Monday, October 28, 2013

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

In my opinion, fall is the most incredible time of year. Crisp nights and flushed cheeks, crunchy golden leaves, and a couple of the best holidays around. My personal favorite part is when I get to bring out my fall wardrobe. I mean, hello- boots and scarves everyday?! Yes please. I've said it before, and I'll say it again; I seriously adore anything pumpkin. It might be a slight obsession. Pumpkin you-name-it, I love it ;) That being said, I figured I would take advantage of the season and squeeze in as many pumpkin recipes as I can. Bear with me! ;)

This one's for all my lovely bakers. I saw this recipe online somewhere, but when I made it, it was just too bland and boring for my taste. I doctored it up a little bit, and the end result was delicious. These cookies are paleo- if you are not familiar with it, the paleo diet is basically one that excludes all refined sugar, dairy, grain, or legumes of any kind. These cookies also happen to be low-carb, so eat up ;)

These were so easy to make and were rich and comforting. 
I baked them on a chilly fall night and they were perfection.

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 

Next, simply mix all these ingredients together:

  • 3/4 cup of creamy almond butter
  • 1 cup of almond flour
  • 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 tsp of baking soda
  • 5 tbs of coconut sugar
  • 3 tbs pure, organic maple syrup 
  • 2 tbs cinnamon
  • 2 tbs of pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp of pure, organic vanilla extract

Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper
(or Trader Joe's coconut oil spray if you have it.)

Scoop tablespoon-sized spoonfuls onto paper and sprinkle a pinch of coconut sugar on top. Cook 11-13 minutes or until you notice the edges turning golden brown.

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Me Up

I'm pretty sure everyone in the world looks forward to the same thing come September: the arrival of Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte aka THE NECTAR OF THE GODS aka liquid crack. Haha just kidding (not really though ;) Seriously, to say I am addicted would be an understatement. That being said, Starbucks is an expensive habit to support! I decided to try to come up with a way to make this delectable drink at home, hoping to save myself the hefty $4/cup asking price. Also, did you know that a grande (medium-sized) PSL from Starbucks contains 380 calories and 49 grams of sugar?! Holy no thank you... I would rather stuff my face with a Krispy Kreme donut. Remember, you should always aim to eat most of your calories- don't waste them on sugar-filled drinks.

Here's what I did:

 First, just brew a regular pot of coffee 
(I use Folgers house blend.)

◊   In a separate bowl or measuring cup, combine:

◆   1/3 cup of milk of your choice 
(I used almond milk, but any kind will work.) 
The thicker the better. I recommend either 
vanilla almond milk, 2% milk, or for best
results, whole milk or heavy cream. 
I just couldn't afford the calories :(

◆   3 tablespoons organic canned pumpkin 
(you can get this at Trader Joe's for only 99 cents!)

◆   3 tablespoons of organic coconut sugar 
(regular cane sugar will also work, I just prefer 
coconut sugar because it is unrefined and 
lacks artificial sweeteners.)

◆   1 tablespoon organic vanilla extract

◆   1 tablespoon of cinnamon

◆   1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice

◊   Scoop 2-3 tablespoons of the pumpkin mixture into your coffee. 
How much you use will depend on your desired level of flavor.

◊   This recipe makes enough for about 4- 8oz. servings

And that's IT! So simple right? The best part about this recipe is how flexible it is. You can seriously add or subtract any amount of ANY of the ingredients to achieve your desired end result. I played with mine a little and don't be afraid to do the same! I've always liked my drinks on the sweeter side- rather than enjoy a bitter cup of black coffee. No thank you. 

*** If you're interested, you can also make a healthy whipped cream
 out of coconut milk! Just put a can of coconut milk in the fridge 
upside down overnight. This is important because it will 
allow the solid cream to rise to the top. In the morning, scrape
 that top layer off and whip it up with 2 teaspoons of your choice 
of sweetener. You can use agave, stevia, or coconut sugar 
if you have it. If not, regular sugar will work just fine :) ***

Enjoy you little pumpkin lovers! 
Thanks for reading! 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hi everyone!

WELCOME TO MY BLOG! AHH! I'm so excited about this and I hope that you are as well :) I have been wanting to do something like this for months and I'm so happy it has finally come full-circle. At first I was embarrassed and figured no one would read anything I posted, but when people started to value my ideas I thought I might actually have something! I figured I should probably do an introductory post so that you guys know who these crazy ideas are coming from. Some of you I grew up with, some of you I am close friends with now, and maybe some of you I have never even met! Whatever the story be, I am so happy for you to join me on this adventure!

My name is Heaven and I'm 21-years old, living in sunny San Diego, CA. My passion in life is food- plain and simple. I love to eat and I can probably eat more than your 200-lb linebacker brother. No shame in my game. That being said, I have an equal passion for fitness. Although it doesn't seem like those two would go together well, let me tell you- I am happier and more balanced than I've ever been. I am all about healthy alternatives without sacrificing flavor. Through this blog I hope to help you all on your road to health. I did it, I've done it, and I'm STILL doing it!

I'm looking forward to sharing recipes with you (some that I have created myself, some that I have gotten from others) and also workouts that I am loving at the moment. I do have a gym that I attend 6-days a week; however, I also like easy, quick at-home workouts, so hopefully those will be beneficial to some of you and I will be able to provide a little something for everyone.

Being that I am a poor college student living away from my mother, you will also find some incredible home remedies on here. I'm into trying new things and learning for myself how well things do or do not work. Unfortunately, I am the opposite of a craft queen so you won't find many art projects on here :( Sorry! Mostly I'll be sharing face masks that I make myself, etc.

I will accept your questions happily! I can't promise that I will have half the answers you'll need- but I do promise to try my hardest to find an answer with you.

Thanks so much for reading!