Desserts

Herby Summer Fruit Crisp

It was dark this morning. Overcast. Windy. Yet it won’t rain. Why won’t it rain?! I feel like I used to happily read a book on my back porch while listening to fat raindrops pelting down upon the glass at least once a week. This isn’t the case anymore, and it makes me nervous.

But the selfish part of me is the teeniest, tiniest bit pleased that it’s not raining quite yet. It’s just now becoming the perfect temperature for eating outside. And after reading that, you’re probably wondering if I’ve gotten a little forgetful, as outdoor dining seems to be all I can Instagram about these past few months. But hear me out: last night I was at dinner, drinking rosé and dipping crispy fries in garlicky mussel broth. I was sitting outside, but for the first time in months I wasn’t slapping at mosquitoes or surreptitiously wiping away sweaty strands of hair. Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles! Every few minutes there was a little breeze rustling the stamped-paper tablecloths. It felt cool against my back. It made the food taste better.

The sun is out now– it never rained. I went running, even though I definitely drank a glass or two more of wine than I should’ve last night. Mile one. Mile two. Mile three. A little bit more so I could run through the sprinklers of folks who are still watering their lawns EVEN THOUGH WE’RE IN A DROUGHT (I know Montclair is not California but still.) Ran up my driveway, opened the freezer and defrosted some fruity, herby crisp. Ate it all with my fingers, dyeing them a truly alien shade of purple. Full disclosure, it was not the one pictured in this post. That one was devoured by yours truly and Emily (making another hand/general modeling appearance here) on a lazy afternoon a few months ago. But I did use this method to make the crisp. And it is the best.

Just FYI, the following recipe is a little different than the precise measurements one may expect to find in a food post. But I rarely, if ever, use a recipe for crisp. And you shouldn’t feel like you need to either! It couldn’t be more simple, read on and discover.

Herby Summer Fruit Crisp (serves as few as one or as many as 20, depending on serving size)

Things you’ll need, see directions for further clues:
Fruit
Fresh herbs
a little bit of sweetener plus about 1/4 cup more for later
cornstarch
Vanilla (extract, paste, or scraped bean)
~1/2 cup coconut oil
~1/2 cup nondairy milk
~1/4-1/2 cup flour
Oats
Chopped nuts
pinch or two of kosher salt and cinnamon or allspice

Select and prep your fruit. You’ll need enough fruit to fill your desired baking dish, but no need to get out the measuring cup. Just start slicing and stop when it feels right. In terms of which fruit to use: when in doubt, go with whatever is in season. The fruit is the shining star of this dessert, so it’s definitely worth it to look into what is thriving when you decide to make one. Check out a farmer’s market or do some internet sleuthing before spending all your money on bushels of out-of-season berries. You also shouldn’t feel pressure to make just one kind of fruit crisp: raspberries and peaches go beautifully together, as do apples and cranberries. Or you can do what I did and use as many perfect summer fruits as you can carry. Once you’ve added all the fruit to the baking dish, toss with a good dash of vanilla and a tablespoon or two of the sweetener of your choice (really, anything goes!) and a tablespoon of cornstarch. Set aside.

Decide which herb you want to use to add a little extra zing to the topping. It may sound strange, but it is worth it. A subtle hint of thyme, mint, basil, sage, or rosemary does wonders with fruit. Grab a sprig or a handful of leaves and chop well; you won’t be sorry.

Pick your desired dairy replacer. Far be it from me to suggest anything that challenges the gospel of Julia Child, but for a delicious fruit crisp you need neither dairy-based butter nor cream. I like to use unrefined coconut oil because I enjoy the taste, but any vegan butter will do. You’ll need about ½ cup. Now for milk: pour about ½ cup of the dairy-free milk of your choosing (almond! coconut! soy! hemp!) into a small saucepan. Add the butter and the herb you decided on in the previous step. Place over low heat until the butter melts and the kitchen smells herby. Let cool slightly.

Choose your flour. If you’re gluten-free, this part is for you. Though I will admit, I didn’t miss my trusty all-purpose nearly as much as I thought I would when trying out almond, garbanzo bean, and coconut flours. Go for about a cup of flour at first, you can always add more later. Mix the flour with however much sugar you feel is right. A good rule of thumb is to start with ¼ cup and work your way up to ½ cup. At this point, I throw in a few handfuls of rolled oats and sometimes chopped almonds or pecans for texture. Pour the non-dairy mixture over the flour, adding a good pinch or two of salt and cinnamon or allspice. Mix it all up with your fingers until coarse crumbs form, adding more flour or oats if things get sticky.

Put it all together! Dump the topping over the fruit, resisting the urge to fill in any imperfect spots. We’re making a rustic dessert here, people! Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes. Top with your favorite ice cream or coconut whipped cream. Or if you’re like me, you may even put it in a bowl and drown it in almond milk and pretend it’s breakfast.

Fabric from the featured image: scarf c/o Rain Lily Shop, a lovely Fair Trade accessories shop supporting artisans from around the world!

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Breakfasts, Snacks

134

BBBB (Brown Butter Berry Buttermilk) Muffins

Hi everyone! It’s Emily, here to share another guest post. Muffins are tricky little things. They are essentially unfrosted cupcakes. Yet somehow, they have been fooling moms and dads for decades that they are a breakfast food. Now, I have no problems with this. Sometimes it seems like I am on personal quest to set the world record for most cake consumed in a lifetime. The real reason I exercise is to make more room for cake in my life so as to achieve this goal. Cake is my main food group and I would like to thank muffins for being a part of it. When coming up with this recipe, I did try to make these muffins more ‘breakfasty’ for those of you into that sort of thing. I threw in a little whole-wheat flour, cut back on the sugar, and threw in a ton of fruit. And, sticking with my #1 baking philosophy, anything can be improved by brown butter. This imparts a warm, nutty flavor that pairs wonderfully with the freshness of the tart berries.

Muffins

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 c. whole-wheat flour

2/3 c. raw sugar

1 T. baking powder

1/2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 c. buttermilk, at room temperature

1 1/2 T. milk, at room temperature

8 T. (1 stick) butter, browned and cooled (see note below*)

1 1/2 c. berries of your choice, fresh or frozen, do not thaw (I used a frozen berry mix)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a twelve-cup muffin tin. I find that doing this rather than using muffin liners yields a more golden and puffy muffin.

Combine the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, raw sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and milk. Fold this mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the brown butter. Gently fold in the berries. Be careful not to overmix or you will have tough muffins.

Using a 1/3 c. measuring cup, divide the batter evenly in the muffin tin. If you wanted to top with sanding sugar or streusel, now is the time. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the muffins in the pan for 10 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely. Muffins will keep in an airtight container for a week. I like to keep them in the freezer, take one out before going to bed, and enjoy in the morning.

*To brown the butter – Cut the butter into chunks and melt in a medium skillet over medium heat. A light bottomed skillet is better, but not necessary. Swirl the pan occasionally. The butter will foam and make popping noises. This is normal. Keep a close eye on the butter and continue to swirl, you do not want the butter to burn. It will start to smell nutty, and brown bits will begin to appear on the bottom of the pan. Once the bits take on an amber color, remove the pan from the stove and immediately pour it into a bowl, bits included. Allow it to cool.

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Breakfasts

133

Almond, Corn, and Brown Rice Flour Blueberry Pancakes (GF)

Like most oxygen-breathers, I love pancakes. However, strangely enough, I don’t like having them for breakfast. Unless I know for a fact that immediately following the consumption of said syrup-topped confection, I will be able to flop around on a couch and digest in peace for at least an hour. Pancakes are serious business. One has to train to finish a stack, not unlike preparing to run a marathon. Just as one cannot simply run 25 miles in one fell swoop simply because one possesses legs and sneakers, after four big pancakes any average person will probably be facing a serious case of the “fulls” (read: being so stuffed one needs to take off their belt). And while I am nothing if not a champion eater, sometimes even I need to set down the fork and take a breather.

Now, If we’re talking pancakes for brinner, that’s a whole different story. Dinner is the meal to be full, as it’s perfectly acceptable to slip into a food-coma for many hours after the last meal of the day. But we’re not talking about breakfast for dinner, we’re talking about breakfast for breakfast. How’s that for an eloquent sentence? This is a long way of saying that I’ve been experimenting with gluten free pancakes for quite some time now. While I am aware that gluten makes things delicious -not to mention it gives elasticity to doughs of all kinds, making that perfect fluffy chewy texture- it also sometimes has a knack for making me really full. I mean REALLY full. The kind of full that is often reserved for eating eight scoops of ice cream. And I just don’t want that in the morning before hours of work and classes. My alternative: the following recipe. These pancakes are made with corn, almond, and brown rice flours, which are gluten free. I use three different flours because unlike all-purpose flour, each gluten free ingredient adds a different (but necessary) element to the pancake. Corn flour (different from cornmeal) is very high in fiber and filling, but doesn’t do a great job of leavening; brown rice flour has a lot of protein and a strong, almost nutty flavor; and almond flour has a really rich and mild flavor, which balances out the stronger corn and brown rice (but if you’re not into almonds/have a nut allergy, you can add an extra 1/4 c. of either of the other two flours instead)

Keep in mind they will make the batter very runny. It will be very different from your standard pancake batter. I recommend using a 1/8 c. measuring cup to dole out eat pancake. While cooking, the cakes will get very bubbly, which in standard pancake language usually means “flip me!” but in gluten free flour pancake-land, it does not. You’ll know they’re ready to be flipped by their color- just lift the edges with a spatula to check for a nice golden color. Just FYI, you’ll notice I suggest you use a nonstick pan when cooking. Now, you can do whatever you choose with this advice, but you’ll see that I suggest it with bold italics and **s. That should tell you how I feel about this recipe and normal pans, but hey, maybe you like scraping burnt gluten free pancakes off a pan in your free time! If that is the case, feel free to ignore my advice! Happy breakfasting!

Pancakes 

1/2 c corn flour

1/2 c brown rice flour

1/4 c almond flour

1 tbsp raw sugar

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 egg, slightly beaten

2 tbsp melted butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 c milk

1 half pint blueberries

If you’re making more than 4 pancakes preheat your oven to 200 degrees F. Mix together the dry ingredients in a small bowl. In a larger bowl whisk together the egg, butter and vanilla. Slowly whisk in the milk (don’t be alarmed if it gets clumpy, that’s just the melted butter reacting to the cold milk, but ideally if you’ve poured the milk in slowly enough this won’t happen). Add the wet ingredients to the dry and combine. Heat a *nonstick* skillet on medium and grease lightly with butter or oil. Using a 1/8 c. measuring cup, pour out as many pancakes as will comfortably fit on the pan/griddle. Let them cook for about 30 seconds, then sprinkle on a scant handful of blueberries. Flip after about a minute or two or when you feel the stars have aligned (see my extremely exact flipping instructions in the explanation). Let the other side cook for another minute or two, then transfer to a baking tray and place in the oven. Repeat until you’re ready to eat, then serve with honey, maple syrup, jam, yogurt, or whatever your heart desires!

 

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Desserts

131

Blueberry Lemon Curd Tart

There is nothing quite like the simple pleasure of biting into a fresh fruit tart in the middle of summer. Your hand gets sticky from the lemon curd, blueberries slide down to stain your shorts, but who needs napkins? You’re just going to get covered again when you go in for a second slice in about 45 seconds. This is a recipe that will ultimately lead the the kind of pleasure I’m describing. If you’re  not using a premade crust it takes a nice chunk of time to put the whole thing together (the crust needs to be fully baked before any lemony-blueberry goodness can set up shop inside) but I can assure you it’s well worth the wait. I’ll be the first to admit it, I’m very lazy. But I try to push that attribute under the rug when it comes to making pie and tart crusts; homemade crust is just better. There’s no way to describe it. However, I know there are times when one doesn’t have the entire afternoon to wait around for a disk of butter and flour to chill to the perfect temperature so here’s my tip. Find one day where you have many free hours (or maybe that night when you couldn’t sleep and ended up watching half a season of Mad Men on Netflix..) and make a bunch of crusts. Label them with dates, then stick ’em in the freezer for future use. They’ll be perfectly preserved! Then you’ll be all set when the cry for fresh pies ring out on a lazy summer Sunday. You’re welcome, earth! Just FIY, this recipe would be just as good if raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, or even bananas were used in place of the blueberries. Blueberries aren’t my favorite fruit, but my father has gotten into the habit of bringing home two cartons of them home literally four times a week. Check my fridge if you think I’m kidding. It looks like a million tiny Violet Beauregardes are taking over the fruit shelf. Not great. Now, were he bringing raspberries or peaches I’d probably be greeting him at the door every day with a mini confetti cannon, but beggars can’t be choosers, so here we are! It was still pretty darn delicious.

Crust (from Williams Sonoma Essentials of Baking)

1 1/4 c. flour

1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 c. butter, cut into pieces

2 egg  yolks

1 tbsp. heavy cream

In a food processor, combine flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt, pulsing one or two times to mix. Add the butter pieces and pulse 7 or 8 times until the mixture forms coarse crumbs (size of small peas, you know the drill). In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks, then stir in the cream. With the motor running on the food processor, add the egg mixture and process just until the dough comes together, but does not form a ball. On a work surface, shape the dough into a six-inch disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to overnight.

Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap it, and bring it to a lightly flour-dusted work surface. Rolling from the center out, roll the dough into a 13-inch round that is a little less than 1/4-inch thick (let’s not talk about how my cookbook told me it should be 3/16-inch thick and I had a mild panic attack because I couldn’t find a ruler and apparently forgot for a moment how to do second grade math. It’s fine guys.) Remember to flip and turn your disk, adding more dustings of flour to the rolling pin and work surface, as you roll it out to prevent sticking and cursing and starting over again.

First things first, check to make sure your tart pan has a removable bottom. Now get a bunch of neon post-its and write “MY TART PAN HAS A REMOVABLE BOTTOM IF YOU TOUCH IT WITHOUT REMEMBERING THIS YOU WILL LIKELY BURN YOURSELF AND RUIN A NICE CRUST YOU DO NOT WANT THIS ON YOUR CONSCIENCE BEWARE”. Now you’re ready. To get your disk of dough onto your tart pan, carefully roll the dough around the rolling pin. Unroll the dough. Lifting the dough and ease it into the curves of the pan. Trim off the overhang and press it into the sides to create a double thick crust edge. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

You’ve now reached the second to last step in your Crust-Quest: Prebaking. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line your chilled crust with heavy aluminum foil, being careful to gently press the foil into all the nooks and crannies of the crust. Fill with dried beans, uncooked rice, or pie weights (I use dried chickpeas). Dry out the crust by baking for 15 minutes. Check to see if it’s ready by carefully lifting the foil. If it sticks, continue to bake for 2 minutes at a time, checking the foil. When it no longer sticks, remove from the oven REMEMBERING THE REMOVABLE BOTTOM. Remove the weights by gathering the foil and carefully moving it up and out. Now you’re ready to fully bake. Reduce oven temperature to 350 and put the crust back in the oven and bake until golden, about 10 minutes. If the edges are getting very dark but the center is still not done, cover the edges with small pieces of aluminum foil or crust shieldsIf the crust begins to form giant bubbles, prick them with a sharp knife and gently press down with a metal measuring cup. When it’s done, remove from the oven REMEMBERING THE REMOVABLE BOTTOM and place on a wire cooling wrack. Make the filling as the crust cools.

To unmold the crust, place the fully cooled crust on a large inverted bowl and carefully slide the outer ring off. I like to leave the bottom of the tart pan on as a reinforcer, but you can do as you will and bravely use an offset spatula to separate the pan bottom from the crust

Filling (from foodnetwork.com)

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. lemon juice

6 tbsp. butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 tbsp. lemon zest

3 eggs, beaten

about a pint of fresh blueberries

In the top of a double boiler, heat all the ingredients until they thicken to a custard and bubbles form on the surface, about 10-15 minutes. When the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon, remove from heat and strain through a mesh sieve. Let it cool until you’re ready to assemble the tart. To assemble the tart, pour the filling into the cooled crust and arrange the blueberries in a pretty pattern or simply dump berries on to embrace Normcore in your tart. Chill until you’re ready to serve!

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Breakfasts, Desserts

127

Brown Butter Blueberry Doughnuts w/ Bourbon Basil Glaze 

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I don’t know about you guys, but there are some days when I really just need to have a doughnut. Or two. Especially when they’re dunked in a bourbon glaze. You get it. My life changed last year when I got my first doughnut pan. I’d never fried my own doughnuts, so this pan was a great way to dip my toe into the doughnut game. I made these, insisting upon calling them “doughnuts”, as I felt they didn’t deserve the title without sarcasm unless the dessert was deep fried until golden brown. But now I think I’m ready to take that back. Baked doughnuts are people too! They’re less messy, and less filling (so you can have five of these bad boys before hitting a wall, unlike their fried friends which always seem to leave me feeling stuffed three bites in. Not that I call it quits there, just saying.) Not to mention it’s a much easier clean-up, and in my opinion when one has doughnuts to glaze, the last thing one needs is to deal with wiping oil off every surface in the kitchen. This recipe came out very sweet, what with fresh blueberries mixed right into the batter, so I’m really glad I picked a glaze that included basil. You may not think so, but basil works incredibly well with sweets. The herb mellows the sugar in desserts (and cocktails) perfectly, while also adding new flavor profiles to what might otherwise be a mundane sweet!

Doughnuts (makes 10-12; altered slightly from Joy the Baker)

2 c. flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 pinches ground cinnamon

2/3 c. granulated sugar

4 tbsp. butter

2 eggs

1 c. buttermilk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

blueberries (at least 1 cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a doughnut pan with cooking spray or butter and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and sugar.  Place butter in small saucepan over medium low heat. It will crackle as it browns- don’t be afraid, but keep your eye on the pan! As soon as it looks golden brown and smells nutty, remove pan from heat and transfer to a bowl (even the very brown bits).

In a small bowl whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.  Add the browned butter and combine. Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry. Combine well but try not to overmix the batter!

Spoon batter into the prepared pan.  Smooth out and fill each doughnut three-quarters full with batter. Sprinkle blueberries over the top. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. Sample one doughnut to make sure they’re not poisonous. While the doughnuts cool, make the glaze!

Glaze (from the Candid Appetite)

1 cup blueberries

1 tbsp fresh basil, torn

3 tbsp bourbon

3 cups powdered sugar

In a food processor blend the berries until smooth, then add the basil and bourbon and blend. Transfer mixture to a bowl and add powdered sugar. Whisk until combined. If it’s too thin, add more sugar; if too thick, add more bourbon or water (1 teaspoon at a time!) Dunk the doughnuts and then decorate with sprinkles or torn basil leaves!

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Desserts

122

White Chocolate Cinnamon Pudding w/ Blueberry Curd (GF)

Time to admit something: while I fancy myself a dessert snob in most areas, there are a few situations when all I want is an Oreo or soft serve ice cream or Jello pudding (y’know, this one, that every kid -except for yours truly- got in their lunch box in elementary school). Honestly, whenever someone offers me any of the aforementioned desserts they instantly become my best friend. Especially if there’s Skippy peanut butter involved (yet another schoolyard chemically altered delight of which I was deprived growing up). But it’s weird, because if you tried to get me to eat Chips Ahoy or a Twinkie for dessert I’d likely scoff loudly and uncontrollably and hurt your feelings. That’s actually a lie. I’d probably eat them happily because, come on, you just offered me dessert for no reason, you’re probably a really nice person. But I digress. The point of this little paragraph is that I was at the grocery store recently and was presented with a choice: to buy the Jello pudding snack packs or not to buy the Jello pudding snack packs. I actually had them in my cart for an aisle or two, but then had a change of heart and decided I would make pudding myself. But a fruity version because it is summer after all, so why not take advantage of fresh berries? Mathematically speaking, the price of one 6-pack of packaged chocolate-and-vanilla swirly goodness was a little bit less than buying blueberries and white chocolate chips* and milk, but I think it’s safe to say this pudding was worth it.

*A note on white chocolate: I am not a fan. Not at all. It’s chocolate for people who don’t like chocolate. It is a lie. It is an impostor. BUT for some reason, when added to vanilla pudding it really works wonders. Because it’s essentially all cocoa butter, it creates a wonderfully creamy texture and more richly flavored pudding. And all this is achieved without butter- imagine that!

Pudding (both recipes adapted from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook)

3 tbsp. cornstarch

1 tbsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

2 c. 2% milk

1/4 c. half and half

4 1/2 oz white chocolate (I used chips, you can use whatever floats your boat)

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Combine cornstarch, sugar, and salt in the top of a double boiler (I use a glass bowl over a saucepan). Before placing over water, whisk in the milk and the half and half until all ingredients are incorporated. Place bowl over simmering water and whisk occasionally. After 15-20 minutes, when the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon add the chocolate. Continue stirring until the pudding is smooth and thick. If it’s not cooperating with you (like it did to me), transfer the pudding from the double boiler to a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until thick. Remove from heat and add vanilla and cinnamon. Strain if you’re looking for a silky smooth texture or simply pour into individual serving dishes. Chill in fridge while you make the blueberry curd.

 

Blueberry Curd 

1/2 c. blueberries (or, honestly, any berry your heart desires)

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1/4 c. sugar

pinch of salt

1 egg

2 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Purée berries in a food processor or blender until very smooth. Strain the berries until you get about 3-4 tablespoons of purée. Whisk together berries and all other ingredients except the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the butter and cook over medium low heat, whisking frequently until the mixture begins to bubble. Strain again if you so choose, or simply divide evenly over the prepared pudding cups. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for about an hour. Before serving, top with fresh blueberries (or any other berry/fruit).

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Breakfasts, Desserts, Drinks

116

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If you didn’t already know this, I’m a chocoholic. Anywhere there’s chocolate there’s me. It’s a delicious problem. And because of this, oftentimes I find myself wondering “how, oh how can I have chocolate for breakfast that doesn’t involve a major sugar crash at 11 am?!” The answer presented itself to me in the form of this smoothie. It’s delicious, *healthy*, and chock full of chocolate. A+. Need I say more? Note: If you don’t have frozen bananas I strongly recommend adding ice- the consistency will be waaaay too liquidy otherwise, and for some reason this makes for an odd smoothie experience. You want your drink to be at least a bit viscous (icky word, amiright?) Anyway, let’s make smoothies!

Smoothie (serves 1; adapted from A Beautiful Mess)

– 1 frozen banana (or 1 fresh banana and several ice cubes)

– 1/3-1/2+ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

– 1 tbsp. almond butter

– 2 tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut

– 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed

– 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth- how easy is that?

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Desserts

happy 2nd birthday, Spices and Spatulas!

Vegan Peach Almond Crisp

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It’s my blogiversary! Also known as Spices and Spatulas’s 2nd birthday. Okay okay, technically it was on Thursday. But we do what we can, and I always say better late than never! When I started this blog, my photos were boring, my descriptions were long-winded, and I wasn’t really into my original concept (retro recipes- loved the alliteration, hated the limits). Now I am happy to say this blog is what keeps me sane. If I weren’t able to unwind with cooking, I don’t think I’d be able to do anything. As I mentioned recently, I find it unbelievably wonderful and humbling that people besides my mother and Emily have actually even read the blog once, let along read it regularly. I recently realized that cooking is what I want to do 5ever- if this blog could be my job I’d honestly be living the dream. Maybe someday…. But for now, I’d just like to say a thank you, and please enjoy this quick birthday treat- a personal peach crisp!

Crisp

– 1 cup peaches, cut into wedges (frozen and thawed or fresh)

– 1 tbsp. granulated sugar (optional)

– 3 tbsp. coconut oil (solid)

– 1/4 cup brown sugar

– 2 cups rolled oats

– 1/4 cup chopped almonds

– pinch of salt

– 1 tsp. ground cinnamon plus a bit extra

– 1/4 cup flour

– 1-3 tbsp. water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the peaches with sugar (if using) and set aside. In another bowl, combine the coconut oil, brown sugar, almonds, oats, salt, and cinnamon with a fork until small crumbs form. Add flour. Slowly add water as needed until large crumbs form. Place the peaches in the bottom of a 6-inch pie pan and top with brown sugar crumble and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Bake 30-45 minutes (checking every 5 minutes after the first 30) until the fruit is fully baked and bubbling and the crumble is golden. Eat it all yourself directly out of the pan with a fork and a glass of champagne!

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Breakfasts, Desserts, Snacks

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Broiled Grapefruit

My first official recipe is a quick one: it’ll take ten minutes at most, maybe five if you’re really speedy. In the 50s, broiled grapefruit was a breakfast staple, but fruit covered in sugar and garnished with a maraschino cherry isn’t exactly the healthiest option. So for this recipe I used Agave nectar instead of brown sugar. This makes for the easiest breakfast, snack, or even dessert!

– 1 large grapefruit

– drizzle of Agave nectar

– sprinkle of raw sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to broil (500 degrees F). Slice grapefruit in half and place on a metal baking sheet. Drizzle Agave nectar over the fruit and if using, the raw sugar. Place in oven and bake for 3-4 minutes.

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