Category Archives: treat

Money Saving Monday–Eat it Starbucks

Readers, I’m not going to lie, I really, really like coffee.

I’m not one of those bloggers that’s going to tell you to abstain from God’s way of telling us he loves us and wants to wake up and have a good day…or afternoon pick me up…or a good study session…all nighter…etc… In fact, I love it exactly as much as I love tea, which says a lot because I ADORE tea! If I could find some hot water I’d be drinking some tea right now!

But this isn’t about tea. It’s not even really about coffee.

Starbucks has this creation that it calls a blended “coffee” drink. It’s not coffee. It might have a teensy bit of coffee, but it’s almost entirely not coffee. It is full of cream, chocolate, and other “goodies” that will set you back AT LEAST a meals worth of calories, fat, and sugar. It will also cost you AT LEAST five bucks. Boo!

Photobucket

Yeah, that’s right, Frappuccino, I’m talking about you. You’re disgusting!

Guys, I don’t really care if you count your calories or sugar intake or any of that. I don’t and I’m much happier this way. But if you’re going to drink something that sugar laden and icky, you should at least get some nutrients. Or some coffee.

A Much Better Blended Coffee Drink
1/2 cup black coffee, room temperature or chilled
1 frozen banana, in chunks
1/2 to 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (some may need to dilute the coffee more)
4-5 ice cubes
maple syrup or other sweetener to taste (I used 1 tsp)

In a blender, add all the ingredients except the ice. Blend until smooth, then add the ice cubes, one at a time, until your drink has the desired consistency.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Well would you look at that. I may have just put Starbucks out of business.

(I didn’t mean that Starbucks. I really like your soy vanilla lattes. Shhh. Don’t tell my readers.)

Seriously though, if you absolutely need something sweet and caffeinated, you can’t beat this. You’re getting the health benefits of coffee that all the doctors are raving about right now, the health benefits of cocoa (doesn’t get much darker than that), the health benefits of almond milk (hello readily absorbed calcium!), and the health benefits of bananas (potassium is a go)–and it’s DELICIOUS!

Go ahead, have a “venti” one. You’ll feel fancy and all your friends will be jealous of your barista abilities. And you’ll save yourself a few bucks, to boot.

Drink and be awake, readers!

Advertisements

My Cupcakes, and Why You Should Be Glad I Like to Share.

Readers, you would have read this last night, but sadly I hate to write a midterm. It was about American literature between 1890 and 1920, involved a lot of race and gender inequities, and left me feeling dirty afterwards. Had we any muffins left (Olive…) I’d have reached for one as solace. Sadly, we had nothing left but cupcakes.

Well, I guess I’ll eat one, if I have to.

Double Chocolate Cupcakes
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup vegan semisweet chips (Ghirardelli’s are vegan, and very yummy!)
1 Recipe “Vegan Frosting of Joy”

Preheat oven to 350F.

As per usual, you’re going to want to mix the dry ingredients together. This still includes the sugar. In fact, you’ll find this recipe is a lot like the muffin recipe. Higher ratios of the good stuff (fat, sugar) is what differentiates quick bread from cakes. That’s boring. Let’s mix some applesauce with oil!

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Whisk the applesauce and oil together till emulsified. This will be trickier than with muffins, because there is much more oil. Do the best you can. After that, stir in the milk. Gently add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do this in as few strokes as possible.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

You can leave this next part out, but I wouldn’t.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Gently fold in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick (who am I kidding, fork) comes out clean. You can make mini muffins, too, just bake them for ten minutes instead. They are an amazing bite sized treat! If you want to make this as an actual cake, that’s fine, too. This will fill one standard, round cake pan–double the recipe if you want a layer cake. Bake it for 30-40 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean, then bring me a piece. Please.

Let cool completely before frosting.

Oh, did you WANT frosting?

Vegan Frosting of Joy
1/4 cup vegan margarine (like Earth Balance) or coconut oil (if you can afford that stuff)
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1-3 tbs unsweetened almond milk

This is actually really simple. First, with an electric hand mixer, or really, really great biceps, beat the margarine till soft.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
From this…
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
…to this.

Then, add vanilla, powdered sugar, and 1 tablespoon of the milk. Beat until the consistency is fluffy and dreamy, adding additional milk as necessary. It will look like this:

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Whatever you do, do not skip this next step!

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
Mike wanted one, but I growled at him when he reached for it.

This is actually firm enough a frosting that if you wanted to pipe it onto your cupcakes or make semi-fancy designs, you could. Unfortunately, I didn’t let my cupcakes cool enough, so that lovely piping melted. Still tasted good, though.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

These cupcakes are NOT health food, but they are better for you than anything you’ll buy at your grocery store bakery, and definitely better than anything you’d get out of the box. You’re getting whole grains and considerably less fat and sugar than any commercially made product. At that, you can pronounce the names of the ingredients, which is a definite plus. They’re extremely easy, as well. Plus, the ingredients are fairly inexpensive. Also, did I mention that these are some of the richest cupcakes I’ve ever eaten? They’re absolutely to die for, and Mike, his coworkers, Olive, and my bandmates ate these like it was their last meal.

Make these. They’re amazing.