Five Ingredients or Less – Sondi Bruner http://www.sondibruner.com freelance writer and holistic nutritionist Tue, 10 Oct 2017 13:00:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.11 Blueberry Compote + Tips For Stewing Fruit http://www.sondibruner.com/2017/09/07/blueberry-compote-tips-stewing-fruit/ Thu, 07 Sep 2017 13:00:59 +0000 http://www.sondibruner.com/?p=7266 I haven’t posted a new recipe in over two months but I have a good reason: it’s tough to blog about food when you’re not eating very much of it. I’ve mainly been subsisting on broth, green juice, soup, dairy-free elixirs, low-fibre smoothies and stewed fruit like this recipe for blueberry compote. The reason? Another bowel […]

The post Blueberry Compote + Tips For Stewing Fruit appeared first on Sondi Bruner.

]]>
Blueberry Compote + Tips for Stewing Fruit

I haven’t posted a new recipe in over two months but I have a good reason: it’s tough to blog about food when you’re not eating very much of it. I’ve mainly been subsisting on broth, green juice, soup, dairy-free elixirs, low-fibre smoothies and stewed fruit like this recipe for blueberry compote.

The reason? Another bowel obstruction. A severe one. In July, I went to the local emergency room for what I thought was a typical bowel obstruction. I assumed that the ER would give me some pain meds and fluids for a few hours, then send me home.

Instead, I had a CT scan in the middle of the night and in the morning the surgical staff informed me that my small intestine was 100% blocked and I needed surgery ASAP. Every single obstruction I’ve ever had has passed on its own, but the surgeon said this wasn’t an issue of food getting stuck; it was a buildup of scar tissue that had completely blocked my gut. It wasn’t going to go away without surgical intervention.

When I had surgery in 2003, it was planned months in advance and I was terrified. The thought of another surgery – even if it was warranted – sent me into sheer panic mode. I would do anything to avoid going under the knife again. (I am convinced, however irrationally, that if I have surgery I won’t make it off the table.)

The surgeons wanted to review my CT scan in more detail and track down my latest MRI, which was taken this spring. It showed I had multiple spots with scar tissue and strictures (narrowed bowels), but nothing that required surgery. In fact, the MRI showed a great improvement in inflammation compared to the year before. So how had things deteriorated so quickly?

After a closer look at my scan, the surgeons realized that my bowels were mostly blocked, not entirely blocked. They decided to admit me and monitor the situation. I continued to get better, and later in the day the hospital gastroenterologists arrived and gauged that surgery was likely unnecessary, and suggested they take more x-rays the next morning. Sometimes, they said, images during an acute flare look worse than they actually are.

The x-rays showed that the obstruction had totally resolved on its own.

What a glorious relief.

And then I got shingles.

The stress of the obstruction, combined with my latest drug infusion (which I had the morning of the obstruction), likely caused the shingles to emerge while I was in the hospital (I stayed there for four days). I am fortunate because for me, shingles wasn’t the nightmare I’ve heard it can be. The doctors had started me on a couple of antibiotics in preparation for surgery, and these had some anti-inflammatory effects right away. Don’t get me wrong: the shingles was uncomfortable, but not unbearable.

And so I’ve been spending much of my summer on the couch watching Netflix with the dog. Resting, recuperating and healing. These kinds of flares often require more time to heal emotionally than physically, but in this case I truly needed the physical rest.

Eating has been difficult, not only from a lack of appetite but also due to fear that anything can get stuck at anytime. Hence the soft and liquidy diet.

Blueberries for blueberry compote

Summer is the best season for fruit and I definitely didn’t want to miss out! That’s why I’ve been experimenting with stewing fruit and let me tell you, it’s absolutely delicious.

Here is what I’ve learned during my Summer of Stewing Fruit.

Tips for Stewing Fruit

Berries

  • I haven’t stewed a ton of fruit other than blueberries due to the seeds, but the process is basically the same no matter the berry. Throw your berries in the pot on medium heat, then lower and cover. Cook for 8-10 minutes until soft.
  • The berries will release liquid as they cook, so don’t add too much extra. Stewed fruit will thicken as it cools as well – but if it’s too thin then add some arrowroot, chia or flax.
  • Mash up the fruit, or not.

Small Stone Fruits

  • Blanch the fruit in boiling water for a minute or two. Don’t let them go for too long or they will turn into a mealy mush.
  • Drain and allow them to cool.
  • Slip off the skins and mash, dice or slice.

Large Stone Fruits

  • Cut them in half and remove the pits.
  • Boil for 5-8 minutes, until you see the skin begin to pucker and peel.
  • Drain and allow them to cool.
  • Slip off the skins and mash, dice or slice.

Fall Fruits

  • Dice into small pieces and add to a pot (no need to bother peeling them, unless they aren’t organic). You’ll probably need a few tbsp of water.
  • Simmer over low heat for 8-12 minutes, or until soft.
  • Mash or puree into applesauce (or pear-plesauce?)

How to Flavour Stewed Fruit

Depending on the sweetness of the fruit, you may not need to add any extra natural sweeteners. Most of the time, I don’t add anything. If I need to add sugar, I use coconut sugar so I don’t add more liquid to the mix.

For pizazz, add extra flavours such as:

  • citrus zest (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit)
  • citrus juice
  • ginger slices (remove after cooking)
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • cloves
  • rosemary
  • sea salt
  • peppermint
  • lavender

How to Serve Stewed Fruit

You can eat stewed fruit:

  • On its own
  • With coconut yogurt or other dairy-free yogurt
  • With cashew cream or coconut whipped cream
  • Spread on toast or crackers, just like jam
  • With granola and nut milk
  • Folded into ice cream or popsicles
  • Incorporate it into baked goods
  • As a topping for ice cream or breakfast porridge

I’ve been making this blueberry compote recipe almost every week and it’s versatile and stupidly easy. My fave is to pair it with coconut yogurt and hemp seeds – amazing.

Blueberry Compote
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sugar-free
Author:
Serves: 1¼ cups
Ingredients
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. Rinse the blueberries and put them in a pot.
  2. Turn the heat to medium and 'saute' the blueberries for a minute. Turn the heat down, cover the pot, and let it simmer for 8-10. Stir occasionally.
  3. Mash the berries gently with a fork or potato masher. Or you can skip this step, depending on your preference.
  4. Taste and add sweetener if necessary.
  5. Let cool and store in the fridge.

 

The post Blueberry Compote + Tips For Stewing Fruit appeared first on Sondi Bruner.

]]>
Salted Dark Chocolate Sunbutter 3-Ingredient Cookies http://www.sondibruner.com/2017/07/04/3-ingredient-salted-dark-chocolate-sunbutter-cookies/ http://www.sondibruner.com/2017/07/04/3-ingredient-salted-dark-chocolate-sunbutter-cookies/#comments Tue, 04 Jul 2017 13:00:58 +0000 http://www.sondibruner.com/?p=7235 You’ve probably seen recipes for 3-ingredient cookies floating around the internet. I even posted one many years ago, back in the days when I ate eggs and white sugar and peanut butter like it was going out of style. It’s a simple recipe: equal parts sugar and nut butter plus one egg. And you know what I […]

The post Salted Dark Chocolate Sunbutter 3-Ingredient Cookies appeared first on Sondi Bruner.

]]>
3 Ingredient Cookies - Salted Dark Chocolate Sunbutter

You’ve probably seen recipes for 3-ingredient cookies floating around the internet. I even posted one many years ago, back in the days when I ate eggs and white sugar and peanut butter like it was going out of style. It’s a simple recipe: equal parts sugar and nut butter plus one egg. And you know what I just realized? It’s possible to make it vegan and nut-free.

When I fell in love with this salted dark chocolate sunflower seed butter, I knew it would provide amazing flavour to any gluten-free baked good I set my sights on. And I was right. (My husband will tell you I usually am. I also tell him I usually am, too.)

These salted dark chocolate sunbutter 3-ingredient cookies have a long title, but they are incredibly simple to make. You can have a craving for cookies and literally be satisfying that craving 20 minutes later. Aside from being ridiculously easy, they are: gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, nut-free, soy-free, egg-free and Paleo. They basically cover most of the allergen-friendly bases (except if you’re allergic to sunflower seeds), so they’re great for lunch boxes and kid-friendly events.

These cookies are thin, chewy and fudgy and you will not regret making them. Double the batch for more cookies, or jazz them up with chocolate chips, cinnamon, shredded coconut, raisins (if you’re not a raisin hater) or other dried fruit.

Go forth and make cookies!

Salted Dark Chocolate 3 Ingredient Cookies

4.0 from 1 reviews
3-Ingredient Salted Dark Chocolate Sunbutter Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 4 tbsp warm water
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup dark chocolate sunflower seed butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the ground flax and water and set aside for a few minutes.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the coconut sugar and sunbutter. Add in the flax egg. Mix until everything is well incorporated (the batter should be thick and sticky).
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  5. Scoop a generous tablespoon of batter onto the baking sheet (I used a small scoop). Place the cookies at least 3 inches apart as they will spread quite a bit.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes.

 

Academy of Culinary Nutrition Open House

The post Salted Dark Chocolate Sunbutter 3-Ingredient Cookies appeared first on Sondi Bruner.

]]>
http://www.sondibruner.com/2017/07/04/3-ingredient-salted-dark-chocolate-sunbutter-cookies/feed/ 3
Golden Turmeric Rice with Raisins http://www.sondibruner.com/2017/01/31/golden-turmeric-rice-raisins/ Tue, 31 Jan 2017 14:00:29 +0000 http://www.sondibruner.com/?p=7072 Why is it that everyone loves grapes, but hates raisins? Think about it. I’ve never seen a plump red grape languishing on a fruit platter, and the wine industry is certainly thriving. But if a raisin-hater mistakes a raisin for a chocolate chip in a baked good? This happens: It might not surprise you to learn […]

The post Golden Turmeric Rice with Raisins appeared first on Sondi Bruner.

]]>
Turmeric Rice with Raisins

Why is it that everyone loves grapes, but hates raisins?

Think about it. I’ve never seen a plump red grape languishing on a fruit platter, and the wine industry is certainly thriving. But if a raisin-hater mistakes a raisin for a chocolate chip in a baked good?

This happens:

It might not surprise you to learn that I adore raisins, given my Grandma-like status as a prune lover. I think raisins are akin to prunes – they’re sweet, chewy dried fruit that are delicious to eat on their own but also work well in a variety of recipes (for more about how to use dried fruit in your cooking, check out this post).

I’ve been adding turmeric to everything lately and I just can’t seem to get enough of this potent anti-inflammatory spice. In this recipe, turmeric’s bitterness is countered perfectly with the sweet pop of raisins, and of course the colour is so bright and beautiful.

Making golden turmeric rice is virtually effortless and if you can’t stand raisins, you can easily substitute with cranberries or apricots, or leave the dried fruit out entirely and garnish with your favourite herbs.

So, what do you think – why does everyone despise raisins? Are you a raisin lover or hater?

Golden Turmeric Rice with Raisins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup short grain brown rice
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup raisins, chopped into smaller pieces
Instructions
  1. Rinse the brown rice in a fine mesh strainer.
  2. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the brown rice, turmeric and salt.
  3. Lower the heat, cover and cook until tender, about 30-35 minutes. It may take longer depending on the type of brown rice you use.
  4. Chop up the raisins into smaller pieces.
  5. When the rice is done, stir in the raisins.

 

The post Golden Turmeric Rice with Raisins appeared first on Sondi Bruner.

]]>
Sesame + Sunflower Superfood Butter http://www.sondibruner.com/2016/03/28/sesame-sunflower-superfood-butter/ Mon, 28 Mar 2016 13:00:13 +0000 http://www.sondibruner.com/?p=6873 I’m a fan of food mashups and wacky ingredient combinations. Whether it’s creating the love child of coconut butter and almond butter or incorporating kale into brownies, I’m always willing to toss a science experiment at the wall and see what sticks. I’ve made a lot of nut butters in my day and every time I think […]

The post Sesame + Sunflower Superfood Butter appeared first on Sondi Bruner.

]]>
Sesame + Sunflower Superfood Butter

I’m a fan of food mashups and wacky ingredient combinations. Whether it’s creating the love child of coconut butter and almond butter or incorporating kale into brownies, I’m always willing to toss a science experiment at the wall and see what sticks.

I’ve made a lot of nut butters in my day and every time I think I’ve fully explored the world of nut butters, I try a new combination and realize there is always something novel to discover. And now, like a 17th century British monarch or Robert Baratheon, I have a new love child – sesame and sunflower superfood butter. Except this love child I’ll adore, not shun or murder.

Given that this is a mashup recipe, I tried to determine a shorter recipe title. Unfortunately, ‘Sun-Hini’ just doesn’t have an ‘I must scarf that right now’ kinda ring. And so, Sesame + Sunflower Superfood butter it is.

This nut-free recipe is a perfect entangling of tahini and sunflower seed butter (sunbutter). You truly cannot tell where one butter ends and another begins – at first you’ll think this is sesame tahini, then doubt your assertion and wonder if it’s sunbutter. Then you’ll change your mind again. It’s heavenly!

The ground flax isn’t noticeable and offers that fibre-rich, anti-inflammatory edge. You can certainly leave it out if you’re not a fan, or are feeling lazy.

Sesame + Sunflower Superfood Butter
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegan, egg-free, sugar-free, five ingredients or less
Author:
Recipe type: Spread
Serves: 1½ cups
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups sesame seeds
  • 1½ cups sunflower seeds
  • ⅛ tsp salt (optional)
  • 3 tsp whole flax seeds, ground
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spread the seeds out onto a baking sheet. Roast for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned and golden. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool.
  3. Put the seeds in a food processor, and blend until they become a smooth and creamy butter. This may take anywhere from 5-10 minutes, depending on your food processor. Add in the salt, if using, and pulse several times to incorporate it.
  4. In a spice grinder, grind the whole flax seeds into a fine meal. Stir the ground flax into the seed butter by hand.

Culinary Nutrition Expert Program - Live Q & A

The post Sesame + Sunflower Superfood Butter appeared first on Sondi Bruner.

]]>
Tamari + Sesame Kale Chips http://www.sondibruner.com/2016/03/07/tamari-sesame-kale-chips/ Mon, 07 Mar 2016 14:00:59 +0000 http://www.sondibruner.com/?p=6858 Oh, dear kale chips. It’s been awhile. A loooooooooong while. The last time I posted a recipe for kale chips was in 2012. That’s probably the last time I’ve eaten them, too, so it’s not like I’ve been creating awesome kale chip recipes and holding out on you. I cannot fathom why I haven’t been […]

The post Tamari + Sesame Kale Chips appeared first on Sondi Bruner.

]]>
Sesame Tamari Kale Chips

Oh, dear kale chips. It’s been awhile. A loooooooooong while.

The last time I posted a recipe for kale chips was in 2012. That’s probably the last time I’ve eaten them, too, so it’s not like I’ve been creating awesome kale chip recipes and holding out on you.

I cannot fathom why I haven’t been making and eating kale chips all these years. My mind is blank. They are so crunchy and nutritious and versatile; I’ve seriously been missing out.

These kale chips came to fruition because – and this might surprise you – I bought a cold-press juicer. For many years, I felt like a fraud nutritionist because I had a strong dislike for green juice, or any juice for that matter. Then, last summer I began craving it all the time. Perhaps it was the heat, or maybe my body was giving me the message that I needed a potent dose of micronutrients. So I began frequenting juice bars like, well, a juice fan.

As juicing removes the fibre, what you’re left with is a concentrated dose of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are easily digested and absorbed in our bodies. For those of us with digestive issues, this can be extremely helpful!

If you’ve ever bought an organic, cold-pressed juice you know it can be expensive. Here in Vancouver, it can be anywhere from $8-12 for a glass. While juicing at home isn’t cheap, as you need to buy the produce, it is definitely less expensive. I purchased a juicer off craiglist and what I discovered is most people buy juicers with good intentions, and then they collect dust in a closet. Basically, every ad went something like this: ‘Bought this juicer, used it a couple of times but haven’t touched it in years. In great condition.’

Anyway, what all of this has to do with kale chips is I over-zealously bought a ton of produce for juicing and found myself craving chips one evening. My bounty of kale came to the rescue!

I skipped the dehydrator for these kale chips because when you have a craving, you don’t want to wait 8 hours for your snack, you know? This batch fits on one pan and takes about an hour to bake, but if you can’t wait you can always steal a few from the oven as they cook.

And, if anyone has a good juice recipe, please share a link in the comments! I like my juices green and tangy and sour, so let me know if you have anything that fits this bill.

Sesame Tamari Kale Chips

Tamari + Sesame Kale Chips
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 3 cups
Ingredients
  • 3 large kale leaves, washed and dried well (about 4 lightly-packed cups)
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free tamari
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
  2. Mix the tamari, sesame oil, garlic and ground ginger together.
  3. Break the kale leaves into pieces and add to a large bowl. Pour the dressing over and massage the kale with your hands, until they are coated and shiny. Taste a piece of kale, and adjust any seasonings if necessary.
  4. Spread the kale chips on a parchment-lined large baking sheet.
  5. Bake for about 1 hour. Check on the kale chips every 20 minutes or so to give them a shake and toss.

 

The post Tamari + Sesame Kale Chips appeared first on Sondi Bruner.

]]>
Vegan Broccoli Stalk Soup http://www.sondibruner.com/2016/02/29/vegan-broccoli-stalk-soup/ http://www.sondibruner.com/2016/02/29/vegan-broccoli-stalk-soup/#comments Mon, 29 Feb 2016 14:00:21 +0000 http://www.sondibruner.com/?p=6849 As I’ve mentioned before, I feel strongly about preventing food waste. If you want to get on my bad side, wasting food will do the trick (though I really wish you wouldn’t). Here’s another way you can avoid it: make this broccoli stalk soup. Broccoli is a popular vegetable, and it wasn’t until a few years […]

The post Vegan Broccoli Stalk Soup appeared first on Sondi Bruner.

]]>
Vegan Broccoli Stalk Soup

As I’ve mentioned before, I feel strongly about preventing food waste. If you want to get on my bad side, wasting food will do the trick (though I really wish you wouldn’t). Here’s another way you can avoid it: make this broccoli stalk soup.

Broccoli is a popular vegetable, and it wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized you could actually peel and eat the stalks. If you haven’t tried this before, they taste like – you guessed it – broccoli. One you remove the firm, woody outside, broccoli stalks are delicious.

My husband, however, is too lazy to cut and peel the stalks, which means we often end up with broccoli trees with most of the florets snapped off. By the time I arrive on the scene, I’m left with a large stalk and only a few sad-looking buds to contend with.

So when this happened a few weeks ago, I decided to make broccoli stalk soup. It’s thick and velvety, and gives you an ‘I-helped-save-the-environment’ sense of satisfaction. This recipe works beautifully with sunflower seeds for a nut-free version, though I must admit I’m partial to the cashews.

If you don’t have a high speed blender, ensure you peel the stalks well – otherwise, you’ll end up with a mouthful of fibrous bits. I mean, fibre is good for you – it helps us poop – but in this case, it detracts from the aforementioned creaminess.

When peeled and chopped, broccoli stalks are also great for stir-fries, chunky soups, chilis, stews, casseroles, and any other type of dish where you’d include a base of onions, celery and carrots. I’ve just created a new version of mirepoix, so let’s popularize it.

Any other suggestions for using broccoli stalks? Please share in the comments!

Vegan Broccoli Stalk Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, egg-free, five ingredients or less, nut-free option
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 broccoli stalks, chopped
  • 1 small broccoli crown, broken into florets
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • water, to cover veggies
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds or cashews, soaked for a couple of hours
Instructions
  1. Put the broccoli stalks, florets, carrots and salt in a medium sized pot. Add just enough water so the vegetables are barely covered.
  2. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Drain the sunflower seeds or cashews and rinse them well.
  4. Add everything into a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

 

The post Vegan Broccoli Stalk Soup appeared first on Sondi Bruner.

]]>
http://www.sondibruner.com/2016/02/29/vegan-broccoli-stalk-soup/feed/ 4
Mocha Almond Dairy-Free Chocolates http://www.sondibruner.com/2016/02/14/mocha-almond-dairy-free-chocolates/ http://www.sondibruner.com/2016/02/14/mocha-almond-dairy-free-chocolates/#comments Sun, 14 Feb 2016 15:00:26 +0000 http://www.sondibruner.com/?p=6799 Hello, friends! I’m popping in today to share a quick and easy recipe for dairy-free chocolates, which was inspired by the mocha almond fudge ice cream recipe I made a few months ago that I basically ate in one sitting. (No, no, I didn’t eat it all at once – but I was tempted.) As […]

The post Mocha Almond Dairy-Free Chocolates appeared first on Sondi Bruner.

]]>
Mocha Almond Dairy-Free Chocolates

Hello, friends!

I’m popping in today to share a quick and easy recipe for dairy-free chocolates, which was inspired by the mocha almond fudge ice cream recipe I made a few months ago that I basically ate in one sitting. (No, no, I didn’t eat it all at once – but I was tempted.)

As I’ve mentioned before, I despise the taste of coffee but love mocha-flavoured treats, especially ones that use herbal coffee alternatives such as these dairy-free chocolates. Although I must admit I really dig high-quality dark chocolate made with real coffee or espresso beans, too. Uh oh – are mocha desserts a gateway drug to real coffee?

Raw cacao, the key ingredient in this recipe, is packed with antioxidants, blood-building iron and magnesium, nature’s relaxant mineral. If you’re looking for another good reason to eat chocolate, a recent study discovered that people who ate up to 100 grams of chocolate per day had a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. One hundred grams is a lot of chocolate – like a whole bar! Of course, not everyone in the study ate that much – the average consumption was 7 grams.

So I think you’re completely justified in having one of these babies every day, along with at least one hug because they’re great for our health.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Mocha Almond Dairy-Free Chocolates
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 18
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup raw cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp cacao butter, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Dandy blend
  • 8 almonds, finely chopped (about 2 tbsp)
Instructions
  1. Make a double boiler by pouring 2 inches of water into a small pot, then place a bowl on top of the pot. Bring water to a boil.
  2. Add the raw cacao powder, coconut oil, maple syrup, cacao butter and Dandy blend. Whisk until everything is melted and incorporated. Remove from the heat.
  3. Stir in the chopped almonds.
  4. Pour the chocolate into molds. If you don't have a mold, use a loaf pan or small baking dish lined with parchment paper.
  5. Chill in the fridge for a few hours until set.

 

The post Mocha Almond Dairy-Free Chocolates appeared first on Sondi Bruner.

]]>
http://www.sondibruner.com/2016/02/14/mocha-almond-dairy-free-chocolates/feed/ 2
Naked Mashed Sweet Potatoes (Vegan) http://www.sondibruner.com/2016/01/18/vegan-naked-mashed-sweet-potatoes/ Mon, 18 Jan 2016 14:00:25 +0000 http://www.sondibruner.com/?p=6736 Some foods taste better when they are simple and unadorned – and sweet potatoes unquestionably fall within that category. I use sweet potatoes in all sorts of recipes: blended into dips, as the base for crusts, in chocolate pudding, and of course in soups. Sweet potatoes make everything taste better. But my favourite way to eat them is steamed […]

The post Naked Mashed Sweet Potatoes (Vegan) appeared first on Sondi Bruner.

]]>
Dairy-Free Mashed Yams

Some foods taste better when they are simple and unadorned – and sweet potatoes unquestionably fall within that category.

I use sweet potatoes in all sorts of recipes: blended into dips, as the base for crusts, in chocolate pudding, and of course in soups. Sweet potatoes make everything taste better. But my favourite way to eat them is steamed or roasted, with a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of oil (coconut or olive).

You might not need me to tell you how to roast sweet potatoes, yet I will anyway because:

  • The way I roast sweet potatoes is truly delicious
  • We’ll be using the leftovers for another sweet potato recipe this week

Roasted sweet potatoes are flexible as can be – make as many or few of them as you’d like, depending on how many people you’re serving. Sometimes I’ll roast only one small potato in the toaster oven to avoid heating up the oven for merely one small item. If friends are coming over for dinner, I’ll buy at least half a dozen large ones to ensure they’ll be sweet potatoes aplenty.

These sweet potatoes could be even more naked if you skip the coconut oil. I wouldn’t recommend this, though, as the coconut oil enhances their flavour and helps us better assimilate some of the nutrients in them. Certain vitamins – A, D, E and K – are better absorbed in the presence of a healthy fat. Sweet potatoes are an outstanding source of immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory Vitamin A, so having them alongside coconut oil will help you shuttle that Vitamin A into your tissues.

Don’t leave your sweet potatoes completely naked. Use some good fats to give ’em some dignity.

Dairy-Free Mashed Yams

Naked Mashed Sweet Potatoes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, five ingredients or less
Author:
Recipe type: Side
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 6 large sweet potatoes, washed well
  • 2-3 tbsp coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp salt, or to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Prick all of the sweet potatoes in several spots with a fork. Wrap each potato separately in foil, then place on a baking sheet. Roast for 45-60 minutes, until they are completely soft (cooking time will depend on the size of your yams).
  3. When the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, unwrap them and slice them in half. Scoop the flesh into a bowl.
  4. Mash with 2 tbsp of coconut oil and the salt. Taste, and add more coconut oil to taste if needed.

 

The post Naked Mashed Sweet Potatoes (Vegan) appeared first on Sondi Bruner.

]]>
DIY Edible Gift: Vegan Hot Chocolate Mix http://www.sondibruner.com/2015/12/15/diy-edible-gift-vegan-hot-chocolate-mix/ http://www.sondibruner.com/2015/12/15/diy-edible-gift-vegan-hot-chocolate-mix/#comments Tue, 15 Dec 2015 17:57:42 +0000 http://www.sondibruner.com/?p=6715 I’ve never been a skiier, so I don’t have memories of tumbling indoors after a long day on the slopes, cheeks pink, ready to hunker down by the fire with a steaming cup of hot chocolate to warm my numb fingers. I am, however, no stranger to hot chocolate. On cold wintry days after playing in the […]

The post DIY Edible Gift: Vegan Hot Chocolate Mix appeared first on Sondi Bruner.

]]>
Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate Mix

I’ve never been a skiier, so I don’t have memories of tumbling indoors after a long day on the slopes, cheeks pink, ready to hunker down by the fire with a steaming cup of hot chocolate to warm my numb fingers.

I am, however, no stranger to hot chocolate. On cold wintry days after playing in the snow with my head-to-toe snowsuit and thick boots, little Sondi would boil up a kettle of water and pour it over hot chocolate mix – which sometimes had those chewy, dried marshmallows, and sometimes not. Hot chocolate mix and water is deeply unsatisfying, unless you spoon about 4 times the amount of dry mix the container says you should. Or simply eat it off the spoon, skipping the water entirely.

For the grownups who want a grownup cup of hot chocolate, it’s very easy to make your own dairy-free and vegan hot chocolate mix at home. It serves as an amazing edible gift, too, and can be customized based on your preferences and tastes.

The recipe below is basic: cacao powder and coconut sugar. I use raw cacao because it is a powerhouse of antioxidants, magnesium and iron. If you use cocoa powder, you may not need to use as much sweetener because roasting the cacao produces a sweetness you won’t find in the raw, which is much more bitter.

Some flavour ideas include:

  • vanilla powder
  • peppermint tea leaves
  • lavender leaves
  • cinnamon and chili powder or cayenne pepper
  • freeze dried raspberries, ground into a powder
  • shredded coconut, ground into a powder
  • Dandy blend (a herbal coffee alternative) or ground coffee beans

I took an extra step and blended the cacao and coconut sugar in my spice grinder to mimic the finer texture found in hot chocolate mixes, but you can easily just use a whisk and a little wrist action.

And if you’re looking for more edible holiday gift ideas, check out my latest column for Food Bloggers of Canada.

DIY Edible Gift: Vegan Hot Chocolate Mix
 
Prep time
Total time
 
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, five ingredients or less
Author:
Recipe type: Beverage
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup raw cacao powder
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
Instructions
  1. Blend the cacao and sugar together in a spice grinder, or whisk well.
  2. Store in a mason jar or airtight container.
  3. To use, whisk 1 tbsp of the mix with 1 cup of non-dairy milk. Heat and serve.

What flavour combo did I miss? Please share in the comments!

 

The post DIY Edible Gift: Vegan Hot Chocolate Mix appeared first on Sondi Bruner.

]]>
http://www.sondibruner.com/2015/12/15/diy-edible-gift-vegan-hot-chocolate-mix/feed/ 1
Chocolate-Dipped Prunes (Dairy-Free) http://www.sondibruner.com/2015/12/07/chocolate-dipped-prunes-dairy-free/ http://www.sondibruner.com/2015/12/07/chocolate-dipped-prunes-dairy-free/#comments Mon, 07 Dec 2015 13:00:47 +0000 http://www.sondibruner.com/?p=6698 Prunes have a marketing problem. I’m sure more than half of my readers didn’t even click on this post when they spied the word ‘prunes’ in the title, even alongside the promise of chocolate. I’ll bet most of you associate prunes with two things: your grandmother, and constipation. A few years ago, plum growers lobbied […]

The post Chocolate-Dipped Prunes (Dairy-Free) appeared first on Sondi Bruner.

]]>
Dairy-Free Chocolate Prunes

Prunes have a marketing problem. I’m sure more than half of my readers didn’t even click on this post when they spied the word ‘prunes’ in the title, even alongside the promise of chocolate.

I’ll bet most of you associate prunes with two things: your grandmother, and constipation.

A few years ago, plum growers lobbied for a rebrand of prunes to ‘dried plums’, a request that was then approved by the FDA. This seemed to boost prune sales, but come on. Do you really think ‘dried plums’ is any better than ‘prunes’? If you already connect prunes with your wrinkly grandparents, will a new label with ‘dried’ in its name help improve the association with aging – or dry poop, for that matter?

Personally, I don’t understand why people don’t adore prunes. They’re sticky and sweet and soft and gooey. I’m also the kind of weirdo who loves raisins – another dried fruit that many hate with a passion (maybe raisins will experience a renaissance if they are renamed ‘dried wine grapes’ or ‘unicorn droplets’ or ‘Robert Downey Jr.’).

While it’s true that prunes alleviate constipation (which is why the elderly love them, since seniors are more likely to become constipated), that’s not the only reason we might choose to grab a handful. The insoluble fibre found in prunes feeds the beneficial bacteria in the colon, producing helpful fatty acids that feed intestinal cells. Prunes are packed with antioxidants, they balance our blood sugar, and their Vitamin C content improves our absorption of iron.

Now, I must admit I do have an association between my maternal grandmother and prunes. She always had a jar of them in her cupboard, and would often serve them dipped in chocolate. She made chocolate clusters with other dried fruit and nuts, too, something my own mother replicated in our house – but never with prunes.

Most of Grandma’s recipes are lost. I never learned to cook from her. Grandma was – how shall I put this delicately – a decisive perfectionist. She always wanted things to be a certain way. Then again, as a child it never occurred to me to ask her to teach me. When I began to show interest in cooking as an adult, she was more than happy to share a few recipes with me  – I later learned to adapt her famous honey cake and kugel so they could be gluten-free and dairy-free.

However, it didn’t take much recipe development prowess for me to figure out how to make dairy-free chocolate-dipped prunes. Buy chocolate. Melt chocolate. Add prunes.

If you are a prune lover (and if you’ve read this far, then you probably are), then I’m sure you’ll enjoy them even more slathered in chocolate.

And if you’re not a prune fan, perhaps I can interest you in some chocolate-dipped dried plums?

Dairy-free Chocolate Prunes

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate-Dipped Prunes (Dairy-Free)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, five ingredients or less
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 20-24
Ingredients
  • ½ cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips
  • 20-24 prunes
Instructions
  1. Gently melt your chocolate over low heat until glossy and smooth.
  2. Add your prunes to the chocolate and toss well, ensuring that all of the prunes are well coated.
  3. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Separate the prunes one by one and put them on the parchment.
  4. Place in the fridge for at least an hour until hardened. Store in the fridge in a container.

 

The post Chocolate-Dipped Prunes (Dairy-Free) appeared first on Sondi Bruner.

]]>
http://www.sondibruner.com/2015/12/07/chocolate-dipped-prunes-dairy-free/feed/ 13