Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Hey everyone!!!

So we took a little break but we are back and baking!

What better way to come back to the blog than by sharing something chocolate!  This cookie is gluten free and vegan and chocolatey and chewy goodness.


  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg replacer…we used 1 tbsp chia seeds with 2 tbsp of water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp xantham gum
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats-gluten free Only Oats are what we used
  • 1/2 cup of dried cranberries


  1. Line a baking sheet with a parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix together in a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer, the Earth Balance and the sugar. Mix until combined and fluffy consistency.
  3. Add the chia egg and vanilla, and beat until blended.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, xantham gum,  cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda.
  5. Add to the wet ingredients in the mixer bowl and mix just until combined. Add rolled oats and the cranberries.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  7. Once you take them out, they may be very soft but the cookies with crisp on the outside if you let them cool.  The insides will remain nice a chewy gooey though!



Gin Infused Lime Tart with Raspberry Sauce

Gin infused?! Lime Tart?! with Raspberry sauce?! 

I don’t know what part of that is the best?

Probably that it is also VEGAN and GLUTEN FREE!!! 

Yeh…you heard me.

Yeh…it is as delicious as you may be imagining right now. 🙂

As far as I am concerned…a little Dillon’s Gin from our excursion last month in your desserts can’t hurt.

Dillon's Gin



  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 12 soft Medjool dates
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • pinch of sea salt

crust for lime tart


  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup agave or honey
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (@ 3-4 limes)
  • 2 tbsp Gin




  1. In a food processor pulse the nuts several times until broken down into small pieces, being careful not to make walnut butter. Place nuts in a medium sized mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Add dates to the food processor and pulse until broken down. Add the dates, coconut, coconut oil, lime zest/juice and salt to the bowl. Mix until evenly blended and forms a dough (I used my hands to do this).
  3. Press into an 8 inch tart pan until evenly distributed and place in the freezer while preparing the filling.
  4. Remove pulp from the avocados and add to a high speed blender along with agave, lime zest, juice and gin. Puree until smooth.
  5. Pour mixture into the tart pan and smooth out with a back of a spoon. Freeze for 6 hours or overnight.
  6. Before serving let the tart sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting. Serve it with fresh berries & coconut cream or a raspberry sauce (Recipe provided below)


Lime Tart


Looks amazing…so good!

Now, when Val made this yummy tart, she also made a raspberry lime sauce to cover it.  The recipe is below if you want to add that to your tart by either covering the tart or even using it to spoon onto each piece individually.  Fresh fruit, like raspberries or strawberries or blackberries can also cover this tart and will be just as yummy!

Raspberry Lime Sauce


  • 12 ounces raspberries, blackberries or blueberries
  • 100 ml water
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • zest of small lime
  • 2 tbsp Gin…there’s that Gin again!



  1. Place berries, zest, honey and water into a saucepan, bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Add gin and simmer another 10 minutes. Cool completely and spoon onto lime tart when serving.
  3. Add a dollop of whipped coconut cream.





Banana Coconut Pancakes-GF

You put the Banana in the Coconut and mix it all up!

And you get….

Banana Coconut Pancakes…Gluten Free!

Val was busy today making a beauty recipe for some Banana Coconut Pancakes.  They are gluten free too!  In fact, they are flour free 😉

Check these out!


  • 3/4 cup desiccated coconut (finely ground coconut)
  • 1 cup Almond meal
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 medium ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • coconut oil for cooking
  • Optional: wild blueberries, whipped coconut cream, cashew cream or yogurt for serving


1. In a medium sized mixing bowl add the coconut, almond meal, cinnamon, sea salt and baking powder. Mix until well combined.

2. In a high speed blender or food processor add eggs, maple syrup, bananas and vanilla. Puree mixture until batter is light and fluffy.

3. Pour batter into the dry ingredients and blend until combined.


4. Lightly coat a pan or griddle with the coconut oil on medium heat. Use a 1/4 cup measure to scoop out batter for each pancake. Cook the pancake until bubbles appear on the surface then flip over and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes or until golden. This batter is more delicate than regular flour based pancakes, so handle each pancake with care. Don’t be tempted to make them larger than 1/4 cup at a time as they are hard to flip over without breaking. Add oil to the grill or pan as you finish cooking the remaining batter.

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5. Keep warm and add fresh berries, cashew cream or yogurt & maple syrup before serving.

*I had frozen wild blueberries that I added to a few pancakes for variety.



Strawberry-Lemon Cupcakes!

Val made cupcakes!!!!


In the mood for something sweet?  This AMAZING recipe will not only satisfy that sweet craving but has no Gluten in it either for all you Celiacs out there…or if you just don’t want to eat the gluten!


  • 1 1/2 cups Almond Meal (finely ground almonds)
  • 1 1/2 cups Coconut
  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, mashed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates, diced
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • pinch pink sea salt




  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  1. Place eggs in a medium glass mixing bowl and whisk until light and fluffy. Add the mashed banana, strawberry, coconut milk, coconut oil, lemon juice and vanilla. Let the batter sit for at least 5 minutes, then mix until evenly blended.
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine almond meal, coconut, lemon zest, pink sea salt and dates.
  1. Add wet ingredients to the dry, combine until evenly blended.
  1. Distribute the batter evenly and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  1. Allow to cool completely before adding strawberry coconut cream.


*****The recipe can be made vegan***** Now Val has tried it with chia and although delicious the cupcake was a little denser than with the eggs.  BUT….I have a feeling that Aquafaba (the brine in your can of chickpeas) may be exactly what we need to use to give them the extra fluffiness.  

So I think this is going on the agenda….try this recipe with the aquafaba!  Keep you guys posted!!!


  • 1/2 cup pureed strawberries
  • 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

Whip these ingredients together for a light and sweet icing!


You may use chilled coconut cream by blending a small can of full-fat coconut (drain excess water first before whisking the full-fat) and add 1 tsp vanilla & 2 tbsp maple syrup, whisk vigorously. Add a dollop of whipped cream to each muffin if you are eating them right away or refrigerate and add to muffins as needed.

Or…what the heck…do both 😉

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Gluten Free & Vegan Ginger Cookie

Gluten Free?  check!

Vegan?  check!

Ginger & Molasses Cookie?  check!

Tried out a new recipe for some Ginger and Molasses cookies today and thought I’d share it.

Usually I use brown rice flour but today, I did a mix of brown rice flour and some gluten free oat flour I made from gluten free oats.  Just pulse some oats in a chopper or a food processor; you’ll end up with some nice oat flour that is a little more substantial than the rice flour that tends to be quite fine.


  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 tbsp grape seed oil
  • 2 tbsp almond milk, unsweetened, no flavour
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 cups of brown rice flour
  • 1/2 oat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon



  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. In a stand mixer or a large bowl, using a hand mixer, put in the coconut oil and brown sugar.  Mix until creamed together.
  3. Add in the molasses, vinegar, almond milk and grape seed oil.  Mix well.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, baking soda, ginger, cloves and cinnamon.
  5. Gradually add in the flour to the wet mixture.
  6. Measure out a teaspoon of dough and roll into a ball.  Set on cookie sheet and flatten with fork. Sprinkle some granulated sugar on them and pop them into the oven for 5 minutes.
  7. Let them cool for a couple of minutes and grab a cup of tea and Enjoy!!


Peanut Butter-Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies

What’s not to love about Peanut Butter, Oatmeal and Chocolate Chips all together?

How about the fact that they are vegan and gluten free?  OH and super easy to make!

Don’t be afraid!  They really are easy!

and I have to say….



  • ¾ cup  peanut butter – we like to use the au naturale stuff.
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 Flax egg or other egg substitute.
  • ¾ cup brown rice flour – other gf flours should do the trick as well, but maybe not white rice as the cookies may break apart too easily.
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips- if you want to make sure they stay vegan, use Enjoy Life or Cococomino.
  • 1/3 cup gluten-free oats
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted


  1. Heat the over to 350 F and parchment the cookie sheets.
  2. In a big bowl, whisk or use your stand mixer to whisk the peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, flax egg all together.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. Change your mixer to a paddle, or use a large spoon to mix the flour mixture into the peanut butter mixture.
  5. Add in the vanilla, the oats and finally the chocolate chips.
  6. Form balls with the cookie dough and bake for 10-13 minutes on 350F

Once they have cooled, grab a stack and enjoy!  They would even make a great little energy pick up before a work out or in the middle of the day when your head wants to hit the desk.  Oh…is that just me?  😉




Almond Meal Chocolate Chip Cookies-Minimalist Baker

The Minimalist Baker did it again!

I love love love this blog.  So far everything I have made has turned out beautifully.  If you haven’t check out The Minimalist Baker, head over there…then come back here!

The weather was so super nice this weekend, it took a little motivating to make soup for soup month here at Crave Life, so I had to make some cookies to get me energized!  I had seen this recipe last week and decided to give it a try.

Easy peasy!  The recipe was easy and the cookies are delicious.

The cookies are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.  They are gluten free and vegan AND I got to try this egg replacer called aquafaba.  Aquafaba is the brine of the chickpeas from your can of chickpeas.  Now I know what to do with it!

When using aquafaba, you whip it…whip it good..just like an egg white.  Whip on the highest setting of your mixer and it will take a while, but once you see the peaks forming, you’ll know you’re there.  I added a touch of Cream of Tartar to help them along and I was so happy with the results.

Aquafaba is being seen more and more in vegan recipes and I know I will be using it again to replace eggs.



  • 1 1/4 cups almond meal (ground from raw almonds)
  • 1/4 cup vegan dark chocolate chips, loosely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup organic brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup aquafaba- whip it up!
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. In a large bowl, put in your almond meal, chocolate chips, coconut, baking powder and sea salt.
  2. Whip up your aquafaba with a hand or stand up mixer until you get peaks forming.
  3. Add the coconut oil and vanilla into the whipped aquafaba.
  4. Add the dry mixture to the aquafaba mixture.
  5. Chill for 30 minutes at least.
  6. Heat the over to 375F and line the cookie sheets with parchment.
  7. Make disc like shapes of the cookie dough using a tablespoon for measurement.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Cool and enjoy!


Cranberry Banana Muffins

When you over buy the bananas and have cranberries left over from Christmas….you make muffins!

The window of opportunity for the banana in our home is small.  There is a very fine line, maybe a matter of a couple of days between not ripe enough and too ripe.  Personally, I can’t eat them too ripe.  Sure, you can toss them into a smoothie, but the temperatures here in Ontario have not been conducive to me wanting to make a freezing cold smoothie.

The cranberries I bought over Christmas are still in the crisper as I didn’t use as many as I thought I may need for dinner.

So I put them together…in a muffin!

This recipe can be made vegan or not, gluten free or not.  It really is very flexible for any type of dietary options you have to accommodate.  Today, I just made them vegan, but have included the substitutions for gluten free if you need that as well.


3 medium sized bananas mashed

1/2 cup of sugar (I have used 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of maple syrup as well and it works!)  Brown sugar or coconut sugar works the best here.

1 flax egg (1 tablespoon of flax meal plus 3 tablespoons of warm water), or 1 egg, or 2 tablespoons of unsweetened apple sauce.  Any of these will work. I have tried all three.  Personally, I enjoy the apple sauce substitution as I just adds just a little hint of apple flavour to them as well.

1/3 cup of melted coconut oil (or margarine or butter)

1 1/2 cups of flour *** so for here, you can make this gluten free by using the same amount of brown rice flour. I like the brown rice flour as I feel it just has a little more consistency to it than the white, plus you get the added fibre of the brown rice.  AND…this is important…add 1 teaspoon of xantham gum or guar gum.  This will help keep them from crumbling.

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of baking soda

2 tablespoons of flax meal (this is optional but gives the muffins a little more body)

1 cup …or so of cranberries.  Really, use as many as you like to make them as full of cranberries as you want…no rules here.


  1. Heat the oven to 400F.
  2. In a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer or a big spoon and a fast hand, put the mashed banana and sugar together and mix up.  Add in the egg and melted butter, mix thoroughly.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and flax meal.  Combine them all together.
  4. Slowly adding in the dry to the wet mixture and stir just until combined.
  5. Add in the cranberries but try not to over mix.
  6. Scoop mixture into muffin tin.  Either a greased tin or use the silicone cups.
  7. Bake for 15-20 min
  8. Cool for at least 10 minutes before removing them from the pan.
  9. Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy!



Chocolate Candy Cane Donuts – Vegan (and GF too)

Another re-blog BUT more donuts…Chocolate Candy Cane..yeh…you’re welcome. Promise a new blog post tomorrow…You guys all know how it is right now!


Oh…the weather out is frightful but the chocolate donuts are so delightful!

Getting into the Christmas season with some Vegan chocolate donuts sprinkled with crushed candy cane.  I made a gluten free batch as well that worked beautifully with this recipe.  They are moist and chocolatey with the hint of mint from the candy cane.  Way too good!


3/4 cup all purpose flour ***for gluten free I used 3/4 cup of brown rice flour and 1 teaspoon of xantham gum.

1/3 cup granulated organic sugar

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1/4 cup and 2 tablespoon of chocolate almond milk

3 tablespoons of melted Earth Balance vegan butter

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease the donut pan with spray oil or vegan butter.
  2. Mix all of the dry…

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Gingerbread Donuts

Reblogging this because they are DONUTS and they are GINGERBREAD!!!
Seriously amazing donuts and so easy to make gf too.


Wow, what a beautiful Sunday it is here today!  Hope the sun is shining where ever you are right now.  With the temperatures so mild and the sun shining, it is hard to believe we are getting into the Christmas season.  After Hallowe’en this time of year seems to attack us for all angles.  First the stores, then commercials on radio and television, flyers you get in the mail, and the food of the season is definitely at the forefront.

One of my favourite flavours of the season is gingerbread.  I love the molasses and ginger and cloves combination that triggers the feeling of Christmas.  Whether it is in a cookie, or cake or a muffin, gingerbread is such a comforting flavour.  So why not combine gingerbread to the ultimate in comfort food treats; the donut?  Yes, I said it…Gingerbread Donuts!   Made vegan and with a gluten free alternative…

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Pinkies Up! – Earl Grey Shortbread

Feeling all fancy today as we bring to you some Earl Grey Shortbread.  Not just any Earl Grey Shortbread, but Vegan and Gluten free too. 

Yes it is possible!  Vegan and Gluten Free shortbread!!!!

Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without shortbread.  My Grandma used to make unbelievable shortbread cookies that would melt in your mouth.  Nothing but butta!!!

Once we started making our own Christmas goodies, it just seemed natural to add the shortbread to the collection.  With a Celiac in the house, and now some vegans too, we decided to rise to the challenge and include a shortbread cookie they could all eat.

We ended up with a vegan-gluten free shortbread that has the same rich taste of regular with the added bonus of the Earl Grey tea infused into it.


  • 1 cup of Earth Balance (I used the original, yellow tub)
  • ½ cup Confectioners Sugar (I know this isn’t the most healthy sugar but hey, it’s Christmas)
  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 bag Earl Grey Tea Leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 350­°.
  2. Mix the Earth Balance and confectioners sugar in a large bowl or stand mixer until smooth and creamy consistency.
  3. Add in flour, salt, and tea leaves. Mix with the stand mixer or a really strong arm until a soft dough forms.
  4. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface until it’s ¼ inch thick.
  5. Cut out cookiesusing a round cookie cutter, or whatever shape you like.  They may not be as forgiving to detailed cutters as a sugar cookie would be so I would recommend just a basic shape.
  6. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 15 minutes or until edges are a golden brown.
  7. Cool on rack before plating.
  8. Make yourself a good cup of tea and enjoy this melt in your mouth shortbread but don’t forget…pinkies up!

I haven’t tried this recipe with ‘regular’ ingredients, like real butter or all purpose wheat flour, but I just might.  The Earl Grey in the shortbread is amazing.  I don’t think any adjustment would be needed for the use of regular ingredients, so if you try it, let us know!


Jamie O’s Porridge Bars

Starting off with a super recipe for cookie month.  Ok, maybe not technically a cookie but a bar, although probably easily transformed into a cookie if you like.  I think what I love about Jamie Oliver’s Porridge Oat Bars are that I can justify the consumption of them for breakfast.  Although I have been know to eat a cookie of just about any kind for breakfast, at least with this one, we can feel good about it.

This recipe for  Porridge Oat Bars with Nuts, Seed, Fruit and Spices, are in Jamie Oliver’s Superfood Cookbook, a book that is chock a block full of amazing recipes, although hey, would be surprised at that, after all it is Jamie Oliver.


  • 3 1/2 ounces (about a half a cup, I think I may have used a little more than that) of unsalted mixed nuts, such as walnuts, Brazils, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, cashews (I put some almonds in instead of hazelnuts)
  • 1 3/4 ounces (about a quarter cup, but again, probably used a little more) of mixed seeds, such as chia, poppy, sunflower, sesame, flaxseed, and pumpkin
  • 3 1/2 ounces of dried fruit. (I used raisins, cranberries and apricots)
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 orange
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • `1 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp oat bran (I wanted to keep it gluten free as I used gluten free oats so I used flax meal here)


  1. Preheat over to 375 F.
  2. In a food processor, pulse nuts, seeds, dried fruit and spices, pulse together.  Put into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Into the food processor, put in the banana and orange.  Pulse to a pulp.
  4. Into a measuring cup, put in the banana and orange mixture.  Then add the honey and top up with water to the 2 cups mark.
  5. Pour the mixture into a pot. Heat under boiling.  Add the oats and the nut and seed mixture.
  6. Cook the oats until the the mixture is gooey.
  7. Pour the batter into a baking dish and pat down.  Score the bars as Jamie suggests as it really makes it easier to cut later.
  8. Bake for 40-50 minutes until browned.

I let them cool completely before cutting them and they cut through very easily.

After I made them, I thought…Hey, these would make good cookies too…I think you could scoop the batter into balls and make them into cookies very easily.  The batter is quite sticky so I don’t think there is any fear of them falling apart.  Also thought some peanut butter in the mix may work well too…you just can’t go wrong by adding peanut butter as far as I am concerned.

So welcome to cookie month at Crave Life!  We hope you find some yummy recipes to make and we can’t wait to share some more with you!