Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Smoothie, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Curiously Tropical Carrot Smoothie

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I wanted a tropical immune boost once I had smoothie envy from my nursing friends, Lyndsay and Jen, so I whipped up a morning smoothie back in the end of March. This smoothie has been getting me through this quarantine and perfectly transitions into summer. I wouldn’t think to add raw carrots, but they’re so refreshing & vibrant. You taste the mango, citrus, and ginger at the forefront of this drink, that you can’t even taste the carrots! I think I’ll be experimenting with more veggies in smoothies thanks to this Carrot Turmeric Smoothie.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegetarian

Gooey, “Buttery” White Chocolate Strawberry Blondies (Gluten-free!)

Do you ever make a recipe that you just want to eat and eat? That’s these White Chocolate Strawberry Blondies. They’re gooey, melt, rich, and sweet while using applesauce and almond butter for butter and also gluten-free. As I write about these blondies, I’m literally salivating thinking about eating one. They’re very tasty and the perfect spring or summer treat, packed with fresh strawberries and white chocolate chips.

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Bread, Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert, Lightened Up, Snack, Vegetarian

Social Distancing with Cinnamon Walnut Quick Bread for Sunday Brunch

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You’ve been warned. I said I’d end up baking during these crazy pandemic times. After irrationally craving cinnamon rolls–it is a Sunday morning–, I settled on making a version of Joanna Gaines’ cinnamon swirl quick bread from her cookbook, Magnolia Table. As a Christmas present, I’ve looked through this cookbook, but haven’t had a time to tackle any recipes. Given my brunch cravings and the copious time on our hands, I settled on making Cinnamon Walnut Quick Bread, but a lightened up version of this classic. I still think it’s crazy that the original recipe for this bread was supposed to have 2½ c sugar and a third of a cup of oil. Here, we use just under three-fourths cup sugar, less than a tablespoon of oil, and mix coconut and raisins. It’s perfect right out of the oven, but I recommend it cooling longer than we did, since we were a bit too eager to slice it up, thus left with some crumbly pieces. Ted and I enjoyed this warm, served with a cup of coffee and a side of Greek yogurt and strawberries (see first photo after recipe!). It was the perfect stay-at-home Sunday brunch.

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Better Than Takeout, Bread, Breakfast/Brunch, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Snack, Vegetarian

Sweet Potato Bread for Breakfast

March has been a weird month. As a nurse practitioner, it’s the year of the nurse. However, with the coronavirus pandemic knocking on our door (or literally at our door), I wasn’t expecting the year of the nurse to be quite like this. I deal with stress by cooking and baking. You should maaaybeee expect some baking recipes to come. I started on this sweet potato bread recipe before the pandemic broke out, and man, this breakfast bread is good. After some tweaks, it’s finally ready to share. Oats and almond flour are the “flour” or grains and applesauce and Greek yogurt act as the butter and oil. Have you had Starbucks’ pumpkin loaf when it debuts each fall? This Sweet Potato Breakfast Bread is that good, but a little healthier for you. It’s spiced, just the right amount of sweet, and pairs oh-so-well with your bitter cup of coffee in the morning or a mug of tea.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Smoothie, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Glowing Skin Recovery Mango Tahini Smoothie

I’ve been on a spin kick lately, going 2-3 times per week since after Christmas. I’ve enjoyed drinking a smoothie after this intense exercise since it’s hydrating and nourishing, especially when I’m not hungry or in the mood for “whole” food for a bit after that type of rigorous exercise. This Mango Tahini Smoothie has good-for-your-skin vitamins from mango, healthy fats from tahini, and antioxidants and vitamin C from the orange. I swapped cauliflower in for banana, since mangos are already sweet enough. Brightened with cardamom and cinnamon, this smoothie is a refreshingly cozy way to start your day and recover from some welcomed sweaty exercise. Continue reading “Glowing Skin Recovery Mango Tahini Smoothie”

Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Vibrant & Bright Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

While I do not claim for these cookies to be true Anzac biscuits, the basis for the ingredients screamed like an Annie cookie. Without eggs, the cookies held up quite well despite lacking eggs when families sent these biscuits to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps–hence Anzac–circa WWI. The true recipe calls for oats, flour, sugar, butter, “golden syrup,” and coconut. I found a recipe for these in Sweet, and I decided to tweak these to be my own. I call them Coconut Oatmeal Cookies with Raisins & Lemon. They’re still sweet (despite using only 3/4 c sugar instead of almost 2 c), bright from the cardamom and lemon zest, and perfectly chewy thanks to the oats and raisins. They’re like an updated version of your grandmother’s oatmeal raisin cookies.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Snack, Vegetarian

Christmas Stollen on Christmas Morning

Merry Christmas! I promise you that if you make bread, Christmas Stollen is an easy bread to tackle. I’m a little too organized, so I simplified the steps and the ingredient groups. You just need to prep accordingly to let the nuts and fruit soak and allow the bread to rise. Stollen is a traditional German bread made with dried fruits, candied citrus, nuts, and spices dating back to the late 1300s or early 1400s from Dresden, Germany. Our neighbors use an old recipe and gift us Stollen each Christmas that we swap for our homemade cut-out cookies and Spritz. We munch on Stollen on Christmas morning as we open presents and enjoy each other’s company. I kept this version simple using the dried fruit and sliced almonds that I had, but I’d highly recommend buying or making your own candied citrus. By using yeast instead of making a quick bread, this Christmas bread becomes dense and chewy.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Smoothie, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Pumpkin Pie in a Glass

Although it’s fall, Halloween’s 70° weather had me craving this Pumpkin Pie Smoothie last week. Rich in antioxidants and vitamin A, pumpkin is not an obvious choice for smoothies. However, it’s thick and creamy nature allows it to easily acquire flavors like the spices of pumpkin pie. It’s just decadent enough to be breakfast, dessert, or a snack, but healthy thanks to bananas’ and dates’ natural sweetness. Healthy fats in the almond butter and plant-based protein round this smoothie out as a nutritious option.

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Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Snack, Vegetarian

Cool Down with These Mango Popsicles

In honor of the weather hitting the 90’s here today, here’s how I stayed cool this summer: Mango Coconut Popsicles! These popsicle molds from Target were worth the investment. You can make full batches, half batches, mix and match. Popsicles are a great way to “meal prep” some desserts—easy prep to reap the benefits later. They fall more on the icy end of the spectrum instead of creamy, but swap coconut water for coconut milk for a more decadent treat.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

An Unexpected Latte

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This Ginger Avocado Latte is the most unexpected sort of latte. It’s not how you’d think of a latte in a traditional sense. There’s no coffee or caffeine. The avocado just adds a frothy, creamy goodness. Play around with flavors of the fresh ginger like cinnamon for some spice or cardamom for a citrusy addition.

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