Here’s a common scene at the grocery store: I walk down the nut butter aisle, excited to find what’s new and interesting. Something catching my eye. And inevitably, it’s the most expensive thing on the shelf. Sigh… I allow myself these purchases once in a while, but if I were to indulge every time I wanted to, I’d be broke.The funny thing is, a lot of these “specialty” spreads are made of relatively inexpensive ingredients. I recently found Naturally Nutty’s Pepita Sun Seed butter - an irresistible combination of pepitas, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, and some lovely warming spices. Pepitas and sunflower seeds are some of the cheapest items I can find in the bulk bins at my local market, so I quickly decided that since I’d already spent ten dollars on the first jar, I’d save a bit of money and make my own!…
This month’s Recipe ReDux theme was “adding merriment to mixes,” which left the doors wide open for ideas. How many things can you possibly make into a shelf stable mix? Well I’ll tell you. The possibilities are seemingly endless. Which is probably why I wound up going with a staple we always have in stock here: oatmeal. A bit fancied up, with chocolate and coconut stirred right into the mix, this oatmeal makes every breakfast special.
While it would be lovely if every morning could be like the traditional Sunday morning: lazy, relaxed, with sun beaming in the windows and the cats lounging on your lap, and the smell of fresh pancakes wafting through the house, they are, unfortunately, not. Most mornings are the exact opposite of this: rushed, stressful, cold, and dark, with the cats meowing lest you make them wait a second longer for breakfast. On mornings like this, where there’s not a pancake in sight, it’s useful to have a “convenience” breakfast of sorts. While many people turn to pre-mixed oatmeal packets, (which are positively packed with sugar and other scary sounding ingredients), I choose to make my own, completely customizable oatmeal mixture. I simply portion it out in the morning (or the night before, if I’m making overnight oats) and breakfast is ready in 5 minutes or less….
If you’re making your rounds in the virtual vegan potluck, I sure hope you’ve saved room as you near the end of the desserts. You’re in for a real treat here. Soft baked gingersnap cookies, done three ways: naked, chocolate dipped, and caramel covered.
Once I start with the gingerbread/gingersnaps/spiced desserts of any sort, I can’t stop until the season’s done. And even then I have a lot of trouble. There’s something so comforting about all those fall flavors wrapped up into a nice little bundle. Or a bowl. Preferably of piping hot oatmeal. Or cookies. The combination of earthy molasses and that ever-alluring blend of spices always keep me coming back for seconds. Or thirds….