Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Pumpkin-SpiceIt’s that time of year again…pumpkin spice abounds! Supermarket shelves and coffee shops offer every concoction imaginable. the problem is – most of those spicy fall like treats are far from healthy. So, with that in mind, I came up with this recipe. Healthy and delicious. 🙂

Ingredients

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)
2 T ground flax
2 T hemp seeds
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3 T almond milk
1/4 tsp salt

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix all the wet ingredients. Add spices and dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Spoon batter into lined muffin pan.
Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.
*These make great mini-muffins, just adjust the cooking time to 12-15 minutes.

*optional add-in ingredients: pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, pecans

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Homemade Chocolate Almond Milk

almond-milk

 

I received a sample of Freedom Super Foods Raw Cacao Powder…so of course, my first thought was – time to make chocolate almond milk!

The product was rich, chocolate-y and delicious! I give it a thumbs up.

If you’ve never made your own almond milk – you absolutely must give it a try. It really is quite easy and sooooo delicious. Once you’ve tasted homemade, you’ll never buy store-bought almond milk again!

Ingredients:
•1c raw almonds
•4c filtered water
•1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
•4 pitted Medjool dates
•2 TBSP Cocoa/Cacao Powder (to taste)

Directions:

Soak almonds in water over night. (8-12 hrs) Drain the water from the almonds.

In a *Vitamix, blend almonds and dates in 4c of filtered water.

Pour mixture through a cheesecloth or *nut milk bag into a large pitcher or bowl. Return milk to vitamix and add vanilla and cacao powder and blend until combined. Store refrigerated, in an airtight container. Can be stored for 4-7 days. Shake before serving.

*A nut milk bag works much better than cheesecloth.

Enjoy!

 

 

Benefits of Almond Milk:

•Almond milk is a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E, so it can help prevent cancer and slow the signs of aging. The flavonoids in almond milk also help to reduce the number of free radicals in the body, protecting you from a number of degenerative diseases that occur with again, such as osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes.
•Unlike cow’s milk, almond milk contains no cholesterol and no saturated fats, so it won’t damage your cardiovascular system. Almond milk is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which off many benefits including lowering your levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol.
•Compared to soy and rice milk, almond milk has the highest concentrations of vitamins and minerals.
•Almond milk is a great milk substitute choice for those who are trying to lower their fat and calorie intake.

*Almond Milk is Not Safe for Those with Tree Nut Allergies

 

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Oatmeal Banana Muffins

oatmeal muffins
These muffins are delicious – My kids love ’em for breakfast or a snack.
They make a  great post-work snack too.
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not the quick cooking kind)
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
2 ripe bananas mashed
1/8 cup raw honey or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 cup  unsweetened almond milk (if mixture seems too dry, add another TBSP or so)
              *any unsweetened plant based milk will do
1/4 cup chocolate chips
*Optional nutrient boosting add-ins: 2 TBSP ground flax seeds, 2 TBSP hemp seeds,
Preheat oven to 350
Mix all the wet ingredients in a bowl. Add the oats and chocolate chips and mix well. Lightly oil a muffin tin and spoon batter into each cup.  Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Makes 12 full size or 24 mini muffins.
These can be kept in the fridge for several days or frozen.
*options: use unsweetened applesauce instead of bananas; use your favorite nut butter in place of peanut butter.
Eat Healthy & Thrive

Healthy Vegan Waffles

Eat Healthy & Thrive waffles

Today was waffle Saturday in my house!
I adapted these from the “Zeb’s Waffles” recipe in My Beef with Meat, by Rip Esselstyn.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup flax seed meal (ground flax seeds)
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup flaked, unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 medium banana, smashed
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups almond milk
Instructions:
Preheat your waffle iron.
Mix the dry ingredients (except coconut) in a food processor and mix until a flour like consistency.
Add to the coconut and wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add more Almond milk at this time if the mix seems too thick. The longer this mix sits, the thicker it get. Cooking times vary depending on your waffle iron – I cooked mine for 4 minutes.
Top with your favorite fresh fruit.
Here’s a yummy topping idea:
Heat up a cup of frozen berries and add 1 TBSP of maple syrup. Delicious!
*The are not light fluffy waffles – they are dense, hearty waffles.
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Amaranth Breakfast Porridge

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What is Amaranth?

Amaranth is often lumped into the “grains” category, but it is in fact the seed of a cereal-like herb. It’s amazingly versatile and deserves its place as a highly regarded “superfood.”

Amaranth has an extremely high protein complex, with unusually concentrated amounts of lysine, an amino acid rarely found in plants. A combination of amaranth and other low-lysine grain, such as wheat, creates a very high amino acid profile, even higher than those found in meats and other animal products.

Amaranth contains more calcium, and the supporting calcium cofactors (magnesium and silicon) than milk. The calcium found in amaranth is therefore highly absorbable and easily utilized by the body.

A gluten free food, amaranth is also easily digested, making it especially useful for very active people, vegetarians, and pregnant and breastfeeding women.

How to use Amaranth

Amaranth can be cooked in the same way as rice. This is a good way to try amaranth, if you’ve not eaten it before. To obtain optimum nutrients from this grain, it is recommended that amaranth be soaked for 8 -10 hours.

Cooked Amaranth has a slightly sticky texture. Be careful not to overcook it, as it can become gummy.

 

Amaranth Breakfast Porridge

Ingredients:

•1 cup amaranth

•3 cups water

•1-2 Tbsp lemon juice (optional)

•Toppings of your choice: ground flax seeds, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, chopped raw nuts, fresh fruit, unsweetened coconut flakes, goji berries, nut butter, non-dairy milk, cinnamon

Directions:

In a medium bowl, place water, lemon juice, and amaranth and soak overnight (on countertop or fridge) After amaranth has soaked, rinse under cold water and drain. In a small pot, add soaked amaranth and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in your favorite toppings.

Homemade Larabars

lara-bar

I love Larabars..however, I will not not buy them because the company is owner by General Mills, who is a big supporter of Monsanto. That being said, I decided to try my hand at making my own. After looking at the ingredients, it didn’t seem like too daunting a task.

These bars are a great grab & go snack. They are gluten free, dairy free, soy free and organic. Regardless of the flavor you choose to make, here are the basic directions:

Start with placing the dates (and other fruits) in a food processor and pulse about 30-45 seconds. The mixture should stick together well, forming a paste. Place mixture in a seperate bowl. Next, add the nuts and any other ingredients to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add date mixture back to the processor and combine all ingredients well. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Pour the processed bar mix into the pan, fold the other half of the wrap over the mix and press firmly. Place the bars in the fridge for about an hour and then cut into 6 bars (or 12 squares, if you want them smaller). Either wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap or place them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge.

*If the dried fruit that you’re using is really tough or a little too dry, it can be soaked in warm water for about 5 minutes, then drain and process according to the directions above.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and come up with own favorites! *optional add-ins: 1-2 TBSP of cocoa powder; flax seed; cacao nibs; vanilla; cinnamon

My Favorite Flavor Combinations:

 

Coconut Date Bars

  • 1 cup roughly chopped dates
  • 3/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

 

Cherry Pie

  •  1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1 cup dried cherries

 

Key Lime Pie

  •  1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  •  Zest and juice of 1 lime

 

Lemon Bar

  •  1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup dates
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon

 

Blueberry Muffin

  • 1/4 cup dried blueberries
  • 1/4 cup dates
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)

 

Peanut Butter Cookie

  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 TBSP natural peanut butter (no sugar or oil added)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup peanuts

 

Chocolate Coconut Macaroon

  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup dates
  • 3 TBSP cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt (optional)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

 

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Acai Bowl Recipe

acai-bowl-

Acai berries are a miracle superfood that fights 80% of cancers and promotes longevity. Has a blue pigment in its skin that is highly beneficial to our immune system and cell production. High in omega 3s.

 

Ingredients:

  •  1 pack of frozen Acai Berry
  • 1/2 cup apple juice (substitute almond or coconut milk if you prefer)
  • 1/2 frozen ripe banana
  • 7-8 sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 sliced banana (fresh)
  • Blueberries
  • 1/4 cup Granola

*Optional: unsweetened coconut flakes, Goji berries, sliced fruit, chia seeds

Directions:

1. Remove packets of acai and frozen banana from freezer.

2. Add apple juice, Acia and frozen banana, and a few strawberries to your blender. If you have a VitaMix use the tamper to puree into a soft serve. If you have another type of blender you may have to stop and stir and keep pulsing to combine. Stop blending when smooth.

3. Once blended, pour into a bowl and top it with Granola, sliced fruit and your choice of toppings.

 

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