Posts tagged ‘dessert’

(Almost) Instant Mint Berry Carob Bark

Do you need a quick sweet fix? I don’t know about you, but I can always use a little treat. How about a healthier treat that satisfies, tastes amazing and you can whip up in 5 minutes? Add the fact that this (almost) instant bark requires minimal ingredients and doesn’t require any baking.

mint berry carob bark1

Mint + Chocolate = a perfect pairing in my mind (Mint Chip Ice Cream anyone)? Add berries to this combo and it’s a definite winner! These recipe is crazy easy, and it’s been stand-by in my freezer for the past couple weeks. Yes, it’s caffeine-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free and TASTY! I even fooled my dad into thinking it was sugar-laden, and he’s a hard one to convince :)

With all the fresh mint at farmer’s markets and in the stores, I’ve been throwing some into smoothies and bases for ice creams, tossing into chopped fruit and adding to salads for refreshing summer dishes. Next time (probably tonight) I am going to try using finely minced fresh mint in this treat! 
mint berry carob bark 2

(Almost) Instant Mint Berry Carob Bark (adapted from my Make-it-your-own Chocolate Bark)
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Vegan, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free, AIP & Paleo Friendly, Candida-Friendly Option, Soy-free, Nut-free, Egg-free

Ingredients
2 1/2 Tbsp softened coconut oil (I used unrefined extra virgin)
3 Tbsp carob powder (or cacao/cocoa powder but won’t be caffeine free)*
pinch of stevia or 1 Tbsp honey, agave or maple syrup or to taste
1/8 tsp pure peppermint oil/extract
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract, optional
pinch of sea salt, optional (but SO good)
1/3 cup frozen mixed berries, chopped into small pieces (I leave blueberries whole), I use the organic antioxidant mix from Costco

Directions

1. Line a small plate or dish with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, mix the melted coconut oil, carob (or cacao), stevia/sweetener, salt and extracts. Stir well until smooth and well combined. Taste and adjust if you want it sweeter.
3. Spoon the mixture onto the parchment paper into two rounds.
4. Sprinkle the frozen fruit over the mixture and watch it start to freeze. Set it freezer for an additional few minutes to harden and enjoy!

Serves 2 or 1 large, generous portion :)
Store leftovers in freezer, the frozen fruit will get mushy in the fridge otherwise.

*Carob has a natural sweetness whereas raw cacao or cocoa powder is naturally a bit more bitter so you might need to add more sweetener/stevia to taste for a sweeter bark.

mint berry carob bark 1

July 23, 2015 at 3:33 pm Leave a comment

Coconut Mojito Healing Gummies or “Gello”

I’ve tried a couple recipes with gelatin – some hits and some misses, but I’m trying to experiment with gelatin as a digestive healing aid. I wouldn’t label myself as strictly vegan or paleo or grain-free but I have dabbled in these types of diets and enjoy the recipes. I have quinoa and rice on occasion, eat fish at times and occasionally chicken or turkey creeps into meals, but overall I really like dairy-free vegetarian options based on the way my body feels. Some days I feel like my body is screaming for some eggs or extra protein so I’ll listen to it accordingly. When I am craving chocolate, I find a way to get some chocolate…and no matter how I eat, my sweet tooth creeps up and I give in a little.

mojito gelloThis recipe is super quick to whip up, the hardest part is waiting for it to “gel” in the fridge…ahhhh patience! It’s perfect for hot summer days when you don’t want to turn on the oven and bake something…and while I love my frozen desserts, this treat is a fun change of pace.

I made a “blueberry jello” using Great Lakes Gelatin the other week, no pictures to share because it disappeared before I got the chance –how did THAT happen? ;) I enjoyed the texture and have been experimenting with a few gelatin ideas – one being these mini gummy cups and “gello” that I whipped up. I bought a bottle of Kevita Coconut Lime Mojito sparkling probiotic drink, without noticing the “sparkling part”…while I enjoy Kombucha and sparkling water on occasion, I prefer straight water or brewed herbal tea. Soooo….after tasting a sip, I wanted to repurpose my purchase…gello/gummies it was!

mojito gello1

I added a squeeze of lime to bump up the flavor along with vanilla, a smidge of stevia and powdered gelatin in my Vitamix and gave it a whirl. Bubbly drinks and blending make for even more bubbles, resulting in a fizz fiasco…. can you see the layers in these little cups? Whoops…reminds me of a cold frosty drink yet it adds to the texture. However, this was a spontaneous experiment success AND my sweet tooth was satisfied :)

Coconut Mojito Healing Gummies or “Gello”
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Soy-free, Nut-free, Nightshade-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly, Egg-free, No-bake

Ingredients

3 Tbsp coconut milk, slightly warmed
3-4 Tbsp powdered gelatin* (see note below – use red can Great Lakes gelatin for it’s gel-ling properties)
16 drops liquid stevia or a pinch of powdered stevia to taste (could add 2 Tbsp liquid sweetener instead if desired)
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
fresh squeezed juice from 1 lime
1 (16 oz) bottle Kevita Coconut Lime Mojito probiotic drink (can use other flavors but will alter the taste)

For serving if making “gello” cups (completely optional but for added texture)
zest from lime
shredded unsweetened coconut (toasted or raw)
coconut whipped cream (for dairy free whipped topping)
diced or chopped fresh fruit of choice (mango, pineapple, kiwi would all be good)

Directions

1. Add coconut milk, gelatin, stevia/sweetener, vanilla, 1/2 bottle of Kevita and lime juice to a blender. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp gelatin over the top and let it moisten or “bloom”. Add remainder of the Kevita bottle and sprinkle the remaining 1-2 Tbsp gelatin* (see note) on top and let sit until moistened, about 30 seconds to a minute.
2. Blend for 30 seconds on high until completely smooth and no lumps.
3. Pour into individual silicon molds and/or 4 ramekins and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to set.
4. Enjoy as is or add fresh fruit/coconut/coconut cream etc and serve!

mojito gummies

*Note: If you want a firmer texture, use 4 Tbsp for gummies (pictured above). For a less firm texture like jello, then use 3 Tbsp.
These aren’t crazy sweet so bump up the sweetener if you prefer, and add to taste.
For vegans/vegetarians, I have not tried this with agar powder or flakes. If you give this a whirl, let me know how it turns out!

mojito gello2

July 7, 2015 at 5:54 pm Leave a comment

Frosty Vanilla Fig Smoothie

I forget how much I LOVE summer! Sunny mornings and brisk afternoon showers…the grass is bright green and flowers are in full bloom. I sleep with my windows open, and I wake up to the sun peaking in my window and sound of birds chirping…so flippin’ cool. Does that almost sound like an opening to a Disney movie?! Let’s not forget all the fresh produce as well – juicy melons, spicy crisp radishes, sweet cherries and loads of zucchini just to name a few – YUM.

Fig smoothie 1I have really been craving fresh foods and cold, refreshing dishes, especially after sitting out in the sun to soak up some Vitamin D for a bit. I’ve also recently discovered my love of frozen figs…yep, frozen ones. They were selling a huge bag of organic green figs at Costco, and I’ve had them stashed in the freezer for a couple months since limiting my fruit intake on my elimination diet. I was craving something sweet and cold the other night, and I thought I’d give these a try on my stomach. Tummy approved and WOW, are they delicious!

I let a couple figs sit out on the counter for a few minutes, then nibbled at a frozen one…a little bite of heaven! Ever since, I’ve been incorporating them in a variety of recipes (and trying to eat them in moderation as I am reintroducing fruits). First up, this frosty fig and vanilla smoothie is one of my favorites…I’ve had it for dessert a couple times too! This smoothie is perfect as an afternoon pick-me-up or a quick breakfast to start your day with loads of energy :)

Fig smoothie

Frosty Vanilla Fig Smoothie 
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Paleo & AIP-friendly, Nut-free, Vegan, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Refined Sugar Free, Nightshade-free

Ingredients

1 cup coconut milk (I used from a can, but any milk would work based on preference/allergy)
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract (alcohol free for AIP) or vanilla powder
a couple shakes of ground cinnamon
2-3 medium green figs, frozen and rough chopped (can use other color and varieties)
*If you’re sensitive to sugars, add 1/4 avocado for creaminess and use 1-2 figs, but will be less sweet

Optional add-ins:
handful of leafy greens (baby spinach, chard, kale)
1/2 cup of frozen banana, your favorite berry or mango for a different flavor

Directions

1. Add ingredients in order as they are listed to a high-powered blender (such as a Vitamix). Blend on high until smooth.

Notes: If you do not have a high-powered blender, you might need to let your figs de-frost for 15 minutes or so and chop them smaller OR add more liquid.

Fig smoothie 2

June 5, 2015 at 3:28 pm Leave a comment

Double Sesame Cookies

I’ve always been a big fan of nut butters but SEED butter is something I’ve really been loving on lately. I can’t get enough sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, tahini and hemp seeds being sprinkled or drizzled on all types of sweet and savory dishes.

tahini cookies

Tahini is so versatile…whether it’s used in hummusdrizzled as a sauce, added to bread, used as a base for this ice cream flavor or featured in these cookies. Little bitty sesame seeds add a fun texture and nutty undertones to recipes and these two-bite treats are no exception! These cookies aren’t as sweet as if you used peanut or almond butter; tahini has a stronger flavor that’s both intriguing and addicting in my opinion.

These cookies came about when I was hankering for a treat…I was running low on time and I was craving something baked. No-fuss cookies that can be ready for devouring in less than 20 minutes…sign me up :) 
tahini cookies3

Flourless Double Sesame Cookies (slightly adapted from my Chunky Monkey Chip Cookies)
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Nut-Free, Soy-free, Paleo-friendly, Refined Sugar-Free, Easy, Quick

Ingredients

1 cup of tahini* (sesame seed butter – make sure its a thick)
3/4 cup -1 cup of granulated sweetener**
1 egg, well beaten
pinch of sea salt (omit if your tahini is salted)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp gluten free vanilla extract
1/4 cup sesame seeds (white, black or a combo)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a medium size bowl, add tahini, sweetener, egg, baking soda, vanilla and stir well to combine until forms a dough.
3. Form dough balls (I use a tablespoon), roll into sesame seeds and place onto lined cookie sheet.
4. Bake for 9-11 minutes until golden brown – ovens vary so keep an eye on them – then let cool completely before moving (they break apart easily when warm) and enjoy!

*Make sure your tahini isn’t really runny or you won’t be able to form balls of dough. This is especially important if you are using a liquid sweetener!
**I used coconut palm sugar, and if yours is really coarse, pulse for a few seconds in a blender to break up slightly (mine was really clumpy). You could also use Sucanat, brown sugar, or could even try xylitol for sugar-free (please report back with those results!) If you prefer using honey or agave, substitute the granulated sweetener for 1/2-2/3 cup of liquid sweetener.

tahini cookies2

May 1, 2015 at 3:58 pm Leave a comment

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