Watermelon Smoothie

A snapshot from four years ago by my brother Jay (dview.us)

Watermelon is one of my favorite summer treats. I just love it.

I also love smoothies. So why not combine the two? (Thanks Kathy for the inspiration.)

This one-serving smoothie is light and sweet. The maple syrup is optional, but definitely takes this smoothie to the next level.

Happy Summer!

Watermelon Smootihe

Watermelon Smoothie
Prep time
Total time
vegan, soy-free & dairy-free
Yield: 1 Serving
  • ½ cup frozen cubed watermelon (see Notes below)
  • ½ ripe banana
  • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 Tbs maple syrup (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  1. Blend all ingredients together (I use a Nutri-Bullet, but a regular blender would work too). Enjoy!
I like to chop the watermelon into small cubes and freeze it in plastic bags. Make sure to pick out the black seeds before freezing.

A Passover Treat: Matzo Candy

A special treat for every Passover is matzo candy.

Matzo Candy

Another classic around here is the matzo song: 20 Things to Do With Matzah (Yeah, it’s silly.)

I have yet to try the matzo tea that the song suggests…

But I can vouch for this matzo candy.

Matzo Candy

This is a healthier version of the typical matzo candy recipe, but I like it more than any of my previous attempts. It features honey instead of sugar, and coconut oil instead of butter. It’s unleavened deliciousness for sure!

Matzo Candy
An unleavened, dairy-free, and delicious Passover treat
  • 3-4 salted matzo squares (I used 3½)
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, divided
  • ¼ cup roasted peanuts
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Stir in the honey and vanilla until combined.
  2. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the matzo squares on the tray, breaking them as needed to fit.
  3. Coat both sides of each matzo piece in the honey mixture and place on the parchment paper.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. The caramel should be bubbling on the tray and the matzo golden. Be careful not to overcook.
  5. Sprinkle ¼ cup of chocolate chips (or more!) on the matzo pieces. Let sit for 5 minutes. Spread the melted chocolate evenly on the matzo.
  6. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup of chocolate chips and peanuts if desired. (I like to spread the chocolate chips around a bit to coat them in the melted chocolate and then sprinkle on the peanuts.)
  7. Place in the freezer or refrigerator until the chocolate is hardened.
  8. Break in pieces and store in the refrigerator.

Frozen Strawberry Crumb Bars

This scrumptious dessert features strawberries, homemade whipped cream, and a nutty crumb topping. Frozen Strawberry Crumb Bars It tastes similar to strawberry ice cream. But even my mom who happens to not like strawberry ice cream likes it. So maybe that makes it better than strawberry ice cream.

Whatever the case, it’s a sweet and refreshing spring treat.

Frozen Strawberry Crumb Bars
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 Tbs sucnanat (or brown sugar)
  • 6 Tbs softened butter
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups frozen strawberries, partly thawed and sliced in half
  • 1 cup honey granules (or sugar)
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  1. Stir together the flour, finely chopped walnuts, and sucanat. Mix in the butter 2 Tbs at a time. (I do this with my hands.) Spread loosely on a jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes (be careful not to burn). Stir and let cool.
  2. Whip the heavy cream and vanilla until fluffy. Set aside.
  3. Beat the strawberries, honey granules, and lemon juice until mostly smooth (about 5 minutes). Fold in the whipped cream.
  4. Spread half the crumb mixture on the base of a 9" by 13" dish. Pour on the strawberry filling, and top with the remaining crumb mixture. Freeze and serve.

Light Lemon Cheesecake

Spring is coming.

Are you as excited as I am? I hardly have the right to complain about cold weather. But even in Alabama, this winter has been quite cold. We got a few inches of snow altogether here in our little town (that’s quite a bit for us).

Two Inches of Snow (1/28/14)
Two Inches of Snow (1/28/14)

Winter has its advantages–cute jackets, boots, scarves, occasional snowstorms, etc. But I’m looking forward to spring. Daffodils are blooming, the grass is slowly turning green, days are growing longer, and the weather is turning blissful once again.

Life is good.

And so is this lemon cheesecake. It tastes of spring–sweet, tangy, and light all mixed together. I imagine you could substitute lime juice for the lemon juice to create a scrumptious key-lime cheesecake. (I’ve got to try that sometime!)

Thankfulness #1,874: Light Lemon Cheesecake
Thankfulness #1,874: Light Lemon Cheesecake

Light Lemon Cheesecake
  • ½ cup whole almonds
  • ½ cup flaked coconut
  • ½ cup graham cracker crumbs (about 4 graham crackers)
  • 2 Tbs honey granules (or sugar)
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 12 oz cream cheese, softened and cut into pieces
  • ⅔ cup honey granules (or sugar)
  • Juice of 2 lemons (about ½ cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Place the almonds and coconut in a food processor and chop until fine.
  2. Add graham cracker crumbs, 2 Tbs honey granules, maple syrup, and salt; process until combined.
  3. Press into the base of a 8″ by 8″ dish.
  4. Whip the heavy cream with an electric mixer until fluffy.
  5. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
  6. Pour over the crust and chill for several hours before serving.


Apple Tortilla Pie

Have I ever mentioned that I love Mexican food? Well, I do. So much so, that I even allow tortillas to infiltrate my apple pies. But don’t worry, it’s a good infiltration.

Apple Tortilla Pie

The result is this delicious layered apple pie that’s simple and not too sweet. I like throwing it together, whenever I have leftover whole wheat tortillas on hand, and serving it warm. I’ve yet to have a scoop of vanilla ice cream to accompany it–it’s tough living in an ice cream free home!–but it’s still good without it. I can’t complain.

Apple Tortilla Pie
Yield: 8 servings
  • 4 Tbs butter
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • ½ cup sucanat (or brown sugar)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 cups peeled and chopped apples
  • 3 whole wheat flour tortillas (I use this recipe)
  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients (except apples and tortillas) and stir until combined.
  2. Reserve a few tablespoons of the sauce for later. Stir in the chopped apples.
  3. Grease a 9" pie pan. Place a tortilla in the base of the pan. Layer on ½ of the apple filling. Place the second tortilla on top. Layer on the remaining apple filling and top with the third tortilla. Spread the reserved sauce on top of the tortilla.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until bubbly and the apples are tender.
  5. Serve warm or cooled.

Double Chocolate Muffins

These vegan Double Chocolate Muffins–spiced with vanilla, coconut, and banana–are moist and delicious!

It was almost nine o’clock at night. The perfect time to whip together a batch of chocolate muffins, right? Well, that’s what I thought the other night as I started jotting down a rough draft of the recipe. (Am I the only one that likes to write “first drafts” of recipes and then “edit” them until I’m pleased? Sigh…I guess I write too much.)

My first objective was to create slightly sweet chocolate muffins for breakfast. The first try was a success. The muffins were moist and great for a light snack or breakfast. The next objective: chocolate dessert muffins. I added extra sweetener and more chocolate chips (why not?), and the end result was an extra moist and delightfully richer dessert version. I’ve shown how to make both kinds in the recipe below. Either way, they’re good, it just depends on your preference.

Double Chocolate Muffins

  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 heaping Tbsp of ground flaxseed (or more flour)
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large ripe banana (or 1 1/2 small bananas)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup sucanat (or 3/4 cup for dessert muffins)
  • 2 tsp vanilla (increase  to 1 Tbsp if using regular almond milk)
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips (or 1/2 cup for dessert muffins)

Whisk together the flour, cocoa, flaxseed, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, puree the banana with a mixer. In a small saucepan melt the coconut oil over medium-low heat. Once the oil is melted, stir in the sucanat, almond milk, and vanilla. Heat until warm (not hot). Pour into the bowl with the mashed banana and mix until combined. Blend in the flour mixture until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with muffin liners. Pour the batter evenly into the cups. Bake at 375 for 15-17 minutes or until the tops are set (they should feel springy but not gooey). Cool a few minutes in the pan before removing the muffins from the tin and placing them on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or cooled.

makes 1 dozen

Chocolate-Covered Oranges

Oranges and chocolate–two of my favorite flavors–are combined to make this quick, delicious, and healthy snack.


  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 orange, peeled and segmented


Arrange the orange segments on a parchment covered dish. Place in the freezer for a few minutes. Meanwhile melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Roll each orange segment in the melted chocolate until coated and place back on the parchment paper covered dish. You may need to melt more chocolate chips and coconut oil depending on the size of the orange and how thickly you coat the segments. Place back in the freezer uncovered for about 15 minutes or until the chocolate is hardened. Serve. Store leftovers (if there are any!) in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Pecan Streusel Muffins

Here you have it–flavorful whole wheat muffins topped with cinnamon pecan streusel. Slightly sweet and largely delicious!


  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup honey granules (or sugar)
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch of nutmeg

Cream the butter, applesauce, buttermilk, honey granules, vanilla and eggs. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Line 16 muffins cups with paper liners. Pour the batter evenly into the cups.


  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 Tbs whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tbs sucanat (or brown sugar)
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs butter, melted

Stir together the streusel ingredients. Top the muffins with the streusel and press it gently into the batter. Bake at 400 degrees for 13-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean and edges are golden. Let cool for a few minutes before removing the muffins from the muffin tins. Serve warm (slathered with butter), or cooled. Either way they’re delicious!

Makes 16 muffins

Pumpkin Pie

Happy Hanukkah and Thanksgiving!


3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I used freshly milled soft white wheat)
1/4 cup honey granules
1 tsp salt
2 sticks cold butter, cut into small cubes
4 Tbs ice water

In a processor, place the flour, honey granules, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add the cubed butter and pulse. I like to add half the butter, pulse, then pulse in the rest of the butter. With motor running, pour the water in 1 Tbs at a time. The dough will be soft. Divide the dough in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate while you make the filling.


2 (15 oz) cans pumpkin
2 cups honey granules (or sugar)
1/2 cup ground rolled oats
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 Tbs cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp salt
1 cup almond milk
4 eggs

In a mixer, blend the pumpkin, honey granules, ground oats, ground flaxseed, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. Add the almond milk and eggs and mix until combined. Roll the dough out on a floured surface and place in two 9″ pie pans (or press the dough into the pan). Divide the filling evenly in the 2 pies. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes  then reduce the heat to 350 and bake for 25-30 more minutes. The crust will be crispy, and the pie will feel set when touched. Let cool. Serve with whipped cream if desired.

Whipped Cream:

1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup honey granules
1 tsp vanilla

Place the mixer bowl and beaters in the freezer for about 10 minutes to cool. With mixer assembled, add the whipped cream, honey granules, and vanilla in the mixer and beat until thick and airy (this will take a few minutes). Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.

makes two 9″ pies

Vegan Chocolate Milk

Here is a simple and yummy vegan rendition of chocolate milk. :)


1 cup almond milk, or other non-dairy milk*
1 frozen banana
2 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder


Blend all ingredients in a blender (I use a Nutri-Bullet) and serve!

Makes 2 servings.

*Note: I love the creamy texture I get when I use 1/2 cup canned coconut milk and 1/2 cup almond milk.