Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

Merry Christmas Eve and happy first night of Chanukkah!

The holidays are a great time to enjoy special treats, but not everything that tastes good has to be terrible for you. I baked up these oatmeal cookies a week ago for some skeptical friends and they were shocked at how delicious they were. Both gluten free and vegan, these cookies get their chewy texture from coconut oil and a nice molassesy flavor from coconut sugar. They are also really quick to make and easy to bring along to your next holiday party.

Makes 20 cookies

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/4 cup milk of choice
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons apple sauce
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 cup coconut or turbinado sugar
2 packets monk fruit/stevia
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

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Directions:
In a small bowl mix up flaxseed, milk, coconut oil and apple sauce into a bowl and let sit for 5-10 minutes to gel and create your flax egg. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine all remaining ingredients.

Once the flax mixture has thickened, pour this into the larger bowl of try ingredients and thoroughly combine. Using your hands, form the dough into a large ball in your bowl and place into your freezer for 15 minutes (allowing the coconut oil to re-harden).

When ready to cook, preheat your oven to 350 and remove the dough. On a greased or silpat lined cookie sheet, drop heaping tablespoons of dough. Lightly flatten the tops of each of the cookie dough balls and place into the oven for 12-16 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool.

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Watermelon Mint Sorbet

With watermelon season coming to a close I thought I would give you all a recipe to savor the flavors of summer before it officially ends. I bought some watermelon from my farmer’s market a month ago and knowing I would now be able to finish it all before it got too mushy, I decided to cube and freeze a bunch. When I rediscovered the cubes in some tupperware at the back of my freezer I was very excited to say the least. I’ll certainly be buying some more watermelon at the market this coming weekend to freeze so that I can savor the flavors of summer throughout the Fall with this refreshing mint watermelon sorbet.

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Serves 1-2

Ingredients:
2 cups frozen cubed watermelon
4-5 fresh mint leaves
2-4 tablespoons lemonade
1-3 teaspoons sweetener of choice (agave, honey, coconut sugar just to name a few)

Directions:
Place everything into a blender and begin by adding 1 tablespoon of lemonade. I would suggest adding only a bit of sweetener at this time so you can taste to see your preference.
Blend and add your second tablespoon of lemonade. Scrape mixture down from sides and keep blending. Add lemonde by the tablespoon until desired consistency is reached.
Scoop and serve immediately.
May be stored in the freezer but pull out to that for about 10 minutes before serving.

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Vegan Pumpkin Spice Protein Bites

When on the go I always like to carry an arsenal of snacks with me. It is easy to bring along nuts, fruits, etc. but in terms of protein sources, it can be a little trickier. I try to stay away from prepackaged protein bars as they tend to have super funky ingredients, so I decided to set out to create my own fun protein treats!
These pumpkin spice bites are vegan, high in protein, a good source of fiber and super easy to take on the go. They also taste like cookie dough so who wouldn’t want that?! These are perfect as a snack or dessert, and if you eat the entire recipe it’s only ~160 calories.

Ingredients:
1 serving vegan protein powder (I used Earthblends Non GMO Vanilla Pea Protein)
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
2-3 teaspoons syrup of choice (I used a pre biotic fiber syrup but agave, honey, maple syrup, etc. all work)
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ – ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (can also use just cinnamon or a mixture of cloves, cardamon, etc.)
⅛ teaspoon butter extract, optional, but surprisingly vegan!
½ tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
Sweetener to taste

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Directions:
Whisk together the 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water to create a “flax egg”. Place this mixture in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
Remove flax mixture from fridge and add in protein powder, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract and optional butter extract and sweetener (liquid stevia works great). Stir and then add in 2 teaspoons of syrup and stir entire mixture with a spoon. Depending on how try your mixture is, add in another teaspoon of syrup. Do not lose faith though, and keep mixing! It will take a bit for a thick dough to form. If mixture really is too dry then, add in a teaspoon or two of water, but be wary of adding in additional liquid.
Once dough is fully formed, using your hands create 4-5 balls. Place these fridge and allow them to set up for at least 15 minutes. After this time has elapsed, place about a ½ tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa on a dish and individually roll each ball to coat in the cocoa.
Keep in the fridge for optimal texture, but refrigeration is not necessary.

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Cheesecake Popsicles

Even though my OG favorite dessert will always be ice cream, sometimes a more portable and lighter alternative is exactly what I’m craving.
I came up with this recipe after realizing I had perfectly good cottage cheese in the fridge that had an expiration set for the end of the week. Not sure what else I would do with it, I decided to craft a recipe.
Thanks to the cheese-ness of the cottage cheese and creaminess of Greek yogurt, these pops really do have the essence of cheesecake.
These are also the perfect light snack with under 40 calories and 3 grams of carbs, yet almost 7 grams of protein! So have a pop, or 2 or 3!

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Ingredients:
1 cup cottage cheese
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1-2 tablespoons milk of choice
Sweetener to taste
Optional ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
Place cottage cheese in a blender and blend u too curds are broken up and consistency is smooth.
Place remaining ingredients in blender, optionally adding more milk if mixture is too thick.
Evenly pour mixture into 6 Popsicle molds.
Freeze 5-6 hours or overnight.

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Mixed Berry Mint Sorbet

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With summer in full swing, there is nothing better than kicking back and enjoying a sweet cold treat. One of my favorite summer desserts is sorbet. Though my true love will always be ice cream, sometimes you need a lighter and fruitier alternative, and that’s where this super lightened up and tasty mint mixed berry sorbet comes in.
This recipe is vegan, just a few wholesome ingredients, and could not be easier to make.

Ingredients:
1 cup mixed frozen berries
1 juice from a wedge of lime
3-5 mint leaves
Sweetener of choice (stevia, agave, honey, coconut sugar, etc.)
Water, as needed

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Directions:
Place all ingredients into a blender and begin blending. You do not need to use sweetener but it definitely adds to the flavor. I used a combo of a bit of stevia and some coconut sugar for a nice depth of flavor.
You will definitely need to shake up the blender as you are going as you want to add as little water as possible to achieve a true sorbet consistency. When the mixture will blend no more, add water by the tablespoon, blend, and if needed, add some more.
Scoop and devour!

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Spiced Skillet Apples

Hello friends and happy earth day!
It’s been a while I know since I last posted but I have been making recipes but have been just too busy to think about uploading.
Anyways today I am coming at you with a super simple yet delicious recipe. It is sweet on its own but the addition of a tad of natural sugars makes it taste especially decadent yet it is healthy enough to have for breakfast!

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Ingredients:
1 apple
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and ground ginger
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon honey/coconut sugar/agave (can omit)

Optional for topping: Shredded coconut, oats, yogurt, chia/hemp seeds, nuts, etc.

Serves 1

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Directions:
Chop your apple into about 1/2 inch cubes.
Place cubes into a skillet heated to medium heat (if you’re worried about sticking spray with some coconut oil).
Add in spices and stir around to coat.
Cover apples to allow them to soften for 1-2 minutes.
Lift lid and continue to stir occasionally.
Meanwhile in a small bowl mix vanilla, salt and sweetener of choice with a tablespoon if water and drizzle it over the apple mixture and stir.
Once browned and coated, remove apples from skillet and top with toppings of choice!

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Vegan Sugar Free Meringues

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I was pretty skeptical when I heard you could use chickpea brine (now called “aquafaba”) to make into meringues. Even if they did whip up, wouldn’t they taste like hummus meringues? Not that there is anything wrong with hummus but it’s not necessarily what I would consider a good flavor for a dessert cookie.
Despite my skepticism, I decided to give it a shot and I was happily surprised! Though they did not hold their shape like meringues made with egg whites, they were a nice sweet treat with a great crunch and they certainly fluffed up like regular ‘ol egg whites.
I made my meringues with stevia which could be one of the reasons that the meringues didn’t hold their shape as well, but I played around a bit with the stevia I used when making several batches of these meringues and my findings were as follows-
Do NOT use liquid stevia. I put my meringues in the oven using liquid stevia and asked my boyfriend to take them out when the timer rang when I was on a run and he was very confused when he took out an empty tray from the oven… I’m guessing the liquid stevia didn’t hold up so the meringues just became liquid again and then cooked off. As far as granular stevia, a lot of the brands don’t mix well. My best suggestion is to blend your granulated stevia in a food processor or blender to make a powdered stevia so it mixes well into the mixture and doesn’t have the same strong after taste as the straight granulated stevia.

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Ingredients:
Chickpea brine from a 16oz can of chickpeas (approximately 3/4 cup)
2/3 cup sugar of choice (coconut sugar, white sugar, stevia, etc.)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Pinch of cream of tartar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 250 F.
Strain chickpeas and place all chickpea brine/ aquafaba into a large bowl. Using a stand or handheld mixer, beat mixture on high for 10-15 minutes. You’re going to want to kill me for how long this takes but I promise it’s worth it!
Once the brine has reached stiff peaks, gently beat in your sweetener, vanilla and cream of tartar.
Now like a sheet pan or tray with parchment paper or a silpat and begin placing your meringue mixture on the pan. You can either try making a more traditional meringue shape by spooning your mixture into a pastry bag (or a makeshift one like I did by snipping the corner of a ziploc bag) or you can simply spoon the mixture by the 1 1/2- 2 tablespoons full.
Bake the meringues for 60 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing.

Enjoy!

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Grain-less Pumpkin Cake Muffins

With Halloween tomorrow, I thought I would step up my pumpkin game and create some yummy muffins. Nothing screams this holiday’s signature flavors more than pumpkin, and fortunately for all of us, pumpkin is actually good for you! Low in calories and high in vitamin A and fiber, it can be added to a variety of both savory and sweet dishes.
The muffins turned out even better than I thought they would! However, if you are looking for a dense muffin, these won’t be it. They have more of a cake-like consistency, hence “cake muffins.” I’m thinking of coining the term “cuffin” right now…

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You could even use this recipe to create a loaf or a cake. Just adjust baking time accordingly.
Oh and each muffin is only 100 calories but packs 5 grams of protein with only 11 carbs, three of which are fiber, making this muffin perfect for any time of the day.
Have it for breakfast, a snack, dessert, or even served with lunch/dinner in place of cornbread in your meal.

Ingredients:
1 cup almond flour
¼ cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (I ended up just using 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon each nutmeg and cardamom)
2 tablespoons granulated stevia (or honey/agave/maple syrup)
2 tablespoons honey/agave/maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs
¾ cup pure pumpkin puree
⅓ cup light canned coconut milk
⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce

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Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan with coconut oil.
In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, stevia, and salt.
Add in each of the wet ingredients and stir until well incorporated
Pour the batter into a muffin tin to create 12 individual muffins.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Once removing muffins from the oven, let it sit until cool before removing from pan and slicing.

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To create a delicious yet healthy protein frosting, combine a tablespoon of plain/vanilla Greek yogurt with a touch of honey and a dash of cinnamon. This will create enough frosting for 1 muffin so multiply accordingly!

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Crustless Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Fall is just around the corner which is the perfect excuse to eat pumpkin, despite the fact I find a way to add it into everything year-round anyways. Coming home from work the other day, I was craving something sweet but didn’t want to spoil my appetite for dinner.
At this point the idea for crustless pumpkin cheesecakes was born.

I decided to fully embrace the stereotype that girls like mini things and made 24 adorable baby cheesecakes. While these were perfectly bite sized treats, you could easily use larger muffin tins or even a large cheesecake tin and cut the cheesecake up into individual slices.

While I certainly don’t restrict myself from indulging in treats, it’s always nice to have a healthier, yet still tasty option. Oh and did I mention you can eat this entire recipe for under 240 calories and 35 grams of protein? Thought you may wanna know.
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Ingredients:

½ cup fat free cottage cheese
½ cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup pumpkin puree (be sure not to buy pumpkin pie mix!)
2 tablespoons coconut flour
2 tablespoons milk of choice (I used cashew)
Sweetener to taste (I used 15 drops of liquid stevia)
3 tablespoons liquid egg whites

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350F.
Place all your ingredients but the liquid egg whites into a blender and blend until smooth.
Add in your egg whites and blend again until combined.crustless cheesecake muffins unbaked
Pour mixture into silicone molds or tin greased with coconut oil and place them in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
Once tops are lightly golden brown, remove from oven and let cool.

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For best results, place the cheesecakes  into the fridge for at least an hour to allow them to fully set. Enjoy topped with an extra sprinkling of cinnamon.

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