carrot + apple smoothie.

I’ve been meaning to bring you this recipe for weeks now! A few months ago, one of my dearest friends had me over for breakfast, and made the most delicious blueberry pancakes. Instead of bringing over a fruit salad or some other brunch-expected side, I decided some freshly made juice was the perfect accompaniment. Although this is technically a smoothie, as we are using whole fruits and vegetables, and not discarding the pulp, I tend to think of this as more of a juice, as it lacks the creamy/binding element of banana/avocado/yogurt. This carrot and apple juice was the ideal fresh accompaniment.

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MC loved it, and so do I! The apple and carrot provide the sweetness, the celery adds a nice vegetal element, and the lemon adds the perfect amount of brightness and punch. The ice will help thicken the smoothie and keep it extra cold. You’ll want a high speed blender to properly break down the skin of the apple and blend everything smooth.

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This is such a nice break from green smoothies, and this smoothie allows you to reap the benefits of the whole fruits and vegetables, namely fiber, which will keep you fuller, longer!

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carrot + apple smoothie.

ingredients
2 small apples/1 large apple, cored and quartered
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
juice from one lemon
1/2 -3/4 cup water
1/2 cup ice
to sweeten: 1 tablespoon raw honey, maple syrup, or agave (optional, I do not add)
optional: fresh ginger (about 1/2 inch piece) — completely not necessary, but I love ginger with apple and carrot!

directions
Add the ice, apples, carrot, celery, lemon juice and water to a high speed blender. Blend for 60-90 seconds, or until you have a smooth consistency.

Pour into two glasses and serve immediately. If you want to make ahead, this keeps well in the refrigerator for 48 hours in an airtight jar.

Makes 2 servings.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

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no-knead english muffin bread.

This is a bread recipe for bread-making phobics. Is that you? It was definitely me for a long while…. for some reason, despite the simplest of ingredient lists, the whole kneading, resting, kneading process for most breads made me nervous. The recipe I have for you today however, is as easy as it is delicious! If you like english muffins, well, I guarantee you’ll be delighted by this recipe. Add a small pat with butter, jam, or my personal favorite, a drizzle of honey. Mm. Just try to not eat the entire loaf in one sitting.

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This bread needs about an hour to rest and rise, and then 35-40 minutes to bake. Check the bread at the 20 minute mark; if it looks golden brown, lightly tent foil over the bread for the remainder of the time.

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I think this will be your bread making gateway recipe. There is nothing like the smell of homemade bread – intoxicating!

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no-knead english muffin bread.
slightly adapted from Kitchen Parade. 

ingredients
2 1/4 cups unbleached white flour, 1 1/4 cups reserved
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4-1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons cornmeal

directions
Fit a stand mixer with the bread hook. In the mixer bowl, add 1 cup of flour, instant yeast, sugar, salt and water together. Turn the mixer onto medium, and let mix for three minutes (set a timer to ensure your are mixing for the entire time). *You may need to stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl down to incorporate all the flour*.

After the three minutes, add the additional 1 1/4 cup of flour slowly, allowing to mix together. Meanwhile while the dough is coming together, spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and coat the bottom and sides of the pan with cornmeal.

Once dough is done mixing, dust your hands with flour, and remove the dough from the bowl. It should be slightly sticky but pliable. Shape into a loaf in the pan. Cover with a damp paper towel and let rest for 1 hour to rise. Dough should rise just above the sides of the pan.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake the bread for 35-40 minutes, covering the bread with tented foil if the bread is becoming too dark.

Let cool completely before slicing.

Makes one loaf.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

oatmeal + coconut breakfast muffins.

Hello there! As I’ve mentioned a few times, I am not a sweets person. That’s partly due to the fact that I have a very savory palate, but I think it’s also because I’m not really a baker. Savory recipes? Love. Cooking savory dishes tends to be more forgiving and they allow me to be more creative and ‘of the moment’, while baking requires more precision and attention to detail. Due to the exact nature of baking, I always shied away, until someone told me, “if you can do chemistry, you can bake, and vice versa”. Well, I loved chemistry in college, so I had to be able to translate into my kitchen! With recipes like the one I have today, it’s incredibly simple and the hardest thing about baking is learning how to measure properly!

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I love breakfast food. Especially breakfast pastries. Donuts, croissants, crepes, all are very, very good. I do think a well made muffin might be my favorite. They are basically sweetened, denser bread, all in its own cute little package! Divine. However, they are basically a caloric nightmare, with some bakery style muffins topping 500 calories. That’s insanity. Also totally unnecessary!

These oatmeal coconut muffins are absolutely delicious and unlike many bakery-style muffins, they will keep you full for longer than an hour! Oats are full of good for you fiber and complex carbohydrates, which take longer to digest, saving you from the dreaded blood sugar crash!

The flavor of the coconut really comes through thanks for the oil and the flaked coconut. Make sure to lightly soak the coconut in some milk. I used coconut milk, but any nut or regular dairy milk is fine as well. These are great for a quick breakfast on the go along with some fresh fruit, and you’ll be full until lunchtime!

oatmeal + coconut breakfast muffins. 

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ingredients
2 eggs
1/3 cup honey or agave
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached flour
2.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup unsweetened coconut, plus 1/4 cup reserved
A few tablespoons of coconut milk
2 cups rolled oats

directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add flaked coconut to a one cup measuring cup, and then add a few tablespoons of milk (coconut or regular) to the cup. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

In the bowl of a mixer with the whisk attached, combine the eggs, honey, buttermilk , vanilla and oil and whisk on medium until well combined. If the coconut oil is at room temperature, you may have a few lumps of solid oil.

In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, soda and salt. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients until just combined. Add in oats and coconut (make sure to strain off the extra liquid) and mix well to combine.

Add to a greased muffin tin, filling 3/4 of each cup. Top with additional flaked coconut and bake for 17-19 minutes, inserting a toothpick to check for doneness.

Notes: These are delicious on their own, but feel free to add chocolate chips, dried cranberries, walnuts… the option are endless!

Makes 12 muffins.

**Please use organic ingredients wherever possible**

kale + pineapple green smoothie (my favorite!).

I’ve been over indulging myself recently. On a recent trip to Boston, I lived on lobster, wine, lobster, bourbon, and lobster. And octopus. Which was AMAZING. I didn’t want to leave. Then when I got home, it was a dreary and rainy day, so I made one of my most favorite comfort foods, homemade marinara sauce and ate that with copious amounts of warm crusty bread. Delicious. Who needs pasta? Not this girl — I am content to dip my bread in red gravy that has simmered all afternoon.

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Despite all of that delicious and wonderful indulgence, I knew I needed to get back on track. My favorite way to do so also happens to be my go-to breakfast every day: my favorite green smoothie. Full of super healthy ingredients? Check. Vegan and gluten free? Check. Filling? Check! Now, I understand green smoothies aren’t for everyone, but I love the bright, intense green color of the finished smoothie. It’s vibrant and I feel great just looking at it! Luckily for me (and you!) it tastes as good as it looks!

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Now, I love love love fresh ginger, so I usually add in about an inch long piece. It does make the finished smoothie have a bit of a spicy bite to it, so scale back according to your preferences. Fresh ginger is so good for you, and has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties. Combine that with the intensely hydrating cucumber, kale that is chock full of vitamin K, and pineapple is an incredible source of vitamin C and manganese, and this is as healthy as it is delicious!

green kale + pineapple smoothie. 

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ingredients
2 cups curly kale
1 frozen banana, sliced
3/4- 1 cup frozen pineapple
1/4 English cucumber, sliced
1/2-1 inch piece ginger
3-5 mint leaves (optional)
1/2 -1 cup water (I err on the side of 1/2 cup, as I like my smoothies thick)
1 tablespoon flax seeds

directions
Combine all ingredients into a high speed blender. Blend on low for 20-30 seconds, and then on high for 1-2 minutes, or until smooth and well combined. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Makes one generous serving, or two regular sized servings.

**Please use all organic ingredients**

 

 

whole wheat oatmeal pancakes.

Happy Memorial Day weekend! I hope you are enjoying warm and cooperative weather, a three day weekend, and of course, remembering the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for you, me, and our wonderful country.

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A long weekend means another day to enjoy a leisurely breakfast! I don’t know about you, but breakfast for me most days consists of a green smoothie I whip together while getting ready in the morning. I always see fun breakfast ideas like individual egg cups, breakfast burritos, and fun toasts, but truth be told, I’m always rushing in the morning, so a smoothie it is during busy weekdays. When I have a chance to slow down and prepare a relaxing breakfast/brunch, pancakes always call my name. They are so elegant in their simplicity, and most importantly, super easy to together together. Although I love the classic cake, I wanted to figure out a way to make them healthier, and to keep you fuller, longer. The downside about regular pancakes is that the white flour most commonly used often causes a blood sugar spike, leaving you tired and hungry again in just a few hours.

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Luckily, it’s easy to bulk these out while adding incredible flavor! You probably already know that oatmeal is a great source of soluble fiber and long lasting energy, and adding it to pancakes results in a hearty, earthy cake that is lightly spiced with vanilla and cinnamon. We’re going to blend half of the oats (make sure to use old fashioned!) with the flours, and add the other half in whole. I really love the texture of the whole oats, but if you prefer a smoother batter, blend all the oats in the first step. I served these simply with pure maple syrup, but they would be perfect with fresh blueberries, strawberries, peaches, apples! Or apple butter. Mm, I think you’ll enjoy these all the way to fall.

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whole wheat oatmeal pancakes.
adapted from marthastewart.com.

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ingredients

1 cup old fashioned oats, divided by the half cup.
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose white flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
2 tablespoons grape seed oil

directions

Place 1/2 cup of oats, flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse 5-8 times until oats are coarsely ground and mixture comes together.

In a large bowl, combine the milk, eggs and oil and whisk together. Add the dry ingredients plus the reserved 1/2 cup of oats and whisk until just moistened and mixed.

Heat a large skillet or griddle (non-stick or cast iron) with non stick cooking spray (preferably coconut). Pour the batter in 3 tablespoon cakes (it will be very thick) and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes on the first side, until a few bubbles burst and cake lifts easily. Flip and cook for another minute. Remove and keep warm, and repeat with remaining batter.

Makes 10 cakes.

 

 

tropical papaya cabbage smoothie.

I am a smoothie NUT. I drink one practically every morning for breakfast, and am always amazed at their capability to keep me full and satiated for hours until lunchtime. They’ve also evolved in the few years that I’ve been drinking them. Like many, I would start with a full banana, yogurt, fruit and a teeny handful of baby spinach to “make it healthy”. Dependent upon the type of yogurt being used, um, hello sugar bomb! I’ve gradually gotten to the point where my smoothies are a mixture of vegetables, fruits, water, and a handful of chia or flax seeds, depending on what I have hanging around in the cabinets. Amazingly, this combo is still super filling and packed full of yummy flavors and vitamins! Last week I cut up and froze a papaya, and had forgotten about it until yesterday. I fully intended to mix it with some other fruits, celery and kale, but imagine my surprise when I opened the crisper and there was no kale (or spinach or any type of green!) to be found. Grocery list fail. I didn’t want an all fruit smoothie, so I instead decided to use up some red cabbage leftover from the week prior.

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Cabbage is super inexpensive and lasts a ridiculously long time, so it’s a great thing to have on hand. If the other leaves look not so fresh, simply peel them off and use the rest of the cabbage. It lends a pretty pink/purple color and is pretty neutral in flavor. Combined with a half of a banana, some pineapple, ginger and celery, and you’ve got a tropical smoothie that will keep you full until lunchtime.

Hopefully you can enjoy this on a beach somewhere, and not in the car on the way to work like me!

tropical papaya cabbage smoothie.

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ingredients
1/2 cup fresh or frozen papaya
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1/2 inch knob of fresh ginger (I leave the skin on, but you can remove for a less spicy flavor)
1/2 cup red cabbage
1 stalk celery
1/2 frozen banana
1 tsp. flax seeds
1 1/4 cup filtered water

directions

Slice frozen banana and add to blender with fruit, cabbage, celery, ginger and flax seeds. Top with filtered water and blend on high in a high speed blender for 1-2 minutes until all combined and smooth. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to drink (up to 24 hours). Serves 1.

**Please use all organic ingredients wherever possible. 

egg white veggie scramble.

Happy Memorial Day!

It’s supposed to get up to almost 90 degrees here today! With this influx of warm, hot weather, my desire to spend hours in my kitchen greatly decreases. Actually, my desire to slave over a hot stove or oven greatly decreases. While I love savory dishes, warm weather just begs for lighter, faster and easier dishes. One of my favorites is this egg white veggie scramble. It’s very forgiving, as you should use the freshest vegetables you can find, preferably at your local farmer’s market! I used baby spinach, zucchini and bell pepper in mine, but you can use any combination that you love. Because this dish comes together very quickly, I would recommend using leafy greens that don’t require long cooking times (steer clear of collard or mustard greens in favor of baby spinach, kale, or even arugula). When I’m trying to eat very cleanly, I also limit my salt intake. The use of spices and black pepper gives this easy BLD dish (great for Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner!) great flavor while keeping it salt-free.

Enjoy with some fresh fruit, a cup of coffee, and a great book. 🙂

egg white veggie scramble.

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ingredients

3-4 egg whites (depending on your hunger)
2 large handfuls of fresh baby spinach
1 medium zucchini, sliced about 1/8 inch thick
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
pinch of paprika
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
pinch of garlic powder
pinch of onion powder
non-stick cooking spray (olive or coconut if you can find it)

directions

Heat large skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. Whisk egg whites together until slightly foamy and pour into skillet. Let set for 1-2 minutes, and then begin to move them around to scramble them. When about a third of the way cooked through, add in zucchini, bell pepper, and spices. Stir to coat. Continue to cook, and when almost completely cooked through, reduce heat to low and allow spinach to slightly wilt.

Serve immediately.

Optional: top with sriracha for a spicy kick! 

baked oatmeal bars.

OH. YUM. I normally don’t swoon over such a simple recipe, but man, these granola bars are something special. I happen to be in the soft and chewy granola bar camp, and these definitely deliver! I hesitate to call them granola bars, as they almost seem to be more of a cake/bar hybrid, but regardless, they are portable, clean and totally delicious! I found the inspiration for this recipe over on oh she glows, and although she refers to these as “basic”, I’d counter they are anything but! It is imperative that you have a ripe banana for this recipe, but feel free to add in your favorite nuts, seeds, or even chocolate chips! These are perfect for a breakfast on the go, a mid-morning snack, or a healthy treat after dinner!

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I easily made this recipe gluten free and dairy free by using certified gluten free oats (these are from Trader Joe’s), coconut milk (feel free to use your favorite nut milk) and raw cacao powder. If you’re vegan, you can use agave or maple syrup instead of honey. The original recipe also calls for ground flax, which would be divine. I just didn’t have any. Next time!

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I forgot the banana in the above photo, so here he is! I normally despise bananas once they get ANY brown flecks on them, but admittedly they are perfection for baked goods recipes such as this.

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This is what they looked like after baking. The smell. Oh my gosh the smell was divine! You’ll also notice that I cooked the bars in about 2 yards of parchment paper in an 8 inch cake pan. I can’t for the life of me find my 8×8 inch baking dish (time to shop, yay!) so I cooked them in the cake pan with no problems.

I hope you guys love these — serve up with some fresh fruit, yogurt, or with your favorite jam or preserves! Great treat just in time for Mother’s Day, too!

baked oatmeal bars.
inspired by and adapted from oh she glows. 

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ingredients

2.5 cups rolled oats, divided
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1.5 cups unsweetened coconut milk (or other nut or non dairy milk)
1/2 cup honey (or maple syrup or agave if vegan)
3 tbsp. nut or seed butter (I used Trader Joe’s crunchy peanut butter with chia and flax)
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 ripe banana, large dice
1 tbsp. vanilla or other sweetener (I was out of vanilla so I used coconut palm sugar)
1/2 tbsp. raw cacao powder (optional)

directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking dish or 8 inch cake pan with parchment paper, allowing paper to hang over the sides of the pan. Lightly spray with cooking spray or grease lightly with melted coconut oil. Set aside.

In a food processor or blender, process one cup of oats into a fine powder (oat flour). In a large bowl, mix together oat flour, rolled oats, chia seeds, baking powder, cinnamon, sea salt, coconut and raw cacao powder (if using). Mix together to combine. **Note: If you are using sugar instead of vanilla, add that in at this step.

In a smaller bowl, mix together coconut milk, honey, nut butter, banana and vanilla (if using). Whisk together until peanut butter breaks down and combines with other ingredients. Should still have small chunks of banana present. Add wet to dry and mix together until combined. If you are adding chocolate chips, nuts or fruit, add them now.

Pour mixture into lined baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, checking after 30 minutes. Test by lightly pressing the middle of the oatmeal bars; if they give lightly and spring right back, they are ready.

Let cool in the pan for at least ten minutes and then transfer to cooling rack to let cool completely (if you can!). They will firm up as they cool. Yields 9 large bars (crazily shaped ones if you use a round pan). Enjoy!