Blackberry Nice Cream

Our last Bountiful Basket included sixteen clamshells of delicious blackberries. We ate some of them fresh and froze the majority to use in smoothies. Since they are already frozen, I figured they would do well in a quick batch of nice cream.

If you remember my pistachio nice cream, you know that this non-dairy version of easily THE most popular frozen treat is just as satisfying and pretty darn healthy. It’s essentially a thicker version of a smoothie, into which you can add endless crunch factors like chocolate chips, nuts, or pretzels…just like “real” ice cream!

Blackberries not only make nice cream look rich and vibrant, they are extremely nutritious. One serving of blackberries provides approximately one third of your daily recommended fiber, vitamin A, vitamin K, and vitamin C intake. They are the perfect balance of sweet and tart and really compliment salads, smoothies, and desserts.

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Another feature of today’s nice cream rendition is cacao nibs, which I’m using to top my treat. Raw cacao nibs are bits of cacao beans, which are used to make the chocolate that we are used to eating. The raw nibs have all of the health benefits of chocolate without the added sugar, salt, and fat. They are most notably jam-packed with flavonoids, cell-improving antioxidants also found in tea and berries. You’re getting a double dose of antioxidants with this dessert!

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Not ready to let go of holiday sweets? Indulge in a dessert that will help you to bounce back from the holidays madness and reach your fitness goals. 🙂 Enjoy!

FORMULA BASE: NICE CREAM

Serves 3-4

  • 2 frozen bananas (or fresh bananas and ice)
  • ¾-1 cup specialty ingredients –> I’m using 1 heaping cup of partially-thawed blackberries.
  • ¼-½ tsp extract of choice (optional, and amount depends on flavor intensity) –> I’m using ¼ tsp almond.
  • Pitted medjool dates as needed for sweetness –> I’m using 2.
  • Juice or plant milk until desired consistency (start with just a splash) –> I’m not using any (the juice from the blackberries is enough to puree my ingredients).
  • ¼ cup extras for mixing in by hand (optional) – think nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc. –> I’m topping my nice cream with raw cacao nibs and raw chopped almonds.

Combine all ingredients (except the extras) in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Ready to enjoy immediately, or place in the freezer while you prepare any desired sauces or toppings.

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Double Chocolate Mint Brownies

Need one more dessert for your holiday parties? These brownies are easy to throw together, delicious, and festive. I had such amazing unexpected success with my mint chocolate chip cookies that I had to try out the mint milk concept with brownies. If you’re a fan of the Girl Scouts’ Thin Mint cookies, you will LOVE these. And…this particular rendition is gluten-free, too. 🙂

When I made my mint chip cookies, I used traditional peppermint in lieu of incorporating processed candy canes. All out of peppermint, these brownies include another mint I have growing at my house: spearmint. Like peppermint, spearmint can assist with gastrointestinal issues and can also help to remedy nausea. As I mentioned before, these desserts with real mint are the ultimate post-dinner dessert!

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With visitors in town and the daily grind of a newborn and a two-year-old, it’s been slower than usual on The Fresh Formula. After the holidays, I’ll resume posting progress reports on my journey to my pre-baby body and of course, sharing formulas and recipes. In the meantime, Happy Holidays!

BROWNIES

Fills a 9 x 13 pan with approximately ¾-inch thick brownies

  • 2 cups flour –> I used 1 cup brown rice flour and 1 cup white rice flour.
  • 1 cup unsweetened, unflavored plant milk –> I used ¾ cup almond.*
  • 1 cup sweetener –> I used ½ cup turbinado sugar and ½ cup agave syrup.
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup oil –> I used coconut.
  • 1 tbsp ground flax or chia seeds + 3 tbsp hot water (“egg”) –> I used flax.
  • 1 tsp extract –> I used vanilla.
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
  • OPTIONAL:  ½-1 cup chips –> I used ½ cup packed spearmint leaves and ½ cup mini-semi-sweet chocolate chips (vegan).

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*Because they are raw plants, the peppermint leaves themselves contain additional moisture, so I am using less milk to ensure that the dough/batter is the right consistency.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Puree the mint leaves and milk in the blender and set aside. In a large bowl, mix your dry ingredients, sans sweetener.  In another bowl, mix your wet ingredients (including mint milk), plus sweetener.  This includes your “egg,” which should be prepared separately before adding it to the rest of the wet ingredients. Slowly mix your wet ingredients into your dry until a dough or thick batter forms; different sweeteners and oils will change the consistency.  Point is, don’t be concerned if what you expected to be a drippy batter turns out thick.  🙂 Mix in your chips (if using) or save them to sprinkle on top.

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Lightly grease a 9 x 13 backing pan or dish (I prefer glass).  Spread your dough evenly throughout and top with chips, if you’d like. Bake for 20-22 minutes for a fudgy brownie or 23-25 minutes for a cakey brownie.  Using gluten-free flour and/or liquid sweetener? Baking time will likely be longer. These went for 27 minutes for fudgy. Enjoy!

 

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Leftover Cranberry Sauce?

Today’s formula presents a way to use up another popular holiday meal leftover: cranberry sauce. I don’t write “popular” because most people love it…It’s just incredibly common around the Thanksgiving table and you either love it or hate it. Chances are, there will be leftovers.

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What better way to breathe new life into tired cranberry sauce than to make it into a not-too-sweet dessert. If you forewent this loved and loathed preserve-like holiday side dish, you could use jam (check out my jam formula). We will be dolloping our fruit filling into a thumbprint cookie base.

Before adding the cranberry sauce (or jam), you will have the opportunity to garnish your thumbprint dough. Today, I’m using unsweetened shredded coconut. To me, the shreds aren’t overwhelming in coconut flavor and add a nice bit of texture. Shredded coconut is also high in fiber, manganese, and copper, so there’s that, too. 🙂

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Another wonder food that I’m including in my thumbprint cookies is sunflower butter. Sunflower seeds are most definitely a super food and excellent source of protein, folate, vitamin E, and selenium. Sunflower butter is more of a blank slate than say, peanut butter, which has a very distinctive flavor. Thus, I can use it in an application like this one or to make a creamy salad dressing without overpowering the other flavors.

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Whenever possible, look for nut and seed butters that contain only raw nuts. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find raw sunflower butter and this one also contains salt, so I am choosing not to add salt to the cookie dough. Use your judgement to keep dessert as healthy—or at least, as minimally unhealthy—as possible. Enjoy!

FORMULA BASE: THUMBPRINT COOKIES

Makes 24-28 cookies

  • 2 cups flour –> I’m using whole wheat.
  • ¾ cup homemade preserves (jam, cranberry sauce, etc.)* –> I’m using cranberry orange sauce.
  • ½ cup nut/seed butter –> I’m using sunflower.
  • ½ cup liquid sweetener –> I’m using agave syrup.
  • ¼ cup unsweetened, unflavored plant milk –> I’m using almond.
  • 2 tbsps chia or ground flax seeds –> I’m using chia.
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½-1 tsp extract (amount depends on flavor intensity) –> I’m using ½ tsp almond.
  • ¼ tsp pink Himalayan sea salt (optional) –> I’m not using any.
  • 2-4 tbsps garnish (cocoa powder, raw nuts/seeds, coconut flakes, etc.) (optional) –> I’m using unsweetened shredded coconut.

*Homemade is best so that you can control the quantity and quality of ingredients.

Mix your butter, sweetener, extract, and milk, ideally using an electric stand mixer. Slowly incorporate your dry ingredients until a thick, pliable dough forms.

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Scoop out a heaping teaspoon of dough and roll into a ball with your hands. Place the ball in the center of your palm and press your thumb into it to create a well for your filling. The “walls” of the well will be approximately ¼ inch high and the well itself about half the height. Gently coat the dough in your garnish, if using.

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Line the wells up on a baking sheet that is lightly greased or lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking pad. The cookies will not expand much, so they can be fairly close together. Dollop approximately a teaspoon of filling into each well. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the edges are crisp and lightly browned.

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Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookies

As promised in my last post, peppermint cookies are here! When I originally conceived this recipe—a holiday take on my classic chip cookies—I imagined it would come together with candy canes to really signify the spirit of the season. I was willing to incorporate an ingredient so heavily processed because I was including only a small amount of it…and I love candy canes. 🙂 The more I thought about it, however, I realized that there was a way I could get a purer peppermint flavor in my cookies, free of Red #40 and refined sugars.

Here you see my peppermint plant (I also grow spearmint). What better place to start with obtaining a peppermint flavor than with the plant itself?! Peppermint is truly a super food. Most notably, peppermint can relieve indigestion. The plant’s oil is even sold on its own for this and other medicinal purposes.

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I figured I would just throw the leaves right into my cookies, making these treats the ultimate post-dinner dessert: Help soothe your upset tummy after that filling holiday meal and satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time. Enjoy!

FORMULA BASE:  CHIP COOKIES

Makes 24-30 small cookies

  • 1 ½ cups flour –> I’m using whole wheat.
  • ¾ cup unsweetened plant milk –> I’m using ½ cup oat.*
  • 2/3 cup sweetener –> I’m using turbinado sugar.
  • ½ cup oil or nut/seed butter –> I’m using coconut oil (room temperature, not melted).
  • 2 tbsps flax or chia seeds –> I’m using flax.
  • ½-1 tsp extract (depending on flavor intensity) –> I’m using 1 tsp homemade vanilla extract.
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 2/3 cup chips –> I’m using 1/3 cup mini-semi-sweet chocolate chips (vegan) and 1/3 cup packed peppermint leaves.

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*Because they are raw plants, the peppermint leaves themselves contain additional moisture, so I am using less milk to ensure that the dough is the right consistency.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Puree the mint leaves and milk in the blender and set aside.

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With an electric hand mixer, cream together the coconut oil, extract, and sugar. Add the dry ingredients and stir by hand to combine. Stir in the mint milk and finally, the chocolate chips.

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Grease 2-3 baking sheets or line with parchment paper.  Place heaping spoonfuls of cookie dough into your palm and form a loose ball (doesn’t need to be perfect). Space approximately a 1.5 inches apart. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until the cookie edges are slightly golden brown.

 

 

 

 

A Fresh Take on Beans and Rice

Let me start by saying that I LOVE the combination of beans and rice! B&R makes for a filling square meal, packed with protein and fiber. B&R also serves as a versatile base for a number of dishes, from curry to the burrito bowl. Today, I’m using quinoa in place of rice and adding yellow squash for a fresh take on a classic duo.

In Monday’s post, I touted the salad, which I hold responsible for helping me to lose baby weight and keeping me fit in general. While lately I have been consuming salads composed primarily of raw produce, I really enjoy salads with cooked elements, too. My multi-grain salad is among my faves and the formula behind my twist on B&R.

This southwestern cooked-but-cold salad also features raw yellow squash. Yellow squash—sometimes referred to as summer squash—contains high levels of vitamin C, beta carotene, and lutein. It is also an excellent vegan source of iron and folate, which are commonly found in large quantities in animal products. In addition, I find that the texture is more appealing when left raw, leaving more of the nutrients intact.

Enjoy!

FORMULA BASE: MULTI-GRAIN SALAD

Serves 4-6

  • 4 cups water or vegetable stock –> I’m using water as I don’t currently have any stock on hand.
  • 2 cups dry grains –> I’m using white quinoa.
  • 2 cups chopped fruit and/or veggies -> I’m using 1 ½ cups yellow squash, ¼ cup corn, and ¼ cup diced sweet peppers.
  • Dressing of choice or a combination of herbs/spices and salt and pepper to taste –> I’m using the juice of one lime, a splash of olive oil, a splash of agave syrup, and the seasoning combo I use in my chili, in a lesser amount. I sprinkle the spices from one side of the bowl to the other; that’s how I often “measure.” 🙂
  • TODAY’S EXTRA: 1 ½ cups black beans.

Rinse your grains before cooking in order to remove any possible dirt or dust.

If you’re using a variety of grains: Because different grains have different cooking times, you may approach this in two ways: cook them all in the same pot, in stages, or cook them separately and combine them later. If you’re not sure about the grains you are using, research their cook times and even better, experiment in your kitchen.

If you’re using one grain, as I am today, find out how long it takes to cook and get it into your stove top pot or rice cooker. I use a rice cooker because I find that it reduces sticking to the bottom of the pan with just a few occasional stirs, but you can certainly cook your grains in a pot on the stove top, stirring more regularly.

While your grains are cooking, chop your fruits/veggies, drain your beans (in today’s rendition), and prepare your dressing and/or seasonings.

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I usually leave the lid to my rice cooker off for the last few minutes to speed the cooking liquid absorption process. When there is no liquid left, your grains should be done. Place the cooked grains in a bowl and chill in your fridge, uncovered and with occasional stirring to allow heat to escape more easily, until at least room temperature (about 30 minutes). If the grains are hot, they will par-cook your produce, which we want to keep raw. When cool, combine the grains with your other ingredients. Consume cold and store in the fridge for 3-5 days, depending on the shelf life of the produce used.

Leftover Pumpkin Puree?

If you butchered and baked your Halloween pumpkins or stocked up on the canned stuff as it went on sale before Thanksgiving, you probably have pumpkin puree leftover from preparing America’s favorite dinner. You could whip up a batch of my pumpkin super food muffins or incorporate the puree into a savory application.

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I introduced my creamy vegetable pasta sauce to you with the loved and loathed eggplant. At the time, I hadn’t tried the formula with another vegetable, so I wasn’t sure how this pumpkin sauce would turn out. I’m happy to report that it was a success! I served it atop pasta to the guests at my Thanksgiving dinner (which we hosted early because my mom was in town visiting her newest grandson) and it was the most-talked-about dish of the evening.

If you have a blender and a box of pasta, you’re ready for this decadent and healthful pumpkin “cream” sauce to make an appearance at your next dinner. I’m using oat milk in today’s cashew cream, one of the sauce’s star ingredients. Oat milk is naturally on the sweeter side of plant milks, so it compliments pumpkin nicely, as we are often used to using it in sweeter culinary concoctions. Bonus: One serving of this particular oat milk will provide you over a third of your recommended daily calcium and two grams of dietary fiber. Not bad.

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Scoop up your leftover pumpkin and put this quick and easy dinner together in minutes. Nutritious—especially if you use a whole grain or vegetable pasta—and resourceful, I’m happy to help you use every bit of your leftover Thanksgiving eats. Enjoy!

FORMULA BASE: CREAMY VEGETABLE PASTA SAUCE

Makes sauce for 1 box of pasta*

  • 2 cups coarsely chopped raw vegetables –> I used 1 ½ cups pumpkin puree. (This translates to approximately 2 cups of raw chopped vegetables, since it is already cooked and pureed down.)
  • ½ cup cashew cream (soak raw cashews overnight and blend with just enough water/plant milk/veggie stock to form a thick cream) –> Because pumpkin has a strong flavor, I used extra cashew cream: 1 cup cashews + 1 ½ cups oat milk.
  • 2 tbsps nutritional yeast –> I opted out of this, figuring it didn’t mesh well with pumpkin. It worked out, but for most other vegetables, I would include it.
  • 1 tbsp acid (i.e. vinegar, mustard, citrus juice, etc.) –> I used whole grain mustard.
  • ¼-1 tsp seasoning (i.e. fresh/dried herbs, spices, etc.) –> I used ½ tsp dried sage and ¼ tsp ground nutmeg.
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste –> I used ½ tsp salt and about 4 turns pepper.

Peel (if necessary) and chop your vegetables. Steam, roast, or boil to cook. While your vegetables are cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare your pasta of choice. When the vegetables are finished, combine with all other ingredients (except the pasta, of course!) in a blender and puree until smooth and creamy.

 

DSC_2572Pour atop your pasta (or use in another application) and enjoy immediately for most desirable consistency. It will keep just fine in the fridge, but will dry out a bit.

 

 

No-Bake Power Bars

Love my power balls formula? I think you’ll like my power bars even more! While I believe you could take the power ball dough and spread it into a pan to make bars, I decided to develop a formula that was even more specific to this alternative shape.

Additionally, personally, I’m looking for something different in the way of texture in a ball versus a bar. I enjoy the power balls with a softer, creamier center, like a truffle. I think that the bars are best with a crunch. Of course, with Fresh Formulas, there are no prescriptions—just guidelines—so it’s up to you to play around with the flavor and texture combinations that you enjoy best.

Today’s power bars will combine crunch and more fall flavors: cranberries and pumpkin seeds, to be precise. Surely you’ve heard that the cranberry does wonders for the urinary tract system and it is loaded with antioxidants, plus vitamin C and fiber. Pumpkin seeds are a less well-known super food, often in the shadows of flax, chia, and hemp seeds. These super seeds, however, contain an even higher protein content than the more talked-about seeds and are also packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals…too many to list even! ‘Tis the season to find these amazing little nutrient powerhouses in abundance.

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After carving our Halloween pumpkins, Travis immediately took to roasting the seeds (which can also be eaten raw). We put them in an airtight container in the pantry and he’s been eating a few here and there. I’ve found that I cannot digest whole (chewed, obviously) pumpkin seeds, so I am trying processing them into a flour to see if I have better luck. They are just too darn good for your not to get creative.

One other tidbit… This formula calls for unsweetened dried fruit (I would like to control the sweetener used in the bars), but my dried cranberries are sweetened. Unless you dry them yourself (I’m in the market for a fruit dehydrator, if anyone can recommend one!), you aren’t likely to find these sour mini-fruits unsweetened. So, I’m improvising and cutting out the two tablespoons of added liquid sweetener. I recommend tasting the bar dough as you go to ensure that it is palatable. We aren’t going for dessert, but some sweetness is part of what makes similar premade bars delicious enough to spend $3+ for just one. 🙂

Save money and control quality by making power bars yourself. From gathering ingredients to cutting the bars (not including chill time), it took me less than twenty minutes to make these while attending to the needs of two boys under the age of three. You can do it! Enjoy.

FORMULA BASE: POWER BARS

Yields 9 square bars*

For the dough:

  • 1 cup uncooked whole grains –> I’m using rolled oats.
  • 1 cup unsweetened dried fruit (without added oil) –> I’m using cranberries.
  • ½ cup nut or seed butter (nuts/seeds only) –> I’m using peanut.
  • 2 tbsps natural liquid sweetener –> I’m not using any.
  • Extract and/or spices to taste (optional) –> I’m not using any

Garnish ideas (up to ½ cup):

  • Raw seeds –> I’m using 1/8 cup roasted pumpkin (roasted only because Travis roasted them before I had this idea!) and 1/8 cup hulled hemp seeds.
  • Raw finely chopped nuts –> I’m using ¼ cup almonds.
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Melted dark chocolate to pour over the top (which will re-solidify after chilling)

*Double the recipe to make double the bars, or, to achieve thicker bars.

Turn your whole grains (and in my case, the pumpkin seeds) into flour using your food processor or blender. Then, combine the flour and your remaining ingredients, except the garnish. Run until a thick, pliable dough forms. You will probably have to scrape down the sides of the processor with a spatula at least once.

Turn the dough out into a mixing bowl. Use your hands to combine half of your garnish (unless it’s melted chocolate) and to break up any clumps of dried fruit and/or butter. Firmly press the dough into an 8 x 8 pan lined with wax paper. Evenly distribute the remaining garnish, pressing into/pouring onto the top of the bars.

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Chill the bars for at least 2 hours before cutting into the desired size and shape. Store in the refrigerator.

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Cereal Bowl Veggie Wraps

While vegetarian/vegan eating is certainly becoming more popular, the majority of restaurants in America cater to an herbivorous diet. As a result, the few vegetarian/vegan dishes offered at a restaurant that doesn’t specialize in plant-based cuisine often miss the mark, in my opinion. When I’m at an establishment with a mostly-meaty menu and spy a veggie wrap or sandwich, I typically order it (or a salad), only to be disappointed by the texture and interpretation.

You’ve seen this offering and may even have had it: grilled veggie wrap. This typically comes stuffed with overcooked, mushy portobello mushrooms, red peppers, and zucchini. The contents are often drenched in oil, mayo, cheese, or some other greasy substance that really takes away from the nutritional value of the veggies themselves. This wrap experience just doesn’t do it for me.

As I’ve mentioned before, most plant foods are more nutritious in their raw state, so I really try to limit my cooking of produce. Obviously something like a sweet potato needs to be cooked, but raw zucchini, for instance, is actually delicious, if you’ve never tried it. For me, texture is everything, and I prefer the crunch and freshness of raw vegetables over cooked any day.

The method here is simple: For one twelve-inch tortilla, you need almost a full cereal bowl of fresh veggies/fruits to adequately fill the wrap. Of course, if you can adjust the amount to make a traditional sandwich instead. Enjoy!

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FORMULA BASE: VEGGIE WRAP

Makes 1 wrap

  • 1 12-inch tortilla –> I’m using spinach.
  • Enough raw chopped/diced/sliced fruit/veggies to fill ¾ of a cereal bowl –> I’m using a combination of kale, spinach, cucumber, roma tomato, green onion, button mushrooms, and green apple.
  • 1-2 tablespoons homemade dressing of choice –> I’m using a lemon vinaigrette (or, consider my creamy dressing).
  • 1 tablespoon “crunch” (e.g. raw nuts, seeds, etc.) or unsweetened dried fruit (optional, for additional texture) –> I’m not using any this time.

Peel (if necessary) and chop, dice, or slice your fruit/veggies. Combine with dressing in cereal bowl. Assemble wrap and consume immediately.

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Pumpkin Pecan Muffins

First of all, it’s been a little slow on The Fresh Formula because…I am now a mother of two! Oliver Ryan was born on Sunday at 36 weeks. Although he is healthy and happy and we are home from the hospital now, I wasn’t totally ready for an early arrival, and thus, unable to get to blogging for the past week. More to come on the newest love of my life…

Secondly, despite appearances, these muffins aren’t burnt. Their chocolatey color comes from the incorporation of dark molasses as a sweetener. After recently making a pumpkin spice cake that included molasses, I decided to try it out with my super food muffins. The rich flavor of molasses pairs nicely with pumpkin and its typical spice blend.

Since we’re on the subject, molasses is a super food, too. Despite being essentially a “waste” product of producing white granulated sugar, molasses maintains nutrients that the refined stuff does not. In addition to what you see on the product label below, molasses, like agave syrup, has a low glycemic index, which is important in reducing the risk for type 2 diabetes. Molasses is also high in antioxidants and has a subtler sweet flavor than other sweeteners. Personally, having followed a plant-based lifestyle for going on four years, I find super sweet food products too rich, so molasses is the perfect sweetener for me.

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So, again, I chose molasses because I am pairing it with pumpkin. Pumpkin puree—not pumpkin pie filling, ya’ll—is a powerhouse of vitamin A and also contains high levels of fiber and iron. ‘Tis the season to find these gourds everywhere, so if you’re up for the challenge, you can butcher and puree your own. Travis and I have done it and even made pumpkin milk from the seeds! Otherwise, you’re looking for canned pumpkin that contains nothing else (particularly sugar, fat, and salt).

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Anywho, just in time for Halloween, you can devour these pumpkin muffins for breakfast or bring them to Thanksgiving dinner if you’re in charge of dinner rolls. 🙂 Enjoy!

FORMULA BASE: SUPER FOOD MUFFINS

Makes 12 muffins

  • 1 cup flour –> I’m using whole wheat.
  • 1 cup cooked small grains (e.g. quinoa, kaniwa, millet, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup sweetener –> I’m using molasses.
  • 1/8 cup oil –> I’m using coconut, melted.
  • 1 cup raw (fresh or frozen) fruit or veggie –> I’m using ¾ cup pumpkin puree + ¼ cup chopped, raw pecans.
  • 1-1 ¼ cups unsweetened plant milk –> I’m using ¾ almond, which is less than usual since the puree adds a bit of water to the batter.
  • 3 tbsps seeds (e.g. chia, hemp, poppy, flax, etc.)
  • ½-1 tsp extract (amount will depend on flavor intensity) –> I’m using 1 tsp homemade vanilla.
  • ½-1 tsp spices –> I’m using ½ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp nutmeg, and 1/8 tsp each cardamom and cloves. All spices are ground.
  • ½ tsp pink Himalayan sea salt (optional) –> I’m not using it.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Separately combine all of the dry ingredients and all of the wet ingredients. In this case, the wet ingredients include the pumpkin puree, too.

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Pour the wet into the dry and mix with a wooden spoon. The batter will be thick and lumpy, but you can always add more plant milk if it seems too dry or dough-like. Spoon the batter into a lined cupcake pan and bake for 25 minutes.

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Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Baked Veggie Chips

This formula is very similar to that of my baked veggie fries, so if you’ve already tackled the former, you’re ready to try making chips. In my opinion, chips, due to being thinner, are more finicky, going from the perfect crispness to burnt very quickly, so you have to keep a watchful eye.

Today’s chips are made from celery root. As I’ve surely mentioned before, one of the things I love about getting Bountiful Baskets is that the surprise often yields an item that I probably wouldn’t consider buying. Not afraid of a challenge and not one to waste food, I embraced this odd-looking root vegetable and decided to try my best to make it palatable.

As you can imagine, celery root, or celeriac, tastes just like celery, which, to me, is quite a strong, distinct flavor. Thus, however you’re going to use it, you need to prepare yourself for that flavor to be a part of the overall profile. Celeriac is high in antioxidants and vitamin K, so it’s a valuable plant worth considering. The best part? You can just treat it like a potato.

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Peel it and cut into fries or steam and mash and celeriac is good to go. I decided to use it to demonstrate my chip formula, which can be adapted to any root vegetable and some other heartier vegetables—like zucchini—that can also hold up to being made into chips. A tomato, for instance, not so much…  🙂

A quality mandolin, food processor with slicing attachment, or some other slicing device will make chip-making easier, but you can certainly thinly slice your vegetables by hand. Be careful either way and as always, enjoy!

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FORMULA BASE: BAKED VEGGIE CHIPS

Serves 2

  • 1 lb root vegetables (or a hearty vegetable like zucchini) –> I’m using celery root.
  • 1 tbsp oil, plus another teaspoon for greasing your cookie sheet –> I’m using extra virgin olive.
  • Spices, fresh herbs, salt, and pepper to taste –> I’m using curry seasoning (check out my vegetable curry formula for the perfect blend of spices!) and a pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt.

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Peel (if necessary) and thinly slice your vegetables. In a large bowl, with tongs, combine the chips with oil and seasoning.

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Arrange them in a single layer on your greased cookie sheet. Total bake time will vary based on the vegetable chosen and the thinness of the chips.

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I would set the initial timer for 10 minutes, check, flip, and repeat until the chips are crispy and slightly browned on the edges. Be prepared to babysit, but take comfort in the minimal oil used – you could always deep fry the chips instead, but at the cost of higher fat content and the need to season each batch as they come out. Your call! 🙂

Enjoy immediately after preparation; chips will start to soften the longer they are kept around.