I am thinking selfishly if I try to believe that any dessert could please every person. But this one would come close.
I mean, look at it. It's a Reese's peanut butter cup. I know some people prefer the taste of the mass produced packaged version. I sure don't. And if you're eating on any kind of restrictive diet, then you really can't afford that version, anyway. This is a very simple, forgiving recipe, and if you're on diets like AIP, Keto or Anti-Candida, or are just plain vegan and health-conscious, it could make you feel like you get to have "normal" desserts just like everyone else.
I will include a basic recipe, and then just know that you can substitute whatever you want, as long as you're feeling a little adventurous and don't mind licking the choco-nut-buttery bowl in the end for dessert instead, if it totally bombs. I've done it. I'll say it. I don't care. One's situation could be worse.
Almond Butter Cups - makes 6-8
1. Melt together over low heat for the chocolate cup:
4. While you're waiting, add crunch to your top chocolate layer by mixing in unsweetened coconut flakes (small flakes).
5. Take out the cold cups and spoon 1-2 teaspoons of almond butter mix onto the middle of each chocolate cup. Try to keep it in the middle and leave a 1/8th-to-1/4th inch border of chocolate.
6. Spoon the rest of the chocolate over the top, just covering the almond butter. Sprinkle with salt.
7. Firm up the cups in the fridge. and after 10 minutes, your treat will be ready.
These are grain-free, gluten-free, vegan, and refined-sugar-free - and you can make them sugar free by using a substitute like Stevia or Monkfruit granules, and nut-free by substituting sunflower seed butter or tahini. You may find it best to keep these in the fridge. Right now in February, my whole house is a little fridge-y, so I don't need to. I like some meltiness to my chocolate anyway, but - you do you. Hope you enjoy!
Jump to the original recipe and directions on GoldenBarrel.com.
I was so happy when I saw this recipe. It's Sunday morning, and I'm genetically programmed to eat homemade comfort food on lazy Sundays - waffles, pancakes, coffee cake, or a big plate of eggs, hashbrowns, and toast. If you are off gluten, you may be sad just reading this delicious list. So was I.
Be sad no more! This coffee cake will comfort you. It uses fresh blueberries, is low-carb and grain-free (using almond and coconut flour), and has a light and tender texture brightened with lemon zest. There are four layers, so it could at first appear complicated, but it's really not. And the ingredients should be easy to find in a gluten-free pantry. The most "exotic" ingredient for me was the coconut butter. Other ingredients not mentioned above include eggs, coconut palm sugar, honey, and of course baking powder and soda.
I made the crumb layer as suggested. The original recipe for the cake layer called for 3/4 cup coconut palm sugar, which I didn't have, and anyway, that's a lot of granulated sugar. The good news is, you really don't need it. I substituted 1/4 c of honey and added an extra tablespoon of coconut flour to absorb any excess liquid. It turned out sublime.
I couldn't say this cake is especially light, given it has three eggs and two kinds of flours that are high in fat content, but if you're not eating gluten or grains, you should be able to afford it, especially for an occasional celebratory or lazy Sunday brunch.
*If you're reading from the UK, we refer to "coffee cake" in the U.S. as any cake that might be served with coffee, usually in the morning. No actual coffee is intended to be baked inside the cake.
My weekends are partially composed of a large swath of time spent finding and creating acceptable treats to calm down my sweet tooth. While I've recently had luck with Crazy Vegan Kitchen's Snickers Chia Pudding, my end result looked like a classic Pinterest fail - in image alone. They were So. Good. The recipe made four little jars that I could take to work with me on each of my four long days that week, and I felt like a Normal Eating Person again.
The bars pictured here are much easier and faster than that, though. I pinned this recipe on my pinterest page but you can find it more directly by going to FoodFaithFitness. Seriously there are only four ingredients and you just need a good way to blend the dates with a little coconut oil and voila! You will have created the second stupidly simple layer in this freezer fudge. (Try to say that three times in a row as fast as you can.)
These are: gluten/dairy/grain/refined-sugar free, vegan, and paleo. Whew! Try saying all of that as fast as you can.
Reaching back into the annals of the original Meditative Dishwashing site I started before I came back to Oregon, I found that I was experimenting with gluten- and refined-sugar-free recipes more than five years ago (!!), before I really had much of a need to follow such a diet. Now, it's more than a diet, it's a way of life. Following is a "classic" (??) Meditative Dishwashing post with three very favorite desserts that I would call by my standards today healthy-ish. . . enjoy!
Originally published on www.meditativedishwashing.wordpress.com:
For me, 2013 is not just a year anymore – it’s also the number of miles I moved from Minnesota to Oregon. Two months and ten days have passed since then, and just a few days more since I’ve written anything, blog or otherwise. You’d think such a big change would give me oodles of inspiration, but no. More than once I’ve had an idea, but after running to the computer, I sat in front of a blank Word doc for minutes before realizing that my mind was just as blank. How did that happen?
Doesn’t matter. I’ve done this long enough to know when the creative well is empty, and when that happens, you fill it. So in those times I do not attempt to write. Instead (and when I can’t go to the ocean), I bake.
I’ve done more than bake since I arrived – from sifting through and tossing stuff, to applying for jobs, to catching up with my old second home of Eugene and the friends and family who remained during my ten-year absence. I’ve always baked when I needed something: a gift or potluck dish, something sweet, something to do with restlessness. Now I have another reason. I am again immersed in Eugenean ways, a nature-focused, health-oriented culture. It may drive some people crazy, but I like it. In fact I cried a little when I heard my favorite kombucha drink actually flows on tap here.
In looking around at ads, in stores and restaurants, I also saw “gluten-free” everything. I guess it’s not just for celiacs. My two closest friends here are doing it, so I wanted to see if I could get the same benefits. For a baker, it is difficult, but for a lover of baked goods, it begins as hell. You say (or yell) things like, “Who cares if it might make me feel better?!” And then you hear yourself, and you take a good long look at why you wouldn’t want to feel better, and you imagine Cher in Moonstruck slapping you in the face. If I could feel more energetic, less foggy and bloated, and almost definitely lose weight, why not?
There have been failures, to be sure. More than that, I have spent way too much time looking for recipes, since I decided to combine gluten-free with refined-sugar-free baking. But the following are the three best, often repeated recipes I have been proud to make my own.
The most repeated and simple recipe is for pumpkin bundt cake, which is not necessarily gluten-free. I simply used the old South Dakota standby, the glorified cake mix recipe, and substituted a gluten-free cake mix! The recipe:
Easy Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bundt Cake
1 box of yellow cake mix - Gluten-free
1 15-oz can of organic pumpkin
3 or 4 eggs (I have tried as few as 2, plus a “flax egg” which is 1 T. ground flax + 3 T. water, which worked great and adds omega-3s)
2-4 T. olive oil
1/2 c. sugar (a refined-free sugar to use is coconut palm sugar, or a combination of that with apple sauce)
2 t. cinnamon + 1 t. pumpkin pie spice
Mix all together. Bake it at 350 for 45 minutes. I made a glaze of: orange rind, honey, maple syrup, and 1 T. coconut oil (melted to mix). I sprinkled on unsweetened coconut and crushed roasted pecans. The glaze makes it stick to the top. It’s divine. And yes, the cake mix has some raw cane sugar.
Next best recipe I have gloriously dubbed the orange scented date bar. It makes it sound fancy, and it really does have an aroma of orange, both when you bake it and bite into it. I adapted this from myrecipes.com “Maple-Date bars,” which I originally passed up until fellow blogger at Healthy Twists referred to it.
Lisa’s Orange Scented Date Bars
scant 2 c. finely chopped pitted dates (I used medjool)
scant 1 c. fresh squeezed orange juice
1 t. vanilla + 1 t. lemon zest + 1 t. orange zest
Put first two (2) ingredients in a medium saucepan, let bubble on med heat 12 minutes or till it looks like a jam – zest and vanilla go in at the end. Then turn your stove on to 400, and cream together:
1/2 c. sugar (like coconut palm sugar), + 1/2 c. butter, + 2 T. apple sauce
To the sweet butter mix, add the following pre-combined dry ingredients:
1 c. oats, 1 c. flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free mix + 1 t. xanthan gum), + 1/4 t. soda, + 1/4 t. salt.
I coated a 9 x 13 pan with coconut oil, and pressed most of this batter into the bottom, then spread on the date jam. To the rest of the batter (about 1/3 cup) add:
1/2 c. chopped pecans and 1/4 c. unsweetened shredded coconut; use fingers to make it crumbly like biscuit dough and sprinkle/press onto date layer. Bake 15-20 min. When they come out, label them, because these bars are chocolate-fakers. No chocolate lover wants to be faked out by date jam.
But if you do fake out a disappointed chocolate lover, make it up to them with tiny brownies. I do it for myself because, while I can’t always stop a sugar-binge with binge-launching chocolate-anything, I can sometimes quell the itch with cocoa. These are definitely gluten-free and vegan, if you care. This recipe is adapted from Ricki Heller. I call them:
Chocolate Fix + Healthy = Gluten-free, Refined Sugar Free Brownies
1/4 c. coconut sugar, + 1 t. powdered Stevia
3 T. water
1 t. vanilla
1 T. olive oil (or other kind of oil)
Directions: Combine the above ingredients, set aside, and set oven to 350. Then combine dry ingredients, before adding to wet:
scant 1 c. almond flour
2 T. cocoa
1/4 c. hemp seeds, crushed in a food processor
1/4 t. soda + 1/4 t. powder + 1/4 t. salt
These are really cute in a mini muffin pan. I used liners, but they kind of stuck to the liners, so you could just spray the pan for a better result. Before baking, sprinkle on some unsweetened coconut. When they come out, top with a roasted & salted pecan. The inventress of the original recipe, Ricki Heller, is a pro and eats a truly monstrously specialized diet, the “anti-candida diet,” which some people do for a few months to let the body rest from sugar. Some people swear by this diet forever and are militant about it, so you can be assured that your body will think of this brownie pretty much as garden salad.
And no, hemp does not make you high, is legal in all 50 states, and is a best source of fatty acids and (vegan) protein, among many other healthy, legal, non-trippy things. And yeah, and I just conquered writer’s block. Here’s to happy baking!
This page is for some of my original or favorite recipes that I have used to promote health and healing. I assume that most people know that eating vegetables is healthy, so I focus on healthy treats and alternatives to grain, gluten, sugar, and dairy.
Brownie Batter for Moi
2-Ingredient Buckwheat Bread
Gluten-free Pumpkin Bundt, Hempseed Brownies, and Orange-scented Date Bars
Cherry Nut Granola
Blueberry Coffee Cake
Fluffy Pancakes (GF & DF)