pumpkin pie overnight oats
i’m addicted to overnight oats. literally, i’ve had them for breakfast nearly every single day for the past month. they’re quick, beyond easy to make and effing delicious.
it’s fall, so i’m obviously embracing the fact that fall makes me want to do sh*t that is basic as eff, and with that comes baking and cooking with pumpkin … because, let’s face it, pumpkin is freakin’ good. and it’s healthy … so we’re killing two birds with one stone here.
make these pumpkin pie overnight oats the night before you want to eat them [i make three separate servings all at once so i’m good to go for a few days] and grab them from the fridge on your way out the door.
for one serving you will need:
- 1/3 c. pure pumpkin purée [NOT pumpkin pie filling]
- 1/3 c. rolled oats [uncooked]
- 1/2 c. unsweetened coconut milk [or other unsweetened nut/seed milk of your choice]
- 1 tsp. chia seeds
- a few sprinkles of cinnamon and nutmeg [to taste]
- a dash of ground ginger [to taste; optional]
- in a blender, combine the pumpkin purée, coconut milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger until it’s all evenly combined.
- in a mason jar [or other airtight container of your choice] combine the oats and chia seeds, and then add the pumpkin/milk blend.
- stir until the oats are evenly distributed with the pumpkin and milk, tightly place a lid on the jar, give it a few good shakes and refrigerate overnight.
i attended a talk last week here in LA hosted by robin shirley, founder of the take back your health conference. she mostly discussed the healing powers of superfoods, and even though I’m no stranger to the idea of incorporating superfoods in my diet, i came away from the event inspired to start experimenting with them more. a great place to start? smoothies!
all summer, i’ve been having some serious cravings for ice cream … i mean … who doesn’t love ice cream? in particular, i’ve been daydreaming about creamsicles for the past few weeks … and i can’t be the only one who gets serious childhood nostalgia for these things … right? unfortunately, as i’m sure you can imagine, the original creamsicle popsicles are full of ingredients that are just terrible for you. enter: superfoods.
i went ahead and turned the creamsicle into a smoothie that’s actually good for you and tastes prettttyyyyyyyy damn close to the original we all know and love. my superfood of choice for this recipe was bee pollen, which is high in amino acids and protein, and has been shown to boost the immune system and regulate digestion … you can read more about the benefits of it in more detail here.
for one superfood creamsicle you will need:
- 1 c. fresh squeezed orange juice [cold]
- 3/4 c. unsweetened coconut milk [cold]
- 1 large banana
- 2 tbsp. all-natural vanilla protein powder [I like vega ONE, and this is where the greenish color comes from]
- 2 tsp. bee pollen
- place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
- pour into a glass and enjoy…straw, hammock and sunshine are optional.
sesame sweet potato fries
i don’t know about you, but sweet potatoes are one of my obsessions, only behind avocado toast, brussels sprouts and pizza. seriously. serve them to me in any form and I’ll be a happy camper. with that being said, sweet potatoes fries are without a doubt my favorite variety and are typically a great replacement for regular french fries [as long as they aren’t fried in vegetable oil, covered in brown sugar or served with a side of honey].
i found white sweet potatoes at the grocery store the other day [has anyone else ever seen these?!] and decided to do a little experimenting … what I ended up with were these [baked!] sesame sweet potato fries.
you will need:
- 3 large sweet potatoes [white sweet potatoes work, too!], peeled
- 1/4 c. toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp. gomasio [i like this black + tan version from eden organics]
- pepper to taste
- preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- after you have peeled your sweet potatoes, chop them up into long chunks, the thickness can be up to you [you’ll want them to look similar to fries].
- place the chunks in a large bowl and toss with sesame oil and gomasio [if you find you need a little more than what the recipe calls for, you can add it here].
- spread the fries on the baking sheet, evenly distributing them the best you can.
- bake at 425°F for 30 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
- remove from the oven and let cool. season with pepper [and a little extra salt if you would like] to taste.
- serve with a side of sriracha or ketchup and enjoy!
my favorite green juice
as you might already know, my motto/tagline/mantra here at bananas + bellinis is “because it’s okay to chase that shot with green juice”. and I wholeheartedely believe this.
it’s all about finding the balance that works for you. balance is never going to look the same for two people because everyone’s bodies react differently to different types of food, exercise and lifestyle habits.
my tagline was born for a simple reason: i love being healthy and taking care of myself. many healthy foods are also delicious, i’m a yoga junkie and i’m really into natural, holistic wellness and beauty sh*t. but, it’s so important to remember that being healthy and eating a “perfect” diet 100% of the time isn’t exactly reasonable [or very fun] and for me, eating pizza every once in a while, celebrating a special occasion with some cupcakes and going out and drinking [sometimes a little more than i should] with my friends are things i’m just not willing to give up. it works for me, and that’s really all that matters.
so, today, in honor of my personal mantra, i’m sharing my favorite green jucie recipe. it’s packed with leafy greens, but still as delicious as a fruit juice. i always recommend using organic fruits and veggies for any juice or smoothie recipe, and this one is no different!
for one glass you will need:
- 2 handfuls of kale
- 1 handful of spinach
- 1 green apple
- 1 large cucumber
- 1 lemon
- 1″ of fresh ginger
first, you will need to prep the fruits and veggies:
- cucumber: leave the skin on, but chop into large chunks.
- apple: leave the skin on, but slice so that seeds and core are removed. [i don’t have an apple corer, but if you do – use it!]
- lemon: peel, slice and remove seeds.
- kale, spinach + ginger: no prep necessary!
next, run all ingredients through the juicer according to the appropriate settings [these should be listed in your juicer’s instruction manual and can vary from juicer to juicer].
don’t own a juicer? make it a smoothie! using all of the same ingredients, throw them into a blender with 3/4 c. of your favorite nut or seed milk, blend and enjoy!
photo courtesy of steph brescia photography
homemade granola with coconut + cacao
granola is one of those tricky foods that most people think is healthy, but in reality is highly processed and typically loaded with sugar and other additives, making it no better than the sugary cereals we are using it to replace.
homemade granola is a great way to get around this. i’m aware that it doesn’t get more “crunchy hippie” than this, but it’s super easy and you can really customize your granola to what you like. you can make it in large batches and store it in an airtight container so that you always have it on hand for those quick, on-the-go breakfasts or snacks!
for one batch that makes about four servings, you will need:
- 1 c. old-fashioned rolled oats [not quick oats]
- 1/2 c. raw nuts of your choice [i used cashews, duh]
- 1/4 c. seeds of your choice [i used pepitas]
- 1/4 c. dried berries [goji, blueberries, etc]
- 1/3 c. unsweetened coconut flakes
- 2 tbsp. cacao powder
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- preheat the over to 250° and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- place all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and combine until everything is evenly distributed.
- add coconut oil to the bowl, cover with aluminum foil and give it a good shake, until the oil is coating everything evenly.
- spread the granola across the baking sheet evenly, creating a thin layer.
- bake for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and stir mixture on the pan, spreading it out evenly again.
- bake for another 10 minutes, or until the oats are crisp.
- remove from oven, let cool and store in an airtight container, such as a mason jar.
- serve with your favorite yogurt, eat it like cereal with milk or enjoy plain as a snack!
avocado + cacao breakfast bowl
have you guys given this whole breakfast bowl trend a go yet? personally, i was totally confused by it at first. like… you mean… it’s a smoothie… in a bowl… that you eat with a spoon…? why not just drink it like you’re supposed to… ?
well, i decided to give it a go and can kinda see what the hype is all about. it’s a nice way to change up your breakfast so that you aren’t getting bored with your routine, while still packing a bunch of nutrients into one easy to make meal.
for one breakfast bowl you will need:
- 1 medium banana
- 3/4 c. coconut milk
- 1/2 of a medium avocado
- 1 tbsp. almond butter
- 1 heaping tbsp. cacao powder
- options for toppings: dried berries, seeds, nuts, coconut flakes, fruit, carob chips, raw honey, etc. [i used coconut flakes, chia seeds + goji berries here]
- place all ingredients [except the toppings] into a blender and mix until smooth. you’re going to end up with a mixture that’s thicker and creamier than a smoothie.
- transfer the mixture into a bowl and garnish with your toppings of choice [make that sh*t look pretty].
vegan chocolate chip banana zucchini muffins
alright, i knowww that i just posted a banana bread recipe last week, but i whipped these muffins up over the weekend and they turned out so well that I felt obligated to share the recipe, especially after a few of my coworkers asked for it as well. these chocolate chip banana zucchini muffins can be made using one bowl, so clean up is super quick and easy and they’re vegan, low sugar and made with coconut oil and whole wheat flour, essentially making them equivalent to salad. this recipe makes about 12 medium sized muffins.
you will need:
- 1/4 c. cane sugar
- 1/4 c. coconut palm sugar
- 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
- 1/3 c. coconut oil
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 c. mashed bananas [about 2-3 medium ripe bananas]
- 1 1/4 c. [loosely packed] shredded zucchini [i shredded mine with a veggetti]
- 1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour [i like bob’s red mill]
- 1 tbs. baking powder
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/3 c. vegan dark chocolate chips [optional]
preheat the oven to 400° and grease a muffin/cupcake tray with coconut oil [liners are not required for this recipe].
- whisk together the first 6 ingredients [sugars, applesauce, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon] in a large bowl.
- add the mashed bananas and whisk together.
- take the shredded zucchini and place it on a paper towel. place a second paper towel on top of the zucchini and press [with some muscle!] to draw out the excess water.
- add the zucchini to the bowl and mix together.
- throw in the flour [in 1/2 cup increments], baking powder and sea salt and mix with a wooden spoon, but be sure not to mix it too well.
- add chocolate chips [if using] and stir until evenly distributed.
- Using a tablespoon, scoop batter into muffin tray, filling each cup about 3/4 full.
- bake at 400° for 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350° for 8 minutes, or until you can stick a fork into the center of a muffin and pull it out clean.
- remove from the oven, let cool for 10-15 minutes, remove muffins from tray and enjoy!
mint chocolate chip smoothie
smoothies are one of my favorite ways to replenish my body after a workout. and this one is so creamy and decadent that it’s almost more like a milkshake than a smoothie [which is never a bad thing]. this mint chocolate chip smoothie is also perfect post [or even pre] sweat-session because it’s packed with protein, healthy fats, fiber and potassium.
ingredients for 1 smoothie:
- 2 handfuls of fresh spinach or kale
- 1 banana
- 1/4 of an avocado
- 3/4 c. chocolate almond milk [I love califa farms]
- 2 tbsp. almond butter
- 1 tbsp. pure peppermint extract
- cacao nibs [optional]
- coconut flakes [optional]
- chia seeds [optional]
to whip this baby up:
- in a blender, combine the almond milk and greens first.
- add banana, avocado, almond butter and peppermint to the almond milk/greens mixture and blend until well-combined [this smoothie will be a little thicker than most].
- pour into a glass and [optional] garnish with cacao nibs, coconut flakes and chia seeds [and a fun paper straw].
kale salad with lemon tahini dressing
salads are my go-to when i’m looking for a quick, no-effort lunch or dinner. depending on what i have in the kitchen, it’s typically as easy as throwing a bunch of veggies, sometimes fruits, nuts and seeds together in a bowl and tossing it with some salad dressing. i avoid store bought dressings as much as possible because they typically contain additives, preservatives and extra calories… things we just don’t need. i like experimenting with making my own dressings to keep things interesting and change up the flavors here and there. this lemon tahini dressing served over a fresh kale salad is definitely one of my favorites. kale is great as a base for a salad because it contains lots of protein and fiber, is packed with other vitamins and minerals and is much more filling than other greens like romaine or iceberg lettuce.
for one serving of the lemon tahini dressing you will need:
- 1 tbsp. tahini
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- juice of 1/2 of a lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
to make the lemon tahini dressing, simply combine all of the ingredients listed above in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth.
the salad here contains [measurements are approximate]:
- 2 c. fresh mixed kale [you can buy this in most grocery stores ready-to-eat]
- 1/2 c. grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 of an avocado, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp. sunflower seeds
combine all of the salad ingredients with the lemon tahini dressing, add a little salt and pepper and enjoy!
toast, two ways
based on the title of this post, i know you might be thinking: “toast?! is this b*tch kidding me?!” obviously, toast can easily be one of the most boring and bland foods ever, but topping it with the right things can make it seriously awesome and super healthy.
lately i’ve been really into the whole avocado toast thing, but i also love the old almond butter and banana combo, as well. what’s best about toast is that you can really customize it and spice it up with whatever you might have on hand… fruit, eggs, veggies, seeds, nut butters, spices… you get the idea. here are my two favorite ways to top your toast for extra flavor and health benefits: one sweet, one savory. i prefer to use ezekiel’s 7 sprouted grain bread, but any whole wheat bread will do… none of that white sh*t, please.
- 1 slice of bread, toasted
- 1/2 of a banana, sliced
- fruit-based jelly of choice
- almond butter
- unsweetened coconut flakes
- chia seeds
instructions: after you’ve toasted the bread, spread the jelly onto the toast liberally and then sprinkle with chia seeds and coconut flakes. Place the bananas slices on top and drizzle with almond butter.
health benefits: potassium from the banana, healthy fat from the almond butter, protein from the chia seeds.
- 1 slice of bread, toasted
- 1/2 of an avocado
- chia seeds
- cayenne pepper
- sea salt
instructions: after the bread has been toasted, scoop the avocado out of the skin and mash onto the toast. sprinkle with cayenne and salt to taste and top with chia seeds.
health benefits: healthy fat from the avocado, protein from the chia seeds, and cayenne pepper helps to rev up the metabolism and clear out the sinuses.
enjoy either as a healthy breakfast, pre- or post-workout snack or an afternoon pick-me-up!
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