to be honest september stumps me in terms of cooking. it’s the height of produce season where you get the wonderful overlap of late summer and early fall mixed into one, and it’s almost too much for my brain to compute! do you have the same problem? i get into a seasonal rhythm when i’m cooking breakfast, so when a new season comes along everything kinda gets thrown out the window. i’ve been having cold summer smoothies on heavy rotation, along with almond yogurt with summer berries and almond butter. i’ve also been making amesy pancakes loaded with sliced peaches and/or blueberries.

so whenever i think of shifting to september, when we want a hint of autumnal spice, but we’re not quite ready to go full throttle, i turn to granola. it’s the perfect conduit for touches of cozy that can paired with just about anything. i tend to go for grain-free granola mixes these days, but many-to-most, store-bought varieties tout their “soft & chewy” texture. not sure about you, but i’m team “hard & crunchy” when it comes to grain-free granola. so most times i just make my own.

this granola recipe pairs 2 of my favorite things: seeds and coconut flakes. coconut flakes are the vehicle here for ultimate flavor. when it’s mixed up and baked with a bit of sweetener, spices, and salt, it absorbs all that flavor delivering the most tasty granola. the roasted plums here were an afterthought, but so worth the little bit of time to make them. you just throw them together while the granola is cooling - easy-peasy. they add a perfect little touch of summer’s end.

happy september, sweet friends!

pepita-coconut granola w/ maple roasted plums | gf/v/grain-free


| makes roughly 3 cups granola |

  • 2 cups coconut flakes

  • 1 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

  • 1 cup chopped almonds

  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • a couple pinches fine sea salt

  • 1/4 cup coconut nectar, maple syrup, or raw honey

  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • 4 firm, but ripe plums, halved and pitted

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

  • 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil

  • pinch of salt

  • unsweetened plant-based yogurt or milk, for serving


  1. preheat oven to 325°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment.

  2. in a large bowl, mix together the coconut flakes, pepitas, almonds, chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt.

  3. in a small bowl, whisk together the coconut nectar, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. pour over dry ingredients. use a rubber spatula to mix the granola, making sure everything is mixed thoroughly and evenly.

  4. spread the granola evenly into the baking sheet, pushing it out into a flat layer. bake for 25-30 minutes, mixing it halfway through, until it’s lightly browned, and fragrant. (the color of the granola will also depend on what liquid sweetener you use. mine resulted in a darker color because i used coconut nectar.)

  5. let the granola cool, and raise the oven temperature to 400°F to roast the plums.

  6. line a baking sheet with parchment paper and toss the plums together with coconut oil, maple syrup, and salt. roast the plums cut side up for 25-30 minutes, until tender and juicy, and lightly browned around the edges. let cool for about 10 minutes.

  7. scoop your desired amount of yogurt into a bowl. top with a good bit of granola, and 1 or 2 plum halves; drizzle a bit of the plum juices around the bowl, and enjoy!

  8. store the granola in a sealed jar at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. store leftover plums and juices in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week. reheat the plums or let them come to room temp before serving.

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Coconut Carrot Sheet Cake (gluten-and-dairy-free) by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

i feel like a carrot cake has a time and a place.  while i really do love it, there's only certain times during the year i really think about wanting a piece.  and since there are zero carrot cake recipes gracing the cake section of this blog, i wanted to remedy that since i love, love, love this recipe, and i think you will too! 

carrot cake may be one of the best ways to celebrate the spring season.  mostly because i feel like it has two identities.  one of them being a very spring-filled cake, with notions of baby bunnies, and sprouting carrots.  the second one being, a warm, spice-filled cake that would normally have a place in the winter-time.  but it turns out it's the perfect segue cake, seamlessly taking us from winter to spring.  

however, for this cake, i minimized the spices and left just enough cinnamon as a nod to its traditional flavor.  the flavor maker here is coconut.  i personally love how carrots and coconut taste together (in just about every application, savory or sweet), and thought a coconut carrot cake would be so, so right!  i've added toasted coconut to the batter, which gives it a subtle, toasty coconut flavor but also lends a really great texture.  and there's some coconut extract in the frosting which is a (dairy-free) cream cheese-based frosting, and i cannot even describe how good it is.  it's the perfect mix of tangy and sweet, and then the coconut extract just adds a little zing.  

wishing you all the loveliest holiday weekend! xo!

**and be sure to tag @dollyandoatmeal when you're making any recipes from the site or my book!  i love regramming you all on instagram stories! xo!  

Coconut Carrot Sheet Cake | GF & DF

this cake is great to make ahead if you need to. i made it, wrapped it in plastic wrap and foil, then froze it.  i took it out of the freezer and placed it in the refrigerator the day before i planned to prepare and serve it.  on the day of i removed it from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for about an hour.  then i frosted it, and served it. easy-breezy :)

print the recipe!

| makes 1 8x8-inch square sheet cake |


  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup unrefined extra virgin melted coconut oil
  • 2 pasture raised eggs, at room temp
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (about 2 carrots)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, plus more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds, plus more for garnish


  • 4 ounces vegan cream cheese (such as kite hill)
  • 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup powdered monkfruit sweetener* (or 1/4 cup powdered sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla exytact

*to make powdered monkfruit sweetener: in a high speed blender, whiz 1/2 granulated monkfruit sweetener on high for 25-30 seconds, until completely powdered.  store leftovers in an airtight container.


  1. preheat oven to 350°F.  grease and line an 8x8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, letting the paper hang over two sides to make "wings".
  2. in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, arrowroot powder, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
  3. in another large bowl, whisk together the sugar and oil, until combined.  whisk in the eggs, carrots, applesauce, and vanilla, until combined.  a little at a time, mix the dry ingredients into the wet, until everything is combined.  then, fold in the coconut, walnuts and poppy seeds.
  4. use a rubber spatula to spread the batter evenly into the pan.  bake in the center of the oven for 25-30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
  5. cool the cake on a rack. 
  6. when the cake is completely cooled, use a thin knife and run it around the sides of the cake to loosen it. then use the parchment paper "wings" to carefully lift the cake from the pan.  
  7. make the frosting.  using an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, shortening, sugar, syrup, and extracts, until smooth and fluffy. 
  8. use an offset spatula to frost the cake.  top with toasted coconut, chopped walnuts, and poppy seeds.  slice into 12 pieces and serve.  store leftover in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

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Strawberry Coconut Kale Slaw by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

when we were in LA for vacation last january we made a stop at the whole foods in downtown for a quick dinner.  it was the second night of our trip, and i remember amesy was particularly irritable, so a fast dinner was in order.  at the prepared counter at the whole foods in in new york, there are slim pickings, and they rarely change up what's on the menu, so i thought my decision in LA would be a quick one.  it turned out that i was wrong.  there were mounds of beautiful fresh salads and my dinner choice couldn't have been harder to decide.  i wanted to sample each dish, but my crying babe quickly brought me back to reality so i hurriedly got the strawberry kale salad.

that split second judgement couldn't have been better.  that salad transported me from my bleak winter blues, into the land of plenty where strawberries were already being served atop fresh greens.  cranky baby aside, that meal was heaven.  and apparently i'm not the only one out there that loves that particular whole foods salad. there's at least a few recipes on the web dedicated to recreating it as well!  this version here is more of a slaw.  the kale is chopped in shreds, and marinated a bit, and it generally has a lighter feel.  there's a good amount of toasted coconut shreds tossed in and more on top for good measure, along with some toasty pine nuts.  it's all dressed in a really simple honey-lime vinaigrette that i love.  it's a great salad for a gathering, and will serve up to 10 people.  this past weekend my man and i served it up to a small crowd alongside a potato salad, some grass-fed burgs, and a simple blueberry lemon cake.  all about those easy-peasy dishes ;)

happy june.  big hugs, all!

strawberry coconut kale slaw

you could easily halve this recipe.  but leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to a few days, and might i say will taste better as the days go by. the slaw can also be made the day before and be stored in the fridge.  make sure to take the slaw out an hour or so prior to serving.

inspired by whole foods

| serves 6-10 |

  • 3/4 cup toasted coconut shreds
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 bunches kale, stemmed and shredded 
  • 1 tablespoon liquid extra virgin coconut oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • fine sea salt & fresh ground pepper
  • 1 pound strawberries, halved or quartered
  • 5 green onions, white and light green parts sliced thin

honey-lime vinaigrette

  • juice from 2 limes
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons raw honey
  • fine sea salt & fresh ground pepper


  1. heat a large skillet over medium-low heat, add the coconut shreds. toast the coconut until lightly brown and fragrant, shaking the pan every now to prevent burning.  remove the coconut and let it cool.  in the same pan, toast the pine nuts until lightly browned, shaking the pan every now and then.  remove the nuts and let them cool.
  2. add the kale, oil, lemon juice, and big pinch of salt to a large mixing bowl.  massage everything until the kale has softened, about 5 minutes.  add half of the coconut, the pine nuts, strawberries, and green onions.  
  3. in a lidded jar, combine the lime juice, olive oil, and honey. fasten the lid and give it a good shake, season with salt and pepper.
  4. drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to distribute the dressing.  garnish the top of the salad with the remaining toasted coconut. 

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