Spelt Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls – Vegan Mofo

Vegan Spelt Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Recently we discovered that we are happily able to consume spelt flour. What is spelt? Well, you can read a little about it here if you’d like. Spelt is an ancient grain and distant cousin of wheat in which many people find to be more easy to digest because of it’s high fiber and low, gluten content. Spelt is an excellent source of phytoestrogens and lignans, fiber, vitamin E, niacin and magnesium, and has a lower glycemic index. My son’s wheat allergy is a 2 on a 1-to-5 scale (5 being the strongest), and he has no sensitivity to spelt. Please note that If you have a strong or severe allergy to wheat and/or gluten, or have been diagnosed with celiac disease it is advised that you also avoid spelt flour. With that aside, I am quite excited on our new healthy grain discovery. Thinking of all the new things I’m going to create with spelt makes me happy (pies, tarts, pancakes…. the list goes on and on). One of the first things I made with spelt flour were these Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls…

Vegan Spelt Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls - #wheatfree #soyfree #dairyfree #eggfree

These rolls are moist, and are delightfully cakelike in texture, as opposed to a flaky roll. When you take a bite, they are a beautiful pumpkin orange color and are filled with all the flavors you might associate with autumn. The bread is a sweet yeasted spelt dough with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. The filling is a quick-homemade pumpkin butter, sugar, cinnamon , with dried cranberries and chopped walnuts to keep it festive.

Vegan Spelt Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls - #wheatfree #soyfree #dairyfree #eggfree

This recipe takes some time, but don’t let that scare you away from making them. The active time spent making them isn’t that long. It is letting the yeast work it’s magic that takes the most time. You can make this recipe in steps, starting with the dough, walking away to let it rise a couple of times before it’s time to bake. So start this recipe on a day where you have other tasks or things to do, and not on a day where you need a cinnamon roll in an instant. But they are so worth the time! The recipe makes 14 wonderful pumpkin cinnamon rolls that you can share with family, friends or co-workers; perfect for breakfast or brunch this time of year.

Vegan Spelt Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls - #wheatfree #soyfree #dairyfree #eggfree

Spelt Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
yield: 14 servings

For the dough:
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon organic cane sugar
1 1/4 ounce packet of active dry yeast
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup organic virgin coconut oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups organic spelt flour
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

For the filling:
1 tablespoon vegan butter (I use earth balance soy-free), or organic virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup pumpkin butter (recipe follows)*
1/4 cup organic brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)

Proof the yeast by first dissolving the 1 tablespoon of sugar into the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and let it sit for 10 minutes. When you return, the mixture should be bubbly and frothy, which means the yeast is active and you can proceed with the recipe. In a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, combine the yeast mixture with the pumpkin, coconut oil, and vanilla; stir to combine. In a separate bowl, sift together the spelt flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Slowly add the flour mixture to the pumpkin-yeast mixture in the stand mixer. Mix with the stand mixer on low-speed until a soft dough forms. Remove the dough and add a small amount of oil back in the mixing bowl, pack the dough into a firm ball and place back into the bowl, rolling it around a bit to coat in oil. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the bowl. Walk away and let the dough rise until it is double in size (approximately 2 1/2 hours).

When the dough has risen double it’s size, it’s ready to be rolled out and filled. First, place a large sheet of plastic wrap on a clean counter (you will need two sheets of plastic wrap, you want a square about 12-inch-by-12-inch). Sprinkle a bit of spelt flour onto the plastic and use your fingers to spread it around a bit; dust a rolling pin in a bit of spelt flour as well. Place the dough on the center of the plastic wrap and begin to roll it out until it’s about a 10-inch long rectangle and is about 1/4 inch thick. Use a flat spatula to spread on the filling ingredients in the order they are listed. Start with the end closest to you, and fold up the side using the plastic wrap to lift up the dough. Peel back the plastic and roll the dough a second time, and continue this until it is all rolled-up and in the shape of a log. Use a chef’s knife to slice in 16 rolls. The easiest way to achieve equal size rolls is to first cut the log in the center, and then cut the halves in their centers, and so on.

Line a large glass baking dish with parchment paper. Place the sliced rolls on the parchment, leaving about an inch or so apart. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and let rise until rolls have doubled in size. I waited about 6 hours, and it was well worth it. You could even let them rise overnight, and bake them fresh in the morning. Once rolls have risen, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 25 minutes, rolls are done when firm when touched and make a nice little hollow sound when flicked.

I whipped up an icing to go on top of these rolls as well (although I think they are delicious without the icing). To make the icing, combine about 2 tablespoons of the pumpkin butter with my frosting recipe here. Heat in a saucepan on low-heat until warm, adding about a tablespoon or so of almond milk.

* Quick Stove-top Pumpkin Butter
Recipe makes about 1 cup of pumpkin butter which is a perfect filling for cinnamon rolls, or to spread on toast or pancakes. The orange extract is an optional ingredient, but it gives the pumpkin butter a very special and unique flavor.

1 cup pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon pure orange extract (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat on medium-low heat stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to very low, and let cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool slightly before transferring to a jar. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use, or up to 2 weeks.

Vegan Spelt Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls - #wheatfree #soyfree #dairyfree #eggfreeveganmofo2013

Fudgy Vegan Gluten-free Brownies – VeganMofo

Nutty Fudgy Teff Flour Brownies

Apparently, chocoholism is genetic. My son loves chocolate about as much as I do. I promise, we don’t eat sweets as much as it may seem, but when we allow ourselves a special treat, chocolate is definitely our absolute favorite. There is quite a different response that follows when I ask “Would you like a cookie?” than when I ask “Would you like a brownie?”

Nutty Fudgy Teff Flour Brownies - Vegan & Gluten-free via ransomcakes.com

I’m going to be quite honest with you here for a minute, these brownies are pretty damn good. They are fudgy, sweet and chocolaty; outstanding with a glass of cold almond milk. They’re gluten-free, vegan and soy-free, made with healthy coconut oil and teff flour. They’d be a fabulous addition to your Halloween sweets table. If you make them for someone who is skeptical on vegan or gluten-free food, these may just convince them.

Fudgy Brownies - recipe by RansomCakes.com
yield: 16 servings

1/4 cup vegan chocolate hazelnut spread (I used Justin’s)
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup organic coconut oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/3 cup almond meal
1/4 cup teff flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper (use two sheets of parchment, cut to fit the pan, and overlap the sheets so that the sides of the pan are also covered).

In a glass bowl, add the chocolate hazelnut butter and the chopped chocolate, melt in the microwave or a double-boiler, stirring often. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and almond extracts: combine well before adding the sugar and continue to stir until mixture is very smooth and creamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, almond meal and teff flour. To this add the baking powder, xanthan gum and salt and stir to combine. Slowly incorporate the dry mixture into the wet, stirring gently, before batter comes together completely, add in the chopped walnuts.

Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, and use a spatula to spread the batter to the corners and edges of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

Nutty Fudgy Teff Flour Brownies - Vegan & Gluten-free via ransomcakes.comveganmofo2013

Roasted Potatoes and Spinach Curry

Roasted Potato and Spinach Curry

Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore, vegan food deserves to be celebrated and appreciated. I learned to cook, and to love food when I first began eating a plant-based diet. Vegan food taught me different flavors that I hadn’t yet tasted. Pretty soon there-after, I fell in love with curry. Curry can be very complicated, or very easy to make. If you are using store-bought curry paste (like I did here), you will have a quick and satisfying dinner. If you have the time, experiment and try making your own curry paste. For this dish, I used a canned Thai green curry paste made from green chilies, with lemongrass, coriander, ginger and garlic.

Roasted Potato and Spinach Curry

Roasted Potatoes and Spinach Curry
An easy, very very spicy, but comforting dish

3 pounds red potatoes
salt
pepper
extra virgin olive oil

2 shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 – 15 ounce can lite coconut milk
1 cup vegetable broth
I – 4 ounce can green curry paste (I used Maesri brand)

Wash the potatoes, and parboil them for 12 minutes. Drain, and when cool enough to handle, cut them in fourths or sixths. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place potatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden and edges are a bit crispy.

In a large saucepan on medium heat, sauté the shallots in the olive oil until caramelized nicely. Add the spinach, and cook for about a minute before adding the coconut milk, veg broth and curry paste. Stir until well combined and bring to a boil for about 10 minutes. Add the roasted potatoes and turn off heat.

Serve as is, the potatoes make the dish very hearty. If you wish, serve over rice or with naan.

A whole lot of love goes into the food I make; from the most elaborate dish, to the quick-in-a-hurry-meals (the latter in which I now make more often). Always, always thank the person who makes you a meal, or serves you your take-out – especially if that person’s name is “Mom!” A nice thank you really goes a long way. And a sincere thanks never gets old.

Roasted Potatoes and Spinach Curry

veganmofo2013

Sunbutter Oatmeal Chewies – Vegan Mofo

Sunbutter Cookies - V GF SF PF

Cookies. Lately in my busy single-mama, working-gal, super-hero-teacher world, I just haven’t had the time for cookies (sadly). I tend to throw the batter into a parchment-lined baking dish, call it a bar, and move along to the next task. But we were craving a good-n-chewy oatmeal cookie. So, I took the “extra” time for these, grabbed my cookie scoop, and dropped the dough like there was no tomorrow. Thankfully there was, and we enjoyed these cookies for at least a day after they were baked until we gobbled them all up.

Vegan, Gluten-free, Peanut-free, Soy-free Sunbutter Oatmeal Chewies  - http://ransomcakes.com

These cookies are chewy, with almost a granola bar texture. The sunbutter gives them a great nut-like flavor that is reminiscent of peanut butter. Pack them up into your kiddo’s lunch box for a delicious allergy-free treat. Or, if you have a minute to yourself, with a glass of cold vanilla almond milk and plenty of good Vegan Mofo blogs to catch up on.

Sunbutter Oatmeal Chewies
yield: 28 cookies

2 tablespoons ground flax seed
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 cups gluten-free oats
1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons organic brown sugar, packed
1/2 tablespoon alcohol-free pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon tapioca flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup enjoy life brand mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small dish, combine the flax seed meal with the almond milk, stir and set aside. In a large bowl using a strong wire whisk, whisk together the sunflower seed butter with the maple syrup, brown sugar and vanilla until very smooth. Add the tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and combine. Add the flax-almond milk mixture and whisk together. Fold in the oats, and then the chocolate chips. Using a cookie scoop, or a greased tablespoon, drop the cookies on the parchment lined pan leaving about 2 inches space between them. Bake in the oven for 12-14 minutes, checking after 12 minutes. Allow to cool completely on the baking pans.

Tip: wrap cookies individually in plastic wrap for storage, otherwise cookies may stick together a little bit (but not too bad). Nom away!

Vegan, Gluten-free Oatmeal Sunflower Seed Butter Cookiesveganmofo2013

Butternut Squash Soup – VeganMOFO

butternut squash soup

Butternut squash soup (bisque, or what-have-you) is like, the new chili. There are a million different recipes out there, or so it seems. Here’s mine; it’s fast, simple, creamy, comforting and delicious. A perfect opening dish for an autumn dinner; it’s also hearty enough to serve on it’s own.

butternut squash soup - vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, low-fat, dairy-free

Naturally vegan, gluten and soy-free, but suitable for every dietary choice. Much thanks to my mama, and her bountiful garden, for these beautiful squashes! This recipe is low-fat, and much (much) healthier than my last recipe post using this wondrous vegetable.

Butternut Squash Soup - vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, low-fat

Butternut Squash Soup
makes many, many servings

1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1 tablespoon garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil
3 cups peeled, seeded and diced butternut squash
2 cups peeled and diced red potatoes
1 cup chopped carrots
4 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
sprinkle of paprika
dash of black pepper

In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil on medium heat for a few seconds before tossing in the chopped onion. Caramelize the onion on medium-low heat until it is a lovely caramel-brown color. Add the chopped and diced veggies (in no particular order): butternut squash, potatoes, carrots. Give it a good stir. Add the salt, thyme, sage, garlic, paprika and black pepper and stir again. Pour in the vegetable broth, stir. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low-boil, cover and cook for 40 minutes, stirring every once-in-a-while. Remove from heat, and let sit for 15 minutes before pureeing in a food processor. Serve warm!

Butternut Squash Soup - vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, low-fat

veganmofo2013

Mini Sweet Potato Carrot Cakes w/ Lemon Vanilla Icing – VeganMOFO

Mini Sweet Potato Carrot Cakes

I’m back for Vegan MOFO! I’ve missed blogging and sharing recipes here very much. Because of some very personal issues, I’ve had to put this on hold for a while. But anyway, here’s to September! A new month, and (hopefully) many new and exciting recipes to be shared here with you all.

Mini Sweet Potato Carrot Cakes

These little cute cakes are so delicious, and if you leave off the icing, they are actually pretty healthy. The cake itself has no refined sugar; it’s moist, sweet and light. This would be a great fall birthday treat, or to make for a festive autumn gathering.

Mini Sweet Potato Carrot Cakes

My son really liked these. And as you can see in the photo below, he found a very creative way to eat them: hands free!

Ry1TEXT2
Ready for the recipe? Ok, here we go, MOFO’ers.

Mini Sweet Potato Carrot Cakes w/ Lemon Vanilla Icing
yield: 36 mini cupcakes

1 cup roasted sweet potato puree
3/4 cup vanilla flaxmilk, (or vanilla coconut milk)
1/4 cup date paste
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup organic coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons alcohol-free pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely grated carrots

1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or ground cinnamon)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 2 mini cupcake pans with a little coconut oil (enough for 36 mini cupcakes).
In a stand mixer, combine the sweet potato puree, date paste, flaxmilk, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Add the shredded carrots and stir to combine. In a separate bowl, sift together the flours: sorghum, brown rice, and millet; to this add the xanthan gum, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in 1/2 cup increments, gently folding them together using a large rubber spatula. Mix until just combined. Use a cookie scoop to scoop batter into the prepared pans. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Lemon Vanilla Icing
yield: about 1 1/2 cups

7 tablespoons soy-free earth balance, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla flaxmilk (or vanilla coconut milk)
1 teaspoon alcohol-free pure vanilla extract

In a stand mixer, whip the earth balance for a minute or so before slowly adding the powdered sugar. Add the lemon juice, flaxmilk and vanilla extract and whip frosting until smooth. This icing is intended for spreading, not piping. It has a smooth consistency rather than a fluffy one. When cupcakes are completely cool, spread about a tablespoon or so of the icing on top of the cakes. Before serving, garnish with shredded carrots, raisins or chopped nuts.

Mini Sweet Potato Carrot Cakes

yummy.

Mini Sweet Potato Carrot Cakes w/ Lemon Vanilla Icing.

veganmofo2013

Apricot Strawberry Jam-Filled Vanilla Cupcakes with Orange-scented Vanilla Buttercream – Vegan, Gluten-Free

Vegan Gluten-Free Jam-Filled Vanilla Cupcakes w Orange Scented Buttercream

The cupcake craze may have been replaced by donuts, but I still hold a fondness in my heart for the good ole’ cuppie. To save word count, and your precious time, I’m going to skip a big introduction for these cuties and get on to the recipes. I will say this though, I am experimenting with recipes for a wedding cake that I’m making, and this recipe was too good not to share. A vegan, gluten/soy/nut-free vanilla cake, filled with a homemade fruit jam, and topped with an orange scented buttercream. Get ready for a sugar high. These cupcakes will fool the masses, and are perfect for birthday parties!

Vegan Gluten-free Soy-free Cupcakes!

Now, you could definitely choose to use a store-bought jam to fill these cupcakes (or choose not to fill them at all). But if you have the time, why not try making my easy Apricot Strawberry Jam?

Easy Apple Strawberry and Apricot Jam

Easy Apricot Strawberry Refrigerator Jam
vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free
yield: about 3 1/2 cups of jam

16 ounces organic apple (about 1 very large apple), peeled and diced
16 ounces organic fresh apricots, cut in half with pits removed
8 ounces organic strawberries (can be fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup natural cane sugar, or coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

In a medium or large saucepan, add the apples, apricots, strawberries and orange juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring once or twice. Add the sugar, coconut oil and xanthan gum and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour hot jam into clean glass jars, let jars sit on your countertop for 15-20 minutes before transferring to your refrigerator to chill completely. (If you’d like to process a hot water bath and can/preserve this jam, skip the refrigerator step and check out the instructions in this post). Use jam within a few weeks to a month (unless preserved for longer shelf life). Make sure jam is cold before filling cupcakes.

Vegan Strawberry Apricot Jam-filled Vanilla Cupcakes topped with Orange-scented Vanilla Buttercream

Vanilla Cupcakes
vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free
yield: 12 cupcakes

1 cup ‘sweet’ sorghum flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, liquid*
3/4 cup organic natural cane sugar, or coconut sugar
3/4 cup vanilla coconut milk (or other vanilla non-dairy milk)
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons alcohol-free, pure vanilla extract

*If your kitchen isn’t as warm as mine is, you may need to melt your coconut oil (if it’s in a solid state). The way I do this is in a double-boiler, or in a glass bowl atop a saucepan with simmering water. Place your chunk of coconut oil in the glass bowl and let it melt to a liquid.

For the cupcakes, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cupcake pan with 12 paper liners. In a large bowl, combine the flours: sorghum, millet, arrowroot, cornstarch. Sift together, then add the xanthan, baking powder, baking soda and salt and combine thoroughly. In a separate bowl, vigorously whisk the coconut oil with the sugar until well blended. Then, add the coconut milk, orange juice and vanilla. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and slowly pour the wet into the dry. Use a wire whisk to mix the batter until very few lumps remain and you have a smooth batter. Fill the cupcake liners 3/4′s way and bake for 25-27 minutes, until tops are golden.

Allow to cool 10 minutes in the pan before moving to a cooling rack. Cupcakes must be completely cooled before frosting.

Vegan Gluten Free Cupcakes

Orange-scented Vanilla Buttercream
vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free
yield: enough frosting to pipe/frost 12 cupcakes

3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup soy-free, vegan butter (I use earth balance soy-free)
3-4 tablespoons full-fat canned coconut milk, or vegan coffee cream
1/2 teaspoon alcohol-free, pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon alcohol-free, pure orange extract
large pinch of fresh orange zest (optional)

To make the buttercream, leave your vegan butter on your countertop for 10 or more minutes to become softened. In an electric stand mixer, whip the vegan butter for a few seconds, then add one cup of the powdered sugar, and whip some more. Then add 3 tablespoons of the coconut milk or cream, the extracts and zest. Whip. Then add the rest of the powdered sugar and whip until fluffy. If buttercream is a bit dry, add another tablespoon of coconut milk. Use right-away on cooled cupcakes.

Vegan Gluten-Free Jam-Filled Vanilla Cupcakes w Orange Scented Buttercream

To fill cupcakes, refer to the image above. I use a large piping bag tip (bottom-wide-side) to poke holes in the center of the cuppies. Then take a teaspoon of cooled jam and plop it into the center of the cupcake. Repeat until all cupcakes are filled. Frost with my buttercream recipe above.

vegan gluten-free cuppies

Several taste testers (none with food allergies or restrictions) agreed these cupcakes were delicious! I think they are pretty great as well. I will say though, if you’re not used to a lot of sugar, these may induce a sugar coma. And while the buttercream looks pretty piped on top, I prefer a thin spread instead. Make these cupcakes for a summer birthday party and your guests will be glad you did!

vegan gluten-free cuppies