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.
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.
[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!
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.
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!
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.
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 »
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.
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!
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.
The name of the game right now is simple and sweet. Easy peasy. The new year has kicked off strong with lots going on, I’m 5 days into a 3 week healing protocol (more on that at another time) and school is back in session for me. I am learning to balance and find comfort in the slow and steady and quick and easy. Both have their much needed place in my life right now. This week I swapped my fast paced vinyasa flow yoga classes and my intense time at the gym for yin yoga, gentle yoga and longer walks. This is what my body is crying out for. Many of our meals have been slow cooked, braised or roasted but naturally, I would run out of time if I followed this path all day every day. So whenever appropriate I have been shifting focus to easy and quick meals and snacks that are still nutrient dense and of course, yummy!
No matter the pace, just as any other time of the year is concerned, I am all about celebrating what is fresh and in season right now, even smack in the middle of winter. There is always so much abundance to focus on, no matter where you live. We have a huge orange tree in our yard that is covered in gorgeous, vibrant juicy oranges. More than two humans could ever dream of eating. So, I have been juicing many of them, giving them to friends and neighbors and getting very creative in the kitchen, with them.
I also love the beautiful fresh pomegranates in season here in California, right now. They’ve been making appearances on nearly every salad I serve and yet I still want more. Since it has been some time since I have shared a smoothie recipe here, I give you the first Tasty Yummies smoothie of 2016, in all her beautiful winter glory!
Christmas cookies seem to get all the love this time of year, but I personally think that fudge is the often forgotten sweet. I have a feeling Santa would be extra good to any house that left out for him this delicious, rich and creamy peppermint fudge.
Traditional fudge can include tons of dairy and sugar, oftentimes even corn syrup. While I don’t think the holidays should be all about going without or depriving yourself, I also firmly believe if you have to be mindful of your health and your ongoing path towards healing, indulging a bit too may leave you sorry, come January 2nd. Besides all the less than stellar ingredients, most traditional fudge also requires heating and many tedious steps, including keeping the chocolate at specific temperatures and all that complicated stuff. This simple fudge recipe requires a food processor or high speed blender and that’s it. No heat.
The best part about crafting and reimagining classic recipes, is that I can indulge in the classic flavors I love, while also bringing an extra nourishing element to them. A little sneaky sweet, if you will. This fudge is exactly that. Rather than dairy and corn syrup, this fudge relies on a creamy, rich Hemp Heart butter to bring the decadence. With all that rich decadence, the Hemp Hearts also bring a surprisingly large serving of plant based protein, you get an ample sized and properly balanced serving of Omega 3 + 6 essential fatty acids. Per a 30 gram serving of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts, (approx. 2 heaping tablespoons) you get 10 grams of protein and 10 grams of Omega 3+6s.
To know me, is to know my insane love of dark chocolate. As long as I am not on any elimination diets or protocols, it’s nearly always part of my daily routine, whether I am on the road or at home. In the freezer, I nearly always keep a bar or two of the best, darkest, organic fair-trade chocolate that I can easily get my hands on. It’s rare you’ll see me crushing on a cake or cookies, but if I pass by a good bar of dark chocolate, it will most certainly stop me dead in my tracks. Generally, I simply need a square or two of the good, dark stuff and I am a happy girl.
Naturally lower in sugar than milk chocolate or other candy and certainly less than most baked goods or other treats, it’s just the right amount of flare at the end of a well-made savory meal. Besides being the most perfectly created food, chocolate with a cocoa content of 70 percent or higher contains resveratrol, which has been found to lower blood sugar. Dark chocolate also has positive affects on lowering “bad” cholesterol levels. Dark chocolate is rich in Flavonoids that help protect plants from environmental toxins and help repair damage. You only need about 1 to 1.5 ounces dark chocolate per day to see the heart healthy benefits.
Flavonoids, which can also be found in green and black teas, cherries, apples, red grapes and other deeply colored fruits and vegetables, have also been known to help with digestion, improve kidney, bowel function and sexual performance, and treat anemia and gout.
If I am traveling, you better believe that dark chocolate is my co-pilot. An integral part to any good trip, it’s an instant way to bring a smile to your face amongst the crazy hustle and bustle of an airport and the long and sometimes tiring long drives.
Surely you can just pack a dark chocolate bar, but I find these Dark Chocolate Bark Bites are a fun way to indulge in additional superfoods, your favorite goodies or just the stuff in the pantry you need to use up. Dried nuts or seeds, dried fruit, spices, sea salt – if you like salty or savory, add some crispy bacon, crushed pretzels or potato chips.
These little bark bites travel so well and you can really have fun with the toppings, making a little something for everyone.
If we could go back in time just for one day to visit our younger selves, I can tell you that there would be an early 20-something Beth, disappointed to know that most opened wine in the house of her mid-30-something self, usually just gets used in a recipe or worse yet, to know that there is any leftover wine at all.
These days, I do such little drinking that I usually only open a bottle of wine if we have guests. On the rare occasion I imbibe just because, I have a glass, the bottle gets put in the fridge and usually it tastes bad before it ever gets finished. I know…. the shame, the horror. I love the way a good glass of wine tastes at the end of a busy day or with a delicious, robust home-cooked meal, but usually, the truth of it is most times I feel terrible before I ever even catch a buzz. My body just doesn’t like the stuff. It’s all “wait, this ain’t green juice. where’s my smoothie?” The other thing is, most mornings I get up so early, either for yoga or the gym, that a hangover, sans party, just never seems worth it. Yup, clearly I have rounded the corner to my mid-30s. These are all things, I swore I would never think or say.
I was at Trader Joe’s last week picking up a few things and I saw the bubbly wines from the corner of my eye, as I pushed my cart full of veggies past the wine section. It just sounded so good. The summer time always has a way of making me crave chilled bubbly wines. So, I treated myself and I bought a bottle, I had a glass once it was chilled, then instantly knew the rest would go to waste, so I decided to get crafty this time. Waste not, want not.
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.
Happy 5th Birthday Tasty Yummies!!!
This week we are celebrating Tasty Yummies’ Birthday / Anniversary / Blogaversary!! I seriously cannot believe it has been 5 years since I sat down to share the first gluten-free recipe here. Where, oh where has this time gone? From the deepest depths of my heart, I thank each and every one of you for supporting me and this website over the last 5 years. I can say in all sincerity, this blog and my life wouldn’t be what they are – without all of you!!
Besides the usual feelings of excitement surrounding a big anniversary like this, it has also stirred up some unique emotions, as well. Given the state of things currently, I am reminded fondly on this special day of the idea that this blog was built from my desire to create a space, a virtual community where I could share my journey and my creations! I also always had the hope that in the process of sharing, I might help to empower others to find strength amidst a less than ideal situation with their health and diet. Here we are, 5 years later, continuing our journey together, with new struggles and challenges unique to us, yet still reminded that we are not alone.
Sometimes in life, you have to shift your focus and your energy, finding the positive in whatever situation you are in, no matter how challenging. Being in the middle of the autoimmune protocol, I have actually been finding so much joy in the restrictions. I get so excited I find myself dancing around the kitchen when I can pull together a delicious recipe that not only fits the long list of things that are not allowed but actually tastes good and makes me as happy as any other recipe would. This has all been so much more rewarding than the usual creations. With each recipe I develop, it feels like I have completed the most challenging board in a video game, I get my gold crown and I get to move on to the next level. I’ve actually have been quite enjoying this forced shift in my perspective, the encouragement and motivation to be creative in the kitchen – it’s all so invigorating and it makes each step and each day easier!
I won’t lie to you though, with all of the many restrictions on my diet currently, I nearly let this special celebration pass. I was worried that without some grandiose, pinterest-worthy baked good, a layered cake or dainty little cupcakes with cute little number 5s on them – that it wouldn’t feel much like a birthday. But that just simply isn’t true! So what, I can’t have my favorite grain-free chocolate cake right now? There is still so much celebrate and it’s just as special of a holiday, chocolate or not!
You didn’t actually think I would let Valentine’s Day come and go without some sort of sweet, did you?
In the world of candies and sweets, baked goods and other treats, in my opinion, these Chocolate Covered Stuffed Dates for sure fall somewhere in the world of a “healthy sweet”. Sure, sugar is sugar, but if the options include these naturally sweetened treats, than I am all in, especially considering I have been avoiding all traditional sugary sweets the last handful of weeks.
Stuffed dates have always been one of my favorite ways to indulge in something sweet, without the guilt. Generally I opt for coconut butter, coconut oil or almond butter, but I also love a little crunch, too. The best part about this recipe, is that it’s more of a guide and you can easily make these tasty dates however you would like. Stuff them with whatever you fancy, top them with whatever makes you most happy, but however you make them, I suggest you enjoy them with some warm Valentine’s Day love in your heart and share them with those around you, whom you adore the most!