PBOB Series: Peanut butter, oats and banana breakfast hash – GF

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Today was a surprisingly productive day here at brokeandstoke.

I never intended to get so much done today; it just kind of happened. One minute I was wearing sweat pants, un-showered, standing in the kitchen, eating my breakfast. Next thing I knew, my hands were masked in teal rubber gloves and it was two and half hours later. My apartment? Spotlessly clean. I’m pretty sure somebody knocked me out, cleaned everything, and then framed me for it.

This morning I woke up from a dream where I’d been vacuuming the accumulated lint out of the bottom of my laundry hamper. This was possibly the most boring dream I have ever had. For serious, Brain? Vacuuming?

When I was a child I used to fly in my dreams; now I only do household chores.

It’s clear that my fear of black clothing lint, and the fact that I haven’t really cleaned my apartment in about a month, has been eating it’s way into my subconscious.

FUN FACT: I feel like a tree hugger right now; my apartment is spotless thanks to using only DIY natural cleaning solutions. Tea tree oil, white vinegar, water, baking soda and coarse sea salt made my bathroom, floors and kitchen gorgeously clean. Is it weird that DIY cleaning solutions excite me? Why not- natural ingredients are inexpensive to use and they perform better than commercial cleaning products, in my experience. They’re also healthier for the environment.

LINK to DIY Cleaning Solution: https://brokeandstoke.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/three-ingredient-multipurpose-cleaning-solution/

Fun fact #2: Eating peanut butter, oats and bananas in the morning is the only way to begin a productive day.

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As part of the PBOB Series for January, I’d like to share a sweet and satisfying breakfast: Peanut butter, oats and banana breakfast hash. This hash is reminiscent of decadent weekend breakfast options, like french toast and pancakes, only it’s more filling and great for busy mornings because it’s quick to make. Gluten free and protein rich, I guarantee this hash will keep you full until lunch.

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Not to mention you most likely already have all of the ingredients on hand.

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Is anybody else drooling right now?

PBOB SERIES: Peanut Butter, Oats and Banana Breakfast Hash

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 banana, sliced thickly
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp  peanut butter
  • Optional: drizzle of honey, sprinkle of cinnamon

1. Whisk the eggs together in a bowl and set aside.

2. Heat the coconut oil in a skillet or frying pan on high heat. Once melted, add the oats to the skillet and coat them in the oil. Stir the oats frequently for about 45 seconds, until they are golden.

3. Add the eggs to the skillet and scramble them together with the oats. Add the sliced banana to the skillet and continue to scramble everything over high heat for a minute, or until the bananas are heated through. If you wish to add the optional cinnamon, sprinkle it over the hash and mix everything thoroughly.

4. Take the skillet off of the heat and plate the hash. Drizzle a tablespoon of natural peanut over the hash, and a drizzle of honey, if you prefer.

5. Revel in the healthy decadence!

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This is an especially delicious breakfast to eat during the colder months because of it’s heartiness. It’s also a great pre-workout meal since it contains healthy carbohydrates from the bananas and oats and a dose of protein from the eggs; a complete meal!

Comforting peanut butter, oat and banana goodness for your belly!

That’s all for brokeandstoke today!

xo

– brokeandstoke

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All images copyright brokeandstoke

My favourite cookies- 3 ingredients, PBOB, vegan, sugar free, gluten free

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Happy New Year! It’s the second day of 2015 and I am no longer hungover. Yay!

Today I went to the Supermarket and saw that peanut butter was on sale- my favourite kind of peanut butter. Like a hungry raccoon, I snatched two jars off of the shelf and put them into my basket. Three strangers eyed me but I was too happy to care.

It’s an all natural peanut butter and it comes in a jar just big enough to satiate me. It was being sold at such a low price that an employee actually hand wrote a sign and posted it on the shelf, reading “Limit of 3 per family”. I picked up some of the last jars available, thank heavens. I’m definitely going back tomorrow to see if they put more stock out; I’ll freeze ’em, I don’t care, just give me more peanut butter, please.

The more the years pass me by, the more I realize that peanut butter is probably my favourite thing… ever. It really is the perfect food and I am deeply sorry for anyone who is allergic to it and cannot consume it in copious amounts, slathered on just about anything that will act as vehicle to it’s untainted goodness. 

In all seriousness, if you can’t eat peanut butter I encourage you to try something similar and nut-free, like sunflower seed butter; nut and seed butters are truly too good to miss out on, and life is cruel enough.

Mmmm. Peanut Butter.

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You know how certain foods just pair with each other? Ketchup and french fries. Butter and popcorn. Chocolate and anything…

Well- I didn’t think I’d ever share this, but- in 2014 I discovered The Holy Trinity of food combinations; a mixture of three foods so divine that when united in one bowl, a cloud forms around you… and shows you the way to heaven.

That’s right. I discovered The Holy Trinity of food combinations, and I’m revealing the Trinity to you, brokeandstoke readers.

Gosh, it’s so hard to even type this; I’ve kept this a secret for so long… it all started around this time, last year, when I discovered a recipe for two ingredient cookies…

(Que flashback)

… it wasn’t long before I added another ingredient, and the Holy Trinity of food combinations was born. I became a slave to the three ingredient cookies, practically living off of them- in secret, obviously. Nobody knew I was replacing meals with cookies, eating them for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

I’d eat the three ingredient cookies almost nightly, warm out of the oven while watching a movie. Or I’d eat them after a workout, or a yoga session, telling myself I deserved them. The three ingredient cookies became my life. I mean, they were so tasty and healthy, and only required three ingredients, and so easy to make, and the kitchen was always right there

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Soon I realized that the three ingredients in the three ingredient cookies tasted really good in other stuff too. 

That’s right people.

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Peanut Butter, Oats and Bananas- The Holy Trinity of food combinations. You say BYOB? I say PBOB!

In tribute of the yummiest food coupling known to man, brokeandstoke will feature PBOB recipes throughout January.  So you can make wholesome goodies with ingredients you most likely already have on hand. But Buyer Beware: you may be unable to resist consuming all of said healthy goodies after baking!

And to kick PBOB month off, I’m going to introduce you to the recipe that inspired my PBOB appreciation: my favourite healthy PBOB cookies.

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Healthy cookies made with only three ingredients: peanut butter, banana and oats. They’re vegan, sugar free and gluten free. They’re beyond easy to make and so wallet friendly. I bake these consistently; they’re a reliable breakfast cookie and they make a lovely snack with a cup of tea or coffee. They taste even better when not eaten in secret; share them with friends and loved ones for a wholesome treat.

Three Ingredient Cookies

Ingredients 

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • Optional; cinnamon, raisins, chocolate chips, nuts and seeds, ect.

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (for cookies I grease a silicone baking mat because it’s more economical).

2. In a bowl, mash the banana and peanut butter together until a smooth paste forms. Add in the oats and stir until combined. Add in optional add ins and mix well.

3. Using one heaping tablespoon of dough per cookie, scoop dough onto the prepared baking sheet in round heaps. Gently flatten each cookie with a spatula for 1/2 inch thickness per cookie.

4. Bake cookies for 15-17 minutes. For a gooier cookie, try 13-15 min. Allow cookies to cool 10 minutes before eating.

Makes 6 hearty cookies.

My boyfriend likes them with chocolate chips, but you can add whatever you want or leave ’em as is; either way, they’re sure to become a staple to you and your healthy appetite.

That’s all for brokeandstoke today. Hope 2015 brings you whatever you desire most- hopefully world peace or something nice like that.

xox

– brokeandstoke

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All images Copyright brokeandstoke

“Omfg you have to try these” Cookies, gluten free, vegan, paleo, and too-cool sister approved.

Have you ever logged onto wordpress after a long time and went, hm. How do I use this thing, again…

Well I guess it’s been a while since I’ve been here, but I’m back to please you three readers, you. Hi mom, hi sister, hi pet cat. Pet cat, who is definitely the most critical of brokeandstoke the blog, and for a good reason; to him none of this probably makes very much sense. He’s like, more catfood, less chocolate vegan stuff, prrr-ease. See what I did there?

Wow. This post is already comma heavy, and this comma heavyness makes me sit back and wonder… have I changed as a person? After all, it has been months of no word on brokeandstoke.com; not even a single chocolate related post has graced these erm, pages.

These commas… these commas must reflect my newfound, Buddha-like mindfulness; or maybe they reflect my burgeoning taste in classical jazz. Or maybe these commas really reflect my new love for whisky; whisky- on the rocks, in the late evening, after a long day of work at the ol’ mill.

I’m just kidding. There is no ol’ mill, and if there were, there’s no way they would ever hire me. I don’t fare well around heavy machinery, or even heavy punctuation.

I’m pretty much the same brokeandstoke since my last post here on brokeandstoke.com- and I still enjoy eating food above all else (ABOVE ALL ELSE).

Today I’d like to share something seriously scrumpt’. “Scrumpt'”as in “scrumptious”. I’m coining it.

Cookie 1My sister claims these are the best cookies I have ever made. I feel overwhelmingly proud of myself at her saying this. I am finally validated by someone in my family (one down, two to go).

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I’m only slightly offended since I’ve always thought my cookies were pretty darned good.

I don’t think my sister realized that, “Wow these cookies are actually good!”

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… is actually sort of a backhanded compliment. At times like this I remind myself that she is my sister; and that I will most likely end up eating her share of the cookies as revenge (if not, for lack of self control).

Gooey and chewy, these coconut-ty cookies are a deliciously sweet snack. Coconut oil and almond flour pack energy and protein into every satisfying bite. They’re paleo, vegan and gluten free. Full of fibre, this entire cookie recipe has only three tablespoons of coconut sugar in it- and yes, they are still perfectly sweet.

Now that’s some magically healthy cookie.

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I adapted the recipe from here http://fitbottomedeats.com/2014/12/paleo-coconut-chocolate-chip-cookies/#_a5y_p=3069753 and I will definitely be making these again. Soon!

Melt-in-Your Mouth Coconut Raisin Chews

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp full fat coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • heaping 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tbsp cocoa nibs
  • Optional add-ins: chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruits, ect.

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a standard sized baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Combine almond flour, shredded coconut, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl.

3. In a seperate bowl mix the melted coconut oil with the coconut sugar. Add the vanilla and coconut milk. Mix well.

4. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture. Combine well; I used my hands. Add in raisins and cocoa nibs and/or any other add ins.

5. One heaping tablespoons of dough per cookie, scoop dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Gently flatten each cookie with the palm of your hand for about a 1/2 inch thick cookie.

6. Bake for fifteen minutes or until cookies are golden brown. Allow cookies to cool for ten minutes before devouring!

Makes 9- 10 cookies.

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I wonder what tastes better: these delicious cookies, or the taste of sweet victory at having impressed my too- cool sister with them.

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OMFG you have to try these.

cookies 7You won’t regret it. Until next time!

– brokeandstoke

GUEST POST: vegan Burn the house down bran muffins

Hey guys and girls. An awesome girlfriend of mine is guest posting today. Hope to see you all back soon!

Spontaneity is an interesting concept- doing something unplanned because, in the moment, you feel that it’s the right thing to do. For some people, it’s difficult to be spur-of-the-moment. I am not one of those people. I find being impulsive very refreshing, very humbling, and a whole lot of fun. Some people may think I’m reckless and destructive, and some may think I’m mysterious and unpredictable. One thing that we can all agree on- I am not the owner of this blog.Honoured to be guest-blogging, I write to you all today with a tale of deliciousness… Spontaneous deliciousness, to be exact! When Alyssa and I made plans to do some home yoga, we definitely didn’t discuss baking. I had no idea that my hands would fall victim to juicy, pungent, perfectly blackened bananas. Somewhere, somehow, we ended up scouring the Internet for vegan muffin recipes.

We adapted the recipe we found, and it has been further adapted since… As it turns out, putting three bananas in a batter with no baking soda is not the best idea. Our muffins ended up being in the oven for about two hours… I would not recommend this cooking time for your baked goods, unless you’re a fan of charcoal.

The original recipe called for a 25 minute baking time, at 350°. Our muffins were not baked, not even close to being baked, after 30 minutes… So, being the responsible adults we are, we left the muffins baking unattended for an hour and a half at a low temperature. Dinner was, at the time, more important than potentially committing arson. Spontaneity at its finest, everybody!

Amazingly enough, the muffins were cooked and Alyssa’s home was not turned to ash. More importantly, my yoga mat came out totally unscathed. They tasted good, but the recipe did need to be adapted to prevent worldwide house fires.

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So here’s what we made: a scrumptious combination of fruits and grains… Completely vegan and with no sugar added!

Vegan “Burn the House Down” Bran Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 banana mashed
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup wheat bran
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup lentil flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger powder
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup blueberries

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together.

3. In a medium size bowl mix all wet ingredients together.

4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and gently fold until combined. Fold in raisins and blueberries. Line a muffin tin.

Note: We used a HEAPING 1/4 cup of batter per muffin. This made ginormous muffins. If you use a flat 1/4 cup, you will probably have 8- 10 muffins.

5. Bake in the oven for 45- 50 minutes, checking with a toothpick for readiness. Allow to cool for ten minutes and enjoy!

Folks, I have to be honest, I don’t even really like bran muffins. I don’t think anybody’s first choice of muffin is bran, not even my grandfather who survives on Raisin Bran cereal and ketchup (not together… I hope). But these babies, derived from boredom, whole wheat flour, and spontaneity, are definitely my new first choice. Whether you’re looking to indulge, clear out your digestive tract, or burn down your apartment, these muffins will definitely not disappoint.

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Remember this post the next time you think to yourself: did I leave the oven on? Then you should probably make sure your kitchen isn’t set aflame. While you’re in the kitchen, go ahead and make yourself a treat. Muffins are an important part of the human diet.

Thanks for reading, and a huge thank you to Alyssa for letting me submit to this awesome blog! My name is Jess, and your regularly scheduled blogger will be back at a later date.

Fudgey gluten free vegan chocolate zucchini loaf

There’s been a trend in the last two days in my blog posts. Chocolate, vegan, gluten free goodness.

What I really should be blogging about is something important, like cereal, and how it really ought to be it’s own food group by now.

Or toilet paper- why is it so expensive when it’s sole purpose is to be flushed down the toilet?

I know, right? I don’t get it either.

For me, somehow… and this is gonna sound awful, but- world hunger? The free trade? Any political election whatsoever? None of these things stand up next to a brownie.

I’m kidding. At least, I think I am…

While you’re busy contemplating these philisophical and moral dilemmas, let me get on to this recipe!

Today for my brokeandstoke post, the only guidepost I had set for myself was to make something not chocolate.

But due to a series of purely coincidental events, including: wanting to eat chocolate. And wanting to use up that last zucchini sitting in the fridge- all at the same time- this recipe…

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… WAS BORN!

Gluten free, vegan, low in sugar- and full of veggies plus chocolate? How could anybody go wrong with that kind of description?

This chocolate zucchini loaf is deliciously fudgey and soft, packed with chocolatey goodness. I’m sure you’ll dig.

 

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Fudgey gluten free vegan chocolate zucchini loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 6 tsp warm water
  • 1/4 cup oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used coconut sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup gluten free flour blend
  • 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
  • Optional: vegan chocolate chips

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a standard loaf tin and set it aside.

2. In a little bowl, mix the chia seeds with warm water. Whisk for a minute. Allow the mix to sit for approximately ten minutes, until it forms a gel-like substance.

3. Melt the coconut oil in the microwave by nuking it at 15-30 second intervals, until it becomes liquid. In a large bowl, mix together the applesauce, sugar, melted coconut oil and cocoa powder until a chocolatey paste forms. Add the chia seed gel, baking soda, baking powder and vanilla to the chocolate mixture and mix well.

4. Stir in the gluten free flour blend. Mix well. Add the shredded zuchinni and mix until the zucchini is evenly distributed throughout the batter. Optional: Add 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips.

5. Using a spatula, spread the batter into the greased loaf tin, making sure the top is smooth. Feel free to sprinkle nuts, coconut flakes, or vegan chocolate chips on top. Bake the loaf for 45 min until a toothpick insterted into the loaf comes out clean.

6. Allow the bread to cool 30 minutes to an hour before slicing it or removing it from the baking tin.

I melted about two tablespoons of vegan chocolate chips and drizzled it over the cooled loaf. I forgot to put chocolate chips in the batter. By the time I remembered it was already in the oven. Still turned out delicious.

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Super tasty.

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Vegan gluten free black bean brownies

I’m visiting home for the weekend. It’s been a while since I was here, in the house I grew up in. It’s just my Mom (neurotic and nice) and my sister (cooler than you) living here. My bro is at law school.

There are lots of perks to visiting. For one, we have TV on demand and an instant coffee machine. We also have two cats. Oh, and my family is here, too.

I’m the middle child of the family so I more or less go unnoticed when I’m here, unless I drop something on the floor, or bake something super delicious- (“Oh, it’s her again- wait, are those cookies?!”)

I’m kidding. My family really does love me. At least, this is what I tell myself before I fall asleep at night.

 

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My sister is now a vegetarian- and I think I’m more excited about this than she is, for no particular reason. I mean, I’m not even a vegetarian, though I’ve played a couple of (unsuccesful) stints at it.

Maybe I’m excited at her being vegetarian because it only reiterates her ultimate coolness, her “F*ck you, I don’t need no meat”, attitude. I’m not lying when I say that my sister is the coolest person ever, alive. Ever. I wish I was as cool as her. Sadly, she refuses to teach me. Some things can’t be taught, or even found in similar gene pools. Sigh.

Anyways, in another attempt to try and please my younger sister, I whipped up some vegan, gluten free brownies. Because, apparently- and aside from Menchies yogurt- that’s what all the cool kids are eating nowadays.

 

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I’m actually pretty psyched about these brownies. They’re pseudo healthy, which means: don’t eat the entire batch (or do, like we did), enjoy them one by one, as you applaud yourself for trying something alternative and tasty; and more nutritious.

Yup, that’s what pseudo healthy means. Just coined it!

I adapted this recipe from a black bean brownie recipe found in this book: http://www.amazon.ca/Spilling-Beans-Cooking-Baking-Everyday/dp/1770500413 My mom has a lot of really good cookbooks on hand and this is one is no exception. Check it out.

I adapted the recipe to make it vegan and gluten free. I used flax eggs in place of regular eggs, coconut oil in place of butter, and all purpose gluten free flour mix in place of regular flour. I also cut down on the sugar in the recipe and used cocoa powder instead of chocolate.

My mom happens to have better ingredients in her cupboard than I do. I blame my sister; she’s just too cool for subpar anything.

The woes of being a middle child. Hey now, I’m okay- really, don’t cry for for me. Wipe up those tears and try this recipe!

Vegan gluten free black bean brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used coconut sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp milled flax seeds
  • 6 tbsp warm water
  • 1 14 ounce can of black beans (398mL)
  • 1/3 cup gluten free flour blend
  • optional: 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips, shredded coconut and/or walnuts

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 baking pan.

2. Rinse and strain black beans.

3. In a small bowl, combine milled flax seeds with water. Whisk well for about a minute, then let stand for 10 minutes, until the mixture thickens.

4. In a microwave safe bowl, microwave the coconut oil at 15-30 second intervals until it becomes liquid. Add the sugar and cocoa powder to the melted oil and mix until a yummy, chocolatey paste forms.

5. Using a food processor or blender, add the beans, chocolate mixture, vanilla, salt, flax mixture, and gluten free flour together and blend/process until there are no clumps left and a smooth, thick batter is formed.

6. Use a spatular to get every last bit of batter out of the processor/blender and into your greased pan. Smooth the top of the batter well into the edges of the pan, making sure the batter is spread evenly. Sprinkle with walnuts, chocolate chips and/or shredded coconut if desired.

7. Bake for 28-30 minutes.

8. Let cool for 30 minutes. Slice into squares. Store in an air tight container.

They are so, so, so, so good. The chocolate chips on top really make them. A dense, not too sweet brownie with lots of a fibre, protein, and healthy fat!

 

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Sister and Mother approved.

Three ingredient multipurpose cleaning solution

Today I bought a huge ass tub of vinegar for $3.99; then I lugged it several blocks back home on foot. I’m used to this kind of situation because I walk (or bike) everywhere. Walking is good. Even Audrey Hepburn agrees.

It’s always an awkward trek, when I’m carrying something heavy and oddly shaped, like a fat jug of vinegar. I pretty much cradled it in my arms the entire way, pretending to be the young mother of a slightly obese vinegar baby.

But the lug and a half on foot was well worth it. Vinegar is a God send when it comes to economical cleaning, and I consider it a staple in my little, unfurnished household *cough*APARTMENT*cough*. I use it almost as much as I use kefir in my baking, which is pretty darn often.

Vinegar works to clean just about anything- it’s great on mirrors, tiles, hardwood and more. I even use vinegar when I’m doing laundry in place of fabric softener. And no, I don’t smell like vinegar. You can ask my boyfriend.

I’m here today to share with you an effective and economial DIY for multipurpose cleaning solution. The best part of this DIY is that you most likely have all the ingredients on hand already. All you need is a spray bottle or jar to store it in.

I’ve been making this solution with vinegar for almost a year now- and I won’t be going back to commercial cleaning products because it yields excellent results for a fraction of the price. Plus, it  makes me feel good about myself, using something all natural that won’t harm the environment…. though I really should quit smoking.

On to DIY goodness!

 

THREE INGREDIENT MULTIPURPOSE CLEANING SOLUTION

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • water
  • 20-30 drops tea tree, lemon, eucalyptus or lavender essential oil (or a combination of these)

Instructions:

1. Purchase a spray bottle or clean a working spray bottle you already have on hand. NOTE: You can also store the solution in a glass jar, though I like using a spray bottle for it’s convenience!

2. Pour 1/2 cup vinegar into the bottle. Now fill the bottle with water leaving an inch or more of space at the top.

3. Add your essential oils, put the lid on and shake well.

That’s it!

I store this solution under my sink. Here’s all the amazing uses I’ve found for it:

  • glass and mirror cleaner (try using crumpled newspaper instead of paper towel for extra recycling powers and for a streak free finish!)
  • mopping solution (I just spray it all over the floor after vacuuming and then dry mop it using a Swiffer broom with j-cloth attached, it leaves my tiles and hardwood clean and shiny)
  • yoga mat cleaner (spray it generously onto your mat, then wipe it with a dishtowel and hang the mat to dry)
  • tile cleaner (works great when sprayed on shower walls, floors and curtains to keep things clean between washroom cleanings)
  • sinks and counters
  • add 1/2 cup-1 cup per load of laundry for soft, clean smelling clothing

It pretty much works on just about anything. Hope you enjoy!

 

 

Buttery lentil zucchini soup

Zucchini is one of those words I have to google before using, just to make sure I’ve spelled it right. I admit, I use google for this half assed purpose quite frequently. I even googled “half assed” just now. To make sure I spelled that correctly, too.

Though in it’s word form, extremely complicated, I love me some zucchini! I buy it a lot cuz it tastes mmm, mmmm gooooood. Especially when I toss slices of it in lots of EVOO and herbs and sea salt and roast ’em. I put the roasted slices on sandwiches and on salads. SO GOOD. And I also peel them off the baking sheet before adding them to anything- that’s right, I eat my zucchini straight up. Mouth: meet melty, buttery, veggie goodness.

Zucchini does all that and more. I dare you to try it.

Last night I was dreaming about making a luscious lentil soup. Yes, I dream about things like lentil soup. Maybe it’s because lentils- much like zucchini- do so much for my satisfaction levels. And they do it for so little (monies). Or maybe my vision of lentil soup came from the cup and a half of lentils sitting in my cupboard; they have been known to employ Jedi mind tricks when necessary.

I think that massive slab of butter in my fridge was in on the Jedi mind tricks too, because he’s been begging to be used for a while now- much like that other thing in my fridge, that , big, long…. hard… zucchini.

Get your mind out of the gutter.

So I guess you could say, after all that exposition, that I woke up today feeling extra confident about a buttery, lentil-y, zucchini…y… soup!

NOTE: I always soak lentils/pulses in a jar with a couple tablespoons of kefir. Soaking lentils and pulses in something acidic eases their digestion- plus it’s fun to see them expand in water. Yogurt, lemon juice,  or apple cider vinegar will work in kefir’s place. Soaking lentils also decreases their cooking time! Yay! Eat sooner!

On to the recipe!

BUTTERY LENTIL ZUCCHINI SOUP

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils
  • 1/4 cup split fava beans (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tbsp miso
  • 2 tbsp vegetable bouillon powder

Instructions:

1. Soak the lentils and beans in double the amount of water (aka about 4 cups) overnight in a bowl or jar with 1-3 tbsp of yogurt, kefir, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. After 8- 10 hours of soaking, strain and rinse the soaked lentils and beans in a fine meshed strainer.

2. Heat the butter in a medium size pot on medium low heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute for 5-7 minutes. Add zucchini. Saute for another 5-7 minutes. Add cumin, thyme, and oregano and stir to combine. Add lentils and beans and stir until well coated in the spices.

3. Add 5 cups of water to the pot and stir in the vegetable bouillon. Bring the soup to a boil and then let it simmer with the lid on, on low heat, for 30-35 minutes, until the lentils are tender.

4. After 30-35 min take a small bowl and put your miso in it. Carefully, teaspoon by teaspoon, add stock from the pot into the miso, stirring the miso well after each teaspoon is added until a liquid is formed. Now turn the heat off of the stove and pour the miso liquid into the soup. Stir until combined.

Voila! Enjoy the soup with a nice piece of toast or all by itself. Makes for a comforting, light lunch or dinner.

Fermented banana bread muffins

Question I ask my fridge today: If I read a lot of blogs does that mean I’ll be a good blogger?

Shrug.

Blogging is a funny word. Blogging. Blogging, blogging, blogging. Sounds kind of dirty. But this is not that kind of blog. Try google for better results.

Maybe the fact that I’m asking my fridge questions is a good indicator that I am super bored, and blogging (though I fear major suckage at it) could be my ultimate savior. Or maybe… even a momentary distraction.

I mean, how many people have started blogs out of boredom and become really, super famous?

Yeah, I can’t think of anyone either.

This is my blog, born out of boredom. If only I had some streamers to wave. Sigh.

These fermented banana bread muffins were born out of boredom too- though, I couldn’t think of a better remedy for boredom than food. And banana bread is where it’s at, says my Mom at least.

Fermented stuff is good for you too, right?

Soft and doughy, and sweetened with only one tablespoon of honey, these muffins will satisfy your snacking and/or boredom needs. The chia seeds add a heartiness to every bite while the lentil flour packs in some extra protein and fibre- without compromising that classic, banana bread-y texture we all love.

This recipe makes  six dense, delicious muffins.

WORD OF CAUTION: Use ultra ripened bananas or face sub-par banana bread muffin DOOM!

FERMENTED BANANA BREAD MUFFINS

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripened medium bananas
  • 2 tablespoon oil (I used EVOO, it’s nice and fruity)
  • 1/4 cup yogurt or kefir
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup lentil flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • Optional: chocolate chips, walnuts, raisins, or anything your heart desires

Instructions:

1. In a large bowl, mash the two bananas with a fork until clump free. One ingredient at a time, add the chia seeds, yogurt, honey, oil, cinnamon and baking soda, mixing until well combined after each addition.

2. Gently fold the all purpose flour into the banana mixture.

3. Gently fold in the lentil flour until the batter is combined.

Now for the fermenting! Place your bowl into a grocery bag, making sure the bag does not touch the top of the batter. Secure the bag with an elastic or tie the bag tightly so that no air can get in. Let the bowl sit on the counter overnight.

After 12- 24 hours, the batter has fermented. Now preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin for six muffins . One muffin equals two tablespoons of batter.

Bake your muffins for 22-25 min. Test them with toothpick to make sure they are baked through. Once they are baked, let them cool and store them in an air tight container.

Makes a great quick breakfast or snack on the go.