Cultured Cream Cheese – Two Flavours

Now that I’m back working at home, I’m saving time not driving or getting ready in the morning.  So, there is a bit more time for food prep and cooking.  This extra time also really helps make my running more consistent and I am seeing improvement in my times since taking a lot of time off of running.

I didn’t try regular cream cheese until my late teens when I worked at Tim Hortons.  I love it but not necessarily the ingredients in it.  I decided to take a look at some of my favourite brands of non-dairy cream cheese and make my own.  We are now only shopping once every 3 or more weeks, so it makes sense to make use of whatever pantry staples we already have. I can’t stop eating these cream cheese with freshly baked crackers!

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Chocolate Hazelnut Bites

I swore I didn’t like Nutella. I’m not sure if I’ve ever had it, but as a kid I ate way too many Ferrero Rocher chocolates and the thought of chocolate hazelnut anything made me feel ill.  That was until my kids tried Nutella and loved it and I had to find a healthier version to buy.   I was wrong. Chocolate and Hazelnut can be together again…in a healthier, reduced-sugar, dark version form. I can eat that stuff straight with a spoon. Continue reading “Chocolate Hazelnut Bites”

Rocky Road Ice Cream

I found my ice cream maker the other day!!! I thought it got thrown out in the move, so it couldn’t have come at a better time, that being summer holidays.

Rocky Road and Heavenly Hash were my favourite ice cream flavours growing up, so I had to make a vegan version of one of them.  Feel free to add in more chocolate chips, nuts or marshmallows to your liking.

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Chocolate Chip Waffles

Sunday is waffle day. I make a large batch and then freeze the rest. My daughters then have waffles ready to pull out any day of the week. We also sometimes do waffles for their school lunches, cutting them into fingers for easy eating and dipping.  You could omit the chocolate chips and make a classic waffle, or add in some fruit, such as blueberries.



  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons organic coconut sugar
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of melted non-dairy butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups non-dairy milk
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy chocolate chips


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix well.
  2. Add in the liquid and mix until most of the clumps are gone.
  3. Preheat and oil your waffle iron.
  4. Pour the batter (approximately 1/2 cup/waffles) in your waffle maker and cook according to your waffle iron’s instructions.
  5. Serve with maple syrup, peanut butter, or enjoy on their own.


Persian Cinnamon Buns

I’ve finally moved into my new home after 4 months of living out of a suitcase, so that means that the kitchen is unpacked and it is time to start cooking again. Moving to a new city means I get to experience new foods, traditions, and restaurants. A big thing here is something called a “Persian”. It is a fried cinnamon bun covered in a strawberry or raspberry icing. My kids love them.

I had to make a healthier version, so although it isn’t a health food, I feel better serving my family these ones. My recipe doesn’t fry the dough, contains plant-based ingredients, and where possible, is made with organic ingredients.

I prepare the dough in the bread machine to save time.  If you don’t have a bread machine, follow the steps at the very bottom.




  • 2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/3 cup soy or almond milk
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegan butter/margarine
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour


  • 1/3 cup vegan butter/margarine, softened
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut sugar


  • 1/2 cup organic raspberries or strawberries, fresh, or frozen (thawed)
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter/margarine, softened
  • 4 cups icing sugar (I made my own my blending up organic cane sugar)
  • pinch salt



  1. Prepare the dough – put all ingredients for the dough into your bread machine and put on the dough cycle.
  2. Once the cycle is done, remove the dough and do a quick kneed of the dough.  Let rest for 5 minutes and then roll out the dough to approximately 12 x 16 inches (30 x 40cm).
  3. Brush the dough with softened butter and then sprinkle the dough evenly with cinnamon and sugar.
  4. From the long end, roll up the dough.
  5. Cut the dough in 1.5 inch pieces (4 cm) pieces.
  6. Place the dough in a greased 9 x 13 inch pan, cut side down. Leave a bit of space between each roll.
  7. Cover the dough and let rise until double in size, approximately 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  9. Cook the buns for 20 minutes, or until lightly brown.  Let cool in pan.
  10. Prepare the icing – begin by blending the raspberries or strawberries until there are no large chunks.  In a mixer, blend the berries with the butter. Slowly add in the icing sugar until it is a thick frosting.
  11. Cover the tops of the buns with a thick layer of icing.  Serve warm or cold.

Alternative method for mixing dough (if you don’t have a bread machine)

  1. Warm the milk slightly until lukewarm and put in a large mixing bowl.  Add in the yeast and sugar.  Let sit until foamy (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add in the salt and butter.  Slowly add in the flour and knead until the flour is fully incorporated, the dough is soft and slightly tacky (you may not need the full 4 cups of flour).  You can use a dough hook on a mixer to make this easier.
  3. Cover the dough and let rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  4. Continue with step 2 above in the original directions.