Maple Alps

summertime

Spinach + Artichoke Flatbread (vegan)

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps4 Comments

Well, Instagram has done it again! This post is brought to you by my IG page, after you all wanted the recipe for dinner I made earlier this month! According to my story, I made this yummy artichoke and spinach flatbread and we enjoyed it on the deck with some homemade lemonade for dinner. It was all great. And the weather was perfect, thanks for asking. Well, you all asked for the recipe, and since you asked, you are now receiving. The power of overwhelming me with the question on social media, hehe! This flatbread is seriously simple for summer, and can easily be grilled too!

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Spinach + Artichoke Flatbread (vegan) | www.maplealps.com

This recipe uses my favorite Alfredo sauce recipe. My mom used to make a very similar one, and I definitely had to keep the tradition of homemade Alfredo alive. It just doesn’t taste the same out of a jar. Plus, this one is vegan, so a much better option that still tastes yummy. I decided to go with a creamier sauce rather than the typical tomato-based one (or plain olive oil) I often see on flatbreads.

I’ve also had this almost obsession with artichokes lately and have been eating them up. I don’t hesitate to pick up a jar while browsing the aisles of the grocery store. Seriously so much yum! It’s not just the taste, it’s the texture too! Just. So. Good.

But I needed something to put them on. A few years ago, we went to this amazing Italian-Indian fusion place and had this delicious naan pizza with Indian inspired toppings. It was so good.

Enter naan.

Seriously, writing up this post is making me hungry, so I’ll get to the point.

You can use any naan or flatbread you want. If you want to do this on a pizza crust, by all means, do so! There probably won’t be anything left over once you serve this up!

And pro tip: eat it outside. It’ll make you feel fancy.

Spinach + Artichoke Flatbread (vegan) | www.maplealps.com

Spinach + Artichoke Flatbread

what you need for the Alfredo:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews

  • 1 TBSP all-purpose flour

  • 1 TBSP nutritional yeast flakes

  • 1/2 cube vegan seasoning (I have used this one from amazon)

  • 1 1/4 cup water

  • about 2 tsp dried basil


what to do:

1) Add first five ingredients to a blender and process until everything is well mixed.

2) Add mixture to pot, add basil, and bring to a slow simmer - constantly stirring until thick

what you need for the flatbread:

  • Your favorite Naan bread or flatbread

  • 1, 6oz. jar of artichoke hearts

  • 3 1/2 cups fresh spinach

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 TBSP olive oil

Optional garnishes:

  • your favorite shredded vegan cheese (optional)

  • roasted red peppers (optional)

  • red chili peppers (optional)

  • sea salt to taste (optional)

what to do:

1) Preheat the oven to 425ºF (I do so with a pizza stone in there - optional!)

2) Mix the garlic and olive oil. Brush mixture on one side and put the bread oil side down on a prepared pan (or on pizza stone) Bake for about 2 minutes and set aside.

3) Put the remaining garlic and oil mixture into a pan. Add artichokes and spinach and cook until spinach starts to wilt, being sure to not overcook the spinach. Remove from heat.

4) Top naan with Alfredo sauce and artichoke mixture.

5) Sprinkle some vegan cheese on top (optional) and place in oven.

6) Bake for 5-7 minutes, until cheese is melted and if you want, broil the top for a minute.

7) Garnish with some red chili, red peppers, and sea salt.

8) Cut and serve fresh! Enjoy!

 
vegan pantry | www.maplealps.com
 

Do you enjoy a good smoothie? What is your go-to? Let me know in the comments!


 
 
Spinach + Artichoke Flatbread (vegan) | www.maplealps.com

Untraditional Simple Syrup

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps1 Comment

Summer for me means a lot of fresh lemonade and iced tea. I remember the days of powdered mixes in a can that you mixed with water and at the end of the drink there would be little granules at the bottom - and it would get sweeter as you got to the bottom. I know I’m not the only one who was annoyed with that.

Besides canned and powdered mixes being full of chemicals and dyes and sugars that are not the best options during the summer, it is incredibly easy to make your own drinks that contain less ingredients and taste just as great - if not better!

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Untraditional Simple Syrup | www.maplealps.com

A couple of things makes my simple syrup untraditional, the first being that instead of white refined sugar, I use raw organic cane sugar. The reason I use raw organic cane sugar is not necessarily for health reasons (gasp!). First off, I find white sugar a little bland. It’s just sweet and there is no depth of flavor. Maybe it’s just a personal preference, so feel free to use white if that is what you so wish. Organic cane sugar just means that the sugar cane used for the sugar was grown organically and is produced without any synthetic pesticides and herbicides. Which is nice to know. Not only does this decrease the amount of pesticides you are potentially intaking, but it is a step towards lowering the pesticide load on the environment.

In conclusion, there really isn’t a difference nutritionally between the two sugars, and you should be careful to not intake too much of a good thing anyway ;-)

Simple Syrup-2.jpg

The other thing that makes my simple syrup untraditional is the ratio of water and sugar that I use. Usually, there is a 1:1 ratio. I, however, use 2 parts water to 1 part sugar. It’s a small difference, but still a difference nonetheless. I’ve been curbing my sweet tooth, I guess. Don’t worry. It is definitely still sweet enough!

This simple syrup is perfect for lemonade and sweet tea and anything else you may want sweetened - without the granules in the bottom of your glass!

The best part? It’s quick and easy to whip up! And even easier to store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks!

Untraditional Simple Syrup | www.maplealps.com

Simple Syrup

what you need:

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 cup raw cane sugar


what to do:

1) Add all ingredients to a pot and bring to boil

2) Simmer for about 3 minutes, until syrup is clear

3) Allow to cool down before using in the drink of your choice

4) Store in an airtight container (a mason jar works well) in the refrigerator for about 3-4 weeks (if it lasts that long!)

 

What are your go-to summer drinks? Have you ever made a simple syrup before?


 

Chia Peach Frozen Pops (vegan)

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps23 Comments

Since moving to Michigan, I've appreciated Summer that much more. It seems that the Winter months drag on and on and on and Spring and Summer bring a breath of fresh air. I find myself physically aching for warm weather near the end of a cold spell and longing for warm evenings on the porch or at the beach.

I need to go outside and embrace my Summer! School will be starting before I know it, and soon the Winter will be back, so I need to get my outdoor time in now. I've been enjoying walking, jogging or riding bikes to the lake and walking along the shore. I also love just laying in the backyard or sitting on the porch - the grass is so soft and the sun makes me so happy!

Before I leave though, I'll give you this recipe to help you stay cool.

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Chia Peach Frozen Pops (vegan) | www.maplealps.com

You all know by now that I like chocolate, and while I have made chocolate versions of these frozen pops (ummm, chocolate peanutbutter chia please!!) and even fudgiscles, I decided to share a non-chocolate frozen treat with you today! I got the inspiration from a smoothie, really, and thought that fruit chunks in a popsicle would be a fun idea. Besides, it makes them prettier in my opinion.

Of course, you can use any kind of fruit in your pops. I chose peaches, because peaches. I love peaches. But I could imagine using raspberries or blueberries, or anything, really!

Chia Peach Frozen Pops (vegan) | www.maplealps.com

Waiting for these babies to freeze is a true test of patience, but they are well worth the wait!

Chia Peach Frozen Pops (vegan) | www.maplealps.com

Chia Peach Frozen Pops

1 ¼ cup coconut milk

½ cup soy

¼ cup chia seeds

½ - 1 TBSP cane sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)

Canned or fresh peach (or any other fruit, really!)

 

1. Whisk all ingredients except peaches together in a small bowl

2. Let mixture sit for 15-30 minutes, until it has become thick

3. Spoon a bit of the mixture into each popsicle mold.

4. Add fruit as you wish, alternating between the mixture and the fruit

5. Freeze 6 hours, until frozen.

6. To remove, run mold under hot water for 10-15 seconds and pull out carefully. To store, I wrap the pops in parchment paper (separately) and keep them in a freezer bag. You could also get really fancy and grab these plastic sleeves for frozen treats. 

 

 

For these treats you may need:

 

What do you like doing in the Summer months?


 
Chia Peach Frozen Pops (vegan) | www.maplealps.com

Chocolate Chai Ice Cream (vegan + gluten free + nut free)

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps18 Comments

Summer is here and I fully intend on enjoying every last second of it! The problem, however, is that summer only lasts a few weeks before Autumn comes creeping along and I have to break out the coats again. I do love the Fall, but I have been waiting and my body has been aching for sunshine that comes right now. The Winter was so long. So, so long. Thankfully, one can still eat ice cream in the Winter. It's just that it can be enjoyed outside in the Summer. 

Chocolate Chai Ice Cream (vegan + gluten free + nut free) | www.maplealps.com

The other day, I decided to break out my ice cream maker. You have to understand that I bought it years ago on a whim because it was a good deal. Since getting it, however, I have used it probably a grand total of….thrice. I was never able to achieve the creamy goodness that comes from the store, so I gave up. And then I had no time to experiment. And then it was in our basement still in the box. So yes, it was really time to either use it or lose it. I decided to try my hand at homemade ice cream again. I tried and tried some more until I finally came up with what I’m sharing with you today: a tasty chocolate chai ice cream.

The best part is that there is no dairy in it! I do love ice cream, but the dairy stuff makes me ill.

Chocolate Chai Ice Cream (vegan + gluten free) | www.maplealps.com

The base is a coconut cream and chai-infused soy milk mix that is pretty tasty if I do say so myself! It’s also creamy and has the right texture. Beyond that, it is inexpensive to make and will save you $5/pint of the dairy-free stuff at the store. You can’t get much better than that, really.

I wasn’t actually planning to make a chai-infused ice cream. I was just brainstorming flavours and I looked over and saw some loose tea that I had picked up a while back and it hit me:

chai + chocolate = seconds, please!

Chocolate Chai Ice Cream (vegan + gluten free) | www.maplealps.com

I already have a ton of ideas for future flavours, so stay tuned as I experiment and develop ice cream-making skills. 

Chocolate Chai Ice Cream (vegan + gluten free) | www.maplealps.com

Chocolate Chai Ice Cream (vegan + gluten free)

What you need:

  • 2 cups soy milk

  • 1 can (15 ounces) coconut cream

  • 1 TBSP chai tea (loose tea or 1-2 tea bags)

  • ⅓ cup arrowroot powder

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp vanilla

  • ¼ cup cocoa powder

  • 2-3 TBSP maple syrup or agave (depending on how sweet you want it)

 

What to do:

  1. Heat 2 cups of soy milk

  2. Steep the chai tea in the milk for 10-15 minutes, depending on how strong you want the chai flavour (I used a loose-leaf decaffeinated chai from Teavana)

  3. After the tea is done steeping, add it, along with the rest of the ingredients, to a high speed blender. Mix well until there are no clumps

  4. Add mixture to a large saucepan, and heat up slowly, continually stirring, until you have a pudding-like consistency.

  5. Completely cool the mixture (about 4 hours in the refrigerator)

  6. Put into ice cream maker and churn according to instructions

  7. Add ice cream to a shallow container and freeze for a few hours. It will stay creamy for a few days in the freezer- just let it sit out for a few minutes after the first day till it softens a bit!

 

Have you ever made your own ice cream?


 
Chocolate Chai Ice Cream (vegan + gluten free) | www.maplealps.com

Creamy Chocolate Ice Pops (vegan + gluten free fudgsicle copycat)

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps12 Comments

I remember when I was young, my grandparents owned and operated a convenience store in town. In the summer, they would let us have some treats from the freezer and I would always choose a chocolate popsicle. No, this was not a Fudgsicle, but rather a chocolate flavoured popsicle. I don't know if any of you have ever had one, but I loved them.

Then, one day, I did try a Fudgsicle, and I loved it. It was creamy and soft and had so much chocolate goodness - not the watery hardness of my former love. 

Trying to come up with replicating this delicious cold treat has proved quite the task, but I took a cue from my Chocolate Cream Pie and came up with something quite tasty!

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Creamy Chocolate Ice Pops (vegan + gluten free fudgsicle copycat) | www.maplealps.com

Because of the added arrowroot powder, it helped make it much more creamy and gooey, which, in my humble opinion, is the best part about Fudgsicles. It feels just like eating an actual one - the texture is perfect.

Creamy Chocolate Ice Pops | www.maplealps.com

I had some issues getting these babies out of the mould, so they aren't the prettiest, but they sure are tasty!

The best thing about making cold treats is how easy it is to mix things up and come up with fun combinations. I added almond flavour to these pops to add a chocolate almond flavour (my fav!), but you can do whatever you want! I notice that I don't really taste the coconut from the coconut milk when I add flavouring, so I like to skip it sometimes and have a more coconut-chocolate flavour.

Creamy Chocolate Ice Pops

Creamy Chocolate Ice Pops

What you need:

  • 1 cup coconut milk (full fat works best)

  • ¾ cup unsweetend soy milk

  • ¼ cup cane sugar (or less, depending on how sweet you want it)

  • 1 TBSP arrowroot powder

  • 1 ½ TBSP cocoa powder

  • ½ tsp almond extract (if you don't like almond flavour, skip this ingredient, or substitute with vanilla or something fun!)

 

What to do:

1. In a saucepan, whisk together all ingredients, constantly stirring until thick to avoid clumps. 

2. Pour into popsicle mold (I use this one from Amazon) and freeze for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

3. To remove, run mold under hot water for 10-15 seconds and pull out carefully. To store, I wrap the pops in parchment paper (separately) and keep them in a freezer bag.

 

**Note: I like making these in small batches when I want to make other flavours as well. For a full tray, simply double the recipe!

 
Staying cool and refreshed is easier now than ever with these tasty vegan fudgsicles!
 
Creamy Vegan Chocolate Ice Pops | www.maplealps.com