Tag Archives: vegetarian

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
  • Print

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

Almond Butter Chia Bars

Vacation time! The slower (yet still very busy) part of my summer is over, and from now on is pretty go go go, and the go go go-ing. I’m typing this on a boat on my way to Canada from Seattle.

Yay, airports. Traveling. New places. Always tons of vegan options, right? And all fairly priced? Yeah. No. So you kind of have to plan a little bit. On Monday I threw together these super easy bars, just four ingredients, vegan, paleo, and no added sugars. This was my breakfast this morning 🙂

You only need four ingredients:

  • Dates
  • Almonds
  • Almond butter
  • Chia seeds

For this recipe, I used one package of dates (around 12 oz), 1/2 cup of almonds, 4 tbs almond butter, and 1/4 cup of chia seeds to make 8 bars.

To make:

  1. Put all ingredients in your food processor.
  2. Process until you have a soft, crumbly dough.
  3. Press into an 8 by 8 pan- you may want to line with parchment paper. Use the bottom of a cup to compact the bars as much as possible.
  4. Refrigerate for at least thirty minutes.
  5. Cut bars, store in beeswax wraps. Keeps best in the fridge- otherwise, they’re still fine but a bit crumbly.

Happy baking!!!

Homemade Almond Butter

You already know how much I loooooooooooove peanut butter. There are very few things I love more than peanut butter: dogs, coffee, my family, my boyfriend, chocolate… okay, maybe there are quite a few things. But you get the point. And most of those things can be improved with peanut butter. If you put a teaspoon of it on the tip of a dog’s nose, you both have nearly endless entertainment!

Since my dad is currently following the Paleo diet, I have had to tweak some recipes or find new ones (gotta love Pinterest!). A lot of these take almond butter which is…. expensive. At school, a 16 oz jar of almond butter is around $15. Only $9.99 on sale, though! What a bargain!

The other problem is that it is completely delicious, and doesn’t last long when I’m in the house. On a recent trip, I actually ate two of those squeeze packets of almond butter… one right after the other. Nothing to put it on. Just almond butter. And it was delicious.

But it’s not hard to make by yourself at all! The trick is to toast the nuts beforehand and to be patient. You absolutely need a decent food processor for this.

Ingredients: 

  • 10 oz raw almonds
  • 1-2 tbs coconut oil, melted
  • 1-2 tbs maple syrup
  1. Toast the almonds at 250F for about ten minutes.
  2. Transfer toasted almonds to food processor. Blend for about ten minutes, checking and scraping the bowl every few minutes. It will quickly look like thisDSC09048.JPG
  3. Once it starts to turn from a flour texture to something slightly, but still dry, you have two options: to continue mixing until the texture you want is achieved (which may take a while…) or add in the melted oil and maple syrup to speed up the process and create a smoother, creamier, sweeter almond butter.
  4. Continue blending until smooth and transfer to a jar. Keep in the fridge for best results. DSC09060.JPG

Comment your favorite paleo recipes, and if you try this recipe, tell me how it turns out. Happy baking!

Protein Cookies: Snickerdoodle

I am back with another classic cookie variation on my protein cookies! Snickerdoodles have always been a favorite of mine, and they’re so simple to make, and yummy to eat. These are also super simple to make:

Ingredients: 

  1. Mix in about half a teaspoon of cinnamon to the cookie, dough, until evenly distributed.
  2.  Mix together remaining cinnamon and coconut sugar in a small bowl.
  3. Roll cookie dough into four small balls.
  4. Roll each ball in the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
  5. Place them on a baking sheet and flatten slightly.
  6. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes. Enjoy!

Nutrition:

Comment if you tried this and what your thoughts are. Happy baking!

Nutrition (for one cookie): 81 calories; 11.8 grams carbs, 5.3 grams fiber, 4.4 grams sugar; 1.7 grams fat, 4.7 grams protein. DSC09037.JPG

Protein Cookies: Double Peanut Butter Cookies

As promised, I am back with another variation of my homemade protein cookies. And these are my favorite! I looooooove peanut butter cookies so much, and while I can usually justify eating an entire batch of my favorite recipe by telling myself that it has protein… I really shouldn’t.

This recipe, however, has 6 grams of protein per 100 calorie cookie, and taste wonderfully peanut buttery. I suspect it may become a staple pretty quickly.

Ingredients:

  1. Mix peanut butter into cookie dough until it’s even throughout.
  2. Roll into four small balls and place on a cookie sheet.
  3. Press down on each with a fork, to get the classic peanut butter cookie criss-cross.
  4. Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes.

Nutrition (per cookie): 8.9 grams of carbs, 4.4 grams of fiber, 2.7 grams of sugar; 4.3 grams of fat, 5.7 grams of protein

You could even add some chocolate chips or cacao nibs to give these some extra umph. Comment if you tried this and what you thought. Happy baking!DSC09047

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.

DSC09055.JPG

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!

Simple Chocolate Nicecream

DSC08909Sometimes, you need ice cream. Or, really, you want ice cream, something cold and sweet and indulgent and full of chocolate. You probably never need ice cream (but I’m not a nutritionist or God, so I really couldn’t say for sure…)

In my tiny college town, there’s one place to buy vegan ice cream. The selection is slim and full of sugar, and the store closes at 8 pm, which doesn’t help when those 10 pm cravings hit. I am also much more mindful of what I eat now, so a pint of sugar-laden, fatty coconut milk ice cream just isn’t very appealing. Enter nicecream.

You’ve all heard of it. Frozen bananas, blended up. I used to shudder at the thought. My aunt an cousin did a Whole30 cleanse and swore up and down that frozen bananas and cocoa powder tasted just like ice cream.  They’re wrong. This won’t taste like a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. But it’s still good, and good for you.

Ingredients:

1/2 banana, chopped and frozen

1 tbs cacao powder

1 tbs almond milk

1 tsp maple syrup or other sweetener

add ins: cacao nibs, cinnamon, almonds, pecans, chocolate chips, flaked coconut

Mix all ingredients (except add ins!) in the blender, stir in your toppings, and enjoy!