The BEST Gooey Cinnamon Rolls–Vegan and Sugar-Free!

I’ve been wanting to try Minimalist Baker’s cinnamon rolls forever but never had a great reason to take time away from my normal cooking to make them. Until last weekend! My daughter’s school was having a geography banquet and her state was Arkansas and it just so happens that cinnamon rolls supposedly are a big deal in Arkansas so I got the recipe and went to work.

I modified the recipe a bit to be sugar free, used coconut milk and a slightly different flour. Even with changes they turned out super yummy…hubby said the best cinnamon roll he’s ever had. My daughter liked them all right but surprisingly said they were too sweet and she liked the ones I have done before much better which are actually much healthier than these! Hah! Ok?!

They were good…yeasty, soft, tender and delicious. Put them on your must-make list!

The BEST Gooey Cinnamon Rolls--Vegan and Sugar-Free!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
Rolls
  • 8 T. Vegan Butter (I used Earth Balance)
  • 2 c. Lite Coconut Milk (canned)
  • 3 T. Xylitol
  • 2 Pkgs (1 pkg=2 ¼ t.) Instant Yeast
  • ¾ t. Sea Salt
  • 6 c. Unbleached Fine Pastry Flour
Filling
  • 8 T. Vegan Butter, melted (I used Earth Balance)
  • ½ c. Lakanto Powdered Monkfruit Sweetener
  • ¼ c. Xylitol
  • 3 T. Cinnamon (or to taste)
Frosting
  • 8 T. Vegan Butter, softened (I used Earth Balance)
  • ¾-1 c. Lakanto Powdered Monkfruit Sweetener
  • 1 Pkg (5.25 oz.) Coconut Milk Powder (I used Native Forest)
  • ¼-⅓ c. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2-3 t. Almond Extract
  • Chopped, Toasted Pecans for topping (optional)
Instructions
For the Rolls
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the coconut milk and butter over medium heat until warm and melted. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl of an electric mixer and let cool to 110 degrees.
  2. Whisk in the xylitol then sprinkle on the yeast and let it activate for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the salt and stir.
  4. With a dough hook, beat in the flour 1 cup at a time on low speed until dough forms a loose ball and starts to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl. Dough will be slightly sticky but still able to be handled.
  5. Coat a large bowl with oil and place your dough ball in the bowl and turn over once. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for one hour until doubled in size.
For the Filling
  1. While the dough is rising, make the filling.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the butter, powdered monkfruit, xylitol and cinnamon. Set aside until ready to use.
  3. Once the dough has risen, roll the dough out into a large, thin rectangle on a lightly floured surface.
  4. Spread filling to about ½ an inch from each edge of the rectangle. Don't use too much or it will leak out the edges. Starting with the side closest to you, roll the dough away from your body until you get about 1 ½” from the other side and then take the edge of the opposite side and fold it over the side you rolled up. Slice into 16 rolls.
  5. Spray two, 9x9 pans with non-stick spray or lightly oil. Place 8 rolls in each pan and bake for 25 minutes.
  6. Let rolls cool completely before frosting.
For the Frosting
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the monkfruit, coconut milk powder, vanilla and almond extract.
  3. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy and no lumps remain.
  4. Spread evenly over cinnamon rolls and sprinkle with pecans (if using).
Notes
Makes 15 cinnamon rolls

 

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Mango Strawberry Pineapple Crumble–Vegan, Gluten-Free and Sugar-Free!

A couple weeks ago I bought a huge box of honey mangoes (our fave!) and *thought* they were just on the verge of being perfectly ripe…maybe in a day or two. It turned out I was right but we just couldn’t eat them fast enough so I turned to Pinterest for help.

There were a lot of mango “ice cream” and “mousse” recipes that popped up immediately but I just wasn’t getting any inspiration from them and then I stumbled across a Mango Pineapple Crumble that sounded different and delicious!

And I was right! I don’t know if I’ll ever make a traditional apple crumble again because this more tropical, summery version is just soooooo extremely good. And the sweetness of the fruit means you need to use little to no sweetener. The gooey fruit filling paired with the crisp, salty-sweet topping studded with little pieces of nuts is to-die-for.

We ate it with a little scoop of our homemade vanilla dairy/sugar-free ice cream. So good! And perfect for any Easter gatherings coming up!

Enjoy!

Mango Strawberry Pineapple Crumble--Vegan, Gluten-Free and Sugar-Free!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
Fruit Filling
  • 2 c. Bite-Size Chopped Fresh Pineapple
  • 2 c. Diced Honey Mango (or regular mango will work as well)
  • 2 c. Chopped Strawberries
  • 1 t. Lime Zest
  • 2 T. Fresh Lime Juice
  • ⅛ t. Cinnamon
  • ⅛ t. Nutmeg
  • ⅛ t. Ginger
  • 2-3 T. Xylitol (optional...the fruit is almost sweet enough as is or use stevia, erythritol, etc)
  • 2 T. Tapioca Flour
Crumble Topping
  • 1 c. Almond Flour
  • ½ c. Tapioca Flour
  • 1 c. Rolled Oats
  • ¾ t. Sea Salt
  • ¼ c. Xylitol (or stevia, erythritol, etc)
  • ½-¾ c. Lite Coconut Milk (canned)
  • 2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 c. Chopped, Toasted Pecans or Macadamia Nuts
Instructions
  1. Directions
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Combine all ingredients for the filling in a large bowl and stir well until everything is evenly coated. Pour into a 9x9 pan.
  4. Stir together all the dry ingredients for the crumble and then pour in the coconut milk and stir until well combined and sticky. Spread evenly over the top of the fruit filling.
  5. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until hot and bubbly and slightly browned on top.
  6. Serve warm.
Notes
Serves 8-12

 

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Vegan, Gluten-Free Creamy Lemon Bars

I was taking food to a family who had recently had a baby and wanted to treat them to a healthy, yummy dessert. I was kind of over the whole chocolate thing (at least for a couple days haha) and wanted something lighter that reminded me of warmer, sunnier days. Which led to the creation of these lemon bars!

Think salty and sweet pie crust meets a sweet and sour filling that will remind you of the creamiest, dreamiest lemon cheesecake ever. These were absolutely divine and as always vegan! And I went the extra step to make them gluten-free and refined sugar free since our friends were avoiding it.

The winter days are gray and loooooong right now….lighten things up with these yummy bars!

Enjoy!

Vegan, Gluten-Free Creamy Lemon Bars
Author: 
 
Ingredients
Crust
  • 1 Stick (1/2 c.) Vegan Butter
  • ½ c. Lakanto Classic Monkfruit Sweetener (or xylitol, stevia, etc)
  • ½ t. Sea Salt
  • 1 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1½ c. Bob's Red Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour
  • 2-3 t. Lemon Zest
Lemon Filling
  • 1, 14 oz. Pkg. Extra-Firm Tofu, liquid drained
  • ¾ c. Raw Cashews
  • 1 c. Fresh Lemon Juice (5-6 large lemons)
  • ¼ t. Sea Salt
  • 1 T. Lemon Zest
  • 1 c. Lakanto Classic Monkfruit Sweetener (or xylitol, stevia, etc)
  • 6 T. Lakanto Powdered Monkfruit Sweetener, plus more for dusting bars
  • 3 T. Cornstarch
  • 1 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
Instructions
For the Crust
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, monkfruit sweetener, sea salt and vanilla until everything is smooth and creamy.
  3. Beat in flour and lemon zest. Gently press down into the bottom of the 9x9 pan with your hands.
  4. Bake for 5 minutes then allow to cool. Make filling while the crust bakes/cools.
For the Filling
  1. Place the tofu, cashews, lemon juice, salt, lemon zest and classic monkfruit sweetener into a high powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the powdered monkfruit and cornstarch and blend again on high until everything is well combined.
  3. Pour evenly onto the prepared crust and bake for 35-40 minutes until the filling is set.
  4. Let cool completely on a wire rack and then chill in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. Dust with powdered monkfruit sweetener just before serving.
Notes
Makes 16 bars.

 

 

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Vegan Key Lime Pie Pudding (plus bonus recipe!)

Last week I was contemplating whether I wanted to make and blog this recipe since I had started to see lots of fall/apple/pumpkin things popping up in my news feeds. Already. I mean, hello, isn’t it still August?? You know…SUMMER. Why yes IT IS so I decided no, I’m not giving in just yet and I’m squeezing in one last summer recipe. I’m DOING IT.

Of course the moment I decide this my husband walks in the door with a pumpkin coffee. Yes, pumpkin coffee. At first I was thinking “are you kidding me?!” but then I remembered how much I freaking love the gas station pumpkin coffee so I drank it. There. Confession.  Back to the pudding…

I got the idea for this pudding from an Instagram post I had seen a couple of months ago. She didn’t have an exact recipe and used a few different ingredients than I did. But I loved the idea of key lime pie pudding because key lime pie is one of my favorite desserts ever. I actually have a GREAT Key Lime Pie recipe and after glancing at the ingredients to refresh myself, I knew I wanted to get it as close to tasting like my pie as possible.

This meant I needed to somehow add dairy-free sweetened condensed milk. But I don’t know of any that is sold anywhere and even if it did exist I’m sure it’s loaded with sugar. So I went ahead and made my own healthier version. It adds an additional step/recipe to the overall recipe so if you really don’t care about having sweetened condensed milk in your pudding, then I would go ahead and forego it and just use a sweetener such as xylitol, stevia, swerve, etc. (although I STRONGLY recommend making the sweetened condensed milk because it is DELICIOUS). I can’t guarantee the taste of the pudding will be as good without it, but I’m sure it will still be yummy.

I REALLY love that this pudding has veggies in it and you’d never know. My kids loved it. We enjoyed it with a little dollop of So Delicious Coco Whip and some Cadia Graham Crackers crumbled on top. Tart, sweet and creamy cold….perfect SUMMER treat.  😀

Enjoy!

Vegan Key Lime Pie Pudding (plus bonus recipe!)
Author: 
 
Ingredients
Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 5.25 oz./1/4 c. Native Forrest Coconut Milk Powder
  • ½ c. Water
  • 2 T. Melted Coconut Oil
  • 2 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ½ c. Truvia
  • ¼ c. Sucanant
  • ½ t. Sea Salt (more or less to taste)
Key Lime Pie Pudding
  • ¾ c. Lite Coconut Milk
  • 2 Large, Ripe Avocados
  • 2 c. Spinach
  • Zest of One Lime
  • ¾ c. Key Lime Juice (less if you don't want it as tart)
  • ¾-1 c. Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk (depends on how sweet you want it OR substitute Truvia, Stevia, Xylitol, Swerve, etc to taste)
  • So Delicious Coco Whip, Cadia Graham Crackers (optional)
Instructions
For the Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk
  1. Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender (I used a Vitamix) until smooth, creamy and thickened slightly. This will take several minutes. Set aside when done (if using right away....if refrigerating, the mixture will solidify and you can reheat or just scoop from the container).
For the Key Lime Pie Pudding
  1. Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate for a couple of hours until chilled and slightly firm or overnight.
  2. Top with coconut whipped cream and crumbled graham crackers.
Notes
Serves 5-6

 

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Dairy-Free Peach & Raspberry Icebox Cake

I’ve been wanting to do a little something different lately because I feel like I get stuck on things like bars, breads and dips a lot! In all honestly they are EASY to make and I’m constantly just wanting something I can throw together since I’ve got kids! But then came along this recipe from Half Baked Harvest and it gave me an idea.

A few years ago, I made this crazy delicious Blueberry Lemon IceBox Cake and while it was good it was most definitely NOT vegan/plantbased and certainly not healthy so I thought I would give it a little makeover! I did the peach/raspberry combo that HBH did so beautifully with her cake and used Cadia Graham Crackers and So Delicious Coconut Whipped Cream. That’s right I BOUGHT the coconut whipped cream! I know, I know I could have just thrown a can of coconut milk in the fridge and whipped it up the next day with some agave and vanilla but I was seriously going for easy here and I’m not gonna lie, I LOVE this whipped cream from So Delicious. Better than my homemade stuff even. 😀

So while not the healthiest dessert due to the sugar in the graham crackers and whipped cream, albeit a small amount, it is an upgrade from my old recipe for sure! And we loved it! The graham crackers get nice and soft and “cake-like” after sitting overnight, sandwiched between the whipped cream. And the raspberry/peach combo is SO good. Simple, delicious and utilizes the last of those yummy summer fruits!

Enjoy!

Dairy-Free Peach & Raspberry Icebox Cake
 
Ingredients
  • 2, 9 oz. containers So Delicious Coconut Whipped Cream (I used the lite version)
  • 12 sheets Cadia Graham Crackers (or similar healthy/low sugar/whole grain brand)
  • 2 c. Chopped Peaches (about two large), plus more for topping
  • 2 c. Raspberries, plus more for topping
Instructions
  1. Line a large, 6½x11x4-inch loaf pan with foil, both ways, letting the foil hang over either end of the pan. Spray lightly with coconut oil cooking spray.
  2. Spread a layer (about ⅓ of a container) of coconut whipped cream in the bottom of your pan. You want to have enough whipped cream left to use some for spreading on the top of the cake after it has set overnight and been flipped out of the pan.
  3. Place 4 sheets of the graham crackers on the top of the whipped cream (they may overlap a bit in the middle and that's ok!).
  4. Cover the graham crackers in another layer of whipped cram and sprinkle the whipped cream with half of the raspberries and half of the peaches.
  5. Gently spread a layer of whipped cream over the fruit. Cover with 4 more sheets of graham crackers, a layer of whipped cream and the remaining half of the peaches and raspberries.
  6. Cover the fruit with another layer of whipped cream and 4 more sheets of graham crackers.
  7. Cover with foil and let set in the fridge for 24 hours or overnight.
  8. Place a plate or cake stand over the to of the loaf pan and gently flip over. Carefully remove the pan and then gently and slowly peel away the foil.
  9. Quickly cover the top of the cake with the remaining whipped cream and sprinkle/decorate with the extra fruit. Slice and serve immediately.
Notes
Serves 10.

 

 

 

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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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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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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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