Hummingbird Muffins

I’d heard of hummingbird cake and cupcakes before and they sounded really good!  I love the combination of bananas and pineapple!  Unfortunately, the typical recipe calls for a ton of sugar!  I adapted the recipe for my banana bread muffins to create my healthier vegan, gluten free, and SOS free Hummingbird Muffins!

Hummingbird Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats (GF if desired)
  • 1 cup millet
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 8oz can crushed pineapple
  • 8 dates
  • 4 tbsp almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a high-speed blender, combine oats and millet and blend until a flour forms.
  3. Pour into a large bowl, add the baking powder, and stir together.
  4. In the high-speed blender, add the bananas, pineapple, dates, and almond milk.  Blend until everything is well combined.
  5. Pour into the bowl with the flour and mix until everything is combined.
  6. Stir in the chopped pecans.
  7. Pour into prepared muffin pan and bake for 30 minutes.

Hummingbird Muffins 3

This recipe would be really good as a cupcake too, with a cashew cream icing on top!  Next time I make these muffins, I will add the icing and post the recipe for the cashew cream icing!

Hummingbird Muffins 4

I was able to make 16 muffins with this recipe.

Hummingbird Muffins 2

Hope you enjoy these as much as I did!

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Banana Bread Muffins

This recipe was originally for banana bread.  But I found that the muffins baked better than a whole loaf of bread and it made it easier to make a grab-and-go snack that was already portioned.  I knew I would love this recipe just looking at the ingredients.  It has 5 bananas!  These banana bread muffins is made with only whole foods and is SOS free, meaning it has no added sugar, oil, or salt.  These banana bread muffins can be enjoyed at any time of the day!

Banana Bread Muffins 3

This recipe was adapted from here:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup millet
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 5 bananas!
  • 1/2 cup date paste (or 10 dates)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (or 1 small apple)
  • Optional: 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Combine millet and oats in a high-speed blender and process into a flour.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add baking powder and stir.
  4. Blend together bananas, date paste or dates, and applesauce until well combined.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir.  Add walnuts, if desired, and stir.
  6. Pour into muffin pan (I use a silicon pan) and bake for 20-22 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool and enjoy!

Banana Bread Muffins 2

This recipe is amazing for so many different reasons:

  1. If you already have date paste on hand, this is such an easy recipe to make, since all you have to do is blend the ingredients together! If not, you can just use 10 pitted dates which is even simpler.
  2. Millet is a grain that is not expensive at all!
  3. Only whole foods are used, so it is a healthy treat!

Banana Bread Muffins

Coconut Chia Pudding

I have made chia pudding a few times.  Depending on the recipe I used, depends on the chia to liquid ratio.  Usually, I enjoy the chia pudding but find the consistency to be too thin for my liking.  Lately, I have been into thick foods like super thick smoothies that they can be eaten with a spoon, super thick oats that there’s more yogurt in it than oats or very little almond milk, and now this super thick chia pudding.  I like the thick consistency because it feels like I’m eating more, more volume.

Of all the chia puddings I have tried, this one has been my absolute favorite!  The consistency was perfect!  I think the coconut flour definitely helped.

Coconut Chia Pudding 2

This recipe was adapted from here:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 mashed banana (save other 1/2 for topping)
  • liquid vanilla stevia, to taste
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour

Directions:

  1. Combine chia seeds almond milk, 1/2 mashed banana, and stevia in a bowl.
  2. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. In the morning, stir in coconut flour and other toppings.

For my toppings, I added the other 1/2 of the banana slices, strawberries, and shredded coconut.  You can also add things like other fruits, nuts, seeds, nut butter, coconut oil/butter, etc.

Coconut Chia Pudding

I love that you can make the basic thick chia pudding, then create different flavors with the toppings so your not eating the same thing every time 🙂

Butterfly Fruit Platter

I am loving this spring weather!

With this warmer weather, I am craving even more fresh fruit than I usually do.  As a vegan potluck was approaching, I began to think about what I could bring.  I usually bring an entree and a dessert.  The dessert is usually made because most desserts that are brought to the potluck are not gluten free.  If I bring my own gluten free dessert, than I am guaranteed a sweet treat after dinner.  Last time I brought the Raw Brownies since I love chocolate and this would satisfy my sweet tooth in a perfect and healthy way that I also thought others would enjoy.  But this time as I began to think about what to bring, I knew I wanted a nice light assortment of fruit!  No one has brought any type of fruit platter before so I thought this would be perfect.

Then I had an even greater idea!  Why not arrange that fruit into a cute shape that would be perfect for spring.  And that is what inspired this Butterfly Fruit Platter!

Butterfly Fruit Platter 2

This recipe was inspired from here:

Ingredients:

  • Green Grapes
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Oranges
  • Kiwi
  • 2 blueberries

Directions:

  1. Slice grapes and kiwi.
  2. Chop strawberries, pineapple, and oranges.
  3. Arrange in the shape of a butterfly starting with the base of the butterflies body (the grapes), then the pineapple, next the strawberries, and finally the oranges.*
  4. Add 2 slices of kiwi for the decoration on the butterfly’s wings.
  5. Add 2 slices of green grapes for the eyes with 2 blueberries for the pupils.
  6. Add a very thinly sliced piece of strawberry to each eye for the antennae and as a mouth for the smile 🙂

*Some tips for arranging the fruit:

  • Lay out the grapes starting at the top and working my way down the body, slightly overlapping each grape.  Add an extra layer of grapes on top, so the butterfly will be two layers of fruit.
  • Outline the wings with the pineapple then fill it in so the pineapple is at the same level as the grapes.
  • Do the same thing with the strawberries, then the oranges: outline first then fill it in to it is all at the same level.

This fruit platter can be made with any type of fruit!  You can use what is in season, you can use different color fruits to get different colors of butterflies, you can add more creative designs to the butterfly’s wings, or anything else you can think of!

Banana Yogurt

I love yogurt!  It was one of the hardest, and the last, thing I gave up when I went vegan.  I had just fallen in love with Chobani Greek Yogurt, probably had only been eating it for a year (if that).  But when I realized it was practically the only thing that contained animals that I was still eating, I knew I could sacrifice that to help save the animals.  And now I realize what a difference I am making by not supporting that industry.  The dairy industry is one of the worst.  Here’s an article on just how bad the industry is; it’s very disturbing, but it’s the truth and just because you ignore it to continue eating cheese and milk, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening to countless animals every. single. day.

So, back to what I was saying, I am glad I gave up yogurt for the animals.  Especially when I found out that I actually can still enjoy yogurt – Almond yogurt, coconut yogurt, or soy yogurt.  Soon I will write a post about the differences of all these yogurts and my favorites, but for today I want to talk about a recipe for “yogurt”.

I say “yogurt” because this recipe doesn’t contain probiotics, but it has a texture of real yogurt and the lemon helps add some tang to make the taste similar to what you may expect in yogurt.  In fact, when I first saw this recipe I didn’t even want to call it yogurt because it reminded me more of a chia pudding, but I was intrigued by the lemon and even the cashews.  Even though this still wasn’t yogurt to me, it sure was the closest I’ve ever come to making  “yogurt.”  Plus, it didn’t cost $2 to buy.  This was thick and creamy and I loved the hint of lemon flavor.

This recipe was adapted from here:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp cashews
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 4 tbsp+ almond milk
  • 1 ripe banana
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • dash of sea salt
  • dash of cinnamon
  • Optional: stevia to sweeten

Directions:

  1. Soak cashews in water for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Soak chia seeds in 4 tbsp of almond milk for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Drain the cashews and add to a high speed blender.
  4. Add the soaked chia seeds and all other ingredients to the blender. (I only added 1/2 the banana and saved the other half for topping).
  5. Blend until all ingredients are combined, adding more almond milk to reach desired consistency. (I like my yogurt thick, like greek yogurt, so I only add a splash more to get things moving.)
  6. Place in fridge to chill for at least 20 minutes.
  7. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!

I topped mine with the other 1/2 of the banana and added maca powder to mine for some extra nutrition.  You can also blend in some protein powder.  Nuts, granola, and other fruits would also make a great topping.  If you really want to make this like real yogurt with probiotics, you can buy some probiotic powder and add about a tsp to the ingredients before blending.  I haven’t bought this yet so I don’t know if this brand is good or not, but it is the one I may buy in the future.

Sorry no picture yet!  As I was eating this for breakfast this morning, I surprised myself by how much I liked it.  I wasn’t planning on taking a picture and it wasn’t the prettiest looking bowl I could make.  I’ll for sure be making this again in the future and will include a picture when I do!

Chocolate Chia Strawberry Yogurt

Lately I have been loving yogurt bowls in the morning for breakfast.  They are light enough not to make me me feel weighed down and since I add things to the yogurt like fruits, nuts, seeds, and crumbled muffins, they usually keep me filled until lunch.  Though depending on what I add, I may need an additional snack.  But that is what makes yogurt bowls so great!  You can add whatever you want depending on what your in the mood for and how hungry you are at the time.

My typical yogurt bowls include bananas, peanuts or peanut butter, and a crumbled muffin.  When I saw this recipe online, the idea of chocolate and strawberries sounded like a match made in heaven for a yogurt bowl.  Plus it is probably good for me to change it up and I’m glad I did.  This recipe tasted great!  Especially since I was hungry after a good workout!

Chocolate Chia Strawberry Yogurt 2

This recipe was adapted from here:

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp carob powder
  • pinch of stevia (or other sweetener)
  • 1 6oz container of Greek yogurt (I used So Delicious brand)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, sliced (divided)

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl combine chia seeds, almond milk, carob powder, and stevia.  Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Top with 1/2 of the sliced strawberries.
  3. Mix the yogurt with 1/4 cup sliced strawberries.  Add yogurt mixture on top of the sliced strawberries covering the chia pudding.
  4. Top the bowl with the remain 1/4 cup sliced strawberries.

Chocolate Chia Strawberry Yogurt 3

What I love about this yogurt bowl is there are many ways you can change it to suit your own taste buds.  You can use different flavor yogurts, use different types of fruit, you can mix some of the fruit in with the yogurt (like I did) or keep it separate, and you can top the yogurt with different toppings!

This recipe is perfect for breakfast, a snack, or a healthy dessert!

Chocolate Chia Strawberry Yogurt

Banana Nut Yogurt Bowl

I have been loving mixing yogurt with fruit and nuts.  They make perfect snacks or a light breakfast or a healthy dessert!  Lately, this has been my favorite version.

Banana Nut Yogurt Bowl 2

This isn’t really a recipe but it was so delicious and I would love to have this again.  It is basically yogurt, with banana slices, and homemade trail mix.

Ingredients:

  • 1 6 0z container Greek yogurt* (I used So Delicious brand)
  • 1 banana
  • a mixture of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit (trail mix)

Directions:

  1. Scoop yogurt into a bowl.
  2. Add sliced bananas.
  3. Top with trail mix and enjoy.

*I use either plain yogurt mixed with vanilla protein powder or vanilla yogurt.

**My trail mix included peanuts, cashews, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, dried cranberries, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, and hemp seeds.

See not really a recipe, but with that trail mix on top it was delicious!  It is also very easy to change the smallest things to make different types of this yogurt bowl.  You can use different flavors of yogurt and different types of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits!  If you want to eat this as a lighter snack, add less trail mix and use only half a banana.  If you want a larger breakfast add more nuts,  fruits, seeds, etc.

Banana Nut Yogurt Bowl

Mushroom and Spinach Potato Gratin

Now that I have posted all the recipes I made for Christmas Eve 2013 dinner, let’s move onto some meals I made for Christmas Day 2013 dinner.

Christmas Day 13 Menu

The main meal for the family was the Field Roast.  But since that wasn’t gluten free, I made the Baked Beans & Greens I made last year for my main dish.  For a starchy side dish, we also had this delicious Mushroom & Spinach Potato Gratin.  It was a great side with tons of healthy ingredients.

Mushroom Spinach Potato Gratin

This recipe was adapted from here:

Ingredients:

  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 4.5 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 11 oz baby spinach
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme (about 2 tsp)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup vegan cheese*
  • sea salt
  • pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and spray a 13×9 inch casserole dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Steam spinach and set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat and saute mushrooms until tender.
  4. Stir in garlic and thyme.  Remove from heat.
  5. Clean potatoes and slice to about 1/8 inch thick using a food processor.
  6. Assemble: Layer 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom of the pan.  Squeeze moisture from spinach and layer on top of the potatoes.  Layer 1/3 the cheese,  1/3 potatoes, mushroom mixture, 1/3 cheese, 1/3 potatoes, and 1/3 cheese.
  7. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  8. Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove foil.  Bake for another 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender and start to brown.

*For the vegan cheese we used a mixture of 1/2 Parmesan cheese and 1/2 Nutritional Yeast.  If you want more of an actual “cheesy” flavor, try using Daiya cheddar cheese (this is what we are going to try next time.)

For a layered casserole, this recipe wasn’t too difficult at all.  It doesn’t take long to prepare everything and after that it is just layering everything.

Mushroom Spinach Potato Gratin 2

Christmas Day 2013:

Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Almonds

The only meal I haven’t yet posted from my Christmas Eve menu is the Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Almonds.

Christmas Eve 13 Menu

I wanted to try the recipe again making changes from the original recipe to better suit my taste.  On New Years Eve, it was the perfect opportunity to try this side dish out again.  Once again, everyone loved this dish.  Actually, even better with these new changes.

Brussels Apples Almonds

This recipe was adapted from here:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound shredded Brussels sprouts (you can buy these already shredded at Trader Joe’s or Wegmans)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 1/2 cup almonds

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add shredded Brussels sprouts, stirring occasionally, and cook until tender.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the other tablespoon of olive oil, the lime juice, and mustard and mix together. Set aside.
  4. Once the Brussels are tender, remove them from the heat.  Stir in the dressing, apples, and almonds and mix until everything is evenly coated.
  5. Pour into a bowl and serve.

I made this about 10 minutes before eating and ate it at room temperature and it tasted great.  I also have eaten it straight out of the fridge, cold, and it still tasted great.  I’m sure these would even taste good heated in the microwave.

Brussels Apples Almonds 3

I loved having something so nutritious as a side dish for Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.  It was also great that it was super easy to make.  The hardest part was chopping the apples.  I’ll definitely be making this again for a side dish any day of the week, not just holidays. And this dish can easily be doubled and would be perfect to take to a potluck!

Brussels Apples Almonds 2

Christmas Eve 2013 Dishes:

Rainbow Greens

To continue with the dishes I made on Christmas Eve, today I am going to post one of the veggie side dishes I made.

Christmas Eve 13 Menu

I loved how colorful this dish was and it was super tasty!  It was a perfect dish to make when preparing so much other food because it was super simple to make.

Rainbow Greens

The recipe is from Everyday Happy Herbivore:

The recipe is simple, delicious, colorful, and  healthy!  What a great holiday side dish or side dish for any time!

Rainbow Greens 2

Christmas Eve 2013 Dishes: