Tag Archives: treat

Recipe: Whole Wheat Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

whole wheat vegan oatmeal cookies - tiffany lane

I’m no vegan, but I do appreciate plant based foods.  And not only are these babies vegan, they’re packed full of healthier whole foods like coconut oil, honey, coconut palm sugar, applesauce, whole wheat flour and oats.

You might be wondering why I’m posting a recipe with whole wheat when I’m trying to avoid it. Well, I made these cookies before my whole wheat detox and didn’t get a chance to share them with you. I’m sure I’ll make them again, wheat free, but in the mean time, those of you not avoiding wheat can try something yummy.

I originally made them over the holidays while visiting some vegan friends and again recently for game night.  Boy do they deliver! Trust me, these cookies are delicious and even approved by non-vegan folks!  If you don’t believe me and want to try your hand at a more traditional recipe, you can substitute equal parts butter for coconut oil and one egg for the applesauce.  But seriously, these are so good no one will bat an eye about what’s inside!

whole wheat vegan oatmeal cookies - tiffany lane

Whole Wheat Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from Williams Sonoma, Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

1 cup coconut oil
1 cup honey
1 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

3 cups rolled oats

Optional Add-Ins

1 cup: chopped dried fruit (pictured with raisins), coconut flakes, chocolate chips (vegan if necessary), nuts


In a saucepan, melt the coconut oil, then remove from heat.  Whisk in the honey and coconut palm sugar until blended, then add the applesauce and vanilla extract.

Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together into a small bowl, then slowly stir this mixture into the wet ingredients until blended.  Add the rolled oats and mix again.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mats.  Drop batter by the tablespoon  onto the prepared pans, spacing the cookies at least 2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies until golden brown, 12-15 minutes.  Once removed from the oven, allow to set for a couple of minutes, then transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.


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Recipe: Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies (Gluten Free)

peanut butter oatmeal cookies - tiffany lane

These are the best gluten free cookies I’ve ever had.  I made them recently for some friends and no one even knew they were GF.  Sadly and happily, there were no leftovers.   These cookies were a hit!  Find the recipe below.

On another note, some of you may be wondering what the heck “gluten free” means and why there is so much buzz all of a sudden.  I came across two articles recently you might find interesting, both from real food diet perspectives: What’s the Deal With Gluten? via Nourish With Karen and Food Allergies: Gluten via 100 Days of Real Food.  Something to keep in mind: if you are allergic or have sensitivity to gluten, there are lots of overly processed foods labeled as gluten free.  I cannot stress enough that this does not make them healthy for you!  You’ve still got to read ingredient labels.

For the record, I do not eat a primarily gluten free diet, nor do I think everyone needs to eat a gluten free diet, contrary to some popular beliefs.  There are, however, many people with allergies to gluten as well as many others with sensitivities/intolerance.  This is not to say I don’t enjoy some gluten free foods every now and then, but that’s merely because some foods just happen to be gluten free and that I like to vary my diet, switching up my grains, and sometimes not eating grains at all.

Which brings up another good point: not all foods and meals need grains!  Studies have shown that the American population has drastically increased the amount of grains eaten with meals even from 40 years ago.  As a population, we eat more grains and meat than fruits and vegetables.  Does that seem a little backyards to you too?  My advice, eat more plants.  If you want a good read, check out Michael Pollan’s book, In Defense of Food.  I love his tagline: “Eat food. Not too much.  Mostly plants.”

Thanks for sticking with me through all that.  Your reward?  The amazing recipe this post is about in the first place.  Enjoy!


Adapted from Nourish With Karen

1/4 cup coconut oil, slightly melted
1 cup natural peanut butter (just peanuts, no sugar, vegetable oil, etc)
3/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup finely shredded coconut (for baking)
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
2 3/4 cups rolled oats


Preheat your oven to 350 F.  In a large bowl, cream coconut oil and peanut butter together.  Beat in honey, eggs and vanilla.  Add the baking soda, sea salt, coconut, flaxseed meal and oats, mixing until well combined.

 Refrigerate batter for 15-30 minutes, longer is okay but not necessary (to solidify the coconut oil, otherwise batter/cookies will be too thin).

Drop 1 – 1 1/2″ balls of cookie dough onto a pan lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat (if you like a flatter cookie, feel free to press each down lightly with a fork).  Bake for approximately 10 minutes until tops and edges just start to turn golden.  Remove cookies from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes until firm enough to handle, then move them to cooling racks.

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Recipe: No Bake Cocoa Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bites

cocoa oatmeal peanut butter bites - tiffany lane

I’ve been eyeing this treat for a while now and finally decided to go for it.  I’m not sure why I waited so long.  My old self really didn’t know what she was missing!

These are delicious little bites of goodness and so customizable.  Just use what you have on hand and I bet they’ll turn out just fine.

No Bake Cocoa Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bites

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Yield: 20-24 Bites

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup wheat bran
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder (to roll the balls in)
Combine oats, wheat bran, flaxseed, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.  Melt peanut butter and allow it to cool slightly (melted in the microwave for about 30 seconds works well), then stir in honey and vanilla extract until combined.
Pour peanut butter mixture over the oat mixture, mix well with a spoon or spatula, then bring together with your hands, compressing into a tight ball. Pull off golf-ball sized (or slightly smaller) chunks, rolling into balls with your hands, then rolling each ball in cocoa powder.
Store in an airtight container.  They taste yummy right out of the fridge or at room temperature!

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Valentine’s Day Menu Ideas

Hubby and I don’t usually go too far out of our ways for a big to-do on Valentine’s, but what we usually do, and we do it well I have to say, is cook yummy food and eat!

If you still need some dinner ideas for your homemade Valentine’s, maybe a few of these will spark your inspiration.  And why not have some fun tonight?  Shake it up a little with something out of your routine weekly menu, but just because you’re having fun, doesn’t mean you need to break the calorie and chemical bank either.  These are wholesome, real food dishes that’ll get your taste buds begging for more!


chicken-and-spinach-flautas - healthy delicious

Chicken & Spinach Baked Flautas via Healthy. Delicious (use whole wheat tortillas for the whole food version)

sweet potatoe fries - how sweet it is

Garlic Butter Sweet Potato Fries with Creamy Feta Dip via How Sweet It Is

sweet potato simosas - happy yolks

Baked Sweet Potato Simosas via Happy Yolks (use whole wheat flour for the whole food version)

tomato tart - sunshine and smile

Tomato Tart with Basil via Sunshine & Smile (use a whole wheat tart crust for the whole food version)

Soup + Salad:

spicy roasted corn and poblano soup - how sweet it is

Spicy Roasted Corn & Poblano Soup via How Sweet It Is

Shaved-Brussel-Sprouts-Salad-21-happy yolks

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad via Happy Yolks

Farro and Cauliflower Salad

Farro & Roasted Cauliflower Salad via No Recipes

gluten-free-pasta-salad-with-grapes via eating rules

Gluten Free Pasta Salad with Grapes & Chives via Eating Rules


quinoa stuffed-peppers - voraciousvander

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers via Voracious Vander

tomato summer squash gratin - eat life whole

Tomato Summer Squash Gratin via Eat Life Whole

shrimp burgers with chipotle cream - how sweet it is

Shrimp Burgers with Chipotle Cream via How Sweet It Is

grilled corn mushroom pablano tacos - how sweet it is

Grilled Corn, Mushroom & Poblano Tacos via How Sweet It Is

Sweet Treat:

strawberry vanilla bean swirl ice cream - naturally ella

Strawberry Vanilla Bean Swirl Ice Cream via Naturally Ella

whole wheat black raspberry scones - naturally ella

Whole Wheat Black Raspberry Scones via Naturally Ella

coconut custard - veggie zest

Coconut Custard with Strawberries & Honey Balsamic Sauce via Veggie Zest

red wine fudgsicles - a beautful mess

Red Wine Fudgsicles via A Beautiful Mess

I hope this gives you some yummy dinner ideas for tonight.  We’re making the fries with feta dip, brussels sprouts salad, stuffed peppers and coconut custards.  What a dinner this will be!   What do you have planned?

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Recipe: Whole Wheat Fig Bars

whole wheat fig bars 1 - tiffany lane

Yet again, I’ve managed to make another delicious treat that’s great for anytime of day.  I ate one as a midday snack yesterday and another for breakfast this morning.

My favorite part about these bad boys? I’m a huge fig newton lover (anyone else out there?).  But if you read the ingredient label on any of the Newton products, you’ll quickly see how unreal those treats are.  So here’s my hubby approved real food version!

Whole Wheat Fig Bars

Adapted from Post Punk Kitchen

Makes 1 8×8 Pan Batch

Filling Ingredients
1 lb. dried figs, hard stems removed, diced into small pieces
1 cup water
1/4 cup agave nectar, pure maple syrup or honey
2 tbsp citrus juice


Dough Ingredients
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup coconut, finely shredded for baking
1/2 cup wheat bran
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup milk or non-dairy substitute
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Grease an 8×8 glass baking dish with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a medium saucepan combine chopped figs, water, agave nectar/maple syrup/honey and citrus juice. Bring mixture to boil over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer and stir occasionally. When figs begin to soften in about 8 to 10 minutes continue to cook, mashing figs with a firm spatula or a fork to create a chunky, moist paste.  If the mixture starts to look overly dry, add water two tablespoons at a time and continue stirring until a thick paste forms. Remove filling from heat and set aside. If mixture still seems too chunky puree in a food processor until desired texture is reached.

In a large mixing bowl whisk the wet ingredients: coconut oil, honey, milk and vanilla extract until smooth.  Sift in flour, coconut, wheat bran, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to form a soft, slightly sticky dough, gathering into a ball with your hands.  Divide the ball into two sections and shape each into its own ball.

Press one dough ball into the bottom of the greased baking pan, spreading it out to all edges and keeping a uniform thickness.  Pour filling on top, spreading into an even layer.  Take the remaining dough and slowly stretch into a large circle with your hands (similar to stretching pizza dough).  Place on top of the filling and carefully pull dough to the edges of the pan until you’ve covered all of the filling.

Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until crust is golden and puffed, then remove from the oven to cool on a wire rack. Once completely cool, cut bars as desired and store in a tightly covered container at room temperate for 3-5 days or freeze.  Storage tip: storing bars like these in the refrigerator may make the dough wet from condensation, which is why I prefer to store mine at room temperature.


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Recipe: Whole Wheat Almond Graham Cookies

whole wheat almond grahams 1 - tiffany lane

whole wheat almond grahams 2 - tiffany lane

whole wheat almond grahams 3 - tiffany lane

Graham crackers.  One of my weaknesses.  Along with biscuits and corn bread, graham crackers are just one of those things that are so hard for me to pass up.  And because it’s difficult to find a real food store bought version, I figured it was time to make them at home. My way.

If you haven’t noticed, my way usually tends to include a twist or two, sometimes for health’s sake and others just for fun.  These cookies have both!  I transformed my graham crackers into a healthier version and with a hint of almond, making them so decadent.  Keep in mind, these are actually vegan, with coconut oil instead of butter and soy milk instead of dairy.  But if you crave that buttery finish and don’t mind the animal products, feel free to swap in equal parts melted butter for the oil and any other milk you prefer.

Also, if your mind’s eye sees a square graham, have no fear.  You can simply roll out the dough and cut it into squares instead of rolling into cookie rounds.  I’ve included alternate directions within the recipe.

Whole Wheat Almond Graham Cookies

Adapted from Food Doodles

2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 c almond butter
1/4 c coconut oil, melted (butter can be substituted)
1/4 c honey
2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
1/4 c brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp soy milk (any milk will do)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.  In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon then set aside. In a small bowl, mix together the almond butter, oil, honey, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla and milk. Mix well and add to the dry ingredients. Mix until all the flour mixture has been incorporated, adding 1-2 tbsp extra milk only if needed.

Cookie Rounds (pictured): Do not chill. Simply pinch off teaspoon sized pieces, roll into balls then flatten with a fork, criss-crossing, and pressing to about 1/4 inch thick.  Bake for 12-13 minutes, until the edges just turn golden.  Allow to cool on the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

Traditional Squares: Divide dough into two small pieces, wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate about 30 minutes (or place in the freezer for about 10 minutes). It is possible to roll it out immediately but the dough holds together better when chilled. Once the dough is chilled, roll it out one piece at a time on a well floured surface until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Cut off any uneven edges and cut remaining dough into squares or rectangles. Carefully transfer dough to prepared baking sheet about 1/2″ apart and then poke with a fork. You could also roll out the dough directly on the parchment you will bake them on, cut them and leave to bake together, then break apart once they have cooled. The only downside to this version is that the edges will not be quite as pretty. Bake 11-12 minutes until just golden around the edges, turning pan half way through.  Allow to cool on the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to rack to cool completely.

Store grahams in an airtight bag or container at room temperature and enjoy leisurely.  Or in my case, just eat them one by one until they’re gone. In one sitting.


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Recipe: Coconut Pumpkin Pie

I’ve really been enjoying this fall weather here in Southern California, or at least what fall weather we do get.  Last weekend it hit 86. So much for fall I guess.  But the small amount of fall weather has got me craving anything and everything pumpkin, as if you didn’t already notice from these two pumpkin recipes I shared recently here and here.  Luckily we got a sugar pie pumpkin in our CSA box a couple of weeks ago. Cha-ching!  And the only good thing to do with fresh pumpkin in my book is make a pumpkin pie. 

I usually make my own doughs and crusts, but I had a store bought whole wheat pie crust in the freezer that needed to be used.  If you wish to make your own whole wheat pie crust, here is a good recipe I posted earlier this year from the strawberry rhubarb pie I baked for my sister-in-law.

For a yummy coconut topping, I found coconut cream at Trader Joe’s, but if you don’t live near a TJ’s, it may be more difficult to find.  Don’t fret, you can “make” your own coconut cream, by buying full fat coconut milk, refrigerating it overnight (or at least six hours) and separating the coconut water from the cream (which it naturally does by chilling).  Here is a good step by step for you from Oh She Glows.  You may also be wondering where my whipped cream topping is since it’s not in any of the photos.  Well I made a whipped cream mistake and overwhipped the cream.  I ended up pseudo saving it after the fact by freezing and scooping it out like ice cream.  Oh well.  It tasted yummy all the same.

Coconut Pumpkin Pie

Adapted from Julia’s (Vegan) Kitchen
Filling Ingredients
1 1/2 c roasted pumpkin puree
1 c coconut milk
1 c honey (or to taste)
1 tbsp cornstarch (or arrowroot)
1/2 tbsp freshly ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp freshly ground allspice
1/4 tsp freshly ground cloves
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
3 large eggs 
Whipped Cream Ingredients
1 can coconut cream
1-2 tsp honey
1/4-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Combine all filling ingredients except the eggs in a high speed blender or using a mixer.  This way you can safely taste for your sweetener and add more if desired.  Then add in the eggs and mix until just combined.  Pour the filling into your pie shell and bake for 50-55 minutes, until the edges are set and the center jiggles slightly.  The pie will set as it cools.
Once the pie has cooled, make your whipped coconut cream.  Simply use a stand mixer or bowl/hand mixer and whip until it forms stiff peaks, just like you would with dairy cream.  About halfway through the whipping process, add your sweetener and vanilla to taste.  Do not overbeat your cream like I did.  It completely fell and started to separate.  Also be sure not to top your pie with the cream while the pie is still warm, otherwise the cream melts away into liquid.  If you make your whipped cream ahead of time, store in the back/bottom of the fridge where it stays the coolest and re-whip if necessary before using.

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