Decadent Chocolate Avocado Pudding

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Decadent Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Happy Early V-Day, everyone!

So, I did a little Instagram survey yesterday and the results showed that most of you thought that mixing avocados with chocolate sounded a bit weird. I was a little shocked at these results, since I have heard a lot about avocado puddings, mousses, brownies, and ice creams over the last few years, even though I, myself, never tried it until this past weekend.

I had decided to make a decadent pudding because it just seemed like a cute recipe to make to V-Day, especially when garnished with a bit of red fruit, like raspberries. I actually intended on making a mousse, but by the time I kept adding in chocolate, it became denser like a pudding.

What I liked most about this recipe is that it’s so simple and quick to make. Most of the ingredients can be found in your pantry and if you have some avocados laying around that need to be eaten up, this is the perfect recipe for you. Just throw everything in, blend, and voila – you have a pudding.

Check the recipe out and if you have any feedback or suggestions, comment below! I’m curious as to what you all think after trying the avocado-chocolate combo!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli, Trader Joes or Enjoy Life)
  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 heaping cup coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice with varied results)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 heaping teaspoon fine salt
  • Splash of coconut, soy or cashew milk
  • Fresh raspberries for garnish.

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Directions

  1. Peel and pit avocados.
  2. Simmer chocolate chips on stove or in microwave (30 seconds increments) and stir.
  3. Blend avocados, vanilla extract, sugar and salt into a processor or into a bowl if using a hand mixer.
  4. Add in melted chocolate and continue to blend until all the avocado lumps smooth out.
  5. Add the splash of milk as mixture thickens so it doesn’t turn into a thick frosting.
  6. Refrigerate for 1 hour prior to serving.
  7. Garnish with raspberries and chocolate chips.

 

 

 

❤ Melissa

The Best Sugar Cookies

Hey again,

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner (giving me yet another excuse to indulge in sweet treats), I figured I would share my fave sugar cookie recipe with you all. The recipe uses pumpkin puree as an egg substitute and it surprisingly works great! The recipe states that you can use apple sauce instead with varied results, but from my past experiences, I would suggest sticking with the pumpkin in this case. Apple sauce works best for moist bakes goods, like muffins and cupcakes; whereas, pumpkin puree makes cookies tender and chewy. Just be sure not to over-bake them, which is I’ve noticed is easy to do for most people. My mom has always told me to slightly under-bake all cookies… pulling them out of the oven as soon as they begin to get a golden hue. Works every time!

If you have the time to spare, the recipe includes instructions for how to make homemade frosting. However; if you’re short on time like I tend to be, you can honestly just use most Pillsbury or Duncan Hines frostings (the vanilla flavors are usually vegan), but make sure to double check the ingredient lists. I prefer to use natural ingredients when it’s not too complicated, so I like the idea of making my own frostings and food colorings (beets for red color). If you’re the same way, the recipe link below contains a sub-link to homemade natural food-coloring. Sometimes I cheat and get my frosting from the local Whole Foods. The brands Wholesome, Simple Mills, and Miss Jones are all vegan organic and can be found at pretty much any natural foods market.

Below is the before and after of the heart-shaped sugars cookies I made last year. I free-handed these hearts with a knife, but feel free to shape them how you please, depending on the occasion. The recipe is linked below, so check it out!

IMG_4076 Link to Recipe: Minimalist Baker’s Sugar Cookies

Melissa

 

Classic Winter Street Style

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Hey friends!

I have returned from my little blogging hiatus. I ended up moving this month (I will save the details for another post), so life has been a little extra hectic lately. I did make the time to check out a couple new food places recently (posts to come soon) and came across a few cold weather must-haves, which I have been looking forward to sharing with you all.

The photos you see here were taken in Washington D.C.’s City Center on a VERY cold and windy Sunday. We’ve been starting to see some spring-like weather here, but looking at this week’s forecast, winter will be sticking around a while. Luckily, I’ve stocked up on enough cozy sweaters to last me for the season. Take a look at the cardigans I have posted below and make sure to check back later this week for a blog featuring  a couple of my other favorite sweaters.

Kind fashion finds linked below!

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Tweed Cap // Ted Baker Bag – Gray/Rose // Ted Baker Bag – Black/Gold // Drapey Sleeve Cardigan // Blouson Sleeve Cardigan // Marc Fisher OTK Flat Boot – Gray  // ALDO OTK Heel Boot // Quilted Coat – Moss (navy sold out)

❤ Melissa

The Holidays Call for Almond Milk Bailey’s

 


Hey guys,

As some of you may know already, I am home in Michigan for the holidays. We are in the process of getting a white Christmas this year, which is great! As a result, I am not out driving around. I finally got all my gift purchasing and wrapping done and I am snowing myself in for the rest of the night with another festive drink.

As many people don’t know yet, Bailey’s released a vegan almond-based liquor a couple years ago. I have been waiting patiently for it to hit local stores and I am finally giving it a try and posting a review! I mixed it with So Delicious coconut milk eggless nog and topped it with coconut whipped cream and cinnamon. I also stirred cinnamon and nutmeg into the drink mixture itself to add flavor.

My Review!

  • It has a pretty strong almond flavor, which some may like and some may not, but it meshes very well with the eggless nog, making it taste more like an Original Bailey’s and nog drink.
  • Unlike the Original Bailey’s, the almande liquor leaves a sweet aftertaste in your mouth, so again, I recommend adding extra spice to tame the sugary aftertaste.
  • Its consistency is on the thin side. It’s not as creamy as the Original Bailey’s, but again, if mixing it with eggless nog, that will help thicken it up.

Overall, I think it’s a great holiday drink mixer. I wish that Bailey’s would have instead used coconut milk as a base because it’s naturally creamier and has a lighter taste. Hopefully, this is only the first of many cream-based liquors to be released by Bailey’s.

 

Merry Christmas and drink responsibly!

Bailey’s Almande Store Locator

❤ Melissa


 

Vegan Peppermint Marshmallows

Dandies peppermint marshmallows to top my mocha.

Merry Christmas Eve!!

Today is a pretty low-key day. While my brother and sister go and spend the day honoring Christmas with their other side of the family, my mom and I are catching up on last-minute gift wrapping and are beginning to prep food for our family gathering tomorrow. This morning, I figured I would kick off the day with a super festive peppermint mocha, which is one of my go-to latte flavors, regardless of whether or not it’s the season for it. This time, however, I topped it off with more peppermint – VEGAN PEPPERMINT MARSHMALLOWS!

Now some of you may be wondering why marshmallows aren’t normally plant-based. Well, typically marshmallows are manufactured to contain gelatin…eww. If you don’t know why gelatin is gross, I highly suggest you read up on it.

Thankfully, gelatin is easily substituted in any foods that usually contain it. Dandies, which is sold at all of the Whole Foods and many other natural food stores, will meet all of your marshmallowy needs without the gross animal bi-products.

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I am going to get back to enjoying my peppermint mocha, so I hope you all have a lovely Christmas Eve. And if you are stopping by Whole Foods for last min holiday shopping, don’t forget your Dandies!

Dandies Locator

❤ Melissa


 

Yoga in the Park – Chicago

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Hey everyone!

This past fall I visited Chicago, one of my favorite US cities, and my friend that lives there suggested we try out yoga at the zoo. I was like “what is that???” I really had no idea what to expect and I had only taken a few vinyasa flow classes in the past. What it turned out to be was vinyasa yoga outside of the Lincoln Park Zoo, under a somewhat enclosed beehive-looking art structure, called none other than “The Honeycomb.”

There were no captive zoo animals surrounding us as one might expect — they were housed in a separate area of the park. Other than a few spiders dangling above us from the wooden combs, it was a pretty cool and relaxing experience being outdoors surrounded by the Chicago River and natural flora and fauna. Not to mention, it has one of the most picturesque views of the Chicago Skyline. Whether or not you are a yogi (I am certainly not), it’s definitely worth checking out.

The Zoo/NatureWalk isn’t the only place to experience outdoor yoga in Chicago; check out the link below for a full list, including yoga on the lawn of Millennium Park.

Outdoor Yoga in Chicago

❤ Melissa