Sunday, September 11, 2011

SUNDAY MORNING DELIGHTS

Sunday mornings are something I look forward to each week. The slow, lazy way I stretch my way out of bed knowing that the only thing I have to do is - well, nothing really. Beautiful isn't it?

Instead, endless opportunity awaits me. Go to church? Stay in bed? Make breakfast? Or not? Listen to music? Enjoy the quiet? Take a walk? Do some yoga? Play with the hubby and baby? Have some solo time? Breakfast on the porch? Breakfast in bed? Go out for coffee or stay in?

Well, this morning I was feeling particularly inspired by the pumpkins in my garden and decided to make a spiced pumpkin latte and homemade spiced pumpkin waffles with maple-ginger syrup. Actually I'm playing it fast and loose with the word coffee because I really prefer a coffee substitute or herbal coffee but you can whatever suites your fancy.

So today, may you remember that Sunday is a gift. May you take full advantage of the world that waits - a world where work sleeps. And may you steep yourself in the flavors of fall. Grace and peace.


[SPICED PUMPKIN LATTE]

1 c. water
2 tbsp. coffee substitute [or to taste]

Bring water to boil. Place coffee grounds in bottom of French press and add boiling water. Let steep until desired flavor is achieved [I prefer strong and let stand for 7 - 10 minutes]. If you are without a French press, simply brew a pot of organic* coffee [if you go this route, make it a little stronger than you normally have it].

1 c. non-dairy milk of choice [I prefer coconut milk or nut milk]
1 heaping tablespoon of pumpkin puree*
1 tbsp. raw, unprocessed honey
splash of vanilla extract
pinch each: ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and ginger

In small saucepan, slowly bring milk, vanilla, and spices to boil. Remove from heat and pour into blender. Add honey and blend on med-low until froth is formed.

Place coffee in mug. Gently pour milk mixture over coffee, holding back froth. Spoon froth on top of latte. Sprinkle with spice of choice [I like nutmeg or cinnamon].

*A note about coffee: If you are choosing to use regular coffee I urge you to consider choosing an organic variety. The taste rivals any Starbucks [a testimonial about that in a minute] and is better for your body, the people growing and harvesting the beans, and the environment. Coffee beans have one of the highest pesticide counts of all the foods we consume and because it has become a regularly consumed beverage [which I do not recommend for a host of reasons] it is even more vital that it be free harmful and deadly chemicals. In regards to the environment, organic coffee is grown in and around existing canopy trees, thus reducing the mass clear-cutting of rainforests that happens or has happened on many coffee plantations. Organic [which is also typically fair trade, look for the label] also gives the people growing and harvesting the coffee beans a fair wage for their work, improving life for many third world or poverty-stricken countries. Oh, and my testimonial on taste. For over a year I secretly stashed organic, fair trade coffee beans in our pantry coffee canister. My husband seemed to believe that he had to have Starbucks which is the cause behind my undercover op. I smiled when he would rave about the coffee, thinking it was Starbucks. After a while I decided to come clean. Now he raves about his organic coffee!

[SPICED PUMPKIN WAFFLES WITH MAPLE-GINGER SYRUP]

1 1/2 c. brown rice flour
3/4 c. tapioca flour
1/2 c. potato starch
1 tbsp. sugar or honey
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

1 egg
4 heaping tbsp. pumpkin puree*
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or grapeseed oil
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 2/3 c. non-dairy milk, more if necessary
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Organic butter or non-dairy butter substitute of choice
Maple-Ginger syrup [see recipe below]

Sift together dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix well. If the batter is too thick, add more milk. The batter should be on the thicker side but easily poured. Pour into waffle iron and cook according to manufacturer's instructions.

Syrup

1/2 c. maple syrup
1-1" slice of ginger, peeled
tbsp. pumpkin puree*

In small saucepan combine all ingredients and bring to gentle boil using low heat. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

* Pumpkin Puree

Making homemade pumpkin puree is really easy and the taste is worth any effort. I prefer the cheese or pie pumpkin varieties.

Carefully cut the top [stem area] off the pumpkin [cut about an inch or two away from the stem in a circle] and remove all seeds and strings. Cut pumpkin into wedges, place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet, and bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until very soft. Allow to cool about 10 - 15 minutes and then gently remove pumpkin skins using hands [be careful, very hot!] or knife. Place pumpkin chunks in food processor and blend until very smooth. Store in freezer.

2 comments:

airn323 said...

Yum! Waffles and spiced coffee on a Sunday morning. That sounds like the perfect start to the day. Thanks for sharing!

TINA VANDERKLOK, HHP, LEED-AP said...

airn323 - I hope you enjoy them and find yourself relaxing on a Sunday morning!