Tag Archives: no refined sugar

Breakfast Muffins

These are a great back to school snack or sports snack.  Stock your freezer!

One of the first “treat” recipes I came across that the kids asked me to make after the first test was called Muffin Tops from Oh She Glows May have had something to with them liking to say the name ;)

There was a lot of researching cookbooks and recipes in the beginning of this journey. It was a great way to help start testing meals with the family.  Knowing I wasn’t even close to trying to come up with some of my own, I wanted to dabble in recipes to get some practice and ideas for the future.

Angela of  Oh She Glows  was the first food bloggers I came across and was quickly sucked into her recipes. Angela just made it all look easy. She was a real person. She not only shared her creativeness in the kitchen (that just made you drool when looking at the pictures), she shared who she was.  That is really what has kept me coming back to see what she is up to. I was inspired by her recipes.

I decided to update her recipe to fit our plant based lifestyle by omitting a few ingredients that I avoid.  Also after a couple tries, I found I didn’t need to use some of the other ingredients.  As well as discovering a few ways to slightly change ingredients.

You can use a muffin pan, but I found them to be fun (and the lazy in me finds it nice to just plop them on the baking sheet)  the way Angela’s recipe suggests to bake them.

To change things up, you can replace the banana with pureed pumpkin or diced apples (see Notes). They are so scrumptious.

This muffin recipe has no eggs, no added sugars, and it is soy free, oil free and dairy free!  You can also make it a nut-free option. AND always double the recipe so you can store them in the freezer!

 

before & after

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes~ Cook Time:20 minutes~ Makes: 12ish
Recipe inspired by : Oh She Glows – click here for recipe

Ingredients:

2 large ripe bananas, peeled
1/2 cup packed pitted Medjool dates (be sure they are soft, if not ,soak for about 30 min in warm water then drain)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 cups gluten-free, wheat-free rolled oats, divided (I use Bob’s, but it is packaged in a facility that packages nuts, if you have a nut sensitivity, try GF Harvest)
1/4 cups non-dairy dark chocolate chips (nuts or raisins are an optional addition or replacement)

IMG_2988

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add the peeled bananas, pitted dates, cinnamon, and vanilla into a food processor.  Process until smooth.

Add in 1 cup of the rolled oats, hemp and chia seeds, and process for a few seconds, just long enough to roughly chop the oats and combine the mixture.

Take the remaining oats and pour them into a medium sized bowl and add the mixture from the processor to the bowl.  Add the chocolate chips and stir until mixed in.

Spoon dough onto the parchment paper. No need to press down on the muffin to flatten, they do not expand when cooking. These can be placed close together.  They will end up looking like mounds.

Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Immediately transfer onto a cooling rack to cool completely.  I always double the recipe and store in the freezer.  This kids just take out the muffin and eat them as is or pack them in their lunches.

Notes:

I have also made variations by replacing the bananas with 1 can of pumpkin while slightly increased the cinnamon and vanilla.  Along with adding pumpkin spice and turmeric.  Chocolate chips are optional, my family prefers to have them.

When I make it with apples, I will use 3/4 cup of applesauce. I slightly increase the vanilla and put 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.  Then about 1/4-1/3 cup diced and peeled apples. When replacing with the applesauce, I do not use the chocolate chips.

When adding the spices, I do it by taste.

 

 

 

Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

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Sweet potato??? really??? was my first thought when I came across this ice cream recipe. I was very intrigued by it because of the ingredients… ONLY 4 INGREDIENTS!!! Now who wouldn’t want to make this??

I have had great success with Brandi at The Vegan 8 recipes which was another reason to test this one. Well we have been blessed with another heat wave :( and we want something cool and sweet. I typically do not use coconut milk, but with this being ice cream, I felt it would be necessary for the full creaminess effect.

After I had blended everything (which BTW, you just put it all in a blender, so easy!) I had to taste test. Um, well I could have kept taste testing, this stuff is seriously delish! so I can only imagine how it will be when it is ready to come out of the freezer… DEVINE!!

Yup, that is sweet potato and dark chocolate!

Yup, that is sweet potato and dark chocolate!

 

Even though the coconut milk adds fat, it isn’t very much compared to the cream in packaged ice cream.  The processed fat and dairy which comes with a price to your health.

Our bodies can digest this easier as it is plant based. The sweet potato is loaded with Fiber, Vitamin A (Beta-Carotene), Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and also has protein and carbs, all of which come from the natural source. All the more reason to splurge once in a while with a cold treat!

 

Waiting for the chocolate to melt.

Waiting for the chocolate to melt.

 

Ingredients you will need: Serves about 4 cups

Canned coconut milk (you can use light coconut milk) be sure to shake before opening
Dairy free chocolate chips I use Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels
Cooked mashed and packed sweet potato (not yams)
Pure vanilla extract
Sea salt

 

Recipe here: The Vegan 8 – click here for recipe

 

Directions:

Cook the sweet potato however you prefer. I used a microwave because I want to make this quick and I was excited to get it in the freezer :) If you choose to bake it, bake at 400 degree F with skin on until soft. Do not steam or boil it.

Once the potato has cooled, peel and mash it really well. No lumps or skin. Pack it into 3/4 cup and add it to the blender.

Continue with adding the vanilla, coconut milk and salt. But do not blend yet.

Melt your chocolate chips your preferred method. Be sure to not get the chips too hot as they will burn easy and will be useless. Also try not to eat all the chocolate ;) I used my setting on my microwave, heat for about 15 seconds then stir and heat again until about 90% is melted then remove and continue to stir until all chips are melted.

Add the melted chocolate to the blender, scraping every bit of chocolate you can from the bowl into the blender.

Adding the melted chocolate to the blender

Adding the melted chocolate to the blender

 

Blend all ingredients until completely smooth. Taste test, and adjust if needed. I didn’t add anything extra to it, it tasted amazing just as is and I could have kept tasting it!

I poured mine into an ice cream storage container as I do not have an ice cream maker. If you have an ice cream maker, use it! Using the storage container, be sure to return every 30 minutes to stir to get your desired consistency. Best to set a timer for 30 minutes as a reminder and it may take at least 2-3 hours to get it to set.

Now it may not last long enough to be in the freezer overnight, but if you do have some just take it out to thaw for about 20-30 minutes to soften. Also, remember every time the ice cream is removed, thawed, and then put back in the freezer, ice crystals form. My guess is that there won’t be much to worry about that. You could always pour it in individual containers for single servings.

making choclate ice cream

Carrot Noodle Salad

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Tossing a bowl of chopped or spiralized raw veggies with fresh squeezed lemon and lime juice, vinegar and a few shakes of some spices, turns into a flavorful dish. I usually just add a little of this and that, and taste until I like the flavor. Sometimes the juices will be a bit to tart/sour so I will add a little honey or pure maple syrup to balance it out. The family tends to go through phases of eating lots of raw ingredients and then cooked, mostly due to the season but we definitely need to include more raw into our meals. I have become a huge lunch/dinner bowl muncher by mixing up what ever vegetables, fruits, grains or legumes that are in the fridge and tossing them into a bowl. It seems to be the most satisfying and easy meal. Plus it cleans out the fridge!

When the weather warms up this salad bowl is just so refreshing. IT can be a great side dish, starter dish, lunch or straight up dinner. I have found that this salad is best soon after it is made and the next day.  I recommend that it does not be stored in the refrigerator for more than 2 days. So without further ado, this quick fresh salad bowl will tantalize your taste-buds!

 

raw chick pea salad #2

 

Ingredients:

1 can of organic chickpeas or 2 cups
2 large carrots (2-3 depending on size)
1 large organic cucumber (cut in fourths – slice in half, then slice again in half and chop)
1 cup chopped bell pepper (optional)
1/4 cup organic edamame (optional)
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 1.5 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon chia seeds or sesame seeds

Ingredients for the first dressing:

2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1/8-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Ingredients for the final dressing:

2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons local honey

 

raw chick pea salad

 

Directions:

Pour and whisk all the ingredients for the first dressing in a small bowl.

Using a medium sized bowl, add the chickpeas, onion, chopped cilantro, bell pepper (if using), and the chopped cucumber.  Pour the dressing into the bowl, mix thoroughly and set in the fridge.

Using a spiralizer or gadget of choice, curl the carrots and remaining cucumber into noodles and set aside.

Using the small bowl from the first dressing, whisk together the rice vinegar and honey.

Pull out the bowl from the fridge and add in the noodles and pour the final dressing and mix well.  Top with chia seeds or sesame seeds and enjoy!

 

Fallnola

The girls have been putting in a request for granola lately and it is something that I have wanted to try. Our mornings and evenings have been cooling off which is feeling a little like fall as well as making it tolerable to use the oven more. Ava has been on a smoothie bowl fixation and the granola is what she said was missing. The evenings have been long with all the baking and taste testing, I figured granola should be pretty easy to put together. Well it sort-of was, getting the spices (flavor) down was a little harder than I realized because I wasn’t measuring, I was adding and tasting until I liked the taste. After the second batch, I felt I had it figured out. One of the convenient things about granola, you can kinda add what you want in it. This is the recipe for one of the batches I made and the flavor had a “fall” feeling.

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Zucchini Muffins

Back to school, means snacks, lunches, homework, snacks and sports on a daily basis for this family. We have a 7th grader who is on the school volleyball team and plays recreational soccer. Her practices for volleyball are 5 days a week and soccer is twice a week. Our 5th grader is doing school volleyball and recreational soccer as well. For her volleyball practice and soccer is twice a week on the same days. The kids do not have the same sports schedule, therefore even more of a need to have the fridge stocked with some goodness. The fruit and veggies are always abundant in the fridge, but those are sometimes not as exciting as bars or muffins. We do not buy packaged snacks to keep on hand so a lot of taste testing goes on to find what makes the cut to stay. I had made zucchini bread a few months back and wanted to refine it a bit more, so I decided to make it into muffins. I stayed up late one evening and made a batch of these muffins and some Kinda Like Muffins to get a start for the week.

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Say What? Brownies

As you may have figured, I like to make treats for people and… maybe for me too ;) So I like to research ingredients that can be substituted for others to change things up with out sacrificing nutrition or flavor. I had used chickpeas in a “hummus dessert dip” last holiday season and thought, well shoot why not try making a baked treat with chickpeas! I have a couple brownie and cookie recipes that do not include flour, and I decided to give it a try substituting with the chickpeas. Chickpeas are a little underrated, they are a great source of fiber, carbs, calcium, iron, protein and vitamin A.  Between the hummus making and these brownies, they are kinda my new best friend right now. The kids asked what was in the brownies and when I said “chickpeas” they replied “say what?” , hence the name of the recipe :)
*side note, even though they tasted the same, kids favored the square shape over the muffin shape.

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Granola Bar Bread

On my mission to test snacks for back to school and sports, I have spent some time playing around with recipes and changing them around to fit some requests by the kids. Along with those requests, I wanted to provide some allergy free options that also gave those who do not have allergy sensitivities options as well. Our family does not have food sensitivities, but I do my best to avoid certain ingredients because food has changed, unfortunately. So what we ended up with when I thought I was making a granola bar, was more of a bread that is quite soft, a little dense and tasty. This bar is packed with fiber, antioxidants, calcium, phosphorus, protein, rich in trace minerals and no refined sugar. Dates provide fiber, potassium, calcium, zinc and iron.  Check out this quick video: Dates

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Chili Taco Crema

Taco Tuesday has become a norm for each week, just like “Wednesday’s Something New”. Homemade salsa is always nice to have, but sometimes tacos just need a bit more. I love trying new sauces that are versatile for tacos, veggie bowls, wraps and nachos. I am addicted to the Mexican Tahini Sauce and my family was ready to try something new. Sophia over at Veggies Don’t Bite had shared this recipe and it popped up in my email at the most convenient time. I had ran out of time to play around with ingredients in the kitchen and thankfully I had all of the ingredients needed to make this recipe. It is creamy, yet light and mild flavoring but enough to add the final touch on a taco. And no oil or dairy, added plus!

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