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Creamy Vegan Gnocchi Recipe with Tips and Options to Diversify

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Vegan Gnocchi Image

Vegan gnocchi is one of the simplest dishes to prepare and cook. You can add a few twists to make it even better. However, today I will keep things simple: Just potato, flour, and an easy to make a creamy sauce.

Ingredients For the vegan gnocchi

  • Potato
  • Flour – You can use gluten-free wheat flour, rice flour, gram flour (chickpea flour), or any healthy flour that can bind or stick together.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A pre-heated oven or a pot of boiling water to cook or oil for deep-frying if you love them crunchy

Bake the potatoes until they are soft and easy to mash. Most people boil in salted water until done. This is OK, but due to the extra water that the potatoes soak in, you’ll end up using more flour than if you had baked them. Baking also preserves the potato nutrients and flavor.

Mash them well before adding flour.

It’s now time to get your hands dirty. Knead the potato-flour mixture until you get a less sticky yet soft dough.

Divide into balls and roll them up into “sausages” of 1/2 inch size diameter.

Divide the “sausages” into 1-inch chunks. You can approximate but don’t make them bigger. They will take longer to cook. Moreover, sometimes the bigger the gnocchi, the more difficult it is to cook evenly (especially if you intend to freeze them for future use).

To cook our vegan gnocchi, you have a few options.

You can boil them in water, and once they float to the top, they are ready for the sauce.

For the extra crunchy gnocchi, deep-fry them in hot canola oil.

However, if you’re a bit health conscious (and you should be), bake them in a 220 degrees oven for 10 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Spray the baking tray with a little vegetable oil to prevent them from sticking.

To Serve

You can make a simple sauce to accompany your vegan gnocchi. The white creamy sauce goes particularly well with them.

To Make the Creamy White Sauce

You need vegan butter, Vegan Cheese (if you can find the vegan parmesan, the better), vegetable stock, and non-dairy milk (unsweetened).

Melt the butter and add finely diced white onion or minced garlic.

Sweat the onion for a minute

Now add the stock (or any vegan white wine) and bring to boil.

Add the non-dairy milk and season with salt and pepper. Let it boil under low heat for 5 minutes or so to infuse the flavors.

Next, you add your vegan cheese, but if the sauce is still runny, add a little flour to make rue or let it boil for a little longer to thicken before adding cheese.

Once the cheese is gooey, toss in the cooked vegan gnocchi and stir well before serving.

Garnish with more vegan cheese shavings and a fresh basil leaf.

Enjoy!

Tip

If you don’t plan to eat the vegan gnocchi right away, you can always freeze them for 1 month. Just remember to re-heat them before serving.

Is gnocchi healthy?

Store bought gnocchi might not be as healthy as you would want it to. However, if you make yours at home, you have better control over the ingredients. Replace the conventional wheat flour with gluten-free options and go easy on the salt. Vegan gnocchi is particularly healthier than white pasta, but they are all high in calories.

Rachel is a mom of two boys, a wife, and a part-time chef. By trying and testing new parenting trends she takes her motherhood to the next level! She finds that she processes things better when she writes about them, which has unleashed her passion for sharing her thoughts on life and parenting through her articles for SOLANCHA Magazine.

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A Simple Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread Recipe with a Twist

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The basic banana bread ingredients are the bananas, eggs, butter, flour, and milk. However, for the vegan chocolate banana bread version, we shall substitute the non-vegan ingredients and add a little twist to make it even more delicious and nutritious. Ideally, the difference between this bread and the ordinary vegan banana bread is the addition of chocolate. Let’s bake!

Preheat your oven to 350F (180 C)

The Ingredients

  • 1-cup gluten-free plain flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup of vegan dark chocolate chips (for extra oomph)
  • 1 vanilla pod (or your favorite flavor like strawberry or cinnamon)
  • Mixed nuts (to add some coarse texture)
  • ¼ cup agave nectar (although not necessarily because ripe bananas add some natural sweetness)
  • 2 ripe bananas (very ripe ones work best)
  • 1/2-cup milk (non-dairy) or just water (almond milk works fine for me)

The Procedure

vegan chocolate banana bread recipe image

Grease your baking tray with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Alternatively, just line it with a greaseproof baking paper to prevent the vegan chocolate banana bread from sticking.

In a wide bowl, mash the ripe bananas until smooth. You can leave them chunky for more texture but not very big chunks.

Add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix evenly.

Now sift in your dry ingredients and using a wooden spoon, fold them in until evenly distributed.

The folding process is vital for moist banana bread.

Bake the bread for 30-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean.

To serve, garnish the bread with berries and dust with a little icing sugar.

The Twist

You can add as much vegan chocolate as you like. However, the surest method is to stick with the cocoa powder measurements and instead add melted dark chocolate. Similarly, you can substitute the dark chocolate chips with the white ones. However, the bread won’t have that deep-dark chocolate color.

The reason I used vegan chocolate chips instead of a roughly chopped dark chocolate bar is that the chips maintain a uniform profile while baking and once you bite into the bread, the chocolate melts in your mouth.

The nuts are optional. They just add a little texture to the cake and add air spaces to make the cake spongy. Unlike vegan cupcakes, banana bread can be quite dense. I use coarsely chopped (or whole) nuts to add air spaces while baking, which makes the bread lighter.

Again, if you will garnish with icing sugar, go easy on the sweetener, unless you have a very sweet tooth.

Finally, this can be your everyday type of bread, even if you’re on a diet. However, it only keeps fresh for a few days (less than a week), whether refrigerated or at room temperature. Please do not be tempted to keep it longer.

Is Chocolate Healthy?

As we wait for the bread to bake, let me fill you in on the nutritional value.

Vegan dark chocolate with cocoa powder Image

There are several categories of vegan chocolate: the original dark chocolate and the different versions of processed chocolate. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants. It also contains significant amounts of iron, zinc, manganese, fiber, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and selenium.

All these are important minerals in our bodies (not metals). When you feel a deep craving for chocolate, it is because your body has discovered that some of the minerals you lack can be obtained from chocolate. However, the type you crave for depends on you.

Is your vegan chocolate banana bread ready? Enjoy!

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A 10-Minute Delicious Vegan Ranch Recipe

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Vegan Ranch Image

The popular ranch dressing is made from Mayonnaise, buttermilk, salt, black pepper, garlic, onion, chives, parsley, and dill and other industrial food flavors, preservatives, color, and stabilizers. As health conscious vegans, we tend to avoid popular store-bought products because obviously, we can’t verify the ingredients (unless there is a vegan note included). Ranch dressing is one of these products. In this recipe, I’ll share with you a simple yet healthy way to enjoy your own home-made vegan ranch dressing.

The Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup vegan sour cream
  • 2 cloves garlic – minced
  • A handful chopped fresh chives
  • Vegan buttermilk (recipe below)
  • White vinegar (optional, but it acts as a good preservative, and it introduces the tangy flavor)
  • Herbs – finely chopped (optional, to taste):
  • Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • Fresh Dill
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Tabasco
  • Fresh oregano
  • Salt To Taste

Procedure

Mix your chopped herbs with garlic and combine with the rest of the ingredients (except vegan buttermilk) in a large bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Chill the vegan ranch dressing for 1-6 hours to let the ingredients infuse together. When ready to serve, add the buttermilk gradually as you mix to get to your desired consistency.

Enjoy!

Vegan Buttermilk and Vegan Mayonnaise Recipes

I always make these in bulk and store to use within the month. They always come in handy for most of my weekly meals.

To Make the Vegan Buttermilk

You need a cup of either soymilk or almond milk. The other options won’t cuddle as well as these two so don’t even think about them.

To the milk add a tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon or vinegar and let it sit for 2 minutes for the magic to happen.

You can use the vegan buttermilk in any recipe that calls for buttermilk; it works just fine (maybe even better).

To Make the Vegan Mayonnaise

The basics of mayo is a base usually inform of milk, well-cooked vegetables or tofu, oil, mustard, and lemon juice.

Vegan Mayo Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup soy milk
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

For this vegan mayo, we shall use soymilk as the base. The other milk options work as well, but from personal experience, soy wins. If you need a replica of store-bought mayo, use soft silken tofu instead of milk.

Blend all the ingredients together (except the oil) and adjust the seasoning, as you taste. Now turn the blender into a slower speed and add oil gradually as you blend until it emulsifies. Store in an airtight container and use it on sandwiches, dressing, your kids’ snacks, and in different aioli recipes (as a base).

Note

The original yellow or brown mustard is 100% vegan. It’s made from mustard seeds, spices, vinegar, and salt. However, avoid the most recent types such as Dijon and honey mustard. These contain a few ingredients from animal products.

In Conclusion

If you’re thinking these vegan substitutes taste weird, you’re wrong. They taste better than the store bought non-vegan counterparts. Moreover, they are healthier especially when you make them at home. Additionally, they contain less saturated fats, zero cholesterol no preservatives or additives, and you can also reduce the amount of sodium you use to keep them healthy.

This vegan ranch dressing will be an excellent dip for breadsticks, chips, vegan chicken patties, and vegan pizza. It is also a great addition to salads.

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A 3-Ingredients Vegan Cream Cheese Recipe

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Nothing beats the taste of bagel and cream cheese, especially on a lazy Saturday morning. Contrary to what many people think, vegan foods are not boring. You can still enjoy vegan cream cheese without hurting any animals. And the best part is that it is ridiculously easy to make at home.

The one thing I have come to appreciate about the vegan diet is the diversity of ingredients. It is fun substituting ingredients and experiencing different flavors with each recipe. My friends still can’t get enough of the vegan chicken, for example, that I make for them every weekend.

Our recipe today is composed of only three ingredients! Yes, you read that right. Unlike the regular cream cheese, vegan cream cheese is easy to make. However, it requires more patience since it involves an extensive culturing process.

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup of almonds
  2. One tablespoon of plain, soy yogurt
  3. Salt to taste

You can substitute the almonds with cashew nuts or any other nuts of your choice as long as you are not allergic to them. The main reason why I use almonds is that they are among the most nutritious nuts. They are rich in fiber and, they also contain high levels of mono-saturated oils which help in lowering bad cholesterol within our body.

You can also substitute the soy yogurt with any unsweetened, unflavored non-dairy yogurt or vegan probiotics. Probiotics are crucial for the culturing process, and they also have numerous health benefits such as improving intestinal health among others.

Procedure

  1. In a high-powered blender or food processor, blend the almonds for several minutes until you get a smooth paste.
  2. Add the unsweetened and unflavored soy yogurt. If you are using vegan probiotics, make sure you buy the ones in capsule form. Open the capsule and pour the probiotics into the almond paste.
  3. Continue mixing until you get a uniform color and transfer the paste into a clean container. Cover it and allow it to sit at room temperature for 24 hours. That’s it; your vegan cream cheese is ready.
  4. Taste the creamy cheese and season it with salt as you like. If you love it tangy, you can let it culture for another 12-24 hours.
  5. Store the vegan cream cheese in a refrigerator and use it for a maximum of seven days. After that, discard and make a new batch.

A Little History

As you wait for the culturing process to end, let me indulge you in a few fun facts!

Did you know that cream cheese was discovered by accident? William Lawrence was trying a recipe for Neufchatel cheese. He didn’t quite hack it, but that is how he ended up with cream cheese. It was first produced in Philadelphia 1872, and it has grown to become the bestselling cheese in the USA.

In Conclusion

Once the vegan cream cheese is ready, you can also add fresh herbs, chocolate shavings, and fruits if you like experimenting with different flavors. You can also try using the vegan cream cheese on pancakes instead of bagels. Read more on vegan pancakes here.

 

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