Salty Sunflower Seed Pretzel Bites (nut free!)

A filling salty nut free snack packed with protein, fiber, that are simple and quick to make! 

I can't believe it has taken me this long to make a nut free energy bite! I have so many of these ball recipes on my blog and throughout my feed that are of course dairy free and very low in sugar, but none that are nut free! You can search the others under snacks! I normally stick to almond butter and cashew butter, but I recently have been using sunflower seed butter because I love anything salty and have instantly been hooked! 

They are so simple to make and super filling because I decided to use oats for the base along with hemp seeds, ground flaxseeds, and chia seeds! So each bite is packed with fiber and protein! I didn't add in any sweeteners to the mix because I wanted to keep them on the salty side, but feel free to adjust to your preference but adding in a few dates or maple syrup! After mixing all the ingredients in my food processor, I rolled them in crushed pretzels to give them a little extra crunch.  

These bites are salty, crunchy, and a little chocolatey too! Enjoy!

Ingredients: 

1 cup gluten free oats
1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
pinch of sea salt
1 heaping tbsp. ceylon cinnamon
3 tbsp. hemp seeds
2 tbsp. ground flaxseeds
2 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. cacao nibs or dairy free chocolate chips
1/2 cup shredded coconut flakes
1/4 cup crushed pretzels

Optional sweeteners to add in:
4-5 dates
1-2 tbsp to start off w/ of liquid sweetener (honey or maple syrup work best) 

What you need to do:

1. In your food processor, grind the oats until flour consistency.

2. Add the hemp seeds, chia seeds, ground flaxseeds, cinnamon, sea salt, and the coconut flakes. Pulse until combined.

3. Next, add the sunflower seed butter, vanilla, cacao nibs and sweetener of choice or dates if using. Mix until dough forms. 

4. If the mixture isn't forming together, add either more sunflower seed butter or liquid: slowly. Taste test and adjust to preference. 

5. Roll in crushed pretzels. 

Will last up to 1 week or so in fridge or longer in freezer! I love them in the freezer so they are extra crunchy! 

Chocolate Cherry Oat Smoothie

a simple mood boosting and digestion friendly thick chocolatey smoothie!

You may or may not know that I am not a huge breakfast person and it isn't because I am lazy or don't have time in the mornings. I work from home so typically I have all the time in the world, but normally I am not hungry first thing in the morning and more often than not my body doesn't ever crave the typical breakfast foods: chia puddings, toast, eggs, or a big bowl of oatmeal etc! I would honestly rather eat a salad with a big piece of chicken on it! Sounds so out there, but that's what I do most mid mornings. 

OR, I love a big thick simple smoothie!! Ones that are filled with veggies, fibers, healthy fats, and that are filling and hydrating enough after my morning yoga classes. I also like to add ingredients to my smoothies to serve a purpose for my body or mood, in particular my digestion; since most can leave me feeling pretty terrible, which is we are here with this chocolate cherry oat smoothie! Filled with cacao powder, chia seeds, cinnamon, cherries, and chocolate cherry oats from Modern Oats

You already know that chia seeds can help with digestion and keep these moving, but so can cherries! The fiber in the cherries can help too and the acid in them helps aid in your digestion! The antioxidants and the vitamins in cherries are beneficial in keeping your digestive system in order! With cacao; it always seems to boost my mood and give me a little energy kick! Just a few tbsp. to my smoothies or a hot drink usually does the trick. It is super high in antioxidants, and once again, the fiber in cacao helps aid in digestion, plus it's full of iron and magnesium. 

Lastly the oats! Chocolate cherry oats! Before this, I haven't ever added oats to my smoothies and wasn't sure how it would go. After adding in the amount and blending it on high for a few minutes, it blended completely smooth! You couldn't even tell they were there and it actually thickened the smoothie even more! These chocolate cherry oats from Modern Oats have 9 grams of protein, are gluten free and are filled with chia seeds, almonds, chocolate, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds etc! They have a so many options to choose from. High in fiber and protein it was the perfect add in for this smoothie! Plus after making this smoothie, there was still a good amount left in the to go cup, which was ideal to make for another smoothie or make overnight oats for your breakfast the next morning! 

The smoothie is simple to make and tastes super chocolatey and not overly sweet or tart from the cherries! 

What you need:
Yields: 1 thick smoothie

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 cups frozen cherries
1/2 cup frozen cauliflower
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp. cashew butter
1/3 Modern Oats Chocolate Cherry
2 tbsp. cacao powder
few dashes of cinnamon 

What you need to do:

1. Add the almond milk, cauliflower, chia seeds, cashew butter, oats, cacao powder, and cinnamon to your blender. Blend until everything is combined and completely smooth. 

2. Add the frozen cherries along with a few ice cubes. Blend.

3. Top with your favorite toppings! 

NOTES:

The first time I made this, I used chocolate almond milk and didn't use cacao powder. If you aren't using chocolate almond milk, use as much cacao powder to your preference.

I personally do not think you need to add any sweetness to the smoothie, but you can always add in half a banana, 1 date or a 1 tbsp. of a liquid sweetener of choice. 

For the cauliflower, I steam then freeze the cauliflower. You can not taste it at all! If you want to sub that out, you could use zucchini or spinach! 

Almond Pulp Repurpose: 3 ways to use leftover almond pulp

For the last few years I've been making my own almond milk or cashew milk, but have recently the last few months have taken it up a notch and have been making it consistently every single week, sometimes twice a week. Before, I would go through phases of making it and then and buy it from the store out of convenience. (side note; you aren't lazy if you buy it from the store, simply encouraging you to make it on your own AND it bothers my stomach ALOT) 

Over time I realized that the gums and the added necessary ingredients in the nut milks were contributing to many of the stomach problems that I have. I soon realized that everything just tasted WAY better using homemade nut milks; the milk was thicker, creamier, smoother and didn't taste watered down. Also, the idea of making it might seem daunting or intimidating but it's quite simple considering all you need to do is soak the nuts over night, rinse them, add them to your blender with fresh clean water & anything else you want to flavor it, then blend away. The nice thing about cashew milk, is you do not have to strain it, but with almond milk you need to. 

Making almond milk a few times a week left me with bags of almond pulp left over and I didn't want to throw any of it away. I decided to test out a few recipes using the leftover pulp and I have been making them each time; you can almost get two recipes out of the almond pulp each time! Almond pulp should last about 5 days in the fridge, so you should make your recipes sooner rather than later so you can enjoy them for the full 5 days! Or freeze! 

Ps. I have a recipe for cashew milk, along with different flavors, here!

So, here are three recipes you can make using leftover almond pulp:
1. Almond Pulp Lemon Hummus (made with no chickpeas!)
2. Almond pulp almond joy bites
3. Almond flour "cheesy crackers" aka "cheez its"

Note: I didn't dry the almond pulp before using it. I stored it in the fridge overnight in a container before using it for these recipes. You can dry it in the oven on a low temperature & turn it into flour, but I haven't tested it that way for these recipes. 

First up: Lemon Hummus! 

After browsing the internet for ways to use the leftover pulp I saw a few things in which others had used the almond pulp to make a raw hummus, a few had added chickpeas and other ingredients that tend to bother my stomach (garlic, onions etc) so I decided to do a rendition of a light lemony raw hummus! It has the texture and the look of hummus, and I think tastes just like it since I decided to add tahini into the mix. It takes about 10 minutes to make and makes the perfect spread for crackers, veggies, sandwiches, or on top of a salad. It will last up to 5 days in the fridge. 

Ingredients: 
1 cup leftover almond pulp
1/3 cup tahini
juice of 1 lemon
few dashes of sea salt
few dashes of pepper
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
4 tbsp. olive oil + 1 tbsp olive oil for the top drizzle
1/3 cup water

Add all of the ingredients to your food processor and blend. Taste test and add in extras or more of any above ingredient. The consistency should be similar to hummus, if its too wet, add more almond pulp and if it is too dry, either add more liquid (tahini, water, olive oil). Store in fridge in an air tight container for up to 5 days. 

Almond pulp; almond joy energy bites! 

Each week I make of energy bites and pray that they last me the entire week, but honestly I go through them in a few days. I used the leftover almond pulp as the base with shredded coconut, making these bites taste like almond joys! Filled with protein and fiber, these bites are perfect for on the go, before/after workouts, or even after dinner because they were straight up fudge when I took a bite of them. 

Ingredients:

1 cup leftover almond pulp
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
3 tbsp coconut oil
1/3 almond butter or coconut butter* coconut butter will give it more the coconut taste you need
3 tbsp. hemp seeds
2 tbsp. ground flaxseed
3 heaping tbsp. cacao powder
dash cinnamon
1 tbsp. vanilla
3 tbsp. chocolate chips or cacao nibs
Sweetener if needed (4-5 dates, 2 tbsp. maple syrup)

Roll in: shredded coconut, cacao powder, or drizzle melted chocolate on top. 

Add all the ingredients to your food processor and blend. The consistency of these bites were more fudge like than the other bites that are on my blog. I think this is because of the almond pulp vs using crushed almonds. I didn't add sweetener to mine, but I would suggest adding if you like things on the sweeter side. I would probably use dates or maple syrup. The dates will change the texture to more chewy and if you are using a liquid sweetener you may need more dry ingredients. Mix all the ingredients together, and taste test as you go along according to your preference. 

Lastly! "Cheesy" almond flour crackers "Cheez-its"

These crackers are so simple to make and seriously addicting. I make them each week and finish them that same day. They are just the right amount of cheese flavor, hint of sea salt, and super crunchy. The inspiration came from when Katie over at @twist_of_lemons when she made turmeric ones and Brittany from @eatingbirdfood had made plain ones as well! 

Ingredients:
Makes about 15-20 crackers depending on how thin/thick your dough is
Prep time: 5 minutes
cook time: less than 30 minutes


1 cup leftover almond pulp
few dashes of sea salt
1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
3 tbsp. water 

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Mix together the above ingredients to form the dough into a ball. 

3. Flatten on parchment paper with hands. If the dough is sticky, lightly spread coconut oil on the parchment paper and a little on your hands to make it easier. 

4. Spread the almond flour cracker dough out evenly, the thinner you spread the crispier the cracker. 

5. Cut evenly length and width wise and sprinkle with more sea salt and nutritional yeast.

6. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Flip bake for another 5-8 minutes. 

Notes: 

If you have a thin dough on the parchment paper, you might not have to bake them as long. 

I store mine in the fridge for up to a week, but can be left on counter. 

Hope you enjoy! 

Easy Breakfast Egg Muffin Cups

A simple protein & veggie packed make ahead breakfast for the week in under 20 minutes. 

Each week I get hooked on a new breakfast and then overeat it until I get sick of it and move on to the next thing. Anyone else guilty of doing that? I get so addicted to one thing and can't stop! I always need something quick, pretty simple to make, healthy and filling. In order to save a little bit of time in the morning I like to plan a few meals ahead of time, especially breakfast and make a few bit batches on Sunday, whether it be chia puddings, oats, yogurt bowls, smoothies etc. This week was these simple egg muffin cups. They aren't anything new and you've all seen them floating around, but they are so addicting and kind of fun to make! Also, prep time is so minimal and you are set for the week with breakfast or a healthy protein filled snack. Each muffin cup can be filled with different ingredients and spices too so you won't be bored each morning when you grab one on your way out the door.

All you have to do is crack how many ever eggs in a bowl (egg whites work too) fill the bowl with your favorite veggies (meat if you're feeling that), any spices you want, grease a muffin tin with coconut oil and pop them in the oven for about 20 minutes. Done. How easy is that? 

Here is the basic recipe: 

Ingredients: 
(8 eggs filling 1/2 cup gave me 7 muffins)* it will depend on how you fill the muffins and how much filling you have (ie. veggies/meats etc)

8 organic eggs
2 handfuls chopped spinach
1 cup chopped zucchini
2 tbsp. diced onion
1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
few dashes of sea salt
few dashes of black pepper
dash of turmeric
2. tbsp. nutritional yeast
Coconut oil or spray for the muffin tins
 

Directions:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and generously spray your muffin tin with desired cooking spray. Set aside

2. Crack the eggs into a large mix bowl and mix. 

Side note here: You can either, quickly cook the zucchini and the onions over the stove top on medium heat in a sauce pan before placing them in the egg mixture or add them raw. They will cook a bit in the oven, personal preference. I didn't the first time and they were tender. IF you are adding meat (sausage, bacon etc) to the egg muffins, you will need to cook before!! 

3. Add the veggies and the spices to the egg mixture and mix until well incorporated. 

4. Distribute evenly into the muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Let them cool before removing. Store them in the fridge and to re-heat place under the broiler for a few minutes or heat the oven to 400 degrees and place them in the oven for a few minutes until warm. 

I like to serve them with avocado, salsa or on top of toast.

Ideas!!!

Sweet potato apple chicken sausage egg muffins (sweet potatoes, apple chicken sausage, onions, eggs, peppers, spices)

Pizza egg muffins: cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, cheese of choice, spinach, sea salt, pepper, eggs.

Kale & Chive: kale leaves, ham, chives, cheese of choice, onions, red peppers, pepper, sea salt, eggs.

Traditional: bacon, cheese of choice, sea salt, pepper, eggs, onions, spinach.  

Enjoy xx