Strawberry Cake – Dairy Free

Simple strawberry cake made from a boxed muffin mix? Yup. Comes together in 15 minutes with the help of some homemade strawberry milk for a luxe spring cake.

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finished strawberry cake
Look at this gorgeous cake.

Cake Hack

Sure, technically I suppose you could use a white cake mix and simply ~add strawberries~. But that wouldn’t be as good as this cake. I’ll tell you why.

Packed full of one cup of fresh chopped strawberries, this cake can get heavy. All those heavy strawberries in a light, white cake? Not a good balance.

blueberry muffin mix
The base for this Strawberry Cake

This muffin mix provides a much sturdier, much heartier base to support the plethora of fresh strawberries. The strawberries stay put in the batter (not sinking to the bottom, as they’d do in a thinner, lighter batter of a regular cake) and provide fresh jammy strawberry goodness in each bite.

I recommend serving this as is, no frosting, with a side of whipped cream or your favorite vanilla ice cream. Some fresh chopped mint would complement the strawberries well.

a slice of strawberry cake
Strawberry Cake perfection

Special Equipment (Kinda)

To make this strawberry cake, you’ll need a few special pieces of equipment.

  1. Cheesecloth
  2. Blender (or food processor)
  3. Liquid measuring cup
  4. 10″x7″ baking dish – I used this one.

These are all pretty common items. Pick up some cheesecloth at your grocery store if you don’t have any on hand. It’s relatively inexpensive and a versatile tool to have in your kitchen arsenal.

You’ll use the blender, cheesecloth and liquid measuring cup to create the strawberry milk. If you have a fat separator measuring cup (see below), use it! Rest the cheesecloth on the top strainer.

Again, if you don’t have these items, or if you just don’t feel like going through the effort of making the strawberry milk, you don’t have to. HOWEVER, I can’t guarantee the cake will be as tasty. Some things are worth the extra time, and this strawberry milk is one of them.

a fat separator
Fat Separator — Nifty, but not essential

A Note on the Strawberries

I recommend slicing your strawberries for the 1 cup measurement ahead of time. Since strawberries can vary widely in size, it will be easier to measure this first. For the 3-4 strawberries in the strawberry milk, gather your most average-sized, consistent strawberries from the lot and use for this purpose.

Taste your strawberries before using them in the cake. For best results, use the darkest, ripest and sweetest strawberries. If yours are a bit tart, that’s okay too! The sugar in the muffin mix will help compensate for that. Serve the cake with a sweet whipped cream and no one will ever know the difference. *wink*

For reference, these are the giant strawberries we have here at the fruit stands on the Central Coast. They are consistently the size of my palm and typically weigh 3 ounces each.

a giant strawberry
Behold — the king of all strawberries. Courtesy of Okui’s Farm Stand.

Strawberry Milk

Really, this cake gives you two hacks in one. The first, using the muffin mix. And the second — making your own strawberry milk.

See the instructions on the box call for 2/3 cup of water to be added to the batter. No sir. We don’t simply add water here.

Instead, we’re going to make our own fresh strawberry milk. Don’t worry, it sounds more complicated than it is.

Essentially, we’re going to blend our preferred milk (almond, oat, etc.) with a few strawberries. Then, to ensure the cake isn’t full of too many strawberry seeds, we strain it through cheese cloth. And voila! Strawberry milk.

Set up your cheesecloth directly over your glass measuring cup. That way you can strain and measure at the same time, stopping when you reach the 2/3 cup that the recipe calls for.

Strawberry Cake – Dairy Free

This quick and easy strawberry cake recipe uses blueberry muffin mix as it's base. Comes together in 15 minutes, with the help of some homemade strawberry milk for a super moist, luxe spring cake.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 12 slices

Equipment

  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Cheesecloth
  • Blender or food processor

Ingredients
  

  • 1 box Krusteaz blueberry muffin mix or other boxed muffin mix
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries chopped, plus 3-4 extra whole
  • cup milk of choice almond or oat work great!
  • 2 whole eggs large is best

Instructions
 

Make the strawberry milk

  • Instead of using water like the box suggests, we're going to make a quick strawberry milk, which will help to keep the cake super moist and infuse the strawberry flavor evenly throughout.
    Making the strawberry milk is technically optional, but for best results it's recommended.
  • First, take your 3-4 whole strawberries and remove the tops. Quarter the strawberries and add to a blender (or food processor) with 2/3 cup milk.
  • Blend the berries and milk together well, ensuring there are no chunks.
  • Set up to strain the milk. This step is optional, but makes the cake smoother by removing the extra seeds.
    Place a piece of cheesecloth over the top of the liquid measuring cup. You can use a fine strainer or sieve to place the cheesecloth on so it is more secure.
    Slowly pour the strawberry milk over the cheesecloth into the measuring cup, squeezing out extra liquid as necessary. Stop when the milk has reached the 2/3 cup mark on the measuring cup.

Mix the batter

  • Set the oven to 350°F. Line a 10"x7" baking dish with parchment paper. This makes it easier to remove the cake from the pan after baking.
  • Open the box of Krusteaz blueberry muffin mix. Remove the dry mix and the can of blueberries.
    Set the blueberries aside for later use. See recipe notes for ideas.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the dry muffin mix, vegetable oil, eggs, ⅔ cup strained strawberry milk. Mix well to combine.
  • Gently fold in the 1 cup chopped strawberries, ensuring even distribution throughout the mix.
  • Pour the batter into the pan lined with parchment.
    It may be thick. That's good! We want the batter to be thicker, because the strawberries will release their own juices as the cake cooks.
    Smooth out the batter as best you can to ensure even coverage.
  • Bake at 350° for 48 minutes, checking for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. It should come out clean.
  • Leave in the baking dish for about 20 minutes, then remove from the dish and let cool on a rack or cutting board until ready to serve.

Notes

How to use your extra can of blueberries:
  • Mixed into oatmeal.
  • Blended in a smoothie.
  • On top of ice cream.
  • In a homemade parfait with yogurt and granola.

Have you tried this strawberry cake?

Tell us about it in the comments below!

White Vanilla Buttercream

Here’s my favorite basic buttercream recipe. It’s a great starting point for any cake project, from fully decorated to a simple sheet cake.

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A simple sheet cake covered with White Vanilla Buttercream.
Here, I added some lemon zest and blue food coloring.

Patience is Key

Really, the key to a good buttercream is allowing the butter enough time to do its thing. Whipping the butter for a prolonged amount of time (either with a stand mixer or a hand mixer) is called creaming the butter. When making buttercream (this is also a trick for great cookies) it’s imperative to take the time to cream the butter first, then cream the butter with the sugar.

Doing so incorporates air into the butter, making it light and fluffy instead of heavy. Don’t rush this process! It’s crucial to achieve that creamy, light consistency.

So light and fluffy and amazing.

Decorating Tips

You can absolutely make this buttercream ahead of time. Store it in the fridge and let it come to room temperature before attempting to decorate your cake.

For those fine details, I like to make my buttercream, then immediately fill my piping bags. If I’m planning on using different colors, I’ll mix the colors, fill the bags, then store them in the fridge until ready to use.

For more details on cake decorating, checkout my birthday cake post.

I made and decorated this birthday cake for my Nana’s birthday using this buttercream recipe!

Keep it Simple

This recipe is intended to be as simple and streamlined as possible. Pick quality ingredients and you’re sure to have a delicious buttercream base for all of your creative cake creations.

Most importantly, have fun!

A spur of the moment cake I made for Earth Day!

White Vanilla Buttercream

This White Vanilla Buttercream is the perfect base recipe for all of your decorating projects. Whether making a simple sheet cake, or a fully decorated birthday cake, this buttercream is easy to make and holds up well.
Make a few batches and add different colors for easy decorating!
Prep Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ lb powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ cup unsalted butter (3 standard sticks), softened to room temp.
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Beat butter until soft and fluffy.
  • Incorporate powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, waiting until combined before adding more.
  • Once all powdered sugar is mixed into butter, add salt and vanilla extract.
  • Add the whipping cream in a slow steady stream with the mixer still on.

Notes

When making buttercream, it is imperative to scrape the sides of the mixer consistently, as this helps to incorporate everything evenly. Particularly if you have a mixer like mine, with a deep bowl, it is important to scrape the bottom to make sure everything is mixed in evenly.
 
Adapted from a Preppy Kitchen recipe.
Keyword buttercream

Spring Harvest Rice | Meal Prep Recipe – Vegan

This large batch rice recipe is veggie-packed, vegan and can make enough to feed you throughout the week. Substitutions included in the recipe notes!

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meal prep with spring harvest rice
This recipe is great for meal prep! It makes a large batch and keeps well throughout the week.

Versatile & Meal Prep Friendly

This is a meal prep recipe that can easily be adapted to supplement different proteins and side dishes throughout the week, or to be used as is for a delicious and healthy meal prep lunch!

It’s flavor profile is flexible and truly can be made into a side dish or entrée with anything. Similar to Spanish Rice, Spring Harvest Rice uses fresh tomatoes and a plethora of vegetables and spices.

Make as is and it will yield about 10 cups of rice.

chopped vegetables for spring harvest rice
Make the recipe as written, or substitute ingredients you prefer.

Swap It Out

Not everyone likes peas and bell peppers, and that’s a-okay with me! Here’s a few substitution ideas to suit your tastes.

  • Instead of PEAS try edamame or sliced snap peas
  • Instead of BELL PEPPERS try carrots and celery
  • Instead of RICE try farro, barley, quinoa or couscous. Cook according to package directions and follow the rest of the recipe as written.

When swapping vegetables in this recipe, keep the measurements the same. This will ensure your rice comes out as tasty as possible!

Additionally, I encourage you to use simply whatever you have on hand. Even if it’s a combination of the vegetables in your fridge to match the measurements in the recipe – that’s great! You’ll prep a delicious rice dish and cut down on food waste. Win-win.

See recipe for a full list of substitutions.

Use this spring harvest rice as the base for a delicious burrito! Add roasted sweet potatoes, black beans and cheese of your choosing for an easy meal.

Spring Harvest Rice Meal Ideas

Here’s a few ways you can make Spring Harvest Rice a meal.

Vegan

Eat as is with some fried tofu (thai peanut or teriyaki would go well) and crispy balsamic-glazed roasted brussel sprouts

Vegetarian

Wrap rice with black or refried beans in a flour tortilla topped with shredded cheese for an easy vegetarian burrito.

Omnivores

Serve with rotisserie chicken for an easy weeknight dinner.

spring harvest rice on a plate
Spring Harvest Rice — look at all those veggies!

The Cooking Process

To make this rice the best it can be, the vegetables need time to simmer. Put the pot on while you’re doing other things around the house, and check it periodically. You won’t need to watch it the entire time it cooks, so it’s good to cook when you’re already at home and can peek in on it every once in a while.

Browse through the photos below to see different phases of the cooking process and the final product.

There’s no replacement for time when cooking. Each step of the recipe builds a layer of flavor, toasting the spices, sautéing the aromatics, and then adding the fresh tomatoes and allowing them to cook down. The result is a lightly spiced, flavorful rice packed with vegetables. It’s a hearty, flavorful dish.

Spring Harvest Rice (Meal Prep Recipe – Vegan)

This is a meal prep recipe that can easily be adapted to supplement different proteins and side dishes throughout the week, or to be used as is for a delicious and healthy meal prep lunch!
It's flavor profile is flexible and truly can be made into a side dish or entrée with anything. Similar to Spanish Rice, Spring Harvest Rice uses fresh tomatoes and a plethora of vegetables and spices.
Make as is and this will yield about 10 cups of nutrient-rich rice.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American, Spanish
Servings 10 cups

Ingredients
  

  • 6 cups cooked rice (white or brown) 3 cups uncooked
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon each of the following herbs: oregano, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups fresh tomato diced (subsitute canned)
  • ½ red bell pepper diced
  • 1 lb frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper

Instructions
 

  • First, cook your rice.
    I prefer using an Instant Pot, or Rice Cooker, but you are welcome to use any method you'd like, including microwaved steamed rice (no shame in shortcuts).
    Substitute couscous, farro, or barley and cook according to package directions.
    Set aside for now.
  • In a large, heavy bottomed pot, or dutch oven over medium/medium high heat add oregano, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika and cumin. Toast briefly (a minute or less) to bolster their flavors.
    Next, add in 3 tablespoons of olive oil, or preferred cooking oil, and heat until shimmering.
  • Add diced onion, garlic, and bell peppers. Sauté until tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and simmer uncovered over medium heat about 30-40 minutes, until tomatoes are cooked down and there is minimal liquid left in the pot.
    Simply put, it should look less like tomato sauce and more like a big pot of sautéed vegetables.
  • Incorporate the bag of frozen peas and salt and pepper. Mix well to combine and defrost the peas.
    When using frozen peas, it's best to add them at the last minute. If they cook too long, they turn mushy!
  • Add the rice 1-2 cups at a time, mixing well.
    Be sure to break up the chunks of rice to blend with the vegetables. Repeat the process until all of the cooked rice is incorporated.
    Done!

Notes

  • Substitute rice for farro, barley, quinoa, or couscous. Cook according to package directions. 
  • Combine any of your preferred spices for a custom blend. Add some cayenne if you enjoy heat, or swap basil for paprika if you prefer things more mild.
  • Substitute sliced snap peas or edamame for frozen peas, if preferred. 
  • Substitute carrots and celery for bell peppers, maintaining measurements.
Keyword easy meal prep, meal prep recipe, meal prep rice, spring harvest rice, vegan meal prep, vegetarian meal prep

Have you tried this Spring Harvest Rice? What substitutions did you make? Let us know how you liked it in the comments below!

Chickpea Salad | Vegetarian Recipe

A quick and easy recipe for hearty, delicious chickpea salad. Think of it like chicken salad, but with chickpeas and bell peppers instead of chicken and celery! Enjoy on toasted bread, over leafy greens, or on your favorite crackers.

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a bowl of chickpeas

Why Chickpeas?

Chickpeas are a great source of protein with a whopping 14 grams in 1 cup. They’re also a substantial source of fiber, with 12 grams per cup. For more on chickpea nutrition, click here.

In addition to their enviable nutritional value, chickpeas are simply delicious! They are (in my humble opinion) the legume of all legumes. Their creamy texture lends itself well to dips like hummus. Alternatively, they make a delicious addition to any dish pan fried with some olive oil and spices, my favorite way to eat them.

Canned chickpeas are affordable and accessible, making them a must have pantry item.

chickpea salad sandwich

Ways to Eat

Enjoy this chickpea salad on some toasted bread with spinach as a sandwich, or spooned over leafy greens for a hearty salad. Or spread over crackers for a quick snack!

This chickpea salad can be made in a large batch ahead of time and enjoyed throughout the week. It’s a great meal prep item because it lasts well in the fridge and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.

This recipe was featured in 4 Reasons to Eat More Plant-Based. Read full post here.

chickpea salad on toast
Chickpea salad on toast

Easy Chickpea Salad (Garbanzo Bean)

A quick and easy recipe for hearty, delicious chickpea salad. Think of it like chicken salad, but with chickpeas and bell peppers instead of chicken and celery! Enjoy on toasted bread, over leafy greens, or on your favorite crackers.
Prep Time 15 mins
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed if using canned
  • 3 tablespoons mayo use vegan mayo if preferred
  • 1 tablespoon mustard dijon, spicy brown and whole grain all work well
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions can substitute celery if preferred
  • ¼ cup chopped bell peppers any color you'd like
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon each of spices – paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and chili powder substitute your preferred spices as desired
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish optional
  • Drizzle of olive oil optional

Instructions
 

  • Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Chop onions, and bell peppers. Set aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, add the chickpeas. Use a pastry cutter or potato masher to mash the chickpeas in a bowl. Consistency should be a bit chunky, but mashed enough to add easily to a sandwich.
  • Add mayo, mustard, horseradish (optional), salt, pepper, spices, onions, bell peppers and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix well to combine.
  • Taste chickpea salad and adjust seasonings if desired.
  • Enjoy!
Keyword chickpea recipe, chickpea salad, garbanzo bean recipe, vegan recipe, vegetarian recipe

Stovetop AppleSauce | Recipe (Sugar Free Option)

This applesauce recipe provides a guideline to make easy, homemade applesauce. Adjust sugar and spices to your own tastes. Cut the apples according to how long you have to cook it, and how chunky (or smooth) you’d like your applesauce. Tastes great, simple to prepare and way better than store bought!

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No Water Added

Cook the apples low and slow in a covered sauce pan. This eliminates the need to add water to the applesauce, which dilutes the flavor, and often facilitates the need for more sugar.

apples

As Sweet As You Like It

Feel free to adjust the recipe to your tastes. Add more sugar if you’d like, or eliminate it completely for a delicious sugar-free treat.

Use any apples that you prefer. I prefer a gala or fuji for best flavor and sweetness. Taste a slice of the apples you will use. This will help determine how much sweetness will need to be added to the applesauce.

applesauce

Chunky or Smooth

Just like peanut butter, everyone has their own preferences when it comes to applesauce. Whether you like it smooth or chunky, this recipe has you covered. Slice your apples into large chunks and forgo the mashing for a satisfyingly chunky applesauce. Or dice smaller apple pieces and mash (or blend/food process) well at the end for a silky smooth applesauce treat.

applesauce

So Versatile You Can Eat It At Every Meal

Here’s a few ideas to serve and enjoy your tasty homemade applesauce:

  • Spooned over some oatmeal, topped with sliced almonds
  • Mixed with savory spices and served with pork chop
  • Layered with yogurt and granola for a filling parfait
  • Sealed in puff pastry for easy, flaky hand pies
  • On the side with some hot, fresh potato pancakes
  • Enjoyed straight from the jar as a midnight snack
yogurt, granola, and applesauce parfait
Decadent yogurt, granola, and applesauce parfait.

Stovetop Apple Sauce

This applesauce recipe provides a guideline to make easy, homemade applesauce. Adjust sugar and spices to your own tastes.
Cut the apples according to how long you have to cook it, and how chunky (or smooth) you'd like your applesauce.
Tastes great, simple to prepare and way better than store bought!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 4-6 apples any variety you prefer
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice fresh or bottled
  • 1 tablespoon your favorite sugar granulated, brown or monkfruit (optional)
  • 1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1-2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

Instructions
 

  • Peel and core the apples. Slice and dice into medium-sized chunks. The smaller the chunks, the faster the applesauce will cook down.
  • Add apples to a saucepan over medium heat. Add lemon juice. Cover pan with lid and let cook 10-15 minutes.
    The heat will release the apple's natural juices. This eliminates the need to add water to the pan. Just ensure the pan is not too hot so the apples don't burn. Stir occasionally.
  • Once the apples begin to release their juices and start to soften, add in sugar (optional), cinnamon and nutmeg. Cover pan again and let cook down another 10-15 minutes.
  • Test the apple's doneness by poking with a fork. If the fork slides easily, they are ready.
    If not recover and cook an additional 5-10 minutes until ready. The cooking time of the apples depends on the type of apple and how large the pieces were cut.
  • To mash or not to mash. If you prefer a smoother applesauce consistency, you can now mash the applesauce into a smooth paste or use an immersion blender.
    If you prefer chunkier applesauce, no need to mash.
  • Taste the applesauce and adjust spices if desired. If it needs a touch of sweetness, add agave or honey. Feel free to add more spices if desired.
  • Let cool and store in an airtight jar in the fridge.

Notes

  • Use a six-section apple slicer to make coring the apples a breeze. Leave slices in their larger size or cut in half for faster cooking time.
  • The smaller the apple slices, the faster they will cook. 
  • Add additional spices like all-spice or ginger if you’d like.
  • Use honey or agave in place of sugar, or go sugar-free!
  • If not using sugar, start with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and increase if desired.
Keyword applesauce, chunky applesauce, gluten free recipe, smooth applesauce, stovetop applesauce, sugar free recipe, vegan recipe

Simple Sugar-Free Crepes | Recipe

Easy sugar-free crepes make a great base for a delicious breakfast, dinner or side dish! Make them sweet or savory depending on your toppings of choice.

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A Crepe for Everyone

This recipe was designed as a blank canvas. No vanilla, sugar or other flavoring is added to the crepes, making them to perfect vessel for any topping. Literally, anything. The sky is the limit!

crepes with whipped cream

A fun way to do crepes is with a crepe bar. Set out a plethora of topping items and everyone gets to make their own. Here are some ideas to set up your own crepe bar at home:

  • Jams, Jellies and Preserves
  • Peanut Butter
  • Cream Cheese
  • Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Cherries and Berries
  • Banana
  • Whipped Cream
  • Poached Pears
  • Baked Apples
  • Cheddar, Parmesan, or Mozzarella Cheese
  • Ham
  • Prosciutto
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Lemon Zest
  • Chocolate Syrup

Not your Average Crepe

Originally, I made these crepes as a featured weekend breakfast. I wanted them to be a bit heartier than your average crepe, with a secret sprinkling of protein. That’s where the almond flour comes in.

crepe on a plate

Because of the almond flour, these crepes have more of a bite than your average, tissue-paper-thin crepe. They’re more filling and naturally flavorful as well, without having an overbearing almond flavor.

Make it a Gluten-Free Crepe

To make these crepes gluten-free, swap the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free all-purpose flour.

I wouldn’t recommend making them only with almond flour, as they may come out too heavy to be enjoyable as a flexible crepe.

crepe on a bird plate

Layer it up

Crepes have a tendency to stick together when fresh out of the pan. Stack your finished crepes on a plate with a paper towel between each layer as you cook them. Or, use an empty sheet pan, lay the crepes out flat and use a sheet of wax paper between layers.

layered crepes on a plate

Swirl it Good

The secret to making crepes is all in the swirl. Hold your pan off the heat when you add the batter to the pan, and swirl as soon as you begin pouring in the batter.

Only add more batter to the pan if you absolutely cannot cover the entire surface. Otherwise, use the back of a spoon (preferably a plastic, not metal, spoon) to smooth the batter out and create one even thin layer.

Simple Sugar-Free Crepes

This basic crepe recipe is made with pantry ingredients, ready in 15 minutes and can be topped with anything your heart desires! The crepes are sugar-free, which means they can easily be made sweet or savory depending on your tastes. The almond flour makes these crepes more filling than the average crepe without weighing them down.
See the recipe notes for crepe topping suggestions!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Main Course
Cuisine American, French
Servings 12 crepes

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup milk almond or oat milk works great!
  • ¾ to 1 cup water start with ¾ cup and add more as needed to thin out the batter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted

Instructions
 

  • In the microwave, or on the stovetop, melt the butter. Set aside to cool.
  • Whisk eggs, milk, water and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add almond and all-purpose flour, then the butter.
    Ensure the butter has come to room temperature before adding it to the batter.
    Whisk until smooth.
  • The batter should be smooth and runny, not thick. Thinner than pancake batter. Add more water if needed.
  • Heat a 6" frying pan over medium high heat. Add a spot of butter to the pan if it is not nonstick.
  • Holding the pan at a slight angle, pour approximately ¼ cup of batter into the pan. Swirl immediately, coating the entire bottom of the pan.
    Use the bottom of a spoon to gently spread the crepe out if needed. Try to keep the crepe thin by spreading the batter out evenly.
  • Let the crepe cook for about two minutes, until the bottom is a light, golden color. Using a flat spatula, flip the crepe over to cook the other side.
    Typically, the second side cooks in less time than the first side.
  • Stack crepes on a plate with a paper towel in between each.
  • Serve warm.
    To reheat the crepes, Microwave for 30 seconds or warm in a low-heat oven.

Notes

Sweet crepe ideas:
  • Jams and Jellies
  • Peanut Butter
  • Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • Berries
  • Banana
  • Whipped Cream
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Lemon
Savory crepe ideas:
  • Ham
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Cheese
  • Proscuitto
  • Cream Cheese
Keyword crepe recipe, crepes, easy crepe recipe, sugar free crepe recipe, sugar free recipe

How to Juice without a Juicer | Lifestyle

No fancy juicer? No problem! This simple method uses your household blender to turn your fruits and veggies into fresh “squeezed” juice.

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Why Juice?

An array of fresh juice

What’s the difference between drinking fresh fruit/vegetable juice and making a smoothie? Juicing extracts the nutrient-rich juices from your fruits and veggies. Smoothies consist of pureed fruits (and sometimes veggies). Meaning the main difference is that in a smoothie, you retain the natural fiber in the fruit/vegetable pulp.

Juices are less filling than a smoothie, but provide more concentrated nutrients and benefits, since you are eliminating all of the fruit/vegetable mass and just consuming its rich nutrient juice.

Both are great options, and it truly depends on your preference. Smoothies can be a quick way to get your fruits and veggies and add other nutrients like a protein powder, super greens powder, or nut butters for natural protein and fats.

Disclaimer: Edible Ink does not endorse any kind of “juice diet” or “juice cleanse”. Juicing should be a part of a balanced diet, an addition to your lifestyle, not a meal replacement. Always consult a nutritionist or your doctor before doing any kind of “cleanse” or “diet”.

Juicing with a Blender

This method of juicing requires a few kitchen gadgets you probably already have in your kitchen:

  • Standard blender, NutriBullet or similar blending vessel
  • Fruit(s) and/or vegetable(s) of choice
  • Square of cheesecloth
  • Nice glass bowl
  • Handy funnel
  • A jar or container in which to store your juice.

The process is simple. Add your washed and coarsely chopped fruits/veggies to your blender. If necessary, add a few tablespoons of water to help everything blend smoothly. Once blended, strain out the pulp using a cheesecloth over a glass bowl. Squeeze out all the excess juice from the cheesecloth, then use the funnel to safely transfer your fresh juice to your desired storage container. Mason jars work great for this!

To enjoy your fresh juice all week, make a large batch on the weekend. Store in the fridge and enjoy throughout the week.

No Waste Juicing

The process of juicing is aimed to extract the juice from your fruits or vegetables, leaving a lot of pulp (mass) behind. In order to make your juicing zero waste, save the pulp and reuse it!

To store your fruit/vegetable pulp, grab a reusable ice tray. Pack the pulp into the ice cube wells and freeze. Once frozen, add to a storage container of your choosing and keep in the freezer until ready to use. This ensures that the pulp is in small individual sizes, instead of one block of frozen pulp.

When you’re ready to make a soup or some vegetable stock, pop in a few of your vegetable pulp cubes. Or, for your next smoothie, add a few cubes of fruit pulp. No waste!

Veggie broth
Add your vegetable pulp to your next pot of veggie broth!

How to Juice without a Juicer (Blender Method)

use your blender to makes fresh "pressed" juice. No special equipment needed!
Prep Time 10 mins
Course Beverage, Breakfast, lunch, Snack

Equipment

  • Standard blender, NutriBullet or similar blending vessel
  • Fruit(s) and/or vegetable(s) of choice
  • Square of cheesecloth
  • Nice glass bowl
  • Handy funnel
  • A jar or container in which to store your juice

Ingredients
  

  • Fruits or veggies of your choosing
  • Water to blend

Instructions
 

  • Select your fruits and/or veggies.
    Wash and dry them.
    Cut out the core/seeds any parts you do not want in your juice. Then dice.
    For harder vegetables such as beets, you’ll want to help your blender out by cutting them smaller. Fruits tend to blend easier, and may not need to be cut as much as vegetables.
    If you'd like to create a juice blend, for example, orange carrot, you can add them to the blender at the same time.
  • Add a splash of water.
    Depending on the tenacity of your blender, it may be able to handle the fruits or vegetables without any additional liquid. For example, a Ninja blender may be able to handle this.
    Having a Nutri Bullet, I know that I do have to add water or it won’t blend. A few tablespoons should work just fine.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Place the cheesecloth over the glass bowl. This will serve to catch any pulp or mass in your juice. I recommend cutting the cheesecloth with overhang on the bowl, so it is easier to pick up and ring out.
    Carefully pour the entire contents of the blender through the cheesecloth.
  • Gently lift the cheesecloth from the bowl by bringing all the sides together to form a seal.
    Squeeze the pulp in the cheesecloth to remove any remaining juice.
    Your bowl should now be full of delicious fresh juice!

Notes

Save the pulp! Pulp can be frozen and used in smoothies, soups or stocks. For easy handling, pack pulp into an empty ice cube tray.
When frozen solid, remove from tray and store in freezer-safe packaging until ready to use. No waste!
Keyword How to juice at home, How to juice without a juicer, Juicing, Juicing at home, Smoothie

ENJOY!

What is a Jerusalem Artichoke? | Recipe

Today we explore an elusive root vegetable: the Jerusalem Artichoke! Learn what it is, how it tastes, and how to cook it with this quick and easy recipe.

Jump to Recipe

What is a Jerusalem Artichoke?

A Jerusalem Artichoke, also called a sunchoke, is the root of a species of Sunflower. It’s an ingredient I’ve seen used in restaurants and on cooking shows, all the while thinking, “Where do I even buy that?” Turns out, at a local farm stand. When I saw them for sale at Rutiz Farms, I knew I had to seize the opportunity.

What does a Jerusalem Artichoke taste like?

Though a root vegetable related to the sunflower, the Jerusalem Artichoke tastes like its name – an artichoke! With a mild flavor, the sunchoke tastes how I imagine a cross between a potato and an artichoke would taste. Hearty and starchy with a hint of artichoke heart.

the inside of a sunchoke.
The inside of a sunchoke.

How do I cook Jerusalem Artichoke?

Bake it, boil it, stick it in a stew! But really, I’d suggest roasting Jerusalem Artichokes in the oven, like you would any other vegetable. It’d be great as chips, but true to form I chose to make them into fries, complete with a nice garlic aioli.

Another option is making these Crispy Jerusalem Artichokes with Brown Butter and Balsamic Vinegar from Bon Apetit. The splash of balsamic acts to balance out the heavy fat of the brown butter, and throwing whole sprigs of Rosemary in the butter as it browns makes for a delicious fried edible garnish.

We found that, in cooking the sunchoke or eating it, our brains kept trying to tell us it was a potato. If you’re tempted to cook it as long as you would a potato, watch out. Taste test along the way to monitor progress and make adjustments as needed.

Baked Jerusalem Artichoke Fries (Sunchoke Fries)

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound Jerusalem Artichokes (sunchokes)
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt (more to taste)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Scrub the Jerusalem Artichokes clean. You can peel if you prefer, but scrubbing the dirt off will work just fine.
  • Slice the Jerusalem Artichokes into matchsticks.
  • In a clean bowl, toss the Jerusalem Artichokes with olive oil and seasonings. Adjust the seasonings to your preference or taste. Remember you can always add more after baking.
  • Spread parchment on a baking sheet. Lay out the Jerusalem Artichokes in a single layer, making them overlap as little as possible.
  • Bake in a 350° oven for 40-45 minutes until tender.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference.
  • Serve warm with a side of garlic aioli or your favorite fry dipping sauce!

Best Thanksgiving Meal Plans for Everyone – Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free

Making a holiday feast that satisfies everyone’s dietary needs can be challenging. But it doesn’t have to be! We’ve searched the internet for the best Thanksgiving Meal Plans for everyone, including plans for Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free and Dairy-Free.

Don’t forget dessert! We’ve also included our favorite picks for Sugar-Free and Vegan desserts to make the holiday meal complete.

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored in any way and based on personal opinion. Here at Edible Ink, we want to help make your holidays as best (and simple) as they can be, with no strings attached!

Skip to a specific menu:

Vegan Thanksgiving Menus

Mel at A Virtual Vegan goes above and beyond with her Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner Menu, including a shopping list to make preparations for the big day a breeze! Plus a timeline to make cooking a full feast manageable. Dishes include:

Get the full printable Thanksgiving Dinner Menu with Timeline and Shopping List at A Virtual Vegan.

group of people making toast
Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

No doubt, large gatherings have been a rare occurrence this year. If your holidays are less grand feasts and more intimate dinners for two, the Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner for 2 may be your ideal menu. Set up as a “choose your own adventure’ of a menu complete with cooking tips, this meal plan is great for small gatherings, or just you and your significant other. Dishes include:

Gluten Free Thanksgiving Menu

Packed full of gluten-free Thanksgiving options, this Easy, Gluten-free Thanksgiving Menu satisfies every celiac’s holiday food cravings! Here, turkey is still on the menu, with modifications to cornbread, biscuits and gravy. Dishes include:

alcoholic beverages close up cuisine cutlery
Photo by Flo Dahm on Pexels.com

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu

Vegetarian food blogger Cookie and Kate provides a list of 33 Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes to make your own meat-less feast. No need for Tofurkey with delicious, whole food dishes like:

food grapes delicious snacks
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Dairy Free Thanksgiving Menu

Nothing makes a lactose intolerant person happier than a big bowl of dairy free mashed potatoes! This list from Cook Nourish Bliss includes a slew of dairy free classic Thanksgiving sides, as well as a few dairy free Thanksgiving desserts. Dishes include:

For more dairy-free Thanksgiving side dishes, check out 19 Dairy Free Thanksgiving Side dishes from the Nosher:

Easy Thanksgiving Menu

How about a super simple Thanksgiving Menu this year? Instead of roasting the whole turkey, try a juicy Turkey Breast from A Head of Thyme. More recipes include:

person holding a roasted turkey
Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels.com

Sugar Free Thanksgiving Desserts

For the ultimate list of sugar-free desserts, check out this compilation from Diabetic Gourmet. Recipes include:

Vegan & Gluten Free Thanksgiving Desserts

Easy, vegan, and for some, gluten free! This list of 28 Easy Vegan Thanksgiving Desserts is sure to have something for everyone. So go ahead, make two! Recipes include:

What are your Thanksgiving plans this year? Are you using any of the meal plans listed here to craft your ultimate Thanksgiving feast? Let us know in the comments below! Like, share and subscribe and don’t forget to tag Edible Ink!

Happy Feasting!

A basket of pao de queijo

Pão De Queijo : Brazilian Cheese Bread | Recipe

Oh yes. Today we’re making the traditional Brazilian staple: pão de queijo. Literally translated, it means “bread of cheese” and really, that’s a great description. Soft, fluffy small rounds of cheesy goodness. Let’s get started!

Jump to Recipe
a basket of brazilian pao de queijo cheese bread

What is Pão de Queijo?

Simply put, pão de queijo is a small cheese puff bread. It’s typically served with most meals in Brazil and eaten for breakfast.

There’s no exact written history of pão, of course, but it’s believed that, around 1700, women who were enslaved typically made pão de queijo for farmers (don’t forget, Brazil was a Portuguese colony before it gained independence in 1822).

Pão de quiejo become a staple of Brazilian cuisine since, growing in popularity. You can now even find frozen versions of pão available in big stores like Costco.

One of the more distinguishing features of pão de queijo is it’s flour — commonly known to us in the US as tapioca starch. Wheat crops didn’t grow well in the northern region of Brazil, where warm weather made growing the grain difficult. Instead, ground, dried cassava root was used in place of flour.

another delicious plate of pao de quiejo brazilian cheese break

Cassava root aka tapioca starch

Cassava is an incredibly drought-tolerant plant, making it a favorite crop of warmer, tropical regions. In the United States, cassava is also called:

  • Yuca
  • Manioc
  • Brazilian arrowroot

Cassava root is made into cassava flour, which is also called tapioca starch. These alternative names are useful to know when you are shopping for the ingredients to make your very own pão de queijo!

Cassava flour possesses a unique, almost gelatinous quality when baked. Combined with the melted cheese, the pão de queijo becomes impossibly soft, fluffy and chewy!

Once we got the hang of it, we made pão de quiejo en masse

Tried and tested Pão de Queijo recipe

Let’s get personal for a moment. My dad’s side of the family is very familiar with Brazil and its cuisine. In fact, he lived there with my grandparents during his teenage years. So, it was a natural place for a family reunion.

In 2017, we all went down to Brazil! That’s where I tried pão de queijo for the first time, along with my husband and my parents. Brazil has incredible food, including mousse de maracujá (passion fruit mousse) and of course, the Churrascuria (Brazilian barbecue).

When we returned home, we began testing recipes to replicate the impossibly perfect pão de queijo we had in Brazil. Seriously, it seemed no matter where we went, it was perfect every time!

While we didn’t have access to the specific cheese typically used to make pão (meia cura/minas cheese), we found this substitute combination works beautifully! The sharp saltiness of the parmesan balances well with the mild, gooeyness (yes its a word) of the mozzarella.

For best results, buy the cheese whole and grate it yourself. Pre-shredded cheese sometimes gives off a chalky flavor.

Another non-traditional note: while pão de queijo is typically formed and placed in rounds on a baking sheet, I found it easier to place the dough inside mini muffin tins. The tins helped the pão hold their shape, and made the shaping process much faster than if we were to shape them by hand. Not traditional, no, but effective? Yes.

Enjoy!

A basket of pao de queijo

Pão de Queijo

Lauren Harvey
A traditional Brazilian bread, pão de queijo is easy to make with this straightforward recipe. Parmesan and Mozzarella replace authentic Brazilian cheese that is difficult to find in the United States. The result is a delicious, chewy, puffed cheese bread!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Brazilian
Servings 30 pão

Equipment

  • Stand mixer
  • Mini muffin tin or baking sheet
  • Saucepan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 cups tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Instructions
 

  • If you purchased pre-grated cheese, skip to next step.
    Grate the parmesan and shred the mozzarella. After measuring out the required amount, you can mix the cheeses together in a bowl and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Set up your stand mixer so that it's ready to go for the next step. Add the tapioca flour and baking powder to the bowl of the mixer.
  • In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the wet ingredients (milk, water, oil and salt). Cover and bring to a gentle rolling boil over medium heat. Once boiling, pour over the flour in the mixer.
  • Turn on the mixer and mix on high until the tapioca flour and wet ingredients are well-incorporated. It will have a stretchy, sticky texture that is to be expected.
  • Add eggs one at a time. To make things easy, you can crack the two eggs into a small bowl and whisky gently. Pour this in a slow steady stream into the mixer on medium-high speed. Allow the eggs to incorporate in small increments before adding more.
  • Repeat a similar process with the cheese. Working in small batches, add the cheese into the batter slowly until fully combined.
  • Spray your mini muffin tin with non-stick spray. Using a small scoop or spoon, scoop the batter into the muffin wells.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, until puffy and golden.

Notes

This recipe was adapted from Olivia’s Cuisine
Keyword Brazilian Cheese Bread, Cheese Bread, Pão de Queijo

Have you ever had pão de quiejo? How did you enjoy this recipe? Let us know in the comments below!