Vegan Peanut Butter Pumpkin Cookies

I’m not much for sweets but my partner has quite the sweet tooth which feeds my need to bake when autumn and winter roll around and pumpkin & squash are EVERYWHERE!

I really love to grab a big ol’ pumpkin, roast it up and use pretty much the whole damn thing. I’ll soak & roast the seeds, make a soup, cookies, pies, cakes, breads, sauces & creams and whatever else strikes my fancy. It’s just how I roll.

Last week, he jokingly asked if it was possible to have peanut butter pumpkin cookies and I was like…why not?

And here we are.

If you’re looking for a vegan holiday cookie recipe that’s easy and delicious, this one might be the perfect fit for you. If you’re more of a cupcake lover, check out my Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes.

I find it easier to measure in grams when baking because I find that it yields a better final result, but if you’re in the US or you just love imperial measurements, this recipe was adapted from The Natural Nurturer.

Preheat the oven to 175C/350F and put down parchment paper on your baking sheets. The original recipe said this would yield about 18 cookies but somehow I got 37. I might bee because I ran out of whole wheat flour so half of this recipe is soy flour I had on hand, but I can’t say for sure until I try again.

Let me tell you how easy this recipe is: combine everything into one large bowl (except chocolate chips if you decide to add them, which I did not) and mix well until just blended.

Scoop out onto your baking sheets and bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes and gobble, gobble.

Yeah, these vegan cookies are just that simple. If you have time and all the ingredients on hand, kick your fall up a notch with these tasty pumpkin cookies.

The best part about these cookies? They are very calorie friendly as long as you don’t eat a full dozen in one sitting!

The key to any good vegan pumpkin desserts or sauces or…whatever, is the right pumpkin cooked the right way. Cut the pumpkin in half (like the photo below) and rub the flesh with oil. I used coconut oil because I planned sweet applications for the whole thing and roast it flesh side down. It should take about 40-50 minutes if it’s on the large side, but check it every 10 minutes after the 40 minute mark to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Let the pumpkin cool completely before you scoop out the insides. Refrigerate the insides for up to a week or you can freeze what you don’t use right away and it’ll hold for much longer.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy pumpkins?

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Cupcakes

I know we all love to make fun of those who go a little crazy when pumpkin spice season rolls around, but the truth is these people are just taking advantage of an abundance of a spice blend that really should be available all year long. I mean, ask yourself, what is so wrong with any of these:

Cinnamon
GInger
Cloves
Allspice
Nutmeg

I can’t think of one reason to hate on these spices, especially when you have every type of squash and pumpkin at your disposal! It’s like being mad that your market has broccoli, cauliflower and romesco! Unfathomable, that’s what it is.

All I’m saying is, embrace the season and not just because we are all living in the Upside Down known as 2020, just enjoy because it’s tasty, easy to make and readily available.

All you have to do is take your favorite vegan pumpkin cupcake recipe, or a vegan cake recipe, or any other vegan autumn recipe and add the pumpkin spice blend to the dry ingredients. It really is just that simple.

And if you’re feeling really sauce, like I apparently was, add a pumpkin spice glaze by adding the same blend to powdered sugar along with almond milk, or any other nut milk, plus pinch of bourbon or brandy. For these vegan cupcakes, I used a splash of Apple Pie Moonshine because it has that extra hint of sweetness and booze that turn these vegan cupcakes into something truly amazing.

Want to make’em?

Here we go:

250g All Purpose Flour
225g Brown Sugar
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
3 and 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (homemade or store bought)
335g Pumpkin Puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract (I’m in love with this Madagascar vanilla from Dr. Oetker.
60ml Coconut Oil (or other oil, like EVOO)
1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Vegan Egg (I like Arche or Megga Exx, both are German brands if you’re interested)

Mix the dry ingredients together and pour the wet into the dry, stirring until bend but be careful not to overmix or you’ll end up with tough, dense vegan pastries.

Bake at 180C for 20 to 25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Now you’re done and ready to gobble up your vegan pumpkin spice cupcakes!

If you plan to add a glaze, let the cupcakes cool for 15 to 20 minutes or you’ll end up with a big, gooey mess.

What do you like drink with your vegan cupcakes…beer? Cocktails? Almond milk?

Drop your answers in the comments!

Quick Vegan Snack ~ Coconut Date Bars

In my quest to find calorie friendly vegan snacks, I’ve been scouring blogs, YouTube and social media pages in search of inspiration of any kind. Unlike my partner, I don’t have a big sweet tooth so other than one little taste, cakes and cookies are mostly consumed by him. And my mother-in-law who comes with her own love of all things sugary.

Then I stumbled across this recipe from Honey It’s Plant Basedand I fell in love.

This recipe is easy, it’s fast and it’s totally vegan!

When I say this vegan snack recipe is easy, I mean it!

All you’ll need is a scale, a food processor and a casserole dish. Parchment paper optional.

Ingredients:

Cashews (I used raw & unsalted because the flavors are clean and toasted them a little)
Dates (pitted & chopped)
Coconut flakes
Lemon juice & zest
Vanilla

That’s it, pop the cashews into the food processor  (this is mine!) first and run until are fine-ish, almost like a meal.

Then add the dates because these suckers are sticky and you want them to break up enough to provide the binding for your vegan bars.

Finally, add the remaining ingredients until blended and then press into your casserole dish like the top photo.

Refrigerate until firm. If you’re too impatient to wait, they’ll crumble apart as soon as you cut into them. Cover and keep in the fridge until the container is empty, or freeze the leftovers.

The bars were not too sweet but very delicious. They would have been better but I didn’t have enough coconut as the recipe required, but I highly recommend anyway.

And the best thing about these bars is that I already have a few ideas to make different types of vegan snack bars to enjoy! In fact, my partner thinks these are pretty great pre-workout bars, though he only eats half when that’s the case.

If you make these, or any other of my vegan recipes, tag me on Facebook at The Spicy Spatula or on IG at indyjaxn!!

Quick Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

Some of you have reached out to me and asked why, oh why, do I so rarely post any #vegan desserts on this blog and the answer is two-fold really.

The first answer is simple: calories & sugar. Back in 2017 I made the decision to go vegan for my health, which meant I needed to get rid of old eating habits and replace them with healthier, cruelty free options that would help me lose weight and get back in shape.

Second, shortly after going vegan we moved from Germany to Romania and the stove we had until recently was total crap. Complete and total crap.

So there you have it, my short-ish explanation for why this blog has been seriously lacking in vegan dessert recipes. Today, we’re going to see if we can change that with some quick vegan peanut butter cookies.

Just in case you’re wondering, I have not yet reached my weight goal so these are not celebratory vegan cookies, they’re more like ‘celebrating my new stove’ cookies.

And since I’ve been looking for ways to make calorie friendly dessert recipes, I decided to fiddle with the recipe a little bit, so here we go!

Ingredients:

Peanut butter

Brown sugar (light or dark, unless you have access to truly vegan cane sugar)

Almond milk (or your preferred plant milk)

Flour

Coconut oil

Vanilla extract (I use Dr. Oetker’s Madagascar vanilla and I love it, but use what you have)

Salt

Baking soda

 

Tools:  Mixing bowl, Spatula, Cookie sheet & Parchment paper (or silicon mats)

Vegan almond and coconut milk
Alpro has new vegan milk with NO sugars!

Make the COOKIES:

Mix peanut butter and sugar in your mixing bowl.

Add in milk and vanilla

Mix remaining ingredients until you have a yummy vegan peanut butter cookie dough

Use a cookie scoop or a spoon to measure 1 tablespoon of dough and then roll & flatten like the photo below, using a regular kitchen fork

Line the cookies on parchment (or silicon if you have it, drop recommendations in the comments below, please!) paper and pop into a preheated oven at 350°F/180°C.

My new stove! Don’t you love the reflection of my slippers?

Bake for 10 to 13 minutes, shorter for soft cookies and longer for crispier ones.

See how easy these vegan cookies were to bake? All you need is one bowl, a good mixing arm and some good quality peanut butter and you’re good to go.

Enjoy.

Easy Vegan Cherry Crumble

I hope everyone is doing well, wherever you are in the world. Stay indoors and stay safe.

Most of all, while you’re stuck inside don’t be afraid to spend some time in the kitchen like I’ve been doing. Okay, sure I tend to spend some of my rare free time in the kitchen and this time it was for a sweet vegan treat.

The truth is that I make desserts more than I post them because my husband has a wicked sweet tooth and it lets me practice playing with the proportions to reduce sugar and fat without changing the consistency. Anyway the problem with my vegan desserts is that they don’t photograph well. They taste good, at least according to him, but they rarely look good on camera.

Today my cherry crumble has broken the mold. Badump-ump?

No?

Okay, on to the vegan cherry crumble recipe, then.

The ingredients are pretty simple:

Frozen Morello cherries

Brown Sugar

Corn starch

Oats

Cinnamon

Puffed Millet

Petit Beurre biscuits (accidentally vegan!)

Lemon (peel & juice)

Coconut oil (or whatever you’ve got on hand)

Toss the cherries with a tablespoon or two of brown sugar, lemon juice & corn starch. Set aside.

Mix the oats, millet, cinnamon and biscuits with a tablespoon of sugar and vegan butter of your choice. I used Becel because that’s what the market has.

Mix it all together with your hands, slowly adding the butter until you get a crumbly mixture.

Place the cherries in the bottom of a pre-oiled baking dish and sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly on top. Bake 35-45 minutes until it is golden brown and crispy on top and bubbly underneath.

Let it cool slightly and then dig in!

What desserts are you making while you’re inside all day?

Vegan Pumpkin Desserts Galore!

With pumpkin season upon us, I thought it was time that I went a little bit nuts with pumpkin desserts. I’ve been working out regularly and there hasn’t been a month in the past 24 months that I haven’t lost weight so it was time to be…grateful for my success. Okay and pumpkin season is one of my favorite times of the year. The leaves are turning and so is the weather, and even though I pretend to hate it, I love sweaters and tights and boots and scarves and soups and chili. Definitely love chili.

But what I really love is taking pumpkins and squash and turning them into tasty sweet treats that even non-vegans will love.

When it comes to making desserts with pumpkins, I like to steal from recipes I already love. Take a banana bread recipe and add 1 cup of pureed pumpkin or squash to it, and voila…you’re gold.

The small loaf pan is a vegan banana-pumpkin cake with a rum vanilla glaze on top and the cupcakes are pumpkin spice cupcakes with nuts. There are other batches without nuts for those who count calories or simply don’t like nuts.

This is a second mini loaf cake without frosting. It was so delicious. Everytime we have overripe bananas I think to myself, “banana bread isnt’ as good as you remember.” And I truly believe it…until I take a bite. Then I’m sold all over again and the added pumpkin puree only makes the cake more moist.

A family friend of my in-laws brought me a REALLY HUGE pumpkin so I kind of went baking crazy for a day. Maybe two. Then my father in law’s birthday was upon us so I decided to make my famous vegan devil’s food cake and there was enough batter left over for about 4 cupcakes. As you can see the hubs got to them before I could take photos of the big batch!

I don’t use canned pumpkin and I don’t buy pumpkin spice mix. I like to mix it myself because sometimes I want more ginger or cinnamon and less cardamom. I like to experiment but feel free to use whatever you have on hand. Take cookie or cake or bread recipes, add a cup or so of pumpkin (or squash) and you’ve got weeks worth of sweet fall treats for the vegans in your life.

When Berries Are In Season

One of my favorite things about traveling, even within the country, is discovering all the little nooks and crannies close to home. Whether it’s buying fresh (organic) watermelon from an old lady on the side of the road or stopping at an out of the way farm to pick my own corn on the cob, I love the adventure. And what I love most is taking my treasure and turning it into something delicious.

Something memorable.

Summer is now in full bloom here in Romania. The trees are are bright and full and green, the flowers are perfuming the air and the humidity has been lifting weights…if you know what I mean.

View from my balcony!

So when the day is hot (and humid) and beautiful and bright, and gorgeous semi-wild blackberries and raspberries find their way into your kitchen, you treat them right.

I’m a midwestern girl at heart and I LOVE a good cobbler, crisp, crumble or whatever you want to call it, so that was the first thing that came to mind. But I wasn’t in the mood for a buttery crumble or a cake-y cobbler, or a hearty oat-based crisp. Instead, I wanted a sweet biscuit topping.

It’s pretty easy to make and more than worth the small amount of effort.

For the topping:

Sugar

All purpose flour

Baking powder

Salt

Vegan butter

Almond milk

VegEgg

Scoop the dough in spoonfuls on top of the fruit mixture and pop in the oven for 20-30 minutes.

Since I kind of came to this recipe backwards, I figured we’d take the journey together! Rinse and dry the berries and then take a long hard look at your spice rack to see what you wanted to do. Even though these were dark berries and I wanted a cobbler, I didn’t want a autumn or holiday flavor so I went with a pinch of nutmeg, lemon zest and juice, coconut sugar and a teeny tiny dash of cinnamon. Easy.

Because I wanted to take it easy on the sugar, I added a bit of ground vanilla on top of the biscuit topping, that’s the dark flecks you see in the photo above.

This dish is easy to make and you can adjust the size for the amount of berries currently in your possession, and if you’ve had a rewarding workout, feel free to add a scoop of almond ice cream right on top.

Tomorrow is July 4th which is Independence Day for my American readers so please, feel free to use this vegan recipe to celebrate and as a not-so-sneaky way to get fruit into everyone’s day!

Fast, Easy & Low Calorie: Vegan Energy Ballz

When I went vegan a few years ago, my goal was simple: eat what I want and still lose weight. Protecting the environment was a close second and then there was the health and welfare of the animals. Now, as a fully realized vegan, those are all part of my goals but my focus has shifted a bit more. Now I’m also concerned with improving my health instead of just losing weight, which is going spectacularly by the way.

One of my tasks has been to find low calorie and healthier ways to enjoy things like snacks and desserts. My “thing” is potato chips, specifically salt & vinegar but traveling makes them difficult to come by for a variety of reasons. First is that even here in Romania there is ONE brand of salt & vinegar potato chips but they are Pringles, which for some odd reason contains MILK POWDER. So it’s a no go and after months of testing out all the other chip flavors, I’m dissatisfied and off chips until I find my brand again.

But I have discovered something else…energy balls!

I first came across these little treats while watching a video from Those Annoying Vegans. I’ve since taken their recipe/tips and ran with it!

As you can see, the first batch wasn’t very pretty but they were pretty tasty and best of all, they are super easy to make!

What you’ll need is dried fruit and nuts, plus any other additional flavors you might want to add.

This is my apricot, date and puffed millet energy ball.

Making these balls is really easy. Simply measure out your ingredients, pretty evenly, and dump everything into the food processor. let it run until the chunks are small enough to gather and roll into bite-size balls. Add lemon juice a teaspoon at a time until it’s tacky enough to mold into balls and voila…energy balls!

This was my second batch of energy balls. On the left is dates, cranberries, candied ginger, pecans and golden raisins. When they were in perfect circles, I rolled them through coconut flakes. These were my absolute favorite of the first 2 batches I made. Beside them are cranberries and raisins with cashews and lemon juice.

Apricot, pecan & cocoa powder energy balls! (116 calories per ball)

vegan fruit nut balls

Batch three was the most successful and tasty by far! This is cranberry, date, pistachio and coconut flakes with a hint of lime juice. If you want to make them easier to manage, chop the pieces before tossing them into the food processor but I don’t think its necessary. Also, just 67 calories per ball!

papaya macadamia nut vegan balls

These were ridiculously delicious and I recommend that you use extreme moderation because though they are low in calories (about 69 calories per ball), they are still sweet as hell and likely to put your dentist’s kids through college.

This was the most recent batch of energy balls and I used some dried papaya, golden raisins and macadamia nuts. It was buttery and creamy and tangy and sweet and delicious!

Lay them out on parchment paper to keep them from sticking together and then keep refrigerated if you like. I keep them at room temperature because I make small batches that don’t last long! Use them for road trips, midday snacks or even dessert.

Sweet Potato Birthday Cake!!!

When my mother in law’s birthday rolled around I had two goals in mind.

Make something vegan

Make something she’s never had before.

Neither of those were very hard, but narrowing down the list took some time until my husband reminded me how much she LOVES walnuts. I narrowed it down to what flavors worked best, nixing the brownies idea because that’s my favorite, not hers. But I landed on sweet potatoes, somehow. Some way.

Sweet potatoes. I should tell you that while they are sold here, sweet potatoes aren’t really part of the Romanian diet which is kind of a bummer because I love them. then again, I love all potatoes so maybe I’m biased.

The first thing you want to do is get the potatoes in some water to boil. Scrub the potato good with a veggie brush (hack: I use a nail brush to clean my hard skinned veggies) and drop them in the water whole. I find this keeps from getting too much water into the potato mix. Once it’s cooled enough to peel and mash, set aside and get started on the rest of the ingredients.

This is the Arche brand VegEgg that I am always raving to you guys about! You measure it out (7.5 ml of powder to 30 ml of water) and blend it, letting it stand for five minutes before it’s ready. This is something else you’ll want to do ahead of time so it’s ready when you’re ready to use it.

Next is basic cake making, blend the vegan butter and brown sugar (I use bone-char free Billington’s dark brown soft sugar, check out a more extensive list here) until well blended and then add the eggs. Most ‘traditional’ recipes will tell you to add the eggs one at a time but I add it slowly in a steady stream instead. Then you combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon & ginger and blend.

Add dry ingredients to wet, alternating with 1 cup of almond or other non-animal milk.

The glaze came out a little thinner than I wanted, probably because the vegan butter I used didn’t have enough fat so it never thickened enough to cling to the sweet potato cake. But it did seep into the cake, making it even more moist and delicious. Best of all, Mama loved it!

You can’t have a birthday without cake & champagne!

Chewy Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

The first dozen or so times I tried to veganize a dessert recipe the results were disastrous. My cakes were too dense thanks to the applesauce, my cookies were flat and heavy and my pies were not flaky. I came pretty close to resigning myself to a life without my favorite homemade desserts, which surprised me because I’m a very occasional consumer of sweets.

My husband however has a certified sweet tooth and he was nowhere near ready to resign himself to a life without homemade baked goods. So I did my homework and thanks to other amazing vegan bloggers & vloggers, plus all the advancements in vegan food, things began to improve. Non-dairy milk, flax & chia seeds, applesauce and plenty of other dairy substitutes were tried, rated and discarded or kept in my pocket for use at a later date.

Now, thanks to plant butter and amazing egg substitutes, you won’t be able to tell the difference between my baked goodies and those with butter, milk and eggs in’em. And that’s a promise!

Which is my (very) long-winded intro into a day of peanut butter cookies, which happen to be my hubs’ favorite thing. He asked me for more than a week to make them and I finally relented. And thanks to poor planning, I had a leftover bag of vegan chocolate chips to use for a few of the cookies!

I have a super easy vegan peanut butter cookie recipe that you will LOVE! All you need is peanut butter (1 cup), butter (1 cup) and brown sugar (1.5 cups), which you will cream together. Add in 2 vegan eggs and vanilla extract (I used a splash of Disaronno instead, but do you) and then set aside. Add flour (2.5 cups), salt (1/2 tsp), baking soda (1.5 tsp) and powder (1 tsp) in a bowl and then mix into wet ingredients until blended. Chill for ten minutes and bake 10 to 12 minutes. (Makes 4 dozen-ish)

It’s very easy and the results are worth the effort. If you want softer chewy cookies, cook at the low end of the time and if you want them crispier, cook longer. But let’s not forget that your stove will help determine an exact cooking time to pay attention to the progress.

Just in case you need a reason to have vegan cookies for breakfast!

You can use this recipe to make peanut butter sandwich cookies or even XL cookies half-dipped in chocolate. Change the recipe as you see fit.

Here are a few ways I’ve changed up my peanut butter cookie recipe over the years:

1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Nutmeg
Rum or Bitter Almond extract
Orange zest
1 pinch of Cardamom
Add pretzel pieces and vegan candy and smoosh into muffin pan

 

Comment below and tell me how you like your peanut butter cookies!

Banana Blueberry Oatmeal Squares ~ A Plant Based Sweet Treat!

One of the things you should know about me is that I’m not that big into sweets. Once in a while I’ll make a pan of chocolate-y brownies to satisfy a craving for something sweet, but mostly I make them for the hubs. He has a sweet tooth the size of Alaska and he isn’t ashamed of it, so you can imagine that when we gave up animal products, there was an adjustment period.

Let’s just say that those early days helped break me of my sugar addiction, if I had one in the first place. Applesauce is not my friend. Sure it has its benefits, especially if you want to enjoy baking without the help of eggs, but for me it just made the cakes too dense and they were no good at all for cookies. Then I tried those strange combinations but many of those ingredients weren’t easy to find.

Until Arche VegEgg. A nice little egg substitute that works beautifully in cakes, breads and cookies. But if you can’t find that in your neck of the woods, there are plenty of options for you non-dairy pastry lovers!

There is no big story with this dish, honestly. I was in the mood for a rare sweet treat and there was nothing but a couple mandarin oranges and and a pineapple my hubs had reserved for a delicious cauliflower dish that I’ll be sure to tell you about later. The blueberries I used were frozen because this time of year in Germany, they are less than desirable but they were delicious.

What I used:

Bananas, mashed

Brandy (to mash with the bananas)

Plant butter

Brown sugar

Whole wheat flour

Oatmeal

Blueberries

VegEgg

Pecans

Vanilla extract

Almond milk (plus some for drinking!)

Making the squares is easy, just mix the butter and sugar, add the eggs and then the bananas before adding the extract. Mix the dry ingredients and slowly add them to the wet mixture until combined. Don’t worry if it’s lumpy, that just means it’ll be nice and moist when it’s all done.

vegan banana blueberry bread

I used a 9×13 pan but if you want thicker squares, use a smaller pan or readjust the recipe.

The almond milk–with no sugar added, thank you very much–was mostly for the photo but since the hubs has a much steadier hand, he was tasked with taking the photos and thus, chugging the milk when it was done. I like the almond milk for cooking and sometimes for coffee, but before I switched to a plant based diet, I absolutely loathed milk. I haven’t had cow’s milk since I was 7 or 8 years old thanks to an incident where the milk tasted/smelled spoiled. Ever since then, that’s how all milk tastes/smells to me. And unfortunately that has mostly carried over to being vegan.

Luckily I get my calcium from many other sources so I won’t get into the calcium absorption rates of cow’s milk but I will tell you that dry beans and dark leafy greens are a great non-dairy source, and if you suspect you’re not getting enough of it, add a supplement to help!

vegan banana blueberry oatmeal squares

Here’s a tip when cooking with blueberries: toss them in flour or cornstarch to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the dish during baking.

Tuxedo Cheesecake

pacman cheesecakeSo I’ve been working on my dessert skills these last few months. Before this year began I was able to make 3 desserts really well; brownies, German chocolate cake and peanut butter cookies. These were my “go to” recipes for parties, bake sales and just about any other occasion calling for something with a ton of sugar. But as I’ve discussed before…my palate bores easily, although very rarely when it comes to brownies and especially not if there are walnuts or pecans mixed in.

I don’t have a big sweet tooth but, of course, my husband has a major sweet tooth. So I have the perfect guinea pig for my experiments. In honor of the new season of Project Runway—13 seasons, can you believe it?!?! Seems like just yesterday the world learned what auf Weidesehen meansI decided to create something that would stun my eyes as much as my taste buds. What better way to celebrate the newest names in fashion than with a tuxedo cheesecake?

I don’t have many guilty pleasures and if pressed I wouldn’t really call this one of mine, but it is a show that LOVE. I have no shame admitting that I shake my head and smack my lips when a designer tries to give Heidi attitude, but I have no problem when they turn the bitch on Nina, because come on…Nina is. But, I digress.

Banana & Apple Walnut Bread

I have a problem. I can follow a cake, bread or pie recipe with the best of’em. I can even create my own sweet concoctions—bacon and maple cupcakes, anyone?—but my problem is, I just can’t make them attractive.

sweet bread recipes
This tastes WAY better than it looks!

I guess it’s something I’ve learned to live with since I’ve eaten many a meal or dessert that looks scrumptious but tastes like turtle dung. So even though my deserts might not please your eyes, they will certainly please your palate, unless you’re still waiting for your taste buds to come back due to years of cigarettes.

My goal wasn’t to make this a vegan bread but I had some unsweetened applesauce so I decided to use it instead of eggs. I actually hadn’t planned on making it at all but there was a Golden Delicious apple on its last legs and a few overripe bananas—it was hotter and more humid than normal this week—so I knew a tasty bread would be perfect.

Very Berry Shortcake

I recently had a bad craving for strawberry shortcake, probably because it is strawberry season here and about every few kilometers you can find a stand selling them. The air is filled with the almost sickeningly sweet scent of strawberries and I just had to have them.

So I bought some with the plan to make a shortcake soon.