Shaking Into Fall

Today is the first day of October! My goodness, where did September go? Time keeps getting faster and faster it seems.

With fall officially upon us, (September 22nd was the first day) it is now appropriate, if not expected, to enjoy the warm and wonderful flavors of autumn. These include cinnamon, nutmeg, apple, pumpkin and sweet potato among many others. I began to wonder what would be the best way to incorporate these flavors when I came across this recipe on Jessica’s blog. Apple Pie in a Jar? Yes, please.

I followed the recipe exactly, except I added a bit more ice and I used 1/3 cup silken tofu instead of greek yogurt. I also omitted the cardamom (I’m not a fan) and used a different topping instead of graham crackers.

What topping did I use, exactly? One that I came up with randomly and ended up loving. I knew that I wanted some sort of “crumb” topping with my apple pie shake, but most crumbs call for butter or Earth Balance. I didn’t have either and didn’t have the time to let my coconut oil refrigerate, so I improvised. Rather than butter I used peanut butter, and rather than oats (since I wasn’t planning on baking the topping) I used Uncle Sam cereal.

Peanut Butter Coconut Crumb Topping

  • 1/4 cup Uncle Sam cereal
  • 1.5 tsp peanut butter
  • 1.5 tsp coconut butter
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • sprinkle of salt
  • optional: shake of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and gently stir together with a fork, breaking up the large pieces. Makes 1 serving.

It went perfectly with my apple pie shake.

The next fall-appropriate liquid meal was one I created out of desperation. There have been pumpkin and butternut shakes galore across the blog world, but the fact that I have neither made me quite sad. One thing I DID have, however, was a sweet potato. Sweet potatoes and butternut squash are similar enough… right?

Fluffy Sweet Potato Shake

  • 1 small (or 1/2 large) cooked sweet potato
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1/4 block of silken tofu
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 shake nutmeg
  • 2 shakes allspice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • sweetener of choice, to taste
  • optional: ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and drink up!

Note that the shake gets its fluffy, smooth, creamy texture from the silken tofu. You can make it without it, but it won’t be quite the same. Also, ice is optional because the more liquid/ice there is, the thinner the shake. It takes away from the fluffiness a bit, but I like a cold smoothie so I sacrificed some of the thickness.

I also topped this with the Coconut Peanut Butter Crumb Topping.

Playing with the focus.

That’s better.

For you photography gurus out there, do you have any tips for me? I’ve recently started using my mom’s DSLR in hopes that I can have better blog photography, but it’s a work in progress. My skills need some work, and I’m still trying to figure out editing as well. Some things I’ve been trying to keep in mind are:

  • Good lighting
  • No flash
  • Interesting background/backdrop (I don’t have a ton of options for this one; oh well)
  • Interesting angles; off-center
  • Look at things from outside the box & keep an open mind

Like I said, my editing needs some work too. Practice makes perfect, right?

By the way, you may be wondering why I’m randomly mentioned Uncle Sam cereal. The truth is, this review is long overdue. Annelies from Attune asked me to review this cereal a while back and I haven’t done it yet, but I have a good reason why. I wanted to make sure I gave a good, sufficient review, but I kind of struggled with ways to use this cereal.

I don’t eat cereal very often to begin with, but this cereal is not your typical breakfast food. Unlike the artificial, HFCS-laden cereals kids are downing by the bowl, Uncle Sam is completely real: natural, unprocessed, wholesome and unsweetened.

That’s awesome and I admire that so much, but I just really wasn’t sure where to go with it. I wish I had thought to look at the recipes page on their website sooner, because there are some great ideas. When I have some time I plan to make the tofu or some muffins. :)

On top of being unsweetened and unrefined, Uncle Sam boasts some pretty nice stats as well. 7g of protein in a serving? Awesome.

A bit about the cereal. Oh, and as far as the taste goes, it tastes how I expected it would: like wheat kernels with salt and flax. It certainly doesn’t taste bad and I can enjoy it plain with some almond milk, but it’s quite different.

Overall, I would recommend this cereal if you’re looking for a natural, unsweetened, crunchy breakfast food. It has a multitude of uses in recipes and is packed with fiber.

One other good thing about Uncle Sam? It’s awesome in my Coconut PB Crumb Topping.

Question of the Day: How are YOU welcoming the fall? What are some of your favorite flavors and things to make?

Thanks for reading!

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