My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free


Entries in Food on the go (38)


monster bars

As promised, here is a recipe that will start your week off right.  It’s definitely healthy enough to be called a breakfast bar, but delicious enough to be called dessert.  With Jake coming for the weekend, I wanted to come up with a recipe that was packed with real foods, not high in sugar, easy to eat, and easy to take on the go.

I wouldn’t change anything about this recipe.  I cannot stop eating these.  They’re just the perfect balance of soft, sweet, gooey, pnut buttery, oatey, deliciousness.

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Mix all the dry.

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Mix most of the wet.

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Mix in the milk.

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Mix in wet to dry.

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Stir, stir, until just combined and no dry flour is left on the bottom of the bowl.

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Line a pan with parchment.  Trust me.  Go buy parchment.  I use it almost everyday! 

Spread 1/2 the mixture, then the jelly.

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Then plop down scoops of the rest of the oat mixture.  Don’t just plop it down all in one lump or it will be hard to spread on top of the gooey jelly.

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Then bake.  Then feed it to a cute little kid.  For breakfast!

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And watch him smile!

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And then be randomly interrupted in the middle of the post with broccoli cheddar soup from Friday.  The last bowl.  I’m sad!

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Have I mentioned I’m obsessed with smoked paprika??  If you find it, you MUST buy it.  I couldn’t find it at my Whole Foods, but Costco had a huge container for about $3.  It was fabulous sprinkled on my salad that went along with the soup!

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Now where were we???

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There are so so many variations you could make with this recipe.

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Let me rattle off a few….

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recipe variations

instead of jelly in the middle:

mix in options for the bars:

  • chocolate chips/carob chips/white chocolate chips
  • unsweetened coconut
  • chia seeds
  • hemp seeds
  • chopped walnuts/almonds/pecans/peanuts
  • chopped dried fruit

substitution ideas:

  • chocolate almond milk + 1/4c unsweetened cocoa powder [might need extra 1-2T milk] instead of plain or vanilla almond milk
  • whole wheat pastry flour instead of spelt flour
  • applesauce or pumpkin puree instead of mashed banana
  • try other spices instead of cinnamon
  • maple syrup or honey instead of sugar [might need to add 1-3T extra flour]
  • almond butter, sunflower butter, cashew butter, or coconut butter instead of peanut butter

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And now the recipe :)

Monster Bars [makes ~12 bars] *vegan

  • 3c rolled oats
  • 1c spelt flour
  • 1/4c ground flax meal
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 3/4t salt
  • 1 1/2t cinnamon
  • 1/4c sucanat [or pure cane sugar]
  • 1/2c mashed banana [very ripe]
  • 1/2c organic pnut butter
  • 1/2c unsweetened almond milk [vanilla works also]
  • 2t vanilla extract
  • 1c no sugar added jelly [any flavor]
  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper, or lightly grease bottom + sides of pan.
  3. In a large bowl mix oats, flour, flax, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon + sugar until combined.
  4. In a medium size bowl mash banana until liquidy.
  5. Whisk in pnut butter to the banana with a fork until combined.
  6. Whisk in vanilla + almond milk with fork until combined.
  7. Add wet to dry and stir with a spoon until just combined.  Batter should be very thick and not too wet.  Mix until no flour or oats are left on the bottom.  If it seems really dry add 1-2T more milk.  If too wet, add 1-2T more flour.
  8. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the pan with a spatula, until smooth.
  9. Spread jelly on top evenly.
  10. Plop down spoonfuls of the rest of the oat mixture on top of the jelly.  It will be easier to spread this way.
  11. Spread carefully with a spatula, until evenly distributed + covering the jelly.
  12. Bake for ~35min until lightly browned on top.
  13. Let cool for about 30min.  Lift bars out by the parchment and cut into bars. 
  14. Wrap individually for on the go transport, or keep in a sealed container in the fridge.

Delicious slightly warm and with a smear of peanut butter on top!  But also delicious straight out of the fridge.  :)  Like I said these are only slightly sweet.  So you may want to use 1/3c-1/2c if you like things a bit sweeter.  For me, 1/4c is the perfect sweetness.  The mashed banana + jelly definitely help! 

These are going to make fabulous mountain snacks.  They’re soft but hold together well.  Very excited.

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I’m about to go raid the fridge for another!

But first, dinner.  We really need to go to the store but despite that fact, scraped together a pretty delicious meal.

main ingredients:

  • tempeh
  • cashews
  • organic frozen sugar snap peas
  • organic frozen tri colored peppers
  • farro
  • millet

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I used the recipe on 101 Cookbooks for maple grilled tempeh.  I had all of the ingredients, and the flavors sounded awesome. 

The only thing I did differently was broil in on low for about 10min per side.  Oh yah, and instead of chipotle powder, I of course used smoked paprika.  Delicious!  I cooked a mixture of farro + millet together.  1 1/4c millet/farro mixed with 2.5c liquid [veggie broth + water combo], simmer with lid, over med-low for about 15-20min, until liquid is absorbed.  Let sit with lid on for 5min then fluff with a fork.  Awesome texture!  I cooked the veggies over med-high heat in 1T coconut oil. 

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Frozen veggies definitely come in handy sometimes.  I don’t use them often but stock up when they’re on sale.  Did you know frozen veggies are said to hold more nutrients than fresh veggies in the store?  That’s because veggies start to lose their nutritional content as soon as they’re picked.  The veggies are flash frozen more quickly than we buy the fresh version at the store, so they actually retain more nutrients.  Interesting!

Some frozen veggies are pretty gross.  Spinach comes to my mind first!

Peppers + snap peas are delicious though!

I’m not sure why, but these light box photos came out looking the more natural yet!  They are a bit washed out but pretty daylight-ish.

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Chris said he liked this meal better than the orange pan glazed tofu from the other week.  I thought they were about equal.  I liked that this wasn’t quite as sweet and I really love tempeh.  Tofu is delicious, but it’s much harder on my digestion [which is very common]. I try to limit my soy consumption, especially processed soy.  However, tempeh is fermented, making it much easier to digest + absorb the nutrients.

We just finished watching the season finale of Dexter.  I thought I was going to lose it!!  So intense.  I’ve never watched a show that got my heart racing as fast as this one.  Definitely one of the best shows ever. 

So much to do before leaving for home on Thursday.  Bed!

<3 Ashley


photo ATTACK!!!

If my previous post wasn’t a photo overload, then this one surely is.

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Trigger happy?  Maybe.

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Having fun exploring new places in Ft. Collins?  Most definitely.  I always take a lot of photos on Saturday.  One reason is because I typically head to a farmers market.  I went to my first market in FoCo on Saturday and was extremely pleased.  I headed to the market on Oak Street, which was just packed with fall food! 

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I have never seen zucchini this color before.  This photo is not enhanced.  They were THAT yellow/orange.

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Plums, apples + pears.  I need to eat up all of my apples + peaches before I start buying pears!

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Has anyone ever seen HEIRLOOM KALE.  I think I might have slightly jumped with excitement when I saw it.  The bunch was at least double the size I typically find and it was only $3!  The leaves are flat and it’s much softer than typical kale.  I’m so very excited to cook this!  I’m not sure it will work to make kale chips, but it might be better in things like soup because it’s not as tough to chew.

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I’ve never seen this before and thought it was a great idea.  Polling the customers to find out things like, how much money they spent at the market, how far they traveled, etc. 

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So, apparently these “egg” looking eggplants are where they got their name from.  I’ve never even seen one!  It’s about the size of a softball.

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Yellow cucumbers??  These were SO crazy.  I bought 2 of them plus the eggplant for $1.  Oh yes.  It’s a tad sweeter and the skin doesn’t have a bitter taste at all.  When you cut into it, the middle of the slices are literally translucent.  It’s kind of crazy.

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I took this photo because I liked their sign holders :)

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After the market, Pat + Natalie came up to visit and we headed to the Sustainability Fair.  We saw pretty cool things…

Like this solar powered DJ booth!

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We found a LOT of samples too.

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We also found lunch.  Chris opted for a RAW/vegan lunch.  It was so flipping delicious!!  It’s from a local vegetarian/vegan restaurant called Tasty Harmony.  We haven’t eaten there yet, but I cannot wait til we do! 

He go the “living falafel” with hummus, cucumber, salad, and a delicious dressing, sitting on a bed of collard greens.  The falafel was really good.  It was basically ground up nuts, seeds and spices, which was then dehydrated.  He loved it!  As did I, hehehe.

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The sauce on top was killler.

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I opted for Ethiopian, which was a first for me!  I couldn’t stop talking about this meal for the rest of the day.  The flavors were more than amazing. 

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This came from, Nyala, another local restaurant.  They had a lot of veggie options.  I had a hard time deciding!!  It was a thick tomato based sauce [Ras-ka], full of spices, potatoes, beans, carrots and a few other things.  It was 55* out yesterday, so this meal was extremely comforting.

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I spy Pat + Nat.  If you’re new to the blog [HI!!] Pat + Nat are my brother-in-law and sister-in-law.  Pat is Chris’s brother.

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I spy VIBRAMS! :)

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There were about 100 booths, and I checked them all out.  There was an adorable local sewing shop with a tent.  These fabrics make me want to buy a sewing machine.  They’re just so cute.

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Lot’s of furry friends!

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Bamboo frame bikes!

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Local music.

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I won a box of Crayola crayons and was pretty excited about it….hehehe

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Pat + Nat

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Nat + me

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Peter [tamale Peter!] + Michelle

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Bill Nershi, from String Cheese Incident, made an appearance.  Good times!

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Insert here:  Mexican food + 1/2 pitcher of margaritas + making cinnamon rolls to have for breakfast :)

Pat + Natalie were spending the night, and I wanted something fun to serve for breakfast.  After seeing my cousin make cinnamon rolls last weekend, that was all I had on my mind!  I tweeted for recipe ideas and finally settled on one from Mama Pea.  The ingredient list was simple.  I had everything on hand. 

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These are about the healthiest cinnamon rolls you could make, but not to worry, they didn’t sacrifice flavor or a perfectly doughy center. 

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They baked perfectly and had a nice crunchy crust.  I only changed a few minor things with the recipe and made my own glaze.  These will definitely be made again!

Cinnamon Rollswhole wheat + vegan! [adapted from Mama Pea’s Blackberry Cinnamon Rolls] makes 10-14 rolls

  • 2c whole wheat pastry flour 
  • 1/2c bread flour [or all-purpose flour]
  • 1c non-dairy milk
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 1/4c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1T baking powder
  • 2T sucanat [or pure cane sugar]
  • 1/2t cinnamon
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1t vanilla
  1. Heat milk so it is warm to the touch and stir in yeast.
  2. Let sit 5-10min, until foamy, then mix in applesauce + vanilla.
  3. While yeast is sitting, in a large bowl mix together both flours, baking powder, sucanat [or sugar], cinnamon and salt.
  4. Combine yeast mixture to the dry and mix with hands to combine, until it starts to form dough.
  5. Turn out onto a floured surface.  You will most likely need to add an extra 1/4-1/3c flour to get the dough to come together.
  6. Knead until the dough is smooth and just slightly sticky, about 20-30 kneads. 
  7. Roll into a rectangle, about 1/4” thick.
  8. Spread filling mixture below evenly on the dough.
  9. Roll the dough [from the long side] up tightly, to create a log.
  10. Cut about 1 1/2” pieces and place on a greased pan.  Leave about 1” in between each roll.  I used 2, 8” round cake pan but square also works.
  11. Cover + let rise for 40-60min.  Or, cover and place in the fridge overnight.
  12. Pre-heat oven to 350* and bake 22-25min.  They should be nice and brown on top.
  13. Drizzle glaze on when the rolls come out of the oven.


  • 1/2c sucanat [or brown sugar]
  • 1T cinnamon
  • 2T vegan butter, at room temp.
  1. Mash together with a fork + spread on dough when ready.


  • 3/4-1c powdered sugar
  • 1/2t vanilla bean paste [or 1/2t vanilla extract]
  • 1/2t cinnamon
  • 2-3T non-dairy milk
  1. Stir sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon together.
  2. Add milk slowly and whisk until a thick paste forms. 
  3. Drizzle on cinnamon rolls after they come out of the oven.

*If you don’t have non-dairy milk + butter available, it would definitely work with regular butter + milk. 

**Depending on how thinly you roll out the dough, will yield you more or less rolls.  I rolled mine a bit too thin and ended up with 16.

This recipe was simple.  I had it mixed, rolled, cut and in the fridge in 15min.  And, like I said, this was prepared after a few margaritas ;)

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Don’t be intimidated to work with yeast or dough.  This is a great recipe to play with if you’re new to either! 

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I can’t stop thinking about other delicious things to spread inside of these cinnamon rolls before baking…

  • peanut butter, jelly, bananas
  • peanut butter, chocolate chips, cinnamon, sugar
  • almond butter, cinnamon, sugar
  • banana, peanut butter, pecans, cinnamon

So many possibilities.  I urge you to try this recipe out and then go thank the vegan foodie genius, Mama Pea!

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Feel free to make more glaze, if you like your rolls completely covered.  I like mine lightly drizzled on, so things don’t get too sweet, weird I know. :)

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These were a definite crowd pleaser.  Time to eat another.

<3 Ashley

-- Thanks for all of your kind words about my previous blog post for Project Food Blog.  Voting starts Monday morning and goes through Wednesday.  **edited to add** You have as many votes as contestants that get to the next round.  This round 400 people move on to round 2, so you have 400 votes [but you don’t have to use them all].  You can click the widget to the left, with the photo of me, to get to the voting page.  Or click here.  Thanks again!