Nothing Says fall quite like these Apple Spice muffins. With a streusel-like topping and chunks of apple, they are the perfect treat to cozy up with after a day of apple picking (and a great way to use up some of your bounty!)

To give these muffins even more texture, try chopping some walnuts or pecans – they both pair beautifully with brown sugar and apples and warm fall spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.

Apple Spice Muffins

Prep time: 10 minutes⁣
Cook time: 20 minutes⁣
Nut-free⁣
Yields 12 muffins⁣

Ingredients:⁣

1 tablespoon ground flax⁣
2 tablespoons hot tap water⁣
2 cups all-purpose flour⁣
½ cup granulated sugar⁣
3 teaspoons baking powder⁣
1 tablespoon cinnamon, divided⁣
¼ teaspoon nutmeg⁣
¼ teaspoon ginger⁣
½ teaspoon salt⁣
½ cup butter, chilled⁣
1 tablespoon brown sugar⁣
1 large Honeycrisp apple, diced⁣
⅔ cup unsweetened plant-based milk of choice⁣


Directions:⁣

1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a muffin tray with muffin cups or grease with butter/cooking spray.⁣

2. Combine the ground flax and hot water in a small bowl. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes until thick.⁣

3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, ½ tablespoon of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives working in a criss-cross motion, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.⁣

4. Measure out and remove ¼ cup of the mix, adding it to a small bowl with the remaining ½ tablespoon of cinnamon and all the brown sugar. Reserve this for topping the muffins.⁣

5. To the remaining mix, add the diced apple, flax mixture and the milk, stirring until just combined. The batter should be thick and lumpy.

6. Using 2” ice cream scoop to ensure even amounts, fill the muffin cups ¾ full. Lightly sprinkle the tops with the reserved topping. Bake for 15-20 min or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.⁣

Have you tried my ultimate ranch seasoning yet? It takes just minutes to make and lasts forever.⁣

 I make a huge jar of it and use it for everything – ranch dips and dressings, as a seasoning for roasted potatoes, and as a popcorn shaker or coating for roasted cashews.⁣

It’s delish and made from just 6 pantry staples so it’s easy to keep on hand for all your ranch needs.

I’ve included the recipe for my seasoning mix and how to turn it into a ranch dip. So the next time you’re craving some Buffalo Cauliflower Wings, you’re covered!

Vegan Ranch Seasoning

(makes about 3 cups)⁣

¼ cup ground black pepper⁣
1 ½ cups dried parsley flakes⁣
3 tablespoons kosher salt⁣
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons garlic powder⁣
¾ cups onion powder⁣
3 tablespoons dried dill⁣

Combine all ingredients in an airtight glass container. Cover and shake well to mix. Store in the pantry for up to 6 months.⁣

To make a vegan ranch dip, combine:

3 tablespoons ranch seasoning

2/3 cup vegan sour cream

1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise

juice of one lemon

Mix well and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving.

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I had an abundance of red radishes recently and, after roasting a few and pickling a bunch, I needed a creative way to use up the rest of them.⁣

Cool, creamy, tangy tzatziki is one of my favorite dips, and I’ve got a wicked dairy-free version in my first cookbook that has fooled many non-vegans into thinking they were eating the “real deal”.  I decided to mix it up by swapping the cucumber for radishes, which add a nice peppery bite (and gorgeous pink hue) to this delicious condiment.

Radish Tzatziki pairs perfectly with my soy curl shawarma recipe from The Budget-Friendly Vegan Cookbook, and also works well as a veggie burger topping, a veggie platter dip and so much more. And since radishes are always in season, you can enjoy this condiment all year long.

Vegan Radish Tzatziki

6 red radishes, scrubbed clean and grated on a box grater⁣
2/3 cup vegan sour cream (or unsweetened vegan Greek-style yogurt)⁣
1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise⁣
1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill⁣
1 teaspoon lemon zest⁣
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice⁣
1 teaspoon salt⁣
1 garlic clove, minced⁣
 ½ teaspoon onion powder⁣

Squeeze grated radishes to remove as much water as possible and place in a medium-size bowl.  Add all remaining ingredients and mix well to combine. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld.  Serve or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.⁣

I came across a non-vegan version of this recipe in a vintage cookbook and decided I needed it in my life. And being that it’s a yeast-free bread, it was right up my alley. (My breadmaking skills leave much to be desired. I have this unfounded fear of working with yeast. Yes, I know…I need to get over that, pronto!)

As a child, I lived on peanut butter. Literally lived on it. I was that kid that skipped pizza and burgers for a PB sandwich (sans jelly- I was never a fan of anything jiggly). And as a teen, if I didn’t like what was being served for dinner, peanut butter came to my rescue.

Now I’m raising two peanut-butter loving daughters, so when I saw this recipe, I knew we had to try it.

I used dairy-free peanut butter chips to boost the peanut butter flavor. You can find dairy-free flavored chips, like white chocolate, peanut butter or butterscotch in most kosher grocery stores, or online. If you can’t find them, just add a little extra peanut butter.

I recommend baking this bread the night before so it’s ready first thing in the morning. The flavor gets better overnight and all you have to do when you get up is make a cup of coffee!

Peanut Butter Quick Bread

prep time: 5 minutes

bake time: 60 minutes

2 cups all-purpose flour⁣⁣
1/4 cup granulated sugar⁣⁣
4 teaspoons baking powder⁣⁣
1/4 teaspoon salt⁣⁣
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter⁣⁣
1 1/3 cups unsweetened almond milk⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a standard loaf tin.⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix just until a dough forms. Transfer to prepared tin and bake for 55-60 min or until a cake tester in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 min then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. ⁣⁣
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So… remember that just-like-grandma-made blueberry muffin recipe I shared last week?⁣ Turns out they also make the best-ever Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Muffins.⁣ Soft and fluffy on the inside with perfectly baked crunchy sugar tops.⁣

I always find myself making a double batch of these because they disappear so quickly. Its that crunchy-sugar topping that makes them so irresistible.

Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Muffins

yields: 12 muffins

Prep time: 10 minutes

Bake time: 25 minutes

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cups granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup unsweetened almond milk, or more as needed
1 ½  cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon turbinado or raw sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a standard muffin tray with liners.

2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Make a well in the center and add oil, applesauce, and almond milk. Stir just until a batter forms (it will be thick and sticky.) Gently fold in 1 cup of chocolate chips.

3. Scoop out batter into the prepared tray, filling each well about 2/3 full. Top with remaining half cup of chocolate chips, pressing each one gently into the muffin batter. Bake for 22 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean and the muffins are lightly golden.

Meet your new poolside, beachside, backyard-side snacking companion: Spicy Vegan Jerky.⁠⁣⁣⁠
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Made with Butler soy curls and a blend of seasonings, this jerky is our go-to sweet, spicy & savory snack. It’s perfect on a charcuterie board with vegan cheese and all the accessories, or just on its own. ⁣⁣⁠
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And when major league sports starts up again, you’ve got game-time snacking DONE!⁠⁣⁣⁠ You can get the recipe for a BBQ version of this Soy Jerky in my new cookbook, The Budget-Friendly Vegan Cookbook, but if you can’t wait, I’m sharing the original Smoky Spicy Version here.

You can find Butler Soy Curls online at Amazon and in most specialty/natural food stores.

Smoky Vegan Soy Curl Jerky

prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 70 minutes

1/4 cup tamari⁠⁣⁣⁠
1/4 cup molasses⁠⁣⁣⁠
2-3 drops of liquid smoke (optional but it adds a nice smokiness to it)⁠⁣⁣⁠
2 teaspoons kosher salt⁠⁣⁣⁠
2 teaspoons onion powder⁠⁣⁣⁠
2 teaspoons garlic powder⁠⁣⁣⁠
1/2 – 1 teaspoon cayenne powder⁠⁣⁣⁠
1/2 cup neutral oil like canola or grapeseed⁠⁣⁣⁠
2 cups boiling water⁠⁣⁣⁠
1 x 8oz bag Butler Soy Curls⁠⁣⁣⁠
⁠⁣⁣⁠
1. Preheat your oven to 275F and line a standard baking sheet with parchment paper.⁠⁣⁣⁠
⁠⁣⁣⁠
2. In a large bowl, whisk to combine the tamari, molasses, liquid smoke, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, and oil. Add the water and whisk again until blended.⁠⁣⁣⁠
⁠⁣⁣⁠
3. Add the soy curls and let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed (you will still have some leftover, that’s okay) and the soy curls are plump and tender. Transfer the curls only to the prepared baking sheet, discarding the leftover marinade. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, turning every 15 minutes. Cool completely.⁠⁣⁣⁠
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This is the Ultimate Vegan Tuna Sandwich.

I make a tub of this “tuna” mix every weekend and pretty much live on it throughout the week, the same way my twenty-something self lived on real tuna. And every time I take a bite, I’m still amazed at how much it tastes like tuna.

The natural brine flavor from chickpeas and canned hearts of palm, plus the addition of kelp flakes gives this mock tuna the fishiness of the real deal, without harming any sea life.

Kelp flakes are a type of ground seaweed and are readily available in the fish section of most grocery and health/natural food stores these days, as well as online.
I like using a mix of chickpeas and hearts of palm for this salad to capture both the texture and color of chunk tuna from the mashed chickpeas and the flakiness of tender hearts of palm that mimic tuna so well.
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The Ultimate Vegan Tuna Salad⁣⁠
Prep time: 20 minutes⁣⁠
Makes 6 sandwiches⁣⁠
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⁣⁠
1 x 14oz can chickpeas, drained⁣⁠
1 x 14oz can hearts of palm, drained and roughly chopped⁣⁠
1 celery stalk, diced⁣⁠
2 green onions, diced ⁣⁠
½ kosher dill pickle, diced⁣⁠
1 teaspoon green relish⁣⁠
1 teaspoon ballpark mustard⁣⁠
¼ – ½ teaspoon sriracha⁣⁠
½ teaspoon tamari⁣⁠
1 heaping tablespoon vegan mayonnaise⁣⁠
½ teaspoon kelp flakes⁣⁠
½ teaspoon ground black pepper⁣⁠
¼ teaspoon kosher salt⁣⁠
⁣⁠
1. In a medium-size bowl, combine the chickpeas and hearts of palm and mash using a fork or potato masher until semi-chunky, but spreadable.⁣⁠
2. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, and sriracha as needed.⁣⁠

Welcome to the easiest, fluffiest, just-like-grandma-made-them blueberry muffins ever!⁣⁠
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These one-bowl muffins have the greatest slightly-chewy and crispy top, and a fluffy crumb interior that is just bursting with blueberry flavor. ⁣⁠
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And they literally take less than 30 minutes to make.⁣⁠

Grandma’s Blueberry Muffins

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cups granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup unsweetened almond milk, or more as needed
1 ½  cups fresh or frozen blueberries, plus extra for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a standard muffin tray with liners.

2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Make a well in the center and add oil, applesauce, and almond milk. Stir just until a batter forms (it will be thick and sticky.) Gently fold in 1 cup of blueberries.

3. Scoop out batter into the prepared tray, filling each well about 2/3 full. Top with remaining half cup of blueberries, pressing each one gently into the muffin batter. Bake for 22 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean and the muffins are lightly golden.

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with M&M cookies. We had a local bakery that used to make them, and getting one was a huge treat. Theirs were huge, like really huge – and I’m not just saying that because I was a kid and everything seemed big. They were legitimately BIG cookies, with a crispy exterior, chewy interior and tons of M&M candies throughout. It was the perfect cookie.

I discovered recently that my kids have no idea what M&Ms are. It makes sense…my oldest is allergic to dairy and would never have been given any, and my youngest is just discovering the world of candy and doesn’t know many by name. Being that both my kids are also vegan, it’s not like M&Ms are ever on their radar. But one of them asked me recently what my favorite cookie was as a child and of course, I said the “M&M cookie from Bregmans” – which led to a slew of questions about what exactly and M&M cookie was, are they vegan, and can we make some?

I never really need to be asked twice to bake cookies. They are just about my favorite thing in the world to make, and I’ve been obsessed lately with creating the ultimate vegan cookie base. Soft and chewy on the inside, crisp and buttery on the outside, and strong enough to hold a boatload of chocolate chips. After years of trying, I’ve found the perfect recipe. So I decided to test them out with something other than chocolate chips.

During a stroll through a sort-of-local kosher grocery store, I stumbled upon these little chocolate gems. If you’re not familiar, kosher grocery stores (or the kosher section of a regular grocery store) can be a great place to find many accidentally vegan items, since kosher rules do not allow for the mixing of dairy and meat products in their ingredients, or during a meal. Therefore, many kosher baked goods, candies, chocolate and other foods are dairy-free so that they can be served with either meat or dairy dishes. (That being said, “eggs” are something that can pass for either dairy or meat in a kosher scenario, so if you’re vegan and looking at kosher products, always read labels first!)

Anyway, back to these cookies. It’s the second day of a new school year here and also a year of big transitions: my youngest started her first year of french immersion in a new school (her big sister’s school), and my oldest is entering her final year of elementary school and preparing to move to french immersion middle school next year. To celebrate all these big changes, I decided to test out my vegan MM cookie recipe and surprise them after school.

The best part about this recipe is that you DON’T NEED TO CHILL THE DOUGH! You know all those awesome chocolate chip cookie recipes out there that require you to chill the dough for hours (or even – GASP! overnight?) Yeah,no…because when I want a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie, the last thing I want to do is have to wait for the dough to “set up”.

This dough recipe comes together in minutes and can go straight from the mixing bowl to the oven, meaning you get delicious, crispy and chewy cookies in very little time. Awesome, right?

The dough is a great base recipe and can be used for M&Ms, or chocolate chips (or any mix-ins really), so definitely keep it handy, even if you don’t have any vegan M&Ms on hand.

Bakers notes:

I used a 1.5 inch ice cream scoop to make these standard size cookies, and baked them for exactly 12 minutes. If you want to make larger cookies, adjust your bake time accordingly.

Cookies will look slightly puffy and underdone on top. This is totally okay.  As the cookies cool, they will flatten out naturally and get that crinkly, bakery-style look


Vegan Bakery Style M&M Cookies

(yield 36 cookies)

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

⅔ cup vegan butter, softened

⅔ cup granulated sugar

⅔ cup light brown sugar

½ cup unsweetened plant-based milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 ¼ cup mini vegan chocolate gems plus extra for garnish

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat.

2. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. In large bowl, cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy – about 5 minutes.  Add milk and vanilla and stir to combine.

4. Add dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture and stir until just combined. Add 1 ¼ cups mini vegan chocolate gems and mix until combined. Using a 1 ½ inch ice cream scoop, drop scoopfuls of dough onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2” spaces between each ball of dough.  You should be able to fit 12 on a sheet. Press additional candy gems into dough for a bakery-style cookie look.

5. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until bottoms are slightly golden.  Remove from oven and let sit on cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. 

**note: Cookies will look slightly puffy and underdone on top. This is totally okay.  As the cookies cool, they will flatten out naturally and get that crinkly, bakery-style look

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Clear the decks and put on a pot of good, strong coffee, because you’re going to want to make these biscotti ASAP. I’m not kidding. They are the perfect combination of chewy and crunchy; and are full of almond and orange flavours that are rich enough to balance out a bold coffee, but not overly sweet.

I worked my way through college as a barista in a local coffee chain here that had a version of these biscotti in their cafes, and I ate way more of them than I probably should have, but hey…7 or 8 hours on your feet slingin’ coffee affords you the luxury of a baked treat whose calories can be burned off by your next shift.

I rarely frequent that coffee chain anymore (Starbucks first opened in Toronto a couple of years after I graduated and became my coffee purveyor of choice for the past 20ish years), but I often think of those biscotti. I’ve never been able to find a close replica of them anywhere. And that old coffee chain stopped selling them years ago (before I went vegan and would have to give them up anyway.)

In my newly-launched cookbook, I have a vegan chocolate biscotti recipe, and I’ve been teaching biscotti-making techniques in my recent cooking classes, so I decided it was time to try recreating these elusive orange almond ones from my past. What makes these biscotti stand out from most others is the addition of ground oats. Most traditional versions just use flour, which gives the cookie a smooth, easy bite (especially when dunked in coffee). My version uses coarse ground oats and brown sugar instead of white, which adds a lot of texture and, after the initial outer crust, a chewy, dense center layered with a nutty, citrusy flavour. It’s a deeply satisfying cookie, and I’m super-excited to have them back in my life.

Because I was elbow-deep in dough as I was formulating this recipe, I tasked my nine-year-old daughter with being the official recipe-keeper for this experiment. In my beat up, food-splattered kitchen recipe journal that holds the trials and tribulations of every recipe I’ve ever tested, she dotingly wrote down every ingredient and measurement that I called out, recording not only the pertinent details of this experiment, but also adding her mark to a legacy that will one day be hers. And for that reason, these will always be my favorite biscotti.

Orange Almond Biscotti

Ingredients:

1 ¾ cups all purpose flour

½ cup coarsely ground oats

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

½ cup sliced almonds

½ tsp ground cinnamon

2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 4 tbsp hot water)

⅓ cup vegan butter, softened

¾ cup brown sugar

¼ cup + 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk 

1 tsp almond extract

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp orange zest

2 tbsp orange juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.

In a large bowl, combine flour, ground oats, baking powder, salt, sliced almonds and ground cinnamon. Set aside.

In a second bowl, add flax eggs, vegan butter, brown sugar, ¼ cup almond milk, almond and vanilla extracts, orange zest and orange juice.  Whisk to combine.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just combined and a dough forms.  It should be a bit sticky. If dough is too dry, add remaining 2 tbsp almond milk. Form dough into a ball and divide in half.

Place one half of the dough onto prepared baking sheet and form into an even log about 1 ½ inches thick. Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 30 minutes, then remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes.  Transfer to cutting board and cut on the bias into 1 inch thick slices.  Lay each cookie slice on its side on the baking sheet and continue baking for another 20-30 minutes or until edges are golden.

Remove from oven and cool completely.  Cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

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