More oatmeal?!! Oh yes, more oatmeal! This one ventures into the land of baked oatmeal and it is so yummy!! This recipe is pretty darn close to this one from Vegan Yack Attack. It was so good when I made it I didn’t know how to improve it. A rare thing for me. It was also so good, I had to share it. This is a wonderful first vegan baked oatmeal. It holds together beautifully, is richly flavored, and makes you want more!
I’m just posting the recipe without a discussion this time as we have been over oatmeal in depth. This is a baked version which I am just starting to experiment with myself. Good luck and happy eating.
Banana Chocolate Walnut Baked Oatmeal
1 C. water
1 C. non-dairy milk, or more water
1 very ripe banana, mashed
¼ C. coconut or brown sugar
1 T. chia seeds
1½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/8-1/4 tsp salt
2 C. rolled oats
¼ C. walnuts, chopped
3 T. vegan chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F.
Stir together water, non-dairy milk, banana, sugar, chia seeds, vanilla extract, and salt.
Mix in the oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips.
Pour the mixture into a high-walled, round, 7-8″ baking dish. (I greased mine with coconut oil)
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the the top and edges are golden brown.
I ate mine with just a little cold almond milk and it was superb! If you like you could also add maple syrup, more banana, or really anything that makes you happy.
Building from the last post “pancakes without a recipe” this recipe is for gluten free pancakes. Gluten free pancakes are a bit more delicate than pancakes using wheat flour. For this gluten free recipe I used a combination of three gluten free flours to build structure. When using gluten free flours it is vital to use a combination of flour textures (buckwheat and rice) and a starch (arrowroot). The ratio here worked delightfully well, or you could use a pre-mixed gluten free baking mix.
Light and Fluffy Gluten Free Vegan Pancakes
1 TBL chia seeds
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup non-dairy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Coconut oil for cooking.
Briefly mix chia seeds and water in a mixing bowl and set aside until the chia has jelled a little, about 5 minutes.
Mix the non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar together and set aside to curdle, about 5 minutes.
Once the chia seeds have started to jell, mash in the banana and stir to combine.
Add buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, arrowroot starch, baking soda, and salt mixing to combine dry ingredients without working to hard to mix them with the banana and chia mix at the bottom of the bowl.
Add the curdled milk and vanilla whisking the ingredients until they are uniformly wet and combine.
Heat your favorite pancake pan over medium heat. I use a large cast iron pan.
Once your desired pan is hot melt a little coconut oil in the pan, I use about a teaspoon per batch, and pour the batter into the hot pan. I usually make one big pancake at a time, but you can also do smaller ones and do however many fit in your pan.
Cook on one side until the sides of the pancake are starting to look dry and the cooked side is turning a delightful golden brown, about 2 minutes.
Flip pancake and cook until the second side is also golden brown, about 1 more minute.
What is important for successful gluten free pancakes?
Texture (the ratio and combination of flours, and combination of wet and dry ingredients, a leavening agent, and other ingredients to add structure)
Flavor (Salt, vanilla, and banana in this recipe)
Toppings (maple syrup, molasses, butter, or other)
How I decided what to use for this recipe:
I wanted gluten free pancakes as Wolfie may or may not have a sensitivity. I also wanted a yummy pancake with light texture and just enough flavor to stand up to the butter and maple syrup. Texture was the most important thing here. I used three gluten free flours for a light texture, and both banana and chia seeds for structure.
I guess I’m on a breakfast kick; oatmeal, now pancakes! Breakfast is my favorite first meal of the day. Pancakes are a classic breakfast and are easily adaptable to whatever you have in the house and or dietary needs. They are also a wonderful comfort food. I have fond memories of pancake eating contests with my brothers when I was growing up. Yes, I won. Again we will do a simple recipe, then some variations and a discussion on how to make decisions when you are developing your signature pancake recipe.
Basic Pancakes Without a Recipe
4 parts flour (1 cup)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder or 1 tsp baking soda plus acid (apple cider vinegar 9mixed into liquid)
3 parts liquid (3/4 cup) + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar if using baking soda
Egg substitute (1 banana, mashed) or one Egg if you are not vegan
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
Oil for cooking such as coconut or sunflower oil
Earth Balance Buttery Spread
Mix flour, baking powder or soda, and salt, mixing to combine dry ingredients.
Add the curdled milk, mashed banana, and vanilla whisking the ingredients until they are uniformly wet and combine.
Heat your favorite pancake pan over medium heat. I use a large cast iron pan.
Once your desired pan is hot heat a little oil in the pan, I use about a teaspoon per batch, and pour the batter into the hot pan. I usually make one big pancake at a time, but you can also do smaller ones and do however many fit in your pan.
Cook on one side until the sides of the pancake are starting to look dry and bubbles are forming, popping, and not closing, and the cooked side is turning a delightful golden brown, about 2 minutes.
Flip pancake and cook until the second side is also golden brown, about 1 more minute.
Serve piping hot with topped with maple syrup and butter, or topping of your choice like this cinnamon roll topping.
What is important for successful pancakes?
Texture (the ratio, choice, and combination of wet and dry ingredients, a leavening agent, and other ingredients to add structure)
How does it all work
Flour. For a happy pancake you need to start with flour. I have only used grain based flours which is what I will talk about here. You can use any combination of flours that you have in the house. I usually use an all purpose wheat flour. I have also mixed in oat flour, cornmeal, whole what flour, buckwheat, and even bread flour when I ran out of all purpose. To be successful you will probably want the majority of your flour to be wheat flour to bring the texture you are seeking. I will post a gluten free recipe soon for those of you not into wheat.
Liquid. The flour to liquid ratio is important for the finished product. More liquid creates a runnier batter and a thinner pancake. Less liquid is a thick batter and a dense pancake. You need something that balances both for a light fluffy pancake. About 4 parts flour to 3 parts liquid seems to be a good ratio. This is something you can play with quite a bit. I no longer actually measure my liquid and just pour it in until it is the consistency I am looking for.
Egg Substitute. You need something for the egg in pancakes, either egg, or another ingredient to build structure in you pancake. Options I like include; egg, chia seeds (1 TBL chia seeds mixed with 1/3 cup water), banana, and egg replacer powder. You could simply take out the egg which would give you a thinner, floppier pancake. My go-to egg substitute in pancakes is banana and I always use them when I have them in the house. They give a wonderful touch of sweetness and good structure to the pancake.
Leavening agent. Either baking powder or baking soda. With baking soda you also need an acid. This creates the chemical reaction needed to give your pancakes lift. This is why I call for the apple cider vinegar if you are using baking soda. The baking soda and vinegar will give you a bit more of a buttermilk pancake taste.
Flavor. Salt, vanilla are added here for flavor. Other options include any extract you can think of, spices like cinnamon, cocoa powder, and zest from citrus.
Other. One of the delightful things about pancakes is the add-ins. We are all familiar with blueberry pancakes. Other options are any fruit you can think of, protein powder, cheese, chocolate chips, nuts and seeds, even vegetables like some grated carrot or zucchini. For most of these you want to add them into the pancake after you have poured the batter into the pan. This way your pancakes will look amazing, and you will be able to control how much goes into each pancake. You can also make toppings and go crazy with your combination. Maybe start with this cinnamon roll topping.
Last week we started talking about how to cook without a recipe using oatmeal as the basis for discussion. This week I wanted to continue using oatmeal and illustrate how using combinations creates a totally different oatmeal. For this we are going to have dessert for breakfast, or Dark Side Oats, as my husband calls them. This is a delicious combination of chocolate, peanut butter, and a bit of milk to make a lovely balanced breakfast.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal
2 cups water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup rolled oats
2 TBL cocoa powder (Bitterness)
1-3 TBL coconut sugar or brown sugar (Sweetness)
1/4 cup crunchy salted peanut butter (Saltiness)
non-dairy milk for topping (Balance)
Bring water, vanilla and salt to a low boil over medium heat.
Reduce heat to medium-low and add oats and cocoa powder stirring to combine.
Heat and cook stirring occasionally until mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in peanut butter and brown sugar.
Top with milk if using and serve immediately.
How I made decisions for this recipe:
I wanted a chocolate filled breakfast, but one that I could still call healthy without too much sugar. I also wanted something that balanced salty and sweet. I started with unsweetened chocolate which needs some sugar to balance it. This gave me bitterness and sweetness. I then wanted the salt factor and chose crunchy salted peanut butter. Crunchy peanut butter also gives the dish texture. Once all of these ingredients were combined the dish was delicious, but a bit dense. To lighten the dish I recommend serving cold milk over the top which will give balance to the finished product.
To recap, bitterness (chocolate) balanced with sweetness (sugar) balanced with salt (peanut butter), add texture (crunchy peanut butter), with a little lightness (milk). Done and done.
Here it is; the first post as Happy Food Ninja. Because today is Mother’s Day I have decided to make this first post the all important OATMEAL! I can feel the excitement. My mom came to stay with us when Wolfie was born and opened the world of oatmeal to me again. I had been eating oatmeal, but apparently I was eating it all wrong! I had been focusing on only the flavor instead of the all important texture. The texture makes such a difference in this basic dish. To achieve the correct texture you must heat the liquid before adding the oats.
Today we are starting with a recipe for Almond Apricot Oatmeal, then a brief discussion on how to make delicious oatmeal without a recipe. We will also go over how to create your own fabulous oatmeal flavors.
Almond Apricot Oatmeal
2/3 cup water
pinch of salt
5-6 dried apricots, chopped
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/4 tsp almond extract
a handful of roasted and salted almonds
Heat water, salt, and apricots in a small saucepan over high heat until it starts to boil
Reduce heat to medium and stir in the oats and almond extract.
Cook over medium heat until the water is absorbed, about 5 minutes.
Scoop oatmeal into a bowl, stir in butter and syrup to your taste, and top with almonds. This makes one serving.
What is important for successful oatmeal?
The oat to liquid ratio: 2 parts liquid to 1 part oats
Heating the liquid to boiling before stirring in the oats.
The rest is up to you. You could make a sweet oatmeal like the recipe in this post, or a savory oatmeal like this recipe. Oatmeal is a bit like rice, in that it has a basic flavor of its own, but takes to other ingredients, and the flavor changes drastically depending on what you add. You could use any edible liquid as a base. I have used water, milk, tea, vegetable broth, juice, and combinations of those. You then add flavoring. Flavoring consists of extracts and spices. Finish the pot with your add-ins like fruit and nuts.
How I decided on what to add for this recipe
I got the idea from eating my car snack of almonds and apricots. A delicious combination for a snack. I happened to be thinking about breakfast while snacking (pretty common in my world to be thinking of my next meal while eating the current meal), that is where the idea started. The next morning I made my oats with apricots, and did a taste before adding sweetener and the almonds. I thought it needed a bit of something extra. I added almond extract to heighten the baked-good quality of the oats. I then added butter, maple syrup, and finished it with roasted, salted almonds. The whole dish brings me back to a scone I once had. That’s it. It started with an idea, and it grew bit by bit with me tasting along the way and adding things to develop the flavor I wanted. You can do the same with any flavor combination you can come up with.
How Does It All Work?
Your first layer of flavor.
Milk. It will give you a creaminess, it will also start to add a touch of sweetness. If you are using a sweetened non-dairy milk like a vanilla soy milk it will be a very different, sweeter, oatmeal than if you used an unsweetened milk or water.
Water will let the oats shine through. You will have a basic oatmeal base that you can easily flavor with other ingredients.
Juice will start the sweetness and give a base of the flavor of the juice. Let’s say you use apple juice. You will have the start to apple oatmeal. You could then add apple pieces and cinnamon to make apple pie oatmeal.
Vegetable broth. As in my oatmeal with kale and walnuts vegetable broth is the base for a great savory application. It starts shifting oatmeal from sweet to savory from the start. The oats will soak up the flavor from the broth and become something reminiscent of risotto.
Adding a bit more flavor.
Extracts such as vanilla or almond give a hint of those flavors. You could really mix it up here depending on what you have hanging around. A little mint mixed with cocoa powder for mint chocolate oatmeal, some almond as in this recipe to give the oats backbone.
Spices. Ohh, now we are really getting into it. Remember that oatmeal can be sweet or savory. Frequently it is sweet and eaten for breakfast. A common spice to add is cinnamon. Easy and delicious. You could go crazy and try every spice in your cabinet one at a time. The would be a great way to get to know your spices, and the versatility of oatmeal:) If you are attempting to create oatmeal to mimic a recipe such as apple pie, look at that recipe and add those spices to your oatmeal. I like to add them at the same time as the oats.
Other. I was trying to come up with an other category and all I could think of was cocoa powder. I love to add cocoa powder, peanut butter, and top with non-dairy milk. Ohh, so good. If you can think of something else to add to this category let me know!
Add-ins (now we’re going crazy)
Adding texture and amping up the wow factor.
Nuts and seeds. I feel nuts and seeds are an important part of oatmeal. I like the textural difference of the crunch they add. I use both whole nuts or seeds as well as nut and seed butters depending on the day. Nuts, seeds and butters also add some needed protein and healthy fats to keep you full. Almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, I could go on. Just add them.
Fruits and veggies. I frequently add fruit to my oatmeal, and every now and again will add a vegetable. My go-to is raisins, but the possibilities again seem endless. You can go fresh such as a little grated apple, or dried like the apricots here. Dates add sweetness and can be used to replace other sweetener like maple syrup in the finished product. Grated carrots for carrot cake oatmeal, apple for apple pie, raisins just because.
Butter or oil. Well why wouldn’t you add butter, or your version of butter. Often Earth Balance Buttery Spread for me. Butter adds salt and a bit of richness that I think oatmeal needs. I will add this to most every oatmeal recipe I make. For some you could also use an oil. I would use coconut oil to help boost the coconut flavor in a coconut almond oatmeal, or olive oil for a savory base.
Sweeteners. Most often your oatmeal is topped with something sweet like maple syrup or brown sugar. Both are awesome. Sometimes you don’t want to add sweetener for a variety of reasons. If you still want it sweet you could cook some chopped dates with the water and mashing them a bit before you add the oats. It will give a delightful natural sweetness. Also boosting the other flavors like the spices and extracts will reinforce flavor on your palate without the actual sugar.
Milk and yogurt. This is yet another way to add dimension to your bowl of plain oats. The milk can add a coolness that will excite your palate and totally change your dish. Yogurt will do the same. Dairy or non-dairy versions are both good here. You can, of course, stir them in, but you could also leave them a little loose on top. When you do this, and get a spoonful of hot oats with the cool creaminess, your mouth will wake to the sensation. The cream will also add balance to a rich oatmeal like the chocolate peanut butter deliciousness.
As I write this I feel I could go on and on, but I need to stop. Please comment with your favorite oatmeal combinations or ideas. Happy eating and Happy Mother’s Day!
So you’re looking for food to serve the vegan mother in you life for Mother’s Day. Good job; you’re working hard to fulfill her desires and it will be appreciated. Just for you, I’ll tell you what I would love for a food-filled vegan Mother’s Day.
1. Start with vegan hot chocolate. If she’s into it, and most mothers are, add a shot, or ten, of espresso to make this a mocha.
2. For first breakfast choose something savory such as a tofu breakfast sandwich, or just a delightful jalapeno bagel. If your special vegan is also gluten free try this savory oatmeal. For extra credit you can make the bagel at home. Just for you I made a video in case you’re going for the big wow factor.
3. Of course, she will need a late morning snack. I suggest something sweet again and bakery quality. Maybe a blueberry muffin or cinnamon bun with another cup of coffee. Preferably iced at this point.
4. Just a salad for lunch please to balance the morning and get her ready for the delightful dinner you are going to prepare.
5. Now a little appetizer of happy comfort served up in this smoky bean dip.
I have to tell you something. The real reason I posted about making almond milk was so you could make these muffins. Since I posted that recipe on Saturday you must have soaked your almonds Saturday night and made almond milk yesterday. Today you are wondering what to do with the leftover almond pulp. Making these muffins is the best thing you can do with the pulp.
These almond banana muffins are flavorful, dense, moist, slightly sweet, crave worthy, and incredibly full of healthy stuff. They are also gluten-free, vegan, soy free, and have no added oil or sugar. What? and they taste good? They do. Especially when slathered with homemade almond or walnut butter. These are perfect for traveling and the last for several days maintaining their delicious texture. This recipe started from this recipe from the Minimalist Baker.
These super easy, slightly fancy, a bit trendy, and delicious vegan pancakes are going to be perfect for your Easter brunch or any difficult morning. Either Easter, or a difficult morning you say? Well, yes. Easter because they are delightfully decadent and will be the perfect star for your Easter brunch without being difficult or fussy. For a difficult morning because they are delightfully decadent without being strenuous to make or fussy. Ohh, and they are delicious. If you know you are going to have a hard day, or had a hard night, say waking every hour or so with a three month old, these with a bit of perfect espresso or coffee will have you ready for anything.
If you have any leftover topping (I don’t know why you would, but just in case), you can stir it into your oatmeal the next day and feel almost healthy.
Vegan Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
For the Pancakes
1 very ripe banana
3/4 -1 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the cinnamon roll topping
2 TBL coconut oil
2 TBL soy free Earth Balance buttery spread
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
2 TBL coconut sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 TBL non-dairy milk
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
For the cinnamon roll topping
Melt coconut oil and Earth Balance over medium-low heat in a small saucepan.
Add the brown rice syrup, coconut sugar, and cinnamon stirring to combine.
Cook until mixture boils, then cook 2 more minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the milk and walnuts.
Set aside until pancakes are cooked.
Reheat if necessary before serving.
For the pancakes
Mash banana in a medium bowl.
Add 3/4 non-dairy milk and vinegar allowing to sit and curdle for a few minutes.
Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla stirring together. If mixture needs more liquid add it to your desired consistency. Thicker batter makes thicker pancakes, thinner batter makes thinner pancakes.
Heat a large skillet, I use my biggest cast iron pan, over medium heat.
Once pan is hot add a small amount of oil to prevent pancakes from sticking.
Pour batter into the pan making sure to leave enough room between the pancakes to flip them!
Cook on first side until bubbles that form on pancakes burst and edges start to dry out.
Flip and cook until golden brown on second side.
Top cooked pancakes with cinnamon roll topping and serve pronto!
As strange as this meal sounds, it is quite delicious. Wolfie is sensitive to something and I have been on a major elimination diet to try and figure it out. One of the things I have been eating a lot of for breakfast during this time is oatmeal. Well I’m just plain sick of sweet oatmeal and I needed something savory for breakfast. This has been my go-to breakfast for the last few weeks. It would also work for a dinner if you called it oat risotto or something fancy like that. I was hesitant to try a savory oatmeal, but I needed the salt. Ohh, do I love salt. I am now looking forward to breakfast again. Anyway, here is a wonderful entry to the world of savory oatmeal, and one of the healthiest breakfasts you can find. This combination is one that actually keeps me full for several hours unlike most anything I eat in the morning. This is also gluten free if you make sure to use gluten free oats. I hope you enjoy it.
Savory Oatmeal with Kale and Walnuts
2 1/2 cups chopped kale
1 TBL olive oil, or 1/4 cup water
2/3 cup vegetable broth
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped nuts or seeds (toasted if you desire)
1 TBL nutritional yeast
salt to taste
Heat large skillet over medium heat.
Add oil or water and kale, sauteing until tender, 7-10 minutes. -If you cook the kale in oil it will get a bit crispy and yummy bitter like kale chips. If you want your kale more tender as if steamed use water.
While kale is cooking, heat vegetable broth in a small saucepan to a boil.
Once vegetable broth is boiling, add rolled oats and cook, stirring occasionally until water is absorbed, about 5 minutes.
Once oatmeal is cooked remove from heat and stir in nutritional yeast.
Add salt to kale to taste, then place kale on a plate, top with cooked oatmeal and nuts.
I have extremely fond memories of helping my mother make granola when I was a child. We would make huge batches, divide it up and each of us got to add the ingredients we liked. She always added dried fruit to hers, my brothers hated nuts, so on. We had this huge silver bowl that we would make the granola in and I remember standing on a kitchen chair to stir; stealing bites from the bowl when my mom wasn’t looking. Then the smell. Oh, the smell. It was so wonderful, for hours it drifted out of the kitchen perfuming the house. The best was eating it while it was still warm with cold milk (soy even then). This recipe takes a little time though it is very easy. You just have to be around the house for a few hours and available to stir the granola every 20 minutes. Whenever I make a batch of this granola I end up eating it 3 or 4 times a day for the first week because it is so good. It’s great for a snack, breakfast, and dessert. Remember this recipe is flexible so use the ingredients you like.
Homemade Vegan Granola
6 cups rolled oats
5-6 cups total of a mixture of the following
Rolled Wheat Flakes
Unsalted Nuts (I like salted)
Millet (one of my favorites)
1 TBL Cinnamon
1 tsp Salt
½ C. Oil
¾ Cup maple Syrup, honey, agave, or molasses or a mixture of them
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp almond, hazelnut, or more vanilla extract
1-2 cups dried fruit (optional)
Heat oil, maple syrup and water in a pan.
When warm remove from heat and add extracts.
Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Pour hot liquid over dry ingredients and mix together.
Divide between enough shallow baking pans to evenly spread the granola in a single thin layer. About 3 9 x 13 or larger pans.
Cook in 250 F. oven, stirring every 20 minutes until granola becomes golden brown and dries out. About 1-1 1/2 hours.