Chocolate Covered Strawberry Almond Butter Cups

A glorified Valentine’s Day chocolate covered strawberry

Considering chocolate covered strawberries are basically only consumed on Valentine’s Day (okay, and maybe New Years, but that’s a bit of a stretch), I knew they had to be the hidden star of my V-day themed dessert. Instead of replicating the exact treat that I could purchase anywhere, I decided to get creative. As a girl who loves her layers, and thinks that almond butter is just about the perfect addition to any meal, snack, or dessert, my mind immediately led me here: chocolate covered strawberry almond butter cups. These three-layer treat are the perfectly creative dessert to cap off your meal with and the reinvented version of the oh so classic and (dare I say it?) kind of boring original. Make for your friends, loved one, or yourself – everyone will enjoy!

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Grainless Pistachio Coconut Granola

Dare I say better than the bagged options?

This weekend I found myself in a very unfamiliar situation: without any granola in the apartment. As someone who loves to add some type of crunch to all of my yogurt parfaits and needs that extra fuel, granola is something I rely on heavily. (That being said, I am especially pick about which ones I purchase and consume). Surprisingly enough, I have never attempted at making my own. Sure, I’ve heard it’s easy, and I know it’s delicious based on some of my friend’s creations that I’ve tried, but I’ve never been the one mixing the ingredients for a fresh new parfait topping. That is, until this past Sunday morning. Opening my fridge to tons of tasty yogurts and beautiful fruits and realizing I had nothing to top it with, I decided to get creative. Considering I always have a stocked pantry, it wasn’t too hard to whip up a combination I loved. I’ll still be purchasing a few of my favorite brands going forward, but, this one will definitely be added in to my rotation!

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Stove Top Oatmeal with Cinnamon Apples

A big old bowl of coziness

There is something incredibly warming and comforting about a nice big bowl of stovetop oatmeal. Between the ease of the cooking process, the smell that fills your kitchen, and the physical warmth that fills each bite, it makes me feel all sorts of cozy inside. Although primarily a cold weather dish, it is something I enjoy all year round. In theme with the heat of the oats, I love to top mine with fruits of the similar temperature – fresh off the sauté pan with all of my favorite spices. Sure, I can write home about my love for almond butter and banana as a topping for any type of bowl, but when I want to cuddle on the couch with a blanket and feel all sorts of “Sunday morning” vibes, there is no better combination for this stovetop oatmeal than stewed cinnamon apples. Truly, my heaven. Perfect for a lazy weekend morning with a book or netflix, or as a pre-prepped breakfast for the office. No matter where you’re eating it, the comfort will commence.

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Celery Pulp Pizza Crust

A Waste-Free Celery Juice Movement

By now, if you are following any type of wellness / healthy food Instagram or blog, or happen to be looking to purchase celery and realizing that every store is oddly sold out of the organic product, you are aware of the celery juice movement that has taken those looking to detoxify by storm. Curious why so many people are drinking celery juice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and swearing by it? It would be wrong to follow that question with anything other than acknowledgement of the Medical Medium and his belief’s. But, if you’re curious why I’ve been doing it for ~2 years now, check out my youtube video (below) that includes a tutorial on how I make my juice, why I drink it, and the benefits I’ve seen. Once you’re all caught up on that and potentially try juicing yourself, you’ll notice one specific thing that drives me crazy: you are suddenly left with an abundance of celery pulp. So, in the no-food-goes-to-waste mentality that is my life, I decided I needed to create something with this new form of vegetable. Since cauliflower pizza crust took the world by storm in a similar celery-juice style movement last year, I was inspired to use this pulp in a similar fashion. Alas, I present you with a celery pulp pizza crust. Is this going to replace your late-night craving for good old NY style pizza? Hell. No. I’m not even going to try to say they are comparable so don’t go in with those expectations! Similarly to my take on zucchini noodles: this is not a replacement of one of your favorite foods, but a different meal all together. Throw out the comparison, not the pulp!

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Pistachio Golden Raisin Gluten Free & Vegan Biscotti

The Outcome of my Obsession with British Bake Off

So, I have something to admit… I am absolutely 110% obsessed with the Great British Bake-Off show. I mean, obsessed. I cannot and will not be stopped. As someone who doesn’t consider themselves a baker (way to scientific for me, I prefer the “art” of cooking aka I cannot follow instructions), I was surprised at how much I loved this show. But between the British accents, the un-American way the participants actually help each other during the competition, and the incredible cakes, pies, breads, cookies, etc. that are created, I am in awe. I recently was watching an episode where they were baking biscotti and it made me realize that it had been far too long since I had one of my favorite treats. Ever since adapting this gluten free diet, my love affair with biscotti had been but on the side burner. So, feeling ever so adventurous and strapped with the misbelief that I too was a “star baker” (British bake-off joke, if you don’t get it then I suggest you watch), I set out to create my own recipe. Shockingly, they turned out pretty freaking delicious. Maybe I have a third career!? Kidding. I know very well I do not. Back to the TV I go!

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Cinnamon Apple Butter Pancakes

What your Sunday morning needs

Name me something more ideal than starting your Sunday morning off with pancakes? I’ll wait… Although I went through a mini love-hate relationship with these beauties as I couldn’t figure out the right ingredients to get that perfect flip, I am happy to announce that pancakes and I are back in good graces and our long-term relationship is continuing beautifully. One of my favorite things about pancakes is the blank canvas they provide you with to fold in or top with any flavors you see fit. As fall embodies so many of my favorite ingredients, and my recent apple butter creation is the new star of my kitchen, I knew exactly what I wanted this chilly Sunday morning to feature: cinnamon apple butter pancakes.

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Individual Salted Chocolate Pumpkin Pies

Unlike Any Other Pumpkin Pie You’ve Ever Had

There is no denying I have a sweet tooth, but lately I’ve also been having that after dinner craving for something salty. Since I am never one to deprive myself, I decided to do the most obvious thing: combine the sweet and the salty to make the perfect after dinner treat. Not only do these individual pies pack the perfect combination of those two flavor profiles, but they also add in everyone’s favorite fall flavor: pumpkin. These mini pies will have you going back for seconds (or thirds, or fourths…) and will set an extremely high, potentially unattainable bar, for all pumpkin pies to follow.

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Banana Almond Butter Breakfast Muffins

A delicious breakfast on the go!

You all know by now that banana and almond butter is one of my all-time favorite combinations; something I am constantly looking to include in recipes as a vehicle for this delicious flavor bomb. As someone who also loves baked goods, but hates dealing with the “are these gluten free?” question and time spent trying to figure out what sugars have been added into them, I’ve pretty much cut them out of my breakfast routine. Instead of deciphering whether or not the local coffee shop is serving basically cake and calling it a breakfast muffin, I decided to get to my kitchen and make my own. These babies are gluten and dairy free and are only sweetened with a bit of maple syrup. They also can be made vegan by using a flax egg (don’t hate on this method til you try it!). My favorite way to enjoy them: nice and warm, cut in half, and filled with a layer of almond butter and some extra banana. BAM!

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Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Muffins

You won’t miss the “real” (but fake) version

Awhile back, after finishing a recipe that called for hazelnuts (hello you delicious rack of lamb and full head of cauliflower), I found myself with an extremely large amount of leftovers – thanks to a mother who multiplies anything on a grocery list by 5 just in case an entire unexpected party decides to show up for dinner. As I began reorganizing my drawers to fit the random bag of hazelnuts somewhere that I knew would go avoided for the next few months, I realized that hazelnuts are one of the main ingredients of an oh so deliciously unhealthy old school pantry staple that I haven’t had in forever: Nutella. While I’m still confused how Nutella is marketed as a “breakfast option”, being packed with sugar and other not-so-great ingredients, I thought to myself “what if I made a Nutella that would actually be an acceptable breakfast option? Like a muffin? And why not add in my favorite thing I used to put Nutella on – bananas?” With my mind whirling and my childhood Cam doing her happy dance, I decided to make my own Nutella to include in, and spread on top, banana muffins. Let me just say: Holy. Shit. Do yourself a favor and throw out the jar of Nutella in your pantry (seriously, do that) and make these muffins instead. You will not be sorry or miss the sugar laden real (but really fake) version.

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Sweet Potato Toasts

Innovative Gluten Free Breakfast

Sure, there are some good gluten free toasts out there, but let’s be honest, some are pretty disappointing. As a sweet potato addict (seriously, I think I have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner), I am always looking to find ways to include them in all of my meals. So, when I was at my parent’s house sans any good GF bread to toast for breakfast, in went the sweet potato slabs. Holy moly was I pleasantly surprised. Beginning to wonder what other life hacks I am missing out on…

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