Pumpkin Cranberry Gingerbread Muffins

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I am so excited to finally share these Pumpkin Cranberry Gingerbread Muffins with you! Two years ago when I first tried The Best Pumpkin Muffins from the Post Punk Kitchen they became an instant favourite. I made them constantly all of that fall and winter. Last winter I was so busy trying new recipes, that I only revisited these a couple times, and never took any photos. Now its pumpkin season once again and I have fallen in love with these muffins all over again.

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Through the many times I’ve made them, The Best Pumpkin Muffins has slowly morphed into something healthier and a little different: my Pumpkin Cranberry Gingerbread Muffins. I use whole grain flours, a lot less sugar and oil (and healthier versions of both), more molasses and pumpkin, and the cranberries are never optional. While the PPK’s pumpkin muffins lived up to their name, I have to say that I enjoy them even more with the changes I’ve made. I hope you do too!

Pumpkin Cranberry Gingerbread Muffins (Yields 12 Muffins)
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup chickpea flour (besan)
¼ cup brown rice flour
½ cup coconut sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp sea salt
1 ¼ cups pureed pumpkin
½ cup unsweetened nondairy milk or water
¼ cup molasses
⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
½ cup chopped almonds, walnuts, or pecans (optional)

Notes:
– Please don’t be scared away by the somewhat lengthy ingredient list; one third of it is spices. The recipe is really simple and comes together quickly.
– If you don’t have chickpea or brown rice flour, you can use all whole wheat but your muffins will be a little denser and you may need a little bit of extra milk or water.
– For a special treat, I highly recommend trying these with a ½ cup of vegan dark chocolate chips instead of the nuts. You won’t be disappointed!
– For some an extra pop of ginger, toss in a couple tablespoons of chopped crystallized ginger.

Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a large bowl mix together the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices.
In a smaller bowl whisk together the pumpkin, milk, oil, and molasses.
Stir the cranberries and nuts (if using) into the dry ingredients.
Add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until just combined.
Use a ¼ cup measuring scoop to scoop batter into a lined or lightly greased muffin tin.
Bake for 20-23 minutes.
Enjoy!

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In case you’re wondering, these muffins freeze amazingly well, though I usually have a hard  time having extras to put in the freezer.

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These little guys are so moist and flavourful they really don’t need anything else! (Though a little smear of Earth Balance probably wouldn’t hurt.) Yum!

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I’ve shared this post with Healthy Vegan Friday #70 and Wellness Weekends.

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More Waffles from Healthy Happy Life

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Vegan MoFo 2013 – Post #1

It’s Vegan Month of Food time again! This is my second year participating and I’ve decided to focus this year on posting reviews and photos of other peoples’ recipes that I’ve tried (from both cookbooks and online). Here it goes. 1 down, only 19 more to go!

Previously I wrote a post about some delicious Pumpkin Spice Waffles from Kathy over at Healthy Happy Life. I haven’t made those ones again since, but I have tried two of her other waffle recipes: Apple Cinnamon Ginger Waffles and Blueberry Citrus Whole Wheat Waffles (which I actually turned into chocolate chip waffles). Yum!

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I’m a sucker for anything that involves cooked apples and these Apple Cinnamon Ginger Waffles are no exception. They certainly did not disappoint! The combination of apples and cinnamon is always great, but the addition of ginger and candied ginger in these waffles make them something really special!

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What I Did:
I doubled the recipe.
I substituted half of the spelt flour for oat flour. Just because.
I only like and buy green Granny Smith apples, so thats what I used. I used half of a large one, diced small.
I did include the optional chia seeds, but left out the optional almond butter and orange zest.
I substituted the mashed banana with apple sauce: 1/2 cup for the doubled recipe.

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Another morning I used the Blueberry Citrus Whole Wheat Waffles to make a special breakfast for my nephew and I: chocolate chip waffles. I followed the recipe, except that I left out the citrus zest, diced oranges, and blueberries. I also left out all of the optional ingredients. We ate our chocolate chip whole wheat waffles with a quick berry sauce similar to my Instant Cranberry Sauce and Blueberry Sauce.

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Instant Mixed Berry Sauce
2/3 cup frozen blueberries
2/3 cup frozen blackberries
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp ground chia seed

Place berries in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup and defrost in microwave until berries break apart when you stir them. Stir and break up the berries with a fork, until mostly broken up. Stir in maple syrup and ground chia seeds.
Enjoy on your favourite waffles, pancakes, french toast, or oatmeal.

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I really liked these whole wheat waffles and can definitely see using them as a base for all kinds of add-in combinations!

You should definitely head on over to Healthy Happy Life and make some waffles!

What I Ate Wednesday #112 – Oatmeal Love

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For this week’s What I Ate Wednesday post I’m going to share with you my recent oatmeal adventures. There have been a lot of cold mornings in the past couple months and I recently started making my oatmeal in the microwave, which on early mornings feels a lot easier than on the stove (plus it doesn’t leave me with a pot to wash). So, lots of oatmeal lately!

I hope this provides you with some inspiration for your next bowl of oatmeal. Enjoy!

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Sucanat & cinnamon oatmeal with (1) natural peanut butter unsweetened coconut, and home-made dried cranberries and (2) natural peanut butter, cocoa powder, and raw cacao nibs.

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3) 1/2c oats cooked with 1c water, 1tbsp sucanat, 1/4tsp cinnamon, 1/4tsp ground coriander, and 1/2tsp vanilla. Topped with 1/4 serving Vanilla Chai Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer, 2 cut up dried figs, and slivered almonds.
4) 1/2c oats cooked with 1c water, 1tbsp Nature’s Path Cranberry Vanilla Qi’a Cereal, 1tbsp sucanat, and 1tbsp cocoa powder. Topped with natural peanut butter and 1 cut up dried fig.

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5) 1/2c oats cooked with 1c water, 1tbsp ground chia seeds, 1tbsp sucanat, 1/2tsp cinnamon, and 2 chopped dried figs. Topped with hemp hearts and pumpkin seed butter.
6) 1/2c oats cooked with 1c water, 1tsp chia seeds, 1tbsp maple syrup, 1/2tsp molasses, and 1/2tsp cinnamon. Topped with slivered almonds, home-made dried cranberries, and unsweetened coconut.

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And, I know its not oatmeal, but I had this yesterday evening and it was fantastic. I will definitely be using brown rice like this again!
Leftover cooked long grain brown rice, unsweetened almond milk, cinnamon, and sucanat, heated in the microwave. Yum!

What I Ate Wednesday #112

Thanks for stopping by!

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This post was also shared with Healthy Vegan Friday #34. Go check it out!

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Cinnamon Power Granola

Vegan MoFo 2012 Post #11

With the exception of changing up the protein powder (sometimes I use Natural or Vanilla Chai Vega One instead of hemp protein powder), spices, and fruit, this is my go-to granola. In addition to oats and almonds, it is packed with almost every kind of seed you could think of. Lots of goodness to give you some vegan super powers, or at least power you through your day!

Please don’t be scared away by the dark colour of this granola (it’s from the molasses) or the long list of ingredients. This recipe literally takes less than 5 minutes to mix together, and then you can put it in the oven and do something else for an hour. Like dream of eating your crunchy delicious Cinnamon Power Granola!

Also, while the idea of all the different seeds is to pack in lots of different nutrients, if you are missing one or two, just sub in whatever you do have.

Cinnamon Power Granola (adapted from Sacha Inchi Baked Apple Cinnamon Cereal from Brendan Brazier’s Whole Foods to Thrive)
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup hemp protein powder
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground stevia
1/8 cup unsweetened applesauce or apple juice
1/4 cup molasses
2 tbsp hemp or flax oil
1 cup fresh fruit (I’ve tried diced apple, peaches, pears, apricots and fresh blueberries and they’ve all been great. As you can see in the photos, I used a combination of peach and apricot this time.)

Preheat oven to 250° and lightly grease a large baking sheet. In a small bowl or measuring cup combine the stevia, applesauce, molasses, and oil. Set aside. Combine all other ingredients in a large bowl. Pour liquid mixture into bowl and stir with a fork until everything is moistened and clumping together. Bake for 60 minutes (1 hour), mixing up the granola halfway through. Remove from oven and allow to cool before breaking up any large chunks of granola and transferring to a sealed container. Stored in the fridge, this granola will last for at least a week, and probably longer but I’ve never had it last that long. Enjoy!

I enjoy my granola on its own or with some non-dairy milk. Sometimes I mix it half and half with whichever variety of Nature’s Path flake cereal I have on hand. Want a treat? Sprinkle your Cinnamon Power Granola over your favourite vegan ice cream or pudding!

A 1/2 cup serving of Cinnamon Power Granola has roughly 240 calories, 21g carbs, 14g fat (don’t worry its all healthy fats), 9g protein, and 8g sugar.

This post has been shared on Healthy Vegan Friday #34.

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