Category Archives: sugar

Celebrate Cooler Temperatures With Vegan, Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie

It’s already fall where we live, and our thoughts naturally turn to pumpkin treats. And what is more autumnal than pumpkin pie? Normally, this cool weather delicacy is made with eggs and condensed milk, but our vegan, gluten-free version calls for unsweetened almond milk and cornstarch (or arrowroot powder). The texture is more jiggly than a traditional pumpkin pie, but our version still tastes great and goes down smooth!

CRUST INGREDIENTS

6 tablespoons cold vegan butter or margarine (such as Earth Balance)
1 3/4 cups gluten-free flour (we used Bob’s Red Mill Pastry Flour for a light, flakey crust)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
6-8 teaspoons cold water

FILLING INGREDIENTS

3 cups pumpkin puree (2 15-ounce cans)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup turbinado or coconut sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
1 3/4 teaspoon combination of powdered cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg (or allspice)
dash of sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Pour flour into large mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt, and cut in the butter or margarine. Gradually splash in the water and form your mixture into a pliable ball. Make sure it’s neither too moist or too dry. Cover and place in refrigerator for 1/2 hour.

Meanwhile, combine the filling ingredients in another bowl and stir vigorously until they’re thoroughly combined. For additional smoothness, place the contents into a blender and whip for a couple of extra minutes. The texture should be light and frothy.

Remove dough from refrigerator and allow it to warm on your counter for a few minutes. Roll into a thin disk and press inside lightly greased pie pan. (Use coconut oil, olive oil, or vegan butter/margarine). Pull any excess dough up over the sides of the pan and tamp with the tines of a fork to create a crust. Carefully pour in batter, making sure it is spread evenly. Sprinkle the top with a bit of additional cinnamon and/or nutmeg and place in preheated 350 degree oven.

Bake for 45-60 minutes, until crust is lightly browned and separating slightly from the pan. You’ll know your pie is done by the delicious aroma! Remove pie from oven, set it on your counter, and allow it to cool. Seriously, try not to eat all of it while it’s still hot! Pumpkin pie tastes best at room temperature. Serve as is or with a dollop of vegan whipping cream (or two, or three, or…) Serves 4-6 guests, unless they’re very hungry. Everyone will rave about this delicious autumnal treat. Welcome to fall!

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You Won’t Be Able to Stop Eating This Vegan, Gluten-Free Rhubarb/Pear/Almond Crumble!

It already feels like autumn where we live, and we’re craving warmer, heartier foods. Of course, sweet desserts are delicious any time of the year. We recently modified a traditional rhubarb/pear/almond crumble recipe by substituting Earth Balance for butter, and gluten-free flour for the whole wheat kind. Our results were stellar. You’ll keep going back to the pan for this dessert — again, and again and again. Try your hardest not to devour the entire thing!

FILLING INGREDIENTS

2-3 Bartlett pears, depending on size (red is great, but yellow will do)
2 long stalks fresh rhubarb
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup lightly packed turbinado or coconut sugar
1/2 cup light gluten-free flour (We like Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose)
fresh grated zest of one lemon
pinch of sea salt

CRUMBLE INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup gluten-free flour
1/4 cup lightly packed turbinado sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg or cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
3 1/2 teaspoons vegan butter or margarine such as Earth Balance

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and toast the almonds for 5-10 minutes until slightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside. Cut pears into thin slices and cut rhubarb into small chunks. The rhubarb’s texture may seem much harder than the pear’s, but both will soften nicely while baking and achieve the same consistency. Using a large bowl, mix the pears and rhubarb together with the other filling ingredients. Set on counter to marinate for 10-15 minutes.

Grab another bowl and combine the crumble ingredients, except for the butter or margarine. Cut the butter or margarine into small pieces and stir into the mixture. It’s okay if it comes out a bit lumpy, since the butter/margarine will melt in the oven, anyway! No point in worrying when you’re so close to your goal!

Pour the filling into a square pan and spread evenly. Spread the crumble mixture across the top and sprinkle with additional cinnamon, if desired. A little bit of cinnamon goes a long way! Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool, but not too much! Your crumble is best served hot.

Call 3-4 of your best friends and tell them to come over immediately, so the dessert won’t be gone before they arrive. The crumble serves 4-5 people with ease. We love it as is, but you can get fancy with added vegan ice cream and/or whipped cream. With so much sugar, this dessert is not a diet food, but it IS 100% vegan, gluten-free, and scrumptious. Welcome, autumn!

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Dijon-Marinated Wax Bean and Cucumber Salad is a Summer Winner!

What happened? It’s already the end of the summer — the time when we often have a lot of vegetables left over from our numerous trips to farmer’s markets, co-ops, and supermarkets. Two vegetables that seem ubiquitous are cucumbers and wax beans. Recently, we faced a conundrum — our refrigerator’s crisper was filled to overflowing with cukes and beans. We’d rather perish than waste food, especially fresh veggies! Fortunately, with very little fuss, we were able to whip up this yummy salad. It requires few ingredients, and is cheap and easy to make. On those muggy summer nights when hot food is unappealing, this dish is a winner.

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cups wax (also known as yellow) beans
1 cucumber, peeled
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2-3 chopped scallions
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (get the kind with the “Mother”)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Make the marinade by combining mustard, turbinado sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. Stir vigorously and set aside. Meanwhile, slice the wax beans sideways along the seam, then chop into 3-4 shorter pieces. Lightly steam the beans for 2-3 minutes until they are al dente, but not hard or mushy.

Place the beans into a large bowl. Peel the cucumbers and slice into rounds. Be sure to compost or eat the skin! Chop each round into 3-4 smaller pieces and add to bowl with beans. Toss in the chopped onion, chopped scallions, and marinade. Stir all of the ingredients together and allow them to marinate for 1-2 hours. You can either marinate them on your counter or in the refrigerator, depending upon your preference.

Drain any excess fluid from the salad by placing it into a colander inside your sink. Toss the salad and transfer to a smaller bowl. You can add an endless variety of garnishes for a festive touch –cracked pepper is good, or mint sprigs, diced sage leaves, or fresh, chopped basil, or anything that appeals to you and your guests. Get creative!

This deceptively simple but delicious salad is great as a side dish with a protein-packed, vegan main such as fried tempeh. It’s also delicious with other, more robust sides like gluten-free bread, brown rice, or quinoa. Serves 2-3 people, but feel free to increase the size of the recipe if you have more guests. Gotta use up those beans and cucumbers! You’d better enjoy the waning days of summer, because autumn is just around the corner.

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Peach Cobbler Tastes Great When It’s Vegan and Gluten-Free!

Is it even summer without peach cobbler? We don’t think so! When temperatures are hot and peaches are ripe, what’s an enterprising chef to do? The traditional recipe calls for large amounts of butter and white sugar, but you won’t miss the rich taste when you bite into our more subtle, but equally delicious version. This cobbler is inexpensive and incredibly easy to make. You can either peel the peaches or leave the peels on. We made our recipe with peels because that’s the way we roll. The peels become soft and pliable during the baking process. Also, they’re packed with vitamins, so it seems a shame to just toss them out. You’re going to love this recipe. We guarantee it!

PEACH INGREDIENTS

5 large peaches, cut into thin wedges
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

DRY INGREDIENTS

1 cup gluten-free flour blend (We used Bob’s Red Mill, excellent!)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 tablespoons tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour)
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch of sea salt (not the iodized variety)

WET INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup plant-based milk (coconut or almond work best)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

Arrange the sliced peaches in a square baking pan. Sprinkle them with the two tablespoons of sugar, cinnamon, and fresh lemon juice. Allow the mixture to marinate for a few moments as you prepare the other ingredients. Mix the dry ingredients together until they’re thoroughly combined. Add vanilla extract and plant-based milk gradually, stirring continuously to make sure no lumps form. Batter should be smooth and creamy.

Pour the batter over the top of the peaches, spreading evenly. Don’t worry if the peaches aren’t completely covered. Bake in pre-heated, 375 degree oven for 35-45 minutes. The batter should form a nice crust that will attain a lovely golden brown color. Remove from oven and set on your counter to cool. But don’t let it cool too much — this dessert is best served hot!

Serves 4-6 people with ease. Your peach cobbler is sure to be a hit. You can serve it as is, or with a scoop (or two, or three) of vegan ice cream such as Coconut Bliss. (Our personal favorite is the coconut flavor. It’s perfect for this dessert). This dish keeps well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. We have been known to enjoy leftover cobbler for breakfast. Shhhhhhhh — don’t tell anyone! You’re just going to have to try this dessert for yourself, and then you’ll know why we love it so much. Happy summer!

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All-American Apple Pie That Just Happens to be Gluten-Free and Vegan!

Fourth of July is almost here, and for many folks, this day means barbeques and picnics. Quite a few of us have fond memories of chowing down slice after slice of apple pie. Even if you’re following a vegan, gluten-free diet, you don’t have to miss out on this aspect of the celebration! Our version is beyond delicious. The crust’s rich, buttery flavor comes from coconut oil. We made a lattice-style crust, because we like its visual appeal. You’ll be delighted by this scrumptious delicacy!

PIE INGREDIENTS
5-6 apples, sliced, peeled, and cut into chunks (try a variety of different apples for a flavor kick)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2/3 cup coconut sugar
4 tablespoons plant-based milk (coconut or almond is best)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon tapioca flour

CRUST INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 1/4 cup almond meal (also known as almond flour)
1 1/4 cup gluten-free pastry flour (plus more for rolling)
2/3 cups water

INSTRUCTIONS

Place coconut sugar in 1 tablespoon coconut oil and fry on stovetop until slightly bubbly. Do not burn! Add milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and apples, and continue heating for about 10 minutes. The apples should be a bit soft, but they don’t need to be cooked through. Add tapioca flour and cook for another 1-2 minutes until mixture thickens. Remove from stovetop and set aside.

Prepare crust by combining flours and coconut oil with water. The dough should be pliable but not sticky. Add more flour if the dough adheres to your fingers. Separate dough in half. Grease a pie pan with coconut oil or Earth Balance. Take the first dough section and press it across the entire bottom of the pan, creating a thin and level surface. Press dough around the edges of the pie pan with your fingers. You can tamp down the edges with a fork.

Pour apples into the pie pan, spreading them evenly. Depending on the size of your other dough half, you can either roll out a circle and place it over the top of the pie, or create a lattice crust with long, narrow dough strips. Either way, your pie will look lovely and taste delicious!

Bake in oven at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. Cool on countertop, but don’t let it get cold. Apple pie tastes best hot and fresh from the oven! Serve as is, or with some vegan ice cream or whipping cream. Serves 4-6, and if you have leftovers, they’ll keep in your refrigerator for several days. Happy Independence Day!

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Start Your Day With These Delectable Vegan, Gluten-Free Morning Glory Muffins

Morning glory muffins have been a favorite of ours for many years. However, when we started pursuing a vegan, gluten-free diet, we discovered that many of our favorite coffee shops had left us out in the cold when it came to these delectable muffins. Almost all of the recipes use butter, eggs and/or milk. This makes them decidedly off-limits. If you love morning glory muffins as much as we do, you may have experienced this depressing scenario, yourself. Have no fear! We’ve discovered a recipe that utilizes your favorite ingredients — raisins, walnuts, apples, etc. However, it substitutes flax seeds for eggs, and coconut oil for butter. The result is a melt-in-your-mouth concoction that will leave you wanting more!

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons flax seeds plus 6 tablespoons water
1 3/4 cups gluten-free flour blend (lighter is better)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg or cloves
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plain, unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup non-dairy milk (almond is great!)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 apple, peeled and cut into small chunks
1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup raisins (use golden variety for a special treat)
3/4 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix the flax seeds with water and set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg or cloves. Melt coconut oil on stove and combine in a second, larger bowl with flax mixture, coconut oil, vanilla, applesauce, coconut sugar, and non-dairy milk. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, stirring until thoroughly combined. Your batter should be moist but not runny. Add carrots, walnuts, raisins, apple chunks, and coconut and make sure they’re evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Grease a 12-muffin pan with additional coconut oil, or use paper liners. Pour the batter into each receptacle. Bake in a pre-heated, 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Your kitchen will smell good enough to eat! The muffins are done when you stick a fork or toothpick in the middle, and it comes out clean.

If you play your cards right, you’ll have twelve muffins that are more or less the same size. They’re great for breakfast, lunch, or as a mid-afternoon snack. Though small, they’re surprisingly hearty and really pack a wallop! You can eat them as is (scrumptious!) or with a dab of vegan butter. If you invite folks over to your house for muffins, they’ll be your friends for life. Enjoy!

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Absolutely Delectable Vegan, Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

If you’ve been following this page, you’re probably aware that vegan, gluten-free desserts are much tastier than the poor rep they so often receive. They are way more delicious and complex than the nut and seed bars you probably ate when you were first exploring vegan cuisine. This incredible carrot cake contains no gluten or animal products whatsoever, and you’ll be in heaven at the first bite. Granted, the recipe calls for two different kinds of sugar. But sometimes, you just have to live on the wild side.

CAKE INGREDIENTS
I cup unsweetened applesauce (organic is best, as always)
2/3 cup coconut sugar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup plant-based milk (we used a mix of coconut and almond, sensational!)
1/3 cup tapioca starch
2 ½ cups oat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda (aluminum-free, please!)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger powder
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ cups grated carrots
½ cups crushed walnuts and/or pecans

FROSTING INGREDIENTS
¼ cup vegan butter or margarine (the good kind, like Earth Balance)
4 ounces (approximately ½ store-sized plastic container) vegan cream cheese
2 ½ cups organic powdered sugar

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In large bowl, stir together applesauce, coconut sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and milk. Combine thoroughly, then add tapioca starch, oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. Continue stirring everything together until your batter is thick and creamy. Add carrots and walnuts.

Grease 8X8 pan with vegan butter or coconut oil. Pour in batter and slide pan into your oven. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Be sure to employ the fork or toothpick method to make sure your cake isn’t runny in the middle. The aroma will make you drool with anticipation! Remove from oven and let cool.

Meanwhile, prepare your frosting. Mix vegan butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar together in medium-sized bowl and beat until creamy. Remove cake from pan and place on large plate. Swirl the frosting evenly across the surface of the cake. For an extra bit of dazzle, sprinkle crushed walnuts on top of the frosting.

Serves 6 guests. Please refrain from consuming this entire cake by yourself at one sitting. Obviously, this is not a diet dessert, so utilize caution. You’ll be astonished by how good a vegan, gluten-free carrot cake can taste, and your friends will be, as well. Enjoy!

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Hearty and Delicious Vegan, Gluten-Free Apple Crisp

This winter has been an especially long one, and we find ourselves longing for sweet treats that won’t make us feel too guilty. Nothing is more satisfying on a cold winter’s day than a piping hot bowl of apple crisp. If you’re following a vegan, gluten-free diet, you might wonder how you can enjoy this succulent treat without butter and dairy-based ice cream. Have no fear, the dessert can be made to your specific dietary needs. We think it tastes even better than the milk-infused version.

CRISP INGREDIENTS
6-8 medium-sized apples (enough to make 6 cups. You can use several different types at once, from tart to sweet).
Dash of fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup turbinado sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt

TOPPING INGREDIENTS
1/3 cup organic brown sugar
¼ cup gluten-free flour (We used Bob’s Red Mill rice flour, it works great)
½ cup gluten-free oats (old-fashioned, not quick)
¼ cup almond meal
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup melted vegan butter or margarine (We used Earth Balance, with stellar results)

INSTRUCTIONS
Hearty and Delicious Vegan, Gluten-Free Apple Crisp Chop apples into chunks. You can remove peels if you like, but it’s not really necessary. Peels are full of vitamins. Pour apple chunks into a large bowl and sprinkle them with lemon juice. Add turbinado sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt. Toss mixture until thoroughly combined and spread into greased 9X9 pan. We used coconut oil for the coating. It has a sweet, subtle flavor that is great for this dessert.

Meanwhile, wash and dry bowl so you can re-use it. Combine brown sugar, flour, oats, melted butter, almond meal, cinnamon and salt until the consistency is similar to wet sand. Spread evenly across the top of the apple mixture and pop into a pre-heated, 375 degree oven.

The mouth-watering scent of apple crisp will fill you with anticipation and nostalgia as the dessert heats up in your oven. Let it bake for about 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and slightly bubbly. The apples should be soft but not mushy.

Place the pan on your counter and allow it to cool for about 15 minutes. Serve toasty warm! This dessert is great by itself or with a scoop of vegan ice cream. It’s big enough for 6-8 people, so be sure to invite everyone you know. You won’t have any shortage of friends. Cheer up – spring isn’t so far away after all.

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Vegan, Gluten-Free Chocolate Muffins for Your Sweet Tooth

Sometimes, when you crave something sweet, nothing but chocolate will do. It’s rich and decadent, lifts your spirits, and has a seductive flavor that can’t be beat. You can almost believe these vegan, gluten-free muffins are actually healthy. They’re much better for you than the store-bought variety, at least. This recipe features coconut sugar and maple syrup and utilizes either gluten-free rice or oat flour. You can have these muffins for breakfast or pack them in your lunch box and take them to work. Give our recipe a try, and you’ll soon find yourself in Chocolate Heaven. This treat is inexpensive, quick, and incredibly easy to make!

DRY INGREDIENTS
1 ½ cup gluten-free brown rice flour (oat flour works, as well. Try Bob’s Red Mill, it’s our favorite)
1 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder (check label to make sure there are no milk solids)
1 teaspoon baking soda (aluminum-free, please!)
¼ teaspoon sea salt (NOT iodized table salt!)

WET INGREDIENTS
½ cup water+ 2 extra tablespoons
½ cup non-dairy milk (we used Forager organic coconut-cashew milk, it tastes delightful!)
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut sugar
¼ cup pure maple syrup (just say no to pancake syrup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and fill each compartment of muffin pan with cupcake liners. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and slat in large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Meanwhile, melt coconut oil in small saucepan and warm milk in another pan. Pour milk and oil into a smaller bowl and add coconut sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and water. Stir briskly and then pour the mixture into the larger bowl with the dry ingredients.

Combine all ingredients until blended. The batter should be thick and creamy but not stiff.
Spoon a couple of tablespoons of batter into each compartment of the muffin pan. Place pan on the center rack of your oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes. You can stick a toothpick or fork in the center of one of the muffins to make sure it comes out clean. Your kitchen will smell divine in the meantime.

Makes 10-12 medium-sized muffins. These delicious confections keep well in a covered container. You probably don’t want to eat all 12 of them at one sitting. Invite ten of your friends over and have a party, instead. We guarantee they will disappear quickly. They’re great warm or cold. Enjoy!

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Sweet and Sour Tempeh

tempeh
The chilly autumnal temperatures may have you longing for a warmer climate. However, if you lack the time and/or money for an impromptu tropical vacation, this zesty dish is the next best thing. It’s exotic, inexpensive, and incredibly easy to prepare. Our sweet-and-sour recipe calls for diced tempeh, rather than meat. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and filling! Tempeh is packed with protein, calcium, and vitamins and has a subtly nutty flavor that will please your taste buds. The addition of coconut oil enhances the tropical flair. Here’s how to get the feel of the islands without leaving your kitchen:

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons tamari (not commercial soy sauce, which contains wheat)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup rice vinegar
¼ cup ketchup (get a good organic variety, and check label to make sure there’s no soy sauce)
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
½ cup water
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 8-ounce packages of tempeh
1 large green, red, or yellow pepper
2 cups fresh pineapple chunks (not canned!)
5 cloves fresh garlic
½ red onion
Cooked basmati or jasmine rice

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine tamari, cornstarch, rice vinegar, ketchup, turbinado sugar, and water in large bowl and stir briskly until thoroughly combined. If you like your dish sweet, add a little extra sugar. If you like it sour, add some extra rice vinegar. Set mixture aside.

Slice tempeh into thin strips, then quarter each one. Cut onion into thick strips and dice pepper and pineapple into chunks. Chop garlic cloves into small pieces. Place tempeh, onion, pepper, pineapple and garlic into large frying pan and fry in coconut oil on medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Tempeh and vegetables should be slightly browned, but not burned. Add more coconut oil to pan if necessary.

Pour liquid mixture into the pan and combine with the other ingredients. Sautee for another 3-5 minutes, stirring thoroughly. Be careful not to overcook. Al dente is better than mushy. Your kitchen will be awash with the sweet aroma of the coconut oil. When tempeh, vegetables and pineapple are done, remove pan from stovetop. Serve your fragrant mixture over heated jasmine or basmati rice. Some gluten-free wine or beer goes great as an accompaniment.

This incredible dish serves 4-6 people, depending upon everyone’s appetites. It’s a crowd favorite. Your friends and family will clamor for more. If you have leftovers, they keep well in the refrigerator and can be served either cold or reheated. Enjoy!

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