Pumpkin Cranberry Gingerbread Muffins

title, pumpkin muffins

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!

labels, pumpkin muffins

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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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title, pumpkin cornbread waffles
Pumpkin Cornbread Waffles

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Veganomicon: Lower-Fat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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You might have read somewhere on here that I really don’t like bananas. This aversion, however, doesn’t hold up against banana bread. As long as there are no chunks of banana, I love it! And of course, it’s especially great when there are chocolate chips involved!

Jem and I recently made the Lower-Fat Banana Bread from Veganomicon for the first time (with the chocolate chip variation). I was looking for a vegan banana bread recipe because we had some bananas needing to be used, and I actually had a difficult time finding one that didn’t have huge amounts of oil and/or sugar. I’m so glad I remembered about this one in Veganomicon!

It came together really easily, smelled fantastic when baking, and tastes awesome! Especially when warm! Everyone in the house (vegan and omnivores alike) loved it so much that I made another one less than a week later!

We did make the following minor substitutions:
– Replaced the applesauce with pumpkin puree, simply because it was what we had. Either way, it’s only a small amount and you won’t be able to taste it.
– Replaced 1 1/2 cups of the flour with spelt flour one time and with whole wheat flour the second time. Both variations worked really well and tasted great.
– We used sucanat for the sugar in the recipe. Probably unnecessary because the recipe already has molasses in it, but I didn’t have any regular sugar on hand.

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To make sure there were no banana chunks in the bread, I pureed the wet ingredients in a blender (rather than just whisking by hand) before adding them to the dry ingredients. Though I’ve read warnings against doing this with bananas, as they tend to get gummy, this didn’t seem to happen.

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If you’re interested in this recipe, here are a few other blogger reviews for your viewing pleasure:
Cupcakes and Quinoa, Vocal Vegan, The Baking Bird, Forkful of Food

I’ve realized that I’ve been making a lot of other people’s recipes (from both blogs and cookbooks) recently. A lot more than I’ve been experimenting with my own recipes. This is mainly because my stove/oven hasn’t been working for the past couple months. Luckily, I do have access to my Mom’s stove/oven upstairs, but my cooking and baking habits have been altered accordingly. Let’s just say that even with simplified recipes and less cooking, I’ve been making a whole lot of trips up and down the stairs with my arms full! Hopefully I should have a new stove/oven later this week.

In the meantime, I’ve realized the need to create a category or page on here to accommodate the growing number of reviews of recipes that aren’t my own. I haven’t quite decided whether this will be in the Recipe page or on it’s own, but it is in the works. I will let you know when I have it up and running!

Questions:
Do you have Veganomicon or any of Isa’s other cookbooks? If so, what is your favourite recipe that you’ve tried? Feel free to link up to a review you’ve done if you have one.

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Title, Blueberry Oat SconesBlueberry Oatmeal Scones

100_2908Chai Spiced Zucchini Bread
100_2726Spiced Banana Bran Mini Loaves

Ginger Snap Oatmeal with Instant Cranberry Sauce

I have another oatmeal recipe for you and this one tastes like a ginger snap! It’s full of spicy ginger, warming nutmeg and cloves, and that distinctive molasses flavour. This oatmeal is great on its own, or even better topped with my Instant Cranberry Sauce. The sweet tartness of the cranberries pairs beautifully with the flavours of the oatmeal. Perfect for a cool fall or winter morning!

Ginger Snap Oatmeal
2 cups water
1/2 cup pumpkin puree or unsweetened applesauce
1 cup rolled oats
3 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp ground flax
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 tbsp molasses
1/3 cup slivered almonds
2 tbsp Sucanat, coconut sugar, or cane sugar (optional)

On the stove, bring water to a boil in a pot. Stir in all of the other ingredients, except for the molasses, almonds, and sugar (if using). Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until oats are cooked and the liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat. Stir molasses, almonds, and sugar (if using) into the oatmeal. Serve topped with Instant Cranberry Sauce. Enjoy!

Instant Cranberry Sauce (Yields 1 cup)
2 cups frozen cranberries
2 tbsp maple syrup

Place frozen berries in a microwave-safe dish (I use a liquid measuring cup). Defrost berries in a microwave, about 90 seconds, until berries squish when pressed. Stir cranberries with a fork until at least half of them are broken and have released their liquid. Stir in maple syrup.

You May Also Enjoy:
Apple Fig Oatmeal, Sugar-Free Blueberry Sauce, Dark Chocolate Cranberry Tart

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.

You May Also Enjoy:
Apple Fig Oatmeal, Peach Blueberry Crisp, Peanut Butter Porridge

Spiced Banana Bran Mini Loaves

So, this recipe actually started out as these Pumpkin Bran Muffins from Chef In You. While Chef in You is mostly a vegetarian blog they do have quite a few vegan recipes and most of the recipes for baked goods are quite low in fat and sugar. Last year before I went vegan, I was experimenting with baking healthier treats and found this site very helpful. Now that I am vegan, I like using recipes from this site because I usually just have to replace the dairy and/or eggs but don’t have to worry about changing flour and decreasing/replacing sugar and oil as I do for most recipes.

These Spiced Banana Bran Loaves are moist and chewy thanks to the combination of banana and bran, and are lightly sweet and spiced. The bran will also make the tops crisp up nicely. I love the dark rich colour the molasses gives these little loaves.

Spiced Banana Bran Mini Loaves
3/4 cup non dairy milk
1 tsp white vinegar
1 cup mashed banana (or try pumpkin puree)
1 cup wheat bran
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
3 tbsp ground flaxseed
6 tbsp water
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup chickpea flour*
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 cup chopped walnuts or raisins (or both)

*You might notice small amounts of strange flours popping up in my baked goods recipes. Because I don’t buy whole wheat pastry flour and don’t want to use white flour, I have been experimenting using smaller amounts of different lighter flours (chickpea, millet, brown rice, white sorghum) in combination with regular whole wheat flour in my baked goods. Feel free to substitute these with white flour, more whole wheat flour (in which case you will probably need to add a little more liquid to the recipe), or a different flour of your choice.

Preheat oven to 375° and lightly grease 4 mini loaf pans (6″ x 3.5″ x 2″ or 15cm x 8.5cm x 5cm) or a 12 count muffin tin. In a measuring cup whisk together the nondairy milk and the white vinegar and set aside. In a small bowl mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the mashed banana, bran, molasses, sugar, and the milk mixture.

Add the ground flax and water to a food processor or blender and blend until thick and creamy.

Add this flax mixture to the large bowl of liquid ingredients and stir in. Now add the prepared dry ingredients and chopped walnuts and/or raisins to the liquid ingredients. Gently stir until everything is just mixed together.

Divide batter into prepared pans and place in oven. Bake mini loaves 32-37 minutes and muffins 20-25 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. Enjoy!

Nutritional Info: 1/3 of a mini loaf, or 1 muffin contains 140 calories, 23g carbs, 5g fat, 4g protein, and 7g sugar.

This recipe has been submitted as part of Healthy Vegan Fridays.

the veggie nook