One thing I’ve not totally given up since we’ve transitioned to a plant-based diet is my sweet tooth. All of my life I’ve just loved sweet foods, especially the real junk foods, like Sour Patch Kids, Swedish Fish, and Good and Plentys. Over time, as my tastes have changed from eating a much more healthy diet, however, I don’t crave sugar like I used to. I can go days without it, in fact, and I don’t even miss it.
One of the ways that I’ve learned to kick the sugar habit is to follow a short rule laid down in a Facebook post I read. I regret that I don’t remember the author, or have the exact quote, but the gist of it is: don’t bring any pre-made snack foods into your home. You are free to eat the snack foods that you, yourself, make from scratch. The idea behind this rule is that, if you have to make it yourself, you will be more likely to use more wholesome ingredients, and, since it won’t be a ready source of calories, you’re more likely to consume far less — I can definitely attest to both of these facts, especially the second one – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten a craving for something sweet, late at night, but the thought of having to haul out all of the bowls, measuring cups, ingredients, recipes, put it all together, wait for it to bake or set, and then clean it all up put that craving right to bed!
This morning, I was having a hard time deciding what to make for breakfast. It was already eighty degrees at 9am, so oatmeal was out of the picture. I thought about doing something simple, like toast with a large side of fresh fruit from the garden and a smoothie, but that’s exactly what I ate yesterday for breakfast, and there was no way I was going to have that again so soon (I have a thing about eating the same thing twice in a row).
Then, a glorious idea popped into my head…cinnamon rolls. Everyone in my household adores these things. Just one problem…I’ve sworn off of the canned ones, and there wouldn’t be time to wait for a true yeast dough to get ready for assembly. So, I adapted a recipe for buttermilk buns that I found in an old cookbook of mine. The result? pretty amazing, if I do say so myself! I love that there is very little fat, not much sugar, and that the traditional cream cheese or powdered sugar frosting on top has been replaced with 100% spreadable fruit. It’s definitely a recipe I’ll be making when I get that craving for a good old fashioned cinnamon role, and because it takes some effort to pull together, it’s definitely not going to be something I’ll be making on a daily (or maybe even a weekly or monthly) basis — translation: get it while you can, ’cause you ain’t gonna see these babies for a while!
Here’s how I made it:
1 tbsp. coconut oil
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup rice milk
3 tbsp. ground flax meal mixed in 3/4 cup water
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 tbsp. brown sugar
100% fruit jam for the topping
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan. In a small bowl, combine flax meal and water and set aside to “gel” while proceeding with other ingredients. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Then, add the coconut oil and mix with a wire whisk until the coconut oil is well incorporated. Mix in rice milk and flax mixture until it forms a nice dough.
In another small bowl, combine applesauce, cinnamon, and brown sugar, and set aside.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. The dough will be very soft and sticky. Dust the top of the ball of dough with flour, flip over and dust the other side. Roll dough into a 24″ x 12″ rectangle, sprinkling more flour on the dough, as needed to keep it from sticking to the rolling pin and surface beneath. I like to roll it out a little, then flip the dough over, flour it a little more, then roll a little more, and repeat that process until I get it to the size I need.
Spread the applesauce mixture over all of the dough – all the way to the edges.
Roll up the long side of the dough (so that you have a 24″ log – or somewhere around that length ;)). Pinch edges of dough to seal, then cut roll into approximately 1 inch pieces and place into pan. (I was able to get 15 rolls out of my log). Don’t worry if they are touching each other – they don’t spread like yeast rolls do.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (mine took 25), or until light brown on the top. Remove from oven and immediately top with the 100% fruit jam. Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy!
What do you think about the idea of only eating snacks that you make yourself?