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Tag Archives: snack

Pumpkin and Pepita Muffins

Being laid up at home definitely calls for a cozy batch of muffins…

Do you ever have one of those days when nothing’s going well and all you want is a homemade muffin? And then those are nearly a disaster in and of themselves? That was definitely me a couple days ago. I spent the first few hours of my day in urgent care after a horse mishap the day before. After a few hours, I found out I have a fracture right under my eye along with a mild concussion. By the time I got home, I still had time before running to the ophthalmologist to check for eye damage. Even though I was tired, I felt like baking a quick batch of Pumpkin and Pepita Muffins.

pumpkin and pepita muffins

…That is until they’re nearly ruined!

I gathered my ingredients and whipped up the batter for the recipe below. In about 20 minutes, I expected to have 12 beautiful, fluffy, flavorful muffins. But when it came time to test them with a toothpick, I tried to grab the pan with one oven-mitt. Sounds easy enough, right? It’s not a heavy pan after all. But then again, there’s not a lot of space to hold onto and I quickly realized I needed two hands. As I tried to place the muffins back in the oven, one of them on the corner bit the dust! Like how does that even happen?! How does just ONE muffin fall out of a deep tin like that?!

pumpkin and pepita muffins

Well, regardless of how it happened, I had a big mess to worry about instead. I grabbed most of the muffin from the rack, but a few pieces fell to the bottom of the 400 degree oven. Not only that, but when I tested the muffins, they weren’t done and had to go back in! At this point, the frustration was getting to me. I was tired with a headache and a broken face and now had to turn off the oven, clean it out, and get 11 half baked muffins back in. I was afraid they would cave in or something due to all the temperature changes, but to my surprise they actually turned out!

pumpkin and pepita muffins

Moral of the story:

So I guess the takeaway from my experience is to always use two hands when putting things in or taking things out of ovens. Sounds like common sense, but apparently not. Another thing I found out is that this recipe is pretty resistant to rapid temperature changes, which is great for checking for doneness along the way.

Despite the hassle, these Pumpkin and Pepita Muffins were totally worth it. Go ahead and give this recipe a try–I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!

How can I make this recipe vegan?

Simply substitute the milk for a non-dairy alternative.

Can I make these without refined sugar?

Absolutely! Instead of regular table sugar, you can substitute organic sugar. Also, try using pure dark maple syrup in place of molasses.

pumpkin and pepita muffins

Similar Recipes to Try:

Pumpkin and Pepita Muffins

Light, fluffy pumpkin chocolate chip muffins with crunchy pepitas on top. Pumpkin and Pepita Muffins make for a perfect cozy breakfast!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baking, chocolate, fall dessert, muffin, pumpkin
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories: 360kcal
Author: Rachel Alexandra

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup organic pumpkin purée
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp black strap molasses or dark maple syrup
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Pepitas for topping

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425° and line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners.
  • Whisk all the dry ingredients except for the chocolate chips and pepitas in a large bowl.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk all of the wet ingredients together. Then combine the wet and dry in the large bowl. Be careful not to over mix.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips and evenly distribute the batter between the muffin cups. If you want bigger muffins, fill 10 cups nearly full. Otherwise, you can make 12 regular muffins by filling cups ⅔ full.
  • Bake for 6-7 minutes at 425°.When the muffins start rising, turn the oven down to 400° and bake for another 8-10 minutes.Test them with a toothpick to see when they are done.Let them cool for about 15 minutes before placing them on a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Notes

To make vegan, substitute milk for a non-dairy alternative and use vegan chocolate chips.
To make refined sugar free, use the maple syrup option instead of molasses and substitute organic sugar for conventional table sugar.
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Vegan Nut-Free Granola

For those of us with food allergies, it can be really hard to find a nut-free granola. And if you’re avoiding animal products too, a vegan nut-free granola can be even tougher! Most anything on the store shelves, aside from a few “allergen free” brands is full of all sorts of tree nuts. Then again, when I look at the ingredient lists, I can’t help but think that maybe I’m better off not being able to have it at all. Although marketed as “health food”, granola is often chock full of sweeteners that hide in the labels. Things like brown rice syrup, tapioca syrup, barley malt syrup, and agave are all refined sugars, not to mention straight up cane sugar, brown sugar, and molasses.

nut-free granola

When I set out to make this Vegan Nut-Free Granola, my top two criteria were no nuts and no refined sugar. Nuts are easily substituted with seeds and for sweeteners, I only use raw honey or pure maple syrup. (Of course if your goal is to avoid animal products, skip the honey and go with syrup instead.) Yes, these are still forms of sugar and should be used in moderation, but as far as sweeteners go, honey and maple syrup are natural and unrefined.

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it is super adaptable! The ingredients I use are:

  • Rolled oats
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Shredded coconut
  • Maple syrup
  • Coconut oil
  • Raisins

That being said, there are so many ways to mix it up based on what you have in the pantry. Other seed options would be flax or chia seeds. For dried fruit, you could substitute cherries or blueberries, or anything else without added sugar. (That’s why I don’t recommend dried cranberries, but if you don’t mind the sugar or have some without, they’d work great too.) Spices can be adjusted or swapped according to your flavor preferences and once the granola is cool, you could even add in a few mini dark chocolate chips. So go ahead, make it your own, and enjoy!

A perfect breakfast of nut-free granola with plain Greek yogurt

Similar Recipes You May Like:

No-Bake Energy Bites

Nut-Free Granola Bars

Vegan Nut-Free Granola

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: breakfast, granola, low sugar, nut free, vegan
Servings: -1 1/4 cup scoops
Calories: 165kcal
Author: Rachel Alexandra

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp raw sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup raw flax seeds
  • ¼ cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup raw honey or pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup unsweetened dried fruit

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl mix the oats, spices, and salt. Then add the seeds and coconut. When the dry ingredients are well combined, add the honey or syrup and coconut oil.
  • Spread the granola evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Take out the pan and gently turn over the granola with a wooden spoon. At this time, you can add the dried fruit.
  • Bake for another 15 minutes, then remove from oven allow it cool and harden. Break up any big pieces and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Enjoy!

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

Good morning! Today I’d like to share a simple banana snack cake recipe. It tastes like banana bread, but has a light, fluffy cake texture. I chose to use whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose and to reduce the sugar by 1/2 cup to make it a little healthier.

You may also notice the aquafaba in the ingredients list. I go into this in a little more detail in my post on egg substitutes, but it’s basically just the water from the can of garbanzo beans.

The original cake recipe (from Brown Eyed Baker) also suggests topping it with cream cheese frosting. But you know what? I don’t think it needs it. Wait…what?? Me?! Saying it doesn’t need frosting?! I know that probably comes a shock, because if you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you’ve probably gathered that I love all things frosting, glaze, and ganache. But I honestly think the cake is sweet enough and moist enough on it’s own and the cream cheese was just a bit too tangy for me. (Maybe I just didn’t have enough sugar in the frosting 😉) That being said, if you want to make it more of a dessert cake than a snack cake, by all means go ahead and add some frosting! Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbs. aquafaba*
  • 1 cup mashed, ripe bananas (2 to 3 medium bananas)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

Grease a square 8 inch baking pan and preheat the oven to 350° F.

Before measuring any other ingredients, mash the banana to ensure you have the right amount. There’s nothing worse than getting halfway through a recipe and finding out you don’t have enough of something!

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the aquafaba, bananas, and vanilla.

Now, stirring by hand, alternate between adding the milk and dry ingredient mixture until a batter comes together. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (with the exception of some melted chocolate). Rotate the pan in the oven halfway through baking.

The cake can be stored at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator for up to 5.

*This amount of aquafaba is equivalent to 2 whole eggs.

Triple Chocolate Scones

For the past few weeks (or should I say entire school year) I’ve been so busy and stressed out that I haven’t had much time to bake, let alone write. However, I only have one week until graduation, so I figured I could bake something to help get me through my last couple of finals. The result was Triple Chocolate Scones! They’re perfect anytime of day whether it be for breakfast, a snack, or a healthy dessert. This recipe features whole wheat flour and a flax seed “egg” as usual and is low in sugar too! Enjoy a fresh, warm scone with a hot cup of tea or a tall glass of milk.

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The first step to this recipe is making an “egg” with ground flax seed and hot water. Heat three tablespoons of water on the stove and whisk with one tablespoon of ground flax in a medium sized bowl. Then set the mixture aside and preheat the oven to 400°F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

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In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, and baking powder. Stir until everything is evenly distributed.

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When all the dry ingredients are mixed, cut in 1/3 cup of cold butter. To get it started, I used a pastry blender, but towards the end, I used my hands to make sure there were no clumps of butter left. It gets a little messy, but the best way to get a sense of dough is to use one’s hands.

Now that the butter is mixed in, add the chocolate milk and vanilla to the “egg” and whisk it well.  Then pour it into the dry ingredients. Be sure to use chocolate milk with no high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors.

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Stir the ingredients the best you can–it can be a little tough since scones are by nature a little dry. Again, you may need to knead the dough with your hands. Once everything is mixed, fold in one cup of miniature chocolate chips.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. As you can see in the picture, I had a little too much flour, but if that happens, they will turn out just fine. Divide the dough into two sections and form each one into a circle, roughly two inches high. Then cut each circle into eight pieces and place them on the prepared baking sheet. If you wish, you can sprinkle each scone with some course, decorative sugar.

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Bake the scones for about 12-14 minutes. When you think they are done, test them with a toothpick. It should come out clean, but some melted chocolate chip is okay. After a few minutes, place the scones on a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Makes 16 scones

Ingredients:

1 Tbs. ground flax seed

3 Tbs. hot water

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup cocoa

1 Tbs. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/3 cup cold butter

1/2 cup low fat chocolate milk

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 cup mini chocolate chips

Course sugar (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the flax and hot water to make an egg substitute. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or with a silicone baking mat.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Cut in the butter and begin combining the ingredients using a pastry blender. Then, use your hands to make sure all the butter is evenly distributed and there are no large pieces left.
  5. Add the milk and vanilla to the flax mixture and whisk them together.
  6. Pour the liquid ingredients into the large bowl and stir until the ingredients come together. Again, you may have to use your hands to knead the dough since scones are by nature a little dry.
  7. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  8. Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface and divide it into two pieces. Form each piece into a circle about two inches thick.
  9. Cut each circle into eight triangular scones.
  10. Place all 16 scones on the baking sheet and if desired, sprinkle them with course sugar.
  11. Bake for 12-14 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean when they are done with the exception of some melted chocolate from a chocolate chip. Enjoy!

No-Bake Energy Bites

Lately my life has been pretty crazy, so I find myself eating on the go all the time. However, I won’t take my busy lifestyle as an excuse to eat junk. As a result, I’ve altered a no-bake energy bite recipe from another blog to fit my personal taste. Don’t worry if you’re not exactly a culinary expert, as assembling these scrumptious snacks is extremely easy!

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Start by mixing all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl with a spatula or spoon. When everything is well combined, let the mixture chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to make the assembly easier.

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Once the mixture is chilled, take a small handful and begin shaping it into a ball.(Don’t be afraid to get a little sticky!)

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Keep rolling until the “batter” is gone–there will probably be about 20-25. The bites can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. I prefer having them frozen, but they will be just fine in the fridge if you want them softer.

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 cup ground flax seed

1 Tbs. chia seeds

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. natural peanut butter

1 1/2 tbsp. raw honey

2 tbsp. pure maple syrup

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips

2 tbsp. raisins or other dried fruit

Steps:

  1. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl.
  2. Let the mixture chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to make rolling them a little easier.
  3. Once they are chilled, roll them into balls about an inch in diameter.
  4. Store them in the refrigerator or the freezer depending on if you want them soft and chewy or more firm.