Non-GMO Valentine's Day Sweets and Treats

Submitted by ameyer on February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine’s Day! We hope you enjoy the day with a loved one, but maybe it’s time to break up…with GMOs. Transitioning to non-GMO ingredients is a piece of cake. We’ve provided a few sweet recipes (with vegan options) that are both easy and delicious.

Raspberry Protein Brownies

Dessert and protein aren’t usually synonymous, but this delicious recipe for Raspberry Protein Brownies from godairyfree.org  proves that wrong.  Plus, it is vegan, vegetarian, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, non-GMO, and tastes great.

Ingredients
•    2 15-ounce cans low-sodium organic black beans, drained and rinsed
•    1 cup pitted organic dates
•    1 cup all-fruit organic raspberry jam
•    1 tablespoon organic vanilla extract (Recommended brand: Frontier Organic Fair Trade Vanilla Extract)
•    ¼ cup organic whole-wheat pastry flour
•    1 cup unsweetened organic and/or fair trade cocoa powder

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•    ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Instructions
1.    Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease an 8×8-inch baking pan.
2.    Combine the black beans, dates, jam, and vanilla in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt and process again.
3.    Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
4.    Bake for 30 minutes or until the top looks set. Remove from the oven and cool completely, then cut into 16 squares. The brownies will keep, refrigerated in a covered container, for up to 1 week.
Click here for the original recipe.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet cupcakes are a perfect treat to make a loved one on Valentine’s Day.The Stylist Quo’s website has a great vegan red velvet cupcake recipe. If you are not vegan, you can use regular cream cheese frosting.  If you are vegan, try vegan-friendly cream cheese like Follow Your Heart’s Vegan Gourmet Cream Cheese Alternative.

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Ingredients
•    1 cup organic soy milk (Recommended brand: Eden Foods’ Organic Edensoy Original Soymilk)
•    1 teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar
•    1 1/4 cups all-purpose organic flour
•    1 cup organic granulated sugar
•    2 tablespoons organic and/or fair trade cocoa powder
•    1/2 teaspoon organic baking powder
•    1/2 teaspoon organic baking soda
•    1/2 teaspoon salt
•    1/3 cup organic expeller canola oil (Recommended brand: 365 Everyday Value Expeller Canola Oil at Whole Foods)
•    3/4 cup fresh pureed beets (to color the cupcakes instead of using unnatural food dyes, the cupcakes will not taste like beets)
•    2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract (for extracts, we suggest the 365 Everyday Value or Frontier brands)
•    1/4 teaspoons organic almond extract
•    1 teaspoon organic chocolate extract (If you don’t have this, we suggest upping the vanilla extract to 2 1/2 teaspoons and almond extract to 1/2 teaspoon)

Instructions
1.    Preheat oven to 350ºF and line muffin pans with cupcake liners.
2.    Whisk together soy milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle, about 5 - 10 minutes.
3.    Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into large bowl and mix.
4.    Add the oil, pureed beets, chocolate extract, and almond extract to the curdled soy milk. Whisk well to combine. Gently fold wet ingredients into dry, mixing until large lumps disappear.
5.    Fill cupcake liners about two-thirds full (these cupcakes will rise fairly high). Place in preheated oven and bake 18 to 20 minutes, but be sure not to over-bake. Use a toothpick inserted in the center to tell--the toothpick will be red, but there should not be any batter or gooey crumbs sticking. When done, let cool for a few minutes then transfer cupcakes to cooling rack to cool completely.
6.    Frost with cream cheese frosting. These look especially awesome with a piped swirl!
Click here for the original recipe.

DIY Conversation Hearts

Conversation candy hearts have become a staple for Valentine’s Day. But to avoid GMOs, make your own cute conversation hearts with this gluten-free recipe from the BraveTart website. Don’t hesitate to let the kids help!

Ingredients
•    1/4 ounce organic gelatin
•    4 ounces organic brand lemon-lime soda like LIVE Soda’s Living Limon
•    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
•    40 ounces organic powdered sugar

•    For white: 1 to 2 drops organic wintergreen extract
•    For yellow: 1/4 ounce freeze dried organic bananas, ground into a powder
•    For pink: 1/4 ounce freeze dried organic strawberries or cherries, ground into a powder
•    For green: 3 to 4 drops key lime extract
•    For orange: 1/4 teaspoon organic orange extract plus 1/4 teaspoon orange flower water
•    For purple: one drop organic clove oil

Instructions
1.    Bloom the gelatin with the Sprite in the bottom of a mixing bowl. After 5 minutes, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water to melt the gelatin, or microwave in short 5 second bursts until melted.
2.    Use a hand or stand mixer and mix in the salt along with the powdered sugar, a cup or two at a time. Keep adding the powdered sugar until you have stiff fondant-like dough (very much the texture of Play-Doh). You may not need all of the powdered sugar.
3.    Turn the dough out onto the counter top and knead until smooth.
4.    Divide into as many portions as you would like colors/flavors and keep any dough you’re not currently using wrapped in plastic to prevent it from crusting over.
5.    Knead in the colors and flavors until homogenous. Taste a pinch of the dough and add more extract or powdered fruit to suit your taste.
6.    Roll the dough to about 3/8” thickness and cut out shapes. Alternately you can mold the dough into whatever shapes you like, just keep them on the small side so they can dry through and through.
7.    Arrange the candies on a parchment lined sheet pan and air dry for 48 hours. After 24 hours, flip all the hearts over so they can dry on both sides. Compared to candies flavored with extracts, the ones made with freeze dried fruit won’t dry out quite as hard and will retain a slightly softer texture (they will still be crisp, just not as rock-hard as classic Conversation Hearts).
Click here for the original recipe.

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To add messages on these hearts, write with an edible ink pen.  Also, to make these conversation hearts vegan-friendly, substitute Agar Agar flakes (found in most natural food stores) in for the gelatin.

If you’re from the Maryland area and don’t have time to make anything from scratch this Valentine’s Day, try going to Roots Market in Olney or Clarksville.  All of their bakeshop offerings are vegan.  They even use all natural colorings in their baked goods.

 

Have a berry sweet Valentine’s Day, GMO Insiders!

Love,

Marissa

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