Monday, September 29, 2014

Fat Free Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Hello there!  So glad you dropped by!

I got some inspiration from this blog to create my own version of healthy pumpkin cinnamon rolls.  I simply combined her ideas with a simple bread dough, took out all fat and viola!  Delicious, hot out of the oven, knock your socks off...oh you'll just have to try them for yourself pumpkin cinnamon rolls.

Ok enough of that's the recipe: (Makes about 12-14 rolls)

For the dough:
  • 2 1/2 c flour (white, wheat, gluten free, rye, etc.)
  • 1 t salt (optional)
  • 1 c warm water (baby bottle temp)
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1 packet dry yeast
    • or you can swap the water and yeast for a sourdough starter if you have one!!
  1. If you are using yeast, dissolve the sugar and yeast in the warm water and let rest for 5-10 minutes or until foamy.
  2. Place the flour and salt (if using) in a large mixing bowl...or if you are not messy like me, you can skip the bowl and do this right on the counter top!  Add the yeasty water and stir until well combined.
  3. Depending on the temperature and humidity in your home, feel free to add either more water if too dry or more flour if too sticky until a nice soft dough is formed. 
  4. Turn out onto your counter and knead for 5 minutes until the dough feels smooth and elastic.
  5. Let this bundle of joy rest, covered with a tea towel, over night or for at least an hour until it has doubled in size.
For the filling:
  • 1 can organic pumpkin (or about 12 oz fresh pumpkin puree)
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c granulated sugar (or any sugar choice combination you like)
  • 2 T ground cinnamon
    • Now that you are salivating at the thought of these for breakfast, there are still a few more steps.  I promise, it will be wirth it!
    • Mix the filling ingredients together, then preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
The assembly!!
  1. When the dough is ready, roll out to 1/4" thickness, or as thin/thick as you'd like really.
  2. Layer generously with the filling, feel free to add any additional items like chopped pecans, dried fruit, or other spices at this time!
  3. Now, here's the tough part.  Gently roll the dough lengthwise until all the dough is rolled and no filling is seeping out.
  4. Take some string or mint-free, unused dental floss and make 2" pieces by sliding the string under the dough, then crossing the two ends opposite each other and pulling gently...(here is the time to definitely watch the video, I apologize if this completely confused you!)
  5. Place each roll on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Slide into the oven and wait 20 more minutes until those golden gooey goddess of goodness are finished and ready for you to devour!
  7. When they are done, carefully take them out of the oven, letting them rest 5 minutes after all that hard work.  Douse with some vegan frosting if you'd rather this not be fat free and enjoy with loved ones!!
Although this is not the prettiest picture, the taste is out of this world! The reason for the sloppiness is that I was too impatient (no...not me!!) and I rolled out the dough without making sure to flip it and keep it floured as not to stick.  Well, needless to say, it was a sticky mess when I tried rolling it, so it did not roll well.  

I will definitely be making these again (I've already made them twice since I got the inspiration for this recipe from this website!! Obviously, I changed a few things to make this a pumpkin cinnamon roll, but it was the easiest bread recipe I have ever found and used!

Let me know if you try it/ would like to try it and leave a comment on your thoughts!

Enjoy life!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Weekend Fun!

Hi there!  The words in this post are going to be at a minimum because I want the pictures to speak for themselves.  That being said, I will give you a quick run down of the busy, but fun, weekend Andrew and I had!  On Saturday, after my yoga class in which I led the class through 50 sun salutations...Andrew and I went to Essencia Yoga Wellness Center in Wheaton where I led students of all capabilities through 108 sun salutations, 30 minutes of restorative yoga, and 20 minutes of meditation!  I enjoyed it so much and got lots of great feedback from everyone!

Make sure to check out her YouTube page  as well as mine and Annie's  for yoga updates and ideas! 

After that Yoga Triathlon, we got to experience a gong bath which was quite a new experience for me!

On Sunday, Andrew and I got up early to get to the ALS walk at Soldier Field in Chicago.  Low and behold, it did not start until 10:30 am, so we walked around for 2 hours until the actual 2 mile walk started.

Yeah, we are children at heart...Played on the metal/rope Earth!

Andrew couldn't find the entrance so he crawled in...

Found the nice big opening after the fact...!
My turn!  Climbing above the entrance to use the top opening.

Finally time for the walk!

I hope you had a great weekend!  Let me know in the comments if you did anything to celebrate the first days of fall!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Wedding Update #2

Good afternoon wonderful friends!

I am here to bring you some updates on the wedding planning progress...woah, that's a mouthful!

Things are going so well in the realm of wedding planning, that it is almost unnecessary for me to share it with you; but don't worry...I will anyways!

Before we begin, make sure to read or re-read this post so I don't have to retype repeat myself :)

Ok, all set?  Good.  This shouldn't take too long.

1. We have all of our bridal party set!  The girls have their dresses picked out, but we have not decided on what the guys will be wearing.  Andrew seems to be unable to decide on whether he wants tux or suit and then the color.  I think I'll have to round up some ideas and have him just pick one. ha!

2. I am working on accessories and decorations for the ceremony and reception.  Since we have until the spring, it is kind of hard to get too set on one thing because, if you are anything like me, your ideas change weekly!  I do, however, have a pretty good idea of what it will look like, now it is just about finding the right things and pulling it all together after the holidays.

3. We got a wax sealing stamp!  I have wanted one of these for the longest time, but never had a real reason to get one.  Until now!  We will be sending out our invitations in December and will be using the red sealing wax to (obviously) seal the envelope, so I will be sure to post a picture or two when that happens!!

4.  Our wedding website is all ready to be published once we send out our invites.  Each guest will get the link and that is how we will be keeping track of who can make it and such.  For any new brides out there...I highly suggest It is so easy to use and you can keep track of everything.  It even gives you a tentative schedule to go by as you plan for your day!

Well, that's pretty much it.  I have done more than I thought since the last time I gave you an update, which is really good!

Keep enjoying life!

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Raw Vegan Doughnut Holes

Howdy friends!  I told you in this post about an easy, quick and delicious snack idea.  It was #9 on the list, but every one will love it; especially because you can switch up ingredients to make it appeal to your loved ones.

These little guys are perfect to pack in a lunch box, in a bag as an on the go breakfast/snack, or even paired with a cup of warm tea.  After all, we have to start thinking about keeping warm with these crisp mornings and cool evenings just around the corner!


  • 1 cup rolled oats, split into two half cups
  • 1 T natural peanut butter
  • 1 T natural jam

  • Place 1/2 c rolled oats in a blender or food processor and pulse until a flour-like consistency is formed.
  • In a bowl, add the oat flour to the whole rolled oats.  Then add the peanut butter and jam.  Stir well, adding 1t water at a time as needed.
  • Roll into ping-pong sized balls and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to firm up.  I know, I know that's a long time to wait for such a yummy treat, but I promise this step makes it worth the wait.
  • Enjoy with friends and family!!  (well...maybe...)
These little bites are great to pack in kids' (or husbands') lunches or as an after school/work/pre-workout snack.

You can also swap any ingredients that you love.  For example, instead of peanut butter, use any nut butter or even dates!  Note:  if you do use dates, be sure to soak them and blend the whole mixture in a food processor or blender.

Other combos to try can be found in next week's allergy friendly granola bars recipe!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Back to School Snacks

This time of year always puts me in an extraordinary mood!  The cool mornings, warm and sunny afternoons, and evenings with the best sunsets!  I get more inspired now than any other time of year (including January 1st)!  So, in honor of going back to school, work, internships, or simply a change of seasons, here is a list of my top 10 go-to snacks:

These are all good for mid-morning, mid-afternoon, as a side, or midnight snack (not that we ever do that...)

Top 10 Snacks: 

10. Nuts or Seeds

9. Raw Donut Holes (recipe coming soon!)

8. Kale chips

7. Oatmeal with dried fruit

6. Cold noodles (brown rice are my fave!) with any sauce you'd like (I opt for low fat/sodium marinara, hot sauce, or tahini with lemon juice)

5.  Allergy Friendly Granola bars (recipe also coming soon!!)

4. Smoothie (strawberry banana, banana chocolate chip, pineapple peach banana, the possibilities are endless!!!)

3. Veggie sticks and hummus- celery and carrots with low fat, low sodium hummus is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up

2. Nana Ice Cream- 3+ frozen bananas, water, vanilla extract; blend and eat!

1. Fruit!!- from bananas and apples to gooey dates, fruit is easy to carry with you and you need nothing but your hands and mouth to enjoy it!

So there you have it, my top 10 favorite snacks for morning to evening!  I generally gravitate towards the top 5, but all of them are good to change things up and add in new flavors/nutrients.

Be sure to subscribe so you can see my next 2 recipe posts mentioned above!  They will be posted within the month.