Recipe Category: Sweets & Treats

Vegan Coconut Macaroons

So, you’ve opened a can of chickpeas and the first thing you do is send that gooey liquid down the drain. Nooooooooooooo! Press pause, save that stuff. It’s called aquafaba and it’s Aqua-Fab-U-Lous!!! 

Aquafaba is the thick liquid you get from cooking legumes, such as chickpeas, in water for an extended period of time. If you’re new to the wonderful world of aquafaba, stick to what you strain from canned chickpeas, since it’s nice and thick. Once you get the hang of it, you can use what you make yourself from cooking chickpeas at home, since you’ll have a better idea of the consistency that’ll get you the desired results. 

Aquafaba can replace egg whites in a recipe, as well as whole eggs in baked goods. Two Tbsp unwhipped aquafaba is the equivalent of one egg white, and 3 Tbsp equals a whole egg.  

Folks say you can also use the liquid from white northern beans or black beans, but for the fluffy lift you’re looking for in whipped aquafaba creations like meringues, or baked goods like muffins, chickpeas are your go-to. 

When you’re ready to measure the aquafaba a recipe calls for, vigorously shake the unopened can of chickpeas. Drain chickpeas through a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl; reserve beans for another use. Whisk aquafaba and then measure. The starches in the aquafaba settle in the can and need to be agitated to ensure they’re evenly distributed. 

If you’re going to whip it into foam, add 1/8 tsp cream of tartar for the aquafaba in a 15-oz can of chickpeas. It’ll help the foam whip up faster and stay fluffy longer. 

Store aquafaba in a sealed mason jar in the fridge where it’ll last for up to a week. You can also freeze it up to three months. Measure it into 1 Tbsp portions into an ice cube tray, and just thaw out and use those little “nuggets ‘o gold” in place of eggs. Easy peasy, and you’ve now effectively made something outta nothing! 


  • 3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut 
  • 1 ½ Tbsp coconut oil 
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup 
  • 1 ½ Tbsp aquafaba 
  • Pinch sea salt 
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot starch 


  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. Add coconut to food processor. Blend about one minute or more, just until coconut flakes start clumping together. When you squeeze some together, it should stick together kind of like wet sand. 
  3. Add coconut oil, maple syrup, aquafaba, salt and vanilla and mix 20 seconds to combine. Add arrowroot starch and pulse to combine until a wet dough has formed. 
  4. Scoop into 1 ½ Tbsp mounds, gently transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet with room between each cookie. 
  5. Bake 13-15 minutes, until tops are lightly golden brown and bottoms a little darker golden brown…careful not to burn the bottoms! They’ll puff a little while cooking. 
  6. Cool on pan 10 minutes, then transfer to a plate/cooling rack to cool completely. Best served at room temp. 

Patti’s Cosmic Cocoa

This vegan-friendly hot cocoa is the perfect antidote to a cold, wet Sierra Foothills winter evening. This drink is so tasty, you won’t even realize how healthy it really is. Get cozy and enjoy!  


  • 1 cup cacao powder 
  • 1 cup dehydrated coconut milk powder  
  • 1/2 cup collagen powder  
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar (or adjust to taste) 
  • 2 Tbsp Lion’s Mane Mushroom powder 
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon  
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric powder 
  • 1 ½ tsp cayenne   


  1. Add 1-2 heaping tablespoons to coffee for morning mocha magic, or 3 tablespoons to 6 to 8 oz of hot water or hot milk for coco magic. Use your own taste buds to decide actual measurements!  
  2. If you’re more of a Chilly Willy, try the iced version: make with 4 oz hot water and pour over ice, or make as you would hot and chill.   

NA Ginger Shandy

Try one of the NA Kolsches if you can’t find a Pilsner for a creamier take on a Shandy. Ginger beer gives it a fun kick. Perfect for wooly winter’s eve.  


  • 1 can Best Day Brewing NA Kolsch 
  • 1 12 oz bottle your favorite ginger beer (we like Reed’s Strongest Ginger Brew)  
  • 2 lime or lemon slices  


  1. Divide beer into two pilsner glasses.
  2. Top with ginger beer.
  3. Garnish with lemon or lime slices.
  4. If you’re feeling extra spicy, add a slice or two of serrano or jalapeno for va-va-va voom.  


Try this dry take on a Negroni. Spices and cranberry juice satisfy for the Campari. Delightful anytime of year.  


  • 8 oz grapefruit juice  
  • 2 orange slices 
  • 1/3 cup sugar 
  • 4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed 
  • 1/8 tsp coriander seeds 
  • 2 oz unsweetened cranberry juice 
  • 2 orange slices, for garnish 


  1. In a small saucepan, heat the grapefruit juice, 2 orange slices, sugar, cardamom pods and coriander seeds until the sugar dissolves. Let cool. And strain out the fruit and spices.  
  2. Add a couple of ice cubes to two old fashioned or rocks glasses. Add two ounces of the syrup, one ounce of cold water and one ounce of cranberry juice in each glass. Stir gently for a few seconds. Garnish each with an orange slice. 

Fromage Fort

Fromage fort is a classic French way to use up those delicious, but maybe-too-small-to-serve bits of cheese in your fridge.

Transform into a quick-to-prepare, zhuzhed-up cheese spread that’s
sure to delight your guests.

Use any combination of good quality cheeses, being mindful to watch for saltiness and keep tasting as you go. This recipe is very forgiving.

Add a bit more creamy cheese, or wine if it’s too dry, or more fresh herbs to your taste. Try spreading fromage fort on baguette slices and broiling for a warm, toasty treat with some mulled wine.


  • ½ lb cheese bits, rinds cut off, in ½” chunks –
  • parmesan, gouda, brie, cheddars all
  • work well
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼-½ cup dry white wine (use the rest to serve
  • your guests!)
  • 2-3 Tbsp your choice minced fresh herbs, like
  • parsley, thyme, basil
  • Freshly-ground black pepper


  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth, adding more wine or cheese until a soft, spreadable consistency and the flavor profile suits your taste. Keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Mandarin Creamsicle Ice Cream 

Make this easy and delicious recipe when Foothill mandarin season is in full swing. Goes great with pumpkin pie, too!


  • 1 1/4 sugar  
  • 1 cup fresh mandarin juice  
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream 
  • 2 cups half & half  
  • Pinch of salt  
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla  
  • Crushed  Biscoff cookies (for ice cream topping)  


  1. Melt the sugar with the mandarin juice and then leave aside to cool.  
  2. 2. Mix in the heavy whipping cream, half & half, salt, vanilla and cooled sugar mandarins mix and pour into ice cream maker. 
  3. 3. Once ice cream is made put in freezer to harden overnight.  
  4. 4. Serve with crushed Biscoff cookies.