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5 WAYS TO CREATE A GREAT VEGAN PICNIC

Roadtripping? Stop for a picnic!
Take a break during long drives by stopping at a roadside rest area for a light lunch or snack. While big picnic meals work for set destinations, road trips rely on easy, on-the-go eating. Mason jars make a great travel vessel for little servings of meals such as layered salad or a dip, small sandwich squares, and different easy pastas. If you didn’t bring your own food, make do with the best vegan options from a nearby convenience store, food truck or local market. Make it enjoyable by sitting at a picnic table or laying out a blanket on a patch of grass nearby

Backyard picnics
On a quiet weekend mornings, bring out a picnic blanket in your backyard. The idea of picnicking seems to make meal time magical, especially for children. Pour your coffee or tea into a thermos, and make a simple breakfast. Something like oats with berries and nuts, scrambled tofu breakfast wraps, or easy grab and go items like muffins and fresh fruit. Serve breakfast on a tray and enjoy the summer mornings before they’re gone.

Impress that someone special with a secluded sunset picnic.
It's a bit cliché, but everyone can appreciate a good ol’ picnic in the park. Make a midweek evening memorable with a spontaneous night out to watch the sunset. Find a comfortable place with a view of the sky and plan to set up shop around dusk. Stop by the market for snacks on your way. You don’t need much—crackers and vegan cheese, fruit, some sweets and wine, plus a large blanket and bug spray (Most important). Remember to bring candles or a flashlight so you can continue to enjoy your picnic (and each other's company) once the sun goes down.

Take a lunch break outside during the workweek.
Picnics aren’t just for weekends and holidays. One of my favorite easy lunch ideas during the workweek is to just go outside with a simple brown-bag lunch. Map out the closest picnic table, public park, or random patch of grass near your office. Bring along portable meal options that don’t need reheating such as different salads, sandwiches, raw veggies and dip, and fresh fruit. Bring along a small blanket and some reading material if you’re eating solo, or ask a colleague to join in on the fun and make it a potluck picnic.

Throw an indoor picnic party.
If you've got one of those nights when the weather just isn’t good to eat outside, cozy up with some blankets and candles on the living room floor. Invite a crowd or just your significant other, and have fun with food since your kitchen won't be far away. Watch movies and play board games while you eat whatever you've got on hand.
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Pumpkin French Toast, Fall Breakfast Perfection~
Cooking Classy, you have done it again. Seriously guys, this is one of my favorite food blogs ever, because every single one of Jaclyn's recipes are a total win. Like this mouthwatering pumpkin french toast, made with real pumpkin puree, fall spices, and thick, fluffy slices of bread. Can it get better than this, I ask, on a chilly fall morning? I'll take two (helpings, not slices. Teehee) and a steaming café latté. Happy to have you back, Fall :) Cooking Classy's Jaclyn recommends serving warm with butter and maple syrup. I personally love the idea of adding a dollop of whipped cream too ;) Pumpkin French Toast Prep Time: Cook Time: Difficulty: Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy // Photos by Cooking Classy Makes about 9 slices What You'll Need 3/4 cup milk 1/2 cup pumpkin puree 4 eggs 2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg 1/4 tsp ground ginger 9 slices Texas toast (or other white bread such as Challah or French bread) Butter, for griddle 1. Preheat your cooking surface (if it's an electric griddle, turn it to 350°F; or if you're cooking on the stove, place a nonstick skillet over medium heat). 2. Combine milk, pumpkin puree, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk until evenly combined. 3. After making sure griddle is well-buttered, dip slice of bread into egg mixture, allowing a few seconds for it to soak all the way through. Flip to coat both sides. 4. Cook until golden brown, then flip and do the same on the opposite side. For extra super yumminess, re-butter griddle between flips. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream and a side of maple syrup! :) Check out some other awesome fall recipes! Kimchi Jjigae by @RaquelArredondo – A delicious, spicy Korean soup to warm you up! Pumpkin Pie in a Pumpkin by @marshalledgar – Such an adorable concept!! Chicken-Flavored Vegetable Soup with Chive Dumplings by @DaniVO – Doesn't it sound just to die for?? Delicious! Have a great week everybody!!
Healthy Strawberry Chia Watermelon Smoothie
Cold and refreshing, sweet and tart, with a twist of lime for freshness – this vegan, gluten-free smoothie is a perfect (and healthy!) summer treat, complete with chia seeds, which I probably don't need to tell you are a nutritional GOLD MINE. Chia seeds are packed with fiber and antioxidants. They're a good source of protein, and gram for gram, have more Omega-3 fatty acids than salmon. It's no coincidence that "chia" means "strength" – ancient Mayans and Aztecs prized this tiny seed for its sustainable energy. Today, health nuts everywhere rejoice in the chia's ability to pack so much good stuff into so few calories! (Source) This delicious, refreshing smoothies could not be easier to make. Minimalist Baker has whipped up another incredible recipe for us; check out their site for a lot of other wonderful treats that take one bowl, less than 10 ingredients, or 30 minutes (or less!) to prepare. In the meantime, pour yourself a big glass of this smoothie, sprinkle on some chia seeds, and feel your cares float away on the summer breeze. Strawberry Chia Watermelon Smoothie Recipe by Minimalist Baker Serves 2 Ingredients 1 1/2 cups (240 g) fresh watermelon, cubed (black seeds removed) 1 cup (120 g) frozen strawberries 1/2 ripe banana (50 g), previously peeled, chopped and frozen 1/2 - 3/4 cup (120-180 ml) unsweetened plain almond milk 1 lime, juiced (~30 ml) 1 Tbsp chia or hemp seeds (optional) Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until creamy and smooth, adding more almond milk to thin, or more frozen strawberries or ice to thicken. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more lime for acidity, banana for sweetness, or watermelon for a more intense watermelon flavor. Top with additional chia seeds to mock watermelon seeds! Best when fresh, though leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. I can't wait to give this a try – let me know how yours come out! :)
Pikachu Buns
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Homemade Pop-Tarts? Oh Hells Yeah!
I never want to eat a store bought Pop-Tart again. Not after looking at this recipe, which uses real, flaky butter pastry (instead of crumbly cardboard dough) and your favorite fruit preserves (instead of sugar mixed with red dye 40). The homemade frosting and cheerful rainbow sprinkles are the icing on the cake! Photo and recipe credit go to Jaclyn over at Cooking Classy, an awesome cooking and baking blog that you need to check out! For now, here's the recipe for your new favorite breakfast (or anytime) treat. Homemade Pop-Tarts Prep Time: 20 mins. Chill Time: 3 hours. Cook Time: 30 mins. Difficulty: Medium Makes 8 pop-tarts What You'll Need For the pastry: 2 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling 1 tsp salt 1 tsp granulated sugar 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and diced into 1/2-inch cubes 4 - 5 Tbsp ice water 3/4 cup strawberry preserves, divided (or other preserve of choice) For the icing: 1 cup powdered sugar 2 Tbsp half and half, plus more as needed 1/4 tsp vanilla extract What To Do 1. Make the pastry dough: Pulse together flour, salt and granulated sugar in a food processor. Add butter and continue to pulse until the butter is broken up, and the mixture has a mealy texture. Add 4 tablespoons of water and pulse a few times until it comes together into dough; if it fails to come together, add another tablespoon of water and pulse again. 2. On a clean surface, divide dough into two portions. Shape each into a 5-inch dish, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for 1 hour. Meanwhile, line two rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper. 3. Remove one disk from the fridge; leave the other one to chill. Roll out the dough disk into a rectangle measuring approximately 13 inches by 11 inches. If edges crack, just stick them back together and keep rolling. Trim edges just so, so you have a 12"x10" perfect rectangle. Cut this into 8 5"x3" rectangles. 4. Arrange 4 rectangles evenly spaced on the parchment-lined cookie sheet; spread 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of jam evenly down the center of each rectangle. Seal edges with fingertips, then reseal with a fork. Use a tooth pick to poke the top of each tart 4 times. Let chill in the freezer for at least 2 hours, or up to one week. 5. Repeat process with second disk of dough. 6. Preheat oven to 375°F. With one rack in the upper third of the oven and one in the bottom third, bake frozen tarts until golden, rotating racks halfway through baking. It will take about 25-30 minutes in all. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for several minutes, then transfer to wire rack. 7. Make the icing: Whisk together all ingredients, then add additional half and half a 1/2 teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Spread over cooled pop-tarts, then dust with rainbow sprinkles. Allow to set at room temperature. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy! A little bit of a process, but totally worth it, don't you think? I can't wait to try these sweet treats in my own kitchen! :D
Green Tea Smoothies – Delicious, Healthy, and Help You Lose Weight
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BTS Secret Drink Menu: BTS Cafe
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Apple Pie Chia Breakfast Parfait – No Sugar Added!
This delicious and super-healthy breakfast was dreamed up by Oh She Glows. Look how yummy!! Naturally sweet Apple Pie Chia Jam is layered with hearty overnight oats to give you all wholesome fuel you need to have a great day. It's vegan, gluten free, and totally awesome for you :) You'll love it! Apple Pie Chia Jam & Breakfast Parfait Prep Time: 15 min. Cook Time: 20 min. Chill Time: Overnight. Difficulty: Easy Photos from / Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows Makes 2 parfaits Ingredients For the apple pie jam: 3 large apples, peeled and diced 3/4 cup 100% pure apple juice 2 tablespoons chia seeds 3/4-1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional) pinch of fine grain sea salt (optional) For the parfait: 1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats 1 + 1/4 cups homemade or store-bought almond milk 2 tablespoons chia seeds 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon sweetener, to taste (optional) Apple Pie Jam (from above) Chopped toasted walnuts (optional) How to Make It (so easy!) 1. For the Jam: Combine all jam ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 15-20 mins. over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. When apples are tender, remove from heat. Mash half the mixture and stir together, creating a thicker texture. Let cool. 2. For the overnight oats: Combine oats, chia seeds, almond milk, vanilla, and cinnamon in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Place in the fridge overnight (or for 1-2 hours minimum) to thicken. It's ready when oats are softened and liquid mostly absorbed. 3. To make parfaits: Layer the vegan overnight oats with the apple pie jam, a few spoonfuls of each per layer. Add toasted chopped walnuts on top of each layer if you like! Store leftover jam in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy this delicious vegan breakfast!! Your body will thank you <3 Follow my Simple Cooking and Favorite Fall Recipes collections for more easy recipes! :D And you have any requests for a recipe, never hesitate to let me know ;D