Posts in Sweets
Almond Butter Truffles
 
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These truffles are like little bombs of deliciousness. They're super quick, ridiculously easy and perfect for dessert or a snack. Plus, they are sweetened entirely with dates which make them (somewhat) less sinful than your average truffles. Don't be afraid to be heavy-handed with the salt: the combination of salty and sweet is what makes these so addictive! 

Rusted Root- Send Me On My Way

INGREDIENTS

10 large pitted medjool dates
2 tbsp almond butter
pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tsp coconut oil
optional: chia seeds or large flake salt for topping

INSTRUCTIONS

Add dates, almond butter, sea salt and vanilla to a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is smooth. With wet hands, roll into balls (about a teaspoon each), and place on parchment paper covered tray. Freeze the balls for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, melt dark chocolate with coconut oil, stirring often over low heat. After 15 minutes, dip balls into the dark chocolate, place back on the tray. If choosing to, sprinkle  with kosher salt or chia seeds. Place back into freezer. Serve straight from the freezer (they taste best when chilled!)

Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows 

 
SweetsAlexa ChichakComment
Peanut Butter Bites
 
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Peanut butter and chocolate is likely one of my favorite combinations, ever. You can probably tell by looking at the "sweet" page of the blog- peanut butter and chocolate mousse, peanut butter and chocolate blondies, peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes... I can't stop! These are easy to whip up, and are tiny- perfect for snacking. Also, they pair realllly well with wine ;)

Fat Freddy's Drop- Flashback

INGREDIENTS

½ cup almonds
½ cup salted peanuts
½ cup peanut butter
2 medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup rolled oats (I used certified GF)
½ tsp vanilla
1 cup dark chocolate chips or bars, chopped finely
1 tbsp coconut oil

INSTRUCTIONS

Add oats and dates to a food processor, pulse until oats are finely ground and well combined. Remove from processor, then add almonds and peanuts to the food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add peanut butter and vanilla to nut mixture and pulse until well combined. Add oats and blend until it forms a dough. Using a 1/4 tsp as a spoon, scoop small amounts of dough, roll into balls and place on a lined cookie sheet. Freeze for half an hour to an hour, until dough balls are frozen hard. In a pot, heat chocolate and coconut oil on low heat until melted. Turn heat off. Using a fork, roll each peanut butter ball in chocolate and tap on the side of the pot to get excess chocolate off. Place chocolate covered ball on a lined cookie sheet and place in freezer until firm. Once firm, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until serving. 

Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker

 
SweetsAlexa ChichakComment
Apple Butter

It may not 'officially' be fall yet, but in my mind, fall starts when school does. I'm so ready for all the typical fall things- scarves, boots, and allll the spices. 

First fall dish this year? Apple butter. It's similar to applesauce but more flavorful, smoother and easy to spread. I made about 12 jars of this from a huge batch of Okanagan apples, so I've had lots to use. I've spread it on toast, banana bread, crackers with cheese. I put it on my oatmeal, in my yogurt parfaits, and in my soup for a little extra flavor. 

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it's in a slow cooker so requires almost no prep aside from chopping. The slow simmer makes your house smells amazing- no need for scented candles when you've got apple butter on the go! 

The Lumineers- Cleopatra

INGREDIENTS

6-7 apples (i like to use gala, ambrosia- something sweet, not sour)
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS

Wash apples and chop into very small cubes. Add apples and rest of the ingredients to a slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours. When apples have completely broken down, remove from heat and blend either using hand blender or by adding to a stand blender. Blend until smooth, let cool, then store in jars in the fridge. 

Add to yogurt, spread on toast or crackers, serve with melted brie.... Use your imagination. 

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies
 

This past month I was in Nicaragua, working with Natural Doctors International in their permanent medical clinic in the small town of Los Angeles on the island of Ometepe. The organization provides free medical care to anyone in need. I find it difficult to fully capture the amazing spirit of this organization. They see patients day in and day out with all kinds of illness- diabetes, kidney stones, malnutrition- and do everything they can to cure or aid in recovery. I was lucky to work in the clinic for a week, during which I assisted both doctors during appointments, conducted physical examinations and shadowed the resident psychologist.  The patients I saw during this time were the most kind and appreciative people, despite overwhelming poverty and adversity in their daily lives. 

It was a great reminder that happiness comes from within and not from material possessions. I come back with a renewed appreciation for the comforts and luxuries of home. 

Working in the clinic renewed and reaffirmed my choice in becoming a naturopathic doctor. It felt good to help others who so desperately needed it; I can't wait to help people every day. 

Now that I'm back and ready to cook, here's my favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies. I made these a few days before I left and damn! They are soft, gooey, and so delicious. They are only six ingredients and are so easy to throw together. 

The Lumineers- Flowers in Your Hair

INGREDIENTS

1 large egg
1 cup almond butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup dark chocolate chips
pinch of sea salt

 INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 F. In a medium bowl, beat the egg. Whisk almond butter, vanilla and sugar with the beaten egg, then add baking soda and salt and whisk. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop teaspoons of batter onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack. The cookies will be very soft coming out of the oven.

 
Banana Ice Cream

Summer is here, which means it's time for my favourite ice cream. Vegan, dairy free, added sugar free- and only one ingredient!

I always keep frozen bananas on hand in case I want to make this. When you have ripe bananas, peel them and toss them in the freezer so they are ready to go! 

You can add any toppings you want! I like blending peanut butter or almond butter in, then topping with chocolate chips. You can also blend frozen raspberries in, or coconut- use your imagination! 

Days in the Sun- Ziggy Alberts

INGREDIENTS

2 bananas, frozen

Optional toppings: peanut butter, almond butter, chocolate chips, frozen raspberries, coconut, etc. 

INSTRUCTIONS

Let frozen bananas sit on the counter for about 5 minutes after removing from the freezer. Add bananas to food processor and blend until smooth. 

*If the ice cream is a little too soft, put it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes until hardened. 

 

Banana Bread

Banana bread is, in my opinion, one of the world's most comforting foods. The smell of it brings me back to my mom baking it when I was little. This version is gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and high protein yet manages to capture the same delicious taste I remember from my mom's loaves. 

Best of all, this recipe is so low maintenance. You just need to toss everything in the food processor, then bake. Perfect for lazy mornings. 

Shakey Graves- Family and Genus

INGREDIENTS

4 ripe bananas
4 eggs
½ cup almond, cashew or peanut butter
4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup honey (optional, but recommended)
½ cup gluten free flour blend
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp vanilla
1.5 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt

 INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 F. Add all wet ingredients to food processor, and blend until well combined. Add dry ingredients, blend well. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

Gluten free chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting- because it's my birthday! These cupcakes are rich and decadent- they may be gluten free, but they definitely are not a health food. A major rule in nutrition is the 80/20 rule: 80% of your diet should be from whole, healthy, balanced foods, and the other 20% can be from your treats. These cupcakes definitely fall into to the 20%, but damn, they are so worth it. 

I used to have a baking business called Sweet Escape- I would sell mini cupcakes at farmers market's and also bake for private events. Peanut butter and chocolate was always one of my favorite flavors, and was a big seller. When I stopped eating gluten & dairy, I knew I had to figure out how to replicate the cupcakes in a form I could eat. I'm happy to say that these cupcakes are actually more delicious than their gluten and dairy-containing counterparts. 

I recommend making these as mini cupcakes if you are able to- the frosting-cake ratio is much better than with normal sized cupcakes. That being said, you can absolutely make them normal sized, or even as a cake, you'll just need to adjust baking time accordingly. 

BØRNS-10,000 Emerald Pools (thanks to my brother for this one!)

INGREDIENTS

Cupcakes:
2/3 cup white quinoa
1 1/3 cup water
1/3 cup almond milk + 1/4 cup almond milk (divided)
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted and cooled
1 cup white sugar
1 ¼ cup cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

 Icing:
¼ cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup peanut butter
2.5 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ cup milk**
Optional toppings: chopped crushed peanuts and melted chocolate for drizzle. 

** Note: Milk is used for the peanut butter frosting, which makes these not entirely dairy-free. I've experimented with both soy and almond milks and both of them make the icing congeal into a blobby mess (not pretty!). Feel free to try other non-dairy milks if you'd like and let me know how they work out. 

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium pot, bring the quinoa and water to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes until all the water is absorbed, then turn off heat and fluff with a fork. Add 2 cups of the cooked quinoa, 1/3 cup almond milk, eggs, vanilla extract and butter to a blender and blend until smooth- you shouldn't see any lumps of quinoa. In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients together. Add the liquid combination and whisk until combined, then add another ¼  cup almond milk and whisk again. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners, and scoop batter into tins to about 2/3 of the way full. For minis, bake for 7-10 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. For regular size, bake 15-20 minutes. For a cake, bake 20-30 minutes. 

Icing:
Beat butter, peanut butter, vanilla and salt until combined. Slowly beat in icing sugar and milk, and beat until light and fluffy. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Optionally, top with chopped peanuts and melted chocolate drizzle. 

Peanut Butter Mousse

Peanut butter and chocolate: what dreams are made of. For real, I love making desserts out of these two! 

I had a ton of ideas for Valentine's Day desserts, but decided on this one because it's just so easy. It's one of those desserts that are extremely flavorful and impressive, but require almost no effort on your part. 

The secret ingredient in this mousse is tofu, but I promise you can't tell! The tofu makes the mousse extra creamy and decadent without the use of dairy. Tofu and peanut butter together also deliver a good source of protein. The digestion of protein in combination with sugar minimizes the spike in blood sugar that usually follows sugar consumption. Less spiking of blood sugar= no post-dessert crash. Happy Valentine's Day, indeed!

Glass Animals- Gooey

INGREDIENTS

For the mousse:
150 g soft tofu (half of a normal sized package)
½ cup natural peanut butter
½ tsp vanilla
1.5 tbsp honey or agave
pinch of salt

For the chocolate topping:
¼ cup dark chocolate, chopped
1.5 tsp coconut oil

INSTRUCTIONS

Add all mousse ingredients to blender, and blend until smooth. Pour into small jars or ramekins and place in freezer. In a small saucepan, melt dark chocolate and coconut oil together over medium-low heat until smooth. Remove peanut butter jars from the freezer and spoon 1 tbsp of chocolate over each jar. Quickly swirl the jar so the chocolate covers all of the mousse. Cover and refrigerate until serving (at least 1 hour). Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on top of the chocolate before serving. 
 

Disclaimer: Information can be empowering, but we all have unique health profiles and needs. Health-related information contained in this post is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a Naturopathic Doctor. The advice is intended to offer only a general basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider.  Always consult your licensed Naturopathic Physician.

SweetsAlexa ChichakComment
Fudgey Brownies

As a chocolate enthusiast, I've tried many gluten-free brownie recipes. There are lots of great ones out there, especially black bean brownies. However, I've found that when the brownie craving hits, I don't always have black beans in my pantry. Sometimes, when you're having a lazy movie night in your pajamas, running to the grocery store is just too much work. 

That's why I love this recipe. It only has 6 ingredients, all of which I usually have laying around, for an easy and quick chocolate fix. You can use what ever you have on hand- peanut butter, almond butter, anything goes! It's also vegan and sweetened almost entirely by natural sugars. 

It's a healthier version of your favorite brownies, with the same deliciousness. Win! 

Update: This recipe was added to the Naturally Sweetened feed by Feed Feed! Check it out here :)

Asaf Avidan- One day/ Reckoning Song (Wankelmut Remix)

INGREDIENTS

2 ripe bananas
1 cup almond butter (or peanut butter, or wow butter)
1 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp almond milk or milk of your choice
1 cup dark chocolate chips
¼ tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS

In a food processor, blend everything but the chocolate chips until the batter is smooth. Add the chocolate chips and pulse until incorporated. Pour batter into greased square pan. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. 

*Note: As the brownies rely on the sugars from ripe bananas, make sure you actually use ripe ones! Green bananas won't give the same sweetness. 

 

Peanut Butter "Blondies"

What? What what? Yes. Peanut butter blondies. Fudge-y, thick squares of perfection. They're also gluten free and vegan (see notes), bonus!!

Chickpeas might sound risky if you haven't baked with them before, but I promise you can't taste them. Some of my favorite gluten-free baked goods have chickpeas in them, because they end up so chewy and delicious. Don't let the chickpeas intimidate you!

The amount of chickpeas in this recipe means the protein content is high- this is a snack that will keep you full, longer. Plus, protein is a blood-sugar stabilizer, so the sweetness of honey won't make you crash (as much, anyway). Chickpeas are also a great source of fibre, and a good source of potassium, iron and magnesium. Best dessert ever? I think so. 

If you're able to restrain yourself from eating all of them at once, you can store them in the freezer in an air-tight container and warm them up when you need them. 

Tom Odell- Another Love (Zwette Edit)

INGREDIENTS

1 cup rolled oats
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1¼ cup peanut butter
½ cup honey, melted
½ cup almond milk
1 ½ tsp vanilla
¾  tsp of baking soda
¾  tsp of baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips

*To make them vegan, substitute agave syrup for honey, and use dairy-free dark chocolate chips. 
*For celiacs or other gluten intolerances, make sure you're using wheat-free oats.

 INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a square or rectangular pan with parchment paper (depends how thick you want the bars).
In your food processor, grind the oats until they become a fine flour. Add all ingredients except chocolate chips and blend until smooth. You can add small amounts of almond milk if the mixture is too thick. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add chocolate chips. 

Spread mixture into the baking pan with a spatula.  Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (just make sure not to overcook or they can get dry). The top should be golden brown and will have a fudgey consistency. Let them cool before cutting into squares. 

 

SweetsAlexa ChichakComment