Strawberry Rhubarb Breakfast Crisp

Strawberry Rhubarb Breakfast Crisp #katielean #eatseasonally #summereats #cleaneating

Check out that amazing home-grown happiness!

Fresh strawberries are finally in season here in New England.  I’ve seen so many awesome ways to use strawberries on social media lately, not to mention tons of cute pictures of people going berry picking!  Check out my previous post on things to do with strawberries here.

Whenever I think of baking with these bright red berries I think of rhubarb as well…they’re such a great combo!  I wanted to make something that wasn’t just a pie or bars…so I was inspired by this Vegan & Flourless Strawberry Apple Breakfast Crisp from Oh She Glows to make this delicious dish!

Strawberry Rhubarb Breakfast Crisp #katielean #eatseasonally #summereats #cleaneating

I love apple crisps in the fall, so I thought I would make a healthier crisp to eat for breakfast during the summer.

This is a “breakfast crisp” rather than a “dessert crisp” because it contains no added sugar (besides some maple syrup) and no butter.  Hooray for a lighter, healthier option!  That being said, if you served this with some vanilla bean ice cream it would make a totally awesome dessert despite it’s lack of typical “dessert ingredients”.

Strawberry Rhubarb Breakfast Crisp #katielean #eatseasonally #summereats #cleaneating

Here’s what you’ll need:

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Breakfast Crisp

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • For the filling:
  • 5 thin, 1ft. stalks of rhubarb (the ones I used are in the first picture in this post, for reference)
  • 3 cups of fresh strawberries
  • 1 single-serve cup natural applesauce (about 4 oz.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the crumble:
  • 1 1/2 cups of steel cut oats
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease a casserole pan.
  2. Wash the strawberries and rhubarb well.
  3. Remove the leaves from the strawberries and slice in half or in quarters if you're using large ones.
  4. Chop the rhubarb into small pieces, about 1/2 inch wide at most.
  5. Using a spoon, mix all of the filling ingredients into a large bowl.
  6. Set aside.
  7. (I did not soak or cook my steel cut oats prior to adding them, but if you are looking for a softer, less crunchy texture I would recommend soaking or cooking them before adding them to the recipe!)
  8. Now in another bowl combine the ingredients for the crumble.
  9. Mix half of the mixture into the filling mix, leaving the other half aside.
  10. Pour the new filling into the casserole pan and spread evenly.
  11. Top with the rest of the crumble mixture.
  12. Cover the pan with foil and poke holes in it with knife.
  13. Bake for 35-40 minutes depending on the depth of your pan.
  14. When done, remove from the oven and let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!
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Strawberry Rhubarb Breakfast Crisp #katielean #eatseasonally #summereats #cleaneating

 

What do you love to cook in the summer?

Strawberry Rhubarb Breakfast Crisp #katielean #eatseasonally #summereats #cleaneating

Dark Chocolate Coconut Truffles

Dark Chocolate Coconut Truffles #katielean #cleaneating

It’s been too long since I last posted a “treat” recipe here!  Today I was craving chocolate but the only chocolatey ingredient I had lying around was cacao powder…so I whipped these up.  They’re definitely more nutrient-dense than brownies, cookies, and dark chocolate bars!

I’m a big fan of really dark, bitter chocolate.  The taste of cacao powder fits the bill for that category.  With no milk these are almost vegan (they contain honey).  They’re super rich and creamy but don’t require any baking, making them an awesome summer dessert because there’s no need to heat the house up with the oven!

Dark Chocolate Coconut Truffles #katielean #cleaneating

Look for an almond butter with just almonds on the ingredients list to ensure you’re getting the healthiest option.

Dark Chocolate Coconut Truffles #katielean #cleaneating

Here’s the recipe:

Dark Chocolate Coconut Truffles

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 15-20 truffles, depending on size

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cacao powder (plus more for coating)
  • 1/2 cup coconut manna
  • 3 tablespoons of creamy unsalted almond butter
  • 3 tablespoons of earl grey tea
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • Pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  1. Add 1/2 cup packed coconut manna to a small saucepan.
  2. Melt down on medium-low heat while stirring constantly (will resemble thick frosting when ready).
  3. In a medium bowl, begin to incorporate the manna, cacao powder, almond butter and honey with a spoon.
  4. Add earl grey tea and salt.  The mixture will look moist but still a little bit crumbly.
  5. Once combined, roll batter into 1-inch balls with the palms of your hands.
  6. Shake some cacao powder onto a plate and roll each truffle in it to coat.
  7. Place truffles on a plate and set in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.  Enjoy!
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Dark Chocolate Coconut Truffles #katielean #cleaneating

These super-dark truffles are best served with something sweet like a bowl of fresh strawberries or a glass of your favorite milk.  You could always add more honey to suit your taste!

Dark Chocolate Coconut Truffles #katielean #cleaneating

 

Have a lovely Father’s Day Weekend!

 

Healthy Made Easy: Movie Night!

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Movie nights are perfect in so many ways.  They’re a great excuse to stay in with your friends or family, make delicious snacks, and get cozy while watching your favorite film.  There’s one thing that isn’t so perfect, though: those snacks!  Microwave popcorn, candy, soda, and ice cream are hardly healthy, and they might leave you with a stomach ache rather than creating a relaxing night.  So I’ve decided to create some lighter alternatives to make your movie night picture-perfect.

First up: popcorn.  My family doesn’t have a microwave, so we’ve been popping kernels on the stove (or our wood stove!) for most of my life.  Most microwave popcorn brands contain nasty trans fat (even if they claim they don’t) and processed ingredients that are migraine-inducing (at least for me!).  Here’s what you need to make your own simple, healthier popcorn:

  • 2/3 cup corn kernels (pick whatever brand you can find at your grocery store, no need to be picky)
  • 3 tablespoons oil of your choice (I used coconut oil!)

I would recommend using the biggest pan you have (at least 4 quarts) because it’s hard to eyeball how much room the popcorn will take up once it’s popped!  Let the oil melt on medium heat, add the kernels, then cover with the lid left slightly ajar, and wait until all or most of the kernels are popped!  Be careful not to burn it.  You can add any toppings you like, but I added sea salt and cinnamon.  The possibilities are endless!

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Now you’ll want something gooey and sweet to munch on.  You could pull out a roll of cookie dough, but we all know those aren’t good for us.  I created a recipe for protein packed, whole wheat cookie dough!  Here it is:

  • 4 tablespoons nut butter of your choice (I used peanut butter)
  • 3/4 cup milk or nut/soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 3 teaspoons sugar (add more or less to your taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 scoops Vanilla Sunwarrior Protein Powder
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • Dash of vanilla extract

Mix everything together and add more of any ingredient to taste!  If you don’t have a thick consistency, just add more flour or protein powder.  I think it tastes like a yummy Clif Bar, so don’t think it will end up EXACTLY like your traditional cookie dough…but it’s totally delicious either way.

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Now, what to drink?  Chai and lemon herbal water are perfect for a night in (or a rainy day).  For the chai I used Pacific Chai Spice Latte, which I love because it has no trans fats and is really easy to make.  I also love Trader Joe’s Spicy Chai Tea Latte Mix.

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Serve it with a sprinkle of cinnamon in your favorite mugs and you’ll have an instant crowd pleaser.  And because of the black tea and stimulating spices in the mix it will give you a tiny boost to keep you awake for the whole movie!

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Lemon herbal water is perfect for cooling your taste buds down after the chai. I make it all the time, not just for special occasions, and it’s a great way to stay hydrated if you don’t love plain water or just want the benefits of fresh lemon and herbs (the claim is they are detoxifying, especially for the skin).  This is a perfect summertime drink because there are plenty of fresh herbs to use.  Just pick (or buy) some spearmint and basil leaves, add some lemon wedges and you’re done!  So easy and refreshing.

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Enjoy the last few weeks of summer, hopefully with a movie night thrown into the mix! 🙂

Health(ier) Cacao Peanut Butter Fudge Bites

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I’ve never made anything like these before.  But I can tell you they really do satisfy any chocolate cravings!!  They’re no-bake and take almost no time at all.  Here’s the delicious recipe!

Healthier Cacao Peanut Butter Fudge Bites

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 10 pieces

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • About 1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts.

Instructions

  1. Mix the peanut butter, cacao powder, melted coconut oil, honey, and vanilla in a bowl or a food processor.  (Tip: add the honey tablespoon by tablespoon to get your desired taste.)  The fudge will be smoother in the processor but we all know it can be a pain to clean! Using a spoon or spatula will work fine; that's what I did.
  2. Put the nuts of your choice (I used pecans because that's what I happened to have in the kitchen) into a large bag and use a rolling pin to crush them into a coarse powder (or bring out the food processor).
  3. With clean hands, roll the dough into small balls and roll each one in the nut powder to coat it.
  4. Stick each completed bite on a sheet with parchment or wax paper and let them cool and harden in the fridge.
  5. Feel free to double this recipe, it only makes about 10 bites.  Also, I used unsweetened cacao powder (NOT cocoa powder) so if you wanted a sweeter taste add more honey.  I found that it works to just add the honey by taste because everyone likes different amounts of sweetness.  I like mine to taste like very dark chocolate, so I used a little less than 3 tablespoons of honey.
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You want the peanut butter to have ingredients of just peanuts or peanuts and salt to avoid trans fats!  Also, the coconut oil should smell like fresh coconuts.  Use local honey if you have it.

Why cacao not cocoa? Because cacao has a greater nutritional value than cocoa.  Cacao is generally less processed.  For example the sole ingredient in the one I used is “Organic Cacao Powder”.  Just one ounce of it has 10 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein, 4% of your daily value of calcium, and 10% of your daily value of iron.  That’s pretty impressive for just one ingredient!  It does have a bitter, “dark chocolate” taste, but it’s very enjoyable!  The creaminess of the peanut butter balances it out nicely and the fresh coconut deliciousness of the coconut oil is perfect for the summer.  Not to mention the free-radical fighting antioxidants in the unprocessed cacao; also perfect for that summer sun!

ENJOY 🙂

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This culinary creation is inspired by this recipe!  Go check it out!