MoFo Monday: Hot Pumpkin Mug


A confession: The recipe I made for this week’s MoFo Monday isn’t actually from a blogger who’s participating in VeganMoFo this year. I knowww. However, Kathy Patalsky from Healthy. Happy. Life. is a rockstar vegan blogger and cookbook author who just so happened to post a recipe that I desperately wanted to try. I’d actually planned to make Angela’s crazy-amazing Apple Pie Chia Seed Breakfast Parfait, buttt I didn’t realize that Costco closes at 6:00 on Sundays, and that’s where I was planning to stock up on chia seeds (rather than pay out the nose at Whole Foods). Oops. Next week?

Anyway, I quickly changed plans last night and decided to make Kathy’s Hot Pumpkin Mug this morning instead. Basically, Kathy stripped out the caffeine that you typically find in a hot pumpkin beverage and let the pumpkin shine. It’s a creamy, spicy, frothy drink that’ll warm your belly and fill you up.

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My pumpkin drink wasn’t nearly as orange as Kathy’s, even though I cheated and added some turmeric for color. And I didn’t have time this morning to make coconut whipped cream. But it was still absolutely lovely! S is sitting at his computer right now, drinking it and making satisfied Mmm sounds. :)

What’s your favorite warm beverage? What’s your favorite pumpkin beverage?

Pumpkin Overnight Oats

When I wake up in the morning, my list of immediate tasks to complete is short: Use the potty, shower, feed and walk Moria. Notably absent from that list? Eating breakfast. I just can’t eat first thing in the morning; I need at least an hour for my stomach to settle. I’ve always been this way, meaning that my “breakfast” during high school was usually a bagel or something I could wolf down during homeroom, since I sure as hell wasn’t going to get up early enough to eat at home. Sometimes I didn’t eat breakfast at all.

These days, I never miss breakfast. I usually eat during my first hour or so at work. I like to keep cereal at my desk and almond milk in the fridge, but I often bring something else—muffins, fruit, whatever’s lying around. I’m also a big fan of oatmeal, particularly overnight oats.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, it’s beautifully simple. You soak rolled oats and your add-ins of choice in nondairy milk overnight, and they’re ready to eat the next morning. The taste and texture are notably different from cooked oatmeal;  overnight oats are less porridge-y because the oats retain their individual shape better. You also eat them cold. I was wary at first, but I adore them now.

For the past couple days, I’ve been loving this intensely flavorful, pumpkin-based oat concoction. A heaping spoonful of blackstrap molasses adds iron and calcium (not to mention a rich, deep sweetness), while pumpkin gives you Vitamin A galore. Add a big shake of cinnamon and you’re ready to start your day off right!

Vegan pumpkin overnight oats // govegga.com

Pumpkin Overnight Oats
Serves one

  • 1/2 C + 1 T nondairy milk
  • 1/3 C pumpkin puree
  • 1 T blackstrap molasses (you can add more if you’re a fan like I am)
  • 1 T pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (I actually prefer closer to 1 tsp, but again, that’s just me!)
  • Dash nutmeg
  • 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 cool overnight.

What’s your favorite make-ahead breakfast? What kind of overnight oats do you enjoy?

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 to help cover hosting costs.

Blueberry Spelt Muffins

It was only a matter of time until this day arrived. With a theme that heavily focuses on berries, there just had to be at least one muffin recipe, right? Blueberry muffins are the classic choice, and, well, I’m a sucker for the classics.

The bakery-style muffins from Vegan Brunch were my go-to muffins of choice for a while, but they don’t offer much in the way of nutrition, and they’re awfully sugary. Not that these muffins are much better! They’re certainly not what I would call particularly healthy or wholesome (though spelt and flax certainly don’t hurt), but hey—they taste damn good. And that’s what I want out of my classics.

 

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Blueberry Spelt Muffins
(makes eight normal-sized muffins)

1 T ground flax + 3 T warm water
¾ C unbleached all-purpose flour
½ C spelt flour
½ T baking powder
¼ tsp salt
Scant ½ C sugar
½ C non-dairy milk
Scant ¼ C vegetable or sunflower seed oil
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
Heaping ¾ C blueberries

Preheat your oven to 350˚ F. Grease or line a muffin tin.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flax and water and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients (flour through sugar) and stir to combine. Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients. Stir gently to combine, but don’t overmix. Fold in the blueberries.

Pour or spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins, nearly filling the wells. Bake for 21-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

What’s your favorite blueberry muffin recipe

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal

Live from Maryland, it’s Saturday morning!

There’s nothing quite like the exhilaration of waking up, making something for breakfast, and crossing your fingers and toes that it turns out well because you still need something to blog about that very day. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything. Ahem.

Happily, this particular breakfast is well-worth a post. I’ve always thought baked oatmeal was, quite literally, oatmeal you make on the stove and then pop in the oven for… some unknown reason. To firm up? To enhance the oat-y flavor? I had no idea. Turns out, you do the actual oatmeal-cooking right in the oven! And it makes a dish more akin to a casserole than a traditional oatmeal! Amazing. Who knew?!

My baked oatmeal is based on this one from Epicurious and this one from the fabulous Ricki Heller. I love Ricki’s idea of whizzing up the ingredients to make a baked oatmeal “pudding,” and I’ll definitely try that method next time. Meanwhile, though, I’ll be enjoying this blueberry-laden breakfast—and I hope you do, too.

 

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Baked Blueberry Oatmeal

Serves four

  • Coconut oil or Earth Balance for buttering the pan
  • 2 C rolled oats (I like Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats)
  • ½ C chopped walnuts, divided into two ¼ C portions
  • Scant ⅓ C brown sugar
  • ¼ C dried wild blueberries (optional)
  • 1 ½ t cinnamon
  • 1 t baking powder
  • Very scant ½ t salt
  • Dash nutmeg
  • 2 C non-dairy milk
  • 2 T ground flax
  • ⅓ C unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 C fresh or frozen blueberries (use more if omitting wild blueberries)

Preheat the oven to 375˚. Spread the coconut oil or Earth Balance around the inside of an 8”x8” square baking dish, making sure to cover all sides.

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (rolled oats through nutmeg, including ¼ C of  the walnuts) and stir to combine.

In a small bowl, add the wet ingredients (not including the blueberries) and whisk to combine.

Add the oat mixture to the baking dish, then pour the milk mixture over the top. Use a flat spoon or spatula to push the milk down into the oats so that they’re covered. Sprinkle the remaining walnuts (¼ C) and blueberries (fresh or frozen) over the top, pushing down a little to gently fold them into the oats.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is golden and the milk doesn’t look liquid-y on top of the oats. If you’re feeling decadent, sprinkle additional brown sugar or drizzle additional maple syrup over the top before serving.

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 to help cover hosting costs.

Lemon-Glazed Blackberry Spelt Scones

The astute among you might notice that this second MoFo blackberry recipe uses the same accompanying flavor as my previous one: lemon. I couldn’t resist! The two fruits are just so complementary. Blackberries are the stars here, though, studded sparingly throughout a simple spelt scone that begs to be savored with a cup of hot tea.

Working with this tender dough requires care and attention so as to avoid crushing the large yet delicate berries. Don’t be afraid to use your hands when you fold them in, gently tucking them into their doughy cushion. The results are worth the extra work.

 

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Blackberry Spelt Scones
Makes six large or eight medium

  • 1 C spelt flour
  • 1 1/2 C unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ C sugar
  • 1 T baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 C coconut milk
  • ¼ C vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ C fresh or frozen blackberries (I used fresh, but I think frozen would work well here!)

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 T Earth Balance or other margarine of choice
  • 1 T + 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 T non-dairy creamer (non-dairy milk works fine too)
  • 2/3 C confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 375˚ and prepare a baking sheet by lightly oiling or lining with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (except the blackberries!) and mix until combined. Make a well in the center of bowl and add the wet ingredients. Mix gently until a soft dough forms. If it’s too tacky, add an additional 1-2 TB all-purpose flour. Add the blackberries, gently folding the dough over them.

Turn dough out onto a well-floured, clean surface. Flour your hands and gently give the dough a few kneads. Pat dough into a circle about an inch high. Using a floured bread knife, cut the circle into sixths or eighths, depending on how large you like your scones. (I did sixths and they were quite large!) Transfer scones to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 17-20 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool.

To make the glaze, melt the Earth Balance in a small bowl, then whisk together all the ingredients until a thick yet runny paste forms. Drizzle on cooled scones and let set a bit before eating.

Blueberry-Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Welcome to VeganMoFo 2013! This year, I’m focusing on seasonal fruits–basically, any fruit that’s in season in Maryland in September. My first recipe is a bit of a cheat, though. I used dried wild blueberries instead of fresh, but you can substitute fresh wild blueberries if you like.

It’s amusing that slapping the word “breakfast” in front of any kind of baked good automatically lends it an air of healthiness. A cake is usually a sugary treat one consumes at a celebration, but call it a “breakfast cake” and you’ve got the green light to go to town on it at 10:00 in the morning.

Same thing goes for these cookies. A big ol’ scoop of rolled oats, a couple tablespoons of flax, and blueberries + banana make these puffy cookies A-okay for a quick on-the-go breakfast option.

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So on this first day of VeganMoFo 2013, why don’t you bake up a big ol’ batch of oatmeal cookies, brew a pot of coffee, and call it breakfast? It’s Sunday. You deserve it.

Blueberry-Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Makes 13

  • 2 T ground flaxseed + 6 TB warm water
  • 1 C unbleached all purpose flour
  • ½ C whole-wheat flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • Scant ½ t salt
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • Dash nutmeg
  • 1 medium-sized very ripe banana
  • 2 T coconut oil, softened or melted
  • ½ C dark brown sugar
  • ⅔ C nondairy milk of choice
  • 1 ½ C rolled oats (I like Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats)
  • Heaping ⅓ C dried wild blueberries
  • ⅓ C walnut pieces (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside. (You could also use parchment paper.)

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the ground flax and warm water and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients except the oats, blueberries, and nuts.

Add the banana to the bowl with the flax mixture and mash it well. The flax and banana mixture should be thick and goopy.  Add the oil, sugar, and milk to the wet mixture and stir well to combine.

Make a well in the bowl with the dry ingredients and add the wet to the dry. Stir to combine, then fold in the oats, blueberries, and walnuts if you’re using them. The dough should be thick and a little sticky. Drop heaping, rounded spoonfuls of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on your oven.

PIN IT

Blueberry oatmeal breakfast cookies // vegan //govegga.com

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies to help cover hosting costs.

The Cat’s Out of the Bag[el] Now!

Look what I had for breakfast!

Labeled for easy identification.

Homemade bagels, straight outta Vegan Brunch. I made 6 plain bagels and 6 of the sundried tomato variety – I rehydrated a couple of sundried tomatoes, chopped ’em up, and added them to the dough before I letting it rise. I haven’t sampled a tomato one yet, but I’m optimistic.

These were super easy to make, although I found the dough a little dry, and it didn’t rise very much or seem very pliable – maybe I accidentally didn’t add enough water to my water + yeast mixture? I definitely didn’t add too much flour. As a result, the bagels are a little on the diminutive side – the one pictured here is probably the biggest of the bunch. But they still taste good, even if they are small and a bit lumpy. I put some organic blueberry preserves on half of this guy, and it was quite scrumptious.

If this looks like a light breakfast, you’re right – I wanted to leave a little room in my belly, because I’m going out for lunch with some vegans from work! I joined a vegan interest-type group earlier this week, and by some marvel of serendipity, they’d been planning a lunch meet-up at The Green Owl today. The Green Owl is Madison’s only fully vegetarian restaurant, and pretty much all of their menu is veganizable (if it’s not vegan already). And it’s all delicious. And they have an adorable owl motif throughout the restaurant! It’s almost too much awesomeness in one place.

Confession: There was mold in my blueberry preserves when I opened the jar this morning – guess I hadn’t eaten any in quite a while! But I performed some surgery and excised that shizz, and then proceeded to use the non-moldy preserves on my bagel. Is that gross? Unsafe? I got rid of all the mold and any jam that touched it, and I hate wasting food. What do you do when you encounter mold? Call it a day and throw your food away? Or do you clear off the offending bits and move on with your life?

P.S. Bonus points for anyone who can identify the quote in this post’s title! …and by “bonus points,” I mean I will think you are equally as silly as I am. :P

Taste of the Tropics Breakfast Sundae

The Breakfast Sundae lovin’ continues! I made this baby a couple of weekends ago, and – dare I say it? – it might’ve been better than the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Breakfast Sundae I made for Katie‘s contest. Less flashy, perhaps, but wonderful in its own way. This sundae features mango, coconut, and a hint of nutmeg – a sweet, tropical blend that makes me want to take to the seas, find an island, and call it my own.

Unassuming, yet delicious.

Taste of the Tropics Oatmeal Sundae
Ingredients:
Breakfast grain of your choice (I used a mix of oatmeal and steel cut oats)
Liquid of your choice (I used almond milk + water)
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pinch nutmeg
1 mango, diced
Coconut flakes to taste

Cook your grain of choice to your personal specifications, adding the vanilla and nutmeg as it cooks. After it’s cooked and cooled a bit, mix in half the mango and coconut flakes. If you have a Magic Bullet or the like, feel free to blend up your oatmeal with a little more liquid for maximum creaminess. Mix in the rest of the mango, top the whole mess with coconut, and prepare for your tastebuds to be taken to the tropics!

Sundae Oaty Sundae

(Better than a bloody Sunday, eh?)

In case you’ve been living under a blog-free rock for the past couple of weeks, you probably know that the Queen of All Things Oatmeal is hosting a Magic Bullet giveaway. Unlike many giveaways that simply require entrants to leave a comment for a chance to win, Katie’s weeding out the passive contest-enterers from those who are more committed to the cause of Winning Free Stuff – this time, hopeful participants need to make a Breakfast Sundae for a chance at winning. Having been a lucky winner of one of Katie’s past giveaways, maybe it’s a little selfish of me to enter this one, but hey – a Magic Bullet would make a fetching addition to my countertop.

So – in the spirit of all things oaty and delicious, I decided to make myself a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Breakfast Sundae this past, um, Sunday. I followed Katie’s basic recipe pretty much to a letter, including blending it up in a Magic Bullet. But wait! It’s not mine – it’s my roommate’s, and my experiences borrowing her Bullet have only increased my intense covetousness for one of my own. After all, sad as it is, she won’t be my roommate forever, and a girl’s gotta build up her own set of kitchen accoutrements, right? Anyway – the Bullet whipped my oatmeal to new heights of creamy deliciousness, and then I upped the ante by pouring some extra-liquidy chocolate butter over the top. Served up in a ceramic sundae bowl I painted recently, this treat certainly looked more like a dessert than a breakfast!

It seriously bothers me that the coffee cup isn't more to the left. :(

Chocolaty and decadent, this breakfast was almost *too* rich for me – in my dotage, I’ve become much more sensitive to super-sugary food. But as a one-in-a-while breakfast treat, I think I can handle it! And I bet this could be a real game-changer for anyone who’s traditionally ambivalent towards oatmeal.

And here’s one more picture for the road – check out the chocolate butter action!

Oh, my.

Thanks for hosting this giveaway, Katie!

Festive Holiday Oats

Confession time – I’ve been eating quick oats lately. The kind of oats that come in a cylinder and take all of two minutes to nuke in the microwave. They’re basically the weakling runts of the oat world, with steel-cut oats and oat groats being the powerhouses that pack a fantastic nutritional punch. And even though I do have a bag of steel-cut oats in my [mostly bare] cupboard, I’ve been grabbing the quick oats when I feel like being grainy for breakfast.

I think I have an excuse, though. My mom and I bought them a couple of weeks ago when she was here helping me move into my apartment; we were staying in an extended stay hotel with a kitchenette, and we thought it’d be prudent to invest in some breakfast foods. Quick oats were the perfect solution; we’d get up in the morning, make oatmeal, and then head out for a day of furniture-shopping and bed-putting-together. After she left, I still had 3/4 of a container of quick oats, so that’s been my fall-back option when I want a quick breakfast. Since I’m not really willing to expend 20 minutes making steel-cut oats in the morning before work, I appreciate the minimal time investment.

I still feel a little guilty, though.

But a few days ago, I discovered a way to dress up my oats for the holidays, and ever since, I’ve ben unabashedly unashamed of my breakfast. It’s so simple, too. I’ve always been a fan of making oats with soy or almond milk, since I think watery oats are pretty much the most disgusting thing ever. They taste thin and generally disgusting, in my opinion. But if you make oatmeal with milk, it instantly turns into a delicious, creamy breakfast, even if you don’t have an immersion blender for that added touch of creaminess (I don’t have one of my own at my apartment, boo). So I’ve always been a soymilk and oatmeal fan.

The other day, though, I decided to add some of Silk’s seasonal Pumpkin Spice flavor to my oats. I couldn’t decide if I was wasting the precious drink by putting it in oatmeal, but I decided to give it a shot. And, oh, am I glad I did.

Festively delicious.

The result is a creamy, subtly flavorful oatmeal that requires little to no additional sweeteners. It’s seriously amazing, especially with an extra dash of cinnamon on top. I am so very glad I decided to give this a try.

I’m already thinking of what else I could do with this discovery. Chocolate Peppermint Stick Oatmeal, using WestSoy’s amazing holiday beverage? Nog Oats spiced with nutmeg?! What do you think – any great oaty ideas?