Tag Archives: vegan

Maple Vanilla Coffee Creamer

Imagine that it’s a sweltering hot [boiling] August afternoon; it feels like your next door neighbor is Mr. Sun himself, and you just can’t wait for your afternoon cup of dark black, bitter, burn-your-tongue-hot coffee. *cue game show buzzer: EH!* (that was my best attempt at spelling a sound…) No! You need sweet, cold, iced coffee, and you need it now. Personally, if I’m drinking cold coffee, I need it just a touch sweeter than the way I drink my hot coffee. But not too sweet because I’m not looking for cavities and anxiety attacks, ‘kay?! This Maple Vanilla Creamer is the perfect mix of sweet but not too sweet! It mixes in great to your cup of iced coffee or cold brew, but it’s also good for hot coffee, and, I discovered, a delicious nut milk sub in my Dairy Free Chocolate Milkshakes.

Also, I will share an iced coffee tip I learned from my husband, who learned from my brother-in-law, who used to work at Starbucks. (How’s that for a game of telephone?) When we want to make iced coffee, we simply brew coffee as usual, but with half the amount of water. Then we add ice cubes to the carafe; that way, as the hot coffee brews over the ice, some of it melts, cooling the coffee without watering it down. Then we add extra ice to our individual glass. Another way to have iced coffee is just to be a mom… you’ll never finish a mug of hot coffee. But, alas, I digress. However you make your iced coffee, pour this creamer in to your heart’s content, and enjoy!


Maple Vanilla Coffee Creamer

  • Servings: 1 cup of creamer
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 1-2 tsp of pure maple syrup (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a jar.
  2. Stir to combine.
  3. Use immediately, or store covered for up to 2 weeks. Give the jar a shake before pouring.

That’s it! A simple, dairy free, refined sugar free way to spruce up your iced (or hot) coffee. For more coffee creamers, check out my Pumpkin Pie Coffee Creamer (pumpkin season is almost upon us!) and my Mexican Mocha Creamer. If you love coffee as much as I do, I know you will love all these sweet, but not too sweet, creamers! Sip some sweet, cold coffee, soak up the last rays of summer…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you; just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Berries and Greens Smoothie

 

It’s officially summertime! Which to me means pool parties, late nights, fireflies, and fresh berries. Growing up, we would pick blackberries and blueberries every Father’s Day; it was always hot, and there were bees everywhere, but we would run and hide in the bushes, sampling all our berries while filling up buckets full! That night, we would come home sticky, tired, and covered in thorn scratches, but we would sit down to a cool, refreshingly sweet bowl of berries and cream. This smoothie is an homage to the berries and cream of my childhood summers – berries and greens! Also cool and refreshingly sweet, this smoothie is delicious and packed with antioxidants (which gives it the pretty purple color), vitamins, healthy fat, and fiber. It’s as easy as tossing some ingredients in a blender, and I guarantee your whole family, kids included, will gulp it down! Your toddler may get super messy and turn purple, and may even have some chia seeds stuck in her hair the next day (true story), but messy, healthy fun will be had by all!

Berries and Greens Smoothie

Serves 4-5.

Ingredients:

  • Two large bananas – ripe with brown spots
  • 1.5 cups of frozen berries – I used a blackberry/blueberry/raspberry medley
  • 1 cup, packed down, of fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp of ground flax seed
  • 1 tbsp of chia seeds
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup of unsweetened coconut milk

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender
  • Blend and enjoy!
  • Keep leftovers covered in the refrigerator and give it a shake/stir before drinking

I hope you give this short and sweet recipe a try – smoothies are a great breakfast or snack in the summer heat, and you’re giving your kiddos essential vitamins and nutrients! Without them complaining about eating veggies…which is an extra bonus 😉 If you like breakfasts in a jar/cup, be sure to check out my Chocolate Covered Strawberry Chia Pudding and my Peanut Butter and Chocolate Overnight Oats, and for more summer-y treats, check out my No Bake Cheesecake with Chocolate CrustNo Bake Chocolate Date Cake, and Chocolate Banana “Nice” Cream. Wishing a happy start of summer to everyone! Get your antioxidants and vitamins in, stay cool…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small commission for me – helping me earn extra money to keep making recipes. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Chia Pudding

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m a chocoholic, and I am a lover of all desserts. I don’t discriminate, each dessert is delicious in it’s own way (except you, Jell-O, you’re a sick food and can’t pass as dessert), but I have a special spot in my heart for milkshakes. When my husband and I first moved to California, we lived within walking distance of a burger place that sold those really big milkshakes like in a 50’s diner. Of course, after thoroughly enjoying my usual chocolate covered strawberry shake, I would feel sick from all the sugar and dairy and did not enjoy the stomach ache…but would still usually get one whenever we went. Oops.

The first time I made this chia pudding, I was instantly transported to sunny Southern California and reminded of the flavor of my beloved chocolate covered strawberry shake. It’s a huge bonus that this deliciously sweet pudding is refined sugar free and dairy free – so no stomach aches or wacky blood sugar! Chia seeds are small but mighty, containing 11 grams of fiber, 9 grams of fat, and 4 grams of protein in just one ounce. Plus they are high in magnesium, which has a calming effect, zinc, B vitamins, and calcium. So when people find out you don’t eat dairy and ask about your calcium intake – tell them you eat chia pudding! This sweet treat is perfect for breakfast meal prep, and is delicious eaten as is, mixed with overnight oats, or on top of smoothies or even nice cream. Let’s grab a spoon and dig in!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Chia Pudding

This recipe is for one half pint mason jar. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/8 cup of chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk – this can change depending on the consistency you want
  • 1 tbsp of no sugar added strawberry fruit spread or preserves
  • 1/2 tbsp of 100% cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tbsp of honey and/or pure maple syrup
  • Optional toppings:
    • more preserves
    • a drizzle of syrup/honey
    • fresh or frozen fruit

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a half pint mason jar
  • Stir to combine well
  • Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator overnight
  • Stir again before eating
  • Top with desired toppings and enjoy!

For more sweet breakfast treats, check out my Flax and Oat Pancakes or my Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal – both sure to leave your tummy, and your sweet tooth, satisfied. Don’t forget to pin this recipe by clicking the “pinterest” button down below – that way you can come back to it often. Chia pudding may be something new for you, but I dare you to try it! It’s light, sweet, refreshing, and high in fiber, healthy fats, and calcium. Eat your tummy-ache free “milkshake”, get your calcium in…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

Baked Falafel

Recently, I’ve been trying to work two vegan or vegetarian meals into our week; I always feel kind of bloated and gross when I consume too much meat, and it saves money to not buy so much meat! Win win! The only problem is that I sometimes struggle with creativity to come up with vegan meals – we’ve done plenty of roasted veggies with rice, veggie fajitas/tacos, and beans and rice – and I was wanting to spice it up. Then I remembered many years ago making a baked falafel recipe, and decided to try my own!

Falafel is a Middle Eastern street food – a patty of sorts – made from ground chick peas, herbs, and spices. I looked up recipes for inspiration, and saw that most of them used dried chick peas that they then soaked. Well I don’t have the time for that, nor do I have a health food store close by to try and find any. So I went the canned chick pea route…and totally failed. The first time I made this recipe, my falafel was mush. I then attempted to fry these little bean balls, hoping to bring a some crispy life to them, but they completely disintegrated in the oil. Total disaster! But I wasn’t going to give up!

A big part of why I started this blog was to show that healthy food and convenience can be synonymous. So while baking falafel and using canned chick peas may not be traditional, it’s a heck of a lot simpler than running around town hunting down dried chick peas, letting them soak for hours, then making a mess with hot oil in your kitchen by frying them. In fact, it’s as simple as combining ingredients in a blender or food processor and lopping blobs onto a baking sheet. Sounds sexy, huh? 😉 Convenient, tasty, healthy, and even loved by my toddler! It took her a few tries, but now she loves eating “waffles”. If you need a break from meat, I hope you give this Baked Falafel a try!

Baked Falafel

Serves 6-8, depending on patty size.  

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 of a yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro
  • 1/3 cup of parsley
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Juice of one large lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 tbsp oat flour
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut flour

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor
  • Pulse until semi-smooth
  • Spoon large patties of the mixture onto a prepared baking sheet (greased, parchment paper, or a silicone liner)
  • Bake for about 25 minutes
  • Flip each patty, and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until both sides are brown
  • Serve warm

For more vegetarian meals, check out my Slow Cooker Potato and Kale Soup or Creamy Tomato Basil Soup to lighten up your weeknight meals, and for another chick pea recipe, check out my Classic Garlic Hummus. My cooking philosophy after becoming a mother is to KISS (keep it simple, silly!) and keep it healthy. If you’re looking for healthy yet simple recipes that fit into your busy lifestyle, whether that be slow cooker recipes, one pan recipes, easy baked goods, or quick meal prep ideas; I’ve got you covered! KISS…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

No Bake Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust

 

No Regrets Cheesecake

Recently, my husband and I shared a piece of cheesecake from that place with the 300 page menu. I’m sure you know where I’m talking about. It was delicious and extremely sweet…and I couldn’t even finish my half because I felt so sick. My husband selflessly sacrificed ( 😉 ) himself by finishing off the slice, yet I still suffered by listening to him burp all night. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a no regrets (no burp-inducing) cheesecake? Well I have it! A vegan, refined sugar free, gluten free, no bake cheesecake!

Read this in your best announcer voice: creamy, slightly tangy yet sweet whipped cream filling; atop a crunchy chocolate crust; all bathed in juicy, fresh strawberries. Are you drooling yet? Let’s get to this recipe!

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No Bake Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust

Makes one standard 9-inch pie pan.

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 cup of raw, unsalted nuts (I used 1/2 cup almonds, 1/2 cup walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup of 100% cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil, melted
  • Pinch of cinnamon

For the filling:

  • 2 cans of coconut cream (my favorite brand because it doesn’t taste coconut-y!)
  • 2 tbsp of honey or maple syrup
  • Juice from a quarter of a lime

Topping ideas:

Directions:

  • In a food processor (this Cuisinart one is on sale!), combine all ingredients for the crust
  • Pulse until it comes together in a ball
  • Press out crust into a 9 inch pie pan or 9×9 square pan
  • Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling
  • Combine filling ingredients in a mixing bowl
    • Try and not get all the liquid from the coconut cream into the bowl, or it may thin out the mixture
  • Whisk together until combined
  • Pour filling over crust
  • Freeze for about two hours
  • Once solid, slice with a sharp knife and serve with desired toppings
  • Store leftovers covered in the fridge for a week

For more no bake desserts, check out my Chocolate Banana “Nice” CreamNo Bake Chocolate Date CakeNo Bake Pumpkin PieTwo Layer Paleo Fudge, or Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. I have a strong love for all things dessert, and truly enjoy making classics healthier! I hope you enjoy them, too! Stay healthy while indulging a little…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Mexican Mocha Creamer

A Little Homesick

As you may know, my husband and I just recently moved back to Texas after four years in Southern California. I’ve always called Texas home, but lately, I’ve been feeling homesick for California. I miss the warm sun, the beach, our friends, and even base housing (never thought that would happen!), but especially our church and our slow Sundays. On our way home from church in Cali, we would oftentimes stop for coffee at a little drive-through kiosk. It was little but insanely popular, with the line usually wrapping around into the neighboring parking lots. We would usually just get plain brewed coffee with almond milk, but sometimes for a treat, I would get a Mexican Mocha. Chocolate-y with hints of vanilla and cinnamon, it was delicious; however, with all the sugar in the mocha, I would soon be left with fuzzy teeth and a sugar crash, so I decided to make my own! As an homage to sunny Southern California, which will always have a special spot in my heart, here is my dairy free and refined sugar free Mexican Mocha Creamer!

Mexican Mocha Creamer

Makes about 3 cups. 

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a small pot
  • Over medium-low heat, whisk until thoroughly combined and warmed through
  • Pour directly into coffee, or blend for a frothy cuppa
  • Cover and refrigerate leftovers (I use a mason jar) and pour (or blend) into coffee again and again!

If mocha isn’t your thing, I have my Pumpkin Pie Coffee Creamer for you! And for other dairy free, refined sugar free drinks, check out my Dairy Free EggnogDeath by Hot Chocolate, and Slow Cooker Apple Cider. If you need a sweet treat to go with your Joe, I’ve got you! Check out my Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter CupsMicrowave Molten Lava CakeDark Chocolate Paleo Brownies, or Wholesome Chocolate Chunk Cookies for some of my favorites!

I hope you can have a peaceful cup of afternoon coffee, complete with Mexican Mocha Creamer and a satisfying treat. Get caffeinated and rejuvenated…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you; just a small pantry fund for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Classic Candy with a Healthy Twist

If you hear the words “peanut butter cup”, I am sure you think of that certain candy with an orange wrapper, AKA chocolate-coated-peanut-buttery-goodness. Ah yes. They are certainly delicious, but those candies have 16 grams (8 per cup) of sugar! I’m sure you know by now that I have a huge sweet tooth [monster], and I’m definitely a fan of the classic peanut butter/chocolate pairing. Before I discovered the effects of sugar on my anxiety, I could gobble up 2 orange packages (32 grams of sugar!) without batting an eye…then, when I was lying in bed wide awake at 2 AM, I would wonder why my chest was tight and my heart was racing. *face palm*

For Zemirah’s stocking this Christmas I…I mean, Santa…decided to make refined sugar free candies, and peanut butter cups were first on the list! I made them again for her birthday, and they were a hit! If you ask me, these peanut butter cups taste even better than the ones with the orange wrapper; they are vegan, no bake, gluten free, can be made paleo, and the best part (to me) is that they are refined sugar free! Sweetened only with maple syrup, these peanut butter cups will give you the nostalgia of opening one of those orange packages, with an even better taste, and won’t send your blood sugar soaring! These little treats would be the perfect things to pack in your kiddo’s lunch box for their Valentine’s Day treat; they will love them, and you will love knowing they will still be able to focus in school without a sugar crash! Chocolate-coated-peanut-buttery-refined-sugar-free-goodness for the win!

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Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Makes 6 large peanut butter cups. Could easily be doubled.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Line 6 muffin tins with parchment paper cupcake liners
  • In a microwave safe bowl, combine the baking chocolate and 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil
  • Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until completely melted and smooth
  • Combine peanut butter, maple syrup, salt, and coconut flour in a separate bowl
  • Fill each liner about 1/5 of the way with chocolate
  • Scoop a large spoonful of the peanut butter mixture on top of each, flatten with a spoon
  • Cover each peanut butter scoop with remaining chocolate
  • Chill in refrigerator for about an hour, until firm
  • Keep leftovers covered, in fridge, for 5-7 days (though they will be gone in 2!)

For more nut butter/chocolate goodness, check out my Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie BarsTwo Layer Paleo FudgePeanut Butter and Chocolate Overnight Oats, and Wholesome Chocolate Chunk Cookies. And for more no bake desserts (is there anything better?!) check out my Microwave Molten Lava CakeNo Bake Chocolate Date Cake, and Chocolate Banana “Nice” Cream. I hope you find a treat you love for this Love Day, and don’t forget to pin it (at the bottom of the page) so you can keep coming back to it! Celebrate this Valentine’s Day with some refined sugar free chocolate, keep your sugar monster silenced, your blood sugar regular…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you; just a small pantry fund for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

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