Category Archives: Desserts and Indian Sweets

Raw Strawberry Pie

Image result for raw strawberry pie

Usually, I have a hard time coming up with healthy dessert when I teach vegan cooking classses.

Once you try this you will love the taste of strawberry pie with nutty taste!

Pie doesn’t have a reputation for being healthy until now! The Raw Strawberry Pie is a dessert you don’t have to desert!

Time to prepare: 6 hours, including set time

Yield: 6-8 servings

Vegan Recipe:

  • Crust Ingredients:
    1 cup raw pecans
    3/4 cup raw walnuts
    1 cup (packed) pitted dates
    ¼ tsp sea salt
    1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Filling Ingredients:
    3 cups strawberries
    ¾ cup raw cashews
    4 tbsp. maple syrup
    1 tsp. lemon juice
    1 banana
    Dash of salt

How to Prepare:

1. Place the crust ingredients in a food processor and blend until crumbly enough that the mixture holds itself together.
2. Place the mixture into a pie plate and press into pan.
3. Place the filling ingredients in a blender and puree for one minute or until smooth
4. Pour the filling onto the crust and cover with plastic wrap.
5. Set in the freezer for five to six hours.
6. Remove 20 minutes before serving.

This strawberry pie is a nice summer treat. Embrace its wellness as you beat the heat!

Enjoy this yummy treat in a picnic! It is perfect to take along.

Recipe courtesy of Jennifer Keeler.

Misti Sandesh

Misti Sandesh

Misti Sandesh is a dish made with milk and sugar (we know, we know, we had you at sugar!). It’s popular all over India and used as a celebratory dessert. But it’s not limited to parties and feasts – it’s perfect for anytime you want something sweet without too much effort.

This paneer dish is packed with punch of protein.

http://www.thehealthsite.com/fitness/health-benefits-of-paneer-or-cottage-cheese/

It’s a light dish that melts in your mouth with a traceable history. It appears in some parts of medieval Bengali literature, meaning it’s delicious enough to stand the test of time.

Misti Sandesh is best eaten fresh, within a few days of preparing. Don’t worry: that won’t be a problem!

Prep time : 30 minutes

Serves : 6

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups of milk
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice or 1 tsp. of white vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. pistachio saffron and cardamom powder to sprinkle

 

Preparation:

1. Bring milk to boil (use a heavy saucepan so that milk doesn’t stick to the bottom).

2. Stir continuously.

3. Once the milk is boiling, add lemon juice or vinegar; the milk will begin to curdle.

4. Line a strainer with a cheesecloth and drain the milk.

5. Rinse with water to wash away the sourness of the lemon juice.

6. Knead the dough softly and firmly.

7. Add powdered sugar and knead the dough into a smooth ball.

8. If desired, you may knead the dough into small balls and garnish with pistachios.

9. Alternatively, you may line a pan with wax paper and flatten the dough inside; then sprinkle on nuts to garnish and cut into bite-size pieces.

10. Refrigerate for around two hours.

11. Take out and enjoy!

 

Misti Sandesh is a wonderful trick when you want something sweet and you want to be quick! It’s a light little snack that makes people say, “yum.” And none will be left – not even a crumb!

Along with satisfying sweet tooth it is loaded with protein and hing in antioxidant. One of the great benefit of paneer is that it is rich in calcium, minerals and linoleic acid.

So Enjoy without feeling  guilty!

 

Kansar: Traditional Gujarati Sweet Dish

KANSAR: Traditional Gujarati Sweet Dish

 Sweet Cracked Wheat : Youth booster

If youth came in a bottle, it’d fly off the shelves at every grocery store around. We’d buy it in bulk, filling out refrigerators and stuffing our pantries. There’s no doubt about it: youth would be a best-seller.

Unfortunately, it’s not for sale, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t alternatives. One of these is cracked wheat.

Cracked wheat has the unique ability to retain the natural nutrients of whole grains. These include vitamin E (which helps you fight aging), fiber, and vitamin B. It’s also full of antioxidants, another thing that keeps you as young as possible for as long as possible.

Kansar, a traditional Gujarati sweet dish, is a meal that enhances the benefits of cracked wheat. It’s a staple of festivals and weddings in certain parts of India, but it’ll look nice on your kitchen table as well!

Kansar is also believed to bring good luck: eat it before you play the lottery!

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Cooking level: easy

  • Ingredients:
    3/4 cup cracked wheat or wheat germ
    1/4 cup whole wheat flour
    4 cups of water
    3 tbsp. of jaggery, or molasses,  or agave nectar, or brown sugar
    2 tsp. white fine sugar in powder form for sprinkling
    3 tbsp. of ghee or unsalted butter*

*For vegans  canola oil can be used as a substitute.

Preparation:

1. Mix cracked wheat and wheat flour.
2. Add 1 tbsp. of ghee or butter into the flour.
3. In a medium sauce pan, boil the water, add jaggery or molasses (or agave nectar for a sugar free recipe).
4. Add cracked wheat to the flour mixture and put the mix into the boiling water.
5. Stir well and cook for 15 minutes on low heat.
6. Check that the water is absorbed completely.
7. When finished cooking, sprinkle with ghee/oil and powdered sugar.
Enjoy this sweet dish whenever you can. It only takes twenty minutes with few pots and pans!  It’s a quick fix for a delectable bite – what are you waiting for? Make it tonight!

Effortless Vegan Chocolate Pie

Vegan Chocolate Pie

Cooking Difficulty Level: Easy
Cooking Time: 15 Minutes (Plus 6 hours to refrigerate)

Recently I made this vegan chocolate pie and served with aquafaba. No need to say everyone was in love at first bite.
Ingredients:
1       Keebler 9″           Graham cracker pie crust ready made

2 Package Two Package Baker’s Semi-Sweet or
Sweet Chocolate Bar
1 Teaspoon One tsp Vanilla

one tsp maple syrup

1 12.3 Oz. Package One 12.3 Ounce Silky Tofu NORI-NU silken firm tofu
White Chocolate & Raspberries to Garnish
Cool Whip Optional

How to Prepare:

  1. In a glass bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave for one minute. Stir and add one minute till it melts.
  2. Using an electric mixer, blend the vanilla ,maple syrup and tofu into the melted chocolate until smooth and creamy.
  3. Let it set in a refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Garnish with raspberry and shaved white chocolate.
  5. Add Aquafaba to substitute whipping cream.
  6.  Yum! Enjoy!

Refreshing Lychee Ice Cream

Recipe by Guest Chef Tushar
Summer is the season for ice cream. Last February, I toured New Zealand and I was surprised to find so many different flavors of ice cream. With so many choices available, I tried a new one every day. For those not familiar with lychees, they’re a fruit with fragrant perfume-like taste. Recently, my cousin treated me to this homemade ice cream. I cannot deny that it was delicious.
Fresh lychees

Fresh lychees

Lychee Ice Cream

Cooking Difficulty Level: Easy

Cooking Time: 10 Minutes 

Ingredients:

2 cans Drained Lychees
8 oz Cool Whip
1 pint Heavy Whipping Cream
8 oz Condensed Milk
8 oz Evaporated Milk
Flavor/Essence of your choice:
• Optional & Available in most grocery stores
• Pineapple & Pineapple Essence is Recommended
• Pistachio, Almond Powder, and Saffron can also be added

 

How to Prepare:
  1. Mix all ingredients and add to ice cream maker.
  2. Add ice and salt to run ice cream maker.
  3. Let the maker run for 30 minutes.
  4. When finished, if the consistency is soft, store the mixture in the freezer until firm.
  5. Enjoy!

Easy Eggless cheesecake

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My family and I love cheesecake, but it is impossible to find one without eggs in the supermarket. So I created a eggless cheesecake for me and my family to enjoy!

Prep time : 20 minutes
Bake time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 ready-made graham crust (10″ inch)
  • 24  oz softened cream cheese
  • 3 Tbsp sour creamwww.thevegfusion.com
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch + 3 Tbsp water blended
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla essence
  • Fresh lemon zest

For Layering:

  • 5 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp sugar

For Strawberry Topping:

  • 1 Tsp corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp orange Juice
  • 1 Tsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsp of water
  • 1 Pint Fresh strawberries washed and cut lengthwise (or you choice of berries)

PREPARATION:

1. Heat the oven to 350 Degrees.
2. Mix the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla essence and lemon zest with mixer till it is well blended.

CheesecakeMixing

Before mixing…

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…After mixing

3. Pour mixture into crust.
4.  Bake the cheesecake in a water bath to keep the oven moisture high and the heat distributed evenly. Make sure you don’t overheat the cheesecake because it could burn.  (A water bath is when you put water in a large pan and then set a smaller baking pan inside it. See Picture.) 

Water bath

Creating the water bath

5. Cover the crust with foil.
6. Bake for 45 minutes. Let it cool for 4 hours or overnight.

 

For Toppings:         

1. Mix sour cream with sugar.
2. Apply an even layer of sour cream on cool cheesecake with flat spatula.

ready from Oven without cracks

Ready from oven without cracks

 

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Apply Layer of Sour cream and Sugar

 

For Strawberry Topping:www.thevegfusion.com

1. On low heat, add cornstarch, orange juice, sugar, and water in a small pan.
2. Whisk until mixture is translucent. Let it cool.
3. Fold in the fresh strawberries.
4. Spread across cheesecake.

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Liquid pre-Strawberries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Putting on the Finishing Touches

Tips: 

For healthier eating, you can substitute Ricotta for the cream cheese. Sometimes I add lingo berry preserves for variety.

I’ve heard that you are a good cook if your cheesecake does not crack. Let me know how yours turned out in the comments!

Making Cheesecake eggless

Making  Eggless Cheesecake

How To Make Traditional Sweet Boondi

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Sweet Boondi

Traditional  Sweet Dish Boondi

Boondi  has a special imprint on each of  us, especially the immigrants from  India. This dessert is present at all the famous celebrations.

 

Boondi reminds me of our pilgrimage site in Palitana, India. After we returned from a three hour hike on a mountain (we are not supposed to eat while hiking), we were served  warm Boondi and Sev (crispy noodles ).  Needless to say, it was an amazingly tasty treat!  Today I am going to try to replicate that authentic taste. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe, Jaya! 

Palitana Mountain

Palitana Mountain

Step by step guide to Make Boondi : Serves 6

Vegan, Gluten free, Jain

Ingredients

  • 2 cup besan /chick pea flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cup vegetable shortening or ghee for frying
  • 1/2 cup cashews or slivered almond
  • 1/2 cup raisins

For syrup

  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • yellow food color optional
  • Few strands of saffron
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder

Utensils needed

  • Perforated sieve
  • Deep spoon
  • Frying Pan
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Ingredients for Boondi

For Boondi, a deep spoon and perforated sieve are needed.

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Sieve and deep spoon

How to Make Boondi

1. Combine besan/chick pea flour and water as needed in a bowl. Beat for two to three minutes until the batter becomes light and smooth.

2. Heat ghee or vegetable shortening in a deep frying pan. Hold a sieve four inch above the oil. With the deep spoon, pour the batter into the strainer. The batter will fall into the oil in the form fine drops of boondi. Fry for one minutes until the boondi turns golden brown. Repeat the steps with remaining batter.

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Frying boondi

3. In a pan add sugar , water, a few strands of saffron, cardamom powder, cashews, and raisins.

4. Cook for five minutes until sugar dissolves  and becomes a thick syrup.

5. Add boondi to the pan and keep stirring until it cools down.

6. Garnish and serve. YUM!

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Sweet Boondi

Bonus Tips:

  • Green and red color can be added to batter to make the pearls of boondi more decorative and presentable.
  • For salty variations, instead of syrup, sprinkle it with salt or red chili powder. Instead of cashews, spanish peanuts can be used.

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How did this recipe turn out for you – I’d love to know in the comments section below.

Silken Tofu pudding

 

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Silken Tofu Pudding

I love my Indian rice pudding which is made with cow’s milk. I was in impression that pudding without the cow’s milk will be no pudding at all.

To my surprise  when my friend Debbie served  me with silken tofu pudding I could not believe that it is vegan pudding! It is extremely simple to make.

Prep time :10 minutes        Serves :3      Very easy     Vegan    Gluten Free

Ingredients:

  • 1 Block firm or extra firm silken tofu
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar /Agave nectar/maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp of turmeric for color
  • 1/2 cup mixed berries

How to prepare:

1. Drain the water from tofu.

2. Blend in food processor silken tofu, lemon juice, sugar and turmeric till smooth. Serve in individual dishes and chill in refrigerator for two hours.

3. Garnish with berries.

Is this real ? Velvety smooth taste of pudding? Try it and Let me know in your comments!

Sugar Free Date Rolls

 

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Date Bars

Yummy Sugar Free Date Rolls

It is always a challenge to eat well-balanced snacks all the time.  This snack provides a great way to incorporate fiber high in protein and it is sugar-free.

Variations can be numerous and good thing about this recipe that you can never go wrong!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup mixed nut finely chopped unsalted
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

How to prepare:

1. Place dates in a heavy-duty pan on a medium heat let dates melt.  Dates will turn like soft paste. OR this step can be done in food processor.

2. Chop nuts finely in food processor. Add dates and coconut flakes.

3. For variations chocolate chips, cranberries, raisins, peanut butter can be added according to your choice. Almond and cashew butter is also a good choice!

4. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.  Take teaspoon dough into hands and roll them into balls or logs.  Roll them into flaky coconuts.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 

Enjoy as treat guilt free or as dessert!  This can be done in advance and it stays fresh for upto two weeks in airtight container.

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coconut flakes on date roll

 

Rose Flavored Chia Drink/Falooda

 

Rose Flavor Chia Drink

Rose Flavor Chia Drink

Falooda Drink

Rose Flavored Chia Drink

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp. chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp. water to soak chia seeds
  • 3 chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1 tsp. rose syrup
  • 3 tsp. rose water
  • 1-cup milk soy/almond/hemp
  • Ice cubes
  • Ice cream of your choice

How to prepare:

  1. Soak chia seeds in warm water for over night in a tall glass or jar.
  2. Add rose water and rose syrup and chopped fresh strawberries.
  3. Add milk of your choice. Stir well.
  4. Garnish with ice and strawberries.
  5. Vanilla ice cream is one of my favorite that complements this drink.
  6. Falooda Sev is often used with this drink.
  7. I added strawberry puree instead of rose syrup so no artificial color and sugar and it tasted great.
  8. Enjoy as drink or as dessert drink.

 

Feel free to share your opinion in comments!