Archive for Desserts

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Chocolate Covered Raspberries

My kids and I recently finished reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.  It was one of my favorite books as a child and my kids loved it as much as I did!  We had a fun time talking about all the stuff we would put in our own Chocolate Factory and boy did it make us hungry!  For our final project we decided to make our own candies.  Keegan, being the fruit lover, wanted to make a candy using raspberries and Caleb, chocolate addict, wanted a chocolate candy.  I used to love chocolate covered cherries so we used that as inspiration and came up with a delicious treat that we all loved.

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips of your choice *see notes
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 8 – 10 frozen raspberries
  • plastic candy mold with at least 1 inch deep molds (you can find molds at hobby stores and kitchen gadget stores)

Preparation:

  1. Melt the chocolate chips in a small pan on the stovetop or in the microwave.  Once the chocolate is completely melted use a clean unused paint brush  and spread a layer of chocolate inside each of the candy molds.
  2. Place the candy mold in the freezer for 15 minutes or until the chocolate is completely frozen.
  3. Meanwhile add the almonds, shredded coconut, oil, honey, vanilla and salt to a food processor or blender.  Pulse until you have a coarse, sand like mixture.
  4. Remove the candy mold from the freezer and fill each mold with about 1/2 tbsp of the almond/coconut mixture.  Press the mixture around the edges, leaving a hole in the center for the raspberry.
  5. Place a frozen raspberry into the center of each mold and use the remaining almond/coconut mixture to fill the mold to just below the top.
  6. Spread a layer of melted chocolate over the top of each mold and place back in the freezer for 5-10 minutes or until the candy is firm.
  7. Remove from the freezer and carefully “pop” candy out of the molds.  They should easily pop out, if not place back in the freezer for another 5 minutes.
  8. Let the candies sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes before eating.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 8 – 10 candies depending on the mold you purchase.

Serving size 1 candy.

Nutritional info will vary depending on the type of chocolate chips used and how much of the filling is needed for your particular mold.

Notes:

Depending on the variety and type of chocolate chips that you use you might need to sweeten them up a little with some raw honey (or coconut nectar) and some milk.  If you want a more dark chocolate like shell them skip the honey and milk.  For those that want a more milk chocolate shell add in a tiny bit of honey and milk until you get the sweetness that you prefer.  Also, if you follow a gluten free diet make sure to use a gluten free chocolate chip.

Leftover candies need to be stored in the freezer until ready to serve.  Let the candies sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving.

Leftovers stored in an airtight container will keep for up to 3 months.

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Peach Breakfast Cake For One

Each fall I look forward to apple season, each winter I look forward to Brussel sprouts and every summer I count down the days until peaches and nectarines show up in the supermarket.  Last week I spotted the first peaches of the season!!!  As a bonus my ‘all day’ morning sickness has subsided and fruit is back on the menu.  I tend to like hot things for breakfast and wanted to make something that was just one serving.  I took inspiration for this dish from Kristy’s Single Serve Snack Cake and whipped up this cobbler like breakfast treat.  It was a super yummy breakfast but would make a delicious dessert too.

~Sarah

Ingredients:

For the peach base:

  • 2 medium peaches, pitted, cut into slices, skin removed if desired
  • 1 tbsp raw coconut crystals
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Pick one of the two following toppings.

For a gluten free topping:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds or ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup non dairy milk
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

For a whole wheat topping:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp raw coconut crystals
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup non dairy milk

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line the bottom of a small oven safe dish (I used a 10 ounce ramekin) with your sliced peaches and evenly sprinkle the tops with cinnamon and coconut crystals.
  3. Place in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the coconut crystals have caramelized.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the ingredients for the topping of your choice.
  5. Remove the ramekin from the oven and spoon the topping mixture evenly over the peaches.
  6. Lower the oven to 375 degrees and return the ramekin to the oven.  Bake for 35 minutes or until the topping is hard and starts to crack.
  7. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 1 serving.

Nutritional info will vary depending on which topping you choose.

Notes:

Simply double, triple or quadruple the recipe as needed for additional servings.

Tasty Tuesday: Kiwi Blackberry Tart

Mar 25 2014 by | Comments (0)
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Kiwi Blackberry Crumble

This dessert is on my top 10 list for a number of reasons. It’s easy to prepare, it’s fresh and light tasting and the filling ingredients can be changed to whatever is in season. A couple of my favorite combinations besides this kiwi and blackberry combo are peach and blueberry or rhubarb and strawberry. This tart would be a great addition to an Easter brunch or just anytime you want an easy and tasty dessert.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, finely ground
  • 1 cup raw coconut crystals plus 2 tbsp, divided
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 2/3 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread
  • 8-10 kiwi’s, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup blackberries (or blueberries)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix the ground flax seed with the water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Combine the flour, walnuts, 1 cup of the coconut crystals, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a large bowl.
  4. Add the Earth Balance and the flax seed mixture and mix with a fork or pastry cutter or even your hands until crumbly.
  5. Press half of the mixture into a 10 inch tart pan or if you don’t have a tart pan you could use an 8 x 8 baking pan.
  6. Gently combine the kiwi, blackberries and remaining coconut sugar and pour them into the baking dish.
  7. Spoon the remaining crumble mixture over the top of the fruit.
  8. Bake 40 minutes or until the fruit is tender and the crumble topping is browned. Let sit for 10 minutes or so before removing from the tart pan or cutting.

Nutritional Info:

Makes one 10 inch tart.

Serving size 1/10.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 346, Cal. from Fat: 152, Total Fat: 17g, Sat. Fat: 3g, Carbs: 45g, Fiber: 7g, Sugars: 19g, Protein: 5g, Sodium: 118mg, Chol: 0mg

Notes:

Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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Coconut Caramel

A while back I was thinking of a special treat to make for Sarah’s birthday and remembered how much she loves caramel. I made this recipe for her but Cliff ended up liking it even more than Sarah. It’s now become an all around family favorite.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut crystals
  • 1 cup coconut nectar
  • 2 cans coconut milk (not light)
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder or scrape 1 vanilla bean
  • course sea salt

Preparation:

  1. 24-36 hours ahead of time place the cans of coconut milk in the back of the refrigerator. After refrigerating carefully remove and open the cans. Spoon out the top layer of thick cream to equal 1 cup (save the leftover for smoothies or curries).
  2. Prepare a 9 inch square pan (not glass) by lining with parchment paper.
  3. Combine the milk with the remaining ingredients (see tip below) except the salt in a pot with tall sides (the caramel will bubble up as it cooks).
  4. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, reduce heat to keep from boiling over but high enough to keep a rolling boil.
  5. Using a candy thermometer cook until you reach 250 degrees usually about 30 minutes.
  6. Pour into the prepared pan and let cool until set. Some oil will pool on the top that you can lightly dab away with a paper towel.
  7. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  8. Remove to a flat surface and cut into bite size pieces. Wrap in wax paper.

Yield:

Approximately 60 pieces. The yield will depend on how big (or small) you cut your pieces.

Notes:

A helpful trick for measuring the sticky coconut nectar is to measure the coconut cream first, pour it into the pan and then measure the nectar in the same measuring cup used for the milk. The nectar will slide right out into the pan without sticking to the side of the cup.

Store candy at room temperature. Caramels will keep for about 2-3 weeks stored in a dark, cool place (like a pantry or cupboard).

Gluten Free Trail Mix Energy Bites

Feb 11 2014 by | Comments (0)
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Gluten Free Trail Mix Energy Bites

I don’t eat sweets very often but when I do I want them to count for something and these Trail Mix Energy Bites are full of “something”. Something packed full of super foods like nuts, seeds, goji berries and of course a little chocolate ’cause all treats should have chocolate, right? These little bites of energy producing goodness are great for super hero’s like you so you can fuel up and own the day.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 maple syrup, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup cacao nibs or mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup goji berries (if you substitute with another dried fruit chop roughly)
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 x 9 pan with parchment paper leaving a little extra paper at each end to hold on to when removing from the pan later.
  2. In a large bowl combine the oil, syrup, vanilla and egg.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until well combined.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan and press evenly into all the corners and sides. Bake 15-18 minutes or just until the edges start to turn golden. Don’t over bake. The center should still be somewhat soft when pressed on.
  5. Cool 5 minutes and then remove from the pan using the edges of the parchment paper to lift the bars out. Place on a cooling rack until completely cooled. Cut into squares with a sharp knife.

Yield:

Approximately 35 squares

Notes:

Baked goods using coconut flour dry out quickly so store in a well sealed bag or container for up to 5 days at room temperature or freeze for longer storage.

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Toasted Banana Breakfast Roll

The holidays are over and it’s back to work, school, extra-circular activities and all the other fun and wonderful things that make up our lives. Do you find it hard to get back into the swing of things after the holidays like I do? That’s why I find these Toasted Banana Breakfast Rolls to be so wonderful….besides their sweet, toasty yumminess of course. These tasty rolls are easy to make and can even be made ahead of time so when morning rolls around and everyone is in a hurry to get out the door breakfast is ready to go.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp old fashioned oats (if you are gluten sensitive make sure to use a gluten free oat)
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 2 bananas
  • 3 tbsp natural creamy peanut butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp raw honey or coconut nectar (optional)
  • a dash of vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

Preparation:

  1. Place the bananas in the fridge for a couple of hours (or overnight if using them for breakfast) before preparing.
  2. Place the cashews in a plastic bag and using a rolling pin or meat tenderizer, crush the cashews until you have very small pieces.
  3. Add the cashews and oats to a small sauté pan and heat over medium.  Toast the oats and cashews for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.  Be careful when dry toasting as you can go from done to burnt in just a few seconds.
  4. While the oats and cashews are toasting mix together the peanut butter, honey (if using), vanilla and cinnamon.
  5. Peel each chilled banana and cut in half, if desired, for easier preparation.  Coat each piece with a thin layer of peanut butter mixture.
  6. Transfer the oats and cashews to a shallow dish.  Roll each banana in the oats and cashews until coated.
  7. Serve as is or cut into pieces for younger children.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 2 servings.

Serving size 1 banana roll.

Notes:

Banana rolls can be stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours.  They are great to make the night before so that breakfast is done and ready the next morning.  They are also a perfect after school snack!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Dec 11 2013 by | Comments (0)
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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Can you believe Christmas is only a few weeks away!?!  This time of the year is filled with holiday parties, shopping and more holiday parties.  Each year I have several holiday events to attend and almost all of them require a dish to share.  I know Christmas cookies are the classic go to dessert but sometimes its nice to have something a little different and these truffles are just the thing.  They are simple to make, easy to transport and perfect for holiday parties!  Enjoy.

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
  • 1 tbsp honey or coconut nectar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips of your choice (mini size work best)

Preparation:

  1. In a food processor or powerful blender add the dates and cashews.
  2. Process the mixture for 2-3 minutes.  You should have a slightly grainy but sticky mixture.
  3. Add in the honey and vanilla extract and pulse a few times to throughly mix.
  4. Add the chocolate chips to the processor and pulse 3 or 4 times until the chocolate chips are mixed in but not broken apart.
  5. Using the palms of your hands form the mixture into 18-20 bite sized truffles.
  6. Place the truffles in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes before serving to allow them to set.

Yield:

Makes 18-20 bite sized truffles.

Notes:

Make sure to the store the truffles in an airtight container in the fridge.  It’s best to wrap them in plastic wrap before storing to ensure they do not dry out.

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Fruit and Nut Truffles

With Thanksgiving only days away I’ve already starting thinking about the most important part of the feast – DESSERT!  These fruit and nut truffles are always on the menu for our Thanksgiving meal and I look forward to them each and every year.  They are so easy to make and are family friendly.  Mix and match or make all 3 varieties – you won’t be disappointed!

~Sarah

Ingredients for the Cherry Cocoa-Nut Truffle:

  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted (about 18 dates)
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried unsweetened or apple juice sweetened tart cherries
  • 1 tsp almond extract

Preparation:

  1. Place the almonds in a food processor and process for about 30-45 seconds just until the almonds are chopped.
  2. Add the pitted dates and process for another 30-45 seconds or until the dates are partially chopped with the nuts.
  3. Add the cherries and almonds extract and process for about 2-4 minutes. The mixture will be done when large clumps form.
  4. Form the dough into 1 inch balls. Roll the balls in unsweetened cocoa powder. Your truffles are now done and can be enjoyed guilt free.

Ingredients for Cranberry Orange Truffles:

  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup dried apple juice sweetened cranberries
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 2 tbsp orange juice

Preparation:

  1. Follow the same instructions as the cherry cocoa-nut truffles starting with the walnuts, then add the dates and then cranberries, orange zest and orange juice.
  2. Form into 1 inch balls and roll in crushed or finely chopped walnuts.

Ingredients for the Pumpkin Spice Truffles:

  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened raisins
  • 2 tbsp canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tbsp raw coconut crystals and 1 tsp cinnamon (mix together for rolling the truffles in)

Preparation:

  1. Again, follow the instructions for the cherry cocoa-nut truffles starting with the almonds and cashews, then add the dates, and last the raisins, pumpkin, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.
  2. Form into 1 inch balls and roll into the coconut crystal-cinnamon mixture.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 24 truffles.

Notes:

The dough can also be pressed into an 8×8 baking dish lined in parchment paper, let sit for a couple of hours and then turn the pan over onto a cutting board or waxed paper and cut into 8 pieces to individually wrap for lunch boxes or for easy portability.

These truffles are a good alternative to cookies, are a great pre and post workout power boost or dressed up with drizzled chocolate as a unique dessert. Any leftover truffles should be stored in the refrigerator.

For a pretty dessert presentation, place the truffles on a plate, melt a couple tablespoons of chocolate chips and drizzle over the truffles.

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Mexican Chocolate Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I love cookies and oatmeal raisin has always been one of my favorite.  Chef Fuji from Living On The Veg has put a fun and tasty twist on the ordinary oatmeal raisin and created this delicious Mexican inspired cookie.  Enjoy!

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We have been on such a cookie fest. I think it has been a total of 6 days in a row of cookies, with some days that double due to high demand and friendly visits. The fall months instigate a warm oven, just perfect for cookies.They hit that sweet spot and are ready in 15 minutes. My favorite is extra cinnamony oatmeal raisin cookies. Though I spiced it up a notch with some chocolate. Oh, yummy. Enjoy these delicious new fave of mine in the cookie department.

~Chef Fuji, Living On The Veg

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut crystals, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp flax or chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup spelt flour
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  •  2 tbsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1 1/2 cups regular rolled oats
  • 1/2 raisins

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat the oil, sugar and vanilla in medium bowl with wire whisk for 2 minutes. Add the flax or chia and mix until just combined.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cayenne, cacao and cinnamon. Add the mixture to the wet ingredients.
  4. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the oats and raisins and mix until just combined.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic (it will be sticky) and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes or longer if you make ahead and bake warm when your friends arrive!
  6. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and drop dough on sheet using a medium cookie scoop (1 1/2 tablespoons) leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Press cookies to flatten to about 1/2″ then bake for 8 minutes.
  7. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for two minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Yield:

Makes approximately 12-16 cookies.

Notes:

Store in an air-tight container for up to three days.

Throwback Thursday: Autumn Pumplings

Oct 10 2013 by | Comments (1)
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Autumn Pumplings

This by far one of my most favorite fall inspired treats.  When that first can of pumpkin puree is cracked open during the first few days of autumn, this recipe aways comes to mind.  The last few days Southern California has had cool, rainy weather and it’s making me want to curl up with a thick blanket and eat pumplings till I pop.  If you’re thinking ahead to the Holidays then this is a great addition to any dinner celebration.

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup raw honey, brown rice syrup or coconut nectar, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups nondairy milk, divided
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Preparation:

  1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small mixing bowl.
  2. In a larger mixing bowl combine the oil, 1/4 cup raw honey or brown rice syrup, 1/2 cup milk and the pumpkin puree.
  3. Stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just mixed.
  4. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup raw honey or brown rice syrup, 1 cup milk and the water in a saucepan on medium heat until just boiling.  Reduce heat to low and drop 4 spoonfuls of dough into the boiling sauce.
  5. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. No peeking. Keep the lid on to retain the moisture.
  6. Spoon warm dumplings into a bowl, top with some of the sauce and if desired a spoonful of nondairy yogurt.

Yield:

Makes 4 servings.

Notes:

Sweet dumplings are kind of a homely dessert but what these little guys lack in appearance they more than make up for in taste.