Category Archives: Sweet

Vegan Cherry Crumble


Don’t you love summer fruits?  There are so many delicious, colorful, nutritious options to choose from!  We are especially enjoying the CHERRIES!!!  We recently posted one recipe using cherries – black forest bars.  But we didn’t stop there!!!  If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll love these crumbly squares!

Download the print-friendly version here.

Makes:  12 bars
Ingredients:
For the filling:
2 cups cherries, pitted and chopped
2 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
½ tablespoon lemon juice
⅛ teaspoon vanilla

For the crumble:
1 cup flour
1 cup oats
⅔ cup brown sugar
¼ cup ground flaxseed
⅛ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup canola oil

Instructions:
Make the filling:
1.  Mix the cherries, sugar, and cornstarch.  Let sit for 15 minutes.
2.  Add the lemon juice and vanilla.
3.  Heat over low heat for about 5 minutes until thick.  Remove from heat and set aside.


Make the crumble:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C or gas mark 4).
4.  In a bowl, mix flour, oats, brown sugar, ground flaxseed and baking soda.
5.  Add the oil and mix until thoroughly combined.

6.  In a 8 x 8 – inch pan (20 x 20 cm), firmly press half the flour mixture, making a base for the crumble.
7.  Bake for 20 minutes.
8.  Spread the filling on the cooked base and press the other half of the flour mixture to make the top.

9.  Bake for another 20 minutes.
10.  Cool completely.
11. Cut into bars and serve.
Nutrition Information: (for 1 of 12 bars)
258 Calories; 11 g Fat; 0 mg Cholesterol; 37 g Carbohydrates; 3 g Fiber; 4 g Protein

Inspired by recipes from The Joy of Vegan Baking and Color Me Vegan, both by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.

How do you like to eat YOUR bowl of cherries?
Alf Hana!!!

Black Forest Bars


What do you do with your bowl of cherries?

Yes, cherries are in season in Egypt and we have been having lots of fun finding way to make special treats with our cherries!

Here’s a cherry recipe that features that most amazing combination: cherries and chocolate!  Who could resist?

Makes 30 bars. Download a print-friendly version here.
Ingredients:
1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
½ cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup apple sauce
2 tablespoons of oil
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with 4 tablespoons of water
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
½ – 1 cup of nondairy dark chocolate chunks or chipsInstructions:
1.  Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
2.  Beat applesauce, oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl.  Add the cornstarch and beat.
3.  Gradually beat in the flour mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips and cherries.
4.  Spread into a large cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil.


5.  Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until firm.  Let stand for 2 minutes.
6.  Remove and cool completely on wire racks. Cut into squares.
Nutrition Information:
118 Calories; 3 g Fat; 0 mg Cholesterol; 23 g Carbohydrates; 1 g Fiber; 1 g Protein

Alf Hana!!!

Pharaoh’s Friday #15: Traditional Egyptian Fruit Compote (Khoushaf)


Fridays are “Pharaoh’s Fridays“!  We like to take traditional, Egyptian recipes and adapt them so they are entirely plant-based!

This traditional Egyptian dish is already full of whole foods!  Sweet treats in their natural form!  We usually get to have it during Ramadan when our Muslim friends invite us for ‘iftar’.  Thanks to Maha for this recipe!

Click here for the printer-friendly version.

Serves 6
Ingredients:
1 liter water
7 dried figs, chopped into quarters

½ cup dried apricot
½ cup dried prunes
½ cup raisins or sultanas
½ cup almonds
Instructions:
1.  Boil the water.
2.  Add the figs to the boiling water and cook for about 10 minutes, or until soft.
3.  Add the apricot and boil for another 5 minutes.
4.  Add the prunes and raisins or sultanas and boil for about 3 minutes.
5.  Remove from the heat and add the almonds.
6.  Let sit for about 1 hour.
7.  Refrigerate.

Serving Suggestions and Variations:

  • Serve cold.
  • Add dates or other dried fruits.
  • Use different nuts. Some people like pine nuts.
  • Top with coconut?
  • Some people add sugar and lime juice to the water as it boils.

Nutrition Information: 1 of 6 servings
195 Calories; 6 g Fat; 0 mg Cholesterol; 35 g Carbohydrates; 5 g Fiber; 4 g Protein

Alf Hana!!!

Tuesday Teaser #12: Magic Chocolate Cake and Creamy Smooth Chocolate Frosting


Tuesdays are always “Teaser Tuesdays” at Alf Hana.  We try out other people’s recipes and share our impressions and recommendations with you.

Are you a chocolate freak?  I am.  I love chocolate.

Did you know that chocolate actually has some health benefits?  Cocoa supposedly can help blood flow more easily, playing a role in the prevention of blood clots and heart attacks!  Because it also contains powerful antioxidants, it may also help reduce damage to coronary arteries.  When you choose your chocolate, be sure to choose the darkest, least processed available to get the most benefit.  *Also, be sure that if you’re watching your weight, chocolate still contains sugar and those calories add up!

Having said that, when you have a special occasion to celebrate, chocolate cake is a time-honored tradition.  There are many chocolate cake recipes around the internet, but this one is EASY, QUICK, LIGHT, healthIER than the animal-based alternatives, and TASTY!!!

This recipe originally comes from the Peaceful Palate by Jennifer Raymond, one of our favorite cookbooks!  Both the cake and the icing recipes are available online for free on compassionatecooks.com here.

We absolutely love this recipe.  I’ve made it as birthday cakes before and just recently took it in its cupcake form as a treat for a Ramadan iftar.   It makes one 9 inch cake or 12 cupcakes.

Here are some more pictures… I told you I love chocolate!

Nutritional Information (for the cake): 1 of 12 cupcakes

164 Calories; 6 g Fat; 0 mg Cholesterol; 25 g Carbohydrates; 1 g Fiber; 2 g Protein

Nutritional Information (for the frosting): 1 of 12 servings

66 Calories; 1 g Fat; 0 mg Cholesterol; 15 g Carbohydrates; 1 g Fiber; 0 g Protein

What’s your favorite cake flavor?

Alf Hana!!!

Pharaoh’s Friday #14: Easy Breakfast Konafa


During Ramadan, the Eastern sweets take over our taste buds!  We love all the delicacies especially since so many of them are prepared using plant-based ingredients.  However, I must admit I have not mastered all of them yet!!!  I promise I’m working on them, but in the meantime, take a stab at this really EASY  EASY recipe using konafa….
As we posted recently, konafa is basically shredded phyllo pastry.  There are all kinds of ways to eat and this has got to be the easiest!!!  We like to have it as a special treat for breakfast sometimes.  It is especially easy during Ramadan when we can find fresh konafa in our corner shop!
Serves 2
Ingredients:
125 grams of konafa
konafa
1 tablespoon corn oil
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:
1.  Cut or tear the konafa into small, bite size pieces.
2.  Heat the oil and konafa in a pan on low heat until golden brown (about 5 minutes).


3.  Remove from the heat and add the sugar, raisins and cinnamon.

Nutritional Information: 1 of 2 servings (about 85 grams)
304 Calories; 11 g Fat; 0 mg Cholesterol; 47 g Carbohydrates; 2 g Fiber; 5 g Protein

Serving Suggestions and Variations:

  • Try adding some walnuts, peanuts, pistachios, almonds, or your favorite nut.
  • Would chocolate work?
What’s your favorite Middle Eastern sweet?
Alf Hana!!!

Tuesday Teaser #11: ‘Kentucky’ Konafa with Banana Pudding


Tuesdays are always “Teaser Tuesdays” at Alf Hana.  We try out other people’s recipes and share our impressions and recommendations with you.
I am originally from Kentucky.  Before I became vegan, there were many southern-style foods in which I loved to indulge.  One of them was banana pudding!!!  Have you ever tried it?  It’s so smooth, creamy and sweet!!!
Ramadan started yesterday and if you don’t know, konafa is a very popular sweet consumed during the month.  Konafa is shredded phyllo pastry and is commonly made with cream, nuts, and sugar syrup.  Sometimes, it is made with pudding.
Wait – pudding!!!??? Like, BANANA PUDDING – my favorite?  Yes, so, I hope I won’t offend my Egyptian readers by doing this, but I decided to play with the traditional recipe for konafa with pudding and make it with my dear banana pudding instead.  And of course, all the ingredients are plant-based!!
I changed up this recipe for southern-style banana pudding for the ‘Kentucky’ Konafa.  If you want to try the original banana pudding recipe, it is easy and delicious!!!
But, for all you brave readers out there, here is our ‘Kentucky’ Konafa….
Serves 12
Ingredients:
For the banana pudding:
¼ cup cornstarch
½ cup sugar (you may want to use less, if you don’t have a sweet tooth)
3 cups nondairy milk (we used soy)
1 banana, mashed
2 teaspoons, vanilla

For layering between the konafa and pudding:
2 bananas, sliced

For the konafa:
¼ kilogram (250 grams) kunafa
¼ tablespoon corn oil, divided

For the sugar syrup:
½ cup water
1 cup sugar
juice of one lime (about 1 tablespoon of juice)

Instructions:
Prepare the banana pudding:
1.  In a medium saucepan, mix the cornstarch, and ½ cup sugar.  Add the nondairy milk and heat on medium heat.  Stir consistently until the mixture is boiling and thickens.  Add the mashed banana and continue stirring for about 2 more minutes.

2.  Remove from the heat and add the vanilla.

3.  Leave to cool.

Prepare the sugar syrup:
4.  Mix the water, sugar, and lime juice in a small saucepan and heat on low heat until the mixture becomes clear.
5.  Set aside and allow to cool.

Put it all together:
Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 (moderately hot) – 200º C – or 400º F
6.  Cut the konafa into small pieces.
7.  In a large bowl, sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of the corn oil over the konafa and mix it with your hands to be sure it coats the konafa.
8.  Lightly oil a casserole dish.  Place half of the konafa and press it down firmly.

9.  Layer the sliced banana over the konafa.

10.  Spread the pudding over the layer of bananas.

11.  Layer the remaining konafa over the pudding.
12.  Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over the top of the konafa.

13.  Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the top is lightly golden brown.

14.  Pour the cool syrup over the kunafa.
15.  Turn off the oven and return the kunafa to the oven for 5 minutes.

You can eat it warm – it’s delicious that way!!!

BUT, it will be very sloppy!  If you let it set in the refrigerator overnight, you will find the pudding is firm.

Delicious that way too!!!

Nutritional Information:
252 Calories; 0 mg Cholesterol; 6 g Fat; 47 g Carbohydrates; 2 g Fiber; 3 g Protein

Alf Hana!!!

“ChocoNutins” (Chocolate Covered Peanuts and Raisins)


Here’s a sweet surprise for you!  Chocolate covered peanuts and raisins also known as:  “ChocoNutins” 🙂
Makes 16 surprises!
Ingredients:
1 ½ cup vegan chocolate chips
½ tablespoon vegan butter (or vegetable ‘ghee’) (optional)
½ cup peanuts
½ cup raisins
Instructions:
1.  Melt the chocolate chips and the butter or ghee, if using, in a double-boiler.  (You can also use a microwave, if you like).

2.  While the chips are melting, prepare a cookie sheet by placing wax paper on it.
3.  Remove from the heat and add the peanuts and raisins.
4.  Using your tablespoon, dip the mix onto the cookie sheet in small mounds.
5.  Freeze for at least one hour.  (The longer, the better!)
Store in the fridge.
Enjoy!!!
Serving Suggestions or Variations:
  • Use other kinds of dried fruits (dates, figs, apricots)
  • Use other kinds of nuts (pistachios, cashews, almonds)
  • Leave out the vegan butter for less fat.  (The main reason we add it is to help the chocolate be smoother.)
  • Add rice crispies for a crunchy surprise!

Nutritional Information: (1 of 16 ChocoNutins)
118 Calories; 7 g Fat; 0 mg Cholesterol; 15 g Carbohydrates; 2 g Fiber; 2 g Protein

What other things do you like to eat covered in chocolate?  

Alf Hana!!!