Mango Cashew Energy Bites

These beautiful little gems came from one of my latest blog obssesions/loves. Sarah, over at My New Roots, just seems like an absolute muffin. After reading her ‘About’ section and skiming through a multitude of her recipes I just knew this was a girl I could admire.Mango Cashew Energy Bites

As a self proclaimed snacker, I love granola bars, energy bites, protein bars, just about anything you can consume at ‘snack time’ that is sweet yet healthy, I’m on board with.

Mango Cashew Energy Bites

I fell in love with Larabar’s over a year ago and have taken it in my own hands to produce the little gems at home (cost containment measures). My favorite are homemade cookie dough larabars, homemade brownie larabars and I even tried a crack at pumpkin larabars last year but those still need to revision to the recipes. However, and I never thought this was possible before, sometimes you get a little ‘dated’ out. As the base of larabars are created using dates, this can be quite the date overload. I love them, don’t get me wrong, but a girl needs her space sometime!

These mango cashew bites fit that exact bill, for when those delicious dates just seem to be suffocating you. Don’t worry dates, I’m keeping you around I just need to see other people too.

Mango Cashew Energy Bites

The challenge however, comes in finding dried mango that has no sugar added. If you are find with the added sugar in your dried mangoes, by all means use those babies. But if you want the completely healthy version, with no added or refined sugars, you’ve got to hunt for those no sugar added dried mangoes. Rest assured, I found mine at Bulk Barn (I should always be monitored when I go in there, my bank account truly suffers if I’m not) so they’re out a little more costly, but absolutely worth it.

I just feel in love with these tropical bites of healthy decadence. Next time I think I may try my hand in adding some puffed quinoa or something to give it a litte bite, an extra crunch. Anyways, that’s just my opinion, what do I know I eat peanut butter out of the jar using my finger. Hardly a culinary judge, I just know what makes me happy.

Mango Cashew Energy Bites

Head on over to Sarah’s blog and check out her recipe for the Mango Cashew Bites here. I also highly encourage you to scan beyond this recipe as she has copious delicious things happening. She also sheds some very thoughtful insight and knowledge on the benefits of all her ingredients, just a little muffin.

Meditteranean Style Pizza with a Chickpea Crust

HEAVEN! That could have been another title for this recipe but its more of a personal opinion, and although descriptive once you’ve tasted it, not quite descriptive before so I went for more of a generic all encompassing title. I hope you’ll forgive me.

Chickpea Pizza

Just rethinking, re-living, re-whatever you want to say about this recipe is making me foolishly happy. I think my taste buds are still tingling.

Chickpea Pizza

After having made the chickpea flour tortillas I thought, ‘Hey, you know what would be a dynamic combo, making the chickpea tortillas even thicker and using that to make a pizza crust”, it seemed simple enough. The result = it was super simple, and so satisfying, and just unbelievably perfect.

Chickpea Pizza

I don’t know if it’s the chickpea crust that made it perfect, the roasted red pepper pesto that played a role, or the eggplant, artichoke, and caramelized onion and spinach combo, but something made it to die for. Ultimately making me a very happy camper.

I could probably go on, but what’s the point. Do you guys really want me to obsess over the food I create, you already know I have an unhealthy love for peanut butter I don’t need you to realize how deep my love for food really goes.

Chickpea Pizza

On that note I leave you with the recipe. This made two medium to large sized pizza’s probably about 8-9 inches in diameter, and maybe about 1/2 an inch think.

Let me know if you guys get creative with the toppings, I’d love to hear what variations you come up with. The toppings truly are endless and up to the creator on what their pretty little heart desires that day.

Mediterranean Pizza with Chickpea Crust

Makes 2 medium – 9 inch pizzas

Chickpea Crust

2 1/2 cups of Chickpea Flour

2 1/2 cups of water

1 1/2 TBsp coconut flour

2 tsp dried basil

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp of onion powder

1 1/2 tsp of garlic powder

Toppings

1/3 sweet onion sliced

1 cup of spinach

1/2 cup artichoke hearts, chopped

2 small eggplants, (mine were just larger than pears, these were very small)

1 can of pesto (I used homemade roasted red pepper almond pesto)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Slice the eggplant into 1/4-1/2 inch slices. Place on baking sheet and put in over to dehydrate/bake while preparing the remaining ingredients. Check periodically.
  2. Mix all ingredients dry ingredients for the chickpea crust in a medium sized mixing bowl. Once mixed, add in the 2 1/2 cups of water and whisk to blend. Set aside.
  3. Heat a medium sized pan on medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. Chop your sweet onion into long slices, place in the pan to begin sauteing them. After the onions have been cooking for two minutes, add the spinach. Continue to stir until the onion have caramelized, 5-10 minutes.
  4. Heat a large saucepan with coconut oil on medium heat. Once warm pour half of the chickpea flour mixture into the pan. Allow to cook on one side for 5-10 minutes until flipping, or until edges are firm and bubbles are popping throughout the mixture. Flip and cook the other side. Set first crust aside while repeating the process for the remaining batter.
  5. Line a baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper. Place both pizza crust on the sheet. Spread pesto along the base, then layer with eggplant, artichokes and caramelized onions/spinach. Place in the oven.
  6. Cook the pizza for 5-10 minutes in the oven to ensure all ingredients are warm.
  7. Remove from oven, slice and enjoy!!! This is one pizza you don’t have to worry about consuming 5 slices.

Note: Recipe for Roasted red pepper almond pesto will follow. Feel free to use whatever pesto or tomato base you choose.

September Goals

I don’t know about you guys but I find September to be a funny somewhat in between month. Allow me to explain.

The beginning of September marks the beginning of school, a truly bittersweet feeling for most. You also find yourself inundated with the marketing of the upcoming pumpkin season (I’m not mad, just stating facts). There are still technically 21 days of summer, and as quickly as we were all racing to the beach eager for some fun in the sun claiming nothing beats summer we now seem to be racing to the back of our closets in search of those favorite cozy sweaters to wrap ourselves in to enjoy those pumpkin flavored goodies (while often still sporting sandals because heaven forbid you let go of those last gleaming hopes of warmer weather). Last but not least, its the start of two critical sports seasons, football and hockey one we play outside, one we play inside.

When you spell out all of September’s glory as such, you see the amount of contradictions the month entails. There is one thing no one can deny, I don’t care how much conviction you put in your statement, we all love the fall season, every last second.

Embracing a new season to me is a chance for new opportunities, a moment when you can start fresh, place focus on a new challenge or goal. That is exactly what I’m going to do this month. I have set three achievable, yet daunting, goal for myself this month and by putting it in writing I hope this further solidifies me to a full execution. To top it off, I will also be taking a continuing education course this fall to work towards my Marketing Communications certificate, a big step for me as I try to figure out what I want to do as a career.

So without further ado, my three September goals are the following;

  1. I will post at least 10 recipes this month. September has 30 days, if I post 2-3 recipes a week I will be golden. When you think about the fact that you cook at least three meals a week and that’s just for human consumption, you think ‘Wow Steph this isn’t going to be that hard really, this is your goal!?’. I then ask you to refer to my last post, then feel free to scroll to the one before, scan the dates. You notice anything? Ya a month is missing, I’m not perfect never claimed to be. You’ll get over it… I did.
  2. I will go to the gym / workout five times a week. Again 7 days a week, only work out 5 days that’s only 70% of the week – easy peasy. Well you know what sometimes life happens, the girls want to go for drinks, your brother needs you to babysit his dog, your parents want you to go over for dinner (you NEVER skip a free meal that’s being cooked for you – that’s just good manners), a cute guys asks you on a date. That right there, those are four activities keeping you from your gym dates, really only three (while I’m being honest with myself I haven’t been on a date  in almost two years, I’m more likely to hit the gym seven times a week before that happens) activities that are keeping you from you goal. No one ever regretted that extra workout, I have however regretted the extra chili cheese dog … or maybe it was the triple scoop cone that washed it down (whatever, just details).
  3. I will not drink for the month of September. Now this last one leads into goal number 2, if I plan on being healthy with my fitness regimen there is nothing worse than sabotaging it, personally, by annihilating myself on a Saturday night. Because this does two things, it makes me useless for the following two days, secondly it also forces me to eat that large x-large pizza and hey while were waiting on the delivery man let’s raid the cupboards of all things chocolate and glorious. Recipe for success I tell you.

trying

There you have it folks, my three September goals to mark a new month, new challenges and the upcoming season. If you have any suggestions or ideas feel free to share, they can range from any recipe ideas, new workout trends or how to stop being such a lush. Let me tell you though, when you meet a cute boy at the bar and your response when he asks you what you do for a living is ‘I knit sweaters’ (I’ve never knit a day in my life), you realize you better check yourself before your wreck yourself. You hear me?!

Also feel free to join me in creating goals for yourself and we can check in with one another along the way!

Does the beginning of a new month bring promise to any of you? Are you all excited about the upcoming fall months and season? Any goals you have that you’ve been wanting to test out? Let me know, after all we are in this everyday journey together might as well find someone to lean on once in a while.

Peanut Butter S’mores Squares

A.k.a Summer’s tastiest treat totally cranked up a notch.

Peanut Butter S'mores Squares

So I don’t know about you guys but the summer months make for cooking, baking and blogging to be a burdensome task. For those of you with a Monday-Friday, good ole’ fashion 9:00-5:00 job, you tend to want to spend your free time outside enjoying the beautiful weather. Those of you with these types of jobs who still are greatly dedicated to your food and blogging I commend you, it takes willpower, passion, and extreme dedication. If you haven’t noticed these are all traits I clearly lack as this is my FIRST post since July. My calendar claims there is a month between July and September, I say it’s in the past no use dwelling on it…

,,,,moving on….

Peanut Butter S'mores Squares

However, before the summer is OFFICIALLY over (summer isn’t done till September 21st folks, don’t get ahead of yourself now) I wanted to share with you an indulgent summer treat I cooked up that just had socks being knocked right of people’s feet left, right, and centre.

Peanut butter S’mores squares.

I upped the anty on these s’mores.

Peanut Butter S'mores Squares

I smacked some peanut butter cups in the middle. I wasn’t satisfied. I then slathered some peanut butter on top, level of satisfaction = satisfactory. I found some peanut butter chips, I drizzled poured those on top. I was now pleased.

Peanut Butter S'mores Squares

S’mores as we all know are quite possibly a summer staple for just about anyone. BBQ, camping, bonfires, you name it, s’mores need to be a part of it all. So when I was tasked with providing a dessert for a BBQ I attended I thought, squares are always an easy dessert idea for a large group. I then thought how much less messy is this version of s’mores?! But I still wasn’t full satisfied.

Peanut Butter S'mores Squares

Luckily later that night as I was indulging in my daily peanut butter obsession, a thought dawned on me. S’mores + peanut butter = heaven!

So here we have it folks, your new summer dessert recipe for your last 18 days of summer. I hope you all had a wonderful summer and take every opportunity to enjoy the last bit of warmth before cozy sweaters and fall colours become a staple in your everyday.

And please remember, there is no such thing as too much peanut butter.

Peanut Butter S’mores Squares

Makes on 9×13 inch pan, about 48 small squares

Slightly Adapted from Cookies and Cups and Once Upon a Cutting Board

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large egg
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup mini chocolate peanut butter cups
1 cup peanut butter chips
2/3 cup melted peanut butter
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl cream the butter and sugars together, beat for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time mixing until incorporated, then add the vanilla.
  4. With the beater on low, gradually add the butter and sugar mixture to the dry mixture. Mix well.
  5. Separate the batter so you have 3/4 of the batter for the bottom, and the remaining 1/4 to layer on top. Press the 3/4 portion of the dough into the pan, spread so that it is even. Now for the good part, sprinkle the peanut butter, chocolate chips as well as the peanut butter cups on the base. Reserve 1/4-1/2 a cup of the chocolate/peanut butter to sprinkle on the top. Now sprinkle 3 cups of marshmallows on top of of the chocolate.
  6. Take the remainder of the dough/batter and spread along the top of the marshmallows. I took sections and flattened in my hands before placing it on top of the marshmallows.
  7. Once adequately covered, place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  8. Take out and sprinkle the remaining marshmallows and chocolate/peanut butter on top. Return to the oven to bake for an additional 8 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Remove, allow to cool and feel free to share if you’re feeling generous.

Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy Scones

I like to bake.

I like breakfast.

Lemon Scones

Enter these lemon scones. They are a baked breakfast item that I am absolutely in love with. I used to be intimidated by scones, thinking they were a challenging flaky beauty that I couldn’t possibly recreate. Not without the proper training, not without the proper knowledge, and most certainly not without the proper tools. Well guess what?! Was I EVER wrong!

Lemon Scones

Scones are quite possibly one of the easiest things to make, and sinfully delicious making the final reward of their composition that much more amazing.

These scones particularly, are delicious. The buttermilk and lemon rind offers a sour flavor to balance the sweet, but they are also super light and not at all over powering allowing you to truly enjoy their greatness. To make matters even better, they can be quickly whipped up any morning – but they also keep very well and can be enjoyed many days to comes.

Lemon Scones

This recipe is another gem from the One Girl Cookies cookbook that I have referenced in past posts. Her directions and explanations make the entire process seamless and not at all daunting. Also, if anyone has ever visited their bakery in New York PLEASE let me know. I know that my next trip to New York will absolutely include a trip to their bakery.

So make yourself some scones for breakfast this week, or make it as a hostess present or a weekend treat but be prepared to not want to share. Something this good should 100% be enjoyed selfishly!!

Lemon Scones

Lemon Scones

Makes 8 Large Scones, 16 Small Scones

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon table salt

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 cup buttermilk

Grated zest of 2 lemons

1/4 cup heavy cream

Turbinado sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pule to combine. Add the butter and pulse 4 or 5 times, until the butter is broken up into pea-sized pieces. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bow, mix together the buttermilk and lemon zest. Using a rubber spatula, fold the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture. At this point the dough should be very sticky.
  4. turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Flour your hands, and pat the dough into an 8-inch circle. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes. Then, using a large chef’s knife, cut the circle into 8 wedges. Transfer the wedges to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones lightly with the heavy cream, and sprinkle them generously with turbinado sugar.*
  5. Place the baking sheet int he over and reduce the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the scones for 10 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet, and bake for 8 to 10 more minutes, until the tops of the scones are a light golden color. Transfer the scones to a wire rack to cool.

*Note: I have used just regular sugar in place of turbinado sugar and it works just fine.

Healthy Blueberry Banana Muffins

You know what is difficult? Having a great recipe that you are dying to share but not being able to think of a witty or captivating post, utimately discouraging you from sharing the recipe with the world.

That is what has happened here, I have wanted to share this Blueberry Banana muffin recipe with you guys but I just cannot think of what to say. I was almost going to just throw on some pictures say “Hip Hip Hooray they’re healthy and tasty have at ‘er” and call it a day, but I couldn’t.

That’s not my style.

It’s not how I roll.

I’d rather attempt something, then have the belief that I will make you laugh, giggle or muster a half hearted smile, so here we are.

I came to the conclusion though that regardless of my needs and insecurities, this recipe must be shared. So today, I write this post for you. Today, I may not be as witty as normal but it will have to do (and don’t worry I’m insanely aware that I’m never really witty – but I live by one of my favorite quotes “As long as you can laugh at yourself you will never cease to be amused“).

Blueberry Banana Muffins

Now enough about me, let’s talk about how great these muffins are. Filled with flavor, not too dense and just the perfect amount of sweetness coming from the banana’s. That’s it folks, the only sugar you will see in this recipe comes in the form of fruit, blueberries, bananas and apple sauce. Tickle me HAPPY!

Blueberry Banana Muffins

These lil’ buns of wholesome goodness truly are healthy for you. Dairy and grain free, paleo-licious and refined sugar free I’d say I’ve got myself a new go to breakfast.

Due to all these characteristics they were inhaled quickly. Double bonus, it also makes a great loaf (if anyone is looking for a fabulous hostess present).

Blueberry Banana Muffins

I have made this recipe a few times now and it is important to note that (if they do manage to last more than two days in your house) since there are no additives and all the ingredients are super wholesome, they do not keep on the counter long. For best longevity keep them in the fridge, I haven’t tried freezing them but I’m sure they would do great that way as well.

Healthy Blueberry Banana Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Wet Ingredients

3 ripe Bananas

1/4 cup applesauce

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)

4 eggs

Dry Ingredients

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup almond meal/flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tray with wrappers, no need to oil the pan before.
  2. Mash the bananas, then mix with the remaining wet ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl,  mix until fully blended.
  4. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry, blend until just incorporated (you do not want to over mix the batter).
  5. Fold in the frozen blueberries. Fill each muffin mold with batter.
  6. Bake for 35-45 minutes. OR until tested with a toothpick, which comes out clean. As every oven is different I always like to start paying attention near the 30 minute mark – no one ever wants spoiled or ruined baked goods.
  7. Take out, let cool on the counter and enjoy!!
  8. Can be kept on the counter for 2 days, fridge for a week and freezer I’d imagine even longer.

Buckwheat Granola Clusters

I’ve expressed to you all how much I love breakfast, right?!

Buckwheat Clusters / Granola

Aside from the health benefits of starting your day off right and getting your metabolism revving, I think breakfast is just the bees knees. Seriously! Call it whatever you want to but I even get excited at the idea of bed as it brings the promissory note that breakfast is to come. Now before you start SERIOUSLY judging me, please know that I come from a long line of breakfast lovers. It’s another one of my genetic defects passed on to me from generations above, to which I chose to embrace in all its glory and decadence.

Buckwheat Clusters / Granola

Fact of the matter is I’ve been a breakfast person since day one, pancakes, french toast, croissants, etc – you name it, odds are I love it! As you get older, enter your adult years and your lifestyle demands you get a job in order to support yourself and pay the bills, breakfast can become a challenge where you are racing the clock to get out in the morning because you snoozed your alarm clock 17 times (give or take) more than you should have… guilty.

Buckwheat Clusters / Granola

For those mornings, I still cannot leave the house without breakfast. For those mornings, I have these beautiful buckwheat clusters to turn to!

Those clusters have gotten me through the best and the worst of times. Sprinkle them over oats, overnight oats, chia pudding’s, smoothies, banana soft-serve, you name it they pair great with it! The best is just enjoying them in a bowl with almond milk, the clusters let off a bit of cinnamon sweetness into the milk just enhancing the whole experience. For any of you that were fans of cinnamon toast crunch, these bad boys do the same thing to your milk without all the yucky additives and artificial mumbo-jumbo. I call that sweet success!

Buckwheat Clusters / Granola

There are so many things that are great about these clusters and I feel I should share them all with you, however you should go ahead and make these for yourself. Only then will you truly know the greatness they encompass along with finding your own ways to make them an enjoyable part of your day.

Buckwheat Clusters / Granola

Easy to throw together, no oil and just a few wholesome ingredients later you will have your house smelling like cinnamon heaven and tasty warm morsels to enjoy over whatever you so please. If you’re anything like me you will start consuming straight from the pan, because who can ever really keep their paws off anything fresh from the oven. I don’t even think superman has that willpower!

The buckwheat granola clusters are from the genius mind of Angela at ‘Oh She Glows’, I’ve mentioned a handful of times how unbelievable both her and her recipes are, so it does not come as a surprise that this is another one I have borrowed from her.

Buckwheat Clusters / Granola

And … if you’re not sold yet, please note that in these photos I filled that canister with one batch of the clusters as per my mother’s request (after having made them for her on Mother’s day she asked I make them
for her again), in a week she has less that 1/4 of the canister left.

Buckwheat Granola Clusters

Adapted from Oh She Glows

Makes roughly 4.5-5 cups

Dry ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups raw buckwheat groats (not Kasha)
  • 1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or other granulated sugar of choice)

Wet ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup honey or buckwheat honey (could also use brown rice syrup or vegan substitute)
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
  3. In a smaller bowl, mix the wet ingredients until combined. Add wet mixture  to dry ingredients and stir until the dry ingredients are thoroughly coated and  wet.
  4. Spread granola onto baking sheet in a uniform layer. Bake at 300F for 20  minutes, roughly flip granola, and bake for another 18-20 minutes, watching  closely so it doesn’t burn. Granola will be lightly golden on the bottom and  will harden a lot during the cooling process.
  5. Cool completely on the pan and then store in a glass container on the  counter for up to 3-4 weeks (just an estimate).

Note: Once I have removed from oven I let the clusters sit for about 3-5 minutes to cool before sliding a flipper underneath, this will start to form clusters and lift it from the baking sheet to ensure it does not stick. After I have done this I then allow the clusters to cool for at least 30 minutes before placing in tupperware. I have left the clusters to cool for longer on the pan before slidding a flipper underneath and the longer they cool the more they stick to the baking sheet causing it very difficult to get them off. Using a piece of parchment paper would probably help is ensuring this does not happen…. (also save in clean up).

5-ingredient Granola Bars

May I also add no bake?! Say what?!

5 ingredient granola bars

That’s right!

This granola bar recipe is exactly what you need in your life. I realize it might be a little invasive that I assume I know what you need in your life, but I dare you to challenge me. Make these bad boys, try them and tell me I’m wrong.

If you succeed in proving me wrong I give you bragging rights, however I strongly believe that once you take a bite of one of these bars you will quickly retract any previous comments and/or statements in which you thought I was wrong and out of place. Just look at those heavenly bars of greatness, even the sight should be enough to convince you.

5 ingredient granola bars

In preparation for the Canada Day long weekend, I wanted to make a couple of items that would be easily transportable (is that a word?) as well as healthy and nutritious. When I saw these over at Minimalist Baker I just knew they would be perfect. Perfect as both a breakfast bar and a snack bar, these granola bars are  going to be the perfect accompaniment for the cottages and on going events happening this weekend.

5 ingredient granola bars

The toasted oats and almonds are pertinent to this recipe and add so much greatness with such little effort. Combined with the peanut butter and dates you got a one two punch of protein and energy to keep you celebrating all weekend long.

And… if you’re anything like me, where peanut butter is ultimately the meaning of my life, you will absolutely swoon over these bars. Then, to make them even better they hold the perfect amount of sweetness and are not in the least bit over powering. Yum, yum, YUM YUM YUM!!!!

5 ingredient granola bars

Click here for the recipe and throw this recipe together before the weekend takes off!!

Wishing you all a happy and safe long weekend!!! Happy Canada Day everyone!!!

Fruity Vanilla Nut Tart

Le piece de resistance!

Raw Vanilla Cashew Tart

Fact I just googled that to make sure I spelled it properly. Double fact – I went to french immersion from kindergarten to grade 10. SCHOLAR!

Good thing this isn’t an educational blog, and on that note let me tell you about this irresistible little gem of a dessert I made for father’s day/my stepdad’s birthday. Anytime my mom has a family gathering or just a general gathering of people, I will always immediately jump at the opportunity to cook something. Mainly dessert but I like to expand my horizons, still however mainly dessert.

So with dessert on the mind I immediately started racking my brain for ideas. I made the ever so favored chocolate cake because let’s face it, it’s never a let down, but I wasn’t satisfied with JUST that. As I attempt this healthy lifestyle thing and I don’t eat dairy I needed something that I could eat and indulge in, as well as something challenging.

Raw Vanilla Cashew Tart

Enter the raw vegan tart I made.

This recipe comes from the outstandingly talented and ridiculously adorable Em at This Rawesome Vegan Life. So far I have only had the chance to dabble at this recipe, however her photography and recipes looks sensational and I cannot wait to attack more.

Raw Vanilla Cashew Tart

The best part, her desserts look amazing, with all whole simple ingredients – now this is my kind of girl and my kind of party.

This tart delivers every sinful amount of amazingness you’d hope for, and then some. The crust resembles a lara bar, the vanilla cashew filling is just pure bliss, and the fresh fruit on top well that is just decadence without being decadent… you know what I mean.

Raw Vanilla Cashew Tart

It is important to note, her recipe calls for putting the tart with the filling in the fridge until ready to serve, then place the fresh fruit on top. I would recommend placing it in the freezer (especially if you’re going to be serving this on a hot summers day) as it really helps set the filling and will be MUCH easier to serve. Take the tart out of the freezer approximately 10 minutes before serving, place fresh fruit on top, cut and enjoy.

You can find the recipe here. Let me know if you guys make the individual tarts or make one big one like myself. I hope you enjoy as much as I did!!

Blueberry Oatmeal Crumbly Squares

Am I on a Blueberry kick? It would look that way wouldn’t it?! It does seem as though I am one step away from painting myself blue and legally changing my name, but I wouldn’t want to steal the blueberries thunder. We all know the spiel they have super human antioxidant powers, they are just a plethora of health, and the definition of nature’s candy. So, when you put it like that you will find it hard to criticize the blueberry love. And if you don’t like blueberries (weird…but I won’t judge) substitute the word blueberry for some other berry and you’ll get the jist, it’s all in the name of love food!

Blueberry Oatmeal Squares

This recipe doesn’t shy away from providing the infamous blueberry with more glamour. A cross between an oatmeal cookie with a slight “cake-y-ness”, then blueberries sandwiched between two layers of set “cake-y-ness” and by golly you got yourself a Blueberry Oatmeal Crumle Square.

In my last post I talked about tackling a Summer BBQ menu that just knocked the socks off of all who attended, well rest assured because this was the dessert recipe from that exact menu. So, pair this bad boy with that Spicy Cauliflower Chickpea Salad and you will have people praising you until the sun goes down.

Blueberry Oatmeal Squares

The squares themselves are very light, with a natural sweetness from the fruit making it the perfect summer dessert. The oatmeal base is super fluffy and light as well, so what I’m saying is I really have nothing bad to say about it. Actually that is not true, the one downfall I found was self-imposed and it was that I didn’t top it with ice cream. Vanilla coconut milk ice cream on this beauty would have just made life complete. Guess I’ll have to make this again… I know, I know, it’s a rough life… but someones got to live it.

Inspiration for this recipe came from my FAVORITE blogger Angela, at Oh She Glows. I’ve mentioned before but I absolutely adore her posts, her outlook and all her recipes, she is a gem and I’m so happy I stumbled on her blog two years ago. The best part to top off all of those amazing attributes, she’s Canadian so it’s by default that my heart swoons over everything and anything she does. I encourage you to head on over to her blog and check out all the amazing creations she has. My version of her squares are below.

Blueberry Oatmeal Squares

Blueberry Oatmeal Crumbly Squares

Adapted from Oh She Glows – Berry Bliss Oat Squares

Filling

3 cup frozen blueberries

1 cup frozen mixed berries

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 tbsp cornstarch

Oat Mixture

4 cups regular oatmeal

1 cup almond meal

1 & 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp kosher salt

3/4 cup butter melted (sub vegan butter is vegan)

1/2 cup applesauce (preferrably unsweetened)

1/2 cup+ 2 tbsp pure maple syrup

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat to the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit and line a 9×13 pan with parchement paper.
  2. Combine the frozen berries in a medium pot and heat over medium-high heat, placing a lid on top. Make sure to stir frequently as not to burn the berries. After 5 minutes add the maple syrup and vanilla to the pot. Continue to let cook over the heat allowing the falvours to really incorporate into one another. As this will now be in a rather liquid state, add the cornstarch until desired consistency is reached (you want it just a bit runnier than a jam). Set aside
  3. Combine the first five ingredients for the Oat mixture, mixing around to ensure all dry ingredients are incorporated in one another. Now add the remaining wet ingredients and mix together. Note it will be a little sticky almost cookie dough like, if you feel it is too runny and does not stick together at all feel free to add a bit mor oats or spelt flour. The luxury of this recipe is that it’s pretty hard to make it go wrong, make it your own and mix up whatever you please!
  4. Press down 2/3 of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of the pan ensuring it is even. Now spread the Blueberry mixture across the base layer. Finally crumble the 1/3 remaining oat mixture on top.
  5. Place the squares in the oven for 30 minutes.
  6. Cut and DIVE in!!! Served with ice cream is HIGHLY encouraged.