Tag Archives: cherries

Chocolate Chip Cherry Almond Muffins {vegan + gf}

Hello, hello!

How was your weekend? With temperatures in the 80s, mine was a summery few days! My outdoorsy weekend activities included a few hours relaxing at the beach, tennis workout with my hubs, long walk at the park with my pup and gardening work.

Snacking on a Zing bar & reading a travel magazine at the beach on Saturday

Indoors, I  did some blog and photography work, and the hubs and I watched a movie and a few episodes of our current TV obsessions, House of Cards and Westworld. Who else is into those? We just recently started watching both, so we have a lot of episodes to keep us entertained during low-key nights for awhile!

I also got some baking and recipe creation experimenting in, including the recipe I’m sharing today: chocolate chip cherry almond muffins. 

Actually, over the past week I’ve been a recipe creatin’ machine! It seems like I tend to go a week or two where I don’t come up with any new recipes – whether because I’m traveling, super busy, or just lacking ideas (oh, and also if I’m having recipe fails!) – and then all of a sudden I’m hit with recipe inspiration and come up with a bunch of new successful creations. I love that when that happens.

But anyways, let’s talk about these muffins!

In the past I’ve only used dried cherries in muffins, but I decided to give it a shot with fresh ones, and it came out great! Pitting and chopping the cherries is a little tedious, but a nice way to use up some sweet cherries that are in season (and delicious!) right now.

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Cherry Pistachio Energy Balls [vegan, gf]

Hi friends! Today we’re talking about nuts and balls! 😉

Everyone has their go-to favorite foods that they’re constantly eating, and for me, one of those categories is nuts + nut butters. I usually eat a serving of one on the daily. Healthy fats like nuts keep my belly happy & satisfied.

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Almond butter and peanut butter are my all-time favorites, and I was pretty into cashews & cashew butter for awhile there. Somehow I tend to forget that I like pistachios too.

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Recently I was about to whip up a batch of energy balls, and instead of using my go-to nuts of choice, I decided to switch it up and break open a bag of pistachios.

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Cherry Coconut Chocolate Chunk Hemp Granola [gf, vegan]

Happy Hump Day!

How’s your week going? I’ve gotten back into the swing of things in SoCal since getting back from vacation. While Mexico was a dream, it’s not too shabby coming home when you love where you live, so I can’t complain! My work week is a bit more exciting than usual because an East coast friend of mine is in town and will be staying with me for a few days. I love when friends from out of town visit!

But I digress, onto food…

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Question of the day: Coconut – do you love it, hate it, or feel indifferent to it?

I used to not like coconut at all, and then all of a sudden last year, I developed a thing for shredded coconut. While I still don’t love most coconut flavored things, coconut shreds are now routinely sprinkled on top of my smoothie bowls – hence why I’ve shared two smoothie recipes on the blog with coconut: a chocolate coconut caramel smoothie and banana coconut match smoothie.

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One coconut product that I’m sure you’ve seen everywhere is coconut oil. It’s undoubtedly one of the ‘it’ things in the healthy food world these days. A few of the many benefits that coconut oil lovers tout are its heart protecting and disease prevention properties, along with helping to curb appetite and improve digestion.

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So, I hopped on the bandwagon and started experimenting in baking and cooking with coconut oil more. My conclusion? While I don’t mind baking with coconut oil if I’m making something coconut-y, I’m not really a fan of using it in things that shouldn’t taste like coconut in my opinion… as in, I don’t like my banana cinnamon muffins to have an underlying coconut taste to them.

But a recipe with coconut oil where coconut is actually one of the star flavors? That I can get behind. Thus, today’s recipe…

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Cocoa Cherry Watermelon Smoothie

Sweet ripe cherries, how I love you so.
cocoa cherry watermelon juice

The same goes for smoothies. While I drink them year-round since I live in SoCal where it never gets really cold, my smoothie habit has been in serious full swing since summer started. I usually drink one a day, and lately my smoothies have been extra summery.

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A week or two ago I bought a huge watermelon. I was eating a lot of it on its own when I was hot and sweaty from working out or being outside in the hot sun or in my simple and favorite (and super refreshing!) strawberry watermelon smoothie. But I wanted to come up a new way to enjoy watermelon. And sweet cherries. And smoothies… which led to today’s recipe!

cocoa cherry watermelon smoothie-3

A couple of months ago I went to a fitness event and ZICO was there giving out coconut water samples. In all honesty, I’ve never been a coconut water drinker, but I tried their chocolate flavored coconut water and was surprised that I really liked it! They gave me some samples to take home, which had been sitting in my fridge until this smoothie idea popped into my head.

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Smoothie of the Week: Cherry Bomb

In the minds of many Americans, Memorial Day weekend marks the start of summer, even though summer doesn’t technically start for around another month.

It feels like summer to me because last weekend marked the first sunburn of the year for my light skin (with very odd tan lines might I add – I think I have streaks of lines on my arm where my headphone cord was hanging down!) despite putting on suntan lotion multiple times. Meanwhile my hubby got nicely bronzed, because sometimes life just isn’t fair my friends.

dog beach

When I think of summer, I think of things like the beach, sangria, backyard BBQs, and sundresses – my favorite attire ever. Of course there’s the summery food that comes to mind, which includes lots of seasonal fruit, corn on the cob, bright salads, and of course, refreshing smoothies…

Cherry Bomb-3For the last couple of summers, I’ve seriously craved all types of cherries: fresh cherries, frozen cherries, dried cherries, cherry Italian ice, cherry ice cream. If it’s cherry anything, I’m probably in.

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Well, I don’t think this summer is going to be any different, because last week while grocery shopping I had cherries on my brain. There weren’t any fresh cherries where I was, so a bag of frozen cherries it was…. and that bag of cherries is already gone because I kept using it to make this easy to throw together, nutritious, tasty smoothie!

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Cherry Almond Smoothie
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 4 oz plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 oz raw almonds
  • ¾ cup frozen sweet cherries
  • ¼ TSP almond extract
  • 1 packet/1 g stevia sweetener
  • Ice
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until well combined. Pour into a glass and enjoy immediately!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 smoothie, Calories: 350, Fat: 14 g, Saturated fat: 1 g, Carbohydrates: 40 g, Sugar: 23 g, Fiber: 8 g, Protein: 20 g

 

What food reminds you most of summer?

Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond Butter Granola

cherries

Lately I’ve been obsessed with cherries. It all started a couple of weeks ago when I stopped at a local farm stand and nabbed some dark sweet cherries. I’ve always liked cherries, but it seems my love for them has been on a whole new level since that purchase. Fresh cherries by themselves, frozen cherries in smoothies, cherry frozen yogurt (ate some last night!), cherries in my salads – I’ve been finding endless ways to incorporate cherries into my diet pretty much everyday. One day last week, I whipped up a new recipe and found yet another way to eat (dried) cherries: dark chocolate cherry almond butter granola!  

Almond-Butter-Granola-1

This granola will add some pizazz to yogurt or cottage cheese, and is a nice sweet treat all on its own. The only downside to this recipe, and to pretty much all kinds of granola in my book, is that it’s addictive. I kept grabbing a handful here and there, and before I knew it, the whole batch was gone!

If you want to slash the calorie count, just cut the chocolate chips and (dare I say) dried cherries out. Almond butter, honey, cinnamon, vanilla, and oats – what’s not to love?  It would be delicious as plain almond butter granola too.

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Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond Butter Granola
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • ¼ cup dried cherries
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips or morsels
  • 1 TSP cinnamon
  • 1 TSP vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Melt almond butter and honey on the stove over low heat, stirring constantly.
  3. Add cinnamon and vanilla, mix together, and remove from heat.
  4. Put oats, chocolate chips and dried cherries in a bowl. Pour honey mixture over oats, then stir with a wooden spoon to combine evenly.
  5. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange the granola onto the sheet in clusters, with the chocolate chips either in the oat mixture or positioned on top of oats (This is so that the chocolate doesn't burn onto the baking sheet).
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until oats are slightly browned.
  7. Allow it to cool slightly, then use a spoon or spatula to pour the granola into a bowl.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: a heaping ¼ cup, Calories: 207 calories, Fat: 9 g, Saturated fat: 2 g, Carbohydrates: 32 g, Fiber: 3 g, Protein: 5 g