Category Archives: Recipes

pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (vegan).

pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

It’s fall which means all things pumpkin have made their way to the local grocery stores and coffee shops, and — if you’re like me — it has even invaded your kitchen, too!

Today I’m sharing a recipe I am loving that would be perfect for a fall potluck or just to have for a grab-n-go breakfast around the house. The whole wheat flour gives the muffins heartiness and the coconut sugar plus chocolate chips give them a perfectly balanced sweetness.

pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (vegan)

Makes approx. 15 muffins

Ingredients — always use organic ingredients when possible!

  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 can pureed pumpkin
  • 1 ½ cups coconut palm sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tbs ground flaxseed
  • 1 Tbs pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup vegan chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, sugar, ground flaxseed, melted coconut oil and spices. Slowly add the flour, baking soda and baking powder while stirring. Add the chocolate chips last. Pour mixture into prepared muffin pan lined with cupcake liners and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy!

NOTES: You could use a different sweetener (maple syrup, agave, or cane sugar) in place of the coconut palm sugar, but I opted to use coconut for this reason:

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, “Coconut sugar is 70 to 79 percent sucrose and only three percent to nine percent each of fructose and glucose. This is an advantage, because you want to keep your consumption of fructose as low as possible, and cane sugar is 50 percent fructose.”

Coconut sugar has a taste similar to that of brown sugar and can be substituted for cane sugar in most recipes. Find it at your local Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, or co-op.

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oat pecan burger.

oat pecan burger

The co-op here in Rochester makes a mean oat pecan burger. It’s so good that I tracked down the recipe so I could make it myself! Aside from being able to make these whenever a craving strikes, I’m also saving money by making them at home. This is a hearty burger that both meat-eaters and vegetarians will love!

Oat Pecan Burgers (vegan, gluten-free)

Adapted from 3 Angels Fellowship

Makes approx. 7-8 burgers

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup Bragg’s (liquid aminos) or tamari
  • 2 Tbs. + 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/8 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 Tbs. dry basil
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. sage
  • 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients into a large pot except the oats and bring to a slow boil.
  2. Stir in rolled oats and remove from heat.
  3. Let cool and shape into patties. Note: the cooling process takes about 30 minutes.
  4. Heat a small amount of oil in a pan. Once warm, fry the patties until lightly browned on each side.

Serve on a bun with your favorite fixins! I’m a fan of lettuce, organic ketchup and vegenaise (if you haven’t tried it, you are missing out!).

Sprouts, tomatoes, pickles and/or avocado slices would also be good options.

oat pecan burgers

oat pecan burger

Enjoy!

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trail mix bars.

healthy trail mix bars

It’s a new year and if you’re like most people (myself included), you’re probably looking for ways to be healthier in 2014. Whether that means eating more greens or simply adding 10 minutes of walking to your day, I salute you for your efforts! Even the smallest changes can make a big difference over time. And on that note, today I am sharing a very easy and healthy recipe that you’ll no doubt find yourself making again and again.

trail mix bar ingredients
This particular recipe actually came about as a mistake. A few months back I was making a half batch of these PB chocolate chip chia bites, but I couldn’t get the mixture to form into balls. I didn’t want the ingredients to go to waste so I decided to pack it all into a pan and cut it into squares instead. The result? A delicious and healthy granola bar, which has since evolved into a “trail mix bar” through my experimentation with different ingredients and amounts. And really, that’s the beauty of this recipe — just so long you start with the right base (a proper ratio of oats, honey & peanut butter), the rest is up to you! I make a batch of these almost every Sunday and they serve as an on-the-go breakfast, snack, and even dessert throughout the week!

Trail Mix Bars (gluten-free, vegan option)

Makes approx. 9-12 bars depending on desired size

Ingredients — always buy organic when possible!

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1/2 cup raw honey or agave nectar, if vegan
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbs chia seeds
  • Other optional add-ins: pepitas, almonds, walnuts, shredded coconut, hemp seeds, flax seeds, raisins, dried cranberries, etc.

trail mix bar ingredients

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Pack mixture into a 8×6 pan and place in freezer for one hour. One mixture has hardened, cut it into bars and store in fridge or freezer. (If left out at room temperature, bars will become crumbly). Enjoy!

trail mix bars

Give this recipe a try — you’ll be glad you did!

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gluten-free pumpkin walnut muffins.

gluten-free pumpkin walnut muffins

I’m back with another muffin recipe! (Here’s the whole wheat banana nut one if ya missed it)

If you’re like me and lusting after all things pumpkin-packed right now in the spirit of fall (but still want to eat healthy), then be sure to bookmark (or pin) this recipe because it’s definitely a keeper!

Recipe adapted from Carrots ‘n Cake

Makes approx. 9 regular-sized muffins

Ingredients: — always buy organic when possible!

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 eggs (flax eggs, if vegan)
  • 1/8 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.

Pour mixture into prepared muffin pan lined with cupcake liners. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. (Insert a toothpick into the center of the muffin to make sure it comes out clean). Serve with pumpkin butter for a real treat. Enjoy!

gluten-free pumpkin walnut muffins

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whole wheat banana nut muffins.

whole wheat banana nut muffins

I’ve been on a muffin kick lately. Okay, who am I kidding? I’m always on a muffin kick. They make a great on-the-go breakfast or convenient afternoon snack, not to mention they pair perfectly with coffee — so what’s not to love? Oh I know, maybe that they tend to have a lot of oil, butter and/or sugar, making them not so healthy! But that’s not the case with this one. I adapted the recipe to make it friendlier on the waist line so you won’t feel bad eating three or four one or two. The best part? It’s just as delicious as the original version.

whole wheat banana nut muffins

Recipe adapted from A Sweet Pea Chef

Makes approx. 15 muffins

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted non-dairy butter
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar or maple syrup
  • 1 organic egg, beaten (or flax egg if vegan)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

*Adaptions to the original recipe include: reducing the sugar content by 1/4 cup, replacing regular butter with Earth Balance butter (I’d also be curious to how it would turn out if you used coconut oil), and swapping out all-purpose flour for whole wheat.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, mix butter into the mashed bananas.  Mix in sugar, egg and vanilla.  Add baking soda and salt.  Add flour and mix until just incorporated.  Fold in chopped walnuts.

Pour mixture into prepared muffin pan lined with cupcake liners.  Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown. (Insert a toothpick into the center of the muffin to make sure it comes out clean).

healthy banana nut muffins

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PB banana ice cream + homemade magic shell.

vegan PB banana ice cream

It’s the weekend! What better way to savor the last of these hot summer days than with ice cream!

What if I told you that there is such a thing as HEALTHY ice cream (which I may or may not have made the past three consecutive nights…) I realized I should probably stop hoarding this delectable discovery and share with the rest of you.

So here it is:

For the ice cream:

  • 2 frozen bananas, chopped into rounds
  • 2 Tbs. organic peanut butter (I prefer the chunky kind)
  • 1-2 Tbs. almond milk (or milk of choice) to facilitate blending, if need be

Directions:

Add ingredients to a food processor and blend until you reach a creamy consistency. The result will be similar to that of soft serve. If you prefer a firmer ice cream, place in the freezer for 1-2 hours. Serves two.

vegan pb banana ice cream

This recipe should have a tagline that says, “I can’t believe it’s not ice cream!” because you will seriously be fooled. If you want to spruce it up, you could swirl in nutella, cinnamon, or cookie bits. Another option is replacing the peanut butter for berries for a more sorbet-like treat. Or, you could be like me and whip up some homemade magic shell! Yet another noteworthy recipe I must share!

For the magic shell:

  • 2 Tbs. chocolate chips, or 1 oz. of your favorite chocolate
  • 1 Tbs. organic coconut oil

Directions:

Melt ingredients together, either by microwaving for 30 seconds or stirring on the stove top. Drizzle on top of ice cream and watch it harden! Makes approx. 1-2 servings.

Give this recipe a try and you’ll be glad you did! You might even find yourself stockpiling your freezer with frozen bananas.

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homemade organic vanilla syrup.

Happy Monday, friends!

I’ve got just the thing to make your week a little sweeter: a recipe for organic vanilla bean coffee syrup! Not only is this syrup ridiculously good and easy to make, it’s also much more cost-effective than buying the pre-made stuff from the store, which typically has artificial flavoring and preservatives — no thank you!

organic vanilla syrup recipe

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 organic vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 tsp. organic vanilla extract
  • a container for storing (ours was $3.99 from Home Goods)

organic vanilla syrup ingredients

Directions:
Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan and throw in the pod as well. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat, discard the vanilla bean pod and stir in the vanilla extract. Let cool. Store in the refrigerator.

Have a great week!

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ooh la latte! DIY style.

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know I’m a big fan of fancy coffee drinks but not the price tag – something I think most people can relate to. Throughout the years I’ve managed to come up with a few ways to whittle down the cost of my routine coffee shop visits (reference here or here) but all that has recently become a distant memory of the past. Enter Bialetti espresso maker and Aroma milk frother (or better known as  two of the best wedding gifts ever)! Forget going to Starbucks and lose the idea of shelling out hundreds of dollars for one of those high-end espresso makers! When combined, these two products are truly all a person needs to have delicious coffee drinks made right at home! (Am I starting to sound like an infomercial yet?) Yeah, okay… enough.

Ranting aside, my typical morning since getting this perfect pair has been occupied by creating delicious, homemade coffee concoctions like cappuccinos, lattes and cafe con leches. Mmm :)

The moral of the story here is that if you (or someone you know) is an espresso enthusiast, this is an excellent gift idea! (You could even consider adding a personal touch by including some various specialty coffee drink and/or syrup recipes). But gift or no gift, investing in these two products won’t break the bank and will [ideally] prevent those frequent stops at the coffee shop you later end up feeling guilty about.

Do you have any secrets for making fancy at-home coffee drinks? Are these items you’d consider buying?

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high-protein vegan stirfry.

People always think that vegetarians and vegans don’t get enough protein in their diet.  I beg to differ. With a whopping 30 grams of protein, this is just one of many healthy veg recipes that defies that assumption! (Bonus – it’s quick, easy & extremely tasty!) Keep reading for the recipe…

Serves 1-2

Ingredients:
– 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
– 1/2 cup shelled edamame
– 4.5 oz. of extra firm tofu (approx. 1/3 block)
– 2 oz. rice noodles
– 1 Tbs. minced garlic
– Teriyaki sauce to taste
*Optional add-ins: slivered carrots, sliced peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, pineapple, toasted sesame seeds, grated ginger

Directions:
1. Cut tofu into cubes
2. Heat olive oil in a saute pan and add in tofu, flipping cubes onto a new side approximately every five minutes until all sides are golden brown
3. While tofu is cooking, cook edamame and rice noodles according to package instructions
4. Once everything is fully cooked, mix all ingredients together and drizzle with teriyaki sauce to taste

Pair it with a glass of freshly made carrot ginger juice to complete this exceptionally healthy meal! :)

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vegan protein shake.

I am currently on a shake/smoothie kick and let me tell you, I’ve concocted one that can’t be beat! This particular protein shake is great for a quick breakfast to fuel your morning, or awesome as a post-workout meal.

Don’t let the spinach or flaxseed scare you away – this filling, nutrient-dense shake is comparable to a dessert (and no I’m not just saying that). I mean, how can you go wrong with a chocolate, peanut butter and banana combo?!

Tasty as it is healthy, this is a recipe you won’t want to pass up!

Makes approximately one 16-oz serving.

Ingredients:

– 1 frozen banana
– 1 cup almond milk (I like unsweetened vanilla) or other non-dairy milk
– 1/2 cup quick oats
– 1 scoop chocolate protein powder of choice
– 2 Tbs. chunky peanut butter OR almond butter
– 1 cup spinach
– 1 tbs. ground flaxseed or flaxseed oil (chia or hemp seed are also great options)
– handful of ice
– pinch of cinnamon
– 1 packet Starbucks VIA instant coffee (optional)

Directions:

Blend all ingredients thoroughly in blender and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

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