Christmas is about a week away and I'm ready to step into "Christmas break" mode! It's funny--not having a final paper due or one more shift to work at the office right before Christmas still makes me giddy. And even though those schedules are no longer a reality for me, I still put myself on a Christmas break. Can you relate? If so, let's celebrate with some frozen peppermint bark...Merry Christmas to us!
Frozen Peppermint Bark
Makes 12 servings
For the base:
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c melted (not hot) coconut oil
1/4 c honey
1/4 c stevia sweetened chocolate chips
1/4 t peppermint extract
For the topping:
2 T melted (not hot) coconut oil
1 T arrowroot powder
1 t honey
A few drops naturally derived red or green food coloring (optional)
6 honey sweetened peppermint patty candies, chopped (about 1/2 c)
Whisk cocoa powder and coconut oil for the base in a large bowl til smooth, then whisk in honey, peppermint extract, and chocolate chips. Spread onto a flat pan or container (about 8x8"). Freeze for 20 minutes. While base freezes, whisk together coconut oil, arrowroot powder, and honey for the topping in a clean bowl. Lightly color this glaze with food coloring, if desired. Once base has been in freezer for 20 minutes, drizzle glaze over the top, then sprinkle with chopped peppermint patties, gently pressing down so they stick. Freeze for another 20 minutes. Finally, remove peppermint bark from freezer and pop out onto a cutting board. Chop into 12 pieces and store in freezer til ready to serve. When serving, defrost for 5 minutes, then eat immediately.
Of course apple crisp is a classic autumn dessert, but I actually love eating this recipe for breakfast. After serving to loved ones the night before all warm and melty, the next morning you can try serving yourself a cooled portion over plain yogurt and feel good that you're getting seasonal fruit, complex carbs, good quality fat, and protein right off the bat! Enjoy, friends.
9 organic apples, peeled (6 sweet apples and 3 tart apples)
1/2 c cranberries
1 c, plus 2 T quick oats
1 1/4 c, plus 2 T coconut sugar
3 t cinnamon, divided
2 1/4 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 c soft-solid coconut oil
1/2 c cold, organic, salted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, F. Core and slice apples from top to bottom into thin wedges. Reserve 6 pretty (thicker) slices and 3 cranberries for top. In a large glass pan, toss apples with cranberries, 2 T oats, 2 T coconut sugar, and 1 t cinnamon. Set aside and prepare topping: in a large bowl, mix together remaining quick oats, coconut sugar, cinnamon, whole wheat pastry flour, and sea salt. Cut butter into 1/4" cubes and add butter and coconut oil to topping mixture. With a large spoon, stir butter and coconut oil in until fully coated, then with a clean hand, blend mixture together until it forms a damp sand consistency (the goal is to keep the fat as cold as possible, so there will still be small chunks of butter). Then, pour mixture over the top of apples. Add reserved apple slices and cranberries to the top in a decorative circle. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until apples are bubbling and topping begins to brown. Serve warm or cooled and store at room temperature, loosely covered for up to 2 days (then move to the refrigerator).
This recipe will help summer last longer and satisfy those who wake up craving dessert...because if I haven't mentioned it yet, I eat fruit crisp for breakfast.
Make 12 servings
For the filling:
10 organic peaches, pitted and sliced lengthwise
1 c organic blueberries
¼ c quick oats
¼ c coconut sugar
1 T organic corn starch or arrowroot powder
For the crumble:
¾ c coconut flour
1 c quick oats
3/4 c coconut sugar
1-1 ¼ c soft, but not melted coconut oil
¼ t sea salt
1 t ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375. Combine ingredients for filling and transfer into a large glass baking dish. In a separate bowl, mix together ingredients for the crumble with a clean hand and press over filling. Bake for 30 minutes, until fruit is bubbling and topping is golden brown.
Chia pudding is not only a lovely sweet dessert, it’s also a healthy snack full of fiber! Once you try the recipe this way, explore your own combinations of flavors by swapping out the frozen fruit, natural liquid sweetener, and other flavor add ins with your own ideas. It’s supremely versatile.
⅓ c honey
¼ c cocoa powder
1 (13-14 oz) can full fat coconut milk
½ c chia seeds
3 T cacao nibs
1 t vanilla extract
½ c finely chopped frozen cherries (I prefer organic, dark sweet cherries)
Heat honey slightly (about 10 seconds in microwave) so it is easier to whisk and add to a large bowl. Whisk in cocoa powder ’til smooth, then add in coconut milk (whisk in a little at a time, avoiding clumps). Finally, add remaining ingredients and whisk to combine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (this will thicken your pudding). Serve cold.
If you like this recipe, hit me up for the Vegetable Explosion menu for a week's worth of vegan meals!
I know what you're thinking! Ew. And honestly, the best way to introduce people to this recipe is to say, "Here, taste this chocolate pudding!" THEN, when they're like, "Oh, wow, that texture is awesome," you come at them with, "Yeah, it's made with avocados." Stunning ensues. But this is a blog and I can't give you a spoonful of the stuff, so you'll just have to trust me. I straight up prefer this pudding to a conventional one and as an added bonus, it totally counts as a serving of vegetables. With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I thought another chocolate recipe was called for. And no, it's not green (see photo). You and/or your sweetie will love this!
2 medium, ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
1/4 c milk or milk substitute (I made a version last week with organic half and half and this week's batch was with coconut milk...both delicious)
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 c pure maple syrup
1/2 t vanilla extract
2 oz organic dark chocolate, chopped
Pinch coarse sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
In a blender, combine first 5 ingredients. If you have a great blender, it will take care of this completely, but it you have a weak blender (like me), you'll want to then transfer the contents to a bowl and whisk thoroughly until no avocado bits remain visible. Finally, fold in chocolate chunks and salt. Serve cold with a dollop of organic whipped cream or coconut cream, if desired.
Happy Valentine's Weekend!
Time for another recipe! One of my most helpful methods for staying on track with my lifestyle diet is to have healthy treats on hand. My family is in from out of town this week which means there are going to be so many opportunities for celebrating through food. However, for my own health, I need to get back on track after the holidays and a time of travel. Today, I'm sharing a dessert recipe that I almost always have in my freezer...Freezer Fudge, or as I call it more often, "Fudgies". So simple and delicious! When my family cuts into another pie or whips out another platter of cookies this week, I don't just have to say, "No thanks." I can run to the freezer and celebrate through food right alongside them...
Makes 12 portions-less than 100 calories in each square!
¼ c no sugar added, natural peanut butter
¼ c coconut oil
¼ c unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T raw honey
1 t vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in large bowl with a whisk. Pour mixture into a flat, rectangular tupperware, secure with a lid, and lay in a flat space in the freezer. After 1 hour, take a butter knife and cut the fudge into 12 squares. Fudge will defrost quickly-in about 2 minutes when brought to room temp, so store in the freezer ‘til ready to eat. Enjoy!
In honor of today being the last day of August, I'm sharing a very summery recipe for grilled fruit. Grilling fruit seems to be a fad right now, and for good reason. When fruit is heated, its natural sugars create a juicy and sweet effect. Paired with the smokiness of a good sear, nature's favorite dessert now has a fresh face. Below is my favorite recipe for grilled fruit. It will vary depending on the type of grill you have and how hot you can get said grill, but it's also rather foolproof in that if your fruit isn't looking done, you'll just leave it be a few minutes longer. And yes, this recipe was both featured at the Nourished! dinner party and will be taking center stage in the side dishes chapter of the upcoming Nourished! cookbook.
Grilled Fruit (serves 12 as a side dish):
6 organic peaches, halved
1 lb large organic strawberries, hulled and kept whole
½ lb figs, stemmed and halved
¼ c extra virgin olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 T honey
½ t large flake sea salt or kosher salt
½ t cracked black pepper
2 T chopped, fresh rosemary, plus 1-2 sprigs for garnish
Slice fruit and toss all ingredients in a large bowl. Place fruit piece by piece on a hot grill (as hot as it will go) and flip after 1-2 minutes, once grill marks appear. Figs and strawberries will be ready for a flip before peaches. Remove from grill and keep warm. In a small saucepan, reduce the fruit marinade and juices over low heat for 15-20 minutes. Drizzle over fruit and garnish with sprigs of fresh rosemary.
What is your favorite healthy summer side dish? Share in the comments below!