Tag Archives: fall

The Perfect Fall Dessert: Healthy Low Sugar Persimmon Creme Brulee

This unique twist on the traditional creme brulee is an egg-free and sugar-conscious alternative that fits right into your fall dessert menu. Not only is it healthier — it mostly relies on a ripe persimmon for that creamy butterscotch-like sweetness — there’s no baking required. This dessert is a fun and fancy way to utilize persimmons during the fall season, especially since they are only around for a short time.

persimmon creme brulee

Persimmon Creme Brulee

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Rest Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours, 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 medium very ripe persimmon, chopped
1 cup half and half creamer
⅓ cup + 4 Tbsp golden monk fruit sugar, divided
⅓ cup cornstarch
½ cup water
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Creme brulee ingredients

Directions:

1. Place the persimmon, creamer, ⅓ cup monk fruit sugar, cornstarch, water, sea salt and cinnamon in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth. Pour the puree into a medium saucepan over medium heat and whisk until it thickens like a smooth custard and has no lumps. This should take about 25 minutes.

Persimmon creme brulee ingredients in blender

2. Divide the mixture between four ramekins that are 4 oz each. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight until solid.

Persimmon creme brulee ingredients divided into ramekins

3. When ready, let the creme sit at room temperature for 2 minutes. Top each ramekin with 1 Tbsp of monk fruit sugar, making sure the entire surface is equally coated. Melt the sugar with a brulee torch until golden brown or slightly darker if you prefer. You will get a golden brown-orange colour, since this is not a regular creme brulee.

Related: 17 Low-Sugar Dessert Recipes to Get You Through the Holiday Season

4. Let sit for 5 minutes until the sugar has crystallized. Garnish with persimmon slices and serve.

Like Valerie’s low-sugar creme brulee? Try her easy paleo butternut squash or 30-minute low-carb zesty lamb burgers.

How to Make Apple Juice and Other Questions About Fall’s Favourite Fruit

Move over, pumpkin – it’s time to talk about that other autumn classic: apples. Whether you’re looking to whip up a piping hot cider or want to get your bake on with a fresh batch you recently picked from the orchard, there’s a plethora of ways to incorporate apples into your everyday meals. One of the most important factors, however, involves proper preservation. (Say goodbye to the dreaded browning).  From cider recipes to apple-related hacks, we answer some of your biggest questions about everyone’s favourite fall fruit.

How to Make Apple Juice

If you’ve already had your fill of apple pie and apple dumplings in recent weeks, it’s time to satisfy your cravings with the season’s fruit favourite another way: homemade juice. (Psst, it’s also a lot easier to make than you’d think — and doesn’t involve a blender or juicer).

1. Wash, quarter and core the apples, making sure to remove all the seeds. Peeling isn’t necessary, it’s baker’s choice.

2. Add apples to a pot of water (just enough liquid to cover the fruit, otherwise your juice will turn out too watery). Boil the apples for 20-30 minutes, until soft.

3. Slowly pour contents from the pot into a mesh strainer with a bowl underneath, gently mashing the softened apples with the back of a large spoon or ladle. The juice will be filtered while the apple mush remains behind.

4. Once the juice is cooled, add sugar or cinnamon, depending on personal preference.

5. Keep refrigerated and enjoy within one week of making.

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s Irresistible Apple Desserts

How to Make Apple Cider

If you’ve been apple picking lately, grab the largest pot you own and get simmering! (Hot tip: if you like your cider sweet, opt for the Fuji, Gala or Red Delicious varieties, while those who prefer their cider tart should go with McIntosh, Granny Smith or Pink Lady apples).

1. To start, add quartered apples, one sliced orange, one piece of peeled ginger, one tablespoon of black peppercorns, two cinnamon sticks, two teaspoons of cloves and a half cup of brown sugar to an oversized pot.

2. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Let it simmer for at least two hours. Alternatively, you can do this in your slow cooker for up to five hours. Although there are 15-minute variations for apple cider, more time in the pot or slow cooker will allow all the flavours blend together and will leave your kitchen smelling divine.

3. Strain apple mixture through a sieve, discard solid pieces and serve hot. Bonus: freshly made apple cider can last for up to two weeks in the fridge! Find more apple cider recipes to try this fall.

Want to try the “grown up” version? Get the recipe for Nancy Fuller’s Sparkling Apple Cider or if you’ve got extra time on your hands, try the Slow Cooker Hard Cider variation pictured above.

Related: Refrigerator Rules: How Long Do Leftovers Last?

How to Freeze Apples

If you’ve picked more than your usual amount of apples from the orchard this year, don’t let all that fine fall fruit go to waste. There’s a simple hack that will preserve your leftover apples for up to a year!

1. Peel and core apples, cutting them into thin eighths or bite-size chunks – baker’s choice.

2. Once all the slicing and dicing is done, give them a five-minute soak in a water and lemon juice mixture – the lemon will help prevent browning.

3. Once drained, arrange each piece on a baking sheet (to stop them from sticking together) and freeze overnight.

4. The next day, transfer the slices or chunks to an eco-friendly freezer bag or container labelled with the date. The beauty of this food hack is that you can freeze your apple slices for up to one year and it won’t dilute the taste!

Get the recipe for Hasselback Apples Topped With Coconut-Oat Streusel

Related: This Clever Trick Will Prevent Freezer Burn for Good (and Major Food Waste)

How to Keep Apples From Going Brown

Ah, the dreaded browning process. Think of how many apples it’s ruined over the years. Luckily, there’s more than one simple hack that’ll help you preserve fall’s most iconic fruit.

1. For same-day usage, soak sliced apples in lemon juice – the citric acid will help slow down the browning process leaving your apple pieces looking fresh and crisp for several more hours.

2. Out of citrus? Another option is to soak the apple slices in a bowl filled with one cup of cool water and ½ teaspoon of salt. Let them float for about 10 minutes before storing in an airtight container for up to a week. Worried about a salty aftertaste? Fear not! That leftover brine comes off with a simple tap rinse.

3. If you’re looking to pack or use an entire apple, slice it into quarters and then put it back together before wrapping a rubber band around it. The band will ensure your ready-to-eat slices aren’t exposed to the air.

Get the recipe for Bobby Flay’s Apple Pancake Bars With Brown Butter Crumble Topping

Related: 10 Brilliant Ways to Use Fruit That’s Going Bad

Don’t know the difference between butternut and acorn squash? Our ultimate squash guide breaks it down for you. You can also keep your green thumb happy this autumn by learning how to grow fall vegetables.

First two images courtesy of Unsplash.

How to Grow Fall Vegetables and What to Do With Them

Sweater weather is here, but growing season is far from over. Just because the days are shorter and the temperatures are dropping, it doesn’t mean you have to abandon your garden. Want your very own harvest of autumn produce? Here are the fall vegetables you should consider and some recipes to try once they’re ready to pick.

How to Grow Garlic

If you’re new to fall gardening, growing garlic is a good place to start. If you’ve ever wonder how to grow garlic, it can be easily planted mid-autumn in a sunny spot with soil that is well-drained. Separate the cloves and set them with the pointed end up and the root side down in rows that are at least one foot or 30 centimetres apart — and you should have some new bulbs by late fall. Take your freshly harvested garlic and roast it, pickle it or add it to  your favourite dishes. Interested in growing garlic indoors? While you can’t grow bulbs if you don’t have any outdoor space, you can easily grow garlic greens in a pot on a sunny window ledge. In about 7 to 10 days, you can snip the greens and add them to soups, salads, baked potatoes and more.

A chicken breast cooked to a golden finish with whole cloves of garlic and a creamy sauce

Get the recipe for The Barefoot Contessa’s Chicken With Forty Cloves of Garlic

How to Grow Cauliflower

It may be the most challenging vegetable in the cabbage family to cultivate, but fall is the perfect time for growing cauliflower. The secret is to start your seeds indoors about four weeks before you plan to plant them. Once the seedlings are ready, select a spot in your yard where they’ll get lots of light and be sure to water them so they grow quickly. Plant them outside when it’s between 18°C and 24°C for a late fall or early winter harvest. Once the florets are densely formed, the cauliflower is ready to harvest. Serve as a side dish with Sunday roast, toss it into a stir-fry or use it in a low-carb mac and cheese.

Cauliflower prepared popcorn style with a red Korean gochujang sauce

Get the recipe for Korean Gochujang Cauliflower Popcorn

How to Grow Beets

Beets are a fall harvest favourite that is best grown from seeds. Plant them in mid-summer or early fall — at least eight weeks before the first heavy frost — in an area with full sun and well-loosened soil. To speed up germination, soak the seeds in water for 24 hours before planting. After planting, add a thin layer of mulch to keep the roots cool on warmer days. When you’re growing beets, you’ll want to give them water regularly to develop healthy roots. Harvest when they’re anywhere from the size of a golf ball to a tennis ball. And don’t discard those greens! They’re packed with nutrients and a tasty whether sautéed on their own or added to pastas and soups.

Roasted red beet quarters tossed with fresh tarragon and parsley

Get the recipe for Valerie Bertinelli’s Roasted Beets With Herbs

How to Grow Brussels Sprouts

It takes patience to grow Brussels sprouts, but they are an easy crop that takes up minimal space in your garden. The seeds have to be planted six to 10 weeks before the first frost in rows three feet or 90 centimetres apart. Water them weekly and harvest after the first fall frost for the sweetest flavour. Twist them off the stem when you’re ready to cook them and any remaining sprouts will stay on the plants through part of the winter, even after the snow has begun. If you plant your seeds in the fall, don’t expect any sprouts until late winter or early spring. Roast them with bacon and maple syrup, shave them into a salad or even try them in your air fryer.

Get the recipe for Orecchiette With Vegan Sausage and Brussels Sprouts

How to Grow Broccoli

Growing broccoli takes time and extra care. You’ll have to plant the seeds in early fall, well before the first frost of the season. Plant them 18 to 24 inches or 45 to 60 centimetres apart in well-drained soil that gets at least eight hours of sun per day, ideally a partially-shaded area. There are so many ways to enjoy fresh broccoli, whether you include it in a sheet pan dinner or serve it steamed with melted Cheddar on top.

Slices of beef and broccoli florets on wooden skewers with teriyaki sauce

Get the recipe for Broccoli Beef Skewers With Teriyaki Glaze

How to Grow Pumpkins

Bright orange gourds and fall go hand in hand. Early June is the time to start thinking about planting as the seeds need warm soil to get started. They also need ample space for the long, rambling vines. Once planted, give them a deep watering of about one inch per week and adjust the amount depending on rainfall to prevent the vines from rotting. Once the pumpkins begin to grow on the vines, you’ll need to raise them off the ground using supports for even colouring and shape. If you have limited space, but still want to grow a pumpkin or two, plant smaller sugar pumpkins that are perfect for cooking and baking. They’re perfect for pies, cakes and soups.

Orange pumpkin soup served in white bowls topped with fresh herbs

Get the recipe for Vegan Pumpkin Soup

Don’t know the difference between butternut and acorn squash? Our ultimate squash guide breaks it down for you.

Indulgent Yet Healthy Apple Pie Squares with Date Caramel Sauce

Everyone loves a warm, gooey, flaky apple pie, especially come fall. We took the classic recipe and turned it into indulgently delicious squares. They also happen to be healthy for you: they’re filled with good fats, natural sweeteners, fibre and vitamin-rich apples, of course! A date caramel sauce is the finisher, as it gets generously drizzled on top for extra sweetness. You’ll fall so in love with the simple, healthy caramel sauce you may even want to double the recipe for it and spread it over toast, sliced apples or eat it by the spoonful.

Healthy Apple Pie Squares with Date Caramel Sauce

Prep Time: 35 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 65 minutes
Servings: 8 squares

Ingredients:

Crust & Topping
2 cups almond flour
1 cup rolled oats
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
¼ tsp sea salt
⅓ cup coconut oil
1 egg
¼ cup roughly chopped walnuts

Filling
4 cups mix of granny smith and Fuji apples, peeled, cored & thinly sliced
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

Date Caramel
6 medjool dates, pitted
½ cup warm water
2 Tbsp dairy-free milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

Crust & Topping
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Make the crust. In a food processor, pulse the almond flour, oats, coconut sugar and sea salt using the “S” blade until combined.
3. Add the coconut oil and egg, pulsing until the mixture is crumbly like sand.
4. Take half of the mixture, place it to the side and mix in the roughly chopped walnuts (this will be used as the topping). The other half of the dough will become the bottom crust.

5. Oil a 7×11 baking dish (or put parchment paper down) and place half the dough into the dish. Push it down using your hands or the back of a measuring cup until it is evenly spread out. Poke a few holes with a fork for heat to escape.
6. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until golden and remove.

Filling
1. In a bowl, mix together the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon and coconut sugar.

2. Place a pot on the stove over medium-low heat and melt coconut oil. Add in the apple mixture and stir until apples begin to soften (this will take about 10 minutes). The apple juices should be mostly evaporated at this point. The longer you allow to stew, the softer and mushier the apples will become. If you prefer a chunkier texture, spoon the cooked apples over top of the crust and spread out evenly. If you prefer a smoother texture, mash the apples with the back of a spoon to create a paste, then spread evenly over the crust.

3. Take the remaining crust and disperse it over the apples in crumbly chunks. It should look rustic, so there’s no need to place it over gently.

4. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
5. Take the dessert out of the oven when ready, allow to cool completely to room temperature before slicing into squares. Cut them into 8 even pieces.

Date Caramel
1. As the apple pie squares are baking, make the date caramel sauce.
2. Place all ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender (if you have a mini blender or processor, use that instead) and blitz until creamy. If it’s too thick, add more water, about 1 Tbsp at a time.
3. Once the squares are cut and cooled, drizzle the date caramel sauce all over.

Make the most of your apple bounty with these Irresistible Apple Desserts for Fall, Our Easiest Apple Crisp Recipes and Anna Olson’s Best Apple Desserts.

Tasty Thai “Fall” Rolls with Pumpkin-Coconut Sauce (That You Can Make Ahead!)

A Thai-style appetizer with a Thanksgiving twist, these “fall” rolls offer a light bite before the main event. Inspired by the fresh summer rolls enjoyed at Thai restaurants, this autumnal version with roasted sweet potato and cabbage, soba noodles and peanuts is paired with a savoury coconut milk and pumpkin sauce spiced up with sriracha and juicy lime. They’re healthy, easy to prepare and can be made ahead up to one day – a bonus when holiday entertaining

Create your own filling to use up leftovers like roasted Brussels sprouts and squash, or add a bit of protein with shredded roasted turkey. You can even wrap up a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. There are no rules to roll.

Fresh Thai “Fall” Rolls with Pumpkin-Coconut Dipping Sauce

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Cool Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Makes: 15 to 20 rolls

Ingredients: 

Filling
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch sticks
5 cups shredded green cabbage or quartered Brussels sprouts
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil, plus more for noodles
2 Tbsp soy sauce, plus more for noodles
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
½ (363g) pkg (2 bundles) buckwheat soba noodles 

Coconut-Pumpkin Dipping Sauce
1 (160mL) small can coconut milk
⅓ cup pumpkin purée
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
Sriracha, to taste 

Assembly
15 to 20 rice paper wrappers
3 green onions, sliced into matchsticks
1 cup fresh basil leaves or cilantro leaves
¼ cup roasted peanuts (salted or unsalted), roughly chopped
Black or white sesame seeds

Directions: 

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Add squash, cabbage, olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce and rice vinegar, and then toss to combine and spread into a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes, toss and roast for a further 15 to 20 minutes, until vegetables are very tender and beginning to caramelize. Set aside to cool to room temperature, or store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

2. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse and drain well again. Transfer to a medium bowl and toss with a splash of additional sesame oil and soy sauce to coat and prevent the noodles from clumping. 

3. For the sauce, in a medium bowl whisk all ingredients well to combine so no lumps remain. If the coconut milk is cold, there will be lumps that refuse to whisk; if this happens, heat mixture in a pot over low heat, whisking constantly, until they melt. Pour into a serving bowl, or store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. The sauce will firm as it cools, which tastes great, too – bring to room temperature for a looser dipping sauce consistency. 

4. To assemble, fill a large pie plate or rimmed baking sheet with warm tap water. Have all the filling and assembly ingredients chopped and within arm’s reach. Line a baking sheet or plate with parchment paper and have a few damp paper towels handy. Working one rice paper wrapper at a time, re-hydrate for 20 to 30 seconds in warm water until pliable, and place on a clean service.

5. To the wrappers, in the bottom third leaving a portion of rice paper wrapper exposed at the bottom, add a small amount (about ⅓ cup total) of roasted vegetables, noodles, green onions, basil and peanuts. Tuck in the bottom, then the sides and continue to roll away from you to seal. Place on prepared baking sheet and cover with a damp paper towel to avoid drying out. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. If making ahead, wrap each roll individually in plastic wrap and transfer to an airtight container for up to one day; unwrap before serving.

6. Add rolls to plate next to dipping sauce, sprinkle the rolls and sauce with sesame seeds, and then serve. 

With an appetizer covered, it’s time to figure out the main course – here are some hacks to keep stress down in the kitchen.

This Cheesy, Comforting Butternut Squash Tartiflette is a Cold-Weather Must

Tartiflette is a dish from the Savoie region of France, popular in the Alps because it’s so hearty. A rich and comforting layered dish featuring potatoes, onions, lardons (bacon) and, traditionally, Reblochon cheese. Here, we’ve substituted butternut squash for some of the potatoes, making for a slightly sweeter bake that works well with the strong cheese. If you can’t find Reblochon, swap for any soft cheese with a washed rind (think Brie, Époisses or Cru du Champlain).

Pair the decadent dish with a simple green salad, or, if serving as a side, sprinkle a little chopped parsley on top – it’s not traditional, but it adds a hit of freshness (and colour!).

Comforting Butternut Squash Tartiflette

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 8

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb (227g) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch (2cm) cubes
1/2 small butternut squash (approx. 3/4 lb/ 350g), peeled and chopped into 1-inch (2cm) cubes
8 slices bacon (approx. 7oz/ 200g), roughly chopped in small cubes
1 large onion (approx. 7oz/ 200g)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
14oz (400g) Reblochon cheese (or alternative variety)
Salt and pepper, to season
Curly parsley, for garnish

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 400˚F.
2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet (big enough to hold all your potatoes and squash cubes). Shallow fry the potato and squash cubes until they start to colour, stirring occasionally (watch the squash, it will caramelize faster than the potatoes). This will take around 5-7 minutes.
3. Remove the potatoes and squash from the skillet and drain on paper towels.
4. Add the bacon to the skillet and fry until it’s just starting to colour (approx. 3-5 minutes, depending on how small you’ve cut the bacon). You want it fully cooked but not crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet and drain on paper towels.

5. Add the onions and garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Remove the onions from the pan and drain on a paper towel.
6. Cut the Reblochon in half horizontally and cut one half into small strips. Cut the other half into small cubes.

6. In an oven-proof dish large enough to hold all the ingredients, layer half the onions, garlic and bacon.

7. Top with half the squash mixture and dot with some of the cheese cubes.
8. Repeat the process, layering the rest of the onions, then bacon, then the squash mixture.

9. Top with the strips of cheese, alternating the rind facing in and out with each strip. The cheese will not cover the top of the dish entirely (you will have some gaps and be able to see the squash and potatoes underneath).

10. Bake for 25 minutes at 400˚F, then turn the broiler on high and broil for approx. 5 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and golden.
11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving. Garnish with the parsley. Bon appetit!

For more cheesy, melt-in-your-mouth recipes that’ll warm your insides, try these 18 classic french dishes that are the definition of comfort food.

Pumpkin S’mores Sheet Cake is the Fall Dessert to Make This Season

Just when you thought you’d heard of all the pumpkin spice desserts out there, let us introduce you to this Pumpkin S’mores Sheet Cake. Anything baked in a sheet pan is already party-ready, but top it with silky ganache and fluffy, marshmallow-like frosting and it’s definitely a celebration. Dotted with chocolate chips and punctuated with show-stopping toasted meringue, this recipe is sure to impress this fall.

Pumpkin S’mores Sheet Cake

Bake Time: 28 minutes
Total Time: 90 minutes
Servings: 12 to 16

Ingredients:

Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp pumpkin spice
½ tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cups brown sugar
14 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
15 ounces pumpkin puree
1 cup chocolate chips

Chocolate Ganache Frosting
6 ounce bittersweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 ounces heavy cream

Marshmallow Meringue Frosting
3 large eggs whites
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Cake
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9-by-13-inch cake pan with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin spice and salt. Set aside.
3. Using a stand or hand mixer, mix the eggs, granulated sugar and brown sugar together on medium speed for 3 minutes, or until pale in colour. Mixing on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bottom of the bowl.
4. With the mixer on low speed, add in half of the flour mixture. Stream in the melted butter and mix until combined. Add in the remaining flour and mix until just barely incorporated. Add in the pumpkin and mix until combined. Stop the mixer and fold in the chocolate chips.

5. Tip the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
6. Allow the cake to cool completely before spreading the top with the Chocolate Ganache Frosting. Allow the ganache to set (at room temperature or in the refrigerator) before topping with the Marshmallow Meringue Frosting. Use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to make swirls and peaks with the meringue. Gently toast the meringue with a culinary torch.

Chocolate Ganache Frosting
1. Place the chocolate chips and butter in a heat-safe bowl.
2.
Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it just begins to simmer. 

3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and butter. Let stand for 30 to 60 seconds, then whisk until smooth.
4. Allow ganache to thicken before using (at least 30 minutes at room temperature, or 20 minutes in the refrigerator, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes).

Marshmallow Meringue Frosting
1. Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Stir to gently combine. Fill a saucepan with a few inches of water and bring to a simmer. Place the mixer bowl on top to create a double-boiler.  Stirring intermittently, heat the egg mixture until it is 160°f on a candy thermometer.

2. Once the egg whites are hot, carefully move the bowl back to the stand mixer. Whip on high speed with the whisk attachment until the meringue holds medium-stiff peaks, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine.
3. Spread the meringue on top of the ganache, being careful not to disturb or mix in the chocolate layer underneath. Lightly toast the meringue with a culinary torch.

We’ve got plenty more pumpkin-spiced desserts to make you drool. Start with these 40 perfect pumpkin treats, before exploring these healthy (and genius) recipe hacks using a can of pumpkin and 20 pumpkin pie recipes (if the classic fall dessert is your thing).

Fall Chia Puddings 3 Ways: Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie & Chocolate Chai

When September rolls around, I become a little bit of an enthusiast for all things fall. I like to incorporate the cozy flavours of the season into each meal of the day, and breakfast is no exception! These chia puddings are like biting into your favourite autumn dessert: apple pie, pumpkin pie and chocolate chai. They require minimal prep, and are so good for you, as chia seeds are loaded with nutrients. Pumpkin pie for breakfast? Yes, please!

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours
Servings: 2

Apple Pie Chia Pudding

Ingredients
1 cup almond milk
¼ cup chia seeds
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 medium apple, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped
Coconut whip, for topping (refer to this recipe, if desired)

Directions
1. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk the almond milk, chia seeds, maple syrup, vanilla, apple sauce, cinnamon and nutmeg until well blended. Let stand for 30 minutes.
2. Whisk mixture a second time to distribute the chia seeds. Transfer mixture to a glass jar or serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. When ready to serve, top with sliced apple, nuts and coconut whip.

Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding

Ingredients
1 cup almond milk
¼ cup chia seeds
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ cup pumpkin puree
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch ground allspice
1 Tbsp walnuts or pecans, for topping
Coconut whip, for topping (refer to this recipe, if desired)

Directions
1. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk the almond milk, chia seeds, maple syrup, vanilla, pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and allspice until well blended. Let stand 30 minutes.
2. Whisk mixture a second time to distribute the chia seeds. Transfer mixture to a glass jar or serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. When ready to serve, top with nuts and coconut whip.

Chocolate Chai Chia Pudding

Ingredients
1 cup almond milk
¼ cup chia seeds
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp chai concentrate (optional)
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cardamom
1 pinch ground ginger
1 pinch ground allspice
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp mini dark chocolate chips
Coconut whip, for topping (refer to this recipe, if desired)

Directions
1. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk the almond milk, chia seeds, maple syrup, vanilla, chai concentrate, cocoa powder, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, allspice, cloves and nutmeg until well blended. Let stand 30 minutes.
2. Whisk mixture a second time to distribute the chia seeds. Transfer mixture to a glass jar or serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. When ready to serve, top with chocolate chips and coconut whip.

Stay warm and cozy this season with this healthy apple pie oatmeal breakfast bake, these vegan pumpkin spice pancakes or this streusel-topped pear kuchen cake.

Easy No-Bake Pumpkin & Dark Chocolate Granola Bars

Get into the fall spirit with these simple no-bake granola bars with a pumpkin twist! While store-bought varieties are often filled with unhealthy preservatives, these homemade bars contain more wholesome ingredients. The end results produce a delightfully chewy, chocolate snack that encompasses all the cozy flavours of autumn. I recommend using almond butter, as it has a much more neutral taste than peanut butter. This recipe is also vegan and dairy-free, making it an ideal treat for everyone this season.

Easy No-Bake Pumpkin & Dark Chocolate Granola Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 12 bars

Ingredients:

3 cups quick cooking oats
½ cups natural almond butter
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup pumpkin puree
⅓ cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground allspice
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup mini dark chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish and line with parchment paper. Leave an inch or so of overhang for easy removal. Set aside.
2. In a saucepan over low heat, add the almond butter, coconut oil, pumpkin puree and maple syrup. Whisk until well blended.
3. Remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and all spice. Let cool slightly.

4. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl. Fold in the oats followed by the pumpkin seeds and chocolate chips.
5. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. Press down gently to firm.

6. Let chill for 60 minutes in the freezer before slicing. To store bars, place in a lidded Tupperware. Can be refrigerated for a week or stored in the freezer for up to a month.

Get your pumpkin fix with these grain-free chocolate chip muffins, vegan pumpkin pie cups with coconut whip or decadent pumpkin pie swirl brownies!

beet-barlotto-in-a-pot

5 Comforting Barley Recipes For an Oh-So-Cozy Fall

Barley is far too often cast as a bland and boring grain – that is, until now. We’ve given this comforting fall grain it a makeover with five exciting recipes where barley is the star. The nutrient-rich grain has a firm texture and subtly nutty flavour, pairing well with savoury fall soups, stews and salads, but it can go beyond those recipe confines, too. From a magenta beet ‘barlotto’ to a sweet breakfast porridge and beyond, these recipes offer a glimpse into barley’s sassier side.

Beet Barley Risotto

Beet “Barlotto” (Barley Risotto)

Rice is swapped out for barley in this risotto-inspired meal made with earthy beets and Parmesan cheese.

Directions: In a medium saucepan, heat 1 L chicken or vegetable stock. Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp unsalted butter in a large high-sided skillet over medium. To butter, add 1 minced garlic clove and 1 finely chopped onion; cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add 1 cup pearl barley, 1 cup grated raw beet (about 2 small) and 1/2 tsp salt. Add 1/3 cup white wine and cook while stirring until barley has absorbed all of the liquid, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and begin adding stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring the entire time. Keep adding more stock, 1/2 cup at a time, when previous addition is almost fully absorbed. Continue to cook until barley is tender, but still has some bite to it, about 30 to 40 minutes. To finish, stir in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Remove from heat and add to warmed serving plates or bowls. Garnish with fresh parsley and more Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve. Serves 6.

Creamy Mushroom Barley Soup 

This hearty soup made with mushrooms and barley is a bowl of pure comfort.

Directions: In a small bowl, soak 1 oz. dried mushrooms of choice in 1 cup recently boiled water for 45 minutes. Drain, reserving soaking water and roughly chop rehydrated mushrooms. In a large pot over medium heat, melt 3 Tbsp unsalted butter. Sauté 170 g sliced fresh cremini mushrooms, 1 diced onion, 1 diced carrot and 2 diced ribs celery. Stir in 3/4 cup pearl barley and rehydrated chopped mushrooms. Add in reserved mushroom rehydrating liquid along with 7 cups chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until barley is tender. To finish, stir in 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream (low-fat varieties will curdle), ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh dill. Serves 6.

barley porridge

Sweet Barley Porridge

Oats aren’t the only grain the can make great porridge. Barley turns into a delicious, subtly sweet breakfast cereal packed with nutrition and comfort food appeal.

Directions: In a medium saucepan, combine 1 L unsweetened almond milk, 3/4 cup pearl barley, 1 tsp ground cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Heat over medium heat, stirring often until mixture comes to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until barley is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed about 40 minutes. To finish, stir in 1/4 cup maple syrup and 1/4 cup golden raisins. Scoop porridge into bowls and serve warm topped with chopped nuts and additional milk. Serves 6.

Autumn Barley Salad

This fall-inspired salad is packed with sweet potatoes, apple, fennel and chewy barley. It’s as good for a weekday lunch as it is tucked next to baked salmon for dinner on the weekend.

Directions: In a large bowl, gently mix to combine 1 cup cooked pearl barley, 1 roasted and diced sweet potato (slightly under-roast and chill for a tidier dice), 1 diced apple, 1 cup shaved fennel and 1/3 cup chopped walnuts. Gently mix in 1 Tbsp ground cumin, 2 Tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and crumbled feta. Serve. Serves 4.

barley tabbouleh

Barley Tabbouleh

Barley replaces bulgur wheat in this refreshing twist on the Middle Eastern salad.

Directions: In a large bowl, mix 1 cup cooked pearl barley with 1 bunch finely chopped fresh parsley and 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint. To the barley and herbs, add 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes, 1/2 finely diced cucumber and 2 thinly sliced green onions. For the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk to combine 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 Tbsp lemon juice and salt and pepper, taste. Add dressing to barley mixture, toss and serve. Serves 4.

Now that you’ve mastered barley, reinvigorate another blank canvas-grain with these fast and healthy quinoa recipes.

pumpkin-seed-feature-image

The Best Pumpkin Seed Granola to Make When Pumpkin Carving

Roasted pumpkin seeds are a delicious way to turn your Jack O’Lantern innards into a tasty treat. But this crunchy and flavourful pumpkin seed granola takes your favourite season snack one step further. Crunchy nuts and seeds are mixed with cinnamon and maple syrup, then baked with oats and coconut make a sweet and simple granola you’ll want to eat by the handful. Finish off by stirring in dried cranberries and a little cayenne for subtle heat. Eat for breakfast or save for snacking as you wait for trick-or-treaters.

pumpkin-seed-granola-in-jar

Pumpkin Seed Granola Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1hr 5 minutes (includes 20 minutes cooling)
Makes: 4-1/2 cups

Ingredients:
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1-1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (cleaned and dried if removed from carving pumpkin)
1/2 cup shaved coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dried cranberries

pumpkin-seed-granola-recipe

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 300°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together maple syrup, oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and cayenne.
3. In a large bowl, combine oats, pumpkin seeds, coconut, pecans and sunflower seeds. Pour oil mixture over and stir to combine.
4. Spoon mixture onto prepared sheet and bake until golden, stirring halfway about 35 to 40 minutes.
5. Cool completely and stir in cranberries.

pumpkin-granola-yogurt

Looking for more roast pumpkin seed recipes? Try these Tasty Ways to Use Pumpkin Seeds.

This Slow Cooker Butternut Squash is Beyond Easy

Butternut squash is by far the most popular of the squash family, that’s probably because it’s fairly user-friendly, versatile and the perfect balance of sweetness and earthiness. This delicious carby vegetable is also packed with a spectrum of vitamins and minerals that all work to protect your body, especially in the colder months as cold and flu season move in.

Although butternut squash is becoming more commonplace, many people get overwhelmed or confused about how to prep it, use it or cook it. Do you peel it? How do you cut it safely so it doesn’t roll around or worse, so you don’t injure yourself? Should you keep the seeds? Here we give the easiest way to cook butternut squash – in your slow cooker!  Literally, your only job is to buy one, no need for a peeler or a knife. This slow cooker method, which can easily be done in an electric pressure cooker (like an Instant Pot), comes out perfectly tender and sweet, just the way it should be.

squash-slow-cooker-in-bowl

How to Cook Butternut Squash in Your Slow Cooker (or Instant Pot)

Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: Slow cooker: 8 hours,  Pressure cooker: 35 minutes
Servings: 2-3

Ingredients:
1 butternut squash, choose a size that will fit into your slow cooker or Instant Pot
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp cinnamon

squash-in-slow-cooker

Directions:

Slow Cooker:
1. Place your squash in the slow cooker. Do your best to find one that fits right inside without needing to slice it.
2. Put the lid on, cook it on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

Instant Pot:
1. Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot. Place the steam rack on the bottom and then put the butternut squash on top. Again, choose one that fits into the pot without needing to cut it. If you find one too large, slice it in half widthwise so you have two round circles and scoop out the seeds.
2. Lock the lid, turn the pressure release valve to sealed and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes. Turn the valve open to release steam for 10 minutes.

squash-slow-cooker-scoop

Assembly:
1. Allow the squash to cool slightly, then gently scoop out the seeds with a spoon. The squash will be so tender so this will be an easy job.
2. Cut the squash into large cubes and drizzle with maple syrup and cinnamon.
3. Now that you have a beautifully steamed squash you can also do whatever you want with it, make a mash, blend it with coconut milk into a soup, make it into a hummus, place cubes of it on top of a salad or eat it as is.

Looking for ideas? Try the Brilliant Ways to Eat Butternut Squash.

Apple-Brie Pumpkin Soup Season is Here

Now that soup season is upon us, we’re looking to jazz up our old fall favourites, like classic, creamy pumpkin soup. In this mouthwatering version, we’ve added Gala apples to give the soup just a hint of sweetness, then we gave it the full French onion treatment, with a beautiful topping of crispy baguette and melty Brie. This stick-to-your-ribs soup is just what you need to feel like you’re living your best fall life.

pumpkin-apple-soup-with-baked-brie

Photo by Lindsay Guscott
Lindsay Guscott

Baked Brie Pumpkin and Apple Soup Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp. butter
1 small onion, sliced, about 1 1/2 cups
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 small pie pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-in pieces, about 6 cups
2 Gala apples, peeled and cut into 1/2 pieces, about 3 cups
1 sprig rosemary, plus more for optional garnish
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 cup dry hard apple cider
900 ml vegetable stock
1/2 cup whipping cream
8 slices baguette
150g double cream Brie, rind removed and thinly sliced

sugar-pumpkins

Photo by Allison Day
Photo by Allison Day

Directions:
1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until softened, 5 to 7 min.
2. Increase heat to medium-high, then stir in pumpkin and apples. Season with salt. Sauté until vegetables are lightly golden-brown, 5 to 7 min.
3. Add spices and cook until fragrant, 1 min.
4. Pour in cider. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any brown bits from bottom of pan. Allow cider to evaporate, 1 to 2 min.
5. Add stock and rosemary sprig. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 15 min. Remove and discard rosemary.
6. Working in small batches, purée soup in a blender. Return to pot. Stir in cream and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 min.
7. Ladle into oven-safe bowls, then top each with 2 slices of baguette and 2 slices of cheese. Broil on high until cheese has melted and is just starting to brown, about 1 to 2 min.
8. Sprinkle with finely chopped rosemary, if desired, and serve immediately.

pumpkin-apple-soup-with-brie-crouton

Photo by Lindsay Guscott
Photo by Lindsay Guscott

Tip: If you don’t own oven-proof bowls, assemble your Brie toasts on a foil-lined baking sheet instead. Once broiled, simply transfer the toasts to your bowl.

Looking for more fall recipes? Try our Brilliant Ways to Use Butternut Squash.

pumpkin-spice-cookie-cups-with-caramel

Caramel Pumpkin Spice Cookie Cups Are a Fall Must-Bake

Pumpkin spice season is short and sweet, which is why we’re excited to make the most of it. Filled with pumpkin spice — the irresistible combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove, these soft and chewy cookie-cupcake hybrids are a must-bake this fall. Perfect for entertaining, these two-bite cookie cups are filled with salted caramel and topped with a light, whipped cream cheese frosting. Serve with a piping hot latte and you’ve found pumpkin spice perfection.

pumpkin-spice-cookie-cups

Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Cookie Cups with Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Chill Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 24 cookie cups

Ingredients:
Cookie Cups
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Caramel
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

Frosting
1/2 (250 g) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 ¾ cups icing sugar
2 tsp heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Garnish: ground cinnamon

pumpkin-spice-cups-with-cream-cheese-icing

Directions:

Cookie Cups
1. In a large bowl, whisk together butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin, egg yolk and vanilla extract until combined.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt. Gradually stir into butter mixture until combined. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until chilled.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 24-cup mini muffin tin with nonstick spray.
4. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Scoop dough one tablespoon at a time and roll into balls. Roll in sugar mixture and place in muffin cups. Gently press back of 1/2 teaspoon measure into centres of dough balls to flatten slightly.
5. Bake 10 minutes, or just until lightly golden brown. Press 1/2 teaspoon measure once again in the centre to maintain the hole. Let cool 10 minutes, transfer to wire rack and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar. Cool completely.

Caramel
1. For the caramel, combine water and sugar in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, without stirring, until the sugar turns a medium amber brown, about 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Remove from heat, carefully and gradually stir in cream. Stir in vanilla and salt. Let cool completely.

Frosting
1. For the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the heavy cream and vanilla until combined. Beat in the remaining icing sugar until light and fluffy.
2. To assemble, fill frosting into a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Fill another piping bag with cooled caramel (slightly heating if too thick). Fill cookie cups with caramel and pipe with frosting. Drizzle with additional caramel and sprinkle with cinnamon. Best served the same day.

Need your pumpkin spice fix? Try these tasty recipes.

An Easy, No-Bake Pumpkin Trifle That’s Right at Home on Your Thanksgiving Table

This lovely layered dessert is complete with all of the spice and flavours of pumpkin pie, minus the hard work of rolling, crimping and baking. Layers of rum-soaked ladyfingers, spice-infused pumpkin, sweetened whipped cream, crunchy toasted walnuts and white chocolate come together for delicious flavours and perfect textures. Simple to toss together for the everyday but special-occasion-worthy, this showstopper pumpkin dessert is a spectacular recipe to make for Thanksgiving.

This dessert doesn’t stop at the end of pumpkin season. It can easily be made into a springtime treat by folding ½ cup lemon curd into the whipped cream in place of 1½ cups pumpkin puree; and omitting the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. Add 1 cup raspberries or blueberries (or a mix) to each layer instead of 1½ walnuts, and you’ve got an entirely new dessert!

Pumpkin Trifle

Pumpkin Pie Trifle Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Serves: 12 to 16

Ingredients:
1 L 35% heavy whipping cream
⅔ cup icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1½ cups pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
⅛ tsp allspice
2 (150 g) pkgs ladyfinger cookies
3 Tbsp rum
1½ cups chopped toasted walnuts
1½ cups shaved or grated white chocolate

Directions:
1. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat cream until it holds soft peaks. Slowly add icing sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold in vanilla. Transfer 3 cups of whipped cream mixture into a separate large bowl and fold in pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Reserve pumpkin cream mixture and plain whipped cream mixture.

Trifle prebuild

2. In a 9-inch trifle dish, arrange one-third of the ladyfingers on the bottom of dish and brush with 1 tbsp of rum. Layer with about a third of the reserved pumpkin cream mixture, ½ cup (one-third) of the walnuts, one-third of the plain whipped cream mixture and ½ cup (one-third) of the white chocolate shavings. Repeat this process twice, finishing with chocolate shavings. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least one 1 hour before serving.

Love to layer? There are more seasonal trifle recipes right this way.

classic-brisket-sliced-with-sauce

An Easy, Tender Brisket Recipe That is Sure to Impress

Brisket is a staple dish for many Jewish celebrations, with recipes that can differ from family to family. While some families prefer a sweet sauce, others love savoury. Some use brine; some don’t bother. Some prefer to sear their meat before braising, while others put their brisket straight into the oven. No matter your family’s preference, the most important part of brisket is that it is cooked low and slow, which is the key to juicy, melt in your mouth meaty goodness.

My recipe is a crowd-pleaser, being a little sweet and a little savoury. It can be made with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry, but that doesn’t mean you can rush this no-fuss recipe. The key to great flavour is giving the brisket the time to marinate and then to cook. It takes about 20 hours from start to finish, so make sure you plan ahead when embarking on this Jewish classic.

brisket-cut

How to Make a Classic Brisket

Ingredients:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup ketchup
1 cup water
1 cup apricot preserves
4-5 lb brisket
3 onions, quartered

classic-brisket-recipe

Directions:
1. Mix the soy sauce, ketchup, water, apricot preserves in a bowl. Pour into a roaster or casserole dish large enough to fit the brisket. Place brisket in roaster or dish and coat with marinade. Place onions in the dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
2. Remove brisket from the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 325F. Place in oven covered with lid or aluminium foil. Cook for 3 hours then remove foil. Continue to cook uncovered for 30 minutes.
3. Remove from oven and let cool on the counter. Once cool, place in refrigerator until completely chilled, about 1 hour. This will help slice the brisket. Skim the fat off the surface of the sauce and discard. Slice the brisket into thin slices and place back into the dish with sauce.
4. When ready to serve, preheat your oven to 350F. Place brisket with sauce back in the oven and cook uncovered until heated through about 30 minutes. Spoon sauce over slices every 10 minutes.

How to Make Vegan Apple Spice Cake with Maple Buttercream

Fill your home with the warm, delicious smell of cinnamon by making this heavenly double-layered vegan apple spice cake!

It’s easy to make and combines fresh apple, cinnamon, all-spice, ginger, molasses, and brown sugar with a fluffy and sweet maple buttercream frosting. You’ll feel quite proud of yourself after making this and your sweet reward is eating it!

Easy Vegan Apple Spice Cake Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 8-10 servings

Ingredients:
Apple Spice Cake:
1 ¼ cup soy milk, room temperature
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp all-spice
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp sea salt
1 cup shredded apple
1/3 cup coconut oil (soft at room temperature)
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ Tbsp unsulphured blackstrap molasses
2 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup pecans, roughly chopped

Maple Buttercream Frosting:
3 cups powdered sugar
8 Tbsp vegan butter or margarine, room temperature
6 tablespoons maple syrup

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°
  2. In a small mixing bowl whisk together the soy milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, all-spice, ginger, and sea salt.
  4. In a third bowl beat together coconut oil and brown sugar with a hand mixer until fluffy. Then beat in molasses, vanilla extract, and soymilk and vinegar mixture until smooth.
  5. Add the liquid ingredients and shredded apple to the dry ingredients. Fold the batter until it’s just combined, ensuring not to over mix it.
  6. Lightly oil 2 x 7 ¼” cake pans with a little bit of coconut oil. You can also bake one at a time if you only have 1 pan.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans. Spread out the batter so it’s even and to the edge of the pan.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes on the centre rack. The cake is done when a toothpick comes out of the centre of the cake clean.
  9. Transfer cakes out of the pans onto wire racks and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  10. To make the frosting beat together vegan butter, powdered sugar, and maple syrup until fluffy and smooth.
  11. Place one cake bottom side down on your serving plate and spread frosting evenly with a spatula across the entire top of the cake. Place the other cake, bottom side down, on top of the frosting. Use remaining frosting to cover the entire cake.
  12. Using the palm of your hands gently press small handfuls of roughly chopped pecans along the entire side of the cake until well coated.

Looking for more sweet seasonal desserts? Try our Best Apple Recipes.

What’s in Season? Your Ultimate Guide to Canadian Fruits and Vegetables

Crisp lettuce and juicy tomatoes in your favourite salad. A ripe peach fresh from the farmstand. Sweet, earthy leeks in a creamy soup. Is your mouth watering yet? As Canadians, we have a plethora of seasonal produce at our fingertips throughout the year and knowing what and when to buy seasonally empowers home cooks with the best local flavours possible. Whether you are looking to shop local or support Canadian farmers coast-to-coast,  make food shopping a breeze all year round with our Canadian seasonal produce guide covering January to December.  Grab your tote bags and get shopping – bounty awaits!

potatoes-white-red-in-basket

What’s in Season in  Winter

The dead of winter brings the blahs for most of us. Winter fare, however, can be quite inspiring. Think warm soups and stews, gorgeous roasts with luscious mashed or roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash and rutabagas. Fry onion rings and add sautéed garlic to everything. Braise cabbage or roll it around meat and rice filling for cabbage roll perfection. Dream even bigger with a moist, cream cheese frosted carrot or parsnip cake (yes, parsnip cake!) or rich, dark and dreamy chocolate beet cake. With dishes like these, winter won’t seem long enough!

What’s in Season in December:

Pears, Brussels Sprouts, Rutabagas / Turnips, Beets, Carrots, Cabbage, Red Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Potatoes, Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Pears

What’s in Season in January:

Rutabagas, Turnips, Beets, Carrots, Cabbage, Red Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Potatoes, Squash, Sweet Potatoes

What’s in Season in February:

Rutabagas, Turnips, Beets, Carrots, Cabbage, Red Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Potatoes, Squash, Sweet Potatoes

What’s in Season in March:

Rutabagas,  Turnips, Beets, Carrots, Cabbage, Red Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Potatoes, Squash, Sweet Potatoes

asparagus-cooked-sauce

 

What’s in Season in Spring

As the seasons change so does the fresh produce. Asparagus arrives – April in British Columbia, May in the rest of the country, continuing into July towards the East Coast –  along with fiddleheads, radishes, spinach and later peas, beans, cauliflower and broccoli. We begin to see fresh lettuce and radicchio along with celery and fennel in British Columbia, following in July in the rest of Canada. Fruit also begins with outdoor rhubarb as well as strawberries and cherries in May, continuing into July. Make the most of these months with light pastas, simple salads, pies, tarts and where weather allows a little grilling.

What’s in Season in April:

Asparagus, Radishes, Fiddleheads, Spinach, Fava Beans,  Rhubarb, Peppers (greenhouse), Tomatoes (greenhouse)

What’s in Season in May:

Asparagus, Radishes, Fiddleheads, Spinach, Rhubarb, Kale, Salad Greens, Morel Mushrooms, Arugula, Swiss Chard, Green Onions, Peas, Cherries,

What’s in Season in June:

Asparagus, Radishes, Spinach, Rhubarb, Kale, Salad Greens, Arugula, Beets, Lettuce, Green Onions, Gooseberries, Saskatoon Berries, Strawberries, Broccoli, Celery, Swiss Chard, Garlic (Fresh), Peas, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips, Zucchini, Fennel, Cherries

fresh-strawberries-in-a-basket

What’s in Season in Summer

As summer hits, things kick into high gear with seemingly unending produce options. Stone fruits like peaches, plums, apricots and later nectarines burst onto the scene, tending towards an earlier arrival in British Columbia, soon ripening across the country and finally arriving in the Atlantic provinces in September. Berries also arrive this time of year, making it the perfect opportunity for crumbles, preserves and general good eating. Melons are now in full bloom, begging to be soaked in summery sangrias, wrapped in prosciutto and added to salads. And early pears and apples make their way onto the scene in late August, rounding out fruit season. Vegetables like homegrown corn, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and rapini are now in their prime, and it’s the start of leek and eggplant season in August.

What’s in Season in July:

Gooseberries, Saskatoon Berries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Currants, Cherries, Blackberries, Apricots, Nectarines, Green Beans, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower,  Celery, Swiss Chard, Cucumber, Garlic (Fresh), Leeks,  Lettuce, Green Onions, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes (New), Radishes, Rhubarb, Salad Greens, Spinach, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips,  Zucchini, Beets, Peaches, Watermelon, Kale

What’s in Season in August:

Raspberries, Currants, Cherries, Blackberries, Apricots, Apples, Crab Apples, Blueberries, Gooseberries, Melons, Nectarines, Pears, Plums, Prunes, Strawberries, Artichokes, Green Beans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower,  Celery, Swiss Chard,  Corn, Cucumber, Garlic (Fresh),  Leeks,  Lettuce, Green Onions, Parsnips,  Peppers,  Potatoes (New), Radishes, Rhubarb, Rutabagas,  Salad Greens, Shallots, Spinach, Summer Squash,  Tomatoes, Turnips,  Zucchini, Beets, Eggplants, Grapes,  Peaches, Watermelon, Kale, Pears

fall-apples-on-a-cutting-board

What’s in Season in Fall

We end our big season on a high note with pumpkin, leeks, eggplant, Brussels sprouts, cranberries, crabapples and the continuation from August of muskmelon and grapes. We begin to crave in-season apples and pears, and as cool weather approaches so does the need for warmer dishes. Back indoors, get set for roasting, holiday feasting and all of the apple desserts.

What’s in Season in September:

Cranberries, Apples, Crab Apples, Blueberries, Grapes, Melons, Pears, Plums, Prunes, Artichokes, Green Beans, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower,  Celery, Swiss Chard, Corn, Cucumber, Garlic (Fresh),  Leeks,  Lettuce, Green Onions, Onions, Parsnips,  Peppers,  Potatoes (New), Pumpkin, Radishes, Rutabagas, Salad Greens, Spinach, Tomatoes, Turnips,  Zucchini, Beets, Eggplants, Nectarines, Watermelon, Kale,

What’s in Season in October:

Cranberries, Apples, Crab Apples, Pears, Quince, Artichokes, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower,  Celery, Swiss Chard, Corn, Garlic (Fresh),  Leeks,  Lettuce, Green Onions, Onions, Parsnips,  Peppers, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Radishes, Rutabagas, Salad Greens, Spinach, Turnips, Beets, Eggplants, Kale

What’s in Season in November:

Cranberries, Pears, Quince, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower,  Leeks, Onions, Parsnips, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Radishes, Rutabagas, Turnips, Apples, Beets

mushrooms-crimini

What’s in Season in Canada Year-Round

Don’t forget about options available regardless of the season. Take mushrooms, for instance, which are grown year-round and across the country. In addition, many greenhouse farms are using methods that help cut down on waste and reuse water, soil and energy, producing year-round. Cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and lettuce are excellent greenhouse-bought options in winter when local outdoor choices have dwindled so you can enjoy a taste of summer, whatever the weather.

Make the most of your market haul any time of year with all of our in-season recipes.

squash-risotto-in-pot

No-Stir Baked Risotto with Chicken, Mushrooms & Squash Was Made For Weeknights

There’s nothing I love more than a home-cooked meal at the end of the workday. But spending a lot of time in the kitchen isn’t exactly what you’re looking for after a long day. What to do then? Comfort food for cold weather without all the fuss. Can it be done? I say, yes! Risotto, for example, is one of my favourite comfort foods, but many people are put off the idea of making this for a weeknight meal, placing it firmly in the category of Too Time-Consuming.  All that stirring and the need to stand by the stove the entire time it cooks is off-putting. The good news is that this recipe, while not the risotto of a purist, will change your mind.

Risotto on a weeknight is made doable when it’s oven-baked. There are a few minutes’ prep at the start (even easier if you have pre-chopped squash on hand), but the bulk of the work is done in the oven, leaving you around 30 minutes to prepare a salad, or just relax before dinner is on the table. I’ve chosen chicken and mushrooms to go with the classic fall flavour of squash, though this is a very flexible recipe and lends itself to many different interpretations. Once you’ve oven-baked one risotto, you’ll be a convert.

Squash Risotto

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Serves: 6 

Ingredients
Roasted Squash
1/2 butternut or red kuri squash, peeled and seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme or Herbes de Provence
1/8 tsp flaky sea salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Baked Risotto
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 clove garlic, minced
500 g boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
1-1/2cups white mushrooms, finely sliced
1-1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups warm chicken stock, more as needed
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only, stems discarded
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
3/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan
Fresh thyme leaves
Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season

Directions

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Roasted Squash:

1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
2. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and spread the squash pieces over the tray evenly. Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with thyme or Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper and toss to combine.
3. Bake for 15 minutes, or until your risotto is ready to go in the oven, whatever’s fastest, until squash is just starting to get tender. The squash will go back in the oven alongside the risotto and will finish cooking at the same time.

Baked Risotto:
1. Heat oil in a large ovenproof dish or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until it’s just starting to get soft (remove from heat if garlic is browning).
2. Add chicken pieces and cook for 5 to 7 minutes until beginning to brown. Mix in rice and stir to combine until the rice is glossy and coated in oil.
3. Add wine and cook until evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes, then add stock and thyme. Stir well.
4. Bring mixture to the boil, then cover, remove from the heat and place in the oven. Bake risotto in same oven as tray of squash for 25 minutes.

Baked Risotto

Serving:
1. Remove risotto and tray of roasted squash from the oven. If the risotto is looking a little dry, add up to 1/2 cup of warm chicken stock (you may need less), stirring until it’s no longer dry. To the risotto, stir in the Parmesan and lemon zest, followed by half of the roasted squash, stirring carefully (so it doesn’t, well, get squashed!)
2. Serve the risotto immediately, topped with remaining roasted squash, salt, pepper and fresh thyme leaves.

Keep the effortless Italian theme going and serve up this arugula and radicchio salad on the side.

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pear kuchen recipe

Pear Kuchen Cake Will Make You Feel Warm and Cozy

As these days grow colder and darker, a slice of this lightly spiced pear cake will warm the spirit. It’s the perfect fall dessert for when you are craving something simple, warming and just sweet enough. Unlike layer cakes or those smothered in frosting, this streusel-topped kuchen is full of flavour without being overly indulgent. Since it’s neither too fussy or sweet, feel free to enjoy either with your morning coffee or afternoon tea. Or serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream or ice cream for a fancy dessert after your fall feast.

Pear Kuchen

Prep time: 20 to 30 minutes
Bake time: 50 to 60 minutes
Total time: 70 to 90 minutes
Serves: 8 to 12

Ingredients:
Streusel Topping:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp oats
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch salt
2 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, diced
2 to 3 Tbsp sliced almonds, divided

Pears:
3 to 4 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tsp granulated sugar

Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup almond flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of 1 medium lemon
2 large eggs
1 cup plain yogurt
Icing sugar, optional

Pear Kuchen

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350ºF.  Line a 9- or 10-inch spring pan with parchment and set aside.
2. Make the streusel topping. Combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and 1 tablespoon of the almonds together. Rub the cold butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture starts to clump together.  The streusel should be crumbly – no need to make the pieces uniform.  Chill until ready to use.
3. Toss the sliced pears in the lemon juice and sugar. Set aside.
4. For the cake, whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.  Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the vanilla and lemon zest.  With the mixer on medium, add the eggs, one at a time.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the side and bottom of the bowl.
5. Add in half of the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Add the yogurt and mix until smooth.  Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until combined.  The batter will be quite thick.
6. Dump the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out with a small offset spatula or the back of a large spoon.  Leaving all the juices behind, arrange the pear slices on top of the cake batter.  Sprinkle the top with the streusel and remaining almonds.PearKuchen_06

7. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.  If the topping is browning too quickly, cover with foil.
8. Leave in the pan to cool for about 10 minutes before removing the springform collar.  Finish cooling on a wire rack before slicing.
9. Dust with icing sugar, if desired.

Pear Kuchen Cake

 

Looking for more warm fall treats? Try these Awesome Apple Recipes from Anna Olson.