Coconut Ginger Date Oatmeal

Coconut Ginger Date Oatmeal

This creamy coconut ginger date oatmeal is made extra delish with coconut milk, making a dairy free and vegan breakfast that's packed with whole grains! Sweetened with an easy date syrup so it's no added sugar! With all the whole grains and healthy fats, it makes a satisfying breakfast that's perfect for cold weather months! 

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The Ultimate Recovery Smoothie

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KashiPlantPower #GOTOGETHER #CollectiveBias

The ultimate recovery smoothie is packed with ingredients to boost recovery after a hard workout, along with Kashi's new plant powered shake! 

Remember when I ran a half marathon earlier this year and was all like, "it's one and done! I just want to prove that I can do it!" Well, perhaps unsurprisingly, I've signed up for another half marathon this fall.

This time I'm running the Greenville Spinx Run Fest in October along with a group of girlfriends. My husband, who is the kinda guy who can just run 13.1 miles with no training whatsoever (ugh, I hate him) may or may not be joining. It's Halloween weekend so he really wants to dress as a T-Rex and have me dress as Laura Dern from Jurassic Park. I am all over this idea.

So my official training started this week and with that means paying a little bit more attention to how I'm feeding myself. That was one of the big lessons for me last time I trained. Even though I knew all about sports nutrition, experiencing for myself what running felt like after not fueling myself adequately drove the point home!

This time I'm training during these insanely hot South Carolina days, so I know ice cold smoothies are going to play a vital role! When I got the opportunity to partner with Kashi to highlight their new Kashi® GOLEAN™ Plant Powered Shakes, I knew I wanted to show you how to make my ultimate recovery smoothie.

So what makes this smoothie special?

Kashi GOLEAN Plant Powered Shake in Dark Cocoa // After a strenuous run, it's important to get a nice dose of protein to switch the catabolic hormones (break down muscle) to anabolic hormones (build muscle). Kashi's brand new shake contains 21 grams of plant powered protein from dried peas, sprouted beans, flax and hemp - all natural and good for you ingredients. It's gluten free, vegan and contains 1 billion CFU of probiotics to support gut health. Like Kashi Organic Breakfast Superblends (another one of their new products) both are convenient for an on-the-go lifestyle - both can be simply mixed with water or your choice of dairy to make an easy protein shake, or blend into your favorite smoothie recipe. It's available at Target.com.

I chose dark cocoa because not only does it taste like a chocolate milkshake, but chocolate also contains antioxidants that help reduce post workout soreness! Chocolate is also great for preworkout snacking as it contains antioxidants called epicatechins that improve blood flow to muscles, improving endurance. 

Tart Cherry Juice // The sour taste of tart cherry juice is an indication of high levels of anthocyanins, an antioxidant that helps reduce post workout pain and soreness. Look for pure tart cherry juice in the drink aisle along with the other juices bottled in glass jars.

Medjool Dates // With their sweet, caramel like taste, dates are one of my favorite ways to sweeten foods.Dates are mineral rich which helps replace what was lost in sweat. They also provide a concentrated source of natural sugars, which your body needs after a workout to restore glycogen stores.

Banana // Potassium!! A ton of it is lost in sweat when you're running outside. Bananas are a concentrated source of potassium, as well as natural sugars to boost glycogen stores.

Spirulina // I call spirulina nature's multi-vitamin. Spirulina is an algae that's commonly used as a supplement because of it's nutrient density. It contains more nutrients, and a wider variety of nutrients than just about any food out there. If you use a small amount, you won't taste it, so start with 1/4 of a teaspoon.

Coconut Water // Often called "nature's sports drink" because of the sodium and potassium it contains, I love the light and refreshing flavor it adds to this smoothie.

If you'd like to try Kashi's new GOLEAN Plant Powered Shake or their Organic Breakfast Superblends, enjoy $10 off using the discount code: TGTKASHI.

Connect with Kashi:

Ultimate Recovery Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana, cut into chunks

  • 1 scoop Kashi GOLEAN Plant Powered Shake in Chocolate Vinyasa

  • 2 dates, pitted

  • 2/3 cup coconut water

  • 1/3 cup tart cherry juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon spirulina

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients together in a blender and blend until pureed. Serve immediately.

Gluten Free Carrot-Pecan Muffins

Alternate title: Life Changing Muffins.

This is no exaggeration friends. These bad boys are made with a combination of whole grains and almond meal and naturally sweetened with only dates, banana and shredded carrots. Although they're not cakey like store bought muffins, they're hearty and dense - a stick to your rib type of muffin.

I adapted this recipe from Green Kitchen Stories, and since then, I've adapted it many more times. Just keep the basic dry and wet mixtures the same, then swap in different shredded fruit, vegetables and nuts. You could also swap apple sauce for mashed banana if you like, but add a few extra dates to compensate for the sweetness. Although these muffins are gluten free, you could also make them gluten full by swapping whole wheat flour or spelt flour.


Gluten Free Carrot-Pecan Muffins

Makes 12

To make these vegan, use plant yogurt and swap 3 tablespoons ground chia seed mixed with 9 tablespoons water.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2/3 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 roughly chopped carrots, about 1 cup
  • 6 dates, pitted
  • 2 medium bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place oats in a food processor and blend until they form a flour. Pour out into a large bowl. Add almond meal, buckwheat flour, tapicoa starch, baking powder, baking soda, turmeric, cinnamon, salt and whisk to combine.
  3. Place carrots in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add to dry mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Add dates to the flood processor and blend until roughly chopped. Add bananas, eggs, yogurt, coconut oil, and ginger and blend until pureed. Stir wet ingredients into dry until fully combined. Stir in pecans.
  5. Divide batter evenly between the wells of a lined 12 cup muffin tin. Place in the oven and bake 30 minutes until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Store covered at room temperature and transfer to the refrigerator after a couple days.

Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins with Coconut Date Butter

Pumpkin cornbread muffins with coconut date butter make a delicious breakfast, snack or hostess gift for the holiday season!

Hey guys! It's another bonus recipe this week, since this month's Recipe Redux falls on a Sunday. Good thing, cause these pumpkin cornbread muffins and coconut date butter are exactly what I want to wake up to Sunday morning. If I can hold off and not eat the last two today, maybe I will!

This month's theme is quick bread, perfect timing for holiday baking season. These pumpkin cornbread muffins would be a lovely little gift. Simply wrap them up in a dish towel or napkin in a pretty basket along with a mason jar filled with date butter.

Coming from someone whose favorite cornbread used to be Jiffy, I've become quite the cornbread snob. All cornmeal. No flour. A teaspoon of honey or sugar is nice, but any more and it's cake.

These pumpkin cornbread muffins break those rules, but technically they're muffins so it's allowed. You like how with a simple change of shape I'm like, "Go ahead cornbread. Do what you want." What can I say, I'm fickle.

These cornbread muffins very lightly sweetened, so they can go sweet, with date butter or jam, or savory, paired with chili. Vegan pumpkin chipotle chili maybe?? Another fun idea - use these muffins as a base for a breakfast sandwich. You could try crisp bacon (or tempeh bacon!), a fried egg, tomato and arugula or nut butter and banana slices.

Now, can we talk about this date butter? Only two ingredients and no added sugar AND it tastes like yummy caramel! Holy smokes y'all, if you do nothing, make this date butter. I store it in the fridge, but because it's make with coconut oil, it hardens up quite a bit. Just let it sit at room temp for a bit or microwave it for 15 seconds and it'll be all creamy and delicious again.

These muffins are easily freezable. Just pop one in the microwave 30 seconds or so before eating.


Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

Makes: 9

Adapted from Top with Cinnamon. 

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons cashew butter
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with olive oil.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together egg, pumpkin, yogurt, honey, cashew butter, and almond milk, In a medium bowl, whisk together cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Whisk dry ingredients into wet. Divide batter evenly between 9 muffin tins. Place in the oven and bake 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Two Ingredient Coconut-Date Butter

Makes: 2/3 cup

Ingredients

  • 12 medjool dates, pitted
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Place dates and coconut oil in a food processor. Blend until pureed, scraping down sides as needed. Store in the fridge. Microwave 15 seconds before serving to soften.


Chocolate Hazelnut Chia Bars

These vegan, gluten free and naturally sweetened chocolate-hazelnut chia bars with sea salt are perfect for fueling a workout, or to enjoy as a sweet treat! 

Do me a favor. Next time you're at the grocery store, check out the ingredients list on your favorite energy bar. Soy protein isolate...sucralose...inulin (aka fart fuel)...is that really how you want to fuel your workout?

Although I do love a good Lara bar, for years, I've been making my own. Cheap, easy, and a whole lot tastier than anything you can find at the store! With this chocolate-hazelnut version, I think I outdid myself. Besides the whole nutella thing, these bars are packed with foods to make the most of your workout.

First, there's chocolate, which improves blood flow to muscles, which boosts endurance. Then there's omega 3 rich chia seeds, which may improve post-workout recovery with their anti-inflammatory effects. The sea salt helps replace minerals lost in sweat. And to round it all out, it's naturally sweetened with dates, one of my favorite ways to fuel a workout as it's a concentrated source of natural sugars.

Chocolate Hazelnut Chia Bars

Makes 12 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup packed, pitted dates

  • 1.5 cups toasted hazelnuts

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

  • 6 Tablespoons cocoa powder

  • 1 Tablespoon water, optional (if needed to help it stick)

  • pinch of flaky or crunchy sea salt

Directions

  1. Place dates, hazelnuts, chia and cocoa in the food processor and blend until chopped finely and well combined.

  2. Add a tablespoon water if needed to help it blend.

  3. Scoop mixture into an oiled rectangle baking dish. Using a spatula, flatten the top and press down. It should be about 1/2-inch thick.

  4. Sprinkle sea salt lightly over the top and press down so it sticks.

  5. Cut into 12 bars and carefully remove with a spatula.

  6. Store in the refrigerator in a covered container where iit should be fine for a few weeks (as if they'll last that long!).  


Chocolate Chia Avocado Mousse

Chocolate chia avocado mousse is a decadent, vegan treat, made without dairy or refined sugar. 

So, I've got good news and I've got bad news.

The bad news is that Recipe Redux falls on a Sunday this month, so I don't have your regularly scheduled Sunday Paper.

The good news is that this month's Recipe Redux theme is chocolate pairings, so I'm pretty sure all is forgiven :)

Personally, I think chocolate pairs well with everything. Almonds, figs, quinoa, cayenne, and even kale have all cozied up with chocolate on my blog, so I knew I had to think outside of the box with this Redux.

If there's one food I love more than chocolate, it's avocado, so why not mix the two together! It sounds unlikely, but avocado has a creamy texture and mild flavor that can easily go sweet rather than savory.

A few years ago, I learned how to make chocolate mousse with avocado and cocoa powder. I've made a few variations, but for the most part, every recipe calls for a couple avocados blended with cocoa powder and some type of sweetener, usually honey or dates. It's incredibly tasty, but I wanted a more mousse-like texture.

Enter chia seeds. Chia seeds swell up in liquid to create a tapioca-like pudding (great for breakfast, btw!). Blending chia pudding in the food processor creates a fluffy, whipped mousse. So, I soaked a few tablespoons of chia seeds in almond milk, then it blended it with the rest of the mousse ingredients - the result was delicious!

If you're like me, eating chocolate makes you happy. Sure, it tastes great, but on a biological level, chocolate actually promotes happiness! Eating chocolate causes the body to release endorphins, a neurotransmitter that creates feelings of pleasure and happiness, while decreasing levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Flavanols, a compound in chocolate, improves blood flow to the brain, which may improve cognition. Chocolate is also a natural source of caffeine, which can improve mental alertness.

So what are you waiting for? Whip up a creamy bowl of happiness!

Chocolate Chia Avocado Mousse

Serves:6-8

I served this with a quick coconut whipped cream. To make it, refrigerate a can of coconut cream. Open the can and scoop out the cream, which will have separated from the water. Using a hand blender, whip the cream on high speed for a few minutes with a tablespoon or two of honey or coconut sugar to sweeten.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates
  • 2 large avocados
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Shredded, unsweetened coconut, for serving
  • Coconut whipped cream, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the almond milk and chia seeds. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to gel.
  2. Place dates in a food processor and process until chopped small.
  3. Add avocado flesh, cocoa powder, honey, vanilla and chia gel to the food processor. Blend 3-4 minutes, scraping down sides as needed, until creamy and pureed.
  4. Serve garnished with shredded coconut and whipped cream.