Lavender Pear Almond Muffins

I love a good pumpkin muffin around fall, don’t get me wrong, but last week I decided to take a great muffin recipe and shake it up with other fall flavours instead! Pear is a subtle, but oh-so-delicious, flavour that pairs beautifully with the cherry-like aroma of toasted almonds and the herbaceous, floral flavour of lavender. These are absolutely delicious hot out of the oven and make a great on-the-go breakfast. Not to mention how sparkly and pretty they look with their crust of granulated sugar on the top. For a sweet fall treat that doesn’t centre around pumpkin or cinnamon, look no further!

Lavender-Pear-Almond-Muffins-Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 3/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Stick Butter
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1.5 Tsp Food Grade Lavender Essential Oil
  • 1Tbsp Honey
  • 1/2 Tsp Almond Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Unsalted Almonds
  • 1 Can Pears (Chopped Into 1/4″ Pieces)

Lavender-Pear-Almond-Muffins-Recipe

DIRECTIONS

1 // Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line muffin tin with cupcake foils or grease with a bit of butter or cooking oil.

2 // Mix the dry ingredients together (apart from the sugar) in a large mixing bowl until well blended.

3 // In a medium sized bowl, used an electric mixer or fork to cream the butter, sugar, honey and extracts together until they have the consistency of fluffy snow.

4 // Add your eggs to the butter and sugar mixture and beat until light and creamy.

5 // Gradually your dry mixture to your creamed butter, eggs and sugar. Add your mix and mix with a spoon. The batter should be a little bit lumpy.

6 // Open your canned pears, drain them, and chop them into 1/4″ pieces. Mix them into your batter until they are evenly distributed.

7 // Scoop your batter into your muffin tin – each cup should be 3/4 full so they have enough space to rise while they are baking.

8 // Sprinkle the tops of your muffins with extra granulated sugar to create a delicious, sugary crust.

9 // Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Remove from the over, let them cool and enjoy!

These are truly the coziest fall treat and are the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of coffee or fragrant mug of tea. A little butter really makes these flavours sing, so don’t be afraid to use the real thing (let’s face it, margarine never made anything better). Let me know what you think about this recipe! If you love lavender and like your desserts on the floral and not-too-sweet side, I have a feeling this will be a hit with you.

xoxo,

Alicia

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DIY Exfoliating Pumpkin Face Mask

Face masks are truly one of my favourite indulgences. While there are a bunch of masks I love (especially LUSH’s Oatifix and Sand & Sky’s Australian Pink Clay Mask), it is fun, and cost-effective, to make your own. This fall-inspired formula is one of my favourite recipes. With enzyme-rich pumpkin purée to exfoliate, yogurt and oatmeal to soothe, honey to moisturize and lavender to clarify, it leaves my skin silky and noticeably brighter. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself! You will be hooked.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tbsp Pumpkin Purée
  • 2 Tbsp Organic Plain Yogurt
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Absolute
  • 1 Tsp Liquid Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Oatmeal
  • 1/2 Tsp Lavender Essential Oil
  • liquid-honey-Face-Mask pumpkin-purée-Face-Mask-diydoterra-Lavender-Essential-Oil-Face-Mask
  • DIRECTIONS

    1 // Measure out your ingredients and add them to a bowl.

    2 // Mix well until the mask is a smooth, easy-to-spread paste. If it’s too thick, add a little bit more yogurt and pumpkin purée. If it’s too runny, add more oatmeal. Easy-peasy.

    3 // Spread a thin layer over your face and leave it on for 15 minutes.

    4 // Wash the mask off and admire your smooth and silky face! Dab on a bit of your favorite moisturizer to lock in some hydration.

    And voila! This is a super easy-to-make mask and it’s incredibly nourishing and exfoliating. It also smells ah-maaazing. Give it a try and then immediately report back on how much you love it (or hate it, but I doubt it).

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    The Perfect Vegetarian Power Salad That Will Actually Fill You Up

    I eat a pretty healthy diet in general, but lately I’ve been trying to clean up my diet even more. As a vegetarian, I eat a ton of nutrient-rich veggies and fiber-filled grains. On the other side of the coin, I also eat too many starchy carbs like beans and lentils. Don’t get me wrong, these foods have a ton of health benefits, but considering they make up a huge part of my diet and with all the talk about how we should be eating fewer carbs, I wanted to replace the starch with a few more leafy salads. The problem is, 9 times out of 10, I am left unsatisfied and bored after eating a salad and find myself hungry and reaching for salty, carb-filled snacks not long after. After a little bit of trial and error, I realized the key elements of a satiating salad: protein, fiber, fat and a variety of textures. This delicious salad is packed full or protein-rich tofu, calcium-filled feta, fibrous asparagus and a plethora of flavours and textures. It’s also super quick to prepare and can be made in large batches, making it an awesome option for Sunday meal prep. It’s low-carb as well, so it’s perfect for those on the keto diet. Say goodbye to dullsville piles of leaves and hello to flavour and healthy fats and plant-based protein.

    INGREDIENTS

    Salad

      1/2 Block Of Extra Firm Tofu
      1 Cup Of Mixed Greens (I like a mix of kale, spinach and arugula.)
      1-2 Tbsp Of Crumbled Feta Cheese
      1/2 Cubed Avocado
      1 Cup Chopped Asparagus
      1 Handful Of Chopped Cilantro
  • Dressing

    • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
    • 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp Lime Or Lemon Juice
    • 1 Tsp Minced Ginger
    • 1 Tsp Sea Salt
    • Herbs To Taste (I like oregano and rosemary.)

    DIRECTIONS

    1 // Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Celsius.

    2 // Mix all of the dressing ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl with a whisk. Set aside.

    3 // Chop the vegetables (apart from the asparagus) and toss in a bowl.

    4 // Drain the liquid from the tofu package and chop the tofu into bite sized pieces. Sauté with olive oil, salt and pepper until golden brown (approximately five minutes).

    5 // Cut the bottom end off of all of the asparagus and place on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until tender.

    6 // Once cool, add the asparagus and tofu to the rest of the salad and toss while slowly adding the dressing.

    7 // Garnish with extra cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Serve and enjoy!

    Enjoy your healthy and delicious salad! I promise you won’t be hungry in half an hour. Try it and let me know what you think!

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Double Chocolate Butter Scotch Chip Cookies

    There are so many amazing desserts out there that it’s hard for me to pick a favorite, but if I had to choose, I would have to pick chocolate chip cookies. Let’s face it, it’s hard to beat this comforting classic. Unless, of course, you not only pack them full of extra chocolate chips, but also white chocolate and butterscotch chips! This recipe is what chocolate/caramel dreams are made of. They are chewy and soft and are jam packed with chocolate goodness. They are also incredibly easy to make. Even if you’re a total baking novice, you’ll be able to whip these up in no time without a problem! So go ahead. Pour yourself a glass of milk (or merlot), preheat that oven and get to baking! These are seriously too good to not make.

    INGREDIENTS

    • 2 1/4 Cups Flour
    • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
    • 1 Cup Butter (Or Coconut Oil)
    • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
    • 1/2 Cup White Sugar
    • 1 Tsp Salt
    • 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
    • 1/2 Tsp Caramel Extract
    • 2 Eggs
    • 1/2 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips
    • 1/2 Cup White Chocolate Chips
    • 1/2 Cup Butterscotch Chips

    DIRECTIONS

    1 // Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

    2 // Measure our your flour, baking soda, and salt and mix together in large bowl.

    3 // In a separate bowl, cream the butter (or coconut oil) with the sugar. Add the eggs, caramel extract and vanilla and mix well, either with a fork (it’s a workout) or an electric mixer. Beat until the mixture looks fluffy or like snow.

    4 // Add your dry ingredients to your butter and sugar mixture and mix thoroughly. Slowly add the chocolate and butterscotch chips and combine until they are distributed through the dough.

    5 // Use an ice cream scoop to spoon out balls of dough and place them about 2 inches apart on a greased baking tray or a baking sheet lined with waxed parchment paper.

    6 // Bake the cookies for approximately ten minutes. The cookies should be golden and crispy around the edges but soft in the centre.

    7 // Cool the cookies before transferring them to an airtight container where they will keep for about 1 week.

    If you try making these cookies, let me know what you think of them! They are definitely decadent and are truly a chocoholic’s dream.

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Vegan Pumpkin Spice Chai Snickerdoodles

    We all have our weaknesses, and while I am usually equipped with strong willpower when faced with baked goods, there are a few treats that I simply can’t say no to and am willing to spend an extra hour or two in spin class for. A few examples? My grandmother’s juicy apple pie, a flaky cheese croissant from a really good bakery, and these spicy-sweet snickerdoodles.

    This recipe is from Vegetarian Times, but I tweaked it slightly with sweet pumpkin purée and fragrant chai tea to make it extra delicious and fall-like. This recipe is super easy and can be customized totally depending on the season. For example, you could add some almond extract in the summer, mint in the winter, coconut in the summer – you get the picture. For the perfect cozy fall evening treat, whip up a mouthwatering batch of these tasty cookies and prepare to impress everyone with your crazy dessert chef skills!

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup cornstarch
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 stick (4 oz.) vegan margarine, softened
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 sachet of chai tea
    • 1/4 cup pumpkin purée
    • 1 tsp cardamom
    • 1 tsp nutmeg
    • 1/4 cup soy, almond, coconut or cashew milk
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract

    Cinnamon Sugar Topping

    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 3 tbs. cinnamon


    DIRECTIONS

    1 // Preheat your oven to 350°F and evenly coat your baking sheet with vegan margarine or cooking spray to prevent sticking.

    2 // In one large bowl, mix together your dry ingredients (apart from the sugar). Tear open a packet of chai tea and mix it in with the flour.

    3 // In a separate bowl, use beaters or a fork to cream margarine until it is light and very creamy. Add the sugar and pumpkin purée, and beat until it has a snow-like, fluffy texture.

    4 // Add soymilk and vanilla extract to your creamed sugar and margarine and beat until smooth. Next, add the dry ingredients and beat until it is thouroughly mixed.

    5 // Scoop out and roll little balls of your snickerdoodle dough. Coat each cookie in cinnamon and sugar before placing them on the baking sheet.

    6 // Put the cookies in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. The cookies should be lightly browned on top but still soft and chewy.

    7 // You can keep the cookies in an air tight container for about two weeks.

    These cookies honestly taste like everything good about autumn! Enjoy these decadent treats with a hot chai tea latte or steaming cup of coffee. If you try this recipe, let me know what you think!

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Healthy Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

    I, like most normal human beings, love indulging in a frosty bowl of ice cream. Unfortunately it has been harder for me to enjoy my favorite treat as I have recently become a vegetarian and I’ve learned about all of the horrors that animals endure within the dairy industry. While there are quite a few great vegan ice cream brands and shops out there, I took it upon myself to create my own version – one that is healthy, delicious and free of sketchy preservatives.

    This recipe is ridiculously easy. Seriously, it requires 9 ingredients and you don’t even need an ice cream maker. It also has the creamiest most decadent texture that is pretty much identical to the real thing. I chose to make mint chocolate chip ice cream because it’s my favorite, but you could totally customize this depending on your tastes. For example, you could swap out the banana for strawberry, add more vanilla and forgo the mint to make classic strawberries and cream! The options are endless and oh-so delicious. 

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 Avocado
    • 1 Can Sweetened Coconut Cream
    • 2 Cups Coconut or Cashew Milk (I find that almond milk has too strong of a flavour that distracts from the mint and chocolate.)
    • 1 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
    • 1 tbsp Mint Extract
    • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
    • 1 Banana
    • 2 tsp Stevia 
    • 3 tbsp Matcha Powder
    • A Few Drops of Green Food Colouring


    DIRECTIONS

    1 // Measure out all of your ingredients apart from the chocolate chips, vanilla and mint extract, and food colouring.

    2 // Blend the avocado, banana, coconut cream, coconut milk, stevia and matcha powder until the consistency is rich and creamy – the avocado should make the consistency similar to whipped cream.

    3 // Pour the contents of the blender into a mixing bowl and add the extracts, food colouring and chocolate chips. Stir until the ice cream is a pale mint colour and the chocolate chips are evenly distributed.

    4 // Pour the ice cream mixture into a freeze-safe container and freeze it uncovered for 6 hours. The ice cream should be firm but easy to scoop.

    5 // Scoop, top with sprinkles, shredded coconut, chocolate flakes or whatever you feel like. Enjoy your cruelty/dairy/guilt free frozen treat! 

    I hope you enjoyed this recipe! If you give this a try, let me know how it turns out! 

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    DIY Stress Relieving Whipped Body Butter


    Photo via Poppy Talk 

    In the interest of full disclosure, here’s a little tidbit of information about me – I’m as high strung as they come and have battled varying degrees of anxiety for years. I’ve been a chronic worrier since I was a kid, and while some days are more challenging than others, I do feel that over the years I have found a few things that make me feel better and keep me calm. Some of these things include yoga, going for a brisk walk, painting, or lighting scented candles and taking a bath. These are little comforts for me and I believe that self-pampering and aromatherapy really help to soothe my mind and body. I love essential oils and I find that certain scents have an especially positive effect on my mood. Lavender, rose, ylang-ylang, and vanilla are my favorites and when they are combined, they instantly send me to dreamland. Essential oils also have a lot of effective beautifying properties as well, so what better way is there to reap their stress-relieving benefits than by using them to make an all natural body butter? This particular recipe results in a rich, whipped texture that reminds me of white chocolate mousse, although trust me, you don’t want to eat it. With only two ingredients comprising the actual body butter, it is really easy to make, and you can totally customize this recipe with your own essential oil combinations if you’re not a fan of my soothing blend. It’s totally up to you! Read on for a stress-free mind and super soft skin!

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 Cup Coconut Oil
    • 1/2 Cup Shea Butter
    • 3 Drops Rose Absolute
    • 1 Tsp Rose Water
    • 1 Drop Frankincense Essential Oil
    • 1 Drop Lavender Essential Oil
    • 1 Drop Vanilla Absolute
    • 1 Drop Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil

    DIRECTIONS

    1 // Measure the coconut oil (it should be solid) and shea butter into a medium bowl. Add rose water and stir with a spoon until well blended.

    2 // Blend the buttery mixture with egg beaters or a hand mixer until soft peaks start to form. Set aside. 

    3 // Add essential oils to your partially whipped mixture. Blend further until stiff peaks form.

    4 // Spoon mixture into an empty and clean mason jar. Store in a cool dry place. If you’re giving it away as a gift, feel free to dress the jar up with dried rose petals, lavender buds, ribbon, and/or twine. Get creative! 

    5 // Enjoy your gorgeously floral scented, silky smooth skin!

    If you give this a try, let me know what your verdict is! Also, I’m always on the lookout for beauty DIYs, so please let me in on a few of your favorites!

    xoxo,

    Alicia