Fruity Rainbow Fro-Yo Popsicles (Clean)

Expect lots of ice cream recipes these days, ’cause my freezer it literally full of it right now.

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Also – I figured out a problem to that Photoshop problem. I had a bunch of recipes with unedited photos, but my laptop died and my brother’s laptop doesn’t have Photoshop. My solution – using a 7-day trial. Hell yes.

So instead of working on my college apps and my math IA, I’ll gladly spend these next 6 days editing all the photos I had procrastinated.

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These fruity popsicles are perfect for the killer heat this summer. I haven’t left my house for the past week until today, when I took my dog for a walk. I had only been outside for about 5 minutes before I started sweating and my dog was panting like crazy. Needless to say, it was a short walk. When I got home, the first thing I went to grab was one of these popsicles. I gave my dog her water, which she lapped up, but then she just stared at me longingly as I enjoyed my cold popsicle. Poor puppy.

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Feel free to sub in whatever fruit you want, depending on what you have on hand. Oh, and no – blueberries do not make a blue layer, but you could experiment around with spirulina powder to get a turqoise-colored layer.

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Fruity Rainbow Fro-Yo Popsicles

Ingredients

  • 3 cups greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup cherries or raspberries
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup chopped kiwi
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon açai powder
  • Honey, to taste

Method

  1. Distribute the yogurt evenly among 5 bowls
  2. In a food processor, blend each fruit separately and set aside. Start off with the lightest colors and gradually use darker ones to avoid washing your food processor/blender every time (pineapple -> kiwi -> cherries/raspberries -> blueberries
  3. Stir the pineapple, kiwi, and cherry/raspberry fruit purees into the bowls of yogurt. For the two distinct layers of purple, stir about a tablespoon of blueberry puree in one, and the rest into the other. Add the açai powder to the yogurt with more blueberry.
  4. Stir in half a teaspoon or so of honey into each bowl, if desired.
  5. Layer the yogurt into popsicle moulds. If your yogurt is runny, it may be easier to freeze the yogurt in between layers
  6. Freeze for 4-6 hours
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Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies (Clean)

Healthy oatmeal cookies are my life right now! My old go-to snack were healthy muffins, but now, cookies have undoubtedly taken first place (sorry, muffins, I still love you).

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Where do I start with these cookies?

They’re gluten-free, and aren’t insanely sweet like your average cookie, which means that you can eat two (or three!) without feeling sickly full. Nevertheless, they’ve definitely got that comforting oatmeal flavor, which pairs beautifully with the subtle, fruity flavor of cranberries and the undeniable richness of the dark chocolate chunks.

Gotta say – the dark chocolate chunks are probably my favorite part. Chocolate chunks in any recipe will be my favorite part.When it comes to chocoholics like me, it’s inevitable, and when I say chocoholic, I mean chocoholic. I can’t (okay, rarely) go a day without eating chocolate. I just indulged in a decent bunch of chocolate truffles, the ones with the crispy little pieces inside. They’re so good, and apparently each one is over 100kcal but that didn’t stop me from eating 5. You see where I’m going with this? If I ever decided to do a calorie-restricting diet (FYI: never happening), I’d insist that chocolate doesn’t count towards my daily calorie count. How could it? Chocolate is a joy in life that must not be denied.

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But moving on from the chocolate, these cookies are seriously the perfect snack. They’re filling, and satisfy your sweet tooth. I actually like to stick them into my nana ice creams, mostly because aesthetics, but I’m always incorporating these cookies into my nana ice creams and it’s become an obsession. I can’t get enough. I’ve been luxuriating in nana ice cream with cookies and the weather’s still hanging around the negatives. See? I’ve been willing to sacrifice my scarce warmth for the sake of nana ice cream with these amazing oatmeal cookies. I hope you’re convinced – these cookies are the s**t.

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Oh, and LEO WON AN OSCAARRR!

Fun fact: He’s a vegetarian

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One last side note – be gentle when chopping up cranberries. They do not go down without a fight. As I was chopping them up, I had to gently squish them with the knife. If I dared to get aggressive, they would too, shooting out streaks of deep red juice, leaving every object within a 2-meter radius (including me) covered in red dots. Lesson learned: cranberries like to die a slow, gentle death.

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(Update Mar 8. 2016:  I made another batch of those cranberry and dark chocolate oatmeal cookies three days ago, and now there’s only one left. They’re that good. That’s like, 5 cookies a day. I have no regrets.)

Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from Amy’s Healthy Baking

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (100g) quick-cooking/instant oats (gluten-free, if necessary)
  • ¾ cup (90g) whole wheat or gluten-free flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (120mL) maple syrup or honey
  • ½ cup (55g) cranberries, chopped*
  • 3 tablespoons (42g) chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
*You can also use frozen cranberries that have been thawed
Method
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. Fold in the flour mixture until just combined, before folding in the cranberries and 2 tablespoons of the dark chocolate
  3. Chill the cookie dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit or 160 degrees Celsius
  4. Place the cookie dough in 12-15 rounded scoops onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flatten them into desired thickness and size. The cookies won’t spread much or change shape as they bake. Press on the remaining chocolate pieces on top and bake for 9-12 minutes
  5. Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks

Red Velvet Beetroot Pancakes (Clean)

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A few weeks ago in mid-January, I was scrolling through Foodgawker as I always do, and I noticed that people had already started posting Valentine’s Day recipes, and I was pretty confused – it wasn’t even February yet! Well, now that it’s actually February, here’s a “Valentine’s Day”-inspired recipe, because you can’t go wrong with pink food on Valentine’s! Not to mention – gluten-free, sugar-free, and oil-free pink!

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Might I add that you don’t need to have a significant other or a Valentine to make these? Yeah, yeah, Valentine’s is usually about those you love romantically, but that doesn’t mean that love stops there. Make these to show your appreciation for your mother, your father, your brother, or even for yourself, because you should love yourself no matter what. There will always be times where you get down and feel like you aren’t worthy and capable of achieving the expectations that society throws at you, and your mind may automatically begin to close out all the things you love about yourself until you feel worthless. Times like that, take a break from the world and recall all the amazing things you’ve achieved in life and kind things you’ve done, no matter whether it was winning a race or taking the time to donate a little to a charity you support. All of those moments, added up, will be infinite. Thus, your love for yourself should be just that – infinite.

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With all that deep life talk aside, let’s just appreciate these pancakes.

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These pancakes are quite fluffy and the beetroot flavor isn’t evident at all (good for those who don’t like beetroot – if you do, I guess you could add in double the amount of beetroot and see how that goes…). If you have a heart-shaped cookie cutter or egg-shaper, that would just bring these to the next level and make them look so gorgeous. Plus, I wouldn’t omit the melted chocolate, because that just contributes so much to the appearance, flavor, and Valentine-feel. As for fruit, chocolate-dipped strawberries or raspberries would be beautiful as well if you’re short on cherries!

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Oh, and may I also add that these photos were taken nearly a year ago? Obviously, my photography and editing have come a long way, but this recipe is too good not to share. Plus, I’m quite happy with this gif:

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Red Velvet Beetroot Pancakes

Adapted from Dessert With Benefits

Makes 6-10, depending on size

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoons powdered stevia
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup beetroot purée*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Melted chocolate/fresh fruit, for serving (optional, but recommended)

*To make the beetroot purée, stick the beetroots (unpeeled) in a big pot of boiling water until they’re soft, peel them, and purée them in a food processor. Use leftovers for any of these recipes calling for beetroot purée.

Method

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, cocoa powder, stevia, baking powder, and salt
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the beetroot purée and eggs, before whisking in the milk of choice, vanilla extract, and vinegar
  3. Heat a pancake pan or a relatively flat saucepan over medium heat. Spray with oil and spoon about 1/4-1/3 cup of mixture onto the pan, spreading them into circles. Cook until the edges are dry and the surface is slightly dry. The pancakes take longer to cook than regular pancakes, so about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Flip and cook for about a minute on the other side, before flipping out onto a plate. Continue to cook the batter until all of it is used up.
  5. Stack them up, top with melted chocolate and fresh fruit, and serve!

 

Layered Sawdust Pudding (Cheat)

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The name of this dessert does not do it any justice. Sawdust? Really? That implies that this dessert is dry. Pudding? That implies that you get this jello-like consistency.

No, guys – no. The dessert itself is layered with smooth, light, whipped cream with a hint of sweetness, along textured biscuit crumbs. It’s insanely easy to make, yet the end result is something else.

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One of the reasons why I seriously love this dessert is because it’s made using such simple ingredients, and can be easily altered to fit your desires.

In terms of simple ingredients – there’s mostly just digestive biscuits and cream. I always have digestive biscuits lying around, but I’m often quite paranoid about cream going bad. So, if I’m not in the mood for ice cream, I’ll just whip up the cream and layer it up with biscuits crumbs and voila – fancy dessert.

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Plus, if you want to serve these up at a themed party, go crazy with colors! Sure, you could go for a classic whipped cream…orr you could mix in raspberry powder or blueberry powder or matcha powder or fruity alcohol. I was caught between choosing beetroot powder and açai powder, and although both produce adorable faint little pinks and purples, I went with açai because I’ve recently grown obsessed with it’s flavor.

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Ooh – and I forgot to mention, you could serve these up in any container you want! For all I care, you could make this in an empty water bottle or a giant bucket. As you can see, I stuck with drink containers. I used regular drinking cups, shot glasses, and martini glasses. I love the fact that the shot and martini glasses have only ever held sweets in this household. The martini glasses I got from Croatia and I’m seriously in love with them. I’ve served rice pudding in them before. I know, it sounds weird, but they don’t actually look too weird (I hope). As for the shot glasses, I got them from IKEA and they’re great for small-serving pudding desserts (e.g. vanilla pots de creme). Anyways, my point is, be creative!

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Layered Sawdust Pudding

Makes 4-12 servings, depending on size

Ingredients

  • 80g digestive biscuits
  • 200ml chilled whipping cream or heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 60-100ml sweetened condensed milk (adjust according to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice or 1 tablespoon powder of choice (I used açai powder)
  • Fresh fruit, for serving (optional)

Method

  1. In a food processor, or in a bowl using the end of a rolling pin, crush the biscuits until they’ve reached a constancy of fine powder
  2. In a separate bowl, use a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer to whip the cream, until it reaches soft peaks. Add in the vanilla extract, half the condensed milk, and either lime juice or powder of choice, and continue whipping, adding condensed milk as you go until it reaches your desired sweetness. Whip until cream forms stiff peaks
  3. Transfer the cream into a piping bag to pipe (or spoon) a layer into the bottom of a glass. Add a layer of biscuit crumbs of the same thickness, and continue alternating between the layers, finishing with a layer of cream
  4. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before topping with fresh berries and serving

White Chocolate Dipped Cherries (Clean/Cheat)

Here it is: the last post of 2015.

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I know I should probably be all like “The year flew by so quickly!” and all, but truthfully, it hasn’t. I’m not saying it wasn’t a good year, but man, it sure has been one unique and memorable year. In 2015, I’ve truly accomplished things that I never thought that I would – or could. Granted, there were plenty of low moments, but those bad moments are essential for balance.

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As I sit here typing in the comfort of my house with my little pup fast asleep beside me, I’m realizing that damn, it really has been quite a year. The two main things that come to mind when I think Greatest Accomplishments 2015 is a grade that I got at the end of grade 10, and the fact that two of my recipes have been featured on Buzzfeed. In that sense, it’s been a lame year, especially in comparison to the fact that the workload and stress is piling up with the IB and that my brother’s gone for college, but that’s that.

Enough about last year, let’s talk next year.

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I can’t help but continue to think about an artificial, man-made idea that has collared humankind and taken control of: Time. We created time, yet it burdens us. It’s stresses us and presses us to no end. New Year’s is one of the few times when we truly celebrate time. We celebrate a “new year” when in reality, January 1 00:01 is no different from December 31 11:59, yet everyone strongly insists that it’s a new year and things can and will be better when any changes will be completely dependent on the individual as opposed to time. Time is a weird thing, and I could sit here and just be all philosophical about time for hours, but moving on to the part that you actually came here for: CHERRIES!

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I’m sure all of you guys will be having some sort of New Year’s celebration, whether it be a party with a hundred people or just a fancy dinner with your family. Either way, chocolate-dipped fruit should be a go-to when it comes to light bites. You can leave these around as you chat and appreciate 2015, or serve them for dessert alongside some fancy vanilla pots de creme or something (which would actually be such a fancy and aesthetically pleasing dessert with minimal effort).

Furthermore, these white chocolate dipped cherries look gorgeous and they’re so easy to make. If you’re out of cherries, any fruit will do! Well, maybe not like durian or avocado, but you know, blueberries, strawberries, banana… whatever you have.

White Chocolate Dipped Cherries

Makes 20-30 cherries

Ingredients

  • Approx. 100g high quality white chocolate
  • Approx. 20-30 cherries with stems, rinsed and dried
  • Toppings: Edible glitter, sprinkles, sugar pearls etc. (optional)

Method

  1. Line a plate or tray with baking paper and place in fridge*
  2. In a bowl, melt the white chocolate in a double boiler (or a bowl over a pan of simmering water) or in the microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring at each interval until fully melted
  3. Remove plate/tray from fridge
  4. Dip the cherries one by one into the white chocolate, and roll in toppings of choice or sprinkle toppings on the chocolate before it sets and place onto the plate/tray to set
  5. Repeat step 4 with the rest of the cherries
  6. Serve!

*If you’re using high quality white chocolate and you melt it gently enough, you won’t need to place anything in the fridge as the white chocolate should set at room temperature

Creamy White Coffee Hazelnut Oatmeal (Clean)

As the days grow short and nights grow long

As the wind blows ice and not summer breeze

As the lakes crystalizes over and force the ducks to flee (where do ducks go?)

I have one recipe that will overcome your winter blues.

One single recipe that will warm you from the inside out.

Oatmeal.

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Oatmeal so creamy, it begins to take on a thick texture that makes you want to shovel spoonfuls of the steaming hot stuff in your mouth. Full of soft, textured oats and paired with the luscious flavors of white coffee and hazelnut, with a hint of sweetness from a bit of mashed banana. To top it off, with the aromatic white coffee scents, you won’t be able to resist eating the oatmeal straight from the saucepan while it’s still bubbling away, reducing the liquids until they’re thick and creamy . It’s the most comforting thing in the world.

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You know how hot chocolate is super comforting when it’s cold out? Yeah, this recipe does the same. I swear, if you make this once – just once – you’ll start craving oatmeal instead of hot chocolate when the coldest days start rolling in.

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And for those in the Southern Hemisphere – try it! This is an oatmeal recipe that I have year-round. Sure, I make this more often in the winter time, but trust me, this recipe is good enough to be made in the summer as well.

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Well? What are you waiting for? Go and seek comfort in food!

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Notes: This recipe can easily be doubled/tripled/quadrupled

Creamy White Coffee Hazelnut Oatmeal

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2-3 tablespoon white coffee hazelnut powder (to taste, *see bottom of post)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ripe banana
  • Raspberries, hazelnuts, and cacao nibs (optional, for topping)

Method

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and oats over high heat, until the milk begins to boil, then turn the heat down to medium
  2. Stir in the white coffee hazelnut powder and salt
  3. While the oats continue to cook, mash up half the banana, saving the rest of it for topping
  4. Stir the mashed banana into the oats and continue cooking until the oatmeal has thickened to your desired consistency, approx. 5 min
  5. Transfer into bowl (or just eat out of the saucepan) and top with desired toppings. Serve immediately.

*If you want to experiment with other coffee powders, feel free to do so, but this is what I mean by white coffee hazelnut powder:

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Easy Blueberry Crumble (Cheat)

Everything tastes better with crumble. It’s just a fact.

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Take this blueberry crumble – the blueberries themselves shine, with their tart yet sweet flavors with an edge of lemon, but what would a ramekin of cooked blueberries be without a gorgeous, satisfyingly crunchy, oat-y crumble to go with it? Exactly.

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This recipe is so easy to throw together. Plus, it can easily be doubled, or halved, depending on what you need.

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Easy Blueberry Crumble

Adapted from The Farm

Makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients

For the blueberry filling:

  • 2 1/4 cup (340g) fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (20g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons (15-30ml) lemon juice, depending on how tart the blueberries are
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the crumble:

  • 3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (40g) quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup (100g) light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, cubed and softened slightly
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional, but recommended)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius, or 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. For the blueberry filling, in a medium bowl, toss the blueberries with the sugar, flour, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt until well combined. Transfer the blueberry mixture into individual ramekins or a 9-inch pie tin
  3. For the crumble, in a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt until combined. Add in the butter and break down with your hands, a pastry cutter, or a food processor, until well combined.
  4. Crumble the topping over the blueberries in large clumps
  5. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the crumble is beginning to brown and the blueberry filling is bubbling
  6. Let cool slightly before serving warm with vanilla ice cream