Blueberry Muffins

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The weather in New York City has been so out of whack these days. Two days ago I was walking around in my favorite ripped jeans and a white t-shirt and today its pouring rain and I was freezing walking down the block in my winter jacket. Thank god I don’t have many places to be today because it is definitely one of those I just want to sit in my apartment in sweatpants catching up on my favorite blogs and TV shows. On that note, I decided to bake some clean blueberry muffins to snack on, on this lazy day. These muffins are made with almond flour and sweetened with dates and ripened bananas for some extra protein and flavor. Eat one plain or smear it with homemade almond butter or some jam and you’ll have the perfect comfort food without the guilt or fat.

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Vegan Almond Butter and Jam Sandwich Cookies

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An almond butter and jam sandwich in cookie form? Yes please! These sandwich cookies are filled with everything I love from my childhood favorite including the sweetness from the jam and creaminess from the nut butter plus they pack an extra dose of protein, fiber and healthy goodness from the oats, almonds and chia seeds. These cookies are also dairy free, sugar free and vegan. Enjoy!

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Chana Masala & Yogurt Chutney

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Ever since my sister returned from a trip to India, she has been raving about the amazing impact that using Indian spices in your everyday cuisine can have. She has cooked my brother and me a few memorable Indian meals and both of us have been eager to master the skills as our own. This past weekend us three siblings finally got together for the cooking lesson we had been waiting for. Combining the flavors of saltiness, sourness, sweetness, and heat, my sister taught us how to make a killer chana masala and a re-imagined cilantro chutney using yogurt as a base. It was the perfect way to invigorate an otherwise boring vegetarian meal, using creative flavors to enliven the healthy ingredients of chickpeas, ginger, yogurt, and other veggies. The great thing is, many of the spices used for the chickpea dish can be incorporated into other vegetable combos for a delicious, healthy meal or side dish. At the end of the day though I think anything made on a fun afternoon with my family would taste perfect. 

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Chewy Spiced Date Cookies

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During my travels to the Middle East I absolutely fell in love with fresh dates. The sweet taste is like candy and the consistency is wonderful. They became a staple snack mixed with a few roasted almonds while I was abroad. When I came home to New York City I felt like I was on a quest to find Dates that compared in flavor. Every market I visited I would sample one, but none were like the ones I had while I was away. On a recent trip to Eataly (an unbelievable Italian specialty market in NYC) I stumbled upon a bin of fresh dates in the produce section. Just like I always do, I sampled one and oh my god they were amazing! I immediately filled a bag full. I felt like a kid in a candy store I was so excited. Although I love munching on dates by themselves as a sweet and healthy snack I was inspired to incorporate them into my healthy baking for a dose of natural sweetness and chewiness. Plus, the walnuts add a perfect crunch and the ginger and cinnamon add an unexpected punch of spice. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!

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Homemade Almond Butter

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One of my favorite memories from childhood is sitting in the school cafeteria and unfolding the shiny foil of my lunch to find a crustless peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a handprint embedded in the Wonder Bread. Knowing how deeply I loved my sandwich extra thin, my grandma, who made my lunch, would press down as hard as she could on the bread to flatten it, leaving a surprise engraving for me every day. It was the perfect symbol of her love. Although the peanut butter and jelly from the jar on white bread has morphed into healthful homemade natural almond butter spread on something a bit more nutritious- the feeling of enjoying a nut butter sandwich has reminded me to appreciate the simple things in life and remember the special love my grandma had for me.

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Apple Walnut Cake

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Invite some friends over for this one because nothing can compare to the warm, comforting and amazing aroma that takes over your kitchen when an apple cake is being formed in the oven- they will instantly be impressed (and hungry). The following apple cake recipe is simple yet delicious and is filled with protein, omega-3’s & nutrients to make your mind and your belly healthy & happy.

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Baked Spiced Chickpeas

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These are hands down my favorite recipe I’ve made in a while. Normal old chickpeas become the crunchiest, tastiest most amazing snack ever in the span of 30 minutes. I promise you these will satisfy your salty potato chip craving while giving you a dose of protein, fiber & iron. These are salty and savory but I can’t wait to try this recipe with a sweet variation, cinnamon-sugar anyone?

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Overnight Oats

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Overnight Oats is simply “no-cook” oatmeal and with its make ahead convenience it is perfect for a protein, fiber and nutrient filled breakfast that will keep you full and focused until lunch. It also is low in fat & sugar, which makes it a perfect replacement for those calorie, fat and sugar packed granola bars or coffee shop pastries. This recipe also includes Chia Seeds, which are an unbelievable super food. Per ounce, these bad boys contain 11 grams of fiber, more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon and flax seeds, contain more protein than a serving of quinoa and are loaded with calcium and vital anti-oxidants.

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Quinoa Pasta with Superfood Pesto

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I call this “Superfood” pesto because I have replaced the usual ingredients of pesto with some unbelievably nutrient rich ingredients. Not only do kale and spinach have zero fat and are high in fiber they are both filled with powerful antioxidants and high in vitamins K, A, C, high in calcium and high in iron. As a matter of fact kale has more iron per calorie than beef! Walnuts are high in fiber, antioxidants, magnesium and vitamins. They are high in protein and contain healthy fats that your body craves including Omega 3.

This recipe is perfect for a side dish or for a quick and easy meal!

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