Foodie Friday: Vegan Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies [Guest Post]

Well, the apartment hunt continues another week but I think I’m starting to get into the swing of things a bit more. Until I really get back into the blogging groove, I have another guest post for ya. I’m so excited to be sharing this delicious recipe with you from Brittany. She’s always been one of my favorite bloggers; all of her recipes are so delicious and easy and her blog is a true reflection of who she is. We’ve been able to connect in person a few times and it’s always a good time! Hopefully she can make it out to the San Francisco area soon 😉


Hi Barr & Table readers! I’m Brittany–yup, another Brittany. I’m the lady behind Eating Bird Food, a blog that features healthy and delicious recipes, workouts and a glimpse into my daily life. I’m a full-time marketing manager for an online grocery store as well as a health coach, newlywed and mom to a cute little yorkie named Olive. Through EBF I try to show that living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be boring, difficult or bland and that small changes can create a big impact!

I met Brittany through Tone It Up / Twitter and we became instant friends. Not only do we have the same name but we bonded over the fact that we were both getting married in 2013 and the fact that both of our husbands love beer. Britt is one of the most motivated people I know–I’m inspired by her every day and I’m so happy to be here guest posting while she and Nathan enjoy unpacking boxes and exploring California.

Britt2

Brittany squared. Both married ladies at this point!

Since it’s the holiday season and I know folks are looking for tasty baked goods I thought I would share one of my favorite cookie recipes. It’s a oatmeal chocolate chip cookie with a pumpkin twist. Oh and they’re also vegan! The pumpkin gives these cookies great flavor and they’re absolutely delicious. Trust me when I say that it’s hard to eat just one.

Vegan pumpkin oatmeal cookies 504 2

Vegan Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup spelt flour (all-purpose flour will work too)
  • ½ cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 cup sucanat or other raw, natural sugar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • ½ Tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • ¼ cup vegan chocolate chips or carob chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Stir together dry ingredients (flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, sea salt, nutmeg) in a mixing bowl.
  3. Mix together wet ingredients (pumpkin, sugar, coconut oil, flaxseed and vanilla) in a separate mixing bowl.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients.
  5. Stir in ¼ cup chocolate chips. Mix well.
  6. Drop rounded tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet. Press cookie dough down into a cookie shape with a spoon or your fingers. Cookies won’t spread very much so you can space them about 1 inch apart.
  7. Bake for 15-16 minutes.
  8. Move cookies to a wire rack and cool completely before eating or transferring to a storage container for later consumption.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 1 Cookie
Calories: 90 Fat: 3 Carbohydrates: 15 Sugar: 2 Protein: 1

Vegan pumpkin oatmeal cookies 504

I hope you’ll consider adding these unique and tasty cookies to your holiday baking line-up. 🙂


Thank you so much for this delicious recipe, Brittany! I’ll definitely be making these cookies as soon as I have an oven again 😉 You should all make your way over to her blog to check out all of her wonderful recipes! [Her Holiday Kale Salad is one of my faves!]

Food for Thought

What is your favorite holiday cookie?

Foodie Friday: The ABC’s of Kombucha Brewing [Guest Post]

Thank goodness for more wonderful blogger friends to keep me going throughout this week. I’m currently en route to California [I’m only partially freaking out right now..] and am so happy to share this guest post from another one of my favorite bloggers, Lindsay. I’m slightly obsessed with her blog full of recipes, fitness tips, and Corny Cotter love. I mean really, check out this Carrot Ginger PB Bread.. looks amazing! Between that and the kombucha brewing recipe below, I can’t wait to get into a real kitchen again!


Bio:

Howdy from Texas! I’m Lindsay Cotter from cottercrunch.com. I have passion for triathlon and supporting her husband, James Cotter, in his professional triathlon career. My blog subtitle pretty much sums up what I write about → life as a pro triathlete’s wife, nutrition manager & fitness consultant, kombucha lover, and wannabe wino who has a joyous passion for GLUTEN FREE cooking! I should also add in there “Sherpa wife.”

The ABC’s of Kombucha Brewing

Anyway, I am excited to write a guest post about Kombucha for Brittany today. You know what that means, right? I’ve finally been termed a “booch mamma!” That, my friends, is name I will do my best to hold high! 🙂

Lindsay Cotter Crunch

So let’s get back to real purpose of this post, KOMBUCHA! Kombucha has been a HUGE life saver in my life and for so many reasons, and needless to say, I am passionate about it! So I thought I’d share some of the ABC’s of Kombucha and how to brew it. Stick with me here, k?

  1. What is it? – fermented tea, an ancient elixir consumed for thousands of years by civilizations all over the planet.
  2. What are its benefits?Kombucha Kamp has a great article on the benefits of Kombucha. Here are just a few that I have noticed in my own consumption.
    1. *Probiotics – healthy bacteria
      *Alkalinize the body – balances internal pH
      *Detoxify the liver – happy liver = happy mood
      *Increase metabolism – rev your internal engine
      *Improve digestion – keep your system moving
      *Alleviate constipation
      *Boost energy – helps with chronic fatigue
      *Relieve headaches & migraines
      *Reduce kidney stones
      *High in antioxidants – destroy free-radicals that cause cancer
      *High in polyphenols
      *Heal excema – can be applied topically to soften the skin
      *Lower glucose levels – prevents spiking from eating
    2. Want more? Check out the studies and testimonials HERE!
  3. How? – It is recommended that you should start drinking 4-8oz of Kombucha on an empty stomach 2x a day followed by plenty of water to clear out all the toxins. Once your body has adjusted to it (over an extended period of time), you can increase your intake.

Okay, now that you have an overwhelming amount of information. Let me tell you a little bit of how I use it and why.

You see, for years I had been struggling with a lot of digestive issues from a parasite and a gluten intolerance. I turned to kombucha for gut healing (along with other natural supplements). I had been drinking it on occasion before, but this time I decided to use it for more of healing reasons.

It was also about that time that I decided to start making my own batches. I spoke with Hannah over at KombuchaKamp.com a lot and she guided me through the process. After a few weeks, I had my own scoby and was ready to brew!

Kombucha

Here’s my BREWING tutorial. I have gathered this from lots of other websites and tweaked it to make my own flavoring. I’ll type out the instructions below as well. Let me know if you brew!

You can easily buy a starter kit online or even buy a scoby from craigslist. Just make sure they are not moldy or damaged when you buy them. Once you have a mother scoby, you are ready to brew.

KOMBUCHA – Here’s How:

    1. Wash all utensils with hot sudsy water and rinse well.
    2. Boil three quarts of purified water.
    3. Add 1 cup white sugar to water when a rolling boil is reached. Boil water and sugar for five minutes.
    4. Turn off heat and add 4-5 tea bags of black and/or green tea. (Must have caffeine in tea which the scoby feeds on).
    5. Steep about 30 minutes and remove tea leaves or bags and let tea cool (it doesn’t hurt to steep the tea longer). Cooling is about 3 to 5 hours from time you turn stove off.
    6. Pour cooled tea into gallon size glass container.
    7. Add your Kombucha culture placing it so that the smooth shiny surface lies up. Add fermented Kombucha Tea from a previous batch.
    8. Place a cloth over the top of the jar and secure with a rubber band. This keeps dust, mold, spores and vinegar flies out of the fermenting tea.
    9. Allow to sit undisturbed in a well-ventilated and darkened place away from direct sunlight (temp. 65-90 degrees F.) for 6 – 15 days. I keep mine in a closet.
    10. To make sure the tea is ready to harvest; pour off a couple of ounces for a taste test. I usually test it by sticking a plastic straw in and sipping a little bit.
    11. Taste Test: A taste test on a batch of Kombucha Tea may taste like this: 4-6 Days – Too sweet, not all sugar converted. 7-9 Days – Tastes like sparkling apple cider. 10+ Days – Vinegar taste becoming prominent.
    12. When the tea is brewed to your taste, pour the tea into glass bottles and cap then place in the refrigerator. This can now be second fermented with fresh juices, or pieces of crushed fruit, or crystallized ginger. Store bought juices are pasteurized and may effect healing quality of finished kombucha product, so I’d stick with 100% fresh juice. Sometimes I use sparkling water too.
    13. Make sure to leave enough starter tea from your last batch (about 1/2 cup) to make another batch of tea. Repeat directions and add this to your starter and culture to start the process again.
      **Note: the cultures my float on the surface or sometimes it sinks to the bottom. Either way is fine.

Kombucha

To this day I still think of it as my healing tonic. I drink 16-20 ounces a day. Yes, this seems like a lot but my body is used to and can handle a higher dosage.

My Newbie Tips:

      • It definitely takes an acquired taste, so be open minded.
      • If you would rather buy Kombucha to try out first, look for fruity flavors. These have added natural juices to them, like GT’s cranberry, passionberry, or strawberry. It will help you get used to the taste. Even though I’ve ALWAYS loved the taste. I am weird like that though. 🙂
      • Drink 4 ounces at a time to begin. Maybe just try a little mid morning or afternoon. Sometime during the day where you usually need a little boost.
      • Give it time! Drink slowly and allow its natural detox benefits to nourish your body. Try it for a week before knockin’ it!
      • And finally, BE GENTLE! Kombucha needs care. It is carbonated do not shake the bottle and open slowly. I’ve had some dangerous explosions, and as much as I like Kombucha, my clothes do not.

Alright, I’m off to go finish my last bottle. Better brew again tomorrow! Feel free to email me with any questions. And thank you, Brittany for letting me blab away about scobys and smelly tea.

Other resources: Kombucha Kamp and You Grow Girl.

Cheers to Good Health!
Lindsay Cotter
www.cottercrunch.com
Instagram – LCCotter
Twitter – LCCotter
Pinterest – LCCotter
Cottercrunch@hotmail.com


Thank you so much, Lindsay [or should I say “booch mama” haha!], for sharing this brewing method. I can’t wait to try it out!

Food for Thought

Are you a kombucha lover too?

What’s your favorite kombucha?

Have you ever tried brewing your own kombucha?

Holiday Confessions Of A Personal Trainer [Guest Post]

Hi friends! As you know, I’m in the middle of my big move to California and to say the past couple weeks have been nuts would be an understatement! I’ll be back to my regular blogging schedule soon, but in the mean time, I have a couple fabulous guest bloggers to keep you entertained. Today’s post is from Taylor at Lifting Revolution. I recently discovered her blog and absolutely love it! One of my favorite types of posts she does are her “Confessions” [did you know that trainers are real people too?!] and with Thanksgiving tomorrow, I thought this would be a great post to share!


I want to thank Brittany for asking me to visit Barr & Table while she is up to her elbows in boxes! I love reading the blog so it’s pretty awesome to be here today!

Taylor Lifting Revolution Gingerbread Outfit

Brittany asked if I would come and reveal my inner most secrets with you, and since that’s what I do a lot of over at LiftingRevolution, I decided to jump at the opportunity.

I think it is important as a healthy living blogger and a personal trainer to reveal these secrets to everyone since most people see just glimpses into the lives of fitness bloggers. Yes, I workout a lot but there’s a lot more to me than squats and kale… you just wait.

I never ever ever want anyone to think that any of us crazy fitness bloggers have it all together, we don’t. We struggle with getting to the gym just like you. And just like you, I cheat a little too much during the holidays.

Which brings me to my confessions today…

Holiday Confessions Of A Personal Trainer

1 – I lie to friends and family about food.

For whatever reason my family and many of my friends, have this scary idea in their heads about healthy eating. And really scary ideas about vegan food. So when the holidays role around, I lie and tell them it’s “real food” so they’ll eat it. Sometimes I’ll let them in on the secret after they’ve clearly enjoyed a few bites, and sometimes I just follow the idea of what they don’t know won’t hurt them.

Healthy food can taste great, I promise!!

2 – I refuse to accept my mom’s homemade fudge.

Truffles

My mom makes the best fudge. It was actually my grandfather’s recipe and she has carried on the tradition since he passed away. It is seriously amazing, like melt in your mouth chocolatey goodness. To really paint the picture… it’s not vegan and I am. That tiny detail doesn’t stop me.

And that’s why I have never accepted her small tin package of it. I can’t control myself. That fudge wouldn’t last 5 seconds in my home. So instead, I indulge when I visit with them and then walk away dreaming of crazy binge that would happen.

Sometimes sacrifices have to be made to remain in control. No one wants to see a 29 year old woman with fudge smeared all over her face and growling if someone tries to snag a piece.

3 – I will never run a Turkey Day Run.

The Charleston Turkey Day Run is one of the biggest 5K races we have in Charleston. It sounds like a blast… people dressed like turkeys, free beer at the finish, and a great way to burn off some calories before digging into the feast later that day.

But I’ll never do it. Instead you’ll find me being lazy with my husband on Thanksgiving morning… drinking mimosas and watching my favorite Christmas movie. This has been a tradition for at least 5 years now, and I’m not willing to give it up to burn off 300 calories for a 1500 calorie dinner.

4 – I tried to workout on Christmas once and failed.

I love the idea of waking up on Christmas, opening the gifts, and then getting a quick run in before the rest of the day gets hectic.

But just because I love the idea, doesn’t mean I follow through. I tried to do this once. I got dressed up in a new fitness outfit I had received that morning, put on my shoes and started to run. Then about 60 seconds later, I thought about my family inside talking together and doing, you know, family things… so I turned around and went back inside.

Some days family outweighs a workout and Christmas (and Thanksgiving) is one of them!

5 – I package baked goods up the second they’re done.

Sugar Cuffins

I love giving baked goods as gifts, but sometimes like the fudge, it can be hard to keep around. My trick? As soon as the goodies are done, they get packaged and wrapped ASAP. I’ll keep 1-2 out for Dan (my hubs) and I to enjoy but otherwise everything else is ready to go to the recipient. Just another step I take to practice self control.

Oh, I also wash my mixing bowls .2 seconds after I’ve poured the mix in the baking pans. Why? So I don’t sit there and lick all the bowls clean with my finger! It can be quite embarrassing to have your husband walk in while you’re literally licking a cake bowl… not that this has happened before. 😉

Your turn, what holiday confessions can you share?

I’ll be sharing more of mine over at my blog, LiftingRevolution.com as we get more into the holiday season. So come on over and say hey!

Thanks again Brittany for letting me come get a few things off my chest! I feel so much better!


Thank you so much, Taylor! I hope everyone enjoyed this post as much as I did. And happy Thanksgiving!

Food for Thought

What are your holiday confessions?