Friday FAQs: Recipes using cacao powder, storing tofu, subs for my Jumbo Chocolate Chunk Cookies, and more!

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on July 8, 2016


Hey, friends, how has your week been? After a relaxing holiday last week, Friday FAQs are back, well rested, and ready to roll once again. Please keep your questions coming on the blog and on social media.

Also, I want to thank you for your excitement over Oh She Glows Every Day! Your support, comments, emails, and social media messages made our entire week.

Q1. Is there anything I could use in your Flourless Thumbprint Breakfast Cookies in place of bananas? My husband can’t eat them.

A. Hi Lisa, Although I haven’t tried a substitution personally, I know a lot of readers have used applesauce in place of the banana and enjoyed the results. A few commented that they would’ve liked their cookies to be a bit sweeter, and so they added a couple tablespoons of dry sweetener the next time they made them. This makes sense since bananas tend to be sweeter and more flavourful than unsweetened applesauce. Good luck if you decide to experiment! I’d love to hear how the cookies turn out.

Q2. Any idea how long your Double Dark Chocolate Coconut Macaroon Tart will last in the freezer once it’s made? It looks delicious!

A. Hey Liz, I’ve stored it in the freezer successfully for 2 weeks (I think it could last even longer, but we don’t have that much self control!). Let it thaw for 10 minutes or so on the counter before enjoying; you want it to be easily sliceable with a knife, but not completely soft. I hope this helps, and that you enjoy the tart!

Q3. Is there any way I can store leftover BBQ tofu pieces and any unused tofu so they won’t go bad?

A. Hi Diane, You can keep any unused tofu for up to one week in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It’s recommended that you cover it with water, changing the water daily; it’ll keep the tofu moist and at its freshest! Freezing the tofu is also an option, though you should note that doing so will change the texture slightly. (This can actually be a good thing; some recipes will have you freeze tofu as part of their advance prep, because, once frozen, it takes on a chewier, almost spongy texture, which is thought to help the tofu absorb marinades better.) Tofu can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months in an airtight container or zip-bag. As for the leftover BBQ tofu pieces, they can be stored for 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Q4. Hi Angela! I’m a relatively new reader and I am in love with your blog! You have definitely opened my eyes to vegan cooking and have inspired me to eat a more plant-based diet! I was wondering if you ever cook with cacao? Do you have any simple cacao recipes?

A. Hi Carolyn, It’s great to hear from you! I love that you’ve found my blog a source of kitchen inspiration. As to your question, I’ve definitely got a few recipes that I can recommend to you. My Raw Chocolate Pudding is one tasty option that features cacao powder. As well, my recipes for Crazy Good Coconut Oil Chocolate Bark, Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Two-Layer Raw Chocolate Brownies (which also use cacao nibs), and Seductive Raw Chocolate Walnut Fudge all can be made with either cocoa powder or cacao powder—dealer’s choice! I believe some readers have had success using cacao in my No Bake Chocolate Macaroons, too; while I haven’t tried it myself, I can’t see why it wouldn’t work. I hope this helps get the wheels turning.

Q5. Hi Angela, What sort of substitutions can I make in your One Bowl Jumbo Chocolate Chunk Cookies recipe? Sometimes I get random cookie-making urges (this can’t just be me, can it?!), but my pantry isn’t always the best stocked it could be and sometimes my cravings just have no patience for a trip to the grocery store.

A. Hi Charlie, This has been a popular question lately so you definitely aren’t alone! I haven’t personally tested any substitutions, yet, but more and more readers have been reporting back with information about how their own recipe experiments have worked out. So, I’ll share some of that OSG community wisdom with you here!

For the almond butter: A number of readers have tried subbing natural peanut butter. Many found the cookies didn’t spread out like they should and were crumbly; others, however, found it worked just fine (keeping in mind some made other swaps in the recipe, as well). I had suggested sunflower seed butter (and finely ground toasted sunflower seeds instead of almond flour) might work well for a nut-free cookie, and the one reader I know of—if I’ve missed or forgotten someone else, feel free to chime in!— who tried this reported back that the cookies didn’t spread out super well. A few other people tried out cashew butter, and had a lot of success with it. So, it seems like there aren’t any hard and fast rules when it comes to swapping the almond butter, and it probably depends on the brand. My guess is that thicker, less “drippy” nut or seed butters will produce thicker, drier cookies that don’t spread as much.

For the arrowroot: A few readers tried potato starch, and found that though the cookies tasted great and had a generally good texture, they didn’t spread very much and/or were a bit on the crumbly side. Those who tried tapioca starch, on the other hand, found the cookies worked out great, which is awesome news! Cornstarch also reportedly works quite well.

For the maple syrup: I believe someone tried using honey instead of maple syrup, and found that though the cookies were structurally sound (heh) and tasty, they were a bit on the too-sweet side.

For the almond flour: Many people have reported back that various swaps—namely, gluten-free flour, oat flour, and all purpose flour—worked out really well with no notable issues.

I hope this helps inspire your own modifications. If you or anyone else out there tries one of these substitutes, I’d love to hear about how it goes. Keep in mind that even “small” changes to a vegan/gf cookie recipe can result in a totally different outcome (which is why I tested this recipe over a dozen times!), so just be prepared for a bit of a surprise each time. I can think of worse things to come out of the oven though. ;)


Comments of the Week

“Hi Angela, I’m a vegetarian and I love cooking. I have been following your blog for about 4 years now, and every single recipe I’ve tried has turned out outstanding! So much so that I’m not afraid of trying out a new recipe from your blog even when I have guests over for dinner. Thank you so much for spending so much time creating recipes that are so fail-proof that it gives people like me confidence to serve your recipes to guests on my first try! Coming to this recipe, I’ve been looking for a mayo recipe that doesn’t use egg or soy for a long time…. I tried this out this weekend with a couple of substitutions and I cried out in joy when I saw it emulsify! I used avocado oil instead of refined olive oil, 1/2 tsp of sugar instead of the brown rice syrup, and some chili powder instead of dry mustard (what can I say…us Indian people love our chili powders ;)) The mayo emulsified and tasted delicious! Thanks again for the awesome recipe and the recipe alterations you suggested in your FAQs…t gave me the confidence to try this with what I had in my pantry!”

Hi Sweta, It’s awesome to hear how much you enjoy my recipes. The confidence to serve guests a totally new recipe is such a compliment! Thanks also for sharing your modifications to the mayo recipe. I, too, have used avocado oil and cane sugar with great results. It’s so nice to have a vegan mayo recipe that can be whipped up in a few minutes!

“Hello, Just wanted say that this Super Power Chia Bread is so wonderfully delicious and versatile! My family has been trying to minimize bread in our day-to-day, so we’ve discovered that this makes a fabulous substitute when we season it and choose add-ins to match our mealtime themes. To this end, we’ve experimented successfully with Italian (garlic, sundried tomato, olive), Greek (olive, onion, lemon basil, feta—you get the idea), Mexican Chile, Indian Masala, and our daily fave, the “bring it on, breakfast blend” (dried apricot, cranberry, currants, cinnamon, walnut). Hope this helps. Enjoy friends :)”

Hey Tara, I’m loving all of your modifications to this recipe! Thanks for sharing with everyone. The breakfast blend sounds exactly like what I’ve been craving in the mornings lately. I love spreading this bread with coconut oil, or chia jam and nut/seed butter—try it out and let me know what you think!

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura @ raise your garden July 8, 2016 at 10:27 am

Just got out of a health seminar where I was reminded that if you can’t pronounce an ingredient, you shouldn’t eat it. Agreed! I don’t know why that I get all weirded about inking that good food can’t be healthy and the most tasty. Can’t wait to try your chocolate chunk cookies, they look better than any you can buy and i know exactly what I’m putting in my body. We also learned at the seminar that as Christians we are too be the best stewards of Gods earth. And eat off the land of food we grow ourselves.


Angela Liddon July 8, 2016 at 1:59 pm

Aw, hope you love the cookies when you get around to trying them, Laura!


Laetitia July 8, 2016 at 11:18 am

Hi Angela,

Thanks for this Friday FAQs, love them!
I also wanted to add that regarding your One Bowl Jumbo Chocolate Chunk Cookies, I have tried swapping the almond flour with hazelnut flour and it was divine ;-)

Congrats on the new book and the baby!



Angela (Oh She Glows) July 8, 2016 at 12:36 pm

Oh I love that sub idea, Laetitia! Thanks for sharing, and for your congrats too. :)


Michelle July 8, 2016 at 11:44 am

Hi Angela,

I love the cookies and I replace the coconut oil with homemade coconut butter, and they turn out fantastic! They have a different texture but its a good one!

I can’t wait for the Oh She Glows Everyday book!!


Angela (Oh She Glows) July 8, 2016 at 12:37 pm

I wouldn’t have thought to try coconut butter, but now I’m intrigued! Thanks for letting us know Michelle.


Michelle July 8, 2016 at 12:41 pm

Okay, let us know what you think!


Evelyn July 8, 2016 at 11:48 am

Lovely to see the Friday FAQ’s back after a well-deserved mini holiday! Glad to hear you got so much positive feedback on the book cover, absolutely deserved! I replied to the newsletter since I couldn’t wait for an official blog post to flail over your newest book, I hope it got delivered to you guys.

As for the cacao, I’d also like to add your Salted Almond Butter Freezer Fudge. I love that recipe SO much, I actually always have a stack on hand in my freezer for when snack hunger attacks (and tbh, that’s pretty much every time I remember I have these in my freezer).


Angela Liddon July 8, 2016 at 1:48 pm

Your flailing was, and is, so appreciated, Evelyn!! Thanks for sharing the additional recipe suggestion. :)


Rosie July 8, 2016 at 8:01 pm

Hi Angela! I have to say I have been loving your new Friday FAQ posts, they are super interesting. I’m going to “chime in” and add to the chocolate chip cookie subbing compilation above by saying that tapioca starch would be the best substitute as arrowroot and tapioca are generally interchangeable. Potato starch is much finer, and absorbs more water, so this could be why it produced crumbly cookies. After tapioca starch, I would say the next best thing would be a combination of rice flour and cornstarch, so that the texture remains fine, but the cookies still spread and hold together. Just thought I’d add my own opinions and cookie-baking experience (although not with your exact recipe) to what others have been saying :)


Angela Liddon July 11, 2016 at 2:19 pm

Thank you so much for sharing the great info, Rosie! :)


Jennifer July 9, 2016 at 9:20 am

Hi Angela, thank you for the FAQ’s, I always look forward to them. I was wondering if you ever use teff flour? Thanks, can’t wait for the new cookbook!


Angela Liddon July 26, 2016 at 2:31 pm

Hi Jennifer, I’m so glad to hear you’ve been enjoying the FAQs. :) I tried teff flour out a few times several years ago, but I wasn’t a big fan of the flavour and texture…so I’m afraid I haven’t used it much at all!


Virginia July 9, 2016 at 11:51 am

Hi Angela,

For the Jumbo Choc. Chunk Cookies, I substituted 1T. chia + 3T. water to replace arrowroot thickener, which I didn’t have. I mixed the 2 ingredients together, let it sit for 5 minutes, incorporated with all the wet ingredients instead & then whizzed the liquid ingredients in blender on ‘blend’ for 30-60 sec. approx. to ensure texture was smooth as specified in your recipe. Because I was out of almond butter, I added peanut butter instead. Using my cookie scoop, recipe made 18 cookies, flattened quite well at 8 & 1/2 minutes with end result delicious and so easy to prepare. Many thanks for your thoughtful follow-ups to readers’ questions, comments etc. in spite of this busy, important time of your life. Looking forward to advance ordered copies Sept. 16 “Oh She Glows Everyday”.


Angela Liddon July 11, 2016 at 2:12 pm

Thanks so much for sharing, Virginia! :)


Sarah July 9, 2016 at 12:49 pm

Hi, Angela! I have a question for next week. I just started a demanding job, and I’m feeling uninspired with cooking lately because of it. Have any ideas for lunches to pack for work and quick dinners I can make during the work week? Thank you!


Allison July 12, 2016 at 1:33 pm

Same Question!!! Just returned to work from maternity leave, and not much time to cook/food prep during the week…


Angela Liddon July 22, 2016 at 11:16 am

Hey Sarah, Congratulations on the new job! A busy workweek can definitely take its toll when it comes finding cooking motivation. I think a delicious repertoire of quick and easy dinners that leave enough leftovers (and pack well enough) that you can bring them for lunches the next day (or, even better, the next couple days!) are going to be your new best friends. To start off, I’d recommend my Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup, Favourite Vegan Chili, Quick & Easy Chana Masala (The Oh She Glows Cookbook p. 163), and Luxurious Tomato-Basil Pasta (p. 181) or Quick and Easy Creamy Tomato Mushroom Pasta. These dishes all come together so fast, make multiple servings, and are just the perfect comfort foods after a long day. Veggie and noodle bowls are going to be another great option for you, too. They’re so easy to put together, and work well for both lunches and dinners! Try my DIY Burrito Bowl, Speedy Veggie Noodle Bowl with Homemade Teriyaki Sauce, Enlightened Miso Power Bowl (p. 177), or Protein Power Goddess Bowl (also in The Oh She Glows Cookbook, p. 175). Last but not least, I find hearty salads always make wonderful and easy-to-pack lunches. They’re one of my favourite go-tos. I’d suggest my Cumin Lime Black Bean and Quinoa Salad (which I also like to jazz up as a Feel Good Lunch Bowl), and Chickpea Salad. If you have time on the weekends, you could also make some big-batch, freezer-friendly recipes that can be stored well as single-serving portions, such as my Next Level Vegan Enchiladas and Perfect Veggie Burgers. Then, all you have to do when you get home is pop them in the oven to reheat!


Stephanie July 9, 2016 at 3:20 pm

Hi Angela, I love your recipes! I have an 18 month old and am always looking for creative ways to get her to eat a variety of vegan foods, especially vegetables! (she is sooo picky haha!). I would love if you could write a blog about what Adriana eats, is you make substitutions for her for certain things or what you do when you want to eat a big salad for dinner! Looking for some inspiration :)
Thank you!


Nancy July 9, 2016 at 6:43 pm

Drooling over those cookies Angela!


Julianna July 9, 2016 at 8:57 pm

Hi Angela! I am going to summer camp soon. I was hoping you had some snack ideas. I won’t be able to use a fridge, microwave, or oven while I’m there. Thank you so much for doing what you do, you have been so helpful in my vegan journey! :)


Julianna July 10, 2016 at 11:32 am

Hi Angela! I am going to summer camp soon. I was hoping you had some snack ideas. I wont be able to use a microwave, oven, or fridge while I’m there. Thank you so much for doing what you do, you have been so helpful in my vegan journey! :)


Angela Liddon July 22, 2016 at 11:15 am

Thank you for the kind words, Julianna! The thing about most homemade vegan snacks is that, because there aren’t really any preservatives in them, for most recipes it’s best if they can be kept refrigerated. Even foods that don’t necessarily need to be kept cold short term should be placed in the fridge or freezer if they’re not going to be consumed within a few days—especially in the hot summer weather. (Food poisoning would definitely put a damper on the camp experience!) Depending on how long you’ll be away (if it’ll be, let’s say, just a week or so), you might find some helpful suggestions in this previous Friday FAQ (see question number three). But, since you don’t have a fridge, I think your best bet is to stock up on store-bought snack items (such as energy bars and roasted chickpeas)—they’ll be a lot less perishable. Dried fruit, either store-bought or homemade, is another great option for you. I hope this helps a little, and wish you a great time at camp!!


Julianna July 22, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Thank you!


Dianna C. Lincoln July 11, 2016 at 12:00 pm

Thanks for this Friday FAQs, so useful for me!
I love cooking but in my area, i can’t find some of your ingredient. I can’t wait to try again the recipe of BBQ Tofu agian. The last time, my tofu has been fall apart in front of me. Ow… it was my fault for not read your recipe carefully.


Angela Liddon July 11, 2016 at 12:52 pm

It’s great to hear you’re finding the Friday FAQs useful, Dianna! I hope if you try the BBQ Tofu again, it works out better for you this time.


Katie J. Ewing July 11, 2016 at 12:02 pm

I love BBQ Tofu repice and also the cookies. I can’t wait to do it for my husband and kid. Thanks for the the Friday FAQ’s. It’s so useful for me.


Angela Liddon July 11, 2016 at 12:49 pm

Thanks, Katie. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the series! :)


Heather J July 11, 2016 at 4:48 pm

Re: Chia Bread additions. I’ve loved this recipe from the first time I tried it but I didn’t initially like the garlic/savoury spices. The second time I made it, I used cinnamon instead and loved it! Nowadays, I replace the 1 cup water with 1 cup mashed banana and use 2 tsp of cinnamon or a chai spice blend. It’s great!


Angela Liddon July 12, 2016 at 2:17 pm

Thanks so much for sharing, Heather! That sounds delicious–I will definitely have to try those subs sometime!


Karen July 12, 2016 at 9:13 am

I recently bought a bag of chocolate chips claiming 60 percent cacao. Read ingredient and there was no “cacao”. Only cocoa. I contacted company and they claimed that cocoa and cacao are essentially the same thing and innthenindustry it can be used interchangeably. Needless to say I reported them to the Canadian food inspection agency for false labelling. And they’ll figure it out I guess. But if what they say is true. It makes me think that cacao isn’t what we think it is and we may be paying a premium price for what is really only cocoa powder…


Stephanie July 12, 2016 at 10:30 am

I’m a little late to the party, but I just wanted to comment on the savory red lentil oatmeal from your first cook book. It has taken me this long to try it and it was so worth the wait! It’s completely scrumptious and has made my super busy mornings much more enjoyable. Initially I dismissed it as I couldn’t fathom lentils and broth in my oatmeal. However I am now 8 mos. pregnant and was in need of a super quick high protein breakfast. The usual smoothie with hemp seeds and protein powder is great, but I find that I am hungry again after 2-3 hours. Savory oatmeal fills me up until lunch time (often I do not even feel the need for a snack) and find that I am more productive and less prone to distraction. It makes 2 servings, so there are leftovers for the next day’s busy morning, which is always welcome.
For anyone still on the fence about red lentil oatmeal, I urge you to give it a try. If you used to like scrambled eggs or are a fan of tofu scrambles, you’re gonna like this.


Angela Liddon July 13, 2016 at 9:08 am

Hi Stephanie, thanks so much for this “glowing” (heh) review of the savory lentil bowl! It’s so awesome to hear how much you’ve been enjoying the recipe. :)


Julia @ Sprinkles & Saturdays July 12, 2016 at 11:11 am

Love the question about the chocolate chunk cookies! I can actually add that I’ve used honey instead of maple syrup and it worked great and it tasted delicious. I’ve included you in my list of 9 Inspirational Blogs to Bookmark on my site today, by the way! I’ve been a long time reader of yours, and really look up to your incredible food photography and your authentic voice that comes through in your posts. I also used to struggled from an eating disorder, and have loved reading about your journey to recovery. I also love that you share my passion for plant-based food. In fact, you were huge influence in inspiring me to start my own plant-based food blog. I’m so excited to get your site in front of my readers, who I know will love it as much as I do :) Thanks for giving me something to look forward to reading each week!


Allison July 12, 2016 at 1:37 pm

possibly a “friday FAQ” – I was actually wondering what other fun blogs you read on a regular basis, whether food, health or baby related. I’ve been reading yours for years, and would love to add other fun blogs to my rotation.


Christine in Massachusetts July 13, 2016 at 6:55 am

Hi Angela,

On Saturday, I made your peanut butter cookie dough bites from your Oh She Glows cookbook and ate one before my morning run. I ran 7 miles, which is farther than I have ever run, and actually jumped me ahead a week in my half marathon training. Coincidence? I cannot take the chance! From now on, every long run will be preceded by one of those bites!

I make one of your recipes every day lately and have been LOVING them and loving eating vegan. I never really loved meat, but didn’t quite know what to make instead. Voila! Your blog came along. I still put cream in my coffee every day, but am 90% vegan otherwise. I honestly cannot thank you enough!



Elizabeth July 13, 2016 at 7:47 pm

After living without a kitchen (just a microwave and minifridge) for the past year, I have to tell you that the first thing I did when I moved back into a place with a kitchen pull out your book and finally download the app because I can use it now! Also, I have a question. Do you have any suggestion for substitutions for coconut? I’m allergic and it really hinders my dessert game! Thanks for all of your awesome recipes!


Alex July 15, 2016 at 1:30 pm

Hi! I’ve just started out my own Vegan Cooking blog and it was blogs like yours that really inspired me to get started. I would love it if you could give mine a look! many thanks xx


Deb Castellano July 15, 2016 at 1:52 pm

Hey, Angela! I wanted you to know how inspirational you’ve been to me. Not only have you helped me (in big way) get through my first year as a vegan, but you even impacted my own (kooky, environmental) blog–esp getting really personal on my “About Me” page. Anyway, my latest post is about going vegan. I included a link to OhSheGlows–and you’ve definitely gotten some clicks!

I’d love to know if you receive this, but in any case, be well!


Emily January 4, 2017 at 8:24 pm

Hi Angela!
I love your recipes & want to try these cookies, but I’m 36 weeks pregnant and wondering if you know if raw cacao is safe during pregnancy?


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