Weekend Baking: Date & Buckwheat Muffins

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Dates seem like they're all the rage these days. They're good for you, taste delicious, and sweeten up any dessert. Buckwheat is also gluten free and supremely good for you. So I'd like to deem these muffins, healthy! They're also very yummy, and can be made in a snap. Not to mention, there's no sugar added! datemuffins

You will need:

1/2 cup of chopped, pitted dates

1 cup of almond milk (or any non-dairy milk of your preference)

1 teaspoon of baking soda

2 eggs

1/4 cup of coconut oil

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

3/4 cup of buckwheat flour

chopped almonds and oats for topping

To start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a pot, heat up the almond milk, chopped dates, and baking soda. Let it come to a boil, then simmer for 1 minute. Let cool a little bit then add to a food processor to make into a paste.

In a bowl, mix taught the rest of the ingredients, except for the almonds and oats. Add in the date paste, and combine well. Grease or line a muffin tin and divide the batter equally. Top with the almonds and oats. You should get about 6-8 muffins out of it. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the centre is no longer wet. Let them cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the tin. And enjoy!

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Weekend Baking: Vegan & Gluten Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Morning! What's better than an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie? Maybe a vegan and gluten free one that everyone you know can enjoy! Although this recipe is vegan and gluten free, it couldn't be more simple. These cookies are absolutely delicious, and got the non-Vegan-Gluten-Free person approval. So you know they're good. chocoat2

You will need:

1 cup of oats 1 cup of gluten free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill all-purpose flour) 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum 1/2 cup of sugar 1/4 cup of chia seeds (If you don't have chia seeds, you can use flax) 1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon 1 tsp of sea salt 3/4 cup of apple sauce or canola oil 1/3 cup of almond milk 1 tsp of vanilla extract 1/2 - 1 cup of chocolate chips

To start, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in one bowl, and mix the wet in another. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix well. Add in the chocolate chips.

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Using an ice cream scoop or a rough estimate of 1/4 cup, make balls of dough. Flatten each ball to about 1/4 inch thick and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.

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Once out of the oven, let the cookies cool for at least 20 minutes so they can settle and stick together well. Enjoy!

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Weekend Baking: Madeleines

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Good morning everyone! Have you ever tried Madeleines? If yes, you know just how wonderful they are. If no, go buy a madeleine pan & make these immediately! They're so easy for being a French cookie, and they take only minimal ingredients to make. If you're interested in fluffy yet crisp pillows of wonderfulness then continue reading. madeleines5

You will need:

4 tbsp of melted butter (cooled)

1/2 cup of flour

1/8 tsp of baking powder

Pinch of salt

1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

Juice of half an orange

2 eggs

1/4 cup of sugar

*NB: This recipe will make about 18 Madeleines, which is roughly one and a half pans.

To start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In one bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, preferably an electric stand mixer, whisk the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and orange juice until they become thick, and a pale yellow colour. This should take about 5 minutes or so if mixed on high.

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Pour in the melted butter and mix gently. Fold in the dry ingredients by hand, and don't over mix!

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Fill the moulds 3/4 ways up in the pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until they're slightly golden. madeleines3

Once out of the oven, and left cooled for about 30 seconds, tip over onto a cooling rack. madeleines4

Once cooled, dust with icing sugar and enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea.

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Weekend Baking: Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Chocolate chip cookies are everyone's favourite so they're the perfect treat to make on the weekend. They're comforting, warm and gooey, but these ones have a bit of a twist! They have sea salt on the tops. I'm a big fan of salty and sweet together in a dessert. These cookies will settle your cravings, and will leave you happy. You will need:

1 cup of softened butter

1 cup of brown sugar

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp of vanilla extract

2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 tsp of baking soda

1/2 tsp of salt (plus more sea salt for topping)

2 cups of chocolate chips

To start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until it becomes fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until it becomes creamy. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix in into the wet ingredients gradually. Stir in the chocolate chips. (Its important to stir the chocolate chips in and now beat them because you want the chips to stay whole) I like to use a mini ice cream scooper to portion out the dough and then I roll them into balls. Top each ball with sea salt, and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. Let them cool, and enjoy! chocolate chip dough ball2 chocolate chip dough ball1 salt chocolate chip cookies salt chocolate chip cookie

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Weekend Baking: Vegan & Gluten Free Raw Brownies

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This is the second instalment of Weekend Baking! For today's recipe we're making vegan and gluten free raw brownies! These are healthy, delicious and super quick to make since there's no baking involved! They're like a version of protein bars so you know they're good for you. These are perfect to make on the weekend because you can enjoy them all Saturday and Sunday, and throughout the week too! You will need:

1 cup of dates, pitted

1 cup of raw almonds

1/2 cup of shredded coconut

2 teaspoons of raw cocoa powder

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of coconut oil

1/2 cup of natural peanut butter (or nut butter of your choice)

2 teaspoons of maple syrup

1 teaspoon of water (if need for binding)

A food processor

To start, put all of your ingredients into your food processor. Whaz it up! If it's not coming together naturally or is too dry, add in a little water.

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Once it mixed well and combined, line a square pan with cling wrap, and dump it out. Flatten out the mix with a spatula or your hands, then cover and pop in the fridge for 1 hour at least.

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After it's settled and hardened, you can cut into it and make squares. raw brownie 3

Enjoy!

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These are full of goodness, are healthy, and barely take anything to do. If you keep them wrapped or put them into a container, they will stay fresh for a good week or so. You can add in flax seeds, other nuts, dried fruit, or anything else that meets your fancy! They're as flexible as you are.

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Brain Food: Healthy Gluten Free Banana Bread

Along comes the Winter semester and crunch time for university students everywhere. Brain food is very important to sustain yourself in the times of exams and essays. When I think of brain food, I automatically think of bananas! Bananas are high in fibre, potassium, and many other things. This banana bread is gluten free, low in sugar, and has lots of add-ins that creates a super banana bread! banana bread

You will need:

2-3 very ripe bananas, mashed

1/3 cup of butter, melted (I used vegan butter)

1/3 cup of sugar (I used coconut sugar)

1 egg

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of baking soda

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup of flax seeds

1/3 cup of oats

2 tablespoons of unsweetened shredded coconut

2 tablespoons of chia seeds

1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum

1 1/2 cups of gluten free flour

*You can make this with regular all purpose flour and without the xanthan gum if gluten free isn't necessary.

To start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl mash your bananas, and add in your melted butter. Add in the egg, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt, and mix thoroughly. Add in the flax seeds, oats, chia seeds, coconut, and mix together. Lastly add in the xanthan gum and gf flour. Mix thoroughly and pour batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the centre is no longer wet. banana bread2banana bread 1banana bread 3

This banana bread is super easy to make, takes no time at all, and is a healthy sweet treat! It's great for snacking on, or you can use it    as a breakfast or lunch with peanut butter or cream cheese on top. You can substitute any of "healthy" extras for chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruit. I personally make this banana bread all the time, and especially when it is crunch time and I need a little healthy yet comforting boost in the snack department.

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Orange Pomegranate Scones

Scones have a special place in my heart. They're fluffy, buttery, and can be either sweet or savoury. They're also the perfect accompaniment to a cuppa or any warm drink. Scones warm my soul. pile of scones nc1c edit

If you'd like to make these easy orange pomegranate scones, you will need:

2 cups of flour

1/3 cup of sugar

1.5 teaspoons of baking powder

A pinch of salt

8 tablespoons of butter

3/4 cup of pomegranate seeds

Zest and juice of one orange

1/2 cup of milk

1 egg

To start, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Mix together your milk and egg thoroughly. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Grate the butter into the dry ingredients, and combine until it becomes like sand. Add the pomegranate seeds, zest and juice of one orange. Stir in the milk mixture, and combine until a dough is formed. On a floured surface, form the dough into one flat circle round, or two depending on the size of scone you prefer. I like a medium size which means I can get 16 scones out of two rounds. Cut into triangles, sprinkle a little sugar on the top, and pop in the oven for 15 minutes. The scones will be perfectly golden brown.

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Serve these scones and they will become a hit! You can add in cheese, herbs, or any other fruit that meets your fancy. They're completely versatile, and also pretty budget friendly.

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University Crunch Time: Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn

If you've seen my last post on the energy balls of brain food, you'll know I'm in crunch time. As there's so many exams coming up, I need some substance to keep me through it. And when I say substance, I mean yummy snacks. Popcorn tends to be my go-to since its so low in calories, high in fibre, and its also scientifically proven that popcorn makes you happy! That sounds like the perfect snack to me. For my birthday I received a popper which makes popping popcorn super easy and pretty fun. This cinnamon sugar popcorn recipe is so easy and will also satisfy all your sweet and savoury cravings. Cinnamon is also a great addition to any meal for your health. It is known to help out your heart, carries anti-oxidants, and also help with brain function (among many other benefits), plus it tastes amazing.

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You will need:

Corn kernels (I used 4 tablespoons as that's what my popper requires)

1 teaspoon of Truvia (It's a calorie-less sugar alternative)

1.5 teaspoons of Cinnamon

A pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of melted coconut oil (you can use butter, vegan butter, or anything of your preference)

To start, pop your corn kernels! While they're popping mix together the truvia, cinnamon and salt. Melt your butter or coconut oil. Once it's popped coat your popcorn with all of the ingredients. And you're done! IMG_3622IMG_3626IMG_3631

Enjoy this popcorn recipe! It's super easy, gluten free, and vegan. Plus its healthy! The possibilities are endless when it comes to popcorn so have some fun with it!

Happy Sunday!

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University Crunch Time: Energy Balls of Brain Food

Its that time of year that happens before the most wonderful time of year - crunch time. I have so many essays to do and exams to study for, and quite frankly I need some brain food. Today I made these little energy balls of brain food within 5 minutes. They're delicious, nutritious, and make for a great snack, pick-me-up, or quick breakfast. IMG_3467 You will need:

1/2 cup of dried, pitted dates

1/2 cup of dried cherries (any type of dried fruit can work)

1/2 cup of pistachios (any type of nut)

1/4 cup of oats

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of chia seeds

1 tablespoon of maple syrup

1 tablespoon of nut butter (I used peanut butter)

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To start, prep all of your ingredients except the nut butter and place them inside your food processor. Whiz it up until everything becomes small bits. Add in the nut butter, and again, whiz it up! The mixture should become one big ball and when that happens, its done! Make smaller balls out of the mixture into whatever size you like. Put them into a container and pop them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to let them chill and come together. You can enjoy them for up to two weeks. IMG_3492

These little balls of nutrition are vegan, gluten free, and so healthy for you. They're all natural and make a great snack between all of the craziness of university crunch time. Try them out and let me know how you like them!

Ps. those lights in the background are from my cute little christmas tree. There will be holiday posts coming soon!

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Vegan French Toast

Today was a stay-at-home-get-away-from-the-cold-and-work-on-1000000-essays-you-have-to-do kinda day. It's exhausting working on so many papers and trying to keep warm. Today in my humble town above Toronto it feels like -18 degrees. With that said, I wanted something warm at lunch and a little bit different than I usually would have, and something very quick! I went with French Toast, of the vegan kind. IMG_3323

This recipe is super easy, warm, and cozy. Slather it up with some maple syrup, fruit, and some whip cream (I opted for coconut whip cream). It'll take you no time at all, and makes you feel so comforting.

You will need:

Bread. I used a whole grain bread, but anything hearty should be fine.

1 cup of almond milk

1 tablespoon of chia seeds (ground or left whole)

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

To start, get your pan heating up, and place all of the ingredients (aside from the bread) into a bowl. Mix until its all combined. Let it sit for a few minutes so the chia seeds can thicken up (and mimic eggs.) Dunk each slice of bread into the milk mixture and let it sit for 20-30 seconds per side. Place it into your pan, and let each side become crispy and golden brown. Top your french toast with whatever you have on hand or would like to indulge with.

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Vegan & Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Banana and chocolate chip is one of my favourite flavour combinations when baking. Last week I was craving some yummy and healthy muffins so I decided to make these quick muffins. I also had some bananas going a little mushy so this was the perfect way to use them up! IMG_3155

You will need:

1 3/4 cups of gluten free flour

3/4 cup of sugar

1 tablespoon of baking powder

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

1/2 cup of almond milk

1/2 cup of oil (I used canola)

2-3 ripe bananas

1 cup of vegan chocolate chips

To start, preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and get your muffin pan ready with either baking cups or a non-stick spray. Sift the flour with the sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and sea salt. Mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl, mix the almond milk and oil together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and combine. Mash your bananas, and add them with the chocolate chips into the mixture. Fold them in gently to ensure the chocolate chips don't get mashed too! Scoop the batter into the muffin pan, and bake for 15-20 minutes. They should be golden and a toothpick should come out clean if inserted. Let them cool, and enjoy!

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These muffins are so moist, and delicious. Again, everything you should already have on hand which makes them budget conscious. You can easily make this recipe without the vegan or gluten free ingredients; you can sub them out at a 1:1 ratio and they'll turn out just fine. I popped my muffins in the freezer so I can have them on hand anytime. Also so I wouldn't eat them all in one day! To freeze, wrap up each muffin with plastic wrap and pop them into a freezer bag!

Give these muffins a try and they'll definitely be a go to for you!

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