Vegan Rice Crispie Treats

These are my healthy vegan rice crispy treats, I know these evoke many childhood memories for me, but I’ve kicked the flavours and textures up a notch to make them a little more “grown up”. These treats consist of puffed rice cereal, almonds and toasted coconut flakes, enveloped in a sticky maple, cinnamon and almond butter sauce 🙌🏻

I usually bake with coconut oil which has a neutral taste, but I love the subtle taste of coconut that comes through in these treats, and have found that the coconut oil with a natural taste really helps bring that through. My other preference here is to use white almond nut butter, or macadamia butter, they are both light in colour, and they don’t have an overpowering flavour , so they create both the prettiest and most delicious end result.

So how exactly are we making these stick together if were not using the traditional method? Well, that is my favourite part! By combining the nut butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup in a pot and bringing it to a quick boil, we will be creating a delicious sticky caramel that binds them togethar. Make sure to very tightly pack the mixture once you transfer it to the pan, the tighter the better!

I hope you love these as much as I do! On a side note, They will keep in the fridge for up to a week, but are best eaten on days 1-3 , as they do start to soften slightly after that.

Rice Crispie Treats

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups puffed rice/rice cereal
  • 1/3 cup whole almonds
  • ½ cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp nut butter (I love using almond or macadamia)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Method:

  1. Line a 20×20 baking pan with parchment paper or cling wrap and set aside for later.
  2. Roughly chop almonds and toasted coconut flakes. Add to large mixing bowl with puffed rice and cinnamon, give it a quick stir and set aside.
  3. Combine the maple syrup, coconut oil and nut butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until smooth. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for just a minute. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla essence and a pinch of salt. 
  4. Pour over dry ingredients and stir in, folding mixture until everything is evenly coated.
  5. Pour into prepared baking pan and use a rubber spatula to smooth and very tightly pat down the mixture.
  6. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours before removing to slice into squares treats.
  7. Keep stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

Vegan Double Fudge Slice

Treats with three layers usually look delicious, but they also look a bit daunting and time consuming.. These on the other hand, were such a joy and breeze to make, I immediately got excited about sharing them with you guys!

The base was inspired by a brownie, so it’s super chocolatey with a good amount of crunch (I’ve always loved my brownies with some nuts in them for texture) Its also naturally sweetened, completely raw, and the ingredients list is loaded with powerful antioxidants like cacao, cacao nibs, almonds and pecans.

This isn’t traditional fudge, but rather a smooth silky one, It reminds me of a fudge/ganache hybrid and it’s a fusion that I love!Its also refined sugar free, and I don’t make use of any butter or margarine, a lot healthier than they look right?! They taste amazing though and nobody would ever know that a few healthy swaps were made!

These slices are very rich and “buttery” so keep that in mind when you are slicing them up. Although they are decadent and filling, they are not at all sickly sweet, and usually leaves me wanting more 😜 which is always a winner in my books.

Double Fudge Slice

Brownie base:

  • 1 cup dates (if using dry, soak in hot water for 10 minutes then drain)
  • 1/2 cup pecans/walnuts
  • 1/2 cup whole raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp cacao nibs
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • Pinch of sea salt

Fudge layers:

  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 80 g chocolate ( I use the honest chocolate with zero added sugar)
  • 2 tbsp milk of choice

For the base:

  1. Line baking pan with cling wrap, allowing the sides to overhang for easy removal later (20X20 square dish works great for this recipe)
  2. In a food processor, pulse nuts and set aside in a bowl. Next add all the remaining ingredients and blend until you have a raw dough (add more dates if not sticking together yet) Add chopped nuts back into the mixture and process everything until combined.
  3. Using your hands or a spatula, tightly press brownie mix into prepared pan. Move to freezer and gets started on the fudge.

For the fudge layers:

  1. Add peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla and salt to a pot. Whisk over medium heat until combined.
  2. Add the coconut flour and whisk for about 2 minutes until smooth.
  3. Pour half the mixture over brownie base and allow to chill in freezer while finishing the chocolate layer.
  4. For the chocolate layer, melt the chocolate and milk in 20 sec increments until smooth. Add this to the remaining fudge mixture along with the cacao and whisk until no lumps remain ( return to heat if your havign trouble combining the two)
  5. Pour over the peanut butter fudge layer and smooth top with a spatula. If your feeling fancy, dollop extra spoon fulls of peanut butter onto chocolate and swirl with a butter knife to create a marble effect.
  6. Chill in freezer for 1 hour until firm. Using a warm, sharp knife, Slice into squares or rectangles.
  7. Keep Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, and remove just before serving.
  8. Note- They will keep up to a week in the fridge, plus they freeze great and can also be eaten frozen ( just give a few minutes to thaw slightly )

Vegan Choc Bitz

Do you guys remember choc bitz? You use to get them from woolies and they had a cartoon cow on the box?! It use to be my absolute favourite Cereal, but let’s get real, it’s not the healthiest way to start your day!

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to come to my senses, but I’ve realised I need to recreate a more grown up, vegan version. So I’ve been working on one that’s refined sugar free, a little more gourmet and a whole lot healthier for you! It’s literally the easiest recipe too, all you need is a scale and a very large bowl, which you will then be weighing all your ingredients into, stirring and then spreading the mixture out onto a baking tray before popping into the oven.

For those of you that don’t know what choc bitz are, it’s a muesli studded with white and milk chocolate chips, and who doesn’t love sneaking a bit of chocolate into their mornings? One of the ways I’ve made my version healthier is by using half chocolate chips/half cacao nibs, as well as using apple purée so there is less need for a large quantity of oil or extra sugar. I’m a big believer in starting your day right, and for me that means a meal that nourishes.. So you’ll see I’ve added a few different types of nuts and seeds to the mix, they are loaded with protein, high amounts of beneficial fats and antioxidants, plus of course their taste and texture takes this muesli to the next level!

My husband is such a big fan of these choc Bitz, he asked if we could have it for dinner, and who am I to disagree! They are great as a quick snack on their own, served with almond milk, or make a great topping for your smoothie and oat bowl! The recipe makes a small batch that should last you about a week, so feel free to double the recipe if your a bigger family (just remember to spread the mixture out over two large baking trays in that case)

Vegan Choc Bitz

Ingredients:

  • 280 g oats
  • 80 g sesame seeds
  • 80 g sunflower seeds
  • 100 g roughely chopped macadamia nuts
  • 50 g roughely chopped whole almonds
  • 100 g apple purée (I just use baby food)
  • 50 g coconut or brown sugar
  • 70 g sunny hunny/rice malt or golden syrup
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup cacao nibs (or just add more chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup chopped coconut flakes

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 170 c.
  2. Using a spatula, mix everything except the chocolate chips, cacao nibs and coconut flakes together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Spread the mixture out onto a large baking tray.
  4. Bake for 27-35 minutes. We want it to get evenly toasted, so check in on it every 10 minutes, and stir to redistribute evenly.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely (it will crisp up as it’s cooling) before adding the cacao nibs, chocolate chips and coconut flakes.
  6. Store in an airtight container or jar and enjoy for breakfast or as a healthy snack!

Kumquat Cake

If you love marmalade, this cake is your jam! I know kumquats aren’t the most readily available fruit, but this cake just screams spring time, and everyone I’ve shared it with has loved it so much, I simply had to pos the recipe on the blog.

Kumquats are cool, because it’s actually the peel that gives the fruit its sweetness, not the fruit itself, so it’s bit of a surprise when you bite into it! It’s pretty much a party in your mouth, and such a special cake to make, plus it’s incredibly easy! So if you spot some of these little gems in the shops, now you know what to do with them!

So more about the cake itself; You’ll be making a really quick caramel and then pouring it over the kumquats (which have been deseeded and halved) When it go’s into the oven to bake, this creates a topping which is deliciously caramelized and crispy around the edges, it also gives a lovely contrast with the natural sweet/sour from the fruit itself . I’ve also blitzed some kumquats into the base, for added moisture and fruity Flavour, and then used a whole lot of olive oil, so it’s really decadent.

Just Don’t be greedy like me and start cutting the cake while it’s still hot, as you can see it’s collapsed slightly in the photo below 😅 but it holds it’s shape perfectly well once it’s cooled. I serve mine with vanilla whipped coconut cream, but it will be just as delicious with normal cream/yogurt.

Vegan Kumquat Cake

Caramel layer:

  • 60 g margerine
  • 100 g sugar
  • 15-20 kumquats, sliced in half

Cake:

  • 1 tbsp flaxseed with 3 tbsp water
  • 300 g kumquats
  • 200 g castor sugar
  • 250 ml olive oil
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 250 g self raising flour

Caramel layer:

1. Melt the butter in a pan and add the sugar. Cook until the mixture gets bubble and the sugar has dissolved, it should be a light Amber colour.

2. Pour mixture evenly on the bottom of the cake pan and top with sliced kumquats ( sliced side facing down) I found it works best when you start at the edge and work your way inwards. Pack them nice and tight as they shrink when baked in the oven. Set aside

Cake:

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC And grease a cake tin Linerally so the caramel won’t stick to the bottom.

2. Mix flaxseed with water and leave to thicken.

3. Cut the kumquats in half and remove any seeds. Blitz in a food processor, skin and all, until you have a puree. Set aside.

4. In a large bowl, beat the sugar with the the olive oil and kumquat puree until combined. Add in the flax mixture and mix well. Lastly Add the bicarb and vinegar and very briefly whisk in (this is what helps the cake rise when baking, so we don’t want to overdo the mixing here)

5. Sieve over the flour and gently fold through until you have a smooth batter. Pour into the prepared tin and bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer is clean when tested.

6. Allow to cool 10 minutes before removing from tin and Inverting onto a plate. If the cake is slightly stuck, use a knife to help the bottom release.

Vegan Sticky Toffee Pudding

This recipe was inspired by my Ouma Jo’s famous sticky toffee pudding. Whenever there was a family occasion, you could count on it that we would get to indulge in this delicious treat! In afrikaans culture, the sweetness levels can be really intense, so I’ve taken that down a notch, but it’s still deliciously sweet and so comforting!

I really, really love how sticky this pudding is, trust me when I say you don’t need to worry about it being dry. The sponge is extra moist because of the addition of coconut milk, which I’ve found makes bakes extra fudgey, and then to top it off the toffee sauce seeps through really easily, so you get a little bit in every bite. It’s been a regular in our household this winter, because it’s just a delicious, hearty and unpretentious dessert loved by young and old alike and I’m quite confidant it will become one of your favourites too!

If your making this ahead of time, simply reheat the pudding for 20 minutes in the oven at 180c, it makes it extra sticky, so I always do it this way! It also freezes well, so its the perfect make ahead dessert for a special occasion ( find freezing instructions in notes section )

Vegan Sticky Toffee Pudding

Date cake ingredients:

  • 200 g dates (preferably fresh and pitted)
  • 100 ml boiling water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 115 g margarine
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 200 g flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg

Toffee sauce:

  • 120 g margarine
  • 150 g brown sugar
  • 200 ml soy/milk of choice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Date cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 180c and grease a deep baking dish, set aside.
  2. Add roughly chopped dates to asaucepan with water and coconut milk. Allow to simmer until dates are soft and broken apart ( about 20 mins ) stir occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, then add the bicarb ( the mixture will start to foam) Stir well and allow to cool down.
  4. Sieve together the flour,baking powder,salt and spices, then whisk to make sure everything is evenly distributed.
  5. In a mixing bowl, beat together the margarine and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the dates and mix until combined.
  6. Gently fold in the dry ingredients until you have a smooth thick batter.
  7. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake for 45-50 minutes ( the cake should slightly bounce back when pressed on the surface )
  8. Remove from oven and get working on the toffee sauce.

Toffee sauce:

  1. Melt margarine and add sugar. Stir over medium heat until mixture starts to bubble ( 4 mins )
  2. Add milk of choice, and stir for a few minutes, until sugar has dissolved.
  3. Allow to simmer away for 5 more minutes and until slightly thickened, then remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and a pinch of salt.
  4. Let cool for a few minutes before using ( the colder it gets the thicker it will be, we want it to be like a syrup when pouring over the sponge)

Assemble:

  1. Use a sosatie stick to poke holes all over the cake.
  2. Spoon warm toffee sauce over cake. Do this in batches by spreading it evenly over the entire surface area and allowing the sauce to soak in before adding more.
  3. Reserve about 1/4 of the sauce for serving.

*Notes: If you will be freezing it for later use, allow to cool down and then wrap well in tinfoil. On the day you will be serving it, allow to thaw completely and reheat for 20 minutes at 180c .

Vegan Burned Butter Choc Nut Cookies

The best thing about vegan baking?! There’s no raw eggs, so you can eat allll the cookie dough without a care in the world 🙌🏻😜🍪

I took a bit of a gamble when I decided to create vegan brown butter cookies, but it actually worked! By toasting the pecans in a pan with some Margarine, It soaks all those delicious nutty notes right up, as well as crisping the nuts beautifully.

Fold in some chocolate chips for good measure and you have the perfect cookie! These cookies are the crispy crunchy kind, with a slightly chewy center (my favourite) and there’s no stopping after having just one!

Burned Butter Choc Nut Cookie ( Makes 15)

Ingredients:

  • 180g flora margarine (butter if not vegan)
  • 100 g pecans
  • 80g brown sugar
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 220g flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 100 g chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 176c and line two baking trays with parchment paper, spray with nonstick.
  2. Roughly chop pecans in batches (this way you won’t have any super fine crumbs, we want them slightly chunky)
  3. Place butter in a saucepan and melt over medium heat, add the pecans.
  4. The mixture will foam as it cooks, keep an eye on it and stir occasionally so it doesn’t burn and the nuts don’t stick to the bottom.
  5. The nuts will have browned and the butter will start smelling fragrant and nutty (this usually takes around 8 minutes) you’ll see some brown bits forming at the bottom, give it about 4 more minutes and remove from the heat.
  6. Place a large enough bowl under a sieve and Strain (so the nuts and butter are separate) Allow both to cool down for a minute.
  7. In a mixing bowl, Beat butter with sugars until combined, add the vanilla and milk and mix for about 3 more minutes.
  8. Sieve In the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt , beat on low speed until everything is just incorporated. Now Use a spatula or your hands to fold in the reserved nuts, chocolate and any bits of leftover flour.
  9. Scoop 15 spoonfuls of dough out and form Into balls, then flatten between hands and neaten up before placing on baking tray. Leave a few centimetres between each one as they will spread slightly.
  10. Sprinkle the tops of the dough with flaky sea salt and Bake for 10-15 minutes or until brown around the edges (do a check in at the 10 minute mark)
  11. When they come out the oven smoosh them down with a spatula to flatten them further and create that crinkled look. Allow to cool completely before Any further handling and keep stored in an airtight container.

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Vegan Peanut Butter Dates

This is a really quick and easy recipe, and it basically tastes like a Reeses peanut butter cup, but without all that added sugar, and the addition of a delicious toffee like date. This is s great healthy treat that’s perfect to keep in the fridge for when those sweet cravings come knocking!

Vegan Peanut Butter Dates (Makes 10)

Filling:

  • 10 dates
  • 70 g peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (honey if not vegan)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2-3 tbsp coconut flour
  • Finely Chopped nuts of choice

Chocolate coating:

  • 80 ml coconut oil, melted
  • 80 ml cacao powder
  • 40 ml maple syrup 
  • Sprinkle salt

Filling:

1. In a small bowl, combine peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla and coconut flour (start with less and add more if needed) mix until you have a thick play dough like paste.

2. Roll into sausages roughly shaped to fit into the dates.

3. Cut long slits into the side of the dates and remove pips.

4. Sprinkle some chopped nuts into the dates and top with peanut butter mixture. Mould the date so it’s mostly enclosing the filling and Place in freezer for 15 minutes while making the coating.

Chocolate coating:

1. Combine the cacao powder, melted coconut oil and maple syrup in a bowl and stir until combined. If it’s very hot Allow to cool down for 5 mins.

2. Skewer the top side of the date with a toothpick/sosatie stick and dip into chocolate. Once dipped, Twirl around to allow excess chocolate to drip off.

3. Remove stick and place on parchment lined plate ( double dip for thicker coating although I find one plenty) sprinkle each one with extra nuts as you go.

4. Place the finished dates in the refrigerator to firm. 5. Serve cold, or bring to room temperature before serving for a softer,chewier bite.