I’m kind of obsessed with desserts these days. I love creating healthier versions of my favorite treats. About a month ago, I was screwing around on Pinterest, and came across a recipe for candy bark. You know, melted milk chocolate, covered with candy corn, M & Ms, marshmallows and colored sprinkles. My oldest daughter saw it and said, “Mommy, let’s make these but put goji berries on them.” A lightbulb went on above my head and soon after we redesigned this sugar-laden concoction with great success.
I swapped the milk chocolate for 80% vegan dark chocolate. I also threw in some coconut oil and raw cacao. Instead of the usual processed garbage candy, I topped this bad boy with goji berries, raw almonds, sunflower seeds, shredded coconut and some organic dried cherries. If I would have been on top of my game that day, I would have thrown some chia seeds on there too.
I brought it up to Sun Valley for my friend Lanette's birthday bash. Everyone loved it and the response could be compared to that of a Herbal Essence commercial. (Yes, there may have been some moaning.) It was that good.
For the Bark
2 bags dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)
2 tablespoons raw cacao (optional)
Toppings (Pick And Choose)
Raw nuts (I used almonds)
Place the chocolate (and coconut oil and cacao if you’re using it) in a heat-proof glass bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. (Don’t let the bowl touch the water) Stir often until the chocolate is completely melted.
Next, quickly scrape the chocolate into a tin-foil lined pan. (I use a 9 x 13) Make sure the chocolate is spread evenly and then sprinkle with the toppings of your choice.
Let sit for about 10-15 minutes.
Lift bark from pan by pulling up on foil. Cut or break into pieces.
Don’t you love how I go from posting about my insecurities to sharing my favorite raw cookie dough bites? Obviously I’m feeling better.
That’s the beauty of this blog. You never know what you’re going to get! Anyways, I seriously love these and so does my husband. Guilt-free, raw and packed with protein and heart-healthy fats, these just might be the best treat ever. (Sorry Lemon Chia Seed Muffins. I do still love you though!)
Here’s the recipe. Looks super easy right? The beauty is that they’re vegan and free from all the butter, raw eggs and flour in regular cookie dough so you won’t get a tummy ache! Yay!
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup raw oat flakes
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup raw agave nectar
3 tsp pure vanilla extract
5 tbsp cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips
Process the almonds, walnuts, oats, cinnamon and salt to a fine meal.
Add the agave nectar and vanilla and process until blended.
Next, add the cocoa nibs (or chocolate chips) and pulse just to combine.
Roll the cookie dough into balls (1 tbsp) and place them on a cookie pan lined with parchment paper. Place the pan in the freezer for roughly an hour. Store in a container in the freezer.
P.S. You can use regular oats or gluten-free oats for this recipe but if you want this treat to really be raw, look for raw oat flakes, which haven't been steamed or toasted during processing.
Raise your hand if you’ve been to Costco.............
Now raise your hand if you’ve tried their lemon poppyseed muffins..............
I know. They’re amazing. Too bad they’re basically giant cupcakes with 690 calories and 38 grams of fat. Yikes! While I'm not one to count calories anymore, this shocked me.
Good news though. I have a healthier version!
Lemon Chia Seed Muffins
1 3/4 cup oat flour (oats in the vitamix)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
2/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp lemon zest
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients
In another bowl combine the wet ingredients
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir gently until combined.
Fill each well of a muffin tin that has been lined with cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
I feel so sneaky (insert malicious laugh) because kiddo number two (Carsyn) disdains all but a handful of food items. I seriously wonder how the kid functions some days. I have to be creative in trying to find foods she will accept. This recipe is a blessing. If you do have a picky eater, give these a try. Plus, they’re great reheated and the perfect breakfast bar.
Banana Almond Oatmeal Bars
2 ½ cups quick oats
¾ cup shredded coconut
¼ cup raisins or cranberries
2 tablespoons flaxseeds (optional)
½ cup chopped dates
½ cup slivered almonds
2 tablespoons almond butter
3/4 cup applesauce
2 large smashed bananas
This recipe doesn't get much easier.
It's as simple as mixing
up all the ingredients!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8 x 8 inch pan with tin foil and spread the “dough” evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve warm or let cool. Cut into squares and enjoy!
If you think cookie dough is addicting, just wait! If you're nervous about your kids trying these, feel free to add a few tablespoons of honey, agave or maple syrup to sweeten them up even more. You can also drizzle some over the top.
I am so grateful this week to Joshua and all the staff of Integrative Nutrition for an amazing retreat/conference in Costa Rica! The conference inspired me in many ways; emotionally, spiritually, energetically and even in the culinary sense. I left there feeling like a new woman. Outside the amazing people, beautiful scenery and intense self- development and business training, I believe the raw chocolates and cakes had a little something to do with it. Yes my friends, the Blue Spirit Retreat, located in Nosara harbored a to-die-for raw chocolate and dessert bar. Let’s just say that I spent a lot of time at the bar while on vacation with my new friends;) My how things have changed in my life!
As a self-diagnosed lover of all things sweet, I was pleasantly surprised at how satisfied I was by small amounts of the raw, organic and vegan treats! Mainstream desserts that we have grown accustomed to are loaded with artificial colors and flavors; not to mention highly processed sugar, dairy, flour and other junk that even the winner of this years spelling bee would have trouble pronouncing. I must say it felt wonderful to honor my body and not feel crappy for indulging in something that also tasted delicious!
Inspired by Costa Rica, and my beautiful roommate Jessica (she is the owner of Beaming With Health) I came home on a mission to create a delicious fruit pie my whole family would love!
Mission accomplished!! Not only did I make this pie in under 10 minutes, but it is also kid tested and approved!
2 cups almonds, pecans, hazelnuts or macadamia nuts. (I used almonds)
1/2-1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or one vanilla bean
5 pitted medjool dates
2 tablespoons agave nectar
Pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg (optional)
Place nuts in food processor or vitamix and process until crumbled and close to flour-like. Add the coconut oil, vanilla, agave, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pulse another 5-6 times. Add the dates last, one at at time, and continue to process until the crust holds together when you squeeze it between your fingertips. Press into a pie tart or pan and freeze for 30 minutes. You can also make mini pies! (pictured)
Take any fruit (preferably organic) you like and cut it up into small pieces about the size of your thumbnail. Here are some suggestions that everyone is familiar with but don't be afraid to go crazy! Starfruit anyone?
Remember this pie needs to stay cold because it is made from real, whole foods and is not processed.
Keep cold right up until serving. Enjoy!!
Here’s a challenge for you all:
Next time you’re at the grocery store, take a good look at the ingredients in your favorite brand of popsicles. Those “fruit” popsicles you and your kids love so much are nothing but corn syrup and artificial colors and flavorings. Even the bars made with real fruit are still sweetened up with tons of added sugar. Not cool.
Popsicles are meant to keep you cool and the added sugars and artificial sweeteners in store bought brands actually deplete the body of nutrients and the ability to stay hydrated.
Don’t worry, I have an answer to all your premeditated popsicle prayers! Drumroll please!
Introducing Really Real Fruit Bars
I sampled these myself and they might be my favorite thing ever. Plus they look cool, leading my kids to believe I’m pretty much the coolest mom ever!
Diced Organic Peaches
Diced Organic Strawberries
Organic Kiwi Slices
Organic White Grape Juice
Organize all the fruit tightly into the popsicle mold, add juice and freeze!
This recipe post has been a long time coming! I made this raw strawberry pie for our friends and family last summer and it got rave reviews. It’s super healthy and delicious. In the past week, I’ve had three different people asking for the recipe. So, here ya go guys, This recipe is for you!
2 cups almonds or pecans
1/2-1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or half of a vanilla bean
4-5 medjool dates, pitted
pinch of sea salt
2 cups cashews soaked 1-2 hours
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4-1/2 cup agave (depending on how sweet you want it)
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted 1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1-2 cups sliced strawberries or fruit of your choice
Crust: Place almonds or pecans in food processor or vitamix and process until crumbled. Add coconut oil, sea salt and vanilla and pulse a couple of times. Add the dates last, one at a time and pulse until the crust holds together when you squeeze it between your fingertips. If the crust does not hold, add more dates (again one at a time). Press into oiled (with coconut oil) tart or pie pan. Chill in Freezer for 30 minutes before adding filling.
Filling: Blend all ingredients well in a Vitamix blender if you have one. Pour part of the filling into the pie crust (just enought to cover the bottom). Take some of the strawberries you cut up for the topping and scatter them on top of the filling. Pour the rest of the filling on top and place in freezer for 1-2 hours until firm. Decorate with the rest of your cut up strawberries. This pie needs to stay refrigerated to keep its firmness so make sure you keep in cold up until serving! I actually keep ours in the freezer until it’s ready to serve.
You can use any fruit for the topping! Berries are the best though :)