Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice

Photo Credit: My Baking Addiction, 2011

It is the middle of October and leaves are about to past the peak of  color and pumpkins begin to make their appearance at the local farmer’s  markets, just as Summer seems like a distant memory. And with the autumnal changes pumpkin spice-flavored treats make their appearance just about, everywhere. You can always buy a commercially prepared pumpkin pie spice, but it is just as easy to make at home with the “warm” spices that you already have on hand.This recipe is a blend of “warm” spices such as: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and mace. Pumpkin pie spice adds a nice extra “pumpkin” taste to pumpkin pie or a pumpkin flavored latte.

Makes About 5 Tablespoons

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice
1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves
1 ½ teaspoons ground mace

Directions:
Measure all of the spices into a small air tight jar, like a Weck jar, and seal the jar up. Shake the jar until the spices are well mixed.
Label the jar and store it in the pantry as you would any other spice, for up to 1 year.


Tofu Nuggets

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Adapted from
Alice Currah
Kitchen Explorers, 2015

These seasoned fried tofu nuggets make a great vegetarian option for the more popular chicken nuggets. Dipped in a seasoned batter and pan fried to a crisp golden brown, these nuggets are known to convert tofu haters into lovers.Unlike chicken, making a baked version of this dish is not easy or recommended. There is so much moisture the tofu holds that frying at a relatively high heat quickly gives the batter its nice crispy golden texture. If the tofu sits out too long, the batter becomes wet due to the liquid within the tofu. So enjoy them while they are warm. These seasoned tofu nuggets are irresistibly good and will make tofu haters into lovers. Enjoy!

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1 package extra firm tofu
½ cup chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 vegetable bullion cube, slightly dissolved in 1/4 teaspoon of  water
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast (available in the health food section, bulk spices)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice powder
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2/3 cup water
Coconut oil, for frying

Directions:
Place the block of tofu on top of a flat strainer and place a flat plate over the top of the tofu. Then place a heavy pot on top of the plate. This will allow the tofu to expel as much water as possible. Allow the tofu to drain for 1 hour.

Cut the tofu into rough, 2-inch cubes.

In a medium bowl, stir in the flour,  baking powder, baking soda, yeast,  dissolved bullion, garlic powder, salt,  five spice powder paprika and black pepper.Slowly add the water, whisking as you go. The mixture should be the consistency of pancake batter.

Pour 1/3-inch level of oil into a medium pan. Heat the oil on medium heat.

Working in small batches, generously coat the tofu cubes with the seasoned batter.

Without overcrowding the pan, fry the bottom of the tofu until the batter turns to a crispy golden brown. Flip the cubes and cook until the rest of the tofu cubes are crispy and golden brown. Place finished cubes on a plate lined with a paper towel.

Continue to do this until all the cubes have been fried.

The tofu will be very hot. Allow the tofu to cool for five minutes. Serve with your choice of condiment and enjoy while warm and crisp.

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