Carrot Cake Granola Cereal

I’ve been juicing a lot lately and more consistently which has led me to have an overabundance of shredded carrot/carrot pulp! I’ve managed to use it in quite a few different ways and this raw carrot cake granola cereal is the latest carrot inspired recipe!

I actually make what we call granola cereal (because we could never decide which one it was!) every week on Sunday mornings. I always let the kids pick which kind they want me to make and when I tell you this may be their favorite food EVER, it is not an exaggeration! They will even ask me every morning when they wake up “are we having cereal today?” in hopes that we will!

We’ve come up with just a few varieties over the past few months….chocolate cherry, peanut butter chocolate chip, blueberry chai, loaded oatmeal raisin cookie, pineapple upside down cake…the possibilities are endless! But their favorite HANDS DOWN in the strawberry version with freeze-dried strawberries. They’ll actually ask for it every time almost! But I’m able to convince them to try something different most of the time–as was the case with this carrot cake variation!

So enough about my kids, let’s get to the granola! For this version I deviated slightly from my original master recipe to make it even more healthy! I usually use quite a bit of Garden of Life Protein Powder (sometimes the plantbased meal replacement one or the Protein & Greens) and a hefty amount of melted coconut oil, but I eliminated the oil completely this time and cut WAY back on the protein powder, which you could definitely omit if you want to!

Even with the changes, what resulted was an absolutely DELICIOUS carrot cake granola cereal that my whole family liked better than the original master recipe. I love the fiber and protein you get from the hemp, chia and flaxseed, good carbs from the oats, bits of sweet from the raisins and a little crunch from the toasted pecans! Not to mention a little veggie from the carrots. It truly reminds me of carrot cake in a bowl! Ok, minus the cream cheese frosting but you get the idea. 🙂

Enjoy!

Carrot Cake Granola Cereal
 
Ingredients
  • 5 c. Regular Rolled Oats
  • 1 c. Shredded or Flaked Coconut
  • ½ c. Ground Flaxseed
  • ½ c. Chia Seeds
  • ½ c. Hemp Seeds
  • ⅓ c. Sucanat
  • ⅔ c. Xylitol
  • 1 T. Cinnamon
  • ¼-1/2 t. EACH Nutmeg, Ginger
  • ½ t. Sea Salt
  • ⅓ c. Vanilla, Plantbased Protein Powder (such as Garden of Life--but this is totally optional!)
  • ½ c. Roasted Almond Butter (with nothing added--no sugar, salt, oil, etc)
  • ½ c. Water
  • 2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 c. Shredded Carrots
  • 1 c. Raisins
  • 1 c. Chopped, Toasted Pecans
Instructions
  1. Place 3 cups oats, coconut, flaxseed, chia seeds, hemp seeds, sucanat and xylitol in a blender or large food processor and process until mixture is a fine meal. Place in the bowl of an electric mixer.
  2. Add salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, remaining two cups of oats and protein powder (if using) and whisk everything together.
  3. Add vanilla, almond butter and water and mix on low speed until well-combined. You may have to scrape down the sides once or twice.
  4. Add carrots, raisins and pecans. Mix in on low speed.
  5. Serve with milk and refrigerate what is left.

 

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

Dairy-Free Salted Caramel Apple Nachos

One of the best combos around is apple and caramel and you can’t help but notice those ginormous dipped apples when you go in a store like Wal-mart at this time of year. You know the ones, covered in every sugary things known to man–M&M’s, Oreos, sprinkles, candy corn, gummy bears, three different kinds of chocolate, etc, etc–yeah, those.

The candy is bad enough but the caramel isn’t much better. Let’s take a peak at the ingredients…high fructose corn syrup, milk, sugar, butter, artificial flavors, palm oil and of course tons of preservatives. So essentially it’s crap. But thankfully there are some great alternatives to get your caramel+apple fix and this recipe in my opinion is better than any huge, sugar covered apple you could buy.

The salted caramel sauce has the perfect amount of salt to offset the sweet of the caramel and chocolate and I love the little bites of chocolate chips and pecans sprinkled over all of it. The best part of course is that it’s totally dairy and refined sugar FREE.

It truly is a perfect, healthy fall dessert!

Dairy-Free Salted Caramel Apple Nachos
Author: 
 
Ingredients
5-Minute Salted Caramel Sauce
  • ½ c. Agave
  • ½ c. Unsalted Roasted Almond Butter
  • ⅓ c. Coconut Oil
  • 2 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ t. plus ⅛ t. Sea Salt
Apple Nachos
  • 3 Fuji Apples, cut into 30 thin slices each (toss with a bit of lemon juice to keep from browning)
  • ½ recipe 5-Minute Salted Caramel Sauce
  • ⅓ c. Lily's Dark Chocolate Baking Chips, melted
  • ¼ c. Lily's Dark Chocolate Baking Chips, for topping
  • ½ c. Toasted, Chopped Pecans, for topping
Instructions
For the 5-Minute Salted Caramel Sauce
  1. Add all ingredients to a small saucepan. Whisk together over medium-low heat until all ingredients are melted together, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
For the Caramel Apple Nachos
  1. Arrange apple slices in a circular pattern on a large plate.
  2. Drizzle with caramel sauce and melted chocolate.
  3. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and pecans.

 

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

Bakery Review – Sit By Me Bakery in Branson, MO

 

It’s been a LONG time since I’ve done a bakery review for multiple reasons. I can’t say that I’ve really missed my glutinous days of ordering just one of EVERYTHING on the menu (EXAMPLE A, B, C and D) but every now and then I think how fun it used to be to go into a bakery and take in all the different cupcakes, cheesecake, cookies and candies never knowing quite what to expect or how amazing something might be…or completely disappointing. And of course we eat plant-based/vegan/no refined sugar which limits our options even more for finding suitable baked goods when out and about.

That’s where Sit By Me Bakery comes in. I’d been hearing a lot about them in the local vegan group I’m in and had been anxious to try them since they were obviously vegan and not only vegan, but free of the top 8 allergens-wheat, eggs, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish, and shellfish-as well as free of gluten, seeds, corn, yeast, nightshades, oats, preservatives, artificial flavors and colors. Phew! That’s an impressive list and leaves one to wonder how they even do what they do!

We took our family on a Saturday and visited their storefront that was inside a small shopping mall. We were immediately greeted by Steve and Angie, the owners, who were extremely warm and welcoming. Angie was even willing to let me look at the kind of sprinkles she uses and what the brand and ingredients were.

After checking out the bakery case for a few minutes, we ended up ordering two cinnamon rolls, a chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting, a chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting and a vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting. Everything was very tasty but our favorite thing hands down were the cinnamon rolls. They weren’t the yeasty kind you’d expect from a traditional bakery but had a more dense, hearty texture that our family is used to and reminds me of the kind I make. And of course they were filled with a proportionate amount of gooey cinnamon and sugar.

The only thing that bums me out is the use of refined sugar in everything but I get how hard it is to substitute sugar in baked goods especially in things like cupcakes and frostings.  I’m sure that we’ll be back for a cinnamon roll in the future, however.  🙂

Overall a great experience at a great bakery with wonderful owners! We can’t wait to go back–be sure and visit if you’re in the Branson area!

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

Vegan Key Lime Pie Pudding (plus bonus recipe!)

Last week I was contemplating whether I wanted to make and blog this recipe since I had started to see lots of fall/apple/pumpkin things popping up in my news feeds. Already. I mean, hello, isn’t it still August?? You know…SUMMER. Why yes IT IS so I decided no, I’m not giving in just yet and I’m squeezing in one last summer recipe. I’m DOING IT.

Of course the moment I decide this my husband walks in the door with a pumpkin coffee. Yes, pumpkin coffee. At first I was thinking “are you kidding me?!” but then I remembered how much I freaking love the gas station pumpkin coffee so I drank it. There. Confession.  Back to the pudding…

I got the idea for this pudding from an Instagram post I had seen a couple of months ago. She didn’t have an exact recipe and used a few different ingredients than I did. But I loved the idea of key lime pie pudding because key lime pie is one of my favorite desserts ever. I actually have a GREAT Key Lime Pie recipe and after glancing at the ingredients to refresh myself, I knew I wanted to get it as close to tasting like my pie as possible.

This meant I needed to somehow add dairy-free sweetened condensed milk. But I don’t know of any that is sold anywhere and even if it did exist I’m sure it’s loaded with sugar. So I went ahead and made my own healthier version. It adds an additional step/recipe to the overall recipe so if you really don’t care about having sweetened condensed milk in your pudding, then I would go ahead and forego it and just use a sweetener such as xylitol, stevia, swerve, etc. (although I STRONGLY recommend making the sweetened condensed milk because it is DELICIOUS). I can’t guarantee the taste of the pudding will be as good without it, but I’m sure it will still be yummy.

I REALLY love that this pudding has veggies in it and you’d never know. My kids loved it. We enjoyed it with a little dollop of So Delicious Coco Whip and some Cadia Graham Crackers crumbled on top. Tart, sweet and creamy cold….perfect SUMMER treat.  😀

Enjoy!

Vegan Key Lime Pie Pudding (plus bonus recipe!)
Author: 
 
Ingredients
Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 5.25 oz./1/4 c. Native Forrest Coconut Milk Powder
  • ½ c. Water
  • 2 T. Melted Coconut Oil
  • 2 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ½ c. Truvia
  • ¼ c. Sucanant
  • ½ t. Sea Salt (more or less to taste)
Key Lime Pie Pudding
  • ¾ c. Lite Coconut Milk
  • 2 Large, Ripe Avocados
  • 2 c. Spinach
  • Zest of One Lime
  • ¾ c. Key Lime Juice (less if you don't want it as tart)
  • ¾-1 c. Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk (depends on how sweet you want it OR substitute Truvia, Stevia, Xylitol, Swerve, etc to taste)
  • So Delicious Coco Whip, Cadia Graham Crackers (optional)
Instructions
For the Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk
  1. Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender (I used a Vitamix) until smooth, creamy and thickened slightly. This will take several minutes. Set aside when done (if using right away....if refrigerating, the mixture will solidify and you can reheat or just scoop from the container).
For the Key Lime Pie Pudding
  1. Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate for a couple of hours until chilled and slightly firm or overnight.
  2. Top with coconut whipped cream and crumbled graham crackers.
Notes
Serves 5-6

 

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

Dairy-Free Peach & Raspberry Icebox Cake

I’ve been wanting to do a little something different lately because I feel like I get stuck on things like bars, breads and dips a lot! In all honestly they are EASY to make and I’m constantly just wanting something I can throw together since I’ve got kids! But then came along this recipe from Half Baked Harvest and it gave me an idea.

A few years ago, I made this crazy delicious Blueberry Lemon IceBox Cake and while it was good it was most definitely NOT vegan/plantbased and certainly not healthy so I thought I would give it a little makeover! I did the peach/raspberry combo that HBH did so beautifully with her cake and used Cadia Graham Crackers and So Delicious Coconut Whipped Cream. That’s right I BOUGHT the coconut whipped cream! I know, I know I could have just thrown a can of coconut milk in the fridge and whipped it up the next day with some agave and vanilla but I was seriously going for easy here and I’m not gonna lie, I LOVE this whipped cream from So Delicious. Better than my homemade stuff even. 😀

So while not the healthiest dessert due to the sugar in the graham crackers and whipped cream, albeit a small amount, it is an upgrade from my old recipe for sure! And we loved it! The graham crackers get nice and soft and “cake-like” after sitting overnight, sandwiched between the whipped cream. And the raspberry/peach combo is SO good. Simple, delicious and utilizes the last of those yummy summer fruits!

Enjoy!

Dairy-Free Peach & Raspberry Icebox Cake
 
Ingredients
  • 2, 9 oz. containers So Delicious Coconut Whipped Cream (I used the lite version)
  • 12 sheets Cadia Graham Crackers (or similar healthy/low sugar/whole grain brand)
  • 2 c. Chopped Peaches (about two large), plus more for topping
  • 2 c. Raspberries, plus more for topping
Instructions
  1. Line a large, 6½x11x4-inch loaf pan with foil, both ways, letting the foil hang over either end of the pan. Spray lightly with coconut oil cooking spray.
  2. Spread a layer (about ⅓ of a container) of coconut whipped cream in the bottom of your pan. You want to have enough whipped cream left to use some for spreading on the top of the cake after it has set overnight and been flipped out of the pan.
  3. Place 4 sheets of the graham crackers on the top of the whipped cream (they may overlap a bit in the middle and that's ok!).
  4. Cover the graham crackers in another layer of whipped cram and sprinkle the whipped cream with half of the raspberries and half of the peaches.
  5. Gently spread a layer of whipped cream over the fruit. Cover with 4 more sheets of graham crackers, a layer of whipped cream and the remaining half of the peaches and raspberries.
  6. Cover the fruit with another layer of whipped cream and 4 more sheets of graham crackers.
  7. Cover with foil and let set in the fridge for 24 hours or overnight.
  8. Place a plate or cake stand over the to of the loaf pan and gently flip over. Carefully remove the pan and then gently and slowly peel away the foil.
  9. Quickly cover the top of the cake with the remaining whipped cream and sprinkle/decorate with the extra fruit. Slice and serve immediately.
Notes
Serves 10.

 

 

 

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Fudge Dip

Full disclosure–this is actually a hummus recipe. Yes, that’s right dessert hummus is a thing and it has been for awhile. I’ve done a couple of variations like this Chocolate Hummus and this Pumpkin Spice Dessert Dip but this latest peanut butter and chocolate mix my be the best one yet!

This stuff is MAJORLY delicious and quite healthy! Don’t you just love when those two things get together?! I do.

Plenty of good stuff in this like protein and fiber from the chickpeas and peanut butter and lots of healthy fats! Think school lunchbox…great with apples, spelt pretzels, graham crackers, strawberries or wrapped up in a whole grain tortilla! Also good on pancakes, waffles, bagels….endless uses! Did I mention you only need a blender?! Yay!

And as always 100% vegan/plantbased and no refined sugar. 🙂

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Fudge Dip
 
Ingredients
  • 1, 15 oz. Can/2 c. Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ c. plus 3 T. Natural Peanut Butter (no added oil, sugar, salt, etc)
  • ½ c. Agave (or sweetener of choice and less if you don't want it as sweet)
  • ½ t. Sea Salt
  • 6 T. Plain, Unsweetened Cashew Milk (or almond, coconut, etc)
  • ½-3/4 c. Lily's Dark Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients except chocolate chips in a high speed blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy.
  2. Stir in chocolate chips and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Serve with fruit, pretzels, cookies, pancakes, waffles, etc.

 

 

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

Ultimate Fudgy Vegan Brownies

I’ve been doin’ this brownie baking thing for awhile now. And with every new recipe I tend to get a little dramatic-y and proclaim in no uncertain terms that the new recipe is my absolute, all-time favorite.

But THIS time, I mean it. I mean, I totally mean it. These brownies are probably my favorite. Healthy, not-healthy, sugar, butter, coconut oil, eggs, xylitol, pumpkin puree…WHATEVER. These blow all that stuff away.

They live up to their name and just happen to be vegan, gluten-free and contain no oil. Yesssss. High-five to that. And did I mention they are the fudgiest, most addictive brownie ever? Because they most definitely are.

Hope you enjoy them and take a couple of minutes to check out some other healthy brownie recipes I’ve done in the past–they are ALL good!

Gluten-Free Brownies, Lightened Up Gluten-Free Brownies, Fudgy Pumpkin Brownies

Ultimate Fudgy Vegan Brownies
 
Ingredients
  • 1 ⅓ c. Sucanat
  • 6 T. Truvia
  • 1 ½ c. Almond Flour
  • 1 ½ c. Cocoa Powder
  • ¾ t. Sea Salt
  • ¾ c. Almond Butter
  • ¾ c. Agave
  • 3 T. Vanilla
  • ½ c. Flaxseed w/ 1 c. Water (soak for 5 miutes)
  • 1 c. Lily’s Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease/spray a 9x13pan.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together sucanat, truvia, almond flour, cocoa powder and sea salt.
  3. Add almond butter, agave, vanilla and flax “egg” to the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until everything is well combined and smooth.
  4. Pour into pan and top with chocolate chips.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes, until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Let cool completely before cutting.
Notes
Makes 24 brownies.

 

 

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

Lemon Coconut Truffles

I was craving something lemon-y and easy to make the other day and found this recipe that I have only made once before quite awhile ago but remember really loving it! They are done in the food processor and come together in no time.

They are a perfect balance of coconut and lemon flavor, not overly sweet and just the right size when you need something a little sweet. And best of all they are healthy!

Enjoy!

P.S. Here are a few more energy type “balls/truffles” I love!

Honey Almond Date Balls

Java Mocha Protein Balls

Chocolate Chip Quinoa Trail Mix Balls

Lemon Coconut Truffles
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c. Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut
  • ⅓ c. Raw Almonds
  • 1 T. Agave
  • 2 T. Xylitol, processed in a food processor to a finer "powdered" consistency (or use more agave, etc)
  • 2 T. Melted Coconut Oil
  • Juice and Zest of one Large Lemon
  • Organic Vegan White Chocolate Chunks, melted OR Extra Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut
Instructions
  1. Process all ingredients except the white chocolate/extra coconut in a food processor until a thick paste forms.
  2. Roll into 1½" balls.
  3. Dip into the melted white chocolate OR roll in extra coconut (I didn't do either this time but the time before I did the white chocolate).
Notes
Makes 12 truffles.

 

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

Vegan Zucchini Bread

 

I’ve made zucchini bread so many times over the years but surprisingly I’ve never blogged about it except for this Chocolate Zucchini Bread which is honestly more like cake. It’s one of my favorite things EVER though–my grandma makes the best I’ve ever had and I simply love sweet breads.

However, most recipes have LOADS of sugar and are definitely not the healthy. So I found a recipe I thought sounded good and adaptable and this one did indeed turn out awesome. I only wish I’d had a can of crushed pineapple to throw in and highly recommend doing so. 🙂

This version is not only vegan but has ZERO refined sugar and oil. My only issue was that the very middle top part didn’t get cooked all the way through and collapsed which wasn’t really a problem since there’s nothing raw in it but I would have left it in for maybe another 10 minutes. All in all though it was a good, solid recipe and we devoured it quickly!

Enjoy!

Vegan Zucchini Bread
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ c. Xylitol (or truvia, swerve, etc)
  • ½ c. Sucanat
  • 1½ c. Sprouted Spelt Flour (or other whole grain flour)
  • ½ t. Pink Sea Salt
  • 1 t. Baking Soda
  • 1½ t. Cinnamon
  • 2 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ½ c. Unsweetened Applesauce
  • ¼ c. Ground Flaxseed mixed w/ 6 T. Water (let sit for 5 minutes to create flax "egg")
  • 1 c. Shredded Zucchini, all liquid squeezed out (I use a nut milk/cheese cloth bag)
  • ½ c. Pecan Halves
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan with coconut oil or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the xylitol, sucanat, flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.
  3. Beat in the vanilla, applesauce and flax "egg" on low speed. Add the zucchini and beat until evenly incorporated.
  4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and place pecan halves on top.
  5. Bake for 45-55 minutes (I did 43 but mine was still a little underdone in the very middle--recommend 50 minutes).
  6. Cool completely in loaf pan. Slice.
Notes
Makes about 8-10 slices.

 

 

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

Gluten-Free Chickpea Blondies with Dark Chocolate Chips

 

 

 

I haven’t made this recipe for a little over a year. And there is a very good reason…I can’t NOT eat these.

Self-control practically goes out the window when I make these bars and a year ago I was making them WAY too often and enjoying WAY too many.  One of the problems is that everyone else around me loved them too so I had no excuse NOT to make them for every and any social function. And even worse I never would give out the recipe because there was that tiny little recipe hoarder voice in my head that said “these are good…like, really, really, REALLY good and one day you may went to sell them in your amazing vegan bakery so do not, I repeat DO NOT give away the recipe”.

I listened to that voice for a long time but over the past year I’ve realized that sharing is caring and who am I kidding, I’m not getting up at 3 in the morning, every morning, for the rest of my life to bake and sell anything!

So, I was really excited to make these again not only to eat but also for the blog! They are so stinking easy because you basically put everything in a high powered blender and blend! And of course they are vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, no oil and no eggs! Does it get much better?! Don’t be put off by the chickpeas–they make these bars SO creamy and moist it’s unbelievable. And they cut way down on the fat and calories while adding a good amount of protein and fiber!

I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Flourless Chickpea Blondies with Dark Chocolate Chunks
 
Ingredients
  • 2, 15 oz. Cans Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ⅓ c. Aquafaba (chickpea liquid)
  • 1 c. Unsalted Almond Butter
  • ⅔ c. Agave
  • ⅓ c. Xylitol
  • 2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ½ c. Almond Flour
  • 1 t. Sea Salt
  • ½ t. Baking Powder
  • ½ t. Baking Soda
  • ¾ c. Lily's Chocolate Chips (or other vegan/refined sugar free brand of choice)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8x8 or 9x9 pan with non-stick coconut oil cooking spray.
  2. In a high-powered blender add all ingredients except the chocolate chips.
  3. Blend on high until mixture is completely creamy and smooth. You may have to stop and scrape down the mixture several times to make sure you get all the chickpeas blended in.
  4. Spread into prepared pan and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the mixture.
  5. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.
Notes
Makes 18 bars.

 

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

Vintage Race Car 3rd Birthday Party!

 

There was no wondering what the theme would be this year for Eli’s 3rd birthday party–CARS! He is obsessed, particularly with the Cars cars…Lightening McQueen, Bobby Swift…the whole gang. But I wasn’t really down with having a Cars birthday party or even Hotwheels–not my style at all. But after a little Pinterest time,  I stumbled across the vintage race car theme and LOVED it.

I went simple (at least for me) and did a couple of banners for decor, car cake, chocolate dipped pretzel rods that were “dip sticks” and mini chocolate doughnuts that were our “spare tires”. I actually loved how this one turned out and I’m finding that simple can be a lot better sometimes!

Here are some pics from the day…

Dipsticks! (aka chocolate dipped pretzel rods)

 

Spare Tires…

The Vintage Race Car Cake…

Some more of the decor…

And last but not least the birthday boy playing lawn games with his cousins. This must have been a good shot. 😉

Check out the link below for more party inspiration!

Alphabet 2nd Birthday Party!

 

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

Rainbow Unicorn 5th Birthday Party!

We recently celebrated Avery’s 5th birthday party and I wanted to share a few pics of the festivities. I went super simple this year especially where the dessert table was concerned. I ended up doing Sixlets in her party colors, white chocolate unicorn pops and a unicorn cake. Time and budget were limited this year but it forced me to keep things simple which was a GOOD thing. 🙂

Here are a few pics! And if you’re interested in her previous parties, I have links to all of them at the end of the post!

 

Birthday Girl! 🙂

More table pics.

Unicorns taking a nap?? Or maybe telling secrets… 🙂

Birthday girl focusing hard on coloring her unicorn.

The pops and another table pic!

Check out previous parties!

Rainbow Sprinkles and Confetti FIRST Birthday Party!

Ice Cream Shoppe 2nd Birthday Party!

Sparkle Princess 3rd Birthday Party!

Kitty Cat 4th Birthday Party!

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

Vegan Blueberry Banana Bread

I started writing this post and thought “ugh, anooooother banana bread recipe” and really thought twice about posting it. But then I went and did a quick little search to find out how many banana bread recipes I’ve actually blogged about and to my surprise it was only four! Ok, ok not bad…and they all happen to be quite different. A good mix of naughty (see here and here) and nice (this one and that one). And this particular recipe was different because it had BLUEBERRIES mixed in soooo…totes different. 😀

I can honestly say I’ve never even had banana bread with blueberries mixed in let alone made it but dang I was tired of plain, ‘ole banana bread and needed to mix things up a little and since we’ve got bags upon bags of frozen blueberries I decided those things were going in! And I have to say I’m not only addicted but wish I’d been putting blueberries in my banana bread way sooner! So good! Juicy little bursts of blueberry goodness in super tender, moist banana bread. Yummmm.

I also love that this recipe is egg, oil and refined sugar free and TOTALLY PLANT BASED which we are all about around here. 😀

Enjoy!

Vegan Blueberry Banana Bread
 
Ingredients
  • 5 Super Ripe Bananas, mashed
  • ¾ c. Applesauce
  • 2 T. Ground Flaxseed, mixed with ⅓ c. water (allow to sit 5 minutes to create flax "egg")
  • 1 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ¾ c. Sucanat
  • ¼ c. Truvia
  • 2 c. Spelt Flour
  • ¾ t. Sea Salt
  • 1½ t. Baking Soda
  • 1 c. Regular Rolled Oats
  • 1 c. Frozen Blueberries, plus ½ c. for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with coconut oil non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the bananas, applesauce, flax "egg" and vanilla together on low speed.
  3. Add the sucanat and truvia and beat into the mixture on low speed.
  4. Add spelt flour, salt, baking soda and regular rolled oats. Beat on low speed until everything is well-combined.
  5. Gently fold in 1 cup of frozen blueberries and pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining blueberries.
  6. Bake for 55-60 minutes, until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes then gently remove and cool to room temperature on a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days then store remainder in refrigerator.

 

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

Coconut Blackberry Pops

I’ll get right to the point–homemade COCONUT BLACKBERRY POPS. Dairy free. Refined sugar free. Full of cool, creamy, coconutty/blackberry deliciousness. Ridiculously easy, inexpensive and insanely good.

We made them. We ate them. We love them. You will too. PROMISE.

Summer is coming (yay!). Be prepared.

And…ENJOY. 🙂

Blackberry Coconut Pops
 
Ingredients
  • 1, 13.5 oz. Can Full-Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1, 13.5 oz. Can Lite Coconut Milk
  • ½ c. Sucanat, or sweetener of choice (xylitol, truvia, erythritol, stevia etc)
  • 1 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ½ t. Coconut Extract (optional)
  • ½ c. Unsweetened, Shredded Coconut
  • 2 c. All-Fruit Blackberry Jam
Instructions
  1. In a high speed blender, blend both coconut milks, sucanat, vanilla extract and coconut extract until smooth.
  2. Pour into a bowl and stir in shredded coconut.
  3. Pour coconut mixture into popsicle molds, about ⅔ of the way full.
  4. Freeze for one hour.
  5. Top with a couple tablespoons of blackberry jam and insert popsicle stick into middle.
  6. Freeze overnight.
  7. Run warm water over popsicle molds for a few seconds and then gently remove popsicle. Eat immediately.
Notes
Makes 12 pops

 

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

Alphabet 2nd Birthday Party!

Believe it or not, I have ANOTHER kid…who I’ve never blogged about. 😀 Until now! I’m still in the process of digging up his first birthday pics but in the meantime we’re just gonna skip ahead to his SECOND birthday.

We did an alphabet theme for this one because the child knew his alphabet forwards and backwards way before he turned two. And boy themes are TOUGH…farm animals, cars, jungle, cartoon/tv shows…ugh. Not my style so much but the alphabet theme turned out cute! Here are a few pics from our fun day…

It was a fun party with beautiful weather and awesome friends! And a certain two year old ate WAY too many chocolate letters off of the chocolate chip cookie bars while mom wasn’t looking but hey, it was his birthday and c’mon chocolate is just GOOD. 😉  We love you E!

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

Kitty Cat 4th Birthday Party!

Since birthday parties are rolling around again, I thought I’d finally get around to posting LAST year’s birthday party pictures. I’m so on top of it! Avery decided on a Kitty Cat theme which was super fun to come up with all the decor and treats for. All the little desserts were made by me except the AWESOME cat cake. Goodies included chocolate cherry mice, feline faces, cat claws, meow mix and hair balls!

We had such a fun time! Hope you enjoy the pics!

P.S. If you want to see past birthdays here is her Rainbow Sprinkles and Confetti FIRST Birthday Party, Ice Cream Shoppe 2nd Birthday Party and Sparkle Princess 3rd Birthday Party!

The table!

The birthday girl in her black kitty cat dress with her bestie!

 

More friends!

 

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

Pumpkin and Dark Chocolate Energy Bites

It’s fall which of course means pumpkin EVERYTHING. And I love it! Pumpkin has so many great uses in baking, especially when it comes to baking something HEALTHY. Sadly, I don’t have many healthy pumpkin recipes up to this point on my blog, but I do love this Pumpkin Spice Dessert Dip and just made these Fudgy Butternut Squash Brownies with PUMPKIN instead of the butternut squash and they were amazing!

So, I’m excited to add these Pumpkin and Dark Chocolate Energy Bites to the mix. These little gems are so tasty and so very good for you! I don’t mind giving these to my kids for breakfast one bit. They’ve got fiber, protein, good fats and some great nutrients! Oh and the best part…DARK CHOCOLATE. 😀

They only take a few minutes to whip up–give ’em a try!

Pumpkin and Dark Chocolate Energy Bites
Author: 
Category: Dessert
 
Ingredients
  • 3 c. Oats
  • 1, 15 oz. Can Pumpkin Puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling (prefer organic)
  • ¾ c. Roasted Almond Butter (no salt, oil added...just roasted almonds)
  • ½ c. plus 2 T. Agave
  • ½ t. Cinnamon
  • ½ t. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 6 T. Ground Flaxseeds
  • ¼ c. Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut
  • 1 c. Raw Sunflower Seeds, toasted
  • ¾ c. Chocolate Dreams Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together oats, pumpkin puree, almond butter, agave, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, ground flaxseed and shredded coconut until well combined.
  2. Stir in sunflower seeds and dark chocolate chips.
  3. Roll into balls of about 1½″ in diameter.
  4. Place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment or foil and place in the freezer for one hour. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
Notes
Makes 45.

 

 

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

Cinnamon Spiced Espresso Glazed Granola

 

I have so many recipes that I’ve done over the last year or so that were the healthy dessert and breakfast type I made for my family but never got around to blogging and I’m so excited to revisit and remake them in order to share with you all! I was OBSESSED with this granola recipe last fall and actually ended up giving out bags of it for Christmas with other homemade goodies such as handsoap, etc.

 

It was very well received and I plan on doing something similar this year for gifts! You can package it so pretty and this stuff lasts in an airtight container for a very long time! What I really love is how some of my favorite flavors combine in this…you’ve got fall with the cinnamon and nutmeg, a nice kick from the espresso powder and a hint of chocolate from the coffee beans! It’s just soooooo good! My kids LOVE it but for obvious reasons (hello, caffeine!) I limit their intake. 😀 It’s great over yogurt, with my Pumpkin Spice Dessert Dip or just in a bowl with some nice cold, almond milk!

Give it a try! I think you’ll love it. 🙂

Cinnamon Spiced Espresso Glazed Granola
 
Ingredients
  • 6 c. Regular Rolled Oats
  • 2 c. Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • 1 ½ c. Toasted Pecan Halves
  • 1 c. Pistachios
  • 1 ½ c. Raw Pumpkin Seeds/Pepitas
  • ½ c. Wheat Germ (I use ground flaxseed if I don't have wheat germ)
  • 1 c. Fruit Juice Sweetened Dried Cranberries
  • 1 c. Golden Raisins (or use another cup of dried cranberries)
  • ½ c. Coconut Oil, melted
  • 1 ½ c. Agave
  • 3 T. Instant Espresso Powder (feel free to use more for more of the coffee flavor--I actually like about ⅓ cup!)
  • 2 t. Cinnamon
  • ½ t. Nutmeg
  • 2 t. Sea Salt
  • 2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1-2 c. Dark Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans (I get grain sweetened ones) or Dark Chocolate Chunks (preferably stevia sweetened, etc)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray two large baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut flakes, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, cranberries and golden raisins. Toss well.
  3. In another medium bowl, combine melted coconut oil, agave, espresso powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and vanilla. Whisk together until well combined.
  4. Pour the coconut oil mixture over the dry oat mixture and stir to fully combine. I stir for at least 3-5 minutes to ensure everything is well coated.
  5. Divide the granola between the two baking sheets and spread evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes so the granola will get evenly toasted.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, spray the bottom of a flat 1 cup measuring cup or a flat bottomed glass with cooking spray. Press the granola into the pan using the bottom of the measure cup so that you have a flat slab of granola.
  7. Let the granola sit for one hour to cool and harden.
  8. After an hour break the granola up into clusters and stir in chocolate covered coffee beans or dark chocolate chunks.

 

 

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

Apple Cinnamon Fruit Leather Roll-Ups

Apple picking this year was so fun now that the kids are a little older (2 and 4) and I loved all the healthy recipes I got to make. I mentioned before that I updated my mom’s AMAZING German Apple Cake to be super healthy, came up with these Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars and got to have a little more fun with these Apple Cinnamon Fruit Leather Roll-Ups!

I had the idea to try to adapt my recipe for Dark Cherry Fruit Leather Roll-Ups into something apple-ish and it worked out fabulously! They were easy and delicious! Not to mention so much cheaper than buying them in the store!

I’m honestly not sure who loved them more in our house…the adults or the kids! I think you’ll love them too. 🙂

Apple Cinnamon Fruit Leather Roll-Ups
Author: 
Category: Dessert
 
Ingredients
  • 10 c. (about 9-10 medium) Chopped Apples (I used Fujis...no need to peel if you have a high speed blender)
  • ¾ c. Water
  • ⅓ c. Sucanat
  • ¾ t. Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine chopped apples and water and cook over medium-high heat until apples are tender and soft and easily pierced with a fork, about 8 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Once soft, drain liquid and transfer apples to a high speed blender along with the sucanat and cinnamon.
  4. Blend until apples are completely smooth.
  5. Divide mixture evenly between the two baking sheets. Use an offset spatula or the back of a large wooden spoon to spread the mixture as evenly and thin as possible without the white of the parchment paper coming through. Spots that are not thin enough, may not cook/dry completely (which isn't a big deal..it will still be edible and delicious!).
  6. Bake in the oven, rotating pans every hour for 5-6 hours or until just slightly tacky. Remove from oven and let air dry on the baking sheets for at least 8 hours.
  7. With the parchment paper, lift and move the fruit leather sheets onto a cutting board. Using a pizza slicer (or sharp knife), cut the sheets into 6 strips each (for a total of 12 strips). Starting at the edge of one sheet gently peel the leather away from the parchment and roll up. Wrap a piece of parchment around each roll-up and secure with string or tape. Store in and air-tight container.
Notes
Makes 12.

 

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

In the last week we’ve made not one but TWO trips to the apple orchard because they are just SO good right now and there are new varieties every day! Our first trip we picked tons of Jonathan and Grimes and the second time it was all about the Fujis!

So, needless to say we’ve been eating a LOT of apples. And of course I’ve done a little baking…I gave my mom’s German Apple Cake a healthy makeover and it turned out DELISH. But I think our favorite thing so far has been dehydrating apples and making dried apple slices! The kids can’t get enough. And the Jonathan’s are perfect for dehydrating because they’re actually super sweet with a little tartness. Yum!

So with all the dehydrating, I was super excited to stumble upon this recipe for Cinnamon Apple Pie Energy Bites that utilizes dried apples but I knew immediately I wanted to take the recipe a step further and make them into Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars! And with a little adjusting of ingredients, that’s what I did and the results were DELICIOUS.

All the flavors of apple pie, a touch of salt, tiny chunks of almonds and dried apples, minimal ingredients and no added sugar, make these perfect for snacking or even breakfast! We love them!

 

Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ c. Dried Apples, finely chopped in food processor
  • 1 ½ c. Raw, Toasted Almonds (you don't have to toast the almonds but I prefer the flavor it gives them)
  • 1 ½ c. Medjool Dates, soaked in hot water for at least 30 minutes
  • 5 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1½ t. Cinnamon
  • 1½ t. Apple Pie Spice
  • ½-¾ t. Sea Salt
Instructions
  1. Line a 9x9 pan with foil or parchment paper
  2. Blend almonds and dates in a high powered blender or food processor until a thick paste forms. You can get it as smooth as you like..I left a few bits and pieces of almonds in mine because I like the texture.
  3. Transfer the almond/date mixture, along with all other ingredients to an electric mixer. Beat on low speed until everything is well combined and blended. Adjust spices, etc to taste.
  4. Press into your lined pan and place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to allow mixture to set. Remove from pan and cut.
Notes
Makes 12 bars.

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading
1 2 3 21