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 ­čÖé oftentimes on my way to work!

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(no)sugar, spice & everything nice

It was C-O-L-D cold this week! And that meant two things…

1.) I felt the need to listen to Christmas music! (And thus broke my anti-Christmas-music-before-thanksgiving stance)

2.) I’ve entered into every minute of the day hot beverage mode.

Now during the day I drink my fair share of black coffee. But that caffeine can get to your head (even though my homemade blend is 1/2caff)…especially before bed. So, I branch out to my homemade Peppermint Mocha. It’s delicious, dairy-free, sugar-free and all of 15 calories. BOOM, you’re welcome…enjoy!

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Skinny Peppermint Mocha

  • 1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp stevia powder
  • Hot water (or half hot water, half almond milk)
  • 1 Peppermint tea bag

Mix together first three ingredients. Let tea steep for approx 3 minutes. Stir, sip, savor.

Who needs Starbucks?!?? ­čśÇ

Girl you know it’s true: wine in a jar & almond cookies

First, some #motivationalmonday thoughts… It’s good to be yourself no matter if it pleases everyone or not! I promise it’ll make you happier than trying to be someone you’re not!

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And thinking about being true to yourself made me think about some Milli Vanilli (oh yea)

Second, I’m currently in the process of packing up my life to move back to Pittsburgh and pursue my Master’s Degree. That means all of my dishes are pretty much in a box, so last night this happened…

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Not that I’ve never drank out of a jar before, but it’s usually not filled with a classy $7 bottle of wine from the grocery store. ­čśŤ And I also made these scrumdiddlyuptious Coconut Almond Butter Cookies… they’re gluten/sugar free and vegan…make them, eat them, love them!

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Coconut Almond Butter Cookies

Ingredients:
1 flaxseed egg (1TBSP milled flaxseed + 3TBSP water)
1C almond butter (I use Maranatha)
1C shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tsp powdered stevia (or other sweetener)
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350

2.) Make flax egg and set aside to coagulate

3.) Mix other ingredients

NOTE: I recommend measuring your almond butter by weighing it rather than trying to get it from the jar it into a measuring cup and then back out into a bowl… you’ll have a mess and waste a lot of almond butter (who wants to do that?!)

4.) Line a baking sheet with parchment

5.) Using a small ice cream scoop or teaspoon, put rounds on cookie sheet

6.) Flatten with a fork making a criss-cross pattern

7.) Bake until golden brown (about 12-15min)

 

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?┬á(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 Thursday: “Ice Cream” edition

So a few Saturdays ago I got the cooking bug, promptly wrote this post, and then somehow forgot about it in the wake of my work week! Today, I’m thankful that everything happens for a reason and that this post was sitting around.

I’m also thankful that the weather is starting to heat up! Maybe (like me) you’re ready for a frozen treat since it’s hitting 90 degrees in DC this week! I’m so thankful for wonderful concoctions like frozen whipped up bananas that make a great ice cream replacement on hot, humid days! (for those of us dairy-free dudes and dudettes out there)

I wish I had a picture for you, but alas all I have is a recipe for a lovely Frozen Banana CocoNUT Pie!

The crust:┬áI’ve been looking for a good gluten-free, dairy-free crust substitute (this one is sugar-free too). I say substitute because, let’s be honest, nothing tastes like a real pie crust without gluten! And if you beg to differ…send me your recipe PLEASE!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 C oats
  • 1 C nuts (I used walnuts, but any nut will do)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 TBSP oil/butter (I used coconut oil)…melted
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup or honey OR you could add Stevia/Truvia etc to desired sweetness ­čÖé
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350* Put oats, nuts, and salt in a food processor and pulse until chopped. Stir melted oil/butter with sweetener of choice (you could also add some vanilla for good measure), and then add to food processor. Pulse a few more times, transfer to pie plate/tin, and press until evenly distributed. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until slightly browned.

The filling: So simple it’s mind-blowing…

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 can coconut milk (doesn’t matter the fat content)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 C shredded coconut (unsweetened if you’re going sugar-free)

Put all ingredients in a blender. Pulse until smooth. Pour into completely cooled crust. Place assembled pie in the freezer until set. NOTE: You really need to give the pie some time to thaw before you eat it or it will be a little crystalized. So, I say take it out at least 30min before you want to serve and use a knife heated in some hot water to cut into slices. Top with some┬ácaramelized┬ábananas perhaps? Coconut whipped cream (oh yea, that’s a real thing…that’s Oh She Glows recipe) or regular whip with some crushed pecans is what we went for… YUM!