Nutty Banana Chocolate Smoothie

Sometimes in the morning, I’m just not in the mood for my usual berry smoothie. At times, I’ll just have some gf toast with sunflower seed butter, but there are times when I feel like a little treat 🙂
If I make this smoothie in the morning, I usually add in my “extras” (hemp seeds, flax seeds & spinach) but skip them if it’s just a snack (mostly because I’ve likely already had them in the morning!)

Nutty Banana Chocolate Smoothie | *Lovely Avocados*

Nutty Banana Chocolate Smoothie

Nutty Banana Chocolate Smoothie

Ingredients
1½ cups milk of choice (I used unsweetened vanilla almond)
½ banana
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp nut butter of choice (I used sunflower seed butter)
1 tsp vanilla extract
dash of cinnamon

Directions
1. Blend and enjoy!

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Colorful Coleslaw

Tonight’s  dinner “side” was soo delicious. I am super happy with how this turned out, and just want to keep eating this salad!

Colorful Coleslaw | *Lovely Avocados*

Colorful Coleslaw

Colorful Coleslaw

Ingredients
½ head of purple cabbage
4 small carrots, peeled and shredded
4 small japanese white turnips, shredded
1 green apple, chopped
3 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Nutty Sesame Dressing

Directions
1. Mix ingredients together (except toasted sesame seeds).
2. Add sesame seeds for garnish and enjoy!

Colorful Coleslaw | *Lovely Avocados*

Colorful Coleslaw

Nutty Sesame Dressing | *Lovely Avocados*

Nutty Sesame Dressing

Nutty Sesame Dressing

Nutty Sesame Dressing | *Lovely Avocados*

Nutty Sesame Dressing

Nutty Sesame Dressing

Ingredients
2 tbsp cashew butter
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp agave (or maple syrup)
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Directions
1. Whisk all ingredients until smooth.

Nutty Sesame Dressing | *Lovely Avocados*

Nutty Sesame Dressing

Best served over cabbage or kale.

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

mmmmm look at this cookie

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies | *Lovely Avocados*

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Can you believe it’s a healthy cookie?!

Gluten-free AND grain-free
Vegan – no dairy, no eggs
Refined-sugar free, and barely any sweetening at all (except natural banana sweetness)
And SUPER DELICIOUS!

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies | *Lovely Avocados*

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
2 cups gluten-free oats
3/4 cup almond flour
½ cup shredded coconut
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
pinch of nutmeg
1 ½ bananas, mashed
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp agave or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
½ cup chocolate chips (I use enjoy life – vegan)

Directions
Pre-heat oven to 350°
1. Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl (oats, almond flour, shredded coconut, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg).
2. In a separate bowl, mix together wet ingredients (bananas, applesauce, agave, vanilla extract, coconut oil).
3. Mix together wet and dry ingredients, then fold in chocolate chips.
4. Bake at 350° for about 14 minutes.

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies | *Lovely Avocados*

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted from: Oatmeal Banana Chip Cookies GF | With Style and Grace

Maple Tahini Dressing

I eat salads pretty much on a daily basis. In general I tend to use olive oil and vinegar (balsamic or apple cider) as my dressing. However, sometimes I do like to make the effort of whisking together a few ingredients for a change of pace.
This one is super delicious – sweet and slighty nutty!

Maple Tahini Dressing | *Lovely Avocados*

Maple Tahini Dressing

Maple Tahini Dressing
Ingredients
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. Whisk ingredients and enjoy!

Delicious on a kale salad!

Maple Tahini Dressing on Kale | *Lovely Avocados*

Maple Tahini Dressing on Kale

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have a little obsession. With cookies. I can pass on most desserts, but when cookies are involved… it’s a tough one! Especially chocolate chip cookies. So I started to look around for an awesome recipe, trying different ones out. I came across this recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie and gave it a whirl… yum!

I made some slight adaptations, and here it is!

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies | *Lovely Avocados*

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
5 tbsp organic coconut palm sugar (can be substituted for brown sugar)
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
4 tbsp chocolate chips (I prefer Enjoy Life’s chocolate chips, as they are dairy-free)
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
2-3 tbsp milk of choice (I prefer unsweetened vanilla almond milk)

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 375°
1. Blend the first 4 ingredients in a blender or food processor. I used my Vitamix.
2. Mix together with remaining ingredients.
3. Form into cookies and place on a greased baking sheet, or parchment paper on a baking sheet.
4. Bake at 375° for 8 minutes.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies | *Lovely Avocados*

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from: Chocolate Covered Katie: Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies

Morning Mixed-Berry Smoothie

(almost) Every morning I start my day with a yummy smoothie, packed with tons of things I will need to get my through the day. When I started on this food journey, I decided to cut out my morning coffee. At first it was quite the challenge. But over time I came to realize that I have a TON more energy without it. Caffeine seems to give a high, but then it is followed by a low. For me I found if I wasn’t drinking coffee all day, the morning cup was just causing a crash later on and not very helpful.

Smoothies have now become my morning pick-me-up, and really keep my energy level up throughout the morning.

Ingredient Benefits:
Almond Milk: I have an intolerance to cow’s milk, so I choose to avoid it as much as I can. I prefer almond milk to other substitutes (soy, rice, etc.) because of its benefits. It is low in calories and fat, and contains protein and many essential vitamins (E, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, and more!).

Berries: As for fruit, berries are near the bottom of the list in terms of sugar content. They aid in learning and memory, are full of fibre (aiding in digestion), help lower blood pressure, and they’re super tasty!
(source: 9 Amazing Health Benefits of Berries | Everyday Health)

Flax seeds: Flax seeds are high in Omega-3 essential fatty acids, lignans (high in antioxidants, and may be linked to prevents certain types of cancer), and fibre.
(source: Benefits of Flaxseeds | WebMd)

Hemp Seeds: Hemp seeds are definitely a super-food! They contain a ton of protein, and contain all nine essential amino acids. They also contain fibre and vitamin E.
(source: Hemp Seed: Nutritional Value and Thoughts | The Nourishing Gourmet)

Almond Butter: Good for the heart, lowers blood pressure, helps control blood sugar, rich in antioxidants, and are high in protein, fibre, and monosaturated fats!
(source: 5 Health Benefits of Almond Butter | 3 Fat Chicks)

Spinach: Spinach is low in fat/calories and high in vitamins (A, K, manganese, and folate). It contains protein, calcium, and dietary fibre. Spinach contains an abundance of cancer-fighting antioxidants, improves cardiovascular health, fights a variety of cancers, improves brain function, and fights against aging. Do you really need any more reason to add spinach into your diet?
(source: The Health Benefits of Spinach | Livestrong.com)

Morning Berry Smoothie Ingredients by ~*Lovely Avocados*~

Look at all these goodies!
Morning Berry Smoothie in the Vitamix by ~*Lovely Avocados*~

Morning Berry Smoothie in the Vitamix

Morning Berry Smoothie Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups milk of choice (I prefer unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
3/4 cup frozen berries
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
2 tbsp hemp seeds
1 tbsp almond butter
1 cup spinach (fresh or frozen)
1-2 ice cubes

Directions:
1. Place ingredients in blender.
2. Blend.
3. Drink up!

Morning Berry Smoothie | *Lovely Avocados*

Morning Berry Smoothie