Category Archives: Food

Instant Pot Creamiest Steel-Cut Oatmeal (with stovetop version!)


https://ohsheglows.com/2018/11/24/instant-pot-creamiest-steel-cut-oatmeal-with-stovetop-version/

Hellooooo! I’m alive, I’m alive! Did you think after my 10-year blogiversary post that I decided to take a 10-year break? lol. It’s been a busy month with a lot of fun events going down. I just returned from WXN’s Canada’s Most Powerful Women celebrations, and I’m still riding the high of winning an award in the Entrepreneur category and meeting so many incredible people. So many happy tears this week. It felt (and feels) absolutely surreal. I’m super inspired by these amazing Canadian women to keep going, doing my part to give back, and creating meaningful change in this world. I’m grateful to you all who support me and what I do…truly, thank you.

Here’s a snippet of the interview I did with WXN (the rest is found on their website):

“SUCCESS all comes back to love. Do I feel love deep in my soul for what I’m doing? Are my kids and my husband happy and loved? Am I taking time to enjoy the process rather than allowing perfectionist thinking to take hold? My definition of success has grown so much since starting the blog, writing my two cookbooks, and becoming a mother. Today, success is knowing that I have the power to push through challenges while taking the time I need for myself to balance and stay healthy. After struggling with illness this past year, one of my biggest wake-up calls was realizing that it’s okay to take a break even if that means letting go of a professional goal for the time being.”

As an introvert, big social events tend to tucker me out (anyone else?!), and I find myself looking forward to my first day without any commitments (aside from, umm, two hyper toddlers, I suppose…). This creamy 3-ingredient steel-cut oatmeal recipe is the one I’ve been making once or twice weekly since fall hit. It may sound strange, but I find it calming in a way. I just love that I can throw a few ingredients in my Instant Pot, stir it up, and walk away until it’s done cooking! No stirring or watching…woot, woot. I’ll often throw it on and then get ready for the day or feed the kids and come back to a hot pot of oats. It’s a good feeling…a darn good feeling!

Don’t worry if you don’t have an Instant Pot because I also provide a stovetop version below—your oatmeal will turn out the same either way, but the stovetop version just requires monitoring and stirring as it cooks.

This time of year I love to top a hot bowl with toasted walnuts, chopped dates or raisins, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup, and seasonal fruit like pear or pomegranate. So cozy! Walnuts or pecans with maple syrup, cinnamon, and peanut butter is another dreamy combo.

Before I go, a quick note that we’ll be participating in Giving Tuesday this coming Tuesday November 27, 2018. Here’s a bit about the cause:

“GivingTuesday is a global movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Black Friday. The “Opening day of the giving season,” it’s a time when charities, companies and individuals join together and rally for favourite causes. In the same way that retailers take part in Black Friday, the giving community comes together for GivingTuesday.”

This coming Tuesday, we’ll be donating 100% of that day’s OSG recipe app proceeds to Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank as our way to take part. I hope you’ll consider participating in #GivingTuesday too! 

   

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The Creamiest Steel-Cut Oats
Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

My goal was to create the creamiest bowl of steel-cut oats using just a few ingredients…and this is it! This luxuriously chewy steel-cut oatmeal is the perfect base for all of your favourite topping combinations. I love adding pure maple syrup, cinnamon, seasonal fruit, toasted walnuts, and chopped dates or raisins. It doesn’t get much cozier on a cool fall or winter morning! I’ve also provided cooking instructions using both the stovetop and Instant Pot (I prefer the Instant Pot method as it’s so easy). For the Instant Pot method, please see the Tip section.

Yield
2 3/4 cups or 4 servings

Prep time
2 Minutes

Cook time
25 Minutes

Total time
27 Minutes

Ingredients:
For the oatmeal:1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can light coconut milk1 cup (250 mL) water1 cup (172 g) uncooked steel-cut oatsServing suggestions:Seasonal fruitPure maple syrupToasted walnutsDash fine sea salt, stirred inCinnamonRaisins or chopped pitted Medjool dates

Directions:
STOVETOP METHOD: Pour the can of coconut milk and 1 cup (250 mL) water into a medium pot and bring to a low boil over high heat. Add the steel-cut oats to the pot and stir to combine. Immediately reduce the heat to low (low heat is important or they’ll burn) and gently simmer, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring four to five times during cooking and reducing heat if necessary to prevent burning. This method produces a thick pot of oats. For a porridge-like consistency, stir more water in to your liking. I like to stir in about 1/2 cup (125 mL) water after cooking. Portion into bowls and top with your desired garnishes—I love the combo of pure maple syrup, toasted walnuts, seasonal fruit, fine sea salt, cinnamon, and raisins or chopped dates, but feel free to get creative and change it up depending on the season. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or you can freeze them for up to 1 month. I store cooled single portions in freezer-safe bags and lie them flat in the freezer for easy stacking. Reheat refrigerated or thawed leftovers on the stovetop in a small pot along with a splash of water or milk over medium heat.

Tips:

INSTANT POT METHOD:

 

Add the coconut milk and water to the Instant Pot, followed by the oats. Stir to combine.
Secure lid in the lock position and check that the Steam Release Handle is pointing to the “Sealing” position.
Press the “Pressure Cook” (or “Manual”) button and set the cook time to 6 minutes on high pressure. After 5 seconds you’ll hear a couple beeps and the screen will say “on”. The cooking process has begun!
Once finished, you’ll hear a few beeps letting you know that cooking is over. Now let the Instant Pot do a “Natural Pressure Release”—I wait 10 minutes for most of the the pressure to release on its own.
Carefully release any remaining steam before removing the lid. Stir the oatmeal until combined, adding more milk or water if you’d like to thin it. It’ll be oh-so-creamy and continue thickening as it sits!
Portion into bowls and top with your desired garnishes—I love the combo of pure maple syrup, toasted walnuts, seasonal fruit, fine sea salt, cinnamon, and raisins or chopped dates, but feel free to get creative and change it up depending on the season. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or you can freeze them for up to 1 month. I store cooled single portions in freezer-safe bags and lie them flat in the freezer for easy stacking. Reheat refrigerated or thawed leftovers on the stovetop in a small pot along with a splash of water or milk over medium heat.

You can also make pre-portioned servings so all you have to do is dump it in a pot in the morning and quickly heat it up with a splash of milk! 

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Vegan Salted Peanut Butter Crunch Torte + 10 Years!


https://ohsheglows.com/2018/10/30/vegan-salted-peanut-butter-crunch-torte-10-years/

10 YEARS!!! Can someone please tell me how it’s been a decade since I wrote my very first blog post? We’re celebrating today with this incredible vegan dessert and a week-long OSG Recipe App sale for charity (deets below).

When I started my blog on October 31, 2008, Eric and I were newly married and living in Toronto while I was working full-time as a researcher and wrapping up my Master’s degree. Life was pretty chaotic, and completing my degree was starting to wear me down (at one point I thought I was just going to cut my losses, throw in the towel, and move on!). This blog was the most amazing creative outlet during a time when my life was lacking the kind of creativity that I absolutely craved. It allowed me to explore a side of myself that I hadn’t since I was a kid (like my love for photography, baking, creative writing/journaling, and just being a goof). My blog’s first tagline was “Food. Fitness. Fashion. Fun.” Pretty epic, right? lol. I’m grateful to Eric for encouraging me to “find a hobby” after years of exhausting myself with school and work. He still jokes that my “hobby” turned into my career, so I need to find a new hobby now. (Fine, I’ll start my own animal farm! YOU WIN!)

I find writing therapeutic in soooo many ways. In the early days, I didn’t have more than a handful of readers, and I found it quite easy to talk about my struggles online. I was like no one is going to read this anyway! It was an online journal of sorts, and I wrote about my history with disordered eating and how I was finally getting myself on a path to recovery. I shared the challenges I faced finding a career that I was truly passionate about (and, eventually, how I relinquished my need to people-please by completely changing my career path). I had the most supportive response from those first early blog readers (as well as my friends and family), so I kept writing with my heart on my sleeve.  

After coming in the top 3 of the food blogging challenge Project Food Blog, an editor from a major publishing house emailed me saying she loved my work and was wondering if I’d like to write a cookbook. Pretty sure I fainted! It was the email that changed everything and solidified the fact that I was on the right path after doubting myself and my decision to change careers for so long.

So here we are 1 blog, 3 moves, 2 cookbooks, 2 kids, and 1 recipe app later…including countless late nights, self-doubt, and (ongoing) indecision for good measure! It sure has been a wild ride! I’m still learning and dreaming of new goals every day (all while not having the slightest clue how to get there!). Above all, I’m really proud of the fact that I’ve stayed true to myself and the values I have for this hobby-turned-business. The best part is that I’ve been lucky to meet so many of you amazing people online and in person, and I still can’t quite believe how freakin’ genuine, cool, and supportive everyone has been! It’s so crazy to think that some of my best friendships have been made through this blog. Forever grateful. Thank you from the bottom of my veggie-lovin’ heart for making this such a fun journey. And cheers to the next 10 years! Any guesses as to what adventures they’ll bring for you or me?

To celebrate OSG’s 10-year anniversary, we’re having a big OSG Recipe App sale this week with 100% of the proceeds being donated to Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada. Right now our app is just 99 cents, so if you’ve been thinking about downloading it, this week is a great time to do so and support a fantastic cause that’s near and dear to my heart! You can find our recipe app on both the iTunes and Google Play stores. Thank you so much for all of your amazing support and for helping us give back to our community.

I had so much fun celebrating Canada’s food writers at the Taste Canada Awards Gala last night! We were nominated in the Food Blogs Health and Special Diet category, and I was so honoured to take home Gold! All I could think about was how grateful I am to have this recognition, especially so close to OSG’s 10-year milestone. Plus, Adriana and Arlo have been calling all of my food “YUCKY” lately, so now I can show them the award and explain that they’ve been outvoted, lol.

Last but not least, we’re having a little party to celebrate 10 years and this new dessert is on the menu. I hope you’ll enjoy every bite as much as we have! With Halloween tomorrow, I can’t think of a better time to indulge in some creamy, dreamy, chocolaty PB goodness.

  

 

 

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Salted Peanut Butter Crunch Torte
Vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free

While dreaming up a recipe to celebrate Oh She Glows’ 10-year anniversary, I immediately thought of one of my all-time favourite flavour combos: salted peanut butter and chocolate! Hubba hubba. This salted peanut butter torte (of pure sweet heaven) is easy to throw together and only takes a couple hours to freeze. Its creative presentation will impress the heck out of your guests, and that irresistible sweet-salty flavour and creamy, crunchy texture will blow your taste buds away! I’ve also tested this torte with 3 different fillings: peanut butter, almond butter, and a nut-free sunflower seed butter version! And guess what? They’re all so delicious we couldn’t pick a favourite! See my Tips for how to make the sunflower seed and almond butter versions.

Yield
12 small or 9 medium servings

Prep time
25 Minutes

Cook time
10 Minutes

Chill time
2 hours

Total time
35 Minutes

Ingredients:
For the crust:1/2 cup (78 g) almonds1 cup (100 g) gluten-free rolled oats1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt1/4 cup (60 mL) coconut oil, melted3 tablespoons (45 mL) pure maple syrup2 tablespoons (30 mL) smooth natural peanut butterFor the filling:1/2 cup (125 mL) coconut oil1/3 cup (80 mL) coconut cream*1/2 cup (125 mL) pure maple syrup3/4 cup (185 g) smooth natural peanut butter1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extractFor topping (optional, but recommended):Coconut Whipped Cream**1/2 cup (95 g) non-dairy chocolate chips + 1 teaspoon (5 mL) coconut oil, melted***1/2 cup (80 g) chopped toasted walnuts and large-flake coconut****

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease an 8×8-inch square pan with coconut oil (including up the sides, too). Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the width of the pan with a bit of overhang so it’s easy to lift out. For the crust: Add the almonds, oats, and salt to a food processor and process until the mixture resembles a coarse flour, about 30 seconds. Melt the 1/4 cup coconut oil in a medium pot (you’ll be using the same medium pot for the filling) over low heat. Add the melted oil, maple syrup, and peanut butter to the processor and process until the mixture comes together in a heavy dough, 10 to 15 seconds. The dough should look like a wet cookie dough. If you find it a bit dry, add a teaspoon or two of water and process again until a wet dough forms. Spoon the dough into the prepared pan and crumble it evenly all over the base. Lightly wet your fingers and press the dough into the base firmly and evenly. Level the edges with your fingertips. Poke the base with a fork about 12 times to allow air to escape while baking. Bake the crust for 9 to 11 minutes, until it looks pale and a bit puffy. The crust might look underbaked when you remove it, but this is what we want to avoid drying it out. Meanwhile, make the filling: In the same medium pot (no need to clean it!), melt the coconut oil and coconut cream over low heat. Now add the maple syrup, peanut butter, salt, and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Spoon the filling onto the crust (there’s no need to cool the crust first) and carefully transfer the dish to a level surface in your freezer. Chill until solid, about 2 hours. If I’m not serving the torte right away, I’ll cover the pan with tinfoil after a couple hours of freezing. While it chills, prepare the Coconut Whipped Cream and gather the toppings so they’re ready to go. Once frozen, remove from the freezer and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes. Slide a knife around the edges to loosen the slab. Using the parchment paper, lift the slab out and place it on a serving platter. Slice into slices of your desired width. Now add the toppings: I add a large dollop of Coconut Whipped Cream on each and then top it with lots of drizzled melted chocolate, walnuts, and large-flake coconut. A pinch of coarse sea salt is nice too. If you have leftover melted chocolate, serve it on the side in a small dish so you can spoon some more chocolate over top while eating (trust me on this one!). Serve immediately—the combo of cold filling and warm melted chocolate is just dreamy! But the chilled leftovers (with hardened chocolate) are totally irresistible too. Storage tips: The filling softens a great deal at room temperature, so it’s best not to leave leftovers on the counter for longer than half an hour. Return it to the fridge or freezer for best results. Cover leftover slices and store in the fridge for up to 1 week, or you can freeze the slices for 4 to 6 weeks. I like to wrap frozen slices in tinfoil and then place them all into a freezer-safe zip bag.

Tips:

* Chill your can of full-fat coconut milk for at least 12 hours before you begin this recipe so that the cream on top is solid. After making the torte, you’ll have some leftover coconut cream in the can which can be used to make Coconut Whipped Cream for the topping!

 

** Feel free to use store-bought coconut whipped cream instead. I like “So Delicious Dairy Free CocoWhip!”

 

*** To a small pot over low heat, add the chocolate and oil. Stir until smooth and combined.

 

**** Of course you can use roasted peanuts instead. I’m not a big fan of them so I prefer to use walnuts.

 

Make it nut-free: In the crust, swap the almonds for sunflower seeds and in the filling swap the peanut butter for roasted sunflower seed butter. I like to add an extra tablespoon of maple syrup and a pinch of salt to this version—the filling tastes like salted caramel!

 

Almond butter version: Swap the peanut butter for roasted almond butter.

 

Don’t have an 8×8-inch square pan? You can make this in an 8×4-inch loaf pan or standard-size muffin tin (both greased with coconut oil).

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One Bowl Pumpkin Chocolate Muffins (Vegan + Gluten-free)


https://ohsheglows.com/2018/10/17/one-bowl-pumpkin-chocolate-muffins-vegan-gluten-free/

One thing that’s been especially hard during my recent health struggles is that I’ve had some negative feelings resurface surrounding food and restriction. Those of you who’ve been reading for years may know that one of the reasons I started blogging back in 2008 was to share my journey to health. I spoke a lot about my journey to recovery from disordered eating, something I had struggled with for over a decade.

When I taught myself how to cook and fell in love with making plant-based recipes, I started to make positive associations with food again. And slowly, as I learned to eat intuitively (and embraced therapy!), I built a solid, positive foundation channeling that energy into something that made me feel really good. I don’t know where I’d be now if I didn’t have your support and community along the way. Knowing that my readers were eager to try out the recipes I was sharing kept me immensely motivated to keep going! It still does to this day.

The various symptoms I’ve been dealing with this past year (as well as committing to the dreaded allergy elimination diet) have challenged my relationship with food a great deal. If you’ve dealt with food allergies or sensitivities, you know how much it can drive you crazy in frustration as you try to figure out what’s going on. Every single food becomes suspect. I had incorrectly thought that it was a single food causing my troubles, when in fact it was much more complex than I had realized, with many hormonal imbalances and other systems at play.

Over the past year I found myself starting to question everything I was putting into my body, to the point where for a while I was only consuming a handful of specific foods. I didn’t know what I could eat because everything seemed to be causing reactions. It really messed with my head for a while there! This isn’t my first test by any means, and I know that these challenges and setbacks are a normal part of the journey—there’s no shame in struggling with things you may have thought you’d beaten. I can already tell that this experience has had many silver linings, one of them being a deeper appreciation for my health. And as I’ve seen my health improve over the past couple months, I’ve been so relieved to be getting back to a friendly place with food again by celebrating what it can do for me rather than fearing it!

And what better way to celebrate food this time of year than with the irresistible combo of chocolate and pumpkin? These rich and chocolaty gluten-free and vegan muffins have been enjoyed by everyone lucky enough to get their hands on a trial batch…minus a couple chocolate-hating toddlers roaming around our kitchen. *shrugs* Needless to say, Eric and I have had our fair share throughout the testing process…no complaints over here. Pair the muffins with my popular Pumpkin Spice Latte and you’ll have yourself a delicious and festive autumn snack!

 

 

   

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One Bowl Pumpkin Chocolate Muffins
Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free

These moist, dense, gooey pumpkin chocolate muffins are similar to that feeling you get walking through a pumpkin patch, sipping dark hot chocolate, and crunching colourful autumn leaves beneath your feet! Picture a delicious pumpkin chocolate cake or brownie—but in muffin form. What could be better? How about that they take just one bowl to make! This recipe is adapted from Beaming Baker and my Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins.

Yield
12 muffins

Prep time
15 Minutes

Cook time
22 Minutes

Total time
37 Minutes

Ingredients:
For the chia egg:2 teaspoons (4 g) ground chia seed*3 tablespoons (45 mL) waterFor the wet ingredients:1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened pumpkin purée1/4 cup (60 mL) grapeseed oil or melted coconut oil1/2 cup (80 g) coconut sugar1/2 cup (125 mL) pure maple syrup1 teaspoon (5 mL) pure vanilla extractFor the dry ingredients:1 1/2 cups (150 g) gluten-free rolled oats, blended into a fine flour**1/2 cup (40 g) unsweetened cocoa powder2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice***1 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon baking soda1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt2/3 cup (120 g) non-dairy chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, divided**** (optional)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners. Add the rolled oats to a high-speed blender and blend on high until a fine flour forms. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the ground chia seed and water until combined. Set aside for a few minutes to thicken. To the same bowl, add the rest of the wet ingredients (pumpkin, oil, sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla) and stir until smooth. Add the dry ingredients (oat flour, cocoa powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) to the bowl with the wet ingredients. Whisk until smooth (I love using my big whisk for this task!). Set aside 1/4 cup (45 g) of chocolate chips (if using) for the topping and stir the remaining chips into the batter. Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each two-thirds full. Press the remaining chocolate chips into the tops of each muffin. Bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes (I bake for 22), until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Place the muffin tin on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Carefully remove each muffin and place it directly onto the cooling rack until fully cooled. Leftover muffins can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for several days or frozen for up to 1 month.

Tips:

* If desired, you can use 1 tablespoon ground flax in place of the ground chia seed. Proceed with mixing in the 3 tablespoons (45 mL) water as directed.

** You can use 150 grams oat flour rather than grinding your own (this is equal to 1 cup and 7 tablespoons oat flour measured using the scoop-and-shake-until-level method). Alternatively, 1 1/2 cups (233 g) whole-grain spelt flour will also work as a swap for the oat flour. If using whole-grain spelt flour, you will likely need to bake the muffins for a couple extra minutes (until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean).

*** If you’re a big pumpkin spice fan, you can use up to 1 tablespoon of spice mix in this recipe.

**** Try chopped walnuts or pecans for a crunchy, healthy twist!

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Sleepy Morning Blender Matcha

https://ohsheglows.com/2018/09/26/sleepy-morning-blender-matcha/

At long last I’m able to give you a bit of an update on my recent health struggles! If you’re catching up, read this post and this post (and the comments) first.

Well, where did we leave off? To start, I’m so thankful to have found a great naturopath after not having an overly helpful experience earlier in the year. I’ve been struggling with my symptoms on and off for years now, so it’s been a huge relief to finally get some answers! Slowly but surely I’m starting to feel like a new person. My recent tests showed that my hormones are a hot mess…estrogen is too high, my morning cortisol is way too low (hello, feeling like a zombie even after a decent night’s sleep), and one of my thyroid hormones is also too low. My doctor had suspected many of these results based on my symptoms, but it was interesting to see them on paper! I’m definitely no expert on this stuff, but I learned that when one hormone is off, it can impact another…and on and on the cycle goes, often throwing your entire system out of whack in the process. I felt such relief knowing that how I was feeling wasn’t just in my head all this time.

It’s so easy to push through feeling awful, blaming your symptoms on other things. I can’t even tell you how many times I told myself that I felt like crap because I was a new mom, or I was nursing and up in the middle of the night, or I was working out too hard (or not enough), or I wasn’t taking my vitamins, or my diet wasn’t balanced, or I was just feeling anxious about changes in my life. Some of those things may have been part of the issue, but I overlooked the real possibility that something beyond my immediate control was at work.

Dear self: it’s okay to ask for help.

Speaking of which, my biggest regret is that I didn’t get help for my symptoms sooner. It’s easy to put off, especially when Dr. Google is at your fingertips. Everyone would tell me how important it is to take care of myself while raising two young kids, but most days I just pushed it aside and tried to rely on the fact that I am a generally healthy person who eats well and exercises. My mom and Nicole were the ones who finally pushed me to get help…we all need those people in our lives who look out for us! Sometimes you have to learn the hard way, but I’m grateful for this lesson and wake-up call. I may have ignored my body’s messages for quite some time, but once I commit to something, I’m all-in, and I’ve been such a good “student” these past few months!

Taking the time to heal has set me back on some career goals this year, but sometimes there’s no better goal than good health. I actually can’t think of a better way to celebrate OSG’s upcoming 10-year milestone than circling back to my journey to health, which is the reason I started my blog! It’s just another reminder that our journey is always changing and evolving over time.

I’ll try to update you again as soon as I have more to share, but in the meantime if you have any questions, or would like to share your own experiences, I would LOVE to read them below.

Oh, and I should probably mention this recipe before I go! My naturopath recently encouraged me to add more green tea to my diet, and this has been my go-to mix. I had requests for the recipe after sharing it on Insta Stories last week, so I decided to put it up on both the app and blog! I hope you’ll find this warm, creamy matcha blend as calming and gently energizing as I have.

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Sleepy Morning Blender Matcha
Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

You know when you wake up on a chilly morning and need a hot drink now? Well this is my go-to on fall and winter mornings (or afternoons!) when I want a change from coffee. The thought of this smooth, warm, creamy drink seriously lures me out of my cozy bed. I love how effortless this recipe is, especially on those half-awake, barely functioning mornings (just make sure you’re alert enough to operate a blender with hot liquid!). I love matcha green tea powder because it delivers calming, jitter-free energy as well as powerful antioxidants. Be sure to see my Deluxe Version in the Tips section below for a more decadent way to make this beverage—when I want an especially comforting treat, I’ll forgo the water and only use canned coconut milk.

Yield
1 1/3 cups (330 mL)

Prep time
5 Minutes

Cook time
0 Minutes

Total time
5 Minutes

Ingredients:
1 cup (250 mL) water1/3 cup (80 mL) canned light coconut milk, room temperature*1/2 teaspoon matcha green tea powder, or to taste**1 teaspoon (5 mL) pure maple syrup, or to taste (optional)

Directions:
Add the water to a kettle or pot and bring to a boil. While the water heats up, add the coconut milk and matcha powder to a high-speed blender. Once the water has boiled, remove it from the heat and let sit for 15 seconds. Carefully add it to the blender along with the maple syrup (if using). If your blender’s lid is vented, secure it on top. If you don’t have a vented lid, keep the lid slightly ajar so air can escape. Blend on the lowest speed, very slowly increasing to medium, for about 20 seconds until frothy and combined. Immediately pour into a mug and enjoy your cozy cup o’ green!

Tips:

* If using already chilled canned coconut milk, add an extra 1/3 cup (80 mL) hot water to ensure your blend is hot enough (nobody wants lukewarm tea, if you know what I mean!). Be sure to stir the coconut milk before measuring.

 

** My preferred brand of matcha powder is DoMatcha Organic Summer Harvest Matcha Powder.

 

Deluxe Version: Heat 1 cup (250 mL) canned light coconut milk on the stovetop over medium heat, watching closely to ensure it doesn’t boil over. Once it starts to simmer and froth, immediately remove it from the heat. Add this to the blender along with the matcha powder (and maple syrup, if using). Follow steps 4 and 5 above and enjoy your extra-creamy tea!

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Instant Pot Cauliflower and Butternut Thai Curry

https://ohsheglows.com/2018/09/18/instant-pot-cauliflower-and-butternut-thai-curry/

My very first vegan Instant Pot recipe is here! I finally took the plunge and purchased an Instant Pot after being on the fence about whether I wanted a new appliance to take up real estate on my counter (it would have to fight for space next to the kids’ piles of artwork, after all). Thanks again for the Ask Angela weigh-in back in February. I’m usually suspicious of new trends and like to wait a good while before I take the plunge, but I’m loooving it so far. I had totally underestimated how nice it is to put the lid on a recipe and walk away! But this same convenient feature also makes it challenging to develop recipes because you have ONE SHOT to get the cook time/pressure correct. No big deal. This curry took over 10 trials to get perfect…I changed up the flavours, cook time (6 minutes, 5 minutes, 1 minute, 4 minutes…ahh!), liquids-to-solids ratios…you name it, I tweaked it! Nicole and I love a challenge, though, so it’s been fun figuring it out and I do think we’ll get quicker as we go.

I had a stovetop pressure cooker back in the day and that thing used to scare the bejesus out of me with all of its rattling and clanking around. So the first two times I cooked with my new Instant Pot, I handed Eric a wooden spoon and instructed him to release the steam while I hid. I’m not proud, but hey, at least I’m now doing it myself! It’s really not that bad at all, and it feels so much safer than my old stovetop pressure cooker ever did.

Don’t worry if you don’t have an Instant Pot, though! I got yo’ back. We’ve tested this curry on the stovetop as well because I want everyone to be able to make these easy recipes at home! I haven’t had a chance to test this curry in a slow cooker yet, but if any of you do, could you please leave a comment and let us know how it goes? The beauty of this curry is that you literally throw everything (except the greens) into a pot, stir it, and cook. It couldn’t be easier! Of course, I wouldn’t call this an authentic Thai curry by any means, but it’s delicious and comes together quickly on those busy weeknights.

Anyway, if you have any questions about this recipe or the Instant Pot in general, please fire away below! If I can’t answer your question, maybe someone else can help by chiming in with their experience.

 

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Instant Pot Cauliflower Thai Curry
Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

I love the soft, stew-like texture of this curry and how serving it over a cup of fluffy rice lends just the right amount of chewiness! This dish is one of those crave-worthy comfort foods that I reach for again and again. I created this recipe out of a need for more go-to pantry dinner options that take advantage of my speedy new Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. Not to worry if you don’t have one, though—follow my directions in the tip below to make this curry on the stovetop instead. It’s important to follow the Instant Pot directions carefully to avoid overcooking the veggies. This recipe is adapted from my 8-Minute Pantry Dal.

Yield
5 1/2 cups (1.3 L) or 4 servings

Prep time
10 Minutes

Cook time
20 Minutes

Total time
30 Minutes

Ingredients:
For the curry:1 tablespoon (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can light coconut milk1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can diced tomatoes2 1/2 cups (325 g) chopped cauliflower florets (1-inch pieces)2 cups (340 g) peeled and cubed (3/4-inch) butternut squash1/2 cup (100 g) uncooked red lentils2 tablespoons (30 mL) red curry paste*1 teaspoon (7.5 mL) dried flaked onion**1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) garlic powder3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepperLots of freshly ground black pepper, to taste2 cups (75 g) packed stemmed and finely chopped kale or chardServing suggestions:Cooked jasmine rice or grain of choiceFresh chopped cilantro leavesFresh lime juice

Directions:
Add all of the curry ingredients (except the kale/chard) to an Instant Pot and stir until combined. I like to press down on the veggies and lentils to ensure they are completely covered in liquid. Secure lid in the lock position and check that the Steam Release Handle is pointing to the “Sealing” position. Press the “Pressure Cook” button (or “Manual”, on some machines) and set the cook time to 5 minutes on high pressure. After 5 seconds you’ll hear a couple beeps and the screen will say “on”. The cooking process has begun! You can now go do something fun for about 10 to 15 minutes while the curry cooks. You’ll hear a few beeps when the timer is up. Immediately do a “Quick Pressure Release” to avoid overcooking the curry. I stand back and use a wooden spoon handle (never my hand!) to shift the Steam Release Handle to the “Venting” position to release the pressure. Once all of the pressure has been released, the float valve will sink and you won’t hear steam anymore. Carefully open the lid and stir the curry. To achieve a thicker texture, I like to mash a bit of the curry with a potato masher, simply pulsing about 4 or 5 times around the pot. You can also blitz it for a second or two with an immersion blender. Stir in the chopped greens until thoroughly combined and secure the lid. Set the Instant Pot to the “Keep Warm” setting and allow the greens to wilt for about 5 minutes in the curry. Press “Cancel” to turn the heat off and release the steam again, if necessary, before removing the lid. Serve over rice or grain of choice, if desired, and garnish with cilantro and lime. The lime juice gives it a lovely brightness, but avoid using too much as it can overpower. I always add a sprinkle of salt and pepper before serving too.

Tips:

* I love this Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste—it’s shelf stable and comes in a small glass jar. You can often find it in the international cuisine aisle of grocery chains.

 

** Dried flaked onion is less concentrated than onion powder. Onion powder will work as a substitute if that’s what you have on hand, but I would suggest using a smaller amount (around 1/2 teaspoon) as it’s more flavourful.

 

STOVETOP OPTION: Not to worry if you don’t have an Instant Pot as this recipe works great on the stovetop too. Simply add all of the ingredients except the kale (or chard, if using) to a large pot, stir, and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 25 to 35 minutes (adding the kale/chard during the last 10 minutes), until the veggies and lentils are tender. Stir the curry every 5 minutes while cooking, and reduce the heat if necessary to prevent it sticking to the pot. Follow directions #5 and #7.

 

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Grain-free, Nut-free Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

https://ohsheglows.com/2018/09/06/grain-free-nut-free-vegan-chocolate-chunk-cookies/

Well, I finally did it—feast your eyes on these grain-free, nut-free vegan chocolate chunk beauties!! Whew. Nicole and I, along with a couple bonus mama testers (shout-out to Cynthia and Jen!), teamed up to test about 25 batches of cookies these past few weeks! High fives all around. I couldn’t do it without these amazing ladies.

Over the years I’ve been asked so many times to develop grain-free vegan cookies…and nut-free vegan cookies…and grain- AND nut-free vegan cookies! Haha. So you know what I did? I created grain-free and nut-free vegan cookies. It wasn’t easy, but the journey was rather delicious. These cookies have actually been in the making for a couple years as I went back to an old grain-free cookie recipe that I started developing and then forgot about. Score!

This recipe uses cassava flour, which is a grain- and gluten-free flour made from yuca with good binding properties and a neutral flavour. I wanted so badly to share a swap for the cassava flour (as I know it’s not a common ingredient), but I’m just not quite there yet—although I have been experimenting with arrowroot starch as an option! Stay tuned. So today, instead of a flour swap, I thought I’d share some other allergy-friendly OSG cookie recipes that might suit your needs in the list below. I’ve also included suggestions for where to find cassava flour within the recipe itself.

If you don’t have cassava flour on hand and still want to make some cookies (of course you do!), here are some of my nut- or grain-free vegan choco chip cookie options:

Nut-free vegan cookies:

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies from Oh She Glows Every Day, p. 213. You can swap the peanut butter for natural smooth sunflower seed butter.
Crispy Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Oh She Glows Cookbook, p. 265. See the nut-free option on page 266.

Grain-free vegan cookies:

Crispy Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Oh She Glows Cookbook, p. 265. See the grain-free option on page 266.

Gluten-free vegan cookies:

Jumbo Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Any faves out there? I’d like to think there’s something for everyone. :)

Let baking season begin in 3…2…1…GO!

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Grain-free, Nut-free Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free

I’ve had so many requests for a grain- and nut-free version of my popular vegan chocolate chip cookies and I’m so happy to have one to share at long last. These delicate cookies are light as air and use sunflower seeds (both in butter and ground form) to create a rich and “nutty” cookie. Sometimes sunflower seeds can lend a bitter flavour, but these cookies have a mellow and pleasant taste! I also use cassava flour, which is a grain- and gluten-free flour made from dried yuca. I’ve found it has good binding properties and a neutral flavour for baking. You can purchase it on Amazon or find it in some health food stores. It’s very important to follow the instructions exactly as written as these cookies are sensitive to even small changes. This recipe is adapted from my Jumbo Chocolate Chunk Cookies.

Yield
9 medium/large cookies

Prep time
10 Minutes

Cook time
10 Minutes

Total time
20 Minutes

Ingredients:
For the wet ingredients:1/4 cup (63 g) natural smooth sunflower seed butter*2 tablespoons (25 g) packed brown sugar2 tablespoons (30 mL) pure maple syrup2 1/2 tablespoons (37.5 mL) coconut oil (room temp) or grapeseed oil**For the dry ingredients:6 tablespoons (54 g) raw sunflower seeds3 tablespoons (30 g) cassava flour***1 teaspoon (2 g) ground chia seed****1/4 teaspoon baking soda1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt1/3 cup (50 g) dark chocolate squares

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. To a large bowl, add the wet ingredients (sunflower seed butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and oil) and stir until completely smooth. Place the sunflower seeds into a food processor and process for about 40 to 60 seconds until a fine meal forms. You want to process the seeds to as fine a meal as possible without them turning into butter! Add the dry ingredients (ground sunflower seeds, cassava flour, ground chia seeds, baking soda, and salt) to the wet mixture bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. The dough will be very sticky, but this is normal. Chop the chocolate, reserving one heaping tablespoon for later. Stir the remaining chopped chocolate into the dough until combined. Using a 2-tablespoon (30-mL) cookie scoop (or simply a spoon), scoop small mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheet a few inches apart. There’s no need to flatten the mounds as they’ll spread out during baking. Now, using the chocolate you set aside, press a few chunks into each mound (this just helps the cookies look a bit more chocolaty when baked!). Bake for 10 to 11 minutes (I bake for 10 minutes) for a soft and tender cookie. Remove cookies from the oven and cool directly on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Using a spatula, gently transfer each cookie (they’ll be very fragile) to a cooling rack for another 10 to 15 minutes. The cookies will be crumbly until they are fully cooled, so it’s very important that you give them some time to firm on the rack (I know, it’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do!). Serve and enjoy! Cooled cookies will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 to 2 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 weeks. I love the delightful “snappy” texture these cookies get as the chocolate firms up from chilling!

Tips:

* The sunflower seed butter should be 100% sunflower seeds without any added sugars or oils. I use Organic SunButter. Be sure to stir the sunflower seed butter before measuring and avoid using the dry/hard butter at the bottom of the jar. If using thicker seed butter, the cookies won’t spread as much when baking.

** If your coconut oil is hard as rock, you can melt it over very low heat and then cool before using. Avoid using warm coconut oil as it’ll melt the chocolate chips.

*** Cassava flour can be a bit tricky to locate. Your best bet is to buy from an online retailer (such as this one on Amazon) or a natural food store.

**** To make ground chia seed, add seeds to a high-speed blender or coffee grinder and blend/grind on high until a flour forms. An equal amount of ground flaxseed also works in place of chia, but it will yield a thicker cookie. I prefer using ground chia. Leftover ground seeds can be stored in the freezer in an airtight freezer bag for future use.

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3-Ingredient Chia and Quinoa Flatbread (vegan)

https://ohsheglows.com/2018/08/27/3-ingredient-chia-and-quinoa-flatbread-vegan/

Oh boy, allergy elimination diets are a breeze! Said no one ever. It’s been challenging to think of recipes when many of the foods and ingredients I love are also ones I should avoid for a bit before gradually reintroducing. So when I came up with these flatbreads, I was seriously overjoyed! There’s always a silver lining.

It’s hard finding bread-like foods with short ingredient lists at the grocery store, so I took matters into my own hands in the kitchen. It’s been a while since I made a flatbread (way back to my first cookbook). Six trials later, I finally nailed the recipe! (Of course, wouldn’t you know it, I went back to my second trial and only tweaked it slightly.) I tested soaked/sprouted raw quinoa, I tested cooked quinoa, I tested with a blender (and then a food processor), I tested with and without oil. I tested with varying amounts of chia seeds and water. And I ate every batch! Hah. Really these are hard to mess up, but some were definitely better than others. The soaked raw quinoa version was a hot mess and had the consistency of leather. #stillateit

What I love about these flatbreads is that they require just three main ingredients—quinoa, chia seeds, and oil (plus water and salt)—and they freeze wonderfully, so you can tuck some away and then simply pop them in your toaster whenever the craving strikes. I even found that the uncooked dough freezes and thaws beautifully, so that’s another handy option for you to try if you want to store some in the freezer. I’m all about anything to simplify life…especially as the school season approaches!

My favourite part is getting creative with the toppings. There are so many OSG recipes that are great on these flatbreads:

Sweet topping ideas

Raspberry Chia Seed Jam

Maple-Cinnamon Superseed Almond Butter

Luxurious Sunflower Seed Butter

Sliced banana or strawberries

Glowing Strawberry-Mango Guacamole (The Oh She Glows Cookbook, p. 81)

 

Savory topping ideas

9-Spice Avocado Hummus Toast (Oh She Glows Every Day, p. 39)

10-Spice Roasted Chickpeas

DIY Burrito Bowl (the spicy black bean topping would be amazing on these!)

Golden Red Lentil Dal

Nutrient-packed Guacamole (The Oh She Glows Recipe App: iOS/Android)

Perfect Roasted Chickpeas (The Oh She Glows Cookbook, p. 220)

I can’t wait to hear what you think!!

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3-Ingredient Chia and Quinoa Flatbread
Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

Packed with protein, these easy chia and quinoa flatbreads make the perfect healthy base for all your favourite toppings! This is a great basic flatbread that you can jazz up with delicious toppings. These crack a bit when rolled up wrap-style, so I prefer to simply eat them like fun open-faced sandwiches instead. Try serving the flatbread with mashed avocado, chopped tomatoes or salsa, hummus, green onion, roasted veggies, my 10-Spice Mix, flaky sea salt, roasted chickpeas, Hemp Seed Tabbouleh, and more. For a sweet version, top them with nut or seed butter, sliced banana, berries, and chia seed jam. They are also fantastic toasted in the toaster or toaster oven using low heat. The texture is soft and chewy with little pops of quinoa in each bite…yum! This recipe is inspired by the Crunchy Seed & Oat Flatbread from The Oh She Glows Cookbook.

Yield
9 (5-inch) flatbreads

Prep time
15 Minutes

Cook time
35 Minutes

Total time
50 Minutes

Ingredients:
1 cup (160 g) uncooked quinoa2 cups (500 mL) plus 3/4 cup (180 mL) water, divided3 tablespoons (30 g) chia seeds2 tablespoons (30 mL) virgin coconut oil or olive oil3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Directions:
Rinse and drain the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and transfer to a medium pot. Add 2 cups of water, stir, and bring it to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and cook for 13 to 16 minutes until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy. After cooking, remove the lid to let the steam escape and remove the pot from the element. While the quinoa is cooking, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a very large baking sheet (or 2 medium baking sheets) with parchment paper. If using 2 baking sheets, position 2 oven racks near the centre of the oven. Stir the chia seeds, coconut oil (or olive oil, if using), and salt into the cooked quinoa until combined. Now add the remaining 3/4 cup water and stir again. It should look like a “soupy” quinoa mixture. Cool for 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon this mixture into a large food processor and process for about 30 seconds (allowing steam to escape) until the quinoa is 50% broken down. There should still be some texture to the dough, and it’ll look like a thick, sticky paste with bits of quinoa throughout. Scoop 1/4-cup mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheet(s) several inches apart. You should have 9 mounds. Lightly oil your hands (to prevent sticking) and press down on each mound with the palm of your hand until the dough forms a small round shape, approximately 5 inches in diameter and no more than 1/8-inch thick. Shape the edges with your fingers so the circles are even. Grease your hands as needed to prevent sticking. Transfer the baking sheet(s) to the preheated oven and bake for 20 to 23 minutes until the edges are lightly firm to the touch. Using a spatula, carefully transfer each to a cooling rack where they’ll firm as they cool. Add your desired toppings (see headnote for ideas) and enjoy! Storing: You can refrigerate leftover flatbread in a sealed bag for 3 to 4 days or store in the freezer for up to 1 month. The uncooked dough also freezes and thaws beautifully.

Tips:

The 3-ingredient count does not include water or salt because I’m sneaky like that.

 

MAKE IT AHEAD: The uncooked dough can be refrigerated in a sealed container for a couple of days (maybe longer?) prior to baking. The chilled dough shapes easily (you won’t need to grease your hands), but you may need a couple extra minutes bake time if working with chilled dough.

Such a great discussion on my last post!! I truly appreciate each and every one of you for your support and for sharing your own experiences. <3

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Easy Chocolate Hemp Protein Balls

https://ohsheglows.com/2018/08/21/easy-chocolate-hemp-protein-balls/

It’s okay to give yourself a break.

This is something I’ve been reminded of over and over again since the beginning of the year. In a recent newsletter, I shared my struggles with injury and overtraining and opened up about why I decided to take a big old exercise break starting in January 2018. It felt so wrong to do that at the start of a brand new year, let me tell you! I was so nervous to send that newsletter issue out, but the response was fantastic, and many of you said you’d been going through something similar. It never ceases to amaze me how supportive this community is!

The themes of my year have been self-care, healing, and gentle movement while I work through some ongoing health issues, and so far I’ve been sticking with them. Sometimes I feel guilty that I’m not doing “enough”, as it’s easy to get caught up in fitspo or the latest workout fads on Instagram. It seems like others are always working harder or in better shape. Same goes for career stuff. It’s just too easy to get sucked into that mindset of feeling like there are always 10 things I could fix, or that I’m always 10 steps behind where I “should” be. Hello, rat race! And I’ve realized that buying into that means that I’ll never be happy with where I am. It’s awesome to have goals, but feeling like I’m always behind (especially when I’m trying to make positive changes in other areas in my life) isn’t a relaxing way to live.

A lovely reader named Amanda commented recently, saying, “…part of the reason I’ve always loved your blog is because you’re not a robot who just pumps out recipes…you tell us a bit about what’s going on in your life.” I could’ve cried reading Amanda’s note, as it was just what I needed to hear that day after feeling so much guilt about how the year had gone so far. Sometimes we just need the reminder that we’re allowed to have weeks, months, or years that just feel off, but the bright side is that they make us hungrier for those weeks, months, and years that feel GOOD. It’s the best kind of motivation once you get that wake-up call.

I’ve always been an all-or-nothing type of gal, and it’s something I have to be mindful of all the time…it’s in my nature to go big or go home. It’s not in my nature to approach things in a gentle (sane) manner! I am a Taurean bull, afterall—charging, stubborn, determined to accomplish my goals at almost any cost. But often that cost tends to be my emotional or physical health. I charge ahead with my eyes set on the goal and I’m usually okay with the collateral damage if it’s “just me” that takes a hit. I’m strong and can handle a lot, so for most of my life that’s how things have worked.

Eventually something has to give though…it always does! My health issues this past year (see this post and comments) have been a huge red flag. And for once, I’m listening closely even though I don’t quite understand the root of it yet. I’m taking time for me. I’m trying to heal myself. I’m going to doctors appointments. I’m on a temporary allergy elimination diet (hence the lack of recipes lately!) and I’m getting long overdue tests done. I’m not burning myself out.

The silver lining is that setbacks, whether health or otherwise, do eventually force us to stop and examine everything. I know the other side will hold a deeper appreciation for feeling like myself again. And when I get back into my beloved sweaty workouts (which I actually do love), I’ll strive for more balance and patience rather than seeing how many classes I can cram into one week. I will continue to follow social media accounts that build me up with positive inspiration and avoid the others like the plague. I’ll be okay with where I am and respect the journey rather than feeling like I’m failing.

So yes, it’s okay to give yourself a break.

You don’t always have to be in go-go-go mode.

You don’t have to feel behind everyone else.

Where you are right now is exactly where you are supposed to be—even if it’s uncomfortable.  

Well, that’s this week’s reminder for anyone who needs it. :) Sort of a thought dump going on today! I’d love to hear if you’ve ever been through something similar, or maybe you’ve been working through things this year too?

Unrelated but definitely worth mentioning: these rich and fudgy balls are FANTASTIC and we can’t stop making them!!! Haha. I hope you love them too.  

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Easy Chocolate Hemp Protein Balls
Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, no bake/raw, nut-free, refined sugar-free

This is the ideal snack when your sweet tooth needs something fast, but you also want the staying power of healthy fats and protein! Bursting with hemp hearts, these nut-free chocolate protein balls are nutritional powerhouses filled with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, magnesium, and more. Just like your favourite little black dress, they can be dressed up or down depending on your mood. I love rolling them in hemp hearts, shredded coconut or cocoa powder. For an extra luxurious energy ball, I simply dip the balls in melted chocolate and then chill them until the coating is firm. Recipe adapted from my Raw Chocolate Truffles in The Oh She Glows Cookbook Bonus Bundle.

Yield
6 large or 12 small balls

Prep time
10 Minutes

Cook time
0 Minutes

Chill time
20 minutes

Total time
10 Minutes

Ingredients:
For the balls:1 cup (160 g) lightly packed pitted Medjool dates*6 tablespoons (55 g) hemp hearts3 tablespoons (15 g) unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao powder2 tablespoons (11 g) shredded unsweetened coconut1 tablespoon (15 mL) virgin coconut oil1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt3 tablespoons (30 g) chopped dark chocolate (optional)1 to 3 teaspoons (5 to 15 mL) water, if neededTopping options:Shredded coconutHemp heartsUnsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao powderMelted dark chocolate

Directions:
Place the pitted dates in a food processor and process until a ball forms. Add the remaining ingredients to the processor (hemp hearts, cocoa/cacao powder, coconut, coconut oil, salt, and chocolate, if using) and process until thoroughly combined and almost smooth. The dough should be sticky and shouldn’t be crumbly when you form a ball. If it’s not sticky enough, add 1 to 3 teaspoons of water a bit at a time, processing after each addition. Line a plate with parchment paper. Lightly wetting your hands if needed, shape the dough into balls and place them on the lined plate. Roll each ball into your desired topping(s) until completely coated (if needed, lightly wet the ball before rolling so the toppings stick). Freeze the balls for 20 minutes until firm or simply enjoy right away! Store the leftovers in the fridge or freezer for a quick burst of energy whenever you need one (seriously, that would be all the time in this house!). The balls will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a week and in the freezer for 4 to 8 weeks.

Tips:

* If your dates are bone dry, soak them in boiled water for 15 minutes and then drain very well. Use an old towel to press out the excess water. If the “dough” is too sticky to shape, add some shredded coconut and process again.

 

For a fun twist, try changing up the flavours by adding peppermint or orange extract!

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What’s inside my makeup bag (cruelty-free)

https://ohsheglows.com/2018/07/27/whats-inside-my-makeup-bag-cruelty-free/

I recently did a poll on my Insta Stories to see if you would be interested in a “what’s inside my makeup bag” post, and 95% of you said “heck yes!!!”, so here it is! Putting this post together has also been a good way of filling the lack of recipe creation lately. I’m currently on an elimination diet to test for allergies (the worst!!) and basically can’t eat anything fun, so there hasn’t been much testing going on over here. It isn’t forever though! I keep telling myself that I will be a normal human being again someday, hah. But I’m soooo grateful that I’m already seeing improvements in my allergic reactions since cutting out the ingredients that my test found I’m sensitive to. I’ll keep you guys posted if you’re interested.

Read on for the deets on my current go-to makeup products. If you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to read my Favourite Skin Care Products post too.

Lips:

I’m going to kick this off with my favourite category—lips!

HURRAW! Tinted Lip Balm

Shade: Black Cherry

Cruelty-free, vegan

This tinted balm is perfect for kicking around the house! I love the subtle hint of colour this black cherry hue adds.

 

Tarteist Glossy Lip Paint

Shade: WCW

Cruelty-free, vegan (Note: Tarte is now owned by a parent company, KOSÉ, which is not cruelty-free.) :(

One of my fave lip gloss colours of all time. *heart eyes for berry tones* Biggest gripe? The tube is messy and lip gloss always explodes out the sides when I close it.

 

Couleur Caramel Lip Gloss

Shade: 805 Raspberry Red

Cruelty-free, vegan

This is a close runner-up for my favourite gloss shade. I actually like this one’s ingredients and packaging better than Tarte’s (no explosions!).

 

Kopari Coconut Lip Glossy

Cruelty-free, vegan

Ohhhhh yeah. You know I’m obsessed with this gloss. I talked about it in my Favourite Skin Care Products post too. I think of it as a 2-in-1 product because it’s a good lip moisturizer when you’re just lounging around the house (a little bit goes a long way), and it works as a fantastic “top coat” on top of lip colour to add a glossy sheen.

Foundation + concealer:

Physicians Formula Spotlight Illuminating Primer

Shade: Glow

Cruelty-free

This is a primer, but I use it on top of foundation as a highlighter on my cheekbones, temple area, and bridge of nose. I love how refreshed it makes my skin look even when I haven’t slept much. I tried it as a primer and wasn’t overly wowed, so I prefer to use it on top.

 

Physicians Formula The Healthy Foundation with SPF 20

Shades: LN4 and MN4 (I mix the two shades in the summer)

Cruelty-free, vegan

Oh BOY have I tried out a lot of vegan foundations. So, so many misses. This one was good enough to keep using, so that’s progress! My biggest complaint is the packaging (it’s awful, quite frankly, because it’s hard to get the product out and I’m not a fan of the applicator stick). Their shade selection is also quite limited. I have to mix two shades in the summer to get my perfect match! I also wish the ingredients were more natural, so I guess you could say I’m still on the hunt for my holy grail vegan foundation! This one will definitely do in the meantime.

 

Physicians Formula Concealer Twins Cream Concealers

Shade: Yellow/Light

Cruelty-free

I don’t use the yellow shade as I find it’s too noticeable on my skin tone, but I do use the light shade for around my eyes. I’m not sure if I’ll repurchase this concealer as it’s super light and doesn’t cover that much. I also wish they had more shades!

Blush + brush:

Benecos Natural Powder Blush

Shade: Sassy Salmon

Cruelty-free

I don’t normally go for such a bold blush shade, but I fell in love with this one! It really pops off my cheeks and a little bit goes a long way. It’s my new go-to.

 

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush

Shade: Paaarty

Cruelty-free

This blush was sent to me as a free sample from Sephora a year ago, and I used it until every last bit was gone! I’m not sure if I’ll repurchase because I’m loving the Benecos so much.

 

Tarte Bronze & Glow Double-Ended Contour Brush

I love this double-ended brush. I use the small end for blush and the large end for translucent powder.

 

You might be wondering…Ange, where is the bronzer? The contour powder?! Lol. I don’t use them because anytime I have tried to apply them I turn out looking like I have dirt on my face. So I just kind of gave up! But this tempting 50% off sale at Sephora is making me want to try the Tartiest PRO Glow Highlighter & Contour Palette!

Eyebrows:

My brows have always been light and pretty much nonexistent (thank you to my dad for those genes!), so if I want to feel put together, I will ALWAYS do my brows. I first use the Benecos pencil to fill in patchy areas, and then I use the Tarte mousse with the bamboo angle brush (which is included!!) to bring it all together. Really love this combo for my brows! So easy, long-lasting, and doesn’t smudge.

Benecos Natural Beauty Eyebrow-Designer

Shade: Blonde

Cruelty-free, vegan

 

Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Mousse

Shade: Ash Blonde

Cruelty-free, vegan

Eyeshadow + eyeliner:

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Eyeliner Trio

Shade: Warm Nude

Cruelty-free

I don’t use eyeliner everyday, but I always use it when I’m going out somewhere special, especially in the evening. I love this trio because it comes with black, brown, and bronze shades, which are the ones I normally gravitate toward.

 

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips All-In-1 Custom Nude Palette For Face & Eyes

Shade: Natural Nude

Cruelty-free

I love this all-in-1 palette because you can use it as a cheek bronzer, over your eyelids, or anywhere you want a pop of shimmer on your face!

Mascara + eyelash curler:

Pacifica Beauty Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mascara

Shade: Supernova (black)

Cruelty-free, vegan

I’ve tried out a lot of vegan mascaras and this is my favourite “everyday” mascara that I’ve been using for a few years. It’s light and perfect for daytime, but you can layer it for a slightly more dramatic look too.

 

My eyelash curler is by Sephora!

Powder + concealer:

Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-free Mineral Face Powder

Shade: Translucent Light

Cruelty-free

I have to say, this isn’t my favourite setting powder by any means. In fact, I find it goes on too powdery and I wish it were more dewy, so I use a very light hand when applying it. In the past I would use powder all over my face thinking that I had to get rid of any and all shine, but lately I only use a bit on my nose and a tiny bit on my forehead. I find using less powder really lets my natural (and makeup-accentuated!) glow shine through.

 

Physicians Formula Gentle Cover Concealer Stick, Light

Shade: Light

Cruelty-free

I use this occasionally if I need to cover a pimple. I think the shade is a bit too light for my skin tone though so I probably won’t repurchase.

PS: My black and gold makeup bag is from Shoppers Drug Mart!

Do you have any fave makeup products to share? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

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Ask Angela: High-protein vegan entrées, turning muffins into doughnuts, how I soak seeds/nuts, and more!

https://ohsheglows.com/2018/04/27/ask-angela-high-protein-vegan-entrees-turning-muffins-into-doughnuts-how-i-soak-seeds-nuts-and-more/

Photo credit: Ashley McLaughlin Hello, I’m back with another Ask Angela on this glorious spring Friday…keep those questions coming! Also, be sure to check out this week’s latest Glow Getter post featuring a fun interview with Fresh Restaurants founder Ruth Tal. Q1. Hi Angela! I’m wondering if you can share your highest-protein dishes, especially main […]