WHISKEY BAKED PERSIMMON BREAD PUDDING
Hi friends! If you've been following along with my daily stories on IG, you know that it's been a crazy few weeks over here. I'm finally and officially certified as a power yoga and yoga sculpt instructor and I am SO excited about it! It's been a ton of work - I've been at the studio nearly every damn for the last 6ish months, since the day we got back from our Honeymoon. I'm exhausted! Plus, I've got my second cookbook in the works and also - the Holidays! So today I'm throwing it back AND recommending a great Holiday gift; This Whiskey Baked Persimmon Bread Pudding is SO good that I released it in my first cookbook, Homestyle Vegan, last year. But cool weather and fresh persimmons are back, and I knew I had to share. And if you still need a gift? My cookbook is on sale and is PACKED with delicious, plant-based recipes! Alright, that's the pitch. Moving on!
Bread pudding is just the worst name. It sounds like a soggy, sweetened, puréed loaf of bread and it deserves SO much more credit than that. This hearty bread pudding is stuffed with spiced, whiskey-baked persimmons and tossed in a rich coconut cream mixture before baking. It’s a super impressive looking and tasting treat, and is a great way to explore using sweet, seasonal persimmons. Persimmons not your jam? Try using your favorite stone fruit, instead. Let's bake, babes!
6 heaping cups (375 g) stale french bread, cubed
4 persimmons, halved and thinly sliced
1/3 cup (80 ml) whiskey
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon (14 g) sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1- 14 oz. can (414 ml) full fat coconut milk
1 cup (240 ml) unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup (36 g) cornstarch
freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Place the stale bread cubes into a large bowl and set aside.
In a medium baking dish toss together the persimmons, whiskey, coconut oil, sugar, ginger, nutmeg and cardamom. Bake for 20 minutes, tossing again about halfway through.
While the persimmons are cooking, whisk together the coconut milk, almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and cornstarch in a saucepan. Cook over low-medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens. Once finished, pour the coconut milk mixture and the whiskey baked persimmons over the bread in the large mixing bowl. Mix to combine everything evenly, then pour the mixture into the prepared 9x13 inch baking dish. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes, then bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately!
Leftovers save well in the fridge up to one week.
Sparkling Apple Rosemary Cocktail with Pomegranate
2016 is just around the corner, and while most people are making resolutions and planning healthier diets for the New Year, I'm spending 9 hour days in the kitchen testing recipes and photographing them for my cookbook! It's not coming out until next Fall, but the editing process has taken over my life for now. Its been so much fun and I'm loving it, don't get me wrong - but I am pretty excited for the day I don't have to turn on the oven. After this book is done, its take-out at our place for at least a month.
While I haven't exactly made a resolution yet, I have decided to make a real effort to spend more time camping and being outside having #plantbasedadventures (check it out on Instagram!) with Alex. We have so much fun doing it and it just makes both of us feel so amazing to be outside in the fresh air.
But for now, it is way too damn cold to go camping and I've got way too much editing to do to leave for a long weekend anyway. What I can do, however, is drink. Ha! And this drink is perfectly festive and perfect for toasting on NYE. It starts with champagne - your choice which brand - and is topped with a bit of sweet apple cider, pomegranate arils, and fresh sprigs of rosemary. The sweet, earthy flavors pair beautifully together and are pretty enough to serve at your party and impress your guests. These are so easy to make and have a little something for everyone, so whip up a batch to toast with a friend and let's celebrate another healthy, happy year. Cheers!
8 ounces champagne
4 ounces chilled apple cider
2 tablespoons pomegranate arils
2-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
Pour equal amounts of champagne and apple cider into each small glass or flute. Top each drink with a tablespoon of pomegranate arils and a couple sprigs of rosemary. Serve + enjoy!
Makes 2- 6 oz. drinks.
If you don't have/ like pomegranate, sub in halved cranberries or fresh raspberries!
If you're looking for something a little different to sip at the Holiday's this year, we've got your back. This recipe (okay, we tweaked it a bit) has been in Alex's family for a long time. I don't know how long exactly, but long enough to have become the Official Owens' Family Drink of the Holidays! When Alex turned 21 he was given the privilege of learning the recipe and making all the batches that Christmas. Batches alternate between he and his younger brother now, but he still loves making them. He even started making this vegan version after he went completely plant-based a few years ago so he could keep with tradition. I don't think it would be Christmas for him without one! His vegan version tastes super similar to the original since he kept the same 3-2-1 formula as the original, and is a great option for parties where people may have food preferences or dairy allergies. We used chocolate liquor, but you could sub in a coffee liqueur like Kahlua and I'm sure it'd be just as tasty. It's kind of like the less thick, much tastier cousin of eggnog...I think you're gonna like it! Oh, and make sure you have a little fresh nutmeg to grate over the top - it makes all the difference. Cheers!
15 oz. can full-fat coconut milk (OR 15 oz. your choice non-dairy milk, though it will be less thick)
10 ounces chocolate liqueur
5 ounces brandy
1-2 cups ice
freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish
In a high-speed blender combine all the ingredients and blend until desired consistency is reached. The drink should be thick but creamy - like drinkable milkshake texture. Enjoy immediately!
The alcohol we used is vegan approved by Barnivore. You can use it to look up ANY type of alcohol to see if it's vegan-friendly.
Like we said above, you can substitute whatever non-dairy milk you have on hand here, though it won't be quite as thick as the original.
Sparkling Peach Sangria with Fresh Mint
It's summertime and the livin's easy! Well, at least for a few more weeks. This weekend marks the last long weekend of summer for a lot of families before they head back to school- or just closer to colder weather. Either way, your Labor Day Veg-G-Q's will shine with this late-summer sipper. A well-rounded & flavorful sangria can be hard to find, but this light and summery concoction fits the bill: fresh peaches and mint sprigs mingle with sparkling wine, lent a hint of sweetness from the agave & a slight tartness from the lemon juice. Add a rim of sugar to class it up or serve it in coffee mugs- your guests are gonna love it either way. And while sparkling wine doesn't top the list of good-for-you drinks, the addition of fresh fruit and herbs adds to its health value.
Combine peaches anti-inflammatory properties with the alkalizing power of freshly squeezed lemon juice, and this cocktail just became the star of the show. Seriously! Did you know that drinking freshly squeezed juice allows you to absorb ALL the nutrients from said veg/ fruit? Instead of separating out the pulpy goodness- often the richest in vitamins, minerals, and good for you enzymes- it allows you down it all in one gulp. Plus, fresh juice offers proven benefits like weight loss, increased energy levels, strengthened immunity, strong bones, and a GLOWING complexion. So here's to adding fresh juice to EVERYTHING! Toss in extra whole fruit if you like, but consider adding some other fresh juices from things like ginger, pineapple, or fall apples. We suspect a few berries would be lovely, too.
Don't have a citrus squeezer? Check out this ahh-mazing citrus juicer from Williams-Sonoma. We want three, and I'm already dreaming up a much more citrusy version we could make with it- blood orange, anyone? You can check out all their juicers here.Now, let's DRINK!
1- 750 mL bottle sparkling white wine of your choice* (vegan wine options can be found at barnivore.com)
2-4 tablespoons agave nectar (more for a sweeter drink)
1 lemon, freshly squeezed
1 large peach, sliced OR cubed
5-7 sprigs of fresh mint
Turbinado sugar, for rim garnish (optional)
Pour your wine into a mixing bowl (or saucepan, or whatever container you like. If you're into making this IN the bottle...GO FOR IT!)
Mix in the agave nectar & freshly squeezed lemon juice, then toss in the peach slices and mint sprigs. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, then serve with some of the boozy peach slices and a fresh mint sprig. Add ice if you like it.
To line the glass rims in sugar, squeeze a slice of lemon around the entire rim of the cup and dip the cup, upside down, into a small plate of sugar before serving. The lemon juice sticks to the sugar and looks pretty fancy when you have guests. Plus, if you like a sweet drink, this sugar rim will lighten up each sip.
*It should be noted that Sparkling White Wine is DIFFERENT than Champagne. Feel free to try it with Champagne, but no guarantees, 'cause we didn't try it.