Quinoa Sunflower & Chia Seed Crackers

Mmmmm crackers. I love me a good cracker. Oddly, however, I rarely buy crackers. It’s one of those things I just never grab when I’m on autopilot at the grocery store. So maybe I enjoy crackers so much because they’re novel to me. Or maybe it’s just because I love carbs.

Vegan & Gluten-free Quinoa Sunflower Chia Seed Crackers

Well, I guess these crackers aren’t that carby. They got quinoa in them, but they also pack a buttload of healthy fats – polyunsaturated from the sunflower seeds, and omega fatty acids in the chia seeds. Also, hello holy fiber. These babies are packed full of them.

Quinoa Sunflower & Chia Crackers - Sunflowers

Can we talk about sunflower seeds for a minute? I seriously think they’re underrated. They’re not only tasty, but mega-cheap, and seriously nutritious! They’re one of the foods highest in polyunsaturated fatty acids – aka the best fatty acids, and the ones that can help you lower your blood lipid profiles when used to replace other fats and/or carbs.

Quinoa Sunflower & Chia Crackers - Quinoa

Anyways back to crackers. These were kind of made on a whim based on what was in my pantry at my mom’s house in Wisco last week. And then they turned out really great. Like, way better than I had expected. I love when that happens. It makes me happies. Much more happies than when you make something you think is gonna be great and then it’s totally meh or you leave it in the oven way too long by accident because you can’t get your dog back inside from playing with frogs in the lawn and then you totally burn the crap out of whatever your’e making. Not that I speak from experience.

Quinoa Sunflower & Chia Crackers - Vegan & Gluten-free

These crackers are hearty, flavorful, and satisfying. They pair great with avocado. They would also be pretty great with hummus, or are perfect on their own. You can also omit the garlic and pair them with sweet toppings, like nut butter or jam. You do you.

Vegan Quinoa Sunflower & Chia Crackers

Let’s take a second to acknowledge the avocado in the photo above is a little bruised. Let’s also acknowledge that it is still perfectly edible and since I hate wasting food and avocados are darn expensive, no, I did not run to the store to buy a new one for this photo. Sorry, guys. But this is about the crack-tastic crackers anyway.

Quinoa Sunflower & Chia Crackers Vegan

Say cracker again. *cracker.*

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes
makes about 6 large crackers

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 clove garlic (optional)

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mince garlic clove if making savory crackers. Otherwise, skip this step.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well.
  4. Line a baking pan with parchment paper (I used a 9″ x 9″ pan). Spread cracker mixture over parchment paper.
  5. Place in oven for 30 minutes. Carefully remove from oven. Place a second piece of parchment paper over the crackers, and flip crackers. Return to oven and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until just set/crispy.
  6. Remove from oven. Allow to cool and enjoy.

 

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Dinner Rolls

Carbs. Carbs. Carbs. Give me all the carbs. Make it rain whole grains. Take me to bagel land. Burry me in sweet potatoes and bananas. Shove a cake in my face. Any way you carb me up, I’ll probably be a happy camper.

Oatmeal Whole  Wheat Dinner  Rolls Vegan

The other morning was Easter morning. To celebrate I asked my sister and her husband if they’d enjoy going on a little outting with all our pups. Millie loves to visit her cousins and Auntie Jenn and Uncle Tyler, and as I rarely have Sundays off I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for a Sunday stroll.

Oatmeal Whole Wheat Dinner  Rolls Vegan

Imagine my delight and aw when I arrived to the Jackson residence to the smell of fermenting yeast and baking carbs. That’s right – Tyler was making homemade bagels. Win.

Vegan Oatmeal Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

I had brought fruit because we were planning to have a mini brunch of sorts, but I was not expecting homemade whole wheat bagels. What a treat! Better than a fancy overpriced Easter brunch that requires pants, in my humble opinion.

Dinner Rolls Oatmeal Whole Wheat Vegan

Besides the fact that deciding we NEEDED peanut butter for our bagels and my sister and I going on a 30 minute mission to get some which ended with us analyzing why Piggly Wiggly makes so uncomfortable, the Easter morning mini brunch thang was a simple, stress-free epic success. Which was followed by a lovely beach-front stroll with the pups. 🙂 Happy times.

Dinner Rolls Oatmeal Whole Wheat Vegan

Homemade bagels had me wanting more homemade carbs. After finishing off a 12-pack of Angelic Bakery dinner rolls by myself in 72 hours, I decided I wanted more rolls. Inspired by the rolls and Tyler’s bagels, I created these Whole Wheat Oatmeal Rolls, with whole wheat flour and oat flour.They are the perfect hearty yet fluffy, curnchy-outside-soft-inside roll to eat alongside soup or salad, with butter, nut butter and jelly, or to enjoy just as they are, as homemade bread has a way of being outstanding in its own simple right.

Dinner Rolls  Oatmeal Whole Wheat Vegan

Easy to make and even easier to eat, these little rolls will brighten your day and make your house smell yum tastic. Just be careful you don’t end up like and eat 3/4ths of the pan in one sitting. D’OH!

Oatmeal Whole  Wheat Dinner Rolls Vegan

Prep Time: 90 minutes
Bake Time: 20-30 minutes
Level: easy

makes 12 rolls 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 package dry active yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or non-dairy butter
  • 1 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons  ground flax
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats for garnish (optional)

Directions:

1. Warm water to 110-115 °F. Add package of yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes, until yeast is foamy and fragrant.

2. In a stand mixer, add water/yeast mixture, oat flour, flax, remaining sugar, salt, and oil. Mix with stand mixer until well combine. If you do not have a stand mixer, you can get a good arm workout by doing this in a bowl with a wooden spoon.

3. Add whole wheat flour 1/4 cup at a time, mixing as you go, until a ball of dough forms. The dough should not be sticky. If it is, add more flour a few tablespoons at a time.

4. Once ball of dough has formed, cover and allow to rise for about an hour.

5. Punch down dough and knead a few times. Cut dough into 12 even pieces. This can be done with a dough cuter or a large sharp knife. Grease a rough 9″ cake pan and arrange dough balls in a circle in pan. If desired, add rolled oats for garnish (you can also add them after baking by first brushing with a bit of melted non-dairy butter). Allow to rise for an addition 30-60 minutes.

Oatmeal Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls Vegan

6. Preheat oven to 400 °F. Once preheated, bake rolls for 20-30 minutes until browned, fragrant, and hollow-sounding upon tapping with finger. Remove from oven and EAT with butter substitute, coconut butter, almond butter, peanut butter, jelly, jam, to mop up soup, etc etc etc~! Enjoy!

Oatmeal Whole  Wheat Dinner Rolls Vegan

Vegan Blueberry Flax Breakfast Muffins

When life puts giant boxes of blueberries on sale what do you do? Thank your lucky stars, buy a box, and eat the entirety of said box thinking about how great a blueberry muffin would be. Proceed to purchase another giant box of blueberry muffins two days later to fulfill muffin desires. Win at life. Repeat as necessary.

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What is not to love about blueberry muffins? For some reason they have always been my favorite. Simple, classic, and bursting with juicy balls of berry juice. Mmm. In fact, when I broke into one of these beauties today I managed to splatter blueberry juice all over my freshly cleaned hoodie. Because we all know I literally cannot wear clean laundry for a full day without soiling it. Such is my life. #slob

Vegan Blueberry Flax Muffins Gluten Free kbaked 2

Blueberry muffins are always something I come back to. Yeah I’ll get excited about that other cool trendy flavor. Sure I’ll give a chocolate chip muffin a whirl, and yeah I’m down with a banana walnut as much as the next girl. But for me, at the end of the day, it’s always back to my bloobies. The blessed bloobies wrapped up in carby goodness.

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This talk of carby goodness brings up my next point about muffins. In my opinion, there are two types of muffins: breakfast muffins and dessert muffins. Both are excellent for different reasons and warrant a time and place to be eaten. Some days I want a mile-high crumble top to give me a sugar buzz. But today I wanted a not-too-sweet-eatable-for-breakfast-hearty muffin. And then I went into blueberry muffin labor and birthed a dozen Beautiful Blueberry Breakfast Muffins.

Vegan Blueberry Flax Muffins Gluten Free kbaked 3

Yum. These babies are 100% whole grain, and have a gluten free option as well. Vegan, per usual, they have nothing in them they do not need. Add as much sweetener as you desire; I’m putting you in charge here with a sliding scale to suit to your personal preference.

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Eat as you please. I enjoy them microwaved for about 10 seconds with a smudge of almond butter, and/or with a smudge of coconut butter and some raspberry jam. But you can jam on them however you wish. I’m not bluffin’ with no muffin, you should make a batch and enjoy them as a quick snack or breakfast for the rest of your week and/or day if you love carbs as much as I do. Eat up homies~!

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PS ~ Have you checked out the kbaked Facebook page yet? 🙂 😉

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.

Vegan Blueberry Flax Muffins Gluten Free kbaked 6

PS ~ Have you checked out the kbaked Facebook page yet? 🙂 😉

Homemade Chocolate Coconut Macaroon Larabars

Two non-related thoughts: 1) The holidays are here! 2) Larabars are delicious, but can be expensive. What do these thoughts lead someone like myself to do?! DIY, of course.

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Tis both the season of giving and eating. I knew I wanted to have an excuse to bake or create something in my kitchen, and thought it would be nice to gift something that’s not super-overly-indulgent, figuring that with the holidays as they are, everyone is drowning in plenty of gluttony and may actually be lusting for a healthy snack in the next few days.

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So I made some homemade Larabars. Actually, what also inspired me to make these bars is my sister. She LOVES Larabars. So does a toddler I know, who calls them “Spongy Cakes” which is so cute that I almost pass out every time I hear it. Anyways, I’ve wanted to try making homemade Larabars for my sis for a while, and since last night I was angsty and bored and didn’t feel like sitting still, I took pantry inventory and decided to make some and add them to the other food gifts I’m giving. I’m also giving some Chocolate Bark with Figs, Nuts and Sea Salt very similar to this recipe. And some Gingerbread Granola, which I’m planning to also post the recipe for within the hour.

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I’d like to say I chose to copy the Chocolate Coconut Macaroon flavor of Larabars because it fits so well with the holidays like Haunnukah and blah blah blah and honestly that was a partial deciding factor but if I’m honest, they are kind of a result of what was in the pantry, per usual.

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These babies have 4 ingredients: Cashews. Dates. Coconut Shreds. Dark Chocolate. That’s it. Plain and simple just like the OG Larabars themselves. They turned out really well and quite similar to a Larabar in texture, flavor, and yumminess. The key is not over-pulsing the nuts or chocolate in your food processor. Leave them a little crumby, just like the real ones.

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You can even use holiday cookie cutters, and/or wrap them up like wee little gifts if you’d like:

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Make these babies, customize them as you’d like, gift them, or keep them. They’re a perfect yummy high-energy sweet treat to keep your blood sugar stable through the holidays and beyond. Happy holidays and happy eating!

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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes (but require at least 20 minutes to set in fridge)

Level: Easy

makes 8 mini-Larabars or 6 regular sized bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 3 tablespoons dark chocolate chips or 2 oz dark chocolate

Directions:

1. Pulse cashews in food processor until a fine, crumby powder. Make sure you don’t overdo the processing, you don’t want a nutbutter, rather a fine sticky dust. Set aside in a bowl.

2. Pulse chocolate in food processor until chocolate is a similar crumb to the nuts. Add chocolate to bowl with nuts.

3. Place dates and coconut in food processor. Puree until mixture reaches a fine paste. If it’s lumpy, add a small bit of water, 1-3 tablespoons, 1 tablespoon at a time.

4. Take date/coconut paste and add to bowl with nuts and chocolate. Mix with a wooden spoon and/or knead until well combined into a cookie-dough-like ball.

5. Line a small baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Transfer Larabar mixture onto sheet and spread until about 1/4th inch thick. Press with hands to create a smooth surface.

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6. Allow to set in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, preferably an hour. Slice and enjoy! 🙂

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Honey Banana Almond Cake

When I’m not baking or cooking or writing for Spoon or Instagramming my dogs or spending hours in health food grocery stores oogling at new products like cashew flour or vegan boxed mac’n’cheese, I actually have a real person job. Gasp, I know. I like, wear clothes (including pants!) and go to work sometimes. And I currently work as an Autism Line Therapist. My job is nothing like I expected and each day and each person is different and I feel like I’ve learned a lot from it.

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How does my job relate to this food post? Well, as a recipe maker person I draw inspiration from many random places. Sometimes I draw inspiration from my work. All I can probably legally say is that this cake was inspired by my job because I had some massive food envy last week from a nameless genderless ageless client who may or may not have a sophisticated palate. Anyways, I was inspired to create a healthy, beautiful cake with almond flour, natural sweetness, and obviously added my own twists and turns on the cake by making it dairy-free, egg-free, adding a couple things, subtracting a few others, and ended up with and oh so luscious, springy, moist cake.

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This baby is addictive. I made it roughly 20 hours ago and there’s about 1/4 of it left. Oops. The almond flour gives it such a wonderful hardiness and substantial feel. The mashed bananas provide some sweetness, reducing the amount of honey or maple syrup needed to sweeten the cake.

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If you are totally vegan (I’m like 96% atm) and do not consume honey, opt for maple syrup and you’re good to go. I don’t eat a ton of honey, but will occasionally consume it, and it really just worked well in this cake and we were out of maple syrup. The beauty of cooking, I always say, is that you can make it your own.

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The coconut oil adds a really great moisture, subtle flavor, and texture, and I would highly recommend using it, although if you don’t have any, canola oil would do the trick. Chia seeds + almond milk replace a need for eggs, and add a nutritional boost with those #omega-3s baby.

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Give this cake a whirl. If anyone can refrain from eating the entire thing in 24 hours of less, please let me know. I will mail you a congratulatory card. Because it’s so moist and delicious and craveable for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, dessert, with coffee, tea…anything anytime. It’s truly the most appropriate, healthy, anytime cake. I should almost change the title of this post to “The Perfect Anytime Cake” but that wouldn’t be very descriptive, now would it?

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Happy baking and happy cake eating. And happy December, too. Wishing you a warm holiday season full of baked goods. Tis the season! #nomnom

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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Bake Time: 30-40 minutes

Makes one 9″ cake; I’m not going to estimate servings because I ate the whole thing in <24 hours sooooo….serves one hungry cake-lover or I suppose 6-8 normal humans

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond meal or almond flour
  • 1 cup oat flour (can sub with another cup almond flour or other flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 mashed bananas (I used 1 1/2 medium bananas, but 2 small or 1 huge one would do the trick)
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (could also use olive or canola oil)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup almond milk

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a small bowl, combine chia seeds and almond milk. Set aside to congeal, at least 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine almond flour, oat flour, baking soda, and baking soda. Add honey or maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and chia seed + almond milk mixture. Mix gently with a spatula.

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4. Pour batter into a lightly oiled and/or parchment paper lined 9″ cake pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the cake is golden brown and begins to pull away from the edges slightly, and/or a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean upon removal.

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5. Eat all the cake. All. Of. The. Cake.

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Oatmeal Raisin Cinnamon Roll Cookies

[Disclosure]: “By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Raisin Marketing Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

Truth time: the first time I attempted to make these cookies, I totally forgot I had them in the oven until I smelled a lovely wafting burning scent making its way into my shower, approximately 45 minutes later. As I was shampooing my dreadlocks, I wondered what smelled like burning. Couldn’t figure it out. Continued to take my leisurely shower.

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Then, halfway through my conditioning routine, I remembered: THE COOKIES! THE RAISIN CINNAMON ROLL COOKIES! That was what was burning. Oops.

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So yes, my first batch was totally, shall we say crispy, but burning the first batch gave me an opportunity to bake again and eat more cookie dough. So I guess I can’t even be that mad about the whole situation. Because who doesn’t love more cookie dough to eat? No one, that’s who.

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 These cookies are a play on oatmeal raisin cookies. Which I love dearly and think are terribly neglected and underrated. Yes, I love chocolate and chocolate chips. But there is also something about an oatmeal raisin cookie that I simply adore. Squishy sweet raisins and soft and chewy oats. It pleases every square centimeter of my textural-contrast-loving-mouth.

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So when presented with a Recipe Redux challenge to make something naturally sweet using California Raisins, I instantly thought of oatmeal raisin cookies. Being me, I wanted to give them a twist and had happened to see many drool-worthy pictures of cinnamon rolls on Instagram that morning, sparking an idea to make a rolled-up-log of cinnamon roll cookies, slice them, and make cookies that are sort-of look like cinnamon rolls.

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The California Raisins add such a wonderful juiciness and natural sweetness that the cookie dough truly doesn’t need much sugar.  The dough itself is quite good with almond butter or coconut oil (I made them both ways, and loved them both) and full of oaty goodness to fuel you up and provide plenty of mouthfeel. These cookies feel satisfying, not junky, and are the perfect little treat as an afternoon pick-me-up, dessert, or even breakfast. Also, they’re pretty fun to make, and a unique little twist if you feel like mixin’ up your routine of traditional oatmeal raisin cookies. They are also vegan, gluten-free, far less sugary and more nutritious than your average cookie, full of fiber, potassium, and iron courtesy of the California Raisins. Extra bonus: raisins are cheap, and you know how I love a deal. These cookies also have some quality healthy fats, and a substantial dose of one of the most important nutrients: Vitamin Y (yum).

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That may have been my worst joke yet, so I’m going to sign off now. Have a lovely day and make some cookies, and may you remember their presence in the oven before filling the house with the scent of burning carbs.  Peace, love, and raisins, from your friend at kbaked.com.

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Prep Time: 2 hours (includes chilling dough)

Cook Time: 12-15 minutes

Level: Easy

Yields 16-20 cookies

Ingredients – Cookies:

  • 1 1/4 cups oat flour (can make using 1 1/4 cup rolled oats processed into a flour in food processor or blender)
  • 1 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup almond butter, peanut butter, coconut oil, or nondairy butter spread or butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (or one single-serve) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup almond milk or other non-dairy milk

Ingredients – Filling:

  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup California raisins

Directions:

1.In a large bowl, combine oat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Mix well. Add almond butter or coconut oil, brown sugar, and applesauce, almond milk and mix again. Add rolled oats and mix until a soft dough forms.

2.Roll dough into a large bowl and chill until firm in the refrigerator, about an hour. You can speed this up by putting the dough in the freezer if you’d like.

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3.On a clean surface, roll dough into a large rectangle using a rolling pin.

4. Melt coconut oil or butter in a small microwave safe dish. In another small bowl, combine cinnamon and granulated sugar. Brush the dough rectangle with melted coconut oil.

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5.Cover dough with cinnamon and sugar mix.

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6.Cover the cinnamon and sugar layer with raisins.

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7.Roll the dough from one end of the rectangle to the other into a large log.

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8.Chill the log until firm, another 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

9.Slice dough into 1/3 inch thick slices and place on a baking sheet. Place cookies in the oven for 12-14 minutes, until golden brown and puffy.

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10.EAT.

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For more recipes made with California Raisins, click around below !

Sweet Potato [Turkey Shaped] Bread

This month’s challenge for The Recipe Redux was to re-do a recipe that we remember as a traditional Thanksgiving dish, but make it a little healthier. At first, I had a hard time thinking of anything that specifically stuck out to me as “special” or specific or in need of a re-do. When I had Thanksgiving at one side of the family’s house when I was little, I couldn’t think of anything out of the ordinary that stuck out as a unique dish. Then, when we had it at the other side of the family’s, everything was Italian-ish and already super healthy (like roasted veggies and salads).

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Hmm, sigh. As I’m normally such a nostalgic human, I was a bit shocked that nothing immediately stood out to me. Then, out of no where, I remembered TURKEY BREAD and could not believe that I had forgot this beloved carby pillowy fluffy wonder of the world. This is something my mom would make with us when we were little almost every.single.year. I can recall once in high school hearing there were no plans of turkey bread on the menu and being a demanding little diva and insist it got made. It did. (insert emoji hand flip girl here).

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So what is turkey bread, exactly? Well, I feel like I should preface that there is no turkey or traces of turkey in this bread. It’s a brioche-type soft, fluffy bread that we always shaped into a turkey, you know, to be festive. [Read: my mom said we were driving her crazy and wanted to give us a hands-on project]. But now vegetarians and vegans can have a piece of turkey (bread), too ;-).

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This version of the bread is made healthier and even more festive via use of a sweet potato to provide softness and tenderness that was provided in the original recipe by egg yolks. So yes, I made brioche-inspired bread with no egg yolks, eggs, or butter, and yes, it turned out soft and fluffy and wonderful. In fact, I enjoyed the additional sweetness the sweet potato provided.

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This bread is super fun to make and serve and everyone will love it. As long as you plan ahead with ample time to let the dough rise, it’s pretty easy to make, as well. The assembly is also much easier than it looks if you glance at the directions. Honestly the easiest way to do it is to just look at the picture and try to copy the shape. It seems to work best. Or make your own shape! It’s really up to you; I just hope you do make it and enjoy it!

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I genuinely hope you have a terrific Thanksgiving and long weekend! It’s honestly one of my favorite times of year because matter your religion or background, everyone comes together to celebrate delicious food and family. What is better than that? Have a good one and eat all da noms ! :-).

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Prep Time: At least 4 hours (to allow ample time for yeast to rise)

Bake Time: 20-30 minutes

Level: Medium

Yield: 1 medium-sized turkey bread that would probably be enough to serve as a side for 4-6 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato (about 1/2 a pound or 8 ounces)
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil (can also use other vegetable oil, or non-dairy spread or butter)
  • 1 cup almond or soy milk
  • 1 1 1/4-oz package dry active yeast (~2.5 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry (can sub all all-purpose flour or oat flour if desired)

Directions:

1. Cut sweet potato into small cubes (about 1 inch pieces) and place in a small sauce pan. Cover potato cubes with about 1″ water above the potatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce and simmer until the potato cubes are tender, about 15-18 minutes.

2. While potato is cooking, melt coconut oil in a second small saucepan and add almond milk and stir for about one minute.

3. Remove potato from heat. Strain the potato cubes, but KEEP THE POTATO LIQUID aka the water the potato pieces cooked in. I repeat, do not throw it away. Set it aside. This water has starch in it and you will use it to make your bread extra luscious and soft. Also, it’s basically #reclycing. #ecofriendly.

4. Take potato pieces and place in a medium sized bowl. Mash it and add stir in milk mixture and 1 tablspoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Take 1/3 cup potato water and place in a microwave safe bowl or pyrex and heat to 105-110 degrees Fahrenheit. Actually take the time to use a food thermometer and check to make sure you’re in this range, or you can kill or under-activate the yeast and all your efforts will be lost! Once it’s in this range, add 1 tablespoon sugar and the sea salt and allow to sit until foamy, at least 10 minutes.

5. When foam is formed, transfer yeast mixture to potato mixture and stir. Add all the flours and mix with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough has formed. Knead for 5-10 minutes until dough is elastic-y and you have all your frustrations worked out. Then transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a rolling surface with a small amount of flour or plastic wrap and grab a rolling pin. Punch down the dough (this redistributes the yeast #foodscience) and give it a few good kneads. Then, remove about 1/5th of the dough to make the bird’s body. Set this aside. Roll the rest of the dough into a ball, and flatten with a rolling pin into a giant circle.

7. To make the feathers: cut the dough like you would a pizza into small triangles. Flatten each triangle with a rolling pin, and roll, from narrow tip to thick side (if each were a pizza crust, from the tip to the crust) to form rolled cylinders. They can and should vary in size, as they are wings, and you need a variety of sizes!

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8. Take the 1/5th of dough you set aside. Roll about 80% of that into a small ball for the body of the turkey. Roll out the other small piece into a cylinder, and twist and shape one end of it into a head, with a beak, and add a small bead for an eye. Place onto the body of the turkey, and wrap the neck as desired. Move body onto parchment paper on a baking sheet and begin to assemble.

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9. Assemble feathers onto body by gently pressing the cylinders you rolled out into the body from behind. Place shorter cylinders towards the end, and the longer ones on top. If you need to cut and shape and re-roll a few, do it. Honestly this whole thing is easier to just look at the pictures and try to recreate the shape. Just pretend the dough is delicate play-doh I guess. Okay I spend too much time working with children and playing with play-doh.

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10. Cover turkey with a towel and allow to proof for at least an hour. Don’t skip this step. According to everything I learned in food science, the second rising is more important than the first.

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11. Place baking sheet into the oven and bake for 22-28 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges and puffed. When you lift the bread’s edges, the bottom should be slightly browned. And/or tap on the bread, and it should sound hollow. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

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12. Serve alongside your other favorite Thanksgiving noms and enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving :-D.

For more healthy takes on classic Thanksgivng dishes, click around below for awesome ideas from fellow members of The Recipe Redux !