Healthy Hollywood: Fab Food Friday – Star-Approved Vegan Desserts!

Looking to do some star gazing in New York City? You might get lucky at the vegan hotspot One Lucky Duck.

Katie Holmes, Miranda Kerr and Anne Hathaway are all fans. Even Jake Gyllenhaal is known to stop by here every single day for a raw juice after his Soul Cycle class. And Gisele has their vegan desserts flown to her home in Boston.

The take-away restaurant was founded by longtime plant-based expert Sarma Meingallis, who also co-founded NYC’s upscale vegan/raw restaurant Pure Wine & Food. One Lucky Duck has a menu of salads and fresh juices and also sells supplements and packaged goodies. But, they’re well known for their vegan desserts.

While a dessert without dairy, eggs or refined sugar sounds blah – think again!

“One Lucky Duck uses organic, raw, plant-based foods, ranging from fresh young coconut to raw almond flour, cacao butter, raw agave, dried fruits, all varieties of nuts, fresh fruits, and superfoods, including cacao, lucuma, and more. These ingredients are so naturally flavorful on their own that they satisfy the sweet tooth without addition of artificial sweeteners of flavor,” reveals Sarma to Healthy Hollywood.

Sweet satisfaction, indeed! I was lucky enough to sample their cherry macadamia brownies and coco-nutty macaroons and they were delicious.

Sarma shared with Healthy Hollywood two vegan desserts recipes!

Fig Bars

(Makes 64 bars)

  • 8 cups gluten-free oat flour (page 35 LRF, or from your local health food store)
  • 2 cups maple syrup powder (or alternative such as palm sugar, date sugar or agave powder)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 cup coconut butter/oil, warmed to soften
  • 1 cup date paste (see below for recipe)
  • 1/4 cup vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons filtered water
  • 6 cups fig paste (see below for recipe)
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar

To make the dough, in a large bowl, sift together the oat flour, maple powder, and salt. Add the coconut butter/oil and mix thoroughly.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the date paste, vanilla, and water until thoroughly combined. Add this liquid to the oat mixture and combine well.

Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Divide the dough between the pans and press it down to create an even layer. With a knife, cut the dough on one of the pans in half lengthwise and crosswise to make 4 uniform rectangles. (This will be the top layer of the bars, and cutting it will allow you to pick them up without breaking them.) Place this tray in the freezer for about 10 minutes to allow the dough to firm up for handling.

In the meantime, add the fig paste and the agave nectar to a bowl and mix thoroughly.

Spread the mixture evenly across the bottom layer of the dough. Remove the top layer from the freezer and carefully place each quadrant of dough on top of the fig paste layer.

Place the sheet pan in the bottom of a dehydrator and dehydrate for about 6 hours.

Remove the tray from the dehydrator. Place a layer of parchment on top of the bars and invert a sheet pan on top of it. Holding both sheet pans together, flip them both over, and remove the upper pan. Peel away the parchment, place the bars back in the dehydrator, and dehydrate for another 6 hours.

Remove the pan from the dehydrator and cut the dough into bars, cutting each quadrant in half lengthwise, and then across into eight sections. From the whole pan you should have 64 bars.

Carefully transfer the bars individually onto the mesh-lined dehydrator trays and dehydrate for another 10 to 12 hours.

DATE PASTE: To make date paste, soak pitted dates in water for 1 – 2 hours. Drain and reserve the soaking water. Process the dates in a food processor, adding the water 1 tablespoon at a time as needed until the date paste is the consistency of a thick jam or butter.

FIG PASTE: To make fig paste, soak dried figs (trimmed of any hard stem ends) in water for 8 hours or overnight, until they are fully plumped (Black Mission figs are generally smaller and so will take less time than larger Calimyrna figs). Drain and reserve the soaking water. Process the figs in a food processor, adding the water 1 tablespoon at a time as needed until the fig paste is the consistency of a thick jam or butter.

Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies

(Makes 60 cookies)

  • 8 cups gluten-free oat flour
  • 1 cup maple syrup powder (or alternative such as palm sugar, date sugar or agave powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup coconut butter/oil, warmed to soften
  • 1/2 cup date paste (see above for recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons filtered water
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins, plumped in warm water for 30 minutes and drained

In a large bowl, sift together the oat flour, maple powder, and salt. Add the coconut butter/oil and mix thoroughly.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the date paste, vanilla, and water until thoroughly combined. Add this liquid and the raisins to the oat mixture and combine well.

Using a small ice cream scooper (about 1 ¼ inches across) or two spoons, scoop the dough into balls onto mesh-lined dehydrator trays. Dehydrate for 24 hours, or until dry but still soft on the inside. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator. If sealed well, they will keep for up to a few months.

For more vegan recipes and vegan lifestyle tips, check out www.oneluckyduck.com.

-- Terri MacLeod

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