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!

Buckwheat + Cranberry = Magic (or just Buckwheat Cranberry Bars). Vegan, Gf, and Tasty!

IMG_9207Happy 2014! I feel like this is going to be a good one, friends. Granted, I did wake up with a body full of aches and angry sinuses, but let’s look on the bright side: It was a cold, not the flu. Nailed it. 🙂

This year I want to try more, do more, see more, and get the nasty loose ends that I tend to have floating around all tied up. I want to spend time with the people that I really care about and enjoy what I have. The last couple of years have been a project in trying to live more simply, and that project is going to continue. It’s been a productive first week of the year and I predict it will only get better.

You may ask, what does this have to do with buckwheat cranberry bars? Absolutely nothing, except that I had cranberries and buckwheat and I wanted some bars. I’m just jamming here. Making something delightful with what I’ve got. With that in mind, enjoy and I hope you all have a happy, healthy, lovely-all-around year!IMG_9217

What you need for the base:

1.5 cups gf oatmeal

1/2 cup walnuts

3 Tbsp hemp seeds

2 Tbsp chia seeds

2/3 cup buckwheat flour

1/4-1/2 cup maple syrup (depending on the level of sweetness you like)

dash of cinnamon and nutmeg

2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

What you need for the cranberry topping:

1 package cranberries

3 Tbsp gf all-purpose flour

2-3 Tbsp maple syrup

2 Tbsp lemon juiceIMG_9201First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. For the base, combine all ingredients except buckwheat in a food processor or magic bullet and mix until a thick paste is formed. IMG_9202Once the paste is formed, mix with buckwheat as above. Spread into a loaf pan lined with parchment. Prepare the cranberry topping.IMG_9204Mix cranberries, syrup, flour, and lemon juice and spread over based.IMG_9206Next step: bake for about 40 minutes, until a fork comes out clean. Eat and enjoy!IMG_9210Noodles also wants to wish you a happy new year. He’d also like to get his grubby little paws on some bars. 🙂IMG_9199

Buckwheat Chocolate Gingerbread. Festive, Gluten-free, and Vegan!

P1040410It’s holiday time again, my friends. How that happened, I know not. There’s something about the passage of time that shocks me literally every second. For instance, it’s now 10:21am. WHERE DID THE REST OF THE MORNING GO? I went for a long, long walk, made pancakes, and did some work and *poof*, the time is gone. Sigh.

Anyway, the festive spirit often eludes me because of this whole vortex of time issue. So, gingerbread.  🙂P1040395This gingerbread is spicy, chocolatey, and because of the buckwheat, it’s makes you a veritable tower of jollyness.P1040407What you need:

1.5 cups finely ground buckwheat flur

0.5 cups gluten-free all purpose flour (such as Bob’s or Arrowhead Mills)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1-2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

3 Tbsp chia seeds (mixed with 6 Tbsp warm H20 to form a gel. You could also use two eggs instead if you’re not going vegan)

1.5 cups almond milk or other non-dairy milk, unsweetened

0.5 cups grade B maple syrup

0.5 cups organic, unsweetened applesauce

3 Tbsp ground ginger

dash of nutmeg and cinnamon

1 85% dark chocolate bar, smashed to bits

2 Tbsp raw cacao, 1 Tbsp ground ginger, 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon (all reserved for sprinkling on top)P1040398You guys all know my thoughts on buckwheat. To briefly reiterate: I love it.

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Whisk together chia gel.P1040399

Add all dry ingredients to a bowl. Add all wet ingredients to a bowl. Combine wet into dry, mix, and add chocolate chunks.P1040400When well combined, pour into a pan of your choosing, just remember, the thicker the layer of batter, the longer it takes to bake. I use a 9×13 pyrex dish lined with parchment and it made some nice-sized little slices. Also, parchment paper is so nice because there’s very little pan washing to do. For those of you who don’t know me, I really, really don’t like washing pots and pans. I don’t mind other dishes, but there’s something about a pot or pan that just puts me off yet I like making the messes. I know, I’m a weirdo.

Bake for 30-45 minutes, until a fork comes out cleanP1040403Put together your magic cacao, ginger, cinnamon dustP1040405Sprinkle that delicious fairy dust and eat, eat, eat! 🙂P1040417P1040408P1040416

Buckwheat Chia Cacao Cookies. Gluten-free, vegan, and taaaaassstyyyy!

P1030124_2It seems like I’m always writing about how I really needed a cookie today, and what’s funny is that I don’t really eat very many cookies. But today, to sound like a broken record, I really needed a cookie. Actually, the craving started yesterday, so these little cookie friends were extra necessary and satisfying.  Buckwheat is the wizard of grains, and I find I  literally never get tired of it. Or of saying the word groat. It’s funny and to sound a little (or actually, maybe a lot) d-baggish, it’s got a great mouthfeel. Anyway, these cookies combine the magic of buckwheat, coconut, cacao nibs, and chia and flax seeds into delicious little nuggets of joy. It’s very, very tricky not to just tilt the plate and pour them all into my mouth, but that wouldn’t be very class of me, now would it? 🙂P1030123_2What you need:

*addendum* I think these are delicious as is, my boyfriend says they taste good, but “healthy.” 🙂 You might add some regular sweetened chocolate or a bit more maple syrup if you’re looking for a more traditional cookie. As you’ve probably noticed, I don’t care for super-sweet sweets. 🙂

1 cup buckwheat flour (grind it from your groats!)

1 cup superfine rice flour (I used brown)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp chia seeds + 1 tbsp flax seeds whisked together with 6 Tbsp water to form a gel

2 tbsp melted coconut oil

1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used a homemade combo of hazelnut, cashew, and almond milk)

1/2 cup of maple syurp

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut shreds

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup cacao nibsP1030120_2P1030121_2First, preheat that oven to 350 degrees, then whisk together your flax and chia gel (it will set up in about 5-10 minutes). In the meantime, sift together all dry ingredients in one bowl, and in another combine all wet ingredients and your gel when ready. Mix those two together and add chia seeds, coconut, and nibs then stir all ingredients together until well mixed.P1030122_2Drop dough onto a shaking sheet lined with parchment (I used a heaping tablespoon of dough for each cookie). Bake for 10-15 minutes.P1030127_2When a knife comes out clean, your cookies are done. Feel free to admire your cookies.P1030128_2After admiring them briefly, eat one (or several) and enjoy!P1030124_2

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!!!!

 

 

 

Mango Coco Kiwi Smoothie. Sunshine In a Cup!

P1030066March in Seattle means gray, windy, rainy, and often unpleasant. So for the past few mornings I’ve been mixing up this little sunshine smoothie not only because it tastes super good, but it makes me feel like I’m in some tropical climate, even if just for a few minutes. Come summer, I guarantee I’ll be posting more about how awesome the PNW is and how I’d never want to leave.

P1030061What you need:

about 3/4 cup of frozen mango chunks

1 sliced kiwi

1 Tbsp chia seeds

1 Tbsp sliced or whole almonds (preferably soaked in H20 overnight)

1 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup coconut water

2 Tbsp light coconut milk

P1030060Put all ingredients in your blender (I used my magic bullet). Blend. Seriously, that’s it. 🙂

P1030067Drink and enjoy!!!!

 

 

 

 

Almond Chia Chocolate Cookies! (Gluten-free and vegan!)

P1030021_2   Today is not going super well. 3 finals are due today, for all of which I’m way behind in terms of preparation (one of which I thought I had till Sunday to finish), yesterday I just announced I’m changing jobs…it’s been kind of a tough week. And thankfully it’s almost over! 🙂 So, while I’m re-listening to lectures, I decided to do a little baking.  Because why not. And it’s better than sitting here stressing while I have to be tied to my computer anyway.

P1030025_2These cookies are really less sweet treat, and more power snack. They’re tasty and the almond meal gives them a nice almost cakey texture, but they’re not very sweet. If you’re looking for  a sweeter cookie, I might send you back to my Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chunk Cookies instead. That said, if you’re looking for something that you can grab before running out the door to workout or something, these might be the winners.

What you need:

1 cup almond flour

1.5 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour mix (I used Bob’s, though King Arthur is my favorite)

1/2 cup gluten-free oats

1.5 tsp baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

6 Tbsp chia seeds (2 of which will be whisked together with 6 Tbsp water to form a gel and set a aside)

1/2 cup almond milk

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

pinch salt

pinch cinnamon

1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks

P1030016_2First, whisk together your chia gel and set aside for a few minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together all dry ingredients in one bowl. In separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients (including chia gel and melted coconut oil). Add wet to dry ingredients, and mix. Add chocolate chunks and remaining chia seeds.P1030018_2Place parchment paper over cookie sheet, and spoon dough (it’s very thin dough) onto parchment. Place it all in the oven, and bake for about 10-12 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.P1030024_2Build a leaning tower of cookies and eat them up!!!

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Epic Granola Bars! (Vegan and GF!)

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Ever have one of those weeks where you just feel like you’re under water? Mine’s been kind of like that this week. Just more to do than I think can humanly be done. Fortunately for me, I’ve got a lovely trip to Mexico coming up on Sunday, and a couple of days off to catch up (and breathe, and maybe stop treading water). Traveling gf style can be tricky. More and more airports have gluten-free goodies, but they often cost upwards of $3 or $4 for a granola bar, and I’ll be honest, as a student that seems like a lot of money for little snack bar. So, these tasty little friends came to be. P1020953_2 They’re extremely customizable, so just use what you’ve got on hand. This combination of fig, date, oats, almonds, chocolate, coconut shreds, chia seeds, and maple syrup is sooooo good though. Lovely and chewy with just the right amount of sweetness, I find myself wanting to high-five these bars, but as it turns out, granola bars don’t really give a solid high-five back. It’s much more satisfying to eat them.P1020952_2   To make these, you need:

1. 5 cups gluten-free oats

1 cup puffed rice cereal

1 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

3-4 squares of dark, dark chocolate, chopped into small bits

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup maple syrup

6 dried figs, chopped

5 dates, chopped and pitted

a dash of nutmeg

a dash of cinnamon

1/8 cup waterP1020956_2Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a big bowl. I know, that sounds like such a complex step. One of the many reasons homemade granola in any form is the best.P1020958_2If you have an 8 x 8 inch dish, use that, but if not, I found that two bread pans worked out just fine. Either way, line the pan (or pans) with parchment paper, and press the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Don’t be afraid here. Press really hard! The better pressed it is, the better your bars will stick together. Now bake for 30-40 minutes, until the tops is golden brown.P1020961_2Remove the parchment and granola from the pan, and let cool completely before cutting into bars.P1020967_2Take them anywhere, eat, and enjoy!