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Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

It’s that time of year.  Leaves changing, chill mornings and frost on the grass.  So it’s only fitting to bring on the pumpkin recipes.  These are a staple in our home.  Not to mention I always have the ingredients on hand.  Bring the smell of warmth, fall and the holidays into your home by whipping up a batch of these Vegan Pumpkin Muffins.

 

Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

 

2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

1 Tbsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1 cup Turbinado (or other unrefined sugar)

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. Nutmeg

1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger

1/1 tsp. Cloves

1 1/4 cups Puréed Pumpkin

1 chia egg*

1/2 cup Nondairy Milk (I use almond milk)

1/3 cup Neutral flavor Oil (I use Coconut)

2 Tbsp. Molasses

1/3 cup Golden Raisins (optional)

1/3 cup Chopped Walnuts (optional)

 

*chia egg=1 tsp ground chia seeds + 3 tbsp water whisked together

Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly grease a muffin pan.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, and spices. In another bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, chia egg, milk, oil, and molasses. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix. Spoon the batter into the muffin pan, filling each cup to the top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

(P.S. We ate the muffins so quickly I couldn’t even get a picture 🙂

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

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How To Build The Perfect Smoothie

Nearly every day for me starts with a green smoothie. Since breakfast is my least favorite meal of the day, drinking a smoothie ensures I get the jumpstart needed for my day in a gentle and nutritious way.

 

Follow these steps to master building the perfect smoothie.

 

First things first. You must have a good quality high-speed blender. On the market today are plenty to choose from; Ninja, Blend-Tec, Vitamix, and more, take your pick. I use this Ninja that was purchased for me as a gift and I love it. I use it at least once a day every day, sometimes even 3 times a day.

 

berry smoothie

If your produce has already been washed, you can make your smoothie in a matter of minutes. So grab an item from each of the categories below and let’s blend.

 

LIQUID

Always start with a few ice cubes unless you’re using frozen fruit. The high-speed motor on your blender is likely to slightly heat the contents of your drink as you are blending. And I don’t know about you but I don’t like drinking my smoothies hot.

 

Then add about one cup liquid of your choice. Some excellent options are:

~Coconut Water

~Non-Dairy Milks (Coconut, Cashew, Almond)

~Water

 

 

VEGETABLES/FRUITS

Here the combinations are endless. I do try not to combine too many high sugar fruits in one drink. Even though it’s natural sugar, we still want to be mindful of overall sugar intake. Some of my favorite fruits & veggies:

 

Veggies

~Spinach

~Kale

~Swiss Chard

~Beet Greens

~Cucumber

~Avocado

Spinach

Collards

 

Fruits

~Berries

~1/2 Banana

~Kiwi

~Apples

Strawberries

Raspberries

 

 

PROTEIN

If your drinking your smoothie as a meal replacement you’ll want to add protein. Some good choices:

~Nut Butters (Peanut, Almond, Sunflower Seed)

~High quality plant based protein powder

~Plain Greek Yogurt

 

 

ADD INS

Up the nutritional factor my adding some of these boosters:

~Spirulina

~Chia or Flax seeds

~Raw Cacao Powder

 

Ok friends, now that you’ve learned how to build the perfect smoothie, what are you waiting for? Get to blending!

 

Raspberry Smoothie

kale smoothie

Berry Smoothie

 

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Check out two of my favorite smoothie recipes

Apple Pie Smoothie

Black Forest Smoothie

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

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Nutty Seed Granola

Nutty Seed Granola

 

We love granola in my house. But our favorite organic granola is SO expensive. This family of 7 uses our resources wisely and buying a luxury item like this granola seems wasteful to me when I already have all the ingredients at home to make my own. I can also control the amount of oil and sweetener by making it myself. So let’s grab a few pantry staples and whip up a batch of Nutty Seed Granola.

 

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

½ cup pumpkin seeds

¼ cup sliced almonds

¼ cup raw sunflower seeds

¼ cup flax seed

4 tbsp coconut oil melted

3 tbsp honey

1 tbsp maple syrup

½ tsp cinnamon (I use 1 tsp because I really really love cinnamon)

 

Preheat oven 350. On a baking sheet, toast oats in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove oats from oven and lower the temp to 250. Mix all contents in a bowl and pour onto baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until golden. Stir midway through baking.

Granola on baking sheet

Cool then store in airtight container.

Nutty Seed Granola

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

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Baked Oatmeal

Breakfast food is my least favorite type of food which is why I’m perfectly happy to just drink my green smoothies for breakfast.  But this baked oatmeal right here…Mmm, mmm, mmm.  This is one breakfast item I love.  It makes me feel warm and cozy.  It makes the house smell good as it’s baking and it tastes like dessert.  We usually have this on Wednesdays in my house (meal planning makes life easier).

oats

2 cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

1/3 cup Chopped Walnuts

2 tsp Baking Powder

¼ tsp Salt

1 tsp Cinnamon

½ cup Evaporated Cane Juice or Demerara (natural unrefined sugar)

2 cups Almond Milk

1 Egg beaten

5 tbsp Oil (any neutral flavor will do)

2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

2 Baking Apples (Granny Smith, Pink Lady) peeled, seeded, diced

 

 

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl combine oats, nuts, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl whisk milk, egg, vanilla, oil, and sugar.  Stir wet mixtures into oat mixture. Place apples into greased 9×11 baking pan then pour on mixture.  Bake 40 minutes or until set and golden on the top.

 

*To boost nutritional value I replace the egg with ground flax seed and water mixture known as a flax egg.  I use coconut oil for the oil in this recipe. I also sub out the fruit for whatever is seasonal.  In the summer peaches and in the fall and winter pears. This baked oatmeal recipe is super flexible so have fun making it your own.

 

baked oatmeal

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

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Buckwheat Granola

Raw Buckwheat Granola (Raw, Gluten Free, Vegan)

 

I love granola but it is expensive and depending on the brand, can be unnecessarily high in fat and sugar. To increase the nutritional value and cut the fat and sugar, make this good for you granola. This granola is also gluten-free. High in fiber, manganese and magnesium, this granola does a body good.

raw-hulled-buckwheat

Ingredients

1½ cups dry raw buckwheat (not toasted which is Kasha)

½ cup almonds, chopped

½ cup sunflower seeds

½ cup pumpkin seeds

¼ cup shredded coconut

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp maple syrup

¼ cup dried cranberries (optional)

 

Directions

Soak the buckwheat for one whole day changing the water at least twice. After one day drain the buckwheat. Preheat oven 200 degrees. Place buckwheat on baking sheet and dry (bake) for 30 minutes. Take buckwheat out and combine with remaining ingredients and dry for an additional 20 minutes.

granola and fruit

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Apple Pie Smoothie

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My favorite smoothie. Cool and creamy. Rich and decadent. Dessert in a jar. I usually have this for breakfast once a week.

3 cubes ice

1 cup almond milk

1 medium green apple cored and cut into chunks

1 cup of spinach

1 tbsp nut butter (I use almond or sunflower seed)

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 medjool dates

Blend in high speed blender until smooth. Enjoy.

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Amaranth and Apples

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Amaranth is an ancient grain rich in fiber, iron, protein and calcium. It can be prepared many ways but my favorite is for breakfast.

1 cup Amaranth

3 cups water

1 tsp Cinnamon

2 Medium Apples, peeled, cored and diced

¼ cup Pecans or Walnuts

Drizzle Maple Syrup

In a pot, combine seeds, water and ½ tsp cinnamon and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until grains are fluffy and water is absorbed. While the seeds are cooking, prepare the apples. Saute apples in a pan with a splash of water. Add last ½ tsp cinnamon and cook until just fork tender. Add amaranth to bowl. Top with apples and nuts and drizzle on maple syrup.