Decadent, Coffee Shop Style Vegan Banana Bread

This is not a healthy recipe. This is not your whole grain, no refined sugar vegan banana bread. Don’t get me wrong…I love healthy banana bread. My favorite hippie, healthy recipe is from Laurel’s Kitchen (replace agave for honey). This vegan banana bread is decadent and designed to replicate the slices sold at coffee shops. The kind that border on being cake, and the kind that my husband gets almost daily. I wanted to make a similar vegan version.The results speak for themselves. We have made 3 loaves of this bread in the last 7 days! 
Vegan Banana Bread
I started with a recipe I found on Food Network that had excellent reviews. It is a recipe from Flour Bakery in Boston. I veganized the recipe by using vegan yogurt, chia seed instead of egg and adding soy milk. 
Vegan Banana Bread
When I make banana bread I like to put all of the liquid ingredients and the bananas in a blender. I don’t like chunks of banana in my bread and the blender gives the bread a smoother texture. If you like more texture you can mix the liquid ingredients with the banana by hand. The bread is delicious with or without the walnuts on top.
 Vegan Banana Bread
Decadent Vegan Banana Bread
 
Decadent vegan banana bread inspired by slices served in coffee shops. Perfect for breakfast or dessert.
Ingredients
  • 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup soy milk
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seed, ground
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 3 tablespoons vegan yogurt or vegan sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly oil a loaf pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and sugar. Stir until combined and set bowl aside.
  3. Place soy milk, ground chia seed, oil, bananas, yogurt and vanilla in a blender. Blend until smooth. Alternatively place all remaining ingredients in a medium sized bowl and stir until well combined.
  4. Add liquid ingredients to the large bowl of dry ingredients. Stir well. Pour batter into oiled loaf pan. Bake for 30 minutes then cover top of pan with a piece of foil. Bake for an additional 30 - 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Let bread cool before slicing and serving.
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Vegan Raspberry Lemon Muffins

 

Raspberry Lemon MuffinsI’m back from my temporary absence. We moved at the end of September and that did a number on my health (I have an autonomic disorder) so I have been in recovery mode for the past few weeks. I haven’t been cooking too much, but I feel like I am starting to get back on track. Right before we moved I made these vegan raspberry lemon muffins. They were great fuel for moving when I needed something quick to eat while I was packing. These also made easy snacks for Trey to bring to school.

Raspberry Lemon Muffins

You can use either frozen or fresh raspberries in this recipe. If you do use frozen raspberries, as I did, do NOT thaw them. They release a lot of liquid when they thaw and your muffin will turn completely pink.

Raspberry Lemon Muffins

I used raspberries because Trey doesn’t like blueberries, but you can definitely use either. The combination of cornmeal and lemon would work really well with blueberries.

Raspberry Lemon Muffins

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Vegan Raspberry Corn Muffins
 
Vegan raspberry lemon muffins make a delightful breakfast or snack. Lemon zest and a bit of cornmeal give these muffins a delicious taste and texture.
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon ground chia
  • 1 cup almond or soy milk
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon extract
  • ¼ cup vegan butter (Earth Balance), softened
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup corn meal
  • 1½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup fresh or frozen raspberries (see note)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl or measuring cup mix chia, soy milk, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract and lemon extract. Set aside.
  3. In a mixer cream together vegan butter and sugar. Stir in bowl of liquid ingredients until combined. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl mix together flour, salt, lemon zest, baking powder and baking soda. Combine dry ingredients and liquid ingredients. Mix until well combined. Stir in raspberries.
  5. Quickly scoop dough into muffin tins. Fill each muffin tin ⅔ full.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown.
Notes
If using frozen raspberries, do NOT thaw

 

Homemade Salsa

Homemade-Salsa-Labeled

Last week on my way to the Farmer’s Market I was dreaming of chips and salsa. I love good Mexican food and unfortunately we don’t have any great Mexican restaurants near us. Since I had Mexican food on the brain I decided to use the fresh tomatoes and peppers from the market to make homemade salsa. This is a delicious, smooth salsa that can be adjusted to your preferences. We have been using it in quesadillas and dipping chips in straightaway all week.

Homemade Salsa

I bought 3 pounds of beefsteak tomatoes at the farmers market. This is not the place to use heirloom tomatoes. Roma or beefsteak tomatoes work really well here. The first step is to seed your tomatoes. In my experience if you don’t remove the seeds your salsa will end up being very watery.

Homemade Salsa

I like smooth salsa, as does Trey, so I let the food processor do the work in this recipe. I added all of the ingredients to the food processor and pulsed it until it was the right texture. Then the real fun began…taste testing. This recipe, and most salsa recipes, are just a methodology. How much salt and acidity you need will really depend on the sweetness of your tomatoes and the spiciness of your peppers. You need to taste the salsa and adjust accordingly.

Homemade Salsa

I love the taste and texture of my salsa, especially after it has been in the refrigerator overnight. This gives all the flavors a chance to marry. Try making homemade salsa yourself this summer. It will be a perfect addition to your tacos, quesadillas and breakfast burritos.

Homemade Salsa

Homemade Salsa
 
Restaurant style smooth, spicy salsa. Delicious on its own with chips or added to tacos, quesadillas and burritos. Adjust the seasonings to your preferences.
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds Fresh Tomatoes, seeded
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
  • ½ teaspoon Cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 small Red Onion, diced
  • 2 Jalapeños, see note
  • ½ cup Cilantro, stemmed
Instructions
  1. Add all of the ingredients to your food processor. Pulse until your ideal texture has been reached. Taste for seasoning. Adjust salt and lime juice to your preference. Serve!
Notes
Seed your jalapeños for a milder salsa. Leave some seeds and ribs for a spicier salsa.

 

Ultimate Vegan Toast – Homemade Butter & Jam

Vegan ToastToast is my all time favorite food. I can eat it morning, noon or night. It is the ultimate comfort food in my book. While I like almond butter and strawberries on toast or avocado toast, my favorite toppings are simple. Good (vegan) butter and good (not too sweet) jam can’t be beat. To make the ultimate vegan toast I bought my favorite bread and made my own vegan butter and jam.

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Cold Brew Coffee & Protein Smoothie

I didn’t develop a taste for coffee until a few years ago. Shortly after I started enjoying soy and almond milk lattes I realized my body didn’t handle that much caffeine very well. Harrison can attest to a few very rapid fire conversations post latte! I switched to decaf and I’m back to a regular speaking pattern. In the winter I use my Nespresso machine to make decaf latte’s but last summer I started making cold brew decaf coffee for the warm weather.  Cold brew coffee has a less acidic taste than hot brewed coffee that I really like. Lately I have been adding cold brew coffee to my protein smoothies to get a boost of nutrients with my coffee.

Cold Brew Coffee PintrestI have read multiple ideas on the best grind for cold brew coffee. Some people recommend fine ground, some medium and others coarse. My favorite coffee shop is Timeless Cafe in Oakland. This all-vegan coffee shop is a dream come true. Their pastries, food and drinks are all incredibly delicious. I also buy my coffee there. They advised a fairly coarse grind for cold brew and since I love everything they do I followed their advice.

Cold Brew CoffeeIn addition to the varying advice on grind levels you will also see every recipe for Cold Brew Coffee seems to have a different ratio of grounds to water. For my taste I like 4 cups of cold water with 1 cup of coffee soaked for 24 hours. I purchased this CoffeeSock a few months ago and it has made the cold brew process really simple. It is designed to make cold brew coffee in a Mason Jar. You can definitely just strain out the coffee grounds if you want to skip the coffee sock.

Cold Brew Coffee

After 24 hours of soaking I have about 4 cups of coffee that is fairly concentrated. I often mix it with soy milk for a quick iced coffee drink on my way out the door. My favorite thing to do is to freeze at least a cup of the coffee in ice cube trays. I make cold Mocha Protein Smoothies using 1.5 cups of soy (or almond) milk, 4 coffee ice cubes and one scoop of Chocolate Sunwarrior Protein Powder. The coffee balances out the sweetness of the chocolate protein powder. This is a great mid afternoon pick me up during the warmer months.

Cold Brew Coffee

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Summertime Tomato Bruschetta

Do you have any foods that you love in certain preparations and hate in others? I’m that way with tomatoes. I find them abominable on sandwiches. I have no idea why anyone would want tomato (or mayo for that matter) on their sandwich. It is rarely a good tomato so it adds no flavor and turns the whole thing to mealy mush. However, I love tomatoes turned into sauces and salsas. Fresh tomatoes only appeal to me at the height of summer and in a select few recipes. One of those recipes is bruschetta. Summertime tomato bruschetta with tons of basil and garlic on thick, crusty sourdough is heavenly.

Tomato Bruschetta Labeled

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Vegan Nachos for Game Day

We love to have sports parties in our house. During football season we have football parties, basketball season brings basketball parties etc. Lately we have been having lots of basketball parties as we watched the Golden State Warriors win the NBA Finals. Congrats Warriors! During these sports parties the 3 of us pile on the couch and eat snacks and/or dinner while we watch the game. Trey’s favorite game time food in vegan nachos. On Sunday night we watched the game with a big platter of vegan nachos. I make my own cheese sauce with Beyond Meat crumbles (recipe below) and pour it over warmed chips, melted Daiya shreds and black beans. On top we add salsa, olives, guacamole, vegan sour cream and pickled jalapenos. It is great game day food, whatever game you are into.

Vegan Nachos Pintrest

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Ranch Saltines – salty & savory snack

I was diagnosed with an autonomic disorder last year and it has thrown my life for a loop.  One of the side effects is low blood volume so I need to eat a lot more salt.  Another side effect is poor digestion which means I need to eat lower fiber foods when I’m not feeling well.  Enter saltines…salty and very easy to digest. I have taken to doctoring up the “mini saltines” to make them more interesting.  Recently I created a “ranch” version that is delicious. Trey loves having them as a small snack if he is hungry before dinner.  I have brought them to parties and barbecues. Both kids and adults enjoy these vegan ranch saltines.

Vegan Ranch Saltines Close Up

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Vegan Chili Cheese Dip

Do you have any recipes that are so easy to make they are almost embarrassing?  This vegan chili cheese dip is mine. People go crazy for this dip.  It is perfect to bring to parties that will be filled with non-vegans or vegan skeptics. No one ever guesses that it is vegan and people inhale it.  The catch is that there are exactly 2 ingredients and it takes 5 minutes to make.  So while everyone raves about this fantastic recipe you will cringe a bit knowing exactly how much effort you put into making this dip.

Vegan Chili Cheese Dip

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Premium Chocolatiers Review

A few weeks ago I was looking at the Fork and Beans blog.  Cara is an incredibly creative blogger and I love to look at her creations on her blog.  I do definitely mean look at her creations.  While I am beyond impressed with her creations I do not have the patience to actually recreate her masterpieces.  Unfortunately I have no patience. Any type of painstakingly detailed work like hers is my idea of personal torture.  A few weeks before Easter Cara posted these adorable Easter Almond Baby Chicks.  She mentioned that she used white chocolate and linked over to the vegan white chocolate sold by Premium Chocolatiers.  Trey has been asking me about white chocolate for a few years since he sees it in non-vegan foods.  I tried another brand of vegan white chocolate chips last year, but I really hated the flavor.  Once I saw Cara used these Polar Dream bars from Premium Chocolatiers I decided I needed to give them a try.

Premium Chocolatiers Order

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