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  • Peanut Butter + Chocolate Pie w/ Peanut Butter Coconut Whipped Cream

    Happy almost new year! I am getting a head start on my resolution to consume more chocolate and peanutbutter, so am extremely proud of myself 2 days out of 2019. Yes!As for the rest of 2019, I intend to...(this list is not in any order of importance....):

    -Meditate more (I have been following this 8-week program at the recommendation of my therapist, and like it very much!)

    -Drink more water

    -Learn/continue to learn Portuguese 

    -Get back on that kombucha brewing train!

    -Seek out balance and accept that each day will be different (this one will be hard for me...)

    -Eat more plants and explore more/share more plant-based recipes again; after a steer (haha no pun intended...get it...with the farm animal reference I just did?) into a sad/maddening situation, I went full-plant-based again, but am welcoming this new phase with gratitude, compassion and also less regidness. Read: if I eat some cheese here and there, the world will keep turning. The end. I've come to the conclusion that a) it is better to actually feed myself than not in the face of these moments, and b) nothing with sever strictness should ever be a part of my food lifestyle. 

    -This is not an intention, but it is a "gonna happen": GET MARRIED to my favorite person. Shout out to all y'all who are going through/went through/will go through the K-1 visa process. We've been pretty quiet about this whole thing, just becase we seriously don't know how it will end up. My boo's interview at the US consulate is on January 18th, and we are excited/nervous/anxious...but it should go well. 

    -Learn more about wine! I joined a wine-club thing...but I do have an excellent resource (aka: one of my bestie's husband), so I want to commit to adulting by buying a legit case of solid wine this year!

    -Stay grounded, and remind myself daily that perfection is an illusion. 

    -Let go: of planning, of over-scrutinizing, over-analyzing, over-thinking. This is hard for my analytical mind. 

    -Tell the people that I love that I love them more, and that I appreciate them. Make time for these important, special beings!

    -Play outside more, even if it is cold out. Maybe even play in the dirt and grow something.

    Alright, I think that covers my important bases. To this recipe: largely adapted from Angela's recipe in her recent book, this thing comes together fast and can be made ahead. Yippee! Instead of topping with a caramel-like substance (because, even though there is not an FDA SOI for caramel, I just cannot in good Food Scientist faith call plant-based caramel "caramel"....), I opted for coconut whipped cream punctuated with peanut butter, and I added a splash of rum for good measure. Top this baby with more peanuts, excellent chocolate shavings (just use your veg peeler on a dark chocolate bar), and you've got a serioulsy decadent situation on your hands. I brought this to a family gathering, and seriously could not believe how fast it got gobbled up. Nothing but crust rubble remained on the plate I served it on! A success I'd say.Happiest days and new years etc etc to you all!! Let's get at this 2019 thing!!



    Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie with Peanut Butter Coconut Whipped Cream // makes 1 9" pie //

    Crust:

    • 1 ¾ cup rolled oats
    • ¾ cup roasted and salted peanuts
    • ¼ tsp or pinch sea salt
    • 4 TB melted coconut oil
    • 3 TB maple syrup
    • 1 ½ tsp water, if needed

    Filling:

    • 1 14oz can of full fat coconut milk*
    • 5 ½ oz (150g) semi sweet chocolate chips
    • ⅓ cup maple syrup
    • ⅓ cup natural smooth peanut butter
    • Pinch of sea salt, to suit your taste and saltiness of peanut butter

    Peanut Butter Whip:

    To Finish:

    • Extra roasted and salted peanuts, chopped
    • Shavings of chocolate

    *you can use a variety that separates, using the full-fat portion that separates from the coconut water after refrigeration for at least 24 hours, and use all except ⅓ cup of the coconut water; OR you can use a variety that does not separate, and use all of the can except 6 TB (1/3 cup)

    1. Make the crust: combine oats, peanuts and sea salt in a food processor or blender (I used my vitamix). Form a rough flour. Add the remaining ingredients, except water, and pulse/mix to bring together into a semi-sticky dough that holds its shape when squeezed. Use the water to bring it together if needed. In my vitamix, I used my tamper to help form the dough, and then finished mixing/incorporating in a bowl. 

    2. Pat into a 9” pie pan that has been greased lightly, and prepared with 2 strips of parchment placed criss-crossed. The oil on the pan helps hold the strips in place. Bake at 350 for 12-17 minutes and cool completely. This time really depends on your oven, so watch it closely after the 12 minue mark. Cool pie shell to room temperature. 

    3. Make the filling: heat the coconut milk and chocolate over low until just melted; whisk in the remaining ingredients. Taste for salt. Pour into the cooled pie shell. Freeze for a few hours, covering the top if storing in freezer for more than that.

    4. Make the whip: scoop white layer of coconut cream from top of coconut milk. Reserve water left behind for a smoothie, etc. Add peanut butter and vanilla extract and rum if using, and mix with hand beater or stand mixer until smooth and no clumps are present. Sift in the powdered sugar, and mix until fluffy-about 20-30 seconds. Top the cooled pie. Garnish as desired. Refrigerate to firm, up to 2 days ahead of time. Pie can be served chilled, or take the pie out about 1 hour before serving for a softer experience. 



  • Strawberry "Milk"shake

    Yeah, I know: a recipe with quotations HAS to be suspect. But seriously, this one isn't. But what it is: vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free (only naturally occuring fruit sugars & a touch of maple syrup!), simple and delicious. No ice cream required (however, if you wanted to add a scoop or two of vanilla Luna and Larry's, that would take it to another level of awesome). 

    All you need for this is frozen ripe bananas, frozen strawberries, your favorite plant-based milk (freshly made is great for optimal creaminess, but an unsweetened pre-made milk is great, too), a simple chocolate sauce and then whipped coconut cream and cacao nibs for optional-but highly recommended-garnish. You could play around with the frozen fruit you use, but the bananas are not really optional since they are the creamy base. Raspberry and mango come to mind as other tasty alternatives for the strawberries-but please, be creative!

    I fortified mine with a heaping teaspoon of hemp hearts, since I was enjoying this as a post-run gnosh (as in, I totally inhaled an entire one by myself after a sweaty run). However, you could add your favorite plant-based protein powder, some chia sees (note: they will thicken and add some dark flecks if using black chia seeds), or just omit all of that protein nonesense entirely! Up to you. This comes together super-duper fast, and it is very likely you have all the igredients on hand. Win-win situations, on top of that fact that this is actually great for you: it is full of fruit and plant-based milk, not sugars and hard-to-digest protieins and other additives. Read: this won't make you feel like crap after you enjoy it. As much as I loved traditional milkshakes growing up, they always left me feeling a bit blah. Not anymore!! This will for sure be a staple for us this summer. It would be simple to double or triple the recipe and make these for a crowd, too. 

    The chocolate sauce can be made with a high-quality unsweetened cocoa powder, carob powder, or raw cacao powder-up to you. Sweeten with your liquid sweetened of choice (I used maple syrup), and boom: you have a simple chocolate sauce fit for topping other ice creams (banana soft serve!) or even making an iced mocha (that may be another post, soon!). Good for you, versatile and delicious...what more do you want?! You'll have a bit extra sauce left after making the milkshake, so store any extras covered in the fridge. It should last a week or so. 

    Cheers, and happy "milk" shaking!!



    Strawberry Milkshake // makes 1 large milkshake, or 2 smaller // vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, nut-free, soy-free //

    Chocolate Sauce:

    • 1 TB unsweetned cocoa powder (either natural or alkalized/Dutch is fine), cacao powder or carob powder
    • 1 TB liquid sweetener, like maple syrup or agave
    • 1 TB water
    • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
    • very small pinch salt 

    Milkshake:

    • 1 1/2 cup plant-based milk (I used homemade cashew, but use whatever suits your taste or diet)
    • 2 large ripe bananas, frozen
    • 2 cups frozen strawberries or berry/fruit of choice
    • Optional: 1 heaping TB hemp hearts for a protein kick
    • Optional: 1 or 2 soft medjool dates for additional sweetness if using tart fruit or berries
    • Optional: cacao nibs for topping (or chocolate shavings/chips)

    Coconut Whipped Cream:

    • 4 TB coconut cream
    • Optional: maple syrup or other liquid sweetener, to taste

    1. In a small bowl or jar, mix together all the chocolate sauce ingredients until smooth. Drizzle a few spoonfuls of sauce inside the glasses you will be using for a chocolate marbled look. 

    2. In another small bowl, whip the coconut cream with optional sweetner with a fork or small whisk until light and fluffy.

    3. Place all ingredients for the milkshake into a blender. Mix until smooth and creamy, adding a splash of milk if needed to blend. Pour into chocolate drizzled glasses, top with whipped coconut cream, additional chocolate sauce and cacao nibs if deisred. Enjoy immediately!



    The stuff you will need:

    Poured into a chocolate-smeared glass (totally worth the extra 30 seconds of drizzing effort!).

    Topped and drizzled, ready to enjoy. The one below is without nibs, drizzled with the carob version of the syrup, for there is a chocolate hater amongst me. 

    Straws are optional, but add some fun! They really do. I promise.

    I think you get the picture. Go and make this, guzzle it by yourself, or be generous and share. Stay cool!