Coconut Brownie for One (vegan/low cal/low fat)

As a girl living on her own, without a family to feed, I’ve come to really appreciate single serve desserts. One, I don’t have to make a whole bunch of whatever it is I’m craving and then feel obligated to overeat because I don’t want it to go to waste. Two, in case the recipe doesn’t work, I don’t feel bad because I didn’t waste a whole lot of ingredients. And three, I don’t have to share ๐Ÿ˜‰
I’ve come to love coconut flour for its flavor. I’ve been craving something coconut-y… but I also wanted to use some more Arctic Zero as a topping. A combination of ice cream and cake is perfect. Obviously.
You would never guess this beautiful dessert is healthy. And the whole thing (WITH the ice cream) is under 250 calories. That’s the beauty of healthy baking. And the beauty of Arctic Zero ice cream which you can try to win if you enter in my giveaway. It’s worth it.
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I’ll eat a whole pint of ice cream just because I can! {giveaway} (CLOSED)

Well this would never happen. Realistically. I would never sit down with a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream and eat it in a sitting. Depressed or happy, I would just feel way too guilty afterwards. Have I done it before? Yes. Before I started my healthy living journey. Would I do it now? YES! But only because I don’t have to feel guilty about it anymore — not if I’m eating Arctic Zero apparently. In fact, I can now feel GOOD about eating a pint of ice cream.

I was skeptical when I first saw the product at the store. There is no way in hell a whole pint of ice cream could only be 150 calories. Well, not only that, it also is gluten-free, fat free, all natural and organic, with a low glycemic index, AND it has 14g of protein. WTF? Is this real life?ย Seriously, how is this thing possible? The product has GOT to taste weird. I mean, these claims are just too unreal. So what happens? I get a surprise and my freezer gets stocked with all flavors and two bars. I’m set for life the next few weeks. Arctic Zero team is clearly very confident in their product which lessened my sense of skepticism slightly. Now all I could do was try it out.

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Lifeway Kefir – my dearest love

I have a huge love for Lifeway kefir. It all started in 7th grade when I moved to the States. We drank kefir back in Poland quite often but I don’t remember the brand. Then we came here and started buying the Lifeway brand… these flavors are simply out of this world. They have such a huge variety of flavors, it’s ridiculous – it’s impossible not to find something you like, no matter how picky you might be. Kefir is slightly tart in flavor which is a perfect kick of freshness and complexity to this already delicious high-protein and high-probiotic drinkable “yogurt.” I talked about the benefits of kefir in one of my earliest posts and you’re welcome to check it out if you aren’t convinced of the amazeballs quality of this product yet. They should be paying me for how much I advocate and promote their product haha. Just kidding. Kinda. ๐Ÿ˜›

Anyway, when I moved to downtown Chicago for college, I came upon Starfruit Cafe. It’s a froyo shop except.. they use Lifeway kefir instead of yogurt. You can only imagine my excitement. I’ve been a frequent customer here ever since. Thank God for Groupon having deals on their giftcards sometimes or else I would be broke like a joke by now! haha


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Raspberry Mint Yogurt Bites

My parents’ garden is filled with raspberries. I love how easily they want to grow. Every day there is a ton of new ones ripening and they are simply delicious! No pesticides here, oh no. Why would we want to sacrifice taste to make sure a fruit is bug-free? Who cares if there’s a bug in there or if the raspberries come out big or small? I think flavor is what really matters in a delicious fruit.

Take non-organic strawberries for example – they barely taste like anything. Regular strawberries seem to have no flavor to me, similarly to many other berries as well as cherries. But try an organic berry and your world will be blown. The flavor is so intense and complex it simply bursts in your mouth and your tastebuds dance in joy as they have never danced before! Now that’s a celebration of fresh fruit!

Combining raspberries with fresh mint leaves seemed like a great idea. Adding yogurt to the mix, similarly how I did with the chocolate-covered yogurt bites a while back was the basis for the creation. This delicious snack does a great job at cooling you down on a hot summer day all while delivering important antioxidants and protein from the yogurt.

Gotta love quick (kinda) and easy summer desserts. This is why summer is my favorite. Nothing in the world beats fresh home berries. Yum!

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Pudding Filling and Chocolate Frosting (low calorie!)

Happy Father’s Day!

My dad is a huge fan of cream-based desserts. He loves all of those creamy fattening desserts such as eclairs, but is a sucker for Wuzetka, which is a Polish cake that has chocolate cake layers on top and bottom and in the middle it’s a very thick cream. He always buys that cake when they go grocery shopping in Polish deli stores. My mom hatess it. The cake is so fattening and it doesn’t really even taste all that good when it’s made in a store anyway. The way we remember it, from Poland, was much much better. Especially when it’s homemade.

Well I totally went off track. I’m not even making this cake for Father’s day. I don’t think my culinary experience is high enough to tackle this just yet. One day though, I might. A healthier version, of course. So for today, the cupcakes I made (of course it’s cupcakes, of course, haha) were inspired by Wuzetka.

It’s a deep chocolate cupcake with a homemade vanilla pudding filling and a chocolate frosting. While this dessert looks and tastes completely sinful, it really isn’t! Healthy chocolate frosting tastes just as good as the butter laden one, if not better, and it definitely makes you feel better about eating it guitlessly. The delicious creamy pudding filling is a wonderful contrast to the deep chocolatey cupcake. The outcome is simply wonderful.

Not one person could tell this cupcake had such incredible stats. A cupcake that has 4g of sugar? And only 120 calories for such an amazingly sinful-tasting treat! How’s that for “indulge without the bulge”?!

Now this is my take on a cream dessert – make cupcakes, and make them healthy ๐Ÿ™‚

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Strawberry Kiwi Quinoa Muffins

The other day, I went ahead and visited a nearby Farmer’s Market. I’ve been dying to check it out from all that you guys talk about how awesome they are – and how much cheaper all of the produce is! Unfortunately, as I talked about yesterday, the prices were not very competitive, they were actually quite a bit higher than I expected them to be. Not horrible of course, but higher than I thought. Plus there wasn’t as much stuff there as I expected to find either.

I did however find some amazingly flavorful organic strawberries. I paid $6 for a pint and I was in heaven – the flavor of these babies was just as good as the strawberries I remember from Poland. So much flavor in every bite, this sweetness, the delicate tartness… oh man, I just love berries. So much!

I had some kiwi left over from my recent grocery trip and I’ve been getting tired of eating them by themselves. So after mixing and matching with ideas and what I’ve seen all around I put all of the stuff I had together, including the unopened box of Quinoa flakes.

Strawberries, kiwi, and quinoa flakes. I bought the quinoa flakes 2 months ago because I found a cool recipe for it. But you know, what else is new, I lost the recipe. So the box has been sitting there unopened ever since. Until now, that is ๐Ÿ™‚ When these muffins were baking the whole apartment was filled with the aroma of strawberries and kefir. Such a nice fragnant scent.

I enjoyed a muffin with a glass of strawberry banana protein shake post workout ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh no, a strawberry is drowning!

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Chocolate Zucchini Protein Mini Muffins

I had some zucchinis laying around and I thought I would have time to cook with them, but unfortunately, I don’t think I will. I’m leaving the city on Saturday morning because of the NATO summit. There is no way I’m gonna be anywhere near here for this – everyone is saying it’s going to be crazy. Security and police is everywhere already and secret service and FBI are stopping at random establishments to make sure everyone is ready to take on the protesters. I hope there will be no violence involved.

So yeah, I’ve made chocolate zucchini bread before and I loved the taste of it. I don’t have a loaf pan in this apartment thought and I just ran out of chocolate chips, so I went for chocolate zucchini muffins sans chocolate chips.

The second muffin is still kind of frozen, that’s why it looks weird lol

I still love making muffins and although I was going to veganize this recipe (like I have been doing lately with all my muffins), I decided against it, simply because I had egg whites that needed to be used up anyway. Might as well. So sorry, vegan friends, this one includes egg whites.

For an extra protein boost, I added protein powder. And I enjoy it smeared with almond butter. I love protein and that’s that.

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Chocolate Almond Muffins

Hey everyone, I hope everyone spent their Earth Day well. I met up with my parents and aunt and we made a visit to the Botanical Gardens. I haven’t been there in 2 years now, I think. Unfortunately, there was some event set up going on and almost all of the areas of the gardens were closed. Such a shame. I did get to snap some pictures though, so if you’d like to see some they can be found on my photo blog. Let me know what you think.. Here’s a preview.

Anyway, I’m all out of my bran apple muffins and need a new vegan breakfast that can be quick. Today marks the end of my vegan challenge but I have decided to incorporate as much veganism into my life as possible – especially limiting dairy and eating more veggies than before. While my body didn’t respond necessairly bad or good to the challenge, I found myself being more anxious than before. I have no idea if this can be contributed to the dietary change or not. I did also notice that I would not be bloated very often which was awesome.

So here is another muffin recipe for you guys to introduce into your breakfast or as a snack. Preferably with peanut butter. Everything’s better with nut butters.. mmmm.

Chocolate. Almonds.

They are low in calories and fat.ย And they are vegan!

They are very fluffy. Nice light snack or breakfast. Yum.

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