Vegan Sugar-Free Brownies

Sometimes the best things in life are (sugar-) free, like these brownies. Maple syrup sweetens this classic dessert just perfectly, and I promise you that the eggs, milk, and butter simply won’t be missed, except for maybe by your love handles. Trust me on this one. You can’t get much better than this.

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Why do these babies glow? Well, per the title of this post, you can guess why they don’t not glow, and that’s justification enough. But if you need more reason, let’s talk about the (wal)nuts and bolts of this recipe.

Walnuts: contain healthy omega-3s, which protect arteries, improve brain function, prevent gallstones, are a rich source of melatonin, which helps you sleep, protect bone health, stop weight gain, and help diabetes.

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Vegan Sugar-Free Fudge Brownies

by Aylin @ Glow Kitchen

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (Serves 15)

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup canola oil (or coconut oil)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

Combine the dry ingredients (but only 1/2 cup of the chopped walnuts) in a large bowl. Add the wet ingredients and stir until evenly combined. The mixture will be thick and fudge-like.

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Spread into an ungreased 8×8 glass pan, top with the remaining 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 20-25 minutes. To check if it’s ready, push down on the center with your index finger. If you sense resistance, it’s done.

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Serve and enjoy without an ounce of guilt!

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They are light, but rich and decadent. Score!

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I wanted to share these. I really did.

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Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Sweet Potato Cream Tower

I made this cream recipe two days ago, using it as a frosting for my cupcakes, but it really deserves a post of its own. I have someone coming over for dinner tonight, and using that as an excuse to make this cream again, I decided to pair the it with carob syrup glazed baked sweet potatoes for a more lovely presentation. Carob syrup is pretty common in Istanbul, but maple syrup and molasses are alternatives that don’t affect the deliciousness of the outcome one bit.

You seriously have to make this! The sweet potato is baked until caramelized and the coolness of the coconut fig cream offers a pleasant contrast to the warmth and texture of the sweet potato. Altogether, they’re a match made in dessert heaven.

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Figs: have 7.3 grams of fiber in just 1/2 cup, reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, are packed with calcium for healthy bones, lower blood pressure due to its potassium content, are a great source of iron to help transport oxygen in the blood and to give your more energy and stave off sluggishness, are blood cleansers, and are so underrated (we should be eating them everyday!).

Coconut Fig Cream & Sweet Potato Tower

by Aylin @ Glow Kitchen

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (3 servings)

For the Base

  • 1 sweet potato (thick)
  • 2 tbsp carob syrup (maple syrup and molasses work well)

For the Cream

  • 5 figs, soaked and drained
  • 2 tbsp molasses or carob syrup
  • 1/2 can (7 oz) of coconut milk (the thickest part)

Instructions

Cut the sweet potato width-wise into 1-inch thick discs – this should make about 6. You want to cut an even number, for layering purposes when serving. Use a relatively wide potato.

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Bake in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes, or until the potato is soft enough to be poked through completely with a fork without resistance. Let cool until room temperature, or pop into the freezer to hasten the process.

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For the cream, simply blend all the ingredients together until well combined.

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To serve, place one sweet potato piece as a base, top with a dollop of fig coconut cream, layer the cream with another wedge of sweet potato, and then top it all off with another dollop of cream. Drizzle with carob syrup.

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Enjoy!

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Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Hot Second Homemade Ketchup

This simplified homemade ketchup, though an accompaniment, deserves a post of its own, only because it replaces an otherwise sugar and salt-intense alternative, which we could all do without. But, truth be told, many of us can’t – ketchup is a side piece to many of our favorite grub. What’s a burger without it? Subpar. Hotdog? Meh. While living in Germany, I remember dousing everything I ate for the first 2 or 3 months in an ocean of ketchup, because I felt like there wasn’t enough oomph to anything I ate. Once I got used to the simpler palette, I no longer needed the ketchup overdose to be satisfied, but I still love the taste and have always wanted to recreate a healthier version of it. However, if I’m going to make ketchup myself, it sure as hell better be easy as 1,2,3. And it is!

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So here it goes. And, for the sake of all that glows, this is the dish on ketchup’s most salient component.

Tomatoes: are an abundant source of antioxidants (especially lycopene, which is enhanced by slight heating) protecting against prostate, cervical, stomach, pharynx, oesophageal, breast and mouth cancers, reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and tryglycerides in the blood, are a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium and iron, counter the effects of cigarette smoke with its coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid content, improve vision, keep the gut healthy, lower hypertension, alleviate diabetes, contribute to healthy sin, prevent urinary tract infections, and prevent gallstones.

So, yeah. Tomatoes are no joke. Keep dipping…

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Homemade Vegan Ketchup

by Aylin @ Glow Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (or agave)
  • 1/4 tsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. Easy as 1,2,3.

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Serve in a small dipping bowl or cup.

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And serve with just about anything, but most notably – fries.

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No proper recipe needed here. Simply cut 1-2 sweet potatoes into sticks, season with salt and pepper, coat with olive oil, and bake in the oven at 375 degrees for approximately 25 minutes, or until they are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. Before cooking, you can also season them with garlic powder, cinnamon, cumin, or any other spice that tickles your fancy.

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And voila!

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Enjoy!

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Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving may be over, but this holiday pie can take your through Christmas. Vegan it may be, but it’s absolutely rich, deep, and reminiscent of its unhealthier counterpart.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

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Ingredients:

(Recipe adapted from OhSheGlows.com)

Crust:

– 1 cup rolled oats

– 2 cups pecans (raw)

– 1 tsp cinnamon

– 1/2 tsp salt

– 1/4 cup maple syrup

– 1 tbsp butter (I used Earth Balance)

Filling:

– 2 cups canned pumpkin

– 1/2 cup sugar

– 1/4 cup coconut butter

– 1 tbsp butter (I used Earth Balance)

– 1/3 cup maple syrup

– 3 tbsp cornstarch (I used arrowroot powder)

– 2 tsp vanilla extract

– 2 tsp cinnamon

– 1/2 tsp ground ginger

– 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Directions:

Food process the oats until they reach a fine flour-like consistency.

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Add the pecans and process until the mixture begins to clump.

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Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt the earth balance butter with the maple syrup, and immediately fold into the crust mixture along with the other spices.

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Form the crust in the bottom and edges of a buttered glass pie dish.

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For the filling, first combine the arrowroot powder with the maple syrup, stir to combine thoroughly and then add the rest of the ingredients.

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…so it looks like this:

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Poke the crust with a fork to allow steam to escape while it cooks.

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Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven, pour the filling into it and pop the dish back into the oven for another 25-30 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

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About 15 minutes into the 2nd round in the oven, cover the sides of the pie (the crust) with aluminum foil to prevent burning. Pop back into the oven for the remaining 15-20 minutes.

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When all is done and the center of the pie is cooked through (check that a toothpick comes out clean), let the pie cool to room temperature and then put it into the refrigerator for at least 3 hours to cool.

After the wait…

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Excuse the lighting of the horrible stand-in camera I’m forced to use these 2 weeks, but you get the idea! Serve with some maple syrup and coconut-based ice cream!

SO rich, delicious and seemingly naughty.

Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Carrot Ice-cream

Yes, you read right.

Carrot ice-cream it is…or was, since it’s all gone by now.  I know, it sounds hokey. Also sounds kinda gross. But I assure you it’s not–quite the opposite in fact.

Think about it–carrot is a sweet root vegetable after-all, and if you’ve ever had carrot juice you can remember its milk-like consistency and mellow sweet taste. So why not make this baby into a vegan, figure-friendly ice cream that satisfies the sweet tooth whilst offering the creamy consistency of traditional ice cream?  I make ice-cream out of different varieties of sweet potatoes, avocados, bananas, beets, you name it. If it’s starchy, and willing, I’ll make it cream.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Vegan Carrot Ice-Cream

Ingredients:

– 5-7 whole carrots, baked until soft
– 1/2 cup coconut milk (canned or fresh)
– Dash of salt
– 1 tbsp maple syrup
– 1 banana, peeled and frozen
– 1 tbsp honey

The banana, maple syrup, and honey give this dish extra sweetness without going overboard. The banana, especially, rounds out the taste, making the ice-cream more of a fruity concoction than say a savory, vegetable-y one.  The carrot, however, is the backbone to the flavor. It’s the ingredient that will make others ponder, “What is that?” Well, that is if the orange color doesn’t give it away first.

Directions:

Gather the carrots together and bake in the oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, or until the carrots are soft all the way through.

Let them cool for a few hours in the refrigerator.

Toss them in a food processor.

Add the coconut milk (just half of this can).

Add the maple syrup.

Pulse the mixture to get the consistency started.

Add the frozen banana. Earlier, I peeled, sliced and put the banana in a plastic bag to freeze.

Frozen:

Toss the banana into the food processor with the rest of the mixture. Add the honey last to monitor the sweetness of the ice-cream. 1 tsbp is a good starting point, but I oftentimes put more depending on the intensity of my sweet tooth that day.

Blend, baby, blend.

Herro!

The color is so vibrant and the taste is sweet, yet deep and nuanced. If you want to add cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice, it’ll give the ice-cream more Winter character. Pour the mixture in a pan lined with plastic wrap.

Fold over the edges of the plastic wrap so it covers the top of the ice-cream.

Pop the pan into the freezer and let freeze. You can also eat it as a pudding pre-freezing. I like it in ice-cream form best, though.

Enjoy!

xoxo