I have never been terribly good at making breakfast for breakfast. Some people can whip up eggs on a moment’s notice, frittatas on a whim, biscuits and gravy whenever they feel like it, pancakes three times a week.
I am not one of those people. Breakfast for me is a cup of coffee, then usually either a granola bar and fruit or a green smoothie, which I’ve probably made with my eyes half-shut. Going out for breakfast is always fun, and once in a while I’ll mix it up with some overnight oats or something, but I never have time for anything more elaborate. Plus, I’m really bad at pancakes.
However, it’s fall. I had a weekend morning that was free and a half can of pumpkin puree to use up, plus a brand-new stovetop wafflemaker that we got for our wedding. Pancakes are a mess for me (they always stick, no matter how much butter or oil I use), but waffles are better. And even though I’m not always a fan of the big breakfast, Ben is.
Most important of all, I promised you two weeks of pumpkin recipes! Here’s a delicious, crispy, delicately maple-flavored waffle that also happens to be gluten-free, vegan, and free from refined sugar. Best of all, the pumpkin and extra baking soda act as the egg substitute, eliminating the hassle of making a flax egg. A little cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves add to the festive autumnal flavor. If you’re feeling, like, nuts — you can top these with a tiny bit of pumpkin caramel chai ice cream and some candied pecans for a fall dessert waffle a la mode. Yum.
Pumpkin Spice Waffles
A vegan gluten-free waffle that’s full of fall flavor, not refined sugar. Top with pecans and dried cranberries for breakfast, or ice cream and candied pecans for dessert.
- 1 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup gluten-free flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 2 Tbsp coconut flour
- 2 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- dash of cloves
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil (or other oil)
- In a glass measuring cup, whisk together the almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Set aside for a few moments and let curdle while you prepare the other ingredients.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add pumpkin puree, melted coconut oil, vanilla, and almond milk mixture and stir until the batter is just smooth.
- Cook waffles according to the manufacturer’s instructions on your wafflemaker (mine was on the stovetop; one cup filled it, and after preheating, I cooked each waffle for 1 min, then flipped and cooked for another 2 minutes.
- Serve warm. Enjoy!
I don’t know who came up with pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, but that person was a genius. Sweet, rich chocolate with the nutritional benefits of pumpkin? Yes, please.
These delicious muffins are the best of both worlds. Yeah, they’re vegan and gluten-free (though not Paleo). Yes, they involve flax seed and vitamin-rich pumpkin and applesauce. Yes, they rely on maple syrup and the applesauce for sweetness, meaning they are also mostly free of refined sugar (except the little bit in the dark chocolate).
But they are also muffins that are more like cupcakes than anything else. Chocolate chips stud these babies and, if you eat them warm out of the oven or warm them up before serving, melt all over the place into little bomb of goodness. Totally dessert-worthy but healthy enough that you can enjoy them for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Awesome.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Vegan and gluten-free pumpkin chocolate chip muffins — healthy enough for breakfast, delicious enough for dessert.
- 2 Tbsp ground flax seed
- 6 Tbsp of water
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie mix)
- 1/2 cup applesauce (homemade or unsweetened from the store)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 2/3 cups gluten-free flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Whisk together ground flax seed and water, then place in the fridge for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and either line a muffin tin or grease the cups. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, applesauce, and maple syrup. Add flax mixture, and whisk well to combine.
- Gently stir in flour, baking soda, and baking powder until just incorporated. Gently stir in chocolate.
- Distribute batter among muffin cups, using about 1/4 cup of batter for each. Sprinkle with extra chocolate chips, if desired.
- Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each muffin comes out clean (with maybe some melted chocolate on it). Let cool on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Guess what? It’s finally — finally — pumpkin season for real. The leaves are changing, the nights are freezing (in Idaho, anyway) and the grocery stores are full of giant winter squashes. I ordered a Pumpkin Spice Latte the other day. ‘Tis the season.
I know you guys are excited, too — and that’s why I’m posting two weeks of sweet and savory pumpkin recipes! Because when it’s pumpkin season, I fully believe you should take advantage of that. Throw that stuff in everything. I am.
This vegan cheesecake recipe is not just another pumpkin post, though. This is the vegan cheesecake that made me realize that regular cheesecake is not my favorite. Why would anyone ever eat an overly rich and super-sweet slice of modified cream cheese when they could be eating this incredible goodness?
I finally worked out the kinks in my vegan cheesecake recipe and technique, and the result is a beautifully light (but still substantial) whipped filling made mostly of coconut milk, cashews, and pumpkin with the perfect amount of honey and spices. I actually made an audible oh my god this is so good noise when I ate my first bite of this. And with the pecan-date crust giving that delicious nuttiness with a touch of caramel flavor? Forget about it.
Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
The vegan cheesecake to end all cheesecakes — the one that makes you realize all other cheesecakes, non-vegan as they are, are kind of crap. Enjoy this taste of pure fall.
- 25 pitted dates, soaked in hot water for 10 mins, then drained
- 2 cups of pecans
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups cashews, soaked overnight, drained
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup (or honey, if you’re not vegan)
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- pinch ground cloves
- 1/2 cup of cream from the top of a can of coconut milk
- pinch allspice
- Make your crust: Process dates, pecans and vanilla in a food processor until it begins to come together. Press into a springform pan, and place in freezer.
- Make the filling: Process cashews, pumpkin, and sweetener in a food processor until about as smooth as you can get it, but before it turns into nut butter.
- Add vanilla and spices and pulse a few times to combine. Add in coconut cream and process until smooth, whipped, and the texture of, well, cheesecake. It will be a tiny bit grainy, but it’s not noticeable as you’re eating it.
- Pour filling over prepared crust. Freeze to solidify, then store covered in the fridge for up to a week. Yum.
* To get the cream from the top of a coconut milk can, first find a can of coconut milk that doesn’t make a noise when you shake it. Then, flip the can over and open from the bottom. Carefully drain off the thinner liquid, then scoop the white cream out. You should have about a half cup of cream. Use the extra in coffee 🙂
Today is the one-year anniversary of Almond Butter Binge!
Yep, exactly one year ago today I bought a domain name, posted an awful picture of curried carrot soup (which, actually, tasted incredible). I was looking to be the resource I felt was missing in the blogosphere — a person who doesn’t have $500 to spend on a Vitamix, but who wants to stay healthy and feed her body real food.
It’s summertime. We all know that all you want to eat is a giant bowl of vegetables, and those vegetables better not have touched a heat source at any point (apart from maybe a grill). They should be in season, full of flavor and taste basically like sunshine.
In other words, the standards are high. Luckily, I have just the salad for you.
Are you ready for a confession?
This was not going to be a blog post. Originally, this was something I just made with leftovers from the fridge. I had tomatoes. I had a microwaved ear of corn, half an avocado and basil. And, best of all, I had a brand-new ball of smoked mozzarella that I picked up for another recipe that I was suddenly to hot and tired to make.
I am really, really bad at themed food. The second I try to come up with something to fit a certain holiday or season, every idea I might have had flies straight out of my head. Then, I come up with tangential ideas that only kind of fit the theme and try to make them fit, usually with disastrous results.
But every once in a while, a recipe comes beautifully and gloriously together and happens to fit a perfectly appropriate theme. This salad is a perfect example. The recipe reads like I just threw every superfood at my disposal into a salad bowl and mixed thoroughly; the reality is that the flavors all meld deliciously together, complementing each other in complex and satisfying ways.
Nothing says summer like a Caprese salad. I know, I have talked about my love of the tomato-mozzarella-basil combo a number of times already on this blog, once with my Caprese stuffed mushrooms and once with my risotto Caprese. But now that tomatoes are in season and I’m getting heirlooms from the grocery store, it’s time to revisit this classic.
Here’s the thing: if you try to make a Caprese a meal, you might end up unsatisfied. It’s delicious, but there’s not a whole lot of protein there. Thankfully, adding a little prosciutto to the mix alleviates that, making a yummy summer salad with some staying power.