Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Fudge Dip

Full disclosure–this is actually a hummus recipe. Yes, that’s right dessert hummus is a thing and it has been for awhile. I’ve done a couple of variations like this Chocolate Hummus and this Pumpkin Spice Dessert Dip but this latest peanut butter and chocolate mix my be the best one yet!

This stuff is MAJORLY delicious and quite healthy! Don’t you just love when those two things get together?! I do.

Plenty of good stuff in this like protein and fiber from the chickpeas and peanut butter and lots of healthy fats! Think school lunchbox…great with apples, spelt pretzels, graham crackers, strawberries or wrapped up in a whole grain tortilla! Also good on pancakes, waffles, bagels….endless uses! Did I mention you only need a blender?! Yay!

And as always 100% vegan/plantbased and no refined sugar. 🙂

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Fudge Dip
 
Ingredients
  • 1, 15 oz. Can/2 c. Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ c. plus 3 T. Natural Peanut Butter (no added oil, sugar, salt, etc)
  • ½ c. Agave (or sweetener of choice and less if you don't want it as sweet)
  • ½ t. Sea Salt
  • 6 T. Plain, Unsweetened Cashew Milk (or almond, coconut, etc)
  • ½-3/4 c. Lily's Dark Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients except chocolate chips in a high speed blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy.
  2. Stir in chocolate chips and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Serve with fruit, pretzels, cookies, pancakes, waffles, etc.

 

 

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Ultimate Fudgy Vegan Brownies

I’ve been doin’ this brownie baking thing for awhile now. And with every new recipe I tend to get a little dramatic-y and proclaim in no uncertain terms that the new recipe is my absolute, all-time favorite.

But THIS time, I mean it. I mean, I totally mean it. These brownies are probably my favorite. Healthy, not-healthy, sugar, butter, coconut oil, eggs, xylitol, pumpkin puree…WHATEVER. These blow all that stuff away.

They live up to their name and just happen to be vegan, gluten-free and contain no oil. Yesssss. High-five to that. And did I mention they are the fudgiest, most addictive brownie ever? Because they most definitely are.

Hope you enjoy them and take a couple of minutes to check out some other healthy brownie recipes I’ve done in the past–they are ALL good!

Gluten-Free Brownies, Lightened Up Gluten-Free Brownies, Fudgy Pumpkin Brownies

Ultimate Fudgy Vegan Brownies
 
Ingredients
  • 1 ⅓ c. Sucanat
  • 6 T. Truvia
  • 1 ½ c. Almond Flour
  • 1 ½ c. Cocoa Powder
  • ¾ t. Sea Salt
  • ¾ c. Almond Butter
  • ¾ c. Agave
  • 3 T. Vanilla
  • ½ c. Flaxseed w/ 1 c. Water (soak for 5 miutes)
  • 1 c. Lily’s Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease/spray a 9x13pan.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together sucanat, truvia, almond flour, cocoa powder and sea salt.
  3. Add almond butter, agave, vanilla and flax “egg” to the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until everything is well combined and smooth.
  4. Pour into pan and top with chocolate chips.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes, until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Let cool completely before cutting.
Notes
Makes 24 brownies.

 

 

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Lemon Coconut Truffles

I was craving something lemon-y and easy to make the other day and found this recipe that I have only made once before quite awhile ago but remember really loving it! They are done in the food processor and come together in no time.

They are a perfect balance of coconut and lemon flavor, not overly sweet and just the right size when you need something a little sweet. And best of all they are healthy!

Enjoy!

P.S. Here are a few more energy type “balls/truffles” I love!

Honey Almond Date Balls

Java Mocha Protein Balls

Chocolate Chip Quinoa Trail Mix Balls

Lemon Coconut Truffles
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c. Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut
  • ⅓ c. Raw Almonds
  • 1 T. Agave
  • 2 T. Xylitol, processed in a food processor to a finer "powdered" consistency (or use more agave, etc)
  • 2 T. Melted Coconut Oil
  • Juice and Zest of one Large Lemon
  • Organic Vegan White Chocolate Chunks, melted OR Extra Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut
Instructions
  1. Process all ingredients except the white chocolate/extra coconut in a food processor until a thick paste forms.
  2. Roll into 1½" balls.
  3. Dip into the melted white chocolate OR roll in extra coconut (I didn't do either this time but the time before I did the white chocolate).
Notes
Makes 12 truffles.

 

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Vegan Zucchini Bread

 

I’ve made zucchini bread so many times over the years but surprisingly I’ve never blogged about it except for this Chocolate Zucchini Bread which is honestly more like cake. It’s one of my favorite things EVER though–my grandma makes the best I’ve ever had and I simply love sweet breads.

However, most recipes have LOADS of sugar and are definitely not the healthy. So I found a recipe I thought sounded good and adaptable and this one did indeed turn out awesome. I only wish I’d had a can of crushed pineapple to throw in and highly recommend doing so. 🙂

This version is not only vegan but has ZERO refined sugar and oil. My only issue was that the very middle top part didn’t get cooked all the way through and collapsed which wasn’t really a problem since there’s nothing raw in it but I would have left it in for maybe another 10 minutes. All in all though it was a good, solid recipe and we devoured it quickly!

Enjoy!

Vegan Zucchini Bread
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ c. Xylitol (or truvia, swerve, etc)
  • ½ c. Sucanat
  • 1½ c. Sprouted Spelt Flour (or other whole grain flour)
  • ½ t. Pink Sea Salt
  • 1 t. Baking Soda
  • 1½ t. Cinnamon
  • 2 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ½ c. Unsweetened Applesauce
  • ¼ c. Ground Flaxseed mixed w/ 6 T. Water (let sit for 5 minutes to create flax "egg")
  • 1 c. Shredded Zucchini, all liquid squeezed out (I use a nut milk/cheese cloth bag)
  • ½ c. Pecan Halves
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan with coconut oil or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the xylitol, sucanat, flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.
  3. Beat in the vanilla, applesauce and flax "egg" on low speed. Add the zucchini and beat until evenly incorporated.
  4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and place pecan halves on top.
  5. Bake for 45-55 minutes (I did 43 but mine was still a little underdone in the very middle--recommend 50 minutes).
  6. Cool completely in loaf pan. Slice.
Notes
Makes about 8-10 slices.

 

 

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Gluten-Free Chickpea Blondies with Dark Chocolate Chips

 

 

 

I haven’t made this recipe for a little over a year. And there is a very good reason…I can’t NOT eat these.

Self-control practically goes out the window when I make these bars and a year ago I was making them WAY too often and enjoying WAY too many.  One of the problems is that everyone else around me loved them too so I had no excuse NOT to make them for every and any social function. And even worse I never would give out the recipe because there was that tiny little recipe hoarder voice in my head that said “these are good…like, really, really, REALLY good and one day you may went to sell them in your amazing vegan bakery so do not, I repeat DO NOT give away the recipe”.

I listened to that voice for a long time but over the past year I’ve realized that sharing is caring and who am I kidding, I’m not getting up at 3 in the morning, every morning, for the rest of my life to bake and sell anything!

So, I was really excited to make these again not only to eat but also for the blog! They are so stinking easy because you basically put everything in a high powered blender and blend! And of course they are vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, no oil and no eggs! Does it get much better?! Don’t be put off by the chickpeas–they make these bars SO creamy and moist it’s unbelievable. And they cut way down on the fat and calories while adding a good amount of protein and fiber!

I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Flourless Chickpea Blondies with Dark Chocolate Chunks
 
Ingredients
  • 2, 15 oz. Cans Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ⅓ c. Aquafaba (chickpea liquid)
  • 1 c. Unsalted Almond Butter
  • ⅔ c. Agave
  • ⅓ c. Xylitol
  • 2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ½ c. Almond Flour
  • 1 t. Sea Salt
  • ½ t. Baking Powder
  • ½ t. Baking Soda
  • ¾ c. Lily's Chocolate Chips (or other vegan/refined sugar free brand of choice)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8x8 or 9x9 pan with non-stick coconut oil cooking spray.
  2. In a high-powered blender add all ingredients except the chocolate chips.
  3. Blend on high until mixture is completely creamy and smooth. You may have to stop and scrape down the mixture several times to make sure you get all the chickpeas blended in.
  4. Spread into prepared pan and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the mixture.
  5. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.
Notes
Makes 18 bars.

 

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Vintage Race Car 3rd Birthday Party!

 

There was no wondering what the theme would be this year for Eli’s 3rd birthday party–CARS! He is obsessed, particularly with the Cars cars…Lightening McQueen, Bobby Swift…the whole gang. But I wasn’t really down with having a Cars birthday party or even Hotwheels–not my style at all. But after a little Pinterest time,  I stumbled across the vintage race car theme and LOVED it.

I went simple (at least for me) and did a couple of banners for decor, car cake, chocolate dipped pretzel rods that were “dip sticks” and mini chocolate doughnuts that were our “spare tires”. I actually loved how this one turned out and I’m finding that simple can be a lot better sometimes!

Here are some pics from the day…

Dipsticks! (aka chocolate dipped pretzel rods)

 

Spare Tires…

The Vintage Race Car Cake…

Some more of the decor…

And last but not least the birthday boy playing lawn games with his cousins. This must have been a good shot. 😉

Check out the link below for more party inspiration!

Alphabet 2nd Birthday Party!

 

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Rainbow Unicorn 5th Birthday Party!

We recently celebrated Avery’s 5th birthday party and I wanted to share a few pics of the festivities. I went super simple this year especially where the dessert table was concerned. I ended up doing Sixlets in her party colors, white chocolate unicorn pops and a unicorn cake. Time and budget were limited this year but it forced me to keep things simple which was a GOOD thing. 🙂

Here are a few pics! And if you’re interested in her previous parties, I have links to all of them at the end of the post!

 

Birthday Girl! 🙂

More table pics.

Unicorns taking a nap?? Or maybe telling secrets… 🙂

Birthday girl focusing hard on coloring her unicorn.

The pops and another table pic!

Check out previous parties!

Rainbow Sprinkles and Confetti FIRST Birthday Party!

Ice Cream Shoppe 2nd Birthday Party!

Sparkle Princess 3rd Birthday Party!

Kitty Cat 4th Birthday Party!

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Vegan Blueberry Banana Bread

I started writing this post and thought “ugh, anooooother banana bread recipe” and really thought twice about posting it. But then I went and did a quick little search to find out how many banana bread recipes I’ve actually blogged about and to my surprise it was only four! Ok, ok not bad…and they all happen to be quite different. A good mix of naughty (see here and here) and nice (this one and that one). And this particular recipe was different because it had BLUEBERRIES mixed in soooo…totes different. 😀

I can honestly say I’ve never even had banana bread with blueberries mixed in let alone made it but dang I was tired of plain, ‘ole banana bread and needed to mix things up a little and since we’ve got bags upon bags of frozen blueberries I decided those things were going in! And I have to say I’m not only addicted but wish I’d been putting blueberries in my banana bread way sooner! So good! Juicy little bursts of blueberry goodness in super tender, moist banana bread. Yummmm.

I also love that this recipe is egg, oil and refined sugar free and TOTALLY PLANT BASED which we are all about around here. 😀

Enjoy!

Vegan Blueberry Banana Bread
 
Ingredients
  • 5 Super Ripe Bananas, mashed
  • ¾ c. Applesauce
  • 2 T. Ground Flaxseed, mixed with ⅓ c. water (allow to sit 5 minutes to create flax "egg")
  • 1 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ¾ c. Sucanat
  • ¼ c. Truvia
  • 2 c. Spelt Flour
  • ¾ t. Sea Salt
  • 1½ t. Baking Soda
  • 1 c. Regular Rolled Oats
  • 1 c. Frozen Blueberries, plus ½ c. for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with coconut oil non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the bananas, applesauce, flax "egg" and vanilla together on low speed.
  3. Add the sucanat and truvia and beat into the mixture on low speed.
  4. Add spelt flour, salt, baking soda and regular rolled oats. Beat on low speed until everything is well-combined.
  5. Gently fold in 1 cup of frozen blueberries and pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining blueberries.
  6. Bake for 55-60 minutes, until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes then gently remove and cool to room temperature on a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days then store remainder in refrigerator.

 

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Coconut Blackberry Pops

I’ll get right to the point–homemade COCONUT BLACKBERRY POPS. Dairy free. Refined sugar free. Full of cool, creamy, coconutty/blackberry deliciousness. Ridiculously easy, inexpensive and insanely good.

We made them. We ate them. We love them. You will too. PROMISE.

Summer is coming (yay!). Be prepared.

And…ENJOY. 🙂

Blackberry Coconut Pops
 
Ingredients
  • 1, 13.5 oz. Can Full-Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1, 13.5 oz. Can Lite Coconut Milk
  • ½ c. Sucanat, or sweetener of choice (xylitol, truvia, erythritol, stevia etc)
  • 1 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ½ t. Coconut Extract (optional)
  • ½ c. Unsweetened, Shredded Coconut
  • 2 c. All-Fruit Blackberry Jam
Instructions
  1. In a high speed blender, blend both coconut milks, sucanat, vanilla extract and coconut extract until smooth.
  2. Pour into a bowl and stir in shredded coconut.
  3. Pour coconut mixture into popsicle molds, about ⅔ of the way full.
  4. Freeze for one hour.
  5. Top with a couple tablespoons of blackberry jam and insert popsicle stick into middle.
  6. Freeze overnight.
  7. Run warm water over popsicle molds for a few seconds and then gently remove popsicle. Eat immediately.
Notes
Makes 12 pops

 

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Alphabet 2nd Birthday Party!

Believe it or not, I have ANOTHER kid…who I’ve never blogged about. 😀 Until now! I’m still in the process of digging up his first birthday pics but in the meantime we’re just gonna skip ahead to his SECOND birthday.

We did an alphabet theme for this one because the child knew his alphabet forwards and backwards way before he turned two. And boy themes are TOUGH…farm animals, cars, jungle, cartoon/tv shows…ugh. Not my style so much but the alphabet theme turned out cute! Here are a few pics from our fun day…

It was a fun party with beautiful weather and awesome friends! And a certain two year old ate WAY too many chocolate letters off of the chocolate chip cookie bars while mom wasn’t looking but hey, it was his birthday and c’mon chocolate is just GOOD. 😉  We love you E!

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Kitty Cat 4th Birthday Party!

Since birthday parties are rolling around again, I thought I’d finally get around to posting LAST year’s birthday party pictures. I’m so on top of it! Avery decided on a Kitty Cat theme which was super fun to come up with all the decor and treats for. All the little desserts were made by me except the AWESOME cat cake. Goodies included chocolate cherry mice, feline faces, cat claws, meow mix and hair balls!

We had such a fun time! Hope you enjoy the pics!

P.S. If you want to see past birthdays here is her Rainbow Sprinkles and Confetti FIRST Birthday Party, Ice Cream Shoppe 2nd Birthday Party and Sparkle Princess 3rd Birthday Party!

The table!

The birthday girl in her black kitty cat dress with her bestie!

 

More friends!

 

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Pumpkin and Dark Chocolate Energy Bites

It’s fall which of course means pumpkin EVERYTHING. And I love it! Pumpkin has so many great uses in baking, especially when it comes to baking something HEALTHY. Sadly, I don’t have many healthy pumpkin recipes up to this point on my blog, but I do love this Pumpkin Spice Dessert Dip and just made these Fudgy Butternut Squash Brownies with PUMPKIN instead of the butternut squash and they were amazing!

So, I’m excited to add these Pumpkin and Dark Chocolate Energy Bites to the mix. These little gems are so tasty and so very good for you! I don’t mind giving these to my kids for breakfast one bit. They’ve got fiber, protein, good fats and some great nutrients! Oh and the best part…DARK CHOCOLATE. 😀

They only take a few minutes to whip up–give ’em a try!

Pumpkin and Dark Chocolate Energy Bites
Author: 
Category: Dessert
 
Ingredients
  • 3 c. Oats
  • 1, 15 oz. Can Pumpkin Puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling (prefer organic)
  • ¾ c. Roasted Almond Butter (no salt, oil added...just roasted almonds)
  • ½ c. plus 2 T. Agave
  • ½ t. Cinnamon
  • ½ t. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 6 T. Ground Flaxseeds
  • ¼ c. Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut
  • 1 c. Raw Sunflower Seeds, toasted
  • ¾ c. Chocolate Dreams Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together oats, pumpkin puree, almond butter, agave, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, ground flaxseed and shredded coconut until well combined.
  2. Stir in sunflower seeds and dark chocolate chips.
  3. Roll into balls of about 1½″ in diameter.
  4. Place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment or foil and place in the freezer for one hour. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
Notes
Makes 45.

 

 

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Cinnamon Spiced Espresso Glazed Granola

 

I have so many recipes that I’ve done over the last year or so that were the healthy dessert and breakfast type I made for my family but never got around to blogging and I’m so excited to revisit and remake them in order to share with you all! I was OBSESSED with this granola recipe last fall and actually ended up giving out bags of it for Christmas with other homemade goodies such as handsoap, etc.

 

It was very well received and I plan on doing something similar this year for gifts! You can package it so pretty and this stuff lasts in an airtight container for a very long time! What I really love is how some of my favorite flavors combine in this…you’ve got fall with the cinnamon and nutmeg, a nice kick from the espresso powder and a hint of chocolate from the coffee beans! It’s just soooooo good! My kids LOVE it but for obvious reasons (hello, caffeine!) I limit their intake. 😀 It’s great over yogurt, with my Pumpkin Spice Dessert Dip or just in a bowl with some nice cold, almond milk!

Give it a try! I think you’ll love it. 🙂

Cinnamon Spiced Espresso Glazed Granola
 
Ingredients
  • 6 c. Regular Rolled Oats
  • 2 c. Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • 1 ½ c. Toasted Pecan Halves
  • 1 c. Pistachios
  • 1 ½ c. Raw Pumpkin Seeds/Pepitas
  • ½ c. Wheat Germ (I use ground flaxseed if I don't have wheat germ)
  • 1 c. Fruit Juice Sweetened Dried Cranberries
  • 1 c. Golden Raisins (or use another cup of dried cranberries)
  • ½ c. Coconut Oil, melted
  • 1 ½ c. Agave
  • 3 T. Instant Espresso Powder (feel free to use more for more of the coffee flavor--I actually like about ⅓ cup!)
  • 2 t. Cinnamon
  • ½ t. Nutmeg
  • 2 t. Sea Salt
  • 2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1-2 c. Dark Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans (I get grain sweetened ones) or Dark Chocolate Chunks (preferably stevia sweetened, etc)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray two large baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut flakes, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, cranberries and golden raisins. Toss well.
  3. In another medium bowl, combine melted coconut oil, agave, espresso powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and vanilla. Whisk together until well combined.
  4. Pour the coconut oil mixture over the dry oat mixture and stir to fully combine. I stir for at least 3-5 minutes to ensure everything is well coated.
  5. Divide the granola between the two baking sheets and spread evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes so the granola will get evenly toasted.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, spray the bottom of a flat 1 cup measuring cup or a flat bottomed glass with cooking spray. Press the granola into the pan using the bottom of the measure cup so that you have a flat slab of granola.
  7. Let the granola sit for one hour to cool and harden.
  8. After an hour break the granola up into clusters and stir in chocolate covered coffee beans or dark chocolate chunks.

 

 

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Apple Cinnamon Fruit Leather Roll-Ups

Apple picking this year was so fun now that the kids are a little older (2 and 4) and I loved all the healthy recipes I got to make. I mentioned before that I updated my mom’s AMAZING German Apple Cake to be super healthy, came up with these Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars and got to have a little more fun with these Apple Cinnamon Fruit Leather Roll-Ups!

I had the idea to try to adapt my recipe for Dark Cherry Fruit Leather Roll-Ups into something apple-ish and it worked out fabulously! They were easy and delicious! Not to mention so much cheaper than buying them in the store!

I’m honestly not sure who loved them more in our house…the adults or the kids! I think you’ll love them too. 🙂

Apple Cinnamon Fruit Leather Roll-Ups
Author: 
Category: Dessert
 
Ingredients
  • 10 c. (about 9-10 medium) Chopped Apples (I used Fujis...no need to peel if you have a high speed blender)
  • ¾ c. Water
  • ⅓ c. Sucanat
  • ¾ t. Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine chopped apples and water and cook over medium-high heat until apples are tender and soft and easily pierced with a fork, about 8 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Once soft, drain liquid and transfer apples to a high speed blender along with the sucanat and cinnamon.
  4. Blend until apples are completely smooth.
  5. Divide mixture evenly between the two baking sheets. Use an offset spatula or the back of a large wooden spoon to spread the mixture as evenly and thin as possible without the white of the parchment paper coming through. Spots that are not thin enough, may not cook/dry completely (which isn't a big deal..it will still be edible and delicious!).
  6. Bake in the oven, rotating pans every hour for 5-6 hours or until just slightly tacky. Remove from oven and let air dry on the baking sheets for at least 8 hours.
  7. With the parchment paper, lift and move the fruit leather sheets onto a cutting board. Using a pizza slicer (or sharp knife), cut the sheets into 6 strips each (for a total of 12 strips). Starting at the edge of one sheet gently peel the leather away from the parchment and roll up. Wrap a piece of parchment around each roll-up and secure with string or tape. Store in and air-tight container.
Notes
Makes 12.

 

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Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

In the last week we’ve made not one but TWO trips to the apple orchard because they are just SO good right now and there are new varieties every day! Our first trip we picked tons of Jonathan and Grimes and the second time it was all about the Fujis!

So, needless to say we’ve been eating a LOT of apples. And of course I’ve done a little baking…I gave my mom’s German Apple Cake a healthy makeover and it turned out DELISH. But I think our favorite thing so far has been dehydrating apples and making dried apple slices! The kids can’t get enough. And the Jonathan’s are perfect for dehydrating because they’re actually super sweet with a little tartness. Yum!

So with all the dehydrating, I was super excited to stumble upon this recipe for Cinnamon Apple Pie Energy Bites that utilizes dried apples but I knew immediately I wanted to take the recipe a step further and make them into Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars! And with a little adjusting of ingredients, that’s what I did and the results were DELICIOUS.

All the flavors of apple pie, a touch of salt, tiny chunks of almonds and dried apples, minimal ingredients and no added sugar, make these perfect for snacking or even breakfast! We love them!

 

Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ c. Dried Apples, finely chopped in food processor
  • 1 ½ c. Raw, Toasted Almonds (you don't have to toast the almonds but I prefer the flavor it gives them)
  • 1 ½ c. Medjool Dates, soaked in hot water for at least 30 minutes
  • 5 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1½ t. Cinnamon
  • 1½ t. Apple Pie Spice
  • ½-¾ t. Sea Salt
Instructions
  1. Line a 9x9 pan with foil or parchment paper
  2. Blend almonds and dates in a high powered blender or food processor until a thick paste forms. You can get it as smooth as you like..I left a few bits and pieces of almonds in mine because I like the texture.
  3. Transfer the almond/date mixture, along with all other ingredients to an electric mixer. Beat on low speed until everything is well combined and blended. Adjust spices, etc to taste.
  4. Press into your lined pan and place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to allow mixture to set. Remove from pan and cut.
Notes
Makes 12 bars.

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Fudgy Pumpkin Brownies

Ok, so the title of this recipe would sound a LOT better if I had been able to use PUMPKIN* in these brownies instead of butternut squash but guess what? The store was out of canned pumpkin when I went! I’m really hoping this isn’t another one of those pumpkin shortage years but I’m getting a little nervous to be honest.

Nevertheless, I pressed on and substituted the canned butternut squash for the pumpkin in this recipe because let’s face it…they taste exactly the same! But people looooooove pumpkin. You don’t see a butternut squash spice latte at Starbucks do you? NO. Butternut squash scented candles? NO. It’s pumpkin…all. pumpkin.

However, I’m pleased to report that the butternut squash totally worked in this recipe and these brownies turned out AWESOME. The center was definitely more fudgy than the outer edges and to me they were slightly more cake-like (which is not a bad thing at all). But they were seriously to die for and I’ll just confess…we polished the pan off in probably 2 1/2 days. So proud!

These were also some of the easiest brownies I’ve made which is a huge bonus. Not to mention, dairy and refined sugar free! Feel free to use pumpkin or even sweet potato in these, instead of the butternut squash, because they’ll turn out fabulous no matter what.

For more healthy brownie inspiration, check out my Gluten-Free Brownies and Lightened Up Gluten-Free Brownies! 

*Updated recipe to reflect that I tried pumpkin in them and prefer them that way.

Fudgy Pumpkin Brownies
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1, 15 oz. (1⅓ c.) Can Organic Pumpkin Puree butternut squash and sweet potato also work)
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1½ c. Almond Butter (no added oil, salt, etc)
  • ¼ c. Agave
  • ½ c. plus 1 T. Organic Sprouted Spelt Flour (or whole wheat, white whole wheat, whole wheat pastry, etc.)
  • 2¼ t. Baking Soda
  • ¼ t. Sea Salt
  • ½ c. plus 1 T. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 c. Sucanat
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325. Spray a 9x9 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together pumpkin puree, almond butter, vanilla and agave until smooth.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients.
  4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and beat on low speed until everything is incorporated and batter is smooth.
  5. Pour batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 25-28 minutes, until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Cool completely and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container.
Notes
Makes about 16 brownies.

 

 

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Chia Bars

I’ve been incorporating chickpea (garbanzo) flour into lots of things lately, mainly because it has a fairly neutral flavor once it’s been cooked and adds a good amount of protein and fiber to food. My favorite thing right now is to mix it into my kids oatmeal…they don’t even know it’s there! So when I saw these chia granola bars used it, I HAD to try them.

Aaaaaand…they turned out great!  I was expecting a crunchier bar but mine remained soft which is ok because we still loved them. Looking back over the original recipe, I actually missed the step about pressing them down again after they have been baked so that might have been my problem with them not being crunchy!

They are slightly sweet, a tiny bit salty and quite yummy! Love the good fats, protein and fiber from the chickpea flour and chia seeds and the little crunch from the crispy rice cereal is perfect. Great for breakfast or a snack!

Original Recipe: Power Hungry

Chia Bars
Author: 
Category: Bar
 
Ingredients
  • 3 c. Rolled Quick Oats
  • ¾ c. Crispy Brown Rice Cereal
  • ⅔ c. Chickpea Flour (also known as garbanzo bean flour)
  • 3 T. Chia Seeds
  • 1 t. Baking Soda
  • ¾ t. Sea Salt
  • ⅔ c. Agave
  • ⅓ c. Melted Coconut Oil
  • ¼ c. Sucanat
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper; spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk oats, rice cereal, chickpea flour, chia seeds, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together agave, coconut oil, sucanant and vanilla until blended,
  3. Add agave mixture to oat mixture, stirring until completely coated. Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Spray you hands with non-stick spray and press mixture down gently but firmly to compact into pan.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes (I did 20) or until light golden brown on top. Remove from oven and use the flat bottom of a small pan or dish to press down granola bars again. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, and then use parchment paper sling to carefully lift granola bars out onto a cutting board (you can leave them sitting on top of the parchment paper). Cool for 5 more minutes and then cut into bars. Move to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

 

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Avery’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie

I created this chocolate chip recipe for my daughter awhile ago and had completely forgot about it until recently when the ONE and only friend I had shared it with (I’m a recipe hoarder…I can’t help it!), said she had made them with her kids. So of course I immediately dug it out and got to work on making some.

I had actually forgot how GOOD these cookies are and why I gave them the title of Avery’s “favorite”….because they are addictive and you seriously can NOT eat just one! They’re soft, chewy and have a perfectly rich, buttery, slightly sweet flavor with ZERO butter or refined sugar and to top it off they are vegan with a little help from aquafaba (check out my first time using it here!)! Win-win-win!

I’m completely ashamed to say that are little family of four polished off all 16 of these in about 3 days! Thankfully they are “healthy” as cookies go and will be an every now and then treat from now on! As they should be. 😉

Avery's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie
 
Ingredients
  • ½ c. Palm Oil Shortening (I used Nutiva which is a blend of palm oils and coconut oil)
  • ⅓ c. plus 1 T. Xylitol
  • ⅓ c. plus 1 T. Agave
  • 3 T. Aquafaba (chia/flax egg or normal egg would work also)
  • 2 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1⅓ c. Sprouted Spelt Flour
  • ¼ c. Ground Flaxseed
  • ¾ t. Baking Soda
  • ¼ t. Sea Salt
  • ¼ c. Thick Rolled Oats
  • ½ c. Chocolate Dream Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking pans with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the shortening, xylitol and agave on medium speed until light and fluffy. Turn mixer to low and add aquafaba and vanilla. Whisk together all the dry ingredients in a small bowl and slowly add to the wet ingredients until thoroughly incorporated. Mix in chocolate chips.
  3. Scoop dough into 1½" balls and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 7-9 minutes, rotating pans and switching racks halfway through. Allow to cool on pans for about 5 minutes and then move to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Notes
Makes 16 cookies

 

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One Bowl Gluten-Free, Vegan Banana Bread

We do gluten-free around here every now and then and it’s not because anyone has any type of allergies but more so because I truly love a lot of recipes that use almond flour. I can’t say I’ve had much success with coconut flour (as in ZERO) but almond flour never lets me down and it surprisingly makes the most moist and delicious banana bread I have EVER had.

My go-to and favorite banana bread recipe for years had been this one but I prefer this gluten-free version WAY more and it is honestly so much better. Plus, it’s VEGAN which I totally love seeing as how we’ve recently decided to eat plant-based in our every day lives.

The original recipe calls for one egg but I have recently discovered the magic of aquafaba. What’s that you ask? It’s bean water! More specifically the liquid from cooked or canned chickpeas. Crazy, right?! Well this stuff is magic! It’s a GREAT egg replacement for so many things. I am still learning and experimenting but it works wonders in this banana bread and helps take it to the next level of super healthy deliciousness! I’m pretty sure you’ll never go back to a regular ‘ole oil and sugar filled banana bread after you try this version!

One Bowl Gluten-Free Banana Bread
 
Ingredients
  • 3-4 Medium VERY Ripe Bananas (I use 4)
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3 T. Aquafaba
  • 3 T. Coconut Oil, melted
  • ¼ c. Xylitol
  • ¼ c. Sucanat
  • 3½ t. Baking Powder
  • ¾ t. Sea Salt
  • ½ t. Ground Cinnamon
  • ¾ c. Unsweetened Almond or Cashew Milk
  • 2½ c. Blanched Almond Flour
  • 1¼ c. Gluten-Free Quick Oats
  • Handful of Chopped Walnuts (optional but delicious!)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat ripe bananas until mashed. Mix in all other ingredients through the milk and combine. Add almond flour and oats and stir to combine. Add chopped walnuts (if using).
  3. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes (mine took 1 hour and 5 minutes), until a tester comes out clean.
  4. Let cool completely before removing from pan and slicing. Store in an airtight container.

 

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Dark Chocolate Strawberry Cream Cake

If you are looking for a super decadent, rich, absolutely DELICIOUS and most importantly HEALTHY chocolate cake–look no further! I can honestly say this is maybe the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had and I can only guess it has something to do with the crazy amount of avocado in it! Yes, avocado!

I just love avocado. Although you’d NEVER guess it was in this cake. All you’ll taste is chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! Oh and some strawberry. 😉 Avocado is so great for chocolate desserts, like this Chocolate Avocado Pudding and I’ve also seen chocolate frosting recipes that use it in place of butter although I have yet to try it myself! It really is the ultimate super food!

What makes this cake even better is the fact that it is totally dairy-free, gluten-free and refined sugar-free! Enjoy a big ‘ole slice without any guilt!

Dark Chocolate Strawberry Cream Cake
Author: 
Category: Cake
 
Ingredients
Dark Chocolate Cake
  • 3 c. Chopped Avocado (4-5 large), pureed
  • ¾ c. Xylitol
  • ¾ c. Sucanat
  • ¼ c. Agave (optional)
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 3 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 ½ c. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • ½ c. Special Dark Cocoa Powder (or use another ½ cup regular)
  • ½ t. Sea Salt
  • 1 t. Espresso Powder
  • 2 t. Baking Soda
  • 1 c. Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chunks (optional)
Chocolate Whipped Cream
  • 1, 14.5 oz. Canned Full-Fat Coconut Cream, chilled in fridge (unopened) for at least 5-8 hours or overnight
  • 2-3 T. Refined Coconut Oil, softened
  • Pinch Sea Salt
  • 2 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 t. Cocoa Powder
  • 2 T. Agave
  • 2 Packets Truvia (or use couple teaspoons of powdered stevia, etc)
Other
  • 1 c. Sliced Strawberries
  • ½ c. Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chunks, melted
Instructions
For the Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two, round 9x9-inch pans with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer on low speed, beat the avocado puree, xylitol, sucanat and agave until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until fully incorporated.
  3. Beat in remaining ingredients (except chocolate chunks). Stir in dark chocolate chunks.
  4. Divide batter evenly between the two pans--it will be VERY thick. Bake for 22-25 minutes until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
For the Chocolate Whipped Cream
  1. Place the metal bowl and whisk of an electric mixer in the freezer for at least 30 minutes (if you don’t have an electric mixer, a bowl and whisk should work as well).
  2. Place the thick cream part of the chilled coconut milk (you can just discard the liquid if there is any or save for smoothies, etc) into the chilled electric mixer bowl and whisk the coconut milk, coconut oil, salt, vanilla, cocoa powder, agave and truvia on medium/high speed until fully combined and thick. Refrigerate or use immediately on cake.
To Assemble
  1. Remove chilled cakes from pans and peel away parchment paper. Put one cake on a large plate or cake stand. Spread ½ of the whipped on the first cake layer.
  2. Top with the second cake layer and spread with the remaining whipped Cream
  3. Place strawberry slices around the outer edge and drizzle with melted chocolate. Serve immediately or refrigerate covered until ready to serve.

 

 

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