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

Amazing Apple Pie for Breakfast

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I love oatmeal bake. Originally made by my cousin, Betsy, when I visited Chicago, I’ve lightened up the original and made it my own. Last fall, I kept making a pumpkin version. This fall, why not try an apple version? I added apple pie spices, fresh apple chunks and chopped walnuts. Drizzle with maple syrup (which you can’t even tell I added to the pics since it absorbed right in), add a spoonful of vanilla yogurt, and top with raisins and cinnamon sugar, and Apple Walnut Oatmeal Bake will make your kitchen smell heavenly and give your tastebuds a frenzy. Plus, it’s such an easy brunch idea or a meal prep for the week. Happy brunchin’!

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

Cheering for Mango Chia Bowls

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Before mangos disappear forever (or at least until next summer), it’s time to try Mango Chia Pudding. Mango season may have passed, but this is such a refreshing breakfast, snack or dessert. Pick a super ripe and juicy mango and you won’t even think to add any extra sugar or sweetener. The cinnamon pairs nicely and bridges the gap between holding-on-to-summer and oh-wow-it’s-already-fall.

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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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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, 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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Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Vegan, Vegetarian

Rev Up Your Metabolism with This Detox Tea

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I made a boomerang for this, but sadly, uploading videos to my blog is somehow surprisingly complicated. Thus, you’re stuck with these rainy background photos, whose melancholy nature actually makes you want to drink tea, right? I made this Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Tea last spring using local honey in an attempt to keep my allergies at bay. Not entirely sure if it helped for allergies, but I enjoyed drinking the tart tea warm either first thing in the morning or right before bed. I’ve been an on-again, off-again Tone It Up follower for 3 years now, and they recommended a version of this they call “Meta D” with apple cider vinegar (ACV), apple juice, cinnamon and cayenne. (They also have ACV and fruit blends here.) It does boost some health benefits that can’t hurt: cinnamon is anti-inflammatory, ginger helps with digestion and ACV and cayenne rev up metabolism. Here’s a warning, it is quite tart, but try to enjoy without overloading it with honey (aka sugar albeit ). I also really like this not cold, not piping hot, but warm juuuuust right in the middle.

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

Crazy about Carrot Cake for Brekkie

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I’m back on an overnight oat fix (and smoothies, but we’ll get leave that for another time). We’ve had some stressful exam weeks approaching finals so meal prepping has been key. I whipped up a couple jars of some different flavors like Carrot “Cake” Overnight Oats. These are so easy to make, you can enjoy them hot or cold and you have all the flavors of carrot cake without the huge indulgence. I also promise you won’t even realize the carrots are there. They finer you grate them, the more they disappear. (It’s like a zucchini bread turned oatmeal if you still need a hard sell.)

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep

Really into Indonesian Bowls

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Sorry I’m not — another bowl recipe. I made March my mission for “Measure March” or “Meal Prep March” and bowls are so easy for this. You get the perfect serving size and a mix of protein, grains and/or veggies. I went for an Indonesian Inspired Quinoa Bowls to “switch” things up. I must say the red curry, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves added such  nice flavors to the meat. Again, I’m all about those quick meals. Originally calling for ground beef, I used rotisserie chicken for less to prep and less to worry about in terms of cooking — plus I prefer chicken over beef. Sorry to my steak lovers. I shredded the rotisserie chicken beforehand, tossed it with the curry, spices and coconut milk and let it all simmer to perfection, while I made the quinoa and chopped everything for the bowls. The purple cabbage and cucumber add color and a nice crunch. This perfectly makes four servings so get ready for leftovers!

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

Berry Deliciously Spiced Overnight Oats

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I haven’t made overnight oats in a while and I must say, what a way to get back in the game. It’s (hopefully) getting warmer with spring officially trying to make its way into the New England weather and the daylight slowly growing longer.  Although I usually grab cinnamon and vanilla for breakfast items and/or smoothies, this was different. The combo of raspberries, cranberries, and spices were great. Served hot or cold — you choose just how to enjoy Cinnamon Vanilla Berry Overnight Oats.

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