Cherry, Cacao, and Basil (and greens!) Smoothie Goodness

IMG_9372Cherry Basil? Yes, Cherries+Basil+Cacao=delicious and I too was surprised that combination worked, but it certainly did. This smoothie is light, refreshing, and kind of complex (in a good way). That said, it’s still dang tasty if you omit the basil and just go with tried and true cherries and chocolate.

What you need:

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about 1 cup of cherries, pitted

2 cups vanilla almond milk (or other non-dairy milk, unsweetened)

2 cups of spinach

1 banana, preferably frozen and chopped

2-3 basil leaves (or no basil leaves if you don’t sway that way)

1 Tbsp chia seeds (totally optional)

1 scoop vanilla protein powder – I use Sunwarrior Vegan protein powder (again, totally optional, but nice)

1 Tbsp cacao nibs (I use Theo)

3-4 ice cubes

IMG_9366Sweet, sweet cherries – I prefer bings, but you could use any cherry. My guess would be that the darker varieties would probably be better, but why not give glorious Rainiers a try in this smoothie? A note on cherry pitting: DO NOT WEAR WHITE CLOTHING, or brand new clothing, or anything that you care deeply about in the event of cherry spatter. No matter how accomplished you are at pitting cherries, it can and will happen. I even watched a video on smooth ways to pit the cherries, and despite my efforts, my friends, it was not smooth.

What to do: Put everything in a blender and blend the heck out of it!

IMG_9374Now drink the lusciousness knowing that you got your fruits, your greens, your chocolate, and some protein. HOORAY!

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Ginger Pear Teff Muffins. Teffing Good and Gf and Vegan!

P1030110_2This morning a number of small and sad looking pears at the bottom of the fruit bowl came to my attention. All of them bruised, a little softer than is appetizing, and abandoned. I suppose that’s the risk you take with Trader Joe’s bags of organic fruit, but man, these pears got overripe fast! Because I hate wasting anything (high 5 to Grandma for all those years of reminding me waste not, want not!), an emergency batch of muffins just had to be prepared to save the pears from unfulfilled potential. (the apples below were saved for juicing the last minute)P1030100_2P1030102_2For those of you that haven’t experienced teff, it’s an Ethiopian grain that is fantastic in a number of things, most notably to me in muffins, pancakes, and that delicious bread that you find when eating Ethiopian food. Despite the dark color, it’s actually got a fairly mild flavor and a really nice, superfine texture. So, let’s make muffins!

What you need: (makes 12-13 regular sized muffins)

2 cups of teff flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1/2 cup potato starch

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond)

2 Tbsp chia seed whisked into a gel with 6 Tbsp water

2 Tbsp flax seed

2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp ground ginger, more if you like a really spicy muffin

about 4 small very ripe pears, chopped (or any other fruit that you think would pear…haha get it?…well with ginger)P1030103_2First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Next, whisk your chia seeds into a gel and add flax (it’s super gel!). It’ll take about 5 minutes for this to set. Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl and combine all wet ingredients into a second bowl, including your chia/flax gel.P1030106_2Combine wet and dry, and fold in pears.P1030107_2Grease muffin tins with oil of your choice and fill with batter. Bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes, until a fork comes out clean when inserted.P1030108_2P1030111_2P1030109_2Eat and enjoy!!!!

 

 

 

Olive Oil Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins (gluten-free and vegan!!!) Holla!

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Today was a day for muffins…savory, fruity, cakey muffins. I’ve been so swamped with school lately that I’m prepping a lot of food on sundays to get through the rest of the week. I’ve also discovered that listening to lectures on my iPod while I cook is actually helping me retain the information better, so it’s win-win. 🙂

These tasty little friends are made with cornmeal, olive oil, and luscious, luscious blueberries, and they have a velvet-y texture despite the cornmeal. I never actually thought I’d describe any food as velvety because it’s always struck me as impossible unless you’re talking about mousse, but these come pretty close.

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To make:

1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour

1 cup cornmeal

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup coconut sugar

2 Tbsp chia seeds (whisked into gel with 6 Tbsp water)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup almond milk

1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1/4 tsp sea salt

pinch of nutmeg

pinch of cinnamon

From here, it’s easy. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk chia seeds into a gel (will take about 5 minutes of setting). Sift together dry ingredients (except sugar), whisk together wet ingredients (include sugar here).

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Add wet to dry and fold in blueberries.

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Spoon into regular-sized greased muffin tin, and bake til golden-brown on top and fork comes out nice and clean (about 20-30 min).

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Eat ’em up!!!!!

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Apple Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes (Gluten-free!)

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This week I’ve been an inexplicable craving for pancakes. This happens about once a year, and when it does, I really need the pancakes. Since I’ve been avoiding gluten, I don’t have any pancake mix that I can eat in the house, so I decided to improvise and make a up a quick batch and it worked. So easy and mad tasty.

Makes about 15 small pancakes:

3/4 cup of buckwheat groats, ground into flour (can also just use pre-ground flour if you’ve got it)

1/4 cup of superfine brown rice flower

2 Tbsp chia seeds

1 large organic egg (or if going vegan, 1 tbsp of chia seeds whisked into a gel with 3 Tbsp warm H20)

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/8 cup almond milk

dash of cinnamon

1 small apple, chopped

1 cup of frozen blueberries

walnuts (for garnish)

Luscious maple syrup

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First, grind your groats (pictured above)! The conversion is 1:1 groat:flour. I find that my magic bullet does this nicely. Also, in case nobody’s told you yet, buckwheat is the best. It tasted fantastic, has lots of protein and is nutritionally very dense, and can be used anywhere whole wheat is. Now, moving on.

Sift together all dry ingredients.

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Whisk together egg and milk and add wet to dry. Stir in blueberries and apple. Grease a griddle with coconut oil. Spoon on  batter and cook until golden brown on each side.

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Serve with walnuts, maple syrup, or whatever else sounds good to you. Eat them all! (the above version has apples, raisins, chia seeds, and shredded coconut)