For the Holidays :: Vegan Cranberry-Orange Muffins

One of the most popular posts on my blog is my recipe for Vegan Cranberry-Orange bread, my own extra-orangey adaptation of a Vegan with a Vengeance recipe, which itself was an adaptation of an old Fannie Farmer recipe. In that post, I mention that the recipe can be made as muffins as well. But I’d never made it as muffins myself until this past weekend, and I have to admit, it will be mighty tempting to make it this way from now on – muffins bake up so much more quickly than bread, meaning these babies go from “Hey, let’s make muffins!” to “Hey, I have muffins in my belly!” in a flash.

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One of these days, I’m going to figure out what I need to do in order to make a recipe into a pdf that you can print off if you’d like. But for now, I’m just putting it here like this, old-school.

Vegan Cranberry-Orange Muffins

3/4 C orange juice
1/4 C canola oil
1 C sugar
1 t vanilla extract
2 C all-purpose flour
1 1/4 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground allspice
1 T grated orange zest
1 1/2 C fresh cranberries

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Lightly grease a muffin tin.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the orange juice, canola oil, sugar, and vanilla.
  3. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and allspice. Mix until smooth – batter will be quite thick.
  4. Fold in orange zest and cranberries. (Also, if you’d like to add walnuts or another add-in, now would be the time to do that.)
  5. Scoop batter into muffin tin, filling the muffin cups 2/3-full. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Let muffins cool in tin for about 5 minutes (that’s the hard part). Release onto cooling rack. Enjoy!

These are sooo good, and such a quick and easy way to use up leftover cranberries. Pretty soon, I’m going to try making a paleo version, and if those go well, I’ll be posting that recipe here too.

Cranberries are so festive and delicious, I like to use them as much as possible during this season. How about you? Do you have a favorite way of using cranberries, other than in cranberry sauce?

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for summer :: Paleo Peach-Berry Crisp (it’s vegan, too)

Last night I made this for dessert. Then I had it again for breakfast. I feel like a fruit crisp can swing both ways like that, and there was no one around to contradict me. It was delicious both times.

Paleo Peach-Berry Crisp

Paleo Peach-Berry Crisp

I did add a piece of bacon this morning to make it more breakfast-y.

I adapted this recipe from an Against All Grain recipe for Pear-Berry Crisp, a great dessert/breakfast for fall/winter. My summery adaptation was to sub different fruits, different nuts, lime juice for lemon juice, and omit one of the spices that didn’t really go with my fruit choices.

I’m frequently disappointed by desserts that get called paleo but have a high amount of sugar in them. Palm sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup – it’s still sugar. Even honey is sugar, though I’m a little more open to having raw local honey in a dessert than, say, palm sugar. One thing I love about this particular dessert/breakfast is that its sweetness comes entirely from fruit.

It is SO good y’all. The crunch of the nuts combined with the sweetness of the fruit with that little bit of tanginess you get from the berries – YUM.

Paleo Peach-Berry Crisp with Coconut Cream

Paleo Peach-Berry Crisp with Coconut Cream

I always serve it with a big dollop of coconut cream. I don’t do anything fancy to get coconut cream. I don’t even whip it. I just open up a can of Thai coconut cream (full fat) and scoop off a chunk of the cream at the top. I’ll say it again: YUM.


Paleo Peach-Berry Crisp

Filling:

  • 3C peaches, fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • 2C blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1C raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1T lime juice
  • 2t coconut flour
  • 1/4t sea salt
  • 1/4t cinnamon

Topping:

  • 2T coconut oil
  • 1 1/3C raw nuts (I used an equal amount of pecans, almonds, and walnuts)
  • 4 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 2T stredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1 1/2t cinnamon
  • 1/4t sea salt
  1. Preaheat oven to 375. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish however you prefer (coconut oil, grass-fed butter)
  2. Combine all filling ingredients in a bowl and stir.
  3. Place all the topping ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles oats.
  4. Pour the filling into the casserole and spread the topping over it.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the juices are bubbling and the top is brown and crunchy.
  6. Open a can of coconut milk and scoop a dollop of cream off the top. Put cream on top of each serving of crisp. If serving for breakfast, add a side of bacon for maximum yumminess.

baked :: Paleo Vegan Pear-Berry Crisp

I’m also thrilled to find a recipe that is both paleo and vegan, so I can serve it to my whole family (my stepson has been vegan for over a decade). Last weekend, when I was hosting extended family, I was looking for a dessert that I could serve to all ten of us, and I pulled out a recipe I’d been salivating over for awhile, from Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great:

Pear-Berry Crisp

Pear-Berry Crisp

I didn’t manage to get a great picture of it because I was too busy shoveling it into my mouth. I LOVE this recipe, y’all! I served it for dessert, along with homemade vanilla ice cream (neither vegan nor paleo!), but it would also be great with whipped coconut cream. I also had it plain for breakfast a couple of times, along with some sausage. I’m super-sad it’s all gone now, because I would love to have some this morning. Fortunately for me, I’ve got some paleo Banana Bread (also from Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great) in the oven right now!

Pear-Berry Crisp
adapted from Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great
(serves 8)
ingredients:
3 lbs. red pears, cored, peeled, sliced
3 C berries (whichever you like – I used blackberries and blueberries, as per the original recipe)
1 T lemon juice
2 t coconut flour
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t allspice
for topping:
2 T coconut oil
1 1/3 C raw nuts (whichever you like – I used almonds and pecans, as per the original recipe)
4 medjool dates, pitted
2 T shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t sea salt

directions:
1 – Preheat the oven to 375. Grease a 9×13 casserole
2 – In a large bowl, stir together pears, berries, lemon juice, coconut flour, salt, cinnamon, and allspice.
3 – Put all topping ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it resembles oats.
4 – Pour fruit into casserole and spread topping evenly over it.
5 – Bake for 35 minutes.

Oh mercy, y’all, this was SO good. I bought more pears last night so I can make it again very, very soon. I love that it requires no added sweetener and yet tastes perfectly delicious. I’m mulling over how to make a similar crisp but filled with strawberries and rhubarb, for spring – but that seems like it would be too tart not to require some sort of sweetener in the filling, doesn’t it?

At any rate, I continue to highly recommend this book. I got it for Christmas and have loved every recipe I’ve tried in it. There are lots of things in it that you can’t make if you’re on Whole30 (paleofied baked goods), but there are plenty of Whole30-approved yummies in there, too. (This particular recipe only includes Whole30 approved ingredients, but I waited till after Whole30 to try it since it does seem to be a paleofied baked good). Do you have the book? If so, what are your favorite dishes?
Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great (affiliate link)

baked :: Vegan Cranberry-Orange Bread

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If you’re looking for a way to use up cranberries left over from Thanksgiving, I can’t recommend this quick bread highly enough. I made a loaf for company on Thanksgiving morning and it was gone in a flash. I still had enough cranberries in the fridge to make another loaf this morning.

This is my adaptation of a recipe from Veganomicon, which was most likely adapted from an old Fannie Farmer recipe. I used to make muffins quite similar to this, and this recipe could easily be made as muffins (with a much shorter baking time at a higher temp – 18-20 minutes at 400; I always dusted mine with powdered sugar once they were cool). I replaced the soy milk from the Veganomicon recipe with more orange juice, primarily because we had a guest with a nut allergy who also stays away from soy products (often made on equipment also used for nuts). I don’t eat soy either, except occasionally in tempeh form. Ordinarily I substitute almond milk for soy in all recipes, but this time I didn’t because of the nut allergy. I liked the extra orange-y flavor of using more oj instead, so I am going to make it this way from now on.

Vegan Cranberry-Orange Bread
3/4 C orange juice
1/4 C canola oil
1 C sugar
1 t vanilla extract
2 C all-purpose flour
1 1/4 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground allspice
1 T grated orange zest
1 1/2 C fresh cranberries

Preheat the oven to 325. Lightly grease a 9×5″ loaf pan.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the orange juice, canola oil, sugar, and vanilla.

Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and allspice. Mix until smooth – batter will be quite thick.

Fold in orange zest and cranberries, and pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Let bread cool in loaf pan for about 15 minutes. Release onto cooling rack, turn right side up, let cool a bit more, then slice and eat.

(The original recipe calls for 1/2 C chopped walnuts, which I omitted because of the nut allergy. My kids also don’t care for nuts, but on today’s batch I added a few to one half of the loaf after I had poured the batter in.)

This is such an easy and delicious recipe – the only hard part is waiting for it to bake and cool!

[from the archives] gathered, baked, eaten: raspberries

Because it’s fall, I’m thinking of raspberries. Because I’m thinking of raspberries, I’m imagining baking all my favorite raspberry treats. I went searching through my archives for an old recipe, and found this post from five years ago….

I pretty much love all fruit, with the random and unfortunate exception of grapefruit, but there is one fruit that I love with a wild and unparalleled passion, and that is the raspberry. I adore it. Everything about it. The color, the shape, the zing, the delicacy, those weird little hair-like things that come out of it. I think when I was growing up I probably never ate fresh raspberries, which is astonishing to me now. Then right after college graduation, I lived out in Washington State for the summer, with a family who lived right on the Columbia River. They had raspberry bushes in their backyard, and in late summer when they became ripe, the woman made fresh crepes and served them plain with fresh raspberries. I will never forget that first bite. Bliss. They’ve been my favorite ever since.

My boys’ first field trip of the school year was yesterday – kids and parents all headed out to pick our own raspberries. We were so ready.

Little Buddha, ready for berry-picking

Little Buddha, ready for berry-picking

This time, I was prepared for the fact that the boys were going to want to eat all the berries just standing right there in the field. Oh sure, they played the part of berry harvesters for awhile.

Tiny Dancer, berry farmer

Tiny Dancer, berry farmer

Little Buddha, berry farmer

But before long, they ate the few berries in their buckets and began to just shovel them straight into their mouths.

Little Buddha, berry eater

Little Buddha, berry eater

Tiny Dancer, berry eater

Tiny Dancer, berry eater

Meanwhile, I had to guard my own bucket from their greedy little hands. At the end of the afternoon, I had managed to gather three quarts of berries (at only $3 a quart!). I believe Little Buddha and Tiny Dancer managed to gather about two quarts in their bellies.

who me?

who me?

All that harvesting eating knocked Little Buddha out.

on the way home

on the way home

After we got home, there was still more berry-eating, even as I tried to get dinner ready.

nice block, Little Buddha

nice block, Little Buddha

raspberry smiles

raspberry smiles

In the end, I managed to save enough berries for all my Big Plans. First, there were pancakes. The same Vegan Raspberry Chocolate Chip pancakes I made after we went berry-picking last year (recipe at bottom of linked page).

Then this morning, I made Vegan Raspberry Lime Muffins, adapted from this recipe. YUM.

Vegan Raspberry Lime Muffins

Vegan Raspberry Lime Muffins

Vegan Raspberry Lime Muffins (my adaptation)
2 C flour
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
zest of 1 lime
1/2 C sugar
1 C vanilla soy milk
1/3 C canola oil
juice of 1 lime
1 T red raspberry vinegar
1 C raspberries
Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients. Pour wet into dry and combine (but don’t overmix). Fold in raspberries. Bake for 20 minutes or so at 400. Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes. Enjoy!

These were so good. SO good.

Here, want one?

Here, want one?

Even with all the baking and eating, I have a little more than a quart of raspberries left. I’m considering a version of Raspberry Lime Bread. Or I may try my first-ever jam-making. Or I may just put the berries on the table and let us all simply enjoy. Because honestly, no matter how yummy all these baked goodies are, nothing quite beats the taste of fresh raspberries.

baked :: in celebration of fall (Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins)

Five years ago, I had a BIG IDEA. It all started with my then-four year-old’s obsession with pears, and my promise that we would have pears once they were in season. When fall officially arrived, he expected his pears, so I created a pear cake. One thing led to another, and the next thing I knew, I had decided to make the Autumnal Equinox a reason for full-on celebration in our household. And because my life philosophy is always GO BIG, I celebrated by making a special breakfast, making a special dinner (a very time-consuming one, as it turned out), and making a special cake.

It was a fun and memorable start to my favorite season, but I vowed after spending so much of the day in the kitchen that, in future celebrations, we would scale back on the cooking/baking and spend part of the day outside. Also, I am older and more tired now. And I’ve learned  that sometimes the philosophy of “It’s the little things” trumps the philosophy of “Go big.”

My boys have inherited my zeal for celebrations and for special traditions, and they have come to expect Pumpkin Muffins on the first day of fall. And not only on the first day of fall, but actually every Saturday of the season. They began reminding me of this several days ago. “Mom, you know that the first day of fall is coming, and you know what that means, right?” “Mom, do you have all the ingredients you need for pumpkin muffins?” “Mom, you do know that we are supposed to have pumpkin muffins every Saturday in fall, right?”

Fortunately, in addition to being delicious, they are also very, very easy. And quick! I don’t mind making them regularly. I don’t even mind making them every week.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Our family is not vegan, but I do a fair amount of vegan cooking and baking, and I have a number of really good vegan cookbooks. One of my favorites is Vegan with a Vengeance, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I’ve adapted her recipe for “The Best Pumpkin Muffins” to include chocolate chips (Ghiradelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips are vegan, if that matters to you) and to substitute almond milk (which our family prefers to soy milk).  (And of course these don’t have to be vegan at all, if you would like to substitute regular dairy milk for the almond milk – though I can’t vouch for those because we’ve never tried them that way.)

I share this recipe here in case you would like to create your own every-Saturday-muffin tradition. Or in case you just want to whip up one delicious batch. Happy fall, y’all!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins – makes 18 muffins
1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
1 1/4 C sugar
1 T baking power
1/4 t salt
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 groung ginger
1/4 t ground allspice
1/8 t ground cloves
1 C pureed pumpkin
1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
1/2 C vegetable oil
2 T molasses
1 C chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease one 12-muffin tin one half of a second 12-muffin tin.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, almond milk, oil, and molasses. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool. Serve (I like mine with Good Earth tea) and enjoy!

As my kids were eating their first pumpkin muffins of the season, I heard one of them say to the other, “I love fall, don’t you?” And the other one said, “As soon as I took my first bite, it reminded me so much of last fall.” It makes this mama’s heart so happy to hear such things, and to know that really, the little things do add up. Happy fall, to you and yours.