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

Pumpkin Cornbread Waffles

I recently came up with these Pumpkin Cornbread Waffles, after a failed search for a pumpkin waffle recipe that suited my tastes, my pantry, and my love of whole grains. I stumbled upon a recipe for similar waffles, and was really disappointed to see that it used cornbread mix (which I’ve never bought and didn’t have). So, I adapted a tried and true waffle recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking into these gems. I couldn’t have been happier with how these turned out!

title, pumpkin cornbread waffles

Pumpkin and warm spices is always a perfect match. What really makes these is the amazing texture (or ‘mouthfeel’ if you don’t dislike that word as much as I do) that the cornmeal gives!

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Pumpkin Cornbread Waffles (Yields 6 small waffles, using ½ cup of batter each.)
3 tbsp ground flax seeds
½ cup warm water
1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup cornmeal
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
¼ cup coconut oil, melted

In a medium bowl, whisk the ground flax and water together.
In a large bowl stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and spice.
Add the pumpkin, milk, and coconut oil to the flax/water mixture and whisk to combine.
Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and fold until just combined.
Cook in a waffle maker, according to its directions.
Top with maple syrup or your favourite toppings, and enjoy!

Collage, pumpkin cornbread waffles

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I hope you enjoy my new favourite waffles as much as I am!

I’ve shared this post with Allergy-Free Wednesday #93, Healthy Vegan Friday #69, and Wellness Weekends (Nov14-18/2013).

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Blueberry Corn Pancakes, Apple Cinnamon Ginger Waffles, Chickpea Flour Omelette

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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Veganomicon: Blueberry Corn Pancakes

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Vegan Mofo 2013 Post #10 – It only took 17 days, but I’m finally halfway there! Looks like I may just make it to 20 posts!

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I’ve never been a huge fan of pancakes, but recently this recipe in Veganomicon for Blueberry Corn Pancakes caught my eye when I was looking for something a little different to make for breakfast one morning. Isn’t it great that 2 years later and I’m still always discovering new things in Veganomicon?! I’m in love with a recipe for Blueberry Corn Muffins from The Joy of Vegan Baking, so I knew the flavour combination was a winner.

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I loved these pancakes and will be making them again! The combination of blueberries, lemon, and cornmeal gives these a great natural sweetness and the cornmeal makes for an awesome texture. Just as it says in the book, they have a “little crunch and a wonderful mouthfeel”. These just feel like a perfect summer pancake. Light, bright, fruity, with just a touch of lemon.

P.S. – I think I’m starting to realize that I actually do like pancakes when they are thin, I just really dislike big fluffy doughy ones.

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I did make a few minor substitutions like I do:
– I used 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1/4 cup chickpea flour in place of the all purpose flour. The batter also ended up really runny, so I ended up adding another 1/4 cup whole wheat flour.
– Most of the recipes in Veganomicon call for a specific type of nondairy milk. This one called for soy, but I used unsweetened almond milk.
– I replaced the canola oil with melted coconut oil.

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I think the only thing I would change next time is to drop the blueberries into the individual pancakes, instead of mixing them with the batter. The batter is quite runny (which makes for nice thin pancakes), so the blueberries just end up on the bottom and it was difficult to try and get a good amount in each pancake.

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Dark Chocolate Raspberry Banana Bread

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Vegan Mofo 2013 – Post #8 – Now only 2 posts behind, and almost halfway through. I may actually make it!

I don’t know if you remember, but awhile back I posted about the amazing Lower-fat Banana Bread recipe from Veganomicon. Well, I recently stumbled upon this variation on that recipe, and it was a definite must-try! I usually add chocolate chips to my banana bread, but Herbivore Triathlete had the genius thought of also adding raspberries!

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Banana bread + dark chocolate + tart berry goodness = love!

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When making this Dark Chocolate Raspberry Banana Bread, I made the same minor changes that I mentioned in my previous post, except that this time I replaced the all purpose flour with 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup brown rice flour, and 1/4 cup chickpea flour.

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You should give this a try!

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IMG_0867Vegan Dark Chocolate S’mores Brownies

Title, Cranberry Orange Cardamom MuffinsCranberry Orange Cardamom Muffins

 

Dark Chocolate S’mores Brownies

I just got home yesterday from a lovely week of camping with the family. It’s really amazing what a road trip, a change of scenery (forest!), and some campfire time can do! Even with the lack of sleep over the past week and a few too many treats, I’ve come back feeling really energized and eager to get some things done I’ve been putting off.

Anyway, all those nights sitting around the campfire watching my family enjoying s’mores (while I happily sipped my tea and munched on Oreos or dark chocolate), reminded me of this recipe for Dark Chocolate S’mores Brownies that I made a few months ago. I’ve never really liked marshmallows or s’mores but when I received a bag of Dandies in a package from the Canadian Vegan Food Swap, I was curious to try out some recipes with them, and this is one of the things I came up with.

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With a few tweaks, I used this Dark Chocolate Brownie recipe as the base for my brownies. I knew the addition of chocolate chips, marshmallows, and cookies would mean a lot of sugar, so I wanted to start with a brownie base that was on the healthier side. These ones are quite low in sugar for a brownie, use whole grain flour, and are oil free. Even if you don’t wish to make S’mores Brownies (though really, why wouldn’t you?) I’d still recommend trying this brownie recipe.

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Dark Chocolate S’mores Brownies
1 tbsp ground chia seeds (or ground flax)
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup Sucanat (or organic brown sugar)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup unsweetened nondairy milk
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cups cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
1 cup vegan marshmallows (I used Dandies)
1/2 cup crushed vegan graham crackers or ginger snaps

Preheat your oven to 375°F and lightly grease a 9’x13′ pan.
In a small dish combine the ground chia with the warm water and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, applesauce, milk, vanilla, and vinegar.
In a separate bowl stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and sea salt.
Whisk the chia mixture into the wet ingredients.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, then stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour about 3/4 of the batter into your prepared pan.
Spread the marshmallows out over the top of the batter, then sprinkle on the crushed cookies.
Drop the remaining batter on top of the cookies and marshmallows, one teaspoon at a time.
Place in oven and bake for 16-20 minutes. Cut the brownies into squares before they are fully cool, otherwise it will be difficult to cut through the marshmallow. I cut mine into 18 pieces.

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These brownies are best enjoyed warm, so that the chocolate chips and the marshmallows are a bit gooey. Enjoy!

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These Dark Chocolate S’mores Brownies were a huge hit. The brownies are super chocolatey, dense, and moist, without being too sweet and the toppings sent them over the top. I had a hard time not eating the whole tray in about 2 days, and when I shared with Jem (just so I wouldn’t eat them all) she loved them. Apparently she had “a brownie experience”!

I’ve shared this post with Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays (6/11/13).

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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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Lemon Cranberry Coconut Chia Bars

Collage, Lemon Cranberry Coconut Squares

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Let me just say that unless you absolutely hate lemon, cranberries, or coconut then you need to try these Tropical Lemon Cranberry Coconut Chia Bars from Angela at Oh She Glows.

The lemon and cranberry make for a delicious combination of sweet and tart flavours, and the coconut make these fantastically chewy.

These bars are also quite simple to make, and while probably quite high in calories, they don’t contain anything to really feel guilty about.

The only changes I made to the original recipe was to use whole wheat flour in place of the oat flour, mainly because I was too lazy to take that extra step of processing the oats. I also replaced the pistachios with pumpkin seeds, because I didn’t have any pistachios and I figured pumpkin seeds are the same colour and would still give me the crunch-factor.

I love these Tropical Lemon Cranberry Coconut Chia Bars!

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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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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!