The Best Pumpkin Pancake Recipe (with Vegan option)

Mmmm, these were seriously so yummy! I think they are my all-time favourite way (maybe next to oatmeal) to start my weekend. 🙂

Well, after some fruit of course! Cara Cara orange from Costco and some grapes.

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Mixing up the batter…

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And frying them up {in coconut oil}.

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This was the second half of the batch, by the way. Usually I cook three or four at once, and then cook the extras as leftovers for the next day. Check out how the pancakes puff up quite a bit. Yum!

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So I let ’em cool down and then placed them in the fridge for the next day. They’re almost as good microwaves as they are fresh, IMO. But I prefer them ‘baked’ in the toaster oven.

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They looked a little plain, so I jazzed them up with some cinnamon-honey spiked Greek yogurt, maple syrup, and more cinnamon.

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That’s better!

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Check out how pumpkin-y they were. I loved the pumpkin flavour in these little guys!

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Round 3 of pumpkin pancakes. With lots of peanut butter.

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I love the square design of the maple syrup here.

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Do you want a bite? 🙂

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The vegan version that I’m going to show you now was easy to make as well. Start with an ugly but effective flax egg (flax + water).

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Add the other wet ingredients and then combine with flour, oats, and spices.

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Cook and serve with vegan toppings like nut butter and maple syrup (not honey or butter, as these are animal products).

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Look at that maple syrup drizzle! I felt so professional after doing that drizzle 🙂

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Here is the regular pumpkin pancake recipe, because I didn’t really feel like the vegan version was worth sharing.


Super Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 125 grams any flour (whole wheat, spelt, kamut, AP, etc)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons flax, OPTIONAL
  • 1/2 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 150 grams pumpkin puree from a can
  • 20 grams brown sugar (can use dates/maple/honey)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Mix the dry ingredients, from flour through nutmeg.
  2. Combine wet ingredients (pumpkin through yogurt) in a blender.
  3. Blend wet ingredients until thick and fully combined.  Add a small splash of almond milk (or regular milk) if needed.
  4. Pour wet ingredient mixture into dry ingredients.
  5. Mix carefully and DO NOT OVERMIX. The pancakes will be tough and dry if you do!
  6. Cook in coconut oil or butter (I prefer coconut oil). Cook carefully on both sides, and check to make sure that cooking is done before removing from heat.

That’s it! They’re really easy and make enough for two hearty breakfasts. 10/10 for these tasty pancakes. 🙂

Secretly Healthy Brownies

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I’m gonna say it: these are loaded with black beans.

Don’t be scared! These brownies are not only gluten-free, but also vegan and absolutely DELICIOUS. I was skeptical at first, too, but they taste just like rich, fudgy brownies. The black beans are 100% undetectable – I guarantee it!

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Brianna, if you’re reading this – you HAVE to try making these! I’ve baked lots of vegan goodies and these are by far my favourite. I think they even top the brownies I had in Quebec. They’re super easy, require minimal cleanup, are ultra healthy, and most of all, taste like the gooey, rich, fudgy chocolate brownies you’d find in a restaurant. The best! 🙂


Black Bean Brownies (vegan, gluten-free)

Total time:  30 min;  Serves: 6;  Adapted from here.

Ingredients

  • ⅓ of a 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed (about ½ cup)
  • 1 flax egg (1 T flaxseed meal + 2.5 T water)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or other oil)
  • Scant ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • Big pinch salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar (I’m sure light brown/granulated sugar would be okay too, but I’m partial to the richness of dark brown sugar!)
  • ½ t baking powder
  • ¼ c semisweet chocolate chips (dairy free if vegan)

 Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Lightly grease 6 muffin tins. We used coconut oil.
  • Prepare flax egg by combining flax and water in small bowl and letting it rest for 5 minutes (or more).

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  • Combine everything except chocolate chips in a food processor and puree until smooth.

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  • Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Scoop the batter into muffin tins (divide evenly) and smooth the tops with a spoon. You can also be lazy and shake the tin back and forth violently until they smooth themselves out – that’s what we did. :mrgreen:
  • Bake for 18 minutes until the tops are dry and crackly, and are starting to pull away from the sides.
  • Let cool for 30 minutes before removing from pan. ***This step is VERY important! If you try to remove them right away, they WILL break and crumble. They’re too tender and moist to be poked at right after you remove them from the oven. Please wait the full 30 minutes before taking them out and digging in. 🙂

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The batter was so good! It was actually the first time I ate straight-up batter, usually because I’m terrified of raw eggs/raw flour. But because it’s vegan (no animal products), containing a flax egg instead of a real chicken egg and no butter/no flour, this was perfectly safe to eat. I licked the spatula, and the blade, and the inside of the food processor, and… okay I’m done.

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The verdict? I absolutely loved how chocolatey they were. You absolutely can NOT taste the beans, and they were simply delicious x10000. I had three the day they were baked – topped with peanut butter as usual! Yep, I crown thee my all time favourite dessert. Ever.

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Even Dad, who won’t go 10 feet near a bean, devoured one (even though I didn’t tell him about the mystery ingredient).  He loved it and said it was perfectly sweet and chocolatey. Promise you’ll try this one out! 🙂

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My Go-To Baked Banana Oatmeal {Recipe}

Hi everyone! How are you all doing? I hope you’re having a great week so far.

If you’re not, look no further – this delicious breakfast will energize you for the whole day – and you’ll have leftovers for the next day! The pictures below don’t quite do this recipe justice – it is SO much more flavourful and tasty than it looks. Did I mention that it legitimately tastes like sweet, creamy banana bread? With warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, plus a little splash of vanilla, this baked oatmeal recipe will remind you of the best banana loaf you’ve ever had. Bonus – it smells incredible in the oven, while it’s baking! Also, this healthy recipe is filled with fibre (from the oats), protein from the egg (and the nut butter, if you decide to serve it with a scoop of that!), and a serving of fruit and healthy fat. Seriously… make this oatmeal.

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I generally like stove-top oatmeal for busy mornings, but baked oats are my weekend favourite. I like making a big batch and sharing with my mom (who usually has a side of toast or potatoes), and still have leftovers for busy school mornings. Baked oatmeal is awesome because there are basically four steps: mix wet, mix dry, mix together, and bake. 🙂 Seriously, anyone can make this. I whip this up right when I wake up, then go for a walk with Mom + dog, or take a shower, or do my Calculus homework, or read… you have 35 minutes before you can dig in. 😛

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Another awesome thing about this recipe is that you can double it easily.  I don’t know about halving it because I haven’t tried it yet, but why not make a larger batch so you can have it again tomorrow? Or why not TRIPLE this recipe to serve 6-7 people and serve it at brunch? They’ll love it!

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Anyways, the recipe is super easy. Simply mix together the dry ingredients (oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking powder).

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Mash up a big banana…

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And whisk an egg in.  Add some milk – you can use any type of milk, and we used almond milk because that’s what we had on hand. Cow’s/dairy/rice/hemp/soy/coconut/etc. would also work, of course. 🙂 Unsweetened vanilla almond milk and dairy milk are my favourites, though. 😛

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Add some vanilla…

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Then, pour in the dry ingredients and them dump into a greased ramekin. I like greasing baking dishes with coconut oil!

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Perfect! Into the oven it goes.

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And done! Yum. :mrgreen: I love that little puff and crack in the middle.

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I am SO ready to dig in!

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I had way more than this, by the way. 😉 Just an amuse bouche. Between my mom and I, we can finish a serving for FOUR (well, I guess I eat 3.5 servings). It’s just SO good!


Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Serves 3 (or 2 hungry people)

Ingredients

  • Coconut oil (or other neutral oil, like canola, butter, or grapeseed) for greasing
  • 1 cup rolled oats (use gluten-free if needed)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
  • Big pinch nutmeg (a scant 1/8 tsp)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (I like using a big pinch of sea salt)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk (I like unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but you can use regular dairy milk)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup *OPTIONAL: I usually leave this out because our bananas are super ripe
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Serving Ideas

  • Sliced bananas
  • Other fruit, like blueberries or raspberries
  • Yogurt
  • Flax
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Coconut oil
  • Peanut or almond butter
  • Maple syrup drizzle
  • Honey drizzle
  • Chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a big ramekin.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and stir.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, mash the banana. Add the egg and whisk them together.
  4. Add the remaining “wet” ingredients and stir.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients in with the dry and stir to combine.
  6. Pour this mixture into the oiled baking pan.
  7. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the center tests clean.
  8. Scoop into bowls and serve with suggested toppings!

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Last thing: you can also add things like flax, chopped nuts, chia, or nut butter before baking, but I prefer using them as toppings. Speaking of toppings, my all-time favourite toppings are honey Greek yogurt mixed with flax and cinnamon and a huge scoop of peanut butter.  The peanut butter gets all melty and it’s just amazing. 🙂 Almond butter and maple are also great. And – OMG, I just thought of this – what about almond butter, shredded coconut, and chocolate chips? Or raspberries and honey? Blueberries and maple syrup? You really can’t go wrong with this “base” recipe.

Great, now I have to make this tomorrow. 😉

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next post – I have another recipe that I am so excited to share. Have a great (and yummy!) week. 🙂

☼ Brunch at the Sandbar ☼

Oh wow – we haven’t had lunch at a restaurant for a while! I think the last time we ate out as a big family was Cactus Club last month.

We’ve been to the Sandbar before, and it’s my favourite restaurant ever. It’s the best place for brunch, lunch, dinner, or anything really. 🙂 The Sandbar is on Granville Island, and the view from the place is amazing.

We started with some freshly-baked baguette and butter.

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Unfortunately I wasn’t able to have this because of my teeth (braces!), but the smell was delish enough. And I got to save my appetite for our amazing appetizers…

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Like these incredible truffle fries (topped with parmesan and truffle oil), with a heavenly garlic aioli. I think I had 30 of these?! :mrgreen: And some pan-fried oysters with spicy sauce. Loved these too! They tasted really fresh.

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A four-cheese and caramelized onion flatbread – the daily special. Yum… I had two big slices and the cheese was just AMAZING paired the the subtly smoky, sweet onion.

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These fries! I would eat them every day meal. We all loved it so much that we ordered seconds of this app!

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You can see Grandpa snapping a photo in the background. 🙂 On the right was what I started with – but of course I had seconds and thirds of just the appetizers!

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Here was my meal: the Greek salad with crispy chickpeas and grilled salmon. I love how I got a block of feta cheese rather than little crumbles. The crispy chickpeas were delicious and the salmon was perfectly cooked. The salad was awesome but not my favourite thing at the Sandbar (would prefer the apps and Mom’s entree – you’ll see in a second). It looks small in the picture but it was WAY more than enough for me!

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Seline ordered fish and chips with coleslaw and some dips. She loved her meal! Dad ordered the crispy fish burger.

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This was Mom’s seafood eggs benedict. She shared one with me, and I thought it was 100% perfect. The English muffin was replaced with a buttery biscuit, and the smoked salmon was really fresh and flavourful. Loved the baby shrimp, too! The eggs were runny (love wet yolks!) and the Hollandaise sauce was so, so good. Mom replaced the potatoes with a side salad with pumpkin seeds!

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Grandpa’s Caesar salad with crispy capers and grilled salmon:

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And my seafood eggs benedict with super runny yolk. TBH I always order benedicts for Mom when we go out to eat – because she can never finish two and I can “help her” finish them. 😉 But Mom doesn’t mind – she loves poached eggs on soft bread as much as I do, especially if they’re as good as the ones from the Sandbar.

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I ♥ed this meal – it was perfecto and I left super full. I don’t think I even needed an afternoon snack! Go Sandbar!

What I’m Loving Lately

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to show y’all what I’ve found online recently – and what I’m seriously in love with. 🙂

First of all… check this out! I found it on Facebook earlier this week and I think it’s the coolest coincidence ever! I think all students/volunteers/kids/old people/dogs/cats/bugs should read this. SO TRUE!

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Banana oatmeal chocolate chip cookies by Ambitious Kitchen: I really want to make these! These photos are beautiful and I think they’d make a delicious and healthy after-school snack.

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This avocado and goat cheese grilled cheese. Mmm! I must make this for lunch soon and I will definitely update you if I do. It looks like a trendier, crispier, creamier, and more delicious version of my cheesy egg and avocado toast. I can’t wait to try this with pesto. Just bought a new loaf of 100% whole wheat bread from Whole Foods the other day, and I am super excited to make a grilled cheese sandwich with spinach, goat cheese, egg, and pesto. Yumm…

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Baked these pumpkin muffins the day before yesterday and they are absolutely scrumptious. It was actually my first time working with canned pumpkin! I didn’t take any photos but you can enjoy Cookie and Kate’s lovely photography. I’ve been reading her blog so often recently. She seems to have the same taste in food as me – creative savoury eats with a massive healthy sweet tooth and a love for maple syrup and nut butter. I gave these a cookiesnchem twist by using a mixture of spelt and kamut flour, adding more cinnamon, and using coconut oil. I also added chocolate chips for more deliciousness. I loved these even more on the second day, lightly toasted in the toaster oven and smeared with peanut butter. OMG. You must try baking these!

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These and these cookies. I really want to bake peanut butter cookies, which, if you can believe it – I’ve never done before!

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Oh – Mom and I baked date quick bread again! You can see what we did last time on this post. Date bread is seriously delish and I loved the pecan streusel. We made extra to bake and sprinkle on yogurt. 🙂 No pics, sorry!

Last but not least, I wanted to show you a sneak preview of the pumpkin pancakes I’ll be posting soon. I followed this recipe by Cookie and Kate. I halved the recipe, omitted ginger and cloves (don’t have any), and used almond milk and coconut oil. Oh! And added a teeny bit of brown sugar into the batter because I didn’t want it to err on the savoury side. These pancakes were pretty great – a bit “mushy” and soft from all of the pumpkin (I did add a bit more than half a cup). But they had a wonderful flavour and I think I’ll add even more cinnamon next time. You’ll see exactly what I did in an upcoming post. 🙂 You know how much I ❤ pancakes!

For now, check out this post for making your own healthy pancakes using my mix-and-match guidelines. It’s amazing how much healthier you can make a recipe just by swapping out certain things for others!

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Thanks for reading and stop by again soon!

Jewelled Quinoa Salad Recipe & BEST Green Smoothie!

You saw this pretty, filling, healthy, and delicious meal on this Christmas highlights post. Here is the recipe – feel free to add what you have and omit things you don’t. The more, the merrier – but sometimes the simplest ingredients shine. 🙂 You really can’t go wrong with this recipe, and we don’t even measure.

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Salad Ingredients

  • Cooked quinoa (leftover works great!)
  • Chopped spinach
  • Black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Pomegranate arils
  • Dried cranberries or raisins
  • Cubed avocado
  • Chopped feta cheese or goat cheese
  • Capers
  • Chopped cucumber
  • Chopped tomato
  • Chopped bell peppers
  • Chopped hard-boiled egg, chicken, or salmon (yum – salmon!) It would be like the one I had at Cactus Club Cafe.

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Dressing

  • Lemon juice
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper (I like freshly-ground)
  • A small splash of balsamic vinegar
  • Honey or maple syrup

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My Fave Green Smoothie

  • Frozen banana: peel and slice, freeze in Ziploc bag overnight
  • Two huge handfuls of organic baby spinach (rinsed and dried)
  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 scoop of honey Greek yogurt
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of peanut butter
  • ~ 1 tablespoon ground flax
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder: I really want to try this one day, but I haven’t yet so I’m not sure how it would taste! 🙂

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Enjoyed for lunch alongside a big scoop of quinoa salad and some Cara Cara orange – my new favourite. 🙂 So juicy!

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I am so excited for aerial silks tomorrow – I haven’t practiced for a week and it will be my first time training in 2015. I mentioned on this post that my goal was to do the splits on the silks and be able to climb to the very top. I can’t wait to start practicing again – even though I’m probably definitely out of shape right now!

Last thing: take a look at this delicious recipe for vegan chocolate pudding with chia. I want to try making it sometime this weekend. One more last thing – I am still, still OBSESSED with National Treasure. I think something is wrong with me.  According to my sister, many things are definitely wrong with me and I am starting to think that’s true. 😉

Anyways, check this out – it is SO funny and made me want to watch National Treasure AGAIN. Riley Poole is officially the funniest and most entertaining geek sidekick ever.  Can I marry this character?!  Hey, have I ever mentioned that the movies I like are either a) Disney, b) based on books, or c) historical?

Yep, I definitely have a problem.