Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

Soft, sweet bread with a gooey cinnamon filling, topped with an orange-infused glaze… this is an amazing dessert (or indulgent breakfast) that everyone will love!

Prep time: ~3 hours
Serves 10-12

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 1/4 cup canola oil (or other neutral oil).
  • 1/4 cup sugar.
  • 1 tsp salt.
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk (other vegan milks, and even water, work fine too!)
  • 2 tsp dry-active yeast.
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 2 tbsp water, let sit for 5 minutes).
  • 4 1/2 cups flour.

For the filling:

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed.
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon.
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom.
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (or margarine).
  • zest of 1/2 an orange.

For the glaze:

  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 6 tbsp almond milk (again, other milks or water will work!).
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
  • zest of 1/2 an orange.

Cooking Instructions:

For the dough: Place the oil, milk, and sugar in a small pot over low heat. Stir occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved.

In a large bowl (or stand mixer if you have one), mix together 2 cups of the flour and the salt.

Once the sugar is dissolved, take the pot off the heat. Let it cool down until it’s just warm, then stir in the yeast. Wait a few minutes for the yeast to begin to activate, then form a well in the flour and add in the milk mixture and the flax egg.

Beat until smooth, using either your hand or a firm spatula (if using a stand mixer, use a dough hook). Gradually add in the remaining flour, working the dough until smooth and elastic. If it’s too sticky, add a bit more flour, and if the dough is too dry, add a bit more water.

Remove the dough from the bowl and form it into a smooth disk. Rinse the bowl (don’t use soap, just warm water!), then grease the bowl with a tiny bit of oil. Place the dough back in the bowl, flipping it a couple times to make sure all sides are nicely greased.

Cover with a clean kitchen towel or some plastic wrap, and set in a warm place to proof for 45 minutes to an hour, until it has doubled in size.

When your dough is ready, remove it from the bowl and knead on a floured surface for 5 minutes. Cover it with a towel or plastic wrap, and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Now, time to start on the filling: In a large bowl, beat the vegan butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add in the cinnamon, cardamom, and orange zest, and mix thoroughly.

Once the dough has rested, roll it out on a floured surface into a thin, long rectangle, about 1/2-3/4 of a centimeter thick. Spread the filling evenly over the dough, leaving about 1/2 a centimeter border unfilled on all sides.

Begin rolling up the dough from the long side of the rectangle, keeping it as tight as you can without squishing it too much. Slice the rolls approximately 1 1/2 centimeters thick, trying to keep them as evenly sized as possible.

Grease a 9×13” baking pan and place the rolls inside, spacing them out evenly. Depending on how large you cut your rolls, you may need an extra cake tin! Cover the pan and set it aside for another 45 minutes to proof.

Preheat the oven to 375 F/190 C, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until crisp on the outside and golden. If they begin to brown too much before the baking time is done, reduce the oven heat to 350 F/180 C.

To make the glaze: sift the icing sugar into a bowl, then add the liquid a bit at a time, until it’s the desired consistency. Stir in the vanilla and the orange zest, and it’s ready to go.

Let the cinnamon buns cool down slightly, then dribble the glaze over them. Enjoy!

 

Spiced Roasted Nuts

A great snack for low-energy days, these roasted nuts are full of protein and flavour! I’ve included two different ways to season them – one sweet, one savoury.

These also make a nice little appetizer/snack for dinner parties.

Gluten-free
Serves 8
Prep time: ~40 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups walnuts.
  • 2 cups pecans.
  • 2 cups almonds.
  • 1 cup cashews.
  • 1 cup peanuts.

For the sweet:

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil.
  • 1/2 cup sugar.
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup.
  • 2 tsp cinnamon.
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom.
  • generous pinch of salt.

For the savoury:

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil.
  • 1 tbsp sugar.
  • 2 tsp ground cumin.
  • 1 tsp ground coriander.
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne.
  • 1 tsp salt.

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 300 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (depending on the size of your oven, you might need to do this in two batches). Mix together the nuts, oil, and all of the spices.

Pop them in the oven for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oil has dried up and the nuts are crispy and toasted.

Allow to cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container.

 

Easy Granola

Breakfast: the most important meal of the day. Unless you, like me, wake up at 4 am for work and can’t really eat anything before 6 am. That bakery life. But I do like a quick bite in the morning before I head out for the day, and a handful of granola makes a good snack later on in the day too!

This is similar to the granola we make at my workplace, but with a few twists to make it to my liking.

This recipe can be gluten-free if you use gluten-free oats. Sidenote: while oats themselves don’t contain gluten, the vast majority of oats are processed in a way that contaminates them with gluten. So don’t feed regular oats to your Celiac friends!

Serves 8
Prep time: ~40 minutes, largely unattended.

Ingredients:

  • 5 1/2 cups rolled oats.
  • 2 cups walnuts, crushed up into bite-sized pieces.
  • 2 cups slivered almonds.
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds – the kind without the shell.
  • 1 cup dried fruit (cranberries, dates, raisins – you decide!).
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom.
  • 2 tsp cinnamon.
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt.
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar.
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup.
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, to bind it all together.
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract.

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 325 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (depending on the size of your baking sheet/oven, you might need to do this in two batches).

Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add in the sugar and spices, and mix well. Pour in the wet ingredients, mix it all together, then dump it out onto the baking sheet, spreading it out into a thin layer.

Bake for approx. 3o minutes, stirring every 10 minutes with a spatula, until the granola is nicely browned and mostly dry. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Break up any larger chunks, and store in an airtight container. Voila!