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

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Pumpkin Spice Granola

Pumpkin spice granola

I’ve still been on a kick of making homemade granola and decided it was time for a fall-inspired variety. After all, tis the season for pumpkin spice, right? It makes the house smell so cozy and warm too. It’s actually the first time I’ve used pumpkin seeds in homemade granola and I must say, I really like it. The addition of the almond butter adds a nice coating on the coconut flakes, especially if you use a grittier, freshly ground almond butter, but any kind will work. In this case, I used freshly ground almond butter from the store.

Meanwhile, I still plan on filling you all in on my Jamaica experience sometime soon. I’ve been a little distracted though because last Thursday, we got a new 5-month old kitten! Jesse and I both felt ready after the loss of Mila and found a kitten on Craigslist that urgently needed a new home. Long story short, she was in a home going through a domestic violence divorce. We stepped in and rescued her, and named her Frankie. Here’s a picture of our sweet girl:

Frankie, our new kitty

Ingredients:

  • 6-7 cups unsweetened coconut flakes 
  • 2 cups raw pumpkin seeds (aka pepitas) 
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1-2 Tbsp raw honey
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract (I like this brand)
  • 4 Tbsp unsweetened almond butter (melt slightly if it’s really stiff)
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • Dash of sea salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened dried currants

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Pour the coconut chips and pumpkin seeds on a large baking sheet.
  3. In a small bowl, gently whisk together the coconut oil, vanilla, raw honey, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Once blended, whisk in the almond butter until smooth.
  4. Pour coconut oil mixture over the coconut flakes and pumpkin seeds, stirring well to coat. Spread out evenly on the baking pan and then place in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the granola after the 15 minutes and stir. Place back in oven for 10-15 more minutes or until all the granola is golden brown.
  6. Let cool almost completely and then stir in the currants.

Pumpkin Spice Granola

Fast

Curried Acorn Squash with Almond Butter

IMG_3882

Whenever I eat squash as a side with a meal, I always save it for last. To me, it’s like dessert and I prefer to savor each and every buttery bite (because you have to put butter on squash…come on!). Sometimes, I like it simple with only grass-fed butter and sea salt, but other times I like to add cinnamon and nutmeg, and maybe even a drizzle of raw honey if I’m feeling indulgent. This time, I decided to change it up a bit and add curry, cinnamon and more fat…both grass-fed butter and almond butter alike. The almond butter gets all melty and gooey, and is like heaven with the squash, butter and spices. Now, it’s really like dessert!

Ingredients:

  • 1 acorn squash, cut in half and seeds scooped out
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter, divided
  • 1 tsp curry powder, divided (plus more if needed)
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened almond butter, divided (this brand is my favorite)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place squash halves flesh side down in a baking pan with about 1/4 inch of water. Place in preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes.
  2. After 40 minutes, remove from oven and flip squash over, so the flesh side is up. Spread 1 Tbsp of grass-fed butter on each half and allow to melt into the cavity (I like to poke some slits with the knife in the cavity, so the butter seeps inside). Sprinkle with sea salt and cinnamon to taste. Then, sprinkle 1/2 tsp of curry powder over each half. Spread spices around with a knife if need be.
  3. Place back in the oven flesh side up and bake for another 20 minutes or until tender. Once done, serve with 1 Tbsp of almond butter in each half.

Yields: 2 servings

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Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Cookie dough fudge.
Cookie dough fudge.

Merry Christmas to all my friends, family and followers that celebrate this holiday! I wish you a very happy holiday and hope you spend it with those near and dear. Cheers!

Meanwhile, if you still need a holiday dessert recipe, give this cookie dough fudge a try. I made some yesterday for Christmas Eve, and it’s a total hit. It is so indulgent and delicious, and like eating chocolate covered raw cookie dough. The recipe is courtesy of TGIPaleo. Seriously, mad props to her for creating such a tasty treat! I didn’t modify anything in the recipe and it turned out perfect. Jesse agreed that this dessert is awesome. Now, you can be the judge.

Making the fudge.
Making the fudge.
Fudge mixture below, and cookie dough mixture above.
Fudge mixture below, and cookie dough mixture above.

For the cookie dough:

  • 1 c Almond flour
  • 3 T Raw honey
  • 1/4 t Sea salt
  • 1/2 t Pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 T Coconut butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 T Coconut oil, melted

For the fudge:

  • 1/2 c Raw almond or cashew butter (I used almond, but it wasn’t raw)
  • 1/2 c Coconut butter, softened
  • 1/4 c Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 t Pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t Sea salt
  • 2 T Raw honey
I love licking the spatula and bowl clean! It's one of the best parts. I know, it's a silly self-portrait, but whatever.
I love licking the spatula and bowl clean! It’s one of the best parts. I know, it’s a silly self-portrait, but whatever.

Directions:

  1. Mix the ingredients for the cookie dough together, then set aside.
  2. Do the same for the fudge.
  3. In an 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper, carefully spread half of the fudge mixture into the bottom. Press all of the cookie dough on top (it doesn’t have to be pretty). Then spread on the last half of the fudge.
  4. Refrigerate for a couple hours or until firm. Cut into square size of choice.
Dessert anyone?
Dessert anyone?
Look at that cookie dough layer!
Look at that cookie dough layer!

Curried Chicken Soup

This is a recipe that I previously made as a vegetarian and really enjoyed. Surprisingly though, I think I only made it a total of one time. I feel like I have a lot of recipes like that, actually — I make something, am totally into it, and then forget about it somehow. Regardless, I’m glad I remembered it because it has fantastic flavors and a nice little kick. It’s no longer vegetarian because I added chicken to it to beef it up, but if you are a veggie and read my blog, just omit the chicken. Side note here, but this soup warms me up so much that I have to turn the heat off when I eat it (no exaggeration). It’s either that or shed layers, and I prefer to eat with my clothes on.

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb cooked chicken breasts, shredded
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter or other fat of choice
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of chopped cauliflower florets
  • 2 cups of chopped bok choy
  • 2 cups homemade bone broth (or decent store-bought chicken broth)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond butter
  • 1-1/2 cups full-fat coconut milk
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne (or more if you want it spicier)
  • Cilantro for garnishing, optional

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and sauté a few minutes, until onion is translucent.
  2. Mix in the curry, allspice, sea salt, cumin, cauliflower and bok choy, and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
  3. In a separate small saucepan, mix the almond butter and 3/4 cup of broth together over medium heat. Once the mixture is smooth, add it to the vegetables and stir for a couple minutes.
  4. Add the shredded chicken, remaining broth, coconut milk and cayenne. Heat for about 5 minutes, or until heated through.
  5. Serve with cilantro garnished on top, if using.

Pumpkin Banana Spice Cookies

The pumpkin saga continues. It’s just that time of year when there’s literally pumpkin everything (I even tried pumpkin burgers last night, compliments of Civilized Caveman — they were awesome!). Being the pumpkin lover that I am, I’m okay with that. Sometimes I don’t know why I decide to do stuff at the last second. Like yesterday evening, about 30 minutes before I had to be at the gym to help coach class, I decided to whip together these cookies. I didn’t think they’d bake as long as they did, and literally walked out the door one or two minutes after taking them out of the oven. Yes, I ate one on my way out the door too because I can’t resist a warm cookie, fresh from the oven. My kind self even grabbed one for Jesse since he was at the gym (we coached together last night). He was pleasantly surprised when I handed him a warm cookie upon my arrival. What’s even better is that he enjoyed it, despite the fact that it didn’t contain chocolate (have I told you that he’s a dark chocoholic? Well, he is. Hardcore). *Inspiration for this recipe came from What Runs Lori.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/3 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 4 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened almond butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp water, coconut or almond milk (start w/ 1 Tbsp & add more if batter needs it, omit if batter is moist enough)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp raw honey, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-slip baking mat.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Drop by spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. (Note: mine took 20 minutes).
  4. Remove pan from oven once done and let cookies sit on the baking sheet for a couple minutes. Then, carefully remove with a spatula and place on a cooling rack.

Yields: 12-16 cookies

Salted Almond Caramel Dip

Apples and caramel, a fall classic, but one that hasn’t been in my life for many years. I always enjoyed dipping apples slices in caramel growing up, even if it wasn’t remotely close to being real caramel. It’s pretty gross, but I think the first ingredient was high fructose corn syrup. I remember it being overly sweet, but as a kid, that was okay with me. It was always the fat-free kind too. Fat-free, HFCS and chemical-laden caramel dip … yum?

As for the caramel apples on sticks, I was never much of a fan. I always wanted to like it, but didn’t care for tart green apples as a kid, and caramel apples were always made with green apples. What’s up with that? I also remember them being difficult to eat. I might like a caramel apple now if it was made with this caramel (I like green apples now too) and maybe even rolled in some chopped nuts or coconut flakes.

Since I’ve made caramel from dates for different treat recipes, I figured it’d be easy enough to modify a bit and turn into a dip. I went slow and adjusted the the ingredients incrementally, taste-tasting each time (it gave me an extra excuse to keep taking tastes too). The taste and consistency came out perfectly (or at least I like to think so) and Jesse even oooed and ahhhed over it too. It’s salty, sweet, gooey and thick.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Medjool dates, pitted (heaping 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4-6 Tbsp water (I used 5 Tbsp)
  • 3 Tbsp smooth unsweetened almond butter
  • 3 Tbsp coconut cream concentrate (aka coconut butter)
  • 1 Tbsp room temp grass-fed butter

Directions:

  1. Add dates to the food processor and blend until the dates are ground up (might turn into a ball – that’s okay). If your dates are drier, soak in boiling water for 10-20 minutes before blending in the food processor.
  2. Add two tablespoons of the water and all the remaining ingredients. Process until smooth.
  3. Add in two more tablespoons of water and blend again. Add up to two additional tablespoons of water until desired consistency is reached. It should be somewhat thick, but not too thick.
  4. Adjust flavor to your liking and serve with sliced apples or pears. It’d be delicious spread on banana slices too.