Thanks for another great year with me here at The Soulful Spoon! Whether you’re an old or new reader, I’m thankful for all of you. Here are my top 10 most popular recipes of 2016, according to all of you! Did your favorite make the list?
I honestly can not believe that the entire year is almost over. Where did the time go?!
I remember almost every single recipe I posted in January as if it was just yesterday. And now we’re all turning over our calendars to a new year, flipping the page into another era of time.
I have a strong feeling that 2017 is going to be a really good one, and I hope you do too.
The year 2016 was a bit odd for me if you want to know the truth. Not bad, not great, just kind of… odd.
I learned so much about myself and my level of strength as I forged ahead another year working for myself. I have also loved working with brands that I love and believe in, being able to help others, connecting with readers, and I love having my own schedule and being able to help others by doing work that I’m passionate about.
Those are blessings I’m incredibly grateful for every single day, but it’s not always roses and rainbows working for yourself; it’s actually very hard and can be isolating at times. Not that I expected it to be easy; I knew it would be hard and I’m okay with that. I actually love a good challenge and love the work that I do, yet still, I wish more people knew it wasn’t as easy as it looks.
From dealing with people who try to take advantage of you, trying to manage 4 social media channels all day 7 days a week (there’s no way I’m adding more!), receiving negative comments sometimes, dealing with web coding and learning how to manage the backend of a website, working a lot of long hours (often up until the middle of the night), striving to maintain authentic and regular posts that people will love, and dedicating time to help others overcome their nutritional struggles, the job can be stressful many, many days. And overall, the money isn’t always overflowing with abundance, to say the very least.
I sacrifice many things to do this work, despite that I’m incredibly grateful every single day that I get to do it; it’s been my dream for as long as I can remember. I have such a love for making eating real food fun and delicious, writing, helping people, creating fun content, and sharing my passions with others in a positive way.
Prioritizing self-care and promising to be 100% honest and real with readers above all else are two things that help keep me level-headed, balanced, healthy, honest, and happy.
I have learned so many lessons this year and have had such an amazing time connecting with readers all over the country. Thank you to all of you who have supported this blog, I truly appreciate every single one of you!
I’ve also had quite the personal ups and downs this year, with a cancer scare with my mom (that thankfully turned out to be nothing), to two recent deaths in my family from my two grandfathers, both of whom died from heart-related complications from diabetes.
As someone who is passionate about health and spreading the plant-based message for health, it’s always hard to watch your family suffer from complications that you know could have been prevented or greatly reduced. It’s also not easy when the people you love the most— family, that is—don’t always want to hear what you want them to hear regarding health, despite the fact you know you could help them.
On another note, I’m incredibly grateful that my younger brother has been in full remission from cancer the entire year of 2016—what a blessing! We are so grateful for his health and that he is doing so well.
Finally, I turn 32 years old on New Year’s Eve in just a few short days, which I’m not overly excited about but also not dreading either. I have a few more thoughts on that coming up in a post soon, but for now, I’ll just say that I hope the age of 32 is a much brighter, exciting, and opportunistic one than the age of 31 was!
Overall, I’ve considered this year a good year, but I am definitely ready for a new year ahead.
I want 2017 to be a year of new roads, opportunities, and making the work that I do better, more effective, and more helpful to others. All in all, I can’t wait for 2017!
But before we jump into a new year, I wanted to take the time to share with you the 10 most popular recipes on the blog, according to all of you. These are the recipes that got the most views and shares of all my recipes. Many of them surprised me, as some of my favorites aren’t always readers’ favorites, and many times the recipes I don’t think will do well are the ones that everyone else loves.
Isn’t that funny how things sometimes work out that way?
None the less, here are all of your favorite recipes on The Soulful Spoon from 2016. Thank you for loving them so much, and if you haven’t tried them yet, maybe you’ll be inspired to give them a go!
*All these recipes are free of oil, animal products, gluten, and sugar. Yay!
1. Most Popular Recipe: Quick and Easy Sugar-Free Salsa
A really simple, delicious, and healthy salsa recipe that has no added oil, sugar, or salt and comes together in just a few minutes! Serve with fresh cut veggies, oil-free tortilla chips, grilled zucchini slices, use it in a soup or stew, or even serve it as a dip for roasted sweet potato fries—yum! Get the recipe here.
Who knew my favorite (slightly odd) smoothie recipe would be such a hit, thank you for loving it as much as I do! This recipe is still one of my very favorites that I love to enjoy daily, and it’s a great way to get so much nutrition in one recipe that tastes like a creamy, frosty dessert. Get the recipe here!
This salad dressing (or dip) isn’t your typical salad dressing, but it tastes incredibly rich, creamy, and is full of plant-based goodness! A little spicy, a little tangy, and a touch of natural sweetness too, this is a must-try recipe that’s filled with beauty-boosting ingredients too! Get the recipe here.
I truly LOVE this recipe and have been so happy to see it go over so well with readers too. Plus, it’s filled with goodness thanks to the probiotics that are naturally found in miso, and it’s not your typical salad dressing recipe, to say the least. This recipe is savory, tangy, and slightly sweet. Plus it can be used on anything you can think of! I love it on my Roasted Veggie Beauty Detox Salad or Herb-Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges if you’d like to know how I use it the most.
Get the recipe here.
This creamy, naturally sweet oat milk is one of the number one recipes that I get the most positive comments about. It’s also incredibly easy to make and so frugal too! Get the recipe here.
A healthy version of the classic cookie we all grew up loving in a really simple, delicious recipe that comes together with only 4 main ingredients. No oil, sugar, or funny additives included! Get the recipe here!
These bites are such a fun recipe to make and eat; they’re like a mini PB and J sandwich in every single bite! Plus, they are incredibly low in natural sugars and made with 100% natural ingredients without any refined flour, oil, or additives. Get the recipe here!
These weren’t just one of my most popular recipes that I also loved, but they are also one of the ones that got the most positive comments and feedback from readers. I love when you all make my recipes and tell me you enjoyed them, so thank you for sharing your comments with me! These brownies are almost identical to the regular version but so much healthier for you, and they contain no strange ingredients whatsoever.
Get the recipe here!
This was definitely one of my favorites and still is, so I’m glad to see so many of you loved it too. A creamy, sweet bowl of goodness filled with protein, acai berry purée, and whole, natural superfoods to nourish your body, belly, and your taste buds too! Get the recipe here.
This really is such a hearty, wonderful dinner that reminds me of a lighter chili. Sometimes I love to stir in fresh greens at the end, so they wilt instantly into the hot soup. Plus, this dish is full of fiber, plant-based protein, and is really gentle on the stomach if you don’t tolerate a lot of beans like me. I might also add that it’s simple to prepare in a slow-cooker or on the stove, whichever way you prefer.
I was also really happy to see an entrée make the list since I don’t share a lot of entrées on the blog; I hope to share more this coming year and already have some plans to do so.
Get the recipe for the Red Pepper, Lentil, and Split Pea Stew here!
The following five recipes were incredibly close as being part of the top 10 too, so I thought I would share them with all of you, just in case you’d like a few more of my most popular recipes.
I had a feeling this stew recipe would do well and I’m so glad to see it was well-received! Get the recipe here.
One of my all-time favorite oatmeal recipes, I still make this one all the time. I love to stir cranberries and blueberries into this one sometimes too. Get the recipe here.
I love anything cold, creamy, and full of chocolate goodness that’s also healthy too, so I was happy to see this one do so well this year. This superfood malt recipe is the perfect snack or dessert that makes you feel good too! Get the recipe here.
Christmas may be over, but these cookies can be eaten all year round and have been a huge hit so far with readers. Get the recipe here!
Incredibly easy blondies that feature plant-based protein, fiber, and best of all, they have no added sugar. I need to make another batch of these soon! Get the recipe here.
And that’s a wrap!
Thank you so much again, everyone. I am thrilled to have all of you read this blog and wish you the absolute brightest, upcoming year!