What’s a girl to do when an ice storms hits and you’re stranded at your house for days with no TV? Watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation for the five-kagillionth time, do approximately 50 loads of laundry (or maybe it just felt like 50 loads), read a whole lot of magazines, play with makeup in the wee hours of the night after reading said magazines (I looked eerily similar to the Joker when I was done), and bake–A LOT.
I must say, I’ve been thanking my lucky stars that my hubby and I have even had electricity all weekend while so many others have been waiting out the weather in cold and dark homes. I’m even more thankful that my genius hubby made a run to the grocery store to stock up before the storm hit. With so much free time on my hands and a fully stocked fridge and pantry, I decided that the oven would become my best friend.
This Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf was the first–and by far the best–thing I prepared all weekend. When I first went gluten-free and vegan years ago, baking anything bread-like was the greatest challenge I faced in the kitchen. There were times when I desperately missed eating bread and I struggled to find recipes that worked and tasted good (an important and sometimes difficult combo). After countless failed attempts, I’m so thankful to finally be able to come up with healthy and allergy-friendly treats that are as good–if not better–than what I would enjoy before changing my eating habits. In fact, I liked this so much that I ate it for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert every day! I don’t know what it was, but everything I made after this just couldn’t stack up to its deliciousness!!
*Not a fan of pumpkin, or just tired of pumpkin (if that’s even possible)? You could easily replace the pumpkin puree in the recipe with applesauce or even mashed banana!
Serves: approx. 10-18 slices (depending on how thick you slice)
1 Tbs. ground flaxseed + 3 Tbs. almond milk
1¼ cups brown rice flour (you could replace up to ½ cup of brown rice flour with sorghum flour)
½ cup almond flour
¼ cup tapoica flour
¼ cup potato starch flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. xanthan gum
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground ginger (optional, but it goes well with the pumpkin flavor)
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup grapeseed or olive oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup vegan chocolate chips
Heat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease the bottom and sides of a loaf pan with oil.
Combine the ground flaxseed with almond milk and mix well. Set aside to allow the mixture to thicken and become gel-like. *You could also sub with 1 organic egg.
Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Combine all of the wet ingredients in a food processor or blender, or whisk together in a mixing bowl. Add the flaxseed mixture to the rest of the wet ingredients.
Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry, folding the batter together with a spatula or wooden spoon as you go. When all of the ingredients have been evenly combined, fold in the chocolate chips. Pour the thick batter into the pan and smooth the top out with a spatula or spoon.**
Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes. The bread is ready when a dry toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow the Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf to cool a bit before removing from the pan. Set on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
**If using caned pumpkin puree (which is thicker and less moist than homemade), you may have to add a bit of extra liquid (either almond milk or water) to the batter.
Because today is my birthday, I wanted to share something extra-special. Yes, that’s right, it’s my birthday! Today I join the ‘Dirty Thirty’ club. I won’t lie, I was downright dreading my thirtieth birthday up until today. When I was younger, 30 just seemed so mature, so grown up, so responsible.
I had such an amazing long weekend, especially since it was rainy and cooler outside! The weather forced me to stay indoors, do some much-needed laundry, clean my filthy house, and relax a bit. I also tried to get some work done, but I’ve noticed something: the more work I have to do, the more I cook. Basically, I get distracted easily and start procrastinating, so all of a sudden I just have to make the recipes I’ve been wanting to try for weeks–anything to get me away from the work I should be doing.
The funny thing is, it’s while I’m avoiding work that I come up with my favorite recipes! These Pumpkin Spice Pancakes are the most recent result of my procrastination. I’ve been wanting to try pumpkin pancakes for a while, and now that I have I’m head-over-heels in love! And because it’s starting to feel more like fall, these are the perfect pancakes to work into my Sunday morning pancake rotation. In fact, I may just have to start making pancakes every day now….. Continue reading →
So if you haven’t already noticed, I’m a lover of all things quinoa. And chocolate (but honestly, aside from my stepson, who isn’t a chocolate-lover?). It may be hard to believe, but I love them both equally. Quinoa is so versatile and is an amazingly healthy alternative to wheat products. Chocolate is, well, chocolate. Basically, it’s inherently perfect. Anytime I can come up with an excuse to combine these two loves, I’m always game to try. No, the recipes aren’t always winners–in which case, I don’t deem them “blog-worthy”–but sometimes the combo is so wonderful that I can hardly stand it…. Continue reading →
Dark, rich, sumptuous chocolate and sweet, succulent cherries…If just the thought of chocolate and cherries gets you all hot and bothered, you’re certainly not alone. You’re also going to love this smoothie, as it was made just for you.