Friday FAQs: Chia Power Doughnuts, vinegar subs for gazpacho, cocoa vs. carob, and more


Do you ever feel like you can’t find the words to write about how you’re feeling? That’s me lately. I sit at the keyboard and draw a blank trying to process all the things zipping away in my mind. We’re now days away from the launch of Oh She Glows Every Day, a month away from baby #2’s due date, and a couple months away from wrapping up some major house renovations. There’s so much change and anticipation (and dust!) in the air. Most days I don’t know whether I’m coming or going, which makes it tricky to sit down and write. Thankfully, I’m learning to embrace change a bit better than I used to. (Parenthood, ever unpredictable, helps with this one in a BIG way.) I’m also feeling grateful for so many things in spite of the anxiety. Whenever I have a negative thought I try to counter it with something I’m grateful for in that very moment. Often, gratitude is all I need to keep on chugging along and not let the worries take away from the big picture. Embrace change and practice gratitude…my current words to live by!

PS—My 35 Weeks update is now live on the baby blog, in case you want to check out my weekly life/home/pregnancy brain dump, heh.

Q1. Good morning! I want to make your Out-the-Door Chia Power Doughnuts [from The Oh She Glows Cookbook p. 41] but only have ground chia seed. I’ve looked everywhere for the conversion of ground vs. whole with no luck. Do you know, by chance?

A. Hey Stacey, This is a great question, and I’ve actually never tried these with ground chia before! My guess is that you’d need to use a lot less ground chia versus whole seeds. If I was going to try a first attempt, I might use half the amount called for since ground chia is more dense (about 1/4 cup ground versus 1/2 cup whole seeds). My main concern would be whether ground chia would impact the texture in a negative way (slightly gritty?), but I’m sure it would still be edible. Please let us know if you try anything out. Or if anyone else has, for that matter, feel free to leave a comment with your experience!

Q2. Hey Angela! Do you think I can sub balsamic vinegar for the red wine vinegar in your Gazpacho? I don’t have any of the latter and I don’t know if I want to buy a big bottle of it just for the recipe. :) Thanks!

A. Hi Tijana, That’s totally fair! I do think balsamic vinegar would work as a substitution for the red wine vinegar—in fact, I believe a few readers have made that swap and enjoyed the results! As balsamic vinegar has a slightly sweeter flavour than red wine vinegar, you may notice a new twist to the gazpacho’s taste. But I can’t see why that twist wouldn’t be a delicious one. I’d suggest adding just 1 1/2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to start, and then tasting the gazpacho before adding more.

Q3. Hi Angela! I have a question for your Friday FAQs. I’m getting married soon and when I’m getting ready with my bridesmaids I would like to have some snacks for everyone to nibble on throughout the day. Any suggestions for some light snacks that will keep everyone going all day? Thanks!

A. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding, Sarah! I’m sure everyone will appreciate some snacks to fuel them through what’s sure to be a beautiful (but busy) day. You can’t go wrong with either my Out-the-Door Chia Power Doughnuts (The Oh She Glows Cookbook p. 41) or Crunchy Seed & Oat Flatbread (p. 51). Try spreading the doughnuts with jam, coconut oil, or nut butter, and topping the bread with hummus, avocado, and/or tomato. Some other great options include my Glo Bars (p. 215 and p. 217) or Banana Bread Muffin Tops. Or, for a super simple snack, you can set out a tray with fresh fruit, veggies, and dip/hummus (try the Classic Hummus in The Oh She Glows Cookbook—you can scale back the garlic or omit it entirely if that’s a concern!). Best wishes on your big day.

Q4. Hi! Just wondering if I can use canola oil instead of grapeseed oil in your Fail-Proof Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes? Looking forward to making these! :)

A. Hey Jo, I haven’t tried the recipe with canola oil myself, but as both canola oil and grapeseed oil are neutral-tasting oils, I think the substitution should work out well for you!  You could also try using melted coconut oil in this recipe; just make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature to prevent the coconut oil from hardening upon contact.

Q5. I’m really enjoying this FAQs series! It’s so nice to read yours and others cooks’ suggestions. It makes for a nice community here on your blog where your readers can also share their ideas or questions. When I read through the questions, I’m often reminded of a recipe that I’ve wanted to make, but completely forgot about it. Today, it’s the carob fudge. I don’t have carob on hand at the moment, would cocoa powder substitute in a 1:1 ratio?

A. Hi Annalise, I’m so happy to hear you’ve been enjoying the series! Thanks for the FAQ love. As to your question about the carob fudge: Yes, I would guess that you can swap in cocoa powder in a 1:1 ratio. But, you may want to use more liquid sweetener than the recipe calls for, just to compensate for the loss of carob’s natural sweetness (cocoa powder is much more bitter than carob powder). I’d suggest you try adding 1 or 2 extra tablespoons of sweetener to start, tasting as you go. (Another option is to simply use a bit less cocoa powder and the same amount of sweetener.) Please let us know what you come up with!

Comment of the Week:

“First time commenting, so I just wanted to say how much I love your recipes and that I promote them to all my friends.

I just tried freezing your Basil Cashew Cheeze Lasagna and it came out of the freezer and into the oven great! I’m single, so making a whole pan of the lasagna at once is overkill. So I put it in two 8x8s and froze one. Just made the frozen one last night and loved it just as much as the original! I don’t know if you planned to put this on the “make-ahead” list, but it would work well.

And I recommended the lasagna to a friend, who tries to cook vegan when she can, and her whole family loved it. Her 10-year-old, who never asks for seconds, asked for more! Thanks so much for making the best lasagna I have ever eaten in my life.”

Hi Gail, I’m so happy to hear how much you enjoy the recipes, and also that the lasagna was such a hit with you and your friend’s family. That’s such a great idea about freezing it into two 8-inch square pans, too…I can’t believe I haven’t thought to freeze it in smaller sizes before! This could be life-changing. :)

PS—That hearty bowl of oatmeal featured at the top is my 5-Minute Oatmeal Power Bowl.

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