the veggie nook’s 100th post! quinoa chocolate chip cookies and a Tropical Traditions giveaway

Hello my chocolate chip cookies :)

IMG_1691

Well, it’s hard to believe, but this is the 100th post I’ve written on my blog! It’s crazy that I’ve written so much since mid-February. It’s all thanks to you, fellow bloggers and readers that I have come this far, so thank you so so much! Your support, kind words, advice and just in general being there have inspired and motivated me in ways I never though possible :)

Now, since you all have been so wonderful, I thought hosting a giveaway would be a great way to show my appreciation. Tropical Traditions contacted me a couple months ago to do a review and giveaway for their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil. Since then I have been putting it through it’s paces, using it in raw recipes, baking, sautéing, in my decaf coffees as well as a moisturizer and make-up remover.

Now, you all probably know by now, how much I love coconut oil. This one is as good as it gets! The scent is subtly coconutty with a mild flavour. It creates delicious raw treats and is a great option for high temperature cooking and baking. For those of you who don’t like coconut oil and are sceptical about using it in cooking, rest assured once incorporated into your recipes, the taste is not detectable. The only place I have ever noticed it’s flavour being apparent is when blended into smoothies and even then it is more of a sweetness than coconut.

I used this coconut oil to make the following recipes on my blog:

As a moisturizer it works great and the subtle coconut scent was very pleasant and as a make-up remover it left my face feeling soft and got all my make-up off easily, even pesky eyeliner and mascara. It was very gentle as well, which was great on my super-sensitive skin.

I also made these quinoa chocolate chip cookies and the results were awesome! They were crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. They aren’t the healthiest thing you’ll ever eat, but as far as cookies go, they are pretty darn good! I switched up the sweeteners I used in various trials with them and I found that both versions came out really well! I also tried out a lower-fat version with some applesauce. I’ll note the different substitutions in the recipe below!

IMG_1724

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free)

These cookies use quinoa flakes to add in some extra protein and whole grains, which also lend these cookies an awesome chew. Feel free to change up the add-ins! I’ve made a couple different kinds which I’ll point out below!

Makes 30 cookies.

Dry:

  • 3/4 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca/potato starch (not potato flour!)
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 cup erythritol (a zero calorie, natural sweetener) or coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Wet:

  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds + 3 tbsp water, set aside to gel
  • 1/2 tsp liquid stevia (not necessary if using coconut sugar)
  • 2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted ( or 1/3 cup coconut oil + 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce)
  • 2 tbsp water (or 5 tbsp water if using applesauce)

Add-ins:

  • to total 1 cup (ensure they are all vegan)
    • chocolate chips
    • cacao nibs
    • dried blueberries/cranberries + white chocolate chips
    • chopped walnuts + chocolate chips
    • raisins + chopped walnuts
    • anything else you might like!

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl and the wet ingredients in another. Form a well in the center of the dry and pour the wet ingredients in. Mix until completely incorporated. Then stir in the add-ins until evenly distributed.

Chill the dough for 30 min-1 hr. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease it (I like using a BBQ brush and coconut oil to do this).

Form the dough into balls and flatten onto the baking sheet leaving a little room in between for them to spread (they won’t spread too much).

Bake for 22-27 min (less if you are using applesauce or like softer cookies, longer if you are using coconut oil or like crispier cookies) or until the edges are browned, but the middles are still soft (they will continue to cook a little as they cool). Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking tray then move to a cooling rack to finish. These are delicious slightly warm with a little superpower ice cream ;)

IMG_1732

a version made with dried blueberries and white chocolate chips

Now I bet you’d all like to learn how you can win some super awesome coconut oil for yourself!

Giveaway Details:

Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil - 32 oz.Win 1 quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!

Tropical Traditions is America’s source for coconut oil. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on their website: What is Virgin Coconut Oil?

You can also watch the video they produced about Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil:

Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit their website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the advantages of buying coconut oil online. Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil.

How to enter:

Mandatory entries:

  1. Subscribe to the Tropical Traditions newsletter here *
  2. Leave a comment below telling me your favourite way to use coconut oil, or if you’ve never used it, the first thing you’d like to try!

For additional entries:

  1. Subscribe to my blog by email*
  2. Follow me on Twitter*
  3. Tweet about the giveaway with a link to this post*
  4. Follow me in Pinterest*

*You must leave a comment for each of these entries, letting me know you did!

The giveaway will stay open until next Wednesday, August 1st at 11:59 pm EST. Make sure you get your entries in! This is a pretty big jar of the good stuff.

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

And once again I would just like to say, thank you for all of your support over the last few months. You guys are seriously awesome!

Advertisements

canada day “almost raw” maple walnut cups

Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian friends!

We Canadians are funny, we are quiet, polite and unassuming except for a few days a year where we suddenly become crazily and almost obnoxiously patriotic and I LOVE IT. A day where it’s perfectly acceptable to tattoo maple leaves to your face and where ridiculous clothing, that as long as it’s red and white, you’re good to go.

IMG_1536

These bites are a celebration of our country’s colours and flavours- red and white with some maple syrup thrown in for good measure. Because what’s more Canadian than maple syrup?

Featuring a maple walnut base with a maple cashew cream filling, there are so much healthy fats going on (you all know how awesome walnuts are) and topped with a few more walnuts and strawberries, well these really show just how amazing simple flavours can be. I tossed the strawberries in a little maple sugar but that’s not necessary if you don’t have any!

IMG_1526

The recipe for the filling makes more than you’ll need, so you could double the crust recipe of why not dip some strawberries in it for another red and white (and delicious treat)?

IMG_1529

Now, do your patriotic duty and go and make these bites eh?

Almost Raw Maple Walnut Cups (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined-Sugar Free)

These cups are rich and creamy and oh-so Canadian! A maple walnut base with a cashew maple filling, topped with strawberries and walnut pieces. Best enjoyed right out of the fridge!

Makes 9 bites.

Base

  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup*
  • pinch salt

Filling

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 a frozen banana
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup*

Topping

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 tsp maple sugar (optional)

*this is what makes it “almost raw”

Process the walnuts, maple syrup and salt in a food processor until walnuts are chopped small and the mixture sticks together. Press into a mini muffin pan (or a larger one to make larger cups) that is lined with muffin cups or plastic wrap for easy removal. Place in the fridge while you make your filling.

Blend all filling ingredients except coconut oil until smooth.  Then quickly add the coconut oil (you don’t want it to re-harden) and blend until incorporated). Spoon into the cups and place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes

Toss strawberries in the maple sugar. Sprinkle the walnuts and strawberries onto the cups. Now you can freeze for about 30 min or until firm and serve, or just just refrigerate overnight. In the morning remove from the muffin tin and either eat them right then or continue to store in the fridge.

IMG_1543

Not going to lie, I had 2 of these for breakfast ;)

I hope you are all celebrating the day like true Canadians- barbequing and drinking in the backyard, maybe even some fireworks are sparklers. And to all my non-Canadian readers, why not pay tribute to our super friendly and polite nation by wearing red and white, order some (vegan) poutine (fries with cheese and gravy), throw “eh?” onto the end of every sentence and drench all your food in maple syrup? All right? Awesome :)

I am submitting this post to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays,  Allergy Free Wednesdays and  Wellness Weekends!

virtual vegan potluck: raw strawberry cream cake at last!

Guess what today is everyone? It’s finally here: the Virtual Vegan Potluck! A day where 66 bloggers (I think I counted right?) are coming together to link up recipes for 8 different courses for a virtual vegan feast! Here is … Continue reading