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- CAULIFLOWER JICAMA NORI HAND ROLLS
Serving size: 3 I love to make these whenever I'm in the mood for sushi at home. They come together quickly and are perfectly light and refreshing, yet surprisingly very filling. Instead of actual white rice, I make a rice alternative from a blend of both cauliflower and jicama. These rolls are packed with fiber from the "rice" blend, abundant in healthy fats from the avocado and loaded with tons of vitamins from the nori and vegetables. INGREDIENTS • 4 cups cauliflower florets • 2 cups jicama, cubed • 2 tablespoons mirin • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar • 1 teaspoon salt • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds • 1 tablespoon kelp flakes • 1 teaspoon onion powder • 1 teaspoon umami seasoning • 3 large carrots • 1 cucumber • 1 avocado • 3 nori sheets • 1/2 cup microgreens I use this umami seasoning blend from Whole Foods. Jicama is like a savory apple — crisp, crunchy and white with a high water content, just not as sweet as an apple. Because jicama is 85% water and high in fiber, it's extremely beneficial for digestion and gut health. In fact, Jicama is specifically rich in inulin, a prebiotic fiber that helps feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut. DIRECTIONS Add your cauliflower and jicama to a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles a crumb texture similar to white rice. You may need to do this in 2 batches to make sure you get all the pieces chopped down enough in the food processor. Also, be careful not to over pulse or else the mixture will become too mushy. Add this mixture to a bowl and toss with the mirin, rice wine vinegar, and salt. Set this mixture aside in the fridge while you prep your vegetables and the rest of the dish. In a small bowl, combine the sesame seeds, kelp flakes, onion powder, and umami seasoning. This blend will be sprinkled inside the hand rolls before rolling and also sprinkled once more after rolling. Using a mandolin, julienne your carrots and cucumber. You can also cut these long thin strips by hand but I don't recommend it. Slice your avocado into strips as well and set aside. For the nori sheets, they will likely come in a large rectangular shape. You will need to cut the sheet in half lengthwise to create an even thinner rectangular shape. It should measure roughly 4 x 9 inches after cutting. Position the nori sheet lengthwise in front of you and begin by placing some of the cauliflower rice mixture only on the left side (covering only about 1/4 of the sheet). Spread and flatten out the cauliflower rice only this small area, then sprinkle your seasoning mixture on top. Next, place your carrot and cucumber sticks at a diagonal angle with the top ends sticking towards the upper left corner of the nori sheet. Add the avocado slices and sprinkle the micro greens on top of the veggies. To roll, fold up the bottom left corner of the sheet towards the top edge to form a triangle and continue to roll until a cone shape forms. This will take some practice if you've never done it before. Once the nori is in a cone shape, I like to sprinkle more of the seasoning blend on the open end of the roll. Serve with additional microgreens, avocado slices and enjoy. I love how these rolls make a sushi dish accessible at home and unlike a roll that you would get at a restaurant, it won't spike your blood sugar due to the swap of white rice for fiber rich, nutrient dense cauliflower-jicama rice.
- BLACK BEAN CACAO BROWNIES
Serving size: 9 Black bean brownies might be one of my best recipe remake deceptions of all time. Not one single person I have served these to has ever guessed that there are black beans hidden inside. They taste like a good old-fashioned ooey-gooey, decadent and rich chocolate treat but are secretly packed with fiber, protein, antioxidants and more. Plus, the combination of protein & fiber in here won't cause your blood sugar to spike and will actually digest slowly in the body keeping you fuller for longer — now that's exactly how I want to end the night, satiated and satisfied. INGREDIENTS • 1 1/2 cups black beans (one 15 oz can) • 1/2 cup oat flour • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup • 1/4 cup avocado oil • 2 tablespoons cacao powder • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract • 3/4 teaspoon salt • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder • 1/2 cup vegan semisweet chocolate chunks Avocado oil is great for baking because it has a neutral flavor and a high smoke point which means it doesn't release toxic compounds when it reaches a high temperature. Plus, avocado oil is rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, as well as vitamin E. I exclusively use the Enjoy Life brand of semisweet chocolate chunks because I've found them to be the best tasting chocolate chips, even including non-vegan chocolate chip brands. DIRECTIONS Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the ingredients (except the chocolate chunks) in a food processor or high-powered blender and purée until completely smooth. Remove the batter from the food processor, stir in the chocolate chunks, then pour into a greased 8 x 8 square baking pan. At this point, I like to sprinkle several more chocolate chunks on top. Bake the brownies for 15-18 minutes and allow them to cool completely before cutting. Feel free to stir in and/or top the brownies with any other add-ins of your choice before baking such as walnuts, pecans, cacao nibs, flaked sea salt, or even some vegan mini marshmallows. These are equal parts cakey, chewy, and fudgey with an intensely rich chocolate flavor and a dense, super moist texture. Brownies are a timeless hit and making them with black beans significantly boosts their nutritional profile. Let's not also forget that using nutrient-dense *cacao* instead of processed *cocoa* adds an additional boost of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals shown to improve mood, metabolism, and skin health.
- CUCUMBER MELON FETA MINT SALAD
Serving size: 2 This dish is the epitome of a light and juicy summer refresher — perfect as a starter, side dish, or snack. It's packed with immune-boosting & skin-beautifying carotenoids from the melons and comes together rather quickly. Because watermelon, cantaloupe, and cucumber all contain up to 90 percent water, it's also ultra hydrating. INGREDIENTS • 4 tablespoons champagne vinegar • 2 tablespoons raw honey • 1/8 teaspoon salt • 1 shallot • handful fresh mint leaves • 2 tablespoons pistachio oil (or olive oil) • 2 cups cubed watermelon • 2 cups cubed cantaloupe • 2 mini cucumbers • 1/4 cup vegan feta • 2 tablespoons crushed pistachios Pistachio oil has a high concentration of linoleic acid, fatty acids, and vitamin E — all incredible for skin health. Pistachio oil isn't commonly found in most stores, so if you'd like to use I'd recommend ordering online. I love all of La Tourangelle's cooking oils and they make a great Roasted Pistachio Oil. DIRECTIONS Begin by making the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, add the champagne vinegar, honey, salt and whisk to combine. Cut your shallot into very fine, thin slices (I highly recommend using a mandolin for this). Add your thinly sliced shallots to the vinaigrette mixture and toss to coat the shallots in the liquid. Add a few fresh mint leaves to this mixture and set aside in the fridge for roughly 10 minutes while you assemble the rest of the salad. Using the mandolin once more, slice the mini cucumbers into very thin ribbons length wise. Arrange the cubed watermelon, cantaloupe, and cucumber ribbons in a bowl, followed by a drizzle of pistachio oil. Remove the shallot vinaigrette mixture from the fridge, take out several of the sliced shallots from the mixture and add on top of your melons and cucumber. Drizzle the salad with some of the vinaigrette, pistachio oil, and salt to taste. Finish with a sprinkle of vegan feta, crushed pistachios, and more fresh mint leaves. Interestingly, the phytonutrient lycopene found in watermelon is actually better absorbed in the presence of fat so the pistachio oil in this salad is a perfect pairing. The mint in here also stimulates digestive enzymes which help facilitate better absorption of nutrients from food and when the body is able to absorb nutrients properly, your metabolism is also improved.
- SUPERFOOD MACADAMIA MATCHA LATTE
Serving size: 1 This is one of my favorite things to drink ever and is honestly the highlight of my morning. I truly look forward to waking up and sipping on this to start my day. I absolutely love macadamia milk (especially my homemade recipe) and it pairs so perfectly with the matcha and spirulina. I promise, you will never want to go back to your plain old matcha and milk latte after this — I'm honestly addicted. MATCHA LATTE INGREDIENTS • 1 cup homemade macadamia milk* (recipe below) • 1 1/2 teaspoons matcha • 1 - 2 tablespoons date sugar • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla powder • 1/4 teaspoon spirulina My favorite brand of date sugar is by Let's Date, available at Whole Foods or on amazon here. If you are using my homemade macadamia milk recipe to make your latte, you likely only need 1 tablespoon of the date sugar for your latte. Make sure you use a high quality, pure vanilla powder. I use this Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder from Whole Foods but there are many other high quality brands out there. MACADAMIA MILK INGREDIENTS • 1 cup raw macadamia nuts (soaked for 2 hours) • 3 cups water • 1/8 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt • 2 whole dates, pitted • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla powder You can buy macadamia milk at the store but I can confidently say it does not compare to this homemade version. When making homemade nut milks, be sure your nuts of choice are always raw and not toasted or salted. MACADAMIA MILK DIRECTIONS Place the macadamia nuts in a bowl and cover with room temperature water and allow to soak for 2 hours. Once the nuts have finished soaking, strain out all of the water from the bowl and discard. Place the macadamia nuts and 3 cups of fresh water, along with the salt, dates, and vanilla into a high-powered blender. Blend until smooth, then pour the contents of the blender through a nut milk bag over a bowl. Wring out the bag to squeeze all the milk out (this recipe will make about 3 cups of milk). Pour the milk from the bowl into glass jars and enjoy throughout the week. I use these nut milk bags because they are reusable, easy to use & clean, and also filter out the nut milk pulp perfectly. MATCHA LATTE DIRECTIONS Pour 1 cup of the macadamia milk into your frother followed by the matcha, date sugar, vanilla powder, and spirulina. Set your frother on the heat and foam function and let it do the rest! Once complete, pour into your favorite mug and enjoy. Spirulina is considered the most nutrient dense food on the planet so I love how this incorporates it into my morning latte that I'm having anyway. Because the matcha is already green, you wouldn't even notice that it's in there. Elevating my matcha with this simple addition makes me feel so good — I truly see and feel all the health & beauty benefits that come with it. Both matcha and spirulina alone are nutritional powerhouses, so this latte combo featuring both of them has been one of my favorite practices, not to mention that it tastes incredible.
- ALMOND SESAME SEED FALAFELS
Serving size: 12 While falafels are already typically vegan, they're not always gluten-free and are usually deep fried. My version is both gluten-free and offers a healthier alternative to deep frying by baking them. Falafels are naturally packed with plant protein thanks to all the chickpeas, as well as countless other micronutrients & antioxidants from the variety of fresh herbs, onion, and garlic. INGREDIENTS • 1 cup *dried* chickpeas (cannot be canned) • 4 cloves garlic • 1/2 medium yellow onion • 2 to 4 tablespoons almond flour • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder • 1 teaspoon sea salt • white pepper to taste • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely minced • 2 tablespoons mint, finely minced • 1/3 cup cilantro, finely minced • 1/4 cup sesame seeds It is absolutely CRUCIAL that you use DRIED chickpeas and not chickpeas from a can to make falafels. If you attempt to use chickpeas out of a can, they will turn out as complete mush. If you're used to only buying chickpeas out of a can, you can find dried chickpeas in the same section of the grocery store usually in a bag like this. DIRECTIONS To make the falafels, begin by placing the dried chickpeas into a large bowl and cover with about 3 inches of cold water. Let these soak for at least 4 hours or overnight then drain, rinse, and set aside. You will be left with approximately 3 cups of beans after they're done soaking. In a food processor, pulse the garlic a few times then add the onion and pulse again. Next, add all of the soaked chickpeas, almond flour, flaxseeds, baking powder, salt, pepper and pulse everything together. Once combined, scrape the mixture into a large bowl, add the finely minced parsley, mint, and cilantro and stir to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. After refrigeration is complete, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Start forming the falafels into your desired shape — round balls or patties (I like to make them into balls). At this point, you can also taste-test the mixture and adjust seasoning as needed. Additionally, if the mixture isn't sticking together easily, you may want to add a touch more of the almond flour. Before adding the falafels to a baking sheet, gently roll each one in sesame seeds. This step is entirely optional and not necessary but will make for an even crunchier falafel. Lightly grease a sheet pan and arrange the shaped falafels on the pan. Using a basting brush, lightly brush the falafels with oil. Alternatively, you can spray them with oil. This will help the falafels develop better color and an outer golden layer in the baking process. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until cooked all the way through and slightly golden on the outside. Falafels are best served immediately after cooking while they're still warm and crispy! Serving options range from inside a pita wrap to on a salad, as part of a Mediterranean bowl, as an appetizer/snack with vegan tzatziki, or even in a burger as the patty. My favorite way to enjoy these falafels is with a homemade whipped garlic spread and roasted beets as pictured above. These can get addicting with their crispy outside and soft, crumbly chickpea dough inside but luckily this recipe makes a batch with plenty of leftovers to enjoy throughout the week in a variety of different applications.
- BLACK ELDERBERRY BASIL MOCKTAIL
Serving size: 1 This is quickly becoming one of my favorite mocktails, especially when I feel the need to boost my immune system (which is quite often lately). This drink is made with homemade elderberry syrup and serves a dual purpose as it can be saved and utilized as a wellness shot for the rest of the week. MOCKTAIL INGREDIENTS • 1 handful blueberries • 1 tablespoon elderberry syrup* (recipe below) • 1 tablespoon agave • 1/2 cup ice • 1 cup sparkling water • a few blackberries • a few basil leaves Agave is not normally my sweetener of choice but it works well for this recipe. ELDERBERRY SYRUP INGREDIENTS • 1/2 cup dried elderberries • 2 cups water • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon • 1/4 tsp ground cloves • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced • 1/2 cup raw honey Dried elderberries can be sourced on amazon. I use these ones. DIRECTIONS FOR THE ELDERBERRY SYRUP To prepare the elderberry syrup, combine the elderberries, water, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 25-30 minutes until the mixture has reduced by half. Pour the contents of the saucepan through a strainer over a bowl to strain out all the solids. (You can discard what remains in the strainer.) Allow the elderberry juice to cool completely before stirring in the honey. Waiting to complete this step is important as incorporating the honey into the hot liquid will cause the heat to damage the health properties of the raw honey. Once the elderberry juice and honey are combined, you can store the syrup in a mason jar and use throughout the week as an immune boosting wellness shot. DIRECTIONS FOR THE MOCKTAIL Muddle a handful of fresh blueberries into the bottom of your selected mocktail glass. Pour in 1 tablespoon of the elderberry syrup, followed by 1 tablespoon of agave and muddle these into the blueberries. Add the ice over top the blueberry mixture and scatter the blackberries and fresh basil leaves throughout the glass. Pour in the sparkling water and top with more basil leaves and garnish of choice. The drink is assembled and layered this way for the appealing ombré effect, but once ready to serve and consume you should give the glass a stir to fully combine all the ingredients. I love this drink because you're getting a healthy dose of immune boosting elderberries but it also tastes so good and refreshing. Bonus — you're also left with a whole jar of fresh, homemade elderberry syrup to enjoy throughout the week.
- NECTARINE WHITE HONEY CHEESECAKE
Serving size: 8 This dessert is a simple, light, and naturally sweetened favorite. Plus, I can get away with saying it does have some nutritional benefits from the walnuts, raw honey, and nectarines used to make it. While nectarines certainly don't make up the entirety of this dessert, it's worth mentioning that they are an incredible source of antioxidants and one polyphenol in particular (gallic acid) that is currently being researched for its potential health benefits for a number of conditions including certain cancers, brain health, inflammation, and obesity. INGREDIENTS • 2 cups walnuts • 8 dates, pitted (soaked) • 2 1/2 tablespoons almond flour • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt • 1 1/2 cups cashews (soaked) • 5 tablespoons raw white honey • 1/4 cup refined coconut oil, melted • 2 tablespoons lemon juice • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 2 white nectarines, peeled/skin removed Make sure you use *refined* coconut oil here. Refined coconut oil has a neutral taste with absolutely no coconut aroma to it which is exactly what we want for this recipe. Don't worry, both refined and virgin coconut oil have the same nutritional profile. I use the brand White Gold for my raw white honey because it's super creamy and white. The purpose of using raw white honey is twofold: so the "cheesecake" layer comes out more bright white and because it's full of healing phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and enzymes. DIRECTIONS Begin by preparing the crust of the cheesecake. Add the walnuts to a food processor and pulse until formed into crumbs. Add the previously soaked & pitted dates, almond flour, coconut sugar, salt and pulse until well combined. Turn the food processor on high speed until the ingredients form into a large ball of dough. Add the dough ball to a bowl, cover, and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, press your dough firmly into the bottom of a lightly greased springform cake pan (I use this 7 inch one). Using a springform will make it easier to cut in the end but you could also use a pie or tart pan, or even make individual size servings by dividing the mixture up in ramekins. Whichever container you've chosen, place the crust in the freezer and let rest for 1 hour while you make the filling. Add your previously soaked cashews to the food processor followed by the honey, melted coconut oil, lemon juice, vanilla and blend until smooth. Add in your 2 white nectarines with the skin removed and purée until well incorporated. Take the crust out of the freezer and pour your filling on top, using a spatula to create a smooth surface. Place the cheesecake in the freezer and let rest for at least 4 hours or overnight in order for the filling to harden. After it has hardened in the freezer, transfer to the fridge and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes to an hour before you plan on serving. This will make sure it's no longer frozen. Garnish with additional fresh nectarine slices and serve. The nectarines make this a juicy, irresistibly sweet dessert with a subtle honey floral aroma that's only further enhanced by the raw white honey. I enjoy this even more knowing that it's made with wholesome ingredients and that it's completely raw so all of the nutrients are still completely in tact.
- ULTIMATE ANTI-INFLAMMATORY GOLDEN LATTE
Serving size: 1 I love a true anti-inflammatory turmeric latte — not a "pretend" turmeric latte. Let me clarify. There have been numerous studies showing that there are very little of the nutritional properties that are present in fresh turmeric root compared to its dried & powder form. This is why I steer clear of any turmeric powder blends and opt for golden lattes made with either fresh turmeric juice or freshly ground turmeric root. Some of the curcumin (the main antioxidant compound in turmeric) is lost during the processing stage of the powder form and the nutrients from fresh turmeric are also more bioavailable which means they will be better absorbed and used by the body. Of course, consuming powdered turmeric won't do any harm and is better than nothing but if you're really looking to get the maximum benefits turmeric has to offer, then utilizing the fresh root is always better. My feeling is that if you're going to take the time to make a golden latte or spend the money on one, you might as well do it right. GOLDEN LATTE INGREDIENTS • 1 cup oat milk • 1 date, pitted • 2 pieces fresh turmeric root (each about the size of a thumb) • 1 piece fresh ginger root (about the size of a thumb) • 1 teaspoon walnut butter • 1/2 teaspoon hemp seeds • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon • pinch of black pepper To take the anti-inflammatory benefits one step further in my golden lattes, I like to blend in some walnut butter AND hemp seeds that are both packed with omega-3's. The walnut butter also adds a nice subtle creaminess to the drink. DIRECTIONS Begin by mincing your turmeric root and ginger root to the best of your ability and set aside. It doesn't have to be uniform or perfect as these will eventually get blended, but you do want them cut up enough to be broken down by your blender easily and incorporated well into the drink. Pour the oat milk into a small saucepan then add the date and minced turmeric and ginger. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. Normally it be would be advised not to heat the raw turmeric or ginger root, but letting these steep in the oat milk as its heating helps infuse the milk with the fresh roots and also helps to soften the date. Once the oat milk mixture is hot/warm but no longer burning hot, pour everything into a high-powered blender. Add in the walnut butter, hemp seeds, cinnamon, and black pepper and blend until everything is smooth and well incorporated. There's no need to use a frother in this recipe since the blender creates a light foam in the blending process. The mixture should still be warm and ready to serve after blending. Pour into your favorite mug, feel free to top with more cinnamon, and enjoy. I accurately titled this the ULTIMATE anti-inflammatory latte for a reason —each of the core components of this recipe (the turmeric, ginger, walnut butter, hemp seeds, and even the cinnamon (to some extent) pack in a punch of healing and inflammation-soothing properties all in one single serving. I have this whenever I feel like I need to strengthen my immune system or have any kind of body aches or pains since turmeric has been clinically proven to be just as effective as ibuprofen for inflammation, joint mobility, and reducing pain.
- CAULIFLOWER STEAK & CORN MANGO SALSA
Serving size: 2 Cauliflower isn't the sexiest of vegetables but I love a good cauliflower steak and the right preparation makes all the difference. It's my favorite thing to order when I see it on the menu at restaurants and this is my go-to method when making it for myself at home. CAULIFLOWER STEAK INGREDIENTS • 1 head cauliflower • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock • 1/2 cup dry white wine • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil • 4 garlic cloves (peeled & smashed) • juice of 1 lemon • 2 bay leaves • 1/2 teaspoon salt • corn mango salsa* (recipe below) Cauliflower facilitates better digestive health not only through gastrointestinal cleansing, but also by feeding the beneficial bacteria in our gut responsible for a healthier immune system and better mood. Studies also show that the natural substance (sulforaphane) found in cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables actually influences our genes to slow down the aging process. CORN MANGO SALSA INGREDIENTS • 1 ear corn, roasted/grilled • 1 mango, diced • 1/2 red onion, diced • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped • 1 tablespoon olive oil • juice of 1/2 lime • 1/2 tsp salt Cilantro has high levels of antioxidants, it's anti-inflammatory, acts as a digestive aid, and is a natural detoxifier. Cilantro even helps reduce anxiety as one study found that high levels of cilantro extract produced the same anti-anxiety effects as a popular prescription drug used to treat anxiety. CORN MANGO SALSA DIRECTIONS For the corn you have a few different options. If it's summertime and you're into grilling, feel free to cook it on the grill for a more smoky flavor. If grilling isn't an option, you can either cook the corn in the oven or on the stove top for a pan-roasted version. Whichever method you choose, allow the corn to cool before assembling the salsa. In a large bowl, add the cooked corn kernels, diced mango, diced red onion, cilantro, and salt. Drizzle with the olive oil and squeeze of lime juice and toss to coat and combine. Set aside in the fridge until ready to use. CAULIFLOWER STEAK DIRECTIONS Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. With the cauliflower sitting upright on its stem, cut in half through the middle. Cut off the outer ends of each half to form a thick, steak-like slab. Each slab should be at least 1 inch thick and a single head of cauliflower will yield 2 steak slabs. In a baking dish, mix together the vegetable stock, white wine, olive oil, smashed garlic cloves, lemon juice, bay leaves, and salt. Place the cauliflower steaks into the liquid, then cover the baking dish tightly with foil. Place them into the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes. You'll know the steaks are done when a knife inserted goes in easily. They should be cooked through but still firm, not too soft. To finish the cauliflower steaks, remove them from the baking dish and place onto plates lined with a paper towel. It's important that you also blot the top of each steak with a paper towel, as this will ensure a nice golden crust develops in the next step. Heat a fry pan over medium heat, drizzle with olive oil and add one steak at a time to the pan. Cook each slab for about 5 minutes on each side until golden brown. Try to do this step delicately so that the cauliflower doesn't fall apart (a spatula works great to help flip them). You could also do this step out on the grill if you chose to grill your corn earlier. Once the steaks have developed a golden crust on the outside, transfer to their serving plates and top with the corn mango salsa. I love showcasing the cauliflower steak as the centerpiece of the plate and creating a dramatic presentation around it. They always make for a surprisingly hearty dish and it's hard not to enjoy the crispy crust and tender roasted inside, even if you are accustomed to a classic steak. The salsa in this recipe is perfect for summer but I also use it year round on things like tacos or I'll add some greens to it and make it a stand alone salad.
- VANILLA BEAN CRÈME FRENCH TOAST
Serving size: 4 There's nothing like a weekend morning that includes thick slices of french toast — golden on the outside, creamy & fluffy on the inside with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Since french toast is typically made with eggs and milk, it's not always an option for me to order when out at breakfast so I love to whip these up on a weekend morning if I'm at home. These are pillowy soft with a deliciously crisp exterior and are even more dreamy served with my cashew vanilla bean crème sauce. I know I say this all the time, but this is my favorite french toast recipe of all time, even including some non-vegan ones I have had in the past. FRENCH TOAST INGREDIENTS • 2 cups oat milk • 1/3 cup cashew butter • 1/4 cup maple syrup • 2 tablespoons JUST egg (or other vegan egg replacer) • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg • 1 vanilla bean, scraped • pinch salt • potato bread, sliced (or bread of choice) • vegan butter • vanilla bean crème sauce* (recipe below) I use potato bread because it is the most similar vegan alternative to brioche bread in terms of a buttery, light, fluffy texture. I buy this brand from Whole Foods. DIRECTIONS First, prepare the french toast batter by adding the oat milk, cashew butter, maple syrup, JUST egg, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and insides of the scraped out vanilla bean to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the batter into a shallow dish that you'll be able to dip the bread slices in. One or two at a time, place each slice of bread into the batter and soak for 1 minute. In a large fry pan, add 1 tablespoon vegan butter and melt over medium low heat. Once melted, add the soaked bread slices to the pan and grill on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Flip the slices, cook until lightly golden, and remove from the pan. Repeat with the melted vegan butter until all your slices have been cooked. Serve with fresh fruit, maple syrup, and my vanilla bean crème sauce. VANILLA BEAN CRÈME INGREDIENTS • 2 cups raw cashews (soaked) • 3/4 cup oat milk • 1/4 cup maple syrup • 1/2 vanilla bean • pinch salt VANILLA BEAN CRÈME DIRECTIONS After the cashews have soaked for at least a couple or few hours, drain and discard the soaking water. Finely mince the entire 1/2 vanilla bean pod then add all the ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend on high until completely smooth. If you're unable to source whole vanilla bean pods, you may use 2 teaspoons vanilla extract instead. Serve on top of the french toast and store the rest in the fridge for up to a week. It's no easy feat to create a plant-based french toast that hits all the same notes as the classic without any of the traditionally used ingredients, but this recipe accomplishes just that. If only I could order this at more breakfast spots, I would be one happy girl.