Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie (with Hidden Veggies)

Has anyone else noticed that it’s almost impossible to find vegan mint chocolate chip ice cream? I know Enlightened and So Delicious each have one, and I’ve been able to get the So Delicious one (with no added sugar! love!), but they’re hard to find in my vicinity. I love peanut butter and cookie dough, of course, but sometimes you just want mint chip!

I know that a smoothie isn’t *exactly* ice cream, but I find that sometimes, a little bit of taste can be sacrificed for a whole lot of convenience, price, and nutrition.

gooplacequoteOkay, so I am absolutely NOT selling this recipe, am I? It’s delicious, I promise, especially if you want to shake it up from the usual smoothies or curb an ice cream craving. _private_var_mobile_Containers_Data_Application_46EADC96-5C6C-4FEB-A334-975FF1CB379A_tmp_7DDFAEDC-9144-483A-A8F8-D4FCB16E6245_Image

This one does use protein powder, but it’s optional. I’m still doing some research, but I’ve read about questionable ingredients in some protein powders, so I may start cutting it out of my diet. For now, I still have some in my pantry to use up, so it stays.

The color is pretty deep, definitely greener than your typical ice cream or green smoothie, but I really like how it turns out. I may try to top with berries for a nice Christmas colored variation!

You could definitely top with chocolate chips instead of cacao nibs, or whatever you normally put in a smoothie bowl I think the cacao nibs give it a really great chocolatey flavor.

Without further ado!

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie (with Hidden Veggies)

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

    -1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (almond, oat, and cashew are all wonderful)

  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
  • -1 cup raw spinach

    -1 scoop spirulina powder (I use Kos)

    -1/2 tsp vanilla extract

    -1/2 tsp peppermint extract

    -2 scoops vanilla protein powder (optional, but recommended)

    -cacao nibs or chocolate chips for topping

    other toppings: chia seeds, coconut flakes, flaxseeds, etc.

Directions

  1. In your blender, add all ingredients except toppings.
  2. Blend until smooth. If it’s too thick, you can add a little almond milk; if it’s too thin, add some spinach and ice cubes. If you want to drink instead, add around 1/2 cup almond milk.
  3. Pour into your bowl and top with toppings!

Interested in more smoothies? Check out my Pumpkin Berry Halloween smoothie! Want another way to sneak greens into your diet? Try this pesto.

Happy baking!

mint chocolate chip smoothie

 

Paleo Vegan Almond Butter Cups

What’s better than a Reese’s peanut butter cup? Probably a lot of things. A million dollars. The ability to shapeshift. A sense of purpose in life. So, probably a lot of things. But this recipe is also one of those things. So let’s try again.

What’s better than a Reese’s peanut butter cup? How about a treat that’s paleo, vegan lower in sugar and calories, free from refined sugars, and made with completely homemade ingredients and fair trade chocolate? Now, many people would say that DOESN’T sound better, but you don’t really need those people in your life.

I made these for my dad a few weeks ago and he was really pleased. Now any time I make treats that aren’t paleo, he’s a little disappointed. But sometimes there is an emotional emergency that requires slutty brownies (those delicious layers of chocolate chip cookie dough, Oreo cookies, and brownies. Totally drool worthy. )

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Good for vegans. Good for… err… cavemen? Paleos? Definitely not good for dogs. I think he forgives me though. DSC09021.JPG

Ingredients: 

  1. Spread melted chocolate on the bottom and sides of reusable silicone baking cups (or paper ones). DSC09010DSC09012.JPG
  2. Let set in fridge or freezer until solid.
  3. Melt almond butter until pourable. Pour into chocolate cups- the amount is up to you. Don’t let the power go to your head. DSC09014.JPG
  4. Let set until tops are solid- this will prevent the next chocolate layer from sinking in.
  5. Pour on remaining chocolate, spread to cover all of the almond butter.
  6. Let set in fridge or freezer until solid.

Make sure to keep these cold, especially in the summer. The coconut oil chocolate melts at really low temperatures. If you prefer a sweeter dessert, feel free to add stevia or maple syrup to the almond butter, or add a little extra maple syrup while making the chocolate. Happy baking!

Protein Cookies: Snickerdoodle

I am back with another classic cookie variation on my protein cookies! Snickerdoodles have always been a favorite of mine, and they’re so simple to make, and yummy to eat. These are also super simple to make:

Ingredients: 

  1. Mix in about half a teaspoon of cinnamon to the cookie, dough, until evenly distributed.
  2.  Mix together remaining cinnamon and coconut sugar in a small bowl.
  3. Roll cookie dough into four small balls.
  4. Roll each ball in the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
  5. Place them on a baking sheet and flatten slightly.
  6. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes. Enjoy!

Nutrition:

Comment if you tried this and what your thoughts are. Happy baking!

Nutrition (for one cookie): 81 calories; 11.8 grams carbs, 5.3 grams fiber, 4.4 grams sugar; 1.7 grams fat, 4.7 grams protein. DSC09037.JPG

Protein Cookies: Double Peanut Butter Cookies

As promised, I am back with another variation of my homemade protein cookies. And these are my favorite! I looooooove peanut butter cookies so much, and while I can usually justify eating an entire batch of my favorite recipe by telling myself that it has protein… I really shouldn’t.

This recipe, however, has 6 grams of protein per 100 calorie cookie, and taste wonderfully peanut buttery. I suspect it may become a staple pretty quickly.

Ingredients:

  1. Mix peanut butter into cookie dough until it’s even throughout.
  2. Roll into four small balls and place on a cookie sheet.
  3. Press down on each with a fork, to get the classic peanut butter cookie criss-cross.
  4. Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes.

Nutrition (per cookie): 8.9 grams of carbs, 4.4 grams of fiber, 2.7 grams of sugar; 4.3 grams of fat, 5.7 grams of protein

You could even add some chocolate chips or cacao nibs to give these some extra umph. Comment if you tried this and what you thought. Happy baking!DSC09047

Protein Cookies

Sugar is my weakness. I have always had such a sweet tooth- more like a sweet set of dentures. I can eat an entire row of Oreos without even thinking. But apparently, that’s “not healthy”…

I also need to eat more protein. Up until recently, I tried to eat around 50 grams of protein- essentially enough to survive. But I should be doubling that, which is hard to do without eating pounds of tofu or lentils, or drinking three protein shakes a day. So I had to get a little clever with my protein. So. Protein cookies.

These were originally based off of Lenny and Larry’s Complete Cookies. But I wanted something cheaper, healthier, lower in calories, and without refined sugar or white flour. So a true, complete cookie. And I think I succeeded. In this post, I have the base for the cookie, and I will be posting variations over the next week. The first: the classic chocolate chip cookie.

Ingredients: Cookie Base

  • 3 tbs coconut flour
  • 2 tbs PB2 or other peanut powder
  • 2 tbs unsweetened applesauce
  • 4 tbs unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbs stevia in the raw
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I like Bob’s Red Mill)
  • .5 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Mix together dry ingredients.DSC09032.JPG2. Add wet ingredients. DSC09034.JPG3. Mix well. DSC09035.JPG4.  Add add-ins. This week: cacao nibs. Add about 1 TBS of raw cacao nibs to the mix, and mix well.

5. Roll into balls, and flatten slightly. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes, until tops are slightly dry. Let cool before eating.

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Here’s a sneak peek at the cookies coming later: DSC09047.JPG

Cacao nib, sugar cookie, double peanut butter, and snickerdoodle.

Nutrition (this is for one cookie, a batch makes four): 8 grams carbs, 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar; 4.6 grams of protein, 2.2 grams of fat.

Comment what other kinds of cookies, or other recipes you would like to see. Happy baking!

Lazy Berry Smoothie

This is super simple to make (kind of a cheat recipe, if we’re being honest) and has tons of vitamins; this is a great way to start the day or as a sweet dessert. 

I have just finished my first semester of college, and I’m exhausted. Exhausted and a little chubby. Not chubby, honestly, but I put on a few pounds during finals week and on my recent trip to New York. Side note: I tried two new vegan flavors of Ben and Jerry’s and they were FANTASTIC. So no regrets. But I feel a little sluggish and bloated, so I’m trying to feel better, no matter what the scale says.

This was actually one of my favorite cheats at school because you can make a really pretty smoothie with just two ingredients: Naked juice and Vitamin Water. I told you, it’s a cheat. But those were two things I could buy with my meal plan, and you have to get creative sometimes.

DSC08993.JPGPersonally, I prefer XXX Zero + Blue Machine. The flavors compliment well and they’re both packed with vitamins B6 and B12, which are really difficult for vegans to get sometimes. Plus, the taste is amazing.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz vitamin water, vitamin water zero, or other liquid of choice
  • 8 oz Naked juice, or other similar juice

Freeze the juice overnight, pop both into a blender, and enjoy! That’s it! I add chia seeds for a little extra umph.

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Simple Chocolate Nicecream

DSC08909Sometimes, you need ice cream. Or, really, you want ice cream, something cold and sweet and indulgent and full of chocolate. You probably never need ice cream (but I’m not a nutritionist or God, so I really couldn’t say for sure…)

In my tiny college town, there’s one place to buy vegan ice cream. The selection is slim and full of sugar, and the store closes at 8 pm, which doesn’t help when those 10 pm cravings hit. I am also much more mindful of what I eat now, so a pint of sugar-laden, fatty coconut milk ice cream just isn’t very appealing. Enter nicecream.

You’ve all heard of it. Frozen bananas, blended up. I used to shudder at the thought. My aunt an cousin did a Whole30 cleanse and swore up and down that frozen bananas and cocoa powder tasted just like ice cream.  They’re wrong. This won’t taste like a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. But it’s still good, and good for you.

Ingredients:

1/2 banana, chopped and frozen

1 tbs cacao powder

1 tbs almond milk

1 tsp maple syrup or other sweetener

add ins: cacao nibs, cinnamon, almonds, pecans, chocolate chips, flaked coconut

Mix all ingredients (except add ins!) in the blender, stir in your toppings, and enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cookies

I love cookies. I think everyone loves cookies- it’s part of human nature. But traditional cookies have problems. Butter. Eggs. FLour. Sugar. You know, the main ingredients? The ones that make cookies tasty? Yeah. They’ve got to go.

When I first went vegan, I didn’t care about nutrition- I was what I call a ‘fun vegan’- I ate Oreos, Sour Patch Kids, Ben and Jerry’s almondmilk ice cream by the pint (note: my last meal on earth will be a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and a 44 oz Coke Slurpee). Essentially, I didn’t care what I was putting into my body, as long as no animals suffered.

Then I started college, and my mental health took a nose dive. Could it have been constant access to coffee? Maybe. Co

uld it have been stress from new classes? Maybe. Could it have been getting dumped- twice- within the span of a few months? Yeah, that definitely didn’t help. During my winter break, I began watching as many food documentaries as I could. They all seemed to conclude the same thing: a vegan lifestyle is better on the body, environment, and mind.

I thought it was so unfair! I was already vegan! Why wasn’t I happy and healthy? Oh. Maybe it was all the Oreos, and Diet Coke, and french fries…

I started creating and changing recipes to cut out white flour, refined sugars, process oils, everything nasty and artificial. These cookies were my first major success, and I always keep the ingredients on hand. Fluffy, chocolatey, peanut-buttery goodness- I could probably eat a whole batch.

Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (I use Smuckers)
  • 2/3 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 4 tbs organic unsweetened applesauce
  • 4 tbs coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs

Combine all ingredients except cacao nibs until a soft dough forms. Stir in cacao nibs. Refrigerate dough for at least an hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll dough into 1 to 1.5-inch balls, placing on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment par. Gently flatten with a fork. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool for at least five minutes before serving. Eat of freeze within five days.

Nutrition: 119 calories, 6.6 g fat, 10.2 g carbs (1.5 g fiber, 7.1 g sugar), 3.2 g protein

Please comment, share, and subscribe! Happy baking!

Chocolate Covered Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

I have corrupted the chocolate chip cookie. Seriously. I have removed every semblance of a cookie ingredient and reconstructed it completely. And it’s delicious.

My family loves my chocolate chip cookies- you know, the regular, non-vegan, buttery, sugary kind. The kind I don’t eat. I had to find my own recipe, and I had to make it better.

Calling these “chocolate chip cookies” isn’t accurate. There aren’t actually chocolate chips. In fact, there’s not actually chocolate- just raw cacao nibs and powder. So really, it’s not a dessert, it’s a superfood packed energy snack. At least, that’s what I tell myself as I eat a whole batch at 2 a.m. while rewatching The Great British Bake Off for the third time. Spoiler alert: Nadiya still wins.

Chocolate Covered Cookie Dough Bites:

(Makes 7 servings)

For the dough:

  • 6 tbs organic coconut flour
  • 6 tbs organic unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • stevia, to taste (I use around 4 packets)
  • 8-9 tbs unsweetened almond or cashew milk
  • 1-2 tbs raw cacao nibs, chopped

For the chocolate topping:

  • 4 tbs coconut oil, melted
  • 4 tbs raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbs pure grade A maple syrup

To make the dough, mix all ingredients except cacao nibs together until it forms a dough- it won’t look like a normal dough because there’s nothing fat like oil or butter. Add in chocolate chips.

Press the dough into a silicone mould or form into flat disks. You have a few options here: microwave the cookies for 1-2 minutes to set them; OR immediately put into the freezer. If you microwaved them, let cool before freezing, at least one to two hours.

To make chocolate, melt the coconut oil until liquid. Stir in other ingredients- you may want to sift the cacao powder beforehand to get out any lumps. Dip cookies in chocolate and return to fridge or freezer to harden. Eat right from the freezer or let them thaw a few minutes before eating, and enjoy!

Notes:

  • I have not tried an oven version yet, I will update the recipe when I do
  • If you don’t want to use stevia (and don’t mind the cookies being a little higher in calories), replace with organic coconut sugar to taste, about two tablespoons

Nutrition (using stevia):

153 kcal, 13g carbs (4.5g sugar, 5g fiber), 10g fat, 2.5g protein