As I write this, I am flying above the snowy mountaintops of California en route to Red Rock Canyon, Nevada. Leaving for the airport at 7:30 am is never ideal, but I came prepared with podcasts (currently loving Let it Out with Katie Dalebout), coffee, and best of all, Blackberry Tahini bread!! Aka the most scrumptious breakfast morsel ever to grace my Tupperware.
Though I was hesitant about going on vacation to Red Rock Canyon- which is right outside of Vegas- I don’t think any trip that starts out with a breakfast this good could possibly be anything but awesome.
Even though I’m not so crazy about the Vegas thing- personally I don’t love big crowds, loud noise, and partying- I’ve heard that Red Rock is really beautiful. So hopefully I’m looking forwards to a few days of hiking, doing yoga, relaxing in the sun, and eating delicious food. I hope you follow along with my travels on Instagram!
Blackberry Tahini Bread is an amazing breakfast or snack- hearty and filling, but at the same time light and full of delicate flavor. I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!
As soon as the weather begins to get warmer, I crave smoothies like no other. There’s just something about a cold, creamy smoothie on a hot day that makes me feel absolutely incredible. It also takes me back to when I was a little kid and would get Jamba Juice as a special treat after preschool on really hot days. But then my local Jamba Juice closed, and smoothies suddenly became $9, and I had to start relying on myself to create crave-able concoctions, such as this Hydrating Strawberry Smoothie I’m sharing today.
Usually, I like packing my smoothies up with protein and fats alongside the fruits and veggies to give them a little more staying power. You can see some examples of that here and here, but for this one I was really just craving something 100% fresh and hydrating. It’s a little more like a juice, and therefore I’ve found that it’s definitely not a meal all by itself. (Yikes, that makes me think of juice cleanses. SO not my style).
However, this smoothie is so perfect and refreshing as a light snack, or alongside some eggs and toast for breakfast.
The creaminess of the banana, sweetness of the strawberry, and crispness of the bell pepper come together for an absolutely delicious blend.
If anyone needs me, I’ll be lounging outside sipping Hydrating Strawberry Smoothies until September.
How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Personally, I take it as an opportunity to show love to my family, friends, and myself. This usually involves taking time to enjoy some of my own favorite things (such as a face mask, a good book, Grey’s Anatomy, and chocolate), making breakfast for my family, and giving cards and little gifts to my friends. I love giving presents, but to be honest, I’m so indecisive that I’m not an amazing gift giver. And that’s where these Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls come in.
They are pillowy, melt-in-your-mouth tender, and, most important, chocolatey. Because nothing shows love better than chocolate. Especially Eating Evolved Chocolate, which allows you to show love to your body, the environment, and your tastebuds, all at the same time.
These rolls would make the perfect Valentine’s Day breakfast or gift, either to friends/family or to yourself. But if you don’t have time for baking this year, you could also order Eating Evolved products to be delivered right to your door, so you won’t even have to leave the house to give the best Valentines day present out there.
Check out Eating Evolved products here (by ordering through my blog you’ll receive a free jar of mint chocolate spread!) and if you make these rolls be sure to share with me on Instagram.
Do you have any foods you just can’t eat because you had an awful experience with them when you were younger?
Unfortunately, for me that food is cheesecake. One of my earliest memories is going out for dinner with my dad at this diner we loved, having a good meal, then ordering cheesecake for dessert. And while I wish I remembered that night as a nice dinner with my dad, what I actually remember is how disgusting the cheesecake was and how sick it made me feel.
The other day I went out for coffee with friends, and someone ordered a mini matcha cheesecake. It looked gorgeous (we took lots of pictures) and as soon as my other friends tried it they raved about how delicious it was and immediately ordered their own. So I figured, if it’s that good, I have to try it. And sometimes tastebuds change, ya know? I was confident I had outgrown my cheesecake hatred.
Yesterday I babysat for three ten-year-old boys from 9 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon, and by the end I was completely exhausted. As soon as I got home, I made a cup of tea, put on my comfiest sweats, and curled up in bed for a Grey’s Anatomy marathon.
Babysitting was worth it though, considering I need to fund my Whole Foods trips and overzealous gift buying somehow. However, I am far more reluctant to part with money I’ve worked so hard to earn- causing me to be more mindful about my food budget. And that’s where this thrillingly simple recipe comes in.
This easy quesadilla recipe is the perfect cheap, nutrition-packed power breakfast to give you energy for all the craziness in your life, be it babysitting, studying, sports, your job, or anything else that really takes a lot out of you. Although, now that I think about it- can I still call it a quesadilla if there’s no cheese?? Am I committing some sort of quesadilla sacrilege here? If you think so, you don’t have to call it a quesadilla, but you DO have to make this recipe. I’m pretty sure you and I both know you need to experience all the crispy, gooey, sweet, nutritious goodness that is a PB&J quesadilla.
For me, the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas can’t go by fast enough. I actually had to drag myself away from online shopping for Christmas gifts just to write this post. The recipe is really the star of the show here, so I’ll type it up real quick and get back to deciding whether to get my sister fancy peppermint brownie mix or a pair of earrings.
This is probably – no, definitely – the best granola I’ve ever made. An believe me, I have made A LOT of granola. I’ve always loved granola, but the store bought kind often has some questionable ingredients, so I was thrilled when I learned how to make it at home.
Somehow, this is both the healthiest and best-tasting recipe I’ve tried, which makes me so very happy. I’ve been sprinkling this on smoothies, mixing it into yogurt, and snacking straight out of the jar for an energy-boost with healthy fats and minimal sugar.
2 cups oats
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup coconut
1/2 tbs minced ginger
1/2 tbs chia seeds
1 tbs coconut oil
1 tbs maple syrup
1/4 cup + 1 tbs pumpkin puree
Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.
Combine wet ingredients in saucepan over medium heat.
Stir until wet ingredients appear smooth and creamy.
Remove pumpkin mixture from heat and stir into dry ingredients.
Make sure all dry ingredients are coated in pumpkin mixture (definitely get in there and use your hands, its very satisfying).
Spread granola evenly across baking sheet, then bake for 25-30 minutes, until granola is crunchy and golden.
Recently, my family has been so busy we haven’t had time for much grocery shopping. Everyone has just been pulling together meals out of all the odds and ends in our fridge. Unfortunately, this business and lack of food have made it difficult for me to create new recipes. However, as necessity is the mother of invention, I’ve been trying to use the ingredients around the house to make foods I normally get at the grocery store.
Normally, my pantry is stocked full of granola bars (Larabars, Kind bars, and RX bars are some of my favorites), but recently our supply has been in the low to nonexistent range. Yesterday I got home from school with one mission in mind: fix the granola bar stash. So with oats, nuts, and a little ingenuity, I set out to make a Larabar-esque creation of my own.
This bar satisfied my cravings (and my infamous sweet tooth) perfectly, even with only 2 grams of sugar per bar! Im so obsessed, I might not even buy granola bars on my next grocery store trip (which will hopefully be soon).
Honey Walnut Granola Bars
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tbsp honey (use agave to make vegan)
1 tbsp coconut oil
3-4 tbsp water
Combine oats, 1/2 cup walnuts, coconut flakes, honey, and coconut oil in food processor.
Pulse until a fine crumb is formed.
Scrape down sides of food processor, then pulse again, adding 1 tbsp of water at a time until the dough becomes sticky.
Once the dough is thick and sticky, place it in a 8×8 baking pan lined with parchment paper. The dough only filled up 2/3 of my pan, but you could fill the whole pan if you want thinner bars.
Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.
These muffins are restorative in so many ways. First of all, the whole wheat flour, natural sweetener, and immune boosting spices make them perfect for a physical health boost. Bananas also provide numerous health benefits, as detailed in this article from Well Being Secrets. More importantly, the comforting aroma, classic flavor, and relaxing baking process are SO emotionally restorative, especially after a long week.
For me, the past week was a hard one. I failed a math quiz I thought I’d done well on, I missed an important appointment, I double-booked myself by mistake, and I just felt off my game. But looking back it’s so amazing to see how many wonderful moments there are even in the hardest of times.
When my best friend heard my quivery voice over the phone after a particularly rough day, she was at my house (with snacks) within 15 minutes. A classmate I’ve been wanting to get to know better made me laugh with a silly pep talk when I was sad about my bad grade. My parents told me time after time that they love me and are proud of me, no matter how many “off weeks” I have. I need to remember it’s important to struggle sometimes, because that’s when you see how many people are there for you, and it’s when you can see how much you’ve grown.
Honestly, the most grown up moment of my week was probably eating ice cream for dinner last night. The truth to that statement is both sad and wonderful, but I choose to celebrate it. Enjoying a drippy cone piled high with strawberry ice cream (the guy serving gave me an extra scoop- according to my dad he was flirting with me?? I’m completely clueless) on a warm fall evening is absolutely a decision to be proud of. Now I’m ready to take the weekend to rest, reset, study hard, and, of course, spend some quality time in the kitchen.
Though it is the season for all things pumpkin, banana bread is one of my ultimate comfort foods. These muffins are simple, moist and delicious. Despite the healthy-ish twist, the classic flavors are all there, perfectly comforting and cozy. I’m not going to say you have to make the crumble topping, but you’d have to give me a reeeeally good reason not to. Turmeric and cinnamon are awesome additions due to their anti-inflammatory, immune boosting benefits, but if you don’t have them on hand you could absolutely substitute other spices.
Restorative Banana Muffins
½ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup all purpose flour
½ cup milk
2 ripe bananas
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
⅓ cup maple syrup (or use ½ cup if you prefer sweeter muffins)
1 tbs whole wheat flour
2 tsp olive oil
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a muffin tin.
Mash 1 banana in medium mixing bowl
Cut second banana into coins, then cut each coin into fourths and add to bowl.
Gently mix in wet ingredients (syrup, milk, eggs).
Add in flours, baking soda, and baking powder, stirring continually.
Once ingredients are thoroughly combined, scoop batter into muffin tin (I recommend using an ice cream scooper).
Bake for 15 minutes.
While muffins are baking, make crumble.
Combine crumble ingredients in a small bowl and stir until clumps form.
Pull muffins out of the oven, top with crumble, then return to oven for 30-45 minutes.
Hope you enjoy these as much as my family and I did.
How do you feel about vegetables? Honestly. Not what you think you should say, or what you’d like to say, but how you really feel. Because if, by any chance, you’re feeling a little “meh” on the veggies, I’m right there with you. I like eating my greens, but they’re not making my top 10 favorite foods list anytime soon.
Most days, I’m pretty sure I don’t get anywhere near my recommended daily veg intake. Honestly, I’m not too worried because I believe strongly in trusting my body and avoiding food rules as much as possible. When it comes to my diet, I try my best to follow an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy. To me, this just means that as long as I’m feeling healthy and happy, there’s no point in trying to “perfect” my diet.
That being said, I think there is absolutely value in a balanced diet, and I do strive to enjoy summer’s beautiful produce whenever possible.
I’m visiting my grandparents at the moment, and they have a gorgeous garden in their yard that floods the house with fresh tomatoes and zucchini on a daily basis. Every day we harvest multiple massive zucchini, so my whole family has been busy eating it as fast as we possibly can. Naturally, when I began brainstorming recipes I knew I needed to give everyone a break and try to find a use for all that zucchini.
My first thought was zucchini bread, because I’m currently on the hunt for easy make-ahead breakfasts to enjoy during the school year (if you have any suggestions let me know!).
Unfortunately, this idea had three problems. 1) Zucchini bread is pretty basic, and I wanted to shake things up a little. 2) I wanted something I could eat on the road, and breads aren’t always the most portable. 3) While I’m not vegan, I prefer to eat plant-based meals as much as possible, and I’ve struggled with making vegan quick breads in the past.
In the end, I landed on the idea of zucchini cookies and I’m so incredibly glad I did. These cookies are actual magic. After I came up with a recipe, I thought I’d need a hundred test runs to perfect them, but they came out perfect on the first go! The cookie gods are clearly smiling upon me:) Somehow all the flavor and texture of classic zucchini bread got baked into healthy, portable breakfast cookies. It truly is a dream come true. They taste incredible, are packed with whole food, amazing-for-you (vegan!!) ingredients, and can be whipped up in about 30 minutes.
Zucchini Breakfast Cookies
Makes 10 cookies
1 cup zucchini*
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup almond meal
⅔ cup rolled oats
½ cup nut milk of choice
¼ cup olive oil (can sub melted coconut oil)
1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
⅓ cup agave
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease baking sheet.
Shred zucchini, then wrap in a clean cloth and squeeze out excess moisture.
In a large mixing bowl, combine nut milk, agave, olive oil, vanilla, and cinnamon. Stir until combined.
Stir almond meal and oats into the wet ingredients, mixing thoroughly. It’s ok if the mixture still looks a little too wet, as the zucchini and walnuts will help it firm up.
Gently fold zucchini, walnuts, and chia seeds (if using) into the batter. At this point the batter should be thick and hold together well.
Scoop up small balls of batter and press them onto the baking sheet until they form circles about 3” in diameter.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes. I prefer my cookies softer, so I only baked them for about 15 minutes, but it all depends on personal preference. Once they are done baking, do your best to resist the urge to grab one straight out of the oven, as it is important to give them about 10 minutes to set (especially for softer cookies).
*Measure the zucchini after it has been shredded and squeezed dry.
Enjoy! If you make these, be sure to share them with me on instagram (@16goingon60) using #16bakes.