Category Archives: Gluten-Free

My Favorite Indulgence

Granola is one of those things I never buy.  I don’t buy it normally because the granola sold at most supermarkets is a calorie-laden sugar bomb, so I avoid it at all costs.  I recently had the opportunity to try the granola from My Favorite Indulgence, and I was more than pleasantly surprised at not only how tasty it was, but the quality of the ingredients as well.  Plus, how cute is this packaging?

my favorite indulgence granolaVicki Schrimmer is the mastermind behind My Favorite Indulgence, a granola company that prides itself on using not only all-natural ingredients, but GMO-free ingredients which is a huge win in my book.  The other thing that’s great about the granola is the simplicity of the ingredients, which also makes it significantly less caloric than the mass-produced granola you see in the stores.

I got to try four of Vicki’s signature flavors: Pumpkin-Spiced, Classic Almond, Chocolate Mocha, and Maple-Cinnamon (which also happens to be nut free).  I really enjoyed all of the flavors, but the standouts for me were the Chocolate Mocha and the Maple Cinnamon.

my favorite indulgence granola bowlEach serving of granola is about 1/4 cup (and 140 calories), and I found it to be a nice light breakfast when served with some almond milk and fresh berries.

I also loved adding the granola to my Greek yogurt for an afternoon snack, and even found myself grabbing a little handful when I wanted a sweet treat.  Since the granola is sweetened with brown sugar and canola oil, it had the perfect amount of sweetness without being too overpowering.

my favorite indulgence bowlAnother bonus to My Favorite Indulgence is the nut-free granola option.  As someone with food allergies, I appreciate when brands offer alternatives for someone who may not be able to have nuts but still want to enjoy some tasty granola.  And the maple cinnamon flavor is so good, you won’t even notice the nuts aren’t there!

So how can you get your hands on some granola from My Favorite Indulgence?  You can order directly from the website, or Orange County locals can pick up a bag at The Hood Kitchen and Market or at the Great Park Farmer’s Market on Sundays.

Thank you Vicki for sharing your granola with me and making me a believer!  I think it’s safe to say I’m definitely now a granola fan.

Blueberry Avocado Smoothie

Blueberry Avocado Smoothie.  Yes, the name sounds weird but when combined with a few other ingredients this smoothie is delicious and packed with omega 3’s and antioxidants.  I make this blueberry avocado smoothie pretty much every weekend, and still can’t get enough.  I promise it’s that good!

Blueberry Avocado Smoothie GlassLet’s take a look at the ingredients that make this smoothie a nutritional powerhouse; even if they do sound a bit “hippy dippy”:

Blueberry Avocado Smoothie IngredientsBlueberries – very high in antioxidants and great for digestion

Avocado – a healthy source of fat and adds a nice creamy texture to the smoothie

Hemp Seeds – loaded with omega 3’s which promote heart and brain health

Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk – a nice dairy-free alternative loaded with vitamins and minerals

Powdered Peanut Butter – a low-fat way to sneak in some extra protein (although regular PB works well in this smoothie too)

Cacao Powder – high in magnesium and iron.  Plus this skit from Portlandia.

The ingredients listed above are just the base for the blueberry avocado smoothie.  Other things such as frozen banana, honey and almond butter also make this smoothie quite delicious and add a nice natural sweetness.

Blueberry Avocado Smoothie:

Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 tbsp PB2 or powdered peanut butter

1/4 avocado

1 tbsp raw cacao powder

1 tbsp hemp seeds

1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Add ins of your choice (frozen bananas go GREAT in this)

Directions:

Place all ingredients into the blender.  Add ice.  Blend until nice and smooth.

Blueberry Avocado SmoothiePour your smoothie into a glass and enjoy.  Preferably with a fun straw.

What’s your current favorite smoothie recipe?

Frozen Honey Peanut Butter Bites (Giveaway)

***This Giveaway has ended and the winner has been notified.  Thanks to all for entering!***

A few weeks ago my wonderful friends at Peanut Butter and Co. sent me two jars of The Bee’s Knees Peanut Butter along with the cutest tote ever.  Of course this meant I had to dig into the jar right away, and after a few spoonfuls of delicious peanut butter, I decided to make some Frozen Honey Peanut Butter Bites (pssst – there’s a giveaway at the bottom of this post!).

Frozen Honey Peanut Butter Bars PB COIt’s been unseasonably warm in Southern California lately, so instead of just making traditional peanut butter bites, I took it one step further and made frozen ones, because nothing is better during a heat wave than a delicious frozen peanut butter snack.

Frozen Honey Peanut Butter Bites PieceThese bites are packed with good-for-you ingredients like chia seeds, unsweetened coconut and almonds.  And since the Bee’s Knees peanut butter already has a natural sweetness to it from the honey, there’s no added sugar! These bars are also gluten-free, and can be grain-free if you omit the puffed rice cereal.  Basically, the sky’s the limit when it comes to them.

Frozen Honey Peanut Butter Bites PinI’ve been finding these bites to be the perfect after dinner dessert or mid-afternoon snack.  I might even have had one (or ten) for breakfast one morning.  Delicious!

Of course you could make these chocolate with some Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter, but I think the honey version is top notch.

Frozen Honey Peanut Butter Bites

Frozen Honey Peanut Butter Bites Pin 2Ingredients:

2/3 cup The Bee’s Knees Honey Peanut Butter

1/4 cup slivered almonds

1/4 cup chopped cashews

1/3 cup puffed rice cereal

2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut

2 tbsp chia seeds

2 tbsp melted coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

In a small sauce pan or microwave, melt your coconut oil.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl add your peanut butter, vanilla, and coconut oil.  Mix until well blended (the mixture will be sticky!).

Fold in your almonds, chia seeds, unsweetened coconut, cashews and puffed rice and continue to mix well.

Frozen Honey Peanut Butter Bites ParchmentLine a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spread your mixture onto the parchment paper and place in the freezer for a couple of hours.

Frozen Honey Peanut butter BitesCut your bars into small squares and enjoy!

But now here’s the fun part.  The team at Peanut Butter and Co. is offering one lucky reader a chance to win 2 Jars of The Bees Knees Peanut Butter!  Since Honey and Peanut Butter are such a delicious combo, this is one giveaway you’ll definitely want to enter.

The giveaway runs from Thursday 5/15 through Thursday 5/22.  Open to US Residents Only.

Enter Here! OR leave a comment below sharing what you would make with the Bee’s Knees Peanut Butter!

As a member of Peanut Butter & Co.’s Yum Squad food blogger club, I received product in exchange for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Baked Plantain Chips

When I lived in LA, I used to get Cuban food from Versailles.  I’d always get the Famoso Pollo Versailles, which was their garlic chicken with black beans, rice and fried plantains.  Lately, I’ve been having a craving for not only that dish but plantains in general, so I decided to attempt making plantains at home.  Since this was my first foray into the world of plantains, I decided to keep it simple and made baked plantain chips.

Baked Plantain Chips Close UpIf you have ever been to a Trader Joe’s chances are you have seen their baked plantain chips.  Most addicting chips ever.  While I love the saltiness of the Trader Joe’s ones, I wanted to make sweetener plantain chips, so I decided to do roast mine with a little bit of salt and cinnamon.

One thing I learned while making these chips is that it is probably better to go with a greener, unripe plantain if you really want your chips to crisp up.  My plantains were on the riper side, so while the chips still came out good, they weren’t quite as crispy.

Baked Plantain Chips FruitThis is probably one of the easiest recipes I’ve posted, and chances are you already have all of the ingredients in your pantry.

Baked Plantain Chips

Baked Plantain Chips pinIngredients:

1 large plantain banana, green if possible

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tbsp cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Peel your plantain and gently cut it into small slices.

Baked Plantain Chip SlicesPlace your plantains in a mixing bowl and add your olive oil, salt, vanilla and cinnamon.  Mix your plantains until each slice is coated in the mixture.

Baked Plantain Chip CoatingLay your plantains on your baking sheet and place in the oven for 25 minutes or until the plantains become crispy.

Baked Plantain Chips SheetRemove from the baking sheet and enjoy as a snack!

Baked Plantain Chips SnackAny other plantain recipes out there?  I want to try fried plantains next!