Sweater Weather…almost

Now that I’m a SoFlo resident, Winter just isn’t the same. It’s not about fires and flannel and snow. But, it’s finally cooling down here! To the point where I’ve been wearing multiple layers and (joy of all joys) scarves to work.

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I’ve also been getting into those winter flavors and warmer beverages. Last night I picked up my favorite tea…Constant Comment, and I made some Cranberry Chia Seed Jam.

Cranberries have so many great health benefits! You can read a great article on them HERE. The jam is also sugar and preservative free and filled with fiber.

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Cranberry Chia Jam

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 medium orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Stevia to taste
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds

Directions

Place all ingredients except chia seeds into a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once cranberries start to “pop” open, reduce heat and simmer until the mixture thickens slightly.

Transfer to a glass storage container. Mix in chia seeds. Allow to cool completely, and then refrigerate overnight.

The chia seeds will soak up the excess liquid making a delicious jam!

I eat it on my microwave flaxseed muffin 🙂 oftentimes on my way to work!

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#pumpkinspiceeverything

Fall in American no longer means the leaves are changing colors or the weather is get cooler… it means pumpkin spice everything! Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice Jell-O pudding, pumpkin spice creamers and cookies and liquors!

And, you know what? I friggin LOVE it!

Here’s my logic…

Sara+fall=love

Fall=pumpkin spice everything.

Therefore, Sara+pumpkin spice everything= love.

(Undergrad philosophy 101 did teach me something after all.)

However, I don’t enjoy how pumpkin spice everything usually means processed everything. So, I’ve made a few deliciously non-processed pumpkin-laden things over the past few weeks and thought I’d share. (especially since the last time I posted was way way way way too long ago).

Pumpkin Spice Oat Bars

Oatbars

  • 2.5C rolled oats
  • 1 tsp powdered stevia
  • 1 TBPS cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • dash of all spice
  • 1C pumpkin puree
  • 1 TBSP vanilla
  • any other add-ins you enjoy (craisins or fresh cranberries with a little extra melted honey are a great addition! and I usually add in a scoop or two of protein powder to make them a more well-rounded snack)
  • TIP: add a dash of almond milk if it looks too dry or a little more pumpkin

Mix dry, add wet, PRESS (really press) into a pan (smaller pan if you want em thicker, bigger pan if you want em thin… but the thinner they are the more likely they are to crumble!)

Bake in 350 degree oven  for ~10-12 minutes or until the tops are dry to the touch.

Overnight Slow-cooker Pumpkin Butter

pumpkin

  • 1 medium “pumpkin pie” pumpkin
  • 1/2C coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of all spice
  • 2 TBPS cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 C water
  1. Gut the pumpkin like you would a jack-o-lantern. (Clean and roast the seeds if you love some peppitas on your oatmeal like I do).
  2. Split it in half and place flesh side down in a casserole dish with about 1 in of water in the bottom.
  3. Roast in 350 degree over until you can pierce the skin easily with a knife.
  4. Allow to cool and then skin the pumpkin.
  5. Place pumpkin flesh and all other ingredients in a crockpot.
  6. Allow to cook on low overnight (8 hours) or on high for ~4 hours.
  7. Puree in a high-end blender or with a blender stick.
  8. Enjoy on everything… even cardboard. 😀

TIP: if you’re having a hard time blending it add some apple cider/juice to it to help the process.

Enjoy all the tasty pumpkin treats this season! And, feel free to share your faves below!

Happy Chewsday! aka Blueberry Flaxseed Microwave Muffin day!

It has been seriously so long since I’ve posted anything new! Hopefully that’s about to change as I work on getting into a better groove with life, school, work, and everything else!

I wanted to share this quick, scrumptious, healthy, no bake muffin recipe with you all! It’s so quick (like 3 min quick… never skip breakfast again!), easy, and a great source of Omega-3s all under 250 calories!

I don’t know if the picture does it justice… I usually leave it in the mug I make it in 🙂 This morning I took it out, split it in two and added Powercakes Strawberry Chia Jam (google it… you won’t be disappointed) to it.

flax muffin

Blueberry Flaxseed Microwave Muffin

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 C milled flaxseed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 tsp stevia
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4C frozen blueberries
  • Optional: 1 tbsp melted coconut oil (makes it a little smoother) but adds the extra 130kcals

Directions:

In a mug or a 1C glass measuring cup mix dry, add wet, and stir until well incorporated. Taste to make sure it’s to your sweetness liking. Place in microwave on high for 1-1.5 min. Let cool a bit and then enjoy.

According to myFitnesspal (I’m user sholtz1005 if you’d like to be friends) It’s 238 calories, 14g of protein, 17g of fat (sans coconut oil), and 11g of fiber. It’s also #glutenfree, #dairyfree, and #paleo…BOOM!

A special thanks once again goes out to Aunt Gina who supplied me with the original recipe from which this is adapted. She was sugarfree, dairyfree, glutenfree before it was a fad… go Aunt Gina!

Have a Happy Tuesday!

Roasty Toasty Weekend (Recipes galore)

It’s HERE!

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It makes me want to curl up with a cup of tea and a blanket, get all nice and toasty and read all day, but alas… things called school and work (and cleaning off the car in order to go to school and work) must happen.

And schoolwork went slightly by the wayside this weekend as I roasted and toasted all of this…

food 11.12.13

 

Upper left: Honey Roasted Cranberries and Carrots Upper right: #GF, #DF Buckwheat Waffles with Ocean Spray’s Cranberry Relish on top (tip… I cook my relish for about 10min with some whole berries in it to get it to gel a bit…mmm) Lower left: BBBrownies & PB (recipe coming later) Lower right: Roasted Brocc & Walnuts

And now the recipes! Let’s start with the easy ones (healthy food doesn’t have to be complicated 🙂

Honey Roasted Cranberries and Carrots

  • About a dozen medium carrots, peeled and quartered
  • 1.5C fresh cranberries (if you want it sweeter you could use craisins)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic (I know that’s weird, but it’s good I promise)
  • 2 TBSP honey (you can adjust the sweetness by adjusting the honey or adding a little extra sugar
  1. Season
  2. Mix
  3. Roast @400 for ~45min or until the carrots are tender (mix them every once in awhile)

Roasted Brocc & Walnuts (aka mouth candy)

  • 4C Brocc florets
  • 1C Walnuts
  • 1-2TBSP olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, paprika
  1. Place brocc onto a sheet pan and drizzle with as much or as little olive oil as you’d like
  2. Add seasonings
  3. Roast @350 for 30min
  4. Add walnuts to brocc and mix around
  5. Roast another 15-20min or until brocc is tender and walnuts are toasty… yum

#GF, #DF Buckwheat Waffles (this is a time and time again tested recipe, and I think I’ve finally gotten something GdoubleODgood… and Buckwheat is so good for you!)

  • 2C Buckwheat Flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1TBSP cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, separate the whites into a glass/metal bowl
  • 2TBSP honey
  • 2TBSP coconut oil
  • 1.5tsp vanilla
  • 1C almond milk
  1. Mix dry together
  2. Melt honey (if raw) and coconut oil together
  3. Add honey/coco mix, vanilla, egg yolks and almond milk to dry mix
  4. Whip egg whites into soft peaks
  5. Fold whites into batter
  6. Make waffles!

(NOTE: I use an ice cream disher to measure out my waffle mixture…it’s ~1.5 scoops for each waffle, but that depends on your maker)

Hope you enjoy all of these as much as I am for breakfasy, lunch and dinner this week 🙂

It’s not too late for Pumpkin goodness! #GF Pumpkin Buckwheat Pancakes & Pumpkin Butter

Oh how the days just seem to slip away. I swear just yesterday I saw the first leaves start to turn the slightest tinge of orange and the next thing I know it’s November!

Well, October is my favorite month for many reasons, so I am sad that it’s gone. But, while it was here I did manage to whip up some amazing pumpkin concoctions that I’ve been meaning to share so….

Gluten-free Pumpkin Buckwheat Pancakes

*Adapted from my friends the Walberg’s Aunt Gina’s buckwheat recipe…thanks Aunt Gina!

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  • 1C buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice (more or less to your liking)
  • 1TBSP coconut oil
  • 1TBSP honey (I used raw)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 C pumpkin puree (If you use the “pie mix” kind eliminate some of the spices! And… I’ve tried adding more…. it doesn’t work…trust me on this one!)
  • 1C almond milk (or regular milk for you lactose enzyme producing folk)
  • 1 egg
  1. Mix dry ingredients
  2. Melt together coconut oil and honey
  3. Add vanilla to coconut/honey mix
  4. Add coconut/honey/vanilla mix, pumpkin and egg to dry mix. Stir to combine.
  5. Start to add milk little by little until you get a pancake batter consistency to your liking.
  6. Heat griddle (med or so) and coat with your favorite kind of cooking lubricant (I either use coconut oil or butter). Cook and enjoy!

NOTE: if you’re not a good pancake maker… these are very much so like regular pancakes in that they tell you when they need flipped. They will get tiny pockets (burst bubbles) in them. Flip, cook about 1min more and then remove from heat!

I also made this….

5min Pumpkin Butter

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  • 1C pumpkin puree
  • 1 TBSP raw honey (or reg honey)
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • A splash or two of almond milk
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a microwave safe dish.
  2. Microwave on high for about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir, stir, stir.
  4. Taste…adjust sweetness to your liking, and enjoy on top your pancakes!

So, there you have it two super easy, GF, DF, Vitamin A packed recipes to help you enjoy some pumpkin… and there are a few more still to come… so get some pumpkin and get to cookin… it’s still fall after all!

Mountain Monday…BYTOM

Before I talk mountains here’s some Monday Motivation for ya from Mia Angelou…she’s so smart! Reminds me of the lovely Powercakes mantra… #betruetoyou We all (men and women but maybe more women than men) need to like ourselves a little more!

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So on Saturday I crossed something off my very extensive bucket list… I climbed a mountain!

Old Rag

Specifically, a great group of friends and I hiked up Old Rag in Shenandoah National Park. To say it was amazing would be an understatement. I realized I don’t get out of the city nearly enough, and that perhaps in another life I was a park ranger (but I probably the girly kind who still painter her finger nails).

It was a BYOTM (bring your own trail mix kind of a day), which I did… a mix of Chex, craisins, almonds, marshmallows, and some cinnamon… but I also made a big pan of my homemade granola bars for the trek…my add-ins were sunflower seeds and craisins this batch.

banana oat bars

I always get asked for the super simple recipe…and I’ve modified the original recipe to be vegan! To make a larger pan its:

  • 1 large mashed banana
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp stevia (I use dry)
  • 1 TBSP (or more) cinnamon
  • 2-2.5C oats
  • Splash of almond milk (only if things doesn’t seem to be holding together enough)
  • Add-ins (whatever you want!!) I usually add in some protein powder (a mix of rice protein and pea protein so that they are a complete morning grab ‘n go meal)

Mash up bananas, add in vanilla and stevia. Mix oats and cinnamon together (you could add some ground flaxseed in if you want but remember to add a little more liquid). Add wet to dry (including add-ins) and mix. Things should hold together without being wet. If there’s a lot of loose oats add a splash of almond milk. Firmly press into a pan (the larger the pan the thinner the bars) and vice versa. Bake at 350 for 10-12minutes or just until the top is dry to the touch.

What’s your favorite grab and go breakfast? (ps I feel like commenting is confusing on here bc it’s the speech bubble at the beginning of the post! but I want to hear from you)

 

Thankful Twitterpated Thursday

#twitterpated by #spring

I think Spring may actually be here to stay! This Thursday that’s why I’m thankful. Spring is the reminder of a new beginnings as trees bud and flowers (esp my faves…tulips) bloom. And as I walk by picturesque streets here in DC I’m reminded that “God’s loyal love can’t run out, His merciful love can’t dry up…it’s new every morning” -Lam 3:23

And I’m reminded of Bambi and Twitterpation…

And I’m thankful for new recipes! I adapted a breakfast lentil recipe from godairyfree.com

Lentils

For 4 servings…Ingredients:

  • 1C red lentils (soaked overnight to reduce cooking time and ease digestion)
  • 3C brewed red tea (I used decaf Coconut Thai Chai Tea)
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4tsp nutmeg
  • 1tsp stevia (or leave it out and add honey/maple syrup/etc to each portion)
  • Topping: splash of Almond Breeze coconut almond milk (or any kind of milk), chopped apple, crushed walnuts

Place the tea, spices and lentils over med-high heat and cook 20-30min or until soft. Top with apples and walnuts (maybe a drizzle of honey) and enjoy!

I ate mine hot in a new mug I #fabfound at Marshall’s the other day… LOVE! But I think it would be great cold and the topping choices are ENDLESS! Shredded coconut? Yes! Adding in healthy fats (coconut, coconut oil, walnuts, etc) is always a plus and lentils instead of oats in the morning definitely ups the amount of natural protein you’re taking in in the morning.

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