Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough For Two – By the Spoon, Bites, Or Baked (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough - 3 Ways (vegan, gluten free, oil free)

Recently I fell in love with the amazing flavor combination that is pumpkin + chocolate. I mean, most of us know chocolate makes everything better, but can pumpkin treats really get any more delicious? Yes, the answer is yes they can. Stir everything together into a chunky chocolate chip cookie dough and you’ve got a brand new fall craving.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough - Vegan, Gluten FreeIt can be enjoyed by the spoon… my personal favorite.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough Bites - Vegan, Gluten Free, Oil FreeRolled into balls and kept in the freezer for an anytime treat. Perfect for portion control, erm… at least that’s the theory.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies - vegan, gluten free, oil free

Or classically baked into a perfect thick, moist, cake-y cookie.

The choice is yours my dears! Trust me, once you taste the dough, it’ll be hard to keep your sneaky spoon out of the bowl. This autumnal-ly spiced-up, one bowl pumpkin cookie dough is gluten free, and if you want to get reeealll technical it’s actually grain free too since it’s made with buckwheat groats (buckwheat is actually a seed, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as a pseudo-grain).

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough - By The Spoon (Vegan, Gluten Free, Oil free)

It’s sweetened with coconut sugar, though you could substitute date sugar if you wish. Feel free to substitute the peanut butter with any nut butter of choice, and the dark chocolate chunks can be replaced with vegan chocolate chips. Go crazy and add nuts too! This is your cookie dough, have fun with it!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough - Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough - Vegan, Gluten-free, Oil-free

Put a fall spin on your cookie dough cravings with this yummy treat!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough – 3 Ways (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free)

Inspired by this recipe

makes 2 servings, or approximately 6 cookies/balls

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 – 4 tbsp coconut sugar or date sugar
  • 2 tbsp natural peanut butter or almond, cashew, etc.
  • 1 tsp molasses (optional)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp buckwheat flour*
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of cloves
  • If baking, add 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup chopped vegan dark chocolate bar/chocolate chips, or more if desired

Instructions:

  • In a large bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients. Add the flour and spices, and if baking, add the baking powder and baking soda. Stir to combine wet and dry ingredients and fold in the chocolate chunks.
  • Eat immediately with a spoon!
  • Roll into balls and refrigerate/freeze, or
  • Bake! Scoop out by the tablespoon, flattening slightly, and bake on a parchment lined pan in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 8-9 minutes.

Notes:

*I make my own buckwheat flour by adding raw buckwheat groats to my Vitamix and blending on high until a fine flour is formed.

When eating this as unbaked dough, I found 3 tbsp of coconut sugar was sufficient. They seem less sweet after baking, so I used the full 4 tbsp when baking the cookies.

Date sugar is less sweet than coconut sugar, in my opinion. So you may need to taste it and add more if it isn’t sweet enough for you.

pumpkin-chocolate-chip-baked

Frosted Maple Nut Goodie Donuts (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free)

Maple Nut Goodie Donuts (Vegan + GF)

I love donuts any time of the year, but donuts and fall go together like pumpkin and spice… like plaid and flannel… like football and a cup of bean soup. Ok, maybe that last one only makes sense if you grew up in my hometown. Anyway, there’s something about snacking on a warm, freshly baked donut on a chilly autumn day that feels utterly perfect and just fills me with a joy that I can’t even describe in words.

In short, I love making donuts in the fall.

Vegan Maple Nut Goodie Donuts (gluten-free)

Especially when they’re made with wholesome ingredients and taste like maple nut goodies! Are you guys and gals familiar with this candy?? Ok, I admit it wasn’t quite at the top of my list of favorite candies growing up, but I have fond memories of it since it has always been one of my dad’s favorite sweet treats. My dad would go to the Farm and Home store, (yes, did I mention I grew up pretty country? haha) his main purpose to buy the bulk maple nut goodies and licorice (did I also mention I have my dad’s sweet tooth? Actually I think it comes from both sides… I really had no chance). Anyway back to those candies. As I got older, I couldn’t resist swiping a few of those ultra sweet, super-maple flavored chewy nutty candies from my dad’s stash every now and again. They started to grow on me. While I didn’t set out to make a “maple nut goodies” flavored donut,  during recipe testing I tried a peanut butter and maple syrup frosting and thought, this tastes just like maple nut goodies! Like exactly. And so a new donut flavor was born.

Maple Nut Goodie Donuts (vegan and gluten free)

They are also the softest, fluffiest, most perfectly textured donuts I have created to date! I think I achieved healthy donut perfection with this one, and if I didn’t have 2,000 more flavor ideas I’d just hang up my donut baking hat and be happy forever. The secret to their amazing texture is a gluten-free flour trifecta – oat, almond, and potato starch. I tried these with just oat flour, as well as a combination of buckwheat and oat flour, and the results were pretty good, and I thought, well that was easy… done! Then I decided to try one more flour combination, and this is the winner folks! You’re going to love these donuts.

frosted-maple-donuts

The frosting is where the maple nut goodie flavor really comes together. While the donuts are lightly maple infused, the thick icing combines the warm flavor of maple with peanuts that tastes just like the candy. I resisted thinning this out to make a glaze, because I wanted to avoid using oil, and also I didn’t want to dilute that signature flavor. So while many donuts are dipped in a glaze (like my banana bread donuts) these donuts are thickly spread with this luscious maple peanut butter frosting. Yes!

Maple Nut Goodie Donuts (vegan and gluten free)

Whip up a batch of these easy donuts and grab a hot mug of apple cider, tea, or coffee. Hooray for fall and donuts!

Maple Nut Goodie Donuts (Vegan, GF, Oil-Free)

  • Makes 6
  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Bake time: 12 – 15 minutes

Donut Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 2 tsp psyllium husk powder or ground flaxseed
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch or two of cinnamon
  • scant 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 very ripe large banana, mashed until liquidy
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • optional: drop or two of pure maple extract

Frosting:

  • 6 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1.5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp almond milk
  • 2 tbsp powdered coconut sugar or powdered erythritol (like Swerve)*

Toppings:

Chopped roasted peanuts

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease donut pan with tiny bit of coconut or avocado oil.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients (first 8 ingredients) in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, mash the banana until liquidy and no large chunks remain. Stir in the maple syrup, and extracts. Pour wet ingredients into dry and combine until you get a thick batter. Let rest for a minute or two.
  3. Use a spoon or pipe the batter into the prepared donut wells, filling about 3/4 of the way. Bake in pre-heated oven for about 12-14 minutes. You can check after 10. Donuts should be lightly browned around the edges and firm to the touch.
  4. Let donuts cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the donuts and transfer to a rack to cool completely. Mix all frosting ingredients together, adjusting almond milk and powdered sugar/erythritol to achieve desired thickness and spread over donuts when they’ve cooled. Top with chopped peanuts.

Notes and Variations:

I have made these using all oat flour as well as various combinations of oat and buckwheat, and it works well but doesn’t have the amazing texture that this 3 flour blend has.

I make the oat and almond flour in my blender. After blending them, I sift out the flour using a fine metal strainer, and save the larger pieces of nuts and oats left in the strainer for using in smoothies or granola. This will give your flour a fine texture, like those you buy at the store. Sifting really makes a difference in how my baked goods turn out, and I highly recommend it!

*You can leave the powdered coconut sugar or erythitol (a sugar substitute) out of the frosting, if you like. I have been experimenting with erythitol a little bit, and while I like to stay as close to whole ingredients as possible, this is nice for adding a little extra sweetness in conjunction with another sweetener like maple syrup. It’s not something I would use everyday, or in large amounts, and I don’t care for the flavor of it on it’s own. You can see what my favorite plant-based doctor, Dr. Michael Gregor of Nutritionfacts.org has to say about erythitol here and here (hint: he’s a fan and uses it in his tea everyday!)

To make powdered coconut sugar, just give it a whirl in your blender for 30 seconds or so.

Vegan BLT with Oil-Free Baked Smoky Portobello Strips

Vegan BLT with Oil-Free Smoky Portobello Strips

I love a good vegan BLT. That combination of smoky strips, juicy tomato, crisp lettuce, and creamy mayo sandwiched between two toasty slices of bread, is total perfection. For many years, when I had a hankering for a BLT, I would buy some sort of pre-made packaged “faux” bacon vegan strips. There are some really tasty ones out there, but what are they exactly? While they’re great for those who are transitioning to a vegetarian or vegan diet, these meat alternatives are certainly not a whole food. Thankfully you can find oodles of recipes these days for vegan “bacon” alternatives, made from all sorts of veggies, and even coconut.

Vegan Portobello Bacon Strips - Oil-Free

I’ve tried my hand at several different versions of plant-based bacony strips, including eggplant bacon, shitake bacon, and coconut bacon. It occurred to me one day while staring at a package of mushrooms at the supermarket, that I had never attempted portobello bacon. Because of their size and texture, portobello mushrooms make a great medium for creating the perfect smoky, peppery slice. While most recipes for plant-based smoky “bacon” strips use oil, I decided to skip the oil and instead give the sliced portobellos a quick soak in flavorful marinade, and bake them for a nice crispy-edged, healthy bacon alternative.

Vegan BLTs with Smoky Portobello Strips

The results were perfect! Just what I was looking for. It took a few tries to get the marinade just right. I wanted the flavor to be smoky, peppery, and just a tiny bit sweet. A simple blend of tamari, maple syrup, smoked paprika, and fresh cracked pepper gave it just the right amount of flavor. Portobello mushrooms are not only a tasty alternative to vegan bacon strips, they are also loaded with nutrition and health benefits. Here are ten reasons to eat more portobello (aka cremini) mushrooms:

  1. Mushrooms can help boost your immune system. Eating more mushrooms just may help keep you strong and well during the upcoming cold and flu season [1].
  2. Eating more mushrooms is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer. Eating just 15 mushrooms a month can lower your risk by over 60% [2].
  3. Mushroom consumption can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Certain properties in mushrooms have been found to keep the lining of the aorta healthy and may reduce the risk of blood flow problems [1].
  4. Mushrooms are a surprising source of powerful antioxidants, which reduce oxidative damage to our DNA, reducing the risk of many diseases, as well as keeping us looking and feeling our best.
  5. Mushrooms are an excellent source of several minerals, including copper, selenium, zinc, and phosphorous – great for your bones, and your hair and skin as well.
  6. In addition, mushrooms are a good source of B vitamins (including B1, B2, and pantothenic acid) and potassium.
  7. Mushrooms are a low calorie food that can help you feel full, thanks to two types of fiber [3]. Some studies have shown that consuming more mushrooms may help people lose weight and reduce appetite.
  8. Mushrooms are one of the few plant based sources of vitamin D, although you shouldn’t rely on it as your only source if you live in the Northern hemisphere. Instead, consider it as a little boost.
  9. Along with vitamin D, mushrooms have been found to contain a moderate amount of B-12, but once again, it isn’t a reliable source, since some mushrooms will have more vitamin B12 than others (even of the same variety). However, it isn’t insignificant, and can still give you a food-based vitamin boost in addition to a good quality supplement.
  10. Mushrooms contain even contain a modest amount of protein, about 3 grams per cup.

Vegan BLT with Smoky Portobello Strips

The biggest reason to eat more portobella mushrooms? They’re delicious, and so versatile! (Try my Grilled Portobello burgers with Asian Slaw) I buy about 2-3 containers of mushrooms every week and put them in everything! Stir fries, lentil-mushroom taco filling, buddha bowls, pasta… you name it! These portobello BLTs are shaping up to be a new lunch time favorite on our weekly menu, and are another tasty way to get more healthy mushrooms in our diet.

Be sure to let me know if you give them a try!

Vegan BLTs with Oil-Free Smoky Portobello Mushroom Strips

makes 1 – 2 sandwiches

Ingredients:

For the portobello strips:

  • 1 portobello mushroom, stump and gills removed, and sliced into 1/8 inch thin slices
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 – 3 tsp maple syrup or coconut nectar
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • a few pinches of cracked black pepper

For the sandwiches:

  • 2 – 4 slices of sprouted whole grain or gluten free bread, toasted
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • leaf lettuce
  • vegan mayo, mashed avocado, or my homemade Oil-Free Vegan Mayo

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.

Place mushroom strips in a shallow dish. Add the marinade ingredients to a jar with a lid and shake to combine. Pour over the sliced mushrooms and tilt the dish to distribute the marinade over all the strips. Marinate for 15 minutes or up to a few hours if you have time.

Place the strip on the prepared pan, leaving a little room between each one. I sprinkled on a little extra pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, flip carefully and continue baking for about 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and let sit on pan while you prepare the sandwiches.

Spread a little mayo over each slice of bread and add a tomato slice and a handful of leaf lettuce, then top with a layer of smoky strips. Top with second slice of bread and enjoy!

Notes:

Slice the mushrooms thin, but not too thin. You want them to be able to get a little crisp but not burn easily. Try to cut them all the same thickness so that they will cook evenly.

Resources:

  1. Health Benefits of Mushrooms http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=97
  2. http://nutritionfacts.org/video/why-do-asian-women-have-less-breast-cancer/
  3. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/278858.php
  4. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-mushroom.html

Smoky Portobello BLT Sandwiches - vegan, oil free, gluten free

Nearly Raw Apple Pie A La Mode Bars (vegan, gluten free, date-sweetened, paleo)

Raw Apple Pie A La Mode Bars (vegan, gluten free, sugar free, paleo)

Soft, apple-cinnamon-spiced, grain-free and no-bake bars sandwich a thick layer of creamy vanilla nice cream, for a unique and fun dessert that’s perfect for this warm fall weather.

The idea for these bars came to me in a dream. At least I think so. I have a foggy recollection of grabbing my phone, half asleep, and typing in a note to myself along the lines of: “raw apple bars, nice cream in the middle.” Does anyone else do this? I have a ridiculous amount of random recipe ideas haphazardly hanging out in the Notes on my phone. Some of these crazy ideas have been squirreled away for almost two years. Thankfully, I didn’t waste any time in making these raw apple pie bars a reality, because they turned out super yummy!

Raw Apple Pie a la Mode Bars with Caramel Sauce (vegan, gluten free, paleo)

Especially drizzled with my Easy 4 Ingredient Caramel Sauce. Which actually isn’t raw, but by golly its so delicious paired with the soft, spiced apple pie bars and cool vanilla nice cream. If you want to make a raw caramel sauce, you can try thinning out my Best Healthy Caramel Dip Ever with a little almond milk. Or you can just serve them plain. Either way, your mouth is going to thank you.

Raw Apple Pie a la Mode Bars (vegan, gluten free, paleo)

The construction of these bars was inspired by this mind blowing photo of raw cookie dough ice cream sandwiches (recipe by So Beautifully Raw). I loved the idea of a stacked-up, rectangular “block” of ice cream sandwich yumminess. I knew I wanted to go for a lower fat ice cream middle, but was a little hesitant about freezing banana nice cream. Then I remembered Natalie’s (Feasting on Fruit) Carrot Cake Ice Cream Cake and how she kept the nice cream creamy by blending in dates. Yes! It worked like a charm. I have also heard a little plant based protein powder can keep nice cream soft, so I added a little of that too, but feel free to leave it out if you don’t have it.

These bars are fun to make and even more fun to eat🙂 Give them a try, and don’t forget to let me know how you like them!

Nearly Raw Apple Pie a la Mode Bars (vegan, gluten free, sugar free, paleo)

Makes 6 – 8 bars

Ingredients:

Bars:

  • 8 medjool dates (soaked in hot water for 10 minutes and drained)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp of almond milk (plus more as needed)
  • 2 tbsp raw almond butter
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp cloves and allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup almond or cashew meal/flour, I used both (I grind raw almond and cashews into a fine meal in my blender)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup dried apples, cut into small chunks

Nice Cream:

  • 4 large, very ripe frozen bananas
  • 6 soft medjool dates, soak in hot water if they are hard
  • 1 scoop of raw, plant-based protein powder, in vanilla (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (if not using vanilla protein powder)
  • few tablespoons of almond milk or other plant based milk

Instructions:

In a food processor, combine the first 10 ingredients of the bars, scraping down the sides as needed, until fairly smooth. Add the coconut flour, almond/cashew meal, and dried apples and pulse until everything is combined. Mixture should be tacky and stick together. If it seems too dry, add a splash of almond milk, if too wet, add a tablespoon at a time of coconut flour.

Press dough into a parchment paper lined bread loaf pan for thick bars, or 8×8 baking pan for thin bars. Pop in the freezer for about an hour. Remove loaf pan and cut the bars once, down the middle, doing your best to get two equal sized squares. Now you have the top and bottom layer. Set aside and make the nice cream.

Make the nice cream by blending all the ingredients, using as little almond milk as possible, in a high speed blender or food processor. Spread a thick layer of nice cream on one of the bar layers and carefully top with the other half (you will cut them into squares later). I kept the bottom apple bar layer inside the pan while adding the ice cream, then lifting the parchment paper around the entire block and using it to smooth out the nice cream on the sides. Put the pan back in the freezer and freeze for at least 6 hours.

Remove by lifting the parchment out of the pan, unwrap and then slice into 6 bars or 8 minis. Store any uneaten bars in the freezer.

 

Oven “Fried” Green Tomatoes with Herbed Cashew Cream (Vegan + GF)

baked-green-tomatoes

I feel the need to inject something light and summery into my recent barrage of pumpkin spice this and baked chai that. After all, we technically have a whole week left of summer. There’s still time to run barefoot through the sprinkler, eat ice cream cones (dairy free of course), dine outside, and make these un-fried green tomatoes.

Oven "Fried" Green Tomatoes (Vegan + Gf)

Apparently early autumn is a great time for making fried green tomatoes. You may see more green tomatoes at your market because the cooler temperatures and dwindling daylight mean that tomatoes still left on the vine are less likely to fully ripen now. Fried green tomatoes are a Southern U.S. delicacy, which means my Midwestern self has absolutely no authority on the matter, whatsoever. Besides everything I could learn via the internet and my foggy memory of the 1990s movie, my knowledge of FGTs is pretty limited, however I’ve always wanted to try making them. I have this fascination with Southern food, especially Cajun and Creole cuisine, as well as the classic Southern U.S. comfort food favorites like fried green tomatoes. Just keep in mind this is my (Michigan girl) version, meant to be healthier, but every bit as delicious. They may not be authentic, but by golly, I think they taste pretty awesome.

fgt-dip-cooler

So what do fried green tomatoes taste like? They’re a combination of crispy cornmeal coating and piping hot, tart, and tender cooked green tomatoes, made all the more delicious accompanied by a cool, creamy dip. I really had no idea what to expect when I made these for myself and my family while I was visiting a couple of weeks ago. To my delight, everyone loved them. I think we were a little surprised at how good they were. We dolloped a little vegan sour cream over them the first time I made them, and then I decided to up the healthy wholesome factor a notch and make a thick,tangy, cashew cream with fresh herbs to dip and drizzle over the hot slices. Mm mm mm!

healthy-fgt

fried-green-tomato-best

My suggestion? Don’t let those poor green stragglers on the tomato vine go to waste, whip up these easy, un-fried, egg- and dairy-free fried green tomatoes and enjoy them as a side dish or appetizer. Eating outside on the deck (after running through the sprinkler barefoot one last time) is optional, but highly recommended.

Oven “Fried” Green Tomatoes and Herbed Cashew Cream (Vegan + Gluten Free)
Adapted from my Oven Fried Pickles

Makes approximately 12 – 16 slices

Ingredients:

3 – 4 Green Tomatoes sliced about 1/4 inch thick (choose large tomatoes that aren’t incredibly hard, and give just a tiny bit upon pressing)

  • 1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs (I toasted several slices of gf bread and them whirred them in the blender into crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal (preferably organic)*
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp + 2 tsp chickpea flour
  • spices: 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder **
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • a few pinches each of salt and pepper

Herbed Cashew Cream (best made ahead of time)

  • 3/4 cup cashews, soaked for a couple of hours, preferably
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
  • dash of garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh herbs: basil, cilantro, or parsley

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare 1 or 2 baking pans by lining with very lightly oiled parchment paper.

  1. In a medium sized bowl combine the first 5 ingredients, this will be the dry coating. In a separate container, whisk together the remaining ingredients, this will be the “wash.” Gently pat the tomato slices with a tea towel or paper towels; this is optional but will help keep the wash and coating stick.
  2. One at a time, dredge the tomato slices through the wash then immediately coating them with the dry crumb mixture and setting them on the pan leaving a little room between them.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes, carefully flip, then bake another 10 minutes or until golden brown and crisp on the outside. Serve hot.

To make the cashew cream, simply blend all ingredients except the herbs in a high speed blender. Taste and adjust lemon juice, acv, and salt. Stir in the herbs and place in the fridge for an hour or so; it will get thicker and the flavors more pronounced as it chills.

Notes:

*In place of cornmeal, you can use almond meal or more breadcrumbs

**Try adding other spices to the dry coating: a few shakes of Cajun seasoning, or dried or fresh dill are also delicious additions.

 

Have you ever tried Fried Green Tomatoes? Be sure to let me know if you give these a whirl, I’d love to know how you liked them!

Chai Spiced Banana Mini Muffins (Vegan + GF)

Chai Spiced Banana Mini Muffins (v + gf)

When the weather cools down, my mind starts wandering to thoughts of warm baked goods; muffins and donuts being at the top of the list. These 30 minute chai spiced and caramel glazed mini muffins are everything I’ve been dreaming of and more.

shadowy

These little cuties are packed with autumn spice and are the perfect gateway muffin into fall flavor, especially if you’re not ready to leap into the pumpkin craze just yet. If you saw my Pumpkin Spice Syrup and Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte posts last week, you know it’s already too late for me. Despite my full-on immersion in pumpkin spiced treats, these banana muffins were delicious enough to give me pause in my pursuit of all things pumpkin. They’re moist, perfectly sweet, and so easy to make. Maybe too easy.

muffin-mania

My kitchen was overflowing with mini muffins! Nobody seemed to mind too much😉

Chai Spiced Banana Mini Muffins (v + gf)mini-muffinbanana-chai-drizzle

In addition to being vegan, these two-bite banana muffins are also naturally gluten free (I use a combination of oat flour and buckwheat flour), oil-free, and sweetened with banana and coconut sugar. They’re a healthier option than anything you’ll find inside a bakery display case, that’s for sure. The no-cook vegan caramel glaze is made with pure maple syrup and almond butter, and it’s so easy. Even easier than my easy vegan caramel sauce from a few weeks ago! Just whisk and drizzle. I can see myself using it in all kinds of delicious ways.

I hope you give these cozy chai spiced muffins a try, I just know you’re going to love them!

Chai Spiced Banana Mini Muffins (v + gf)

Makes about 16 mini muffins

Inspired by my Peanut Butter and Banana Buckwheat Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup oat flour* (use certified gf if needed)
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour*
  • 2 tsp ground flax seed or psyllium husk powder
  • 1 + 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Spices: 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp cardamom, dash of cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large very ripe, well-mashed banana (about 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 3 tbsp of smooth, runny almond butter (I used raw)
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or other dairy free milk) + 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Caramel Glaze

  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • a few drops of vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Chopped raw walnuts for topping, optional

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl (all the way up to and including salt). Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
  3. Pour wet into dry and stir together. Let the batter rest for a few minutes while you prepare your mini muffin pan.
  4. Lightly oil your muffin pan (I used coconut oil) or use muffin liners. Spoon batter into each cup, filling about 2/3 – 3/4 of the way. Bake in your preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool in pan for about 5 minutes and then carefully remove muffins from pan (you may need to gently run a knife around the edge and pop them out) and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. They may seem soft and slightly underdone when first taken out of the oven but they will be perfect after they cool a bit.

*I blend my own oat flour and buckwheat flour in my blender. Measure after blending. Use certified gluten free grains if needed.

As always, I’d love to know if you give them a try! Reading your comments makes my day! Snap a photo and be sure to tag it #feedingyourbeauty on Instagram, I can’t wait for you to try these!

Chai Spiced Banana Mini Muffins (v + gf)

 

5 Minute Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte (Vegan, Refined Sugar Free, Caffeine Free/Non-Coffee Option)

5 Minute Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte - vegan, refined sugar free, caffeine free

What do you do when it’s past labor day hence pumpkin spice latte daydreams are taking over your brain space, but it also happens to be about 90 degrees in the shade? This was my predicament this past week. Hot drinks just weren’t sounding too good to me, but darn it I wanted to utilize my spicy, pumpkin-y Homemade PSL Syrup! The solution: Pumpkin Spice Over Ice, my friends. It’s cold, creamy, and refreshing, but still satisfies that autumn craving.

5 Minute Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte - Vegan, Refined Sugar Free

Side note: I took both light and dark photos of these Iced Pumpkin Spice Lattes and couldn’t decide which ones I like better, so I’m showing you both. I have just a tiny problem making decisions lately, not sure what that’s all about. Get off my back self-doubt! Anyway these light and dark photos illustrate perfectly the fact that you can enjoy this “coffee” drink any time, day or evening. No jitters, or heart palpitations, no problems sleeping, and no getting up to pee 45 times. Sorry, I got really personal there. But that’s what coffee does to me. And espresso? Don’t even get me started. Thankfully I discovered the world of herbal coffee substitutes. My favorite is Dandy Blend. Its made from roasted barley, rye, chicory root, and dandelion root, and is naturally caffeine free. And it tastes remarkably like coffee! I might even like it more than coffee (and I’m a coffee lover, even if it doesn’t love me back).

It’s good hot or cold. The best part about Dandy Blend is that you don’t have to brew it or mix it with hot water and then wait for what feels like forever and a day to let it cool. To make this 5 minute latte you simply add the “coffee” granules to a jar, add PSL syrup and water, shake it, and pour over ice! Then you can fill with a little almond milk, coconut milk, or even a dairy-free creamer (I love using my easy cashew milk creamer).

5 Minute Vegan Pumpkin Spice Iced Latte

This dairy free, vegan, and refined sugar free Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte really hits the spot on a warm early fall day (although I’m already envisioning myself shivering under a thick blanket with this icy drink in my hand come winter). The kiddos can even enjoy this one with you and you won’t have to worry about filling them with sugar, artificial ingredients, or caffeine. My daughter loves it!

pumpkin-spice-on-ice

I’d love to know if you give this a try! Happy warm fall days, friends!

5 Minute Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte – Vegan, Refined Sugar Free, Caffeine Free

Makes 2-4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 Tablespoons of Dandy Blend Instant Herbal Beverage – I use 4 Tbsp  (see notes for substitutions)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of my Easy Pumpkin Spice Syrup for Lattes (see notes for other options)
  • 1 + 1/2 cups filtered cool water
  • Ice cubes
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of almond milk or other plant milk
  • optional – a splash of plant-based creamer (see this post for my cashew coffee creamer)
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg

Instructions:

  1. Add Dandy Blend, water, and PSL syrup to a 16 oz jar with a lid and shake vigorously to combine (alternately you could blend them together in a blender briefly).
  2. Fill two glasses with ice (12 oz glasses or smaller) and then fill 2/3 – 3/4 of the way with coffee mixture. Fill nearly to the top with almond milk, then add a splash of creamer (if using) and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Notes:

You’ll probably have extra coffee/PSL mix that you can keep in the jar and store in the fridge for next time.

If you don’t have Dandy Blend, you can use instant coffee but it may not dissolve as easily in the cold water. Or you can just brew a strong cup or two of coffee and then put it in the fridge or freezer to cool. Two shots of espresso can also be substituted for the coffee for a “true” latte.

If you don’t want to make the Pumpkin Spice Syrup then you can always flavor your drink from scratch using a little pumpkin puree, spices, and sweetener and blending it in your blender before serving over ice. Angela from Oh She Glows has a homemade pumpkin spice latte recipe, and Kathy from Happy Healthy Life has a great homemade PSL too. I used to happily make my PSLs from scratch just this way. Using my easy pumpkin spice syrup will save you some time in the long run, though, and makes for a smoother latte I’ve found.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation nor do I receive compensation for mentioning Dandy Blend or Vitacost. I just really love Dandy Blend, and Vitacost has some of the best prices for purchasing it. Hopefully you find the links and advice helpful.