Tag Archives: gluten free desserts

Guest Blogger: Vegiterra – Lime Basil Seed Pudding

20 Nov

So glad to welcome back Kristofir and Christopher who are the brains behind Vegiterra. Their last post was a tasty recipe for Crunchy Sweet Potato Gnocchi.

What is their blog about? Here they are in their own words.

Vegiterra is a vegan recipe blog and a pop-up vegan restaurant that offers creative worldly vegan flavours at events in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas. It was started just this year by Kristofir (the culinary mastermind) and Christopher (the operations guru), with wonderful support from family and friends.”

Check out Vegiterra on their blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Welcome Kristofir and Christopher!

On a routine trip to the Asian market I stopped in my tracks as I read a label  “Sweet Basic Seed.”  Basic seeds? I had to buy this!  Not knowing what it was, I brought it home and looked all over the internet to help identify these mysterious black dots. 
It turns out that these were in fact basil seeds, and the person writing the label switched the “l” for a “c.”  We all do it – it’s fine.  I was excited and eagerly searched for information.  Basil seeds act very similarly to chia seeds, and are also full of nutrients such as potassium, maganese, calcium, copper, magnesium, folates, and vitamin C.  In addition to minerals, the seeds aid in digestion and provide relief for upset stomach and cramps;  help treat colds; are a stress reliever (as is basil essential oil when used in aroma therapy, so eat a lot of pesto when you are stressed out); aid in skin infections when crushed and applied to cuts. They are considered to be super foods by some and delicious by others. 
They are sometimes called Falooda and appear in Arabic influenced drinks and desserts from the Middle East, through the subcontinent and into southeast Asia.  This is where I first tried the seeds, and I was massively impressed by their texture which is reminiscent of bubble tea when in a drink. 
Basil seeds can be used as a replacement in any chia seed recipe.  The seeds plump up in minutes, whereas chia seeds can take hours, so it is a good option if you are in a rush.  They also take on the flavour of whatever you soak them in.  In this recipe, they are soaked in a mixture of coconut milk and lime zest, giving them a fresh, tropical taste. 
For 4 x 8 oz servings 
  • 3 tablespoons basil seeds 
  • 1 cup coconut milk 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • Zest of one lime 
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or any sweetener) 
  • Fruit coulis, of your choice (mango is easy to find and is very tasty)
  1. In a medium-sized pot, heat the coconut milk, vanilla, lime zest, and syrup for 3 minutes on a gentle simmer. 
  2. In glass jar, or mixing bowl, add the basil seeds, and pour the coconut milk mixture overtop.  
  3. Stir for a few seconds and let stand for 5 minutes, then stir again.  
  4. At this point the seeds will have grown and you should have a pudding texture.
  5. Chill, or eat warm as is with layers of fruit coulis. 


Guest Blogger: The Misfit Baker – Christmas Recipe Roundup

26 Dec

Happy Holidays everyone! Hope everyone is enjoying great meals, good company, and of course good cheer. Our guest blogger is Starr Wong, from lovely British Columbia, Canada; she is the author of the blog Misfit Baker. Below she shares a round up of her favourite Christmas posts from 2011/2012. Please do search her previous contributions on VBU!, as they are very worth checking out. Follow Misfit Baker on: Facebook, Twitter and the blog itself. Please welcome back Starr!

It has not been the most wonderful time of the year, not for our household. I look forward to Christmas all year long. I love the wrapping paper and the decorations, the carols and the movies, and (of course) the baking. But this year I wish the whole thing would just blow over.

The past week and a half have been a trying time for us, both physically and emotionally. From Dave and I contracting some mutant cold virus. To Harvey being diagnosed with struvite crystallizes (a potentially life threatening condition in male cats). To the very painful decision that it was in the best interest of both cats that Dennis be re-homed. We’ve known for a while that our apartment isn’t big enough for Dennis’s energy level, and he was attacking Harvey out of boredom (causing Harvey severe stress, which is a contributing factor in his condition)… Needless to say, I am not feeling my usual merriment. My heart is heavy, my chest is heavy, and I have no interest in eating or even more (or should that be “less”?) so baking.

That being said, I didn’t want you to think I have forgotten about the blog or closed up shop. So I decided to tempt your taste buds with a round up of my favorite Christmas posts from 2011 and 2012.

Butter Tart Squares {vegan}

Butter Tart Squares

Chocolate Eggnog Fudge {vegan}

Chocolate Eggnog Fudge

Cinnamon Latte Squares

Cinnamon Latte Squares

Eggnog Cupcakes

Eggnog Spritz Cookies

Grand Marnier Balls

Grand Marnier Balls (Gluten-Free)

Snowballs (Gluten-Free)

Guest Blogger: Fried Dandelions – Spiced Chocolate Pudding

17 Sep

Dessert is a great way to start off the week! Who doesn’t want to try a new pudding recipe on a Monday? Our news VBU! blogger is Sarah De la Cruz, she is the author of Fried Dandelions.

Here she is in her own words, “I am a wife to Irving, a busy mom to 18 month old David (pronounced in Spanish after my husband’s Dominican heritage…Da-veed), and oldest sister of a big family! I am a former graphic designer and high school art teacher, and now enjoy cooking as my creative outlet. I follow a vegan diet and love to surprise people who are enjoying my food by saying ‘and its vegan too!’

I started this blog because I am notorious for changing recipes on the fly, and then forgetting the changes I made. Irving has helped me to start this because he wanted a way to track my recipes so he could request his favorites again and again!

I am lucky to have a husband who is an adventurous eater, and a son who is a good napper, giving me a window every afternoon to play in the kitchen. I hope that you will find some recipes here that your family enjoys as much as mine!” Please follow Sarah’s cooking adventures through her blog and Facebook page. Welcome Sarah!

Spiced Chocolate Pudding

People are often surprised when I tell them that dark chocolate is vegan! Thank goodness, because I really love my chocolate. Turns out that my son does too!

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. David, 2012. Me, 1980.

Growing up, my mom prepared an after school snack for us every day. Now that I’m not in school or teaching anymore, the afternoons tend to be divided into “David’s napping” or “David’s awake” and snacks are usually munched on the go. But tomorrow one of my good teacher friends is going to stop by after school. An after school snack is in order!

I’ve been thinking an awful lot about chocolate pudding lately, so I thought I would take a stab at a vegan version. Arming myself with some quick internet and cookbook research, I set out to make Spiced Chocolate Pudding. So glad I did…this stuff is amazing!

Chocolate happiness

Coconut milk mixed with cornstarch forms the base of this pudding. Cinnamon, cayenne, and vanilla deepen the flavor, and the chocolate adds richness. Let chill for a few hours and you are ready to serve yourself a bowl of chocolate amazingness! I served mine on a bed of ginger snap crumbs and topped with coconut whipped cream…delicious!

layers of flavor

Spiced Chocolate Pudding

3 cups coconut milk, divided
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
1 T. cinnamon
pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
1 cup vegan chocolate chips
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

simple ingredients come together for amazing flavor

Pour 1 c. coconut milk into a heavy bottomed sauce pan and add cornstarch. Whisk together until all cornstarch is dissolved and there are no more lumps. Add in the remaining 2 c. of coconut milk, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne (if using). Turn stove on to medium high heat and continue whisking as the mixture comes up to a boil. Once it boils turn down the heat to an occasional boil. Add chocolate chips and continue whisking as they melt and the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, and let cool for just a minute or two. Then pour the pudding into a storage container and place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the pudding (touching) to prevent a “skin” from forming.

Chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours or more before serving.

Serving suggestion: While the pudding is delicious on its own, I served it like a parfait. I made cookie crumbs by quickly food processing gingersnap cookies.

I then put a scoop of the crumbs in a dish, topped with pudding, and finally a dollop of coconut whipped cream with a sprinkle of cinnamon. To die for!