Grain-free autumn fruit crumble from Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free

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I’m pretty excited to be a part of my friend Ricki’s virtual book tour for her beautiful new cookbook, Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free. You may have already read the praise she’s been receiving from others, like Angela, Tess, Allyson, Gena , JL, Carolyn and Dreena.

Ricki’s blog, RickiHeller.com (formerly Diet, Dessert & Dogs), has become a go-to resource for vegans and others with food allergies or sensitivities or looking for insight into the anti-candida diet. Over the years, Ricki has shared her struggles with health and weight because of her addiction to unhealthy sweets. When she cut out all refined sweeteners from her life, she began to search for alternatives and, in the process, learned to create recipes that are both healthy and satisfying. 

Roasted eggplant hummus

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I have to admit: this hummus recipe has been sitting in my drafts folder for several weeks now. I’m so sorry, dear hummus, but you must have gotten lost in the shuffle!

In any case, I bought these beautiful little eggplants at one of my rare trips to the farmers’ market earlier in the summer and I couldn’t wait to get home and incorporate it into a recipe. And since hummus is almost always on my mind, the purple beauties went straight into a food processor with chickpeas after a quick roast in the oven. 

Gluten-free pear & banana loaf

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I’m pretty excited for today. It’s the first day of the annual Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival, and I’m just about to head down to Harbourfront to check out all the new products, eat delicious food and catch up with friends. Thankfully it’s a beautiful day in the city—the sun is shining and everyone is out and about for the weekend.

If you’re in town, be sure to stop by and check out the festivities. We’ve got some amazing speakers and demos lined up, including Roberto Martin, Allyson Kramer, Michael Greger and Heather Nicholds, just to name a few, as well as a Q&A with the director of The Ghosts In Our Machine (an incredible documentary, if you haven’t seen it yet).

Frappuccino Friday: Vanilla Bean

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We’re almost through the season of Frappuccinos Fridays, and I hope you’ve been enjoying all of the tasty flavours we’ve veganized. As part of the theme, Lisa and I have indulged in Java Chip, Hazelnut, Peppermint Mocha, Caramel Brulée, Green Tea Cream, Chai Crème, Double Chocolate Chip, Cinnamon Dolce and Toffee Coffee.

Today I’m sharing a flavour I’d imagine is a pretty standard favourite, since vanilla lends a wonderfully creamy taste to anything it teams up with—and coffee is certainly no exception. With this version, I think the spicy fragrance of vanilla bean and vanilla extract enhances the full-bodied richness of the strong, dark-roast coffee. Top if off with a mountain of coconut whipped cream and you’ll let out a sigh of satisfaction after every succulent slurp.  Enjoy!

Roasted balsamic strawberries

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You know life is too busy when you realize it’s almost the end of August and you’ve only been to a farmers’ market once. The friendly smiles from local farmers and their hauls of freshly harvested produce is always worth the trek across the Danforth and down Pottery Road to Brick Works, my favourite of Toronto’s long list of seasonal and year-round markets.

I realize the local strawberry season is almost over, but this super simple dessert was enough to satisfy an entire summer’s worth of these precious red jewels. This recipe makes just enough for two or three small portions, so you might want to double the recipe if making dessert for a crowd (or you want to enjoy leftovers).