Tart Lemon Berry Smoothie

On Monday of this week, something terrible happened. I had one of those tell-tale oh crap I’m getting sick sneezes. I immediately went into hyper-panicked-prevention mode; no way would I be getting sick  for London. No way would I be sitting on an airplane for eight hours with a cold! I poured myself some Emergen-C, stuffed my face with some grapefruit, squeezed lemon into my water, and drank lots of it.

I also made myself a particularly beautiful smoothie!

Tart Lemon Berry Smoothie

makes one smoothie

1 C Raw Spinach

1 C Frozen Raspberries

1/2 C Frozen Blueberries

1 Lemon Soy Yogurt

1/4 C Soymilk

In a blender, combine all ingredients.

Blend until smooth, and enjoy!

The yogurt that I use is from Whole Foods and is made by Whole Soy & Co. The lemon flavor is absolutely addicting and is made with real lemons– I highly recommend it.

The berries are full of vitamin C and antioxidants, and the spinach is high in calcium, iron, and vitamins C, E, and K. Lemon, of course, also has plenty of vitamin C.

I swear by vitamin C when I feel like I’m coming down with a cold, and can attest to the fact that it definitely shortens the life of my colds.

No smoothies for me today! I’m busy exploring in London!

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Perfect Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

This week was probably the slowest week I’ve experienced in my life. I don’t really know why, but life was moving an at absolutely glacial pace. The light at the end of the tunnel, however, was Blackbird.

Blackbird is a 100% vegan pizzeria in Philadelphia, and it is incredible. They have margherita pizza that uses tofu for mozzerella, and their other pies use Daiya and various homemade seitan mock-meats and veggies to create incredible vegan pizza. I hadn’t been to Blackbird in few months, so I decided it was about time that I go back. Mel, my roommate, and I ordered the Yukon Pie, which is one of the more creative choices at the pizzeria.

It’s simply pizza crust with olive oil and thinly sliced yukon potatoes and rosemary. But it is to die for.

Meet Mel!

Another reason I’m in love with Blackbird is that it looks like a plain old pizzeria. They have this punk-rock vibe but there’s no fancy decorations, tablecloths, ambient lighting, or tranquil music. OH, and all of their desserts are supplied by Vegan Treats in Bethlehem. I got a cupcake but didn’t take a picture of it because I was too busy stuffing my face. 😉

The one downside to this pizza is that it’s all carbs, so I was craving fruit and vegetables after word (and we stopped in at Whole Foods to get our produce-fix).

On to more important things… I made those Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Chocolate Raspberry Frosting I mentioned a few weeks ago. I decided to fool around with my usual cake recipe because I’ve been noticing that it’s pretty dense recently, and I prefer fluffy cake. This cake is perfect.

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

Makes 24 mini cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 1/4 C Flour

1 C Vegan Cane Sugar

1/3 C Cocoa Powder

1 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

1 C Warm Water

1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp Raspberry Extract

1/3 C Canola Oil

Grease mini cupcake tin and preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt and mix well, until completely combined with no chunks.

Add to mixture water, canola oil, extracts, and apple cider vinegar, mixing as you add wet ingredients. Mix well for about 2 minutes, until all liquid and oil is absorbed.

Fill cupcake pan 1/2 full if not using liners, 3/4 full if using liners, and bake at 325 for 12-15 minutes. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then move to cooling racks. Top with Chocolate Raspberry Frosting.

Chocolate Raspberry Frosting

Ingredients:

3/4 C Earth Balance, room temperature

2-3 C Confectioners Sugar

3-4 Tbsp Cocoa Powder

1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp Raspberry Extract

In a mixer, beat Earth Balance until smooth and creamy. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, allowing sugar to be absorbed and whipped into Earth balance between each cup. Add cocoa powder and extracts, and beat at high speed until light and fluffy.

This cake is so unbelievably light and fluffy, and the chocolate and raspberry are perfect in these mini cupcakes.

You just might find yourself eating this cake batter straight from the bowl with a spoon…

It’s that good.