In honor of #popsicleweek, I am bringing a traditional cake recipe new life with these tasty Red Velvet Pudding Pops. Of course, there’s a twist. I boosted this sweet treat with nutrient-dense whole foods, so you can have your cake and nutrients and eat it, too!
It wasn’t too long ago that I snuck a little cauliflower into some popsicles here on Tasty Yummies. I’m hoping if you tried that recipe, you still trust me and know that despite these strange ingredient combos, I will never lead you astray. It was a fun surprise to find that the cauliflower brought another level to the treat, with creaminess and also of course, nutrients. While I don’t feel that every dessert should have a veggie snuck into it, I do love the unexpected nutritional boost that this provides. And why not?
So, I am back at it again today with these Red Velvet Pudding Pops. As traditional Red Velvet Cake is simply a subtle amount of cocoa with red food coloring, it’s actually a cake flavor that has forever eluded me. I never really understood it. It’s not chocolate and the red color has nothing to do with flavor. But not too long ago I tried a gluten-free Red Velvet cupcake and I am not gonna lie. I was into it. But, ya know, it was loaded with sugar and grains. Additionally, red food dye used in baking is almost always derived from Red #40 (Allura Red) an artificial food dye. According to a CSPI report, some of the most commonly used food dyes may be linked to numerous forms of cancer, along with hyperactivity and other behavioral problems in children.1http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/02/24/are-you-or-your-family-eating-toxic-food-dyes.aspx The European Union has recently placed regulations on labeling food dyes to inform consumers of the health risks, but the United States has no such requirement.
References [ + ]
1. ↑ http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/02/24/are-you-or-your-family-eating-toxic-food-dyes.aspx
I am an official ambassador for Dole Fresh Fruit and Fresh Vegetables. Dole provided me with compensation for my time. As always, all opinions expressed in this post are mine.
These Chocolate Covered Strawberry Fudgesicles are a fun and tasty way to encourage the kiddos to get more fruits and veggies. I would like to just go ahead and get this right out of the way – I added a veggie to your dessert and I am not sorry. I am going to just need for you to trust me on this one, until you make them yourself. I have never steered you wrong, have I?
Let’s also discuss the idea of “sneaking” veggies in on kids. Listen, while I am an auntie to many, no, I don’t have my own kids, so I won’t pretend to understand the daily struggle of getting them to eat what you want them to. But I have borne witness to many of these altercations as a sidelined viewer. I do know that vegetables, especially, can be a contentious topic with the littles, that doesn’t always have an amicable resolution. But, while I don’t have my own children, I do work as a nutritional therapist with many adults. I see many, many iterations of various challenging habits and food aversions, lifelong unhealthy patterns, that often stem from childhood and not being led by example, not being taught, empowered and encouraged when it comes to making lasting, healthful choices. Read the rest of this entry »
Well, I might just have to quit after this. This Boosted Chocolate Tahini Fudge features two of my favorite things together in a marriage so perfect I am not sure any treat can ever compare. At least for this girl. As if it couldn’t get better, this treat features the bonus healing powers of one of my favorite daily supplements.
This fudge is dreamy. It’s rich and decadent, it’s unique and “mmmmm”-inducing. Here’s the thing though, if you don’t like tahini, it may not be for you (though you could likely swap in some almond butter or sunflower seed butter). But if you are a lover of all things tahini, you’re in luck. MAJOR luck. The tahini flavor shines bright and in it’s prominence it’s complimented so perfectly by the decadent, rich super dark chocolate. Don’t skimp here, quality is of key. Better yet, use homemade dark chocolate if you’ve got some. You guys already know how I feel about dark chocolate, a square or two a day of this magical superfood and that’s about all this lady needs to be satisfied. It doesn’t take much. Curious on why dark chocolate is a great option for a daily treat? Read more about the many benefits of dark chocolate.
But here’s the best part, this is so much more than your usual treat, in true Tasty Yummies style, I boosted this fudge to bring an added layer of healing benefits. Vital Proteins’ Vanilla and Coconut Water Collagen Peptides is one of the latest and greatest from my pals over at Vital Proteins. You guys have already heard me sing the praises of collagen peptides as part of a healing diet and lifestyle. But since I have started incorporating Vital Proteins in my life, daily, they have continued to expand their product and introduce more and more incredible collagen based products. The new Vanilla and Coconut Water Collagen Peptides is no exception, this has been a wonderful addition to smoothies, as well as baked goods and now this amazing boosted fudge.
This homemade dark chocolate is simple to make and very easy to customize and make it exactly the way you want it, from sweeteners to flavorful add-ins. With constant research showing the many health benefits of dark chocolate, this is one indulgence I plan to never give up. A food that is not only good for your soul, but your mind and body as well?! Yes please. In fact new research has even reported that certain bacteria in the stomach gobble the chocolate and ferment it into anti-inflammatory compounds that are good for the heart 1https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318154725.htm.
Sadly, not all dark chocolate is created equally. So many of the bars at the store contain soy lecithin, a ridiculous amount of refined sugar, vegetable oils, “natural flavors”, corn syrup and other unnecessary ingredients. Conventional chocolate bars filled with lots of additives will not have the same benefits as clean dark chocolate and are likely to do more harm than good! The closer your cocoa is to its natural raw unrefined state, the higher its nutritional value.
References [ + ]
1. ↑ https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318154725.htm
I have to be totally honest with you, after I passed the age of giving out Valentines at school (which I always adored), I have always found the fact that Valentine’s Day has become a day generally so focused on giving gifts, to just be a tad bit silly. I grew up with my mom saying to us kids every single year without fail, something along the lines of: “I don’t need one special day or any fancy gifts to show my love to you or your dad, I love you each and every single day of the year”. I have to say, I couldn’t agree more with my mother. I have always felt like the holiday was less about love and more about the greeting card industry, the jewelry stores and florists make out like bandits, and besides Easter, I have to imagine this is the biggest day of the year for chocolatiers. I also have to be real here for a sec, I kinda resent that this day has been somewhat stolen by those in monogamist romantic relationships! If it’s a day about love, then shouldn’t we celebrate ALL love? That of the romantic variety but also plutonic friends, parental, puppy-love (like I’m talking your actual pooch), your favorite co-worker, anyone and everyone that you have love for?
Don’t get it twisted, I don’t at all frown upon a day focused on love, how could I? What kind of V-day scrooge that would make me? It’s far from this. Nothing in this world makes me happier than love and I can only wish and hope that every day, every person has the pleasure of experiencing some love on some level, even if just that sweet look of adoration from their pooch on their morning walk. Love should be celebrated each and every day, so a day that puts it at the forefront, this certainly brings a smile to my face. But I say, collectively, we take that energy so many focus into this one single day and we extend it out throughout the year. Do sweet things for one other, share sweet thoughts with the people you love most, tell them you love them, surprise someone with homemade chocolates – these acts of love are are even better on a random Tuesday, not just on February 14th, one time a year.
When it comes to Valentine’s Day, if you want to give gifts, I am, just as any other holiday, very much in favor of those of the homemade variety. I also love the idea of thoughtful actions in lieu of presents and sweet unexpected somethings like breakfast in bed or a homemade meal, traditions, special outings, picnics etc. The gifts that come from the heart, they will, like cupid’s arrow, cut through with such vigor!
It’s here, it’s here! Cherry season is upon us. One of the tastiest times of the year, if you ask me. Naturally, to know me is to know that one of my favorite ways to pair them is with chocolate. Because chocolate seems to be my answer to all of life’s questions, even the ones not being asked.
I love chocolate so much that I have been known to keep a bar of 85 – 90% dark chocolate in the freezer or fridge at all times. A small square of that goodness after a delicious dinner, that’s really all I need in life. Except maybe these tartlets, these are pretty amazing, too! By the way, that 30+ days I did on the Autoimmune Protocol, skipping chocolate completely throughout the entire process was harder than anything else. I did it, but I wasn’t happy about it.
These pretty, naturally grain-free and vegan chocolate cherry mini tarts, have a delicious nut-based crust, filled with a rich and smooth, cherry-flecked ganache and topped with homemade coconut whipped cream.
Does anyone else find that they crave chocolate more than ever in February? With all the Valentine’s Day recipes in blogs and magazines and all the treats in stores, I feel like I see the stuff everywhere! Of course, a good quality chocolate treat isn’t bad for you, in moderation, but why not a chocolate treat that actually has tons of additional, wonderful health benefits, even?
Today as part of my ongoing Restricted Diet series with Free People, I am sharing a super simple to make, raw Chocolate Chia Seed Superfood Pudding that will knock your socks off. The best part about this pudding, besides it being chocolate, is that you can really make it you own. Select your favorite toppings, add some cinnamon or cayenne for a little heat, whip up some coconut cream for topping, the possibilities are endless.
A few months back, I was lucky enough to have a very sweet and lovely Tasty Yummies reader, Rina, offer to send me some of the beautiful macadamia nuts she and her family grow here in California. Their company is called CaliMac Nut Company. I obviously said ‘yes!’ Macadamia nuts are something I don’t often splurge on at the store.
First, I used some to make the crust on my 4th of July Vegan “Cheesecake” and then I struggled to decide what to do with what remained. I didn’t want to waste them and just use in any ‘ol boring recipe. I wanted them to shine! I originally wanted to make a fun homemade macadamia nut version of “Nutella” with them, but to be honest I worried if it didn’t come out properly, I would be wasting so many beautiful nuts. I wanted to savor each and every one of those beauties. But I loved the idea of combing the cocoa flavor with the slightly sweetened toasted nuts. I decided on a snack that we could take on our pending road trip to San Francisco let month and enjoy easily while in the car and at our booth for the weekend. Enjoying each and every one and celebrating the lovely place and family that they came from with every bite, I love food with a story and I am always so grateful when I can know exactly where it came from and the love that went into growing it.
These beautiful cocoa dusted nuts are full of so much flavor! They have a wonderful roasty crunch, a subtle sweetness from the maple and the cocoa gives a nice punch of rich, earthy flavor. I like that they aren’t overly sweet, so the flavor of the nuts aren’t overpowered and I really enjoy that you get the flavor of the sea salt, which I personally find compliments chocolate more than almost anything. Macadamia nuts are higher in fat than many other nuts, which is why I think this recipe is a wonderful way to enjoy them. A few of these nuts are all you really need, they are rich and satisfying. Close the package up and come back to them again later. No need to consume them all at once. I do feel it is important to note, concerning the fat in macadamia nuts, between 78 to 86 percent of the fat is monounsaturated (the good for you, heart-healthy kind of fat). Monounsaturated fat helps lower cholesterol and decreases your risk of heart disease and stroke. In addition, macadamia nuts are one of the only food sources that contain palmitoleic acid (a type of monounsaturated fatty acid that may speed up fat metabolism, thus reducing the body’s ability to store fat). (SOURCE)
Feel free to use raw cacao (which is what I did) instead of traditional cocoa. The health benefits on raw cacao are incredible and so worth it. Did you know that raw cacao has more antioxidant flavonoids than any food tested so far, including blueberries, red wine, and black and green teas. In fact, it has up to four times the quantity of antioxidants found in green tea. Additionally as we all know, cocoa in any form is great for your cardiovascular health.
You can play with the recipe a bit and add some cayenne pepper and/or cinnamon for a fun and spicy “Mexican Hot Cocoa” twist on the recipe. And, if you can’t get macadamia nuts or you would like to use a different nut, this recipe would also be great with almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts or cashews. These would make a wonderful gift wrapped up in a cute handmade package or in a vintage canning jar. Oh gosh, is it bad that I am already thinking about edible holiday gifts?
Thanks again Rina for sharing your delicious macadamia nuts with me. I will certainly be ordering some when the season starts back up again! I cannot wait.
NOTE – as a dog lover who is ALWAYS obsessed with the things that are unsafe for my baby girl, it is very important for me to note that macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs, inducing a temporary yet severe weakness and other possible and very serious side effects. Keep those tasty babies high up and out of Fido’s way, please!!
[print_this]Cocoa Dusted Macadamia Nuts – Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free
- 2 cups raw organic macadamia nuts
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey (if possible, choose organic and/or grade B, for both)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine macadamia nuts, maple syrup and sea salt. Use a rubber spatula to mix together, fully coating the macadamia nuts. Spread the nuts in a single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, stirring at least twice during baking to prevent the nuts from burning.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Immediately return macadamia nuts to the bowl, add cocoa powder and toss to coat, making sure the nuts are all evenly coated with the cocoa powder.
Fully cool and store in an air tight container. [/print_this]