Posts Tagged With: berries

Vegan Month of Food, Day 1: Breakfast Bars

Growing up, one of my favourite treats was something our friend Ruth often made: raspberry bars. You press in half the dough to make a crust on the bottom, spread jam over it, and then crumble the rest of the dough over the jam. It was sickeningly, deliciously sweet – so much so that I recall my mom only making them maybe twice. I still use that recipe, and sometime I plan to post it, but here I’ve made some adaptations to it to make it healthier and suitable for a breakfast item.


1 c pumpkin puree
1/2 c brown sugar
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c white flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 c oatmeal
1/4 c unsweetened cocoanut flakes
1/2 c chopped walnuts (reserve for topping)

2 cups mashed fresh fruit (such as blackberries, peaches, raspberries, strawberries)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Cream pumpkin and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients, then add to pumpkin mixture. Mix well.

Press roughly half of the crumb mixture into greased 13×9 pan, using a spoon or your hands. It will be somewhere in the neighbourhood of 1/4 or 1/2″ thick.

Spread fruit filling. It may appear runny, but that’s okay.

Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture and walnuts. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.

Cool. Cut into bars.


Yes, she’s 3 and a half and still sitting in a booster on the floor for meals.

Or don’t cool and cut into bars anyway, which is what we did. GooGoo ate two ample pieces. Mr Pine Nut said they were good. I wasn’t sure about them at first bite, but as I kept eating them, they grew on me. They have a nice earthy pumpkin undertone. I used blackberries and I think they lent themselves well to the pumpkin flavour. Betcha cranberries would be really yummy too! But you’d probably want to sugar them up and cook them a bit first to soften them into spreadable goo.

See you tomorrow with a sandwich recipe. Or should I call it a wafflewich?


Categories: breakfast, brunch, challenges, oil-free, recipes, snacks, soy-free, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2013, vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments


Or, as GooGoo says, “Buck Booey-ohs”.


Blackberries from across the street.

Our property is atangle with blackberries. They’re not all that easy to get to, but in 2011 we still got a pretty good amount bagged up in our freezer – enough to get us through the year – plus a batch of freezer jam that only recently got all used up.

This year, the berries decided to all start to ripen when Lou Who was just a couple weeks old. So we started picking. Then Dan noticed our neighbour had some really large and luscious ones over by the Old Falling Apart House across the street, and got permission from him for us to pick them. We got a lot more that way for our time than picking the ones here on our property (though I still check the bushes by the road that are pretty easy to access).

I made a batch of jam from this recipe and filled up 10 baby food jars and two slightly larger jars and popped it in the freezer. (This recipe tasted really good, but it did not set up as promised. I think maybe I should have cooked it a little longer.) I also made a second batch from this recipe. I liked that it had so much less sugar (I didn’t use the Ball pectin, though). It didn’t set up all that well either, but it did say it was a soft-set jam, so maybe that’s as set as it gets.

Next we went to Snag Boat Bend to pick blackberries and got a tremendous haul there. Sadly, I didn’t have room in my fridge for all we brought home and the last two trays’ worth I froze had started to ferment. They tasted nastily alcoholic to me and were starting to be wormy, so I had to pitch them. What a pity, but I guess our garden got a good meal.

Tragically, the second batch of jam I made (from the Snag Boat berries) is full of worms, too. I pulled some out for company and was glad I looked at it first because it was full of them. I guess I’m enough of a hick that had there only been one or two I’d have just picked them out and used the jam anyway, but we’re talking a LOT of worms here. Disgusting. I’m not sure how I totally missed seeing them when I mashed up the berries. So I pulled out the previous unwormy batch of jam instead.

Lesson learned: our blackberries (and our neighbour’s) have no worms, even though they’re smaller and harder to get to. Snag Boat berries are easier and bigger, but clearly infested. Blech.

Do you pick berries where you are? What kind and what do you usually do with them?

Categories: Food Preservation, recipes | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Strawberry (or whateverberry) Shortcake That’s Better For You

So, I love shortcake, but I hated the sensation of my arteries clogging every time I ate it, just at the thought of all the shortening involved.

I was browsing through my Betty Crocker cookbook from the 1980s one day and found a plain muffin recipe that I adapted a little and have been perfectly delighted with ever since as a shortcake substitute that causes me Much Less Guilt.

1 egg or equivalent egg replacer
3/4 c non-dairy milk
1/4 c oil
1/4 c applesauce
1 c white flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1/3 c brown sugar
1 T baking powder
1 tsp salt

Prepare either 12 muffin cups or 9×9″ pan by greasing well.

Beat egg or egg replacer well. Stir in milk, oil, and applesauce.

Add dry ingredients all at once and then stir just until moistened. It will be lumpy.

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.


Note: A doubled recipe fits well in a 13×9″ pan.



I thaw frozen berries of whatever kind, and if I have fresh berries I mix those in. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, even sometimes a bit of very finely chopped apple.

I add no sweeteners to the fruit. If you’re used to sweetening your fruit, try using agave instead and then gradually wean yourself off it. Fruit really, truly tastes SO much better naked!

EDIT on 2012-03-09:

I made this batch in mini muffin tins and did a blended fruit sauce with blackberries, peaches, and a little apple and pineapple juice.

Because this post needed a picture. Incidentally, I left the sugar out of the pictured batch completely and they were still Most Tasty.

Categories: dessert, nut-free, recipes, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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