The other day made pumpkin bread, and we had some leftover batter. We decided to experiment a bit and make some pumpkin bread bites. Once we tasted them, we realized quickly that they were actually more like pumpkin donut holes. Also our very pedantic daughter told us they were donuts, and who can argue with a stubborn two year old who is busy licking chocolate off as many treats as she can get her hands on?
Pumpkin Donut Holes: A Treat Whose Time Has Come
It’s pumpkin season, as we all know. I’ve heard that being into pumpkin stuff is “basic,” but those scare quotes should tell you that I’m old enough to not fully understand what basic means. Also, I don’t care because pumpkin stuff is delicious. Please also hold off on criticizing yoga pants and scarves and whatever else you might feel other people are enjoying too much.
Where was I? Oh, right: pumpkin donut holes. If the name isn’t enough to convince you that you want these, then just look at a picture of Jocelyn putting some chocolate on them.
These came out great. They’re soft and crumbly and delicious. If you like pumpkins or chocolate or things shaped like acorns (note: do not eat actual acorns, they’re pretty gross), then these are for you.
1 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
1 cup coconut sugar
1 Tsp vanilla
1 Tsp pumpkin pie spice
2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 Tbsp chia seeds mixed with 3 Tbsp water
1 1/2 Tsp baking powder
1/2 Tsp baking soda
1/2 Tsp salt
2 1/2 cup spelt flour
Preheat oven to 350° F. Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Place into a prepared tray (ours was a fall-themed cakelet/mini-muffin pan). Bake for 30 minutes.
Grandpa and Mommy hatched a plan to take Watson to see Coco today (in accidental cosplay, since Watson basically always wants only to wear skeleton clothes). This was a good plan, but it also involved me finding a way to occupy Vivi and Freddy for several hours in suburban New Jersey.
Let me go off on a tangent for a hot second about driving in New Jersey. I’m allowed to do this because I lived here for a decade. I earned this. Anyway, in short, driving in this state is uniformly a nightmare. This is the only place in existence where you can pass within 100 feet of your final destination but still be 2 jughandles, 3 traffic lights, and 10 minutes away. Drivers from here will defend this state against these criticisms, but have no answer for why their purportedly superior system has gained no currency outside of the Garden State’s borders.
So anyway, Vivi and Freddy and I have wound up having a super lo-fi, still very fun afternoon. We walked around Target for a while and marveled at the fact that every department had televisions for sale. Vivi pointed out Santa Claus and Christmas trees and Star Wars. Fred leaned on Vivi for moral and physical support in the cart. Then we picked up a pair of happy meals (not the healthiest, but it’s a nice treat for the kids), and we’ve spent the last hour or so just hanging out in the back of the van being silly and laughing and eating food that’s not great.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that kids aren’t hard to please. If I need to kill a couple of hours, there are worse ways than this. We’re gonna go pick up the rest at the movie theater in a few minutes, and while I’m sure they’ll have had a great time, they also won’t have a couple of cheap happy meal toys, so who’s the real winners?
This week was a major milestone for us. We actually persuaded Watson to sleep in his bed instead of in his sleeping bag on the floor for a couple of nights. This was a big win, and so of course we had to celebrate with a special breakfast.
These pancakes were a ton of fun to make with our oldest. He loved mixing all of the ingredients together, and the chocolaty smiles all over his and his sister’s faces are testament to how tasty these were. They’re not as healthy as a lot of our normal fare, but they’re vegan and gluten free, and sometimes it’s fun and necessary to let loose a little. Enjoy!
2 cups almond milk
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup almond meal
1 cup spelt flour
2 Tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1 package almond paste, grated
Chocolate chips (as many as you feel appropriate)
Rainbow sprinkles (likewise)
First mix the lemon juice and almond milk to make “buttermilk.” Set aside. In a large bowl, mix the almond meal, spelt flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Stir in the buttermilk and grape seed oil. Add the almond paste, chocolate chips, and rainbow sprinkles, and cook on a griddle as you would any old pancakes, so long as you keep in mind that these are decidedly not any old pancakes.
Once upon a time there was a dessert called Millionaire Shortbread. We wanted to make a version that was healthy and vegan and gluten free, but it felt wrong to give such a hippie dessert a name glorifying the most rapacious abusers of capitalism, especially on Labor Day, of all days. We workshopped the name. The People’s Shortbread? From Each According to His Abilities, to Each According to His Needs Shortbread? Ultimately we settled on the unglamorous, functional Proletariat Shortbread. It’s not fancy, but it gets the job done, just like the workers of the world. And I don’t know how successful we were on the healthy front, but this was certainly delicious.
1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup spelt flour
2 Tbsp + 1 Tsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Mix together almond meal, spelt flour, 2 Tbsp coconut oil, and maple syrup. Press into the bottom of a small oven safe baking dish. Bake at 350° F for 15 minutes.
Mix peanut butter, brown rice syrup, and remaining 1 Tsp coconut oil in food processor until smooth. Spread over cooled crust.
Heat coconut milk in the microwave for a minute. Pour over the chocolate chips in a medium bowl, wait a minute, and then stir up. Pour over caramel and cool in the fridge. Top with berries or whatever you need to make this feel healthier.
The diet that we’ve been on is fairly restrictive, so we like to look for ways that we can still find room for healthy vegan treats. The humble energy ball is often the answer. These are little, dense, date-based balls of goodness. They’re full of protein from the cashews and peanut butter, so they help stave off hunger. They’re easy to make and keep well, so you can make a whole bunch of them at once and eat them later. Last but not least, they’re super delicious.
1 c dates
1/2 c cashews
1/2 c peanut butter
1/4 c cocoa powder
1/4 c cacao nibs
Put all ingredients in the food processor. Process. Form into balls. Refrigerate until ready to eat. Enjoy.