Tag Archives: refined sugar free

  1. Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches {+ Video} – Paleo-friendly

    With summer upon us frozen treats are a must, but no need to wreck your body in the process. These Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches feature my popular almond butter chocolate chip cookies and a banana soft serve filling. Made without dairy or grains and they are low in sugar. 

    Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches

    Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches

    [This is an updated post from 2013.]

    It’s truly been years since I have had an old school ice cream sandwich, ya know the ones, soft chocolate cookies, vanilla ice cream filling. While working an event a few years back, I came across a food truck that specialized in just ice cream sandwiches and they actually had a gluten-free and dairy-free option for someone like me. YAY! It was delicious and messy but probably loaded with sugar and lots of other stuff I prefer not to eat. It immediately got the gears turning in my head. I wanted to make a more healthful ice cream sandwich myself and I of course just needed to find the time to actually play with some recipe ideas.

    I know we have all seen the one or two ingredient banana ice cream that has been making it’s rounds all over the internet for the last few years. If you haven’t tried it yet, you must. Stop what you are doing right now, put those bananas in the freezer and make some yummy dairy-free ice cream alternative. It is simple to make and sooo surprisingly creamy and delicious. I realized it would make the perfect ice cream sandwich filling since it is creamy, simple to make and literally has nothing more than bananas in it. A great compliment to some grain-free, dairy-free cookies!

    Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches
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  2. Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Butter

    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.

    Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Butter

    Slow Cooker Caramel 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.

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  3. Honey Sweetened Orange Marmalade

    Honey Sweetened Orange Marmalade

    Honey Sweetened Orange Marmalade

    We are closing in on three years of living in Southern California and I can tell you with so much confidence that the novelty hasn’t worn off, I don’t take a single day here for granted and I feel like I am exactly where I was always destined to be. This place is truly magical. While hailing from Buffalo, I had a little bit of snow-day envy as the blizzard made it’s way across the east coast this weekend, walking outside in a t-shirt to your very own orange tree – that is certainly not lost on me. Not one bit.

    Honey Sweetened Orange Marmalade

    We got so very lucky that the house we ended up in, here in Long Beach, has a beautiful yard, complete with an abundant orange tree, grape vines, the biggest fig tree you ever did see, an avocado tree and so many other amazing fruit trees. I have been learning to get creative with everything we have been so graciously gifted from this land, but despite the constant creations I still have so many oranges that need to get eaten. So, this marmalade was created and even more excitingly this week I purchased a canning kit, to *finally* learn to preserve. It gets here in just a few days and I plan to make lots more of this marmalade to enjoy throughout the year.  In the fall I certainly plan to preserve my Fig Honey Jam and some grape jam, too.

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  4. Honey-Sweetened Strawberry Fruit Leather

    Honey-Sweetened Strawberry Fruit Leather

    As summer winds down, I am clinging to every last bit of the season that I can. I refuse to acknowledge it’s almost over. Keeping with the theme of healthy summer road trip snacks this Honey-Sweetened Strawberry Fruit Leather is the perfect way to take the sweet tastes of summer with you, wherever you go.

    This fruit leather recipe calls for strawberries but you can use this as a guide to create fruit leather with whatever fruit you have an abundance of. Peaches, apricots, apples and so on. You can even create a blend of your favorite fruits.

    Honey-Sweetened Strawberry Fruit Leather

    Fruit leather gets a wrap for being a kids-only snack, but I can tell you, adults truly love the stuff, too. This could partially be the fact that it will instantly transport you to being a kid. It’s also great for travel and being on-the-go, just roll it up with a little parchment paper and pack it into your bag and you are ready to go. Sweet, summer berry goodness, wherever you are. Try out different berries or other seasonal fruit for additional variations. For a smoother leather, you can strain the seeds or any pulp before dehydrating, if you’d like. You can cook the fruit first if you’d like to intensify the flavor a bit.

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  5. Caramelized Fig Ice Cream

    Caramelized Fig Ice Cream

    You will constantly hear me speak of the incredible community that food blogging has introduced me to. It’s one of the most rewarding byproducts of this strange life path I have chosen. A little family of foodie friends, all connected by the common thread of our love of creating delicious, nourishing food and sharing it with the world.

    Oftentimes, our fellow friends will need support, for varying reasons that might pull them away from creating content for their platforms. I myself have at times brought other bloggers in to share content her on Tasty Yummies, you might remember a whole month of posts from these talented folks while I was away with my yoga teacher training.

    Caramelized Fig Ice Cream

    While my friend Sylvie, of Gourmande in the Kitchen, was off cooking up her greatest masterpiece yet, a beautiful baby girl, she asked if I would create a recipe for her site in the time just after she returned home, so she could enjoy all the new moments with her wee one. Of course, I gladly agreed, what an honor to be able to be of support in such a magical time. If you aren’t already familiar with Gourmande in the Kitchen, you should be. Sylvie, like me, subscribes to the belief that real food heals. All of the recipes on her website are free from gluten, refined sugar, and processed ingredients with many paleo, vegan, raw and allergy-friendly options as well. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Sylvie is an incredible photographer, every perfectly shot image drawing you deeper into her site.

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  6. Creamy Tahini Raspberry Rosewater Popsicles

    Creamy Tahini Raspberry Rosewater Popsicles

    We food bloggers can get pretty serious about our food. Clearly. So much so that at times this adoration might get down right borderline stalker-level, crazy. What the heck am I talking about, are you wondering? Oh no big deal, just this little thing called POPSICLE WEEK!! That’s right, for the third year in a row, our friend Billy of Wit & Vinegar has declared a whole week dedicated to this summer-inspired frosty goodness on a stick.

    Creamy Tahini Raspberry Rosewater Popsicles

    Creamy Tahini Raspberry Rosewater Popsicles

    Considering I have no shortage of love for this frozen treat, as evident of the many popsicle recipes I have posted over the years, I finally decided this year to join the 50+ other food bloggers and get in on all the frosty fun. I decided to pull out all stops and get a little crazy with my popsicles and mix things up a bit.

    These Creamy Tahini Raspberry Rosewater Popsicles may sound a little strange to some of you, a bit of an odd flavor pairing for some of you, but you have to trust me. The creamy rich and sweet coconut milk pairs so beautiful with the strong, nutty flavor of the tahini and the rosewater in that layer is the perfect pairing, floral, sweet and delicate. The beautifullly vibrant bottom layer with the tart raspberries brings it all together so nicely and it offers the palate a little something bright and light, to offset the creamy, richness.

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  7. Orange Cranberry Coconut Smoothie

    Orange Cranberry Coconut Smoothie

    This time of year while most folks are looking for holiday cookies and sweets, I find myself seeking out comforting, healthy foods that I feel good about eating. Don’t get me wrong, I do indulge a little here and there, but generally speaking I find myself craving fresh fruits and vegetables and foods that will give me the energy I desperately need this time of year.

    Orange Cranberry Coconut Smoothie

    I had an abundance of fresh cranberries on hand from our Thanksgiving feast, so I thought a seasonally-inspired smoothie was the perfect way to use some of them. We have beautiful, juicy fresh oranges ready to be picked from our tree and I always have bananas and Medjool dates in the freezer ready for smoothie-making, so this sweet and tart, creamy, vegan, spiced Orange Cranberry Coconut Smoothie was born. Read the rest of this entry »

  8. Maple Glazed Pumpkin Spice Coconut Flour Donuts

    Pumpkin Spice Coconut Flour Donuts

    OK guys, so I didn’t want to make this the world’s longest post title, but check it out: these donuts are not only gluten-free, but they are also totally grain-free and even nut-free! Bonus round – they are also dairy-free and refined sugar-free. Best part is, even in being the most “free-friendly” donut recipe I have made yet, I finally impressed my donut-obsessed hubby with a homemade gluten-free donut!! This has been a many year long odyssey, so I feel like I should get a medal or an award or something.

    Pumpkin Spice Coconut Flour Donuts

    To be fair, this is the first time I have ever actually fried donuts at home, so I am certain that has a lot to do with Mark’s adoration. None the less, these puppies are healthier than the white flour containing crap he has an affinity for, so a win is a win!

    Whenever I make my usual baked donuts at home, Mark and I argue over the fact that they just aren’t real donuts. He always claims they are basically just a circular muffin when they are baked and not fried in any way. I now kinda have to agree with him there!

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  9. Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars (made from almond milk pulp)

    Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars - Made from Almond Milk Pulp

    Every week I make at least one quart of homemade almond milk, if not more than that. For a while now I have been taking the leftover almond milk pulp and immediately placing it in the dehydrator and drying it out, then I give it a few quick pulses in the food processor before add it to a jar in the fridge.

    I usually just add it to granolas or cereals, sometimes muffins or other baked goods, but mostly I have just been collecting a ton of this almond pulp flour, waiting to come up with the perfect use for it.

    These raw chocolate chip cookie dough bars are the answer!! I have been making something kinda similar for a while now, with blanched almond flour and I would usually make a single serving in a bowl.  A simple way to handle those sweet cravings at the end of the day. That is, until I came across this recipe on Pinterest, which gave me the idea to make it into bars. Which is also when I thought this would be the perfect use for all of the dehydrated almond pulp.

    Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars - Made from Almond Milk Pulp

    These cookie dough bars are grain-free, egg-free, easily made vegan, they are safe-to-eat raw, and they taste just like the real deal, usually made with eggs and butter. Now, I generally prefer to eat dairy-free, but since I am lucky to not have a dairy intolerance or allergy, I can be  a bit lax on this. Good grass-fed organic butter is one of those things I keep on hand for special uses. If I am having a fried egg, I want it cooked in a teaspoon of butter, grilled corn just isn’t the same without a little melted butter and so on. But generally I prefer to bake dairy-free most of the time. That said, I have found that these bars are amazing and taste most like the real thing when they are made with some good quality grass-fed butter (local if you can find it) and for me, it is a fine time to indulge a little. I can tell you though that they are also insanely delicious with softened coconut oil, which I have made several times and really enjoy, as well. If you are vegan, you can also easily substitute your favorite vegan butter.

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  10. Grain-free Mixed Berry Crisp (Vegan)

    Grain-free Mixed Berry Crisp (Vegan)
    Going to the farmers market each week and being inspired by what is in season at that moment, is something I will never tire of. Walking the aisles, smelling the sweet aroma of what is most available – there really is no experience like it.

    Grain-free Mixed Berry Crisp (Vegan)

    I have been dreaming of a delicious Spring inspired berry crisp for sometime now and I finally made it happen over the weekend. I have been making various fruit crisps for years, using all-purpose gluten-free flour and rolled oats, but I wanted to get creative and come up with a way to make the crumbly crisp topping topping be totally grain-free, in addition to dairy-free.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  11. Grain-free Cardamom Vanilla Bean Cupcakes – Gluten-free and Dairy-free

    Grain-free Cardamom Vanilla Bean Cupcakes - Gluten-free and Dairy-free

    I feel like I am constantly reiterating how aloof I am about most sweets, but here I am again. I honestly just don’t have much of a sweet tooth, never have. Yet, as of late, I feel like I am constantly creating and sharing sweets and baked good recipes. I was thinking about why that might be – as someone who is much more into savory cooking. I started to realize that it was a subconscious decision I was making because of how much happiness sweets bring people and how intimidating baking and desserts can be with a restricted diet.

    Grain-free Cardamom Vanilla Bean Cupcakes - Gluten-free and Dairy-free

    More specifically when I say “people” – besides all of my lovely readers, I really mean my husband, Mark. He is a self-professed sweets junkie. He loves any and all sweets and has been known to eat a slice of cake for breakfast, on occasion. So, whenever I can create a healthier sweet that not only works for my dietary restrictions, but also makes him very happy, it is a HUGE win, in my book. I have been on a roll lately, so I am just going with it. Read the rest of this entry »

  12. Mint Chocolate Chip Cashew Cream Cake {Gluten-free, Vegan and Refined Sugar-free}

    Mint Chocolate Chip Cashew Cream Cake {Gluten-free and Vegan}

    Before you jump ahead and read the ingredient list on this cake and get pissed at me for adding a vegetable to your dessert – please, please hear me out and give it a chance! This cake is life changing. It is creamy, thick, rich and so decadent.

    I know I tell you guys this all of the time, but the true litmus test to a successful gluten-free dessert or baked good that I create – is the reaction of my husband. As a man that literally can and will eat just about anything, the gluten-free treats that I get so excited for are oftentimes totally unappealing to him. He likes traditional sweets, the sweeter the better – that man most times would prefer a cookie from a tube, than a less than perfect homemade gluten-free cookie fresh from the oven. The same also goes for (and usually more-so) the vegan creations I develop. I can’t blame him though – he literally can eat anything, no food intolerances, no responses or  reactions. Just a stomach of steel!

    The thing is, when I can create something gluten-free, that isn’t made with refined sugars, that uses an alternative to cream and butter that he actually goes nuts for – nothing makes me happier and that’s how I know I’ve created something amazing. He really loved this one and he cannot stop talking about it, he actually ate a piece for breakfast today. That’s a WIN!!

    Mint Chocolate Chip Cashew Cream Cake {Gluten-free and Vegan}

    I’ve been obsessed with cashew cream cakes a while now, I love the versatility and how it appeals to all eaters, vegan or not. The No-Bake Vegan “Cheesecake” I made last summer is something I have made for many of our friends and every single one has always been impressed that the creaminess is all from soaked cashews.

    This cashew cream cake has the perfect amount of subtle mint flavor, both from the fresh mint and the mint extract and the chocolate of the crust and the chocolate chips on top compliment it so well. I love serving it with a little whipped coconut cream on top. Plus, rather than the beautiful green color coming from an artificial dye, it comes from some fresh baby spinach!  Whether you want to believe it or not, there isn’t a bit of flavor from the baby spinach – just a beautiful, fresh and natural green hue. Read the rest of this entry »

  13. Grain-Free Double Chocolate Brownies {Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo-Friendly}

    Grain-Free Double Chocolate Brownies – Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo-Friendly

    Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!! What better way to celebrate LOVE than with chocolate, am I right? I can’t get enough chocolate this month, in case you couldn’t tell. I have been seeing chocolate everything, everywhere and  I am not sure what made me think of it, but I realized the other day that I hadn’t made brownies in forever. And that made me sad! What is wrong with me?

    Grain-Free Double Chocolate Brownies – Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo-Friendly

    I mean really, brownies are happy-making, magical squares of my very favorite stuff!! Soft cocoa-y chocolate chewiness and little bits of dark chocolate in every bite. Ahhhh! It is torture just writing about it.

    Though hubby and I don’t generally celebrate Valentine’s Day, I’d like to think we celebrated  a little bit early with these beauties. It’s rare that I make a gluten-free or grain-free baked-good and my husband doesn’t tell me what about it makes it taste not quite like the “real thing”. I mean, I don’t blame him. He doesn’t have to eat gluten-free. He gets to enjoy all the “normal” bakeries and their delectable delights, whenever he wants. Jerk Generally he eats and loves whatever I make (with exceptions, of course), but I think given the opportunity he would still choose it’s gluten-containing inspiration. This time around, he couldn’t get enough of the gluten-free version. He was obsessed with these brownies and we were literally fighting over the last one. I let him have it, but I really should have told him to back-off and take a hike to the neighborhood bakery. At one point during the few days we were eating through these, he walked to the corner store to get a pint of vanilla ice cream, he heated one of these brownie squares up and served it à la mode. What can I say? He’s a sweets guy, the man sure knows how to eat his desserts.

    Grain-Free Double Chocolate Brownies – Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo-Friendly Read the rest of this entry »

  14. Grain-free Chinese Almond Cookies – Gluten-free, Paleo and Vegan

    I am so excited to introduce you guys to a super-sweet lady today, Erin, of Texanerin Baking! Erin shares amazing healthy baked goods!! Though not all of her recipes are gluten-free, this girl sure knows her way around a mixer and an oven, because whenever she starts experimenting with almond flour and other gluten-free flours, the results are just incredible! You’d think she’s been doing this her whole life. I hope you enjoy this amazing grain-free cookie recipe she created today in honor of the Chinese New Year.

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    Grain-free Chinese Almond Cookies - Gluten-free and Vegan

    Hi, everyone! I’m Erin and blog over at Texanerin Baking, which is all about healthier baked goods. I started off blogging about 100% whole grain recipes but then one day, I tried almond flour, just to see what it was like. Turns out that I love it and although I don’t have any dietary restrictions, I post quite a few grain-free recipes.

    With the Chinese New Year coming up on the 31st, I thought it’d be fun to share these healthier grain-free Chinese almond cookies with you! Are they authentic? Probably not. But who really cares when they’re perfectly soft, chewy and awesomely delicious? 🙂

    One of my favorite cookies growing up was my mother’s almond cookies. The recipe calls for all-purpose flour, Crisco and a load of white sugar. I’m sure I’d still enjoy them (although I don’t know if I could handle the Crisco), but then I’d eat 19 of them only to be depressed about it afterwards. That’s just how I roll with this kind of stuff. Read the rest of this entry »

  15. Gingerbread Cookie Cocktail – Gluten-free + Vegan

    Gingerbread Cookie Cocktail

    I was supposed to be in San Francisco for the weekend, our final show of the holiday. Sadly, the dog got sick  which meant I had to stay home, since we didn’t feel comfortable boarding her. Hubby had to go to the event without me, so that equated to some unplanned time off this weekend. I actually didn’t know what to do with myself, we have been going non-stop for the past month and a half or so. I seriously actually made a list Friday night of what I wanted to do to relax. That’s how tightly wound I was.

    Saturday morning I got up bright and early headed to a yoga class to start my unwinding and relaxing. I really cannot think of a more perfect way to kick off a weekend of no plans. By Saturday afternoon I found myself getting a relaxing pedicure with Meg and after that I curled up  on the couch with my furry baby, watching Christmas movies and I decide I should whip up a quick seasonal cocktail. Gingerbread felt appropriate given that we are just a couple days away from my favorite day of the year.

    This cocktail is spicy and has a strong molasses flavor, it tastes just like a traditional gingerbread cookie. If you want it sweeter add a bit more maple syrup or honey, or use a smidge less molasses. The fresh ginger is optional, but I personally love the little bits of it floating in the cocktail, such a great taste. Read the rest of this entry »

  16. Dairy-free Peppermint Mocha or Hot Cocoa (Gluten-free with Vegan Option)

    Dairy-free Peppermint Mocha (Gluten-free with Vegan Option) // tasty-yummies.com

    This time of year, I am all about the familiar comforting flavors of the holiday season. Gingerbread, cinnamon rolls, egg nog and of course, chocolate and peppermint, etc. The Starbucks Peppermint Mocha used to be one of my favs, but I just really don’t love all of those sugary syrups and other junk, plus since I prefer to avoid dairy, my only option there is soy milk, which I really don’t like drinking, either. That said, those flavors are the perfect way to get me in the holiday mood. We have been known to go out of our way to get peppermint mochas, just to sip on while we pick out our tree or check out the holiday lights. It’s holiday perfection in a cup!

    Though I am not a regular coffee drinker these days, I do enjoy a cup of joe – now and again. It’s a nice treat once in a while, but I love not being a slave to the caffeine like so many regular coffee drinkers. I only drink it when it sounds good, not because I have to. I find I enjoy coffee and coffee drinks so much more since I tend to indulge only about once a month or so.

    This holiday season, I was determined to recreate the classic Peppermint Mocha, so that I could enjoy it guilt-free. Dairy-free, refined sugar-free, made with high-quality ingredients! I am super happy with my homemade version, I like it better than any that could come in a cardboard cup with snowflakes on it. It’s thick and creamy, rich in chocolatey goodness and it has just the right amount of peppermint flavor. Read the rest of this entry »

  17. Grain-free Coconut Pumpkin Mini-Loaves with Cocoa Nibs – Gluten-free & Dairy-free

    Grain-free Coconut Pumpkin Mini-Loaves with Cocoa Nibs - Gluten-free and Dairy-free

    I could use this entire post to talk all about pumpkin and how adorable mini-foods are, but why? I know that you guys are aware how much both rock, already. I don’t have to tell you. I wanna talk about friends!!

    I am not sure exactly why it took me until my 30’s to really and truly understand and appreciate good girl friends. Likely my own insecurities were the culprit. The destroyer of many great things in my late teens/early twenties. I am not one of those girls with a collection of girlfriends that have been by my side since high school or college. I have changed a lot since those times. A lot. I actually feel like a completely different person from that one. Totally cliché to say, but I honestly feel that.

    When I look back at the most important friendships from those different points in my life, as much as I am able to look back with fondness at the fun and the memorable moments we shared, I also know why we slowly drifted apart. I am truly not mad about it, nor do I hold any resentment. The relationships served their important purpose for me, they are part of what shaped be to who I am, I learned what I was meant to learn and not a one of them ended on a bad note. Just a slow drift on down the road of life.

    People change and forcing them where they don’t fit, doesn’t accomplish anything for anyone. At least that’s always been my experience in my life. The easiest and best things in life don’t have to be forced. Easily, I can say my two best girlfriends in the whole world are my sister Vicky and my cousin Andrea. Both have been in my life forever, obviously, and they know me better than just about anyone. I could spend unlimited time with either one and it would feel like no time has passed at all. Both have seen me at my best and at my worst and love me regardless. I obviously feel the same for them. I never feel forced to be with them, hands down – the easiest friendships I have.

    Grain-free Coconut Pumpkin Mini-Loaves with Cocoa Nibs - Gluten-free and Dairy-free

    As most of you know, my life took a huge change in recent times, as we have uprooted our lives and moved across the country earlier this year. With this drastic move, came many huge shifts in various areas of my life. In light of these changes, I have spent a lot of time recently reflecting on friendships. New and old. Close and distant. It’s interesting to me that some of the people I feel the most connected with, live so far away that I couldn’t even get into the car and drive to them, if I wanted. Some were an instant connection when we first met, flourishing and growing at an amazing pace, all through text messaging and Skyping.  Many, we haven’t seen each other in months or in some cases years. Some friends are so open and honest with me, I find myself wanting to tell them everything, no matter how long we’ve known each other. Others relationships are so new that there is still so much we don’t even know about each other, but every time we are together we learn even more.

    It’s fun and strange to feel yourself entering these new chapters of your life. Seeing old doors close and new doors open. Regardless of the exact point on a timeline that each of these friendships lie in, I feel an immense amount of gratitude for each and every one. Read the rest of this entry »

  18. Vegan Pumpkin “Cheesecake” Pops {Grain-free, Gluten-free + Refined Sugar-Free}

    Vegan Pumpkin "Cheesecake" Pops {Grain-free, Gluten-free + Refined Sugar-Free}

    I love when a recipe I create ends up inspiring countless others. The reach one simple idea can have is so fun and I love seeing and playing with all the different possibilities. In the summer, I created a No-Bake Vegan “Cheesecake” recipe for a 4th of July celebration. That recipe inspired Meg of Beard and Bonnet to create a delicious chocolate chip crust version and from there she created a Key Lime “Cheesecake” Truffle, that in turn gave me the idea of creating these delicious Autumn-inspired pumpkin spiced “cheesecake” pops! Phew! I love it. I can only imagine all that is to come from here with this idea.

    Vegan Pumpkin "Cheesecake" Pops {Grain-free, Gluten-free + Refined Sugar-Free}

    Honestly, I don’t know if I will ever stop being so amazed at all of the delicious things you can make with cashews. I love making various cream sauces for tacos or pasta and the fun you can have with desserts, like these cake pops, are endless. Whoever first came up with the idea to soak cashews and turn them into cream, they should be in some foodie hall-of-fame somewhere. (Does that exist? Because if it doesn’t, it should!)

    These Pumpkin “Cheesecake” Pops are not nearly as complicated to make as what the different groups of instructions below leads you to believe. They are quite easy. There is no baking required and it takes more time to wait for the pops to set, then to do anything else. I have served these to several non-vegan, non-gluten free people now. Actually come to think of it, besides myself, those are the only people that have eaten these. “Regular eaters”. Every last one loved them and they just couldn’t believe they were totally vegan and grain-free!

    Read the rest of this entry »

  19. Fig Honey Jam – Gluten-free + Refined Sugar-Free

    Fig Honey Jam - Gluten-free + Refined Sugar-Free

    If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, it is likely that you have seen how figs are overtaking my life right now. Our huge black mission fig tree is producing so much fruit. I love it. I have been getting quite creative with the figs; making pizzas, muffins, cakes, smoothies, adding them to salads and more. Fig season begins as early as June in some areas and it can run as late as October. My tree didn’t really start producing until mid August, but given how much small unripe fruit is on there, I have a feeling that I am going to have figs for quite some time. Yay!

    Figs are quite perishable so I have been doing everything I can to use them up as quickly as I can. Stored at room temperature fresh figs keep for about for 1-2 days or 2-3 days in the fridge. Besides what I have been using in recipes, I have been freezing them whole and even dehydrating some so I can enjoy them in the off season, still. Look for lots of fig recipes over the next few weeks, I am loving having so many to play with.

    Fig Honey Jam - Gluten-free + Refined Sugar-Free

    Besides being delicious and so beautiful, figs are a wonderful source of calcium and dietary fiber. Figs have the highest amount of calcium of any fruit. Just 1 cup of figs has as much calcium as a cup of milk. Figs are also a good source of iron, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, as well as vitamin K. Read the rest of this entry »

  20. Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches – Gluten-free + Dairy-free

    Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches - Gluten-free + Dairy-free

    I realized earlier this summer that it had been years since I have had an ice cream sandwich. While working an event, I came across a food truck that specialized in just ice cream sandwiches and they actually had a gluten-free and dairy-free option for someone like me. YAY! It was delicious, messy and probably loaded with sugar and lots of other stuff I prefer not to eat. It immediately got the gears turning in my head. I wanted to make a healthy ice cream sandwich myself and I of course just needed to find the time to actually play with some recipe ideas.

    I know we have all seen the one or two ingredient banana ice cream that has been making it’s rounds all over the internet for the last two years. If you haven’t tried it yet, you must. Stop what you are doing right now, put those bananas in the freezer and make some yummy healthy ice cream. It is simple to make and sooo surprisingly creamy and delicious. I realized it would make the perfect ice cream sandwich filling since it is creamy, simple to make and literally has nothing more than bananas in it. A great compliment to some grain-free dairy-free cookies!

    Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches - Gluten-free + Dairy-free

    I am sharing the cookie recipe over on Free People today as part of my ongoing Restricted Diets series with them and so I expanded on the recipe to make this a two-for-one deal; a cookie recipe and a bonus ice cream sandwich recipe! Plus, we had our friends Dan and Debbie over earlier this week to celebrate Dan’s birthday, so I wanted to make something special for him that we could all enjoy. Debbie is experimenting with a gluten-free and dairy-free diet, so I am pretty sure her mind was blown that these were OK for her to eat! They were a hit, I don’t think anyone believed me that the filling was just bananas and the cookies were totally grain-free!! I love recipes like that. Read the rest of this entry »

  21. Cocoa Dusted Macadamia Nuts – Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    Cocoa Dusted Macadamia Nuts - Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    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.

    Cocoa Dusted Macadamia Nuts - Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    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!!

    Cocoa Dusted Macadamia Nuts - Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    [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]

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