DIY HOT CHOCOLATE WITH PEPPERMINT SPOONS

Typically I fall into the DI-Don’t category. My DIY attempts are good for a laugh and that’s about it. Unless it involves food—then watch out. I’m a DIY boss. So even if you don’t consider yourself a DIY’er I encourage you to give this easy gift project a shot. If you’re a seasoned DIY’er then feel free to jazz this up as only a DIY master like yourself knows how.

Love peppermint spoons more than anything? Pick up a silicon spoon shaped candy mold. Crush candies as you’ll be directed, add to molds, and heat until melted.

This recipe can be halved (use an 8oz. Mason jar) or quartered, for single-serve mini jars (use 1a 4oz. Mason jar).

Ingredients

  • Hot Chocolate:
  • 8 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 8 Tbsp dairy free chocolate chips
  • 4 Tbsp mini vegan marshmellows
  • Optional: Sub 2 Tbsp cocoa powder for 2 Tbsp Chocolate Vega® Essentials
  • or Chocolate Vega® Clean Protein
  • Peppermint Spoon:
  • Crushed red and white swirled peppermint candies or candy cane (12 candles or 2 to 4 candy canes, size dependent).
  • Wooden cutlery spoons (if you can’t find these you can substitute popsicle sticks)

Preparation

  • Hot Chocolate Mason Jar Directions:
    1. Carefully and evenly layer cocoa powder, sugar, chocolate chips and then mini marshmallows in a 16oz. Mason jar. Top with lid.
  • Peppermint Spoon Directions:
    1. Unwrap candies and place in a food storage bag.
    2. Using a kitchen mallet (or anything hard you have in your kitchen – I used the back of a metal ice cream scoop) coarsely crush the candies.
    3. Roll out a piece of parchment paper.
    4. Remove a half of the crushed candies and melt in microwave-safe dish (alternate option: melt at 300°F degrees in the oven).
    5. Dip a spoon into the melted candy, filling the spoon (act fast – it hardens quickly), and sprinkle with coarsely chopped candy pieces.
    6. Lay flat to dry on parchment paper to cool and harden. Note: For longer storage and transport, place spoons in decorative bags.

     

  • Usage Directions:
    1. Remove marshmallows from jar.
    2. Add one cup water and remaining ingredients to pot and stir over medium-high until desired temperature reached. Optional: For even creamier hot chocolate sub your favorite non-dairy beverage.
    3. Pour in mug and top with marshmallows.
    4. Add peppermint spoon and stir.

BANANA BREAD ENERGY BARS FROM THE THRIVE DIET 10TH ANNIVERSARY

It’s hard to believe that Vega co-founder Brendan Brazier’s international bestseller The Thrive Diet was released 10 years ago. Luckily for us, he’s released a new edition: The Thrive Diet, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Plant-Based Whole Foods Way to Staying Healthy for Life. In celebration, we’re sharing one of our favorite recipes from this edition.

Cinnamon and nutmeg combined with banana give this bar the taste of traditional banana bread, in a nutrient dense, convenient form.

Recipe image courtesy Erin Ireland.

Recipe appears in: The Thrive Diet, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Plant-Based Whole Foods Way to Staying Healthy for Life By Brendan Brazier by Penguin Canada (in Canada) and Hachette Book Group (in the United States).

Ingredients

  • 1 small banana
  • ¾ cup fresh or soaked dried Medjool dates
  • ½ cup puffed millet
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup ground sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Sea salt to taste

Preparation

In a food processor, process all ingredients until desired texture is reached.

Remove mixture from the food processor and put on a clean surface. There are two ways to shape the bars: You can roll the mixture into several balls, or shape it into bars.

To shape into balls, use a tablespoon or your hands to scoop the mixture. Roll mixture between the palms of your hands to form a ball.

To shape as bars, flatten  the mixture  on a clean surface with  your hands. Place plastic wrap over top; with a rolling pin, roll mixture to desired bar thickness. Cut mixture into bars.

Store in fridge or freezer until ready  to enjoy.