Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Mexican, Vegan, Vegetarian

Fresh, Tart Citrus Margaritas

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This is the perfect margarita recipe when you’re feeling tequila, but you’re also feeling lazy. Like my four ingredient margarita, you just need fresh citrus, tequila, and sugar. For whatever reason, I’ve been craving some fresh citrus and tequila during this pandemic and social distancing. Maybe it’s because we had to simply enjoy Cinco de Mayo in the comfort (and safety) of our own apartment or because they just sounded that good with guac and enchiladas. I vacillate with whether I enjoy salt on mine–I do enjoy the modest amount, but not when the glass is dripping in salt that I feel like I’m sipping a tequila-infused ocean–, so I decided to leave this Lemon Grapefruit Margaritas unadorned. Feel free to add a salt or a sugar + zest rim to your marg or even triple sec. However, the beauty of these as that they’re no fuss and made with simple ingredients.

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

Cozy Up with Some Coconut Chia Pudding

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Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s a little “dessert” to color your day. My parents and I went to First Watch for brunch whilst in Ohio, after such a favorable outing when we were in Florida last May. My mom ordered the AM Superfood Bowl, which consisted of a coconut milk chia pudding topped with bananas, berries and blackberry perseveres and homemade granola. It was delish — literally dessert for breakfast. I usually make chia pudding with almond milk, but full-fat coconut milk was a welcomed surprise. On a whim, I added a pinch of cardamom and the citrus flavor added some levity and brightness to the dish. Enjoy as a snack, topped with fruit and granola for breakfast or with some chocolate for dessert, Coconut Chia Pudding is just one of those things you’ll enjoy again and again.

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Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Oh So Satisfying Cinnamon Bites

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It’s that time of year! Time to break out the meal prep and healthy snacks and maybe some indulgences for those New Year’s resolutions. These Cinnamon Almond Bites are perfect for a quick dessert or a taste to satisfying your sweet tooth. I think they’re fine energy bites, and if you choose to coat them in cocoa powder or cinnamon sugar, they become a bitter, dark indulgence or a sweet one. I make them instead of protein muffins and enjoy with some a cup of coffee or with fruit/extra carbs to balance them out. Either way, have fun with these bite-sized energy bites!

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegetarian

Late Summer Peach Muffins with a Pseudo-Streusel

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Happy meal prep! Class is about to start up again after a two week hiatus. Having 9 am to 9 pm class on Mondays is going to be a wee bit rough, so obviously I need some new muffins in my life. I concocted a batch of Almond Peach Protein Muffins since I love fresh, ripe, juicy peaches with almond extract in the summer. Topped with a little brown sugar and chopped almonds, the muffins aren’t overly sweet and hit the spot with just a hint of summer as we move to the fall.

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Better Than Takeout, Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Smoothie, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Just a Little Coffeeeeee Buzzzzzz

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I recently ordered a cold brew infuser from Amazon. Over 1,300 people recommended it and it has not disappointed. The coffee is strong and perfectly cold brewed. Plus, it’s easy to use and store. I’ve made this coffee smoothie before using chilled coffee brewed in a traditional way. Using cold brew was so much better; it’s stronger, darker and maintains that classic bitter coffee taste in this Healthy Coffee Frappuccino. At Starbucks, the Grande (16 oz) Coffee or Coffee Light Frappuccinos contains 23-50 g of sugar (whaaaaat!?). This version is naturally sweetened with frozen bananas and a dash of agave. It’s frosty, tasty and satisfies your iced coffee cravings!

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Dessert, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegetarian

Better (Butter-less) Greek Yogurt Brownies

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Confession: apparently I don’t have a square baking pan? I realize this every time I need one and never seem to remember to pick one up when I don’t. This explains as to why I baked my brownies in a pie pan and the pieces aren’t perfect squares . . . I made chocolate cookies using Greek yogurt before instead of butter and loved them. Like those, I made Greek Yogurt “Skinny” Brownies, which baked into dense, yummy brownies. These brownies are lower in sugar, low in fat (with the fat being healthier) and more nutrient packed if you use carob over cocoa powder. I tossed in some chopped walnuts and unsweetened coconut for texture. I was rationing my chocolate chips and would totally add more for next time! I’ve really wanted a true dessert versus just grabbing some dark chocolate pieces and/or some dates post dinner. I’ve been dreaming of some Halo Top ice cream on top of these brownies — stay tuned. It’s going to be amazing.

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Bread, Dairy-Free, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Side, Vegan, Vegetarian

BAM! The Best [Beer] Bread

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This might be the best thing since sliced bread! (Sorry I’m not. I just had to 😂). I made this over winter break and just resurrected this recipe. This Beer Bread is great with chili, soups and stews — anything to sop up that juicy broth — or even as an easy side to hearten up a salad for a meal. It’s really fun to play with the flavors of beer. I tried a spiced winter stout, a pumpkin beer and an IPA. The bread doesn’t require any rising thanks to the yeast in the beer. I took this recipe from Gimme Some Oven and she melts butter over the top to give the bread both a golden appearance and a nice crunch. I still copied this, but with a different form cut back the total amount of butter added.

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

Simple, Spiced Sweet Potato Bread

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UM, YUM! I stumbled upon Izy Hossack’s recipe for this Sweet Potato Bread and I’m beyond glad I did. Her site, Top with Cinnamon, is exactly what I love with cooking and food blogs: clean, simple and straight to the point. I tweaked her recipe and used whole wheat flour, added more spice and swapped the oil base. My only compliant is the loaf came out dense and did not rise very well, but this could be because I kept it true to Izy’s original, which is vegan. Despite not very much added sugar, the agave and sweet potato add just enough sweetness that’s accentuated by the spices. The nuts give the bread a hearty crunch. I whipped up a Greek yogurt spread to serve and the tanginess was the perfect balance.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegetarian

Going Bananas for Banana Parfaits

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Who said you need to buy sweetened yogurt when you can make your own, even better, Banana Walnut Parfait? Flavored yogurt tends to have as much as 25 g of sugar PER SERVING.Don’t believe me? Check out Yogurt With More Sugar Than a Twinkie via Huffington Post. A delicious snack, light breakfast or dessert, this parfait has less added sugar using plain Greek yogurt as a base, adding only a pinch of agave nectar and plays off of the banana’s natural sweetness.

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

Granola, Granola, Granolaaaa

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When I lived in Ithaca, I discovered how easy it was to make granola and it quickly became a staple to snack on and top yogurt, oatmeal and smoothie bowls. Fast forward to living in Boston and I realized I haven’t made granola in a while. I’ve been saving this recipe for Vanilla Cardamom Granola since right around Christmas, but I finally bought some ground cardamom yesterday. (Fun fact: apparently cardamom is the world’s third most expensive spice.) It has a very spicy, herbal and almost citrusy profile and reminded me of the flavor in lemon poppyseed muffins. The coconut flakes became browned in the oven, while the pecans are delightfully toasted. I topped my vanilla yogurt this morning with 1/4 c granola as an am snack. It’s light and hearty and oh, so satisfying.

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