Tag Archives: sweet potato

Sweet potato blondies on kitchen counter

These Comforting Sweet Potato Blondies Will Defeat Your Winter Blues

Traditional blondies get a comforting, cold-weather twist with the addition of sweet potato.  These Can You Vegan It? fudgy squares can easily be made vegan-friendly by swapping in a few simple ingredients. And the addition of chopped pecans kick things up a notch, adding a nice crunch and a decadent touch. Feel free to sub in different nuts, toffee bits or anything else you might be craving. Tip: serve warm to keep you toasty during blustery winter nights.

Sweet potato blondies

Sweet Potato Blondies

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 75 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients:

Blondie Base
⅔ cup unsalted butter (or vegan butter)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg (or vegan egg substitute)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
1 cup of pecans (optional)

Sweet Potato Top
1 small sweet potato
3 Tbsp condensed milk (or vegan condensed milk)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ cup chopped pecans (optional)

Sweet potato blondies ingredients on table

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and bake the small sweet potato for 40 minutes. To save time, you can peel and cut the sweet potato into large even pieces, then boil until soft. It will cook faster when boiled, but I suggest baking it instead to maintain all the delicious flavour.

2. As the sweet potato bakes, prepare the batter by browning the butter first. Add the butter to a pot on low-heat. As the butter begins to melt, stir and slowly raise to medium heat. Be careful when you increase the heat, as it’s very easy to burn butter. If possible, use a light-coloured pot so you can see the butter clearly as it begins to brown. Stir continuously — and once the butter has reached a golden brown colour, remove and sift into a large bowl.

Related: Comforting Desserts to Battle Bitter, Cold Winters

3. Once the butter has cooled to room temperature, add the light brown sugar and combine. Then add the egg and stir in the vanilla.

4. Add the dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking powder) to the mix and combine well. Be careful not to over mix. Then fold in the chopped pecans and pour the batter into a buttered baking dish. Set aside.

Sweet potato blondie batter

5. Once the sweet potato is soft and fully baked, remove it from the oven and turn down the heat to 350°F (to bake the blondies). Let the sweet potato cool, then remove its skin and mash it up in a large bowl. Next, add the condensed milk, pumpkin pie spice and pecans. Mix until all ingredients are evenly combined.

6. Pour the sweet potato mixture on top of the blondie batter in the baking dish. Spread it on top as an even layer. Add a few more crushed pecans to top it off.  Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cut into squares and serve warm.

Like Eden’s sweet potato blondies? Try her vegan sloppy Joe sliders or her cardamom teff apple muffins.

Published January 9, 2019, Updated January 2, 2021

We Tested 5 Vegan Egg Substitutes — This One is the Winner

There are so many options these days when it comes to replacing eggs in your vegan baking. So, we decided to test a whole bunch of substitutes to see which ones went boom and which ones went bust. We chose to test them all with the same brownie recipe, since we know brownies can be quite forgiving and almost always delicious (and it meant we got to eat a lot of brownies!). We deliberately left out commercial, store-bought brands and tested the most common egg replacements you probably already have stocked in your kitchen pantry. Let’s introduce you to our five vegan egg contenders.

Chia Egg

Both flax and chia eggs are classic substitutes used in vegan baking. We find them to be quite interchangeable so we only tested this recipe with chia. To make a chia egg, add 1 Tbsp of whole or ground chia seeds to 3 Tbsp of water. Whole chia seeds can easily get stuck in your teeth, so we recommend using ground unless you’re in a pinch (you can blitz them in a coffee grinder!). Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes, until it becomes gelatinous and thick. The reason why this works well in most baked goods, like muffins, cakes, breads and brownies, is because it adds moisture while also acting as a binder and not imparting any flavour. The downside is that because both chia and flax are darker in colour, they’ll change the colour of certain baked goods that are lighter, like cookies or cakes.

Result: The chia brownies came out gooey, fudgy and resembled a more traditional brownie texture.

Related: Common Ingredient Substitutions That Will Bring Your Recipes to Life

Aquafaba

Aquafaba is newer on the vegan baking scene. It’s the reserved liquid from a can of chickpeas. So once you drain your can of chickpeas, keep the liquid and measure out 3 Tbsp to replace one egg, then whisk it until it becomes frothed. If you put this into a stand mixer for about 3-5 minutes it will become whipped and resemble whipped egg whites with stiff peaks. When it’s that whipped, it’s more ideal for making meringues or macarons. So, we just frothed it. Aquafaba doesn’t tend to give off much moisture, sometimes leading to a drier baked good.

Result: We were really excited to see how the aquafaba would turn out, mainly because it’s so weird and interesting. But unfortunately, it was a bust. The texture was tough and lacked any sort of fluffiness. It also didn’t rise and had a layer of tiny holes on top. This may be because too much air was incorporated into the batter while mixing and became trapped, making it dense and bubbly on top. This is possibly because aquafaba acts more like egg whites, rather than a whole egg.

Arrowroot Starch/Powder

If you don’t have arrowroot, you can replace it with potato starch, cornstarch or tapioca starch. Arrowroot is gluten-free, grain-free and vegan. To replace one egg, make a slurry by combining 2 Tbsp of starch with 3 Tbsp of water. Arrowroot acts as a great binder and thickener, which may change the texture of your baked good to be a little on the drier side.

Result: This was the best looking brownie, but it had a drier, cakier texture and wasn’t as fudgy. If you like a cakier brownie, this is a great egg substitute for you.

Applesauce

Applesauce is a classic substitute for a few different baking ingredients: eggs, sugar, butter and oil. The reason why it works well as an egg replacement is because it adds a lot of moisture, making for a fudgy texture. Use ¼ cup of applesauce to replace one egg.

Result: The applesauce made a great fudgy brownie, but not quite as gooey as the chia brownie. Sometimes applesauce can impart a strong flavour, but we didn’t find that at all and found it was barely detectable. It also had a bit more rise than the chia brownie.

Mashed Sweet Potato

Mashed sweet potatoes are an amazing egg substitute, they offer a natural sweetener, while adding moisture to create a fudgy texture and are thick enough to act as a binder. You’ll need ¼ cup of mashed sweet potato to replace one egg.

Result: The sweet potato brownie came out fairly similar to the applesauce one in terms of fudgy texture and rise, but you could definitely taste the sweet potato, which may or may not be appealing to you.

Related: You Won’t Believe These Fudgy Sweet Potato Brownies Are Totally Gluten-Free

Overall the Winner is…

The chia egg brownie! It had the best texture, was moist, had a good amount of rise and tasted sweet, decadent and chocolatey. If you want to make the brownies yourself, here is the recipe we used.

The Best Vegan Brownie Recipe

Prep Time: 7 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Servings: 9 brownies

Ingredients:
2 vegan eggs
½ cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup coconut sugar
⅓ cup cocoa powder
½ cup spelt flour
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
½ cup chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 8-inch brownie pan with parchment paper.

2. Prepare your vegan eggs and combine them with the coconut oil and vanilla in a bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Then add the dry into the wet until well combined, but not over-mixed. If you like, you can fold in chocolate chips.

4. Pour the batter into your brownie pan, shake the pan around until the batter is evenly spread out.

5. Bake it in the oven for 30 minutes, allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Want more vegan baking ideas? This carrot cake recipe and this raspberry cheezecake recipe are so good even non-vegans will love them.

You Won’t Believe These Fudgy Sweet Potato Brownies Are Totally Gluten-Free

This is no ordinary brownie recipe. It’s made with a super secret ingredient — sweet potato! Sweet potatoes are undeniably delicious, loaded with nutrients and naturally gluten-free. If you’re looking for the perfect chocolatey, fudgy brownie with that beautiful shiny, crackly top, this Baking Therapy recipe was made for you.

The Fudgiest Sweet Potato Brownies

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time 35 to 38 minutes
Total Time: 55 to 58 minutes
Servings: 9 brownies

Ingredients:

1 cup sweet potato (about 2 or 3), mashed
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 large eggs
¾  cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork and microwave on high for 8-10 minutes until soft. Set aside to cool slightly and mash with a fork until smooth.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line and grease a 8×8-inch square pan.

3. Melt the bittersweet chocolate and coconut oil together, either in a double boiler or in the microwave, making sure to stir every 30 seconds. Set aside to cool.

Related: 35 Gluten-Free Dessert Recipes That Are Actually Delicious

4. In a medium bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs and brown sugar for about 5 minutes until lighter in colour and viscous.

6. On low speed, pour in chocolate and coconut oil mixture and the cocoa powder mixture. Add the sweet potato and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

7. Pour batter into the prepared pan, smooth out the top and bake for 35 to 38 minutes, until a toothpick when inserted comes out mostly clean.

8. Let the brownies cool in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before slicing.

Like Sabrina’s baking? Check out her easy recipe for soft rolls.

Watch out for Sabrina’s baking videos on the Food Network Canada Instagram account.


 

The 30-Minute Instant Pot Curry a Nutritionist Makes Every Week

Once a week, I make a large batch of healthy, vegetable- and protein-filled curry in my Instant Pot. It’s a top pick in my house and feeds us for lunch a few days after it’s made. Cozy, adaptable to any dietary preference and made in about 30 minutes (give or take five to 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come up to pressure and the steam to release), it’s a staple in our weekly rotation. And clean up is a breeze!

Along with the chicken curry recipe below, you’ll find ways to switch it up, which I often do, whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian or omnivore. I also have a few suggestions for my personal favourite part of the curry: the toppings.   

Instant Pot Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry (Adaptable)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6 

Ingredients: 

Curry
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, left whole (scroll to bottom for plant-based and pescatarian options)
1 white or yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium red new potatoes or 2 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp kosher salt
1 (14 oz) can full-fat coconut milk
1 (5.5 fl oz) can tomato paste
⅓ cup water or broth
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, ghee or coconut oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice, plus more for serving

Toppings and Serving Suggestions
Naan or roti
Cooked white or brown basmati rice
Plain yogurt, raita or cottage cheese
Lime or lemon juice
Fresh cilantro or mint
Mango chutney or sweet chili jam
Raisins
Ghee or butter
Nigella seeds
Toasted chopped cashews
Diced fresh chili or red pepper flakes

Directions: 

1. In your Instant Pot, stir to combine chicken, onion, garlic, ginger, potatoes, garam masala or curry powder, cumin, turmeric, salt, pepper, coconut milk, tomato paste and water.

2. Seal the lid and sealing switch on top. Cook on High Pressure for 15 minutes (Manual). After the time is up, turn the sealing switch to release the pressure, and then open the lid.

3. Remove chicken, shred or chop and add back to the pot with butter, ghee or coconut oil and lemon juice. Stir everything to combine and serve with any of the suggested toppings and accompaniments.

Tips for Modifying the Recipe:

1. Add more vegetables
Replace the new or Yukon gold potatoes with ½ head cauliflower cut into florets and stir in ½ cup frozen peas or a few handfuls of spinach right before serving (press Sauté to warm through if the frozen peas cool the curry down too much).

2. Make it vegan
Replace the chicken with 1 (19 oz) can drained and rinsed chickpeas, 1 block extra-firm tofu, or ½ large head cauliflower cut into florets.    

3. Make it vegetarian
Replace the chicken with with 1 (19 oz) can drained and rinsed chickpeas and top with a poached or soft-boiled egg. 

4. Make it pescatarian
Replace the chicken with peeled and deveined shrimp, adding only after cooking the curry base and vegetables. Once the pressure is released, press Sauté, add shrimp and cook, stirring often until cooked through, about 2 minutes.  

You’ll want to add this recipe to your roster of healthy Instant Pot meal ideas. And if you’re on a belly-warming recipe kick, try these slow-cooker curries along with The Pioneer Woman’s best soups and stews.

Rutabaga & Sweet Potato Casserole is the Vegetarian Comfort Food to Beat

What is a rutabaga, you ask? The bulbous root vegetable is similar to a turnip, with a sweeter and milder flavour, making it an excellent partner for sweet potatoes. Rutabagas also pack a nutritional punch, rich in vitamin C, fibre and potassium. That brings us to this oh-so-comforting casserole recipe that’s frankly a cold-weather must.

Cutting the rutabagas a bit thinner than the sweet potatoes accounts for their longer cooking time and ensures the veggies cook evenly, resulting in a tender, earthy and creamy side that’s a great accompaniment to a sumptuous roast, roast chicken or fish dish. Fall flavours come together in all their glory. Are you ready for it?

Rutabaga and Sweet Potato Casserole

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Servings: 8 to 10

Ingredients:

⅓ cup butter, cut into small cubes
⅓ cup flour
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1-½ tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 cups whole milk
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced (about ¼-inch thick)
1 small onion, thinly sliced (about ⅛-inch thick)
1 small rutabaga, peeled and thinly sliced (about ⅛-inch thick)

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Grease a 2L baking dish with butter.
2. Melt butter over medium heat in a non-stick skillet. Add flour, thyme, salt and pepper and whisk constantly for 1 minute. Pour in milk in three additions, whisking until thickened each time. Remove from heat.

3. Lay about half the sweet potatoes in an even layer into prepared dish. Top evenly with half the onion.

4. Pour and spread ⅓ of milk mixture over the vegetables. Layer with rutabaga and remaining onion, followed by another ⅓ of milk mixture. Top with remaining sweet potato and milk mixture, spreading to cover.

5. Bake until top is golden and vegetables are tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 60 to 70 minutes, covering with foil if top is browning too quickly.
6. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Looking for more creative ways to cook with root veggies? Here are 50 hearty recipes you’ll devour, plus 60 must-try casserole dishes for easy weeknights.

The 3 Best Grilled Veggie “Steaks” You’ll Ever Make (With Epic Marinades)

We’re in the heat of grilling season, with steaks and all their fine marinades sizzling on BBQs everywhere. But if you’re looking for a plant-based alternative (that’s not a veggie burger), hearty, meatier vegetables can take on the form of steak and be the star of the plate, too! Cabbage wedges with a maple balsamic drizzle, broccoli coated in dukkah and the tastiest garlic sweet potatoes are about to shake up your preconceived notions about grilling, one taste explosion at a time.

Grilled Cabbage Steaks with Maple Mustard Balsamic Drizzle

Mostly reserved for slaws and salads, cabbage is often a forgotten BBQ gem. Slicing it up into vegan “steaks” and placing it on the grill helps turn this bitter veggie into something sweet and smoky. The combo of maple, mustard and balsamic is a versatile sauce that transitions from wintry roasts to this summery drizzle, elevating the sweetness of the cabbage and adding a hit of acidity. Top with fresh basil leaves so every bite encompasses something crunchy and sweet; even better if the basil is picked from your own herb supply.

Ingredients:

Cabbage Steaks
1 small head of purple cabbage
1 Tbsp avocado oil
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp granulated garlic
Pinch of pepper
5-10 fresh basil leaves

Drizzle
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp whole-grain mustard or Dijon
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Cut the cabbage into wedges by slicing it in half lengthwise, and then slice those pieces in half, so you’re left with 4 wedges. Keep the core intact.
2. Place the cabbage in a large bowl or tray and season with avocado oil, sea salt, granulated garlic and pepper.
3. Fire up your grill to medium-high, place the wedges on and flip every 5-7 minutes so each side comes into contact with the grill and becomes slightly charred and softened.
4. Cook for a total of 15-20 minutes, and if the cabbage begins charring too much, move it off the flame and into an area of indirect heat.
5. While the cabbage is grilling, whisk together your drizzle in a small bowl.
6. Take the cabbage off the grill when tender, crispy and browned, allowing it to cool for 5 minutes, then drizzle the maple-mustard balsamic on top.
7. Tear up a few fresh basil leaves, and scatter over the dish for vibrancy and freshness.

Grilled Broccoli Steaks with Dukkah

In the last few years, people have obsessively grilled cauliflower “steaks”, but broccoli is overlooked as an equally grill-worthy veg. Like all veggies that are BBQ’d, broccoli softens, sweetens and becomes deliciously smoky. This Middle Eastern inspired dish places the broccoli on a delicious puddle of tahini sauce, before being topped with one of our favourite Egyptian spices: dukkah. The aromatic blend is a collection of toasted and crushed nuts, seeds and spices that provide texture, bite and important seasoning.

Ingredients:

Broccoli Steaks
1 broccoli bunch
1 Tbsp avocado oil
¼ tsp sea salt
½ tsp granulated garlic
Pinch of pepper
2-3 Tbsp dukkah spice (store-bought or homemade)

Tahini Lemon Sauce
¼ cup tahini
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp water
Pinch sea salt

Directions:
1. Slice the broccoli into large florets or steaks (so they don’t fall between the cracks of the grill), peel the stalk and slice them in half.
2. Place the broccoli in a bowl and season with avocado oil, sea salt, granulated garlic and pepper.
3. Turn the BBQ on medium-heat, place the broccoli florets and stalks on the grill. Every few minutes, flip the broccoli so each piece is cooked through and lightly charred (tongs work best). If broccoli is getting too browned, transfer the florets to an area of indirect heat.
4. While the broccoli is cooking, quickly prepare the tahini sauce. Once combined, pour it onto a plate and spread it out with the back of a spoon.
5. Place the grilled broccoli on the sauce, then sprinkle dukkah on top of the broccoli.

Grilled Sweet Potato Steaks with Cilantro Garlic Drizzle

How do you turn a root veggie into a summery dish? Grill it and smother it in fresh cilantro! This is a simple weekend BBQ recipe, since sweet potato wedges are always a crowd-pleaser. What makes it stand out from your typical roasted or deep fried wedge-variety is the smoky char marks that you simply can’t achieve from any other cooking method. BBQing veggies really does add so much flavour without doing much by way of seasoning. The cilantro-garlic drizzle that embellishes the dish is sort of like a gremolata, an Italian herb condiment, that just adds so much freshness from lemon, lemon zest and herbs. If cilantro is really not your jam, simply swap it for an herb you prefer like mint, basil or parsley.

Ingredients:

Sweet Potato Steaks
3 sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp avocado oil
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper

Drizzle
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp lemon zest
Pinch sea salt

Directions:

1. Slice the sweet potatoes into wedges – do this by cutting them in half lengthwise, and then slice the halves on a bias.
2. Mix the sweet potatoes with avocado oil, sea salt and pepper.
3. Place the sweet potatoes on a grill that’s on medium-high heat, allowing the wedges to cook about 5-7 minutes per side, then flip and cook for another 5-7 minutes. You should begin see grill marks, and the wedges should be soft on the inside.
4. As they’re cooking, whisk together the cilantro-garlic drizzle.
5. Place the wedges on a large plate and dollop the drizzle over top.

Don’t let your grill game stop there. Here are 20 vegan bbq recipes that pack a flavour punch, and 3 vibrant vegetarian dinners that make lemon the star.

A Nutritionist Reveals 10 Best Natural Foods for Dewy, Glowing Skin

If no makeup and no filter are your skin goals, Toronto-based integrative nutritionist and Good Goddess founder Natasha Geddes needs to be on your radar. This former fashion buyer and stylist to the stars, turned her laser focus to healthy eating after the birth of her son and daughter. She became passionate about quality ingredients, the power of supplements and, along the way, created an in-demand brand with a celebrity following. Here are 10 of her go-to foods for luminous skin that will help you get your glow on!

1. Wild-Caught Salmon

While Natasha likes to eat a plant-based diet as much as possible, she does make an exception when wild salmon is on the menu. It’s packed with vitamin E and Omega 3s – key players in reducing inflammation – plus a tongue-twister secret weapon: astaxanthin (pronounced asta-zan-thin). “This is a type of carotenoid and natural red pigment derived from algae,” says Natasha. “Astaxanthin helps skin maintain optimum moisture levels and has been proven to protect cells from UV damage.”


Get the recipe for Wheat Berry Bowl with Salmon and Miso Sauce

2. Avocado

Once relegated solely to taco night, this nutrient-dense fruit is now a menu powerhouse (avocado toast, anyone?). “Avocados are one of my favourite things,” says Natasha. “Full of healthy fats, they’re not only deliciously creamy, they also really pamper skin with antioxidants that brighten and hydrate. They are loaded with vitamin E, nature’s amazing moisturizer, and contain a natural sunblock that, like wild salmon, helps protect skin against UV rays – win win!”

3. Sweet Potato

Natasha remedies dry and dull looking complexions with this colourful superfood. A mashup of nutrients, the sweet potato is super skin-friendly thanks to beta carotene, the powerhouse antioxidant that converts to vitamin A when consumed. “Vitamin A promotes cell production and turnover so skin looks luminous – it’s sort of like the food version of retinol, which leaves skin supple and dewy. Use it to make fries, or swap out your avocado toast’s bread with a slice of baked sweet potato.”


Get the recipe for Sweet Potato Toast with Avocado and Sprouts

4. Cashews

Natasha rates most nuts as skin boosters – she’s especially fond of omega 3-rich Brazil nuts and how they promote skin elasticity – but her go-to for clear skin is the cashew. “It is the acne-fighting nut! Full of selenium, vitamin E and zinc, cashews reduce inflammation, promote cell growth and help renew damaged areas of the skin.” However, not all nuts are created equal when it comes to breakouts: Avoid peanuts, as they contain androgen, which speeds up sebum production and can worsen acne.

5. Bone Broth

This popular elixir is made by boiling bones to extract minerals, collagen (a key player in skin elasticity) and amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. Note: when protein levels are low, premature sagging and wrinkling can occur. One of the broth’s noteworthy amino acids is glutamine, which helps heal the intestinal barrier for optimal gut health. Natasha says, “I truly believe that great gut health equals healthier-looking skin.” She suggests adding greens to bone broth for a healthy light meal.


Get the recipe for Immune-Boosting Bone Broth, Chicken and Vegetable Soup

6. Cantaloupe

This sweet treat is the skin’s multi-tasker thanks to a dynamic combo of vitamins A and C. On its own, vitamin A keeps sebum production and cell turnover humming along so skin glows; double it up with vitamin C and you’ll double down on collagen formation, which contributes to smooth, firm-looking skin. “Vitamin C is necessary to build collagen. Just one cup of cantaloupe contains 97% of the recommended daily dosage.”

7. Blueberries

If you’re worried about broken capillaries, this berry is for you. Its point of difference is a mix of phytochemicals, including bioflavonoids, which help strengthen blood vessels so they’re less susceptible to breaking. “While everyone can benefit from blueberries, I highly recommend them to those with fair and sensitive skin.”


Get the recipe for this Antioxidant-Rich Green Tea and Blueberry Smoothie

8. Beets

Think of beets – whether juiced, steamed, roasted or raw – as the food version of wrinkle cream. “They are the anti-aging veggie!” says Natasha. “Packed with high concentrations of antioxidants, carotenoids, folate, fiber, iron, manganese, potassium and vitamin C, beets can actually decrease the depth and severity of wrinkles. The results are remarkable.”

9. Dairy-Free Coconut Yogurt

When Natasha was developing Good Goddess’s Coconut Cloud Yogurt, she knew that what she left out of it was just as important as what she put in. On the out list: dairy and sugar, which can weaken collagen and make skin vulnerable to wrinkles and sagging. On the in list: just two ingredients: coconut and vegan bacterial cultures. “This is a guilt-free treat that’s rich in probiotics, which get skin super glowy.”


See here for 20 Dairy-Free Foods Packed with Calcium

10. Detoxifying Water

To make the most of the day’s eight (or more) glasses, Natasha concocts her own detoxifying water. “Adding powerful boosters to water is fun and makes your H20 that much more efficient. My usuals: grass-fed collagen, lemon peels (filled with vitamin C to protect against free radicals), mint (fresh flavour plus nutrients) and a few slices of jalapeño (hello vitamin C and B6!). Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, and it promotes skin elasticity. As we age, we lose it, so it’s important to supplement whenever we can.”

Looking for more ways to eat your way to a fabulous complexion? Be sure to avoid these 14 Worst Foods For Your Skin!

Vegan Grain-Free Sweet Potato Gnocchi with High-Protein Pesto

Gnocchi is one of those dishes that seems too intimidating to make at home; yet, it’s actually quite simple. What makes this gnocchi particularly special is that it’s high in protein, vegan, grain-free and seriously delicious. You won’t find 00 flour or white potatoes here, instead a blend of sweet potato, chickpea flour and almond flour is the base of this gnocchi.  Regardless if you subscribe to a gluten-free or vegan lifestyle, this recipe is satisfying, tasty, filling and will leave you feeling like an accomplished home cook. It’s paired with a fibre-rich and high-protein pesto, that seamlessly incorporates cannellini beans, along with basil, walnuts and olive oil, for a creamy, smooth consistency.

Vegan Gluten-Free Chickpea Flour Gnocchi with High-Protein Pesto


Prep Time:
 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients:

Gnocchi:
2 sweet potatoes (1 ½ lbs)
1 ½ cups chickpea flour + dusting
½ cup almond flour
¼ cup brown rice flour
¾ tsp sea salt

Pesto:
2 cups basil
½ cup cannellini or navy beans
¼ cup toasted walnuts
1 garlic clove
1 Tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp sea salt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Water to thin out

Directions:

Gnocchi:
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Puncture around the skin of the sweet potatoes with a fork, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast in the oven for 40 minutes.
3. Allow the sweet potatoes to cool slightly, then discard the skin and scoop the inside of the sweet potatoes into a bowl.  Add 2 cups of chickpea flour, almond four, brown rice flour and sea salt and start to combine all ingredients together with your hands into a ball.
4. Flour your working surface and place the ball on top, begin to knead it well for about 3 minutes, form it back into a ball and cut it into 4 even pieces.


5. Roll each quarter of dough into a long log, then cut it into 1 inch pieces. Repeat with each piece of dough.
6. If you like, you can roll the gnocchi on the back tines of a fork to create those grooves (optional).
7. Place a large pot of water on the stove, salt it and allow it to come to a boil.
8. Once boiling, add a few pieces of gnocchi with a slotted spoon, careful not to overcrowd. Once they float to the top, take them out with a slotted spoon and place on a plate or in a colander.  If the gnocchis stick together in the water, stir the water (we prefer to use chopsticks when stirring).

Pesto:
1. Combine all pesto ingredients in a food processor or blender.  Blitz until you have a creamy consistency.

Assembly:
1. Once all the gnocchi is cooked, heat a skillet over medium heat and add a good glug of extra-virgin olive oil.
2. Toss the gnocchi in the oil so they lightly brown.  Once browned, place in a large bowl with the protein-packed pesto.
3. Scoop out a serving, and enjoy.

For more hearty, good-for-you dinner ideas that still taste indulgent, we know you’ll love these 15 Dairy-Free Pasta Recipes That Are Extra Creamy and these Satisfying Weeknight Recipes Where Vegetables Replace Carbs.

Make This Healthy Vegan Grain Bowl (With Wine-Baked Tofu!) For Your Holiday Dinner Party

Classic holiday dishes lend themselves naturally to the grain bowl concept, offering a combination of contrasting yet complementary textures, tastes and colours for a celebratory meal-in-one. This bowl also happens to be vegan, with a red wine-baked tofu instead of turkey and a roasted garlic miso-mushroom gravy. Simply mashed sweet potatoes, green beans enlivened with lemon and fluffy quinoa round out this celebratory holiday bowl.

Serve this up family-style and have guests build their own bowls, or enjoy it as a weeknight or weekend winter dinner. Like all great bowls, the add-ons and combinations are flexible – try roasted brussels sprouts or steamed kale instead of green beans, pan-fried butternut squash or mashed Yukon gold potatoes instead of mashed sweet potatoes and roasted chickpeas instead of tofu. Of course, the true testament to this bowl’s holiday status: the leftovers are delicious!

Healthy Vegan Grain Bowl With Red Wine Glazed Tofu and Miso-Mushroom Gravy

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Marinating Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Red Wine and Thyme Glazed Tofu:
1 (280 g) package extra-firm pressed tofu
½ cup red wine or cranberry juice
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp dried thyme

Mashed Sweet Potatoes:
4 medium sweet potatoes, well scrubbed
1 Tbsp coconut oil
¼ tsp salt
⅛ tsp ground black pepper



Roasted Garlic Miso-Mushroom Gravy:
1 whole head garlic, halved crosswise
2 Tbsp sweet white miso
2 Tbsp finely chopped dried porcini mushrooms
1 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp red wine or cranberry juice
1 Tbsp spelt flour
1¼ cups water, plus more to thin if desired

Lemony Green Beans:
200 g green beans, trimmed
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon zest

For Serving:
3–4 cups cooked quinoa or brown rice, warm
Lemon wedges
Chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

Red Wine and Thyme Glazed Tofu:
1. Slice tofu into ¼-inch slabs and then each slab diagonally into 2 triangles. In a large shallow dish, whisk to combine red wine or cranberry juice, vinegar, tamari or soy sauce, maple syrup and thyme. Add tofu in a single layer, cover, and marinade at room temperature for 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare the other components.
2. When you’re ready to bake the tofu, preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and add tofu in a single layer. Drizzle over marinade. Bake for 7 minutes, flip and bake for an additional 7 to 12 minutes, or until tofu is beginning to brown and dry around the edges and marinade is reduced. Reheat in the oven right before serving.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Garlic:
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or foil and add sweet potatoes. Prick with a knife to allow steam to escape and pop in the oven for 35 to 50 minutes, until completely tender when pierced with a knife.
2. Roast the garlic for the gravy in a foil ball at the same time as you are cooking the sweet potatoes, until tender. Cool and reserve for gravy.
3. When potatoes are cool enough to handle but still warm so coconut oil will melt, peel sweet potatoes, discard skin and add sweet potato flesh to a large bowl along with coconut oil, salt and pepper. Mash with a fork until smooth. Reheat right before serving in a low oven or on the stovetop.

Roasted Garlic Miso-Mushroom Gravy:
1. Squeeze half of the roasted garlic (method above) in a medium saucepan – it’s okay if you get garlic papers in the pot as this will be strained at the end. To garlic, add miso, mushrooms, coconut oil, vinegar, red wine or cranberry juice, tamari or soy sauce and flour.
2. Whisking constantly, heat miso mixture over medium heat until coconut oil is melted and a thick, bubbling paste forms. Slowly whisk in water and cook, whisking constantly, until bubbling and thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and rest for 2 minutes, then strain using a fine mesh sieve into a warmed gravy boat or small pouring jug. Discard used sieve components.



Lemony Green Beans:
Steam or blanch green beans until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain and add to a large bowl and toss with olive oil and lemon zest. Set aside until ready to serve.

Assembly:
To bowls, add a bed of quinoa, dollop of mashed sweet potatoes, side of green beans and fan of tofu. Pour over warm gravy, to taste, and finish with a sprinkle of parsley and squeeze of lemon. Serve immediately. Alternatively, lay everything out family-style and allow guests to build their own bowls.

Craving more wholesome easy-to-make recipes? Here are 15 Meal-Sized Salads You’ll Actually Crave, and 15 Sweet and Savoury Breakfast Bowls for Brighter Mornings.

Vegan Sweet Potato and Kale Galette with Pistachio Parmesan

We’re in the full swing of fall now and hiding away in the kitchen to make some comforting meals is just what you need. Making your own dough doesn’t have to be a hassle either. Try our easy recipe for this sweet potato and kale galette with a flaky coconut oil and rosemary crust. You can even fill it with other seasonal vegetables like butternut squash or finely chopped Brussels sprouts — it’s up to you!888_sweet-potato-and-kale-galette

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 2-4

Ingredients:

Pistachio Parmesan:
¼ cup roasted & unsalted pistachio nut meat (can sub roasted almonds or cashews)
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp sea salt

Crust:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground pepper
5 Tbsp solid coconut oil
2/3 cup cold water
¼ cup all-purpose flour (for rolling dough)

Filling:
1 sweet potato
2 cups roughly chopped kale leaves (stems removed)
¼ cup thinly sliced white onion
2 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
2. In a coffee grinder, combine the ingredients for the pistachio parmesan and grind into a fine meal. Set aside.
3. Thinly slice the sweet potato and onion with a mandolin. Coat with 2 tsp olive oil and set aside.
4. Massage lemon juice into roughly chopped kale and set aside.
5. To make the crust, blend together 1½ cups all-purpose flour, rosemary, sea salt and ground pepper in a large mixing bowl.
6. Using a pastry blender, cut in coconut oil until the mixture looks like crumbs.
7. Make a well in the middle of flour mixture and add cold water. Fold it only a few times with your hands to mix the dough until it just comes together. Be careful not to over mix.
8. Lay out a large piece of parchment paper onto a flat, dry surface. Dust the parchment paper with some all-purpose flour and place dough on top. Dust a rolling pin with flour as well, and gently roll out the dough to approximately a 15” oval or circle. It doesn’t have to be perfect as this is meant to look rustic. Note: rolling it out on parchment paper makes transferring it to a baking pan much easier.
9. Sprinkle about ¾ of the pistachio parmesan mixture on the entire surface of the dough.
10. Slightly overlap the thinly sliced sweet potatoes in the centre of the dough, leaving a 2” rim of dough all around.
11. Add a little more pistachio parmesan on top, and then add kale, onion slices and remaining thinly sliced sweet potatoes (you might only use ¾ of the sweet potato depending on its size).
12. Fold the 2”-edge of dough over top of the vegetables and pinch together any excess creating a crust.
13. Take 1 Tbsp of olive oil and brush the edges of the crust with it and drizzle any remaining oil on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle remaining pistachio parmesan all over crust and on top.
14. Lift the sides of parchment paper and gently place the galette on a large baking sheet or pizza pan. Bake for 25 minutes.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Why Sweet Potato Toast is All the Rage (+ 2 New Recipes!)

Sweet potato toast is all of the rage right now. Why, you may ask? Well, it’s paleo-friendly, inherently gluten-free, Instagram-worthy and just darn right delicious. Some people don’t feel great after eating bread first thing in the morning, and sometimes complain of crashing, bloating or feeling foggy. Sweet potato toast is a creative and nourishing alternative that provides your body with immune boosting antioxidants and helps regulates blood sugar. This makes it a perfect breakfast (or snack) for starting your day off on the right foot.

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Show us your sweet potato toast creations @foodnetworkCA and tag #MyFNCRecipe.

Ingredients:

Fried Egg & Avocado Sweet Potato Toast:
2 sweet potato slices
1/2 avocado
Pinch of sea salt and pepper
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sunflower sprouts or pea shoots
2 eggs
1 Tbsp butter

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Almond Butter, Apple & Banana Sweet Potato Toast:
2 sweet potato slices
2 Tbsp crunchy almond butter
1/4 granny smith apple, thinly sliced
1/3 banana, sliced
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp hemp seeds

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Directions:

Fried Egg & Avocado Sweet Potato Toast:
1. Cut a sweet potato lengthwise into slices that are 1/4-inch thick.
2. Place 2 of these sweet potato slices in the toaster and toast for 10 minutes, flipping them after 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook 2 over-easy eggs. Heat 1 Tbsp of butter over medium-high and swirl around to coat the pan. Crack each egg into a small dish, like a ramekin, and pour into the pan. Flip the eggs after about 15-20 seconds and then cook for another 15-20 seconds. Remove the eggs and place on a separate plate.
4. Once the sweet potato slices are toasted, fan the avocado slices over them and place the over easy eggs on top.
5. Sprinkle sea salt and pepper over. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and pea shoot sprouts.

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Almond Butter, Apple & Banana Sweet Potato Toast:
1. Cut a sweet potato lengthwise into slices that are 1/4-inch thick.
2. Place 2 of these sweet potato slices in the toaster and toast for 10 minutes, flipping them after 5 minutes.
3. Smear crunchy almond butter over the toast.
4. Fan a granny smith apple over one slice and bananas over the other.
5. Drizzle honey on top and sprinkle with cinnamon and hemp seeds.

Watch this handy guide to all things sweet potatoes, including how to select, store and cook them.

Photos by Sarah Grossman.

Vegan Sweet Potato and Sauerkraut Perogies

Perogies are definitely one of those comfort foods every Canadian can get behind. But if you think making homemade perogies is difficult or only something a Polish grandmother should do, think again!

We chose to make them vegan-friendly with our own tasty filling, and we can’t believe how easy it is. Feel free to experiment with other filling combinations, and be sure to make a big batch — you can freeze what’s left over for easy, delicious dinners, anytime!

888_sweet-potato-and-sauerkraut-pierogies

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 48 perogies

Ingredients:

Dough:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup water
2 Tbsp sunflower oil
1/4 – 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (for rolling out dough)

Filling:
3 1/2 cups sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp vegan butter or margarine
1/2 tsp dill
1/4 tsp sage
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/3 cup sauerkraut

Directions:
1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook cubed sweet potato for 10 minutes, or until pieces are cooked through and tender.
2. While sweet potatoes are cooking, make the dough by combining all-purpose flour with sea salt. Add water and sunflower oil, and fold until just combined.
3. Place dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until it comes together and is slightly sticky, but not sticking to your hands too much. Lightly flour the ball of dough, then cut in half and wrap each smaller ball of dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough while you prepare the filling.
4. Drain sweet potatoes and mash until very smooth with the filling ingredients, except sauerkraut. Stir in the sauerkraut after mashing and mixing the sweet potato mixture. Refrigerate until ready to fill perogies.
5. If cooking the perogies immediately, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil while you roll, cut and fill the perogies.
6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one ball of dough until it is 1/16” thick. Use a 3 1/2”to 4” round cookie cutter and cut out rounds of dough. Place each piece of dough onto a lightly floured baking sheet or tray, and cover with a tea towel while you continue to roll dough and cut out rounds. Do the same with the other ball of dough.
7. Place 1/2 to 3/4 Tbsp of sweet potato filling on one side of each round of dough. Have a small dish of water standing by. Using your finger, dab a little water around the edge of half the circle, fold the other side of dough over the filling, and gently press and slightly pinch the two sides together, sealing the pierogie. Set each pierogie back onto the floured baking sheet or tray without over lapping. If you want to freeze them at this point, make sure they’re lightly floured on the outside to prevent sticking and place them between layers of parchment paper.
8. Boil perogies in small batches for 3 to 4 minutes until they float to the surface. Remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and set aside.
9. Right before serving, fry perogies in batches in a pan over medium heat with vegan butter for approximately 2 minutes per side, until golden brown.
10. Serve with vegan sour cream, caramelized onions or fried mushrooms.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Sweet Potato Wedges with Chipotle Dipping Sauce

Sweet potato wedges make a fantastic snack or simple side dish, especially when paired with a tasty sauce for dipping. Sweet potatoes are packed with Vitamin A and fibre, among other health benefits, and their naturally sweet flavour and crispy exterior (once baked) makes them a fan favourite you can feel good about serving your friends and family.

888_Sweet-Potato-Wedges-with-Chipotle-Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut into wedges
1 tsp canola oil
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tsp honey
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp adobo
1 tsp minced chipotle

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425°F with a baking sheet in the centre of the oven.
2. In a bowl, gently toss sweet potato with oil, salt and pepper. Arrange sweet potato wedges in a single layer on the preheated baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, turning once midway through until browned on all sides.
3. Meanwhile, whisk together mayonnaise, honey, cumin, adobo and chipotle. Serve wedges alongside chipotle dip.

amanda riva Amanda Riva is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients. Amanda Riva is part of the Blog Network family.

There’s No Taste Like Home: Two-Potato Latkes

A traditional Hannukah favourite, latkes are prime for delicious new twists—but nothing beats the original.

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Phyllis Grossman may just make the best latkes in Toronto. If you ask Zane Caplansky, owner of Caplansky’s Deli and host of Toronto’s annual Latkepalooza festival, that is. It’s a dead heat between Phyllis, two-time winner of Latkepalooza’s Battle of the Bubbies competition, and Caplansky’s mother. Figures that man whose own latkes sell by the tens of thousands every Hannukah would cede pancake primacy to a bona fide bubbie and his own mom. Latkes are just that kind of good-for-the-soul comfort food that—whether you’re Jewish or not—brings back childhood, family and tradition.

So, against Phyllis, no one stands a chance. “You get all these young upstart kids with their newfangled latkes,” laughs Caplansky. “But the competition is by popular ballot…and Phyllis wins by a mile.” It’s not that twists on the classic aren’t welcome, or delicious. Caplansky himself is apt to play with colour, bringing in sweet potato for orange latkes, or beets for red ones, each variation adding sweetness to the savoury favourite. Mouth-watering possibilities just roll of the tongue, like using latkes as “buns” in a brisket slider, or slicing them into fries to make poutine, “or if you grate a little white truffle onto your latke—no bubbie ever did that, but you’d be the hit of the Hannukah party,” Caplansky says. “There’s a place for tradition and continuity and there’s another place for starting new traditions and creativity,” he says. “I’ve always loved melding those old-world and new-word sensibilities.”

Caplansky’s culinary success backs up his philosophy. But when the votes are counted, it’s Phyllis who wins every time—and with the simplest of recipes. It’s the mom’s-kitchen goodness of latkes that fuels their popularity. “People can’t or won’t divorce themselves from that memory,” Caplansky says. “So when Phyllis serves what she serves it just hits that nerve.”

This article is courtesy of The Kit.

Two-Potato Latkes

Prep & Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 8

888_two-potato-latkes

Ingredients:

5 baking potatoes, about 2½ pounds
2 sweet potatoes, about 1½ pounds
3 small onions, quartered
4 eggs, beaten
? cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon tsp pepper
Vegetable oil, for cooking

Directions:

  1. Peel baking and sweet potatoes and cut lengthwise into quarters.
  2. By hand or in food processor using shredder blade, alternately shred onions and potatoes.
  3. Transfer to colander; squeeze out as much moisture as possible, discarding liquid.
  4. Transfer potato and onion mixture to large bowl. Mix in eggs, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.
  5. In 2 skillets, heat 1/4 inch (5 mm) oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.
  6. Add ¼ cup (50 ml) mixture per latke to skillets, leaving space between each; flatten slightly.
  7. Cook for 3 minutes or until browned and crisp around edges; turn and cook until crisp and golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towel–lined racks to drain well.
  8. Repeat with remaining mixture, stirring to re-blend, removing any cooked bits from skillet and adding more oil as necessary.

Get more holiday recipes and tips here: The Kit Holiday Issue.

Sweet VS Savoury: 14 Different Ways to Cook Sweet Potato

Sweet potato

 

The sweet potato craze continues to grow and it’s no wonder; they’re affordable, versatile and super-healthy! This colourful veggie is loaded with antioxidants, Vitamins A and C, and dietary fibre—all essential for good health! They also have endless culinary capabilities that extend way beyond the basic casserole dish or sweet potato fries. So what are you waiting for? Jump on the sweet potato train, and start enjoying the orange spud — morning, noon and night!

  1.  Anna’s Sweet Potato Homefries
  2.  Sweet Potato & Spinach Frittata with Fresh Sweet Onion Salsa
  3.  Sweet ‘n Spicy Breakfast Hash
  4.  Healthy Potato Skins
  5.  Sweet Potato Poutine
  6.  Sweet Potato Soup with Matchstick Fries & Frizzled Leeks
  7.  Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potato
  8.  Sweet Potato Dumplings
  9.  Sweet Potato Cakes
  10.  Braised Lamb Shank Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Mash
  11.  Sweet Potato Marshmallow Bake
  12.  Vegan Baked Chocolate Almond Doughnuts
  13.  Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcake
  14.  Sweet Potato Pie

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