It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without something chocolatey, right? To be honest, I don’t even really celebrate Valentine’s Day, but still like to have a little chocolate or sweet treat. So, I guess I celebrate a tiny bit. But, if you ask me, any reason is a good reason to eat chocolate. Valentine’s Day is the chocolate holiday though.
Meanwhile, melted dark chocolate, coconut butter, and freeze-dried strawberries come together in this combo to create a decadent, satisfying, and pretty sweet treat. Can’t beat the touch of pink for Valentine’s Day either! Use your favorite dark chocolate bar and adjust accordingly if you want the cups more or less sweet. Personally, I like really dark chocolate, but know that the darker stuff can be too bitter for some people.
Cheers and enjoy!
4-4.5 oz good-quality dark chocolate (I used a mix of 100% and 85%)
1/4 cup coconut butter, melted (I used this brand)
Extra ground freeze-dried strawberries for garnish, optional
Line a mini muffin tin with paper liners and set aside. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over medium-low heat, being careful not to get any moisture in the chocolate.
Remove from heat and spoon about 1 tsp of the melted chocolate into each liner. Place muffin tin in the refrigerator for chocolate to set. Meanwhile, place chocolate bowl back over pot of hot water to stay warm over low heat.
While chocolate is setting, prepare the filling. In a small bowl, mix together the melted coconut butter and 2 Tbsp of ground freeze-dried strawberries. It will look crumbly, but keep mixing and smushing mixture down with a fork to work in the strawberry powder. Eventually, it smooths out some and is no longer crumbly. Know that it will not be drizzly and melty though.
Remove muffin tin from fridge and scoop about 1 tsp worth of coconut mixture into each liner. Flatten mixture slightly with hands or back of spoon. Lastly, remove melted chocolate from heat and top with about 1 tsp more of melted chocolate. Place in fridge to set. After a few minutes or so, while chocolate is still tacky, garnish with extra freeze-dried strawberries, if desired. Place back in fridge to finish setting.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Halloween is getting closer and I thought it best to honor the holiday with these perfectly sweet pumpkin caramel cups. And, I gotta say…these are straight up divine. The combination of sweet, salty, and pumpkin spice flavors with a delicate bite and soft center is just right. It’s ridiculous, really.
You will end up with a little extra date caramel, but luckily, there are many other ways to use it: spread onto dark chocolate squares, use as a dip for apples or pears, mix into yogurt, stir into nut butter, dollop on top of baked acorn squash or sweet potato, or simply eat with a spoon.
By the way, I went back on KATU Afternoon Live yesterday and made my pumpkin spice chocolate clusters. These are another winning combo and great for Halloween as well! Watch the replay of my segment HERE. Also, if you can believe it, this month marked my one-year anniversary of going on the show!
Cheers and enjoy!
10-12 medjool dates, pitted and soaked for 5 minutes in boiling water
3 Tbsp water
4-5 Tbsp full-fat coconut milk (I used this brand)
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Dash of sea salt
8 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
5 Tbsp coconut sugar, or more if you want it sweeter
Add the softened dates to the food processor, along with the water, 4 Tbsp of the coconut milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, sea salt, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla. Pulse to combine. If mixture still seems a bit too thick or chunky, add the remaining 1 Tbsp of coconut milk and blend again until smooth. Set aside.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler over medium-low heat. Be careful not to get any moisture in the chocolate or it will seize! Once melted, stir in the coconut sugar and pinch of sea salt. Whisk until dissolved.
Line a mini muffin pan with paper liners and add about 1 tsp of the melted chocolate to each liner. Then, add about 1 tsp of the date caramel to each and flatten out slightly (and gently) with back of spoon. Top each cup with another 1 tsp of melted chocolate. Garnish each cup with Maldon sea salt and place in fridge to set. If you want these to set faster, you can place in freezer.
Store any leftover caramel in refrigerator and use within a week.
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 thelemon 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.
Fresh blueberries and raspberries or strawberries, for serving
Toasted slivered almonds, for serving
Unsweetened coconut flakes or chips, for serving
Pour water into a small bowl and sprinkle in the gelatin powder, allowing it to bloom. Set aside.
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.
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.
Once set, top with desired amount of fresh blueberries and raspberries. Garnish with the slivered almonds and coconut.
I had a random inclination to create a banana cream pie, so I followed my instincts and made one. I’m not sure where the desire came from, as I’ve never made banana cream pie before and have hardly ever eaten it in my life, but I figured it’d be a fun (and tasty) experiment. Plus, it gives all of you a dessert idea for Easter, if you’re celebrating. All around, I think it’s a great dessert for both spring and summer though.
There are a few steps in this recipe, but nothing is too complicated and the end result is delicious. If you want, you can even just make the filling and eat it as a pudding. If you do so, I recommend lining the bottom of the dish with banana slices, as you do for the pie.
Add almond flour, cocoa powder and sea salt to food processor. Briefly pulse to combine. Then, add the shortening, egg, vanilla and honey. Pulse again until mixture is well combined and starts sticking together.
Press mixture evenly into a 9.5-inch pie pan, using your hands. Then, poke several holes in crust with a fork.
Bake in preheated oven for 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
1 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk (I like this one, which has no gums)
2-1/2 medium just-ripe bananas
1-1/4 tsp gelatin powder, preferably grass-fed (I recommend this one or this one)
Pinch of sea salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp raw honey or more to taste if you want it sweeter
I can’t believe it’s the holiday season! This year has been such a whirlwind and full of change, but it’s hard to believe that it’s already almost over. Regardless, I love the holiday season and am happily embracing it. I’m even going home to Michigan for Christmas this year…the first time in five years!
Anyway, since it is the time of year for goodies, I thought I’d try my hand at grain-free snickerdoodles. These did not disappoint and could not be any easier to make. The texture is soft and pillowy with a light crust on the edges. The flavor is slightly sweet, tangy and of course, cinnamon-y. The cream of tartar is actually what gives the cookie its signature tang and reacts with the baking soda to create the crackled appearance. The cream of tartar also accounts for the perfect chewiness.
When first researching snickerdoodle recipes, I was actually kinda thrown off by the cream of tartar. I had to do a little more digging, but soon understood that from a snickerdoodle purist standpoint, it’s a must. Traditionally, it was always used to make snickerdoodles and without it, it’d just be a crunchy cinnamon sugar cookie (it keeps sugar from crystalizing!). It truly is the age-old snickerdoodle secret and enough for me to want to include it in the recipe.
Another thing about a classic snickerdoodle recipe — there is no vanilla extract. This is actually quite rare for a cookie recipe, but from what I learned, vanilla mellows out the tangy flavor from the cream of tartar. Who knew? So, in an effort to keep the cookie more classic, I also opted for no vanilla. And, truthfully, I didn’t miss it.
On another note, I went back on KATU Afternoon Live in November and made my herbed turkey potato stew. Watch the segment HERE. Stay tuned because I’ll also be going back on December 16 to make my no-bake rum balls!
Blueberry season and fresh-picked berriescall for cobblers and crisps, and my friend recently reminded me of this. I can’t tell you the last time I even made something of the sorts. Overall, I don’t do that much baking, but it is fun to take on a baking project every now and again. Not only that, but baked goods make the house smell so comfy and cozy. Sometimes, I feel like the smells are the best part!
Overall, the cobbler turned out well, but is best eaten day of and shortly after it comes out of the oven. Yes, it still tastes great the next day, but the dough part gets a little soggy from all berry juice. I actually didn’t mind it at all, especially because the flavor is still there and the dough is a little gritty versus totally mushy (since it’s almond flour/meal). You can be the judge though, but know that you’ve been forewarned, especially all you texture peeps out there.
Meanwhile, feel free to add your own flair to the cobbler — different berries and spices, shredded unsweetened coconut, nuts, etc. There’s a lot of room for variety with something like this, so have fun with it!
For the berries:
2.5 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 Tbsp coconut flour
Pour berries into a 9×9 baking dish. Mix with the coconut flour. Set aside.
For the dough:
1 cup almond flour or meal (I used fresh ground from sprouted almonds)
2 Tbsp coconut flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp raw honey
6 Tbsp cold unsalted grass-fed butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk, plus extra for drizzling, if desired
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine almond flour/meal, coconut flour, sea salt, nutmeg, baking soda, lemon zest, lemon juice vanilla and honey.
Add the butter and blend with your hands or with two knives until course crumbs form. Add the coconut milk and mix until a wet, shaggy dough forms.
Drop mounds of the dough on top of the berries. It doesn’t have to be neat — we’re not going for perfection here. It’s not supposed to be perfect, in fact!
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until dough is brown and berries are bubbly. Let cool about 10 minutes before serving, then serve immediately.
Serve with coconut milk drizzled on top, if desired. Coconut milk whipped cream would also be delicious.
Remember how I said I’d post my Easter dessert later on? Well, here it is, a chocolate layer cake with coconut vanilla frosting. It was my first time making a grain-free chocolate cake and I’m happy to say that it turned out quite well. Jesse really liked it too, and he topped it with the dark chocolate body paint he got from my mom and sister. Remember how I opened it on his behalf at my wedding shower? See mom, it’s not tucked away in the bathroom cupboard, like you urged not to do! The paint brush isn’t getting any use though, as Jesse uses a spoon for drizzling! I admit, it does look (and smell) like really delicious chocolate and it is quite dark. Jesse says it’s very good.
Measure out all the ingredients and toss into the blender. Make sure to measure out the coconut flour exactly. Also, this can not be done with a hand mixer or whisk. You need to use a blender and be very patient!
Blend for 30-45 seconds or until everything is mixed together well. Pour into a bowl once done. The mixture will not be thick yet. Place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours to set. I recommend letting it sit overnight.
Before using, remove from refrigerator and mix well. Then, let the frosting soften to room temperature for a bit. This will make it much easier to spread.
For the cake:
8 pastured eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 cup melted coconut oil, ghee or butter (I used a combo of coconut oil & grass-fed butter)
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup cacao or cocoa powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Preheat the oven to 320 degrees.
In a small bowl, combine coconut flour, cacao or cocoa powder, baking soda and sea salt. Set aside.
In a kitchen mixer or large bowl, beat together eggs, melted oil, vanilla, honey and apple cider vinegar. If you don’t have a stand mixer, a hand mixer works just fine.
Add dry ingredients to wet and blend. Once batter is blended and smooth, stir in shredded coconut by hand.
Line two 9-inch cakes pans with parchment paper and grease the sides with coconut oil. Pour batter evenly into both pans.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. My cakes were done at about 24 minutes.
Once done, remove from the oven to cool. Once cool, frost one of the cake tops with the frosting and stack the other cake on top. Then, frost the entire top and sides of the cake.