Saturday, October 21, 2017

Cacao Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Another happy clappy fall pumpkin muffin over here! This one is my newest favorite (don't I say that every time?!? haha!). It is hearty, rich, flavorful, crunchy and moist in all the right places. It feels like it could be breakfast, or maybe dessert, and nourishing all at the same time. The pumpkin flavor still finds it's place among the deep flavors of cacao, molasses and even the pumpkin seeds. They are chocolatey, but not too much, and besides ALL that, aren't they beautiful!?!?
I wanted to call these "superfood" pumpkin muffins because that's just what I thought of when I made these up with raw cacao powder (the good stuff!) and these crunchy yummy pepitas (raw green pumpkin seeds).  You could add in a few goji berries to the mix and it might just be like my favorite trail mix combo of all time.
If you are looking for a little weekend adventure- give these muffins a try! I made a batch a few days ago, and I'm guessing you could find me in the kitchen again today making another batch. These fall days have been glorious- full of leaves falling and piles, apple and pumpkin picking, and the most perfect of fall nature walks. These muffins want to be along for the ride :) I hope you give them a try and ENJOY!
Cacao Pumpkin Spice Muffin Recipe
{gluten, dairy, soy, nuts, seeds, eggs, refined-sugar-free}

1/3 cup of coconut flour
1/3 cup of potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup of rice flour
1 cup of gluten free oat flour (I grind my own out of GF rolled oats)
2 ts. of baking powder (Hain brand-corn free)
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt
1 1/2 ts. of pumpkin pie spice mix
1/2 cup of coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup of cacao powder (regular baking cocoa powder works too)
1/2 cup of date puree
1/4 cup of molasses
1/3 cup of pure maple syrup
1/3 cup of coconut milk beverage with 1 TB apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup of pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
1/2 cup of melted coconut oil

1/4 cup of raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/4 cup of Enjoy Life's mini chocolate chips


Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Then add in the wet and whisk together well. Let the batter sit and stiffen up while the baking powder ignites. Then use a 1/3 cup greased with extra coconut oil and scoop out the batter onto parchment papered muffin tin papers.  You should get 12 large muffins from this recipe or at least 24 minis. Then use some melted coconut oil to brush over the tops before baking, and sprinkle with a mixture of pumpkin seeds and chocolate chips on top of the muffins. You may need to press them down gently to stick to all the tops well. Cover it as much or as little as you like. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes depending on your oven. Check the middles to make sure they are baked through and then serve after 15 minutes of cooling. 
Gorgeous and tasty! The best combo of fresh and nutritious food! I hope you give these goodies a try, HAPPY BAKING, friends and much love as always, xoxo

Monday, October 16, 2017

Coconut Cream Caramel Sauce

This is the recipe for all those searching for a dairy-free option for a caramel sauce for apples this fall. It is very caramelly and almost the perfect substitute for the real deal. Also, very very easy to make and not a super big mess or many utensils. I first made this as an ice cream topping for sundaes, but really it is great this time of year for all those amazing fresh and tangy apples. A perfect dip, or if you get really brave to cover up the whole apple too!
People always say that making caramel is actually really easy- and it is- (unless for some reason you make it and it burns and it sticks to everything in your kitchen and turns into a huge mess!) haha! This recipe is subbing in coconut milk for whole cream and coconut palm sugars in place of table sugar. The honey and coconut oil help it all meld together well and viola it's caramel! For all your caramel needs ;) I guarantee that if you make this- you will find lots of things to drizzle on and enjoy. I'm just saying... that's been the case around here. A few days ago in landed in the Pumpkin Spice Latte too ;) Let yourself get caramelled this season and ENJOY xoxo
Coconut Cream Caramel Sauce Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, nut, seed and refined-sugars-free}

1 cup of coconut cream*
1 cup of coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup of honey
1/4 cup of coconut oil
pinch of sea salt


*(use 1 can of coconut milk. scoop out the cream and discard/reuse the water)

In a small saucepan, put all of the above ingredients and whisk together until fully melted together. Let cook on low to medium heat for 15-20 minutes until it turns into a dark amber brown color. It will be VERY HOT and could burn your skin, so make sure you use a whisk to whip together well and it will be bubbling and foaming so just be careful of your hands and face while on the heat. Let it cool down after it turns into a thick caramel mixture and then when it is slightly cooled you can pour into a pint sized jar and let it continue to cool until warm and then you can serve over ice cream or with apples or in your coffee :)

It will thicken and harden up as it completely cools. You can store this in the fridge for a few weeks, but you will need to place the jar of caramel in a bowl of boiling water to get it softened again. 

This will work for caramel apples and toppings, it is just a bit more messy because it doesn't thicken exactly the same as dairy caramel. But if you put the covered apple in the fridge for a bit it would harden up nicely and could even get some other toppings on it too. 


Date-Puree-Caramel-Dip
If you are looking for the date-puree caramel-like sauce. Then I alluded to it in this recipe, my Caramel Apple Date Muffins because I mention that the date puree is a very sweet and tasty alternative to real dairy caramel. Also- it is basically just dates (maybe with a pinch of sea salt) and so there is no sugars of any kind- just the natural sugars from the dates alone.
Date Puree Caramel Dip Recipe
1 cup of pitted dates
1 cup of boiling water
pinch of sea salt

In a high powered blender, put in the dates and the boiling water and pinch of salt and then blend on high until creamy and ready for licking ;) It is that easy! This dip is best in my opinion right from the blender when it is still creamy and warm and fabulous- but you can also store this in the fridge for weeks to add to baked goods, porridge, and stir up again to be ready to dip apples or other favorite cookies, crackers or fruit in. It's a fabulous way to live- once you make date puree your life is just about complete ;) Make it in large batches (4 cups dates/ 4 cups water) and you will have plenty to spare. 

OPTION #2:
You can use 1 cup of the date puree, with 1 cup of fresh nut or seed butter whipped together with a pinch of sea salt and you have a PERFECT sweet and salty apple dip as well. I have used almond butter, peanut butter, sunflower/pumpkin seed butter all in the past, but you could use whatever you can tolerate or enjoy and it adds in the protein for the snack as well to fully be fueled up too!


Hope you enjoy and make a special apple-caramel treat very soon! Much love as always, xoxo

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Pumpkin Spice Scones

Pumpkin everything. Pumpkin all day. I told you the pumpkin shenanigans were about to unfold. When you got fresh pumpkin ready to use, it's hard to not want to put it in just about everything. Today it ended up in my baking. I was baking for a friend and remembered a pumpkin scone I used to make back in my good ol' bakery days. Now this one is ALOT more moist and so I beg to ask you to give it a taste. 
Covered in pumpkin pie spice and a crispy top and soft and moist middle. Much like a muffin top... it has all the best qualities of a muffin but then it is spread out to get more of the pieces you love most about a muffin anyways. I have to say this recipe is VERY similar to my Pumpkin Date Muffins I made last year around this time. And maybe you are just a muffin kind of gal... but if it's the tops you love- these might just be the recipe for you.
These little treats have you thinking you're eating a cookie? Or is it a muffin? A scone may be so confusing for us on the other side of the pond...BUT their biscuit quality and their ability to hold their own and be covered in jam, ghee, honey, or whatever you might cover your toast with is truly a feat of amazement. I must say- I'm not sure why I don't make these more often?!?
 Pumpkin Spice Muffin Top Scones Recipe
{gluten, dairy, soy, nuts, seeds, eggs, refined-sugar-free}

1/3 cup of coconut flour
1/3 cup of potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup of rice flour
1 cup of gluten free oat flour (I grind my own out of GF rolled oats)
2 ts. of baking powder (Hain brand-corn free)
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt
2 ts. of pumpkin pie spice (or mix up cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves)
1/2 cup of coconut palm sugar

1/2 cup of date puree
1/3 cup of pure maple syrup
1/3 cup of coconut milk beverage with 1 TB apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup of pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
1/2 cup of melted coconut oil
optional addition: 1 ts. of pure vanilla extract

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Then add in the wet and whisk together well. Let the batter sit and stiffen up while the baking powder ignites. Then use a 1/3 cup greased with extra coconut oil and scoop out the batter onto a parchment papered 11x15 baking sheet. You should get 12 scones scoops on the baking sheet. Then use some melted coconut oil to brush over the tops before baking. Lastly sprinkle with a hearty pinch of pumpkin pie spice blend. Cover it as much or as little as you like. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes depending on your oven. Check the middles to make sure they are baked through and then let cool for 30-60 minutes before serving with a cup of tea. 
Tis' the season for pumpkin everything and I am fully enjoying it. I love eating with the seasons and when something is in season I over-do it so that when the season is over I'm ready to move on. And all that pumpkin and squash you can find at the farmer's market and roadside stands are just what our bodies need as we nestle into the fall and winter season. Full of carotenoids which give it that rich color of yellow and orange. Pumpkin is easy on the digestion and help aid in keeping you nourished by stabilizing blood sugar. Also many antioxidants to fight inflammation, vitamins to nourish the immune system, and the warming and rooting qualities to keep you grounded in the shifting season. Pumpkins truly are a gift to the fall. 

I hope you ENJOY and much love!

xoxo

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Is there a more iconic fall beverage than a Pumpkin Spice Latte? It even has it's own code name of PSL and people know exactly what you are talking about! Crazy! Also, I am fully aware that you either LOVE or HATE this kind of drink and spice and maybe even season... how is it that there is so much love/hate for something? There seems to be no middle ground on this one :) Well I'm sure you can imagine what camp I am in- I think it's obvious now since I am making my own at home. It's warms you on so many levels- I had to share!
But truly the main reason why this latte is homemade is because you can control the ingredients and the sweeteners and the spice. I love that! No need to ruin your day with a sugar buzz and crash! This drink is warming for the insides and nourishing for the gut and the immune system. Another favorite warming drink is the Fresh Golden Ginger Milk latte that I LOVE as well!

So maybe we should pretend this is a health tonic and drink daily throughout the fall? I won't stop you and once you see how easy it truly is...well it might save you more than sugar and calories at the drive thru coffee window... :)

Hope you ENJOY and much warm and comforting LOVE to you today!


Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe 
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut, seed and refined sugars-free}
for one large mug, but can be easily halved/doubled/tripled

1 cup of milk of choice (I use coconut milk here)
1/2 cup of cold brew coffee (decaf, or sub for black tea, mushroom or dandelion coffee or Dandy Tea)
2 TB of fresh pumpkin puree
1/2 ts. of pumpkin spice blend
1/2 ts. of ground turmeric
1 ts. of finely grated fresh ginger
1 TB of honey, or maple syrup or molasses work here too
pinch of sea salt
pinch of black pepper (to activate the turmeric benefits)

In a small saucepan, put all the above ingredients and warm up until it is steaming but NOT boiling! I taste test when it's not too hot to see if I want more sweetness or more spice before it gets hotter. Then use one of these handy gadgets to froth up the milk and really mix in the ingredients well. Then when all frothy :) Pour into a large 16 ounce mug or separate into two 8 ounce mugs to share. 

Then to finish it plop a dollop of coconut cream and pinch of pumpkin pie spice on top.

I had Coco Whip from So Delicious still in the fridge so I just used that to top this drink but a TB of a whipped coconut cream works too. Or you don't NEED this obviously- but it is a nice coffee-shop-hype addition when at home or entertaining ;) 

Hope you give this YUMMY recipe a try and most especially when you have some of that fresh pumpkin puree leftover or sitting in the fridge this season- this is the best way to use up that little bit of extra you had from that one recipe ;)

Much love as always, xoxo