Vegan Spelt Matcha Chocolate Chip Cookies

Needed my chocolate fix for today, but I also wanted a treat that was on the healthier side.  So, I figured spelt flour is healthy, plus matcha = definitely healthy!  Now I don't feel so bad eating several cookies!


1/2 cup organic almond milk
4 teaspoons organic matcha powder (culinary grade)
2 T organic ground flax seed
1/2 cup organic coconut oil, melted 
3/4 cup organic cane sugar 
1 t organic pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups organic spelt flour
2 T organic cornstarch 
2 t non-aluminum non-GMO baking powder
1/4 t sea salt 
1 cup vegan chocolate chips


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Line 2 baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper; set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together almond milk, matcha, flax seed, coconut oil, and extract.  

In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients. Stir in matcha mixture thoroughly.

Take approximately 2 tablespoons of dough, form into a ball, place on lined baking sheet and slightly press down.

Bake 8-10 minutes

Homemade Vegan Chocolate Extract

Do you love chocolate?  I mean really love chocolate?!  Well I do!  So much so that I eat chocolate everyday, I have too.  Chocolate makes me happy.   So, when I learned that you could make chocolate extract I was stunned!  My mind filled with images of chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cakes, and chocolate brownies.  I thought, I've got to make this, and fast!

But I have found that you have to have patience in making any kind of extracts.  You have to let the extract brew for at least a month.  Don't let that stop you though, if you start now your extract will be ready in time for Halloween baking.  The chocolate extract when finished smells like chocolate utopia and is a little creamy and so smooth.  The extract will add that extra kick of chocolate to your baking that will put any dessert over the edge, in a good way!

Also, a very good reason to make your own extracts, is that for sure you know it will be vegan.  Not all vodkas are vegan, and you can make it organic.  It's a win-win!


1 cup organic vegan vodka 
3/4 cup organic cacao nibs

You will need a glass bottle that has a secure lid.  A mason jar works very well.

When extract is finished brewing I suggest storing it in an amber bottle.


In a large glass bottle add vodka and nibs.  Seal and gently swirl mixture.

Place bottle in a cool dark place.  Swirl mixture every few days.

After 1 month, strain extract through a fine sieve.  Pour extract into a bottle and keep stored in a dark cool place, like your pantry.  You can disgard the nibs.


Artichoke, Broccoli, and Red Onion Deep Dish Pizza with Ranch Seasoned Crust

Warning!  If you are not a pizza lover, move on - this recipe is not for you.  On the other hand, if you eat and dream about pizza, press on!

Ingredients for pizza dough:

5 1/2 cups organic unbleached flour
4 1/4 t yeast
2 cups warm water
1 T organic onion powder
1 T organic garlic powder
1 T organic dried parsley 
1 T organic dried dill
1 teaspoon sea salt

Ingredients for pizza toppings:

1 1/2 cups organic tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups non-dairy mozzerala 
1 artichoke, fresh or bottled 
2 cups organic broccoli, chopped
1/4 cup organic red onion, diced 

Method for making dough:

In the bowl of a stand mixer add yeast and water and then set side 5 minutes.

Add 3 cups of the flour and mix on medium speed until a sticky dough forms.  Add remaining flour, spices, and salt.  Knead for 3 minutes.  Cover dough with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour.

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees

Lightly butter a cast iron skillet.

Remove risen dough from bowl and use your hands to spread the dough evenly into the skillet.  Make sure to push the dough up the sides of the skillet.

Spread tomato sauce over dough and top with cheese.  Add all the veggies evenly over the top of the pizza.

Bake 25-30 minutes, or until crust is a golden brown.

Today is National Dog Day!

Celebrate the day by honoring your furry family member(s).  Take a nice long walk with your furry buddy, play fetch, or just sit under a large shade tree and enjoy the day.

Our furry family member's name is Kipper, and he is a Basenji (also known as the barkless dog).  

His hobbies include chasing rabbits, squirrels, and chipmunks, begging for vegan food, sleeping, going on numerous walks, biting the tops off of dandelions, and tearing apart his stuffed animals.

His favorite foods are pizza, Tofurky, cookies, granola, and VDog.

Today I want to share with you a recipe for one of Kipper's favorite treats, Cheese Noms.  

This recipe is from a cookbook I wrote titled One For You & One For Me.  The book contains dessert recipes that are for both human and dog.  These recipes allow you to make delicious desserts that you want that are safe for your dog to eat and enjoy also.


1 1/2 cups organic unbleached flour
1/4 t organic dry mustard
1/2 t organic paprika
1 cup Daiya cheddar cheese
1/3 cup organic unsweetened non-dairy creamer
1/2 cup Earth Balance butter 
1 teaspoon vegan Worcester sauce


Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees

Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, dry mustard, and paprika.  Cut in the butter and cheese using a fork until the mixture forms small crumbles.

In a small bowl, add the creamer and Worcester sauce.  Mix until well-combined.  Add to the flour mixture and mix until the dough holds together.  You can add more creamer 1 teaspoon at a time if needed.

Use a tablespoon of dough for a good sized nom or use a teaspoon for a snack size.  Roll into a ball and slightly flatten between both hands.

Place rounds on the lined baking sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes, flip the noms after 5-6 minutes.

Let cool before serving to your furry buddy.

Happy National Dog Day!


Vegan Spelt Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with a Glaze

I used to use only all-purpose flour in my baking.  That's what my mom used and Mom knows best, right?

Well, we all have read recently that all-purpose flour has no nutritional value and it's just plain bad for us.

Okay, I get it, but I grew up on all-purpose flour! I didn't even know there was any other variety of flour available. 

That is until I became a vegatarian and now vegan.  Over the years I have learned more about food than I ever thought possible. Growing up I had no knowledge of organic foods and that GMOs just started to break into our food supply.

But age has taught me to ask questions and to do my own research about ingredients and food manufacturers.

That's where spelt flour enters. Spelt flour is higher in protein and has fewer calories.  I have also found that I can digest spelt flour easier than all-purpose.

Spelt flour also produces a flackier and airy cookie.

I highly recommend trying spelt flour the next time you bake a dessert or bread.  You won't be disappointed.

Ingredients for cookie dough:

1/2 cup organic brown sugar
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
2/3 cup organic coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup organic almond milk
2 t organic pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups organic spelt flour
1 cup organic oatmeal
1/2 t organic baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
1 cup vegan chocolate chips

Ingredients for icing:

1/2 cup organic confectioners sugar
3 T water
2 t organic pure chocolate extract

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Line baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set-aside.


In a large bowl combine brown sugar, white sugar, and coconut oil.  Mix in almond milk and vanilla.

Add flour, oatmeal, baking soda, and salt. Combine thoroughly.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Take approximately 1 heaping spoonful of dough, roll it into a ball and then flatten between both of your hands.  Place on baking sheets and bake for 8-9 minutes.

Place cookies on a cooling rack and let cool before glazing.

Method for glaze:

In a small bowl mix together sugar, extract, and water.  Mix until you have a smooth glaze.  If you like a thicker glaze, add more sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.

Drizzle the glaze over cookies and enjoy!


Apple Juice

Making apple juice from apples grown on my own trees was very rewarding.  We have a variety of apples trees in our garden: McIntosh, Golden, and Red Delicious.

This year was not a banner year for our apples. When the trees were in bloom, we had a few windy days that blew off many of the young blooms.  The squirrels also love to play in the apple trees! They leap tree to tree and knock off the young apples.  

As I was picking apples I came across many apples that were half-eaten, still hanging on the trees, but unusable.  Squirrels strike again.


4 medium organic apples
1/4 cup water

To make a large amount of apple juice you will have to quadruple the recipe.


Clean apples thoroughly, seed and chop into medium-sized pieces.

In your Vitamix or high-speed blender, place apples and water into the blender container.
Start on speed 1 and slowly increase to speed 10, then on high for 35 seconds.

Strain juice through a juicing bag into a large bowl. 

 Pour juice into a pitcher and refrigerate.


Vegan Cinnamon Sugar Crackers

Crackers are one food I don't buy a lot of.  Either I can't find organic crackers, or they contain soy, and they aren't vegan.  Being a vegan, I have resigned to the fact that I will have to learn to make certain foods if I still want to eat them. 

I do admit though, these cinnamon sugar crackers are truly delicious and are perfect with peanut butter or to make s'mores.  These crackers are hearty, so they will hold up to a good smoosh of melted marshmallow and chocolate. Or, just enjoy eating them all by themselves.


6 T non-dairy butter, cold and cut into 1" pieces 
1/3 cup organic brown sugar 
1 organic flax seed egg
1 T vegan honey 
3/4 cup organic whole wheat pastry flour
3 cups organic unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 t sea salt
1/2 t organic baking soda
1/2 t organic cinnamon


1/4 cup organic cane sugar
2 T organic cinnamon 


Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper, set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until smooth.  Add flax egg, honey, flours, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.  Mix until thoroughly combined.

Place dough on a flat surface that is lightly floured.  Roll dough out into a rectangle and about a  1/4" thick.  Cut dough into squares.

Transfer squares to the lined baking sheet.

In a small bowl mix sugar and cinnamon. Using a teaspoon sprinkle each square with the sugar mixture.

Bake 25-30 minutes.


Vegan Baked Cauliflower

This is an amazing side dish to any meal. Whoever thought of baking an entire head of cauliflower was a genius, must have been a vegan.

The cauliflower becomes as soft as vegan butter.  You actually slice it like it was a cake.

Remember this recipe for the upcoming holidays!  Your family and friends will stare in amazement as you slice them a piece of cauliflower.

The cauliflower is so hot you can see the steam in the above photo.


1 organic cauliflower
2 1/2 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt 


Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.

Trim the stem flat on the head of cauliflower and remove all green leaves.  The head has to remain in tact. Wash thoroughly and pat dry.

Place into a round baking dish that has a cover.  Pour 2 tablespoons of the oil over the entire head of cauliflower, sprinkle with salt.

Bake covered for 1 1/2 hours.  The cauliflower will turn a golden brown when done.

Carefully remove the cauliflower with a large spoon and place on a large plate.  Pour the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil over the entire head.

Serve immediately.

Vegan Strawberry Banana Kiwi Smoothie

I like kiwis, however, I usually don't add them to my smoothies. When I tried it this morning though, it tasted great, so I thought I would share..

Strawberry Banana Kiwi Smoothie

4 ounces organic almond milk
4 ounces filtered water
2 organic bananas (peeled)
3 organic kiwis (peeled and cut in half)
1/3 cup frozen organic strawberries
1/2 cup of ice

In a Vitamix or high-speed blender, combine the ingredients in the above order. Mix slowly from low to high speed, mixing for 20 seconds on high.

Enjoy this sweet pink drink.

This post was written by guest blogger Jeff.


Vegan Spelt Potato Bread in Flower Pots

Baking in clay flower pots is an unique way to bake bread.  I highly recommend using this technique the next time you go on a picnic or if you are planning a garden party.  I suggest leaving the finished bread in the clay pots for your guests to see.  They will be surprised to see that you baked bread in clay garden pots.


1 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
2 cups organic spelt flour (I recommend One Degree brand)
1 cup organic mashed potatoes 
1 tablespoon organic fresh chives, minced
1 teaspoon organic chive salt
1 tablespoon organic extra virgin olive oil


In the bowl of your stand mixer, add water and yeast.  Let sit for 5 minutes.

Add flour and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.  Continuing on medium speed add potatos, chives, and salt.  Knead dough for another 3 minutes.

Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour.

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees

Oil the bottom and sides of the clay pots.

Divide the dough evenly among the clay pots.

Bake for 20 minutes.


Vegan A Purple Kale Smoothie

Ever since we bought our Vitamix, my breakfast has been a fruit smoothie. When it's time to clear the fridge of some produce, it's time to experiment and get creative. Unfortunately, "my creativity" often turns out a drink that is an unappetizing brown color. I was quite happy to see that the result of my experimentation this morning was a pretty purple color (even though it contained kale).

A Purple Kale Smoothie

1 organic banana
4 ounces of organic almond milk
4 ounces filtered water
1/3 cup frozen organic blueberries (if fresh add some ice to the drink)
3 organic red kale leaves (less the stems)

In a high speed blender (I of course prefer a variable speed Vitamix), in the order above, combine the ingredients. Slowly increase the speed up to high for approximately 20 seconds. 

The red kale is the key to the color; and to my taste, it is a bit sweeter than the green variety. 


This post was written by guest blogger Jeff.


Vegan Potato and Veggie Tartlets

This is the first savory tartlet that I have ever made; my previous experience had been making dessert tartlets.  The crust is flaky, the butter and cream cheese add a sweetness.

Making tartlets is easy and fun.  I love the rustic look of this savory tartlet.  Also, you can use any filling you like; it's like the fancier cousin of a casserole.  Whatever you have in your refrigerator you can use as the filling.

Ingredients for dough:

2 1/2 cups organic unbleached all-purpose flour
8 tablespoons of cold non-dairy butter, cut into small cubes 
1/2 cup cold water
4 ounces of non-dairy cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon organic garlic powder
1 teaspoon organic onion powder
1teaspoon organic parsley 
1 teaspoon organic oregano


In your stand mixer bowl, add flour and non-dairy butter;  mix on medium speed for 1 minute.  Mix in water and non-dairy cream cheese.  Add all seasonings and continue mixing until a dough forms.
The dough will be slightly sticky.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces.  Roll out each piece into a 1/8" thick circle and about 7 inches in diameter and place on 2 baking sheets that are lined in unbleached parchment paper, set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

Ingredients for filling:

3 medium potatoes
1 small organic onion, diced
1 medium organic pepper, diced
1/4 cup olives, diced
1 tablespoon organic extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons non-dairy butter, melted 

Boil potatoes until tender, when cooled cut into small pieces.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil; sautée onions and peppers until tender.  Stir in olives and cook for 1 minute.

Place the hot filling into a large bowl, add the potatoes and gently mix.

Evenly mound the filling onto each dough round.  Gently fold the edges inward.  The filling should be visible in the center.

Brush each with melted butter and bake 20-25 minutes.


Make a Cutting Board from Downed Trees

I have wanted to make these cutting boards for the longest time, so needless to say I was very excited to start this project.  But on the other hand it brings me sadness because these pieces of walnut tree have come from my brother's trees that he cut down long ago at his home. My brother and sister-in-law will be moving out of state next month.  I have seen huge piles of wood on my brother's land for quit sometime but I always thought - next time I'll have him cut me some pieces, so no hurry.  Well, now it was now or never! My brother was kind enough to cut me some pieces and I will treasure the cutting boards that I make from them and think of him every time that I use them.

Okay, enough of being a downer!  I want this to be a happy post because this is my 100th blog post on myveganapron!  Time to celebrate!  So let's celebrate by making an item that everyone uses and would love to receive as a gift.  

Wouldn't cutting your veggies this Thanksgiving on a cutting board you made yourself impress your family and friends? Or, serve your guests vegan cheeses, crackers, and fruit on these lovely boards.

Not only can you use these for cutting boards but also for trivets, chargers, or plates.

I conditioned my pieces with organic walnut oil. Organic almond oil works too!

This project is a great way to recycle fallen trees.

Cut each disc at least 3 inches thick. 
You can leave the bark on or remove it.  My pieces are really dry so some of the bark has fallen off.  I think it adds character.  If you are using wood from a recent fallen tree, the bark will have a better chance of staying on, but let it dry out for at least a month before making into a cutting board.

You can sand the discs by hand with sand paper, a hand sander, or - as I used - an air compressor with a sander attatchment.
My brother showed me how to use the sander on my first piece, then I took over from there.

Sand smooth both the top and bottom. if the bark has fallen off you can smooth the sides also.

Clean the discs well after sanding using blasts of air or a tac cloth.

Using a soft cloth, apply oil on the top, bottom and sides of the discs.  

Apply several coats of oil. You may have to recondition the wood with more oil over a period of time.


Vegan Chocolate Mousse

This mousse is made from avocados. I know what your thinking; I thought the same thing!  But honestly, this is the best chocolate mousse I ever had.

The mousse is creamy, smooth, and light.  If a cloud was made of chocolate it would taste like this.

Also, this is a great opportunity to use those avocados that mysteriously over-ripen over night.


1/2 cup water
10 tablespoons organic raw cacao
1/2 cup organic agave syrup
4 tablespoons organic evaporated cane juice
1 teaspoon pure organic vanilla extract
2 organic avocados

This recipe is adapted from the cookbook Live Fresh.


Place all ingredients in your Vitamix (or a high powered mixer) in the order listed.

Start on low speed and increase to speed 7 on a Vitamix for 30 seconds.  If using a high powdered blender, blend on highest setting.

Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.


Vegan Pretzel Almond Snack Mix

This pretzel mix offers the best of both worlds, it's spicey and sweet.

I am making a large batch to bring to my brother's house today.   I am helping my brother and sister in-law who are in the process of packing up their home and moving out of state.  

You can easily alter this recipe to suit your taste.  Try adding raisins, a variety of different nuts, or instead of a spicy flavor try garlic, dill, and onion powder for a ranch flavor.


2 cups organic pretzels 
1 cup organic almonds 
2 tablespoons organic brown sugar 
2 tablespoons non-dairy butter
1 1/2 teaspoons chive salt*
1/2 teaspoon organic cayenne pepper 

*Recipe for chive salt is here


Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees 

Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.

In a large bowl add pretzels, and almonds mix well.

In a saucepan add butter, sugar, and cayenne; bring to a boil.

Pour over pretzel mixture and gently combine.

Spread pretzel mixture on lined sheet.  Bake 20 minutes, stir occasionally.

Remove from oven and sprinkle chive salt evenly over pretzel mixture.


Vegan Peanut Butter Balls

This candy is perfect for the beginner candy maker.  Melt, roll, and dip - that's it! This candy is addictive. Peanut butter and chocolate is the best combination for a candy.

This recipe makes about 3 dozen peanut butter balls.


1 cup organic peanut butter
1/2 cup Earth Balance, softened 
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon organic pure vanilla extract 
3 cups organic confectioners sugar
1 bag of vegan chocolate chips


Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper, set aside.

In a large bowl, beat peanut butter, non-dairy butter, salt, and vanilla until smooth.

Add confectioners sugar 1/2 cup at a time.  Beat until smooth.

Form peanut butter mixture into 1 inch balls and place them on the lined baking sheet.  Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Melt the chocolate chips and dip the peanut butter balls into the chocolate using a fork.  Place the dipped peanut butter balls back onto the baking sheet.  Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator until the chocolate sets.  


Vegan Sloppy Joe Sliders on Pretzel Buns

The great thing about sliders is you can eat several and feel like you ate a lot.

Or, you can dip these pretzels into melted non-dairy cheese or mustard.  

Ingredients for pretzel dough:

1 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
2 cups non-bleached organic all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon organic extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chive salt
6 cups water
1/4 cup organic baking soda


In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the bread hook, add warm water and yeast.  Let sit for 5 minutes.

Add flour and salt, mix on medium speed until combined and until the dough pulls cleanly away from the sides of the bowl.

Continue on medium speed for 5 minutes to knead the dough.  The dough will be slightly sticky.

Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour.

Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper, set aside.

Divide the dough using your hands into tablespoon-sized balls.  Place the balls onto the lined baking sheet and cover again with a towel and let rise for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, boil 6 cups of water. Once the water starts to boil add 1/4 cup organic baking soda.

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

Carefully place the balls of dough into the boiling water. Don't crowd the dough balls or they will stick together.  Let each side boil for 30 seconds.  Remove with a slotted spoon and place back on the lined baking sheet.  Using a sharp knife make a X into each ball.  Sprinkle each pretzel ball with chive salt.

Bake 15-20 minutes.

Ingredients for sloppy joes:

1 bag of Beyond Meat crumbles
1/4 cup chili sauce 
1/4 cup chopped organic onion

You can also add peppers if you like.

In a skillet heat 1 tablespoon organic olive oil.  Add onions and sautée until tender, then add crumbles and chili sauce.  Cook for 5 minutes.

Vegan Mint Chip Ice Cream

My family and I went out for lunch yesterday at Upton's Breakroom in Chicago.  Upton's makes a variety of  seitan sausage, along with tamales and bacon that are very popular in the vegan community.

The reason for the name Upton's Breakroom is because it's located in the same building where they make their famous seitan. The employees eat there but it's also open to the public.  

They offer an array of sandwiches, sides, and desserts.  They even offer a weekend brunch.

I ate a delicious sandwich of grilled lemon rosemary tempeh with spinach pesto, wilted spinach, and a seared tomato on focaccia. For dessert one of the offerings was chocolate soft serve, but I try to avoid soy and the ice cream was soy-based.  So, I sat and stared at my husband who had the tallest soft serve cone I've ever seen!  My daughter had a sundae with chocolate syrup and huge pieces of crumbled cookie on top.  I was dying, but I kept calm and as I sat and started to plan what ice cream I would make for myself when I get home!

I settled on mint chip which is one of my all-time favorites.  Now it's time for my family to be envious.


2 cans organic coconut milk
1/2 cup organic pure cane sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons organic pure peppermint extract
1/4 cup vegan mini chocolate chips 

Over medium heat stir together the coconut milk and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat stir occasionally and simmer for 3 minutes. 

Pour the hot mixture into a medium sized glass bowl and stir in peppermint extract.

Cool mixture down in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Pour cooled mixture into your ice cream maker.  Once the ice cream starts to form, add the chocolate chips.


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