A Fruit & Veggie Hashtag Takeover

A Fruit & Veggie Hashtag Takeover - offbeat + inspired

I spend a lot of time on Pinterest and Instagram soaking up the visuals like a sponge. My feeds are loaded primarily with food. A few things happen when I stare at beautiful food photography for hours on end — I want to cook, I want to shoot, and I want to eat. The eating thing is usually what happens first. When all I’ve been looking at are rainbow cakes, brownies loaded with candy and every flavor of French macaron known to mankind, I’m most likely to pig out on sugar and butter. Less than ideal, I know…so instead of fighting the urges (and cavities) on will-power alone, I decided it would be wise to follow more health-focused foodie accounts. Not so surprisingly, it became MUCH easier to eat well when I was taking in all that fresh, green goodness instead of just “junk”. The link between what I was looking at and what I was eating was so obvious that when I learned about the campaign Bolthouse Farms was doing to get people hashtagging more health foods and less junk foods, I flipped. Loved it. So let me explain cause it’s SUCH a cool project.

A Fruit & Veggie Hashtag Takeover - offbeat + inspired

A Fruit & Veggie Hashtag Takeover - offbeat + inspired

Basically Bolthouse launched their “Fruit & Veggie Takeover” on urwhatupost.com. If you head over to that site, you’ll see a really cool representation of which foods are being hashtagged most across all social channels in the “health” and “junk food” categories. The percentage right now is heavily favoring sweets and desserts, but their goal is to tip the scales and get people photographing fresh produce, styling it in a beautiful way and encouraging everyone to post healthy, hashtag healthy and ultimately EAT healthy. I know from experience that this works, so I headed to my lovely friend Hannah’s house with bags of fruits and veggies for a food styling and shooting marathon. I had so much fun creating raw food versions of breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. The fresh stuff is SO pretty.

A Fruit & Veggie Hashtag Takeover - offbeat + inspired

A Fruit & Veggie Hashtag Takeover - offbeat + inspired

I’m really excited to be sharing my favorite shots with you guys over the next week on Instagram. Please follow along, post your own health foods and remember to hashtag them! Tag me, use the #urwhatupost tag and include @bolthousefarms too if you participate so we can see what your favorite health foods are! Use these specific tags if you can to help get that healthy hashtag percentage up: #vegetable, #berry, #potato, #melon, #carrot, #pomegranate, #beet, #grapes, #mushroom, #kale, #avocado, and #brusselsprout

A Fruit & Veggie Hashtag Takeover - offbeat + inspired

You can follow Bolthouse Farms for more healthy inspiration on:

The Web
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

Let’s beat the sweets!!

*In collaboration with Bolthouse Farms. All opinions expressed here are completely my own!* 

GF + Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

GF + Vegan Cinnamon Rolls - offbeat + inspired

I love making friends that share my gluten/dairy intolerances. I hate that they have intolerances because of how fun intolerances aren’t (wouldn’t wish them on anybody), but it’s just awesome to be able to feed my crazy ingredient-ly (??) acrobatic recipes to people who will appreciate them for their health benefits as well as their flavors, and say things like, “WHAT?! I don’t have to stop eating ACTUAL cinnamon rolls?!” No, dear friend. No…you don’t!

GF + Vegan Cinnamon Rolls - offbeat + inspired

GF + Vegan Cinnamon Rolls - offbeat + inspired

I had been on the hunt for a good gluten-free cinnamon roll recipe ever since my sweet friend Beth Kirby posted this magic on her blog a few weeks ago. I had the pleasure and honor of shooting that little baking sesh, and let me tell you…I could not for the life of me get cinnamon rolls off my brain afterwards.

GF + Vegan Cinnamon Rolls - offbeat + inspired

GF + Vegan Cinnamon Rolls - offbeat + inspired

I found a bunch of recipes that looked great, but I was skeptical. I’m always skeptical about gluten-free versions of things that are originally sooooo about the gluten. But I combined a few of the formulas to create the one you’ll find below, and oh my word. OH. MY. WORD. They are really good.

GF + Vegan Cinnamon Rolls - offbeat + inspired

GF + Vegan Cinnamon Rolls - offbeat + inspired

I’m so picky when it comes to my sweets. Texture and flavor are paramount. Although the texture of these rolls isn’t quite as fluffy and elastic as a classic cinnamon roll, I would venture to say it’s equally (if not more) satisfying. You know those wonderful, toasty, caramelized edges you get just on the bottom of a really good cinnamon roll? These are like that, all over. It’s heaven.

So please give these a try and let me know what you think — whether you’re gluten/dairy intolerant, vegan, or neither!!

GF + Vegan Cinnamon Rolls - offbeat + inspired

GF + Vegan Cinnamon Rolls - offbeat + inspired

Have you been blown away by a really good GF/Vegan recipe? I would love to hear about it! I’m especially motivated after the way these rolls turned out to try more challenging bakes!

Actual Cinnamon Rolls (GF + Vegan)
Yields 8 rolls

Wet Ingredients
3/4 cup hemp milk
1/2 cup water
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1/4 cup psyllium husk
4 tbsp. vegan butter (or regular butter)
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Dry Ingredients
3 cups all purpose gluten-free flour (*see below)
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Filling
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of fine sea salt
2 tbsp. vegan butter (or regular butter), melted

Icing
3 cups powdered sugar
1 oz. good bourbon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tbsp. hot water
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)

*All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour

3 cups brown rice flour
3 cups sorghum flour
1 1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 1/2 cup cornstarch

Stir your hemp milk and water together in a medium bowl and microwave for 15-20 seconds until lukewarm. Test with your finger or use a thermometer. The temp should be between 105 and 110 degrees F. Add yeast, give it a quick stir and let it proof for about 10 minutes. The mixture should froth up a bit, which tells you the yeast is good and it’s time to get bakin’!

Whisk in the psyllium husk, butter and vinegar. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and stir with a spoon until it makes sense to switch over to kneading with your hands. You’ll know when. Knead the dough until it’s smooth and fully combined, about 5 minutes.

On a piece of parchment paper, roll out the dough into a large rectangle. Don’t roll it thinner than about 1/4-1/2 inch.

Make the sugar filling. Once it’s done, brush the dough with a little hemp milk and dump the sugar mixture on top. Spread it evenly with your fingers, leaving about a 1/2 inch border around the edges.

Tightly roll the dough (from one of the long edges) to form a log. Place the seam side down, and cut the log in half, then halve the halves, until you have 8 equally sized cinnamon rolls.

Place them on a greased baking sheet, nudged right up against each other so they don’t un-roll themselves, cover with plastic wrap and let them rise in a warm place for about an hour. They won’t double in size like gluten-y cinnamon rolls would, but they will puff up a bit!

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Bake the rolls for 18 minutes, then let cool before serving.

Make the icing! Whisk all the ingredients together. You want the consistency of the icing to be thick and drizzle-able (new word?!). If you need to adjust the consistency, add more sugar to thicken, add more water to thin.

Drizzle the icing over the rolls and serve while warm! These reheat REALLY well. Just store them in the fridge, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, pop the rolls back in the oven and heat for about 5 minutes before serving.

Autumn Layers | Anthropologie, Free People + Block Shop Textiles

Autumn Layers | Anthropologie, Free People + Block Shop Textiles - offbeat + inspired

If I have any say in this at all — fall has arrived. It’s decided! This morning, I woke up at 6AM and it was perfectly chilly outside. My sisters and I had plans. We were going to eat spiced pancakes, drink hot coffee and watch the pilot episode of Gilmore Girls while the sun came up. We did, and it was wonderful.

Keep reading!

Clean Eating | Spiced Sweet Potato Oven Fries

Clean Eating | Spiced Sweet Potato Oven Fries - offbeat + inspired

I’ve got a Whole30 update for you! It’s been a little over a month since I “started” the detox. I put that in quotes because I kinda sorta maybe cheated for the first week straight. Oops. But after that, I dove headfirst into it. I started cooking every night, stopped having frozen margaritas every time we went out for dinner (my weakness, especially at Pepe’s and Le Deauville…), and basically followed every rule I was aware of consistently for the last month. Here are my most notable results, 3 solid weeks in:

Fatigue – I had been having regular fatigue and a really hard time getting to sleep at night prior to W30, but now I have energy all day and I’m sleeping much better. I first noticed the change when I didn’t have my usual late-morning crash — the one after the coffee and breakfast wear off and all I want to do is crawl back into bed and pass out for 3 hours. There’s also much less tossing and turning at night which makes a world of difference.

Keep reading!

Samsung Living Atelier Recap + “Risotto Style” Pasta Inspired By Chef Eric Frechon

Samsung Living Atelier Recap + "Risotto Style" Pasta Inspired By Chef Eric Frechon - offbeat + inspired

The NYC trip last week was a huge success. I had so much fun at the #SamsungLivingAtelier event with the Club Des Chefs and walked away truly inspired. The highlights of the trip for me were so many, but I’ll focus on my top 3:

1. Meeting the Samsung family and getting to experience their creativity up close. When I was invited to attend the launch of Samsung’s “Chef Collection” range of kitchen appliances at their NYC showroom (aka, the Samsung Living Atelier), I was a little intimidated. That’s a massive company. I didn’t know what to expect at all. To my pleasant surprise, I arrived at the Atelier last Wednesday and was instantly blown away by how welcome I felt. The space was big and light with kitchen setups everywhere. I wanted to drop everything and start cooking. The people were all smiles and excitement. The room was buzzing with anticipatory chatter. We couldn’t wait for the chefs to appear and for the new collection to be unveiled.

Keep reading!

The Wake-Up Bar | Don’t Judge A Soap By Its Color

The Wake-Up Bar | Don't Judge A Soap By Its Color - offbeat + inspired

Over the last few years, I’ve watched plenty of food documentaries and read dozens of articles devoted to the study of things we put into and onto our bodies every day. These videos and articles were what originally inspired me to make my own soap. I wanted to undo some of the brainwashing that had me convinced that my shampoo had to smell like candy in order to get my scalp clean, and that if a cupcake tasted like banana, it had to be yellow. As nonsensical as it sounds, the mindset runs deep!

Keep reading!

A Recipe for Cafe Soap

We had a soap party last weekend! A few friends came over and we spent hours melting, mixing, pouring, and having a blast. Coming up with soap recipes and creating them with friends are probably the 2 most enjoyable things about soaping, other than using your very own homemade bar for the first time!

One of the new recipes we tried out was for a coffee soap with jojoba oil. This soap is made with a double-strength coffee base instead of water, used coffee grounds as an exfoliant, and jojoba oil for its great nutrients and skin conditioning properties. We cut the bars last night and now we’re impatiently counting the days until they’re finished curing. We’re really excited to gift these when they’re ready – that is if we don’t end up hoarding them all for ourselves…

Keep reading!

Cold Process Soap Making for Beginners!

About 2 years ago I went on a skincare health kick. I don’t remember exactly what set it off, but it was probably after watching some doomsday documentary about the monsters living in our moisturizers. I’m pretty gullible when it comes to stuff like that, but I figure it’s better to be safe than sorry! I started off by cross-checking almost every bath & body product I was using on EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. This is a great resource if you have a favorite product and want to know its potential hazard rating. I only felt comfortable using products with a rating lower than 4.  As helpful as this was, I started feeling less trusting of the companies behind the labels. The cosmetics industry does have certain standards to live up to, but you can never know for sure if a label is completely honest! I know this mindset can send me off the deep end where I move into a tree house and eat leaves for the rest of my life, so in the interest of REALISM, I decided to take on a new hobby: SOAP MAKING!

The idea of knowing exactly what was going into my most frequently used bath product was definitely appealing, to say the least. I set out on a mission to create a moisturizing, cleansing, fragrant, all natural soap with quality ingredients. It also doesn’t hurt that quality handmade soaps make WONDERFUL gifts!

There are a few different methods of soap making, but the one I ended up loving was Cold Process (CP). This method has a short prep time and a long cure time.  The cure time (4-6 weeks) is frustrating if you’re in a hurry to use your soap, but a long cure is necessary to produce the best quality. Making a batch of Cold Process Soap takes 1-2 hours initially and then an additional 4-6 weeks before you should use or gift it. This is how long it takes for the water to completely evaporate, resulting in a harder, longer lasting bar of soap. One misconception about CP cure time is that the soap is unsafe to use within the 4-6 week time frame because it hasn’t “saponified” yet. Saponification is the chemical reaction between fats, lye & water that produces the substance we call soap! It actually only takes about 2 days for saponification to complete. So technically, you can use your soap after 2 days, but it will be very soft and will most likely fall apart in the shower. “Aging” your soap is definitely encouraged! The long wait was annoying at first, but it allowed me to walk away from the project for a while, thus avoiding burnout (which I am 100% prone to) AND giving me something to look forward to!

Researching a topic like this can be extremely tedious, so I’m hoping to save budding CP soapers a little bit of trouble by consolidating everything I learned into this post. By the end, you will be equipped to try your first batch of CP soap!

Keep reading!