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!

Oatmeal Two Ways

I kept up on the sugar-free, dairy-free, grain-free diet for exactly two full months. It felt more like two full years. Last Sunday at my two daughters’ birthday party, I decided I would eat whatever I wanted, mainly because I was making a cake that is the best cake ever. Long story short, I didn’t eat that much that day, but I felt a satisfaction that I hadn’t felt for two months. At the end of the day, I said to my husband, “I feel great!” So that was the end of that. Though I am still going to do my best to keep my sugar consumption to a minimum.

Sometime within the last year, my doctor warned me that I was headed down the road toward type-2 diabetes. This is one of my nightmares. I love baking and I love sweets. It’s just part of who I am. Instead of giving up the baking of sweet things that I love, I decided to cut out sugar in other areas of my life. I no longer sweeten my coffee. I didn’t think I would ever be able to drink coffee without sugar, but I have gotten used to it. Along the same line, I also quit eating sweet oatmeal. You might not think that either of these sacrifices really constitutes as a sacrifice, but I used to put two tablespoons of sugar per cup of coffee. And I would drink two cups of coffee each morning. That is 1/4 cup less sugar every morning. I also used to sweeten my oatmeal with 1/4 cup of sugar. That’s a lot of sugar!!

My grandfather had type-2 diabetes for the last decades of his life. Every morning he would eat oatmeal with butter and salt and pepper on it. I always thought that his oatmeal must be disgusting. When I decided to cut the sugar from my oatmeal, I decided to try a little different take on his oatmeal. Have you ever read the directions on a box or can of oatmeal? It says to cook the oatmeal in water with a little salt. Who eats their oatmeal that way? From what I read on the steel-cut oats can, this must be a traditional Scottish way to eat oatmeal. I’m not there yet and I’m not interested in ever getting to that point. I hope my Scottish blood line will forgive me.

You have heard it at one point or another that breakfast is the most important part of the day. I completely agree, but you need to make good choices to fuel your body for the day ahead. This first recipe for oatmeal is hearty and satisfying and will keep you from getting hungry for quite a while. Pair it with some protein, like a handful of almonds or a scrambled egg, and you’ll keep yourself fueled and keep hunger at bay for several hours.

Buttery Oatmeal

My younger daughter, very excited to have buttery oatmeal, that she requested, for breakfast! She won’t eat the sweet oatmeal.

Oatmeal Two Ways — First Buttery Oatmeal, then Sugar and Spice Oatmeal:

Buttery Oatmeal

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup organic whole milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup organic whole rolled oats
  • 1 Tablespoon organic butter

Bring water, milk and salt almost to a boil over high heat in a large, heavy saucepan. Add oats, reduce heat to low and stir. Cook oats until they are almost to the consistency that you like them, anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, depending on what temperature your stove thinks is low. Stir occasionally during cooking. Remember that oats will thicken as they cool, so you don’t want to cook them until they are at the consistency that you like, otherwise, they will be too thick once they are cool enough to eat. Put your oats into a bowl and add butter. Stir and enjoy. You can always add a little more milk, cream or half and half to your oats to thin and cool them. This recipe makes one to two servings, depending on how much oatmeal you like to eat at breakfast.

For extra protein, nutrition and flavor, you can add chopped nuts, chia, hemp or flax seeds to your cooked oatmeal.

Now, for those of you who have children that I cook for on a regular basis, you might want the recipe for the oatmeal that I make for your kids. This is also the way that I used to eat my oatmeal, and the way that my older daughter prefers it. She has gotten used to the buttery oatmeal though. This recipe should make enough for two to three kids, or one to two adults.

Sugar & Spice Oatmeal

  • 2 cups organic whole milk
  • 1/4 cup organic sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon organic nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon organic clove (optional, I don’t always have it, so I don’t always use it)
  • 1 cup organic whole rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract

Bring milk, sugar and spices almost to a boil over high heat in a large, heavy saucepan. Add oats, reduce heat to low and stir. Cook oats until they are almost to the consistency that you like them, anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. Stir occasionally during cooking. Follow what I said about oat consistency in the above recipe. When oats are ready, remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Serve and enjoy. As with the previous recipe, you may add more milk, cream or half and half to thin and cool your oats. Just remember, if you eat your oats this way, don’t do it everyday. Otherwise, you may have your doctor giving you a diabetes warning. This should be considered a special treat, comfort food kind of breakfast.

Try them both and leave a comment below letting me know which one you like better and why.