Chocolate Donuts with Orange Glaze

Chocolate Donuts with Orange Glaze {gluten-free}

Rich, fluffy, chocolatey donuts topped with a smooth, bright, citrusy orange glaze. The perfect flavor combination. 

Chocolate Donuts with Orange Glaze {gluten-free}

Have I ever told you about how my husband refuses to use the correct name for the cooling rack? He insists on calling it the “drying rack”, and whenever I ask him to get out the cooling rack, he corrects me. And every time I make sure I let him know that he’s wrong. The drying rack is for dirty dishes; the cooling rack is for delicious baked goods.

Chocolate Donuts with Orange Glaze {gluten-free}

At this point he (obviously) knows the difference, but I’m pretty sure finding ways to annoy me is his favorite past time. In fact, I’m pretty sure everyone who knows me gets a deep sense of joy out of getting a rise out of me. Probably because I make it so easy. I am the first one to get all fired up about things that absolutely don’t matter. I think they call that “dramatic”.

Chocolate Donuts with Orange Glaze {gluten-free}

So, this morning I made donuts. I never make things the day I post them, but this is what happens when I sign up for things. I forget all about them until, like, the day before, and then I’m like “Oh crap, I have to make donuts”. Anyway, I made donuts, argued my husband about the term for the rack where I placed the donuts, ate the donuts (totally the best part), and, well, here I am. Sharing donuts with you.

Chocolate Donuts with Orange Glaze {gluten-free}

This month’s theme for The Recipe Redux is good luck foods for the new year. Apparently, I live under a rock because I didn’t even know that was a thing, but luckily Google told me that round foods symbolize good luck, and in my opinion chocolate always means good luck, so I made you round, chocolatey good luck charms, and they are unbelievably good. They are the softest, fluffiest donuts I have ever made, and they are 10 million times better than so many of the dry, deep-fried cake donuts I’ve tasted before. Seriously, I would choose these instead any day, and I am usually one that believes the deep fryer automatically makes everything taste better. ;)

Chocolate Donuts with Orange Glaze {gluten-free}

The bright orange flavor of the glaze is the perfect contrast to the rich chocolate, and the recipe all comes together in about half an hour, so it’s easy to make at the last minute if you have guests, and want to give them a little treat. We had my family over for brunch this morning, and everyone was super impressed with these! My mom kept talking about how “professional” they were. Then my brother proceeded to eat 3. I don’t blame him.

Chocolate Donuts with Orange Glaze

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 2 dozen

Serving Size: 1 donut

Chocolate Donuts with Orange Glaze

Rich, fluffy, chocolatey donuts topped with a smooth, bright, citrusy orange glaze. The perfect flavor combination.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free baking blend (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the glaze:
  • 1 heaping cup powdered sugar
  • 4-6 tbsp fresh orange juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Spray donut pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Place dark chocolate and coconut oil in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on increments of 30 seconds stirring after each until melted. Let cool while preparing other ingredients.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine baking blend, baking soda, cornstarch and salt. In a large bowl, beat together brown sugar, egg, buttermilk, applesauce and vanilla. Slowly beat in melted chocolate, then beat in dry ingredients until just combined.
  4. Fill donut molds about 3/4 and smooth out with a spoon. Bake for 11-13 minutes until set and donut springs back when gently pressed with your finger. Place donut pan on a wire rack and cool completely. Once cooled, remove from pan.
  5. To make the glaze, place powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Slowly add orange juice 1 tbsp at a time stirring constantly until glaze reaches desired consistency. I went with a thinner glaze for this donut. Thickness will depend on liquid added. It is important to go slowly and mix thoroughly before adding more liquid. If you find you glaze is too thin, add more powdered sugar until it reaches your desired consistency. Drizzle glaze onto donuts and let set until dry, about 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Donuts will stay fresh best if you store them unglazed and glaze before serving.
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Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins #glutenfree #vegan

Vegan and gluten-free ultra soft pumpkin banana muffins overflowing with melty dark chocolate chips. The perfect treat for a crisp fall morning.

Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins #glutenfree #vegan

Good morning! Is it morning where you are? It’s totally not here, but these muffins make me feel like morning. That probably sounds weird. Not just because they’re muffins. Muffins are more an afternoon snack than breakfast for me. They just make me feel like morning. Like cool, crisp autumn morning on the porch. I wish I had a table and chairs on my porch. A table and chairs just for muffins.

Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins #glutenfree #vegan

Perfectly imperfect muffins. Not at all smooth like your normally think of, but with a little character and personality, and a whole lot of flavor. You see pumpkin and banana are known for making perfectly *gross word*, soft, and tender baked goods. Put them together, and it only gets better. Add some melty dark chocolate, and you’ve got the stuff dreams are made of.

Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins #glutenfree #vegan

The muffins practically melt in your mouth. No dry, cakey-ness (Okay, serious how do you spell that word?? I get a red squiggly line every time with no suggestion. Rude.) that you would expect from a health(ier) muffin. Sometimes I don’t like pumpkin in cookies because it makes them taste like, well, muffins–which is why pumpkin muffins are just perfect!

Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins #glutenfree #vegan

These are super simple and easy to make, and a perfect fall treat to have around on Thanksgiving or any get together. That is if you don’t eat them all before your family and friends arrive. ;)

Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 1 dozen

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Vegan and gluten-free ultra soft pumpkin banana muffins overflowing with melty dark chocolate chips. The perfect treat for a crisp fall morning.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten free baking blend
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 2 extra ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (I a combination of mini and full size)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Line muffin tins with paper liners and spray liners with nonstick spray. Do not skip this step--lower fat items will stick if you don't use spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together baking blend, pumpkin pie spice, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl mix together banana, pumpkin, brown sugar and vanilla until combined. Stir in dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Evenly divide batter between prepared muffin tins. Bake for 5 minutes, then lower heat to 350. Continue baking until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs, about 12-15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Drink & Dish: Pumpkin Waffle French Toast

Pumpkin Waffle French Toast #glutenfree

Light and fluffy gluten-free pumpkin waffles turned into sweet, pumpkin french toast for the best of all breakfast worlds. Do you love pumpkin as much as I do? Check out my other pumpkin recipes.

Pumpkin Waffle French Toast #glutenfree

You know what I don’t really understand? When people eat brunch at 2 pm. I mean isn’t the entire point that it’s supposed to be between breakfast and lunch? You know, because you sleep past breakfast. Well, I don’t. I have an internal clock and 6:30 is considered sleeping in for me. When I say brunch, I mean 10am and that’s like…we’re eating at 10am because I’ve been up for 4 hours and could have already eaten, and then been hungry again by now. I’ve always had a big appetite.

Pumpkin Waffle French Toast #glutenfree

And I’m not one of those easy going hungry people either. Nope. Cranky, irritable, and hangry (hungry/angry) is more my style. Not to mention dramatic. I can’t even tell you how many times I have told Steve that I was “literally starving to death” or that “I have never been so hungry!”

Pumpkin Waffle French Toast #glutenfree

10am really is the right time. Wake up, drink coffee, start cooking, and by the time you’ve become a fully developed human being (it takes me a workout, or at least an hour), people start arriving, and you’ve become at least mildly pleasant.

Pumpkin Waffle French Toast #glutenfree

So let me explain this french toast to you. It’s really pretty simple. You take a waffle–any waffle, but preferably this pumpkin one–and you soak it in some French toast batter (do you call it batter? it’s not really a batter? you get the point…) for an hour or so, then you just pan fry it up like regular french toast. It truly is the best of all breakfast worlds. A couple things to note: If you use homemade waffles, you want them to be cooked crispy, and 1-2 days old, otherwise they will get soggy. If you’re using a frozen waffle, toast it first.

Pumpkin Waffle French Toast #glutenfree

For our final fall episode of Drink & Dish, Nicole and I went with a harvest brunch (in case my entirely too long rant about brunch time wasn’t an indication…). Nicole makes a delicious pumpkin chai latte that is so warm and comforting, it will knock your socks off! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to Drink & Dish on YouTube!

In addition, I have an important announcement! After hearing that many of you were worried about completing the Drink & Dish video challenge in the time allotted, we have decided to extend it all the way to New Years! We really want to see as many people as possible succeed with their videos, so you still have plenty of time to enter!

Drink & Dish: Pumpkin Waffle French Toast

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: 8-10 servings

Serving Size: 1 waffle

Drink & Dish: Pumpkin Waffle French Toast

Light and fluffy gluten-free pumpkin waffles turned into sweet, pumpkin french toast for the best of all breakfast worlds.

Ingredients

    For the pumpkin waffles:
  • 2 cups gluten-free baking blend
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Dash salt
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 3/4 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the french toast:
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs + 8 egg whites
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

Instructions

  1. To make the waffles, in a large bowl whisk together baking blend, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients. Gently fold wet ingredients into dry until just combined. A few small lumps are fine--you do not want to overmix. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat waffle heater. Spray with nonstick spray. Once batter has rested, cook until lightly browned and edges are crisp, about 10 minutes.
  4. To make the french toast, in a large bowl beat together pumpkin, eggs, almond milk, vanilla, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice. Place waffles in a large shallow dish and cover with pumpkin/egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  5. Spray a large skillet with nonstick spray. Cook each waffle until browned and edges crisp, about 5-7 minutes per side. Serve immediately with maple syrup and fresh berries if desired. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Notes

Best with crisp-cooked day old waffles. You may use frozen waffles or any waffle you'd like. This is a huge recipe that can easily be halved or quartered.

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Apple Cider Donuts with Molasses Dulce de Leche Glaze

Apple Cider Donuts with Molasses Dulce de Leche Glaze #vegan #glutenfree

Soft and tender apple cider almond meal donuts stuffed with pieces of chopped apple and topped with a molasses dulce de leche glaze. Looking for more donuts? Check these out!

Apple Cider Donuts with Molasses Dulce de Leche Glaze #vegan #glutenfree

Have I ever told you about my honeycrisp problem? Like, Steve told me we were going to have to budget for them. If I had it my way, I would eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and every snack in between. Oh, and of course, in donuts. ;)

Apple Cider Donuts with Molasses Dulce de Leche Glaze #vegan #glutenfree

I don’t know what I’m more excited about–the donuts or the glaze. I loooove the texture of almond meal desserts, especially in donuts, but this glaze is truly unique and over-the-top delicious. They are a match made in heaven.

Apple Cider Donuts with Molasses Dulce de Leche Glaze #vegan #glutenfree

The donuts are ridiculously simple–one bowl, only a handful of ingredients, and just take a matter of minutes. The glaze takes a little bit more time,  but you can make it while your donuts cook and and cool, and it times out perfectly. I love it when things work out perfectly like that. ;)

Apple Cider Donuts with Molasses Dulce de Leche Glaze #vegan #glutenfree

You guys are going to love these donuts. I took them to work so I wouldn’t eat all of them, and even still I kept sneaking in to grab one totally stealing them from all my friends. Whadda jerk, right? ;)

Apple Cider Donuts with Molasses Dulce de Leche Glaze

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 1 dozen

Serving Size: 1 donut

Apple Cider Donuts with Molasses Dulce de Leche Glaze

Soft and tender apple cider almond meal donuts stuffed with chopped apple and topped with a molasses dulce de leche glaze

Ingredients

  • For the donuts:
  • 3 cups almond meal
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup spiced apple cider
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 apple, chopped (preferably honeycrisp, but any will do)
  • For the Molasses Dulce de Leche Glaze:
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Start with the donuts. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray donut pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together almond meal, corn starch, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar. Stir in apple cider and almond milk until combined.Stir in chopped apple.
  3. Fill donut molds about 2/3 – 3/4 full. Bake for 12-16 minutes until golden and set. Cool completely in pans.
  4. To make the glaze, combine coconut milk, molasses and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat stirring constantly until thick and syrupy, and volume is reduced by about 1/2, approx 30 minutes. Remove from heat and continue to stir for an other minute. Mixture will continue to thicken as it cools.
  5. Glaze donuts immediately before serving. Leftover donuts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Glaze can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
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Pumpkin Pecan Granola

Pumpkin Pecan Granola #vegan #glutenfree

Pumpkin Pecan Granola #vegan #glutenfree

This morning I went out for a run, and my first thought when I stepped outside was “It feels chilly out”!!!! I practically jumped for joy. There is a warmth in my heart that can only be described as fall, and I don’t intend to stop sharing my love about it any time soon. Forgive me?

Pumpkin Pecan Granola #vegan #glutenfree

Of course I needed a special fall granola. Okay, that’s a lie. I made this in, like, April and thought I should probably wait until fall to post it. I do promise not to post exclusively pumpkin recipes for the next 3 months, but I can’t promise that there won’t be a whole lot of ‘em. ;)

Pumpkin Pecan Granola #vegan #glutenfree

This granola just has a *hint* of pumpkin, so if you’re not as obsessed with the flavor as I am (ummm, WHY NOT), I think there’s a good chance you’ll still enjoy it! Lots of crunchy pecans, a hint of spice, big granola clusters, and soft, sweet dried cranberries. This granola just screams fall, and the flavors complement each other perfectly.

Pumpkin Pecan Granola

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: approx 12 cups

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Pumpkin Pecan Granola

Warm and cozy pumpkin spice granola with pecans and dried cranberries is the perfect way to add some fall flavor to your breakfast every morning!

Ingredients

  • 5 cups rolled oats (use gluten-free if applicable)
  • 3 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cups almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup milled flax seed
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • heavy pinch sea salt
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300. Line two large baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a very large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts, flax seed, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
  3. In a small saucepan, warm the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract until well combined, whisking constantly.
  4. Add the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients and toss to combine. Divide mixture evenly between your 2 prepared baking sheets.
  5. Bake until browned and crispy, about 1 hour. Lightly toss granola half way through.
  6. Cool completely. Add cranberries and gently toss to combine. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. The granola will stay fresh for at least one month. I’ve never made a batch last any longer than that, but it’s still great a month in!
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Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Big, tall, soft and fluffy blueberry buttermilk muffins topped with coarse sugar that will give those bakery muffins a run for their money!Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

I am out of just about every food imaginable at my house. Yesterday I had frozen enchiladas for breakfast, and today I started a fire in my microwave trying to spice up my oatmeal. Maybe I should explain. I really like drippy peanut butter (or almond, or whatev) on my oatmeal, and I’m completely out of all butters except for a 1 tablespoon packet of almond butter. You know? The kind you have to knead first and it never really gets drippy like the stuff from a jar? So I thought it would be brilliant to put it in the microwave for 10 seconds. It was not the first time I’ve ever made that type of mistake, but it was the first time anything has actually caught on fire.

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

I stared at in in disbelief for a moment, then I blew the fire out. It was mildly scary, and also a little funny. You know, one of those times where you’re really glad no one else is at home and has to see how dumb you are, but then you tell the entire internet, and the whole idea of any discrepancy is completely lost.

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

It’s funny. You go away for a weekend leaving the man in your house to his own devices, and you come home to find no new groceries, just lots of receipts from Chipotle. And somehow I can’t find the motivation to go grocery shop. Or make more muffins. Or get off the couch? Post adventure hangover is apparently still in play.

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Basically, I wish these muffins had lasted more than 48 hours and magically withstood the 3 months that have now passed since I made them. I would eat the crap out of them, and I wouldn’t even have to burn the house down to do it.

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

I’d been eyeing my girl Sally’s blueberry muffins for a good long time, and been dyyyying to try to make some muffins as tall and beautiful as her’s, so one day I had some leftover blueberries in my fridge, and just decided they needed to happen already.

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

The result was the tallest, most gorgeous muffins I have ever seen come out of my oven! Sally uses extra baking powder and starts with a high oven temp which is the secret to these perfect muffin tops. So much better than my usual muffin top (#whatisgoingonwithmymuffintop)<–Inside joke from Hood to Coast just for you, Laurel. ;)

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Ingredients

  • 3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cup fresh blueberries (preferably organic)
  • coarse sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray, or line with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until combined. Mix in buttermilk, applesauce and vanilla until well combined.
  4. Gently, fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix. Gently fold in blueberries.
  5. Evenly divide batter between 12 standard muffin tins. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with a nice pinch of coarse sugar. Bake for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and continue to bake for an other 17-20 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean (with just a few crumbs).
  6. Let stand for 10 minutes, then serve or transfer to a wire rack. Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-5 days.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

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Vanilla Bean Coconut Pistachio Granola

Vanilla Bean Coconut Pistachio Granola #vegan #glutenfree

Vanilla Bean Coconut Pistachio Granola #vegan #glutenfree

You know those people who rarely speak, and when they do everyone listens? Those quiet people who only speak out when they have something really important to say, and so you know you want to take note, soak it up, and really hear their words?

Vanilla Bean Coconut Pistachio Granola #vegan #glutenfree

Yeah, that’s not me. I’m more on the end of talks-too-much-so-most-of-it-must-be-pretty-inconsequential. In fact, the other day, Stacey told me she knew a recipe was mine by the long, overly descriptive title. It’s the truth. And not just in recipe writing. I am a human with a lot to say, and no matter how hard I try to be one of those people that only speaks when I need to like a character on stage, I just keep talking until someone finally stops me and puts the rest of the room out of their misery. ;)

Vanilla Bean Coconut Pistachio Granola #vegan #glutenfree

Here’s what you actually need to know about this granola:

  • Crunchy
  • Sweet
  • Vanilla bean flavor
  • Rich pistachios
  • Nutty coconut
  • Big snack-worthy clusters
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Ridiculously good

Vanilla Bean Coconut Pistachio Granola #vegan #glutenfree

Got it?

Vanilla Bean Coconut Pistachio Granola

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: approx 12 cups

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Vanilla Bean Coconut Pistachio Granola

Ingredients

  • 5 cups rolled oats (use gluten-free if applicable)
  • 3 cups shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cups almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened reduced fat coconut
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • heavy pinch sea salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup honey or agave
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter or coconut oil
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 tsp coconut extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300. Line two large baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a very large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts, coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In a small saucepan, warm the applesauce, maple syrup, honey/agave, coconut butter, vanilla bean seeds, and coconut extract until well combined, whisking constantly.
  4. Add the applesauce mixture into the dry ingredients and toss to combine. Divide mixture evenly between your 2 prepared baking sheets.
  5. Bake until browned and crispy, about 1 hour. Lightly toss granola every 10-20 minutes while cooking. DO NOT skip the tossing--the pistachios can burn easily if you skip this step.
  6. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. The granola will stay fresh for at least one month. I’ve never made a batch last any longer than that, but it’s still great a month in!
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Chocolate Chip Zucchini Almond Meal Muffins

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Almond Meal Muffins #vegan #glutenfree

Soft & fluffy zucchini muffins stuffed with dark chocolate chips. Grain-free, refined sugar-free, vegan & paleo!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Almond Meal Muffins #vegan #glutenfree

Did I ever tell you about the time I ate 3 zucchinis in one sitting because I wanted a snack and was trying to be healthy? I called up one of my best friends and said “I think I just over ate zucchinis. Is that even a thing?” I love them. Sauteed, roasted, grilled, BAKED!

zucchinimuffins-19Chocolate Chip Zucchini Almond Meal Muffins #vegan #glutenfree

Okay, these muffins taste nothing like zucchinis. Just like carrot cake doesn’t actually taste like carrots. But the zucchinis add some extra veggie goodness, and also produce some of the softest, (insert gross word) and tender muffins I have ever tasted.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Almond Meal Muffins #vegan #glutenfree

As soon as I decided I wanted to make zucchini almond meal muffins, I hit up my girl Gina’s blog for some inspiration. She has the best paleo recipes, and although I don’t eat paleo, I love baking with nut flours, and her blog is always a great place to start. She made some ridiculously good looking zucchini bread that I used as a guideline, but ended up with muffins with chocolate chips inside. Shocking, right?

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Almond Meal Muffins #vegan #glutenfree

The muffins tasted EXACTLY like I wanted–lightly sweet, hearty and filling without being heavy. They didn’t last long, and whether you normally use grain-free flours or not, you will absolutely love them!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Almond Meal Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 1 dozen

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Almond Meal Muffins

Soft & fluffy zucchini muffins stuffed with dark chocolate chips. Grain-free, refined sugar-free, vegan & paleo!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • dash salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 3 tbsp natural liquid sweetener of choice (honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup finely grated zucchini, squeezed dry
  • heaping 1/2 cup mini dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. Measure milk in your measuring cup. Add apple cider vinegar and whisk lightly. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together almond meal, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add almond milk mixture, banana, sweetener, coconut oil, and vanilla. Mix until just combined. Fold in zucchini and chocolate chips.
  4. Evenly divide batter between between 12 prepared muffin molds.
  5. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.

Notes

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“Nutella” Granola {vegan + gluten-free}

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"Nutella" Granola #vegan #glutenfree via arismenu.comOnce upon a time, I discovered the peanut butter & Nutella sandwich. Then, I discovered the Nutella + spoon combination. And sometimes the spoon never even came to join the party. Shameless.

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I can’t even have Nutella in the house these days. It’s just too tempting. Occasionally, I’ll buy it for a recipe (and then eat my oatmeal out of the empty jar and feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven), but I think it’s about time that I get to eat chocolate hazelnutty goodness for breakfast every single day. Does that not just sound like perfection?

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The best part? You don’t even have to buy Nutella for this recipe, but the taste is uncanny. I took one bite after it finished cooking and quickly exclaimed “It tastes like NUTELLA!!!” Just simple granola loaded with hazelnuts with some cocoa powder added to the mix. It is not overpoweringly sweet, and it doesn’t taste like dessert. I think the sweetness is perfect, but if you want a sweeter granola, you can absolutely add some extra brown sugar, or honey, or agave.

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I also discovered the secret to the biggest, fattest granola clusters–check those monsters out!! I’m always looking for the big, chunky clusters, and this time I got it right. I did not stir this granola once while it cooked. I just let it do it’s thing, flipped it around half way through, and ya know what? Everything cooked evenly, nothing burned, and I had granola clusters the size of my hand! What??? Now the problem is not eating those clusters every time I step into the pantry. It’s kind of a problem…

“Nutella” Granola

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Yield: Approx 10 cups

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

“Nutella” Granola

Simple and easy chocolate hazelnut granola tastes remarkably like Nutella! The big clusters and bold flavors are totally addicting and will have you constantly reaching back for more.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups rolled oats (use gluten-free if that’s important to you)
  • 2 cups hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • heavy pinch sea salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey or agave
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey's special dark)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300. In a very large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts and salt.
  2. In a small saucepan, warm the applesauce, brown sugar, honey/agave, cocoa powder and coconut oil until well combined, whisking constantly. Add the applesauce mixture into the dry ingredients and toss to combine. Evenly divide granola in an even layer between two large baking sheets.
  3. Bake until browned and crispy, about 50 minutes-1 hour, turning half way through.
  4. Cool completely, then store in an airtight container at room temperature. The granola will stay fresh for at least one month. I've never made a batch last any longer than that, but it's still great a month in and probably for longer.

Notes

If you'd like, you may gently stir the granola every 20 minutes while cooking. This will lead to less clusters and a finer granola. I prefer to be able to break the clusters up myself afterwards, but if you like a finer granola, then stirring will help.

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Drink & Dish: Blueberry Pancakes {with video!}

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I know that no one is *perfect*, but I’d have to say my mom is pretty darn close. So today, rather than tell you about how awesome the pancakes are (they are awesome, and make sure you check out the video at the end for all my pancake secrets!), I have compiled a list of a few of the many reasons I love my mom.

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1. My mom is the best listener. Any time I have a problem, she says all the right things. I can call her at any time of day and I know I can count on her to be my confidant, and give me A+ advice. She is a social worker, so in addition to her 28 years (gross, I’m old) of experience, she’s also legitimately educated in advice giving and people skills.

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2. She is hilarious and totally weird. When I was little, she would do this weird clap-in-patterns thing. I seriously don’t know how else to even explain it, but I was always so embarrassed. Now I see all my weird little quirks, and realize how alike we are. I appreciate that she taught me to be silly, and to be myself. Now I love all of her little oddities. They make her unique, and she wouldn’t be my mom without them.

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3. She is my biggest cheerleader, and also my biggest advocate. I love the positive support and encouragement I get from my mom, but it is the times when I see her stand up and fight for me that I am taken aback. My mom, rarely angry, occasionally turns into a real mama bear, and I can see her fight to protect me. I don’t care how old I am, I will always appreciate feeling protected, and I will also always need to hear her tell me “Good job. I’m proud of you.”

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes #vegan via arismenu.com

4. She is the most patient woman I have ever met. It doesn’t run in the family. I simultaneously admire, and am in awe of her patience. You know when you want to grow up and be just like your mom? Yeah, I still feel that way, and I keep hoping one day it will happen.

There are a million more things I could say, but I’ll try not to make this a novel. Check out the latest episode of Drink & Dish for my pancake secrets, Nicole’s amazing Blackberry Wine Cooler (check out the recipe–they are AWESOME!), and our favorite memories with our moms.


What is your favorite thing/memory about/with your mom?

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 pancakes

Serving Size: 2 pancakes

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

Perfectly fluffy whole wheat and vegan blueberry pancakes are perfect for any brunch occasion!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp milled flax seed
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • dash salt
  • 2-3 tbsp brown sugar*
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flax seed and water. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar. Gently mix in flax mixture, almond milk, and vanilla, stirring until just combined, then fold in blueberries. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat griddle or large pan over medium-low heat, and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Cook until top forms small bubbles and bottom is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, until golden.

Notes

*I used 2 tbsp brown sugar, but you can easily use 3 if you like your pancakes on the sweeter side.

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Portobello Breakfast Cups

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Portobello Breakfast Cups #glutenfree via arismenu.com

It seems strange to go “back to normal” today. I was originally going to post these yesterday, but it just didn’t seem right. I had too many things rolling around in my brain, and I needed to use this blog for what I originally started it for–to share my thoughts. I love sharing recipes, but I also always want this blog to be a place I approach with honesty and the truth of my thoughts. So if you took the time out of your day to read those thoughts, I also want to say thank you.

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Okay, let’s attempt to get back to normal, shall we? You know how I eat the same thing for breakfast every single day? Well, I actually usually eat this for lunch. I love sweet breakfast for breakfast and savory breakfast for lunch. I know, I’m kind of a freak. One day, after eating this for about the 6th consecutive day, I thought I’d take a picture of it.

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Except when I eat this, I just chop the mushroom up and throw everything together in a big bowl, but that’s not exactly visually appealing, or at all photogenic. So this time I put everything in nice little mushroom cups for you. Then, after I took this picture, I threw everything into a big bowl.

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It’s funny, I rarely use eggs when I bake. I’ll use them if I’m using other dairy products, but that’s not very often, so I usually leave them out to keep them friendly for my vegan friends. But on their own? I love eggs. Especially a runny yolk.

Portobello Breakfast Cups #glutenfree via arismenu.com.jpg

 

This meal comes together in less than 20 minutes, and it is packed with healthy veggies–perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Portobello Breakfast Cups

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2

Serving Size: 2 cups

Portobello Breakfast Cups

A simple, veggie-packed breakfast, lunch or dinner. Grain and gluten-free.

Ingredients

  • 4 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper (red, yellow, orange, etc.), chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • large handful chopped kale, approx 1 cup loosely packed
  • 1 chicken sausage, sliced
  • 1/4 cup 75% reduced fat cheddar cheese (or whatever cheese you want to use, or no cheese if you wish)
  • 4 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Chalulah for topping, optional

Instructions

  1. Line a medium-large baking dish with tin foil. Add portobello mushrooms and drizzle lightly with 1 tbsp olive oil. Broil until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, zucchini and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, until fragrant. Add kale and chicken sausage. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.
  3. While vegetables finish cooking, fry eggs over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet until bottoms are browned, and eggs are cooked to desired consistency (for me, it's about 5 minutes).
  4. Top cooked portobellos with sauteed vegetables, then cheese. Top with fried egg. Add a few shakes of Chalulah is desired.
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Chai Spiced Vanilla Bean “Buttermilk” Muffins

Chai Spiced Vanilla Bean "Buttermilk" Muffins #vegan

Soft and fluffy whole grain chai spiced muffins with fresh vanilla bean, made with vegan buttermilk. A perfect healthy treat for brunch, or a mid-afternoon snack.Chai Spiced Vanilla Bean "Buttermilk" Muffins #vegan

I don’t eat a lot of muffins. I mean, I’ve never met a baked good I don’t like, but a muffin isn’t what I generally grab. I usually find them to be glorified cupcakes without the frosting, and really, why would you want a cupcake with no frosting???

Chai Spiced Vanilla Bean "Buttermilk" Muffins #vegan

Well, these muffins do not taste like a cupcake, and I love that. They taste like everything you could ever want in a breakfast: spicy chai, sweet vanilla and, of course, carbs. Yes, carbs have a taste. I would describe it as “amazing” or “perfection”.

Chai Spiced Vanilla Bean "Buttermilk" Muffins #vegan

I have a secret. These actually started out as cupcakes. You see, that’s much more my style, but as I frosted them with a sugary glaze, I just wasn’t in love. These flavors are bold, and the “cupcake” came out so perfectly soft and moist that I didn’t want to hide it. So I tried again. I took away some excess sugar, cut the frosting, and I discovered that muffins can actually be pretty spectacular.

Chai Spiced Vanilla Bean "Buttermilk" Muffins #vegan

They would pair perfectly with your breakfast protein of choice, or smeared with peanut butter as an afternoon snack, or dusted with some cinnamon and powdered sugar for dessert. They are incredibly versatile and at 89 calories a pop, why not enjoy??

Chai Muffin Nutrition

You may have noticed my untraditional “buttermilk”. Well, it’s not only to make the recipe vegan (added bonus!), but honestly, every time I seem to buy buttermilk, it just sits in my fridge and then goes bad. Instead, I used a cup of Silk Pure Almond Vanilla with 1 tbs of apple cider vinegar. In addition to keeping the muffins vegan, using the Silk saved an extra 5 calories per muffin opposed to making homemade buttermilk with skim milk. Now, 5 may seem like nothing, but as my tagline says, I truly believe that “Little changes make a big difference”, and I promise that after you’ve gone through the entire batch (trust me, it’s inevitable), those 5 calories will add up!

Chai Spiced Vanilla Bean "Buttermilk" Muffins #vegan

 

Chai Spiced Vanilla Bean “Buttermilk” Muffins

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 1 dozen

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Chai Spiced Vanilla Bean “Buttermilk” Muffins

Soft and fluffy whole grain chai spiced muffins with fresh vanilla bean, made with vegan buttermilk. A perfect healthy treat for brunch, or a mid-afternoon snack.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup Silk Pure Almond Unsweetened Vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 vanilla bean

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and spray lightly with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Measure out almond milk and add apple cider vinegar. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch, salt, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.
  4. In a large bowl, beat together sugar and applesauce. Scrape out the center of vanilla bean and add to the mixture. Beat until combined. Alternate adding dry and wet ingredients to the sugar and apple sauce mixture in 3 additions beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until well combined.
  5. Divide batter evenly between lines muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Silk and FitFluential LLC.  All opinions are my own. To learn more about Silk Pure Almond Unsweetened on Facebook and Twitter.