You see, whenever I go into a grocery store, I just CAN’T control myself. As soon as those shiny, rainbow-colored displays of fruit greet me at the door I’m toast. No matter what I do, a simple shopping trip to pick up a few apples and bananas to last me through the week ends up turning into a full-out FRUIT-FEST.
Wait…does that make me a FRUIT-A-HOLIC??
Regardless, this weekend in particular was a bit out of control–even for me (It honestly would have made more sense to ask me what kind of fruit I didn’t have in the house than to ask me what kind I did have). When I woke up this morning, I took one long look at my fruit bowl and knew I needed to do something about this fruit situation before everything spoiled. Either that, or I was going to have to open up my apartment to the public and become a farmer’s market for the day! But something tells me I don’t think my landlord would like that…
So, what’s a girl to do with all this fruit?
FRUIT SALAD, obviously!
As soon as the hot summer months come around, I rarely use the stove to cook meals. Instead, I choose to eat fresh, cool, and raw dishes as a way to beat the heat. One of my favorite summertime staples falling under these categories has always been fruit salad. I could honestly eat it for breakfast, as a snack, and even for dessert for the rest of my life and be perfectly satisfied. Not only is fruit salad healthy (Antioxidants! Fiber! Vitamin C!) but it’s easy to toss together and it’s a bright, pretty dish to bring along to summer parties or cookouts.
For this recipe, I decided to take a classic fruit salad and spice it up a bit. When it comes to fruit salad, I like to try to hit all the colors of the rainbow because, well, it’s pretty and girly but you certainly don’t have to. This recipe is 100% customizable, so don’t worry if you don’t have all the ingredients–you can totally go all improv and create your own masterpiece!
There’s only one thing left to do.
Fruity Tutti Fruit Bowl
1 apple (fuji apples are my absolute favorite!)
1 whole orange
1 large banana
1 pear (I like d’anjou, but any kind will do)
1/2 cup grapes (sliced)
1/2 cup blackberries
3 teaspoons of all-natural, vegan, jam (I like Trader Joe’s reduced-sugar jams. They make it in blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, apricot. I couldn’t pick so I used half apricot and half strawberry for this recipe )
Plum Amazins (for sprinkling)–they are a great alternative to raisins, plus, they’re lower in calories!)
Sliced almonds (for sprinkling)
Cinnamon (for sprinkling)–cinnamon is a great addition to any diet because it helps control blood sugar spikes and is very high in antioxidants. It’s also anti-microbial, has anti-clotting features, boosts brain function, and promotes colon and heart health because it has fiber, manganese, and calcium in it. I put it on EVERYTHING!)
Chop everything up and place the fruit in a large bowl (leave the kiwis, almonds, and plum bits aside for garnish).
Mix in the jam and cinnamon (I personally put a TON of cinnamon in this recipe, but I tend to like things over-spiced. Feel free to spice it up or down as much as you’d like).
Sprinkle almonds and plum bits on top. Arrange the kiwis around the bowl.
Don’t forget the Cinnamon Chips!
2 whole wheat tortillas
Stevia or all-natural, organic sugar
All-natural cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 350º
Slice the tortillas into triangle shapes
Place the tortilla triangles on a baking sheet and lightly spray with all-natural cooking spray.
Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon and stevia (or sugar).
Bake for 11 minutes.
Once cooled, arrange around the fruit bowl for an adorable presentation!
Eat the chips on their own, or use the chips to scoop up some of the fruit for my take on a dessert salsa!
I came up with this little gem of an idea while rummaging through the cupboards last night desperately trying to find some recipe inspiration. Instead, all I found were a couple of sad-looking bananas, an almost empty container of almond milk, a few spoonfuls of flour, and the depressing realization that I needed to do some serious grocery shopping this weekend.
But I was still in the mood for a healthy, yet totally DECADENT treat.
That’s when I had an epiphany.
Single-serving microwave cake.
This cake is SO good…even non-vegans will DEVOUR it. I promise.
As soon as I took this gooey, chocolaty dessert out of the microwave, I hardly had enough time to glaze it and take a picture before the boyfriend gobbled it up. He even went as far as to say it’s the BEST dessert he’s ever had–and this is coming from a guy who’s not crazy about dessert in general!
All I can say is, good thing I made two so I could keep one for myself
So what are you waiting for? GET BAKING!
1/4 cup of spelt flour or other whole wheat flour (I like spelt flour because it has only moderate amounts of gluten and it can be tolerated by those who have wheat allergies and/or a wheat sensitivities. However, it is NOT gluten-free and NOT suitable for those with celiac disease)
a little under 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
2 packets of stevia (1/2 teaspoon) or 1 teaspoon of another natural sweetener
1 teaspoon of Earth Balance (or any non-dairy buttery spread– I actually prefer to NOT use any butter and add a heaping teaspoon of natural, no sugar added applesauce instead, but my boyfriend–who isn’t a fan of low-fat desserts– LOVED the texture of the cake with the Earth Balance better. It’s totally up to you! One teaspoon isn’t that much anyway.)
1/2 of a medium-sized and VERY ripe organic banana, chopped
About 2 teaspoons of mini chocolate chips (I like dairy free, nut, and soy free Enjoy Life semi-sweet mini chocolate chips)
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl, then add in the wet ingredients–including the banana and chocolate chips.
Mix until blended but do not over-mix.
Spray a small bowl, or ramekin (anything roughly 1-cup in size) with an all-natural non-stick spray (I’m sure a coffee mug would work, but you may have to cook it few seconds longer)
Pour batter in the small bowl and microwave on high for about 2 minutes (depending on your microwave’s strength, your cake may need to cook a little longer. The top of the cake should give a little when you press down on it and should not be overly sticky/gooey on top).
While your cake is cooking…you can whip up the glaze! (See below)
Creamy Chocolate Glaze Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of organic, all-natural powdered sugar (natural maple sugar and coconut sugar will also do– if you don’t have powdered sugar, just blend regular sugar in a blender for a minute or so until it turns to powder).