Tag Archives: treats

Let Them Eat Cake! I’ll Have Fruit Instead.

It’s really starting to feel like summer here in Chicago! We had some crazy 80 degree weather at the end of March, but that was a complete freak show, weather-wise. It’s mid-May now, so the warmer weather is a lot more appropriate, and much more springy and refreshing: it’s warm but breezy, and cool in the AM and PM. Perfection. Outdoor Farmers Markets are starting up again in full force, I got to indulge in mangoes during peak mango season, and street festivals will be starting soon. I’m pretty freaking excited!

It was a bit of a letdown this past weekend when the Mother’s Day desserts were brought out and none of them were vegan. I passed on having a slice of marzipan cake, which is my absolute favorite, you guys. However, I made up for it by making myself a fresh treat for dessert this evening:

I started with a handful of pretty strawberries. Hey, they match my nail color!

Then I took a sprig of mint…

I cut up the strawberries and shredded a bit of the mint and mixed it together. But, wait! There’s more! I kept thinking that it was missing something, and the missing ingredient I couldn’t stop thinking about was Cool Whip. I blame Mad Men, which had a Cool Whip bit on last week’s episode. Cool Whip is not cool for strict vegans. So I sprinkled some fresh lemon juice and coconut onto the fruit (I stole the lemon juice idea from Jamie Oliver’s recipe; the coconut was all me).

DELISH! Let them eat cake. I’ll have fruit instead! –Melissa

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Macaroons… funny name, serious snack.

I love macaroons and have found that raw cookies resembling macaroons are a staple in vegan cuisine. Still, I’ve been craving the real thing. Shredded coconut is high in fiber and saturated fat. You might think, “this chick is terrified of fat… what’s she doing with coconut?” The saturated fat in coconut is largely composed of fatty acids like lauric acid, capric acid, caprylic acid, myristic acid and palmitic acids. Maybe now you’re thinking, “speak English, woman!”

Fun fact: your brain is the fattiest organ in your body – almost 2/3 of it is fat. Your brain is kind of like a huge incredibly intricate ball of electrical wiring, except instead of using rubber and plastic to insulate the wiring, it uses fat. Fatty acids like those found in coconut and other tree nuts, avocado, olives, and certain grains like flax make excellent building blocks for your brain. The fiber in these foods also makes it easier for your body to absorb these important nutrients.

Okay, now my brain hurts from thinking too hard and I must replenish it with macaroons. You’re going to need the following ingredients.

1.5 teaspoons EnerG egg replacer or starch
4 tablespoons almond or soy milk
2 tbsp syrup (agave nectar, maple, whatever kind you like)
pinch of salt
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1 tbsp almond or cashew nut butter (peanut butter works in a pinch but has it’s own distinct flavor, cashew and almond are more neutral)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (omit the 2 tbsp of sugar if you get sweetened shredded coconut)
1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder (optional, if you want chocolate macaroons!)
Preheat oven to 325F/160C degrees. Line a metal baking sheet with parchment and grease it lightly with olive oil or cooking spray. In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Combine the wet ingredients in another bowl, stirring and perhaps microwaving to get them to blend well. When everything is uniformly mixed, combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix well. It should form a semi-dry dough.
Place rounded teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheet you prepared earlier. I ended up mooshing them into appropriate shapes with my hands and then making an indentation in the middle with the bottom of the spoon.
Bake for 15 minutes. For an additional 5 minutes, watch the macaroons closely and take them out of the oven if the edges start to get too brown. Pick up the edges of the parchment carefully and place the parchment on a clean dry towel on a cool surface to cool. Makes 8 or so cookies. I drizzled mine with some cocoa that I melted with coconut sugar and cocoa butter.
This is Christie, signing off. OMNOM!
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