Chocolate peanut butter energy bites

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Oh please don’t be surprised! I did mention in yesterday’s post that I made the energy bites a couple of times. This was a variation of the recipe I tried. But don’t worry, this is the only variation for now. 

For this recipe, I kept the quantity of the base items – oats, peanut butter and honey -the same as yesterday. The rest is just whatever I had in my pantry that day!

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I had some dates that needed to be used up, so those were chopped and soaked in hot water for sometime. After draining and squeezing out the water, it came to about 1/4 cup. To avoid the water content, I would just chop them up or pulse them in a blender and add the next time. These didn’t last for a long time, so I needn’t have worried about the moisture from the dates. 

To make it a chocolate version, I added a little unsweetened cocoa to the mix. The raw taste of cocoa felt a little strange initially. I did get used to it, but maybe I will add Nutella or hot chocolate for the chocolate flavor the next time. 

Read on for the recipe. 
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter*
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dates, soaked in hot water (about 8 dates)
  • 2 Tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2-3 tablespoons desiccated coconut, optional 

*You can start with 1/2 cup and then add a couple more tablespoons extra if needed.

Method:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a bowl. Mix with a silicon spatula until everything is combined well.
  2. Using your hands take a small portion of the mix and roll into a ball. If the dough is sticky, refrigerate for a few minutes. Once you are done with all the dough, roll them over a thin layer of desiccated coconut to coat it. Refrigerate the balls to set firm. 
  3. I got about 20 balls with this set of ingredients.

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Oats Peanut butter energy balls

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Recipes don’t have to be elaborate. They can be as simple as mixing ingredients in a bowl and shaping them. That’s what this recipe is about. And it gets better, not only is this a less than five minute recipe, you can adjust the ingredients based on what you have in your pantry. I have already made this couple of times and I am falling in love more with each time.

The recipe is a pretty basic one with oats and peanut butter. Everything else is an addition. The original recipe mentioned about 1 cup oats and 2/3 cup peanut butter along with 1/2 cup flax seed powder. I didn’t have flax seeds, so I replaced that with 1/4 cup each of wheat bran and chia seeds. Desiccated coconut, wheat germ, nuts, chopped dates, protein powder would all be good substitutes here. Or you can just have peanut butter and oats with maybe some raisins. You have to cut down the peanut butter a little or add a little more oats to stop the dough being sticky or too dry. I don’t remember the original source from where I tried this recipe,  but this one from allrecipes is very close.

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Once you add everything to the bowl, its a good idea to mix with a spoon or a silicon spatula. Because of the peanut butter, the mixture might be somewhat sticky. If you are not able to roll into balls, refrigerate it for a few minutes for the mix to rest. That should help with rolling. I didn’t have to do that, though. Else add a little more oatmeal or wheat bran to even out the stickiness from peanut butter. Or you can start with 1/2 cup peanut butter and then add a couple more tablespoons if needed.

I left the energy bites in the fridge itself to set. But most of it got devoured before it made it to the safety corner in the refrigerator.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter*
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 Tablespoons honey

*You can start with 1/2 cup and then add a couple more tablespoons extra if needed.

Method:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a bowl. Mix with a silicon spatula until everything is combined well.
  2. Using your hands take a small portion of the mix and roll into a ball. If the dough is sticky, refrigerate for a few minutes. Once you are done with all the dough, refrigerate for the balls to set firm. Eat as you wish!
  3. This recipe made about 20 one inch energy balls for me. That number would depend on the size of the bites.

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Mango Crumb cake

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BM # 77: Week 1, Day 3
Theme : Vegan Sweets
Recipe:  Mango crumb cake

I am mostly a recipe follower. I hardly venture into recipe creation or even something as simple as substitution. But this week, for a change, I decided to play with a basic cake recipe. Priya Srinivasan’s whole wheat buttermilk cake. , which I made Vegan by substituting the buttermilk with pureed orange yesterday, went through another change today. The buttermilk was replaced with mango puree for a different flavor. I also swapped the whole wheat for plain flour and added a thin layer of strawberry jam in between the cake layers. I decided to go with a crumb topping and substituted butter with oil to make it vegan.

If I have to do it again, I would skip the strawberry layer and the crumb topping. I felt the cake by itself tasted good and these two weren’t adding much to the cake. The jam leaked to the sides and got burnt a little which added a nice biscuit like texture to the cake. The burnt part didn’t ruin the cake in anyway, but it taught me that the jam layer should never reach the edges of the pan.

So read on for the simple recipe and step wise pictures.

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk pureed mango
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Optional items:

  • 1/4 cup strawberry jam
  • 4 tablespoons flour for the crumb topping
  • 3 tablespoons sugar for the topping
  • oil as needed for the topping, about 1.5 to 2 tablespoons

Method:

The recipe makes an eight inch cake. I have made one six inch cake plus two cupcakes with the remaining batter.

Whisk 1.5 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, a pinch of salt, 1 cup sugar in a mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of pureed mango ( I used one big mango for this) and half cup of oil.

Using a spatula, fold the ingredients to get a smooth batter.

Fill half the batter onto a greased and lined 8″ cake pan. I added 1/4 cup strawberry jam, which I wouldn’t do it the next time. Add the rest of the batter on top of the jam. Try not to get the jam to the edges as it burns because of the high temperature inside the oven.

For the crumb topping, mix 1/4 cup flour and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Add oil, one teaspoon at a time and mix until you get the topping to your preference. I would have used about 1.5 tablespoons of oil. Put the topping on top of the cake batter and bake in a preheated oven at 350 F/ 180C for about 55 minutes or until a skewer comes out free of crumbs when inserted in the middle of the cake. Let the cake cool inside the pan, run a butter knife through the sides of the cake and carefully take it out of the pan. Slice and serve!

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Whole wheat egg less Orange Cake

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BM # 77: Week 1, Day 2
Theme : Vegan Sweets
Recipe:  Whole wheat egg less Orange cake

Ever since I read the recipe for the Spanish Orange cake at Vaishali’s space, I have been planning to bake one. Her recipe calls for cooking a whole orange and then pureeing it before adding it to the cake. I saw another recipe from Mary Berry in the same lines, her Orange Spiced cake also called for cooked and pureed oranges. The cooking and pureeing part was what I wanted to try. But unfortunately both the recipes call for dairy products.

So I decided to try a recipe I had already tried with good results, Priya Srinivasan’s whole wheat cake. The recipe calls for buttermilk which I substituted with cooked orange puree. The substitution makes the recipe vegan.

The cake was full of orange flavor. Its been ages since I served a cake on its own without frosting, so I was feeling a little lost with just a basic cake. I usually soak the cake layers with a simple sugar syrup before serving or frosting the cake. Since the cake is vegan and I don’t have any vegan butter now, I decided to go for a simple mix of icing sugar and water.

Read on for step wise pictures and the recipe.

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup sugar (1 cup if the orange is not sweet)
  • 1 cup buttermilk pureed orange
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil*
  • 1-2 tablespoons water, if needed

* Increase this to 1/2 cup to avoid adding the water the next time.

Method:

The recipe makes an 8″ cake.

Cook one big orange until its completely soft. I used the Instant Pot here and cooked in manual mode for 20 minutes. I used only one orange for the cake though I cooked two oranges.

Let it cool. Cut through the orange, take out the pips and chop it roughly, skin and all.

In a food processor, pulse it couple of times (including the skin) so that its roughly pureed. It measured out to exactly one cup when I measured it.

Sift 1.5 cups of wheat flour a couple of times. Whisk it with 3/4 cup sugar (1 cup if the orange is not sweet), 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in a bowl. Once its all combined well, add the orange puree and 1/3 cup oil.

The batter was a little thick, so I ended up adding 1-2 tablespoon of water to loosen it a bit. I would increase the oil to 1/2 cup the next time I am doing it. Pour the batter into a greased and lined 8″ pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C/ 350 F for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes free of crumbs when inserted in the middle of the cake. Let the cake cool completely in the pan. I have mixed 1/4 cup icing sugar with a little water (less than a teaspoon) until it reaches a thick consistency and piped it over the cake.

Here I have baked a 6″ cake and two cupcakes with the leftover batter.

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Mango Popsicle

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BM # 77: Week 1, Day 1
Theme : Vegan Sweets
Recipe:  Mango popsicle

My well filled draft folder contains a tons of bakes, but unfortunately not even a single vegan bake that I could use for this week’s Blogging Marathon theme. So, just like last month, I had to do some last minute cooking.

The recipe here actually has no cooking involved, but its an extremely delicious one and satisfies your sweet buds. Mangoes and summer has a beautiful relation, one that my family really enjoys. Unfortunately, except for a few days here and there, the weather here is still on the chilly side. But with the knowledge that good weather is just around the corner definitely makes everything  better.

Along with the mangoes, I used homemade strawberry jam for the popsicle. I do’t know whether that was a good move. The strawberry jam consists only the fruit and sugar, so that’s vegan too. But the jam took a lot more time to freeze than the mangoes and started melting a lot before too. We were able to enjoy the popsicle without a melt down, but the next time I am using jam, I would blend it along with the fruit than use it as a stand alone layer.

So enjoy this wonderful vegan summer treat. Check out the simple, but delicious recipe below.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 big mango
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • strawberry jam, optional
  • water

Method:

  1. Blend mango with sugar to get a smooth puree. Add water if needed to get a smooth consistency.
  2. Fill a use and throw plastic/paper cup or a popsicle mold with the puree, adding strawberry jam in between to provide an additional flavor and color.
  3. Freeze overnight. Done!

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