Monday, October 30, 2017

Sweet and Salty Banana Chocolate Chunk Cookie Skillet (Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free)



Happy Monday! Super busy day today so far! I'm editing photos, answering emails and doing homework... but I had to stop to make this cookie skillet that has been at the front of my brain all week. Aaaaannd, after it baked up as a success, I had to immediately share it so that y'all can enjoy it too :] It's a little sweet, a little salty, soft, gooey, tastes totally sinful and not "Monday" at all. This cookie skillet is basically a glorified baked oatmeal, so honestly it can pass for breakfast! You can swap the chocolate chips for berries too, if you prefer. On top of that positivity bomb I just dropped on you, it is vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free, and can be whipped up in one bowl... by hand! I promise! This is totally a TREAT and not a TRICK (see what I did there?). I know, I know. I'm your hero ;]



Ingredients
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup raw almond butter (can probably sub roasted or any other nut butter)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of pink salt (can sub sea salt)
  • A heap of dark chocolate chopped into chunks

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cast iron skillet with coconut oil non stick spray and set aside. In a large bowl, mash the banana with a fork until it is a pureed consistency with little to no chunks. Whisk in almond butter, maple and vanilla. Add oat flour, almond flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine. Transfer the batter to the prepped cast iron skillet and smooth evenly with a spatula. Top with dark chocolate chunks. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until it starts to take on a golden brown color, but keeps a soft center.

xoxo

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Chocolate Almond Butter Banana Brownies (Vegan, Gluten Free and Refined Sugar Free!)



Heyyy! Long time no post! Things have been craaazy in both good and not so good ways (oh life). Anyway, I am currently studying for a Holistic Nutrition certification, which is really exciting for meee :] Because of life events, I am a little behind and I have been busting my buns which hasn't left much time for my blogging passion project. Anywho, I wanted to share this recipe because it turned out soooo good and I couldn't keep it to myself. Now back to the grind! Wish me luck!



Chocolate Almond Butter Brownies

Ingredients
  • 2 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1 cup + 3 tblsp creamy or crunchy raw or natural almond butter ( I used Trader Joe's Raw)
  • ⅓ cup pure maple
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened non dairy milk (I used cashew)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup oat flour 
  • 1/4 cup almond flour 
  • 1/4 cup cocoa or cacao
  • Dark chocolate chunks or chips (I used Trader Joe's 72% dark chocolate bar)
Would you look at that batter?!

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8x8 square baking dish with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, smash the banana until it resembles a puree. Mix in 1 cup almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla, and almond milk. In a separate bowl, whisk together oat flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, almond flour and cocoa. Add to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour into your prepared baking dish. Dollop the 3 remaining tablespoons of almond butter over the top and use a knife to swirl into the batter. Top with your chopped chocolate or chips. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out with moist crumbs. Don't overbake! You want these to be dense and moist.

While these are good warm from the oven, I actually prefer them the next day. Somehow the banana flavor becomes more pronounced after these have "rested" and cooled. Enjoy with a nice cup of tea or a big glass of cold almond or cashew milk!

xoxo








Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Vegan Mixed Berry Chia Jam Tarts



I loved Pop Tarts growing up. I was especially fond of the strawberry Pop Tarts... and no, not the frosted ones. Shocked? Well, call me a purist. I can't remember when I last had a pop tart, but the fond memories of carefully eating all of the edges off, before savoring that gooey center are fresh in my mind. Having such a delicious memory on my mind is great and all, but I'd rather have it on my taste buds. Alas, I am much more aware of what I put into my body (damn adult concsious!) so I decided to make my own, wholesome version. Alright, now before you accuse me of some kind of crime against Pop Tarts, I caved and topped them with pink frosting and sprinkles. We good? Cool.

Adapted from Minimalist Baker

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour 
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil (you can also use vegan butter or regular butter if not vegan)
  • 2-4 Tbsp ice cold water
  • 1 heaping cup frozen mixed berries
  • 2 tbsp chia seed
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
Glaze

So, I just sort of whipped up a glaze without any real measurements. Here's what I did:

  • About 1 cup powdered sugar
  • A splash of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1-2 tsp Karo Syrup
  • A bit of red food coloring paste


Mix the powdered sugar and the milk together into a smooth paste. Add the Karo syrup and food coloring paste until you get the desired hue. The glaze should be liquid enough to easily drizzle over the top, but thick enough to stay in place and harden when cooled. 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare the mixed berry chia jam filling by placing berries in a small saucepan over low heat with 2 tbsp water. Cook for 5-8 minutes and smash with a fork once the berries are soft. Remove from heat and add chia seed and coconut sugar. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
  3. To prepare crust, mix flour and salt in a large bowl, then process with coconut oil in a food processor.
  4. Using a tablespoon, drizzle cold water over the mixture and pulse until it starts to form a dough. The dough should be moist enough to form into a ball, but not too sticky to roll out. Add more water if needed or more flour if it gets too wet and sticky.
  5. Turn onto a floured surface, shape into a disc, and then use a rolling pin to roll into a large rectangle.I used a sheet of parchment on top to keep my rolling pin from sticking to the dough as I rolled it out.
  6. Cut into equal squares or rectangles and carefully transfer each to the baking sheet. Use your fingers to press the centers down a bit to make a little "bed" for the chia jam. This will help to keep it from seeping out the sides while baking.
  7. Place about 1 Tbsp of filling onto half of the squares, leaving a border to seal the edges. Then use your finger to dot water around the edges to help the squares stick together. Top the squares with their matching halves and then seal lightly with a fork.
  8. Use a fork to poke holes in the top of each sealed tart, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
  9. Let cool completely, then top with glaze if desired. 
Happy tarting!

xoxo

Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday Favorites: Coming Up Roses


Happy Friday! I'm currently obsessed with anything and everything rose: Rose colored, rose scented, rose flavored... you get it. Rose is so subtle and pretty, and makes a wonderful addition to beauty products. I also really love discovering new beauty products. I just received my first order from cult favorite Glossier this week and I'm really impressed. I think these products really live up to the hype, and I'm excited to try more of this brand. Although these products aren't made from 100% natural ingredients, I like the message behind the brand. They encourage you to accept your flaws and show off your skin instead of covering it up. I have also been loving these natural anti-aging products from Kiehl's, another long-time cult favorite band wagon I am just now jumping on.  Here's a list of my current favorite obsessions:

Glossier Stretch Concealer $18 - This product appealed to me because it claimed to be like second skin. I have some hereditary darkness under my eyes and have nearly literally tried every concealer on the market. My under eye area also tends to be sort of dry, which is not a great base for concealer. Needless to say, my under eye area is my biggest skin concern. I am happy to say that this product did not disappoint! A lot of reviews I read said that this product was too sheer, but I totally disagree. I think it beautifully smooths imperfections and it is so ridiculously smooth and moisturizing... AND it stays put. You would think something so creamy would slide around, but there was barely a crease to be found hours and hours after application. The best part? This stuff is totally build-able (another claim I read about the product that did not disappoint) without being cakey or heavy. Do you get that I LOVE IT?

Glossier Cloud Paint in Haze $18 - Glossier totally gets me with their simple, pretty and fun packaging. These little paint tubes are filled with skin plumping, build-able color that looks flattering on virtually every skin tone. I really dig a healthy flush, so I chose their deepest berry color to try. It's so pretty! It looked a little intimidating when I squeezed a drop out of the tube, but it goes on very sheer until you build it up. Pretty much goof-proof, which I love because I am no make-up guru. 

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate $46 - I've used some light-weight anti-aging products since I was in my teens (mama is a long time Mary Kay lady), but now that I'm in my thirties, I decided to step it up a bit. I've been blessed with the 'still look like I'm 12' genes, and I'd like to keep it that way. This product is an expert concoction of essential oils and claims to reveal younger looking skin overnight. A little goes a long way, and I add a few drops into my moisturizer at night before hitting the sheets. After just a few days, my skin felt noticeably smoother (like crazy smooth) and my fine lines diminished. Plus, it smells good and is super easy peasy. I'm sold. 

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye $37 - As I mentioned above, my under eye area has been my main skin concern for years. I've tried so many (so, so many) under eye creams over the years, but I have pretty sensitive skin and most have crazy ingredients that cause more harm than good. This eye cream is a dream! It's super supple and not at all heavy. My skin literally sucks this stuff right up! I wake up looking like I've actually slept HOW BOW DAH! 

Evan Healy French Rose Clay Mask $26.50 - I have been using Evan Healy clay masks for years! The green tea clay is my absolute fave, and I just recently discovered this amazing French Rose version. The green tea mask is a little more aggressive and will leave your skin pretty pink for some time after removing it. This mask is pink going on, but is made for sensitive and congested skin types so it leaves no irritation. It also has a bit of grain to it for exfoliation as you rinse it away, leaving you with clean, smooth and happy feeling skin.

Heritage Store Rose Water $9 - I have come back to this product after a few years of not using it. I used to purchase the version with Glycerine, but I found it to be irritating to my skin. I came across the non-glycerine version and I love it. I like to spray it on after using my rose clay mask to help soothe my skin. I also love adding some to my bath for that light rose scent.


What are some of your favorite products?

xoxo



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Little Bit Sweet, A Little Bit Sinner


I'm sort of a self-proclaimed 'good girl' in the sense that I try to do what I think is right, but I have definitely done my share of sinning. What actually constitutes a 'sin' is different for everyone else and totally up for debate. To me, a sin is something you know you shouldn't really be doing, but you do it anyway because it feels good to some part of your soul. This outfit sort of reflects these opposite parts of my personality. I'm attracted to anything pink, soft and sweet looking, but I also love the power behind wearing black. The two are even better together.  Anyway, this pretty pink blouse has been in my closet for quite some time. I think I've worn it twice, and I always forget how pretty it is. I usually opt for comfort and love the fuss-free freedom of throwing on a t-shirt, but sometimes it's fun to be a little more fancy. This blouse is actually pretty sheer, and I used to wear a tank underneath, but I hate tugging at all the layers. So, I just threw it on over a pretty bra and voila! Ladies are "supposed" to wear bras, so I figure I might as well enjoy pretty ones. And hey, they aren't cheap, so why not show them off a little. If you think that's indecent... well... then next time I just won't wear one at all, so pick your battles :] (blame the sinner in me).


Blouse - Forever 21
Jacket - Gypsy Warrior
Jeans - Levi's 
Shoes - Colin Stuart for Victoria's Secret









Thursday, March 9, 2017

Almond Butter Cup Protein Cookies


Today I made a really tough decision. Life changing. I decided that it was time to take a break from peanut butter and give almond butter a chance to show me what's up. Ok, so maybe it's not so serious. Or maybe you just don't realize how much PB I actually consume on a daily basis. I currently have a nearly empty crunchy bae sitting in the fridge with 2 brand spankin' new jars up in the cupboard. No grocery run is complete without a trip down the Isle of Creamy Dreamy. To my shock and dismay, I recently read somewhere that a fellow PB loving baker actually developed an adult stage PB allergy from consuming waaay too much (I will still argue that too much PB is not a thing)! Reading that scared the crunchy-creamy dickens out of me, so I picked up some alternates. Sooo... to help me get through this rough patch, I decided to let almond buttah do me a solid and whip up the kind of cookies you make when you're heartbroken: the sweet, salty, sinful-but not so sinful that you feel guilty- kind of cookies. These are flourless, gluten free and refined sugar free with a pea protein pow! Crunchy, chewy, sweet and salty satisfaction. There is light at the end of the tunnel... or maybe that's the fridge light. Whatevs.

Almond Butter Cup Protein Cookies

1 cup almond butter
2/3 cup coconut sugar
2 scoops unsweetened pea protein (can sub other unflavored or vanilla protein powder if desired)
1 egg

Chocolate Glaze

2 to 3 tblsp dark choco chips
1 to 2 tsp coconut oil

Almond Butter Glaze

1 heaping spoon almond butter
1 to 2 tsp coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees anf line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the almond butter and coconut sugar with an electric mixer. Add in the egg and whisk until combined. Whisk in the protein powder. A crumbly but moist dough should form. Roll about 1 inch balls of dough in your hand and place on your prepared cookie sheet. (I was able to get 24 cookies this way. You can definitely roll bigger balls of dough if you want larger cookies)
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly golden but still soft. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. While your cookies cool, prepare the chocolate coating and almond butter drizzle. Melt each in separate bowls with coconut oil. 30 second increments until smooth. Dip each cpokie halfway into the chocolate and place on a tray lined with parchment. Pop in the fridge or freezer to set. Remove from cooling and drizzle with melted almond butter. Place back in the fridge or freezer until set and enjoy!

I like to keep these in the freezer. Keeps them nice and chewy.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Gooey Gluten Free Brownies


Chocolate and I have carried on a long time love affair. Chocolate and I understand each other. Chocolate and I have a bond that cannot be broken. That's why you may notice that nearly all of the recipes I post have chocolate in them. When I think sweet, I think chocolate. Brownies are the ultimate chocolate dessert. I have tried a lot of brownie recipes in my day, but this one might just top all other brownies. First of all, they are made with my favorite flour to bake with: oat flour (xoxo). Secondly, you can change up the sugar and use either cane sugar or coconut sugar (my other fave baking buddy). Both result in ridiculously delicious brownies, but for different reasons. I'm not really a fan of cane sugar, and I reaaallllyyy try to keep that refined babe out of my sweets... but using white sugar creates a crazy beautiful and satisfying crust like nobody's business. The brownies will puff up when baking and then sink when you take them out of the oven, creating cracks of crusty goodness hugging a shy, gooey center. That was my first experience with these brownies, following the original recipe (sans coffee), which you can find here. My second time baking these brownies, I swapped out the refined sugar for coconut sugar. This resulted in a more dense, fudge-like brownie with crazy-complex flavors. The coconut sugar and butter create a sort of (ah-mazing) caramel base, and when they are baked and cooled (I always put my brownies in the fridge or freezer), they taste faintly of coffee. Don't even get me started on the crazy-good and chewy texture with studs of dark chocolate. I cut these babies into bites and store them in a ziplock in the freezer. I eat them cold, but popping a few in the micro for 10-15 seconds is something I can't (and won't) argue with.

Ingredients

1 1/3 cups oat flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 (1 1/2 sticks) cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups coconut (or cane) sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8x8 ceramic baking dish with parchment paper. In a separate bowl, mix together the oat flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Mix in the sugar and then microwave for another minute. Whisk by hand with a wire whisk or fork until smooth and creamy. Add in the vanilla and cocoa powder. Mix in the eggs one at a time until smooth. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. Don't over mix! Top with dark chocolate chips or chunks and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool at least 10 minutes before cutting.

*NOTES:

I baked these in a ceramic baking dish and they turned out beautifully. I also tried a batch in a metal pan, but they turned out dry and cakey.

These are best a bit under-baked. They will look too gooey when you remove them from the oven, but they will firm up as they cool.