Sweet Balls from Plant-Powered Families

25th August 2015

Anyone who appreciates wholesome, creative and downright delectable recipes will love Dreena Burton’s fifth cookbook Plant-Powered Families. This cookbook has over 100 quick and easy kid-approved healthy recipes made using whole-foods. It’s an exceptional cookbook for anyone short on ideas or time and in need of easy to follow recipes that are bound to please the entire family. Flavors were on the more subtle side, but could easily be dressed up to satisfy a broad range of palates. This is a great staple cookbook for the modern family and even includes tips for pleasing picky eaters. Plant-Powered Families is complete with helpful sections in the end for Sample Plant-Powered Meal Plans, Plant-Powered FAQs and Nutrient Charts.

We’re excited to offer two giveaway opportunities for this fun and nutritious cookbook – US & Canada readers can win one print copy of Plant-Powered Families and all non US & Canada entrants have the chance to win one digital copy of Plant-Powered Families. Two winners will be selected at the conclusion of this giveaway.

Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes by Dreena Burton

Photographs from Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes. Copyright © 2015 by Dreena Burton.

Creamy Breakfast Rice Pudding

Pg 28-9, Chapter 4 Healthy Mornings: Homemade Cereals, Pancakes, French Toast and Omelets

Vegan Creamy Breakfast Rice Pudding from Dreena Burton's Plant-Powered Families

Rice pudding is an absolute favorite of ours and we’re thoroughly impressed with author Dreena Burton’s shortcut to getting perfectly thick and creamy rice pudding. The trick is to pulse a portion of the ingredients, including most of the rice, with an immersion blender before adding the remainder of your rice. The recipe is super quick and simple and has endless possibilities for customization. If you opt to use coconut sugar instead of banana for your sweetener, 2 tablespoons produces a neutral rice pudding and 3 tablespoons results in a mildly sweet yet indulgent pudding. We got creative and dug around our pantry and fridge to make Newman-O‘s rice pudding and Raspberry-Coconut rice pudding. This is a recipe we’re bound to make again because we loved it!

Tip: If you are making rice specifically for this recipe instead of using leftover rice, you will need ¾ cup of dry uncooked brown rice to yield the required 2 cups of cooked rice.

Dreena Burton’s Creamy Breakfast Rice Pudding recipe is available at Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes (Amazon.com).

Cheesy Caesar Dressing

Pg 106-7, Chapter 6 Salad Dressings, Sauces and Toppers

Vegan Cheesy Caesar Dressing from Dreena Burton's Plant-Powered Families

We needed a sauce to go with the Sweet Balls we are featuring at the end of the post, so we skimmed through Plant-Powered Families and discovered this thick, rich and creamy dressing. Chia seeds are popular throughout this cookbook and we were surprised (and impressed) to find that this dressing used them as a thickener. The dressing brought a lovely depth and tangy, savory bite to our Sweet Balls. Once refrigerated it thickens up quite a bit and makes a great dip for raw veggies or a substantial salad dressing. One non-vegan tried this dressing and loved it just as much as we did.

Tip: If you do not have kelp granules, substitute ¼ sheet of nori.

Dreena Burton’s Cheesy Caesar Dressing recipe is available at Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes (Amazon.com).

Chocolate Chia Pudding

Pg 174-5, Chapter 8 Sweet Treats: Puddings, Creams and Sauces

Vegan Chocolate Chia Pudding from Dreena Burton's Plant-Powered Families

Plant-Powered Families features a lot of recipes using chia seeds and now we’re starting have a greater appreciation for their versatility. The blended chia seeds made an awesome natural thickener and helped this pudding set up quicker than any other recipe we’ve tried before. The flavor was very sweet, certainly decadent, and a bit date-forward. In fact, the flavor and texture reminded us a bit of a date caramel pudding. It’s great leftover and we enjoyed snacking on it just one spoonful at a time over a few days.

Tip: The recipe recommends topping with shredded coconut and mini vegan chocolate chips, we completely concur. They both provide added flavor and texture. You can even take it one step further and add raspberries or goji berries.

Dreena Burton’s Chocolate Chia Pudding recipe is available at Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes (Amazon.com).


Pg 148-9, Chapter 7 Dinnertime: Burgers ’n Fries ’n Such

Closeup shot of Dreena Burton's SweetBalls, photographed by Vegan Miam

Don’t be fooled by the name, these delicious savory morsels are made from a combination of nuts, sweet potato and oats. The final product is a really substantial and flavorful little bite. The texture is firm but the balls can still be broken or sliced into pieces without completely falling apart. Since they are fairly dry, a dipping sauce is needed. There was no sauce recipe included with the balls, but the cookbook contains a variety of sauce and dressing recipes – like the Cheesy Caesar Dressing we made. They’re great served as a snack or as part of meal, either way they are quite filling.

Like so many other dishes from Plant-Powered Families, this incredibly quick and simple recipe has the potential to be a great foundation to fold your own flavors into over time. We’re thinking of making Sweet Balls again with some Asian flavors mixed in.

Tip: The recipe doesn’t include a weight for the sweet potato. To make shopping for this recipe easier, we weighed it out and found that you will need ½ lb of sweet potato.

Vegan SweetBalls from Dreena Burton's Plant-Powered Families


Yield: makes 15-18 balls


  • ½ cup raw walnuts (see note for nut-free option)
  • ½ raw almonds (see note for nut-free option)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 medium clove garlic (or large clove for extra garlic bite)
  • ¾ cup cooked and cooled sweet potato, skins removed (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves or fresh thyme
  • 1½ tablespoons tamari or coconut aminos


In a food processor, add the walnuts, almonds, oats, and garlic, and process through until crumbly. Then add the sweet potato, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, rosemary, and tamarin and process until just well combined

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, and refrigerate for about ½ hour

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take scoops of the mixture (1-1½ tablespoons in size) and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 17-20 minutes, until golden and firm just to the touch (do not overtake or they will dry out). Remove, and serve with pasta or tomato sauce, or as an appetizer with dipping sauce!

Try forming patties with this mixture for quick and scrumptious burgers


Recipe from Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes, copyright © 2015 by Dreena Burton. Recipe reprinted with permission from BenBella Books.

Nut-Free Option: Replace the walnuts and almonds with ½ cup of pumpkin seeds and ⅓ cup of hemp seeds.

Sweet Potato Note: For this recipe, you only need one small-medium sweet potato. You can use orange or yellow sweet potato.

Seasonings Note: There is no need to add salt because of the tamarin used in the mix, but if you feel like seasoning with sea salt and pepper, test the mixture and add a little to taste.

Vegan SweetBalls with Cheesy Caesar Dressing from Burton's Cookbook

Raspberry-Coconut rice pudding, Newman-O Rice Pudding

Vegan Chocolate Chia Pudding from Plant-Powered Families Cookbook

Worldwide Giveaway

BenBella Books is giving away a print copy for one US/Canada winner and a digital copy for one international winner outside of US/Canada.

Use the Gleam widget below to enter for a chance to win. You can come back everyday for a bonus entry and re-share a tweet.

If no widget appears, try refreshing the page or use this direct link.

Plant-Powered Families Giveaway

Giveaway Details

• This is a sponsored giveaway provided by BenBella Books.
• The Giveaway ends 11:59PM 6th September 2015. (Pacific Time / PST).
• Two winners will be drawn randomly by using Gleam and will be notified via a certified Vegan Miam email, unless otherwise stated. Winner must respond with current/correct address within forty-eight (48) hours or prize will be forfeited and another winner will be drawn.
• Two winners will be selected at the conclusion of this giveaway – One US or Canada winner and one worldwide winner. US or Canada winner will receive the paperback book. Worldwide winner will receive the digital copy.
• Prizes will be shipped directly to the winner by BenBella Books. Vegan Miam is not responsible for any unsent, lost or stolen prize(s).

Disclosure: The book was kindly provided to us for review. All reviews are our own personal opinions, we have not been compensated to provide any feedback positive or otherwise.

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