Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Do you frequently have bananas that are past their prime? Tired of the same old banana bread? If you answered yes to one or both of these questions, Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Muffins is the solution! They are healthy enough to eat for breakfast, but delicious enough to eat for a snack, dessert or any time of day. I tend to think that making muffins is better than making a loaf, because they 1) take about half the time to bake as a loaf, and 2) are easy to portion, no slicing required.

Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

This recipe comes together quickly and easily. The best part is that you can mix it all in one bowl, so you don’t have much to clean up. These vegan peanut butter banana muffins call for millet, which you probably do not have on hand. Yes, millet looks like bird seed, but it really adds a nice crunch to your muffins and makes them look prettier too. So don’t leave them out. Make the extra effort to get your hands on some. You won’t regret it. I have found that I like millet so much that I am trying to figure out ways to incorporate it into other recipes. You’ll probably be seeing it here again in the future.

Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

These vegan peanut butter banana muffins also call for that powdered peanut butter stuff. I avoided this stuff for quite a while, because it just seemed weird to me. But one day, while on Instagram, I saw a recipe where someone used the powdered peanut butter, and I knew I needed to get some. So far, I haven’t been disappointed. PB Fit works great in this recipe, and I have also used it for a chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie. If you don’t want to commit to powdered peanut butter, you can try using regular peanut butter, but I’m not sure what your results will be. Please let me know how it worked in the comments below, if you do decide to use regular peanut butter.

I am giving you weights for a lot of the ingredients in this recipe. If you haven’t bought a decent cheap kitchen scale yet, what are you waiting for? Do it! You dirty a lot less dishes when you weigh your ingredients. That alone should be incentive enough. I have been through a few kitchen scales already and really like my current one, which I bought from Amazon. It is the Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen & Food Scale, and currently costs $13.95. It weighs in grams, milliliters, pounds and ounces. The best part is that it takes regular batteries. All of the scales that I had in the past used the same type of batteries that wrist watches use. Those batteries are expensive, come in many different sizes and are a pain to find. So, please, if you haven’t already, get yourself a kitchen scale.

Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

  • 300 grams (about 3) very ripe banana, mashed
  • 120 grams (1/2 cup) organic sugar, (natural, light brown or dark brown, whichever you have on hand & want to use)
  • 120 grams (1/2 cup) sunflower oil
  • 2 Tablespoons organic flax seeds, ground (measure them whole and then grind them)
  • 60 grams (1/2 cup) organic oat flour (I buy organic whole rolled oats and then grind them in my coffee grinder, usually at the same time as the flax seeds)
  • 150 grams (1 cup) organic whole wheat flour
  • 48 grams (1/2 cup) organic PB Fit (powdered peanut butter)
  • 1/4 cup of organic raw millet (I buy mine dirt cheap in the bulk section of Whole Foods)
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together mashed banana, sugar and oil. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until well combined.

Scoop your batter out evenly between the 12 muffin cups. It should take about 1/3 cup for each one. If you have a 1/3 cup portion scoop, it makes life easier. I don’t. I have a 1/4 cup scoop, so I use that but scoop a little extra each time. Just do what you can to make them as much the same size as possible. They will bake more evenly that way and all finish baking at the same time.

Pop them into the oven. They will take anywhere between 20 and 30 minutes to bake. You will know when they are done with the old toothpick test. Take a toothpick and insert it in the center of the center-most muffin. If it comes out clean, then they are done. Make sure you rotate the muffins halfway through bake time. When they are finished, allow to cool in the pan for 5 or 10 minutes. Then remove them from the pan and place them on a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Enjoy them any time!

Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Pudding

Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Pudding

As you might be able to see, I am currently experimenting with some vegan recipes. It’s really easy to make some super yummy sweet treat out of ingredients that aren’t necessarily that great for your health. Even if all of those ingredients are organic. I have taken it as a sort of challenge to see if I can make sweet treats that are not only healthy and packed with nutrients, but are also really delicious. This raw vegan dark chocolate pudding is a definite winner when it comes to healthy, nutrient-dense and, above all, delicious!

I have a lot of people on Instagram who inspire me. One of those inspirational people is Lisa at www.chocolatemeetsstrawberry.com. A couple of weeks ago, she wrote a post called “Healthy Chocolate Pudding for One.” Both of our recipes have ingredients that will surprise you. I had heard of this type of chocolate pudding nearly a decade ago. When I read Lisa’s post, I decided to give it a shot. But since I can’t leave well enough alone, I decided to put a little different spin on it. I think it might also be a little more acceptable to people who are just testing the waters of a more healthy lifestyle.

Chocolate pudding made with avocado? What?! There, it’s out in the open now. Yes, avocado is the mystery ingredient. For those of you new to this, take a deep breath. I promise you that it is really delicious, and no one will ever know that it’s made with avocado. I challenge you to try it out. As with a few of my recipes, this is best made and refrigerated at least eight hours before eating. I think the ingredients need time to chill and get to know each other.

This raw vegan dark chocolate pudding is so packed with nutrients, that it would be perfectly acceptable to eat it for breakfast. Avocados are loaded with several vitamins, B5, B6, C, E, K and folate and have more potassium than bananas. They also contain plenty of heart-healthy fat in the form of oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fatty acid. If you have been living under a rock and haven’t heard how good avocados are for you, just Google “health benefits of avocados.” There is really no reason you shouldn’t be eating this delicious fruit! If you don’t know the health benefits of the ingredients in this pudding, do the same thing for all of the ingredients. I promise you, I’m giving you a recipe for something super healthy and super delicious at the same time. Who wouldn’t want to eat chocolate pudding for dessert? And even better, who wouldn’t want to eat chocolate pudding for breakfast? Guilt free!!

Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Pudding

Here’s a shot of all of the ingredients that I used. If you have any questions about where I get any of my ingredients, please ask in the comments below.

Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Pudding

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 banana
  • 30 grams of organic honey
  • 2 packets (or 6 grams) of granular stevia
  • 28 grams (5 Tablespoons) raw organic cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon organic Ceylon cinnamon
  • 14 grams (2 Tablespoons) organic virgin coconut oil
  • 65 grams (about 2 Tablespoons) organic light canned coconut milk
  • a pinch or two of pink Himalayan salt
Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Pudding

This is a happy dessert!

You could do this in a blender or a food processor if you don’t have an immersion blender. I’m giving instructions for an immersion blender since that is what I used. Put all ingredients into a glass 4-cup measuring cup. Insert an immersion blender and pulse on high until things get a bit mixed.

Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Pudding

Blending up the ingredients

Then blend on high, moving the stick around and up and down a bit until it reaches a creamy consistency. This takes 30 seconds to one minute. Spoon about a half of a cup (about 125 ml) into similar sized dessert ramekins or dessert cups. You should be able to get 3 to 4 servings out of this recipe. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours before serving. Top with unsweetened, shredded coconut, a light dusting of cinnamon, sliced strawberries, cacao nibs, chopped nuts, or other such yummy topping. Enjoy and know that even though it tastes decadent and sinful that it is really good for you!!

Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Pudding

Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls

Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls

I know what you’re thinking already. How can anything with “vegan” in the name taste good? “Vegans only eat beans, kale and alfalfa sprouts,” I can hear you saying. Well, I’m here to fix that thinking for you. These vegan peanut cacao bliss balls really do taste good, and none of the ingredients are beans, kale or alfalfa sprouts. I promise.

Besides being super yummy, these little bites of deliciousness are also healthy and really easy to make. You only need five ingredients, and there is no cooking or baking required. And each ingredient has a myriad of health benefits. Let’s go through some of them before we get to the recipe, shall we?

Peanuts, which have gotten a bad rap in recent years due to peanut allergies, are first. Peanuts are delicious, and I feel sorry for anyone who has a peanut allergy. They are rich in monounsaturated fat, which is the heart-healthy fat found in the Mediterranean diet. Peanuts also contain vitamin E, niacin, folate, resveratrol, oleic acid and antioxidants. And roasting peanuts actually boosts their antioxidant content. If you would like to read more about the health benefits of peanuts, please click here.

Cacao is next. Cacao is not cocoa, so please don’t confuse the two. Cocoa is that bitter, processed powder that you have probably used to make hot chocolate or chocolate cake and/or frosting. You can actually use raw cacao powder in the same recipes, but the difference is notable. Since I found raw, organic cacao powder on Amazon, I haven’t even considered ever using cocoa again. If you would like to know, I buy Healthworks Raw Certified Organic Cacao Powder on Amazon. It’s a fantastic deal! This stuff is truly a superfood. Cacao contains high levels of powerful antioxidants that have numerous health benefits. If you would like to read more about the health benefits of cacao, please click here.

Dates are used in this recipe as a binder and a sweetener instead of sugar. Plus, dates have the added benefit of having significant health benefits with which sugar just can’t compete. Dates contain a variety of vitamins and minerals as well as fiber and have a long history of traditional uses. Modern research has backed up long standing beliefs about the fruit. If you would like to learn more about the health history and benefits of dates, please click here.

Honey is also used as a sweetener in this recipe. You have probably used honey to sweeten tea or lemon water when you have a sore throat. Besides as a sweetener, do you have any idea why you do that? It’s not just to sweeten your beverage or to coat your throat. Honey actually has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Honey also contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. If you would like to read more about the health benefits of honey, please click here.

The last ingredient is vanilla extract, which, I have read, contains antioxidants and can boost mood and enhance mental performance. If you would like to read more about this, please click here.

See! I told you there would be no beans, kale or alfalfa sprouts!

Enough with how good it is for you. Let’s get on with the recipe so you can find out how good they taste in your mouth!

Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls

Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls

  • 120 grams of roasted, salted peanuts
  • 120 grams of pitted medjool dates
  • 15 grams (2.5 tablespoons) of raw organic cacao powder
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw organic honey
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls

Here’s a shot of the ingredients that I used in this recipe.

Put peanuts, dates and cacao powder in the bowl of your food processor. Process for a few seconds to chop and mix everything up a bit. Add the vanilla extract and a tablespoon of the honey. Process on high for about a minute. Everything should be well chopped, combined and a loose dough should form. Pinch a bit into a ball and see if it will hold together. Have a taste and see if you want to add more honey or leave it the way it is. If it’s not holding together, process it until you can get it to hold together.

Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls

This is not a lovely picture, but it’s to show you what your dough should look like when it’s ready.

Scrape everything out into a bowl and use a small cookie scoop to make equal sized portions.

Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls

Scooping dough with a cookie scoop is the most effective way to get equally sized bliss balls.

Roll together in the palm of your hand to form a firm ball.

Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls

This is how your bliss balls should look after rolling them in the palm of your hand. Your hand will also be greasy. Think of it as moisturizer.

Once you have done this with all of the dough, for best flavor, refrigerate overnight. For some reason, these taste better after they have had a chance for the ingredients to blend together. So they actually taste better the day after you make them than right away. Eat and enjoy.

Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls

Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls ready to eat!

Keep any uneaten bliss balls in the fridge until you are ready to eat them. With the size I made, this recipe yielded about 25.

Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls

I put the bliss balls onto a flat-bottomed bowl and covered with plastic wrap to refrigerate.

If you make this recipe, please let me know. Follow me @organicandrea on Instagram and tag me in your recipe photos. Also be sure to like the Organic Andrea Facebook page.

Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls

Vegan Peanut Cacao Bliss Balls

Strawberry Cupcakes From Scratch

It is strawberry season again. Strawberry season actually starts here around the new year. No matter what time of year it is, these strawberry cupcakes from scratch are sure to be a favorite!

Back in the days when I really didn’t understand what kind of horrible things were in processed food, I had a recipe for strawberry cupcakes that called for a boxed cake mix and a box of strawberry Jell-O. My grandmother gave me this recipe. She had been using this recipe, I think, since the advent of boxed cake mixes and Jell-O. Everyone loved this strawberry cake. I used to get many requests to make it. I can’t tell you how many times I made this recipe. If you have been my friend or worked with me in the past 10 years, chances are you have eaten it.

About four or five years ago, I started learning about the health risks of the ingredients in most processed foods here in the United States. I started reading labels and ingredients differently. I cleared out my kitchen and pantry. I converted a lot of my old recipes to fit the new, healthier lifestyle. The strawberry cake recipe was one that I had never been able to convert successfully. I refused to eat a boxed cake mix or Jell-O, not even for a treat.

Recently they were reading the book Pinkalicious in my youngest daughters preschool class. In this book, the main character turns pink from eating pink muffins. I imagine it was because she was eating the ones made with the artificial food dyes, but I digress. Anyway, they were going to have a Pinkalicious party on Friday. I didn’t want my daughter eating anything artificially colored or any GMO garbage that I work so hard to keep out of our diets. Plus I didn’t want her to miss out on the party fun. So I volunteered to make strawberry cupcakes for the party.

I had to make the cupcakes with the thing I already had on hand in my house. I didn’t want to use a homemade cake that called for butter, because 1. it’s expensive and 2. I didn’t have much and I wasn’t going to go to the grocery store to get any. So I had to look for a recipe for a homemade cake that uses oil instead of butter. I did an internet search and found a recipe on Rachel Ray’s website for The Cake Boss’ Vanilla Cake. Of course I can never leave well enough alone. I couldn’t just use the vanilla cake recipe and just put strawberry frosting on top. Nooooo. I had never made this recipe without changing a thing to see if it actually turned out right or not. So I was keeping my fingers crossed that this would all work out.

I happened to have a box of Swan’s Down cake flour that had been sitting around unopened and unused for what seemed like an eternity. I checked the date on the bottom of the box, and low and behold, it was coming up very soon. Now, I know that Swan’s Down isn’t organic. But this website is about realistic organic living. I could have used organic all-purpose flour, because I always have it in my pantry. But, I also didn’t want to be wasteful and let the Swan’s Down just get chucked in the trash. It only has one ingredient on the box, which is enriched cake flour. I figured it’s not so bad. The Cake Boss’ recipe actually calls for all-purpose flour, but I think cake flour turns out a more delicate crumb for your cake. You can use either one, if you don’t have cake flour.

Strawberries had to somehow be added to the cake batter. Since puréed strawberries add more liquid to the recipe, I had to figure out how to subtract from the liquids that the Cake Boss’ recipe called for and add in the strawberries. In all, my final recipe ended up having a 1/4 cup more liquid that the Cake Boss’ recipe. But the cupcakes turned out really moist. Who likes a dry cake?

I won’t bore you with any more of my mad scientist cupcake nonsense. Let’s get on to the recipe, shall we.

Strawberry Cupcakes From Scratch

Strawberry Cake From Scratch

For the cake:

2 cups (14 oz. or 400 grams) organic sugar

4 organic eggs

2 1/2 cups (10 oz. or 283 grams) cake flour, organic if you have it

3/4 cup (6 oz. or 175 ml) organic whole milk

3/4 cup (6 oz. or 175 ml) sunflower oil, organic if you have it

1/2 cup (4 oz. or 120 ml) organic strawberry purée

2 1/4 teaspoons (11 ml) baking powder, non-GMO, like Rumford brand

1 teaspoon (5 ml) organic vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). If you are making cupcakes, this recipe makes about 30 regular sized cupcakes, so you will need enough cupcake papers and pans for that amount. If you are going to make cake, you can butter or oil and flour whatever size pan or pans you are going to use. You can make one 9X13-inch pan or two 8- or 9-inch round or square pans. Make sure when you grease your pans, don’t miss a single little spot, because I promise you that it will stick right in that spot.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and eggs together at medium to medium-high speed until it starts to thicken, anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes. While you are doing that, sift together your cake flour and your baking powder into separate bowl. Also prep your liquid ingredients. You can use one 2-cup measuring cup for all of your liquids. Once your sugar mixture has thickened up, add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed while adding half of the liquid mixture. Stop the mixer and scrape from the bottom and down the sides of the bowl. Add the other half of the flour mixture, mixing on low speed. While still mixing on low speed, add the remaining half of your liquid mixture. Mix until combined. Don’t overmix. Make sure you scrape the bowl up from the bottom and down the sides to make sure everything is well combined and mixed. Your batter will be rather on the liquid side.

For regular-sized cupcakes, scoop 1/4 cup (2 oz. or 60 ml) into each of the cupcake papers. Bake for 9 minutes, rotate pans and bake for an additional 9 minutes or until cake springs back when pressed lightly in the middle with your index finger.

If you are making cake, pour the batter into your pans. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, rotate pans and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until cake springs back when pressed lightly in the middle with your index finger.

For the frosting:

1 stick (4 oz. or 113 grams) organic butter, mine is salted

1 to 1 1/2 pounds (16 to 24 oz. or 450 to 680 grams) of organic powdered sugar

1/2 cup (4 oz. or 120 ml) organic strawberry purée

Put butter into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add one pound of powdered sugar and beat on low until it’s obvious you need to add the strawberries, because it’s too dry to do anything else. This won’t take long. Go ahead and add the strawberries. Here’s where the other half pound of sugar comes into play. If you want to make your frosting stiff enough to pipe onto the cupcakes a la swirly soft-serve ice cream cones, you’ll be adding more powdered sugar. Add more powdered sugar a half of a cup at a time. This process takes time. To make creamy frosting, you need to beat it longer than you think you should. And the thing about the strawberry frosting is that the more you beat it, the more liquid it becomes. Thus the necessity of adding more sugar. You might even use more than a pound and a half to reach the right consistency for piping cupcake frosting swirls. For the picture of my cupcake, I could have definitely added more sugar. My swirls kind of melted. But I’m also kind of appalled at eating that much sugar at one time, so I opted for less sugar. You decide how much you want to add. Once you have reached the consistency you want for your frosting, go ahead and frost your cake or cupcakes.

Keep your finished cake or cupcakes in tightly sealed containers in the refrigerator. They are good cold or at room temperature. They will keep in the refrigerator for at least a week, if they stick around that long.

If you make this recipe, or any of my recipes, I would love to hear your experience. Please leave a comment below. Also, if you have any suggestions about what you would like me to write about, let me know.

Vanilla Flan

Easy Organic Vanilla Flan

Happy New Year everyone! This has been an unseasonably warm winter, even for Florida. I think new record high temperatures were set for December. It was a bit hard to get into the holiday spirit with such warm weather. So instead, in the spirit of the milder temperatures, I decided to go tropical and make a creamy, delicious and easy organic vanilla flan! My husband lived for many years in Madrid, and he says that this is the best flan he has ever eaten.
I should tell you that this is not a make it and eat it the same day kind of dessert. You should definitely make it the day before you want to serve it. If you have never made flan before, what are you waiting for? It is really easy. I promise. The most challenging part is making the caramel sauce, but that really isn’t difficult either. And all you need are six ingredients! Are you ready? Let’s make flan!

Easy Organic Vanilla Flan

Easy Organic Vanilla Flan after inversion onto a plate.

Easy Organic Vanilla Flan
2/3 cup organic sugar
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed organic orange juice
1 14 ounce can organic sweetened condensed milk
1 12 ounce can organic evaporated milk
5 large organic eggs
1 tablespoon organic vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Get a small to medium sized heavy saucepan. Add your sugar and orange juice. Cook over medium-high heat stirring constantly until sugar dissolves and the mixture turns a golden-amber color. You don’t want it to get too dark or it will taste burnt. Remove from heat and pour directly into an 8- or 9-inch round cake pan. With oven mitts on, quickly move around cake pan to cover the bottom with the caramel sauce. The caramel sauce will cool and set up into a hard-candy mass in a very short time. Plus, the temperature of the sauce will make the pan very hot also, so be sure to wear oven mitts.

This next step can be done a variety of different ways. You can use a blender, immersion blender, a bowl and whisk, whatever. Choose your method. I prefer the immersion blender method. Combine the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, eggs and vanilla and blend well. Pour this mixture into the cake pan on top of the caramel sauce. Tightly cover the pan with aluminum foil. Take the cake pan and set it inside of a larger (and equally deep, but not deeper) pan. Put this into the oven add hot water to the larger, outer pan to halfway up the side of the cake pan holding the flan mixture. This is a water bath, what the French call a Bain Marie. It helps cook the flan to a creamy consistency instead of a scrambled egg consistency. Believe me, you don’t want to do this without the water bath. Bake the flan in the water bath for 50 minutes to an hour. Remove it from the oven and from the water bath and place into the refrigerator overnight.

When you are ready to serve the flan, remove it from the refrigerator. Run a clean knife around the outside edge of the cake pan to loosen it from the sides of the pan. Place your serving plate upside-down onto the cake pan. Hold on to the plate and the pan and invert. The flan should fall cleanly out of the pan onto your plate with the sauce, which has turned back into a sauce. There will be a little bit of hard caramel stuck to the pan, but hot water and soap should take that right off. Cut your flan with a sharp knife like you would cut a pie. Serve with the sauce and enjoy!!

Vanilla Flan

Sweet Potato Pie

Organic Sweet Potato Pie

If you are a last-minute kind of person and you haven’t yet made your Thanksgiving pie, I’m here to help you out with my organic sweet potato pie recipe! There are all kinds of pies that people make for this American holiday. Most traditional is the pumpkin pie, but there are also apple pie, pecan pie and the Southern favorite, sweet potato pie. Yes, I love pumpkin pie. I’m a huge fan of all things “pumpkin spice” from September until January, but this year, try something new.

For many years I have experimented with sweet potato pie recipes. There was a wonderful little soul food restaurant in downtown Orlando called Johnson’s Diner, that is now closed. They had real Southern food and when they were in their original restaurant space, the combination of the food and the decor reminded me of family reunions at my great-grandmother’s house when I was a kid. Johnson’s also had the best sweet potato pie. Over the past ten years or so, I have tried many different sweet potato pie recipes in an attempt to recreate the one from Johnson’s Diner, and failed. What I have done, at last, is create my own organic sweet potato pie recipe that would make any Southerner happy to serve.

If you aren’t a Southerner and have never tried sweet potato pie, give this a try. If you’re what we Southerners call a Yankee, then you will probably call them yams. No matter whether you call them sweet potatoes or yams, they are all the same thing. But yam pie just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Now, if you haven’t made your pie for Thanksgiving yet, you had better get on it!!

Organic Sweet Potato Pie

  • 1 organic 8- or 9-inch pie shell, unbaked (I used Wholly Wholesome from the freezer section in Whole Foods)
  • 1 pound cooked, cooled, peeled sweet potatoes (or use canned that have been drained and rinsed)
  • 2 organic large eggs
  • 1- 12 oz. can organic sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons organic ground Ceylon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoons organic ground nutmeg (or grate your own on a Microplane)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan pink salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put all ingredients, except pie shell, into a large mixing bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until all ingredients are well combined. Then blend with and immersion blender or regular blender until smooth. Pour into pie shell and smooth the top. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat and continue to bake for another 35 minutes. Don’t forget to rotate the pie in the oven halfway through baking so that it bakes evenly. Once it finishes baking, cool the pie completely. You can eat it at room temperature or your can wrap it and refrigerate it and eat it cold. Try it both ways to see how you like it best. You can eat it like it is or you can top it with fresh organic whipped cream or organic vanilla ice cream.

Organic Sweet Potato Pie

Baked, cooked, peeled and cut sweet potatoes.

Organic Sweet Potato Pie

Sweetened condensed milk, nutmeg and cinnamon that I used.

Organic Sweet Potato Pie

All of the ingredients in the bowl ready for mixing.

Organic Sweet Potato Pie

After mixing and immersion blending. Ready to go into pie shell.

Organic Sweet Potato Pie

Ready for the oven.

Organic Sweet Potato Pie

The pie rises a lot when hot then comes back down when cool, which causes cracking.

Organic Sweet Potato Pie

The finished sweet potato pie with Microplane and whole nutmeg.

Organic Sweet Potato Pie

The finished sweet potato pie with whole nutmeg.

Organic Sweet Potato Pie

A slice of sweet potato pie, ready to eat.

Pumpkin Spice Beignets

Pumpkin Spice Beignets

Sometime in September or early October, I decided that the deep fryer was sitting on the counter collecting dust, taking up space and not getting used. It was clear that either it needed to get packed up or it needed to start getting used on a more regular basis. After perusing my cookbooks and buying a large amount of sunflower oil, I decided on the latter of the two choices.

The first recipe that I decided to try out was a quick and easy beignet recipe. These are not the kind of beignets you will get at Café du Monde in New Orleans. Those kind of beignets use a yeast raised dough and are a lot more work. While I love the yeast raised beignets, this blog is about realistic organic living. Let’s be realistic. Most of us aren’t going to want to spend that kind of time or energy on a Saturday night/Sunday morning to make Café du Monde style beignets. These beignets are more like a cake doughnut. Using a very un-organic analogy, it’s like the difference between a Krispy Kreme doughnut (the Café du Monde beignets)  and a Dunkin’ Donuts doughnut (these beignets). Both are good, but indisputably different. Topped with powdered sugar and served with warm maple syrup, they make a Fall Saturday or Sunday morning magical.

The second time I made these beignets, I tweaked my original recipe and turned it into a pumpkin spice delight to fit the season. This recipe is quick to throw together. You’ll spend more time frying these golden nuggets of deliciousness than you will in preparing the dough. If you don’t have a deep fryer, you can also use a Dutch oven or iron skillet. Just in case you are a fan of coconut oil, like me, please don’t use it in your deep fryer. I have tried it, and it doesn’t work out so well. I usually give my fryer a workout every other Sunday. Realistically, we shouldn’t be eating fried treats any more often than that.

Pumpkin Spice Beignets

Pumpkin Spice Beignets

  • 6 cups sunflower oil for frying
  • 3/4 (6 oz.) cup organic buttermilk
  • 1/2 (4 oz.) cup organic solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 organic large egg
  • 1/4 (2 oz.) cup sunflower oil
  • 2 cups (8 1/2 oz.) organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons non-GMO baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons organic granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon organic ground Ceylon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon organic ground clove
  • organic powdered sugar
  • organic maple syrup

Heat at least 2 inches of oil to 350 degrees in whatever frying device you have decided to use.

Mix the buttermilk, pumpkin, egg and oil together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sea salt and granulated sugar. Combine flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, and stir until smooth.

When the oil is heated to 350 degrees, drop the batter in tablespoon sized dollops into the hot oil. I use a cookie scoop, which looks like a small stainless steel ice cream scoop. Fry four to six beignets at a time. Be sure to leave room for them to expand and move around a bit. Fry the beignets until they are nicely browned on each side, about two minutes per side. Remove from oil and drain on a cooling rack set over a paper towel lined cookie sheet. This keeps the beignets from sitting in and soaking up extra oil.

Put powdered sugar into a fine mesh strainer or sifter and sprinkle over the beignets. Serve with warm maple syrup. This recipe should make enough to generously serve 4.

Pumpkin Spice Beignets

Try out this recipe and let me know what you think. If you would like me to blog about a particular subject or recipe, please leave a comment below. Enjoy!