Tag Archives: Snacks

Fruit Explosion Muffins

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Guys…. I did something… I MADE CRAZY-AWESOME MUFFINS. I used frozen berries and one banana. They’re oil free, only have a little bit of brown sugar* (which you could easily switch with maple syrup or agave) and are heavenly with tahini and peanut butter slathered on them (but what isn’t heavenly when drenched in tahini?). Because I let the berries thaw a little, they turned the muffins blue! That surprise actually made me quite happy.

As I mentioned, I used frozen berries. Feel free to substitute in fresh berries or ANY fruit for that matter! 2 cups fresh peaches, or strawberries, or apple, or cherries, or cranberries, or pear+ginger, or any combination of fruit, would be great in this. It’s an extraordinarily versatile recipe (so let me know what you try)!!

Note*: If you’re looking for a super sweet muffin recipe, this isn’t for you! The minimal sugar allows the fruit and cinnamon flavours to stand out.

FRUIT EXPLOSION MUFFINS (makes 12 small-medium muffins) (Inspired by these and these)

  • 2 cups frozen berries (I did one cup frozen raspberries, one cup frozen blueberries)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 medium banana, mashed
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk or other non-dairy milk

Method:

Preheat oven to 400F and prepare a 12-cup muffin pan with coconut oil/cooking spray or muffin wrappers.

In a medium bowl, combine the 2 cup berries with the 1 tablespoon maple syrup and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the flaxseeds with warm water, the mashed banana, vanilla extract and lemon juice; set aside to let the flax thicken.

In another medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and sugar.

Add the almond milk and the berry (or fruit) mixture to the rest of the wet ingredients and mix well.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold until just combined.

Divide the batter into the prepared muffin tin and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.

 

I told you: easy and versatile!

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How I Love Thee: Favorite Formulas

So this week, I’m pretty darned busy (that’s a lie, I’m ALWAYS RIDICULOUSLY BUSY). I just don’t have enough time to post this week so I’ve decided to share with you some of my favorite recipes I’ve tried!

1. Breakfast: Orange Pistachio Cinnamon Rolls: These cinnamon rolls are phenomenal. I made them in the summer with my dad and they turned out surprisingly well. We added extra orange juice and zest to the dough and we added LOTS of raisins to the filling (because everything I eat obviously must be packed with raisins…). They were perfect in the morning with a giant coffee (or green tea). And they were also perfect for lunch with a big salad. And again, they were perfect for dinner with a stir-fry and some quinoa…

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(My photo)

2. Lunch: Corn, Avocado, Blueberry, Kale Salad: Seriously simple, tasty and filling. For the dressing, I excluded mint (just because I didn’t have any), the 1/2 avocado, and the shallot (because I didn’t want to use the blender). I ended up chopping the shallot directly into the salad instead and I’m REALLY glad I did. I love shallots.

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(Photo Credit)

3. Dinner: Soba Noodles with Tahini Sauce: The recipe recommends you eat it chilled, but I’m a fan of it warm and fresh from the pot. I of course added frozen peas, but otherwise I made no changes! It was perfect to have after a long day at school, quick to make and oddly satisfying.

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(Photo Credit)

Well. There you go! Three for now, and another three will indubitably follow (Should this be a thing I do often?). I Hope you all have a wonderful week full of love and magic and MOST IMPORTANTLY good food.

Pumpkin & Raisin Biscuits

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Wow, wow, wow, wow!! This recipe from Fat Free Vegan is… top notch!! I did ever so slightly alter it by using spelt flour and putting in 1/3 cup of raisins and adding 1/8 cup of pumpkin seeds and I used almond milk instead of soy milk. There isn’t any sugar added so it really lets the pumpkin flavour stand out while the raisins add that slight, slight, slight touch of sweetness. They were easy to make and in making them I felt so much stress melt away… talk about therapeutic baking… Not to mention the heavenly aroma that filled my apartment. These babies are best served warm. They’re also amazing with a drizzle of honey or a smear of coconut oil or a dollop of almond butter.

PUMKIN & RAISIN BISCUITS (Makes 16 large squares or 32 triangles):

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups whole spelt flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/8 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup cooked pureed pumpkin (I used canned)

Method:

Perheat the oven to 425F and lightly grease a baking sheet (I used coconut oil)

In a small bowl, combine the almond milk and lemon juice and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and soda, salt, spices, raisins and pumpkin seeds) making sure the raisins have flour throughout. Add the pumpkin puree and mix until crumbly, do not over mix. Add the almond milk-lemon juice mixture until a soft dough forms, adding more almond milk if the dough doesn’t form a ball.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and sprinkle a little extra flour on top. Pat with your hands, or roll out, the dough until it’s 3/4 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into the number of biscuits desired.

Place biscuits on greased sheet with the sides slightly touching. Bake 9-11 minutes, until the top is golden. Because the dough had a brownish colour from the pumpkin it may be hard to tell when they’re golden on top. However, when the tops are slightly hard they’re done (and ready to be devoured).

 

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Coconut Bread

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So I’m quite positive I’ve found the cure to all things. I was inspired by this coconut bread recipe. However, it calls for 1 cup of white sugar and I can never bring myself to physically measure out and pour in SO much refined sugar. I instead used maple syrup and a few Medjool dates to sweeten it and BOY, did it turn out well. For the spicing, I added cinnamon and a bit of cardamom, and I’m glad I did. Neither of the spices are very strong but instead accentuate the coconut flavour. The crispy crust and the texture of the shredded coconut in the chewy center actually made my knees a bit weak. With a hearty helping of tahini, I’m pretty sure I found nirvana.

The cool thing about this recipe is how versatile it is! I’d love to add raspberries, or blueberries, or walnuts, or pumpkin seeds, or dried cranberries, or figs, or cherries, or apple, or pumpkin puree. THE LIST GOES ON! I do recommend that you try it as plain coconut first!

COCONUT BREAD (Makes 1 8.5×4.5 loaf – serves 8-10)

  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxmeal + 3 tablespoons water)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 small banana
  • 3 medium, soft Medjool dates
  • 1 cup milk alternative (I used almond milk)
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup (or agave)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half and scraped
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease an 8.5×4.5 loaf pan (I used coconut oil).

In a small bowl combine the flaxmeal and water to create the flax egg and let sit for at least 10 minutes.

If your coconut oil is solid, warm it in a small saucepan on low heat until it’s liquefied. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mash the banana with the three dates and add the flax egg, coconut oil, milk alternative, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir until combined.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla bean scrapings and shredded coconut.  Add the dry to the wet and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepped loaf pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center (approximately 1 hour and 15 mins).

Once baked, remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing it and letting it finish cooling on a rack.

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Carrot, Dill, White Bean Salad

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This is most likely my favorite dish on the planet… okay ONE of my (many) favorite dishes. The sweet carrots and the creamy beans and the powerful dill finished with the tart lemon juice and shallots are… perfection. I’ve made this salad many many times and I’ve finally figured out a good balance between the oil and lemon juice which makes it an ideal lunch that isn’t too heavy but still packs a punch of energy (to keep me going on my 14 hour school days!!). One note: there are frozen peas in this salad. BIG SURPRISE. Feel free to omit the zucchini and peas, I simply wanted to bulk up the salad a bit. If you want to bulk it up even MORE add 1 cup of chopped kale or spinach at the end. Let me know if you love this as much as I do!

CARROT, DILL, WHITE BEAN SALAD serves 4 as a side:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (I adore the pink Himalayan type)
  • 1/3 cup (or one medium) shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 1/2 cup carrots, thinly sliced/chopped into rounds
  • 1 can organic navy beans (or bean of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1/4 cup frozen (or blanched) peas
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • optional 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Methond:

Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and sliced shallots in a small bowl and set aside. While the shallots are marinating, heat the grapeseed oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Toss in the carrots and stir to ensure they’re covered in the oil. Let the carrots cook in a single layer; keep tossing every 3 minutes until deeply browned (about 12 minutes). Rinse the canned beans and add to the skillet, cook for another 5 minutes.

Place the contents of the skillet in a medium mixing bowl with the zucchini and peas. Drizzle on the maple syrup to the bean mix and add the shallots with the olive oil-lemon mixture. Toss gently. Add the dill and toss again. Let sit for at least ten minutes before serving, tossing once more before serving. Garnish with optional almonds!

Super Simple Solo Salad – Cranberry Cashew & Kale

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Have you ever had one of those days where you’re just sitting in a moment, questioning where the day has gone? You feel simultaneously worthless and full of splendor. As if you’ve accomplished nothing and everything in this day. It’s peculiar that’s for sure… so in this anomaly of a moment I realized I hadn’t eaten since breakfast and set out to make myself a filling salad. Only having to feed myself is a feat. I struggle with the serving size of a recipe and I too often make either one HUMONGOUS meal or two smaller meals… it’s frustrating to say the least. 

However, for the first time I made myself a wonderful little one serving salad that was quick to make and the perfect size. The cool thing about this recipe, some may say that this is common knowledge, is that you can adapt it to whatever you have in the fridge. Seriously, any kind of vegetables will work! It’s just a matter of throwing it together and shoveling it in your face.

I questioned myself in wanting to post this, but I think it gives a good base for salad making. I go by these simple rules:

  • 90% veggies (with a big leafy green base)/10% fruit
  • top with nuts, seeds or grains (dried fruit is common too)
  • make a dressing that has and oil base (olive oil is my go to), an acidic taste (lemon juice or any type of vinegar) and a sweet taste (agave nectar, maple syrup, honey)
  • Finish with a wee bit of salt and pepper

Salads are the best and easy and fun and nourishing. However, I’ll finish my ramble and let you get on to your own salad creations!!

SOLO SALAD – Cranberry Cashew & Kale (serves 1)

  • 1 medium handful baby kale, or spinach (or greenery of choice)
  • 2 radishes, sliced
  • 1 cremini mushroom, chopped
  • 1/4 of a medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1/4 of a pink lady apple
  • 10 parsley leaves
  • 10 cashews, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • agave nectar

Method:

Mix the greenery, radished, mushroom, zucchini, apple, and parsley in a small bowl. Top with the dried cranberries, cashews, a pinch of each salt and pepper and a drizzle of the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and agave nectar. 

If you wish, you can mix the salad again to evenly incorporate everything.

 

Delectable Pistachio Granola Bars

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Oh sweet baby!

Firstly, I deeply apologize for being absence! My computer is being a butt and the mouse works periodically and school is in full swing and I injured my back and I’m just FULL of excuses so let’s get on with the food. 

Secondly, I made these positively decadent granola bars. I just… don’t even know where to begin. The tart dried cranberries and lemon zest combines with the coconut and dates is nearly too much to handle. They are comfortably filling, have an awesome flavour AND have healthy ingredients! 

The one thing I found with these bars is that they are kind of… I want to say gooey but that’s not the appropriate word. And neither is soft. They just kind of, ever so slightly fall apart. I’m not sure if I need to make a second “egg” or if I need more oats or more coconut oil or WHAT. Maybe I just should have baked them a wee bit longer. Regardless they are still phenomenal. 

One other comment I have on them is that cutting them into 16 was wise of me (in my personal taste-bud opinion). Simple because eating a whole bar of this was a bit of a flavour overload. Of course GOOD flavours, but the smaller portions made me appreciate them even more. Everything in moderation or something… 

Next time I make these, I’d like to top them with melted dark chocolate and/or cocoa nibs once they have come out of the oven. Speaking of next time, an idea I have for a flavour of granola bar is tahini, banana and cinnamon. Does that sound revolting or intriguing or delicious? I shall find out soon enough.

Recipe inspired from atastylovestory.com

DELECTABLE PISTACHIO GRANOLA BARS (Makes 16 squares or 8 hearty bars)

  • 1 flax “egg” (1 tablespoon ground flax+3 tablespoons water)
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 6 soft Medjool dates
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, chopped (1/4 cup reserved to top)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • zest of one lemon (preferably an organic lemon!!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1/4-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)
  • pinch of salt

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a square pan with parchment paper.

Mix the flax egg and let stand for 10 minutes to thicken. Meanwhile, mash the two bananas really well with the coconut oil and dates (if you’re not patient enough plop the bananas, coconut oil and dates into a food processor) and mix in the flax egg. Add the remaining ingredients (except 1/4 cup pistachios) into the wet. Squish the mixture into the prepped spare pan with a spoon or fork and top with the remaining pistachios. Again, squish the pistachios into the granola to ensure they stay in the bars. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes (until they are golden and firm). Once cooled, cut into 8 or 16 pieces. Devour. 

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