3 Healthy Ways to Make Oatmeal

Oatmeal is one breakfast that I can never get tired of. It is so delicious and nutritious, and there are so many different ways to enjoy it! There are a ton of different recipes out there, but I wanted to share three of my favorite, healthiest oatmeal recipes that I love to make all of the time. They are all naturally sweetened, include lots of healthy ingredients, and take less than fifteen minutes to make. Here they are:

Classic Creamy Oats with Berries

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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3 Healthy Ways to Make Oatmeal

This is one of my favorite oatmeal recipes because the combination of cashew milk and mashed banana create a really creamy texture in the oats and they turn out super thick and delicious! I find that cashew milk is a little bit creamier than almond milk, which is why I use it in this recipe. The ripe banana also helps in thickening up the oats and it is a great natural sweetener. Top with chia for some extra nutrients and crunch and strawberries, blueberries, and kiwi for some extra tart, sweet, and fresh flavor!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • fresh fruit of your choice- I used strawberries, blueberries, and kiwi.

Directions

  1. Mash up your banana and add to a pot together with your oats, cashew milk, and vanilla extract. Stir well.
  2. Cook over medium heat for about 2-5 minutes, until the oats thicken.
  3. Top with fruit and chia seeds.

Chocolate Banana Oats

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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3 Healthy Ways to Make Oatmeal

These chocolate oats are so awesome because it seriously tastes like you are having dessert for breakfast. The oats turn out really soft and creamy and the cacao nibs, almonds, and coconut add an awesome crunchy texture.

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon raw cacao (cocoa works also if you don’t have any)
  • a pinch of vanilla extract and cinnamon
  • raw almonds
  • coconut shreds
  • cacao nibs

Directions

  1. Mash your banana with a fork and mix with the oats, almond milk, cacao, vanilla and cinnamon. Boil in a pot over medium heat for 2-5 minutes.
  2. Top with almond, cacao nibs, coconut shreds, and fresh banana.

Cinnamon Apple Oats

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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3 Healthy Ways to Make Oatmeal

Apples are one of my favorite fruit and the combination of apples, cinnamon, and oats is perfect for a fall day, or any morning at all!

Ingredients

  • 1 apple (I used honey crisp, but any kind of apple would work)
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • optional: walnut, pecans, or raisins

Directions

  1. Cut your apple in half. Use a cheese grater to grate one half of the apple.
  2. In a small pot, mix the grated apple, almond milk, and cinnamon and boil over medium heat for at least five minutes.
  3. After the apple has had time to cook, add the oats to the mix and cook for another 2-5 minutes.
  4. This recipe tastes great topped with fresh apple, walnuts, blueberries, or raisins.
  5. Enjoy!

There are so many awesome ways to eat oats for breakfast, but these are some of my favorite ones. I hope you try them out and love them as much as I do 🙂

3 Healthy Ways to Make Oatmeal

 

Healthiest Homemade Granola- Naturally Sweetened and Oil Free

Granola- it’s perfect on smoothies, yogurt, chia pudding, as a bar, or just by itself! I used to buy store-bought granola, but I found that no matter what brand I bought, they always had so much added sugar and oils that don’t add any health benefits and just aren’t needed. I wanted to make a granola recipe that is filled with only nutritious ingredients that help me start my morning the right way and provide a lot of energy for the day.

So I combined some of my favorite and healthiest ingredients – oats, pecans, hemp, flax, and chia. I added some extra delicious flavors like coconut, vanilla, and cinnamon, and sweetened it with a ripe banana. The end product turned out so delicious and it is now my favorite crunchy granola to add to any breakfast. And as an added bonus, it is full of fiber, potassium, Vitamin C, calcium, and iron! Here is the recipe with the exact ratios that I used.

Healthiest Homemade Granola

  • Servings: about 4 (depending on how much granola you like to use)
  • Difficulty: easy
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Healthiest Homemade Granola

Super easy and quick to make homemade granola without all of the added sugar and oil of store-bought granola. Made with the healthiest ingredients only and is vegan and gluten free.

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 2 tablespoons of crushed pecans
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut shreds
  • 2 teaspoons hemp seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chia
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Mash the ripe banana in a bowl.
  3. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  4. Spread the granola on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 20-30 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want it.

Healthiest Homemade Granola

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls

IMG_0292 2I love making food for other people- I think good food brings people together and it is just so much fun to make too. I have been going to a lot of graduation and birthday parties this summer and I have been making some different desserts that I want to share on this blog. These dark chocolate peanut butter balls are one of my favorite desserts to make for parties, especially for my friends who are also into eating healthy. They are vegan, high in protein (about 5g of protein per truffle), gluten free, and the only sweetener comes from natural maple syrup. I made 18 truffles with this recipe, but you can definitely make more if you make them smaller, or double the recipe. I love these truffles because they are delicious and really filling, and they also just look nice (at least I thought so!), so they are perfect to bring to events. I hope you give them a try:)

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls

  • Servings: 18 peanut butter balls
  • Difficulty: easy
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Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • a pinch of salt
  • dark chocolate (I used vegan 100% dark chocolate)
  • optional: sea salt and Himalayan salt to top

Directions

  1. Mix the peanut butter, oat flour, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt until you get a smooth batter.
  2. Form into balls and refrigerate for 30 minutes- 1 hour.
  3. Melt the dark chocolate until it has a liquid consistency. I have a candy melt machine that I use for this, but you can also melt chocolate in a pan over the stove or in a dish in the microwave.
  4. Drop each peanut butter ball into your melted chocolate and roll it around until it is fully covered in chocolate. Do this for each ball and then transfer them on a pan (this is where you can also sprinkle the Himalayan salt and sea salt on top of each ball if you wish). It is easier and less messy if you use a fork to move each ball from the dish of melted chocolate to the pan.
  5. Refrigerate the now chocolate covered peanut butter balls for another 30 minutes- 1 hour until the chocolate has hardened.
  6.  Enjoy:)

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Healthy Fudgy Brownie Truffles

If you’re anything like me, you’re always craving something sweet (and often times unhealthy). Fortunately, there are ways to create amazingly delicious versions of the best unhealthy desserts by just swapping the bad ingredients with good ones. I first made this recipe with my best friend, who is also a model. Since we both have to stay in shape, we always bake with only healthy ingredients, which is how these truffles came to be. We wanted to make them simple and quick, and this is what we came up with. We are now obsessed with these and make them all of the time.

The preparation time is less than ten minutes and, honestly, the hardest part is waiting for the batter to freeze without eating it all;) These truffles are such a great snack for the summer because they are cold, and yet super nutritious. The recipe is high in iron and calcium, and if you make 12 truffles like I did, each one has 2.5 grams of protein, about 2 grams of fiber, and only 74 calories! They are seriously one of my all time favorite desserts and, personally, I think that they taste just like brownies!

Healthy Fudgy Brownie Truffles

  • Servings: 12 truffles
  • Difficulty: easy
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Healthy Fudgy Brownie Truffles

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons cacao
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • a pinch of salt
  • add almond milk if the mixture is too thick

Directions

  1. Mix the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Freeze the batter for about an hour.
  3. Shape into balls and enjoy:)

Healthy Fudgy Brownie Truffles

4 Ingredient Oatmeal Cookies

From castings and shoots, to classes and homework, I don’t have a lot of time in my schedule, so I always try and create the fastest and easiest recipes that are also super nutritious and don’t require any unhealthy ingredients. These four ingredient oatmeal cookies are one of my favorite cookies to make because they require less than 20 minutes total to make, and I can store them away and snack on them all week when I have a sweet craving, need a study snack, or need something quick and filling to take with me when I am on the run. So many cookies have a bunch of added sugar and other ingredients that don’t really provide any nutritional value and end up making me more hungry, so whenever I want cookies that are delicious and nutritious, I turn to these.

4 ingredient oatmeal cookies

I have also been having so much fun with food photography and taking and editing photos of my food; it’s something I just started doing this summer and I didn’t realize how much I would fall in love with it. I’ve also been seeing really awesome recipe videos and they I thought that they looked like a blast to make. I think they are also so engaging, and I thought it would make it easier for people to create the recipe when they see exactly how it’s made. So I created a video of how I made these cookies; it took a lot of time and work to make, but it was such a fun little project and I loved every minute of it. I actually think it turned out decent for my first recipe video and I’m so excited to share it! I included it in this post to make it super easy to see how to create this super simple recipe.

I hope you give it a try:)

4 Ingredient Oatmeal Cookies

  • Servings: 15 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
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4 ingredient oatmeal cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oats
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 handful cacao nibs or chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Mix the ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Bake for 10-15 minutes on 350 degrees.

Enjoy:)

 

4 Ingredient Oatmeal Cookies

Mango Banana Tropical Summer Smoothie

Mango Banana Tropical Summer Smoothie

There are so many amazing smoothie and smoothie bowl recipes out there and I love to experiment with different fruit, bases, and toppings. Now that it’s summer and the weather is slowly but surely warming up here in Chicago, I have been making smoothies for breakfast almost daily. I wanted to share one of my favorite smoothie recipes that I have been making constantly lately. It’s light and refreshing, but also filling. When it’s really hot outside, I love having a light fruity breakfast like this because I find that having a really big or heavy breakfast makes me slightly tired and drains my energy. I love having a several of lighter, nutritious meals and snacks throughout the day. This smoothie bowl combination is a perfect example of one!

Mango Banana Tropical Summer Smoothie

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Mango Banana Tropical Summer Smoothie

The perfect smoothie for a warm summer day!

*This recipe has a total of 300 calories and is high in fiber, Vitamin C, and Calcium.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut milk yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut shreds
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs

Directions

  1. Blend the mango, banana, and yogurt and top with coconut, hemp, and cacao nibs.

Enjoy:)

Mango Banana Tropical Summer Smoothie

 

Vegan Banana Pancakes

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I have attempted (and failed) several times at making vegan pancakes. I tried different recipes out on my own and experimented with different ingredients to try and replace milk, eggs, and butter from the traditional pancake recipe. Somehow, I never could get the pancakes to turn of fluffy, or sweet enough, so I finally I thought I would do a little research and find out how different ingredients work together and which ones I could combine to make the perfect vegan pancakes. After reading up on baking and which ingredients can be used to replace animal products, this is the list of ingredients that I ended up using to create super healthy pancakes that are also delicious: oat flour, almond milk, a ripe banana, baking soda, vinegar, vanilla extract, and maple syrup.

The first couple of times that I tried making pancakes I didn’t use any leavener (such as baking soda or baking powder) and my pancakes ended up looking like watery crepes. Another time, I tried to substitute baking soda for baking powder- because I am lazy and cheap, and that’s all I had at my house. Apparently this is a big no-no, and my pancakes ended up tasting a little bit like soap LOL.

So after reading about leaveners, I found out some pretty useful tips about what they are and how to use them to make your baked goods more fluffy. What I learned was that

  • having a leavener is essential if you want your pancakes to be fluffy
  • there is actually a pretty big difference between baking soda and baking powder.

I don’t want to get too into the details of how they are different, but the most important things I took were that baking soda is a base and, when using it, you also need an acid (which is why I use vinegar in my recipe) if you want it to react and make whatever you are baking rise and have a fluffy texture. The second thing that I learned is that baking soda is a lot stronger than baking powder. This is why when I used a tablespoon of baking soda instead of baking powder when the recipe called for it, my pancakes did not end up tasting very good and had a bitter and soapy taste (1 tablespoon of baking powder is equal to about 1/4 tablespoon of baking soda).

The rest of the ingredients weren’t so complicated. I used one ripe banana instead of an egg. As a general rule, you can use one mashed ripe banana to replace one egg in a recipe. I also love using bananas because they are a great natural sweetener that can be used instead of sugar.

I made oat flour by mixing some old-fashioned oats in my blender. I used oat instead of regular flour because oats have a lot more nutrients.

I also used plant milk (my favorite is unsweetened vanilla almond) to make the mixture less thick, and some natural maple syrup is optional, but I used some because it made my pancakes even sweeter.

Here are the exact ratios I used to make these healthy and delicious refined sugar free, vegan pancakes!

Vegan Banana Pancakes

  • Servings: Makes about 6 small pancakes
  • Difficulty: easy
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*Using a nonstick pan makes flipping the pancakes really easy and eliminates the need to use oil.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of oat flour
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • optional (but delicious): 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Directions

  1. Blend all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor.
  2. Let the batter sit for about 5 minutes. This allows for the batter to thicken and the pancakes to be fluffier.
  3. Pour your desired quantity in your nonstick pan and cook for a 1-2 minutes on each side.
  4. Top with fruit and maple syrup.

Enjoy:)

Perfect Vegan

Super Simple Banana Chocolate Ice Cream

IMG_2295If someone told me two years ago (before I knew all the awesome, healthy desserts you can create with bananas) that you can make delicious chocolate ice cream without any dairy, sugar, or other unhealthy ingredients, I probably wouldn’t believe them. But once I started freezing my bananas and creating different smoothies/banana ice creams, I figured out it’s really not that hard at all!

I know that there’s a ton of really awesome brands that have dairy-free ice cream, but they also use a lot of added sugar and artificial flavorings, and I wanted to make a recipe that doesn’t have any of that.

Not only that, but I wanted to use super healthy ingredients that are full of nutrients. For this reason, I used bananas, cacao powder, almond butter and cacao nibs. Here is why:

Almond Butter: Almond butter is so so delicious and full of protein and healthy fats. I love it because it’s super filling and it makes the ice cream creamier, which is awesome. However, many brands add sugar and oil to their almond butter, so I always read the ingredients and make sure the buy the kind that has almonds listed as their only ingredient.

Bananas: Bananas are one of my favorite foods because they are so versatile and can be used in so many different ways in baking. Their naturally sweet flavor is a great way to replace sugar in many recipes, and they are a great source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins B6 and C. I like to let them ripen and get a little spotty before I freeze and eat them or use them for baking, because that’s when they are the sweetest.

Cacao Powder: Cacao powder is the purest form of chocolate and it’s a super healthy food (in fact, it is considered a superfood). It is full of antioxidants and is an amazing source of magnesium, as well as iron, potassium, calcium, and others. Unfortunately, it’s not found in every grocery store, but I do find it in health stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. I personally order mine off of Amazon because I find that it’s cheaper.

Cacao Nibs: Cacao nibs are cacao beans that are broken into small pieces. They are a little bitter, but have an awesome chocolatey taste and have the same great benefits of cacao. I love to top my chocolate ice cream with them to make it more crunchy.

Here are the portions I use when I make my chocolate ice cream:

Vegan Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A healthy, sugar free treat, perfect for summer.

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*Before you begin, freeze a ripe banana for at least 1 hour.

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe frozen banana
  • 1 teaspoon cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon almond butter
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cacao nibs

Directions

 Blend the banana, cacao powder, cinnamon, and almond butter in a blender, and top with cacao nibs.

Enjoy:)

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Healthy Vegan, Sugar Free, Oil Free, Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

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If I had to pick one food that I could eat for the rest of my life, I think I would have to pick chocolate chip cookies. Unfortunately, the traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe is not exactly vegan-friendly or very healthy either.. For awhile now I have been trying to find the perfect recipe for a chocolate chip cookie that is vegan, free of refined sugar and unhealthy ingredients, and most important of all- still delicious. I messed around with several different recipes, using a variety of different sweeteners, and I think that I have finally found the one I love.

I know the title makes them sound totally unappealing LOL… but I promise, they turned out delicious!

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  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients (except chocolate chips) in a food processor and blend until it looks like cookie dough.
  3. Add chocolate chips.
  4. Shape into balls (I made mine really small, about 1/2 inch in diameter) and place on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

If you make them into about the same size as I did, you will have about 30 cookies. I know that some people like knowing calories, so I decided to calculate the calories incase anyone is interested. The whole batch is about 1,270 calories (you may not want to eat the whole thing all at once, but hey I’m not here to tell you how to live your life;), and when you split that by 30 small cookies, it comes out to about 42 calories each. I’m not big into counting calories, but I figured since it’s a recipe it’s good information to include!

Let me know if you try these out! I made them twice last week because I just really love chocolate chip cookies that much. Of course it’s also awesome that they are super healthy too. Overall it’s a perfect healthy, guilt free snack whenever I have a craving for sweets!

Enjoy:)

Vegan- Sugar Free- Oil Free

The Perfect Green Smoothie

For my birthday last year, my aunt (one of the few other health nuts that I know) got me a Nutribullet blender and honestly it has been a game-changer. I use it all of the time, and I usually find that no matter what I end up putting in it, it turns out delicious LOL.

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For awhile, I have really wanted to get into the whole green smoothie craze, but I could never find the perfect ingredients and ratios to create a perfect green smoothie that is both super healthy and nutrient dense, and also satisfies my sweet tooth.

I thought, who better to ask for advice than the smoothie queen herself, my aunt! So here is the green smoothie recipe my aunt gave me that I have been loving for awhile now, with just a couple of modifications to make it a tad sweeter;)

Super refreshing and energizing, and no added sugar!

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  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup cucumber
  • 1/4 cup pineapple
  • a pinch of ginger
  • 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Mix it all up in your blender and add some ice if you would like, and you are all set!

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