Chia seeds, Collagen, and Gelatin- Oh My!

I mentioned last week that I am trying out keto recipes. I am not a keto gal, but I like a challenge and NuNaturals products work well for Keto lifestyles. Last week I made a no-bake cheesecake. This week I decided I wanted to make a keto chia seed pudding with matcha powder. Look at this majesty:

Keto Trifle made with Chia Seed Pudding, Vanilla Collagen Pudding, and Berry Gelatin

  • 1 tsp matcha bloomed in hot water
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 packet of NuNaturals Stevia

Once the matcha was mixed in with the hot water, I let it cool a bit then added almond milk and chia seeds. I poured this into two dessert cups. Then it chillaxed in the fridge while I made some pudding.

  • 1 packet of Vanilla Pudding (stevia sweetened- no sugar)
  • 2 tbsp NuNaturals Collagen
  • 1.5 cups milk of choice

I put these three ingredients in my kitchenaid mixer and “lett’r whirl” for 2 minutes. PUDDING! This was spooned on top of the chilled chia pudding (now solid because it was in the fridge).

Finally, I wanted to make some gelatin as a top layer. I forgot that it is super hot when you make it and I did not want to melt the other layers. So this was cooled in two separate dessert cups and added to the top at the end. The ingredients for this layer (more like a little hat):

  • 1 tbsp NuNaturals gelatin
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 2 cups water
  • NuNauturals Vanilla Syrup (to taste)

I bloomed the gelatin in 1/4 cup of the water. The rest of the water, raspberries, and syrup were heated on the stovetop until it started to boil. I then removed it from the heat, added the bloomed gelatin, and whisked it until everything was incorporated. Finally, I strained the gelatin into a cup. Each little gelatin circle had a strawberry slice. So fancy, y’all.

Protein Pudding and Jell-O Coupe

I had extra pudding and gelatin, so I made a lightened up version of one of my favorite childhood desserts. We used to get dinner at this place called The Forge. They sold red jello with whipped cream as a dessert and, in spite of the fact that this seems like a hospital dessert, I wanted it every damn time. Don’t ask kids why when it comes to food cravings (or me in general, TBH). I made a lightened up version of this using the leftover ingredients.

First, I poured the leftover gelatin in two coupe glasses. Then I added diced strawberries. These sat out until they were at room temperature, then they were placed in the refrigerator (I also did this for the strawberry “hats” shown above).

I chilled these four bebes in the fridge. The littler ones are the “hats” on top of the chia pudding trifles. I put those back in the refrigerator to work on my homage to the Forge dessert. I spooned a mixture of the leftover pudding and cool whip on top of the gelatin layer. This was decorated with a little whipped cream cloud and 1/2 a strawberry.

Look at this elegant leftover feast:

I am going to attempt a baked keto espresso cheesecake for next round… stay tuned!

XO,

Keto No Bake Cheesecakes

I wanted to dabble in the keto recipe game. I am not a keto person because bread is life, but at the same time I know some people have had success with this and they need desserts too, dang it!

The next few weeks I plan to share some keto recipes using NuNaturals sweeteners, MCT oil powder, Gelatin, and Collagen.

First up? An EASY dessert for two. This took longer to write up than it did to make. I wanted a no-bake option and decided cheesecake would be a delish treat for me to test out (for you, dear readers… I am selfless).

This recipe uses collagen and sweeteners. Here’s my IKEA directions (pictures only), followed by the recipe card.

I would like to add, for the record, that I used a tbsp of that little bowl of butter. Just in case you thought a full bowl of butter was used for these two baby cheesecakes… 🙂

Recipe Card

What’s next on the keto train? I am looking at a espresso cheesecake that is baked, as well as some chia puddings and maybe brownies? Time will tell…

XO,

Post-Easter Protein Muffins!

Why, hello dear readers! I am (once again) sharing a trick my cousin Nikki taught me long ago- you can use leftover holiday candy and PUT IT IN PANCAKES! I showed you how to do that with a waffle for my Galentine’s Day post. Today, I will show you how to sneak some delish leftover candy into some protein muffins.

Collagen Protein Muffins

The muffins in this recipe are featuring ingredients from both Kodiak and NuNaturals. They also showcase the various baking items my mom sent our way! Check this out:

How cute is that latte covered in easter sprinkles!?

I digress… I used the bunny ears, sprinkles, baking cups, and mini eggs in this recipe. I also modified Kodiak’s recipe on the box (below) and cut it in half as well because there are just two of us. It made six muffins.

I used the following for six muffins:

The only sort of finesse to this recipe was mashing the banana separately and adding it second to last. The Collagen from NuNaturals added some extra protein and the NuNaturals vanilla syrup added a subtle sweet note. The last item was the crushed mini eggs. I put them in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Here are some process pictures:

You may have noticed that the adorable eggs (bottom left) looked wicked sad when they were baked (second from left on bottom). Since chocolates are baking duct tape, I just plopped a NEW egg on top of the baked eggs whilst they were cooling. And added bunny ears. I also ate the ugliest one so it did not feel bad about missing the photo shoot. It was delightful.

Easter Picnic Fun

Speaking of “delightful,” I promised to share how our Easter picnic went! Well, we had to change plans a bit. The Easter Bunny got my husband a Covid Vaccine! So we moved the picnic to Saturday…. which was rainy. We decided to eat our meal in the house and enjoy our dessert on the back porch with our cat Champion (he’s allowed out on a leash… yes, you read that correctly).

Here’s the delish Easter spread (I was able to do open-faced Grinder sammies since we were at home, so that was a plus!).

The bottom left is our “Easter pic” we sent to family while waiting for Jon’s vaccine appointment. The right is proof of our porch picnic, where we ate cakecicles and Champ mostly sniffed the air suspiciously.

If you want to know more about these ADORBS cakecicles we enjoyed, here are a few pics and a reel I shared of the process on Instagram!

As you can see on the pic on the left, there were some “happy accidents” as Bob Ross would say. So instead of painting happy little trees over them I covered the cracks with white chocolate and sprinkles, which is basically a baker’s version of… say it with me…. bakers’ duct tape.

Happy Easter if you celebrate! Happy Peanut Butter Egg season if you don’t!

XO,

(I don’t know what is scarier- carrying a purse with the carpet pattern from The Shining so close to a topiary bunny or admitting to the masses that I exclusively eat black jellybeans… they are the best jellybean.)

Mini Carrot Cakes!

I wanted to make a carrot cake for Easter because I’m basic. I LOVE a carrot cake. However, holiday weekends mean a LOT of cheer so I wanted a lightened up version. Additionally, there are only two people in this house and ONE* does not like carrot cake. So I had to make some improvisations.

I started with this recipe, meant for two tiny ramekin carrot cakes. Then, like most commenters on ANY recipe (including how to boil water), I made some changes. 🙂

First, I subbed the spices for NuNaturals Chai syrup. Then I subbed the oil for unsweetened applesauce. I used less brown sugar than the recipe called for- and if I am being completely honest I think a pinch of it would be good.

Next, I omitted the cream cheese frosting entirely. I know (clutches pearls). Instead, I boiled some rainbow carrot ribbons in a mixture of water and NuNaturals vanilla syrup. After they simmered for a bit I put them on a silicon baking mat and crisped them in the oven at 350 degrees for 8 minutes (whilst the cakes baked). Here’s the process:

When it came time to plate the recipe I was pretty overwhelmed. See… the ramekins that they were baked in are adorable serving dishes on their own… but they also come out of those ramekins nicely. So they COULD be on a little cake stand or in a bebe skillet. Choices are hard…

I opted to eat mine in the skillet (pictured in the center). It was SO good!! I decided to offer a bite to my husband as a “maybe I’ll win him over” test. See, he isn’t a sweets person. He is MOS DEF not a carrot cake person. He is a cream cheese frosting person, but there was nary a cream cheese morsel to be found.

Welp.

*Remember the one person I asterisked above? That was me. Now there are two people who like carrot cake because Homeboy wanted to SPLIT IT. He liked it! My husband is very honest and does not eat things he doesn’t like, especially baked goods. So, he ate half from the skillet plate and I ate the other half on the little cake stand.

You heard it here first, folks: this recipe will turn carrot cake haters into carrot cake eating machines (or diplomatic “let’s go halvsies” dudes). Here’s my modified recipe:

Yay! Let me know if you try it. So easy AND delish!

XO,

Spiced & Shaken Espresso

I am a HUUUUGE fan of coffee shops. I used to go to Starbucks a lot in Montana because they gave me lots of ways to earn stars (aka free drinks). Those opportunities have lessened recently so I have been branching out to other shops like Epoch and Merit. However, recently I noted a new drink making the rounds on social media called an “Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso.

Naturally, I promptly went to a local Starbucks for some beta testing… I am selfless. This is OBVIOUSLY for you, dear readers. Not because I love coffee. And sugar. And when they combine.

This picture below is me looking for an excuse to try a new drink offering at SBUX:

Found an excuse. You’re reading it.

I made one change whilst ordering- I do not like oat milk so I subbed coconut milk. I know oat milk is all the rage right now, but it makes my throat feel scratchy. Am I making this up? Maybe. But it seemed true twice so I have decided to avoid it as a milk sub. The drink was delicious, but really sweet. I wanted to make a lightened up version of my own using NuNaturals stevia products instead of sugar. I also decided that I was going to make a spiced version, which afforded me an opportunity to use NuNaturals Chai syrup.

Recipe

Some of the smaller details:

Cold Foam: When you are making cold foam you’re essentially just adding air with a frother. If you have a non-fat milk it will whip up nicely. If you use a milk substitute with 1% or 2% fat it will not stay aerated for quite as long. Both are tasty, but if you’re “doing this for the ‘gram” make sure you have your shot set up before hand. Pour the milk once you have the shot composed for quick photo turnaround. You can add the MCT powder before frothing (and/or add a packet of stevia to the milk when frothing if you wish). Want to learn more? Eater wants to help!

Making a Cold Espresso Drink: Yeah, espresso is warm. This drink is not. So we need to do a few things to make sure your drink is chilled but not watered down. First, I add the syrup to the bottom of my glass before pulling my double-shot of espresso. It looked cool because the espresso sat on top! I stirred the espresso and syrup together and filled the rest of the small glass with the milk I was using. This helps cool it to the point where you can add it to a cocktail shaker.

Mise en Place: The French use this term when talking about having everything out/measured when baking or cooking. Then you can methodically work through the process with everything (you guessed it) in its proper place. I suggest doing this because the cold foam is time-sensitive. Here was my set up:

  • I set up the milk with the MCT powder in a cup to froth (but did not actually froth it yet).
  • I had a cocktail glass ready with ice inside.
  • Then I put ice in a cocktail shaker. I did all of this while the espresso was cooling. Make your espresso first.
  • I poured the espresso mixture over the ice in the cocktail shaker. You’ll want to shake until your hand is cold- it is really neat how the shaker goes from warm to cold so quickly!
  • Using the strainer, pour the espresso over the ice. You’ll notice it does not melt the ice in the glass.
  • Then froth that milk up quick and pour it on top!
  • Garnish if you want. I put some cinnamon on top and added a cocktail skewer, which I explain below.

Presentation is Everything

I have really missed drinking out of cocktail glasses. I have been sober since mid-May 2019* and I did not move any cocktail items with me when we spent a year in Montana. So now that we are back home in Texas I have purchased some cocktail glasses and skewers for garnishes. I wanna feel fancy, too. 🙂

I decided that the ONE sugary item here would be the garnish (When NuNaturals makes chocolate spheres I will totally use those instead). You do not have to have a garnish… I think my husband was not amused (his fell in the glass because I was beta-testing two shapes of cocktail glasses. He lost).

Since Easter is coming up, I used Cadbury mini egg garnishes. This was not easy because they are a chocolate shell with a creamy filling. The trick was to place the skewer in a damp towel that was recently heated in the microwave (DO NOT PUT METAL SKEWERS IN THE MICROWAVE BECAUSE SCIENCE). This heated metal helped me pierce the egg without cracking it. In the name of science, I included a visual aid below:

If you want this drink “neat” (aka no ice in your glass)

Here’s a reel up on my Instagram account showing a lot of the tips and tricks discussed whist making a Dirty Chai Mocktail. The recipe is the same for the most part, however you are not poring this over ice when served. So you are going to have to, as Outkast once said, “shake it like a Polaroid picture.” This needs to be chilly so it is not warm halfway through. If it gets lukewarm, you can just shake it with ice again or put a cube in the glass. We aren’t on Downton Abbey, so no one will clutch their pearls if you do this.

This was garnished with a chocolate sphere and served in a coupe glass. There’s less room in these, so basically every cocktail or mocktail served in these bad boys follows the golden Polaroid rule here.

Shake it, shake, shake it…

P/S- An Angel appeared in my espresso shot and told you to try these techniques out.

Seriously.

Are you calling me a liar? Here s/he is:

*Sobriety Footnote: I do not have a story where one event or thought made me decide not to drink. I am on Zoloft for anxiety and depression and this does not mix well with booze. I miss the fancy glasses and offerings, but I was able to try some rad mocktails before Covid rained on that parade. There aren’t enough mocktails available IMO, so I’ll be making more on this blog. As Busta once said, “If I ain’t gonna be part of the greatest, I gotta be the greatest myself.”

Also, sticking with Busta vernacular- you can go “flipmode” and add booze to these. I am all about other people imbibing. It just doesn’t work for me. 🙂

XO,

Collagen Smoothie Bowl

New week, NuNaturals recipe. Eh, eh? 🙂

I am sharing some NuNaturals recipes on Mondays to start the week off on a healthy note. I do NOT like artificial sweeteners (aka Aspartame). They make food taste terrible. Stevia, on the other hand, is very tasty and comes from a plant! NuNaturals makes stevia products, which I have been buying for quite some time. My pals over at NuNaturals sent me some collagen to try, so I have been using it in several recipes.

This one is by far the prettiest.

I really enjoy the BRIGHT smoothies on Instagram. If you’re making recipes “for the ‘gram,” this one is for you. I purchased some Dragon Fruit puree from Whole Foods and it makes smoothies as bright as a highlighter! Perhaps more importantly, this was a delicious meal as well.

To be frank, I feel like I should be wearing organic and sustainable yoga clothes whilst drinking this out of a coconut shell. This smoothie bowl is next level perfection. I know you want to have one now, so I’ll share the deets.

Here is an overhead of the smoothie bowl plan:

This plan was amended slightly. The nuts were savory (I forgot they were spiced) so I did not use those. I had enough texture with the bee pollen, chia seeds, and fruit. I also decided to put some Mike’s Hot Honey on it. Why not, right? Anyways, here’s the recipe “as the chef intended” before those subs were made:

You can certainly add greens to this recipe to get more nutrients in, but that will dull the color of this smoothie. And if you’re going for a full-on Instagram picture lewk, skip the greens. Eat a salad later while you edit your pictures. 🙂

Upcoming recipes include an upgrade to a Starbucks drink using NuNaturals MCT powder and BAKING using NuNaturals syrups. Kinda pumped, not gonna lie.

XO,

Collagen Parfait

I am a HUGE fan of NuNaturals. My cafe (which is actually an expresso machine I use in my home) exclusively flavors lattes with NuNaturals syrups. My favorite is their Chocolate Mint syrup, but there are several delish flavors to choose from!

I was sent a box of products to try from NuNaturals, which include some syrup flavors I want to put in spring recipes (perhaps a chai carrot cake?). They also sent some powdered MCT Oil and Collagen. I decided the first recipe I would make would be using the Collagen, since I was looking for a quick protein-heavy treat and their collagen literally landed on my doorstep!

Here’s the recipe card (I make the recipes in this format so I can share them on my Instagram Stories and save them as highlights so I can easily access them ASAP):

I also made an Instagram Reel I made for this! Check it out.

I made these in the evening and my husband was playing video games in another room. When he finished this little buddy was waiting for him! He prefers a high-protein snack in the evenings, so he was PUMPED when this had protein from the Greek yogurt AND collagen. Each tbsp of collagen has 6 grams of protein and mixing it in didn’t change the consistency or flavoring. 🙂

He was also surprised at the bite the vanilla ginger syrup had! I used one packet for this entire recipe, so it was just a little flavor boost on the top. We were on a one way trip to Flavorpalooza.

I am going to share a new recipe or tweak to someone else’s recipe each week. Let me know if you have any suggestions or requests!

XO,