TENDING the TABLE

Red Berry Almond Blondies

Hey friends! I spent last weekend collaborating with Lindsey of Dolly and Oatmeal to bring you these Red Berry Almond Blondies. Keep reading for the recipe and my tips for staying grounded while traveling…

Lindsey and I met up last Sunday while I was down in L.A. I’ve been a big fan of Lindsey’s work for years so it  was really great to finally spend some time together getting creative and getting to know each other. Her recipes are full of healthy, plant based goodness and her photos are always vibrant, down to earth, and elegant. If you don’t already know her blog, be sure to check it out.

As it turns out, Lindsey and I have a lot in common, and spent most of the day together commiserating about the challenges that come with being a highly sensitive introvert. I’m not sure about you, but I tend to get spun out and depleted pretty easily, especially when traveling and socializing more than usual. I’ve learned to adopt a few simple rules to help me stay grounded:

  1. Maintain a routine.  Traveling often comes with lots of uncertainty and spontaneity which can easily lead to feeling scattered and frazzled. For me, this often manifests as dizziness, anxiety or shakiness. I find that maintaining some sort of routine while traveling helps immensely. This can be as simple as a short meditation or yoga practice each morning or a cup of tea each evening. No matter what it is, doing something predictable and consistent each day helps a lot.
  2. Use oil. In Ayurveda, Vata is the energy of movement. It is the most easily aggravated dosha and is easily pushed out of balance by travel. According to Ayurveda, like increases like and opposites reduce so in order to balance the light, rough, dry, subtle, mobile, cold, and clear qualities of Vata that are often exaggerated during travel it is important to favor things that are heavy, smooth, warming and grounding. Applying generous amounts of untoasted sesame oil or coconut oil to your entire body every day can keep Vata calm and help prevent things like dry skin, anxiety, insomnia, constipation and dizziness. Putting a little oil in the nose and ears will also help immensely.
  3. Make time to be alone. Traveling is always exciting and inspiring but can also be overwhelming and over stimulating. I find that making time to be alone and quiet for at least ten minutes each day helps keep me feeling grounded and strong. You’ll be able to enjoy all the sights and activities so much more if you make time to rest your senses and regroup.
  4. Sleep. Get plenty of quality sleep to ensure that your body and mind have a chance to rest and process everything.
  5. Eat well. Eating regular meals is a must for me while traveling. I try to plan where we’re going to eat ahead of time so I  can avoid getting hangry. I also try to eat foods that are grounding, favoring warm cooked meals over salads and smoothies.

Now, let’s talk about these blondies.

Photo by Lindsey Love

 We were lucky to have one of my favorite brands, California Olive Ranch, sponsor our collaboration so we chose to create a recipe that would highlight their amazing olive oil. These blondies are definitely going to become a summer staple in my house. They’re gluten free, refined sugar free, and full of protein and healthy fats. They’re fudgy in the middle and chewy around the edges, just like they should be and they’re so easy and versatile. The tartness of the berries balances out the sweetness of the blondies perfectly but they’d also be fantastic with any other summer fruit especially plums or apricots. Enjoy!

*This post was sponsored by California Olive Ranch. California Olive Ranch produces high quality, healthy, extra virgin olive oil, using sustainable growing practices. It’s great olive oil and I use it in my kitchen on a daily basis. Thank you for supporting my work by supporting my sponsors. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Red Berry Almond Blondies

Makes 16

INGREDIENTS

For the ingredient list, please visit Lindsey’s post, here.

PROCEDURE

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease an 8×8″ square baking pan, and line it with a parchment paper sling.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, arrowroot, baking powder, and salt.
3. In another large bowl, add the olive oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond extracts.  Stir together until just combined.
4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet, and stir to combine.
5. Pour the batter into the pan and spread it evenly into the corners.
6. Bake for 28-35 minutes. Halfway through baking, scatter the berries on top. Bake until a cake tester comes out mostly clean, you want a few crumbs to cling.
7. Let the blondies cool completely, then run a thin knife around the edges to loosen them a bit.  Use the parchment paper wings to carefully lift them from the pan.
8. Dust with powdered sugar and scatter with the slivered almonds. Slice into 16 squares.