Maple-Glazed Mushroom Hazelnut Balls

These combine fragrant hazelnuts and earthy mushrooms with a spicy-sweet glazed topping. Reminiscent to the texture of falafel, it has a crispy exterior with a creamy interior. Use it in sandwiches, serve as an appetizer, or toss with a gluten-free rice penne and herbs.


Maple-Glazed Mushroom Hazelnut Balls

For the mushroom hazelnut balls:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
About 1/2 lb/227g chopped mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
1 cup whole hazelnuts
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari, gluten-free soy sauce, or coconut aminos
1 tablespoon large flaked nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
Fine sea or Himalayan salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons sorghum flour

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms, cooking until onions are translucent and mushrooms are soft. Stir in the garlic, letting cook about 1 minute until fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool.

Pulse the hazelnuts in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the mushroom mixture, flaxseed, tamari, nutritional yeast, oregano, thyme, and a dash of salt and pepper. Process until  nearly smooth (it should have just a bit of texture). Using a spatula, stir in the sorghum flour until well mixed.

Line a dish or baking sheet with waxed paper and shape the mixture into balls. Put each one on the waxed paper and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

After the 30 minutes, lightly oil a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Transfer each of the balls to the prepared sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, turning after 20 minutes. While they are in the oven, make the glaze.

For the glaze:
1/2 cup water
6 tablespoons dark maple syrup
1 (1-inch) knob ginger, finely grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
Fine sea or Himalayan salt to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer 5 minutes.

Once the balls are baked, drizzle them with the maple glaze or use for dipping. Enjoy warm.


Maple Parsnip Bread with Dried Cranberries

After I made and loved a cake with parsnips, I had a bunch of grated parsnips leftover and wanted to use them up. Surprisingly light, with a hint of maple flavor, this easy quick bread mixes together before your oven even preheats. It’s loaded with good stuff, nixes the refined sugars, and stays moist at room temperature for a few days, thanks to the applesauce and parsnips.

gluten-free vegan parsnip bread

Maple Parsnip Bread with Dried Cranberries

3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
6 tablespoons club soda
1/3 cup pure maple syrup (I used amber)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups grated parsnips, lightly packed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil and 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan.

Put the sorghum flour, millet flour, arrowroot flour, tapioca flour, ground flaxseeds, ground cinnamon, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the dried cranberries, mixing until they are coated with the flour.

In a large glass measuring cup or small bowl, put the applesauce, club soda, maple syrup, cider vinegar, and vanilla extract. Mix well to combine. Pour the applesauce mixture into the flour mixture. Stir until combined. Mix in the parsnips.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan using a rubber spatula, smoothing the top. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the loaf from the pan and put it on a cooling rack. Let cool completely before slicing.

Maple Ginger Snacking Cake with Maple Frosting

I love maple syrup, and I have a whole slew of maple recipes in my drafts ready to go. If there is one thing that I love about living in this region, it’s that I live down the street from a maple syrup farm. Conveniently delicious.  Light, fluffy, and moist, with a big maple flavor, this cake will become a standard in your baking repertoire, and uses fruits, veggies, whole grains and unrefined sugar.

maple cake

Maple Ginger Snacking Cake with Maple Frosting

For the cake:
1 cup sorghum flour, plus more for the pan
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups grated parsnips
1 cup raisins
1 1/4 cups pure maple sugar
6 tablespoons nondairy buttery spread, such as Earth Balance
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegan “buttermilk” (see Note)

For the frosting and topping:
1/2 cup nondairy buttery spread, such as Earth Balance
1/2 cup macadamia nut butter
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
3/4 cup dark maple syrup (the dark stuff is important here!)
1/4 cup candied ginger, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a 9×13-inch baking pan and dust it with sorghum flour, tapping out excess.

Put the sorghum flour, millet flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, baking soda, xanthan gum, ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk well to combine. Add the parsnips and the raisins. Mix well.

Put the maple sugar and buttery spread in a stand mixer or large bowl. Using the stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat for 2 minutes, until creamy. Add the applesauce and vanilla extract. Mix well.

Turn the mixer to low speed. Alternately add the flour mixture and the “buttermilk” in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, until well-combined. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing evenly. Bake for 23 to 26 minutes until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, put the buttery spread, macadamia nut butter, and salt in a stand mixer or large bowl. Using the stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat for 2 minutes, until creamy. Add the arrowroot flour and 1/2 cup of the icing sugar. Beat until well-mixed. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly stream in the maple syrup until well-combined. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of the icing sugar and beat for an additional 1 minute. If you prefer a thicker frosting, you can add additional icing sugar, but it will be much sweeter.

Spread the frosting on the cooled cake, then sprinkle with the candied ginger. Serve at room temperature.

Note: To make vegan “buttermilk” for this recipe, put 1 tablespoon cider vinegar in a liquid measuring cup. Add enough nondairy milk to total 1/2 cup. Let sit 5 minutes until curdled.