Coconut Flour Fudge Brownies (Grain-Free Goodness!)

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It’s no secret…I am definitely in love with chocolate, particularly chocolate brownies. If I am honest, I have something on hand every week! πŸ™‚ Am I addicted? Probably. πŸ™‚ These brownies have been my “go to” dessert for quite a while; they also have been successful at satisfying the sweet tooth of family and friends. I am incredibly grateful to Erica from the Comfy Belly for this delicious recipe. I did alter the amount of coconut flour, but other than that, this is Erica’s recipe. πŸ™‚ Be sure to check out her blog for more great dishes! πŸ™‚

Ingredients:
1/4 cup minus 1/2 tsp. coconut flour (Do not pack this. Too much coconut flour will alter the texture of your brownies.)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (You can also use cacao powder.)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 organic eggs (This is important.)
3/4 cup maple syrup (Grade B preferred)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup melted coconut oil (If dairy is tolerated, Kerrygold butter tastes great in place of the coconut oil! I find mine at Trader Joe’s. Sometimes Costco will carry this as well.)

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 and grease an 8×8 pan with coconut oil.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. Set aside.
3. In a smaller bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients, except for the coconut oil (or butter). Add the wet ingredients (except the coconut oil/butter) to the dry ingredients. Using a handheld mixer, combine the wet and dry ingredients until well incorporated. Add the 1/3 cup oil or butter and process again until incorporated.
4. Let the batter set for 5 minutes, and then proceed to process once more for 30 seconds with the handheld mixer.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the toothpick inserted comes out clean. (I always under bake mine a little and take them out at 20 minutes because I prefer them that way; it is a matter of your taste preference.)
6. Optional but absolutely delicious: Poke holes into the top of the brownies and frost with Erica’s delicious ganache! Find the recipe here.
7. Let cool slightly and enjoy! πŸ™‚

*This page contains affiliate links.
*Brownie and ganache recipe from Comfy Belly.

Nutritious Chocolate Mint Smoothie (Paleo Style)

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I know, I know…I am a couple days late with this one! I had planned to have this post ready for St. Patty’s Day, but unfortunately (or not:)), I drank this delightful smoothie before I gave myself a moment to take a picture. So, I just promised myself another smoothie the next day…and the next. πŸ™‚ Yes, I have had three of these since March 17th, but I am not ashamed! There is no need to feel guilty for this one, because it is full of nutritious ingredients, paleo, and even more, it is absolutely satisfying. Go ahead! Make a few for yourself this week. πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1/2 avocado, peeled, cut into chunks, and placed in the freezer for an hour (Please do not skip this step! This is a smoothie “game changer” in regards to texture!)
1 frozen banana, cut into chunks
*1/2-3/4 cup coconut milk (Try this homemade recipe!) If you do not make your own, it is important to purchase a brand which does not contain carrageenan.
1-2 mejool dates
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, alcohol free (I purchase mine from Trader Joe’s.)
1/8 teaspoon pure peppermint extract (This is the brand I recommend, as it does not contain alcohol.)
1-2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup ice
Optional add in: Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate (This is a great protein source and super for gut health. Make sure to purchase the green can, not the red one.)

Directions:
Place all the ingredients in a blender, and process until smooth. A high-speed blender works great for this, but if you do not have one, a normal blender will work just fine. It just may take a little more work to get it all processed. πŸ™‚ Pour your delicious treat into a large glass. If desired, top with one of these brownies!

*Start with a 1/2 cup of milk. You may need to add a little more milk (or water) to assist in blending. Add a little at a time, so as to not make it too runny. You want your smoothie to have an “ice cream-like” consistency. πŸ™‚

*This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support!

A Birthday Boy’s Dream Digger Cake (Gluten-Free)

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Recently, my oldest son had his third birthday, and as I write this, I can’t believe we have had three of these celebrations already. “Is he really three?” I ask myself. Then I remind myself of the importance of cherishing each moment, for I have learned this to be true: time does fly. πŸ™‚

In light of the conversation of cherishing each moment, one of the things I have always loved is the time to celebrate a holiday, a birthday, or a special occasion. Not only is celebration fun, but I truly believe that we must make time to honor those moments and seasons of joy. Ecclesiastes 3:4 says that there is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (ESV, emphasis mine). Yes, there is a time to celebrate, and birthdays are no exception.

With that said, my son’s third birthday this year was such a wonderful time. He is in love with anything “digger” or “dumptruck”, and so I knew that our celebration would revolve around that theme. When I originally started planning his party, I had a full menu of which I planned to serve our few guests and then to top that off, I also wanted to serve birthday dessert (Of course, right? I mean, who wouldn’t want birthday cake?! :)). Let me tell you… this birthday was about learning to simplify. I feel like I am constantly learning this lesson (aren’t we all?!). By the time the planning was done, I had decided that we would skip a meal and instead, have a fun digger birthday cake with ice cream, strawberries & dip, and some leftover caramel popcorn I had in my freezer. I have always thought that simplifying like this would take away some of the fun and joy in the planning process; what I learned instead was that this actually left me (and my family!) less stressed it made planning much more of a blast. Plus it allowed for more time to relish in each moment of the birthday (cherishing the time, right? :)) rather than being concerned about details that, in all reality, didn’t matter “big picture”. Plus it gave me some time to give this cake a whirl; it truly was one of the best birthday celebrations.

So, what about this cake? πŸ™‚ Let me tell you that looks can be deceiving! This actually was a very simple gluten-free cake to make. I utilized one of my favorite gluten-free baking brands (Pamela’s) and I was set! I also looked at a lot of Pinterest pictures! πŸ˜‰ Enjoy this simple, yet fun way to spice up a boy’s birthday celebration. πŸ™‚

For the Cake:
2 Bags Pamela’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Mix
The remaining ingredients listed on the bag recipe (2 eggs, *1/2 cup oil, and 1 1/2 cups water) *I chose to use melted coconut oil for this recipe.

Directions: Lightly grease 2- 9 inch round pans and set aside. Follow the mixing and baking instructions for the “Luscious Chocolate Cake” recipe found on the bag. It is also important to fill the pans 2/3 full. You will have extra cake mix when you are done. Use it to make cupcakes! πŸ™‚ When the cake is done, cool for 15 minutes and then run a knife along the sides to loosen, but do not pop out of the pans yet. Cool completely. In the meantime, make the frosting.

For the sake of simplicity, click on this link to find the frosting recipe. Here a couple of my notes regarding the frosting:
1) Semi-sweet chocolate chips work instead of chopping up the chocolate.
2) I used Brown Rice Syrup instead of the corn syrup to make sure the frosting was gluten-free.
3) My frosting was pretty runny yet by the time I was done preparing it. I followed her instructions and chilled it in the fridge until it was a little more set. I actually popped it in the freezer for a portion of the time, just to speed up the chilling process. πŸ™‚
4) Follow the directions!!! Don’t skip the ice bath, etc. πŸ™‚ You will be glad that you took the time to follow the extra steps. πŸ™‚

Assembly Instructions:
1) On a large cutting board lined with foil, carefully pop out one of the cakes so that the flat side of the cake is face up. Frost the top of this layer with a generous amount of frosting. Carefully pop out the second cake and carefully lay it on top of the frosted layer, right side up. If your cake is rounded, may have to shave a little off the top of this layer to make sure that it is flat on the top.
2) Frost the remainder of the cake (top and sides). Don’t worry about being neat at first. Glob a generous portion on the top initially so that you have a lot of frosting with which to work. That way, you won’t get crumbs mixed in with your frosting.
3) Once your cake is frosted, smooth it out all over.
4) Cut a chunk out of one portion of the cake, but only cut down through one, rather than both layers. Set this piece aside.
5) Crumble the cut out piece and use this to fill the empty space in the cake. This will create the “dirt look”. You can also mix the cake crumbs with some crushed up gluten-free chocolate sandwich cookies.
6) Use any remaining crumbs to add extra “dirt” around or on top of the cake.
7) Complete the cake by adding a few digger truck toys on the top as well as around the base of the cake.
8) Serve with organic vanilla ice cream (Make sure to purchase the kind without mono and diglycerides and carrageenan.)

Enjoy!!!
*This post contains affiliate links.
*Thank you to Pinterest for all of the many “digger cakes” on display!
*Thank you to Our Best Bites for the frosting recipe. πŸ™‚

Chocolate Chip Coconut Bars (Grain-free, Nut-Free, Delicious!)

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I recently discovered this recipe from Living Healthy With Chocolate and decided to give them a whirl. Why not, right?! I had all the ingredients in my pantry, so I proceeded with excitement. The recipe that I have posted here contains a few modifications, just because I wanted to add a little of my own creative ideas, but I can guarantee you that the original recipe is absolutely delicious too!! πŸ™‚ Make sure to check out the rest of the Living Healthy With Chocolate blog while you are at it; there are so many delightful treats featured. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 cup+2 tablespoons unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 cup coconut butter, (measured when melted)
5 tablespoons coconut oil or grass-fed butter, melted (measured when melted) Unsalted Kerrygold is a great option for a grass-fed butter in this recipe.
pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup (Grade B preferred)
1/2 cup Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips

Directions:
Grease an 8×8 glass pan and line it with parchment paper. (I have found that greasing the pan first is an easier way to get the parchment paper to lay more flat.) Set the pan aside.

In a small saucepan, melt the coconut butter on the lowest setting. When melting coconut butter, stir frequently to avoid burning. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the coconut, coconut oil (or grass-fed butter), salt, vanilla, and maple syrup. Stir gently with a spatula. Pour in the melted coconut butter, and combine. Gently stir in the chocolate chips. Some will melt a little; that is okay! πŸ™‚ Your batter will look runny. Do not worry! It will solidify when you place it in the freezer or fridge.

Place the bars in the fridge until solidified and cooled. This will take approximately 20 minutes. You can always place them in the freezer if you are impatient like me, but remember that they will get rock hard pretty quickly! πŸ™‚

*Store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy often and without an ounce of guilt!

Optional add-ins: In addition to the ingredients listed, you can also add 2 tablespoons of a nut butter of your choice. Another great option is to add a scoop of the Dynamic Greens Espresso powder for an extra boost of nutrients! πŸ™‚ I actually did a batch where I added both the nut butter and the Dynamic Greens along with the rest of the recipe. Not only were they delightful, but they were kid-approved as well!!

*Note: These do not have the best taste when they have been sitting at room temperature for a while. They taste best chilled. πŸ™‚ (I did have to let mine sit out for a bit before giving a sample to my 3 year old son so as to make for easier chewing for a wee-little one. :))

Original recipe found here.

This post contains affiliate links.

Delightful, Nutrient Dense Strawberry Cake (Made with Coconut Flour)

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I have missed you all! I apologize for my “blog posting absence”, but I have been busy collecting a few more delicious recipes for you all! This one comes from Lauren Geertsen’s blog, Empowered Sustenance. She writes that she originally received this recipe from her friend, Melanie. I encourage you to check out Lauren’s great recipes and her insights on health and wellness. I believe you will find great resources for your health journey. πŸ™‚

Like I said, I have been collecting tasty recipes to share, and this one is sure to please. I decided to take on the adventure in making this for my family for Valentine’s Day, and it did not disappoint. I will admit that it was a little more time consuming to put together, but I believe the main reason was that it was my first time making it, and I wanted to make this cake GOOD! πŸ™‚ My sister and mom also decided to make it as well on Valentine’s Day, so it was quite fun to text and chat throughout the day as to how everyone’s cake was progressing. The pics that we shared at the end of the day (since we live a distance away from each other) were fantastic! I was pretty proud and so excited to serve it.

In addition to making a tasty treat for my loved ones, I knew that we were delighting in a cake that was full of nutrition: coconut flour, several eggs, raw honey, and grass-fed butter make this cake more than just a regular dessert. It is full of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Talk about a dessert that you can feel good about eating. In fact, I am not going to lie… we did in fact eat leftovers for breakfast. πŸ™‚

If you are interested in checking out Lauren’s recipe for this cake, you can click on this recipe link. I did follow her version of the cake recipe exactly, but I did make a few modifications in the preparation directions and in the frosting. For the sake of simplicity, I will post what I did here, and you can always refer back to her site if you’d like! πŸ™‚ Enjoy this delightful strawberry cake for any occasion. πŸ™‚
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Cake Ingredients:
8 eggs
1/2 cup raw honey
5 tablespoons chilled, grass-fed butter, grated (I like the Kerrygold brand; Costco sells a case of three of them for under $7. Otherwise, I have gotten mine at Trader Joe’s as well.)
1 cup coconut flour. (To measure it, scoop it and then level with a knife. Do not pack it. It is important not to add too much coconut flour.)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup whole-milk yogurt (We like the Kalona brand.)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, diced (If possible, organic strawberries are best. They are one of the fruits on the “Dirty Dozen” list. More on that here.)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper and coat the sides with butter or coconut oil. I did not have a cake pan, so I used my springform pan and just lined it with aluminum foil along the bottom and sides.

Put the honey and eggs in a large mixing bowl, and with whisk attachment, mix on medium-high for 5 minutes. It should be frothy and pale yellow. Add the grated butter and mix for another minute. Set the bowl aside for a short bit.

In a separate bowl, mix the coconut flour, salt, and baking soda together. Add these dry ingredients to the honey and eggs mixture. Mix for about 1 minute.

With a spatula, gently mix in the whole-milk yogurt, vanilla extract, and the diced strawberries.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan or springform pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Check the cake at 35 minutes to see if it is done. Every oven behaves differently. Lauren’s recipe states to cook for 35 minutes. Mine was not done that quickly. Cool completely (very important!) before frosting with the delicious strawberry buttercream frosting (Recipe below):

Frosting Ingredients: (This recipe comes from Honest Body)
1 cup room temp softened, unsalted grass-fed butter (Kerrygold works wonderfully.)
10 tablespoons raw honey
1 bag (mine was 1.2 oz) freeze dried strawberries
Pinch of sea salt
2 tablespoons maple syrup (grade B preferred)
1 tablespoon+ coconut milk or milk of choice (The milk should NOT be used if the frosting is already a
spreadable consistency. Only use if it is too thick for frosting your cake.)

Directions:
Blend the freeze dried strawberries into a powder in the blender. Pour the powder into a large mixing bowl. (Be careful when pouring or you will have a powdery mess! :))

Add the remaining ingredients, and with a mixer, combine on medium-high speed until creamy. Frost your cake. Decorate with additional strawberries if desired. Enjoy!!! πŸ™‚

*This page contains affiliate links.
*Credit for the cake recipe comes from Lauren over at Empowered Sustenance.
*Credit for the frosting recipe comes from Honest Body.

Coconut Peanut Butter Stuffed Date Truffles

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My love for chocolate, peanut butter, and dates inspired me to give this recipe a whirl, and all I can say is, “Wowza!” These are AMAZING. I am not even kidding; you need to have made these yesterday. Not only are they delicious, but they are an excellent choice for a treat. Dates are packed with nutrients: fiber, potassium, iron, B vitamins, and vitamins A and K, just to name a few. (See more on the health benefits of dates on Dr. Mercola’s site. )

Before I go any further and give you the directions for these date truffles, I do have to thank Sylvie, from Gourmande in the Kitchen, who is the master behind the original recipe. If you want her original recipe without my modifications, head on over and check out her creation (She has named these treats Chocolate Covered Coconut Dates). Plus, she has some other wonderful recipe inspirations as well! πŸ™‚

Without further ado, here is your tasty treat! πŸ™‚

Ingredients for the Stuffed Dates:
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (Note: If your batter seems a little runny after the stuffing ingredients are mixed, add 1-2 extra tablespoons of shredded coconut.)
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup, Grade B preferred
4 tablespoons organic, creamy peanut butter (You can also use sunflower seed butter or almond butter as well!)
Pinch of sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract (Trader Joe’s sells one that is both alcohol free.)
About 20 large, soft Medjool dates (I actually have found a great deal on dates at Costco!)

Ingredients for Chocolate Dip:
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup cocoa powder
4 tablespoons maple syrup, Grade B preferred
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt or pink Himalayan salt

Directions:
*In a large mixing bowl, combine the ingredients for the date “stuffing” (mixing by hand). You can also put all of the ingredients in a food processor for a smoother filling.
*Cut each date in half lengthwise one way, and take out the pit.
*Fill each date with the peanut butter stuffing.
*Chill the dates in the freezer. 20 minutes is a good amount of time.
*While the dates are chilling, make the chocolate dip. Place the melted coconut oil in a medium-sized bowl. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix with a whisk.
*Remove the dates from the freezer. Using a toothpick to hold each date, dip one at a time in the chocolate until fully covered. Place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet. If you desire, sprinkle the dates with chopped nuts, coconut, etc., right after dipping so that your sprinkles set with the chocolate. Place back in the freezer until the chocolate sets. Enjoy!! Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

*This page contains affiliate links.
*This recipe has been adapted from Gourmande in the Kitchen.

Guest Post by Gorilly Goods: An Interview with a Vibrant, Local Organic Food Manufacturer

It is my pleasure to introduce to you today, Chris, the Co-Founder of the delicious, crunchy snacks, Gorilly Goods. Not only are they delicious, but they are snacks which you can feel good about as they are packed full of nutrition. Enjoy learning more about Gorilly Goods, and don’t forget to take advantage of the February PROMO at the end of this post! Give the Gorilly Goods a try for yourself!
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Chris: We met LeNay and her sweet young boys while visiting a couple of stores with our Gorilly Goods products. We are delighted and honored to be able to introduce ourselves through LeNay’s beautiful Avocado Mommy blog.

Avocado Mommy: What are Gorilly Goods?
Chris: Gorilly Goods are crunchy, organic snack β€œthings”. They are packages of tasty goodness that are delicious with your morning coffee or tea, are excellent to grab for a snack β€œon the go”, and are great for long drives in the car to grandma’s house. In addition, these snacks are ideal for refueling on the hiking trail or after your workout. Finally, they are excellent for kids! Pack them in our kids’ lunch along with a few extra to share with their friends! There are three flavors of which to choose from: The β€œOriginal” and the β€œChocolate” which are sweet and the β€œSavory” which are made with seeds and greens. They are handmade in Jackson, WI, in a small family business owned by people who care about others and live like it’s heaven on earth.
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Avocado Mommy: Wow! My mouth is watering already. What are some other aspects that make this product so exceptional for my family?
Chris: Gorilly Goods represent the next generation of nutrition snacking: 100% organic, gluten-free, raw, non-gmo, vegan, and certifiably delicious. They represent cleaner oceans,
fresher air, more fertile soil, sustainability, forest life, healthy dancing children, brilliant
sunsets, and a connection to nature. These are the β€œthings” of Gorilly Goods snacks.

Avocado Mommy: What is the background/inspiration behind the company?
Chris: My husband, Stephen, and I are a conscientious couple that have spent our last
25 years following a passion. Much of the passion has been connected to food, how
food relates to life on our planet, how food impacts the well-being of animals and
humans, how it affects our outlook on life, and how our food choices matter in the
scheme of our world. In 1999, Stephen and I chose to live a raw-food lifestyle
which we embraced, with much study, for several years. During this time, we
developed the Raw Foods Foundation in St Louis, MO. Classes were taught, raw
retreats were held, and many delicious recipes were created. The best of these recipes are
now being produced and introduced to the world through our products, Gorilly Goods.
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Avocado Mommy: Tell us a little more about the production of this product.
Chris: Everything we use in our kitchen is certified organic – that’s important to us. Our first
product to be introduced was the Original Fruit and Nut Things. It’s made mostly of
bananas (fair trade from Ecuador), with California raisins, Texas pecans, Vietnamese
cashews, California walnuts, Philippine coconut as well as coconut nectar, and some
sea salt. The same ingredients are in the Chocolate Fruit and Nut Things variety, but
we coat the Original pieces with an un-roasted, certified organic cacao bean chocolate,
sweetened with coconut palm sugar. It’s all vegan, non-gmo, and created on the tropical
side of heaven – imported from Bali. This Balinese chocolate is 70% dark and full of all
the good antioxidants and nutrients that dark chocolate is known for! Besides fair trade,
it’s certified organic and undeniably, an excellent choice of chocolate. The Savory
variety is made with mighty pumpkin seeds and the cruciferous king: kale (locally
grown from Full Harvest Farm, when available). The seeds and kale are
seasoned with organic nutritional yeast from Germany (info on our blog), gluten-free
organic tamari, and tasty seasonings.
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Avocado Mommy: I have these on my grocery list! Can you share any other thoughts as to why your products are special?
Chris: (As my mom would say…they are…)
β€’ delicious
β€’ nutritious
β€’ make you feel ambitious πŸ™‚
β€’ seriously, they are just good….good tasting, good for you, good for the earth, just
plain old good

We can’t wait for you to try our delicious products! Plus, we have a great promotion for all Avocado Mommy readers:

Rejoice! Use coupon code β€œavocado” at checkout. You will get you 25% off suggested retail price of any online orders. The coupon is good through February 28th, 2015.

Thank you for reading! Thank you for checking out our products. Thank you for caring
about life. You can read more about us at http://www.gorillygoods.com
******************************************************************************************************
*This post contains affiliate links.

Paleo Sweet Potato Brownies Topped with Ganache and Cassava Root Chips (Grain-Free, Egg-Free)

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So, I tried something a little new today, and I seriously was incredibly pleased with the results of these ultra gooey, flavorful, and nutrient-rich brownies! πŸ™‚ I am so excited for you to try these! They are very similar to the Gooey Goodness Brownies on my blog, but there are a few changes. For the sake of simplicity, I am going to post this slightly altered recipe for you. Enjoy every bite, knowing that you are getting not only a delicious brownie, but you are also consuming a dessert containing dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and manganese. πŸ™‚

Brownie Ingredients:
4 tablespoons Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips, 69% Cacao if possible πŸ™‚ (Otherwise, the semi-sweet still work wonderfully!)
ΒΌ cup Natural Value coconut milk (I like this brand because there is no guar gum or thickeners.)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
Β½ cup pure maple syrup, Grade B preferred
Β½ cup cooked, mashed sweet potato
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
ΒΌ teaspoon sea salt
ΒΌ teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 tablespoons coconut flour
4 tablespoons arrowroot flour

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350.
Over a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips, coconut milk, and coconut oil. Stir constantly. Pour into a medium sized mixing bowl, and add in the maple syrup, cooked sweet potato, and vanilla. Beat until combined.
In a separate bowl, stir together the coconut flour, cocoa powder, and arrowroot, salt, and baking soda. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix with a spatula until just combined.
Place in a greased 8Γ—8 pan, and spread out evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, and remove from the oven. Don’t worry about under baking a little. πŸ™‚ While the brownies are still warm, poke holes throughout the top and pour this amazing ganache recipe from The Comfy Belly over the top. Spread out evenly. These are delicious when the ganache seeps down inside the brownies! πŸ˜‰

Cassava Root Topping:
*Cassava Root Chips? “What on earth?!” you say. These are a delicious alternative to potato chips and are divine when crushed on top of brownies. The salty-sweet mix is heavenly. Right before serving, crush a handful of these chips over the top of your dessert. I promise you will be pleasantly surprised!

*Of course, you can always use regular kettle cooked potato chips as well. πŸ™‚

*This page contains affiliate links.

*Remember, if you have never ordered from Vitacost before, make sure to use the $10 off coupon I have provided on the sidebar of my blog! πŸ™‚

Honey Sweetened Cupcakes with Buttercream

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Mmmmm….cupcakes. Let’s admit it. Most of us are huge fans of this tasty treat. Yet, many times, cupcakes are filled with loads of sugar as well as gluten. Where do we find a tasty substitute that still tastes like a cupcake? Well, let me tell you that I have a delicious cupcake recipe to share with you today from another “nutrition-minded” blogger. I recently discovered this dessert from Erica over at her blog, Comfy Belly. I’d encourage you to check out her website as she has fantastic ideas! In the meantime, whip up a batch of these, and enjoy them with no guilt. πŸ™‚ I have followed her cupcake recipe exactly because it is so wonderful just the way it is! The only slight change I made was to omit the seeds from the vanilla bean (as I did not have this on hand) and instead, I increased the vanilla extract in the recipe slightly.

Cupcakes:
Ingredients:
1/2 cup coconut flour (Do not pack the coconut flour in the measuring cup.)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 large eggs
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
*1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons coconut milk or other milk
1 tablespoon + 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
*Preheat the oven to 350. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners and set aside. (This recipe makes approx. 8 cupcakes.)
*In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, add the eggs, melted oil, honey, milk, and vanilla extract. Using an electric mixer, mix the wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, and combine them using the electric mixer until they are well blended. Let the batter set for 3 minutes, and then mix once more for 15 seconds.
*Fill the muffin liners 3/4 of the way full, and pop the cupcakes in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. Keep an eye on them toward the end so that they don’t get too dark. The cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
*Cool and frost with the buttercream recipe below. I followed Erica’s buttercream recipe, but I decreased the honey by 1 tablespoon and I used Tropical Traditions Palm Shortening instead of Spectrum’s Vegetable Shortening.

Buttercream Frosting:
4 tablespoons organic butter at room temp.
4 tablespoons palm shortening
*4 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*With an electric mixer, blend the buttercream ingredients until they are smooth. Frost your amazing cupcakes! πŸ™‚

*Note: If you can get your hands on some local raw honey, it is well worth it for this recipe. Raw honey has a flavor that is superior to regular pasteurized honey. πŸ™‚

*This page contains affiliate links.

*Find the original cupcake recipe here and the frosting recipe here.

Divine Flourless Chocolate Cake (Sweetened with Maple Syrup)

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Happy New Year to all of you, and many blessings as you begin another chapter of your life. To celebrate the new year, I thought it only appropriate to share a little chocolate goodness with you! I certainly can not take credit for this divine, rich, flourless chocolate cake, and I must thank Amee Livingston from Amee’s Savory Dish for this excellent dessert idea. She also adapted it from Mastering the Art of Paleo Cooking. I am so grateful that I found this recipe, as it is SO INCREDIBLY AMAZING. Each bite tastes of smooth, fudgy bliss, and it is excellent paired with a little homemade whipped cream. We have used it for entertaining many times as well, and it has never failed to be a crowd pleaser! Enjoy this recipe for years to come! πŸ™‚

Ingredients:
18 oz Bittersweet Chocolate (Ghirardelli chocolate chips recommended)
1 cup coconut oil
ΒΎ cup real maple syrup (Grade B preferred)
2 tbsp water
ΒΌ tsp sea salt
6 whole eggs
2 tsp good quality vanilla extract

Directions:
*Preheat the oven to 275.
*Grease a 9 inch springform pan. Dust it with cocoa powder by tapping the pan so that the cocoa covers the bottom and sides of the pan. Surround the springform pan with aluminum foil (shiny side of foil facing toward the pan), making sure it is sealed tight! If you have to double up the foil in a few areas, that is okay. This will prevent water from seeping in while baking. Set this pan aside.
*In a double boiler, slowly melt the bittersweet chocolate and the coconut oil, stirring frequently to avoid any burning. Remove the melted chocolate from the heat. Beat in the maple syrup, water, salt, and vanilla extract until combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next one. (It is best to use the whisk attachment for beating in the eggs.)
*Pour your batter into the springform pan.
*Cook your cake in a water bath (water should be half way up the side of the pan) for 50 minutes. The cake will be set but will still look wet in the middle.
*Let the cake rest for an hour at room temperature, and then transfer to the fridge for another 5 hours before serving. When slicing the cake, run the knife under hot water, and dry with a towel between pieces. Enjoy with homemade whipped cream!

*For more pictures of this cake, see the recipe on Amee’s Savory Dish. Head on over to Amee’s Savory Dish and Mastering the Art of Paleo Cooking for more delicious dishes. πŸ™‚

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