all the same / smoothies (v, gf)

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though all my pictures are of different smoothies, because they all have one key ingredient in common (spinach), they all look identical – hence the title of this post. it’s true I didn’t make many changes and that they were all edited the same way. otherwise, there would be some discrepancies with the shade of green.

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for this basic green smoothie, i always use banana as a base and then whatever fruit i have on hand. most likely i’ll also blend in some strawberries, and if i want to thicken up the mixture, i’ll pop in a tablespoon or two of greek yogurt as well.

14107598681_2946efd252_ofor a basic green smoothie recipe that’s incredibly build-able, you will need:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1/4 a cup of water or non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup strawberries**
  • any other fruit you’d like to include

the process:

  • pour in the liquid and put your sliced banana chunks on top; then blend.
  • add your spinach and blend until it’s smooth.
  • add in whatever else fruit you want and blend to your preferred consistency.

as you can see, this recipe isn’t really a “recipe” but more of a list of ingredients to give you an idea of what to put in your green smoothie. I honestly have no set measurements and I just kind of throw ingredients in as I go. the ingredients listed above are what I almost always have in my green smoothies. like i said earlier, sometimes I’ll add greek yogurt to thicken it up (avocado would work too) and maybe some medjool dates to sweeten the smoothie even further. sometimes i’ll toss in some tangerines, oranges, apples, kiwis, etc. if I have them and blend them all together. as long as you taste it while you go, you won’t be surprised at the end result and you’ll probably really like it as well!

 

seed me no more / smoothie (v, gf)

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new blender means quicker smoothies. and a shopping trip to costco means huge boxes of strawberries and blackberries. both of these things makes me a very happy girl.

because the blackberries have a lot of seeds, when I blend this smoothie, it actually doesn’t get ground up and instead stays in the mixture. I don’t really mind it as much because it gives it an interesting texture. but if you think you’d mind the little crunch, then you are forewarned.

you will need:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 handful spinach (yes this is a “green” smoothie in disguise)
  • 1/2 cup of strawberries
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • a splash of water

the process:

  1. i like to put a bit of water in first to get my blender moving.
  2. then add the banana, chunk by chunk.
  3. blend until smooth.
  4. add the spinach; blend until smooth.
  5. add strawberries and backberries
  6. blend until smooth, or to the consistency you wish.

variations: by using frozen berries or bananas instead of fresh ones, you can thicken up the consistency.

banana “nice” cream / recipe (v, gf)

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if you are a frequent visiter to instagram (and perhaps tumblr as well), then you are probably well aware of the phenomenon known as nana ice cream. it’s refined-sugar-free, raw, vegan, and super simple to make! i recommend having either a high-speed blender or a food processor (neither of which i have) to make this as it will make things easier on you and speed things up. if you don’t have either, it’s okay as this recipe is still doable – it will just take some patience and time.

many people choose to use extremely overripe, spotty bananas to make this “ice cream” because that’s when it’s at it’s sweetest. however, if you don’t like the banana taste as much, I recommend using just spotted bananas (so not extremely brown and overripe).

banana “nice” cream / serves 1

you will need:

  • 2-3 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk or water
  • medjool dates (opt.)
  • toppings of your choice (ex. fruit, granola, etc.)

the process:

  • slice up your ripe bananas into coins and freeze them for at least 24 hours beforehand.
  • place a bowl in the fridge to chill while you’re making the nice cream
  • pour in your 1/4 of liquid into your food processor or blender
  • soak your dates in water if they’re hard
  • put in your coins, a couple at a time, into your device and pulse on high
  • continue to blend/process until the mixture becomes creamy and smooth with a soft-serve texture
  • it may take a couple of tries and you may have to take a spoon to push the mixture around to get things moving
  • de-pit your dates and cut them up into small pieces
  • place them into the mixture and mix as well (I recommend doing this towards the beginning of this procedure)
  • add in any thing else that you would like as flavoring: cacao powder, different frozen or fresh fruit, etc.*
  • pour mixture into a chilled bowl and place in the freezer for another 20 minute or so for it to firm up**
  • top with whatever you want and enjoy!

*more flavoring ideas: cinnamon, vanilla extract, nut butters, mint extract or mint leaves. you can even add spinach to make it a green ice cream!

**note: you can leave it in there for a shorter or longer duration of time, depending on the consistency of your nice cream. however, don’t leave it in for too long because ice crystals will form on the top as there are no additives to keep it that from occurring.

 

striped berry overnight oats (gf)

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the story behind this: i made a smoothie. i made a batch of overnight oats. i wanted to have both. so I did – at the same time.

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I added some of my smoothie on top of my overnight oats, sprinkled some superfood granola on it, and was pleasantly satisfied with the taste. crunchy because of the granola, sweet because of the smoothie, and savory because of the peanut butter. all of my favorite things in one bowl.

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 striped berry overnight oats / serves 1

what you will need:

  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt (or other non-dairy yogurt for vegan option)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp. peanut butter (opt. or sub any other nut butter)
  • 1/4 cup watermelon
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 4 medjool dates
  • granola of your choice

the process (condensed version):

the process (longer version):

  • add the greek yogurt, almond milk, peanut butter (opt.), and rolled oats into a jar. stir and leave covered in the fridge overnight.
  • soak (pitted) medjool dates if they aren’t soft
  • add 1/4 cup of watermelon into the blender and blend until smooth.
  • add one frozen banana, one chunk at a time, and blend on high speed.
  • add in your berries + chopped dates and continue to blend
  • you can leave smoothie in the fridge up to two days.
  • the next morning, pour your smoothie onto your oat mixture & top with granola.
  • mix together and enjoy the savory, sweet taste.

berrylicious watermelon smoothie (v, gf)

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what does a girl do when she has a huge bowl of freshly cut watermelon and a bunch of berries? make a smoothie of course!

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i almost always make my smoothies with almond milk or just plain water, but since I had so much watermelon in my fridge (summer fruit time – yes.) I decided to add that to my blender for the water content. and what a good idea that was! because I didn’t strain my watermelon “juice,” it was still pretty chunky and thick so my smoothie wasn’t really thinned out. i added approximately 1/4 cup of watermelon juice. and i’m using approximately very seriously here. In reality, I probably blended around 2-3 cups worth of watermelon, but I poured out most of it into the cup you see above, and left around 1/4 cup of substance in my blender.

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then i just added my normal ingredients (bananas, berries, etc.) and pressed blend! honestly, with smoothies, i find it best to just throw stuff in and go. you never know what kind of flavor combinations you might chance upon. i just kind of take what i have and just toss it in. the more variety, the better in my opinion! this is a pretty sweet smoothie, and it had a very pleasant consistency as well. i also used it as a topping on / used it to make my overnight oats and it complimented the taste perfectly.

berrylicious watermelon smoothie / serves 1

you will need:

  • 1/2 cup watermelon
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 4 medjool dates (or less, depending on level of sweetness you prefer)

the process:

  • cut your watermelon into chunks and soak your medjool dates in water if they’re hard
  • blend the watermelon first until smooth (you may strain the mixture to get “true” watermelon juice, or just leave it all in there like i did).
  • add in your frozen banana slices and blend
  • cut up / tear your softened dates into small pieces, add, and blend.
  • add your berries, a little at a time, and blend.
  • keep blending until it gets to the consistency you like.

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I used this as a “topping” on my overnight oats, the actual base of my overnight oats, as well as just enjoying it on it’s own. you can even add some spinach or other greens to make this a lovely green smoothie! I just thought the pink color was too pretty to ruin with the green heh. I hope you enjoy this smoothie!

 

4-ingredients, vegan banana pancakes (v, gf)

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pancakes. ah. one of the major, classic american breakfasts. i’ve tried pancakes multiple times in the past (you can see two of my attempts here on my blog) and though my most recent attempts haven’t failed, I hadn’t found the combination that I really loved either. but today, for “pancake sunday” on instagram, I think I have found the recipe that works for me.

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granted, it’s incredibly simple. it only has 4 ingredients after-all, but I actually do enjoy the taste! and like I always say, that’s the most important part. the taste of your meal will always be, in my opinion, more important than the presentation – though, of course, having a nice plate isn’t something I readily dismiss either. now all i need to do is work on my pancake presentation skills, but at least I’m set for the actual flavor.

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simple, 4-ingredient banana pancakes / serves 1 (makes around five 3-inch diameter pancakes)

you will need:

  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 ripened banana (and more for garnish if you wish)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder (because I like my pancakes fluffy!)

the process:

  • mash up the half of your banana in a small bowl
  • combine the oat flour and the baking powder in separate bowl
  • pour half a cup of almond milk into the flour mixture**
  • stir so that all the flour is covered by the milk
  • add the mashed banana into the mixture and stir until just combined
  • heat a pan on high heat (until hot enough so that the oil sizzles when you spray it on)
  • grease well or spray with nonstick spray
  • put about 2 tbsp. of batter on at a time
  • wait for around 1 minute or until the batter starts to bubble and the bottom firms up
  • flip your pancake and wait for it to finish cooking on the other side
  • serve with the toppings of your choice

**note: I know putting wet into dry seems counter-intuitive, as most recipes require you to put the dry into the wet mixture, however it does work and the pancakes do turn out alright.

for some topping ideas, for this particular stack, I used kiwi, banana, and my peanut butter yogurt spread (post / recipe here). between each pancake lies a layer of the pb-greek yogurt blend with some banana slices on top. i also cut up a kiwi to have with this stack as well.

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peanut butter and greek yogurt snack (gf)

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oh my dear friends. you do not know how long it took me to take a satisfactory picture of this heavenly concoction. i’ve had this so many times in the past, but it’s just so hard to photograph. with the peanut butter discoloring the yogurt so that it turns a light, tan color, it doesn’t look very appetizing. but it’s honestly just so yummy that I wanted to share it with you guys anyways.

this is one of my favorite snacks, and I also use it as a spread for pancakes sometimes. it can also be a good post-workout snack because of the protein that the greek yogurt contains! and it’s incredibly simple to make.

in this specific picture, you can see that i’m using “once again’s” american classic organic crunchy peanut butter (whew, what a mouthful). to be honest, this has more ingredients than I normally would like in peanut butter. typically i tend to stray towards the kind that only has one ingredient: dry roasted peanuts. though this one has a lot more, all of the ingredients technically aren’t bad for you. there is organic evaporated cane sugar, palm oil, sea salt, as well as the dry roasted peanuts.

with that being said, it really is quite a good jar of peanut butter and the crunchiness adds a nice texture to the yogurt pudding.

peanut butter and yogurt snack-spread / serves 1

you will need:

  • 1 tbsp. peanut butter (crunchy or creamy, it’s to your preference)
  • 3-4 tbsp. plain greek yogurt**

the process:

  1. scoop out your peanut butter and yogurt into a bowl.
  2. stir with a spoon until it creates a whipped, fluffy texture and all the peanut butter is incorporated into the yogurt.
  3. enjoy the deliciousness that you’ve just created.

**note: the ratio of peanut butter to yogurt is entirely up to you. this recipe is very versatile; if you prefer more of the peanut butter taste, then either add more of the peanut butter, or decrease the amount of greek yogurt or vice versa.

comforting peanut butter and banana oatmeal (v, gf)

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though  california is going to be experiencing a mini heat wave next week (highest temperature is going to be 97 degrees!), it was pretty chilly this past week – hence this warm bowl of oatmeal.

if you’re ever on Tumblr or Instagram, you may see that pb & bananas are considered quite a classic combination. I personally love the two together myself in any form. I love having peanut butter and banana slices on toast, frozen banana slices topped with peanut butter, and even peanut butter-banana smoothies. so naturally I had to make peanut butter and banana oatmeal as well.

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if you’re a pb and banana lover like I am, trust me, this bowl of oatmeal will seriously satisfy your tastebuds. I actually used frozen banana slices to make this, but obviously fresh bananas can be used as well. in fact, I normally use fresh too, but on that day I just thought “why the heck not” and decided to go with the pre-cut frozen banana slices I had in my fridge.

peanut butter and banana oatmeal recipe / serves 1

you will need:

  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/2  cup non-dairy milk (almond, soy, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1-2 tbsp. natural peanut butter**
  • 1 ripe banana
  • opt: more toppings of your choice, dates, etc.

the process:

  1. first combine the water and milk in a small saucepan and wait for it to simmer
  2. once it starts to simmer, pour your oats into the sauce pan, change to a low-medium heat setting, and stir
  3. slice 1/2 (or more, depending on you) of your banana into thin slices and leave the rest for garnish. put your banana slices into the oatmeal and stir continuously – this will help dissolve the banana slices and create a soft, whipped texture.
  4. after oatmeal has thickened to your preferred consistency, turn off your stove and prepare your oatmeal
  5. add your peanut butter and the rest of your banana slices, mash up and enjoy!

note** you can also substitute the peanut butter for other nut butters, or even sunflower butter if you’re allergic to nuts.

and although it’s fun creating “pretty” looking oatmeal, there is a reason why there is no aftershot once everything is mixed in . . .

 

14155309244_f036a2fc1a_o. . . because it looks like this. but hey, the most important thing is that it tastes good!

 

honey and yogurt pancakes (gf)

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I decided to make my family some pancakes today for breakfast (and tested out my new Misto spray bottle thing oh yeah). Unfortunately, they did not like it and i was left with a huge stack of uneaten pancakes.

I’m not going to pretend this didn’t sadden me because it did – for two reasons. One, these pancakes took me over half an hour to make! Seriously. I can totally get why pancakes are kind of a “special” breakfast because these sure aren’t a low-maintenance kind of quick meal. And secondly, I’m upset because it actually tastes good! I swear to you, these pancakes taste perfectly fine and my family is just augh *throws hands up in the air*

Oh well, at least my lesson is learned: in the future, I’m making pancakes solely for myself.

This recipe will make 3 servings, or around nine (3-4 inch dia.) pancakes.

you will need:

  • 3/4 cups of flour**
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/8 tsp baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup, 3tbsp. greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp honey (or sub with agave nectar for vegan option)

instructions:

  • first combine the eggs, greek yogurt and honey in a large bowl
  • then use a separate, medium bowl to whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda
  • slowly add in the wet ingredients into the dry, bit by bit and mix together
  • make sure don’t to not over mix!
  • heat up a non-stick frying pan and either spray it with cooking oil or grease well (this is essential, unless you want burnt pancakes)
  • put around 1 tbsp dollop of batter onto the pan at a time and cook on low-medium heat
  • wait until you see bubbles start to form, and then flip your pancake
  • add whatever toppings you’d like and voila – you’re done!

**note: i used organic, unbleached all-purpose flour, but you can sub. in oat flour for a gluten-free option or any other flour you’d wish in an equal ratio.

the color purple – in oatmeal (v, gf)

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what does one do when you have a bunch of ripe fruit ready to eat, and there’s no way to eat it all? freeze them. toss ’em into a smoothie. attempt to finish them anyways. or, cook them in oatmeal!

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it turned my oatmeal this gorgeous purple color and excited me to no end. sprinkled with dried figs, more chopped up dates & frozen blackberries plus some peanut butter seriously made some pretty bomb tastes explode inside my mouth.

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on a slightly unrelated note, I can’t wait until I get to the bottom of my peanut butter jar for two reasons. 1 – I can finally buy a new jar! maybe I’ll try a different brand. but what to get? creamy? crunchy? roasted? raw? the choices, the choices. 2 – I can use the rest for overnight oats oh ho ho ho. its been a dream of mine to make overnight oats in that almost empty nut butter jar, and hopefully the day where it comes true won’t be too far away.

{recipe}

you will need:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2-3 dates (some to cook with, some to top it with)
  • 5 blackberries
  • dried figs, frozen fruit, whatever toppings, etc.

instructions:

  1. make the date oatmeal i posted earlier here
  2. just make sure to add in the blackberries when you add in the dates and stir thoroughly! you want to really mash up the berries and make sure their flavors seep into the oatmeal and it’ll get that nice purple color
  3. add whatever toppings you want and serve

notes: you can use also use blueberries instead of blackberries. i’ve never tried this with strawberries before, but if you do try it with other types of berries, be sure to leave me a comment on how it tasted! and of course, y’all have complete creative control: go crazy with the add-ins and toppings. this is just a base for you to build on!