Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

My friend Ella writes and photographs the beautiful blog Pure Ella. Today, I am part of a group of bloggers helping Ella celebrate the upcoming birth of her second baby. Ella prefers to eat vegan and gluten free, so I made gluten-free and vegan vanilla cupcakes to bring to the virtual party :)

vegan cupcakes | healthy green kitchen

I adapted these treats from Minimalist Baker’s recipe for Strawberry Beet Cupcakes. They have a somewhat dense, moist texture and they are not too sweet; they are so yummy with the vegan buttercream. I was considering coloring the buttercream, and also piping it onto the cupcakes in a “fancier” way, but in the end I opted to honor Ella and keep things as natural as possible here. I love the look of the single candied violet on each cupcake and I hope Ella likes it too!

vegan cupcakes | healthy green kitchen

Though I’ve never baked with it before, I decided to try these with my homemade walnut milk as the liquid, and I think they came out great. The instructions for how to make the walnut milk are below, but know that you can substitute a different dairy-free milk, if you like. If you do, let me know how these work out…I’d love to know.

soaked walnuts | healthy green kitchen

If you have no issue with dairy, I think you can go ahead and just use milk, and also butter instead of the dairy-free butter. Along the same lines, you don’t have to make these gluten free. Use regular flour instead of the gluten-free flour if gluten is not a problem for you.

cupcakes in pan

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Candied Pumpkin Seeds

candied pumpkin seeds

Last night, I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to sign up for National Blog Posting Month (aka NaBloPoMo). NaBloPoMo is an annual blogging event that takes place each November: participants commit to posting on their blogs each day of the month. This means you’ll be hearing from me more frequently over the next four weeks…I hope that’s ok with you :)

To keep my goal of posting every day in November an attainable one, my posts will most likely be shorter than usual. There will be recipes, of course, but not every day…some days may just be brief musings on topics related to general health or nutrition. I have a few giveaways planned, too :)

Today, I have an easy, tasty recipe for candied pumpkin seeds for you.

Candied Pumpkin Seeds | Healthy Green Kitchen

I made this recipe with the seeds I took out of the pumpkin I used to bake this Pumpkin Stuffed with Cheese, Sausage, and Pasta. Whenever you “play with” pumpkins, you always end up with a sloppy mess of pumpkin seeds, right? Don’t dump them in the compost (or worse yet, the garbage)…use them to make a healthy snack instead! (I am being more conscious about my food waste than ever these days, since I am participating in this program.

Seeds (and nuts and grains and some other foods) naturally contain something called enzyme inhibitors. To increase the amount of nutrients available to your body when you eat these foods (and to make them more digestible), it’s good to give them “a good soaking”. This is why I recommend soaking your pumpkin seeds in salted water before roasting them (doing this also simplifies removing all of the pulp that may stick to the seeds upon removal from the pumpkin).

These fiber and zinc-rich goodies are perfect for topping salads and side dishes. They are also wonderful eaten on their own.

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Guacamole with Pistachios

Jen Schall is a dear blogger friend, and soon she’ll be having a baby girl! I’m just thrilled for Jen and her husband Darron, and I’m excited to be participating in a virtual baby shower for them today.

I “brought” this Guacamole with Pistachios.

The first time Jen and I got together was in New York City a few years ago. We had planned an afternoon of walking around before joining a larger group for dinner. I must admit that I was a little nervous about meeting up because I didn’t know if we’d get along, but Jen put me right at ease from the very first moment I saw her smile. We talked the whole day away after that, and had a great time.

I’ve been lucky enough to see Jen (and her smile) twice since then at the 2nd and 3rd annual Big Summer Potlucks. Fingers crossed I get to see her there again next summer, and that she brings the baby :)

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Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream

vanilla ice cream with bourbon

I am guest posting over at my lovely friend Brandy’s site Nutmeg Nanny today… …because she’s having an ice cream social! I brought a batch of Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream. It’s my new favorite vanilla ice cream recipe…so great on it’s own, or with just about any summery fruit dessert or sauce (in these photos, … Read more

Mini Cheese Pies with Roasted Plum Jam (Gluten-Free)

cheesy jam tarts

Last year around this time (at the urging of Shauna), LOTS of food bloggers took to their kitchens and made pie (I made this). That first annual Pie Party was a great success, so today we’re celebrating Pie Party 2012. Thank you Garret, Shauna, Justin, and Ashley for hosting ;) I made “mini” cheese pies … Read more