Vegan Fall Comfort Food

October 24, 2016

Growing up in New England, Fall weather meant apple picking, carving pumpkins and lots of richly cooked food. You know, the typical Fall stuff.

Now that I have moved to California, it feels kind of strange buying pumpkins in a tank top. But like everyone else in the world, I love the flavors this season brings pumpkins, cinnamon, and apple. So I wanted to incorporate them to into my vegan lifestyle. Here are a few recipes (some are my own, some I will link to) that say “Fall has arrived” but you know, vegan style.

Also, I didn’t realize that these were basically all dessert foods until now, but I don’t think anyone will be complainingΒ  πŸ™‚

Pumpkin Pie

I’ve got to be honest with you, this was the best pumpkin pie I have ever had. I found this recipe off Minimalist Baker’s website. I liked the idea of a no-bake, gluten free pie as I am trying to stay away from bread and wheat and my apartment gets really hot when I turn the oven on. I followed the recipe pretty much to a tee, except for I used hemp milk in my filling and I opted not to make the coconut whipped cream.
The crust was one of my favorite parts as it was simply oats, dates (we all know how much I love dates) and nuts. Minimalist Baker used pecans, but I used a blend of walnuts and almonds.

This recipe does require a little bit of time since you have to let the crust and the filling sit in the refrigerator for a few hours but it’s totally worth it.

Pumpkin is actually packed with a ton of nutrition despite it being low in calories. Just one cup of pumpkin contains over 200% of your daily value of vitamin A. It is also an excellent source of minerals, like calcium, phosphorus, and potassium as well as vitamins C, E and B complex. Do yourself a favor and make this delicious creation.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

 

Baked Apples

To me, this is the ultimate sign of Autumn. I have fond memories of my mom baking apples after I came home from school. Normally they are made with lots of brown sugar, but I wanted to keep these apples healthy.

To start, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Next, I hollowed out the middle of the apples, leaving the bottom intact. I placed these in a baking dish and lined the bottom of the dish with water, a few inches deep.

For the filling, I blended oats, a handful of chopped dates, a little agave nectar and a few teaspoons of cinnamon, in the food processor. After stuffing my cored apples with this, I topped with a little more cinnamon.

Bake these for about 30 minutes or until the apples have softened and the filling is crispy on top!

Vegan Baked Apples

Vegan Meatloaf

When I was a meat eater, meatloaf and mashed potatoes were a huge fall and winter dinner in my home, complete with bacon on top and lots and lots of ketchup. Where I have no desire to eat real meatloaf again, I was intrigued to try out this vegan version of a very comforting dish.

My mom, who has transitioned into the vegan lifestyle (7 weeks now!) raved about her discovery of this recipe and promoted me to try it immediately. The ingredients were simple, most of which I already had in my cabinets or fridge so I gave it a go.

This was by far the most delicious vegan substitute I have tasted. Marty and I keep staring at each other in disbelief between mouthfuls. We had to stop ourselves from eating the whole pan. And the only way to do that was the thought of making meatloaf sandwiches for lunch the next day. Vegan Meatloaf

This recipe comes from Whole Fully. Gluten free and made with chickpeas and pinto beans, there is no guilt involved while indulging in this classic comfort food. The glaze really makes it, so don’t skip out. I didn’t have Worcestershire sauce or molasses, so I substituted soy sauce and agave. With meals like this, there is nothing that could make me go back to eating animal flesh.

Pumpkin Pie “Ice Cream”

This is super easy and a resourceful way to use the rest of your organic pumpkin left over from your pumpkin pie. The great thing about banana ice cream is that it doesn’t really taste like banana. It will take on whatever flavor you want.

For this dessert (or breakfast) simply blend two or three frozen bananas in the food processor with a splash of non-dairy milk (I used hemp but almond would be delicious as well), about a 1/2 cup of pumpkin, a splash of vanilla, and a tablespoon (or to taste) of pumpkin spice. Blend until smooth. I topped with some sliced Medjool dates and cinnamon for more sweetness. You have GOT to try this.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Nice Cream

 

Pumpkin Spice Cookies (Gluten and Sugar-Free)

I have made something similar to this in one of my very first posts. I thought I would give these cookies another try with a Fall frame of mind. These are so easy to make and only require 5 ingredients. This recipe makes about 10 cookies.

Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees.

Vegan Ingredients

In a bowl, mash up 4 very ripe bananas. Next, add 1 1/4 cups of ground almonds and 1 1/4 cups of ground walnuts. I just threw both nuts into the food processor together and blended until almost fully ground. I like the cookies to have a few chunks. Add this mixture to the bananas, along with 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds and one cup of chopped dates. Finally, add in pumpkin spice, to taste. I just keep spooning it into the mixture until it was pumpkin flavored enough for my liking. Mix all the ingredients well and let sit for a few minutes.

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Spoon your mixture onto a cookie sheet, flattening a bit to whatever size you want them. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown and firm!

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

 

For an extra touch, smear some almond butter in between for a healthy cookie sandwich.

I hope you enjoyed these Fall comfort foods! Comment below with any foods you associate with the upcoming chilly weather and snuggling indoors. πŸ™‚

 

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