Easy Vegan Blueberry Muffins

Happy Monday!

I’ve been up to so much lately, working, (binging TV shows on Netflix) and planning last-minute details for my upcoming trip to Greece with the bf. I am beyond excited as it’s a dream come true for me. I’ve been daydreaming about visiting Greece since I was about 12 or 13.

After years of dreaming and postponing, I decided to finally make it happen. My boyfriend and I saved up for a few months, set the time aside and after all this anticipation, we are nearly off!! We will be island hopping, staying in a mix of hotels and Airbnbs. From what I’ve researched, Greece is pretty vegan friendly. Lots of fresh vegetables, salads, fruits, hummus, falafel etc. So I’m not too worried about going hungry! I’m also going to take lots of pictures and put together a guide for eating vegan in Greece based on my experiences.

But in the midst of all this planning, I’ve also been cooking up (and eating) a storm. The best of the bunch has been these vegan blueberry banana muffins that came out super fluffy, tasty and are filled with fresh blueberries that turn gooey as you bake them, exploding like candy in your mouth.

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This recipe only calls for half a cup of sugar but the sweetness in the banana more than makes up for it. I don’t like things too sweet to be honest, and I can fool myself into thinking these are healthy because there’s not a ton of sugar in there, right? Also, the mashed banana replaces the need for oil, another win. Even without oil, these muffins came out moist (how much did that word make you cringe?) – not dry at all.

These muffins are perfect for breakfast or a quick snack.

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I noshed on one during my break at work yesterday.

I hope you give this recipe a try. If you do, please let me know how they turn out. This is definitely going to be my go-to muffin recipe from now on. Next time I will try them with nuts and shredded carrots. Nom, nom, nom.

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A quick breakfast. Veg sausage strips, avocado, muffins and fruit.

Easy Vegan Blueberry Muffins

  • Servings: 8-9
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 medium ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup of fresh blueberries
  • 1 flax egg
  • 1 tsp of white vinegar
  • half cup of unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • half a cup of sugar

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Prepare flax egg. (Mix one tablespoon ground flaxseed with three tablespoons of water. Mix and set aside until it congeals, about ten minutes.)
  3. Peel banana. In a small bowl, mash it with a fork until it resembles pudding and set aside.
  4. Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl and whisk together.
  5. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and then add flax egg and wet ingredients. Mix well to combine with a spoon, but do not over mix. Fold in blueberries.
  6. Line muffin tin with nine paper cups and fill each one. If you have remaining cups, fill them with one or two tablespoons of water to ensure even baking.
  7. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until tops are brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Enjoy!

Adapted from https://www.inspiredtaste.net/18982/our-favorite-easy-blueberry-muffin-recipe/

What I ate today (vegan)

So it’s hot as Hades’ undercarriage and I’m legit melting. I mean I love summer and all (July baby) but this heat wave is making it hard to live. All I want to do is stay inside with the air-conditioner cranked on high all day. But the unit in my tiny apartment can’t keep up with these demon rays Satan is sending up from hell. Normally I don’t even like a/c and can make do with a stand fan or a ceiling fan, but not this year. Fuck you climate change.

I guess the one benefit of this sweltering heat is it has me craving simple raw foods. I’m not a raw vegan though one day I aspire to live a mostly raw vegan lifestyle. But right now, me and cooked food are like Donald Trump and Twitter, can’t function without it but we definitely need less of it.

For the past few days I have incorporated more raw meals in my life. Smoothies for breakfast and lush salads with homemade dressing and avocado for lunch. Fruit and nuts for snacks. Those were fine in the daytime but after a brutal workday, I wanted rice, potatoes, cooked veggies, maybe some mock meat. Simple things really. I think I ate rawtil4 style for about four days this week including today, which is a real accomplishment. I work in a pretty cold office and I’m there for about ten hours a day sometimes, so the temptation to eat warm foods and sugary coffee is high.

But today, I’m hot, tired and fighting a cold, so I want to eat whatever takes the least amount of time to prepare.

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Breakfast was a kale smoothie with frozen banana and pineapple chunks, Ripple non-dairy milk and a teaspoon of my Vita Mineral super greens powder. I always buy lots of bananas, wait until they get black and speckled then store them in a glass Pyrex dish in the freezer. I was lucky to score a ripe pineapple yesterday, ate half of it and cut the rest into chunks then froze them. Cheaper than buying the frozen fruit from the store and you really can’t have a smoothie without frozen fruit. (Fight me if you don’t agree.)

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Lunch was two mangoes I picked up from the farmer’s market today. They were super sweet, the kind that leaves fiber stuck in your teeth and tasted like heaven. Nothing beats a Bahamian mango, let me tell you. The imported ones in the store can’t compare. The best way to eat a mango is to tear into the skin with your teeth and devour the flesh, letting the juice run down your face and hands. It may not be Instagram pretty, but it’s so satisfying.

I also had a coffee with sugar and non-dairy creamer after waking up from a nap with a headache. For some reason the coffee helped. I’m a coffee addict who normally drinks about three cups during the workweek and one or two on weekends. This week, I think I’ve only had three or four cups of coffee in total. Progress!

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My plating skills are horrible!

Dinner was a vegetable roll and a sweet potato roll from this Japanese restaurant that’s down the street from me. Added a few slices of avocado. I also ate some of my boyfriend’s side of rice with some more avocado (not pictured). Here’s a tip to jazz up vegan sushi, I sprinkle Bragg’s Sea Kelp seasoning to my soy sauce to give it a “fishy” taste. I love the stuff.

I had intentions of cooking for dinner, but as the day wore on, my head cold got worse. Plus, who can say no to sushi? This is no indication of how I eat everyday, trust me I eat more than this but today I’m feeling sick and wanted what was quick and easiest. I’m hoping to go to bed early and wake up early for some yoga. I’ve slacked on my exercise the last few weeks, again, the heat has had me tuckered out and not in the mood for high intensity exercise. But yoga feeds my soul.

How are you coping in this heat?

Peace and light xox

 

6 Tips For Dating a Non-Vegan

Confession time.

I’m a vegan living with a non-vegan. My kitchen is not vegan because my boyfriend sometimes chooses to purchase meat, eggs and dairy. Although he doesn’t cook often, and actually loves most of my vegan meals, there are times when I can’t cook for him and he makes a meat or dairy laden meal for himself.

When we first started dating I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian, so having eggs or milk in the house was not a problem. I even cooked meat for him in the early stages of our relationship. About two years in, I transitioned to veganism. I could no longer deny the atrocities of the dairy industry and also the toll it had taken on my health. Due to my heavy consumption of dairy products, a high-stress job and lack of exercise, I was about 25 pounds overweight.

So I went vegan and never looked back. Although my boyfriend supports my lifestyle and ethics, eating vegan meals whenever I cook, he has not expressed a desire to go vegan himself. Due to my demanding job, I can’t cook all the time and he also chooses to eat meat and dairy when we go out.

It can be tricky navigating a vegan/non-vegan relationship and unless done tactfully, the differences can create a wedge. And because vegans are a minority, many of us plant-based eaters will end up dating or marrying an omnivore.

Here are my tips for making such a relationship work!

Dating

1. Be patient, not preachy
I think one of the biggest errors many new vegans (myself included) make is that we tend to evangelize our veganism to our loved ones, turning them off. While it is understandable that you will want to riddle off statistics and launch into a diatribe about the horrors of factory farming when you see your loved one eating or preparing animal products, that approach can do more harm than good when trying to win someone over to your side. What someone eats is a very personal thing and resentment can surface if they feel attacked each time they eat something they enjoy. Instead, talk up the benefits of veganism by saying how good you feel since you made the switch. Exercise and eat healthy so you can be an example even without saying a word. If they ask for advice, then explain why veganism is the best lifestyle. Remember, unless you were lucky enough to be raised vegan, you once were in their shoes and would not want to be attacked for doing what you see as normal.

2. Cook yummy traditional dishes with vegan replacements
A way I got my boyfriend to cut down on meat eating was just by using mock meats in dishes, such as meatless meatballs in spaghetti, vegan sausage with tofu scrambles for breakfast, or yummy vegan pancakes. Gardein and Field Roast make amazing mock meats. While I don’t think they should be eaten everyday, they are great to help people transition and eat less animal fat while enjoying the tastes they are familiar with. Curries are very popular in the Bahamas, but instead of chicken I use chickpeas and other veggies.

3. Offer to do more cooking and food shopping
Although I don’t have time to cook dinner every night like I would like, I do the bulk of food preparation in the house. My meals are generally healthy but tasty and that way my boyfriend is eating vegan more often than he is realizing. When shopping, I purchase vegan dairy products – the new options like Good Karma flax milk, Silk soy creamer and Daiya vegan cheeses taste so much like the real thing, they satisfy vegan and non-vegan taste buds alike. Nearly every week new vegan options are popping up in my supermarket, making it even easier for those of us outside the United States to not feel deprived.

4. Ask them to watch a documentary with you
As I said earlier, what someone eats is a personal thing. We connect food to our childhood, happy memories, our cultural identity. An omnivore may think giving up meat or dairy means changing who they are. Additionally, many people do not realize the Standard American Diet, which has spread to many other countries including mine, is detrimental to their health. By exposing your loved one to documentaries like What the Health, Earthlings or the Netlflix movie Okja, it can help open their eyes to the benefits of veganism.

5. Don’t expect change overnight
When you become vegan, it’s understandable to get angry when others around you do not become immediately enlightened and give up meat and dairy. Some people will make a connection right away once they start eating plant-based meals and see how much better they feel. They may want to eschew animal products right away after watching videos of animal cruelty. Others will be stubborn and can take years to make the switch. If you love the person, I suggest being patient and accepting them. Remember, you are planting a seed that undoubtedly will sprout someday.

6. Don’t compromise your ethics
Last but not least, do not be forced into compromising your ethics. While I understand my partner has the freedom to eat and purchase what he wants, I do not purchase animal products for him. Although he sometimes gets irritated, I just state calmly that I do not want my dollars going towards these items nor do I want to pick them up in the store. But he is free to do so if he wishes. I think the best way to cohabit with someone on a different spectrum than you is to respect their beliefs and that swings both ways. If the person you are with is frequently pushing you to do something you don’t feel comfortable with and not respecting your boundaries, then it is time to reevaluate the relationship.