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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Saturday Morning Pancakes

As the title suggests, these are the PERFECT Saturday morning pancakes…minimal effort when you’re just feeling kind of tired and things are slow.  They come together quickly and in minutes you’re enjoying fluffy, thick pancakes! Best of all they are dairy, egg and sugar free!

We topped ours with fresh raspberries, dark bing cherries and a bit of powdered xylitol (that I had made by just processing xylitol in my Vitamix). Oh and someone may have used just a bit of Dark Chocolate Fudge Sauce on theirs but I’m not saying who. 😉

Saturday Morning Pancakes
Author: 
Category: Breakfast
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ c. Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • ¾ c. Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 2 T. Baking Powder
  • ¼ t. plus ⅛ t. Sea Salt
  • 1, 14 oz. Can Full-Fat Coconut Milk
  • ⅓ c. Xylitol
  • 1½ T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ⅓ c. Coconut Oil
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder and sea salt. Set aside.
  2. Place all the remaining ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend on high until everything is smooth and completely combined.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk gently to combine. Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes.
  4. Heat a griddle over medium heat and melt just a bit of coconut oil on it. Scoop the pancake batter onto the griddle using a ⅓ measuring cup for each pancake.
  5. Cook until bubbles appear on the top of the pancake and the edges look dry, about 4-5 minutes. Flip and repeat on the other side.
  6. Eat with toppings of choice...fresh fruit, powdered xylitol, maple agave, etc.
Notes
Makes 12

 

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Dark Chocolate Fudge Sauce

It’s summertime and we’ve been eating lots of ice cream around here! The other day I was craving the Jamoca Almond Fudge ice cream from Baskin Robbins which I haven’t had for YEARS and decided to recreate the coffee and chocolate ice cream concoction. So I whipped up a coffee ice cream and topped it with a hot fudge sauce and some roasted almonds…all dairy and refined sugar FREE, of course.

The coffee ice cream turned out fabulous and I may share that recipe another day but for now I wanted to share this awesome Dark Chocolate Fudge Sauce! The recipe I adapted it from called it a hot fudge sauce but when I warmed it up I got it a little TOO hot and it got too thin for my liking so I did away with the “hot” part and just left it at fudge! If you warm it up just a bit, it maintains a nice, thick, creamy texture and it really is perfect on ice cream or fruit!

Free of all the nasty chemicals, refined sugar, processed oil and whatever else goes into the store-bought kind and this one is spoon-licking good! And yes, it’s totally ok to just eat it straight from the jar. 🙂

Dark Chocolate Fudge Sauce
Author: 
Category: Dessert
 
Ingredients
  • 1, 14 oz. Can Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • ½ c. Sucanat
  • 1 T. Agave
  • ⅓ c. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • Pinch Sea Salt
  • 2 T. Coconut Oil
  • 2 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1. Place the coconut milk, sucanat, agave, cocoa powder and salt into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until mixture comes to a boil.
  2. Turn heat to low-medium and simmer for 10 minutes, still whisking frequently.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in coconut oil and vanilla.
  4. Allow the sauce to cool for 20 minuets. A thin film will form over the top as it cools, but simply whisk it before pouring it into an airtight glass container.
  5. Store in the refrigerator. Warm up VERY slightly and give a good stir to get a nice, creamy texture.

 

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Chewy, Crunchy Strawberry Protein Bars

I’ve made a lot of protein bars in my day and every now and then I think, “hmm, these may be the best ones yet…” but that thought has never been 100% accurate until now. In my daughter’s words “these are the GOODEST. ONES. EVER!!!!”.  And she should know, she’s tried a LOT. 🙂

Previous experiments (such as my Rich Baked Homemade Protein Bars and Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Power Bars) have been good but I really wanted a super simple, non-dairy, gluten-free AND sugar-free bar that used a plant-based protein powder and these are it! My kids lose their minds over these and I have zero guilt handing them out as a bedtime snack.

The original version is peanut butter (I call them my homemade butterfingers because that’s what they taste like to me!) but I just tried the strawberry version again and I’m so excited with how amazing they turned out, I’m sharing that recipe first! Be on the look out for the peanut butter ones coming soon!

Chewy, Crunchy Strawberry Protein Bars
Author: 
Category: Protein Bar
 
Ingredients
  • 4 c. Rolled Quick Oats
  • ¼ c. Ground Flaxseed
  • 2 T. Hemp Hearts
  • 4 T. Chia Seeds
  • 1 c. Vega Bodacious Berries Protein Powder
  • ½ t. Sea Salt
  • 1½ c. Fresh Ground Almond Butter (the kind you grind yourself at the store..no added oil or salt)
  • ½ c. Coconut Oil, melted
  • ⅔ c. Agave
  • 3 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 c. Freeze Dried Strawberries
Instructions
  1. Line a 9x13 pan with foil. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. Add all wet ingredients and mix on low until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add freeze dried strawberries until they have broken up into smaller pieces and are just combined (you don't want them to be too crushed/pulverized..they add an awesome crunch to the bar).
  5. Press evenly into the pan and place in the freezer for one hour or until firm.
  6. Remove the bars from the pan, peel away the foil and cut into even bars.
  7. Place in an airtight container and store in the freezer or refrigerator (we like our in the freezer).
Notes
36, 1-inch bars

 

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Chocolate Hummus

Surprise! It’s me. 🙂 Yep, I’m blogging again…a year later! I took a break to do a little something called bhsmealplans.com (ebook coming soon!) and while it was a great year of creating, testing and perfecting recipes, I’m ready to get back to blogging!

I decided to give the ‘ole blog a fresh new look (thanks to my super talented and creative hubby) and even a new direction…HEALTHY desserts! It’s my true passion and pretty much the only type of sweet anything that happens in this house most likely contains chia seeds, some kind of nut butter and agave. 😀 Whereas I used to never run out of butter, refined sugar and all-purpose flour, I don’t even keep those things stocked!

I’m super excited about the new direction for Desserted Planet and started to think about what recipe I’d debut my new-ish blog with but instead of agonizing FOREVER about the recipe I wanted to use, I decided to just do one that I make ALOT around here and my kids LOVE–Chocolate Hummus!

It’s super easy, great for dessert OR breakfast (yes we totally eat it for breakfast) and just good. Really, really good! So here you go, hope you try it and find it as incredibly yummy as we do!

Chocolate Hummus
Author: 
Category: Dessert
 
Ingredients
  • 1, 15 oz. Can Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 T. Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 1 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ c. All-Natural Almond Butter (I’ve also used cashew butter and it’s yummy)
  • ¼ c. plus 2 T. Unsweetened Cashew or Almond Milk
  • ¼ c. plus 2 T. Agave (or sweetener of choice)
  • ⅛ t. Cinnamon (use less or omit if you don’t care for cinnamon)
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips (for topping--optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. Refrigerate until completely chilled, topped with mini chocolate chips and serve with strawberries, grapes, sliced bananas, sliced apples, whole grain graham crackers, etc.
Notes
Makes 10-12 servings.

 

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Sparkle Princess 3rd Birthday Party!

This year, Avery had enough of an opinion that SHE wanted to pick the theme for her third birthday party. I had the luxury of being in total control of her first and second birthday and honestly thought I’d have a couple of more years to decide party themes, but apparently not! I’m not upset though because doing a sparkle princess theme was actually a lot of fun and gave me a little challenge with the dessert table. I ended up doing Princess Popcorn, White Chocolate Castles, Crown Cookies, Royal Gumballs, Majestic Sixlets and Magic Star Fruit Wands! Oh and her cake was by Affordable Splendor Cakes and absolutely DELICIOUS.

Here are some shots from the day.

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We had such fun at Avery’s party! Can’t believe she’s 3! Love our baby girl!

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German Chocolate Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

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So life has been…busy.  And I have been MAJORLY slacking with Desserted Planet!  Sigh.  Between now having two kids and starting an awesome meal planning side business (more on that later but for now you can check out what I’ve been up to at bhsmealplans.com!) I have just let this little blog go which was not my intention at all so I’m slowly but surely starting to get back into dessert blogging mode!  I won’t be posting every week but hopefully more than once every six months, haha!  And to kick things off, I’ve got a FABULOUS ooey gooey butter cake recipe to share with you all!

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As I’ve said before, I’m only slightly obsessed with ooey gooey butter cake (see examples of obsession here, here, here, here, here and here).  I can still remember the first time I ever had it probably 10 or 15 years ago!  One taste and I was hooked forever.

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With this ooey gooey cake I was wanting to capture the essence of a german chocolate cake and think I managed to do just that!  We ate it with a scoop of vanilla custard on the side and it was divine!  Simple, delicious and totally not good for you but so worth it!

Enjoy!

5.0 from 1 reviews
German Chocolate Ooey Gooey Butter Cake
 
Ingredients
For the Cake:
  • 1 (18¼ oz) pkg. German Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 1 Egg
  • 8 T. Butter, melted
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
For the Filling:
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg. Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 Eggs
  • 8 T. Butter, melted
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract vanilla
  • 1 (16 oz) Box Powdered Sugar
  • 1 c. Pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 1 c. Sweetened Flaked Coconut
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan.
For the Cake:
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cake mix, butter, vanilla and egg until well combined. Pat evenly into the bottom of the pan and set aside.
For the Filling:
  1. Still using the electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in eggs. Dump in powdered sugar and beat well. Reduce speed of mixer and slowly pour in melted butter until combined. Beat in vanilla, pecans and coconut.
  2. Pour into pan and bake for 40-45 minutes until center is firm. Let cool completely and cut into squares.
Notes
Makes 18-24 bars.

 

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Bakery Review – Wicked Good Cupcakes

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I was recently contacted by the lovely ladies of Wicked Good Cupcakes and asked if I’d care to sample their cupcakes in jars.  Now I will be completely honest and admit that I had never heard of Wicked Good Cupcakes but OF COURSE I’d never pass up on opportunity to try cupcakes!  I will however admit that I had my reservations—cupcakes in jars??  Seemed slightly gimmicky to me and how fresh and delicious could these cupcakes possibly be?  Well, I was about to find out!

To start off, the jars came packaged neatly and securely in a box with four spoons.  They were adorable little mason jars which I was actually excited about because I realized after the cupcake is gone and they are thoroughly cleaned, they are reusable–yay!  So that was an immediate plus.  Now, on to the cupcakes!

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I was sent the three new spring flavors, Strawberry Lemon, Neapolitan, Tiramisu and a bonus flavor, Mr. Wonderful’s Cookie Butter.  I’m just going to get right to the main point–these cupcakes in jars were DELICIOUS.  Even my husband who is not a big cupcake person was loving them and my three year old daughter wouldn’t stop asking for bites!  An amazing combination of the most moist and flavorful cake and creamy, not-overly-sweet frosting in a tiny jar.  They actually tasted fresher than most cupcakes I’ve had from bakeries which was shocking to me!  These were really, really hard to not eat all of each and every jar.

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My absolute favorite was the Strawberry Lemon which is lemon and strawberry cake layered with strawberry jam and lemon buttercream frosting.  Tangy, sweet and just divine.  My second favorite was the Neapolitan which is chocolate, vanilla and strawberry cake layered with vanilla buttercream frosting and sprinkled with some cute chocolate jimmies on top.  Third favorite was Tiramisu which is vanilla cake with layers of coffee syrup, and tiramisu butter cream frosting.  And my least favorite (and my daughter’s new cake obsession haha!) was Mr. Wonderful’s Cookie Butter which was yummy cinnamon cake layered between homemade caramel and cookie butter buttercream frosting topped off with a dollop of Biscoff cookie butter in the center.  Don’t get me wrong, this one was super yummy just not my favorite.  If you love cinnamon it would probably be your top pick though!

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The only thing I noticed about the jars was that there was no description of each flavor like there is on the website and I think it would be nice to read what’s inside the jar when you open it up.  Kind of get your taste buds going before you have that first bite. 😉  As for price they are a tad pricey but you are getting the equivalent of two cupcakes in ONE jar plus a jar to keep!  In my mind totally worth the cost and they would make a fabulous gift for Mother’s Day or just about any special occasion…Valentine’s Day, birthdays, Christmas…or just treat yourself!  Don’t wait, order some today!

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Bakery Review – Grandma Ruth’s in Branson, MO

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My friend Shana had raved many times about a little place in Branson, MO called Grandma Ruth’s that apparently has some of the BEST cinnamon rolls around.  So the first opportunity I got, I high-tailed it down to Branson and stopped into this little hole in the wall cinnamon roll shop!

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The first thing I noticed was the music coming from the room that had the table and chairs where people were eating their treats…it was live music!  A guy with a guitar singing your typical country western tunes and he wasn’t bad!  And there is nothing fancy about this place, just basic tables and chairs in one room and then you enter the next room and it’s the “kitchen” and counter where you place your order.  It’s completely open so you can see all the baking happening and Grandma Ruth herself is sitting there making cinnamon rolls!  Adds a nice personal touch!

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The day we visited they had three kinds of rolls: Cinnamon, caramel and toffee.  We purchased two of each kind and made our way back to the tables and chairs area to eat them.  My favorite was the classic cinnamon followed by the caramel and then the toffee.  These rolls were HUGE, enough for two people to share!  And they were indeed delicious!  Tender, yeasty, not to sweet (ok the toffee was a tad too sweet for me!) and so good, just like you expect a classic cinnamon roll.  My daughter LOVED them and my hubby and I both enjoyed ours immensely.

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If you’re in Branson and looking for some sweet indulgence, these cinnamon rolls are just the thing!

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Chip-Espresso Banana Bread

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I love banana bread but when you throw in deep, dark chocolate and a hint of espresso, something magical happens to this delicious breakfast staple–it gets even BETTER.  This bread was so moist and decadent, I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to my standard banana bread recipe again!  And I love that I get a little extra jolt of caffeine from the chocolate AND the espresso.  Pair it with a mug of steaming coffee and you’re good to go until lunch!

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Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip-Espresso Banana Bread
 
Ingredients
  • 2 c. Mashed, Very Ripe Bananas (I used 6 large bananas for this)
  • ¾ c., plus 2 T. Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ c., plus 2 T. Packed Brown Sugar
  • ¾ c. Coconut Oil, melted (original recipe calls for butter but coconut oil was all I had on hand)
  • 2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Large Eggs, room temp
  • 2¼ c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 t. Instant Espresso Powder
  • 1½ t. Baking Soda
  • ¾ t. Baking Powder
  • 1½ t. Salt
  • 1 c. Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (I prefer Ghirardelli)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray one, 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer on low speed, beat together bananas, ¾ cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, melted coconut oil, vanilla and eggs. In another medium bowl, whisk together flour, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. With mixer on low, add flour mixture to banana mixture and thoroughly combine. Beat in chocolate chips. Pour into loaf pan. Sprinkle remaining 2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar on top.
  3. Bake 50-55 minutes, until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on cooling rack.

 

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A Sweet July 4th!

I can’t believe I’m already writing a Fourth of July blog post!  This last couple of  months have flown with my daughter turning two and having a baby…suffice it to say I’ve baked nothin’ in the last few weeks and don’t have any super-fabulous, totally-original July 4th recipe to share with you BUT I do have some past inspiration from my blog and others that are patriotic AND delicious!  So here are 10 gorgeous red, white and blue desserts that you can feel proud serving this Fourth of July holiday!  Enjoy!

 

Red Velvet and Blueberry Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

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Red Velvet Funnel Cake

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Cherry Star Turnovers

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Easy Flag Fruit Dessert

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Red, White and Blue Pinwheel Icebox Cookies

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Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

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Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

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Firecracker Popcorn

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Easy and Healthy Fresh Fruit Dessert Pizza

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Mini Fruit Tart Cheesecakes

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Best Ever Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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The original title of these cookies is actually Soft & Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies but after making and eating a couple (or 5…) I thought BEST EVER was more of an accurate description.  Because they truly are that good!  And of course this cookie recipe comes from Sally’s Baking Addiction.  I am in love with her cookie recipes.  I really, really am.  Some of the ones I’ve tried and LOVE include:

Soft-Baked Monster Cookies

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

Soft & Thick Snickerdoodles

And then there are these oatmeal raisin cookies.  Typically oatmeal raisin isn’t at the top of everyone’s favorite cookie list, but this one definitely deserves a spot.  The raisins are plump and sweet, the addition of molasses gives it a slightly deeper flavor and the white chocolate chips are the perfect amount of additional sweetness.  This cookie rocks.

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Enjoy!

Best Ever Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c. Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1 c. Light Brown Sugar
  • ¼ c. Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs, room temperature
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 T. Molasses
  • 1½ c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 t. Baking Soda
  • 1½ t. Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ t. Salt
  • 3 c. Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • ½ c. Raisins, soaked in water overnight and drained
  • ½ c. White Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs and mix on high until combined, about 1 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and molasses and mix on high until combined. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Add to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until combined. Beat in the oats, raisins and white chocolate chips on low speed. Dough will be thick and very sticky. Chill the dough for 30-60 minutes in the refrigerator.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Roll dough into 1.5" ball and place on baking sheets 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes until very lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft and undone. Remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies will continue to "set" on the baking sheet during this time.
  5. Store cookies in air-tight container.
Notes
Makes 2 dozen cookies.

 

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