Avenita ~ (Oatmeal)… like mom used to make

Avenita ~ Oatmeal like mom used to make, almost…
(Serves 4) ~ Vegan, GF Option, Soy-Free, Dairy-Free

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Oatmeal has always been very nostalgic for me. It takes me back to my childhood and I think of mom, my dad, my aunts and grandma even, when I make avenita (oatmeal). Porridge in its truest form in my opinion. Ground up oats with milk, cinnamon, sugar and a splash of vanilla is what I grew up on. They all knew I loved it too! This recipe should serve (4) unless you are two hungry little Minions and one hungry Momma Bear alone in the house while Papa Bear is off at work, of course the (3) of us ate it all… 🙂
A couple differences than how mom used to make – I grind up my old-fashioned rolled oats in my nutribullet using the milling blade or sometimes using my coffee grinder. The kids use the coffee grinder when they make it themselves. Also, after grinding up the oats when you incorporate them into the milk mixture you’ll want to whisk and whisk often while the oats are cooking to achieve the silky smooth texture.
Nowadays, my cheat… [don’t tell mom] I’ll whisk for a couple minutes then let the oats cook out then transfer the oatmeal back to the nutribullet now using the extractor blade and I’ll blend up for about 30 seconds to a minute until smooth and creamy…. You know just like mom used to make 😉 Enjoy!
Ingredients:
2 Cups Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
2 Cups Non-Dairy Milk (I used Almond/Coconut blend – Silk)
2 Cups Water
1 Tsp ground Cinnamon
3 Tbsp Sugar
¼ Tsp Salt Splash of pure Vanilla Extract
and a dash of love!

Directions:
-Grind up rolled oats using a milling blade, growing up we used a blender, you can also use a coffee grinder or milling blade on your nutribullet.
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-Heat milk, water, cinnamon, sugar, salt and vanilla to a simmer over medium heat.
-Slowly whisk in ground up oats and continue whisking and cooking oats for 5-7 minutes. Whisking regularly until smooth.
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Optional [but for added creamy smoothness]: – in addition to the above steps, let the oatmeal mixture stand for 3 minutes, transfer into nutribullet or blender and blend until smooth before serving.
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You can sprinkle a little extra cinnamon for serving. When my brother and I were kids we would sometimes add a drizzle of syrup. Also, as kids, we were taught the center is hot so when you dive in, start around the edge of the bowl not the center… of course this straight from the pot without my optional ‘let stand’ steps above when the oatmeal was still scorching. Hope you enjoy this one and think of “Vegan Rescue” when you grind up your oats!
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Enjoy!

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Oats (Avena sativa) “Oats are generally considered “healthy”, or a health food, being touted as nutritious. The established property of their cholesterol-lowering effect has led to acceptance of oats as a health food. Oats contain more soluble fiber than any other grain, resulting in slower digestion, a feeling of satiety and suppression of appetite. One type of soluble fiber, beta-glucans, has been proven to lower cholesterol. Oat protein is nearly equivalent in quality to soy protein, which World Health Organization research has shown to be equal to meat, milk and egg protein.” [wikipedia] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oat

Avenita ~ Oatmeal

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
2 Cups Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
2 Cups Non-Dairy Milk (I used Almond/Coconut blend – Silk)
2 Cups Water
1 Tsp ground Cinnamon
3 Tbsp Sugar
¼ Tsp Salt Splash of pure Vanilla Extract
and a dash of love!

Directions:
-Grind up rolled oats using a milling blade, growing up we used a blender, you can also use a coffee grinder or milling blade on your nutribullet.
-Heat milk, water, cinnamon, sugar, salt and vanilla to a simmer over medium heat.
-Slowly whisk in ground up oats and continue whisking and cooking oats for 5-7 minutes. Whisking regularly until smooth.

Optional [but for added creamy smoothness]: – in addition to the above steps, let the oatmeal mixture stand for 3 minutes, transfer into nutribullet or blender and blend until smooth before serving.

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Best Ever Vegan Pancakes!

Best Ever Fluffy Vegan Pancakes!
(Serves 4 – Makes 12 Pancakes)

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These pancakes are really the best ever, I make these often! I typically make a large breakfast on the weekend which will include a variation of: tofu scramble, toast, pancakes, grits, fruit, home-fries/hash etc. I’ve been off the last couple days since it’s my birthday and all, although I still had class the last couple nights it is definitely refreshing to relax and take a couple days off. Enjoy your day and make these pancakes!

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Ingredients:
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
3 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Ground Flax Seeds
1 ½ Tsp Baking Powder
½ Tsp Salt
3 Tbsp Earth Balance Butter (vegan butter)
2 ½ Cup Non-Dairy Milk
½ Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
½ Tbsp Vanilla Extract
¼ Cup Water

Directions:
-Combine all dry ingredients and whisk together to combine.
-Cut earth balance into dry mixture until incorporated. I just use my whisk to mash it down.
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-Add wet ingredients and whisk together to combine.
-Keeping the ¼ cup out used for the water, scoop out the batter and place into lightly greased frying pan over medium heat.
(Depending on pan size I’ll make two or three at a time.)
-Like any other pancake once the top of the batter starts to bubble in the pan you should be ready to flip. Cook until lightly golden brown.
-Serve with your favorite topping – fresh fruit, maple syrup or plain. Enjoy!

Note:
Flax Seeds: I just use my coffee grinder to grind up the flax seeds instead. Non-Dairy: I’ve made this recipe using Almond, Soy and Almond/Coconut blend milks in the past, they’ve all worked pretty well.
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You may have read this pancake tip below from my buckwheat pancake post… Pancake tip: Between each batch, for instance, if I make two or three pancakes before going right in to the next set of pancakes: I take frying pan and run it under cool water, then return it to the stove before adding the additional coconut oil or Earth balance (vegan butter) and putting in my next batch/batter. I’d say for the past 10 years or so I’ve always done this while making pancakes. I do this to keep the heat of the pan consistent. It always bothered my how the first two or three would look great vs. the last two or three that would be burnt looking or darker.

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Fluffy Vegan Pancakes

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
3 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Ground Flax Seeds
1 ½ Tsp Baking Powder
½ Tsp Salt
3 Tbsp Earth Balance Butter (vegan butter)
2 ½ Cup Non-Dairy Milk
½ Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
½ Tbsp Vanilla Extract
¼ Cup Water

Directions:
-Combine all dry ingredients and whisk together to combine.
-Cut earth balance into dry mixture until incorporated. I just use my whisk to mash it down.
-Add wet ingredients and whisk together to combine.
-Keeping the ¼ cup out used for the water, scoop out the batter and place into lightly greased frying pan over medium heat.
(Depending on pan size I’ll make two or three at a time.)
-Like any other pancake once the top of the batter starts to bubble in the pan you should be ready to flip. Cook until lightly golden brown.
-Serve with your favorite topping – fresh fruit, maple syrup or plain. Enjoy!

Raw Energy Bites!

Raw Energy Bites
(Makes 60+ Bites) ~ Vegan, Raw, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Dairy-Free

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These creamy and decadent bites are a Superfood must try! The ideal fuel for pre/post workout and an excellent snack on the go. This is a kid-friendly super treat; it was hard to eat just one. 🙂 They can be chopped into bite-size pieces or cut into larger pieces for a great breakfast bar. These Energy bites will hopefully satiate your hunger; personally they were very satisfying and filling. Let me know what you think. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 Cup Whole Raw Cashews, soaked
1 Cup Whole Walnuts, soaked
½ Cup Pumpkin Seeds, soaked
¼ Cup Sunflower Seeds, soaked
¼ Cup Raw Coconut Butter
¼ Cup Raisins (1 oz)
12-15 Pitted Dates, chopped
2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
1 Tbsp Goji Berries
1/3 Cup finely Shredded Coconut
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
½ Tsp Himalayan Pink Salt, fine
1/3 Cup Coconut Oil

Directions:
-Soak Nuts/Seeds listed above (soaked) overnight – drain/rinse.
-Pulse together to combine the first five ingredients – nuts/seeds and coconut butter in a food processor.
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-Add remaining ingredients and pulse to combine.

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(I chop the Dates before tossing in the food processor (a) to be sure they are pitted (b) so they get better incorporated)
Exhibit A below – I found a pit!
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-Add parchment/wax paper to an 11×7 brownie pan. Turn out mixture and press evenly.
-Refrigerate for a few hours to overnight.
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-Remove from brownie pan and cut into bite-size pieces. Today I made 66 pieces.
Enjoy!
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For the Raw Coconut Butter in this recipe – I used two of these little packs that equal 1/4 Cup if you’ve seen these in stores.
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Raw Energy Bites

  • Servings: 66 Bites ~ Vegan, Raw, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Dairy-Free
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: https://veganrescue.com/
Ingredients:
1 Cup Whole Raw Cashews, soaked
1 Cup Whole Walnuts, soaked
½ Cup Pumpkin Seeds, soaked
¼ Cup Sunflower Seeds, soaked
¼ Cup Raw Coconut Butter
¼ Cup Raisins (1 oz)
12-15 Pitted Dates, chopped
2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
1 Tbsp Goji Berries
1/3 Cup finely Shredded Coconut
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
½ Tsp Himalayan Pink Salt, fine
1/3 Cup Coconut Oil

Directions:
-Soak Nuts/Seeds listed above (soaked) overnight – drain/rinse.
-Pulse together to combine the first five ingredients – nuts/seeds and coconut butter in a food processor. -Add remaining ingredients and pulse to combine.
(I chop the Dates before tossing in the food processor (a) to be sure they are pitted (b) so they get better incorporated)
-Add parchment/wax paper to an 11×7 brownie pan. Turn out mixture and press evenly.
-Refrigerate for a few hours to overnight.
-Remove from brownie pan and cut into bite-size pieces. Today I made 66 pieces.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins

Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins
(Makes 12 Muffins)

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Happy Monday! Oh…and what a tired Monday it is. I went to sleep too late and woke up too early 😦 . Okay now that I got that off my chest, Muffins!! I made these on Saturday, they’re gone now… I know its only been three days, muffins don’t last long around our house, lol. These are perfectly fluffy and moist, the addition of the earth balance permeates throughout the muffin and the applesauce keeps them moist. We had an 80’s themed birthday party (so fun! Seth did awesome in the 80’s trivia) to go to Saturday afternoon so I whipped these up super quick. They are as easy as baking gets. Note: I’ve made these before without realizing I ran out of vanilla and they were still delish, don’t fret. 🙂

Ingredients:
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
¾ Cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
½ Tsp Salt
1/3 Cup Earth Balance Butter (Vegan Butter)
½ Cup Applesauce
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
¾ Cup Non-Dairy Milk (I used Almond/Coconut blend)
½ Cup Chocolate Chips (non-dairy)

Directions:
-Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
-Combine all dry ingredients – whisk together to combine. -Add in Earth Balance and cut into dry mixture. I just mash it through with the whisk.
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-Add remaining wet ingredients stir to combine with a spoon.
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-Add in chocolate chips then stir to combine.
-Spoon evenly into 12 liners and bake for 25 minutes until slightly golden brown.
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Enjoy!
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Vegan Chocolate chip Muffins

  • Servings: Makes 12 Muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
¾ Cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
½ Tsp Salt
1/3 Cup Earth Balance Butter (Vegan Butter)
½ Cup Applesauce
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
¾ Cup Non-Dairy Milk (I used Almond/Coconut blend)
½ Cup Chocolate Chips (non-dairy)

Directions:
-Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
-Combine all dry ingredients – whisk together to combine.
-Add in Earth Balance and cut into dry mixture. I just mash it through with the whisk.
-Add remaining wet ingredients stir to combine with a spoon.
-Add in chocolate chips then stir to combine.
-Spoon evenly into 12 liners and bake for 25 minutes until slightly golden brown.

Quinoa Kiwi Breakfast Bowl!

Quinoa Kiwi Breakfast Bowl
(Serves 2-4) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Dairy-Free
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When I created this recipe I had my Raw Energy Balls in mind. Sometimes you need a boost and a boost for breakfast would be even better I thought. As I’ve mentioned in a prior blog post about Quinoa it is indeed a Super Food. It contains all 9 essential amino acids and has been deemed a complete protein. It’s iron rich and is packed with Fiber, Zinc, Magnesium, Manganese and Vitamins B2 (Riboflavin), E and B6. I like to think of it as oatmeal/porridge when eating Quinoa for breakfast. The best thing about this recipe is with having the simple quinoa base, you can add-in countless other ingredients to the mix. This day I added Chia Seeds, Dates, Almonds, Kiwi, Maca Powder and applesauce. The kids enjoyed theirs with Chia seeds, dates, almonds, kiwi and a drizzle of Raw Agave Nectar. You can add pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, bananas, etc. Get creative and enjoy!

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Ingredients:
1 Cup Red Quinoa (rinsed)
1 ½ Cup Almond/Coconut Milk (or water)
½ Tsp ground Cinnamon

Directions:
Place rinsed quinoa, cinnamon and almond milk (or water) in pot and bring to boil. Stir, cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat – keeping lid on. Let stand for 5 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with fork.
Note: When using the almond/coconut milk I had to keep stirring occasionally to prevent milk from bubbling over.

Add-Ins:
My bowl included:
2 Dates, Chopped
¼ Cup Raw Almonds, soaked overnight
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Tsp Maca Powder
¼ Cup Applesauce
1 Kiwi, sliced Raw Agave Nectar, optional
Here’s a pic of my raw energy balls – click the pic for the recipe!
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Cinnamon Toast!! ~ Breakfast

Cinnamon Toast!
(Serves 2-4) ~ Vegan, Dairy-Free, (Can be Soy-Free/Gluten-Free)

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Toasting to Tuesday! I’ve always struggled with the perfect ‘French Toast’ – every version I’ve had has always been, meh… from restaurants to even versions I’ve made. I’ve just never been a fan of that soggy center that seems to be a recurring theme with every version. I’ve even tried making versions previously where I only ‘dip’ one side and nothing. Enter Cinnamon Toast! Back in the day I’ve made the quick pan kind with a slather of butter and a quick sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar, I think my dad still makes it this way, lol. This recipe is a little more thought out. Man, I just remembered…there was this restaurant in Philly – called Vegan Commissary that had some amazing vegan breakfast options – they have since closed sadly 😦 but they had some delicious Cinnamon toast too. I’ve attempt different versions of cinnamon toast including some catastrophes of burnt bread, like the pan version previously mentioned. This recipe is one my favorite attempts. I actually leave the topping sit on top of the bread a few minutes before placing them in the oven to let the mixture seep in a bit – (see the piece above next to the syrup in the pic). I love how the bottom of the bread gets perfectly toasted while the top is crusted with cinnamony caramelized ‘buttery’ goodness. Use thicker slices or gluten-free bread for different variations. Enjoy!
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Ingredients:
6 Slices of Bread
¼ Cup of Earth Balance (Vegan Butter), softened
3 Tbsp Sugar (I use Pure Cane Sugar)
¼ Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
½ Tbsp Cinnamon

Directions:
-Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
-Combine Vegan Butter, Sugar, Vanilla and Cinnamon until combined.
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-Spread evenly on one side of bread only – edge to edge (here you can use Gluten-Free Bread for a GF version.
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-Place on Baking sheet, keeping spread side face up. Bake for 7 minutes.

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-Remove from oven quickly and let stand for a couple minutes before slicing and serving. That’s it -Enjoy!
(You can add/dip in syrup for a “French Toast-like” version or eat as is).
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Cinnamon Toast

  • Servings: 2-4 ~ Vegan, Dairy-Free
  • Difficulty: easy
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Credit: https://veganrescue.com/

Ingredients:
6 Slices of Bread
¼ Cup of Earth Balance (Vegan Butter), softened
3 Tbsp Sugar (I use Pure Cane Sugar)
¼ Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
½ Tbsp Cinnamon

Directions:
-Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
-Combine Vegan Butter, Sugar, Vanilla and Cinnamon until combined.
-Spread evenly on one side of bread only – edge to edge (here you can use Gluten-Free Bread for a GF version.
-Place on Baking sheet, keeping spread side face up. Bake for 7 minutes. Remove from oven quickly and let stand for a couple minutes before slicing and serving. That’s it -Enjoy! (You can add/dip in syrup for a “French Toast-like” version or eat as is).

Zucchini Bread – Vegan

Zucchini Bread – Vegan
(Makes 1 Loaf)
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Z is for Zucchini Bread! ‘Z’ the last letter during this A-Z Blog Challenge 2015. I’d like to say I ‘saved the best for last’, but I do have so many other favs amongst the prior blog post this April. This Zucchini bread has similar elements to my carrot cake – cinnamon, walnuts with a shredded veggie. This zucchini bread is hands down my favorite of Zucchini breads, my kids LOVE it too. Bonus – its kid friendly…Jasmine our daughter is obsessed! It’s moist, flavorful – fantastic as a snack, side, breakfast or dessert. What more can I say about this bread…except that it’s a must try, enjoy!

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Ingredients:
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
½ Tbsp Baking Powder
½ Tsp Baking Soda
½ Salt
½ Tbsp Cinnamon
¼ Tsp Nutmeg
2 ½ Tbsp Flax Seeds, ground up
½ Cup Pure Cane Sugar
1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
¼ Cup Applesauce
¼ Cup Non-Dairy Milk (I used Soy in this recipe)
3 Tbsp Canola Oil
¼ Cup Water
½ Cup Walnuts, chopped
2 Zucchini (8oz), grated (Large & Small – see notes below)

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Directions:
-Preheat oven 350 degrees. Grease loaf pan with Earth Balance/Flour or vegan cooking spray if you prefer. I used a 1.5-quart glass loaf dish.
-Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl: Flours, Sugar, Baking Soda/Powder, Salt, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and ground flax seeds – whisk all ingredients together.
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-Add wet ingredients to dry: Vanilla, Applesauce, Soymilk, Canola Oil and Water with dry ingredients. Stir together to combine. Once incorporated fold in walnuts and Zucchini.
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Note: I grate Zucchini using a box grater. One Zucchini I grate using the large side and the other I grate using the small.
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-Pour into prepared loaf dish/pan then bake for 1 hour. Let stand for 10-15 minutes to cool. Enjoy!
(I’m addicted to this bread especially when it’s warm. I can’t just have one slice).

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