Vegan Raspberry Mango Muffins With Pistachios

My eldest daughter isn’t leaving for college for another 5 weeks and already she is teaching me things.

She made these incredibly moist and delicious muffins and gave me the recipe.

She substituted raspberries for blackberries and I would switch out the wheat flour for coconut flour.

just a few ideas.

In any case, these were delicious!

She has taught me about Chia seeds which are wonderful; Extremely healthy and a great ingredient for vegan chefs to add texture, heft and “egg white” qualities to baked goods.

Blackberry Mango Muffins

Ingredients

3 Tbsp. Chia seed
1 1/4 Cup Warm Water
2 Cups Mango, No Skin/seed and Mashed
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil, Melted
2/3 Cup Organic Sugar
1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract
3 1/2 Cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 Tbsp. Ground Allspice
1 tsp. Salt
1 Cup Fresh Blackberries
1 Cup Salted, Shelled Pistachios

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F and get 24 cupcake liners ready in a baking sheet.

Stir the chia seed and warm water together and set aside for a few minutes until it is gelatinous.

In a small bowl, stir together the coconut oil, mango, sugar, ACV, vanilla extract and the chia seed mixture.

Using a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, Allspice, and salt.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir together until there are not dry chunks and it is smooth.

Fold the blackberries and salted pistachios into the batter. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into the cupcake liners until it almost reaches the top.
Bake for 23-27 minutes, check to see if they are done baking with a toothpick to see if it draws clear. Place on cooling rack for 10 minutes.

Enjoy and Share!

Yummy, Spinach and Cannellini Soup

With a few staples in the pantry you can create fresh and filling healthy meals by adding a seasonal ingredient or two.

Cannellini or white kidney beans, garlic, yellow onion and coconut oil are always on hand.

A bunch of fresh spinach added to a few simple staples puts this meal over the top.

Coconut oil, garlic and yellow onion sauté until soft and then add spicy and beans.

Add a few cups of water and allow the everything to simmer together.

I have been avoiding soup bases and bullion because they contain MSG…even the vegan brands, for the most part.

This dish doesn’t need it.

The richness of the coconut oil makes this soup tasty without any added chemicals.

This meal is very clean and filling.

Talk about cheap!

There is no excuse not to eat well when you can have a meal like this in minutes.

Enjoy and share!

Spicy Kale and Sweet Potato Stir Fry

This recipe is and anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory recipe that is hard to beat.

I really don’t know if you can eat any healthier than this.

Organic kale and sweet potatoes, garlic and coconut oil with crushed red pepper flakes.

This meal is fairly inexpensive, really.

Especially when you consider how much nutrition you get for the money and how filling this is.

Start with about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 3-4 cloves of garlic. ( I always use a lot of garlic! )

Saute in a pan and add 3-4 large sweet potatoes, washed, with skin on and diced into 1 inch cubes.

Cook these ingredients together until the sweet potatoes get soft.

The fat in the coconut oil helps your body to process the vitamin A in the sweet potatoes, which, by the way, has been found to be beneficial in protecting the body against skin cancer as seen on the Dr. Oz Show.

Mine became mushy but I didn’t care. This is soooooo good!

Massage the kale….yes. Massage it, wash it and chop it up and add to the pan and cook unit soft.

Add crushed red pepper flakes and salt to taste.

You will crave this dish. I promise.

You will feel satisfied but not heavy and you will have done yourself a favor.

I also added some turmeric, ginger and cumin.

These are my favorite spices and they are great for your health.

I have been going on about coconut oil lately so please don’t get bored with me.

Coconut oil is so incredibly beneficial to you health and especially to brain health and is showing promise mitigating the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

It tastes great, it’s good for you.

Use it every chance that you get.

Enjoy and share!

So Delicious! Black Bean and Avocado Spread!

I apologize that my photos are not more glamorous or that the spread itself is not prettier.

But there is no denying the fact that this little dish is one yummy and nutritious treat.

Coconut oil, black beans, garlic and avocado create a powerhouse of healthy oils, fiber and antioxidants in a tasty and convenient spread or dip; warm or chilled.

This recipe is an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant rich combination that is easy to incorporate into your diet.

Just sauté garlic in coconut oil for a minute add 2-3 cans of organic black beans and cook until soft.

I start mashing everything with a potato masher then add the avocado and blend in the food processor.

Avocado is my new favorite food these days and I use it as a meat/dairy substitute in sandwiches and as a base for creamy dips and spreads.

My diet is becoming increasingly vegan if for no other reason than I simply feel better; more energized, lighter, and sharper.

Coconut oil is another of my favorites and I find ways to squeeze it into everything that I eat.

In this recipe it adds tremendous richness, creaminess and depth of flavor.

I find that coconut oil lends a richness that meat and dairy add to foods.

Black beans are a major staple in my kitchen.
They are super cheap, incredibly nutritious and convenient.

I buy organic beans in BPA-free cans and I find that if I always have them on hand I always have a meal.

From a quick soup to a warm spread or quesadilla, black beans are a great source of protein.

I served these with organic corn chips.

Served warm as a spread for bread or in a corn tortilla with other veggies, this is a quick and convenient source of protein and nutrition.

Keep some in the fridge and serve with brown rice and sautéed red peppers and it makes a cheap and easy meal.

Vegan Chocolate Cream Whoopi Pies To Die For!

“Skinny Bitch” and “Skinny Bitch Book of Vegan Swaps” author, Kim Barnouin has shared this recipe for chocolate whoopi pies.

Read the book if you get the chance but definitely make these sinfully delicious desserts!

Ingredients

1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup evaporated cane juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Method

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the almond milk and vinegar, and set aside. (It will curdle a little; it’s supposed to do that.)

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, arrowroot, and salt. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugars on low speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add half of the flour mixture and half of the almond milk mixture to the batter and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Add the remaining flour mixture and almond milk mixture and beat until thoroughly combined. Drop about 1 tablespoon of batter onto a lightly greased baking sheet, spacing them about 3 inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes before placing them onto a rack to cool completely.

Filling

1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
1/2 cup Earth Balance, room temperature
3 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond milk

In a large bowl, beat the shortening and Earth Balance together until well combined. Add the sugar and beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Add the extract and almond milk, and beat for another 5-7 minutes until fluffy.

These will not last very long and I challenge you to miss anything.

I would like to try making these with coconut flour to make them gluten/wheat free, as well

Gluten-Free Banana Bread With Coconut Flour, Chocolate Chips And Walnuts

There is so much information about gluten and the damage that it can inflict on those who are gluten intolerant, allergic or who suffer from celiac disease that a real fact of the matter goes unnoticed; “Dwarf Wheat”

Einkorn wheat, the original grass eaten by our ancestors, has been genetically modified.

Norman Borlaug is credited with feeding the world with the super hardy hybrid, however, in it’s wake has been left a host of ills.

Even if you do not suffer from any number of gluten maladies you may be putting on weight, especially belly fat, experiencing mental fog and fatigue and suffering mild headaches.

Simply feeling bloated after eating wheat products was enough for me to investigate further and come up with a few solutions.

Giving up baked goods is not easy for me or for my family.

I like my girls to eat home made foods as much as possible but the idea of re-tooling my kitchen with gluten-free products seemed over whelming.

It turns out that it is not as difficult as I was making it out to be.

I took one of our favorite recipes, banana bread with walnuts and chocolate chips and adapted it to a wheatless recipe.

Ingredients

3-5 really ripe bananas
2/3 cup of coconut oil
2/3 cup of buttermilk
1 cup of sugar
3 eggs
2 1/3 cup coconut flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

opptional

finely chopped walnuts to taste
chocolate chips to taste

I used a cup of quinoa flour but next time I won’t. The flavor was a bit strong, almost bitter, so I’ll use only coconut flour next time.

Also, the batter was a bit dry and thick, however, you can see by the photos that it baked with a nice crust and was quite moist, actually.

Adding more coconut oil or another banana should remedy any dryness.


Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Grease and “flour” 2 loaf pans

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl

Pour into loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for about 40-50 minutes

I am going to try this recipe again and attempt to make it vegan.

I would also like to eliminate the sugar adding applesauce or prune puree……I’ll keep you posted!

This certainly didn’t cook like the original recipe containing wheat, however, neither was it dense nor crumbly.

It didn’t rise much but it was still very good.

It has a nice crispy crust and only a mild coconut flavor…

…offset by the chocolate chips, I’m sure.

My daughter took one bite and said, “this is different”.

By the next bite she said, “I’m already used to it”

It didn’t take long for the girls to get on board.

It is not my intention to cook something that is simply gluten-free but healthy and nutritionally beneficial, as well.

Coconut oil is so good for you and I am finding ways to include in my diet everyday.

Coconut flour is high in fiber and contains protein for cell growth.

By turning our favorite family recipes into natural health boosters I hope to keep them smiling and satisfied for years to come.

Halloween Party Food

Halloween is upon us, and it’s time to put the finishing touches on your party plans. If you’re looking for tasty, spooky treats for your guests, use the following recipes to make your Halloween party one they’ll never forget! If you are looking for more ideas for your Halloween soiree, do a search of Halloween recipes on Recipe Finder for inspiration and how-to’s. Enjoy!

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Spinach, Mushroom and Cheese Bread; For Lack of a Better Name!

It’s not really bread.

It’s dough from my favorite pizza place spread with veggies and cheese and egg.

I happened to have these items in the fridge.

I sauteed the spinach and mushrooms with some crushed garlic and olive oil.

While the bread is raising let the sautee mixture cool and whisk together two eggs; reserve 2 TBSPN to brush on the loaf after you roll it.

Spread the mixture evenly being sure to go all the way to the ends.

Roll the loaf and cover with the egg wash.

Some of the mixture may seep out, try to contain it.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until deep goden brown.

I tried to get photos of the finished product but this was devoured in minutes.

It is great for kids lunches, a travel meal or anytime you want a filling, satisfying treat; hot or cold.

Warm this up sliced in the oven like toast and the edges get crispy. Just delicious!

Super Food Kaniwa with Corn, Beans, Red Pepper, Green Onion, Avocado and Lime Juice!

Kaniwa from Roland Products, pronounced “Ka-nyi-wa”, is a staple grain of the ancient Aztec and Incan cultures whhich has been cultivated for thousands of years throughout South America.

The crunchy, earthy grain is loaded with protein and makes a complete meal when mixed with vegetables.

Kaniwa Plant

Roland Foods offers a wide variety of specialty foods from around the globe and was kind enough to send me this box of Kaniwa to try at home.

I have cooked with Quinoa in the past and I love it.

Kaniwa is similar to quinoa but seems to feel hardier and denser.

I gathered all the vegetables I could find and chopped them to equal size.

1 package of Grape tomatoes cut in half, 7 green onions, 1/2 of a red onion, 1 can of pinto beans, 2 cups of corn, 1 red pepper, 1/2 of a English cucumber, 1 bunch of cilantro,the juice of 3 limes, 1/4 cup of olive oil and salt to taste.

I garnished with avocado.

I put all of the chopped vegetables in a bowl, cooked the 12 oz. box ( about 2 cups ) of Kaniwa and added to the veggies.

I added it hot to the vegetables to bring them to peak flavor.

I find that adding hot grains to the veggies gives off just enough heat to liven the flavors.

I mixed everything then added the olive oil and the lime juice.

Serve and garnish with half an avocado.

Add salt to taste.

This was fantastic.

Everyone loved this vegan, protein rich meal which could also be great as a side dish with grilled salmon.

Coconut Lime Cheese Cake with Cashew and Graham Cracker Crust! Summer Indulgence!

I came across this great recipe on Lick My Spoon.

This is a great recipe because it was easy to follow and the cake came out perfectly on the first try.

I don’t know why but I am always surprised when that happens!

Also, I have been on this kick lately with coconut, limes and mango.

This recipe calls for Key Limes but I used just regular limes and it worked out fine.

I’m sure that the unique and delicate taste of Key Limes adds a whole new dimension of flavor but any ripe fragrant fruit is just so beautiful to me.

After a long winter, Lime is the flavor I’m craving!

I did make a few adjustments.

Instead of 1/4 cup Malibu I used 1/4 cup Coco Lopez.

This cake has a very Lime forward flavor, which is lovely, however, I wanted to taste the coconut, as well.

Key Lime Coconut Cheesecake
Makes: One (10 inch) cheesecake, serves 8-10
Recipe Courtesy of Lick My Spoon

Ingredients:

Crust
1 package graham crackers (approx. 1 cup)
1 cup cashews
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

Filling
1 (12 oz.) container sour cream
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons grated lime zest
½ cup lime juice (if you can’t find key limes, substitute with regular limes)
¼ cup Malibu (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature

Topping
½ cup sweetened coconut flakes, toasted
Slices of lime for garnish

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Butter or spray the bottom of a 10 inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Cover the outside of the pan in foil. Finely grind the graham crackers and cashews in a food processor. Add the melted butter and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, and process until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumb mixture over the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until the crust is golden, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.

3. Mix together the sour cream, cream cheese, and sugar. Blend in the lime zest, lime juice, Malibu, and vanilla. Add eggs in one at a time.

4. Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan. Place the pan in a large roasting pan. Create a hot water bath by pouring enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the baking pan. Bake until the cheesecake is golden and the center of the cake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour.

5. Sprinkle the toasted coconut on top. I just toast the coconut in a dry skillet over medium heat. Keep stirring it so it doesn’t burn; it will toast up quickly. Garnish with lime slices.

6. Transfer the cake to a rack; cool 1 hour. Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold and firm, at least 8 hours (best overnight).

I used my artistic discretion to garnish the cake.

These gorgeous limes were my inspiration.

We’ve been eating limes with everything lately!

We’ve been making lime juice cocktails and garnishing every meal with limes!

The crust calls for lemon zest.

Fantastic!

The crust is delicious.

The lemon adds just the right amount of flavour.

Sugar, cream cheese and vanilla…..

Sounds like a good start to me.

The scent of this crust in the food processor was driving us insane.

We wanted to spoon it into our mouths.

I am happy that it made it’s way into the springform pan.

Eggs, sour cream, coco lopez and the lime zest go into the batter.

It has a mouth-watering aroma.

The cake baked perfectly.

Maybe one of my best.

The water bath is a must to avoid cracks.

Lots of toasted coconut!

Sweet and crunchy toasted coconut is divine with rich and creamy lime lovliness!

And a few more photos of my handy work.

I was so happy with the way this cake turned out.

I will be making many more of these.

I have the feeling that this will be the Summertime go-to cheese cake for picnics, parties or whatever comes our way!

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