vegan

I don’t know what took me so long. You know I love my marcona almonds. Their flavor is distinct and incomparable.

A Spanish almond roasted in olive oil and salted, Marconas have a smooth texture and amazing flavor. They offer the same nutritional benefit as regular almonds, including cholesterol lowering phytosterols and a good amount of fiber and protein.

and now they make up my favorite nut butter.

marcona almond butter

makes about 1 1/2 cups

2 cups Marcona almonds (reserve 1/4 cup)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)
pinch sea salt (optional)

In food processor or high powered blender, process 1 3/4 cups almonds until creamy, stopping to scrape sides, about 9-12 minutes total. Add oil as needed (I did not need to). Chop 1/4 cup almonds and mix in for a crunchy nut butter. Store in fridge in sealed container.

Flavor options:
chocolate (add 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate)
salted maple (add 1/4 cup maple syrup)

Safe to say this is my new favorite nut butter. “Plain” flavor is amazing – salty creamy amazing. The dark chocolate flavor is like a grown up peanut butter cup, and the salted maple is like buttery caramel. I now have three jars in my fridge. I’ve been enjoying marcona butter on celery, on homemade juice pulp crackers, on a spoon…

 

Have you tasted Marcona almonds? What is your favorite nut?

 

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Peanut butter and Chocolate. Always a classic combination, even if the recipe isn’t so classic. or even a recipe, really.

I am still reeling over my amazing weekend, and will recap every detail soon. I’m still on a plant-based high with a goofy grin, and there are some people still in Portland for a few more days so I’m spending time with new friends!

I managed to develop quite the sweet tooth as a result of all the amazing food we enjoyed this weekend. In three days. I crave sweets now, wanting dessert after dinner. Breakfast and lunch too, if I’m being honest.

Today I have the honor of guest posting for my friend Eden – whose blog I love for many reasons – she makes me laugh, inspires me to think, and instigates many fun comment conversations. So when she asked me to guest post, I put my thinking laptop on to come up with something fun.

This satisfies that sweet tooth.

The breakfast one.

The theme is “not on my blog” – visit Eden to see what I have to say.

What is your favorite chocolate peanut butter combination?

 

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vida vegan!

by Kristina Sloggett

in Basil is a Young Sportsman,Vegan

Portland is already a vegan playground, and this weekend even more vegans (over 200!) will be running around our beautiful city. I am excited to be attending the first ever vegan bloggers conference, Vida Vegan!

The events begin this afternoon, and despite my molasses pace of blogging, I will attempt to post updates about the happenings. Or a recap next week. I’m excited!

Another recent excitement is becoming yummly certified.

Yummly is a sematic recipe search platform, comprehensive and custom to your food and dietary preferences.

They recently crowned spabettie as Certified Yummly, and today spabettie is their Featured Food Blog. Thank you, Yummly, and thanks to all of my readers who make this blog so fun!

Both of these things are definitely squee – worthy, but wait, there’s more!

Perhaps the most exciting, my friend Nellie is in Portland for two whole weeks! Fun, interesting conversation and cry-laughing, I can’t wait to see her again. She’s fun. Time to put on my tutu…

or my sparkly wings.

What are you doing this weekend?

 

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mamma chia giveaway

by Kristina Sloggett

in product review

You all know love my chia

If you are a chia fan, you need to try this vitality beverage – Mamma Chia.
I have been loving these for a while, and the lovely people at Mamma Chia are offering three of my readers the chance to taste the greatness!

I first had the raspberry passion and the blackberry hibiscus on our spring road trip – and have been drinking all the flavors recently during our juice fast for the extra protein and fiber.

Not only do the flavors taste amazing, look at these stats:

 2000mg Omega-3
 10g Balanced Fiber
 High Antioxidants
 4g Complete Protein
 Only 110 Calories
 Lightly Sweetened
 Gluten-Free and Vegan

The giveaway is for two VIP (free!) coupons and two $ off coupons for any Mamma Chia Vitality beverage. Find a store with Mamma Chia near you!

THREE winners, four ways to enter – leave a comment for each:

#1) what is your favorite way to eat chia seeds?

#2) which flavor of vitality beverage would you most like to try?

#3) like Mamma Chia on facebook

#4) tweet about this giveaway, including a link to this post. use this if you like –>

enter to win MAMMA CHIA Vitality from @spabettie – THREE winners! –> http://www.spabettie.com/?p=8158

 

closes next Wednesday – winners will be emailed Thursday!

 

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I have been cooking with chia seeds longer than… I have been reading blogs. We stocked them in the dispensary at the clinic, and I started out adding them to salads. I learned what happens when mixed with water – they turn to a gel – and I started using them in smoothies and baking.

Why chia? Many reasons:

It is a plant based complete protein (energy!), and a plant based source of omega-3 (heart health!). Chia seeds are high in antioxidants as well as calcium, magnesium, niacin, zinc and fiber. Chia has a long shelf life (more than flax) and nutrients are available as is, rather than having to be ground (like flax).

Also? You can bake with them, reducing the butter or oil in a traditional recipe.

Chai is one of my favorite flavors – warm and spicy – and it makes a unique and tasty cookie!

The chai powder I use is a ready to drink tea powder, not a concentrate. If you are using a concentrated powder, reduce the amount to taste.

chai chia protein bites

makes 10-12 cookie balls

1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
1/4 cup chai tea powder (Natures Flavors)
3 tablespoons chia seeds (reserve 1 tbsp for topping)
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed
5 – 8 drops NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia

In food processor or blender, puree beans. Add sunflower butter, chai and stevia, blend. It should form a ball of dough, if it is still crumbly, add a tiny amount of water, a teaspoon at a time. Process – it should quickly form a dough ball.

Stirring by hand, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds. Form into 1-inch balls and roll into the last tablespoon of chia seeds (just across top of ball). Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

What is your favorite tea? Do you use chia seeds? Did you ever have a Chia Pet?

I shared this post with Wellness Weekends over at Diet Dessert and Dogs! Go visit for some great recipes!


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Last week was Jason’s birthday. I wanted to make cupcakes so they could easily be shared, and who doesn’t love the classic pairing of chocolate and peanut butter? I adapted my brownie recipe into one that is more cake like, but with the chewy dense brownie characteristic. I like that in a cupcake.

You know what else I like in a cupcake? A surprise middle.

peanut butter chocolate cupcakes

makes 12 cupcakes

1/2 cup agave
1 can pumpkin (15oz)
2 eggs (Ener-G egg replacer)
3 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup ap flour (gluten free)
3/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
peanut butter for cupcake filling

Combine agave and pumpkin – add egg and vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, and baking powder, add to sugar mixture. Fill muffin cups half way, place 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter in center, fill muffins with remaining batter.

Bake @ 350 for 30-35 minutes* or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

*These cooked in 30 minutes in my oven; a reader made them and while they turned out well, it took 50 minutes in his oven.

Cool completely before frosting.

peanut butter frosting

peanut butter
powdered sugar
water

I started out with 1 cup peanut butter and 2 cups powdered sugar. Added water to thin slightly, whip by hand until completely smooth. Add powdered sugar to desired consistency – I wanted the frosting to hold a swirl.

While these cupcakes were for Jason’s birthday, something exciting is happening today that just may need it’s own dessert.

I am honored and excited to be a contributor with gojee – a new recipe site launching today! Gojee, named for the Himalayan berry, is a cooking site showcasing recipes from home cooks. Gojee can recommend recipes based on food you already have, and you can link to a grocery market loyalty card.

I am thrilled to be among amazing company – gojee has hand picked many great recipes from exceptionally talented people! I already have many saved as favorites, and have met some new friends as well. I hope you will visit – we are all very excited today!


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Chocolate Mint Chickpea Cookies

My current obsession? Those garbanzo cookie balls. Yes, still. What has been fun is seeing how many others love them too – how have I never seen these when people have been making them all along?

I’m always late to the party. I have brought others along to the party since, though. I’ve also thought up some pretty interesting flavor combinations. I have a lot to catch you all up on. [click to continue…]

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Another new product I recently received from Enjoy Life is their Double Chocolate Crunch Granola. It’s great to snack on by itself, and I also added some to a vanilla banana smoothie – yum!

A perfect chocolately crunch with mini chocolate chips, this actually does not contain oats! Free of many common allergies (wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy), the main crunch comes from brown rice flakes and crisps. Did I already say there are mini chocolate chips?

peanut butter chocolate granola loaf

2 bananas, mashed
1 egg (flax egg or Ener-G replacer)
1/4 cup almond milk
3/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup ap flour (gluten free)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons Nu Naturals MoreFiber™ Baking Blend™
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup + 1/4 cup chocolate granola
1/2 cup peanut butter

Combine bananas, prepared egg and milk. In separate bowl, sift flours, cocoa, baking blend and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to wet and combine thoroughly. Stir in 1/2 cup granola to batter. Stir in peanut butter (I just barely stirred through, so part was incorporated, leaving peanut butter ribbons). Pour into prepared loaf pan (spray or parchment). Top with 1/4 cup granola.

Bake 35-40 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes clean.

I had to try a piece right out of the oven, with melty earth balance. Crunchy topping, soft center, this granola makes great bread! I might even add peanut flour or more peanut butter next time.

Until then?

Perfect!

Are you a granola fan? What are your favorite granola ingredients?

*Disclaimer – while Enjoy Life sent me free product for review, I am never compensated for a positive review. My opinions are my own.



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