Friday FAQs: Raw Chocolate Pudding, high-protein snacks, Vegan Overnight Oats texture troubleshooting, and more

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Even though I’ve been busy developing fall recipes, I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that it’s August! Are you, too? Recipe development is a funny thing; I often have to work in advance when developing recipes for publications (sometimes 8 months or more), or when trying to get ahead with some banked blog recipes. This last week has found me whipping out cans of pumpkin (!) and whisking together batches of pumpkin pie spice (!!) to develop recipes for a few special projects coming up. I’m also trying to create some banked recipes for when the baby arrives so I still have some delicious things to share in October. (If you have the Oh She Glows Recipe App, you may have seen a couple fall-inspired recipes pop in yesterday! #sorrynotsorry)

Soooooo, you could say I’m a little seasonally mixed up at the moment, but I’ll try to keep the summer-friendly recipes coming! There’s no denying this heat wave we’re going through…and turning on the oven just isn’t appealing in the slightest. I already have enough preggo hot flashes as it is.

Q1. Hi Angela, this Raw Chocolate Pudding looks delish! Two questions: 1) I don’t have a food processor—do you think it would work well in my Vitamix? Or would it make it too soupy? 2) Can this be prepared days ahead or is it best eaten right away? Thank you!

A. Hi Robyn, I think the recipe should work just fine in your Vitamix—I personally like this pudding super smooth, and a Vitamix will get you there! If overprocessing is a concern for you, though, just keep a careful eye on it as you go and stop blending when you reach your desired texture. As to your second question, I find this pudding is best enjoyed within 12–24 hours. Keep it chilled in the fridge until you’re ready to get your chocolate on!

Q2. Hi Angela, We’re longtime followers of your blog and your first cookbook is dog-eared and well loved. While our family is not vegan, our 15-year-old son has recently become a vegetarian, so we are finding our plant-based meals are increasing. My son and all of his friends are big fans of the glo bars, but outside of these or energy balls of some sort, we’ve struggled with quick snacks that will allow him to get a bit of protein and are easy to grab and go. I’d welcome any suggestions.

A. Hi Ann, It’s so lovely to hear from you! Thanks for the OSG cookbook lovin’, too. With a bunch of teenagers hanging around the house, I can easily imagine your need to stock up on high-protein, grab-and-go snacks. Aside from glo bars and energy balls, I’d suggest trying my Super-Power Chia Bread (The Oh She Glows Cookbook p. 229), Classic Hummus (p. 89) with Endurance Crackers, or roasted chickpeas (try the ones on p. 220 of the cookbook and on the blog here, or my fave Salt & Vinegar Roasted Chickpeas on p. 221). Alternatively, for a sweeter treat there are recipes like my Two-Layer Raw Chocolate Brownies, or—if you’ve pre-ordered my next cookbook and have access to the bonus bundle— my new Vanilla Superseed Protein Energy Scoops are a must-try! For something similar (but still a little different) than a glo bar, you might like to test out my Quick ‘n Easy No Bake Protein Bars. I hope this helps get the wheels turning!

Q3. Hi, I´d like to know if you can only get the bonus bundle if you pre-order in the US or Canada as we are able to pre-order it in Europe as well (same date). I’m so looking forward to your new book!

A. Hi Cari, You can order from anywhere in the world and get the bundle! It’s a PDF, so all you need is your order number to download it. Hope this helps and thanks so much for your support! I hope you love the bundle and the new book.

Q4. Hi! I am looking forward to trying the Vegan Overnight Oats recipe, it looks amazing! I just have one question: I am not a big fan of “creamy” foods, is there any way I can make this a bit more “solid”? Thank you!

A. Hi Rafaela, I would agree with you that overnight oats are definitely creamy (especially when you mash a banana into the mix or add yogurt!). That said, if you want to make them less creamy, I would suggest letting them sit for much less time and using less liquid. Instead of mashing a banana into the bowl, wait to add a chopped banana just before serving (or of course, any fruit you like). Shredded or finely chopped apple is a great swap for mashed banana, and it yields a less creamy result. The gel-like texture of soaked chia seeds can also throw some off at first, so you could also try making your first bowl with a minimal amount, and go from there. I would try using 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup almond milk, 2 teaspoons of chia seeds, and cinnamon and sweetener, to taste. If you let it sit for much less time in the fridge—15 minutes or so—the oats will remain chewy, firm, and a bit less creamy compared to letting it sit overnight. Another idea is to serve it with a crunchy granola on top for a nice texture contrast. Lastly, I have some delicious baked oatmeal recipes that might be more up your alley. They’re still make-ahead recipes (and can even be frozen and re-heated!), and will firm up a lot in the fridge! I really love baked oatmeal straight from the fridge, especially in the summer. I’d suggest trying my Heavenly Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal, Tropical Pineapple Baked Oatmeal, or Maple-Cinnamon Apple & Pear Baked Oatmeal (The Oh She Glows Cookbook p. 39). With a little experimentation, I’m sure you’ll find your perfect oatmeal!

Q5. Hi Angela, I plan to make this Summer Glow Buddha Bowl this week…so excited!! From a longtime loyal fan of yours and a longtime vegetarian transitioning to a vegan, plant-based lifestyle, I want to again thank you for doing the work you do!! I cannot wait for your new cookbook! :) I have a couple of small questions if you wouldn’t mind sharing: What is your favourite extra-virgin olive oil that you use in your recipes (I know you mentioned in your cookbook to use cold-pressed)? Also, silly question but, what do you use to drizzle olive oil onto dishes (or onto vegs for roasting, such as your roasted tomato pizza dish that I also plan to make)?? Thanks so much and best wishes to you as you transition to having a new member in your family!

A. Hi Ameeta, Thanks so much for your kind words! The extra-virgin olive oil I have on hand the most often is one I buy from Costco—Terra Delyssa extra-virgin olive oil (organic and cold-pressed). I basically treat this as an all-purpose olive oil, using it in recipes and also for garnishing. I normally just drizzle straight from the bottle (which I admit, can be tricky to pour slowly!), but you can find olive oil dispensers online (there are a bunch here) or in specialty kitchen stores for a more “controlled” drizzle!

Comments of the week:

“I may be your oldest fan. My husband and I are retired, and have radically changed our diet over the last few years because of health concerns. I always enjoy your blog and your recipes are always wonderful. My husband, who is French, i.e. lots of meat and cheese and very few vegetables, cannot believe how delicious a vegan diet can be. So, many many thanks for your help along our new path. And of course I will be buying the new book . Xo Gail”

Hi Gail, Your comment put a big smile on my face. It’s great to hear how much you and your husband are enjoying the recipes! I wish you both great health and happiness in the future.

“Ok, I’ve now made this Basil Scalloped Tomatoes and Croutons three times and I think you should do a new feature on this. It is SO good. Each time I’ve made it I’ve thought, “Really? Can this REALLY be that tasty?”—even the second and third time. And yes it can. Simple, delicious, and at the moment very seasonal. What’s not to like!”

Hey Ida, Well, I had completely and totally forgotten about this recipe until I read your comment! Thanks for the reminder; tomato season is the perfect time to whip out this recipe! I think I will have to make it this weekend. Happy tomato eating!

PS—The photo at the top of this post is my Cherry-Strawberry Chia Seed Fool.

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram (@ohsheglows + @theglowspot), Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Google+

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carolyn Christy August 5, 2016

would you ever consider making a youtube channel to show off how to cook these amazing recipes

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2 Lauren August 5, 2016

Yay!! I love fall!! Fall recipes and everything pumpkin! Sorry summer lovers :)

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3 Laura ~ Raise Your Garden August 8, 2016

Ditto that, can’t wait for Fall and the pressure not to have to wear a bathing suit anymore!!! More Spanx please. Anyhow thrilled that you are experimenting with pumpkin spices ~ really looking for some healthier options to enjoy fall flavors minus the chemicals. And looking for a good crustless pie with lots of pie filling and spicy flavor that is nutritious. Is that possible?

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4 Jessica August 5, 2016

Does the app have recipes that aren’t on the site? I had thought all recipes that are on the app could also be found here. I don’t have the app because I personally really hate cooking from them – I always cook from books, from my browser, or from recipes saved to Evernote from my browser (which I can tag and organize in ways useful to me). But I would definitely like to know if there are recipes there that you are not going to be posting here!

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5 Lilian B August 5, 2016

Regarding question 4, I routinely omit bananas or yogurt from overnight oats, and can attest that 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup milk of choice, and 2 teaspoons of chia seeds is right on target for a moist but still chewier overnight oats, even when soaked overnight – that’s the ratio I stumbled on fiddling around with it myself (not a fan of banana and can’t eat a lot of dairy). Most of the time I don’t even bother measuring the milk anymore and eyeball it, adding enough to just cover the oats without them floating. By morning the liquid is all absorbed but the oats still have a good chew.

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6 Marta S August 8, 2016

Another tip for question four would be to sub the rolled oats with steelcut oats… they don’t get creamy or mushy and give you a nice texture. I personally LOVE creamy oats but hubby doesn’t. I’ve made Angela’s overnight oat recipes and just subbed those (but kept the liquid amounts the same) and haven’t heard complaints yet :)

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7 Ttrockwood August 6, 2016

I’ve been reading your blog since maybe ever.
That’s why it’s been so disappointing for, well months at this point, to really just see sporatic posts that are self promotional and for every reader question the answer is the same-to buy your cookbook.
Just makes me sad.

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8 Tara August 6, 2016

I think it’s exciting and inspiring that Angela has built an amazing career from the humble beginnings of her blog. I get that it’s sad to see a favourite blogger moving onward and upward but that is the goal for many people when they start out. Also, try to keep in mind that Angela has a toddler at home, is in the final weeks of her second pregnancy, and is trying to run a blog and business. Life is busy!

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9 Stephanie August 10, 2016

Second that! I am 38 weeks pregnant and feel like I run a marathon everyday just working pt and trying to get dinner on the table. I have no idea how she does it all!

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10 sarah August 11, 2016

I actually really appreciate these posts. I have discovered lots of recipes I had forgotten about from the site and ones I haven’t tried. Most times I find Angela directing people to recipes on her site or to ones in her cookbook for those that say they have it at home. I just made the scalloped tomatoes last night and even my 16 year old son commented about how delicious they were!

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11 Teresa Zehr August 6, 2016

Hi Angela,

I’m a big fan of yours and have your cookbook and your app, and the new book on pre-order- it was an early birthday gift to myself!! My husband and I love your recipes and love being able to support a Canadian food writer!!

One of my questions for you is: since becoming a vegetarian seven years ago I haven’t really missed any meat products. What I have missed however, are a few comfort foods I haven’t been able to recreate. Perhaps it’s because it feels like fall will be here soon in Winnipeg, but I’ve been craving my moms old fashioned beef stew. Do you have any recipes that would be similar to something like that? Maybe that’s one for the idea bank for now!!

We love your work and look forward to your new book!! All the best this fall!!

Teresa Zehr

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12 Jamie August 6, 2016

I had the same initial reaction, but I’ve come to find these posts really useful! I’m always looking for “top-hit” recipes on my favorite blogs, and a lot of the comments Angela features here help me find beloved and forgotten-about recipes, or ones I hadn’t discovered yet.

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13 Lauren August 7, 2016

Hi there,

I’ve been making the Raw Chocolate Pudding once a week – I LOVE it. It provides a lovely and rich addition to a meal. I don’t have a food processor so here’s how I make it. I mash the bananas and avocado together in a bowl, stir in the rest of the ingredients except the almond butter and place this in my old Waring blender. I blend it on high and then add in the almond butter. It blends into an incredibly smooth, creamy pudding without burning out my poor old blender. I divide it up into three, wide-mouth, half pint canning jars and place in the freezer. I find the flavors blend more thoroughly overnight. I take one jar out and leave the other two in the freezer to be used over a week’s time. It keeps quite well this way.
Thanks for this great treat!

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14 Kelly Cull August 7, 2016

Hey Angela!
Not sure if I’ve missed a post on this, but wondering if you could share the recipe you used for your daughter’s first birthday cake?
Thanks,
Kelly

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15 Lara August 8, 2016

Hi! The new granola recipe on the app looks awesome! I wonder if I could replace the pecans with more almonds or sunflower seeds (what’s better?) for my friend with allergies. Thanks, and greetings from Sweden!

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16 Katie Barthel August 8, 2016

That’s so funny how you forgot about one of your own recipes. It goes to show just how many you do have! I sent that tomato recipe to my mom since her tomato plants are producing so much this year. Thanks!

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17 Andrea B August 8, 2016

The basil scalloped tomatoes is probably my all-time favourite recipe from your site!! We just made it for the first time this season last week and it was as good as ever!!!

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18 Kelly J. R. August 8, 2016

I wanted to comment on olive oil since it was brought up in a question. I recently saw a special on 60 Minutes on the Agromafia who is controlling a huge part of the olive oil industry. I wanted to bring it up because many people suffer from different food allergies and the Agromafia is “watering down” extra-virgin olive oil with cheaper oils (such as seed oils) that people may be allergic to. The special talks about what to look for on labels to make sure you are getting pure olive oil. It’s worth a watch and you can find it online.

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19 Amelia August 9, 2016

Hi Angela, saw you cooking pancakes on Snapchat. Could you PLEASE recommend a good non toxic, non stick pan/cookwear? This would help SoSo much. I know you are so busy, so hope you can squeeze this in.❤️Your recipes! Thanks!

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20 Amanda August 11, 2016

Hi Angela. I love your recipes and inspiration for cooking. You are like my vegetable hero!! I had a quick question for you; this last week I’ve had a really bad cold, sore throat and congestion. I was wondering what might help my symptoms from your extensive recipe list! Fall and winter are coming so I might need these suggestions again soon enough! Thanks again and I cannot wait for your new book!!

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21 Kay August 11, 2016

Hi Angela! I saw you had some questions about what to bring camping, and although this comment might be a bit late, I thought I’d put in my two cents. I’ve been backpacking quite a bit, and a little bit of planning goes a long way!
For breakfasts I usually just put a serving of rolled oats with spices, seeds and a bit of sugar in a zip lock bag, as it doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Then in the morning I will boil water and cook the oats. This is super lightweight and will fill you up for a day of hiking!
For lunches we usually buy wraps or dense bread, and bring avocado, hard cheese (we’re not vegan) and hummus. You can buy dehydrated hummus at a camping store and just add water the morning you are going to use it. This will last a couple days out of the refrigerator.
For snacks, granola bars, trail mix, dried fruit and roasted chickpeas all are lightweight and provide lots of energy.
For dinners, I made the protein power goddess bowl and chana masala from your cookbook as well as vegan chili, then dehydrated them by spreading it out in pans in the oven at 180F overnight. Any bean+veg+ancient grain combo would work, I think. If you don’t have time, you can just buy dried camping food (there are lots of vegan and vegetarian options nowadays). The meals can be rehydrated easily for a delicious and healthy meal!
Hope that this will help any readers preparing for the backcountry/camping!
Cheers,
Kay

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22 Angela Liddon August 17, 2016

This is awesome, Kay. Thanks so much for taking the time to share!

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23 Rachel Carathers August 22, 2016

Hi protein snacks are so important especially to us who are trying to lose weight or just maintain their energy all throughout the day.

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