Tapioca is not a pretty food, but there’s something wonderful when you bite into those mini spheres. Slightly gooey but matched with its creamy almond milky pudding it becomes the perfect texture. Straight from the fridge it’s my favorite hot afternoon snack in the summer.
In the summer the last thing I want to do is put a pot of anything on the stove. The slow cooker is the perfect answer. It doesn’t heat up your kitchen and even though the cooking time is short you don’t have to stand there waiting for it to cook. Take a walk, pick some herbs from the garden, or just make the dog happy and go on that walk around the block. It will cook without you. to recipe →
I’ve been meatless for so long that sometimes I forget to mention some of the simple things. This recipe is one of those. I made this last night for my sweetie and remembered just how much I love this stuff!
If you’ve already made a silken tofu mousse before, then you can move along. There’s not much new to add. However, if you’ve never made one before and are new to the wonders of silken tofu be prepared to be wowed.
This is my favorite impromptu dinner party dessert. It takes about 10 minutes and then all you do is stick it in the refrigerator for about an hour to thicken up.
You can make this mostly sugar-free by using grain sweetened chocolate chips, or use unsweetened chocolate and add your favorite sweetener like stevia or agave. There will be sugar in the liqueur, so you can use an extract instead to keep it sugar-free.
This is gluten-free with Amaretto, but it would not be if you choose another liqueur that has gluten.
Make sure to check out the rest of my Valentine’s dinner over at my post on Key Ingredient’s blog. I think my not-quite souffle turned pretty good too.
The Easiest Chocolate Mousse Ever
gluten-free (with Amaretto)
- 1 package (12.3 ounce/349g) silken tofu
- 1/2 cup sweetened chocolate chips
- 1 to 2 tablespoons Amaretto or other liqueur
Puree the tofu in a food processor, stopping a few times to scrap down the sides. When you are finished it will be silky smooth.
Melt chocolate chips on the stove top in a double boiler (or in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds).
Add melted chocolate and liqueur to the food processor and process until thoroughly mixed, scraping down the sides and processing some more.
Put in serving cups or martini glasses and stash away in the fridge for at least 1 hour to let it thicken up.
I’m on a summer dessert kick and I started thinking about kheer because it’s such a great cooling dessert that deserves to be veganized. I’ve made kheer oatmeal, but I had never made proper kheer.
Kheer is an Indian rice pudding flavored with cardamom that’s speckled with nuts and raisins. One of the things I like about it is that the rice breaks down to make it creamier than the typical American rice pudding.
It’s ridiculously easy and nutritious when you use brown rice and nondairy milk. In fact, I had it for my breakfast every morning this week. I like the idea of making a batch of this on Sunday and just grabbing a portion to take with me to work each morning.
I’m bringing more stevia into my desserts lately. The only problem is that it varies so much between brands and types (powder, liquid, etc.). That makes it hard (or impossible) for me to tell you exactly how much to use. I’m using the small packets from Trader Joe’s and I have only needed 2 packets for a batch of pudding.
Depending on the stevia you are using you may need to use more or less. But either way add it little by little (1/8 of a teaspoon at a time) until you are confident you know the amount you need. If you add too much it will be bitter and you can’t go back, so it’s worth putting in a little time to get it just right. I also like to a tablespoon or two of agave when I use stevia. I think it gives the sweetness a rounder feel, but that’s completely optional.
This post is featured at Chez Cayenne in their House Favorites: Vegan Roundup.
Vegan Slow Cooker Kheer
- 1 cup (185 g) long grain brown rice
- 6 cups (1448 ml) nondairy milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut milk)
- 1/2 cup (83 g) golden raisins
- 1/2 cup (73 g) slivered or chopped almonds (pistachios and/or cashews work great too)
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- sweetener to taste – I used 2 small packets of stevia and about 2 tablespoons of agave nectar – you can use regular sugar, brown rice syrup, etc.
Place all the ingredients except for your sweetener of choice into a 3 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker. (Double the recipe if you have a larger slow cooker.)
Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or on high for about 2 1/2 hours. The size of your slow cooker and how hot it runs will change the exact cooking time. Add sweetener and stir in. Then taste and add extra sweetener if you feel that you need it. (If you are using stevia I would recommend adding 1/8 teaspoon at a time. Just a little too much and it becomes bitter.)
The pudding will still be a little loose in the slow cooker. But it will thicken in the fridge. Serve it cold topped with extra raisins and nuts. You could even go crazy and add some fresh berries too!
It’s been the hottest June I can remember and all I can think of is eating something cold and not heating up the house.
I wanted to try cooking something with the new Sugar Free Vanilla So Delicious Coconut Milk. Since I use unsweetened milk as my go-to I found the sugar-free vanilla milk to be a little sweet in most of my beverages, but it would be perfect with Thai tea if the concentrate was made without sweetener.
I wasn’t sure how their new sugar-free milk it would cook-up. It uses stevia and monk fruit as the sweeteners. I’m very curious about monk fruit and So Delicious’ new sugar-free products are the only place I’ve seen it so far. Have any of you heard of it before?
I think it worked well in the slow cooker and this pudding. It seemed to lose a bit of the sweetness during the cooking process, but you can always add a little extra sweetener after it’s cooked.
I added an extra teaspoon of agave in my batch. I like to use a small amount of agave when I use stevia. It adds some of the round sweetness that stevia lacks.
You can vary the flavorings to suit your mood. Hot summer days make me think of the creamsicles that I grew up eating. This is a healthier, natural, and vegan way to enjoy the same flavors.
You can substitute any nondairy milk if the sugar-free milk is not in your area. You will just need to adjust the sweetness. I haven’t use regular sweetened vanilla in this recipe but I would think you would not need to add any (or much) sweetener with it.
Please note that I did get some coupons from So Delicious to try some of their new products for free. But honestly if I don’t like it I certainly won’t tell you I do.
Vegan Creamsicle Tapioca Pudding
serves 6 (And is under 80 calories a serving!)
- 1/2 cup (76 g) small pearl tapioca
- 1 container (4 cups or 960 ml) Sugar Free Vanilla So Delicious Coconut Milk
- 2 teaspoons orange extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- extra sweetener if needed (agave, stevia, etc.) – optional
Place all the ingredients into a 3 to 4 quart slow cooker. (Double the recipe if you have a larger one.)
Cook on low for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours or on high for about 2 hours. The size of your slow cooker and how hot it runs will change the exact cooking time. Taste and add extra sweetener if you feel that you need it.
The pudding will not set up all the way in the slow cooker (and will look like it may never set up). But it will set up perfectly after a few hours in the refrigerator. I like to portion mine out so I can just grab some from the fridge when I want it!
Since I just proclaimed summer the best time to use your slow cooker I thought I better get some new recipes up for you to try! I will have more not-so-quick bread recipes coming in the next few months. I have added detailed instructions to help you through your first few batches!
This one is great because the variations are almost endless. Think almond thyme, lemon basil, coconut lime-basil, vanilla mint… Of course, the best thing to do with a pound cake is to top it with fresh seasonal fruit from your local farmers market or your very own garden. It’s summer, so I take the lazy route whenever possible. Instead of topping it with vegan whipped cream I use So Delicious Vanilla Yogurt.
I made a lemon mint version and it has been my breakfast all week, I also have a pineapple-sage coconut one in the slow cooker right now - yum! Cakes in the slow cooker cook up extra-moist so the texture may be a little different than you are used to.
I am using unbleached flour to capture the full pound cake effect, but feel free to use whole wheat pastry flour instead. You can also try using a gluten-free baking mix in place of the wheat flour to make a gluten-free version.
If you haven’t baked in your slow cooker before, the first time will be a bit of an experiment. Some slow cookers run very hot and others don’t. This will make the time vary a huge amount. You’ll have a good idea on just how long it will take after your first try.
I like to use a loaf pan and one of my oval 6 quart slow cookers. It takes longer than putting it in the crock, but you have more control over the end result. Most slow cookers, like most ovens, have hot spots. If you are cooking in the crock make sure to turn it every hour or so it will cook evenly. In fact, you should do the same if you cook it in a loaf pan or one side may be darker than the other.
Vegan Herb Pound Cake
Makes 1 loaf (I used 1.5 quart loaf pan in my 6 quart oval slow cooker)
- 1⁄2 cup (112 g) non-dairy butter (like Earth Balance)
- 1/4 cup fresh herb (mint, thyme, basil, etc.)
- 1 cup sugar (200 g) sugar
- 1 box (12.3 ounce/349 g) silken tofu
- 1 teaspoon extract of your choice (lemon, vanilla, coconut, almond, rum, etc.)
- 2 cups (240g) unbleached flour (or Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free Baking Mix)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
Make sure to try putting the loaf pan you plan on using in your slow cooker before you start the batter! Some fit and some don’t.
Add non-dairy butter to mixer and mix until creamy. Put the whole herbs and sugar into a food processor, pulse until the two are integrated together. Add the sugar mixture to the mixer and beat until creamy.
Add the silken tofu to the unwashed food processor bowl and purée until smooth. Make sure to scrape down the sides so you get all of it the same silky-smooth texture. Then scrape the tofu into the mixer bowl with the rest. Also add the extract of your choice and mix until everything is well combined.
Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add 1/3 of the dry mixture at a time to the mixer. Mix until just combined and repeat until all dry in mixed in. Remove bowl from the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and make sure everything is mixed in.
Add batter to an oiled loaf pan that fits in your slow cooker, or directly to your pre-oiled crock.
If you are using a loaf pan: take a long piece of aluminum foil, roll it into a snake, and pinch the ends together to make an ‘o’. Put this on the bottom of your crock, then set the loaf pan on top of it. Press the pan so the aluminum foil is even and doesn’t make your pan tip or sit at an angle. (You can reuse this when you make your next loaf.)
Cook on high, with a clean dish towel doubled and placed over the top of the crock. Then place a wooden spoon on top on that, and finally the lid. The lid will be cracked open some to let the moisture evaporate, but will still hold the dish towel in place. What doesn’t evaporate the dish towel will absorb. If you cook it normally with the lid closed the condensation will drop onto your cake and keep it from cooking.
Cook until the edges start to brown and it’s mostly cooked through, but the very middle will still be softer. (about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours cooked in crock, 3 to 4 hours cooked in loaf pan).
I touch it to see how springy it is. The edges will feel like a normal loaf from the oven and the middle you can still indent.
Remember if you cook it as a loaf, it will continue to cook a little more after you remove it from the slow cooker. So you are taking it out of the slow cooker sooner than you would the oven.
Note: If you let the edges brown too much the brown parts will be hard to cut (more so than in an oven-baked loaf.) Better to get them lightly brown and be a little nervous about the middle. If the middle is too moist you can always toast it a little or if you’re like me and eat the middle of the loaf in a day or two you may find that it’s dried out by then anyhow.
The time will vary depending on how hot your slow cooker runs and older slow cookers may take longer than stated.
Yields: About 8 servings
Total Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Cooking Time: 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours cooked in crock, 3 to 4 hours cooked in loaf pan
I can’t have wheat for another month and while I can have a small amount of sugar I should avoid it too. But I have been dying for a little something sweet. So I combined a few black bean brownie recipes I’ve made before and tweaked them into something I can eat right now.
These are not the fluffy brownies of your childhood. Instead, these are more like fudge and are super moist. I lined my baking dishes with parchment paper and left the edges out so I could pull the whole thing out to cut it. They will be very hard, possibly impossible, to get out if you skip this step.
I’m adding more flavor by adding cinnamon and chili powder to make up for the removed sweetness. If you are making this for kids you should leave this out. If you can use sugar, add a few tablespoons or more agave nectar to make them sweeter.
Slow Cooker Spicy Black Bean Brownies (*gluten-free)
I used my large oval slow cooker and 2 – small 3 cup rectangle Pyrex dishes to make this recipe. Make sure the dish you plan to use fits before you start!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 6 – 8 hours
- 1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 extra ripe bananas (black ones are best because they are sweeter)
- 3 Tb apple sauce
- 4 Tb agave nectar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1/4 tsp ground chili of your choice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup rolled oats, processed until flour-like consistency (*buy gluten-free oats)
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
The night before: Process the rolled oats in a food processor. (Or you can use instant oatmeal instead if you have it.) Remove oats and put in large mixing bowl with walnuts. Add all the other ingredients to the food processor and process until smooth. Add this mixture to the oats and mix thoroughly.
Line baking dishes with parchment paper and spoon the brownie mixture over it. You will need to pus it into the corners or you won’t have the shape you’re expecting. Cover and put then in the fridge until morning
In the morning: Take some aluminium foil and crumble it up and roll into a ring to place under the dish in the slow cooker. Then put the baking dish(es) on top of the foil ring. Place a paper towel underneath the lid to catch the condensation and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
I arranged one dish crisscrossed over the bottom one on top of the aluminum foil ring.