Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Vegan Mofo 2013 – Post #11

What could be better than combining all your favourite cookies into one? When they are also super easy to make and pretty darn healthy as far as treats go! And they taste amazing!

Sound good? Check out these Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Oatmeal With A Fork!

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I actually used the last bits of my almond butter and peanut butter up to make these, so it ended up about half and half. Also, I just realized that I never added the stevia, but I really didn’t feel like I was missing any sweetness, so I’ll probably just leave it out next time.

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Lemon Coconut Energy Bites

These lemony little gems were dreamed up out of necessity. I had three lemons in the fridge that needed to be used before I left for Victoria for five days. I had been meaning to try a raw lemon bar recipe with them, but I never got around to it. As lemon bars aren’t really portable I knew I had to save that recipe for another time. So I decided to use most of the same ingredients that would have gone into the lemon bars (lemon juice, coconut, oats, and dates) to make some energy bites for my trip.

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I have to say that I am very happy with how these turned out! Bright lemon flavour, a hint of coconut and nuttiness, and a natural sweetness from the dates and coconut. These lemony little bites of chewy goodness are perfect for travel and on-the-go snacks. Or you may just want to stand by the fridge and scarf a few down! Don’t worry, that’s okay too.

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Collage, lemon bars 1

Collage, lemon bars 2

Lemon Coconut Energy Bites (Yields 32 small squares)
1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup sliced/slivered/chopped almonds (raw or blanched)
Zest of 2 lemons
1 1/2 cups pitted dates (20-25 dates)
Juice of 3 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
Optional: 1/4 cup vanilla or berry flavoured protein powder (I like Vega One)

Notes:
If your dates aren’t soft then you should let them sit in a bowl of hot/warm water for at least 15 minutes before using.
I prefer to cut these into small squares because they pack easily into storage containers and I can choose the size of my snack better, however you could also make larger bars, or roll the dough into small balls. Totally up to you.
For gluten-free, just make sure your oats and protein powder are gluten-free.
For nut-free, use sunflower seeds or more oats, in place of the almonds.

Add the oats, coconut, almonds, lemon zest, and protein powder (if using) to a large bowl of a food processor and pulse until it is at your desired consistency: less if you like a chewier bar with larger pieces, or more if you’d like a finer texture.
Add the dates and process until they are in small pieces and mixed up with the other ingredients.
Add the lemon juice and process until everything is thoroughly mixed and clumping together. It may be crumbly, but should stick together when pressed.
Line a baking dish with parchment paper. I use a 11″x7″ pan, but the size doesn’t really matter as long as it is at least 8″x8″. Dump the mixture into the lined pan and press down until the top is relatively flat and even. With a sharp knife, cut into small squares or bars. Place the pan in the fridge for at least an hour, then transfer the squares or bars into an airtight container. Store in the fridge or freezer.
The energy bites will soften a bit when at room temperature, but they shouldn’t fall apart. Enjoy!

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I’ve shared this post with Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays (8/27/13), Allergy Free Wednesday (8/28/13)Gluten-Free Wednesdays (8/28/13)Raw Food Thursday (8/29/13), Healthy Vegan Friday, Wellness Weekends (8/29-9/2/13), Gluten Free Friday #55.

Frosted Blueberry Cake: MMAZ #30

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For this week’s Meatless Monday from A-Z the mission is to cook a recipe that features blueberries. I haven’t made any of the recipes yet from last week’s Create with Blueberries linkup, but I did make this gorgeous Frosted Blueberry Cake from Healthy Happy Life.

For the past couple of years I’ve volunteered to make the birthday cakes (one for each sister) for my sisters’ birthday. Birthdays are a great excuse to try out a sweeter-than-usual dessert that I’ve been eyeing, and doing the baking, guarantees I’ll actually be able to eat something come dessert time. This year I couldn’t pass up Jem’s request for this Frosted Blueberry Cake.

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What I really love about this cake is that the actual cake is not too sweet, and pretty darn healthy. The flax, oats, applesauce, blueberries, and walnuts do the double duty of making the cake taste great, and providing some actual nutrients, instead of just empty calories. Without the frosting, this cake is more like a snack-cake than a true dessert, but as soon as you add the amazing coconut frosting, it is elevated to a beautiful dessert, perfect for any occasion. And the frosting really is amazing!

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I did make a couple of minor changes to the original recipe:
– I used whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour. I rarely even buy all purpose flour anymore, and I’m always pleased with the results I get using whole wheat flour. As usual, when substituting whole wheat flour, I just had to add an extra little splash of nondairy milk when mixing the wet and dry together.
– I used ground flaxseeds.
– I choose to use coconut sugar.
– I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk in place of the soy milk.
– I couldn’t find any fresh blueberries, so I used frozen blueberries in the cake, and fresh raspberries for decorating.

In regards to the options listed in the original recipe, I used almond extract, I didn’t use any cinnamon, and I used walnuts.

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We really enjoyed this cake, and I will absolutely be using both the cake recipe and the frosting recipe again!

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I’ve shared this post with Slightly Indulgent Tuesday 4/23/13.

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Title, Berry Chia Jam

Title, Blueberry Oat Scones

Dark Chocolate Cranberry Tart

Dark Chocolate Cranberry Tart

Veganomicon’s Wheat-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Jem and I whipped up a batch of these Wheat-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies recently for a last-minute evening treat and they were fantastic! This recipe is another one from Veganomicon that I’ve just tried for the first time. I love Veganomicon, and I love the fact that after almost a year and a half on my shelf, I still keep discovering new things within it’s pages.

As it says in the book, “these cookies couldn’t be any easier to make, unless you had someone else make them for you” (Veganomicon, Moskowitz and Romero, p. 237). Even with the extra step of processing some oats into oat flour, this recipe was very quick and easy to throw together. I will say that, while the tip included in the recipe suggests using a blender or food processor for making oat flour, I wouldn’t attempt it with a blender unless you have a very high-powered one. I used my blender and it was not very successful. I will be using my food processor next time.

The only change that we made to the original recipe was with the sugar. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Since I prefer my chocolate chip cookies not very sweet (I find the chocolate chips provide more than enough sugar) and I only had sucanat on hand, we just used 1/2 cup of sucanat. Personally, I could lower this even more  next time, perhaps to 1/3 cup.

I also wanted to mention that I was surprised that this recipe actually made the exact amount (18) of cookies stated. Maybe I’m just not good at following recipes, but always find that cookie recipes almost always make far less cookies than the states yield suggests.

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Anyway, Jem and I had some of these Wheat-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies with our evening tea and they were delicious! The oat flour gave them a really great taste and texture. Also, they are chocolate chip cookies. Hard to go wrong there.

If you are going to make this recipe (and you really should) I wouldn’t suggest doubling it unless you are making them for a crowd. These cookies were still good the next day, but absolutely at their best fresh from the oven! And, they are so easy that you’ll have no problem making them all the time if that’s what you need to do!

Lucky you, in addition to Veganomicon, this recipe can also be found at the Post Punk Kitchen. Happy baking!

You May Also Enjoy:
Lower-Fat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (Veganomicon)
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Ginger Chocolate-Chunk Scones (Post Punk Kitchen)
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Almond Joy Cookie Bars
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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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Smoothies of 2013: Part 1

Pumpkin Spice Oat Cups
Pumpkin Spice Oat Cups with Pecans & Crystallized Ginger

Title, Tropical Oat Cups
Tropical Pineapple Coconut Oat Cups

Tropical Pineapple Coconut Oat Cups

Title, Tropical Oat Cups

 

Last week, I posted my recipe for Pumpkin Spice Oat Cups with Pecans and Crystallized Ginger. These Tropical Pineapple Coconut Oat Cups are the result of trying to figure out what other fruit I wanted to use, instead of pumpkin puree, and then what flavours would go well. (I think applesauce will be next.) Jem mentioned this Pineapple Coconut Bread (which we absolutely love and need to make again soon) and I immediately thought of transferring those lovely tropical flavours to our next batch of baked oat cups.

These oat cups are quick and simple to make, and then you’ll have something delicious, healthy, and super portable on hand for quick breakfasts and snacks.

The pineapple and coconut flavours in these oat cups are not super strong, but the combination is still pretty darn awesome. If you’d like a strong pineapple flavour, then you may want to include some diced pineapple. The shredded coconut also gives these a chewier texture than their pumpkin counterpart.

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Tropical Pineapple Coconut Oat Cups (Yields 24 cups)
5 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
2 1/2 cups pineapple puree*
5 tbsp agave nectar**
2 cups water
1/4 cup coconut oil
*For the pineapple puree, I pureed in a blender, one 398ml can of pineapple rings, along with the juice from the can. You could also puree fresh pineapple, with some water or pineapple juice if needed. 
**Maple syrup would also work, but I haven’t tried it in this recipe. I think next time I’m going to use coconut sugar (maybe 5 tbsp, plus an extra 1/4 cup of liquid).

Preheat oven to 375°F and line muffin tins. (You will need 24 cups.)
In a large bowl combine the oats and coconut.
In a separate bowl combine the pineapple puree, spices, agave, water, and coconut oil.
Add the wet ingredients to the oat mixture and stir until well combined. If the mixture looks watery, just let it sit for a few minutes and the oats will soak up some of the liquid.
Divide between lined muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes.

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Store oat cups in a sealed container in the fridge. I like these best when warmed up a little, but they are also great cold or at room temperature. These also freeze very well!

Enjoy!

Both of my oat cups recipes are based on Chocolate-Covered Katie’s recipe for Breakfast Oatmeal Cupcakes To Go.

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This recipe has been linked up with Healthy Vegan Friday #33. You can view everyone else’s submissions here, here, or here.

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IMG_0509Tropical Colada Vega Smoothie
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100_3512Blueberry Coconut Crumble Bars

Pumpkin Spice Oat Cups with Pecans and Crystallized Ginger

Not tired of pumpkin yet? (Never.)

Got any cans of pumpkin lurking in your cupboards from the holiday season? (Sure do.)

Then you should make these Pumpkin Spice Oat Cups with Pecans and Crystallized Ginger. They are quick and simple to make, and then you’ll have something delicious, healthy, and super portable on hand for quick breakfasts and snacks. You’re welcome!

Pumpkin Spice Oat Cups

These are a spin on Katie’s Breakfast Oatmeal Cupcakes To Go. I instantly loved the idea of portable baked oatmeal cups, but I can’t stand bananas, so I’ve used pumpkin puree instead, which in turn inspired some other changes. If you do like bananas, you should definitely check out Katie’s recipe at the above link. And if you like pumpkin, my recipe is below

Pumpkin Spice Oat Cups with Pecans and Crystallized Ginger (Yields 24 Cups)
5 cups rolled oats*
1 cup chopped pecans
3 tbsp finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
5 tbsp maple syrup (or agave)*
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
*For a sugar-free version Katie suggested 5 NuNaturals Stevia packets and an extra 1/3 cup water. I haven’t personally tried this option.

Preheat oven to 375°F and line muffin tins. (You will need 24 cups.)
In a large bowl combine the oats and pecans.
In a separate bowl combine the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract.
Add the wet ingredients to the oat mixture, along with the crystallized ginger and stir until all the oats are coated.
Divide between lined muffin tins and bake for 20-23 minutes.

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These oat cups can be eaten right away, or will store well in the fridge or freezer, ready to be eaten anytime. I’ve enjoyed these cold and at room temperature, but they are best when warmed up. Enjoy!

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These oat cups have a fantastic chewy texture, a slightly sweet pumpkin flavour, with little bits of crunch from the pecans and sweet spiciness from the ginger. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Stay tuned. I’ve also created a tropical twist on these Oat Cups, which I will be sharing with you soon!

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This post has been submitted to Healthy Vegan Friday #32.

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Title, Blueberry Oat Scones Blueberry Oatmeal Scones

Smoothies of 2013: Part 1

Thanks to my new (to me) KitchenAid 5-Speed Blender that I bought off a friend right around Christmas, and some awesome inspiration in the form of Somer’s Green Smoothie Challenge I’ve managed to restart my smoothie habit after many cold months of going without.

While I haven’t been having a smoothie every day, like I originally planned to do, I think I’ve been doing quite well. Having all of the following smoothies in roughly the past two weeks, is a huge improvement over not having any at all for months! At the moment, mostly due to the cold weather, I haven’t had any interest in having smoothies for breakfast (I simply don’t want anything cold to make my morning colder) but I have found ways of fitting them in during the rest of my day. Smoothies make a great meal when I start work at odd times, and would be starving on my first break if I don’t eat quite close to my start time. On these occasions I like to make my smoothie right before I leave the house and take it with me on my way to work. I’ve also had them a couple of times for lunch while I’m at home, sipping on it while I continue to get things done around the house.

The following smoothies all either yield 2 or 4 cups. For me, 2 cups seems to be the perfect meal size, no matter what kind of smoothie it is (keep in mind I almost always have Vega or hemp protein powder in mine). The 4 cup smoothies can be shared with someone (as I did for the Blueberry Vanilla Almond Smoothie) or can be split between two meals/snacks (as I did for the Razzleberry Lemonade Smoothie and the Pumpkin Pie Smoothie). And of course, if you want to drink all 4 cups at once, go ahead!

1) Razzleberry Lemonade Smoothie (Yields 4 cups) [from the Green Smoothie Challenge]
I basically followed the recipe, but switched spinach for kale and used 1 scoop of hemp protein powder in place of the choice of flax, hemp, or chia seeds. I used mostly raspberries, with some blueberries for the frozen berries. Despite my blender having some trouble with the lemon (I think next time I would use the lemon zest and pulp, without the rind) this smoothie was awesome! The addition of lemon made this very different from any of my usual smoothies, and I mean different in a good way.
Collage, Raz Lemon Smoothie

2) Pumpkin Pie Smoothie (Yields 4 cups) [Recipe from Oh She Glows]
I followed Angela’s recipe, except replaced the almond milk with soy milk (just because that’s what I had) and reduced down to 1/2 a frozen banana. I also added 1/2 a serving (1 scoop) of Vega Vanilla Chai Whole Food Health Optimizer for some extra nutrients because I knew the flavours would fit perfectly in with the pumpkin pie flavours.
This smoothie tastes great and is super rich and creamy. It does not taste like it could be a meal, though it easily could be (especially with the addition of Vega), and half of it was a filling meal for me.
This was the first time I’ve tried putting oats in a smoothie, and I’m not so sure whether or not I like the result. I’m sure they contributed to the thick creamy texture, but the smoothie felt a bit too heavy for me (at least compared to my usual smoothies). I don’t think that adding oats to my smoothies is going to become a regular thing.
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3) Blueberry Matcha Green Smoothie (Yields 2 cups)
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup frozen banana slices
1/2 cup packed spinach
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp matcha powder
1/3 serving Natural Vega One
1/2 cup unsweetened dairy milk (I used soy)
1.5 tsp maple syrup (or to taste)
1 1/4 cups cold water
If you like matcha than you will like this one! Tastes mostly like matcha, though its not overpowering: you can still taste the blueberries and the vanilla.

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4) Blueberry Vanilla Almond Smoothie (Yields 4 cups)
2 cups frozen blueberries
1/2 cup spinach
1 scoop (1 serving Vega Vanilla Almondilla Energizing Smoothie)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used soy)
2 cups cold water
This one is definitely a keeper! If you like vanilla and almonds (does any one not?) then you will love this! I actually meant to put some banana (maybe 1/2 of one) in this as well, but I forgot.
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5) Vanilla Almond Matcha Smoothie (Yields 2 cups)
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/3 cup frozen mango
1 scoop Vega Vanilla Almondilla Energizing Smoothie
1/2 tsp matcha powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups cold water
(optional) Sweetener to taste
This one is a mix between the previous two. This one tastes more like the vanilla and almond than the matcha, but it is still detectable (and delicious).

6) Tropical Colada Vega Smoothie (Yields 2 cups) [based on the Tropical Colada recipe from the Green Smoothie Challenge]
1 cup packed spinach
Zest and flesh from 1/2 orange
1/2 banana
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1 scoop (1 serving) Vega Tropical Tango Energizing Smoothie
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup crushed ice
1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
This is similar to smoothies I’ve made in the past using the Vega Tropical Tango Energizing Smoothie, but this one just seems to be on a whole different level. So good! I also love the beautiful green colour of this smoothie! I love green smoothies, but as soon as you add something like berries or chocolate (or berry or chocolate Vega) they can turn some pretty strange and not so pleasant colours. This one is just a pure vibrant green!
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You might have noticed I’ve mentioned Vedged Out‘s Green Smoothie Challenge a lot in this post. I did because I think it is pretty darn awesome! While I haven’t yet followed the actual challenge, I have tried two of the smoothie recipes and one of the salad dressing recipes, and following Somer’s daily posts throughout her week of the challenge provided some serious inspiration to do some healthier eating. The basic recipes and all the information can be found by clicking the 2013 Green Smoothie Challenge link on this page. There are also other recipes and lots of photos in Somer’s 7 daily posts about the challenge.

healthy vegan friday button This post has been submitted to Healthy Vegan Friday #31. If you haven’t checked out Healthy Vegan Friday yet, you really should!

Questions
Like smoothies? What is in your favourite one? 

Are you trying to make any positive changes to your eating habits this year?

Blueberry Oatmeal Scones

I’m sorry for disappearing for a week, but I’m back, and I have something for you!

How would you like these lovely scones for breakfast?

I would. I am in love with these Blueberry Oatmeal Scones. They are light, yet hearty, with a great texture from the oatmeal, richness from the coconut oil, and lots of moist sweet blueberries.

Unlike a lot of scones, these are not packed full of white flour, white sugar, and unhealthy fats. Instead, I’ve used whole grain flours, agave nectar, applesauce, and coconut oil, to make these just about as good for you as a scone can be. But don’t worry, they don’t taste like it.

These scones are not super sweet; they don’t taste like dessert, but you might want to eat them for every other meal of the day.

Blueberry Oatmeal Scones (Yields 12 Medium-sized Scones)
1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup agave nectar
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup white sorghum flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 400°F and lightly grease one large or two small baking sheets.

In a small bowl, whisk together the non-dairy milk and vinegar. Let it sit for 5 minutes, until the milk has curdled and thickened. Spoon 1 tbsp of the milk mixture into a small dish and set aside. (This will be brushed on the tops of the scones.) Whisk the applesauce and agave into the larger bowl of the milk mixture. Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the flours, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Add the coconut oil to the bowl in small chunks and cut into flour with a fork or pastry blender. Stir in the oats and the liquid mixture until almost all combined. Fold in the blueberries.

Turn half of the dough on to a prepared baking sheet. Using your hands, form into a round disk shape, about 1″(2.5cm) high. Cut the round into 6 equal triangles (wedges), and separate them from each other. You may have some blueberries fall out of the dough, but you can just press them back in. Repeat with the other half of dough.

Brush the top of each scone with the reserved milk-vinegar mixture. Bake until golden brown, 18-20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!

This recipe has been submitted to Healthy Vegan Friday #17.

the veggie nook

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Blueberry Coconut Crumble Bars, Chai Spiced Zucchini Bread, Ginger Snap Oatmeal

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.

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Apple Fig Oatmeal, Sugar-Free Blueberry Sauce, Dark Chocolate Cranberry Tart