Vegan Pumpkin Bread

This is by far my favorite time of the year… food wise at least (my freezing cold fingers and toes may say otherwise). The holiday season has so many different foods associated with it and I honestly can’t complain. Fall has apples, pumpkin, and warm cider, while winter has, gingerbread, peppermint, and hot cocoa to name a few of my favorites!

In the fall you can get pumpkin-spiced anything anywhere. Ive seen pumpkin donuts, pumpkin whoopie pies, pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin pancakes (one of my faves), pumpkin oreos, pumpkin gum, and of course, every white-girls favorite, pumpkin spiced lattes (soy or skim milk of course, you never order a whole milk pumpkin spiced latte, just never).

Thanksgiving alone has its own set of must-have dishes, though when you’re family is made of vegans, vegetarians, and other diet restrictions, thanksgiving must-haves gain a new spin. Somethings that I know will always be on our thanksgiving table are: pretzel rolls, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, more pretzel rolls, and a large array of festive desserts to satisfy any sweet-tooth, even mine. The recipes may vary depending on any new dietary needs, but its nice to see a few staples year after year, including pumpkin bread.

I’ve actually had a lot of trouble in the past making a good pumpkin bread from scratch. It always turns out undercooked, dense, and sticky. I was hesitant to attempt a vegan pumpkin bread because a lot of times substituting real eggs for flax eggs makes a recipe even denser so I was pleasantly surprised to find this delicious, eggless pumpkin bread recipe!

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This recipe for vegan pumpkin bread is light, moist, and delicious. Its actually a lot better then any non-vegan or vegan pumpkin bread recipe I have ever attempted.

RECIPE (adapted from here):

Ingredients: 

2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbs cinnamon
15 oz fresh pumpkin puree (1 can)
1 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey (To make it vegan substitute maple syrup)
1/3 cup water
Directions:
Pre heat oven to 350.

Grease and flour 2 loaf pans (or one super long loaf pan).

In a large bowl mix flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon. In a separate bowl mix pumpkin, oil, honey, and water together. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Pour into prepared pans.

Bake for 1- 1 hour 15 minutes.Or until a tooth pick is inserted and comes out clean.

Let the bread cool before removing from pan and enjoying. Or dont and just dig in like I usually do.

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

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This post comes to you as a way for me to use up the last half bag of holiday cranberries we had lying in our freezer. Sorry as this is my third cranberry recipe basically in a row but the fact is that I had a lot of frozen cranberries and you can’t go wrong with any of the recipes, they’re all a little different but all so delicious. I recently made apple-cranberry cake which was probably one of my favorites, so I was a little reluctant to try a new cranberry recipe for fear that it would be a disappointment. Thankfully this recipe was no disappointment! The cake itself is so light and fluffy from the whipped egg whites with just enough sweetness, while the tart cranberries are a perfect contrast for the buttery brown sugar topping.

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Please enjoy this recipe, or any of my other cranberry recipes I have recently posted, you honestly can’t go wrong with any of them! So start baking!

CRANBERRY UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE:

recipe adapted from here

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries

Cake:

  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 large egg whites

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. To prepare topping, lightly coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Heat brown sugar and 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook 2 minutes or until butter melts and sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Pour sugar mixture into prepared cake pan, tilting pan to coat bottom evenly. Arrange cranberries evenly over sugar mixture.
  3. Whisk the egg whites with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form using clean, dry beaters. once down transfer egg whites gently into a small side bowl. Clean mixer bowl and fit mixer with clean bowl and beater
  4. To prepare cake: combine flour, baking powder, and salt; stir with a whisk. Place granulated sugar and 1/2 cup butter in a bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Fold flour mixture into sugar mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  5. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Spoon the batter over the cranberries, spreading evenly. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes on a wire rack. Loosen cake from sides of pan using a narrow metal spatula. Place a serving plate upside down on top of cake, and invert the cake pan onto the plate. Let stand 5 minutes, and remove the pan. Serve warm and enjoy!

Caprese Spaghetti Squash

While in Spain my family began to rave about their favorite new recipe involving spaghetti squash. I was very excited and slightly intrigued by the idea of a squash that when baked resembles pasta. I’ve seen recipes in the past for baked spaghetti squash and passed the rotund yellow squash numerous times in the vegetable aisle. Im always up to try new recipes and new foods and I have yet to find a squash that I don’t like, so for me this wasn’t a stretch. But for all who may be skeptical or scared of something new don’t be! Spaghetti squash is so versatile, and easy to make, not to mention super healthy and the perfect light summer meal!

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How to Bake Spaghetti Squash:

Method: Pierce the squash several times with a sharp knife.
Bake: About an hour at 375 F, rotating about half way through.
stab the squash when an hour is up to check if its done. The knife should come out easily when done.
- cut squash in half(we cut it the short way but either way works), remove seeds and set aside (if you want to bake them like pumpkin seeds, if not throw them away), scrap the inside of the squash with a fork to make long spaghetti-like strands.
Mixins: Like I said, spaghetti squash is so versatile and you can treat it like any pasta so feel free to mix it up and get creative. The following are the ingredients that we used.
- Mozzarella
- Tomato
- Spinach
- Basil
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive oil
Once the squash has been completely scrapped there are two ways that you can finish the meal:
a) Mix the squash with the ingredients listed above, stuff them back in the squash and drizzle with a little olive oil put in the oven to bake in the residual heat until cheese starts to melt and spinach starts to shrink. To make the cheese extra bubbly put the oven on broil and broil squash until just slightly brown, keep a close eye on the squash so it does not burn. serve and enjoy
b) heat olive oil in a sauté pan. once warmed add squash, spinach, tomatoes, salt and pepper and sauté till squash is soft and spinach cooked down. shut heat off add mozzarella and cover till cheese melted. serve and enjoy

Giant Peanut Butter Cookie

Why does it seem that Giant Cookies only come around for birthdays? For me, theres nothing quite like a giant cookie with a moist crumbly center, one that you  can cut into pie slices and still feel good telling yourself you didn’t eat a full cookie. Well, thats my logic at least, and the reason I decided to make two giant free form peanut butter cookies. Not cake sized or anything but two cookies about the size of my hand (although if you were looking to make a giant peanut butter cookie cake this recipe doubled would probably make a yummy cookie cake).

As many people know peanut butter is my favorite food and there are not many times I have excess peanut butter just lying around. But since I did, I figured I would use up some overly salted natural peanut butter that I’ve been avoiding, and satisfy my long over due peanut butter craving as a result of four months in Spain where sugary “captain mani” seems to be a monopoly.

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This peanut butter recipe is so moist and flavor full and the perfect peanut butter cookie base for any of your baking needs.

Recipe from here

makes one large cookie (I doubled it to make 2)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Tablespoons beaten egg (crack an egg, beat it, and use 2 Tbsp. 1 whole egg if double recipe)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter (i used natural peanut butter)
  • 6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats (or quick oats)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Toppings of choice (optional): chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, m and ms, Reese’s pieces.. Etc.

(I used peanut butter M and Ms in one and left one plain.)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray or line with a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the butter and sugars until creamed. Add egg and vanilla mixing until well combined. Stir in peanut butter then add flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Fold in toppings, if using, until combined. With a large spoon, scoop into a ball onto prepared baking sheet. The dough will be sticky. Make sure the cookie dough ball is tall and round.*(I did not press the cookie dough down and it did not seem to flatten so about 5 minutes in I pressed the cookie multiple times to flatten it with a fork like your would with a normal peanut butter cookie).

Bake for about 20 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. The center may appear undone, but it will set as the cookie cools. Let cool ON the baking sheet for 10-20 minutes.

Apple-Cranberry-Almond Cake

cranberrycake

So I’ve made this cake twice in the past week because it is just so good! It doesn’t last more then a day in our house of three and about 3/4 of it is gone within the first ten minutes. … Continue reading

Black Bean Brownies

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Don’t be afraid! I know me and my mom were when my sister told us she wanted to make black bean brownies. To a sugar addict like me, the thought of black beans in what should be rich, fudge-y and … Continue reading

Cranberry Cake

What’s better then baking on a cold winter day? Not a whole lot.
Today was the perfect snowy and cold day hanging out with my family watching more netflix then I would like to admit. So to end this perfectly lazy, chilly day and use some frozen cranberries we stocked up on from thanksgiving, I made a super yummy cranberry cake!

DSC_5611 DSC_5614look at those cranberries and walnuts! YUM!

look at those cranberries and walnuts! YUM!

I don’t know about you but I’m somewhat tired of the dry cranberry orange bread that fills most holiday tables. So instead of baking the usual cranberry orange loaf this cranberry cake is so moist, delicious, and anything but boring.

Recipe adapted from here

Cranberry Cake Recipe

3 eggs or two eggs and one flax egg(1 tbsp flax meal mixed with 3 tbsp water. Let sit at least 2 minutes)
1 3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened and cut into chunks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour ( I used 1 cup whole wheat flour)
2 1/2 cups cranberries (1 bag)

Optional walnut topping:
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp applesauce
1 cup pecans, toasted
1/2 cup oats

Heat the butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the sugar and stir. Add the toasted pecans and applesauce and cook for several minutes, stirring, until the butter and sugar mixture is shiny and smooth and the nuts smell toasted. Spread over the cake batter and bake as above.

makes one 9×13-inch or one 10-inch springform cake

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan or a 10″ springform pan.

Beat eggs and sugar together for at least 5 minutes — probably as long as 7 or 8 minutes — the egg and sugar mixture should double in volume and turn pale yellow, leaving ribbons on top of the batter when you lift the beaters.

Add the butter and flavorings and beat for 2 more minutes. Stir in flour and fold in cranberries. Pour into greased pan.

Bake 45-50 minutes for a 9×13, or a little over an hour for the springform. You made need to tent the cake with foil in the last 15 minutes or so to keep the top from browning.

Cool completely before serving.

And a Happy New Year!

My blogging has been less then sub par this past year. With school and little free time it’s hard to keep up with posting. With the new year here i resolve to post often and improve my blogging in general. But before I talk about what is to come with this new year I want to send off 2013 right by saying a RIP to my cat Chai who passed away December 14th. He was my best friend and we grew up together so it was very hard for me to say goodbye but I know he is happy! If you ask anyone who knew chai, cat lover or not, they will say how great of a cat he was!

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Please check out this awesome Christmas gift my sister got me to remember my best friend! http://www.chaithecat.net

Now for this new year I am very excited to announce that I will be studying abroad in Granada, Spain this spring semester, so please continue to follow me and my journey through Europe! I hope everyone had a great 2013 and is excited to see what 2014 has to bring!