All tagged Cinnamon

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

I grew up eating and loving my Mom’s banana bread, which was so delicious and sweet, it should have (maybe) been dessert 😉 I healthified banana bread by making it with fiber-rich whole wheat pastry flour and oat flour (which you can make at home by blending rolled oats in a blender) and cut the sugar tremendously by using monk fruit sweetener.  The Cinnamon Swirl in the middle and top of the banana bread is unreal and a MUST for the recipe!  The center is gooey, like the center of a cinnamon roll, while the top becomes crunchy, almost like crème brûlée.

Pear and Almond Tart Smoothie

I love a Pear and Almond Tart for dessert, but it’s not an everyday indulgence.  So, to enjoy one of my favorite desserts, I made a smoothie version that I can enjoy as breakfast, as a light and simple dessert on a weekday evening, or as an afternoon pick-me-up!  It comes together in less than 5 minutes, and is incredible for digestion, as well as for keeping energy levels up and stable 😊

Serves: 1

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 0 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 Bartlett pear, core and stem removed

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon almond butter

1 cup oat milk

1 pitted date

How (your directions):

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high for 30 seconds.

Enjoy immediately!

Or pour into an ice-cube tray, freeze, and blend with water or oat milk when ready to drink.

Why (the science):  Pears are incredible for digestion!  If you’re suffering from constipation, the fiber in pears promotes regularity and healthy digestion 😊

Chewy Trail Mix Bars | Raw, Vegan |

Chewy Trail Mix Bars are so incredibly yummy and nutritious, you’ll wonder why you didn’t make them soon!  One of the simplest recipes, Chewy Trail Mix Bars come together in 10 minutes, and will give you a satisfyingly sweet (but not too sweet!) breakfast or snack to enjoy on the go and during your busy day.  And when you make your own bars at home, you can be sure there are no preservatives, artificial and “natural” flavors, and other weird ingredients.  Wholesome and oh so good, these Chewy Trail Mix Bars will please child and adult alike 😊

Serves: 12

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 0 minutes

What (your ingredients):

10 dates

½ cup creamy peanut butter (drippy, natural)

¼ cup maple syrup

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

2 cup oats

¼ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

¼ cup goji berries

How (your directions):

Line a medium baking dish (7x11) with parchment paper and set aside. 

Add dates to a bowl and cover with water.  Microwave on high for 60 seconds.  Dates should be gooey and sticky.  Remove the pits and add dates to a food processor.

Blend dates on high until a sticky paste forms.  Add peanut butter, maple syrup, salt, and cinnamon.  Blend on high until a dough ball forms. 

In a large bowl, add oats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and goji berries.  Stir to evenly distribute ingredients.

Using your hands, take the date and peanut butter dough ball and add it to the dry ingredients.  Knead dry ingredients into the date and peanut butter dough until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.

Press dough firmly into the parchment-lined backing dish.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes. 

Remove from pan by lifting the parchment paper out of the baking dish.

Slice into 10 bars.  Enjoy immediately, or store in an airtight container for 5-7 days.

Why (the science):  The oats, nuts, seeds, and dates make these bars the ultimate energy boosting snack or breakfast on the go!  Keeping your blood sugar stable throughout the day is the key to improved mood, focus, and productivity. 

Creamy Buckwheat Porridge | Vegan, GF |

Creamy Buckwheat Porridge is a no-fuss, gluten-free breakfast made quickly in a blender.  Think of it as an exciting alternative to overnight oats!  Simply soak the buckwheat to soften this pseudocereal, then blend with oatmeal and chia seeds.  Creamy Buckwheat Porridge is a great meal prep breakfast, too- just fill a few glass jars, top with your favorite fruits and nuts, and grab-and-go.  Buckwheat helps prevent blood sugar spikes, so you won’t feel an energy crash after this naturally sweet breakfast. 

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes (then allow to soak 4 hours or overnight)

Cooking time: 0 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 cup buckwheat groats, soaked 4 hours or overnight in water

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 pear, roughly chopped

1 ½ cups oat milk

1 tablespoon chia seeds

Toppings: sliced kiwi, blackberries, sliced almonds, or any fruit and nut of choice

How (your directions):

Begin by submerging and soaking 1 cup of buckwheat groats in water for 4 hours or overnight.

Once soaked, drain and rinse buckwheat. 

Add buckwheat, cinnamon, pear, oat milk, and chia seeds to a blender.

Blend on high for 60 seconds until smooth.

Spoon smooth porridge into 4 glass jars, then top with your favorite fruit, nuts, and seeds.

Enjoy immediately or refrigerate and enjoy throughout the week.

Why (the science):  Buckwheat contains the antioxidant, rutin, which helps reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Superfood Raw Brownies | Vegan, GF |

Serves: 6-12 people (makes 12 brownies)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 0 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 cup pecans

1 cup sliced almonds

12 dates, pits removed (Tip: if your dates are not sticky, soak them in boiling water for 5-10 minutes)

¼ cup cacao powder

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of Himalayan pink salt

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Toppings: pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, goji berries

How (your directions):

Add all ingredients (except toppings) to a food processor.

Blend for 1-2 minutes, until a dough forms.  Hint: if you can pinch the dough together between your fingers, the dough is ready.  If the dough does not stick together, add 1 teaspoon warm water and blend for 30 seconds. 

Pinch off 2-3 tablespoons of dough at a time, and press dough into each muffin cup in a silicone muffin mold (or into a lined muffin tin).  Repeat with remaining dough.

Press toppings onto each brownie.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm. 

Store in an airtight container for 5-7 days.

Why (the science):  The protein and fiber from the nuts, seeds, and dates will keep your blood sugar levels stable, meaning it’s the perfect pick-me-up snack for steady energy.  Stable blood sugar means better mood and reduced levels of anxiety!

Golden Milk

Looking for a cozy and warming drink to help you through the impending Midwest winter?  Try Golden Milk, a dairy-free and caffeine-free drink to stop inflammation in its tracks!  The pepper and coconut oil help you absorb more of the turmeric’s superpowers, so be sure to add them to your Golden Milk.

Serves: 1

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Cooking Time: 3 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1.5 cups oat milk or unsweetened almond milk

½ teaspoon turmeric

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of black pepper

1 teaspoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)

How (your directions):

Add all ingredients to a saucepan, and heat over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.  Whisk constantly. 

Tip: If you want your Golden Milk even frothier, add the warm drink mixture to a blender and blend on high for 30 seconds.  Enjoy immediately.

Why (the science): Turmeric is both gut-healing to improve your immune system and manage your weight, as well a brain health booster!

Apple & Pear Breakfast Crisp | Vegan, GF |

This Apple and Pear Breakfast Crisp is delightful- warm cinnamon with soft apples and pears, topped with the most scrumptious crumbly topping.  It is incredibly nourishing, between the fiber-rich fruit, the protein-rich topping, and cinnamon to control blood sugar, you can eat this crisp for breakfast!  Serve with yogurt, and you’ve got the ultimate gut-health promoting meal.   Apple and Pear Breakfast Crisp is also a great meal prep recipe, as it holds for 2-3 days in fridge.

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

What (your ingredients):

For the Filling:

3 red apples

2 red pears

Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons corn starch

Pinch of salt

For the Crumble Topping:

1 cup almond flour

1 cup rolled oats

½ teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons coconut oil, solid

3 tablespoons agave

Pinch of salt

How (your directions):

Preheat oven to 350°F. 

To make the filling, dice red apples and red pears and place into a medium-size bowl.  Add remaining filling ingredients and stir to combine.  Pour filling into an 11x7 baking dish and set aside.

Make the crumble topping by adding all topping ingredients into a bowl.  Using your hands, pinch the mixture between your fingers until coconut oil is evenly distributed.  The crumble topping will look like wet sand.

Evenly distribute topping over the apple and pear mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes.  At the 20-minute mark, check the crisp- you may need to cover the crisp with foil to prevent the crumble topping from burning.

Enjoy immediately or throughout the week!

Why (the science):  Almond flour is a protein-rich flour alternative!  Protein is important for strong immune systems and healthy cell growth.

Sweet and Spicy Carrot Ginger Soup

This luxuriously smooth Sweet and Spicy Carrot Ginger Soup is everything I want in a soup- incredible depth of flavor, bursting with nutrition, comforting.  I once had a soup at a restaurant like this, and fell in love with the sweetness of the soup that was also somewhat savory.  I hadn’t been able to recreate that balance of sweet and savory…until NOW!  This recipe is easy, quick, and can be made in advance.  Great meal prep option that lasts 3 days in the fridge 😊

Serves: 4-6

Prep time: 5 minutes (30 minutes soaking cashews)

Cooking time: 20 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ red onion, chopped roughly

1 lb. carrots, chopped roughly

1 Gala apple, chopped roughly

½ granny smith apple, chopped roughly

Pinch of salt

1 garlic clove, minced

1 thumb size knob ginger, peeled and sliced

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Dash of cayenne pepper

4 cups vegetable broth

To serve: Greek style almond yogurt, maple syrup, granola

How (your directions):

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, heat olive oil.  Add red onion, carrots, Gala and Granny Smith apples, and a pinch of salt.  Saute for 3-4 minutes.

Add garlic, ginger, cinnamon, and a dash of cayenne pepper.  Sauté for 1-2 minutes.

Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  Cover, lower heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the carrots are fork tender.

Transfer mixture to a high-speed blender, and blend until smooth (start blender on low speed and gradually increase speed to medium-high.  Always hold the lid of the blender secure and be careful of steam).

Enjoy hot!

Serve with a swirl or dollop of almond yogurt, a drizzle of maple syrup, and a spoonful of granola.

Why (the science):  Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory

 

Flourless Carrot Cake Muffins

This recipe is heavenly.  Almond meal and oats replace white flour, and sweetness comes from the grated carrots, applesauce, and agave.  Tender and moist, these Flourless Carrot Cake Muffins will become your new favorite wholesome breakfast!

Serves: 6

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 cup almond meal

½ cup rolled oats

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of salt

½ cup applesauce

½ cup cashew butter

2 tablespoons agave

1 cup grated carrots

1 egg

How (your directions):

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line a muffin tin with 6 liners, then set aside.

In a large bowl, add all ingredients.  Stir until evenly combined.

Using an ice cream scoop, evenly distribute batter among lined muffin tin.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Enjoy!

Why (the science):  We often hear how great carrots are for your eyes, but the vitamin A in carrots is also an important immune booster!

 

 

Grilled Pineapple with Yogurt and Walnuts

A high protein breakfast or a satisfying dessert, Grilled Pineapple with Yogurt and Walnuts is hard to beat!  The natural sugar in the pineapple caramelizes into beautiful smoky grill marks, while the walnuts add crunch to the creamy Greek yogurt.  Grill a bunch of pineapple as part of your meal prep for the week and refrigerate.  This special breakfast can then be assembled quickly!

Serves: 1

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

What (your ingredients):

½ teaspoon coconut oil

½ cup pineapple (sliced or in chunks)

1 container plain nonfat Greek yogurt (about 17 grams of protein)

2 tablespoons crushed walnuts

Dash of cinnamon

How (your directions):

Grease grill pan with coconut oil, and heat over medium heat.

Layer pineapple slices onto hot grill, and sear for 3-4 minutes on each side.

Plate grilled pineapple, then serve with Greek yogurt.

Sprinkle with walnuts and cinnamon.

Enjoy!

Why (the science):  Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that helps us break down and digest protein.  Bromelain is also a powerful anti-inflammatory compound, so it can help with arthritis and indigestion.

 

 

Acai Bowl with Vanilla Bean Granola |+Video|

Acai bowls can be expensive, unless you make them at home!  This recipe is inspired by one of my favorites in Charlottesville, VA but costs significantly less.  The vanilla bean granola is special- slightly chewy, but rich in flavor from the vanilla bean and cashews.  This recipe makes a lot of granola, which stores beautifully in an airtight container for a week.  What are your favorite acai bowl toppings?

Serves: 1 acai bowl, 10 servings granola

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

What (your ingredients):

Vanilla Bean Granola:

3 cups rolled oats

3 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

1/3 cup cashews

pinch of pink Himalaya sea salt

½ vanilla bean

Acai Bowl:

Handful of spinach

1 frozen banana

2 handfuls frozen mango

½ cup plant-based milk

2 tablespoons hemp protein powder

1 scoop greens powder with probiotics

How (your directions):

Preheat oven to 350°F. 

For the vanilla bean granola, add all ingredients to a large bowl and stir until evenly distributed.

Pour mixture onto lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove granola from oven and allow to cool.

For the acai bowl, place all ingredients in a highspeed blender and blend until smooth.

Pour into bowl and top with favorite toppings (frozen blueberries, coconut flakes, chia seeds) and the vanilla bean granola!

Why (the science):  Acai is a trending “superfood,” but for good reason.  Rich in antioxidants to reduce inflammation, acai also contains heart-healthy fats.

Chocolate Banana Bread Granola (Oil-Free, Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan)

Decadent and indulgent- the two words that come to mind when eating this delightful chocolate banana bread granola.  Crunchy banana granola clusters, chewy raisins, and sweet mulberries are balanced with the bitter sweetness of cacao nibs.  Served with warm oat milk, the flavors combine to taste like a guilty chocolate chip banana bread 😊

Serves: 10

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

What (your ingredients):

2 very ripe bananas

2 teaspoons cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups rolled oats

2 cups quinoa flakes (If you cannot find quinoa flakes at your health foods store, sub with 2 cups of rolled oats)

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

¼ cup cacao nibs

¼ cup mulberries

1/3 cup raisins

How (your directions):

Preheat oven to 400 °F.  Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.  Hint: the silicone mat or parchment paper is crucial for preventing the granola from sticking to the baking sheet, as this recipe is oil-free.

In a blender, add bananas, spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves), vanilla extract, and salt.  Blend until smooth.

In a large bowl, combine oats and quinoa flakes.  Pour banana spice mixture over oats and quinoa flakes and stir until well combined.

Pour mixture onto baking sheet and press firmly into an even layer.  This will allow the granola to form those desirable clusters!

Bake for 10 minutes, then stir and flip granola gently, allowing clusters to remain intact.

Bake for an additional 10 minutes, and stir.  Repeat once more until the granola has baked a total of 30 minutes and is golden brown.

While the granola is warm, stir in remain ingredients (pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs, mulberries, and raisins).

Allow to cool before storing in an airtight container for up to 10 days.

Enjoy with warmed oat milk for a cozy and energizing breakfast!

Why (the science):  Cacao nibs are rich in magnesium, which can help improve mood, focus, and energy- the perfect reason to enjoy this sugarless chocolate chip as part of your morning breakfast ritual!

Warm Pear Compote

This warm compote has all the comforting flavors of sweet spices-cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.  Not to mention that your kitchen will smell wonderful as this compote simmers.  The chia seeds act to thicken the compote, so you can spoon it over fresh and steaming whole wheat waffles.  Added bonus, there is no added sugar!  The sweeter your pears, the sweeter your compote.  This leaves room for a drizzle of agave, if you love a sweet drizzle like I do 😊

Serves: 4

Prep time: 2-5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

What (your ingredients):

3-4 ripe pears, diced

1/3 cup water

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Dash of nutmeg

Dash of ground cloves

1 tablespoon chia seeds

How (your directions):

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring diced pears and water to a simmer.  Add spices and continue to simmer over medium-low for 10 minutes.

Stir in chia seeds and continue to simmer for 5 minutes.

Allow compote to cool slightly for about 3 minutes, which allows the compote to continue to thicken.

Serve hot over whole wheat waffles!

Leftover compote is delicious stirred into yogurt or spooned over warm oatmeal 😊

Why (the science):  Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, the heart healthy fats, as well as fiber.  1 tablespoon of chia seeds contains almost 6 grams of fiber, providing 20% of your fiber for the day!

Cinnamon-Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Sometimes, dinner simply needs to be prepped and on the table in less than 40 minutes.  Start to finish, this elegant quinoa stuffed acorn squash accomplishes that goal, but it will look like you spent hours in the kitchen creating it!  Children are apt to love it, since the flavor profile leans toward sweet, especially with the cinnamon and raisins.  Quinoa is a complete protein, so this filling dish would make a great “Meatless Monday” option.

Zero-Added-Sugar Zucchini Muffins

How hard is it to find a breakfast muffin recipe that actually has zero added sugar?  Because the truth is, honey and molasses, although natural and mostly unprocessed, are still added sugars (which means added empty calories).  These zucchini muffins are incredibly moist, and not dense at all thanks to the whole wheat pastry flour!  Whole wheat pastry flour bakes the same way that all-purpose flour does, making it the perfect flour to have in your home to boost nutrition!