Summary: Now that pumpkin spice season is officially here, you might be feeling great despair, thinking you won’t be able to partake of any delicious goodies. Fear not, because when you try these amazing vegan, gluten-free muffins, you’ll wonder why you put up with ...

muffins

Now that pumpkin spice season is officially here, you might be feeling great despair, thinking you won’t be able to partake of any delicious goodies. Fear not, because when you try these amazing vegan, gluten-free muffins, you’ll wonder why you put up with the conventional kind for as long as you did.

Beware, however – once you bake a pan of them, your family won’t stop begging you for more. If you don’t mind opening that Pandora’s box, here’s the recipe:

10 oz pumpkin puree (that’s about ¾ of a small can)
½ cup olive oil
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
¾ cup real maple syrup (NOT pancake syrup!)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups gluten-free flour (there are many varieties, but Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 flour is our favorite)
2 teaspoons baking powder (make sure it’s aluminum-free)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger (for a treat, try fresh ginger, and use a fine grater)
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon sea salt

Optional ingredients:
1 cup walnuts and/or pecans
1 cup vegan chocolate chips
½ cup poppy seeds

Mix together the wet ingredients in one large bowl and the dry ingredients in another. Beat wet ingredients to a thick froth and combine with dry ingredients. Grease muffin tin with olive oil or natural, organic vegan margarine. Pour batter directly into compartments, filling almost to the top. Place the entire concoction into a 395 degree, pre-heated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. If you can stand additional bliss, brush the tops of the muffins with maple syrup about five minutes prior to removing them from the oven. Your house will smell so divine that you won’t want to leave for hours!

Makes one dozen muffins. You can eat them as is or slice them open and put a bit of natural margarine (like Earth Balance) in the center. Or try it with some vegan cream cheese (Kite Hill is the absolute bomb). The possibilities are endless, really. We don’t recommend that you devour all twelve of these muffins at once, but we won’t try to stop you, either. They’re great for breakfast, snacks, or even for dessert. You’d better invite all your friends over, if the aroma emanating from the windows isn’t enough to lure them to your door. Be aware: this is not a diet food. Bon Appetit, and happy autumn!

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Summary: Cauliflower steaks are getting quite popular, and we understand why: they're vegan, gluten-free, hearty, easy to make, versatile and absolutely delicious. We decided to try our hand at making cauliflower steaks with our own little twist added: saffron cauliflower puree. Not only was it as delicious as we expected; it exceeded our expectations.

Cauliflower steaks are getting quite popular, and we understand why: they’re vegan, gluten-free, hearty, easy to make, versatile and absolutely delicious. We decided to try our hand at making cauliflower steaks with our own little twist added: saffron cauliflower puree. Not only was it as delicious as we expected; it exceeded our expectations.

Cauliflower steaks are simply thick, cross-cuts of a cauliflower head. They are very filling, and the cauliflower takes on the flavor of virtually any seasoning.

Vegan and Gluten-Free Grilled Cauliflower Steak with Saffron Cauliflower Puree

Servings: 2

Cauliflower Steak

1 head of cauliflower
3 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Saffron Cauliflower Puree

1 pinch of saffron
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1-2 cups cauliflower florets (will be leftover from your head of cauliflower)
2 1/2 cups No Chicken broth, or your favorite vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Heat 2 of the 2 1/2 cups of broth in a medium saucepan to come to a boil

Remove the stem and any green leaves from the cauliflower. Holding it right-side-up (so with the stem part down), slice the cauliflower in half. Pick up one half and, holding it upright again, slice a nice thick piece off of that half, as if you’re slicing a piece of bread off of a whole loaf. Do the same with the other half. These will be your cauliflower steaks.

Take the leftover cauliflower, rough chop it into small bits, and add it to the boiling broth, along with the garlic powder. Set a timer for 8 minutes. Take the remaining 1/2 cup of broth, add the pinch of saffron to it, and swirl it around. The broth will take on a nice, yellow hue. Once you’ve sufficiently swirled it around to turn yellow, set it aside.

Get a frying pan, preferably cast iron, nice and hot over medium-high heat. Brush each side of the cauliflower steak with some olive oil. Cook each side for about 3 minutes, adding salt and pepper to each side. Place in the hot oven and set a timer for 10 minutes.

Once the cauliflower florets have finished cooking, remove from heat and drain, reserving 1 cup of the broth. In a blender, add the broth with the saffron in it, then 1/4 a cup of the reserved broth from the cauliflower florets, for a total of 3/4 cup of broth. Add the cooked cauliflower florets and blend. You want a nice, thick and creamy consistency. If it’s too thick, add a bit more of the reserved broth. Once it’s at a nice, creamy consistency, pour the puree in your serving dish, and salt and pepper to taste.

Once the cauliflower steaks are done baking, serve with the puree either on the side, or poured over the steaks.

This pairs perfectly with a crisp green salad, topped with tangy vinaigrette.

cauliflowersteaks

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