Cashew Cheese Log

Here is a simple cashew cheese spread/log you can easily whip up. It does require you to have it cool in the fridge before you can mold it into a log, and depending on your blender, you may need to soak the cashews before hand, but that’s about it.

This recipe will be what’s pictured above with the herb crust. I have also made this with a sundried tomato and garlic (aka pizza cheese) topping, and also a sweeter fresh blueberry vanilla topping. I was going to have pictures and recipes for all three, but when I made this I was still only a few weeks pregnant, exhausted, and cooking or food just didn’t sound appetizing. I’m glad I got this out to share with ya’ll!

But the truth of the matter, this is a simple, mild flavor recipe so find other soft cheese topping recipes and test it out on this!

Cashew Cheese Log

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour if you don’t have a high powered blender
  • 1/8 cup refined coconut oil (refined does not have a coconut taste)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp miso paste (I use a chickpea miso)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning

Directions

  1. In a blender, blend cashews, coconut oil, lemon juice, miso paste, and salt until smooth. You will probably have to scrap down the sides a few times, but once it’s all incorporated, blend another minute or two to make it smooth.
  2. Spoon out mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap the plastic wrap around the cashew mixture and twist the ends. Make a log shape and set in the fridge to cool off and firm up for an hour or two.
  3. Once firm, unfold the plastic wrap and put cheese log on a plate. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning, and get out your favorite crackers, fruit, and veggies you want to eat with it.

White Bean Cheese Sauce / Queso Dip

There are a variety of ways to make a dairy free cheese sauce, but I wanted to make one that was simple, but not too simple so there are some levels of flavor in there as well.

If you are new to dairy free cheeses, it’s important to understand that dairy cheese has a fermenting and aging process, and making a simple home recipe that you can use ingredients from your pantry to make a dairy-free cheese, it’s not going to have the same aged flavor. It’s not a one-for-one substitute especially with flavor, but it can carry the same idea and be used as an alternative.

Why White Beans?

This recipe uses white beans for a few reasons.

  1. This recipe is dairy and nut free
  2. White beans are easy to blend
  3. White bean are a good source of plant-based calcium

When I first made this recipe I wanted to make a queso dip, but I wanted to also have a plain version if someone wanted a cheese sauce for veggies. I have tried the cheese sauce on top of pasta, and it’s okay, but after a while it does turn a little sweet. I think the best way to use this is as queso bean dip. But you be the judge.

A Few Uncommon Ingredients

I wanted to make this with common ingredients as much as possible, but if you are not familiar with dairy-free cheese recipes there might be some a couple odd ingredients you might not be familiar with.

  • Nutritional Yeast
    • Nutritional yeast is produced by culturing a yeast. When the yeast is ready, it is deactivated (no longer ferment). This means this will not cause any yeast imbalances in your body.
    • It has a cheesy/nutty flavor. Usually comes in flakes or power. Most common is flakes. Something you can sprinkle on salads, pasta, etc. as a seasoning.
    • Nutritional yeast is high in B vitamins A lot of brands will fortify it with B12. And it’s high in protein (8-10g) for the 2 tablespoons you use as a serving.
  • Miso Paste
    • Miso is fermented bean paste, usually from soy beans. If you are allergic to soy, there is a chickpea variety that I use.
    • It adds a fermented, salty, umami flavor
    • Great to use in broths to add another layer of flavor.

Seasonings

There are a few seasonings, and when making the queso about 1/2 the ingredients listed is seasonings. If you do not have a lot of these, I’d suggest going to a grocery store that has seasonings in bulk. They are usually less expensive and you can just get a few tablespoons instead of a whole jar.

The Extra Steps

There are a few things I think are necessary for this recipe. One is for either the cheese sauce or the queso, the other is just for the queso.

  1. Browned Mushrooms
    • Taking the time to sautee’ the mushrooms and brown them slightly is worth it! This was something I added after a few other no-go tries. This helps bring in more of that umami taste and helps with thicken the sauce without the use of grains.
  2. Roasted Jalapenos
    • For the queso, there is nothing like fresh roasted jalapenos. In the queso recipe there is a can of chopped green chilies which I love too, but having that fresh roasted pepper in there, just bumps the queso up a notch.

I will tell ya’ll that the first time I made the queso without the mushrooms or fresh roasted jalapeno, it was okay. Then I took the extra steps and I thought it tasted pretty good. Then I went back to clean up and kept dipping in the second recipe bowl the rest of the afternoon.

These extra steps are worth it!

Recipe Time!

Okay okay! Enough about the components of the recipe, let’s get to the recipes. The first being the white bean “cheese” sauce and the next will be the recipe for the queso, adding seasonings and the roasted jalapeno.

White Bean Cheese Sauce

  • Servings: makes about 2 cups
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Ingredients

  • 3 small white mushrooms
  • 1 15oz can white beans, drained (I use butter beans)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tbsp miso paste (I use chickpea miso)
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Clean and slice the mushrooms and sautee in medium pan on medium heat. If you have non-stick, no need for oil. Mushrooms give off their liquid so there should not be an issue. Space them so they are not crowded in the pan and don’t move them until they shrink or start to brown. Flip to brown the other side. This should take a total of about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Put all ingredients in a blender, including the browned mushrooms. Blend until smooth. About 5 minutes.
  3. Heat in a pan if needed. Pour over veggies, noodles, top of casserole, etc.

White Bean Queso Dip

  • Servings: makes about 2 cups
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Ingredients

  • 3 small white mushrooms
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 15oz can white beans, drained (I use butter beans)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tbsp miso paste (I use chickpea miso)
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 oz can green chilies
  • Mexican Hot Sauce
  • Cilantro
  • Avocado

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Slice the fresh jalapeno in half and if desired, remove the seeds. The seeds hold the majority of the heat. Put on a small baking sheet with the inside down, skin side up. Bake for 15 minutes.
  2. Clean and slice the mushrooms and sautee in medium pan on medium heat. If you have non-stick, no need for oil. Mushrooms give off their liquid so there should not be an issue. Space them so they are not crowded in the pan and don’t move them until they shrink or start to brown. Flip to brown the other side. This should take a total of about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Put all ingredients from white beans to salt in a blender, include the browned mushrooms. Blend until smooth and well incorporated. About 3-5 minutes.
  4. Remove jalapeno from the oven, the skin should be black in some spots. Trying to remove the skin as best as you can. I will put the pepper pieces in a ziplock bag and seal it to allow it to steam for a few minutes, and then peel the outside skin off. Chop the remaining roasted pepper.
  5. Pour cheese mixture into a small sauce pan. Add the canned green chilies and the chopped roasted jalapeno and heat through on medium low heat.
  6. Top with Mexican hot sauce, cilantro, and sliced avocado.

Veggie Flatbread Pizza Topped with Arugula

If you’ve been following my on Instagram or have seen the latest video on YouTube, you’ll know that my husband and I would rather have pizza than a fancy restaurant meal any day and that includes our anniversary.

It just so happened our 10 year anniversary coincided with the beginning of shelter-in-place where we live so we were left to our own pizza making skills in 2020. I didn’t have much time to plan and I could only get whatever was available but it worked out!

I will tell you, there is nothing special about this pizza, and nothing that I came up with on my own. This recipe came about because of having to make our own anniversary pizzas and the fact that one of our favorite pizza places around here topped my veggie pizza with fresh arugula. That was first time I’d had pizza like that, and now I absolutely love fresh arugula slightly wilted on top of my pizza.

I’m sure there will be fancier pizza recipes to come, but this is to start it off! Enjoy!

Veggie Flatbread Pizza Topped with Arugula

  • Servings: Technically 3-4... but really 2ish
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Ingredients

  • 2 Flatbreads, already cooked
  • 1 lb. mozzarella, low moisture, part skim, sliced
  • 1 jar Pizza sauce, you won’t use the whole jar
  • 4 oz can black olives, sliced
  • 1/4 small red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 small green bell pepper, sliced
  • small handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 handfuls fresh baby arugula

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. The temperature might be different if there are instructions on the flatbread package.
  2. Place flat breads on baking sheet(s).
  3. Drizzle the pizza sauce over the flatbread and use the back of a spoon to spread it, leaving some room on the sides.
  4. Use 3-4 slices of the mozzarella for each flat bread.
  5. Sprinkle the black olives, red onion, bell pepper and cherry tomatoes.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes total. If using two pans, switch halfway through.
  7. Turn Broiler on and broil on high for 2 minutes until cheese starts to brown.
  8. Take out of oven and immediately sprinkle fresh arugula on top. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting and eating.

If you haven’t already, check out the video on this that went along with my blog post yesterday about nutrition tips when on vacation.

3 Banana Free Protein Smoothies

Alright ya’ll! If you’ve been following me on Instagram or read my post yesterday, you know I hate bananas.

Don’t get me wrong – banana bread and banana pudding have a place in my heart, but pretty much anything else I can do without. I’ve never been one for super sweet fruits or vegetables for that matter. Even as a kid, peas and carrots were never my favorite.

With keeping with my blog post yesterday about “Find Your Beet” I thought I’d share a few recipes that are my beat when it comes to smoothies.

My Beat When It Comes to Smoothies

  • Sugar: My body does not do well with a lot of sugar all at once and I tire out quickly, so having a smoothie means also including protein, fiber, and fats and not filling the whole blender with only fruits.
  • Vegetarian & Dairy Free: I am vegetarian and allergic to dairy, so the protein I use is a pea protein powder
  • Dislike: Banana… no banana
  • Like: Thick Smoothies!

The point for these smoothies was to create a thick creamy simple smoothie without bananas. Ya’ll ready? Oh and FYI – drinks/smoothies are not as easy as you might think to photograph come to find out.

#1 Blueberry Crumble Smoothie

This recipe name came about when my husband tried my purple smoothie and said it tasted like a blueberry muffin! YUM! Plus I love any excuse to have oats. Anytime I make oatmeal, I add almond extract. You can substitute this out or use vanilla, but if you have almond extract – it’s so worth it! WARNING: This will leave your tongue blue.

Blueberry Crumble Muffin

  • Servings: 1 smoothie (24oz)
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Ingredients

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein
  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 cup old fashion oats
  • 1 cup frozen peaches
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
  2. NOTE: Sometimes I find it easier when I blend all ingredients other than the protein mix first before adding it in.
  3. NOTE: If you are using fresh fruits, then adding a cup of ice will be needed, and lessening the almond milk.

#2 Peanut Butter Mocha Smoothie

I love me some peanut butter in my smoothies. There’s just something about it. And being able to blend my coffee with my breakfast some mornings is needed on busy days.

Peanut Butter Mocha Smoothie

  • Servings: 1 smoothie (24oz)
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Ingredients

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup frozen zucchini
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup cold coffee
  • 1 cup almond milk

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
  2. NOTE: Sometimes I find it easier when I blend all ingredients other than the protein mix first before adding it in.
  3. NOTE: If you are using fresh fruits, then adding a cup of ice will be needed, and lessening the almond milk.

#3 Island Chia Smoothie

In the summer, pineapple and mango are a part of my diet. So this one I usually will make in the spring and summer time, but with frozen fruits it can be made any time of year. Although I find using fresh pineapple and mango with this one you can taste the fruit better.

Island Smoothie

  • Servings: 1 smoothie (24oz)
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Ingredients

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1-2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
  2. NOTE: Sometimes I find it easier when I blend all ingredients other than the protein mix first before adding it in.
  3. NOTE: If you are using fresh fruits, then adding a cup of ice will be needed, and lessening the almond milk.

That’s it! These are my beat when it comes to smoothies. As always, keep finding your beet and I’ll talk to ya’ll soon!

Jalapeno Chickpea Flour Muffins

Baking with chickpea flour was different. I’ve used chickpea flour before to make a soy-free/egg-free scramble egg recipe and I’ve used it with other flours, but this was new.

This recipe started because I wanted to have a savory bread/muffin alternative to corn bread since I’m allergic to corn. And I really do like the corn/jalapeno version. And the sweet corn bread, and the plain hot water corn bread… It’s so good! But I wanted to see if I could make an alternative.

Now I’m not saying that this tastes like corn bread. Because it’s not corn. But it can be a good alternative as another savory option on the side of something like chili. Or you can have a savory breakfast muffin with coffee like I did one morning.

One thing I do have to say, this recipe is the second version. The reason why this was an interesting recipe to create was because the chickpea flour is SO DRY. I though the eggs would be enough but the 1/4 cup oil is necessary. Now I’m sure you can substitute out the oil for something else, but since I usually use something like apple sauce or pumpkin as an oil substitute when I feel like it, I just didn’t think those would work very well.

Anyway – here’s a corn-free savory muffin/bread.

Jalapeno Chickpea Flour Muffins

  • Servings: 9-12 muffins depending on size
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Ingredients

  • 1 jalapeno, halved and deseeded
  • 2 cups chickpea or garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 green onions, about 1/2 cup, sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Roast the jalapeno in the oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Once cooled, dice up the pepper.
  3. Once jalapeno is out, reduce the heat to 375.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix together the chickpea flour, baking powder, baking soda, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and salt.
  5. Add in the 2 eggs, milk and oil. Mix together.
  6. Fold in the diced roasted jalapeno and green onion.
  7. In a greased muffin tin, fill the muffin tin almost full.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Harissa Chickpea & Sweet Potato Sheet Pan

Sheet pan meals are some of my favorites for an easy dinner! And this one takes a different turn by adding Harissa. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, I did post about what harissa is, but if you are not part of the insta-fam, check it out!

Harissa Blend

It is a spice blend that is smoky, sweet, and spicy. The seasoning blend can differ between countries but usually consists of hot peppers, smoked paprika, garlic, caraway, cumin, and coriander.

Sheet Pan Meals

Usually sheet pan meals consist of a protein source and your veggies all in one ready to roast in the oven together. Sometimes it can include a starch like potatoes, but usually protein and veggies. Since it’s spread out in a thin layer on a baking sheet it’s done within 20-30 minutes depending on the ingredients, and it’s pretty much an all-in-one dinner.

A trick that I usually do is that I take whatever I’m using for veggies after they are chopped, and whatever protein, usually chickpeas/garbanzo beans because they roast well, and throw them all in a mixing bowl. I’ll add my sauce, seasoning, or just olive oil and salt and pepper and toss it in there before pouring it on to the pan. I’ve seen so many recipes showing them drizzling the sauce on the pan, but if you want to make sure everything is coated, mix it in a bowl before.

And for an even easier clean up – line it with parchment paper.

Recipe Side and Substitutions

Let’s move on to it shall we! I’ve not only included what I’ve used a the sheet pan, but also the couscous side that I made with it. A simple plain grain will work too if you don’t want the couscous pasta. And I think having the fresh herbs tossed in with the side is the perfect cool touch to eat with the harissa seasoned chickpeas and veggies.

Additionally, I had unsweetened plain plant based yogurt to dollop on top of my bowl, but sour cream or even a few slices of avocado will work too as a cool creamy addition.

Now, onto the recipe!

Harissa Chickpea & Sweet Potato Sheet Pan with Herb Couscous

  • Servings: 4 Servings
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Ingredients

  • 2 cans chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained or about 3 cups cooked
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp Harissa blend
  • Salt and Pepper
  • COUSCOUS
  • 1 cup pearl couscous, uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • plain unsweet yogurt, sour cream, or avocado to top

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the 1/4 cup olive oil, honey, harissa blend, and salt and pepper.
  3. Add chickpeas, chopped sweet potatoes, and sliced red onion to the bowl and toss with the harissa mixture.
  4. Pour out the contents of the bowl onto the lined baking sheet and spread evenly. Once the oven is preheated, bake for 20 minutes, check on the sheet, toss, and bake for another 20-25 minutes until it starts to brown.
  5. Meanwhile, you can prepare the couscous. Bring 1 1/2 cups water and 1 tbsp either olive oil or butter to a boil. Add in 1 cup dry pearl couscous and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Take off heat, and fluff with a fork. Let it sit for about 5 minutes.
  7. Add in the fresh parsley, cilantro, and green onion and the juice from 1 lemon.
  8. Once the sheet pan is out of the oven and cooled for a few minutes, put your bowl together with couscous, chickpea/sweet potato mixture, and topped with lemon juice, and unsweetened yogurt or sour cream.

Baked Buffalo Bean Dip with Yogurt Ranch

I’m starting to get tired of hummus. I KNOW! But I am. It’s had it’s day. However – bean dips, I still love. And I still love chickpeas/garbanzo beans. I just want something else.

Add that to my love for buffalo sauce, and now you have this recipe. Baked Buffalo Bean Dip with Yogurt Ranch. It’s baked because I wanted to make blending the bean dip easy and using the liquid in the can of chickpeas kind of helps give it a lighter whipped feel to it once it’s baked. And the Yogurt Ranch recipe you can find here!

If you follow me on instagram, you might have seen this, but the first time I made it and tested it out, it was a pretty day outside so I decided to get some sun for a few minutes and I came back in to this…

I guess James liked it.

Plus you can eat it with carrot sticks, celery, corn chips, or our favorite corn free bean chips or cassava chips. It does take some time in the oven. But it’s worth it. Oh! And you don’t need to grease the pan you are cooking it in. Mine came out clean and easy to clean after.

Ok! Here’s the recipe!

Baked Buffalo Bean Dip with Yogurt Ranch

  • Servings: Makes 8x8 size baking dish
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Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas, UNdrained
  • 1 can butter beans (or another white bean), drained
  • 2/3 cup buffalo sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup plain unsweet yogurt of choice
  • 1 recipe of Yogurt Ranch (recipe link above in post)
  • chives to top it off

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Blend beans, buffalo sauce, garlic powder, and yogurt in a blender until smooth. About 2 minutes.
  3. Pour into ungreased 8×8 baking dish and bake for 1 hour until the sides are browning and the top has deep cracks.
  4. Once cooled for a few minutes, drizzle some of the yogurt ranch on top and leave the rest on the side.
  5. Serve with celery, carrot sticks, or corn chips, or our favorite black bean chips.

Red Potato Ranch Bites with Coconut Bacon

Pop up recipe alert! This is the second game-day appetizer recipe I’ll be sharing this week, one more coming on Friday! This week will be a little busy with the posts. Should have planned it out better, but here we are!

This recipe uses my Yogurt Ranch recipe so check it out!

NOTE: I wanted to mention for this recipe, if you choose to make the Yogurt Ranch recipe, omit the 1/3 cup milk to keep it thick at first. More in the instructions below.

Fun Fact! Coconut is 90% saturated fat. For this recipe, I’m using “coconut bacon” as the bacon bits for a vegetarian version, (which it’s my favorite so far for vegetarian bacon… I mean it’s 90% saturated fat… it’s good.) but feel free to use bacon bacon. Using either actual bacon or the coconut bacon, it’s the main source of fat in this recipe, so the macros are more evening distributed. So use the coconut bacon, or use actual bacon. Up to you. But I would say to try the coconut bacon if you haven’t. At least just to try it and then munch on… okay! Moving on to the recipe!

Red Potato Ranch Bites with Coconut Bacon

Ingredients

  • 6 medium red potatoes, about 1 lb
  • Yogurt Ranch Recipe, omitting 1/3 cup milk of choice. You can add in later to thin out the recipe to drizzle.
  • 1-2 tbsp butter or mayo, if desired
  • 1 cup coconut chips
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce, if you are allergic, there are soy-free soy sauce recipes you can look up
  • dash of liquid smoke, I use Colgin brand since it doesn’t have a long list of ingredients
  • chives to top

Directions


1. Take the red potatoes, clean them, poke a few times on both sides with a fork. Put in microwave safe dish with about an inch of water in the bottom of the pan. Cover with kitchen towel and microwave for 5 minutes. Check, if they are larger, you will need to flip the potatoes with tongs and microwave another 5 minutes until fork tender.
2. Pre-heat oven to 375. After taking potatoes out of micro, cool them on cutting board for about 10-15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make your coconut bacon and yogurt ranch if you have not already. Remember to omit the 1/3 cup milk of choice when making the yogurt ranch.
4. COCONUT BACON: Heat small skillet to medium low. Add in 1 cup coconut chips, soy sauce, and liquid smoke. Toss around for about 10-15 minutes until brown and crisp. Once the chips start to brown and become crisp it doesn’t take long, so keep tossing to ensure all chips are toasted and browned but not burned. Take off of heat and pour the bacon chips into a bowl.
5. Put together your potatoes. Slice potatoes in half. With spoon, take out the insides, leaving enough on the sides to support the potato. Put insides in mixing bowl.
6. Add in 1/2 cup to 1 cup of yogurt ranch. Depends on how creamy you want the insides and how much potato you are working with. Start with 1/2 cup and add more if needed.
7. Taste. If you feel something is missing, add in 1-2 tbsp of butter, vegan butter, or mayo/vegan mayo and taste test again.
8. Refill potatoes and put on cooking sheet.
9. Bake in oven for 20 minutes until tops start to brown slightly. Take out of oven.
10. Top with coconut bacon or actual bacon and chives.
11. You can thin out the yogurt ranch dressing to drizzle on top or keep on side for people to use to dip into.
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Honeycrisp Wheat Germ Muffins

I thought I’d share a family recipe with all of you! “Easy Wheat Germ Muffins” is the official title, but I’ve made these into an apple cinnamon muffin. But what is wheat germ?

Wheat germ is the reproductive part of wheat that can produce a whole new plant. Because of that, wheat germ is a concentrated source of essential nutrients. Of course on the list of nutrients that it has, it does include gluten. So if you are gluten intolerant and needing to stay away from gluten, wheat germ would be something you’d need to stay away from.

If you are not allergic or gluten-intolerant, then I’d suggest looking up wheat germ. It’s an easy thing to add in for extra nutrients and basically replacing what is stripped away from wheat when it’s processed in a concentrated form.

There is more about wheat germ on my post on another family recipe, “Amelie’s Wheat Germ Pancakes”. And yes… apples are in those too.

Wheat germ has a nutty flavor to them and I guess I just always think of apples, but with this recipe, you can use berries, nuts, etc. or leave them plain. Up to you. For me, I’m not a huge sweet person, but I love baked goods. So this muffin is a delicious nutty flavored baked muffin that’s slightly sweet.

Oh! And I almost forgot – because I always do – if you buy wheat germ, it needs to be stored in the refrigerator after it’s open. Although it’s a flour, it needs to be stored in the fridge. I always forget this. I got a few cups from my mom who had just bought some. She put it in a zip lock bag and in big letters said, “STORE IN FRIDGE”. I still forgot. It contains unsaturated fats, which can become rancid. It has a shelf life of a year if it is stored properly. The way to tell, if you forget to store it in the fridge like me, is that fresh wheat germ has a slight nutty smell, similar to toasted nuts. Not sour.

You could bump up the sweetness with adding a streusel topping, but I don’t think these guys need it. So let’s get to the recipe, but first… don’t ya’ll love this melted butter shot I got?! I’m so proud!

WARNING: Your house will smell like baked cinnamon apple muffins and you will have to slap hands away from people trying to eat them before you can take a picture!

Honeycrisp Wheat Germ Muffins

  • Servings: 9 large muffins
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1 1/3 cup milk (I use almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped honeycrisp apple
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare muffin tin with liners or grease with small amount of vegetable oil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients: all purpose flour, wheat germ, sugar, salt, and baking soda.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk 1 egg until well beaten. Add to the large bowl with dry ingredients.
  4. Add in almond milk to large bowl. Mix all ingredients together.
  5. Add in the apples and cinnamon, or any other add-ins, and fold into the mixture.
  6. Fill in large muffin tin about 1/4 cup each.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes. Let rest for about 5 minutes before devouring.

Black Bean and Yogurt Ranch Pinwheels

Here is the first of three game-day appetizers I have for you this week that uses my Yogurt Ranch recipe. Click below to view the recipe. This one is one to do ahead of time since after you roll the pinwheels it needs to sit for a few hours at least before you cut them.

NOTE: Before we get into the recipe, and I’ll have this again in the instructions, if you are making these little guys and using the yogurt ranch recipe, omit the 1/3 cup milk of choice. You want it to be thick and then anything else remaining you can thin out later.

Oh! And this is also a great meal prep idea for easy cold lunch with no mess or have a few with some veggies as a prepped snack.

Okay! Onto the recipe!

Black Bean and Yogurt Ranch Pinwheels

  • Servings: Makes 16 pinwheels
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Ingredients

  • 2 large spinach wrap tortillas
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, diced, about 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup diced zucchini, or you can substitute corn
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp red onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup Yogurt Ranch – without adding the 1/3 cup almond milk. Keep it thick. Link to recipe is above
  • add salt if needed

Directions

  1. Mix together all ingredients from black beans to red onion in a medium size bowl. Add in 1/2 cup thick yogurt ranch.
  2. Taste and see if you think it needs salt. The yogurt ranch recipe already calls for salt so it might not be needed in the bean mixture.
  3. Take plastic saran wrap that is a little bigger than your tortilla, and lay it on the counter. Top with the spinach tortilla.
  4. Put 1/2 the mixture on the tortilla, spread it out evenly, leaving some room on the edges. Start rolling the tortilla. Some filling might fall out and that’s fine, add it back to the bowl.
  5. After it’s tightly rolled, wrap it up with the saran wrap and put in fridge.
  6. Do the same with the other tortilla. Any leftover filling, eat. : )
  7. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 2 hour if not overnight before cutting. Cut the very ends off. Cut 1 inch pieces. Mine made about 8 pieces each.
  8. You can put on plate, cover and back in fridge until ready to eat.