Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m one of those people who complain all summer about how hot it is, and then complain all winter about how cold it is. However, I also want to admit that I do love the change of seasons. I just couldn’t fathom living in a place where the weather is always the same. With the beginning of each new season, I find a different kind of joy that only that season can bring.
In the summer, I enjoy going out without 17 layers of clothing, daylight that lasts into the night, running outside, and chowing down on fresh cherries, strawberries, and watermelon.
Come spring, I look forward to seeing flowers awake from their long winter’s sleep, pushing through the grass and turning their faces towards the sun. I like the fresh air, opening the windows and airing out the house, taking the cat out for a walk on his leash (yes, you read that right!)
When winter comes, I find joy in cooking big pots of comfort food, curling up on the couch under a blanket with a cup of tea, a good book, and a cuddle from the cat sleeping next to me. I enjoy the slower pace that winter seems to bring, and occasionally I even enjoy the random snow day that forces me to stay inside.
And then fall comes and my heart melts. You see, I fall in love every year come autumn. I love the crisp fall air, pumpkins and apples, skirts with fall boots, and my favorite comfy sweaters. I love the smell of cinnamon in the air, love to watch the leaves show off, changing into the most brilliant colors I’ve ever seen. Let’s not forget about football season starting, and Halloween is hands down my favorite holiday.
While most people practice “spring cleaning,” I fall in love with autumn cleaning. I throw open the windows and let the cool air circulate. I reassess my wardrobe, donating items I know I no longer need, and clean the place from top to bottom. It’s also when I clean my body. I’ll often start a cleanse in the fall, giving my system a break. And it’s when I do most of my cooking.
So, below, I’d like to share with you some easy, healthy, fall recipes that you can add to your fall menus. I hope you enjoy them. And if you make any of them, please post and let me know what you thought.
Veg in, don’t veg out,
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
1 cup of pumpkin puree
1 cup of coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
1/2 cup of apple juice
1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 cup of ice
Blend and enjoy!
Banana Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding
2 1/2 cups of coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
3 TBSP of arrowroot powder
2 TBSP of Sucanat (natural sugar)
2 TBSP of maple syrup
1 tsp of vanilla
1/4 tsp of cinnamon
1/8 tsp of nutmeg
Pinch of sea salt
5 cups of day-old whole grain bread torn in pieces
2 ripe bananas peeled and sliced
1/4 cup of vegan chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Coat inside of a 2-quart ceramic dish with coconut oil
3. In a large bowl, add all ingredients except bread, bananas, and chocolate chips. Whisk ingredients together until no lumps remain.
4. Add bread, bananas, and chocolate chips and stir to combine, mashing up the bananas a little and allowing bread to absorb most of the liquid.
5. Scrape into the greased dish and press down to smooth top. Let sit for 10 minutes so bread can absorb liquid.
6. Bake uncovered until lightly browned and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes
Baked Sweet Potato with Maple Oat Topping
Sweet potatoes for breakfast? You betcha!
4 sweet potatoes
1/2 cup of old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup of raw almonds, chopped
2 TBSP of maple syrup
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Prick potatoes all over with a fork and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake potatoes until tender, about 45 minutes, and let cool slightly.
2. Meanwhile, combine oats, almonds, syrup, oil, and salt and transfer mixture to a baking sheet, spreading out flat. Bake crumble, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 12 minutes.
3. Split sweet potatoes with a knife, top with crumble, add extra maple syrup on top if you need to. Enjoy!