Pumpkin Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Hello friends! Quick disclaimer: I came up with this recipe in summer and wanted to ‘save it’ for pumpkin season, but re-take better photos. Photos never happened, but here’s the recipe regardless, with a few mediocre pics! I still wanted to share the recipe, because these easy and scrumptious homemade pumpkin peanut butter granola bars are worth whipping up.

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Now, if you’re not into pumpkin spice, fear not. These are not pumpkin spice-y. In fact, the pumpkin flavor is pretty subtle.

Rather than act as the main showboat of the recipe, pumpkin acts as a binder for these granola bars and ensures they stay nice and moist and chewy (the way granola bars should be, in my opinion).

vegan gluten free peanut butter pumpkin oatmeal bars

When paired with your favorite nut butter (I used peanut, but use whatever suits your fancy), a splash of maple syrup, and a sprinkle of salt, you’ve got a satisfying, sweet-and-savory way to mix up your snack game.

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Vegan Tomato Pie

Vegan Tomato Pie

In case you didn’t know, I moved to Jersey City, New Jersey last October and have really enjoyed it thus far.

Vegan Tomato Pie

After so many years in Manhattan, Jersey City has been a welcomed change of pace, and a couple weeks ago, in light of #InternationalNewJerseyDay, I did some googling to learn more about Jersey’s historical background and food scene.

delicious easy vegan tomato pie

While Wikipedia-ing and googling away, I discovered that addition to diner food and blueberries and bagels, New Jersey tomato pie is a thing.

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Recent Vegan Eats

Recent Vegan Eats

Hey friends! I skipped a recent eats post last week because I was traveling and transitioning jobs! More on that later. Here are some yummy recent eats from the past 2 weeks.

I was pretty lousy at remembering to photograph my food minus when I was in Cali, but that’s just the way it is sometimes! When I’m randomly subsiding off packets of nut butter and bagels and apples while spending days in airports and/or getting home at 1am before eating dinner, my phone is the last thing I’m thinking about when nourishing myself. And actually, I don’t think it would be healthy to remember to photograph everything I eat. Anyways, I’ll be better this week, I promise. 🙂 For now, enjoy some rather random snack and meal inspo, and of course, Millie pics!

Kashi Autumn Wheat with almond milk.

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I adore shredded wheat cereals. They remind me of straight-up-childhood. Sometimes I forget about them when I’m on Cheerio or Chex kicks. But I’ve been craving sweet shreds lately and I’m a stroke of serendipity, these were on sale at the store last week, so I picked them up.

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Pasta with Charred Cherry Tomatoes, Broccolini and Vegan Parmesan

Pasta with Charred Cherry Tomatoes, Broccolini and Vegan Parmesan

Pastaaaaa. I have been craving pasta for quite some time now. I don’t know why. Probably because carbs = love.

Vegan Pasta with Brocollini Charred & Tomatoes Parmesan

Pasta has always been one of my favorite foods. I grew up with an Italian grandma and her penne arrabiata with charred peppers was the best.thing.ever. It has ruined almost all other pastas I’ve had since. Nothing like what Oma cooked up. Somewhere I have her recipe for her sauce. I can never make it quite like she did though…must be that Italian grandma magic.

I decided to make some pasta with some leftover veggies I got to take home from an event. I roasted up some cauliflower, broccolini, and tomatoes on Friday, and while I was eating them, the deliciousness of the roasted tomatoes just called for pasta.

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I was too lazy and hungry to make it at the time, but today I cooked up some whole wheat noodles, paired it with steamed broccoli, a bit of olive oil and lemon juice, salt & pepper, a bunch of Vegan Hemp Parmesan, and the real MVP, the charred tomatoes.

Super simple, very flavorful, and far from over-complicated. The way Italian-inspired food should be, as far as I’m concerned.

Vegan Pasta Brocollini with Charred Tomatoes Parmesan

Let’s talk pasta for a minute, shall we? At some point society demonized the glorious stuff. The thing is, there is nothing inherently significantly worse about pasta than many other forms of carbohydrates, especially when it’s whole grain.

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Vegan Strawberry Almond Butter Oatmeal Crumb Bars

Vegan Strawberry Almond Butter Oatmeal Crumb Bars

Today I was craving some comfort. The past few weeks I’ve felt uneasy, and I can’ quite figure out why.

Easy Vegan Almond Butter Strawberry Seed Jam Bars with Crumb Topping

Perhaps it’s a combination of stress of an 18-credit graduate school load, figuring out my summer practicum, some pressing family issues, or the mundaneness I sometimes feel after working on something (whether it be school work, work work, projects, or applications for practicums) from morning til evening with little relief.

Once I cross one thing off my list, it seems, 6 more pop up.

VEGAN Strawberry Almond Butter Oatmeal crumb bars

Yesterday I took a break and got brunch at Mathew’s with my good friend Raag. The outing provided not only a delicious meal and good conversation, but a much needed break, some peace of mind, and a fleeting moment or two of comfort.

But today, I was back on the grind. And today, comfort came in the form of Vegan Strawberry Almond Butter Oatmeal Crumb Bars.

Vegan Strawberry Chia Jam

I love a sweet but not-too-sweet breakfasty nibble, filled with oats, nut butters, and sometimes fruit to snack on in the afternoon with tea and to have to pack for snacks during the school week.

I wanted something with a soft bottom, a yummy fruity center, and a scrumptious oatmeal crumb topping. Crumb toppings are one life’s finest pleasures, as far as I’m concerned.

Almond Butter Strawberry Chia Seed Jam Bars Spread 2

I was trying to decide what to bake when I remembered the clearance frozen strawberries I purchased at the store yesterday, and the idea for a Vegan Strawberry Almond Butter Bar with an oatmeal crumb topping came to me. And just like that, I knew I had to make some.

Easy Cegan Almond Butter Strawberry Seed Jam Bars + Crumb Topping

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Oatmeal Almond Butter Blueberry Pancake Cookies

Oatmeal Almond Butter Blueberry Pancake Cookies

Don’t you love it when you turn on the oven, throw a bunch of stuff in a bowl, hope for the best, and the result turns out amazing? Same here. And that’s exactly what happened with these Oatmeal Almond Butter Blueberry Pancake Cookies today.

Oatmeal Almond Butter Blueberry Pancake Cookies

So this blog post is rather spontaneous. To be honest I’m in the middle of a few others that are more intensive in terms of scope and research required (think nutrition and sustainability).

But I’ve done so much grueling brain-sucking work this weekend I decided to take a break and make some cookie muffin things and they turned out so yummy I decided I’m extend said break by snapping a few phone photos (I need to get out my real camera…I’ve just been so damn busy the past few weeks) and toss them (figuratively) on the blog.

Oatmeal Almond Butter Blueberry Pancake Cookies

The plus of spending so much time on the grind this weekend for work/school is that I suppose I learned a lot. Including that school is hard, I have a lot of self-reflection to do with professional development/relationships, having a working kitchen is very therapeutic to my existance and that people definitely notice dog hair in jam photos. Oops.

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Easy Vegan Gingerbread People

Easy Vegan Gingerbread People

Happiest of holidays to you! Are you ready for some easy vegan gingerbread cookies and/or dog pics? Great! Keep reading.easy vegan gingerbread cookies kbaked

Finals are over which means it is BAKING SEASON (cue creepy Pillsbury dough-boy laugh). If I am ignoring your calls and texts and have seemingly disappeared into the abyss, assume it is because my hands are covered in (vegan) butter and cookie crumbs until further notice.

delicious easy vegan gingerbread

As much of a pessimistic Pauly as I can be, I really love the holidays. And the excuse to bake in excess is among the many reasons I relish this season (I also love being cozy, drinking copious amounts of hot chocolate, spending time with fam, and watching The Santa Claus and Home Alone 2).

Presently I’m watching Relationsheep (#Bravofan5ever) as I quickly type up this post. Then it’s back to cleaning, gift wrapping, and doing a bunch of work (non-school related) that I pushed onto the back burner until finals had ended.

delicious vegan gingerbread cookies

But I thought I’d take a pause from my grind to share these easy vegan gingerbread people. These literally took about 10 minutes to throw together, and an additional 8-10 to bake. They were almost too easy making them the perfect cookie to whip up last minute for a gathering, and/or the perfect treat to satisfy a random gingerbread craving (which, personally, I have on occasion).

gingerbread people easy vegan

If you’d like to dress them up with some icing, by all means do your thing. I’m currently digging them plain, paired with a wicked cup of cocoa or a alongside a cold brew iced coffee. Mmmm.

super simple vegan gingerbread

If you don’t want the fuss of rolling out cookie dough, you can certainly bake these in dough balls with a dusting of raw sugar. This is a delicious option and gives the cookies a yummy chewy tummy middle.

easy vegan gingerbread people

I hope you give these cookies a whirl and love them as much as I do! If you make them, tag me on Insta (@katherinebaker4). I’d love to see them IRL!

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Many more posts coming your way this weekend/upcoming week! In the meantime, please enjoy this photo of my dog in a Mrs. Claus outfit her grandma bought her from Walgreens. Happiest of holidays to you!

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Easy Vegan Gingerbread People

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time: 8-10 minutes
Servings: 8-10 people, depending on the size of your cookie cuter

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup softened vegan butter (I like Earth Balance baking sticks)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax + 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup + 1 additional tablespoon molasses (note: these are molasse-y cookies, since I love the taste of molasses. If you want them a little less molasses-heavy, sub the additional tablespoon for water)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat baking flour (can sub additional all-purpose, if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place flax and water in a small bowl and allow to thicken, at least 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cream together softened butter and brown sugar using an electric mixer or stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add molasses and flax egg and mix again.
  4. Combine flours, baking soda, spices, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together.
  5. Fold dry ingredients into wet until just combined. Form dough into a ball and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for ease of rolling (optional, but highly recommended; you can also pop it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes if you’re short on time).
  6. Roll out dough and cut with cookie cutters as desired. Place shapes on a lined baking sheet. For non-shaped cookies, you can also roll dough into balls, sprinkle with raw sugar, and place onto a lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake 8-10 minutes until just golden. Allow to cool before eating or icing.
  8. Enjoy!

PS – If you want more gingerbread goodness, try this yummy Nutty Gingerbread Granola!

Re-Sharing my Most Popular Recipe: Vegan Blueberry Flax Breakfast Muffins

Re-Sharing my Most Popular Recipe: Vegan Blueberry Flax Breakfast Muffins

Happy December 1st to you! And, happy Friday. Can you believe it’s December already? I feel like this year was an insane whirlwind and I cannot believe 2018 is around the corner.

I’ve had a lot of ups and downs this year. A lot of pain, growth, and struggle. But I’ve also seen a lot of kindness come out of friends old and new, and for that I am insanely thankful.

As I try to revive my blog after neglecting it time and time again, I thought I’d re-share a recipe that continues to be a top source of traffic to my site.

Behold, an old delicious favorite: vegan blueberry flax breakfast muffins.

These muffins are originally from my ebook, 40 Easy Vegan Desserts, and were published on the blog in March 2015. In case you weren’t following way back when, I thought I’d repost them because they are a true delight and make a wonderfully nourishing breakfast, snack, or dessert. I fancy them warmed up with a smudge of almond butter, or dunked in almond milk.

I hope you enjoy these! Bake a batch while watching Great British Bake Off (season 4 is now on Netflix!) and enjoy life. 🙂

Have a great weekend! I’ll be finally whipping out the DSLR and doing some new recipe development AND have a product review planned this weekend. Stay #blessed

Vegan Blueberry Flax Breakfast Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 25-35 minutes
Level: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oat flour (can make with 2 cups rolled oats processed in a food processor or blender until fine powder forms)
    • Note: I also made these with 1 cup oat flour and 1 cup spelt flour. This was also wonderful!
  • 1/4 cup ground flax (can sub chia seeds)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (can sub canola)
  • 1 cup almond or soy milk + 1 teaspoon vinegar, left to sit for at least 10 minutes
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce or 1/2 mashed banana
  • 1/2 cup – 1 cup brown sugar (depending on level of desired sweetness); can also sup 1/3rd-1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. In a cup or bowl, combine almond milk and vinegar and allow to curdle, at least 10 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, combine flour, flax seed, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix together well.

4. Add apple sauce, melted coconut oil, sugar and/or maple syrup, almond milk + vinegar mixture to bowl with flour. Mix gently until just combined. Fold in blueberries.

5. Grease or line a 12-tin muffin tray. Fill each spot about 3/4ths of the way full with muffin batter. Place into the oven for 25-35 minutes until puffed, golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean upon removal. Allow to cool (or don’t) and enjoy. Store in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to 4 days, and/or freeze.

Weekend in Pennsylvania + Whole Foods Salad Bar Hack

Weekend in Pennsylvania + Whole Foods Salad Bar Hack

Another weekend in the books! I found out late last week I still couldn’t move into my apartment (that was supposed to be ready 9/1…WTF) so I went to PA to visit a friend because I figured might as well!


Friday:

Friday I had class pretty much all day. Made better by free coffee and a bagel. 


After class, I was hungry and needed a good meal. I didn’t know what I wanted but knew I wanted all of the things. Not having access to a kitchen has been stressful AF these past few weeks. 

Anyways, I hacked the salad bar and posted about it on my Insta stories and a lot of people seemed to like the idea so I’m sharing it again here:

I ate this at Whole Foods and was stuffing my face across the table from a super cute guy drinking kombucha and reading like a civilized human. Lol. What can I say I’m a savage.

After that, I visited my friend Joanna in BK for a few hours, then headed to my friend’s apt where I’ve been staying for a few hours of sleep. 

Saturday:

Saturday I was up bright and early to visit my friend Amanda in Pennsylvania. We took a lot of the same classes at NYU and she’s basically the best. I was so grateful she let me come visit this weekend.


I nommed on a banana while waiting for the bus. I also redeemed a free drink from some online promo thing from DD. 


Naturally, since it said I could select any size, I was super gross and picked the biggest size. #somuchcoffee


I got into Philly around 10:30 and popped my head into Reading Terminal Market. Yum!




My friend graciously picked me up and drove me to her house. 

Once we got there, we headed out to her epic garden to gather some goodies. She’s quite the gardener. #goals


Using some fresh tomatoes and cucs, I made a hummus lunch (with some pb for dessert) and we enjoyed the noms while watched Bravo. #perfection


After that we took her doggos on a quick nearby. It was beautiful! PA reminds me a lot of Wisco.


Back at her place, I showered and fell asleep for a few hours. Holy cow a real bed felt so nice.


Post shower/nap, Amanda picked a butternut squash from her garden and started roasting it to make butternut squash black bean burgers. 


She also made a farro salad with fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, artichoke heart, oil, vinegar, and salt & pepper. Yum!



A movie was next on the agenda. I fell asleep during it on the couch, then went up to bed around 12 and went straight back to sleep.

Sunday:

Sunday I slept til 8 which is super late from me but I think my body really needed the sleep. Breakfast with cinnamon apple oatmeal with almond butter. 


We decided to go apple picking at a nearby orchard next, which was fun. 


Applesss!!!


Lunch was delicious leftovers with a side of more Bravo.


Now I’m on the mega bus back into the city. Womp womp. Wondering if I can ever move into my apt…at this point I’m so frustrated I can hardly stand it. 


Bleh. New York is kinda the worst tbh. I was really apprehensive to move back here and after a lovely weekend in PA  am kinda like…what am I doing?

Anyways, I’m going to finish some readings for tm but thanks for stopping by! What’d you do this weekend? Comment below I love to hear from you!

5 Easy Avocado Toast Ideas for YOU

5 Easy Avocado Toast Ideas for YOU

Yum yum yum. Avocado toast. I love to make it! Because I am a millennial and never want to be able to buy a house! I’d rather spend my time creating easy avocado toasts so you can have some easy avocado toast ideas on hand.

Lol. All jokes aside, people who rip on avocado toast can shove it. Sure, it can be overpriced on brunch menus, but isn’t everything? Like people pay $8-20 for an omelet. And eggs are CHEAP AF.

Mil Dawg

Anyways, here are a few avocado toast ideas for you. I hope you enjoy for a snack or breakfast or for lunch or for whatever!

Avocado Toast with Pomegranate Seeds

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An old favorite! And so cute and festive for the holidays. The recipe exists on my site here, but basically it’s just bread + avo + pomegranate perils. You can add red pepper flakes if you want too. Add S&P and: Yum!

Avocado Toast with Nutritional Yeast

avocado toast with nutritional yeast

Yes. Simple and delicious. The nutritional yeast truly kicks it up a major notch. Try it. Trust me. Cheesy, umami goodness. Add S&P, of course. Yum. #vegan

Avocado Toast with Preserved Lemons and Radish

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This was better than expected. I had a jar of perserved lemons I had no idea what to do with. Honestly, I’d never even had them before. I opened them up and they tasted like olives. But lemon. It’s weird and wonderful at once.

They are super salty, so naturally they go well on avocado toast. I added radish. You could also do tomatoes. Whatever you want!

Avocado Toast with Everything Sea Salt

Everything bagel Toast avocado

Another simple wonderful creation. Simply mash avocado, and sprinkle with everything bagel salt. I get it at Trader Joe’s for $1.99. This salt is a GAME CHANGER. Invest.

everything bagel avocado toast

Avocado Toast with Herbs, Walnuts, and Crushed  Chips or Sundried Tomatoes

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I love avocado toast with herbs. It just tastes and feels so right. Cilantro on top makes it like a guac toast (also good). Parsley also tastes SO FRESH. I also like adding nuts for crunch, and something to contrast the savoriness.

In this case, it was Just Beets from Trader Joe’s. Any pop of sweet tanginess (see pomegranate perils above, or sun-dried tomatoes), or juiceness (like tomatoes) will do.

Hope this gave you some ideas! Stay #blessed, y’all.