Oatmeal Raisin Muffins

I love muffins. They’re great for on-the-go breakfasts  – and second breakfast! (Am I the only person who eats a second breakfast most days??)

Tuesday night, I went to bed thinking about muffins, and when I woke up before the alarm on Wednesday morning, I decided to do it! Doesn’t everyone make muffins at 5 am?! Ha!

In my groggy state, this is what I came up with…

Oatmeal Raisin Muffins

1 1/2 c oat flour (I used certified gluten-free)

1/2 c almond pulp/meal/flour

1/2 tsp baking powder (aluminum free, please!)

2 flax eggs (2 TBSP flax meal + 3 TBSP water)

1/2 c coconut sugar (aka palm sugar)

3/4 c unsweetened applesauce (two individual containers)

1/2 TBSP vanilla extract  (or a pinch of vanilla powder)

1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)

2 TBSP chia seeds (optional)

1/2 c raisins (soaked)

1/4 c goji berries (soaked)

Add dry ingredients to bowl. Whisk to combine. Add wet ingredients. Stir to combine. Fold in drained, soaked raisins and goji berries.

Fill muffin tins/cups and bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes. Remove promptly from baking pan and cool on a wire rack so bottoms don’t get soggy.

Makes 9 nice-sized muffins at about 200 calories each. Freezes well.

Notes:

“Flour”: Is your freezer being overrun by almond pulp too?! Ugh. It’s getting a little crowned in there; time to thaw, dehydrate, and process into more almond meal/flour. But, before I do that, I need to use some of the last batch, so I’ve been sneaking it into anything and everything. If you don’t have any almond pulp/meal/flour lying around, I’m sure you could use all oat flour. (Side note: Make your own oat flour by grinding some old fashioned oats in a blender or food processor until smooth in texture. I use my magic bullet.) Additionally, this might work with all almond pulp/meal/flour. I haven’t tried it; if you do, let me know if it works!

Flax Egg: I find my flax gels up much better with less water. Some people like their eggs a bit runny, but I like mine thick and gooy. I like to use golden flax, too. It has a milder flavor and doesn’t show through the oat flour. I’m sure you could use  chia eggs as well (same amount of ground or whole chia seeds instead of flax meal).

Chia Seeds: These are totally optional, but I like putting them in muffins and quick breads for the added omega’s. Plus, I think they add some binding. Or not. That might be all in my head 😉

Applesauce: I used the applesauce for both the moisture and the oil sub. I’m guessing you could use some kind of oil (coconut oil would be my suggestion) and maybe a little non-dairy milk if you don’t have/don’t want to use applesauce. Additionally, liquified banana would probably work, as would pumpkin puree, prune puree, etc. Keep in mind, however, using a higher sugared fruit might mean an adjustment to your other sweetener.

Coconut/Palm Sugar: I’ve recently started using coconut/palm sugar more often. It’s not very sweet, but I like that. Subtle. Plus, the glycemic index is so low, reports are that it doesn’t spike insulin levels in those who are sensitive. (The carbohydrates in the oat flour could, though, so be careful if this applies to you.)

Dried Fruit: I love oatmeal raisin as a flavor, but if you don’t, try a different dried fruit. Dried cranberries, cherries, apricots, figs, bits of date, currents, etc, would all be great! I added the goji berries for an extra antioxidant kick, but something more exotic like golden berries would be nice too!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

I hope you are sharing the love today – and everyday 🙂

Believe it or not, I’ve never made chocolate covered strawberries, so I thought Valentine’s Day was the perfect opportunity to do just that. Here’s the recipe I use when I want to make raw chocolate sauce…

Raw Chocolate Sauce

Equal part melted coconut oil

Equal part raw cacao

Equal part granulated nutritive sweetener (I use coconut crystals)  – adjust for stevia

Melt coconut oil first, then add cacao and sugar. (Vanilla would probably be a nice touch, too.) Then, simply dip your strawberries in the chocolate sauce. If you want the chocolate to set, chill the berries after they’re dipped. Or, eat right away.

The sauce is also good just poured over stemmed berries. Or pineapple. Or apple. Or cookies. Or on a spoon 😉

If you don’t have any coconut oil and/or cacao on hand (you can sub unsweetened coco powder), melt a few chocolate chips (or a square or two of Baker’s chocolate) with a little non-dairy milk. If you use chocolate chips, you probably won’t need to add a sweetener, but if you use Baker’s chocolate, you will. Both will firm up naturally when chilled, just like the coconut oil (but due to coco butter).

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Brownies

I’ve been craving brownies since December.

First, I tried this fat-free black bean recipe. It was OK. I’ve tried other fat-free black bean recipes, and they’ve been OK too. All have been very cake-like. Good when you’re in the mood for that type of brownie, or even a piece of chocolate cake, but not so good when you aren’t sure what you want. Apparently that wasn’t what I wanted.

Then, I tried a fat-free brownie that used sweet potato instead of beans or bananas. It was OK. But, guess what, I can’t find the recipe. Ugh. I guess you’ll have to settle for some a photos.

upside down brownie

I also made this  blondie, which was very interesting. Cooked quinoa. Crazy!

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Sadly, I wasn’t super thrilled with either of these recipes either. The blondie was a different flavor I wasn’t fond of – not bad but not great. And, I ended up having to bake them for almost four times the length of time in the recipe. I don’t know what the difference in moisture could have been, but wowza! They were in the oven forever, and I could have left them in even longer. The regular brownies didn’t do it for me either. I probably didn’t leave them in the long enough (the oven had been on all day), and instead of being fudgy, they were gelatinous. I don’t do anything anything gelatinous. Luckily, after a night in the fridge, they firmed up a bit, and I ate them with the mindset of cold chocolate oatmeal.

Finally, I tried making a batch of raw brownies. Just about every vegan food blog, and maybe non-vegan blogs, have a recipe for raw brownies – and why not?! They’re delicious and super easy to make.

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The recipes are all about the same: dates, cacao and some kind of mix-in. My recipe isn’t anything special in design, but it sure tastes good!

Raw Brownies

20 jumbo medjool dates (40 regular size) – soaked if hard

1/4-1/2 c raw cacao (or carob – to taste)

1/8 – 1/4 c almond meal or flour (I used dehydrated and processed almond pulp left-over from making almond milk.)

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp vanilla powder

2 TBSP (heaping) raw cacao nibs – optional

1/4 c (scant) sliced almonds – optional

Add dates to food processor first. Process until dates have broken down. (You don’t need to process them into a paste, though.) Add cacao powder and almond meal and process again until mixture forms a ball. Add your mix-ins and combine by hand. Press mixture into a small container, silicone molds, or form into balls and store in the refrigerator or freezer. Allow to thaw a bit before eating  if freezing.

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Cherry Date Balls

I accidentally ordered some dehydrated cherries last month, and I finally got around to using them.

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Cherry Date Balls

1 c Dates

1/4 c (scant) Coconut

1/2 c (scant) slivered almonds (or whole, but slivered process better)

1/2 c freeze dried cherries (or other dried/freeze dried fruit of choice)

Add all ingredients to food processor and process until combined. Mixture will be crumbly but should hold together when pressed.  Scoop mixture by the TBSP (or cookie scooper – I used a size 50 scooper), pack tight, and roll into a ball. Store in the refrigerator or freezer. (If you freeze, thaw for a few minutes before eating; they become very, very firm.)

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