Posts Tagged ‘blueberries’
100 Calorie Vegan Muffins
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I am always a woman on a mission. My ongoing goal is to develop a vegan baked good that is low in calories and fat while still being delicious. My idea is that once I find this perfect baked good, I will be able to open a vegan bakery in the Cayman Islands and retire for the rest of my life. That, or I will be able to eat it for every meal until I get sick of it (which would probably never happen). Last week, my mission was to find a great blueberry bread recipe. I ended up not being able to make it to the potluck where I intended to bring said  recipe, but I still consider last weekend’s study in blueberries a success. One might think that I would be sick of blueberries after working with them all last weekend, but the fact of the matter is that I had one more recipe I was dying to try.
I have had a recipe for weight watchers 1-point blueberry muffins for awhile now. I used to make them all the time before I went vegan, so I have been meaning to re-work the recipe to eliminate the eggs and milk. The recipe also calls for vegetable oil, and I wanted to experiment with replacing it with applesauce. This time around, I decided to try using almond milk and complemented it with an almond and date crumble on top of the muffins. I also cut out the sugar from the muffin batter, prefering to harness the natural sweetness of the dates. I used my new favorite flour for this recipe: Arrowhead Mills Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. It’s got the fiber of whole wheat flour, but the lightness of a good pastry flour, which leads to delicious and hearty baked foods. The frugalistas out there will be happy to know that it’s available in the bulk section of Whole Foods for I believe $1 a pound. Now that’s cheap. 
These muffins are delicious and they weigh in at only 99 calories each, with 1.5 grams of fat (from the almonds and almond milk) and 3 grams each of protein and fiber (not bad for a little muffin).
100-Calorie Vegan Muffins
  • 1 3/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • ener-g egg replacer for 2 eggs, pre-mixed
  • 3/4 c. almond milk
  • 1/3 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 c. blueberries
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 6 dates
  • 20 almonds
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  1. Pre-heat over to 400 degrees and line a muffin tin with liners. Because these muffins tend to stick, I also spray the inside of the liners with a little cooking spray. 
  2. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. 
  3. In a separate bowl, combine ener-g, almond milk, vanilla, and applesauce and mix well. 
  4. Add all of this mixture to the dry ingredients at once and stir until moist.
  5. Fold in he blueberries
  6. Drop by heaping tablespoons into muffin cups and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes
  7. Combine the dates (be sure to take the pits out), almonds, and cinnamon in a food processor and blend until it resembles a slightly sticky crumb.
  8. Sprinkle the crumble on top of the muffins and then bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Yields 12 muffins at 99.3 calories, 1.5 g fat, 3 g. of fiber, 3.1 g. protein.
Vegan Lemon Blueberry Bread
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Even though I had trouble falling asleep Saturday night, I was up super early Sunday morning so I could bust out another loaf of blueberry bread before going to tutor. This variation uses lemon zest for a delicious, citrus-y flavor. This bread is a serious contender in my blueberry competition. I modified a recipe from Joy of Baking by using agave, earth balance, applesauce, and ener-g egg replacer.
I was still up in the air about whether I wanted to do a lemon recipe or just do another regular one and vary the flour, until I had dinner at Sante La Brea, a vegan restaurant near the New Beverly.  The dinner was ok. I had a vegan patty melt with cashew cheeze, and it tasted pretty much like I expected it to. The one thing that I like about vegan food is that it’s pretty consistent. It usually tastes the same no matter where you get it, so the mark of a really good vegan restaurant is one where you are pleasantly surprised. Anyway, dinner was ok, but what blew me away was the lemon cake that we had for dessert. It was moist and delicious, with the most amazing lemon icing. My recent tribulations have given me a newfound respect for any vegan baker, and this guy was on top of his game. I highly reccomend Sante La Brea for dessert. Maybe the next time I go I will try something different as a main course. Like I said, it’s right next to the New Beverly, and I’m in that neighborhood quite often to fuel my double feature addiction.

So, without further adieu, here is the third contender in the Great Blueberry Bread Bake-off.

Vegan Lemon Blueberry Bread
Bread

  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. unbleached white flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. room temperature earth balance
  • 4 tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
  • 4 tbsp. agave nectar
  • ener-g for 2 eggs (pre-mixed)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1 c. fresh blueberries

Glaze

  • 1/4 c. raw turbinado sugar
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray the bottom and halfway up the sides of a bread pan.
Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together.
In a separate bowl, cream the earth balance, sugar, and applesauce until light and smooth. Add the egg replacer, vanilla, and lemon zest and stir well.
Add about half your flour and blend it in, then half your soymilk, then the rest of your flour (minus about 2 tbsp), then the last of your milk.
Toss the blueberries in the remaining flour and then fold gently into your batter.
Pour into a baking pan and bake at 350 for 55 minutes.
Allow the bread some time to cool, and then combine the raw sugar and lemon juice over medium heat until the sugar melts. Drizzle it over the bread.
8 servings at 196 calories each

The result: This bread didn’t rise as well as the banana blueberry bread, but it also didn’t fall and go to mush like the walnut struesal blueberry bread. However, the flavor was hands-down the best one. If I did it for the pot-luck, I would probably just bake a double batch in one loaf pan. I think I can do that. Does anyone know? The real charm of this bread is its bright citrus-y flavor. This is easily my favorite, but we will have to wait and see the results of the great office taste test.

Blueberry Bread
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 As you know, I am very focused on making a good showing at next weekend’s vegan potluck brunch. I feel a little bit like Michelle Trachtenberg in Ice Princesses, where she had only been taking skating lessons for a few weeks when she had to enter some big ice-skating competition. Like Michelle’s character, I want to make a strong showing and shoot up about 3 or 4 divisions from amateur to junior novice, or whatever the shit she did. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the movie, but feel free to correct me in the comments. I’m a little disappointed that no one ever comments on this blog. Let’s start a flame war or something, people.
Anyway, let me shift back to the potluck. I have committed to the idea of a vegan blueberry bread, but I have 3 different recipes. One is for a straight up blueberry banana bread, one incorporates a walnut struesal topping, and one will use a hint of lemon and possibly some sort of a glaze. So, I’m going to do what any ex-highschool overachiever would do, I’m going to bake all three of them this weekend and then force my coworkers to do a taste test on Monday.

I love breakfast breads. They are super easy to bring in to work, because they require relatively little prep time, can be healthier than cookies, and aren’t as messy as cakes or pies. Everyone at work knows that my desk is usually a good place to find baked goods, and it was even mentioned at my last performance review when my boss got to the topic of “contributing to team morale”. I also like the idea of anything that I can cook on a Saturday or Sunday morning and eat for the week. A loaf of this bread, baked on the weekend, can save me a lot of time in the mornings, making it easier to get to the gym. I just have to toast a slice and smear it with a little Earth Balance or perhaps some preserves. Lately I’ve been jonesing on Trader Joes Pumpkin Butter. It was delicious on oatmeal scones, and I imagine that it would be pretty good on this as well. Another option might be to mash up half a fresh banana and use it instead of spread. The possibilities are endless.

A coworker of mine was talking about this delicious non-vegan recipe that she has for blueberry banana bread. It got me to thinking that I would love to take said recipe and turn it into a healthy, vegan breakfast bread. I did what I always do, and consulted a couple of different recipes until I decided what to use in my own. This recipe uses a banana base. I like using bananas in cooking, but they tend to have an overpowering flavor, so I usually only put them in something that I actually want to taste like bananas. I also used some steel-cut oats to supplement the flour. This is my second blueberry bread recipe test, and I was much more pleased with the results this time. The bread is still very dense and satisfying, but it’s also baked all the way through and not too chewy. So far, this is clearly the front-runner.

Nicole’s Vegan Blueberry Bread

  • 3 ripe mashed bananas
  • 1/3 c soymilk
  • 1/4 c. organic raw sugar
  • 1 tbsp. ener-g mixed with 4 tbsp water.
  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsbp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c. blueberries
  1. Boil a pot of water and drop in the blueberries for 2 minutes. Then, immediately drain them and pour cold water over them until they cool to room temperature. Kids, this is called blanching.
  2. Take your oats and pulse them in a food processor until they resemble a very coarse powder. 
  3. Mash your ripe bananas and mix in the soy milk, sugar, vanilla, and ener-g until well blended.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix whole wheat flour, oats, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Stir this in to your banana mixture.
  5. Fold in blueberries. 
  6. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 325 for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

8 servings at 207 calories each

    Blueberry Bliss
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    My coworker Kristin is a ray of sunshine. Even though she spends her days ,like me, as a warden at the mental institution, she has a great sense of humor about the whole thing. Yesterday, Kristin gifted me with two recipes for blueberry bread as well as a recipe for Indian Batata Nu Shaak and a collection of carefully labeled Indian spices. It was like a culinary Christmas. One of the blueberry bread recipes comes from her friend Jess Thomson, who has her own very wonderful health food blog. You can check it out at jessthomson.wordpress.com/. However, you have to promise to come back to this blog, because hers is much better and I wouldn’t blame you for wanting to spend the whole day browsing over there.

    Anyway, Jess’s recipe for Almost Unforgettable Blueberry Breakfast Bread incorporates some really great healthy ideas, like a hearty walnut topping, whole wheat flour, and yogurt instead of some of the oil. I took some steps to veganize it, omitted the flaxseed because I didn’t have any, and further reduced the fat content by using applesauce instead. I’ve had great success cooking with applesauce lately, as it makes my cakes and breads deliciously moist and has about 1/10th the calories of margarine or oil. If weight isn’t an issue for you, I reccomend using the original recipe, just using soy yogurt and ener-g egg replacer. If you, like me, need to watch what you eat in time for swimsuit season, I hope that my recipe will do the trick.

    Let me be straight with you, gentle readers. My real motivation behind this recipe is to come up with something very delicious and very vegan for February 28th, when I am attending my very first vegan potluck, with a great group of Vegan Foodies I found on meetup.com. It’s going to be my first event on the Los Angeles vegan “scene”. Sure, I’ve been to Golden Mean and shopped the Whole Foods salad bar, but on the 28th I’m going to become a real part of it. Needless to say, I’m suffering from a bit of “performance anxiety”, and really want to come up with a brunch recipe that is simple, delicious, travels well, and is super-healthy. I ordered business cards, and I am hoping 1: that they will arrive on time and 2: that I won’t give anyone food poisoning because they will be able to trace me back here.



    Vegan Blueberry Bread with Walnut Topping
    adopted from Jess Thomson
    Topping

    • 1 TBSP. light brown sugar
    • 1/8 c. walnuts
    • 1 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1 TBSP. earth balance or other vegan margarine

    Bread

    • 1 c. whole wheat flour
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 c. agave nectar
    • 1/2 c. applesauce
    • 1 TBSP. vegetable oil
    • ener-g egg replacer for 1 egg
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • 6 oz. vegan soy yogurt (check the label on this one)
    • 1 c. fresh blueberries

    1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray the sides and bottom of a loaf pan.
    2. In a food processor, pulse walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, and earth balance until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs, set aside.
    3. In a mixing bowl, mix whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, and salt until well incorporated.
    4. In a separate bowl, beat together applesauce, vegetable oil, and agave until smooth and light in color.
    5. Pre-mix egg replacer and add it and the vanilla to your applesauce mixture, whisk for 1 minute.
    6. Add yogurt and beat until smooth.
    7. Add all but 1/4 c. of the flour to the applesauce mixture, and blend. There should be no streaks of white flour. You can use a kitchen mixer for this if you want.
    8. Add blueberries to remaining flour and toss to coat. Gently fold them into your batter by hand.
    9. Pour into your greased pan and smooth out with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle topping over the batter. Bake at 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the bread.
    10. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then remove it from the pan and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack.

    8 servings at 207 a slice

    The Verdict: I totally screwed up what was a good non-vegan recipe. After baking it for an hour, a toothpick came out perfectly clean, but after cooling the bread, it was still mushy on the inside. I tried putting it back in the oven for 15 minutes, but it didn’t help much. Maybe adding the agave was a bad idea, maybe I needed more flour. Anyway, the bread still tastes AMAZING, which is why I’m willing to post the recipe up here for you guys. I’m going to just cut it into slices and toast each one before serving, so no harm no foul.

    Vegan Pancakes
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    Let’s talk about Vegan pancakes.
    Anyone who has ever been to Swingers in Santa Monica knows the joy of vegan chocolate-chip pancakes, which they only serve on the weekends. And who doesn’t fondly remember the beloved Mrs. Buttersworth or Aunt Jemima? I’ve spent way too much time at I-HOP in my lifetime. Pancakes are hands-down my favorite breakfast food.
    I have a friend who makes fantastic vegan pancakes. They’re thin and light and chewy, more like a McDonald’s pancake than anything else. I have had great trouble replicating his recipe, although I have finally identified the right type of flour and will be doing another test batch this week.

    In the meantime, I studied some recipes online and through a series of experiments, devised a vegan pancake recipe that is light and fluffy. It reminds me more of an Aunt Jemima pancake than anything else. For the picture above, I added some fresh blueberries which cut down on the need for sugar in the recipe.

    Vegan Pancakes Take 1

    1 cup whole wheat flour
    1.5 tbsp sugar
    1 tsp baking soda
    2 tbsp baking powder
    dash of salt
    1 cup of vanilla soymilk
    ener-gee egg replacer for 2 eggs
    1 tsp of vegetable oil
    1 tsp vanilla
    healthy dash of cinnamon
    1/2 a cup of fresh blueberries (rinsed and dried)

    1. Mix egg replacer powder with water and set aside.
    2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl.
    3. pre-heat a non-stick pan to medium-high heat
    4. In a separate bowl, mix soy milk, oil, and vanilla and add prepared egg replacer
    5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly
    6. Fold in 1/2 cup of blueberries
    7. Spray skillet with cooking spray and immediately pour in about 1/2 a cup of pancake batter. Wait until the bottom is brown and flip.

    Makes 4 pancakes, 4 inches in diameter, 180 calories/pancake.