shakes of salt. Place apple slices and pecans around edge of bowls. Top with croutons.


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Cookies are a huge part of the holiday season for most of us… Here’s a holiday cookie that is sure to please! I love the combination of cranberries and nuts, and pecans are the über holiday nut in my book. This cookie is so soft and delicious once they’ve cooled, and flaky while still warm – so you get the best of both worlds. I can’t remember, and didn’t make note of, where I adapted this recipe from..but it wasn’t vegan originally – so I know I got it from somewhere. This recipe makes about 15-20 cookies..so feel free to double the recipe for about 30-40 cookies!

Ingredients:KAF White Whole Wheat

3/4 C Earth Balance vegan butter, softened
1/4 C turbinado sugar
1/8 C maple syrup or brown rice syrup (using the latter will have a less sweet taste, so opt for a small splash of bourbon if you want that maple appeal)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 C white whole wheat flour (I like the organic King Arthur Flour since they never bleach their flours)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C dried cranberries
1/2 C pecan pieces, toasted

Directions:cranberry pecan cookies1

1. Mix together vegan butter, sugar and syrup with a wooden spoon or in an electric mixer. Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each cup is added. Stir in the salt, cranberries and pecans.
2. Shape dough into two logs and chill until firm, 1 to 2 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut dough into 1/2-inch slices and arrange on baking sheet. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*Optional additions: You can opt to sprinkle with a little finely ground granulated sugar before baking for an extra sparkley, sweetening effect. You could also play with nut and fruit combinations, such as cherries with almonds or walnuts.

Note: Cookies will keep several days in an airtight container.

cranberry pecan cookies2

Happy Baking!

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Here’s a tasty treat getting us in the mood for Autumn…Walnut Shortbread! These were superbly pleasing, and I really enjoyed the fact that the walnuts were toasted then ground into a relatively fine flour (but not so much that they became walnut-butter), so there were no huge chunks of walnuts which pleased some coworkers who are opposed to large walnut chunks 🙂 They were so easy, just like any butter-based cookie or shortbread..and I must say, I give the dough two thumbs way up! What? You’re surprised that I tasted the dough – I’m ALL about quality control at every step in the baking process! So check these puppies out, and you can play around with various nuts – I bet pecans would be delicious… This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies, but you can half the recipe if you don’t want to have that many cookies lying about.


4 C walnuts, toasted and finely ground
1 C [2 sticks] Earth Balance vegan butter, softened
3/4 C dark brown sugar, packed
3/4 C confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 C unbleached AP or oat flour (or a gluten-free flour if need be)
1/2 tsp salt
granulated sugar for sprinkling


1. Preheat to 325°F. Spread the walnut pieces on baking sheet and toast for 5-7 min, or until golden and fragrant. Cool completely, transfer to food processor and pulse until finely ground; set aside.

2. Cream vegan butter, brown sugar, and confectioners sugar together until very smooth and creamy, beat in vanilla.

3. In separate bowl, combine ground nuts, flour and salt. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat to form a soft dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill until firm enough to roll – at least 30 min.

4. Lightly grease two baking sheets or line with parchment. Divide dough into two pieces, and roll one piece out to 1/2-inch thickness on a lightly floured board. Using cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as you can and place them on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Sprinkle each with granulated sugar.

5. Bake for 12-15 min, or until they turn light golden brown. remove to a wire rack to cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Happy Baking!

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