Archive | Gluten-free

Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites

Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites

Wow.  I’m so glad I found this recipe.

You could say I’m pretty much in love with the dark chocolate~coconut flavor combination and with tasty treats that aren’t loaded with refined sugar and flour.  So for me, this is a perfect dessert.  They’re stored in the freezer to keep them firm so I just pull one out when I want a little something sweet.  And then I smile because I just ate a tasty treat that was fairly nutritious.

These dark chocolate coconut bites are very similar to a Mounds or Almond Joy candy bar but with less chocolate and more coconut.  They’re small ~ about three or four bites, but it seems to be just enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.

If you love dark chocolate combined with coconut and nuts, you absolutely must make these.

Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites - 2

 

Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites

Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cups shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • *for garnish ~ sliced almonds, thick-cut coconut, whole/or chopped pecans

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the coconut, coconut oil, honey or pure maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  2. Press into a mini-muffin tin.
  3. Let cool in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  4. Melt the dark chocolate and the 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in the microwave or a small sauce pan.
  5. Spoon the chocolate onto the tops of molded coconut.
  6. Top the coconut/chocolate with nuts or coconut and freeze again until firm.
  7. Remove from the muffin tin and place into a container or a zip-top freezer bag and keep frozen until ready to eat.
http://www.abrightandbeautifullife.com/dark-chocolate-coconut-bites/

Recipe source: Oven Love

 

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Raw Chocolate Cheesecake

Valentine'sDayIdea-1

 

 

 

How do you show the special someones in your life some special love on Valentine’s Day?

Do you have any traditions?

My only tradition is this:
My husband LOVES rice crispy/marshmallow treats and because I don’t like them at all, I NEVER make them.
Except for Valentine’s Day.
I have a little cake pan that has six heart shaped cups and I make him a
whole batch of marshmallow treats into heart shapes.
It’s a real treat and he loves it.
I wrap them each individually so they stay fresh and then I bag them up festively and he keeps them in his car and eats one {or more, I’d never know!} everyday until they’re gone.  It doesn’t sound very romantic but it’s one little thing that stays constant.  We celebrate in other ways, too, but that’s what I do every year just for him.

This year for dessert I’m making
Raw Chocolate Cheesecake.

It’s rich, nutritious, chocolaty, completely delicious, and just right for a special occasion ~
something we can eat together and share with others we love.
I like desserts that aren’t loaded with sugar and white flour and this is perfect.

Raw Chocolate Cheesecake ~ No grains, dairy, or sugar

Megan at The Detoxinista created this recipe that is grain-free, dairy-free, and doesn’t have any added sugar. And it has a secret ingredient that makes it moist and adds nutrition.  Can you guess what it is?

We like this Chocolate Cheesecake topped with a bit of heavy whipped cream so ours has dairy but the cheesecake itself doesn’t.  Neither one of us normally likes berries with chocolate but with this cheesecake we do.  The whipped cream and strawberry syrup compliments and tames the very, very chocolatiness {is that even a word?} of this rich dessert.

Just look how beautiful it looks.  It’s tastes just as good as it looks, too.
The crust is the right texture, giving it a cookie-crust feeling and taste, and the filling is silky smooth.

Raw Chocolate Cheesecake ~ No grains, dairy, or sugar

Raw Chocolate Cheesecake

Raw Chocolate Cheesecake

Ingredients

    For the Crust
  • 2 cups raw pecans
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • For the Filling
  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 1 medium zucchini, peeled and diced {about 1 cup}
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

Directions

    For the Crust
  1. Place the pecans in a food processor fitted with an S-blade, and grind them into fine meal.
  2. Add in the rest of the crust ingredients and process again until well combined.
  3. Line the bottom of an 8 or 9-inch spring-form pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap {I used a 9-inch}.
  4. Press the crust evenly into the bottom of the pan; place in the freezer to set while you prepare the filling.
  5. For the Filling
  6. In a high-powered blender or food processor, process the raw cashews until they are a fine powder.
  7. Add in the zucchini, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and sea salt and blend again until a smooth and creamy batter is formed.
  8. Add in the melted coconut oil and blend again to fully incorporate the ingredients into a uniform filling.
  9. Pour the filling over the crust and place back into the freezer.
  10. Freeze for several hours before serving.
  11. For Serving
  12. For the best texture, serve directly from the freezer.
  13. Top with whipped cream and strawberry syrup, if desired.

Notes

I made the strawberry syrup using frozen strawberries because I didn't have any fresh. I partially thawed them then put them in my electric food chopper and chopped them until it was almost a puree, but not quite ~ there were still very small pieces of berries in the syrup. Then I just allowed it to completely thaw to room temperature for serving. Refrigerate any leftover syrup.

This cheesecake will become quite soft if left out at room temperature, so be sure to keep it chilled.

http://www.abrightandbeautifullife.com/raw-chocolate-cheesecake/

Raw Chocolate Cheesecake ~ No grains, dairy, or sugar

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Nutty-Date Balls

Nutty Date Balls

 

I found this recipe a few weeks ago and have been wanting to make them ever since.  But the Christmas season was in full swing and I was baking up sweet treats and eating way too many of them {aagh} even though I had gone a full two months of without eating any added refined sugar or white flour.  I was feeling so proud of myself!

So now with the New Year here, I’ve recommitted to cut out as much refined sugar and flour as I can.

Here’s my latest recipe to add to my Paleo/Modified Paleo category.  The original recipe name is Coconut Pecan Bites but I renamed mine Nutty-Date Balls.  These are rich tasting little morsels that are sweetened with dates and pure maple syrup.  They can be formed into cubes or balls ~  I found them much easier to roll and I like the way they look.  After making them I popped them in the freezer for a few hours for a quick chilling and then placed them in a zip-top freezer bag and put them back in the freezer.  They don’t freeze completely but I thought they would last longer in the freezer than in the refrigerator and I like the extra bit of chill and firmness the freezer gives them.

For a nutritious treat give these Nutty-Date Balls a try.

Nutty-Date Balls 1

Nutty-Date Balls

Yield: About 18 1-inch balls

Nutty-Date Balls

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw pecans
  • 3/4 cup pitted dates (I used 10 Medjool dates)
  • 2 tablespoons shredded coconut (I used unsweetened)
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • extra coconut to coat the balls (about 2/3 cup)

Directions

  1. Add the walnuts, pecans, and cashews to the food processor and pulse until they are finely ground. Place the ground nuts in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Add the dates to the food processor and pulse until a sticky paste starts to form.
  3. Add the coconut, pure maple syrup, cinnamon, and cardamom to the date paste and mix.
  4. Add the date mixture to the nuts and stir to combine well.
  5. Form into balls (or cubes).
  6. Place the extra coconut in a bowl and gently coat each ball.
  7. Place on a plate or cookie sheet and put into the freezer for a few hours and then transfer to a zip-top bag for storage.

Notes

Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

http://www.abrightandbeautifullife.com/nutty-date-balls/

Nutty-Date Balls 2Yum!

Recipe source: The Fitchen

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No Grain No Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cutting out refined sugar and flour has its benefits, but I have to admit, sometimes I just want a chocolate chip cookie.  I gave this cookie recipe a try last weekend and was so pleasantly surprised.  I guess I was kind of expecting it to be hard and flavorless ~ kind of like cardboard ~ but what it turned out to be was a slightly coconut flavored-shortbread textured-chocolate chip sprinkled cookie.  It satisfied my taste buds and since they are small and fairly nutritious I didn’t feel guilty about eating three!  Try them and leave me a comment.  I would love to know if you like them, too.

 

No Grain No Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies

No Grain No Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond meal or almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened (or butter)
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond meal, salt, and baking soda then add the coconut oil (or butter), maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  3. Fold in the chocolate chips, then drop the batter by rounded tablespoons onto a baking sheet lined with Silpat or parchment paper. Slightly flatten the cookies before baking.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.
  5. Allow to cool slightly on the pan then remove to a cooling rack.
http://www.abrightandbeautifullife.com/paleo-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Recipe source: Detoxinista

This recipe was featured on:
The NY Melrose Family
Style Motivation

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No-Bake Pumpkin Tarts

No-Bake Pumpkin Tarts

It’s November ~ Thanksgiving season ~ and I’m still cooking a lot with pumpkin.  Last week I found these No-Bake Pumpkin Tarts and they are undoubtedly one of the tastiest desserts I’ve ever made.  The crust is grain-free and the filling is naturally sweetened with Medjool dates.   I love Medjool dates because they are naturally sweet, high in fiber, high in vitamins and minerals, and are protein and amino acid rich.  So combining them with pumpkin for the filling makes these tarts nutritious as well as delicious.

If you love pumpkin pie but don’t want to eat refined sugar and flour give these tarts a try.  It’s hard to tell that it’s not the “real deal.”  When serving, top with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream {or sweetened with just a bit of pure maple syrup when whipping} to give it a finished and elegant dessert look.  Megan at Detoxinista says this could also be made as a pie, which I might try sometime.  There are two things I liked about making them as tarts, though.  1} The size is perfect for one serving.   2} I kept them in the freezer and we could just pull out one or two when we were ready to eat them.  And by the way, we liked eating them frozen better than out of the refrigerator. They don’t freeze completely solid, just enough to make them really firm and cold and so it’s almost like an ice cream treat.  {In fact, I’m just noticing I can actually see the little ice crystals on the tart in the photo above.  Oops. Oh well.}

No-Bake Pumpkin Tarts

Yield: 8 tarts

No-Bake Pumpkin Tarts

Ingredients

    For the Crust:
  • 1 cup walnuts ~ I used pecans
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup milk ~ raw, almond, or any other
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 cup Medjool dates, pitted {about 10 or 11}
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Directions

  1. Line a standard muffin tin with 8 paper cups, set aside.
  2. For the Crust:
  3. Pulse the nuts and shredded coconut in a small food processor until ground into a fine meal. {Be careful not to over-process or you'll wind up with nut butter instead!}
  4. Add the maple syrup, coconut oil, and salt and process again until just mixed and the dough sticks together when pinched between your fingers.
  5. Scoop the dough by heaping tablespoons into the 8 paper cups and use your fingers to press down and form a crust for each cup.
  6. Place the pan in the refrigerator to set while you prepare the filling.
  7. For the Filling:
  8. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender {or small food processor} and blend until the mixture is completely smooth and creamy.
  9. Making the Tarts:
  10. Remove the pan of crusts from the refrigerator and pour the batter evenly into the 8 cups.
  11. Smooth the top, then return to the refrigerator to set completely, about 4-6 hours. {Or freeze like I did.}
  12. When the center of the filling is firm to the touch, the tarts are ready to serve.
  13. Top with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

Notes

If your dates aren't soft enough to blend easily, soak them in warm water for 10 minutes beforehand.

http://www.abrightandbeautifullife.com/bake-pumpkin-tarts/

Recipe source: Detoxinista, slightly modified

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Milkshake

This is officially my first recipe post of my new category Modified Paleo.
{You can read all about my knock-off plan above under the recipe tab at the top of the page.}
Each week or two I’ll try to post an newly discovered recipe that I’ve slightly modified.

IMG_8756
This chocolate peanut butter banana milkshake is my modified version of a paleo/vegan milkshake by the same name.  It’s chocolate-peanut butter creaminess makes a nutritional and satisfying snack or breakfast, which I’ve been having for the past several days since I discovered this recipe.  The bananas don’t have to be frozen but the shake is colder and the texture is better if they are.  I was pleasantly surprised that the cocoa powder didn’t give it a bitter taste and all of the flavors meld together perfectly.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Milkshake

Yield: 1 or 2

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Milkshake

Ingredients

  • 2 frozen bananas, broken in half for easier blending
  • 3/4 cup milk ~ raw, almond, or any other
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup natural unsweetened peanut butter
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 ice cubes

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients into a high-powered blender {see note below} and blend until smooth and creamy.

Notes

A regular blender also works. It's what I have and use. I just need to stop the blender and stir the contents around a couple of times.

http://www.abrightandbeautifullife.com/chocolate-peanut-butter-banana-milkshake/

Recipe source:  Detoxinista, slightly modified

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Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

I know that Cauliflower Crust Pizza doesn’t exactly sound like it might be good, but stick with me on this. We make pizza almost every Saturday night and until last summer we always made it with a traditional pizza crust {which we still do about half the time}.  One day all those months ago I was looking through recipes for pizza alternatives and I found {this recipe} and modified it a bit and the result was absolutely delicious ~ and gluten-free ~ and very nutritious.  All of your favorite toppings will work well on this crust. We have tried all of our favorite combos ~ veggie, plain cheese, canadian bacon/olive/pineapple/red onion, and have loved them all.  We have served it to a few people outside our immediate family and they have loved it, too.  It tastes like pizza, it looks like pizza, but it’s not a pick up and eat pizza.  And even though a person can tell it isn’t a “normal” crust, they probably won’t know what it is unless you tell them.  Plus there’s an added bonus for me.  I know I’m in the minority, but I don’t like leftover pizza because I don’t like how the crust gets soft. But since this pizza doesn’t have a bread crust there isn’t that softened-crust-reheating-issue.  So the leftover result is just as yummy as freshly baked. Give this pizza a try and let me know what you think.

Recipe notes ~ Using a pizza stone works best for cooking and browning the bottom of the crust.  If you don’t have a pizza stone just place the pizza pan on the rack in the oven. 

  • Thirty minutes prior to cooking the pizza, place the pizza stone in a cold oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Ingredients

    For the crust:
  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 2 large eggs {or 3 medium}
  • 2 cups finely shredded mozzarella cheese {we sometimes use cheddar}
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion salt
  • For the toppings:
  • 3/4 cup pizza sauce
  • shredded mozzarella cheese {or other cheese}
  • toppings ~ your choice

Directions

  1. Shred the cauliflower into small crumbles. {I use a food processor fitted with the large shredding disc.} Do not puree.
  2. Place the cauliflower in a mixing bowl and microwave it for 10-12 minutes. {This removes moisture and slightly pre-cooks the cauliflower.}
  3. Remove the cauliflower from the microwave and cool for just a bit.
  4. Add the eggs and cheese and mix well.
  5. Add the oregano, garlic, and salt and mix well.
  6. Pour the cauliflower mixture into a pizza pan sprayed with cooking spray. Any pizza pan will work but I like to use a deep dish pan.
  7. Spread it out in the pan and press to the edges.
  8. Put the pizza crust in the oven on the pizza stone and bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove the pizza crust from the oven and cool for just a few minutes.
  10. Spread the sauce on top of the crust {I spread it all the way to the edges.}
  11. Add your toppings.
  12. Place your pizza back in the oven and bake for 4-6 minutes or until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and just starting to brown.
  13. Remove from the oven, let it sit for just a few minutes, and then serve.
http://www.abrightandbeautifullife.com/cauliflower-crust-pizza/

1. Shred the cauliflower into small crumbles.  {I use a food processor fitted with the large shredding disc.} Do not puree.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza2. Place the cauliflower in a mixing bowl and microwave it for 10-12 minutes.  {This removes moisture and slightly pre-cooks the cauliflower.}
3. Remove the cauliflower from the microwave and cool for just a bit.
4. Add the eggs and cheese and mix well.
5. Add the oregano, garlic, and salt and mix well.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza6. Pour the cauliflower mixture into a pizza pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Any pizza pan will work but I like to use {this} deep dish pan.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza7.  Spread it out in the pan and press to the edges.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza8. Put the pizza crust in the oven on the pizza stone and bake for 15 minutes.
9. Remove the pizza crust from the oven and cool for just a few minutes.
10. Spread the sauce on top of the crust {I spread it all the way to the edges.}

Cauliflower Crust Pizza11. Add your toppings.
12. Place your pizza back in the oven and bake for 4-6 minutes or until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and just starting to brown.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza13. Remove from the oven, let it sit for just a few minutes, and then serve.

Cauliflower Crust PizzaSo tasty!
Enjoy.

This recipe was featured on:
Beyond the Picket Fence
Nap Time Creations
Easy Living Mom
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No-Crust Spinach Quiche

No-Crust Spinach Quiche

When my friend, Lengel, and her family stayed at the Wayside Inn in Maine a couple of years ago this Spinach Quiche was served and she loved it and asked for the recipe, which she then passed on to me, which I very slightly modified.

And wow!

This is one of those meals that I call satisfyingly delicious. While we were eating it Brent (my hubby) and I kept saying to each other, “This is so delicious. This is so delicious.” I know it sounds crazy to say that about a spinach quiche, but try it and see if you don’t say the same thing.

It’s chockfull of veggies so it’s super nutritious and the warmed up leftovers are just as good as eating it freshly cooked ~ which makes it a double winner.

Served with fruit and crusty bread this is one perfect meal.

No-Crust Spinach Quiche

No-Crust Spinach Quiche

Ingredients

  • 1 green pepper, finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 zucchini, finely shredded
  • 1 container sliced mushrooms
  • 2 {10 ounce} packages fresh spinach
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 10 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • thyme
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions

  1. Sprinkle the zucchini with salt and let it sit for 10 minutes, then drain well in a colander or wrap in a dish towel to squeeze off the water.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet and saute the diced green pepper, onion, and zucchini.
  3. Add in the mushrooms and garlic, and simmer until mostly tender.
  4. Add the spinach and cook until tender.
  5. Season with thyme, salt, and pepper to taste.
  6. In a large bowl whisk the eggs, then add parmesan cheese and cream cheese.
  7. Combine all the ingredients together in the large bowl. Cover and put in the refrigerator over night. Or go to step 8.
  8. When ready to cook, spray springform pan or other cooking dish with cooking spray. Pour the mixture in the pan.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour.

Notes

I prepare this quiche the day prior to baking and then just pop it into the oven and let it bake while putting the rest of the meal together. / Using a springform pan {lined on the bottom with parchment paper} makes it easier, and prettier, to cut and serve.

http://www.abrightandbeautifullife.com/no-crust-spinach-quiche/

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