Easy vegan pumpkin cookies

IMG_1087These pumpkin cookies are easy to make, moist and delicious but be careful! They go fast!

what you will need-

2 cups flour (I used white but brown rice flour makes a great substitute if you are gluten free)

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree

1 1/3 cups sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda and cinnamon) in a small bowl.  Use a fork to combine and to sift.  Set aside.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a larger bowl or a mixing bowl.  Combine throughly.

Spoon in the dry mixture until the wet and dry ingredients are completely mixed together.

On a greased cooking sheet, spoon tablespoon sized dollops 2 inches apart.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are crisp.  Allow to cool a few minutes on the cookie sheet then finish cooling on wire racks.

enjoy!

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note- these cookies are incredibly moist,  it if you prefer them crunchier you can cook for a longer period of time, just be careful not to burn them!

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

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With only six ingredients and no fancy kitchen equipment needed, the hardest part of this of this recipe is waiting for it to sit in the fridge overnight!  It might be my new favorite treat!

What you will need:

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1/3 cup chia seeds

4 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

3-4 Tablespoons of maple syrup img_0556

I tend to find it easier to pre measure all my ingredients and have them in small containers. Especially because I can put all the food containers away and clean off any measuring tools and put them away before I start to cook.  That way i don’t have as much clean up after I’m done cooking.  This is obviously completely optional, but I find that it makes clean up easier in general.

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First, put the chia seeds, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl.  Using a fork, sift and combine the dry ingredients completely.  Keep stirring until all the clumps are gone and the mixture is uniformity combined.

Next, mix in the almond milk and maple syrup.  Mix completely, until you think that you have over mixed it pretty much.

Place in a clean glass container.  Let it rest overnight.

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When it looks like this it’s ready!

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You can enjoy it plain or add toppings such as blueberries, coconut flakes, or pretty much anything vegan!

enjoy!

Note- if the texture is not to your liking, simply put it in a food processor or blender.  It will have the consistency of regular pudding.

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Chocolate oatmeal with pistachios, blueberries and avocado

 

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I can never get enough oatmeal, and it’s so versatile that the flavor possibilities are pretty much endless!  Okay, I know chocolate, pistachios, blueberries and avocado might sound a little out there, but it’s one of my new favorite breakfasts!

What you will need:

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1 cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk

1/2 cup old fashioned oats

2 tsp. Unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp. sweetener of choice (I prefer Splenda )

Avocado

blueberries

pistacios

First, heat the plant milk on the stove on medium high heat.  Once it’s boiling, add the oats, cocoa powder, sweetener of choice and cinnamon.  Lower heat and allow to simmer for about five minutes, until cooked.

Take the avocado and cut in half.  Set the side with the seed aside.  While the skin is still on the avocado half, cut slices lengthwise.  Take a spoon and scoop out the slices.

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Place cooked oatmeal in a bowl, top with pistachios, blueberries and avocados and enjoy!

Sweet and smokey butternut squash

img_3596This has a steak house type taste, with smokey flavors and spices!  It’s  vegan and is easy to make at home.  With only seven ingredients and almost no kitchen tools required  it’s sure to become one of your favorite twists on butternut squash.

what you will need-

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l/2 butternut squash

2 TBSP coconut oil

1 tsp liquid smoke (I like hickory flavor the best for this recipe)

2 TBSP maple syrup

1 1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp paprika

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First, pre heat the oven to 400 degrees.   Wash the butternut squash well and cut in half.

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Scoop out all the seeds.  Set aside for now.

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In a separate small bowl, mix the maple syrup and liquid smoke until combined as wet ingredients.  In a different small bowl, measure and mix the dry ingredients (garlic powder, chili powder and paprika).  Mix with a fork for the best combination.

Melt the coconut oil by itself and leave it separate from the other ingredients.

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Line a glass baking dish with tin foil and put some coconut oil on the foil.  Place the squash as pictured.  Drizzle the melted coconut oil on top.  Next, drizzle the wet mixed ingredients.  Sprinkle the spice mixture on top.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until tender, flipping half way through so that the skin is now facing up.

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Vegan bacon flakes

imageWhy are these called vegan bacon flakes?  Because using coconut flakes as a base gives it such a nice crunch!  It’s smokey,  savory and makes a wonderful salad topper!  Plus, it’s an easy recipe that requires five ingredients and about 20 minutes.

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What you will need-

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1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (slightly underfill the cup)

1 TBSP soy sauce

3/4 TBSP liquid smoke

1/2 TBSP maple syrup

1/4 tsp. paprika

Directions

Pre heat the oven to 325 degrees.

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In a small bowl,  mix the soy sauce, liquid smoke, maple syrup and paprika together.  In a separate and larger bowl, place the coconut flakes.  Next, slowly drizzle the wet mixture on top of the flakes.  Stir to make sure all the flakes have been covered.

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Next, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Use Pam or coconut oil to grease the baking sheet. (You can also use parchment paper)

Put coconut flakes on top of the pan, making sure to spread them out so that they are very thinly lined up.

Cook for 15-20 minutes.  Making sure to flip at least every five minutes and to move some of the flakes from the edges to the center.

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This is makes sure it comes out even!  Watch very closely after the first 10-12 minutes to ensure the flakes don’t burn!  They are thin and can burn easily.

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enjoy!

They are PERFECT salad toppers too!

Sometimes, presentation really is everything when you are trying to eat healthy

I really didn’t understand how important presentation could be until I went vegan and tried to be committed to eating healthy.  I didn’t understand why it seemed so hard at first.  I mean, yes, I was trying to go from a junk food filled vegetarian diet to a health food vegan diet pretty quickly.  That was a huge change, but I didn’t think that an educated adult would really struggle to make healthy choices as much as I did, especially in the beginning.

Anyone who has ever tried to make big life changes knows it’s difficult to stick to those changes.  It also rarely happens on the first try.  I didn’t understand how much the appearance of food influences us on concious and subconscious levels.  Watching documentaries about food made me aware of how food companies spend so much time and effort on brand colors, package colors, food photo shoots with inedible food doubles because they photograph better.

The point was driven further home when I would ask my omnivorous boyfriend to try something I made.  The first few dishes I tried were very simple, but I didn’t worry about how the food looked.  So he wouldn’t want to try the vegan dishes because he admits that he hates 90% of vegetables.  I started putting them on pretty plates and making sure that the food always looked really beautiful.  He tried every dish without hesitation.  He didn’t like all of them, but he didn’t resist trying any of them.

When I find myself eating junk food or just not always eating as healthy as I should I remember this and do everything I can to make my meals and snacks as pretty as possible.  It makes it so much easier to stick to eating clean and healthy if you are making it as enjoyable as possible on every level.

Here are a few things that helped me-

Buy cute plates and use sauce holders to hold dipping sauces or just to separate snacks to make grazing easier.

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imageOr- get creative and use natural snack holders like sliced bell peppers

imageThey make great and colorful edible snack holders!

imageThis would be a really adorable appetizer or snack!  

(Tip– if you make this, save the top.  Then, cut off the stem and place it back into the hollowed out pepper upside down.  If you place the slices of the other colors of pepper on that they will sprout out like in this picture instead of being the same height as the holder pepper.)

Don’t forget to use lots of colors!  I love putting all different colors of vegetables in my rice dishes.  It makes it pretty as well as nutritious!

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Interesting shapes can also make food look beautiful and make your meal or snack feel special. 

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Cookie cutters can make really cool shapes out of pretty much any fruit or vegetable.  A knife also works really well but is a bit more difficult.

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Don’t be afraid to get creative and to make your healthy vegan food something that you feel lucky to get to eat!

Three ingredient double chocolate oatmeal

imageDouble chocolate oatmeal really doesn’t get any easier than this.  Three ingredients and five minutes are all you need!  It’s vegan, delicious, easy and another great excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast!

what you will need-

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1 cup chocolate cashew milk

1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal

1 tablespoon mini vegan chocolate chips

Put the chocolate cashew milk in a pot and heat on medium high heat.  Once it begins to boil, add the oatmeal and bring down to medium heat.  Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Put the oatmeal in a bowl, and sprinkle the chocolate chips on top.

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Enjoy!