Thursday, December 27, 2012

Creamy Vegan Chocolate Custard (No Bake!)

A recipe is a winner when it pleases both the pickiest eater and the gourmet taster. This creamy custard is a hit with both! It's so amazing that they'll never know it's vegan!

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Just a little maple syrup sweetens this delicious custard. It has the creamiest texture with coconut milk which can help boost energy if those levels are depleted after the holidays. We enjoyed this for Christmas dinner but it would be perfect for New Year's Eve or any holiday.

Also because this does not contain eggs, no need to bake. After heating a few of the ingredients on the stove, blend everything together in a Vita Mix or with immersion blender and let set at room temperature until cool then refridgerate until time to serve.This can be made a day ahead for even easier entertaining.

This recipe is also very versatile. For a unique flavor, try adding peppermint extract, cinnamon and chili for Mexi-twist, powdered ginger, or rosemary for a gourmet taste. This recipe can be changed in so many ways. I'd love to hear what you try!

Creamy Vegan Chocolate Custard
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any other unsweetened milk of choice)
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (dairy-free if sensitive)
3/4 cup cocoa powder
3 Tb maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp course sea salt plus extra for topping if preferred
2 tsp agar agar powder
1/3 cup cashews (this can be omitted if you need nut-free, just add another 1/2 tsp of agar agar powder)

1. Heat milks, chocolate chips and agar agar powder until it starts to boil. Let simmer for a minute or two until chocolate chips are mostly melted.
2. Add everything to a blender and blend until completely incorporated. Pour into a large dish or several individual ramekins. Let sit at room temperature until cool then refridgerate until time to serve.

Serve with orange or mandarin slices and coffee, hot mint tea, or crystallized ginger.

Question of the Day: What is your favorite flavor of chocolate bar?

I love sea salt and almond chocolate bars or a spicy chocolate bar with chili. My favorite all time chocolate bar is pink sea salt and goji berries but I don't think they sell it anymore.

Raspberry Mini Scones (Vegan and Gluten Free)

These are the scones for those cozy mornings with knit socks and a crackling fire. With just the right amount of sweetness and a hint of spice, these red-speckled treasures will soothe your soul! Serve with hot tea and indulge sweetly, my friends.

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I made these scones for Christmas morning at my mother's (double batch). Served with bacon, breakfast hash, fresh berries, and orange juice, it was a wonderful way to celebrate the birth of Christ... Good company. Great Food. Lots of Love and Laughter.

(Above pictures is the view from my mother's front window and the bottom picture is my Sweet family. Yep, that's me on the left followed by Big Blue Eyes and Witty Husband)

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These oaty vegan biscuits contain almond flour which is a great source of protein. Chia seeds replace the need for starches and eggs used in other gluten-free scone recipes. The scones are free of soy, eggs, dairy, and gluten.

The recipe might look similar to you, it is based off my biscuit recipe I concocted but with cinnamon, a little sweetness, and some raspberries.

Raspberry Mini Scones
3/4 cup almond flour
1 1/2 cup rolled oats (GF certified if sensitive)
2 TB chia seeds
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup raw cane sugar or coconut sugar (for less sweet, omit this and stick with 2 Tb maple syrup below)
2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup solid coconut oil + 1 Tb
1/2 cup milk of choice (unsweetened - I've used almond or coconut milk with success)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large handfuls of frozen raspberries
2 Tb maple syrup

1. Add the vinegar to the milk and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 425.
3. Grind rolled oats and chia seeds (using a blender, food processor or coffee grinder) until oats resemble a flour.
4. Combine all dry ingredients (reserve a tablespoon of sugar if you want to sprinkle your scones before baking)
5. Add coconut oil (or butter substitute) to dry ingredient mix and use a pastry cutter or a potato masher to combine the oil into the flour until it resembles little balls.
6. Combine the remaining wet ingredients with the milk and vinegar mixture. Add to dry mixture.
7. Using an ice cream scoop, or your hands, scoop out about 1/4 cup and round into ball (or with ice cream scoop, just fill and dispense). Best baked on a stoneware pan for 18 - 20 minutes.


How was your Christmas?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Dear Fans!

God bless your holiday season and this new year to come! I hope you enjoy joyous moments, peace, and great food!

In the next couple weeks, I look forward to sharing a few recipes I've been developing, including a yeasty gluten-free bread, my husband's favorite chocolate chip breakfast rug, cranberry banana cake to name a few.

See you next week!

(Below Photo is on the way to Grandma's House)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Seventh Generation Toilet Paper on sale

Love this Seventh Generation brand! Just to let you know it is on sale at Amazon, including a $6 coupon (don't forget to clip the coupon to get the discount - its below the subscribe and save)!
When you subscribe and save, it saves 5% which means Seventh Generation Bathroom Tissue, 2-ply, 300 Sheets, 4 Pack (12 Count) ends up being just under $23! (price is subject to change at anytime)

It's a great idea to stock up in case you have guests coming for the holidays!

Thanks fabulessly frugal!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Cinnamon Curry Almonds (In slow cooker) for the Holidays

These flavors has been ocuppying my mind lately. It kept calling for me to try it...
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Spicy Saigon Cinnamon combined with the rich depth of curry and coarse sea salt plus with a little sweetener, shredded coconut, and calcium-rich sesame seeds. The seeds, honey and coconut flakes create a crunchy exterior which pairs lovely with the toasty almonds. It reminds me a little of brown sugar almonds but without all the sugar and fat.

These almonds would be wonderful with dried cranberries and dark chocolate. And tied in some lovely clear bags or jars, they make a tasty gift.

Trying this in my slow cooker was not an original idea. After dreaming of these almonds, I saw this recipe on pinterest over at Detrimental Beauty and I knew I had try my hand at using the crock pot for toasting nuts. Her recipe looks equally delicious so go give it a look.

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Cinnamon Curry Almonds with Coconut and Sesame Seeds
3 cups almonds
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup sesame seeds
4 tsp curry powder of your choice
2 tsp course sea salt
2 TB Saigon cinnamon
1/2 cup liquid sweetener (I used 1/4 honey and 1/4 cup maple syrup)
2 TB coconut oil

Optional add-ins (add after everything has cooked):
Chocolate Chips or Chopped Dark Chocolate
Dried Cranberries
Dried Mango
Popped Popcorn

1. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker. Turn on low for two hours, stirring every 30 minutes.
2. Remove from crockpot and spread across parchment paper to cool.
3. Store in glass jars or pretty baggies and gift or enjoy yourself!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Three Herb Licorice

"We're like licorice. Not everybody likes licorice, but the people who like licorice really like licorice."  ~ Jerry Garcia

Do you ever feel like licorice?

This is good ol' fashioned licorice with a little boost. With anise seed, fennel seed, and licorice root, these little black jewels can be eaten as a digestive aid after a meal. Anise and fennel help treat indigestion and gas while licorice root can improve stamina and help calm stomach ulcers. Licorice can also help tame a sore throat (as seen in my marshmallow and licorice root cough syrup).

A jar of these would make a lovely Christmas gift or an addition to a stocking.

This is old-fashioned candy, less sweet and with very strong flavors. One or two little bites are plenty.

I used lemon juice here to cut through some of the natural sweetness of the licorice root and molasses.

Three Herb Licorice Decoction
1 1/2 cups water
2 TB fennel seeds
2 TB anise seeds
Handful of Dried Licorice Root *see precautions below

1. Add everything to a small saucepan. Boil then simmer for 25 minutes.
2. Remove from stovetop and let cool with herbs in it (several hours).
3. Strain. Reserve remainder in the fridge to be used when needing a digestive aid or cough supressant.

Three Herb Licorice
1/2 cup of the three herb decoction
1 cup molasses
Lemon juice from a small lemon
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup coconut oil

1. Add the decoction, lemon juice, molasses, and coconut oil to a medium thick-bottomed saucepot. Insert a candy thermometer.
2. Boil until the liquid reaches 235 degrees or soft ball stage.
3. Remove from heat, gradually whisk in tapioca starch.
4. Pour out onto a parchment-lined tray and let cool ten minutes (or until warm not hot to touch).
5. Roll the licorice into two long ropes. Set ropes side by side and twist, starting at one side to the next.
6. Let dry, undisturbed for 8 hours. Cut into pieces.
Makes about thirty 1" pieces depending on size.

*Licorice root can raise blood pressure. Avoid administering to those who have high blood pressure. Also be sure to include potassium in your diet when eating licorice. And with any herbs, consult your doctor before considering consumption.
If you have high blood pressure, omit the licorice root and use an extra tablespoon of each seed.

And last but not least, I'm not a doctor. I'm not licensed to diagnose or prescribe. This is for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Use information at your discretion, taking into account medical history. Always research!

I buy my herbs from: Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c

I'm proud to announce that I'm now an affiliate for one of my favorite companies: Mountain Rose Herbs. Creating this blog, I had a few goals in mind. Never was it intended for this blog to be a monetary source (although it certainly isn't harmful if it turns out to be). My point being I didn't want to compromise the integrity of this blog and the photographs and recipes I share here. But when it came to being able to spread the word of the amazing quality products offered by MRH, I jumped at the chance. Thank you MRH for this opportunity. And to help support Sweet Roots and further our content, you can purchase amazing quality herbs, teas, oils, and butters through the link above or below (or in the future, the one at the right hand side or bottom of the blog). Thank you, sweet readers!

Purveyors of fine herbal products

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Immunity Strengthening Smoothie with Elderberry

Drink this smoothie to recover or prevent any cold or flu that's circling around during this wonderful yet somewhat stressful time.

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A brief introduction to all the ingredients that make up this wonderful smoothie:

Lemon juice adds vitamin C and can help cut through any crud in the throat.

Elderberries are a powerful berry. These little jewels have powderful antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been proven to diasrm viruses and considerably shortens the duration of flu or cold symptoms. These berries are featured in my chai-spiced elderberry cobbler.

Coconut water helps replenish electrolytes and provides potassium. It prevents dehydration.

Steamed carrots make for a very easily digestible Beta-Carotene or Vitamin A which can help prevent sinus infections are help you recover from one. As an alternative, you can try steamed pumpkin or any orange winter squash.

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Cinnamon is a much-loved and used spice for very good reasons. Everyone loves its spicy sweetness. This warming spice has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. It helps to stimulate digestion which can be stagnate after being sick.

Ginger is extermely warming. It helps heat the extremities that otherwise can get cold in this winter weather. Ginger can kill cold viruses and is anti-parasitic.

Astragalus root tooks this whole smoothie to the next level. It is, of course, optional. However when you hear about all the amazing things it does, you'll want to stock up. This root contains immunostimulant polysaccharides and increases the number of stem cells in bone marrow. The herb increases the production of white blood cells that help to fight the germs we encounter on a daily basis. This root helps ground our energy and research shows it can help those who have poor nutrition or digestion, indecision and more importantly cancer and HIV.

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Immunity Strengthening Smoothie with Elderberry
2 TB squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1 inch of ginger
1 cup fresh or frozen elderberry
1 1/2 cup steamed carrots
1 TB cinnamon
1 cup coconut water
2 tsp astragalus root, powdered
Small handful of ice *optional, only if you want it cold

1. Cook elderberries with two tablespoons water. Boil then simmer for ten minutes. Remove from stove and let cool. (This can be done the day before as well).
2. Using a garlic press, juice the ginger into your blender. Add remaining ingredients. Blend until completely mixed.

Serve and enjoy!

I purchase my herbs from:
Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c

And last but not least, I'm not a doctor. I'm not licensed to diagnose or prescribe. This is for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Use information at your discretion, taking into account medical history. Always research!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Stocking Stuffer Ideas for the Unique Individual

In our little family, we decided to forgoe gifts this year and just do stockings.

I love making DIY Christmas gifts but it's fun to shop around for cute, funny, or thoughtful stocking stuffers that you know will be used and loved. The links are all to amazon but a lot of the products can be found at your local grocery store, natural health foods store, and Target.

In an effort to support small business owners, crafters, and fellow bloggers, join me on Sweet Roots facebook page for twelve days of DIY stocking stuffers and Etsy finds.

For the Mustached Fellow
Clockwise from Top left:
1. Dapper 'Staches Silicone Mustache Shaped Drink Markets, set of 6 (These are also available at Kohls and Target if you prefer to go in store.)
2. Accoutrement Mustache Bandages
3. Malarky An Imponderables Bluffing Game
4. Pain Relieving Ointment Tiger Balm Ultra, 1.7 oz cream
5. Vosges Haut Chocolat, Mo's Bacon Bar (3oz Bar)
6. Mustache Poet Magnets (Magnetic Poetry Kit) or you could make your own by buying magnet tape and cutting out words from a magazine
and as for great DVDS:
The Expendables for your tough guy
The Red Baron or  The King's Speech for your history buff
Prometheus for the guy who likes to be on the edge of his seat
Bob's Burgers: The Complete First Season for the one who loves to laugh

For the Natural Mom
Clockwise from Top Left
1. Kid-friendly and antioxidant rich Rooibos Tea (aka Red Bush Tea) available at
Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c
or on amazon Davidson's Tea Bulk, Organic South African Rooibos, 16-Ounce Bag
2. Nature's Way Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 16 Ounce
3. Herbal Healing for Children by Demetria Clark
Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family
4. California Baby Calendula Shampoo and Body Wash -- 8.5 fl oz and California Baby Calming Botanical Moisturizing Cream 2 oz.
5. The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook: Whole Foods Recipes for Personal and Planetary Health, Second Edition and Nourishing Meals: Healthy Gluten-Free Recipes for the Whole Family by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre
6. Tinted Lip Balms Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer, Champagne, .09-Ounce Tubes (Pack of 4) and Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer, Peony, .09-Ounce Tubes (Pack of 4) (also available at your natural foods store, health food store, or target). You could also make your own Tinted Lip Balm!
7. Whole Living (1-year auto-renewal) (currently $5!)

For the Food Blogger or Cook Extravagant
Clockwise from top left:
1. Paper Straws Kikkerland Biodegradable Paper Straws, Red and White Striped, Box of 144
2. The Flavor Thesaurus: A Compendium of Pairings, Recipes and Ideas for the Creative Cook
3. Bakers Twine Martha Stewart Crafts Multicolor Baker's Twine (also available at Michaels in the martha stewart section) goes great with a subscription to the lovely Martha Stewart Living (1-year auto-renewal) Magazine
4. La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life by Beatrice Peltre
The Sprouted Kitchen: A Tastier Take on Whole Foods by Sara and Hugh Forte Small Plates and Sweet Treats: My Family's Journey to Gluten-Free Cooking, from the Creator of Cannelle et Vanille by Aran Goyoaga
5. Birchware Compostable Wooden Spoons 24pcs.
6. Eden Organic Red Quinoa, Whole Grain, 16 oz
Also san disk memory cards are on sale at Amazon. (The sale can change at any time but its a great stocking stuffer for any photographer)SanDisk Flash 16 GB SDHC Flash Memory Card

Buying through some of these links helps support Sweet Roots! I thank you for your contribution and visiting my site.
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