Dark Chocolate Raspberry Muffins (PALEO!)

It’s Friday. Fri-yay.

I’ll excuse myself, now. JUST KIDDING!

A reader (who am I kidding – a real life friend) sent me a DM that I never post desserts – and I really think that’s indicative of my eating habits. I really don’t often eat desserts. I never wanted birthday cakes, I don’t really crave chocolate and I never have sugary drinks. My recipes aren’t a direct reflection of my eating habits (I really don’t each this much bacon, I swear) but I do make things that I’m familiar with. I thought it’d be a good time to show y’all some muffins. If we can’t all sit together at a coffee shop and stare at one another while sipping spiced cider and lattes in our new sweaters and puffer vests surrounded by pumpkins and apples, muffins will do.

There’s something really universal about muffins… I feel like they appeal to everyone. You have your breakfast muffin crowd, you have the let’s-put-fruit-in-everything crowd, you have the i-can-sneak-a-zucchini-in-here crowd… there’s a muffin for everyone. Personally, I hate surprises and I never want a surprise with my muffin, so this recipe really goes off of my universal muffin recipe base with some tweaks to keep things interesting. They’re paleo, use fresh fruits, and you can put whatever cocoa powder and chocolate you’d like in them. They freeze really well, and they don’t “taste gross and healthy” according to my step-dad, who hasn’t eaten anything dark and leafy green since 1986.

Having said that, to all my sweet-tooth-dessert-loving friends, here’s a muffin. I promise there’s no bacon in it.

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 20 min

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/8 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (unflavored is also fine)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 heaping tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease your muffin tin lightly with your preferred cooking fat.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mash your bananas with a fork. Whisk in your egg, vanilla extract, maple syrup and almond milk until smooth.
  3. Next, in a separate large mixing bowl, mix your cocoa powder, baking powder, sea salt and almond flour. Once your dry mixture is evenly mixed, slowly add to your wet mixture, combining until smooth.
  4. Lastly, gently fold your raspberries into the mixture, careful not to break or mash them up.
  5. Since almond flour doesn’t immediately absorb the liquids, I like to allow my batter to rest for about 5 minutes before moving it into my muffin tin.
  6. Once the mixture has absorbed a little, divide batter evenly among cups – the muffin cups should be about ¾ full so they don’t overflow and bake over the sides.
  7. Bake for 18-25 minutes until starting to turn golden on top. Check if they are done by sticking a knife or toothpick into a middle muffin – if it’s clean, they’re finished. Let cool, and serve!

Optional: if you’re feeling extra indulgent, spread a little ghee over them.

Enjoy!

-S

Smoked Salmon Breakfast Quesadillas with Spicy Mayo (PALEO!)

This week flew by. It was not without struggle though – tackling some difficult work tasks did a number on my patience… but it’s Friday! Which means… a weekend filled with wine-tasting and sunshine/pool time. Work hard, play/relax hard.

It only took 4 months of depressing quarantine where I drank a bazillion bottles of wine and ate cheese every day, but I have finally been hitting the gym and lifting again, 5 days a week. Some days I wake up and feel unmotivated and lazy, but I remember that if I want to work out when no one’s there, 6 am it is. At this point in 2020, none of my friends go to the gym right when it opens anymore, and I’m fine with that. No offense to anyone else, but I don’t want to breathe your air right now. Stay blessed….  From 6+ feet away.

I’ve also been cooking a lot more! Who would have thought that a total shutdown of my life would’ve afforded me all the time in the world, but also halted all of my passions and will to live my daily life as I know it? Total transparency – I am fine now. 3-4 months ago, not so good. Now that I’m busier, it’s like I have also regained the motivation to cook. I even went without buying White Claw this week. Baby steps.

Part of my motivation is also to cook some breakfast, as healthy as I can. Why not indulge in the AM, if you have the time? I recently stopped at Whole Foods and picked up a few treats I don’t normally buy. (PS – If you wanna know how my 2020 is going, let’s consider that I think about what my dog will eat with me when I cook. My dog has moved up to ‘roommate’ status, from ‘pet’ status. #LivingAloneDuringQuarantine). Smoked salmon made the grocery list cut – I love this stuff. However, I’m not so sure I vibe with how normal chain grocery stores supply their smoked salmon. I don’t know their farming protocols, I don’t know what chemicals or fake flavoring they’re adding to treat the salmon, or if it’s even really properly smoked. I know it’s a lot to really considered where you source food like this, but in a world where we have little control over a lot of things, making sure your food is responsibly cultivated and healthy can combat some of the stressful things we think about otherwise. Whole Foods won the highest rank on Greenpeace’s 2018 Supermarket Sustainability scorecard (source), and specifically for salmon, the buyers actually live in Alaska or PNW during the summer to choose their salmon for the store (source). That’s a lot better than I can say for a lot of other places.

Having said that, let’s share some food!

Smoked Salmon Breakfast Quesadillas with Spicy Mayo (PALEO!)

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 10 min

Makes 1 quesadilla

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup chopped smoked Salmon (Whole Foods’ brand that I like!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 stalks of scallions, chopped, plus more for garnish if desired
  • 1 tbsp diced red pepper
  • 2 Siete Almond Flour wraps
  • 1 tbsp spicy mayo (recipe here!)
  • sprinkle of garlic powder
  • sprinkle of paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste

If you aren’t strict paleo or just like breakfast and smoked salmon, feel free to add cheese!

Directions

  1. In a large frying pan, add a tsp of your preferred cooking fat. Add your diced red pepper, and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until softened.
  2. Next, to the same pan, add your whisked eggs and scallions. Scramble your eggs until cooked but not totally dry – adding a small pinch of salt or pepper. Remove from pan and add to a small mixing bowl. Add your chopped smoked salmon.
  3. Mix the tbsp of spicy mayo into your mixture – this will work to bind the ingredients together and to the tortilla, which is normally what cheese would do.
  4. At this point – your pan should still be on the stove. Carefully, so as to not burn yourself, wipe the pan out to clear any egg stickies, or caramelized stuff. Add another tsp of your preferred cooking fat.
  5. Here’s where this can go one of two ways – if you trust that you won’t burn yourself, reassemble your quesadilla right in the frying pan by evenly spreading your egg and smoked salmon mixture onto one tortilla while it’s in the pan. You can definitely assemble it outside of the pan and then add it, as long as you’re super talented and won’t drop stuff out of the sides. I am self-aware and know I can’t do that, so I just carefully do it right in the pan.
  6. (For y’all cheese people – this is where you add your cheese as a layer over or under your egg/salmon).
  7. Over medium low heat, gently brown your quesadilla. If needed, add another tsp of cooking fat once it’s time to flip the quesadilla. Brown slightly on both sides, then serve!
  8. Garnish with scallions and serve with additional spicy mayo, if desired.

Enjoy!

-S

 

WHIPPED Coffee, aka “Dalgona” Coffee! (Paleo, Vegan)

Hey y’all!

As it turns out, all I needed was a little globally-enforced R&R to feel rejuvenated and start churning out the recipes again.

I have been seeing a lot of videos and Facebook posts on this whole new “whipped coffee” trend. So… what am I to do with 16 hours of waking time in my house and nothing to do? I’m going to make the darned coffee.

I found out that it’s an Indian/Pakistani tradition and was popular long before these quaran-times…. I don’t know how we never found out about this until now.

No story time here, just going to give it to you straight. This recipe is PALEO! I’m doing my best to still eat healthy, but when there’s little else to do… I’ll eat whatever I’ve got. You can certainly sub this recipe out with regular granulated sugar, but it will definitely be sweeter. I drink my coffee black anyway, so I wanted minimal sweetness. The whole thing was different, I’d definitely try again!

A disclaimer…. This would be SUPER hard without a hand mixer of some sort. I had to whip it for about 5 minutes, and I’m not sure if it was because I didn’t use real sugar, but if you’re doing this by hand, be prepared for a workout!

Oh, and I also don’t recommend putting it in a champagne flute… but I didn’t want to waste any more almond milk than needed, gotta limit my trips to the store!

 

WHIPPED Coffee, aka “Dalgona” Coffee! (Paleo, Vegan)

 

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: n/a

Serves 2

 

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp instant coffee
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar (granulated regular sugar or really any other type will do just fine)
  • 2 tbsp very warm water
  • 8-10 oz piping hot almond milk (or other dairy/non dairy milk), or chilled with ice cubes if preferred

 

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix together the coffee, sugar and water. Whip until you have semi-stiff peaks, somewhat close to egg whites. Set aside.
  2. Over stovetop or microwave, heat your milk to preferred temperature and pour desired amount into your coffee cup or mug. If using chilled milk, pour over ice cubes into your cup.
  3. Spoon your whipped mix overtop, and enjoy!

-S

 

 

Cheddar Old Bay Biscuits (with vegan options!)

Hey everyone!

So…. Last time I wrote, the world was normal, I was busy, and stuff was all status quo. Since then, a wild novel coronavirus has infiltrated every corner of the earth, I am stuck at home along with nearly 7.8 billion other people, watching Tiger King, praying I find toilet paper somewhere, and waiting for off-hours to log into my work computer because of network volumes. I am grateful to have a safe place to be, but I’d be lying if I said this was peaches and cream.

I’ve had a LOT of time on my hands in the last 3 weeks…. So why wouldn’t I take the time to post about food!??!

To be completely, honest, I’ve been down. I have been cooking a ton, but I haven’t been enjoying it all that much. I’ve felt guilty when I indulgently dump more shredded cheddar into a bowl (that I normally wouldn’t even eat), wondering if I should be more aware that I’ve still got a paycheck and should be more responsible with my resources. I go to the grocery store, holding my breath (literally) hoping that there’s vegetables there that I can think clearly enough to buy what I need and how to make it last so I’m not out and about, unnecessarily. I’ve left messes in my house, making me quite uncomfortable, so that I have “something to do” a few hours later in cleaning it up.

But it’ll get better – I am alive, healthy (as far as I know, for now), and I have luxuries that I still need to be appreciative of. Having said that, I am going to try to continue posting recipes to my blog, but with more awareness that right now, we’re all just doing the best we can. They may not be paleo, they may not be vegan or gluten free, but hopefully it gives you some inspiration to pass some time and think of everything we do still have until we can all frolic around town like a Disney movie and hug the townspeople.

If you have these things around and can tolerate a bit more lax of a diet, try out this treat for some normalcy, and to make friends with your quarantine buddies. Mine’s my dog, and she’ll eat anything….. but these will still please a picky eater!

Also, pardon this crappy picture of biscuits. Resources are a little stressed, and I ate the rest of them…. 🙂

*4/8/2020 note…. I just looked at my measurements, and they were super super wrong… like ‘worst typo ever’ wrong. Please see below for updated measurements!

Cheddar Old Bay Biscuits! (with vegan options!)

 

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 15 min

Makes 6-8 biscuits

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp Old Bay seasoning, or a pinch more if you like zest
  • ½ cup cold salted butter (cut into cubes), plus ¼ cup melted butter – vegan butter is fine
  • 3/4 to 1 cup milk (non dairy is fine!)
  • ¾ cup shredded cheddar (vegan is fine)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh, or dried parsley

(note: if you have Bisquick, you can swap the flour, baking powder, salt, cold salted butter and sugar for 2 cups of Bisquick and ¼ cup of melted butter)

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  2. Pour the flour, baking powder, sugar, garlic powder, and 1 tsp of Old Bay seasoning in a food processor, then add the cold butter and pulse until the butter is chopped into small pieces. If a food processor isn’t available, mix the dry ingredients thoroughly by hand, then mixing the butter in by hand, pressing the dry mix into the butter thoroughly. (If using Bisquick, mix the Bisquick in a bowl with the garlic powder, Old Bay and melted butter and stir).
  3. Next, pour in the milk and shredded cheddar, then mix to combine. The mixture should be easily breakable by hand, somewhat sticky, neither runny or dry and crumbly. Add more flour or milk (or Bisquick) accordingly to achieve this consistency, if needed.
  4. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease a foil-lined sheet. Use a scoop to place even portions of biscuit  (approximately 1/3 cup) batter onto the baking sheets, two inches apart.
  5. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes, or until golden.
  6. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining melted butter and parsley together for the biscuit tops. Once the biscuits come out of the oven, brush them with melted butter.

 

Enjoy!

-S

Apple Cinnamon Muffins (Paleo!)

It’s September!

‘Tis the season to no longer be ashamed of my basic love for all things PUMPKIN. And carbs. And SWEATERS. Apples! Crunchy leaves to step on when walking my dog! I have to stop here, I’m getting too overwhelmed.

This weekend is the annual Mushroom Festival here in little ol’ Kennett Square. Here, you can find all things mushroom-related: décor, food, games, everything. I’ve been a lifelong spectator of the festival, but I’m extra excited for this year! I didn’t go into too much detail the last time I mentioned it, but I will be competing in the annual Amateur Mushroom Cook-off. This year’s special ingredient is Scaramuzza’s pasta – I will be making sage, pancetta and mushroom gnocchi in a garlic cream sauce. Definitely not paleo, gluten free, dairy free, or anything remotely *healthy*,  but it’s really tasty and I’m excited to make it! My first step to being on the Food Network…. hahaha. But no, really. Someone reading this, help me make that happen.

After taking a long weekend and having a lot more time to make some recipe ideas for you all, I’ve turned out a LOT of fall stuff. I’m going to make this quick so we can cut to the chase and get on to talking about food. This is a nice variation of something similar I’ve made before, but it’s SUPER easy to make and freeze to save for later. I wrap them individually in foil or wax paper, defrost it overnight and take one on my way to work. These are nice because they stay nice and moist – they pretty much never go stale… they are what my neighbor’s kids refer to as “wet muffins”. It’s innocent because a four-year-old says it, so I’ll stick with it.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins (Paleo!)

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 25 min

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 fuji or gala apple, core removed – peeled and diced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/8 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (unflavored is also fine)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease your muffin tin lightly with your preferred cooking fat.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mash your bananas with a fork. Whisk in your apple, egg, vanilla extract, maple syrup and almond milk until smooth.
  3. Next, mix in your cinnamon, allspice, baking powder, sea salt and almond flour.
  4. Since almond flour doesn’t immediately absorb the liquids, I like to allow my batter to rest for about 5 minutes before moving it into my muffin tin.
  5. Once the mixture has absorbed a little, divide batter evenly among cups – the muffin cups should be about ¾ full so they don’t overflow and bake over the sides.
  6. Bake for 18-25 minutes until starting to turn golden on top. Check if they are done by sticking a knife or toothpick into a middle muffin – if it’s clean, they’re finished. Let cool, and serve!

Optional: if you’re feeling extra indulgent, spread a little ghee over them.

Enjoy!

-S

Chimichurri Sauce (Paleo, Vegan, Gluten-Free, EVERYTHING)

I’m a little late on posting this. And, by a little, I mean a lot. I really wanted to post it last Wednesday, but time got away from me.

So! This most recent full moon (in Aquarius) was directly opposite of Venus, which calls love and relationships front and center and puts you directly in front of whatever you’ve been facing in the background. Because of how strong this position is, until the new moon, ensure that important decisions you make are done so with logic and understanding, and not just emotion. The open window for opportunity is also here, so if there’s something to shake up and change, now would be the time.

That’s one thing I like to think about when it’s a full moon. I look at new moons as though they’re a beginning to a new chapter, and full moons as sort of a “pulse check” to make sure your intentions are where they should be by shining literal and figurative light on everything around you.

So about those turkey burgers I posted last week. It seems a lot of people were as jazzed about them as I was, which is always awesome. I definitely need to share with you this sauce concoction I made while I was at the beach. It’s called Chimichurri sauce – most often found in South American food, I’ve seen it served with steak. Personally, I’d eat it on everything and anything. When I’ve had it before, it’s been a bit more heavy on the oil, so I lightened it up this time and while the texture/consistency is different, I HIGHLY recommend keeping this on hand pretty much all the time. Put it on your breakfast, put it on your burger, put it on your chicken, your tacos, your fish, anything you’re eating, this pretty much takes what you’re eating from a 2 to like an 11. Delicious. Make it your own, too – my version has some zip to it, but you can change yours up to add whatever other common herbs you have on hand too (oregano, mint, etc).

Chimichurri Sauce (Paleo, Vegan, Gluten-Free, EVERYTHING)

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: n/a

 

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch of cilantro, stems removed
  • 2 handfuls of fresh basil
  • 1 large bunch of fresh parsley, stems removed

(at this point, I should be honest, you don’t need specific ratios, just a medium sized mixing bowl filled with fresh herbs… just go heavy on the parsley)

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/3 of a red or yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp gochugaru chili flakes (I like Mother In Law’s Korean Chili Flakes)
  • Sea salt, to taste (I used ~1 tsp)

 

Directions

  1. In a food processor, add your herbs, garlic and onion. Start blending, slowly pouring in your olive oil until you achieve a thinner consistency.
  2. Once the herbs are finely blended, add your lime juice, salt and chili flakes. Continue to blend. The consistency should be thin, almost runny, but not watery.
  3. Do a quick taste test – this should be herby but not taste like a mouth full of grass… it should be tangy, salty and flavorful. Add more lime juice, chili flakes or salt if needed, and blend for another 10-15 seconds.
  4. Serve and enjoy! I keep mine in the fridge for up to 5 days after. It may slightly dull in color over time but it’s still tasty, don’t worry!

-S

Toasted/Candied Nuts

Picture from foodhomeandaway.com, image subject to copyright

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 15-20 min

This is the perfect staple to salads, pasta dishes, or even a snack/charcuterie tray. You can dress them up, make them spicy, the whole nine. Follow this simple “recipe” to make delicious, walnuts, pecans, or more! I always keep some on hand to throw into a recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 to 2 cups of your preferred nut (I often use roasted/unsalted pecans or walnuts)
  • Egg whites from 1-2 eggs, depending on how much nuts you have
  • Spices of your choice – for candied/sweeter ones, I’ll use maple syrup, coconut sugar, etc. For savory ones, I’ll use salt, garlic powder, dried herbs such as parsley, chives, thyme… whatever you want! Be very generous with seasoning

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Grease a large cookie sheet, or line with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, add your egg whites and seasonings to a large bowl. Using a whisk or a mixer, briskly whip your egg whites until they are quite foamy. You don’t want merengue-style egg whites, and you definitely shouldn’t have any peaks…. Just enough elbow grease to get the eggs pretty foamy and opaque.
  3. Add your nuts into a large Ziploc bag or bowl, and pour in your egg whites. Stir/shake to coat thoroughly.
  4. Add your nuts in a single layer to your cookie sheet, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until starting to darken/crisp. Don’t be alarmed if they’re chewy when you first remove them from the oven… they will crisp up as they dry. Allow to cool.

Enjoy!

-S

Paleo Sausage Gravy Over Biscuits… and it’s DELICIOUS

Victories come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes you get the job, sometimes you almost miss a step on a staircase but don’t and catch yourself. Sometimes, you thought you forgot your phone charger at home but find it in your workbag. And then… sometimes you make sausage gravy over biscuits and it’s gluten free, dairy free, and DOESN’T SUCK.

This is a great time to be alive. Honestly.  I can’t even explain the joy I get from making this, because now I can share it with people who’ve never enjoyed the salty tasty goodness of sausage gravy.  You can bet your bottom I’ll be making this again.

This weekend is my hometown’s big annual event, the Mushroom Festival. Thousands of people gather to see artisans, crafts, food, antique cars and demonstrations about how mushrooms are grown and distributed. It’s a really fun time, and the whole town shuts down so that everyone can enjoy it. If you’re in the Philadelphia area, you should definitely check it out – more into at www.mushroomfestival.org.

Since this is just one big post about me talking about what I DO like, I realized I haven’t complained about the heat yet. It’s still really hot, guys. Fortunately, it’ll be in the high 60’s this weekend, so… I suspect I may be wearing a flannel to the mushroom festival….. 🙂

Sausage Gravy and Biscuits (PALEO!)

Prep Time: 40 min

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yields about 8-10 biscuits

Ingredients

For the biscuits:

  • 1 cup Almond Flour
  • 2/3 cup Tapioca Flour
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½  tsp finely ground sea salt
  • 1/3 cup (5 Tbsp) of cold butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Milk, fully mixed/shaken
  • Juice from ½ a lemon
  • 2 Eggs

For the gravy:

  • 1 (14 ounce) can of coconut milk
  • 1 pound pork sausage
  • 1 heaping tbsp. tapioca or arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • sprinkle of garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage, plus more for garnish
  • sprinkle of paprika
  • sprinkle of chili powder, optional
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. First, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with your preferred oil/cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together your coconut milk and lemon juice. Stir in your eggs and continue to whisk until well combined. Set aside.
  3. In a separate larger mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, tapioca flour, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix in your butter cubes with your hands, and press the mixture together until it starts to get a sandy, coarse meal-y texture. Continue this until butter is no longer in large chunks.
  4. Fold in your buttermilk/egg mixture into the flour mixture and gently stir until fully mixed. Allow it to sit so that the flours can absorb the moisture, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. With your hands, take a rough handful of the biscuit mix and place on the baking sheet. So  that it resembles a flakier biscuit shape, I pinch and poke the top with my hands so it isn’t a perfectly round shape. Continue to form biscuits, placing 1-2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  7. Meanwhile, while your biscuits are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add your onion and sausage. Continue to saute until browned, breaking up large bits of sausage. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  8. Using the remaining fat in the pan, turn the heat down to medium low and add your arrowroot/tapioca flour and whisk to combine. Once it thickens, add your coconut milk (remember to shake the can well to ensure it’s mixed!) and  continue to whisk. Add your herbs and salt and pepper, to taste. Add your sausage back in and continue to stir occasionally, allowing the gravy to thicken.
  9. Pour over your biscuits…. Or just eat it out of the pan. Or smother it on your face. I love gravy, do what you want.

Enjoy!

-S

Fun Fall Recipes – Pumpkin Pancakes (Paleo!)

Well, Labor Day weekend has come and gone. It was a nice long 4 day weekend that managed to pass by in the blink of an eye. They always do. I got some last bit of sun, enjoyed some time outdoors, but also…. PUMPKIN!

Ok, yeah. So, we’re getting into things a bit quickly. I’m totally fine with that, I look at it as… making sure you’re completely prepared for all things Fall when it actually comes around. When will that be? Honestly, it’s about 90 degrees outside so I’m not entirely sure. You definitely have some treats coming up, though… you’ve been warned. If you don’t like pumpkin, I will teach you how to like pumpkin. We Libras can appreciate more than just a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

This little number is for all the breakfast lovers with a sweet tooth out there. While I don’t really eat a lot of sweets, I do love maple syrup. What better way to celebrate fall  with something that requires it? Cue: PANCAKES.

These bad boys are perfect. They’re subtle, fluffy, and absolutely delicious. They’re also pretty forgiving if you like to jazz them up a little bit. After making the first batch, I just mixed together more ingredients and made some little ones to freeze for breakfast throughout the month, and take out as needed. Portion control! Feel free to add whatever toppings you choose, too. Often times I’m not in the mood for so much sugar so I don’t want to drown them in syrup. Instead, I add a tbsp. of Justin’s Vanilla Almond butter while they’re still super-hot, and it gets all melty and delicious. To each their own! How do you guys like your pancakes?

Pumpkin Pancakes (Paleo!)

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: ~20-25 min

Makes about 3-4 medium sized pancakes

Ingredients

  • ½ cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup almond flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk your eggs together. Add your pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon, and whisk together until smooth.
  2. In a separate bowl, add your almond flour, coconut flour and baking powder and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Over a fine strainer, slowly add your dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir until smooth. The reasoning for this is to ensure any clumps of the dry ingredients are broken apart and mix well into the wet ingredients.
  3. Heat a large skillet to medium low/low heat, and  grease with your preferred fat (I use coconut oil). It’s very important to cook these slow and low, so the inside cooks before the outside burns. If it’s browning too fast, you will need to turn the heat down and be patient!
  4. Cook the first side until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Once solid enough to flip, turn over and cook for another 3-4 minutes  until golden brown.

Enjoy with your preferred toppings (mine is pictured with the almond butter and smidge of maple syrup!)

-S

Summer Peach Crisp (Vegan, with Paleo-friendly option!)

I think I should build an ark.

Is that the stereotypical response when someone mentions the fact that we will be getting 10 straight days of rain in the mid-Atlantic? Yes, it is. And yes, that is actually happening. I am glad I am a strong swimmer.

That aside, I had an amazing weekend! Friday I was able to cook some delicious things to share with y’all. I then got to hang out with my old neighbors, which was fun. It’s nice to find a group of people that you click with, even though you are all so different. A few friends were absent (and dearly missed!), but there’s always next month. Saturday I got to brush up on my Reiki with some additional training – that might be a topic for another time, but I have to say… energy work is amazing and highly recommended! One of those things that you didn’t know you needed until you have had some exposure to it. Saturday afternoon I got to enjoy dinner with some friends I haven’t spent time with in a while, and it was just a really nice weekend. I think the best part was when I inadvertently bought 6 lbs of peaches from a precious little Amish boy and spent the remainder of my free time trying to find ways to use it. Things I made, didn’t document (tasty as they were, some things were a little ugly/sloppy…) but ate  came out FABULOUS. Have any of you put peaches in your tomato sauce? No? You should consider it. Maybe I’ll post a little walk-through on Instagram for my Peach Bolognese sauce recipe. Yes, you read that correctly. and yes… tried, tested and approved by picky eaters.

Let’s get right to the point and talk about my Vegan Peach Crisp. While this particular version is not gluten-free, it’s just a glorious throw-together treat for when you buy 6 lbs of peaches from a little boy on the side of the road and need something to do with them. Or, I mean…. if you grocery shop too. It’s fun, it’s quick, and it keeps really well, which is just the best.

Summer Peach Crisp (Vegan, with Paleo-friendly option!)

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 40 min

Serves 5-7

Ingredients:

For  the filling

  • 5-6 peaches (any kind you like!) – peeled, pit removed and chopped
  • ¾ cup organic brown sugar
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup vegan butter alternative (or ghee), melted
  • Pinch of finely ground Himalayan sea salt

For the crumble topping

  • ¾ cup oats (or ground flax for paleo substitute
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, or paleo-friendly baking flour (such as Bob’s Redmill mix, or almond flour)
  • ¾ cup organic brown sugar
  • 8 oz organic vegan butter (cold); or 1 stick cold organic butter, cut into ½ in cubes for non vegans. Note: if using paleo alternatives, add additional ghee because of the dryness of paleo alternatives. Start with using 1.5x the amount of ghee/butter)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a glass 9x13in baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss peaches with all of the filling ingredients and mix to coat thoroughly.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together all of the crumble ingredients except your butter. Once dry ingredients are mixed, add in the butter, a little at a time, pressing the crumble into the pieces of butter. You don’t need to be neat – if anything, really pressing the ingredients into the butter is better.  The butter should be reduced into mixture until you’re left with large/coarse crumbs.
  4. Spread the peach filling evenly within the baking dish, patting gently to make sure there are no gaps. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the peaches, ensuring all of the peaches are covered.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top becomes golden and the peach mixture is bubbling. Allow to cool before serving.

Enjoy!

-S