Friday FAQs: Chia Power Doughnuts, vinegar subs for gazpacho, cocoa vs. carob, and more

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on August 26, 2016


Do you ever feel like you can’t find the words to write about how you’re feeling? That’s me lately. I sit at the keyboard and draw a blank trying to process all the things zipping away in my mind. We’re now days away from the launch of Oh She Glows Every Day, a month away from baby #2’s due date, and a couple months away from wrapping up some major house renovations. There’s so much change and anticipation (and dust!) in the air. Most days I don’t know whether I’m coming or going, which makes it tricky to sit down and write. Thankfully, I’m learning to embrace change a bit better than I used to. (Parenthood, ever unpredictable, helps with this one in a BIG way.) I’m also feeling grateful for so many things in spite of the anxiety. Whenever I have a negative thought I try to counter it with something I’m grateful for in that very moment. Often, gratitude is all I need to keep on chugging along and not let the worries take away from the big picture. Embrace change and practice gratitude…my current words to live by!

PS—My 35 Weeks update is now live on the baby blog, in case you want to check out my weekly life/home/pregnancy brain dump, heh.

Q1. Good morning! I want to make your Out-the-Door Chia Power Doughnuts [from The Oh She Glows Cookbook p. 41] but only have ground chia seed. I’ve looked everywhere for the conversion of ground vs. whole with no luck. Do you know, by chance?

A. Hey Stacey, This is a great question, and I’ve actually never tried these with ground chia before! My guess is that you’d need to use a lot less ground chia versus whole seeds. If I was going to try a first attempt, I might use half the amount called for since ground chia is more dense (about 1/4 cup ground versus 1/2 cup whole seeds). My main concern would be whether ground chia would impact the texture in a negative way (slightly gritty?), but I’m sure it would still be edible. Please let us know if you try anything out. Or if anyone else has, for that matter, feel free to leave a comment with your experience!

Q2. Hey Angela! Do you think I can sub balsamic vinegar for the red wine vinegar in your Gazpacho? I don’t have any of the latter and I don’t know if I want to buy a big bottle of it just for the recipe. :) Thanks!

A. Hi Tijana, That’s totally fair! I do think balsamic vinegar would work as a substitution for the red wine vinegar—in fact, I believe a few readers have made that swap and enjoyed the results! As balsamic vinegar has a slightly sweeter flavour than red wine vinegar, you may notice a new twist to the gazpacho’s taste. But I can’t see why that twist wouldn’t be a delicious one. I’d suggest adding just 1 1/2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to start, and then tasting the gazpacho before adding more.

Q3. Hi Angela! I have a question for your Friday FAQs. I’m getting married soon and when I’m getting ready with my bridesmaids I would like to have some snacks for everyone to nibble on throughout the day. Any suggestions for some light snacks that will keep everyone going all day? Thanks!

A. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding, Sarah! I’m sure everyone will appreciate some snacks to fuel them through what’s sure to be a beautiful (but busy) day. You can’t go wrong with either my Out-the-Door Chia Power Doughnuts (The Oh She Glows Cookbook p. 41) or Crunchy Seed & Oat Flatbread (p. 51). Try spreading the doughnuts with jam, coconut oil, or nut butter, and topping the bread with hummus, avocado, and/or tomato. Some other great options include my Glo Bars (p. 215 and p. 217) or Banana Bread Muffin Tops. Or, for a super simple snack, you can set out a tray with fresh fruit, veggies, and dip/hummus (try the Classic Hummus in The Oh She Glows Cookbook—you can scale back the garlic or omit it entirely if that’s a concern!). Best wishes on your big day.

Q4. Hi! Just wondering if I can use canola oil instead of grapeseed oil in your Fail-Proof Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes? Looking forward to making these! :)

A. Hey Jo, I haven’t tried the recipe with canola oil myself, but as both canola oil and grapeseed oil are neutral-tasting oils, I think the substitution should work out well for you!  You could also try using melted coconut oil in this recipe; just make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature to prevent the coconut oil from hardening upon contact.

Q5. I’m really enjoying this FAQs series! It’s so nice to read yours and others cooks’ suggestions. It makes for a nice community here on your blog where your readers can also share their ideas or questions. When I read through the questions, I’m often reminded of a recipe that I’ve wanted to make, but completely forgot about it. Today, it’s the carob fudge. I don’t have carob on hand at the moment, would cocoa powder substitute in a 1:1 ratio?

A. Hi Annalise, I’m so happy to hear you’ve been enjoying the series! Thanks for the FAQ love. As to your question about the carob fudge: Yes, I would guess that you can swap in cocoa powder in a 1:1 ratio. But, you may want to use more liquid sweetener than the recipe calls for, just to compensate for the loss of carob’s natural sweetness (cocoa powder is much more bitter than carob powder). I’d suggest you try adding 1 or 2 extra tablespoons of sweetener to start, tasting as you go. (Another option is to simply use a bit less cocoa powder and the same amount of sweetener.) Please let us know what you come up with!

Comment of the Week:

“First time commenting, so I just wanted to say how much I love your recipes and that I promote them to all my friends.

I just tried freezing your Basil Cashew Cheeze Lasagna and it came out of the freezer and into the oven great! I’m single, so making a whole pan of the lasagna at once is overkill. So I put it in two 8x8s and froze one. Just made the frozen one last night and loved it just as much as the original! I don’t know if you planned to put this on the “make-ahead” list, but it would work well.

And I recommended the lasagna to a friend, who tries to cook vegan when she can, and her whole family loved it. Her 10-year-old, who never asks for seconds, asked for more! Thanks so much for making the best lasagna I have ever eaten in my life.”

Hi Gail, I’m so happy to hear how much you enjoy the recipes, and also that the lasagna was such a hit with you and your friend’s family. That’s such a great idea about freezing it into two 8-inch square pans, too…I can’t believe I haven’t thought to freeze it in smaller sizes before! This could be life-changing. :)

PS—That hearty bowl of oatmeal featured at the top is my 5-Minute Oatmeal Power Bowl.

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

OSGMOM August 26, 2016 at 9:42 am

Thank you for the reminder of Gratitude today. It’s exactly what I needed to hear :)


Esther August 26, 2016 at 10:03 am

Hi! I love your blog and your cookbook. I have a question for a future Friday F.A.Q: A few years ago I developed an allergy to cashews. I used to use them in vegan cheez and vegan cheezecake and I loved it. Is it possible to sub another nut with similar results?


Erin August 26, 2016 at 10:20 am

What a bout macadamia nuts?


Esther August 26, 2016 at 1:43 pm

Thanks! I’ll try that.


Kristina Bretzke August 26, 2016 at 10:10 am

Hello Angela, I love these Friday FAQ’s, they are so helpful! Thank you so much for continuing to post them! I’ve had a question for you for a very long time and hoped it would be okay if I left it here…

I wondered if you have ever considered telling us a little more about what healthy snacks you prepare for your toddler “What I feed my toddler in a day.” Or something like that? I remember many moons ago seeing a post about the Three Bears Porridge and trying that one out. Maybe it should seem like a no-brainer what to feed a young child, but for me it’s been chaos! I’ve been attempting BLW for some time now and sometimes even the obvious ones like celery and peanut butter go over my head. We were on a strawberry kick for awhile but that one has passed. It seems like most foods you can purchase for babies are loaded with sugar and preservatives, not things a young child should be loading up on in my humble opinion.

Thanks for doing what you do! Looking forward to your new book!

– Kristina


Allison August 26, 2016 at 11:05 am

I tried making the donuts with ground chia seeds before and I found that the flavour and texture was definitely impacted. I used the full amount so perhaps halving them would fix it!


Angela Liddon August 29, 2016 at 10:51 am

Good to know- thanks for sharing, Allison!


Kate August 26, 2016 at 12:36 pm

Hey! Don’t use ground chia in the doughnuts. Just don’t. Especially don’t do it when you’re hosting 16 of your in-laws for brunch. Go with the whole seeds. Makes a huge difference.


Lee August 26, 2016 at 4:29 pm

I tried the chia power doughnuts with ground chia seeds but didn’t reduce the quantity and they were absolutely edible but quite rubbery! I think reducing the amount of chia to half should work well :)


Angela Liddon August 29, 2016 at 10:41 am

Thanks for the info, Lee! :)


Kristen August 26, 2016 at 4:29 pm

Angela, Hi…I can’t wait to get your new cookbook! I have had it preordered forever! My husband and I are excited to cook our way through it! We love your first book and have the freezer stocked with your soups and chilies for school lunches! We are inhaling your smashed potatoes with avocado garlic aioli for dinner tonight! They are a hit…just
Iike everything you make! Thank you for all that you do! I appreciate your hard work and I am grateful! ❤️, Kristen ?


Angela Liddon August 29, 2016 at 10:41 am

Thanks for the sweet and heartfelt comment, Kristen! It brought a huge smile to my face. :)


Jo from yummyvege August 26, 2016 at 4:42 pm

Hi, i just thought i’d let you know that we use balsamic vinegar in place of the traditional sherry vinegar in gazpacho all the time. We love the slight sweetness it gives. We live in andalusia where gazpacho is from so we’ve tried many many gazpachos.


Angela Liddon August 29, 2016 at 10:28 am

Thanks for sharing, Jo! :)


Stephanie August 26, 2016 at 7:06 pm

I stumbled into your blog and ended up loving it. I’ve recently gone back to a plant based diet after a few years of being an omnivore. It sucked and I feel so much better already. I’m super excited to get your books and will be getting them over the next few weeks as I get paid.
Thanks so much for all the time and thought you put into the blog.


Angela Liddon August 29, 2016 at 10:28 am

I’m so glad you’ve found and are enjoying the blog, Stephanie! And I’m glad a plant-based diet has you feeling better. :) I hope you enjoy the books when you get them!


Jen August 26, 2016 at 7:56 pm

Hi Angela!
Do you have any recommendations for an alternative to using cashews in a vegan cheese sauce? I cant eat them but would like to try some recipes that call for them.


Megan King August 29, 2016 at 10:48 am

You could probably use walnuts or soaked almonds.


Nathalie August 27, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Oh I can barely wait for your new cookbook! Thank you for providing me with so much inspiration! :)


Angela Liddon August 29, 2016 at 10:08 am

I can hardly wait either, Nathalie! I hope you love it. Not long to go, now!


Danielle August 27, 2016 at 7:16 pm

I agree with the basil cashew cheeze lasagna being a great make ahead and freezer friendly recipe. I have a wonderful mother in law that makes this and freezes it in individual sizes so she has something to serve me when I come over. Thanks so much for you amazing recipes my momg and myself talk about your cookbook daily. I am very excited for the delivery of you new cookbook! Best of luck with it and the new baby!


Angela Liddon August 29, 2016 at 10:07 am

Thanks for the lovely comment, Danielle! I hope you enjoy the new cookbook when it arrives (so soon!). :)


Cassie August 27, 2016 at 10:56 pm

Hey Angela!

Congratulations on your pending arrival! I recently had my first child, and at first I found it extremely difficult to get enough to eat, or eat at all, during the day while I was home alone. What’s worse is that when I did eat it usually involved simple carbs and not much else. It made it extremely difficult to maintain my milk supply, and I didn’t want to be switching to formula if I could help it.

I picked up your cookbook and it’s given me so much inspiration for prep-ahead recipes to make it easier to get more vegetables and legumes into my diet. The Italian chickpea croutons from your cream of tomato soup are seriously addictive, and the the Protein Power Goddess Bowl makes a ton of food that’s easy to grab a quick bowl of during the day.

My husband and I originally had the Protein Power Goddess Bowl with grilled chicken on top for dinner. When I offered to add some meat to the leftover salad for lunch the next day, he said it was good enough on its own and that he didn’t need the meat! Thank you for creating vegetable forward vegan recipes that appeal to omnivores like us. I’ve preordered your next cookbook, and I’m anxiously awaiting its arrival!


Angela August 28, 2016 at 3:39 pm

I love your first book but am disappointed it’s not available on Amazon UK, not even for a pre-order. I do hope this is sorted soon! X


Bree August 30, 2016 at 3:32 am

Great post! I cannot wait to get your book!

I just wrote a post on why I have given up dairy. Have a look!

xx Bree |


Genesis August 30, 2016 at 10:06 am

I made Crunchy Seed & Oat Flatbread on my wedding day, topped with hummus, avocado and salsa. It definitely helped us power through the day! Highly recommend.


Lauren August 30, 2016 at 10:18 am

Hi! I made your Energizing Broccoli Dal last night, and it’s amazing! I couldn’t find mustard seeds, so I went without. I was afraid not having them would change the consistency, but it actually came out looking just like your pictures (!!) What do the mustard seeds do for this recipe, and where did you find yours? Thanks :)


Ree Jones September 4, 2016 at 8:25 pm

I have used canola oil in the failproof cupcakes and it was fine.


Allyson September 5, 2016 at 7:26 pm

Re: the carob (or not) fudge – I’ve made this fudge TONS of times without carob to rave reviews. I did a 1:1 substitution and it comes out fine. The taste probably won’t be the same.. but since I’ve never used carob, I don’t know what I’m missing, haha!


Angela Liddon September 6, 2016 at 1:08 pm

Haha, good to know!! Thanks Allyson :)


Emily September 6, 2016 at 6:52 pm

Hi Angela!

I just got your cookbook today and basically have plans to make every single recipe ASAP. They all look so wonderful!

I do have a substitution question for you: my stomach is sensitive to lentils so I don’t eat them. I have read that barley can be a good substitute and it looks like I could probably get away with that for your French Lentil Stew. However, do you have any substitution recommendations for the marinated lentils or the lentil walnut taco meat?

Any suggestions would be most welcome.



Angela Liddon September 16, 2016 at 8:57 am

Oh that’s a tricky one Emily! I think for the taco meat you could probably get away with using all walnuts, but I haven’t tried that out myself. As for marinated lentils, you could probably marinate anything else that you like. Chickpeas come to mind as being quite delish marinated. If you try anything out please let us know! I’m so happy to hear that you see so many recipes in the book you’d like to make. Thanks so much!


Cassie Smith September 7, 2016 at 8:20 pm

I was so happy to finally get my pre-ordered Oh She Glows Everyday delivered this week! And my hubby is excited to taste the new recipes from “my friend Angela”.I have a FridayFAQ question for you: There are a bunch of recipes with hemp hearts that I’d love to try (Salted Chocolate Hemp Shake oh yeah!) but I can’t find any gluten-free hemp hearts now that Manitoba Harvest won’t claim there is no cross-contamination. Any suggestions for alternatives?


Greta September 9, 2016 at 12:04 pm

Hi Angela! I have a question for your FridayFAQ. Can you recommend some lighter vegan recipes for someone who is looking to lose weight? I love the decadence and richness of some your meals (hello, shepherd’s pie and chilled double chocolate torte!), but am curious if you have meal suggestions to kick off a healthier lifestyle. Thank you!


Cassie September 9, 2016 at 12:20 pm

I always love how you reach out to your readers and never fail to answer anyone’s questions! Your answers are also very insightful and detailed yet really easy to understand!


Emma September 18, 2016 at 7:24 am

I personally enjoy the bitter taste of carob powder and sub it for cocoa powder quite often, but it’s definitely a good idea to use sweetener if you’re not used to the taste of carob powder :-)


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