Vegan Chocolate Fruit Wraps

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OK, where do I begin?

Do I tell you about how I was driving home and all of a sudden this idea hit me like crazy and I had to go to store immediately?

Wait, I just did.

These wraps need no particular introduction. They can be your breakfast, snack, or lunch. Heck, even dinner. They are rich and nutritious and I can tell you right now that one of them will do it. You’ll be satisfied. Fully.

So what’s in them? Well, let me tell you.

– Organic wraps

– Homemade chocolate almond butter (YEEAAHHH)

– Bananas

– Strawberries

– You’re welcome 🙂

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Ingredients
  1. 5 organic wraps
  2. 1 cup almond butter
  3. 1/2 cup chocolate (I made mine with coconut oil, cacao powder and maple syrup)
  4. (or use store bought chocolate almond butter)
  5. ~ 1 banana
  6. ~ 5-8 strawberries
Instructions
  1. Mix almond butter with chocolate, or use store bought chocolate almond butter.
  2. Spread over each wrap.
  3. Place a couple of pieces of strawberries and bananas at one side of wrap and roll.
  4. Cut in half.
  5. Keep in the fridge.
  6. ENJOY WITH LOVED ONES.

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Red White Blue Chia Pudding

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I finally got around to posting chia pudding. I know, it’s sad because it’s one of the easiest things to make. One of the reasons I hesitated until now is because I didn’t just want to post a plain simple chia pudding, not that there’s anything wrong with that. This weekend I thought about 4th of July, the Independence Day in the US and it hit me – red, white and blue! So here it is, with the blue layer not so blue 😀

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For those of you who’ve never had chia – why should you eat it?

– antioxidants

– plethora of vitamins

– fiber –  most of the carbs in them are pure fiber

– high quality protein

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So how do you make it? Chia seeds are bland so it’s easy to add them to many different dishes and drinks so they boost nutritional value. When it comes to pudding, I feel like you have to be a bit creative in terms of adding flavor. For this pudding, I did blueberries with a bit of Organic Burst Spirulina powder (for color and nutritional boost), which you all know I love 🙂 The middle layer is simply almond milk and vanilla extract and on top are pretty strawberries.

As always, I encourage you to make it your own in terms of flavor. I don’t like things too sweet so taste the mixtures before you add chia to make sure you’ll like them.

Bottom layer
  1. 2 cups of water
  2. 1 cup of blueberries
  3. 1 banana
  4. 3/4 cup chia
  5. 1 tbsp vanilla extract – optional
  6. 1 tsp spirulina powder – optional
Middle layer
  1. 2 cups almond milk, unsweetened
  2. 1 tbsp vanilla extract (add more if not sweet enough for you)
  3. 3/4 cup chia
  4. Strawberries, or any other fruit for topping
Instructions
  1. Blend water, blueberries, banana and optional ingredients, if using, in a high speed blender.
  2. Pour into a bowl and add chia seeds.
  3. Stir until all combined. Scoop out with a ladle and pour into cups/mugs.
  4. Let sit until it thickens, about 15 minutes. In the meantime, prepare middle layer.
  5. Mix almond milk and vanilla extract – I blended it in a blender so that it’d foam up, just for fun.
  6. Pour into a bowl and add chia seeds.
  7. Stir until all combined.
  8. Make sure the bottom layer is solid before pouring the middle layer with a ladle.
  9. Let sit until hardens again.
  10. Decorate with desired fruits or sprinkles!
  11. Enjoy with loved ones.

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Vegan Banana Pudding

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This pudding, you guys…. I have no words! I experimented and it worked and it’s the best pudding I’ve ever had. No joke. I was so surprised when I tasted it and had to consume the whole cup right away. And then another a bit later with chocolate chips I made that same day. And then I knew I had to make sure to tell you all about it. (Btw, the little spots you see from outside the cup are just air bubbles.)

This pudding is one of the smoothest things I’ve ever had. Please don’t think I’m weird, I’m just really happy with how it turned out 🙂

I have also tried edible flowers for the first time. I have to admit I was weirded out, but gave in and tried them and they tasted like radishes 🙂 Cute for decoration on this pudding, but don’t eat them with this. Stick to salads with them in.

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When I was little, my mom used to make instant pudding because that’s what was cool then. Instant food was in and everybody was doing it. I remember banana, strawberry and chocolate pudding poured into glasses filled with fruit or round lady fingers. Yum. It was good. Not healthy, or nutritious, but we all loved it.

But now, I can have both yummy and healthy at the same time. This pudding is so easy you’ll want to make it right away. Ingredient count? 3. I know you don’t believe me, but it’s true. It’s also gluten free, sugar free and oil free. And super good for ya.

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I bet you’re wondering what makes it purple. The most amazing and healthy vegetable ever. Yes, I said vegetable. Purple sweet potatoes! So good for you!

 

They have:

Antioxidants ✅

Iron ✅

Calcium ✅

Healty Fiber ✅
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups of sweet purple potato, steamed
  2. 2 bananas
  3. 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
Instructions
  1. Peel the potatoes and steam until soft.
  2. Let the potatoes cool down a bit, but not until completely cold.
  3. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend for about a minute until SUPER smooth.
  4. Pour into glasses and let chill.
  5. Enjoy with loved ones!
Notes
  1. If you want it sweeter and more banana-ish add a banana. Super ripe bananas are the best since you don’t have to use that many.
  2. I usually first blend almond milk with potatoes, then I add bananas to preferred taste.
  3. When you use warm potatoes the pudding stiffens up nicely as it cools in the fridge. If it’s not pour-able after blending then you need more almond milk. I made that mistake once and it was too hard and very potato-ey 😀 You shouldn’t have a hard time pouring into jars.

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Raw Strawberry Jam

Jam, jelly, marmelade.

Do you remember those early mornings on the weekends when nothing was more satisfying than a toast with jam? A homemade one? I was lucky enough to have a grandma who made almost everything from scratch. We’re talking jam, pickled anything; even pasta was homemade. That woman was amazing and I hate the fact that when I was a teenager and she wanted to teach me how to make things I was “too cool” for that.

Ever since I remember I would spend time with her in the kitchen with cutting boards and flour and dough everywhere and I had my kid’s version of tools and she let me play along as she was preparing things. It was magic. My grandma was the kindest woman I’ve known – selfless, loving, but she stood her ground on things she believed in and I wish I got to spend more than just the 14 years I’ve had with her. I have now lived more of my life without her than I did with her, but there isn’t a day when I don’t miss her. She was a great friend – I could tell her anything. There are many recipes that were her staples and I can only try to be as close as I can, but I’ll never make them as good as she did.

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It doesn’t hurt to try though. And now, trying to be more healthy, I take recipes we have from her and adjust them. That way I get the best of both worlds 🙂

I still remember my grandma making jam at her house. She had all the berries she needed in her garden so we spend a day together picking them and then cooking. The house smelled so amazing – her kitchen was always warm and steamy and yummy smelling.

While I don’t have time to make cooked jam, I sure do have time to make a raw one. And I did and I love it. You will too!
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It only takes about 5 minutes of prep, 3 ingredients and a bread with peanut butter on one side, just waiting for that jelly to be slapped on 😀

PB&J – let me tell you how weirded out I was when I first learned of this when I came to the states – “What do you mean salty and sweet? Peanuts and jelly? EEEEEEWWWWW.” But then I learned that different things are not necessarily better or worse than the ones we’re used to, they’re just different and I have simply experienced a classic culture shock. It did take me 3 years to try this, but once I did I was hooked. And let me tell you about homemade PB&J! Or, why don’t you just make it and tell me what you think? 😉IMG_0361-1

ngredients
  1. 3 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
  2. 1/4 cup maple syrup
  3. 1/4 cup chia
Instructions
  1. If using frozen strawberries, let thaw.
  2. Put into a blender along with maple syrup and blend until smooth, or desired consistency.
  3. Put in a bowl and mix in chia seeds.
  4. Let sit for about an hour until chia puffs up and creates a thicker consistency.
  5. Enjoy with loved ones!

Super Moist Vegan Banana Bread

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Hmmm, banana bread. Super comforting ANY time of the day. Or night. That’s right. I can eat this anytime. And you know what? It’s ok because it’s got only good things. I’m talking bananas, pecans, chia, oats, almond meal, etc. Can’t beat that! This bread is the breakfast you dream of every morning. It’s also that snack you’ve been craving every afternoon. Dinner? Sure, why not. Go for it and let me know how you liked it 😉

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I first started making banana bread when I saw it on Dana’s Site. I made this amazing bread so many times I can’t count. And it’s amazing! Then last weekend I didn’t have peanut butter on hand so I decided to play a bit and see what I came up with. I decided to use less flour and more oats/almond flour and less sugar and more bananas to make it super moist and it worked out! I was able to omit sugar altogether, except a bit of maple syrup and I was able to get flour amount down to half a cup. In this amount of bread I think that’s great.

So I baked it and let it cool, but half of it was gone before it even had a chance to cool down. My husband literally attacked it 😀 I came to it to take a slice and noticed that all of the crunchy pieces on the sides were broken off and enjoyed by him before I even had a chance. I got into Stepford mode and gave him an earful. Poor thing 😀 He survived though. And then I calmed down and we enjoyed it together.IMG_0153-1

Ingredients
  1. 4 bananas
  2. 1 flax egg
  3. 3.5 tsp baking powder
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 1/4 cup maple syrup
  6. 2.5 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  7. 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (I made fresh one)
  8. 1/4 cup almond meal wet (leftover from when I made almond milk), or dry
  9. 1/2 cup oat flour
  10. 1 cup oats
  11. 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  12. 1/4 cup chia
  13. 1/4 cup pecan pieces
  14. chocolate chips and pecan pieces for top
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Make flax egg and let sit for about 5 minutes.
  3. Once it set, mash bananas with it in a bowl. I didn’t mash all the way because I wanted chunks of bananas once it was baked.
  4. Add all ingredients through almond milk and mix until combined.
  5. Add the oats, oat flour, whole wheat flour, chia and pecans and stir.
  6. Pour into a loaf pan greased with oil or covered with parchment paper and sprinkle chocolate chips and pecan pieces on top.
  7. Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Let cool before slicing.
  9. Enjoy with loved ones! 🙂
Adapted from Minimalist Baker

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Vegan Orange Mint Scones with Orange Icing

IMG_9922-1I mentioned already that I love orange infused anything. Or mint. I do, I really do.

And when you put both of them together – SIGN ME UP!

IMG_9934-1When this idea came to my mind it was a given I was making it that same day. I mean, come on, you can’t not make them. So crunchy and fluffy at the same time…The almonds get roasted so nicely and their smell and crunch is addicting. Secret? I made sure that when I was making almond flour I didn’t grind it up all the way. I stopped processing about half way where I normally would so that way, I had some flour, some small pieces and then bigger chunks. YUM! I wish I could have you taste that through computer 😀IMG_9949-1

Orange and mint. Forever an amazing combo. I wanted to make sure that the scones have a balanced flavor or orange and almonds with a hint of peppermint and, boy, did I luck out! Imagine this: the flavors enter your taste buds one at a time so you get to experience all of them separately and then they all blend together for an amazing mix of deliciousness. Oh my gosh, I honestly can’t even describe how amazing these are! Thank goodness I only made a small batch because I ate my share right away.

Have them with your favorite cup of tea or coffee and you’ll see your day will be better right away 😉

Enjoy!

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For scones
  1. 2 flaxseed eggs
  2. 1/4 maple syrup
  3. 1 cup almonds
  4. 1 cup flour – I used whole wheat
  5. 1 1/2 tsp organic orange flavor
  6. 1/2 tsp organic peppermint flavor
  7. 8 tbsp COLD vegan butter
  8. 1tsp baking powder
  9. 1/4 tsp baking soda
For icing
  1. 1/4 confectioners sugar
  2. 3 tbsp vegan butter, melted
  3. couple of drops orange flavor
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Make flaxseed egg, let sit for about 5 minutes.
  3. In another bowl, mix orange and peppermint flavor with maple syrup.
  4. Add all of the dry ingredients and flaxseed egg and mix well.
  5. Add cold butter and quickly mix/knead with hands until everything is mixed together.
  6. Put a sheet of parchment paper on a flat surface and add dough.
  7. Press down until until a flat circle forms, about one inch high.
  8. Cut into triangles and put on a baking sheet along with the parchment paper.
  9. Make sure you pull the scones away from each other, about an inch because they’ll rise during baking.
  10. Bake for 17 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
Icing
  1. Melt butter, add orange flavor and slowly add sugar until you get the right consistency.
  2. Drizzle on scones and wait until it hardens.
  3. Enjoy with your loved ones!
Adapted from My Baking Addiction

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4 Ingredient No-Knead Vegan Bread

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Bread. It’s a love/hate relationship, right? It’s so simple, yet so satisfying. Everyone loves it, but no one wants to eat it because it adds inches and whatnot. Well, I say everything in moderation. Except this one. This bread is the single most requested food item requested at my house. I make it and there are times when it doesn’t last half a day. And, on to the next one…
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When I came to the US, the bread was one thing I couldn’t get past. It tasted like paper, there was no crust..I loved bread back home! Please don’t hate, it was just a culture shock. So, over the years I managed to find similar-to-back-home breads in various stores and they were acceptable, but nothing was just right. Until I found this recipe by Mark Bittman (video). Oh man, this bread is heaven! The crust is perfectly crunchy and the inside is soft like clouds. What can I say? It’s perfection.

Sure, it takes 12-16 hours to rise, but you sleep during most of it so – no problem. It took me a bit of planning to figure out when to mix the dough in order to have the perfect amount of time to make it the next day, or late in the evening. This recipe needs you to organize your time well, but once you get the gist of it you’re fine. I’ll put my tips on the recipe card.

WARNING – the first loaf  you’ll make will disappear on the same day so schedule another batch right away 😀 Enjoy!

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Ingredients
  1. 3 cups of whole wheat flour
  2. 2 cups of luke warm water (I have to use more than what the original recipe calls for because of whole wheat flour)
  3. 1/4 tsp dry yeast
  4. 1 1/4 tsp himalayan salt
  5. Optional – seeds. I used sunflower on the inside and on top.
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl quickly without kneading or working the dough too much. A quick mix until everything is combined is all you need.
  2. Cover and let rise for 12-18 hours.
  3. Prepare large cutting board and dust liberally with flour.
  4. Dump the dough on the board and add more flour on top of it.
  5. Sprinkle sunflower seeds on the flattened dough.
  6. Fold over about 4-6 times (watch the video as it’s easiest to understand).
  7. Take an older dish towel that you don’t mind getting messy and lay it flat on the counter top.
  8. Sprinkle flour liberally on it and add sunflowers on one half.
  9. Dump the dough on the towel, with the fold that formed facing down so it gets covered with the seeds.
  10. Cover with the other half of dish towel and let it sit for two more hours.
  11. Half an hour before 2 hours hit, preheat the oven at about 465F with enameled cast iron inside.
  12. Open the enameled cast iron carefully and dump the dough in, making sure the fold is now on top. It’s tricky, but you’ll get it right in a couple of tries.
  13. Bake covered for 30 mins, then uncover and bake for 10-20 mins more until brown.
  14. Let cool completely on a cookie rack before serving or cutting.
  15. Share and enjoy with loved ones! 🙂
Notes
  1. Flour – I had to play around with different flours to get the results I liked. I wanted whole wheat, but that doesn’t rise as well as white flour so keep that in mind. Also, different brands of whole wheat rise differently, I find. I like to do half whole wheat and half white, but mostly I just make it with whole wheat because my hubby likes it if it doesn’t rise that much.
  2. Rising prep – during the week, I make my dough in the morning before I leave for work and then make the bread in the evening. On the weekends I make it around 5 pm and then start the next step around 8 am the next morning.
By Jim Lahey

Raw Vegan Banana Hemp Oats

Don’t you love an accidental discovery? I do too! This is how this recipe came to be. I was in a rush one morning, but wanted to make sure I had healthy breakfast. I’m also into hemp seeds right now since I tried them for the first time just a week or two ago. So, I threw a bunch of things in a mason jar, put it in my lunch bag and I was off to work. And this is how “commuter oats” were born 🙂

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It takes me about an hour from my house to my work and I found that it’s the perfect amount of time for these to absorb all the flavor and stay yummy. You can store them in the fridge too if you’d like, especially if you know you won’t eat them within an hour.
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These commuter oats are so nutritious, filling and yummy tasting. Feel free to play with the flavor! Add berries, chocolate, vanilla – the possibilities are endless! As always 😉 So what are you waiting for? 3 ingredients, that’s it! Go make some and make sure you share them with your loved ones.

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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup old fashioned oats
  2. 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  3. 1 banana
  4. 1/4 cup hemp seeds
Instructions
  1. Blend banana almond milk in a blender until smooth.
  2. Mix with the rest of the ingredients in a mason jar and let sit for at least half an hour before eating.

 

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Have you ever wished to have a desert for lunch or dinner? It’s my (almost) daily struggle. But you know what? Problem solved! This mousse is light, it’s creamy, while still having a rich texture AND it’s super healthy with no added sugar, oil, or flour. BAM! Make it right now 🙂

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“So what’s the secret ingredient?” You may ask. You’ve probably seen vegan chocolate mousse made with avocado  before. Well, this is not one of those posts. I like the avocado one as well, but I wanted to create something for those who don’t particularly enjoy that taste. Or for those who like their avocado mousse, but want to change it up a bit. Or for everyone.IMG_9605

My hubby is very supportive of my work, but doesn’t always try everything and that’s ok. I never thought he’d like this mousse, but he just couldn’t stop eating it! It’s so filling and nutritious it’s perfect for any time of the day, really. I really like it as a desert because it has a flavor I can’t quite place – you know the chocolate desserts that taste a bit like rum? Well, I never liked those, but this one has just a slight taste like that and it reminds me of bananas in chocolate pudding I used to have when I was little.   IMG_9619

This recipe ensures you’ll get your protein,  magnesium, vitamins B6, C and D, iron, magnesium and potassium. You’re also getting “good” sugar that is slowly released into your body and cartenoids which help your eyes. From what?? Sweet potatoes! So easy, so quick, so yummy and satisfying. You’re welcome. I’m so excited I made this!IMG_9625

Ingredients
  1. 4 – 5 cups sweet potatoes
  2. 1/2 cup cacao powder
  3. 1/4 cup almond milk
Instructions
  1. Chop sweet potatoes and steam them until soft. It should take about 20 minutes.
  2. Let them cool down for a bit and put into food processor or a high speed blender.
  3. Add cacao powder and almond milk and process until mousse-y smooth.
  4. Scoop into bowls and add desired fruits.
  5. Enjoy with loved ones.
Notes
  1. You can add more milk for runnier consistency.
  2. Bananas add sweet taste so you definitely won’t need to add sugar.
  3. Add other fruit to change up the taste.

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Red Paprika and Garlic Hummus

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Hi y’all! How is everyone doing?

Today I bring you another one of my favorite snacks and it’s not sweet – surprisingly. When I was about to try to make hummus at home for the first time I read quite a lot of recipes. One thing that was prevalent among all of them was – “once you make it at home you won’t be buying it in store anymore.” I thought, “well, how much different can it really be?” I’m glad I made the effort because I can tell you it’s nothing like store bought! It’s SO MUCH better.

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I’ve been making it for quite some time now. A couple of months ago I didn’t pack anything for work so I bought a snack that had hummus in it. Let me tell you – HUGE disappointment. I mean, I used to be a girl who couldn’t really tell the difference between healthy and unhealthy. Once I started eating healthy, however, my taste buds changed and my body adjusted and I no longer like the taste of processed food. Please don’t think I’m snobbish – this change shocked me more than probably you and I’m so glad it happened.

IMG_9289This post was quite challenging for me because I’ve been trying to research ways to better my pictures. I stumbled upon Ashley’s blog and she has a very helpful section on how to make your pictures better. Go and check it out, she’s amazing! The picture below was done thanks to one of her posts and the rest of them are a better quality because of her advice. Thanks Ashley!

IMG_9346This hummus of mine you’re about to make (;)) is so versatile and yummy you’ll want to have it in stock 24/7. I change it up every time I make it (as always). You can play around with the amounts of paprika and garlic to adjust to your liking. This one has a lot of garlic because, well, why not. Garlic is super healthy, yummy, therapeutic and it helps with cold. What’s not to like? Except the bad breath, I mean.

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Ingredients
  1. 1 can of organic chickpeas drained partially (I like to keep some of the liquid)
  2. 1 tbsp tahini sauce
  3. 1 tsp cumin
  4. 1/2 tsp red smoked paprika + more for topping
  5. 1/4 tsp red himalayan salt
  6. 2 garlic cloves
  7. 1 tsp lemon juice
  8. water to add as needed
Instructions
  1. Put all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth
  2. Add water as needed to achieve desired consistency – I didn’t add much because I don’t like hummus too runny
  3. Serve to loved ones with bread, crackers, or veggies or all of those 🙂
Notes
  1. I like to keep hummus in a mason jar because it’s airtight and that way it’ll last longer.

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