Tag Archives: college

Vegan Chai Granola

IMG_2425This past summer, I had the amazing opportunity to get my yoga teacher certification through a one month course at the Sivananda Yoga Ashram in the Bahamas. I felt like I had prepared pretty well for the month (waking up a little earlier, practicing yoga every day), but, wow, was I wrong. We woke up every morning at 5:30 to go to morning Satsang at 6 (a half-hour of silent meditation on a hardwood floor, followed by chanting and a lecture), then two hours of hatha yoga practice. At 10, we had a brief break for brunch (say that 5 times fast!), followed by karma yoga. Being the youngest person in the YTT course, I was given the odd jobs around the kitchen— re-arranging and wiping down the pantry, scrubbing down the cleaning closet, and scrubbing the ovens twice a week. After karma yoga, it was time for chanting practice or Bhagavad Gita class, depending on the day, followed by a short break. Then a two-hour lecture, and another two-hour hatha yoga class (this time, learning how to teach). At six, we had dinner, and at eight was another two-hour Satsang. Then bed, wake up, and repeat for 30 days.

It was, in a word, exhausting. 

I’ve never been a huge breakfast person, but by the time brunch rolled around at 10, I was starving. While brunch usually consisted of a buffet of fruits, vegetables, and grains, I adopted a go-to meal: homemade granola, soy milk, and peanut butter with a side of chai. I found that this mixture kept me full until dinner at 6, and I knew I was getting enough protein to keep healthy.

While I worked in the kitchen, I also got to meet the sweetest girl (aptly made Honey!) who made the granola every day, and smelled it as it cooked. I love making granola, but I had only ever liked this pumpkin spice granola recipe (which is amazing). I prefer to keep pumpkin spice recipes for the fall, to preserve the sanctity of the flavor. However, I realized that a chai spiced granola would be absolutely amazing, with almond butter as a perfect binding agent.

If you’ve never made homemade granola, have no fear. It’s just about the easiest thing to make and smells absolutely a-m-a-z-i-n-g. It’s important to check for crispness as the granola approaches the later stages, and to mix up the pan periodically to prevent scorching. Feel free to double the batch, but make sure your granola has enough room on the pan. This makes a great breakfast with plant milk and fruit, a topping for smoothies or shakes, and even just a snack on it’s own. I love to make extra and give jars to friends and professors!

Vegan Chai Granola

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

– 3 cups oats (any kind will do; I like old-fashioned

–¼ cup uncooked quinoa

– ½ cup almond milk (creamy is best; not the best recipe for homemade)

– ½ cup maple syrup 

— ½ cup nuts or seeds (pecans or raw sunflower seeds work best)

— ¼ cup ground flaxseeds 

— 2 tsp chai spice 

— 1 tsp vanilla extract 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Toast the oats and quinoa on a baking sheet, about ten minutes. 
  2. While oats and quinoa are toasting, mix together other ingredients in a large bowl. 
  3. Pour oats and quinoa into bowl and mix everything. Spread back onto baking sheet. 
  4. Drop the oven heat to 300 degrees. Bake granola for 20 minutes. 
  5. Stir granola, and return to oven for 20 minutes. 
  6. Continue to check and stir at 5 to 10 minute intervals until quinoa is crunchy. 
  7. Let cool. Store in a jar or airtight container for up to a week. Serve with non-dairy milk. 

Did you like this recipe? Any suggestions? Let me know!

Happy baking!

vegan chai granola

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie (with Hidden Veggies)

Has anyone else noticed that it’s almost impossible to find vegan mint chocolate chip ice cream? I know Enlightened and So Delicious each have one, and I’ve been able to get the So Delicious one (with no added sugar! love!), but they’re hard to find in my vicinity. I love peanut butter and cookie dough, of course, but sometimes you just want mint chip!

I know that a smoothie isn’t *exactly* ice cream, but I find that sometimes, a little bit of taste can be sacrificed for a whole lot of convenience, price, and nutrition.

gooplacequoteOkay, so I am absolutely NOT selling this recipe, am I? It’s delicious, I promise, especially if you want to shake it up from the usual smoothies or curb an ice cream craving. _private_var_mobile_Containers_Data_Application_46EADC96-5C6C-4FEB-A334-975FF1CB379A_tmp_7DDFAEDC-9144-483A-A8F8-D4FCB16E6245_Image

This one does use protein powder, but it’s optional. I’m still doing some research, but I’ve read about questionable ingredients in some protein powders, so I may start cutting it out of my diet. For now, I still have some in my pantry to use up, so it stays.

The color is pretty deep, definitely greener than your typical ice cream or green smoothie, but I really like how it turns out. I may try to top with berries for a nice Christmas colored variation!

You could definitely top with chocolate chips instead of cacao nibs, or whatever you normally put in a smoothie bowl I think the cacao nibs give it a really great chocolatey flavor.

Without further ado!

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie (with Hidden Veggies)

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

    -1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (almond, oat, and cashew are all wonderful)

  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
  • -1 cup raw spinach

    -1 scoop spirulina powder (I use Kos)

    -1/2 tsp vanilla extract

    -1/2 tsp peppermint extract

    -2 scoops vanilla protein powder (optional, but recommended)

    -cacao nibs or chocolate chips for topping

    other toppings: chia seeds, coconut flakes, flaxseeds, etc.

Directions

  1. In your blender, add all ingredients except toppings.
  2. Blend until smooth. If it’s too thick, you can add a little almond milk; if it’s too thin, add some spinach and ice cubes. If you want to drink instead, add around 1/2 cup almond milk.
  3. Pour into your bowl and top with toppings!

Interested in more smoothies? Check out my Pumpkin Berry Halloween smoothie! Want another way to sneak greens into your diet? Try this pesto.

Happy baking!

mint chocolate chip smoothie

 

Super Easy Superfood Latte Mix

I’m a huge coffee drinker. I actually drink about 6 cups a day (or more) while I’m at school, just because I wake up early for class and it’s kind of go-go-go until 10 or 11 pm. A girl needs energy. Plus, there’s unlimited coffee in the dining hall, so while my darling boyfriend is eating his 9th plate of food, I can load up on caffeine.

I could probably talk for hours (or pages, I suppose) about why coffee is the best thing in the world. For example, the global switch from drinking beer or water mixed with wine (using the alcohol to kill off bacteria) to drinking mainly tea and coffee (using boiling to kill off bacteria) essentially took the world off of depressants and gave it a swift kick. No wonder we love so quickly these days!

Anyway! I love coffee. So do a lot of people. Let’s make coffee work for us.

While I was in Hawaii last year, I fell in love with a superfood chai at a local cafe. I can’t remember the exact blend, but I distinctly remember it having turmeric, and thinking “wow, I thought I hated turmeric! This is amazing!”

I also drank many, many expensive protein shakes at the Kauai Juice Company, and I because enchanted with a certain Island Protein shake, that tasted like vanilla cake batter. All of the ingredients were familiar- in fact, things I used in my own protein shakes- except maca. Its a wonderful, butterscotch flavored root with lots of fiber. And it’s delicious.

So here is my accidental ode to last year’s vacation, a simple mix to add to your coffee for a little boost of taste and energy. It’s really great for those of us who realize that breakfast isn’t always a good idea (if I eat a full breakfast, I either feel nauseous or incredibly hungry for the rest of the day. It’s a bit of a lose-lose).

Superfood Latte Mix

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

1/4 cup stevia in the raw

1/4 cup raw cacao powder (I love this)

2 tbs maca powder

2 tsp organic turmeric

Directions:

Whisk all ingredients together and transfer to a clean jar. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons to a cup of coffee, along with a splash of almond milk or cashew milk.

May this grant you delicious coffee and lots of energy. Happy baking!

Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake

PUMPKIN SEASON IS HERE!

There is nothing better than a pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pumpkin pumpkin! Am I #relatable enough?

Real talk, my gorgeous boyfriend ordered about 8 cans of pumpkin purée from Thrive Market, so I have a lot of materials to experiment with! Isn’t that fabulous? My gorgeous boyfriend has also convinced me to start lifting…. less fabulous. So protein shakes are my best friends more than ever right now.

This pumpkin spice protein shake uses vanilla protein powder (as opposed to my usual chocolate) and has a whole serving of pumpkin purée. And it is aaaaaaaamazing.

Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened non-dairy mylk
  • 1-2 scoops vanilla protein powder of choice
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
  • (optional) 1 tbs maple syrup or almond butter

Directions: Blend everything together for the perfect breakfast or post workout snack!

 

 

Protein Cookies

Sugar is my weakness. I have always had such a sweet tooth- more like a sweet set of dentures. I can eat an entire row of Oreos without even thinking. But apparently, that’s “not healthy”…

I also need to eat more protein. Up until recently, I tried to eat around 50 grams of protein- essentially enough to survive. But I should be doubling that, which is hard to do without eating pounds of tofu or lentils, or drinking three protein shakes a day. So I had to get a little clever with my protein. So. Protein cookies.

These were originally based off of Lenny and Larry’s Complete Cookies. But I wanted something cheaper, healthier, lower in calories, and without refined sugar or white flour. So a true, complete cookie. And I think I succeeded. In this post, I have the base for the cookie, and I will be posting variations over the next week. The first: the classic chocolate chip cookie.

Ingredients: Cookie Base

  • 3 tbs coconut flour
  • 2 tbs PB2 or other peanut powder
  • 2 tbs unsweetened applesauce
  • 4 tbs unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbs stevia in the raw
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I like Bob’s Red Mill)
  • .5 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Mix together dry ingredients.DSC09032.JPG2. Add wet ingredients. DSC09034.JPG3. Mix well. DSC09035.JPG4.  Add add-ins. This week: cacao nibs. Add about 1 TBS of raw cacao nibs to the mix, and mix well.

5. Roll into balls, and flatten slightly. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes, until tops are slightly dry. Let cool before eating.

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Here’s a sneak peek at the cookies coming later: DSC09047.JPG

Cacao nib, sugar cookie, double peanut butter, and snickerdoodle.

Nutrition (this is for one cookie, a batch makes four): 8 grams carbs, 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar; 4.6 grams of protein, 2.2 grams of fat.

Comment what other kinds of cookies, or other recipes you would like to see. Happy baking!

Lazy Berry Smoothie

This is super simple to make (kind of a cheat recipe, if we’re being honest) and has tons of vitamins; this is a great way to start the day or as a sweet dessert. 

I have just finished my first semester of college, and I’m exhausted. Exhausted and a little chubby. Not chubby, honestly, but I put on a few pounds during finals week and on my recent trip to New York. Side note: I tried two new vegan flavors of Ben and Jerry’s and they were FANTASTIC. So no regrets. But I feel a little sluggish and bloated, so I’m trying to feel better, no matter what the scale says.

This was actually one of my favorite cheats at school because you can make a really pretty smoothie with just two ingredients: Naked juice and Vitamin Water. I told you, it’s a cheat. But those were two things I could buy with my meal plan, and you have to get creative sometimes.

DSC08993.JPGPersonally, I prefer XXX Zero + Blue Machine. The flavors compliment well and they’re both packed with vitamins B6 and B12, which are really difficult for vegans to get sometimes. Plus, the taste is amazing.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz vitamin water, vitamin water zero, or other liquid of choice
  • 8 oz Naked juice, or other similar juice

Freeze the juice overnight, pop both into a blender, and enjoy! That’s it! I add chia seeds for a little extra umph.

DSC09001

Peanut Butter Protein Oatmeal

DSC08916This peanut butter oatmeal is loaded with 15 grams of protein, 14 grams of fiber, and only 4 grams of sugar and is vegan, gluten-free, and easy to throw together.

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, gluten-free if needed
  • 1 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbs PB2 powder
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
  • 1 tbs flax seeds, ground
  • stevia to taste

Prepare oatmeal as usual, using 1 cup of almond milk instead of water. Mix in additional almond milk and other ingredients after cooking, and enjoy!

Nutrition: 340 calories, 13 g fat, 30 g carbs (14 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 15 g protein.