Cream Cheese Pumpkin Dip

Hi healthy bunnies! Well, as you already know– it’s pumpkin season! I love this simple and delicious dip because it takes only a few moments to make and you can dip veggies or graham crackers into it. Perfect for kids or for any holiday party.

You will need

  • 1 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 tsp ground all spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 -3 tablespoons agave nectar

Blend all ingredients well and serve!

Mason Jar Berry Trifle

Is it just me, or are mason jars STILL all the rave?? I really thought this was a passing trend, but it looks like they are here to stay. I have to say, I am here for it! They are super cute and make food very portable. Of course, the original purpose of mason jars was to have an airtight container to preserve foods, but now they are used in so many instances.

Many will be heading outdoors for 4th of July festivities and whether it is to the park, beach, or to a neighbor’s backyard barbecue, making dessert in these cute little containers come in handy.

As for the trifle, I added my own flare and made it a but more healthy. These aren’t made with traditional lady fingers and custard, but instead angel’s food cake and yogurt, and then no added sugar. It’s yummy and it’s the kind of treat that won’t have children bouncing off walls, or adults feeling the guilt from over indulging. I highly recommend you try this– it’s really perfect for any time this summer, not just the holiday.

How to Make Starbucks’ Michigan Cherry Oat Bars (Vegan, Gluten Free)

If you follow my facebook fan page, you know I drink a lot of GTLs (green tea lemonades) from Starbucks in the warmer weather. Sometimes it’s tempting to also grab a yummy pastry– but they are so high in calories and refined sugar! It would likely be momentary satisfaction and lasting regret. When I do eat a pastry, it is usually the Michigan Cherry Oat Bar. It just seems like the healthier option, though I have not really researched this. What I do know, is that most of the most tasty desserts have refined sugar, wheat and butter. I wanted to come up with something made of more natural and less processed ingredients, but still very delicious.

RECIPE

  1. Grind 1 cup of gluten free oats in a food processor until it becomes a fine flour.
  2. Mix 1 cup oats with 1 cup of oat flour.
  3. Add 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp baking soda, and combine all dry ingredients well.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of agave nectar.
  5. Melt 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil. Add about 1/3 or more if needed till mixture is wet, and stick enough to clump together.
  6. Mash mixture into the bottom of a baking pan until nice and flat. I used a 9×9 pan.
  7. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
  8. In a food processor or blender take 3 cups of frozen berries, 1 tablespoon agave nectar, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice until smooth.
  9. Add chia seeds to mixture and let sit for 30-60 minutes.
  10. Spread berry mixture over oats in pan.
  11. For the topping, repeat steps 1-5, but add about 2 tablespoons of crushed walnuts.
  12. Carefully spread mixture over berry center. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.

I decided to team up with my youtube besties, Lainey of SimplyBakings and Jac of The Vegetarian Baker. They’ve come up with yummy pastries as well! Check out our videos below:

xoxo,
Fifi

Chocolate Raspberry Cream (Vegan)

I’ve just posted a yummy and easy to make dessert that you’ll love if you love chocolate. It’s naturally sweetened with dates, and it also happens to be vegan! If you want the texture of the cream to be more firmed– just refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. I made more than I needed. so I used the cream for popsicles.

Pumpkin Bars (Vegan, Gluten-free)

Oil-free, Gluten-free, Clean Pumpkin Bars

 

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This recipe is the wonderful creation of my instagram pal Alex (@The_oc_fab_life ). Her food always looks so yummy and healthy that I asked if she might submit a recipe for my site. She is a busy woman and has found that she is even more concerned with health now that she has a little one who depends on her. It’s awesome to see a mom who works hard to make the food both healthy AND delicious! When you try this recipe, do not leave out the whipped cream. It’s a must! I’m personally experimenting with using coconut cream to make vegan whip, but you can use whatever you like!

  • 10 Medjool dates, pitted and diced (about 1 cup diced)
  • 3⁄4 cup water
  • 1 ½ cups rolled gluten free oats, ground into flour in blender/ food processor
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 16 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup almond milk
Place the 10 pitted and diced dates into a small bowl with the 3⁄4 cup of water and soak for 15 minutes.Put flour and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl. In a blender, blend the soaked dates, the date soak water, vanilla, and almond milk. Pour this into the bowl of flour/spices, and also add the pumpkin, and mix until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.Scrape batter into an 8×8-inch baking pan that is lined with parchment paper (or use a non-stick silicone baking pan). Cook for 25-30 minutes at 375ºF. (If you see a light browning and some cracks on the top, these are good indications that it’s done.) Let cool at least 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving. Add whipped cream as topping!

Check out the video demonstration. This is my first time making the recipe and it came out well!

Memorial Day Weekend Barbecue and Picnic Foods

I’ve put togteher a list of recipes from my site and the sites of other awesome food bloggers to enjoy over Memorial Day weekend. Some are a little indulgent, but most are flavorful and healthy. You’ll find salads, main dishes, drinks and desserts. Just click on the image and it will take you directly to the recipe. Enjoy and have a fun safe holiday weekend!

xoxo

Fifi

 Cucumber Melon MedleyIMG_3447 Faux Ahi Poke Salad (Vegan)DSC_4958  Mediterranean Potato SaladIMG_0014
 Baked Garlic Buffalo WingsBaked-Garlic-Buffalo-Chicken-Wings10  Grilled ShrimpGT0102_shrimp-two-ways_s4x3_lg  BBQ CornGrilledCornCob_lg
 Mint Berry Sparklermint berry yt thumb  Grapefruit MojitoOriginal_Mocktails-Virgin-Grapefruit-Mojito_s4x3_lg  Sparkling Lemonade6507668623_6061393116_z
 Fruit Kebabslainey2  Spicy Red Velvet CupcakesIMG_0015 Peach-and-Toasted Pecan Ice Creampeach

All About Balsamic Vinegar

If you’ve been following my blog posts, you’ll have noticed that an item I use very often in my dishes is balsamic vinegar. This vinegar’s rich dark color is a nice indication of its equally rich and dark flavor. It’s a flavor enhancer, base for sauces and marinades, and an extra dimension of flavor. It can be your secret ingredient in stir-fry dishes, and it can also work to lower the amount of salt needed in a dish. Many have grilled peaches or other stone fruits with this vinegar, and topped it with a delicious reduction which thickens and becomes even more powerful in flavor. My preference is aged balsamic, so I use a good quality 8 year and it really lasts a long time! I highly recommend adding this to your pantry as soon as possible.

Below is my latest video discussing aged balsamic vinegar. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel for weekly posts!

Just Peachy Turnovers

We are just on the brink of peach season now, and this makes me happy. For their lush flavor and light sweetness, peaches are by far my favorite stone fruit. Many like the juiciest peaches, but I happen to like mine with a nice crunch, and a little tartness. For this reason, this is just the right time for me to get into peaches. A peach’s most notable nutrients are Vitamin C and potassium, but a peach’s claim to fame is in those sweet Southern pies and cobblers. Some might even argue that a peach is the only fruit that does a cobbler justice. Today I made my little shortcut version of a delicious home baked pie or cobbler—a peach turnover. Puff pastry still provides the flaky exterior to contrast with a smooth and sweet filling. If you have never worked with puff pastry dough before, it is easier than you think! I am now a huge fan. My suggestion is to make a nice salad for dinner, than reward yourself with this sweet treat for dessert. Enjoy!
Ingredients:

  • 2  10 to 12 inch puff pastry sheets
  • 2 peaches washed, seeded & diced
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp of sugar, more if needed
  • 1 TBSP Butter
  • Baking sheet (lined with baking paper or lightly buttered)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 baking brush

Yields 8 pastries

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F and take out puff pastry to thaw.
  2. In a large skillet, melt 1 TBSP of butter. Once melted, add diced peaches, cinnamon and sugar. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until fruit softens.
  3. Once thawed, cut each sheet of pastry into 4 squares (or 8 squares for smaller pastries and fewer calories).
  4. Beat egg in a small bowl. Brush a light amount of the egg mixture around the edges of each cut pastry. Add peach filling. Fold over to make a triangle, and place on baking sheet.
  5. Brush the tops of each turnover with egg and cut small slits into the top of each.
  6. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes depending on oven until golden brown.
  7. Cool for 10 minutes and serve.