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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title, pumpkin cornbread waffles
Pumpkin Cornbread Waffles

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Baked Mediterranean Chickpea Burgers

Let me just start off by saying that these Baked Mediterranean Chickpea Burgers are my new favourite veggie burgers! I’ve been trying a lot of different recipes lately for vegan burgers, as I really like having some in the freezer for quick meals, and I’m trying not to buy any processed ones full of junk (even though they taste really good). These are absolutely the best ones so far. My sister Jem and her fiancé (both omnivores) have also just finished a batch! We all love that these burgers aren’t trying to taste like meat, they just have a really awesome flavour of their own.

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On a whole wheat bun with roasted garlic hummus, romaine lettuce, and Sriracha.

They are also very simple to make. You basically just mix everything in a bowl, make patties, and bake them. No pre-cooking of individual ingredients or food processor required.

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On a whole wheat wrap with melted Daiya Jalapeno Garlic Wedge, red pepper hummus, green leaf lettuce, and cucumber.

I should also mention that this recipe is based on The Post Punk Kitchen’s recipe for Double Batch Chickpea Cutlets, which are really great as is. A version of the Chickpea Cutlets also appears in Veganomicon.

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Cut up in a salad, with romaine lettuce, cucumber, red pepper, black pepper, and balsamic vinaigrette.

And now, if those photos made you hungry for some Baked Mediterranean Chickpea Burgers (they sure did for me), here’s the recipe. Go make some burgers!

Baked Mediterranean Chickpea Burgers (Yields 8 Large Patties)
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
¼ cup hot water
1 16oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup ground flax seeds
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp italian seasoning
1 tsp paprika
¼ cup black olives, roughly chopped
1 cup vital wheat gluten
1 cup water or vegetable broth
¼ cup soy sauce

Notes:
– I buy sun-dried tomatoes in a dry package. Obviously if you have oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes you won’t need to rehydrate them
– Instead of mashing the chickpeas and olive oil in a bowl, you can choose to pulse them in a food processor. I prefer not to dirty the food processor just for this. Just don’t process them for too long, otherwise you’ll end up with hummus.

– For some extra flavour, you can include the water you soaked the tomatoes in, in the 1 cup of water or vegetable broth.
– If you’re not sure what the ‘strings of gluten’ should look like, this photo should help. 

Place the chopped up sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl with the hot water and set aside for at least 10 minutes before using them.
Place the chickpeas and olive oil in a large bowl and mash with a fork or masher just until there are no whole chickpeas left.
Add all of the other ingredients into the bowl with the mashed chickpeas, including the now rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes. Knead everything together for about 3 minutes, or until strings of gluten appear.
Separate the dough into 4 equal(ish) pieces, then divide each piece into 2. You should now have 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a patty. This can easily be done by rolling it into a ball, then flattening and shaping it into a disc between your hands. They should be roughly half an inch thick.
Place the patties on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 375°F for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, flip, and bake for another 8-10 minutes.
Enjoy!

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Enjoy these Mediterranean Chickpea Burgers right away, or let cool and freeze them for later. I usually make veggie burgers specifically for the freezer, because they are awesome for making quick filling meals. The patties can be reheated any way you choose: in a microwave, in a pan, or on the barbecue.

I’ve shared this post with Allergy-Free Wednesdays Week 67, Healthy Vegan Friday #43, and Wellness Weekends.

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Nacho Cheez White Bean Spread, Basic No-Mayo Coleslaw, Butternut Squash Black Bean Burritos

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!

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Ginger Chocolate-Chunk Scones (Post Punk Kitchen)
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PPK Ginger Chocolate Chunk Scones

Okay, I lied. I have something for you after all. Apparently giving myself permission not to post again until the new year (and maybe an unexpected day off from work) was all it took to get myself in the mood to post something.

Have you read Isa’s recipe for these Ginger Chocolate Chunk Scones yet? It’s hilarious! I know it’s a few years old, but I just rediscovered it and I wanted to share.

I just finished making these, in preparation of Christmas brunch with the family tomorrow, and I’m in love! They were very quick and easy to throw together and turned out fantastic! I think the ginger flavour could be a little stronger, but they do taste great as they are. Some crystallized ginger would be awesome!

Collage, Ginger Chocolate Scones

The only modification I made to Isa’s recipe was to use half whole wheat flour and half brown rice flour. I chose to use sucanat for the sugar and Enjoy Life Mega Chunks. And I’m a little sad I forgot to sprinkle them with sugar, because the large sucanat crystals would have looked so pretty.

I can’t wait to share these at brunch tomorrow. I think this just might become my go to scone recipe!

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Also, you should watch this music video. I love She & Him, have always loved this song (in almost any incarnation), and this video makes me smile each time!

Merry Christmas!

Tofu Balls!

As I showed in my WIAW post this week, I recently made a recipe for Tofu Balls from the Post Punk Kitchen for the first time (shown above with whole wheat rotini, sun-dried tomato pesto and spinach). I’ve had the recipe pinned for quite a while and now that I’ve tried them, I wish I had done it sooner! I really enjoyed the simplicity of the recipe and the moist, light texture. I will definitely be making these again! I’ve already been thinking of some different flavours and add-ins I would like to try. Also, I’d like to try forming the recipe into small patties and baking them in the oven. Isa’s recipe can be found here. I made a few minor changes and my version is below, along with some step-by-step photos.

Tofu Balls
1lb extra firm tofu (I used Soyganic Herb Extra Firm)
3 tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos
3 tbsp natural peanut butter
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tsp crushed dried chiles (optional)
flour for coating (I used whole wheat)

In a bowl, crumble the tofu using your hands. I find it easiest to cut it into small cubes first and then crumble those. It will look like this:

Now add in the Bragg’s, peanut butter, bread crumbs, and crushed chiles. Mix with a fork or your hands until well combined and sticking together. It should look like this:

Put some flour into a small bowl. Roll mixture into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll each one in the flour to coat, before setting aside. I made all of them and set out on a plate, before I fried them.

Isa’s recipe says it makes 12-16, but I got 23 out of it, so maybe mine were a lot smaller.

Fry these balls in a preheated, oiled skillet until they are light to medium browned on all sides.

Enjoy!

In addition to the pasta dish in the first photo, I also enjoyed these with some pineapple rice, and once just by themselves dipped in a little chipotle hot sauce.