It is apple picking season and you know what that means, an abundance of apples! If you're like us there is no such thing as self control when there are so many varieties of fresh from the tree, local apples to choose from. With that being said, we have to get creative in ways to use all these apples. Apple slices with nut butter will always be a favorite but we love finding new and exciting ways to enjoy this fabulous fall fruit. It's also interesting how different varieties lend themselves to different types of recipes depending on their flavor profile. For this recipe (which is also a unique use of oatmeal might we add), a tart apple variety worked perfect for the bottom of the bake and a sweeter apple for the raw slices on top. So pick your favorites and let's get to it!
Baked Apple Oatmeal
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 90 minutes
2 1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened toasted shaved coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp ground flax seeds mixed with 4 Tbsp water + 2 Tbsp ginger juice)
1 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla soy milk (or milk alternative of your choice)
1/2 cup no sugar added apple sauce
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp melted coconut oil + 1 tsp to oil the pan
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large tart apples, chopped into 1"x 1" pieces (~3 cups)
1 small sweet apple, sliced thin (optional topping)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 9"X9" glass pan with coconut oil. Wash and chop apples into 1"x1" squares and place in the bottom of the prepared pan.
In a large bowl combine oats, toasted coconut, chopped walnuts, ground cinnamon, and baking powder then mix well until combined.
In a separate bowl whisk flax seeds with water and ginger juice and let sit for about 5 minutes or until gelatinous. Add soy milk, apple sauce, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract to the flax seed eggs and whisk until combined. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until combined. Spread oatmeal mixture over the chopped apples making sure they are fully covered. Place pan in preheated oven and bake for 60 minutes. Remove oatmeal from the oven, allow to set and slightly cool for ~5 minutes. Layer top with apple slices if desired and enjoy!
Oatmeal is great by itself, on top of yogurt or ice cream, or in a bowl with additional milk. Leftover oatmeal can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge and reheated in the microwave for 60 seconds or placed back in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Oatmeal will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Though this recipe may look unassuming, it tastes SO good. The warm baked apples meld perfectly with the hearty oatmeal and finish with a fresh crunch of sweet apple topping. Can be enjoyed for breakfast/brunch though may be best enjoyed over vanilla ice cream for dessert (wink, wink).
Any way you choose - enjoy,
Jess and Cecelia
The school year is back in full swing which means, for many, a change in schedules very different from the lazy days of summer. For those of you finding the adjustment difficult - this recipe is for you! A delicious breakfast drink combining protein, natural sugar, and your morning dose of caffeine. Perfect for the hectic days where time is too precious to be making separate breakfast and coffee (we get it).
Sweet and Creamy Cold Brew Smoothie
PREP TIME: 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 5 minutes
Servings: one 8 oz smoothie
6 oz unflavored cold brew coffee, homemade or store bought
1 Tbsp cashew butter
2 medjool dates
1/4 vanilla bean or 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
In a high speed blender combine cold brew, cashew butter, dates, and vanilla and blend on high speed for 30-60 seconds. Add blender contents to a drink shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously to chill the smoothie then pour
through a strainer into a glass. Sip chilled smoothie and enjoy!
We hope this recipe makes your busy days just a little bit easier. The creamy texture combined with sweet coffee flavor may make this a recipe you enjoy on more that just your busy days - it's that good.
Jess and Cecelia
For you tea lovers out there, this post is for you. We've got a recipe to enjoy tea (green tea powder to be exact) in muffin form and with hot or iced tea on the side if you like! Though any tea can be adapted to culinary uses, one of our favorites to experiment with is matcha powder. The bright color and flavor profile are just so unique and fun - we hope you think so too once you learn more. Read on!
A few years ago (boy time flies!) we introduced matcha with this post. Take a look back for the fun facts we shared then. Now matcha is back but in a much different recipe. Though matcha is powdered green tea leaves and perfect for making tea beverages, it can also be incorporated into baked goods for an interesting twist! Some matcha powder is sweetened and can provide sweetness to your recipe and all is green and can bring an interesting pop of color if used in the right amounts. For the color to really show, enough matcha powder needs to be used and combined with other lighter colored ingredients so as not to overshine the light green matcha powder. Flavor wise, we think matcha has a fresh, bright, somewhat grassy taste (but in a really good way, promise!). If you are skeptical then you'll just have to try for yourself, matcha has been somewhat of a food craze lately and becoming more and more available in beverages and food products. And remember, when consuming matcha you are getting the benefits of green tea (think antioxidants) in a higher dose than traditional steeped tea because you are consuming the whole tea leaf. Finally, a note on caffeine content which is much less in matcha than coffee though matcha is considered a mild stimulant. Caffeine in the form of whole tea leaves is believed to metabolize slower and provide more sustained energy as compared to the typical jolt and crash some may experience with highly caffeinated coffee beverages. But today we are making matcha muffins and it's time to get to it!
Coconut Crumb Matcha Muffins
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 55-60 minutes
Servings: 6 large muffins
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup coconut sugar
3 Tbsp coconut butter, melted
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
3 Tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
3 Tbsp hemp seeds
1/8 tsp sea salt
2-3 tsp matcha powder, sprinkled over the top of each muffin once cooled
2-3 tsp powdered sugar, sprinkled over the top of each muffin once cooled
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt + 3 Tbsp
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cane sugar
3 Tbsp unsweetened matcha powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp coconut oil, softened
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large muffin pan with 6 large liners, or lightly oil with coconut oil to prevent muffins from sticking to the pan.
To make the crumb topping, melt coconut butter and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl. Add flour, coconut sugar, coconut flakes, hemp seeds and sea salt to the melted butter and oil then stir to combine. Place mixture in the fridge to cool while you prepare the muffin batter.
To make the muffin batter add the yogurt, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla in a bowl and whisk to combine. Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, matcha powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add softened coconut oil and half of the yogurt to the standing mixer and mix on medium speed for about 20 seconds. Add the remaining yogurt and continue to mix for 10 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrap down the sides of the bowl then continue to mix for an additional 10 seconds to fully incorporate all ingredients.
Remove crumb topping from the fridge and use your hands to gently break mixture into big crumbs. Fill each muffin liner 2/3 full with batter then sprinkle crumb mixture over the top of each muffin. Continue this process until all 6 muffin liners have been filled. Place pan in a preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool to room temperature then sprinkle with powdered sugar and additional matcha powder. These muffins are best served the same day, however will keep at room temperature for an additional day or two.
These muffins are picture perfect and taste even better than they look. They have the perfect cake-like texture with a light sweetness and gentle matcha flavor. The crumb topping adds some additional sweetness, a little salt, and hints of coconut. All together, a unique blend of colors and flavors to excite your eyes and palate. Remember, this recipe is for jumbo muffins that can easily be split and/or shared with friends and family. Now everyone can have their tea, and eat it too!
Jess and Cecelia
March has been a month to remember here at TGBK. We've had the best time celebrating National Nutrition Month by teaming up with Navitas Organics as Insiders of the Month and sharing recipes featuring their superfood products. Maca has been one of this month's highlighted superfoods and by now we hope you've given it a try. If not, it's definitely time to get some maca in your pantry! Like other superfoods, the benefits one might experience from maca in the diet are based on consistency - we suggest about a tablespoon of maca daily. Maca can simply be added to yogurt, smoothies, and drinks or incorporated into recipes to make things more interesting and fun. And that's where we come in! We've been filling the blog this month with maca packed recipes and decided to finish up with an oldie but goodie. We created this recipe for Magical Maca Maple Granola over year ago but are still enjoying it frequently in our recipe rotation. We love this granola over yogurt, handfuls as a snack, or simply with homemade nut milk. It's definitely a delicious way to add maca to your diet. If you don't already have this recipe printed and posted on your fridge (wink, wink), we've provided it for you again. Enjoy!
Magical Maca Maple Granola
PREP TIME: 15 mins
TOTAL TIME: 45 mins
Servings: 18-24 quarter cup servings (note that granola is quite rich and best eaten in small portions or as a crunchy topping)
2 cups thick rolled oats
1 cup rolled barley*
1 cup rolled rye*
1/4 cup oat bran
1/4 cup Navitas Organics maca powder
1/4 cup ground flax meal
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups Navitas Organics cashew nuts
1/4 cup Navitas Organics hemp seeds
1/8 cup unbleached, white sesame seeds*
1/2 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup Navitas Organics coconut sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 vanilla bean pod (insides scraped out) or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, barley, rye, oat bran, maca, flax, salt, cashews, hemp, and sesame seeds.
In a sauce pan, combine coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and vanilla. Turn burner on to medium heat and stir until the oil has melted and sugar has dissolved. Pour warm oil and sugar mixture over dry ingredients and stir until evenly covered. Add 1/4 cup water to the mixture and stir to combine.
Evenly spread mixture onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until granola is golden brown. Let sit until cooled. Using a large spoon, break granola into large chunks. Place granola back into the oven and continue cooking for an additional 7-10 minutes. Make sure to stir granola at least once while cooking. Allow granola to completely cool before storing in an air tight container. Adding granola to the container before it has completely cooled will add moisture and soften the granola.
*Note that you can use 4 cups of rolled oats and omit rolled barley and rye which may be more difficult to find. Hemp seeds and sesame seeds can also be used interchangeably, just keep the total amount the same (~2/3 cup).
Well friends, that should do it for our maca-filled month. We hope you've had as much fun as we did and have started your own experiments with Navitas products. The nutrient quality of your food and brands you support with food purchases DOES matter. Your body will thank you and your money can be well spent - now is the time to put ideals into practice.
Go for it!
Jess and Cecelia
We've had an exciting day taking over Navitas Organics' Instagram page with our favorite superfood packed recipes. From start to finish it has been a delicious and nutritious day. If you missed us on Instagram, no worries! Read on to find out more about what we've been up to.
We tend to like a little sweetness in the morning and this recipe did the trick! Inspired by a previous TGBK favorite for our Snack Attack Bars (recipe here), this time around we took a superfood spin and packed these bars with amazing Navitas products. The outcome was fabulous, most impressive being the velvety mouth-feel from the homemade white chocolate made with organic cacao butter. We almost can't imagine starting a morning without these bars now.
Superfood Snack Attack Bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes (includes cooling)
Servings: 8 bars
1 1/2 cup puffed amaranth
1 cup puffed millet
1/2 cup honey (we used clover honey, pure maple syrup would also work)
1/4 cup unsweetened cashew butter
1/4 cup Navitas Organics cacao butter, melted
1/4 cup Navitas Organics goji berries, chopped
1 Tbsp Navitas Organics maca powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup Navitas Organics cacao butter
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp organic powdered sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, inside seeds scraped out (1 tsp pure vanilla extract will also work)
1 Tbsp Navitas Organics chia seeds
2 Tbsp Navitas Organics hemp seeds
Prepare a 8" X 8" pan with a sheet of parchment paper overlapping two sides for easy removal of bars once set. Combine the puffed grains, goji berries, maca powder and sea salt in a large bowl then set aside.
In a small sauce pan combine the honey, cashew butter, and 1/4 cup cacao butter. Heat mixture over low heat, stirring constantly until fully melted. Turn the heat off, allow to slightly cool, and slowly pour mixture into the bowl with the puffed grains. Stir until puffed grains are evenly coated. Pour mixture into prepared pan and press down using a small sheet of parchment paper (easier and less messy on your hands) until firm and level. Now begin the white chocolate topping.
To make the topping add 1/2 cup cacao butter and coconut oil to a double boiler set to medium heat. Stir mixture until fully melted. You could also do this in the microwave in 10 second increments, however watch closely to avoid overheating. Remove from the heat and stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla bean until fully incorporated. Allow chocolate to cool and thicken up slightly either in the fridge for 10 minutes or at room temperature for 20-25 minutes. Wait until the chocolate has thickened and almost solidified to spread a thin layer over the top of the puffed grains using the back of a spoon to cover evenly. Sprinkle chia and hemp seeds over the white chocolate then place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes or until the white chocolate topping has set. Cut bars into 8 equal pieces. Store any leftover bars in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Midday, we threw it back to our past recipe for High Protein Hemp Hummus (here). A high protein dip, like this hummus, is a great addition to sandwiches, wraps, salads, and simply as a dip with veggies or crackers with lunch to keep you full and satisfied all afternoon. And if you remember from our past post, hemp is a fabulous source of plant based protein. Hemp protein contains all the essential amino acids that our bodies can't produce making it a source of complete protein - rare for plant foods! Hemp also contains an ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats and is a good source of omega-3 fats which are generally lacking compared to omega-6 fats in our modern diets. With so much benefit, there honestly isn't a good reason not to start adding more hemp into your diet.
Towards the late afternoon we needed a bit of pick me up to finish out our busy day of recipe development. We reached for one of our favorite superfood berries, goldenberries, and created something pretty special. Paired with green iced tea, honey, lemon, ginger juice, and pomegranate powder, this is a superfood packed and slightly caffeinated beverage that will give you a boost of energy and nourishment when it's needed most. Just returning from a trip from Peru, Cecelia heard these native berries called Incan berries during her travels which makes them seem even more special, doesn't it?
Goldenberry Green Iced Tea
Prep Time: 10 minutes + 8 hours soaking time
Total Time: 10 minutes + 8 hours soaking time
Servings: 2, 14 ounce teas
3 cups unsweetened green iced tea (using 2 standard size tea bags)
1/4 cup Navitas Organics dried goldenberries, soaked for 8 hours or overnight in room temperature water
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp ginger juice or 1" knob of peeled ginger
1 Tbsp Navitas Organics pomegranate powder (optional)
2 tsp honey (we used tupelo honey, light clover honey would also work)
Sliced lemon rounds (optional)
In a bowl fitting with a lid or plastic wrap, soak the goldenberries in room temperature water for at least 8 hours or overnight. Combine 2 standard green tea bags with 8 ounces of hot water. Allow tea to steep for 3-5 minutes then remove tea bags and add 16 ounces of cold water to the concentrated tea. Once berries are done soaking strain them through a fine mesh strainer then add to a high speed blender (Vitamix or Blendtec work best for this recipe). Add cooled green tea, lemon juice, ginger juice, pomegranate powder, and honey. Blend on high for 3 minutes or until the berries are completely broken up and the mixture is liquefied. Pour over ice, add sliced lemon rounds and enjoy! Any leftover tea should be stored in the fridge in an air tight jar for up to 24 hours.
There are so many warm and fuzzy feelings to describe the way we feel this time of year when sharing and spending time with friends and family. To put it simply, special. There are just so many things we love about the holiday season that we sure do miss when the time has come and gone. And for such a special season we just had to share a special recipe. This recipe is one of Jess's favorites that she often shares at special gatherings or gives as gifts. You might say she is even famous for this sought after recipe! Though it may look somehwat unassuming, after one bite you will realize that this is the best cinnamon bread you've ever tasted. We will get straight into the recipe this week so that you have time to add this to your holiday baking que.
Sinful Cinnamon Bread
Adapted from Dave's Killer Bread Sin Dawgs recipe
PREP TIME: 1 hour 40 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: Recipe makes 3 ~12" loaves
1 1/4 cup spelt flour (whole wheat flour will also work)
3 Tbsp coconut sugar (cane sugar will aso work)
1 Tbsp gound flax seeds
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 Tbsp rolled oats
2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
3 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 Tbsp molasses
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp spelt flour (whole wheat flour will also work)
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup water (reserve soaking water from raisins and walnuts)
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp ground flax seeds
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp water
1 cup coconut sugar (cane sugar will also work)
2 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
3 Tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp vanilla
4 Tbsp rolled oats
2 Tbsp hemp seeds
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 tsp chia seeds
2 tsp ground flax seeds
In a bowl of a standing mixer (or with a hand-held electric mixer) combine the sponge ingredients starting with the dry ingredients and add in the wet ingredients. Mix on low until mixture comes together. Cover bowl with a clean cloth and let sit for 30-60 minutes.
In a bowl combine the raisins and walnuts and cover with warm water then allow to soak for 5-10 minutes while you start preparing the dough. Reserve 2/3 cup water to use for the dough.
To make the dough add the remaining flour, salt, 2/3 cup soaking water, and cinnamon to the sponge mixture and mix on medium-high speed (or knead by hand) for 10 minutes or until dough pulls away from the bowl and has a smooth texture. Add the soaked raisins and walnuts to the dough and continue mixing adding in 1 Tbsp of additional flour as needed. The final dough should be smooth, elastic, and should not stick to your hands. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and divide into 3 equal pieces. Allow dough to rest while you make the filling.
To make the filling combine the coconut sugar, melted coconut oil, molasses, ground flax seeds, water, cinnamon, vanilla, and coconut flour. Mix until fully combined.
Lightly dust a piece of parchment paper or a reusable baking mat with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll each dough ball out into a rectangle about 1/4" thick. Evenly spread 1/3 of filling mixture on top of dough, making sure to get as close to the edges as possible. Starting with the short end, roll dough into a cylinder. Repeat this step until all 3 loaves are made.
Combine topping ingredients (rolled oats, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and ground flax seeds) on a large plate and set aside. Using a pastry brush, carefully brush water on all sides of each loaf then roll loaf in topping mixture. The water helps the seeds adhere to the loaves. Place each loaf side by side on a parchment lined baking sheet . Cover the loaves with a clean cloth and allow to rise for 30 minutes or so. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Bake the loaves in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until slightly browned. Allow the bread to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Store cinnamon bread in an air tight container for up to 5 days. We have also found out that baked, uncut loaves store well in the freezer, just make sure to completly thaw out and rewarm in a 350 degree preheated oven for 7-10 minutes prior to serving.
We highly recommend eating this bread warm out of the oven slathered with butter of choice (this bread is vegan so maybe coconut butter) and your favorite warm beverage. The explosion of gooey cinnamon with each bite is something that just can't be explained and has to be tasted. We hope this recipe is a gift you enjoy this holiday season and share with others that you love. As we spend time with our loved ones we will be taking a break from new posts until the New Year but have lots in store for our loyal TGBK followers then.
Happiest of holiday and see you in 2017,
Jess and Cecelia
With the silly and spooky holiday of Halloween upon us we got to thinking about the trick or treat tradition. Why does it have to be one or the other? Why can't we enjoy both a trick and a treat? So what the heck are we talking about? Foods that seem like treats can provide more than just sugar, fat, and a treat for our taste buds - they can be nourishing too! And we've got a few tricks up our sleeve. Let's find out more.
These muffins are not just chocolatey goodness but a whole lot more. We've packed in shredded vegetables (carrots) and vegetable juice (again carrot) in a subtle way that definitely doesn't make you feel like you're eating a vegetable muffin. Not just that, these muffins also contain omega 3 from flax seeds for healthy fat, chick pea flour for additional protein, chia seeds for added fiber, carrots for beta-carotene, and dark chocolate (100% cocoa) for antioxidants. WOW! What a muffin. Each jumbo muffin contains ~6 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein. Now that's a breakfast muffin that will keep you going, and going, and going!
Triple Chocolate Carrot Muffins
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 30-35 minutes
Servings: 6 jumbo muffins, or 12 standard muffins
1 cup shredded carrots, about 2 medium carrots
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup gram flour (chickpea flour)
1/3 cup cacao powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup dark honey (pure maple syrup would also work)
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tsp pure vanilla extract (inside of 1 vanilla bean would also work)
2 Tbsp ground flax seeds
1/4 cup carrot juice + 6 Tbsp to mix with ground flax seed (fresh or store bought juice will both work)
1/2 cup labneh (a Middle Eastern strained yogurt though full fat Greek or Icelandic yogurt would also work)
3 oz 100% cocoa, shaved
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
2 Tbsp chia seeds + 1 Tbsp reserved to sprinkle on the top of each muffin
1/4 cup pepitas to sprinkle on the top of each muffin
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with 6 jumbo, or 12 regular muffin liners or lightly grease with coconut oil and set pan aside. Finely grate carrots into a clean dish towel or a double lined piece of cheese cloth. Carefully pick up cloth with grated carrots inside and squeeze until carrots are noticeably dry and juice has separated. You should end up with at least 3-4 Tbsp carrot juice. Make sure to reserve this carrot juice for use later in the recipe. Note, you will need additional carrot juice which can be freshly juiced or store bought.
Combine 2 Tbsp ground flax seeds with 6 Tbsp carrot juice and mix with a fork until combined. Sift together the whole wheat flour, gram flour, cacao powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside. In another bowl, combine the honey, coconut oil, vanilla extract, flax seed carrot mixture, labneh, and remaining carrot juice and whisk until fully combined. Add the shredded carrots and the wet ingredients into the to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Avoid over mixing the batter. Add the shaved cocoa, chocolate chips, and 2 Tbsp chia seeds to the batter and again stir to combine and avoid over mixing.
Divide the batter evenly into each prepared muffin tin. Top each muffin with additional chia seeds and pepitas. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Serve warm or allow to cool then place in an air tight container for up to 3 days.
Aren't we right? It should be trick AND treat! These muffins are light and fluffy but densely chocolatey. They are the perfect amount of sweet and have a subtle sense of wholesomeness about them that we just know you'll enjoy. Share one of these with a friend with a side of carrot juice for a festive Halloween treat. You may even see us handing these out to trick and treaters, just maybe!
Jess and Cecelia
With the coming of October it is truly starting to feel like fall. We are known to boycott all things fall (and pumpkin flavored) until summer is truly over, but now the season is here! The time for pumpkin is in full swing - from festive home decor to pumpkin flavored foods and beverages, there are just so many ways to enjoy this gorgeous bright orange squash. Our recipe this week is a great example of how pumpkin can spice up your fall cuisine. But first, more on pumpkin!
Pumpkin is a variety of squash though has more non-edible uses than any other squash we know (jack-o-lanterns anyone!). When being used in the kitchen smaller pumpkins, named "sugar" or "pie pumpkins", should be chosen because of their firm sweet flesh instead of the large pumpkins better suited for carving. Canned pumpkin puree is easy and readily available this time of year but making from scratch is pretty simple and more festive. Simply cut, roast, scoop and puree the pumpkin flesh until smooth. As far as taste, pumpkin alone is pretty mild and lightly sweet. When people crave the classic pumpkin "taste" they are likely thinking of pumpkin pie spice which is a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and sometimes lemon peel. So if you are making something with pumpkin puree and the taste isn't the way you want it, we suggest adding these spices (or a pre-made spice blend) to your liking. As far as nutritional value, pumpkin is high in fiber, low in carbohydrate and total calories, and loaded with vitamin A. Oh and don't forget the seeds! Packed with fiber, protein, healthy fats, minerals, and of course great taste. Seeds can be separated from the flesh and roasted to enjoy as a festive snack during pumpkin season. Our recipes below will guide you in detail through pumpkin preparation!
Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats
PREP TIME: 1 hour 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 10 minutes
2 cups pureed pumpkin (homemade or canned pumpkin would also work)
2 cups water
1 cup steel cut oats
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened soy milk or other milk of your choice + 2 Tbsp maple syrup
¼ cup pepitas or homemade roasted seeds (1 Tbsp per bowl)
Caramelized Maple Pears with Hemp Seeds
2 cups diced pears
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp hemp seeds
Pinch of sea salt
To make pumpkin puree first preheat oven to 350 degrees. Carefully cut pie pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and set aside. Place pumpkin flat side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 35-45 minutes or until soft. Allow pumpkin to cool prior to scooping out the “meat”. To make simple pumpkin puree, blend in a blender or food processor until smooth. For pumpkin oatmeal recipe add 2 cups cooked pumpkin, 2 cups water, and 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon to a blender and blend on high until smooth. This is your pumpkin water used to cook the oatmeal.
To prepare oatmeal, add spiced pumpkin water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup steel cup oats to the boiling pumpkin water, leave uncovered, and reduced to a simmer. Continue cooking for 30-35 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and oats are soft. While the oatmeal is cooking, dice pears and add to a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add 2 Tbsp maple syrup, 2 Tbsp hemp seed, and a pinch of sea salt then stir to combine. Continue cooking pears making sure to stir often until soft and edges are lightly golden, ~5-7 minutes. Ladle oatmeal into a bowl, add a swirl of sweetened milk, caramelized pears, pepitas, and an optional drizzle of maple syrup if desired. Serve warm. Leftover oatmeal can be kept in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. When ready to eat add milk, pears, and pepitas and either warm in the microwave or on the stove top.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 25 minutes
Serving: Depends on how many seeds your pumpkin had! A small pie pumpkin will generally have ¼- ½ cup seeds
1 Tbsp oil for every 1/2 cup seeds
1/4 tsp sea salt for every 1/2 cup seeds
To make roasted pumpkin seeds first rinse seeds and allow to fully dry. Tossing seeds in a clean kitchen towel or paper towel can speed up the drying process. Add 1-2 Tbsp oil (we choose ghee) and sea salt or other flavorings of your choice. Mix with hands to make sure seeds are evenly covered in oil and seasoning. Roast in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden and crunchy. Make sure to stir the seeds mid-way through cooking time and watch the seeds the last couple of minutes as they can burn fast. Allow seeds to cool to room temperature then store in an air tight container. Seeds will keep for 1-2 weeks or longer if kept in the fridge.
Welcome pumpkin into our hearts and bellies. This oatmeal is so comforting and satisfying on a crisp fall morning. The spiced pumpkin with maple syrup, soft candied pears, and crunchy seeds combine wonderfully to showcase pumpkin for this fall dish. We hope we've inspired you to get creative with pumpkin in the kitchen this month and can't wait to see what you create. Please share!
Jess and Cecelia
Real talk, being hangry (hungry + angry) is just no fun. We make an effort to always have satiating snacks on hand but watch out if we forget and go a little too long without food, just ask our significant others! If you can relate, or if you just love a satisfying snack, this post is for you. In a bite these bars will eliminate hangry from your vocabulary, if it is even a word to begin with?
Nuts and seeds can be thanked for the satiating quality of these bars. Nuts and seeds not only contain heart healthy fats but are also are a good source of protein and fiber, all of which are necessary to keep you feeling full and satisfied until your next meal. About 50% of the fat content in cashews comes from monounsaturated fat, a healthy fat that can help lower LDL (or bad cholesterol) in your blood. While we are on the topic of healthy fats, sesame seeds are known to help reduce cholesterol levels given their high content of cholesterol lowering phytosterols. All nuts and seeds contain protein, however, hemp seeds are in a class of their own. Hemp seeds are one of the very few plant proteins containing all the essential amino acids. A 3 tablespoon serving of hemp seeds contains a whopping 10 grams of plant based protein! The fiber found in seeds, specifically chia and flax seeds, is high in soluble fiber which also aids in hunger control. In the recipe listed below, if cut into 12 equal sized bars, each contains ~4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein to keep you full and satisfied. As you can probably tell, we could go on and on about the endless benefits of nuts and seeds but would rather get to the recipe now!
Seeduction Apple Bars
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 55-60 minutes (includes cooking time)
Servings: 10-12 bars
Recipe inspired by Half Baked Harvest Blog
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup dried unsweetened apple slices, diced
4 Tbsp sesame seeds (we used 2 Tbsp white and 2 Tbsp black sesame seeds)
2 Tbsp chia seeds
3 Tbsp flax seeds
2 Tbsp hemp seeds
1/4 cup cooked quinoa (could also use cooked steel cut oats)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (could also use honey)
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
White Chocolate Dip
8 oz white chocolate chips (We used Ghirardelli white chocolate chips. Look for white chocolate without any artificial flavorings)
1 vanilla bean (inside scraped out)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees then lightly oil an 8x8" pan with coconut oil and line with pre-fitted parchment paper. Make sure to let the parchment paper hang over on two of the four sides to easily remove bars from pan once cooked and cooled. Using a separate large baking sheet place cashews, coconut flakes, sesame, chia, flax, and hemp seeds in a thin layer making sure to keep them separated. Lightly toast for 10 minutes stirring once for even toasting. Remove from the oven to cool.
Cook quinoa according to package directions and set 1/4 cup aside. Set aside 1 Tbsp sesame seeds, 1 Tbsp chia seeds, 1 Tbsp flax seeds, and 1 Tbsp hemp seeds for later use. In a food processor or a blender, add toasted cashews, coconut flakes, dried apples, remainder of seeds and cooked quinoa. Process until a small pebble sand-like texture is formed. Add in the maple syrup, coconut oil, salt, and cinnamon. Process just until the mixture comes together, making sure to avoid over processing. Press dough into prepared pan, sprinkle reserved seeds over the top of the dough and lightly press down using a piece of wax paper to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands. Bake in a preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow bars to cool before removing from the pan then carefully cut into 10-12 evenly shaped bars (shape of your choice). Place bars on a wax paper lined baking sheet and set in the fridge to chill.
Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave safe glass bowl in increments of 10 seconds stirring between each to prevent the chocolate from burning. Stir the cinnamon and the inside of vanilla bean into the melted chocolate. Carefully dip the bottom of chilled bars in melted chocolate then place on prepared wax paper lined baking sheet. Repeat until all bars are dipped in chocolate. Place back in the fridge to set. Bars can be eaten at room temperature or chilled right from the fridge. Store in an air thight container for 3-5 days in the fridge.....if they last that long!
So, are we right or what? No more hangry here. These bars keep us satisfied for a good 4 hours as a quick breakfast or yummy snack. Their texture is soft and chewy and the flavor rich and sweet with hints of apple and cinnamon. And such a perfect use for white chocolate with the hearty nuts and seeds balancing white chocolate's almost extreme sweetness. Feel free to pass this recipe along to anyone else you know that may get hangry now and again, they and you will be glad you did!
Jess and Cecelia
Let's face it, sometimes mornings can be hard. One thing that helps us get up and going is knowing that delicious foods await us (such dietitians!), and what could be a better treat on a tough morning than a fresh blueberry scone? If you're wondering, yes, these scones do qualify as a nutritious breakfast. Made with a blend of whole grain flours, fresh berries, and two type of goat milk products these treats are enjoyable and dietitian approved. But why did we choose goat milk for this recipe? Let's find out!
So what is the deal with goat milk and goat milk products anyway? Is goat milk really different from cow's milk? Though similar in many ways, goat milk does have some significant nutritional differences and we believe, benefits. For starters, goat milk is easier to digest, with digestion being a common concern with dairy products. The fat globules in goat milk are smaller than cow's milk allowing for easier digestion. Also for this reason, goat milk does not require homogenization as cow's milk does. Homogenization is the process of breaking down fat molecules so that the mixture will will resist separation, and is basically one more step in processing that goat milk does not require. But back to digestion, goat milk also contains slightly less lactose than cow's milk making it a better alternative for those sensitive to lactose. Additionally, goat milk contains a higher percentage of fat from medium chain triglycerides which compared to long and short chain triglycerides are absorbed faster, used more effectively for energy, and are less likely to be stored in the body. As if all this wasn't enough, goat milk may even be more tolerable then cow's milk for people with milk protein sensitivity or intolerance. This is because goat milk only contains a trace amount of an allergic casein protein, alpha-S1, found in cow's milk. However, goat milk does contain similar levels to cow's milk of other allergenic proteins and should still be used with caution in the case of severe dairy allergies. Finally, goat milk contains more oligosaccharides (short chain carbohydrates) which are prebiotics needed in a healthy gut for probiotics to feed on. If we have to find a negative about goat milk we will note that because the fat globules are smaller than in cow's milk, it is more difficult and more time consuming to obtain the rich cream from goat milk required to produce goat buttermilk and butter. Though in terms of diary production goats may truly be a more sustainable future. Goats thrive on less, lower quality pasture and in areas that cows could not be kept such as hilly, rocky terrain. Wow, a whole lot of reasons to get your hands on some goat milk products and get started on this recipe!
Blueberry Swirl Scones
PREP TIME: 30 mins
TOTAL TIME: 45 mins
Servings: 8-10 scones
1 pint organic blueberries
1/8 cup cane sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup oatmeal flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 Tbsp ground flax seed
3 Tbsp warm water
1/3 cup cane sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup goat butter (cow's milk butter will also work), cold
1/2 cup full fat goat milk (cow's milk or other alternative milk will also work)
Additional 2-3 Tbsp goat milk (or milk of choice) for brushing the top of the scones
1-2 Tbsp cane sugar for sprinkling
To make the blueberry sauce, combine 3/4 pint fresh blueberries (reserve 1/4 of the blueberries for later) and 1/8 cup cane sugar in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the blueberries begin to pop, making sure to stir frequently to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes until mixture becomes syrup like and will stick to the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and add in fresh lemon juice and vanilla bean. Set blueberry syrup in the fridge to cool while you start the dough.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a fork , whip together the ground flax seed and water in a small bowl until combined and set aside. To make the dough sift together the flours, baking powder, and sea salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut cold goat butter into dry ingredients until the butter is about the size of peas. These small butter pieces within the dough will help create a flaky scone. Add the goat milk and flax/water mixture to the batter and mix to fully combine. Avoid over mixing the dough as this will cause the scones to become tough from over-development of the gluten. Roll the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge to cool for at least 15 minutes.
Once the dough has cooled, roll the dough out into an 8" by 12" rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Evenly spread the cooled blueberry sauce on top of the dough and add the reserved fresh blueberries on top. With well floured hands and starting with the short end, carefully roll the dough into a log. Our trick for cutting the dough without smashing it down is using unscented dental floss - slide floss under the log and make a crisscross on top of the dough. Carefully pull floss through the dough to make your scones (technique pictured in this post). Repeat until you have 8-10 equal sized scones. Space scones evenly on parchment lined baking sheet and brush each scone with goat milk and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp cane sugar. Place in pre-heated oven and cook for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are golden. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm or keep out at room temperature for 2-3 days. We found that if stored in an air tight container scones will lose some of their crunch. Scones may also be saved in the freezer, just make sure to fully thaw and bake at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes prior to serving.
Picture this morning- hot coffee or cold brew (our recipe here!) with a crumbly scone full of ripe blueberries bursting with flavor, packed with the richness of whole goat milk and goat butter, and swirled into a picture perfect work of art. Now this will get you out of bed and keep you satisfied until your next meal. Also highly recommended as a summer dessert or tea party treat. Really any way that you want to enjoy this scone will totally rock. Oh, and share the news about goat milk and maybe add goat milk products into your rotation a little more often now that you know how great it really is.
Have a good morning,
Jess and Cecelia
Jess and Cecelia welcome you to our kitchen. We are fun-loving and passionate foodies working to make the world a healthier, happier place one plant based recipe at a time.