My PERFECT PIZZA DOUGH RECIPE +
TOP TIPS FOR MAKING PIZZA AT HOME!
For one whole summer, Alex worked as the head pizza chef at a local farm and cafe and their Friday night pizza night got POPPIN'! And I don't want to brag too much, but it was absolutely because his pizza was the best pizza around. My husband makes a mean pie, friends. It's one of the reasons I married him! Seriously - who doesn't love a man who can cook?! His pizza skills were so good that literally the whole town would come out to party, commune, and share a slice each week and he became kind of small town famous for his crispy, chewy, thing crust pizzas with creative, straight-from-the-farm toppings. He would take whatever local and seasonal produce was around and make a pie worthy of a trip out even in blizzard weather - and he still makes me those fresh, creative pans weekly. I'm a very lucky lady. When we started sharing his creations at mealtime on IG, we got a ton of positive feedback! People wanted our PIZZAS! And while we haven't quite figured out how to get them to you directly through the internet, I can share our homemade crust recipe and some of top tips for homemade pizza making so you can have as much success as possible when you're trying it at home.
Alex is the king of all things 'za in this house, and he has officially declared this the ‘perfect pizza dough’. So who am I to argue? It comes together pretty easily, makes a great crispy, chewy crust and makes enough dough for two pizzas - so you don’t have to share. It's the same recipe he used to wow all the fans at the Friday night pizza parties, so you can be sure it'll make a fool-proof, crowd pleasing crust! And that makes it pretty perfect to me. Enjoy, babes! And be sure to let me know what you think - and what you top it with - in the comments below. Keep scrolling for my top pizza-makin' tips!
Okay, babes - before we get to the magical dough recipe itself, let's go over a few top tips for making your homemade pie the best it can be! Write 'em down or print 'em out - these tips are about to seriously improve your pizza game!
1. Don't over-handle the dough! Keep your handling of the dough to a minimum until you're ready to stretch it out, and even then don't fold the dough in on itself after separating into two doughs, even though it's tempting. You want your dough to have some lightness and air or you'll have a stiff, too chewy crust.
2. Bake your pizza at 450 degrees F or more. The higher the temperature, the better. Seriously - if your oven gets to 700 degrees, go for it. You'll adjust cooking times properly, so start with about 10 mins and go from there. When the crust is golden to preference and lifts in one solid piece from the pan, you're ready to eat.
3. Shred your cheese, or break in into smaller pieces to ensure even melting - especially if you're using vegan cheese, which tends to be less melty. Our favorite brand to use is Miyoko's Vegan Mozzarella.
4. Once your crust is tossed and spread onto your baking surface, use a fork to poke small holes evenly around the crust to reduce air bubbles forming in the crust.
5. Use a high-quality baking surface. We use a large steel pizza pan, but anything that will heat and cook evenly will work great! We use flour to prevent the dough sticking to the pan.
Now, let's EAT! Scroll on for my dough recipe - there's a printable there version, too!
PERFECT PIZZA DOUGH RECIPE
INGREDIENTS 2 1/4 teaspoons (7 g) active dry yeast 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) warm water 3 1/2 cups (525 g) all purpose flour, plus more as needed 2 teaspoons (6 g) salt 1 teaspoon sugar 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil, plus more for greasing
DIRECTIONS Pour the yeast and warm water into a small bowl and stir. Set aside for 5 minutes.
In a stand mixer combine the flour, salt and sugar. Pour in the yeast mixture and the olive oil and using the bread hook attachment, knead the mixture together until it comes together and forms a ball. If the dough seems too sticky, add flour as needed. If it’s too dry, add a bit of water.
Move the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead into a smooth, firm, ball. Grease the inside of the mixing bowl lightly and place the dough back inside. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean dishtowel and place in a warm place to double in size, about 1-2 hours.
When ready, turn the dough to a lightly floured surface and, handling as little as possible, cut the dough into 2 equal pieces. Let them rest for 10 minutes before tossing and stretching for pizza!
NOTES Makes 2 doughs.
Dough can be refrigerated up to two days or frozen indefinitely.
CBD seems to be all the rage these days. Which is kind of funny for me, because as a long-time marijuana user, I've always been a fan of it's healing properties. But now its trendy, and everyone is curious about the benefits! Probably because marijuana is becoming legalized all over the place, taking CBD has become more acceptable in larger communities. I'm all for more people becoming interested - I think the benefits of marijuana have barely been explored and could be super beneficial in healing and providing pain relief from painful and debilitating diseases. That said, I'm not a doctor. You probably knew that, but I feel like before dispensing any of the following advice, it's something we should just say out loud.
That said I think there are a lot of really great reasons to try CBD, and a whole bunch of different ways try it. Today we're infusing creamy, dreamy chamomile tea latte - but before we do, I want to break down some of the benefits of CBD, talk about some of the misconceptions, and breakdown for you exactly why CBD along will not get you high(I promise!), and talk a little vocab:
Cannabis: The name for the marijuana plant itself.
Canniboid: A group of closely related compounds which include cannabinol, the active constituents of cannabis. There are at least 113 different cannabinoids isolated from cannabis, exhibiting varied effects. These cannabinoids are received by receptors in the human body.
CBD: Cannabidiol (CBD), the major nonpsychoactive component of Cannabis sativa (a type of marijuana plant).
THC: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis that gets users "high".
Now that those terms are cleared up for ya (they're all very similar and get super confusing if you're new to this!) let's talk benefits! CBD has been proven to help with inflammation, sleep, and anxiety and depression. Talk about a triple threat! Users also report lessened nausea, muscle tension, reduced blood sugar levels and reduced prosiasis when using CBD regularly! And I personally LOVE it for helping with period cramps and pain. It's a serious miracle worker. Always check with your doc before trying anything new, but know that CBD alone CANNOT GET YOU HIGH. As you can read above, CBD is literally defined as being non-psychoactive, so no sinking into the couch and craving frosted flakes-stuffed chocolate chip cookies. Most companies that produce CBD oil extract it from hemp, leaves, stalks, and flowers. The extraction method is called CO2. The THC and CBD parts of the plant are separated in most over-the-counter products, and CBD can be legally sold all over the US on its own. You've probably started seeing it pop up all over health food stores and on your instagram, and that's because now that marijuana is becoming legalized in the US, more people are willing to talk about it's healing sister friend: CBD.
For the purpose of today's recipe, we'll be using an unflavored, fully-CBD, coconut oil-based formula, but I'm going to share a list of different CBD products you might try here. Also, you should note that some CBD formulas are sold as full-spectrum, which means they DO contain THC, even in trace amounts. This may or may not affect you, but also may or may not show up on a drug test. So be aware, and read the label. While we're talking about types, let's also touch on DOSAGE. It varies for everyone, and you're going to need to experiment to find your optimal amount, but most people start with a few drops as directed on the bottle into whatever they're eating or drinking, or place it directly under the tongue. I think about 5-20 mg per serving is a nice place to start. You can always up the dosage to see if you need more, but best to start slow. Some people report CBD caused them increased anxiety, but I've never had a negative experience with it. Any maybe you'll find it isn't for you for whatever reason (cost, no real need, just wanted to try it out) and that's okay, too. It is important to remember that as with most trendy things, you've gotta decide if its actually right for you - not just hop on the bandwagon because all the girls at work are trying it.
Touching back on consumption, there are a lot of different ways you can find and buy CBD these days - tinctures, pills, infused foods and beverages, topicals / creams, and even bath bombs. It depends on what you're using it for really, and how quickly you'd like it to start working. Ingesting it is a great way to spread the effects throughout the body quickly, but a topical cream is more appropriate for an injury or sore muscles. For today's recipe, and a great way to start adding CBD to your life in general, is with squeezable CBD drops. They are usually favored, but you can find them unflavored OR often made in a tincture with coconut oil. I'll share some of my favorite brands below, but lately I've been particularly loving the Dr. Raw Organic Coconut Oil CBD Drops. They're totally tasteless and can be used sublingually, topically, or in cooking! You can order them online OR head to your local health food store or dispensary and see what your options are. These are a full-spectrum drop. We'll be using 10 mg (about 1 dropper full of Dr. Raw's brand) in our beverage today.
Those are just a few I'm familiar with. remember to check your local stores, too! ONE MORE NOTE: Technically, CBD can be extracted from either HEMP or MARIJUANA. Where it is extracted from may influence your ability to buy it depending on legalization in your state. HEMP-extracted is legal all over the US, while MARIJUANA-extraced in only legal in states with legalized marijuana laws like California, Colorado and Washington (ect). If you're having trouble getting CBD shipped to you and don't live in a legalized state, be sure it is HEMP-derived so you can receive it directly shipped to your home. Keep scrolling for the recipe!
CBD Chamomile Tea latte (Serves 1-2) Ingredients: 2 cups (480 ml) unsweetened almond milk 2 chamomile tea bags OR 2 tablespoons (10 g) loose leaf tea in a strainer 2 tablespoons (30 ml) maple syrup 10 mg CBD oil (we used 1 dropper full of Dr. Raw's Focus Formula infused coconut oil) 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg chamomile flowers, for garnish
Directions: Heat the milk and tea in a medium-sized saucepan until hot, but do not bring to a boil. Remove the tea bags or strainer and whisk in the maple syrup, CBD isolate, ginger and nutmeg. Using a milk frother or high speed blender, add your desired amount of foam to the drink. Garnish with chamomile flowers and serve immediately!
Tips: You can use any tea you like in place of the chamomile. Strong green, fruity black and earthy herbal teas all taste great!
Interested in ingesting your CBD or THC? Check out our '5 Best Vegan Medicated Edibles' and check out our Infused Holiday Gravy recipe! For more info on CBD products and how to use them, head here. Then let us know how your CBD experience was! We want to know your fave brands and how you like to use them in the comments below, babes!
These are maybe one of the yummiest things I’ve ever made. They take a little work, but they are SO SO worth it. Basically a healthier, adult-friendly pop tart, these sweet little guys are packed with fruit and drizzled in sweet vanilla glaze. They’re buttery, rich, and taste WAY BETTER than store-bought! That I can promise. These babes first debuted in my Homestyle Vegan Cookbook two years ago, but they've become a Sunday morning staple in our house ever since! They're easy to whip up, and are a total crowd pleaser. Who doesn't love pop tarts?!
My second cookbook, a collaborative effort titled 'Vegan Bible' will be out later this year, in October. Lots more fun new recipes coming your way! In the meantime, I thought I'd revisit one of my favorites in case you haven't gotten your copy of the cookbook yet. Seriously cannot wait to hear what you guys think when you try them. And know that if strawberries and basil together isn't your favorite flavor combo, you can always ditch the basil, sub out the strawberries for another fruit, or come up with your own flavor combination entirely! No matter what you decide, they're gonna be good. Let’s bake!
INGREDIENTS Hand Pies: 1 heaping cup (210 g) fresh or frozen strawberries, sliced 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water (ONLY IF USING FRESH BERRIES) 1 tablespoon (3 g) fresh basil, finely chopped 1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon cornstarch 2 cups (315 g) whole wheat pastry flour 1/8th teaspoon salt 2/3 cup (150 g) cold vegan butter 2-4 tablespoons (30-60 ml) ice water
DIRECTIONS Preheat the oven to 375º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the strawberries, water (ONLY IF USING FRESH BERRIES), basil, sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally and smashing down the fruit as it cooks. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Cut in the cold butter with a fork or pastry cutter until small crumbs form. Drizzle ice water over the mixture about a tablespoon at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon, until a dough begins to form. The dough should be moist but not sticky.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into a disc. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a large, 1/4 in. thick rectangle. Use a sheet of plastic wrap over the dough to prevent cracking as you roll it out, if needed. Cut the rectangle into 12 equal squares (or rectangles) and move half of them to the lined baking sheet.
Scoop about 1 tablespoon of filling onto the 6 laid squares, leaving about 1/4 inch of space around the edge. Using your finger, dab a bit of water around the edges to help seal them. Top each square with its matching other half, pressing around the edges with a fork to seal them.
Use a toothpick to poke a poke a few small holes in the top, then bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. While they cook, prepare the glaze by mixing together the powdered sugar, vanilla and unsweetened almond milk.
When the hand pies are finished, let them cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes before topping with glaze.
TIPS Makes 6 hand pies.
Leftover hand pies taste great cooled - no need for reheating!
You can sub in any berries you prefer here and if basil isn’t for you, go ahead and leave it out.
I love a good smoothie, but I love even more when I can drink something so packed full of good-for-me ingredients that I feel fuller and happier for the whole day! This smoothie does just that, friends. Packed with healthy, real food ingredients that pack an extra special, hormone helping punch - maca root! The older I get, the more I feel my hormones dragging me all over the place, and I'm just trying to add some regularity - and this smoothie really helps when you take it regularly.
I first tried a similar smoothie at the Whole Foods juice bar near me - and surprise, surprise - I had to recreate it at home! I knew I could make it cheaper, and whenever I wanted, if I learned to recreate it. I added a few ingredients to make it more than a sweet strawberry banana base and now I am officially obsessed and make it at least 3 mornings a week. Beyond the bunches of greens I've added, the maca root has some real benefits in balancing the body's hormones. Below we'll talk about different types of maca, how much to use, and how it helps your body!
When it comes to maca you can buy at the store, there are two types: gelatinized and raw, non-gelatinized. Raw maca that has been powdered from the dried, uncooked root, can be a little hard on the digestive system and may cause stomach upset in about 5-10% of the population. Gelatinization involves a steam process that makes the maca more digestible and also increases bioavailability of the nutrients. You can buy whatever you prefer, but note the difference in case you have a sensitive stomach. (Maca isn't going to be for everyone, so if you have stomach issues when you take it or you are following a low FODMAP diet, I recommend you avoid it all together.)
I always recommend buying organic when you can, especially since maca is a root and is grown directly in the soil. I have been loving this brand lately and it has added ashwaganda powder as well, but again, use whatever maca you prefer. High quality maca is usually grown in Peru - so look for that confirmation on the packaging. Other things to look for? Ideally, you want your maca sustainably grown and naturally harvested without the use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides, solvents, radiation or high heat. But don't worry babes - this info is usually on the packaging itself and always online! OH, and always keep your maca in the fridge - it can oxidize when exposed to air, heat and moisture.
So how does maca help and why take it? Well ladies (and gents!) there are some pretty great reasons, specifically hormone-balancing ones. Maca is rich in vitamins C and A as well as B2, B6 and Niacin and packed with minerals, including iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, copper, magnesium and potassium. It contains healthy fatty acids that help stabilize blood glucose levels and reduce inflammation in the body. It strengthens your bones and supports healthy liver and enzyme function.
Maca is one of the rare plants that can be classified as an ‘herbal adaptogen’. This means it can directly change the balance of your hormones to help you adapt to stress and illness. Unlike some herbs and phytoestrogens such as soy (which I'm actually super allergic to), maca does not try to mimic estrogen in your body. It is a hormone BALANCER, so it draws your hormones back to where they need to be rather than increase only one type of hormone and cause an imbalance. Many women report improved PMS, menopause, and PCOS symptoms as a result of regular maca usage during their cycle.
Maca is also high in fibers like cellulose and lignins, which improve gut health. Fiber is also an effective tummy filler, which can reduce hunger between meals. Most maca powders also contain between 11% to 18% protein, which is a nice little boost in your morning smoothie, as well. On top of all those great reasons, maca is also a natural energy provider so you can use it to help kick the caffeine and ditch that afternoon slump!
To break it down: -balanced mood -improved PMS -natural energy -improved fertility -higher libido -stronger bones -reduced menopause and PCOS symptoms
So basically, it's a smoothie all of us can enjoy for different - or maybe all of the - reasons listed above! I'd love to hear about your experiences with maca in the comments below. I've only been using it regularly for about a year, but love and plan to keep using it. Let's get blending, babes!
Optional Add-In's 1 tablespoon flax powder 1 tablespoon chia seeds 1 tablespoon psyllium husk 1 tablespoon coconut or nut butter maple syrup, honey or agave
DIRECTIONS Toss it all in a high-speed blender (we use a Vitamix) and blend until it is smoooooooth. Then pour it in a large glass - or two - and enjoy!
NOTES Serves 2.
Sub in what you need or what you’ve got to suit your preferences! If you use coconut water, the smoothie will be a bit lighter, whereas using almond milk will result in a thicker, creamier smoothie. I like them both!
I’ve been really grooving on quick, healthy, on-the-go meals lately. They never go out of style, make running out the sorry and to the studio much easier, and are a great way to make sure you’re packing some real food and real nutrition into your busy days.
One of my favorite cold salad options is a soba noodle salad. I had my first one years ago and have loved the simplicity ever since. Cold, sturdy, wheat-based soba noodles boiled to perfection and chilled, then tossed with a sweet, tangy peanut sauce and fresh, crisp veggies - the perfect lunch or dinner! However, as someone with a few food allergies herself, I get that those delicious peanut sauces aren’t especially delicious or functional for people with nut allergies. So I’ve partnered with my pals over at SunButter to create a totally nut-free version of one of my favorite dishes - simplified and paired down to the easiest version BUT that still tastes like the traditional version - so you can be eating in no time!
SunButter makes the best sunflower seed butter option on the market - and it’s totally free of the top 8 food allergens! A serving packs just as much protein as traditional nut butter, but more magnesium, vitamin E and iron - and less saturated fat, too. It makes a great snack on it’s own, but you are going to fall in love with it as the main sauce ingredient in this satisfying bowl. Since it is allergen-free, SunButter also makes a great option for kid’s lunches and is available at major grocers and food stores all over the US!
To get started, all you’ll need is your favorite jar of SunButter, some quality soba noodles, and your favorite uncooked veggies. Let’s get cooking!
INGREDIENTS: SunButter Sauce: 1/2 cup Natural SunButter 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon coconut aminos 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated 2 cloves garlic, minced 3-6 tablespoons water
Soba Noodle Bowl: 6 oz whole wheat soba noodles 2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced 1 1/2 cup bell pepper, thinly sliced 1 cup carrot, thinly sliced 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced 1/4-1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped sesame seeds, for garnish
DIRECTIONS: In a small bowl, whisk together the SunButter, lime juice, coconut aminos, maple syrup, sesame oil, fresh ginger, and garlic. Once combined completely, begin adding in water 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture becomes smooth and creamy. Add water until the sauce is your preferred texture. Set aside.
Cook the soba noodles to directions on package. Remove from heat, strain, and run under cold water until the noodles are no longer hot to the touch. Place the noodles into a bowl and into the fridge to chill while you prep the veggies.
Thinly slice your cabbage, bell pepper, carrot, jalapeño and cilantro and toss them into a large mixing bowl. Pour your SunButter Sauce over the veggies and toss to combine. Throw in the chilled soba noodles and gently toss again to combine. Top with a little extra chopped cilantro and sesame seeds for garnish and enjoy immediately!
This is a super simple recipe, but sometimes those are the best recipes. I get into food moods all the time, and lately I've been super busy and hooked on easy, on-the-go breakfasts and lunches that pack some real nutrition and can keep me filled up when I have to teach back to back classes with no snack time in between. Being a Maine girl at heart my berries of choice were of the small, tart, and wild variety - but you can sub in whatever fruit or berries you prefer here, instead. The addition of coconut butter adds healthy, hearty, good-for-you fats that'll help keep you moving and the chia seeds add just a little extra texture (and a whole lotta omegas!) to the mix. All you'll need is a few simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand, a glass jar, and a serious appetite. Let's eat!
Before you make your way down to the recipe, a quick reminder that I'm currently teaching 4x a week at CorePower Yoga in Brea, if you're looking to get your sweat on - and soon will have my own yoga vids for you guys to access on my YouTube whenever you need to flow! Send me your flow requests and I'll try to make them happen. Alright - keep scrolling!
INGREDIENTS: 1/2 cup almond milk 2 teaspoons chia seeds 1 tablespoon coconut butter (or nut butter of choice) 1 tablespoons maple syrup 1/2 cup (GF) rolled oats 1/2 - 1 cup wild blueberries (fresh or frozen)
DIRECTIONS: In a mason jar or small bowl, combine the almond milk, chia seeds, coconut butter, and maple syrup and stir or shake to combine. The coconut butter doesn't need to be completely mixed with the almond milk - and you'll get swirls of coconut butter to enjoy the next day!
Add the oats and blueberries and stir or shake a few more times. Make sure all of the oats are saturated in the wet mixture. Cover and place in the fridge overnight or for at least 6 hours to set.
When ready, simply pull out the oats, give 'em a stir and enjoy! You can add extra fruit or toppings as desired. Enjoy!
NOTES: Leftovers last in the fridge up to 2 days, but are best enjoyed within 24 hours.
I was always a pancakes-kind-of-girl growing up. Every Sunday morning my family would pile into the car and drive to our local diner, Brownies, for some really greasy, disgustingly delicious brunch food. Picture the most quintessential diner heart attack food - now you're there! Haha. I would order a stack of flapjacks with butter and syrup and always got an extra side of syrup. I usually also got a side of corned been hash or bacon, and literally could almost finish it all - even at 10 years old. Yikes! These days, my kind of brunch usually involves much more of the color 'green', at least a few vegetables, and usually a mimosa or two. But sometimes, you just want to go back and have those childhood favorites - without the guilt or greasy food hangover!
These days I prefer the snap of a crispy waffle more a pile of soggy pancakes, and lucky for me we just got a new waffle iron for Christmas! It was time to test it out and make some crispy waffles to satisfy my cravings. I didn't just want any old waffles, so I used my sugar-free protein batter base and added a pop of color and antioxidants with the addition of matcha powder! The matcha powder turned them a lovely shade of green, too. Might have to whip these back out in time for St. Patty's day this year!
I can promise you after rounds and rounds of testing - nothing binds together the batter AND gives the cooked waffles a crispy edge like adding in some protein powder. Plus, all of a sudden my waffles carry a protein content of over 20 grams. BONUS! Now they're not only a great breakfast addition, but the perfect post-workout snack, too. The freeze and reheat really well, and I've taken to making a double or triple batch and freezing the leftovers for easy grab-and-go breakfasts. Let's get out the waffle iron and get cooking!
INGREDIENTS 1 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour (both work well! For GF use 1/2 c almond + 1/2 c Teff flour) 1/4 cup vegan protein powder* 2 tablespoons matcha powder 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/3 cups water 2-3 drops vanilla stevia (optional, for a sweeter waffle) 1 tablespoon oil
DIRECTIONS In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, protein powder, baking powder and salt. Create a well in the center of the mixture, and pout into it the water, stevia and oil. Whisk the mixture together until the batter just comes together. Its okay if there are a few lumps! Do not mix until smooth - unless you want flat, chewy waffles. Ick!
Let the mixture set for about 5-10 minutes, let scoop the appropriate amount of batter into your waffle iron and let it cook up until the waffle is perfectly fluffy with crispy edges. Keep it going until all your waffles are cooked up. Enjoy! (I like mine with butter and syrup or a bit of peanut butter and fruit!) Leftovers freeze and reheat really well - I highly recommend making a double batch and sticking some in the freezer for easy toaster breakfasts later!
NOTES Makes 2-4 waffles, depending on the size of your waffle iron. *I use Sprouts brand Vegan Vanilla Protein Powder. It's pea protein based and has just 1 g of sugar per serving, which is how I am able to keep the sugar in these waffles nearly nonexistent. Use your favorite protein here, but account for textural differences if it is not pea protein.
I usually use softened coconut oil here, but you can sub in any flavorless oil you like.
The Holidays are in full swing and I've been feeling ALL the stress! Between present buying, prepping for the New Year - and my Husband's 30th birthday immediately after, writing my 2nd cookbook manuscript and preparing for yoga auditions at my favorite studio just after the New Year - I've been busy! But we all are this time of year. Wrapping up everything in 2017 up nicely before tearing into the giant gift that is 2018!
Because I'm a totally stress eater, I try to help myself out during this crazy time of year by NOT having tons of sweet treats around to pick at. It's only trouble if I do! That said, it just isn't the Holidays if there isn't some type of snackable chocolate something on the counter! This year I decided to reform my normal chocolate Muddy Buddies recipe and make them something I could snack on - guilt and nearly sugar-free - through Christmas. So I subbed out the powdered sugar for a homemade, sugar-free, monkfruit version, instead! Muddy Buddies are a totally Holiday classic in this house and one of my Husband's favorite things to snack on while watching Christmas movies. The only sugar in these babies are the trace amounts in the cereal and dark chocolate chunks we melted down for coating! We used EnjoyLife's Mega Chocolate Chunks for this recipe since they're allergen-free (and I have all the allergies), but you can use whatever chocolate makes your heart happy. Let's make some muddy buddies!
INGREDIENTS 9 cups Rice Chex (they're vegan - but you can use whatever kind or brand you prefer!) 2 cups powdered monkfruit sweetener OR 1 cup regular monkfruit sweetener (we used Lakanto - but you can also use powdered stevia or even regular powdered sugar here if you prefer) 1 cup vegan chocolate chunks (we used this brand) 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter 1/4 cup vegan butter 1 teaspoon vanilla
DIRECTIONS In a large bowl, measure and set aside the cereal.
If you're using prepared powdered sugar, go on to the next step. If you've got regular monkfruit sweetener and need to make it in into powdered 'sugar', simply place 1 cup of sweetener into a blender or food processor and process for 1-2 minutes, until the sugar has pulverized into a finer, powered sugar. It should double in size using this method. Set aside.
Using the double boiler method (or a microwave!), melt together the chocolate chips, peanut butter, vegan butter and vanilla until creamy, stirring consistently. Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the cereal and use a wooden spoon to gently toss and stir until the cereal is evenly coated. Pour the powdered sugar evenly over the mixture and continue to use the wooden spoon to toss and stir the mixture until the chocolate-coated chex are all evenly covered in a fine layer of powdered sugar. Enjoy or save in air-tight container on the counter or in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!
NOTES If you prefer regular sugar here, go ahead and use it.
If you find another sugar substitute you prefer, use that instead. I can't guarantee the quantity exchange will be 1:1, but a little taste test should help guide you if you're unsure.
Hi friends! If you've been following along with my daily stories on IG, you know that it's been a crazy few weeks over here. I'm finally and officially certified as a power yoga and yoga sculpt instructor and I am SO excited about it! It's been a ton of work - I've been at the studio nearly every damn for the last 6ish months, since the day we got back from our Honeymoon. I'm exhausted! Plus, I've got my second cookbook in the works and also - the Holidays! So today I'm throwing it back AND recommending a great Holiday gift; This Whiskey Baked Persimmon Bread Pudding is SO good that I released it in my first cookbook, Homestyle Vegan, last year. But cool weather and fresh persimmons are back, and I knew I had to share. And if you still need a gift? My cookbook is on sale and is PACKED with delicious, plant-based recipes! Alright, that's the pitch. Moving on!
Bread pudding is just the worst name. It sounds like a soggy, sweetened, puréed loaf of bread and it deserves SO much more credit than that. This hearty bread pudding is stuffed with spiced, whiskey-baked persimmons and tossed in a rich coconut cream mixture before baking. It’s a super impressive looking and tasting treat, and is a great way to explore using sweet, seasonal persimmons. Persimmons not your jam? Try using your favorite stone fruit, instead. Let's bake, babes!
INGREDIENTS 6 heaping cups (375 g) stale french bread, cubed 4 persimmons, halved and thinly sliced 1/3 cup (80 ml) whiskey 1 teaspoon coconut oil 1 tablespoon (14 g) sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon cardamom 1- 14 oz. can (414 ml) full fat coconut milk 1 cup (240 ml) unsweetened almond milk 1/4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 cup (36 g) cornstarch freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish DIRECTIONS Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Place the stale bread cubes into a large bowl and set aside.
In a medium baking dish toss together the persimmons, whiskey, coconut oil, sugar, ginger, nutmeg and cardamom. Bake for 20 minutes, tossing again about halfway through.
While the persimmons are cooking, whisk together the coconut milk, almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and cornstarch in a saucepan. Cook over low-medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens. Once finished, pour the coconut milk mixture and the whiskey baked persimmons over the bread in the large mixing bowl. Mix to combine everything evenly, then pour the mixture into the prepared 9x13 inch baking dish. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes, then bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately!
I've been recipe blogging for almost 5 years and even though I've shared some seriously impressive, decadent dishes, some of my faves are still the simplest things, the things you almost don't need a recipe for. The things you end up making so much and using so often, you just know them - and need them in your kitchen. This easy homemade cajun spice has totally become one of those must-have's in our cabinets, perfect for adding to soup, stir-fry, gumbo, and even sprinkling on top of my morning avocado toast. It's really just a blend of a bunch of other spices, but having it on hand saves you from having to spend $5 on a bottle the next time your at the grocery store. Plus, I get asked for the recipe everytime I post about it on IG - so it was time to share. It seriously whips up in just minutes, and stores for about a year in your spice rack. I shared a few IG photos below featuring my toast with it on top or mixed into the mashed avo. Let's spice it up!