Pancakes, Cashew Milk, & Raw Goodies!

It wasn’t even noon and I was already creating so many wonderful things in my little kitchen! If making bunches of yummy things on a day off isn’t productive laziness, I don’t know what is. So I started the morning with one of my favorite pancake recipes…

Pancake Perfection!

Pancake Perfection!

Kristina from Spabettie has (what I think is) the perfect recipe for Buckwheat & Hemp Banana Pancakes. The recipe is vegan and gluten-free, and uses only 5 simple ingredients! One of the ingredients is Erewhon Supergrains Buckwheat & Hemp cereal, which you can purchase at any Whole Foods location. And, because the cereal is already sweetened, this recipe calls for no added sugar!

Mmmmm. Banana, buckwheat, hemp, and fresh berries. There’s just one thing missing…..

Maple syrup! Perfect. And once I was content and full on pancakes, I was ready to get my hands messy…

I’ve only ever attempted homemade nut milks two other times. The first was almond, and the only thing I had to adequately strain it was coffee filters. Needless to say, it could have gone better. My second attempt was with hemp milk, and this time I made sure to purchase some cheesecloth beforehand. I have to say, I much prefer the “green” taste of homemade hemp milk to the sweet store-bought stuff. This time around, I was feeling fancy. I decided to try making cashew milk!

There is vast selection of non-dairy milks in my local grocery stores – everything from coconut to oat, flax to rice, and one of my favorites, the Dream Blends like almond-coconut-chia and almond-cashew-hazelnut. It’s so great that we have access to nutritious milks without having to contribute to a cruel industry that abuses mothers and steals their babies. (Not to mention that non-dairy milks don’t contain blood, pus, or cholesterol!) The options are endless! But I’ve never come across a plain ol’ cashew milk. What was I to do, but try making my own?

Buying nuts can get pretty expensive. And as you can probably tell by the fact that I’m spending my day making goodies and blogging instead of working a nine to five, I can’t always buy a pound of raw nuts when I feel like experimenting. Fortunately, Trader Joe’s offers 1 lb. bags of all different varieties of nuts for much cheaper. And this bag of “halves and pieces” was $2 cheaper than the bag of whole cashews. When you’re blending the nuts anyway, this is definitely the way to go. So instead of buying a pound of cashews in bulk for anywhere between ten and twelve bucks, I spent $6 on a pound of cashew pieces. What a deal, right?! So here’s my recipe…

Cashew Milk

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 3 cups water, plus more for soaking
  • 1 tbsp agave
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of pink himalayan salt

Directions

  1. Soak the cashews for at least 12 hours.
  2. Drain the cashews and rinse under cold water.
  3. Combine cashews in a high-speed blender with the remaining ingredients and blend on high for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Strain the milk through cheesecloth or a nut milk bag.
  5. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Iced Chai with Homemade Cashew Milk

Iced Chai with Homemade Cashew Milk

Now, my day of creations didn’t stop there….I had all this cashew pulp leftover! I searched all over for nut milk pulp recipes, happy to find that I’m far from alone when it comes to an inability to waste things. (I’m not a hoarder – I just shop and use responsibly!) After much debate over which recipe to use (and a second opinion from my partner), I decided to make a batch of Peanut Butter Coconut Nut Pulp Bars from Good Girl Gone Green.

As you can see, my “batch of bars” turned into a raw mini cake. I didn’t have enough pulp for the full batch, so I halved the recipe and pressed the dough into a medium sized ramekin. I didn’t have any chocolate chips on hand, so I chopped up a few squares of dark chocolate with espresso beans from Endangered Species. Freeze, eat, yum. Indulge in a cause and learn more about fair trade chocolates here!

This little raw delight is the perfect healthy dessert. If you don’t want to make Girl Gone Green’s full batch of bars, or like me, just don’t have enough stuff and don’t feel like making a trip to the grocery store, try out my mini cake version!

Raw Coconut Cashew Cake

makes 1 medium ramekin sized cake*

  • 1 cup cashew (or other nut milk) pulp*
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp agave
  • 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Line a ramekin with parchment paper or plastic wrap.
  3. Fill lined ramekin with the dough mixture and press gently with clean hands.
  4. Cover and freeze for at least one hour before serving.
  5. Keeps best in the freezer, covered.

*Notes: You could probably use two regular small sized ramekins if you don’t have a single medium one.

If you aren’t using this recipe to avoid wasting nut milk pulp, you can use almond or hazelnut flour instead.

Whew! What a day! And I’m not done yet. Tonight I’m making my pistachio pesto pasta. (Don’t worry, I’ll be posting a recipe for that, too!) Do you have a favorite non-dairy milk? What’s one you’d like to try?

My First Ever Zucchini Bread!

You know what I love? Farmer’s markets. You know what I love even more? The produce I find there, in all it’s seasonally priced, organic glory. Yesterday, I got to experience that feeling of bliss when I picked up some not-so-teeny zucchini for 50 cents a piece.

Giant zucchini with a medium sized apple for size comparison.

Giant zucchini with a medium sized apple for size comparison. So huge!

Aren’t they beautiful? Needless to say, this is going to be a week of meals chockfull of zucchini goodness. After last night’s asparagus zucchini spaghetti with lemon and olive oil, today I made my first ever loaf of zucchini bread!

I know, you’re throwing up your hands, shaking your web device (in lieu of shaking me), asking How have you lived your entire life up until now without experiencing zucchini bread?! It’s a question I’ve never asked myself until this day, because this vegan zucchini bread is damn good.

A perfect loaf with my favorite oven mitt.

A perfect loaf with my favorite oven mitt.

One of the first things I learned how to bake was banana bread. And ever since, I’ve loved making it. I guess I never felt compelled to try zucchini bread because me and banana bread had such a strong bond. You can’t compete with nostalgic connections, you know? But as I’ve learned today, there’s room in my life for both. And thank goodness for that!

Fresh out of the oven!

Fresh out of the oven!

So, of course, I’m going to share this incredible recipe with you! And you will also be able to experience a whole loaf of delicious zucchini bread! I mostly followed this recipe from Hell Yeah It’s Vegan! but made a few small changes, which I’ll include in the recipe posted below. Be sure to check out the original recipe – that’s where all the magic started!

Vegan Zucchini Bread

makes 1 loaf

  • 3 tbsp flaxmeal
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1-2 tsp agave*
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini*
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

*Notes: Because I reduced the amount of sugar from the original recipe, I added a drizzle of agave to add a little extra sweetness. The bread turned out incredibly sweet, and I think could have done without the agave. I used more zucchini than the original recipe called for, but I think it could have used more. If you get as excited about zucchini as I do, use as much as 2 cups.

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and lightly oil a 9×5 loaf tin.
  2. In a small bowl or ramekin, mix together the flaxmeal and warm water. This is called a flax egg, which will act as a binder in this recipe. Learn more about why it’s important to replace eggs in recipes here, and don’t give in to the free-range myth!
  3. Let your flax egg sit for a couple minutes. In the mean time, grate your zucchini! Have fun, and never be afraid to make a mess.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the flax egg, sugar, coconut oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Mix in the zucchini. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: the flours, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt.
  5. Add the dry mixture to the wet and mix well, until everything is combined. If you’re using walnuts, or any other mix-ins, now is the time to fold them in gently.
  6. Bake for about 55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the loaf to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing. Enjoy for breakfast, lunch, or dessert!
Delicious zucchini bread enjoyed with a green smoothie made of hemp milk, banana, peach, mango, and spinach.

Delicious zucchini bread enjoyed with a green smoothie made of hemp milk, banana, peach, mango, and spinach.

I’m so happy with how this loaf turned out, and I can’t wait to try more new and exciting zucchini recipes! Next on my list is 101 Cookbooks’ Lemony Chickpea Stir-Fry.

Do you have a favorite zucchini recipe? What’s your favorite food to pair it with? Please share!