With my high school graduation swiftly approaching, I’m starting to reminisce about my childhood more and more. Today I had particularly sentimental feelings as I visisted my elementary school and reunited with people from my pre-kindegarden grade (from 15 years ago, when I was 3 years old!).
We all met up to take a photo as “lifers” who are finally being inducted into the 15 Year Club. I’ve been fortunate to be at the same school for so long and cannot even begin to describe how thankful I am for the experience. Even though my high school years have seemed to fly by in a blur of studying, I have many fond memories that I will treasure for the rest of my life.
Today definitely brought up a lot of those memories as I walked around the elementary school and reminisced with the other lifers. As we walked by the lunchroom, we all stopped to look at the plaque that commemorates our favorite lunch lady, who retired at the end of our 5th grade year.
Rosemary was always looking out for us, filling our little bodies with healthy food that fueled us for our active days. She would often take requests for our favorite lunches and even surprise us with yummy new recipes. Fridays were especially fun because we were treated to a homemade sweet, baked with love by Rosemary herself, instead of our usual fruit.
One day was Rosemary decided to make homemade donuts based on a recipe that had been passed down through generations of her family. I remember savoring every sweet, sticky bite. My lunch table mates and I even had a competition of who could make their donut last the longest and thus get to say they had the last bite. Did anyone else seem to turn everything into a competition back then? Haha.
A lot has changed since those elementary school days, but my love of donuts certainly has not. I have been a serious donut monster lately; the whole batch of these pumpkin protein donuts disappeared in just a few days, and I’ve already made more!
These may not be the intoxicating donuts of my childhood (fried with love by Rosemary, of course!), but they are none the less delicious. Each bite not only tastes like fluffy pumpkin pie and fuels my muscles with much-needed protein after a strong yoga practice, but also transports me back to a much simpler time.
A time when singing and dancing were a necessary part of the day… When everyone held hands to go to the library without getting lost… And when summer seemed to last forever…
Pumpkin Pie Protein Donuts
Makes 6 donuts (vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free)
- 1/4 cup + 2 TBS buckwheat flour (ground from ~45g raw buckwheat groats)
- 1/2 cup rolled oats, ground into flour
- 1/3 cup protein powder (I used Natural SunWarrior)
- 1 TBS baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- pure stevia, to taste (I use ~1/4-1/2 tsp)
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup almond milk (+ more if necessary to thin batter–buckwheat flour absorbs a lot of liquid!)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp pure vanilla powder (<– my fav!)
- chocolate chips or unsweetened chocolate bars, chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350*F. Grase a donut pan with cooking spray. (If you don’t have a donut pan, you can also use a muffin tin, just increase the baking time by a few minutes.)
- In a large bowl, mix buckwheat flour, oats (which should be ground into the texture of flour), protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and stevia.
- In a separate bowl, whisk pumpkin puree, almond milk, and vanilla extract.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix until well combined, adding ~1-2TBS extra almond milk, if needed to incorporate all the dry ingredients.
- Stir in chocolate chips/unsweetened chocolate, if using.
- Evenly distribute batter in donut pan. (Donut pan sizes may vary; mine makes 6 donuts.)
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the donuts have set and a toothpick inserted in the middle of a donut comes out clean.
- Cool on a wired rack.
Good friends, good donuts, good times. Some things never change.
Something to talk about: what’s your favorite childhood memory?
Have a lovely day!