avocado

Σοκολατένια, ωμοφαγική μους με αβοκάντο, γάλα καρύδας και φιστίκια Αιγίνης - Veganinathens.com

Chocolate mousse with avocado, coconut milk and pistachios

Avocados are always in our shopping list, since we use them almost every day. Both their rich flavor and their creamy texture make them extremely useful in many sweet and savory preparations. Specifically in vegan pastry, because of their high fat content, they can be used as a healthy and cruelty-free substitute for whipped cream in a wide range of recipes -from a simple, chocolaty mousse like the one we make today, up to an impressive raw vegan cake or a refreshing and fluffy ice-cream.

Usually when I find avocados at a good price, Ι buy a relatively large quantity, mostly for our salads. I keep them in the fridge and every 2-3 days I take some out and place them in the fruit bowl on our kitchen counter. The simplest way to make our avocados ripen in 2-3 days is to place them next to ripe bananas, apples, pears or other fruits that ripen after being picked from the trees. These fruits produce a natural plant hormone which makes them ripen and so does to the avocados that are placed together with them.

Chocolaty, avocando, coconut milk and pistachio mousse - Veganinathens.com

This chocolaty, raw and vegan avocado mousse is my favorite way to use overripe avocados and prepare a wonderful dessert in only 5 minutes. In order to achieve a rich and fluffy texture I also add full fat coconut milk, which, moreover, balances –together with the cacao and the vanilla- the taste of avocados that might not be welcome from everyone.

Finally, pistachios, give to our dessert an even more interesting taste and texture.

Chocolaty, avocando, coconut milk and pistachio mousse - Veganinathens.com

Ingredients
(4 servings)

  • 2 very ripe avocados, medium sized (1 ½ cup flesh)
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk homemade or store bought
  • ½ cup agave syrup or another liquid sweetener
  • 4 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp natural vanilla extract
  • ½ cup raw pistachios peeled and coarsely chopped

Method

  1. Pour all the ingredients in a blender and blend on a medium speed for a few minutes until a smooth cream is formed.
  2. With a spoon add in each bowl a thick layer of the mousse, in between 1-2 Tbsp of pistachios and then end with a nice thick layer of chocolate mousse.
  3. Garnish with pistachios, cover the bowls and place them in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.

Chocolaty, avocando, coconut milk and pistachio mousse - Vegan in Athens

Note: Experiment with additional ingredients such as orange zest and orange juice instead of vanilla extract, or replace pistachios with nuts of your choice!

 

 

 

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Τhree recipes with zucchini: pancakes, avocado- tzatziki and a refreshing Greek salad΄- Τηγανίτες με κολοκυθάκια, τζατζίκι με αβοκάντο και κολοκύθι και χωριάτικη σαλάτα με κολοκυθάκια - Veganinathens.com

One dish – three recipes with zucchini: pancakes, avocado- tzatziki and a refreshing Greek salad!

During spring and summer, there are plenty of tender, fresh, green zucchini in the markets and not surprisingly they are in the list of the most popular Mediterranean summer vegetables. Particularly in Greece they are used in lots of recipes. Some of the most common are “briam” -a dish similar to ratatouille- stuffed zucchini with rice and herbs, fried or grilled zucchini slices or simply steamed zucchini drizzled with lemon and olive oil.

Last weekend I bought some fresh zucchini and I wanted to use them a little more creatively than I usually do.

Since I am a huge fun of pancakes, the first thing that came to my mind was to make pancakes with grated zucchini. As I wanted a rich and earthy, nutty  flavor I used a blend of chickpea flour and whole meal, while for extra flavor I added plenty of fresh spearmint and spices.

Τhree recipes with zucchini: pancakes, avocado- tzatziki and a refreshing Greek salad΄- Τηγανίτες με κολοκυθάκια, τζατζίκι με αβοκάντο και κολοκύθι και χωριάτικη σαλάτα με κολοκυθάκια - Veganinathens.com

Since pancakes call for a creamy accompanying, I made a refreshing avocado-based  tzatziki (avocado replaces  yoghurt) and grated zucchini instead of grated cucumber, using  a recipe I actually got from Lena -a good friend of mine.

The third part of the plate was the traditional Greek salad, in which cucumbers were also replaced by zucchini and for some extra flavor, I added a little fresh, chopped spearmint, cut directly from my pots.

To complete our lunch and let the taste lead us in the sea of memories and in the heart of the summer, we accompanied this meal with fresh fried potatoes and two glasses of cool white wine.

Τhree recipes with zucchini: pancakes, avocado- tzatziki and a refreshing Greek salad΄- Τηγανίτες με κολοκυθάκια, τζατζίκι με αβοκάντο και κολοκύθι και χωριάτικη σαλάτα με κολοκυθάκια - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients

For the pancakes with zucchini

  • 400 gr zucchini coarsely grated
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 150 gr (1 ½ cups) chickpea flour
  • 100 gr (3/4 cup) semolina (I used whole-wheat)
  • 1 handful of tender, fresh spearmint leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp ground paprika
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika, ground
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Avocado tzatziki - Τζατζίκι από αβοκάντο και κολοκύθι - Veganinathens.com

For the avocado-zucchini tzatziki

  • 200 gr zucchini (3 medium) coarsely grated (we can use cucumber instead)
  • 200 gr flesh from about 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 garlic clove crashed and minced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Greek salad - Χωριάτικη σαλάτα με κολοκυθάκια - Vegan in Athens

For the Greek salad

  • 2 medium, ripe tomatoes cut into cubes
  • 2 tender zucchini cut into thin slices
  • 1 fresh spring onion or ½ onion cut into thin slices
  • 1 small green or red bell-pepper, sliced
  • small handful of tender, fresh spearmint leaves , finely chopped
  • 10 olives
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Salt

Τhree recipes with zucchini: pancakes, avocado- tzatziki and a refreshing Greek salad΄- Τηγανίτες με κολοκυθάκια, τζατζίκι με αβοκάντο και κολοκύθι και χωριάτικη σαλάτα με κολοκυθάκια - Veganinathens.com

Method

  1. For the pancakes: mix all the ingredients except from the spearmint with a fork in a bowl. Place the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
  2. After 3 hours, add the chopped spearmint and stir.
  3. Grease lightly a nonstick frying pan and place over medium heat.
  4. With a spoon, pour spoons of the mixture in the pan so as to form 4-5 round or oval pancakes. Once baked and get golden brown on the one side, turn them upside down with the help of a wooden spatula and let them cook on the other.
  5. Repeat this process until all the mixture is used. With this recipe you will make about 20-25 pancakes (depending on their size).
  6. Make the tzatziki: put the grated zucchini (or cucumbers) in a fine sieve, add salt and leave them for 1 hour to drain. Then press or squeeze them with your hands and transfer in a bowl.
  7. Mash the avocado or blend in a blender along with the garlic, the lemon-juice and the vinegar.
  8. Transfer the mixture into the bowl with the grated zucchini, stir with a spoon and taste, adding salt or vinegar (or even garlic if you like a stronger taste) as necessary.
  9. Put in an airtight glass container and place immediately in the fridge.
  10. Make the salad just before serving: Put all ingredients in a salad bowl, add salt, oregano, olive oil and vinegar, stir and serve.

Τhree recipes with zucchini: pancakes, avocado- tzatziki and a refreshing Greek salad΄- Τηγανίτες με κολοκυθάκια, τζατζίκι με αβοκάντο και κολοκύθι και χωριάτικη σαλάτα με κολοκυθάκια - Vegan in Athens

Note: chickpea flour is a pulse flour made ​​from ground chickpeas and is used in many Asian countries, such as India and Pakistan. Its advantage compared to common wheat flours, is that it doesn’t contain gluten and it is also higher in protein, certain vitamins, iron and trace minerals. It is easily found in organic shops or Asian stores. I buy it in bulk from an Asian store in the central market of Athens where it costs around 2 euros per kilo. It may be an “extra” material in the recipe, but it is really worthy, since not only it replaces the eggs and helps to keep our materials together, but it also gives an extra nice texture and flavor to the recipe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ωμοφαγικά cupcakes σοκολάτας, γεμιστά με καραμέλα και αρωματισμένα με φυσική βανίλια - Vegan in Athens

Raw vegan chocolate and caramel cupcakes

Some desserts are somehow connected to a specific season of the year. Cupcakes are definitely such a case. Whenever I see them posing on display windows or pictures, I bring to my mind a winter ritual that includes a hot cup of tea and beside it one or (usually) more cupcakes with various flavors, colors and sizes. You may have guessed that, as almost everyone else, I love cupcakes!

So when I received my silicone muffins pan from Silikomart, the first thing that came to my mind was to make a batch of scrumptious sweets, based on raw ingredients such as fruits and nuts. Although I do not follow a raw vegan diet, I admit that raw vegan desserts are my weakness.

Raw vegan chocolate cupcakes stuffed with caramel cream - Ωμοφαγικά cupcakes σοκολάτας, γεμιστά με καραμέλα και αρωματισμένα με φυσική βανίλια - Vegan in Athens
Today I wanted my raw vegan cupcakes to be a little different, so I imagined that I could enrich them with a tasty, caramel-like stuffing and a chocolate-cream frosting. Luckily all these delicacies are possible using unprocessed, raw ingredients and so my chocolaty, caramel-stuffed, raw vegan cupcakes turned out delicious. The caramel filling is rich and creamy and it is combined perfectly with the chewy, nutty “crust” and the chocolate frosting cream that melts in the mouth. Enjoy these cupcakes and fuel your body with energy and healthy fats.

Raw vegan chocolate cupcakes stuffed with caramel cream - Ωμοφαγικά cupcakes σοκολάτας, γεμιστά με καραμέλα και αρωματισμένα με φυσική βανίλια - Vegan in Athens
Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • ½ cup flaxseeds, ground
  • ¾ cup ground, dried coconut
  • 1 heaped cup raisins
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup squeezed orange juice or water

For the caramel

  • 10 large Medjool dates, pitted
  • ¼ cup raw agave nectar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons water

For the chocolate cream

  • 200 g or 1 cup flesh of ripe avocados
  • 75-80 g. or ½ cup coconut sugar or raw cane sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup water

Raw vegan chocolate cupcakes stuffed with caramel cream - Ωμοφαγικά cupcakes σοκολάτας, γεμιστά με καραμέλα και αρωματισμένα με φυσική βανίλια - Vegan in Athens

Method

For the cupcakes

Process for a few minutes in the food-processor the flaxseeds, coconut and the raisins, adding gradually the orange juice or water until a thick paste forms.
Divide the paste into eleven equal pieces (my muffin pan contains eleven small cups but feel free to adjust according to what you have at home) and press each one with your hands to form a disc. Take one disc and press in the bottom and the walls of a muffin cup to fully cover. Repeat the process with the remaining discs.

Ωμοφαγικά cupcakes σοκολάτας, γεμιστά με καραμέλα και αρωματισμένα με φυσική βανίλια - Vegan in Athens

For the caramel cream

Wash the dates, remove their pits and blend them along with the other caramel-cream ingredients for a few minutes until a smooth paste forms. You may need to turn the blender off two or three times and scrape the materials off the jar wall and into the mixing blades with a silicone spatula. Using a piping bag or a spoon, fill the cupcakes with the caramel cream.

Ωμοφαγικά cupcakes σοκολάτας, γεμιστά με καραμέλα και αρωματισμένα με φυσική βανίλια - Vegan in Athens

For the chocolate cream

Blend all the ingredients together until a smooth cream forms. Cover each cupcake with the chocolate cream using a spoon or a piping bag.

If desired, sprinkle with grated coconut or other nuts and refrigerate for at least 4-5 hours before serving.

Raw vegan chocolate cupcakes stuffed with caramel cream - Ωμοφαγικά cupcakes σοκολάτας, γεμιστά με καραμέλα και αρωματισμένα με φυσική βανίλια - Vegan in Athens

Note: The muffin pan I used contains eleven cups about ¾ the size of a regular cupcake cup, so if you use regular (namely bigger) muffin cups you are going to have seven or eight bigger cupcakes.

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