A Cruelty-Free Day of Thanks

Let me start by saying that this post contains ZERO judgment or graphic animal cruelty videos. We are all at different states of awareness and rather than taking an extremist route by showing you heartbreaking clips or breaking down the cruelty (how it’s done), I’m going to share heartwarming stories, videos, and celebrate the brave souls (both human and animal)….AND there will be LOTS of recipe links, so be sure to read to the end.

Thanksgiving is a difficult time for me, as it is for most plant eaters. While the day itself is special, as it reminds me of the wonderful memories growing up with my family and sitting around the table at my grandparents house, the main attraction and kitchen time was based around the turkey. It’s estimated that 46 million turkeys are killed for Thanksgiving alone. FORTY-SIX MILLION. While it’s been 25 years since I’ve eaten meat, I know it still remains a huge part of the holiday. Why a turkey symbolizes a day of thanks is beyond me. I get super emotional this time of year because I DO know the evil process about how they’re raised, treated, and slaughtered to eventually be sold in stores. Have you ever been around a turkey? A living, breathing one? You might be surprised to learn that they’re very affectionate, intelligent beings. I’m including some happy videos of them.

And for those interested, you can also help by donating money to the Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt a Turkey project.

VIDEOS:

 

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I’m not sure if any of you follow Violet’s Veg*n e-comics, if you don’t here is a heartwarming comic she did that I loved reading with Willow:

vegan Christmas story

Big Blue Sky (A Christmas Story)

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R E C I P E S >>>>

I PROMISE you, a holiday without meat is 100% possible and whether you’re hosting, going to a potluck, or if you’re bringing your own food (just for you) to a gathering of mostly omnivores, I’ve got you covered (appetizers, sides, mains, desserts, kid-approved). So let’s dive in! The animals and your body will thank you…

All of the recipes linked here are gluten-free, vegan, and soy-free; a lot of them are oil-free as well. I could have included A LOT more recipes and narrowing them down was really hard!

APPETIZERS:

Creamy Artichoke Spinach Dip (without the junk) >> Plant Powered Kitchen >> This dish has made it’s way to family gatherings a few times and it has ALWAYS been a huge hit. Lick-the-bowl-clean kinda good. And it’s kid-approved! Great with chips, crackers, veggies, or even on pizza or a quesadilla!

Below is an old pic from when we made it and spread it on top of gluten-free flatbread.

 

Dairy Free Spinach Artichoke Dip >> Primally Inspired >> Replace the chicken broth with veggie broth and you’ve got yourself a vegan and AIP dip! We’ve got a lot of ideas running through our heads for appetizers, but I’m thinking this one will make an appearance at Thanksgiving!

 

Vegan Queso Blanco Dip (Mexican White Cheese Dip) >> Veggies Don’t Bite >> One of my very favorite dips/sauces before I had to eliminate nuts. I promise you, dairy loving folks will go crazy over this! We paired it with just about anything and everything – heck, you can even give your mashed potatoes a makeover with this HEAVENLY recipe! Ooooh! Or serve it with some crusty bread!

Photo credit: Sophia @ Veggies Don’t Bite

Vegan queso blanco dip (white Mexican cheese)

 

Lemon Cranberry & Pistachio Cashew Cheese Ball >> The Plant Philosophy >>  Another appetizer that was a huge hit at two of our family gatherings last year! Willow picked off the cranberries and pistachios (our silly, selective eater) but devoured the actual “cheese” and paired it with some gluten-free crackers. SO. GOOD.

Here’s a pic we took of it from our Christmas Day gathering last year…

A Cruelty-Free Day of Thanks

 

 

Smoky Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Dip >> Veggie Inspired >> Yet another FANTASTIC and super simple dip that will have your guests going back for seconds or asking for the recipe! Excellent with fresh veggies, crackers (or chips), or bread!

 

Below you’ll see that we paired it with roasted potato wedges…

A Cruelty-Free Day of Thanks

 

Life-Affirming Warm Nacho Dip (an Oh She Glows recipe featured on Plant-Powered Kitchen) >> If you own the Oh She Glows cookbook, you can also refer to this recipe there. We’ve made this for a few family gatherings and it was always the first dish to be devoured. SO good!!!

 

SALADS & SIDES:

Delicata Squash & Persimmon Salad >> Cadry’s Kitchen >> This recipe would be a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving menu! I love how unique this salad is and while I haven’t made it yet, I DO LOVE all of the ingredients. Besides, you’ll learn more about persimmons if you read Cadry’s post…I know I did!

Look at how beautifully Cadry presented it! So festive!

Photo Credit: Cadry @ Cadry’s Kitchen

Fluffy Vegan Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes >> The Vegan 8 >> We made these for Thanksgiving last year and oh, my! Fluffy, creamy, and gone in a flash. And you guys…they’re oil-free! I searched my computer for the photos of these amazing potatoes, but could not find them! So, below you’ll see a photo from Brandi’s blog.

Photo credit: Brandi @ The Vegan 8

Vegan Baked Oil-Free Hushpuppies >> The Vegan 8 >> I honestly couldn’t tell you how many times we’ve made these…four? Maybe five? I guess that just goes to show how incredible they are! All of my family members (even extended family) went crazy over these dangerously delicious, almost melt in your mouth biscuit-y goodies!

A Cruelty-Free Day of Thanks

 

Vegan, Gluten-Free Garlic Chive Dinner Muffins >> The Vegan 8 >> Another amazing recipe by Brandi! They would go perfectly with pretty much any main dish or salad!

Photo credit: Brandi @ The Vegan 8

 

Green Bean Quinoa Celery Salad >> Canned Time >> This beautiful salad, created by Angela, looks so festive – you could serve it at Thanksgiving or Christmas. I can just imagine the lovely balance of textures here, too – between the crunch of the celery and tender quinoa, I bet this is incredibly satisfying!

Photo credit: Angela @ Canned Time

Oil Free Holiday Options - Green Bean Quinoa Celery Salad

 

Marriage-worthy Roasted Brussels Sprouts >> Cake Maker >> These are just like the title states…marriage-worthy. You WILL LOVE them!! We’ve made these SO many times and as crazy as this sounds, I think we’re making these for Thanksgiving AND Jenn’s recipe for brussels (you’ll see the recipe below). What can I say, we LOVE Brussels sprouts!

A Cruelty-Free Day of Thanks

 

Sweet Potato & Herb Savory Muffins >> Feasting on Fruit >> I have not made these yet, but they’ve been on my list to try. I REALLY wish I wasn’t following an AIP diet right now!!!

Photo credit: Natalie @ Feasting on Fruit

Sweet Potato & Herb Savory Muffins | Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free

 

Rosemary White Beans (Zoes Kitchen Copycat) >> The Vegan 8 >> We actually made a meal out of these earlier this year and Willow even enjoyed them! Insanely creamy, full of flavor, and guilt-free. This savory dish would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving menu!

Below is a photo of these beans paired with sauteed kale + avocado slices.

A Cruelty-Free Day of Thanks

Peas with Scallions and Dill >> Veggies Don’t Bite >> You guys. I don’t like peas, but we made these for Thanksgiving two years ago and I actually ate (and enjoyed) some! They pair perfectly with mashed potatoes or any of the loaf recipes I’m linking below under “Mains” – this is a simple, yet flavorful dish!

Photo credit: Sophia @ Veggies Don’t Bite

Peas with scallions and dill

 

Smoky Maple Roasted Carrots >> Veggies Don’t Bite >> I love how pretty this dish looks! Very autumnal and comforting. While I’m not making this for next week, I plan to try it very soon!

Photo credit: Sophia @ Veggies Don’t Bite

Smoky Maple Roasted Carrots with Lemon Thyme Drizzle

 

Scalloped Potatoes >> Cruelty Free Family >> I debated putting this recipe under “Mains” because I’m pretty sure I’d be content with just a giant plate of this. Haha!! OK, confession…I haven’t tried this recipe (yet), but who can go wrong with cheesy potatoes AND without the guilt!

Photo Credit: @ Cruelty Free Family

potatoes1

Grain-Free Sage and Pecan Stuffing >> In Sonnet’s Kitchen >> I pinned this recipe quite some time ago, but haven’t tried it yet. Since I know a few of you are watching your grains intake, I wanted to include it here! I’d totally make it this year if I could eat nuts!!

MAINS:

Vegan Oat-Free Spicy BBQ Lentil Loaf >> The Vegan 8 >> My Mom made this last year for Thanksgiving and it was amazing!!! No one missed the turkey and if they did, they certainly didn’t let on. I happily enjoyed the leftovers, too!!

Photo credit: Brandi @ The Vegan 8

Butternut White Bean Puree w/ Roasted Brussels Sprouts >> Veggie Inspired >> Here’s the other Brussels sprouts recipe I mentioned earlier! SO good!! While I haven’t tried them with the Butternut purée, I can attest to that delicious glaze that goes along with this recipe and of course the brussels – the red onions are the perfect addition!

Photo Credit: Jenn @ Veggie Inspired

Butternut White Bean Purée w/ Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Shepard’s Pie Stuffed Acorn Squash >> The Plant Philosophy >> I have not tried this recipe yet, but we are making it for this Thanksgiving! I love squash so much AND potatoes, so I’m pretty excited. We’ll be making a couple of minor adjustments for my portion to keep it AIP friendly…I’m pretty sure you’ll be hearing more about this recipe in my November Favorites post coming soon!

Photo Credit: Margaret @ The Plant Philosophy

Shepard's Pie Stuffed Acorn Squash | Vegan, Oil-Free | The Plant Philosophy

 

Vegan Thanksgiving Power Bowl >> Feasting on Fruit >>  While I personally haven’t tried this recipe yet, there is A WHOLE LOTTA YUM in one bowl! Literally all of your Thanksgiving favorites in one bowl! Potatoes, cranberry sauce, “stuffing”, lentils, and greens. I’m a sucker for food thrown together in a bowl. Perfect for those attending a gathering where you’ll be the only vegan.

Photo credit: Natalie @ Feasting on Fruit

Vegan Thanksgiving Power Bowl - FeastingonFruit.com

Creamy Autumn Pumpkin Pasta >> Strength & Sunshine >> I have been SO anxious to try this recipe created by my sweet friend, Rebecca! Look at how comforting and dreamy this looks! Who needs turkey when you can have a bowl of this deliciousness??

Photo Credit: Rebecca @ Strength & Sunshine

Creamy Autumn Pumpkin Pasta | Strength and Sunshine @RebeccaGF666 A Creamy Autumn Pumpkin Pasta recipe that brings you all the healthy comfort of the season. Gluten-free, nut-free, and vegan, this easy & quick, savory seasonal dinner will warm your soul from the inside out!

Vegan Cauliflower Lentil Loaf >> Strength & Sunshine >> Yet another Thanksgiving-esque recipe! If my gut could be friends with cauliflower, I would absolutely make this for next week’s gathering. Definitely check out her recipe!!

Photo credit: Rebecca @ Strength & Sunshine

Vegan Cauliflower Lentil Loaf | Strength and Sunshine @RebeccaGF666 A hearty plant-based dinner idea that will satisfy even meat-eaters! A Vegan Cauliflower Lentil Loaf that mimics the classic meatloaf with no meat, gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free! Get all your protein and veggies in this healthy recipe!

 

DESSERTS:

Autoimmune Paleo Apple Crisp >> The Curious Coconut >> I LOVE this recipe and I know that I already talked about it in my October Favorites blog post, but I’m mentioning it again because this is what I’m bringing for dessert next week for our family gathering.

 

Gluten-Free Vegan Caramel Crusted Pumpkin Loaf >> The Vegan 8 >> My Mom made this amazing recipe for last year’s Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit!

Again, another failed search in finding last year’s photos!

Photo credit: Brandi @ The Vegan 8

 

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cream Pie >> The Plant Philosophy >> This was my contribution for last year’s Thanksgiving gathering – it was soooooooo good!

A Cruelty-Free Day of Thanks

 

Pumpkin Fudge Brownies (Vegan & Gluten-Free) >> Veggie Inspired >> Pumpkin + chocolate! Need I say more? These look AMAZING!! I’ve been meaning to make them for my family, but I’m sure I would cry because I can’t eat them right now. *Sigh* My list is growing longer by the minute and when I can eat “normally” again, I’ll be wishing we had more meals in a day!

Photo Credit: Jenn @ Veggie Inspired

Pumpkin Fudge Brownies

 

Vegan Pumpkin Creme Brulee >> Feasting on Fruit >> This was one of our favorite treats from last year…I think I made it three or four times ❤ Huge thumbs up from all of my family.

A Cruelty-Free Day of Thanks

 

Pumpkin Cheesecake >> Unconventional Baker >> How incredible does this look?!??? Audrey is the queen of gorgeous treats. While I haven’t had this specific one, I can tell you that ALL of the recipes I have tried were nothing short of amazing. She offers up two variations (one with a baked crust or a nutty, no bake one) – both look divine!

Photo credit: Audrey @ Unconventional Baker

Pumpkin Cheesecake {Free From: gluten & grains, dairy, eggs, and refined sugars}

 

Vegan Cinnamon Roll Pumpkin Pie >> The Vegan 8 >> Cinnamon. She had me at cinnamon. And the beautiful photos. Good lord! I feel like there needs to be a day for just Thanksgiving desserts because there are A TON of drool-worthy recipes here.

Photo credit: Brandi @ The Vegan 8

 

Vegan and Grain-Free Pumpkin Pie Cups >> Feasting on Fruit >> Pumpkin pies in mini form? Yes, please! These look so perfect and wait until you see the ingredient list! So simple!

Photo credit: Natalie @ Feasting on Fruit

Vegan & Grain-Free Pumpkin Pie Cups

 

Gooey Pumpkin Spice Latte Chocolate Pudding Cake >> Oh She Glows >> You can’t go wrong with an Oh She Glows recipe. I have yet to try one I didn’t fall in love with – so while I haven’t made this one yet, I’m pretty sure I’d enjoy it.

 

Mini Sweet Potato Pies with Maple Cashew Cream >> The Organic Dietitian >> How adorable and delicious do these look???! Mmmm!!! I’m a fan of any mini treats! And with sweet potato!

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So there you have it!! LOTS of delicious, cruelty-free recipes that could “wow” your guests, friends, family. Something for everyone.

 

 Happy (almost) Thanksgiving! I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday with family and friends.

Peace.

Love.

Happiness.

Gratitude.

 

RECIPE: Sunshine Smoothie Bowl

Hello, friends! Before I dive into this recipe, I wanted to say a HUGE thank you for all of the supportive comments on my previous post – means so much to me. I was shocked at how well it was received and even more shocked to learn how many others are in the same boat. Your emails and text messages have helped me to feel less alone and hopeful. I’m sending so much love and healing energy to all of you ❤️

If you read my last post, you know that I’ve made some changes in my diet to reset my system and I’ve had amazing results – more energy, no bloating, pain-free, positive mood changes, clothes fitting better, and hopeful. When I was first introduced to the Autoimmune Protocol, I focused too much on the foods I’d have to avoid, rather than looking at the lengthy list of foods I could eat – it’s all about perspective, right?

Since going vegan almost ten years ago, I’ve consumed nuts & seeds on a daily basis. Heck, almost at every meal if I think about it: nut milk in my smoothies, nuts in granola, cashews to make a creamy sauce or soup, nut or seed butters on toast, in smoothies, in baked goods. The list could go on. Nuts & seeds are in A LOT of vegan products.

Same goes for grains. They’re in our cereals, granola, pancakes, and baked goods. But we also cook them up to go with our lunch or dinner – rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat…well, you get the idea.

My body hasn’t ever had a break from nuts, seeds, and grains – I’m 37 years old – so that’s many days of consuming these foods. I’ve been without nuts and seeds for over two weeks now and without grains, beans, and nightshades for over a week…I’m honestly shocked at how much better I feel. With the AIP diet, they say to do it for 30 days to reset your system – I’m not sure I will go that long since I don’t think I’m getting enough protein (might add beans back in next week) – it’s a harder diet to follow as a vegan.

Eating this way has forced me to get creative, but also reigniting my love for the simple meals…my current favorite dinner is baked yams with sauteed kale, onions, garlic, zucchini, topped with coconut aminos and sliced avocado…gimme those greens! I’ve also fallen in love with these Coconut Paleo Wraps – on the pricey side, so they’re a treat for me. You can find them at pretty much an natural food store or online, but I have found that Whole Foods sells them for the best price. I love using them for both savory (veggie wraps) and sweet (apple crepes) recipes. Oh! And all I can say is coconut butter never tasted so good – now that all of my other nut/seed butters are out – coconut butter is like gold to me! Haha!

*If anyone is interested, I’d be happy to do a post sharing what I eat in a day following this protocol.

If your weather is anything like ours, you’re probably still enjoying smoothies and nice cream without shivering under a blanket just yet 😉 I think this recipe borders on nice cream due to its thickness, but I’m calling it a smoothie bowl since it has a sneaky little veggie in there!

Ahhh, golden beets! Have you tried them? Are you a beet lover? If you’re not a beet fan, golden beets are a lot less “earthy” and overpowering than the vibrant red beets and they also have a perfect sweetness to them. I also love golden beets for their bright, sunshine-y yellow color! I’ve brightened the color even more with some fresh turmeric and mango. My first instinct is to grab the bottle of homemade almond milk, but since I’m not consuming nuts right now, I’ve been using coconut milk, which also gives it a nice tropical twist!

RECIPE: Sunshine Smoothie Bowl
Sunshine Smoothie Bowl {vegan, AIP-friendly, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free}

Serves 1-2

What you need:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1/4 cup fresh golden beets, peeled + chopped*
  • 1/2-1 inch chunk of fresh turmeric
  • 2 Tablespoons raw coconut butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla (optional; if following AIP do not use extract)
  • coconut milk to blend*

*I have made this with an additional 1/4 cup of beets and it’s still delicious! Just depends on how much of a beet lover yo are. I use Trader Joe’s organic canned coconut milk as it is gum-free. I suggest starting with 1/4 cup, adding more if you’d like a thinner consistency. If you’re OK with gums, then any coconut milk will do…full fat will make it ultra creamy. 

RECIPE: Sunshine Smoothie Bowl

How to:

  1. Blend until smooth, pour into a bowl, and enjoy! You can top it with fresh blueberries, dried mulberries, shredded coconut, cinnamon, or granola…or load it up with everything!

RECIPE: Sunshine Smoothie Bowl

RECIPE: Sunshine Smoothie Bowl 

Can’t believe this is the last official week of summer! Are you excited for fall?!

 

Thanks for stopping by!

RECIPE: Spicy Chickpea & Kale Salad

This Chickpea & Kale Salad is similar to your standard chickpea mash, but with a little spice and greens thrown in. It’s creamy, full of flavor, and easily customizable! Pair it with some celery + carrot sticks for a quick snack or turn it into a main meal as a big salad or sandwich. 

RECIPE: Spicy Chickpea & Kale Salad

I love the accidental, throw-together meals that end up being share-worthy. The recipe I’m about to share with you is one of those meals! I can’t take full credit for this creation…I have my hubby to thank. Sometimes he uses ingredients I wouldn’t normally think to combine and also has a heavier hand for spices, but more often than not, the outcome is delicious and packed with flavor. The day he threw this together, I made him give me the rundown on the ingredients he used, but he couldn’t tell me measurements…go figure! So the trials began. I’m excited to share a savory recipe with you – it’s been a while!

Before I dive in, I have to talk about our little addiction. A few months ago we discovered Jeff’s Naturals Diced Tamed™ Jalapeno Peppers and can’t get enough. They’re so good that we were going back and buying a jar a week! We’ve been throwing them in tacos, sauces, salads, pasta, and more. I don’t normally buy jarred products like this, but not only is the jar labeled ‘vegan and gluten-free’ but it’s also non-GMO, free from sulfites, and citric acid. If you haven’t guessed it by now, these jalapenos make an appearance in this recipe 🙂

RECIPE: Spicy Chickpea & Kale Salad

SPICY CHICKPEA & KALE SALAD

{vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free option}

Serves 6-8

What you need:

  • 1 bunch of organic kale
  • 2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 3 cups of cooked chickpeas
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 TBSP Jeff’s Naturals Diced Tamed™ Jalapeno Peppers*
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 cup – 1/2 cup soy-free vegan mayo*
  • 2 TBSP (or more) diced red onion
  • Optional add-ins: chopped carrot, red bell pepper, or tomatoes

*We love this homemade version (but omit the sriracha) or you can use Soy-Free Vegenaise

How to:

  1. Tear the leaves of kale away from the stem and wash thoroughly. Shake the water off, but don’t worry about getting the kale completely dry because any water remaining will aid in cooking. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and toss it with the granulated garlic and salt.
  2. Add the kale to a pan, cover with a lid, and cook on medium heat. Stir frequently and if needed, add a splash of veggie broth or oil. Cook for about 4-5 minutes or until the kale is softened/tender.
  3. Next, throw your chickpeas, cooked kale, jalapenos, and seasonings into a food processor. Pulse until broken down into smaller pieces*
  4. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and fold in your mayo one tablespoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. If you want a super creamy texture, go heavier on the mayo. Then fold in the diced red onion*
  5. Add to a bed of lettuce, in a sandwich, spread between two tortillas and warmed up, or as is!

NOTES:

*I have not tried making this with fresh jalapenos, but I imagine they would produce a higher heat/spice level – I probably wouldn’t throw in 2 TBSP off the bat! The jalapenos I used are fairly mild/tame.

*If you prefer a smoother consistency as opposed to the chunkier way I’ve done – add your mayo and onion directly into the food processor instead of folding it in. Process until smooth.

**If you or your kiddo don’t like spicy, simply omit the jalapenos and either cut the spices back or omit all together.

RECIPE: Spicy Chickpea & Kale Salad

Here we enjoyed it in a sandwich with red leaf lettuce, thick slices of homemade cashew cheese, extra red onion slices, and a smear of vegan mayo…

RECIPE: Spicy Chickpea & Kale Salad

 

Thanks for stopping by!

 

RECIPE: Raw “Granola”

*I apologize for those seeing this post for a second time – for some reason it got published way before I had it scheduled for and this isn’t the first time something like this has happened! Sorry, guys!*

If there’s one ingredient I miss more than anything, I would have to say oats. They’re so versatile that they’re pretty much found in EVERYTHING. Granola is probably my most missed oat-y treat and I needed to find a replacement to top my smoothie bowls with. Whether crunchy or chewy, I loved that sweet and often times nutty goodness. While this specific recipe isn’t going to be exactly like the granola you’re probably used to as it’s obviously lacking rolled oats, it does have some “clusters” of nutty deliciousness AND it all comes together in just a few minutes.

I used to LOVE rawnola (dates + gluten-free rolled oats), but when my oat sensitivity returned, I started playing around with a substitute – while this method won’t be nearly as low-fat, the variety of nuts bring some excellent health benefits (iron, selenium, calcium, protein, magnesium, and antioxidants). Ever since seeing my sweet friend Natalie’s latest rawnola recipe over at Feasting on Fruit, I’ve been anxious to throw in some lemon zest…if you haven’t seen her rawnola creations, definitely check them out!

Why did I choose raw walnuts, Brazil nuts, and almonds? Because they’re some of the healthiest options! Not only are they packed with an abundance of nutrients, but they’re also excellent for brain health, heart health, and the prevention of cancer.

Excellent in a bowl with a splash of nut milk, as a topping for ice cream, smoothie bowls, or as is! The Brazil nuts and pinch of salt add a wonderful flavor to this simple recipe. This is also a great base to play around with flavors/spices of your choice…I do have another recipe in the works for you using this raw granola, so stay tuned 🙂

RECIPE: Raw "Granola"

RAW “GRANOLA”

Makes approximately 3.5-4 cups

What you need:

  • 1.5 cups packed, pitted Medjool dates (approximately 22-24)
  • 1/2 cup raw, organic walnuts
  • 1/4 cup raw, organic Brazil nuts
  • 1/4 (heaping) raw, organic almonds
  • 2 Tablespoons shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (ground or extract)
  • pinch of Himalayan salt (optional, but highly recommended)

How to:

  1. Throw all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until everything is broken up and starting to clump/stick together. If you’re noticing that the mixture isn’t really sticking, add a few more dates and pulse again.
  2. You can either enjoy right away OR spread the mixture (in an even layer) onto a parchment paper lined dehydrator tray and set it at 115°F overnight. I love it both ways, but it’s REALLY good straight out of the dehydrator – it produces a warm, slightly crispy, yet chewy texture.
  3. Best stored in a glass, air-tight container in the refrigerator.

RECIPE: Raw "Granola"

RECIPE: Raw "Granola"

Thanks for stopping by!

RECIPE: Raw “Breaded” Italian Zucchini Chips

If you follow me on Instagram, chances are you saw the teaser for these last week! This crispy little snack is super addictive like your favorite bag of chips, but without the oil or guilt. Willow and I couldn’t stop eating them right off the dehydrator trays – so they’re also kid-approved!

RECIPE: Raw "Breaded" Italian Zucchini Chips

They’re cheezy, zesty, and slightly buttery…and did I mention that they’re addicting? And hey, if you’ve got a picky eater, I promise the veggie taste goes completely undetected!

RECIPE: Raw "Breaded" Italian Zucchini Chips

RAW “BREADED” ITALIAN ZUCCHINI CHIPS

{raw, oil-free, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free}

What you Need:

  • Three small bowls, tongs, whisk, dehydrator.
  • 2 small-medium organic zucchinis
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened, homemade, raw almond milk (or your choice of plant-based milk)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut aminos*
  • 4 Tablespoons blanched almond flour*
  • 2 Tablespoons unfortified nutritional yeast*
  • 1 heaping teaspoon salt-free Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)

* Can omit the coconut aminos and use a pinch of Himalayan salt in the breading instead.

* We use Honeyville’s blanched almond flour and buy it for a great deal at Costco. You can replace the almond flour and/or nutritional yeast with homemade (or store-bought) vegan Parmesan. You can find my recipe for a simple homemade Parmesan HERE (omit the nutritional yeast if you can’t have it). I have made it both ways, but prefer the almond flour-nutritional yeast combo as it provides a perfect “cheesy” flavor and the finely ground almond flour sticks to the zucchini really well.

RECIPE: Raw "Breaded" Italian Zucchini Chips

How To:

  1. Wash, peel, and thinly slice your zucchini. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the milk and coconut aminos.
  3. In a second bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients; break up any clumps from the almond flour or Parmesan.
  4. Fill a third bowl with warm water.
  5. Using tongs (or fingers if you don’t mind getting a little messy), dip zucchini slices, one at a time, in the almond milk mixture. Tap any excess off and then dip it in the “breading” mixture to coat the slice evenly. Place the slice on a mesh dehydrator sheet and then dip your tongs in the warm water to remove any excess breading. Tap excess water off and repeat this process until all the slices are coated. I highly recommend whisking the “breading” after every few slices to break up any clumps.
  6. Place trays in the dehydrator and set it at 115° for 8-12 hours. Times will vary depending on thickness of zucchini slices or how much “breading” you used. You’re looking for a crispy texture.
  7. Store any chips that you don’t eat in a glass jar with a lid….but be warned…you will most likely just eat them right off the tray!

I realize that the process to make these can be a bit time consuming with dipping each individual slice in the breading, but this ensures that they’re evenly coated…you can thank my perfectionist tendencies for that! You could try throwing the breading ingredients in a Ziploc bag and shaking the slices in there, but I cannot vouch for the results. If you make these, please let me know! Come back and leave me some feedback or tag me on Instagram 🙂

UPDATE!! My best friend gave this recipe a try using the oven and my suggestion to use aquafaba. She omitted the almond milk and used just aquafaba (and breading recipe) and baked it at 175° F for 30 minutes and then at 400° for another 30 minutes. Oven times will vary depending on how thin you slice the zucchini. She recommends checking on them after 15 minutes. Thanks, Jen!! xo

RECIPE: Raw "Breaded" Italian Zucchini Chips

RECIPE: Raw "Breaded" Italian Zucchini Chips

RECIPE: Raw "Breaded" Italian Zucchini Chips

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RECIPE: Spirulina Bites

These little bites are packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals which makes them the perfect snack for a picky eater or a quick boost after a workout!

RECIPE: Spirulina Bites

Spirulina is one of our top superfoods that we always have stocked in our pantry as it contains an abundance of nutrients. Here’s the label from our Spirulina Pacifica bottle (we buy ours via Amazon):

SP_SFP_Pwd_16oz

Willow and I threw this together a couple of weeks ago and she couldn’t stop eating it right out of the food processor. She enjoys them rolled in coconut or finely chopped dark chocolate.

RECIPE: Spirulina Bites

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SPIRULINA BITES: {raw, gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, vegan}

Makes 16 bites

What you need:

  • 3/4 cup pitted Medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup raw tahini
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons chia seeds (ground or whole)*
  • 1 Tablespoon spirulina
  • 1 Tablespoon raw protein powder (optional)**
  • shredded coconut, cacao nibs, cacao powder, and/or chopped dark chocolate for rolling (optional)

*I occasionally grind my chia seeds in my nut/spice grinder to create a smoother bite, but it’s not necessary. Keeping them whole will give these bites a little crunch.

**I used Raw Power! Protein Superfood Vanilla and purchase it via The Raw Food World. I like this brand as it uses only superfoods, no fillers, gums, added sugar or sweeteners.

How to:

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor; process until your desired consistency. If you like a chunkier bite, pulse it just enough to get the dates broken apart and ingredients combined. Run it longer for a smoother consistency.
  2. Roll into balls (approximately the size of a tablespoon) and roll in optional coconut, cacao, cacao nibs or chopped dark chocolate. Please note that the coconut butter will initially make these a bit oily, but this will change once the bites have had a chance to set.
  3. Place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and let them set in the freezer for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Enjoy! Best if stored in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

RECIPE: Spirulina Bites

RECIPE: Spirulina Bites

*For the ones rolled in chocolate, I used Equal Exchange Organic (Fair Trade) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips and chopped them up. I purchased them on sale at Whole Foods and love that there’s only three ingredients. They’re vegan and soy-free.

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RECIPE: Chocolate Muffins

Funny story about these muffins – I created this recipe months ago, but when I went to type up the blog post, my notes got all jumbled together and I couldn’t figure out which trial was the one. I stared at four separate pieces of paper with jotted measurements and couldn’t figure it out! I was SO bummed! Last week I decided to revisit this recipe and took a guess as to which piece of paper held the winner, but also made a couple of simple adjustments. The house smelled amazing, they looked like muffins, and the taste test…

Willow: “Mom! Did you know you’re the best baker?”

I certainly wouldn’t go that far, but it’s always sweet to get a compliment from your child because they’re blunt + honest. Guess we figured these out!

Whew!

These aren’t dry like many of the gluten-free muffins I’ve had and they’re not overly sweet…which means they’re ok for breakfast, right?

RECIPE: Chocolate Muffins

Inspecting for chocolate chips!

CHOCOLATE MUFFINS {gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free, oat-free, vegan}

Makes 9 muffins or 8 mini loaves

What you need:

  • 1 cup King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour*
  • 1 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened plant milk (I’ve used almond and cashew)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 flax eggs (2 TBSP ground flax + 6 TBSP warm water)
  • 1/2 TBSP blackstrap molasses
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Enjoy Life mini chips

*This is my favorite all-purpose, gluten-free flour as it doesn’t contain any gums or chickpea flour (which can overpower baked goods).

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How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F and lightly grease your muffin pan or mini loaf pan.
  2. In a small bowl, prepare your flax eggs and set aside to thicken.
  3. Next, measure out your milk in a liquid measuring cup and add the 1 teaspoon of ACV. Mix and set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add all of the dry ingredients (except the chocolate chips) and whisk until incorporated – breaking up any clumps from the almond flour.
  5. Then add all the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Using a spoon, fill the muffin cups about 1/2-3/4 of the way full. You can sprinkle extra chocolate chips on top, if you’d like.
  7. Bake for 18-22 minutes; you want the tops to spring back when touched and the toothpick test should come back clean.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan for at least 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
  9. ENJOY!

Like a lot of baked goods, these are best the day they’re made. I recommend storing any leftovers in the fridge and warming them in the oven for the best flavor…or you can eat them cold.

RECIPE: Chocolate Muffins

RECIPE: Chocolate Muffins

RECIPE: Chocolate MuffinsIf you really want to take these muffins over the top, sneak 1/4-1/2 square of dark chocolate into each muffin cup while filling – you get a nice, melty, chocolate surprise in the center! I got that idea from my friend, Diana, and I can tell you first hand that it’s pretty fantastic.

You can also add a bit of cinnamon and/or espresso powder to the batter for a richer flavor.

RECIPE: Chocolate Muffins

We used 1/2 square of Theo 70% dark chocolate in each muffin. After sneaking the chocolate in there, be sure to top with more of the batter.

 

RECIPE: Chocolate Muffins

RECIPE: Chocolate Muffins

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