Simple Vegan French Toast

I’ve blogged a French toast recipe before now but I think this one is even easier and tastier than the previous one. This recipe is so easy a child can do it for themselves or parents. Just a couple of ingredients, which can be changed depending on the taste you’re looking for (i.e., nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ginger, etc.) on a particular day. I found, using hot oil, that the outside gets very crunchy while the inside stays soft and tender.

Whisk together in a 3-cup bowl (wide enough to put a slice of bread into):

3/4 cup non-dairy milk, your choice

1/2 teaspoon spice, again your choice (I prefer allspice but use whichever spice you like)

dash of salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon arrowroot

Set aside and heat over medium high heat in a 12″ or larger skillet:

2 tablespoons oil

Dip into the milk mixture, one at a time:

6 gluten-free slices of bread, again your choice as to what kind*

The milk mixture may take more than six slices depending on the density of your bread. You may want to do this before heating the oil and let the slices of bread sit for a minute in the milk mixture since gluten-free bread can be denser than other breads and may need to soak a little longer; remove each slice after soaking to a baking sheet if doing prior to heating the oil. The oil will splatter because of the liquid in the bread so use a splatter guard if possible. Once the bread begins to brown, reduce heat to medium after flipping the slices over. Brown on the second side; the hot oil will get them nice and crispy. It takes about 2-3 minutes per side. Serve with jam or maple, agave, or date syrup.

I know, more brown food!

*FYI, I made a batch of old-fashioned donut muffins, didn’t add the topping, sliced them in half crosswise and used them instead of bread and they were scrumptious! BTW, not the photo above.

Old Fashioned Cake Donut Muffins

It’s a snowy day here in Minnesota so I’m stuck at home. Days like this always give me an urge to bake. It comes from the days, growing up, when my father who worked for the Town road crew, could be out all day and often into the night plowing snow and salting the roads. He’d stop home once or twice in a twelve-hour period and be hungry and want a fresh thermos of coffee. On days like that, I’d bake cookies, muffins, cupcakes, anything portable but his favorite thing was my old fashioned cake donuts. I found a recipe yesterday, not allergy friendly of course, for donut muffins (Dianne on allrecipes.com) and I managed to make it allergy free. Hope you enjoy these. Make a single batch (6-7 small muffins) or a double batch (12-14). Either way, it takes longer to measure out all the ingredients than it does to mix them together and get the dough in the muffin tin! Very quick and easy.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a mini or small muffin tin and set aside. For a single batch, in a medium bowl combine:

1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons date sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (those of you who follow me regularly know I don’t like nutmeg but in old fashioned donuts, it just has to be nutmeg!)

Stir to combine before adding:

1/2 cup non-dairy milk

2 tablespoons avocado oil (or any melted butter, margarine or shortening)

Stir until just combined. Portion into the baking sheet. Try to get all the muffins around the same size. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes or so before removing from the baking pan. If desired, top with the following:

Dip each muffin’s top into:

1/4 cup avocado oil (or melted butter, margarine or shortening of your choice)

Then dip into a mixture of:

1/4 cup date sugar

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (cinnamon, allspice, etc., would also work just fine)

Let cool a few more minutes before serving, if they last that long!

*I used a small muffin pan (about 2″ diameter at the top and a double batch made 12).

Pumpkin Scones

The Asian pear scones were so delicious – moist and flavorful – that I decided to try another scone. These pumpkin scones are also very moist, with warm spices. Perfect served warm for breakfast with a cup of coffee or tea. And easy to make.

In the bowl of a food processor (or a medium size bowl) combine:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour

1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum (or guar gum)

1/2 cup date sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon allspice (or cinnamon)

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (or nutmeg, ginger, pumpkin pie spices, cardamon)

1/4 cup Spectrum shortening (or full fat solid coconut oil or congealed olive oil*)

Pulse until crumbly (or use a pastry cutter or fork to combine until crumbly). Place mixture in a medium bowl. Add:

1/2 cup oat milk

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree

Mix until just combined. Spray a small baking sheet (9×15) or line with parchment paper. Turn the mixture out onto the baking sheet and form into a flattened circle approximately 8″ diameter. Using a wet knife, cut into quarters and then cut each quarter in half to form 8 triangles. Arrange pieces approximately 1″ apart on the baking sheet and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes (20-30 depending on your oven), or until the top is slightly firm when pressed and the scones are slightly darker in color. Cool.

OPTIONAL:

Glaze with a mixture of monk fruit confectioners sugar (approximately 2 tablespoons) and 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup. Add 1-2 teaspoons water as needed to form a thin glaze, or more maple syrup. Drizzle over scones.

*Put the olive oil in the freezer about an hour before you need it and it will solidify.

Quick Pumpkin Bread

Quick breads are so easy to make and so delicious to eat. Flavorful with warm spices, they take minutes to mix together and, when gluten-free, can take almost an hour to bake. But definitely worth it. Here’s a pumpkin quick bread recipe that will delight your whole family. I used allspice and ground cloves but feel free to use cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or ginger (pumpkin pie spices) instead. Various flours can also be used including all-purpose (I use the 1 to 1) but whatever one you choose will work. For a lighter bread, eliminate the protein powder and use an additional half cup of one of the other flours.

First make some flax gel by combining in a small dish:

2 tablespoons ground flax meal

1/4 cup warm water

Whisk to combine and set aside to gel. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a bread pan (9×5″) with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Into your mixer’s bowl or a medium bowl (if using a hand mixer), add:

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/3 cup maple syrup (date or agave syrup, honey)

1/4 cup avocado oil

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Mix until combined before adding:

1 cup oat flour

1/2 cup millet flour

1/2 cup quinoa flour

1/2 cup pumpkin protein powder (or another 1/2 cup of any of the flours)

2 teaspoons allspice

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/4 to 1/2 cup date sugar (depending on your taste)

the flax gel

1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional, you could use chocolate or carob chips instead)

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (optional to sprinkle on top in the pan)

Mix until all ingredients are well combined. This is a thick dough. Spoon into the prepared bread pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds if desired. Bake for 50-60 minutes. When a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean cook for another 5 minutes. Cool on a rack. Great warm or toasted the next day. Will keep for several days in an airtight container.

Spice Cookies (with pumpkin)

This is a revision of my Gingerbread Cookies that I posted a couple of years ago. Gingerbread cookies and ginger snaps are my favorite kinds of cookies but this past year, I’ve found that ginger, as well as cinnamon, bother me. But one of my favorite things about Christmas is that I allow myself to indulge in a batch of gingerbread cookies. How am I supposed to do that this year? Well, I revised the recipe taking out the cinnamon and ginger and replacing it with allspice (my favorite spice) along with some ground cloves and coriander. I’ve found in the past that these cookies don’t affect my blood sugar unless I eat too many which is easy to do, they’re so delicious!

In a large bowl (or the bowl of a table-top mixer), beat until combined:

1 cup shortening (such as Spectrum)

1/2 cup date sugar

1 teaspoon monk fruit powder

Beat on medium speed until well mixed. Add:

1/2 cup agave nectar (date syrup, honey or coconut nectar would also work)

1/4 cup unsulfured molasses

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (or sweet potato puree)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Mix on medium speed until combined. Add the dry ingredients a cup at a time (combine them in a large bowl first):

1 cup millet flour

1 cup tapioca (or cassaba) flour/starch

1/2 cup arrowroot

1/2 cup sweet sorghum flour

1 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 teaspoon salt

Mix until well combined. If using a hand mixer, best to add half the dry ingredients and then use a large spoon because the dough too thick for a hand-mixer. Form into a round disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 1/2 to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap the dough spreading out the plastic wrap to cover the countertop. Put a sheet of parchment paper over the top and roll out to 1/8 to 1/2 inch depending on your taste. Cut using a cookie cutter or a knife and place on the baking sheets. These cookies don’t spread so they can be baked close together. Repeat until all dough is used. Bake 10-20 minutes depending on thickness and your taste (soft or crunchy). When the cookies are still soft to the touch but browned (which is hard to tell with the molasses in them!), they’re cooked. Cool on cooling racks.

For a simple frosting combine (for every 4 cookies):

2 tablespoons monk fruit confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon milk/vanilla/extract (I used some of my coffee)

Whisk to combine. Use immediately, it will harden fairly quickly.

Asian Pear Coleslaw

I love coleslaw, probably even more than potato or pasta salad. It’s often my go to vegetable if I have everything on-hand. But when my stomach started have a bad reaction to leafy green vegetables, I found it more difficult. At the store the other day, they had some small red cabbages. Red ones I can eat so I bought one, about 3-4 inches in diameter, just enough for a couple of servings of coleslaw. It’s also Asian pear season so I’ve been buying them as well and wondering what to do with them since I always seem to buy more than I can eat just as fruit, especially since the ones I find at the market are extra-large in size. So, of course, this recipe seemed ideal. Feel free to use any cabbage you like be it green, Chinese or red or any combination thereof. I’m rather lazy when it comes to chopping these days with my two rotator cuff tears so I chopped everything in the food processor. Feel free to do the chopping whatever way you like.

In the bowl of a food processor, add:

1 small cabbage, cut into chunks after removing the tough core

4-5 trimmed scallions

1 small or 1/2 of 1 large Asian pear (or slice into thin slices for more crunch)

2 stalks celery, cut into chunks

Pulse until chopped to your liking. Remove the chopped vegetables to a medium bowl. Set aside. In a blender combine:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2-3 teaspoons roasted pumpkin seeds (or sunflower seeds)

Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)

1 tablespoon mustard (whatever type your family likes)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper (a dash or pinch)

2 teaspoons maple or date syrup

Blend until most of the seeds are ground and the olive oil is emulsified, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes depending on your blender. Pour dressing over the cabbage mixture and combine. Makes 4 servings. To serve garnish with:

1/4 – 1/3 cup roasted seeds

Non-dairy cheese (optional)

Asian Pear Scones

I’ve only had scones a couple of times and found them to be very dry and crumbly. So I was hesitant to try this recipe but I had a very large Asian pear that would make three servings of fruit, way to much to eat at one time. So this recipe offered me a nice alternative. And, oh my, what a delicious, fluffy, scone! The pear added flavor along with the allspice I used. Asian pears are less juicy and much crisper than other pears like Bosc or Bartlett, they have more of an apple consistency. If you don’t have any Asian pears on hand (they can be difficult to find unless they’re in season which is the late fall), use a very firm pear so that it isn’t too juicy. If you have a riper pear, don’t add as much liquid which would mean none since there’s only a 1/4 cup of non-dairy milk in this recipe.

First, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a medium to large baking sheet with parchment paper. Then make a flax egg by combining:

1 tablespoon ground flax

3 tablespoons warm water

Whisk to combine and set aside for several minutes until it forms a gel. While that’s happening, grate:

1 very large Asian pear (or two smaller pears), washed, cored, and peeled – want about 1 cup of grated pear

In the bowl of a food processor (or if you don’t have one, into a medium bowl), combine:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour

1/2 teaspoon guar gum

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/3 cup fine date sugar

1 teaspoon spice – cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom, etc.

1/3 cup Spectrum shortening (or vegan butter) – without a food processor, use a pastry fork to cut the shortening into the dry ingredients

Pulse until the shortening is combined with the dry mixture. Add:

1 cup grated pear

1/4 cup non-dairy milk

flax gel from above

Pulse until all ingredients are combined. Remove from machine and using a large serving spoon, spoon onto the prepared baking sheet (makes six) and let sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes before baking for 15-20 minutes. Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. They can be frozen as well.

Oatmeal Cookies

My husband’s favorite cookie was oatmeal with raisins. I’m allergic to grapes so raisins are out for me. Instead I rehydrated some dried cranberries and used those instead. But chocolate or carob chips would work just as well. Easy to make, this is a very thick batter which doesn’t spread and has just a slight rise in the oven so don’t worry about spreading them too far apart on the cookie sheet. Depending on how large you make them, I got 16 from the mixture, you’ll make 15-24 cookies. I also shaped them into disks so they started out flat.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two medium cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix together:

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

3 tablespoons warm water

Whisk to combine and let sit for approximately 5 minutes to form a flax gel. In a medium mixing bowl combine:

1/2 cup avocado oil (or other mild flavored oil)

3/4 cup fine date sugar

Whisk to combine before adding:

flax gel

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup non-dairy milk (any kind)

Mix until smooth. Add:

3/4 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour

1/4 cup protein powder

1/2 teaspoon allspice*

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 to 1 cup rehydrated raisins, cranberries or chips (chocolate or carob)

Mix until combined. Dough is very thick and shapeable but still a little sticky. Scoop into balls, approximately 2 tablespoons each, flatten and place on prepared sheets. Bake for about 12-14 minutes until firm. Let cool on sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Store in air-tight bags or containers for about 4 days or freeze for up to three months. If freezing, place wax or parchment paper between layers of cookies.

*Or of course cinnamon if you can use it.

Quick and Easy Low Carb English Muffin

I posted quite a while ago a recipe for English muffins made with yeast that are truly great and taste just like the original. But they take several hours of prep and quite a bit of work to make. Here, however, is one that is cooked in the microwave and takes about five minutes to put together (only because it takes a few minutes for the flax gel to thicken, if you can use an egg, it won’t take more than 2 minutes to put together. And I was quite surprised at how tasty they were. The recipe makes 2. Do what I say and not what I did – be sure they are cool before toasting them.

In a small bowl combine:

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

3 tablespoons warm water

Whisk together and set aside. Grease (I used 1 teaspoon olive oil in each ramekin) 2, 3″ ramekins and set aside. In a small bowl (about 2 cups) combine:

1 tablespoon oil, vegan butter or margarine

2 tablespoons seed or nut butter

Microwave for 30 seconds to 2 minutes (depending on the kind of butter you use; my homemade pumpkin seed butter took a little over 1 minute). Whisk to combine and add:

2 tablespoons all purpose, gluten-free flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon non-dairy milk

the flax gel (or 1 egg)

Whisk to combine before dividing equally between the two ramekins. Microwave for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, remove and flip the muffins over in the ramekin (use an offset spatula). The bottom that is now the top looks wet. Microwave for another 30 seconds to 1 minute (smaller ramekins will take longer than larger ones). A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean and the top should look dry. COOL COMPLETELY! before toasting. And enjoy.

Spiced Pumpkin Latte Syrup

I’ve never been a fan of flavored coffee. When I drink a cup of coffee, I want to taste coffee. But the other day I saw spiced pumpkin latte on a menu and was fascinated. I looked up a recipe and found a version of this one on-line. It’s converted my thinking. I’m thinking I’ll try some other flavored coffees now. This one is so delicious, rich and creamy. But the best part is that now I can have 19 more mugs of spiced pumpkin latte without making flavoring. This recipe actually makes about 4 cups of syrup. If, like me, you use 1/4 cup of the syrup in each 2-cup mug, you’ll get 20 cups of rich and creamy latte. And like most of my recipes, feel free to adapt it to your taste by adding more or less instant coffee (or espresso) as well as adjusting the sweetener to your liking.

In a 2-quart saucepan combine:

1 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree

2 1/2 cups water

1/3 cup date syrup*

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (adjust this to your taste as well)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons instant coffee (or espresso)

Whisk to combine all ingredients and cook over medium high heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium to medium low and cook until the syrup mixture coats the back of a spoon. I cooked it over medium low (I was afraid of burning it) so it took about 40 minutes to reduce. Makes 4 cups of syrup (more or less).

*Feel free to use your favored sweetener. If I make this for my son, I’ll probably use stevia.

Using the syrup to make a spiced pumpkin latte:

In a small saucepan (or if you want it faster, in a microwaveable large mug) heat:

2 cups non-dairy milk (oatmilk froths very well)

When hot combine with:

1/4 cup spiced pumpkin latte syrup (more if you want it stronger)

Heat until desired temperature. If you want the milk frothy, use a milk froth device or I used my immersion blender (don’t do this in the mug! you’ll have a mess of oatmilk all over your counter!). If desired top with a whipped non-dairy cream.

Using this syrup to make spiced pumpkin latte pudding (or creme brulee):

In a 2-quart saucepan combine:

1 cup spiced pumpkin latte syrup

2 1/2 cups non-dairy milk (DO NOT USE SOYMILK)

1/2 to 2 teaspoons instant coffee or espresso

In a small bowl combine:

1/2 cup non-dairy milk

3 tablespoons arrowroot

Whisk to combine and make a slurry before adding to the saucepan. Heat over medium high heat, whisking every few minutes (I usually whisk it almost constantly) until the mixture comes to a boil at which point it should also be thickening. Remove from the heat and pour into serving dishes. If creme brulee is desired, after the pudding cools, top with 1 teaspoon sugar in each dish and brulee. Makes approximately 6, 6-ounce servings.