Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Date Sweetened Spice Donuts with Pear Butter

There's nothing fancy about these delicious donuts. Just pure goodness. There is no need for sugar to make them worth sinking your teeth into and they are still mouth-watering sweet and moist. I love when I can bake, eat, and love a donut without any side affects to a sugar-shock or an allergic reaction. Sometimes I do justify a treat if it is a special occasion. I will say sugar or a rich delicacy can be tried in those special moments, but the truth is I usually suffer in the aftershock. So is it worth it? Is eating sugar and dairy or whatever else ails you worth the treat in the long run? I usually decide it is in the thick of the moment, but then regret it later. Maybe you have found yourself in similar situations...
Well, these donuts are made as a beacon of hope in a sugar-filled world. They are made sugar, nut, gluten and dairy free, with the added touch of a fruity, spicy pear butter that will have you licking your lips and fingers and whatever else you can accidentally spill it on. They are a far fetch from a jelly-filled deep fried or traditional buttermilk donut, but trust me, you will forget all of those past indulgences once you try this delicious healthy treat that tastes good and won't make you feel awful either.
Date Sweetened Spice Donut Recipe (vegan)
1 cup of de-pitted dates
1 cup of pure water

Soak the dates in a blender, or bowl for at least 1 hour in 1 cup of water. You can soak for many hours as well, but you should at least soak for one hour to soften the dates. Then pour the date/water mix in a blender or magic bullet and blend until it is a liquified mixture that resembles pudding or a smoothie. 

1 cup of gluten-free flour blend (I used Bob Red Mill's gluten-free baking mix)
1/2 cup of coconut flour
1 1/2 ts. of baking powder
1 ts. of baking soda
1/2 ts. of sea salt
1 ts. of ground cardamon
1/2 ts. of ground cinnamon
1/4 cup of coconut palm sugar or sucanat
2 TB of melted coconut oil
1/4 cup of chia-egg-gel (2 TB ground chia seeds mixed with 4 TB of pure water)
*buttermilk mixture*
1 cup of So Delicious coconut milk beverage with fresh juice from 1 lemon (about 1-2 TB's of juice)

In a large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together first, then add the wet with the blended date mixture, "buttermilk" mixture and the rest of the wet ingredients. Mix well and then let sit for a few minutes for the batter to come together. Then use a rubber spatula to pour the batter in a gallon-sized zip lock bag. Make sure to get all of the air out and then press the bag shut and the batter to the bottom of the bag. Then use a kitchen scissors and cut a 1 inch slit off one of the bottom corners of the bag. Then in a non-stick donut baking pan, squeeze out the batter into the donut sized holes in the pan. Fill the batter tot he tops of the holes and then bake in a 350 degree oven for 22-25 minutes. This recipe will make 12 large donuts, or 24 smaller donuts. Pull donuts from the pan when they have cooled for at least 5 minutes, then continue to let the donuts cool on a cooling rack or plate.
You can top these donuts with whatever you like. But my favorite topping is homemade pear butter. You could also try a homemade apple butter or other fruit butter you prefer. You could also brush the baked donuts in a maple syrup glaze or an sun-butter-fruit glaze or coconut oil and cinnamon sugar glaze. Whatever fits your fancy, but the pear butter is my chosen love for this recipe because it soaks into the warm donuts and tastes like a warm fruit filled fritter that will leave you dreaming for more.
Spicy Pear Butter Recipe
2 gallons (8 quarts) of frozen pears (with or without peal)
Pears don't have to be exactly measured- You can use whatever you can get your hands on. Also, if you don't have frozen pears, fresh pears will work too. I do not think canned pears will work because of the excess moisture, but maybe some one out there can prove me different.

In a large 8-10 quart pot, dump your semi-defrosted frozen pears and basically you let them simmer down into a boil and you let them simmer on the stove for 6-10 hours until the pears have turned into a very thick sauce. You can add your spices after a few hours of cooking down and taste test to see if you want to add a touch more. Start smaller so that you don't over do it though.

start with these spices, and then add a pinch more if you want more spice:
1/2 ts. of allspice
1/2 ts. of ground nutmeg
1/2 ts. of ground cinnamon
1/2 ts. of cloves

Then, after the pears are cooked down, Let cool for 6-8 hours and then pour into a blender to whip into a nice thick and smooth butter. The butter should really look like a creamy butter...:)

Then if you want to preserve your butter you can follow traditional preserving methods and can it for a later date. I like canning the butter in pint-sized jars so that they are easy to get the butter out with a small knife or spoon. Perfect.

The 2 gallons of pears roughly made about 4 pints of butter. Just to get an idea of how much water is reduced.

Well, friends, there you have it. This recipe has become a new favorite in my house. The donuts are yummy from the oven, but will last 3-4 days in an airtight container in the fridge. We toast the leftover donuts in the toaster and they are toasted and warmed just enough to top with some pear butter and they are just as perfect as the minute you ate them warm from the oven. So a great leftover breakfast or snack - basically a great treat to have laying around when you have hungry kiddos asking for something in between meals.

This recipe could also be baked as a muffin recipe, or add another 1/2 cup of milk and make it a great pancake recipe. Maybe I will re-post this recipe as a pancake recipe soon. Dates are so delicious in baked goods and a perfect ingredient when trying to avoid the processed granulated sugar.

Hope you try this treat. It's worth buying a donut pan for because you will use it again ;)

Much love to you as always!


  1. These look so good! I tried the oat biscuits last night and just had another one for breakfast. I flip-flop back and forth on the gluten. After the past three days or so of allowing it back in, I'm getting to the point where the swelling and sinus pressure are not worth it. I need to just throw the canister out and keep the gluten-free stuff on hand. I don't want to waste the flour I have, but it's not doing me any good. :/

    Thanks for keeping your blog and posting! Is it okay if I share you on Pinterest from time to time?

    1. Red- I agree- if the flour isn't doing you any good, then you are not wasting. When I first went GF- I had to go through my pantry and fridge and throw away or give away anything I knew I just couldn't eat anymore. Sometimes it isn't until you strictly stick GF for more than 6 weeks until you start to see noticeable changes in your health. Hope that helps and GOOD LUCK! much love, stephanie

  2. these look delicious. a suggestion though for the pear spread: cooking anything for so many hours might make the taste and consistency good, but there will be no nutrients left at all. i usually heat up the fruit gently with spices and apple cider vinegar, just so they are a little bit warm, you can add some flaxeed or any other thickener of choice and blend them into a pulp. it will thicken in the fridge, too.;-)jo

    1. Thanks for the comment and suggestion Jo. I love fresh fruit, and some additional sauces and butters as well. I think that if I am eating 80% raw foods and fresh foods that eating some pear butter here and there is ok for me. I also think it is MUCH better than eating frosting on donuts. But, yes, thank you for the suggestion. Good words.... mcuh love, Stephanie

    2. DEFINITELY better than frosting;-)!i love sweetening things with dates, too. can't wait to make these for my little brother! jo

  3. Just found your blog today - THANK YOU for such inspiring healthy food!

    1. Marie! Thanks for your kind words and comment! I hope you enjoy! Much love to you xoxo