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Cranberry-Pomegranate Cubes

Because of the cooking class I am taking I have discovered a magical ingredient – agar agar. It is a wonderful ingredient that acts like the famous Jello. Make your own plant based “Jello” cubes.

Agar Agar is from a red algae. It has been used for thousands of years in Japanese cooking.

If you do juicing, this could be really fun, and especially for the kids. Make up your favorite juice and have at it. It only take two items – liquid and the agar agar.

This is what I used, however, you could use any combination of juice you want.

  • 2 c cranberry-pomegranate juice
  • 3 tbsp agar agar flakes

Bring the liquid to a simmer in a medium size saucepan. Once the liquid is simmering, whisk in the agar agar. Continue to whisk until the agar agar flakes have been dissolved. This takes a couple of minutes.

Pour liquid into a glass dish. I used an 8×8 baking dish. You do not want the liquid to be more than 2 inches in depth. Chill in the refrigerator for 20- 30 minutes.

Use a knife to cut cubes and loosen the edges of the jelled mixture.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

 

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Baked Pear-Pecan Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal has become my favorite way to make oatmeal. It can be preassembled the night before and baked in the morning. It keeps well in the refrigerator and can be warmed up. It is great for breakfast, snack or a special treat.

There is a plethora of combinations that can be made to go together. This particular one has an autumn flavor profile. Delicious is the name for the Baked Pear-Pecan Oatmeal.

  • 1 1/2 c gf rolled oats
  • 1/2 c pecans, chopped
  • 2 c Bartlett pears, chopped (about 2 pears)
  • 1/2 c maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Spice Blend
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seeds + 3 tbsp water)
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c almond milk, plain, unsweetened
  • 3 tbsp applesauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all the ingredients into a large bowl. Stir until well incorporated. Pour into an 8×8 baking dish.

Bake for 30-40 minutes. The oats will  be tender and the liquid will have thickened.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Banana Donuts with Maple Glaze

I have a bunch of bananas that are past their edible on their own so I needed to come up with something to use them in. Most of them I will probably use for banana bread or muffins, but I want something else – Donuts.

In the spirit of fall being just around the corner I decided to do a maple glaze and add some fall spices. I may live in warm weather, but still love all the fall flavors.

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 c almond milk, vanilla
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Stir all wet ingredients together, until well combined. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3c Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Blend
  • 1/2 tsp +1/8 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/3 c maple sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 1/8 tsp ginger, ground
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt

Whisk together all the dry ingredients, until well combined.

Combine dry and wet ingredients together and stir.

Spoon batter into a Zip-top bag. Snip the corner and pipe batter into donut pan.

Bake 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool for at least 5 minutes before trying to unmold the donuts.

Maple Glaze:

Combine all glaze ingredients and thoroughly stir.

Dip donuts into glaze. Twist donuts as you remove them from the glaze to prevent drips.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Raspberry Oatmeal Bars

I had 2 cups of raspberries that needed to be used ASAP. They were a little passed their prime. This is the recipe I came up with to use those not so pretty raspberries, yet still taste oh so good.

Raspberry Filling:

  • 2 c fresh raspberries, divided in half
  • 1/2 c water
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 lemon zested, 1/2 the lemon juiced
  • 1 tsp cornstarch/arrowroot

In a small saucepan add 1 c of the raspberries, water and maple syrup. bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Frequently stir raspberry mixture. Reduce raspberry mixture to half the volume. Set aside to cool.

Add lemon zest to raspberry mixture.

Combine lemon juice and cornstarch to make a slurry. Gently fold fresh raspberries in to cornstarch mixture. Set aside.

Crust/Topping:

Combine all ingredients into a food processor and mix until well combined.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a pie pan or 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper.

Press half the oat mixture into the baking dish.

Spread raspberries onto crust. Pour raspberry sauce mixture onto raspberries in an even layer.

Sprinkle remaining oat mixture on top of raspberry filling.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the topping is golden.

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Note: I used 1 tbsp of ground flaxseed with 3 tbsp of sparkling water to make flax egg.

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What to do with Bits and Pieces? Mini Chickpea Frittatas/Savory Muffins

What to do with all those its and pieces leftover from unused ingredients? Make mini frittatas. Frittatas are one of the best ways to use up all those ingredients leftover from other meals.

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For instance, I had some kale, part of a red pepper, half an onion and some cherry tomatoes. There was not really enough for soup, but enough to make some mini chickpea frittatas. These are great for batch cooking. I made them in a bakery size tin (6 well), however, you could use a 12 well tin as well. They came out perfect, light and airy. You could call them savory muffins.

Need something quick for breakfast? These are perfect. They are great at room temperature, loaded with protein and nutrient rich veggies. They are easy to change up anytime. Just use what little bits and pieces you have leftover from other recipes.

Veggie Mixture: 

  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 c red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 c kale, chopped
  • 1/2 c tomatoes, cherry, quartered
  • 1 tbsp garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable broth

Combine all ingredients into a large pan over medium-high heat. Cook until veggies have softened and onions are translucent. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 c chickpea flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp savory blend
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp black salt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric

Whisk together all dry ingredients until they are well combined. Set aside.

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Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 c water
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and whisk thoroughly. Stir veggie mixture into chickpea mixture. Make sure it is combined completely.

Pour into muffins tins.

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Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

Note: These are great serve for part of a brunch, or any other meal.

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Easy Blueberry Banana Bars

These bars are a great on the go breakfast or snack, or if you are going camping or hiking. They are portable and incredibly easy to make. This is a one bowl recipe that is packed with fruit flavor.

Have a couple of bananas past their prime, but not enough for bread or muffins? This recipe is perfect for them.

  • 2 bananas, very ripe
  • 1 1/2 c gluten-free rolled oats
  • 3 dates, pitted, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/8 tsp ginger, ground
  • 1/2 c blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper.

In a large bowl mash the bananas with a fork.

Add in oats, dates, walnuts, vanilla, cinnamon and ginger. Stir mixture until well combined.

Fold blueberries into oat mixture.

Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish.

Bake bar mixture for about 30 – 35 minutes. the edges will begin to turn brown.

Let cool for about 5-10 minutes.

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Share. Eat. Enjoy.

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Pan Toasted Pecans

However you say the name, Pecans, it really does not matter. They are delicious any way you say it. I like to toast them in a pan and add a few little touches to make them a step above ordinary – extraordinary.

You can change up the flavorings and make them different every time. I like to add them to salads for a crunch factor. Just snacking on them is good too. They are just plain good.

  • 3/4 c pecans halves
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar
  • pinch pepper
  • pinch cinnamon

In a non-stick pan. (I like to use a ceramic pan, it works beautifully.) over medium-high heat add all the ingredients. Toss periodically.

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Toast pecans until the coconut sugar has melted and coated the nuts.

Transfer nuts to a piece of foil to cool.

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Enjoy just as they are or add them to a salad. The hint of pepper brings out the cinnamon. By warming the cinnamon the flavor is magnified.

 

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Berry Explosion Smoothie Bowl

This smoothie bowl is berry packed and a beautiful hue of purple. I topped it with my homemade granola that gave it a needed crunch and chew factor.  It is loaded with antioxidants from the variety of berries in this smoothie bowl. Let’s just say it will do your body good.

  • 1/2 c blackberries
  • 1/2c raspberries
  • 1/2 c strawberries
  • 1/2 c blueberries
  • 1/2 c purple grapes
  • 1 tsp ground flax seed

Topping:

Combine all ingredients into a high-speed blender.

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Blitz until smooth and creamy.

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Pour into bowl and top with homemade granola.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Mini Margherita Polenta Pizzas

This is another recipe that will be in my cookbook. I thought I’d give you a little sneak peak. It is perfect for an after-school snack or for an appetizer to an Italian dinner. Either way it is delicious. Another thing, there are only four ingredients.

  • 1 precooked polenta log
  • 1 14.5 can tomatoes, diced
  • 8 oz. Miyoko’s Vegan Mozzarella
  • All-Purpose Seasoning

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice polenta into 1/2-inch rounds.

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Place polenta round on prepared baking sheet (parchment paper/silicone mat).

Sprinkle All-purpose Seasoning on top of the rounds.

Layer diced tomatoes and pieces of the mozzarella. Sprinkle all-purpose seasoning on top of the tomatoes and cheese.

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Bake for 25 minutes.

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Sweet Potato Toast

Here is a new way to make sweet potatoes, and it takes a lot less time that it usually does when making sweet potatoes. Top with your favorite nut butter and jam, or even some hummus.

  • 1 sweet potato, sliced in 1/2 inch thickness.
  • favorite toppings

Place sweet potato slices into toaster. Toast sweet potato slices 2-3 times at the highest setting.

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Top sweet potato toast with your favorite toppings.

DSC_0042 98Serve. Eat. Enjoy.