Potluckin’

We are super lucky to have Marlie C. from Barefoot and Frolicking once again posting for xgfx during VeganMofo! Let’s give it up for Marlie and this amazing post she is sharing with us today.

Hi folks – I hope you are bundling up during these cooler days of autumn. Today, I wanted to discuss potlucks, specifically raw vegan potlucks. Potlucks are a fantastic way to establish a sense of community, get to know your neighbour(s), and share in the abundance of healthy, plant-based food.

A few months ago, I was approached by my newfound friend Lee from  Truly Organic Foods about organizing a raw vegan potluck meetup group in our area. I’d had the opportunity of attending some amazing vegan potlucks, but had never attended a raw vegan potluck before.

Little by little, Lee and I discussed ideas about possible venues and ways to connect with others who shared our interest in healthy, raw vegan food. Sure enough, there were many others out there who were also looking for a raw vegan potluck.

For our first potluck, held at a local eatery in April of this year, we had about twenty fantastic people in attendance. Each month, we expanded in numbers, and eventually took our potlucks outdoors for a backyard meetup during the summer months. Recently, we relocated to our third venue to accommodate the larger numbers (now between forty to fifty people!).

The premise for the potluck is simple: bring a raw and vegan dish (a recipe that only uses 100% raw, uncooked and plant-based ingredients) to share with about 4-6 people. People are also encouraged to bring a copy of their recipe to share with the group. We also try to upload the recipes online so people can access them afterwards.

The food is simply out of this world, unbelievably delicious, and I feel honoured to be surrounded by such talented cuisine artists each and every month. The enjoyment, love, and positive energy that everyone brings to these meetups is what keeps bringing me back month after month. Also, some of the best meals of my life have taken place at our gatherings – the following are just some examples of the inspiring rawesome dishes that grace our communal table:

Chocolate Raspberry Cheezecake

Creamy Kelp Noodles

Sumptuous Green Salads

Falafels

Sweet Potato Pie

Thinking about starting your own meetup group? Here are a few tips to get your motors running towards organizing your very own potluck:

1.    Seek out like-minded foodie folk: This might seem like a given, but try to connect with others who are interested in plant-based, healthy food. Is there a similar potluck group already in your area? If so, see if you can help their group, or have a themed evening based primarily on raw vegan foods. In terms of venues, see if there are any local halls that are available to rent, or even start out in someone’s home to save money.

2.    Plant the seed and communicate: Get the word out about your group online, in person, or through word of mouth. Print media (posters, little leaflets or cards) that advertise the potluck can be handed out to local health businesses, at universities, or farmers markets. Remember to indicate the time of the potluck, and outline any information attendees will need to know.

3.    Organize the community: This can be done using social media tools like Facebook and Meetup (the latter does require a yearly fee to use the website). This way, you can put out monthly reminders about the potluck, and have an idea of who will be attending based on the number of RSVP’s.

4.    Think about potential guest speakers: Guest speakers add a wonderful flair, and can help to spark an engaging discussion about a health topic. In the past, we have had talks from yoga instructors, a recipe demonstration from yours truly, as well as people sharing their health journey. We’ve even screened some health-related films.

5.    Get ready for the first potluck: Remember, introductions are key. Nametags are a great way of connecting people together and to get them talking about the wondrous food they are about to enjoy. It can be beneficial to have the organizer’s introduce the dishes so enough attention is paid to the time and effort of everyone’s contributions.

Have fun and enjoy!

Posted in Awesome, Guest Post, Raw, Vegan MoFo 5 | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Nikki’s Spiced Chocolate Chia Pudding

Happy Friday!  Nikki here from Fresh Young Coconut, a high-raw vegan blog.  One of the benefits of eating high-raw is that most of the food is gluten-free by default.  That makes for some happy bellies.  Being a lover of xgfx.org I jumped at the chance to make a MoFo guest appearance.

Today’s treat is Spiced Chocolate Chia Pudding, a sweet and spicy Fall favorite of mine that’s yummy enough to be a dessert, but healthy enough to enjoy for breakfast.  In case you’ve been missing out on the chia goodness until now, they’re an easily digested, high fiber, nutrition-packed seed that form a gel when mixed with liquid and take on the taste of whatever you mix them with.  When left whole they remind me of tiny tapioca.  When mixed with chocolate they become a tasty and wholesome way to indulge your sweet tooth.  I love chia seeds almost as much as I love Fall.

Spiced Chocolate Chia Pudding

  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 cups coconut milk beverage (or nut milk of your choice)
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup agave or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • pinch sea salt

Stir together the chia seeds and shredded coconut in a mixing bowl.

In a high powered blender mix together the rest of the ingredients until completely smooth. Stir the wet mix into the seed mixture.

Let sit for 15 minutes and stir again. At this point the pudding can be divided into individual serving cups or left in the bowl to refrigerate. I like to put mine in 8 ounce juice glasses. Refrigerate at least 2-3 hours before serving. Makes about 4 servings.

Now, this recipe is super flexible so you can make this completely raw or less raw depending on your nut milk, sweetener and cacao vs. cocoa.  It’s just a little bit spicy.  Adding more cayenne will heat it up if you’re into that sort of thing.  Enjoy!

Posted in Awesome, Breakfast, dessert, Desserts, Guest Post, Raw, Vegan MoFo 5 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Adzuki and Quinoa Veggie Burgers

Get ready to get your yum on – Maggie of She Let Them Eat Cake is bringing us today’s scrumptious post and it’s full of all kinds of awesome!

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Okay fellow animal lovers and gluten-haters! It’s that time of year – holidays are upon us and there seems to be a never-ending stream of dinner parties, family get-togethers, and fabulous feasts!

If you’re like me, you want to make certain your food is the best dish at the party. Don’t you love it when the meat-eaters and the glutenites start eating all of your delicious and tummy-friendly bites? Seriously, I take it as a huge compliment!

XFGFers – our food is the best!

When we head out on our holiday travels, I like to make a big batch of veggie burgers. You can serve a veggie burger with just about anything – a gluten-free bun, some rice, and my favorite way is with a green salad. Who really needs a bun? Buns are so 2010 :)

Adzuki and Quinoa Veggie Burgers
Inspired by Dreena Burton

1 cup chopped red onion
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 cup chopped veggie of your choice, we like celery, carrots, or orange pepper
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 ½ cups adzuki beans
2 ½ tbsp unsweetened salsa
2 tbsp chipotle sauce
1 ½ tsp grainy mustard
1 tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste
1 ½ cups almond flour

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet or pizza stone.

Cook red onion and garlic in a frying pan over medium heat until soft. Add celery or carrots or orange pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and place in the bowl of your food processor. Add cooked quinoa, adzuki beans, salsa, chipotle sauce, and mustard. Process until combined. Add sea salt, ground pepper, and almond flour. Process until desired consistency is reached and almond flour is well distributed.

Place veggie burger mixture into a bowl, cover and place in the fridge to cool for at least 30 minutes.

Remove from fridge and form into patties that are approximately 4 inches wide. Place on prepared cookie sheet and cook at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Flip burgers after 15 minutes.

Serve on a bed of greens tossed with lemon and olive oil.

Posted in Guest Post, Vegan MoFo 5 | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

The All Canadian Gingersnap!

A special thanks to the Sketch-Free Vegan gals for this delightful post! Don’t these look killer good??

Hi everyone! We are so excited to be a guest blogger for xgfx this month. We stumbled upon this site a couple months ago and was so happy that there’s finally a meeting place for vegans with food sensitivities like gluten.
We are known for our sweets and I would say about 2/3 of our recipes we post on our blog has some sort of sugar in it. We’ve just always loved sweet stuff! Which is why we would like to introduce to you: The All Canadian Gingersnap (even though the only “canadian” thing about it is the fact it’s shaped like a maple leaf…). You can’t blame us for trying to feel a little patriotic now and then! You could of course use any cookie cutter you have on hand to make these wafer thin, crunchy, gingery cookies. 

This recipe is based off of our “Buckwheat Grahams” (you can find that recipe under cookies in our recipe index). I would recommend that you use light buckwheat flour as opposed to the dark buckwheat just because it gives it a lighter, crispier texture. 

So here are the ingredients:

1 cup light buckwheat flour
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
2 tbsp coconut oil
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup water

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and spices. Add in the water, vanilla and coconut oil. Mix until you have a thick dough. Roll out in between two piece of parchment until very thin. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter. You could also just score the dough directly on the parchment and then transfer to a cookie sheet. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.
Posted in Awesome, Baking, Cookies, Featured Recipe, Guest Post, Vegan MoFo 5 | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ricki Heller’s Marbled Halvah

Today’s guest post is Ricki Heller’s second for this month!  Please visit her blog Diet, Dessert and Dogs  for more wonderful xgfx recipes.  Thanks for your excellent contributions to this month VeganMoFo, Ricki!  <3

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When I was a child, my idea of “dessert” always—or should I say, only—included a baked good. And said baked good almost always involved chocolate. Chocolate Layer Cake? Dessert. Chocolate Chip Cookies? Yep, dessert. Chocolate Brownies with chocolate candy bar bits? Dessert again. My mom’s much-lauded, mile-high Chiffon Cake? Okay, dessert (but only grudgingly, as it sported no frosting and the tiniest flecks of grated chocolate). Rice pudding? Definitely not dessert in my books.

Similarly, I could never understand my mom’s fascination with candy-like sweets. To me, a lollypop or hard candy were simply a waste of perfectly fine sugar (which could be mixed into a cake batter or cookie dough, for instance). Mom also loved chewy bites, like toffee, Turkish Delight (still can’t get my head around that one) and licorice (which I did enjoy, but sorry, still doesn’t make the cut as dessert).

One of her favorite treats was a confection called halvah, which she used to buy in huge slabs from the deli department of our local supermarket. It was made primarily from tahini (sesame seed paste), egg whites and honey, and to my youthful palate, had an overwhelming flavor of sesame, of which I wasn’t too fond at the time. What I did like about halvah, however, was its incredible sweetness and the somewhat caramelized, melty texture, almost like sponge toffee. And, of course, the ribbon of semi-sweet chocolate that was marbled throughout (I learned later that halvah can also be bought in other flavors, but my mom only ever brought home the marble).

These days, I no longer eat any of the ingredients in that original halvah except for the tahini. As my health and dietary habits changed once I started the anti-candida diet, I learned to love desserts that were decidedly not baked goods, from pudding, to fudge to ice creams,and more; and halvah definitely falls within this more recent “dessert” category.

Once I tasted my own naturally-sweetened, whole-foods halvah, I fell in love with it, both for the rich flavor and smooth texture as well as the impressive array of health benefits. This newfangled version is a great source of calcium as well as fiber, iron, manganese and zinc. The oils in sesame are also very resistant to rancidy and provide phytosterols, compounds known to lower “bad” cholesterol in the body.

Whether you call it dessert, a snack or a healthy whole-food treat, halvah is one confection well worth trying. I’m sure my mom would agree.

Marbled Halvah

This recipe is one of the gluten-free offerings in my cookbook, Sweet Freedom. If you’re curious about a revamped and even lower-glycemic version for those of us on the anti-candida diet, check this one.

  • 1/2 cup (80 g) cashews, lightly toasted
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1/4 cup (35 g) sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) agave nectar, light or dark
  • 1/3 cup (70 g) dairy-free chocolate chips (optional)
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, whir the cashews until they attain the texture of a coarse cornmeal (there should be no pieces larger than sesame seeds). Add the remaining ingredients and process again until the mixture comes together in a homogenous, slightly pasty “dough.”
  2. Turn the mixture onto a plastic placemat or cutting board, and push it together to form a disk. Then flatten the disk with your fingers to create a rectangle, about 9 x 8” (22.5 x 20 cm). Set aside.
  3. In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (the bowl should sit over the pan without touching the water), melt the chocolate chips. Drizzle the chocolate directly over the halvah in the processor bowl, pouring in a ring shape.  Don’t worry if it’s not even or if it doesn’t cover the entire halvah mixture.  Replace the processor cover and pulse once or twice ONLY to barely incorporate the chocolate in rivulets through the mixture (any more than this and you will end up with chocolate halvah).  You want the chocolate to be distributed between the bits of halvah, but not blended into it.
  4. Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap on your counter and turn the mixture onto it.  Folding the plastic over the halvah mixture, press the mixture into place to form a compact rectangle.  Cover with plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 2-3 hours.  Once firm, cut into small squares for serving.  Store, covered, in the refrigerator up to one week.

Makes 20-30 small squares.

Posted in Awesome, Guest Post, Uncategorized, Vegan MoFo 5 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Chocolate Red Wine Cake

Kim from Welcoming Kitchen brings us her recipe for a decadent Chocolate Red Wine Cake for today’s xgfx Vegan MoFo post!

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Obviously, there are enough fabulous vegan websites and cookbooks to keep any cook inspired forever. Vegan MoFo proves that! However, almost any dish can be made vegan and made better. Just take a look at the Veganize It! Feature in VegNews if you have any doubts. This means that inspiration can come from anywhere; a menu at a restaurant, a dish a good friend has made or a non-vegan writer.

That happened to me when I was looking for an elegant treat to bring to a women’s party. The theme was a Red Tent Party, and our gracious hostess invited women from all parts of her life to come together to eat, drink, share experiences and just all-around celebrate the strong community that she has formed around her.

I wanted to bring something special, and something that fit with the theme. I found just what I was looking for on the smitten kitchen site. I needed to remake it, though, to make it Welcoming Kitchen-appropriate. On our blog and in our cookbook, all the recipes are not only vegan and gluten-free, but free of all the top 8 allergens.

Using pumpkin as the egg substitute, not only eliminated the cholesterol, but increased the fiber. Bonus! (Especially, since pumpkin is very autumnal, perfect for a red wine/spiced cake!) Using soy-free Earth Balance instead of butter provided scrumptious flavor without the cruelty. Another win! Then, I loved the spice idea and upped it just a little bit. The end result was a beautiful, sophisticated chocolate cake that was appropriate for everyone at the party to enjoy.

Chocolate Red Wine Cake Inspired by Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin is good, but not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder, divided
  • 6 tablespoons soy-free Earth Balance
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup vegan white sugar
  • ¾ cup vegan red wine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used King Arthur brand.)
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon all-spice
  • extra Earth Balance and cocoa to prepare the pan
  • powdered sugar and cinnamon to dust on top

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Prepare pan by greasing with Earth Balance and dusting with cocoa. Shake out extra cocoa powder. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine pumpkin and ½ teaspoon baking powder.
  4. Add Earth Balance and sugars, and cream together.
  5. Add remaining ingredients, mix until thoroughly combined.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  7. Bake for approximately 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The top might still look pretty moist.
  8. Cool in pan on cooling rack for 10 minutes, then out of pan until thoroughly cool.
  9. Dust cake with powdered sugar and cinnamon.

Happy Cooking!
Kim from Welcoming Kitchen

Posted in Desserts, Guest Post | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Green Smoothie Lovin’

 

Our MoFo guest post for today is brought to us by Marlie C. from Barefoot and Frolicking – Thanks so much Marlie!

Hi everyone! I am so excited to be contributing a guest post here on xgfx.org – the gals
behind this informative and fun website, as well as contributors to the site, are
such wonderful company. Hope you are all enjoying the amazingly inspiring gluten-free
and vegan posts shared here for Vegan Mofo 2011!

 

Today, I’d like to talk about green smoothies; now, some of you may be familiar with
this staple of a raw vegan diet, and others of you might be wondering “what? That does
not sound appetizing!). Well folks, I am here to assure you that green smoothies are both
nutritious and delicious.

In fact, green smoothies were my first introduction to the raw and vegan lifestyle;
I stumbled upon a recipe one day a few years ago when researching the benefits of
including more raw fruits and vegetables into ones diet, and said quietly to myself, “I’ll
try a green smoothie for breakfast, each day, for one week and see if I like it.” (I even
took a picture of my first smoothie to document this momentous occasion). Well, that
week came and went, and now I couldn’t (and wouldn’t) dream of starting my day without
one of these powerhouses.

 

Whether you are a health food fanatic or nutritional novice, green smoothies are an
excellent way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Green smoothies
offer a serious dose of chlorophyll from combining dark leafy greens (spinach, kale,
collard greens, sprouts) with some sweetness and light from fruits (bananas, mangos,
pears, berries). Why this quizzical combination you ask? Well, leafy greens rich in
chlorophyll help to make our bodies more alkaline rather than acidic, and the fruit makes
larger amounts of green more palatable.

In the raw food world, the pioneer of the green smoothie is Victoria Boutenko; her book,
Green for Life demonstrates how humans benefit from the chlorophyll present in leafy
greens such as spinach, kale (part of the cabbage family), lettuce and so forth. She found
that it was difficult to eat large amounts of these leafy greens on their own, but when
blended with other foods (like fruit), one was able to incorporate a large
amount of greens with little to no overpowering taste. Her book is very interesting, and I
recommend checking it out if you are interested in her study.

Now, you can make a quick and easy (and don’t forget tasty) green smoothie right at
home using a few key ingredients. Firstly, the supreme trick to green smoothies is to
have a ratio of 40% greens of your choice (I find a few handfuls of spinach or 1 large
leaf of kale works best) and 60% fruit (perhaps a banana and 1/2 cup of berries). You can
usually eye this ratio when preparing your ingredients. Next, you’ll want to add in some
water (I usually add one cup to my smoothies) and blend in your blender (the higher
quality the blender, the smoother your smoothie will be) until the mixture is smooooth.
Finally, pour your creation into a glass, and enjoy!

I find green smoothies are most tasty right after they are prepared, although they can be
made in the morning and transferred to the fridge for a few hours to one day shelf life if
you can’t get to them right away.

Once you get used to this fruit and greens combination (remember, it is a-ok to start out
slow, adding in a leaf of kale here, or just smidgen of spinach there), there are other ways
you can jazz up a green smoothie:

Add in some superfood powders such as spirulina, maca, and lucuma. Superfoods
provide us with additional vitamins and minerals to help boost our rocking
radiance potential.

Spirulina is a water grown, 100% vegetable plankton powdered blue-green algae that
is incredibly high in protein (a whopping 65% protein – the world’s highest known
source of protein). It is incredibly alkalizing for our precious cells.

Maca comes in powdered and pill form, and is made from a root vegetable that grows
in the High Andes of Bolivia. Known as the “Superfood of the Andes,” maca is rich
in minerals. It is also an adaptogen, which means it will help to temper any areas of
stress in the body.

Lucuma powder comes from a Peruvian fruit and has a slightly sweet (but low
glycemic) caramel taste. Abundant in iron, beta-carotene, calcium, and vitamins B1
and B2, lucuma can be added to also alter the taste of your smoothies.

Protein powder: this is a great way to incorporate more plant-based protein into
your diet. There is a range of different protein powders on the market.
Remember to check labels to make sure they are gluten-free and vegan (oh, and
the less processed the powder i.e. more raw and not heated, the better).

Nut mylk: try substituting the water with your favourite nut mylk (like almond or
hemp). This goes a long way to making the smoothie taste extra creamy.

Toppings: once you really get into this green smoothie goodness, you can add a
variety of fun toppings to make it the ultimate drink experience. I like to top my
smoothies with raw cacao nibs (from raw cacao beans), dried goji berries and/or
mulberries, cinnamon, chopped nuts like walnuts or leftover almond pulp from
making homemade almond mylk. Heck, if I’m making a smoothie with berries as
part of the base fruit, I’ll top the blended smoothie with even more berries – the
possibilities are endless.

 

Here is a quick and simple green smoothie recipe that you can try on for size:

1 banana
1 mango
1/2 cup or 1 handful of blueberries
1-2 handfuls of spinach (3 if you really like your greens)
1 tbsp hemp protein powder
1 tsp spirulina
1 tsp maca
1 cup water

Blend ingredients together in a personal blender until smooth and creamy.

And there you have it, a few tips and tricks for some green smoothie goodness. Try one
today – it’s a healthy new experience that everyone can enjoy, right down to the last drop!

Posted in Guest Post, Raw, Smoothies!, Vegan MoFo 5 | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Vegan MoFo xgfx survey!

Wouldn’t a gluten-free Vegan MoFo survey be kinda fun?!?! If you want to join in, please do so at anytime – simply copy and paste the questions on your blog and take the survery!

I’m participating and taking a fun ‘n relaxing break this Vegan MoFo humpday. We’re half way through Vegan MoFo and would like to thank all our amazing guest bloggers for making Vegan Mofo happen here on xgfx!

1. What’s your favorite gluten-free flour?

2. What have you always wanted to deglutenize, but haven’t yet?

3. What’s one of your favorite xgfx meals to make?

4. Your biggest gluten-free success that makes ya most proud?

5. Most “epic xgfx fail”?

6. What product do you wish was xgfx that isn’t?

7. If you could pass along one gluten-free tip to a gluten-free newbie, what would it be?

8. What’s your favorite xgfx product?

9. Is there anything you miss being gluten-free?

10. Any xgfx techniques you’ve learned that have been most helpful?

11. Have you found a favorite gluten-free pizza dough recipe that makes your heart sing?

12. Xanthan gum. Do you or don’t you? Love it or leave it?

13. Favorite gluten free prepackaged bread.

14. What’s your favorite way to nosh on quinoa?

15. Name five of your most coveted pantry staples.

16. If you could only buy three gluten free flours to last you for three months, what would they be?

17. Any xgfx ingredients you are intimidated about trying?

18. Favorite place to buy foods?

19. Favorite meal when dining out?

20. Freebie – create your own question and have fun with it!

Posted in Fun, Vegan MoFo 5 | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Carrie’s Healthy, Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Today we’re honored to feature an autumnal treat by Carrie from Carrie on Vegan. We’re super-pleased to welcome Carrie not only to the vegan community, but also to the xgfx community as well. Thanks for contributing!

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Healthy, Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Hi everyone and thank you for the opportunity to guest post on the amazing xgfx site! My name is Carrie and I’m the author of Carrie on Vegan, a blog for healthy, plant-based recipes.

This is me at the pumpkin patch last weekend. Clearly, I love pumpkins:

Before I get to today’s recipe, let me tell you a little about me. I’ve been vegan for just over a year for reasons of animal welfare, health and environmental protection. I am really passionate about using food to prevent and treat chronic disease, so much so that I am pursuing a career change to become a registered dietitian and earning my master’s degree in public health nutrition. For more about me, please click here.

My interest in gluten-free cooking began just this past summer when I developed food allergies and total body hives. Yikes! After about a month of itching I realized I better start avoiding common allergens including gluten. My allergic reaction symptoms immediately improved and my hives have steadily diminished. The more reading I did on gluten and grains in general, the more I learned how common these sensitivities are.

So, I am really at the beginning of a gluten-free diet, but I am looking at the experience as a creative challenge to learn to cook and eat a new way. Life without wheat and other foods I am avoiding is sad in some ways, but in other ways I am simply grateful to have my health back.

When I was deciding on a recipe to develop for this guest post I realized I was craving some muffins to serve along with all of the comforting soups and stews I’ve been making.

As mentioned, I visited my local farm stand last weekend where the pumpkins were rampant!

I love the transition from summer to fall and all of the wonderful squashes:

The recipe I developed is a Healthy, Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Muffin. It’s healthy because, like all my recipes, it has no added sugar, salt or fat. In other words, it’s a whole-food recipe.

It’s also very simple to make!

First, you will need to preheat your oven to 350F degrees. Then, combine two cups of garbanzo bean flour, one tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice, 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds and ½ cup of raisins in a large bowl. If you like, you can also add ¼ cup of chopped walnuts for extra crunch.

Next, use a high-speed blender to combine 1 cup of unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used soy milk) with 10 pitted Medjool (large-sized) dates. Add ½ cup of unsweetened applesauce, ½ teaspoon of vanilla and ½ cup of pumpkin puree (I used canned).

You’ll get this aromatic mixture:

Stir or whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and divide into a lightly oiled muffin tin:

30-35 minutes later and you’ll have a delicately sweet muffin that has great texture and flavor.

Thanks again for the opportunity to guest post during VeganMoFo, and please come and say hi on my blog. You can also find me on Facebook, or on Twitter.

Posted in Baking, Breads, Desserts, Guest Post, Uncategorized, Vegan MoFo 5 | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Sayward’s Raw Pumpkin Pie with Chocolate-Kissed Pecan Crust

Sayward’s here today bringing us a raw Autumn awesomeness. Thanks so very much for sharing one fantastical recipe with us all!

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Autumn seems to be the favorite season among food bloggers, don’t you think? We all just sort of spring to life, like little squirrels, shaking off the vitamin-D hangover and taking stock of summers’ bounty. This is the season of stewing and storing; the return to the kitchen (goodbye barbecue – see you next year!). Farmer’s Markets are overflowing and inspiration is everywhere! The leaves turn and then fall, and the rain returns to wash them away, and everything begins to change. There’s nothing quite like a crisp cold wind, biting at your nose, to give you that push you’ll need to busy yourself buttoning down for winter.

So hello, xgfx! Let’s do some autumn uncooking!

Is there anything more quintessentially “autumn” than a good old fashioned pumpkin pie? And by “old fashioned”, of course I mean totally modern and unlike any traditional confection that any pilgrim ever ate (not that they actually ate pumpkin pie, but that’s a whole other story). So this is pumpkin pie redux:  the classic flavors combined with an unconventional preparation. A little bit of old and a little bit of new makes for a healthier treat that’s still a guaranteed to please.

Raw Pumpkin Pie with Chocolate-Kissed Pecan Crust

Ingredients:

Crust

1 1/2 cups pecans
1 cup pitted dates, soaked at least an hour
1/2 shredded coconut
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Filling

2 cups cashews, soaked at least 2 hours
1 cup fresh pumpkin juice + juice of 1 carrot
1/2 cup agave syrup
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves

Instructions:

Combine all crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse to blend, scraping down the sides as needed. Don’t over mix it; you want it a bit crumbly. Use a bit of coconut oil to grease a pie pan, and then press the crust mixture into the pan. There might be some extra. You can save it to sprinkle on top of the pie as a sort of “crumble”, but I highly recommend eating it immediately. Pie making is hard work and you’ll need to keep your strength up!

Place the crust in the freezer and allow it to ‘set up’ for at least an hour. In the meantime, juice the pumpkin (rind and all!) and carrot. Don’t forget to save the pulp, which will make an awesome base for soup or muffins or whatever other pumpkiny goodness you can imagine. Also, if you don’t have an electric juicer, no worries: all you need is a food processor or blender.

Combine all the filling ingredients in a food processor or blender and crank that sucker, pausing every so often to scrape down the sides. You want the filling to be as smooth as possible, so blend the bejeezus out of it.

Remove the crust from the freezer and carefully add the filling, then refreeze the whole thing for a minimum of 2 hours. After this initial freeze the pie can be stored in the refrigerator. It will keep in there, covered with plastic wrap, for about a week. But yeah right. It ain’t gonna last that long.

Happy autumn!

Posted in Desserts, Guest Post, Raw, Vegan MoFo 5 | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments
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