rosemary cauliflower flatbread ~vegan/gluten free~

5 Mar

We had a green kind of day…

Green smoothies for breakfast, Noah said “green” for the first time ūüôā and this deliciousness for lunch…

Rosemary Cauliflower Flatbread with Hummus and Avocados ~gluten free/vegan~

Rosemary cauliflower flatbread topped with edamame hummus and…

Rosemary Cauliflower Flatbread with Hummus and Avocados ~gluten free/vegan~

avocados…

Rosemary Cauliflower Flatbread with Hummus and Avocados ~gluten free/vegan~

If you’re looking for a low-carb, gluten-free, vegan flatbread recipe…this is for you! ¬†Not quite like traditional flatbread, but equally yummy in its own right! ¬†Crisp on the outside, doughy in the middle and completely kid friendly! ¬†Almost a whole head of cauliflower is used as the base of this recipe making it a great way to sneak in veggies!

Topping options are limitless…

pesto and arugula

white bean spread and sun-dried tomatoes

tomato sauce and roasted veggies

Rosemary Cauliflower Flatbread with Hummus and Avocados ~gluten free/vegan~

Rosemary Cauliflower Flatbread

1 head of cauliflower (3 cups of cauliflower “rice”)

3/4 cups oat flour, coconut flour, almond flour or flour of your choice

(I made oat flour by pulsing old-fashioned oats in a food processor until a light flour was formed)

3 flax “eggs” (3 tablespoons flax seed meal + 9 tablespoons water)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon rosemary or herb of your choice such as dried basil, oregano or thyme

Cauliflower "rice"

Cauliflower “rice”

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

-Mix together flax seed meal and water in a small bowl, set aside.

-Make “cauliflower rice” by adding cauliflower florets to a food processor and pulsing until rice-like.

(depending on the size of your food processor you may need to do this step in small batches.)

-In a large bowl, mix together 3 packed cups of cauliflower rice, flax “eggs,” oat flour, salt, olive oil and rosemary.

-Place dough on parchment paper and use hands to flatten to 1/2 inch thick.

-Place in oven and cook for 40-45 minutes or until golden and crispy.

Note:¬† Cooking time will vary depending on thickness of flatbread, keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn!

-Remove from oven, add toppings of your choice and enjoy!

(if adding toppings that should be served warm, return to oven for 5-7 minutes or until warmed through)

Rosemary Cauliflower Flatbread with Hummus and Avocados ~gluten free/vegan~

Helpful Hint: ¬†If you have left-over cauliflower “rice,” save and use in place of rice for another meal. ¬†Simply steam in a few inches of water until tender and serve warm. ¬†A great low-carb, grain-free alternative to rice!

steel cut oats ~two ways~

3 Mar

Yup, another morning of snow…

Need a little warming up on these cold winter mornings?

Try a bowl of steel cut oats!

Two ways:

Cranberry Orange Flax 

my new favorite ūüôā

Cranberry Orange Flax Steel Cut Oats ~two ways~vegan/gluten free~

Coco Banana Cashew
Coco Banana Cashew Steel Cut Oats ~two ways~vegan/gluten free~

Yes, steel cut oats take more time to cook than old-fashioned oats, and even more time than quick-cooking oats. ¬† But…they are better for you and in my opinion, taste better too! ¬†They are a bit chewier than regular oats and when dressed up with spices, nuts, fruit and maple syrup, they make for a perfect winter breakfast!

Steel Cut Oats ~two ways~vegan/gluten free~

Steel Cut Oats

(for 4 servings)

4 cups water

1 cup steel cut oats

-Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan.

-Stir in oats, reduce heat to low.

-Simmer uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally for 25-30 minutes or until oats are tender.

Cranberry Orange Steel Cut Oats ~two ways~vegan/gluten free~

Cranberry Orange Flax Oatmeal

~Add dried cranberries, orange zest, ground flax seeds, dash of cinnamon and drizzle with pure maple syrup~

Coco Banana Cashew Steel Cut Oats ~two ways~vegan/gluten free~

Coconut Cashew Banana Oatmeal

~Top with sliced bananas, cashews, toasted coconut, dash of cinnamon and drizzle with pure maple syrup~

(would taste great with cacao nibs too!)

Helpful Hint:  To make mornings flow a little faster, cook a batch of oats the night before, separate into small containers and heat when needed.

toasted coconut chocolate cream pie ~vegan/gf~

28 Feb

Happy Friday!

Looks to good to be true, doesn’t it???

Toasted Coconut Chocolate Cream Pie ~vegan, gluten free~

A chocolaty, decadent dessert…that’s all anyone needs to know!

But, underneath it all is chia seeds, oats, flax and tofu sweetened with a little bit of chocolate and agave. ¬†Yes, tofu! ¬†I even fooled my husband with this one! ¬†Silken tofu is used as the “pudding” making for a healthier dessert. ¬†I am so happy I found this simple crust recipe, I will definitely use it again with other pies! ¬†I just made minor substitutions and used the entire recipe for one pie to create a thicker crust.

Toasted Coconut Chocolate Cream Pie ~vegan/gluten free~

Here’s the recipe!

Toasted Coconut Chocolate Cream Pie

For the crust:

2 teaspoons chia seeds

6 teaspoons water

1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats (gluten free if desired)

1/2 cup flax seed meal

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons agave syrup

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup warm water

-Preheat oven to 35o degrees.  Spray a large pie plate with coconut oil cooking spray and set aside.

-In a small cup, mix together chia seeds and water.  Set aside and allow chia seeds to form a gel, around 5 minutes.

-In a small bowl combine oats, flax, shredded coconut and salt.

-In another bowl, stir together coconut oil, warm water, agave and chia seed gel.

-Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients.  Press mixture into the bottom of the pie plate and place in the oven.

-Bake 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden.

For the filling:

1 1/2 cups silken tofu

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 tablespoons agave syrup

1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

-Melt chocolate chips, stirring continuously.

(I used a double boiler, but you can use a saucepan or melt in the microwave)

-Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until well combined and “fluffy.”

-Pour mixture into cooled pie crust and refrigerate until set, around 1 hour.

-Garnish with toasted shredded coconut, berries and cacao sauce.

~Enjoy~

Toasted Coconut Chocolate Cream Pie ~vegan/gluten free~

For cacao sauce:

3 tablespoons cacao powder

2-3 tablespoons maple syrup

4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

small pinch of sea salt

-Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl~

Note:  Serve warm as mixture will solidify if cold.

Toasted Coconut Chocolate Cream Pie ~vegan/gluten free~

Have a great weekend!

quinoa corn chowder ~vegan/gf~

27 Feb

Corn chowder and I have never been friends. ¬†To be honest, I’m not sure I have ever had traditional corn chowder made with cream. ¬†It always looked good, but I knew it wouldn’t make me feel good.

Problem solved…replace cream with quinoa!!!

Quinoa and Corn Chowder ~vegan, dairy free, gluten free~

This recipe uses blended quinoa to create a mock cream based soup (yet another reason to love quinoa!)

Using quinoa in place of cream (per cup) drastically cuts the amount of fat down by 40 grams, increases the fiber content by 5 grams, increases the protein content by 6 grams and it tastes great to boot!  I would say this is a winning situation!

Quinoa and Corn Chowder ~vegan, dairy free, gluten free~

Quinoa Corn Chowder

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup white onion, chopped

1 cup leek, sliced (white part only)

1 carrot, diced

1/2 cup quinoa (uncooked)

3 cups frozen corn (preferably organic)

3 cups vegetable broth

1 bay leaf

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon saffron

1 cup red pepper, diced

parsley for garnish (optional)

Quinoa and Corn Chowder ~vegan, dairy free, gluten free~

-In a large saucepan, add olive oil, onions and leeks and sauté over medium heat until translucent.  Add carrots and sauté an additional 2 minutes.

-Add broth, uncooked quinoa, 2 cups of the corn, bay leaf, ground black pepper, sea salt, cayenne pepper and saffron.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover.  Simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa is cooked.

-Remove from heat, discard bay leaf and either use a hand-held immersion blender or blender/food processor to puree soup.  I used a vitamix.  (add more broth if soup is too thick)

-Return soup to saucepan over low heat.  Add remaining cup of corn and diced red pepper and cook until heated through.  Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

~Serve warm  and enjoy~

getting it all over your face (optional)

getting it all over your face (optional)

sweet beet hash with hollandaise sauce ~vegan/gf~

24 Feb

I’ll let the colors speak for themselves!

Sweet Beet Hash with Vegan Hollandaise Sauce!  A Meatless Monday Meal Idea! ~vegan, gluten free~

This dish is overflowing with nourishing ingredients, vibrant hues and heaps of antioxidants!

Sweet Beet Hash with Vegan Hollandaise Sauce!  A Meatless Monday Meal Idea! ~vegan, gluten free~

To top it all off, the super spice turmeric is used for taste and additional anti-inflammatory benefits.

Every time I cut into a beet I am amazed by nature’s ability to provide us with healing foods…that taste amazing too!

Sweet Beet Hash with Vegan Hollandaise Sauce!  A Meatless Monday Meal Idea! ~vegan, gluten free~

Here is a breakdown of a few ingredients:

Beet Root:  The beautiful color is due to an antioxidant called betacyanin, best known for its cancer-fighting ability.  Historically, beets have been used medicinally for disorders of the liver.  Studies show that drinking beet root juice may even improve endurance performance!

Beet Greens: ¬†Dare I say that I may like beet greens better than kale??? ¬†(I hope kale isn’t listening!) ¬†They are bursting with nutrients, calcium, iron, vitamin A & C, and are a great source of folic acid, vitamin B6, phosphorus and magnesium. ¬†Plus, they taste amazing simply saut√©ed¬†with garlic or used raw as a wrap.

Sweet Beet Hash with Vegan Hollandaise Sauce!  A Meatless Monday Meal Idea! ~vegan, gluten free~

Turmeric:  Closely related to ginger root and has a warm yet spicy flavor with a distinct aroma.  Used medicinally since 3000 B.C.E and important in Ayurvedic medicine.  Curcumin, the antioxidant in turmeric is not only an anti-cancer agent,  it is SO incredibly powerful for decreasing inflammation in the body.  Studies show that it may even be comparable to over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen.

Sweet Beet Hash with Vegan Hollandaise Sauce!  A Meatless Monday Meal Idea! ~vegan, gluten free~

Ok, enough chatting…here’s the recipe!

Sweet Beet Hash with Hollandaise Sauce

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

4 small or 3 large beets, peeled and diced

1/2 cup corn kernels (I used organic frozen corn)

1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame

1/3 cup red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

sea salt and pepper to taste

oil of your choice, I used olive oil

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

-Place diced sweet potatoes in a bowl, drizzle with oil (~1 teaspoon), toss to coat, place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and add a pinch of sea salt.  Repeat steps for diced beets.

-Place in the oven and roast until tender, ~20 minutes.

-Meanwhile, add a few gluggs of oil to a large skillet.  Saute onions over medium heat, ~5 minutes.  Add garlic, cumin, paprika, turmeric and saute for an additional 2 minutes.  Add corn and edamame, saute until thawed.

-When sweet potatoes and beets are fully cooked, add to skillet, toss to combine flavors and season with sea salt and pepper to taste.

-Serve over a warm bed of sautéed beet greens, top with hollandaise sauce and enjoy!

Sweet Beet Hash with Vegan Hollandaise Sauce!  A Meatless Monday Meal Idea! ~vegan, gluten free~

Vegan Hollandaise Sauce

1/2 cup silken tofu

1 lemon, juiced

2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon turmeric

~Puree all ingredients together using a blender or food processor, lightly warm in a small sauce pan~

Sweet Beet Hash with Vegan Hollandaise Sauce!  A Meatless Monday Meal Idea! ~vegan, gluten free~

Simple Sautéed Beet Greens

1 bunch beet greens, rinsed and roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, slivered

1 tablespoon olive oil

~Drizzle olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add garlic and saute until fragrant.  Add beet greens and saute until wilted adding a splash of water if needed.  Season with sea salt and a squeeze of lemon if desired~

Sweet Beet Hash with Vegan Hollandaise Sauce!  A Meatless Monday Meal Idea! ~vegan, gluten free~

If you don’t have beet greens, don’t worry! ¬†The hash can be served by itself or along side a frisee¬†salad with a Dijon vinaigrette. ¬†For those who aren’t vegan, a poached egg would pair nicely with the hash.

Sweet Beet Hash with Vegan Hollandaise Sauce!  A Meatless Monday Meal Idea! ~vegan, gluten free~

If you have left overs, use them the next day in your Balance Bowl!

Sweet Beet Hash with Vegan Hollandaise Sauce!  A Meatless Monday Meal Idea! ~vegan, gluten free~

Fun Fact:  Beeturia = Pink pee due to the ingestion of beets, which may be indicative of iron deficiency and malabsorption.

Someone isn’t impressed…

IMG_0360

ginger peach coconut crisp

21 Feb

Having friends over for dinner and need a quick and easy dessert recipe?  Look no further!

Ginger Peach Coconut Crisp , a quick and easy crowd pleasing dessert! ~vegan, gluten free~

This recipe only takes a few minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to bake.

I like to keep a bag of frozen fruit in the freezer for this very reason, to whip up a dessert in no time flat! ¬†Whether you make a crumble topping out of oats, flakes or cookies, you can’t go wrong with a warm fruit crisp!

Inspiration for this recipe came from my trusty old Moosewood Restaurant Cookbook.  I added a few ingredients to the original recipe to spice it up a little.

Ginger Peach Coconut Crisp ~ a quick and easy crowd pleasing dessert ~vegan, gluten free~

Crushed gingersnap cookies create the crumble topping. ¬†Newman’s Own makes a tasty vegan gingersnap and Mi-Del makes a great gluten free gingersnap. ¬†I haven’t run across a brand that makes a vegan and gluten free gingersnap…have you? ¬†Please share if you have! ¬†I suppose you can make your own, but that would take “quick” and “easy” out of the equation!

Ginger Peach Coconut Crisp

1 pound frozen unsweetened sliced peaches

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1 cup crumbled gingersnaps

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes

Ginger Peach Coconut Crisp ~ a quick and easy crowd pleasing dessert ~vegan, gluten free~

-Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

-Lightly grease a 8 inch baking dish with coconut oil or coconut oil cooking spray and evenly distribute peaches in the bottom.

-Drizzle lemon juice and melted coconut oil over peaches.

-In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.  Sprinkle over peaches.

-Top with crumbled gingersnaps and coconut flakes.

-Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbling.

-Serve warm, top with ice cream of your choice and enjoy!

Ginger Peach Coconut Crisp ~ a quick and easy crowd pleasing dessert ~vegan, gluten free~

We topped ours with vegan coconut milk ice cream.

Happy Friday!!!

the balance bowl ~a healthy meal made easy~

19 Feb

Creating a balanced meal in a hurry can be a bit of a challenge.

 I have the solution: The Balance Bowl

The Balance Bowl ~vegan, gluten free~ A simple solution to creating a healthy and balanced meal!

I’ve talked before about the importance of planning and prepping food to have on hand for times when you just don’t know what to make or are in a rush. ¬†With a refrigerator stocked full of healthy ingredients, you can’t go wrong!

The Balance Bowl ~vegan, gluten free~ A simple solution to creating a healthy and balanced meal!

Take one day a week to cook a batch of quinoa, roast some vegetables, make salad dressing and sauté up some beans.

 To season chickpeas:  Add one can of rinsed and drained chickpeas to a skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil.  Add a tablespoon of paprika and sea salt to taste, saute until golden.

The Balance Bowl ~vegan, gluten free~ A simple solution to creating a healthy and balanced meal!

Keep cut up vegetables fresh by storing in an air-tight container and covering with a damp paper towel.

The Balance Bowl ~vegan, gluten free~ A simple solution to creating a healthy and balanced meal!

The key to constructing a balanced meal is having a combination of complex carbohydrates, protein, healthy fat and an abundance of greens!  This combination will keep you full longer and will help to stabilize blood sugars.

Here is how to balance your bowl…

The Balance Bowl ~vegan, gluten free~ A simple solution to creating a healthy and balanced meal!

1.  Begin with a bed of greens:

Greens Рarugula, baby kale, romaine, spinach, mixed greens, red or green leaf lettuce

2.  Add as much raw veggies as you want:

Vegetables –¬†cucumbers, shredded carrots, red cabbage, peppers, sprouts, shredded beets, radishes, tomatoes, scallions, onions, broccoli

3.  Choose 1-2 of each from the following categories:

Healthy Fat – avocado, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, olive oil, hummus, hemp seeds, coconut flakes, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds

Protein – chickpeas, black beans, tofu, tempeh, nuts, edamame, white beans, kidney beans, (non-vegan version: hard-boiled eggs, chicken, fish)

Complex Carbohydrates –¬†quinoa, brown rice, roasted sweet potatoes, farro, barley

4.  Optional Add-Ins:

Roasted Vegetables –¬†asparagus, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, beets, corn

I like to add roasted vegetables especially in the winter for added warmth and satiety.

Fruit –¬†pomegranate seeds, raisins, apple slices, mango, orange or grapefruit sections, dried cranberries

5.  Dressing:

Creamy Avocado Dressing

Peanut Sauce

Or, try this recipe!

Sweet Miso Dressing

1/4 cup water

4 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons white miso paste

2 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons maple syrup

sea salt

~Blend, drizzle and enjoy!~

The Balance Bowl ~vegan, gluten free~ A simple solution to creating a healthy and balanced meal!

We eat a variation of this meal at least 3 times a week. ¬†It makes a satisfying dinner and can be easily packed for lunch. ¬†Keeping cut up veggies, cooked grains, homemade dressing and seasoned beans or tofu readily available, you don’t have to put any thought into the never-ending question of “what’s for dinner?”

The Balance Bowl ~vegan, gluten free~ A simple solution to creating a healthy and balanced meal!

I hope this makes meal planning easier!

pasta with lentils and artichoke hearts ~meatless monday meal~

17 Feb

We survived yet another blizzard! ¬†I don’t like being out in the cold much, but I love being snowed in! ¬†It gives me an excuse for being lazy! ¬†We spend the day curled up on the sofa watching movies and enjoying a little comfort food!

A warm dish of pasta always seems to hit the spot!

Pasta with Lentils and Artichokes ~vegan~ Meatless Monday Meal

Cumin, coriander, sea salt and red pepper flakes create a robust flavor, which is then brightened with a splash of lemon juice. ¬†Lentils provide protein and “bulk,” sure to satisfy all those meat eaters out there making it a perfect “Meatless Monday” meal!

I found this recipe in Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites, which is one of¬†my “go-to” cookbooks. ¬†I adjusted it a little, but not much!

Pasta, Lentils, and Artichoke Hearts

1 cup dry red lentils

1 bay leaf

3 cups water

a few gluggs of olive oil

2 cups onions, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1 lemon, juiced

2 cups diced canned tomatoes

1 1/2 cups quartered artichoke hearts

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 cup vegetable broth

sea salt and pepper to taste

2/3 lb. pasta (I used gluten-free pasta)

Pasta with Lentils and Artichoke Hearts ~vegan~ Meatless Monday Meal

-Boil the water in a saucepan, add lentils and bay leaf.  Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender.

-Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and saute until golden, around 5 minutes.

-Add garlic, cumin, coriander and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

-Add lemon juice, tomatoes, artichoke hearts,veggie broth and crushed red pepper flakes and simmer on low for 10 minutes.

-Drain lentils and add to the tomato/artichoke mixture and simmer for 10 minutes adding sea salt and pepper as needed.

-While sauce is simmering, cook pasta according to directions.

-When pasta is al dente, drain and transfer to a serving bowl.  Top with lentil and artichoke sauce and more sea salt and pepper if desired.

-Top with grated parmesan cheese or feta if desired.

-Enjoy!

Pasta with Lentils and Artichoke Hearts ~vegan~ Meatless Monday Meal

The original recipe called for a pound of pasta.  I cooked a little less and just added more lentil and artichoke sauce to each plate.

Having a meal of pasta doesn’t spell diet disaster!

Follow these three tips to incorporate the occasional dish of pasta into your diet!

1.  Monitor portion sizes.  Keep to a baseball size portion of pasta, not a soccer ball!

2.  Add protein and a little healthy fat to your pasta dish for a balanced meal.  Incorporate beans/lentils, tofu, chicken, meat or seafood for protein and olive oil, avocado or nuts for healthy fat.  This will slow down the speed at which pasta is metabolized in the body and will keep blood sugars stable.

3. ¬†Don’t over cook pasta! ¬†Overcooked pasta will send glucose levels soaring! ¬†Instead, cook to just tender or al dente.

I hope everyone is staying warm!

A pug shot, just for fun…

bells

chocolate banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting ~vegan~

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

I’m not going to pretend that these are healthy just because they are vegan. ¬†Sometimes, just because a food is labeled¬†vegan, all-natural or¬†gluten-free¬†doesn’t mean it is healthy!

Yes, these cupcakes are made without eggs, butter or cream, but they contain WAY more sugar then I like to bake with.  But, they are birthday cupcakes and in my book, all bets are off on birthdays!

This past week my baby turned 2!!! ¬†Noah has blessed our lives in more ways than we can count. ¬†It’s been two years of love, light and laughter!

photo-317

Not only did we celebrate our little man’s big day, we celebrated successfully surviving being first time parents! ¬†(Well, we’d like to think we are successful!) ¬†We went out for a Birthday Eve dinner (yes, we celebrate Birthday Eve!) and indulged in chocolate banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting ūüôā

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting ~vegan~

On a healthy note, these cupcakes are made with whole wheat flour instead of white flour, and banana in place of added fat such as butter.  Plus,  they are void of chemicals and preservatives found in most store-bought cupcakes.

Bake these for birthdays or today for Valentine’s Day!!!

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting ~vegan~

Vegan Chocolate Banana Cupcakes 

1 ripe banana

1 1/4 whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil

2/3 cup soy milk or almond milk

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (vegan if desired)

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray a mini-cupcake tin with cooking spray or line with liners and set aside.

~Combine banana and soy milk together using a blender or food processor.  (I used my vitamix)

~Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar into a large bowl.

~In a different bowl, mix together oil, soy milk/banana mixture, vanilla extract and almond extract.

~Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir in mini chocolate chips. ¬†Don’t over mix!

~Pour batter 2/3 full into cupcake tin.

~Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

~Cool on wire racks and top with peanut butter frosting.

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting ~vegan~

Vegan Peanut Butter Frosting

2/3 cup all-natural creamy peanut butter

6 tablespoons powdered sugar

8 tablespoons soy or almond milk (more if needed)

~Using a hand-held mixer, combine all ingredients until fluffy, adding soy milk slowly until desired consistency.  (I started with 4 tablespoons and added extra as needed)

~Taste and add extra powdered sugar if needed.

I frosted the cupcakes by using a plastic sandwich bag.  Just fill, seal, cut the corner off one of the ends and frost away!

Remember to store in an air-tight container to maintain freshness!

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting ~vegan~

Top with a few mini-chips for fun!

For those of you counting; each cupcake is around 120 calories and 5 grams of fat. (depending on how much frosting is on top!)

Wishing everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day xoxo

the buzzing bee smoothie

12 Feb

Need a lift?  

The Buzzing Bee Smoothie

You’ll be buzzing around like a busy bee after drinking this smoothie!

The Buzzing Bee Smoothie

I found another research study proving that coffee is good for us! ¬†Studies show coffee is packed with antioxidants and may prevent against diseases such as type 2 diabetes, but what about instant coffee? ¬† I have always been skeptical of using instant coffee grinds and still am however, this article¬†by the Molecular Nutrition and Food Research got me thinking! ¬†The process of making coffee “instant” actually increases the antioxidant content! ¬† The study showed that instant coffee drinkers had less biomarkers of oxidative stress, which means less inflammation in the body, and ultimately less risk of chronic disease!

Yay coffee!  

Shall we brew another pot? ¬†Ok, I won’t go that far…everything in moderation, right!¬†But, a little buzz here and there may be a good thing!

I combined my love of coffee and chocolate in one delicious smoothie!

The Buzzing Bee Smoothie

Bee pollen was added for a little superfood action! ¬†Some say bee pollen is “nature’s perfect food” because it is a complete protein and contains B vitamins, vitamin C, minerals and flavonoids. ¬†It’s used to treat allergies and menopausal symptoms, but is most commonly used as an energy enhancer and for antioxidant support. ¬†Bee pollen can be found at most health food stores and should be refrigerated to maintain freshness. ¬†Note: ¬†Those who have bee allergies should refrain from using bee pollen!

The Buzzing Bee Smoothie

The Buzzed Bee Smoothie

2 cups milk of your choice (I used soy milk)

1/2 cup old fashioned oats

2 frozen bananas

1 tablespoon cacao powder or high quality cocoa powder

1 tablespoon bee pollen

3 dates

1 tablespoon instant coffee grinds

(I used Starbucks VIA however, I’m sure regular coffee grinds would taste good too!)

~Blend and Enjoy~

As always, feel free to throw in some baby spinach, hemp seeds, chia seeds or coconut oil!

The Buzzing Bee Smoothie

Top with extra bee pollen and cacao nibs for fun!

Warning: ¬†If you are someone who is sensitive to caffeine this may not be the smoothie for you! Try using decaf grinds and decreasing the amount of cacao to lessen the buzz ūüôā

A good friend brought this to my attention: ¬†A vegan that uses bee pollen is considered a “Beegan!” ¬†So, technically this isn’t ¬†a pure vegan recipe, it’s a Beegan recipe ūüôā