Blueberry Lemon Muffins (vegan, gf, oil-free)

I don’t know why, but springtime always makes me want some combination of lemon and blueberry. These wholesome muffins are so delicious, I’m excited to finally share with you a muffin that you will not believe is oil-free and naturally sweetened. It’s so moist and tastes even better the next day as the flavors have time to meld together. This oat and almond flour muffin makes you feel good after eating it. The applesauce gives it a natural sweetness as well as added moisture. Healthy, delicious, light, and perfectly sweet with a hint of citrus, you need to make these now! They are great for breakfast, a snack, or dessert!Blueberry Lemon Muffins (vegan, gf, oil-free) Blueberry Lemon Muffins (vegan, gf, oil-free) Blueberry Lemon Muffins (vegan, gf, oil-free) Blueberry Lemon Muffins (vegan, gf, oil-free) Blueberry Lemon Muffins (vegan, gf, oil-free) Blueberry Lemon Muffins (vegan, gf, oil-free)Blueberry Lemon Muffins (vegan, gf, oil-free) 
Makes about 12 muffins

1 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 Tbsp water
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp tahini (or cashew butter or melted coconut oil)
2 heaping Tbsp lemon zest (about 2-3 lemons)
2 cups + 1 Tbsp oat flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (if using frozen, add 1 Tbsp of oat flour to dry ingredients)

Preheat the oven to 350°F then lightly grease or line a muffin tin.

In a small bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon ground flax with 3 tablespoons water. Set aside to thicken.

In a liquid measuring cup, combine the almond milk and lemon juice, then stir together. In the same cup (or transfer to a small bowl if measuring cup is too small), add the applesauce, maple syrup, vanilla, tahini and lemon zest. Whisk until smooth. There shouldn’t be any large chunks of tahini left. Add the flax egg and whisk again.

In a large bowl, whisk together oat flour, almond flour, baking soda, and salt. Pour the liquids in the measuring cup to the dry mixture. Carefully mix until just combined, do NOT over mix. Add 1/2 of the blueberries and gently fold together until combined. 

Fill each muffin tin 3/4 of the way full then garnish the tops with remaining blueberries. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes (mine took 25 minutes), or until light golden brown and cooked through. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Serve and enjoy! 

Store in an airtight container or ziploc bag for 2 days or in the fridge for 5 days.

(recipe adapted from Making Thyme for Health)
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Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar Bites

My favorite, and go-to, granola bars have always been Larabars. When you ask me my favorite flavor…hands down, peanut butter cookie or peanut butter chocolate chip. I’m always a fan of anything peanut butter. I love how simple and few the ingredients are in each bar. However, these granola bars are not always the cheapest, especially when you don’t buy them on sale. Making these Larabars is SO easy and you can make them whatever size you want. I like to roll them into balls and eat them as a snack or have them as my pre-workout fuel. They store well in the freezer or refrigerator too. If you want to add chocolate chips to these, be my guest…in fact, I would highly recommend it if you like peanut butter chocolate chip Larabars. 🙂 Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar Bites Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar Bites Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar Bites Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar BitesPeanut Butter Cookie Larabar Bites

12 Medool dates, pitted and soft
1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts, unsalted
1/8 tsp sea salt, or salt to taste

Put all ingredients into the food processor and pulse until the texture clumps together and there is still texture to the nuts. You don’t want this to be creamy. If it isn’t coming along, you can add one teaspoon of water at a time until it clumps. Be careful not to add too much water that it becomes too mushy.

Use a 1 Tbsp or 1 1/2 Tbsp cookie scoop and roll into balls. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you want to freeze the balls, wrap each ball in some plastic wrap and put in a sealed container in the freezer.

Enjoy!

Instant Pot Moroccan Sweet Potato Chickpea Stew

Many of you have requested more dinner type recipes and this instant pot moroccan chickpea stew will not disappoint. Seriously, it’s so good and SO easy. It’s one of my toddler’s favorite dinners. It’s packed full of flavor and warm spices. The chickpeas and sweet potatoes make this a filling, hearty, and healthy meal. You can swap out the sweet potatoes and use regular potatoes as well. Pair it with quinoa, rice, or some crusty bread. It’s more like comfort food to me, but healthy comfort food. You literally throw everything in the instant pot and in just a couple minutes, you have a delicious meal. This is also great as leftovers! If you don’t have an instant pot, you can make it in the crockpot too (directions below)! Instant Pot Moroccan Sweet Potato Chickpea Stew Instant Pot Moroccan Sweet Potato Chickpea Stew Instant Pot Moroccan Sweet Potato Chickpea Stew Instant Pot Moroccan Sweet Potato Chickpea StewInstant Pot Moroccan Sweet Potato Chickpea Stew 
Yields 4 servings

1 Tbsp avocado oil (or vegetable oil)
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped into cubes (or regular potato)
1 can chickpeas
2 cups tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
Cilantro to garnish (optional)

Use the saute function on your instant pot and add the oil and onion. Stir and saute for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Turn the heat off and add all the other ingredients, except the cilantro, to the pot. Mix to combine well. Secure the lid on your pot and make sure the pressure valve is closed. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then do a quick release. (I usually put a damp towel over the valve to prevent splatters.)

Serve alone, over rice, or with some crusty bread and garnish with cilantro.

Enjoy!

***If making this in the crockpot, saute the onions and garlic with the oil on medium-high heat on the stove. Then add to the crockpot and add all the other ingredients. Cook on high for 4 hours.

(Recipe adapted from the Choosing Chia)

Banana Bread Granola

Happy first day of SPRING! Yay! I’m celebrating by making this banana bread granola for the 5th time because it’s currently one of my favorites! I have a lot of favorite granolas…but this one has been on repeat lately. My husband likes it too, so that’s a plus for me! I love granolas because you can totally customize it to your own tastes. Feel free to swap out any nuts for a different kind of nut. This banana bread is SO good and addicting, I literally cannot stop eating it. It’s lightly sweet and the hint of cinnamon and banana make it just perfect for breakfast, as a snack, or a dessert! It’s packed with good for you fats, protein, and fiber to keep you feeling full all morning. It is also vegan, gluten free, dairy free and so much healthier than store bought granola. My favorite way to eat it is with some non-dairy milk and cut up bananas. Mmmm….not to mention, it makes your house smell heavenly! If you haven’t made homemade granola before, you definitely need to give this a try. I promise it is SO easy and SO delicious!Banana Bread Granola Banana Bread Granola Banana Bread Granola Banana Bread Granola

3 cups rolled oats (GF for gluten-free eaters)
1/2 heaping cup chopped raw walnuts
1/4 cup chopped raw pecans
1/4 cup chopped raw almonds
1/4 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 heaping Tbsp cinnamon
1 heaping Tbsp ground flaxseed
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup or agave (or honey if not vegan)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 medium ripe banana, mashed very well (~1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line a baking pan with parchment paper.

Mix the oats, cinnamon, salt, flaxseed, and nuts together in a large bowl.

In a small saucepan over medium low heat, warm the coconut oil and maple syrup. Once liquidy, remove from heat and whisk in vanilla extract, then banana puree until well combined. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well.

Spread the mixture evenly onto the pan and bake for 27-31 minutes or until golden brown. Lightly toss granola once halfway through baking. The coconut oil will help it crisp up well, but be sure to watch it carefully as it can brown quickly. It won’t be completely crisp when you take it out of the oven, but it will continue to crisp up as it cools.

Once the granola is visibly browned, remove from the oven and toss just a bit to let the heat escape. Cool completely on the baking sheet. Store in a container or jar with an air-tight seal and it should keep for a couple of weeks.

Enjoy!

(recipe adapted from the Minimalist Baker)

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Banana Walnut Breakfast Cookies

Cookies for breakfast? Heck YES! I’m all for that and these cookies are perfect for quick mornings when you literally just have to grab something and run. I actually love these cookies as a pre-workout snack in the mornings, mid-day snack, or dessert. They are good ANYTIME of the day. Packed with whole, healthy ingredients that will make you feel good! They are vegan, gluten-free, and have no refined sugars. They are bursting with whole grains and SO easy to make…like I’m talking about ONE bowl people! Also, I love the crunch the walnuts add to these soft, chewy cookies. It’s the perfect combination.Double Chocolate Oatmeal Banana Walnut Breakfast Cookies Double Chocolate Oatmeal Banana Walnut Breakfast Cookies Double Chocolate Oatmeal Banana Walnut Breakfast Cookies Double Chocolate Oatmeal Banana Walnut Breakfast CookiesDouble Chocolate Oatmeal Banana Walnut Breakfast Cookies
Makes about 20 cookies

1 medium banana, ripened
1/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flax + 3 Tbsp water, combine together, set for 5 minutes)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
2 Tbsp cacao powder (or you can use unsweetened cocoa powder)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.

In a large bowl, add peeled banana. Using a sturdy whisk or fork, mash until smooth. Add the remaining wet ingredients: peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, flax egg, and vanilla. Whisk until well incorporated.

Add the dry ingredients: oats, cacao powder, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Using a rubber spatula, stir and fold until well mixed. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.

Using a cookie scoop, scoop and drop cookie dough on the prepared pan. Flatten slightly, as they won’t spread much during baking. Bake for 10-13 minutes and allow it to cool on the pan for 20 minutes to help it set more. Carefully lift cookies and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container or ziploc on the counter or in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Enjoy!

(Recipe adapted from Beaming Baker)

Almond Beet Coconut Energy Balls

Need a healthy treat for Valentine’s Day? These almond beet coconut energy balls are seriously so delicious, perfectly sweet, nutty, and beautiful! Not only are these super healthy, they are the prettiest too! Beets are high in vitamin C, fiber, manganese, folate, potassium, and lots more. These almond beet coconut energy balls are vegan, gluten free, and paleo. They are the perfect pre or post workout snack, can make for a tasty dessert, and are filled with the good for you fats. There is no added sugars because it’s naturally sweetened by dates and beets! #winning Now make these for your loved ones this Valentine’s Day! Almond Beet Coconut Energy Balls Almond Beet Coconut Energy Balls Almond Beet Coconut Energy Balls Almond Beet Coconut Energy Balls Almond Beet Coconut Energy Balls Almond Beet Coconut Energy Balls Almond Beet Coconut Energy Balls
Makes 12-14 energy balls

9 medjool dates, pitted and soaked to soften
1 large cooked beet, chopped (I steamed mine)
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp almond flour
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (plus more for rolling)
1/4 heaping cup raw almonds
1 Tbsp natural almond butter
1 Tbsp finely ground flaxseed (plus more for rolling)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Add all ingredients to a food processor. Process until a smooth paste forms (you may need to stop and scrape the sides with a rubber spatula).

Put the mixture into a container, cover, and put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill and set.

Take mixture out and roll into 12-14 balls. I used a 1 1/2 Tbsp cookie scoop. Roll in shredded coconut or ground flaxseed.

Store energy balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or wrap each ball and freeze.

Enjoy!

(Recipe adapted from Love Beets)

Flax Almond Flour Banana Muffins (sugar-free, paleo, vegan, gf)

I’ve been baking with almond flour a lot recently and I love it! The nutty taste and soft texture from using almond flour give baked goods a whole different flavor profile. I love nuts and these flax almond flour banana muffins are so dang good. They don’t have the same texture as a traditional muffin. They are more dense and a bit fudgier. These muffins are sugar-free, paleo, vegan, gluten-free, and only have a tiny bit of oil. Talk about HEALTHY and DELICIOUS. I made a batch and put them in the freezer so I could have one everyday. You can add chocolate chips, nuts, or even blueberries to them. I personally opted for the dairy free dark chocolate chips because who doesn’t like dark chocolate with banana?! These muffins are perfect for breakfast, as a snack, and even dessert. The ripe bananas give the perfect sweetness. They are packed with healthy fats, fiber, omega 3s, and protein! Flax Almond Flour Banana Muffins Flax Almond Flour Banana Muffins Flax Almond Flour Banana Muffins Flax Almond Flour Banana MuffinsFlax Almond Flour Banana Muffins 
Makes about 10 muffins

1 3/4 cups almond flour or fine meal
1/3 cup flaxseed meal
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
2 medium extra ripe bananas (about 3/4 cup mashed banana)
1 Tbsp melted coconut oil (avocado or olive oil also works)
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup dairy free dark chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together almond meal, flaxseed meal, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the following together until smooth and creamy: mashed banana, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, vanilla and almond milk.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in dark chocolate chips, leaving a few for sprinkling on top of the muffin batter.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 of the way full. Bake 20-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Let it cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove from pan and cool completely (at least an hour) on a wire rack. They will firm up as they cool. Store in an airtight container or ziploc bag and put it in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

(recipe adapted from the Ambitious Kitchen)