Something to add to your Christmas Brunch Gingerbread Waffles

IMG_4336I don’t know about you but I get a lot of newsletters. I like to try new things, so if I come across something I try it out and before I know it I have been automatically signed up for their newsletter (though I realize the new anti-spam laws are meant to prevent this).

From time to time I go through and weed out the ones I don’t really read or pay attention to and unsubscribe. Others I scan periodically looking for those little gems and remember why I signed up for it in the first place; then keep it in my inbox. Those gems are what keep me hooked, keep me reading the newsletters and staying on.

The ones that keep me hooked the most are the ones with yummy recipes that I discover and want to try, something I may not have thought of or come across otherwise. These are my favorite discoveries, some delectable dish just waiting to grace my plate and win my approval.

IMG_4329I found one of those gems earlier this week, when scanning the most recent Sobeys flyer. Luke and Chloe were with me, sitting on my lap, when I discovered these gingerbread waffles. I love gingerbread and I love waffles, so I was sure gingerbread waffles would definitley be a fabulous combination and treat. I ooed and awed and quickly clicked on the link, spreading my excitement to Luke and Chloe, as we waited in anticipation to see what was on the ingredient list. Looked easy enough, so we planned to try them.

It was so cute this morning as we came downstairs to make them for breakfast. Luke and Chloe got their chairs and wanted to help make them. Luke kept chatting away about trying them and we’ll see if they turn out and it was ok if they didn’t. Quite interesting chatter for a 4 year old. They were definitely excited.

IMG_4330Making all the appropriate adjustments (dairy and sugar), these waffles turned out fabulously! Perfectly golden brown, fluffy, with a subtle (not overwhelming) taste of gingerbread, they are not only delicious but very filling! After only having 2 waffles I was quite full.

The kids loved them of course and were also quite happy with how they turned out. We even broke out the Christmas dishes to enjoy them! Now I have another fantastic waffle recipe to add to my repertoire of delectable waffles (plain, chocolate, orange) and new options for breakfasts and brunches, especially Christmas morning breakfast. Who wouldn’t love to have gingerbread for breakfast on Christmas?

I would like to try this recipe using coconut milk instead of almond milk (though really the almond milk version turned out very well), just to see what the difference is and if we like it even more. You never know til you try! So next time I make them we’ll give it a go.

In the meantime, enjoy these yummy dairy free, sugar free, gingerbread waffles, topped with pure maple syrup they are sure to be a hit this holiday season!

Gingerbread Waffles

1 1/4 c. whole wheat flourIMG_4334

1c. all purpose flour

2 tbsp. coconut sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. ginger

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1 1/2 c. almond milk

3 eggs

1/4 c. barley malt

1/4 c. Earth Balance vegan spread, melted

In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flour, coconut sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices).

In a small bowl, whisk together almond milk, eggs, barley malt and melted Earth Balance. Add barley malt mixture to dry ingredients and stir until well combined.

Fill a greased waffle iron with approx. 1/2 cup (125 mL) of batter per waffle. Cook until golden and cooked through, about 3 min. per waffle. Repeat until all batter is used. Serve with Pure Maple Syrup.

Makes approximately 12 waffles

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Yummy Pumpkin Muffins

IMG_4234There’s nothing better than a warm pumpkin muffin, fresh out of the oven, with a nice bit of butter on it, melting as the muffin melts in your mouth with that first delectable bite. I love pumpkin and that is one of the many reasons I love this time of year. In the Fall, pumpkins and pumpkin recipes and dishes abound.

Whether it be preparing for the Thanksgiving feast or the events at Halloween there are pumpkins everywhere. And I am quite happy to take advantage of this and enjoy as much pumpkin as I can. There is so much you can do with pumpkin from soups to pies, cheesecakes, even drinks like martinis and lattes! (Who else can’t wait for Fall so we can experience once again the delectable flavors of a pumpkin spice latte)?

IMG_4224Muffins are one of the quickest and easiest ways to use pumpkin. They are great for snacks, to put in lunches and easy to freeze, if they last that long. My kids love muffins of any kind and will gladly gobble up the pumpkin ones just as quick as the strawberry rhubarb, apple, blueberry, etc. Of course I tend to make my favorites (or honestly what is in abundance at our house, for instance earlier in the Fall we had all the apples from our apple tree).

Over the past couple of years I have adjusted my pumpkin muffin recipe, passed down from my Mom to make it sugar free and dairy free, meeting our new dietary choices. I have IMG_4237also been experimenting with gluten free recipes as well and therefore have found some good gluten free pumpkin muffins as well. (Usually I still need to do a little adjusting with the sugar, but it has become second nature now and is a quick and easy substitution).

So I make both at times, as my kids will eat either, though I am finding I am moving more towards gluten free only because I am noticing how my body is feeling after gluten sometimes (which is not so good). And today I am sharing both recipes with you. Both are equally easy and delicious, so it is simply your preference or dietary needs to decide which one to try (You could, like me, make both).

Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins

1/2 c. tapioca flour

1/2 c. garbanzo flourIMG_4225

1/2 c. brown rice flour

1 c. coconut sugar

3 tbsp. flaxseed

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. nutmeg

2 tsp. cinnamonIMG_4220

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 c. pumpkin puree

1/2 c. safflower oil

2 eggs

1/2 c. dates or raisins

In a medium mixing bowl, mix dry ingredients thoroughly (flours, coconut sugar, flaxseed, baking soda, salt and spices). In another bowl, mix wet ingredients together (pumpkin puree, safflower oil, eggs). Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and add wet ingredients to dry. Stir until just combined, then mix in dates or raisins.

Line muffin tin with muffins cups or grease with coconut oil. Fill each cup. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.

Makes 12 muffins

Pumpkin Muffins

1 3/4c. all purpose flourIMG_4223

1/2 c. coconut sugar

3 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. cloves

pinch ginger

2/3 c. almond milkIMG_4233

1/2 c. pumpkin

1/3 c. olive oil

1 egg

1/2 c. dates or raisins

In a medium sized bowl, beat together egg, pumpkin and oil. Add almond milk. Sift together dry ingredients and add to mixture. Mix in dates or raisins.

Line muffin tin with muffin cup or grease with coconut oil. Fill muffin cup and bake at 400F for 25-30 minutes.

Makes 12 muffins

Do you have a favorite pumpkin muffin recipe?

Sugar Free Apple Crunch Muffins

IMG_0565Last week I was telling you about my discovery of apple butter and how delicious it is; and that I was going to explore making my own. With the amount of apples that we have been reaping off our tree I thought that this would be a quick and easy way to use them up. I have been looking at a large bowl full of apples for a week now and knew I had another crisper drawer full in the fridge. Some of them were starting to go soft and I knew that the time was now or never to use these babies up, or they would go to waste.

So last night I Googled an apple butter recipe, and finding one that I Iiked, went to work. This is when I realized that the recipe called for 9 quarts of applesauce. 9 quarts! I quickly converted this to cups and discovered it meant 36 cups of applesauce. Now I have a lot of apples but honestly I didn’t have enough to make 36 cups.

apple-butter-13b_thumbI knew I needed to use up these apples, and though pies and crumbles are yummy and being gobbled up, they were not using up the amount of apples I needed to fast enough. I had to do something with these apples fast or I was going to have a nice pile of brown mush for the compost. I decided to make applesauce regardless as it would use up the rest of the apples quickly. The twins love eating applesauce at breakfast, sometimes sprinkled with cinnamon and I had an apple muffin recipe in mind that required applesauce I was hoping to make.

So I did. I cored and cut them and put them in a pot to cook. Now I make applesauce all the time, but in my recent search for an apple butter recipe I discovered that there was a better way to make applesauce then what I had been doing previously.

baked-applesauceI used to cut and core the apples and put them in a pot, cover them with water and boil them til soft. Then I would drain the water and puree them in the blender. I found that though this was good, the applesauce tended to be a little watery. On this website it suggested a slightly different way. First of all they said to use only an inch of water in the bottom of your pot, as apples are 99% water and they will cook down making their own juices as they cook and soften. The second thing they recommended was that you mush the apples through a sieve, this way you get a nice thick, yet smooth applesauce. This was the method I tried.

I used only an inch of water and let them cook and soften. Then I drained whatever water was left, which wasn’t much, and strained and mushed it through a colander, leaving the peels (which I had left on) on top in the sieve and a nice thick applesauce in the container underneath. I was really impressed with how this turned out and will use this method to make applesauce going forward.

Luke and Chloe really like it too as they gobbled it up at breakfast asking for second and third helpings. I had to hide the rest in order to have enough left to make my muffins.

IMG_4146The recipe I had in mind using applesauce was for Apple Crunch muffins; one that my sister made in her home ec class in junior high. It became a favorite in our house, I think because of the yummy sweet topping, and one that was made often. I have since modified it to meet our dairy free and sugar free needs, but find it just as yummy and delicious. In fact I do not notice a difference between the original and the sugar free version.

When the muffins came out of the oven this morning, everyone was quickly asking for a taste. No one was disappointed when they took that first bite and enjoyed the sweet topping, yummy moist applesauce and fresh warm muffin. I really did find that the homemade applesauce did make them taste that much better. But isn’t that always the case with homemade? ūüôā

So if you can, when you make these muffins I would recommend homemade applesauce if you have it. If not you can buy an unsweetened natural organic applesauce at Superstore, or your local natural food store.

Now I hope that this is finally the end of our apples (I don’t see anymore on the tree, but you never know…) So there will be no mad rush to use them up or create new recipes. Well… until next year that is…

Enjoy these delicious muffins and maybe double the batch, as they won’t last long. Ours certainly did not!

Apple Crunch Muffins

Topping:

3/4 c. coconut sugarIMG_4134

1/3 c. all purpose flour

2 tbsp. Earth Balance vegan spread

Muffin:

1 c. all purpose flour

1/2 c. whole wheat flour

4 tbsp. coconut sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 egg

3/4 c. almond milk

3 tbsp. olive oil

4 tbsp. applesauce

Make topping by mixing coconut sugar, flour and Earth Balance; set aside. In a medium bowl, mix flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, almond milk and olive oil. Add to dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Drop cupcake liners into muffin tin, or grease tin with Earth Balance. Fill each 2/3 full, then top with applesauce and topping.

Bake at 375 F for approximately 20 minutes. When toothpick comes out clean muffins are done. Place on a cooling rack, let cool 5 minutes in pan. After 5 minutes, remove muffins from tin and let completely cool. Muffins can be stored in an airtight container.

Makes 12 muffins

What are some yummy recipes you have that use applesauce? Share them in the comments below.

For the Love of Fall… and a peek of what’s to come

IMG_3169

Camping in Drumheller

It’s that time of year again, back to school, back to routines and also time to try new things. ¬† We had a fantastic summer full of camping trips, days at the lake and all kinds of other adventures. You may have noticed I was suspiciously absent during the month of August. This is because I packed up the kids and went to Australia for 3 and a half weeks! My sister is there for a year with her family as her husband is on a teacher exchange.

I couldn’t resist the opportunity, as Australia is a place I absolutely love! And even though I have been before there is so much to see and do, it was time to go again. Plus this time we included a week in New Zealand, which I had not been to before.

IMG_0110

Sydney Harbour, Australia

As a result I have tons of things to share with you and lots of blog posts to write about where to go and what to see in that area of the world. So this Fall I will include a weekly feature about some fabulous place in Australia or New Zealand. Giving you the scoop on how it works for families and children and what recommendations we have.

Also this Fall I will continue with sharing fabulous recipes that I have found and tried, that are sugar and dairy free, and sometimes gluten free. There seems to be an endless stream of yummy recipes out there! and I have a big bag (literally) full of them to try. For instance this morning I made Apple Cinnamon muffins again, which I tried last year and we really enjoyed. This year I tried something a little different, using leftover almond mash from making almond milk. They were so moist and yummy… Of course I promptly shared them with my neighbor and friends this morning over coffee as we sat outside amongst the beautiful fall leaves.

IMG_2135

Apple Cake Muffin

These are the posts I will guarantee in amongst all the joys, trials and insights of having 3 children, whether it be tips on how to get them out the door in the morning or programs and crafts that I would recommend. And sometimes whatever moves me, whether it be a good book I’ve enjoyed or a moment I need to share. This is the joy of blogging!

Right now I am up to my ears in apples, like last year, we have reaped an abundant crop from our tree and are enjoying apple everything. I have made more crumbles than I can count, as well as pie, muffins, smoothies (ever tried an apple pie smoothie? Yum!), juice, etc. Though I have recently discovered apple butter – OMG! delicious and might try making that.

Fall is also my most favorite time of year! and I get super excited and motivated at this time of the year. Seasonally it is a time of ending, getting ready for a period of ‘rest’, but I see it as a time of new beginnings with all kinds of things that I want to try, or the kids want to try. Plus I love the warm golden sunny days, and the crisp Fall evenings. Gorgeous.

IMG_4087With that, I will leave you with the promise of what’s to come, and thoughts of what you’re favorite things about Fall are, or famous apple recipes you love. May you enjoy all that the season has to bring and more.

What are your favorite things/ activities in Fall? Have any good apple recipes? I’d love to try them. Please post in the comments below.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

broccoli-soup-bryons-lrgI wanted to post a recipe today for something sweet, especially for all you party goers who are joining me from the UBP; but I finally perfected my Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe and had to share – now both dairy free, gluten free and delicious!

For the past while, I have been just making a straight creamy broccoli soup, which was ok, but I missed the cheese. And the kids, who use to gobble it up, were kind of taking it or leaving it when I made it. In fact I wasn’t eating it at all (ha ha)!

So earlier this week when I was making it for lunch I decided to experiment. First I decided to use brown rice flour instead of regular white flour, as I am trying to make more things gluten free in our house (plus I have noticed that I feel tired after some things with gluten). Then I decided that I was going to throw in some of this fabulous non-dairy cheddar cheese that I discovered by Daiya foods. See one of the things I really do miss about not having dairy is cheese. And though there are lots of choices out there now for non dairy cheeses, I just couldn’t find one that I liked. They either didn’t melt well, or taste good and they definitely weren’t tasty enough to put on a cracker (yuk!). But recently I discovered this vegan cheese made by Daiya, a Canadian company actually (Go Canada) based in Vancouver. It melts, it tastes good and everyone gobbles it up! I think it is very close to tasting like dairy cheese and they make it in all kinds of flavours! They even sell it in slices so, guess what? We are now having grill cheese once again, which honestly used to be a staple for lunch.US-Shreds-Cheddar

Anyway I tossed a handful of the Daiya grated cheddar into the blender and mixed it all up. ¬†It was fantastic! Luke gobbled it up, I ate it and will eat it again (this is a good sign). And it tasted really cheesy, like you would expect a nice cheesy soup to taste. I think this means I can go back to making my Cheesy Potato soup now….

The recipe for this soup is really easy and doesn’t take any time at all to make. Give it a try! You won’t be disappointed.

And for those of you who are looking for a little sweet treat, check out Chocolate Peanut Butter Cereal Squares, Marshmallows, Chocolate Macaroons.

Do you have a favorite cheesy soup recipe? Please share it with us in the comments below.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

2 cups     fresh cut broccolibroccoli

1 cup      water

1 ¬ľ cup reserved juice, plus water if not enough juice left

1 cup      almond milk

1 tsp       chicken bouillon powder

¬ľ tsp ¬† ¬† sea salt

1/8 tsp   pepper

2 tbsp    brown rice flour

1/3 cup   grated vegan cheddar cheese

Cook broccoli in water in covered saucepan until tender. Drain and reserve juice. Put broccoli in blender.

Add remaining 6 ingredients to blender. Process until smooth. Return to saucepan. Heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture boils and thickens. Makes 3 cups.

Serves 2-3

IMG_0753

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cereal Squares

A Few of my Favorite Muffins

8I have fond memories of muffins growing up. This may sound a little weird but I was a competitive swimmer for many years and that meant early morning practices before breakfast. My mother would often make muffins and after practice we’d have muffins and juice before being dropped off at school. As a result, my Mom tried all kinds of different muffin recipes, so that we could enjoy variety and not get bored with the same old banana muffins 3 times a week.

IMG_2690One of my favorite muffin recipes was one that was filled with jam. Though not quite as tasty as a jam filled donut, I loved these because of the ‘surprise in the middle’. I also found them to be quite tasty and very moist due to the yogurt that is in the recipe.

Of course when we moved to eating dairy free I had to forgo these muffins for a while. Until recently, when I discovered some of the non-dairy yogurts out there. Though most varieties are made from soy, you can find brands that are made using coconut or almond milk as well.

With this discovery, I was now able to recreate these delectable muffins! Of course I had to experiment a bit as I needed to substitute the sugar as well and although most natural sugars can be substituted one for one, I find that when you are also altering another ingredient sometimes the sweetness factor needs to be adjusted to.

This was the case with these muffins as though the kids gobbled them up the first time I made them, both my older son and I felt they could be a little sweeter. So the next time I made them I experimented a little adding a little more coconut sugar then the recipe called for. As I result, I did eventually find the perfect combination.

nancys-cultured-soy-plain-58308The yogurt I use is Nancy’s Organic Cultured Soy, plain. Though they offer many different flavors as well. It is a little thicker than dairy yogurt but definitely works. (Also works fabulously in the Cheesy Greens Macaroni dish that I make, which is soooo good!) I have yet to try a coconut milk yogurt but imagine that this would work out the same.

So if you’re up for a yummy nutritious treat with a surprise in the middle, give these muffins a try. And if you do use the coconut milk yogurt come back and comment and let others know how it worked out.

Jam Filled Muffins

1 1/2 c. flour

1/4 c. + 1/8 c. coconut sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 c. Earth Balance vegan spread

1 c. non dairy yogurt

1/4 c. almond milk (or favorite non-dairy milk)

1 egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Favorite sugar free jam

In a medium bowl blend dry ingredients. In a small saucepan melt Earth Balance. Take saucepan off heat and stir in yogurt, almond milk. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients and stir until moistened.

*Line cupcake pan with liners or grease well. Spoon in half the batter. Place about 1 tsp. of jam in each muffin, then top with remaining batter.

Bake at 375 F for 15-20 minutes.

Makes 12 muffins.

*Note: I have found with these muffins if you have the cupcake liners that that is best due to the jam sometimes overflowing a bit.

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

IMG_2805Yesterday many of us celebrated Pancake Tuesday. A tradition that began in the Middle Ages this day has grown and enjoyed by people around the world.

Enjoying pancakes for supper is one of my favorite things (in fact I love anything breakfast for supper, there are so many fabulous breakfast foods out there) but on Pancake Tuesday I like to spice it up a little and make a recipe that is more than just your regular plain pancake – though those are just as delicious!

There are so many kinds of pancakes to choose from. Some of our favorites are pumpkin and oatmeal banana. There are gluten free options, dairy free, coconut and fruit options. You name it, you can basically find it and make it.

Yesterday I decided to try out an apple cinnamon pancake recipe (at the suggestion of my mother who was here on the weekend). I didn’t have one so I quickly googled it and found a number of apple cinnamon recipes to choose from. My favorite was on dairygoodness.ca, where they suggested using maple syrup as the sweetener as well as a mix of flours.

Of course I had to make a couple of other quick substitutions to make it dairy free (as that is part of our diet as well) and went to work mixing up the dough. The most time consuming part was shredding the apples but otherwise is a quick and easy recipe to make.

It was a huge hit! Everyone loved them. They had just the right amount of apple, not overwhelming and with a little bit of syrup…Yum! They were fabulous. My modified dairy and sugar free version is below.

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

1 1/2 c. all purpose flourIMG_2808

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. sea salt

3 eggs

2 1/2 c. almond milk

1/4 c. Earth Balance vegan spread, melted

2 tbsp. pure maple syrup

1 1/2 c. shredded apple

In a large bowl mix flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, mix eggs, almond milk, melted Earth Balance and maple syrup. Pour over dry ingredients and add apples. Stir gently until just combined – a few lumps may remain.

In a large non stick skillet, heat a small amount of butter. Scoop about 1/3 c. of batter per pancake into skillet. Cook approximately 2 minutes or until bubbles form in batter. Turn over and cook 1 to 2 minutes more until golden and fluffy. Repeat with remaining pancake batter.

 

Pancakes for Supper

Pancakes 1I love that one night a year I can make pancakes for dinner! Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday when Lent begins in the Christian faith.

Beginning in the middle ages, it was the last day for celebration and feasting before the period of fasting required during the lenten season. Food items like meat, milk, eggs and fats were restricted during this time; so to keep these foods from being wasted people would have big feasts on Shrove Tuesday in order to consume these items and prevent them from being wasted (as they would not keep over the next 40 days).

mardi-gras-2The English were the first to make pancakes on this Tuesday as it was an easy way to use these ingredients before Ash Wednesday began. In France, consumption of these fats or fatty foods on this day coined the phrase ‚ÄúFat Tuesday‚ÄĚ or Mardi Gras.

I always find these things fascinating and share them with my kids. My oldest often asks why we have Pancake Tuesday and though I know the traditional reason I had no idea of it’s origin.

And though we may not always observe all the traditions of the Christian faith we certainly enjoy and don‚Äôt mind observing this one! Usually I make the traditional plain pancakes and add some fruit on top, but with all our dietary changes and my hunt for new recipes, I have added to my repertoire of ‚Äėkinds‚Äô of pancakes.

So today if you are on the hunt for a little variety in your pancakes, give one of these recipes a try (and if you are not making pancakes for dinner then try them some other time, they are all delicious!) You‚Äôll love ‚Äėem and so will your kids. They are all sugar and dairy free and the last one is gluten free as well.

Pumpkin Pancakes from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen

1 1/2 c. flour (I used half whole wheat and half white)

1/4 c. date sugar

pic3R054P

Pumpkin Pancakes

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ginger

1/4 tsp. ground allspice

4 eggs, separated

3/4 c. canned unsweetened pumpkin

1 1/2 c. rice milk (I use a brand called Ryza as it has the least amount of additives and no sugar or you can make your own) or almond milk

4 tbsp. Earth Balance, melted

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Maple syrup for serving

In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and allspice. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites until medium peaks form. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, pumpkin puree, rice milk, Earth Balance and vanilla until well combined. Whisk the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture just until the batter is smooth and no lumps of flour remain. Fold in egg whites in 2 additions.

Heat griddle over medium heat until a few drops of water flicked onto the surface skitter across it. Lightly grease the griddle.

Pour 1/4 c. pancake batter onto griddle. Cook until bubbles form on top and the batter is set, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the pancakes over. Cook until golden brown on the other side, about 3 minutes more. Keep warm until all pancakes are cooked.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes from purecanadamaple.com

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

¬Ĺ teaspoon salt

2 cups rice milk or almond milk

2/3 cup old fashioned oats, not instant

2 overripe bananas, mashed with a fork to a fine pulp

2 egg whites, whipped to stiff peaks

2 teaspoons canola oil or non-stick pan spray

Gobs of crunchy or creamy peanut butter

Pure maple syrup

In a mixing bowl, combine both flours, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a non-reactive mixing bowl, combine milk, oats and bananas. Fold in dry ingredients. Fold in egg whites and mix until just combined.

Heat one teaspoon of oil in a 12-inch non-stick skilled over medium high heat. Drop batter by the scant ¬ľ cup full into pan and cook, turning once until lightly browned. Hold pancakes warm on a platter until you‚Äôve got them all cooked.

Spread a teaspoon or so of peanut butter on each pancake and then the Pièce de résistance of course…a generous drizzle of maple syrup.

Makes 15 pancakes.

Pancakes

This recipe is sugar free, dairy free, gluten free and is yummy! Courtesy of Ryza rice milk.

1 egg

1 cup Original or Vanilla Ryza

2 tbsp oil

1 3/4 cups brown rice flour

3 tbsp tapioca starch

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

Beat egg until frothy. Add Ryza and oil; beat until well blended. In another bowl mix brown rice flour and the remaining dry ingredients. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the liquids. Stir until well blended. Do not over stir. Batter will be slightly thin. Lightly grease a frying pan. Pour small circles and fry pancakes until golden. Serve with pure maple syrup.

You can also try apple cinnamon pancakes or if you prefer a simple plain pancake try this recipe.

What is your favorite pancake recipe? Share in the comments below.


Pumpkin Cheesecake – Absolutely to die for!

It’s coming… Thanksgiving and all things pumpkin! Big feasts, meals with friends and did I mention pumpkin? I love pumpkin and all things related to it, especially pumpkin pie. And Thanksgiving seems to be the only time of year that I make or get some.

Of course with any pie you can make any kind any time you want. But I seem to fall into the  times of the year when they are most prominent, as I imagine do many of us. So though I love pumpkin pie and it is my favorite, I do only get it once a year.

Every year at Thanksgiving I decide I am going to try a new pumpkin recipe, as my sister often makes things like pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin tarts and pumpkin cheesecake. And though I love to branch out and try new things I tend to fall back to my pie. What can I say? It seems just wrong to not have it.

This year I truly did branch out and I made a pumpkin cheesecake for the first time. Not specifically for Thanksgiving, because of course I will make pie, but around the right time ūüôā I found a recipe on Pinterest that looked really good and thought that I would try it.

Being dairy free I thought that I would just have to avoid cheesecake altogether. During the summer my friend decided to try a tofu chocolate cheesecake, which gave me hope. I thought that it would prove to be quite good. Not so much. Though not terrible we both agreed that we would not make it again. Then, I remembered that they make non dairy cream cheese and I had tried it before and liked it, so why not just substitute that into a regular cheesecake recipe? This got me very excited so I went to work.

After I got over just how much cream cheese this recipe called for; I went out got the ingredients and looked at what other substitutions I needed to make. The crust was a bit of a challenge as it called for graham wafers, but I came up with a solution using almond mash leftover from making almond milk, as I had done something similar making a pie before. I substituted coconut sugar for the sugar and then of course the non dairy cream cheese and sour cream (yes this recipe called for sour cream which was another reason why this particular cheesecake recipe intrigued me).

Now this recipe is not one that you can just whip up and have ready in an hour. In fact when I finally went to make it I looked at the recipe, and in reading it more closely almost aborted the whole idea. It was a lot of time, a number of steps and would not be fully ready until the next day (as when it was finished baking you had to let it sit in the fridge overnight).

Let me tell you it is totally worth it! This cheescake is absolutely fabulous, moist, creamy and flavourful. All the kids asked for a second piece and D’Wayne looked like he was in heaven. It was absolutely delicious!¬†I think Matthew even licked his plate and then asked for a third piece of cheesecake (to which of course I said no).

So if you are a fan of cheesecake and even a remote fan of pumpkin this recipe is worth the time and effort put into it. And the nice thing is, dairy free, sugar free, gluten free all equals guilt free and will impress every one of your guests this Thanksgiving.

Or you could just go with plain old pie

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust:

12 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan spread

2 1/2 c. almond mash (leftover from making almond milk)

1/4 c. coconut sugar

dash of salt

Cheesecake:

4 – 8 oz. vegan cream cheese

1/4 c. vegan sour cream

2 1/2 c. coconut sugar

15 oz. canned pumpkin

6 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tbsp. vanilla

1 tsp. sea salt

2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger

1/4 tsp. cloves

Postion rack in center of oven. Preheat to 325 F.

Brush a 10 inch springform pan with 1 tbsp. of Earth Balance. In a bowl, stir the remaining Earth Balance in with almond mash, coconut sugar and a pinch of salt. Press mixture into bottom of pan and up the sides. Bake until golden brown about 15-20 minutes.

Cool on a rack, then wrap outside of pan in tin foil and place in a roasting pan.

In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add coconut sugar and beat until just light. Add sour cream, then pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, 1 tsp. sea salt and spices and until just combined. Pour into cooled crust.

Gently place roasting pan into oven (do not pull the rack out). Pour boiling water into roaster until water is about half way up springform pan. Bake until the outside of cheesecake is set but the center is still loose, about 1 h 45 min. Turn off the oven and open the door briefly to let out some heat.

Close oven door and let cheesecake sit for 1 more hour. Carefully remove from roasting pan and let cool on rack. Run a knife around the edges, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

 

 

A Few Apple Muffins

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

For those of you who caught up with me last week, you’ll be pleased to know that I am still plugging away at using up the apples from my apple tree. Which is really good for you because I am finding and testing some great apple recipes which I then share. Plus my kids and D’Wayne are thoroughly enjoying being the taste testers, as are some of my neighbors.

Like I said there is a serious amount of baking at my house right now. There is not a day that goes by that I am not whipping up something in the kitchen and I am getting good at doing it quickly. Yesterday morning I whipped up some apple muffins between breakfast and heading out to my friends for coffee at 10 am.

Yesterday’s Apple Cinnamon muffin was a gluten, dairy and sugar free muffin, sweetened with maple syrup with coconut oil and flax seed meal. I am finding that I really like those recipes with that little extra kick of nutrition in there. You just mix it in and can’t even taste it.

I found this recipe on another blog site called the The Simple Veganista who shares raw and vegan recipes – who actually found it originally on the blog The Vanilla Bean. And I have to say these muffins are very good! In fact my oldest son Matthew’s response when he came home afterschool was “Damn these are good!” with his face all lit up with excitement.

They are super moist and very tasty. The only downside to this recipe is that one batch does not make enough – only 9 muffins! I did stretch it to 12 but got some very small muffins out of it.

Apple Cake Muffin

Last week I tried the Gluten Free Goddess’s Apple Cake muffin recipe, which we also enjoyed as this muffin has chunks of apple in it which I really liked. Many of the recipes I found called for grated apple and though this was good I wanted to really taste and notice the apple, so I liked the chunks. Her recipes still call for refined¬†sugar so a quick substitution of coconut sugar and I was able to whip these babies up! It even called for powdered sugar sprinkled on top once they were done baking and I was able to substitute for this as well! See recipe below.

I love muffins that have a little sprinkle of something on top, and both these muffin recipes do -the first being a coconut sugar and cinnamon mixture. Yum! There is just something fun about sprinkling something on top ūüôā

The only thing I find with the Gluten Free Goddess is many of her muffin recipes are the same base with slight changes in them to make them apple, blueberry or whatever kind of muffin it is. Though I do admire her, as all her recipes are original, tried and true; I like a little more variety in my muffins, which is why I search out other recipes to try. Regardless I do have to say even though her base is the same, I have never gone wrong with one of her recipes. They are always delicious!

Either way I would recommend either recipe if you are looking for a gluten free apple muffin, though the Apple Cinnamon one is the favorite at our house (I used coconut milk for our non-dairy milk, though you can use rice or almond milk if you prefer).

I still have a huge basket full of apples and am not sure what to do with them next as I am really looking for something that will use them up in large amounts! If you have any apple recipes to share please post them in the comments for everyone to try, especially me.

In the meantime go whip up one of these and then sit down for a few minutes and enjoy, savor, maybe grab a cup of coffee, while the kids play quietly….ha ha oh I’m dreaming again!

Regardless enjoy!

Sugar Free Powdered Sugar (replacement for regular icing sugar)

1 cup nonfat dry milk (for dairy free use powdered coconut milk)

1 cup cornstarch

2/3 cup Krisda Stevia for baking

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and whip until blended and powdered. Store in an airtight container.

This replacement can be used in any recipe calling for icing sugar.