Monday, October 30, 2017

Pumpkin Pie Porridge

Last pumpkin recipe for October. How did we get to Halloween so quickly?!? The month just flew by and here we are at November already! Just one last recipe I whipped up. The last few weeks of waking up to cold mornings of darkness, twinkle lights and a HOT cup of chia tea to get me moving. Oh and the porridge! This is my breakfast of choice over the cold dreary months of winter. But I'll be honest- I LOVE the cold cozy mornings full of a pot of porridge, hot beverages, thick comfy socks and snuggling of course. This porridge is comforting and warm because, yes, it is thick and warm, but also all those spices and pumpkins and dates... it's like they say, "it warms the bones!" I hope you give this one a try and ENJOY!
Pumpkin Pie Porridge Recipe
{free of gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds, sugar and soy}

First- make a blend of the ground grains to keep in the pantry for a quick breakfast...

I put in 1/2-1 cup of both: quinoa and buckwheat groats... put in a high powered blender {vitamix, ninja, ect...} Blend on high until you get a powdery flour mix of the mixed buckwheat and quinoa. You can also add in some millet seeds as a good combo as well...

Also, you may need to make some date puree- I have been keeping some in the fridge ready-made to use in recipes such as this... So you soak 1 cup of dates with 1 cup of boiling water and can do more or less of portions depending on how you want to store it. Soak in boiling water for 10 minutes (or could overnight as well). Then blend in a high powered blender and you get a pudding-like creamy date puree.

for one-serving, but you can easily double or triple...

1/4 cup of finely ground quinoa and buckwheat groats mixture
1/2 cup of pure water
1/2 cup of date puree
1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
1 ts of pumpkin pie spice
pinch of sea salt

Amounts listed above are there as a guide! So give it a try and add more or less of the pumpkin or dates. If you take away those in some amounts, you will need a bit more water. Every time I make this I usually double or triple for me and my family so the above is the best estimate of making it a single serving

Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and whisk continually until it comes to a boil and is bubbling and it thickens up quite nicely. It should be a thick creamy substance in about 5 minutes. You want to make sure and NOT leave this on the stove after you whisk together for the first time. This will leave it clumpy and sticking to the bottom. Just whisk together continually and fast for 5 minutes and you will have the best porridge around!

Top with butter, vegan butter, ghee, coconut oil and sprinkle with more spice, raisins, stewed apples, or whatever nuts, seeds, or dried fruits you desire. I also like a drizzle of jam, yogurt and maple syrup to finish off a bowl too. So creamy and the TEXTURE IS DIVINE! 

p.s. the pictured porridge actually had some rice grits added in too ;) That is those little chunks- but some days I make this by habit or dump whatever I got ready to use. So once you start to find how you like your porridge- you will have little tricks and habits too ;)

Some other porridge recipes...

or this oldie porridge recipe...

Hope your breakfast warms your heart, body and soul and keeps you going til the next stop...

Much love, xoxo

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Apple Spice Crisp Cups

These cuties are ready to eat! Perfect for a fall picnic in the park, school lunches, or just for fun with your friends :) This is basically just another apple crisp recipe, and yes, I could make these in my sleep. But I did add a few different steps and pieces to this one. I also have an alternative option for those of you that want a dessert and still want to eat ONLY fruit as sweeteners, and no maple syrup, honey, coconut sugars. Dates are the perfect sub to just lightly sweeten and moisten the crumble topping and apples just right. Maybe it's because dates taste like caramel to me- and you can't go wrong with apples and caramel ;)
The apples are soft and melty and the crumble is crisp and chewy- the perfect textures and spices to warm your weary evolving soul. The steadfast love for apple crisp never wavers when you can come to this delightful treat again and again and it is always warming and comforting. It doesn't disappoint! It may be predictable and stable- but we all need that to come back to amidst seasons of change.
How perfect that apple season happens to be the season of change and watching the worlds around us die off, nestle in, and go inward. When change is happening it might feel like the world is out of control and there is no more safe spots to land. Until you ground yourself in the earth and the gifts it brings- it seems pretty simple. Pick apples, they are a steady companion. Make applesauce, save for your future months. Make some crisp or pie, and remember who you are and the predictability will bring you back home again. And share, you can never be too lost when you have your people to connect to and share with. So I share yet another crisp recipe with you- I hope you find the space this season to go inward and nestle in- I hope you make crisp and ENJOY!
Apple Spice Crisp Cups Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, nut, seed, soy and refined-sugar-free}
Recipe makes 12 jars of crisp or 1 pan

4-5 heaping cups of peeled and finely chopped apples
(use a variety for flavor)
1/2 cup of pure apple cider
1/2 cup of date paste puree*
1/2 cup of applesauce
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1 TB of tapioca starch
pinch of sea salt
2 ts. of ground cinnamon
1 ts. of ground nutmeg
1/2 ts. of ground cloves
1/2 ts. of allspice

*cover 1 cup of pitted dates with 1 cup of boiling water and let soak, and then puree to get a thick and creamy date paste to spread, dip, save and bake with. Once you start- you can't stop! I'm sorry!

Add all of the above ingredients in a saucepan and mix and cook down until they are softer, thickened with the tapioca, and look like an apple pie filling. Turn off the heat and let cool just a bit. Then use a 1/3-1/2 cup scoop and pour into 1/2 pint jars 1/2 way. Or if you are making a pan instead of cups you can just pour the apple mixture into a 9x9 pan. This recipe will make 12 1/2 PINT JARS or 1 9x9 or you could spread it out in a 9x13 pan as well.  

If you are looking to buy these cutie jars to make these crisp cups... you can HERE...

Then you are ready to mix up and top with the oat topping...

1 1/2 cup quick cooking GF certified oats
1/3 cup of tapioca starch
1/3 cup of rice flour
1/3 cup of potato starch
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup of coconut oil, palm oil shortening, or a mix of both
1/3 cup of maple syrup
2/3 cup of coconut palm sugar

add in 1 cup of date puree paste in place of the coconut sugar and maple syrup in the topping and more date paste in place of the maple syrup in the apple mixture for an only sweetened with fruit option

option#3: You can add in 1/2 of nuts (pecans, almonds or hazelnuts) and sub some of the coconut oil with a nut-butter like almond butter or others...

Mix all of the above ingredients in a smaller bowl, and use your fingers to crumble together and then sprinkle over the apple mixtures in the cups or in the pan. 

If you are making the cups, you will want to put a piece of parchment on a baking pan with 6 cups on each pan. This will help if there is any spilling over to catch on the sheet rather on the bottom of your oven. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes until golden brown, crispy, and apples are bubbling. Serve warm, just as they are or with a topping of your favorite ice cream. 

These cups are so cute, magical and I must say- SUPER FUN for leftovers, school lunches, picnics, and pretty much the most wonderful food on the go :)

I know you can make these with other fruit varieties as well, I'm sure a favorite would be blueberry too :) But since we are in apple season- I started with apples :)

Happy baking, and happy applesauce making and apple crisp sharing!

Much love, xoxo

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Squash Pumpkin Apple Soup

It's that time of year again- when I start making all of the same favorites of squash salads and soups, squash pasta sauce, squash mac and cheese, squash risotto and of course, squash soup. It's all you have on the mind when you have mounds of squash, pumpkins, apples and all the savory fresh herbs coming in plenty. Which most definitely includes squash soup- with added coconut cream and a pinch or two of some spice. It's thick and creamy and a bisque without the dairy. It's almost like a cloud of creamy squash that melts in your mouth with each bite. It's at it's best this season and you cannot go through the fall season without it at least once.
This year I tried a few different flavors. I added in leeks and apples for some sweet and tart. I also diversified the flavors by adding in some pumpkin puree along with the squash. And even though, I usually LOVE roasting the squash first in the oven with some garlic, this soup was made much quicker by peeling and cubing the butternut squash and tossing it hard into the broth to cook and soften within 30 minutes. Then lastly I used the immersion blender to cream up and smooth through each boiled and cooked part to blend together to make a creamy...heavenly bowl of goodness.

Squash Pumpkin Apple Soup Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut and sugar-free}

2 TB of avocado or olive oil
1 large leek chopped (1 heaping cup of finely chopped leeks)
6-8 garlic cloves peeled and roughly chopped
1 large butternut squash peeled and cubed
2 large apples peeled and finely chopped
1 heaping cup of pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
4-6 cups of broth
1 cup of coconut milk or plant milk of choice
1 ts. of ground cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of ground thyme and sage
sea salt to taste
ground pepper to taste

raw or roasted pumpkin seeds to top

In a medium pot, saute the leeks and garlic, and then add in the squash and apples and saute for a few more minutes. Then add in the rest of the ingredients and let boil for 20-30 minutes until the butternut and apples get so soft and break down. Turn off the heat and use an immersion blender and blend until so soft and creamy or until your desired texture. You can also cool down and pour soup into a high powered blender and blend on high and then re-warm up for serving. Just be careful this could get dangerously hot :) I like to use the immersion blender for this reason. Serve up with a drizzle of coconut cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds. 


Happy soup-making! Tis' the season of fall when I make all things with squash and apples- and my kids say...."soup for dinner, again?!?" Yes!!! Yes :)

Much love and light to you, xoxo

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. 

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. 

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!


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

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Pumpkin Brownies

Let the pumpkin shenanigans begin! 

We have had a busy few weeks here of having colds, birthday fun and also still adjusting to the school-life. And since we all need a little bit of chocolate in our lives... brownies are a must! And my son being the birthday boy this time around asked for ice cream sundaes instead of cake. I KNOW! crazy boy?!? I guess having a mom that likes to bake cakes and cupcakes to celebrate is so not cool when you turn 7 :)
And because I also just loving my people with whatever kind of treats they love for their birthday...we settled on making brownies so we could have a place to push in a candle to sing the song and for wishes. So brownie ice cream sundaes we had! I made a homemade caramel sauce and fudge sauce, which I will share soon, but the first and wondrous step was making the brownies, which for this time of year also included a serving of vegetables,  echem... PUMPKIN!!!
Pumpkin Brownie Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut, and seed-free}

1/2 cup GF oat flour or a good sub for almond flour here if you can handle nuts
1/2 cup of rice flour
1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1/2 cup of potato starch
1 cup of coconut palm sugar
1/3 cup of cocoa powder

1/2 ts. of baking soda
1/2 ts. of baking powder
1 ts. of sea salt

3/4 cup of organic coconut oil
1 cup of Enjoy Life (or other vegan) chocolate chips (plus 1/4 cup more for sprinkling on top)
1/3 cup of maple syrup
2/3 cup of pumpkin puree
1/3 cup of applesauce (or date puree)
1 ts. pure vanilla

optional: add in a some pumpkin spice blend if you want to play on the pumpkin flavors... Id start with 1 teaspoon, but you could add as much as 2 or 3 ;)

In a large bowl, add in the all the flours and sugar first, and then fold in the wet along with the melted chocolate chips and coconut oil lastly. Whip together well and then pour into a parchment layered 9x13 baking dish or at the least you can use some more coconut oil to rub all over your pan so that it doesn't stick when you are trying to serve up. Spread out the batter evenly and sprinkle with an additional sprinkle of chocolate chips. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Let cool for 30-45 minutes before cutting into for best results. This will help the brownies settle and be less messy when cutting into and serving!
Happy PUMPKIN season... another recipe on the docket is some Pumpkin Spice Latte Ice Cream... YES! Just a bite has you swooning over all the pumpkin love you can muster.

Hope you ENJOY and happy baking xoxo

Much love as always!