Cherry Smoothie

The perfect smoothie packed with cherries, banana, coconut milk and coconut water

Cherry Smoothie

What does an injured runner do for exercise? Why turn to her handy pink bike cruiser, of course!

Since suffering a pelvic injury at the end of April, I’ve encountered various emotions – questioning if I’ll ever run again and longing to hit the roads – but through it all, I’ve found a surprising friend with my bike, Bonnie. I used to scoff at cyclists. I knew what they were doing was hard, but I thought running was harder.

When I started cycling, I only stayed in my neighborhood, afraid I would crash right away or have a nasty encounter with a driver. Surprisingly, there were no evident situations with drivers, even though I had a few little awkward incidences – not knowing a car was going around / nearly pulling out into traffic.

Cherry Smoothie

Through it all, I had this awkwardness with the fact I was on a bike cruiser. The thing is a monster going up a climb and yet way too easy going down a hill – I can’t even pedal! Also, the seat wouldn’t stay up and I was all cramped up trying to peddle. I got several comments about this from neighbors and strangers. I tried to fix it, but it just wouldn’t stay up. Eventually, I decided to really look at it to see what was going on. I’m not skilled with putting things together, so it was really a shock that I was even attempting to fix this. Surprisingly, with just a few adjustments, the bike seat stayed up. I took it out for a ride – and Bonnie was like a new woman. I met cycling with a new confidence – I was gliding along. Although a bike cruiser is not ideal for the type of cycling I’m doing, I’m so grateful to have some kind of outlet since I can’t run at the moment.

To get comfortable riding on the roads, I woke up early on the weekends. At first I only took a few “scary” roads leading straight to a comfortable area, but I wasn’t getting enough of a workout. Just last weekend, I went all out – my longest ride (36 miles) and without clinging to a certain area. I was certain I couldn’t ride on a weekday, but I surprised myself this week – and everything was fine – only one shady incidence where I thought I couldn’t brake in time at an intersection.

I know not to get too overconfident – there’s still a lot of work to do – and the fact I’m not on the most ideal bike, but it’s exciting to have this new exercise outlet.

Cherry Smoothie

So since you bared with me throughout this long post – I have a special treat for you – this delicious Cherry Smoothie. Every day I can I have one for lunch – along with Savory Simple‘s Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie. At the end of my rides, I crave these smoothies – they are surprisingly filling and so delicious! This one is made with Cocozia Coconut Water. I was sent a sample of Cocozia to try and it is by far my favorite. Other coconut waters are too bitter for me, but this one is perfect with sweet overtones.

You have to try this smoothie and please let me know if you do!

Cherry Smoothie
 
Author:
Serves: 1

Ingredients
  • 140 grams of frozen cherries – about ¾ cup
  • 1 banana – frozen, broken in fourths
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup coconut water
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Scrape down sides, blend once more and serve.

 

Chocolate Avocado Muffins

Fudgy chocolate muffins made with avocado

Chocolate Avocado Muffins

April 30th. That’s the last day I ran. I remember how I felt. I remember the song I listened to around mile 4. I didn’t suspect anything was wrong. Well, OK maybe I did feel a twinge the day before and about halfway through my run, but I ignored it. It wasn’t too big of a deal.

Chocolate Avocado Muffins

Just 5 hours later, I was in tremendous pain – couldn’t sit or stand. Now nearly 6 weeks later I’m still uncertain of my running future. Will I run again and have that feeling that I can conquer anything – or be confined to a beach cruiser named Bonnie ( story for another day )?

Chocolate Avocado Muffins 1

I can only hope I’ll run again, but I’m just not there yet. Until then, I have to contemplate – can I still call myself a runner?

While I wait for that answer, I’ll just eat all these Chocolate Avocado Muffins. I must admit I was a little reluctant to bake with avocado. I’ve heard of so many recipes, but I just wasn’t sure I’d like them. At first I didn’t really love them, but once I got over the fact they had avocado I devoured them. I hope you love them, too!

Chocolate Avocado Muffins
 
Author:
Serves: 12

Ingredients
  • 1 avocado
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray or line with liners.
  3. Mash avocado in large bowl. Once mashed, mix in oil and sugar.
  4. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and mix into avocado mixture.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Divide up evenly into prepared muffin tin.
  7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

Blog Tour

I was contacted by Katie from Pearls + Girls to participate in a blog tour. This is an opportunity for me to share a little bit more about my blog, as well as share three of my favorite blogs. Thanks so much for including me, Katie. You must go check out her Pink Lemonade Pie. How delicious does it look! 

Pink Lemonade Pie

1. What am I working on?

One of my greatest challenges in blogging is photography. I think I’ve come a long way from the start, but I have so much more work to do. I started blogging at megbakes. Comparing those pictures from TEB I can see a dramatic improvement. I try to take it one step at a time – working on lighting, props and orientation. One day I hope to have swoon worthy pictures like some of the food blogging pros.

Strawberry Banana Bread

Strawberry Banana Bread

2. How does my work differ than others of its genre?

99 % of my recipes are vegan. I almost always try to bake vegan with the exception of a white chocolate chip or a special candy. I find vegan is almost always tastier and a more sustainable choice. However, I still make all the same types of treats as other bloggers – ice cream, donuts, cookies, muffins – there are no limits.

Lime Donuts

Baked Key Lime Donuts

3. Why do I write what I do?

I document all my food journeys in hopes that others will be inspired to try vegan treats. While working on my food photography, I hope to showcase the amazingness of vegan treats!

Carrot Cake Granola

Carrot Cake Granola

4. How does my writing process work?

I really struggle when writing my blog posts. So many bloggers share cute stories, but I can never really think of anything to say. Sometimes I’ll share a short story, but most of the time is spent describing the food.

Carrot Cake Bars

Carrot Cake Bars

Be sure to check out these other awesome blogs: 

Laura’s Baking Talent

Chicago Dogs

Chicago Dogs

Laura was one of my first commenters on TEB. Her comments meant so much as I was embarking on a new blogging journey. In turn, I fell in love with her blog. Each week she had a different theme like Strawberry Shortcake Week and Hummus Week. You have to check out her creative recipes!

Baking in Pyjamas

Rhubarb Lemon Loaf

Rhubarb and Zingy Lemon Loaf

I’m not sure how I first found Baking in Pyjamas, but I’m so glad I did. Laura always has the best combination of ingredients and introduces me to new flavors – how awesome is this cake with lemongrass syrup? I always look forward to what she’s been baking.

My Sequined Life

Coconut Quinoa Granola Bars

Coconut Quinoa Granola Bars

I first found Alyssa’s blog through Instagram. We must have similar taste buds because all of her recipes have me drooling. I mean Orange Chocolate Chip  Sugar Cookies and Blueberry Chai French Toast Bake - don’t they sound amazing? Head to her blog now for all these fabulous recipes!

I can’t wait to see what new posts these bloggers have in store this summer. Be sure to follow them all so you don’t miss a recipe!

Baked Key Lime Donuts

Mini donuts filled with key lime flavor

Lime Donuts

This past Sunday, 5/11, was my best friend, Winston’s, ninth birthday. Winston is my golden retriever. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see him in his supervisory role as part-time baker/ clean up crew team member. This post is dedicated to him.

Although he didn’t snack on this batch of Baked Key Lime Donuts, I’m sure he’d love them (he loves to taste test – i.e. steal from the counter.) Below I’m sharing nine awesome facts about my main man.

Lime Donuts

1) Winnie’s favorite toy is his pig – or his polar bear – or his snake – He has quite the collection!

2) He loves the sound (and I guess the taste) of Pam. Whenever I spray it, he comes running in the kitchen and licks the floor. (I guess I should spray it over the sink, but what would be the fun in that?)

3) His favorite snack is carrots. Whenever he hears chopping on the cutting board, he knows there’s always the possibility he’ll get one. (& then take it in the other room to ensure no one steals his.)

Lime Donuts

4) The best way to spend a summer day? Pool side with a Fun Pop – any flavor will do!

5) After switching diet several times for stomach problems and sensitive skin, he has found the tastiest dog food – venison! He gets so excited at meal times! We have a little routine before he gets to eat – sit, shake, drool, speak!

6) On his walks, he loves to roll around in the grass.

Limes

7) He knows which presents are his. You can’t leave his presents under the tree at Christmas because he’ll peek! He’s the best present opener!

8) One of his favorite words to hear – SPILL. Just say that and he comes running! It’s not easy being on the clean up crew.

9) He loves getting back scratches especially when the giver is on the floor. Go sit on the floor, call him and you’ll have a golden right up against you in no time.

I love you Winnie!

Winston

So on to this sweet treat. These are sweet little mini donuts filled with key lime juice and key lime zest. I just happened to come across these in the store and had to come up with a way to use them. I stayed away from making baked donuts because of all the trouble I had the first time. This time I just stayed calm and used a sandwich bag to pipe the batter into the pan. These were so delicious. I’m sure I’ll be baking more donuts!

Lime Donuts

Baked Key Lime Donuts
 
Author:
Serves: 60

Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup lime juice
  • ⅓ cup almond milk
  • ½ cup oil
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • Zest of two limes
  • For the glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp margarine, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • 1 tbsp lime juice

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine lime juice and almond milk, allowing to curdle.
  3. In medium sized bowl, combine oil, applesauce and vanilla. Stir in juice and milk mixture.
  4. In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Pour liquids into dry and mix until combined. Fold in lime zest
  5. Grease mini donut pan. Use a sandwich bag (with hole cut at corner) or piping bag to put batter in pan.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool five minutes. Transfer to cooling rack.
  7. Make glaze.
  8. Stir melted margarine into powdered sugar. Once combined, add extract, milk and juice. Once smooth, dip cooled donuts in glaze. Coat with sprinkles and allow to set.

 

Strawberry Banana Bread

Banana bread all jazzed up for spring 

Strawberry Banana Bread

What’s a more classic school time lunch than a peanut butter sandwich? Growing up it was my go to lunch. The side however might be a little more surprising.

Strawberry Banana Bread

My dad was in charge of most school lunches and somehow he always had an overripe banana hanging around. Who knows how that was the case because now we hardly ever have overripe ones available for baking.

Strawberries

Well, lucky for me, they would almost always bust open in my lunch box. How icky is that? Therefore, for many years I couldn’t stand bananas – the smell, the taste.

Strawberry Banana Bread

All that has changed now. I can’t get enough! At the grocery store, I always get double the amount I’d usually get. I’m always blending them in smoothies and making banana bread/ muffins.

Strawberry Banana Bread

One day, I came up with the idea of adding strawberries and let me just say this was a delicious loaf! The strawberries burst open while baking making it seem like the loaf has not cooked all the way through, but don’t worry – it has! You must try this loaf. It combines an everyday favorite with a seasonal mix-in.

Strawberry Banana Bread
 
Author:
Serves: 10

Ingredients
  • 4 overripe bananas
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup diced strawberries, about 10 strawberries – plus two diced for topping

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mash bananas in large bowl. Add oil and sugar and mix until combined.
  3. Add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until combined.
  4. Stir in coconut milk until fully incorporated in batter.
  5. Fold in diced strawberries.
  6. Pour into greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Top with two diced strawberries.
  7. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Traces of strawberry may remain)
  8. Allow to cool for 30 minutes in pan. Then transfer to cooling rack.

 

PS: Have you ever tried coconut jam on banana bread? It’s my newest obsession and I’d have it every day for breakfast if I could!