Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Mmmm, pumpkin!! Doesn’t get anymore delicious does it?

If you’re like me, you got a bunch of pumpkins/squashes right after Halloween when everybody had them marked way down! My favorite local pumpkin spot had everything for $1.00. You can bet your bottoms I stocked up!! Now that my freezer and kitchen and hallways are full of pumpkin, I’m making quite a lot of pumpkin-y things!

This recipe is super tasty, vegan or not!

We are not vegans (not even vegetarians!!) I just have a tendency to run out of eggs at the weirdest, most inconvenient times, so I end up making/testing/trying quite a lot of vegan recipes!

This bread is very sweet, and could easily be used for a dessert as its also moist and dense.

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

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Ingredients-
4 tbsp. chia seeds
6 tbsp. water
1/2 c. organic cane sugar (or sucunat)
1/2 c. melted coconut oil
1 c. cooked pumpkin (pureed or not, I never puree my pumpkin)
1.5 c. organic unbleached white flour
A pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix the chia seeds with the water, stir them and let them sit for 5 minutes (I usually melt the coconut oil while I’m waiting for the seeds to gel!). The seeds will form a gooey substance very similar to an egg*. When the 5 minutes are up, add in the oil and sugar. Whisk it together as much as it will combine. Add in all of the other ingredients and mix it together very thoroughly. Dump the batter into a well greased bread pan and bake for 50 minutes. It won’t rise too much and it will feel sturdy and not liquid-y when you tap the top of the loaf if it’s done. Let it cool completely before you cut it.

*If you want to use eggs instead of chia seeds, add 2 eggs and leave out the water and chia seeds.

Peace, love and blessings!

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Real Food Peach Cobbler Muffins!!

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Ah summer! When the delicious peaches are ripe and juicy!

So ripe and juicy in fact, that you find it necessary to pick 30 pounds of them at your local pick your own orchard!!(or is that just me??)

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Which leaves you scouring the internet for any and every peach recipe you can find to use up all of the peaches you didn’t can. So let me help you out by giving you this absolutely delicious recipe for-

Peach Cobbler Muffins

You will need:

Muffin-

2 cups fresh (or home canned) organic peaches cut into small pieces
1 cup organic whole wheat flour
1 cup organic unbleached flour
1 1/2 tsp. good quality baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 stick or 1/2 cup of butter (from grass fed cows would be best!)1/2 cup organic, unbleached sugar
2 free range eggs
2 tsp. homemade or good quality organic vanilla extract
1/2 cup raw milk
1 tsp. organic cinnamon

Topping-

3 tbsp. organic unbleached sugar
1 tbsp. organic whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. organic cinnamon
2 tsp. coconut oil (at least 76 degrees so its in its liquid state!)

Beat the sugar, eggs and butter together until there are no large lumps. Add in everything except the peaches and mix until its combined. Then fold in the peaches. Scoop into well greased muffin tins (or use unbleached muffin papers).

Whisk together the ingredients for the topping and sprinkle a bit over each muffin. Bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

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Served with some homemade whipped cream or a tall glass of cold, raw milk (or on their own!), these are delicious!!

Go pick some peaches and enjoy!!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Jackfruit!

If you remember way back 2 weeks ago, I made a post about exploring the shops of the Strip District in Pittsburgh PA. You may also remember I got a fantastic, enormous (as a matter of fact, it is the largest tree borne fruit in the world) fruit known as the jackfruit.

Use my hand as a size reference

Use my hand as a size reference

It weighed about 19 pounds, and getting it apart ain’t no easy feat!!

It took over 2 hours to clean the whole thing. But it was totally worth it! Deliciousness all around!

In order to clean it you have to cut it into big chunks. Once its in big chunks, you have to peel out the yummy, yellow fruit, which are basically seed pods. However, the fragrant pods are tangled up in sticky, sappy, totally 100% evil fibers.

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Honestly, the fibers are like sticking your hand to a leaking pine tree. The trick to navigating the jackfruit, is to oil one of your hands. The hand that’s not handling the knife. Cut with your dominant, non-oiled hand and pull apart seeds and fruit with the other. I just rubbed some coconut oil on my left hand and cut with my right. (Oh, and I oiled the knife).

After I got the hang of it, it wasn’t that bad. From the whole jackfruit I filled a gallon sized container completely to the top, almost overflowing with fruit and an overflowing quart mason jar with the seeds.

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Seeds!

Seeds!

If you want a more in depth description of how to cut it, head over here and check out this post on how to do it! It’s a great tutorial!

So what did I do with mine you ask?

I made sorbet, froze a ton for some deliciously tropical smoothies and boiled the seeds for snacking.

Let’s start with the seeds. (Which are a lot of work, as is everything with the Jackfruit it seems). Once they are all removed from the pods, rinse them off and put them in a pot of boiling water for 30 minutes. They are done cooking when you can easily stick a fork in them. They get similar to the texture of potatoes. The difficult part is peeling them of their tough outer skins. Most of the skins on mine split open, making it easier to peel, but not all of them. Just peel the milky white skin of the outside and enjoy the delicious insides. The thin, brown skin is edible, just so you know.

The final product will look like this:

Seeds on the right, inedible  skins on the left

Seeds on the right, inedible skins on the left

For the sorbet, I pureed 3 cups of fruit, mixed in 1/4 cup of sugar, and added enough water to make it smooth. Then I processed it in my ice cream maker for about 20 minutes and stored it in the freezer. Yummy!!

It can be stored in an airtight glass container in the freezer for a couple of months. But it can get pretty hard, so you may have to take it out of the freezer 10 minutes or so before you serve it.

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And lastly, if you want to freeze it for smoothies, here’s how. (This method actually works very well for most, or all, fruit). Chop it into small, 1/4-1 inch pieces and spread them all into an even layer on a cookie sheet and set it flat in the freezer over night.

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Transfer it to a freezer safe container and store it for 8-12 months. Just pop some out and add it to a smoothie any time you like. I think jackfruit goes wonderfully with banana, mango and pineapple.

We also made these jackfruit lime popsicles-

Yum!

Yum!

Get the recipe for them over here.

Head on over to your local Asian foods store and pick up some jackfruit!!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Cooking with Honeysuckle!!

Depending where your located, you may have noticed that the honeysuckle is in full bloom!

Around here there’s hundreds and hundreds of bushes everywhere! Just in the short 10 minute drive to my fiance’s work, there’s probably 100 bushes.

If you’ve ever sucked the sweet insides out of a flower, you know honeysuckle is delicious. And seeing so much it this year, I knew I could make something yummy out of it. So I picked lots of flowers and created some pretty good stuff!

Freshly picked honeysuckle

Freshly picked honeysuckle

Honey Suckle Simple Syrup

Simple syrup can be used to sweeten anything liquid (its especially helpful with iced beverages because honey won’t stir in easily and sugar won’t stir in at all, generally). Simple syrup is simply sugar and water. So I made some flavored syrups that you could add to iced tea, lemonade, alcoholic beverages, pretty much anything you like.

Ingredients:

3 c. water

1 c. honeysuckle blossoms

2 c. organic unbleached sugar

(I believe you can use honey, if you want, but it lasts longer made with sugar. And since its sweet you use very little at a time. It’ll take us a long time to finish ours, so I used sugar)

Start off by picking off all of the little green ends and stems from the blossoms. Then, submerge them in water in either a glass or steel container and let them in the refrigerator over night.

Soaking in the fridge

Soaking in the fridge

The next day remove the blossoms and put them into a pint size mason jar.

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Take 2.5 c. of the water you soaked the blossoms in and put it in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Add in the sugar and stir occasionally until it comes to a boil. It will become clear (well yellowish because of the honeysuckle and unbleached sugar) and thicker. Pour over the blossoms and let cool to room temperature.

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Remove the blossoms and that’s it!! =)

This recipe actually makes 2 pints of simple syrup. You could either make two jars full of honeysuckle syrup, or I put one jar honeysuckle and poured the rest of freshly cut spearmint leaves to make a honeysuckle mint syrup.

Honeysuckle syrup and spearmint syrup

Honeysuckle syrup and spearmint syrup

Honeysuckle Spearmint Cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 c. coconut oil

1/2 c. honey

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 c. flour

1 c. oats

1/4 c. honeysuckle blossoms

1 tbsp. fresh, chopped spearmint leaves

Note: I used 1/4 c. spearmint and they were overly minty, so I’m thinking 1 tbsp. would be a good amount.

Preheat your oven to 350°

Combine everything in a big bowl. Mix thoroughly and roll into balls. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cookies are starting to get golden brown. And your done!

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Both these recipes and super yummy, so get picking!!

Just note that if you aren’t picking flowers on your own property, make sure your not picking them somewhere that doesn’t get sprayed with pesticides. I picked mine along a trail that I know doesn’t get sprayed. Also make sure you aren’t picking them right along side a busy road, they will be covered in exhaust fumes and gross road gunk.

I also soaked all the blossoms for both recipes in the same bowl overnight and used 3 cups of water on 2 cups of honeysuckle. Not that it makes that much difference, just what I did.

Happy picking!!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Shared on Natural Living Monday, Tuned in Tuesdays , Party Wave Wednesday, and Simple Meals Friday!