Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes with Apple Pie Sauce

VeganMoFo 2016 graphic

Week One: Treat Yourself (and others)!

Just in time for the weekend, here’s a mouth-watering breakfast recipe for the whole family! Fluffy, cinnamon-y vegan pancakes studded with little bits of apple, topped with an oh-so-special sauce reminiscent of apple pie filling. Somewhere between decadent (thanks to that sauce) and relatively healthy (thanks to white whole wheat flour), these pancakes make for a special weekend breakfast that requires only marginally more work than regular old pancakes.

Vegan Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes with Apple Pie Sauce // govegga.com

If a buttery sweet topping seems a little too rich for your blood, no worries. Read through the post-recipe notes for a lighter, fat-free sauce that works just as well but tastes a little less like dessert.

Vegan Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes with Apple Pie Sauce // govegga.com

Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes with Apple Pie Sauce

Makes 10 pancakes

For the sauce
  • 3/4 apple, sliced into thin half-moons
  • 2 T Earth Balance
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 2 T water
  • 1/2 T lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Dash salt
For the pancakes
  • 1 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Heaping 1 T ground flax
  • 2 T canola or other neutral oil
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 C almond milk
  • Scant 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 apple, diced small

Method

First, add the Earth Balance to a small saucepot and melt on low heat while you prepare the apple. To do so, peel it and then chop 3/4 of the apple into thin half-moons (1/4″ thick at most). Chop the remaining 1/4 apple into very small dice and set aside.

Add the apple slices to the melted butter and then add all other ingredients. Stir to coat the apples, then turn the heat up to medium-low. When it starts bubbling, reduce heat to low and let simmer while you prepare the pancake batter.

For the pancakes, start by mixing the dry ingredients (excluding the flax and apple) in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the flax with the wet ingredients and let sit for about 30 seconds before adding to the dry mixture. Stir or whisk just until all ingredients are combined, then fold in the diced apples. You should have a thick, puffy batter.

Start heating your favorite pancake cooking device while the batter rests a bit. In the meantime, give your apple pie sauce a few stirs.

Cook pancakes in scant 1/3 cups full for 3-5 minutes on each side. Cooking times will vary based on your stove, pan, etc. For best results, place finished pancakes in a tray in a 200˚F oven to keep warm while you finish cooking. When ready, serve with the apple pie sauce drizzled on top.

Notes

  • You can certainly substitute another flour, but be mindful of the liquid ratio. For pure whole wheat flour, you might need a little more water; for all-purpose, you might need a little less.
  • For a lighter, fat-free sauce, heat 1/2 cup applesauce on the stove and mix in the sliced apples, spices, vanilla, and sugar. Forgo the lemon juice and water. Simmer while you cook the pancakes.
  • I have a dedicated non-stick pancake pan — this All-Clad 11-inch griddle. I never need to use oil or cooking spray!

PIN IT!

Vegan Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes with Apple Pie Sauce // govegga.com

Note: This post contains an affiliate link. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies. I’m not looking to make a fortune, just to cover hosting costs. :)

Apple Pie Overnight Oats

By the time this post goes live (thanks, pre-scheduling!), I will be in good ol’ Rhode Island! I found cheap plane tickets (thanks, Southwest!), and since this happens to be my dad’s birthday (thanks… grandparents?), I snatched them right up. I didn’t tell my dad I was coming, though, because who doesn’t love a birthday surprise?! (Me, that’s who. I don’t like surprises.)

Anyway, I’m excited to spend time with my family—even my brother is flying in from Seattle; by coincidence, he has a wedding to attend this weekend in RI. And I’ll get to see most of closest home-friends, some of whom I haven’t seen in ages. Basically, it’s going to be a wonderful long weekend.

But enough about me and my travel plans! Instead, let’s talk about me and my food. :P

Today I have yet another vegan overnight oats recipe to share with you, making this the third time I’ve blogged about something oatmeal-related this month. I hope you’re not tired of it yet! I make no promises that a fourth post won’t show up at some point. ;) For now, though, check out this yummy breakfast I devoured on Friday morning:

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A big ol’ jar of vegan Apple Pie Overnight Oats! I chopped up half an apple and put it right in the oatmeal, and it really made this one special. It even *smelled* like an apple pie, redolent of cinnamon and deep brown sugar. Mmm. These oats sit a little lighter in your tummy than my pumpkin oats, but they’re no less satisfying.

Apple Pie Overnight Oats
Serves one

1/2 small apple, diced small
1/4 C unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c non-dairy milk
1 T brown sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
Dash nutmeg
Dash salt
1/2 C rolled oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats)

In a mason jar or other container with a tight lid, combine all ingredients except the oats. Shake vigorously until well-combined. Add the oats and shake again. Place in fridge and chill overnight.

Do you have any travel plans in the near future? How do you feel about surprises?

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies. I’m not looking to make a fortune, just to cover hosting costs. :)

MORE OVERNIGHT OAT RECIPES:

Apple Galette!


Okay, okay—I know I just said that I was wearying of baked goods. But how could I let this MoFo pass me by without making some sort of apple pie?! It would be a travesty. It would be a golden opportunity lost. It would be downright un-American.

Having conquered a lattice crust last year, I felt little pressure to go all-out for this pie. Instead, I fell prey to the easy and unaffected charm of a galette. To make a galette, you simply prepare a bottom crust and gently tuck it around a version of pie filling that’s less juicy than usual. It’s a great no-fuss option, especially because it’s meant to look rustic and a bit rough around the edges.

 

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I borrowed heavily from this pear galette at RansomCakes, using that recipe for the crust. For the filling, I thinly sliced four Macintosh apples and tossed them with:

  • 2 T vegan sugar (plus a small dash of brown sugar)
  • 2 T spelt flour
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ginger
  • A few dashes nutmeg

I also borrowed the idea of using extra dough to make shapes on top of the galette. Stars aren’t particularly seasonal, but they’re the smallest cookie cutters I have!

To be honest, I wasn’t in love with this—the crust’s texture was a little off; it just wasn’t at allc crispy (S liked it, describing itc as “almost biscuit-y”). And it made a rather small galette, with just six or so small pieces. (That might’ve been my fault; I probably could’ve rolled the dough a bit thinner.) But it was easy and pretty quick to put together, so I’m not complaining!

What’s your favorite pie-type food to make or eat?

Seasonal Fruits Gone Savory: Apple Sage Fauxsage

When I decided on seasonal fruits as my MoFo theme, I wondered whether I’d experience fruit burnout at any point during the month. Would the sight of a single blueberry send waves of nausea crashing through my stomach? Would I dread hearing even a whisper of the word “pumpkin”? Would I begin to revile some of my favorite seasonal staples?! But I refused to let fear deter me. I was wary but determined.

Now, halfway through the month, I can say with cautious optimism that I am not burned out. My determination continues undaunted, and I think I will make it through the month with few lasting ill-effects. However, there’s one unanticipated side effect of all this fruit-eating: I’m a little sick of desserts and baked goods.

I know! I know! Heresy. And it could be worse; it’s not like all my recipes have yielded scores of cookies or cakes or pies. But still. Sometimes a girl needs a break from sugar.

To that end, enter the savory! Yes, friends, you can use seasonal fruits in savory applications. As a person who typically dislikes any creep of sweetness in my savory dishes, I approached this as a personal challenge. How could I incorporate fruit into savory dishes without offending my tastebuds? Well, I started with sausage.

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I was never much of a sausage fan when I ate actual meat. We had hot dogs every so often, but that was about the closest my immediately family got to sausage. My extended family on my dad’s side cooked with sausage—mostly chouriço—more frequently, thanks to our Portuguese roots. But sausage in general always squicked me out a bit. The idea of ground-up bits of questionable meat mashed into a solid tube is revolting, and stuffing into a casing is just repellent.

Funnily enough, as a vegan, I love meat-free sausages! Field Roast and Tofurky offer up some mean options; Tofurky’s beer brats are my number-one choice for barbecues. But seitan-based sausages are also really easy (and less expensive) to make yourself. I recently purchased a very large amount of vital wheat gluten from Amazon (it’s way too pricy in brick-and-mortar stores around here) and wanted to start usin’ it, so I hit up 500 Vegan Recipes for inspiration. When I encountered the Apple Sage Fauxsage recipe, I knew it was meant to be. The recipe makes one large sausage, which you bake in the oven for an hour and a half. I delighted in watching it slowly expand and nearly burst its tin-foil packaging.

The result is an intensely tasty sausage that does indeed let the apple flavor shine. Of course, I was worried that the apple flavor would be too sweet. The first bite seemed to confirm my fears, but after a few more chomps I decided I liked it after all. S really enjoyed it as well; it was his first taste of a homemade seitan sausage.

apple-sage-fauxsage-dinner_9790429754_o

Charmed with the idea of a German-inspired meal, I followed the suggestion in 500 Vegan Recipes and served up my sliced sausage with steamed potatoes and sauerkraut. What our dinner lacked in color, it made up for in fill-your-belly goodness. A seasonal pumpkin beer rounded out the meal perfectly. ;)

How do you feel about vegan sausages? What’s your favorite way to use seasonal fruits in savory applications?

Baked Apples!

Ah, September. In these waning days of summer, the leaves are crinkling and dropping at an alarming rate, my precious after-work sunlight time is growing shorter, and there’s an undeniable chill in the air.

Wait, nope, that’s wrong, and I’m definitely denying it. Ain’t no chill round these parts! Yesterday it reached nearly 90˚F here in Maryland, and the rest of the week promises similar heat. Not that I’m complaining; I will happily take any last drop of summer I can get. But the heat did make the autumnal dinner S and I prepared for his mom last night a little… inappropriate? We had a delicious chili S whipped up, cornbread (from Veganomicon), and baked apples for dessert. Totally fall-like, and totally wrong for the hot weather. No matter, though; it was delicious and eminently healthy.

I was especially impressed by the baked apples; I’ve only made them once or twice before, but they’re so easy and so rustically enjoyable! S and I hit up the farmers’ market this weekend, so I used Macintosh apples we picked up there. I simply cored them (anybody have tips for coring apples without a nifty tool?), stuffed them with brown sugar and spices, and set them in a pan filled with a little water. After 40 minutes in the oven and a bit of Earth Balance on top, they were tender, oozy, and ready for devouring; they actually reminded me of the homemade applesauce my mama used to make every fall.

Despite my ringing endorsement of my dessert, it was not particularly photogenic. Plus, we were chatting with S’s mum while eating our apples, and I didn’t want to whip out the camera. So instead of a photo of my baked apples, check out my shopping list from yesterday. It is, unlike the weather, extremely autumnal.

Top-down image of my veiny hand with three words written on it in pen: cinnamon, cornmeal, and pumpkin.Yes, that is an Instagram photo. Yes, my hands are veiny. No, I don’t usually write on my hands (maybe like thrice a year, tops).

What’s on your seasonal shopping list? How do you like your baked apples?

Apples + Agave

Oh, friends. It’s finally happened: I don’t have a photo to share with you today. Yesterday was busy busy busy. I celebrated my first Jewish holiday (assuming the childhood Hanukkah celebrations I held with my dolls and a bee-yoo-ti-ful clay menorah don’t count) at a Rosh Hashanah dinner with S’s extended family. Since we knew there wouldn’t be much vegan-friendly fare, we took matters into our own hands. We brought kugel (super yummy; and yes, you can cut down that olive oil measurement by a TON), macaroons (a never-fail recipe), and a mock chopped liver (delicious with flatbread crackers from Whole Foods). We had a nice time, even though S’s six-year-old cousin refused to talk to us and hid in the kitchen the entire night. Kids, eh?

Anyway, we also brought agave nectar to stand in for honey, because it’s a tradition to eat sliced apples dipped in honey on Rosh Hashanah. According to some page I read on the internet, eating sweet foods is meant to “express our hope for a sweet new year.” Well, I can surely get behind that! And I’m okay with apples and agave, too.

Two big, plastic jars of agave .

Okay, I lied—there’s a photo for ya. We buy our agave from Costco, and it comes in a big ol’ double pack just like that stock image right there. It lasts foreverrr. Maybe I should start dipping my apples in agave more often.

How have you veganized a holiday tradition?

Easy Unbaked Apple Not-Quite-Crisp

There are a few foods that I will always and forever associate with my childhood. Somewhere near the tippy-top of that list is apple crisp. My mom took my siblings and I on near-annual outings to the apple orchard every fall, and I always knew that the bounty we brought home would soon find its way into dozens of delicious recipes. My favorite was apple crisp. I liked helping Mom bake it, if only because I could swipe the occasional spoonful of topping. After Mom put it in the oven, the crisp’s warm cinnamon-y smell wafted through the house as I waited anxiously for the oven timer to ding. Then, when it did, we all dug in. With five people in the family, we were lucky to get more than one serving. “Seconds” usually meant a few paltry slices of apple and maybe a crumble or two of topping. And that was with Mom making a double batch!

These days, S and I have lots of crisp to share when I make it. But when the weather’s warm and I don’t feel like turning on the oven, I opt for an unbaked stand-in that captures all the flavors of traditional apple crisp with none of the heat. It’s a little less rich, too, because you don’t bake the apples. And that means it comes together in no time—no more waiting for the oven timer!

 

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Easy Unbaked Apple Not-Quite-Crisp
Makes one large serving or two small

  • 2 T Earth Balance or coconut oil (you can substitute applesauce for one tablespoon if you want to keep the fat content down)
  • 2 T spelt flour or other flour of your choice
  • 3 T rolled or quick oats
  • 1.5 T dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Dash cloves
  • Dash salt
  • 1 large apple, peeled and cut into thin slices OR diced into cubes

In a small bowl, melt the Earth Balance or coconut oil. Add all other ingredients (except the apples!) and mix with a fork until it forms large crumbles. Move your diced or sliced apples into a second bowl, top with crumbles, and enjoy.

Note: I prefer Earth Balance in this recipe, but it’s not bad with coconut oil! Half and half would probably work well, too.

What’s your favorite quick dessert recipe?

Raw Wednesday: Honeycrisp Heaven

I’m just going to level with y’all right now. I didn’t truly participate in Raw Wednesday this week. I know, I know. I’m properly ashamed and all. It’s just that I was in minor panic mode all day long (more on that later) and didn’t really eat much, and when I did, I couldn’t be bothered to do anything more than reheat a leftover vegan enchilada my wonderful daddy made for dinner a couple of nights ago. That was lunch; I skipped breakfast (I know!) and had a vegan burger for dinner… the kind from a box. I know.

I did, however, go raw for dessert. By which I mean I ate an apple. So… that counts, right? Counts-ish? Maybe? Okay, maybe not. But honestly, I couldn’t be arsed to make a more complex dessert, and Honeycrisp apples were on sale at the grocery store today, and they just looked so inviting in the fruit bowl… and you know what? I don’t think I’ve ever had a Honeycrisp before tonight. But they’re listed on that Vegan’s 100 List which seems to make for an excellent lazy-day MoFo post (mine’s coming, don’t you worry), and people have been blogging left and right about their deliciousness… so I had to try one.

Crispeh!

Ooer. I think they live up to all the hype. Honeycrisps are kind of my perfect apple, sweet but not too sweet, a little bit juicy, and, well, crisp. It was love at first bite.

On the topic of biting, fun fact – I can’t eat apples straight-up; I have to cut them into pieces because my gums are, um, slightly receding and biting into apples isn’t great for that. Oh, the joys of growing old (snerk). At least I’ll never fail to appreciate the joy of a simple raw treat, even if I do have to hack it up in order to enjoy it. ;)

Apples in Autumn

Happy autumn, friends! It’s the first full day of fall and I’m about to be an unashamed SUB – a Seriously Unoriginal Blogger. Celebrating the advent of autumn by making something with apples is pretty much the epitome of food blogger cliche, but let’s face it – there’s not much else that screams AUTUMN! like a post about this particular fruit.

And honestly? I don’t mind, because going apple picking is one of the highlights of fall. I have many fond memories of heading to local orchards with my family when I was a kid, and since my wonderful college provided free transportation to a nearby orchard, I was able to go apple picking even while 1300 miles away from home. This year, I headed to Dame Farm and Orchards with my mom, aunt, and a friend. Oh, and by the way – all the pretty photos in this post were taken by my wonderful mommy since I didn’t bring my camera to the orchard with me. :)

Gorgeous fruit.

The picking was fabulous, probably because it’s still early in the season. We’d never been to this orchard previously, and we appreciated the fact that it didn’t feel overly commercialized – we paid a man in a small wooden stall, and he didn’t take credit cards. They also had an impressive variety of apples, and the trees were laden with fruit.

Manzanas.

The temptation to grab an apple and take a bite is nearly unconquerable when these luscious beauties are hanging tauntingly at eye level.

Modern Eve?

And everyone filches a couple apples for sustenance whilst harvesting fruit under the hot sun, right? ;)

We also saw some gorgeous seasonal produce, like all these bright and colorful squash.

New Crayola inspiration?

And of course there were pumpkins galore.

One of these things is not like the other...

I love the odd one out on the bottom of that picture.

All in all, we had a lovely day and returned home with about 30 pounds of apples. Yeah, you heard that right. That’ll make a lot of Apple Pie Oat Bran! Last night, though, Mom and I put our apples to use by making a batch of homemade applesauce. Rather, I kept an eye on the huge pot of apples, water, and sugar for a few hours and made sure it wasn’t exploding or doing anything equally bad, and then Mom stole the fun part and got to use our applesauce maker/strainer thing to mash up the apples. Oh well. At least I can drown my sorrows in this huge bowl of applesauce and revel in the joys of autumn.

Bowl o' applesauce.

(The peanut butter jar (my breakfast; it’s full of oat bran & PB leftovers) is there for scale purposes, in case you were wondering. Oh, and this photo is mine… hehe.)

Breakfast, CCK Style

I love breakfast.

I know, who doesn’t, right? But all through high school and most of college, breakfast definitely didn’t get much love from me, except on the weekends when my dad might make a big batch of pancakes. I wasn’t much of a morning person, and in high school I was guilty of breaking my fast on whatever I could shove down my gob in the least amount of time, much to my disapproving mom’s chagrin. Actually, I usually brought my food to school and downed a bagel during my Academic Decathlon homeroom (nerd alert!) before classes started in earnest. In college, I rarely ate breakfast at all until last year, when I lived in a townhouse and had my own kitchen. Not having to get up, get dressed, and trek to the dining hall changed the way I approached breakfast, especially during the frigid Minnesota winter! I have grown to love and appreciate breakfast, and now I never skip it. From pancakes to potato-laden brekkie burritos, I love me my mornin’ eats.

I especially love all things oatmeal, and that’s one reason I’ve always had a soft spot for [Chocolate Covered] Katie and her blog, even back in the days when I was blogging over at Blogspot. Her oatmeal creations are inspired and inspirational! When you can have Brownie Batter for breakfast, who wouldn’t?! Especially when your breakfast creations look like this:

Brownie Batter Oat Bran for brekkie!

My unfortunate lack of an immersion blender means I can’t quite pull off her blended grains technique, but whatever, man – my Bob’s Red Mill oat bran tasted scrumptious enough without being blended! Plus, my Brownie Batter Oat Bran was super brain food for my daily GRE study session.

But I didn’t stop there. Oh no, my love for dessert-for-breakfast fueled me to greater heights of sweet breakfast euphoria when I made Snickerdoodle Oat Bran, a variation of Katie’sSnickerdoodle Hot Cereal!

Snickerdoodle yumminess!

Cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla gave this bowl a flavor totally reminiscent of the snickerdoodles I made a few days ago.

This morning, I ended my trifecta of CCK-inspired breakfasts by coming up with one of my own. I call it… Apple Pie Oat Bran! This “recipe” is super easy and involves one of my favorite ways of eating apples, even those banged-up, bruised, sad-looking ones that sit dolefully in your fruit bowl for days waiting to be used. I’m kind of guesstimating on the measurements here, because I really don’t measure much except my oat bran and milk.

Apple Pie for breakfast...

Apple Pie Oat Bran
Ingredients:
1 apple + cinnamon and sugar to taste
1 cup water or your favorite nondairy milk (I mix half water with half soy or almond milk)
1/3 cup oat bran (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg

First, chop up your apple into small cubes and put ’em in a small bowl. Liberally douse the suckers with sugar and cinnamon and let the apples sit and macerate for a while until they become nice and juicy. Then start making your oat bran. Start heating your liquid of choice along with the vanilla, and once it’s boiling add the oat bran. Keep a bonny eye on your oa tbran, stirring fairly often, for one minute. Add about 3/4 of your macerated apple mixture and keep on cookin’ for another minute. Then turn off the heat, add the cinnamon and nutmeg, and remove your pot from the heat. Unless you’re impatient like me, you probably want to let your oat bran cool a for a couple of minutes before pouring it into a bowl, but once you’ve done that, top the oat bran with the rest of your apple mixture, give it all another sprinkle of cinnamon, and you’re good to go! (Also, feel free to sub oat bran with your breakfast cereal of choice.)

Oh, helpful tip – I like to keep a premade cinnamon sugar mixture in a repurposed spice jar so I have it ready at all times; it’s quite convenient. ;)

Now, while these breakfasts are completely worthy of a devotional post such as this one, I also have an ulterior motive in baring my love for dessert-like breakfasts to the world. Katie is
giving away a spiralizer, and she’s generously offering up six extra entries to anyone who blogs about one of her recipes. But even if you don’t have a blog, you can still enter by checking out her contest. Thanks, Katie!