The Winter Solstice falls on December 21st this year. This is a very special day in our home as we celebrate the seasonal shift and look forward to spring and a new growing season. I always like to celebrate with citrus-flavored treats – maybe it’s because they add a pop of color and sunshine to the shortest day of the year? Continue reading
Tag Archives: vegan recipes
We love oats.
I love them, my husband really loves them, and our little man is even starting to love them.
Our favorite way to eat oats is in one of their purest forms: Overnight Oats, like these:
If you’ve never tried them, Kath is a great resource for instructions and recipes. We do ours even more simply, though. Just oats and almond milk, soaked overnight, then topped with whatever we have around. Easy peasy!
When using a recipe where the oats are the star of the show, it’s important to start out with the best ones you can find. Our favorites are the certified organic thick rolled whole grain oats from Tropical Traditions.
(Yup, that Tropical Traditions. The company known for their coconut oil also carries oats, and a ton of other products, from whole grain cereals to deodorant!)
As you can see, TT oats have a great, old-fashioned rolled oat texture.
They hold up to the soaking without getting mushy, and they retain a dense, chewy bite. Plus, they’re organic! Tropical Traditions oats are by far the best quality oats we’ve found.
Breakfast is a hard meal for me, since I don’t eat eggs or sausage (and I reserve bacon for only the fudgiest occasions.) Empty carbs are easy to find in the morning, but eating them for breakfast is the quickest way to ruin my day. So I stick with what works: Add some fresh fruit, nut butter and a few shakes of cinnamon or cardamom to a cup of almond-milky oats, and you’ve got a satisfying, breakfast that beats any Rooty Tooty Fresh n’ Fruity or McHeart Attack sandwich.
I love having a big bag of Tropical Traditions oats around for savory recipes, too. I recently used them in my new favorite recipe: Quinoa Burgers. If you haven’t tried these, please, please do. I promise you – they are FAB (and easy!)
If you haven’t checked out Tropical Traditions yet, stop by their website and see all they have to offer, and make sure you don’t miss their impressive recipe page (it features more recipes than I could hope to make in a lifetime! )
Next up on the ABCGP “to-make” list?
Uh oh! It might be time to order more oats!
Disclosure: I received a product sample from Tropical Traditions for review purposes. I was under no obligation to provide a review or positive comments about the product. All opinions stated above are my own, honest opinions based on my personal experience with the product mentioned.
Fall must be on the way, because I’m starting to feel the need to bake.
I don’t bake much anymore. That probably has something to do with the tiny man running around my house. I also don’t eat many baked goods these days, so it kind of works out. But after spending more than 15 years as a full-time cake decorator and baker, I do get the bug every once in a while. And since I have a huge crop of beets that just keeps on coming, what better to pair them with than chocolate, right?
One great aspect of this recipe is the easy adaptability for the vegan crowd. Just switch out the egg with your favorite egg substitute. Either way will work (I used eggs, but I plan to try the vegan version next time. I usually don’t have eggs in the house.)
I like to keep the mess to a minimum when I bake, so I pureed the beets ahead of time. I boiled a full pot of beets until fork-tender, leaving about 1″ of the stems attached so as not to let many of the nutrients seep out into the boiling water. Once cooked, I plunged them into cold water and the skins just slipped off. That amazes me every time. Then, I just piled them into the food processor and pureed until smooth. (I had extra puree, so I put it in the freezer for easy use next time.)
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch salt
- 3 eggs (or equivalent egg substitute for 3 eggs)
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups fresh beets, cooked and pureed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners. In a large bowl, sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, eggs/egg substitute and salt. Add the oil, sugar and vanilla; mix well. Add beet mixture; again, mix well.
Fill cupcake liners until almost full (batter will not expand much.) Bake at 375º for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes, then remove from pan to wire rack to cool.
(Makes about 16 cupcakes.)
I recently received some samples of Pom pomegranate blueberry juice, which I hadn’t had a chance to break into yet…until now! While the dense, muffin-like texture of these cupcakes would pair well with a thick, fluffy icing or a creamy filling, I decided to take a simple approach with a mixture of confectioner’s sugar and a few tablespoons of Pom juice…just enough to make a spreadable glaze. The tart Pom was a great addition to the sweet glaze, and the blueberry flavor made all the difference. Yeeeeum!
I topped these lovelies off with a few dark, dark chocolate covered cacao nibs to further balance the sweetness of the glaze, and to add a fun crunch.
For those of you who don’t like beets, I promise you won’t even taste them. They add a lovely dark red tint, and lots of texture, but there isn’t even a hint of beet flavor! Of course, as usual, chocolate cupcakes should be enjoyed sparingly, but it never hurts to get an extra serving of veggies in!
Since I certainly don’t need more than one cupcake to myself, I’ll be taking these to the office tomorrow….do you think I should let them in on the secret?
Have you ever baked with beets? What’s your favorite “hide-the-veggie” recipe?
I saw an article this morning that said Facebook games are experiencing a big decline right now. I’d like to think that’s because we are a nation of such productive gardeners and farmers that we can’t bear the winter months without having something to hoe, and now that the real gardening season is underway, we much prefer to get out and work in the real dirt, tending to real ghost peppers and pattypan squash, sweeping our virtual FarmVille selves under the rug until the next frost.
I’d also like to think that someday I’ll fit into those shiny silver pants I used to wear when I danced to Front 242 at the Vault so many years ago.
I fear that neither of these things are true.
Speaking of real vegetables, did I mention that I love BEETS?
I really, really love beets. I love them plain with butter and salt, I love them pickled, I bet I’d probably love them grilled, and I especially love them when they’re grown in my yard!
Remember these guys? Thanks to all for your great beet suggestions! The general consensus seems to be that beets are best when served in some kind of salad, and since I had to find a way to use both my handy dandy new food processor and this fresh dill…
(could this be THE fresh dille?)
I whipped together a lovely pink Summer Beet and Cucumber Salad!
I boiled the beets until fork-tender with an inch of stalk left on so as not to let all the nutrients escape…
Then, immersed them immediately in cold water so the skins peeled right off. Ees pretty, no?
Next step: I thinly sliced half a red onion and put it in cold water to soak while preparing the dressing.
For the dressing, I whisked together the following:
8 Tbsp olive oil
6 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
big handful freshly chopped dill
2 Tbsp agave nectar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 generous squirt lime juice
I then sliced one large cucumber (with a 2-second whirr! Beautiful!), quartered the tiny beets, and tossed them together in a large bowl with the dressing and the onion, drained.
Pretty in pink!
Lest you should think that I eat healthy all the time ( ), I’d like to mention that we had a charity luncheon at my office, which featured this delectable little dessert:
In fact, it was so nice, I ate it twice! Someone who heard me say how much I enjoyed it brought me another one at my desk. On any other day, I would never consider accepting it, but today I’m subscribing to the Tao of Granny…
Yup…you got it. I ate ‘em both, and I loved it.