Posts filed under ‘Dessert’
Chocolate turtle candies take me back to my childhood, and they remind me of my parents and most definitely my Papa. These chocolate caramel goodies are packed with buttery pecans and they transport me to family memories and holidays. They are our family go-to for Christmas stockings and are often included in gifts…and when turtles are in a variety chocolate box, they are the first to be picked.
This version of our family favorite is not only free of refined sugars, it’s dairy-free, vegan, paleo-friendly and dare I say even better than the classic? Gasp! My grandpa would roll over in his grave if he heard me say that. Maybe it’s due to the fact that these candies are packed with healthy ingredients (and a short list at that!), but these homemade treats are the perfect ending to a meal or a fabulous afternoon pick-me-up, and they will make my tummy happy as well!
I found this recipe at Anne’s delightful blog, Simple and Savory while browsing her site for this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment. Anne is “my type of people”, she’s a holistic health coach, and is a huge advocate for making your own food as a key to health. You can find vegan, dairy free, gluten-free, and Paleo and all sorts of recipes on her site! I had a blast searching through her recipes and though I ultimately chose her Chocolate Turtle Candy, I have tagged many for future experimentation including Anne’s Roasted Vegetables with Cashew Cheese Dip, Hasselback Pork Tenderloin and her Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread.
For the turtles, I swapped out Sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) for the peanut butter since that’s what I had on hand, and opted for pecans as my nut choice. I prefer a contrast of bitter and sweet when it comes to chocolate so I used a 90% chocolate bar chopped up and it contrasted beautifully with the sweet dates. Lastly, I sprinkled a little sea salt flakes over the chocolate coating for that extra pow, and goodness these are scrumptious! No doubt that this recipe is a keeper, thanks Anne for the inspiration!
Salted Chocolate Turtle Candy (lightly adapted from Simple and Savory)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Vegan, Dairy-free, Peanut-free, Paleo-friendly, Egg-free, Refined sugar-free, Soy-free, No-bake
3/4 cup walnut or pecan halves
12 medjool dates
1/2 Tbsp nut or seed butter (I used sunflower seed butter)
8 oz dark chocolate, chopped (homemade, or your favorite chocolate bar, or can use unsweetened if you really like the contrast of bitter and sweet with dates)
1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
sea salt flakes
- Place dates in the food processor and process for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes; until they form a ball (you may have to stop and scrap the sides down).
- Add the nut/seed butter to dates and process for 30 seconds until combined.
- Remove date mixture from food processor and refrigerate atleast 30 minutes.
- Place pecan of walnut halves in a circle (about 3 pieces) on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- Remove date mixture from the fridge and roll into balls about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch in diameter and slightly flatten (see photo above). Flatten on top of the nut halves and refrigerate while chocolate is melting.
- In a double broiler, heat chocolate and coconut oil over low, stirring until melted.
- Remove chocolate from heat and spoon over the date and nut clusters. Sprinkle with sea salt and place back in fridge to harden. Enjoy and devour!!🙂
Allergy-friendly Waffles with eggs
AIP version of Allergy-friendly Waffles without eggs
I opted to make two batches of waffles: I wanted to test each of Traci’s options – trying both the vegan/AIP (auto-immune protocol recipe) version without eggs and the paleo-friendly version with eggs to see what the difference was in the final product. When struggling with my own health and food allergies, I’ve experimented with AIP recipes so I wanted to give them both a shot. I’m so glad I came across this recipe, it’s a winner! I used coconut milk for the non-dairy milk, coconut oil for the fat and I substituted a sprinkle of stevia (to taste) instead of sugar in both recipes but stuck to the original recipe.
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free, Seed-free, Sugar-free, Paleo-friendly, Nightshade-free, Vegetarian, Egg-free option, AIP-option, Yeast-free, Vegan Option
- 1 cup non-dairy milk of choice (cow’s milk can be used if you tolerate but won’t be dairy-free)
- 3 eggs (AIP use two bananas in place of the eggs)
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar or sugar or a pinch of stevia*
- 1 tsp alcohol-free pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp coconut oil or neutral oil (can use melted ghee or butter but will not be dairy-free or AIP)
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour or arrowroot flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
For serving (optional, ideas)
- Sliced bananas or fresh berries
- Carob chips or chocolate chips or cacao nibs (not AIP-friendly unless homemade)
- Maple syrup, drizzle of honey or your favorite jam or jelly
- Your favorite nut or seed butter (not AIP-friendly)
- Shredded coconut or coconut flakes
- Nitrate-free bacon (not vegetarian) or coconut “bacon”
- Coconut whipped “cream”
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla and butter or oil until smooth. Add in the coconut flour, tapioca or arrowroot flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir just until smooth.
- Heat waffle iron according to manufacturers instructions. Brush waffle iron with oil or butter. Pour approximately 1/4 cup of batter onto each waffle iron. (You may need to adjust the amount of batter depending on the size of your waffles). Close and cook according to manufacturers instructions.
- Remove waffles from iron (if AIP batter is used, you may need a fork to carefully peel the waffles off the iron), serve immediately or allow waffles to cool to room temperature before placing in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.
- To make waffle rollups: While waffle is warm, roll with a rolling pin until flat. Fill with bacon, scrambled eggs, veggies, fresh fruit or any other combination you like. Place toppings in a thin strip along the waffle. Roll up and serve.
Yield: 8 waffles
For AIP-friendly version notes: If your bananas are sweet and speckled with brown, you might consider eliminating the sweetener altogether if you prefer more savory waffles. As I mentioned above, when I made the AIP-version of the waffles, they took MUCH longer to cook in the waffle iron than the batter made with eggs. My bananas has light brown specks on them so a more green banana might be better since it’s more starchy or increase the amount of coconut flour by 1-2 Tbsp.
Allergy-friendly Waffles with eggs
Although winter is already here in Montana, I am still holding onto fall. I could eat winter squash and pumpkin year-round but this time of year these ingredients particularly shine. This quick bread with warm autumn spices is another way of holding onto my favorite season.
Cant. Get. Enough🙂
This bread can be a quick breakfast on the go, a sweet snack when you need a pick-me-up or part of a dessert. I’ve enjoyed slices straight from the fridge but have experimented with the following serving options to mix it up!
- Serve lightly toasted with a pat of Earth Balance (ghee or butter if you do dairy) or a spoonful of coconut butter
- Smear a generous spoonful of “cream cheese” (I love dairy-free cashew cheese, recipe to come) and drizzle with maple syrup
- Crumble the bread and layer it with toasted pecans or walnuts with your favorite vanilla yogurt or coconut whipped cream for a parfait
- Serve toasted or warmed with a scoop of vanilla or toasted coconut ice cream and sprinkle with dairy-free chocolate chips
I’ve also substituted the butternut squash puree for leftover mashed yams and pumpkin puree with success! I’ve made variations of this bread a couple times already this year…it gets eaten too quickly for me to snap photos…I finally kept my hands off to take a shot (after 1/3 of the loaf was already gone…oops!).
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly, Nut-free, Vegetarian, Refined-Sugar Free
½ cup sifted coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 rounded tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp ground ginger
pinch of cloves
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp maple syrup + 1/4 tsp pure stevia extract (or 1/4 cup of your favorite sweetener)
½ cup melted coconut oil (or ghee or butter if you are ok with dairy)
1 cup butternut squash puree (any winter squash or sweet potato puree can be used)
Add in options: 1/3 cup chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds, shredded coconut, dried cranberries, chocolate or carob chips
- Heat your oven to 350F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper or grease well.
- In a small bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together and set aside.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk the eggs well. Add remaining liquid ingredients (vanilla though puree) and whisk until well combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth (the batter will be thick and thicken as it sits due to the highly absorbent coconut flour).
- Spoon the batter into your prepared pan.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a knife going into the center comes out clean. Remove pan from oven to let cool, then slice and enjoy!
Cool fall mornings are my favorite…when my cozy bed tries to lure me back in, yet I slip on sweats and slippers and head to the kitchen to brew a warm cup of tea. I find it energizing and invigorating! While I love my morning smoothies, I need to heat up first with something hot when it’s chilly in the house.
Why not make something nourishing and comforting at the same time? This minty latte has healthy fats from the hemp and cacao butter, peppermint that is soothing for your tummy and digestion, and contains a little protein and fiber from the hemp hearts. This latte is also caffeine-free (unless you use a green or black tea) so you can enjoy a cuppa as a treat after dinner if you’d like!
This quick and easy drink is ideal for sipping while you’re curled up on the couch reading a book, watching tv or having some downtime. If you aren’t a fan of white chocolate, feel substitute carob powder (for AIP) or raw cacao powder for a darker chocolate version and add a touch of coconut cream for richness.
White Chocolate Mint Tea Latte
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free, Caffeine-free option, Paleo-friendly, AIP-friendly option, Soy-free, Refined Sugar-free, Nut-free, Egg-free, Vegetarian, Vegan
16 oz boiling water
2-3 bags of herbal peppermint tea (I have some brands of mint tea that are stronger than others, if you prefer a more prominent flavor, use 3)
pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 Tbsp raw cacao butter*
2 Tbsp hemp hearts (omit for AIP, and substitute 2-3 Tbsp coconut cream)
2 tsp agave, coconut nectar, honey (don’t use if vegan) or a pinch of stevia (adjust sweetener to taste)
1. Steep tea bags in boiling water until desired strength, usually 3-5 minutes for herbal tea.
2. Add prepared tea along with the remaining ingredients in a blender (I use a high-powered blender such as Vitamix) and blend until smooth. Enjoy while hot or warm!
*For a chocolately version, use raw cacao powder or carob (for AIP and caffeine-free). For a thicker, creamier result add a couple tablespoons of coconut cream.