Date Caramel: gluten-free, vegan, free of allergens (unless you’re allergic to dates, of course)

We left Arizona last month. We’d planned to stay until the end of tax season, which was extended until mid-May, but by the end of March, we had to call it: it was too hot and we needed to leave early. We’ll be working our way back up to Crescent City, California, because we loved it so much last year. But we’re going slow this time: short hops and staying a week in each place. This gives us time to rest, work, and check out the local area. We had a nice week in Indio, California! We’ve passed through here many times with and without the RV, but never stayed a week. What a treat! Did you know they farm dates here? We stopped at a local market that advertised fresh produce. It was a cramped little convenience store with a bunch of produce— including beautiful juicy-looking dates! We got …

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Avocado Chocolate Pudding (vegan, gluten-free, grain-free)

We recently bought a Ninja Nutri Blender to attempt to make our own nondairy milks. I have celiac reactions to oats, and the oat milk fad has contaminated all the nut milks we usually buy, so we’re going to try making our own. But first… chocolate pudding! I’ve been thinking about avocado chocolate pudding since we shared an amazing cup of it in Chico, California, at Live Love Juice. We’ve made this a few times. It’s best with nondairy whipped cream, but a few chocolate chips and Dandies marshmallows are also fantastic. Ingredients 1 avocado 1/4 cup coconut milk 4 tbsp maple syrup 3 tbsp cocoa powder 1/4 tsp vanilla (extract, paste, etc) Generous pinch sea salt Instructions Blend ingredients until smooth and serve immediately. To save for later, the avocados will oxidize and the pudding will look less delicious. Melt chocolate chips with coconut oil and poor a thin …

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Siete Foods cooking class: baking with Buñuelos!

We are huge Siete fans around here. I’ve got a corn allergy and David needs to watch his blood sugar, so our taco nights (and there are a lot of them) always feature Siete Almond Flour Tortillas. We buy Dip Chips and Fuego chips in bulk off their website. Thankfully more stores are carrying them now, so we don’t have to order online as often! For the second winter in a row, they’ve been selling Cinnamon Buñuelos, which are my favorite thing ever. Buñuelos are a treat in many cultures, but generally they are some kind of fritter. These are small and crispy, grain-free with cinnamon and coconut sugar. For the second time, Siete hosted a cooking class to benefit an organization doing food work. This time it was No Kid Hungry. For a $10 donation, we got 2 bags of Cinnamon Buñuelos, a chocolate bar, and the recipes. I …

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Cake Mix Quickie! Microwave Mug Cake – gluten-free, vegan

We really love microwave mug cakes around here. We often make them from scratch (but they’re experimental so we don’t have a tried-and-true recipe to share here yet!), but we really like these Enjoy Life brownie mixes, and it turns out they make amazing mug cakes! Ingredients 4 heaping teaspoons of Enjoy Life brownie mix 1 tbsp coconut oil 2 tbsp water Instructions Mix in a microwave safe mug or bowl (paper bowls work for this, but they can get soggy, and they’re not our first choice). It should be a thin pudding consistency. Microwave for 90 seconds. We have a 1000-watt microwave and 90 seconds is perfect for us. Other microwaves we’ve used have needed 60 seconds or 2 full minutes, so you’ll have to test your own microwave the first couple times you make this. When your cake looks 80-90% dry on top, it’s ready. Let cool for …

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Cherry Grunt: gluten-free, vegan, low-sugar dessert

I recently discovered fruit grunts: stove top cobblers that don’t require an oven, or much effort! I had a bag of cherries hanging out in my freezer, and decided to adapt this Farmer’s Almanac orchard fruit grunt recipe to make it vegan, gluten-free, and lower in sugar.

The view from above a saucepan of cherry dessert with 8 light yellow dumplings on top.
This worked well for a Saturday night dessert emergency!

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Vegan Chocolate Bark

A DIY Valentine’s Day treat. Ingredients 1 cup chocolate chips 1/4 cup any combination of nuts, seeds, dried fruit Instructions Line a baking sheet, plate, or cutting board with parchment paper. In a double boiler (or a makeshift double boiler), melt the chocolate. Mix in the nuts/seeds/fruit, and then pour onto the parchment, spreading the mixture out to a thickness of 1/2″ or less. Allow to cool somewhere undisturbed, and break into pieces. Store leftovers in a sealed container someplace cool.

Chocolate “Magic Shell” Ice Cream Topping

A super easy chocolate sauce that hardens on cold ice cream. Ingredients 1/2 cup chocolate chips 2 tbsp coconut oil Instructions In a microwave-safe dish (like a glass measuring cup, or a half-pint or pint-sized mason jar), microwave the chocolate and coconut oil in 20-second bursts, stirring very well in between, until sauce is smooth (about 2 minutes). Notes Works well with any kind of chocolate chip– white chocolate is awesome, and if you’re looking for vegan or dairy-free white chocolate, we love No Whey White Polar Dream Bars. Enjoy Life makes allergy-friendly chocolate chips, too. Try peanut butter or sun butter instead of or in addition to the chocolate chips. Leftover sauce can be stored in the fridge for a week or two. Microwave in 20-second bursts to reheat, stirring between each burst. Be patient! Chocolate will burn or seize up very quickly, especially in the microwave where hot …

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