I was trying to figure out what type of quick bread to make for the holidays this year. I always gravitate towards the same flavors like carrot, chocolate or date. However, I decided to mix it up this year with a quick bread that I actually haven't made in quite a long time. It's really familiar this time of year, though.
You got it.
Also, this is the second recipe in a row to have the word "crunch" in it. How fun! =P
I haven't made my own gingerbread in a long time, and it's a shame. I love molasses and ginger together. There's a great depth of flavor that molasses brings to the table that I don't indulge in very often. What a shame, right?
In addition to being rich and dark in flavor, molasses has wonderful and unparalleled health benefits that not other sweetener can offer. Just take a look at the Wikipedia page for molasses. There are a variety of important minerals that molasses supplies. These are especially important for vegans, since minerals and vitamins are spread out among all types of plant foods. We have to be a little more mindful in choosing our food in order to supply our bodies with proper nutrients. I find it kind of fun. It gives me a reason to pay more attention to what I'm eating and what ingredients I'm using!
With molasses supplying iron, magnesium and calcium, it's a bit of a superfood! I decided to let the molasses be the star of my gingerbread, so I did not add any refined sugars. I added some maple syrup for a boost of sweetness and maple flavor, but nothing more! If you feel as though you'd like this bread to be more sweet, try added in some coconut or brown sugar to maintain a warm depth of flavor.
We all know that indulgence his high around this time of year, don't we? ;)
My goal with recipe writing these days is to come up with treats that will appeal as something special and festive while also providing health benefits. I like to think that everything I cook or bake has something to offer my body. This recipe shows just that but also feeds my heart with joy and comfort! ^_^
I hope it does the same for you! <3
Maple Pecan Crunch Gingerbread
Oven 350 F.
Today's post was originally supposed to be a cookie recipe.
Although, since I've been a little cookie-happy lately, I decided to mix it up and make my cookie into a doughnut. It's been awhile since I made doughnuts.
I love baked cake doughnuts. Don't get me wrong, I love (and eat) my fair share of fried yeast and cake doughnuts and I absolutely love it. However, I love to bake (if you couldn't tell!). Baking doughnuts gives them a toasty quality that I secretly miss when I eat a fried doughnut. The two ways of making doughnuts yield such vastly different eating experiences. What I wanted today was a doughnut that really wants to be a cookie, but can't quite figure it out. I think I succeeded.
These doughnuts are faintly pumpkin flavored but I did not put pumpkin pie spice in the batter. I wanted the granola that I sprinkled on top of the doughnuts to be the focus, and it most certainly is! Biting into one is a wonderful experience of soft and crunchy textures working together to delight you.
Did I sell them? ;)
Hearty Granola Doughnuts
Yield: about 5 doughnuts (I used a Wilton pan)
Free of: Gluten, Soy*, Refined Sugar*
*Depends on non-dairy milk and optional powdered sugar garnish
Adapted from: Sweet Freedom Bakery's Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Recipe
Oven 350 F.
This recipe is all about instant gratification! Well, almost instant!
These clusters of deliciousness are quicker and easier than most of the recipes on my blog, so I consider that as instant as I can get. If you forget to make something to take to a holiday function, to a work party, to a friend's birthday, to your own birthday, or any other occasion that warrants snacking, these are the treats for you
Don't worry, I've got your back.
What I love about these snack clusters are their slight sweetness and their vague identity. They have cereal in them, so they could be breakfast. There are also pretzels and popcorn, so that = snack, right?
Fruit and peanut butter is a classic lunch combination.
Chocolate and vanilla together is a classic dessert combo.
So, you've really got all your meals covered for the day with this recipe (minus dinner, but who has time for that?)!
All joking aside, though, these snack clusters are a delicious and slightly healthy way to indulge around the holidays. This is a wonderful recipe to share, give as gifts, or munch on while you do festive activities inside or out!
Change up your dry ingredients for fun times. As I was making these, I started to have a spiritual awakening thinking about all the fun things I could dredge in the peanut butter base.
Here's a short list of what I thought of in those 5 minutes:
I hope I've inspired you to run with your wildest cluster-making dreams!
There are more holiday-themed recipes on the way, so stick around! ;)
Gluten-Free Reindeer Treats
Yield: Approx. 20 clusters
Free from: Gluten
Adapted from: Macrobiotic Rice Crispy Treats from The Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobiotics by Jessica Porter
This recipe is a doozy!
I've attempted to recreate the most NOT VEGAN recipe I've ever eaten!
This casserole/dip/frittata/breakfast bake/brunch thing (I honestly don't know what to call it!) is a recipe from my great Aunt. I remember my mom asking for this recipe after Christmas day brunch at her house. I was young...too young to have even thought about being a vegetarian at the time.
The recipe is titled "Texas Fudge". It's literally everything that isn't vegan all mashed into a baking dish and baked until bubbly. It's absolutely artery-clogging but I remember it being sinfully delicious.
It's not something I would ever be able to stomach now. The thought of meat and cheese together alone grosses me out let alone adding eggs into the mix. I thought, though, what about a vegan version?
Scrambled tofu is one of my favorite things on this earth. Why not?!
This version of Texas Fudge is much healthier. It's not the healthiest thing for a vegan to eat, but it's not bad, relatively speaking. It's high in protein, low in fat and is all homemade. The only thing in this recipe I didn't make was the vegan cheese. Although, if you'd like to substitute the vegan cheese for your own homemade vegan cheese or cheese sauce, I'm sure it would be delicious!
I also added in some onion and spinach to give the dish flavor, color and nutrition! Feel free, again, to substitute the veggies or add more! I bet this would be amazing with a ton of vegetables added in. The combinations are endless. Use this recipe as a base for whatever you're feeling!
This is a great brunch dish for a get together with family and friends. You can serve it any way you want to. It's great with crackers, toast, on a plate, in ramekins, whatever you fancy!
Enjoy and don't feel bad! ^_^
Vegan Texas Fudge
My next holiday baking post is one that could be enjoyed all year round, either as a breakfast accompaniment, a snack or a simple dessert.
I absolutely love coffee cake. When I grew up, I only knew what coffee cake was because of Entenmann's crumb cake. This isn't vegan, of course. It's also highly processed and loaded with stuff I would never eat now.
It did taste good, though!
When I began to bake for myself, I made crumb cakes a few times. They were always delicious, but they got a little ho-hum. So, I tried to spice up my recipes with berries, chocolate and other types of ingredients. I realize now that I haven't made a "special" crumb cake in a long time. I'm well overdue. When I began to think of a cool combination of flavors, I stumbled upon the idea of a carrot coffee cake. Not that unique, right?
Then, I thought, what if I put peanut butter with it?!
I know, it seems like a strange combination. But, if you think about it, eating carrots and peanut butter for a snack is kinda delicious. I actually love peanut butter and carrots together! Why not bake with them and make it interesting?
This coffee cake is moist, slightly sweet, warm and spicy with cinnamon, bright and earthy with carrots and super nutty! It's great as a snack or a quick breakfast. It's also great with...you guessed it. Coffee.
You can also feel good about snacking on this cake because it is made with mostly whole grain flours. Feel free to substitute your own flour blends, but be aware that the texture may change. You may also need to alter the amount of non-dairy milk you add.
I'm definitely suggesting you make this either as a full cake or as individual cupcakes for any holiday breakfasts you might be having. This recipe is quick enough to whip up on the weekend and save for the rest of the week too. Grab 'em and go. Sit and stay. Whatever you want to do, these guys will be there for you. Enjoy! <3
Carrot Coffee Cake with Peanut Butter Streusel
Yield: 10 individual cupcakes or 1 - 9x9 cake
Free from: Soy, Gluten, Nuts*
Preheat oven to 345 F.
I've enjoyed all the previous pumpkin posts (PPP's, if you will), but I wanted to do something different for my Halloween recipe this year. What's a better way to celebrate the holiday that revolves around sugar with the healthiest and most naturally delicious muffins you can make that also happen to resemble a very popular monster? I can't think of anything either. =)
These muffins are easy to whip up and are a great canvas for your favorite jam or preserves. I decided to use blueberry jam that I whipped up quickly on the stove for the filling, but you are welcome to sub it for your favorite fruit. The blueberries give the muffins their "Frankenstein-esque" coloring, though. Blackberries would also be wonderful!
The muffins are a wonderfully vibrant green color, but they are 100% natural! I used spirulina powder to color the batter green. When they came out of the oven, the green had intensified. What an awesome thing! Spirulina is a type of algae that is an awesome superfood supplement. I use it in my green smoothies for the most part. This is my first time ever using it as an ingredient in baking. I'm never going to buy green food coloring again! The spirulina did not impart any flavor into the muffins which was great. I added some maple syrup and orange juice into the batter so that it would balance out any flavor that the spirulina might have. The result was a slightly sweet yet mild-tasting muffin with a hint of tartness from the blueberry jam. It's a perfect breakfast or snack on the go.
Make a batch for your family if you're hanging at home tonight to hand out candy. Or, you can always bring some to a Halloween party. Or, you can always just make a batch for yourself. Bam. Breakfast for the week. ;)
Be safe tonight, everyone! Have a Happy Halloween and enjoy the extra sleep tonight. ^_^
Quick Stove Top Jam
Preheat oven 400 F.
I wasn't going to do another pumpkin post, but I feel kind of obligated to. I should get it out of my system while it's still autumn, right?!
Truth be told, I hate the amount of things that are pumpkin spice "flavored" these days. It's a bit over-kill. The problem is, I have always loved pumpkin! When I was younger, the only things I could get pumpkin flavored were cookies and pie during the holidays. It was such a treat. Now, you can get pumpkin spice coffee literally everywhere from about August to January. It's pumpkin everything.
I still have a love for pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread and pumpkin cookies. I think spiced baked goods with the earthy sweetness of pumpkin are irresistible. I don't like to get these things out, though. I love baking them so much more. The smell of the spices wafting throughout the house is almost as enjoyable as eating whatever is cooking.
If you're like me and love pumpkin but want it quicker than 15-20 minutes, make this recipe! I knew I wanted to make griddle cakes for my next post, but I wasn't sure what flavors to go with. I just knew I wanted something delicious and spicy quickly.
These griddle cakes are minimally sweet so the whipped cream gives a nice sweetness to the entire dish. If you don't want or don't have coconut cream on hand, try maple syrup, agave, vegan honee, coconut sugar or any other sweet thing to drizzle/shake on top. If you prefer nothing on top, that's fine too! You may want to up the amount of coconut sugar you add to the batter, though. Like i said, these are minimally sweet (but still delicious!).
* The batter itself is also oil-free. I did, however, cook mine in extra virgin coconut oil. If you are avoiding oil, I would suggest baking these in the oven on some parchment paper. They may turn out like whoopie pies. I don't know...I didn't try it. But maybe they do? That would be cool. ;)
Pumpkin Espresso Griddle Cakes
Recipe Adapted from: Vegan Dorayaki
Yield: about 5 griddle cakes (double recipe for more than 1-2 people
Free from: gluten, soy, nuts
*Oil-free option (see above)
Whipped coconut cream recipe is here. I simply added some vegan powdered sugar and cinnamon to taste. It was so divine! <3 Save a little extra for topping dessert later. ;)
I also sprinkled some more espresso powder and cinnamon on top. =P
This dessert has bold flavor but is very light and easy on the stomach. Since it's grain free, it doesn't take a lot for your body to digest. The mousse is light yet creamy and the filling is crisp and fruity. I really love that these parfaits are as healthy as you want to make them. If you're feeling more indulgent, throwing some cookie crumbs or pie crust crumbs in there would be absolutely amazing!
Bring these for your next fall get together or make them for date night (by yourself definitely counts!). Cheers to fall and pumpkin everything!
Sugar Free Apple & Pumpkin Parfaits
1-5 servings, depending on the size of serving vessel
Free of: Gluten, Refined Sugar, Soy
What would I take on a vegan road trip?
Macro Bars are my absolute favorite of all vegan packaged energy bars. Believe me. I've tried almost all of them. I've also had my phase with some of the best quality ones out there for the price. A little more than a year ago, I finally decided to commit myself to Macro Bars.
I had tried them in the past and loved them, but always found them to be a bit too pricey for me. However, after buying other brands that barely filled me up or left me with a sugar crash, I decided that paying the extra however many cents was totally worth investing in Macro Bars.
These babies are not only delicious, but they're filling! For a vegan on the go, this is an important quality in a bar. If you can't fill up on one of these in between meals, you will be miserable and starving. I've managed to run 8+ hours on just one of these bars alone. They really are a meal replacement, especially if they contain protein.
I decided to try to create my own Macro Bar at home. The ingredient list is pretty short and simple, which is another reason why I love them. They don't have any artificial fillers, soy isolate, or any preservatives. They're very easy to digest and they come in many different flavors to suit your mood and palate. They even have nut-free flavors for those with allergies! ^_^
Whether you're in the car for short or long periods of time, I think having these in your back seat will be a good comfort. Instead of having to stop at a fast food place and order questionable french fries, you can munch on one of these and be totally satisfied for hours! Plus, they're delicious and kind of taste like a peanut butter cup!
I chose one of my favorite flavors to recreate (and their most popular): Protein Pleasure (peanut butter chocolate chip). It's abolutely delicious, rich and decadent without being too sweet. Sounds like a winner to me! If you have a peanut allergy, definitely sub the peanut butter/peanuts with sunflower butter/seeds. That sounds like it would be just as delicious. You can go ahead and save me one, too. ;)
Homemade Macro Bars
Yield: about 8-10 bars (depending how you cut them)
Free of: Soy*, Gluten, Nut*
*Sub soy-free chocolate chips and seeds/seed butter
Today's Vegan MoFo prompt intersects with another promotion I'm contributing to: Nuts.com is featuring healthy tailgating snacks! This recipe is a big of flavor with a combination of my favorite spices and low sugar, gluten-free, healthy fats that will be your best friend when you need something healthy on the go. I know how frustrating it is being stuck anywhere without something healthy to eat that's readily available. I always try to travel with trail mix or other whole food snacks to satiate my hunger until the next meal. Why not add some amazing fall spices in while you're at it? ;)
The spices I'm featuring today are: caradamom, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and ginger. These spices are always in my pantry at the ready for use in baking, cooking, sprinkling, you name it. I'd probably say that cinnamon is my absolute favorite spice of them all. But, since I've been making a lot of things with just cinnamon in them, I wanted to mix it up a little! I mixed all the spices that I like from masala chai with the addition of allspice, which I love! I like to use allspice in savory dishes sometimes as well, especially in chili, curry, and sometimes pho broth. When I mixed all the spices together and toasted them in the oven, they gave off an amazingly warm aroma that reminded me of the holidays. What a great thing to look forward to! ^_^
I guarantee if you whip these rice and nut clusters out at a game, bring them to a get-together, or give them to a friend as a gift, everyone will be blown away by how amazing they smell. Go ahead and share them with everybody. Spread the healthy love! <3
Spiced Rice & Nut Clusters
Yield: 3-4 cups
Free of: Gluten, Refined Sugar, Soy (You can substitute mixed seeds for the nuts if you need to! It will be just as delicious!)
This is my very first food blog! I post revised conventional recipes of foods that I hold near and dear to my heart. My cooking here is all gluten-free and cruelty-free, but full of flavor and comfort.