TT: Chickpea-Banana “Ice Cream”

Here is another “ice cream” recipe since it only seems to be getting hotter here in beautiful Hawaii! This remarkably simple recipe emerged from my quest for a snack option that was not only healthy and tasty, but also a good source of protein. Often I load up on peanut butter and tell myself that I’m getting good protein (not entirely untrue!), but chickpeas/garbanzo beans are another great protein source.

To make this cool treat, simply blend up:
1 banana (I used one that was already frozen)3/4 cup chickpeas
1/4 cup soy milk

That’s it! Freeze in a tupperware. The consistency was ideal after about 2-3 hours of freezing. Otherwise, simply defrost for several minutes before eating. If I can’t wait that long, I will microwave it for about 10-15 seconds and it softens to the smooth consistency that I can’t get enough of.

This recipe makes enough for about two servings. The garbanzo bean taste is not at all overpowering and in fact seems slightly nutty to me. I recommend topping it with peanut butter (I can’t get enough!), fruit, or cinnamon and then… dig in! Enjoy!

TT: Carrot Cake Quinoa Muffins

The recipe I am about to share with you I put together back in May – right after I had gotten home from college and was simply rejoicing at the opportunity to get back in the kitchen and bake! I honestly cannot recall from where I adapted the recipe for these muffins, but I do remember how fun they were to make. If you have leftover quinoa that you want to put to good use or you simply want to get some carrot cake goodness in your life, I recommend trying these out!

Dry ingredients:
1 1/4 cup of oats (to produce 1 cup of oat flour)
1/4 cup of uncooked quinoa (to produce 1 cup of cooked quinoa)
1 Tbs cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking powder

Wet ingredients:
1 plum blended/pureed1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla

Combine the dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls, then mix the two together. Next, grate 2 large carrots and squeeze out the excess liquid before adding the gratings to the mix. I had about 3/4 cup of carrot. Squeezing the carrots will yield some tasty carrot juice – yum! I drank it while I finished up my baking 🙂 Finally, add 1/2 cup raisins if you wish!

Spoon the mix into muffin tins. I made 12 normal-sized and 12 mini muffins. Bake at 350 degrees for 22-24 minutes. Yum! Enjoy these protein- and nutrient-rich goodies – perfect for a school day breakfast and the transition from summer to fall with the rich cinnamon-y flavor. Delicious!

TT: Almond Flour Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

This morning, my family and I ate breakfast together since both my mom and I got to go into work a little bit later than usual. It was so lovely to spend time as a family with some DELICIOUS food. The highlight of the meal was the coffee cake featured in today’s post. Inspired by this recipe from Danielle Walker, the almond-flour-apple-cinnamon-super-delicious-baked-delight basically tasted like Christmas. It was perfectly spiced, wonderfully moist, and fresh out of the oven! But why keep reading about it when you can make it for yourself? Here’s my sister’s recipe recreation for this Transformation Thursday.

Dry ingredients:

2 1/2 cups almond flour (we make our own using a coffee grinder)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 T brown sugar

Wet ingredients:

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup coconut oil

3 eggs

2 bananas, mashed (the riper the better)

Mix the dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls then combine and pour into a dish for baking. Top with pecans, craisins, and more cinnamon if you wish. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, covering the dish with foil if needed to keep the top from burning. Let the coffee cake cool for several minutes or, if you don’t feel like waiting, dig in right away – this breakfast is scrumptious either way!

TT: Humble Pie Donuts/Muffins/Cookies… What?

Today was a lesson in humility. I guess I asked for it, seeing as this morning in my time of prayer I asked God to show me if there were any areas of growth He wanted to open my eyes to for today. His response? “Embrace humility.”

Well, I attempted to make Blogilates Almond Fonuts (recipe here), but I was without a donut maker or donut pan. I added more almond flour and some oat flour as well to try to thicken the batter, but it resulted in some dry, rather bland donuts. I tried turning the batter into cookies and mini muffins as well. Out of those three, I liked the mini muffins most. Still, these baked goodies were simply not very delicious. As my mom would say, “Shuckydarns!”

Why is it such a big deal that today’s baking attempt flopped? I guess because I like doing things well (read: perfectly). I’m bummed that my efforts to make a recipe my own did not succeed. In this situation, however, I have the opportunity to embrace the humbling situation and find reasons to praise God:

1. I got to spend time in the kitchen with my sister doing something I enjoy, trying something new, and feeling like a pro. We also learned how to share a sink while one of us was making dinner and the other was washing baking dishes!

2. I have food to eat, a wealth of ingredients, and so many extravagant blessings. What a gift that I am simply able to bake purely for the fun of it!

3. This is a great opportunity to laugh at myself, learn something, and try again.

Alas, I have no recipe to post today, unless you would like the not-so-great combination that I tried. Sorry to disappoint! Hopefully I will be able to post an improved and delicious recipe for Cinnamon Spice Mini Muffins with Banana Glaze some time in the weeks ahead. Thanks for reading!

TT: Avocanana Ice Cream

Some beautiful summer days are followed by fun but muggy summer nights that simply demand a cool, sweet treat. Here’s a recipe for Avocanana Ice Cream (yup, you read that right – it’s a blend of avocado and banana, the term for which I picked up here). My version was originally inspired by Cassey Ho’s recipe found here, but is based more on Averie’s recipe from this website. It’s super simple!

In a blender, combine:

1 ripe avocado
1 fresh banana (but it could work with frozen too)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp stevia
1 T lemon juice

Blend on low speed until thoroughly combined, then freeze. To serve, leave out of the fridge until soft enough to scoop easily.

While I didn’t try this, you could also attempt to make this delicious treat in an actual ice cream maker. If you do, comment and let me know how that goes.

I hope this delicious treat sweetens up your summer nights. Don’t forget to be grateful for every day, each moment – whether lovely or not so lovely – and to remember how beautiful life is!

TT: 5-Minute “Granola”

I have to tell you, I really am obsessed with smoothies. Today’s recipe is something I sometimes use to top my smoothies but, among other things, it also tastes delicious with fruit, yogurt, or mixed in with nuts as trail mix! I learned this recipe from my sister, who created it as a super quick, simplified version of your average homemade granola. You will need:

Oats

Cinnamon

Optional add-ins: shredded coconut, raisins, etc.

Basically, toss oats on a cookie sheet – whether you want simply a handful to top a bowl of yogurt, or a bigger batch so you can save some for later – and sprinkle with cinnamon. Pop the sheet in the oven to broil for 1-2 minutes (watch them carefully so they don’t burn), taking the sheet out and shifting the oats around so that they toast evenly. You should end up with deliciously roasted, crunchy “granola.”

Today’s post is very brief because I am currently working for a week as a camp counselor in New York! By the time you read this, I will probably be off either attempting to play soccer, singing praise and worship songs while some of my dear friends jam on the guitar, or racing the girls in my cabin to the craft hut. Wish me luck and enjoy this simple snack!

TT: Smoothie Makeovers

Today on Transformation Thursday, a word about smoothies! Smoothies are one of my favorite meals/snacks. When I was little, my dad would often make me a smoothie for breakfast. He had the magic touch and I was convinced no one could ever make a smoothie as delicious one of my dad’s.

While my dad is still the Smoothie Master, he’s taught me his base smoothie recipe and I’ve started to modify it to incorporate a wider, more adventurous variety of ingredients. I will give you a very basic breakdown of my favorite smoothie components and then name some more adventurous ingredients I’ve tried recently.

If you’re going to be drinking/making smoothies regularly, I suggest you stock up on these frozen fruits:

Bananas (buy fresh and cut up to freeze)

Blueberries

Strawberries

In general, if you have produce that is beginning to go bad, you can pop it in your freezer to use in smoothies later – an awesome way to keep from wasting!

For a delicious smoothie use (all amounts are approximations):

2 cups of fruit (example combo: 1 cup bananas, 2/3 cup strawberries, 1/3 cup blueberries)

1-2 T nut butter (peanut butter is a classic and my dad’s go-to ingredient)

1/4 cup or more of water or milk (more liquid = thinner smoothie… I like them thick!)

Other optional components include yogurt, honey, protein powder, etc. I usually stick to fruits, veggies (more on that later), and nut butter – yum!

And there you have it! A very basic outline for a killer yummy smoothie. Hungry for something a little more daring (read: something that sounds a tad disgusting)? Read on!

Lately I’ve been adding veggies to my smoothies. At first it was because I wanted to use fruit to mask the taste of the veggies since I didn’t like eating them on their own. Now, though, I appreciate the earthy or fresh taste that certain vegetables can add to a smoothie! Be aware, though, that many veggies have lots of fiber in them which is great for your body, but can create an odd texture. But hey, if you’re still reading this, chances are you’re up for trying something a little weird!

Here are some veggies that I have put in my smoothies lately:

Avocados – these make your smoothie creamy and smooth and don’t have a very distinct or overpowering taste

Beets – these have an earthy taste, but with a hint of sweetness and create a beautiful color for your smoothie. I usually pair beets with blueberries.

Cauliflower – the latest addition to my veggie smoothie collection! I actually cut off the leafy stalk at the bottom of the cauliflower that normally gets thrown away and popped it in the blender along with some blueberries and bananas – yum!

Celery – including celery in your smoothie can have a big impact on the texture, but it also creates a very fresh taste. Try it out!

Kale and Spinach – I have to admit that I use kale and spinach in my smoothies because I know it’s good for me, but haven’t discovered what I love about them yet. So far I’ve paired kale with bananas and strawberries, and spinach with blueberries and bananas.

Why buy a smoothie when you can blend one at home using fresh, yummy produce from your fridge? If you try out one of my combinations or create your own, let me know. I’m always eager to add something new to my smoothie! Happy blending!