Pumpkin Apple Muffins

My Pumpkin Apple Muffins are the perfect way to start off your Fall baking. Sweet and rich pumpkin is combined with Fall spices and molasses for the perfect start to your morning. These muffins are gluten free, are made in one bowl, and are perfect when topped with cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar! 

Pumpkin Apple Muffins // gluten free// treatswithatwist.com

Ok, so it isn’t exactly “Fall” over here. It’s still around 90 degrees and really freaking humid. BUT a few days last week, the mornings were crisp and 55 and it felt like tailgating weather! So, it gave me that Fall pep in my step.

Don’t get me wrong, I love summer. I truly do. My birthday is in summer, I love being tan and smelling like coconuts, I love falling asleep in the sun with my sunglasses on and a cold drink in my hand…but I had none of that this summer since I was pregnant, nauseous, and overheated. So, I’ll enjoy all of that next summer and embrace Fall instead!

To kick off my Fall baking, I’ve combined the two major players: apples and pumpkin!

My Pumpkin Apple Muffins are so moist, richly flavored and subtly sweet. I love that they can be topped with a sandy mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar without second thought, because the batter of the muffins contains no processed sugar! Yes, look at those ingredients. Molasses only. And only ¼ cup for the entire batch! That’s because you get plenty of moisture and sweetness from the grated apple and the pumpkin puree, so extra sugar isn’t needed. The Topping is a treat and adds delightful texture.

Pumpkin Apple Muffins 3

I’ve been gobbling up these Pumpkin Apple Muffins all weekend long. I’ve been dipping them in more cinnamon/nutmeg-sugar, crumbling them on top of bowls of yogurt, and scarfing them down with cups of hot coffee. [Pregnancy note: yes, I make one full carafe of half-caff coffee and it lasts me almost an entire week, in case you were curious.]

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These muffins are the perfect way to kick off Fall baking. They’ll fill your home with rich, beautiful smells and make you grab a scarf as you run out the door…then you’ll probably put the scarf back when you realize it’s still too hot outside, but it’s the thought that counts, right? Cheers to thoughts off cooler weather and Pumpkin Spiced everything!

Pumpkin Apple Muffins // gluten free// treatswithatwist.com

Pumpkin Apple Muffins 5

Pumpkin Apple Muffins
My Pumpkin Apple Muffins are the perfect way to start off your Fall baking. Sweet and rich pumpkin is combined with Fall spices and molasses for the perfect start to your morning. These muffins are gluten free, are made in one bowl, and are perfect when topped with cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar! (makes 14-15 muffins)
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup oat bran
  2. ½ cup almond meal
  3. ½ cup gluten free all purpose flour blend
  4. 2 Tbs. flaxseed meal
  5. 1 tsp. baking soda
  6. 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
  7. ¾ tsp. nutmeg
  8. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  9. 1 cup pumpkin puree (I used canned, NOT “pumpkin pie filling”)
  10. ½ cup molasses
  11. ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  12. 2 eggs
  13. 1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
  14. 1 tsp. vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
  15. 1 large apple, coarsely grated
Topping
  1. 3 Tbs. granulated or raw sugar
  2. ½ tsp. cinnamon
  3. 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray (or line with papers).
  2. In a small bowl, combine the almond milk and vinegar. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, vanilla, molasses, coconut oil and eggs. Next, layer on top of the wet ingredients all of the dry ingredients and spices. Add the grated apple on top of the dry ingredients. Finally, add the almond milk/vinegar. Use a wooden spoon to carefully mix and fold it all together, until just mixed but not too lumpy.
  4. Use an ice cream scoop or ¼ cup measuring cup to scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Fill the muffin compartments just over ¾ full (a bit more than ordinary muffins). You’ll have enough batter leftover for 3-4 more muffins (if you have another tin, go ahead and use up your batter, but if you only have the one tin, you can place the batter aside and wait until this tin is free).
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a test stick comes out clean. I baked mine for 33 minutes.
  6. Let the muffins cool on a wire rack. Mix together the cinnamon-sugar-nutmeg (“Topping”) in a small bowl for the topping. When the muffins are cool, turn them out of the muffin tin to finish cooling completely. Dip the tops in the Topping so they are coated in the sandy sweet mixture. Serve, enjoy!
Notes
  1. Muffins can be kept in a sealed container for 3 days on the counter or up to a week in the fridge. Freeze any extras you don’t plan to eat within a week.
  2. I highly recommend keeping the Topping nearby while serving these muffins! There’s nothing more delightful than splitting a muffin in half, smearing on a little butter and then sprinkling on more cinnamon/nutmeg-sugar! Since they’re only sweetened with molasses, there’ no harm, right? Enjoy!
Adapted from my Blueberry Bran Muffins
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/

Mulberry Cashew Granola Bars

Mulberry Cashew Granola Bars are a quick superfood-packed snack. These bars come together in minutes, are no-bake, and are a guilt-free alternative to those packaged grocery store bars. 

Mulberry Cashew Granola Bars // gluten free, vegan // treatswithatwist.com

Like I mentioned on Monday, I’ve been on quite the cleaning spree. With this cleaning also came a surge of meal prep and ideas for meals to stock our already-overflowing freezer with when I actually get time to do so. Note to self: buy a second freezer.

Anyways. I promised granola bars!

But these aren’t just any granola bars!

These are my Mulberry Cashew Granola Bars. I’d be all obnoxious and call them “Superfood Granola Bars” but I’m pretty sure you’d be all “stop that this instant and tell me what they actually are”…yeah.

Anyways. These are super simple to make and come together quite quickly. They’re packed with dried mulberries, chia seeds, flax seeds, creamy cashew butter and more! I love that their taste is super fresh and subtle, thanks to the hint of cardamom.

If you don’t have dried mulberries, you can easily grab some off Amazon, but I also saw them in Target! Target always has everything (ie my money).

If you’d rather, you can always swap the cashew butter for almond butter, but I had an abundance of cashew butter on hand from said food prep mania. It’s my jam. But, butter. You know.

The recipe follows the same rhythm and procedure as Angela’s Glow Bars, but I’ve truly made them my own by throwing everything under the sun I love into them.

Mulberry Cashew Granola Bars 1

Mulberry Cashew Granola Bars 3

Mulberry Cashew Granola Bars 4

These Mulberry Cashew Granola Bars are a perfect snack, so keep them in the fridge, and in the morning throw one in your bag to snack on later. Also, I’m betting your kids will love them, so here’s a healthier alternative to that boxed granola bar.

Mulberry Cashew Granola Bars // gluten free, vegan // treatswithatwist.com

 

Mulberry Cashew Granola Bars 2

Mulberry Cashew Granola Bars
Mulberry Cashew Granola Bars are a quick superfood-packed snack. These bars come together in minutes, are no-bake, and are a guilt-free alternative to those packaged grocery store bars. (8-12 bars)
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Ingredients
  1. 1 ½ cups old fashioned oats
  2. 1 cup crisp rice cereal
  3. ½ cup unsweetened desiccated coconut, toasted
  4. 1 Tbs. pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  5. 2 Tbs. hemp seeds
  6. 1 Tbs. flaxseeds
  7. 1 Tbs. chia seeds
  8. ¼ cup dried mulberries
  9. ¼ tsp. cardamom
  10. 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  11. ½ cup brown rice syrup
  12. ¼ cup cashew butter
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Pour in the vanilla, brown rice syrup and cashew butter. Use a wooden spoon to stir it all together (it will be a very thick, sticky mixture).
  2. Line a 9x9” pan with parchment and spray with nonstick spray. Pour the granola bar mixture into the pan. Wet your fingers and press it all into an even layer in the pan. Press it in until it is VERY compact.
  3. Place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes (or a few hours). Use the overhanging parchment to pull up the granola bars from the pan and use a sharp knife to cut (into 8-12 bars).
  4. Individually wrap the bars in plastic wrap. Store them in the fridge.
Notes
  1. Bars will keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks (I honestly haven’t met their “expiration” date). Bars can be kept in the freezer indefinitely.
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/

Watermelon Agua Fresca

Watermelon Agua Fresca is such a fun, refreshing, delicious summer drink! Ripe and sweet watermelon is blended with bright citrus for a naturally sweet way to beat the summer heat. 

Watermelon Agua Fresca // treatswithatwist.com

I feel like I’m caught up in a whirlwind!

I recently read this cult-following book on organizing your space (and I’ll review it in my next book review post), and it came at the perfect time in my life. I am in full on “nesting” mode which translates to: throw everything away!

I have spent 4 days in a row, at least 5 hours a day, going through every single item I own, throwing away with abandon, and magically finding space for everything that was cluttering my home. I feel so refreshed and amazing!

With that came this surge of good, healthy feelings. I have felt more in tune with my workouts (Body Pump, yoga, speed walking), and I went on a food prep spree. I made amazing granola bars, which I’ll share with you later this week, and this crazy refreshing Watermelon Agua Fresca!

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Traditionally, agua fresca is made of fresh fruit and sugar. But I feel like when you’re dealing with watermelon, you already get that nice, natural candy-sweetness. So, no sugar.

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Watermelon Agua Fresca // treatswithatwist.com

I absolutely adore this juice. Cough. I mean, agua fresca. It is so refreshing, light, tastes like Sour Patch Watermelons and lets me bathe in summer for awhile longer. 

Watermelon Agua Fresca
Watermelon Agua Fresca is such a fun, refreshing, delicious summer drink! Ripe and sweet watermelon is blended with bright citrus for a naturally sweet way to beat the summer heat.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 small “personal” watermelon, rind discarded, cubed (~8 cups)
  2. 1 lime*
  3. 1/2 lemon*
Instructions
  1. In a blender combine all of the fruit. Turn the blender on, gradually increasing the speed to high (you may need to tamp down the fruit so the blades scoop it up) and blend until smooth, approximately 30 seconds depending on your blender strength.
  2. Pour the juice through a mesh strainer, catching the juice in a pitcher, using a silicone spatula to stir and press the juice through. Discard the thick pulp (or eat it!).
  3. Pour your juice into glasses filled with ice! Enjoy!
  4. For a fun twist, pour the cup 2/3 full with Watermelon Agua Fresca and 1/3 full of sparkling water!
Notes
  1. *After you make your drink, taste it! Need more tartness? Add another lime or the other 1/2 a lemon! Adjust it to your taste preferences.
  2. Watermelon Agua Fresca can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days but it tastes the best the day you make it. You can freeze it in bottles to thaw and drink later if you don’t plan on drinking it all right away.
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
Note: this is not a sponsored post. I own this blender and this one and love them both! Feel free to email me if you ever have blender questions! 

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What I’ve Been Reading 7

I’ve been dying to share another book review with you! But…I hadn’t been reading as much as I usually do. So, I pulled myself together and I have the next four books I read, ready to share with you! A little of everything: mystery, teen drama, adult chick lit…and some definite hits and misses! Here’s What I’ve Been Reading

What I've Been Reading // book review // treatswithatwist.com

Book Review 8-4

In The Woods by Tana French

I haven’t read a murder mystery in a long time because I’m a big scaredy baby, BUT Tana French has totally changed the game for me.

This book blew me away and now I’m hooked on all of her writing.

The mystery is set in Ireland, and Detective Ryan has been called to the scene. He needs to figure out who murdered a young innocent girl and dumped her in an archeology dig site. He is sucked in and rocked by the murder because it occurs in his hometown and reminds him of the tragedy that happened to him as a child that he’s since blacked out of his memory. As memories come rushing back about the past murder (from when he was a kid), he’s thinking he can solve the current murder too, if they happen to be connected.

I love how real French makes her characters. You really get into their minds. And they’re not always serious, although the matter at hand is. You find the sense of humor and tendencies the characters have and you fall in love with them (despite their many flaws). The relationship between Detective Ryan and his female partner, Maddox, is so amazing to read. The deep-rooted friendship and dependence on each other is really fascinating.

You’ll get sucked into this one. I promise. And that moment when you just “can’t put it down because you’ve almost got it figured out” comes about ½ way through…so don’t be surprised if you’re up all night trying to finish reading it in one go.

  Book Review 8-5  

The Likeness by Tana French

Read this one right after In The Woods. It takes over with a new mystery but from Cassie Maddox’s perspective. I’m so blown away at how French can get into the head of a woman character in the same enchanting way that she did for her male main character in her previous book.

This one is SO different. You get sucked into a triple-world identity. Maddox is put undercover to find a murder suspect, because the murdered woman looks JUST like her and was using her fake ID from years ago. She must completely immerse herself into the life the murdered woman was living and try not to be found out as an imposter.

SO so good. And once again, NOT scary. Just a thrilling mystery that you get sucked into. If a book can make this pregnant lady stay up past 10pm reading (till 1am!) then it’s good stuff.

Book Review 8-3  

Matched by Ally Condie

I’ll start by saying: I’m done reading teen novels. I just can’t anymore. This one, just wasn’t worth it in my book (pun).

This one felt like a boring, uneventful copy of Divergent and The Giver and Hunger Games all swirled into one. But…just was really lack-luster.

Utopian society, the 17-yr olds are given matches to marry and they all do as they’re told. The main girl, “accidentally” gets matched with 2 men and she feels the “feelings” of having a choice inside…even though society tells her it is a mistake and her one choice has been made for her.

I wanted to like it, but I just didn’t. Maybe if I were 15 I would’ve loved it.  

Book Review 8-2  

The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand does it again! I just LOVED this book.

This book is set in Nantucket and you just get sucked into the dreamy seaside town. The book centers around several main characters and is told from their different points of view, so you can see how their storylines collide.

One woman is having an affair with her gardener, her husband is in a bind financially and is running a secret prostitution ring, her best friend is a novelist that is writing a book (about her affair, yet she has no idea about that)…the garden club ladies are swirling with rumors about their lives and nobody has the story straight…

This book is so fun. It’s steamy, so witty, and the storyline is addictive. This is a perfect beach read… or if you’re like me and the beach isn’t a possibility, then it’s a perfect read-in-the-tub read. 

 

What have you been reading?! I’m already making my way through another list of books, so I can’t wait to share the next group with you! 

No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons are perfect for all of you homemade pantry fanatics who make your own almond or nut milk! Never throw away the pulp again when you could be making cookies out of it. These Macaroons are healthy, lightly sweetened, and keep you from wasting anything from your homemade nut milk. 

No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons // gluten free, vegan // treatswithatwist.com

I’ve been so inspired lately by several cookbooks I ordered not too long ago. I started jarring all of my nuts and grains to ensure their freshness. I ground a fresh batch of cashew butter and coconut butter. And I have made several batches of fresh almond milk too.

Do you make your own nut milk? I have for years, but I also get sucked into the carton variety when I accumulate coupons. But, honestly, nothing beats the homemade.

Sarah Britton’s cookbook, My New Roots, really helped me up my game. I didn’t realize how easy it would be to pop the almonds out of their skins after they had soaked overnight. I had always just went straight from soaking to the blender, but not anymore. I love skinning the almonds, and you end up with such sweeter, purer almond milk in the end. It’s totally worth it.

No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons 4

What do you do with the pulp, though, after you’ve made almond milk, strained it, and really squeezed it all out of the pulp that’s in the cheesecloth? I tend to bag or jar mine and put it in the fridge or freezer…but then I have no clue what to do with it.

I just let it pile up…and although my intentions were to put it in banana bread or muffins, I just never do, and then it goes into the trash. Well, not anymore!

Sarah inspired me because she makes raw macaroons out of her nut pulp! Well, I’m game!

No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons // gluten free, vegan // treatswithatwist.com

No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons 2

I tried her recipe, and although it was good, I decided to up the game. I added chocolate straight to the dough, which allowed me to lower the maple syrup and Lucuma (a natural sweetener) that she uses. I also added more coconut, because that’s the taste I want the most when I bite into a macaroon!

Never throw away your nut pulp again! I promise, you’ll be even more motivated to make your own almond or nut milk after you’ve tasted the yummy cookies you can make with the leftovers!

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No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons
No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons are perfect for all of you homemade pantry fanatics who make your own almond or nut milk! Never throw away the pulp again when you could be making cookies out of it. These Macaroons are healthy, lightly sweetened, and keep you from wasting anything from your homemade nut milk. (makes 18 cookies)
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Ingredients
  1. ½ cup nut pulp (from making nut milk*)
  2. ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  3. 1 Tbs. Lucuma (or granulated Stevia, or coconut sugar)
  4. pinch sea salt
  5. ½ tsp. vanilla bean paste
  6. 2 Tbs. cashew butter (or coconut butter)
  7. 1 Tbs. pure maple syrup
  8. 3-4 Tbs. melted dark chocolate
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl, working it with a wooden spoon until it comes together (it will resemble a very very thick dough).
  2. Use a tsp. cookie scoop to scoop into even cookies, placing them on a piece of parchment as you scoop. I ended up with 18 macaroons.
  3. Let the macaroons set (I let mine set overnight) on the counter or move them to the fridge for quick setting. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Macaroons should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to a week.
  2. *Save nut pulp from making almond or nut milk. After it is squeezed through the cheesecloth, you can save the pulp in the fridge in a jar for up to a week. Use up that pulp by making cookies!
Adapted from Sarah Britton's macaroons
Adapted from Sarah Britton's macaroons
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/