REVIEW: May Favorites

Happy June, everyone!! Like all of the previous months, May flew by just as quickly. It was a bit of a rough month – a combination of rare gloomy weather, plenty of toddler meltdowns and some feelings of stress and being overwhelmed. But it’s a new month and I’m excited for what’s in store. The sun is back and summer is fast approaching which means LOTS of time to soak in the beauty of nature. I’ve got some new (to me) products, but mostly a ton of great recipes we got to try last month!


Veggies Don’t Bite Overnight Oats Jar >> It wasn’t until last year when I really got into overnight oats. The thought of eating cold oats used to really gross me out, but later on, I began experimenting with different flavors, ingredients and recipes and grew to enjoy this breakfast option. Letting those oats soak overnight makes for easier digestion AND in the morning, you can decide if you want to eat them cold (as is) or warm them up. I have found that measuring out the ingredients creates a better end result – I would say 95% of the time if I just throw stuff together in a jar, I’m either left with too much liquid or not enough. This is where Sophia’s genius idea comes in! She has taken the guesswork away and provided a guide right there on the jar, showing you the “fill” line for each ingredient. Each morning I have the perfect oats! With your order, you also receive a pamphlet that provides instructions (what each “fill” line means and how to properly care for your jar) as well as some recipes. Our favorite is the Chunky Monkey…even Willow devours this one! If you click on the highlighted text above, it will take you directly to the Overnight Oats Jar page to purchase, if you are interested.

REVIEW: May Favorites // Be Sol-Ful

Healing Body Scrub >> Kaffe Organic >> My dear friend, Jen of @jengoesgreen gave this to me as a gift last month and I instantly fell in love. Some of my absolute favorite scents are coffee, lavender and peppermint…guess what? They’re all in here! What a delicious combination of scents, not to mention how incredible it all feels on the skin. Last month was stressful {toddler meltdowns and lots of them, sleepless nights, rare gloomy weather and getting my Etsy shop open} which caused breakouts and chaos to my system. I used this scrub to spot treat a few of my trouble areas and not only did it leave my skin feeling refreshed, but it also softened some of the scars. I have been using it a couple of times a week and I’ve noticed a huge change. I loved this SO much that I gave some of it to my mom and she fell in love, too. A little warning…DO NOT apply this as a mask and go about your usual routine with a toddler. She hasn’t seen me wear a face mask before and it scared her something fierce! Haha!

I have learned that this company has since changed their name from Kaffe Organic to Wild Healing.

REVIEW: May Favorites // Be Sol-Ful

Raw African Shea Butter Balm {patchouli} >> Khaki’s Bomb Balm >> The same friend that gifted me that amazing scrub I talked about above, also gave me this balm. If you’re not a fan of shea butter, this definitely isn’t for you…but if you LOVE shea butter (I DO), your skin will be in heaven. How adorable is the packaging?! You can tell that a lot of love goes into the making of these products.

REVIEW: May Favorites // Be Sol-Ful

REVIEW: May Favorites // Be Sol-Ful

It is thick (a little goes a long way) and lasts a long time! The smell is intoxicating and has really helped to heal even the worst dry spots – living in the high desert does a number on your skin if you don’t properly care for it. Visit her Etsy shop for more products and custom orders.

Merrell Women’s All Out Blaze Aero Sport (Hiking Shoes) >> I was in need of a new pair of hiking shoes…especially with summer right around the corner. Josh bought me these great shoes for Mother’s Day and I LOVE them! I finally got to test them out last week – we had an incredibly wet month of May, so we weren’t able to get out much like we usually do. These shoes are super comfortable – lightweight, breathable mesh upper lining with a flexible sole (not stiff like most hiking shoes I’ve used) and VEGAN! I’ve owned quite a few hiking shoes – numerous brands – but I’ve gotta say, these have to be my favorite! I’m also in love with the color! All of my previous shoes have been a neutral or earth tone color, such as brown, grey or green, so I’m excited to break out of my comfort bubble with a “bolder” color.

REVIEW: May Favorites // Be Sol-Ful

REVIEW: May Favorites // Be Sol-Ful

Books: I’ll be honest…I haven’t been reading much these days. I’ve either been falling asleep at night with Willow or watching a couple of episodes of Friends before passing out. I have missed reading and hope to have some book updates next month!

Recipes we tried and LOVED:

May was a great month for new recipes! So get ready for a LONG list!!

Ultimate Raw Cookie Dough Chocolate Fudge Cake >> {The Vegan 8} >> So, I didn’t personally make this recipe, but my mom did and I thoroughly enjoyed it! She made it for my Dad’s birthday (he’s not vegan) and he LOVED it. Everyone did and no one missed the dairy. It was incredibly rich, creamy and melt-in-your-mouth delicious! I honestly have yet to try a dessert recipe of Brandi’s that I didn’t like!

Smokey Cheddar Cauli ‘n’ Cheez >> {Cruelty Free Family} >> If there’s one thing I can’t get enough of, it’s vegan cheese sauces! Or really, sauces in general. I love everyone’s variations, or takes, on vegan cheese sauce so, I feel like I need to try them all! This one did not disappoint – I loved the turmeric in this dish – it really gave it a bright appearance and obviously tasted amazing. So flavorful and creamy – since our head of cauliflower was pretty small, we also cooked up some gluten-free noodles to enjoy this with. Thumbs up from Willow makes this a keeper recipe!

REVIEW: May Favorites // Be Sol-Ful
Smokey Cheddar Cauli ‘n’ Cheeze // Cruelty Free Family

Salted Caramel Cashew Cacao Chunk Smoothie >> {Veggies Don’t Bite} >> One word….AMAZING! I made this and shared it with Willow one morning for breakfast….tasted like dessert and oh, my goodness! Willow sucked it down SO fast. I used unsweetened cashew milk in place of soy, but other than that, I stuck to the recipe. I really have no other words for this smoothie – if you haven’t tried it yet, you NEED to! Oh, and if you don’t have raw cacao chunks, I tried it the second time around using cacao powder and it was equally delicious!

Buffalo Chickpea Burgers >> {Veggies Don’t Bite} >> Kind of like my thought on sauces, you can never tire of veggie burgers! I love trying new burger recipes because each one varies in some way or another. Since we make recipes with a toddler in mind, we replaced the hot sauce with a mild salsa and they turned out great! We paired it with Sophia’s BBQ Tahini Sauce (see below) and some oven roasted potato wedges. So so good!

REVIEW: May Favorites // Be Sol-Ful
Buffalo Chickpea Burger with BBQ Tahini Sauce // Veggies Don’t Bite

BBQ Tahini Sauce >> {Veggies Don’t Bite} >> Well, you have to know by now that I LOVE tahini so when I saw that Sophia created a BBQ tahini sauce, I had to try it! This was insanely simple to whip up and did not require the use of a blender. I could have eaten this with a spoon…who am I kidding! ha! I did at first, but then when the burgers and potatoes were done I dipped away! Tangy, slightly sweet and OH SO TAHINI-Y.

White Chocolate Vanilla Cake Strawberry Milkshake >> {The Vegan 8} >> Another great recipe created by Brandi! Willow and I shared this for dessert one afternoon and LOVED it! I’m more of a vanilla or chocolate milkshake kinda girl, but this one was literally all three delicious flavors whirled into one fantastic shake! Never would have guessed that cashew butter and cacao butter would create a cake-like flavor, but it does. We didn’t have whipped cream to top it with, so we enjoyed it with some Enjoy life chocolate chips and a homemade chocolate sauce.

Ultimate Nutty Granola Clusters >> {The Oh She Glows cookbook} >> I LOVE granola. I’ll eat it plain, with some nut milk or use it as a topping for my smoothies/smoothie bowls. I love that added crunch! Well, an Instagram friend of mine posted a picture of this particular recipe and I hadn’t tried it yet – so I made it the next day and asked myself WHY did it take so long to make this?!? We didn’t have enough walnuts, so I improvised with some raw pecans and it turned out incredibly buttery. We couldn’t stop eating it! This was another picky eater approved recipe.

Better than Restaurant Falafel >> {Minimalist Baker} >> SO good. Simple ingredient list and quick to whip up. We used fresh spinach instead of collards and I was originally going to try baking these instead of pan-cooking them, but we decided to stick to the directions. These were fantastic! Willow helped us prepare the mixture, but sadly did not want to eat them…not sure if she was intimidated by the green color or the fact that it was something new. That just meant more for the adults! I should add that my mom made this recipe, too and used broccoli in the mix…really good! We served ours with some hummus and a bit of hot sauce.

Po-Cauli-Leek Soup >> {Cruelty Free Family} >> This soup hit the spot on a chilly, gloomy evening – it was warm, comforting, and full of flavor! I’ve had cauliflower soup and potato soup, but the two combined create a perfect, thick, hearty soup. We split the batch into two and for Willow’s batch, we left the leeks out – She really enjoyed this soup, too! I have a feeling this recipe will be made quite a bit come fall and winter!

Fat-Free Baked Mexican Black Bean Burgers >> {The Vegan 8} >> Just, wow! Talk about an EPIC burger! It was crispy on the outside with a soft center – not the least bit dry like a lot of vegan/gluten-free burgers. We decided to make 12 small patties as opposed to the suggested 4-6, which made them perfect Willow size. So many wonderful flavors, especially with the addition of The Vegan 8’s Mexican Tahini Sauce. If you make these burgers, DO not skip that sauce!

REVIEW: May Favorites // Be Sol-Ful
Fat Free Baked Mexican Black Bean Burger with Mexican Tahini Sauce // The Vegan 8

The Ultimate Mexican Pizza with Sweet Jalapeno Lemon Cream Sauce >> {Vegetarian Gastronomy} >> We decided to skip our usual tacos for Taco Tuesday and made this AMAZING pizza! Being gluten-free, it’s hard to find a decent, simple, not time consuming crust to make. Well, it doesn’t get any easier than this! We were oooooohhhhhhing and aaaaahhhhhhhing throughout the entire meal. The roasted veggies were perfect, but that sauce….addicting. I licked the blender clean (no shame). The only adjustments I made to this recipe were: heating the beans/corn/spinach on the stove (separately to keep Willow interested) and I used unsweetened cashew milk and a tiny drizzle of pure maple syrup in the sauce in place of soy milk. We have made this sauce a few times and use it on everything from salads to baked potatoes.

REVIEW: May Favorites // Be Sol-Ful
The Ultimate Mexican Pizza with Sweet Jalapeno Lemon Cream Sauce // Vegetarian Gastronomy

Have you discovered any new favorites?! As always, I would love to hear!

Thanks for stopping by!