Chocolate cupcakes

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*The blender was the very start of this experiment, and I was a little apprehensive. They baked up beautifully and were delicious.

Chocolate carrot cupcakes

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 cup applesauce

1 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar (or sucanat)

3 eggs

1 1/4 cup steamed carrots

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup cocoa

2 cups whole wheat flour (white wheat, finely ground)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease 9X13 pan or line muffin tins (I would spray the liners).  In a blender jar puree the carrots. Add the applesauce, coconut sugar, coconut oil, vanilla, and eggs, blend until combined. Add cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and blend until combined. Pour into 9X13 pan, or portion into muffin tins and bake. The 9X13 will bake for 30 minutes or until done, test with a toothpick. Cupcakes will cook for 14-18 minutes, check them after 14 minutes and adjusting cooking time as needed. Makes 24 cupcakes.

My kids were begging for cupcakes two weeks ago to celebrate Ariel’s (a Little Mermaid doll they have) birthday. I knew that with two October birthdays coming up that I wanted to be able to celebrate and enjoy cake with my birthday loves. Ariel’s “birthday party” was the perfect, low stress event to test out this cake recipe. To my surprise my entire family really liked these cupcakes, and I thought they were fantastic. Veggies, whole grains, and less sugar is something to celebrate! Definitely an special occasion treat, and one I will savor.

*This recipe was heavily altered from greensmoothiegirl’s beet cake.

Oatmeal Cookies

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Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup packed coconut palm brown sugar (tutorial here)

1/3 cup honey

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour (I used whole wheat in the second batch, and they were yummy)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups oatmeal

1 cup chocolate chips

Fall variation: 1/2 cup sliced almonds, 1/4 – 1/2 cup pepitas, 1 tsp. pumpkin spice (as well as cinnamon)

Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease cookie sheets. Beat together butter, brown sugar, and honey. You will want to mix this for 4-5 minutes so the brown sugar gets well incorporated. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, mix well. Add oatmeal, chocolate chips, and fall add ins if desired, mix well. Drop rounded spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets, and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool. Enjoy!

I was so excited to make and eat cookies after 2 months, and a little apprehensive. These did not disappoint. Also husband and kid approved, and they still eat sugar, so I feel safe recommending them wholeheartedly. I will still reserve them for occasional treats, and enjoy every bite.

Coconut Palm Brown Sugar

imageCoconut Palm Brown Sugar

3 cups coconut palm sugar

1/4 cup molasses

In the bowl of a mixer, or a large bowl, combine sugar and molasses. Mix at a medium speed for 2-4 minutes, until it is well blended. Store in an airtight container, and use 1:1 in recipes in place of brown sugar.

I wanted to make cookies, but I know how important brown sugar is for the chewy factor. I was thrilled to use this to make delicious oatmeal cookies. Try it out, and let me know what you think.

“Banana Ice Cream”

image image*If you don’t have a food processor you can use a blender and add milk to make a delicious shake. I freeze my bananas whole in gallon ziploc bags when they are very ripe, and then slice them when I use them. As a shake it is a delicious green smoothie, just add 2-3 large handfuls of spinach.

“Banana Ice Cream”

3 large bananas or 4 small bananas, frozen and sliced

1 tablespoon cocoa

1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder, optional  (I prefer it)

2-3 tablespoons peanut butter

*1/2 cup milk (only if you want to make a thick shake in a blender instead)

In a food processor with the metal blades, add the sliced bananas and run until it looks like sand. At that point add peanut butter, cocoa, and chocolate protein powder, continue to process for 3-4 minutes. It will look like it is not going to work, form a ball, and then form into delicious soft serve. I love to sprinkle it with cocoa nibs, nuts, or coconut.

For a shake add all ingredients to the blender jar, and blend until smooth and well combined. Enjoy!

This is my go to treat for nights when Todd is craving sweets, and I want to share with him. This recipe is husband and kid approved, they all gobble it up. It is so creamy and scrumptious.

Coconut Butter Stuffed Dates

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imageCoconut Butter Stuffed Dates

2 cups unsweetened coconut or 1 cup coconut butter (like Nutiva coconut manna)

24 medjool dates, cut open and pitted

To make your own coconut butter at home pour the 2 cups of coconut into your blender jar, or food processor, and blend for 3-8 minutes until it is a thick liquid. (It will take longer in a food processor.) While that is being made slice your dates and remove pits, then spoon in coconut butter and place in fridge to set up for 10 minutes. I keep them in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. The coconut butter will solidify in the fridge, I love them cold, if you prefer let them sit for 10 minutes at room temp before eating. Leftover coconut butter can be saved and used later, for at least 6 weeks.

I LOVE these. They are rich and decadent, and I feel fantastic after eating them. I love not getting the gut bomb feeling after a delicious treat. I figure that is feedback that something is so right.

Date Paste

imageDate Paste

2 cups date pellets*

1 cup hot water

Place date pellets in a bowl and cover with hot water. After 30 minutes drain off excess water and blend thoroughly in blender or food processor. Store in a covered container in fridge. I have kept this for up to 5 weeks in the fridge.

*I prefer to use date pellets to make date paste, because they are usually far less expensive than whole dates, and since I blend them up they work perfectly. I usually find them in bulk bins at Sprouts, or similar. I have a delicious treat using whole dates coming up soon. Can you handle the suspense?!? (haha)

Cashew Bliss Balls

imageCashew Bliss Balls

1 1/2 cups cashews, or 1 cup cashew butter

3/4 cup date paste

2 tablespoons cocoa

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, plus more for rolling

In a food processor blend cashews for several minutes, until they become cashew butter. Then add date paste, cocoa, vanilla, and coconut process until well mixed. Form into small balls and roll in additional coconut, put in a covered container and keep in refrigerator. They keep for up to 10 days.

These were my favorite treat after I quit refined sugar. I love to keep them stocked in the fridge for those nights that I am hanging out with my husband, or afternoon snacks with a smoothie or fruit.