All tagged Coconut Oil

Banana Oatmeal Cookies (Vegan, GF)

These Banana Oatmeal Cookies are the bomb!  They have no processed sugar, are gluten-free, and vegan, so you can feel good about eating them any time of day.  Made with wholesome ingredients, they can be meal prepped and enjoyed for one-the-go breakfasts, snacks, or as a yummy dessert with a piece of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate on the side.  Bonus: they’re made in the food processor!  Ahem, minimal clean up 😊

Serves: 6

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

What (your ingredients):

2 ripe bananas

6 dates, pitted (make sure they’re soft and sticky)

1 tablespoon coconut oil, not melted

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups rolled oats

How (your directions):

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Add bananas, dates, coconut oil, salt, baking powder, and vanilla to a blender.  Pulse 10 times, then blend on high until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Add rolled oats and pulse 5-8 times.  You want the rolled oats slightly broken down to form a dough, but not blended so much that you end up with a paste or completely smooth dough.  Leave a little oat texture.

Spoon six cookies onto lined baking sheet.  Smooth edges, and create a flat top to the cookies using the back of your spoon.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Enjoy warm! 

Store remaining cookies in an airtight container for a week.  Reheat and serve with a drizzle of peanut butter and a side of fruit for breakfast.

Why (the science):  Oats and bananas are prebiotics, which means that feed the healthy bacteria in our gut, which improves our mood and immune system.

** Recipe inspired by Nutrition Refined

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.

Red Lentil Stew

Red Lentil Stew is the ultimate cozy comfort food that is incredible for your immune system- between the garlic, ginger, leek, and lemon, Red Lentil Stew has several health boosting vitamins and antimicrobial properties!  It also makes a great meal prep recipe, as it stores well in the fridge for 3-4 days.  Inspired by my favorite food blogger’s (Sarah Britton’s) Four Corners Soup, this Red Lentil Stew is something to look forward to after a long day’s work 😊

Serves: 4-6

Prep time: 5-10 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 leek, sliced into half-moons and rinsed

Pinch of salt

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

1 tablespoon cumin

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes

1 cup red lentils, rinsed

3 cups veggie broth

½ lemon, sliced into thin rounds

1 tablespoon maple syrup

4 cups spinach

To serve: slices of avocado or grated parmesan cheese and good olive oil

How (your directions):

Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add coconut oil, sliced leek, and pinch of salt to the pot and sauté for 3-4 minutes.

Add minced garlic, ginger, cumin, and cayenne pepper, sautéing for 1 minute.

Add crushed tomatoes, lentils, veggie broth, and lemon slices to the leek mixture.  Bring to a boil, then cover, lower heat to low, and simmer for 30-40 minutes until lentils reach desired texture.

Add maple syrup and taste for seasoning.  With the heat turned off, stir spinach into stew until wilted.

Serve hot with either sliced avocado, or a grating of parmesan cheese and drizzle of good olive oil.

Why (the science):  Lentils are a plant-based protein powerhouse, with 20 grams of protein per 1 cup!  That’s equivalent to about 3 oz of chicken breast.

Cauliflower Chickpea Curry

When I think curry, I think anti-inflammatory, filling, comforting, scrumptious- and you’ll love this Cauliflower Chickpea version for all of those reasons.  Don’t be afraid of the list of ingredients, because you probably have most of them in your pantry already.  I like reserving a few spoonsful of the coconut cream from the top of the can of coconut milk, then dolloping on top of the hot curry and brown rice.  Or even better, a drizzle of protein-packed tahini adds creaminess and richness.  Yum!

Serves: 6

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ red onion, diced finely

¼ teaspoon salt

Pinch of pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced or sliced finely

1 teaspoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon paprika

1-2 dashes cayenne pepper (optional)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 yellow pepper, diced

1 head of cauliflower, chopped or sliced into small florets

1 cup vegetable broth

1 28-oz can diced tomatoes (San Marzano is best!)

1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 15-oz can full fat coconut milk

How (your directions):

In a large Dutch oven or large Wok, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add diced red onion, salt, and pepper, sautéing for about 3 minutes, until translucent. 

Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.  Push onion and garlic mixture to one side of the Dutch oven or Wok, then add the coconut oil to the pan to melt.  Add curry, turmeric, paprika, and cayenne pepper (optional) to the oil to release the fragrance of the spices and toast slightly. 

Add tomato paste, yellow pepper, cauliflower, broth, diced tomatoes, chickpeas, and coconut milk (reserving a little coconut cream if desired for serving) and stir to combine.

Simmer on medium-low heat for 30-40 minutes.

Serve with brown rice and a drizzle of tahini.  Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy hot!

Why (the science):  Curcumin from turmeric may help prevent cognitive decline!  Check out this guide to boosting brain health here: https://onmilwaukee.com/living/articles/milwaukeean-brain-health.html

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies | Paleo, GF, Dairy-Free |

Wow, these cookies taste like the real deal- you know, the chocolate chip cookies of your childhood?! Except these have no flour and no refined sugar...Hello, Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Serves: 9

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

What (your ingredients):

4 tablespoons coconut oil, solid

3 tablespoons honey

1 egg

Generous teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 2/3 cup almond meal

1 tablespoon coconut flour

1/3 cup chocolate chips

How (your directions):

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

Using a hand-mixer, mix together solid oil and honey.  Add egg and mix until combined.

Add vanilla extract, salt, baking powder, almond meal, and coconut flour and mix until combined.

Using a spatula, stir in chocolate chips until evenly distributed.

Bake for 15 minutes, then allow to cool slightly on baking rack.

Enjoy immediately or store cooled cookies in an airtight container.

Why (the science):  Almond flour provides protein, heart-healthy omega-3's, and calcium for strong bones!

 

Pink Pancakes! NBC News! | Vegan and Gluten-Free |

These Pink Pancakes are perfect for Valentine’s Day brunch or Christmas morning!  I mean, look at that color 😊  And they couldn’t be easier to make, since they’re made in a blender.  Serve them with butter and maple syrup, and perhaps a dusting of cocoa powder for something sweet and elegant.  Or try my savory version with slices of avocado, wedges of blood orange or grapefruit, and a drizzle of tahini.  You could even pack the savory ones for lunch and eat them at room temperature…yum!

Serves: 2 (2 plate-size pancakes or 9 silver-dollars)

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup plant milk

1 cup roughly cubed beet (raw, not cooked)

½ teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

Coconut oil for cooking

Savory toppings: avocado slices, blood orange or grapefruit sections, drizzle of tahini, freshly ground pepper

Sweet toppings: butter, maple syrup, a dusting of cocoa powder

How (your directions):

In a high-speed blender, add oats, plant milk, cubed beet, baking powder, and salt.   Blend until smooth.

In a large skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat.  Pour pancake mix into whatever size you prefer.

 

Once the sides are cooked and the tops are bubbling, flip the pancakes.

Allow to cook on the second side for 3 more minutes.

Serve immediately with your favorite sweet or savory toppings!

Why (the science):  Beets contain the pigment betalain, which is considered a potent antioxidant which fights inflammation and oxidative stress.

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.

 

 

Anti-inflammatory Curry

When I’m feeling the aches of the flu or a bad cold, I crave a meal that can fight the inflammation in my body.  This Anti-Inflammatory Curry is quick and easy enough to make when you’re sick (yes, I know from experience) but is light and easy on the stomach, since it’s not spicy.  So often curries are heavy and fatty, but this curry is more like a broth.  Pairs perfectly with a side of brown rice!

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 teaspoon coconut oil

2 bell peppers, medium diced

1 block extra-firm tofu, cubed

1 head broccoli, cut into florets

2 large carrots, diced

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced

2 tablespoons red curry paste

1 15-oz. can coconut milk

Brown rice to serve

How (your directions):

In a large skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat.  Add bell peppers and tofu, then sauté for 5 minutes.

Add broccoli florets, diced carrots, and minced ginger.  Sauté for 5 minutes.

Add red curry paste and coconut milk and stir to combine.  Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes.

Serve over brown rice, and salt to taste.

Enjoy!

Why (the science):  Curries make powerful anti-inflammatory meals because they so often include foods to reduce oxidative stress in the body.  Coconut oil, broccoli, turmeric, and ginger are all found in this recipe, which means this curry battles oxidation and inflammation in a variety of ways.

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.

Easy Summer Zucchini Soup | + Video |

This easy summer zucchini soup could be my favorite soup EVER!  It’s light, silky, bright, and refreshing.  Not to mention, the soup comes together so quickly, you can have dinner ready and on the table in 30 minutes.  Serve with a warm, crusty baguette on the side and enjoy 😊

Serves: 4

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 tsp. coconut oil

½ onion, roughly chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 zucchini, roughly chopped

3 cups vegetable broth (I used 1 tsp. bouillon and 3 cups water)

Juice of ½ lemon

How (your directions):

In a large Dutch oven or stockpot, heat coconut oil over medium heat. 

Add onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes.  add garlic and zucchini and sauté for an additional 3-4 minutes.

Add vegetable broth, bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Transfer to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.  Add juice of ½ a lemon and serve immediately!

Why (the science):  Zucchini is rich in vitamin B6, which plays an important role in metabolism and cognitive development!  Who knew? 😉

 

Zucchini and Corn Fritters | + Video |

Comforting corn fritters get a vegan makeover, ensuring a nutrient-dense patty filled with zucchini and spring peas.  Searing the fritters in a little oil creates a golden crust, then finishing in the oven ensures a soft interior.  Bright green in color and a little spicy, these fritters will become your favorite new Springtime comfort food 😊  Makes 8 fritters (and great leftovers, too).

What (your ingredients):

1 zucchini, roughly chopped into 6 pieces

1 yellow onion, quartered

1 clove garlic

1 cup peas

½ teaspoon chipotle powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup corn kernels

Spelt flour (5-8 tablespoons, depending on mixture)

Coconut or vegetable oil

How (your directions):

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Grease a large baking sheet with oil.  Set aside.

In a food processor, add zucchini, yellow onion, garlic clove, peas, chipotle powder, and salt.  Pulse until mostly combined, but not completely pureed.

Add corn kernels and pulse 2-3 times to incorporate.

Transfer mixture to a large bowl and add spelt flour, one tablespoon at a time, until mixture is slightly thickened and can form patties.

In a large skillet or frying pan, heat 1 teaspoon of oil over medium-high heat.  Form 3-4 patties and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Repeat process with rest of mixture, adding oil to skillet or fry pan as needed (between each round of searing patties).

Transfer seared patties to greased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. 

If mixture is slightly wet on the interior, bake an additional 10-15 minutes.

Serve hot over rice and greens, then top with a drizzle of your favorite dressing and a dollop of hummus!  I used a creamy cilantro dressing, which complimented the spiciness of the fritters.

Why (the science):  Peas are rich in protein and create a gorgeous bright green fritter, which is important since we eat with our eyes 😊  Onion and garlic are not only flavorful, but are anticarcinogenic too!  And while spelt flour does contain gluten, it is much more easily digestible than its wheat counterparts, meaning less GI distress if you’re gluten insensitive.  Another fritter, please…