Whole foods and other things for optimal living.

Whole foods and other things for optimal living.

T is for Fall

Seasons are sort of a foreign concept in California. As a result, when the weather finally drops below 80 at the end of October, this girl books it to Trader Joe's to hoard canned pumpkin and cinnamon brooms as if they are only available to the public during certain temperatures.

Tonight, the "cool" Fall weather inspired me to make this thick, creamy, vegan chai and I could not keep it to myself. Give it a try, or a chai, depending on how much you like puns.

Creamy Pecan Pumpkin Chai (serves 4)

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3 cups water
2/3 cup pecans
1 banana
1/4 cup pureed pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
8 chai tea bags (I used Red Rooibos Chai)
honey (optional)

Directions:
 
1. Blend the water, pecans, banana and pumpkin until completely smooth.

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  2. Pour through a sieve, strainer, cheesecloth, or muslin bag (depends on how smooth you want it). 

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3. Add liquid mixture to a pot along with your chai tea bags and bring to a boil.  

 

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4. Remove from heat. Take out the tea bags and add vanilla. If you're looking for a more decadent treat, drizzle in some honey.

 

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5. Pour into your favorite mug, curl up by the fireplace channel on your TV and try to pretend it's not going to be 90 degrees this weekend. Also, sip cautiously (it's hot, yo!).

 

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Lavender Cream Eclairs (wheat free, vegan)


This recipe was sort of inspired by my boyfriend. He's not a "sweets" person (I know, I try not to judge him for it), so I often find myself trying to coax him into indulging so I'm not alone in my glutony. If the sweet is in donut form, there's a 50/50 chance he will be into it, and those are good odds. Eclairs were as creative as I could get within these confines and they also happened to conform to my criteria for sweets as well, which is "pretty much anything". Did I mention they are amazing?

After many failed attempts I have finally made this whole food treat completely vegan. A puffy pate a choux-based pastry without eggs?? Don't ask me how, but I've done it. Ok, go ahead and ask me...here's the recipe.

Lavender Cream Eclairs

Pate a choux (dough)
12 oz. water
1 oz. coconut
oil
6 oz. spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 oz. potato boiled, peeled and mashed
1 teaspoon coconut sugar (optional)
pinch of salt

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Combine flour and baking soda, set aside. 

Whisk together mashed potato and 3.5 oz. water, set aside.

Bring 8.5 oz. water, coconut oil, salt and coconut sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and add the flour mixture all at once while stirring rapidly with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together to form a ball. Cook dough over low heat while stirring. Remove from heat and slowly mix in mashed potato mixture.

Place dough in pastry bag/plastic baggie and pipe mini eclairs onto baking sheet. They aren't going to spread, so make sure they're the size you want them when done. 

Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for approximately 20 more minutes.

Filling

Lavender Pudding, omit pistachios

When the pastries have cooled, there is a nifty little break around the edge. Gently slice along one side of the pastry and pipe the pudding inside. Don't be stingy. Pipe until it starts to ooze out.

Chocolate Glaze:

Melt your favorite dark chocolate, or combine 1 part coconut oil with 1 part cocoa powder and sweetener to taste and melt.

Don't pour the glaze over the eclair. Simply dip the top of the filled eclair in the chocolate and lay face-up to harden. This will create that flawlessly smooth chocolate coating

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