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).

Summertime bruschetta

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Peach season is in full bloom here in Ontario and what better way to celebrate this delicious stone fruit than as the centrepiece of a summerlicious bruschetta recipe. This fancy appetizer consists of crusty baguette slices, spread with a creamy, buttery basil macadamia nut cheese, and topped with a sweet peach salsa. It’s seriously heaven on a plate and perfect to whip up for your next backyard BBQ party. It got rave reviews when I recently served it to a group of omnivore friends—in fact, most of them asked for seconds!

I’ve made a similar recipe many times before, using this delicious macadamia cheese and a standard tomato-based bruschetta topping. This version, however, lends that sweet summertime twist to a familiar dinner party staple.

Frappuccino Fridays: Cinnamon Dolce

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Happy Frappuccino Friday once again! I’ve been really enjoying these end-0f-the-week treats, and I hope you have been too. So far, we’ve indulged in Java Chip, Hazelnut, Peppermint Mocha, Caramel Brulée, Green Tea Cream, Chai Crème and Double Chocolate Chip. That’s quite a list!

Today, I bring you another one of my favourite flavours: Cinnamon Dolce. This sweet and creamy beverage is a simple blend of bold, dark-roasted coffee, coconut milk and ice, but the flavour is heightened with ground cinnamon and Medjool dates, then it’s topped with heavenly coconut whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Frappuccino Fridays: Chai Crème

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We’re now more than halfway through the season of frosty frappuccinos! So far, as part of our Frappuccino Fridays theme, Lisa and I have shared Java Chip, Hazelnut, Peppermint Mocha, Caramel Brulée and Green Tea Cream.

Today, I’ve created one of my all-time favourite flavours: Chai. There’s just something about that aromatic concoction of black tea infused with the exotic flavours of cardamom, cinnamon and black pepper that I love, but unfortunately Starbucks uses Tazo chai latte concentrate in their frappuccinos, which contains honey. So, if you want to enjoy the sweet and spicy taste of a chai frappuccino this summer, I recommend trying out this icy take on the traditional beverage. It’s spicy, sweet and milky—just like the Stabucks wallahs make it, only simpler and better.

To make this version, I simply steeped chai spice black tea bags in almond milk and then blended it with ice, dates and cinnamon (because I’m in love with cinnamon) to create that sweet, frothy goodness. You can use your favourite chia tea blend, but the spicier the better (I used Stash brand) Then, pour it into a tall glass—or a tea cup for the traditional experience–and top with coconut whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon.