Homemade Maple Oat Bread

Posted by on August 27, 2010 | 16 Comments

I owe you all some winners from the last two giveaways, but today is recipe day, so that will have to wait.

Nothing fancy, just a good loaf of bread that I adapted from Kevin’s recipe over at Closet Cooking. He tops the loaf with maple sugar. I did sprinkle on a little coconut sugar one time that I made it, and it was tasty. It enhances the maple flavor and gives that nice sheen to the bread that you see in the picture below. Still, I did opt to omit the sugar topping in my second loaf so that it could be used either for breakfast toast or sandwich bread. It was still quite delicious, but the maple flavor was slightly more subtle.

maple oat bread

If you haven’t made bread from scratch, it’s time to get started …

Maple Oat Bread

This recipe is Vegan / Vegetarian, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, and Refined Sugar-Free.

  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • 2-1/4 Teaspoons (or one packet) Active Yeast
  • 1/2 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/4 Cup Oil (I have used coconut oil and extra-light olive oil)
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1-1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1-1/2 Cups Bread Flour or All-Purpose Flour
  • 1-1/4 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons Maple Sugar or Coconut / Palm Sugar (optional)

Combine the warm water, yeast, and oats in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the flours, salt, and cinnamon. Stir the oil and maple syrup into the yeast mixture. Gradually add the flour (I do about 1/3 at a time), stirring after each addition. Once the dough starts to come together, continue adding the flour and knead it with your hands. If the dough is still too wet, add a little more white flour; if it is too dry, feel free to add a wee bit more warm water. This ratio actually came out just right for me, but I live in a dry climate.

Place the dough back in the large bowl, and cover, letting the dough rise for about an hour.

Note: I had a reader comment that I should add to the directions to grease the bowl before adding the dough to rise. You may want to do this. I actually let the dough rise in the bowl I make it in, which is a round glass pyrex bowl with a glass lid. I don’t bother greasing since there is residual flour from the dough, and have never had a problem with this.

Grease and flour (I usually flour just the bottom and corners) a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Punch the dough down, knead it a few times, and shape it into a loaf that will fit lengthwise in your loaf pan. Place the dough in the pan, and leave it to rise for about 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 350ºF. If desired, brush the loaf lightly with water and sprinkle on the sugar. Bake the loaf for 20 minutes. If it is starting to brown quickly on top, tent it with foil. Bake it for 15 to 20 minutes more. Let the pan cool for 15 minutes (I usually place it on a wire rack to get the air circulating around it) before removing the loaf to cool completely.

Note: I have trialed a higher ratio of whole wheat flour, but this ratio was better. If you want to go 100% whole wheat, I recommend adding a little wheat gluten to the mix.

Makes 1 loaf

maple oat bread

Fresh and Nutty Maple Fig Spread

Posted by on July 27, 2010 | 18 Comments

Today I am doing a guest post on The Whole Gang for a continuation of 30 Days to a Food Revolution. But, I also get to post it here. The idea is that I offer a tip for healthy living (whole foods and from scratch kind of stuff), and a recipe. So here you go …

Recipe: Fresh Maple-Fig Spread (recipe below)

fig spread

Tip: Treat yourself to a ‘new to you’ food at least once a month, and a healthy ‘splurge’ food at least once a week

I confess, even though I love whole foods and eating seasonally, I can easily get caught in an ordinary repetitive rut … banana smoothies for breakfast; homemade bread and nut butter for a snack; big salad with greens, carrots, and protein for lunch; an orange or apple for a snack; and a protein, grain, veggie dinner that usually contains broccoli, cauliflower, or a similar common veggie.

It wasn’t until I signed up for a CSA that I discovered the fun and excitement of trialing new-to-me foods. Sure, I still love my banana smoothies and an almost-daily heap of my still favorite veggie, broccoli, but throwing a new food in the mix on occasion really perks up my interest in from-scratch meals, and helps me to expand the variety in my diet.

I tried shooting for one new-to-me food per week, but the pressure was a little too much for me when I didn’t have a CSA for guidance. So I have changed up the program to something more manageable. Now I aim to trial one new-to-me food per month, BUT, each week I pick up at least one “splurge” food that is perhaps something that I have trialed before, but don’t indulge in very often. I guess you would call it re-introducing a food to increase the variety and pleasure in my diet. I often combine this concept with seasonality – a box of organic strawberries at their peak, some fresh ears of local corn mid-summer, or a kabocha squash when it makes its rare appearance at my small town grocer.

Keep in mind, the “new” or “reintroduced” food could be fruit, vegetables, whole grains, organic meats, wild seafood, a drink (think herbal or antioxidant tea, kefir, or kombucha), a wholesome baking ingredient, or even or even a fun “superfood” like maca, acai, or mulberries. The sky is the limit!

For some examples, here are a few creations I made with new-to-me and healthy splurge foods:

As it happened, this month the fruit CSA delivered an item that I couldn’t believe I had never tried before, fresh figs. The dried, wrinkly ones have entered my kitchen on several occasions, but this was my first taste of a fresh fig, and it was delicious! I had several, so I opted to make a spread that would replace my morning nut butter for a for a few days, and even used it to jazz up that banana smoothie …

Fresh Maple-Fig Spread

Feel free to add more fresh figs if you want to highlight the fruit even more. If you only have dried figs on hand, rehydrate them in warm water and puree away.

This recipe is Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, and Refined Sugar-Free.

  • 1/4 Cup Cashews or Almonds
  • 1/4 Cup Walnuts
  • 6 Medium-Sized Fresh Figs
  • 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup (can sub honey or agave)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Salt

Grind the cashews or almonds somewhat into a powder (I use an electric spice/coffee grinder). Add all ingredients to your food processor, and pulse, chop, or blend to your desired consistency. I made mine fairly smooth, but with some walnut chunks. Feel free to adjust the sweetness, salt, and spices as desired.

Yields about 1 cup

Smoothie Option – The figs help to sweeten up smoothies, while the nuts add some creaminess, healthy fat, and protein. Here I simply blended about 1/3 cup of the spread with 1 frozen banana (and an extra dash of cinnamon) for a lightly sweet and tasty breakfast treat. Feel free to sweeten to taste if your fruit isn’t quite ripe and/or add some protein powder for a little more muscle in your beverage …

fig smoothie

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Spiced Apricot-Cashew Smoothie

Posted by on July 9, 2010 | 20 Comments

Two days before we had scheduled for a week-long vacation, my CSA delivered with the motherload. Figures. Not that I am complaining, but finding ways to use up bags of fragile greens in two days is no easy feat. And then there were the apricots. 5 lbs of Blenheims and Pattersons quickly nearing their peak of perfection. And then, when we returned, they gave us 5 lbs more!

With dozens (and dozens) of these little gems on hand, I thought they must make their way into my breakfast (and snack, and dessert (see my last post for apricot crumble bars), and …), so of course, a smoothie it was.

dairy-free apricot-cashew smoothie

Since I was having it for breakfast, I didn’t opt for a super-sweet treat, but feel free to up the sweetener or play around with one of the sub options listed. Also, I see no reason why you couldn’t sub in another stone fruit if you don’t have ripe apricots available. Try peaches, cherries, or even nectarines!

dairy-free apricot-cashew smoothie

Spiced Apricot-Cashew Smoothie

This recipe is Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, and optionally Sugar-Free.

  • 3 Ripe Apricots
  • 1 Small to Medium Frozen, Ripe Banana (see sub options below)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 Cup Milk Alternative (I used Silk Almond Original)
  • 1/2 Ounce Cashews, Ground in Spice Grinder
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Flaxseed (optional)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • Pinch Salt
  • Sweetener to Taste (see below)
  • Ice (optional)

Place the apricots through salt in your blender, give it a few pulses to break things up, and whiz away until smooth (start with just 1/2 cup of the milk alternative and add more if desired once the mixture is smooth). Taste test and blend in sweetener to taste. If a frostier treat is in order, blend in ice to desired consistency.

Sweetener – This really is a matter of taste and depends on how ripe / sweet your fruit is and if your milk alternative is sweet at all. I added 1 teaspoon of honey, because I love honey with stone fruit. You could add your sweetener of choice (perhaps 1 to 3 teaspoons) or for an all-fruit vibe, add a soft pitted date.

Tired of Bananas? – Try subbing the banana with your favorite dairy-free yogurt or two soft pitted dates. Or for a more indulgent shake, stick with just the apricots, double the cashews, add in ice, and extra sweetener to taste.

Go Green – Toss in one or two fistfuls of baby spinach. It changes the color, but not the taste.

Yields 1 summer smoothie

dairy-free apricot-cashew smoothie

If you like this one, you might also like these recipes:

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I submitted this recipe / post to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays on Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free.

Soft Serve-Style Peanut Butter Cravings

Posted by on June 15, 2010 | 24 Comments

I just noticed that most of the smoothies on my blog include banana. Believe it or not, I do take the occasional banana break using mango, avocado, or other fruits for thickening power, but I am not going to apologize for my love of this sweet and highly accessible fruit. In fact, I am going to share my current favorite breakfast today that features, you guessed it, one big, sweet banana.

Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, and Vegan Peanut Butter Shake / Smoothie

Why the obsession with bananas? Of course, the taste is awesome … and nothing naturally thickens and sweetens a healthy dairy-free smoothie/shake like frozen, ripe banana chunks. But my love runs deeper than mere aesthetics.

My whole life I have had a problem with severe calf cramps. Mid-stride during soccer matches (as a child and adult) they would suddenly seize leaving me frozen and writhing in pain. I frequently awoke in the middle of the night with extreme cramping (yes, my poor husband has been startled awake by my sudden outbursts on many occasions). But about five years ago I started my smoothie habit, eating at least one large banana every day. And what do you know, those calf cramps vanished. I mean *poof* – for good. The only time they have returned is mid-winter one year when I took a banana hiatus. Never again.

Many people argue that bananas aren’t actually the best source of potassium (a known cramp fighter). They are a “good” source, though in reality not a true top contender. But perhaps it is something more than just potassium … perhaps it is the whole nutrient banana package that somehow works.

Though one might think consistent change would be needed to keep things interesting with the old banana, to me it is a comfort food and I have comfort smoothies. I used to be completely loyal to the True Blue Smoothie, but the past year has brought on an intense love of peanut butter. You may have spotted my addiction via the Uber-Rich Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Chunks (definitely a good recipe for this time of year), my PB & J Thumbprints (yes, no bake!), or the Nutty Oatmeal Blender Waffles (I couldn’t resist tossing PB in my favorite waffles).

These are all nice treats, but on a daily basis, my cravings are quite simple. Very simple in fact. Below is my favorite smoothie “recipe” for the past year (and we are talking the whole year – notice the snow in the background of the photo below – that was actually May though). I hesitated on posting it because it is so basic and so loose, but I love it, I CRAVE it. I usually go for max PB and make the smoothie super-thick (almost soft-serve style), with as little milk alternative as possible.

Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, and Vegan Peanut Butter Shake / Smoothie

 

Peanut Butter and Banana Cravings Smoothie
This really isn’t a recipe in the strictest sense of the word, but rather a simple idea. I always vary the amount of banana and pb depending on my cravings, and sometimes a dash of stevia is in order. If I think I need something nutrition-wise, one or more of the add-ins listed may make their way in.

  • Frozen Ripe Banana Chunks (I use about two handfuls – at least one large banana, maybe a bit more sometimes)
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons Creamy Natural Peanut Butter (I use unsalted and sometimes add a tiny, tiny pinch of salt, but salted could be good too)
  • 3/4 Cup to 1-1/2 Cups Unsweetened Vanilla or Plain Almond Milk or Coconut Milk Beverage (feel free to use your favorite milk alternative – regular sweetened versions will of course up the indulgence factor nicely and you can even use chocolate!)
  • 1/8 to 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • Sweetener to taste (optional – I use a dash of stevia or a little maple or honey if the banana is under-ripe, but otherwise, I go without)

Place the frozen banana, pb, and 3/4 cup of milk alternative in your blender. If you have a powerful blender, whiz away. Less powerful like mine? Pulse to break up the ingredients, and then blend. If it is too thick, add milk alternative a little at a time until it blends well and reaches your desired consistency.

If you have a wimpy blender, avoid the temptation to throw a bunch of liquid in too soon. Too much and the blades won’t catch all of the chunks – they will simply whiz around. You can always add more liquid once it is smooth. I prefer my smoothies spoonable, so I add as little as possible.

Blend in the cinnamon, sweetener if using, and any other add-ins you desire (see some of my suggestions below).

My Favorite PB & B Add-ins:

  • A Scoop of Chocolate Superfood Mix (Kidz or Adult) from Amazing Grass
  • A Big Fistful of Spinach
  • Some Ground Flaxseed
  • Cocoa or Carob Powder  (1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon)
  • Protein Powder (we like pure egg white protein powder or vanilla hemp protein powder, but your favorite will do)

Yields 1 nutty serving

Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, and Vegan Peanut Butter Shake / Smoothie

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Sweet Simplicity: Whole Wheat Vegan Pancakes

Posted by on May 6, 2010 | 38 Comments

With mother’s day on the horizon, and many pancake Sundays to come, I just had to share this delightful yet oh-so-basic breakfast / brunch recipe. These pancakes have a very pleasant flavor that is not too sweet (just right for your favorite toppings), and a perfectly fluffy texture.

whole wheat vegan pancakes

I frequently keep our toppings quite hearty. When I make waffles, I often top them with homemade nut butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a light drizzle of honey. But for these, I decided a little maple was in order. I made two separate toppings: mine was outright hearty, while my husband’s had some added nutrition snuck in (no complaints, his plate was licked clean with a very big thank you). I have included our toppings after the pancake recipe.

Wholesome Whole Wheat Vegan Pancakes or Waffles

After scanning various pancake recipes, I combined the different ratios, ingredients, and ideas to develop this very simple, but delicious, recipe. I guess you would say it was inspired by many, but created in my kitchen.

This recipe is Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, and optionally Refined Sugar-Free. You could probably make them gluten-free with your favorite All-purpose gluten-free flour blend and a touch of xanthan gum (1/2 to 1 teaspoon I am guestimating).

  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder (Note: I made these pancakes at high altitude (6500ft), where everything gets a little extra “lift.” If you are at 3000 ft to sea level, I recommend increasing the baking powder to 1-1/2 Tablespoons. Yes, it may seem like a bit, but it helps to replace the lift that usually comes from eggs!)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Sweetener (I used Palm Sugar, but you can use Sucanat, Brown Sugar, Maple Syrup, etc.)
  • 1 to 1-1/4 Cups Milk Alternative (I used Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage)
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons Oil (I used melted coconut oil*, but extra-light olive oil, grapeseed oil, or your favorite baking oil will do)

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, and set aside.

In a measuring cup, combine the sweetener, 1 cup of the milk alternative, and the oil. Whisk in the reserved flour mixture.

 dairy-free pancake batter

If the batter is too thick or becomes too thick as it sits, add up to 1/4 cup of additional milk alternative (I live at high altitude, where things rise more, so I used the full 1 and 1/4 cups for the pancakes, but you may not need that much).

Prepare your skillet with some cooking spray, and preheat it over medium heat.

Pour the batter into the skillet to create your desired size of pancakes (I make dollar-sized ones because I am so bad at flipping the bigger ones!). Cook over medium heat, reduce heat to medium-low if the skillet gets too hot (I have this problem with our electric stove).

The pancakes will bubble as soon as the batter hits the pan, ignore those bubbles. The batter will smooth out after 30 seconds. Wait until you see bubbles break at the surface again, then flip. Cook for about about 1 minute on the other side. Remove from the pan, and pour in the next batch of batter.

Repeat until all the batter is used up, and you have a few plates of scrumptious pancakes!

Top as desired – we like maple syrup, flaxseed, and sauteed apples.

For Waffles: Everything is the same, but I used only 1 cup of milk alternative, even at high altitude. The thicker batter works better on waffle irons. Simply prepare the batter and follow the directions for your waffle iron. They freeze and re-toast beautifully!

whole wheat vegan waffles

* If using coconut or palm oil, make sure all of your ingredients are brought to room temperature to avoid solidifying the oil as you stir it in.

Yields about 16 dollar pancakes or 3 servings

Alisa’s WW Pancake Topping: I sautéed 1 small apple in 1 teaspoon of earth balanace dairy-free / soy-free margarine, and added 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (could use just 1/4 t). I kept half of this apple mixture for myself, and added just 1 teaspoon of maple syrup for a sweet and moist touch. I placed the apples on my pancake stack, and sprinkled it all with some ground flaxseed.

whole wheat vegan pancakes

Tony’s WW Pancake Topping: To the other half of the cooked apples, I added 1-1/2 Tablespoons maple syrup and 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed. It was still a nice pourable maple syrupy topping with big, soft apple chunks. The flax went pretty well un-noticed by my husband.

Whole Wheat Vegan Pancakes

For more of my recipes see Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook and my new blog, Dairy-Free & Fit.

Famous Flax ‘n Oat Bar Recipe

Posted by on April 7, 2010 | 33 Comments

Okay, we all have a different definition of famous – but the wonderful folks at Enjoy Life Foods have featured this recipe on their blog. You can view the full post here on the ELF blog.

Chocolate Chip Flax 'n Oat Bars

I know, I know, it isn’t exactly Martha Stewart, but this company is fairly big, and one of my favorites. They use a dedicated allergen-free and gluten-free facility, which is hard to find these days. And, some of their products are surprisingly awesome. I love, love, love their mini chocolate chips (yes, they are even soy-lecithin-free), and their soft cookies. They are gluten-free, which I am not, but still awesome all around. I enjoy their granola too, but I am mostly a bake-at-home granola eater.

Anyway, I really wanted to have the recipe here for you all to access on my blog too, so here you go …

Chocolate Chip Flax 'n Oat Bars

 

No Bake Chocolate Chip Flax ‘n Oat Bars

Recipe adapted from my No Bake Granola Bar recipe in Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living.

Since I often make mini-batches of no bake snacks, but I don’t have an assortment of mini-pans, I typically make “rounds” instead of bars using silicon muffin pans. No cutting or greasing required, and anytime we need a snack, we just pop one out! This recipe is dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, and optionally gluten-free, nut-free, and/or vegan.

This recipe is Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free, Wheat-Free, optionally Gluten-Free, optionally Nut-Free, and optionally Vegan.

  • 3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup, Honey, Corn Syrup, or Agave Nectar (your choice)
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar or Evaporated Cane Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut or Palm Oil (not shortening)
  • 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter, SunButter, or Your Favorite Nut or Seed Butter
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Generous Pinch or Two of Salt (omit if using salted nut or seed butter)
  • 2 Tablespoons Ground Flaxseed
  • 1 Cup Quick or Rolled Oats (use certified gluten-free oats or give quinoa flakes a go for gluten-free)
  • 1 Cup Perky’s Crunchy Flax Cereal (can sub their rice cereal or crispy rice cereal)
  • 1/2 Cup Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips

In a medium-sized saucepan or skillet, combine the two sweeteners and the oil, and gently warm over low heat while stirring until the sugar crystals have dissolved. This should just take a couple of minutes.

Stir in the nut or seed butter, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Remove from the heat. Allow the mixture to cool for a couple of minutes.

Stir in the flaxseed, followed by the oats and cereal.

Now you have two choices here. If you want the chocolate chips to stay intact, let the mixture cool for few more minutes, and then stir in the chocolate chips. Or, if you are antsy like me, stir in the chocolate chips right away. They may melt a little against the warm pan, but I like them that way.

The mixture will be crumbly, but that is okay. Press it firmly into an 8 x 8 pan (use saran wrap or wax paper over your hand if it threatens to stick while pressing) or into 10 to 12 muffin tins. Make sure it is packed in there nicely, then place the bars into the freezer to chill for 30 minutes to an hour.

Cut into bars or pop them out and eat. I store them in the refrigerator, this keeps them fresh and from getting too soft.

Yields 10 to 12 snack bars

Chocolate Chip Flax 'n Oat Bars - Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free

Jam-Filled Snackin’ Muffins (or Soda Rolls)

Posted by on March 10, 2010 | 12 Comments

I swear, sometimes I feel like Celine reads my mind when it comes to trialing out baked goodie recipes. I purchased some all-fruit spread solely for the purpose of coming up with some jam-filled muffins and PB&J granola for my husband’s morning snack … when low and behold, I opened her new book 500 Vegan Recipes (co-written with Joni Marie Newman) to discover recipes for both!

Vegan Jam-Filled Soda Rolls

She calls these muffins “rolls,” which I suppose is fair since they really aren’t very sweet, save for the jam surprise in the middle. Nonetheless, they are perfectly yummy and satisfying for breakfast. I had to modify the recipe a wee bit, based on what I had on hand. I did use honey (sorry, I know it isn’t strict vegan practice, and have no fear, 500 Vegan Recipes is honey-free!), but you can stick with their suggested sweetener or agave as I have noted.

 

Jam-Filled Snackin’ Muffins (or Soda Rolls)

Recipe adapted from 500 Vegan Recipes by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman

They do specifically recommend soymilk for this recipe since it curdles best; though you may have success with other milk alternatives. Though we don’t typically stock soy in our house, I was reviewing this soymilk for Go Dairy Free, so I decided to use it here. This recipe is Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, and optionally Soy-Free and Refined Sugar-Free.

  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1-1/4 Cups Plain Soymilk (see above note for other soy-free milk alternatives)
  • 1-1/4 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1 Cup Whole or White Spelt Flour (I used whole spelt)
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey, Raw Sugar or Agave Nectar (I used un-vegan honey)
  • 2 Tablespoons Oil (I used extra-light olive, but you could use grapeseed, canola, or melted coconut oil)
  • 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
  •  1/4 Cup Jam or All-Fruit Spread
  • Melted non-dairy margarine (optional)

 Preheat your oven to 400ºF, and lightly grease 12 muffin cups.

Combine the vinegar and soymilk in a medium-sized bowl or glass measuring cup, and allow it to sit as the vinegar “curdles” the soymilk.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add the sweetener, oil, and applesauce to the now curdled soymilk. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture in your large bowl, and gently stir until just combined. No over-mixing!

Place 1 heaping tablespoon of the batter in each muffin cup. Top each mound of batter with 1 teaspoon of jam. Top the jam with the remaining batter (another heaping tablespoon per cup).

Bake for 15 minutes. As soon as you remove the rolls from the oven, brush the tops with non-dairy margarine if desired. Personally, I would skip this step next time, as I wasn’t a big fan of the salty margarine topping … but I am sure many people would love it. Pop the muffins out (they seemed to come out of the cups nicely, even while still quite hot) and indulge.

Yields a dozen sweet and savory muffins

Vegan Jam-Filled Soda Rolls

Acorn Squash with Sweet Sage “Butter”

Posted by on October 24, 2009 | 19 Comments

I have been so impressed with how well our herb plant not only survived the move, but also how much it is thriving, even in this cooler climate. Must be all of the great sun it is getting in our very bright new (to us) kitchen.

Alisa's herb garden

I have found good use for the basil and parsley with some regularity, but until yesterday, I hadn’t found a good recipe for the sage. My husband is okay with sage in light moderation, but I have to use caution, lest he be overwhelmed (I am an herb- and spice-aholic). So it took me some time to be inspired by a sage-including recipe that we would both enjoy.

Acorn Squash with a Sweet Sage Butter

This one definitely fit the bill, and it also gave me another opportunity to test out the new Earth Balance soy-free margarine (all natural – none of those nasty trans fats!). If dairy works in your household, butter can of course be utilized, but all of you dairy-freers and vegans out there will be happy to know that the Earth Balance was excellent as a “browned butter.”

Though I typically roast squash for that caramelization effect, I must admit that this cooking method worked fabulously. It was almost like a steaming technique that locked in the natural flavor. Try it!

Acorn Squash with Sweet Sage “Butter”

Recipe adapted from Recipezaar. This recipe is Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, and optionally Vegan.

  • 1 Acorn Squash (medium-sized), cut in half lenthwise and seeded
  • 2 Tablespoons Dairy-Free Margarine (I used Earth Balance soy-free, but you could also sub in coconut oil and a pinch of salt)
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey (agave nectar, brown sugar, or maple syrup should also go nicely)
  • 1 to 1-1/2 Teaspoons Fresh Sage, minced

Preheat your oven to350°F.

Place the prepared squash cut side down on a baking sheet or in a bakng dish. Bake for 45 minutes, or until tender. Keep in mind, if you leave it cut side down after removing it from the oven, it will continue to soften and cook a bit.

While the squash is baking, place the margarine in a small saucepan over medium-low to medium heat. Stir (not constantly, but with regularity) and cook until it just begins to brown, but do not let it burn (took about 10 minutes for me – You can also see these more detailed instructions for browning butter)

Remove the margarine from the heat and stir in the honey (or other sweetener) and sage. Allow the flavors to sit and meld while your squash cools for a few.

Cut each squash half into quarters (this is how I like to serve it), and evenly spoon the sweet sage butter into the squash sections and serve.

Note: I like to make cuts in the middle of each squash section, allowing the butter to seep in. You can also smash it in for some tasty mashed squash.

Another Note: I served this for lunch with simple baked chicken breasts. Slopping up any honey-sage-butter that had drizzled onto my plate with the chicken was really yummy too.

Yields 2 squashy servings

Acorn Squash with a Sweet Sage Butter

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Smoked Salmon Crustless Quiche, sort of

Posted by on September 27, 2009 | 19 Comments

Since my last Dutch Baby venture was such a dee-licious success, I set out to create a savory version the other day. But, I couldn’t stop with that one challenge alone. Oh no, silly me decided to go for the gusto and make it grain-free too! Luckily it worked out okay, but I used ground almonds, and was surprised at how bready the first trial turned out. It was good, but somehow the texture didn’t really go with the flavor. So in round two, I switched to cashews, using half the amount, and a star was born!

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Smoked Salmon Quiche

However, this new concoction wasn’t really a Dutch Baby anymore. Determined to find a name, I went online to read about the various types of egg dishes (yes, I do waste too much time on completely useless activities once in a while). The most comparable dish I could find was a quiche, but since this recipe contains no cheese, cream, or dairy of any kind, it seemed like a bit of a stretch. I mean, a healthy quiche?

I have never really had a quiche, so I turned to my husband for his taste-testing expertise. He said, “It’s kind of like a quiche, but different. It’s good though!” And thus, this name was born …

 

Smoked Salmon Crustless (Sort of) Quiche

This recipe is Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, and Soy-Free. I got a gread deal on wild smoked salmon ($1.50 for 4 ounces per package!), which is why I opted to use it in this dish. Feel free to use fresh salmon if you prefer.

  • 2 Ounces Cashews (can sub almonds)
  • 1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk or Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage
  • 4 Medium Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Tahini
  • 4 Teaspoons Nutritional Yeast (optional)*
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Dried Dill or a scant Tablespoon Fresh Dill
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Ounces Smoked Salmon, flaked or diced (depending on the type you use)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Oil (your choice) or Dairy-Free Margarine

Preheat your oven to 425ºF

Grind the cashews in a spice grinder for about 30 seconds, or until they turn into a powder.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the cashews, milk alternative, eggs, tahini, nutritional yeast, dill, onion powder, and salt. Stir in the smoked salmon.

Place the oil or margarine in a 9″ pie plate, or divide it between four ramekins. Place the dish(es) in the oven to warm up for a few minutes. Remove and make sure the oil/margarine nicely coats the bottom of the dish.

Give the egg mixture another quick whisk, and pour it into your prepared dish(es). Bake for about 25 minutes, or untili the egg dish is nice and puffed, and just beginning to brown. It will deflate upon removal from the oven, so if you want a picture, be quick!

*You can use more or less nutritional yeast based on your tastes, or omit it altogether. I wasn’t really going for “cheesy” which is why I didn’t use a bunch, but rather a well-rounded and slightly bold/hearty flavor.

Yields 2 hearty servings or 4 servings with a big salad

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Smoked Salmon Quiche

Healthy Dutch Babies topped with a Chunky Blueberry-Maple Sauce

Posted by on September 2, 2009 | 28 Comments

Earlier this year, I discovered the Dutch Baby; a thick, eggy oven pancake that is sometimes referred to as a German pancake. Though it had been months and months since my first enjoyable and successful endeavor, I got a huge craving for these babies this morning!

Of course, I didn’t want to make the same recipe that I made the first time, so I did a little research and came up with a second variation that was, dare I say, positively delicious!

Most of the Dutch Baby recipes I spied were made with white sugar, white flour, and an unnecessary amount of butter. If I ate that way for breakfast, I would fall flat on my face by 9am. I reduced the butter significantly, and in fact changed it to coconut oil, I subbed the flour with rolled oats (ground in 30 seconds into a flour), and used maple syrup as my choice of sweetener in moderation. Trust me, there was no sacrafice. This is a wonderful brunch-worthy recipe that you can actually feel good about eating. Plus, with the changes, the recipe is dairy-free, soy-free, and wheat-free (optionally gluten-free)!

blueberrydutchbaby

Yesterday I promised something with blueberries … so I decided to pair our breakfast with a quick and chunky blueberry maple sauce. But these ultra-thick pancakes are very versatile. I have suggested a few different topping ideas in the recipe, but feel free to go crazy and experiment with your own pairings.

Oh, I have one last note, on the eggs. Until I discovered organic eggs, I literally (literally)  couldn’t stomach eggs. No idea why, but my husband even noticed the quality difference. I know what you are thinking, organic eggs, I thought you were frugal?! Take a look around for medium organic eggs. They are quite a bit cheaper than the large ones, and we still tend to use the same amount of eggs no matter what size I buy. Hence why this recipe uses medium eggs. You can sub 3 to 4 large eggs if you wish, depending on how eggy you want it.

I really want to make a savory and grain-free version of Dutch Babies, but the flavor ideas just aren’t coming to me as of yet. Most savory versions use cheese, but I know some fresh herbs and vegetables can stand alone, if only I can think of a good combination. I welcome suggestions! In the meantime, enjoy …

Healthy Wheat-Free / Dairy-Free Dutch Babies

This recipe is Vegetarian, Dairy-Free, Wheat-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free, Low Sugar, Relatively Low in Fat, and optionally Gluten-Free (seek out some of those certified gluten-free oats)

  • 1 Cup Rolled Oats (can sub 1 cup of your flour of choice)
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Salt 
  • 1 Cup Regular or Unsweetened Milk Alternative (I used unsweetened coconut milk beverage from Turtle Mountain – it was on sale! Rice, Almond, or Hemp Milk should also work well)
  • 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup, Honey, or Agave Nectar (I used pure maple syrup)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Medium Eggs, brought to room temperature if you have time
  • ½ Tablespoon Coconut Oil or Dairy-Free Margarine (I used coconut oil)

Preheat your oven to 425ºF

Place half of the oats in a spice / coffee grinder and whiz for about 30 seconds, or until the oats turn into a flour. Repeat with the remaining oats. I believe this can also be done in a food processor, but it is so quick, easy, and clean in a cheap little spice grinder ($15 at the grocery store!), why bother.

Sift the oat flour and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk in the milk alternative, sweetener, and vanilla, stirring until everything is well combined.

Whisk in the eggs one at a time until incorporated.

Put the coconut oil or margarine in a 9″ pie plate, cast iron pan, or similarly sized baking dish, and place it in the oven for a few minutes, or until the oil / margarine is melted and the pan is good and heated.

Removed the dish (with a pot holder!) and swirl the oil / margarine around a bit to coat. Pour in the egg batter, pop it in the oven, and leave it be for 25 minutes.

The batter will climb up, swelling a bit like a souffle (it is really fun to watch). When you take it out of the oven, it will deflate …

dutchbabyfresh

While this may seem less desirable than a puffy souffle, the crater actually makes for a wonderful bowl to hold delicious fillings or syrup! You can fill it with my Sinful Cinnamon Apple Saute; a bounty of seasonal, chopped fresh fruit and/or berries; a dusting of powdered sugar and served with pure maple syrup; your favorite jam; or try my Chunky Blueberry-Maple Sauce (recipe below) …

blueberry dutch baby filled

Since I feared we might eat the entire dish in one sitting, I only made 1/2 batch of the blueberry sauce. If you want to fill the crater, the full recipe should do it. But, it was a good thing I held off, because for my husband and I, this was just a 2 serving recipe …

The dutch baby is gone!

Yields 2 to 4 pancakey, eggilicious servings

Chunky Blueberry Maple Cinnamon Sauce

I find that the sweetness of this sauce does vary depending on how ripe your blueberries are. You may want to start with less maple syrup and sweeten to taste, and of course, you can always add more than 1/4 cup of maple syrup if it isn’t sweet enough for you too! Honey and agave are less expensive (and slightly sweeter) options that you can substitute if desired.

  • 2 Cups Fresh or Frozen (not thawed) Blueberries
  • 1/4 Cup Pure Maple Syrup, more or less as needed (can sub honey or agave nectar)
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract (optional)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon (I love cinnamon, I use 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1 Teaspoon Cornstarch

Add the blueberries, maple, lemon juice, vanilla, and cinnamon to a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and allow it to simmer for a few minutes. Sprinkle in the cornstarch, whisking to combine (I didn’t have any clumping problems with this method), and continue to simmer for a few minutes more to thicken.

Yields about 4 sweet and fruity servings

blueberrydutchbabysmaller

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I submitted this recipe to A Gluten Free Holiday: Breakfast & Brunch Recipes at Ginger Lemon Girl.

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