Monthly Archives: September 2018

Flourless Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes

I love the Fall.  It’s my absolute favorite season and I’m all about those classic Fall flavors like apple, pear and of course, pumpkin!  Pumpkin is a food I use year round but definitely more often during this season-really because it’s just everywhere and I just can’t help but come up with new ways to use it!  These fluffy pumpkin pancakes were actually made as a little experiment to try creating an eggless batter and adding extra baking powder and apple cider vinegar for the fluffy factor and it worked like a charm! These healthy pumpkin pancakes are packed with fiber and protein from using oat flour (finely ground rolled oats) flourless, gluten-free, eggless and naturally sweetened with only one tablespoon of maple syrup for the entire batch!  Oh and did I mentioned they taste delicious!

They also freeze really well and make the perfect quick and easy breakfast.  Just be sure to cool completely and then wrap each individually (or lay them on a parchment lined plate or small baking sheet, covered and place in freezer for 1 hour or until hardened. This prevents them from sticking together while freezing).  Then you can put the pancakes in a freezer safe container.

What’s your favorite part about Fall?  What do you look forward to the most during this season?  I can’t wait to hear from you!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oat flour*
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk or other dairy-free milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional but adds great flavor!)

*make your own oat flour by placing 1 1/2 cups (or extra) of gluten free rolled oats (or regular if no allegries/intolerances are present) in a blender and blending starting from low speed, gradually to high until a fine flour-like consistency is achieved (usually 1-2 minutes). Then measure out oat flour accordingly.

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice (and nutmeg if using).  Whisk to combine.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin puree, almond milk, vinegar, syrup and vanilla (if using).  Whisk to combine.   Add wet mixture to dry ingredients.
  3. Let the batter sit for at least 5 minutes
  4. Preheat a nonstick pan over medium high heat. Once hot, use a 1/4 cup and pour pancake batter on the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until you can easily slide a spatula underneath. Flip. Cook for another 1-2 minutes on the second side.
  5. Repeat for the rest of the batter.  To keep it totally sugarless, enjoy with vegan cream cheese, fresh fruit and/or a drizzle of almond butter!

Easy Mushroom Sauce over Chickpea Pasta

I used to love watching the Food Network show “Semi-Homemade” by Sandra Lee.  She totally inspired me with her delicious meals that took minimal time and effort by using partially pre-made ingredients!  Here is one of our favorite recipes that goes in rotation with other meatless meals that I try to make more often than not these days.  What makes this recipe semi-homemade is that I use store-bought marinara sauce.  My go-to is Rao’s homemade since it contains no added sugar (most sauces do, so be sure to check the label!) and contains ingredients I would use in making my own homemade sauce!  Since this mushroom sauce is not rich in protein, I paired it with a protein-rich chickpea pasta (I used Banza brand) for a nutritionally complete meal.  My older son loved this dish since he is a mushroom fan, but you can also pulse the raw mushrooms in a food processor for more of a bolognese style sauce if your kids aren’t into sliced mushrooms.

What’s your mealtime shortcut?  Do you buy pre-cut veggies or use store-bought sauce? Let me know in the comments below! I’m sure we can all benefit from knowing some meal prep and cook shortcuts.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups store-bought tomato sauce (look for one that contains no added sugar)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrots peeled and diced
  • 1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, sliced (you could also quarter the mushrooms and pulse in a food processor if you prefer more of a bolognese style)
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground dried oregano
  • 1 box bean-based pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Set a pot of water to boil for the pasta
  2. Place a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and carrots, season with salt and cook until slightly golden and caramelised.
  3. Next, add the mushrooms.  Add the garlic and oregano, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the garlic is cooked.
  4. Add in the sauce and reduce heat to the lower setting.  Simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes and season with salt and pepper to taste. In the meantime, cook the pasta.
  5. Serve sauce over pasta and enjoy!

No-Bake Chocolate Chip-Date Balls

If you’re still looking for some new lunchbox ideas, I got you! Check out these Chocolate Chip Date Energy Balls!  These bite-sized treats are loved by everyone in my household (especially my 3-year old) and are my personal fav go-to snacks that gives me a much needed energy burst with a healthy dose of fat, protein and carbs!  They also make a great addition to lunch boxes-adding that sweet element kids love without a ton of refined sugar.  My typical energy ball recipe is consists mainly of honey, unsweetened coconut, oats and ground flaxseed but with this recipe, I swapped out the honey for medjool dates and I’m hooked! Medjool dates have a soft, sticky, chewy texture and caramel-like taste, making them the perfect binding agent and naturally sweet addition to homemade granola bars or balls.  Give these a try! I can’t wait to hear what you think!

You’ll need:

  • 8 medjool dates, pits removed
  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup finely ground flax seed
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup nut butter (or use sunflower seed butter as an alternative)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 cup water in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute, until hot.
  2. Add dates to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Set aside for 5-10 minutes.  This softens the dates and makes them easier to puree.
  3. Remove dates from water and place in a small food processor.
  4. Add to the food processor about 1 Tablespoon of the water the dates soaked in.
  5. Pulse until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. Add additional water to thin the consistency of the paste, if desired.  Set aside
  6. Combine oats, flax seed, coconut flakes and chocolate chips in a medium sized bowl.
  7. Add date paste, vanilla extract and nut butter to the dry mixture.
  8. Stir to combine all of the ingredients.
  9. Refrigerate dough for about 30 minutes (not necessary but makes them easier to roll).
  10. Form dough into tablespoon-size balls.
  11. Refrigerate balls in an air tight container.