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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Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies {vegan}

These are simply the best! They started as a way to use up the extra garden abidance of zucchini this season, but now they have turned into a regular favourite! Essentially they are like a healthy and homemade granola bar (which means you can have it any time of day!)

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yield: 2 1/2 DOZEN COOKIES

cook time: 10-12 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup organic light spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup organic virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup organic raw cane sugar
  • 1 flax egg ( 1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 2 tbsp water, mix and let sit for 5 minutes)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (and drained)
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup semisweet vegan chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, prepare flax egg.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine coconut oil and sugars, mix until smooth. Add flax egg and vanilla extract. Next, add the shredded zucchini. Be sure to squeeze out any extra liquid with your hands. Mix until combined.
  5. Slowly add flour mixture until just combined. Stir in oats, coconut, and chocolate chips.
  6. Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are slightly golden around the edges and set. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

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….

Sesame Miso Salad Dressing

This is such a tasty salad dressing for a mixed greens salad with an asian flare, or as a dressing for a slaw. When I am preparing an asian flavoured salad, I like to use spicy leafy greens like arugula, or mustard greens and add in bok choy leaves and kale for the base. Garnish the salad with radishes, cucumber, peppers, sliced almonds or peanuts and your favourite sprouts. I love to enjoy this salad with my raw pad thai !

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Sesame Miso Dressing 

2 TBSP MISO PASTE

3 TBSP SESAME OIL

2 TBSP EXTRA VIRGIN COCONUT OIL

2 TBSP RICE VINEGAR

2 TBSP WATER

1.5 TSP FRESHLY GRATED GINGER ROOT

1 MEDIUM GARLIC CLOVE

½ TSP MAPLE SYRUP, HONEY OR AGAVE

PINCH OF CAYENNE

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Baked Maple Pecan Granola

Simple and classic. Enjoy with banana oat milk, or your favourite non dairy beverage. Top with additional fixings like coconut flakes, ground flax, chia or fresh fruit.

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Ingredients

2 cups rolled oats

1⁄2 cup pecans or almonds

1/2 cup mixed dried fruit such as cranberries, raisins, figs, prunes, apricots, peaches, cherries

1/3 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds

2 tsp cinnamon

1⁄2 tsp nutmeg

1/4  tsp salt

1⁄2 cup maple syrup, or liquid sweetener like agave. It’s best not to bake with honey

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

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PREHEAT oven to 275° F. Line Baking sheet with parchment paper. IN A LARGE BOWL, combine oats, pecans, cranberries, raisins, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt. IN A SEPARATE BOWL, combine maple syrup, ginger, coconut oil and vanilla. ADD maple syrup mixture to oat mixture and combine well. SPREAD granola in a thin layer on baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes to prevent burning. Cool completely and store for up to a week in an airtight container.

Fruit & Millet Muffins {spelt flour, coconut oil, maple syrup}

 

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These are my absolute favourite muffin recipe. They are moist, yet crunchy thanks to the millet. It really is an easy way to include millet into our diet… it’s not just for the birds! Millet is a traditional gluten free grain that is high in minerals, especially magnesium, copper and manganese. It is also the most alkalising grain, unlike most grains which have an acidic effect on the body.

I prepare the muffins with my go-to flour, spelt. Spelt is one of the oldest cultivated crops in human history! It is not gluten free, however it contains less gluten, making it easier to digest. Spelt is also higher in protein, compared to conventional wheat, and filled with B vitamins and minerals. I love how you can take any recipe, and replace the flour with the same amount of spelt, without needing to add any binding agents, and it turns out perfect every time!

You can make this recipe with any fruit. My favourites are raspberry, apple, blueberry, peach and my new addition, strawberry. Thank you to Jae Steele’s cookbook, Ripe from Around Here, for this amazing recipe.

Fruit & Millet Muffins

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2 cups Spelt Flour

2/3 cup Millet

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Baking Soda

½ tsp Sea Salt
1 cup Non-Dairy Milk, such as almond or coconut

½ cup Apple Sauce, preferably homemade or unsweetened

½ cup maple syrup
1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil

1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

1 ½ cups fruit, fresh or frozen (but not thawed) – strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, apple, peach

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a 12 cup muffin tray with liners or a light coating of oil and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, millet, baking powder and soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add the milk, applesauce, sweetener, oil and vanilla. Mix together just until all the flour has been absorbed. Gently fold in the berries. Pour evenly into the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are domed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Makes 12 muffins- keeps in an airtight container for 3 days or in the fridge for up to a week.

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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Delicious whole grain bread (it’s steamed!) {gluten-free}

It is so important for me to know exactly what’s in my food. I have began to make as much as I can from scratch… including bread. Although I love my grandmas homemade bread recipe,  I could see this being more of a staple in my kitchen. If you like to make home made bread, I suggest giving this one a try. It is made with gluten free whole grains , brown rice and rolled oats. It is not grain free, but if you like, check out my paleo bread recipe. I had never even heard about steaming bread before this recipe, but I must admit it was delicious and so moist. I’m sure you could play around with flavors adding either fresh herbs for a more savory taste, or seeds and dried fruit for a sweeter breakfast bread.  I definitely recommend a bamboo basket steamer for this recipe!

 

Steamed Gluten Free Bread

Makes 1 loaf

1.5 cups cooked squash (or sweet potato)
1.5 cups brown rice flour (best to make your own by grinding brown rice in a vitamix)
1 cup oat flour (purchased, or again, make your own from rolled oats)
1/4 cup ground flax
3 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
2.5 t salt
2.5 t active yeast
3/4 cup warm water
2 T honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil or olive oil for coating bread
Cube squash and boil until tender.
Meanwhile, grind brown rice and oats to make a flour.
Combine flours, flax, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
In a measuring cup, combine warm water, sugar and yeast and let is sit for 5 minutes or until it gets foamy.
Once squash is cooked, drain and pulse with honey in a food processor. Add yeast and water.
Add squash mixture to flour mixture and mix into a ball (best to use your hands here!) Oil hands to shape the bread into a big round ball.
Use a bamboo basket steamer for the next step and place over a pot of boiling water.
Place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the steamer and add bread dough.
*Preheat oven to 375*
Steam for 30 minutes. Remove bread from steamer, add more oil to the exterior and bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes or until the exterior gets firm.
Best enjoyed as fresh bread with a delicious soup!