It will forever irritate me how many “pumpkin spice” flavored foods do not contain even the smallest amount of pumpkin. I don’t get it. If it’s just cinnamon and other spices, why not call it “spiced BLANK” instead. Most irritating is the fact that Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Lattes are always fixing to suck me in. From time to time, I find myself in a weakened state, tempted and really thinking about ordering one! Ultimately, I simply remind myself how much sugar (a Grande contains over 50 grams of sugar) it contains. Then I think about the fake coloring (Class IV Caramel Coloring), the creepy “natural” and artificial flavors and the hidden dairy in the syrup by way of sweetened condensed milk (so vegans, you are getting hit with dairy, even if you order it with non-dairy soy milk) and of course, there are still all of the calories.The list of reasons not to order one just goes on and on. I myself haven’t had one of these drinks in well over 5 years, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t think about it from time to time.
So, what’s a fall-loving, pumpkin-craving girl to do about all this scary Starbuck stuff? Well, she has to make one for herself. (OK, I will stop talking about myself in the third person now! Sorry.) I opted to first make a tasty homemade Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk for my ongoing recipe series with Free People, using my tried and true method of making delicious nut milks at home. Though this delicious, seasonally-inspired treat is super amazing on it’s own, it’s even better served warm and added to a steamy latte, like this.
I have said it once and I will say it again, apples do not get nearly enough love in the fall. It’s all – pumpkin this and pumpkin that. Apples are the red-
headedskinned step-child of the autumn.
Life has been a tad busy as of late, so that has meant that baking has been totally out of the question. Beside that fact, it’s been so summer-like in Southern California that turning the oven on sounds quite miserable. In an effort to enjoy the amazing spiced flavors of a homemade fall apple pie or crisp, I decided to simply take some of the many beautiful apples we had from our farmer, the market and our own yard and make some yummy, healthy, cinnamon apple chips.
This simple tutorial works great with a dehydrator, but if you don’t have one, you can even make these in the oven. Easy. The best part about these cinnamon-dusted apple chips is how the whole house ends up smelling like you have an apple pie baking, the entire time they are dehydrating.
If you have never had delicata squash, you are seriously missing out. This squash is so delicious, sweet and delicate and the best part is – you can eat that beautiful, colorful striped skin, no annoying peeling required. In my opinion, delicata squash really doesn’t get enough love – besides being so tasty, how adorable are those little scalloped edges on the rings?
These Chile Spiced Roasted Delicata Squash Rings are my new favorite thing – I love recipes like this that are versatile enough for any meal! They are great as a side dish to any meal, try them with some eggs and bacon in the morning and they are perfect with lunch or dinner, as a side or on top of a autumn-inspired salad. I have even enjoyed them as a mid-day snack! You can even cut them thinner to get them crispy and you have a squash chip of sorts, just reduce the cooking time, slightly so they don’t burn.
Your farmer brings you a bunch of Asian pears and apples, I mean really, what else is there to do with them then soak them in some booze? OK, yeh, I know, predictable – another blog post that I start out talking about my CSA. Snore! But, to be honest, every single week that box of goodies that shows up on my doorstep, delivered by my farmer himself, and it inspires me and my cooking in so many ways. Every Wednesday, I feel like I am on a game show, where a mystery box shows up and I have to get creative with whatever I am given.
Sure I could have just eaten the apples and pears straight up, but where is the fun in that? Plus, I have to assume if I am getting apples and pears in my weekly box, other folks are too, and they might want some fun ideas on how to prepare them. It doesn’t get much more fun than these Red Wine Poached Apples and Pears with Cinnamon Whipped Coconut Cream.
A friend of ours, John, works in the “wine biz” up in LA. What he exactly does, I am not 100% totally sure, but what I am sure of is that he gave me a huge case of some really nice wines the last time I saw him – so he is A-OK in my book. These days I don’t do a ton of drinking, if we have guests or it’s a special occasion, maybe, but generally I drink very little at home. But, cooking with wine, that’s far more my speed.
After sharing the recipe for my dad’s famous Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Cheese Dip earlier this summer, I realized that I haven’t shared enough Greek recipes here on the site.
Growing up Greek is to grow up loving delicious, traditional, homemade food. I can still remember the smells of my Great Yia Yia’s house, the fragrant stews and sauces, like Fasolakia, simmering that you could smell as you walked up the driveway, fresh herbs drying in the kitchen, the smells of homemade chocolates wafting up the stairs from the basement, where she did her candy-making. It is amazing how I can still tell you exactly what that kitchen smelled like and that was over 20 years ago. When my great grandmother passed away, it was my dad’s parents that moved into the home, carrying on many of the same traditions, Avgolemeno soup, lamb meatballs, pastitsio, spanikopita, dolmades, plus of course, the Greek pastries and all of that good sweet stuff.
Now that my parents have moved into this home, that was built for my Great Grandparents many years after they moved here from Greece and has been in family since long before I was born, they continue to make many of these amazing traditional foods in the very kitchen that my Yia Yia Faklaris and my Yia Yia Manos once did. My dad makes the best Greek salad dressing around (I will have to share my version of it soon) for the best souvlaki you will ever eat, he can grill up a leg of marinated lamb like it’s no one’s business and he makes a killer rice pudding that will literally have you on the verge of tears, it’s that good. My mom, though she doesn’t have a bit of Greek blood in her veins, she makes incredible pastitsio, amazing Avgolemeno soup and together she and my dad make the best baklava I have ever eaten.
Sadly, going gluten-free nearly 10 years ago now, has meant that I have had to say goodbye to a lot of the traditional foods I grew up on. I have yet to come up with a gluten-free equivalent to phyllo dough, something so integral to so many of my favorite Greek dishes. With that said, it has taken me nearly 10 years and moving across the country away from my family to come to this – but lately I have been thinking that while I may never have many of those classic Greek dishes as I once knew them, there is no reason I can’t reimagine them. Keeping the classic flavors, but making them gluten-free and trying to generally just lighten them up a bit.
For me, I really don’t think there can ever be too much of the good things in life. Whether that be the grapes growing on the vines in our yard or the incredible lady friends I have met through blogging. I just can’t get enough of either these days.
When my girls Gina of So Let’s Hangout and Emily of The Pig and Quill invited me to be a part of #soletspigout, their virtual summer potluck – I just couldn’t say no! I mean what I would really love is to hang out with all of these fantastic bloggers in person, in the real life – stuffing our faces with food and chatting it up about blogging and all the weird things we do. But, I suppose this is the next best thing – virtual food with virtual friends. All of the fun, none of the calories?
In honor of #soletshangout, all week long these two adorably charming, witty gals have been serving up some tantalizing dishes for their weeklong fest! They’ve shared Sticky BBQ Korean Chicken Wings, Fizzy Herbed Pineapple Limeade, Grilled Thai Beef Salad With Sesame Lime Vinaigrette, Sinless Superfood Devil’s Food Donuts and Grain-Free Stone Fruit Cobbler with Lime Coconut Cream. Phew – are you drooling, yet?
Oh and to see all the fun surround this potluck, be sure to check out the hashtag #soletspigout on Instagram.
When it came time to decide what I would be bringing to this virtual get-together today, with 20+ other food-obsessed bloggers, I knew immediately I would have to bring something that included grapes! If you haven’t heard me mention already here on the blog or on my social media, I am literally overwhelmed by the amount of fresh grapes we are getting from the grape vines we have here at our house.
I have been picking them by the 5 and 10 pound bags. No joke. I’ve been forced to get super creative with all of these grapes, which I have actually been loving and I hope you have been, too! (Did you see this Red Grape and Goat Cheese Salad with Walnuts or the Bacon Roasted Grape Salad?) That said, I have also taken to literally giving them away by the several-pound bags, to anyone that will take them. So, please be warned, if you come within even 1 mile of our home or if you invite me to your place, I will send you away with grapes. Lots of them.
I so happy to have Sherrie of With Food + Love joining us today as our guest blogger, with an incredible, super-yummy looking gluten-free and vegan creamy kale salad with polenta croutons. Sherrie has been an absolute godsend this month while I am away at Yoga Teacher Training, helping me with all kinds of Tasty Yummies related tasks each day. So thank you, thank you, thank you Sherrie!!
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Hey guys – I’m Sherrie the girl behind the fresh vegetarian + naturally gluten-free food blog, With Food + Love. I’m both honored + excited to be guest posting today on Tasty Yummies. Beth is one of my most fave bloggers – like, ever, and I’m a pretty lucky to girl to call her both my colleague and my friend. Her style is simple, clean + honest; just the way I like it.
In case you haven’t noticed, I have a thing for mini stuff! Why make a single large-sized pie, when you can have 12 tiny ones? I am not sure where or when this love affair began, but I constantly find myself opting for littler things over the traditional size. (spoiler alert: I have another mini dessert coming to the website later this week)
When Attune Foods contacted me to develop a holiday-worthy dessert recipe using one of their Erewhon Supergrain cereals, I was excited for the challenge of recreating a classic sweet treat, like apple pie. I opted for mini apple pies with a deliciously simple crust and filling, a crunchy spiced streusel topping made with the buckwheat hemp cereal, all topped with a drizzle of my very easy-to-make vegan caramel sauce.
I absolutely love my mom’s apple crisp, it is one of my favorite things about fall! I have been making my own gluten-free version for a while now and it is so delicious. After I made the vegan apple cobbler two weeks ago with palm oil shortening instead of butter, I decided I wanted to make an updated and healthier version of the apple crisp, too. I’ve actually been calling it Apple Crisp 2.0, but I didn’t think that would make for a good title or dish name. This apple crisp is as healthy as dessert can get in my opinion – it is gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, dairy free, egg free and corn free. Besides using organic all natural palm oil shortening in place of butter in recipes to make them vegan, I have also really fallen in love with baking with coconut oil. When solid, it makes a great replacement for butter in many baking recipes that call for cutting it in. The benefits of coconut oil are numerous and can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc. It is great for your skin and hair when used topically and has been found to have anti-aging, regenerative effects. We even use it topically on and feed it to our dog, Seri, when she has itchy skin. She LOVES the way it tastes.
I was also excited to play with date sugar and maple syrup in this recipe instead of refined white or brown sugar. It turned out so perfectly sweet. Date sugar is totally unprocessed, unrefined and raw. It naturally contains fiber and is loaded with vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, and selenium. Because date sugar doesn’t melt the way sugar does, I knew I wouldn’t get that delicious syrup with the apples that I usually get with the brown sugar, so that is how I decided to add in the maple syrup. It was such a small amount, you can barely distinguish any maple flavoring, if any at all. Other options instead of the maple syrup would be rice syrup or molasses or if you aren’t vegan, you could also use honey. I am so excited about how this apple crisp turned out. It has so much flavor and I actually think it is better than any apple crisp I have made in the past.
You could serve this with your favorite vegan (or not vegan) ice cream or whipped topping. Something that I saw a while back on Healthful Pursuit that I have been meaning to try is coconut whip, which I think would be perfect on top of this recipe. I may just need to make that happen this week.
Gluten-free Apple Crisp (Vegan)
- 4 cups of peeled and sliced apples (4 med)
- 2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
- 1/2 cup certified gluten-free oats (I like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/3 cup date sugar, coconut sugar or other granulated sugar of your choice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup (1 for the topping and 1/2 to drizzle over the top)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil (make sure it is somewhat solid and not liquid)
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Place apples in an 8-inch square pan, pour lemon juice over. Add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, spices and vanilla, toss around to combine.
Mix almond flour, oats, spices, date sugar and maple syrup together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Cut in coconut oil in to make crumbly consistency.
Sprinkle over the apples, drizzle remaining 1/2 tablespoon of maple syrup over top and bake 30-40 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is golden brown. Serve warm.
Ever since I got my ice cream maker, I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making a vegan ice cream. This ice cream is so creamy you would never ever know it is dairy free. Mark didn’t believe me. I liked it better than most ice creams I have ever had, because it was a bit lighter and didn’t give my stomach that heavy feeling after I ate it, like many ice creams can. I also really loved how easy this was to make. Basically no work at all. A lot of people are hesitant to bake and cook with coconut milk for fear the coconut flavor will outshine the other ingredients. There is relatively no coconut flavor from the milk, so it doesn’t over power the taste of the pumpkin or the spices.
Each spoonful of this ice cream actually tastes just like a perfect bite of crustless pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream on top. I can’t recommend enough using fresh pumpkin puree if you can. If you can’t some good quality canned organic pumpkin puree will do.
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream
1 – 14 ounce can organic coconut milk (full fat, not light)
1 cup unsweetened organic almond milk (or any other non-dairy milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup organic pure cane sugar (coconut sugar, palm sugar or sucanat, also work great)
1 1/4 cup fresh pumpkin puree (you can use canned if you don’t have fresh, but fresh is much tastier)
Combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and whisk to combine well. Let chill for about an hour in your fridge. Once it is thoroughly chilled, follow instructions for your ice cream maker.