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Tag Archive: breakfast

Almond Butter + Cranberry Granola (gluten-free + vegan)

November 28, 2014 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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Hi everyone! My apologies for again being on hiatus for the past few weeks…I’m trying to think of what I was busy with, but I don’t have a good excuse, so I’ll just say I was preoccupied with back bends and making Proust questionnaires (which I renamed “Dates and Figs”) for my friends.

In any case, I hope you all had a wonderful, (somewhat) relaxing Thanksgiving filled with food, family, and friends. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go to Paris like I did last year (next year, though, is a different story), but I had an absolutely lovely meal at home with my parents. I cooked everything myself, and thankfully, everything turned out deliciously.

For the turkey, we got a heritage breed bird from our friends at Saugatuck Craft Butchery, which I spatchcocked (or butterflied) by hand and dry-brined with salt, pepper, fresh sage, thyme, and allspice for 24 hours, then roasted with onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and white wine in a super hot oven for an hour and fifteen minutes. It was beautiful–crispy, golden-brown skin all over–and both the white meat and dark meat were moist and flavorful. I’m thinking it’s the best turkey we’ve ever had, if I do say so myself.

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For side dishes, I made a cornbread stuffing with chestnuts, onions, apples, and celery (of course I made the cornbread myself), an orange cherry-cranberry sauce with shallots, roasted brussel sprouts and purple potatoes, and a tasty gravy with homemade turkey stock and the pan drippings.

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And what would Thanksgiving be without a pumpkin-flavored dessert? I made a pumpkin cheesecake with a graham cracker crust…and yes, I made those graham crackers from scratch. Worth it? YES YES YES. Yum.

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I am so thankful for all of the incredible food we shared. I would have preferred to have spent Thanksgiving with no one other than my mom and dad.

You might think I’m completely sick of cooking at this point (I’ve probably spent upwards of 12 hours in the kitchen over the course of the past two days), but no. I’ll be back in there today whipping up another batch of this almond butter and cranberry granola, which we can never seem to keep for very long around my house.

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Sweet, crunchy, and nutty, this granola is perfect for throwing in yogurt or topping a smoothie bowl. I love when it forms clusters and you just bite down into a mouthful of cinnamon and almond.

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Me personally, I love oats. There’s something about their flavor and texture that is just so appealing…I don’t know what it is. They seem to go so well with everything, especially with the tartness of the dried cranberries and slight hint of vanilla I put in this recipe.

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If you’ve been buying granola from the store, STOP. NOW. Making granola at home is a breeze, and besides, you can control everything that goes in it, greatly reducing the sugar content and removing all of the crappy additives you often find (glycerin, anyone?). Simply preheat the oven to 350 degrees, mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl…

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…heat the wet ingredients together to melt them…

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…pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, mix to combine, and spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet…

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…and bake until golden-brown and crispy! Just top with cranberries when it comes out of the oven and dig in.

This recipe is also very easy to adapt, too. If you can’t do oats, substitute them with raw buckwheat groats and/or more almond slivers or other nuts. If you can’t do almonds (or nuts), substitute them with sunflower seed butter and either pepitas or sunflower seeds. If you want to reduce the sugar content even more, feel free to scale back a little on the coconut sugar and maple syrup–just don’t eliminate them altogether, because that would be absolutely disgusting.

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Almond Butter + Cranberry Granola

Ingredients

Prep Time 10 min
Cooking Time 35 min
Total Time 45 min
Yield A lot of granola

5 cups of gluten-free rolled oats

1-2 cups of blanched almond slivers (optional)

1/4 cup of coconut sugar (or unrefined cane sugar)

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4 cup of coconut oil

1/3 cup of maple syrup

1/2 cup of smooth, unsalted almond butter

1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of almond extract

1/2-3/4 cup of unsweetened dried cranberries

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet with coconut oil.

In a large bowl, mix together the rolled oats, almond slivers (if you’re using them), coconut sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside while you mix together the wet ingredients.

In a small saucepan, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, and smooth almond butter. Turn the heat to medium-low and whisk together until the coconut oil has completely melted.

Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and almond extracts.

Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir everything together with a spatula. Make sure you don’t break up too many clumps–granola clusters are the best part.

Spread the granola onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Stir, then bake for another 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes to ensure even browning.The granola is done when it is golden brown and firm to the touch.

Immediately upon removing the granola from the oven, sprinkle it with the dried cranberries and let it cool completely before serving. Yes, that means don’t eat it all as soon as it comes out of the oven. Because I may or may not have done that.


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Pictured above: one of my favorite smoothie bowls, an acai-banana-cacao bowl with the granola, goji berries, hemp seeds, and cacao nibs. 😀

What is your favorite flavor of granola? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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Almond Butter + Cranberry Granola

November 16, 2014 Print this page

Crunchy, sweet, and just a bit chewy, this granola will add a pop of “YUM” to anything you put it in, be it yogurt or a smoothie. Heck, this is tasty all by itself! For a paleo version, substitute a variety of chopped nuts (I recommend almonds and/or walnuts) for the oats; for an oat-free version, substitute raw buckwheat groats for the oats; and for a nut-free version, substitute more oats or buckwheat for the slivered almonds and add some sunflower seeds, if you’d like, and use sunflower seed butter instead of the almond butter.

Ingredients

Prep Time 10 min
Cooking Time 35 min
Total Time 45 min
Yield A lot of granola

5 cups of gluten-free rolled oats

1-2 cups of blanched almond slivers (optional)

1/4 cup of coconut sugar (or unrefined cane sugar)

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4 cup of coconut oil

1/3 cup of maple syrup

1/2 cup of smooth, unsalted almond butter

1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of almond extract

1/2-3/4 cup of unsweetened dried cranberries

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet with coconut oil.

In a large bowl, mix together the rolled oats, almond slivers (if you’re using them), coconut sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside while you mix together the wet ingredients.

In a small saucepan, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, and smooth almond butter. Turn the heat to medium-low and whisk together until the coconut oil has completely melted.

Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and almond extracts.

Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir everything together with a spatula. Make sure you don’t break up too many clumps–granola clusters are the best part.

Spread the granola onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Stir, then bake for another 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes to ensure even browning.The granola is done when it is golden brown and firm to the touch.

Immediately upon removing the granola from the oven, sprinkle it with the dried cranberries and let it cool completely before serving. Yes, that means don’t eat it all as soon as it comes out of the oven. Because I may or may not have done that.


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Marbled Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins (gluten-free + paleo)

October 14, 2014 Leave your thoughts Print this page

Oh my gosh. So it’s been a month since I posted last?! Yikes. I guess what they say is right about junior year of high school. If only blogging was a homework assignment…

I feel like so much has been happening in my life and some of it I can catch and some of it just flies away without a second glimpse. I think I like it, though–being busy feels good.

What are some of these events? Well, for one, I got my driver’s license a little more than two weeks ago…

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…and driving yourself to school, the gym, and yoga in your Mini Cooper is really, really awesome.

I also attended a 15 hour yoga and body image intensive at my yoga studio last weekend…

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…which was an amazing, empowering experience with such kind, beautiful people that I am so happy I was a part of (that’s a whole other post).

I’ve already written a crapload of essays and lab reports for my AP classes…

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…and procrastinated on all of them by Googling Grumpy Cat memes.

I had a dinner party with two of my best friends, Kara and Rebecca…

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…where we proceeded to devour the equivalent of three Delicata squashes twice-baked in the oven with Lebanese spices.

I made my own sprinkles from scratch…

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…which melted before I could get a good photograph of them decorating banana chocolate cupcakes. So I’ll just have to make them again for you all. 😉

I did lots of other things, too (like walked in the rain with a giant purple cauliflower on my back and visited my first college), but enough about me and more about these insanely delicious muffins.

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Not only are these incredibly beautiful, but they’re also super tasty–a wonderful combination of moist, lightly-spiced pumpkin and rich, decadent dark chocolate. I love the contrast of the orange and the dark brown; it’s so perfect for fall. 🙂

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Personally, I’m a cake girl–sure, frosting is all right (well, it’s more than all right when it’s chocolate frosting), but whenever I’m craving a dessert that isn’t ice cream, my thoughts immediately go to the cake, not what sits atop it. Am I the only one? I hope not.

In any case, to satisfy all of you frosting/icing people, I have created a light, creamy vanilla bean frosting that can be whipped up in a flash if you decide you don’t want a muffin and would prefer a cupcake. And yes, I put real vanilla beans in there. Those guys are the bomb. I do love vanilla.

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Whatever path you choose–be it one of muffin or one of cupcake–your tastebuds will thank you from embarking on this chocolate-pumpkin journey. This one just sits on the boundary of “breakfast” and “dessert,” so that basically gives you permission to enjoy one whenever the heck you’d like. And–bonus–you can tell your friends you baked something that wasn’t inspired by a PSL. (I swear, if I see one more pumpkin spice latte drink, dessert, or dish, I will never eat pumpkin again.)

Happy October, everybody! 😀

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Marbled Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time 25 min
Total Time 40 min
Yield 10 muffins/cupcakes

FOR THE MUFFIN/CAKE:

5 eggs

1/2 cup of pumpkin puree

1/4 cup of coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup of coconut sugar (or organic unrefined cane sugar)

1/4 cup of full-fat coconut milk

1 tablespoon of freshly-squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup of coconut flour

1/2 cup of tapioca flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon of baking powder

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of allspice

1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon of cloves

3 ounces of dark chocolate chips, melted

3 tablespoons of cocoa powder

VANILLA BEAN FROSTING (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 10 parchment muffin liners; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs until pale yellow and fluffy. Then, to the eggs, add the pumpkin puree, coconut oil, coconut sugar, coconut milk, and lemon juice; whisk vigorously until well-combined and no clumps of pumpkin remain.

In a small bowl, sift together the coconut flour, tapioca flour, salt, baking powder, and spices. Stir together with a fork or spoon, then pour into the large bowl with the wet ingredients. Using a spatula, fold everything together until just combined.

Transfer about 3/4 cup of the prepared batter to a separate small bowl. Add the melted dark chocolate chips and cocoa powder to it, and mix with a clean spatula to combine. You’re now ready to assemble!

Using an ice cream scoop or two large spoons, place a large spoonful (about a couple tablespoons worth) of the pumpkin only batter in the bottom of each muffin liner. Next, using a clean scoop or set of spoons, carefully place a small dollop (about a tablespoon) of the chocolate and pumpkin batter on top of each previous layer of pumpkin batter. Top each with another small scoop of the pumpkin only batter. If you have any leftovers of either when you’re done, no worries–just make them into their own exclusively pumpkin/exclusively chocolate muffins!

With a small knife or wooden skewer, gently swirl the pumpkin and chocolate layers together. You can’t really mess this up, so just go for it, making sure you concentrate on swirling the bottom around.

Place in the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick just comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the muffin tin for half an hour, then transfer to a cooling rack to come to room temperature. Top with vanilla bean frosting, if desired.


What is your favorite ingredient to pair with pumpkin? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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Marbled Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

October 14, 2014 Print this page

Not only are these incredibly beautiful, but they’re also super tasty–a wonderful combination of moist, lightly-spiced pumpkin and rich, decadent dark chocolate. I love the contrast of the orange and the dark brown; it’s so perfect for fall. 🙂 Adapted from here.

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time 25 min
Total Time 40 min
Yield 10 muffins/cupcakes

FOR THE MUFFIN/CAKE:

5 eggs

1/2 cup of pumpkin puree

1/4 cup of coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup of coconut sugar (or organic unrefined cane sugar)

1/4 cup of full-fat coconut milk

1 tablespoon of freshly-squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup of coconut flour

1/2 cup of tapioca flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon of baking powder

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of allspice

1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon of cloves

3 ounces of dark chocolate chips, melted

3 tablespoons of cocoa powder

VANILLA BEAN FROSTING (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 10 parchment muffin liners; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs until pale yellow and fluffy. Then, to the eggs, add the pumpkin puree, coconut oil, coconut sugar, coconut milk, and lemon juice; whisk vigorously until well-combined and no clumps of pumpkin remain.

In a small bowl, sift together the coconut flour, tapioca flour, salt, baking powder, and spices. Stir together with a fork or spoon, then pour into the large bowl with the wet ingredients. Using a spatula, fold everything together until just combined.

Transfer about 3/4 cup of the prepared batter to a separate small bowl. Add the melted dark chocolate chips and cocoa powder to it, and mix with a clean spatula to combine. You’re now ready to assemble!

Using an ice cream scoop or two large spoons, place a large spoonful (about a couple tablespoons worth) of the pumpkin only batter in the bottom of each muffin liner. Next, using a clean scoop or set of spoons, carefully place a small dollop (about a tablespoon) of the chocolate and pumpkin batter on top of each previous layer of pumpkin batter. Top each with another small scoop of the pumpkin only batter. If you have any leftovers of either when you’re done, no worries–just make them into their own exclusively pumpkin/exclusively chocolate muffins!

With a small knife or wooden skewer, gently swirl the pumpkin and chocolate layers together. You can’t really mess this up, so just go for it, making sure you concentrate on swirling the bottom around.

Place in the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick just comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the muffin tin for half an hour, then transfer to a cooling rack to come to room temperature. Top with vanilla bean frosting, if desired.


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Strawberry Pop Tarts

August 17, 2014 Print this page

And, in the words of my dad, “Pop Tarts wish they tasted like this.” 

Ingredients

Prep Time 30 min, plus resting overnight
Cooking Time 15 min
Total Time 45 min + overnight
Yield 6 large, 9 medium, or 12 small Pop Tarts

FOR THE DOUGH:

1/3 cup of organic palm shortening (or butter, if you prefer)

1/4 cup of unrefined cane sugar (or coconut sugar)

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

2 cups of almond flour

1/2 cup of arrowroot powder

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

A generous pinch of salt

Cold water (3-4 tablespoons)

FOR THE FILLING:

1/3 cup of your favorite all-fruit jam (I used strawberry)

1 teaspoon of arrowroot powder

1 teaspoon of water

FOR THE ICING:

1/2 cup of organic confectioner’s sugar

1 tablespoon of almond milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Freeze-dried fruit, to garnish (optional)

Directions

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the organic palm shortening with the unrefined cane sugar. Once well-combined, add 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract and mix until creamy and fluffy, about two minutes.

To the wet ingredients, add the almond flour, 1/2 cup of arrowroot powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix on low until a crumbly mixture is formed, about 2 to 3 minutes, scraping the bowl once or twice to make sure everything is combined.

Now is the tricky part. Fill up a measuring cup with cold water and–very slowly–add about 1 tablespoon at a time to the dough until it forms together in a ball. I used 3-4 tablespoons, but you may need more or less. If you find that your dough becomes too sticky, don’t worry–just add a little more almond flour and arrowroot powder (I’d suggest no more than a tablespoon of each).

Squish the dough into a ball and wrap with saran wrap. Refrigerate overnight until firm to the touch.

The next day, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Cut two pieces of parchment paper or wax paper, unwrap the dough, and place it on one of the sheets you just cut. Place the other piece on top and roll out until it is a square approximately 1/4-inch in thickness. (It will be between 10-13 inches long and wide).

Next, cut the dough into rectangles. You can cut it into 12 and make 6 big Pop Tarts, 18 and make 9 medium Pop Tarts, or 24 and make 12 small Pop Tarts–choose whatever you’d like based on how patient you are and how many you’d like to make.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the all-fruit jam with 1 teaspoon of arrowroot powder and 1 teaspoon of water. Once well-mixed, add about 1-2 teaspoons of filling to half of the rectangles you just cut out.

Gently spread the filling, making sure you leave a little room along the edges. Take a rectangle of dough without the filling on top and place it on top of one of the rectangles with filling and, using a wet fork, seal the edges.

Carefully transfer the formed Pop Tart to the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough. Bake in the preheated oven until golden-brown and firm to the touch, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheet before frosting.

In a small saucepan, combine the organic confectioner’s sugar with the almond milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Whisk over medium-low heat until thick and homogeneous, about 5 minutes. If it feels too thin, add a little more confectioner’s sugar–it’s ready when it sticks to your finger without sliding around.

Don’t want to use confectioner’s sugar? Try this recipe with coconut sugar. It won’t be the same, but it will still be good.

Once the Pop Tarts are cool, carefully spread a little icing atop each one using a small spatula or a large spoon. Let it dry for 10 minutes before spreading another layer on top to make a more uniform coating.

If you’re feeling a little eccentric, try crumbling some freeze-dried fruit on top! I love using freeze-dried blueberries, strawberries, green apple, and mango to make purple, pink, pale green, and yellow, respectively.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Eat cold or at room temperature.


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