sugar free

Smoothie με φρέσκα σύκα, σπόρους chia και κεφίρ - Calcium boost fresh fig, chia and carob vegan smoothie - Vegan in Athens

Calcium-boost fresh fig and carob smoothie

As a child of the summer, September, the month that takes us from the sandy beaches, the warmth and the carelessness of the summer to the lower autumn temperatures and the daily routine, was not always easy. Fortunately, however now, inspired by the wisdom life gives to each and every one of us, I think I am able to recognize and appreciate all the beauty that exists in nature and around us and to welcome changes. Besides, every day is unique and unrepeatable and as such we owe ourselves to live it. And actually September is not at all ugly! I meet my friends again, the children in school, I enjoy our happy routine and the quiet joy of our house, I attend festivals and concerts, I make big, daily walks with Petra in the woods.


There, in the forest, we discovered a great secret fig tree – a shelter for the turtles that have escaped from the fires of the last years – loaded with figs and whenever we go there I like to pick some. The other day I created a vegan recipe for a very easy and delicious vegan fig cake. Last weekend I picked some more figs which I decided to put in the freezer and today I used them to make a cool, raw, vegan smoothie for my breakfast, full of vitamins and calcium!

In order to achieve a good dose of calcium, I used ingredients rich in it, such as Chinese cabbage, chia seeds, carob powder – which also adds an extra flavor – and of course fresh figs. In addition, instead of water, I enriched the smoothie with kefir water, ensuring a good dose of friendly bacteria.

Smoothie με φρέσκα σύκα, σπόρους chia και κεφίρ - Calcium boost fresh fig, chia and carob vegan smoothie - Vegan in Athens

With all these selected ingredients, the flavor is lovingly sweet thanks to the figs and the carob, the texture is thick enough to be eaten with a spoon, its sense is cool and I think that as long as there are still figs I will enjoy it often as a morning or afternoon snack!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of fresh figs frozen for at least 4-5 hours (5-6 large figs)
  • 1 cup. water kefir or vegan milk or homemade soy yoghurt, frozen
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Chinese cabbage or kale
  • 2 tbsp raw carob powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

optionally

1 tbsp fig or carob syrup or other liquid sweetener for garnishing

Smoothie με φρέσκα σύκα, σπόρους chia και κεφίρ - Calcium boost fresh fig, chia and carob vegan smoothie - Vegan in Athens

Method

Put all the ingredients together in the blender and blend for 1-2 minutes at medium speed until homogeneous. Serve in a glass, garnish with a drizzle of syrup and enjoy with a straw or spoon!

Note: Soy yogurt makes the smoothie thicker and more filling!

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Vegan autumn fig cake with olive oil – sugar-free

Figs are a fruit that reminds me of the sun, the deep smell of the fig tree leaves, the sea. This ancient, historical fruit loves to grow not only in the gardens, but also in the ravines, on the rocks and on the dry, Greek mountains. Fresh figs always bring me back to that fig tree that still exists in my grandmother’s house, where I used to climb to gather figs as a child. My grandmother was always telling us to half them before eating them to check for any small intruders decided to eat them before us. How difficult was it when I was a kid to pick out the little white intruders from the identical thousands of white filaments of the fruit!

Βέγκαν πίτα - κέικ με φρέσκα σύκα και ελαιόλαδο χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan fresh fig cake - pie with olive oil, sugar-free - Vegan in Athens

For the beautiful memories they bring in my mind and their wonderful flavor, every year, when figs are in season, I enjoy them not only freshly cut, usually just under the fig tree, but also in vegan recipes such as my juicy vegan tart with figs and almonds or my fig nice-cream with blackberries. Another recipe with figs that we love very much is today’s cake with figs. This cake has the texture of a very tender and aromatic cake with sweet and juicy bites of figs hidden here and there, softened and melty through baking.

Βέγκαν πίτα - κέικ με φρέσκα σύκα και ελαιόλαδο χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan fresh fig cake - pie with olive oil, sugar-free - Vegan in Athens

The figs of today’s recipe are the figs I picked yesterday from two different fig trees I found in the forest and I shared them with a turtle I met along the way. Although we were both hungry, I finally managed to save the figs I needed to make the recipe I am sharing today with you!

Turtle eating figs - Χελώνα που τρώει σύκα - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients

(for a 26-28cm diameter baking pan)

  • 1 1/4 cup plant-based milk at room temperature (I used this)
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil or oil of choice
  • 1 cup agave nectar or other liquid sweetener
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 pack (500 g) self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract

additionally

  • 20 ripe figs washed and halved
  • almond flakes for sprinkling

Βέγκαν πίτα - κέικ με φρέσκα σύκα και ελαιόλαδο χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan fresh fig cake - pie with olive oil, sugar-free - Vegan in Athens

Method

1. In a bowl, mix the vegan milk with the agave with the mixer. Add the lemon juice, olive oil and vanilla and finally the flour while stirring well.
2. Brush with oil a round baking pan or cake mold and sprinkle with flour. You can also lay with non-stick baking paper. Apply half of the cake mix to the mold and arrange half of the figs with the cut side up. Cover with the rest of the dough and arrange the remaining figs on top. Sprinkle with the almond flakes.
3. Bake in a preheated oven at 175 oC for 45-50 minutes or until the cake is golden. The first 30-35 minutes be patient and do not open the oven door. To find out if it’s ready, insert a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. Otherwise, if it comes out wet, you may need few more minutes before checking again.

 

 

Βέγκαν πίτα - κέικ με φρέσκα σύκα και ελαιόλαδο χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan fresh fig cake - pie with olive oil, sugar-free - Vegan in Athens

Note: The skins of the figs become soft and melty with baking, so you do not have to remove them. Keep in mind that figs are good sources of calcium which is another reason to enjoy them fresh as well as in recipes like this one.

Βέγκαν πίτα - κέικ με φρέσκα σύκα και ελαιόλαδο χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan fresh fig cake - pie with olive oil, sugar-free - Vegan in Athens

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Vegan, sugar free orange cream pie with phyllo dough - Βέγκαν, νηστίσιμη πορτοκαλόπιτα με κρέμα πορτοκαλιού, χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan in Athens

Orange pie with phyllo pastry and orange custard – vegan and sugar free

“When life gives you a lot of oranges, accept them with gratitude and make a recipe for a vegan orange pie…” That’s what I was thinking when, a few days ago I was given a big box full of juicy, season oranges! Of course many of them have been and will be squeezed to make fresh orange juices, some will be turned into fruit salads, smoothies, orange – green rainbow salads and maybe I will make chickpeas and vegetables in sweet and sour sauce, but the oranges I have are really a lot and the high temperatures of the week will probably make them spoil. So I had to be more creative in order to make the most out of them!

Vegan, sugar free orange cream pie with phyllo dough - Βέγκαν, νηστίσιμη πορτοκαλόπιτα με κρέμα πορτοκαλιού, χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan in Athens

Talking about that with my hubby yesterday, we decided that the dessert of the week should be a really… orangy orange pie. Actually as he loves fruit-based desserts and I love oriental desserts, we came to the conclusion that it should be an orange pie with an orange custard made with a generous amount of freshly squeezed orange juice and a crispy, sweet phyllo, sweetened with agave nectar. As it is common with many oriental desserts, after baking they are poured with a sugary syrup to give them their special sweet, syrupy character (which is something I really like) but instead of this processed sugar overload, I usually prefer using agave nectar which is less processed and also it works amazingly -you cannot tell the difference. What I like in this vegan orange pie is the fragrant orange cream that is wrapped between layers of phyllo pastry and then the pie is baked until phyllo gets a golden color and crispy texture so that the sweet syrup penetrates between the layers, filling them with syrup and letting them remain in the same time crispy. One little secret to get the right crispy texture is to brush each phyllo with a generous amount of melted coconut oil or margarine. This step may add a few more calories to the recipe but the result will be unforgettable!

Vegan, sugar free orange cream pie with phyllo dough - Βέγκαν, νηστίσιμη πορτοκαλόπιτα με κρέμα πορτοκαλιού, χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of phyllo pastry (450-500 gr)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted (or melted vegan margarine)

For the orange custard

  • 1 liter of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup, heaped (200 g) fine semolina
  • 1 cup, heaped (240 ml) of agave syrup
  • zest of 2 oranges

For the syrup

1 1/4 cup agave nectar

Vegan, sugar free orange cream pie with phyllo dough - Βέγκαν, νηστίσιμη πορτοκαλόπιτα με κρέμα πορτοκαλιού, χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan in Athens

Method

1. Prepare the orange custard: Put in the pan the agave nectar, the orange juice, the semolina and the orange zest, mix well with a spatula. Simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until a smooth cream forms. Transfer the custard into a glass or metal bowl, cover the surface of the cream with film or a piece of parchment paper to prevent crust from forming and let it cool.
2. Brush a rectangular baking pan with 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil. Line half of the phyllo sheets in the bottom of the pan, brushing them one by one with coconut oil. Phyllo should cover the bottom and the walls of the pan (or you need a smaller pan!). Repeat the process two more times.
3. Pour the orange cream over the phyllo and spread it with a spatula.
4. Cover the custard with the remaining phyllo sheets, brushing them again with melted coconut oil (with the process described above). Fold the excess phyllo and seal the edges. With a sharp knife shape on the surface of the orange pie squares 6-8 cm long and sprinkle it with some water (about ¼ cup). Bake for 50 minutes at about 180 oC or until golden.
5. As soon as the orange pie comes out of the oven pour the agave nectar evenly over its surface. Allow to cool before serve. Usually in Greece they let it for a few hours in the refrigerator to cool before serving to underline the freshness of the orange juice.

 

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