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.

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.

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.

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™‚

*This page contains affiliate links.

Protein Packed Peanut Butter Cups

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This past week, my precious sister was in town to visit for the Thanksgiving holiday, and boy, do I miss her sweet presence, as well as that of her family, now that she has traveled back home to her place. Amongst the many things that we enjoy doing together, one of them is eating chocolate, and we definitely made sure that we tried a few good treats from the kitchen while she was here. One favorite that came as a result of her stay here was these beautiful protein packed peanut butter cups! They are tasty, yet filled with an extra dose of healthy fats and protein. You can feel good about placing these on your holiday tray this Christmas. πŸ™‚

Protein Packed Peanut Butter Cups
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons organic crunchy peanut butter
*2-3 tablespoons high quality protein powder ( I would suggest this protein powder)
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup (Grade B preferred)
2 ounces dark chocolate + 1 tablespoon coconut oil for melting

Directions:
Melt the the coconut oil, peanut butter, and maple syrup in a sauce pan on low. Stir frequently. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the protein powder. Fill approximately 10 mini muffin liners with the peanut butter mixture. Each liner should be half full. Place in the freezer to set for 10 minutes while you melt the chocolate topping. In a small sauce pan, melt together the chocolate and the coconut oil on low, stirring constantly, making sure not to burn. Remove the peanut butter cups from the freezer and pour chocolate on top of each cup. Place back in the freezer for 10 minutes. Remove and enjoy! πŸ™‚ Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. πŸ™‚

*Thank you to my lovely sister for this great recipe. πŸ™‚ It will be consumed often. πŸ™‚

*Note about whey protein: Above all, I still recommend getting the majority of your protein from high quality grass-fed meat. This is still the most natural way to consume protein and the most easy for one’s body to recognize. If you are still wanting to supplement with a whey protein, then there is some information worth noting.

I do not recommend using several whey proteins on the market as many of them have been denatured, filled with artificial sweeteners, and are very hard on one’s gut. Dr. Axe gives a well written response to what to look for in whey proteins as well as the risks of using one that is not in its natural form:
“Unfortunately, not all whey protein is created equal. Most of the protein powders on the market today have undergone acid treatments, been injected with steroids and hormones like rBGH, contain artificial sweeteners and are denatured.

Consuming denatured protein powder is hard on your digestive tract and can lead to a condition called leaky gut, which can then cause inflammation and autoimmune issues.

 So, I urge you to stay away from all processed non-organic protein powders because they will likely do you more harm than good. 

Instead look for organic and Grassfed whey proteins. 


When buying whey protein, make sure you’re getting both β€œorganic” and β€œgrass-fed”. 

Along with these, here are 7 others important things you’ll want to consider:

Cold Processed, NOT heat processed
Only ORGANIC so it’s free of pesticides, hormones and heavy metals
Grass-fed, NOT grain-fed, which is important for healthy fat ratios of CLA
High Bio-Availability, so better option than rice or vegan protein powders
Sweetened naturally, No artificial sweeteners
Easy to Digest, No protein isolates which harm the digestive tract, concentrates are less processed.
Low Carb, No fructose or other processed sugars
…”

*To read more about Dr. Axe, you can find his website here.

*This page contains affiliate links.

Pumpkin Coconut Patties

As I continue to celebrate fall, I find myself making more pumpkin recipes these days! In the spirit of the season, I want to share a few more fall delights for you so that you have delectable treats to savor. Enjoy this recipe that is simple, yet healthy and completely guilt free. Go ahead. Grab two cookies!

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Ingredients:

2 cups shredded coconut
1 cup pitted mejool dates, packed
2/3 cup organic pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons maple syrup (Grade B is preferable; Trader Joe’s sells it currently)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (Do not omit the salt! It brings out your spices in the cookie.)

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350.
Place all ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth. Form into balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Press each cookie down slightly with your hand. Bake the cookies for 17 minutes. Cool completely and enjoy! Store in the refrigerator. πŸ™‚

Gooey Goodness Brownies with Avocado Mousse Frosting

If you want a bite of chocolate goodness, keep reading. This recipe is worth every bite. Not only is it tasty, but it is filled with nutrient dense ingredients and healthy fats as well. Plus, they are egg-free, gluten-free, and dairy free. I think I found a winner recipe for my son’s birthday cake, and I am so excited!! Enjoy the gooey treat (and don’t feel one bit guilty!).

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Ingredients for the Brownies:

4 tablespoons Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
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
Β½ cup organic pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
ΒΌ teaspoon sea salt
ΒΌ teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons cacao powder
4 tablespoons coconut flour
4 tablespoons arrowroot flour
1/4 cup Enjoy Life Chips to fold in (optional)

Instructions:
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, pumpkin, vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Beat until combined.
In a separate bowl, stir together the coconut flour, cacao powder, and arrowroot. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix with a spatula until just combined. Fold in additional chocolate chips if desired.
Place in a greased 8×8 pan, and spread out evenly. Bake for 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean (Don’t worry about under-baking a little! πŸ™‚ Cool completely. While cooling, prepare the mousse frosting. πŸ™‚

For the mousse frosting, just follow ** this recipe. Frost with half of the mousse, and save the rest just for eating! πŸ™‚

These brownies are great cold or warm! πŸ™‚

Another great option is to sprinkle the brownies with a little coconut butter. πŸ™‚

**Please note that I have changed which coconut milk I use since posting the mousse recipe. I now use Natural Value instead of Native Forest. πŸ™‚

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Savory Butternut Squash and Leek Dish (AIP Friendly)

I made a new discovery today: I love leeks! In the midst of trying to use up all of the extra veggies I received this week from our co-op share, I decided to try something new. πŸ™‚ I am so glad that I created this dish; it is a winner and an easy side for the fall as well (although I obviously still enjoyed it on this particular day in August! πŸ™‚ ). Plus, it is autoimmune protocol friendly if you omit the Parmesan cheese as a garnish. Enjoy!
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Savory Butternut Squash and Leek
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 leek (green tops and root removed), cleaned well. (For a tutorial on how to wash leeks, see this link.)
2 1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil, divided
1 clove of garlic, minced
Salt to taste
Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)

Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350. While the oven is preheating, peel and cube up your butternut squash and toss with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Place the squash in a roasting pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until tender. During the last 10 minutes of baking time, start to prepare your leek. Melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil over medium in a frying pan. With the top of the leek as well as the root removed, thinly slice the leek and then roughly chop. Saute in the frying pan for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add a 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil to the pan, followed by the butternut squash. Saute gently for 5 minutes, being careful not to burn. Add the minced garlic and saute for 1 more minute. Season with salt and serve. Garnish with Parmesan cheese if desired. πŸ™‚