Freedom.

Let freedom ring!

And by freedom, I mean the freedom that I felt upon finishing my chem final yesterday.

Then, to top it off, I walked outside to a 4th of July decorated corridor filled with students playing carnival games and feasting on the delicious smoked barbecue that hit the tip of my nose the second I touched the concrete.

Pure bliss.

I am so proud to be an American.

To live in a land where I can do what I want.

Well, you know, to an extent 🙂

The thing that I love most about the fourth of July is well…just about everything.

From the fireworks to the burgers, and then…to the dessert.

Nothing says the fourth of July like a double scoop of homemade vanilla Bluebell ice cream with some sort of warm fruit crisp.

It’s all about the crust, people.

IMG_2423

I’m definitely a crust person.

IMG_2424

Just give me the pie, but take out the filling and I’ll just eat a plate of crust please.

Graham cracker crust is mahhhhhh fave.

IMG_2425

But then there is jam.

I am a jam kind of person.

IMG_2426

I could slather a good jam on just about anything.

IMG_2427

Especially when it’s made locally.

Revival Market knows their jams.

I just had to have a jar of their blackberry preserves.

If you’ve ever had blackberries picked fresh off their bushes at the peak of blackberry season…you know my joy.

I was privileged to live down the street from some family friends who would bring us a barrel each time blackberry season hit.

I smashed banged a crust and some blackberry jam together.

IMG_2429

We will call these blackberry jam bars.

IMG_2430

Just think of a really, really, ridiculously good crispy, yet delicate pie crust (this one’s made with olive oil, y’all)

IMG_2431

slathered with a sweet blackberry jam.

IMG_2433

Heaven on earth.

IMG_2434

They just happen to be vegan, paleo, and gluten-free.

IMG_2437

You love me.

Blackberry Jam Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Sweet blackberry jam spread over a crispy almond coconut crust. Gluten-free, vegan, and paleo.
Ingredients
  • ½ c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ c. coconut sugar
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • ⅓ c. + ¼ c. almond meal
  • ⅓ c. coconut flour
  • ½ t. baking powder
  • 1 c. blackberry preserves
  • coconut butter, for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 in. square baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the evoo, coconut sugar, and vanilla.
  3. Stir in the almond meal, coconut flour, and baking powder.
  4. Press the crust mixture into the prepared pan.
  5. Place the preserves in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 10-15 second or until slightly melted.
  6. Spread the preserves evenly over the crust.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the crust is slightly golden and the jam begins to bubble.
  8. Let cool completely, slice into even squares, and serve with a drizzle of melted coconut butter.

Nutritional Facts: Calories: 140, Total Fat: 1.4g, Total Carb: 9.9g, Sugars: 1.5g, Protein: 1.8g

MANGIA!!!

Road Jamz.

It’s Friday.

Fist pump to the max.

I’m currently on a itty bitty road trip with my dad.

Me, my dad, and two pups.

I love taking road trips w/ my dad.

It’s truly a time that we can enjoy together and zen out.

I once drove a u-haul truck w/ him from Phoenix to Houston when he was moving back from Cali.

I’m pretty sure we drove through the night and were so completely exhausted that we had to pull over on the side of the road and take a cat-nap in San Antonio.

Best part of that road trip…State Line Barbecue in El Paso and brushing my teeth at a truck stop.

There is just something so satisfying about a huge rack of pork ribs and a dense block of homemade cornbread after a long day of traveling.

For me…the food is actually the best part about traveling.

Duh.

Remember that stuff I made yesterday?

IMG_2229

I totally put that jam up in your muffins.

IMG_2230

Yep, I swirled that delicious Double Berry Coconut Jam right into a banana muffin.

IMG_2231

Ummmmmm ya, these are pretty legit.

IMG_2234

You know what else is legit?

IMG_2237

My obsession w/ Mariah Carey radio on Pandora.

IMG_2240

I mean, she was pretty much my idol when I was 3.

IMG_2241

Her, and Selen(as).

IMG_2242

I’m 100% positive that I believed I was of Hispanic descent.

IMG_2243

I still think I can sing Spanish songs pretty darn well.

IMG_2245

It’s pretty pitiful I don’t know what they even mean.

IMG_2246

Ummmm…eat these muffins. That’s all.

Double Berry Jam Banana Muffins
Author: 
Recipe type: Muffins, Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 14
 
Fluffy and light banana muffins swirled with homemade jam made of strawberries, blackberries, and sweetened with coconut sugar. Perfect for breakfast or a snack. Gluten-free, paleo, refined sugar-free.
Ingredients
  • 1 batch of Double Berry Coconut Jam (see my recipe index for recipe)
  • 2 large, ripe bananas, mashed
  • ½ c. liquid egg whites
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ c. extra-virgin olive oil (or coconut oil)
  • ¼ c. unsweetened, vanilla almond milk
  • 2 T. pure honey
  • ½ t. pure vanilla extract
  • ½ c. coconut flour
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • ½ t. baking soda
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or grease with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the bananas, egg whites, eggs, evoo, almond milk, honey and vanilla extract until smooth.
  3. Mix in the coconut flour, cinnamon, and baking soda until a batter forms.
  4. Drop the batter by two heaping teaspoons full into each muffin cup.
  5. Drop about one heaping teaspoon full of jam on top of each of the uncooked muffins.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of each muffin comes out clean.
  7. Let the muffins cool completely before turning out.
  8. Serve topped with more jam.

Nutritional Facts (per 1/14th of recipe): Total Calories: 103.7, Total Fat: 5.2g (1.7g Saturated Fat), Sodium: 86.2mg, Potassium: 85.9mg, Total Carbs: 11.8g, Dietary Fiber: 3.6g, Sugars: 5.4g, Protein: 3.2g

MANGIA!!!

Jamz.

I should be on vacation right now.

I say this because I am super jealous that my mom and seester are visiting family in Arizona.

I mean, seriously?

I couldn’t go b/c of prior responsibilities.

Just when I think being an adult means doing what I want, when I want, how I want, that big ole’ RESPONSIBILITY comes knocking.

My goal is to take a vacay this summer when I have time.

It will happen.

Throw out some suggestions.

In other news, I’m addicted to all things banana.

Oh, and Mariah Carey radio on Pandora.

More on that tomorrow.

Geez.

Let’s chat about summer things.

Berries.

Super summer food.

Let’s smash two berries together.

IMG_2201

Blackberries + Strawberries

IMG_2202

+ Coconut Sugar + Orange Juice

IMG_2205

That’s pretty much 4 ingredients

IMG_2206

to make one heck of an amazing jam.

IMG_2207

It’s pretty much summer in a jar.

IMG_2211

Sweet, juicy, tangy

IMG_2216

and absolutely meant to be slathered on just about anything.

IMG_2218

Might I suggest we start with toast.

IMG_2219

Feel free to smear some peanut butter on that toast too!

Double Berry Coconut Jam
Author: 
Recipe type: Jam, Spread, Snack, Fruit
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 cups
 
A sweet, tangy, and juicy thick jam loaded with fresh blackberries and strawberries and sweetened w/ a coconut sugar. Gluten-free/vegan/paleo/refined sugar-free.
Ingredients
  • 1 c. fresh blackberries
  • 16 oz. fresh strawberries, stemmed, and sliced into fourths lengthwise
  • 1 c. raw coconut sugar
  • juice of 1 large orange
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients in a large sauce pan or dutch oven.
  2. Smash the berries using a potato masher just enough to slightly break them down.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil on the stove, then lower the heat and let simmer 15 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat off on the stove and let the mixture cool completely.
  5. You can choose to slightly puree the jam using a blender or an immersion blender until you reach your desired consistency.
  6. Serve spread on toast, muffins, etc.

MANGIA!!!