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Amaranth Flour Carrot Cake Cookies (GF)

Amaranth Flour Carrot Cake Cookies
Fun fact: Amaranth was banished after the Spanish conquest of the Americas. The Spanish forbid its cultivation in hopes of helping to eliminate the Aztec tradition of human sacrifice. (Amaranth was often made into a ceremonial mixture that would be eaten at such occasions.)

It fell out of use for hundreds of years, and only now in recent times is amaranth getting any attention from westerners. Even today, its appreciation from home cooks seems to be small.

Yet, it’s doubtful this natural superfood staple of the Mayans and Aztecs will hang under the radar for long.

Amaranth Flour Carrot Cake Cookies

Like quinoa, amaranth is a complete protein, packing in nearly 10 grams of the muscle-building nutrient per cup (30% more than rice) along with a notable amount of fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Meanwhile, in contrast to quinoa, since this gluten-free grain hasn’t yet fully been rediscovered, you can still score a bulk bin bag of the nutty seed at a price that won’t set you back.

Amaranth Flour Carrot Cake Cookies

After a recent trip to Mexico, where I found amaranth showing up both on menus in the form of breakfast porridge and as a nutty topping to various salads, I began to start experimenting with it myself in my own kitchen.

I love it as an alternative to oatmeal, cooked up with almond milk and raisins, and swirled with cinnamon, maple syrup and nuts. Just recently, I discovered it in its flour form.

After receiving a bag of amaranth flour from Bob’s Red Mill, I got to work — and to daydreaming — in thinking up ways to use it. With Easter approaching, I settled on doing some sort of baked treat, which led me in creating this recipe.

Inspired by spring, these Amaranth Flour Carrot Cake Cookies are spice-forward and a perfect pairing to a tall glass of almond milk. I recommend serving them with a smear of almond butter on the side, too, or even peanut butter if you have either on hand. For an extra special treat, sandwich a scoop of coconut ice cream between two cookies.

Did I mention they’re vegan and gluten-free, too? And not all that unhealthy, too…

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Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I like muffins to be rather distinctive from cupcakes.

Not too sweet. Heartier than a light and fluffy cake. And filling enough to leave me satisfied after just one.

Although, hints of decadence (like chocolate chips) are a must, so that the yearning for an icing topped cupcake doesn’t follow.

Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
These Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins fit the bill perfectly for that description, packed with wholesome ingredients like oats, whole grain flour and bananas, while being balanced with a touch of sweetness lent by brown sugar, cinnamon and a dose of dark chocolate.

Eat them for breakfast, eat them at snack-time, eat them for dessert, eat them whenever — guilt-free.

Feel free to play around with this recipe, too, by adding nuts or raisins or even other spices. There’s no better time to play around in the kitchen than when it’s cold outside, and as I agonize over the blanketing of snow outside my window, I hope these will give you a little comfort like they’ve given me!

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Holiday Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Pecans

Holiday Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Pecans

I’m bringing you one of my favorite holiday recipes today, and also one of my most beloved brussels sprouts recipes as a whole.

The colors, textures and earthy-meets-sweet flavor balance going on here has made this dish now an annual tradition in my household each season.

I mean…just look how pretty and festive it is all thanks to its entirely natural and nourishing ingredients. Win.

Holiday Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Pecans

I like to shred brussels sprouts because it gives them an almost buttery-like feel upon sauteing. It also turns them into a conversation piece, perhaps even making them a novelty on the holiday table.

Paired with a crunch from the pomegranate seeds bursting with complimentary color and from the apples, you get a satisfying bite here with each forkful of sprouts.

The pecans add another layer of crunch, and butteriness, too, rounding out this healthful side with just a splash of richness.

Holiday Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Pecans

Whether it’s for a holiday feast or even just a post-feasting-week meal, it’s always good to have something green on the table this time of year. And also a veggie dish that won’t get outshined by all of the other good treats that surround it.

Always receiving rave reviews from my various family members, I can assure you this fulfills that promise.

Happy holidays, from my kitchen to yours!

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Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Lentils and Kale

Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Lentils and Kale

Hey there – it’s me, Grace. Remember me?

Yeah, I know. It’s been awhile.

But I’m back, just in time to bring you this bowl full of all things fall and all things that’ll nourish you as we prepare to take on the changing of the seasons.

Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Lentils and Kale

Is it just me or is everyone seemingly getting sick a few weeks too early this year?

No one likes being sick. But nearly everyone likes butternut squash soup.

And this one packs a punch of healthful ingredients – i.e., a powerhouse, germ-fighting tonic of turmeric and ginger. (Praise hands emoji.)

Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Lentils and Kale

I love this soup because it’s both warming and hearty, yet at the same time it’s clean and light. Lentils add both a solid source of protein and some crunch while kale adds to the texture swimming in this soup’s oh-so velvety base.

Place it in a blue or green bowl, and its golden goodness really shines. Inside and out.

I’m telling you, it’s a winner all around.

Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Lentils and Kale

 

Serve with a side salad or a crusty slice of bread, or both. And then you’ve easily got a full meal – one that’s perfect for the autumn days that surround us!

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Asian Cabbage Slaw

Asian Cabbage Slaw

Cabbage is among the most underrated vegetables.

Er, let me correct that. Purple cabbage is among the most underrated vegetables.

I mean, just look at it! It’s a beaut.

Asian Cabbage Slaw

One of purple cabbage’s greatest attributes – besides its color, of course – is the fact that it can last for weeks and weeks in the fridge before going bad. That being said, I always keep a head on hand so that I can thinly slice it up whenever a dish could use a splash of color.

Salads, banh mi sandwiches, summery tacos, grain bowls, you name it…purple cabbage is always there to save the day and make food beautiful.

Asian Cabbage Slaw

This time around, however, I let the vibrant veggie take center stage in a slaw I now make every summer.

It’s an Asian-influenced cole slaw, meaning that traditional mayo gets swapped with a fragrant oil + rice vinegar + soy sauce combo.

Add a few crunchy, salty peanuts on top and some fresh cilantro, and you’re left with a slaw that’s so full of flavor it becomes addicting. Cole slaw…addicting? Yes.

And this one’s fresher than ever.

Asian Cabbage Slaw

While you could certainly down an entire bowl of this, it pairs nicely on the side of other dishes, too. Think fish tacos, or a stir-fry of sorts or even an Asian-themed veggie burger on the grill. It’s up to you to get creative with what you put this with, but I promise the recipe laid out for you here won’t let you down!

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