Holy Halva!


I feel like I haven’t stopped eating crap since Halloween. It’s like I got the taste for sugar and I just can’t give it up. Tell me I’m not alone in this, the struggle is real! Lucky for me this halva recipe came into my life at just the right time. How I’ve never tried this sweet treat before, I don’t know, I’m obviously late to the party (not uncommon).

This simple mixture of tahini and cinnamon is so versatile! I made this recipe as a decadent sauce and used it like caramel with apples. Mind blown! I can’t wait to drizzle it over pancakes! 

Rachel suggests enjoying your halva with socca, a naturally gluten free and vegan flatbread made from chickpea. She found this simple recipe and added seasonal spices like nutmeg and cardamom to warm it up for the winter.

Sprinkle your halva smothered socca with pomegranates for a festive holiday party treat or just a simple snack at home (because we know you’re fancy on the inside).

Cinnamon Halva Spread / Holy Halva!

1 C. Tahini
1/4 C. Maple Syrup (use honey for a more traditional halva flavor)
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt

So simple, yet sinfully delicious. Mix tahini, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt together until fully incorporated. Tahini has a tendency to become thick pretty fast when mixed with other ingredients, so stir slowly and add a bit of almond milk if it gets too thick. You want this to be smooth enough to spread, but feel free to make this into a sauce consistency if you have plans for waffles or pancakes in the near future. This would be a killer syrup alternative!


Maple Pumpkin Harvest Smoothie


We are creeping into the middle of October and I’m craving a change, a break in the (extreme) heat. Life is also getting really busy, the kind of busy where you’re just trying to keep up with yourself. Between the heat and lack of time, roasting seasonal root veggies just doesn’t seem approachable right now. This smoothie is a fun way to get in the season’s best produce (and even sneak in a vegetable) without having to turn on your oven.

I love using maple syrup as a sweetener, especially in smoothies and most especially during the fall months. Combining cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla really helps to tie in the harvest feel that’s going on in this cup. The big star here, obviously, is pumpkin. Honestly, children aren’t the only ones who need to be tricked into sneaking in an extra veggie here and there. We could all use an extra helping of this nutrient packed plant. This member of the squash family (think acorn squash and butternut squash) is more than just a Halloween decoration, it’s delicious (we promise!) and packed with nutrients! 

Although today is a bit grey (and super muggy) I’ve learned not to get my hopes up. The burning sun will be back soon and when it arrives I’ll be keeping cool and enjoying fall in my smoothie cup. 

Good to know // Ingredient Highlights

+ Pumpkin is low in calories and high in dietary fiber which makes it helpful in maintaining (and maybe even losing) weight. It is rich in Vitamin A and beta-carotene which help protect your eyes and help your vision (especially in dim light). Pumpkin is also high in Vitamin C (an immune system booster) and Potassium which makes this a great post-workout refueling smoothie! Pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan (yep, the famed amino acid linked to napping after that big Thanksgiving meal). These seeds may not put you to sleep but tryptophan is important in the production of serotonin, which may just help boost your mood!  

+ Cinnamon can help in metabolizing certain foods, particularly sugar (glucose). It may improve the way fat cells respond to sugar, helping to lower blood sugar. Adding cinnamon to your morning smoothie is a great way to make use of this beneficial property. 

Maple Pumpkin Harvest Smoothie

gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan

1 banana
1 cup frozen pumpkin (or any seasonal squash like butternut)*
1 cup pecan milk (or any other non-dairy milk)
1 tbsp. maple syrup
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla


Add banana, pumpkin, milk, vanilla, and spices in a high speed blender. Blend on high until a smooth and creamy consistency is achieved. Garnish with a bit of cinnamon and enjoy the taste of fall in your morning smoothie. If you’re feeling crazy (or lazy), add a shot of espresso and you’ve got yourself a delicious energized start to the day. 

*if you don’t have time to roast, cube, and freeze your pumpkin ahead of time there’s always the option of using canned pumpkin puree. In which case we recommend subbing 1/2 cup of puree and using a frozen banana or even some ice instead of frozen pumpkin. 

This recipe is part of the #virtualpumpkinparty ! Thanks to Sara from Cakes Over Steak (who, by the way, is an amazing illustrator and fellow artist) for organizing this virtual party. We’re always so stoked to be a part of the bigger blogger community! I mean, just look at this amazing list of talented bloggers and drool-worthy pumpkin recipes:

Cake Over Steak • Pumpkin Ginger Cookies with a Vanilla Glaze
B. Britnell • Pumpkin & Goat Cheese Macaroni
A Couple Cooks • Pumpkin Spice Almond Butter
I Am a Food Blog • Roasted Pumpkin and Pork Stuffed Shells
Well and Full • Harissa-Spiced Pumpkin Gnocchi
Loves Food, Loves to Eat • Pumpkin Pork Burrito Bowls
Girl Versus Dough • Pumpkin Challah
Snixy Kitchen • Black Sesame Pumpkin Mochi Cake
Hungry Girl por Vida • Pumpkin Chocolate Crumb Cake
Donuts, Dresses and Dirt • Pumpkin Spice Latte Truffles
Two Red Bowls • Pumpkin & Caramelized Onion Galette
The Frosted Vegan • Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Gingersnaps
Warm Vanilla Sugar • Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Ice Cream + Affogato
An Edible Mosaic • Pumpkin Spice Latte Snack Cake with Brown Butter Buttercream
Kitchen Konfidence • Yeasted Pumpkin Waffles with Candied Ginger
Chocolate + Marrow • Pumpkin Scones with Cinnamon Butter Swirl
The Pig & Quill • Pumpkin Pie Milkshakes with Pumpkin Spice Caramel + Coconut Cream
Salt & Wind • Apple Cinnamon Pumpkin Muffins with Pepita Streusel
With Food + Love • Creamy Pumpkin Polenta with Balsamic Roasted Beets
A Cookie Named Desire • Pumpkin Crepes with Cinnamon Ginger Cheesecake
Nommable • Pumpkin Moon Pies
Feed Me Phoebe • Thai Pumpkin Curry with Shrimp and Bok Choy
The Yellow Table • Coconut-Curry Pumpkin Soup
Ginger & Toasted Sesame • Pumpkin Ricotta Gnudi
The Crepes of Wrath • Pumpkin Pie Cake
The Swirling Spoon • Pumpkin Hand Pies
Erin Made This • Pumpkin Rye Waffles with Coconut Caramel
Beard and Bonnet • Pumpkin Spice Pizzelle Ice Cream Sandwiches
My Name is Yeh • Pumpkin Slice and Bake Cookies
Earthy Feast • Pumpkin-Stuffed Turnip-Ravioli with Pepita Pesto
Broma Bakery • Pumpkin Pie White Chocolate Brownies
Floating Kitchen • Pumpkin Beertail with Tequila and Spiced Rum
The Sugar Hit • Pumpkin Everything Bagels
The Bojon Gourmet • Pumpkin Flatbread with Gruyére and Crispy Sage (gluten-free)
Sprinkled with Jules • Pumpkin Spice French Macarons
Feast + West • Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Toffee Bark
Jojotastic • Pumpkin Cinnamon Rimming Sugar
Fix Feast Flair • Pumpkin Spice Japanese Cheesecake
Appeasing a Food Geek • Pumpkin Ale Cake
Tending the Table • Roasted Pumpkin with Tamarind and Coriander Chutney
Long Distance Baking • Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream + Pumpkin Pancakes
My Blue & White Kitchen • Roasted Pumpkin Risotto with Crispy Prosciutto
Fork Vs. Spoon • Pumpkin Buttermilk Pudding
Alyssa & Carla • Pumpkin Tea Bread (in a Coffee Can!)
Twin Stripe • Pumpkin Spice Toffee
Le Jus d’Orange • Lentil-Stuffed Acorn Squash, Crispy King Oyster Bacon + Aged Goat Cheese
The Scratch Artist • Japanese Pumpkin Temaki with Ginger Kale Chips
Brewing Happiness • Caramelized Apple Pumpkin Muffins
Blogging Over Thyme • Homemade Candied Pecan Pumpkin Ice Cream Drumsticks
Heartbeet Kitchen • Pumpkin Swirled Mashed Potatoes
The Speckled Palate • Pumpkin Brown Butter Streusel Muffins with Maple Cream Cheese Glaze
Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt • Pumpkin Gingersnap Pie
Style Sweet CA • Chocolate Stout and Pumpkin Checkerboard Cake
Fork to Belly • Pumpkin Orange Brulee Pie
Tasty Yummies • Grain-Free Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
Påte á Chew • Pumpkin Almond Cake with Almond Butter Frosting
Holly & Flora • Pumpkin Pie Martini with Coconut Cream + Homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup
Southern Soufflé • Sorghum Pumpkin Soufflés
Okie Dokie Artichokie • Creamy Pumpkin and Chorizo Pasta Bake, Cheese Tortellini, Sage-Mascarpone Sauce, Toasted Hazelnuts
Kale & Caramel • Pumpkin Goat Cheese Polenta with Brown Butter Thyme Mushrooms & Kale
The Little Epicurean • Maple Pumpkin Butter Brioche Toast
Vigor and Sage • Maple Pumpkin Harvest Smoothie
Tried and Tasty • Whole Wheat Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
Sprouted Routes • Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Risotto with Sweet & Spicy Roasted Pepitas (gluten free)
The Fauxmartha • Baked Pumpkin Donuts
So… Let’s Hang Out • Grain-Free Apple Crumble Pumpkin Pie
Wit & Vinegar • Pumpkin Flaxseed Dog Treats
Dunk & Crumble • Pumpkin Roundup
Biscuits and Such • Pumpkin Pound Cake
SugarHero! • Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Pound Cake
A Little Saffron • Spiced Pepita Brittle



Cinnamon Spiced Cream of Amaranth


Recently we got to talking about how difficult it can be to make creative and healthy breakfasts on those busy weekday mornings. Rachel came up with this simple and delicious recipe weeks ago but it just dawned on me how convenient (and versatile) this dish really is! Along the lines of porridge and oatmeal, this bowl of creamy amaranth is sweet enough to help wake you up and hardy enough to last you through the morning. It can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge. When you’re ready, just warm it on the stovetop. We like adding a splash of coconut milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top because we’re fancy like that. 

Good to know // Ingredient Highlights


+Amaranth is naturally gluten free and has gained popularity as a grain but its really a seed! It has a long history that dates back to the Aztecs and is still eaten a number of ways today. Its no wonder really, since its high in protein, iron and fiber. 

+Among its many health benefits, the active component in Cinnamon, Cinnamaldehyde, has antifungal and antibacterial properties which may help fight bad breath and tooth decay. 

Cinnamon Spiced Cream of Amaranth

gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4-6

1 cup amaranth
3 cups water
½ cup coconut milk
4 tablespoons maple syrup
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 vanilla bean, scraped (or 2 tsp. vanilla extract)

Combine amaranth, water, cinnamon and vanilla bean into a saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until all of the water in absorbed. Stir every once in awhile to make sure the amaranth does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

Remove from heat and stir in coconut milk and maple syrup, add to a blender and blend until creamy.