RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

How many of you actually love your job? I’m talking passionate, happy, excited and motivated by the life you’ve chosen. Sadly, I don’t know too many people who would raise their hands. The last paying job (early 2010) I had just about broke me. I was at an all-time low – physically falling apart with numerous ailments, mentally and emotionally unwell and I remember day dreaming about things I wish I could be doing. I felt defeated. Sounds depressing, doesn’t it? I promise, this story has a happy ending…obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t be typing this, right? After connecting the dots and realizing that my job was the cause of my unhappiness, I gave my notice and quit. I needed to take control of my life, health and well-being, as well as find my true passion…my calling. I brainstormed all sorts of ideas – everything from homemade jewelry to opening some sort of vegan, gluten-free bakery or food cart. So, I started experimenting in the kitchen with homemade donut recipes. I spent a couple of months running various trials and scribbled my creations down in an old notebook which later got lost during one of our moves. Luckily (and I owe thanks to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up book) I found a few of my recipes from almost six years ago!

As for finding my true passion or calling, I’m living my dream now. Being a stay-at-home mom and being able to have fun with my hobbies (recipe creating and product making) is more than I could ask for. I actually wake up in the morning excited for what the day holds, for what adventure awaits. I feel truly blessed.

I’ve spent the last few weeks refining these recipes – adjusting the ingredients to my current way of eating and making them even “healthier” than they were originally. In the last few weeks I have gone through MANY trials and attempted to make these oil-free, but I gotta tell you, this is an instance where a little oil takes it from: “It’s OK” to “Whoa. This. Is. Amazing!”  I am SO excited to share this first donut recipe with you!

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

BAKED COCONUT PECAN MINI DONUTS: {vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free}

Makes 24 mini donuts

Soft, cake-y, sweet and almost melt in your mouth delicious! The combination of ground pecans and coconut oil create a buttery treat.

What you Need:

Mini Donut Pan(s)

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

All of the ingredients needed. Our kitchen table is always covered with large brown paper so we can doodle while we sit together…it’s also a great distraction for Willow while she waits for meals.

{DRY}

  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/4 cup finely ground raw pecans (almost flour-like, not butter)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt

{WET}

  • Flax “egg” (1 Tablespoon ground flax + 3 Tablespoons filtered water)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 rounded Tablespoons raw coconut oil (no need to melt)

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

I almost didn’t post this photo because of how messy it looks, but I felt it was important to show the process – it doesn’t need to be perfect.

How To:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit & lightly grease your donut pan(s) with either coconut oil or avocado oil.
  2. In a small dish, stir together the ingredients for the flax “egg” and let it sit for five minutes.
  3. Measure out your milk, ACV and vanilla; add it to a large mixing bowl (preferably to a stand-up mixer or you can use a handheld mixer). Add in the coconut oil and flax “egg,” then mix until well combined.
  4. Next, add in all of the dry ingredients – works best if you sift your flour, sugar and finely ground pecans, but my sifter recently broke…that’s what happens when a three-year-old plays with your kitchen stuff!  Mix until just combined (be careful not to over mix). It will be a somewhat sticky, pudding-like consistency.
  5. Using a piping bag or tablespoon, fill each donut “cup” 1/2 – 2/3 full – do not fill to the brim as they will expand as they bake. Bake for 15-19 minutes. They should spring back to the touch and your tester should come back clean (no wet batter).
  6. Remove from the oven and allow the donuts to rest in the pan for five minutes before removing.
  7. You can enjoy as is OR indulge and coat them in this delicious Cinnamon-Maple Sugar mixture (see below).
  8. As for leftovers, DO NOT store in a plastic container (such as Tupperware or a Ziploc bag) otherwise they will get “wet” and sticky. They’re actually best kept on the cooling rack with a piece of parchment paper or wax paper draped over them loosely. Best eaten within the first 2-3 days.

***UPDATE*** For an oil-free version, simply omit the coconut oil and replace with coconut milk (I used full fat) – so, 3 Tablespoons of coconut milk. You might have to adjust the baking time, but start with the suggested time above.

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

You can see which donut “cups” I overfilled! Ha! That’s OK, they got eaten pretty fast!

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

A couple of the donuts before being tossed in the Cinnamon-Maple Sugar mix.

CINNAMON-MAPLE SUGAR:

If you’ve never had maple sugar before, you are missing out! We used fresh maple sugar from Graham Farms Maple in Vermont and I’m not kidding when I say, it is the BEST I’ve ever had. Rich, sweet and oh so maple-y. The smell is absolutely intoxicating. Pure heaven. If you don’t have access to maple sugar, you can substitute it with either coconut sugar or regular sugar, but I recommend whirling it through a spice grinder or coffee grinder to get it a bit finer. I’m sure you could use brown sugar too.

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

A close up of the maple sugar.

  • 3 Tablespoons Pure Maple Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Ceylon Cinnamon

Measure out the maple sugar and cinnamon – then add it to a medium-large Ziploc bag. After the five minutes of setting in pan, remove the donuts and shake them in the cinnamon/sugar mix. I only had a small bag, so I did a couple at a time.

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

My little helper and taste tester patiently waiting for a donut!

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

Thanks for stopping by!

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s the season of all things PUMPKIN!!! My absolute favorite time of year. Crisp air, leaves changing, apples galore and cozy sweaters. And BAKING! After a few months of very limited oven use, we make the switch to roasted veggies, potatoes and LOTS of baked goods…such as cookies. I had this vision in my head of a pumpkin molasses cookie and as soon as the weather cooled down, I started running trials. I cooked up some dried garbanzo beans and saved some brine for an “egg” – used applesauce, did an oil-free batch, played with flours and sweeteners. The first batch turned out way too cake-y for my liking, but got the thumbs up from our toughest critic…Willow. Second batch was still too cake-y and a bit too much molasses – yes, I said too much molasses. Third and fourth trials got closer, but just didn’t grab me. Let me share that through all of the mess up trials, Willow gave each one a thumbs up…clearly in it for the chocolate chips. Fifth batch was a giant win. A slightly crisp initial bite with a soft, chewy center. Exactly what I was looking for! I knew it was the best batch yet when Willow’s eyes lit up with the first bite and asked for a second one when the first cookie wasn’t even half eaten.

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Before I dive into the recipe, I have to share one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. A couple of years ago, my parents bought us this amazing little Cuisinart Spice and Nut Grinder. Since this came into our lives, we buy whole spices and grind the seeds ourselves, along with making a lot of our own flours. Literally within seconds you can turn rolled oats into oat flour. Yes, a Vitamix can do the same thing, but this is easier clean up and faster.

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Homemade oat flour

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES: {gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free, vegan}

Yields 16 cookies (more or less depending on how big you make them)

What you need:

DRY:

  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup finely ground raw pecans (flour-like; be careful not to grind too long, it will turn into a butter)
  • 4 TBSP raw coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt

WET:

  • 3 TBSP pumpkin puree
  • 1 TBSP avocado oil (or coconut oil, melted)
  • 1/2 TBSP molasses (1 TBSP for molasses lovers)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (except chocolate chips). Whisk until incorporated and if you need to, use your fingers or the back of a spatula to break up the pecan clumps.
  3. In a small-med bowl, combine the wet ingredients until smooth.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients bowl. Stir until evenly incorporated, no signs of dry “flour.” Then fold in the chocolate chips. The dough will be slightly sticky
  5. Using your hands or a small cookie scoop, form small balls. My cookie scoop was a bit smaller than a tablespoon measure. Place them on the baking sheet and flatten with the back of a spatula or wooden spoon. You can press in extra chocolate chips to each cookie at this time, if you’d like.
  6. Bake for 12-16 minutes or until the cookies no longer look sticky/wet and can easily be removed from the baking sheet without sticking.They’ll be slightly golden brown. If you’re looking for a super crispy cookie, bake them for a few minutes longer, but keep a close eye on them so as not to burn them. Our oven is awful and we have to always cook/bake things far longer than called for. I baked a trial for 22 minutes and they turned out crispy inside and out. For a softer/chewier center, stick to the initial baking time.
  7. Remove from oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for five minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and ENJOY!

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had to distract Willow with some bad dancing and singing to allow the cookies to cool a bit. This kid is a chocoholic, so patience doesn’t come easy. Be glad that there weren’t any photos to document that portion of our baking session.

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are best eaten the first day or two, which is pretty easy to do! If you do have leftovers, store them in an airtight container (preferably a cookie tin).

While we were waiting for the cookies to bake, Willow asked to play around with the camera…here’s a small collage – I picked my favorites from the 50 that she took! I’m rather impressed that she managed to get some selfies in there.

willow pics

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe?!

RECIPE: Toffee Granola

I know. Another toffee themed recipe. BUT before you say anything, I had no plans to post another recipe using the toffee sauce, that was until the lovely @bondsbeach used it to make granola! As soon as I saw that, I had to hop into the kitchen and experiment for myself. It took a few trials to get the flavor and consistency down, but the end result is buttery, crunchy and surprisingly, not overly sweet! So, thank you @bondsbeach for the creative inspiration!!

TOFFEE GRANOLA: {gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, vegan, refined sugar-free}

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 TBSP raw tahini
  • 1 TBSP raw coconut nectar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 3 TBSP water
  • 1 TBSP avocado oil or grapeseed oil*
  • 4 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup dairy free chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life mini chips)
  • 1/2 cup raw pecan halves & pieces**
  • 2 TBSP raw hemp seeds (optional)

*In my first trial I used all water, but found that it worked best with 1 TBSP of avocado oil. We’ve also been incorporating more avocado and/or coconut oil into Willow’s diet at the recommendation of our naturopath…so I’m learning to add a little more fats/oils into our meals. For those looking for a completely oil-free recipe, you can add an extra tablespoon of water or add a tablespoon of maple syrup, but know that the oil works really well in this case.

**For a nut-free version, you can replace the pecan pieces for sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. I personally preferred the buttery flavor that the pecans brought and found that the sunflower seeds brought a little bitterness to the granola. You can also omit the nuts/seeds all together.

toffee granola

How to:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the toffee sauce ingredients > coconut sugar, tahini, coconut nectar, vanilla, salt, water and oil. Mix until smooth – should take 2-3 minutes to get it all incorporated. You can also blend the ingredients until smooth.
  3. Next add in the oats, chocolate chips, pecan pieces and hemp seeds. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir until well combined and evenly coated.
  4. Spread the mixture onto your baking sheet into an even layer. If you don’t have a large baking sheet, you can divide this into two sheets.
  5. Bake for 35-45 minutes, flipping/stirring halfway through. You’re looking for a “dry” golden color.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes on the baking sheet.
  7. Allow the granola to cool completely before storing in airtight containers. I store mine in glass Mason jars.

You can enjoy this with milk, sprinkle it on yogurt or smoothie bowls and use it as a topping for ice cream.

toffee granola2

toffee granola3

This concludes the toffee sauce recipes…I promise!

Thanks for stopping by!

RECIPE: Chocolate Toffee Oats

Last week, I accidentally created a new sauce recipe and we’ve been hooked on it ever since. I set out to create a caramel sauce, but after asking Josh to try it, we decided it tasted more like toffee…totally not complaining. It has a bold, rich flavor, but unlike the typical cooking process of caramel or toffee – this requires no boiling, butter or refined sugar. In fact, heating the sauce is optional! The best part is, Willow asks for it all the time – so you know it’s good when it passes her approval!

RECIPE: Chocolate Toffee Oats // Be Sol-Ful

Remember how I said I had more tahini recipes for you? Well, this is one of them! Recently, someone asked me why I love tahini so much. Ahhhh, where to begin?! I personally LOVE the taste, the creaminess and that it’s packed with nutrients. To be sure that I’m not leaving out any of the benefits, here is a list that I grabbed from Mind Body Green:

***To receive the full benefits, make sure you’re using raw tahini!

10 health benefits of tahini:
  1. It’s rich in minerals such as phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium and iron.
  2. It’s a good source of Methionine, which aids in liver detoxification.
  3. It’s one of the best sources of calcium out there.
  4. It’s high in vitamin E and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15.
  5. Helps to promote healthy cell growth.
  6. Prevent anemia.
  7. Helps to maintain healthy skin and muscle tone.
  8. It has 20% complete protein, making it a higher protein source than most nuts.
  9. It’s easy for your body to digest because of its high alkaline mineral content, which is great for assisting in weight loss.
  10. It is high in unsaturated fat (good fat!)

Click HERE to get the full article on http://www.mindbodygreen.com

So, you can see why I sneak it into everything from raw chocolate, smoothies, sauces and more!

Now for the recipe! I know that I just shared an oats recipe last week, but oddly enough, it was one of my most popular posts. People LOVE oats! The one I’m about to share with you is very much like a dessert…because who can say no to dessert for breakfast?! This comes in two parts – making the sauce and making the oats, but I promise it’s super simple!

TOFFEE SAUCE: {vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, raw}

What you need:

  • 3 Tablespoons raw coconut sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons raw tahini
  • 1/2 Tablespoon raw coconut nectar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of Himalayan salt
  • 2 Tablespoons filtered water

How to:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients until smooth. If your mixture is too thick, slowly add more water.
  2. You can use as is or in a double boiler, gently warm the sauce. Be careful not to get it too hot – you don’t want to burn it. The sauce may thicken some as it heats.
  3. Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container.

RECIPE: Chocolate Toffee Oats // Be Sol-Ful

RECIPE: Chocolate Toffee Oats // Be Sol-Ful

CHOCOLATE TOFFEE OATS:

Serves 2-2.5

What you need:

  • 1 cup of gluten-free rolled oats
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or your choice of milk)
  • Toffee Sauce
  • Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (or your choice of chocolate)

How to:

  1. In a small pot, combine your oats and milk. Stirring often, cook over medium heat. Once boiling, lower the temperature. Cook until desired consistency is reached or until the liquid is mostly absorbed.
  2. OPTIONAL STEP: While the oats are cooking, gently warm the toffee sauce using a double boiler. I recommend this step to maintain the warmth of the oats.
  3. Once the oats are done, divide them into two bowls (or three).
  4. Top with some mini chocolate chips and a generous drizzle of toffee sauce.
  5. ENJOY!

RECIPE: Chocolate Toffee Oats // Be Sol-Ful

RECIPE: Chocolate Toffee Oats // Be Sol-Ful

Stay tuned next week for another recipe using the Toffee Sauce!

Thanks for stopping by!

RECIPE: Raw Salted Caramel Kale Chips

Alive & Radiant Organic Kandy Kale - Sea Salt Caramel

I have a confession to make. Sometimes I buy products for inspiration – to recreate a delicious treat or an even cleaner, simpler beauty product. This week it was all about kale chips. It has been a LONG time since I’ve made kale chips – usually when I’m craving them, I don’t have the patience to whip up a batch and wait for them to be dehydrated – I’ll end up picking up an overpriced bag of them from Natural Grocers or Trader Joe’s. Recently I’ve been hearing people rave about the different flavors, such as chocolate peppermint and sea salt caramel. I caved the other day and bought a bag of the sea salt caramel and when I opened the bag, I was SHOCKED at how small of an amount was in there…literally the chips filled maybe a bit more than 1/4 of the bag. As delicious as they were, I told myself, never again. Spending nearly $5 for a small bag is ridiculous! I loved the simplicity of the ingredient list and the flavor was spot on – so this week I picked up some fresh organic kale and decided to experiment with my own salted caramel recipe. I have to say, I was incredibly pleased with how they turned out!

*This recipe uses a dehydrator and I realize that a lot of people don’t own one – I found a blog post that talks about how to use your oven – click HERE if interested.

SALTED CARAMEL KALE CHIPS {raw, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free}

What you need:

  • 1 cup raw cashew pieces (soaked for at least three hours)
  • 1/4 purified/filtered water (more or less)
  • 2-3 TBSP raw coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Himalayan pink sea salt, to taste
  • 6-8 cups (packed) organic kale

Salted Caramel Sauce

How to:

  1. Wash and remove stems from kale leaves. I put mine through our salad spinner to remove the excess water. Place in a large bowl.
  2. Drain and rinse the cashews; place in high-speed blender with vanilla and 2 TBSP coconut sugar. Adding one tablespoon of water at a time, blend on high until smooth, but not runny. You’re looking for a somewhat thick consistency. Next add in the salt (I used two pinches) and an extra tablespoon of coconut sugar, if desired – blend again.
  3. Pour the caramel mixture over the kale and using a spatula, mix until evenly coated.
  4. Spread the kale out onto mesh dehydrator sheets – I used two forks to separate the large clumps of kale.
  5. Set the dehydrator at 115 degrees Fahrenheit and dehydrate for 15-18 hours, or until dry. If you’re not concerned with keeping this treat raw, you can increase the temperature for faster drying. I recommend flipping them halfway through.
  6. Remove from dehydrator and ENJOY!
Salted Caramel Kale Chips // Be Sol-Ful

I used a mixture of baby kale and lacinato (dinosaur) kale.

Salted Caramel Kale Chips // Be Sol-Ful

Salted Caramel Kale Chips // Be Sol-Ful

Salted Caramel Kale Chips // Be Sol-Ful

Salted Caramel Kale Chips // Be Sol-Ful

If you happen to have any leftover, I recommend storing the kale chips in glass containers for maximum freshness.

They’re also toddler-approved – Willow is a HUGE fan of kale chips 🙂

108

110

Thanks for stopping by!

RECIPE: Dehydrated Cinnamon Banana Chips

I’m always trying to get creative with some of Willow’s favorite snacks and lately, bananas are her favorite. She is extremely finicky with texture, so getting foods just right can be tricky. She loves cinnamon, so I decided to experiment with a cinnamon sugar banana chip! Please be sure to read all the way to the end because I’m sharing one of my favorite IG accounts and a link you won’t want to miss.

Dehydrated Cinnamon Banana Chips {vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free}

What you need:

  • Very ripe, spotted bananas as they are easiest for our bodies to digest
  • 1 lemon, juiced – mixed with 1 TBSP filtered water (optional)
  • 1 TBSP coconut sugar
  • 1 TBSP Ceylon cinnamon
  • 2 small bowls

* Any leftover coconut sugar and cinnamon can be used in a smoothie, pancake batter or a topping for nice cream!

How to:

  1. Mix the coconut sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  2. If you’re using lemon juice/water, set aside in a separate bowl. The lemon is used to prevent the banana from turning brown *
  3. Thinly slice your banana and dip in the lemon juice – using the lip of the bowl, wipe away the excess lemon juice.
  4. Next, coat the banana slices in the coconut/cinnamon mixture. You can sprinkle it on each slice, but coating the banana slices really give it a nice flavor.
  5. Spread out evenly on your mesh dehydrator tray(s) and set the temperature at 115 degrees F for 18-32 hours, or until your desired texture. Ours turned out slightly crispy and chewy – perfect for Willow because when things are two crispy or hard, she won’t eat them. You can also set your dehydrator to a higher temperature to speed up the process, just keep an eye on how things are going. I like to keep the temperature between 115-120 and let it run overnight…that’s the beauty of the dehydrator!

* You can omit the lemon as it can be tart/sour, but I personally like the flavor it adds when combined with the cinnamon and coconut sugar.

Dehydrated Cinnamon Banana Chips || Be Sol-Ful

Dehydrated Cinnamon Banana Chips || Be Sol-Ful

Dehydrated Cinnamon Banana Chips || Be Sol-Ful

Dehydrated Cinnamon Banana Chips || Be Sol-Ful

I only used two bananas this time around and as with anything you dehydrate (or bake), things shrink. This batch only gave us approximately 1/2 – 3/4 cups…hard to really say since we started eating them right out of the dehydrator! You’ll want to use several bananas and fill your dehydrator 🙂

So, I also wanted to share with you a link to a great blog post by Jen Goes Green on how to make the ultimate nice cream! She is seriously the queen of nice cream – if you’re not already following her on Instagram, go check out her page…I’m pretty sure you’ll be drooling over all the photos. She’s also a kind, beautiful human being! You can find her on Instagram @jengoesgreen

I mean, come on, look at this perfect nice cream!!!!

Jen Goes Green

The Ultimate Nice Cream

Here is the link for her nice cream tutorial: http://www.jengoesgreen.com/recipe/ultimate-nice-cream-instructional/

 

Thanks for stopping by!