Monday, December 28, 2015

Vegan Spelt Blueberry Banana Nut Muffins

I tried my hand at baking from scratch for the 1st time, following a recipe I found from a blog titled Oh She Glows!  I came across what I feel is one of the best pages on Instagram for vegetarian and vegan foodies. For the past few weeks I've been slowly introducing alkaline vegan foods into my diet as a means to improve my overall health & that of my family.   Although the ingredients are not all alkaline, the majority of them are. All I can say is kudos to me!  These babies came out so delicious & moist. No sugar & no dairy were used.  These little sweet, sugar free, low cal (spelt flour has much less calories than regular bleached or whole wheat flour), non-dairy delights are now going to be a staple in my home.  Just 20 min prep, 20 min bake and lots of love was all it took ❤️ to make 14 muffins. 

What you need: 
I followed the recipe listed on Oh She Glows! blog, replacing a few of the ingredients with similar alternates. For instance, instead of using 6 tsps of raw cane sugar I used agave nectar. Same amount as called for in recipe. Also, instead of using medium sized bananas I used 3 very small organic bananas which equates to 3/4 cup as required for the recipe. Everything else was followed exactly as instructed in the directions below as shown on OSG's blog. 



  • 3/4 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 medium)
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 cups light spelt flour
  • 6 tablespoons coconut sugar (or Sucanat or natural cane sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnut pieces
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries (see note)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a muffin tin.
  2. In a medium bowl, mash bananas and measure out 3/4 cup. If you have any leftover mashed banana you can freeze it for a smoothie.
  3. Place mashed banana into medium bowl along with the milk, vinegar, maple syrup, and vanilla. No need to stir it yet.
  4. Melt the coconut oil in a small pot over low heat. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda).
  6. Stir coconut oil into the wet mixture. Pour wet ingredients onto the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not overmix as spelt is a fragile little flour.
  7. Gently fold in the walnuts and then the blueberries, being sure not to overmix as this can result in dense muffins.
  8. Spoon about a heaping 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin tin, filling each tin about 3/4 full (they will seem very full, but this is normal!) I like to press a few extra blueberries on top of each so they look pretty after baking.
  9. Bake at 350F for 23-27 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. I baked them for 25 minutes.
  10. Cool in pan for 5-8 minutes and then transfer muffins to a cooling rack and cool for another 15 minutes.

Note: If using frozen blueberries, be sure to leave them in the freezer (do not thaw) until just before you stir them into the batter. This helps prevent bleeding.

This is how my muffin batter looked after all ingredients wet & dry which are prepared separately were combined. 

Oven Ready! I placed a few additional blueberries on top and pressed them
into the batter of each muffin as suggested on OSG's blog for added beauty once baked. 

And here they are. Hot n' fresh from the oven. I fell in love with the cinnamon sweet smell that filled my home while they baked. 

This photo doesn't do any justice in describing how soft and moist these muffins turned out but I'm hoping a close up can provide some small idea of how good they are. 

I knew for the most part I was going to be pleased with them. The real judge was the taste test from my extremely picky 10 year old son. He loves them! He ate 3 back to back and I didn't even try to stop him because knowing they are sugar and dairy free made me so happy to see him enjoy them as much as I did after I ate one. 

Happy Healthy Eating! 

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

My DIY Taper Cut

It's been a long time since I shared any updates on my hair and much has changed.  I went from arm pit length to a very short tapered cut.  I waited awhile to write about my experiece because I wanted to give myself time to see if I really liked it.  Not just the look but caring for it too.   I absolutely love it!!  I've been getting so many request since posting photos May 31st of the results of my DIY Taper.  I figured it would be better explaining how I did it and how I maintain the shine, definition, and health of my new look.  I'm not a Barber so taper cutting natural hair isn't a service provided at this time.  

I'd been contemplating on cutting my hair since Fall of last year. I wasn't afraid at all with going short, I was afraid of going short and it being the wrong cut for me.  I tried a wig out and even though it was cute it was a straight wig so I really wasn't able to get a true idea of how I'd look with really short hair.  Then I learned of The Cut Life on Instagram and it was life changing.  I was truly addicted to that page.  I found so many photos and pages of black women with natural tapered cuts offering tons of great information on cutting styling and maintaining healthy natural hair.  So much so I grew the confidence to actually cut it myself! 

As I stated before I found lots of women with tapered cut on natural hair with similar textures as mine, many offering advice on how to maintain the cut and keep hair healthy.  One great piece of advice I read was not to cut the style on straight hair.  Reason being most of us have more than one curl pattern. So let's say the front is longer than the back only in appearance when straightened but if left curly it's not that the back is longer anymore. Instead the curls are just tighter and when left in a natural state the jasper still looks even. If it's evened out on straight hair and the intention is to wear a curly taper than the shape my my be the same once it's wet and kinky/curly again.  It was advised that the hair be more in a air dried stretched state.  That way the curl pattern is maintained and the results of the cut will be true to form after its wet and kinky/curly again.  

I don't have any photos of me actually cutting it step by step.  I didn't want to have to keep stopping. From the first large sized snip I just kept going.  I didn't want to stop myself. I was in a roll and my courage was way up.  I followed a [YouTube video from Abilgail Martina] where she shows step by step how to part the hair for the tapered cut and offered plenty of insight on how she got the final look.  

This was the first snip of my hair off.  I cut my hair in a dry stretched state.

This is me going shorter gradually to the length I felt I'd be comfortable with once curly. 

My fro in the sink 😉

Final look on dry, air stretched natural hair. 

View of the back. 

I added a little product and instant curliciousness! 

This is the curl defining cream I used to  set my finger coils and get the final look.

After washing and conditioning my hair I decided to try finger coils for the first time.  They were so easy to do and my curls popped like crazy! I was and still am in love with these tiny yet very healthy and plump curls.  

Side view. I opted for a right sided part as well instead of the usual left side I always wore. 

I slept with my hair covered in satin and let it dry over night.  I separated the coils and these are the results. 

Since these photos were taken May 31st I've had 3 cuts, my last cut being July 19th. I intentionally cut my hair shorter than I wanted so it would grow into the style thinking I'd be able to go longer without reshaping.  I've heard shirt hair is difficult to maintain but to me it isn't.  For me, the maintenance is all in keeping the shape nice and grooming it around the neck and ears.  Aside from that caring for it's been a breeze.