Category: Dessert

Vegan 4th of July Parfait with Aquafaba Portrait 3

4th of July Berry Parfait (Vegan)

What better way to celebrate Independence Day than with a delicious berry parfait? Nothing says freedom like cruelty-free vegan eats! This 4th of July dessert recipe is made using aquafaba (chickpea brine), blueberries, and raspberries. Plus look how festive it is!


3/4 cup aquafaba (chickpea brine)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
12 ounces raspberries
1 pint blueberries


Strain out a 15 oz. can of chickpeas, and you will be left with about 3/4 cup of liquid. This is called aquafaba. Add 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar to the liquid. Note: Save those chickpeas to make this delicious beet hummus!

Transfer the liquid to a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, using the whisk attachment.

Add in 1 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. Mix on high until the aquafaba fluffs up. It should hold its shape but not be so stiff it doesn’t give. Why does this work? Aquafaba is rich in protein, much like egg whites. Whisking it causes the proteins to unfurl and introduces air into the mix. The proteins create a structure around these air bubbles, separating them from the liquid. The cream of tartar helps reinforce those protein bonds, resulting in delicious vegan whipped cream.

Layer the whipped cream, blueberries, and raspberries.

Vegan 4th of July Parfait with Aquafaba Portrait 2

Avocado Chocolate Mousse 4

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Let’s face it, avocados can be a bit of a mystery. You spend all that time picking out the perfect one only to discover it’s all bruised and browning inside. Well, don’t throw them out! Here is a delicious chocolate mousse recipe for using up any avocados (good or bad).


1 ½ pounds avocados
⅓ cup agave nectar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon sea salt
⅓ cup cream


Add the avocados, cocoa powder, agave, vanilla, cream, and salt to your food processor (or blender). FACT: All Hass avocado trees descend from a single “mother tree” raised by a mail carrier named Rudolph Hass, of La Habra Heights, California. It’s a mystery to what species the Hass tree actually descends from. Rudolph Hass patented his tree back in 1935 which then died of root rot in September of 2002.

Avocado Chocolate 1

Vegan Chocolate Mousse 1

Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.

Divide into serving and refrigerate for an hour before enjoying. Oh, you can easily make this vegan by using an alternative cream or even omitting it.

Avocado Chocolate Mousse 3

I received compensation from Bay Area Recycling Outreach Coalition in exchange for this recipe. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

Avocado Chocolate Mousse 2 1

Vegan 4th of July Ice Cream 4

Vegan 4th of July Ice Cream

In just a few days, our country will be blowing sh*t up in the name of freedom. God, I love America! Personally, I will be sitting on my rooftop here in San Francisco, enjoying the fireworks with friends and beer.

Sure, I’ll be making a host of things to eat but, honestly, I don’t want to spend the whole day cooking. For one, it’s freakin hot, and secondly, it ain’t Christmas. So quick and tasty are key.

Like I said, it is hot. So this vegan ice cream is perfect. It only uses 3 ingredients and takes but 5 minutes to make (boom!). That means more explosions and less cooking. Not a bad deal for homemade ice cream, right?


5 cups bananas, about 6 bananas
1 cup strawberries
1 cup blueberries


Peel the bananas and slice them into coins. Did you know that bananas do not actually grow on trees, they grow from a root structure that has an above-ground stem; it’s really just a giant herb. Here is a fun fact, bananas are naturally radioactive. They contain high amounts of potassium, specifically potassium-40 which is a radioactive isotope of potassium.

Real Fruit Ice Cream 1

Also, all commercial bananas are just clones. Yup, clones of each other and they originate from one single plant from Southeast Asia. The species, the Cavendish banana wasn’t even popular until the 1960s when its predecessor was wiped out by disease: keep in mind Cavendish is also susceptible to this. So the banana apocalypse is coming!

Place them on a small baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer. Then pop them in the freezer. They should be frozen solid (or solid enough) in just a few hours.

Blend 1 1/2 cup of the bananas until smooth, almost soft-serve like. Then add in 1 cup of chopped strawberries, pulsing until smooth. Transfer the mixture to 1/3 of a small baking dish then placing it in the freezer.

Vegan Ice Cream 1

Blend another 1 1/2 cup frozen bananas until smooth, then add in the 1 cup of blueberries. Pulse until incorporated. Transfer the mixture to the other side of the baking dish, putting it back in the freezer.

Clean out the food processor as to not stain the next batch of ice cream. Blend the remaining banana until smooth. Transfer to the middle. The reason frozen bananas work in this capacity is because they are more sugar than water. So blending them doesn’t make them the least bit mushy. In fact, the result is creamy just like actual ice cream.

Place the baking dish in the freezer for another 15 minutes, just to firm it up before serving. If you plan to store it longer, cover the dish with plastic or foil.

Vegan 4th of July Ice Cream 3

Vegan 4th of July Ice Cream 2 1

Strawberry Stuffed with Honey Lavender Cream Cheese Final 1

Strawberries Stuffed with Honey-Lavender Cream Cheese

A friend of mine, who writes for The San Francisco Chronicle, tends to the paper’s rooftop beehives at their downtown location. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the hives a few times and when she gave me some of the honey, I was dying to do a recipe with it. It took me quite a while to get around to it, I admit. Mostly because I wasn’t really finding a fit for the honey’s unique flavor…but I finally did! This recipe is divine. The lavender and honey brighten the strawberry’s more tart notes and just makes a lush, simple and scrumptious dessert.


1 lb strawberries
8 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon lavender
2 tablespoons honey


Let the cream cheese soften by placing it at room temperature for a few hours. I suggest lightly whipping it in a stand mixer or with beaters, but you can also just mix it up with a spoon.

Whipped Cream Cheese 1

Dried Lavender 4

Grind one tablespoon of dried lavender and stir it into the softened cream cheese. Please make sure you are using culinary lavender. While all lavender is edible, culinary lavender is light and sweet. Other forms are higher in camphor which is bitter but also treated as a toxin by the body.

Mix in two tablespoons of honey to the cream cheese mixture.

San Francisco Chronicle Honey 1

Lavender Honey Cream Cheese 1

Cut the tops off the strawberries so that they sit flat and upright.

Crown the strawberries or just slice them, whatever you prefer. There are many ways to make these fancy and fun.

Strawberries 2

Add the cream cheese mixture to a pastry bag. You can also just spoon them on but I like the control a pastry bag offers me. I know, control freak, right?

Pastry Bag with Whipped Cream Cheese 1

Stuff the strawberries with the cream cheese mixture and serve!

Strawberry Stuffed with Honey Lavender Cream Cheese Cap 1

Fried Apple Rings Full 3

Fried Apple Rings

What is not to love about onion rings? Fried, salty and the perfect vehicle for a variety of condiments. Every time I am enjoying onion rings, I think to myself, what other wonders would be great in this format? Apples are always my first thought. So here you go, fried apple rings for your enjoyment. Perfect for your next football gathering or just because!

This recipe originally appeared on KQED’s Bay Area Bites.


1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
4 large Granny Smith apples
Vegetable oil
Sea salt


Combine 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Making Batter 1

Whisk 1 egg and then whisk in 1 cup of buttermilk.

Slice 4 large Granny Smith apples into 1/4 inch thick slices using varying sized biscuit cutters to make “rings” out of the slices, discarding smallest circle containing core.

Sliced Apples 1

Apple Rings 1

Heat oil to 375 degrees F. (Caution: Do not let the oil get too hot or your rings will burn quickly. If rings are cooking too quickly, lower the heat of the oil a bit.) Combine the liquid and dry ingredients while the oil heats up.

Dip apple rings into batter, removing any excess. A little is okay, it gives them a nice swirly look. Cook in oil in small batches, turning frequently to monitor browning.

Drying Fried Apple Rings 1

When the rings are golden brown, remove to a wire rack and sprinkle with sea salt.


Fried Apple Rings Main 1

Fried Apple Rings Full 2


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