Gluten-free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

So I'm still what I guess would be considered "almond-sensitive." I can have a bite of something with almonds in it, but a large quantity of anything almond-y still causes a reaction. I think it's the best of both worlds because it means I can sample almond recipes but not really eat them. Score.

Here is a quick recipe I whipped up for my friend Vanessa's delightful holiday party, which was a predominately gluten-free affair. Even though the name makes them sound like they'll taste like cardboard, they're actually little bundles of awesomeness. They have a great texture - chewy and crunchy - similar to a normal chocolate chip cookie. Packaged up in a little holiday tin, these make an easy holiday party addition or a great gift.

Or you can always just leave them out for hipster Santa with some hemp milk. 

Enjoy!

gluten free chocolate chip cookie

Gluten-free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (room temp)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (I love Enjoy Life brand)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  2. Combine almond meal, salt and baking soda in a large bowl.

  3. Add coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extra and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.

  4. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and drop batter by rounded tablespoons. Flatten top slightly (they don't spread out much when baked)  

  5. Bake for 9-10 minutes and then allow to cool before serving.

  6. Rub your belly. Makes about 15 cookies. 
     

Some dairy-free gluten free chocolate chips, baking soda, yummo black sea salt and Mexican vanilla. 

Some dairy-free gluten free chocolate chips, baking soda, yummo black sea salt and Mexican vanilla. 

Rollin' in the dough. Oh and since they're vegan - you can eat the dough without worry!

Rollin' in the dough. Oh and since they're vegan - you can eat the dough without worry!


/

Pumpkin Muffins

"What was the ghost's favorite muffin?"

"Boo-berry!"

HA. Let's be honest here... we know pumpkin is better but the joke is way cuter this way. And although I haven't been the biggest Halloweener this year, I have been doing by part by making frightfully ridiculous Halloween jokes in cat/cow pose for the past few weeks.

Happy Halloween - and what better day than today to share a seasonally appropriate recipe. These delicious gluten-free muffateers are a great breakfast or mid-afternoon snack - and naturally, they're excellent toasted up with some almond butter.

Nom. You'll eat that shit faster than a witch's broom... just sayin'.

Pumpmelonkins?

On a quick side note... one of my favorite Halloween memories was five years ago, when Mike and I were new to Miami and ventured out to buy a pumpkin to carve. We couldn't find a pumpkin patch (this was pre-iPhone) and we ended up at Publix, where they were sold out of pumpkins. We were not going to go home empty handed so in a stroke of genius, we decided to carve WATERMELONS. It was epic. You can't even tell the difference!

Anyhou, back to ye old pumpkin. This recipe has canned pumpkin (mainly because I am lazy and have not roasted the pumpkin I have sitting on my counter) but you can use fresh pumpkin... according to my sister, you can roast up all your pumpkin, freeze it in baggies and thaw as you need it. Nice tip, Allie ;) 

Oh... one more... "What do you call a fat jack-o-lantern?"

"A plumpkin." 

....womp womp.

Gluten-free Pumpkin Muffin recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten-free oat flour (or just blend gf oats in a blender until they turn into a flour)
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour 
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin (either freshly roasted or organic canned pumpkin)
  • 1 large, very ripe banana
  • 1 eye of toad (just kidding;)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 - 2 tsp vanilla (depending on how much you like vanilla)
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk (can be sweet or unsweetened depending on how sweet you like things)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I am super into Trader Joe's chunky chocolate chips lately. OMG)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional but yummy)

*If you like it more pumpkin-y you can do 1 cup of pumpkin and omit the banana.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F
  2. In a big bowl, mix the dry ingredients - oat flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt.
  3. In another bowl, mash the peeled banana and pumpkin together with a fork.
  4. Stir egg, vanilla, milk, cranberries and chocolate chips into the banana mixture.
  5. Add banana mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix and allow it to set for a few minutes.
  6. Pour into an oiled cupcake pan (I use spray coconut oil)
  7. Bake 30 - 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  8. Let them cool completely before removing from pan. I also always have better success in my silicone muffin pans when it comes to removal. Trick or treat, y'all!
/

Flow in the Dark playlist

This past Saturday night, I taught a class I had been wanting to teach for a long time. Late night, lights out, super vibey. The concept was a flow that moves us past the external circumstances where we compare ourselves to other people and give us the opportunity to simply get lost in our own practice, free and totally ourselves. I felt very clever when I named it Flow in the Dark. The fact that everyone thought there would be glowsticks and neon was besides the point.

third eye

Loaded with organic, rhythmic movement, the highlight for practitioners was the freestyle flow portion in the middle of class. I stopped talking and everyone just let loose. Bodies were moving, emotions were high, and most of all - thoughts were absent. Everyone was completely absorbed in the moment - totally present - and I had a huge smile on my face. 

It was an awesome sight and I wanted to share the music that took us to that place.

On a side note... someone asked me to describe the playlist for the class and I said "Ummm... tribal electronic?"

See if you agree.

/

Life on a bike

Very few things make me happier than the simple pleasure of riding a bike. The feeling of freedom, instant connection with the outdoors and the fact that you're responsible for moving your own body. I love bikes - and I am especially passionate about biking as a form of transportation. A favorite quote of mine sums it up nicely...

Four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul
— Anonymous

After happily going a year without a car and just getting around via bike, I'm often asked about what kind of bike to get and how I handle biking in Miami. Honestly, it can be a total clusterfuck. Miami is notoriously un-bike friendly. Rough roads... bike lanes unexpectedly ending... lots of tourists... and crazy ass drivers. Yet biking can be your most beautiful Miami experience at the same time. Whether you have a bike or want a bike, here are some things I've learned from five years of biking the streets of MIA that may help you.

1. Get a bike that suits your lifestyle. Over my lifetime I've had different types of bike - road bikes, mountain bikes, fixes, beach cruisers, hybrids. I love them all for lots of reasons. You have to consider what you need your bike for. Are you taking it to Whole Foods for groceries? Cool - get a hybrid or cruiser with a basket. Are you planning on using it as your car? Awesome - get a fixie or lightweight hybrid (you want it light so you can easily put it on a bus or in a friend's car if you need to). You don't need a lot of gears in Miami since we don't have any hills. When you're ready to get a bike, check out local bike shops or online. Most companies frequently run web promotions or free shipping so have some patience when online shopping. You can also easily buy online and bring it into your local bike shop to have it assembled.

fixie purefix bike miami

2. Once you get it... lock that shit up. While you're at it, get a really badass lock. Between us, Mike and I have had five bikes stolen from Miami Beach. That's 2.5 bikes per person! WTF, right? Invest in a lock. I love my Kryptonite Evolution Mini - I got it on amazon.com. People are ruthless so always lock your bike up to something stable. I've seen street signs ripped out of the street so people can steal the bikes locked up to them - always make sure you're locked up to something secure. And lock your bike through the rear triangle

3. Never leave your bike out overnight in this city. NEVER. I don't care how well locked up it is. 

4. Consider your attire. You want to be able to be nimble and comfortable. Girls - biking in a dress or skirt sucks. You can't go that fast and the fabric might get caught somewhere. Flip flops and sandals can be a pain too - not to mention dangerous. Your most comfortable biking outfit is flexible bottoms and sneakers of some variety. I have a single speed (fixie) that doesn't allow for a basket, hence why you see me wearing a backpack around town. That's how I get my groceries home and it's nice because it keeps the weight centered on your back. For chicks - a purse or even a cross body bag can be troublesome if the weight shifts to one side or the other. I've had scary experiences when a heavy tote bag slipped off my shoulder and almost threw me off my bike. Just good to consider.

5. Know your roads. Euclid is a great biking thoroughfare in Miami Beach - nice and wide with well marked bike lanes. West Ave is a mess right now with all overflow from the Alton construction. Biking down Lincoln Road is a nightmare on weekends but in the very early morning, it is a truly delightful experience.  Google Maps has a bike function for when you're mapping out a route that's helpful. 

6. Check out group rides. Critical Mass is one of my absolute favorite things to do in Miami. Or come ride with us during our monthly Purdy Ave rides. It's such a cool way to see the city and meet new friends. If you're riding at night, make sure you get some bike lights for safety. 

7. It's the tropics, so it's almost a given that you're going to get rained on. You might want to get a lightweight rain jacket. You'll also probably ride in the rain. And unless you have more of a cruiser bike with fenders, you'll end up with a nice wet line on your butt from the spray. You can check our the Ass-savers (yes, it's a real thing!) to keep your booty dry.

And finally... once you're out there on the road, take time to enjoy your scenery and have so much fun! You are treading lightly on this earth when you're on a bike and that's a really good thing. You can discover so much more than you could in a car! Soak in the beauty and art that surrounds you - life just feels a little more magical when you're cruising around this planet on two wheels.

bike wedding
/

How to look like a Miami local in yoga class

Viva Miami yoga! My home mat scene. My hOMe. If you're new to this tropical paradise, here are some truths that will help you navigate your way through the Miami yoga community, especially if you're used to practicing somewhere like London

1. First off, guys, it's joga

2. Bring your own mat and towel. Preferably in a bright color. Shit gets sweaty in this town. The Mat from lululemon is a great choice for the ultra-sweaty Miami yogi. 

3. Ride your bike or your scooter (also preferably in a bright color). Parking is tough around yoga studios and there is nothing worse than fucking up your zen while looking for a spot right before class. 

scooters

4. In a packed class, expect to move your mat over to fit someone who comes in late (better known as running on Miami time). Do not get annoyed at this - it's just how it is. Miami works when you surrender to it.

5. To really look legitimately local, set up your phone, expensive car keys, towel and green juice at the front of your mat. Designer purses at the back of the mat or in a cubby. You wouldn't want to drip sweat all over your iPad.

miamiyoga

6. The instruction will be mainly English, some Sanskrit... probably some Spanglish... and even a little Spanskrit. Virabhadrasana dos, yogis!

7. Miami yogis do not do well with structure. Can you blame us? We can't even get to class on time. Miamian's march to the beat of their own drum. Don't be surprised when the person next to you does an unauthorized handstand after standing split, or an updog while the instructor is still asking for chatarunga. Hell, sometimes they'll even do their own sequence. 

8. For the Miami yogi, pigeon pose means "texting time!"

*Note - pigeon texting is not condoned by yoga instructors. Put that phone away!

9. If class is supposed to end at 7:30pm, don't plan anything until 7:45pm. Class won't end  at 7:30pm (it started 5 minutes late anyway) and there is no post-class bolt to the door like other cities. It's social here, and that's a beautiful part of the Miami yoga scene - plan to stick around a few minutes and meet new like-minded friends. Slow down a little.

10. Don't be afraid to rock your yoga clothes all day. EVEN IF YOU DIDN'T GO TO YOGA. It's totally commonplace. 

To sum it up, yeah it's a little wacky here but aren't we all crazy anyway? You will do amazing yoga in the most beautiful places in this town. When you start to judge it, that's when you lose your personal yoga and let other people affect you. Embrace it all for what it is and love it all up. Open yourself up without judgement and simply share that love and light within you.

Namaste y'all.

standardyoga

 

 

/

Life lesson and ultra yoga playlist

When I'm not practicing yoga, I really love teaching it. Particularly a strong vinyasa flow. Like my Tuesday/Thursday 6pm at Green Monkey. It's a special feeling - harnessing the energy of a roomful of sweaty, breathing, beautiful shiny beings. So when I teach a vinyasa flow, music is really important to me. It sets the tone. The opening, the closing, the natural crescendo that a class takes on. Normally I love some dope beats, some great acoustic, definitely hip-hop, maybe some chill electronica or classical to wrap it all up.

This weekend was the craziness that is the Ultra Music Festival in downtown Miami, which I witnessed from my window all weekend with a smile. It's an excellent opportunity for me to share the most important thing I've learned from five years of living in Miami…

Don’t fight it. Embrace it.
— Amy Elisabeth Steiner Dannheim

This lesson will take you places in this town. Just ride the wave. Surrender to this city, in all it's wackiness. Smile and breathe through it. So embracing Ultra and it's pounding base, with wide arms, I made an Ultra playlist for the flowin' yogis tonight in class. Techno? Tech-yes.

You can find me and more tunes on spotify here too. 

/

Purdy Ave

If it's not clear, I'm really a big fan of Miami Beach. When I travel, and tell people where I live, they always tell me stories of their sordid nights at Mansion or how much they love News Cafe. That's awesome. But there is so much more here. A local culture. A community. A family, even. And that exists in a little section called Sunset Harbour, even more specifically... on Purdy Avenue. It's really special here. People know your name. They give a shit about how you're doing. Don't get me wrong, there's still a lot of the Miami ridiculousness that goes down in this neighborhood, but I'm more likely to have a real conversation on Purdy than I am anywhere else in this town. 

Life on a bike

Life on a bike

So where am I going with this. Last year, I had a brain explosion while I was eating lunch with my lululemonites at Maoz. Not a great lunch by the way, I haven't been back since. Anyway, I remember it so clearly. Amy, my brain said, you need to capture this love for Purdy Avenue and do something with it. Something freaking really cool. People are obsessed with this neighborhood and they want to celebrate it. And so, the seed for Purdy Ave was planted. 

Mike and I started Purdy Ave, LLC this year. It's a clothing company, or really more of a lifestyle brand. The logo is a combination of a bike crank and the third eye - our love for yoga and bikes and also signaling the consciousness shift that is happening in Miami Beach and beyond. I had always wanted to have a company and Mike is a great entrepreneur who has launched lots of companies (unlike me), so the whole thing made sense. Going into business with your significant other has some interesting challenges. Layer on that we were planning a destination wedding, living in different cities and working like crazy at our real jobs. But we somehow managed to launch our company, build a website and design, produce and deliver our first line of shirts. And if you know me, I am pretty picky about style and clothing so the design process wasn't exactly a piece of cake.

But now we have a living, breathing company! And we had our first trunk show yesterday! And we sold out of merchandise in 3 hours! It was super fulfilling personally and professionally.

www.purdyave.com or @purdyave on Instagram!

www.purdyave.com or @purdyave on Instagram!

Our goal with Purdy Ave is to outfit peeps in some cool gear, but bigger than that - it's to build stronger community in this neighborhood. To elevate consciousness in Miami. To get peeps to love their city, inspire people to put roots down here, to make this place better and stronger and awesome. We will be doing more trunk shows, selling online at purdyave.com, popping up coolness and just loving up on this hood. We hope you are on board.

Mike and I would love to hear what you want for Purdy Ave, what you think about the brand, how you want to rep this hood. Email me at amy@purdyave.com or drop a line in the comments below. We love your feedback and we love you.

And we love yoga and Coconut Cartel.

And we love yoga and Coconut Cartel.

/