Tag Archives: cinnamon

Maple-Glazed Apples (with spiced non-dairy yogurt and buckwheat granola)

I rose this morning to a beautiful winter’s day and to the sweet sound of my 10 year-old strumming “Jingle Bells” on her guitar. Ahhh, I am so thrilled she loves to practise. ūüėČ

Over a hot cup of chai tea, I decided to go through my binder of old recipes. I came across this one which I thought was a perfect dish for celebrating our first Sunday of Advent.

maple-glazed apples

I used to make this a few years ago with unsalted butter, non fat yogurt, and a low-fat granola. Like most recipes, this one can easily be made without all the dairy and be just as tasty, if not better.

Today, I used a wee bit of coconut oil, yoso coconut yogurt (a carrageenan-free, non-dairy yogurt), and an adapted version of Laurie Sadowksi’s tasty and wholesome Raw Cacao Buckwheat Granola.¬† So delicious!


  • 4 spartan apples, cored, and each cut into 8 slices
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 tablespoon organic virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup yoso creamy cultured coconut (plain unsweetened) yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat granola

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Place apples, 3 tablespoons of maple syrup and melted coconut oil in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Toss until well coated.

3. Roast apples for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are crisp and tender.

4. Meanwhile, whisk yogurt, spices and remaining 2 tablespoons of maple syrup in a small bowl.

5. Spoon roasted apples into a shallow bowl. Sprinkle with granola, then drizzle with spiced yogurt.

*Note on the granola: I have made Laurie Sadowski’s granola recipe a few times now and love it. In my latest version of her recipe, I substituted raw almonds for hazelnuts, added dried cranberries, and eliminated the cacao and cacao nibs. My kids enjoy eating a bowl with my homemade almond milk, but I prefer eating the large clumps as an afternoon snack.

As I write this, it’s early afternoon and the snow has been flying since dawn. Our tree is lit (soon to be decorated) and my daughter is busy putting together our advent wreath. My plan is to spend the afternoon pouring over, once again, all the amazing vegan dishes at last month’s Virtual Vegan Potluck. Tonight I will make my final decision and vote for my favourite dish in each category. (December 2 is the last day to vote). Have you checked it out, yet? If not, you must! (uberdish brought a side dish – herbed spaetzle with beet puree!)

Cinnamon-Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies


While visiting our local coffee shop a couple of weeks ago, I signed up to participate in a Bake Off event to help support a great Canadian charity.¬† SchoolBOX is an organization that helps send communities in Nicaragua to school.¬† SchoolBOX constructs schools and provides its students and teachers with the necessary tools to bring literacy to life.¬† Equator Coffee Roasters‘ Bake Off event was this past Saturday.¬†¬† From this bake sale, they raised well over $500 for SchoolBOX.

I decided that these cookies were perfect to bring to Equator Coffee for the sale.  Cookie monsters will go wild with their serious knock your socks off flavour!

The original recipe comes from Chloe Coscarelli’s awesome vegan cookbook, “Chloe’s Kitchen”.¬† I tweaked the recipe a bit by making them gluten-free and replacing the brown sugar with coconut sugar.¬† As well,¬† I substituted 2 tablespoons of a strong brew of espresso coffee for the instant espresso powder.


  • 2 cups gluten-free flour (see below for recipe to make your own mix)*
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance)
  • 2 tablespoons brewed espresso coffee, cooled to room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegan chocolate chips¬† (I used Enjoy Life)
  • granulated sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl.

Using a mixer, beat vegan margarine, powdered sugar, and coconut sugar until well combined.  Mix in the flour mixture about 1/2 cup at a time. The dough will appear a little dry.  Add brewed espresso coffee and mix.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Using tablespoons, scoop out dough and roll in a small plate of granulated sugar.  Place each scoop on prepared baking sheets.  Cookies will spread in the oven, so allow for some space between each.  If you love crisp cookies like myself, then gently flatten the dough with the palm of your hand.

Bake for about 12-14 minutes.  Let cool before placing on a wired rack.

*GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR MIX (from Living Without)

I store this mix in a large glass container and keep it in my fridge.

  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 2 cups white rice flour
  • 1 1/3 potato starch
  • 2/3 tapioca starch

Candied Pumpkin Seeds and Walnuts

This year I struggled with finding something for the men on my Christmas list.  I was tired of wrapping up gloves, ties, motor oil, and aftershave.

I recall back in October, I made a dehydrator full of candied pumpkin seeds.  I really had to stop my husband from devouring them in one sitting. So, this weekend I decided to fill my dehydrator with candied pumpkin seeds and walnut pieces.  The men on my list will each receive a jar full of these crunchy and heavenly sweet snacks.  A healthy gift of good protein, antioxidants, zinc and Omega 3s.

One of my favourite raw food books is “Raw Food Real World” by Mathew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis.¬† (This book is signed by Sarma herself, having met her at The Seed in NYC last Spring! You see, I don’t get all giddy and star struck over rock stars. Rather, I find myself adolescent-like when I meet vegan chefs!)¬† I followed Mathew and Sarma’s recipes for candied pumpkin seeds and candied walnuts with a couple of minor alterations.



  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds, preferably soaked for 4 hours or more, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 maple syrup powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Toss all ingredients very well in a medium bowl.  Spread on a dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 112 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 24 hours, or until dry and crisp.

If you are using an oven instead of a dehydrator, bake at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour and a half until dry and crisp.  * Check seeds and walnuts often, as time may vary.


CANDIED WALNUTS – follow recipe above

Fill glass jars or containers with candied pumpkin seeds or candied walnuts or a mixture of both.  Reserve a wee bit for yourself, as these nuts and seeds are awesome thrown in a mixed green salad.

Gingerbread Cocktail

I know it’s late, but I just couldn’t go to bed without posting this drink!¬† I am so excited – Christmas in a martini glass!


After a long afternoon of mixing, rolling, cutting and baking gingerbread dough, my girls thought it would be nice to sit together to watch a Christmas movie.  I thought that was a super idea, so I promptly began working on snacks and drinks for some good television viewing.

I heated 6 cups of organic apple cider on the stove and added some sliced ginger root (2 tablespoons),  2 cinnamon sticks, mandarin zest (a little tricky РI had no oranges!), fresh lemon juice (1 teaspoon) and 1 teaspoon of agave syrup.   My one daughter has been fighting a cold all week and I am very determined to keep her healthy for the holidays, so the ginger root was added to boost her immune system.  I let this spiced cider simmer for about 30 minutes while I whipped up some guacamole.

I decided on something extra special for us adults.  I cooled 2 cups of the cider in a glass pitcher with a few bits of ice.  I then added 1 cup of coconut water and 2 cups of chilled sake. 

In a small bowl, I mixed together 1/2 cup of coconut sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon (the extra will be used in tomorrow’s baking).¬† Using an open mandarin slice, I rubbed the rim of a couple of martini glasses then dipped each in the bowl of coconut sugar and cinnamon.¬† I filled our glasses with the cider and sake and my gingerbread cocktail was born!

What is sake?  Sake is an alcoholic beverage originating from Japan.  Made from fermented rice, sake is natural and so rich in amino acids.  It is not distilled and it is not processed.  Check out these sites to learn more about sake and its health benefits http://www.learnaboutsake.com/2009/05/health-benefits-of-sake.html and http://www.sake-world.com/html/sake-faqs.html .

If you are in the mood for a cocktail, I suggest you try some Japanese sake.¬† It pairs so well with a variety of fruit juices.¬† Need some recipes?¬† Take a look at Sarma Melngailis’ sake cocktails in her books, “Living Raw Food” and “Raw Food real world”.¬†¬† Cheers!