Bread, Breakfast

Rustic Pumpkin Bread

 

vegan gluten free pumpkin oatmeal bread

This healthy pumpkin oat bread is comforting and delicious.

vegan pumpkin bread

Sometimes, not often but every once in a blue moon one of my “brain fog moments” happens for the better. Like the time when I forgot a major ingredient in a bread recipe and thought it was doomed for good only to find out it was the best tasting accident ever.

I’m so glad we forgot the milk in the original recipe and decided to change a few of the ingredients to make it acceptable for all my allergy, health, and nutritional needs, AND to my liking. We were pleasantly surprised with the final product – a surprisingly moist, and incredibly yummy pumpkin loaf! It has a nice hint of lemon, and is reminiscent of carrot cake, which I love. This recipe is going to be a go-to of ours from now on. It’s such a comforting treat for someone who can’t have sugar, gluten, dairy, etc, etc…and yet by the taste and texture you’d never guess this was allergy-friendly at all!!

the best pumpkin bread


Rustic Pumpkin Bread

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Flour-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Yeast-Free

Yield: 1 bread loaf

{recipe adapted from: A Rented Kitchen}

Ingredients:

2 cups gluten free rolled oats, ground to a flour
1/4 cup xylitol, vegan cane sugar or coconut sugar
3 tsp chia seeds or flax seeds, ground or whole (optional)
1 heaping tbsp gluten-free baking powder
1½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp salt
1½ cups pumpkin puree
1/3 cupunrefined coconut oil, softened or melted, or grapeseed oil
1/4 cup coconut nectar, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup (or more granulated sweetener of choice)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1/4-1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest

optional add ins: ~1 tbsp walnuts/pecans, pepitas, hemp seeds, golden raisins
optional toppings: pepitas, walnut/pecan crumbs, lemon zest, coconut

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 415˚ and lightly spray/grease a loaf pan or line with parchment paper. Blend the whole rolled oats in a food processor or high powered blender until you have two cups of fine powder oat flower. Combine the oat flour, xylitol, chia/flax, salt, baking powder, and spice in a large bowl and mix until blended. Add the wet ingredients in with the dry, mix together until well combined. Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle optional toppings. Bake for 20 minutes at 415˚, then reduce heat to 395˚ and bake for an additional 25 minutes. It should be about 40-50 minutes total. If toothpick comes out clean it’s ready. Allow to cool for 30 mins. Enjoy!


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Cakes/Cupcakes

Strawberry Chia Layer Cake with Date-sweetened Cream Cheese Frosting

 

Strawberry Chia Cake Gluten Free and Vegan

Yesterday was my fiancé’s birthday and for his special day, I just had to make him an amazingly special cake. He loves strawberry-cheese flavored things so I decided I would make him a strawberry chia-infused layer cake with cream cheese icing 🙂

I spent days searching for strawberry cake recipes, ruling out most because like me, my fiancé has an exhaustively long list of food allergies. After going back and forth between a few different cake recipes, I finally settled on one…a vegan, gluten free version of the traditional strawberry shortcake. When I made the cake according to the recipe I’d found, I was disappointed to discover it was a big fail. The consistency of the mix…just wasn’t right. This cake I had made just wasn’t holding together, and I had no clue how I could fix it. I added a little flour and it was still not good! I was so frustrated but I had to think of something fast, my fiancé was due home in a couple of hours. I was feeling extremely achy, nauseated and exhausted the whole day (regular symptoms of mycotoxicosis), so I was working at a snail’s pace. I have to say, I was tempted to just give up and go the cake mix in a box route, but I just couldn’t do that! Plus, I didn’t have any gluten free cake mix on hand anyhoo. My mind was set, I had to make a wonderful, simple cake for my darling. I summoned up the little energy I had and started all over again from scratch. I improvised as I went along hoping that this cake would not be another disappointment, and actually taste good! For my egg substitute I decided to use chia seeds since they’re so nutritious, and well, since I had them. I wanted the cake to be as strawberry as it could be so I added 2 containers of fresh organic strawberries to the cakes. I chose a cream cheese icing sweetened with dates, since my darling doesn’t like sweet-as-can-be icing like me. Since I was rushed for time, I went back to trusty Pinterest for the frosting recipe (I never know if I should say icing or frosting, but I shall try and stick with frosting), and found this healthy Cream Cheese Frosting recipe, which turned out a little chunky since I didn’t use a food processor. My fiancé liked the cream cheese frosting better than I did…it just wasn’t sweet enough to please my super sweet lovin tastebuds. This cake would have been to die for if I had used my very own Vanilla Buttercream Frosting instead (but that couuld be me being biased ;)) Regardless of the frosting, the end result was pretty darn delicious, both my fiancé and I ate 2 huuge slices. I’m pleased to say we all concluded that my cake was indeed a success, thank goodness!! The birthday boy loved his cake, and to me, that made all the hard work worth it! 😀

StrawberryLayerCake


Strawberry Chia Layer Cake

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free optional

Yield: Two 8″ cakes:

Ingredients:

4 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
3 cups vegan cane sugar
1/2 cup chia seeds, ground or whole
5 1/4 tsp gluten free baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups fresh strawberries
2 cups vegan milk of choice 
1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil or vegan butter (coconut oil should work too)
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Strawberry Chia Cake Vegan and Gluten Free
Happy Birthday dear Ramiz!

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350° and grease two 8-9 inch baking pans.
In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder and mix with an electric beater on low setting/speed until blended well.
Puree 1 3/4 cups of organic fresh strawberries in a blender or in a food processor.
In a separate bowl, mix together chia seeds with milk and let sit for about 5 minutes.
Add strawberry puree and melted butter into the dry mixture, and gradually add your chia-milk mixture as you blend with an electric beater on medium setting for about 3 minutes, or until mixture is smooth and thick.
Evenly distribute your cake batter between both pans and bake for 60 minutes.
When your cakes are a light brown/dark golden in color, and you can stick a toothpick through the middle and it comes out clean, they’re done.
Let your cakes cool for at least 30 mins.
Place sliced strawberries in the middle of the two cakes and assemble by gently placing one cake on top of the other.
Frost with this healthy Date-Sweetened Cream Cheese Frosting, my classic Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting, or any topping of your choice (or go topless ;))
Finally, decorate your cake with fresh cut strawberries and enjoy!


Breakfast, Cookies, Grain Free

Granola Raisin Cookies and A little on Sweeteners: Which Ones Are Healthy and Which Are Not (you’ll be surprised)

 

granolarasinstockphoto

These granola raisin cookies are my absolute favorite homemade cookie recipe, and I am proud to say I made these babies from scratch…from my own imagination. Ooh, and let me tell you, these babies are so delicious, I can’t believe I came up with them on a whim! I was laying in bed not sleeping (thanks painsomnia!), but instead thinking of sweet treats and I had a wonderful idea to “spice” up the Vanilla Granola that had been sitting in my cupboard getting bored. I had this heaven inspired idea to make a breakfast cookie out of them and mmmm I’m so glad I did, because these are delectable! Even my mother who doesn’t like too many sweets approved and loved them. With they’re light texture they almost melt in your mouth.

The first time I made these cookies I used agave, but a nutritionist later gave a lecture on sweeteners and I was surprised to learn how bad agave really is. Most agave has a higher fructose content than any commercial sweetener — ranging from 55 to 97 percent, depending on the brand, which is FAR HIGHER than high fructose corn syrup, which averages 55 percent, “This Sweetener Is Far Worse Than High Fructose Corn Syrup”. So agave is in fact not a health food but is high glycemic. In other words agave raises your blood sugar levels waay to high within minutes of consumption. I was curious and asked my doc if this was true and she confirmed it was. Now I use coconut nectar or brown rice syrup, which is a far much healthier, lower glysemic alternative than agave and doesn’t overload the cookies with sweetness. Maple syrup is even better than agave, and has a high magnesium content, which is great for muscle and nerve health, amongst many things. Ultimately, stevia is the healthiest doctor approved sweetener out there. Stevia has been praised for many reasons, one being it actually lowers blood sugar levels instead of spikes them. Stevia is also calorie free. If you’re not vegan, feel free to opt for honey, but remember the bees!

Since I love sugar too much I like to add frosting to these cookies when having them as a dessert (vs having them for breakfast) to make them sweeter.


Granola Raisin Cookies

Vegan | Gluten-Free |Nut-Free | Soy-Free

Ingredients for 24 Cookies:

2 1/2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegan gluten free vanilla granola OR vegan gluten free plaingranola + 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or sub gluten free rolled oats)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp gluten free baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup virgin unrefined coconut oil (or vegan butter)
1/2 cup coconut nectar, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine all ingredients into large bowl, stirring the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix until thick and spoon up the dough, place on to baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 7-9 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy!