See that beautiful (and yummy) cupcake up there? Sure, I made it and all, but I can’t take credit for it. That would belong to the creative minds behind The Bear & The Blackberry. In less than 24 hours after reading their recipe for Matcha and Vanilla Bean Cupcakes, I had these babies rising magnificently in the oven. Sure, I made my standard tweaks: used applesauce in place of canola oil; whole wheat pastry flour for white and used maple sugar and stevia to achieve the proper sweetness. I did not have matcha powder but did have green-matcha tea bags. I snipped a few and emptied them of their lovely green, powdery contents and voila! Almost-matcha powder. The biggest change I made was to modify the Lean Cocoa Frosting recipe from The (Almost) No Fat Cookbook, by Bryanna Clark Grogan. Do not expect thick, creamy, buttery decadence here, folks. But do expect lots of tasty vanilla flavor and zero eater’s remorse. Here’s the (very quick) recipe:
Lean Vanilla “Frosting”
Makes enough to coat 8 cupcakes
1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 cup maple sugar
half of 1/3 of a cup (I’m not a mathematician) cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla extract syrup, vanilla extract or a vanilla bean, scraped
Combine everything but the vanilla in a blender and process until smooth and well-combined. Pour into a small saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Whisk constantly until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla. Let sit until it reaches room temperature and then you’re ready to frost the cupcakes.
And now for some more blender action…Despite promising myself I would stop, I need to share another green smoothie recipe with you all.
Can’t Not Share it Green Smoothie
1 6 oz. container coconut-flavored almond milk yogurt
1 cup coconut water
1 orange, peeled and quartered
1 apple cut into chunks
1 stalk celery, cut into chunks
1 carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 big handful of spinach or other green
Process until smooth in your favorite blender-type appliance.
Recently I received this cuddly little cutie (above) in the mail from Rachel of Rachel in Veganland – why? because I won (woohoo!) the very first giveaway she held on her blog. Rachel must know that the color of my thumb hovers between gray and black and that I can’t do much harm to a crochet cactus! When I opened the package, all kinds of sparkles and fuzzies tumbled out of the envelope along with her handmade gift – it was kind of like getting a hug from my blogging friend. Thank you, Rachel! Your cactus has a place of honor right next to my computer.
Last but most definitely not least: Have you been thinking about what you’re going to bring to the next Virtual Vegan Potluck?? I have!
While I’m not quite ready to divulge what recipes I’m considering nor the work behind the scenes of the next one (November 3, mark your calendars!!), I will share that I recently asked two of my favorite bloggers to help me out with the details. Apparently my powers of persuasion are better than I imagined. I’m happy to report that both Jason of Watch Me Lose 150 Pounds fame and Somer, the plant-based heart and soul of Good Clean Food, have graciously agreed to help plan and execute November’s Potluck – and they’ve already been contributing awesome content to the VVP Facebook Page. (If you haven’t Liked us, please do!) If all goes as planned, the facade is going to look a lot different – but (pardon the expression) the meat and potatoes of the event will remain true to the first go ’round.