Category Archive

DIY Food: Chai Chia Pops

diy food: chai chia pops - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy food: chai chia pops - drifter and the gypsy blog

Making a healthy, filling, and delicious dessert doesn’t have to mean spending hours in the kitchen. These creamy, heavenly-spiced popsicles are a cinch to create and only require a bit of patience in the freezer before you indulge.

The coconut milk in these pops provide a helping of good-for-you fats while the chia seeds lend omega-3 fatty acids and fiber to keep you satiated long after you’ve had your dessert. I’m a huge fan of aromatic herbs and spices, like this chai spice mixture. It gives a pop of flavor without extra calories and actually helps to boost your immune system and other body functions. Amazing Mother Nature!

diy food: chai chia pops - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy food: chai chia pops - drifter and the gypsy blog

Chai Chia Pops

Makes 10 Popsicles

- 1 (13.5 oz.) can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 c. water
- ⅓ c. maple syrup
- ¼ c. chia seeds
- 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. cardamom
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- ½ tsp. ground cloves
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until combined. Let sit in the fridge for 15 minutes until the chia seeds have expanded and stir again. Pour mixture into popsicle molds and let them set in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Enjoy!

diy food: chai chia pops - drifter and the gypsy blog

Arielle (DIY Food Contributor)

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DIY Food: Millet-Polenta Cakes with Arugula Pesto

millet - polenta cakes with arugula pesto - drifter and the gypsy blog

When cooking for a group of people, the search for a universally-friendly dish can be overwhelming. The host wants to keep things healthy, yet interesting. Some guests might be gluten-free. Some guests have allergies. Some guests are vegan, and even others dread the thought of “vegan food.” Believe me, I’ve heard it all. As a host, it can be a struggle. Big salads are often the easiest meals to prep, but can be boring for some people. On the same token, you don’t want to be slaving away in the kitchen all evening. What to do?!

I have a solution. These Millet-Polenta Cakes with Arugula Pesto are hearty enough for the vegan-skeptics, easy enough to prepare beforehand for the host, and flavorful enough to keep everyone happy–not to mention they’re vegan and gluten-free! Feel free to double the batch and cut the polenta into larger-sized cakes to serve as a main dish, or keep them smaller as an appetizer. No matter what, these are sure to impress your guests with their beautiful presentation and Italian-inspired flavors.

millet-polenta cakes with arugula pesto - drifter and the gypsy blog

Millet-Polenta Cakes

Makes 9 cakes

- 1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 c. millet
- 4 1/2 c. water
- 1 1/2 tbs. salt
- 1/2 fine polenta cornmeal
- 3 c. arugula
- Small handful of toasted almonds, roughly chopped

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for about a minute, until fragrant. Add the millet and saute for another minute. Being very careful, pour the water into the saucepan. Add the salt and turn the heat up to high to bring the water to a boil. Using a wire whisk, keep the water moving as you slowly pour the cornmeal in. Reduce the heat to medium-low, keeping the polenta mixture bubbling very slightly. Use the whisk to keep the mixture moving slowly until it thickens to the texture of a porridge (between 20-30 minutes). Remove from the heat.

Oil a 9×9 inch glass casserole dish and pour the hot polenta mixture in, using a rubber spatula to level the top. Put the dish in the fridge for about an hour, or until the polenta has set. Turn the cooled polenta out of the casserole dish and onto a cutting board (you should have one large square of polenta). Use a sharp knife to cut the polenta into nine 3×3 inch cakes.

To plate: Lay a polenta cake over 1/2 cup of arugula and top with the Arugula Pesto (recipe below) and leftover chopped almonds. Enjoy!

millet-polenta cakes with arugula pesto - drifter and the gypsy blog

Arugula Pesto

Makes about 3/4 c. of pesto

- 1/4 c. almonds
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- 2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 oz. arugula (about 3 c. packed)
- 1 tsp. nutritional yeast
-1 1/2 tsp. salt
- Black pepper to taste

Toast the almonds in a 425ºF oven for 7-10 minutes, or until fragrant.

In a food processor, puree all ingredients (including almonds) until smooth. Serve over Millet-Polenta Cakes.

millet-polenta cakes with arugula pesto - drifter and the gypsy blog

Arielle (DIY Food Contributor)

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DIY Food: Crispy Trail Bars

crispy trail bars - drifter and the gypsy blog

I have such fond memories of making Rice Krispies Treats when I was little. Babysitters would come over with a box of cereal, some marshmallows, and a stick of butter and we would get down and dirty over the stove. My hands would get so sticky, but that was fine with me–all the more to eat!

After I’d had my fill, we would wrap the rest of them up with careful bows and write little notes to Mom and Dad and Sissy to enjoy later. It was a beautiful ritual and gave me such joy to give them as simple gifts from the heart.

crispy trail bars - drifter and the gypsy blog

Although I’m now older and wiser about what I put into my body, I still enjoy making sticky treats to give to friends and family as an edible surprise or token of thanks.

These Crispy Trail Bars fit the bill of Krispies Treats of old, but this time around they’re much healthier (vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free!). I use a mixture of crispy brown rice and crispy quinoa cereal, both of which I found in the bulk section of my Whole Foods (I’ve included the brands in the recipe below).

I used brown rice syrup and almond butter in place of the marshmallows and butter. Brown rice syrup is wonderful here because it lends the stickiness of the marshmallows without being overly sweet, plus it’s made from complex carbs, so it won’t give you the sugar crash that would follow the traditional Krispies treats. I also threw in some sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, and dried apricots for good measure.

If you don’t like one of the ingredients, feel free to swap it out with something you do like: dried cranberries for the apricots; peanut butter for almond butter (or tahini if you have a nut allergy); go crazy and add chunks of chocolate–whatever your heart desires! These are easy to throw together and perfect for an energy-boosting snack or an adorable gift with a bow. If nothing else, revert back to a younger you and enjoy them straight from the mixing bowl!

crispy trail bars - drifter and the gypsy blog

Crispy Trail Bars
Makes 12-14 bars
- 1 c. brown rice crispy cereal (try Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal)
- 1 c. quinoa crispy cereal (try Edison Grainery Organic Quinoa Crispies)
- 1/2 c. sunflower seeds
- 1/2 c. unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/2 c. dried unsulphured apricots, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 1/2 c. brown rice syrup (try Lundberg)
- A pinch of sea salt
- 3/4 c. unsalted almond butter

1. In a large bowl, combine the brown rice crispy cereal, quinoa crispy cereal, sunflower seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes, and dried apricot pieces. Mix with a spoon.

2. Heat the brown rice syrup in a saucepan over medium heat until it liquefies.

3. Add the sea salt and the almond butter. Remove from the heat and stir until the syrup and almond butter are completely incorporated.

4. Pour this over your cereal mixture. Mix well with a wooden spoon until combined.

5. Turn the sticky mixture out into an 9” by 13” glass casserole dish and press down firmly and evenly.

6. Let cool for at least an hour before cutting into bars. To store: individually wrap the bars with plastic wrap or wax paper, or all together in an air-tight container. Enjoy!

crispy trail bars - drifter and the gypsy blog

- Arielle (DIY Food Contributor)

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DIY Food: Curried Sweet Potato Falafels

diy food: curried sweet potato falafels - drifter and the gypsy blog

Instead of turning to macaroni & cheese and chocolate, I’ve always turned to falafels to give me the comfort of the so-called “comfort foods.” Back when I lived in Sweden, my dad and I would ride into town every week. We’d go to the heart of the city, where a man sold legendary falafels out of a little truck. Maybe the feeling of comfort resides in the old memories and feelings of nostalgia. Nevertheless I’m a huge fan of the little Mediterranean balls of wonder.

Ever since switching to a plant based diet-not consisting of refined oils or sugars-my love for falafels was neglected. You can only imagine my excitement when I realized that I can make equally tasty falafels by baking them instead. I tried out this recipe again and again until I finally hit the jackpot: curried sweet potato falafels. The sweetness of the sweet potato pairs so nicely with the Indian spices and chickpeas.

diy food: curried sweet potato falafels - drifter and the gypsy blog

Ingredients:
1 can of drained and rinsed chickpeas
1 medium sweet potato
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup of almonds
1/4 cup parsley
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Start off by peeling, chopping, and steaming your sweet potato. Let it cool.
2. In the mean time, throw the almonds, parsley and spices in a food processor and blend until it forms a powder.
3. Add the chickpeas and onion, mixing until combined while making sure to not over-process.
4. Once completely cooled, add the sweet potato and blend until well-combined once again.
5. Roll the mixture into balls and place on parchment paper on a baking tray. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown on the outside.

Enjoy!

diy food: curried sweet potato falafels - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy food: curried sweet potato falafels - drifter and the gypsy blog

Vilda (DIY Food Contributor)

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DIY Food: Coconut Macaroons

I’ve been missing home like no other for the past week or so. In my case, this so called “home” isn’t my actual house, but an entire country: Sweden. Ever since I was six, when I first moved to the States, I’ve had month-on-month-off periods where I can’t stand the thought of being thousands of miles away. As with all other life problems, baking does a pretty decent job of acting as a problem solver.

diy food: coconut macaroons - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy food: coconut macaroons - drifter and the gypsy blog

Coconut macaroons have been a family favorite, and a personal favorite for years. I can remember little six year old me, looking up at my mom with dreamy eyes when she whipped together her coconut macaroons. My job was always to dip the macaroons in chocolate… and to lick the spoon of course. Now, close to ten years later, I’m not only in charge of the dipping. I recreated my mom’s classic recipe into something equally delicious and sneakily nutritious.

Vegan and gluten-free coconut macaroon bites. Have them plain or try them dipped in chocolate sauce; it’s entirely up to you!

diy food: coconut macaroons - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy food: coconut macaroons - drifter and the gypsy blog

Ingredients:
(for the base)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 heaping tablespoon almond meal
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp raw almond butter
2 tbsp pure maple syrup

(for the chocolate sauce; optional)
4 tbsp cacao powder
4 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
pinch of salt

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking pan with coconut oil.
2. Add all dry ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir together, then add wet ingredients and blend together well.
3. Spoon the mixture out (I used one tablespoon per macaroon) into your hand and roll it into a ball.
4. Place baking pan in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the macaroons get golden.
5. (Optional) While the macaroons are in the oven, combine the ingredients for the chocolate sauce.
6. Take the macaroons out of the oven and let them cool for a minimum of 20 minutes.
7. (Optional) Dip them in the chocolate sauce and let them cool in the fridge for a minimum of ten minutes for the chocolate sauce to harden.

Enjoy!

diy food: coconut macaroons - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy food: coconut macaroons - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy food: coconut macaroons - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy food: coconut macaroons - drifter and the gypsy blog

Vilda (DIY Food Contributor)

click here for more diy food!

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Black bean cupcakes (that don’t taste like beans!)

black bean cupcakes - drifter and the gypsy blog

There’s honestly nothing I look forward to more than weekend baking. It’s the perfect way to relax, and it’s really a win-win activity regardless of how the product actually comes out. If the product fails, which is inevitable at times, you hopefully come out of the situation with more knowledge than you did before. If the product doesn’t fail, then you’re simply left with delicious goodies, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t like that?

This week my baking experimentation sadly took a turn for the worse. After finishing the batter for my first batch of my black bean cupcakes, my cat decided to attempt to jump in the oven at the same time I was putting in the cupcakes, setting me almost on fire and knocking the pan of cupcakes over. Regardless of that little mishap and my irrelevant temper tantrum, I eventually came out of the situation with a delicious batch of cupcakes and a valuable life lesson learned: don’t let your cat be in the kitchen while baking. Period.

black bean cupcakes - drifter and the gypsy blog

These cupcakes (or should I say brownies?) are nothing short of amazing. They look like cupcakes but taste like brownies. They’re crispy on the outside and gooey and fudgey and nutty and everything else good on the inside. But you know what the best part is they’re sinfully delicious… but not. They’re made from healthy, wholesome ingredients meaning that they’re… good for you? Yup. That’s right. A delicious cupcake (that doesn’t taste like black beans, don’t worry) that can be eaten without the slightest bit of guilt.

Ingredients:
1 can (15 oz.) black beans
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 tablespoons raw honey*
1/4 cup milk of your choice (I used almond milk)
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour*
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 eggs*
1/2 cup cacao powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional:
1/4 cup carob chocolate chips (could replace with cacao nibs)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

*If vegan, replace the honey with agave or your preferred sweetener and the eggs with 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons flaxseed meal + 6 tablespoons water). If gluten-free, replace whole wheat pastry flour with gluten-free flour of your choice.

Toppings:
You’re more than welcome to top yours with any topping, or even leave them plain if you’d like. However, I topped mine with soy whipped cream and coconut chocolate sauce (even proportions of coconut oil, cacao powder, and agave)

black bean cupcakes - drifter and the gypsy blog

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a muffin tin with coconut oil (or you can use cupcake liners)
2. Gather your ingredients
3. Put the black beans in the food processor and mix till smooth
4. Add the beans to a bowl and add the eggs. Mix well.
5. Add the rest of your ingredients, except for the baking powder, chocolate chips and walnuts, and mix on medium speed until you get a smooth mixture.
6. Add baking powder and mix on slow speed until combined.
7. Add the nuts and chocolate chips. Fold them in and make sure that they’re evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
8. Pour the batter into your muffin tin, filling each one up about 2/3 of the way.
9. Put in the preheated oven and let them bake for 18-20 minutes.
10. Take them out, let them cool, and enjoy!

black bean cupcakes - drifter and the gypsy blog
black bean cupcakes - drifter and the gypsy blog

Vilda (DIY Food Contributor)

click here for more diy food!

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Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse Pie

I’d like to introduce you to the newest addition to the D&tG family: Vilda Gonzalez. I first found her through her Instagram feed and fell in love with her pretty pictures of food and healthful outlook on life. She’s only a sophomore in high school (!). We got to talking and realized we had so much in common: she lives in Savannah, Georgia (I go to school at SCAD, albeit online), we’re both flexible vegans interested in sustainable eating, and we actually share some mutual friends. A match made in heaven, I tell you! I offered her a spot as the new DIY Food Contributor on Drifter & the Gypsy and she said yes! (my former DIY Food Contributor, Ann, is currently in England finishing up graduate school).

Here’s her first post!

raw vegan chocolate mousse pie - drifter and the gypsy blog

Sometimes when life drives you close to the breaking point you have to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, at all the good things in your life. For me, baking has always been my guilty pleasure allowing me a temporary break from reality.

Regardless of the chaos in my life this week, I knew I had to bake something in order to retain some level of sanity. Minimal time and crazy chocolate cravings resulted in a new spin on an old classic:

Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse Pie. Simple, tasty, and made of pure, wholesome ingredients.

raw vegan chocolate mousse pie - drifter and the gypsy blog
raw vegan chocolate mousse pie - drifter and the gypsy blog

You’ll need:

For the pie crust
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons raw agave
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 Himalayan salt
2-4 tablespoons water
8 Deglet or Medjool dates

raw vegan chocolate mousse pie - drifter and the gypsy blog
raw vegan chocolate mousse pie - drifter and the gypsy blog
raw vegan chocolate mousse pie - drifter and the gypsy blog
raw vegan chocolate mousse pie - drifter and the gypsy blog

For the mousse
3 ripe avocados
8-10 tablespoons of cacao powder (start with 8 and add more if desired)
1/4 cup raw agave
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

raw vegan chocolate mousse pie - drifter and the gypsy blog
raw vegan chocolate mousse pie - drifter and the gypsy blog
raw vegan chocolate mousse pie - drifter and the gypsy blog
raw vegan chocolate mousse pie - drifter and the gypsy blog

Top with anything you’d like! I had mine with soy whipped cream and fresh organic raspberries.

- Vilda (DIY Food Contributor)

click here for more diy food!

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