If you're looking for ways to enjoy healthy snacks on a plant-based diet, you will be happy to know there are many ways you can make and enjoy tasty desserts without deviating from your goal of eating healthfully. Here are ideas for some delicious plant-based foods you can make at home.
Raw Nut Brownies
You can makes brownie-type snacks using just four ingredients. First, soak a cup of walnuts and a cup of almonds in water overnight to help soften them. Then, drain the water and pulse the nuts in a food processor with about 1/3 a cup of cocoa powder. You can adjust the level of cocoa to suit how chocolatey you like these to be. Then, run the processor on low speed, adding one Medjool date at a time until the mixture starts to to form a play-dough like consistency, pulling away from the sides of the processor. Press the mixture into a wax-paper lined pan and chill for an hour or longer before cutting into squares. These will taste remarkably like brownies when served.
Chia Seed Pudding
If you are looking for a way to enjoy a creamy dessert, chia seeds are the magic ingredient. You can buy chia seeds at most health food stores or online. To make pudding with chia seeds, simply combine 1/3 cup of chia seeds with about a cup and a half of the milk of your choice-- almond milk or coconut milk are both popular options. You can add cocoa powder, vanilla extract, or other flavorings to customize the pudding type. Leave the chia and milk mixture in the fridge overnight. Stir in honey or maple syrup until the mixture is sweetened to your taste. Finally, you can add some dimensional flavor by sprinkling a little salt over the top before indulging. If you prefer a smooth pudding, simply blend the milk and chia seeds in a high-powered blender before refrigerating.
One of the things you might miss when you start eating a plant based diet is the richness that ice-cream or whipped cream can bring to a dessert. You can recreate the texture and luxurious flavor of whipped cream in two ways:
- Cashew cream. Soak raw, unsalted cashews in water overnight. Then, drain the water. Place the cashews in a high-powered blender. Add back some of the soaking water by tablespoon as the cashews are "whipped". The right amount of liquid will depend on how much cashews you use and how thick/runny you like your "whipped cream" to be.
- Coconut cream. Refrigerate two cans of full-fat coconut milk overnight. Then, carefully open the cans and scoop the white fat from the coconut water underneath. Place the coconut milk in a bowl and whip the milk with a electric mixer until the mixture resembles whipped cream. You can sweeten it with maple syrup, date puree, or stevia powder.
Coconut cream also makes a greta base for vegan ice-cream if you do not have a ice-cream maker. The whipping process beats a lot of air into the milk, allowing for scoop-able texture of ice-cream desserts. In order to make the ice-cream sweet and to preserve the thick, rich flavor, use the food processor to puree some Medjool dates, which you can then beat into the coconut mixture. You can customize flavors by adding fruit preserves, cocoa powder, vanilla beans, or cinnamon. Pour the mixture into a bread pan lined with wax paper and allow it to freeze. As it gets colder, you can check on the consistency. If it seems to be getting too hard to quickly, take it from the freezer and whip it a little more before returning it to freeze the rest of the way.
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