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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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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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, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Toasted Coconut & Spiced Carrot Oatmeal For Breakfast

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Too many carrots from your garden? Have them for breakfast as a Coconut Carrot Oatmeal Bake. What can I say? I love cardamom and the citrusy flavor it gives to the cinnamon, ginger, carrots & apple. Like my other oatmeal bakes, this is lightened up with   applesauce instead of butter, coconut milk and egg whites. I love the crunch from the walnuts and carrots, and sweetness from the raisins and apple. Oatmeal bake is a great meal prep and if you can use your over in the summer, you can still enjoy the end result hot or cold. Add a little yogurt and maple syrup for a deliciously easy breakfast.

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

The Best Burcha (aka Superfood Muesli)

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I’ve been itching to make this for a long time, and finally bit the bullet and found all these nuts and seeds. I gravitate toward overnight oats in the summer and for clinical days because it’s so easy to make when you have an early morning. Loni Jane’s version did not disappoint; her all nuts and seed take on bircher muesli is a refreshing break from oatmeal. I enjoy my grain-free porridge, but this is much chewier, crunchy and all-around nutty. I swapped sultana (dried grapes), mango and cacao nibs for dried cranberries, since that’s what I had. If you treat this like overnight oats or granola, this is definitely up your alley. I hesitate to use “superfoods,” but Burcha (A Nuts & Seed Bircher Muesli) is really just full of whole foods and nuts, healthy fats and lots of fiber. This kept me full all morning at clinical with that satisfied-that-I-didn’t-overeat feeling. Literally count down the hours that I can have this for breakfast again!

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

Enjoy This Creamy, Chilled Take on “Golden Milk”

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I’ve been on a mission to find a hot, turmeric latte in Boston, but after this smoothie, I’ve been doing it all wrong. Minimalist Baker gave me this idea, but I decided to use golden beets (my new favorite root vegetable!) and frozen mango to add more of that golden color, extra nutrients and a bit of sweetness. Just like that cleansing ginger smoothie, I tossed in whole ginger root for a spicy bite. With all the spices you’d find in golden milk and a creamy coconut base, this Golden Milk Smoothie is going to be a chilled version of your turmeric staple.

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

Going Coco Over These Berry Best Muffins

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Last summer, Tone It Up’s Bikini Series introduced me to protein muffins: great as a breakfast, snack, or dessert. I think my favorites are snickerdoodle, almond peach and now these Red Berry Coconut Protein Muffins. They’re dense, bite-size snacks and perfect with your morning cup of coffee. Plus, these muffins are naturally sweetened with banana and maple syrup. While just a hint of coconut, I enjoy the raspberries and strawberries baked into each bite.

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

Hearty, Feel-Good Plant-Based Curry Soup

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Want a soup that immune-boosting? Stress-relieving? Energizing? Anti-inflammatory? According to Daily Harvest‘s Carrot + Coconut Curry Soup, it’s all of those things wrapped into a yummy bowl of soup. I tried Daily Harvest on a whim, and it didn’t disappoint. Completely fresh ingredients delivered to your door as soups, smoothies, overnight oats, chia parfaits and grain bowls. You add liquid (if needed) and heat them up or blend them. I enjoyed their soup so much (that besides ordering it again), I tried making a big-batch copycat version. This didn’t look quite as colorful and delectable as Daily Harvest’s, but it’s a pretty damn close copycat. Zucchini Coconut Curry Soup is a hearty, plant-based soup packed with veggies, spices and flavor, and I added cubed tofu for some protein. I let julienned zucchini star along with carrots, peppers, cauliflower and spinach. Fresh ginger and cilantro add fresh flavor to the curry. This soup must be good when I sent two servings home with my parents and got my mom’s approval. Happy Meatless & Marathon Monday here in Boston! Grab a cup of soup to stay warm on this rainy day!

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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, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Snack, Vegetarian

To Brownie or Not to Brownie?

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I didn’t want to call these brownies because I don’t think of these as a true brownies without chocolate chips, so I settled on bars. Plus, are brownies ever really healthy? Maybe, maybe not. (Deep, pondering life thoughts by Annie to be continued . . . .) Whatever I call them — Dark Chocolate Coconut Raspberry Bars — can be a dessert or double up for a snack. Made grain-free using cocoa powder and plant-based chocolate powder as the base, these bars came out darkly dense made tart with raspberries.

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