Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte Rice Krispie Treats (+ Giveaway!)

Hi friends! I don’t know about y’all, but I am feeling BURNT OUT. Between work stress, Zoom fatigue, the pandemic, and this election cycle, I’ve been feeling so much pressure and anxiety from all angles. Naturally, I have turned to baking as an outlet, and have been occupied with various #BakersAgainstRacism efforts. Always, but especially in these isolating and uncertain times, I find it is so meaningful & important to put our energy towards causes bigger than ourselves (in whatever capacity we can).

Aren’t these gorgeous?! They are the latest treat I baked for my most recent #BakersAgainstRacism sale, along with my Butterbeer Macaroons! It was a smaller response this time, I’m guessing because everyone is super drained and stretched thin. We raised $225 for The Okra Project—a collective seeking to address the crisis of violence by providing meals + resources (including therapy) to Black Trans people worldwide. I talked a bit more about the meaning of this particular sale on my Instagram here.

I remember at the start of election week, I kept reminding myself regardless of the results, that I would continue to invest myself in creating a better world through efforts like this. So if you ordered or shared about the bake sale, thank you so much for being a part of this supportive and empowering community.


ALLERGY FRIENDLY FALL BLOG HOP!

Speaking of community, this recipe is part of an Allergy Friendly Fall Treats Round Up, in collaboration with several other blogger friends. Most of the recipes are vegan, GF, and many are also nut free! Check out their creations below, and don’t forget to enter our fun giveaway on Instagram!

Apple Cider Donuts by The Urben Life

Vegan Pumpkin Coffee Cake by The Baking Fairy

Vegan Chocolate Ginger Cookies by The Zestfull

Top 8 Allergen Free Carrot Cake Loaf by The Frugalista Mom

Vegan Pecan Bars by Messy Vegan Baker

Flourless Chocolate Cookies by One Sweet Appetite

Vegan Pumpkin Granola by Jess Baumgardner

Vegan & Gluten Free Pumpkin Blondies by Spabettie

Paleo Almond Butter Cups by I Chews U

Vegan & Gluten Free Apple Pie Pancakes by Kvetching In The Kitch

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Waffles by Color Me Courtney

Vegan Pumpkin Pecan Cupcakes by Mrs Neil’s Vegan Meals

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Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte Rice Krispie Treats
makes 1 dozen (depends on pan size—I used a 11 x 16 pan)


Active prep time: 10 minutes
Wait time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Ingredients:

For the treats:

  • 6 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 4 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 2 bags of 10 oz vegan marshmallows (I’ve had good results with Funky Mello and Dandie’s)
  • 3 teaspoons instant coffee
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice mix
  • 8 cups rice cereal (Rice Krispies or any off-brand! I used HEB’s brand)

For the coffee pumpkin glaze, whisk together the following (adjust liquid/sugar as needed for desired consistency):

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree

For the cinnamon glaze, whisk together the following:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon nondairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon hot water (slowly add more if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil

Method:

  1. In a large non-stick pan, melt the vegan butter and pumpkin puree on high heat, whisking to incorporate.
  2. Add the marshmallows to the pan and lower the heat to high-medium. Stir until melted and fluffy (this takes about 5 minutes).
  3. Stir in the instant coffee and pumpkin spice and mix well.
  4. Take the mixture off the heat and add the rice cereal.
  5. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 11 x 16 inch pan (coated in vegan butter or coconut oil). You can make these as thick/thin as you want. My pan was 1/2″ deep, and I wanted the bars to be thick, so I ended up only covering 2/3 of my pan.
  6. The mixture will be very sticky, so it’s best to use a large sheet of parchment paper or foil to press it down in the pan (I also applied pressure to the exposed side of the mixture). Allow it to set for at least 5 minutes. I also like to place a book and some weights on top of mine to make sure there are no air bubbles.
  7. Carefully remove the mixture from the pan and cut into bars. Drizzle with coffee and cinnamon glazes (above) if desired. Enjoy!
  8. These can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days, or up to 5 days in the fridge (I found they will get a little stale if left too long). But they are so good you probably won’t have to think about storing any!

Thanks so much for checking out my recipe. Hopefully it brings you some comfort during these crazy times! I hope you are taking time to process your emotions lately. Feel them! Let them out. Wipe your tears of relief, of exhaustion (this has been me a lot lately). Remember it is okay to celebrate and find some peace while recognizing what is still at stake & knowing that there is still much progress to be made in this country.

As an empath, I have been all over the place as of late. Trump losing has been such a breath of relief for all marginalized communities. May we continue to listen and advocate for each other and hold those in power accountable. Thank you to the BIPOC who made these strides possible—especially Black women. And let’s recognize that their vote was not to save us, not just to defend democracy, but for their survival. I will continue listening to and supporting community leaders and organizations who have been doing the work, like the Austin Justice Coalition, and I urge you to do the same in your community.

I know the direction I am moving. Let’s keep moving and acting in the direction of love and compassion, to quote a dear friend of mine. I’m in the middle of organizing a collaborative #BakersAgainstRacism sale in Austin for the holidays to raise funds to help flip the senate in Georgia! LET’S GOOO! Keep your eyes on my Instagram for the announcement. And if you don’t live in ATX, check out a sale near you because this is a collective effort taking place in multiple cities around the world!

Vegan Five Spice “Beef” Vermicelli Bowls

While fall is my favorite season, this year, I’ve actually found myself fondly holding onto the last few days of summer. It’s not that hard to do here in Texas, because it’s still hot AF. This past summer has honestly been one of the best I’ve ever had: graduation,  traveling to Taiwan, Vietnam, Tanzania and Kenya, and some exciting collaborations (involving pizza and the Dallas Farmers Market), with many more exciting projects to come!

With the weather being so warm, I find myself still sticking to refreshing foods full of cooling greens and herbs, like spring rolls and vermicelli bowls. Vietnamese vermicelli bowls (bún) are heavy on veggies, quite easy to assemble, and there is lots of room for improvisation. Traditional Vietnamese vermicelli bowls feature various protein toppings, which include grilled pork (bún thịt nướng), lemongrass beef (bún thịt bò xào sả), eggrolls (bún chả giò, or sometimes lemongrass tofu (bún đậu hũ xào sả). Nowadays, these toppings are easily veganizable. Today I am sharing a vermicelli bowl featuring my five spice beef as the protein!

Vietnamese Vermicelli Bowls + Five Spice "Beef" | plantcrush.co

In Vietnamese, this would be called bún thịt bò chay (which translates to rice noodles & vegan beef).

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Rainbow Smashed Purple Potatoes + 5 Spice Peanut Sauce

POTATOES. That’s it, that’s my intro for this recipe. Are you hooked?

Rainbow Smashed Purple Potatoes + 5 Spice Peanut Sauce | plantcrush.co

Well, now you’re hooked!

Hi friends! I’m back with another recipe, and this time it’s in collaboration with some blogger friends, in honor of #NationalPotatoDay! What an awesome concept–a day to celebrate one of my favorite ingredients. Most, if not all, of the following recipes can be veganized–let me know if you guys need advice or have questions about going about that! For the event, I decided to feature the beautiful purple Japanese sweet potato!Rainbow Smashed Purple Potatoes + 5 Spice Peanut Sauce | plantcrush.co


Happy National Potato Day!

Thank you to Valentina from The Baking Fairy for organizing this event!
Check out all of the delicious potato recipes we made for the occasion:

Air Fryer Garlic Herb French Fries by Daily Dish Recipes
Banh Mi Potato Skins by The Spiffy Cookie
Baked Tornado Potatoes by For The Love of Food
Brunede Kartofler (Danish Caramel Potatoes) by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Campfire Potatoes by Our Good Life
Cheesy Smashed Potatoes by One Sweet Appetite
Chutneywale Aloo by Food Trails
Gnocchi with Sage and Pancetta by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Hearty Beef and Potato Soup by Tip Garden
Individual Pommes Anna by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Loaded Cincinnati Potato by Palatable Pastime
Loaded Mac and Cheese Stuffed Baked Potatoes by Big Bear’s Wife
Paleo Zuppa Toscana by Frugal & Fit
Potato and Spinach Curry by Savory Moments
Potato Dinner Rolls by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes by Cheese Curd in Paradise
Spinach Gnocchi with Roasted Tomato Sauce by The Baking Fairy
Rainbow Smashed Purple Potatoes + 5 Spice Peanut Sauce by PlantCrush
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Herbs by Lemon Blossoms


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As you may know, my mom raised me on a lacto-vegetarian diet, and she has always emphasized the importance of intuitively eating lots of colors for optimal health. Thus, from a young age, I developed a habit of eating colorfully at every meal. Research indicates that my mom was right (aren’t mom’s always right)! Colorful, plant-based foods are loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that help us thrive.

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Here are just a few general benefits of eating the rainbow (not Skittles):

Red foods are good for the brain and circulatory system
Orange foods are best known as immunity boosters
Yellow foods promote good digestion among other benefits
Green foods strengthen muscles, bones, and teeth
Purple foods have been shown to lower the risk of some cancers
White foods helps boost the lymphatic system

Rainbow Smashed Purple Potatoes + 5 Spice Peanut Sauce | plantcrush.coThese smashed purple potatoes are one of my favorite meals because they are absolutely gorgeous, filling, and wholesome, but they don’t take that much work to put together. You can prep the components at the beginning of the week and just assemble throughout the week. Measuring isn’t even necessary for this recipe–it’s all to your taste and needs. The ingredients below are for about 4 servings, but you can multiply according to your needs.


Rainbow Smashed Purple Potatoes
makes 4 servings


Active prep time: 10 minutes
Wait time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Ingredients:

  • 4 Japanese purple sweet potatoes (I got mine at the Asian market!)
  • 2 cups steamed edamame (1/2 cup per potato, or more–for example, if I’m eating this after a workout, I would make it 1 cup of edamame per serving)
  • 5 Spice Peanut Sauce, for serving (recipe here, 1 batch should cover 4 potatoes!)
  • mango salsa (see below)

Tropical Mango Salsa
makes 2 cups


Toss together the following in a medium bowl:

  • 2 cups diced mango (1 large mango)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 10 Thai basil leaves (about 1 handful), roughly chopped
  • 1 small carrot, shredded (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 pinch Himalayan pink salt (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce (to taste)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Rinse and clean the potatoes. Using a fork, prick the potatoes all over.
  3. Place the potatoes on a non-stick or parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. Roast until the potatoes are fork tender (about one hour).
  5. Using a knife, split each potato in half and smash with a fork to open them up more, to hold the toppings.
  6. Load up the toppings on each potato: edamame (about 1/2 cup per potato), and spoon on mango salsa to taste, adding additional herbs (cilantro, scallions, etc.) to your taste. Drizzle with 5 Spice Peanut Sauce and serve immediately.
  7. These make great leftovers and should be good up to a week! I also like to enjoy the leftovers on top of a huge bed of greens (air-frying the leftover sweet potatoes is a game-changer). Complex carbs + colorful veggies + lots of greens…a recipe for HAPPINESS. Enjoy!

Rainbow Smashed Purple Potatoes + 5 Spice Peanut Sauce | plantcrush.co

Green Papaya Salad | Gỏi Đu Đủ

Summer is almost upon us! Time for all the refreshing foods, like this green papaya salad!

Green Papaya Salad | plantcrush.coMy apologies for the huge hiatus on the blog, y’all, my design thesis has been my main priority for about a year now! I am happy to report that I have successfully defended my thesis to graduate. This past weekend, I finally graduated with my Master’s in Landscape Architecture! It still feels so surreal to type those words. I’ve been an emotional, nostalgic mess, and am preparing for an international trip to 3 countries, but that didn’t keep me from getting back in the kitchen!

I’ve had a few potlucks in the past couple weeks, so I’ve been making this green papaya salad a lot. Everyone has been loving it! It’s a classic Thai/Vietnamese dish, and yesterday I made it again for mom for Mother’s Day. Besides spring rolls, Vietnamese salads are one of my mom’s favorite things to eat! Continue reading

Lemongrass “Beef” Spring Rolls | plantcrush x It’s Jerky Y’all

What’s the one food you could eat everyday? For me, the answer would be spring rolls! There have been weeks where all I eat for dinner are spring rolls, especially during the long blazing heat of Texas summer. There are just so many ways to make them–they’re so fresh and fun! Plus, I think it’s the best way to get a lot of greens in (I’ll take spring rolls over salad any day).lime

It’s actually amazing that I don’t have a spring roll recipe on the blog yet, considering how much I eat them. Today, I am happy to share this spring roll recipe with you, in collaboration with one of my favorite vegan brands based in Texas: It’s Jerky Y’all! My dear friends at Sprinkles Creative and I teamed up to make this adorable how-to video for the recipe. I’m so happy my friends and I got to work together on this; we all had a blast. For the full written recipe, scroll down.

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Nana-politan Ice Cream Parfaits | plantcrush x Beets by Brooke

Who else gets excited when they can sneak veggies into their desserts? I like to make healthy choices most of the time, but I’m also not opposed to treats, like this nana-politan ice cream parfait I whipped up with my friend Brooklynne (@beetsbybrooke)!process-3.jpgWe got together to create a Galentine’s Day menu featuring beets! We made a divine heart beet pizza and salad for the main meal, and for dessert, we decided to go crazy and put beets in our banana ice cream too! Beets have a lovely sweetness that is truly marvelous. #beetcrush Continue reading

Heart Beet Pepperoni Pizza | Plantcrush x Beets by Brooke

 

IMG_0487This recipe is for that girl you can’t live without. Final Process PicYour best friend, your sister, your mom, whomever it may be–show them you love them by making this delectable heart beet pizza, complete with a side salad! Ok, you can also make this for your male/other friends too, but the point is, this pizza came about because of the spirit of Galentine’s Day! Continue reading

Ginger Mung Bean Soup

In the dead of winter, there are few things more comforting than a piping hot bowl of soup to warm you up from the inside out. I put ginger in almost everything I eat, especially in the cold seasons, and this soup is no exception. I was looking for a way to use up the surplus of split mung beans I had in my pantry (thanks mom), and this nourishing, spicy ginger mung bean soup came to be.

Ginger Mung Bean Soup | plantcrush.co

Note: you will need split mung beans for this recipe, as shown above (not whole ones).

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Chinese 5 Spice BBQ Jackfruit Bánh Mì Bites

Happy 2019, friends! I’m just popping on the blog to share a quick recipe with you today, as I’ve gotten many messages about these jackfruit bánh mì bites on Instagram. I made them for a vegan NYE potluck my friends Christina and Courtney hosted, and they were a hit! The five spice is the lingering aroma that makes this dish epically memorable. I’ve used this warming spice in literally everything, from my go-to peanut sauce, to gingerbread cookies to faux beef stir fries, jackfruit bao bites, and even protein bars! It’s been my recent obsession and also is an homage to a lot of the food I had growing up in a Vietnamese household. This spice holds the ultimate expression of nostalgia for me.Chinese 5 Spice BBQ Jackfruit Bánh Mì Bites | plantcrush.co

As I get older, I have really loved leaning into my Vietnamese roots more, after many younger years where I pushed my culture away in order to assimilate/avoid being bullied for being “different.” Now, it always feels so damn good to embrace my family’s heritage and blend it with my own personal experiences/influences. This dish is kind of a fusion dish–5 Spice BBQ jackfruit on bánh mì bites! I’ve made 5 Spice BBQ fusion jackfruit bao bites before, and this recipe is basically the same thing but with bánh mì fixings. Continue reading