Avid blogger Lisa Pitman, is a social worker by day, but remains fully engaged in the vegan community during her leisure hours. She holds a Raw Chef Certificate from Matthey Kenney OKC and contributes recipes to One Green Planet and tests recipes for several cookbook authors. She was a vegetarian from childhood and became vegan in her teens. Today she is passionate about her vegan lifestyle, knowing her food choices leave a lighter footprint on the planet. Lisa follows a gluten-free diet also free of refined sugars, oils, and flours. For a taste of more of Lisa’s culinary delights, visit her vibrant blog at Vegan Culinary Crusade .
I am so happy that vegan food blogs have connected me to amazing people around the world AND has helped me to discover the incredible versatility of the great pumpkin. Seriously, a few years ago I never would have imagined making waffles, pancakes, scones, oatmeal, cheesecake and smoothies with pumpkin. But now it seems like the only way to celebrate the season.
After prepping and baking a couple of pie pumpkins and adding it to everything I could think of, I still had a few cups left of perfect puree.
I planned to freeze the leftovers, but as soon as I thought about using my precious freezer space, I decided to make it worth it by turning the pumpkin into a delicious batch of Chai Pumpkin Ice Cream (recipe below). That’s what you would do, right?
So, I have enjoyed a scoop here and there over the last few weeks but all the pumpkin MoFo posts (I’m looking at you Shellyfish) have inspired me to break out that pumpkin pint and fancy it up.
A spicy, cinnamon, ginger cookie recipe from Sweet Gratitude caught my eye. I knew it would turn my chai pumpkin ice creem into something spectacular.
I weighed out some medjool dates. Then, I combined raw almonds, grated ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, vanilla and a pinch of salt, in my food processor.
Until the texture was like a crumbly pie crust. Next I rolled the batter out on a Silpat sheet or wax paper.
Then I cut out circles (make sure you have even numbers). And transferred the cookies to a plate covered with wax paper. Put the plate in the freezer to firm up for 30 minutes.
Rolled the “in-between” extra dough into fantastic ginger-almond-date balls.
Assessed the flavour.
Before I started assembling the cookies I let the ice creem soften at room-temperature for 30 minutes (right, so take it out when you put the cookies in). Then I topped half of the cookies with small scoops of chai pumpkin ice creem.
Added the top. Pressed the cookies together and smoothed the sides of the ice creem.
I just kept scooping and squishing until all the cookies were partnered up and hugging some pumpkin.
Then I had to assess the flavour again. Working in quality control in this kitchen is one fantastic job. So, there you have it, raw, vegan pumpkin pie ice creem sandwiches.
CHAI PUMPKIN ICE CREAM
1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked 4 hours and drained
1 1/2 cup water
1 TBSP chai spice (I used Arvinda’s Masala Chai but you could use pumpkin pie spice instead)
2/3 cups agave syrup
2 TBSP maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 TBSP lecithin
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
Combine all of the ingredient, except the coconut oil and lecithin in your blender. Blend until very smooth. Add the lecithin and coconut oil and pulse until incorporated. Chill in your fridge for two hours or in the freezer for 30 minutes. Churn in your ice cream maker for 25 minutes (or in accordance with manufacture’s instructions).
AUTUMN APPLE CRISP
Over the years I’ve been able to share my passion for apples with my niece and nephews. They can easily recognize JonaGolds and Mutsu’/Crispin and know the “eye to the sky” technique for gently picking each piece of fruit without harming the tree.
Although I am jealous of people who live in places where mangoes grow in their yards and papaya is fresh and fragrant, I am also grateful I live in a city where apple thrive. We have heritage varieties like maiden’s blush, ribston pippin and northern spy.
My favourite treat – apple crisp. I never ask for cake. I just prefer the sweet, apple cinnamon combination. The recipe below is perfect for my celebration as it is both vegan and raw. When you have great ingredients you really don’t want to mess with them.
P.S. I don call adding Vanilla Coconut Bliss messing with anything.
I first tasted this raw version of my favourite treat when Nicole made a cake for our Harvest Brunch. Although I have loved the cooked version for years, this recipe reigned supreme.
RAW APPLE CRISP
adapted from Heathy’s recipe on Sweetly Raw
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
3 TBSP medjool dates, pitted
In a food processor, pulse the ingredients until they form a coarse meal. Press half of the mixture into single serving ramekins, mini pie plates or springform pans. Reserve the remaining crumble.
3 medium apples, cored and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup medjool dates
2 TBSP raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
In a food processor, puree one apple and the remaining ingredients until smooth. Add the two remaining apples in the food processor and pulse until they break down into small pieces. Do not over blend – you want some apple bits.
Pour the filling onto the prepared crust. Sprinkle the reserved crumble mixture on top. You can enjoy the crisp right away, chill it in the fridge, or warm it in your oven or dehydrator. It is super simple, full of flavour and nutrition – and a great addition to any fall tradition.