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

Apple Pie in a Bowl

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I wanted something that was filling, healthy but still sweet for breakfast. I saw a recipe for this apple pie oatmeal on Instagram. Why not slowly detox from the Holidays? The chia seeds and oatmeal add substance and protein, while the apples add fiber and vitamin C, and we’ll all need some extra vitamin C to combat the cold and flu season upon us. Another tasty way to transform an ordinary bowl of oatmeal to Apple Pie Oatmeal.

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Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Vegan, Vegetarian

Moose Have Chocolate Avocado Mousse

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I’ll admit I was a huge skeptic when I saw this recipe in Giada De Laurentiis‘s cookbook, Giada’s Feel Good Food. My mom, who had also given me this cookbook, gave it rave reviews. Still, I was hesitant to make this, just like I was to try that quite green tasting kale smoothie. Won’t it just taste like a bunch of avocados poorly disguised as a dessert? Boy was I wrong. Made free from any gluten or dairy, it’s a universal, yet elegant dessert for the holiday season. Best with extremely ripe avocados to obtain that silky smooth consistency (how to find ripe avocados here). Admittedly, I must be in the mood to indulge in this dessert, but the Avocado Chocolate Mousse is decadently creamy, somehow both light and dense all in one bite, and utterly delicious. Top with some fresh fruit and mmmm, so good.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Chocolatey Cinnamon Heaven in a Bowl

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For all you chocolate lovers out there, this Chocolate Chai Oatmeal tastes like chocolatey cinnamon heaven. I added the chia seeds for some extra fiber, protein, antioxidants and omega-3’s. I honestly forgot I added them to the oatmeal at all because they blended in so well. The chocolate chips melt into the oatmeal, creating a luxuriously decadent flavor. The end product doesn’t appear too dark or chocolatey because I reduced the amount of cocoa powder since I added chocolate chips as well. Trust me — all the flavor is there. The cinnamon in the chai tea compliments the chocolate, and the fresh raspberries contribute a tartness to the oatmeal’s sweetness. Sometimes you just need a little chocolate for breakfast.

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

Na-na-na-nice Cream

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Ok, I’ve still been on a pumpkin kick well into November. I’ve made banana ice cream before (frozen bananas blended with unsweetened vanilla almond milk or milk of choice, also affectionately known as “nana ice cream”), but I saw this version on Instagram and just had to try it. I don’t have a high-powered blender, and since there weren’t enough ingredients to make in the food processor, I used a Magic Bullet. The ice cream had the consistency of frozen yogurt, but maintained all the natural sweetness from the bananas and pumpkin pie spice flavors. I had this as a lighter dessert or a much-needed afternoon treat when studying. So have a healthy and natural option for ice cream, as well as a delicious dessert.

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Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

“Forget-That-Oven” Pumpkin Cookies

IMG_4910 If you search “no-bake pumpkin cookies,” most recipes use a pumpkin pie pudding mix and no real pumpkin. Uh, what? No, I would not like pudding in what are supposed to be pumpkin cookies — I think I’ll pass. What happened to going back to the basics? After turning to one of my favorite healthy dessert blogs, I discovered another winning recipe from Chocolate-Covered Katie; she used real pumpkin in a tasty, but obviously simple way. I originally made these No Bake Pumpkin Cookies substituting coconut sugar and coconut oil for sugar and vegetable oil (because why not try new things?), but I felt the coconut oil and sugar together overwhelmed the flavor, and the tropical notes did not mix with pumpkin pie spice. Thus, I recommend the recipe below, swapping the vegetable for coconut oil since it’s less refined. I especially recommend using the added chocolate and pecans — a delicious way to have real pumpkin and still have cookies! Continue reading ““Forget-That-Oven” Pumpkin Cookies”

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

Not-Your-Average Pumpkin Bread for Breakfast

IMG_4638 This might replace my chia seed breakfast bowl. Ok, maybe not, but at least this way I’m still getting my pumpkin fix. “Dress up” your oatmeal, while transitioning to fall and into October with this Pumpkin Bread Oatmeal. The “caramelized” banana is a trick to add a natural sweetener to any dish courtesy of Chocolate-Covered Katieand is definitely a trick I’ll keep in my recipe box. I would’ve never thought to heat the banana to bring out its natural sugar to use it as a sweetener — it’s absolutely brilliant.  (Watch out, sugar! Not sure when I’ll be needing you again.) Add the caramelized banana to the pumpkin bread oatmeal, and I now have a breakfast to look forward to during these cold mornings in Maine. Continue reading “Not-Your-Average Pumpkin Bread for Breakfast”

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

Pumpkin Spice Pick-Me-Up

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I love all things pumpkin, so naturally I just made this pumpkin spice latte to cheer up my dreary, rainy day of studying in Maine. I’m sure you’ve had the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks — it’s sweet, rich and full of that pumpkin flavor. Maybe it’s just me, but I think it’s a tad too sweet and a bit rich, even though I love how delicious the flavors are. I found a recipe on Pinterest for a copycat PSL, when searching for ideas to transition into fall; this Almond Milk Pumpkin Spice Latte version seemed worth a try.  The key to this drink is to froth the pumpkin-almond milk mixture before serving to get that perfect latte consistency. (“Frothing” almond milk beforehand also seems like a great idea to create a non-diary and just plain latte. New idea for a latte recipe?)  This almond milk pumpkin spice latte is the perfect cold weather pick-me-up — yum!

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

Over the Moon for Overnight Chia Seeds

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I have to admit that I was pretty skeptical about chia seeds. My mom made a chia seed pudding, and it was not something I enjoyed, but these breakfast bowls are delicious. The mashed banana adds its own natural sweetness, as well as a thickness to the breakfast bowl; you won’t even need to add a sweetener. The addition of vanilla extract provides a rich flavor and maximizes the vanilla from the unsweetened vanilla almond milk. The chia seeds are high in protein, fiber, omega-3, calcium, potassium and iron (see more here from the Cleveland Clinic). This Chia Seed Breakfast Bowl is especially great because you can make it the night before, literally roll out of bed and viola! breakfast is served. Add fresh fruit and nuts and enjoy a tasty and satisfying breakfast!

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

Who Said Ice Trays Are Just for Ice?

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I’ve been a wee bit tired of water or seltzer, my two go-to’s, when I’m in need of some hydration. Why not make my drinks interesting? My apartment has three ice cube trays, and we don’t need three at all — one is always left abandoned.  I usually make my iced coffee “iced” by just throwing in some ice cubes, but as my friend, Laura, aptly pointed out, “What do you do when your coffee’s watered down?” Well, I suppose I just drink my now-watery coffee and suffer in silence. As it’s all over Pinterest, why not freeze my coffee ahead of time? Why not “dress-up” my plain water with some lemon and mint ice cubes? Both of these options are extremely simple, but require some planning (i.e. allowing time to freeze). So don’t leave your unused ice cube trays abandoned in the freezer. Put them to some good use and jazz them up!

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

I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-Ice-Cream Kale & Raspberry Smoothie

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An unexpected yet tasty combo: raspberries and baby kale. So good blended with Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond milk and Silk vanilla yogurt that you think you’re drinking raspberry vanilla ice cream instead of smoothie mixed with kale. It was the perfect MCAT study break, as well as a delicious treat for a mid-80s day in Ithaca yesterday. By using already frozen fruit, there’s no added pressure to use the fruit not when it’s ripe, but when you want and need to. The frozen raspberries and bananas add an icy consistency without throwing in ice cubes ( which are a pain to blend). Trust me — you’ll have no idea there’s kale in this!

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