Granola-Topped Pumpkin Maple Muffins


I have granola bits all over my kitchen, and I am not complaining one bit.


I obviously haven't been making enough muffins. I had to invest in a muffin pan just for this recipe, because all I had was mini pans. Last weekend I became the unofficial muffin (wo)man, and whipped up 5 different batches of these Granola-Topped Pumpkin Maple Muffins until they came out just right.

All of this pumpkin and cinnamon and seasonal sweetness deserves to be full-sized. Plus full-sized muffins means more surface area for (liberally) crumbling on the sweet granola topping. The oven works its magic on those little maple-oat morsels, and 20 minutes later they have become perfect crunchy crumbles adorning the muffins' peaks.


These granola-sprinkled muffins have perfectly mounded tops and soft pumpkin joy underneath. The granola crunchies might make a mess, but it will be a scrumptious maple mess. Just make sure not to burn your fingers plucking them from the pan in your warm-from-the-oven excitement.


Granola-Topped Pumpkin Maple Muffins

Makes 12

1 1/4 cup pumpkin

1/4 cup maple syrup

3/4 cup sugar

2 cups rolled oats

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2/3 cup almond milk

Granola Topping

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2 tbsps maple syrup

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Combine the pumpkin, maple syrup, and sugar together in a large bowl.
  3. Grind the rolled oats to a flour in a blender. Mix the oats with the spices and baking powder in a separate bowl.
  4. Add the dry to the wet in two batches alternately with the almond milk. Stir everything together until it is well combined.
  5. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  6. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling them 3/4 of the way for nice rounded tops.
  7. For the granola topping, grind 1/4 cup of the oats in a blender. Mix together the oats, oat flour, maple syrup, and spices with a fork until clumpy.
  8. Sprinkle the granola generously on top of the muffin batter.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Let the muffins cool. When warm, the wrappers may stick. Once cool, they will come off cleanly.

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Candy Corn Pops with Poisonberry Dip


Halfway through the pop construction I had an almost crisis. I could not remember whether candy corn colors went white-orange-yellow or white-yellow-orange? I freaked, afraid I'd made a banana-topped blunder. But my subconscious Halloween candy memory is better than I thought. It is white-orange-yellow after all. Phew!

Or banana-cantaloupe-pineapple in this case...


The trick to this treat: It's all about how you slice the fruit. So get a little artistic with your knife skills, and shape the cantaloupe and pineapple into perfect smiley shapes. Slide them onto a stick with a "white" banana cap, then dip them into the fruity poison...if you DARE.


Poinsonberry = boysenberry! I've never tried boysenberries before, but when I spot something unusually fruity in the freezer case, I buy it. They look sort of like blackberries, but with a deep red hue. That deep color means antioxidants. Lots of antioxidants. Like two times the antioxidants of blueberries! They taste a little tart, and a little sweet. They will kill you with health. Not really.


Candy Corn Pops with Poisonberry Dip

Makes 6 pops

2 pineapple rings

2 cantaloupe slices

3 bananas

6 sticks/skewers

Poisonberry Dip

1 cup frozen boysenberries, defrosted (or any berry)

4 medjool dates

  1. Slice each pineapple ring into three smiley shapes. Slice each cantaloupe slice into 3 smaller smileys. Slice the ends off of your bananas (eat the middles, or freeze them).
  2. Slide the pineapple slices, cantaloupe slices, and banana toppers onto the sticks.
  3. For the dip, blend the defrosted berries with the dates on high until thick and smooth. Taste it and adjust the sweetness if you wish.
  4. Enjoy your spooky snack!

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Easy Vegetable Noodle Bowl


Cold weather = soup weather. Soup is mandatory in the fall and winter months that we're heading into. It's slowly starting to feel like fall around here. Today I wore long sleeves with my shorts and flip-flops...hehe. Even though I make fun of Florida's wimpy weather, it really does get cold here...really it does.

This soup-noodle hybrid is perfect for these cooler days. An array of veggies cooked in an broth with asian flavor accents, then poured over almost-instant rice noodles.


This steaming bowl is literally overflowing with color and flavor and lots of noodles! I overestimated the size of my bowl, underestimated my number of noodles, and ended up with a soupy spill. So choose a big bowl for this feast.


Just 10 minutes! The rice noodles cook in less than 5 minutes, the veggies cook in less than 10, and eating time will vary depending on the utensil you choose. I can say from experience, that if you go with chopsticks you're going to be there a while. 


Easy Vegetable Noodle Bowl

Serves 1 hungry vegan

1 cup vegetable stock

1 cup water

2-4 tbsps coconut aminos (or soy sauce/tamari/nama shoyu)

1 stalk green onion

1/4 inch chunk fresh ginger

2 heads baby bok choy

1 cup mushrooms

1/2 of a carrot

4 oz. rice noodles (I used Thai Kitchen Thin Rice Noodles)

  1. Cook your noodles following the instructions on the package.
  2. Drain the noodles and put them in the bottom of your big soup bowl.
  3. Chop your veggies, mince your ginger, and dice your green onion.
  4. In a nonstick saucepan, cook the ginger and green onion over high heat for 1-2 minutes. Stir constantly.
  5. Add the mushrooms and carrots and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Keep on stirring.
  6. Add the stock, water, and baby bok choy. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat.
  7. Pour the broth and veggies over the noodles and feast!

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Banana Pumpkin Pie


It's pumpkin pie confession time. I didn't even like pumpkin pie until about 4 years ago. I was an anti-pie child, unless it was chocolate and had mini M&M's in it. That means I missed out on 16 years of potential pumpkin pie sad. But I've made up for it in the few short years since.


Once I realized the miracle that is pumpkin pie, I went pie-making crazy. I've made back-of-the-can pumpkin pie, tofu pumpkin piecornstarch and almond milk pumpkin piecrustless pumpkin pie, burnt pumpkin pie, date-pumpkin pie, and even squash-that-wants-to-be-pumpkin pumpkin pie. I average at least 11 pumpkin pies every fall, and have been known to devour an entire pie myself in less than 24 hours.

And now I'm adding Banana Pumpkin Pie to the list! It's like the fruity member of the vegan pumpkin pie family. The pie filling is blended with a few bananas till creamy, generously spiced and lightly sweetened, poured into a crumbly 3-ingredient oat crust, then baked to pumpkin perfection. 


Trick for non-stick: A fat-free crust in an unlined pie pan can lead to a sticking situation, but here's a handy little trick that doesn't require spreading coconut oil all over the pan. Simply dust your pan lightly with flour before pressing in the crust, and your pie will come right out, no chisels needed.


Pumpkin Banana Pie

Makes a 9" pie


2 3/4 cups rolled oats

3 tbsps coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice)

1/2 cup + 1 tbsp water


1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz)

3 ripe bananas

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup non-dairy milk

1/4 cup coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice)

  1. For the crust, grind the oats in a blender or food processor. Add the oat flour to a bowl, reserving 1 tablespoon. Mix in the the coconut sugar and water to make a crumbly dough that just barely sticks together.
  2. Dust the bottom of a pie pan with the extra tablespoon of flour so it won't stick. Press the dough into the pie pan.
  3. Preheat your oven to 425F.
  4. To make the filling, blend everything in a blender or food processor. Do a quick taste test and adjust the sugar or spices to your liking.
  5. Pour the filling into the crust.
  6. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven to 350F and bake for another 35-40 minutes. The center should no longer be jiggly at this point. 
  7. Allow the pie to cool, then refrigerate it for at least 4 hours before cutting and eating.

I like my pie with no toppings, just pumpkin. Add toppings if you wish.

High-Carb Low-Fat Curry Pizza


If at first you don't succeed at making homemade curry sauce...try again hoping it was a fluke.

If again you don't succeed at making homemade curry more videos of other people doing it, then try again feeling more prepared.

If again you don't succeed...try again and add cauliflower, it makes everything better.

If you still don't curry paste, it never seems to fail me.


I think I tried, tried again for long enough, but alas I admitted defeat to the curry sauce and enjoyed my pizza anyway. My amazing, high-carb, low-fat curry pizza piled high with spicy sauce and vibrant veggies.

Cauli-Curry Sauce! Cauliflower knows no bounds. This time it has transformed into fat-free curry sauce with only 2 ingredients: cauliflower and curry paste! This cauli-curry combo isn't limited to pizza only. Thin it out with a little non-dairy milk (or water even) for a delicious pasta, rice, or veggie sauce.


Crunchy corners, soft center: For the crust, I mixed up a batch my Brown Rice Tortilla dough and pressed it out into one big flatbread crust. The edges baked to a crunchy brown crisp, and the center was still soft and chewy. I personally am a soft crust fan, and I liked the contrast of textures on this pie. For a crunchier option, there are plenty of fantastic high-carb, low-fat vegan recipes to choose from:


High-Carb Low-Fat Curry Pizza

Makes one 10" pizza

1 batch of my Brown Rice Tortilla dough (or your pizza crust of choice)

1/2 a head of cauliflower, chopped

1/2 tbsp of curry paste

Veggie toppings like zucchini, mushrooms, onions, tomato, bell pepper, cauliflower crumbles, spinach,  anything!

  1. Press the dough out on a pan lined with parchment paper into a 10" circle. The center should be thin and the edges thicker. 
  2. Bake at 425F for 20 minutes.
  3. For the sauce, steam the cauliflower until tender. 
  4. Blend the cauliflower with the curry paste until smooth.
  5. Spread the sauce onto the partially cooked crust, and add your toppings.
  6. Bake for another 15-18 minutes at 425F until the edges are brown and crispy.

If you don't want to read the directions, just watch:

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