Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Banana Bread

Rebirth is an incredible thing. To look back at who you were just a few years ago and see a totally different person is not at all alarming. In fact it feels right, it feels satisfying, it feels healing.

Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Banana Bread - gluten, dairy and refined sugar free! Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Banana Bread - gluten, dairy and refined sugar free!
I have come to learn something important in the last few months that I feel so grateful for knowing. And more equally grateful that I’ve started to take this lesson and promote it as much as I can in my future. And this lesson is to welcome, embrace and celebrate change.

To be able to heal because of a change in my life was a concept I never expected to make sense. To me staying in what felt comfortable, staying grounded in every aspect of my life that I knew, that I was familiar with, that I knew would never change – that felt right.

Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Banana Bread - gluten, dairy and refined sugar free! Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Banana Bread - gluten, dairy and refined sugar free!
It wasn’t like holding onto anything such as looking back to the past and never letting go of that. It was more like keeping life in a standstill. Keeping life unaltered, safe. It was my way of making sure I was immune to everything, anything that would come my way. You know, the unknown. Little did I know, that unknown is what everyone knows as moving on.

So I continued to keep myself stifled, continued to repress change until finally it burst out of me. I was free, I was scared but I was free. Rebirth was all that I was waiting for and rebirth is what makes me look forward tomorrow, the day after that, next month, next year, next decade and its such and awesome thing!

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Date Walnut Blueberry Breakfast Muffins [DF + GF]

I have always love blueberry muffins, I mean who doesn’t? They were one of the first recipes I had the guts to make all on my own after my fast-food college days, and I remember how delicious they were!

I had bought Joy the Baker’s first cookbook, my first every cookbook I bought (thanks Joy!) and I made her blueberry muffins recipe so many times that the pages are glued together from so much butter, sugar and flour! Who would have thought that ruining a book means that you gave it the most love!

It was after a year or so that I started to understand the effects of eating all that butter, sugar and flour, especially sugar! I started baking blueberry muffins with more healthier sugar, if that is even a thing, like coconut palm sugar. But at end of the day it is still sugar! It is pretty hard to call anything that has sugar in it healthy, though we like to tell ourselves that sometimes it can be.

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So then I started to experiment with dates! I had bought them recently to make these peanut butter snack bars and I was amazed at how sweet they were! They also add another layer of caramel-like flavor which makes them even more delicious. I was incredibly curious to see if I could ditch sugars all together and bake using dates instead.

I was so happy when I discovered how easy it was to replace sugar with dates in my baking recipes! I felt that the blueberry muffins even tasted better and they had much more flavor instead of just having a taste of processed sugar.

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Cinnamon Blueberry Banana Pancakes [GF + DF]

Oh gosh aren’t photos of pancakes one of the sexiest things you ever see on the internet nowadays? Most of the celebrities I had crushes on in my adolescence have gotten older so I find myself staring at pictures of pancakes instead.

Yes I could stare at these Cinnamon Blueberry Banana Pancakes ALL DAY. Well you know I take that back, most of the male hunks I adore on the big screen are still pretty hot and have gotten even sexier as they have aged. But since I don’t have posters of them on my wall anymore, you know the ones that you rip out from teen magazines (What happened to Josh Hartnett?), I’ll still stare at these pancakes.

Seriously whenever I am on the internet, the images that always catch my eye are that of a tall and sexy stack of delicious looking pancakes. I was always asking myself, is this how people eat pancakes every morning?? Like all even, round and perfectly stacked (not to mention quite a lot of pancakes for one serving). Was there just a secret pancake making tip that I was aware of?

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Well I realized that when making pancakes you have to treat it like its a main course or you somehow got chosen to make breakfast for the Queen of England or something. This was my secret pancake making tip and then all of a sudden my pancakes no longer look like something that had just gotten run over or, in worse cases, like scrambled eggs. 

I will never become perfect at making pancakes but I will now start to make the act of eating pancakes a little more special by stacking them up nice a pretty and adding lots of yummy fruits and toppings that will make me feel like I am eating pancakes fit for royalty.

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Pomegranate, Ginger and Sage Spritzers

Pink drinks. It seems like they are the only thing I ever end up drinking. And I don’t have any desire to drink anything else. Who is with me here?

Pomegranate Ginger and Sage Spritzers Pomegranate Ginger and Sage Spritzers Pomegranate Ginger and Sage Spritzers
Oh my goodness people, look at those sexy pomegranates. I just want to take a moment before I go on my rant to marvel at its captivating color and appearance. Okay now we can stop.

But seriously, when I opened up that pomegranate and gazed in awe at all that was inside I became instantly happy. There was just something about that moment, seeing something so beautiful that immediately uplifted my spirits.

Also the fact that something so beautiful came out of nature always leaves me so stunned and amazed. Somehow the evolution of species and plants led to this remarkable and unique fruit they are just sooo cool. I have a little crush on you pomegranate.

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No-Bake Coconut Quinoa Crunch Cookies [V + GF]

I gotta be honest people, it’s really starting to annoy me that I can’t eat the sweets that I absolutely loved to eat anymore.

No-Bake Coconut Quinoa Crunch Cookies - Vegan and Gluten-Free! No-Bake Coconut Quinoa Crunch Cookies - Vegan and Gluten-Free!
I used to go through life seeing any kind of food as something that was completely available to me. I was living in an age where the world of gastronomy had so much to offer and there was nothing limiting me from choosing if I wanted to venture into that area of cuisine or if I wanted to eat that particular food product.

Nothing was stopping me and therefore I never felt the need to take advantage of my impenetrable stomach because it didn’t seem necessary. Life would go on, I would eat what I wanted, whatever came my way and that was that. My youthful stomach always prevailed no matter what I put in it and therefore I was indifferent.

No-Bake Coconut Quinoa Crunch Cookies - Vegan and Gluten-Free! No-Bake Coconut Quinoa Crunch Cookies - Vegan and Gluten-Free!
Now the landscape of my life as an omnivore has completely changed. Food isn’t an allotted freedom and convenience that America’s advanced yet monstrous food industry has gifted me (which I’d take full advantage of and didn’t ask any questions as to how such an industry exists).

Now every time I go to a supermarket or look at a restaurant menu a limitation always presents itself. Before there had always been a sense that my overly-zealous stomach could conquer anything on that menu. There was always a feeling of exhilarating freedom coming into that supermarket seeing all the countless aisles of guaranteed delicious and salivatory food and it was completely available for my taking – only if I wanted it or not.

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Blueberry Poppy Seed Almond Cakes with Lemon Coconut Cream

Every girl needs to have some cake every now and then. And this is how I felt when I made these little cute and delicious blueberry cakes. They are cakes specifically designed for the girl that deserves to have her cake!

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First of all when the madness of Black Friday happened and all the ridiculous deals that followed afterwards, I was literally overwhelmed with all the gorgeous and wonderful things that had all of a sudden been miraculously marked down. And this cake stand was one of them!

I just fell in the love with that beautiful circular blue pattern on the top and that sort of thing I can just stare at for days. I love when things are intricately done and I am just a sucker for abstract and bold patterns and I had to snatch this up. But of course my main thought when I bought this is all the fabulous cakes I have to bake to accompany it.

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And mini cakes just seemed like the perfect thing. I mean mini cakes are just so ADORABLE. I’ve realized that most of the baked goods that I usually love seemed to be so much better in a mini version, like mini pound cakes, mini bundt cakes, mini tarts, mini donuts. It just keeps on going.

There is something nice about the idea that you are not only controlling your portions but it is also a guarantee that most of the time your like mini bakes will turn out lovely (and instagram-worthy) with not as much effort and stress.

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