Spiced Kefta

Persian food, like many of the foods from a region that’s often broadly referred to as the Middle East, takes cues from a variety of influences and cultures as people traverse borders and bring their delicious foods with them. Which is why the food in America is so diverse; people have gifted us with foods from their homelands, such as tacos, sushi, pizza, beer, and…

Persian food, like many of the foods from a region that’s often broadly referred to as the Middle East, takes cues from a variety of influences and cultures as people traverse borders and bring their delicious foods with them. Which is why the food in America is so diverse; people have gifted us with foods from their homelands, such as tacos, sushi, pizza, beer, and bagels. Similarly, France has been blessed to have beans for cassoulet, chocolat chaud (hot chocolate), and croissants.

As a cook, I like dipping into various cuisines and cultures and lately, I’ve been working on Tahdig, a Persian rice dish that’s cooked on the stovetop until the bottom gets crusty, which can take an hour or longer, and requires some patience. Once done, you take a leap of faith and turn it out onto a plate so the crispy part (the tahdig) forms a golden, crackly crown on top of a bed of fragrant, saffron-infused rice…if you do it right.

Continue Reading Spiced Kefta...

Spiced Applesauce Bread

This applesauce bread recipe is the best quick bread! It’s unbelievably tasty and cozy spiced. Step it up with an easy icing drizzle! There’s zucchini bread for the summer and pumpkin bread for the fall…but here’s a cozy quick bread that works for anytime. This spiced and iced Applesauce Bread recipe! This one is perfectly spiced with cinnamon, allspice and cloves, and studded with oats. It’s so tasty and perfect for special occasions! Suffice it to say, it went over very well in our house. Take it over the top with an easy icing drizzle. It’s great for an occasional treat or as a way to use up applesauce. Here’s how to make this impressive loaf! Ingredients in applesauce bread This applesauce bread is an easy quick bread, just like zucchini, pumpkin, and banana bread. But the fruit puree here is applesauce! We got the idea from brainstorming ways to use applesauce after making our family favorite applesauce cookies. Turns out: applesauce works in quick breads too! Here’s what you’ll need for this tasty bread: All purpose and whole wheat flour: A mix of flours adds a nuance to the flavor a pinch of nutrients. Granulated and brown sugar: Using two sugars […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This applesauce bread recipe is the best quick bread! It’s unbelievably tasty and cozy spiced. Step it up with an easy icing drizzle!

Applesauce bread

There’s zucchini bread for the summer and pumpkin bread for the fall…but here’s a cozy quick bread that works for anytime. This spiced and iced Applesauce Bread recipe! This one is perfectly spiced with cinnamon, allspice and cloves, and studded with oats. It’s so tasty and perfect for special occasions! Suffice it to say, it went over very well in our house. Take it over the top with an easy icing drizzle. It’s great for an occasional treat or as a way to use up applesauce. Here’s how to make this impressive loaf!

Ingredients in applesauce bread

This applesauce bread is an easy quick bread, just like zucchini, pumpkin, and banana bread. But the fruit puree here is applesauce! We got the idea from brainstorming ways to use applesauce after making our family favorite applesauce cookies. Turns out: applesauce works in quick breads too! Here’s what you’ll need for this tasty bread:

  • All purpose and whole wheat flour: A mix of flours adds a nuance to the flavor a pinch of nutrients.
  • Granulated and brown sugar: Using two sugars also adds nuance to the flavor.
  • Eggsbaking soda, baking powder, & salt: The regular players for a quick bread.
  • Cinnamon, allspice, and cloves: The perfect mix of spices.
  • Applesauce: We like unsweetened, but you can use sweetened if it’s all you have.
  • Neutral oilWe like oil in our quick breads because it doesn’t require melting like butter: one less step! It also makes it dairy free and easily vegan.
  • Vanilla: A hefty dose of vanilla gives it a smooth flavor.
Applesauce bread

What to expect with this applesauce bread

While it’s not as rich as banana, applesauce adds a nice lightness and moistness to breads and also works as a substitute for oil. Here are a few things to expect with this applesauce bread:

  • The texture is light and moist, not rich and oily. It’s not quite as dense or oily as a typical quick bread: the texture is lighter here.
  • Oats add interest to the texture. There’s just a 1/2 cup, but it adds a nice intriguing lightness as well.
  • Bake time depends on the pan size. Keep in mind: bake time varies whether you use an 8-inch or 9-inch pan. You’ll want to pull the bread when it feels solid and a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs clinging on. Don’t wait until it’s fully clean, or you risk overbaking!

Step it up with powdered sugar icing!

This applesauce bread is delicious as is and perfectly sweet: it’s a total treat bread! (It’s not really in the healthy category, like you could argue with this Healthy Pumpkin Bread.) So if you really want to take it to treat status, drizzle it with our easy powdered sugar icing! It takes literally one minute to stir together. Here are some notes:

  • Use our 1 minute powdered sugar icing recipe. It’s so fast to stir up, and works for any diet.
  • For less sugar, use a half recipe! You can use just a half of the recipe for a glaze that’s lightly sweet. Or use a full recipe for maximum wow factor.
Applesauce bread recipe

Mix-ins for applesauce bread

Of course, you can customize this bread even further with mix ins! If you like chunks in your bread, there are lots of options. Here are a few ideas of mix-ins for applesauce bread:

  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Hazelnuts
  • Almonds
  • Chocolate chips
  • Dried cherries or cranberries
  • Shredded coconut

Vegan variation

Do you eat vegan, or cooking for someone who is? Because this applesauce bread is made with oil instead of butter, it’s naturally dairy free. As we noted above, we prefer using oil in our quick breads because it makes them even quicker: you don’t have to melt butter! Here’s the only thing you need to do to make this bread vegan:

  • Use flax eggs! A flax egg is simply ground flax seed mixed with water. When it sits, it forms a gel like substance that you can use in vegan baked goods like muffins, cookies, and quick breads. We’ve found it works well, like in our Vegan Banana Bread and Vegan Zucchini Bread. It changes the texture a bit, but it’s still just as delicious.
Applesauce bread

Applesauce bread storage

This applesauce bread stores very well! You’ll find on the day of baking it has a crisp crust, but as you store it it becomes softer. (It’s delicious both ways!) We like to keep it at room temperature because it’s so beautifully moist and you can eat it right away. But here are a few options for storage:

  • How long does applesauce bread last at room temperature? 4 to 5 days, covered in aluminum foil..
  • Can you refrigerate applesauce bread? You can! Keep in mind that it does dry out a bit in the fridge. It also tastes a little better at room temp, so if you refrigerate it be sure to let it come to room temperature before enjoying.
  • Can you freeze applesauce bread? Yes! Slice it into pieces and wrap it in plastic wrap and then place it in a freezer safe bag or container. It stays good for about 3 months.

This applesauce bread recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

Print
Applesauce bread

Spiced Applesauce Bread


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 4.83 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This applesauce bread recipe is the best quick bread! It’s unbelievably tasty, cozy spiced and covered in an easy icing drizzle.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs (for vegan, use flax eggs)
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup neutral oil (organic vegetable, canola or grapeseed)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 recipe Powdered Sugar Icing (optional; or use 1/2 recipe)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8 or 9-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. 
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, applesauce, oil, and vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients and stir until just combined and a smooth dough forms.
  4. Bake: Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake 55 to 65 minutes, until it feels solid and a toothpick comes out mostly clean with some clinging crumbs, or the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The exact timing will depend on the size of the pan.
  5. Cool the bread in the pan for 15 minutes. Then run a knife around the edge and invert the loaf onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Or if desired, allow to cool fully to room temperature (about 1 hour), then drizzle with Powdered Sugar Icing (if desired, use a half recipe for less sweetness). Storage info: The bread lasts 4 to 5 days at room temperature wrapped in aluminum foil, refrigerated for 10 days, or frozen for 3 months (slice it into pieces and wrap it in plastic wrap then a freezer-safe bag or container).
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Quick Bread

Keywords: Applesauce bread, Applesauce bread recipe

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Iced Applesauce Cookies

No one will be able to stop eating these applesauce cookies! Made with applesauce and oatmeal, they’re laced with an easy icing drizzle. Hello and welcome to our new favorite cookie recipe…spiced Applesauce Cookies! These are so moist and irresistible, you’ll forget about everything else and you savory each chewy bite. (Sorry, not sorry.) The applesauce makes them ultra moist, and they’ve got a little oatmeal to balance the sweet. But make no mistake: these aren’t a health food. They’re more like a lighter version of an oatmeal cream pie: which is AOK in our book. Here’s what to know about them! Ingredients for applesauce cookies These applesauce cookies are perfectly spiced to perfection, and so moist you won’t believe how soft and chewy they are. I always reach for a soft cookie over a crispy one (chewy ginger molasses cookies, any day). So this type of cookie is my ultimate. Here’s what you’ll need for the tastiest applesauce oatmeal cookies: All purpose flour Old Fashioned rolled oats (aka oatmeal!) Light brown sugar & granulated sugar Cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves Baking soda Salt Applesauce Neutral oil Egg Vanilla extract When it comes to a neutral oil, you can use grapeseed […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

No one will be able to stop eating these applesauce cookies! Made with applesauce and oatmeal, they’re laced with an easy icing drizzle.

Applesauce cookies

Hello and welcome to our new favorite cookie recipe…spiced Applesauce Cookies! These are so moist and irresistible, you’ll forget about everything else and you savory each chewy bite. (Sorry, not sorry.) The applesauce makes them ultra moist, and they’ve got a little oatmeal to balance the sweet. But make no mistake: these aren’t a health food. They’re more like a lighter version of an oatmeal cream pie: which is AOK in our book. Here’s what to know about them!

Ingredients for applesauce cookies

These applesauce cookies are perfectly spiced to perfection, and so moist you won’t believe how soft and chewy they are. I always reach for a soft cookie over a crispy one (chewy ginger molasses cookies, any day). So this type of cookie is my ultimate. Here’s what you’ll need for the tastiest applesauce oatmeal cookies:

  • All purpose flour
  • Old Fashioned rolled oats (aka oatmeal!)
  • Light brown sugar & granulated sugar
  • Cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Applesauce
  • Neutral oil
  • Egg
  • Vanilla extract

When it comes to a neutral oil, you can use grapeseed oil, organic canola oil, or vegetable oil: any oil that has a neutral flavor. Avoid olive oil since it’s rather strong! You can also substitute melted butter for oil if you wish.

Applesauce oatmeal cookies

Add icing for best results!

The best part about these applesauce cookies? The powdered sugar icing! This icing takes them up a notch: both in overall presentation and in flavor! The sweet icing adds just the right additional sweetness to each bite. (Side bonus: it reminds us of an oatmeal cream pie.) Here’s what to know about this easy icing:

  • Mix powdered sugar with milk until smooth (quantities here). Easy as that! Make it dairy free with dairy free milk.
  • Drizzle with a fork, not a spoon! Yes, that’s right. We always reach for a spoon: but it’s the tines of a fork that make the best icing drizzle! Trust us.
  • Add color if desired. We made a cute holiday version by splitting the icing and adding food coloring to make half red and half green.

Tips for making applesauce cookies

Here are a few tips for the baking portion of applesauce cookies. It’s very easy and similar to most standard cookie recipes. Just a few things to note are:

  • The dough will be very sticky. It’s stickier than what you’d expect for say, a chocolate chip cookie dough.
  • Observe the chill time. After you mix up the dough, chill for 10 minutes. Don’t skip this part: it helps so the cookies don’t spread when baking.
  • Use 2 spoons or a cookie scoop to shape drops. Don’t adjust the cookies once they’re on the tray. The dough is sticky, so it’s a little harder to work with and form into a round drop (the cookie scoop is easiest). But never fear: once your cookies are on the try, they’ll bake up nicely.
Applesauce cookies

Vegan variation

Want a vegan variation on these applesauce oatmeal cookies? Luckily, they’re easy to make plant based! All you have to do is substitute the egg with a flax egg. A flax egg is ground flax seed that’s mixed with water. Let it sit and it forms a gel-like substance you can use as a binder in vegan baked goods. It might sound odd but use it once, and you’ll see how easy it is! It works well in quick breads, cookies and pancakes.

Why bake with applesauce?

Why bake with applesauce? Adding this fruit puree gives cake a rich, moist crumb to baked goods. Applesauce is a well-known substitute for butter and oil in baking recipes, an easy way to cut the overall calories. In these cookies it’s used for moisture and overall flavor (the oil is still necessary!). Even though it only uses 1/2 cup applesauce, you can taste it in every bite.

Applesauce cookies

Storage info

These applesauce cookies store well and stay very moist in a closed container. Here’s what to know about storage:

  • Store at room temperature in a cookie tin for up to 5 days. If the cookies are becoming too moist, you can unseal the top and let it loosely cover the tin.
  • Freeze un-iced cookies for up to 3 months.

More recipes with applesauce

Applesauce is one of our favorite tricks in baking! If you love these applesauce oatmeal cookies (which we know you will), here are a few more recipes with applesauce you’ll enjoy:

This applesauce cookies recipe is…

Vegetarian. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, see the substitutes in the recipe.

Print
Applesauce cookies

Iced Applesauce Cookies


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 20 cookies
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

No one will be able to stop eating these applesauce cookies! Made with applesauce and oatmeal, they’re laced with an easy icing drizzle.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purposes flour
  • 1/2 cup Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice (or ginger)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 6 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 1 egg (or flax egg for vegan)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 x recipe of Powdered Sugar Icing

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients. In a separate medium bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until a sticky dough forms (it will be wetter than you expect).
  3. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and chill for 10 minutes. 
  4. Make 1 1/2 tablespoon-sized balls (using a size 40 cookie scoop, if you have it) and place them onto the baking sheet. Scoop or use 2 spoons to make evenly spaced drops onto the paper — don’t try to adjust or move them once they’re on the sheet. 
  5. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned. Allow to cool to room temperature before enjoying. If desired, make a criss-cross icing drizzle with a fork using our 1 Minute Powdered Sugar Icing. Store at room temperature in a cookie tin for up to 5 days, or freeze (un-iced) for up to 3 months.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Cookies

Keywords: Applesauce cookies

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Mini Pumpkin Pies

This mini pumpkin pies recipe makes the perfect dessert! Each bite has just the right creamy filling and flaky crust. Oh hello. Here’s a perfect tiny and cute dessert for Thanksgiving: Mini Pumpkin Pies! Over here Alex and I love anything that’s miniaturized. But these pies are more than just the novelty factor! They’re half the serving of a normal piece of pie, making them a healthy dessert option. They’re also customizable for gatherings of all sizes: you can make a half recipe if you don’t want to be stuck with an entire pie after the holiday! Even better: they’re incredibly tasty. Each bite has the perfect ratio of silky smooth filling to flaky pie crust. Ready to bake up some mini desserts? Filling ingredients for mini pumpkin pies The filling for these mini pumpkin pies is so delicious, you probably won’t be able to resist reaching for another one. Ironically this combats the intention of a small serving size, but since 2 mini pies equals one standard pie piece, we won’t blame you! The filling is creamy and cozy-spiced, with just the right autumnal zing from the spices. You’ll notice that there’s none of the standard evaporated milk here. […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This mini pumpkin pies recipe makes the perfect dessert! Each bite has just the right creamy filling and flaky crust.

Mini pumpkin pies

Oh hello. Here’s a perfect tiny and cute dessert for Thanksgiving: Mini Pumpkin Pies! Over here Alex and I love anything that’s miniaturized. But these pies are more than just the novelty factor! They’re half the serving of a normal piece of pie, making them a healthy dessert option. They’re also customizable for gatherings of all sizes: you can make a half recipe if you don’t want to be stuck with an entire pie after the holiday! Even better: they’re incredibly tasty. Each bite has the perfect ratio of silky smooth filling to flaky pie crust. Ready to bake up some mini desserts?

Filling ingredients for mini pumpkin pies

The filling for these mini pumpkin pies is so delicious, you probably won’t be able to resist reaching for another one. Ironically this combats the intention of a small serving size, but since 2 mini pies equals one standard pie piece, we won’t blame you! The filling is creamy and cozy-spiced, with just the right autumnal zing from the spices. You’ll notice that there’s none of the standard evaporated milk here. Here’s what’s in the filling for this mini pumpkin pie recipe:

  • Pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • Whipping cream
  • Vanilla extract
  • Light brown sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Spices: cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg

Whip them up in a blender, and you’re done! Easy peasy.

Mini pumpkin pies

How to make mini pumpkin pie crust: some tips!

The most involved part of making mini pumpkin pies is making the pastry crust! Here you’ll make a variation on our Homemade Pie Crust, then cut it into 4-inch circles. Here are a few notes on the technique:

  • Chill for 30 minutes while making the filling. Chilling the pie crust dough makes it easier to work with, with less risk of sticking.
  • Roll it out in an even rectangle: a pastry cloth can be helpful. It’s not required, but a pastry cloth is helpful for rolling out the pie crust. This is a canvas cloth that’s made for making pie crusts and cookies because again, it reduces sticking.
  • Use a 4-inch circular cookie cutter or glass, or free-hand it. You’ll need to make 4-inch circles in the dough. We already had a 4-inch circular biscuit cutter, but if you don’t you can use a glass that’s 4-inches in diameter. Or, you can use a ruler and approximate it free-hand!

Use a mini pie pan or muffin tin

There are two types of pans you can use for this mini pumpkin pies recipe: and both work great! Here’s what to know:

  • Mini pie pan: We used this mini pie pan. The advantage to this is that it has ridges so that the edges of the dough form into scallops as you see in the photographs. This is really only possible with this special pan!
  • Standard muffin pan: You can also use a standard muffin pan: which you likely have on hand! The edges will be straight and not crimped as you see in these photos.
Mini pumpkin pie recipe

Variation: vegan mini pumpkin pie recipe

Do you eat plant-based? No problem! You can make vegan mini pumpkin pies by following our Vegan Pumpkin Pie recipe! The vegan pastry crust is made with coconut oil or butter, and for the filling you’ll use coconut milk instead of whipping cream. It’s extraordinarily delicious! It tastes so good, no one will know it’s totally plant-based.

Topping for mini pumpkin pies

Of course, mini pumpkin pies are best when topped with a dollop of whipped cream! And the best whipped cream is homemade. We promise: its light and airy texture and rich flavor will blow you away! Here’s our recipe for whipped cream, and a tasty variation you can use to take it over the top:

Mini pumpkin pie

More mini pie ideas

There are lots of mini pies you can make using this formula! In fact, just make up the filling for your favorite pie and pop it into this crust. Here are some ideas:

Mini pumpkin pie recipe

This mini pumpkin pies recipe is…

Vegetarian. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, use the crust and filling from this Vegan Pumpkin Pies recipe.

Print
Mini pumpkin pies

Mini Pumpkin Pies


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This mini pumpkin pies recipe makes the perfect dessert! Each bite has just the right creamy filling and flaky crust. Want a vegan variation? Bake up this Vegan Pumpkin Pie as mini pies.


Ingredients

For the crust

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 6 to 7 tablespoons ice water

For the mini pumpkin pies

  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Make the crust: In a medium bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, kosher salt, and baking powder. Cut the butter into chunks, then use a pastry blender or fork to cut it into the flour mixture until a coarse meal texture is obtained. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons ice water over the flour, mixing gradually with fork until the dough sticks together. Add additional water by the tablespoon until the dough comes together with your hands, but is not sticky (add a bit more water or flour if necessary). Form the dough into a ball and refrigerate in a covered container until the filling is ready, or at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  3. Make the filling: Combine all of the filling ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. 
  4. Roll out the crusts: After the 30 minute rest, if you have a pastry cloth, set it up and dust it with flour; otherwise, flour a clean work surface. Put on a rolling pin cover (optional) and coat the pin in flour. Roll out the dough into a thin 13” x 18” rectangle. Cut into 4” circles (using a circular cutter or ruler) and gently press into pan. Gently encourage the edges of the dough to scallop.
  5. Add filling and bake: Pour the filling into each crust, letting it slightly mound on the top (a little will remain, which you can discard). Bake the pies for 24 to 26 minutes until the filling cracks and the crust starts to brown. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a baking rack and cool 30 minutes before serving.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Mini pumpkin pies

More Thanksgiving recipe ideas

Cooking Thanksgiving dinner? Here are some of our best Thanksgiving recipe ideas for this special holiday:

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Baked Oatmeal

You’ll be blown away by the flavor of this baked oatmeal! It’s so easy to make and endlessly versatile: a true go-to recipe. Vegan variation, too! Here’s a recipe that’s so full of cozy-spiced flavor, you’ll wonder where it’s been all your life. Meet this incredible easy baked oatmeal! Here’s that perfect breakfast or brunch recipe you search for when you have house guests to impress. But guess what? It also works for quick mornings! Bake up a pan in advance and then grab a square to go. It’s beyond easy, and the combination of the cinnamon, allspice and maple makes magic. In fact, we could not stop eating it. It’s that irresistible! So beware when you whip up a pan. Here’s what you need to know about the basic recipe, and a vegan baked oatmeal variation, too. Ingredients in the best baked oatmeal This baked oatmeal recipe is pretty ideal, if you ask us. First of all, it uses all ingredients we normally have in our pantry and fridge. It’s gluten free, and we’ve got a vegan variation too. We also created this recipe to taste like our favorite Maple Pecan Granola, so there’s that. It’s got just the […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

You’ll be blown away by the flavor of this baked oatmeal! It’s so easy to make and endlessly versatile: a true go-to recipe. Vegan variation, too!

Baked oatmeal

Here’s a recipe that’s so full of cozy-spiced flavor, you’ll wonder where it’s been all your life. Meet this incredible easy baked oatmeal! Here’s that perfect breakfast or brunch recipe you search for when you have house guests to impress. But guess what? It also works for quick mornings! Bake up a pan in advance and then grab a square to go. It’s beyond easy, and the combination of the cinnamon, allspice and maple makes magic. In fact, we could not stop eating it. It’s that irresistible! So beware when you whip up a pan. Here’s what you need to know about the basic recipe, and a vegan baked oatmeal variation, too.

Ingredients in the best baked oatmeal

This baked oatmeal recipe is pretty ideal, if you ask us. First of all, it uses all ingredients we normally have in our pantry and fridge. It’s gluten free, and we’ve got a vegan variation too. We also created this recipe to taste like our favorite Maple Pecan Granola, so there’s that. It’s got just the right cozy-spiced flavor, gooey but set texture, and the apple is the perfect fruit for baked oatmeal (in our opinion). The main ingredients for baked oatmeal are:

  • Rolled or old fashioned oats: Do not substitute steel cut oats, as they have a much different texture! Instead, go to Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal.
  • Pecan pieces or other nuts
  • Cinnamon, allspice, and vanilla
  • Baking powder
  • Egg
  • Milk
  • Maple syrup
  • Apple or other fruit (see below)
Baked oatmeal

Use any type of fresh or dried fruit!

Here’s the great thing about baked oatmeal: it’s endlessly customizable! You can make it with any type of fresh or dried fruit. Over here we think apples are perfect for baked oatmeal because they meld into the texture well and enhance the overall flavor. We’re not raisin fans in our baked oatmeal, but we’ll leave that up to you! You can use 1 cup of any type of fresh or dried fruit for your oatmeal, like:

  • Chopped apples
  • Chopped pears
  • Sliced bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Sliced strawberries
  • Raisins
  • Dried cranberries
  • Dried cherries
Baked oatmeal

Use any nut (or omit)

You can also use any type of nut in your baked oatmeal recipe! We prefer pecans because it reminds us of our favorite maple pecan granola: but you can leave the nuts out and it’s just as good! It’s nice to have a crunch and the added plant-based protein, though. Here are a few other ideas for nuts or seeds to use in baked oatmeal:

  • Pecans
  • Almonds: chopped, slivered or sliced
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin seeds

The secret to this baked oatmeal: allspice

This baked oatmeal has just the right blend of spices! There’s the ever-present cinnamon, of course. But the kicker? Allspice. It’s got just the right hint of intrigue that makes taking each bite irresistible. If you don’t have allspice on hand, it’s worth getting for this recipe: trust us!

Don’t want to make a trip to the store? You can omit it, or use the same amount of ground ginger. Just make sure to try it with allspice the next time, ok?

How to make baked oatmeal

Vegan variation

This recipe is easy to make into vegan baked oatmeal! Here are a few simple swaps you can make to make this into a vegan breakfast:

  • Use a flax egg instead of egg. A flax egg is simple to make with ground flax seed and water, a trick used in lots of vegan baked goods.
  • Use your favorite non-dairy milk. Almond milk and oat milk are the most common in our refrigerator.
  • Use coconut oil instead of butter. Pour over a little melted coconut oil and maple syrup for the final flavoring.

Make ahead instructions for baked oatmeal

Here’s one thing to note about this baked oatmeal recipe: do not make the entire pan in advance and refrigerate overnight! Some recipes like overnight oats call for this, but don’t attempt it here. The problem? The oats will absorb all the liquid and be much too dry. You can mix up the wets and dries separately and store in separate containers (with the wets refrigerated), then pour them together in the morning and bake.

The easiest way to make this for healthy breakfasts throughout the week? Make up a pan on a Sunday night, then refrigerate it for eating off of throughout the week. You can refrigerate leftovers for up to 1 week, and re-warm them in a 300 degree oven or the microwave.

Vegan baked oatmeal

More oatmeal recipes

Oatmeal is our whole grain breakfast of choice around here, if you haven’t noticed! If you love this baked oatmeal recipe, here are a few more of our basic oatmeal recipes to check out:

  • Best Oatmeal Here’s the very best oatmeal recipe that we make every day, vegan and plant based with tasty peanut butter and jelly toppings.
  • Easy Instant Pot Oatmeal Pressure cooker oatmeal is an easy breakfast! Made with rolled oats, toasted until fragrant then cooked for just 3 minutes.
  • Instant Oatmeal DIY genius for a quick healthy breakfast: it’s cheaper, healthier, and tastier than store bought packets.
  • Cherry Cardamom Baked Oatmeal One of our best loved breakfast recipes. It’s delicious, simple to make, naturally sweet, vegan, and gluten-free.
  • Carrot Cake Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal This cozy oatmeal is carrot cake flavored, with cozy spices and pecans.

This baked oatmeal recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, see the swaps below.

Print
Baked oatmeal

Easy Baked Oatmeal


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 to 8
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

You’ll be blown away by the flavor of this baked oatmeal! It’s so easy to make and endlessly versatile: a true go-to recipe. Vegan variation listed.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 apple, cut into small cubes (or 1 cup blueberries, raspberries, raisins, or dried cranberries)
  • 1 large egg (or flax egg for vegan)
  • 2 cups milk or non-dairy milk
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup, plus 1 tablespoon for drizzling
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter (coconut oil, for vegan)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.*
  2. Butter an 8 x 8″ or 9 x 9″ pan. In a medium bowl, mix together the rolled oats, pecan pieces, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, and kosher salt.
  3. Dump the dries into the prepared pan. Add the diced apple in a layer on top.
  4. In the same bowl, whisk the egg, then add the milk, maple syrup, and vanilla. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the oats. Shake the pan to make sure it gets evenly incorporated.
  5. Bake 40 to 45 minutes until the top is nicely golden and the oat mixture has set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  6. Before serving, melt the butter with the remaining 1 tablespoon maple syrup (in the microwave or on the stove). Drizzle the butter evenly over the top and serve. Store leftovers refrigerated for up to 1 week: reheat in a 300 degree oven or microwave until warm.

Notes

*Make ahead instructions: do not make the entire pan in advance and refrigerate overnight because the oats will absorb all the liquid. You can mix up the wets and dries separately and store in separate containers (with the wets refrigerated), then pour them together in the morning and bake.

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Baked oatmeal, Vegan baked oatmeal

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Apple Cinnamon Crumb Muffins

Apple cinnamon muffins with a sweet and buttery cinnamon crumb topping. These muffins are easy to make and are great for breakfast or snack time. Muffins are one of my favorite things to bake! I love that they double as a breakfast and snack and they’r…

Apple cinnamon muffins with a sweet and buttery cinnamon crumb topping. These muffins are easy to make and are great for breakfast or snack time. Muffins are one of my favorite things to bake! I love that they double as a breakfast and snack and they’re so good for days when you’re on the go.…

The post Apple Cinnamon Crumb Muffins appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Homemade Orange Bitters

Bitters are used in a number of cocktails. Even if you can’t strongly perceive them while you’re sipping your drink, like salt, lemon zest, and vanilla, bitters are used to balance the flavors in the glass, providing a gentle undernote to bolster or as a contrast to flavors, rather than domineering or taking center stage. When writing Drinking French* I kept in mind that most…

Bitters are used in a number of cocktails. Even if you can’t strongly perceive them while you’re sipping your drink, like salt, lemon zest, and vanilla, bitters are used to balance the flavors in the glass, providing a gentle undernote to bolster or as a contrast to flavors, rather than domineering or taking center stage.

When writing Drinking French* I kept in mind that most people either didn’t have access to a wide variety of bitters, or didn’t want to amass a line-up of little bottles of bitters at home just to make one cocktail. Although sometimes, a certain bitter does make a difference. So a few times, I nudged readers who might want to expand their flavor horizons towards a particular bitter, such as eucalyptus or salted chocolate. But in the overall picture, I like to give choices when writing a recipe in a book, so as many people ca make it as possible.

My fallback bitters are orange and aromatic (Angostura) because I wanted to make sure to use ones that people could easily find. Heck, I’ve even seen Angostura being sold in French supermarkets, as well as at Target stores in the U.S. So there’s really not that much of a barrier to getting your hands on a bottle.

Continue Reading Homemade Orange Bitters...

Mulled Cider

Mulled cider is the very best cozy drink! Infused with spices like cinnamon and cloves, you can make it in a slow cooker or on the stove. Here’s a recipe for gray days and chilly evenings by the fire: mulled cider! Not only will it lift your spirits, it makes your kitchen smell like a candle shop. Alex and I made it for friends the other day, and instantly everyone gathered around the pot, chattering and cupping their hands around the warm mugs. Yes, it cultivates community too! Mulled cider is great for entertaining (like Thanksgiving and Christmas), and it’s easy to make on the stove or a slow cooker. Ready to get started? What are mulled cider spices? Mulled cider is made with whole spices, which infuse the entire drink with that signature cozy flavor. If you taste straight apple cider, you’ll find the flavor is crisp and apple forward. But after simmering with mulling spices, the flavor blossoms into something warm and spiced. Because dried and ground spices would end up making the drink cloudy, you’ll use whole spices for the simmering. Mulled cider spices include: Cinnamon sticks Cloves Allspice berries Whole nutmeg Star anise Star anise is the […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes

Mulled cider is the very best cozy drink! Infused with spices like cinnamon and cloves, you can make it in a slow cooker or on the stove.

Mulled cider

Here’s a recipe for gray days and chilly evenings by the fire: mulled cider! Not only will it lift your spirits, it makes your kitchen smell like a candle shop. Alex and I made it for friends the other day, and instantly everyone gathered around the pot, chattering and cupping their hands around the warm mugs. Yes, it cultivates community too! Mulled cider is great for entertaining (like Thanksgiving and Christmas), and it’s easy to make on the stove or a slow cooker. Ready to get started?

Mulled cider

What are mulled cider spices?

Mulled cider is made with whole spices, which infuse the entire drink with that signature cozy flavor. If you taste straight apple cider, you’ll find the flavor is crisp and apple forward. But after simmering with mulling spices, the flavor blossoms into something warm and spiced. Because dried and ground spices would end up making the drink cloudy, you’ll use whole spices for the simmering. Mulled cider spices include:

  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Cloves
  • Allspice berries
  • Whole nutmeg
  • Star anise

Star anise is the most unique of all these mulled cider spices. It’s star-shaped and is available at most grocery stores. If you can’t find it, you can also buy star anise online.

Mulled cider spices

Tips for making the best mulled cider

While mulled cider isn’t rocket science, there are a few things to keep in mind when making this cozy drink. Here’s what makes this recipe your new go-to:

  • Toast the spices first. Toasting the spices for a few minutes in the pot or a skillet helps to release even more of their flavor during the simmering time. (This kick starts the incredible aroma!)
  • Garnish last. If you cook mulled cider with fruit like orange slices and apple slices, they’ll fall to the bottom and the color will fade. Instead, use them as a garnish after cooking: it looks beautiful for serving!
  • Strain if desired. Some brands of apple cider have some particulate in the bottom of the jug. This is completely expected! You can strain off any particulate that rises to the top, or just stir to re-incorporate it.
Mulled cider

Three methods: Stovetop, Slow Cooker, Instant Pot!

There are a few different ways to make mulled cider: each have pros and cons! Here’s a breakdown:

  • Stovetop method: The quickest! Only takes 1 hour. The only thing is you’ll have to watch to make sure that it stays on the lowest warming setting: it shouldn’t even come to a simmer.
  • Slow cooker method: Takes 3 hours. Totally hands off, it’s great for times when you can throw ingredients in the slow cooker while you prep other foods. Also, you can leave it on the warm setting and serve it right out of the Crock Pot.
  • Instant Pot method: Same advantages as above! Use this version if you have a pressure cooker and not a slow cooker.
Spiked mulled cider

Step it up: make spiked mulled cider!

This mulled cider is fabulous on it’s own, but you can step it up by stirring in rum at the end! The rum adds a bit of warmth and takes it to another level. Spiked mulled cider is the perfect party drink! If you’re serving a party where not everyone is drinking, you could also leave out the rum and let guests add a splash to their own drinks. The quantity in the recipe below adds only 1/2 tablespoon rum per glass: so all you need is a small swig!

Mulled cider

More cozy drinks

Looking for more cozy drinks like this one? Some of our favorite warming drinks for the season are:

  • Vegan Hot Chocolate or Gingerbread Hot Chocolate: No need for pre-made packets! Homemade hot chocolate is easy to make and turns out creamy and chocolatey.
  • Apple Cider Sangria: This cozy sangria pairs sparkling apple cider with red wine, orange and cinnamon. In a word: wow.
  • Mulled Wine: Why not make mulled wine, too? Simmer red wine with orange zest, cloves, cinnamon sticks, allspice and honey. This cozy drink will warm you from the inside out!

This mulled cider is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, plant-based, vegan, and dairy-free.

Print
Mulled cider

Best Mulled Cider


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8

Description

Mulled cider is the very best cozy drink! Infused with spices like cinnamon and cloves, you can make it in a slow cooker or on the stove (and enjoy that aroma!).


Ingredients

  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 10 allspice berries
  • 10 cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 gallon apple cider*
  • 1/4 cup rum, optional
  • 1 small orange, for garnish
  • Whole cranberries, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Toast the spices: Add the nutmeg, allspice, cloves, star anise and cinnamon to the bottom of a pot (or to a skillet for Slow Cooker instructions). Toast over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.
  2. Stovetop cooking instructions: Turn the heat to low. Pour in the apple cider and bring to below a simmer, just barely bubbling. Warm for 1 hour on low heat (don’t let it simmer). Skim off any particulate if desired, or stir to re-incorporate it.
  3. Slow Cooker & Instant Pot instructions: Place the apple cider in the slow cooker or Instant Pot (pressure cooker) with the spices. Cook on low for 3 hours OR Normal using the Instant Pot “Slow Cooker” setting.
  4. If using, stir in the rum. Garnish with orange slices and cranberries, then serve.

Notes

*Doubles easily, and fits into a standard slow cooker or Instant Pot.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stovetop / Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Mulled Cider, Hot Mulled Cider, Mulled Cider Spices, Mulled Cider Recipe

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes

Spiced Orange Spritzer.

If you’re totally over apple cider, this spiced orange spritzer is your gal!! It’s a cross between a better mimosa and an aperol spritz (uh, without the aperol) and tasts absolutely incredibly – and just like this season smells.  In a good way. You know?  To be honest, I was desperate for a cocktail that […]

The post Spiced Orange Spritzer. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

If you’re totally over apple cider, this spiced orange spritzer is your gal!!

The spiced orange spritzer is a fancier mimosa and similar to an aperol spritz! A fresh spiced orange juice based mixed with prosecco and seltzer. So good!

It’s a cross between a better mimosa and an aperol spritz (uh, without the aperol) and tasts absolutely incredibly – and just like this season smells. 

In a good way.

You know? 

orange juice and allspice

To be honest, I was desperate for a cocktail that didn’t include cranberry, pomegranate or cider! I mean, sure, don’t worry, I have a cranberry one coming next week. Of course. Eyeroll. 

For now though?

We are going full blown orange spice.

This orange spice combo is one we have been obsessed with this month. I have another quick appetizer coming for you next week that is orange spiced flavored, and while I always say that I’m not the hugest fan of orange, this is the business.

I swear, it’s the allspice and nutmeg that make it different. Just different enough. 

The spiced orange spritzer is a fancier mimosa and similar to an aperol spritz! A fresh spiced orange juice based mixed with prosecco and seltzer. So good!

The spritzer starts with a fresh orange juice base. Use that smeg juicer because it’s the best! You whisk together fresh juice, fresh orange zest, a drop of honey, allspice and nutmeg. Oh my word, this mixture is so incredible!

A word on the zest: if you really dislike pulp in orange juice, you may want to skip the zest. BUT! It adds such a sweet little zing to the drink. It adds so much orange flavor. If you don’t mind a few sips of zest, leave it in. It’s super good!

This spiced orange juice gets poured over iced, then topped with prosecco. I prefer prosecco over anything else because it tends to be drier. And it just… tastes good. Obviously.

Then! That gets topped with orange seltzer. Or plain seltzer, whichever you have on hand. The orange adds some extra oomph.

The spiced orange spritzer is a fancier mimosa and similar to an aperol spritz! A fresh spiced orange juice based mixed with prosecco and seltzer. So good!

I love this drink because it doesn’t taste as breakfast-like as a mimosa. It has a touch more flavor and tastes slightly more sophisticated, which I think makes it perfect for dinner! Or pre-dinner cocktails.

It goes fantastically well with all the Thanksgiving flavors, like cranberry and pomegranate and sage and turkey and stuffing. 

Oh that same note, it wouldn’t be entirely inappropriate to serve it at breakfast. Or brunch. 

The spiced orange spritzer is a fancier mimosa and similar to an aperol spritz! A fresh spiced orange juice based mixed with prosecco and seltzer. So good!

So let’s do that! 

The spiced orange spritzer is a fancier mimosa and similar to an aperol spritz! A fresh spiced orange juice based mixed with prosecco and seltzer. So good!

Spiced Orange Spritzer

Spiced Orange Spritzer

The spiced orange spritzer is a fancier mimosa and similar to an aperol spritz! A fresh spiced orange juice based mixed with prosecco and seltzer. So good!

  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 pinch allspice
  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • 2 to 3 ounces prosecco
  • 2 ounces orange seltzer
  • Orange wedges for garnish
  1. Fill 2 wine glasses with ice. In a measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the orange juice, zest, allspice, nutmeg and honey. Divide the mixture evenly over the ice in the wine glasses.
  2. Top each glass with the prosecco and then the seltzer. Garnish with an orange wedge. Serve immediately!

The spiced orange spritzer is a fancier mimosa and similar to an aperol spritz! A fresh spiced orange juice based mixed with prosecco and seltzer. So good!

Wow at how much I love this.

The post Spiced Orange Spritzer. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Easy Pumpkin Spice Latte

You may already be enjoying pumpkin spice lattes, but we’ve only just started craving them as the weather has finally cooled down and fall produce has begun popping up at the market. Swoon.
Is anyone else a sucker for fall? Chilly mornings, sunn…

Easy Pumpkin Spice Latte

You may already be enjoying pumpkin spice lattes, but we’ve only just started craving them as the weather has finally cooled down and fall produce has begun popping up at the market. Swoon.

Is anyone else a sucker for fall? Chilly mornings, sunny afternoons, cozy food, good TV shows return. I mean, what’s not to love?

Let’s celebrate with a healthier, homemade take on pumpkin spice lattes.

Easy Pumpkin Spice Latte from Minimalist Baker →