Apple Cider Donuts

“I have a baking challenge for you, though I may be rudely assuming you haven’t conquered it yet. I would love a gluten free recreation of my childhood favorite: apple cider donut.”

I love a good baking challenge and I absolutely loved receiving this message from my friend, Molly. I went straight to Whole Foods for a bag of gluten free flour (Bob’s Red Mill brand) and a jug of apple cider.

The first batch of donuts were awful. According to Eric they were “among the worst things you’ve ever made. There is really nothing redeeming about them.” They were dry, crumbling, and had a weird bean flavor. The second batch were somehow just as bad as the first, though I’d doubled the sugar and oil content.

For the third batch, I did some research. Babycakes is a well known and well loved gluten-free bakery in New York City. The owner, Erin McKenna, has authored a few cookbooks on vegan and gluten-free baking. My local library had a copy of “Babycakes Covers the Classics” on the shelves with a picture of a donut on the cover! Their donut recipes called for xanthan gum, which I decided to omit. And none of their recipes included any apple cider. But I stuck to their ratio of flour, sugar and fat and soon enough, we had delicious, gluten-free cider donuts resting on the counter.

Molly, I hope you enjoy!

Love and Donut Determination,



Apple Cider Donuts

Yield: 18 donuts

  • 1 cup vegan cane sugar
  • 1 1/2 + 1/3 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground loves
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/3 cup refined coconut oil
  • 6 tablespoons applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon sugar:
  • 3 tablespoons vegan cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat your oven to 325.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat apple cider and coconut oil until the coconut oil is melted and the liquid just begins to simmer.
  4. Add the hot liquid to the dry mixture. Add the applesauce and vanilla. Stir to combine.
  5. Heavily grease a non-stick donut pan. Pour or pipe the batter into the molds. Bake for 12-13 minutes, until barely golden.
  6. Remove the pans from the oven and allow the donuts to cool for 5 minutes. Do not skip this step!
  7. While the donuts are resting, mix together the sugar and cinnamon to make cinnamon sugar.
  8. Carefully remove the donuts from their mold. Coat generously in cinnamon sugar. I find it best to place the sugar in a shallow bowl, place the donut on top and give a gentle shake to the dish.


You can also bake these off in mini-muffin trays. One recipe will yield about 36 mini muffins.

Spiced Carrot Juice

After every orthodontist appointment I had growing up, I would get a gift certificate to the McDonalds two doors down for a McFlurry. But what was my preferred post-dental treat of choice?  Carrot juice.  Yep, carrot juice from the crunchy, kitschy vegetarian restaurant next door.

I absolutely love carrot juice and it still feels like a special treat to me.  But juice can be expensive to buy, and I don’t really want to invest in a DIY juicer (I have neither the patience to clean it, nor the space to store it).

Then the other day, when my carrot juice craving struck, Eric suggested I just make it in the blender.   Brilliant!  This juice uses a nut-milk style method and is totally genius. Not only does it allow me to have fresh juice whenever I want, but I can customize the flavors.  To this batch I added a hunk of ginger and a dash of cardamom.  Holy of holies was this delicious.  Smooth and creamy and sweet and spicy.  And it only cost $0.89 to make.

Carrot juice for the win!

Love and Weird Hippy Treats,



P.S. Wondering what to do with the leftover pulp?  Stay tuned!

Cardamom Carrot Juice
  • 1 lb. carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger root
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3 cups water
  1. In a blender, combine all ingredients on high until smooth (about 90 seconds in a high speed blender).
  2. Using a nut milk bag (or similar device), pour the juice through the bag over a large bowl to catch the pulp. Squeeze the bag to extract every last bit of juice.
  3. Transfer the juice to a bottle. Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Freezer Waffles

There is something about waffles that just says Sunday.   I can remember being young and going to the waffle station at Bravo’s Sunday Brunch.   Big, fluffy Belgian Waffles would be made fresh before your eyes, and you could crown them with whipped cream and drown them with juicy strawberries.

Waffles are weekend food, because when else do you have the time to make them?  Let’s be honest, they’re pretty fussy and time consuming.  But if you make a giant batch on a Sunday, you can freeze your treats and simply defrost to celebrate that lazy, luxuriating weekend feeling any weekday morning.

I’m not gluten free but it’s a diet many of my loved ones are trying.  I’m doing a bit of personal cheffing for one such a friend this summer (under the false pretense of helping her out- really, I’m just entertaining myself).  I developed this recipe for her.   It’s flour free, sugar free, gluten free, nut free, whole food, and high in omega 3 fatty acids which is perfect for her needs.  They’re so simple- you just blend everything up and pour the batter directly into the waffle iron.   They’re also delicious, versatile, and can be stored for weeks in the freezer.

A quick note on waffle irons:  if possible, use cast iron.  Most waffle makers are made with Teflon, which can release neurotoxic chemicals when heated.  This is absolutely  not what I want to feed my friend!  I bought this waffle iron for less than $20.  You do have to spritz it with oil, but I’ve had no issues with sticking and I know there is no risk of scary chemical residue.

Waffle win. 

Love and Waffles,




Buckwheat Freezer Waffles

Yield: 12 waffles

  • 2 1/4 cup buckwheat groats
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • oil, for greasing
  1. Soak the buckwheat groats in 5 cups of water overnight.
  2. The next morning, drain your groats and rinse until the water runs clear.
  3. Add soaked buckwheat and all remaining ingredients to the blender.
  4. Blend until totally smooth.
  5. Cook the waffles according to your waffle maker's instructions. For my cast iron pan, I heat the pan over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes. I generously oil both sides of the pan by brushing a neutral oil over the surface with a pastry brush. I cook the waffle on the first side for 2 1/2 minutes, flip it, and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  6. Top with your favorite toppings. I like chocolate chips, fresh berries, and pumpkin seeds.


Nutella Truffles

I have a confession:  I don’t really like Nutella.  I love the combination of chocolate and hazelnut, but Nutella itself is just too sugary.   Plus it’s not vegan (it contains milk powder). Luckily, these truffles make a perfect dessert to unite the 98% of the world who does cartwheels over Nutella with weirdos like me who can’t stomach it’s saccharine sweetness.

They require just a few simple whole food ingredients:  toasted hazelnuts, dates, cocoa powder and sea salt.  If you’re feeling fancy, you could throw in a little vanilla extract and a handful of cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips for good measure.  The nuts, dates, and cocoa are high in antioxidants and fiber, making them a healthy treat to share at any time of day.  These are so healthy you could eat them for breakfast.

And these are perfect to share with friends of every dietary persuasion.   If you or a loved one has a nut allergy, feel free to use shredded coconut (unsweetened).  It will taste more tropical, and less like a French crepe, but it will still be delicious.

Love and Treats,



Nutella Truffles
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted hazelnuts
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cups medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup cacao nibs or chocolate chips, optional
  1. In a food processor, pulse hazelnuts until a coarse flour is formed.
  2. Add in cocoa powder and sea salt. Pulse until combined.
  3. Add dates, vanilla, and cacao nibs or chocolate chips, if using. Pulse until a stick dough is formed. It should hold together when pressed.
  4. Form the dough into 1 inch balls by taking approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough and rolling it between your palms. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
  5. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to one month.


For a nut-free truffle, replace the hazelnuts with unsweetened, toasted coconut.


Whole Grain Pancakes

Whole grain is a phrase you’ll find on many packaged items.  But no matter how bold and colorful the front of the label might be, you won’t know how truly whole your food is without reading the back of the label.  And your best bet for truly buying whole foods is to buy items that don’t have any labels at all.

These pancakes truly use the whole grain.  I like to use two grains per pancake recipe.  The first is buckwheat, because it has a thick, gelatinous quality that helps the pancakes hold together beautifully.  For the second grain, I use whatever is in my cupboard: brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, spelt.  Cover all the grains in water and a dash of apple cider vinegar before bed (this removes the phytic acid and increases the bioavailability of nutrients for you), blend up with a little water the next morning, and you have a truly delicious and nutritious pancake batter.

Like many recipes, this one is a canvas.  The most basic recipe is just grains and water- and it’s delicious.  I like to throw in flaxseeds which help the batter to bind and add a ton of nutrition in the form of omega-3 fatty acids and estrogen balancing lignans.  If you want a caramelized, golden color, you need to add a little sugar.  You can achieve this by blending them up with a banana (and you’ll have banana pancakes!) or a healthy drizzle of maple syrup.  To balance out the sugar, it’s lovely to add a little spice.  I like cinnamon, but you could just as easily throw in a pinch of cardamom, vanilla, nutmeg or clove.  A heaping teaspoon of baking powder makes the batter light and fluffy.

And then there’s maca powder.  You’ll notice that in the recipe I include it as an optional ingredient.  I hesitated with whether to include it here, as vegan food is often criticized for being elitist and unattainably exotic.  Maca is not an everyday ingredient, but I do use it in my kitchen and it gave these pancakes a delicious, malty flavor and fantastic fluffy texture.  I’ll leave it up to you decide if you’d like to invest in a bag.

Maca powder is an adaptogenic herb, meaning it helps your body adapt to stress by balancing your hormones. This study found that not only did taking maca appear to support with balancing hormones in early post-menopausal women, but it may help to increase bone density.  Maca is also a particularly great addition if you or your loved ones have adrenal fatigue, issues with your thyroid, or hormonal imbalances.  How’s that for breakfast?

Love and Pancakes,



Whole Grain Pancakes

Adapted from Sarah Britton's Revolutionary Pancakes

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat
  • 1/2 cup whole grain (buckwheat, brown rice, oat groats, etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar OR lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon flaxseeds
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 banana OR 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons maca powder (optional)
  • water or non-dairy milk, to blend
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • refined coconut oil, for frying
  • For serving: maple syrup, fresh berries, toasted coconut, roasted pumpkin seeds, etc.
  1. The night before you want your pancakes, soak your whole grains by covering them in fresh water and adding 1 teaspoon of an acidic medium (vinegar or lemon juice).
  2. The morning you want to make your pancakes, drain and rinse your soaked grains. You may notice a bit of gelatinous coating from the buckwheat. That's totally normal and safe. Just rinse it away.
  3. Transfer your grains to a blender. Add flaxseed, salt, cinnamon, sweetener, maca powder (if using) and 1/2 cup of water. Blend on high until totally smooth.
  4. Look at your batter. Is it too thick? If so, add a little more water about 1 tablespoon at a time until a thick, but pourable consistency is achieved.
  5. Add baking powder and stir briefly, just to incorporate.
  6. In a frying pan, heat a knob of coconut oil over medium heat. Pour a few tablespoons of batter into the pan to create a pancake. Cook until the edges look dry and brown and many bubbles have formed (about 3-4 minutes). Flip and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pan. Continue until all the batter has been used.
  7. Serve with your desired toppings.


For a gluten-free diet, use gluten-free grains.

For a whole foods, plant based diet, use the banana instead of the maple syrup.

Power Latte

PubMed is my new favorite website.  Since my lovely friend Kaitlin was diagnosed with ALS, I have been spending a lot of time browsing through the National Library of Medicine, reading every peer-reviewed article I can find about non-drug based interventions to autoimmune disorders.

What I see echoed again and again through the pages of these articles is this: food is medicine.  Whole plant foods have an incredible power to heal the body.   Of course, there is no known cure for ALS.  But there is a wealth of information available about cellular similarities among people with autoimmune diseases and food-based therapies that may offer meaningful interventions.

Turmeric is one of these seemingly magical, medicinal foods.  It has a wonderful ability to help neutralize free radicals- those pesky extra electrons floating around which create a cascade of volatility in your body.  Antioxidants, like those found in turmeric, stop oxidative stress in it’s tracks by grabbing those extra electrons.  And if you eat turmeric with a dash of black pepper, it increases the bioavailability of the available nutrients, magnifying it’s impact.

As enlightening as these research articles may be, they don’t come with recipes.  In reading about the health benefits of turmeric for all people, and especially those with autoimmune disorders, I wanted to come up with a delicious antioxidant power latte.  This latte not only uses turmeric in it’s most bioavailable form, but it also takes advantage of the antioxidant powerhouse, the goji berry, which contains high concentrations of melatonin– a powerful antioxidant for the brain (especially wonderful for those with ALS).

This latte is medicinal and delicious.  It uses a combination of medicinal herbs and whole plant foods to offer a yummy, antioxidant boost to your daily diet.

Love and Healing,



Power Latte
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 inch fresh turmeric, sliced OR 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1-2 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup goji berries, soaked (to soften)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • cinnamon, for serving
  1. In a blender, combine milk, turmeric, ginger, dates, goji berries, cardamom, vanilla, sea salt and black pepper until totally smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and warm through.
  3. Pour your latte into a mug and dust with cinnamon.


For a nut-free latte, use soy, rice, or seed milk.

Avocado Shake


Happy New Year!  

I love the clean slate feeling of a fresh year.  I love the opportunity to reflect on all the wonderful things that happened the year before and wonder, with anticipation, what new friends and new adventures the new year will bring.

And I love new years resolutions.  I first became vegan because of a new years resolution.  I was doing a different challenge every month for a year, and my friend Julie asked if I’d like to go vegan with her for a month.  It sounded fun, so I figured I’d give it a try.  And that was the starting point of this beautiful adventure.

Many people use new years resolutions to set unrealistic goals and then self flagellate when they don’t achieve them.  I really see no point in this.  You have this blank page of a year- why muddy it with your own self loathing?  If you want to set a new years resolution at all, think about something you are curious about.  What would it look like to start exploring it?  What would be the first step?  Start there and see where the journey takes you.

This Avocado Shake is something I’d forgotten about until recently.  I was flipping through images from early drafts of my cookbook (another new years resolution project).  This shake didn’t end up making the final cut, but it’s the perfect type of new years recipe:  healthy, fast, easy.

It may sound strange, but I promise you it isn’t.  It’s actually a very common Brazilian recipe.  Brazilians blend avocados with milk and sugar;  I blend them with coconut milk and a little agave or coconut nectar.  This is a great recipe to make the morning after a long, indulgent night.  Avocados make the shake thick and creamy, while adding lots of fiber, vitamin k and vitamin e.  Coconut adds lots of medium chain triglycerides and a tropical flavor.

It’s a perfect recipe, no matter what diet you’re on.  Though it is an especially great recipe for my loved ones who are managing their neurological diseases through diets rich in veggies and coconut!

Love and Happy New Year,

Amanda Signature



Avocado Shake

Yield: 1-2 servings

This makes quite a thick shake. But the beauty of the recipe is that you can adjust any ingredient to suit your preferences. If you like it thinner, add more coconut milk. If you like it sweeter, add some ripe banana, one medjool date, or a little extra coconut nectar. If you want to add some extra veggies, through in a handful of spinach- it will yield a bright green color. Enjoy!

  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • handful of ice
  • 1/2 tablespoon agave, coconut nectar, or maple syrup (optional)
  • pinch salt
  1. Blend all ingredients until totally smooth.


For a paleo diet: use coconut nectar.

For a whole foods plant based diet: replace the liquid sweetener with a medjool date or 1/2 ripe banana.

For a raw foods diet: use the meat and water from one young coconut.


Apple and Blackberry Crisp


What’s your favorite holiday tradition?  Crispmas is fast becoming one of mine.  It’s a tradition that Eric and I have had for a few years, and it’s really quite simple:  we eat fruit crisp for breakfast to celebrate Christmas.

This recipe is incredibly flexible.  Use any fruit you like- fresh or frozen.  Eric loves apples, and I love blackberries, so that’s how this came about.  But you could just as easily to peach and blueberry, pear and cherry, or pure strawberry.

If you want to be really decadent, yo can serve this with a scoop of ice cream.  I like the Coconut Bliss brand, but there are lots of great non-dairy ice creams available.  If you wanted that cool and creamy contrast without the indulgence, you could also serve it with a little yogurt.  Nancy’s is my favorite brand of soy yogurt,  but there are tons of options out there.  I’ve also seen almond and/or coconut based yogurts at my local market, which would be great if you are sensitive to soy.

This recipe comes from The Breakfast Chapter in my cookbook, The Inclusive Table.   It is a free e-book filled with my favorite recipes.  Feel free to head over, download and digitally dog ear it up!

Love and Happy Holidays,

Amanda Signature



Apple and Blackberry Crisp

Yield: 4-6 servings

  • Fruit base:
  • 2 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons vegan cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole wheat pastry flour
  • Crisp topping:
  • 6 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
  • 6 tablespoons plain instant oatmeal
  • ¼ cup vegan cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup refined coconut oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. For the fruit base: In a bowl, toss blackberries and apples with lemon juice, sugar and flour. Pour into a 9x9 casserole dish.
  3. For the crisp: In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add the coconut oil and cut the fat into the dry ingredients with your fingers until a crumbly texture forms. You could also do this by pulsing the ingredients together in a food processor. You are looking for some large and some small lumps.
  4. To assemble: Pour the crisp evenly over the fruit base. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is lightly golden. Serve warm and runny, or allow to cool and set before serving.


For a gluten allergy, use your favorite gluten free flour.

If refined sugar is not your thing, you could use coconut sugar or maple syrup in it’s place.

White Miso Oatmeal


Weddings are the only times I find it challenging to eat vegan, but brunch can be pretty uninspiring.   Brunch menus are full of eggs, bacon, and sausage.  Even pancakes and crepes tend to be filled with eggs and milk.  Of course, there’s always something to get- a fruit plate, bagel with peanut butter, or toast and jam- but most brunch spots are lacking in innovative, plant based options.

Savory oatmeal is an innovative, hearty and satisfying brunch option that I love to make at home.   The base is simple:  rolled oats, white miso, and coconut milk.  You could use whatever miso you like, but I like using a mellow white miso as it is the perfect mix of sweet, salty, and savory.

Now that you have your porridge canvas, options are endless.  This is a particularly forgiving base for leftovers.  I topped mine with a handful of walnuts, leftover sauteed mushrooms, and chives.  But you could easily toss in some sauteed greens, leftover roasted vegetables, sliced radishes.  Whatever you have on hand, and whatever you crave, is perfect.

Love and Brunch,

Amanda Signature



White Miso Oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • 1 tablespoon full fat coconut milk, or other nondairy milk
  • Optional toppings: cooked mushrooms, cooked greens, roasted vegetables, walnuts, chives, radish
  1. In a small saucepan, bring oats and water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and continue to cook until the oats have swelled and softened.
  2. Turn off the heat, and stir in the miso and coconut milk.
  3. Cover the pot and leave for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  4. Top with any of your desired toppings and serve.

Half-Caf Herbal Cold Brew

I love the ritual of coffee;  I just don’t love how it makes me feel.   I am hyper sensitive to caffeine, and a single cup of joe will make my muscles twitch.  But I love the routine of sitting and sipping something warm and I absolutely love the toasty, campfire smell of freshly brewed coffee.

Fortunately, Teeccino is a thing.  Teechino is an herbal coffee.  An honest to goodness herbal coffee.  When I was little, my mom would occasionally treat us to Pero, an instant coffee-like powder.  But Teechino is roasted and ground almonds, carob, figs, hazelnuts.  It looks and smells like ground coffee, only a bit sweeter.  It’s miraculous.

For my cold brew, I use half Teeccino and half ground coffee.  The result is better than traditional cold brew (or so I’m told by the coffee fiends in my life who have tried it).  It’s sweeter and smoother than traditional cold brew, which is already sweeter and smoother than regular drip coffee.

You can spend $5.50 at Starbucks for cold brew, or you can spend about $0.50 and make it yourself at home.   And it’s super easy to put together.  You throw 2/3 cup ground coffee into a glass jar with 3 cups of water.  That part takes about 30 seconds.  Then you let it steep for 12-24 hours.  After it’s fully steeped, you strain out the grounds (or, in the case of a French Press, just press and pour).   Now you have your cold brew concentrate.  If you’re into jet fuel, you can drink it as is.  If you’re into a more mellow approach, dilute it (I like a one part cold brew concentrate: one part water ratio).

Love and Cold Brew,

Amanda Signature



Half-Caf Herbal Cold Brew
  • 1/3 cup ground coffee
  • 1/3 cup ground herbal coffee, like Teeccino
  • 3 cups water
  1. Combine all ingredients in a French press or large glass jar.
  2. Cover and allow to steep for 12-24 hours.
  3. Strain the coffee grounds and store in an airtight container.
  4. When ready to serve, dilute until desired taste is achieved (I prefer a 1:1 cold brew to water ratio).