dark chocolate “candy bars”

When you’re craving chocolate, these bars have you covered!

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Cherry-Avocado Smoothie Bowl

This post is short and definitely sweet.  I’m loving this smoothie bowl because it’s thick and creamy- perfect for a post-workout snack or even a filling breakfast.

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Now I’m wondering, why have I not added avocado to my smoothies before?  Silly question since there are hundreds (no, thousands I’m sure) of recipes out there using them.  Duh.  It lends creaminess with all the good fats which result in a perfectly scoopable smoothie bowl.  Almost like ice cream.  With toppings, we’ll just consider this a superfood sundae!

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Blackberry Frozen Yogurt (without an ice-cream maker)

It’s finally summer and my favorite time of year- berry season!  Give me all the berries…strawberries, raspberries, cherries and blackberries.  It brings a smile to my face when the little fruit stands on the side of the road that have been shuttered for nine months are now brimming with fresh fruit.  There is SUCH a difference in flavor between store-bought berries and local, freshly-picked berries. No comparison, really.

We recently had family in town from Illinois and it was such a pleasure to share this unique California experience with them.  There we all stood with our cartons of berries, devouring them in the gravel parking space with juice dripping down our chin.  Messy, but the best.  So, with our house constantly full of summer fruit, I decided to find another way to use them instead of eating them straight from the refrigerator.  And since it’s going to be over 100 degrees every day this week (!!), let’s do some homemade froyo!

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Dark Chocolate Brownies with a Peanut Butter Swirl

 

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I am a self-proclaimed chocoholic. I will routinely purchase the over-priced pieces of dark chocolate at the checkout line because because I have always been a sucker for those little indulgent splurges.  And it is a splurge paying $1 for a quarter-ounce (??) piece of chocolate but since their sign actually says $0.99, clearly it’s high quality and must be a bargain.  At least that’s my thought process.  But really, (dark) chocolate in any form is a vice of mine.

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{Vegan} Banana Bread with a Salted Date Caramel Swirl

So, we are talking banana bread today.  This quick bread is probably one of the easiest and most familiar baked goods in many kitchens with a plethora of recipes out there to prove it.  Earlier, I posted a maple-olive oil banana bread recipe that has been in my rotation a few years now from the Shutterbean blog that I absolutely adore.  The bread AND the blog. Actually, it’s been the only recipe I’ve used since I first started making banana bread.

However, this time I decided to change it up a bit and mash up two recipes that I’ve been eyeing on for some time that I found on a couple of my favorite blogs.  So we have a vegan banana bread with a vegan, naturally sweetened salted date caramel swirl.  YUM!  Do not let the vegan-ness scare you away; there are no weird ingredient substitutions or fancy ingredients.

This bread turned out barely sweet, dense, and moist due to the number of bananas used.  Then to bite into the date-caramel swirl within the bread is just a flavor bonus.  I feel the bread is best served warm, straight out of the oven.  However, simply toasting a couple slices in the morning works just as well and makes for a filling and delicious breakfast.

Vegan Banana Bread 5

Vegan Banana Bread 6

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