Butter Coffee Pumpkin Spice Latte

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Happy FALL Y’ALL!!

It finally, finally feels that way around Nashville and I couldn’t be happier.

I am also officially 32 years old. Shout out October birthdays!!

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And to celebrate all things fall, and my birthday month, I wanted to get the “pumpkin” rolling so to speak and start this month by celebrating one of my favorite ingredients of all time, pumpkin. From chili and ice cream to chocolate and waffles, there is not much that isn’t made better by adding pumpkin.

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And one of my all-time favorite combinations (especially this time of year) is COFFEE made with PUMPKIN.

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There are probably lots of you reading this thinking, “Umm, isn’t that readily available in a plastic creamer bottle? Or by driving down to my local shop with a green mermaid on the signage? Why on earth would I add it to my actual coffee?”

Because I care about your tastebuds AND your health, that’s why. And it gives me a chance to share another of my favorite treats with you in this fabulous month of October- coffee bombs.

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Coffee bombs are a brilliant way to get healthy fats and collagen into your morning routine. Technically, they are “a pre-made Butter Coffee supplement made with organic coconut oil, grass-fed butter, collagen (or hemp) protein + medicinal spices that help stimulate the mind and jumpstart the metabolism.” In my world, they are delicious. Sarah and her business partner Nicole have figured out a way to take your morning coffee (or tea or hot water) to a fabulous nutritional level. And I promise you, try these once and see how amazing they make you feel!

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And the Vanilla Thunder coffee bombs make the Luv Cooks version of the pumpkin spice latte even tastier. Just brew some hot, darker roast coffee (I’ve heard this is amazing), add a Vanilla Thunder coffee bomb, pumpkin puree, a little bit of almond coconut milk and a teaspoon or two of organic maple syrup. Top with cinnamon and/or nutmeg and VOILA. Pumpkin coffee heaven.

And to top it ALL OFF (even better than the whipped cream on top of those other pumpkin coffees), Ladybird Provisions, the maker of one of the coffee bombs, is now shipping nationwide!

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As in, you can have coffee bombs delivered to your door every. single. month. And they come in super cute packaging with easy trays that hold each coffee bomb in your fridge!

I seriously love this product so much.

Alright y’all, here’s to a fall full of health, happiness, coffee bombs, and pumpkin everything.

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Butter Coffee Pumpkin Spice Latte

Creating a healthy pumpkin spice latte at home is as easy as dark roast coffee + coffee bomb + pumpkin + spices. Trust me, your early morning brain will thank you!

What You Will Need:

  • 8 ounces dark roasted coffee, fresh and hot
  • 1 Vanilla Thunder coffee bomb
  • 2 ounces unsweetened almond coconut milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1-2 tsp organic maple syrup, depending on taste preference
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon plus more for topping
  • whole nutmeg, for grating and topping (optional)

What You Will Do:

  1. Put all ingredients (except nutmeg) into a blender and blend until frothy.
  2. Top just a bit of freshly grated nutmeg (just a little bit goes a long way) and/or cinnamon if desired.
  3. ENJOY!!

 

Cauliflower Recipe Shenanigans with Sarah Patton of Creative Souls Tribe

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Lovelies!

Have I got a treat for you. This week’s post is SUPER SPECIAL because it features the incredible, hilarious, most joyful human being I know, Sarah Patton!! Sarah is the founder of Creative Souls Tribe, a tribe of women that exists as “a community that inspires, equips and challenges women to live above mediocrity.” 

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From social events to weekly encouraging blog posts to their first ever conference November 11, Creative Souls is a welcome respite for women who want to be the very best version of themselves AND value community over competition. Seriously, just check out their values on their About page for a healthy dose of inspiration!

I love this SO MUCH!

In honor of our recent LC focus on cauliflower, this week Sarah and I take on my crazy internet list of cauliflower recipes. Warning: be prepared to laugh uncontrollably over **cauliflower buns.**

AND for those recipes Sarah and I gave a 100% thumbs up to, here are those links below!!

Cauliflower Kedigeree

Cauliflower Kedgeree by Fresh Planet Flavor **hint, it involves British Indian food**

Chocolate Cauliflower Cake

Chocolate Cauliflower Cake with Salted Cinnamon Caramel Icing by Veggie Desserts

Also check out our Luv Cooks Cauliflower brownies

Cauliflower protein bread by Chocolate Chili Mango

Bacon Burger Cauliflower Rice Casserole by Beauty and the Foodie

Cheesey Cauliflower Bread Luv Cooks

Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks by Jo Cooks

For more on Creative Souls tribe, and Sarah, you can check them out on their site here and their Instagram account @creativesoulstribe !

Creative Souls Tribe 2!

Happy weekend everyone!

 

 

The Craziest Fall Cauliflower Recipes from the Internet

Lee from America‘s mint chocolate chip cauliflower smoothie bowl!

So, you think you know cauliflower?

I thought I did too. I mean, we posted some pretty great recipes this month-from vegan cauliflower tacos to dark chocolate cauliflower brownies!

But y’all- I scoured the internet for this month’s recipe round up and was BLOWN AWAY by the creativity of all of these fabulous food bloggers below! Check out some of the most fun recipes I found:

Cauliflower Blueberry Morning Smoothie

Cauliflower Blueberry Smoothie by Lee From America

Pork Scratching

Pork Scratching Cauliflower Nuggets by Eighty 20 Nutrition

Cauliflower Kedigeree

Cauliflower Kedgeree by Fresh Planet Flavor **hint, it involves Indian food**

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Mashed Cauliflower Breakfast Bowl by Grass Fed Salsa

Chocolate Cauliflower Cake

Chocolate Cauliflower Cake with Salted Cinnamon Caramel Icing by Veggie Desserts

Cinnamon Cauliflower!

Cinnamon Caramelized Cauliflower by The Full Helping

Chocolate Buttercream

Vegan Chocolate Buttercream (made with cauliflower!!) by 84th and 3rd

Here’s to a weekend full of cauliflower craziness. Let me know if you try one of these recipes in the comments below!

Dark Chocolate Cauliflower Brownies with Pistachios

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Lovely fall people! PRAIISEEEE the LORD it has ARRIVED!

I am almost 100% sure that every single Southerner has taken a deep breath in the FULL realization that fall is actually a season and does actually exist in the lower parts of the U.S.

Sweet! And speaking of sweet, this week’s recipe is one of my faves!

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Y’all know my love of brownies (see my MONTH of brownie posts in February) but I had yet to feature one full of vegetables, AKA cauliflower. You see, cauliflower is low-carb and lots of Paleo types enjoy eating it. I enjoy eating wheat. SO in an effort to fuse both worlds, I landed on a ground cauliflower + spelt (wheat-free) flour hybrid that is full of dark chocolate, fudgey goodness.

Plus, if you use dairy-free chocolate chips, it can totally fit in both of those categories.

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Also, as we move into the next three months that are left in this year- I’ve had it on my heart to start thinking about finishing the year well. What does that look like?

For me, it means taking a breath. Focusing on all of the beautiful things our Creator has made for us to enjoy right now.

I’m feel like I am finally growing as a woman to be able to trust Him, and believe with all my heart that just as He causes the fall leaves to release from their branches, He also is whispering into me a change of seasons, a change of purpose, and a newness of rest in Him.

So, lovely readers, take a deep breath. I wish I could pour you a glass of cold milk (here) or hot chocolate (further North), serve you a brownie, and catch up- all the while anticipating a beautiful fall just around the corner.

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Dark Chocolate Cauliflower Brownies with Pistachios

These brownies are made with spelt flour (an ancient, wheat-free flour higher in protein*). They are dense, fudgy and decadently rich with the addition of melted dark chocolate.  Your friends and family probably won’t even know they contain cauliflower! For the full recipe you can also click Birmingham mag’s site here.

Yield: 9-12 brownies

What You Will Need

  • 1 cup cauliflower florets (5 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened or unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3.25 ounces 70% dark chocolate, melted and cooled slightly ** (dairy free chocolate would work great too)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted and roasted pistachios, ground in a food processor until finely ground and no large pieces remain; reserve 1 tablespoon for topping
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder, spooned and leveled
  • 3/4 cup spelt flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chunks or chips** (dairy-free chips could work here too)

What You Will Do

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8 by 8 inch dark metal brownie pan with olive oil cooking spray.
  2. Puree cauliflower, almond milk and vanilla extract in blender until smooth.
  3. Add in melted dark chocolate, coconut oil, and eggs and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together coconut sugar, ground pistachios, cocoa powder, spelt flour, baking powder, and salt until evenly combined.
  5. Stir cauliflower mixture into dry ingredients until just combined (avoid over-stirring the batter). Stir in dark chocolate chunks until distributed.
  6. Pour batter into dark metal 8 by 8 square baking pan; smooth top with spatula to evenly distribute batter.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.=
  8. Remove brownies from oven. Place on cooling rack, and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of ground pistachios. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan.

Vegan Korean Cauliflower Tacos with Creamy Napa Cabbage Slaw

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Change is in the air.

It’s that time of the year- and it’s finally beginning to feel like it in Nashville. Cooler breezes, rainy days, below 70 temperatures- fall is almost upon us. In fact, its exactly a week away.

I also realize that part of the reason why it feels different is because of the tough weather we have experienced in other parts of the country. My heart goes out to every single person who has experienced tragedy in the wake of these horrific hurricanes. I would encourage us all to seek ways we can give, pray, help.

I know that when all of our resources come together restoration can happen.

And when things are tough, when people are hurting, when I’m not sure what to say- my go-to response is food. Especially nourishing food- food that is restorative, healing, and helpful.

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And this week’s recipe definitely fits that bill!

Nutritionally, cauliflower is a powerhouse. A part of the vegetable family that shares its grouping with collard greens, broccoli and kale, it’s edible florets are actually called “curd.”(So cheesy! Hah, kidding kidding) But it’s also naturally sweet and low-carb, and full of vitamin C AND omega-3 fatty acids. Plus it can be transformed to mimic the umami taste of meat! Which brings me to this week’s recipe…

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I have become a huge fan of cauliflower as of late- this is my favorite cauliflower fried rice to make at home- and one of my go-to ways to make a healthy, inexpensive, filling dinner is to use cauliflower to make TACOS. Because who doesn’t like TACOS?! And tacos can be adjusted to suit everyone’s tastes. Gluten-free? Use corn tortillas. Dairy-free? Use avocado verde (like below) to add a creamy, spicy element to your wrap. The beauty of cauliflower is that it is a blank slate vegetable– full of endless applications in even your most traditional recipes.

So do your thing, butterbean– and wrap it in a tortilla:)

For the rest of September, we will be highlighting cauliflower, it’s possibilities in both sweet and savory dishes, and hopefully a slammin’ recipe round-up that will get your creative juices flowing! Also, I want to give a HUGE shout-out to Birmingham magazine for featuring these next two recipes in their September issue.

So cozy up you guys- change is in the air, and so is the smell of gochujang, garlic, and cauliflower.

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Korean Cauliflower Tacos with Creamy Napa Cabbage Slaw

This recipe highlights the versatility of cauliflower, and showcases the Korean chili paste gochujang. Cut into small florets, cauliflower’s shape mimics that of traditional ground meat, and the addition of soy sauce, sesame oil and gochujang bring out the sweetness, and nuttiness, of the vegetable. Top with the creamy Asian slaw and avocado verde for a spicy vegetarian meal. Also, check out Birmingham magazine for this recipe in print!

Yield: 4 tacos

What You Will Need:

  • 3 cups cauliflower (about 13 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon gochujang
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • Whole wheat tortillas, for serving **or corn, if gluten-free**

What You Will Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a rimmed, light metal baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together sesame oil and the rest of the ingredients (excluding cauliflower and tortillas).
  3. Add florets and toss to coat.
  4. Put cauliflower, evenly spaced, on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, stir; bake 10 minutes more.
  5. Serve cauliflower in whole wheat tortillas with slaw.

Creamy Napa Cabbage Slaw

This Asian-inspired slaw is delicious atop cauliflower tacos, but it can also double as a creative, spicy vegetarian accompaniment to smoked meat at your end-of-summer barbecues. Top with black sesame seeds and sliced avocado if serving as a side.

Yield: 6-10 servings

What You Will Need:

  • 8 cups Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, finely grated, about 1/4 cup
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons Japanese mayonnaise (or vegan mayonnaise)
  • 1 tsp gochujang
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
  • ½ tsp rice vinegar
  • Black sesame seeds or black gomasio, for topping
  • Store bought avocado verde, for topping (or simply stir together guacamole and green salsa)

Method

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, gochujang, honey, onion powder, and salt until combined. Add Napa cabbage, carrot, and jalapeno and toss to coat. Taste; season with additional salt if desired.
  2. Put slaw on tacos and top with salsa verde and black sesame seeds, if desired.

 

 

Low Sugar Banana Blueberry Mini Baby Smash Cakes

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You guys!!!

I could not be more excited about this post! Not only is it almost the weekend, it’s also the day I have the opportunity to share a recipe in PERSON, on the cooking stage with the Nashville Home Show!

As y’all know, once I get to talking and/or thinking about food, you can’t really get me to be quiet, so the fact that they have openly invited me to share my love of all things baked goods is the highlight of my week!

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And as I was thinking about what to share, I immediately knew what recipe it would be. Y’all- in the history of Luv Cooks, this recipe is the most searched for, most sought after, most “I just came from Pinterest to check this out” one we’ve ever posted. And it all started with the original recipe here, with an incredibly cute baby named Pace, his birthday, and my friend (his precious momma’s) desire to feed him a special cake that wasn’t full of sugar. In fact, he hadn’t eaten processed sugar up until that point. Amazing, right?

Precious Pace eating cake!
The original baking inspiration, Pace Russell!
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And the original cake! Here is the original, full cake recipe post:) 

And as you know, with every (first) birthday comes the opportunity to smash one’s cake into one’s mouth however one feels is appropriate.

Well, I knew that I had to share this recipe again, but maybe adjust it slightly to a more adult crowd. Because, let’s be real- its amazing for the birthday boy or girl to have a yummy, healthy cake- but what about everyone standing around watching them eat it?!

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That’s why I took the original recipe (by Fit Mama Real Food) and adjusted it with some seasonal fall spices, and baked it into individual mini smash cakes. So we can all, if we choose, smash the cakes right into our faces, just like the little ones! Don’t mind if I do…

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Low Sugar Banana Blueberry Smash Cakes with Vanilla Whipped Cream  (Originally inspired by Fit Mama Real Food)

You can also click here for the original, tiered cake post!

This recipe is full of whole grains, healthy fats, and has NO refined sugar or sweeteners of any kind! It’s also egg-free and  simple to prepare and make ahead; you can even top the cakes with whipped cream a day ahead and store them in the fridge. Feel free to try out other mix-in’s besides berries for your adult guests- I think chopped cherries, dried fruit, or chocolate chips would work great in this mini cake as well!

Yield: 16 mini cakes

What You Will Need for the cake:

  • 2 scant cups mashed banana, or 4 large, ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup natural applesauce
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil (melted), plus more for greasing cake pans
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (just grind rolled oats in a blender, then measure)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 6 ounces fresh blueberries

What You Will Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together mashed banana, applesauce, coconut oil, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  3. Whisk together flours, spices, baking soda and salt until combined.
  4. Gently stir flour mixture into banana mixture until just combined. Avoid over mixing as that can make the batter tough.
  5. Stir blueberries into batter.
  6. Distribute batter by scant 1/4 cups into muffin tin. Reserve remaining batter for next batch of cakes.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick or sharp knife inserted into the cakes comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool completely at room temperature to set. Top with fresh whipped vanilla cream!

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For the vanilla whipped cream:

What You Will Need:

  • 4 ounces organic heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Additional fresh blueberries for topping (or melted peanut butter/chocolate/almond butter)
  1. Once cooled, top the mini cakes with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh blueberries. I also ate them with melted peanut butter drizzled on top, and it was DIVINE!

 

 

 

 

Back to School Snack Ideas with Share Love Everywhere

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Lovelies!

So today’s post is bit of a departure from our typical, intro-the-food then a recipe style. Don’t get me wrong, there will be recipes, but even more importantly, there will be LOVE SHARED.

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You see, you have to meet my beautiful friend Ashley Reale of Love Everywhere. She has a gift for sharing love with people- “even perfect strangers,” like it says on Love Everywhere’s bio page. In fact, she has started a now worldwide movement to share handwritten notes of encouragement in the cleverest of places for people to find.

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In fact, ALL of the photos on this post are from her Instagram account. Her amazing ambassadors take them and share the love!** You can follow her on IG here:)

She is a total entrepreneur and, to my LOVE, foodie!! As we say, people who love to eat are clearly the best people.

And because of our joint love of loving people WITH food, I recruited her to share with us (in the spirit of September and all things back to school) some of her best, most kid friendly, back to school snacks. And she does NOT disappoint!

Ashley’s snack recipes!

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Cheesy Naan pizza

What you will need:

  • 1 naan flatbread (she buys hers from Trader Joes)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheese (or vegan cheese, if you prefer)
  • Veggies your kids would like (spinach, corn, red peppers, etc.)

What You Will Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Sprinkle veggies of choice over naan. Cover with shredded cheese (in Ashley’s world, the more cheese, the better!)
  3. For a crispier naan, bake directly on oven rack for 10 minutes. For softer naan, place on baking sheet coated in cooking spray. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is fully melted.
  4. Allow to cool for a few minutes, slice and enjoy!

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Kid-Friendly Tortilla Chips and Salsa

What You Will Need:

  • 1 bag, organic frozen sweet corn, thawed
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup diced, fresh pineapple
  • 1 tablespoon chopped red onion
  • Organic corn chips, for serving

What You Will Do:

  1. Stir together all ingredients in a medium sized bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with corn chips and enjoy!

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Fresh Fruit or Veggie Kabobs (This is an AWESOME recipe to get kids involved in the assembly process!!)

What You Will Need:

  • Various fresh veggies, chopped or halved (cherry tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, broccoli, etc.)
  • Various fresh fruit, if desired (like watermelon or pineapple)
  • Wooden or metal skewers
  • Salad dressing for dipping (ranch, balsamic, or even melted cheese)

What You Will Do:

  1. Get creative! Style your fruits and veggies however you like- you could do all one color on one skewer (orange veggies, for instance) then all red fruit on another. Simply slide the halves on the skewer and dive in!

**And, if you guys are interested in becoming a Love Everywhere ambassador, just email Ashley at shareloveeverywhere@gmail.com.**

Sunday Morning Pancakes + Wise Butter for your Labor Day

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You guyyyysssss!!!

Ahhhhhh I couldn’t be more excited about this post!!

And here’s why.

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For all of 2017, I have been struggling to come up with the ideal pancake recipe to share with you. You can ask my husband Jake- it has been a tear-ridden, frustration station, park-your-ego-at-the-door process. I started out strong in January, on a mission- to find a pancake that was whole grain (because, let’s be real, white flour pancakes don’t begin to satisfy my morning hunger), natural, and delicious. From coconut flour to almond flour to literally grinding whole flaxseed myself in an attempt to create some kind of binder, about two months ago, I reached my end.

I was tired of the emotional disappointment, the gloopy, unappealing mess of a batter bowl and the even more disappointing flat, mealy cakes I was producing (that also eerily tasted like boiled eggs?) Needless to say, I was done.

Then, dawn breaks forth- LITERALLY- at the Made South festival in Franklin, Tennessee. There I met two of the kindest, most fantastic foodie ladies in Nashville. I just happened to walk by Sam’s Sunday Morning Pancake Mix booth and noticed that she had silver dollar-sized samples. Let’s just say I downed the first batch and wanted more. Then she told me a bit about the pancakes- that the whole grans mix was the result of her own frustrating process to create a healthy pancake! Her final recipe features a plethora of amazing ingredients, 9 whole grains to be exact. From organic wheat berries to milo, spelt berries, oat groats and barley berries- she did it! I seriously wanted to hand her a golden trophy in the shape of a maple syrup bottle.

I also passed Wendy’s booth for Wise Butter. Not only did she have the cutest mini crackers I’ve ever seen (still, to this day I have no idea where she got those tiny toasts!), she also had a super tasty selection of her homemade flavored butters ready for us to try. Caramel peach BUTTER?! Lightly sweet, rich, with a hint of peach. But the chipotle, ohhh the chipotle. Spicy, warm on your tongue- brilliant on any food imaginable.

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Needless to say, I pretty much stalked Sam and Wendy (as I have a tendency to do when I find a food product I love), invited them over to my house to take some photos, and well, here we are.

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So without further ado, and just in time for your (hopefully) more relaxed Labor Day weekends, I asked Samantha (from Sunday Morning Pancakes) and Wendy (from Wise Butter) to share some of the best ways to make your pancake batter and butter shine. Plus, just hop on over to their sites to find how and where you can purchase their products!

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From the pancake lady herself:

Here are two recipes that I love this time of year. They aren’t sweet, but they are damn tasty. You could bill it as something to do on a nice long weekend or because red peppers are in season right now in Tennessee.   Also, neither of them have to be canned. You can pare down the recipe size and safely keep them in the fridge for probably a month!

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Red Pepper Jelly   

What You Will Need:

1 ½ lbs chopped red bell peppers (6 cups)
2 tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp pectin
3 ¼ c. sugar
1 c. white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
¾ tsp kosher or sea salt

What You Will Do:

  1. Pulse bell peppers with red pepper flakes in a food processor until finely minced. Whisk together pectin and ¼ c sugar in a small bowl.
  2. Stir together pepper mixture, vinegar, butter, salt,  and remaining 3 cups sugar in a heavy pot.
  3. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat, and continue to boil, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Gradually add pectin mixture, whisking constantly. Return jelly to a vigorous boil, stirring constantly, and boil another 1-2 minutes. It will thicken only slightly. Remove from heat.
  4. Pour hot jam into sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Makes 5 – ½ pints.

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Sweet Onion Jam 

What You Will Need:

4 cups sweet onions, chopped
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 Tbsp sugar
¾ cup honey
2 tsp cinnamon (Sam prefers Chinese five spice)
½ tsp kosher or sea salt
1 tsp black pepper

What You Will Do:

  1. Melt butter over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in sugar, salt and ¼ cup water. Cook over low heat until the onions caramelize, about 8 minutes. To get the best results, resist the urge to stir. These steps can also be done in a slow cooker.
  3. Transfer onions to a blender or food processor. Add honey and cinnamon or five spice. Puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour into sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Makes 4 – 1/2 pints.
Sunday-Morning-Pancakes-Wise-Butter-10Sam’s ultimate pancake mix recipe: Blueberry Blonde Ale Waffles
What You Will Need:
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup ale style beer
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 eggs, preferably large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups Sunday Morning Pancake Mix
  • Muddy Pond Sorghum Mill, for topping**
What You Will Do:
  1. Melt butter in a saucepan.
  2. Add milk and  beer and heat until just warm.
  3. Take off the heat and whisk with vanilla and eggs.
  4. Scoop two and a half cups SMPM into a large bowl and mix in wet ingredients until just combined.
  5. Let sit for about five minutes and voila! Make sure to grease the waffle iron and you’ll be all set.

**Sam also suggests anything from the Nashville Jam Company to top the pancakes. You can find Sam on Instagram @smpancakemix 

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And Wendy! She is an all around butter expert, and here are her best pairings with her Wise Butter flavors:
  • Chipotle: baked sweet potatoes, grilled corn, mac and cheese
  • Roasted Garlic Basil: grilled cheese, grilled salmon, shrimp, or steak, and roasted carrots or zucchini
  • Lemon Rosemary: roasted potatoes, any kind of seafood, asparagus or green beans
  • Salted Caramel Peach: I’m actually finished with this flavor for this summer! My sweet offering right now is Dark Wildflower Honey
You can pair my sweet flavors with anything you are having for breakfast or as a base for buttercream icing. Stirred into oatmeal is my favorite!
You can check out Wendy @wisebutter on Instagram and she will be featured on an episode of Tennessee Crossroads on NPT this week!

 

Flourless Zucchini Cranberry Coconut Muffins

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I don’t know about you guys, but I am a HUGE fan of muffins. Large and puffy, small and bite-size, medium and poppy seed with lemon glaze- sign me UP for a muffin.

The great thing about muffins is that you can make them ahead of time, enjoy them with coffee and really never have to convince anyone to eat them. So there’s that. Which is especially handy if you are trying to feed the kids! Especially since this recipe doesn’t have flour, even the gluten-free among us can participate!

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Taking our cues from this month’s focus on all things zucchini, these babies are one of my favorite back-to-school baking recipes. For this one, we use oats to give the muffins stability, instead of traditional white flour. Greek yogurt and coconut oil keep things moist, as does fresh zucchini! Shredded coconut is thrown in with dried cranberries, and I think they are an A+ 😉 WINK!

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So here’s to a weekend full of muffin bliss (and eating your greens without holding your nose)…

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Flourless Zucchini Coconut Cranberry Muffins (Inspired by Chelsea’s Messy Apron!)

These easy-breezy zucchini muffins are simple to make and easy to prepare ahead. Chelsea did an amazing job coming up with the base ratio! Just make sure you leave time for the shredded zucchini to drain a bit, it helps keep the moisture ratio right when you go to make the batter!

  • 1 cup and 1/2 oat flour blended oats** (You can also do 3/4 cup oat flour plus 3/4 cup all purpose flour if you need)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plain, full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil measured when melted
  • 3 tablespoons very ripe banana ~1/2 large
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons light brown sugar lightly packed*
  • 1 1/2 cups lightly packed grated zucchini, drained on paper towels for at least 10 minutes
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut

What You Will Do

1. Preheat an oven to 350; grease a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.

2. Whisk together oat flour, cinnamon, cardamom, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together egg, vanilla, yogurt, coconut oil, banana and brown sugar until combined.

4. Stir in zucchini, cranberries, and coconut.

5. Pour batter evenly (about 1/4 cup at a time) into greased muffin tin.

6. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a knife inserted into muffins comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool for a few minutes, then gently move them to a wire rack to cool.

**To make oat flour, all I did was pour a heap of oats into the Vitamix and pulse on high until it looked like flour. I am almost positive you could do this in a food processor too!

 

 

 

 

 

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Rainbow Veggie Pitas with Zucchini Tzatziki! That rhymes!

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Rainbow veggie PITAS!!!!!

Of all of the zucchini recipes I’ve made this month, this is one of the ones I am MOST pumped about.

There are many reasons to love a veggie pita- one, you are eating the rainbow, which experts say to do. In my past (ahem, last week) I would have thought we were referring to Lucky Charms, but today we mean nature’s rainbow of vegetables!

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Two- this tzatziki sauce is blow-your-mind DELICIOUS! Though traditional tzatziki has cucumber as it’s base, I decided to try it out with more zucchini instead. I could not stop eating it and it quickly became a favorite dip in the Blount household (for veggies, crackers, or, you know, a stray slice of ham). And third- well, do you really need a reason to eat a pita?! The answer is no, never do we need a reason to eat a pita, or pita bread, or it’s partnering dips.

This recipe is also great because, well, zucchinis. A few fun facts I learned in my quest for zucchini knowledge:

  • Zucchinis are considered fruit. In fact, a zucchini with it’s flowers still attached is the ultimate sign of freshness and may even taste sweet!
  • Latin American chefs prefer to eat both the zucchini fruit and it’s flower (which serves as a stuffing for quesadillas).
  • Look for brightly colored, firm, smaller sized zucchini, as those that are over eight inches tend to become more fibrous and less tasty.
  • Because of zucchini’s high water and fiber content, it’s consumption is considered by nutritionists as a great way to stay (healthily) full; the nutrient-dense fruit even contains omega-3 fatty acids. **Did somebody say omega-3’s in a veggie! That’s right!

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Now that we have established the amazingness of zucchinis, I think it’s time for you to dice up some zucchini, make the tzatziki and ribbon away on that mandoline so you can pile those veggies high.

Enjoy your weekend pita sandwiches my Grecian super foodies!

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Rainbow Veggie Pitas with Zucchini Cucumber Tzatziki Sauce

These veggie-centric wraps are not only a great way to use zucchini, but a tasty way to include other fresh summer produce as well. Just slice your other summertime favorites thinly for easy stacking. Also, make sure and allow time for your diced cucumber and zucchini to rest on paper towels before combining in the tzatziki- this ensures a thicker, tastier sauce! You can also find the full recipe on Birmingham magazine’s site here!

Yield: 6 pitas

What You Will Need for the tzatziki sauce:

  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup diced, peeled zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon salt; divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 3 tablespoons dill leaves, packed
  • 2 tablespoons basil leaves, torn and packed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk yogurt
    Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

What You Will Do:

  1. Press the diced cucumber through a layer of several paper towels and ring with your hands to drain excess water.
  2. Distribute drained cucumber and zucchini on a double layer of paper towels. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  3.  Combine cucumber/zucchini, garlic, dill, basil, lemon juice, olive oil, and curry powder in a food processor.
  4. Stir pureed veggie mixture into yogurt. Taste; season with 1/4 to 1/2 tsp more salt and black pepper to taste. Top with fresh dill or basil leaves for serving.

For the Rainbow Veggie Stuffed Pitas:

  • 4 soft white pitas, halved
  • 1 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • 1 3⁄4 cup sliced red and yellow mini sweet peppers
  • 1⁄2 to 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 zucchini, sliced on a mandolin into thin ribbons
  • 1⁄2 to 1 cup Alfalfa sprouts
  • 1⁄2 cup thinly sliced red onion; soak in cold water for 15 minutes then drain for less pungency
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • Feta cheese, crumbled, to taste

What You Will Do:

  1. Gently spoon homemade tzatziki sauce into bottom of pita half. Starting on the bottom layer of the pita half, stack with radishes, peppers, carrrots, zucchini, sprouts, red onion, and cabbage.
  2. Drizzle with additional tzatziki and top with crumbled feta. Enjoy!

Extra Tips:

*This tzatziki sauce becomes even more flavorful overnight. Simply cover and store your sauce to rest in the fridge for at least 8 hours.
* If you like a thicker consistency for your tzatziki (or any other dairy-based dip), simply drain the dip over several layers of paper towel in a bowl in the fridge. This trick also works for creating a thicker salsa!

*Traditional taziki features fresh parsley, so you can play with the herbs here. Substitute mint for basil and parsley for dill if you like!
*For less bite to raw red onions, soak them in ice cold water for 15 minutes, then drain.
*Gently warm your pitas in the microwave or oven before slicing and opening to make them even easier to fill with tzatziki and veggies.