Paleo-friendly, dairy-free and gluten-free these Grain-free Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are a total breeze to whip up and you won’t believe how few ingredients they have.
These cookies may look familiar to you, they are the star of my popular Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches! But they are just way too solid on their own, that I felt they definitely deserved a dedicated post of their own here on TY.
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.
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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 »
Subtly spiced dairy-free coconut milk panna cotta topped with chunks of grain-free spiced carrot cake and a little whipped coconut cream, makes for the perfect Spring-inspired treat without the sugar, grains or nuts.
I kinda love that carrot cake has become synonymous with Easter, simply because of the Easter Bunny. Rabbits eat carrots, Easter invites a sweet bunny that leaves baskets and eggs and chocolate for us. Hmmm. It’s a stretch, but I’ll take it – cuz carrot cake rules.
While I have been experimenting with the ketgenic diet since the start of this year and have slowly transitioned toward a fat fueled lifestyle over the last year and a half, my interest and taste for sweets has admittedly all but disappeared. Beyond a solid, super duper dark chocolate, I honestly can’t really be bothered. Not so great as a food blogger, but I make it work.
We made a list, but there is no need for you to check it twice. 25+ Gluten-free and Grain-free Holiday Cookies, Treats, Sweets and Cocktails! Everything you could need for a tasty and indulgent, homemade, real-food-inspired holiday is right here! From cookies, sweets and treats, to hot cozy drinks and spiked boozy cocktails, you can rest easy with all the planning already done for you. More time for you to finish up that last minute shipping and perfectly wrap all those thoughtful gifts.
Sweets and Treats
Hemp Heart Peppermint Chocolate Fudge (pictured)
How-to Make Chocolate Bark (with customizable printable labels)
Drinks, Smoothies and Cocktails
Spice Infused Winter Sangria (pictured)
For those of you that follow me on social media, you likely see that I spend a fair amount of time at the Terranea Resort here in the LA area. (Full disclosure, I was selected as one of 5 influencers to be a 2016 Terranea Resort Social Media Ambassador, but my love for this place runs deep and far beyond that title.) I truly feel that Terranea is one of Southern California’s best kept secrets, yet it really shouldn’t be. Terranea sits on the coast in Rancho Palos Verdes, about 15 miles from our front door in Long Beach. The 102-acre private peninsula paradise, is like stepping into a whole new world – minutes from the bustle of Los Angeles. Surrounded by the tranquil waves of the Pacific, the coastal setting of Terranea embraces the California lifestyle and it’s Mediterranean heritage. Regardless if you are a guest at the resort the sprawling land is all open to the public, so you are free to walk the ocean-side trails, dine at the many restaurants, plan a spa day or just enjoy the views.
Don’t send a Thanksgiving lynching mob after me, but I generally don’t care too much about pies. I am already not a huge dessert person, but if I am going to have a little something sweet, I’d probably always opt for chocolate. Gimme this Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Tart and I’ve got everything I need. But, I am fully aware that pies are part of holiday spreads for a reason, pies go with Thanksgiving like peanut butter to jelly. I am currently also painfully aware of baking’s ability to heal and it’s important role in relieving stress, something I have personally been in great need of since the election. So here we are, with an epic pumpkin pie that will change the minds of even the greatest pie skeptics.
I have always loved the idea of a pumpkin pie, as I am a big fan of pumpkin-spiced everything, but generally I find many pumpkin pies to be just a tad lacking. First, it’s just your standard pie crust, nothing too special there, not a ton of flavor, then the pumpkin filling gets a little spicing and maybe you top it all with a little whipped cream. To me, it just always feels like it’s missing a little something. It lacks a little dessert flair. I also find that when you add adequate spices and a sweetener with some depth, beyond just standard refined white sugar, the color of a finished pumpkin pie just ends up pretty drab. Beigy brown toasted edge crust, a orangey-brown filling. I dunno, I feel like we can do better than this you guys!
This Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Butter is the perfect way to celebrate the season’s most abundant fruit, but this isn’t your mamma’s apple butter. With a rich, honey sweetened caramel mixed right in, you’ll find notes of rich, caramely goodness paired with the traditional spicy and tart apple butter.
We are home and still getting settled after our whirlwind trip to Europe. It was absolutely glorious, incredible, magical and so inspiring. I came home with a heart full of memories, sore feet from so very many miles of exploring and a head full of ideas for recipes inspired by all of our delicious meals. While the jet lag has been a bit brutal (8 hours time difference is no joke), what has been an even greater challenge is getting back into it all. Not the work, my usual healthy eating or my daily fitness routine, I jumped right back into all of those – they are so important to my mental well-being and were sorely missed in those 10 days away. Rather, I again found myself plagued by something interesting upon my return, something that seems to happen nearly every time I step away for an extended period of time. The much needed break from the internet, the constant connection and the need to check in across the various platforms throughout the day, it all obviously disappears when I am off adventuring. It helps that with international travel we were limited in our data usage, and of course the time difference plays a role, as well, but being busy and present, this perfect combination renders the vast, never-ending virtual world essentially non-existent to me and I love it. I often look forward to that aspect of vacation as much as I do the travel itself.
Clearly, as evidence by my recent posts, we are coming up on the season of sweets and treats. With all the upcoming holidays, I think less is more when it comes to this encore course. I find most desserts to be far too heavy, too sweet and generally just too indulgent for my tastes. As with most everything in life, I truly believe that a little goes a long way.
With Halloween approaching and the rest of the holidays not far behind, sweets and treats are going to be just about everywhere, tempting us at every turn. While I don’t see anything wrong with the occasional indulgence, I still also maintain my concerns about the quality of ingredients in most treats. From loads of refined sugar to, often times if store-bought, a lengthy list of fillers, thickeners, “natural flavors”, soy products and who knows what else. There’s just no reason for it, especially when you can make your own.
Today I am celebrating another trip around the sun! 37 glorious trips around, to be exact. Birthdays, for me, are always a really wonderful reminder of my ongoing health journey. It was on this day 7 years ago, after my surprise 30th birthday party, that I made the choice for quite possibly the very first time, to put ME and my health first. (You can read a little bit more about that in this post from 2013) While this choice initially stemmed mostly from an ego-driven place, being unhappy with my appearance, I also made the choice at 30 to no longer be OK with feeling OK! I deserved so much more than that. Every year, as this day marks another year gone and as my healing journey continues, so does my commitment to myself and my self care. This day provides an incredible opportunity to check in with how I am feeling, to compare to years past and to be reminded that my hard work is not for nothing. And while this body may be aging, it is always apparent to me that it is more than possible to continue feeling better and better with each passing year, as I continue to prioritize my vitality and my wellness.
If you ask me, birthdays are just as much a cause for major celebration as any other major holiday and what better way to celebrate than with a grain-free sweet treat! But, not just any sweet, this year I’m celebrating with Grain-Free Churro Cupcakes! These beautiful, spicy and sweet cupcakes are adapted from the Vanilla Cake recipe from Danielle Walker’s brand new cookbook: Celebrations! A Year of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes for Every Occasion.
I broke the seal on this summer’s ice cream maker usage with this incredible Peach Raspberry Sorbet, earlier this month and now I can’t stop. When I get a craving for something, you best watch yourself. Get out of my way and let me do my thing. My current adoration of my ice cream maker plus a craving for a childhood favorite meant it was time to create!
I had the realization that I have sadly been without cookie dough ice cream for longer than should be allowed. The store-bought ones, even when gluten-free or dairy-free, are still loaded with so much junk, tons of refined sugar, creepy lab experiment thickeners and I just can’t.
Going out for ice cream in the neighborhood, this is about as summertime as it gets. On the same hand, fresh local, supremely ripe, sweet as candy fruit, this is also key to celebrate all that summer has to offer! This Peach and Raspberry Sorbet is precisely what summer time is all about. A fresh, Read the rest of this entry »
With Memorial Day behind us, Summer has un-officially kicked off and I couldn’t be more ready! We’ve already managed to get in a picnic and a BBQ to celebrate. Also important to the commemorating of this lovely season. Ice cream! Am I right?
With all the adjustments I have made to my diet and how great I feel these days, while I very much subscribe to the notion of balance and the occasional treat being part of maintaining a healthy and accessible lifestyle, I also always apt to first reach for healthier whole food options, when possible. This recipe celebrates fresh, in-seaon nutrient-dense whole foods – bringing the treat vibes of what usually would be loaded with dairy, refined sugar and gosh, who knows what else. Read the rest of this entry »
Last month marked 6 years of Tasty Yummies. WOW! How that happened, I actually have no idea. I still remember the day I decided that I wanted to share my recipes with the world and it truthfully doesn’t feel that long ago. It’s been an interesting handful of years with varying challenges, lots of healing, yet so very much to celebrate. Mostly, this website and my own personal journey to health, these both always felt like the first steps to finding my true purpose. With years of my health bringing various challenges and curve-balls, I have realized that this was all part of my path to being able to help others in a much deeper way than just recipes. This was part of my journey for reasons that now finally make sense to me.
For the first many years I started this website, really until late 2014, I had looked at the long journey towards health I had already been on and how I was feeling in that present moment and somehow I let myself get accustomed to “good enough”. While I can look back now and see how terrible I was still actually feeling, I was letting myself compare it to my past (and to other’s) and it all just seemed fine enough. I looked at others battling with chronic illness and other serious afflictions and I somehow felt that I had no place complaining, that I had no right thinking my afflictions were “something”. After all I hadn’t been to the hospital, I could get out of bed every morning. I didn’t have cancer or lyme disease. I would read other blogs, I saw drastic and scary before and after photos, even comments here from my readers, going through just terrible, awful things – it all made me feel like I had no right thinking I wasn’t well. I felt like I was being nit-picky, complaining about having no energy and having chronic digestive issues. So, instead I would chronically repeat to myself “it could always be worse”. While this positivity served it’s purpose for me in some ways, in many ways it was a very dangerous addiction to “positivity” that was actually hindering my healing.
I know many of you don’t read my words, you look at the pictures, you scroll down to the recipe and maybe you make it. Or maybe you don’t. I get it. No offense taken. Good news for those of you in the no-words-please club, you’ll be excited for this post and maybe those in the coming few weeks. I have finals coming up and studying is of the highest priority but I can’t not create and share recipes, it’s my life blood, it’s my energy source, it literally fuels me. We’re also leaving town tomorrow, headed to Palm Springs for our wedding anniversary. I plan to sit by the pool, read my text books, study my flashcards and maybe sneak in some napping and cocktails while I am at it, too. All that said, writing words right now feels harder than any community projects, any tests and quizzes, essays or book reviews – somehow it’s weighing on me heavier than anything else.
Green has always been one of my very favorite colors. I have always been intuitively drawn to it, as long as I can remember. After I grew out of the typical pale pink phase that most little girls go through, I wanted everything to be green in my childhood bedroom. I am drawn to green food and I find comfort in lush green environments. From an energetic standpoint the color green represents the heart chakra, Anahata. Our center of love and compassion.
I think when we hear the word love, often we think of our relationships, our spouses and partners, our family and our closest friends. We are all taken by this feeling of being drawn together and connected in unity. But, lately I have very much reminded how just as important that same love and compassion is, when it comes to ourselves.
It is so very easy to get caught up in life, to forget our own needs and to be so available to those that we love that we can forget to care for ourselves. After struggling with this at the end of last year and as I continue to explore the idea of helping others on a deeper level, I am constantly reminded how vital self care, self love and self compassion are to me being able to bring my best self to others. I struggle with my ego trying to convince me to believe this self care is selfish, the balance is delicate and often that line is greyed, for some people.
This need for self-love has been most apparent to me as I have tackled my own healing journey this past year and I would say the same could be said for anyone going through any of their own healing. Whether it be physical, emotional or spiritual. To heal is to make whole. If our heart center is the catalyst to unification, then it too becomes the center of healing. Indeed, love stands to be the ultimate healing force.
Sometimes, my Type-A, control-freak brain comes in very handy, I can be so organized when it comes to certain things and I can also be so obsessed with being in control and ahead. I am competitive with myself and I am always striving to do better than the last time. But, there is still that little hippie type-B inside of me, that likes to be relaxed and fly by the seat of my pants, go with the wind and whatever my mood and the energy of the day dictates. This post is a culmination of all of this. Let me explain why.
I was lying in bed Monday night thinking about all those silly “National Food Holidays”, that have become such a thing over the past few years. If you are on any social media platform, I know you know about it. There is National Donut Day, National Red Wine Day, Chocolate Cake Day, Pizza Day, last week there was National Margarita day and National Toast Day… the list goes on and on and on. I have no clue where these come from, nor who created them. Mostly I think it’s fun. I like the excuse to be reminded of something in the TY recipe archives that you guys might like to know about it, after all I have nearly 6 years of recipes just hanging out here.
As I thought about this trend, I decided to see what food holidays were coming up this month and I saw that today, March 2nd, was National Banana Cream Pie Day. Fun. But wait, I don’t have a banana cream pie recipe to share, that I love. I sat up in bed and started thinking about so many fun recipe ideas and then realized I had everything on hand to whip up some adorable little mini Banana Cream Pie Bites! As I drifted off to dreamland, I dreamt of soft, luscious, banana cream pies that I could actually eat.
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!
Every once in a while your friends really surprise you. During the holidays we had the pleasure of having our friends Sean and Ruth, visiting from the U.K., while traveling California celebrating their honeymoon. I learned while they were staying with us that they had never had S’mores before. How is that possible? I guess with our freedom comes amazing treats like s’mores.
So, I did what any good American foodie friend would do, I promptly went to Whole Foods, got some organic graham crackers for all them, the best dark chocolate I could buy and the best marshmallows I could get my hands on. I started a fire in the fireplace and I treated them. Their minds were blown! Since I skipped out on buying store bought processed gluten-free graham crackers for me, I have since been craving some sort of homemade S’mores concoction, to get my fix.
S’mores to me conjure up emotions of childhood, fun and summertime. They bring back family and spending time around the campfire on our big group camping trips. The marshmallows of our childhood, they are scary things. Loaded with corn syrup and chemicals, we always packed the milk chocolate hershey bars, today my foodie snobbery has gotten so intense that as a self-professed chocoholic, if that was the only chocolate in a 50 mile radius, I would pass. What’s a girl to do, but remedy that situation with the best version of a S’mores you ever did see.
The idea for this tart came to me and I instantly thought it would be such a perfect Valentine’s Day Sweet, but to be fair, I just couldn’t wait that long. So here we are. A slightly sweetened spiced graham-inspired grain-free crust, a luscious, rich, super duper dark chocolate layer (I’m talking 85% dark, people) and a lightly toasted, fluffy marshmallow topping! It’s perfection.
By now we’ve all seen and likely enjoyed that that tasty chocolate mousse or pudding, that is actually just avocado, cocoa and a little sweetener. (You can find my recipe for it, terrible photo and all, way back in the TY archives.) That very idea also sparked the creation of these delicious Creamy Chocolate Fudgesicles.
This past week, as I continued to collect the many avocados still available in abundance from the tree in our yard, I was dreaming up creative uses for all the avocados we have. I can never get enough guacamole and my homemade avocado salad dressing is always a favorite, but I was also craving something sweet. I am not sure how or why, but I was instantly inspired to create a creamy, luscious chocolate shake.
I have never been a fan of milkshakes!! Gasp… I know right? There is just something about that much dairy getting sucked through a straw, laced with a year’s worth of sugar that ALWAYS spell disaster for my gut, as it should.
Velvety smooth, rich and sinfully delicious, this Chocolate Shake get it’s creaminess from avocado, rather than ice cream and it’s sweetened only by a few dates and a little melted dark chocolate. It brings you some healthy fats from both the avocado and the coconut milk and a load of antioxidants from the raw cacao. Also, shhhh, there’s no dairy in there, so it’s great for all, paleo, vegans, it’s even safe for our nut-free pals. Basically in all it’s delicious glory, it’s like a nutrient-dense chocolate shake, that you can indulge in, guilt-free! I promise, it will be love at first sip.