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FOOD

Guilt Free Vegan Brownies

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VIA COOKIDOO

With colder weather coming, the perfect way to stay warm is through comfort foods. But what about when your favorite dessert is full of ingredients that will leave you feeling guilty? These delicious brownies are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.

The best part? They are vegan and gluten-free, and the health benefits are amazing. This recipe uses both pumpkin and cacao, which are both rich in antioxidants. It’s also protein rich. Can I get a win-win?!

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What You Will Need…

For the brownies

  • 2 bananas
  • 1 tbsp cacao nibs
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree (it’s #pumpkinszn!)

For the frosting…

  • 1 1/2 scoops of your favorite vegan chocolate protein powder
  • 1-2 tbsp of almond butter
  • 1 cup of almond milk

Let’s get down to business

1.) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and coat your pan with a non-stick spray. You’re gonna want every last bite of these brownies, so make sure none of them stick to the pan!

2.) In a bowl, mash your bananas. The more ripe they are, the easier they will be to work with. They’ll be sweeter too!

3.) Add in 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree. Brownie points if you use homemade pumpkin puree, no pun intended.

4.) Add in 1 tbsp of cacao nibs to the mixture. This is where things will get chocolat-y!

5.) Mix it alllll up and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Time to put on your multitasking pants because it’s time to make the frosting.

6.) In a bowl, mix chocolate protein powder and almond butter.

7.) Slowly add in the almond milk and mix together

8.) Once the brownies have baked and cooled, it is time to frost.

Voila! You now have gluten free, vegan brownies that are sure to give you the warm and fuzzies on any fall day.

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FOOD

Thanksgiving Brunch Essentials

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While the main focus of Thanksgiving is often dinner, who said you can’t ball out for brunch? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day after all! These delicious brunch recipes will give you the fuel to stay in the kitchen all day. Whether you’re feeling sweet or savory on Thanksgiving morning, these recipes will be sure to satisfy you!

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Apple Cider Mimosa

Delish

What’s brunch without a mimosa? Exactly. Get into the holiday spirit with this autumn twist on the classic cocktail. It’s super easy to make and it is crisp and refreshing.

What You Will Need

  • Champagne
  • Apple Cider
  • Cinnamon
  • Sugar
  • Caramel
  • (Optional) Apple slices to garnish

Let’s Get Started

  • Pour about 1/8 cup of caramel onto a paper plate, and let it spread evenly.
  • In a small bowl, mix 2 tbsp of cinnamon and sugar.
  • Dip the rim of a champagne glass into the caramel. This will act as a “glue.” Then, dip the rim into the cinnamon and sugar mix. Aesthetic is everything, people!
  • Fill the champagne glass about half-way or three-quarters of the way with apple cider, and top with champagne.
  • Garnish with an apple slice on the rim.

Pumpkin Challah French Toast

New York Times

It’s Thanksgiving people! No frozen waffles or box pancake mix today. This french toast uses challah bread, which is a traditional Jewish bread. You’ll never want to go back to using your average loaf of bread for French toast after using challah. It’s soft, fluffy, and oh so delicious!

What You Will Need

  • Challah loaf, cut into slices
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Maple syrup

Let’s Get Started

  • In a mixing bowl, mix the eggs, milk. cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  • Slice by slice, coat the bread in the mixture on both sides.
  • Place a skillet on your stove on medium heat. Melt the butter until it bubbles to ensure your slices will not stick.
  • Add the slices to the skillet and cook for two minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown.
  • Once finished, serve with maple syrup and enjoy!

Egg Casserole

McCormick

Our mouths are watering just thinking about this warm, cheesy brunch dish. Who said eggs had to be boring? This casserole has all the goods in one place-Eggs, cheese, meat, hash browns. Wanna keep it light? Substitute egg whites and turkey bacon! It’s every breakfast fanatic’s dream.

What You Will Need

  • Bacon strips
  • 4 hash browns
  • 1 1/2 dozen eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Let’s Get Started

  • Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees.
  • Cook 4-5 slices of bacon and hashbrowns in a skillet. Once finished, set aside.
  • In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cheese, sour cream, salt, and pepper.
  • Grab a 13×9 inch casserole dish and pour in your egg mixture. Add bacon and hashbrowns to the top.
  • Cook for 45 minutes and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Bon apetit!

You will definitely be thankful you tried these recipes!

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DRINKS

Smoothies To Cleanse Your Thanksgiving Sins

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Nothing feels worse than the sense of guilt associated with pigging out on Thanksgiving. With endless appetizers, drinks, huge meals, a million side dishes, and desserts, most of us leave our festivities with a bad case of “food baby,” or belly bloat. It’s not permanent! The best thing to remember is that one day of extravagant eating will not kill you, so don’t beat yourself up over it. In fact, consider it a reward for surviving 2020.

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Luckily, with each new day comes a fresh start. Get right back on track on Black Friday by fueling up with superfoods, and by drinking plenty of water. We know what you’re thinking, fruits and veggies aren’t always the most fun to eat but hear us out. Smoothies.

The best part about smoothies is that they require minimal effort while simultaneously being packed with nutrients! Just throw all of your ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth! If it’s too thick, add more of your liquid ingredient! Pour into a cup and sip away!

There are plenty of smoothie recipes that not only are delicious but nutrient dense! Here are some of our favorites!

Spinach Smoothie

Downshiftology

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup of frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup of frozen mango
  • 1 1/4 cup of coconut water
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 of an avocado

Green smoothies also come with plenty of health benefits! Green smoothies are known to help improve digestion and even help boost immunity. Count us in!

Kale Smoothie

Happy Foods Tube

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1/4 cup frozen mango
  • 1/4 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/4 avocado

Kale yeah! Kale has so many great benefits. It has plenty of vitamin C, can lower cholesterol, and it is high in fiber. This smoothie is so tasty and has plenty of tropically flavored ingredients.

Golden Detox Smoothie

Favorite Family Recipes

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup water

This smoothie is a little less daunting than a green smoothie, because it’s totally fruity and tropical. Did we mention it’s golden color is absolutely gorgeous? The perfect way to add some sunshine to your morning!

Acai Smoothie

Food Channel

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen acai packet
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Not only is acai filled with antioxidants and insanely nutrient-dense, this smoothie also contains chia seeds. These seeds are small but mighty. They are high in both fiber and protein, making them helpful in aiding weight loss.

Peanut Butter Smoothie

Good Housekeeping

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Ice

Though this smoothie isn’t exactly fruit-heavy but is sure is packed with protein! Between the almond milk, peanut butter, and chia seeds, this smoothie is perfect for that post-Thanksgiving workout, or if you are simply having a sweet tooth but are trying to keep it healthy!

Bottoms up!

You will be sure to feel incredible after trying any of these smoothies.

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FOOD

5 foods that help boost your serotonin

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Ah, serotonin…that stuff that flows in our brains and tries to make us “happy”.

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Studies have proven that serotonin levels can have an major impact on our mood and behaviors. The chemical is often linked to better health and feeling bliss. Considering this year is a dumpster fire….we could all use A LOT more serotonin.

Besides exercise and medication, one of the most popular/natural ways to increase serotonin levels is diet. Foods with tryptophan (an amino acid that helps boost serotonin) can actually help stabilize mood disorders like anxiety and depression. 

Here are 5 Foods that can help serotonin flow to your brain

1.) Cheese

Daily Council of California

YES! FINALLY! ANOTHER EXCUSE TO EAT CHEESE! In all seriousness, cheese is an excellent source of tryptophan. Maybe that’s why so many of us love eating it?

2.) Salmon

Foodie Crush

High in Omegas, fatty acids, and rich in tryptophan – you really can’t go wrong with salmon.

3.) Eggs

Medical News Today

Eggs are filled with protein that are known to boost tryptophan in blood levels. For those of you who think your saving calories with egg whites – DON’T SKIP OUT ON THE YOLK! The yolk is known to hold all the nutrients of the egg along with the tryptophan,

4.) Pineapples

The Guardian

Sweet, delicious, and known to carry seratonion. Make sure to eat them fresh though, the more time passes the more the serotonin is depleted from the fruit.

5.)Tofu

iFOODreal

Believe it or not foods that contain soy are high in tryptophan. This is a perfect alternative of protein for vegetarians and vegans as well!

Now go eat up, take a nice stroll in the sunshine, and brighten up the day!

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