Fall in Love with Pumpkin Bread

Fall is my favorite season, partly because I love crisp, cool weather, but partly because there is just so much pumpkin-flavored food to enjoy! Last fall I made pumpkin spice muffins, which were good, but I needed to tweak the ratio of spices. This time I think I’ve mastered it, however, I made a pumpkin bread instead of muffins because I wanted to change up the recipe a bit more.

Pumpkin Bread

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Ingredients:

  • 1 15.2 oz can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix–the two can look similar)
  • 2/3 cup dark agave syrup
  • 1/3 cup dark maple syrup
  • 1 cup of unsweetened apple sauce
  • 3.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1.5 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened, plain almond milk
  • 3/4 cup safflower oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Optional Icing Ingredients:

  • 2-4 tbsp. almond milk, or any non-dairy milk of your choice
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. earth balance spread
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F
  • In a large bowl, measure and mix together the pumpkin, oil, applesauce, and liquid sweeteners (agave & maple syrup)
  • Add vanilla extract
  • In a separate bowl, measure and mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices
  • Add the wet ingredients into the dry, and as you’re mixing, mix in the almond milk until the mixture is uniform
  • Grease a baking pan (I used a square pan, but you could use whatever shape you want)
  • Transfer the mixture to the pan and put in the oven
  • Allow to bake for 35-40 minutes
  • Cool sufficiently before icing
  • To make the icing: mix non-dairy milk, earthbalance , and vanilla on low heat, add powdered sugar and mix with a whisk. Remove from heat when uniform and allow to cool. Refrigerate if necessary.
  • Using a spoon, transfer a thin layer of icing to the pumpkin bread. You can either cut each piece individually and then put the icing on, or put it on the entire bread and then cut. It’s up to you.
  • Enjoy!

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-Jess

Healthy Vegan Pumpkin Spice Muffins

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m obsessed with pumpkin flavored things, so this weekend I created a healthy, flavor-packed vegan pumpkin spice muffin! This recipe is not very sweet (because I didn’t use that much sugar) so it can be eaten alongside something sweeter or with a savory stew or soup. These muffins pack a punch of vitamin A and a good helping of fiber, so enjoy and know that it’s possible to make a truly healthy muffin.

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Ingredients (makes 12 muffins)

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour, or another whole grain flour (such as spelt, brown rice flour, etc.)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil (melt in microwave)
  • 15 oz. canned pumpkin (nothing added, unsweetened)
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or other milk alternative)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2.5 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. cloves

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and either spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray or use paper muffin cups/wrappers
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine measured dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and spices)
  • Create a well in the dry ingredients and add the canned pumpkin, applesauce, vanilla extract, almond milk, and melted coconut oil (melt the coconut oil in the microwave before mixing for about a minute)
  • Mix dry and wet ingredients until mixture is uniform in consistency
  • With an ice-cream scooper or large spoon, spoon portions of muffin batter into muffin cups/tin
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes (cooking time may vary, so use your judgment and keep an eye on the muffins during the last 5 minutes)
  • Remove from over, allow to cool down a bit and serve
  • Enjoy!

-Jess

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Coffee

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One of my favorite things about fall is pumpkin-flavored everything. I’ve always wanted to try Starbuck’s pumpkin spice latte but the pumpkin spice mix that they use is not vegan, so I’ve decided to make my own pumpkin flavored coffee treat. Here is my first attempt at a soy pumpkin spice coffee (it’s not a latte because I don’t have an espresso machine, but feel free to use espresso if you have the equipment).

Ingredients & Directions (serves 1)photo 1.PNG

  • Make unflavored coffee using whatever method you normally use
  • In a mug, add 1/2 cup soy milk. (I use unsweetened, plain flavored but vanilla flavored soy milk could also work)
  • Add 1 tbsp. trader joe’s pumpkin butter OR add 1 tbsp. pumpkin pie mix + 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon
  • add just a drop of vanilla extract
  • Finally, pour coffee over the mixture and stir well

A final note- this coffee is significantly less creamy than what I imagine a pumpkin spice latte would taste like, so feel free to use a higher-fat soy milk than normally, or adjust any of the ingredients according to your tastes. You may also want to steam the soy milk but this is what I did. Enjoy!

-Jess

Roasted Veggie One-Layer Lasagna

For the past few weeks (up until now), I haven’t been inspired to cook anything exciting but I am excited about something…my classes for fall semester start next week! I’m excited because it means I’m one step closer to my master’s and the beginning of my career. On a food-note-I wanted to make a dish for the next few days so that when I come home, I can just heat this up for an easy lunch or dinner (or healthy midnight snack). The following recipe is chock full of nutrients in the form of root veggies and whole grains. You can also roast some green veggies, like kale or brussels sprouts and add them to this recipe (which I didn’t do, but just thought would taste amazing). If you’re not a vegan, feel free to add some cheese, but this version I made is vegan.

photo 3-11Ingredients (serves 3)

  • 6 sheets/pieces of whole grain lasagna
  • 2 large beets, chopped into cubes in a size to your liking
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1.5 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil or olive oil (but not extra virgin olive oil, because this is going in the oven)
  • 1 additional carrot to be grated
  • pepper, to taste
  • a sprinkle of garlic powder

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit
  • Place chopped veggies, pepper, and 1 tbsp. oil in an oven safe dish and mix so that the oil covers the veggies
  • Roast veggies at 400 degrees for 30 minutes
  • While the veggies are roasted, boil a large pot of water
  • When the water comes to a boil, place sheets of lasagna in water. Don’t break them to allow them to be fully submerged, just wait until half of them become pliable enough to fit entirely in the water.
  • After 8-12 minutes, the pasta should be ready.
  • Remove from stove and drain. Then, pat dry or lay them across a surface to dry
  • Remove the roasted veggies from the oven after 30 minutes
  • Grease another oven-safe dish and then lay three of the lasagna sheets down on the dish
  • Add a layer of tomato sauce to the lasagna sheets
  • Add most of the roasted veggies and sprinkle garlic powder, add 1 tbsp. oil, and another layer of tomato sauce if desired
  • Add the second layer of lasagna sheets (you should have three remaining) on top of the roasted veggies/tomato sauce mixture
  • Add one more layer of tomato sauce on top, and (optional) a few more roasted veggies on top of the sauce
  • Grate a carrot using a cheese grater and add on top (like you would with cheese)
  • Stick in the oven at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes
  • Remove from oven, allow to cool, and serve (or save for later)
  • Enjoy!

-Jess