Salted Caramel Cashew Butter Cups

A million times better than a Reeses Cup. I promise. And a million times richer. I stumbled across this recipe from a blog called Hungry Haley and followed it exactly for the cashew butter, but modified the chocolate part with my own chocolate concoction recipe. It takes just as long as melting a chocolate bar, and I usually prefer eating those on the go or hiking anyway!

I mean, if I’m going to cook and be in the kitchen anyway, might as well melt and mix a few more things together, you know?

 

Ok. Enough banter. You want to make these already.

 

Salted Cashew Butter (from Hungry Haley)

1c Cashews, soaked over night

dash pink Himalaya salt

3 medjool dates

1 tsp vanilla

 

Drain water from cashews and combine ingredients in a food processor until a peanut butter type consistency is achieved.

Chocolate:

2/3c organic Cacao Powder

2/3c Coconut Oil

1/3 c Honey

1 tsp vanilla

*collagen Peptides

(optional add-ins include a dash of pink Himalaya salt, turmeric, chili powder/chilis, peppermint oil etc)

*optional add in- I used Vital Proteins, but there are others

 

Melt the coconut oil over med/low heat. Add in your cacao powder, honey, vanilla and salt. Pour into molds.

For these cups, I used silicon cupcake molds. I poured a thin layer on the bottom, froze it for about 5 min, added the cashew butter, froze again for about 5-10min and topped it with more chocolate and froze them again. OMG-g-g-g-g were they good. So chewy. So chocolatey. So rich. So creamy.

Ricotta me this

I know, cheesy title. HAHAHA. Ok, I’m done, I promise

 

But for reals. Have you ever made home made ricotta?! I am new to it and it is a GAME CHANGER.

 

It’s super easy, really versatile and even the by-products have their uses! I use the liquid whey that’s left behind in my pancakes and my kids gobble them up like crazy. They have no clue. And neither would I if you didn’t tell me.

 

And you can make the traditional savory ricotta you typically find in baked pastas like lasagna or a baked ziti or what have you. All you need is:

½ Gal whole milk (preferably whole, preferably not UHT pasteurized

1/3 C Lemon Juice (about 1-2 lemons)

OR 1/3 C distilled white vinegar

1 tsp salt

 

1. Warm the milk to about 200*F. Warm the milk SLOWLY. It’s important- you don’t want to boil the milk and you don’t want it to burn. If you don’t have a thermometer, 200*F is when it starts to get kind of foamy at the top.

2. Remove the milk from the heat and add the vinegar or lemon juice. I LOVE it with lemon juice… it adds a bit of tangy freshness, but isn’t overwhelming. Stir it really gently then let it sit for about 10 minutes.

3. With a slotted spoon scoop out the big curds and then just line a strainer with cheesecloth and put it over a half gallon glass ball jar. Then just dump the warm milk/curd/liquid whey mixture over it and let the strainer drain for around10-40 minutes. Then just transfer the ricotta in the cheese cloth to a container or use it immediately when its nice and warm. Mmmmm warm non-melty cheese just really hits the spot sometimes.

 

OH!- and SAVE THE WHEY! Some people drink it, but I just save it and use it in smoothies or pancakes etc. Here are some ideas: pancakes,

You can also make a slightly sweeter ricotta using the juice of an orange instead of a lemon! Same amounts, it’s just slightly sweeter. I eat this for breakfast a lot and add fruits, jams, or make delicious parfaits with yogurt and frut. SO SO SO good. Or you can eat it warm and add a warm fruit compote or FIGS or sautéed or grilled peaches. OMG I’m drooling already. What are you waiting for?!  If I were you, I’d go and make some! I know I am.

Browdgies


What else do you call a dense chocolatey morsel that's half fudge/half brownie?! I couldn't think of anything so Browdgie it is! They definitely started off trying to be just a brownie though 😬😬. C'est la vie

Ok. So for these,
Preheat oven to 375
Then, you will need:
1/2 baked butternut squash, cooled (probably around 2full cups)
2 eggs
1/4c honey
1/2c milk of choice (I've used whole, raw, unpasteurized and coconut)
3/4c 100% organic cacao powder
2tbsp coconut manna (could also use grassfed butter, coconut oil or could omit altogether)
1/4c oat flour

Optional add-ins that I used:
2 scoops chocolate protein of choice
1 tbsp chlorella
1tsp psyllium husk
1 scoop collagen Peptides
1 scoop beef gelatin

Blend first 5 ingredients until well incorporated. Add oat flour and any add ins.
*Note: seeds/nuts will NOT make good add ins for these. The texture really doesn't lend itself to that. Try these out and you'll see what I mean
**Note 2: if not using chocolate protein add in, add 1/4c more cacao and 1/4c more honey

Pour into a brownie dish (8X8 square pan). Bake at 375 for 45 min. Allow to cool. Once cool you can eat them, but definitely store these in the fridge! These are definitely better COLD! Trust me.

Healthified Copycat Twix Bars


Oh my goodness, I mean, what’s not to love here?! Cararamel, cookie, chocolate… all healthified by this awesome blogger I found called “So Much Yum.” Seriously good stuff on there! I’m going to try her PB truffles next! I made this recipe exactly as I found it on her blog, but am blogging it here because I had a little trouble texture wise with the cookie and the date caramel. So I wanted to document it for my own edification, annnd maybe a few others out there who are candy bar making noobs like me who need some help too! 

So here’s the recipe I followed. Again NOT MINE, but So Mucj Yum’s!! I just added the pictures to help me!

NGREDIENTS

Shortbread:

⅓ cup almond flour

⅓ cup coconut flour

¼ tsp salt

2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

½ tsp vanilla extract

⅓ cup coconut oil, soft (but not melted)

Caramel:

1 cup pitted dates, packed

Chocolate:

12 oz. (~2 cups) chocolate chips

1 Tbsp coconut oil

INSTRUCTIONS

First, make the shortbread cookies. 

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour and salt. Add maple syrup and vanilla, and stir until a crumbly mixture forms.


Add coconut oil and continue to mix. Should be crumbly but should hold together when pressed between your fingers like this: (this is where I had a leeeeeetle trouble)



Press the dough together and transfer to parchment paper or clean, non-stick surface (I used a silpat). Form into a small rectangle about. Cut into cookies.


Bake for 10-11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer parchment paper with cookies to wire rack and let cool completely.


Next, make the caramel. 

Use a food processor to process the dates into a sticky caramel. I had to pause it and scrape down the sides a lot.


Spread date caramel evenly onto cooled cookies. Place in freezer for 30 minutes to set the caramel.


This was good for me. Requires patience and attention to detail… which I’m not naturally good at.

After this I just melted the chocolate and coconut oil in a pot on the stove on SUPER low heat. Chocolate burns easily and then it’s just nasty.

Then I just dunked those bad boys in the chocolate! And voila! Twix Bars, healthified.

Blackberry Rhubarb Cookie Cobbler

What a great dish for my first time cooking with and eating Rhubarb! The only place I’d ever heard of this red celery lookin’ thing being used was in Strawberry Rhubarb pie, but I’d never ventured a taste. I’d heard it was tart and I love that sweet/tart combo… I used to inhale Sour Patch Kids in Highschool and College. You know, when I had the metabolism to support that kind of habit.

HAHAHA, remember these guys!?

Anyhow, I had just picked some blackberries from our bushes outside and my friend had given me a ton of rhubarb from her garden, so I put the two together and voila! Blackberry Rhubarb Cookie Cobbler. I did use some sugar since the two main ingredients were so tart, but I didn’t use any white flour and only a tbsp of butter (which can definitely be omitted), so you be the judge health-wise.
WARNING: For some reason I thought ginger and cinnamon would be great in here. I used a lot of cinnamon and you could really taste it, and I loved it, but I love cinnamon and ginger, so you can reduce the amounts if you have a sensitive palate ;). These measurements are pretty flavorful (heavy?) on the spice.

Ingredients:
Fruit Filling:
16-18 oz blackberries
1 pound rhubarb
1/2 cup organic dark brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger root

Cookie Crust:
3/4 cup oat flour (I grind steel cut oats in my vitamix for the flour)
1/4 cup quinoa flour (same as above)
1/4 cup almond flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract or seeds from 1 vanilla bean
2 large eggs

Heat oven to 375. Grease your pie dish (I use coconut oil or coconut oil spray).

Cut your rhubarb into 1/4″ pieces like this. 

 Combine the blackberries and rhubarb.
Add your cinnamon, brown sugar and grate your ginger right into the bowl. I eyeballed roughly a tbsp. Remember, this is a very potent flavor! Feel free to reduce the amount. 
Mix gently don’t over mix! The berries will bust and all the spices will clump and it just won’t look as pretty when you cut into it :).
Pour the mixture into your prepared pie dish. 

Grind and combine your flours, baking powder, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a separate bowl.
Beat eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl. 
 Combine egg mixture and flour until you get a relatively clumpy and pasty consistency.
Spoon batter over berry mixture. Use a fork/spoon/hands to spread the mixture evenly over the berries. I drizzled this with 1 tbsp of melted butter, but you don’t really need it. I just felt like a cobbler should have some, but I wouldn’t have missed it had I not put it on…

 Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is crispy and the fruit is bubbly on the sides. It will look like a giant cookie is on top of your berry cobbler! SO yummy. I didn’t even need ice cream with it!

Took this to a BBQ at a friends house and it was a big hit! The different flours and spices gave it a pretty complex, but delicious flavor!

Chocolate peanut butter banana protein muffins

So excited to make my first ever protein muffins!! I discovers tons of varieties in Instagram, so I decided to give it a go! I didn’t have any whey, so I just used chocolate shakeology instead :). It was raining so it was a great day to bake with my little :).
Preheat oven to 350:

Started out with :
2 tbsp organic golden flaxmeal
3 tbsp blanched almond flour
1/4 cup oats
1tsp baking powder

In a other bowl I mashed 1 ripe banana and 1 tsp vanilla

Add 4 oz plain Greek yogurt, 3 tbsp local honey, and 4 egg whites

Mix thoroughly!

Meanwhile, down at the dry ingredient bowl, add 1 scoop chocolate shakeology and 2 tbsp PB2:

Stir, mix wet into dry.

Mix thoroughly. Or let your tot do it! Mine looooves to mix!

I just love his pudgy little hands!
Pour into greased muffin tins. I poured my mixture into a wet 2 cup measuring cup and just poured it in!

Bake at 350 for 12 minutes and voila! 24 mini chocolate peanut butter protein muffins! Yay!


Added frosting made of pb2, powdered sugar and splash of milk. Delish!