Category: Recipes

Bakery Case Blueberry Muffins

In my imaginary world, there exists a cute diner with all kinds of food that all just happens to be gluten-free and vegan. I think the muffins spotted in this food fantasy are actually derived from memories of those giant Sam’s Club or Costco muffins. What can I say, my bar is high and my childhood cuisine memories are strong.

This recipe is adapted from a 2013 Gourmet Magazine (the memories!) article; I’ve been making these (or some variation) since I was 16

Read the recipes notes FIRST + then make these muffins, win friends, and influence people.

Bakery Case Blueberry Muffins

Big, overflowing blueberry muffins that happen to be gluten-free, vegan, and whole-grain. Read the NOTES first!
Author: CloverLush


  • ¼ cup refined coconut oil melted
  • 3 Tablespoons neutral oil like grapeseed or sunflower
  • cup plant milk room temp (not cold)
  • 1 chia egg 1 Tablespoon ground chia mixed w/ 3 Tablespoons water to create slurry
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla or almond extract optional
  • 125 grams gluten-free oat flour
  • 65 grams potato starch
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ -2 cups blueberries fresh or frozen
  • Coarse sugar for topping optional


  • Preheat oven to 375F. Line or grease your muffin tin according to how many muffins you plan to make (you’ve read the notes, right?).
  • In a bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, neutral oil, and plant milk until combined. Whisk in chia egg + extract (if using). Set aside.
  • Measure the flour + starch, then add the white sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir together until well-mixed. Add to bowl of wet ingredients and fold together. Gently stir in blueberries.
  • Divide batter among your prepared muffin tin(s). Sprinkle some coarse sugar over the top for a little extra sparkle.
  • Bake until golden, and a toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean. Depending on what size you’ve made the muffins and whether you are using fresh or frozen berries, this will take between 20 minutes (for smaller muffins) to 38-42 minutes (if you make 6 giant). Check after 20 and then check at 5 minute intervals. Cool in pans for 15 minutes before removing. Muffins will be delicate when they are piping hot!
  • Serve with fresh coffee, preferably black, just like you’d get at a bakery!


This recipe makes 6-8 muffins (or 12 muffins if you are OK with them being on the small size) using a standard-sized muffin tin. The ideal is probably 8 but I usually make 6 and overflow them a bit.
Blasphemy: I prefer frozen wild (or low-bush) blueberries. I use 1.5 cups. If you are going to make 8-12 muffins, use two cups. Frozen are fine, don’t thaw first, but do expect the muffins to take a bit longer to bake as the frozen berries cool the batter.

New-Fashioned Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

This post includes affiliate links. Want to skip the commentary? Jump to Recipe.
If you aren’t into a lot of jabber, skip to the recipe–but do read the notes! They are important!

I’m not, for even a second, going to claim these are world’s best or perfect, because my taste in chocolate chip cookies is finicky. Finicky as, yeah. BUT I’ve stuck by these for over three months so we are definitely serious.

So, here’s what these have going for ’em:

Made from 100% whole-grain oat flour, they are probably as healthy as you are going to get and still be left with a bona fide chocolate chip cookie. They are dairy-free, egg-free, annnnnd even gluten-free (be sure to use gluten-free oat flour).

They also have options: I like the thin + chewy pairing (today, at least) but they can certainly be thick + chewy, just follow the tips in the directions.

Flaky sea salt is option but highly, highly recommended.

I’d love to take credit for this recipe, and I sort of can, only because I totally misread the original recipe, but I still want to give it a shout-out or we wouldn’t be here today. Kind of like when I worked as a baker and nobody could understand why my scones were THE BEST EVER until I had to admit I’d misread the recipe and added double the amount of butter. And I’d been doing it for months. I mean, WORSE MISTAKES HAVE BEEN MADE.

To make the cookies a thicker–just give them some extra mixing time to incorporate more air + body into the dough.

Pet peeve: having to flatten cookies before baking. No need here! Scoop and go. Strategically place a few chocolate chips on top to ensure picture-perfect beauties, and add a pinch of flaky salt.

Key ingredients:

Take it from me (and see above), I am not a big fan of following recipes…but to ensure the best results, I wouldn’t stray too far unless you are in the mood for adventure. Chia-egg naysayers, I am looking at you: the chia egg gave the best texture as oat flour can be crumbly. None of the other egg substitutes trialed yielded the same chewiness.

For this recipe I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free oat flour (I buy the 25 lb bag to save money, just $2.35ish/lb), Maldon flaky sea salt (which I’m pretty sure I could eat by the spoon), and these chia seeds (which I ground in a coffee grinder).*

The above are Amazon affiliate links, which means if you buy one of the items, I will get a small cut. Basically a little change to pay for web-hosting and the pounds of chocolate I go through developing recipes (and in general). This is at no extra cost to you–you are presented with Amazon’s current price, affiliate link or otherwise. Read more here.

New-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies

100% whole-grain + plant-based, yet still authentic
Author: CloverLush


  • 1/2 cup coconut oil refined
  • 1.5 Tablespoons water room temp
  • 3.5 Tablespoons neutral oil like sunflower or grapeseed
  • 1 cup brown sugar light preferred
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 chia eggs 2 Tablespoons ground chia mixed with 6 Tablespoons warm water, let stand two minutes
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 265 grams oat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda scant
  • Pinch salt
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Extra chocolate chips
  • Flaky sea salt


  • Preheat oven to 350F, and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Combine coconut oil, water, neutral oil, and sugars in bowl of stand mixer. Mix together with paddle attachment for 1 minute for thin cookies, or 3 minutes for thicker cookies. It should gain body and look much like creamed butter/sugar. Add chia egg to mixture and beat another 1 minute, or 2 more minutes if you are going for thicker cookies. Add vanilla and incorporate.
  • Pour in oat flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix briefly to thoroughly blend, or mix for 1 minute for thick cookies. Stir in chocolate chips with spatula. If dough seems thin, let stand 5-10 minutes as oat flour will absorb liquid.
  • Divide dough by tablespoons or 2-3 tablespoon scoop for big cookies. Space cookies about 3 inches apart, or 4 inches for larger. Arrange a few extra chocolate chips atop mounds of dough and sprinkle with flaky salt. Bake for 10-11 minutes for tablespoon-size cookies, or about 13-14 for larger cookies. Cookies will puff in the oven, but fall as they cool. Remove from oven and let cool 5-10 minutes before transferring from pan.
  • These cookies are whole-grain and will dry out so store in air-tight container; they stay fresh about 3-4 days.


I don’t recommend making your own oat flour in a blender for this recipe–texture won’t be right. Grind chia to semi-fine powder in coffee grinder before making your chia eggs. Measurement of chia is once it’s ground. Dough may be refrigerated before baking–this tends to result in thinner cookies.

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Pomodoro al Riso–the Italian street food you need to meet

AKA baked, stuffed tomatoes with potatoes. A staple in Italian bakeries and apparently a traditional street food in Rome, but equally at home in Iowa with our luscious summer tomatoes, fresh basil, and various kinds of potatoes. This dish takes a bit of planning, but otherwise it’s pretty easy, and a ‘one dish’ meal!

I haven’t been to Italy but now that I am learning about all the food that is naturally meat-free/vegan, Italy is suddenly nearing the top of my travel list. I credit Rachel Roddy’s recipe for educating me about this dish. The only specialty item, that is optional, is the Carnaroli rice. Many recipes use Arborio (risotto), which can generally be found at a grocery store. But, if you happen upon a gourmet store or feel like an Amazon order, the delicately plump texture of Carnaroli is worthwhile! Plus, you only use a little for this recipe, so a bag will last a long time. I use this brand (not an affiliate link).

Pomodoro al Riso

Your new favorite Italian street food, made at home!
Author: CloverLush


  • 2 lbs of tomatoes–I used 4 large
  • 2 large Italian garlic cloves minced
  • 6 fresh basil leaves cut into small ribbons
  • 6 Tablespoons rice Carnaroli rice is traditional, but Risotto or any other white rice can be used (brown rice may not work in this recipe, haven’t tried)
  • 6 Tablespoons olive oil divided + more for pan
  • 1.5 pounds potatoes of your choice
  • Salt + pepper


  • First, cut the tops off the tomatoes, set aside. Using a metal spoon, scoop the insides of the tomatoes into a bowl. Seeds and all. Then, lightly salt the inside of the tomato ‘shells’ and place upside down on a plate to drain.
  • Using your hands, mash the tomato insides until no large pieces remain. Remove any hard pieces of core. Add uncooked rice, chopped garlic, and basil ribbons. Also add 3 Tablespoons of the olive oil and a bit of salt + pepper. Let rice mixture sit for 45 minutes.
  • In the meantime, peel the potatoes and cut into fries. Toss potatoes with remaining 3 Tablespoons of olive oil and some salt + pepper.
  • Prepare for baking. Preheat the oven to 400F. Lightly oil a pan–sheet pan or 12 inch cast iron skillet work well. Use something metal, not glass. Place the tomatoes upright, and fill just about to the brim with spoonfuls of the rice mixture. You’ll probably have some of the rice mixture remaining. Place the tomato tops on the tomatoes as ‘lids’. Scatter the potato fries around the tomatoes.
  • Bake for about 45-60 minutes. The rice should expand and might overflow the tomatoes a bit. The potatoes should start to have some golden and crisp spots. Test a potato for doneness. Remove from oven and let cool, at least 30 minutes. Then serve with extra salt + pepper.


Any white rice should substitute fine for the Carnaroli/Risotti, however, brown rice may not cook–I’ve not tested it. Letting the dish cool is optional but does result in deeper flavor.

I Can’t Believe it’s Dairy-Free Butter

Make your own spreadable dairy-free ‘butter’ with a few simple ingredients. There are so many butter substitutes available these days, but they aren’t always accessible (Hi, rural America), and often expensive and sometimes full of unnecessary additions.

Caveat: this is meant more for toast, vegetables, and as a topping. It’s not really meant as a substitute for butter in cooking or baking recipes. The ratio of saturated fat to fat will most likely throw your recipe off. If you experiment though, I’d love to hear!

It’s time to churn, folks! And with no cost to the cows. Take this recipe and run with it–add herbs, spices, fancy salts, and believe in the power of homemade.

Dairy-Free Butter Spread

A spreadable dairy-free/vegan butter sub made with just a handful of ingredients. Be sure to read Notes for tips!
Author: CloverLush


  • 5 Tablespoons Refined coconut oil Solid state
  • 1.25 Tablespoons Water Room temp
  • 1/3 Cup Neutral oil Sunflower or Grapeseed are great
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Sea salt More/less to taste
  • OPTIONAL: 1/8 Teaspoon Turmeric For color


  • Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. With whisk attachment, beat on medium speed for about 3-5 minutes, until it looks like custard.
  • Pour into container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until firm but spreadable.
  • Store leftovers in refrigerator. Butter will remain spreadable, even after chilled.


Be sure to use *refined* coconut oil (jar will say so); if coconut oil is in liquid state, refrigerate until solid state before proceeding with recipe.
Turmeric adds color but is optional.
Start with a small amount of salt and add more based on taste!
Do not use this as a substitute for butter in recipes as the ratio of total fat to saturated fat will not sub well.

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