Persimmon Apple Muffins

The smell filling the house this morning is autumnally divine 🙂 The combination of the sweet persimmon puree, mixed with the subtle spice flavor from the cinnamon, nutmeg and coriander create a wonderful home for the soft chunks of apples that easily melts in your mouth. Add to that the occasional date bite surprise and you got yourself a beautiful fall muffin treat, healthy enough for breakfast, sweet enough for dessert.

I just thawed my last bag of muffins this week, so I had been pondering what muffin flavor I was going to start with to work on filling up my freezer again. While I had a few other flavors in mind, when I looked at my fruit rack this morning and saw the abundance of ripe persimmons, there was no doubt that was going to be the flavor of the week 🙂

For this recipe, either persimmons will work, but I used the fuyu, the small squatty ones that can be eaten hard. I had some soft ones so I used those. If you have some super ripe hachiya, those will work great as well, but just make sure they are super ripe. These are the tear drop larger ones. Those are pretty much inedible unless they are fully soft to the point of almost falling appart in your hand. I learned this the very hands on way. 

While I am typing this, it is quiet in the house as the kids are busy eating all the muffins that are barely cool enough to grab, but I made sure to put a large batch in a box out of reach. It makes me happy that my kids love my cooking this much, yet at the same time, it’s hard to not have them eat all the baked goods in one day!

 

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour (I mixed spelt, rice and teff. Don’t use spelt if gluten free)
  • 1 cup small oats (regular works fine)\
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 4 large dates chopped really small (I used medjool because I love how juicy and thick they are)
  • 2 ripe persimmons, pureed
  • 1 small apple, chopped small
  • 1 cup water (or more if you find your dough too dry depending on what flour you use)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds soaked in 1/2 cup water

 

Steps:

  • preheat oven to 350*F
  • grind your flax seeds and put them in a small bowl in water, set aside
  • mix first 9 ingredients in a large bowl
  • blend the persimmons in order to make a puree
  • add all the remaining (wet) ingredients in another bowl and mix well
  • combine wet and dry ingredients
  • grease muffin tins
  • pour dough in tins and bake for about 10-12 minutes for mini muffins, probably around 18 minutes for larger ones, or until a toothpick comes out clean
  • let cool in pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to cooling racks
  • eat at will or store out of sight so you are not tempted to eat at will!!

 

Note this made about 56 mini muffins. I like to make mini muffins because it’s easier for the kids to handle and good to transport. Also, I make this many because I like to freeze some for later use so I can have an easy snack to grab, or a quick breakfast on the go.

 

 

Creamy Pumpkin Coconut Sauce

I love the fall for all the cooking/food making inspiration!!! It’s my favorite season when it comes to kitchen time 🙂 My very first seasonal recipe was this Salted Caramel Chai tea infused concoction I made. The kids and I have been devouring that one with sliced apples, soooo tasty!!!

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And now I am looking forward to all the pumpkin and squash recipes I will be coming up with and getting inspired by!! This was another semi-accident. It was late and I needed to get dinner ready fast. I had this leftover baked pumpkin and it only took a few moments for me to realize that the fastest way to eat that (other than straight out of the skin with a fork), was to throw it in the blender with a few other ingredients to create a soup. No wait! I’ll make it a sauce so we can have it over pasta 🙂 And there it was, minutes later, our tasty family dinner.

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I topped my bowl off with some homemade spicy seeds.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup fresh raw pumpkin seeds, not dried or cooked (I just keep the seeds after taking them out of the raw pumpkin)
  • 3/4 cup almond milk or coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup cooked pumpkin or squash
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream (from a can, organic toxic free if possible)
  • 1/4 tsp real salt
  • 2 TBS fresh parsley minced
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage

Steps:

  • if you dont have left over squash, then bake it in the oven for about 45 minutes
  • put first 3 ingredients in blender and blend on high until nice and smooth
  • add other ingredients and blend until the herbs are nicely incorporated but not fully blended
  • serve how ever you like!
  • we did it over zucchini pasta for a light yet satisfying dinner

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Check out my other zucchini pasta recipes here:

With tomato sauce

With sesame peanut sauce

With rawlfredo sauce

Banana Carrot Muffins

Simple and delicious. Nutritious and filling, these are the perfect little muffin to put in my kids snack bag, or as a quick grab-and-go breakfast. We just had our first week of school here and you know what that means?? Muffin time!! I find muffins to be so convenient during the school year as I can pack them with all kinds of nutritious foods and they come conveniently shaped in a ball that fits in all my kids hands! Making them an ideal food. And whether I choose to make them savory or sweet, I usually find a way to sneak in some veggies in there.

For my little 2nd graders first week I decided to make these simple-in-flavor banana carrot muffins. I made a huge batch and froze about 2 dozen for an easy last minute snack in the weeks to come, ad still had enough to feed all my kids all week.

One big baking batch saves me time in the long run.

I hope you try these and enjoy them as much as we did!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour (I mixed teff, rice and coconut)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4tsp nutmeg, (I would’ve used cinnamon but ran out)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup packed shredded carrots
  • 1 cup packed mashed bananas
  • 3/4 maple syrup
  • 1 cup milk (I used almond
  • 3 TBS ground flax soaked in 6 TBS water (flax “egg”)

Steps:

  • preheat oven to 350*F
  • soak the flax seeds in water
  • In a large bowl combine the first 3 ingredients
  • in a blender combine all the other ingredients and blend just enough to mix everything together
  • combine dry and wet ingredients
  • grease some mini muffin tins with coconut oil and fill them up
  • bake for about 10 minutes for mini muffins, and about 18 minutes for larger muffins
  • let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack

Pistachio Cherry Chocolate Crunch Grawnola

The gentle nuttiness of the pistachio paired with the sweet tartness of the cherries are a perfect combination to the deep richness of the chocolate. The olive oil is a nice touch to add healthy fats without changing too much the previous flavors. While I generally use coconut oil in my grawnolas I wanted to switch it up as I truly do love the taste of a nice olive oil. And for this kind of recipe I really believe one should use high quality organic olive oil. This is my first time making this granola and I can say with confidence that it won’t be the last! Since all of these ingredients are not necessarily seasonal like my butternut granola or my orange cranberry one, I can make and enjoy this granola all year round! This is taking a high spot in my top favorites 🙂 FullSizeRender-37 Ingredients:

  • 5 cups sprouted buckwheat or soaked for at least 8 hours and rinsed really well
  • 1 cup small oats
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup organic olive oil (high quality is best here!)
  • 1 cup dried cherries (no sugar added)
  • 1 cup raw pistachios
  • 1 cup quinoa crispies (omit this if you want a truly raw granola, you can add buckwheat groats or oats if you like)
  • 3/4 cups homemade chocolate chunks or chocolate chips

Steps:

  • mix first 3 ingredients in a large bowl until well combined
  • add following 3 ingredients to a food processor and pule until the cherries and pistachios are broken down a bit but not fully blended
  • combine all ingredients except chocolate and mix well adding the crisps last
  • put on a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate for about 10-12 hours at 105*F
  • add the chocolate once the granola is done and mix well
  • enjoy with milk of your choice, mine is often home made fresh almond milk
  • store in airtight glass containers for weeks!

Strawberry Grawnola

Nice and crunchy, light and flavorful, what better way to satisfy a sweet craving than with a bowl of home made (almost raw) granola? In all honesty I can find (and have found!) dozens of others ways to satisfy a sweet craving very satisfactorily but this a great way as well. Thanks to the sprouted buckwheat base, this granola is filling without making you feel heavy, gives you loads of energy without any nasty sugar crash and fuels you with beneficial vitamins and minerals thanks to all the beautiful ingredients.

I used lucuma powder, which is a fruit, and has a significant amount of potassium, calcium (good for strong bones and teeth) and phosphorus (important for bone and protein formation as well as proper digestion and hormone balancing). It also has a good amount of protein (4 grams per serving) as well as fiber.

The coconut provides you with a nice dose of healthy fats. Pair this with a cup of some freshly made almond milk and you got yourself a wholesome, nutritious, delicious meal!

Thanks to the strawberries, the kids love this one, and we have been eating it on homemade raw yogurt, with milk and sometimes just straight out of the jar.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups buckwheat, either sprouted, or soaked at least 8 hours then rinsed really well.
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup coconut slices
  • 3 TBS lucuma powder (optional but it gives a nice flavor while adding a lot of beneficial vitamins and minerals)
  • 1/2 cup powdered freeze dried strawberries (I powdered them in my blender), plus another 1/2 cup in pieces
  • 1/4 cup + 2TBS coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup quinoa crispies (not raw)(this is like puffed rice but with quinoa)
  • 1/2cup water

Steps:

  • mix everything in a large bowl
  • lay on a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 105*F for about 12 hours or until fully dried and crispy
  • store in an airtight container for weeks! Or if it’s like at my house, this will only last several days….

No dehydrator? No problem! Just put it in the oven on the lowest setting and check it after 45 minutes, toss it and leave it for a while longer until it is fully crispy. I estimate it taking about 1.5 hours.

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Raspberry Rawcoroons

Deliciously nutty, slightly tangy, mildly sweet, these rawcoroons are the perfect dessert, mid day snack or even quick breakfast treat. It had been a while since I made rawcoroons. For some time there I was making them almost as soon as a batch ran out. It was one of my favorite treats to bring to parties, camping, potlucks, etc…. as they travel so well and are generally such a hit. In all honesty, I am surprised that this is only my 3rd rawcorron post. I have created so many flavors over the years! If you are interested in seeing my other two posts, I made a cacao one, and a lemon cashew one. Noticing that this is just my 3rd post, you can expect to be seeing me pulling out some old recipes and photographing them so I can share them with you here!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shredded raw coconut, quickly pulsed in the blender to break them down a bit
  • 2 cups ground raw almonds, ground in the blender to create almost a flour like quality but not so fine
  • 1/2 cup freeze dried raspberry powder, ground in the blender
  • 2 TBS lucuma powder
  • 1/4 cup + 2 TBS coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

Steps:

  • mix everything in a large bowl until very well combined. I like to mix all dry ingredients first then add the wet ones.
  • scoop in ball shape and put on a dehydrator tray, on the mesh screen
  • dehydrate at 105*F for about 10 hours or until crispy on the outside and slightly moist on the inside
  • will save for at least a week on the shelf, even longer in the fridge

Banana Birthday Cake

Banana chocolate chip cake with strawberry cream filling and banana frosting. That is the birthday cake that my 3 year old requested. Once again I was inspired by Love. Love so deep for this little human that I wanted to give him the cake he wanted for his birthday, even though I tried to convince him that a banana cake with chocolate frosting decorated with fresh strawberries would be super delicious. I am so happy I listened to him and went for it. Not only was this cake fun for me to make, it was also pretty delicious. I wouldn’t have been able to create anything better or more perfect for my little man hadn’t it been for his heavy input 🙂

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I didn’t have much time to snap good pictures of the whole cake,  as I finished frosting it minutes before we were heading out the door to go to the park where my sons party was at.

I found the recipe for the cake here and modified it quite a bit to fit my nutritional preferences. I pretty much followed the instructions for the cake as they were written, even though my rebel was really tempted to do it “my way”, and I feel happy with the outcome. I also doubled the recipe as I wanted to create a layer cake. I did not use the frosting recipe given in that recipe and instead created my own vegan, raw one. I then decorated the cake with fresh strawberries and bananas roasted in coconut oil and date sugar.

Ingredients for cake:

  • 3 cups bananas, mashed (about 6 large bananas)
  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • 6 cups flour (I mixed rice, buckwheat and coconut)
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cups coconut oil
  • 2.5 cups maple syrup (or coconut sugar)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 6 large organic eggs
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, or homemade chocolate chunks for a completely refined sugar free cake

Steps:

  • preheat oven to 275*F
  • mix bananas and lemon juice in a small bowl
  • in a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt
  • in a large bowl or a stand up mixer, cream the maple syrup, coconut sugar and coconut oil together. I ran out of coconut sugar or I would’ve used only that and not the syrup, which would have allowed for the mixture to actually “cream”.
  • beat in eggs, one at a time
  • add bananas
  • beat in flour mixture and milk, alternatively
  • add in chocolate chunks and combine well
  • pour in two 10 inch round spring form pans
  • bake anywhere from 1 hour to 1.5 hours. Or until a too pick comes out clean. Mine took 1.5 hours.
  • put immediately in the freezer for 45 minutes
  • I kept my cakes on the counter in the pans overnight before putting it together the next day for the party.

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Ingredients for strawberry filling:

  • 3 cups coconut cream from a can
  • 6 dates
  • 4 TBS coconut milk
  • 1 package of freeze dried strawberries, or 1.2 oz. powdered in a blender
  • 1/2 cup coconut butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries (added ONLY right before assembling the cake)

Steps:

  • put everything in a large bowl and mix well. You can also do that in a blender
  • pour in a container and set in the fridge for several hours

Ingredients for banana frosting:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 TBS coconut oil
  • 6 dates
  • 2 cups coconut cream from a can

Steps:

  • put everything in blender and blend until smooth
  • pour in a dish and set in fridge for several hours

To assemble the cake, take one cake out of the pan and put in on a plate. Mix in strawberries to the filling and spread a nice thick layer all over the cake.

Gently put the other cake on top and spread frosting evenly all over and around the cake. Decorate as wished.

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IMPORTANT NOTE: Because the filling and frosting are raw and made from coconut oil and cream, they will soften when out of the fridge. Keep in fridge or cooler until ready to serve, and keep in fridge or cooler until ready to eat. It will still taste divine f you leave it out, but the cake might start falling on itself a bit as the star berry filling softens.

Raspberry Granola

Crunchy. Naturally sweet with a  slight tang. Full of flavor and packed with vitamins and nutrients. This granola is a perfect way to start the day. I eat mine with some fresh home made almond milk which just brings this bowl of goodness to a whole different level of yum. But I am confident that it will go great with whatever your milk of choice is, or even as is, for an on-the-go snack! 

As usual I made a big batch of this to feed my little family of 5. Half the recipe if you feel the need to, but keep in mind that most granolas will keep for several weeks if not months, in an airtight container, so making a big batch is rarely a bad idea 😉

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Ingredients:

  • 5 cups sprouted buckwheat, or buckwheat that has been soaked at least 8 hours and rinsed very well then drained
  • 4 TBS lucuma powder
  • 1 TBS vanilla powder
  • 1 cup soaked sunflower seeds, at least 4 hours then rinsed
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup all natural Maple Syrup (not the Aunt Jemima kind)
  • 3/4 cups melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp hibiscus powder (optional, but it does add to the tang and pairs great with the raspberries, plus it adds a pretty light pink color 🙂 )
  • 1 cup (or more!) freeze dried raspberries

Steps:

  • combine all ingredients except raspberries in a large bowl and mix well
  • taste it and adjust flavors according your preference, you can’t really go wrong here
  • lay on several dehydrator sheets
  • dehydrate at 105*F for abou 12 hours or until fully dry and crispy
  • add raspberries (I add them last so they retain their crispiness)
  • store in an airtight container, (hide yourself a container in your underwear drawer, in you live with people who who’s idea of one serving is half a jar)
  • feel nourished and go have fun!

Tropical Muffins

Pineapple. Coconut. Orange. It’s like pinacolada in muffin form!! When my husband came home with a pineapple earlier this week, I knew I wanted to make muffins with it. The thought of bitting into a baked good and finding a nice piece of sweet pineapple is what got my creative juices flowing.

My good friend just had her second baby, and as good friends do, I brought her some food. Among all the goodies I brought her, were a version of these muffins. The first version actually. Although I wasn’t a fan of the way the first batch came out, I still delivered them to her because I didn’t have time to bake another batch that day and I really wanted to provide her with something more than just dinner. So she got my test run muffins (Sorry Paige!!). The very next morning I woke up and decided to try again because I just wasn’t satisfied with how they came out. After changing the recipe a bit, I am much happier with this version 🙂 The only thing I would change is adding more fresh pineapple.

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Ingredients:

Dry:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (I used buckwheat)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric (optional)
  • 1 cup oats (I used small)
  • 1 cup toasted coconut shreds
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar

Wet:

  • 1 cup orange juice (I used fresh pressed)
  • 1 TBS orange zest
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds in 1/2 cup water
  • 2 TBS apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
  • 1/4 cup coconut pieces to top muffins

Steps:

  • preheat oven to 350*F
  • in a smal bowl combine ground flax with water, stir and let sit
  • in a skillet, on medium heat, toast the coconut shreds. Stirring constantly. Pay close attention to this as the coconut goes from not toasted to brunt really fast. This should tie just a couple minutes.
  • in a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients, coconut included
  • in a blender combine all the wet ingredients, flax seeds included
  • barely blend, just enough to mix the ingredients and start breaking down the pineapple. If you have settings on your blender, I would put it on low. If you don’t you could do this in the food processor and pulse a few times.
  • put in greased muffin tins, top with coconut pieces and bake about 10 minutes for mini muffins and 20 minutes for larger muffins.

Baked Polenta Fries

Who ever created polenta fries is a genius. These things are so ridiculously tasty. We eat them occasionally at a restaurant nearby and I never even thought of making them myself. Until my daughter came around. This girl always offers me suggestions of things to make. So to mostly satisfy her desire of having these fries at home, and also for the curiosity of trying to make them myself, I gave it a go.

First off let me tell you, this took much longer than I thought it would. Because these are baked and not fried, it adds quite some minutes on the timer. Minutes that I had not taken into consideration while planning on making these. While they were totally worth it and I will be making them again, these won’t be a part of my dinner and a movie night at home with the kids again. Unless I plan better.

In case you remember, I had mentioned receiving beautiful dried chanterelles mushrooms from my parents back yard in the French Pyrenees. And I didn’t know what I was going to use them in, but I promised I would shrea the recipe if what I came up with was delicious. So here you go 🙂

While I loved these fries the way they were, I won’t be putting the mushrooms in them next time I make them for the kids. Even though they ate a good amount, they weren’t big fans the way I had hoped they would be. And I know it had to do with the dried mushrooms.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup polenta
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese (I used organic local cheddar)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup thinly chopped dried mushrooms (optional)
  • 2 TBS thinly sliced fresh sage (optional)
  • 3 TBS olive oil

Steps:

  • bring water to a boil, add the salt
  • poor the polenta in the water and whisk for a couple minutes until it has thickened
  • cook for 30-40 minutes covered, stirring vigorously every 10 minutes or so.
  • once the polenta is done, poor it in a shallow greased pan. The larger the pan, the thinner the fries, so use your own judgement here. I used an 9 x 12 inch pan.
  • set in the fridge to cool for at leaf 30-40 minutes
  • preheat oven to 400*F
  • once cooled, flip it on a flat surface, so the oily side of the polenta is then facing up and cut into fries
  • grease the bottom of a baking sheet and place fries on it, like that you have oil on both side of the fries
  • pop in the oven and bake until crispy to your liking, Since we wanted ours nice and crispy, it took about 45 minutes and I had to flip them every now and then so that all the sides got nice and toasty.

We dipped them in some tomato sauce which was so delicious, but you can use anything here obviously.

This took twice as long as I thought it would, but I am already planning on making them again they were so good.