I love fall and PUMPKIN season! This year I wasn't able to grow any pumpkins myself but I did make it to a great local farm with be near our place with beautiful pie pumpkins. We got 3 little guys so my husband could have his yearly pumpkin pie fix but after that I still had some leftover pumpkin... such a problem!
My pumpkin inspiration was lacking so I wandered the local library and this cute little book jumped out at me. Of course I headed to the dessert chapters and found an excellent solution to use up the rest of my pumpkin.
The recipe calls for canned pumpkin but fresh roasted pumpkin worked well. This had some kind of nutty taste that boggled the mind as there are no nuts in here. These will definitely be in the seasonal rotation; easy to make but so good!
"The Pumpkin Cookbook" by Deedee Stovel
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Beat the sugars and butters together with a hand mixer until well blended and fluffy. Add the pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon into the mixture and continue beating at low speed until well blended. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips.
4. Drop by tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
5. Cool each baking sheet on a wire rack for a few minutes before removing the cookies. Cool them completely on wire racks and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!
Yield: 8 dozen
Notes: Variation: If available, substitute some of the flour with whole-wheat pastry flour. This is a low-gluten flour that adds nutrition but not the heaviness of whole-wheat bread flour. It is a wonderful product to use in pastries and baked goods where you want the nutrition of whole wheat, but not the heaviness.
Top of my places I miss in Milwaukee is Outpost Foods coop. I loved grabbing lunch there and a sweet treat. Luckily, they published some of these recipes in their magazine.... (still haven't seen Little Oatie recipe though!) and this Sheba Bar is a great one!
Outpost Food's Secret Recipe, Milwaukee, WI
Makes 40 bars
1 cup Sucanat
2 3/4 cups brown rice syrup, divided
1/2 pound earth balance buttery sticks (2 sticks)
1 1/4 cups smooth peanut butter, divided
1 tablespoon egg replacer (or sub 1/2 cup applesauce)
1/8 cup water
1 cup quick rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
11 ounces brown rice crisp cereal
3 1/3 cups semi sweet vegan chocolate chips
1/8 cup canola oil
1. Preheat oven to 375. Combine Sucanat, 2 cups brown rice syrup, buttery sticks and 3/4 cup peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl and melt. Stir until smooth.
2. In a large bowl, combine egg replacer and water and whisk to combine. Add oats, baking soda, salt, brown rice cereal. Pour in peanut butter mixture from step one, stirring carefully, in order not to crush the cereal.
3. Spread mixture into full sheet tray coated with cooking spray. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Bars puff up while cooking and may drip over tray, so watch carefully or place another sheet tray on the bottom rack to catch. Remove and allow bars to cool.
4. While bars are cooling, melt chocolate chips and oil in microwave, stir until smooth, then spread over cooled bars.
5. Melt remaining 1/2 cup peanut butter and 3/4 cup brown rice syrup in microwave. Drizzle over cooled bars and with a paring knife, pull through the mixture to swirl. Cool in refrigerator until ready to serve.
I love making granola bars. Here's one from Vegetarian Times. I found it a little on the sweet side but others I served too find it just right. Next time I'd reduce the amount of sugar. They are a little sticky so to store for on the go I wrapped in tin foil.
Chocolate Coconut Oat Bars
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup almond meal
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup natural cane sugar
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 275. Combine oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Mix well.
2. Combine coconut oil, agave nectar, and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves and mixture is hot (not boiling). Pour over oat mixture and stir until well mixed and cooled slightly. Stir in chocolate chips, quickly but thoroughly.
3. Press the mixture into an ungreased 8x8" pan and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Cut into small squares.
I love to try new things... updates on classics like the Chocolate Chip Cookie top that list. This winner comes from Mary Jane Farm magazine's favorite things Feb-Mar 2010 and I agree! The addition of coconut and oats along with the chocoate and peanut butter chip combo really upgrades this classic!
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Mary Jane Farm
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup coconut shreds
2 cups semisweet chocolate chip
1 cup peanut butter chips
1. Preheat oven to 375. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt; mix well.
3. In a large bowl, combine butter and sugars; mix until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well.
4. Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Stir in oats, coconut and chips.
5. Drop by rounded tablespoon 2" apart on prepared sheets. Bake for 10 minutes.
Blueberry Breakfast Bars
Outpost Co-Op, Milwaukee WI
1 3/4 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups gluten free flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 cup almonds, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 350. Line the bottom of a 10x10" baking pan with parchment paper, making sure it comes up all sides of the pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda, brown sugar, almonds and salt. Add melted butter and mix well. The mix should be soft and crumble. Set aside 1 cup of the mixture and press the remaining mixture firmly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, put blueberries, sugar and 2 tablespoons of water in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for about two minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. In a small bowl, combine remaining water, cornstarch and lemon juice. Stir into blueberry mixture until thick, for about a minute, then remove from heat.
5. Spread blueberry mixture evenly over cooked crust and press remaining oat mixture onto the blueberries, being careful as the blueberries are hot.
6. Bake bars 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. To cut bars, lift the entire block out of the pan using the parchment paper, peel paper away from sides and cut into desired sized bars. The bars will keep a few days in the fridge - if they last that long!
Here's an easy recipe for when I need a cookie but not sure what. The dried cranberries look good, especially around the holidays. And chocolate chips are always a good idea!
Oatmeal Craisin Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups cooking oats
6 ounces craisins
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cream the butter and sugars until well blended. Add the eggs and vanilla and blend well. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Add the oats, craisins, and chocolate chips if using. Stir until mixed well.
3. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets about 2" apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
I love sweet little things disguising a healthy treat! These truffles are great when you want something bad but are being good. I've given these as gifts to healthy friends and they have been well received. The almond butter with the dates makes it not too "fruity" tasting and more sweet; the oats make it more satisfying!
A combo of cocoa, oats, dates, almond butter and spices makes for naturally sweet treats, a healthier alternative during the holiday sweets season.
Method: Place oats in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground. Add dates, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, almond butter, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon and process until finely ground and sticking together. Place remaining cocoa powder in a shallow bowl. Roll truffle mixture into balls about 2 teaspoons each, pressing firmly for mixture to stick together. Roll truffles in cocoa powder and chill until ready to serve.
I love making preserves in the summer and finding things to make when them come winter! This is a great recipe I came across in one of my favorite now out of print magazines, ReadyMade. This is a great vegan cookie I added to last year's Christmas cookie tray and I was surprised how it was a favorite of most people I gave it to (I agreed, but I love vegan bakestuff!... even the meatiest of meat eaters loved this cookie!). The nuttiness with the fruit was really great. I made with several different toppings... grape jam, peach preserves, currant jam and even beer jelly. They all turned out great and went fast since everyone just had to try them all!
Almond-Jam Thumbprint Cookies
Readymade Magazine, June/July 2011
from "Vegan Family Meals" by Ann Gentry
Notes: These little gems are moist and not too sweet, with just the right amount of crunchiness. Use a food processor to pulse the almonds into a fine flour.
Suggested Preserves: apricot or raspberry preserves or apple butter
2 1/2 cups whole almonds
1 1/2 cups oat flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons almond extract
3/4 cup preserves
1. Preheat oven to 325° F. Line two heavy baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Pulse the almonds in food processor until they form a fine flour with some small speckles of nuts still visible. Leave some small bits of the almonds for a nice crunchy texture.
3. Stir the ground almonds, oat flour, pastry flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk the maple syrup, apple juice, oil, and almond extract in a medium bowl. Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until blended.
4. Using a 1-ounce ice cream scoop (about 2 tablespoons), scoop the dough in mounds onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. (If you don't have an ice cream scoop, just roll 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball for each cookie.) Using the end of a wooden spoon, make an indentation about 1/2 inch in diameter that goes to the bottom of the cookie, but not through the bottom. Spoon the preserves into a pastry bag or a small resealable plastic bag with a bottom corner cut off. Pipe the preserves into each indentation, mounding them just above the top of the cookie (the jam will melt down as the cookies bake).
5. Bake the cookies until they puff and become pale golden on the top and bottom, about 25 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to cooling racks and let cool. Cookies will keep for two days, stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
We go in food phases in our house, one day we love oatmeal but the next day I'm finding expired packets that need to be tossed. One of those throwing out days I wondered if there's a better way to get great tasting instant oatmeal... after much experimentation there is!
There's tons of recipes out there, this is a good basic that works for us. I mix a batch up and portion out into half pint jelly jars, labeling the lid with a dry erase marker. At first my husband laughed skeptically at these rows of jars but after a few days he was asking what exactly is in these and bringing friends in to see his wife's crazy good oatmeal collection! Now it's a staple in our house.
Home Made Instant Oatmeal
2 1/2 cups Quick Oats or Regular Oats
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
Blend 3/4 cup of the oatmeal in a blender or food processor (I use Vitamix with grain mill blender container but not needed; just a few pulses to it up to a heavy powder). Mix ground oatmeal with other ingredients, adding to a container with sealed lid (or ziplock bag). Shake up really good to combine. This is the instant oatmeal base that will make 9 servings. Sometimes I mix a few and leave the base which my husband likes because some days he adds a little more plain to his bowl or he feels like going outside my jars and mixing his own!
To package for individual servings add the following to a half pint jelly jar:
1/3 cup of the oatmeal base along with flavoring mix-ins such as: 1 tsp seeds (chia, flax) + 2 tsp grain, nuts or dried fruit (oat bran, wheat germ, any ground nut, choppied dried fruit) +1-3 tsp sweetner (stevia, coconut sugar, vanilla sugar, or more brown sugar) + 1/8 tsp spice (cinnamon, apple pie spice, grains of paradise) + pinch salt
Or use your imagination and follow the above proportions (aprox 3 tsp flavorings + 1-3 tsp sweetner +1/8 tsp spice) along with the 1/3 oatmeal base. Some of our favorites include: coconut, hot cocoa mix, chocolate chips, and PB2 dried peanut butter.
To cook the oatmeal:
For regular oats: add about 3/4 cup liquid to a bowl along with contents of the jar. Cover and microwave about 2-3 minutes depending on the microwave. Our favorite liquids to use are soy milk, almond milk, hemp milk, hazelnut milk. Chocolate versions of any of those are obviously really good!
For instant oats: add boiling water directly to jar, about 1/2" from the top. Cover and let sit about 5 minutes. You can also add 2 tsp powdered milk for creamy consistency with the water. I love this option for the office since it's so easy.
I've also done overnight oats with this method: add desired liquid (any milk works great or water for lower calories) to jar, about 3/4" from top. Regular oats will still be runny in the morning and I'm not a fan of cold oats so I do heat up in the jar, covered, watching very closely heating in 30 second increments because it will overflow very quickly!
We have become more creative with our mix-ins and came up with snappy concoctions such as: Almond Joy (almonds, coconut, chocolate chunks, coconut sugar), Cherry Pie (dried cherries, graham cracker crumbs, vanilla sugar), Peanut Butter Cup (chocolate chunks, PB2 dried peanut butter), Pina Colada (dried pineapples, coconut sugar, coconut)... the possibilities are endless! Let me know if you come up with any options we must try!
is the smallest kitchen ever. We used to watch those decorating shows that said they were doing small kitchens and then could see that 4 of my kitchens would fit in their "small kitchens".
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