Tropical Twist Smoothie Bowl

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I got a lot of comments on the last smoothie bowl post: whoa you cursed on social media the Internet is forever, “aesthetic” isn’t a verb (eye roll), and my favorite, what is the point of a smoothie bowl? I used to be a skeptic (s/o @mikekaravolias) until I experienced the pain (u all kno what i mean)  from inhaling 15 grams of fiber through a straw. The beauty of a smoothie bowl is that you can enjoy a thicker blend in a reasonable amount of time. (Sorry for the least convincing argument for smoothie bowls:/ ) Anyways, if you still think they’re cool, I have another recipe.

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This smoothie bowl base is similar to the last one, but with a twist. There’s basil in it. The combination of mango and basil is underrated. People often have mint with fruit, but I think basil works better a lot of the time. Lmk what you think. Btw udairy has mango basil ice cream if you’re too lazy to make this bowl.

Makes: 1 bowl (next time I’ll measure how much 1 bowl is lol)

Ingredients:
1 frozen banana
2 cups frozen mango
1/2 cup fresh pineapple
1/3 cup almond milk
Basil leaves (based on your taste, start with a few, add more if needed)

Blend and eat!!!

 

Zesty Green Smoothie Bowl

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Lol two years since last post. Much is different. I spent an hour looking over my old posts and all I can say is tybg for the past two years. I learned a lot more about health, the environment, and food systems. (I also think I’m funnier, hmu if I’m wrong though) I rarely ever eat meat, dairy, and eggs anymore for health, ethical, and environmental reasons. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve contemplated deleting my old posts, but then all I’d have to show for myself is this baby food smoothie bowl😦

So, hopefully this is a start to a new style of blog. I say hopefully because I’m lazy and even if this is the only thing I have to do all day, there’s a high possibility I won’t do it. I’m aiming for once a week. Also, since smoothie bowls are so aesthetic and require minimal recipe testing, you know I’m gonna upload a ton of these. Starting with this one.

Zesty is a shit word, but I couldn’t think of anything better to describe the whole lime in this smoothie bowl, so bear with me. This isn’t just a regular green smoothie thing, because those sometimes taste (and look) like vom. This is yummy ^.^ It combines lots of acid and creamy sweetness to offset the bitter greens.

Makes: 1 smoothie bowl

1.5 cup kale
1 frozen banana
1.5 cup frozen mango
1 cup fresh pineapple
1 quarter small lime (peel and all)
1/3 cup almond milk (adjust based on how shit ur blender is)

Blend and eat

Haha! That’s it! My boyfriend told me to tell you this recipe will give you superpowers! Bye!

 

Orange Cream Biscotti

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I could biscotti every day. Yeah, I just used biscotti as a verb. You can verb any word. See what I did there. But, in my humble opinion, the best words to verb are food words.

“Yo, guacamole dat.”
“Pizza me.”

I think you get the point. Food is always the best choice. Anyways, back to biscotti teehee.

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As I wrote in a previous blog post, biscotti are the perfect sweet snack because there’s very little added fat. Plus, they’re super crispy and perfect for dunking and i luv dunkin. These biscotti are citrus flavored, clementine-y to be exact. (Tbt to when you accidentally eat all the oranges for breakfast and throw away the peels and then are forced to use clementines for the recipe). They’re called orange cream because of the vanilla. The vanilla and orange create a flavor like those orange creamsicles you used to eat.

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Recipe: (Makes 12 mini biscotti)

1 egg
1 vanilla bean
1/4 tsp orange extract
1 tsp clementine or orange zest
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup packed vanilla sugar*
2/3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt

  1. Preheat oven to 300F
  2. Whisk egg, inside of 1 vanilla bean, orange extract, and zest  in a small bowl
  3. Mix together flour, vanilla sugar, baking powder, and kosher salt in a large bowl
  4. Add egg mixture to dry mixture and mix until uniform (don’t overmix!)
  5. Form the dough into a flat loaf shape (3 inches wide and about 1/2 inch high)
  6. Bake for 30 minutes at 300F
  7. Then reduce oven temperature to 275 and bake for 10 min
  8. Lastly, increase the oven temperature to 325 and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden-brown
  9. Transfer to a wire rack
  10. Biscotti will crisp up when cool!

*You can substitute regular sugar for the vanilla sugar (but to make vanilla sugar, stick the leftover bean after scraping out the seeds in a jar with granulated sugar)

Hope you guys love this recipe🙂
Xo Navika

Fig and Almond Energy Balls

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Ball shaped things are underrated. I’ll leave you with this sentence and the next picture. Then we will continue.

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These snacks are called Fig Almond Energy Balls. They’re great to supplement a quick breakfast or for a sweet afternoon bite. I call them energy balls because they have lots of nutrients and natural sugars from the fruits, nuts, and seeds that give you a jolt of energy. #dontevenneedcoffee. The best part is you can make a bunch ahead of time and just store them in the fridge until ready to eat. Plus, they’re customizable and who doesn’t love customizable stuff forreal.

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The best part of this recipe is the seeds of the fig and chia seeds that add a slight poppy crunch to the smooth dried fruit bite and the almonds that add a creamy, crispy nuttiness to the sweetness. Yooooo gimme.

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I wrap them in plastic wrap when storing them in the refrigerator, so it’s easy to grab one and go. But you could totally store it in an airtight container in the fridge, as well.

Recipe (Makes 10 balls)
3 oz. almonds (about 24 almonds)
1- 1/3 cup of dried figs
1/2 cup of dried dates
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp hemp seeds (optional)

  1. In a food processor, pulse the 3 oz of almonds until each almonds seeds broken up at least into quarters. Place in a large bowl
  2. In the same food processor add dried figs and dates and pulse until a smooth paste forms. Add to almonds
  3. Then process the dried cranberries, chia seeds, and cinnamon just until the dried cranberries are slightly broken up
  4. Place into large bowl and mix until all ingredients are evenly combined
    Roll into balls to make 10 even sized bites
  5. Optional step: Roll each ball into hemp seeds to cover them (I did this once and they turned out nice! It also eliminated the slight stickiness of the balls)

To customize: switch out almonds for a different type of nuts (hazelnuts, pistachios, etc.) or switch out the cranberries for some other dried fruits (chopped up dried mango, apricots)

Now you’re done! Get yo energy balls to go.

xo Navika

Banana Granola

IMG_0411Banana granola originally came about because of how our household works. We always have way too many bananas. I’m not complaining, but there’s 5 people living here, only 2 of them eat really bananas, and there will be literally (I use this legitimately) 2 dozen in the fruit bowl. There’s only so much banana bread and smoothies one can make. That’s how this granola recipe materialized! Plus, using ripe bananas cuts down on the added sugar and fat in this recipe. hmu w granola is what you’re thinking. Read on below.

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The other awesome thing about this recipe (idk if I even wrote the first awesome thing about this recipe…anyways) is that there’s a base and a multitude of options to make it to your taste! Also, you can double, triple, etc. this recipe.

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Lol more pics.

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Recipe: (Makes about 4 cups)
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup dried fruit (cranberries work the best–other dried fruits seem to release moisture and possibly soften granola. If you use other dried fruit, chop into the size of dried cranberries!)
1/2 cup quinoa
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1 tsp. orange zest
2 medium bananas
1/2 heaping tsp. cinnamon
4 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
1/3 cup cacao nibs or dried coconut (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
1. Mix together oats, fruit, quinoa, chia, hemp, and zest in a large bowl
2. In a blender/food processor blend bananas, cinnamon, syrup, oil, and vanilla until smooth
3. Add liquid blend into the oats mix and combine completely
4. Bake on parchment paper on baking sheets in the middle rack of the oven for 15 minutes
5. After 15 minutes, flip the granola so that the bottom pieces are now on top
6. Bake another 15 minutes
7. Decrease oven temperature to 350F, add optional cacao nibs or dried coconut, and bake for 5 minutes

Now you have a yummy, fun, cool, awesome, healthy snack! YAY

Xo Navika

Lavender and Vanilla Bean Biscotti

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Wow, it’s literally been 4 months since I last posted. Dang, now that I think about it, a lot has changed in these four months! I finished my first year at college, started a research position at my school, and learned that cleansing is so not the way to go (see last blog post jaja). One thing that has not changed, though, is food heh. Still cooking, still eating.

This blog post is on Lavender and Vanilla Bean Biscotti. This shows that you can eat dessert and live healthily. I think it’s really important to know what’s going in your food and avoid unnecessary additives. This recipe is so simple and contains so few ingredients that you know exactly what you’re getting! Also, the awesome thing about biscotti is that since you bake it twice (da definition of biscotti), you don’t needed added fat. Read on for summer yummies.

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Recipe: (Makes 12 mini biscotti)

1 egg
1/2 vanilla bean
1/2 level tsp. lavender buds, crushed*
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup packed vanilla sugar**
2/3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt

  1. Preheat oven to 300F
  2. Whisk egg, inside of 1/2 vanilla bean, and lavender buds in a small bowl
  3. Mix together flour, vanilla sugar, baking powder, and kosher salt in a large bowl
  4. Add egg mixture to dry mixture and mix until uniform (don’t overmix!)
  5. Form the dough into a flat loaf shape (3 inches wide and about 1/2 inch high)
  6. Bake for 30 minutes at 300F
  7. Then reduce oven temperature to 275 and bake for 10 min
  8. Lastly, increase the oven temperature to 325 and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden-brown
  9. Transfer to a wire rack and they will crisp up when cooled!

WEEEEEE! Hope you love these flavors and this sweet snack! Be healthy and happy🙂

*Two things! One, lavender buds are hard to find at your regular grocery store so you might have to try a grocery store that has a gourmet products section (or a tea shop!) Two, make sure to crush lavender buds so that they are not overwhelmingly floral. To crush them, just chop them up with a large knife and crush with the flat side of the knife to break up even more.

**Vanilla sugar can be made by putting granulated sugar into a jar with empty vanilla bean pods. If you don’t have vanilla sugar, just mix granulated mixture with 1/2 tsp vanilla extract!

xo nav

Pizza Pull-apart Bread

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What’s up? Bread is what is up. Pull apart bread to be exact. Pizza pull apart bread to be exacter.

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There’s not a lot to say about this recipe. (Edit: make sure ur yeast is alive lol) It’s tomato-y, cheesy, yummy bread. This is honestly one of the easiest recipes where it looks like you did a lot of work, but you just put pantry items in a Kitchen Aid and then watched netflix while the bread proofed.

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Recipe: (Yield: 1 loaf)

2.25 tsp. yeast
1 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
2.75-3 cups APF
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup marinara
1 cup mozzarella cheese (vegan cheese works!)
4 cloves roasted garlic
1/4 cup asiago or parmesan cheese (vegan cheese works!)
1 tbsp italian seasoning

  1. Mix together yeast in 1 cup of 120-130F water and 1/3 cup sugar
  2. In a kitchen-aid mixer, add in 2.75 cups of flour, salt, and the yeast mixture
  3. Mix until dough comes together into a round, but not smooth yet, ball
  4. Flour a clean surface, take the dough out and knead it for about 6 minutes, until the dough is smooth and in a ball
  5. Let it rise in a covered bowl, until it has doubled in size
  6. Once it has risen, roll it out in a 11 x 18 rectangle
  7. Spread on the marinara, roasted garlic, seasoning and cheese
  8. Cut into 24 mini rectangles and arrange in a greased loaf tin
  9. Cover loaf tin and let rise until doubled
  10. Preheat oven to 350 F and bake for 40-45 minutes

Srsly pull apart when done, yum yum xoxo enjoy. You can live a healthy lifestyle, but still indulge in recipes like this🙂

Nav

Spice Cupcakes

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Lol, I fake hate seasonal recipes. Okay, so let me deconstruct that sentence. “Fake hate” means I love hating on something, but I truly don’t hate it…oftentimes I don’t even dislike it, so there’s that. Now, you know seasonal recipes. Like berry trifles during the summer, peppermint bark during the winter, citrus macarons in the spring, and spice cupcakes in the fall. So, my issue with seasonal recipes is that people feel that they can ONLY make/eat/crave them during that particular season. WRONG. I’m posting these spice cupcakes in January for all of you that missed the short period of time where people eat spice flavored things i.e. after Halloween to Thanksgiving.


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Okay, don’t hate me, but this recipe doesn’t include a recipe for the cinnamon frosting because I rarely use a real recipe for frosting. I just dump everything in a bowl, beat it with my hand mixer, and cross my fingers. For reference though, I used cream cheese, powdered sugar, cinnamon, a dash of vanilla, and some vegetable shortening.

So, anyways, these are a lightened version because they only use 1/3 cup of oil and absolutely no butter! This is because they use pumpkin puree in place of extra fat. Okay, I avoided calling these pumpkin cupcakes because you really can’t taste the pumpkin because of the spices. I can attest to this because my sister hates pumpkin. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin cake, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin spiced lattes… IT ALL. So, that’s why I just call these spice cupcakes🙂

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Recipes: (Makes 12 cupcakes)

1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a medium sized bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices
In a large bowl, mix together sugar and oil until combined, then add pumpkin puree, eggs, and vanilla until smooth
Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until just combined (do not overmix!)
Transfer batter to lined or greased muffin tins
Bake for 23-25 minutes or until top springs back when you touch it

Cool, frost, and enjoy your timeless cupcake the light way xox

Honey Avocado Smoothie

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Blah, I’m back in school. Oddly enough, I thought I’d missed it much more than I really have. There’s still something really nice about waking up in your own room, opening up your own fridge, and lazy around looking REAL ugly. That’s not to say I’m not liking it right now. I actually love this winter semester (sometimes more than the regular fall semester eep). I mean, there’s about 75 percent less people here. So, my large research university of 16,000 undergrads now feels like a small, cozy 4,000 seater. The best part that no one tells you is that OK…the bathrooms are deserted. No more awkward small talk when you go in to do your business or to brush your teeth or to wash your face or fix your hair. I think I’ve mumbled a toothpaste-y: “Good, how are you?” way more times than I can count. Another thing, I’ve been in my room alone for 5+ hours today and I don’t feel the least bit bad about it. It’s nice being alone sometimes🙂 (Especially if you need to catch up on the Bachelor *cough* Juan Pablo *cough cough cough times a million*).

Anyways this is a smoothie recipe that I love because the avocado makes it so creamy that you don’t need any dairy! It makes you feel clean and refreshed. Plus, it’s super simple so if you are in a college dorm I’m sure you can whip up one, granted you haven’t just prepared a new bowl of ramen…for the 5th day in a row hehe.

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Serves 2

1 avocado
1 frozen banana
1.5 cups of water
1.5 cups of spinach
1 tbsp honey

Add all the ingredients into a blender and mix well!
Yup, that’s really it.
{Side note: If you don’t have frozen bananas, put a regular banana in and about 1/2 – 1 cup of crushed ice. Does the trick}

Have a lovely, healthy, and happy New Year🙂

Garlic and Cheese Pull Apart Bread

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My mom asked me to make “those Pizza Hut garlic sticks” the other day. I refused.

Well, I mean I refused to make those butter-laden, factory produced bars of dough. Instead I made garlic and cheese pull apart bread. Is that an okay replacement? Hm, yeah. This bread is soft, chewy, cheesy, herby. So, like, basically awesome.

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IMG_8463I stole an inch strip of dough and rolled it into an individual cinnamon roll. Don’t judge. Post-bread baking snack, chyeah.

Recipe: (Makes 1 loaf)

1 1/4 oz packet of yeast (2.25 tsp yeast)
1 cup warm water (120-130 degreesF)
1/3 cup sugar
2.5-3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp olive oil

1 bulb of roasted garlic (Cut off the top so the cloves are showing, cover in aluminum foil, bake for 30 minutes at 350degreesF)
1 cup chopped  basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/2 cup low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Salt

Mix the water and sugar together and sprinkle the packet of yeast on top
In the meantime, add 2 cups of flour and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer and pulse to combine
When yeast mixture becomes frothy, add in olive oil and add to the stand mixer
Mix on medium speed until a soft, but not necessarily smooth, ball of dough forms, adding upto 1 cup of flour as necessary (Personally, I used about 2.5 cups total)
When a soft ball forms, take out of the stand mixer and knead on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes or until a smooth, elastic ball forms (if you push on this ball, it will bounce back, leaving barely an indent!)
Put in an oiled bowl and cover, leaving to rise until doubled (about 1 hour)
Once proofed, roll into a rectangle so the dough is 1/8 inch thick
Slather (love that word lol) with 1 tbsp of olive oil
Then spread with roasted garlic
On top of the roasted garlic push in  the cheese and herbs and a light sprinkle of salt
Cut into 12 rectangles

Line a loaf tin with parchment paper at the bottom, oil the sides, and stack the dough pieces
To stack dough pieces, rest the first one on the edge of the loaf tin and lean each piece after on the one before. If it isn’t centered (mine wasn’t hehe) drag the side with more parchment paper a little away from the other side until the bread centers, cut the parchment paper, and add to the other side to patch up the missing paper. Sounds insane, but works)
Cover the loaf tin and let rise for an hour or until pieces look doubled in width
After proofing, lightly salt the top and bake at 400degreesF for 45-55 minutes. To check for doneness, stick a thermometer into the thickest part and look for the magic number 190 degreesF!) If it’s browning too early, just tent with some aluminum foil (I had to!)

Recipe tip: Do not shed a tear when your freshly baked bread cools down, (we know it’s the best right out of the oven sigh…) pull a slice off and toast it! It becomes crispy on the outside while being soft as a pillow on the inside. Speaking of bread, I’m going to toast myself a piece of this loaf right now! Happy baking, and more importantly, happy eating🙂