dessert

Hazelnut Chocolate Banana Smoothies

Hazelnut Chocolate Banana Smoothies

Smoothies and summertime go together like...chocolate and bananas :) Today's crazy easy recipe is for a refreshing smoothie that will satisfy your sweet tooth while remaining on the healthier side. 

Nutiva is one of my favorite organic plant-food companies. Their products are well-priced, delicious, and their brand is transparent. Recently, Nutiva sent me some samples of their new Organic Hazelnut Spread, which comes in Classic and Dark flavors. Despite the rich, decadent flavor, it contains 40% less sugar than the leading brand, and comes in jars or packets for on-the-go snacking! I love the individual packaging because they're so easy to use and help with portion control. On top of all that, they're gluten free and vegan :) 

Today I decided to whip up some smoothies - all you need to do is blend your favorite milk, some ice, a banana, and some Nutiva Organic Hazelnut Spread together and you're in smoothie heaven. Add in some chia, honey, other fresh fruit, or chopped chocolate to make it extra decadent. Let's get blending :) 

Matcha Chia Pudding

Matcha Chia Pudding

I live for simple recipes. Being able to throw a few ingredients together to create something special and tasty is my type of cooking, haha. Chia pudding is so incredibly easy to make, and its versatility makes it even more appealing. Check out my Raspberry, and Mint Chocolate Chia Pudding recipes! My favorite version of this pudding is plain chocolate (so awesome with bananas), but you can add virtually any flavor to plain chia pudding to use seasonal fruit, or satisfy your cravings. Mangoes are coming into season, and can't wait to enjoy some juicy, sweet mango pudding. 

Matcha powder is a fine, velvety powder made from high grade green tea leaves. Matcha contains 137 times more antioxidants than green tea, and the flavor shifts from grassy to sweet. Matcha pairs beautifully with dark chocolate, almond, white chocolate, and raspberry. Adding matcha powder to your traditional chia pudding livens it up, bringing a wonderful earthiness to this breakfast/dessert. Watch the video below and let's get cookin! 

Raspberry Chia Pudding

Raspberry Chia Pudding

Chia pudding is one of the easiest ways to work superfoods into your diet - not to mention how incredibly tasty and versatile it is to make! It takes virtually 5 minutes to whip together, and then all you've got to do is have enough patience to let it chill in the fridge for a few hours. I like to make my pudding at night so that there's no waiting ;) Chia pudding works beautifully as an alternative to overnight oats, cereal, or your morning yogurt for breakfast; or really wonderful as dessert. 

The only thing you need to remember when making chia pudding is a simple ratio of 1 cup milk to 4 tbsp chia seeds. You can use any type of milk, such as coconut, almond, rice, soy, or cow :) You can stir in greek yogurt for some more texture and fluff. When it comes to flavoring your pudding, anything goes! Blend up some fresh fruit, use chocolate, mint, peanut butter, nutella... the list goes on and on. 

An easy treat for Valentine's Day is to toss some raspberries into the blender and add them to your pudding. Serve it with fresh mint, or shaved chocolate for a sweet, healthy treat. Watch the video below to find out how :)

Honey Baked Pears with Walnuts

Honey Baked Pears with Walnuts

These baked pears are the quickest way to indulge in some holiday goodness. Anyone can make them - just 5 minutes of prep and 25 minutes in the oven (I made them in my toaster oven!). Beautiful fresh pears are drizzled with a quick mix of honey and vanilla extract, and sprinkled with cinnamon, your favorite granola, and crushed walnuts. There is nothing quite like the smell of warm cinnamon filling your home to remind you how close we are to Christmas! 

Feel free to add your own homemade granola - I love using Nature's Path Organic Pumpkin Flax Granola on my morning yogurt and on treats like this. I also love adding a sprinkle of hemp seeds for an extra boost of nutrition - they're packed with amino acids, Omega-3s, fiber, and more. Once the pears bake up in the oven, they transform into tender, spoonable desserts that are warm with holiday flavor. Top the baked pears off with plain yogurt or your favorite ice cream. These are simple to make and are easy on the wallet - ideal for entertaining :) Let's get baking!

Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding

Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding

PSL Season! Are you about that Pumpkin Spice Life? Seemingly everyone becomes obsessed with everything Pumpkin Spice this time of year, and I can't complain. My not-so-secret indulgence is Costco Pumpkin Pie (it's so freaking good), and I really do enjoy certain things with a lil added pumpkin spice. (Check out the easiest Pumpkin French Toast here :) 

My girl Tracy roasted off some beautiful Kurobuta Pumpkin this weekend and made me some homemade pumpkin puree! What else to do but make the easiest dessert/snack in the world? Chia pudding! Adding pumpkin spice, maple syrup, and pumpkin puree (you can absolutely use canned pumpkin!!) makes a wonderful Fall treat that's actually packed with nutrients, dairy-free, and vegan ;) Watch the recipe that takes literally 5 minutes below, and let's get cookin! 

Dairy Free Red Bean Ice

Dairy Free Red Bean Ice

Hong Kong is a food paradise - a mix of world class high end restaurants, modern fare, and local eats. Cha Chaan Tengs (tea-houses) are where Hong Kongers can satiate their appetites at virtually any hour of the day. Known for their incredibly affordable and eclectic menus, cha chain tengs serve food that came about after the Second World War, when Hong Kong culture was influenced by British culture. The menus are endless and barely have parameters, including everything from wonton mein to curry, Hong Kong style French toast, and steak. Besides Hong Kong-style milk tea, one popular drink is the Red Bean Ice. 

I am a huge fan of red bean desserts, in all forms. The Red Bean Ice is so refreshing; especially in the humid HK summers. Crushed ice, tender red beans in a sugar syrup, and coconut milk are the most delicious cool-down treat on a hot day. Adding a scoop of ice cream makes it a popular dessert. Stirring it all together makes a sort of slush that is enjoyed with a long spoon and straw. 

Another wonderful thing about the Red Bean Ice is that it's dairy free! It's nice to be able to enjoy a sweet treat without sacrificing any flavor. In this version of Red Bean Ice, you'll be combining red beans cooked in coconut sugar, layered with creamy, rich coconut milk, and ice cold almond milk. Top it off with ice and a scoop of your favorite dairy free ice cream! I'm using Happy Cow Dairy Free Ice Cream, made from coconuts. I've tried this with recipe with both their Vanilla and Red Bean ice cream, and it's amazing either way. It adds the perfect creaminess to the drink. Watch the recipe video below to learn how to make your own Red Bean Ice at home! 

Bisquick Crepes

Bisquick Crepes

This recipe came about as a happy accident. One night (I know you love breakfast for dinner!) I was craving pancakes and decided to whip up a quick batch (carbs be damned). I only had skim milk (0% fat milk) that I use with cereal, and didn't think it would really make a difference. You know the saying "The first pancake is always a failure"? I totally thought that was the case when I poured this batter on the hot skillet. The resulting pancake was more like a crepe - thin, fluffy, and beautifully crisp along the edges. I realized I had just created a hack for crepes - until I googled it and discovered it was a thing. Either way, here's a super simple recipe for crepes that can be turned sweet or savory...whatever you like :) 

Today I'm filling them with plain yogurt and fresh strawberries, topping them with toasted coconut, lemon zest for brightness, and a scoop of non-dairy ice cream. I'm using Happy Cow Dairy-Free Ice Cream, which is made from coconut milk and brings tons of creamy decadence to this dish! Let's get cookin!

Ice Cream Smoothie Bowls

Ice Cream Smoothie Bowls

I'm teaming up Happy Cow HK, Hong Kong's premium dairy-free ice cream company, to develop some delicious recipes that celebrate their coconut based ice cream! These recipes will give you inspiration for using your favorite brand of ice cream, or making your own Nice Cream! Some other fantastic dairy-free brands are SO Delicious, Almond Dream, Amy's, and Coconut Bliss.

Smoothie Bowls are easy to make, pretty to look at, and are a guilt-free way to enjoy the creaminess goodness of ice cream for breakfast, lunch, a snack, or dessert. You can create them with pretty much any combination of flavors that you have on hand. Try out fresh fruit, granola, cereal, nuts, chocolate, even peanut butter! 

Today I'm using Happy Cow Mango Ice Cream and almond milk to create my smoothie base. All you've got to do is blend your fav ice cream with your choice of milk, coconut milk, or juice (just enough to loosen it up a bit), and top off your smoothie bowl with all the fruit/toppings you like! You can also throw a banana into the blender instead of milk. 

Cinnamon Apples

Cinnamon Apples

Have you ever had Boston Market's cinnamon apples? Oh my god. When I was a kid, I lived for them. They're basically just the filling of a delicious apple pie - sweet, tender apples in a warm cinnamon sauce. Once in a while, I crave them, and a few weeks ago I decided that I'd try to make a batch! Turns out they're super simple to make at home. A yummy mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, a little salt, and a good squeeze of lemon juice makes these the perfect topping for oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, or just to enjoy with a scoop of ice cream. Let's get cookin!

Grilled Pineapple Ice Cream Sundaes

Grilled Pineapple Ice Cream Sundaes

Grilled pineapple is a serious dessert hack! Throwing the fruit on the grill amps up the sweetness, and the warm, caramelized edges are so delicious. Serving this simple grilled fruit with a scoop of coconut ice cream makes the easiest decadent dessert ever. The mix of warm fruit and creamy coconut ice cream is tropical heaven. The best part about this dessert is that it's completely plant-based! I'm enjoying the option of dairy-free ice cream lately, and my tummy couldn't be more happy.