Maple Sunflower Seed Butter from www.eatsrealfood.com

Maple Sunflower Seed Butter

Making your own seed and nut butters are quite possibly one of the easiest things to whip up. I know, for some reason it seems like a daunting task and we immediately go for the store-bought (which are delicious). But after making your first homemade batch, you will see how easy it is! Give my Maple Sunflower Seed butter a shot and I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

Maple Sunflower Seed Butter from www.eatsrealfood.comSunflower seed butter has been my favorite for the past couple of years since I was first introduced to it. I was all about the almond butter for a while, meaning I ate it almost every.single.day. I’ll still go for the AB (almond butter) when I need a change, but my new front runner is the sunflower seed goodness.

Maple Sunflower Seed Butter from www.eatsrealfood.comSunflower seed butter is a great alternative if you have a peanut allergy. It’s a safe addition to bring to kid-friendly events. I also love the unique, earthy flavor of the sunflower seeds. I use shelled, unsalted sunflower seeds, it allows me to control the sodium content.

Maple Sunflower Seed Butter from www.eatsrealfood.comSunflower seeds are packed with nutrition. They are a great source of vitamin E, an antioxidant (fat-soluble) known for its anti-inflammatory effects. They are phytosterols, a plant-based compound that can help reduce the risk of some cancers and lower blood cholesterol levels.

Maple Sunflower Seed Butter from www.eatsrealfood.comI don’t always eat sweetened sunflower seed butter, but when I do, I like it with honey or pure maple syrup – more antioxidants please! This Maple Sunflower Seed Butter is a pantry staple that you should add to yours as well!

  1. Have you ever made your own nut/seed butters?
  2. What’s your favorite kind?
Chia Acai Oat Bliss via Breakfast Criminals

Breakfast Criminals eBook + Chia Acai Oat Bliss

If you haven’t purchased the new Breakfast Criminals eBook yet, you’re going to want to get your hands on this beautiful masterpiece.

Breakfast Criminals eBookOver 100 nourishing AND gorgeous superfood breakfasts to boot, plus tips to help improve a refined-sugar free, gluten-free and vegan lifestyle. I personally am not vegan, but I naturally tend to eat a good amount of vegan dishes when cooking for myself at home.

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie via Breakfast CriminalsChief Breakfast Criminal, Ksenia Avdulova, and the mastermind behind the Breakfast Criminals Instagram account, strives to make you a happier person by encouraging wholesome breakfasts made with superfoods. Like myself, Ksenia is a whole-foodie with a deep love for breakfast. It’s not referred to as the most important meal of the day for nothing!

Raw Buckwheat Pitaya Porridge _ Breakfast CriminalsStarting your day with a nourishing breakfast puts the fuel in your tank to provide your body the energy it needs to run efficiently (just like a car). Thinking about skipping breakfast and starting the work day without any fuel? Think again. You will have far less energy, difficulty focusing and overall decreased mental capacity. Also, the sooner you eat something after waking up, the quicker your metabolism starts working so you will be burning more calories throughout the day. If you don’t feed your body, it has nothing to work with.

Breakfast Criminals Acai BowlWe also can’t forget about the presentation. I know the week days may be more tough to make your meals look as stunning as they taste, I tend to play around with them on the weekends myself. I know when I make the time to dress up my breakfast, it makes it much more satisfying = happiness.

Chia Acai Oat Bliss via Breakfast CriminalsI made Chia Acai Oat Bliss from the Breakfast Criminals eBook last weekend and it was delicious and filling! What I love about all of these recipes is that everything is quick and easy. I substituted almond milk for hemp milk because that’s what I had on hand.

Chia Acai Oat Bliss via Breakfast CriminalsI used Sambazon frozen acai smoothie pack because they are the best! You can find them at your local health food store (I bought mine at Whole Foods).

Chia Acai Oat Bliss via Breakfast CriminalsAnd we can’t forget about the toppings. Ksenia suggests wonderful pairings for each recipe. I added banana, blueberries and goji berries. Get creative and have fun with it!

Chia Acai Oat Bliss via Breakfast CriminalsDo yourselves a favor and buy the Breakfast Criminals eBook. It will make you feel beautiful inside and out. $2 from every purchase of the book will be donated to The Children’s Breakfast Club, a non-profit charitable organization that believes every child is entitled to a nutritious breakfast.

No compensation was involved. I was kindly provided with the Breakfast Criminals eBook for review and all opinions are my own.

A Day in the City {NYC}

I was happily on vacation last week, back on the east coast. I flew into JFK and made a quick pit stop in Manhattan for a few short hours, drove back home to Syracuse, then it was off to Connecticut the next morning for my sister’s wedding!

Since living on the west coast, I’m not able to make trips to New York City as often as I’d like. It was a bit crazy how timing planned out, but I wanted to take advantage while I could. I will always consider NYC to be “my” city, being from NY originally. I just had to stop and say hello!

Radio City Music HallMy mom and I covered a good amount in a short time. Some great eats were had, balanced out by a lot of walking…it’s NYC after all.

Le Pain QuotidienWe had lunch at Le Pain Quotidien across from Bryant Park. It was my first time there and I loved it! I had the vegetable quiche alongside the most delicious salad with the most beautiful, thinly sliced golden beets. I typically like to find small, local places to eat, but when you’re ha-ngry, you just need to eat. Both of us gave Le Pain Quotidien two thumbs up.

Rockefeller PlazaWe mostly stayed around Rockefeller Center, 5th Ave. and made a last-minute dinner stop in Times Square before heading back to the car.

Empire StateWe decided to go to the Top of the Rock. With multiple trips to the city, both of us have never gone to the top of Rockefeller Center. It was absolutely gorgeous, with a 360 degree view of the city. The first stop is on the 67th floor, where you can explore the views through glass panels (through 69th floor). On the 70th floor, it’s all open air and that is where the best views of the dramatic city are found.

Central ParkI highly suggest you stay away if you’re afraid of heights – obvious. But I would definitely recommend adding a tour of the Top of the Rock to your list someday!

NYCRight before grabbing dinner (sorry, no picture) we made an obligatory stop at Magnolia Bakery for dessert on the road. Although there are now many locations throughout the world, to me, it will always be the best in NYC where it all started.

Magnolia BakeryI knew what I was going to get for probably 2 months prior. The famous banana pudding. Is that even a question? It is hands down, the best dessert I’ve had in a long time. The copious amount of fresh banana slices intertwined with soft vanilla wafers and creamy vanilla pudding. Heaven in a cup. I don’t eat it often, but when I do, I savor every bite. I miss you banana pudding, I want more.

It’s always an adventure when in NYC. As crazy as it is, there is so much to love and EAT. Until next time New York!!

Nutty Green Smoothie from www.eatsrealfood.com

Green Sunflower Smoothie

Smoothies taste so good right now in this summer heat. This Green Sunflower Smoothie has been my current go-to.

Green Sunflower Smoothie from www.eatsrealfood.comIt also doesn’t get any easier throwing in your endless smoothie options into the blender and having a part of your meal, snack, dessert, etc. done in 2 minutes or less. I’ve been trying to avoid turning on the oven and stove lately (thanks to my non-existant AC). Sometimes, it’s just too hot to cook.  And that’s why smoothies are so awesome.

Green Sunflower Smoothie from www.eatsrealfood.comI typically fill up my smoothies with real, wholesome foods/ingredients, unless I’m re-fueling after a long run and then I’ll add a scoop of plant-based protein powder. This Green Sunflower Smoothie has only 4 ingredients and all natural sweetness. If you need a little more sweet to your smoothie, add in a teaspoon or so of raw honey or real maple syrup.

Green Sunflower Smoothie from www.eatsrealfood.comThe addition of Cut ‘N Clean Greens Kale gives this smoothie a boost of vitamins K, A, C, iron, calcium and much more. I highly recommend adding in a handful of greens (kale, spinach) to your smoothies to get in an extra serving of vegetables and added vitamins/minerals.