Recipe ReDux: Frosted Pumpkin Pudding Bread

I can’t believe a whole ‘nother month went by already! I am so sorry I haven’t been very present, but I promise promise I will make it up to you! My work load has lightened up considerably, and I have so much to tell you all about! My job, recipes, MY RACE that I just did yesterday! aaahhhh!! So please accept this fall deliciousness as an apology for my unintentional blogging break, and give a big thank you to Recipe Redeux for giving me the kick I needed to get my butt back in the kitchen!!!


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This month’s Recipe ReDux was all about slowing down for fall….

The No-Casserole Crock Pot: Some of us grew up on casseroles out of a slow cooker – but now home cooks are using that same slow cooker to roast a chicken, bake bread, make homemade yogurt and for other creative dishes. Show us how you are using the slow cooker to craft a new healthy recipe. And if you don’t have a slow cooker, borrow one from your neighbor or pick one up at a second hand store!

I can’t even tell you how long it took me to decide on a recipe to create. I thought about oatmeal, but its been done too many times by now (I also already have a recipe for desserty crock pot oats).. I also thought about apple sauce (or pear sauce), but thats too easy.

Then I thought about chili, soup, and other warm dishes. Too mainstream. I want to be different and put pumpkin into something like everyone else! 😉 (…also while I had my eye on main dishes, my mom insisted on a dessert and that sounded like more of a challenge!)

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So I decided to make pumpkin bread, in the slow cooker, because why not? Its not like I didn’t already have two batches of pumpkin bread/muffins in the fridge already. This would be different!

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And it would have icing. Like, ohmygollyguys this icing. Like, I thought I made too much (and I probably did) but all was well and fine and delicious and you can eat it with a spoon and I even ate carrots dipped in this icing. Yeah. Keep an eye out for more things topped with this frosting (like pancakes)…

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It was my first time ever ‘baking’ in a slow cooker and I have to say, I had a little anxiety over the fact that I was baking but the oven wasn’t on. (the same thing happens when I use the dehydrator). But after a little while, the aromas kicked in and all was well in kitchen world!

I wasn’t quite sure how it would come out, bread like, cake like, fluffy or rubbery. But huzzah! It came out like a super dense bread, almost bread pudding like in texture. You know when you bake a loaf of banana bread and the bottom part stays all gooey and delicious? Yeah, like that. mmmmm….

Its pumpkiny and spiced-y and has these little bursts of sweetness from the raisins (which I usually hate but I’m so glad my mom persuaded me to add them because they plumped up and actually got delicious). Almost like pumpkin spice cinnamon raisin bread. Sooo good.

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So anyway, I think I’m going to have to start ‘baking’ in the slow cooker more often, since all you have to do is mix up the batter and pour it in and forget about it. Its more forgiving than the oven, when it comes to cook time! And, despite being called a ‘slow cooker’, its actually pretty easy and quick to make, which is a good thing since there are only 3 people in my house and this didn’t even last two days.

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Pumpkin Pudding Bread with Cinnamon Caramel Icing

Bread:

  • 2 C. whole spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 T. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 7 dates, pitted and softened*
  • 1/3 C. unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 C. pumpkin puree
  • 1 T. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp maple extract (optional)
  • 3/4 C. baking stevia
  • 1 TB ground flax seeds
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 C. raisins
  • Optional: Try adding other dried fruit, nuts or even chocolate chips!
  • *to soften the dates, I like to stick them in a mug, cover them with water, and microwave them for a minute or so, then leave them to quick soak while i get everything else ready. Then just drain out the water and put the softened dates in your blender!

Line your slow cooker with foil (i.e. lay one large piece one way, and another crossed over, so that you can lift the cake out) and spray it with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix flour through cloves. In a blender or food processor, blend dates through   cider vinegar for a minute or so, until smooth. Mix the wet ingredients into the flour blend, mix well, and then stir in raisins. Pour into the foil lined slow cooker and cover. Cook, covered on high for 3 hours, its done when a tooth pick comes out clean and the edges are pulling away from the sides.

For Icing

  • 1 C. dates, pitted
  • 1 C. unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 T. almond butter
  • 1/2 TB Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of salt

In a mug, put the dates and almond milk together and microwave for 2 minutes. Put in blender along with almond butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt, and blend on high until smooth. Taste and adjust salt/cinnamon to your preference. Try to save some for the cake 😉

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See that gooey pumpkin bread deliciousness? I can’t decide if I like it better warm or cold out of the fridge, or with the icing warm or cold either. It really is delicious all four ways (CC, WW, WC, CW -I’m in AP Statistics.) And the bread itself isn’t too sweet (the frosting is, but in a good-no tummy ache kind of way, more in an addicting, eat it every which way sort of way). This can be a snack, dessert, breakfast, breakfast-dessert……

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I couldn’t even restrain myself during the photo shoot guys. You just can’t take me anywhere (or let me eat on nice (white) table cloths). Oops 😉

Go check out the other awesome slow cooker recipes this month, and fill your house with delicious smells!!

Recipe ReDeux: (Not So) Chunky Monkey Jars

I just signed up to be a member of Recipe ReDeux, and when I got the email I found out that I had 3 days before the first link up. AHHH!!! So exciting but AHHH!!

This months theme was “Raising the Bar on Food in a Jar”, and immediately my mind started inventing what I could make. I didn’t want to go the usual OIAJ route (I know I know. Its hardly normal to the “real world” to eat breakfast out of a peanut butter jar. But its too usual for me). I wanted to make something awesome for my first recipe redeux. Also, I wanted to bake (baking therapy is important to me). And I wanted chocolate pudding. So my thought process went a little like this:

Thinking. Thinking. Hmmm I really like the PB-Chocolate-Banana combo -chunky monkey is it?…Now turn that into a jar recipe…..barrel of monkeys…Chunkey Monkey Barrels…Chunky Monkey Jars!

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Well, this is chunky monkey’s health conscious cousin. You know, the one who buys health magazines and owns a gym membership.

She’s not so chunky, but every bit as delicious-if not more so. She is also infinitely more well-put together, and prepared and balanced. She is ready for breakfast or dessert. Or both.

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A dense peanut butter banana muffin, a thick and rich chocolate mousse, and a sweet and sticky peanut butter mousse all layered together with fresh banana slices.

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Decadent enough for dessert, yet healthy and balanced enough for breakfast!

Chunky Monkey Jars

serves 4

For the banana bread layer:

  • 2/3 C whole spelt flour
  • 3 T. peanut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 super ripe, medium bananas
  • 1/2 T. nut butter
  • 1/4 C. nondairy milk + 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 T. raw sugar
  • 3 T. stevia baking blend (or more sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 325. Lightly grease the insides of four small (8-10 oz) jars. In a medium sized bowl, mix the flours, baking soda and powder, and salt together. In a small bowl, mash the bananas then add the rest of the liquid ingredients. Mix until well combined. Add liquid to dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. Scoop batter evenly into the jars (about 1/4 C per), place jars on a cookie sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes (toothpick test!) Allow jars to cool COMPLETELY before filling with mousses (can put in fridge once they are cool to the touch)

For Chocolate Mousse

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 3 medjool dates
  • 2/3 c nondairy milk
  • 1/2 T. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder (optional)
  • dash salt
  • 1/4 C. dark cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp stevia extract

Place all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until smooth. Keep in fridge until ready to use!

For Peanut Butter Mousse

  • 1 C. cooked chickpeas
  • 6 oz (1/2 package) silken tofu
  • 2-3 heaping TB Peanut Butter (or almond, sunbutter)
  • 1/2 C. peanut flour/PB2
  • 1 date
  • 1/2 a ripe banana
  • dash salt
  • 3/4-1 tsp stevia extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla or peanut butter extract

Place all ingredients in a high powered blender until smooth. If it is too thick, add some nondairy milk. Too thin, add more nut butter, peanut flour, or a pinch of xanthan gum. Keep in fridge until ready to use!

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For assembly! Once the jars and muffins are completely cool, top muffins with a layer of one flavor of mousse, then a few banana slices (if you wish), and top it off with the other flavor of mousse (There may be extra of the peanut butter mousse)! Serve right away, or put a lid on it and keep it in the fridge for later!

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These are awesome because they are perfectly portioned for a quick breakfast or a healthy dessert, and can be made a day or two in advance! Also, it comes in a jar, which as everyone knows, means they taste better than your average, un jarred parfait. For bigger portions (maybe more large-meal sized??) split into two or three peanut butter jar sized jars!

Good thing this makes four! I made these for my family of three for dessert, and may or may not have finished the last one the next morning for breakfast 😉 I’m just a crazy monkey I guess!!

Birthday Pancakes

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Can I tell you a secret?

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This is the first time I’ve ever made my own pancake recipe…

Can I tell you another secret??

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They almost failed. Actually, I was about 90% sure they had failed, which made me horribly upset because I promised that I would come up with a new recipe every day and if this failed I would have no recipe for today and I really should start testing recipes in advance before making promises I can’t keep and also I shouldn’t have the griddle too hot when I make pancakes because they burn really easily.

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But it’s okay, because I didn’t burn the other side. And they tasted like buttery cakey goodness and almost didn’t even need frosting.

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Sure they are a little, homely, and maybe not the most fluffy pancakes ever…

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BUT I MADE PANCAKES THAT TASTE LIKE BIRTHDAYS AND RAINBOWS SO ITS OKAY!!!

(whew, I feel better now;) 

Birthday Pancakes

  • 1/4 C. Oat flour (i ground my own in the food processor)
  • 2 T. coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp xanthan gum
  • dash salt
  • 2 tsp chia seeds plus 2 T  warm water
  • 1/3 C. almond milk plus a tiny splash of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 C. mashed banana
  • 1/2 T. cashew butter
  • 1/2 T. maple syrup
  • additional sweetener of choice to taste
  • SPRINKLES

“frosting”

  • 1-2 T. cashew butter, melted
  • 1-2  T. almond milk
  • vanilla and sweetener, optional

Mix together the chia and water, set aside to thicken. Mix almond milk and vinegar and set aside to ‘curdle’. In a small bowl, mix the dry ingredients. In a separate small bowl, mix the mashed banana and cashew butter, then add the chia egg, milk, extracts and sweetener and stir until combined. Mix the wet into the dry then add your sprinkles!! scoop into 4-5 pancakes on a hot, lightly sprayed griddle or pan and cook 3-5 minutes on each side (or until done). For the frosting simply mix the ingredients together and pour on your pancakes to enjoy!!

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So you see, frosting and sprinkles cover up any potential mishaps…

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And you will always be left with buttery Birthday (pan)cake for breakfast:)

Before you go, can I tell you one last secret??

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Make sure you have a lot of extra frosting waiting for after the photoshoot:)

Funfetti Baked Oats

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Did you ever have one of those mornings, the day after a celebration, when you open the fridge to see whats for breakfast and you see the leftover cake? And then you have cake for breakfast then you think about cake for breakfast but decide on Raisin Bran instead? 😉

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Well, what if I told you that you can have cake for breakfast? What if I told you its even better for you than Raisin Bran? Do you believe me yet?

But doesn’t a soft, warm, sweet, fresh from the oven cake, loaded with sprinkles and sweet creamy frosting all to yourself sound good? Especially for breakfast??

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I thought so 🙂

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This came out even better than I imagined:) Not like oatmeal at all, the oats practically disappeared and baked into the cake, leaving me with a soft, sweet fluffy birthday cake for breakfast, with a slight banana flavor, that could have easily passed for dessert. I could seriously bake a loaf of this. Or a batch of cupcakes. mmmm…..

Easily my favorite breakfast in a long time!

Funfetti Baked Oats

serves 1. This could easily be multiplied for a bigger cake that you actually slice, or bake into funfetti cupcakes muffins

  • 1/3 C. old fashioned oats
  • 1 T. coconut flour
  • 1 tsp flax seeds
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 C. mashed banana
  • 1/4 C. almond milk
  • tiny splash apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 T. maple syrup
  • 1/2 T. cashew butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • optional: Additional sweetener to taste (depends on how ripe your banana is)
  • Sprinkles!!!
  • ‘frosting’ of choice -cashew butter, other nut butter, soy yogurt, etc.

Pre heat oven to 375. In a small bowl, combine oats through salt. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients, stirring until well combined. Add wet to dry and mix well. Add sprinkles and stir until evenly dispersed. Pour into a lightly greased ramekin (or muffin containers) and bake for 20-25 minutes:) Allow to cool for a few minutes before eating, or popping out of container if you wish.

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Naked cake:)

photo 3-59Frosted (with cashew butter) cake

photo 1-59Now its a Birthday Cake:)

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a delicious birthday cake:)

Cake Batter Milkshake

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Confession: I had a milkshake for breakfast this morning. Ok I also had cake. Well, cake batter. Confused?

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Did you forget it was birthday week already?? Of course I had cake batter for breakfast, I’m taking every chance I get!!

This recipe may seem like a lot of trouble for a smoothie  milkshake, which I get. Lots of ingredients yada yada. But it is soo good! And I mean, cake batter you can eat for breakfast and not get a stomach ache from?!? Count me in!!

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Obviously, I started with bananas, because thats the base of like, every sweet smoothie ever amiright? Then oats for cakeiness, a date for buttery sweetness, extracts and baking powder for authenticity, coconut and cashew butter for creamy, buttery goodness…

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And then things got a little strange (but good). It needed something…for buttery flavor and that raw, egg yolk-y flavor (forgive me vegan police, I said it needed yolk! oops…) So I added a bit of nutritional yeast and voila!! Cake batter!! I think yes.

I topped mine with more melted cashew butter, sprinkles, and cereal, but it would also be delicious with extra oats, fresh berries, banana, chocolate, frosting…ya know!! whatever your little birthday loving heart desires! 😉

Cake Batter Milkshake

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 C. almond milk
  • 1 date
  • 1/3 C oats
  • 1 T. coconut shreds
  • 1 T. cashew butter
  • 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2-1 tsp xanthan gum (depending on thickness you want)
  • ice cubes and/or water -for thick or thin
  • optional: add a few drops of butter extract!!
  • SPRINKLES!!!
  • toppings (ic more cashew butter, sprinkles, oats, fruit, cereal, etc.)

Put everything except sprinkles in a blender and blend until creamy. Pour into a glass or a bowl (I opted for milkshake soup 😉 ) and top with toppings, and enjoy!!

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This was especially delicious when you got a bite of the melted cashew butter on top, it was like frosting 🙂 Yuummm…. (confession: I made a new batch of cashew butter specifically for this week)

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Then I topped it with Vanilla Sunrise cereal (which tastes like cupcakes in my opinion). It was the end of the box so I got maximum crumblies :D. Unfortunately, Its not as pretty with the cereal, because I lost the sprinkles!!

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Oh well. It was still delicious. Like replacing the milk in a bowl of cereal with cake batter. mmmm cake cereal 🙂

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On another note, I need more sprinkles my containers almost empty!!!! The horror!! The horror!!!!

In the mood for something a little thicker than a milkshake?? Try my Birthday Cake Ice Cream!!
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Caramel Macchiato Almond Butter

aaannnnnndddd BREAK!!! Woah that was an intense month and a half. More 12-14 hour school days, show make up, curling irons, and AP tests than I ever want to encounter again. But its all over and I just have a nice, easy week and a half of school left. Then let summer begin!!! I promise I will be more present in the coming months, just you wait! You should see the amount of recipe ideas I have noted on my phone…

Don’t blame me. Blame Heather for raving about Vanilla Espresso Almond Butter. Then blame Sarah for being all amazing and creating delicious nut butter flavors that inspire me and make me want to be her nutty apprentice 😉

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Okay okay. Then you can blame me 😉

I tried the Wild Squirrel almond butter and it was delicious, but I figured it would be really easy to re create:) I was right! I made a delicious replica, but didn’t really write down the ingredient amounts.

photo-90Then I made a mocha version (which I called :AP Week Almond Butter), but the coffee was too strong. Plus I burned the almonds. Not good. The nut butter was good, but not what I was going for…

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But the idea of coffee and almond butter was burned into my mind. “What next?” I wondered…

Then I looked into our extracts container

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perfect.

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It came together pretty quickly, I only had to alter it once before it was perfect!

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And it got two thumbs up from my mom and my (tentative, “what is this??” before trying anything) step dad!!

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Caramel Macchiato Almond Butter -makes 1 jar

Sweet, caramelly, java almond butter reminiscent of that famous Starbucks drink:) This is addictive. You are welcome 🙂

  • 1 pound raw almonds (like 1 trader joes bag)
  • 2 T. ground coffee or espresso (NOT INSTANT)
  • 1 tsp caramel extract
  • 1 tsp coconut extract*
  • 1 tsp uncut stevia or sweetener to taste
  • dash salt

In a food processor, grind the almonds until they turn into butter. It may take a while, but it will butter-ify:) Add your flavors, pulse in, adjust flavors if nessecary, and store in a jar in the fridge 🙂

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For further guidance on making almond butter check this out

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notes on the recipe:

  • raw almonds work best because they make a mild, sweet tasting butter. I have tried roasting my own almonds for coffee butter before and, while roasted almond butter is delicious, it didn’t really work with the flavor I was going for. The nuttiness was too strong (plus I over toasted the almonds, so that might’ve done something…)
  • don’t use instant coffee or espresso, the flavor is diluted and oddly toasty, not coffee-ish
  • I used coconut extract because I was out of vanilla, and the coconut gave a similar flavor. If you don’t have the coconut, defiantly use vanilla, and maybe start with 1/2 tsp then add more if it needs:)
  • Don’t have caramel? Add more vanilla for vanilla-latte almond butter! Or chocolate! Or Vanilla-Chocolate-Caramel! (ooooh…or just wait and I’ll get back with that one!)

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Its delicious in so many ways!!! Toast, oats, pancakes, baked goods, apples, pears, other fruit, mixed into yogurt with cocoa powder…

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and spoons. Betcha can’t guess which is my favorite??

Red, White, and Bloovernite Oats

I have a slight tendency to be a little holiday-centered. Any holiday will do…

For at least one day, everything from my eats to my clothes to my FB status will be that holiday themed.

 

Take, for example, my breakfast this morning (Oh, by the way, Happy Fourth of July!):

Red, White, and Bloovernight Oats

  • 1/3 c. uncooked oats
  • 1 T. chia seeds
  • 1/3 c. blueberries
  • 1/3 c. sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 C. unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 C. water
  • vanilla and lemon extracts to taste (I used 1 capful each)
  • stevia to taste
Add chia and oats to a jar (I use an old PB jar, all washed out) and mix. Add fruit. In a cup, mix the liquid ingredients and stevia. Pour into the jar, cap with the lid, and shake shake shake  (shake shake shake. shake your ooaattsss. shake your ooaattss!!!) Stick it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, simply take out of the fridge and enjoy!!
mmm. Tastes like America:)