Saturday, November 27, 2010

Vegan Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Gingerbread

Good morning! It is a very good morning around here. Sunny skies, a productive morning, and some Christmas music...who could ask for anything more?

Today I was wide awake at 6:30am. No alarm, just tired of sleeping. Yes really.  My early wake up allowed for some quality time with God.  I finished the rest of the book of Isaiah.  I have been working on it for quite some time.  In my prayers this morning were the people in Mwandi, Africa.  Anthrax is likely to infiltrate the region and is quickly moving up the river.  A good friend of ours is there now helping to vaccinate the cattle to hopefully prevent an entire outbreak.  Please keep them in your prayers. 

In other prayer news...the New Balance Girls on the Run 5k is next weekend.  As part of my job I direct two 5k events each year.  I still need lots of volunteers and am beginning to stress out.  I am just praying for peace in my spirit, that I will not go crazy this week and that the volunteer teams will pull through.  You can also keep me and the event and all the girls running the race in your prayers as well.

This morning I made it to the Lake Norman YMCA for some heart-pounding cross training and a fantastic yoga class.  I had never taken spin or yoga at the LN Y, but both were excellent classes this morning.  They have left me floating on cloud 9! 

Alright, well lets get to the point of this post.  I promised last night two excellent holiday (or anytime) dessert recipes.  I am not lying when I say that both of these are A.W.E.S.O.M.E.  They are both pretty easy to make and are so so good!  I hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients:

Crust:
1 package of graham crackers (not the whole box, just one package inside the box)
1/3 cup melted Earth Balance buttery spread

Filling:
1 can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 cup brown sugar
1 package silken tofu
1/4 cup coconut milk
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
I made mine in mini pie pans for individual sized pumpkin pies.  This recipe can make 4-6 depending on the size of your pie pans.  I used slightly larger ones and each pie could serve two people.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350*.  If using ceramic or glass pie pans, lightly grease.

Crust:
In food processor, finely process graham crackers into crumbs.  Add melted butter and combine. 
Separate crumbs evenly among pie pans. 
Press crumbs into a crust along the bottom and outside of pans individual pie tins or pie pan.  Set aside.
Note: I have not tried this recipe in one large pie pan.  I do not know how it will turn out. 

Filling:
In food processor, combine pumpkin, brown sugar, tofu, coconut milk, cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice.  Blend until super smooth. 
Evenly divide filling between prepared pie tins. 

Bake for 45 minutes, or until pies are puffed, lightly browned and cracked on top.
You could serve immediately or refrigerate.  The original recipe says that the pies will firm up after chilling.  We didn't try them warm, so I'm not sure how different the texture would be. 
Enjoy!

Pumpkin Gingerbread
Adapted from Oh She Glows

Ingredients:

1 cup canned pumpkin
3 tbsp maple syrup
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil (or other oil), softened
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1 tbsp Chia seeds
1 2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp allspice)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2/3 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350*.  Line loaf pan with parchment paper and lightly grease (or grease pan).

On baking sheet, toast walnuts for 10-12 minutes, until golden.  Remove from oven and cool.  Chop coarsely.

Combine chia seeds with 3 tbsp water and set aside.
In medium bowl combine dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt. 

In mixer combine pumpkin, maple syrup, sugar, coconut oil, molasses and chia egg.  Slowly add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mix until well combined.  Stir in walnuts. 

Pour the batter into pan, smooth with fingers or wet spoon and bake for 50 minutes.  Test by inserting a toothpick.  If it comes out clean your bread is ready!

Allow to cool before removing from the pan.  Remove from pan and continue to cool on a rack.  While your bread is baking you can prepare Spiced Buttercream frosting.   I used the same frosting as the Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.  It is the best frosting ever! 
Thanksgiving dessert was amazing!  I am so happy I chose these recipes and everyone raved over the flavor and tastiness!  As far as Holiday desserts, these are relatively healthy. 

I had no guilt over eating 1/2 a pumpkin pie and a piece of the gingerbread!  It was so good and just the right amount of decadence!
I hope you enjoy as much as we did!

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