Tag Archives: oats

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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Chocolate Cake Batter Chia Energy Bites {vegan + gf}

Energy bites are a favorite snack in my household. I’ve even turned my immediate family on the east coast onto energy bites, because I’m always whipping them up when I visit as a healthy snack to have around.cake-batter-energy-bites-1

And as a big fan of keeping things interesting in the kitchen and in life in general, I’m always coming up with new energy bite combinations. Today I’ve got a new one to share: chocolate cake batter chia energy bites!  


Made with oats, plant-based protein powder and chia seeds, these vegan, gluten free bites pack a nutritious punch. They get their cake batter flavor thanks to the combo of cashew butter, cinnamon, vanilla and cocoa, and are sweetened with dates and maple syrup.


They’re the perfect little bite to hold you over until a meal or give you some quick on-the-go healthy fuel.

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Apple Pie Banana Bread {vegan + gf}

Hello, hello!

Today I have what’s quickly becoming a new favorite recipe of mine to share with you guys, so let’s dive right into it!

Banana bread is one of my favorite ways to use ripe bananas, and I’m sure a lot of you would agree with me on that! There’s just something so comforting and yummy about a banana bread fresh out of the oven. I like to eat a slice with a cup of hot tea.

Today’s recipe takes a twist on banana bread – a cinnamon apple twist, because hello October! This is my last recipe creation using the fruit from my apple picking excursion in Julian. There’s been lots of apple eating and baking in my kitchen over the past month!  apple-banana-bread-9 Continue reading

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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Cinnamon Baked Apple & Peanut Butter Oatmeal

I’ll let you in on a little secret: There are some foods that most healthy living bloggers swoon over I could totally do without. Take brussel sprouts and cauliflower for instance (ick). You’ll find tons and tons of recipes for clever ways to eat brussel sprouts and use cauliflower to craft pizza crusts and make them taste like fries and whatever else you could imagine on foodie blogs, but not on here my friends. Why? Because I am not a fan of those veggies (sue me).

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Another good example is oatmeal.

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I get in the mood for a bowl of hot oats here and there, but for the most part, I feel very meh about it. Take pancakes away from me and I’d be a very sad girl, but take oatmeal away from me and I wouldn’t even know it was gone. apple pb oats-2

And so, the alternate title of this post was The Only Oatmeal Recipe I’ll Ever Share, because it seriously probably will be. Any time I make oatmeal, I cook it with a chopped up Granny Smith apple and cinnamon, then mix in creamy peanut butter and honey for a winning breakfast. Because I’m a firm believer that peanut butter + apple + honey is one hell of an awesome combination.

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Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond Butter Granola


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!  


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.



Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond Butter Granola
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 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
  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

Blueberry, Banana -n- Oats Pancakes

At the beginning of each new year, I constantly find myself entertaining thoughts of ”firsts.” Yesterday was my first hike of 2013 (and Adam and Harley’s too!). Now that I’m getting over this energy zapping cold (WOOHOO!!), today I had my first gym session of the year. And a few days ago, I whipped up my first pancake recipe of 2013:

These pancakes are full of goodness — blueberries high in antioxidants, bananas loaded with potassium, and fiber-full oats. I topped them with a bit of drizzled honey, which added the perfect touch to these fluffy pancakes.

Blueberry, Banana -n- Oats Pancakes
Serves: 1
  • ½ cup old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries
  • ½ medium banana
  • ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ TBSP baking powder
  • A sprinkle of salt
  1. Puree the almond milk and oats in a blender or food processor.
  2. Add the banana, flour, baking powder, and a sprinkle of salt and puree for about 15 seconds more.
  3. Let the batter rest for a few minutes. In the meantime, heat a large saute pan coated with cooking spray over medium heat.
  4. Spoon batter into the pan, forming 4 medium pancakes. Evenly spread blueberries onto the pancakes, gently pushing them into the batter. Optional: Keep a bunch of blueberries aside for garnish on top.
  5. Cook until lightly browned on each side, around 5 minutes each.
  6. Top pancakes with honey, butter, syrup, or whatever you desire.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 373, Fat: 6 g, Carbohydrates: 76 g, Protein: 10 g

I’m definitely going to keep these in mind to make again the next time I get a pancake craving!