Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: The Creamiest Vegan Chocolate Spread, the GF Teen Summit and More

Long time no talk! By the time you’re reading this post, I’ll be frantically finishing my final exams and packing up to drive back to Colorado Springs for the summer. I skipped sharing my favorite moments of March, mainly because the month mainly consisted of work, writing, and grad school...which means I have even more delicious gluten free eats, grad school adventures and exciting news to share this time around.

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: The Creamiest Vegan Chocolate Spread, the GF Teen Summit and More

What gluten free and vegan chocolate spread has become my latest sweet addiction? What's the Gluten Free Teen Summit all about? And what can you expect from the blog now that summer - and Celiac Awareness Month! - is finally here? You know the drill by now: keep scrolling to find out all of those answers and more!

What I’m Eating

Trays of roasted broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Ever since I figured out that you can crisp-ify frozen broccoli and frozen Brussels sprouts by baking them at a high temp in your oven, I’ve been loading up on the 89 cent bags of both from Aldi’s. Roasted veggies + avocado = one very happy girl. 

Too many homemade energy balls to count. I suppose this is expected considering I needed all the energy I could get to push through my final two months of the semester, but energy balls have seriously been making up the bulk of my night snacks. Recently on Instagram, I shared the recipe for these “Birthday Cake Batter” superfood energy balls featuring Manitoba Hemp Seeds (which I represent as an ambassador!). These cake batter bliss balls are addictive and sweetened mainly with banana, so I’d definitely recommend giving the recipe a try.

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: The Creamiest Vegan Chocolate Spread, the GF Teen Summit and More

Homemade banana ice cream upgraded with fun superfood mixes like Matakana’s Superchoc, açaí, turmeric and even spirulina (in small doses). Considering that I don’t add much superfood powder to my nice cream, I doubt the powders are giving me tons of health benefits...but I can’t be the only one who thinks a variety of colors always makes food taste better, right? Tell me if you’re a rainbow food lover in the comments! 

Last but not least, the dreamiest, dreamiest chocolate spread thanks to the Date Lady. I won this spread along with a few other goodies in an Instagram giveaway and OMG...I’ve never tried a dairy free chocolate spread that is THIS creamy. The date puree seriously makes all the difference, and I love that dates also offer additional nutrition (like lots of dietary potassium, fiber, iron and magnesium) compared to other sweeteners.

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: The Creamiest Vegan Chocolate Spread, the GF Teen Summit and More

What I’m Doing/Loving:

Surviving a very adventurous first visit to Minneapolis with a group of gals from my MFA program. We’d planned an epic weekend of dancing, walking around the city and exploring...and then a historic blizzard hit Minnesota, and basically snowed us in for most of our weekend. The snow weekend definitely wasn’t ideal. (We went out one night during the blizzard and I was a bit terrified when my friend’s car got stuck in a snowdrift, we saw several cars stuck and abandoned in the snowy freeway and watched a car almost spun out in downtown Minneapolis. The things girls do for pizza.) However, I learned how to free said stuck car (thanks to two very kind gentlemen who pulled over when they saw us pushing), enjoyed some good bonding time with the girls in our AirBNB and loved exploring the Minneapolis Art Institute before the snow shut it down.

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: The Creamiest Vegan Chocolate Spread, the GF Teen Summit and More

Good ol’ midwestern male hospitality. (See picture below for story time). Nice people make snow in April a little less depressing. 

The end of the semester! I’m sure I’ll do a full reflection post on my first year of grad school later on, but I’ll just say that this semester was a LOT better than the first semester. I got a lot more creative writing done that I’m proud of and made socializing more of a higher priority. However, I’m definitely more than ready for a break from constant writing and teaching, and for some time with the family. 

What I’m Planning:  

Spending summer in Colorado Springs! Although I had the option of staying in Mankato for the summer, I haven’t seen my family since Christmas and I’m very excited to have more time to explore Colorado this summer. I’m still going to be busy working (send me some good job hunting vibes, please!), lesson planning, blogging and writing, but the change of scenery will be greatly appreciated.

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: The Creamiest Vegan Chocolate Spread, the GF Teen Summit and More

Partnering up with some epic brands for Celiac Awareness Month and the rest of summer. I can’t give away any details yet, but if you love pasta, you’re going to be drooling over one of my upcoming sponsored recipes...

Speaking at the first Generation GF Teen Summit & Family Retreat in Orlando, Florida! I’ve been sitting on this news for a couple of months now, but I'm no less excited at the opportunity to speak this June about how to eat gluten free in a college without gluten free options. The summit will feature big names in the celiac community like Dr. Peter Green, Director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia. This will also be my first chance to meet Taylor from Hale Life and Erica from Celiac and the Beast in person. If all of that isn't cool enough, my partner in gluten free - my mom - is coming with me, which will make the whole experience even more special. 

When I started this blog over four years ago, I never imagined it would lead to me being asked to speak at an event like this, so I feel extremely honored and grateful for every reader that’s helped me get this far. I’ll be sure to blog all about the experience after, but you can also follow me on Instagram and watch my Insta stories for live updates when I go! You can also find out more information about the Gluten Free Teen Summit here and here...and if you have any recommendations on where to eat in downtown Disney (in public parts/not the parks), I’d love to hear.

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: The Creamiest Vegan Chocolate Spread, the GF Teen Summit and More

My second semester of grad school - and the last two months of March and April - definitely flew by in a blur of classes, teaching, blogging and lots of tasty gluten free eats. Hopefully, my summer will go by a little more slowly...and I’m excited to see what my summer ends up consisting of since so much of it is still undetermined. I do know, though, that there will be more adventures, more good food and more exciting blog posts in the near future - and I can’t wait to share them with all of you, as usual. 

Until then, safe travels to anyone else traveling this week, and I’ll talk to you again from Colorado!

What have you been up to these past few months? Any exciting plans for May? Tell me in the comments!


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