sugar cookie dough cashew butter cups

Remember last month when I made Sugar Cookie Dough Almond Butter? The almond butter only lasted a couple of weeks, but Ā knew it was going to have to be made again! I’ve also always wanted to make homemade nutbutter cups. So, combining the Sugar Cookie Dough Almond Butter along with chocolate in a bite sized candy? Sign me up!

The first step includes making a batch of the nutbutter of your choice (or using something already prepared). This time is was Sugar Cookie Dough Cashew Butter with confetti colored sprinkles – mmm :).

Then you’ve got to pick the almond bark/chocolate of your choice and melt away. Even though it’s not real chocolate, we used almond bark because of the ease in melting – but next time I definitely want to try it with dark chocolate!

Layer chocolate – cashew butter – chocolate in a small cupcake wrapper and top with sprinkles (or topping of your choice – nuts, sea salt, nothing at all). And then allow to cool. The almond bark cooled nicely at room temperature, but sticking these in the freezer is definitely not a bad idea either!

Sugar Cookie Dough Cashew Butter Cups

  1. Using a small cupcake pan, place a cupcake wrapper in each section.
  2. Fill the bottom of each wrapper with a small scoop of chocolate – just enough to coat.
  3. Dollop a teaspoon of your cashew butter on top of the chocolate base.
  4. Cover with another small scoop of chocolate.
  5. Sprinkle with sprinkles.
  6. Allow to cool and then ear/serve!

We made these to bring with us and share and they were a definite hit! We didn’t come back with a single cup.

It’s hard not to love chocolate + nutbutter mixed together. It’s my weakness ;).

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national pancake day!

Happy National Pancake Day, everybody! I do love pancakes and always find an excuse to make them every week. I had grand plans this past weekend to make this new recipe we’ve been loving, but we ended up making it Friday night for our pre-run carbo-loading and needless to say the natural lighting was not present.

Anyways, if you wish to celebrate this day of pancakes, here are a listing of the pancake recipes I’ve made on the blog – as well as some of my favorite toppings!

Gluten Free Oatmeal Pancakes

Gingerbread Pancakes (yes, I know gingerbread is a seasonal flavor, but these should be eaten all year round they’re so good!)

Banana Bread Pancakes

If you’re looking for something simpler, Gluten Free Bisquick is definitely my favorite. We first discovered in Hawaii! Although they’re not quite as good back on the mainland without Lilikoi syrup ;).

Sick of just topping your pancakes with syrup? I don’t know how anyone could get tired of syrup, but here are some other awesome combinations to either put on top of the pancakes, or in the batter.

  • Coconut butter + blueberries
  • Mixing in toasted millet + buckwheat groats + chia to the batter (love the crunch!)
  • Yogurt + granola
  • Banana + honey (you could even get fancy and caramelize the banana)
  • Chocolate chips + peanut butter
  • Bacon!
  • Spinach (blend in to the eggs and you’ve got GREEN pancakes!)
  • Blueberry jam + cottage cheese (new favorite!)
  • Yogurt + banana + coconut
  • Chocolate chips + strawberries
  • Pumpkin + toasted pecans
  • Lemon poppyseed flavored (put in a little lemon juice/extract and poppyseeds)

(Thanks, Sister for quite a few of these ideas šŸ˜‰ )

Pancakes have always been one of my favorite meals – breakfast, lunch or dinner. Some things definitely do not change!

HAPPY NATIONAL PANCAKE DAY!

banana millet chocolate chunk muffins

It appears I already have 8 muffin recipes on the blog. I went through a major muffin kick last summer – I think I was baking up a new batch each week for breakfasts and snacks, but then somehow ended up repeating the Banana Millet Muffins over and over again because they were so good! Millet seeds are my absolute favorite muffin ingredient – I just love the crunch that they provide and the nutritional boost they add.

When I saw a recipe on Foodbuzz for Banana Bread Muffins with Millet and Chocolate, I knew I was going to have to make some ASAP. I ended up taking quite a few liberties with the recipe to make a healthier final product, and even though they didn’t quite look like a bakery muffin, they were quite tasty. And provided a nice little twist from the Banana Millet Muffins :).

Banana Millet Chocolate Chunk Muffins

  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1T honey or agave (optional – I left out, but if your bananas aren’t as ripe you may want to consider adding some sweetener)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2c oat flour (ground from gluten free oats)
  • 1/2c millet flour
  • 1/4c sorghum flour
  • 1/4c ground flax
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup millet, toasted
  • 1/2 bar chunked dark chocolate
  1. In a large bowl, mash up the bananas and add in the melted coconut oil, honey or agave, egg and vanilla. Mix well.
  2. In a smaller bowl, combine the oat, millet, sorghum flours with the flax, baking soda, salt and toasted millet seeds.
  3. Add the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix.
  4. Fold in the chunked chocolate.
  5. Scoop into a prepared muffin pan and bake in a preheated 350* oven for 22-24 minutes.

Looks like muffin recipe #9 is complete!

homemade chocolate brownie clif bars

Thanks to Sister for the below post, and for making these delicious Clif-inspired bars! They were absolutely delicious!

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The first time I ever had a Clif bar was about 1 year ago. I instantly feel in love with these snack items!Ā My absolute favorite flavors were Chocolate Brownie, Banana Bread and Carrot Cake. I used to eatĀ about 3-4 Clif bars a week because they were just THAT good! But then, I started to have problemsĀ eating glutenā€¦ and oddly it was actually Clif bars that first started giving me problemsā€¦ So I had to shed aĀ few tears and say my good byes to these most delicious treats.

Last year when I was in the heat of my Clif bar eating, I tried making a homemade version to save someĀ money ($1-$1.25/bar). The recipes I could find online used peanut butter so I gave that a shot. WhileĀ this recipe did create a tasty granola bar, well, it wasnā€™t really a Clif bar per seā€¦ And I think this wasĀ because no flavor of Clif bars have peanut butter in them?

Well, I have been missing these bars so much lately that I finally decided it was time to try making themĀ again. I looked and looked online to see if I could find other types of recipes for these bars but theyĀ all ended up coming back to that original recipe that I knew didnā€™t create a totally authentic version ofĀ the Clif bar. After some searching and calculating, I ended up coming up with a bar that uses many ofĀ the ingredients used in the Clif bar with a few modifications to make them nutritionally compatible to aĀ store bought bar.

A regular Chocolate Brownie Clif bar has 230 calories, 4.5g fat, 5g fiber and 9g protein. My version cameĀ out with 248 calories, 7.2g fat, 2.5g fiber and 8.8g protein. Not totally there but pretty darn close!

While these still donā€™t quite emulate the gooeyness of regular Clif bars, the FLAVOR was almost spot on,Ā if not even just a little bit tastier! But the one thing these have over store bought Clif bars is the factĀ that they are GLUTEN FREE! Yeah! Now, if only Clif would start making their versions gluten freeā€¦

Chocolate Brownie Clif Bars

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 Ā¼ cup brown rice cereal
  • 2 T flax
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • 1 T chocolate chips
  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • Ā¼ c brown rice syrup
  • Ā¼ c date paste (pour 2/3 cup hot water over a cup of pitted medjool dates. Let them soak for about an hour, and then blend them well using a Vitamix or food processor)
  • 2 T coconut butter
  1. Line 8ā€ baking pan with wax paper and lightly sprayed with cooking spray or wiped with coconut butter.
  2. Once pan is prepped, mix first 6 ingredients in medium sized bowl. Bring brown rice syrup, date pasteĀ and coconut butter to a boil.
  3. Once hot, pour hot liquids over dry ingredient and stir well.
  4. SpreadĀ mixture in prepared pan and allow to cool completely. Cut into 6 squares.

Note: I used Whey protein powder for the protein powder which is not sweetened but was vanilla
flavored. If you use different protein powder, you might need to work with the flavor a bit to make
them sweet enough/not too sweet.

chocolate banana softserve

I hadn’t made banana softserve in a really long time. I fell in love with the stuff last year when I was avoiding dairy, and it definitely helped with any ice cream cravings! Cold weather seems to take away my wanting of cold desserts. I’d much rather have a cup of steaming hot cocoa than a bowl of something frozen when I’m already chilled to the bone ;). Well, last week when I made this it was unseasonably warm – and it was actually after my first Yoga Body Bootcamp so I was quite steamy for a few hours! Ice cream + smoothies were on my mind, and I figured that there was no time like the present to make something to cool me off.

Chocolate Banana Softserve

  • ~3 frozen bananas (take the peeling off before freezing)
  • 1 TBS cocoa powder
  • ~1/4c milk (almond, soy, regular, chocolate)
  1. Place the banans and cocoa powder in a food processer and start blending.
  2. Once everything has blended for a few minutes and is starting to get softer, add in a little milk at a time to reach your desired consistency.

This recipe is really quite simple – as long as you own a food processor or a blender ;). And no good glass of ice cream is complete without some sprinkles!

Need any last minute dessert ideas for V-Day? Look no further!

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Balls with Valentineā€™s M+Mā€™sĀ <— Need I say more?

Decadent Date & Pecan BrowniesĀ <— No bake + absolutely devine

Sugar Cookie Cutouts <— Make sure you use a heart shape cutter šŸ˜‰

Chocolate Cutouts <— Again, with a heart shape cookie cutter!

World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie <— Would definitely be cute made into a bar cookie in the shape of a heart, with a ton of frosting on top šŸ˜‰

sugar cookie dough almond butter

I love making my own nutbutters. It always proves to be a fun kitchen experiment, and the end result is the perfect topping to many of my weekday breakfasts. I’ve made many more nutbutters in real life than I’ve blogged about, probably because the nutbutter is already halfway gone by the time I would get around to taking a picture ;).

The idea for this particular recipe actually originated around Christmas when my work was doing a white elephant gift exchange. Our rules were to gift either something you already had at home or something homemade. I ended up scrounging up a peanut butter cookbook, packed a few Peanut Blossoms in small ball jars and then included another ball jar filled with this sugar cookie dough nutbutter (using cashews that time around). I did manage to take a photo before packing up my nutbutter gift, but never got around to posting it!

The biggest novelty of this nutbutter is the sprinkles, and even though any color sprinkles will do, it just seems more special to have holiday inspired sprinkles – so Valentine’s Day it is!

Sugar Cookie Dough Almond Butter

  • 2c raw almonds or cashews
  • 1/2 Tbs agave (honey would work too)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • pinch of salt
  • ~1-2 Tbs grapeseed oil
  • 1T sprinkles
  1. Preheat oven to 170* and roast the nuts for 40 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  2. Take out of the oven the let cool for about 5 minutes.
  3. In a food processor, add the roasted and slightly cooled nuts, and process for 8-12 minutes, or until the nuts break down and turn into a nutbutter consistency.
  4. Add in the agave, vanilla, almond extract and salt to the processed nuts, and process again to combine.
  5. The mixture will probably harden with the additions, so this is the place where you can add as much oil as you need to thin it back out. It really depends on the oil level of the nuts for how much you need, so start with a little and then add more to reach the desired consistency.
  6. Scoop the nutbutter into a bowl, and allow to cool.
  7. Once cooled, stir in the sprinkles and place into a jar to store.

This really does make such a cute gift, and a really delicious topping to your breakfasts. It’s also a pretty tasty dip for apples, gluten free pretzels, graham crackers, etc. Definitely be creative with what you top with this or dip in it, even eating it by the spoonful would be okay ;).

bacon waffles

The combination of savory and sweet make the absolute best breakfast combinations. I tend to always lean toward sweeter breakfasts – pancakes, french toast, pannenkoeken, oatmeal… but they’re often missing that savory component that really brings it to the next level, in my personal opinion anyways.

It’s been awhile since we’ve bought any breakfast meats, but the idea for these waffles made us be sure to put some on the list.Ā Feel free to sub your favorite brand of bacon, turkey bacon, tofu bacon, tempeh bacon… you get the point.

This recipe is originally from Heather Eats Almond Butter, but then adapted by Ashley from Edible Perspective, and then updated a little more for this version.

Bacon Waffles

  • 1/4c coconut flour
  • 1/4c ground flax meal
  • 1t baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 1/2c milk
  • 1c egg whites (around 6 egg whites)
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1t vanilla
  • 1 serving bacon, cooked, cooled and crumbled

1. Start warming up your waffle maker (a pancake griddle would work too if you’d like pancakes instead of waffles).

2. Using your blender, put in the eggs and blend for 30 seconds.

3. Add in all of the other ingredients, minus the bacon, into the blender and blend for an additional 30 seconds.

4. Let the batter thicken for 5 minutes, and then stir in the bacon.

5. Once the waffle maker is heated and your batter has rested, spray the maker with oil and place large enough scoops to fill up each section.

6. Let cook until golden, checking occasionally to make sure they don’t overcook.

I topped with peanut butter + maple syrup, enhancing the savory + sweet flavor combination. Breakfast perfection.

almond flour chocolate coconut cookies

I recently bought almond flour. I had resisted for so long because it is expensive, and I didn’t really see the benefit in it over other gluten free flours on the market. Well, Sister and I recently decided to rethink all of our white gluten free baking ingredients (cough*bisquick*cough). I will never fully give it up for when I want to bake something special, but I definitely don’t need to be using it as much as I have been!

I’ve tried oat flour, coconut flour, sorghum flour and bisquick in the past to make some delicious recipes, but bisquick was by far the best for baking cookies that were almost identical to their gluten-filled counterparts. I found this recipe for Paleo-inspired chocolate chip cookies using almond flour, but wanted to make it more deluxe. Girl Scout Samoa cookies may have had something to do with the flavor combination… ;).

Almond Flour Chocolate Coconut Cookies

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4c cocoa powder
  • 1/4c ground flax
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1/2c grapeseed oil
  • 1/4c agave
  • 1T vanilla extract
  • 1/2c chocolate chips
  • 1/4-1/2c shredded coconut
  • 2T coconut flour (if your dough ends up being too moist)

1. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. I did this somewhat in stages, but it doesn’t matter a whole lot.

2. Roll into balls, flatten slightly, and then press some additional coconut on the outside of the dough (optional).

3. Bake in a 350* oven for 8-10 minutes, being careful to not overbake them or burn the coconut.

4. Allow to cool slightly on the baking pan as they are fragile right out of the oven, but they set up really well!

Coconut + chocolate, a winning combination. If you’re really wanting all the flavors from Girl Scout Samoa cookies, I bet this Salty Medjool Caramal sauce would be an excellent topping.

These not only taste amazing, but are gluten free, grain free, refined sugar free (depending on the chocolate chips/chunked chocolate you use), egg free and dairy free. Not too shabby.

cocoa coconut butter

I hadn’t made, or even eaten, coconut butter in a really long time. I made a batch to give to a friend for her birthday in November… and I think that’s the last time I made some! I think I somehow forgot how amazing it is topped on pretty much everything? I fell back in love last week when I was scraping out the last bit we had saved over some acorn squash… such an incredibly tasty combo I’m not sure why I haven’t tried it before!

Anyways, back to the new recipe, because this one would probably not be too spectacular on squash… Cocoa coconut butter! I wrote about how easy + cheap making your own nutbutters at home a few months back (all the way back IN JULY?! yikes!) and the pictures are some of my favorite from my blog. I still haven’t ever bought coconut butter to compare it in creaminess, but for a fraction of the price I’ll take the taste over the texture, thank you very much.

Cocoa Coconut Butter

  • ~6-7 oz shredded coconut (unsweetened, I can find a 12oz bag for under $2!)
  • 1-2T cocoa powder

1. In a food processor, place the coconut and 1T of the cocoa powder. You can always add the additional cocoa powder later (if needed)

2. Process until creamy. Ā It will take between 6 and 10 minutes, just scrape down the sides of the processor if needed until smooth + creamy

Once done, place in a little mason jar and keep at room temp – in the winter your coconut butter will get pretty hard, but you can stick it in the microwave if needed to pour over something. Otherwise, just scraping off the top later is fine by me :).

This is a perfect topping for pancakes, a topping for a dessert pizza, or even as an additional ingredient in a smoothie. Definitely get creative with this one :). Ā We made a batch of this + a batch of the regular with one bag of coconut. Perfect topping perfection.

yoga body bootcamp + recovery

I went to my first Yoga Body Bootcampā„¢ class at my yoga studio yesterday and it was insane! This was the first time they’ve offered it in their regular weekly lineup and I’m glad that it’s on the schedule every week! They had one actual bootcamp class following the yoga body bootcamp “routine” the morning of my Disney 1/2 marathonĀ andĀ I was disappointed I couldn’t go then. At least had a good reason for not being there, but I still felt like I missed out ;).

Well I definitely didn’t miss out today, and the class did not disappoint! It was an hour long class, broken up with a 10 minute warm up, 32 minutes of 8 interval stations (listed below), a couple minute cool down, another station and then finally 10-15 minutes of stretching and shavasana. Here are the 8 interval stations (in the order I did them). Each station was done for 45 seconds, and then we had a 15 second “cool down”/move to the next station.

1. Sumo squats (jumping/squatting with wide legs)
2. Eggrolls (rocking back and forth on your back with your elbows and knees touching)
3. Monkey jumps/Walking planks (alternated every round, so two total monkey jumps and two walking planks)
4. Pushups/planking while moving on and off of yoga blocks
5. Four square jumps (clockwise + counterclockwise)
6. Oblique leg kicks (alternating left and right)
7. Back extensions
8. Tricep dips (on a bench)

And the final station was with a partner. One person was doing a minute plank on the bottom, and the person on top was doing pushups with her legs on the back of the other partner. Partners then switched and did the other exercise. I think this might have been the toughest because my arms/shoulders were already tired from the walking planks and moving pushups!

Needless to say, I was WIPED! I walked outside with just my tank top on and didn’t want to put on my sweatshirt for the drive home, but figured I should put on some sort of sweat-barrier so the seat in the car didn’t get too much on it. Probably a good choice because by the time I got home I had sweated through even that! But I guess when you’re in a 96* room, that’ll happen after this ass-kicking workout. I loved it. And I will be returning. Maybe every week. I’m so so so glad it fits perfectly in my new Nashville 1/2 marathon training plan!

I was craving something hydrating and fruity when I got home so I threw together the following ingredients in the vitamix. It ended up being delicious and almost like an Orange Julius! Will definitely be making this again!

Hydrating/Energizing Orange Smoothie

  • 3 chunks frozen banana
  • 1 pack tangerine emergen-c (or whatever flavor you like best)
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ~3 ice cubes

1. Place all in the blender and blend away.

I was skeptical at first about this combo, with the fizzy emergen-c and milk, but the fizziness went away with the blender and it was very similar to an orange creamsicle. Yummm. I basically spent the rest of the day sitting on the couch watching Crazy, Stupid, Love and Dirty Dancing – a fantastic way to end the weekend!