Avocado Brownie Recipe (GF)

Hey babes! This post is going to be a tad bit different than my typical posts. On my Instagram page (@meaganvasquez_) I shared some avocado brownies I had made for a  work party. I offered the recipe and SO many people were interested! So here we go!

(a little disclaimer: I hadn’t planned on sharing this so I didn’t plan and take pretty pictures to add into this post, SO it’ll be just the recipe lol)

These brownies are SO much better than normal and will earn you serious brownie points with your family and friends. (see what I did there) They are rich, and moist and have a nice fudge flavor.

A few of the tips I have for this recipe are including the following:

Avocado: I love using avocado as a healthy fat into this recipe, I still use butter but the avocado adds a texture and richness to the recipe.

Almond Flour: I found I am allergic to gluten so I went with my favorite flour alternative. I’m sure you can use all purpose GF flour, or coconut flour, however it would have to be tested for appropriate ratio as Almond flour is typically coarser/heavier than other alternatives.

Maple Syrup: Adds a unique type of sweetness that sugar alone cant handle.

One of my favorite parts of this recipe.. it is ALL mixed into a food processor. It makes it quick/easy/ no sore arms/ and easy clean up.

I do not have specific prep times however I was able to whip these up and bake them in under an hour.

INGREDIENTS:

1 large ripe avocado

2 large eggs

1/3 cup light brown sugar (coconut sugar can be used as an alternative)

1/4 cup of pure maple syrup (it has to be pure)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tbsp of unsalted butter (coconut oil can replace for healthier option)

1/2 cup of almond flour (again, you can try other flours but they may be runnier)

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup of chocolate chips or chunks (I use dark chocolate, you can use whatever you like best!)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake in an 8×8 pan. (I used a clear pie pan because I didn’t have an 8×8 pan)
  2. Add avocado, eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, and maple syrup to your food processor. (Make sure you have the steel blade attachment inserted) Blend up until smooth, occasionally scraping the sides.
  3. Now, add the dry ingredients. Cocoa powder, almond flour and baking soda. Blend until combined, scrape sides of bowl as needed. Add half of the chocolate chips. Pulse a few times. ( I left it so there were still chunks of chips)
  4. Pour the batter into a lined pan. I used tin foil to line the pan and sprayed it with oil to help with sticking. After the all of it was poured into the pan, I smoothed it over and sprinkled the rest of the chocolate chips on top!
  5. Bake for approx 25-30 minutes. (mine took 30 minutes but every oven is different) Take out when an inserted knife comes out clean or with a few loose crumbs.
  6. Let cool! Then eat!

 

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Cool Weather Must Haves

Alright ladies. It’s getting cooler (in some places, sorry to those who live in the south) I know here in WA it is 62 degrees and its almost noon. Oh boy. I had planned a cute crop top outfit with my distressed jeans but then thought…. Meagan, you live your life freezing. Don’t make a bad decision.

So that is what brings me to this post. Jackets are my life. Sweaters, cardigans, jean, rain, whatever kind of warm cover up you can think of, I’m here for it.

With that being said there are SO many options. But my first love will always be my jean jacket. It is so versatile, it’s super casual, but it adds a uniqu-ness to any outfit.

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Jacket: Levi’s  /  Jeans:  American Eagle (similar)  /  Tee: Garage (similar) /  Wallet: Target

Like I had mentioned in a previous post, I RARELY buy anything full price if I can help it. So the Levi’s link is the jacket however I bought mine at TJ Maxx for like $30. Similar with the whole outfit, all was either clearance or sold at their outlet stores.

Let’s talk flannels. They can make an outfit 100x better. They are cozy, versatile, and perfect on a cooler but not cold day. To be honest I rarely buy my own flannels (lol, sorry Lu) but my husband’s flannels make the perfect cozy outfit tie together. They are warm, baggy, and super cute.

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Shoes: Steve Madden  / Jeans: American Eagle  / Flannel: J Crew Factory / Purse: Abercrombie & Fitch

This whole outfit was purchased on a sale of some kind or was gifted! So comfortable and cozy. For cooler weather I would switch out the shoes for some cute boots or booties.

Let me know what your favorite cooler weather must haves are!

 

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My Favorite “throw together” outfits

Hey babes! Happy September! How is it already almost fall?? Before everyone starts throwing around pumpkin spice and everything nice, I wanted to share my favorite everyday quick outfits.

I love these for errand running, coffee dates, and let’s be real, anytime dressing up isn’t required.

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Flannel: JCrew  /  Jeans: American Eagle (similar)  /  Shoes: Steve Madden (ON SALE)  /  Bag: A&F (no longer sold)  /  Undershirt (not seen):  H&M 

The next outfit is SUPER thrown together, actually for a coffee date with a friend this morning. It was unusually sunny and warm today and I am so glad I decided on this tank rather than the long sleeve I was going to wear. My top is no longer sold, but linked is a pretty satin tank. As well as an equally as gorgeous bandeau.

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Tank: A&F  /  Bandeau: Aerie  / Jeans: American Eagle  / Bracelets: Earthbound Trading  / Phone case: Loopy Cases (ON SALE) /

Alright ladies. This next one is a great outfit for transitioning into fall. Not every fall outfit has to involve fall colors, you can dial it down with all back and an accent jacket. Whether the weather is warm or cool you’re prepared! The jacket is kind of pricey if you buy it through the Levi’s website. BUT good news, I found mine at TJ Maxx for like $20! Look around for good deals, you’ll find them!

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Top: American Eagle (ON SALE)  /  Jacket: Levi’s  / Jeans: American Eagle  / Shoes: Vans  / Hair ties: Invisibobble

These basics are my favorite and great transitions into the fall season. Try them out and let me know how much you love them too!!

 

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Simple Ways to Practice Self Care

When is the last time you focused on something for yourself? For your body? For your soul?

A year ago? What?!

Listen, it doesn’t have to be something extravagant or expensive, it just has to be something that makes YOU feel good.

So here we go, I’m going to share some common self care practices that either don’t take too much effort or don’t take too much $$.

Since I’ve started focusing in on my health and wellness, I’ve really been trying to focus on bettering my self care practices. Taking time for yourself changes your inner self for the better. So let’s start now!

  1. Burn your favorite scented candle (LOVE TO DO THIS)
  2. If baths are your thing, take one, a long one with bubbles and salts.
  3. Relax. Meditate and breath. Really take a few minutes to recenter yourself.
  4. Go outside. The sun is crazy good for your body and mind.
  5. Enjoy a hot cup of tea before bed. It will help you calm down and fall asleep.
  6. Start a gratitude journal. They say you can change your happiness in just 21 days.
  7. LEARN TO SAY NO. This is vital to your well being. And remember, no one needs an explanation.
  8. Take a walk or a hike or a bike ride. Get some fresh air and move your body.
  9. Workout. The endorphin rush is enough to make it worth it.
  10. Eat WELL. Fuel your body with nutrient rich foods, not processed crap.
  11. Stretch. Breathe and reach for your toes, feel your body elongate.
  12. Unplug. No computers, no phones, no social media. Take time away from the screen
  13. Read a book. Get lost in a story. If thats not your thing, read a Personal Development book and expand your mind.
  14. Go out to coffee or lunch with a friend. Catch up over a capp.
  15. Write down a few positive affirmations. Go over them again. And again.
  16. Take yourself on a date. Embrace yourself. Show yourself the love you show so many others.
  17. Do a face mask. Do a hair mask. Shave your legs. Do some self care that makes you feel unstoppable.
  18. Check in with yourself. How are you feeling? What do you want? Are you ok?
  19. Speak up. If you don’t like something, say it. If you feel something, say it. Do not internalize.
  20. Wear your favorite outfit. Feel confident and beautiful. Because you are.
  21. Call a loved one. This one goes both ways, they’ll feel the love too.
  22. Binge watch your favorite show. It can be hard and not feel ok to slow down, but just remember you can’t give your best if you never relax and slow down.
  23. Give yourself grace. You are doing a great job. It is ok to not always be on and working.
  24. Let go of toxic people. Just because you’re close doesn’t give them a right to continue to know you. Remember that.
  25. Go get a mani & pedi. One of the best forms of self care in my opinion.
  26. Laugh. Watch a funny movie or stand up comedy. Laugh with a friend or family member. Let it go and laugh.
  27. Take control of your finances. This isn’t a fun one but it’s necessary for a good future.
  28. Splurge on yourself. Obviously don’t go overboard but a treat now and again doesn’t hurt.
  29. Forgive. Forgive those who hurt you in the past, let it go so you can move on.
  30. Get out of your comfort zone. Great things will come from it and it will help you grow as a person.
  31. Work toward something that inspires you. Continue to push for your dreams.
  32. Create a vision board. Get clear on your goals and go for them. Don’t stop until you’re there.
  33. Buy yourself some flowers. They don’t have to be expensive but they do have to make you happy.
  34. Diffuse your favorite oils. Whether you’re a lavender girl or a fresh lemon type. Whatever helps relax you, diffuse it.
  35. Sleep in. It’s called beauty sleep for a reason.
  36. Go makeup free for a day. Wake up, wash your face, and moisturize. Let your skin breathe the rest of the day.
  37. Silence your inner mean girl. Her words don’t matter.
  38. Bake/buy your favorite treat. Sweet treats are never wrong.
  39. Declutter your space. Productivity happens when you have a clear area.
  40. Reflect on all that you have accomplished. It’s easy to forget and focus on the negative, but remember how much you have done. It’s important.

 

There are SO many other good ones, but here is a short list to get you started, babes.

 

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Affordable Everyday Outfit

Happy Monday! Ladies, how is it already 8 days into July?!?

I wanted to share two everyday outfits that are super affordable and SO comfortable.

My go to’s this summer have been some type of classic worn in jean and some type of blouse/cardigan combo. Summers here in WA vary, some days are sunny and hot (75 degrees max most of the time lol) and some days are dreary and cool.

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(Grey V neck: Abercrombie&Fitch / Jeans: AmericanEagle / Sandals: SteveMadden / Bralette: Vici / Sunglasses: Sojo )

The V neck t-shirts above are SO good. They are loose fitted and so freaking soft, I was able to snag three of them on huge sale! I think they came out to about $10 each (STEAL). The sandals are a little pricey but they were a gift and the jeans were bought secondhand. I’m allll about saving money when shopping for clothes.

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(Black V neck: Abercrombie&Fitch /Jeans: AmericanEagle / Sweater: Old Navy (no longer available)/ Bag: Abercrombie&Fitch (on Clearance!!)/ Earrings: Olive+Piper (no longer available)/ Slides: mine are the brand “mix no. 6” but these are similar)

This outfit is so great. It’s versatile and basic but flattering. This outfit would be so easy to recreate with even lesser priced items. Like I previously said, I mainly purchase my items on sale, secondhand, or I receive them as gifts, but like items are everywhere!

If you love basics as much as I do, comment below and let me know an item you CANT live without!

 

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Our trip to Whistler BC

Hello everyone! It’s now Tuesday and I hope your weekends were full of fun and laughter with those you love. My husband and I spent Friday and Saturday in Whistler BC. Honestly, it was one of the most beautiful places we’ve been to.

I wanted to take a little bit of time to share some must sees/restaurants we recommend (that we tried). Now I’ll be fully transparent and let you know now we did not do a lot of the “outdoor” activities Whistler is known for as they were SUPER expensive. But what we did do, we enjoyed! (We stayed pretty phone free the entire trip, only got a few pictures of the meals/fun times)

First thing’s first, the food. If you stay in the Village there are at least 25+ restaurants in walking distance (craziness) and an equally excessive amount of coffee shops (if that’s possible). The first night we were there, Friday, we ate at a pizza/pasta place called Pizzeria Antico. I got pasta (of course), Lu got pizza and we both enjoyed our meals. Alright now for breakfast on Saturday we had crepes. I had NEVER tried a crepe before so I was thrilled. We went to the restaurant Crepe Montagne. I ordered the nutella and banana crepe, with a mimosa (oh yeah) and Lu ordered the Slolum, a crepe folded to perfection with a sunny side up egg, fresh tomatoes, canadian bacon, and cheese. (I tried it, it was amazing).

 

 

After crepes we went and got some iced coffees from Blenz Coffee. It was good, but nothing to write home about. The atmosphere was more like a corporate coffee shop rather than that local feel which I’m not as much a fan of however it had great reviews online so that is why we chose them over other shops.

Alright, I’ll be honest dinner Saturday night is not worth sharing. We went to “El Furniture Warehouse” weird name right? lol. Well they specialize in bar food and advertise for $5.95 full menu all day, and I’ll let you know now, that is the quality you will get. Lu got fish tacos that looked like fish sticks, I got nachos so well done the paper stuck to the chips and the margarita I got was far from thrilling. BUT, that’s ok. If you’re into bar food/something super cheap, go for it! The highlight place we should have had a full meal at, but didn’t was “21 Steps Kitchen + Bar.” Lu tried the fried chicken appetizer (AMAZING) and I got a bread basket as I wasn’t feeling too good. But it was so good. The service was awesome and the food was incredible, and the wine was good too of course lol. Highly recommend, it is a pricier place so you may need to plan for it, but totally worth it if you do.

Alright. Enough with food. Although I love it and love to share everything I eat lol I need to share a must do.

Scandinave Spa in Whistler was the most relaxing, beautiful, earthy, good vibe place I have ever been to. There are hot pools, cool pools, saunas, and soooo many places to sit and meditate and relax. You can get a massage with the one you love and take a dip in the pools and relaxation right after. Literally a dream. 

Downside. It’s expensive (its a spa, I guess it’s to be expected). BUT if you can swing it and you’re visiting, do it. Seriously. 

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However, like I said before, we didn’t do a lot of what they had as it was super expensive. If you’re planning a trip to Whistler BC anytime soon, save your pennies!

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Favorite Workout Clothing

Hello again, I am back. Boy has it been awhile. You know when life just happens and gets in the way of everything you had planned? Well that has been the past few months.

I’m here to share my absolute FAVORITE workout pieces. As you know I am a health and fitness coach along with writing this blog, so a good piece of workout clothing is key to that side of my life. For the longest time I was SO SO against Lululemon. Not because I had tried it and hated it, but because I hated the price and didn’t believe the quality would be worth it. Boy was I wrong. The quality is unparalleled.

I am obsessed with the Align pant as well as the Wunder Under leggings. They feel like butter and they hug you just right. Yes, the price tag isn’t anyone’s favorite BUT I’m here to help. Outlets. Yes they have outlet stores. Find one and run. The prices are at least $30 less than the normal retail price AND if you are either military (or spouse) OR a yoga instructor you get 25% off!! I have bought 2 pairs of leggings and paid the same as I would for other brands for much more comfort! Their bralettes are amazing and fairly priced as well, but if you are larger chested, I would stick to a normal sports bra.

(Pictured: Align Pant and Bralette)

Okay you guys. I know, not everyone will get the extra percentage off, so Lululemon still may not be for everyone, totally understandable.

So let’s move on to my next favorite. Fabletics. Hands down, second fav. The sizing is a little off in my opinion (size up) but other than that the quality is great. I love the variety of styles that are offered as well as the variety of colors and patterns. The price can be steep if you don’t sign up for the VIP membership. It is super easy, gives you a huge discount and if you don’t want your selected outfit you just skip the month. I have gotten multiple pieces that I absolutely LOVE for the fraction of other brand’s prices. I love Fabletics for everyday wear, I mean who doesn’t love wearing leggings all day everyday? The style and the comfort make them great for outdoor activities.

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(Pictured: First leggings, second leggings)

Obviously there are MANY other brands that are fantastic, but these are my top two recommendations if you’re into great workout gear!

 

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