Almond Flour “Cut Out” Cookies

My favorite cookies to bake every Christmas were sugar cookies, mostly because it was so fun decorating them. They never were my favorite to eat. I wanted to continue the tradition with my own kids, though, but didn’t want a pile of cookies that wouldn’t get eaten.

I played around with this one a while and last Christmas came up with this recipe and they’re delicious! And guess what, they don’t have sugar!! The sweetness comes from the honey and applesauce. No processed sugar. The almond flour gives it such a rich nutty flavor. These make it hard for me to keep my hands out of the cookie jar!

I didn’t frost them in order to stay clear of sugar over-load. I did let the kids decorate them with red and green sprinkles, though,  to keep them festive.

2 cups fine ground almond flour

1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup local honey

1-2 tbsp applesauce, no sugar added

1 tbsp vanilla extract

  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine dry ingredients, mix together well. Then in a separate bowl, mix together the butter, honey, applesauce and vanilla.
  2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine until a ball forms. Wrap in parchment paper and let chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 325.
  4. Once dough is ready, press (dough will not easily roll with a roller, so press with your hands) the dough out and cut shapes out with cookie cutters. If the shapes stick slightly to your work surface, gently slide a spatula under them to transfer to a baking sheet.
  5. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden on the edges.
  6. If you are just using sprinkles to decorate, then do that right out of the oven and gently press them in so they’ll stick. If you intend to use frosting, then wait until the cookies are completely cool before adding frosting.

 

Chocolate Pie

I like pie, but it isn’t my weakness. I can usually resist indulging in a slice when there are leftovers. (Cookies….now THAT’S my weakness!).

This pie…chocolate pie….I think I now have a pie weakness!

It’s SO creamy and delicious, good luck having just one slice.

img_2395

1/4 cup almond milk

1 1/2 tbsp tapioca starch

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (or 1 can if using canned)

1/4 cup coconut palm sugar

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

3 oz 72% dark chocolate

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use enjoy life brand)

2 tsp vanilla extract

Prepared pie crust

  1. Bake your pie crust first. Once that is done you can prepare the filling.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat add the milk and starch and mix well. Add pumpkin, sugar and spices and mix. Bring to a bubble.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in dark chocolate and semi sweet chocolate. Keep stirring until melted and mix it well until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Pour into pie crust and place in fridge to chill/set for 2-3 hours.

Sugar Free Peanut Butter Cups

There is no greater food combination than peanut butter and chocolate.

End of story. 😉

This is another candy re-do for you to enjoy that still has ALL the sweet flavor but NONE of the guilt.

Eating healthy is indulgent, too!

I am out to prove that there ARE healthier options for those times when you want something sweet rather than savory.

FILLING

3/4 cup no sugar added peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

COATING

1 cup melted dark chocolate (I use this brand of chocolate bars and melt them down down)

  1. In a small sauce pan, melt the filling ingredients.
  2. Pour the mixture into molds (I used silicone pumpkin shaped molds, you can use any shape you’d like but I would suggest silicone for easy removal)
  3. Put in freezer for at least an hour.
  4. Melt the chocolate to make the coating.
  5. Remove the molds from freezer and place on parchment paper.
  6. Pour melted chocolate into the molds about half way up.
  7. Drop the frozen peanut butter pumpkins back into the molds and press down so the chocolate encases the peanut butter. You might need to use your fingers to cover completely.
  8. Place in refrigerator to let cool. Store in the refrigerator.

 

Peanut Butter Patties

With Halloween fast approaching, and my kids fully on board with not eating processed sugars, I always make sure to have homemade treats on hand so they can still indulge in the holiday. Anything with chocolate and peanut butter is always a winner.

In addition to not eating processed sugars, I really try to stay away from companies that support/promote/perpetuate terrible practices for obtaining their food product. A lot of the major candy and chocolate companies employ child laborers, some of which were trafficked and forced into child labor. I am not comfortable with that.

This is why I make these home made patties. We like to treat ourselves, too, but do not want to promote an unhealthy lifestyle or turn a blind eye (which in essence is supporting) to the horrific practices of major chocolate companies.

And they are quick and easy to make!

dsc_0306

2/3 cup natural peanut butter

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

1-2 tablespoons of coconut flour

3.5 ounces 72% dark chocolate bar, vegan if desired (fair trade!)

** You could also use cashew or almond butter, just make sure they are natural

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together peanut butter, maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of coconut flour. The peanut butter mixture should be sticky like a wet cookie dough.
  2. Drop peanut butter mixture by the tablespoonful onto a parchment lined small baking sheet. Place baking sheet in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  3. After 20 minutes, melt the chocolate bar in a small saucepan over very low heat, stirring frequently. Transfer melted chocolate to a small warm bowl. Quickly use a fork to dip each peanut butter “egg” into chocolate. Make sure to coat evenly. Transfer back to parchment lined baking sheet. Immediately place baking sheet back in freezer for 30 minutes to 1 hour.  Keep in freezer until ready to eat.

**Another delicious option would be to add a drop of Young Living Peppermint Essential Oil to the peanut butter mixture to make them mint patties. In addition to tasting great, peppermint oil serves many benefits to the body such as helping relieve digestive issues, ease headaches, boost energy, improve mental focus, aid in clearing respiratory tract, has a soothing effect on aching muscles and will even freshen your breath. So the question is, why wouldn’t  you add a drop of peppermint to your patties?! 🙂

Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Pie

The holidays are fast approaching! Time to start thinking PIE!

1 9 inch pie crust

2 1/4 cups pumpkin puree (fresh is best but canned is just fine)

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup almond or cashew milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground nutmeg

A pinch of ground cloves

1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt

3 tbsp arrowroot power (or tapioca starch, or potato starch)

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl whisk everything (except the pie crust, of course).
  3. Pour into uncooked pie crust and bake for 1 hour.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes then chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours before attempting to slice it. It will get more “firm” as it cools making it easier to slice.

Gluten Free Apple Pie

My kids and I recently went to the apple orchard to pick apples with friends. We picked WAY more than we could ever eat. But that was kinda the plan. Not only is it “pumpkin everything” season. It starts with “apple everything” season. At least it does for me.

First up…APPLE PIE…of course!

The apple filling takes takes it over the top! I am not usually a “pie person” when it comes to desserts. I LOVE my fruit, don’t get me wrong. I just typically don’t prefer them warm and in a dessert. I make an exception for this apple pie. I just eat it cold. I know, it goes against the way you are “supposed” to eat apple pie, but either way, hot or cold, it is out of this world.

I used a crumble topping for this pie because I love crumble toppings. You could easily double the pie crust recipe and make a top crust if that is what you prefer. The crumble topping recipe is below as well.

Pie Crust

2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

3 tbsp pure maple syrup

3 tbsp tapioca starch

1/4 cup coconut palm sugar

1 1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp all spice

1/4 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt

6 cups peeled, chopped apples (I like Honey Crisp, Fuji, or Harrelson)

  1. Add everything except the apples, to a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Add the apples and coat them well.
  3. Pour into pie plate with bottom crust already in. Then cover with crumbles.
  4. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

Crumble Topping

2/3 cups oatmeal

1/3 brown rice flour

5 tbsp coconut nectar (maple syrup would work, too, but coconut nectar is much richer)

2 tbsp coconut palm sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until it crumbles then sprinkle on top of pie before baking.

Fudgy Brownie

The PB2 brownies I make are very cake-like. But if you are more of a thick, fudgy, decadent brownie type of person then these are for you! Dense and chocolately! Just try NOT to eat the whole pan! 🙂

One of my favorite variations to this is to add a couple of drops of Young Living Peppermint essential oil.

Oh, and as far as I am concerned, the chocolate amounts are a vague recommendation…I mean, is there really such a thing as TOO MUCH chocolate? I didn’t think so! Especially when using high quality fair-trade dark chocolate. There is even health benefit to that (hello, antioxidants!).

This recipe makes a small pan of brownies (I use a 7×5 pan). The perfect way to have a treat to share with your family but not have enough to over-indulge. If you want or need more, just double the recipe!

1/2 cup vegan butter or coconut oil

1 fair trade dark chocolate bar, broken up into chunks

1/4 cup coconut palm sugar

3 chia eggs**

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp brown rice flour (or any gluten free flour blend)

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt

  1. Melt the butter/oil and chocolate in saucepan on medium heat. Stir constantly. Remove from heat and pour into large mixing bowl and allow to slightly cool for a few minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 7×5 baking pan with coconut oil.
  3. Whisk the sugar and cooled butter/chocolate mixture. Add the chia eggs and whisk until smooth. Fold in the flour, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 40 min or until the brownies start to pull away from edges and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Let the brownies cool completely before cutting.

** to make chia eggs use 3 tbsp chia seeds and 9 tbsp water and mix. It’ll turn gel-like.