Homemade Drippy Almond Butter

Homemade almond butter is probably my favorite nut butters. It’s cheaper to make your own and it’s so easy too! I think it tastes WAY better than store bought. The key to making almond butter and getting the drippy, smooth texture is PATIENCE and a GOOD food processor or blender. Also, roasting your own raw almonds is important too. The warm almonds releases their oils easier and it makes it easier to blend. Not to mention, the flavor is SO good. You could add things like a little bit of cinnamon, salt, vanilla, or pure maple syrup to make it extra yummy, but I like to keep it simple to just almonds. I put almond butter on toast, use it in baking, cook with it, and love to pair it with fruit or oatmeal. Sometimes, I just dip crackers in almond butter. The possibilities are endless! Homemade Drippy Almond Butter Homemade Drippy Almond Butter Homemade Drippy Almond ButterHomemade Drippy Almond Butter 
Makes almost 2 cups

3 cups raw almonds
1/8-1/4 tsp sea salt (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange raw almonds on a pan and roast for 10-12 minutes, stirring halfway.

Let them cool for 5-10 minutes on the pan.

Transfer the almonds to a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend on high until creamy, pausing to scrape down the sides as necessary. You’re going to think it’ll never blend, but be patient! Just let the food processor run.The almonds will go from flour-like clumps, to a ball against the side of the food processor (keep scraping down the sides and breaking up the ball every couple minutes), and finally, it will turn lusciously creamy. It will take about 10-15 minutes. If the mixture gets crazy hot along the way, stop and let it cool for a few minutes. Once you think it’s done, blend for another minute or two to ensure EXTRA drippy and creaminess. 🙂

Add your optional mix-ins now if you desire, like salt, maple syrup, cinnamon, or vanilla extract. Blend some more.

Transfer almond butter to a mason jar or glass air-tight container. Let it cool completely and store in a cool, dark place for a month, or store in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

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One Pot Moroccan Chickpea Quinoa Salad

As the weather is getting warmer and warmer, I’m always looking for a good, filling, and healthy salad. Ambitious Kitchen does it again with her salads! I just love them and I have to share it with you all! This one pot Moroccan chickpea quinoa salad is savory, sweet, and packed with protein and fiber to keep you full! It’s so easy to make and the flavors are amazing! I love all the spices it’s one of my favorite quinoa salads! It’s great to bring it to parties or events because it can be eaten cold or warm. It also makes great meal prep if you need something to last a couple days! One Pot Moroccan Chickpea Quinoa Salad One Pot Moroccan Chickpea Quinoa Salad One Pot Moroccan Chickpea Quinoa Salad One Pot Moroccan Chickpea Quinoa SaladOne Pot Moroccan Chickpea Quinoa Salad 
Serves 4-6

½ Tbsp coconut oil
1 medium yellow onion or 1/2 large onion, diced
1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups vegetarian broth (or water)
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
⅔ cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup finely diced flat leaf parsley (I added some cilantro into it too!)
½ cup sliced toasted almonds

Add coconut oil to a large pot and place over medium heat. Once oil is hot add in onion and sauté until onion is translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in the following spices: turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper; cook for 30 seconds more.

Next add in broth (or water) and quinoa; bring mixture to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and cook for exactly 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from heat and fluff quinoa with a fork.

Stir in chickpeas, cranberries and parsley/cilantro to the quinoa and mix until well-combined. Taste and adjust seasonings. Garnish with toasted almonds and extra parsley. Serves 4 or 6 as sides.

To serve: Place in mason jars or meal prep containers for lunch throughout the week. Garnish with extra toasted almonds.

(recipe from Ambitious Kitchen)

Vegan Curried Broccoli Chickpea Salad

This is probably one of my top 3 favorite salads that I can eat over and over again without getting sick of it. This recipe is from the amazing food blog called Ambitious Kitchen! I love Monique and all her recipes. They are super tasty, healthy, and easy! This broccoli chickpea salad has the most amazing curried tahini dressing that is savory and sweet! I was a little skeptical at first about curry and tahini together, but trust me, it tastes AMAZING. It makes this salad unique, delicious, and such a crowd pleaser! Everyone who has tried it, loved it! Even those broccoli haters! Also, broccoli is my favorite vegetable, so this salad has been on repeat! It stores well in the fridge, making it perfect for meal prep. It’s full of fiber and protein and is super filling. Below is the recipe with a few minor changes that I made. You need to make this! Healthy, oil-free, vegan, and SO satisfying!!!! Vegan Curried Broccoli Chickpea Salad Vegan Curried Broccoli Chickpea Salad Vegan Curried Broccoli Chickpea Salad Vegan Curried Broccoli Chickpea SaladVegan Curried Broccoli Chickpea Salad
Serves 4-6

For the salad:
1 head of broccoli, very finely chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds (can also use chopped roasted almonds)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 bunch of green onions, chopped
¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro

For the dressing:
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 large lemon, juiced
3-5 tablespoons warm water, to thin dressing
1 clove garlic, finely minced
3 teaspoons pure maple syrup, to sweeten
1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
½ tablespoon freshly grated ginger
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, add finely chopped broccoli, chickpeas, carrot, cranberries, green onion, and cilantro. Set aside.

Make the dressing by whisking together the following ingredients in a small bowl: tahini, lemon juice, water, garlic, maple syrup, curry powder, ginger, turmeric, salt and pepper. Immediately drizzle over salad and toss to combine. Sprinkle almonds on top and toss a few more times. Serve immediately with fresh squeeze of lemon or place in the fridge for later. Salad will keep well up to 5 days.

Enjoy!

(Recipe from the Ambitious Kitchen)

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)

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)