Peanut Butter & BBQ Jackfruit Pizza (Vegan)

So sorry guys I have been kind of MIA for two weeks and have not have time to write up a blogpost and recipe. Honestly, the past month has been kind of crazy! I took a week off with my family and we traveled to Cuba, which was so so relaxing. One week with very limited internet was exactly what I needed to disconnect!

Upon my return, I had quite a lot of content to create for the brands I work for, which took 90% of my time. The rest was basically dedicated to spending time with loved ones and taking time for myself to workout, meditate & learn some tips and tricks on how to improve my photography.

The recipe I am bringing to you guys is one I created for one of my clients, Manba. They are a peanut butter company that specializes in spicy, Haitian-style peanut butter. I create some content for them on a monthly basis and last month, I made this Peanut Butter & BBQ Jackfruit Pizza.

Yep, I know... it sounds weird, but trust me, this one is out of this galaxy (not just this world ;)).

Peanut Butter & BBQ Jackfruit Pizza (Vegan)

Some of you might be familiar with jackfruit because it is an ingredient that has been trending in the vegan world, since it can be used to imitate pulled pork in savory recipes. In terms of flavor, jackfruit is very very mild, which makes it a perfect carrier for flavor. The one negative thing about jackfruit is the fact that it is not very widely available. Your best bet at finding it is going to Asian grocery stores. There, you can buy it in a can, soaked in brine or water – be sure not to get the one in syrup as it will be overly sweet and would not yield the optimal flavor in this recipe.

Peanut Butter & BBQ Jackfruit Pizza (Vegan)

This pizza gets a lot of its flavor form the rich and complex bbq sauce in which the jackfruit is cooked. It includes seasonings most of you have in your cupboard, but when cooked all together, add incredible depth to this bbq sauce : garlic powder, smoked paprika (probably one of my favorite spices of all times!!), tamari, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and of course Manba’s spicy crunchy peanut butter.

If you do not have Manba on hand, you can always swap it out for the same amount of peanut butter with extra 1 teaspoon of sriracha. The result will not be exactly the same, but I promise it will still be very tasty.

This recipe takes under 45 minutes to make and, I don’t mean to brag, tastes like it came out of a restaurant. My boyfriend and I literally ate the entire thing for lunch after I was done shooting it! What I love about this pizza is that it is:

Rich in flavor.
Made with healthy ingredients.
Super easy to put together.
Balanced in spices: it is not too spicy or too salty or too sweet.

I hope you guys try to make this pizza & love it as much as I do. I had so much fun creating it and am incredibly happy with the result. If you do end up making this recipe, don’t hesitate to share in on social media and tag me @muriellebanackissa.

Peanut Butter & BBQ Jackfruit Pizza (Vegan)

Prep time : 10 minutes
Cooking time : 30 minutes
Total time : 40 minutes
Yield : 6-8 slices

INGREDIENTS

1 ready to use vegan pizza crust
1 tsp oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can (398ml) tomato sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp tamari sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp Manba crunchy peanut butter
1 can (565g) young jackfruit in brine or water, rinsed and drained
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
Sautéed mushrooms*
1/2 cup grated vegan cheese – my favorite is Swisso Cheese by Gusta
Black pepper, to taste
Fresh coriander, to taste

STEPS

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out pizza dough into a circle with a diameter of about 30 centimetres. Bake for 10 minutes without garnishes.

  2. In the meantime, heat oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic. Sautee for 5 minutes or until the onion has become translucent.

  3. Add tomato sauce, garlic powder, smoked paprika, tamari, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and Manba. Mix to incorporate. Lower to heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, squeeze out the excess liquid from the jackfruit pieces by pressing it into your hands. Remove any tough pieces.

  5. Use your hands to shred the jackfruit into pieces and add it to the simmering sauce. Mix until it is well coated.

  6. Remove the pizza from the oven. Top with the jackfruit mixture, red onions, sautéed mushrooms, cheese and black pepper.

  7. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh coriander.

NOTES:
* A quick and easy recipe for sautéed mushrooms:  http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/sauteed-mushrooms-36550

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Peanut Butter & BBQ Jackfruit Pizza (Vegan)
 

The Crunchiest Sugar Free Granola

Fun fact about me : I love all things CRUNCHY (and I must admit, not always healthy...) My two ultimate guilty pleasures are:

  • Chips // salt and vinegar are my absolute fave!

  • Fries // if you have never tried Costco fries, where have you been?! You are missing out on the world’s crispiest fries!

I could eat soooo much of these two foods. If they were not as fatty, I would probably eat fries and chips every single day...

On the other hand, a crunchy food I never restrict myself of is GRANOLA.

 If you were wondering, the apron I am wearing is fair trade and hand block-printed in India. It is available at  Pure Art,  a fair trade shop in Hudson, Quebec.

If you were wondering, the apron I am wearing is fair trade and hand block-printed in India. It is available at Pure Art, a fair trade shop in Hudson, Quebec.

I love the fact that granola is super crunchy, can be enjoyed on its own and with milk, is super nutritious and has full of nuts – I mean who can resist the decadence of nuts!

Lately, you might have noticed that I have been trying to reduce the amount of processed sugar I eat. I have been replacing white sugar, brown sugar, coconut sugar and even maple syrup with dates. Unfortunately, in a recipe you cannot simply swap out let’s say a cup of sugar with a cup of dates without affecting the texture of your food.

That is why I am here: to share with you some healthy, sugar free alternatives to your favorite recipes. I already have a number of sugar free recipes on my blog, but I thought that you’d love an alternative to traditional maple syrup or coconut sugar-sweetened granola.

That is how this crunchy, sugar free granola came to life!

The Crunchiest Sugar Free Granola

For the base of this recipe, I used old fashioned oats + puffed brown rice. I had tried to add puffed rice to a batch of granola in the past and absolutely looooved the crunchiness it added so I thought it’d be a perfect addition to this granola recipe.

Also, because I had looooots of seeds and seed butter in my pantry, I made this granola 100% nut free. However, if you are allergic to seeds or simply prefer using nuts in your granola, feel free to swap out the sunflower seed butter with almond butter as well as the sunflower and pumpkin seeds with your favorite nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans...).

Lastly, you may notice that this granola is a bit darker than traditional granola. Nope, it ain’t burned... The reason for this darker hue is because I used date sugar to sweeten it. Date sugar made simply by dehydrating dates then grinding them into a sugar-like texture (here is an awesome recipe for making your own). For the purpose of keeping this recipe sugar free, I used date sugar, but if you don’t have any on hand or don’t want to make it, you can always use coconut sugar instead OR keep it sugar free by simply adding some dried fruits to your granola right before storing it in jars. This will ensure you add sweetness to every bite ;)

Anyways, I am done chit chatting about this granola and my love for crunchy foods.

I really hope you guys try it and if you do, snap a photo, share in on social media and tag me @muriellebanackissa in it ;)

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Prep time : 10 minutes
Cooking time : 35 minutes
Total time : 45 minutes
Yield : 4 heaping cups

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup packed pitted dates (+/- 10 dates)*
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup sunflower seed butter
1 cup old fashioned oats
2 cups puffed brown rice
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
4 tbsp date sugar**
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt

STEPS

  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

  2. Add dates, coconut oil and sunflower seed butter to a medium saucepan heat on medium heat.

  3. Once the coconut oil and the sunflower seed butter have melted, mix and transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth. Alternatively, you can blend this mixture using an immersion blender. Set aside.

  4. To a large bowl, add the remainder of the ingredients and mix.

  5. Transfer the date-coconut-sunflower seed butter mixture onto the dry ingredients. Mix using your hands to incorporate - the mixture will be very sticky at this point.

  6. Transfer granola onto the prepared baking sheet and press down with your hands, forming a uniform layer.

  7. Bake for 15 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, toss the granola around and rotate the pan. Bake for another 15 minutes.

  8. Remove the granola from the oven and let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

  9. Enjoy on its own as a snack, as a topping on smoothie bowls or with your favorite milk.

NOTES:
* I used mazafati dates for this recipe, but feel free to use any dates you have on hand. If your dates are hard, make sure to soak them in boiling water for 30 minutes, drain and use in the recipe as indicated.
** Don't have date sugar? Swap it out with coconut sugar or keep this recipe sugar free by adding 1/3 cup raisins after baking. 

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The Crunchiest Sugar Free Granola
 

Decadent Chocolate and Hazelnut Cups

Let me introduce you to these mini decadent cups of pure deliciousness.

Decadent Chocolate and Hazelnut Cups

I think that in the history of desserts, there is no better combination than chocolate and hazelnuts. Something (MAGICAL!) happens when those two flavours are combined into one dessert.

Maybe a big part of it, is because many of us grew up eating Nutella and those flavours are associated with childhood and comforting memories... I definitely know that for me it is the case. When I was a child, one of my favorite ways to eat Nutella was to take a slice of plain ol’ white bread, remove the crust spread a thin layer on Nutella on it and eat it super slowly to really taste the hazelnutty, chocolaty flavour of this decadent spread. Then, would come my favorite part: I would take the remaining soft & doughy bread and make a ball with it. I would spoon a huuuuuge tablespoon of Nutella on half of it then bite that half off and repeat with the second half. OMG, those were the days! I used to love doing that so so much.

We would not have Nutella at my house very often but when we did, you bet I would let my taste buds go wiiiiiild, having upwards of 3 tablespoons per sitting hahaha!

Since then, things have changed to say the least. First of all, I am now vegan and do not consume animal products – Nutella contains powdered milk, which means that this spread that was once my favorite is no longer part of my pantry.

Furthermore, I have been trying to follow a more whole foods plant based lifestyle, which also means that I try to avoid processed foods that contain ingredients that have been heavily processed. You might ask yourself then what does she eats?! Well, it’s fairly simple, I eat lots of vegetables, fruits, legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils), whole grains, nuts and seeds. To some people it might seem very restrictive, but honestly, there are so so many different fruits, veggies, grains, beans and nuts that I am never bored PLUS spices are the best way to add flavour to dishes and make them super unique and tasty.

Since, I have made the switch to this lifestyle, I am having so much fun recreating classic childhood flavours, using more wholesome ingredients.

Decadent Chocolate and Hazelnut Cups

That is how these mini chocolate hazelnut cups were created. Lately, I have been really craving the choco-hazelnut combination. I had made energy balls a couple of months ago that were basically like a Ferrero Rocher style energy ball made only with dates, hazelnuts and cacao and the result was so tasty that I wanted to bring this recipe to the next level. I wanted it to be more decadent and even more chocolaty.

These little cups are what I call the “perfect package” type of dessert. They are:

Rich.
Nutty.

Made with wholesome ingredients.
Chewy.
Chocolaty.
Sweet enough to satisfy any sweet tooth.
Better than the packaged & processed hazelnut truffles ;)

Yep, I said it.. The classic, widely available hazelnut and chocolate truffles are delicious, do not get me wrong. I have eaten a large number of them over the years, but contrary to these guys, they have 76 more calories per serving, 15 grams of plain white sugar, 4 more grams of fat, 3 mg of cholesterol and no potassium. You know what that means... You can have an extra one of these mini chocolate hazelnut cups and you would actually be making yourself healthier!

I really hope you guys try making these little cups of pure deliciousness, they are really worth the small extra effort to put them together and I promise they will make you, your belly and your body happy!

If you do try this recipe and decide to share it on social medias, I would love to see your creation. So tag me at @muriellebanackissa!

Decadent Chocolate and Hazelnut Cups

Prep time : 20 minutes
Cooking time : -
Total time : 20 minutes
Yield : 18-20 cups

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts
1/2 cup packed pitted dates (+/- 10 dates)*
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp cacao powder
1 tsp maca powder (optional)
Pinch of salt
30g of 80% or more dark chocolate**
1 tsp coconut oil
Chopped hazelnuts, for topping
Fleur de sel or flaky sea salt, for topping

STEPS

  1. Fill two mini muffin pans with liners. Set aside.
  2. Add hazelnuts, dates, almond butter, cacao powder, maca powder and salt to a food processor and process until a ball in formed, while keeping a couple of smaller hazelnut pieces intact to add texture.
  3. Fill each cup with 1 teaspoon of the mixture. Gently press using your fingers to even it out.
  4. Place in the freezer while you prepare the chocolate layer.
  5. Add chocolate and coconut oil to a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Mix until silky smooth.
  6. Pour 1 teaspoon of the melted chocolate onto the hazelnut-date base.
  7. Garnish with chopped hazelnuts and a sprinkle of fleur de sel. Freeze until set.
  8. Remove the cupcake liners and place in an airtight container. Keep in the fridge or the freezer. 

 

NOTES:
* I used mazafati dates for this recipe, but feel free to use any dates you have on hand. If your dates are hard, make sure to soak them in boiling water for 30 minutes, drain and use in the recipe as indicated.
** I used Alter Eco’s Deep Dark Super Blackout 90% chocolate.

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Decadent Chocolate and Hazelnut Cups