Coconut Flavored Scones

Breakfast, Desserts | March 17, 2016 | By

Coconut Flavored Scones

When I was in Ireland, there wasn’t a day I didn’t indulge in a scone. A mix between crumbly pastry and dense cake, scones were the quintessential food item that just screamed “Irish” to me. So, what better thing to share on St. Patrick’s Day than my take on the traditional scone: Coconut Flavored Scones.

Though my research shows that scones are not native to Ireland (Scotland claims to be the home of the scone), someone obviously forgot to tell the Irish people that since scones are available on almost every breakfast menu, bakery counter and even convenient store. And, even if you ate one every day, you would hardly get tired of them — they come in almost every flavor combination available. My favorites were baked with cherries and other seasonal berries; they were so delicious I almost want to go back just so I can buy more cherry/berry scones.

Now that vacation is over, I’ve gone back to something that more closely resembles my normal diet — restricting my sugar intake, increasing my veggies and all-around trying to eat more healthy. This means, no more Irish scones — full of butter, whole milk and refined white flour.

That’s where this coconut flavored scone recipe comes into play. I replaced the white flour with whole wheat, sour cream for yogurt and swapped out the butter for coconut oil. To add an extra coconut taste, I performed my final swap: replacing whole milk with coconut milk.

Coconut oil is like the champion of superfoods. Not only is it great for your heart and can assist in things like weight loss, it also makes your kitchen smell amazing when you cook with it and your body feel great when you use it as a body lotion or hair mask for a little extra TLC. I always try to buy organic to make sure that none of this superfood’s superpowers are lost to things like pesticides or additives used to improve shelf life. After all, what’s the point of using a superfood if you are going to cancel all the goodness out with junk? (If you are interested in swapping some of your kitchen ingredients for coconut oil, check out this link here for a free 15 oz jar of organic Nutiva Coconut Oil from Thrive Market. Listen to me when I say Hailey and I wouldn’t just recommend anything unless we wholeheartedly believed in it. Thrive Market’s mission is very similar to our own — to make organic, healthy living easy. Now how could we not stand behind that?)

Anyways…back to the coconut flavored scones. Even after all the swaps, the scones came out even better than some of its Irish rivals. Better yet, I don’t have to feel as guilty indulging in one of these every once in a while.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Cheers!

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Baked Eggs With Leeks and Spinach

Breakfast | January 12, 2016 | By

Baked Eggs With Leeks and Spinach

Happy (slightly belated) New Year! The first few days of 2016 brought non-stop rain to California, and I LOVED IT. The weather made me want to pull out all my warmest sweaters, light candles and curl up with a good book. Oh, and make these baked eggs over and over again.

Baked eggs is one of those breakfast dishes that looks like it takes a lot of time and effort to prepare, but in actual reality only takes a few minutes to whip up. The “wow factor” is only one perk. The incredible flavor is the other. The leeks and shallots add a mild, almost sweet onion taste that pairs wonderfully with the creamy yogurt and tangy dill. Just writing about this dish makes me want to immediately go to my kitchen and whip up another batch of baked eggs. 

Though this dish is really simple to make, you still want to keep an eye on your eggs. Once in the oven, your eggs get a “glossed over” look, so you might not be able to tell if they are fully cooked. I prefer my eggs on the runny side, so I like to bake them for approximately 6 minutes at 400 degrees F; if you want a well done egg, leave in the oven for a couple more minutes.

Cheers! 

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Maple Spice Granola

Breakfast, Pantry Staples | October 7, 2015 | By

Maple Spice Granola

Oh, man! I wish you could smell my kitchen right now. It smells like heaven!

Surprising enough, for someone who loves baking and most sweet things, I’ve never tested my hand at making granola. But the other day, I was sitting around with some friends and a bottle of wine (or two) and the subject of breakfast came up. (They all like to eat as much as me, so it’s obvious we get along). Two of them said that their go-to breakfasts involved yogurt, and one of them said she couldn’t imagine breakfast without her mom’s homemade granola. I’m more of an eggs and toast person myself, but the more that they talked about homemade granola, I knew I just had to try it.

Since I’m in love with this time of year, I decided to make a granola that matched the season. All the ingredients I used I had on hand, meaning that you know I’ll be making this one again.

Cheers!

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Chocolate Cherry Espresso Smoothie

Breakfast, Drinks | April 14, 2015 | By

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I’m not sure about you, but emerging from winter this year is going to be tough. I’m starting to get nervous about removing all of my layers and showing my hot new NYC bod…a body built from the accumulation of all of the wonderful treats NYC has to offer. In other words, I’m not exactly at my best right now.

 As I’ve mentioned before, this was my first real winter. Never before have I had this problem, since in LA you can be in shorts all year round. But the sun is coming out, and now is the time to get in shape. (Sidenote- this is partially why I haven’t been posting as much on this blog, but it can also be attributed to laziness!). I will be quitting my job in the next 6 weeks and embarking on a 2 month summer trip before enrolling in a full-time MBA program in August. This means swimsuits—lots of swimsuits! From the Full Moon Party in Koh Samui to Santorini to Ultra Europe in Croatia, the pressure is on.

 I will begin my journey with Cathy and some other college friends in Thailand. We will be leaving for Thailand on May 27th, and that is the timeline I’ve set for myself to eat super healthy and keep up my gym kick. This means the recipes I will post until then will be much more on the healthy side. My goal is to eliminate (but realistically minimize) carbs and refined sugar for at least the next month! Wish me luck…

This recipe was inspired by a smoothie I often get at Equinox after a workout. I love it because it has coffee and sort of reminds me of a frappaccino, but way healthier and without refined sugar. It makes the perfect breakfast after an early morning workout. Chocolate and cherry also happens to be one of my favorite combinations, so I hope you enjoy!

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Chocolate Cherry Espresso Smoothie

3/4 Cup Chilled Coffee

1/2 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

1 Frozen Banana

1/2 Cup Frozen Cherries

1 Tbsp Peanut or Almond Butter

1 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder

3-4 Ice Cubes

Optional: 1 Tsp Honey

Directions:

Blend all ingredients together in a blender and enjoy!Cherry 6

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Easy Cinnamon Yogurt Scones

Breakfast, Desserts | February 17, 2015 | By

IMG_0081Greetings from frigid New York City. Last week I was in LA enjoying refreshing acai bowls in the 85 degree sunshine, and now it’s back to hibernating inside. (At least I have an excuse for tea and scones :/) Living in NYC for the past 7 months has been an absolute whirlwind. I haven’t felt bored, lonely or even nostalgic for my former life for even a second. Yet, going on a last-minute week-long trip to LA for work was unexpectedly difficult. I saw West LA from  a visitor’s perspective for the first time, and I felt the essence of a magical vacation land that doesn’t exist in real life. Granted, I happened to go during an anomaly of a week where temperatures reached the high-80’s, and I think I forgot that it’s not always like this in February. I had forgotten what it feels like to wake up to shining sun (NYC is overcast every day in winter, it seems), and how happy something as simple as waking up to bright day light can make me feel. I went on a short run outside one day and can barely describe how euphoric it felt to run amongst palm trees and feel the sun on my back. I felt pure joy, and kept thinking, “this used to be my life?”. I guess it’s just one of those things where the grass is always greener on the other side. Now that I’ve been back in NYC for two days, my mindset is Big Apple all-the-way.

Luckily I had the day off work for Presidents’ Day, giving myself another day to ease back into NYC winter. Because it was so cold, I treated myself to a cozy day indoors watching movies, catching up on work, and getting my life back together after being gone for a week for work. Sometimes we just need a lazy day to re-boot.

I’m trying to lay-low on the carbs these days, but winter calls for comfort food. Warm whole-wheat scones just sounded like the best addition to my holiday indoors. I really hope we don’t have too many more of these days, winter is starting to get rough for this California girl, especially when I just experienced what I’m missing.

I stumbled upon this recipe and was astonished how little butter (and sugar) these scones require compared to others I’ve made. The greek yogurt keeps them very light and fluffy, and low-cal despite their hearty, flaky taste. They’re also loaded with cinnamon, my favorite. The best thing about these scones is that they took me less than 30 minutes to prepare and bake, so they’re perfect for a quick weekend breakfast.

Bon Appétit!

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Easy Cinnamon Yogurt Scones (Recipe adapted from This Life Abundant)

2 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

1 Tbsp Baking Powder

3 Tbsp Sugar

1 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon

A Pinch of Salt

5 Tbsp Butter, unsalted and cold

1/2 Cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt

1/2 Cup + 2 Tbsp Milk of choice

Topping:

1 1/2 Tbsp Sugar

1/2 Tsp Cinnamon

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 425 Deg F. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cut butter into tiny pieces with a sharp knife. Press butter into flour mixture with a fork, or use your hands until combined. Place bowl in the fridge or freezer momentarily. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the milk and yogurt. Slowly combine the milk/yogurt mixture into the dry ingredient mixture using a spatula until no dry mixture remains. Knead dough into a ball.

Place ball on a lightly floured surface, and press into a flat round, about 1- 1 1/2 inches thick. With a sharp knife, cut the round into 8 pieces. Place the 8 slices onto a baking tray. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon for the topping, and sprinkle onto each slice. Bake for 13-15 minutes.

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