Monday, I decided to try and get creative with my mandel bread recipe.

Why me?

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Adding chocolate + almonds sounded like a good plan.  I also tried 1/2 applesauce, 1/2 oil for this combo.

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Pumpkin spice mandel??? Yes please!  Half whole wheat flour?  Why not!?

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Don’t they look great?

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Well, they sucked.  The applesauce made them WAY to airy.  Do not use applesauce in this recipe.  Also, pumpkin seemed to have the same effect. 

Lesson #1 – No applesauce.  Use full amount of oil.  Still undecided about 1/2 whole wheat flour combo.

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I made 2 vegan batches, using the full amount of oil, no applesauce.  The only thing I deviated on was using a flax egg and half whole wheat, half white flour.  For whatever reason, both times I tried this version it turned out too oily when I pressed it into the pan. 

This texture is totally off!  I have no idea what was up with this!?

Lesson #2 – Pay more attention.  You’re clearly doing something wrong. [and by you, I mean ME!]

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5 failed batches was enough for one night.  I called it quits, with plans to start fresh on Tuesday.

Everything seemed to be going well…

I tried Mama Pea’s recipe for a homemade pumpkin latte.  Instead of using my blender to froth the milk mixture, I used my stick blender.  It’s much easier to clean and frothed it up perfectly!

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I have a favorite brand.  Can you tell??

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Frothed up almond milk + pumpkin spices!!

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Oh yes.  This was magical.  The Starbucks version does not even come close to comparing.  I haven’t even been tempted once, to buy that syrup in a cup!

Mom’s know best don’t they?  You should make this now!  Even if you don’t like pumpkin, just heat up some almond milk, froth it and pour your coffee on top.  WHOA.  Uhmazing.

I altered things just a bit for what I had on hand.  Here is what I used.

  • 1/2c almond milk
  • 2T pumpkin puree
  • 1/2-1T pumpkin butter
  • 1/2t cinnamon
  • few shakes of ginger, nutmeg + allspice

I used the pumpkin butter to sliiighty sweeten things.  I never sweeten my coffee, but with the spices mixed in you definitely need to add a touch of sweet! :)

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Not only did that pumpkin latte make up for Monday’s fail but so did this bowl of oats.

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rolled oats + oat bran + flax meal + banana + pumpkin puree

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topped with: walnuts + pumpkin butter + Love Grown Foods Cocoa Goodness granola

Who am I kidding??  I added a glob of nut butter half way through this bowl.  Pumpkin spice almond butter, obviously.

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Had a nice 23 mile bike ride to wake my body up today.  Felt good to give my legs a workout again, after Sunday’s big hike.  Once I was warmed up, I felt great!  Avg speed – 15.5mph

As soon as I got home, I chugged this.

1c almond milk + chocolate amazing grass + maca powder

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All frothed up and delicious!  It was close to lunch time, but I wanted to get in an upper body workout + a lot of stretching, so this was the perfect drink to hold me over.  I’ve been refueling with this or just plain almond milk lately, and loving how it makes me feel!

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After lunch, I got back to work…

Things seemed to be in perfect order.  The dough just “felt” better today.  It looked better too!

This is the vegan version.

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Non-vegan.  No substitutions.  Good ole while flour + oil.

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I stirred in everything 1 at a time and even sifted the flour in 3 different increments.  I was careful not to over-stir as well.  The dough looked perfect on the pan.  Nothing like the previous night!  I have 100% confidence these were going to be perfect.

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30min later….bibbity….

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bobbity….(7 of 16)


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They turned out COMPLETELY FLAT.  I don’t think they gained ANY height.  At this point I was starting to get pissed. :)  I called my aunt, who is awesome at making these, and went over the recipe with her.  I was doing everything right.  I even double checked to make sure my baking powder was still “active.” [1/2c hot water + 1/2t baking powder – mix – should foam immediately]

What the heck??  It has to be something with the elevation that I’m at.  I haven’t had too many baking problems since living here and always make the necessary changes, due to the elevation.  Something must be wrong!

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Even Kenna knew something was up.

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Dakota was well aware of the situation too.

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This is what they should look like!  These are from the batch my aunt made.  They currently live in my freezer.  :) 

Perfect bumpy texture..

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Lots of height + the perfect texture.

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Note the comparison.  I don’t have to tell you which is mine.

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I read up on high altitude baking a little more and have a few new changes to make.  Tonight I called it quits, because I was out of white flour, the huz had the car, and my legs were too beat to ride my bike.

Stay tuned.  I WILL figure this out!!!!!!!



p.s. If you’re under 3,000’ elevation, you should have no problem with the original recipe. :)