We found some beautiful (almost) local peaches towards the end of the summer, so buying a box of them every week and making this peach oat smoothie every weekend became the norm for several weeks in a row. I don't think I've used oats in my smoothies before, but somehow, paired with all the other ingredients in the recipe, they made the creamiest smoothie I've ever had. This will definitely be in regular rotation next year, as soon as peaches are in season.
Chia pudding is easily one of my favourite treats, and though I usually make it with cacao, coconut water, and a bit of stevia, I've been eager to try other combinations as well. This newest favourite of mine came together last week, when I was craving a sweet treat but couldn't be bothered to prepare much of anything, so I thought that mixing some of the homemade apple sauce I had in the fridge with chia seeds would be the easiest option. After trying out a small portion in a bowl and loving it, I just added chia seeds to the rest of the applesauce jar, and had a yummy treat to grab any time I felt like it for the following few days.
These double chocolate chip cookies always satisfy my cravings for cookies - they remind me of the store-bought chocolate chip cookies I used to eat almost every day in my teens, but without the guilt of having something that's not healthy. I dreamt of these for several weeks before I got a chance to actually make them, and once I did, I made a big mistake - doubled everything but the sugar! - yet they were still deliciously crumbly and completely satisfying, especially when paired with a matcha latte as a mid-morning snack.
I love mac and cheese, but I'm no longer crazy about the ingredients that usually go in the recipe. Over the last couple of years, I've gathered several gluten-free, dairy-free alternatives to try, but had yet to make any of them. Once I saw the Creamy Butternut Squash and Shells version in Candice Kumai's Clean Green Eats* cookbook (currently one of my favourites), I couldn't resist anymore. Not only was it one of my favourite things to eat, but while I was cooking the squash, I couldn't help thinking that it was also one of the prettiest things I've ever cooked too. I skipped the bread-crumb topping and, since I grew up eating mac and cheese as a dessert, poured a little bit of honey on top of it on my plate, and it was honestly so good.
This raw nectarine cake came together quicker than any other one I've made before. It was almost 5pm when I realized that I had to make something with the few nectarines we had left over before they went bad, so I looked through a few of my cookbooks and settled on this recipe right away: the Peach Perfection Pie from Fresh*. I made a few substitutions - I used dates instead of raisins for the crust, and nectarines and bananas instead of peaches for the cream - so I could use what I already had in my pantry. Although we had to let the cream gel for a while and couldn't dive in that evening, it was so worth the wait - the light, refreshing cream was the perfect complement to the sweeter and heavier crust. My only note about this is to make a larger amount of cream than called for in the recipe. I made almost double and still didn't completely fill the thick crust.
I love roasted sweet potatoes - fresh out of the oven are best, and I can never help myself from eating a bunch of them straight out of the pan - but when I want something different, I make this mix instead: celery root, butternut squash, and apple chopped to about the same size - the apple pieces can be a bit larger since they're softer and cook up quicker. Even though it all adds up to a big, full-to-the-brim pan by the time it's ready to go in the oven, somehow it never seems to be quite enough and disappears in the blink of an eye (seriously! I had no more than a spoonful of leftovers to enjoy for lunch the next day).
I've been wanting to make some energy balls for a long while, but this was again one of those cravings that went unsatisfied for weeks (maybe months?). Once I found Jamie Oliver's recipe for these cacao pumpkin energy balls and realized I had just enough puffed millet to substitute the puffed brown rice/quinoa called for in the recipe, I had to try it. It was so delicious that all four of us had to restrain ourselves from finishing the entire plate of them the same day. I definitely need to make more soon, but after reading Olivia's post about puffed cereal, I'm not sure I want to use this ingredient again. Instead, I'm thinking that roasting some buckwheat and using it as a crunchier alternative could be a nice replacement.
*Disclaimer: The book links used in this post are affiliate links.