They are coming out with ghost pepper everything lately. Well, mostly savory items, I haven't seen any commercial ghost pepper desserts, just things like chips, hot sauces, BBQ sauce etc. I was gifted a Trader Joes Ghost Pepper Grinder recently and I love it! Eric had one last year, and I would use his all the time, but turns out it is seasonal, so once they were gone they were gone. But now they are back and I am excited. You need just a small amount on your food to give it a nice kick and they have a nice smokey aroma as well. But of course Eric likes not just a small amount, he likes to put so much on there that he starts sweating. He is from Arizona so he loves hot and spicy things. I do too, but I like to taste my other food as well haha! I decided last weekend that I wanted to make some sort of delicious snack with the ghost peppers included. What I decided on was caramel corn. Because I wanted something slightly sweet, and crunchy with a touch of salt too. So, it was the perfect thing to make!
I told Eric what I was making and he said that some sort of dried fruit would be good in it too, and I had dried freeze dried raspberries on hand, so I decided to include them as well. This is not your average caramel corn. Not just because of the ghost peppers and raspberries. Most caramel corn is made with butter, sugar and corn syrup, but I don't eat those things. Because first off I don't eat animal products of course, being that I am vegan. And second, because I try to stay away from refined over processed sugars. So, my "caramel" isn't technically caramel but tastes like caramel, and is sticky like caramel, so it is caramel enough for me! It is a mixture of maple syrup, coconut butter, and pecan butter with a touch of vanilla and sea salt. It is sooo good! If you can't get pecan butter, no worries, you can use cashew butter or raw almond butter instead and it will still be good.
It was wonderful once I added in the ghost pepper flakes and raspberries! I actually added slightly more than I put in the recipe, because I was going to be sharing with Eric, and he loves spice. Also, I didn't want to kill anyone if they can't handle much, and I know one person's spicy is another person's medium or mild, so I added the amount to the recipe that I felt would be the most people pleasing as a start. Feel free to adjust the amount of peppers to your tastes though. The popcorn was so good! Sweet, salty, fruity, spicy, a tad smokey with the aroma of the peppers. Crave worthy stuff that I could not stop sampling in fact. If you lare adventurous and like ghost peppers or just chilies in general, give this a try!
Vegan Raspberry Ghost Pepper Caramel Corn
Makes 8 cups
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut butter, warmed to liquid
1/3 cup pecan butter (or almond butter)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ghost pepper flakes (or more if you like spicy)
The deli I work in makes some amazing scones. Unfortunately they are not vegan, but I have worked there so long (12 years) that I tried them before I became vegan 6 years ago. They have the most incredible flaky texture, just the right amount of sweetness and they aren't like any other scones I have tried anywhere else. In fact most of the scones I have tried at other bakeries or coffee shops were dry, not sweet enough, and they did not have much flavor. I mean, I can see why scones get a bad rap. A lot of them are bad. But not the ones at my work. I was lucky enough to have my coworker teach me how to make them years ago. The trick to making them was to not over mix the dough, simply mix it enough to hold together and minimize handling, in the same way you don't want to mix pie dough or anything you want to create butter pockets in. Well, I took the concepts home, and even then I was trying to eat more plant based, and so I created a vegan version. The first scone batch I made, I used a plant based stick butter instead of the butter, just skipped the eggs in her scone recipe, and used full fat coconut milk instead of heavy whipping cream. They turned out awesome! But I have since tweaked the base recipe to make it better. I got rid of the stick butter as well, and just went with coconut oil because I always have it on hand, and I am not a fan of some of the oils in commercial plant based butters.
I crave scones every once in a while, and lucky for me, they are pretty simple and quick to make. I have been wanting to make strawberry rhubarb scones for a while now, and a few days back, some were made at work, and they smelled amazing. But of course they were not vegan so I could not try them. My work station is right next to the cooling rack so I was taking in the happy aroma for most of the day. Well, I made some of my own when I got home. I had some strawberries on hand, so I just picked up some rhubarb and I was good to go! I could have made these gluten free, but I had organic whole wheat flour on hand so I used that, and actually I like scone texture with this flour the best. I also added some almond meal too because I think that it gives the scones an even richer melt in your mouth texture.
They baked up beautifully and smelled amazing when I pulled them from the oven. I could not wait to try one. I like them a little warm, because that is when they are the most flavorful, so I didn't have to wait long to enjoy them. They were flaky, with pockets of jammy rhubarb and strawberries, and just a hint of vanilla. Sooo good! If you think scones are bland and dry, then you need to try these. I think they will change your mind!
Preheat oven to 425F degrees with the rack set at the middle position.
Line a baking sheet with parchment.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, almond meal, oats, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the coconut oil with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture starts to clump into pea sized pieces. In a small bowl, stir the vanilla into the coconut milk. Add the coconut milk to the dough, and stir a few times, but do not over-mix. The dough should hold together when squeezed, but still be clumpy.
Fold in rhubarb and strawberries until evenly distributed.
Place dough on a floured work surface, and shape into a circle, a few inches high. Use a bench scraper to cut into 8 triangles (like a pizza).
Place scones on the prepared baking sheet, reshaping slightly if necessary.
Brush the tops lightly with the coconut milk (only if they seem dry, you want the sugar to stick), and sprinkle with coconut sugar.
Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown (after about 15 minutes you may need to reshape with 2 bench scrapers if the scones are spreading, then place back in the oven).
Although I have my favorite ice cream flavors that I make again and again, I will never tire of coming up with new ones. I have over 100 ice cream recipes on my blog already but why stop there? Keeps it interesting for me at least. Once you get your own ice cream maker, it is hard to go back to store bought. Or at least for me, because I enjoy making it, and many of the store bought vegan ice creams don't have a texture that I like, or are made with refined sugars or artificial ingredients. I have tried other ones that had a good texture and no refined sugars that were just ok, but I missed my home made stuff. Ice cream is so easy to make at home. Even if you don't have an ice cream maker (see the note in the recipe if you don't). I have been making it for over 10 years at home with and without an ice cream machine. It feels like Summer here and I was craving some ice cream after a long day at work, so I made some strawberry ice cream a few days back. Not just strawberry ice cream though, that isn't exciting enough for me right now. Strawberry jalapeno gelato! I am a big fan of sweet fruit desserts with a kick from chilies. Especially in the Summer because chilies actually have a cooling affect on the body. If you are skeptical, trust me on this one. I started adding chilies to things because Eric loves spicy food and desserts and I have come to love them too.
This ice cream was super easy to make. I don't want to go through too much work to make things on a work night, so all it took was a moment in the blender and it was ready to go into the ice cream maker. The base tasted delicious like a strawberry milk shake with a kick. How did I give it that gelato like texture? With a mixture of coconut milk and cashew butter. It makes for a super rich base that you would swear had dairy in it. I added in plenty of strawberries, a dash of lime juice and of course the jalapeno. I did not seed it because I like the kick, but you can if you want. It actually ended up being just the right amount of heat. Something that doesn't hit you right away, but slowly builds as you begin to taste it.
The gelato turned out so incredibly good! Like classic creamy strawberry ice cream with a little heat at the end and a pop of lime flavor. You know what would be amazing? If you made a strawberry ice cream float with this in some strawberry kombucha with a shot of tequila. Yes, I have made something like this before so that's how I know it is bomb! If you are someone who likes to try new ice cream flavors, or maybe you just love chilies in things, give this gelato a try!
Vegan Strawberry Jalapeno Gelato
Makes 3 cups
1 15 oz can full fat organic coconut milk
1/2 cup raw cashew butter
1 1/2 cups fresh organic strawberries
1/4 cup soft, pitted medjool dates (if they are not soft, soak them in filtered water for 30 minutes before using)
1/4 cup lime juice
1 jalapeno, diced (seeds removed if you want it less hot
1/4 tsp sea salt
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to directions. Alternatively, if you do not have an ice cream maker, pour it into a bowl, and whisk every half hour until it is to the consistency of a thick malt.
Pour into a freezer safe container with a lid, and continue to freeze until firm enough to scoop (at least 4 hours or overnight). If it becomes too firm, simply let it sit out for 15 minutes before serving.
Nothing is more refreshing than watermelon in the Summer when it comes to fruit. I could eat a whole one, and I have actually. It is a very hydrating fruit, at 92 percent water, so it is the perfect thing to enjoy post workout if you blend it up and drink it instead of a sports drink to re-hydrate. I love blending it up and just drinking it in a big glass. But of course I will never say no to it if it is just cut up as well. I was gifted a big heavy watermelon at work last Friday and I thought why not make a drink out of part of it because it was kind of a mentally stressful week. I am not talking just blending up the watermelon. I mean adding a little kick to it in the form of alcohol. I wanted a margarita but all I had was bourbon and I didn't want to have to go out and buy a whole bottle of tequila, so I decided to make a watermelon julep. I picked up some mint at my work (I work in a health food store), and some limes and I could not wait to make this drink. Let me tell you, I had a lot of watermelon during the process of making this. I cubed up the watermelon, and of course I had to snack on it while I made the drink, and I had gone for a walk after work so I needed refreshment plus it was irresistibly good. Needless to say at least 1/4 of it was gone before I even made the drink.
It is really simple to make actually. You just take watermelon and blend it up in a high speed blender to make juice, then combine it with the other ingredients in the blender to mix it. I have never actually made a mint julep before to be honest, but I looked up a few recipes to get an idea of the nature of the drink. This one is a little more fancy than most, because the classic ones just contain bourbon, sugar, mint and ice. But the watermelon was to be the bulk of the drink with a good quality bourbon added. It needed the fresh mint of course, and I added a little lime juice to balance out the sweet. This drink did not contain any refined sugar, I instead opted for just a bit of maple syrup as it blends well into drinks.
It was so good once I added the ice and poured it into the glasses! I imagine sipping this drink on the patio on a hot Summer day! If I had a patio. Sipping it in my kitchen was just fine. It is just the right amount of sweet, the bourbon blends perfectly with the watermelon flavor, and the fragrant mint makes it super refreshing! If you have a watermelon on hand, give this s try!
Key lime pie has always been one of my favorite Summer desserts. It has to be the good kind though, plenty of tart lime and not too sweet. When I was little, my Mom and I found the perfect recipe for it that was the perfect balance, and it always tasted amazing. Especially on a hot Summer day. But a lot of times when we would order key lime pie in a restaurant or buy it somewhere it was never as good and we were disappointed. I remember one year at the Minnesota State fair they had a key lime pie on a stick. Because at our state fair everything has to be on a stick in case any of you were wondering about that. But anyways, I bought one to try, and I was disappointed because it was way too sweet and not tart enough. I liked the concept though, because lime with chocolate is amazing. I have since come up with vegan key lime pie recipes that I enjoy. Like these Chocolate Covered Key Lime Pie Bars, or my Key Lime Pie Shooters, or this Key Lime Cheesecake. I will never tire of key lime pie recipes.
I was in the mood for some key lime pie a few days back, but I didn't want to take a lot of time to make it, and thought strawberries and chocolate would be amazing to add to it. So, I came up with chocolate dipped key lime pie stuffed strawberries. I mean, no they aren't actual pie slices, but they are darn delicious and that filling is just like key lime pie. I kept them pretty simple. I trimmed a pound of organic strawberries (eating the insides, because why waste such deliciousness), then dipped them in a vegan dark chocolate. I just melted down my favorite vegan dark chocolate chips and that did the trick. I sometimes make my own chocolate but when I am in a hurry, it is nice to have some already on hand.
For the filling I used a special secret ingredient I use in most of my key lime pie recipes, avocado. It works perfect! It is rich and creamy, neutral and lime, a bit of maple syrup and coconut butter to thicken it hides the fact that it is avocado and not some soft of dairy or egg filling like you would find in most classic key lime pies. These little strawberries are super delicious! I bet you can't eat just a couple. I needed quite a few. I figure they are fairly healthy, you are getting your fruit and heart healthy avocado and dark chocolate all in one dessert! I hope you will give them a try, I have a feeling you will love them!
Chocolate Dipped Key Lime Pie Stuffed Strawberries
Makes about 24
To prepare the strawberries, cut the tops off, and cut a v shaped hole into the middle from the top so that you have room for the filling.
Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dip each strawberry bottom into the chocolate by about 3/4 of an inch to an inch depending on the size of the berry. Place on the parchment paper. When they are all dipped, place the sheet pan in the freezer until the chocolate is firm.
To make the filling, put all of the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
Place the filling in a pastry bag, or a ziplock bag with the tip cut off, and pipe into each strawberry.
Serve! These are best enjoyed the day that they are made, but keep any leftovers refrigerated.
It was 90F+ degrees last weekend here in Minnesota. Which is pretty odd for this time of the year. You usually don't get a bunch of days like that until June or July. But it feels like July! It was character building for my Sunday morning run. I really appreciated any trees to provide shade, or sprinklers in people's yards near the street I could run through to cool off. Because being in direct Sun was brutal. If I stood in one place afterwards I would create a small puddle I was sweating so bad. After I had taken a cooling shower, and hydrated I decided that I wanted to stay cool and not go back outside because I had sweated enough already. It was a good day for an indoor activity and I felt like making something delicious in the kitchen. But not something that would heat up the kitchen. I decided on truffles. Why not? They are easy to make, and I had all of the ingredients. I do a little happy dance when I have all of the ingredients for the recipe I am visualizing. These weren't just going to be plain chocolate truffles, they were going to be strawberry lemonade truffles. Because I am on a Strawberry kick. I hope you all don't mind, but I am loving anything strawberry lately. Maybe because I was deprived all Winter long and they are plentiful finally.
The truffles were fairly easy to make. To make the filling creamy and rich, I used a combination that I normally use for my white chocolate base, cacao butter, cashew butter, and coconut butter. Add a dash of vanilla and it is luscious. But of course these were strawberry lemonade so I added plenty of lemon juice and zest, as well as freeze dried strawberries. Why freeze dried? Well, they add loads of flavor in things like this without a lot of moisture so you can get the correct texture. The filling tasted kind of like strawberry lemon cheesecake! I could not wait to combine them with the chocolate shell! I thought about making them white chocolate, but decided on dark instead for more of a contrast. And, because I love chocolate with both berries and lemon.
Once the filling was all shaped and set, I dipped them in dark chocolate and could not wait to try them. They were sooo good! The filling was sweet, and a tad tart with the flavor of jammy berries and aromatic lemon. It was perfect with the rich dark chocolate to accompany it! They tasted like Summer and were actually kind of refreshing! If you are a strawberry fan definitely give these a try. They are the perfect thing to make when you are escaping the heat, because they won't heat up your kitchen.
Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Truffles
1/4 cup cacao butter (2 oz) or coconut oil if unavailable
1/4 cup raw cashew butter
1/4 cup coconut butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 cup freeze dried strawberries
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp organic lemon zest
2 cups vegan dark chocolate chips
Combine all of the white chocolate ingredients but the berries and lemon juice and zest over a double boiler, and whisk until smooth.
Pulverize the berries in a blender until fine, then whisk into the white chocolate along with the lemon juice and zest. Place in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes until it is firm enough to scoop. Scoop into 12 balls, rolling them with your hands. Place on a parchment lined tray, and place back into the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler, and whisk until combined and melted.
Once the filling has firmed up, dip each chocolate into the dark chocolate, being sure to let the excess drain off, and place back onto the tray (I like to set mine on a fork to allow it to drain better). Once they are all dipped, set them in the freezer until hardened.
Store any leftover truffles in the refrigerator.
I am not used to the humidity here yet. We basically went from Winter (18 inches of snow) to Spring for a few weeks right into hot Summer weather. I really prefer moderate weather like 45 degrees in the morning and a high of 70 degrees or lower in the afternoon which is why I love early Fall so much. I still go out and run though, and I ask myself why I am doing it half way through. It is character building for sure, and I never quit. Last Friday I was 6 miles into my 7 mile run and feeling way too hot and sweaty when I thought to myself, a cool strawberry margarita pie sounds amazing! So I made up my mind that I had to finish the run, and make one later that day after work. I ended up finishing my run a minute faster than I had been so that made up for being uncomfortable. It ended up being kind of a butt kicking stressful day, work was really busy, and I found out my website was not working so I had to make phone calls to get help fixing it when I got home instead of relaxing. So, I really needed to make that pie to unwind and calm myself afterwards. I find making desserts relaxing. And, why not a dreamy strawberry pie with lime and tequila?!
I had envisioned a creamy strawberry lime filling laced with tequila and swirled with a strawberry puree. Served nice and cold of course. The perfect thing to make when it was 90 degrees and I didn’t want to heat up the oven. I used a mixture of coconut milk, coconut butter, cashew butter to create a creamy base, and added plenty of strawberries, lime and tequila to make it a margarita pie. The filling was luscious and sooo good even before it was ready to be spooned into the pie.
Kind of like ice cream, only not as cold. For the crust, I made a simple no bake crust with quinoa flakes, coconut, almond meal, and dates and it was perfect! Simple, so that the filling could shine. Once the filling was all chilled, I swirled a sweet raspberry puree into it and it was so good! The pie turned out fabulous! It tastes like Summer, and it is perfect for when you want to indulge but not heat up the house. Also, it is perfect for unwinding after a stressful week. I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday weekend!
Vegan Strawberry Margarita Pie
Make 1 8 inch pie
1 cup quinoa flakes, or rolled oats if you don't mind it not being gluten free
To make the crust, combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until fine crumbs that hold together when squeezed. Press into the bottom of an 8 inch removable bottom tart pan or oiled pie plate. Set aside in the freezer.
To make the filling, combine all ingredients but the coconut butter in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Add the coconut butter and blend until combined. Pour into a bowl, and chill in the freezer until it thickens to the consistency of whipped cream (you want to whisk it occasionally so it chills evenly).
Meanwhile, for the swirl, blend the ¾ cup strawberries, maple syrup, chia seeds, and sea salt in a blender until smooth and set aside.
Once the filling has thickened, spread half into the pie crust (it will be mounded) then drop half of the strawberry puree over that and swirl it with a knife. Spoon the remaining filling over that, then drop more of the swirl over it by the tsp, and swirl with a knife.
Place back in the freezer to chill until firm enough to cut, a few hours.
Remove from the freezer, garnish with berries and lime, and serve!
Have you ever gone to the store and wanted a vegan spreadable butter, and looked at the ones that were available, only to find out that they contained processed ingredients, or unhealthy oils? Well, I have. It has been the only thing that has stopped me from buying them. About 10 years ago I actually tried some (because I cared less what was in my food then), but I didn't really care for it because it had a weird flavor. Most of them are made with canola oil, soy bean oil or palm oil, all of which I try to avoid so I have just avoided the spreadable butters all together. But I recently said to myself, I bet I can make one at home with ingredients that I have on hand that would actually be better for me. I told my Mom I would share it with her too and get her opinion on it, because she is a fan of spreadable butters, and she gave me the idea to try making one. Now when I say butter of course it is not real butter like with dairy in it. I am talking totally plant based!
I wanted this butter to have some heart healthy oils in it, so I went for the avocado oil. It already has a buttery but neutral flavor to it, which is why I love to use it on popcorn or for baking. It blends in beautifully. Next, I wanted to add some hemp seed oil. I had a big bottle on hand, and I know it contains heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids, so why not add some of that too? I try to have a little every day anyhow. These two oils are both liquid even when refrigerated, which is important for making the butter spreadable. I figured mix them with one fat that is solid when chilled and the butter would be the prefect consistency. I chose coconut oil. I like the slightly sweet flavor of coconut oil, and I figured it would mimic the sweetness in some sweet cream butter. But of course if you are making this and want it more neutral, use a refined coconut oil instead of the unrefined I use in the recipe. That is just what I happen to like. I added a touch of sea salt and apple cider vinegar (to make it taste more like dairy), and it was perfect! So how do you make this into buttery perfection? well, the process is a little fun.
You don't just pop it in the refrigerator to chill, that would result in a less spreadable butter. It gets whipped up like frosting! You just chill it until it starts to get a little cloudy, then whip it with a hand mixer. This is actually the process I use for making body butter, so I knew it would work beautifully for this. It turned out so good! It spreads onto toast perfectly like real butter, and it tastes good too, it has a slightly sweet nutty flavor I love! I shared it with my Mom and she said it was better than the store bought vegan butter she had been buying. So, if you are a butter person, skip the store bought vegan butter and give this a try! It is easy to make and worth it!
Avocado Hemp Butter
Makes about 2 cups
1/2 cup raw unrefined coconut oil*
1/4 cup hemp seed oil*
1/4 cup avocado oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
In a medium glass bowl, whisk together all ingredients until combined.
Place in the freezer until the mixture starts to solidify at the edges, and becomes cloudy, about 20 minutes or so.
Remove from the freezer, and whip with an electric mixer on high speed until light, fluffy and the consistency of creamy frosting (you may have to scrape the bowl sides half way through).
Spoon into a jar, and let sit in the refrigerator until more firm, about an hour at least.
Keeps in the refrigerator for a few months.
*Note: if you want less of a coconut flavor, use refined coconut oil instead. I just prefer the unrefined.
It feels like Summer here, so I am craving popsicles. When I was little, they were an essential item that we always had to have around in the freezer. The plain fruit sweetened ones were my favorite, especially the raspberry or strawberry. I wasn't as big of a fan of the fake ones that were blue and green and whatnot. Although I would never turn down a Freezee (those colored tubes of popsicle ice in case you have not heard of them), those were very popular when I was little. Now as an adult, I like to get a little more creative with my popsicles, adding interesting flavors, or turning classic desserts into them. Like the strawberry lemon cheesecake popsicles I made last weekend. They tasted just like strawberry cheesecake! I suppose it might be more appropriate to call them ice cream bars, but I am just sticking with popsicle, because that is the mold shape that I have. I had organic strawberries on hand so I didn't have to buy any ingredients, which is always a win in my opinion!
The strawberries are so good and flavorful lately too, so I knew these were going to be good before I even made them. What most people don't realize is that it is really easy to substitute dairy in vegan recipes like this one. Vegan cheesecake is just as delicious if not even more delicious than traditional dairy cheesecake. I made a rich ice cream base with coconut milk and cashew butter and it tasted just like cheesecake once I added the vanilla. I also added plenty of lemon zest and a bit of juice to give it a refreshing lemon flavor that didn't overpower. I wanted these to be layered, so I had a layer of strawberries, then a layer of strawberry cheesecake cream then the plain lemon cheesecake cream. They were lovely! Then I just had to let them chill and set.
I wanted to try one, but I had to leave them overnight because I made them in the evening. But it was perfect, because I got to try them the next day when it was pretty warm out after taking a walk, and I needed something refreshing. They were sooo good! They tasted just like cheesecake with a hint of lemon and the sweet jammy strawberries were what made it! you would never guess that this does not contain any dairy, since it tastes so rich and delicious! Give these a try, no need to wait until it is actually Summer!
Vegan Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Popsicles
2 cups full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup raw cashew butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
1 Tbsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup organic strawberries, chopped (divided)
Combine the full fat coconut milk, cashew butter, syrup, vanilla, sea salt, lemon zest and juice in a blender and blend until smooth. Remove half and set aside in a bowl.
Drop a few strawberries into the bottoms of 8 popsicle molds.
Blend the remaining coconut mixture (that you did not remove) with the remaining berries, then pour over the strawberries in the molds. Pour the mixture you had set aside without the strawberries over that.
Place sticks into the molds, leaving about 1 inch at the top, then place in the freezer until completely hard, about 4-6 hours (or overnight).
Last weekend I ran the Foodie 4 Mile, a race to celebrate the opening day of the Minneapolis North East Farmer's Market. It was a beautiful perfect morning for running, about 49 degrees and cloudy. I like the cooler temperatures because then I don't overheat. I ended up beating my time from last year by 6 seconds which was a surprise because I recently took a little time off from an injury and didn't feel like I was in as good of shape as I normally am this time of the year. It went really well though, and I was glad I did it. I just prayed before the race that I would feel good and go well, and it did! They gave out reusable totes with coupons to the farmer's market, so we had to stop there after and browse around. I love farmer's markets, but I don't get there often because usually I work on Saturdays and am busy on Sundays, so it is packed up by the time I would get there. But it was awesome to be able to visit right after the race on the way home. They had surprisingly a good amount of produce for this time of the year. I bought some beautiful asparagus, purple and green. Since it is so good this time of the year.
I thought it deserved to be used in something delicious. I usually would just roast it with a little olive oil and sea salt and eat it like that, but I decided to use that roasted asparagus to top off a flatbread. It just sounded good. I wanted it to have a nice sauce on the bottom underneath the veggies, so I decided to use some Dastony watermelon seed butter that Raw Guru recently sent me to make a creamy garlic sauce. If you have never had watermelon seed butter, it tastes similar to tahini just a little more mild. I honestly did not even know it existed until they sent me some to try but it is good, and actually has health benefits! Perfect for people who want to make a creamy sauce but are allergic to cashews. If you want to check it out for yourself, you can find it HERE. If you do check out the Raw Guru Website, and you decide to order something, use my coupon code FRAGRANTVANILLA to get 10% off your order, typed in at your checkout. Back to that flatbread. The creamy garlic sauce was the perfect thing to spread over the flatbread.
I had made a whole wheat cracker crust, because that is what I like. I am not as much of a fan of doughy crusts for some reason. It is the toppings that matter to me. I roasted plenty asparagus, then combined it with arugula, kalamata olives, and some vegan garlic white cheddar I had made and it was beautiful. Lastly a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for garnish and it was perfect! It was a nice combination of textures and flavors, with the crunchy crust, savory veggies, creamy cheddar and garlic sauce and kick of pepper flakes. If you are in the mood for something that screams "Spring!" give this a try!
To make the dough, combine the flour, and sea salt in a bowl, and whisk until well blended. Add the oil and water, and mix in until you have a soft dough. Turn out onto a sheet of parchment paper with a light dusting of flour, and roll out into a 14 inch circle. Set aside.
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