Banana Bran Muffins

Who’s ready for some wholesomeness in their life??

Banana Bran Muffins | CaliGirlCooking.com

I sure am! Well, in about two days when we’re back from our Italy vacation, that is. At which point I completely intend to fill our kitchen with healthy(-ish) dishes with good-for-you ingredients, like these Banana Bran Muffins!


Okay, to be fair, these muffins do have lots of wholesome ingredients, but I’d be lying if I said they were completely healthy. Sure, they still have sugar, white flour and eggs, but they also have not one but TWO types of bran cereal and bananas, so there’s our balance right there. And let me tell you, if you’re looking for a little more roughage (aka fiber) in your diet, Banana Bran Muffins are the answer!

Before I get to these muffins, though, let me fill you in a little bit on what we’ve been up to on our trip since my last post on Friday! On Saturday morning we caught the train to Venice, which was a pretty cool adventure all in itself. The train systems in Europe always amaze me because they are so sophisticated and make going from one city (or country!) to another sooooo easy. The US sure has a lot to learn from them.

Once we arrived in Venice, we caught a private water taxi to our charming AirBnB just south of the famous St. Mark’s Square. We’ve basically been eating our way through Venice ever since and I can’t wait to write all about it in a Travel Diaries post for you when we get back! We head home tomorrow and, although I’m sad to see such an amazing adventure with so many people I love come to an end, I am looking forward to getting back into a healthier eating routine after all of this indulgence! I’m thinking these Banana Bran Muffins will be the perfect segue to gently ease myself back into the groove.

Banana Bran Muffins | CaliGirlCooking.com

So, I told you a couple of weeks ago that I’ve been really enjoying resurrecting old family recipes and posting them here on the blog so that they exist forever and ever (I hope!) I made my Mom’s Peanut Butter Chicken a little while back, the perfect comfort food dish, and just the other week I shared my Dad’s tried and true recipe for Hot Cross Buns.

These Banana Bran Muffins are actually my take on a recipe from my husband’s side of the family. It’s one he’s brought up over and over again whenever we talk about family recipes we want to try and make for each other, and so the last time we were at his parents’ house this recipe card was one of the ones we snapped a photo of from his mom’s overflowing handwritten recipes box.

Banana Bran Muffins | CaliGirlCooking.com

The first thing I have to say about this recipe is: Don’t be scared by the very large amounts of ingredients (three cups of sugar??? Five cups of flour??) That’s because this recipe makes a HUGE yield…we’re talking three dozen muffins, so just be sure you have a couple of really large mixing bowls to make your batter!

Banana Bran Muffins | CaliGirlCooking.com

And the great news is, once you make the batter, you can either keep it in the refrigerator for up to six weeks (can you believe it?) OR you can bake off all of the muffins (as I did) and freeze them in batches for future consumption. Up to you!

The main (really only) change I made to my mother-in-law’s original Bran Muffin recipe was adding mashed banana in place of the ½ cup of shortening called for. I figured this would help make the muffins a leeeetle bit healthier and it certainly made them nice and moist! Of course, after I’d made them, my husband informed me that his mom would sometimes sub in applesauce for the shortening, so there’s another option as well!

Oh, and if you’re not sure where to find both types of bran cereal, just hit up your local Trader Joe’s! Here’s a picture of both types mixed together below ↓

Banana Bran Muffins | CaliGirlCooking.com

Basically, these Banana Bran Muffins don’t take any longer than regular muffins to make, and once you do make them you’ll have enough to last you at least a month or two. If that doesn’t sound like the perfect semi-healthy baked good to you, I don’t know what will.

Banana Bran Muffins | CaliGirlCooking.com

And with that, I’m signing off for the day and off to explore more of the magical city of Venice! Be sure to follow along on my Insta stories for all the fun! Xo

Banana Bran Muffins | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Banana Bran Muffins
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

These easy-to-make muffins are incredibly delicious and full of plenty of wholesome ingredients like bran cereal and ripe banana. 

Course: Breakfast
Servings: 3 dozen
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole bran cereal
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana (about 1 banana)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 5 cups flour, sifted
  • 4 cups bran flakes
  • 5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare as many cupcake tins as you have (ultimately you will need three dozen, but you can always reuse the pans) by either spraying them with nonstick cooking spray or lining with cupcake liners.

  2. In a medium bowl, pour boiling water over whole bran cereal. Let stand while you prep the wet ingredients.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, banana, eggs and buttermilk. Add the whole bran that you’ve been soaking in the hot water. 

  4. In a separate large mixing bowl, combine the flour, bran flakes, baking soda and salt. Stir in the wet ingredients and continue to stir until no lumps of flour can be seen. The batter will be very thick and will thicken even more as it stands.

  5. Scoop batter into cupcake pans and bake in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove and let cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

Recipe Notes

You can bake off all of these muffins at once and freeze them in batches, or you can keep the batter covered in the refrigerator for up to six weeks to bake off when needed.

Banana Bran Muffins | CaliGirlCooking.com

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!)

Boy oh boy am I going to need a lot of this when we get back from Italy.

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!) | CaliGirlCooking.com

Yes, I’m talking about turning to ICE CREAM to reset my diet after a week and a half of indulgence in one of the most foodie-friendly countries of the world. You know why? Because this Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream is h-e-a-l-t-h-y! That’s right. We’re talking vegan/dairy-free, where the only cream we’re speaking of comes from our good ol’ friend the coconut. Did I mention it’s darn delicious too?


Now, you know I’m no stranger to ice cream, and I’m certainly no stranger to the full-octane kind. This Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream is still one of my favorite recipes to date, and as soon as fig season rolls around you can bet I’ll be whipping up this Maple Bourbon Fig Ice Cream on the reg. But to me, this Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream just screams spring and warmer weather. Sure, we can still enjoy our Golden Milk Lattes in the cool, often foggy mornings (here in SB at least,) but once the sun breaks through and the temperatures start to climb into the high 70’s, you can bet a healthy frozen treat will sound a whole lot better.

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!) | CaliGirlCooking.com

In case you’ve been living under a rock lately, here’s a quick recap of all of the great things turmeric can do for your body:

Help with heartburn and indigestion
Tame joint pain and inflammation
Support brain health
Fight cancer cells

So you can see why it’s been getting so much hype lately. Up until now, my go-to use of turmeric has been in our morning smoothies a few times a week, especially if the hubs and I are recovering from a tough workout or just not feeling up to snuff. But now I get to enjoy it for dessert too! Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream is definitely going to be a new staple in our household.

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!) | CaliGirlCooking.com

I have to admit, making ice cream out of coconut milk was quite the learning process. I’m not sure if I just fail at shaking canned coconut milk vigorously enough, or if TJ’s full-fat coconut milk just tends to be chunkier, but man I struggled when I used their stuff for my first go-around.

I did a little research when I first decided to give this Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream a shot, and found two recipes online that seemed intriguing. The first method (when I used the Trader Joe’s brand of coconut milk) was from my friends at The Kitchn, which involved heating things up with cornstarch over the stove and then putting the pudding-like mixture in the refrigerator to thicken overnight. Unfortunately, when I pulled the mixture out the next morning, I was greeted with an incredibly thick film over the top and completely runny bottom. I tried salvaging it in the ice cream maker but with no luck. Now, I’m not sure if the problem was the brand of milk or the method, but I decided to try a different angle for my second time around.

The second recipe that had caught my eye was Minimalist Baker’s easy technique for basic coconut ice cream. This one involved whirring all of the ingredients together in the blender before pouring it all into the ice cream maker, no overnight chilling or vigorous shaking required. I’m happy to say this second attempt was a success and we had a batch of delicious Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream ready to consume after just a couple of hours of firming up in the freezer.

One thing I will mention is that this ice cream gets quite hard and icy after it is completely chilled. All this means is you’ll have to take it out of the freezer 10-20 minutes before you want to enjoy it so it can soften up a bit to the consistency of soft serve.

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!) | CaliGirlCooking.com

Okay, folks, I’ve got to sign off because we have a very exciting day today. We’re taking a cooking class from the amazing owners at our villa and I cannot wait to eat allllll of the fresh pasta. I’ll try to post updates on my Instagram stories if our WiFi service is good enough! Xo

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!) | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!)
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
4 hr
 

New "it" superfood turmeric is the star in this vegan, dairy-free ice cream made solely from coconut milk. The perfect healthy warm weather treat!

Course: Dessert
Servings: 8 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 14-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk Trader Joe's brand did not work for me!
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Be sure to freeze your ice cream machine canister the night before you want to make this!

  2. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on medium-high until sugar dissolves and everything is well-combined.

  3. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and churn according to maker’s directions. 

  4. Transfer ice cream to an 8- or 9-inch loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap, being sure to press the wrap down on the surface of the ice cream. This will help it from preventing too much of a film as it freezes.

  5. Freeze for 4-6 hours. Remember to remove the ice cream from the freezer 10-20 minutes before you want to enjoy it so it can soften up a bit!

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!) | CaliGirlCooking.com

Chocolate Chip-Sunflower Seed Butter Protein Bars

Say hello to your favorite new work, school, travel and just plain everyday healthy snack!

Chocolate Chip Sunflower Seed Butter Protein Bars | CaliGirlCooking.com

These Chocolate Chip-Sunflower Seed Butter Protein Bars have been a total game-changer for me and I’m preeeeetty sure they will be the same for you. Anything that is filled with protein and whole grains yet tastes like dessert is a winner in my book, plus they’re so easy to grab and go you really can enjoy them anywhere you are, at any time of day.


Remember when I made these Homemade Whole Wheat Crackers and went on and on about how I’ve always aspired to make all of my foods from scratch rather than buying the pre-made, preservative-laden stuff at the store? These Chocolate Chip-Sunflower Seed Butter Protein Bars also fall under that “totally-easy-stuff-I-can-make-at-home” category.

Really, they’re made with ingredients that you should already have on hand in your pantry (maybe save for the sunflower seed butter, but you can find that at any Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s) and require NO baking. That’s right, just a little bit of time in the freezer to set up and you’ll be stocked with healthy, filling Chocolate Chip-Sunflower Seed Butter Protein Bars for days to come!

Chocolate Chip Sunflower Seed Butter Protein Bars | CaliGirlCooking.com

I think it’s also very important to mention that these bars are both gluten-free (if you use gluten-free oats) AND nut-free, which means just about anyone can enjoy them. (Sorry if you’re allergic to chocolate, but you could always just leave out the chocolate chips!) And let me tell you, that sunflower seed butter is legit and will not make you miss peanut butter or any other sort of nut butter at all. Promise.

So I bet by now you’re wondering, what all goes into these uber-delicious Chocolate Chip-Sunflower Seed Butter Protein Bars? Let me tell you – just seven ingredients! Seriously, guys, I don’t think I could have made this any easier for you.

Chocolate Chip Sunflower Seed Butter Protein Bars | CaliGirlCooking.com

We’re talking rolled oats, dates, honey, coconut oil, sunflower seed butter, chocolate chips and vanilla extract. That’s it! So many nutrient-packed ingredients all packed into one little bar. That’s my kind of snack/breakfast/late-night nosh.

We take all of the ingredients (save for the chocolate chips) and throw them into a food processor, where we pulse until a crumbly dough-like texture forms.

Chocolate Chip Sunflower Seed Butter Protein Bars | CaliGirlCooking.com

We then transfer the mixture to a large bowl to work in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon (or even better, our hands.)

Chocolate Chip Sunflower Seed Butter Protein Bars | CaliGirlCooking.com

The next step is to line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and press the mixture in nice and tight. A one-hour turn in the freezer and your Chocolate Chip-Sunflower Seed Butter Protein Bars are ready to be cut and consumed!

Chocolate Chip Sunflower Seed Butter Protein Bars | CaliGirlCooking.com

One important recipe note: Since I tried to use as whole ingredients as possible in these bars, they do turn a bit crumbly after they’ve been out of the freezer for a while. I’ve found that the best technique is to slice the bars after the initial freeze, then wrap them individually and keep them back in the freezer for storage. I may be the only weirdo that does this, but I actually really like munching on the bars straight out of the freezer. However, if you are packing them to-go for work or as a travel snack, just be prepared that they may get a little crumbly as they come to room temperature. Don’t worry, they still taste fantastic!

Basically, you should go whip up a batch of these Chocolate Chip-Sunflower Seed Butter Protein Bars ASAP so you have them on hand to get you through the rest of the week. There’s nothing like a couple of good ol’ bites of healthiness to give you the power to get through the day!

Chocolate Chip Sunflower Seed Butter Protein Bars | CaliGirlCooking.com

Chocolate Chip Sunflower Seed Butter Protein Bars | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Chocolate Chip-Sunflower Seed Butter Protein Bars
Prep Time
1 hrs 10 mins
 

These nutrient-packed protein bars are full of filling oats, sunflower seed butter and a touch of chocolate. Plus they're gluten- and nut-free!

Course: Snack
Servings: 12 bars
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 8 pitted dates
  • 1 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Combine rolled oats, pitted dates, sunflower seed butter, honey, coconut oil and vanilla in a food processor. Pulse until a crumbly dough forms.

  2. Transfer dough to a mixing bowl and, using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix in the chocolate chips. 

  3. Line an 8x8-inch glass or metal baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a little extra hanging off the sides to make it easy to pull the bars out once they are set. 

  4. Transfer dough to the prepared baking dish and press it in tightly with your fingers. Place in freezer for at least one hour.

  5. Remove from freezer and, using the parchment paper, remove the bars from the pan. Using a sharp knife, cut the bars into 12 pieces. 

  6. For best results, wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap or wax paper and store in the freezer until ready to eat. 

Chocolate Chip-Sunflower Seed Butter Protein Bars | CaliGirlCooking.com

Portobello Hummus

It’s been far too long since I’ve brought you a homemade hummus recipe.

Portobello Hummus | CaliGirlCooking.com

So today we’re changing that! This Portobello Hummus will make any hummus hater do a complete 180 (true story) and want to eat chow down on this healthy snack nonstop.


But first, how was your weekend? This was the second weekend in a row we stayed in town (shocker, I know) and I have to say we’re kind of getting in the groove of this whole relaxing and having no plans thing. We did have a couple of fun activities up our sleeve, though. If you were following along on my Insta stories, you probably saw that we took a little road trip out to Ojai for a friends’ birthday party at Topa Mountain Winery. We always have a blast spending time in the quiet little mountain town. It’s a great escape from the hustle and bustle of Santa Barbara and is literally just 45 minutes away.

Other than that, I had a work meeting on Sunday and we literally just relaxed, which was amazzzzing. After a year of wedding planning, wedding-related activities, starting my own business and tons of travel, I’ve realized I almost forgot what relaxing is! I’m soaking it all in while I can because who knows how long this will last 😉

One other thing we did this weekend was eat a TON of this Portobello Hummus. I mean, we’re talking two of my favorite things coming together in one healthy snack. What could be better?

Portobello Hummus | CaliGirlCooking.com

If you’ve been reading the blog for any significant amount of time, you’ll know that I’m no stranger to fun flavor combos in my hummus. During the fall pumpkin season, I love whipping up this perfectly spiced Pumpkin Curry Hummus. Once we get into the warmer weather months, I tend to make this zesty Mango Sriracha Hummus. But my go-to year-round flavor has always been this Roasted Cauliflower Hummus with Rosemary and Garlic. Until now, that is! With the addition of this tasty Portobello Hummus, I now have TWO all-weather hummus flavors up my sleeve to whip up at a moment’s notice. And so do you!

So here’s the trick with this hearty, savory Portobello Hummus: You’ve GOT to saute the Portobello mushrooms in a luxurious bath of olive oil, salt and pepper before adding them to the white bean mixture. This gives the hummus a much deeper, more intense flavor than if you were to just add raw Portobellos to the mix.

It also gives the hummus an incredibly silky texture, which is part of the reason my sister-in-law’s dad was found dipping his carrot sticks in it when he is an alleged hummus-hater. He claimed that he usually doesn’t like hummus because it is “gritty,” but he said this was nice and smooth and full of flavor. I think I may have made a convert out of him!

Portobello Hummus | CaliGirlCooking.com

[It is worth noting that I also used Great Northern beans instead of the usual garbanzo beans in this recipe, which could have been another contributing factor to the consistency of the dip.]

The other keys to this tasty, creamy spread are what have come to be my go-to’s for almost any homemade hummus I make – fresh garlic and rosemary!  I seriously don’t know what it is, but these two ingredients are natural compliments to the white beans and tahini and make a WORLD of a difference in almost all of the hummus I’ve made.

Aside from the key ingredients I mentioned above, all you’ll need to make this delicious Portobello Hummus is some olive oil, lemon juice and the requisite tahini. Oh, and some salt and pepper (always) and a food processor or high-powered blender. That’s it!

What I love about homemade hummus is that it’s such an easy, healthy snack to whip up in no time at all, and most of the ingredients are things you’ll already have on hand in your pantry. In just as much time as it takes to go to the store and buy some big brand hummus with who knows how many ingredients, you can mix up a batch of Portobello Hummus where you have complete control over what goes into it.

Portobello Hummus | CaliGirlCooking.com

That looks like the perfect weekday treat if I’ve ever seen one!

5 from 1 vote
Portobello Hummus | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Portobello Hummus
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
8 mins
Total Time
18 mins
 

The ever-popular hummus gets a huge flavor boost from sauteed Portobello mushrooms and fresh garlic and rosemary. The perfect healthy snack!

Course: Snack
Servings: 2 cups
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium Portobello mushrooms, diced
  • 1 15-ounce can Great Northern white beans
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add diced Portobello mushrooms and sprinkle on salt and pepper. Saute mushrooms until soft and fragrant. Turn off heat.

  2. Combine beans, garlic, rosemary, tahini and lemon juice in a food processor. Add sautéed Portobello mushrooms and pulse until mixture begins to break down. With food processor on, slowly stream in remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Continue pureeing until hummus is smooth. 

  3. Add salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with crackers, pita chips or fresh cut veggies. 

Portobello Hummus | CaliGirlCooking.com

Best EVER Winter Vegetable Platter

I bet you’d never imagine the words “best ever” in front of the words “vegetable platter,” but today I’m here to rock your world and prove to you that this is an incredibly appropriate statement.

Best EVER Winter Vegetable Platte | CaliGirlCooking.com

That’s right, I’m going to show you not only a vibrant array of winter vegetables (that don’t need to be cooked before enjoying) but TWO life-changing dipping sauces that are not only incredibly tasty, but VEGAN to boot. Hummus and queso, step aside. My Garlicky Cauliflower Almond Butter Dip and Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce are going to change your life.


But, before I get to these super-duper recipes, let’s talk a bit about a very important food event that’s coming up this weekend. Yes, I just referred to the Super Bowl as a food event as opposed to a sporting event, because when there isn’t really a specific team you’re rooting for, your focus turns directly to the snacks (and drinks!) that are being served. Am I right? It’s basically an excuse to make all of the delicious things (usually not so healthy) that you’ve been dreaming about since last year’s Super Bowl.

The good news is, this Best EVER Winter Vegetable Platter is both healthy AND delicious, and will satisfy all of your guests, no matter their dietary restrictions or preferences. This dish is both vegan and gluten-free, but even those who don’t follow either of these diets will find it a welcome healthy munch among all of the other not-so-healthy foods you might be serving (and have no fear, I have a not-so-healthy Super Bowl-friendly recipe coming to you on Wednesday – because we’re all about that balance, baby!)

Best EVER Winter Vegetable Platte | CaliGirlCooking.com

So let’s talk about how I came up with the ideas for the Garlicky Cauliflower Almond Butter Dip and Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce that grace this Best EVER Winter Vegetable Platter. You might recall that back in November I took a little trip to Wine Country with my gal Hana-Lee from Wander & Wine. During that trip, we were lucky enough to grab dinner at Press Restaurant in St. Helena.

While we were waiting for the first of our many dishes to arrive at the table, we were surprised with a large galvanized metal tray, with little veggie tops popping out of a bed of crushed ice. (We later found out that these cute little veggies came straight from the farm that Press has partnered with to provide all of its produce…Amazing!) Surrounding the tray were five little bowls of dipping sauces, and we were told to try our hand at all of the different vegetable and dip combinations. It was basically a vegetarian version of shrimp cocktail, genius!

Among all of the combinations I tried, one really stood out to me: fresh fennel bulb dipped into Press’ version of Thai peanut sauce. It was so dang good it was all I could think of even as we ate all of the other delicious dishes we ordered. I have to admit, the fennel and Thai peanut is a flavor combination I would have NEVER thought of, but it was amazing. I immediately added it to my list of flavor combos to try on my own at home.

Best EVER Winter Vegetable Platter Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce | CaliGirlCooking.com

I’m not quite so sure how I came up with the idea for my Garlicky Cauliflower Almond Butter Sauce, but I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making a Creamy Cauliflower Sauce a la Pinch of Yum for quite some time. I guess I figured almond butter would be a natural, delicious addition, along with some other spices and of course loads of garlic.

Best EVER Winter Vegetable Platter Garlicky Cauliflower Almond Butter Sauce | CaliGirlCooking.com

Once I had my sauces down, I knew I had to get some hearty, beautiful vegetables to stand up to their deliciousness. Fennel was a shoe-in, and after perusing the seasonal produce section at Trader Joe’s I decided on some beautiful rainbow carrots, crunchy radishes and slightly bitter Belgian endive to round out the tray. Not only were all of these vegetables just perfect with BOTH of the sauces, they also make a beautiful display that whoever you’re entertaining will not be able to keep their hands off of.

The great thing about this Best EVER Vegetable Platter is you can prep both of the sauces well in advance (up to three days.) The Garlicky Cauliflower Almond Butter Sauce makes a HUGE batch, so you’ll likely have a bunch leftover, but I highly recommend you take advantage of this by using it as a dairy-free creamy pasta sauce. Once you have the dipping sauces made, all that’s left if to find the freshest winter produce you can and use your food styling skills to really make your platter pop.

Best EVER Winter Vegetable Platter | CaliGirlCooking.com

Whether you whip this up for Super Bowl or not, it’s the perfect recipe to have in your arsenal for any time you’re entertaining a crowd with health concerns or varied dietary preferences. Make it now, make it later, doesn’t matter as long as you give it a shot as soon as you can!

5 from 1 vote
Best EVER Winter Vegetable Platte | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Best EVER Winter Vegetable Platter
Prep Time
50 mins
 

A classic vegetable platter gets a winter makeover with seasonal produce and two creamy, vegan dipping sauces. 

Course: Appetizer
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the Garlicky Cauliflower Almond Butter Dip:
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 7 cups cauliflower florets (about 1 medium head of cauliflower)
  • 4 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Dash of cayenne
For the Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce:
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or agave nectar)
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek
For the platter:
  • 6-8 rainbow carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
  • 6-8 radishes, tops removed and cut into halves or quarters
  • 2 bunches Belgian endive (bonus if you can find one purple and one green bunch)
  • 1 large fennel bulb, cut into sticks
Instructions
To make the Garlicky Cauliflower Almond Butter Dip:
  1. Bring a large pot of water with 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Once water is boiling, add cauliflower and garlic cloves and cook until cauliflower is fork tender, about 6 minutes. 

  2. Using a slotted spoon or small sieve, scoop out the cauliflower florets and garlic cloves and place in a blender. Reserve cooking water.

  3. Add almond butter, almond milk, white balsamic, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne and salt and pepper to blender. Turn blender on low and slowly add ¾ - 1 cup of the reserved cooking water, until the mixture has reached a creamy consistency. Transfer to a resealable container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving, or up to three days.

To make the Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce:
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, rice vinegar, honey, hot water and sambal oelek. Transfer to a resealable container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving, or up to three days.

To assemble the platter:
  1. Place dipping sauces in two small bowls and place in center of platter. Surround with all of the vegetables and serve immediately.

Best EVER Winter Vegetable Platter | CaliGirlCooking.com