Oil-free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Easy to make, moist and delicious… these muffins do not last long at our house. I was having a friend over tea and realized I didn’t have any treats to put out. Within an hour I had a warm batch of muffins cooling and the kitchen smelled delicious. I didn’t have fresh zucchini but I did have some frozen from the winter. I just made sure that I squeezed all the water out of the thawed zucchini. Too much moisture is likely not a good thing. My choice of sugar, as always, was coconut palm sugar. Best of all, these muffins are super healthy having no eggs and no oil in them. Make sure you save yourself one, especially if the kids find out you have made them.

With thanks to Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows

oil-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free, nut-free option

Prep Time: 20 to 30 minutes      Cook Time: 15 to 17 minutes

Makes 12 muffins

1 Tbsp (15ml) ground flaxseed
1 1/4 cups (300ml) non-dairy milk
2 tsp (10ml) apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
2 cups (500ml) whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup (125ml) Sucanet, coconut sugar, or natural cane sugar
1/3 cup (75ml) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/2 tsp (7ml) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2ml) baking soda
1/2 tsp (2ml) fine-grain sea salt
3 Tbsp (45ml) pure maple syrup
1 tsp (5ml) pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup (75ml) mini dark chocolate chips
2/3 cup (150ml) walnuts, chopped (optional)
1 1/4 cups (300ml) lightly packed grated zucchini (about 1/2 medium zucchini)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees Celsius). Lightly grease a muffin tin with oil.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the ground flaxseed and 3 tablespoons (45ml) water. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the milk and vinegar. Set aside. It will curdle a bit, but that’s the point – we’re making vegan buttermilk.
  4. Ina  large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. To the bowl with the milk and vinegar mixture, stir in the flaxseed mixture, the maple syrup, and the vanilla. Pour the milk mixture over the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips, walnuts (if using), and zucchini, being careful not to over-mix.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each well three-quarters full. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the muffins slowly spring back when touched. A toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin should come out clean. Coll the muffins in the tin for 5 minutes.
  7. Run a knife around the edge of the muffins to release them from the pan and transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

Angela’s Tip:

For a nut-free option, omit the walnuts.

Pillowy Pumpkin Snacking Cookies

These cookies were so easy to make. Honestly, I had some leftover pumpkin purée in the fridge and didn’t know what to do with it. I came across this recipe in Oh She Glows Everyday and thought, why not give these a try? I am so glad that I did. They really are pillowy and spicy and hard to not devour in one sitting. The original recipe calls for some Coconut Whipped Cream (also from Oh She Glows Everyday) to be spread on top or you could try Angela’s Magic No-Cook Caramel Sauce. I didn’t get that far. They went too fast!


With thanks to Angela Liddon from her cookbook Oh She Glows Everyday

vegan, nut-free, soy-free, kid-friendly, freezer-friendly

Prep Time: 10 to 15 minutes     Bake Time: 12 to 14 minutes

Makes 11 cookies (I squeezed out 12)

3 Tbsp (45 ml) virgin coconut oil, softened
1/2 cup (125 ml) lightly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup (75 ml) unsweetened pumpkin purée
1/2 tsp (2 ml) pure vanilla extract
2 tsp (10 ml) ground cinnamon
2 tsp (10 ml) ground flax
3/4 tsp (4 ml) ground ginger
1/2 tsp (2 ml) baking soda
 1/2 tsp (2 ml) freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp (0.5 ml) ground cloves
Dash of cardamom
1/4 tsp (1 ml) fine sea salt
1 cup (250 ml) whole-grain or white/light spelt flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees Celsius). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a  large bowl using electric beaters, beat together the coconut oil, sugar, pumpkin, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Add the cinnamon, ground flax, ginger, baking soda, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, and salt. Beat until combined. Add the flour and beat again until combined. The dough should be moist and easy to roll into balls.
  4. Shape the dough into large balls, about 2 packed tablespoons (30 ml) each. Place the balls 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheet. Do not flatten the balls, or the cookies will not be as fluffy.
  5. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes (I opted for 12 and they turned out great), until the cookies have puffed up. Some might be lightly cracked on the surface.
  6. Let cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. Pipe Coconut Whipped Cream onto the cookies, if desired (make sure they are completely cool or the cream will melt). Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days or freeze them for up to 2 weeks.  Angela likes to wrap her cookies individually in foil and then pace them in a freezer-safe zip-top bag or airtight container.

Easy Pumpkin Muffins

Nothing smells better in a house than filled with the scent of fresh baking. Even better pumpkin spice! In about 40 minutes you too can have fresh baked pumpkin muffins sitting on your table ready for your family to devour. I enjoyed mine with some almond butter spread on top to give this treat a little pop of protein.

With thanks to Leanne Campbell and the China Study Cookbook

Prep time: 10 minutes     Baking time: 25-30 minutes

Makes 1 dozen muffins

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup sucanet*
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz (1 cup) solid-pack pure pumpkin
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup applesauce
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper cups (or use a non-stick pan)
  3. Mix together the flour, Sucanet (or sugar of choice), baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a bowl. Add pumpkin, water, applesauce, and pecans and stir until just mixed.
  4. Fill the prepared muffin cups to the top and bake 25-30 minutes, until the tops bounce back when lightly pressed. Remove from the oven and let stand 1-2 minutes; then remove the muffins from the pan. Cool for 30 minutes before eating and then store in an airtight container.

Leeanne Campbell’s Tips

Store cooled muffins in an airtight container in the refrigerator. For long-term storage, keep them in the freezer.

Kathryn’s Notes

*I used coconut palm sugar and it worked out just fine

Pumpkin Gingerbread Snack Bars

I made these for a family get-away snack instead of buying granola bars and chips. These bars are a great treat to grab on the go. They are quite dense and therefore filling. The recipe comes with a Cashew Butter Maple Glaze option that I have not tried. Let me know if you try it and what your thoughts are.

With thanks to Angela Liddon at Oh She Glows

Yield: 10-12 bars     Prep Time: 20 minutes     Cook Time: 23 minutes


Wet Ingredients:
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
1/3 cup coconut sugar (or granulated sugar of choice)
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Dry Ingredients:
1 + 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
3/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour*
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
heaping 1/3 cup dried cranberries
Cashew Butter Maple Glaze (optional):
2 Tbsp raw cashew butter
1 Tbsp agave nectar
1/2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
pinch of cinnamon, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square pan with 2 pieces of parchment paper, one going each way.
  2. In a medium pot over medium heat, stir together the pumpkin, molasses, sugar, and oil. Heat until melted and combined. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  3. In a blender or food processor, add the rolled oats. Blend on the lowest speed (or pulse, if using a processor) until roughly chopped. You don’t want to pulverize it into a flour – the goal here is to keep a coarse texture, with some large pieces of oats and some smaller ones.
  4. In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (oats, flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cranberries).
  5. Scoop the wet ingredients over the dry and stir well until combined. The mixture will be very sticky and heavy. Totally normal.
  6. Scoop the dough into the prepared square pan. Since the dough is so sticky and dense, it’s challenging to spread out smoothly. Angela’s suggestion is to place a piece of parchment paper on top of the dough and press down on it with your hands, trying to spread it out evenly as you go. It takes a bit of time to get it smooth. After pressing it smooth, place a pastry roller (or a jar or can) on top of the parchment and roll it smooth while pressing in the edges with your fingers.
  7. Bake in the oven, uncovered, for 22-25 minutes (I baked for 23 minutes) until firm to the touch. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before lifting out the square and cooling it on a cooling rack for another 30 minutes. Slice into 10-12 bars.
  8. For the glaze (optional): In a small bowl stir together all the glaze ingredients until combined. Add the glaze into a plastic bag and snip off the corner so you can “pipe” it on the bars. Or simply spread the bars with the cashew mixture using a knife. Your call.

Angela’s Tips:

*If you aren’t using gluten-free all-purpose flour, Angela suggests using all-purpose flour or light spelt flour. Whole wheat pastry flour might work too.

If you try anything else post your comments on Angela’s ohsheglows.com and on this blog.

Feel free to swap the cashew butter glaze for a simple icing sugar glaze.

For a nut-free option, skip the cashew butter glaze.

Kathryn’s Tips:

My family felt like this treat needed a little crunch and texture. The next time I make it I would try adding pepita seeds or walnuts. If you try it let me know!



Taco Fiesta Potato Crisps

This appetizer was a huge hit at a recent family gathering. Gluten free and plant based it met the needs of those with dietary needs but they also went over well with the rest of the crowd. The potato base was slightly crunchy and salty and held up well as a finger food. The walnut taco meat was the perfect and delicious substitute for meat. It’s texture resembled meat and it held the flavour of the spices to make you truly believe it was meat. Loaded on the Cashew Sour Cream base, which added just the right amount of tang, the meat, salsa and crunchy green onions is the perfect mix of flavours. The original recipe said to cook the potatoes for 30 to 35 minutes but I chose to go a little longer than that. I wanted them really crispy on the outside. Just keep an eye on them or you will end up with potato chips, especially if you slice them too thin. But hey, maybe that wouldn’t be so bad after all!

Because of timing, I baked the potatoes at home and then transported them in a container to the gathering. A 15 minute reheat in the oven crisped them back up and kept them fresh for adding the toppings. No soggy potatoes for this crowd! Angela suggests even making the walnut meat and the cashew sour cream a day ahead to shorten your prep time and add to the convenience. You are going to love these.

With thanks to Angela Liddon at ohsheglows

Serves 28-30 crisps     gluten-free, soy-free, sugar-free, grain-free

For the Potato Crisps:
2 russet potatoes, unpeeled, sliced into 1/4 inch (6mm) rounds
1 Tbsp (25ml) grapeseed oil
Fine grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Walnut Taco Meat:
1 cup (250ml) walnuts, toasted, if preferred (I toasted mine lightly in a frying pan on the stove top just to add some depth to the flavour)
1 Tbsp (15ml) olive oil
1 1/2 tsp (7ml) chili powder
1/2 tsp (2ml) ground cumin
1/4 tsp (1ml) fine grain sea salt
1/8 tsp (0.5ml) cayenne pepper
To Assemble:
1 recipe Cashew Sour Cream (look under Other Yummy Stuff for the recipe)
1/2 to 3/4 cup (125 to 175ml) salsa
2 to 3 green onions, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Make the Potato Crisps:  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. (This is my new favourite cooking item! Things don’t stick to the pan, they cook evenly and the clean up is so easy.) Place the potato slices in a single layer on the baking sheet and drizzle them with the oil. (I put mine in a large bowl and gently hand tossed them to cover them.) Rub the potatoes to disperse the oil evenly. Sprinkle the potatoes generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Roast the potatoes for 30 to 35 minutes,flipping them once halfway through, until tender and lightly browned. (This can take a bit longer if you want them crispier) Allow the potatoes to cool for 5 minutes before assembling.
  3. Make the Walnut Taco Meat: In a mini food processor, combine the walnuts,, oil, chili powder, cumin, salt, and cayenne and process into a fine crumble. (You can also chop and mix the ingredients by hand, if preferred.) Set aside.
  4. To assemble, top each potato slice with 1 tsp (5ml) of the Cashew Sour Cream, followed by about 1 tsp each of the walnut taco meat, salsa, and green onions, in that order. Garnish with pepper. Serve immediately while still warm.

Angela’s Tip: Instead of potatoes, try serving the toppings on lettuce cups, or pair them with tortilla chips for a satisfying vegan nacho plate.

Kathryn’s notes: I assembled my crisps enmasse. To save time I lined up the potato crisps and then sprinkled everything (except the Cashew Sour Cream) across them instead of doing each with great care. Saved time…

One Bowl Vegan Banana Bread

Don’t be fooled by the word vegan; this banana bread is AMAZING! Angela Liddon has done it again with this tasty, healthy recipe that is quick and easy. The hardest part is not eating the whole thing when it comes out of the oven. But don’t take my word for it, try it yourself! It went so fast I didn’t even have time to get a picture…

With thanks to Angela Liddon at ohsheglows.com

vegan, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

yields one loaf

for the wet ingredients
1 1/3 cups (320g) mashed very ripe bananas (about 4 medium or 3 large)
2 Tbsp (15g) ground flaxseed
1/3 cup (60ml) plant-based milk (Angela likes almond milk and so do I)
1/3 cup (60ml) coconut oil, melted*
2 Tbsp 915ml) pure maple syrup**
2 tsp (10ml) pure vanilla extract
for the dry ingredients
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp (60g) coconut sugar ***
1/2 cup (50g) rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups (210g) light/white spelt flour or whole-grain spelt flour****
sliced banana, chopped walnuts, and/or chocolate chips, for topping (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with oil and set aside. (I brushed mine with coconut oil)
  2. In a large bowl, mash the banana until almost smooth, and make sure you have 1 1/3 cups.
  3. Stir in the wet ingredients (ground flax, milk, melted oil, maple syrup, and vanilla) into the banana until combined.
  4. Stir in the dry ingredients (sugar, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour) into the wet mixture, one by one, in the order listed. Stop stirring when there are no flour patches at the bottom of the bowl. (I missed the one by one part and mixed all my dry ingredients together and added them to the wet. I don’t think it changed anything…)
  5. Spoon the dough into the loaf pan and spread out evenly. Add you desired toppings and gently press them into the dough to adhere.
  6. Bake the loaf, uncovered, for 45-55 minutes (Angela bakes for 47 to 48 minutes, but your time may vary. Mine only needed 45 minutes), until lightly golden and firm on top. The top of the loaf should slowly spring back when touched.
  7. Place the loaf pan on a cooling rack for 30 minutes. Then, slide a knife around the loaf to loosen it and gently remove it from the pan, placing it directly onto the cooling rack until completely cooled (or to hasten the cooling process, transfer to the fridge for 45 minutes.)
  8. Slice the loaf once cooled. Angela loves to spread hers with vegan butter or cocnut oil. The loaf will keep in the fridge tightly wrapped for 3 to 4 days, or it can be frozen for 4 to 6 weeks.

Angela’s Tips:

*I have not tried it yet, but you can probably swap melted vegan butter for the coconut oil.

**If you don’t have any maple syrup on hand, feel free to swap in another 2 Tbsp of cocnut sugar. The loaf won’t be quite as moist, but it’ll still work.

***Coconut sugar can probably be swapped for natural cane sugar.

****I tried this recipe with light/white spelt flour, all=purpose white flour, and whole-grain spelt flour. My preference is light/white flour because it lends a great flavour while still feeling quite light in texture. The whole-grain spelt flour version is my second favourite; it is heartier in texture that the light/white spelt flour version (and cracks more on the top of the loaf), with a slightly earthier flavour. It doesn’t rise as much, though, and it is more dense. If your whole-grain spelt flour is quite course, I recommend sifting it prior to use for the best results.

Kathryn’s notes:

If the ingredients seem a little daunting in terms of where to find them do yourself a favour and head to the bulk food store. It is my new favourite place to find things that just aren’t at the regular grocery store or aren’t easy to find. And, you can pick your quantity.

My first attempt at this was made with whole-grain spelt flour. As I mentioned, no time for a picture. It was teenage boy approved.