Magic Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

I tried this recipe from Vegan Street, which I do not remember where or how I found. But I saw the picture, read the title and thought, yeah, that’s going in my belly.

Two Magic Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars | thelittleredspoon.com

I didn’t tweak anything in this recipe except the milk – I made my own fresh homemade cashew milk in my BlendTec and used that.

Magic Peanut Butter Pretzel Bar | thelittleredspoon.com

Those layers…. The base is like a pecan Larabar/Nakd bar made with pecans instead of cashews, the peanut butter layer is soft, creamy and peanut-buttery (obv), and the top is rich chocolate ganache with a salty crunchy kick from the pretzels. Exceptional!

These bars can get a little goopy and soft if they’re out of the fridge too long. I actually tried them after freezing them and thought the texture was a little better out of the freezer. Mr. Spoon suggested adjusting the peanut butter to cream cheese ratio in the middle layer. I don’t totally disagree¬† – it’s good as-is, but an extra punch of peanut wouldn’t hurt either.

Watch out though, cause these are very addictive, incredibly rich and unhealthy and you’re going to have a big 9’x13′ pan of them when you’re done! This would be great to bring to the office or share with a party… I have a suspicion that keeping the whole pan of these at my house is going to be quite dangerous.

Go to the Vegan Street website for the full recipe as they break everything down in an easy-to-follow way that I really couldn’t improve upon.

Overall, it was pretty easy to make, but required gathering a lot of ingredients. And it uses a lot of ingredients. This isn’t the cheapest snack, as it takes an entire small bag of Follow Your Heart chocolate chips, a full 8 0z package of vegan cream cheese and soft tofu, a full small jar of smooth peanut butter, a couple of cups of pecans, etc..¬† luckily I was able to gather some of the stuff at the bulk food store.

 

Try out these tasty “Magic Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars” and let me know what you think! I think these will be great for a lunch dessert at work (especially if you keep them frozen so they don’t melt and get gooey on your commute). I like to eat a great big lunch at work most days and enjoy a nice high-calorie dessert with my lunch too, so I don’t get hungry in the afternoon. Anyone else the same way? I have a pretty active job so I’m able to burn a lot of calories just going about my day most of the time. You could always cut these into teeny tiny squares if that’s not the case for you.

Apple Cinnamon Banana Pancakes

Banana Pancakes Served | thelittleredspoon.com

Pancakes! Delicious, healthy, vegan, banana-apple-cinnamon pancakes¬† What better way to celebrate your amazing little sister going vegan? (But be careful you might get that Jack Johnson song stuck in your head all day…)

Banana Pancakes with Almond Butter | thelittleredspoon.com

I used Laura Miller’s recipe to make these tasty flapjacks which I then smothered in almond butter.
Check out her video on Tastemade or her adorable cookbook Raw. Vegan. Not Gross. for the instructions. For this version I added small pieces of diced apple and swapped the gluten-free flour the recipe calls for with all-purpose flour that I had on hand. Note that if you switch to A/P flour you will probably want to add more milk to thin it out.

Drizzling Syrup on Pancakes | thelittleredspoon.com

Drown those puppies in maple syrup…… God yeah that’s the stuff… These pancakes are VERY filling so don’t be surprised if you only make it through 2-3 of them instead of a whole bunch. They’re sooo good, this is a great recipe and I love making it for a hearty breakfast when I have guests over.

Banana Pancakes | thelittleredspoon.comIn the morning while we were chilling and eating we put on some YouTube videos.

(If you’re curious, these are the videos we were watching while hanging out in our PJs and getting ready for the day:)

 

Let me know your thoughts in the comments! If you make some of Laura Miller’s delicious flaxseed egg banana pancakes be sure to soak them in maple syrup and share that vegan breakfast porn with me! Yum!

Pea and Asparagus Soup

Pea Asparagus Soup and Grilled Cheese

What says spring more than snapping the stalks off of perfectly fresh, in-season aparagus? I love using aspargus in the spring. Seeing all the fresh produce once the weather starts getting nicer always makes me want to make a nice bright green spring soup to mark the occasion.

I always find myself checking Anna Thomas’s book “Love Soup” out from the library and using it as inspiration. This recipe isn’t exactly the same as one from her book – but that’s part of the charm of this cookbook. Her writing and helpful advice will get you in the mood to find fresh, beautiful produce and make something delicious out of it.

The book is full of vegetarian recipes – many, if not all, of the soups can be made vegan as well. It’s a wonderful and inspiring cookbook for anybody – vegan, vegetarian, or otherwise. I am usually a fan of cookbooks with BIG beautiful food photography. I typically don’t ever buy or check out books without nice big pictures in them as that’s what inspires me the most. This cookbook has no photos but I always find myself going back to it again and again. I’ve checked it out from the library so many times I definitely need to buy myself a copy – if not multiple copies to give out as gifts!

I really think anyone would benefit from reading and owning this cookbook. It’s truly inspiring – whether you’re in the mood for soup or not, Anna will get you thinking about all the wonderful possibilities of going to the farmer’s market and seeing all the fresh produce for yourself. The recipes are divided into chapters according to season, she has soups for spring, summer, fall and winter. The personal stories she tells about sharing her soups with friends and family will make you want to have a big soup party so you can spend time with your loved ones and feed them a nice comforting bowl of soup made with love.

Chao Grilled Cheese
I didn’t really follow a recipe for this soup, I just made it up as I went along with a bunch of different things I had in the fridge. I made a nice, toasty vegan grilled cheese sandwich to go along with it and it was SO good. “Real” sliced cheese has nothing on these delicious slices of coconut and black pepper flavoured Chao vegan cheese slices I got from Whole Foods. And YES – it melts! And is gooey, stretchy and cheesy just like the real stuff. You won’t go back after trying these slices – trust me. Even if you don’t want to go vegan I’d still recommend them in sandwiches. The combination of sweet coconut and savoury oregano and pepper is just amazing. And this is coming from a person who typically hates black pepper!

Pea and Asparagus Soup
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Serves: 4-5 bowls
 
Ingredients
  • 1 box Batchelor's bigga dried peas (soaked with tablet overnight)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 bundle Asparagus, stalks snapped off
  • 1 tetra pack vegan vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil leaves
  • whatever seasonings you like, to taste
  • coconut milk to thin as needed
  • something acidic like lemon juice or vinegar
  • nice evoo to garnish
Instructions
  1. Soak the Batchelor's dried peas with the soaking tablet in water overnight. Using fresh peas would be better, but I had these to use up so I used them.
  2. Dice and saute onion and celery until translucent, add garlic and saute until fragrant
  3. Add asparagus, breaking into pieces and sauteing until cooked
  4. Add any dried spices now so they can fry in the oil for a minute or two and release even more flavour - use whatever you like, I was sticking with a green theme and used some herbs de provence and a big pinch of cumin because I like cumin very much.
  5. Add veggie broth (making your own is easy and preferable but I'm usually too lazy to do it).
  6. Let simmer for a few hours (depending on how hungry you are and how much time you have, at least 20-30 minutes would be good)
  7. Blend with an immersion blender or by working in batches with a standing blender. Add water or coconut milk to thin as needed.
  8. Taste and season again, adding salt, pepper, lemon juice or whatever you feel it needs
  9. I garnished with the tips of some of the asparagus and some quality extra virgin olive oil
  10. Serve with a nice crusty bread or toasty, crunchy, gooey vegan grilled cheese sandwich. Yum!

Let me know what kind of tasty green spring soup you made! Did you use a recipe? Did you check out Anna Thomas’s book? Leave a comment below.