Cashew Butter and Jelly Bars

My gosh, these bars are something special, and my inner child is especially satisfied by such a delightful treat. These take me back to PB&J days as a kid, something that was often a staple in my lunchbox. Mom almost always used homemade jam and her strawberry was my favorite. It was probably the sandwich I ate most growing up (side note, but I also used to like bologna and ketchup sandwiches).

Back-to-school time isn’t too far away and that’s what inspired this rendition of a classic creation. I don’t have kids of my own (I do have two fur kids though), nor do I plan to have kids, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have a back-to-school treat! But, back-to-school or not, kids or no kids, these are wonderful anytime and for all. Also, I will be featuring this recipe on KATU Afternoon Live later this month, so stay tuned!

Feel free to experiment with almond or sunflower seed butter, if you prefer. If you eat and tolerate peanuts, you can even use peanut butter, of course. The cashew butter is so good in this recipe though and a nice change of pace — at least for me (I really don’t eat cashews or cashew butter very often). The strawberry filling is so fresh and jammy tasting, but not overly sweet. And, overall, the bars as a whole are not too sweet either. If you ask me, these are just right.

Cheers and enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

Filling:

  • 16 oz fresh strawberries, sliced and hulled (if need be)
  • 1-2 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1.5 Tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1.5 Tbsp water

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, preferably pasture-raised
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cashew butter (I used this brand)

Topping:

  • 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp unsweetened cashew butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, chopped (note: I dry toasted mine beforehand, but that’s optional)
  • Light sprinkling of fine Himalayan salt, optional (if using salted cashews or salted cashew butter, you may not need)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add strawberries and honey to medium saucepan over medium heat. Mash strawberries with a potato masher to break up the large pieces and release juice. In a small dish, dissolve the arrowroot powder into the water. Then, once the strawberries are mashed, but still a bit chunky, add the dissolved arrowroot mixture and stir. Simmer over medium-low for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. In a food processor, gently pulse together the coconut flour, coconut sugar, and sea salt. Then, add the coconut oil, cashew butter, eggs, and vanilla. Pulse until mixture forms a ball.
  4. Press dough into bottom of 8×8 pan with fingers (note: greasing pan isn’t necessary, but feel free to line with parchment paper for super easy removal, if you like). Bake in preheated oven for 15-17 minutes or until light golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven and pour strawberry filling on top. Then, dollop cashew butter on top in teaspoon-sized increments (8 tsp total). Gently swirl cashew butter around with a chopstick or spoon handle. Sprinkle with the chopped cashews and the Himalayan salt, if using. Bake for another 20-25 minutes or until strawberry topping is warm and bubbly.
  6. Let cool completely (about 2-3 hours) and then cut into desired-size squares. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Hibiscus Raspberry Rum Popsicles

hibiscus rum popsicles 3Alright, this is the last recipe in my popsicle series. Hopefully, three in a row isn’t overkill, but the recipes are all different and regardless, it’s summertime, so it’s appropriate! Plus, I’ll be talking about these recipes (and demoing how to make my chocolate mint popsicles) on KATU Afternoon Live next Wednesday, July 26. UPDATE: watch the replay of my popsicle segment HERE.

Meanwhile, these frozen treats are extra special in the sense that they are for adults only. And, actually, a bit of rum takes these from popsicle to poptail. To be honest, I hadn’t heard the term, poptail until I did a little research on boozy frozen treats. Of course, the term makes sense though and I’m rolling with it.

If adding alcohol to popsicles isn’t your jam, omit the rum and add some extra iced tea instead (and maybe some more raspberries too). If you’re going for the spiked version, but don’t have rum on hand, vodka is a great substitute. Also, you can experiment with a little less if you don’t want to taste the alcohol as much. If you opt to experiment with more, be careful because too much alcohol and these won’t freeze.

I have to admit, these are way better than I anticipated. They are quite refreshing and fruity with a kick of rum. The texture is a little slushy, which I enjoy, and check out that gorgeous color! All around, I think these are pretty exceptional.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup fresh-brewed unsweetened hibiscus iced tea, brewed according to package instructions (I used the brand, Smith Teamaker, which is made here in Portland. These are also larger tea bags, made for iced tea)
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey, or more if you want it sweeter
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp rum (white or gold)
  • Extra raspberries for adding to each mold, if desired

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on medium-low for about 20-30 seconds, or until raspberries are pureed and everything is mixed well.
  2. Pour into popsicle molds (I used these molds), leaving about 1/2″ of space at the top. Distribute a few raspberries into each mold and then top with the remaining mixture. If desired, use the popsicle stick to stir the mixture in each mold.
  3. Freeze overnight. Once ready to eat, rinse mold under warm water briefly to remove popsicle.

Yields: 6 popsicles

 

Dairy-Free Banana Almond Butter Popsicles

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have more popsicle recipes for you all. I’m gearing up to do a popsicle segment in a couple weeks on KATU Afternoon Live and need to have a few options to present. So, this is the second recipe of three or four. Luckily, they’re all different, but hopefully, you don’t get sick of my sharing recipes for frozen treats on a stick!

Meanwhile, this combo is incredible in a classic kinda way and SO creamy. Like, insanely creamy. No sweetener of any sort is needed either, as the banana adds enough on its own. I think these are sure to win over kids and adults alike. Between these and the chocolate mint popsicles, I’m in popsicle heaven. Each day, I look forward to grabbing one out of the freezer and enjoying it out on the deck in the sunshine. Feels good and tastes good, too.

I used these molds, which yield six popsicles, but there was enough mixture for seven (I actually have two sets of the molds too, so no issues for me there). I recommend the following options if you have extra, but are out of molds: 1). drink it, 2). pour it into a little dish or jar and freeze (then scoop out and eat like ice cream), or 3). pour into a paper cup and add a popsicle stick mid-way through freezing.

Cheers and enjoy!

UPDATE: watch the replay of my KATU Afternoon Live popsicle segment HERE.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups coconut cream (I like this brand, which has no gums)
  • 2 just-ripe medium bananas, peeled and cut in half or into thirds
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond butter
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
  2. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for 6-7 hours or overnight. Once ready, rinse mold under hot water to remove.

Yields: 6-7 popsicles

Chocolate Mint Popsicles

These chocolate mint popsicles are creamy and full of mint chip flavor. Not only that, but they’re dye-free, have no refined sugar, include a dose of protein and probiotics, and have vitamins and minerals from the spinach (and natural light green color to boot). They are not your average popsicle. They’re the perfect healthy treat on a hot day and I’ve definitely been enjoying my fair share. I went through two rounds of experimenting with this recipe, so I’ve had a freezer full. No complaints on my end!

In the directions, you’ll notice that I don’t add the chocolate pieces to the blender. It doesn’t work all that well if you do and I know since I tested it this way on my first trial run. The chocolate pieces break up a bit more, but then sink to the bottom, which means you then have to scoop them out by hand.

Meanwhile, I’ll be making these popsicles on KATU Afternoon Live at the end of the month, along with two other flavors (one of which will be for adults only). Stay tuned for those recipes!

Hope everyone had a happy Fourth of July! Cheers!

UPDATE: watch the replay of my KATU Afternoon Live segment HERE.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups coconut cream (I used this brand, which has no gums)
  • 3/4 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt, preferably grass-fed (I used this brand)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey (use more if you want it sweeter)
  • 3 cups loosely packed fresh spinach
  • 3-4 drops high-quality, dietary-safe peppermint essential oil OR 1/2 tsp peppermint extract (learn where to get therapeutic-grade oils here)
  • 2.5 oz good-quality dark chocolate bar, finely chopped (I used this one, which is lightly sweetened with coconut sugar)

Directions:

  1. To a high speed blender container, add all the ingredients, except the chocolate. Blend on high until smooth.
  2. Pour mixture into popsicle molds, leaving a little space at the top of each mold. Then, disperse chocolate evenly among the molds. Top off with more of the mixture and stir a little with popsicle stick, if desired (chocolate will distribute a bit during freezing though).
  3. Freeze for 6-7 hours or overnight. Once ready, rinse mold under hot water briefly to remove popsicle.

Note: I used these molds, but the Dixie cup & popsicle stick method will do the trick as well. Just put the stick in halfway through freezing. This way, the sticks will stay centered.

Yields: 6 popsicles

 

Fourth of July Panna Cotta

Fourth of July is only five days away! Can you believe it? I’m never totally ready for it to come because summer always seems to fly by in the blink of an eye after the Fourth is over. We don’t have any plans other than working a little that morning (I am anyway — not sure about Jesse) and keeping our kitties company in the evening. Our cat, Frankie, is terrified of fireworks and loud noises in general, but our other cat, Dutch doesn’t seem to mind much. Anyway, we want to be there for Frankie since she gets so stressed out. Poor kitty. During the day, maybe we’ll go for a bike ride or something. We’re playing it by ear.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a festive, healthy, and patriotic dessert to make, look no further. I’ve got you covered with this non-dairy Fourth of July panna cotta featuring coconut milk, blueberries, and raspberries. It has a hint of lemon flavor thanks to the lemon essential oil and tastes wonderful with the fresh berries.  If you don’t have access to the lemon essential oil, you can substitute lemon extract instead (1 tsp is probably enough, but it depends how lemony you want it). Strawberries would also be a great addition to this dessert if you want to add some extra red color and more berry flavor.

On another note, I went back on KATU Afternoon Live yesterday and made my summer “grain” salad with lemon tahini dressing. Watch the replay of the segment HERE.

Ingredients:

  • 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk (this brand is great and has no gums)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp cold filtered water
  • 1-1/4 tsp gelatin powder, preferably grass-fed (I recommend this one or this one)
  • 1-2 Tbsp raw honey, or more if you want it sweeter
  • 4 drops high-quality, dietary-safe lemon essential oil (learn where to get therapeutic grade oils here)
  • Fresh blueberries and raspberries or strawberries, for serving
  • Toasted slivered almonds, for serving
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes or chips, for serving

Directions:

  1. Pour water into a small bowl and sprinkle in the gelatin powder, allowing it to bloom. Set aside.
  2. Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan and heat on the stove over medium heat. Whisk in the vanilla and honey. Once the honey is fully dissolved, add the gelatin mixture and whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk in the lemon essential oil.
  3. Divide mixture equally among three individual size glasses or small bowls (small mason jars also work well). Place in fridge to set for at least 4 hours.
  4. Once set, top with desired amount of fresh blueberries and raspberries. Garnish with the slivered almonds and coconut.

Yields: 3 servings

Grain-Free Strawberry Upside-Down Cake

strawberry cake

Mother’s Day is upon us and this strawberry upside-down cake is perfect for a celebratory brunch or dinner. It’s not too sweet, incredibly moist, and full of flavor. It’s got that rustic, yet pretty thing going on too.

Traditional upside-down cakes have a lot of sugar, especially in the “top” glaze layer, but I scaled it way back (no refined sugar either) without sacrificing any of the flavor. The strawberries are a nice change-of-pace and pair so well with the cardamom too. This cake can be served warm, room temperature, or cold (keep leftovers in the fridge). I recommend serving it with a generous dollop of  homemade coconut milk whipped cream or if tolerated, dairy-based whipped cream.

Hope you enjoy it. Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • 8 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp melted grass-fed butter, separated
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • About 1 cup strawberries, hulled (if need be) and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, preferably pasture-raised
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk (I used this brand, which has no gums)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Pour 2 Tbsp of melted butter into a 9-inch cake pan, coating the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the coconut sugar on top of the butter. Then, arrange the strawberry slices on top of the coconut sugar in an even layer.
  3. With a stand or hand mixer, mix the remaining 8 Tbsp melted butter with the raw honey, vanilla, eggs, coconut milk, and lemon juice. Mix until fully blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
  4. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, baking soda, sea salt, and cardamom.
  5. Carefully add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix again, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
  6. Spread batter evenly over the strawberry layer. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, run a knife around the edge of the pan and place a serving dish on top. Invert the cake onto the serving dish and let sit for a few minutes before fully removing the cake pan.
  8. If desired, serve with homemade coconut milk whipped cream or if tolerated, dairy-based whipped cream. Store any leftover cake in the refrigerator.

Yields: 6-8 servings

 

Dairy-Free Tropical Turmeric Ice Cream

tropical ice cream 4

We finally had a break in the crummy weather here in Portland, and were blessed with not one, but two 80-degree days in a row! It’s been a rough spring (and winter) here with record amounts of precipitation and we’ve all been starving for the sun. Kinda weird to feel 80-degrees though when we haven’t even hit 70 yet this year, and have been consistently experiencing weather in the 40s and 50s. But man, it feels good and I’m actually sitting outside as I work on this post!

Anyway, I think the sun inspired me to whip up this tropical treat (that, and fresh champagne mangos were on special at New Seasons). It even seems like you’re eating sunshine with this one, and that makes me feel happy. I added turmeric for a dose of antioxidants and grass-fed collagen for some gut-boosting nutrients. This recipe would also be lovely with frozen pineapple (as an addition or instead of the mango).

Cheers and enjoy!

tropical ice cream bite

Ingredients:

  • 2 fresh mangos, peeled, chopped and frozen for at least 24 hours (or buy already frozen)
  • 1 medium just-ripe banana, peeled, sliced and frozen for at least 24 hours
  • 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk (I like this brand, which has no gums)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed collagen powder (I used this brand, but like this one too)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp ground turmeric (I liked it with 3/4 tsp, but use 1/2 if you’re not sure)
  • 3-4 Tbsp sliced almonds

Directions:

  1. Add frozen fruit to the food processor with the coconut milk and vanilla. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides and re-blending, as needed.
  2. Next, add the sea salt, collagen, and turmeric. Blend until well mixed.
  3. Scoop mixture into a large bowl and mix in the sliced almonds. Freeze for a couple hours if you want it to firm up a bit more or enjoy right away

Yields: 2-3 servings