Category: Dessert

Paleo & Gluten-Free Chocolate Cherry Loaf with Toasted Coconut

Paleo & Gluten-Free Chocolate Cherry Loaf with Toasted Coconut

Can you believe thanksgiving is ALREADY right around the corner?! I swear one week we were hitting low 70’s in October and the next thing I knew, I’m breaking out the parka jacket and cranking the heat in my car. Instead of complaining about the cold (which I’ve already done a fair share of LOL), I’m doing my best to embrace the “colder” days with open arms. How? BAKING. Now, if you know me, I’m not much of a baker. I hate following meausurements which typically gets me in trouble anytime I try to bake and “eyeball” how much flour or baking soda to add.

However, if you catch me in RARE form, I occasionally get the itch to bake, mostly because I’m craving something sweet, warm, and healthy to have on hand for dessert. Otherwise, I can promise you, I will not be baking just for FUN 🙂  In order to make baking more enjoyable for me, it’s super essential that I always have some staple baking ingredients on hand. Bobs Red Mill has ALWAYS been one of my go-to’s. Thanks to a recent delivery I got from them, I’m now ALL stocked up and ready to take the winter by storm (no pun intended)!

If you dread going outside in the dead of winter, I recommend having a few of the following staples on hand which you can always use interchangeably!

Flours/Powders all from Bob’s Red Mill:

Coconut flour, almond flour, buckwheat flour, ground flax meal, carob or cacao powder, shredded unsweetened coconut, gluten-free oats (blend in food processor to make oat flour)

Additional Baking Staples:

Refined sugar-free sweetener of choice (maple syrup, honey, date nectar, coconut nectar, organic vanilla bean); Coconut oil; Baking Powder; Eggs; Cinnamon; Himalayan Salt; and Almond Butter, Apple Sauce, or Mashed Banana as a thickener

Now to this recipe that I think will please EVERYONE at your thanksgiving gathering!

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Dry Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Buckwheat Flour
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Carob powder (or can substitute with cacao powder)
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill ground Flax Seed Meal
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Primal Palate Gingersnap seasoning

Wet Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup creamy almond butter (Whole Foods no salt/sugar added)
  • 1/3 cup d’vash organics date nectar (honey or maple syrup work well too!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup organic apple sauce
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup mashed banana (~ 1 medium banana)
  • 1 cup pitted cherries (I used frozen cherries and defrosted them in microwave / then drained extra liquid)

Additional/Optional Toppings:

  • Bob’s Red Mill Unsweetened Shredded Coconut (if you like the taste of toasted coconut, I totally recommend this!)
  • Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips
  • Crushed Walnuts or Pecans

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Directions:

Set oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Coat a tin loaf pan with either coconut oil or parchment paper. (I used a 10 1/2″ x 5 1/4″ x 3″ metal loaf pan).

In a large bowl, mix all of your dry ingredients will with a fork. Set this aside and grab a separate bowl to mix all of your wet ingredients (EXCEPT FOR THE CHERRIES) together. Blend very well. You can then combine your dry ingredients into your bowl of wet ingredients. Again, blend very well so that everything is evenly dispersed. Finally, fold the cherries (and optional chocolate chips or crushed nuts) into the batter. Mix well.

Pour batter evenly into loaf pan. Sprinkle with shredded coconut (and/or optional crushed nuts). Bake in oven for 45-50 minutes (or longer if necessary). Top should be a little hard when done and you should be able to stick a fork in the center without it coming back all gooey!

Let cool for 10-20 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!!

 

This post is not paid for by Bob’s Red Mill. I received free product and that is it. I simply just love their products and would use them in baking regardless!
Baked Butternut Squash, Apple, & Date Skillet Oatmeal

Baked Butternut Squash, Apple, & Date Skillet Oatmeal

Happy November guys!!

November is one of my FAVORITE months for multiple reasons. First of all, early November in New England has got to be the prettiest for fall foliage. Secondly, it’s my birthday month (hehe). Lastly, it’s THANKSGIVING and who doesn’t love shoving your face until you quite literally, can’t fit anything else in your stomach? …EVEN if you TRIED. Yep, November is a pretty damn GREAT month to celebrate. And what better way to celebrate than with a tasty, fall-inspired recipe just in time for the holidays?!

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Honestly, it feels like it’s been forever since I’ve posted a recipe on the blog. I’m really excited about this one because butternut squash and dates are my absolute favorites. This recipe is REFINED-SUGAR free yet irresistibly and naturally so sweet! Your tastebuds will be dancing for joy after devouring this one. I promise! And if you’re thanksgiving dinners are anything like mine, this will be a nice, HEALTHY dessert amongst all the sugary pumpkin and pecan pies! Or if you have a sweet tooth like I do in the morning, this makes for a perfect breakfast snack when you’re on-the-go!

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I’m really excited about a new product that I included in this recipe. I’m constantly looking for healthier, low-glycemic, and refined sugar free sweeteners. I was introduced to D’Vash Organics,  a 100% organic, California-date nectar. It’s vegan, non-GMO, and believe it or not, has 25% less sugar than honey! Honey typically is about 16 grams of sugar per TBSP, while D’Vash is 12 grams of sugar per TBSP, making it a REALLY great low-glycemic alternative similar to maple syrup, coconut sugar, and honey. I also love the unique flavor it adds. I’ve always said dates are natures candy and this sweetener NAILED it.

Use code ‘EATRUN‘ for 20% off your D’Vash Organics orders!


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped butternut squash (I prefer to buy it already cut at Whole Foods to IMG_7732save me cooking time)
  • 2 cups Gluten-Free Quick Oats (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 cups Cashew milk (I used the brand Pacific)
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP ghee (I prefer the madagascar vanilla bean ghee from fourth&heart)
  • 3 TBSP D’Vash Organic Date Nectar
  • Pink Himalayan Salt (just a few shakes)
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup organic (no sugar added) apple sauce
  • Raw pecans

Directions:

First, you’ll want to pre-roast the butternut squash. Set your oven to 415 degrees. Coat the butternut squash in coconut oil, cinnamon, and a little bit of Himalayan salt. Place on a baking sheet (lightly coated in coconut oil as well) and bake for about 35 minutes or until squash is soft.

After you remove your squash from the oven, lower the heat down to 350 degrees. Mash 1 cup of the butternut squash together. In a cast iron or oven-safe skillet, heat 1 tbsp of ghee over the stove top on LOW heat. Once the ghee has melted, add in ALL ingredients including the butternut squash, the 2 cups each of oats and milk, cinnamon, date nectar, apple sauce, and egg.

Stir evenly with a whisk until it is all well blended. Feel free to add a few, light shakes of the Himalayan salt. After about 2-3 minutes, remove from heat. Option to sprinkle pecans on top. And then place in the oven and let cook for about 30-40 minutes or until the top is a light golden brown. Make sure to cut a small indent before removing from the oven to ensure it’s cooked fully through (shouldn’t be overly soft or mushy).

Once finished, remove from oven and let cool for about 20 minutes before serving. Option to top with sautéed apples or blueberries, ice cream, yogurt, or even smothered in peanut butter or coconut butter!

Don’t forget to use code ‘EATRUN‘ for 20% off your D’Vash Organics orders!

XOXO,

CAL

 

Raw Vegan Cookie Almond Butter Chocolate Cup

Raw Vegan Cookie Almond Butter Chocolate Cup

I realize the title is quite obviously a run-on sentence but after creating this mouthwatering treat, I struggled trying to find any words to describe all of these BOMB flavors in one bite. So here you have it! I find it’s nutty chewy inside similar to a raw/vegan dessert bar, but it’s outside chocolatey moist layer to reflect the same taste you have when biting into a peanut butter chocolate cup. This dessert was one of those random experimental, “let’s throw everything in a food processor and see what happens” moments, and lo and behold – it turned out to be #1 boyfriend approved (which let’s be honest, anything that’s identified as a “vegan dessert” tends to be shut down immediately as he grabs for his box of girl scout thin mints). See below for details!

What you’ll need:

  • Tart tin (I used frieling tart pans) / but a bread tin or cupcake tin will work just fine as well!
  • Parchment Paper

For the bottom layer “raw cookie”:

  • 1/2 cup soaked & then drained cashews (soaked for ~ 1 hour)
  • 3 dates
  • 2 TBSP almond butter (I used justins vanilla almond butter)
  • 2 TBSP almond flour (via Bobs Red Mill)
  • 1 TBSP unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon & himalayan pink sea salt
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla
  • 1 tsp organic maple syrup

For the the chocolate layer / recipe inspired via: The Coconut Mama

  • 1/3 cup and 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP coconut butter
  • 2/3 cup cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla

Directions:

Throw all “bottom layer/raw cookie” ingredients together in a food processor until well-blended. Crust should look a bit crumbly and will feel sticky enough to mold together in tin. Line each tin with a square of parchment paper. Each tin can be filled with about 2 heaping TBSP of the raw cookie layer. See below picture for visual details. Put in freezer and let sit for about an hour.

Once your crust has hardened in the freezer for about an hour, you can begin to prepare the chocolate layer. In a large saucepan, melt the coconut oil & coconut butter on low heat. Once melted, add in the remaining ingredients & mix well for about 30 seconds to a min. Remove from heat and spread evenly over each of the bottom cookie layers. Once your chocolate is evenly spread throughout, sprinkle some extra shredded coconut on top and place in freezer. These treats can be eaten after sitting in the freezer for about another hour or until there is a hard shell formed. Once that process is complete, you should easily be able to remove the entire dessert from the parchment paper and place into an air tight container. Store in freezer otherwise chocolate may melt. Oh and feel free to drizzle with EXTRA Peanut Butter because WHY NOT?!

Vegan and Gluten-Free Pumpkin Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vegan and Gluten-Free Pumpkin Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who else craves freshly baked cookies (requiring minimum effort) on a rainy football Sunday?! If so, I have the perfect recipe for you – completely vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free! These cookies are entirely guilt free and will be sure to cure that sweet-tooth of yours!

These cookies were inspired by the Wild Friends Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter after I purchased not just one, but the pack of THREE from Amazon Prime (Amazon Prime was clearly designed for impulsive shoppers like myself). I should have known how dangerous of a purchase this would be, but hey, I was in the moment and like every other basic chic during fall, I was in need of pumpkin spice everything.
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So fast forward to me finding every possible way of not spooning the entire jar of peanut butter into my mouth, I decided baking with it was the next best thing.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2/3 cup of gluten-free oats (Bob’s Red Mill is my go-to)
  • 1/3 cup of Wild Friends pumpkin spice peanut butter (feel free to substitute with ANY nut butter of choice)
  • 1/4 cup organic pureed pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon & pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 to 4 (heaping) TBSP of Enjoy Life Foods Dairy Free Chocolate Chips
  • Coconut Oil (to coat your baking sheet)

The apple sauce & pumpkin can be used interchangeably – for example – if you have no applesauce, just double your pumpkin to a 1/2 cup & vice versa!

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Directions:

Set your oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit. Meanwhile, in a large food processor, add all of your ingredients EXCEPT for the chocolate chips & coconut oil. Blend well to a thick consistency (it’s okay if it’s a little chunky)! Add in your chocolate chips & blend for just a few seconds in order to spread the chocolate chips evenly throughout the batter. Next, line a baking sheet with foil & coat lightly in coconut oil (I use a spray bottle). Finally, spoon the batter on the baking sheet in approx ~ 2 1/4 inches across per each cookie. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden on the top. Before indulging, let your cookies sit & cool for a few minutes once you’ve pulled them out of the oven. Enjoy!!

Best kept refrigerated!

Ooey Gooey Breakfast Bars

Ooey Gooey Breakfast Bars

For this week’s breakfast on-the-go, I was inspired by a variety of breakfast bar recipes I’ve seen on Pinterest and Instagram lately! I used a combination of various recipes found online to create these delicious bars!

Start by setting your oven to 350 degrees. Then take out a large baking sheet and coat it in coconut oil.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Very Ripe Bananas
  • 1 TBSP of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 2 cups of oats
  • 2 drops of coconut stevia

Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl together VERY well.
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– 1/2 – 1 Cup of mixed nuts (I prefer almonds, cashews, goji berries, raisins, walnuts, mulberries >> make a bulk batch of your own from whole foods or wegmans!)
– 1/2 cup blueberries
– 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
– Pumpkin Pie Spice
– 1-2 TBSP of chia seeds or flax seeds
– Cinnamon

Fold these mixed nuts and berries in gently as to not smooch or damage your delicious berries!
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Next, lay your mixture evenly across the baking sheet – this should be about 1/2 an inch in thickness (so be careful as to not make it too thin or too thick!). Finally, lightly coat your layer of oats in cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Toss this in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the edges are slightly beginning to crisp to a nice light brown! This can be served warm or cold and can be stored in a tightly closed container in the fridge for up to a week!
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I chose to pair these breakfast bars with egg-veggie muffins to keep it a well balanced meal of protein, carbs, and fats!

Enjoy this for an awesome breakfast, snack, or dessert!

The Power of the Acai Bowl

The Power of the Acai Bowl

Lately, I’ve become slightly obsessed with Acai Bowls. Why? BECAUSE, THEY ROCK. It’s like having a pimped out parfait. I know that sounds a bit dramatic, but honestly, if you have never had yourself an acai bowl, get on it, ASAP. Let’s rewind a bit to when I used to (and still am from time to time) obsessed with parfaits. I love having myself a layered bowl of silky greek yogurt, mixed berries, banana, honey, crisp granola and some cinnamon. Now a greek parfait bowl is great, don’t get me wrong. But, now that I’ve been introduced to acai bowls on the reg, I’ve kinda become obsessed.

For those of you who are not familiar with what an Acai bowl is, let me help you out. As the Huffington Post put it a year or so back, “The Art of the Acai bowl” is pure magic. First let’s begin by covering what exactly acai is…

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Acai actually comes from a particular palm tree that is grown in the Amazon rainforest regions. The tree creates small, purple berries known as the acai berries and where you get that beautiful purple swirl when blending your acai bowls. In Brazil, the natives found many healthy qualities to the acai and for that, has since been named a “superfruit”. The acai berry contains antioxidants, amino acids, and omega fatty acids that can help with aging by increasing immune and metabolic function and can help to clean out harmful free radicals in our body. Acai has also been shown boost the texture of your hair, skin and nails – hellloooo ladies!! Additionally, there is more protein in the acai berry packs than what is found in an egg! You can read more about the health benefits here.

Now that you are familiar with the healthy benefits, let’s get to the actual process of creating your own acai bowl. Acai can be found in a number of different forms. It can be found as a liquid puree, acai powder, or in small acai berry frozen packets. Make your way to the local GNC, health store, Whole Foods, or well stocked super market to find acai in one of those forms mentioned above.

Next, you’ll want to purchase all of your favorite toppings that you can think of! The more the merrier! Here are some of the typical toppings you will find:

Fruit Obviously (Strawberries, Blueberries, Peaches, Mango), Sliced Banana, Honey, Cinnamon, Shredded Coconut, Bee Pollen, Cinnamon, Gogi berries, Almonds, Pecans, Cashews, Homemade granola, Almond/Peanut Butter, Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds, Hemp Seeds, Cacao Nibs, and anything else you can imagine!
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Now once you have your toppings set up, you’ll need to blend your acai. You want to assure that when you blend it, you’ll want to get it to a very thick, creamy texture. I suggest blending a whole frozen banana, a packet of your frozen acai (or whatever form you bought it in), just enough of some unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a dollop of almond butter, some honey and some ice. Blend well then serve and top right away so that it doesn’t melt on you! NOW be prepared to be BLOWN AWAY. Next time, try experimenting with other flavors like going for a tropical taste! Enjoy!

Smoothie Combos [Part 2] and a Surprise Healthy Treat!

Smoothie Combos [Part 2] and a Surprise Healthy Treat!

Chocolate-Banana-Raspberry Smoothie:
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1 banana
¼ cup frozen raspberries
1 scoop of RAW Chocolate Protein Powder
1 Drop of Vanilla Stevia
2 good shakes of Cinnamon Spice
½ TBSP each of Flax and Chia Seeds
2-3 Ice Cubes
1-1.5 Cups of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

>> Blend until you’ve reached ideal consistency.

Banana-Kale Berry Smoothie:
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1 Frozen banana
½ cup frozen raspberries
½ cup fresh blueberries
1 cup of raw kale with hard stems removed
1-1.5 Cups of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
2 Ice Cubes
1 Drop of Vanilla Stevia
2 good shakes of Cinnamon Spice
½ TBSP each of Flax and Chia Seeds

>> Blend until you’ve reached ideal consistency.

Fruity Vanilla Chai Smoothie:
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1 Scoop of RAW Vanilla Chai Spiced Protein Powder
½ TBSP each of chia and flax seeds
1 drop of vanilla stevia
1 banana
Handful of frozen mango
Handful of frozen peaches
2 Ice cubes
Handful of Raw kale with hard stems removed
3 Large Strawberries
1-2 TBSP of goji berries
½ cup of coconut water
2 good shakes of Cinnamon Spice
½-1 cup of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

>>Blend and Enjoy!

Lastly…Surprise 2 in 1 Smoothie Bowl with homemade HEALTHY COOKIE DOUGH!

Refer to my Banana Chocolate “Ice cream” post from a few weeks back for the base recipe. Now, for the best part…the cookie dough of course…
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*Measurements may vary depending on ideal consistency…these are rather approximations*

In a mug or small bowl, combine the following:

2 TBSP of PB2 Powder
1 TBSP of Water
Approx 1 TBSP of RAW Chocolate Protein Powder
1/2 TBSP of Coconut Flour
1-2 drops of Vanilla Stevia
1/2-1 TBSP of Sugar free/0 Calorie Walden Farms Maple Syrup
1-2 TBSP of Vegan Chocolate Chips or Cacao Nibs

>>Mix the above together very well. Add a few drops more of water or almond milk if your consistency is too thick. Once you’ve thouroughly mixed the combination, place into the freezer for at least a half an hour. Leave in longer for a more ‘frozen’ consistency. Eat raw or add to some Banana “ice cream” 🙂

Smoothie Combos [Part 1] in Honor of National Nutrition Month

Smoothie Combos [Part 1] in Honor of National Nutrition Month

For those of you who were not aware, and yes, I realize I’m now 4 days late on this, March is National Nutrition Month! In light of this spectacular month that should really be recognized year long, I thought I’d post on some awesome smoothie combos for you all to indulge in while you prepare for Spring Break! Also, SIDE NOTE, this is only PART 1 as there were TOO many smoothies for just one post 🙂 Stay tuned for Part 2, tomorrow!

Half and Half:
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Green Smoothie 1/2:
1/2 Cup of Raw Kale (remove the hard stems)
1/2 Cup of Raw Spinach
1 whole Banana
1/2 TBSP of Chia Seeds
Approx 1 Cup of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (add more if needed for consistency purposes)
1-2 Ice Cubes

Pink Smoothie 1/2:
2 TBSP of Fresh Pomegranate Seeds
2 TBSP of dried cranberries
1/2 TBSP of Flax Seeds
1 Cup of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
1-2 Ice Cubes

>> Blend one combo first, pour into cup, then blend the second combo and pour into cup. Enjoy the delicious array of tie-dyed smoothies flavors!

The Green Monstah:
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1 Banana
3 Ice Cubes
Approx 1-1 ½ cups of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
1 Cup of Raw Kale Leaves (remove hard stems)
½ cup of Spinach
1 scoop of RAW Chocolate Protein Powder (or any brand you have)
3 good shakes of Cinnamon Spice
1 Small Drop of peppermint extract (be careful, this stuff is strong…seriously just a drop is all ya need!)
1 Drop of Vanilla Stevia
Optional: Cacao Nibs and Cacao Powder

>> Blend and enjoy!

Chocolate Peach-Apple Cobbler:
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1 Macintosh Apple diced
Handful of Blueberries
½ Banana
½ cup frozen peaches
2 Ice Cubes
A Few Shakes of Pumpkin Pie Spice
A good amount of Cinnamon Spice
1 Drop of both maple and vanilla extract/stevia
1 Scoop of RAW Chocolate Protein Powder
1-1.5 Cups of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

>>Blend and drink up!

Peach Mango and Banana Vanilla Chai:
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1 Scoop of RAW Vanilla Chai Spiced Protein Powder
½ TBSP each of chia and flax seeds
1 drop of vanilla stevia
1 banana
Handful of frozen mango
Handful of frozen peaches
2 Ice cubes
½ cup of water
½-1 cup of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
3 good shakes of Cinnamon Spice

>> Blend until you’ve reached ideal consistency.

Blueberry Banana Maple-Walnut Overnight Oats

Blueberry Banana Maple-Walnut Overnight Oats

Yes, I do realize the name of this recipe is quite a handful to say, but there are just no better words to describe this masterpiece of a jar of oats, other than throwing everything into the name! Think blueberry muffin meets banana nut bread meets maple infused oats. I just died and went to heaven 

Ingredients:
1 cup ‘Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride’ tea infused water (heat up 1 cup of water, add the tea bag in, let absorb then add to your oats)
½ cup steel cut oats
½ soft banana
½ cup fresh blueberries
1-2 tbsp of crushed walnuts
1 tbsp of almond slices
1 tbsp of Pure Maple Syrup (or I like to use 0 Cal, Sugar Free Walden Farms Maple Syrup!)

Optional:
1 tsp chia seeds
2 tbsp of flax seeds
½ cup crumbled blueberry muffin larabar

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Directions>>Add all ingredients together (including the chia and flax seeds) into a jar and shake well to spread everything out. Next, place into the fridge and let sit overnight. In the morning, you can add the larabar on top. Place into the microwave for 2 minutes and enjoy!!

Big Ol’ Bowl of Choco-Banana “Ice Cream”

Big Ol’ Bowl of Choco-Banana “Ice Cream”

Although it’s smack in the dead of winter right now, sometimes your body just CRAVES something summery. Or MAYBE you’d just prefer to day dream about the beach, while laying sprawled across your couch, wearing the new bikini you just purchased 6 months in advance for the summer, with “do you like pina coladas” blasting in the background. And given this particularly psychotic and strange normal situation, you may just want to enjoy a refreshing bowl of deliciousness. What better way to smooth your cravings than over a bowl of Choco-Banana “Ice Cream”??

This simple and healthy, yet satisfying treat will be the perfect cure for your summertime sadness/seasonal depression/hating yourself for not living in Florida or So Cal/whatever it may be coped up anger. So lay back, enjoy the frozen banana bowl, and pray that the groundhog foreshadows a short winter!
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Ingredients:
2 Large Frozen Bananas
½ Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
¼ Cup Natural Coconut Water
5-6 Ice Cubes
½ scoop (or more!) of Chocolate Protein Powder (I use a RAW, Plant-Based Protein, but any one will do!)
½ tsp ground Cinnamon
1 drop of vanilla crème stevia

Additional Toppings:
Goji Berries
Cacao Nibs
Flax Seeds
Pecans
Strawberries
Blueberries

Directions:

>>Blend all of the ingredients together either in a blender (thank goodness for my vitamix!!) or food processor – keep in mind it should be a thick texture but if you find it won’t blend at all, slowly add more almond milk until you get the right consistency (leave out the additional toppings listed above until later!).
>> After 30 secs or so, remove from the blender into a big bowl and place in the freezer for a good 10-20 minutes.
>>Remove from freezer, layer on your additional toppings and enjoy!!

“Ga-Ga” for Goji Berries

“Ga-Ga” for Goji Berries

What’s up with my recent obsession with goji berries? Well, I couldn’t exactly tell you. It may have been when I purchased a large bag of raw goji berries to add to a homemade granola, to which I then found the bag to barely even be half empty. So, helllllooo leftovers and my next months’ worth of especially delightful toppings! Honestly, I couldn’t be happier with these awesome little, anti-oxidant boosting berries that now drape across my oatmeal, smoothie and yogurt arrangements. Not to mention, the camera LOVES them! LOL, but seriously though. My pictures are on PAR with these boootiful red gems that add that perfect pop of color to my meals and my photographs!

Anyway, getting side tracked here. First off, let me start by filling you in on a little spoiler alert. Goji berries ROCK! Why? Because of the amazing health benefits!
Here are some facts:

1.) Did you know they contain all essential amino acids?
2.) They have the highest concentration of protein as compared to any other fruit!
3.) Loaded with Vitamin-C!
4.) They contain more carotenoids then any other fruit!
5.) They are HIGH in fiber AND have 21-trace minerals!
6.) They have 15x’s the amount of iron found in spinach, PLUS calcium and zinc!
7.) If you weren’t already shocked enough by this fruit, they also contain natural inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal compounds.
8.) Because of the above anti-oxidant powers, they’re great for the immune system…therefore increasing STRENGTH and LONGEVITY!
9.) Additionally, traditional Chinese medicine suggests goji berries have been used to treat lower back pain, dizziness, and eyesight.

So, “yes, yes, yes” clearly this powerhouse SUPERFRUIT could kick anyone’s butt, even WWE’s superstar Daniel Bryan (LOL I only can make this reference because I’m a HUGE fan of Total Diva’s and I’m not ashamed to admit it #guiltypleasure ). Anyway, as I mentioned above, this fruit can be eaten raw and is most commonly consumed in its ‘dry’ form. I personally like to eat them in my oatmeal, smoothies, yogurts, and in homemade granola.

Check out what I’ve been up to with these goji berries for breakfast. (Recipes will be posted in a follow-up post)!

Cinna-Banana Maple Overnight Oats with Goji Berries and additional Toppings:

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Candy Cane, Pear, and Dark Chocolate-Maple Overnight Oats Berries and additional Toppings:
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Vanilla Greek Yogurt with Nut and Goji Berry Toppings:
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Site Source: The Healthy Eating Site

Your Sweet Tooth Will Thank You Later

Your Sweet Tooth Will Thank You Later

You are a very rare breed if you try and tell me you don’t even have the LEAST bit of a sweet tooth. I won’t believe that for one second! And if this is the case, well then just lie to me to make me feel better about my own sweet and sugary cravings! Either way, here are a few healthy alternatives to approaching a sweet dish, without the added guilt you often may feel (NOT that a treat every now and then is such a crime)! But, these little mini, low-calorie treats, allow you to satisfy your nagging sweet tooth every day, or even TWICE a day if you’re a real dare devil 😉 Keep in mind, these “desserts” could be switched up based on your own preference. For example, if you’re not a cookie dough quest bar fan, then replace the “cookies” with a different flavor! Try and be creative in order to please your dessert longings. Or if you’re not a fan of banana in your mug cake, leave it out entirely and just add more pumpkin into that mug of yours! OR (yes, there are more ways to switch up these “not-so-naughty” desserts, if you’re a chocolate frosting kind of person, then replace the vanilla whey protein, with chocolate! It’s as easy as that and you have yourself some DELISH chocolate frosting. AND if you feel like being REAL adventurous, try adding some PB2 powder to that chocolate “frosting” of yours. Be aware. Your mind may just be blown with UNREAL flavors. So, go CRAZY and ENJOYYY!!

Pumpkin-Nanna MugCake with Vanilla Frosting and “Brownie” Toppings:
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Ingredients:

For the Cake:
~2 egg whites
~1 soft banana
~1/4 cup organic pumpkin puree
~1 drop of vanilla crème stevia
~A pinch of baking powder

For the Frosting:
~1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
~1/2 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder
~1 drop of vanilla crème stevia
~1 baked Double Chocolate Chunk Quest Bar (bake at 380 degrees for 3-5 minutes or until soft/beginning to rise)

Directions: Mix all ingredients well together in a normal sized mug (the wider/shallower = the better!). Then put in microwave for 2 minutes. Keep an eye to make sure it doesn’t flow over. While your cake is cooking in the micro, place your quest bar in the oven to bake and prepare your “frosting” mixture. Once the cake is finished, let cool for a minute, then top with the frosting and cut the quest bar into “brownie” chunks. Top it off with some cinnamon for extra sweetness!

Cookies and Crème PB Chocolate Chip Cookies:
cookies
Ingredients:
~1 Cookie Dough Quest Bar
~1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
~1/2 scoop of cookies and cream protein powder
~1/2 TBSP of PB2

Directions: Microwave quest bar for 10 seconds to soften. Then slice in half and flatten. Set oven to 380 degrees and place both flattened slices in for about 5 mins (or until fairly soft and beginning to rise). While it’s cooking, mix the 3 frosting ingredients together. Once the cookie dough is baked, let cool for about 30 seconds and top it off with the frosting. Enjoy this healthy plate of deliciousness!!

Pumpkin-Apple-Almond “Crumble” Overnight Oats:
apple crumble
Ingredients:
~1/2 cup oats
~1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
~1/2 cup of water
~1 drop of vanilla crème stevia
~2 TBSP of organic pumpkin puree
~2 TBSP of unsweetened apple sauce
~1 tsp of chia seeds
~1 tsp of flax/hemp seeds
~1/4 cup chopped apple slices
~1/4 cup of raw almonds
~Nutmeg, Cinnamon, and Pumpkin Pie Spice (add to your preference)

Directions: Mix all ingredients together in an enclosed jar like pictured above. Place in the fridge to sit overnight. In the morning, throw it in the micro for 1-2 minutes if you prefer to enjoy it warm (I like this over eating them cold), but you can enjoy them either way!

Pumpkin-Chia Ezekiel French Toast with Nilla-Apple Protein Fluff

Pumpkin-Chia Ezekiel French Toast with Nilla-Apple Protein Fluff

So it’s been a while since I’ve had some deliciously sweet and cooked to perfection French Toast. Actually, come to think of it, it’s been a while since I’ve had any French Toast for that matter. It’s one of those meals I would avoid due to guilt and ‘fear’ of it being high in calories, when in actuality, it can be extremely low in cals and create a perfect Fat, Carb, and Protein Ratio. So, when I actually had my FIRST weekend home in forever, I knew it would be a perfect opportunity to experiment with some cooking in the kitchen. Not only was I looking to relax and cook at home, but there’s nothing I love more than homemade breakfasts which is something I don’t get to enjoy during the work week. Anyway, I’ll stop talking and get to the recipe!
bluebs
So the name of this creation is quite a handful, yet it still doesn’t do this justice…!

~Pumpkin-Chia Ezekiel French Toast Stuffed with Nilla-Apple Protein Fluff and topped with warm Blueberry “Syrup”, a drizzle of Honey, and a sprinkle of Cinnamon~

inside
Ingredients:
-2 Low-Sodium Ezekiel Slices
-Coconut Oil

For the Mix:
-2 Egg Whites
-1 TBSP of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
-1 Drop of Vanilla Stevia
-1/2 tsp of maple extract
-1 tsp of chia seeds
-Cinnamon and Pumpkin Spice
-2 TBSP of Organic Pumpkin Puree

For the ‘Protein Fluff’:
-1/4 Cup of Plain Greek Yogurt
-1/2 Scoop of Vanilla Whey Protein
-1 TBSP of Unsweetened Apple Sauce
-Cinnamon
^Mix all of this together.

Additional Toppings:
-Frozen Blueberries (Warmed in Micro)
-Honey
-Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
-Strawberries

Directions: On a non-stick pan, switch to med/high heat and add 1/2 TBSP of coconut oil. Then dip your 2 pieces of bread into the mixture and add to the pan. Cook until golden on each side. Make sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn! Layer 1 slice onto the plate, add 1/2 the protein fluff, then layer the other slice, add the rest of the protein fluff and top with berries, honey, and seasonings of your choice! Feel free to put it into the micro for an additional 15-25 seconds to make it a little softer/warmer if needed.
strawbs
Enjoy and hope it’s just as good as eating banana pancakes…on a Sunday Mornin’ (Cue Jack Johnson) 🙂

Calli’s House of Pancakes

Calli’s House of Pancakes

I have something to admit…I’ve been on a SERIOUS pancake frenzy recently and I definitely DON’T hate it. Something about pancakes, this time of year, is just so comforting, you can’t possibly go wrong. (Let’s pretend for the sake of fall and pancakes, we’re not in the midst of an Indian summer right now). The crisp fall air, the changing leaves, the plaids and flannels are great and all. But my pancakes would not be complete without the delicious fall fruits (and other seasonal flavors) that are just right this time of season! My fall pancakes more than often contain one or more of the following food necessities: apples, pumpkin, maple (syrup), cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, honey, vanilla spiced chai protein powder, oats, sweet potato or butternut squash puree, and so on…I’m sure I’m forgetting something!

Anyway, with that, I’ll update you all on one of my more recent Protein Pancake Recipes! I introduce to you a flavorful fall explosion in your mouth!

Maple-Vanilla Spiced Chai Pumpkin-Apple Protein Pancakes:
photo (97)
Ingredients:
-1/4 Cup Organic Pumpkin Puree
-1 scoop of RAW Vanilla Chai Spiced Protein Powder
-1.5 TBSP of Unsweetened Apple Sauce
-2 Egg whites
-1 tsp of whole wheat pastry flour (optional)
-1 tsp of pure maple extract
-1/2 tsp of baking powder
-1-2 TBSP of unsweetened Vanilla almond milk (depending on the thickness)
-Cinnamon

Directions:
Mix all of all the above together in a bowl, then using a nonstick pan, add 1 TBSP of coconut oil, using med/high heat and pour your batter on, I usually use about 2 heaping spoonful’s per pancake. (FYI – my batter turned out a little too liquidy for me, so I would pour a small amount, then wait a second, and pour a little more on top to try and thicken the pancake so it didn’t run!)

For the Topping…mix the below ingredients together, warm in micro for 15-20 seconds and top)
-2 TBSP of unsweetened apple sauce
-1 tsp of pure maple extract
-cinnamon

Banan-illa Super-Food Protein Pancakes:
photo (95)
Ingredients:

-1 mashed soft banana
-2 egg whites
-1 scoop of vanilla whey protein
-2-3 drops of French vanilla stevia
-1 tsp of Flax Seeds
-1 tsp of Hemp Seeds
-1 tsp of chia seeds
-cinnamon

For the Topping:
-2 TBSP of Unsweetened Apple Sauce mixed w/ cinnamon
-Mixed berries
-Drizzle of Honey

Directions:
Mix all of all the above together in a bowl, then using a nonstick pan, add 1 TBSP of coconut oil, using med/high heat and pour your batter on, I usually use about 2 heaping spoonful’s per pancake. Make sure to let the pancakes cook for a good 5 mins first before flipping (or look to see when they begin bubbling and rising). If they’re still sticking to the pan when you try to flip, turn the heat down a notch and then wait a few more mins. Top with apple sauce and enjoy ☺
photo (96)
Be sure to check out my instagram @Eatrunandallinbetween for daily postings ☺

Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Overnight Oats

Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Overnight Oats

When in doubt, make some Overnight Oats for breakfast! Why not try some delicious, fall inspired, ‘Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Overnight Oats”?? (That name is a haaaandful, say that three times fast!) Anyway, this jar of deliciousness was the perfect post-workout breakfast to kick off my day at work and hold over my appetite until lunch time! I feel like lately I’ve been tossing pumpkin in everything of mine, but it’s just so tasty and brings the sense of fall into my meals! For those who have not given overnight oats a try ever, this a great, easy go-to breakfast to refuel either before or after a workout and stay full longer than other breakfast meals. Not to mention, they’re a great spin off my regular old oatmeal, and even more yummy!

photo (87)

Ingredients:
-1/4 cup organic pureed pumpkin
-1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
-1/2 cup dry oats
-cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice (as much as you’d like, I tend to toss a lot in!)
-1/2 sliced banana
-2 chopped medjool dates
-2 sliced strawberries
-1 tsp of each: chia seeds, ground flax, ground hemp
-Dark Chocolate Stevia (1 tsp)
-1 TBSP of PB2 powder

photo (88)

Directions: So So Simple…allll you need is some kind of mason jar or tightly enclosed container. Add all ingredients, whatever order you want! Shake well so everything gets well mixed in. Let it sit overnight and then when you’re ready in the AM, you can either it cold just like that, or put it into a bowl, heat it for 2 mins on the micro, top it with some nuts and enjoy!!


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