This title of this recipe should come as no surprise to those who know me. I love bananas. I love oatmeal. Boom: it’s a Banana Bread Oatmeal Bake for One. YUM.
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This title of this recipe should come as no surprise to those who know me. I love bananas. I love oatmeal. Boom: it’s a Banana Bread Oatmeal Bake for One. YUM.
Carrot cake is one of my favorite desserts. While I tend to be a chocolate-lover, I will stray from the norm for carrot cake. It’s all about the textures, baby.
It is my goal to create the best carrot cake-themed desserts ever in the near future. I like applying the flavor profile to other sweet treats, including granola and these cookies. I’m just getting started and feel more inspired than ever to conquer the carrot cake world. Stay tuned. Just like I’m currently staying tuned to this new season of Real Housewives of NYC. Gosh I’m happy Bethenney is back.
Back to carrot cake creations: I decided I wanted a slightly healthier tasting way to get a mini carrot cake fix early in the morning without feeling too sugared up. I wanted something that felt substantial and hearty, instead of like eating fluff. So I made Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies to grab for quick mid-morning or afternoon snack attacks. They’re awesome. Much like my dog. Hey, did you know I have a dog? I do.
These babies are slightly sweet, but full of nuts, carrots, raisins and whole grain goodness (go oats!) so they satisfy what I love about the taste and texture of carrot cake but give me a lil energy boost for the day. They’re the perfect breakfast or snack cookie and pretty darn good for ya as far as cookies go.
Plus, they’re healthy enough to be a respectable breakfast option. And I like excuses to eat cookies for breakfast. Hope you do too; enjoy these cookies and have a happy day. :-)…
When life puts giant boxes of blueberries on sale what do you do? Thank your lucky stars, buy a box, and eat the entirety of said box thinking about how great a blueberry muffin would be. Proceed to purchase another giant box of blueberry muffins two days later to fulfill muffin desires. Win at life. Repeat as necessary.
What is not to love about blueberry muffins? For some reason they have always been my favorite. Simple, classic, and bursting with juicy balls of berry juice. Mmm. In fact, when I broke into one of these beauties today I managed to splatter blueberry juice all over my freshly cleaned hoodie. Because we all know I literally cannot wear clean laundry for a full day without soiling it. Such is my life. #slob
Blueberry muffins are always something I come back to. Yeah I’ll get excited about that other cool trendy flavor. Sure I’ll give a chocolate chip muffin a whirl, and yeah I’m down with a banana walnut as much as the next girl. But for me, at the end of the day, it’s always back to my bloobies. The blessed bloobies wrapped up in carby goodness.
This talk of carby goodness brings up my next point about muffins. In my opinion, there are two types of muffins: breakfast muffins and dessert muffins. Both are excellent for different reasons and warrant a time and place to be eaten. Some days I want a mile-high crumble top to give me a sugar buzz. But today I wanted a not-too-sweet-eatable-for-breakfast-hearty muffin. And then I went into blueberry muffin labor and birthed a dozen Beautiful Blueberry Breakfast Muffins.
Yum. These babies are 100% whole grain, and have a gluten free option as well. Vegan, per usual, they have nothing in them they do not need. Add as much sweetener as you desire; I’m putting you in charge here with a sliding scale to suit to your personal preference.
Eat as you please. I enjoy them microwaved for about 10 seconds with a smudge of almond butter, and/or with a smudge of coconut butter and some raspberry jam. But you can jam on them however you wish. I’m not bluffin’ with no muffin, you should make a batch and enjoy them as a quick snack or breakfast for the rest of your week and/or day if you love carbs as much as I do. Eat up homies~!
I added cinnamon to the recipe and other flour options. There were questions about the leavening agent and I tested with both baking powder and soda and had success with both. If your leavening agent is not working, I suggest making sure it is not old and making sure you do not skip adding vinegar to the recipe.
I also add this video:
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 25-35 minutes
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. In a cup or bowl, combine almond milk and vinegar and allow to curdle, at least 10 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, combine flour, flax seed, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix together well.
4. Add apple sauce, melted coconut oil, sugar and/or maple syrup, almond milk + vinegar mixture to bowl with flour. Mix gently until just combined. Fold in blueberries.
5. Grease or line a 12-tin muffin tray. Fill each spot about 3/4ths of the way full with muffin batter. Place into the oven for 25-35 minutes until puffed, golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean upon removal. Allow to cool (or don’t) and enjoy. Store in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to 4 days, and/or freeze.
Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone! I feel like this is a holiday people either love or hate. Personally, I’ve never felt bitter or angsty about it, even while single. And why would I be bitter? Valentine’s Day means half price candy on February 15th. #win.
Speaking of the season of love, do you know what I really really love? (besides my dog and Starbucks, obviously.) Chocolate pudding. It has always been a favorite of mine since I was a wee one. I recall being obsessed with the GenSoy soy puddings with the little panda guy on him when I was tiny, often eating a 4-pack in one sitting, enjoying every creamy chocolately blissful bite. Yums. Memories.
My love and adoration for pudding has never ceased into adulthood. And when I have the time it’s something I still love to make. Yes, you can use a packet and mix it with whatever milk you desire and have that classic box-pudding taste, which is divine in its own nostalgic right….
Once upon a time I decided to try a 10 day vegan challenge. Although I’ve always hated the taste of milk, in some ways pre-experiment I considered myself a Dairy Queen. I was a full fledged Greek yogurt and ice cream addict; I entered the challenge afraid I would be miserable without these foods.
After a few days of adjusting and realizing there are delicious non-dairy versions of yogurt and ice cream and even cool-whip, I was fine. And as a result of this experiment, something miraculous happened: I gradually craved dairy products less and less. In fact, after a while, they tasted kind of funky to me.
Another miracle came out of my dabbling with veganism: the IBS that has ailed me for years disappeared. Poof. Gone. Like magic. A thousand trips to GI doctors couldn’t tell me what this experiment did: my body is no good at processing dairy. I don’t know why I didn’t try this earlier, as when I was a kid I couldn’t digest it either and was raised on soymilk and was the weird kid that brought Gen Soy pudding packs to school instead of snack packs. Speaking of those, I need to get back on em. That cute lil panda guy makes the best darn packaged chocolate pudding I’ve ever laid my lips on.
For a few months I had gradually reduced my dairy intake more and more, simply because I wasn’t craving it. Then, when I realized every time I did occasionally eat dairy, my IBS came back in full force, I had even less desire to eat it. eliminate dairy as an experiment.
Additionally, I can honestly say, since switching to a primary vegan diet, I have not once felt sick or tired or gross or like I need to take a nap after eating, no matter what or how much I eat. I am full and satisfied, but also energized; I never get that “omg I need to lay down/why did I eat that” feeling ever anymore. And I can honestly say I don’t miss a darn thing. The whole vegan thing is easier and more accessible than ever and has forced me out of cooking ruts and turned me onto new flavors and products. I’m in a happy place.
Along with vegan cooking and lifestyle came vegan baking. And I must say, every vegan baked good I make or eat isn’t sub-par to any non-vegan dessert. [Also if you live in NYC go check out the vegan desserts at Peacefood O.M.G] It’s been a fun challenge for me adapting recipes and coming up with new ideas. And no more IBS is truly the biggest blessing I’ve ever experienced after years of constant pain and suffering. This is what works for me, so if you want to think I’m weird for it that’s fine. I believe everyone should do what works best for their body and right now, this is what works for me.
You know what else works for me? Cookies for breakfast. Like these Easy Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. They’re vegan and they’re healthy: free of refined flour, sugar, and anything artificial. In fact, they’re only 7 ingredients and are made from whole grains and fruits. A perfect breakfast or snack cookie, they’re sweet but not overly so, and are a good energy boost when you’re on the go or need a study snack. Speaking of study, I should be doing that right now. Sigh.
Hello my name is Katherine Baker and I LOVE granola bars. A close second is, obviously, my love for granola. And granola is easier to make, and cuter to put in mason jars as gifts for the holidays. So yesterday, while making some DIY gifts, I decided granola would be a delicious, adorable treat to fill up mason jars in and give as gifts. Along with some of these Chocolate Coconut Macaroon Larabars and some of this Bark.
I just realized these posts are a total #spoileralert for my friends and family. Oops. Oh well. Get excited friends and family, you’ve got some yummies coming your way!
And what could be more festive and delicious than all of these holiday-flavored treats that are delicious and also not horrible for you? Maybe adding some hot chocolate to your day. They say “do it if you bad”, and I know you’re on the naughty list.
When I set out to make granola, I knew I wanted something full of nuts. I love nuts. And I like them in excess. Nothing unfrosts my cupcake more than getting a granola bar or bag of granola or trail mix that has like, one nut every six bites. Thus, my granolas and granola bars are always very generous with nuts. In this particular granola, I kept most of them whole. I liked this a lot. It feels special and luxurious. Like the bathrobe I’m currently wearing while sitting with a towel-turban and Millie on my lap in my bed as I write this post.
In addition to lots and lots of nuts, I wanted a themed granola. And I had a TON of molasses left over from this Gingerbread cake thing I made the other night. So Gingerbread Granola it was!
I packed this stuff into mason jars to be trendy and cute and give as gifts, but you can probably house the whole pan by yourself if it’s sitting in front of you. Make and enjoy this wonderful stuff with yogurt, milk, smoothies, or plain as a snack. Nom nom. Nibble nibble.
Two non-related thoughts: 1) The holidays are here! 2) Larabars are delicious, but can be expensive. What do these thoughts lead someone like myself to do?! DIY, of course.
Tis both the season of giving and eating. I knew I wanted to have an excuse to bake or create something in my kitchen, and thought it would be nice to gift something that’s not super-overly-indulgent, figuring that with the holidays as they are, everyone is drowning in plenty of gluttony and may actually be lusting for a healthy snack in the next few days.
So I made some homemade Larabars. Actually, what also inspired me to make these bars is my sister. She LOVES Larabars. So does a toddler I know, who calls them “Spongy Cakes” which is so cute that I almost pass out every time I hear it. Anyways, I’ve wanted to try making homemade Larabars for my sis for a while, and since last night I was angsty and bored and didn’t feel like sitting still, I took pantry inventory and decided to make some and add them to the other food gifts I’m giving. I’m also giving some Chocolate Bark with Figs, Nuts and Sea Salt very similar to this recipe. And some Gingerbread Granola, which I’m planning to also post the recipe for within the hour.
I’d like to say I chose to copy the Chocolate Coconut Macaroon flavor of Larabars because it fits so well with the holidays like Haunnukah and blah blah blah and honestly that was a partial deciding factor but if I’m honest, they are kind of a result of what was in the pantry, per usual.
These babies have 4 ingredients: Cashews. Dates. Coconut Shreds. Dark Chocolate. That’s it. Plain and simple just like the OG Larabars themselves. They turned out really well and quite similar to a Larabar in texture, flavor, and yumminess. The key is not over-pulsing the nuts or chocolate in your food processor. Leave them a little crumby, just like the real ones.
You can even use holiday cookie cutters, and/or wrap them up like wee little gifts if you’d like:
Make these babies, customize them as you’d like, gift them, or keep them. They’re a perfect yummy high-energy sweet treat to keep your blood sugar stable through the holidays and beyond. Happy holidays and happy eating!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes (but require at least 20 minutes to set in fridge)
makes 8 mini-Larabars or 6 regular sized bars
1. Pulse cashews in food processor until a fine, crumby powder. Make sure you don’t overdo the processing, you don’t want a nutbutter, rather a fine sticky dust. Set aside in a bowl.
2. Pulse chocolate in food processor until chocolate is a similar crumb to the nuts. Add chocolate to bowl with nuts.
3. Place dates and coconut in food processor. Puree until mixture reaches a fine paste. If it’s lumpy, add a small bit of water, 1-3 tablespoons, 1 tablespoon at a time.
4. Take date/coconut paste and add to bowl with nuts and chocolate. Mix with a wooden spoon and/or knead until well combined into a cookie-dough-like ball.
5. Line a small baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Transfer Larabar mixture onto sheet and spread until about 1/4th inch thick. Press with hands to create a smooth surface.
6. Allow to set in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, preferably an hour. Slice and enjoy! 🙂
Avocado toast is the epitome of what’s #trendy for food. I remember being surprised when I first moved to NYC, seeing it on cafe menus. I thought for some reason that I was a genius and had invented this snack. I didn’t. lol. It’s been around 5ever.
I also remember being a little surprised by how much it cost. It’s like, $8 in a lot of cool cafes. And now it’s like a thing. Who has the best avocado toast? Is your bread homemade? What’s on top of it? The finest sea salt? The highest quality cracked pepper? Single origin olive oil?
The one I had at LPQ this summer was amazing with some pickled vegetables and Tuscan olive oil and such. Other than that, I usually make avocado toast at home. Because it’s easy, fast, and costs about $7 less than when it’s purchased at a cafe.
The other day I happened to be eating a pomegranate while making avocado toast. I decided adding some pomegranate seeds would make a nice color pop. My toast already had crushed red pepper flakes and sea salt on it, because that’s my go-to for avocado toast, so I kept all those babies in place with the pomegranate.
I was a bit shocked at how delicious the tangy sweet pomegranate seeds played off the spicy pepper flakes and the creamy avocado. The sea salt, per usual, tied it all together, making the avocado flavor pop a bit. The first bite was like a discovery journey: “What’s happening in my mouth right now? so many different flavors and textures, but somehow they all work!! THIS IS AMAZING. MUST EAT MORE.”
So I did. This was my go-to lunch and/or snack all weekend long. I ate like 6 pieces of this exact. Toast. I then realized how festive and beautiful it looks for the holiday season and realized this would make a lovely and gorgeous appetizer on a party spread. It comes together quite quickly and with minimal prep, and who doesn’t love avocado toast? It’s such a win for the appetizer world. Just cut it into fancy triangles or something and you’d be good to go.
Otherwise just make it like a holiday party every day in your mouth and make a slice for yourself. You will not regret this toast. Plus, think of how cool it’ll look on Instagram. #justsayin. Enjoy this energizing, nutrient packed toast for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and/or a snack. Eat up homies!
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 1 minute (to toast bread)
Yield: one piece of avocado toast, can easily be doubled, tripled, or multiplied by 10 and cut into triangles for a party
1. Place bread in toaster. Allow to toast until desired toastiness is achieved.
2. Meanwhile, mash 1/4th avocado in a small bowl with a fork.
3. Remove toast from toaster. Sprinkle red chili pepper flakes and sea salt. Sprinkle and/or artistically decorate with pomegranate seeds.
4. EAT. 🙂
When I’m not baking or cooking or writing for Spoon or Instagramming my dogs or spending hours in health food grocery stores oogling at new products like cashew flour or vegan boxed mac’n’cheese, I actually have a real person job. Gasp, I know. I like, wear clothes (including pants!) and go to work sometimes. And I currently work as an Autism Line Therapist. My job is nothing like I expected and each day and each person is different and I feel like I’ve learned a lot from it.
How does my job relate to this food post? Well, as a recipe maker person I draw inspiration from many random places.
Sometimes I draw inspiration from my work. All I can probably legally say is that this cake was inspired by my job because I had some massive food envy last week from a nameless genderless ageless client who may or may not have a sophisticated palate.
Anyways, I was inspired to create a healthy, beautiful cake with almond flour, natural sweetness, and obviously added my own twists and turns on the cake by making it dairy-free, egg-free, adding a couple things, subtracting a few others, and ended up with and oh so luscious, springy, moist cake.
This baby is addictive. I made it roughly 20 hours ago and there’s about 1/4 of it left. Oops. The almond flour gives it such a wonderful hardiness and substantial feel. The mashed bananas provide some sweetness, reducing the amount of honey or maple syrup needed to sweeten the cake.
If you are totally vegan (I’m like 96% atm) and do not consume honey, opt for maple syrup and you’re good to go. I don’t eat a ton of honey, but will occasionally consume it, and it really just worked well in this cake and we were out of maple syrup. The beauty of cooking, I always say, is that you can make it your own.
The coconut oil adds a really great moisture, subtle flavor, and texture, and I would highly recommend using it, although if you don’t have any, canola oil would do the trick. Chia seeds + almond milk replace a need for eggs, and add a nutritional boost with those #omega-3s baby.
Give this cake a whirl. If anyone can refrain from eating the entire thing in 24 hours of less, please let me know. I will mail you a congratulatory card. Because it’s so moist and delicious and craveable for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, dessert, with coffee, tea…anything anytime. It’s truly the most appropriate, healthy, anytime cake. I should almost change the title of this post to “The Perfect Anytime Cake” but that wouldn’t be very descriptive, now would it?
Happy baking and happy cake eating. And happy December, too. Wishing you a warm holiday season full of baked goods. Tis the season! #nomnom
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 30-40 minutes
Makes one 9″ cake; I’m not going to estimate servings because I ate the whole thing in <24 hours sooooo….serves one hungry cake-lover or I suppose 6-8 normal humans
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a small bowl, combine chia seeds and almond milk. Set aside to congeal, at least 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine almond flour, oat flour, baking soda, and baking soda. Add honey or maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and chia seed + almond milk mixture. Mix gently with a spatula.
4. Pour batter into a lightly oiled and/or parchment paper lined 9″ cake pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the cake is golden brown and begins to pull away from the edges slightly, and/or a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean upon removal.
5. Eat all the cake. All. Of. The. Cake.
I have a granola bar addiction. There’s something so wonderful about these tiny squares of oats loaded with other goodies that I can never get enough of.
I think my granola bar obsession peaked in college because granola bars became “special treats.” Let’s face it: groceries in New York can be expensive. As in a box of 5 Kashi bars is literally $7.99 at Duane Reade. Unless I bought granola bars at Trader Joe’s which I find a leeetle bit too sweet sometimes, granola bars became occasional treats I would buy only when they were on sale or when I was home on breaks. And then on breaks I’d go to Target and buy like 10 boxes of granola bars and pack them all in my suitcase and bring them back to school with me. I’m sure if my luggage ever got searched it was a lol to TSA.
My dream granola bar is chewy, full of big chunks of nuts and lots of textures, and loaded with dried fruit, and a healthy dose of chocolate. Most of the time. Other times I want something a little simpler and more like a not-sweet snack that will keep me going in the afternoon. That’s right folks – sometimes I want things that aren’t too sweet. Gasp. I know. The nice thing about cooking/baking is that if you want these babies sweeter, you can add as much sugar as you like and make ’em to your liking. Making things from scratch is great, isn’t it? Thought so.
These bars have a nice, deep earthy flavor thanks to the pumpkin + sunflower combo. Grinding up the nuts into a nut butter not only binds the oats together, but gives them a hearty texture and some staying power thanks to all the healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats they have to offer.