Green and White Chocolate Smoothie

I’m secretly a granola-loving hippie.

I love granola in cookies, with nondairy milk, on top of smoothies and nice cream, and by the handful!

Below is a smoothie recipe that pairs very well with Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin Flax Plus Granola. Crunchy pumpkin and flax seeds, chewy rolled oats, and puffed brown rice makes it oh so yummy!

This smoothie / nice cream hybrid is

  • 1 cup homemade almond milk
  • 3 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup spinach
  • white chocolate peanut butter from ALDI (but it’s a seasonal item) or Peanut Butter Co.
  • a pinch of cinnamon

It’s topped with unsweetened coconut and Pumpkin Flax granola. However, you can top it with whatever granola you want! Yum!

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I used homemade almond milk in this smoothie. SO FRESH, GUYS.

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Dig in!

xx Ellie

Raw Snickers (v, gf, r)

mmm Snickers. Melt-in-your-mouth chocolate, gooey caramel, crunchy peanuts, and soft nougat all wrapped together into a satisfying bar of yumminess. The ingredients in this “satisfying” bar? MILK CHOCOLATE (SUGAR, COCOA BUTTER, CHOCOLATE, SKIM MILK, LACTOSE, MILKFAT, SOY LECITHIN, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR), PEANUTS, CORN SYRUP, SUGAR, PALM OIL, SKIM MILK, LACTOSE, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, SALT, EGG WHITES, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR. (Source: Snickers.com) Still sound yummy to you? Not to me! Therefore, I made my own version of snickers. They still include that melt-in-your-mouth chocolate, gooey caramel, crunchy peanuts, and soft nougat, but are much yummier (and healthier!) than the real Snickers because they don’t contain tons of artificial ingredients. Dig in!  P1240783 P1240785

“Raw” Snickers

makes 10 medium-sized Snickers bars

Nougat

Nougat layer adapted from Emily Von Euw

  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 cup sliced almonds

Blend everything together in a food processor until smooth. Pour the yummy mixture into a medium-sized container and spread it around (so it’s one layer). Put it in the freezer to set.

Date Caramel

  • around 17 dates
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons nondairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Pulse the dates in a food processor until they are small chunks. Add everything else and blend! Pour it on top of the nougat layer.

peanuts

Sprinkle peanuts on top of the caramel layer. Put the container in the freezer.

Chocolate

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I love Ghiradelli Semisweet)
  • 2-3 tablespoons nondairy milk

Or if you really like coconut, you can use this recipe for the chocolate. Melt the chocolate and milk in a double boiler or in a bowl in the microwave. Stir. Pour on top of the peanut/caramel/nougat mixture and put in the freezer to set. These take 2-3 hours to set. After they’ve set (chocolate is hardened and the bar is firm), cut it into 10 pieces. ENJOY plant-based happiness! P1240784

Have a fun day!

xx Ellie

Cornell University Visit + Food in Ithaca, NY

Last week, I spent about 18 hours in moving vehicles! That’s a lot of sitting! The sitting and stiffness were worth it, because in those 18 hours, my dad and I drove from our home base in Michigan to Ithaca, New York and home again. Why? We went to visit Cornell University, aka my dream school!

I loved Cornell! The campus sits atop a hill, surrounded by woods and plummeting gorges. It overlooks the surrounding town of Ithaca. The campus is gorgeous! Haha. The buildings are a mish-mash of styles from the past few centuries. We spent the majority of our time in the food science building, Stocking Hall, because food science sounds super interesting to me. The facility was built last year, so it’s super nice and new! The classrooms are large, clean, and comfortable.

I got to sit in on a “Food Chemistry I” lecture in one of the nice classrooms! I enjoyed sitting in the comfy chairs as I listened to the professor teach about sugars! I didn’t really understand what the teacher was talking about because he had started lecturing on the subject another day (so the lecture was halfway over when I arrived). There were some dot diagrams that I sort of understood because I’m learning about dot diagrams in chemistry right now, but I didn’t understand most of the figures and jargon. This is fine, because I know I will learn it if I go to Cornell.

After the lecture, I got to meet with the food science Director of Undergraduate Studies. She  is cool, and she explained food science to us in everyday language. Food science is studying food and ingredients from their creation to the instant they are consumed. It’s studying what happens to the apple from the moment it is picked to the instant it is spooned into your mouth as applesauce. Nutrition is what happens to the food while it is inside your body. Both fields sound interesting! She also told us about what Cornell has to offer. Cornell seems to have a great food science program: they have a new facility, helpful staff who want you to succeed, and a fun and diverse student body.

My dad and I also got to meet with two food science students. These two girls were so kind, helpful, and they had lots of school spirit! They taught my dad and me so much about Cornell and life there as a college student. It was so fun to meet them! Everyone we met at Cornell and in Ithaca was super nice and helpful.

I loved Cornell for the reasons mentioned above. I also loved Cornell because of all the opportunities it offers! Cornell has sororities, fraternities, division 1 sports, intramural sports, gyms, tons of restaurants, and OVER 1,000 CLUBS! One of these clubs is the Cornell VEGAN SOCIETY. Yes, Cornell has a VEGAN SOCIETY. That alone makes me want to go to Cornell.

The Cornell Vegan Society has also made sure that EVERY restaurant at Cornell and in Ithaca has vegan options. This means that there are lots of dining options for everyone! My dad and I ate delicious food while in Ithaca.

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 5.22.51 PMThe first night we arrived, we ate at a busy Mexican restaurant called Viva Taqueria. I ordered the vegan burrito and it was huge and super spicy. The burrito came with pickled jalepeños, carrots, onion, and garlic which were the spiciest foods I have EVER put into my mouth. It also came with cabbage slaw and guacamole, which I needed to tone down the spice. The food was good, just very spicy. My dad thought that it was some of the best Mexican food that he’d ever tasted.

 

FullSizeRenderOn Friday, we went out to lunch at Manndible Café, a café in one of Cornell’s many libraries. It was Curry Bar Friday at the café, and their curry is some of the best curry I’ve ever tasted. It was a delicious lunch. I also ordered a strawberry banana smoothie that tasted like a milkshake.

Friday night was PIZZA night. My dad and I traversed to Pizza Aroma, where we dined on pizza by the slice. The garden pizza slice that I ordered was gluten-free, vegan, huge, and incredibly tasty. My non-vegan dad ordered the garden pizza too, and he liked it!

IMG_0426 I recommend all of the restaurants that my dad and I tried in Ithaca.

We left Ithaca on Saturday morning. We took a quick detour to Niagara Falls on the way home. It was cold and unbelievably crowded for a cold, snowy, and foggy day! Of course I had to take a typical tourist picture of me at the Falls:

 

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It was negative degrees outside. 

All in all, seeing Cornell was fun! I can’t believe how soon I’ll be applying to college! Eek! If you have any advice about high school, applying to college, and college life, let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear it!

How was your weekend? Did you go anywhere?
Have a great day!

xx Ellie

Strawberry Love Cupcakes

I hope that everyone had a great weekend and a lovely Valentine’s Day. I had fun hanging out with friends. We ate these cupcakes and had a dance party. Since we were hanging out on Valentine’s Day, I decided to bring over valentine-inspired cupcakes. I couldn’t find a great pink-colored, strawberry cupcake recipe that non-vegans would also love, so I decided to make my own! I used strawberries we froze this past summer for the recipe since we didn’t have any fresh ones. If you use fresh strawberries, puree them so you get juice to make the cupcakes pink!

My friends loved these cupcakes, and I hope you will too! They’re moist, fluffy, sweet, and mouthwatering.

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Strawberry Love Cupcakes

based on Vanilla Birthday Cupcakes from Chloe’s Vegan Desserts

makes 15 cupcakes

  • 1 and ½ cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup nondairy milk
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk together all the dry ingredients (flour to salt). In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (milk to vanilla) and pour into the dry ingredients. Put the frozen berries into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, or until the strawberries are unfrozen and juicy. Add the strawberries and their juice in with everything else and whisk until everything is combined. Line cupcake tins, then fill the liners 2/3 of the way full. Pop them in the oven for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out dry if you stick it in a cupcake.

Strawberry Glaze (to top the cupcakes)

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of strawberry juice (from frozen strawberries)

Melt about a 1/4 cup of frozen strawberries (the “how to” is in the cupcake directions). Add the juice from the strawberries, powdered sugar, and vanilla together in a bowl. Whisk them together, then pour a tablespoon or so over each cupcake! I also topped the cupcakes with chocolate chips. Feel free to top them with chocolate chips, strawberry slices, or whatever else you’d like! P1240751 P1240776

Enjoy and spread love through cupcakes!

xx Ellie

Peanut butter chocolate chunk ice cream (vegan)

I’ve never reblogged anything before, but I just have to share this INCREDIBLE looking chocolate peanut butter “ice cream” with you! It looks so yummy and it’s easy to make! All you have to do is pour some coconut milk into ice cube makers and freeze the ice cubes. Once they’re frozen, you pop them out into a blender. Add peanut butter, chocolate, dates, and vanilla, and blend! It’s a simple, healthy, and delicious way to make ice cream with my favorite food combination in the universe! Hooray for whoever thought to combine chocolate and peanut butter and hooray for Emma from http://www.myupbeetlife.com for creating this recipe!
Enjoy!
xx Ellie

Craving Nature

There are few better food marriages than peanut butter and chocolate. And there is no better ordained minister than ice cream to bring them together for this holy matrimony. And there are no objections here today so no one has to forever hold their peace. Damn this is good. 

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Fab 5 Friday 2/13/15

Happy Friday and happy Valentine’s day! I can’t believe that it’s already February 13!

I love holidays. I love how spirited people get. I love the different fun traditions that go along with each holiday! I always loved Valentine’s Day in elementary school because it meant shortened class so that we could have a classroom party! It also meant decorating a box for valentines, making valentines for friends and classmates, spreading love, and eating lots of candy! I wish we still did this in High School! It was a great way to get to know other kids better. It also meant candy, which almost every kid loves. Just because I don’t have a Valentine’s Day party or pass out valentines anymore doesn’t mean I can’t spread the love in other ways, though! So, my plea to you is to make every day more like Valentine’s Day! Spread the love and spirit of Valentine’s Day every day!

1. Valentine’s Day 

…because it’s nice to devote a day to love!

2. Ideas for Valentines

We don’t have boxes to deposit valentines into like we did in elementary school. But this doesn’t mean we can’t pass out valentines! Check out these cute valentine ideas from Fork and Beans! Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 8.47.29 AMLOOK AT THESE adorable valentines from ForkandBeans.com! Pretzels with their tops dipped in chocolate to create a match! So sweet! This picture is from Cara’s Instagram account! @forkandbeans

3. These vegetable flower bouquets 

Skip-buying-roses-and-give-these-veggie-bouquets-to-your-sweetie.--683x1024Just look at them! Such a fun and spring-y idea! I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait for spring and these pots are a great reminder that spring is coming soon! The recipe for these cute flowers is also from Cara at forkandbeans.com

4. Visiting Cornell University next week! 

Next week, I don’t have school on Thursday or Friday (hooray for winter break!). I’ll be spending that time in Ithaca, New York to see Cornell! I am so excited. I can’t wait to check out Cornell, it’s #1 food science program, and the vegan scene in Ithaca! I’m going with my dad, and we’re going to check out the Moosewood restaurant (it has a lot of  award-winning vegetarian cookbooks)! I can’t wait! Let me know if you live nearby! I’d love to meet up with a blogger friend or find another great veg-friendly restaurant to try 🙂

5. These Chocolate-Covered Katie Recipes

I can’t wait to try out this Italian hot chocolate recipe and these chocolate chip cream cheese cookies! Your recipes are SPOT-ON this week, Katie! The cookies would taste yummy dipped in the hot chocolate too, I’m sure! I WANT THIS WARMING HOT CHOCOLATE ASAP!

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Remember to spread the love!

xoxo Ellie

MONKEY BITES (v, gf)

Happy almost Valentine’s day! 

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These babies…

  • take 5 minutes to make
  • are easy to make 
  • have only 3 ingredients
  • are healthy
  • are insanely delicious!

I am definitely not the first to make bananas dipped in chocolate and frozen. Whoever came up with the idea is a genius! I was craving a sweet treat after dinner last night, but I didn’t want something bread-y and super sugary. The solution to my craving? These monkey bites! No monkeying around here! All you have to do is melt some chocolate chips, chop up banana and smother it in peanut butter and chocolate, and put the bites in the freezer. An hour later, you have a delectable treat. 

This treat is so fun! Everyone will go “bananas” over it (hahahaha)!

Enjoy!

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Monkey Bites

Makes around 25 bites

  • 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips (I heart Ghiradelli semisweet chocolate chips)
  • a teaspoon or two of nondairy milk to dilute the chocolate
  • 2 bananas
  • peanut butter

Cut up two bananas into 1 inch slices. Spread a ½ teaspoon or so of peanut butter on to each banana slice. Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds. Pull the bowl out after 30 seconds (be careful because it will be hot!) and add a teaspoon of nondairy milk to the chocolate if it’s too thick. Dip the bananas in the chocolate mixture! You can always just add the peanut butter to the chocolate mixture so you don’t have to spread peanut butter onto each banana slice. I just held the banana bite and dipped the top of it into chocolate. Place dipped bananas onto parchment paper and put them in the freezer for an hour or so to harden the chocolate. When the chocolate is hardened, take out and enjoy! 

Have a fun day!

xx Ellie