granola muffins

These little vegan muffins were part of a cooking class featuring my favorite homemade granola. This class featured one of the best flavor variations- maple, pecan, and cinnamon. I learned the original granola recipe from Heidi at 101 Cookbooks, but I’ve adapted it many times over. These muffins feature your own homemade granola, should you be so ambitious, but they work perfectly well with store-bought granola if that is what you have. These treats are another way to add some healthy, clean snacks to your day. These are very simple muffins; add nuts, raisins, cacao nibs, or other yummy mix-ins as you see fit!

granola muffins

Homemade Granola Muffins

1½ cups homemade granola, divided
2 Tablespoons Earth Balance
¼ cup vanilla soy yogurt
2 Tablespoons ground flaxseeds
¾ cup vanilla flavored non-dairy milk
¼ cup coconut oil
½ cup agave nectar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup whole spelt flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly grease a muffin pan with coconut oil, or use muffins liners.
  2. In a small bowl, mix ¾ cup granola with the Earth Balance. Gently press together using a fork, until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk yogurt and flax together. Let stand one minute, then stir in milk, oil, agave, vanilla, and almond extract. Whisk until smooth.
  4. In another bowl sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet, and stir gently until well combined. Gently stir in remaining ¾ cup granola.
  6. Fill muffin cups evenly, and top with a sprinkle of granola/Earth Balance mixture. Bake for 22-25 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.

Yield: 12 muffins

love & scones

There is so much love in the air: not only did my little brother get engaged last week, today the ladies are celebrating the nuptials of our good friend at her bridal shower! I am feeling the romance while making my favorite vegan spelt scones and biscuits to share at the tea party. It’s been a long time since these goodies have made an appearance in my kitchen- so long in fact that I forgot some of my key ingredients (oat bran and ground nuts- sorry ladies!). But I’ve resolved to not forget about these goodies again.

But be warned: these scones just might be the key to someone’s heart. Bake them with love using one of the many flavor variations listed below, or invent your own for your special someone! xo raspberr scones

Raspberry Spelt Scones 

 

2 cups whole spelt flour
½ cup fine oat bran
½ cup ground toasted macadamia nuts
1 tbsp baking powder
pinch sea salt
1/3 cup liquid coconut oil
1/3 cup agave + ¼ cup for drizzle
¼ cup brewed tea
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup raspberries

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and line your cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl mix the spelt flour, oat bran, nuts, baking powder and sea salt.
  3. Measure the oil, 1/3 cup agave, tea, and vanilla into a small bowl and mix to combine. Add the liquids into the dry ingredients, and stir gently. Add the berries and stir to just combine; a few dry spots are okay.
  4. Scoop out ¼ cup batter into your hands, gently press flat, and then lay on the cookie sheets, leaving about 2 inches between the dough. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. As soon as you remove the scones from the oven, drizzle with the remaining ¼ cup agave. Let stand on the cookie sheet for about 10 minutes, and then move to cooling racks.
  6. These stay good for a few days at room temperature, and they freeze very well.

cooking class: date night!

There were no flowers or chocolates for this week’s date night! But we did have cake, scones, and homemade energy bars during our weekly cooking class.

I love using juicy, caramel-y Medjool dates as a snack or in raw food goodies. This week’s cooking class used these fruit gems in three different recipes, all of which are super easy, delicious, and full of vegan love. The Date Cake was new to me. I found this intriguing recipe on Aayi’s Recipes, and thought that the 600+ commenters could not be wrong!  I did have to make some changes, as the original came out gooey and undercooked (turns out the commenters were wrong, hmmm).  The adapted version, found below, yields a moist and super flavorful cake, cooked all the way through.  The bake time is long, but this is a very wet batter, so trust the timing and let it cool properly. The second recipe is a hearty Banana- Date Scones, adopted from Veganomicon. They are really filling and a bit ‘healthy’ tasting, but great fresh out of the oven. Thirdly, we made some easy raw Maca Energy Bites.  Super simple and healthy, and superfood-infused with the addition of maca, a great energy booster and adaptogen (helps your body work through stress!).

Date Cake with Molasses Pecan Glaze

Super sweet medjool dates make a soft and light cake. The Molasses-Pecan glaze is strongly flavored, but it makes the cake just a bit fancier!.

fresh from the oven, without the glaze + nuts. still sooo pretty and delicious

18 medjool dates, soaked and pitted
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
¾ cup non-dairy milk + 3 tbsp, divided
1 tsp cider vinegar
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup coconut oil
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
pinch sea salt
1 Tbsp molasses
¾ cup powdered sugar

  1. Soak pitted dates in water for two hours. Drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8- 9 inch cake pan (round or square) with parchment paper. While the oven is preheating, toast pecans in a separate pan until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Grind pecans in the processor when cool.
  3. Mix together ¾ cup milk and vinegar; let stand one minute. Add dates, milk + vinegar, brown sugar, and oil to processor and blend until smooth.
  4. In a large bowl mix flours, baking soda, and salt. Add the liquids into the dry and stir until just combined.  Pour into prepared baking pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. To make the glaze, whisk together molasses and powdered sugar. Add 1 tbsp ‘milk’ as necessary to thin. Drizzle glaze on cooled cake just before serving, and sprinkle with crushed pecans.

Date Energy Bars 

Dates are great sources of natural sugars, perfect for after a workout (or just a long day at work!).  If you are not interested in maca, substitute cacao/cocoa, or just leave it out entirely; nutty cinnamon date balls will still be delish.

similar to store-bought Larabars; but infinitely better!

 

½ cup almonds
½ cup walnuts
pinch salt
3 Tbsp maca powder
1 tsp cinnamon
¾ cup Medjool dates, pitted
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp water (more for texture if necessary)

  1. Add nuts and salt into food processor.  Blend until very fine- much like the texture of sand.
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients. Blend again, until mixture begins to thicken and stick together inside the processor.
  3. Check the texture by pinching a bit between your fingers; if it is slightly sticky and keeps its shape, it is ready! Add 1 Tbsp more liquid if mixture is too dry.
  4. Pour into a bowl and then shape with your hands into balls (or press into a pan to flatten). Place 1 almond in the center, and store in the fridge.

Yield: About 15, one inch energy balls

Banana Date Scones

This recipe is adapted from Veganomicon, one of my favorite vegan cookbooks. These scones are best fresh from the oven, with some butter or Earth Balance. 

Chunky dates + bananas + whole wheat flour = healthy breakfast snacks. This photo was doctored in iPhoto. The lighting in our demonstration kitchen is so yellow!

 

1 cup Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1 cup + 2 tsp all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp ground flaxseeds
1/3 cup non-dairy milk
1 cup mashed (very ripe) banana
1/3 cup coconut oil
¼ cup agave nectar
¾ cup chopped walnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl mix 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour with chopped dates and toss to coat.  Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl mix together flours, baking powder, spices, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl whisk flaxseeds with milk; let stand for one minute. Add in mashed banana, oil, and agave and whisk well.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring until just combined. Batter will be very thick. Gently fold in dates and nuts.
  6. Scoop out 1/3 cup of batter and pat down onto the baking sheet.  Bake for 20-23 minutes, until nicely browned and firm to the touch.

Yield: 12 scones

sweet mornings

coffee and biscuits, served with earth balance and local honey

there have been lots of lovely mornings that i’ve been able to spend at home with the boyfriend, hanging out in out in our little kitchen here in Makawao.   between the winter rainstorms closing the farm and my later days at work, we’ve been spending lots of time typing, reading, drinking coffee and tea, and eating!

this is one of our favorite quick breakfasts- sweet spelt biscuits, which i adapted and made fantastic from a babycakes recipe.

sweet spelt biscuits

(makes four or eight biscuits)

ingredients/yield four biscuits eight biscuits
white spelt flour 1 cup 1 ½ cups
whole-grain spelt flour ½ cup 1 ½ cups
sucanat ¼ cup ½ cup
baking powder 2 tsp 4 tsp
salt ¼ tsp ½ tsp
vanilla extract 2 tsp 1 tbsp
green tea 1/3 cup 2/3 cup
coconut oil ¼ cup (reserve 1 tsp for basting) ½ cup (reserve 1 tbsp for basting)

*a note*

you can use all white or all whole spelt flour instead of mixing the two.  i know i have a hard time finding white spelt, so  feel free to mix the amounts up a bit.  i’ve made it many different ways and it works well regardless.  the white spelt does make the biscuits a bit lighter-textured, but the whole makes them a bit more, um, whole-grainier.

preheat your oven to 350, and grease a sheet or pan with coconut oil.  mix up the flour(s), sucanat, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.  measure the coconut oil, vanilla extract, and tea into a measuring cup and add all at once to the dry ingredients.  mix gently with spoon or spatula, then pat gently into a big ball in your hands.  knead gently just a few times.  divide the dough equally and place in your prepared baking pan or on a sheet.  baste lightly with the extra coconut oil.  bake for 15 minutes, and enjoy while still warm!  these keep for only about a day, so eat them quickly!

when i making only four biscuits, i use an 8 x 8 pan and cook in my toaster oven to save energy and time.

rainy day reprise: maple and apple spelt muffins

i posted these muffins as part of a trio of wheat-free muffins a few months ago, but i am reposting them, because they are really so very delicious.

on this rainy morning i decided to bake something quick and warming, to share with the boyfriend and the kitty (seriously).  he came home at eight am after being rained out from work, and i had a few hours before i have to leave for work, so we spent the morning hanging out in the steamy kitchen drinking coffee and playing with the kitten- she was a very enthusiastic taste tester for the muffins.  i am not sure if spelt and apples are good for kitties, but she freakin’ loved them!

yes, it's true. physhy loves baked goods

there are two recipes here, one for twelve muffins and for a half-batch of six muffins, so you don’t have to do math before you bake up your goodies.  the directions are the same, of course.  there are some rare ingredients here, like the maple extract and the white spelt flour, but i think you will find these muffins worth these extra purchases.  if you really don’t want to buy maple extract, just use more vanilla; you can also use regular all-purpose flour to replace the white spelt.

to make 12 muffins:

3/4 cup soymilk- mixed with 2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp maple extract
1 cup whole spelt flour
1 cup white spelt flour
1/4 cup whole oats
1/3 cup agave or grade b maple syrup
1/4 cup molasses
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp seasalt
1/2-3/4 cup ground toasted pecans (or other such nutty things)
1/2-3/4 cup chopped apple (granny smith is perfect)

to make 6 muffins:

6 tbsp soymilk- mixed with 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
2 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp maple extract
1/2 cup whole spelt flour
1/2 cup white spelt flour
2 tbsp cup whole oats
2 1/2 tbsp agave or grade b maple syrup
2 tbsp molasses
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch seasalt
1/4 cup ground toasted pecans (or other such nutty things)
1/4 cup chopped apple (granny smith is perfect)

Preheat your oven to 350°F and then generously grease a 12- or 6-cup muffin tin with coconut oil.  mix up the milk + flax first and let it sit for a minute, then add the other wet ingredients.  in a second bowl mix up the dry ingredients except for apples, then add the dry ingredients to the wet.  mix gently, until all the oats are covered and not dry looking.  add the apple and mix just a few more times to combine. drop the into the greased pan until about 2/3 full.  bake for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

rainy day breakfast