Happy New Year!
What is my resolution this year? Well, I certainly want to post more often. That was my resolution last year and I definitely succeeded! I'd like to try to top myself this year and try to post even more often. I also want to try to vary my recipes a little more. I did make a lot of cookies this year, by the way. I think it's time to move on. I mean, I'll still make cookies, but just not as many. ^_^'
I usually have a New Year's promise every year to be more healthy. I think I've over done this in the past, however. I tried to be "healthy" by eating more raw foods a couple years ago. I tried to be about 75% raw every day and mostly succeeded. However, my body was not happy. The way I ate was doing a number on my digestive system. I just couldn't handle the amount of raw foods I was eating. I was also eating far too much sugar.
Now that I know what types of foods agree with my body and how much of them to eat, being healthy is a breeze! I haven't felt better in a very long time. I eat what I want for the most part, not too much though, and I drink plenty of water and tea. I use vitamin supplements to keep my health as optimal at possible. I also try to cook simple dishes at home using seasonal ingredients. I try to keep my sugar intake down as much as possible.
That's all I do! I always shake my head when I think about all the time I wasted "dieting" and "cleansing". I felt worse when I wanted to feel better. I think that I've found a way to make things that I want while also making them more healthful and balanced . If you don't consume too much of anything, you won't try to compensate by adding or eliminating anything else! Makes sense, right?
The most flavorful part of these pancakes is the chocolate hazelnut butter drizzle for the top. This is where the bulk of fat and sugar comes from, so use this as much or as little as you'd like to control the sweetness.
I used Justin's chocolate hazelnut butter, which is an all-natural alternative to the very popular yet junky Nutella. Nutella is definitely just frosting that is posing as hazelnut butter. What a strange thing, right?
Well, fear not! If you have a craving for something delicious, creamy and full of chocolate flavor, whip up these pancakes for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert! They're small, so sharing is optional. ;)
Chocolate Hazelnut Pancakes
Yield: approx 6-2" round pancakes
Free of: Gluten, Refined Sugar*
Here's to a healthy and delicious 2016!
The highlight of my Christmas baking has and always will be snickerdoodles.
I absolutely love them. I love them so much, that I made them for my very first blog post!
When I first began baking without eggs or dairy, I thought recreating something as simple as a snickerdoodle (my favorite cookie ever) wouldn't be challenging at all. Boy, was I totally wrong! There's something that eggs do in a snickerdoodle recipe that really makes a difference. The puffy, cakey yet slightly crisp texture sets the snickerdoodle apart from its sugar cookie cousin. Sugar cookies are nice, sure, but they're pretty flat in texture. Even if you add baking powder and soda to your recipe, it doesn't come close to achieving the rise that I expect from a snickerdoodle batter.
Since my discovery of aquafaba, I've been curious to see what its effect on cookies would be. I've used it for the first time in my cookies this year and my goodness. I'm hooked! Aquafaba combined with Ener-G egg replacement powder is the best thing to happen to my cookies since coconut sugar. This combination of binding power and rising agent gives cookies the fluff that I was missing so much.
The best thing about using aquafaba for these cookies is that they stay up! My main issue with making snickerdoodles before was that their rise was great in the oven, but deflated once they cooled. Using aquafaba is wonderful because it maintains the cookie's shape in any temperature. These cookies freeze beautifully, too. Feel free to make these ahead of time if you are busy. I totally did that and no one knew! ;)
The greatest thing about this recipe is that it's derived from the recipe that I know and love from my childhood. My grandma used to make these with my sister and I when we were little. I looked forward to it every Christmas. The ones we made were not gluten-free, but the ones I have for you today are!
This recipe does hold up to it's gluten-containing counterpart. I tested the batter by using unbleached all-purpose flour in place of the gluten-free flours (sub 1 for 1) and it's great! The texture changes slightly, but not in a bad way. The gluten-free variation is actually a little more on the moist side, which isn't a bad thing at all!. The gluten-containing version is a little more sturdy and not as soft. Either way, they are absolutely delicious and simple to make.
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! New Year's is right around the corner, too, so maybe make these little guys for any shin-dig you may attend/host! They're definitely a crowd pleasing cookie. From my kitchen to yours, Happy New Year! <3 ^_^
Oven 375 F.
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.
Well, it's that time in December where I go baking crazy (as if I wasn't already!). I'm beginning the cookie and cake bonanza with these delicious little oatmeal cookies. They're made from a recipe that I have veganized and made gluten-free from my favorite Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. It yields a delicate cake-like cookie that is also full of texture! I threw both rolled oats and granola into these cookies to make them a little crunchy while also being melt=in-your-mouth soft.
You can mix up the spices (or omit) that you throw into the batter if you wish. I used ginger and nutmeg to give them a bit of a bright flavor that most oatmeal cookies do not have. Usually, an oatmeal raisin cookie, while delicious, remains stuck in the cinnamon flavor profile. I love ginger because of its bright and refreshing taste. I paired it with the sweet tartness of dried cranberries (I also love their jewel red color!). What a great surprise for anyone who goes in for a cookie, right?
These cookies are easy to whip up and do not require rolling. If you need something to give quickly as a gift, bring to a party, or just need to satisfy your cookie craving, these are the best! I attempted to make mine a little more healthful by subbing sugar for low-GI coconut sugar and added in some buckwheat flour, which is full of protein. You're gonna need your strength to get through all the hustle and bustle of the next few weeks. Let these little cookies help you out. ;)
Ginger Oatmeal Crunch Cookies
Yield: about 24 cookies (approx. 1 Tb batter each)
Free of: Gluten, Soy*, Refined Sugar
*depending on non-dairy milk choice
Adapted from: Better Homes and Gardens
Oven 375 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 post is also a no bake cookie! Well, actually, this treat is more like a fudge or no bake doughnut hole in texture. It's got a ton of delicious chocolate chip cookie flavor inside AND out, though!
That's right. It's a chocolate chip cookie dough fudge bite covered in a chocolate chip cookie coating. What more could you want? It's also kinda healthy, too. Holiday win.
I thought of this recipe when I thought to myself, "A chocolate chip cookie dough ball would be fantastic right now." There is the whole process of making cookie dough that I didn't want to partake in at the moment, however. Instead, I decided to bite the bullet and do it. But, I made my life easier and just threw everything in the food processor. What a great idea!
These cookie dough fudge balls come together pretty quickly, so feel free to double or triple the recipe to feed more friends. These travel well, too. They're oil-free, low in sugar, and gluten-free too! I used chickpea flour in them to boost the protein content and to give them a nice toasty color. If you don't like the chickpea flavor the flour imparts, just swap out a different flour! Whichever you prefer, really.
Also, feel free to use any chocolate chip you like. I use dairy-free chocolate, but there are varieties out there that are soy-free if you need.
I'm on a roll with these no bake cookie recipes! I promise I'll give you some baked ones, too...it's rare that I don't bake during this time of year, but it's nice to switch it up! ^_^
Yield: about 7 bites, depending on the size
Free from: Gluten, Oil*
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
I've spent many a Thanksgiving wondering what to bake for a savory side to soak up excess mushroom gravy. I always make something different every year. I usually rotate between biscuits, cornbread, rolls, or mini croissants. This year I decided to make a bit of it all (well, maybe not including the croissant part! ^_^').
These muffins that I made are more like a biscuit-muffin hybrid with a little bit of scone mixed in... That makes sense, right?
They are savory with a buttery sweetness and a slight yet not over=powdering olive oil flavor. I added butternut squash for a light sweetness to round out the flavors. I also threw some dried and fresh sage into the batter for a festive herbaceous aroma. I rarely cook with sage so these were such a treat!
Serve them piping hot from the oven! They only take 15 minutes to cook and they would probably do wonderfully slathered in a savory jam or vegan butter. Go wild and enjoy your muffin-biscuit-scones...Bisconfits? I don't know.
Butternut & Sage Olive Oil Muffins
Yield: 24 muffins
Free from: Soy, Gluten, Refined Sugar
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
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.
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.