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

The Healthy Frappuccino: Pumpkin Spice Edition

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I just finished a hot and muggy run today and was debating spending money at Starbucks, but also craving my coffee smoothie. But it’s September now, so I can’t just have any coffee smoothie, but the fall version. I have some pumpkin spice protein powder, so I coupled that with cold brew pumpkin spice coffee and a bit of pumpkin pie spice. (Let’s see how many more times I can say “pumpkin pie spice” in one sentence.) They’re all blended together into the perfect Starbucks copycat Healthy Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, Smoothie, Snack, Vegetarian

You Won’t Even Know There’s Cauliflower in This Smoothie

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Don’t hate it until you try it: Raspberry Açai Cauliflower Smoothie. I’m a sucker for trying new food items, especially when I see these unsweetened açai purée packets continually pop up on multiple nutritionist recommended grocery lists. Açai (“ah-sigh-EE” but don’t even ask me to correctly pronounce this; I still butcher the name) is chuck full of nutrients and antioxidants due to its deep purple color — similar to blueberries and blackberries. Look for unsweetened packets in the freezer section making them easy to store and easy to have on hand. You can find them at Trader Joe’s for $4.49 or Whole Foods for $6.99 (at least that’s what it’s going for in Boston proper aka Beacon Hill). Since the purée packets are unsweetened, I added banana and frozen pineapple for some natural sugar. Frozen cauliflower adds nutrients and texture, and you can’t even tell there’s cauliflower in this thing.

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

A P-P-P-Peanut Buttery Banana Breakfast

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Happy Meal Prep Sunday! Here’s an overnight oats recipe that’s got me through 5 am wake ups for clinical and kept me feeling full (in a good way) until I could grab a snack after 10 am or sometimes not until after noon. Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats are a sure way to make it through your morning. Plus, they’re your classic peanut butter and banana flavors with some walnuts for a crunch and protein power to keep you full.

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

Cha-cha-cha Chia Blueberry Muffins

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I’ve been taking a little hiatus from posting — midterms, the 4th, a summer cold . . . Here’s a recipe for Blueberry Chia Protein Muffins that I made to get me through midterms two weeks ago. I swear I had a childhood blueberry muffin recipe that used orange juice and orange zest. Obviously I had to incorporate that orange flavor into my TIU muffin adaption. It’s subtle and complements the blueberries perfectly.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, Vegetarian

“Snickerdoodles” for Breakfast

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It’s meal prep time! I liked the Piña Colada Protein Muffins so much that I decided to try a cinnamon version. (Obviously, we knew this was next because I love cinnamon and add it to a lot of things.) I made Snickerdoodle Pecan Protein Muffins to enjoy as a snack or as a breakfast on the go. Again, I added protein powder* to give these muffins a bit more oomph to get you through your day. The original recipe called for adding dates along with a banana, but I don’t like super sweet things and swapped dates for a little agave instead. The pecans add a nice crunch to the muffins –AND– they keep well in fridge for the week!

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

Tastily Vibrant Tropical Smoothie

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Tropical Turmeric Smoothie Bowl seemed like the perfect combo due to its tropical flare to pretend it’s spring up in the Northeast. Pineapple, mango, banana . . . feeling like you’re on a beach yet? Also, do you guys like my sad attempt at “plating?” 😂 That aside, this smoothie was delish. I saw the idea for adding ground turmeric to smoothies from Gimme Some Oven and thought I needed it to fight the Monday blues from studying pharmacology. Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. I turned the smoothie into a bowl because I found DRAGON FRUIT!! It was my first time working with dragon fruit, and I must say, the interior fruit is so mild and melon-like in comparison to its vibrant, funky exterior.

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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, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegetarian

Going Bananas for Banana Bread

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Mmmm, (Gluten-Free) Banana Bread. I’ve been searching for a butter-free, less added sugar banana bread and saw this version on Minimalist Baker. (MB is all about 1 pot/bowl recipes, ones involving 10 ingredients or less or a meal coming together in 30 min. Great philosophy, right?) Since this version was gluten-free, I decided to go with it. I still cut back on the added sugar, opting for less sweet taste, but the bananas still add their own sweetness.  The almond flour and whole oats definitely add hearty notes to the bread. Have a slice for breakfast with a cup of coffee or one as a snack. I see some banana bread variations in the future…

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