Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Fall has always been a favorite season of mine for so many reasons – from the weather, fall colors both in nature and in outfits, and of course for all the fall root veggies, abundance of apples, figs, squashes and of course pumpkin! I often find myself whipping up pumpkin baked goods year round – definitely not limiting myself to one season!

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With that said I was so bummed when I recently went to TJs and saw most of the pumpkin items were gone – I strongly believe they should be out at least until the end of November! But fear not, I’m here to drop more pumpkin goodness.

I can’t believe it has taken me this long to share this Vegan Pumpkin Bread recipe. This is made with whole wheat flour, pure pumpkin puree, flax eggs, and slightly sweetened with maple syrup. I’ve added a yummy oat topping but feel free to leave off or add a simple cinnamon or maple glaze (just mix water, powdered sugar, cinnamon/maple syrup together!). 

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I love using binder clips to hold my parchment paper in place while I pour my batter in. I always keep a few of these in my kitchen drawer!

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I hope you enjoy this bread as much as I did! This is also the perfect consistency for some pumpkin french toast!

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I also love topping my bread with almond butter, pumpkin seeds and cinnamon or more pumpkin spice!

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Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour                                               
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon                                                           
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Wet Ingredients

  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp flax meal mixed with 5 tbsp water)
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • ½ banana mashed
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil

Topping

  • 3 tbsp rolled oats
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp coconut oil, melted
  • ½ tsp pumpkin spice

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325F and line your loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, make your flax egg by mixing together 2 tbsp of flax meal and 5 tbsp of water. Give it a slight mix and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl mix your dry ingredients until well combined.
  4. In a separate large bowl, mash your banana. Then add in the rest of your wet ingredients: maple syrup, flax eggs, vanilla, almond milk, pumpkin puree, and melted coconut oil until well combined.
  5. Add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and mix until just well combined. You don’t want to overmix.
  6. Pour into your prepared loaf pan.
  7. In a separate bowl, mix together the oat topping and then sprinkle on top of your loaf pan. I then like to slightly press it into the batter to make sure it sticks.
  8. Bake for 50 -55 minutes until the toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Let it cool for 10 minutes before slicing and then enjoy!!

Philippines Night!

Narrowing down what dishes to make for this international dinner was really a challenge. There were so many options and they all sounded equally as delicious! I also found that so many could easily be plant based which made it even harder. Originally pancit and adobo was on the menu but having made similar dishes for Guam and Samoa dinner night’s I knew I had to branch out.

Regardless this was a super exciting country for me for two reasons:

1) I have loved so many Filipino dishes I had tried before going vegetarian that I was excited to make a vegetarian version one of my favorites – lumpia – that I haven’t had in so long and are like Filipino spring rolls

2) this was the perfect excuse to go to one of my favorite Chicago bakeries, Jennivee’s, that is Filipino owned and has AMAZING Ube Cake.

This night was a true success that consisted of lumpia two ways – pork and vegetarian, tortang talong, tortang giniling, ube cake and a sweet ube stuffed brioche bun to hold us over while we cooked.

Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

Something you absolutely need is dipping sauce for your lumpia. There are many variations of this sweet chili sauce and I’m sure any of them will do but this is the one I got.sauce

Any local Asian market is sure to have it and if not check out the “ethnic” aisles in your grocery store- most will carry at least one variation of this sauce. This one is “Mae Ploy” brand it is very reasonably priced!

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At my local Asian market, I was also able to purchase the lumpia wrappers, carrots, eggplants, and the other produce I needed – really a one stop shop!


Menu

Vegan Lumpia with Tortang Talong
Pork Lumpia with Tortang Giniling


Recipes

Vegan Lumpia 

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb “meat” crumbles
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp flax meal, 6 tbsp water)
  • 1 8oz can of water chestnuts
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup green onions or regular onion
  • 1 sheet of nori
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos/soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • lumpia wrappers 
  • Oil for frying
  • Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce 
Find the full recipe from Sweet Simple Vegan Here

Make your lumpia filling:

  1. First prepare your flax egg by adding your flax meal and water in a small bowl, give it a gentle mix, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.

2. In a food processor add your filling ingredients: water chestnuts, carrots, nori, garlic, and green onions

3. Pulse until everything is finely chopped

4. Transfer to a large bowl and mix in your “meat crumbles,” coconut aminos/soy sauce, salt and pepper and flax egg. Mix until well combined.

Filling and Rolling your Lumpia

  1. Make sure your wrappers are thawed out and not frozen stuck!

2. Clear a space for you to roll your lumpia. When you take the wrappers out of the package they may be stuck together, so although tedious, go through the process of peeling them apart now.

3. Then take one wrapper and along the edge, add about 2 tbsp of filing and then spread it out along the edge. Tightly roll your lumpia up like a cigar.

4. Once you get to the other end, you may need to wet the edge with water to get the wrapper to “stick” to itself. You can also make a cornstarch “glue” to help with this, which is outlined in the full recipe here. Using water was sufficient when I made them.

4. Cut your lumpia either in half or into thirds. You can simple snip them with kitchen scissors or a pizza cutter.

5. Repeat the process until you have used all your lumpia filling or run out of wrappers.                                                                                         

6. Prepare your oil and heat it until it is about 350F. You should have about 2-3 inches of oil. Gently drop your lumpia in, seam side down. Fry for about 4 minutes on each side. You’ll see them turn a beautiful golden color. As you continue cooking your lumpia, keep an eye out on the oil temperature and make sure to turn the flame down, as it can quickly get too hot and burn the outside of your lumpia while keeping the inside uncooked.

7. Place your cooked lumpia on a paper towel lined plate and enjoy with lumpia dipping sauce!!

Notes:

  1. You can freeze your lumpia before cooking them for a later day! Simple take your cut lumpia pieces and place on a cookie sheet to freeze for an hour. After that you can transfer to a freezer safe bag and store them in the freezer. You can fry them straight from the freezer, no need to thaw out, they may just take an extra minute or two to cook.
  2. I recommend heating up leftovers in the oven to ensure they are crispy and don’t become “soggy” in the microwave.

Tortang Talong

Tortang Talong is a filipino dish that can be described as a whole eggplant omelette and works best with Chinese eggplants. I used the recipe from this video however I kept it vegetarian. Instead of using ground pork, I used the Pure Farmland meat crumbles. I also found that one egg was enough to coat each eggplant, so I only needed 2 eggs for the recipe rather than 4 as the recipe lists. This also tasted great with the Sweet Chili dipping sauce!

Step 1: Broil your eggplants (brushed with olive oil) for about 10 minutes on each side, until the skin gets nice and charred. IMG_3800

Step 2: While the eggplant cooks, prepare your “meat” crumbles. In a hot pan, add 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper, 1/4 cup chopped onion and 1/2 lb of crumbles, 1 tbsp coconut aminos and cook until the crumbles have cooked through. Set aside in a bowl.

Step 3: Peel the skin off the eggplant once it has cooled down and “mash down” with a fork. IMG_3801

Step 4: In a wide bowl, scramble 1 egg and add a splash of coconut aminos. Place one smashed eggplant and coat thoroughly. Then scoop some of your filling on top of the eggplant and cover with egg. To a preheated oiled pan, you will then slide everything out the bowl to the pan. Let cook for a few minutes until egg on bottom has cooked and then gently flip it. Cook for another few minutes and serve immediately!

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Vegan [ Cranberry Pecan ] Banana Bread

Banana bread has been on repeat lately, I love how versatile it can be when it comes to what you mix into it and how it can come together with minimal ingredients and falls into the realm of healthy baking. I was going to do make my classic cinnamon swirl banana bread when it suddenly occurred to me that I didn’t have a vegan banana bread up on the blog yet. Although I am not vegan ( I do keep a vegetarian diet) I find myself drawn to lots of vegan baked goods and have baked up a lot of vegan treats, I’m just not the best at keeping track of what I do in the kitchen … well until now!

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So I decided to do some experimenting and bake up a vegan banana bread and for a fun twist I wanted to add in some cranberries and pecans – perfect for the upcoming season.. F A L L – I see you around the corner. However, this can be enjoyed without the pecans/cranberries or they can be switched out for chocolate chips, walnuts, even some blueberries!

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This cup calls for two cups of flour. I made this loaf with both all purpose flour and whole wheat flour. I love the slight nuttiness that comes with using whole wheat flour however sometimes when using just whole wheat flour baked goods can come out too dense so I cut it half all purpose flour. You can also just use all purpose flour if you’d like. I haven’t tested out gluten free flours but will update this post once I have. Whichever flour you use, make sure to measure out your flour correctly, not doing so can drastically change your bread’s texture!

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How to Measure Flour

  1. Grab your measuring cup and a spoon. 
  2. Gently scoop your flour with a spoon into your measuring cup. 
  3. Once filled to the top, level off any excess flour over your flour bag with a flat edge like a knife.  
  4. Following these steps, rather than scooping the flour out of the big directly with your measuring cup will ensure you are not over-packing your flour. Over-packing it would result in much more flour than what is needed. 

Ingredients

Wet Ingredients

  • 4 medium bananas – super ripe
  • ½ cup brown sugar 
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted 
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tbsp almond milk 
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp ground flax/flax meal 

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt 

Add-ins 

  • ¼ cup crushed pecans
  • ¼ cup cranberries 

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper. I love using this parchment paper for all my baking, Thrive Market has a great deal on it! 
  2. In a mixing bowl, mash your bananas well. Then add in the following ingredients: brown sugar, coconut oil, almond milk, and vanilla. After all the ingredients are well incorporated, add in your flax meal and give it a good stir. 
  3. In a separate bowl combine your dry ingredients: whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Make sure you measure your flour correctly as outlined above!
  4. Add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix, you just want to make sure the flour is incorporated. Your batter will likely be thicker than other banana bread batters. 
  5. Fold in your cranberries and pecans. Feel free to swap them out for other nuts of chocolate chips, but again, don’t over mix!
  6. Pour your batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes. After the baking time, check the loaf with a toothpick and if it comes out clean after inserting it is all done. 
  7. Let your loaf cool for 15 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!
  8. Store in an airtight container. You can also pre-slice your loaf and freeze some slices for another time! Simply defrost and warm it up in your microwave for 30 – 60 seconds.