banana blueberry bran muffins.

BranMuffins

try saying that ten times fast!

Since I start my day with a smoothie, around 10 am I’m ready for a little something- usually sweet. I like to make healthy muffins because they satisfy a sweet craving, and usually keep me sustained until lunch. I tend to look for muffins that are low in sugar, and try to substitute healthy flours and fruits to make them worth my while. They are a great breakfast treat for milo too.

I found the recipe for some bran muffins here.  Then I customized them to make them vegan. You can add any kind of fruit, or even use spelt flour if you wanted to stay away from white flour. Spelt flour is my favorite to add to muffins!

1 1/3 cups almond milk, mixed with 1 tspn apple cider vinegar
1 T ground flax, mixed with 3 T water
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I did a mixture of half veg oil, half unsweetened applesauce)
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar (or sub brown sugar if you dont have this)
1 1/2 cups wheat bran
1 cup all-purpose flour (or sub spelt flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoonsgranulated sugar, divided
1-2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup blueberries

Heat oven to 425 degrees F and coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray.

Whisk almond milk, flax, oil (or oil and apple sauce), and mashed banana and coconut palm sugar in a bowl. Whisk bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir wet mixture into dry until just combined and still a bit rough.

Spoon two 2 tablespoons of batter into each prepared muffin cup. Add about 3-4 blue berries to each muffin and sprinkle each with one of the teaspoons of granulated sugar (1 tspn divided over the 12 muffins). Spoon remaining batter (about 1 tablespoon each) over fruit and sprinkle tops of muffins with remaining teaspoon of granulated sugar.

Bake muffins for a total of 16 to 18 minutes.

asymetrical shell stitch crocheted throw.

crochetthrow

Remember last year when I whipped up this baby blanket? Shortly aftewards I started working on an adult sized one. I actually finished this months ago, but have yet to get around to getting it up on the blog. I still have to do some edging to it, but its done and has been sitting on our couch and getting some use.

For this throw, I used bernat waverly yarn, and about 10 skeins of it.

 

tooth fairy pillow.

toothfairy

My little guy just turned five. I know were probably still a ways off, but I whipped him up a little tooth fairy pillow following this tutorial.

Instead of a fat quarter, I used an old sweater. So its kinda lumpy and a little messy – but I asked milo if i should redo it and he said “no! I love it!” soooo, messy and lumpy toothfairy pillow it is!

This is a really easy project that can come together fairly quickly. However, trying to explain the concept of how the tooth fairy works to a five year old proved to be a little tricky. He just wasn’t really understanding HOW the tooth fairy will know that his tooth is in that pillow. And where should he leave the pillow?! And how much money does the tooth fairy leave? Does she leave presents? I think i have some time to do my tooth fairy training, but in the meantime, we have the pillow situation covered.

 

banana pancakes.

bananapancakes
Here is a simple banana pancake recipe that turned out really great and you can whip up in no time! Its adapted from this recipe here.

    • 1 ripe banana
    • 2/3 cup almond milk
    • 3/4 cup flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamonOptional: Chocolate chips or blueberries.

Instructions

  1. In a blender or food processor, puree the banana with the almond milk.
  2. In a separate medium sized bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Pour the banana/milk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Gently stir in the blueberries or chocolate chips if going this route.
  3. Grease your skillet over medium heat. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop the pancake batter into the pan. Flip when bubbles form in the batter (about 1 minute). Let the second side cook for about 30-60 seconds and remove from heat.
  4. Serve pancakes with maple syrup and enjoy

vegan cheez-its.

cheezits

Cheez-its were probably my most favorite snack back in the day. I almost always had a box of them at my desk to snack on. I recently saw that Earth Balance was coming out with a vegan version. I CAN.NOT.WAIT. to get my hands on these.  So far no luck. it does just so happen though, that I came across this blog post last week and knew that I HAD to make some myself!

Now, these crackers didnt necessarily taste like the good-ol fashioned cheez its I remember, BUT they were a fantastic, cheezy-savory cracker that came together in no time! Milo could not get enough of these, and frankly, neither could I!

  • 1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp Unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Oat flour
  • 3 Tbsp Yellow corn meal
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2-4 Tbsp cold water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add dry ingredients to a food processor or blender and process to thoroughly combine.
  3. Then add olive oil and  pulse again until crumbly.
  4. Add cold water 1 Tbsp at a time until it forms a loose dough. You don’t want too much water, so just add a little bit at a time. It shouldn’t need more than 3 Tbsp.
  5. Remove from processor and form into a loose ball with your hands. It’s actually good for this dough to be worked and warmed by the heat of your hands, so don’t worry about touching it too much. However, you are not kneading it, just forming it into a disc.
  6. Lay on a lightly floured surface, dust the top with flour, and roll to 1/8th inch thick with a lightly floured rolling pin. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into square crackers. Dot the centers with a fork prong wooden skewer tip to resemble a Cheez-It.
  7. Bake at 350 for 12-17 minutes or until puffy and golden brown.

 

vegan mac and cheese, v2.

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 preset

My go-to mac and cheese recipe is here.

But I recently branched out and tried something new. Its kind of a hodge podge of recipes I have come across – mostly inspired by the veg news mac and chesese, which is one of the best but has SO. MUCH. EARTH BALANCE!

I found a way to make something similar. I love this recipe because it actually has vegetables in it. And you can mess around with it and make it your own.

  • 1 box macaroni
  • 1 cup peeled and diced yellow or red potatoes
  • ¼ cup peeled and diced carrots
  • ⅓ cup chopped onion
  • ¾ cup vegetable broth
  • ½ cup raw cashews (if not using a high speed blender, make sure to soak these first!)
  • ¼ cup plain almond milk (or coconut milk!)
    3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tspn smoked paprika
  • lots of fresh black pepper
    1. Start the water for your macaroni noodles while you are prepping the sauce. When the water is boiling, add and start cooking the noodles.
    2. Bring several cups of water to boil in a small pot. Place chopped potatoes, carrots, and onion in the boiling water, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and soft enough to blend.
    3. When veggies are soft enough to blend, use a slotted spoon to remove them from cooking water, and place them in your blender. Add all the ingredients in your blender as well.  If
    4. Blend until smooth.
    5. Pour sauce over your cooked macaroni noodles in a dish of your choice, taste for salt, and serve.

      I love to serve with roasted brussel sprouts and topped with uptons bacon.  Roasted brocolli is good too! or throw some fresh spinach in the hot water right before the noodles are done and serve with the wilted spinach mixed in.

      Also, you can make the sauce ahead of time, and keep in the fridge for a few days for when you are ready to go.This meal doesnt take long to begin with, but its extra speedy, when all you have to do is heat up your sauce in a sauce pan while you are boiling the water for your noodles. You may want to add a little more veg broth if your sauce seems too thick when reheating. just be sure to heat on low-medium and stir often!

      Enjoy!

lego crayons.

legocrayons
Milo’s birthday was earlier this month – and we made some lego crayons to go into the lego goodie bags i created for the kiddos. As you can probably guess, Milo is REALLY into legos.

This is a super easy project that uses up all those cracked, broken, old crayons you might have laying around. They are fun to make solid colored, or use hues of the same color and make a multi colored crayon.

heres what you need

Silicone Mold (I bought mine these on amazon!)
exacto knife
crayons

Preheat your oven to 225 degrees.
Use an exacto knife and slice the wrapper off your crayons.  Break the crayons into small pieces. Fill the silicone molds as much as possible, Place mold on a cookie sheet to avoid spilling when you take them out, then bake for 15-20 minutes. Take these out of the oven very carefully, as they will be all liquid at this point. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes until starting to set, then put into the freezer for about 10 minutes. Once completely cooled, remove from the tray.
Be careful when

creamy cauliflower and white bean pasta.

CAULIFLOWERPASTAI’ve been eating alot of mac and cheese this winter…and into this spring. Its just so creamy and comforty and its the perfect meal to make on a monday night. However, when I do make it, I always try to incorporate vegetables in there somehow. So when I saw how to make a ‘cream’ sauce out of cauliflower, I thought this could be a good way to mix up my usual way.

I looked for a few recipes and then did a combination of ingredients that I felt would work well.  The result was a garlic-y, creamy sauce with hidden gems like cauliflower and white beans!

1/2 head cauliflower, about 2 cups worth
1 cup white beans (drained and rinsed if using canned)
1 – 1 1/4 cup almond milk
olive oil
1 medium onion
4-5 cloves garlic
2 T nutritional yeast
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup kale or spinach
your favourite cooked pasta

Cut the cauliflower into large florets and add them to a pot of boiling water.  cook until soft, about 10-15 minutes, then drain.  while the cauliflower is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and saute the onions until softened and lightly browned. Mince the garlic. Add garlic and kale to the pan, until the kale is wilted. Set the kale aside.

Place the cooked cauliflower in a blender along with the white beans, almond milk, onions and garlic, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, and about 1 T olive oil.  Blend until really smooth.  season to taste with more sea salt & pepper.  Pour over cooked pasta; add in the kale and enjoy!

quilted potholders.

potholders
I took a stab at using some fabric scraps to make these simple potholders.  It was pretty easy, and took almost no time to complete! you will need:

insul-brite lining
fabric, 2 pieces cut 10×10 inches, and a little more for the strap
sewing machine
thread
pencil
Iron

1. Cut two fabric square pieces 10 inches by 10 inches.
2. Cut two or three batting pieces depending on their thickness , 10 inches by 10 inches.
3. Cut one strap 10 inches by 2 1/2 inches.
4. Lay your strap flat, right side down on ironing board. Fold over the edges a bit and iron flat. Fold piece in half and sew seam.
5. Attach the batting pieces to the WRONG side of one of the fabric pieces.

7. Take the strap and lay it on the RIGHT side of the fabric piece in the top left corner.
8. Now lay the other piece of fabric on top of the fabric piece with the strap on it.
9. Pin all the layers together.
10. Sew all of the layers together with a 3/8 inch seam allowance. Leave a 2-3 inch opening on one of the sides.
11. Trim the corner edges of the potholder.
 13. Pull the potholder through the gap you left unsewn. Pop out your corners of the potholder.
14. Iron the potholder flat, ironing the little gap closed.
15. Topstitch around the potholder edges with a1/4 inch seam allowance, sewing the gap shut.
15. Draw straight lines in both directions on the potholder with chalk or a pencil. Make them evenly spaced, about 2 inches apart. Stitch on the lines, quilting the potholder.

banana bread bites.

bananaWe were having a little sweets craving the other day, and these seemed to do the trick. Not quite a cookie, not quite banana bread – but definitely a combination of them both!  Good stuff!

Found the recipe over here.

2 very ripe medium bananas
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch sea salt
2 Tbsp flax seed
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp peanut butter
2 Tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup  flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup semisweet dairy-free chocolate chips

  1. Preaheat the oven to 375. In a large bowl, mash the banana then add baking soda, baking powder, salt, flax seed, vanilla extract, peanut butter, agave nectar, olive oil and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.
  2. Add in the flour and rolled oats and stir.
  3. Add  the semisweet chocolate chips and stir until just combined.
  4. Scoop slightly rounded 1 Tbsp measurements of the batter and drop onto a prepared baking sheet  Space about 1 inch apart, then slightly press down with back of spoon.
  5. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until they appear set. You aren’t going for brown edges – you want them moist and just cooked. Let cool slightly on cooling rack and serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
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