If there’s anything I hate the most about winter (besides for unending inability to feel my toes and always wearing ice-conscious footwear), is all the colds that are constantly being passed around. In one winter, I usually get one cold/flu/something that takes over and renders me only able to lay on the couch, watch lots of Gilmore Girls or Parks and Rec and cuddle with my sweet cat for hours on end. This year, my sickness came in a more mild form, with a cold that stuck around for a couple weeks and just would not give up, even after lots of tea and naps.
Alas, this was part of the reason I just went ahead and took last week off from posting new recipes. I needed a bit of time to regroup after working a lot and giving myself a break, so I did and made this cold-fighting citrus smoothie along the way! I was actually super freaked out about turmeric at first when I started hearing about it. It’s orange, stains absolutely everything (I have the stained dish towels to prove it!) and kind of has the ability to make everything a bright yellow color. But, did you know that turmeric has all kinds of awesome superfood powers and is all around amazing for your body and immune boosting abilities? Combine that bad-ass spice with a healthy punch of in-season citrus and you have the perfect solution for that cold that just keeps dragging along. Put into a citrus smoothie, turmeric is the perfect compliment to the tart grapefruit.
Also, don’t worry, I have more of an indulgent recipe for those pretty grapefruits that are hanging out in the grocery stores right now. I’m taking my popular lemon bars and turning them into a winter citrus dessert that is perfect for your next baking project!
This post is sponsored by So Delicious. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this website going!
Turmeric and Citrus Smoothie
Author: Abby Thompson
Recipe type: Breakfast
- ½ cup So Delicious coconut milk
- ½ vanilla bean, scraped
- ½ of a grapefruit, peeled
- 1 frozen banana
- Juice of 1 lime
- ¼ teaspoon dried turmeric
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and blend until smooth. If banana isn't frozen, add in a few ice cubes to make sure everything gets cold.
Hello bread lovers! Did you know it’s super easy to make your own crispy at the edges and fluffy in the middle focaccia? It’s true! When I was flipping through my culinary camp binder (yes, (more…)
I was sipping wine with another blogger friend earlier in the week (Hi Erin!) and we were discussing how we just weren’t ready for this season to end. Yes, it might be 90 degrees and humid as all get out, but I would rather be able to side on a patio in the shade than freeze my buns off scurrying into an overheated restaurant for happy hour, hands down. Of course, our discussion turned to food and we both agreed that we were just not ready to pull out the pumpkin and fall flavors quite yet, just not now at least. I know September is here and fall is knocking on our door, but I just can’t. Not yet! (more…)
It’s popcorn week! I’m taking part in popcorn week with a bunch of other bloggers and we are doing sweet/savory/popcorn in every form. There’s a sweet giveaway at the end, so don’t forget to check that out at the bottom. Anywho, I have to admit that I kept putting this recipe off because I had no idea what to make. Did I want to go sweet? Savory? Something totally different? I thought about doing some kind of basil/garlic popcorn recipe, but as it turns out, I used all my basil when I was making a vinaigrette and accidentally also used some mint in that vinaigrette too, blegh. My mind was onto sweet popcorn recipes after that and when I realized I had a few sad almonds in my cabinets and a lot of shredded coconut, the almond joy popcorn was born!
This is one of the easiest recipes I threw together, especially since I discovered that you can pop the popcorn in the microwave without any oil (!!) and then spread it out, top it with chocolate and go to town with chopped almonds and shredded coconut. Now, let’s talk about the microwave popping thing for a second. I discovered this method a while ago, after my dad told me about trying it out. I like the idea of making popping popcorn super fast and easy, plus a bit healthier, so I tried it out. It totally worked! But, since I was popping a bigger batch of popcorn for this recipe, I didn’t think about the fact that the plastic lid I was using to cover the bowl would be heated for so long that it might MELT. Yep, I melted a plastic lid into a bowl of popcorn and it was a total mess. Thankfully, the bowl ended up being totally fine and it all cleaned up pretty easily, but still, you’ve been warned.
I recommend using dark chocolate here, especially since there are so few ingredients and it’s really the main sweetness factor going on. Another fair warning, watch out for un-popped kernels in your popcorn. I crunched down on a bite or two, thinking I had an almond bit, and it ended up being a kernel, ouch. I would just sift through the popcorn as you pop it, making sure you catch them all before drizzling the chocolate on top. This stores well in the freezer and would probably keep for about a week. Although, at the rate I’m going, this stuff isn’t going to make it much past the weekend!
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Vegan Almond Joy Popcorn
Author: Abby Thompson
Recipe type: Snack
- ⅓ cup popcorn kernels
- 1 cup dark chocolate
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- ⅓ cup chopped almonds
- 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- In a large, microwave safe bowl, place half of the kernels and top with a plate or plastic lid. Microwave the popcorn until popped, which will depend on your microwave (Mine took 2-3 minutes). Pop the other half of the kernels and lay out all of your popped corn onto a wax lined, rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.
- In a small microwave safe bowl, melt together the dark chocolate and coconut oil. For me, this took about 2 minutes, but keep an eye on it! Drizzle the melted chocolate over your popcorn and sprinkle with chopped almonds and coconut. Freeze to make the chocolate drizzle solid.
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When it comes to recipe testing, my fiance can be a hard nut to crack (although sandwich cookies and layer cakes usually get the automatic thumbs up). I always know if he loves something like these steel cut oat muffins or is just on the fence about it, because he will either be quick to exclaim ‘This is really good!’ or just keep quiet and be all ‘oh yeah it’s pretty good…’. Sometimes when he’s just so-so about a meal or dessert I get all inquisitive, like ‘What don’t you like about it?’ ‘What would make you like it more?’ and try to figure out how I can make the next batch of steel cut oat muffins better. These questions aren’t just because he is the main customer for food at our house, but because he is my best test subject for all my blog recipes. I know if I can appeal to him, I can appeal to almost anyone who is a little wary about vegan food.
If I have doubts about a recipe, he is able to pick up on it on the spot. I didn’t think I put enough sugar in those cookies? Bang, he says they aren’t sweet enough. I’m questioning the frosting on that cake? Yep, that boy picks up on it lickety split. These muffins though? The first response as he bit into one right out of the oven was, ‘Ohh these are good, like really good!’. Winner!
I always seem to buy a package of steel cut oats with the best of intentions (breakfast! So healthy!), but then remember that they not only take longer to cook than regular oats, but also can really ruin a dish if they aren’t cooked all the way through. But, the upside is that steel cut oats are super filling and versatile, once you get them cooked properly and into the right recipe, like these perfect steel cut oat muffins. When I was thinking about muffins with steel cut oats in them, I knew I didn’t want something that started with ‘Take your pre-cooked batch of oats..’, because when you are just trying to make muffins for tomorrow’s breakfast, the last thing you want is to have to pre cook a whole batch of dang oats, right? Behold, the microwave method! I did a little Googling and found out that you can, in fact, cook steel cut oats in the microwave in just a few minute’s time, bingo! My biggest words of wisdom would be to keep an eye on the oats as they are cooking, because they tend to get crazy and boil over the top of the bowl, creating a super slimy and gross mess that no one wants to clean out of their microwave. I found the sweet spot for my oats was around 7-8 minutes, but yours may differ. Also, if you have ripe bananas, go ahead and use those, because more sweetness in a muffin really never did hurt anyone. The dark chocolate is optional and can be subbed out for your favorite chocolate chips too, it all depends on what you have on hand. I’ve been loving a few bars of Aloha’s chocolate that Amanda sent me a few weeks ago. Go make some muffins for a mid-week breakfast, blogger tested…fiance approved!
Banana and Dark Chocolate Steel Cut Oat Muffins
Author: Abby Thompson
Recipe type: Breakfast
- 1 cup cooked steel cut oats
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 bananas, ripe
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup non dairy milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup chopped dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a muffin tin and set aside.
- In a large bowl with a hand mixer, blend together the cooked steel cut oats, brown sugar and bananas until smooth and creamy. On low, blend in the baking powder, baking soda, flour, apple cider vinegar, milk and vanilla extract. Stir in the chopped dark chocolate until combined.
- Distribute batter evenly between the muffin wells, filling each almost to the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tops of the muffins are golden brown and spring back when lightly touched.
I know that the internet is all aflutter with Valentine’s Day things that are pink, heart shaped and probably have chocolate in them. So, I’m here apologizing for not giving you a dessert to make for your boo, but I brought granola bars crossed with a candy bar, so can we call it even? To be honest, Valentine’s Day always kind of sneaks up on me, since it’s in that vast expanse of winter/wishing it were spring and time just kind of seems to stand still until the snow melts (it’s going to be a longgg time until that happens). So while I don’t have a heart shaped cake or pink dessert for you, there are ideas for chocolate desserts out there! My girl Christina has been posting chocolate recipes left and right and this cute little cake looks perfect for a quick weekend date night dessert. But, if you are looking for a night in, baking your heart out with snacks for the upcoming week, these are your ticket!
I was out of rolled oats and had oat bran, so that’s the main reason these came to be. I wasn’t sure how the oat bran was going to work out, but it surprisingly, made for a pretty easy granola bar recipe! I will say that mine were slightly overbaked and I wish I had taken them out sooner, so keep an eye on your timer and keep checking these to make sure they don’t burn on the edges. As far as the mix-ins go, most everything can be swapped out for whatever you have on had, just made sure you keep the peanut butter and maple syrup in so they hold together after baking!
Almond Joy Oat Bran Granola Bars
Author: Abby Thompson
Recipe type: Snack
- 2 cups oat bran
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ⅓ cup chopped almonds
- ⅓ cup shredded coconut
- Melted chocolate, for drizzling and topping (1/3 cup chocolate chips+1 teaspoon coconut oil)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, grease an 8x8 or 9x9 pan and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients, except for the chocolate. Make sure the mixture is combined throughly and becomes thick and somewhat sticky. If the mixture is very dry, add a bit more maple syrup and peanut butter until it can be pressed together easily. Press the mixture into the greased pan evenly and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. After cooling and cutting, drizzle with melted chocolate.