Category Archives: Desserts

Puto (Steamed Rice Cake) :Filipino style

Puto is a kind of steamed rice cake in Philippine cuisine derived from the Indian dish Puttu. It is eaten as is or with butter and/or grated fresh coconut, or as an accompaniment to a number of savoury viands.

The traditional way of making Puto takes time, although most of it involves inactive waiting periods. The process spans three to four days from the initial rice soaking to taking the finished product out of the steamer. :Excerpt from Wikipedia

What I am sharing with you here is the quick way of preparing Puto. While some traditional puto uses aged coconut wine as a leavening agent, I used baking powder… And obviously using plastic mold instead of banana leaves. Some Puto recipes include butter, food coloring, or tapioca flour (I used soy milk powder to replace tapioca and butter). Making Puto is very easy, maybe you want to give it a try 🙂

Classification: Vegan
Good source of carbohydrates, protein

What you need:
a steamer
cup cake (silicon or regular plastic) or small ramekin molds

Note: I bought my Puto mold in the Philippines. I couldn’t find this (smooth) type here in the US. There are some similar style you can use that is made of silicon but usually they are ridged.

INGREDIENTS:

rice flour – 3 cups
sugar – 3 cups
coconut milk – 1 and 1/2 can (of 13.5 oz/400 ml can coconut milk) or about 2 cups
soy (supreme) milk powder – 1/2 cup (optional) or other regular powder milk of your choice
water – 2 cups
baking powder – 4-5 TBspoons baking powder

Note: I used Ramford baking powder. When I use only 3 TBspoons of baking powder it did not raise the cooked Puto well enough so I added about 1 to more TBspoon. The stronger and the fresher your baking powder the lesser amount you put into the mixture.

a pinch of salt (1/8 of a teaspoon)
soy cheese, shredded (optional if you want it to be Puto Cheese)

PREPARATION:

1. In a steamer put about 7 to 8 cups of water. Bring it to boil while preparing the Puto batter.

2. In a large mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients well using a beater, except for cheese.

3. Pour puto mixture in every single mold leaving about a half an inch space below the mold rim. Sprinkle cheese topping before steaming (or baking). If you’re not using cupcake paper, you can grease the molds with coconut oil or butter to prevent sticking. The more oily it is or the more coconut milk you put in your batter the less likely it is to stick.

4. Carefully place the steamer rack (with molds filled with batter) into the steamer with hot water.

5. Cook for 20 minutes or until it’s done. Using a toothpick or a skewer, poke a Puto to check its doneness. If it’s still watery as you pull the skewer out, it needs more cooking time. Puto should look puffy and some ridged up. (The bigger the cracks on top the “happier” the Puto is 🙂 Ask a Filipino.)

Let it cool off for a couple of minutes before taking the Puto out of the mold. It makes about 60 small-sized Puto or about 35-40 pieces cup cake size.

It’s best to eat Puto when it’s freshly made and warm with some hot chocolate drink, or some tea of your choice. 🙂 It keeps good in the fridge for several days but cold temperature naturally changes the (rice) puto from being smooth to firmer texture. Enjoy!

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Vegan Holiday Sweet Potato Casserole

Is it a dessert or a side dish? Whatever you call it… It’s one of the traditional holiday dish in the US especially on Thanksgiving Day. This time I made a sweet potato casserole using Asian sweet potato (sweet potatoes from our garden). Texture and taste is a little different but I think I like it better— maybe because I like Asian sweet potato better than the typical orange sweet potato. It’s a great treat to have anytime of the year with or without a special occasion. Give it a try! To me it’s a dessert! 🙂

Well I have nothing else to say but greet my American friends a HAPPY, BLESSED and many more THANKSGIVING DAY!

Classification: Vegan

INGREDIENTS:

sweet potato, 4 cups cubed (Asian or yellow sweet potato)

white sugar, 1/4 cup (1/2 cup if you use orange sweet potato)

egg replacer, (mixture of 4 TBspoon warm water to 3 teaspoon egg replacer powder). 2 eggs if not using egg replacer

sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon

non-dairy butter, 5 TBspoons softened (divided)

soy milk, (mixture of 1/2 cup mixed with 1 & 1/2 TBspoon soy supreme powder)

vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon

brown sugar, 1/2 cup

all purpose flour, 1/3 cup

chopped pecan nuts, 3/4 cups

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 325*F (165*C). Put sweet potatoes in a saucepan with about 2 and a half cup of water. Cook over medium high heat until tender. Drain and mash.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs replacer mixture, salt, 3 TBspoons softened butter, soy milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish.

3. In a medium bowl, mix brown brown sugar and flour. Cut in 2 TBspoon non-dairy butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans (make sure the mixture is crumbly and not sticky) Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture.

4. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.

Enjoy your side dish or dessert! 🙂

Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole

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Applesauce-banana Cake

Hello everyone, I want to tell you that I’m still around! 🙂 There are many healthy recipes that I would like to share with you, but I just need to find extra hours to be able to sit in front of the computer so I could post more blogs. It’s garden season, we are working hard to prepare our garden for summer vegetables. Our spring veggies are doing really well. Broccoli flowers are out, cabbage heads are also forming. I transplanted several varieties of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant seedlings into the garden, and our green vegetables continue to give us abundant, fresh harvest! Anyway, that’s all for now about our garden update.

My son just turned two, on the last day of April. In-laws came to visit us the following week-end until Monday. The truth is, I wasn’t planning on doing any birthday preparations, because it’s not that important. We thank God, we say our praises to Him for giving our son another year, to me that’s what really matters. Last year, on his first birthday a friend of ours and in-laws offered a birthday cake. So he had a real first birthday, gift-giving, party tradition (twice). As I said, I was not planning on making anything extra special for his birthday this year and in the coming years, but I sensed that my in-laws were sort of expecting a little cake to celebrate their grandson’s second birthday, and for the little one to enjoy candle blowing as well. To make the story short, I made a cake – for the celebrant and for everybody! As I posted in one of my dessert blogs that I don’t have a sweet tooth. In one of my favorite vegan cookbooks, the 7 Secret Cookbooks, I saw a Create-a-Cake recipe so I chose my ingredients, modified it to suit mine and everybody’s taste. And everybody agreed that the cake, even though it was decorated pretty simply, it was good and moist, and the taste is perfect. My father-in-law said, “you can make this again” 🙂 The little birthday celebrant blew the lit candles four times and was wanting for more. He too had a few bites of the healthy cake! I am sharing with you the recipe here on my food blog. Feel free to try it sometime, and let me know your thoughts. 🙂

Classification: Vegan

CAKE INGREDIENTS: (Note: T = tablespoon, t = teaspoon, c = cup)

Dry ingredients

1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c unbleached white flour
1 t sea salt
2 and 1/4 t baking powder (I used Rumford)
3/4 c sugar cane crystal (options: 1/2 c honey and omit water, or any real sugar)
1/4 c ground flax (options: raisins or chopped nuts)

Wet ingredients

1/2 c applesauce (I used homemade applesauce)
1/2 c mashed ripe banana
1 c almond milk
1 t vanilla extra
water as needed

STEPS:

1. Preheat oven to 400*F (204.4*C).
2. In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
3. In a blender combine all wet ingredients, blend until smooth.
4. Stir wet ingredients into the dry mix until well mixed.
5. Pour into an oiled, 8-inch round or square pan. (You can also use paper cups)
*Cut-to fit parchment paper for the bottom of the pan, which makes it easy to remove the cake.
6. Bake at 400*F (204.4*C) for five minutes. Reduce heat to 350*F (175*C) and bake for 20-25 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a knife or a skewer in the center. It should come out clean and edges of cake are beginning to pull away from sides of the pan.
7. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before adding frosting. (Frosting is optional).

Note:
Evaluate the consistency of cake batter. Adding a little bit of flour or water to make soft batter that holds its shape. The consistency should be similar to soft ice cream. If batter is too stiff, the cake will not rise as well, and cake will be hard and rough. Too wet of a mix will cause the cake to rise and fall slightly, making the top flat or caved-in.

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PEANUT-CAROB FROSTING

Ingredients:

1/2 c roasted peanuts
6 T carob powder (in place of chocolate powder)
1 c water
1/3 c maple syrup
1/3 c turbinado sugar (brown sugar will do)
1 t sea salt
1 t agar-agar powder (as thickening agent. You may use guam gum as an option)

Steps:

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until very smooth.
2. Put the mixture in a pot and bring it to boil for about 2-3 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and set aside until it has cooled off and semi-set. Putting in the refrigerator for a little bit helps it cool off quicker.
4. Spread frosting evenly over cake.

You can decorate your cake with whatever you want. My cake was simply decorated with blueberries and strawberries, with a little bit of toppings on top. Enjoy your healthy cake treat!

Granola Energy Balls

I must admit that I don’t have a sweet tooth. Most of the times I don’t eat dessert after eating my main meal because I’m usually full and don’t need anything else. Occasionally, I eat a small portion of dessert, which typically is one that is more healthy for me. Fresh or dried fruits, a small slice of fruit pie, or a glass of real juice I prefer over heavily frosted cakes and sickeningly sweet, sugar-loaded, desserts. Anyway, this little sweet treat recipe I am sharing with you is not your ordinary dessert: it’s healthy and delicious. A piece or two is perfect to satisfy your dessert craving. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup peanut butter (I used plain, roasted, unsalted & unsweetened homemade peanut butter)
2 TBspoon virgin coconut oil (you may use plant-based melted butter or olive oil)
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
1/2 cup almond milk or soymilk
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 cups granola cereal
3 TBspoon sesame seeds (chopped walnuts or any nut combination)
3/4 cup soymilk powder (or other low fat powdered milk of your choice)
3/4 to 1 cup shredded coconut

STEPS:

1. Combine peanut butter, oil, sea salt, honey and almond milk. Mix thoroughly using a spatula or a wooden spoon.
2. Stir in soymilk powder, raisins and sesame seeds.
3. Add granola cereal and mix thoroughly until everything is well coated. If the mixture is too wet just add more soymilk powder.
4. Drop 1 heaping teaspoon mixture into shredded coconut. Sprinkle enough coconut flakes on top so you can handle the mixture. Gently press to form into ball.

***It’s a little tricky to form the mixture into ball shapes. Don’t worry, just be gentle and patient. They don’t have to be perfect ball shape, you can make it to any shape you want. Once refrigerated they will hold their shape fine. 🙂

5. Store in an airtight container. Refrigerate.

Makes about 25-30 Granola energy balls. Great for a treat, great for dessert, or make it as a gift!

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Sweet Potato Cookies with Coconut and Carob chips

We still have lots of sweet potatoes from our harvest last summer of 2013. What to do for a change of recipe other than, baking, steaming, mashing and cooking casserole or chips? Yes, there are many recipes out there that use sweet potatoes but I wanted to make my version of sweet potato cookies. I enjoyed my experiment and liked the outcome of it. It’s moist, a little chewy, and the flavor is just perfect for dessert. Well, if you decide to try this recipe, you can modify it according to your taste buds. You can add anything you want with it, more sugar (but I won’t recommend too much sugar because sweet potato is already sweet). You can put nuts to replace the carob chips or something else you have in mind. I didn’t want to just put anything that may overpower the flavor of the main ingredients; coconut and sweet potato.

In this recipe I used Asian sweet potato because it’s my most favorite among other types. The only type we planted in our garden last year 🙂 I like the fine, soft but not watery texture, it’s more sweet, and of course because this type is common in the Philippines where I grew up. If this type of sweet potato is not available in your area, you can use other types of sweet potato. It’s not a big deal. You can always adjust the amount of flour, milk and sugar in your mixture. This is a simple recipe. I hope you will like it as much as I do!
Classification: Vegan

Good source of: See ingredients nutrition information on http://www.whfoods.com/foodstoc.php

INGREDIENTS:

4 pieces medium size Asian Sweet potato (or 2 & a half cups mashed)

1/2 cup carob chips

1 cup coconut cream (coconut cream is very sweet. If you use regular coconut milk, you need to add more sweetener)

3/4 cup wheat flour or more, if needed (other flour would work)

1/2 cup coconut flakes (or shredded coconut)

STEPS:

1. Wash and steam sweet potatoes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). when sweet potatoes are done cooking remove skin and mash well until big lumps are eliminated. 

2. Add the rest of the ingredients into mashed potatoes. Mix thoroughly. If mixture is more wet, add more flour.

3. Scoop mixture and form into patties. Place in oiled cookie sheets and bake for 20-30 minutes or until top of cookies are more firm or more brown in color.

Makes about 18 cookies.

TIPS:
I did not use baking powder. Baking takes a little longer but be patient. The result is more chewy and sticky; that makes the taste unique. If you want to put some baking powder, you may do do.

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Bana-nilla Pudding

Who doesn’t like pudding? It’s not only good for dessert but It’s also great with your breakfast granola, nuts and fruits and even pies. You can use it in anything that you would like to have vanilla pudding in. This pudding is so easy to make and yummy too! 

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Classification: Vegan

Good source of: (banana) vitamin B6manganesevitamin Cfiberpotassiumbiotincopper. Check on whfoods.com to see other ingredients’ nutrition information.

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups nondairy milk (soy, almond or rice milk)

1 piece ripe banana

2/3 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon vanilla extract

STEPS:

1. Blend 1 cup milk and banana until it is smooth.

2. Mix 1 cup milk and cornstarch separately until all lumps are gone.

3. In a saucepan combine 2 cups milk, cornstarch & milk mixture, and the rest of the ingredients except vanilla. Stir well to eliminate lumps.

4. Heat over medium  until mixture comes to boil and thickens. Stir constantly.

5. Add banana and milk puree. Continue stirring for another minute (do not overcook because banana creates a sour taste).

6. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

6. Cover and chill. Enjoy!

Makes about 8 servings.

TIP:

* Before eating, you can blend the mixture in a blender to make pudding more smooth (if you think it needed it).
* If maple syrup is not available, you can use a different sweetener and add half teaspoon maple flavoring, or just use honey.