Tag Archives: sweets

  1. 25+ Gluten-free and Grain-free Holiday Cookies, Treats, Sweets and Cocktails

    25+ Gluten-free and Grain-free Holiday Cookies, Treats, Sweets and Cocktails

    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.

    Dark Chocolate-Dipped Grain-free Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

    Grain-free Cookies

    Dark Chocolate-Dipped Grain-free Rosemary Shortbread Cookies (pictured)

    Grain-Free Dark Chocolate Dipped Almond Cranberry Biscotti with Sea Salt

    Grain-free No-bake Gingerbread Cookie Balls

    Grain-free Orange, Almond and Dark Chocolate Biscotti

    Grain-free Matcha Orange Blossom Shortbread with Black Sesame Seeds

    Perfect Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroons

    Grain-free Spices Molasses Cookies

    Grain-free Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies 


    Hemp Heart Peppermint Chocolate Fudge {Grain-free & Vegan}

    Sweets and Treats

    Hemp Heart Peppermint Chocolate Fudge (pictured)

    How-to Make Chocolate Bark (with customizable printable labels)

    Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffles

    Winter Spiced Dark Chocolate Bark with Smoked Sea Salt

    Gluten-free Cinnamon Rolls

    Grain-free Mini Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Vanilla Bean Marshmallow Creme

    Winter Spiced Dark Chocolate Bark with Smoked Sea Salt

    Dark Chocolate Bark Bites

    Grain-free Cranberry-Orange Spice Mini Tarts

    Salted Dark Chocolate Nut Bites

    Dark Chocolate Bark Bites

    Pomegranate Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies


    Spice-Infused Winter Sangria

    Drinks, Smoothies and Cocktails

    Spice Infused Winter Sangria (pictured)

    Chai Hot Chocolate

    Dairy-free Peppermint Mocha & Hot Cocoa

    Vegan Eggnog

    Gingerbread Smoothie

    Spiced Persimmon Bellini

    Blood Orange Bourbon Sparkler

    Gingerbread Cookie Cocktail

    Maple Bourbon Sour

    Spiced Apple Cranberry Kombucha Sangria

    Orange Pomegranate Smoothie


  2. Dark Chocolate Bark Bites

    Dark Chocolate Bark Bites

    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.

    Dark Chocolate Bark Bites

    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.

    Dark Chocolate Bark Bites

    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.

    Dark Chocolate Bark Bites

    Read the rest of this entry »

  3. Pomegranate Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten-Free and Vegan)

    Pomegranate Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten-Free and Vegan)

    Can you even believe that Christmas is less than one week away already? Where did the time go? Are you all ready?

    Pomegranate Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten-Free and Vegan)

    I had to get in one last special cookie recipe for the season!! For as much as I enjoy traditional holiday cookies, I also get so excited about creating fun new flavor combinations. These cookies make me both happy, because of how great they taste, and bummed, because I haven’t been pairing pomegranates with chocolate up until now. What an amazing combo! You have to try it.

    Pomegranate Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten-Free and Vegan)
    Read the rest of this entry »

  4. Grain-free No-Bake Gingerbread Cookie Balls {Gluten-free & Vegan}

    Grain-free No-Bake Gingerbread Cookie Balls {Gluten-free and Vegan} // www.tasty-yummies.com

    Gingerbread is one of my absolute favorite holiday flavors. It’s right up there with dark chocolate and mint anything and of course, nog-flavored goodies. I don’t always have the patience to make a full batch of gluten-free cookies, especially not the kind you have to roll and cut out, then decorate. These no-bake cookie balls are an amazing way to enjoy the unique flavor of gingerbread cookies without the work and the guilt! I love a sweet treat that not only satisfies your cravings, but doesn’t leave you feeling bad about what you just ate. Plus, between the protein from the nuts and the iron from the molasses, one could even argue these cookies are extra good for you! Read the rest of this entry »

  5. 15 Gluten-Free Snack Ideas

    Roasted Spiced Chickpeas

    Looking for some healthy gluten-free snack options? Here is a list of 15 of my favorite go-to quick eats that are all naturally gluten-free!

    Read the rest of this entry »

  6. Lavender Berry Parfaits with Whipped Coconut Cream {Gluten-free + Vegan}

    Lavender Berry Parfaits with Whipped Coconut Cream {Gluten-free + Vegan}

    I have been obsessed with berries lately. They are in season here in Southern California so much earlier than I was used to on the East Coast, so I feel like I have been given this extra special gift this year. The berries out here are seriously better than I have ever tasted before. The pint of strawberries I picked up a from my favorite organic farmer this week, are seriously THE best I have ever had. I can’t get over it.

    Lavender Berry Parfaits with Whipped Coconut Cream {Gluten-free + Vegan}

    When Sherrie from With Food + Love invited me to share a seasonally inspired dish for The Spring Dish {PLANT POWER}Blog Series, I knew instantly I wanted to share a sweet berry recipe. I wanted simple and light, but with a little something special to make it unique. A fragrant lavender simple syrup compliments the berries with all that lovely soft aroma and flavor and the coconut sugar gives it a nice robust almost rustic finish. And of course, the whipped coconut cream is the best way to finish these parfaits off. Read the rest of this entry »

  7. Dark Chocolate Red Wine Truffles – Gluten-Free + Vegan

    Dark Chocolate Red Wine Truffles - Gluten-Free + Vegan

    Dark Chocolate Red Wine Truffles - Gluten-Free + Vegan

    These truffles really will knock your socks off. They are rich and dreamy. They are luxurious and just one or two truffles will satisfy even the most hardcore of chocolate lovers’ cravings. The red wine taste is quite subtle but you really get it at the end. It is smooth and it finishes it so perfectly. I am not sure if anyone else enjoys sitting down with a nice full-bodied glass of red wine with a super high quality bite of dark chocolate. One of my most favorite flavor combinations ever.

    Lots of love to you all today! In addition to making Valentine’s Day about your one true love whom you will likely shower with gifts and love, let’s look at it as a day to embrace love all around us. Including the love you should be showing yourself, your body and your health every single day of the year. This is the one and only body we will be given (at least in this lifetime), let’s do everything we can to protect it and give it the best. Every single day.

    Dark Chocolate Red Wine Truffles - Gluten-Free + Vegan

    [print_this]Dark Chocolate Red Wine Truffles – Gluten-Free + Vegan
    makes about 24+ truffles (depending on their size)

    • 1/2 cup full-fat organic coconut milk (the canned kind, I like Native Forest)
    • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
    • 10 ounces high-quality vegan dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) – chopped – I used 85% Dark Chocolate
    • 1/4 cup full-bodied red wine (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Bordeaux, Malbec, etc)
    • pinch of sea salt
    • 1/4 cup cocoa powder, for rolling

    other options for rolling: coconut, almonds

    In a double boiler, heat coconut oil and coconut milk over a low/medium heat, whisking until just melted and well incorporated. Add the chocolate, stirring continuously, not allowing it to heat too quickly. Just as soon as it is melted, remove from the heat, add the wine and stir very well to make sure it is all well incorporated and smooth. You have to be very careful with dark chocolate, it can very easily seize up if heated too quickly.

    Pour into a 8×8 baking dish or a pie pan and refrigerate until the mixture is mostly set, but still pliable, about 45 minutes to an hour or so (it may take longer depending on the depth of your pan). Using a 1″ melon baller or a tablespoon, scoop out the chocolate and roll into balls using your hands. Place the cocoa power onto a small plate and roll the balls in the cocoa powder to coat, you can also put the cocoa powder in your hands and roll them around that way.  Set them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Once all have been rolled, place the sheet into the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes, up to overnight to fully set.

    Store the finished truffles in the refrigerator.

    These truffles will keep up to two weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature for about 15 minutes, just before serving. [/print_this]

  8. Chocolate Cream Pie – Gluten-free + Vegan {Guest Post by Girl Makes Food}

    A Very Tasty Thanksgiving - COMING SOON to Tasty-Yummies.com

    I came across Alissa’s wonderful blog, Girl Makes Food earlier this year via Instagram, I believe. Her beautiful photos of  her delicious creations always look so amazing and would constantly leave me drooling! Alissa and I seem to have similar tastes in food and so often I find myself checking her site and seeing a newly posted recipe similar to something I have been working on or playing with, thinking she beat me to it :). Besides making incredible healthy recipes, Alissa is also a certified in holistic nutrition counselor and she brings an incredible knowledge about food and eating with every post. Alissa practices a holistic approach to health and wellness and the connection to all areas of our lives. Today Alissa is sharing an incredible looking recipe for a vegan gluten-free Chocolate Cream Pie that is definitely more than drool-worthy (that she somehow made, photographed and got to me without having power at her NJ home, in the wake of Sandy). Enjoy!

    • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

    Chocolate Cream Pie – Gluten-free + Vegan

    I am so excited and honored to be guest posting for Beth today!!!! I am the “girl” (aka Alissa) over at Girl Makes Food. I am a culinary school grad turned holistic nutrition counselor. I am a big fan of healthy, quick, and easy meals, so I try to focus on ease and simplicity with my recipes. All my recipes are vegetarian, a lot of them vegan.

    In the spirit of quick and easy, this pie is just that. Super cinchy, and super yummy!!

    Chocolate Cream Pie – Gluten-free + Vegan

    I love pies, and my Thanksgiving dessert spread is usually all about pies. But my favorite one by far is a chocolate pie I make every year. It is super rich but full of dairy, so I decided to try my hand at a plant-based version!!

    It turned out really well, firm enough to slice and serve with ease, and no one will ever suspect the main ingredient is tofu!! I also love that this pie is rich (just like the original), and also pretty filling so a small slice goes a long way.

    Chocolate Cream Pie – Gluten-free + Vegan

    I fed it to friends and got the stamp of approval, which makes me jump around with excitement!! Jumping when I get excited is a normal thing for me, and this jumping led to hubby installing an earthquake strap to our TV. True story.

    Health highlight of chocolate: Being a serious chocoholic myself, I love reading the studies about how healthy chocolate is for you. 70% cocoa solids or higher is best, as it means less sugar and other non-chocolate additives in there (the percentage refers to the cocoa solids meaning the stuff that comes from the bean – 100% is unsweetened chocolate). Research suggests that people who eat chocolate regularly tend to have a lower BMI. Chocolate can help lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart disease. It also contains healthy antioxidants and flavonoids, and has been shown to have a beneficial effect on cholesterol.

    Chocolate Cream Pie – Gluten-free + Vegan

    [print_this]Chocolate Cream Pie – Gluten-free + Vegan



    • 1 cup Oats
    • ½ cup Coconut (unsweetened flakes)
    • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil (plus extra to grease the pie plate)
    • 2 tablespoons Maple Syrup

    Chocolate filling:

    • 1 lb Silken Tofu (drained) (look for non-gmo)
    • 8 ounces Unsweetened Chocolate (chopped)
    • ¼ cup Maple Syrup (you can add more a tablespoon at a time if you like it sweeter)
    • I served with Vegan Coconut Whipped Cream


    • Preheat the oven to 350
    • To the bowl of a food processor add the oats and coconut and process until the texture of graham cracker crumbs
    • Add the coconut oil and maple, process until evenly mixed
    • Grease up a 9 inch pie plate with coconut oil (with a brush or paper towel)
    • Add the crust to a pie plate
    • Press the crust using your fingers, the back of a spoon, or the bottom of a measuring up until evenly coated on the bottom and up the sides and well pressed
    • Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown
    • Set aside to cool
    • While the crust is cooling, rinse the food processor bowl and then add the tofu
    • Process until smooth
    • While the tofu is processing, melt the chocolate in a microwave safe medium bowl
    • Add the melted chocolate quickly to the tofu while the processor is off, then turn it back on and let run until completely incorporated (you need to work quickly to prevent the chocolate from hardening)
    • Add the maple and process until incorporated
    • Pour the chocolate and tofu mixture into the crust and spread it evenly
    • Cover and refrigerate (about 1-2 hours or overnight)
    • Slice and serve!!!!!!


    Chocolate Cream Pie – Gluten-free + Vegan

    Visit Alissa’s blog Girl Makes Food

    You can also follow Alissa on:

    Twitter: @girlmakesfood 
    Instagram: @girlmakesfood
    Facebook: facebook.com/girlmakesfood
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  9. Joyful Almond Coconut Chocolate Bites – Vegan + Gluten-free (Refined Sugar-free Option)

    Joyful Almond Coconut Chocolate Bites - Vegan + Gluten-free (Refined Sugar-free Option)

    This month for my ongoing series with the Free People Blog, BLDG 25, in celebration of Halloween I am sharing a series of healthy sweet treats. I always feel like the sugary stuff haunts me this month with Halloween looming on the calendar, it seems everywhere I turn there is some sweet treat lurking in the darkness.

    Joyful Almond Coconut Chocolate Bites - Vegan + Gluten-free (Refined Sugar-free Option)

    I really don’t find myself actually craving sweets very often, but boy, this month I do. There are halloween inspired sugary treats everywhere you turn and most all of them are terrible for you, loaded with refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup and other processed junk and fillers.

    Joyful Almond Coconut Chocolate Bites - Vegan + Gluten-free (Refined Sugar-free Option)

    So, why not have your cake and eat it, too? Or candy, or fudge, or whatever! First up in the series, I reimagined a classic candy bar that I have always loved. The combination of coconut, chocolate and almonds is a favorite of mind. It’s a joy to eat, if you catch my drift.

    These treats bear a spooky resemblance to the original, but without all the yuckiness that will haunt you later. See, all treats, no tricks! What more can you ask for to kick off Halloween month?

    Joyful Almond Coconut Chocolate Bites - Vegan + Gluten-free (Refined Sugar-free Option)


    [print_this]Almond Coconut Chocolate Bites – Vegan + Gluten-free
    makes 12 treats

    Coconut Filling:

    • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened organic coconut, finely shredded
    • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (you could also use coconut nectar, agave or any other liquid sweetener or honey if you aren’t vegan)
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


    Dark Chocolate Coating*:

    • 10 ounces of high quality semi-sweet or bittersweet vegan chocolate chips (if you are gluten-free also make sure they are gluten-free). You can also opt for a super dark chocolate, like 75-80% dark.


    Plus: approximately 1/3 cup toasted almond slices


    *NOTE: if you are looking to make these refined sugar-free which is what I prefer, in place of chocolate chips you can instead melt 10 ounces of a good quality 100% unsweetened organic dark chocolate (aka bakers chocolate in bar form) with 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a double broiler and whisking in 1/3 cup maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener) after it is removed from the heat. You can then add more or less sweetener to your liking.


    Lightly grease a nonstick mini-muffin tin with a little coconut oil and set aside. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all of the coconut filling ingredients and mix together until very well combined. Evenly divide up the filling between the 12 mini-muffin cups, pressing it in very tightly, making sure it is somewhat even. Don’t worry they won’t stick. Place the muffin pan in the freezer make sure it is sitting flat, and freeze until the filling is solid, about 30-45 minutes.


    Take the muffin tin with the frozen coconut mixture out of the freezer, carefully remove each coconut treat out of the pan, running a thin knife around the edge to loosen and pop them out. Place them on a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet, if you want to place the pan back in the fridge to keep them cool while you melt the chocolate, you can do that.


    Once you are ready to coat the treats with the chocolate you can carefully melt the chocolate using a double boiler setup on the stove top or you can carefully melt it in small increments in the microwave, stirring often. (Definitely use the double boiler if you are making the refined sugar-free version with the bakers chocolate). Turn off the heat on the stove and keep the bowl of chocolate over the pan, remove the coconut treats from the fridge. Place one coconut treat on a fork and slowly lower it into the chocolate, spoon additional chocolate over it to fully coat it. Lift the fork out and gently shake to release any of the excess chocolate.  Scrape the bottom of the fork along the side of the bowl and place on the lined baking sheet. Sprinkle a few toasted almond slices on top into the chocolate. Repeat until all of the treats are coated in chocolate and have almonds on top.  If the chocolate gets too thick, you just turn on the flame and heat slightly to melt it again. Put the tray back in the fridge and let them harden for about 45 minutes.


    After these are set, you could store them in the freezer to keep them really cold and totally solid or of course, you can just store them in the fridge or even at room temperature if it isn’t too hot out. [/print_this]

    This recipe was originally shared on the Free People Blog.


  10. Blueberry Lavender Vanilla Ice Cream – Vegan, Gluten-free, Refined Sugar-free

    Blueberry Lavender Vanilla Ice Cream - Vegan, Gluten-free, Refined Sugar-free

    Blueberry Lavender Vanilla Ice Cream - Vegan, Gluten-free, Refined Sugar-free

    I cannot believe this is the first time this summer that I have pulled out my ice cream maker. So many missed ice cream opportunities. It actually makes me a little sad. But, don’t worry, I am back and committed to playing with my ice cream maker.

    I found myself insanely inspired this past weekend after a super fun trip to the farmers market after yoga. I met up with some friends and I ended up spending over 2 hours there, buying delicious foods, chatting, getting inspired and seeing tons friends and even some family. It was a really fun morning. I had planned in advance to meet up with Janine, Alyssa and her boyfriend Daren. Alyssa recently started a blog, Wild Roots, where she shares her recipes for allergen-free foods as well as her incredible knowledge of the many benefits of the foods she cooks with. Alyssa has some really big plans she is working on that is going to be great for Buffalo, I am so excited for her and plan to be one of her biggest cheerleaders. Alyssa and I talked forever about food and cooking, playing with pairing unsuspecting ingredients together and so much more. Alyssa is such a breath of fresh air with her food and I am totally inspired by what she is doing. After sharing a recipe last week for Lavender Honey Glazed Sweet Potato Wraps with Garlic Crusted Mushrooms & Spicy Pea Spread, I recalled my search for lavender a while back where I was left empty handed. I didn’t think it would be that hard to find. I had planted some lavender last summer and for whatever reason it never really grew that well. Whether it be hubby’s lawn mower, the dog, another critter or just imperfect conditions, it never really made it. I had so many plans for that little plant and it just left me dreaming.

    After being reminded of my search for lavender, finding out where to buy it locally (the Lexington Co-Op near the other dried spices and herbs), spending a few hours at the farmers market (where I purchased a beautiful basket of blueberries) and chatting with friends about delicious food, I came home inspired to make something seasonal, beautiful and tasty. This Blueberry Lavender Vanilla Ice Cream is just as delicious as it looks. That color is even more beautiful that the photos show and as I was making it, I wished I could bottle the scents up and wear them as a perfume. If the idea of eating lavender doesn’t appeal to you because of it’s floral scent, I really recommend trying to give it a shot anyway. You’ll be quite surprised at how wonderful it is. The subtle flavor that the lavender brings is so beautiful, delicate and perfect with the fresh tartness from the blueberries. The strong vanilla undertones rounds it all out so nicely, bringing it all together into a creamy, dreamy dessert that is perfect on a hot summer evening.

    It was quite hot and muggy today, so I took my photos as fast as I could. I may have eaten a bowl of ice cream in between shots, ya know – cuz it was melting and all.

    Happy 4th of July to all of my American readers. I hope your day is filled with family, friends, fun, delicious food and lots of magic! Enjoy!

    Blueberry Lavender Vanilla Ice Cream - Vegan, Gluten-free, Refined Sugar-free
    [print_this]Blueberry Lavender Vanilla Ice Cream * – Vegan, Gluten-free, Refined Sugar-free

    • 1 quart fresh blueberries
    • 1/2 cup maple syrup (honey or agave)
    • 1 cup water
    • 2 1/2 cups full fat organic coconut milk (about 1 1/2 cans)
    • 2 tablespoons dried culinary lavender blossoms
    • 1 vanilla bean (or an additional 1-2 tablespoons of vanilla extract at the end)
    • 1 cup unsweetened organic vanilla almond milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    In a large sauce pan over medium-heat, add blueberries, maple syrup and 1 cup water, bring to the start of a boil then drop the heat down and allow it to simmer for about 5-8 minutes. Continue simmering until the berries begin to pop and break open, remove from the heat and using a fine strainer, pour the mixture into the strainer, over a bowl, catching the berries. Then add the syrup back to the saucepan and add the blueberries to the pitcher of your blender and set aside.

    Add the coconut milk and lavender to the pan with the blueberry syrup. Slice open the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the pan, then go ahead and toss the whole bean in, too. Over a medium-high heat, allow to mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes, then remove from the pan from the heat, cover and allow the lavender and vanilla to infuse for about 15 minutes or longer.

    Using the fine strainer, strain the liquid into the blender with the blueberries, gently pressing down onto the lavender and the vanilla bean to get all of the flavor. Add the extra vanilla and the almond milk and blend until very smooth.

    Pour the mixture into a large glass bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, or overnight. I usually just leave it overnight.

    Once chilled, pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s directions. Eat right away as a soft-serve or add to a freezable container and place in the freezer for at least 8 hours or longer, to firm up. Freeze until it is firm enough to scoop.

    TIPS: Try freezing your ice cream in a loaf pan, covered in wax paper and foil. Really press that wax paper down and every time you serve some, repress the wax paper down. This will help to keep it from getting freezer burnt. You can also add a tablespoon or two of vodka to the mixture, which doesn’t affect the taste but will help keep it from getting too hard. I didn’t do it this time around since I didn’t have any vodka in the house, but I usually do.

    *NOTE: If you don’t have an ice cream maker, these would be great as popsicles, too! Thanks for the idea, Alex!


  11. Vanilla Almond “Sugar” Cookies Made from Almond Milk Pulp – Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    Vanilla Almond "Sugar" Cookies Made from Almond Milk Pulp - Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    Every time I make my homemade almond milk, I swear that I am going to do something amazing with the leftover almond pulp. Enter Vanilla Almond “Sugar” Cookies Made from Almond Milk Pulp! Most times I put it in the fridge with really great intentions and plans, then within a few days it has mold and I feel horrid throwing it out. Happens way more often that I would like to admit. Almond pulp has to get used up within a day or two, so if you can muster up the motivation to do something with it, you have to do it quickly. This time as soon as I finished making the almond milk I started looking around online at different recipes I could use the pulp in. I have seen many recipes for savory crackers made from the almond pulp, but since this time the almond milk (and therefore the almond pulp) that I made was sweetened and I added vanilla, I wanted to make some type of sweet cookie. I still want to play around with a cracker recipe, too. So hopefully soon.

    These cookies have a really great vanilla flavor and they are delicious with an ice cold glass of almond milk, or a mug of hot tea or coffee. If you want to skip the chocolate and sea salt on top, go for it, I just felt like it was the perfect compliment to them, who doesn’t love chocolate? These cookies are subtly sweet and reminiscent of a classic sugar cookie, but without all the junk. Side note, even after baking and making dozens of different sweet treats and smoothies, etc – sweetened only by using dates, I am still completely amazed by them. Who knew those funny looking little things could be so sweet and sinful. The sweet nuttiness from the almond pulp is so delicious and pronounced in these cookies, it’s really one of my favorite flavors. After eating a bunch of these, I started thinking about different ways I could play with this recipe. I think you could add cocoa to make a chocolate cookie and I also think a spicy gingersnap version of these cookies made with ground ginger and cinnamon would also be delicious, so I will definitely have to play around with both of those.

    Just a quick note, the original recipe has an option to dehydrate these cookies to make them “raw”, but since I don’t have a dehydrator and I was making these at night and wasn’t comfortable leaving them in the oven overnight, I just baked them as the recipe also suggests. The bake time can vary a bit depending on how moist your pulp was when you started, I think mine ended up baking for nearly 30 minutes, but I would suggest checking them around 18 or 20, since you don’t want them to dry out or burn.

    Vanilla Almond "Sugar" Cookies Made from Almond Milk Pulp - Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    [print_this]Vanilla Almond “Sugar” Cookies with Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt – Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free
    Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies
    Recipe adapted from Choosing Raw

    • 2 cups almond milk pulp
    • 8 soaked and pitted medjool dates
    • 1/3 cup almond or coconut flour
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • dash of sea salt
    • 1/4 – 1/3 cup melted dairy-free dark chocolate (I melt unsweetened bakers chocolate and sweeten it with a little maple syrup and/or stevia, you can use semi-sweet chocolate chips or whatever your favorite chocolate happens to be)
      1 teaspoon course sea salt

    Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

    Add the almond pulp, dates, coconut flour, salt and vanilla extract into a food processor and process until the “dough” is the same texture and consistency of sugar cookie dough, or there about. You may need to add a little more flour, depending on how moist your almond pulp was to start.

    Using your hands, make small little round balls with the dough (about a tablespoon or so each) and line them up in rows on your parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Press each one down very gently using a fork. (the original recipe called for using a fancy cookie press, but since I don’t have one, I improvised)

    Bake cookies for about 20 – 25 minutes, or until golden brown. This time may vary depending on how moist your cookies are. Just keep checking on them so you don’t burn them or dry them out.

    Allow the cookies to cool totally then drizzle the dark chocolate over top of each cookie and sprinkle a small amount of seat salt on each cookie.



  12. Dark Chocolate, Almond Butter Mini-Cups with Sea Salt – Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    Dark Chocolate, Almond Butter Mini-Cup with Sea Salt, Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    Dark Chocolate, Almond Butter Mini-Cup with Sea Salt, Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    Ever since I made these dark chocolate coconut treats about a month or so ago, I have been a little obsessed with making simple little chocolate treats at home. On Easter, since we really don’t keep many sweets at home and we didn’t do the Easter basket thing, I was craving chocolate treats and decided to make some dark chocolate peanut butter cups. I didn’t take any photos since they weren’t totally perfect and I also decided I wanted to buy a mini-muffin tin so I could make smaller cups. The full size muffin cups are nice, but it is way more chocolate than what I need. I also thought it would be nice to make them with almond butter instead of peanut butter since I am so obsessed with it. Any nut or seed butter would work here, so play around. You will also see in my notes below that if you don’t wish to sweeten your own dark chocolate, you can simply just melt semi-sweet chocolate chips. I prefer to start with a good quality organic unsweetened dark chocolate something in the range of 70 – 100%, and then sweetened to my own liking since I like my dark chocolate to be subtly sweet. You may find that my measurements are too low and you want more sweetness. Go for it. Or skip sweetening it yourself and buy premade chocolate. Whatever you’d like.

    Dark Chocolate, Almond Butter Mini-Cup with Sea Salt, Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    Dark Chocolate, Almond Butter Mini-Cup with Sea Salt, Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    I make these in a non-stick mini-muffin pan, like this one. You could definitely use a candy mold, a full sized  muffin tray or maybe even a larger ice-cube tray. If you’d like, you can also line your muffin pan with paper liners. I didn’t happen to have any, so I went without, and very lightly greased my pan with some coconut oil, to be sure they wouldn’t stick. They likely wouldn’t have stuck, but I wanted to be sure of it.

    Some of you may be wondering why I included the chia seeds in the almond butter filling or if you could use flax seed meal instead. I decided to include it because besides LOVING chia seeds, I had some leftover ground up chia sees on hand after making these delicious tortilla wraps from The Spunky Coconut, over the weekend. I thought it would help bind together the filling so it wouldn’t be too runny and I also thought it was a nice way to add some of the lovely benefits that chia seeds have to offer. You can read more about all of those lovely benefits here in this post from Lexie’s Kitchen. Feel free to use ground flax seeds instead or to skip it all together. It isn’t a necessity in the recipe.

    As far as the sea salt goes, I really adore the flavor combination of dark chocolate with sea salt, so I try to squeeze it into my life whenever humanly possible. It may actually be one of my all time favorite things. If you aren’t a fan of the luscious salty/sweet combo, leave off the salt. You could also press a single almond or some almond slices into each one.  Have fun.

    What is your favorite flavor combination when it comes to sweets? 

    Dark Chocolate, Almond Butter Mini-Cup with Sea Salt, Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    Dark Chocolate, Almond Butter Mini-Cup with Sea Salt, Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    [print_this]Dark Chocolate, Almond Butter Mini-Cups with Sea Salt – Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free
    makes 12 mini-cups

    Dark Chocolate Outside:

    • 8-9 ounces of dairy-free, dark chocolate – (I used this unsweetened dark chocolate and sweetened it myself, as you can see below. If you use semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate chips you can skip the coconut oil and the sweeteners below.)

    (optional if using unsweetened chocolate)

    • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
    • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup*

    Almond Butter Inside:


    • 1/2 cup chilled organic unsalted almond butter (or any other nut butter or seed butter of your choice)
    • 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds (you can just grind whole chia seeds in a coffee grinder or Magic Bullet)
    • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
    • a pinch of fine grain sea salt

    For Topping:

    • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon course grey sea salt (you can also try smoked sea salt)

    Using a little coconut oil on some wax paper or a paper towel, very lightly grease a non-stick mini-muffin pan. (the muffin tin may not need to be greased, but since I didn’t use any paper liners, I didn’t want to risk the candies sticking.) You could also use a silicon candy mold. Set the pan aside. Melt the dark chocolate with the coconut oil (or your chocolate chips), either very carefully in a double boiler setup on the stove top or in small increments in the microwave. After the chocolate and coconut oil is melted, whisked together and well combined, remove from the heat (if you melted it on the stove), and add in the maple syrup. Stir well to combine. Give the chocolate topping a little taste to see if you want it any sweeter. Add more syrup, if you wish.

    Using about half of the melted chocolate, add a little bit to each cup of your mini-muffin tin. Probably about a teaspoon or so to start. Grabbing either side of the tin, swirl the pan around to start moving the chocolate up the sides of each cup. Try to get it all the way up if you can. You can also use a pastry brush or spoon to push it up the sides, but I find just swirling it around works best. You can also line each cup with a paper mini-muffin liner and just paint the melted chocolate up the sides. Once it is evenly up the sides, you can add a little more chocolate to make sure that the bottom is covered, just don’t add too much, you need to save room for the filling and top.

    Place the muffin tin into the freezer to allow the chocolate to set. Meanwhile, start making your filling. Add the almond butter, ground chia seeds, maple syrup and a pinch of sea salt to a small bowl. Mix very well to combine and allow it to sit about 5 to 10 minutes while the chocolate sets up in the freezer.

    Once the chocolate has hardened, pull the muffin tin out of the freezer and add about 1 teaspoon of almond butter filling to each cup. Then take the remaining melted chocolate and spread it over top of the almond butter. I find using the back of a spoon is the easiest to give it a nice smooth surface. And if you are adding the sea salt on top, sprinkle a few pieces on top of each cup. Place the muffin tin back into the freezer to allow the chocolate to harden. This will probably only take about 30-minutes, total.
    Once hardened, remove the muffin tin from the freezer and carefully pop or slide each chocolate mini-cup from the tin. Should happen very easily. Store these in the fridge or they will get pretty soft and melted.

    * NOTE about sweeteners: You can use whatever sweetener of your choice and as much as you would like. Traditional sugar will obviously work if that’s your thing, as would honey or other sugar alternatives. Use what you like. Everyone likes their chocolate at different sweetness levels. I prefer mine not too overly sweet. As mentioned above, you could also just melt semi-sweet chocolate chips that are already sweetened and skip adding your own sweetener and coconut oil. Same goes for sweetness in the almond butter filling.


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  13. Rice-Pudding Balls

    Rice-Pudding Balls

    Well now that I got my blog all snug and nestled in on it’s own little server, it’s back to making the yummies! I am still on a kick of making different alternative Christmas sweets, so here is another one for the list. I have so many different recipe ideas in my head right now, I just need the time to make them all. I also am going to need to start sharing these sweets, so I don’t eat them all up myself.

    I came across this recipe a while back and I couldn’t wait to try out a version of it with coconut milk instead of regular milk and coconut sugar instead of brown sugar. I am sure the recipe would be great with both of these, but I wanted to make it my way. I am sure this would be great with almond milk, too. If you are vegan, you can try making it using maple syrup or brown rice syrup instead of the honey.

    My dad makes the BEST classic Greek-style rice-pudding (Rizogalo) that you will ever eat. I haven’t had it in a while and I have been craving it, so when I saw this recipe, I knew I could make some updated to the spices and flavors and make it very similar to my dad’s classic pudding. Since my dad’s original rice pudding isn’t the healthiest dessert in the world with milk, egg yolks and sugar in it, I figured these could possibly come a close second and would definitely do the trick of satisfying my craving. They definitely did just that, they are creamy little bites with so much flavor. I love a lot of cinnamon in my rice pudding, so I went with a full teaspoon, you can go with less if you wish, along with a small pinch of nutmeg. The crunchy almond and coconut “crust” is a super nice touch that I feel like should be on top of every serving of rice pudding from now on.

    Look for recipes for cherry chocolate fudge balls later this week as well as some salty pistachio dark chocolate bark! I have also been dreaming of mint chocolate brownies. What is it about this time of year? I just want anything and everything sweet!

    What sweets are you making this holiday season?  

    Rice Pudding Balls


    Rice-Pudding Balls
    Adapted from Body and Soul Magazine, 2008
    makes anywhere from 12-24 balls, depending on the size you make them

    2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage)
    1/4 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
    2 tablespoons honey (if vegan, try maple syrup or brown rice syrup here)
    1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    a pinch of nutmeg
    1/2 cup arborio rice
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 cup raisins
    1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
    1/2 cup raw whole almonds

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large saucepan, combine coconut milk, coconut sugar, honey, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg with a pinch of salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add in the rice and stir. Partially cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender, 30 to 35 minutes.

    Transfer rice to a bowl and stir in vanilla and raisins. Cover with plastic, and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours.

    Spread coconut and almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, tossing occasionally, until the coconut is golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes; set aside to cool. Grind nuts and coconut in a food processor until very finely ground; set aside.

    Using level tablespoons, form rice mixture into balls (you should get about 24) and roll in the almond/coconut mixture. Place on a rimmed baking sheet or a couple of plates and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or covered, up to 2 days.[/print_this]

  14. Chocolate Chip Brownies (Gluten-Free)

    Chocolate Chip Brownies (Gluten-free)

    I came across this recipe while on my cleanse last month, and I wished I hadn’t at that time, because it was all I could think about for the last day or two of the cleanse. I couldn’t wait to try it out. I had almond butter on hand from smoothies and other recipes during my cleanse and I had really fallen in love with it. So versatile and there so many recipes it will work in, plus it is super tasty on its own on a spoon, just like old faithful, peanut butter. I had an amazing gluten-free brownie a while ago at the Lexington Coop and had been looking around online for a similar recipe using those ingredients. I came across this recipe on Elana’s Pantry, a wonderful gluten-free blog that features so many great recipes, many of which are made with almond flours and almond flour butter, etc.

    These brownies are not only the best gluten-free brownies I have ever had, I think they are the best brownies, period. My husband couldn’t get enough and couldn’t stop raving about them, he said they were the best had ever had, too. He is such a good gauge for these types of recipes, since many times what I think is good, really isn’t, since it’s been over 6 years since I have had gluten and the original versions. When he can’t get enough and says it’s the best ever, I know I have struck gold. I cannot wait to make these again, maybe with nuts or coconut, even.

    Whether you can have gluten or not, you need to make these brownies. It’s not only amazing that these are gluten-free but I cannot believe that there isn’t any flour in them. Not only are they a lovely protein-packed, healthier version of a classic dessert but they are just plain perfect!

    Chocolate Chip Brownies (Gluten-Free)
    Makes about 24 brownies
    Recipe via Elana’s Pantry

    1 (16) ounce jar organic almond butter, smooth roasted (if it is salted only add 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt)
    2 local farm fresh brown eggs
    1 1/4 cups agave nectar
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup cocoa powder
    1 teaspoon celtic sea salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 cup dark chocolate chips 73% cacao

    Preheat oven to 325º. In a large bowl, blend almond butter until smooth with your mixer or a hand blender. Mix in eggs, then add in agave and vanilla
    Blend in cocoa, salt and baking soda, mix well, then fold in chocolate chips. Grease a 9 x 13 Pyrex baking dish. Pour batter into dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes

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