Jumbo Vegan Pecan Pumpkin Muffins

IMG_0502To be honest, I actually found a variation of this recipe on the Taste of Home website. At a first glance, I thought this is not the recipe for me with its bleached white flour, white sugar, canola oil, buttermilk, etc…reminding me of some of my grandmother’s recipes (which is beautiful and nostalgic, but not how I want to nourish my body temple.)

And in that moment, I remembered how much I love taking any recipe and transforming it into a healthier version by substituting the types of flours, oils, sugars and for this muffin, even using flax “eggs” for a vegan version. I feel so grateful to have this knowledge and am looking forward to sharing this recipe with you!

Here are 2 tips for you: #1 – you can use spelt flour the same way you’d using any other kind of flour in a recipe without any need to change the measurements. #2- You can use less oil in a baking recipe by substituting half the oil for apple sauce (and it even makes the recipes more moist!)

This muffin is really tasty! …and it is jumbo! If you’re not much of a breakfast person, this may feel a bit heavy for you first thing in the morning so enjoy it mid morning with a tea, or in the afternoon.

 

Makes 16 delicious, moist, abundant muffins (with the most perfect crunchy topping!)

Ingredients

4 Flax Eggs (4 Tbsp of organic ground flax mixed with 8 Tbsp warm water)

5 cups Organic Light Spelt Flour

1 Cup Organic Raw Sugar

1 Tbsp of Pumpkin Pie Spice (or mix mostly cinnamon with ground ginger and a pinch of all spice and nutmeg.)

1.5 tsp Baking Powder

1.5 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

1/2 Cup Local Maple Syrup

2 cups Organic Canned Pumpkin Puree

1/4 cup Organic Almond Milk, or any non-dairy substitute that you have on hand

1/4 cup Organic Coconut Oil, melted

1/4 cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 cup Chopped Pecans

Topping

1/2 cup Organic Coconut Sugar

2/3 cup Pecans

1/4 cup Organic Rolled Oats

2 Tbsp Organic Virgin Coconut oil, cold or room temperature

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine ground flax and warm water, stir and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, raw sugar, spices, baking powder and soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl, combine maple syrup, pumpkin, almond milk, coconut oil, apple sauce, vanilla. Mix in flax eggs.
  4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring until almost mixed and then fold in the pecans.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  6. In a food processor, add all the ingredients for the topping and pulse for 5 seconds. Otherwise, finely chop the pecans and mix in a bowl with remaining ingredients.
  7. Prepare muffins tins by greasing with additional coconut oil.
  8. Scoops muffin batter into the tins (I use the silicone ones!), filling half way, and top each one evenly with the crunchy-sweet oat topping. Warning… these do get a little messy 🙂 
  9. Bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Let cool on a drying rack for 5 minutes before removing from muffin cups.

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Chocolate Zucchini Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting 

Chocolate Zucchini Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pitted and chopped dates
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup organic light spelt flour, or buckwheat for gluten free option.
  • 1/3 cup raw cocao powder
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt
  • 1 cup finely shredded zucchini, by hand or with a food processor 
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces or pumpkin seeds for a nut free version

FROSTING:

  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Place the dates in a small bowl and pour the hot water over them. Allow to soak until the dates are soft, about 1/2 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare an 8×8-inch baking dish by lining it with parchment paper or oiling lightly.
  3. Put the dates and the soaking water in the blender with the applesauce and vanilla. Blend at high speed until completely smooth. Set aside.
  4. Combine the flour, cacao, coconut sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the zucchini and walnuts, if using. Add the blended date mixture and stir until all the flour is moistened. The batter will be thick. Spoon it into the prepared pan and smooth over the top.
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until brownies are no longer liquid in the middle and edges are firm but not drying out. Allow to cool.
  6. You can eat them plain or add the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Frosting:
  7. Combine the chocolate chips, non-dairy milk, and nut butter in a double boiler, cook and stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Frost brownies immediately. Allow to stand about 20 minutes to firm up. Enjoy!

Inspired by Fat Free Vegan.com

Vegan Chocolate Pudding for Dinner! {made with sweet potato and black beans} {free of refined sugars}

…So this started off as making sweet potato brownies, but didn’t end that way!  After trying what was supposed to be my batter, I turned off the oven and decided this was absolutely amazing as it was… no need to turn it into anything else. So here you are, a healthy, nutrient dense, chocolate pudding that is filled with plant based protein, fibre, and antioxidants, magnesium rich raw cacao, and healthy fats like almond butter and coconut oil. This recipe is free of refined sugars and only sweetened with local maple syrup. Enjoy!

This recipe makes about 4 portions, depending on who is making it and doing the “quality control” 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Ingredients

1 medium sized sweet potato, peeled and cubed.

1/2 cup black beans, cooked or canned (I like Eden Organics)

3 T organic coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup raw cacao powder

1/4 maple syrup (you could also use Medjool dates, but would have to add more water)

1 Tbsp almond butter, smooth or crunchy

1-2 Tbsp filtered water

Pinch of Himalayan sea salt

Dash of vanilla extract or a pinch of powder

Your favourite berries and superfoods for topping

1/2 cup almonds, ground, or nuts of choice (optional…add for crunch!)

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Method

This recipe can be prepared in a blender or food processor. For a Vitamix use the damper stick, for any other blender (and perhaps the food pro), continue to stop the blender and scrape down the sides with a baking spatula, as you add more ingredients.

  1. Steam cubed sweet potatoes until soft, about 20 minutes. I like to use a bamboo steamer. In the mean time, take out the other ingredients, melt the coconut oil, grind the almonds, etc.
  2. To your blender or food processor, add sweet potatoes, black beans and coconut oil. Pulse/blend until they start to combine well.
  3. Add cacao powder, maple syrup, almond butter, salt, vanilla and 1 tbsp of water. Blend well.
  4. Add additional water until desired consistency is reached.
  5. Remove the pudding from your blender, place in a bowl and stir in the ground almonds or nuts of choice.
  6. When ready to serve, you can top the pudding with fresh berries, additional almonds or any of your superfood toppings like bee pollen, chia, cacao nibs, spirulina or goji berries.

Looking for something lighter? Replace the sweet potato and black beans with 1/2 a papaya.

Cooking Class: Raw, Vegan & Superfood Desserts @The Hermitage {San Pablo, Lake Atitlan}

Join Registered Holistic Culinary Nutritionist Lacey Budge for a 3 hour cooking class featuring raw, vegan & superfood desserts, followed by a vegetarian lunch!


Friday December 9th, 2017

10 am – 2 pm, includes lunch

The Hermitage Retreat Centre, San Pablo, Lake Atitlan Guatemala


Create delicious, easy and all natural- nutrient dense desserts that will awaken and satisfy your senses! During the class, Holistic Lacey will also share her favourite superfoods and how you can include more of them into your diet.

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Learn how to prepare (and get to enjoy!) a variety of desserts including MACA-roons, Raw Hemp Seed Halvah, Chocolate-Spirulina Pudding and more  during this 3 hour interactive cooking class hosted by The Hermitage in San Pablo, Lake Atitlan. Leave with the confidence, tips and recipes you need to go home and prepare it for your friends and family.
After the class, enjoy a hearty vegetarian lunch looking out at the lake from the beautiful gardens of The Hermitage.
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The Hermitage is an off-grid Retreat Centre, set on the shores of Lake Atitlan in the highlands of Guatemala, that supports and maintains permaculture gardens and sustainable living solutions.

Price: 250Q including lunch and cooking class
To reserve your space, please email lacey.budge@gmail.com or reply to the Facebook event on the Hermitage’s Facebook page.

Sweet N Spicy Rosemary Nuts

No need to buy any more store bough sweet nut medleys or trail mix. Once you try this sweet and spicy combo you will be hooked and this will become a kitchen staple. Guests on retreat at Farm of Life absolutely loved taking this snack on waterfall hikes! Everything homemade, truly is better! This is a great way to enjoy healthy fats found in nuts and seeds as well as coconut oil! No need to follow the recipe exactly, just use the nuts and seeds you have in your pantry!

Makes 16 snack size servings

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Ingredients:

2 cups peanuts

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 cup whole almonds

sweet and spicy coating

1/3 cup virgin coconut oil

1/3 cup dried cranberries

5 sprigs fresh rosemary or approximately 3 tbsp, chopped

1 tsp cayenne

1 tsp sea salt

1.5 tsp pepper

1/4 cup honey

Method:

In a pan, dry roast (no oil) all nuts on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.

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Place nuts aside in a bowl.

Return pan to heat, and add coconut oil. Once melted, stir in rosemary, cranberries, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper. Turn off heat and add in honey.

Add nut mixture back into the pan and mix until well combined.

Place nuts on a lined baking sheet and place in the fridge for 2 hours. Store in a glass container in the fridge.

Enjoy as a nutrient dense power snack, topped on salad or a creamy savoury soup, or even with breakfast on your morning oats….

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream {dairy-free}

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

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Serves 2

4 tbsp or 1/4 cup fresh coconut milk or other milk substitute

1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)

1 cup baby spinach or curly kale

3 to 5 drops of food grade peppermint oil or mint extract

4 bananas, frozen

3 tablespoons raw cacao nibs or mini chocolate chips.

handful Fresh mint leaves, optional

Instructions

Add coconut milk and spinach to blender and blend until as smooth as possible. Add maple syrup, bananas, peppermint oil and leaves. Start on low and slowly turn blender up to high, using the damper stick of the vitamix. Use the damper to mix well in all four corners, for about 1 minute. Add cacao nibs or chocolate chips and pulse 3 times. Enjoy immediately or allow to set for one hour in the freezer.

Inspiration and photo by @anna_bananas__

Chewy Chocolate MACAroons {Grain Free, Dairy Free, Vegan}

Ever wonder what to do with an overload of ripe bananas, and looking to expand your recipe repertoire beyond banana bread? This recipe is one of the most easy and quick desserts I make, and at no sacrifice to the taste. When they first come out of the oven, they are absolutely perfect. So warm and chewy and the chocolate chips literally melt in your mouth. I really love the size of this delicious treat, it is just enough…. and they somehow remind me of 2 bite brownies in a way.. ha! The best thing about this recipe, is that everyone always loves them!

Ingredients

4 ripe bananas, mashed

3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

½ cup raw cacao powder

½ cup dark chocolate, chopped or dairy free chocolate chips

2 tbsp ground flaxseed

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 tsp maca, optional ** Traditionally, maca has always been  used cooked – which enhances the health benefits and makes it easier on the body to digest. Read more about raw or roasted maca…

Instructions

1) In a large bowl, mash bananas by hand with a fork, or use a food processor or blender to speed up the process.

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2) Add in all remaining ingredients and stir until just combined.

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3) Scoop mixture into balls and place on baking sheet approx 1 inch apart. I like to use a medium size trigger ice cream scoop to get the perfect shape every time.

4) Bake at 350ºF for 10 – 15 minutes.

5) Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack. Enjoy!

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Maca-Cacao: superfood chocolate milk

This smoothie literally tastes like chocolate milk. It is extremely nutrient dense and filled with healthy fats, protein and whole food carbohydrates. The dairy free milk is made from omega-3 rich nuts and seeds + coconut milk. Enjoy as a morning energy boost, afternoon treat or post work out fuel. It is such an easy and delicious (and chocolaty!) way to include the benefits of so many amazing foods into your diet like coconut oil, hemp seeds, brazil nuts, maca, medjool dates, cacao and chia.

Benefits

Maca is a root vegetable grown in the Andes mountains of South America. It is often referred to as the “Peruvian ginseng” for its abilities to energize the body, increase stamina, reduce stress and increase libido. Maca has adaptogenic qualities which aid in balancing hormones and supporting the endocrine system.

Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids that are easily digested and utilized as an energy burning fuel source, rather than stored as body fat. It also acts as a natural anti-viral to eliminate parasites or viruses.

Hemp seeds are a complete protein containing all the amino acids needed by the body for energy, repair, building and healing. These little powerhouses also contain the perfect balance of healthy fats omega 3, 6 and GLA, among many other benefits.

Brazil nuts are one of the highest sources of selenium and contain a variety of important minerals required for heart health and a strong immune system.

Medjool dates are an excellent source of potassium, copper and fibre. They are the perfect way to sweeten a smoothie or nut mylk, and can also be enjoyed on their own. So decadent!

For raw cacao benefits, please see Raw Superfood Truffle Recipe.

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Maca- Cacao Chocolate Milk or Smoothie

For 1 serving

3 tbsp hemp seeds or 5 brazil nuts

1.5  – 2 cups of water or almond milk, depending on consistency preference

1/3 cup of full fat canned coconut milk

1 tsp cinnamon

1-2 medjool dates, pitted

1/4 – 1 tsp maca. Start with a small amount and keep adding more until you are familiar with the flavour.

2 heaping tbsp of raw cacao

1 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 – 1 banana (frozen or room temperature, according to preferences)

Fresh ginger root, 1 inch piece (optional)

a pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt (optional)

Top with hemp and/or chia seeds.

Optional add ins include plant based protein powders or other superfoods like ashwagandha, chaga or reishi tincture, goji berries, bee pollen, etc.

Blend all ingredients until smooth in a high speed blender.

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Heavenly Halvah for breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner… because why not!

The only thing I can take credit for is eating this. I love this recipe exactly the way it is in The Power of Food by Adam Hart. This a fantastic cookbook for anyone looking to add nutrient dense, high prana, foods to their diet. There are chapters dedicated to hemp seeds, chia,cashews, garlic, ginger, avocados… I think you get the point!!!

I like to refer to this “dessert” as a power snack which justifies  me eating it for breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner..which happens!

The ingredients are superior to most granola bar or protein bar recipes, and with the hemp seeds and almond butter, this packs a punch! This recipe is not only rich in protein, but also in omega 3 thanks to the walnuts  and calcium from the sesame seeds and tahini. Lastly, it’s raw and has all the enzymes for optimal digestion and assimilation!

This is a must try!

Ingredients

1/2 cup walnuts, ground

1/4 cup sesame seeds, ground

1/4 cup hemp seeds

3 Tbsp tahini

3 Tbsp honey

2 Tbs[, almond butter

1/2 tsp Himalayan crystal salt

Extra hemp seeds for sprinkling on top

Instructions

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except the topping. Line an 8 inch square baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle some hempseed overtop and place the halvah in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Cut into small squares and serve. Store your halvah in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Want chocolate halvah??? Add 2 Tbsp of Cacao!

Date Coconut Cookies: all natural & free of refined sugars and oils

Tis the Season! Baking can be fun when you have the time and can also be nutritious when using natural ingredients. These cookies are made from scratch, delicious and will definitely please any crowd.

The recipe is from a cookbook that I designed in 2013 for Shanti Retreat. All the desserts in Shanti at Home use organic whole grain flour, natural sweeteners and coconut oil. They are all dairy-free and mostly gluten free (or offer a gf alternative).

I love to make jumbo thick ones so it only made 15, but I am sure you would get more if they were smaller. I used a 1/4 measuring cup to form the cookies before placing them on the baking tray.

Enjoy and be sure to comment below when you try them!

Date Coconut Cookies:

Ingredients

2.5 cups light spelt flour (or buckwheat for gf)

2 cups rolled oats

1.5 tsp baking soda

1 tsp of cinnamon (i used a bit more because I love cinnamon)

1 tsp sea salt

1 cup dates, chopped

1 cup coconut, unsweetened shredded or flaked

1 cup maple syrup (I tried to use 1/2 cup to start, but the cookies wouldn’t stick together so I added another 1/2 cup…I will experiment with maybe apple sauce)

3/4 cup coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla

zest of 1 orange (not optional…this makes the cookie!)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper or a light coating of oil.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

Add dates and coconut and stir to combine.

Add syrup, coconut oil, vanilla and zesst and mix until flour is just absorbed.

Scoop a tablespoon of dough (or in my case 1.4 cup!)  onto a baking sheet, spacing them 2″ apart.

Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.