Oil-free Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Easter is right around the corner and these oil-free double chocolate zucchini muffins will make a great healthy treat for the kiddos and family. No one will even know they are oil-free and whole grain. The whole wheat pastry flour in this recipe makes these muffins light, while still being whole grain. It’s a winner. I love how these muffins are healthier because most chocolate muffins are loaded with sugar and fat. You can actually feel good after eating one or two. 🙂 The zucchini makes these muffins moist and who doesn’t love sneaking vegetables into a muffin! I got this recipe from Oh She Glows and tweaked it a little. I could eat these muffins all day! I think my favorite part when eating these muffins is when I get a bite filled with dark chocolate chips, especially when they are warm and gooey. Mmmm…go make these now! Oil-free Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Makes about 14 muffins

1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flax + 3 Tbsp water)
1 1/4 cup lightly packed shredded zucchini, skin left on
1 1/4 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
scant 1/2 cup cane sugar or regular white sugar
1/3 cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly spray muffin pan with oil or line with muffin liners.

Mix flax egg in a small bowl and set aside. Grate zucchini using a grater box (regular grate size). Set aside.

Mix almond milk and apple cider vinegar (or sub fresh lemon juice) in a glass measuring cup and set aside for 10 minutes. It will curdle, creating vegan buttermilk.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar).

Mix together the wet ingredients (flax egg, almond milk mixture, maple syrup, and vanilla) and then pour over dry ingredients. Stir until just combined, do NOT overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips, shredded zucchini, and walnuts if using…remembering not to overmix.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each tin 3/4 of the way full. Bake for about 15-17 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until muffins slowly spring back when touched. A toothpick should come out mostly clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. With a knife, loosen around the muffin edge and transfer to a cooling rack until completely cool.

Store in a ziploc bag or airtight container. It gets more moist and flavorful the next day. 🙂 Enjoy!

(Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows)

Healthy Oil-free Cinnamon Applesauce Granola

This new granola recipe is my favorite and my go to breakfast and snack. I just can’t stop eating it! One thing I love about this granola is that it has puffed kamut in it. I like to change it up a bit so this was a great addition. Granola is already filled with good healthy fats from the nuts so I sometimes like to opt for oil-free granola or granola with little oil in it. This cinnamon applesauce granola is also not very sweet, unlike most store bought ones. I love the hint of cinnamon and peanut butter in this. I literally could eat this all day and be perfectly content. Pair it with some almond milk and you’ll be in granola heaven…at least that’s what it seems like for me! I would eat this for my late night snack or in place of dessert. It’s so easy to make and you’ll never want to get store bought granola again!  Healthy Oil-free Cinnamon Applesauce Granola
Makes about 4-5 cups

2 cups rolled oats
2 heaping cups puffed kamut
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup chopped almonds
2 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp all natural peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients together. Mix well.

In a small saucepan, combine the applesauce, maple syrup, and peanut butter on medium-low heat. Whisk continuously until heated through, just until it starts to simmer. Turn off the heat and whisk in the vanilla. 

Pour wet mixture into the large mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Combine and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.

Place mixture onto the pan and spread it evenly throughout. Bake for 15 minutes, then take it out of the oven and give it a quick stir to ensure even baking. Return to the oven and bake for 10 more minutes. Check the granola and see if it has a golden color and is mostly dry. Don’t worry if it seems slightly wet and not perfectly crisp yet because it will crisp up even more when it cools. You don’t want burnt granola. Let it cool completely on the pan and enjoy! Store it in an airtight container.

Healthy Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Waffle Cookies

Sorry it’s been forever since I last posted, but I ended up having my baby boy 3 weeks early, so that was a great surprise! We are all doing well and baby Beckham is oh so cute! I can’t stop staring at him and I love him so much. However, staying home all day and supposedly “resting” can drive me a little crazy. I had to bake something! I’ve been craving anything peanut butter and chocolate so I decided to make these cute little gems. These waffle cookies turned out so good and make for the perfect treat. They are made with spelt flour, no refined sugars, and very little oil…definitely healthier than normal cookies or waffles. I love how they are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Also, what’s not to love when they are dipped in dark chocolate!?! Seriously, you have got to make these right now. They are so easy to make, but looks like you slaved over them. These are great for easter coming up too! Healthy Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Waffle Cookies
Makes about 20 waffle cookies

1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 Tbsp warm water)
2 cups spelt flour
2/3 cup coconut sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 rounded tsp ground cinnamon 
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (the natural drippy kind)
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk, room temperature 
Toppings: 1 cup dark chocolate chips, shredded coconut, hemp seeds, sprinkles

Heat the waffle iron to medium heat.

Prepare the flax egg by stirring together flax and water in a small bowl or cup. Let sit 5-10 minutes before using.

In a large bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon).

In a small bowl, stir the wet ingredients together until well combined (peanut butter, coconut oil, vanilla, non-dairy milk, flax egg). Make sure the non-dairy milk is at room temperature or warmed a little bit to prevent coconut oil from hardening.

Add the contents of the small bowl to the large and mix with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined.

Scoop 1 heaping tablespoon of batter and roll into a ball. Repeat until you have 4 balls and place each one on one quadrant of the waffle iron. Close the iron and let the cookies bake until golden brown. The time will vary depending on your waffle iron but for me it took about 1.5-2 minutes. Careful not to overcook them or burn them because they will be really crunchy and harden when cooled. Remove the cookies from the iron and repeat until all the batter is used.

For the chocolate coating, heat the chocolate chips in a small saucepan at low, stirring until melted or microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between. Dip the cookies halfway in the chocolate then place them on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. I also tried spooning the melted chocolate over half of the cookie and letting the excess chocolate drip off. Sprinkle your choice of topping over chocolate. Let the chocolate cool and harden before enjoying. Store in an airtight container or ziploc bag.

Enjoy!

(Recipe adapted from The Colorful Kitchen)

Easy Berry Pear Cake

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and this easy berry pear cake will definitely please your loved ones. It’s so simple to whip together, in fact, it only takes ONE bowl! You can use whatever berries you have on hand, frozen or fresh. This cake is light, slightly sweetened, moist, and so addicting! I can probably eat the whole thing by myself if I wanted to. Also, who knew it would turn out so beautiful! Such a pretty cake with not much effort. I love that! I’m a big fan of desserts with fruit in it so this one is definitely one of my favorites. Easy Berry Pear Cake Easy Berry Pear Cake Easy Berry Pear Cake Easy Berry Pear Cake Easy Berry Pear Cake Easy Berry Pear CakeEasy Berry Pear Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1/2-3/4 cup granulated sugar (I like mine less sweet so I used 1/2 cup)
2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk (or any nut milk)
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 pears, sliced thinly (I used Bartlett pears)
1 cup frozen berries (I used blueberries and blackberries)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and line with parchment paper a 9 inch round baking pan. I used a springform pan.

Combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt) in a large bowl. Mix well. Add the wet ingredients (milk, melted oil, and vanilla) and mix until combined, being careful not to overmix. ***Make sure your milk is warmed a little bit so the coconut oil doesn’t harden. You can mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl first before adding it to the dry ingredients.

Pour into a round baking pan and cover with sliced pears and frozen berries. At first glance, it may look like there isn’t enough batter, but it rises beautifully during baking.

Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and baked through (toothpick test). Let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Carefully grab the edges of the parchment paper and lift the cake out of the pan. Place on a wire wrack to cool completely.

Enjoy!!!

Vegetable Potstickers

Chinese New Year is coming up and I’m so excited! We always eat a lot of potstickers and dumplings on Chinese New Year for good luck. I love homemade potstickers because I feel like the flavor is way better than store bought. Also, you don’t have weird ingredients in them. I am finally sharing my potstickers recipe that many of you have asked me for. Sorry it took me this long, but I never measured anything before when I would make it. This time, I made sure to write everything down as I was making them. My mom is the best at making potstickers and this recipe is a variation of hers. I made these vegan and I’ve been making them for quite some time. This makes a huge batch, so it leaves me with a lot in the freezer. I love this because whenever I want some potstickers, I can just cook them straight from the freezer. It’s super handy when you are short on time and need a quick meal. Not to mention, the filling is so versatile. You can literally just put whatever you like in them. Also, feel free to use this filling for egg rolls too! Seriously these are the best potstickers ever!!!!Vegetable PotstickersVegetable PotstickersVegetable PotstickersVegetable PotstickersVegetable PotstickersVegetable PotstickersVegetable Potstickers Vegetable PotstickersVegetable PotstickersVegetable Potstickers
Makes about 60 potstickers

8 oz mushrooms (I used portobello, but any would work too)
1/2 head of cabbage (3-4 cups chopped really small)
3 carrots
2 cups chives, chopped really fine
1 inch knob of ginger, minced
1 Tbsp minced garlic
4 oz clear vermicelli
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 packs of potsticker wrappers (I buy this brand)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil for cooking

Soak the clear vermicelli noodles in hot water for 30 minutes.

While the vermicelli noodles are soaking, pulse the mushrooms in a food processor until finely chopped. Put it in a large bowl. Next, add the cabbage to the food processor and pulse a few times. Add it to the bowl with the mushrooms. I used the shred attachment to my food processor to do this. Shred the carrots really finely or use the shred attachment to your food processor. Add it to the bowl of vegetables. (I used a food processor here to get the vegetables chopped really finely and to save time. However, if you don’t have a food processor, using a knife works just as well. It just takes more effort and time.)

Add your chopped chives, ginger, and garlic to the bowl of vegetables. Once noodles are done soaking and have softened, drain in a strainer. Then chop them up really small and add it to the bowl of vegetables. Finally, add the salt, black pepper, sesame oil, and soy sauce to the same bowl. Mix and combine everything with a wooden spoon.

Place about 1 rounded teaspoon of filling in each potsticker wrapper. Dip your finger in water and run it around the edges of the wrapper. Form the potsticker by bringing two sides of the wrap together to form a half moon shape. Begin by pinching the center of the potsticker and work your way from the center out to both sides, pinching and creating folds as you go to seal. Place on a parchment lined or foil lined with flour baking sheet. Repeat with remaining wrappers. You can place the baking sheet in the freezer for a couple hours, and once frozen, put the potstickers in a ziploc bag. Or you can cook them immediately.

Heat vegetable oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium high heat. Place each potsticker in the pan and line them up close together, like in the picture above. Pour 1/3-1/2 cup of water over the potstickers, enough to cover the bottoms of the potstickers. Once the water starts to boil, place a lid over the pan and reduce heat to medium and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until the water is gone. Make sure to keep an eye on it! (If water is not gone, turn the heat up a little more.) Remove the cover and let the bottoms brown. Once done, place a plate on top and carefully hold onto the plate and flip the pan so the bottoms are exposed.

Serve hot with some soy sauce and rice vinegar (add to taste). Enjoy!!!

***If you are cooking the potstickers after you freeze them, cook the same way as above. You may need to add a little more water though. No need to defrost them before hand.

Healthy Thumbprint Cookies (vegan, gf, oil free)

I know, cookie season is over, BUT who said it ever has to end?! Here is a cookie recipe that will help you with your sweet cravings and start your new year off right. I love thumbprint cookies. Anything with jam in it is a winner for me. These healthy thumbprint cookies can be made with whatever jam you have in the fridge. I had some apricot chia seed jam in my freezer that I needed to use. These cookies are nutty, chewy, and only slightly sweet (my jam isn’t very sweet). They make for the perfect snack or dessert and are packed with good fats, protein, and fiber. This is a cookie you won’t feel guilty about eating. Who knew a cookie that was refined sugar free, gluten free, vegan, and oil free could taste this good?! It almost tastes like a yummy Lara Bar or CLIFF bar to me. 2017 never looked so good!Healthy Thumbprint Cookies Healthy Thumbprint Cookies Healthy Thumbprint Cookies Healthy Thumbprint Cookies Healthy Thumbprint CookiesHealthy Thumbprint Cookies
Makes about 18 cookies

1 1/3 cups raw almonds, processed into almond meal (about 1.5 cups almond meal)
1/4 cup oat flour or brown rice flour (I used oat flour)
2 Tbsp ground flax seed
1/4 tsp + 1/8th tsp fine grain sea salt
1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raw peanut butter or almond butter (the drippy kind)
1/4 cup + 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp almond extract
6-7 Tbsp jam (I used homemade apricot chia seed jam)
Optional: approx 1/3 cup shredded coconut, for rolling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a large baking sheet with oil, use a silpat mat, or line with parchment paper.

If making almond meal, place raw almonds into a high-speed blender or food processor. Process on high speed until a fine crumb, making sure not to process too long or the oils will release. Alternatively, you can use store bought almond meal.

In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients (almond meal, oat or rice flour, ground flax, salt, and baking powder). Use your fingers to break up any clumps of the almond meal. In a smaller bowl, mix together the peanut or almond butter, maple syrup, and almond extract. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir until combined. If dough is too dry, you can add a splash of almond milk (only 1 tsp at a time). The dough will come together, be patient. 🙂

Shape dough into balls (about 1.5 tbsp or so). If dough is too sticky, place in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to firm up.

Roll balls in coconut if desired. Place balls of dough about 1.5-2 inches apart on the baking sheet. With your thumb, press into the middle of the ball and shape a small well with your fingers. Add 1 tsp of jam into each well.

Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes, watching closely after 9 minutes. Cool on sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Enjoy! Store in an airtight container once completely cooled.

(Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows)

Superfood Cacao Hot Chocolate

One of my nightly drinks is this superfood cacao hot chocolate. I’m always craving hot chocolate when it’s cold outside. I don’t always like going out to get hot chocolate because it’s usually just made with syrup and way too sweet. Also, the powdered hot cocoa you buy at the store is just filled with sugar. Homemade hot chocolate is super easy, delicious, and way healthier. The superfood cacao has many health benefits like iron, magnesium, calcium, and a ton of antioxidants. I made this with almond milk and it’s so yummy. Superfood Cacao Hot ChocolateSuperfood Cacao Hot ChocolateSuperfood Cacao Hot ChocolateSuperfood Cacao Hot Chocolate 

2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
2 Tbsp cacao powder
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup (add to taste)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Heat the almond milk in a small pot on medium low heat. Bring to a simmer and turn off the heat. Whisk in the cacao powder, maple syrup, and vanilla until well combined and there are no clumps.

Taste and see if you want it more sweet or less. I like my hot chocolate on the darker side.

Enjoy!