Posts filed under ‘Dessert’
I cannot believe it, I am on my 28th day of the 30 day Bikram yoga challenge! I actually missed a day last week (which is allowed), so I have to take two classes today to make up for it. 9am class done… now it’s time to refuel and prepare myself for an afternoon class.
Normally I am so not a coffee drinker, but for some reason after class the idea of coffee sounded so good to me. Maybe it was that Starbucks I walked by on the way home… Anyway, I knew that buying a soy latte was probably the worst thing to do after a 105 degree yoga class, so I decided on the next best thing… a slushy Coffee Smoothie in a Bowl! Here’s what I used:
- 1/2 a very large banana I had in the fridge (frozen would be even better!)
- 5 ice cubes
- handful baby spinach
- 1 date (pitted) – to add some extra sweetness
- 1 tsp instant decaf coffee (I use Mount Hagen brand)
- 2-4 drops vanilla extract
- a pinch salt
- 1 tsp psyllium husk (to add a little fiber for fullness factor)
Using my Vitamix and the handy temper tool, I blended everything until it was the consistency of soft serve ice cream and scooped it in a bowl. Normally I use frozen bananas to make it more like ice cream, but since I had none on hand I stuck my bowl in the freezer to firm up a bit while showering. So, so good – it brings a whole new meaning to “iced coffee”. ;)
Well guys, I’m going to relax for a bit after my tough class this morning. I always have more trouble in morning Bikram classes because I’m all stiff from just waking up. It’s totally worth it though because after it I feel energized, yet so calm and ready to face the day. Especially after doing so many days in a row now, I just feel as though my energy levels have gone up so much – not making me hyper though – just making me feel like I can never tire. I love it!
Happy Daylight Savings! I always get kind of mixed up around this time… is it really 11 or 10am? Maybe it’s partly because I got waaay too much sleep last night! Whenever I sleep 8+ hours I always feel more tired than I did in the first place. My long night’s sleep made my stomach extra rumbly this morning! I wasn’t quite in the mood for my standard morning options though, but wanted something fruit-centric so I figured “why not ice cream?” ;)
I know it doesn’t sound healthy, but I promise you that this version is fit for breakfast or dessert! No sugar, no dairy, no artificial stuff… how could you go wrong? You could even add a little baby spinach for some added nutrition like I did in my Earth Day Ice Cream. There are so many different variations you could try based upon this recipe, but this morning I wanted plain ‘ol coconut.
Coconut Soft-Serve (makes 2 large portions)
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 4 drops coconut extract
- 6 ice cubes
If you want something a little sweeter, you could add stevia or something, but I love this as is. Just throw everything in your vita mix and blend using the temper to push all of the ice cubes into the blades until soft, but not too long or it’ll be all melty! I decided to make it extra decadent and mixed together a little coconut milk, raw cocoa powder, agave nectar and a pinch of salt for a rich chocolate sauce.
That’s what I call a good reason to get out of bed in the morning! Off to yoga now… I’m on day 14 of a Bikram 30-Day Yoga Challenge right now. 30 yoga classes in 30 days, and while you can miss up to two days, you have to make up the classes by doing two doubles (ie. 3 hours of HOT yoga in one day).
I’ve tried this once before, back in September, but I had to bow out after day 19 because I had missed three days and only made up on of them. This time I’m hoping to get through straight through without missing any days – wish me luck!
Oh. My. Gosh. So this morning after my bikram yoga class I decided to make a smoothie as usual, but was bored of my normal flavors. So what did I do? Hopped over to my girl CCK’s blog to test out of of her milkshake flavors. The choice was easy… mint chocolate chip ice cream was allllways my fav growing up (even if I did have to eat lactaid pills before I could eat it). These days though I’ve shunned dairy altogether due to allergies and well just not liking the whole process behind how it’s produced. This smoothie brought me right back to my childhood though! I made a few small adjustments off the original recipe based on what I had on hand. I also wanted more of a pudding consistency so I could eat it with a spoon, so I added in a healthy dose of xantham gum and some psyllium husk. Here it is pre-blending:
And then post blending!
I love, love love this! And it’s even a little sinful bc I was out of cacao nibs so I added some Rice Dream dairy free chocolate chips :D So sinfully delicious (ok, it’s actually not sinful at all) it could almost be dessert! Here’s my tweaked recipe:
Mint Chocolate Chip Pudding (since it’s probs too thick for a straw)
- 1/2 banana
- 1 c. unsweetened coconut milk
- tiny dash salt
- tiny dash stevia powder
- handful of baby spinach
- 1-2 tbsp dairy-free chocolate chips
- 1/2 tsp xantham gum
- 2 tsp psyllium husk powder
- 2 ice cubes
- 2-3 drops peppermint extract
- 1-2 drops coconut extract (I LOVE coconut)
By the way guys – in light of the recent Tsunami in Japan, I wanted to pass along a link to Americares. I really love this organization because they donate almost 100% of their profits to their causes, keeping operating costs under 2% so that you know your money is going to where it’s needed and not someone sitting behind a big desk. I sincerely urge you all to think about donating here: DONATE, please!
Tonight the butternut squash that’s been hanging out on my counter was calling out to me, so I decided to make some butternut squash fries. Haven’t had then in sooo long and man have I missed them!! They tasted just as I remembered them…
Alongside my fries I made a tofurky sausage along with some saurkraut. I have always loved sausage… I used to get this same meal back when I ate meat, except I can’t say I miss it bc the part I loved most was the ‘kraut. I have a soft spot for the sour crunchiness of it all… definitely have a sour and not sweet tooth!
Coffee Pudding – love it! I used the normal agar agar base a la CCK.
- 1.5 cups coconut milk (unsweetened)
- 3 tsp. agar flakes (mine were actually labeled kanten flakes – same thing though)
- 1 tsp instant coffee granules
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- pinch salt
- 1 drop almond extract
- 10-15 drops vanilla stevia (NuNaturals)
- water to thin (as needed)
Mix together the coconut milk and agar flakes in a pot and let it sit on the stove until absorbed (without the stove on) for about 10-15 minutes. Then bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the nutmeg, coffee, salt, almond extract and stevia. Then let the mixture cool a little and put in the fridge to set for a few hours before blending. I made it this afternoon and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours and then blended with my hand blender (adding a splash of water to thin). It was perfect – tasted just like a strong cup of coffee!!
Today I went to my second Physique 57 class tonight and promptly had my butt handed to me. I thought I was in shape, but good lord the chicas in that class must have muscles of steel… I couldn’t stop my thighs from shaking halfway through most of the exercises! Totally worth it though :D If you live in NYC or LA, you should definitely try it out!
How did I refuel after a hard workout? With roasted Butternut Squash and another amazing Veganomicon creation!
Escarole and white beans anyone?? It was all I could do to not eat this straight out of the pan… I tweaked the recipe just a tad because I happened to have some freshly roasted garlic on my hands.
- 1 head escarole (I chopped mine up a bit)
- 1 tsp or so of EVOO
- 6 cloves garlic, minced (mine was roasted garlic)
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or more!)
- 1/3 c. capers
- salt to taste
- 1 c. cooked white beans (I used butter beans)
I looove butter beans and caper so this was right up my alley! The escarole gets soft, yet not mushy and the capers add such an awesome briney flava to it all. Definitely will be making this again. I feel like this would be awesome used as a bruschetta-type topping if you chop up the escarole into smaller pieces too… hmm maybe my leftovers have that in their future.
I topped off the night with some delectable cocoa pudding using CCK’s agar pudding recipe. 1 tbsp agar flakes, 1 1/3 c. almond milk, almond extract, a dash stevia and a tbsp cocoa powder? Easy peasy and pure heaven!!
Night night chickadees – hopefully I won’t wake up too sore tomorrow! ;)
Happy Earth Day everybody!! It’s been a few days since the marathon, but I am finally feeling like my old self. Despite a little lingering muscle soreness, I was itching to get moving today. I didn’t want to push it though and cause any trauma to my legs since they’re still healing from the marathon so I figured it was a good day for the pool. 20 laps and I called it a day!
I was hungry and soo not in the mood to cook tonight so I just broiled a few Dr. Praegers Cali burgers and had them over a bed of lettuce with some Dijon mustard.
…with a side of sauerkraut of course and some steamed edamame sprinkled with salt.
Dessert was ah-mazing – Earth Day Ice Cream! I threw about 2 chopped frozen bananas, a handful of spinach and a tiny splash of peppermint extract into my Cuisinart and blended until the consistency of soft-serve ice cream, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides. Topped with some agave mixed + cocoa powder. It was love at first bite! :D
In honor of Earth Day, try to do your part in going green. Caring about the environment really matters, not just for you but for the future generation as well. Who doesn’t want to keep the world clean for their future kiddies? Here’s a few ways I try to do my part:
- Taking public transportation/ walking as much as possible
- Buying organic, locally grown foods as much as possible
- Eating mostly vegan (learn how eating meat affects the environment HERE)
- Bringing cloth bags to the grocery store
- Educating those around me about how to help
Ice cream anyone? Well, not exactly – it’s Banana Soft-Serve!! I got this recipe from the lovely Gena of Choosing Raw and am in love my friends. Simply throw some frozen bananas in your food processor (and if you’re like me and love spice, add a big dash of cinnamon) and blend until the consistency of ice cream!!
On to the serious stuff… This morning I read a really inspiring post on http://ohsheglows.com/s blog concerning negative comments from others, which you guys should definitely read if you haven’t already: Click Here!
A part of life is learning to deal with the negative. Negative thoughts are bad, but at least you have the power to change them, negative comments from others, well… you don’t have much control there. What you can control though is how you let it affect you. Remember, most negative comments are a reflection of that person’s insecurities, not due to a problem with you.
I have gotten tons of negative comments related to not eating meat, running marathons, not drinking a ton… you name it. I admit these comments can be tough when I’m already having a bad day, but I always do my best to follow them up with a positive thought about myself in my head. Arguing with people who want to put you down will get you nowhere. People who think you’re a freak for not eating meat, will continue to think so no matter what you say until they decide to open their minds. One of my favorite quotes from “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer addresses this – “It’s always possible to wake someone from sleep, but no amount of noise will wake someone who is pretending to be asleep.” So true.
So lovies, do what makes you happy and keep your head high. On Monday I will set out to tackle the Boston Marathon. I will do this knowing that there are people out there who don’t understand what I’m doing, who have told me it will hurt me, kill me, render me unable to have children (umm yeah), etc. I will with those people’s negative comments pushing me from behind like a gentle wind helping me move forward, and I will not stop there. I will continue to race in the future. I will continue to make health-conscious food choices in the future. I will continue to silently prove the naysayers wrong. I don’t need a soapbox to change minds, I just need to be kind and show others by example that there is more than one way to live your life and be happy (and healthy).
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Well, newborn Apple Pie Babies that is. That’s right, I was baby making last night!! I loove Apple Pie flavored LaraBars, so after a quick visit to the LaraBar website I decided to try my hand at making them myself. The ingredients listed were “dates, almonds, walnuts, dried apples, raisins and cinnamon”. After a quick visit to CCV’s blog I decided to tailor her fudge baby recipe to meet my Apple Pie-lovin’ needs. :lol:
Apple Pie Babies (makes about 17 balls)
- 1/2 c. dates (well-packed)
- 2 tbsp black raisins
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 35 g. dried apples (about 1/3 c.)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1/8 tsp ginger
Throw all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until everything is finely minced and forms a sticky dough when pinched together. ;)
A perfect treat for any Valentine!! :P
As promised here’s some pics of what I’ve been blending into oblivion with my Vita Mix :) It runs the gamut from savory to sweet, and includes a whole array of colors! What would I do without my buddy Vinny? Yup, I named my Vita Mix Vinny, something I tend to do quite often with inanimate objects actually. My laptop is actually named Truman because macs have built-in cameras and it makes me feel like I’m on the Truman Show when I turn it on. Any-who…First on the menu: Pureed Parsnips! Steamed & peeled parsnips, 1/2 a vanilla bean – scraped out, a few splashes of homemade Brown Rice Milk and some Earth Balance light. Next up a split bowl of Pumpkin Pudding (soy-free unlike my other Pumpkin Pudding) & Strawberry Pudding! I used Katie’s recipe for agar pudding shown here in my post on Cocoa Pudding. Basically I just omitted the cocoa powder and added a bunch of frozen strawberries to one batch and pumpkin puree to another batch and pureed it all before allowing each one to set in the fridge. Simple!
Vegan Banana-Cocoa Mousse anyone??? Another CCV recipe modified slightly: 1/3 package morinu silken firm tofu, 1/2 tsp agave nectar, about 1-2 tbsp banana slices, 2 tsp cocoa powder (or more to taste) and 1-2 tsp nut milk to thin things out a touch.
…and last, but not least Broccoli Soup!!! I added some silken tofu to this towards the end of blending for extra creaminess. Thanks for all the yummers food Vinny! Hmmm maybe he could be my Valentine… I’ll let him and the fiancé duke it out later ;) Have a good afternoon chickadees! I’m going to go relax and read for a bit until the boy gets off work. I had a work trip yesterday at a casino, which was fun, but I’m worn out now! I’m not so much of a gambler, but dinner was excellent and it was sorta like a paid vacation complete with a king size bed and a mini-fridge full of yummy nuts & fruits.
I got back from my run this morning and had the most amazing present waiting for me in the oven. Slow roasted butternut squash filled with warm chopped apples & cinnamon. It was actually perfect timing… before I left I set the oven at 300 and placed these babies in the oven and by the time I was back and showered they were perfect. Just look at those babies…
- 1/2 butternut squash (lower half, seeds removed)
- 1 macintosh apple
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- pinch cloves
- pinch nutmeg
- 2 tsp agave nectar
- 2 tbsp water
Cut the round, bottom section of a butternut squash in half. Remove the seeds (reserve the seeds for roasting later!) and set in a rimmed baking dish. Chop the apple and divide between each squash half, pouring it into the cavity. Sprinkle in spices and stir to combine and then drizzle on 1 tsp agave nectar per 1/2. Pour in 1 tbsp (or more to each half to ensure that the apples stay moistened. Tent with a piece of aluminum foil on top to prevent drying out if you’re going to cook it for a while like I did. You could cook this at about 375 for 45-60 min, depending on the size of your squash, but I kept mine at 300 and then went for my run. When I came back I removed the foil to dry up the excess water and then got in the shower. By the time I came out it was roasted and delicious!!
This was seriously such an amazing breakfast… or brunch, whatever you want to call it. On my long run days I tend to just eat at a steady pace all day. Just one of the many perks of training for a marathon ;) Although I have to be totally honest – over 10 miles in 11 degree weather is maybe not the most relaxing activity in the world.
I had some homemade pudding to top of my meal… soo good! I’m glad I finally bought agar agar. Agar + almond milk = love. I made two versions of the pudding, one with cocoa powder and another with vanilla extract and enjoyed them nestled in a wine glass. It’s so simple too! I just followed CCV’s agar pudding recipe…
- 1 1/3 c. almond milk
- 2 tsp agar flakes
- pinch salt
- 2 heaping tsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp agave nectar
Just bring the mixture slowly to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to make sure the agar flakes dissolve, and then simmer about 5-7 more minutes until thickened. Let set in the fridge for a little while and then blend and enjoy! For the vanilla version I simply omitted the cocoa powder and added vanilla extract.