Vegan MoFo: My Favorite Thing is…Oat Flour!

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Ok, so my MoFo’ing is off to a slow start. Here we are at day 6, and this is my first real post. At this rate, I won’t get to share very many of my favorite vegan things :-/

Regardless to my pace of posting (posting pace?), I wanted to get this month rolling with one of my very favorite ingredients…oats! And, more specifically, oat flour. Why oat flour versus the whole oat? Sometimes I react to whole oats, specifically oat meal. I use make a point to purchase organic, gluten free rolled oats (or steel cut/oat groats), but sometimes, when I eat oat meal, I almost feel asthmatic. I would probably feel the same if I ate an entire batch of whatever it is I make with the oat flour, but I’m usually able to control myself. Usually ūüėČ

Back on track…Why do I love oat flour so much? It’s crazy versatile! I’ve had great luck substituting it one-for-one for in everything I’ve tried. (Given, I haven’t tried it with every recipe.)¬† But, I’ve great luck with pancakes, muffins, and…cookies! Yummy, yummy cookies.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Oatmeal Cookies

1 1/2 c oat flour

1/2 c rolled oats

1 c peanut butter

1 c fruit spread/jelly

1 flax egg (1 TBSP flax meal + 1-2 TBSP water – combine and allow to gel)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking powder

Splash vanilla (about 1 tsp)

Sprinkle salt (if peanut butter is unsalted)

Combine dry ingredients (oat flour, oats, salt, baking soda, baking powder) and stir to combine. (I do this with a fork, but a sifter would work wonderfully. Just add the whole oats secondary.) Add wet ingredients (peanut butter, jelly, vanilla, flax egg). Stir just to combine ingredients. Scoop by large scooper (I used an ice cream scooper.) onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten a little after scooping.

Bake at 350F for about 10-12 minutes. (Check after 8 minutes if your oven runs hot.) Time will depend upon your oven and thickness of cookies. Remove cookies from cookie sheet right away (the oat flour will draw moisture and make the bottom of your cookies soggy), and cool on a wire rack.

My batch of dough made 16 large cookies, but don’t let that stop you from making them; they freeze well and reheat great too!

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Notes:

I thought these cookies are naturally sweet from the sweetness of the whole fruit spread, but if you’re feeding these to people who eat ‘traditional’ cookies, you might want to add a little liquid sweetener or your favorite non-nutritive sweetener. Additionally, if you want to turn these soft, cake-like cookies into muffins, try thinning out the batter with a little non-dairy milk. Mix-ins would be good too! Try crushed peanuts, diced pieces of whole fruit, chocolate chips, etc. Go crazy!

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Pumpkin Chia Oatmeal

I couldn’t take it any long; I broke down and opened a can of pumpkin. And then I opened another. And all the while, the tiny pie pumpkin I bought a couple of weeks ago sat atop the shelf, staring at me. Don’t worry little pumpkin; your days are numbered!

Pumpkin Chia Oatmeal

2 TBSP chia seeds

1/4 c oat groats, coarsely ground (or rolled or steel cut oats)

1/2 c pumpkin puree (canned or raw)

2 TBSP maple syrup (or your favorite liquid sweetener or stevia)

1/2 c (or more) almond milk (I make my own)

1/2 – 1 tsp vanilla extract (I use alcohol free)

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Combine everything and let it sit for a few minutes so the chia seeds can gel and thicken the oatmeal. Eat cold, room temperature, or warm. (I eat mine cold like cereal.)

To keep the recipe completely raw, use soaked then dehydrated oat groats (like I did), date paste for sweetener (or raw agave or honey if that works for your diet) or chunks of other dried fruit (raisins, craisins, dried cherries, etc), raw pumpkin puree, and homemade almond milk (to ensure it’s raw).

If you’re OK with a higher fat dish, try swirling in some almond butter, coconut butter, or coconut oil. All three would make your oats even creamier!

Sharing the love…Raw Food Thursdays, Healthy Vegan Fridays, Wellness Weekends

 

Weight Gainer Smoothies

The past two weeks, I’ve made two new weight gainer smoothies for my friend Wendy. The concentrated nutrition is working – at least a little bit. I don’t think she’s gained any weight, but she did impress her surgeons with her speedy heeling. Woohoo! I’ll take that as a victory ūüôā

Peach Pie Smoothie

2 cups cashew milk (I didn’t strain)

1/2 c cashews

1/4 c coconut oil

1 TBSP vanilla

1/2 c oats, soaked in nut milk

1/4 c maple syrup (more or less to taste)

1 TBSP chia seeds

1 heaping scoop vanilla protein powder (I like Sun Warrior brand)

2 c chopped peaches (about 5-6 whole peaches)

Combine everything in a high-speed blender, and blend until smooth. (Tip: Blend the cashews first, then add the oats unless you don’t mind chewing your smoothies.)

I don’t have any photos of that one. I forgot to take any at home, and it disappeared at work before I could snap a few.
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

3/4 c pumpkin puree (I used canned)

1/2 c oats, soaked

2 c almond milk (I didn’t strain)

1 TBSP vanilla

2 TBSP cinnamon

1/4 c maple syrup (more or less to taste)

1/2 c cashews

1/4 c coconut oil

1 t ginger

1 t nutmeg

1/2 t clove

Pinch salt

Combine everything in a high speed blender, and blend like crazy.

This tastes just like the perfect bite of pumpkin pie. Yum!

Recipe Review: Oatmeal Bread

As I was perusing the recipe submissions for this week’s Wellness Weekends, I came across a recipe for Sweet Brown Oatmeal Bread¬†and couldn’t wait to try it. So I did! (Have you checked out Wellness Weekends yet?! I love that everything is vegan, and a lot of the recipes are gluten-free, soy free, and even sugar-free!)

At first, I thought this¬†bread was going to be like a sandwich¬†bread. Somehow I missed sweet in the title. Ha ha ha. As I realized this recipe was going to yield a more quick-bread like dessert, I toyed with the idea of putting the mixture in muffin tins instead of a loaf pan, which I think would have worked well, especially if I’d used the large muffin tins (which I bought months ago and have yet to use). But, I stuck to the recipe and poured the mixture into a lightly greased loaf pan.

The resulting bread was delicious. I couldn’t wait for a piece to cool (as suggested, but really, who can?!), so I snagged a warm piece and added a smear of Earth Balance. Mmmmm…

 I did make a couple of changes to this recipe, including using oat flour instead of buckwheat flour (I have buckwheat flour, but the recipe said the already milled flour tasted different from fresh milled, and I want to save my coveted buckwheat for buckwheat crisps.) and only using 3 tablespoons of raw sugar instead of the six tablespoons of coconut sugar the recipe calls for. (Although, I did pick up some coconut sugar the other day at a new health food store in a nearby town Рwoohoo!) Oh, I also used golden flax meal instead of chia meal, which worked perfectly.

I can’t wait to try this bread again, either as a loaf or giant muffins, but switch up the flours. This was the first time I used teft¬†flour, and it was great, but I’ve been building my gluten-free pantry and have collected quite a few gluten-free flours, so I’m anxious to try them. Next time, I’m thinking buckwheat and coconut flour combo with phyllium powder instead of flax. Fiber, baby!

I

Basic Granola (GF)

I made granola for the first time tonight…and it turned out awesome!

I read a few different recipes and even had a friend share her tried-and-true recipe, combined all of those, and came up with my own, versatile recipe.

Basic Granola (GF)

Veggie V’s Easy Granola (GF)

2 c oats (I used GF old-fashioned)

1 c puffed cereal (I used puffed brown rice)

2/3 c nut mix (I used 1/3 c almond slices and 1/3 c whole almonds)

1/8 c (heaping) flax meal (I used golden flax)

1/4 c oil (I used coconut oil)

1/3 c liquid sweetener (I used maple syrup)

2/3 c dried fruit (I used 1/3 c raisins and 1/3 c craisins)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 300F. Line a large baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.

Combine oats, cereal, flax, and nuts in a large bowl.

In a separate, small, microwave proof bowl, microwave the coconut oil and brown rice syrup for about 45 seconds until coconut oil is melted. Swirl together to combine.

Add melted oil and sweetener to oats mixture. Stir to combine.

Place oat mixture on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring¬†half way through. (I set the timer for 10 minutes, stirred, returned to oven, and set the timer for another 10 minutes so I wouldn’t get sidetracked.) Once time has elapsed, remove baking sheet from oven, remove oat mixture from baking sheet (or as much as you can) to the original mixing bowl, and add dried fruit and cinnamon. Stir¬†to combine,¬†and return mixture to cookie sheet to cool.

Allow mixture to cool for a couple of hours. Store in a glass container. (To keep baked goods crisp, store in glass; to keep baked goods soft, store in plastic.)

Enjoy!

I have all kinds of ideas for this granola: add coconut, add cocoa nibs, add chia seeds, change-up¬†the nuts, change-up¬†the cereal, use maple syrup as the liquid sweetener, add nut butter, change-up the dried fruit (dates, prunes, dried banana chips, blueberries, strawberries, etc.)…the possibilities are endless.

As I was making the granola, Mr. M came into the kitchen to investigate¬†and promptly made a declaration¬†that making granola is more expensive than buying it. Um. No. I didn’t have to make a special purchase for any ingredient in my granola. The ingredients I used can be found in any well-stocked (or even not-so-well-stocked) pantry. Even non-vegans are likely to have the above items in their pantries – the recipe is crazy versatile. Plus, you control the sugar! And the fat. And the salt. (I didn’t use any extra salt, so the only sodium in my granola is naturally occurring¬†– bonus!) Plus, I know my granola is truly¬†gluten-free¬†because I used (trusted) gluten-free ingredients.

I’m not sure how long this granola will keep, but I’m pretty sure I’ll eat it all before I have a chance to find out ūüėČ

30 Second No-Bake Cookies

I didn’t plan on posting this tonight because I have so many other recipes I want to share with you before Christmas, which is just a couple of days away, but these were just so good I couldn’t resist!

30 Second No-Bake Cookies

1/4 c peanut butter

1/4 c chocolate chips

1/4 c oats

2 TBSP liquid sweetener (I used maple syrup)

Melt peanut butter, chocolate chips and maple syrup in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals until chocolate is melted and peanut butter is smooth. (Mine took 30 seconds, hence the cookie title.) Stir to combine. Add oats and stir to incorporate. Drop by the TBSP full onto plastic wrap or wax/parchment paper and chill until firm. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

No-Bake Cookies

My recipe made 5 cookies with a tiny bit left over, which I was more than happy to eat with a spoon. Mmmm…

I’d love to try theses cookies with a different cereal¬†– maybe a flake like corn or wheat, or even a crispy cereal like rice crispies or crispy brown rice.

Doesn't this just say, "Eat me"?!

Easy as (Pumpkin) Pie Steel Cut Oats

The weather here in Northwest Ohio has been wet. We’ve had rain, rain, and more rain. (And a little snow!) My favorite weather personality said we’ve had the wettest fall in history. I don’t doubt it!¬†I’ve been drinking tea like a mad hatter woman; I don’t remember the last time I haven’t had socks on my feet (OK, I take them off to shower, but I keep them on for everything else!), and my heated mattress pad has been running nonstop.¬†

When the weather is wet, and cold, and windy, all I want to eat is a warm glob of something. Yup. That’s right. A warm glob. Enter — oatmeal. Hearty. Warm. And globular. Perfect.

Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oats

1/2 c steel-cut oats (aka Irish Oats)

2 c water

dash salt

1 c non-dairy milk

1/4 c pumpkin puree

2 TBSP maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)

2 pkts stevia (or about 2 TBSP sugar) – optional

1-2 tsp each cinnamon & pumpkin pie spice

Place oats and water in a large, microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 15 minutes. Carefully remove bowl from microwave. Add remaining ingredients (pumpkin puree, seasonings, maple syrup, non-dairy milk) and stir to combine. Return to the microwave and cook another 5 minutes on high. Oats should be tender and creamy.

Allow oats to cool a bit before eating. If you want them to have extra globbiness, allow to cool significantly before eating.

Serves 2 (or one really hungry Veggie V!)

I didn’t run the NI on this breakfast-for-dinner, but I’m guessing it’s somewhere around 300 cals¬†per servings because that’s what my standard steel-cut oats come in at.

A spoonful of oats helps chase the rain away.

Steel Cut Oats: The Easy Way

The weather has been cold and dreary, and I’ve been busy this week. That’s the perfect combo for warm and easy dinners. Earlier this week, I had toast and tea for dinner. Tonight, I had steel cut oats. Yum. Oats.

I had my first bowl of steel cut oats earlier this year. I’d never heard of them before, but people raved about them on the Weight Wathers’ messages boards, so I tried them. And I loved them. That only makes sense, though, because I love regular, rolled oats. Plus I love chewy things, and steel cut oats are chewy¬†– at least mine are.

The first time I tried making steel cut oats, I cooked them on the stove. It took forever, which didn’t make me happy. I was pretty sure I could prepare them in the microwave and not have to babysit or constantly stir them. I was right!

Steel Cut Oats: The Easy Way

1/2 c steel cut oats, dry

1.5 c water

1 c non-dairy milk (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

2 TBSP vanilla coffee creamer (I use French vanilla soy creamer)

2 TBSP maple syrup

Combine steel cut oats and water in a large bowl. Microwave on high for 15 minutes. Remove and add the non-dairy milk, vanilla, soy creamer, and cinnamon. Return to the microwave and cook for an additional 5 mintues on high. Remove and add maple syrup. Stir to combine and let sit for a few minutes to absorb some of the liquid. Eat while hot/warm.

Makes 2 servings, or 1 giant serving. (Warning: You may need a nap if you consume the entire bowl!) 

Steel Cut Oats - Giant Bowl!

Vegan MoFo Day 20: Pumpkin Pie Omega Blast Balls

I’ve been slacking on my Vegan MOFO¬†duties. My apologies. Sometimes life gets in the way of my blog ūüėČ

To make up for it, I’m sharing a delicious and nutritious treat – Pumpkin Pie Omega Blast Balls!

I tried these out on my coworkers, and they received¬†rave reviews. Well, except for the name. I personally like the “omega blast balls” moniker, but my omni¬†friends are a little put off by it. I tried calling them pumpkin fudge balls, but again, that was a no go. Apparently, most people don’t like to eat food with the word “ball” in the title. Ha ha ha! Luckily, I didn’t just get criticism, I also got a few suggested, and one of them is a winner – pumpkin truffles. But, I feel like I should roll the Pumpkin Truffles in cinnamon sugar. Which kind of defeats the healthiness. A little. So I think I’m going to go with the omega blast ball extension when I share with you guys, and the truffles tag when I share with the rest of the world – cinnamon sugar included.

Pumpkin Pie Omega Blast Balls

1/2 c oat flour

1/2 c flax meal (I use golden flax)

1/2 c rolled oats

1 TBSP chia seeds

1/2 c pumpkin puree

2 TBSP maple syrup

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Add all ingredients. Mix to combine. Roll into balls. Store in refrigerator.

I get 10-12 medium-sized balls from this amount of mix.

Pumpkin Pie Omega Blast Balls

You may want to add additional sweetener. I think stevia would work well with the maple syrup. I also got a couple of suggestions to add more spice. You can decide ūüėČ

I’m sharing this recipe with the awesome readers of…

SSGF’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays (note – not every post is vegan)

DDD’s Wellness Weekends (Check out my featured recipe from last week while you’re there!)

Cybele Pascal’s Allergy Friendly Fridays (note – not all posts are vegan)

It’s a Block Party’s Delicious Dishes (note – most posts are not vegan)

A Smoothie, A Loaf of Bread, and A Latte

The title of this post sounds like the beginning of a bad joke.

A smoothie, a loaf of bread, and a latte walk into a bar…

Ha ha ha.

Joking aside, I’ve basically been living on smoothies,¬†baked goods from the freezer, and warm drinks.¬†

I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but I lose my ambition in the kitchen and my motivation to work out. I’ve kept up on my work outs (can’t. give. up.), but my cooking has all but disappeared. A string of bad dishes¬†hasn’t helped the decline. Sure, I’ve made a couple of things here and there, including, thank goodness, a giant pot of soup, but for the most part, I’ve been cleaning out the freezer.

Mr. M regularly complains there’s no room for his stuff in the freezer (his “stuff” equates frozen pot-pies and random pieces of animal carcass), so besides working through my cooking slump, I’m also slowly eating my way through the freezer and making some room for what I’m guessing will be meatballs. (Seriously. Why does one man need 50 meatballs?!)

The smoothie that’s been getting me through early, rainy mornings is VERY filling. It’s full of fiber and natural sugars, so it perks you up quickly, but then sustains your energy for quite a while. And it’s superbly delicious.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Smoothie

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Smoothie

1 c non-dairy milk*

1/3 – 1/2 c oats (one serving according to product)

1 frozen banana, chunked (peel and chunk bananas before freezing)

1 serving protein powder (I use unflavored)

1 TBSP chia seeds (flax would work too)

1+ tsp vanilla

1+ TBSP cinnamon (or to taste)

1-2 TBSP raisins (1 mini box)

In a high-powered blender, add loose ingredients first: protein powder, chia seeds, oats, cinnamon. Then add remaining ingredients: raisins, non-dairy milk, and banana. Blend until smooth.

*I like to use unsweetened vanilla¬†almond milk, but I think either sweetened or unsweetened hemp milk would be amazing in this smoothie. It’s rich and thick and delicious¬† – all on its own.

If you don’t like chewy chunks in your smoothie, let it sit for a few minutes so the oats and chia seeds can absorb some of the non-dairy milk and make it a little smoother. If you’re fond of eating your smoothies in a bowl, this will also make the smoothie more bowl-worthy.

Oatmeal Raisin Smoothie - Thick & Delicious

Like I said, this smoothie keeps me full for quite a while (it’s fairly caloric), but sometimes I eat breakfast so early, I must have a second breakfast because I’m hungry again before lunch. I know. I know. I can eat whatever I want whenever I want, but I love breakfast and am more than happy to extend it ūüôā

Lately, when I’ve gotten had to eat Second Breakfast, I’ve been reaching for a slice of Cinnamon Raisin Bread.

I got the original recipe for this sweet, yeast bread from Happy Herbivore (click here for the original recipe). It sounded too good to pass up, but I didn’t want to use any refined sugars, and Mr. M had just¬†bought a lifetime¬†supply¬†of grape juice (thank you, Sam’s Club), so I used it to replace the¬†water in the recipe, which made it VERY sweet. I also mixed up the flour a little, reducing the wheat flour and adding oat bran (yup, still on my oat bran kick) and psyllium¬†(not the laxative powder, the thicker, less processed whole grain). The result was amazing!

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

3 c whole wheat flour

1/4 c oat bran

1/4 c psyllium

1 pkt dry yeast

2 TBSP maple syrup

1 tsp salt

4 TBSP cinnamon

1 c applesauce

1/2 c grape juice

1 c raisins

First, plump the raisins in warm water, warm juice (grape or apple), or a little warm liquor. (Did someone say Rum Raisin Bread?!)

Next, combine the applesauce and juice and heat until warm. Don’t overheat, or you’ll kill the yeast when adding to the dry ingredients.

Then, combine half of the whole wheat flour, yeast, salt, cinnamon, and raisins. Stir to combine. (I use a fork to combine and aerate.)

Slowly combine the warm liquid to the dry ingredients. Add the remaining flours (the rest of the whole wheat and the oat bran and ). Mix to combine. A heavy, wet dough should result.

Cover the wet dough with a towel and allow to rise. (If you have a gas oven, place the covered bowl in there to rise. Even turning the oven light on in an electric oven will provide a nice, warm environment for your dough.)

Remove your dough from the oven, if you put it in there, and pre-heat the oven to 375 F.

Remove the dough from the bowl and spread it into a loaf pan. Flatten it with your hands to create an even loaf.

Bake for 40-45 minutes.

Let the loaf rest until it’s cool enough to remove from the pan, and allow to rest a total of 1 – 1.5 hours before slicing. And eating. If you can.

This recipe is a keeper. Even Mr. M eats it, and he usually thinks my treats are too healthy tasting.

Aside from living out the freezer, I’ve been preparing for the beginning of fall all week by enjoying Pumpkin Spice Lattes. (I need warmed up after all that frozen food!)

Fall in a Cup!

A couple of weeks ago, I started pursuing the net for Pumpkin Spice Latte recipes. I found a bunch of really good ones and tried a couple. After a little trial and error, I came up with one that works for me. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Latte

2 c. really strong coffee (use espresso if you can)

2 TBSP pumpkin puree

1/2 c non-dairy milk

1 TBSP liquid sweetener (I use maple syrup)

1 TBSP cinnamon (or to taste)

1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice (or to taste)

Add non-dairy milk, pumpkin puree, sweetener, and spices to blender. Blend well. Add mixture to large cup. Add coffee. Stir.

I prefer my coffee a little less than hot, so I don’t heat the mixture, but you may want to. The¬† most important part of the whole process, at least to me, is blending the pumpkin mixture. Without blending, the drink is grainy.

Feel free to add more sweetener, dairy free whipped topping, or anything else you’d like to your latte. I like mine kind of plain (I even use decaf coffee) and not too sweet, so no extras for me ūüėČ And if you have little ones in the house who want to share your welcoming fall spirit, try doubling the pumpkin mixture and warming it up for a coffee free fall drink. Yummy!

Hot, Rich & Frothy

I’m sharing this post on:

Diet Dessert & Dogs’ Wellness Weekends

Simply Sugar & Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays

Cybel Pascal’s Allergy Free Cuisine¬†Allergy Friendly Fridays