Pumpkincredible Hummus

Here it is, my last Pumpkinfest post.  I’ve posted quite a few sweet pumpkin recipes, so thought I’d deliver a savory recipe to give the Pumpkin Chickpea Cauliflower Curry some company.

What’s a month without hummus?  Really, can I go one month without posting – or at least talking about – hummus?  I have made many a sweet potato hummus, but not a pumpkin.  I played with a few flavor combinations when testing, and found that my palate was happiest with a combination of smoky spices – smoked paprika and cumin  A touch of allspice rounds out the flavors, so try to include it!  And, you might be asking “why, oh why, Dreena, would you add maple syrup to your hummus?“.  I have not gone mad.  Cooked pumpkin is not as sweet as cooked sweet potato, and I found that just this small amount of maple syrup (and it is a small amount) brought a better flavor balance to the dip.

Finally, some toasted pumpkin seeds beautifully accent this hummus.  I didn’t want to overwhelm the flavor of this dip with tahini, so I used just a smidgen, and then finish the puree by pulsing in some toasted pumpkin seeds.  Keep them a little chunky, and the color stays more vibrant – plus it adds some texture if you like that.

I had these beautiful long red bell peppers and cut them into strips – look, they are nature’s little dippers!… Ok, maybe take a second place to endive.

You know what?  I don’t have much else to say about this hummus other than – go make it!  I’m a bossy-pants when it comes to hummus.

Pumpkincredible Hummus gluten-free, oil-free, soy-free RECIpage to print/share

A creamy, lightly smoky hummus with the brilliant flavor and color of pumpkin!

1 can (14 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 can (14 oz) white beans (cannellini or other), drained and rinsed

1 cup pure pumpkin (I use farmer’s market brand)

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (try not to substitute lemon juice, the lime flavor really works here)

1 medium-large clove garlic (adjust to taste, use smaller clove for kid-friendly)

1 – 1 1/4 tsp sea salt (adjust to taste)

1 1/2 – 2 tbsp tahini (to taste)

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp (rounded) ground allspice

1/2 tsp smoked paprika (if you don’t have smoked paprika, use another 1/4 tsp cumin – then go out and get yourself some smoked paprika!!)

1/2 tsp pure maple syrup

1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (see note for toasting; reserve about 2-3 tbsp for garnish)

In a food processor add all ingredients except pumpkin seeds (and starting with 1 tbsp tahini).  Puree until very smooth.  Taste, and if you’d like to add addditional garlic or spices, add a little (and if you’d like a richer tahini flavor, add the other tablespoon).  Then, add most of the pumpkin seeds (reserving a couple of tbsps), and pulse through.  Transfer mixture to a serving dish, and top with remaining pumpkin seeds.  Serve with whole-grain pita breads, tortilla chips, warm whole-grain bread, etc.

Beans Note: The combination of chickpeas and white beans makes this hummus a little creamier than using just chickpeas alone.

Pumpkin Seeds Note:  When I toast nuts and seeds, I do so in larger batches so that I have them ready to use another time.  So, consider toasting about a cup or more.  To toast pumpkin seeds, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (I use my toaster oven and a small baking tray).  Bake at 400 for several minutes until they turn a golden color and you can smell a nutty aroma.  This won’t take long, maybe about 5-7 minutes, possibly longer depending on your oven.  Just be sure to watch them after about 6-7 minutes, as they can burn quickly.

What is YOUR favorite hummus or bean dip?  

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Sugar-Free Vegan Caramel Apples

Did you love caramel and candy apples as a kid?

Sugar-free caramel apples by Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered Kitchen #vegan #glutenfree

I sure did, though as a juvenile junk-food-junkie, I opted to eat the caramel or candy – but leave the apple behind (so sad)!  Don’t believe this ‘Queen Bean’ had such a penchant for junk? … Proof that my sweet tooth started pretty darn early… frosting was my gateway to mars bars, fun dip, Mackintosh’s toffee, and pixy sticks.

2 year old sugar boost!

These days I prefer a treat without the processed sugars, chemicals and colors… and a caramel apple that won’t pull out a filling! (The candy of my youth has provided comfortable living for quite a few dentists!)

In my prevegan days, I once made more traditional caramel apples. They were messy, sticky, and SO much clean-up. I can assure you these caramel apples are far easier – yes, some prep and cleaning, but much simpler.

These apples are made with a date caramel, which is pretty effortless compared to stovetop caramel – it just requires a couple of steps (soaking the dates, then draining and processing with a few other ingredients).  Once the caramel is made, you smooth a layer around your apples of choice, and add a coating (if you like).  Here is the caramel, up close!

Let’s talk about the apples for a moment…

I think one of the reasons I never cared much for the actual apple part in those candy and caramel apples of my youth is because it was typically a McIntosh apple.  I’m not a fan of McIntosh apples to begin with – a little sour and mealy for my liking, I prefer a crisp, crunchy, sweet apple like Gala, Fuji, Spartan, or Sweet Orin.  So, as a kid, to bite through a sweet, sticky caramel coating into a sour apple… not my idea of food fun.  Might be appreciated by older kids and adults, but for me – did NOT work.

You can choose any apple you like for these treats, but I opt for one of the sweeter, crisper varieties mentioned above.  Then… for coatings.  In these photos you’ll see I”ve used coconut (unsweetened), and also grated chocolate (use a vegetable peeler to get some shavings from a chocolate bar).  Obviously if using the dark chocolate these apples aren’t entirely sugar-free – but with a good quality, higher cocoa content dark chocolate, the sugar content is much lower than a milk chocolate.  Then, do you see the other coating?  That is almond meal!  I think it is fabulous with the caramel. You could also combine the almond meal with dark chocolate, that would be incredible. At first, I wasn’t sure if the almond meal would fly, but it DOES.  And, because it is much finer than chopped nuts, it holds to the caramel very well!

I think I’ve talked enough, it’s time to snack! Enjoy…

Healthy, Sugar-Free Vegan Caramel Apples gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free

RECIpage link to print/share

1 1/2 cups pitted dates, lightly packed

1/2 cup plain non-dairy milk (to soak dates)

3 1/2 – 4 tbsp raw cashew butter (see note and can substitute)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or the seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean)

1/8 tsp (rounded) sea salt

couple pinches freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

4-6 organic apples (or more, depending on size)

popsicle sticks or spoons

Coatings: unsweetened shredded coconut, grated chocolate, mini chocolate chips, chopped dried cranberries, almond meal!, chopped pecans, etc.

First, combine the dates with the non-dairy milk in a bowl.  Let soak for about an hour.  Then, drain the dates, gently pushing the excess milk through a sieve.  In a food processor, combine the dates with the cashew butter, vanilla, and sea salt (and nutmeg, if using).  Process until very smooth, scraping down the processor bowl as needed, and puree again.  This will take several minutes.  Transfer to a container and refrigerate.  When ready to coat your apples, insert a popsicle stick into the stem end of each apple (if you don’t have any sticks handy, try inverting a spoon so you insert the handle into the apple and you hold the rounded ‘spoon’ end).  Then, simply lift the apple and use a butter knife or spatula to coat your apples with the caramel (not too thick as the caramel is very sweet, but thick enough for it to be substantial and for the toppings to adhere).  Place in a container or on a tray or baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and serve, or refrigerate for up to a day before serving.

Nut butter Notes:  I really like raw cashew butter in this caramel for a couple of reasons.  First, it is a very thick/dense nut butter, so it helps make the caramel a little thicker.  Second, it has a mellow, soft taste that works well in this caramel.  But, you could substitute regular cashew butter, or raw/regular almond butter, or macadamia butter.  So, for best flavor I’d choose either cashew, almond, or macadamia nut butter.  If you have a nut allergy, you can either opt for sunflower butter (and maybe add some cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice – it IS pumpkinfest! – to the mixture to bump up the flavor), or omit altogether and just have a date paste.  This also works if you want to reduce the fat content in the caramel – you can either reduce the nut butter or omit it altogether.

Kitchen Tip:  This makes a softer caramel, easy for spreading.  If you’d like a firmer caramel, simply omit the soaking step, and combine the dates with the cashew buttter (or other nut butter), using the full 4 tbsp (1/4 cup).  The mixture will form into a ball in the food processor.  You can use it to roll for little chewable caramels for children that can be left as is, or coated in grated chocoate (or ground chocolate chips).

Leftovers?: If you have leftover date caramel, it can be kept in a container, refrigerated, for a week or longer.  Use it as a spread for toast, sliced apple or pear, muffins, crisp breads, etc.

Have you ever made caramel apples?  What is your apple of choice?

This recipe has been submitted for the FoodiePages CHEF’S BOX Challenge – wish me luck!

Pumpkin Chia Pudding and Raw Chocolate Pudding Parfait Cups

Halloween is fast-approaching, and I thought I’d bring you a sweet treat to please kids and adults alike.  Double-duty: This would also make a beautiful holiday dessert for those of you now looking forward to Thanksgiving.  With how much our family loves my Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding (and how well received it was by all of you), I decided to create a Pumpkin Chia Pudding.

This parfait is a combination of the Pumpkin Chia Pudding and a Raw Chocolate Dream Mousse from Let Them Eat Vegan. This mousse is actually the pie filling for a full chocolate raw pie (page 245, LTEV)  Have any of you made this pie, as a side note?

Pumpkin Chia Pudding by Dreena Burton #vegan #glutenfree

These puddings are spectacular all on their own – our whole family loves them. Put them together… outstanding! Layer one pudding on top of the other, and finish with some chocolate shavings – so simple.

Pumpkin Chia Pudding and Raw Chocolate Mousse Parfaits #vegan #glutenfree #oilfree #dessert #halloween #thanksgiving #healthy www.plantpoweredkitchen.com


Raw Chocolate Dream Mousse (recipe from LTEV)

 LINK for RECIpage to print/share

Creamy, chocolaty, luscious. Yet no sugar, no flour, no oil. Yes, chocolate dreams do come true. This mousse is adaptable and can be accented with other flavors, such as orange zest (or orange oil), almond extract, or mint (leaves or extract).

1 cup avocado flesh (cut in chunks or slices, roughly 1 large or 1 – 1/2 medium avocados; be sure they are soft and ripe, not hard)

1/2 cup soaked raw cashews

1/2 cup nut milk (or other non-dairy milk if non-raw)

1/2 cup pitted dates

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/3 cup raw cocoa powder

1/2 -1 tsp pure vanilla extract (see note)

1/8 tsp sea salt

Place all the filling ingredients in a high-powered blender and puree for a minute or so on at medium-high speed, until completely smooth and no texture of the cashews re- mains. Stop to scrape down the blender and redistribute the ingredients. Puree again until very, very smooth – like a velvety pudding. This will take a few starts and stops for scraping down, even with a high-powered blender. Once the mixture is readily churning and smooth, it’s ready.

Savvy Subs and Adds: If you’d prefer not to use vanilla extract, use the seeds from one vanilla bean.

Note: For a nut-free pudding, I’d suggest using the “Raw Orange Chocolate Pudding” recipe from LTEV, page. 237.

Pumpkin Chia Pudding

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Easy to make, healthy, and scrumptious… you just might find yourself making this pumpkin pudding year-round!

3/4 cup pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix, see note)

3/4 cup plain or vanilla unsweetenednon-dairy milk (see note)

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1-2 tbsp coconut sugar (or pinch stevia, see note)

3 tbsp white chia seeds (black will discolor pudding some)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/8 tsp allspice

pinch ground ginger (optional, I omit it when making for the kiddos)

1/8 tsp sea salt (slightly rounded)

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (or vanilla seeds from one bean)

Optional toppings: shaving of dark chocolate, vegan cookie crumbles (see note), and the Coconut Whipped Cream from LTEV would be a phenomenal topping!

In a blender, add all ingredients. Blend for a minute or more (depending on blender, my Blendtec pulverizes the seeds quickly), until the seeds are fully pulverized and the pudding begins to thicken (it will thicken more as it refrigerates). Taste, and if you’d like it sweeter, add a teaspoon or two more of coconut sugar or maple syrup (not too much maple syrup or it will become loose). Transfer mixture to a large bowl/dish, and refrigerate until chilled, about 1/2 hour or more (it will thicken more with chilling, but really can be eaten straight away.). Serve, sprinnkling with optional toppings if desired.

Milk Note:  I typically use unsweetened almond milk (either plain or vanilla) when I make this pudding.  If you are using a sweetened vanilla milk, reduce the sweetener to taste.

Pumpkin note: Canned pumpkin can really vary in consistency.  Some are thinner, others a little more loose.  I use Farmers Market brand which is very thick and dense, and bonus – organic.

Sweetener Note: I love coconut sugar, and I think it adds a buttery-sweet note to recipes.  You may not need/want it in this pudding, the maple syrup may add enough sweetness for your taste (and the type of milk used will also affect sweetness).  If you’d rather use stevia, add just a pinch or two and test along the way, as too must stevia can ruin the flavor.  You can also add a little extra maple syrup, but no more than about a tablespoon or two, as the pudding can become a little loose.

Idea: Serve paired with crumbled ‘Gingery Cookies’ from LTEV, or ‘Snifferdoodles’, or a vegan graham-type cookie.  It will taste like pumpkin pie in a bowl!

You should know that I used some pretty large cups for these parfaits – one of these cups would be enough for two people.  I’d say that the two of these puddings together would serve 4-5 for dessert.  


Will you be making healthy Halloween treats?  Do tell!

Pumpkin Snackles

So far Pumpkinfest has brought us Pumpkin Pie Custards with Brulee Topping and a Chocolate Pumpkin Pie.  Today, something for everyday kind of healthy snacking. I decided to throw my Oat Snackles into the pumpkin patch! Result? Love at first bite.

As with the oat snackles, these are more of a mini-muffin than a cookie.  With oil-free baking, I prefer to bake in this ‘snackle’, or ‘jumble’, or ‘bundle‘ style, because the baked goods fare better without a muffin liner.  The liners tend to stick to the muffins without any oil added – and not everyone has silicone baking tools.  So, this is your oil-free baking solution!   What are you waiting for?  Slap on that apron!

Pumpkin Snackles by Dreena Burton #vegan #glutenfree #nutfree #wholefoods #plantbased


Pumpkin Snackles

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With the popularity of my “Wholesome Oat Snackles”, I decided to do a festive, autumnal twist, using pumpkin puree.  These are just as delicious – maybe even more!

1 1/2 cups rolled oats (use certified gluten-free for that option)

1 cup oat flour (use certified gluten-free for that option)

1/4 cup raisins

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1 1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp allspice

pinch cloves (optional)

1/4 tsp (lightly rounded) sea salt

1 1/2 tbsp ground chia (you can buy it pre-ground, or grind seeds in a high-powered blender or coffee/spice grinder)

3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix, see note)

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp pure maple syrup

3 tbsp unsweetened non-dairy milk

1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla

2-3 tbsp non-dairy chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, dry ingredients from rolled oats to sea salt, stirring to mix well. In another bowl, combine the chia with the pumpkin, maple syrup, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla, whisking through to smooth out the pumpkin puree.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring through until nicely incorporated – and adding the chocolate chips, if using (see note). Use a cookie scoop (or take spoonfuls, about 2 tablespoons in size) to transfer mounds of the batter to the baking sheet. Bake for 13-14 minutes until just firm to the touch (about 14 minutes for a yield of 12 snackles, and 13 minutes for yield of 12).  Remove from the oven, and let cool on the pan for about a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack.  Makes 12-13.

Pumpkin Note:  The consistency of canned pumpkin puree can vary.  I use Farmer’s Market brand, and it is very thick and dense.

Kitchen Tip: I sometimes make these and add chocolate chips to only half the batch.  Scoop out about half the batter, then stir in a few chocolate chips, and finish off scooping the batch!

Ideas:  Try adding toasted chopped pecans to these snackles.

Pumpkin Snackles by Dreena Burton #vegan #wholefoods #plantbased

Do you love baking and cooking with pumpkin?  What is your favorite recipe?

Gluten-Free Pie Crust and Apple-Of-My-Eye Pie (from Let Them Eat Vegan)

Today I am delighted to share my GLUTEN-FREE APPLE PIE  via a guest post from Livvy Zimmerman.  I first ‘met’ Livvy after she posted about one of my recipes.  Her photos were gorgeous, and she was a sweetheart to connect with. Later, she posted more Recipes from Let Them Eat Vegan – so beautifully and with such high praise.
Before LTEV was even published I have been eager to share the recipe for my Gluten-Free Pie Crust.  I worked through many (many) trials to finally strike gold with this gluten-free pie crust.  Like some of my best and favorite recipes, the testing took a while – but in the end was worth it.  This pie crust was a big hit with my testers, and many people have reported back to me that this crust is now their “go-to” pie crust, vegan or not.  It has a beautiful nutty taste, and is more forgiving than traditional pie pastry dough (surprisingly, as it is gluten-free).  As much as I have wanted to share this recipe, I knew I wouldn’t get the proper space or time to map out a set of step-by-step photos for you to do this recipe justice.  When I approached Livvy about doing a guest post to share a photo tutorial, she enthusiastically accepted.  (And I was ever so appreciative.)

Before launching into the post, here is a little more about this talented, generous, and dynamic woman, Livvy Zimmerman:

I am so excited to be guest-posting on Plant Powered Kitchen today! Beyond excited, actually. You see, Dreena Burton is my Vegan Super Hero. When I decided to go vegan in February of this year, her newest cookbook, Let Them Eat Vegan!, quickly became my go-to resource for a few reasons. For one, her recipes always taste great – they never fail me. Secondly, Dreena focusses on whole foods rather than processed foods. I found that many vegan cookbooks often use processed meat substitutes in the recipes. To me, that defeats the purpose of a plant-powered diet. And lastly, this cookbook contains far more than recipes. From suggested kitchen ware to vegan pantry definitions to Dreena’s helpful side notes, she’s got you covered.

Some of my favorite recipes from Let Them Eat Vegan! are Black Bean, Quinoa, and Sweet Potato Spicy Croquettes with Pumpkin Seed Chipotle Cream (preparation is far less complex than the title), Raisinet” Cookies and Juicy Grilled Portobellos. Most recently, her Apple-of-My-Eye Pie with Gluten-Free Piecrust has joined the ranks.

Gluten-Free Apple Pie! #vegan #glutenfree #dairyfree #soyfree #plantbased #pie #applepie www.plantpoweredkitchen.com
The rich, nutty flavor and hearty texture of this piecrust will make you forget it’s gluten-free. And the sweet, buttery apple filling is so simple, so pure. I don’t know how or why it has a buttery taste, but I don’t care. I just love it. Even if you don’t require gluten-free, this might just become your new go-to pie crust recipe. It’s that good.
GLUTEN-FREE PIECRUST RECIPE Link for RECIpage to print/share
The cookbook includes ingredient measurements for both a single crust and a double crust. For this pie, you’ll need a double crust.
Note: Ingredients pictured here are measured out for a single piecrust.
1 1/2 cups almond meal
3/4 cup rice flour or sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch flour
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1/4 cup unrefined sugar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. xanthum gum
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. organic extra-virgin coconut oil, at room temperature
7 1/2 to 8 Tbsp. ice-cold plain nondairy milk
In a food processor, combine everything EXCEPT the coconut oil and milk. Process for a few seconds to mix the ingredients. (Depending on the capacity of your food processor, you may need to do this in a couple of batches.)
Add the coconut oil, and pulse briefly to begin to break up and incorporate.
Add a few tablespoons of the milk, pulsing, and continue to add 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough has just come together and has started to form a ball. (As you can see above, it doesn’t have to be one unified ball – just enough so that it comes together.)
I just noticed that these two balls of dough resemble a pair of knockers 😉  It IS Breast Cancer Awareness Month, after all. Have you done your self-exam?!
Remove the dough from the processor, divide in half and shape into two balls. If the dough has become warm, shape into a flattened disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.
(You can also refrigerate this dough for a few days before using, and remove from fridge for an hour or two before rolling, long enough for the coconut oil to soften again in the dough.)

When ready to use, you can try rolling/pressing out one ball of dough between a layer of parchment paper and plastic wrap, then transferring the dough to the greased pie plate. However, I found it MUCH EASIER to put the ball directly into the pie plate, and press it all around the bottom and sides of the plate with my hands. Do what works best for you.
Place this bottom crust (in the pie plate) into the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes. No need to pre-bake the crust.
Meanwhile, prepare your top crust by placing the second ball of dough (slightly flattened) on a large piece of parchment paper. Cover with a large sheet of plastic wrap and press dough into a large circle (a little larger than your pie plate) using your hands. You can try using a rolling pin, but I found using my hands was much easier. Set aside.

APPLE-OF-MY-EYE PIE RECIPE Link for RECIpage to print/share

2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
3 Tbsp. tapioca starch flour
1/4 cup unrefined sugar (I like coconut sugar)
1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. sea salt
6 cups peeled, cored, and thinly sliced apples*
1 double piecrust (recipe above)
Splash of nondairy milk, to brush pastry
1 to 2 tsp. unrefined sugar, for sprinkling
Dreena suggests a combination of Fuji and Spartan, or a tart apple combined with a sweeter, crunchier variety such as Gala. I used Fuji and Golden Delicious. My apples were quite large, so I only needed 3 of each. I purchased an apple peeler/slicer/corer gadget for this recipe because the thought of doing this by hand seemed daunting (in reality, it’s probably not that bad). For less than $20, I’d say it’s worth the time you’ll save. Plus it’s kind of fun to use. The only thing is, mine didn’t have the capability to adjust the slicing thickness. I would have preferred the slices to be a little thinner.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.
In a bowl large enough to hold all the apples, combine the lemon juice with the maple syrup and tapioca starch flour, stirring or whisking well to incorporate fully. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt.
Add the apple slices to the mixture and toss to coat.
Transfer the filling to the bottom piecrust.
It can be challenging to transfer the top crust to the pie, so I opted for a faux-lattice top crust design by cutting the crust into about 1″ strips and spacing them out somewhat evenly over the pie filling in one direction, then the opposite direction, and pinching the edges together. (I used a metal ruler to move the strips from the parchment paper to the pie.) If you choose a traditional full top crust, be sure to cut a few slits to allow the steam to exit while baking. Brush top crust with the milk and sprinkle a teaspoon or two of sugar over the top.

Place the pie in the oven (with a baking sheet on the rack underneath to catch any drippings) and bake for 20 minutes. Then lower heat to 350°F and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and the juices are thickened and bubbling. Watch that the outer edges don’t brown too fast. To check for doneness, pierce through the pie (where open or vented) with a skewer or sharp knife. If the apples are not tender when pierced, allow to cook for another 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven, transfer to a cooling rack, and allow to cool for an hour or more before serving. This pie is delicious served with vanilla nondairy ice cream!
Makes you want to go apple picking, doesn’t it? Dreena might be Canadian, but she nailed this American tradition, all while keeping it vegan AND gluten-free. Girl’s got skills 😉

If you’re looking for more home runs, be sure to check out my blog, 86 Lemons, where I test all kinds of vegan and sometimes gluten-free recipes, craft/DIY projects and various products – then report back to you on which ones are worth your time. There are just too many ‘lemons’ out there and I’m determined to ’86’ them. If you’re confused by that last sentence, it’s decoded here.  Happy Fall to you!

My sincere thanks to Livvy for that exceptional post.  You are welcome in my plant-powered kitchen anytime Livvy.

You can follow Livvy on twitterfacebook, and Pinterest.  Why not show this savvy lady – and my gluten-free apple pie – some pinterest love?  😀

Thanks to Ricki Heller for including this recipe in her Wellness Weekend – check out the entire line up of healthy vegan recipes!

Have you ever made a gluten-free pie crust?  Perhaps bookmark this one for your upcoming US Thanksgiving!

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie & Festive Chickpea Tart with Cranberry Sauce

I have another pumpkin recipe for you today – plus a couple of festive recipes perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all your holiday celebrations!

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie by Dreena Burton #vegan

Let’s start with dessert.  Why not, it’s the chapter of cookbooks we flip to first, right?  This Chocolate Pumpkin Pie is one of my favorite recipes.  (Do I keep saying that?)  But, it’s true!  And, I know my readers have loved it over the years.  Why?  Partly because it is SO darn easy to make, and also because it doesn’t use things like vegan sour cream and vegan cream cheese (a lot of pumpkin pie recipes tend to).  This is a very rich pie, so as I say, a little slice will do ya’!

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie soy-free

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This pie is rich and decadent, so a little slice will do!

1 1/4 cups non-dairy chocolate chips
1 can (14-oz/415-ml) organic pumpkin pie mix (I use Farmer’s Market Organic brand)
2 tbsp unrefined sugar
2 tsp arrowroot powder
1/8 tsp (rounded) sea salt
1 prepared pie crust of choice (optional – this pie is so rich, you can really make it without any crust)
2 tbsp non-dairy chocolate chips, optional (for garnish)

Preheat oven to 425°F (220ºC). Fit a metal or glass bowl over a saucepan on medium-low heat and filled with several inches of water (or use a double-boiler). Add 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips to bowl and stir occasionally as water simmers (not boils), letting chocolate melt. While chocolate is melting, in a food processor, add pumpkin pie mix (scraping out everything from can), sugar, arrowroot powder, and salt. Purée until very smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Once chocolate is melted, add to food processor and purée with pumpkin mixture, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Pour mixture into pie crust (scraping out all filling) and tip pie back and forth gently to evenly distribute filling (if not using a crust, wipe/spray your pie plate with a smidgen of oil). Sprinkle on 2 tbsp chocolate chips.

Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350ºF (180ºC) and bake for another 35 minutes, until pie is set (the center may be soft, but it will set further as it cools). Carefully remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Let cool completely before slicing, refrigerating if desired.

Note: You can use any pie crust of choice, including a wheat-free or gluten-free crust (see Let Them Eat Vegan for both wheat-free and gluten-free pie crusts).

Next, for your Thanksgiving dinner, the main course!  I have received rave reviews about this savory tart from Let Them Eat Vegan.  It is pretty easy to make, and you can even bake it without a crust if you prefer.  Definitely the centrepiece for your holiday dinners.

photo credit: toliveandeatinla.com

Festive Chickpea Tart gluten-free option, oil-free option

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Move over faux turkeys! This savory tart takes center plate with its combination of chickpeas, crunchy walnuts, spinach, and seasonings nestled together. This dish is elegant enough to serve for holiday gatherings, but also easy enough to make for a family dinner any time of the year.

1/2 – 1 tbsp olive oil (or water for oil-free)
1 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
4-5 medium-large garlic cloves, minced
1⁄4 tsp sea salt
Few pinches freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chickpeas, reserve 1/3 cup
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp tamari
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted
1/3 cup rolled oats (optional, see note)
1 – 10 oz pckg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove excess water (about 1 cup after squeezing)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 tsp dried thyme added to puree)

1 prepared whole-wheat pastry pie crust, thawed (see note)
1/2 tbsp olive oil (optional, omit for oil-free)
1 tsp tamari
2 tbsp walnuts, chopped (for topping, no need to toast beforehand)

Add oil, onion, celery, garlic, salt and pepper in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook 9-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and turning golden. In a food processor, add chickpeas (except reserved 1/3 cup), lemon juice, tamari, sage, salt, and sautéed mixture, and partially puree (not fully like hummus, but leaving some chunkier consistency). Add toasted walnuts and oats, and briefly pulse to lightly break up nuts. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in spinach, cranberries, parsley, thyme, and reserved chickpeas. Transfer mixture to pie shell (or lightly oiled pie plate, see note), smoothing to evenly distribute. Combine oil and tamari, and brush over top. Sprinkle on walnuts. Bake in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until tart is golden on edges and top. Cool 5-10 minutes, then serve with cranberry sauce, a spoon drizzling of oil/balsamic vinegar slurry, or other sauce of choice.  Serves 4-5.

Note: The rolled oats, while lending some structure to the tart, can easily be omitted.

Note: This tart can be made without the pastry crust, if needed. Do not over bake as tart will tend to dry out without a crust.

And, I think you need cranberry sauce on the side.  This recipe is also a reader favorite, from eat, drink and be vegan.

Festive Chickpea Tart by Dreena Burton #vegan

Traditional Cranberry Sauce gluten-free, oil-free, soy-free

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You’ll never buy another store-brand cranberry sauce after you’ve tasted this one – and, it’s a breeze to make!

1½ cups fresh cranberries, rinsed (see note)
½ cup pure maple syrup
¼ tsp sea salt
1 tsp balsamic vinegar (optional)

In a pot on medium-high heat, combine ingredients and bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer for 10–15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have broken down. (Reduce heat is sauce is sticking or is simmering too rapidly.) Once sauce has thickened, taste test, and add balsamic vinegar for a touch of sourness if desired. Serve warm or chilled. Makes about 1 cup.

Note: Frozen cranberries can also be used; just continue simmering until cranberries break down into entire mixture thickens and becomes deeper in color.

Have you planned your holiday menu?… what are you making?

Pumpkin Pie Custards with Brulee Topping (vegan and gluten-free)

I have been teasing you, my patient readers, with these Pumpkin Pie Custards for two years.  I think that might be vegan foodie cruelty.  In my defense, I did get the recipe out in the spring when Let Them Eat Vegan was published.  But, who’s eating pumpkin then?  (‘fess up if it’s you!)

But, it’s time.  I’m long overdue sharing this most fabulous recipe with you.  This is one of my fave-fave-FAVE recipes!  I make it every year during the holidays and it is a complete show-shopping, crowd-pleasing, please-give-me-the-recipe” recipe.  You can make it without the brulee topping, but it really is quite extraordinary with it!

This dessert is absolutely perfect for Thanksgiving or any holiday celebration. Bookmark it and share it, it’s one you’ll come back to!

Pumpkin Pie Custards with Brulee Topping #vegan #glutenfree #wfpb #oilfree www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

Pumpkin Pie Custards with Brulee Topping gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free 

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These custards are magical—creamy, luscious, and like having a mini pumpkin pie (without the crust!) all to yourself! These are on our annual Thanksgiving and Christmas menus, definitely make them for your holiday celebrations — and with the brûlée topping!

2/3 cup pumpkin puree (pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling), packed (I use Farmer’s Market Organic brand)

½ cup raw cashews

1 ¼ cups plain unsweetened non-dairy milk (almond or soy preferred, but choices is yours)

½ cup unrefined sugar (ex: coconut sugar)

¼ cup pure maple syrup

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 ¼ tsp agar powder

1 tsp arrowroot powder

1 tsp cinnamon

Few pinches freshly ground nutmeg

Pinch or two allspice

Pinch or two ground cloves

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

¼ tsp sea salt

Few teaspoons unrefined sugar for caramelized topping (optional, see note)

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place 5 or 6 ramekins (This is the size/type I have, they are about 3 1/4″ in diameter, and 2″ deep, holding about 3/4 cup) in an 8 by 11-inch glass baking dish. Bring roughly 3 cups of water to a boil in a kettle.  Meanwhile, in a blender (I use my rambo blender (aka Blendtec), it really is worth investing in for exceptional plant-powered recipes), combine all the ingredients (except the sugar for topping) and puree until very, very smooth. (I use a Blendtec; if you don’t have a high-powered blender, you will need to blend for a longer time, and scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times.)  Pour the boiled water into the baking dish to surround the ramekins (but don’t get any water in the ramekins). Then pour the pureed pumpkin mixture evenly into each ramekin. If using six ramekins (mine are 3 inches in diameter—from the inside—and almost 2 inches deep), they will be about two-thirds full; if using five, they will be just about completely full. Carefully place the baking dish into the oven. Bake for 32 to 34 minutes, until the custards are set around the edges but a touch looser in the center.  Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and let cool slightly until you can safely remove and transfer each custard to a cooling rack. Let cool a little more. The custards are best still a little warm, but can also be served chilled.

Make It More-ish! Turn these custards into Pumpkin Brûlée! Sprinkle 1⁄2 to 1 teaspoon of unrefined sugar over the top, and then use either a small butane torch or oven broiler to caramelize it. If using the oven broiler: Set the oven to BROIL, and then place the individual ramekins under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes. Check after 3 minutes, and then again at the 4-minute mark. If not done, broil for another minute or so. If doing this brûlée finish, do it soon before serving, as the crunchy topping will soften if prepared too long in advance.

With Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, this dessert would be a perfect addition to your plant-powered menu.  I’ll have a few more ideas this week, stay tuned.

photo credit: Anna Pelzer

Have you ever had a pumpkin custard?  If you are in Canada, what is your plant-powered Thanksgiving menu?