Have I got your attention yet?
There’s very little I don’t like about autumn. While so many people around me are complaining about the dropping temperatures, the rain, the snow sighting (!!), and the need to wear coats and even mitts, I am loving every second of it. Because for every cold gust of wind and every layer I have to put on, it means I get to curl up with a mug of tea, read a book under a blanket, nestle into one of my gigantic hoodies and eat copious amounts of pumpkin.
Yes, that does mean I have another pumpkin recipe for you. I hope you’ll forgive 2 in a row. In any case, this is quite a bit different than the last one. If you missed my Savoury Pumpkin Hummus, please go check it out. I kid you not, when I say I was eating it by the spoonful straight from the fridge- only about 1/4 of it actually served as a dip!
But back to today’s recipe. This was a wonderful treat I whipped up for this year’s Canadian Thanksgiving. I wanted to do something different than the traditional pumpkin pie, something a little simpler than last year’s Pumpkin Mousse Cake (which is epic though and I highly encourage you all to try it). I wanted something baked too- I was craving the intoxicating scent that fills the house that can only come from baked goods. And since I’m still not eating a ton of grains, I wanted this to be paleo friendly as well!
Well what resulted was a cupcake that is light and fluffy with a slightly fudgey inside that melts in your mouth. The sweetness of the pumpkin in complimented by strong flavours from cinnamon and nutmeg, warming you from the inside out. These cupcakes are delicious as is, served with a mug of chai tea and steamed almond milk. And the batter is just as delicious pre-baking. Just saying.
But, let’s be real. Holidays are meant to be celebrated and celebration means decadence. Decadence = icing. But not just any icing. This icing is coconut cream that has been whipped with cinnamon and maple syrup to make it creamy, light and just sweet enough. It’s creaminess compliments the light flakiness of the cake perfectly.
This is probably one of my favourite desserts that I have ever made. Not only is it egg-, dairy-, grain-, and refined sugar-free, it tastes like it’s laden with all things bad for you and really makes the end of a holiday dinner special.
For all you Canadians who have already celebrated Thanksgiving, I think these are the perfect excuse to make another dinner in honour of American Thanksgiving, yes?
Vegan and Paleo Pumpkin Cupcakes (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Paleo, SCD Option)
Adapted from Food Renegade’s Pumpkin Cake Bars
Ingredients (12 cupcakes)
Coconut Cinnamon Icing
Put your can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight. This will help separate the thick coconut cream from the water.
The next day, preheat your oven to 350F. Mix together the flax seed and water and set aside to gel. In a large bowl combine all cake ingredients, adding the flax mixture last and mix until fully incorporated.
Line 12 muffin tins and fill each about 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. I would probably start checking around 30 min, depending on your oven. Remove and let cool for 5 min in the muffin tins before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
For the icing, take the coconut milk from the fridge and scoop out the thick layer of cream on the top of the can. Save the water for use in another recipe. Put in a large bowl with the maple syrup and cinnamon and beat with an electric mixture until light and fluffy. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
Once the cupcakes are completely cool (or else the icing will slide off in a sticky mess!) spread the icing on each of the cupcakes and sprinkle a little cinnamon on top.
If not planning to eat all the cupcakes immediately, store the icing and cakes separately and frost just prior to eating.
If you follow me on Instagram (if you don’t- please do! @gabbyouimet), you may have experienced severe mouth-watering when I posted this picture…
Yes that’s a lot of hashtags, but what it all comes down to is my delicious grain-free banana cacao nib pancakes that were smothered in a quick and easy vegan nutella.
It’s a special breakfast worth waking up a little early to make- yes even a Monday is bearable with the prospect of these pancakes!
My first taste of Nutella was actually not so long ago. While doing a tour around Europe (while I was vegetarian, not vegan), I spent a lot of time in hostels. Hostels were wonderful places for a young traveller- the opportunity to meet people combined with cheap accommodations and even free breakfast! Doesn’t get much better than that right? Well I quickly learned that for a vegetarian who wasn’t fond of sugary cereals or any of the weird looking eggs and breakfast meats, toast was the name of the game. For MONTHS. I grew so tired of toast and jam and constantly whined to fellow travellers about the lack of peanut butter. I wanted protein and I wanted the smooth and creamy deliciousness. Turns out, peanut butter is not nearly as popular over there as it is here. What all the cool kids eat (apparently) is Nutella. I tried it a couple times, and while tasty I could never completely come around to it. Too sweet and sugary. Too much at 7 am.
I ended up resorting to buying and extremely expensive small jar of natural peanut butter and carrying it around with me. Hell, if Australians could do it with Vegemite, I could do it for peanut butter.
For some reason lately I have had a weird craving for nutella. Even though I never actually liked it! I don’t understand it, but knew it needed to be dealt with. And the nutella I created is SO MUCH BETTER than that stuff you buy at the store. This nutella tastes rich and deeply chocolatey, with a hint of sweetness. And even better are the ingredients.
I opted to make a quick nutella, so I used premade hazelnut butter but you could easily make this with hazelnuts from scratch. I used coconut oil to help it get thick and spreadable when chilled. Raw cacao powder brings intense chocolatey taste and tons of antioxidants. Coconut nectar makes this sweet, but since it’s low glycemic, so blood sugar spike will follow. Now I know Nutella would love you to believe eating it in the morning gives kids serious dance skills, I have a feeling they would do much better on mine ;)
Quick Vegan Nutella (Vegan, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Sugar-free, Paleo)
Adapted from here.
Ingredients (~3/4 cup)
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Hardens up in the fridge to a more spread-like consistency. Store in the fridge.
I know most kids loved Nutella, but I really didn’t! Did you guys love it? How about other sugary “kid foods”?
Now that I’m out of school for a couple months, I’m hoping to post a little more regularly. Thank you all for bearing with me! I’m certain you will be glad you did though as I have a ridiculously awesome recipe for you guys today.
Reducing my consumption of grains turned out to be not so bad- lots of salads, eating soups, stews and curries without crackers or rice (which, let’s face it, are merely vehicles for the flavourful sauce, not really necessary) and tons of smoothies and chia puddings for breakfast.
But after a few weeks of that, this little voice starts nagging at you. It starts as a whisper, “Hmmm pancakes would be really good right now.” Then it gets a little louder, “Fluffy, pillowy cakes of breakfast goodness are all I want to eat right now…smoothies suck.” Then finally it hits a raging crescendo, “Damn all these people who are eating stacks of perfection dripping in sweet syrup, GIVE ME PANCAKES!”
Ok, while that might sound a little dramatic, my cravings for pancakes had hit an all-time high. And while there are recipes galore on the internet for grain-free pancakes, it’s much harder to find one that is vegan and grain-free. Paleo pancakes are all the rage, but finding a recipe that would hold together without needing at least one egg per serving was almost impossible. And many “grain-free” vegan pancakes cheat a little and allow psuedograins like quinoa or buckwheat. Not super helpful for me! So I decided to forge ahead and make my own.
What I came up with is truly perfection on a plate. Just sweet enough and light tasting. Perfectly mops up puddles of syrup on your plate. Plus it’s single serving! This means that when cooking for one, you aren’t tempted by leftover pancakes (and for me this means eating at least 3 servings worth for one meal). I haven’t tried to double the recipe yet, but if anyone does try, be sure to let me know!
These use almond meal and ground flax to form the base, with banana and cacao nibs for delicious flavour. There’s just something about banana pancakes that tops all other flavours, don’t you think?
These take a little longer to cook in the pan than regular pancakes but patience here will definitely pay off. Follow my timing suggestions carefully, I have tested these so many times, I have it DOWN.
These are excellent drizzled in maple syrup, but I have a low sugar option for you at the end of the post as well as a little teaser for an upcoming recipe that is perfect on these pancakes, amongst other treats.
Jack Johnson would totally approve ;)
Grain-free, Vegan, Single Serving Banana Cacao Nib Pancakes (Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Paleo)
Ingredients (3 pancakes)
Optional low-sugar topping
Preheat a large pan over medium heat. Grease it with coconut oil. Make sure it is nice and hot before you pour the batter on.
Mix together all dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another. Add the wet to dry and mix well. Mix in cacao nibs.
Use 1/4 cup to scoop out- you will get 3 good-sized pancakes this way. Cook 8 min on one side then 4 on the other. They are tricky to flip, but trust me at 8 min they are ready to be flipped!
Serve warm with maple syrup or toppings of choice!
If using the optional low-sugar sauce, melt the coconut oil in a small dish then stir in the almond butter and coconut nectar. When used hot, it forms a thin sauce that is delicious on your pancakes!
Want another topping idea?
Some quick vegan nutella with berries and maple syrup. Recipe coming soon!
I'm sharing these on Allergy Free Wednesday.
What are your favourite pancakes flavours? Toppings?
What is one breakfast you crave if you haven’t had it in a while? What’s your “treat” breakfast?