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Desserts & Ice Creams

Dairy-Free Coconut Raspberry “Ice Cream”

The two men in my life; my husband and my father, either love or hate coconut (respectively).  Sometimes I forget who loves it and who hates it.  Thankfully it’s the one I live with (ahem, my husband) who loves it!Coconut works really well when making in vegan and/or dairy-free ice creams, thus I enjoy using our ice cream maker to experiment with coconut-filled frozen concoctions.  Of course, I don’t call these creations “vegan ice cream”, instead I try to call them fancy names like “Lucious Creamy Coconut Iced Cream”.  This sounds so much better to my husband, the sugar and sweets addict (ok, that may be one of the things that attracted me to him, I’ll be honest).Coconut, as you may know, is not low FODMAPs in the form of water or dried shreds (less than 1/2 cup is fine, but more than that isn’t good if you are sensitive to Polyols).  But coconut milk? It’s safe, and delicious.  I think you’ll ejoy this “ice cream” as much as we did.

Vegan Coconut Raspberry Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 2 cans chilled coconut milk (full fat)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raspberries (frozen or fresh)

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together the chilled coconut milk and the sugar until sugar is dissolved (about 2 minutes). Add the vanilla, and mix again. Pour into a prepared ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s directions. About half way into the churning process, add the raspberries. Should be nice and thick by the end of the churn! Enjoy on the spot or store in freezer.

Notes

This is a low FODMAPs recipe.
NOTE: If you keep this in the freezer overnight it will turn VERY solid. You may need to take out of the freezer an hour or so ahead of time if you are serving to a group and want it to be soft enough for pretty little scoops!

Nutrition Information

Serving size: ~1/2 cup Calories: 240 Fat: 18 g Sugar: 18 g Fiber: 2.5 g Protein: 2 g

You’ll probably notice the higher fat content, but it’s still less than some major brands of ice cream out there.  Not to mention it’s plant-based (but, since I’m the candid RD I have to take this time to mention that just because coconut is a plant, the saturated fats can raise both good and bad cholesterol).  So, this is an every once in a while treat, despite all the hype about the miraculous benefits of coconut (look at the research people, it doesn’t exactly tell the story we’re being fooled to believe).

This “ice cream” is vegan, gluten free, low FODMAPs, delicious, refreshing, and honestly fulfilling in just a 1/2 cup serving.  Enjoy!

Categories
Desserts & Ice Creams

Triple Chocolate Mousse (Simple but tastes difficult!)

I’ve been blogging since 2006 and if you’ve been reading for a while you might know that I have a sweet tooth.  Go ahead and see for yourself, as my “Desserts” portion of my Recipes Page is quite extensive.  I typically try to come up with desserts that are sweet and satisfying, yet not too calorie-laden.  This dessert, however, is not one of those.  Today’s recipe is for a special occasion where you really need to impress.  No, this recipe was not difficult, but it tasted as it took me hours to make (muahaha, they’ll never know!). Have you ever been around when someone was eating a dessert and they claimed the dessert was “too sweet”?  Well, you see, when people say that I get really confused.  Too sweet? Yes, please!  I’m that person who scrapes the icing off of cake and eats it.  Then I get the comment; “Aren’t you a dietitian”?  And I reply; “Yes, but I’m human.  Thank you.”

Have no fear, this was not one of those desserts that would be considered “too sweet”, but I will say it was a punch in the face from chocolate (again, never have I uttered the words “this is too chocolaty”.  And never will I.)

Triple Chocolate Mousse (Simple but tastes difficult!)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk (2% or whole) **
  • ¼ cup heavy cream **
  • 5 cups finely chopped the dark chocolate
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • whipped cream for serving

Instructions

  1. Bring the milk and cream to a simmer in a medium pot. Add the chopped chocolate, stirring with a rubber spatula until completely smooth. Remove from heat.’ In a large bowl whisk together the eggs and the sugar until well combined, about 3 minutes. Temper the eggs by gradually whisking the hot chocolate cream into the egg and sugar mixture; do not add the hot chocolate cream too quickly or the eggs will scramble.
  2. Pour the mixture into six 4-ounce ramekins, filling three-quarters of the way full with mixture. Pop them in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours or overnight (preferred). Top with a dollop of whipped cream and more chocolate (if you want!) before serving.

Notes

** NOTE: If you are following a low FODMAPs diet this is probably going to be ok for you, but if you are in the elimination phase do avoid (because of the lactose). If you are really sensitive to lactose this is probably not a great recipe for you, but the full-fat milk tends to cause fewer side-effects for those who are lactose intolerant. Just have a little and enjoy it!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 360 Carbohydrates: 44g

Heaven in a bowl.  No joke.

I’ll see you next week with a recipe for Avocado Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette!

Categories
Desserts & Ice Creams

Protein Bars with Oats, Chia and Dark Chocolate

Do you ever get sick of the protein bars they sell at the store? I sure do.  Especially considering that many of the protein bars out there contain more sugar than protein (super annoying, and more on that in a couple weeks….).  It’s funny, I tell clients to make their own protein bars and I often get these blank stares, and I know what they are thinking;

 “Is this women nuts? I don’t have time to make my own protein bars! I’ll go through them in a week and then I’ll just have to make more”.

Sure this might be true, but that’s why you make double or triple batches, right?!  Or you can use that as motivation to not eat them as fast. Either way, I’m telling you it’s typically better to make protein bars from scratch, because check out the ingredients, do you notice anything? Yep, you guessed it, you can actually pronounce all the words, and actually picture the ingredients. Glorious.

4.7 from 3 reviews

Protein Bars with Oats, Chia and Dark Chocolate

Ingredients

  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1½ cups dry old fashioned oats
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 3 scoops protein powder (unsweetened, ~20 grams protein per scoop) **
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut **
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, or butter, melted
  • ¼ cup water
  • 5 squares of a good dark chocolate (at least 55% cacao)

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients but the chocolate together in a bowl. Line an 8 x 8 inch pan with foil and spread the mixture evenly in the pan. Melt chocolate on the stove or in the microwave. Drizzle melted chocolate over mixture in the pan and spread it out evenly.
  2. Place the pan in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Cut into 12 bars and wrap in plastic or foil and store in freezer. Before serving, thaw for about 5 minutes.

Notes

** If you are following a low FODMAPs diet these are likely safe to eat. Keep in mind; I would recommend using a soy protein powder if you are very sensitive to lactose. Also, if you are in the elimination phase of the diet do not use the shredded coconut, and definitely use a soy protein powder (coconut only contains FODMAPs when consumed in amounts greater than ½ cup, but in the elimination phase it’s best not to have it at all).

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 1/12th of pan Calories: 210 Fat: 11 g Saturated fat: 6.5 g Carbohydrates: 19.5 g Sugar: 4 g Sodium: 56 mg Fiber: 3.5 g Protein: 10 g Cholesterol: 13 mg

Nutrition Highlights:  Under 250 calories (not bad for a granola bar like this, it’s very hearty!), only 4 grams of sugar (only half of which is “added sugar”), excellent source of protein and good source of fiber.  The nutrition facts are based on 12 servings per recipe. You could always make them smaller and make 16 (I did this the first time I made these and they were still a great size and very filling!)

Once I took them out of the freezer to cut, I took a bite. They softened gently in my mouth and the flavors just coated my taste buds.  Oh my gosh, better than anything I could buy at the store.  After I cut them up I put them in a freezer bag to keep for later in the week, and the following week (I made a double batch).  I noticed that they do freeze and turn almost solid.  However, once you take them out of the freezer it only takes about 3-4 minutes for them to defrost enough for a soft and chewy bite.

So long Quaker!  Hello homemade.  And if you, or your children (or husband, in my case) prefer milk chocolate over dark, I say go for it. I’m a freak and use 90% dark. Yes, 90%. Like I said, I’m a freak (I’m obviously not a super taster).  You could also choose a dark chocolate that is 55% dark, which is still dark enough to provide some phytonutrient benefits.  So, go ahead, make these bars, and feel good knowing you will have something to help you “Detox” after Thanksgiving.  You’re welcome.

Categories
Desserts & Ice Creams

Winter Squash and Banana “Ice Cream” (Non-Dairy)

I post ice cream recipes on this blog a lot, have you noticed?  It’s fair to say that, other than white cake with white buttercream icing, ice cream is my favorite dessert.  Clearly I eat it at all times of the year, even when it’s 30 degrees outside.  You may or may not have already experienced the “ice creams” made with frozen bananas and zero dairies, such as this vegan Banana and Nut Butter “Ice Cream” , but if you haven’t, well, you’re missing out!  You don’t need an ice cream maker for this delicious treat, all you need is a good food processor (or possibly a good blender, although I’m not sure how well a blender would work….it would have to be powerful!).  Since it’s fall I thought I’d share this “fall harvest” version of the non-dairy “ice cream” recipe that I found on Jessie’s blog several weeks ago.  Jessie made her’s using sweet potato, which I’m sure was delicious, but since I still had some butternut squash left from our summer garden I decided to use butternut squash.  Behold, Winter Squash and Banana “Ice Cream”!

Winter Squash and Banana “Ice Cream” (Non-Dairy)

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash, cooked, peeled and cubed to make ~1.5 cups **
  • 2 large ripe bananas, sliced
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened almond milk

Instructions

  1. Freeze the cubed squash and the sliced bananas for at least 3 hours, or until they are frozen solid. Once frozen, take out of the freezer and, along with the other ingredients, add to a food processor. A process on and off until everything is blended and smooth (you will likely have to pulse for about 3 minutes, and yes, it will be loud!). Scrape the “ice cream” out of the food processor and serve right away.
  2. Whatever is not served can be frozen, but be aware that because of the very low fat and sugar content, this will freeze and become solid. In order to serve again on another day, you will need to take the “ice cream” out of the freezer about 30 minutes ahead of time to allow to thaw.

Notes

** If you are following a low FODMAPs diet you’ll want to stick to a smaller portion. One serving of this recipe provides slightly more than ¼th cup of butternut squash, which means it might cause symptoms in those who are sensitive to Oligos and Polyols. You could reduce the total amount of butternut squash in this recipe to 1 cup cubed if you’d like, which would make it a low FODMAPs recipe.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: ⅕th of total recipe Calories: 111 Fat: 1.6 g Saturated fat: 1.3 g Sugar: 16.8 g Sodium: 4 mg Fiber: 2.1 Protein: 1 g

Nutrition Highlights:  Under 150 calories, only 16.8 grams of sugar (and only ~ 5 grams are considered “added sugar”), an excellent source of vitamin C (20% Daily Value) and vitamin A (61% Daily Value)

I licked the bowl clean, it was so good. I may have even licked the blades. Kids, don’t try this at home.

I sprinkled some extra cinnamon on top, plus some pumpkin pie spice.  I also added a dollop of coconut whipped “cream”, which can be made by freezing and whipping full fat coconut milk (put a can of coconut milk in the fridge to chill, take it out after 24 hours, flip it over, open and pour out whatever isn’t solid, then whip the remaining ~4-5 Tbsp. solid coconut milk in a chilled bowl. Whip for about 3 minutes on high, adding liquid Stevia for sweetness).  It’s delicious.

As I mentioned in the recipe, this can definitely be put in the freezer, but beware, it gets very frozen (as in, solid).  Because there is so little sugar and fat (and nothing artificial to make it smooth and creamy like many ice creams out there) it freezes quite easily.  I suggest either making this on a day when you have company and you know it will all be consumed, or make sure to let it thaw for about 15 minutes before you eat any leftovers.  I take out my leftovers and allow them to thaw on the counter, then break it apart into chunks, then mix it into Greek yogurt with berries. It’s a fun late-night snack.

So, if you’re like me and you crave sweet cold goodness at all times of the year, make this today.  Try it with sweet potatoes if you’d like, or possibly even acorn squash (why not?!) and feel good knowing you are getting some vitamin A and vitamin C in your sweet treat.  Real wholesome antioxidants with your dessert?  Yeah, you simply can’t beat that!

Categories
Desserts & Ice Creams

Pumpkin Health Halos, and Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream

Did you know that pumpkin is a Superfood?  Not only is pumpkin great for your heart, your brain, and your eyes, but the alpha-carotene found in pumpkin can actually decrease physical signs of skin aging.  But don’t get too excited now. I’m not talking about the pumpkin donuts, lattes, “health” bars and other sugar-loaded excuses for pumpkin that gets sold across the country around this time of year. No, those are just “health halos” disguised as pumpkin.  Not to say that you actually thought those were healthy, right?  I mean just because they (may) contain some actual pumpkin doesn’t mean they are providing the same Superfood benefits as actual pumpkin.  They aren’t.  Not even close (read this article from Fooducate, if you don’t believe me).  But if you want to reap the benefits of pumpkin, have no fear, go to your nearest supermarket and pick up some canned pumpkin (hopefully BPA-Free, Farmer’s Market puree, although I do get cheap and use Libby’s sometimes…..such as with this recipe!) or grow your own pie pumpkins and make homemade puree.

Add the pumpkin to smoothies, to oatmeal (the photo above is oats, pumpkin, peanut butter and cinnamon), or make pumpkin and yogurt parfaits (recipe coming soon!).  While I’m not a fan of the sugar-loaded pumpkin treats that get thrown in our faces during this time of year, I’ll admit I still buy them.  But, I’m not buying them for the health benefits (I get those from my pumpkin puree) but instead because I love fall and sometimes you just have to take part in the fall traditions to really immerse yourself into the season.  That’s my excuse for buying these…..

“No hydrogenated oils, good source of 6 B-vitamins, contains selenium, and low-fat.” Who cares? Those are all traits I would expect any bar like this to have. TIP: Learn more by reading the ingredients and nutrition fact label! Front of package claims can easily fool you.

I buy snack bars like this knowing that they aren’t necessarily healthy.  To me these are a great example of a “health halo”.  Most “pumpkin-flavored” products fall into the “health-halo” category, in my opinion (you know, things that sound healthy or look healthy on the outside, but when you really dig deep, they aren’t necessarily that great for you).  This type of snack bar, in general, really isn’t the healthiest choice.  Just because they have pumpkin (or raspberry, blueberry, whatever) doesn’t mean they are a healthy snack.  Let’s take a closer look…

Tons of ingredients (and notice the selenium and B-vitamins aren’t from the whole grains, they are from the manufactured vitamins that were made and then added to this. Similar to a multivitamin). More than half a day’s worth of added sugar, and 1 gram of fiber.

Please don’t think that I’m saying these bars (or anything similar) are bad. No, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m just trying to prevent you from thinking they are actually a healthy snack.  Really, they aren’t balanced at all, and provide nothing more than some sugar, and the same nutrients you would get from a multivitamin or fortified cereal.  Why do I buy them then? Because while they may not be the healthiest snack, in my opinion, they definitely beat some other snacks, such as chips or cookies (well, I guess that depends on the chip, or cookie, I may argue these are very similar to some cookies out there). The only thing that makes them “better” is that they’ve been fortified with nutrients.  Yeahhhh.

And let’s not forget about the pumpkin ice creams that are everywhere these days.  While they taste good, check out some of the ingredients in a popular brand;

No, thank you.

So I choose to make my own.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, have no fear, I have another great “ice cream” recipe coming up, which incorporates butternut squash or sweet potato, and no ice cream maker required.

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup 1% milk **
  • 2 cups chilled half and half **
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree

Instructions

  1. Add the sugar, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and milk to a medium bowl. Mix well, long enough to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Add the chilled half and half and the pumpkin puree, mix well to combine.
  3. Pour the contents into a prepared ice cream maker, and follow the manufacturer’s directions. NOTE: If you do not have an ice cream maker, GET ONE! Or you could add this to a blender with ~2 cups crushed ice and 1 cup Greek Yogurt. This will make a milkshake, of sorts.

Notes

** If you are following a low FODMAPs diet, this is safe unless you are lactose intolerant. I seem to be ok with lactose, especially when I eat it with other foods and when I use 2% or 1% milk (since the fat slows down the absorption of the lactose), but if you are lactose intolerant you could use almond milk instead of 1% milk, which would reduce the lactose. For the half and half you could try a full fat coconut milk instead, or even unsweetened coconut cream. Yum!

Nutrition Information

Serving size: ½ cup Calories: 137 Fat: 5.9 g Carbohydrates: 19.8 g Sugar: 17 g Sodium: 32 mg Fiber: .5 g Protein: 2.5 g Cholesterol: 19 mg

 And I assure you the homemade version tastes just as good, if not better.  And please, if you’re reading this post and thinking I’m the worst person ever for telling you that your favorite pumpkin treat isn’t actually so healthy, remember, I’m the Candid RD, I tell it like it is.  And, like I said, I am not saying you shouldn’t buy them (or I’d just be a hypocrite) I’m just saying that the true benefits of pumpkin are found in the actual pureed pumpkin. Period. So go get a can (or other container) of pureed pumpkin and get creative in the kitchen!  Next week I’ll post a pumpkin and yogurt parfait. A healthier indulgence for your pumpkin-loving taste-buds.

Categories
Desserts & Ice Creams

Chocolate Bark with Nuts and Dried Fruit

I’m in a very sweet mood this week.  Today I’m posting this chocolate dessert, and then Friday I’ve got another chocolate dessert recipe to share.  Maybe I’m just excited about Halloween next month. Yeah, that’s it, I’m celebrating early.I’ll be honest, I’m also excited about the holidays (I know, you hate me, right? I just mentioned the “H” word).  But seriously, everyone seems to be in the best mood around holiday time.  And now that I’m not working in a supermarket, I won’t be forced to listen to holiday music all day long (although I secretly really enjoyed that, darn it).I’ve already started creating a list of the cookies and chocolate desserts I’ll be making come December, and I’m thinking this might just make the list.  These were so simple to make, I don’t see why I wouldn’t add them to this year’s holiday goodie bags. Chocolate Bark with Nuts and Dried Fruit

Ingredients

  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup dried fruit (I used dried blueberries and strawberries)
  • 1½ cups assorted unsalted nuts (I used peanuts and walnuts)

Instructions

  1. Line a rimmed baking pan with foil (~9 x 9 inches).  Melt 2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips in a double boiler (make sure water is hot, but not boiling).
  2. Combine the melted chocolate with the nuts and dried fruit in a medium bowl.  Spread the mixture into the foil-rimmed pan.
  3. Sprinkle additional nuts on top if you wish.  Put in the freezer and freeze until set.  Break into ~25 pieces, and enjoy!

Notes

** If you are following a low FODMAPs diet, this recipe is low FODMAPs and safe to consume.  The dried fruit does contain some FODMAPs, but the small amount found in this recipe shouldn’t cause any problems. If you are really sensitive, omit the dried fruit.

Estimated Nutrition Facts for 1/25th of recipe

Source: CalorieCount.com

Nutrition Highlights:  Under 150 calories (not bad for dessert!).  And….that’s about it (although I suppose I could point out that the saturated fat in this recipe is mainly stearic acid, which is the saturated fat found in dark chocolate that is supposed to help lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol…..supposedly.)

Categories
Desserts & Ice Creams

Blueberry and Strawberry Crisp (before the summer ends!)

I’m one of those people who actually prefers frozen blueberries and strawberries over fresh. That is, unless it’s the peak of summer and berry season.  Sadly, that time is coming to an end, but I made sure to take advantage of the delicious fresh and sweet berries one last time before fall approaches.  I saw this great recipe on Grace’s blog a few weeks ago and made it literally the next day.  It was just as amazing as I had imagined.  Maybe even better, actually.  The recipe called for “flour” so I used my favorite oat flour, which is both low FODMAPs and gluten free.  You could also use brown rice or rice flour (as noted below).Blueberry and Strawberry Crisp

Ingredients

  • 4 cups blueberries
  • 2 cups strawberries
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (use an non-caloric version if you are watching sugar intake)
  • ¼ cup flour **
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • Dash of salt
  • ¾ cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup flour **
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 5 Tbsp. chilled, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup sliced almonds **

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Prepare the filling by combining all filling ingredients (blueberries through the salt) in a bowl and tossing to blend well. Transfer to a 9-ince glass pie dish (or use a small casserole dish like I did!)
  3. Prepare the crisp by combining the oats, sugar, flour, spices and salt in a medium bowl. Add butter and rub in with fingertips (or use a fork) until moist clumps form. Stir in almonds. Sprinkle evenly over berry mixture.
  4. Place pie dish on a baking sheet and bake until berries are bubbling and topping is golden brown, 45-55 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature (add vanilla ice cream or fro yo on top if you wish, but to be honest it doesn’t even need that!).

Notes

** If you are following a low FODMAPs diet keep in mind that almonds are not low FODMAPs at amounts of >10 almonds. This recipe should be fine since you will not be getting that many almonds. Also, use a wheat/barley-free flour such as oat flour, rice flour or brown rice flour (I used oat flour and it was perfect). These flours are also gluten free.

Estimated Nutrition Facts for 1/6th of recipes

Source: CalorieCount.com

Nutrition Highlights:  Good source of iron, excellent source of fiber and vitamin CI will be honest, I was so eager to eat this that I dove right in and burnt my mouth.  Don’t do that.  It wasn’t smart.  But it smelled so good and I just couldn’t wait!  What will be my go-to fruit now that summer is ending?? Bananas? Kiwis? Oranges? All of the above. And, of course, my frozen berries, which I just can’t seem to get enough of.Soon we will be in the midst of fall and I may even use butternut squash to “squash” my sweet tooth.  Last year I made several sweets with butternut squash, which you can find on the right side of my blog.  This year I need to get more creative…..any ideas for me? Butternut squash icing? Butternut squash crumble?? Why not?! First I’ve got some great pumpkin recipes to prepare, because, after all, that’s my first fall true love.

Categories
Desserts & Ice Creams

Almond, Coconut, Chocolate Popsicles and Homemade Peanut Butter Cups (Flashback Friday)

Today’s post is a flashback to last summer. Can you believe that last summer I made things other than just ice cream and fro yo? It’s true (if you missed two of my favorite creations from this summer, here you go; Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, Basil and Coconut Ice Cream). I was looking through my recipes and photos from last year and rather than letting them go to waste, I thought I’d share two of my favorites with you today.  Starting with, Clean Eating Popsicles (after all, it’s been hot hear in Columbus lately.  Since I now work on a campus where I am walking outside a lot of the day, I have been craving popsicles, and really anything that is cold!).

Almond, Chocolate, Coconut Popsicles

Makes 4 popsicles

Modified from a Clean Eating Magazine recipe

Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes **

2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 packet non-calorie sweetener of your choice

1 Tbsp. maple syrup

Directions

  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Add to prepared popsicle molds.
  3.  Freeze according to the popsicle mold directions.

**NOTE:  Coconut does contain FODMAPs, but the amount in this recipe shouldn’t cause problems.

32Save

Estimated Nutrition Facts for 1 popsicle

Next up we have homemade Reece’s Peanut Butter cups.  Since college football season is right around the corner (literally) and I’m a huge OSU Buckeye fan (huge) I thought I’d get in the spirit by sharing this recipe that combines two of the best ingredients; chocolate and peanut butter (you know, like a Buckeye candy).  I made these last year for the first time, but have experimented with them more over the past couple weeks.   I found the recipe on Averie’s blog, and made just a couple tiny modifications, and ended up with these pieces of heaven.

Vegan Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Makes: 4
Source

Ingredients

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (dairy-free)

2 Tablespoons crunchy Peanut Butter (or almond butter!)

1.5  Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast

Directions

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl melt the chocolate and spoon a thin chocolate layer of the chocolate into either a) small muffin/cupcake liners, or b) a small plastic cup, such as one you might get from a restaurant, filled with dressing to-go.
  2. Allow chocolate to cool in the liners. While  cooling, prepare the peanut butter and nutritional yeast mixture by stirring them together in a small bowl (you may have to zap the peanut butter in the microwave to get it soft, if you leave your peanut butter in the fridge like we do!).
  3.  Spoon ~1/6th of the mixture on top of each cooled chocolate base layer. Add the top layer of melted chocolate over the top of the peanut butter/nutritional yeast.  Tap the cups on the counter to get the chocolate evenly spread out on the cups.

**  Add less chocolate to each layer if you want to make them lighter, and/or if you want to make more with each batch **

  1. Allow cups to set up fully before eating, at least 30 minutes in the freezer.

NOTE:  This is a low-FODMAPs recipe!

32SaveI tapped my cups on the counter to get them to set.

**NOTE:  If you are following a low FODMAPS diet you will be happy to know that both of these recipes are low FODMAPs!  Coconut does contain some FODMAPs, but the small amount in this recipe shouldn’t pose any problems.Sometimes I want more chocolate…..Other times I want more peanut butter!Estimated nutrition facts for 1/4th of recipe
Source: CalorieCount.com

I never said they were light or anything…    But hey, they beat paying $5 a bag for the real things, and they are made with dark chocolate, so how bad can they be?!  haha.  Oh yeah, and 3 grams of protein?  That’s thanks to the nutritional yeast.  yum yum.Be careful, it’s difficult to eat just one.  My advice? Just take out one at a time, then hide the rest.  Make sure to savor every delicious bite so you are left satisfied and happy.QUESTION:  What’s your favorite candy of all time?  For me, it’s Reece’s. Hands down (followed by Snickers).  Can you tell I’m already getting into the Halloween spirit?!

Happy Friday everyone. Any fun plans for the weekend?  I’m actually planning on sitting around and doing nothing, because this is my first two days off in eight days.  So actually, that’s not true, I will be doing a lot because I’m behind on my never-ending “to-do” list, but I’ll be doing plenty of relaxing and kicking-back in between.  Make sense? Good.

Categories
Desserts & Ice Creams

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream, with Creamy Goat Cheese (Thrifty Thursday)

Have you bought an ice cream maker yet?  What? No? You’re still going to that gourmet place down the street and paying $4 for 1/2 cup?  Craziness.  Go buy an ice cream maker and make this recipe.  It tastes gourmet but at less than $1/cup (more specifically, about $.70!) it’s a deal and a steal, and a great reason to go buy an ice cream maker.  I’m waiting….

Ok good, now you’ve got your ice cream maker and you’re ready to get creative.  Truth be told, I live in the city where one of the best ice cream makers in the country has her ice cream shop; Jeni.  Yes, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams are some of the most delicious combinations of ingredients you will ever experience.  I can remember the first time I tried one of her ice creams with goat cheese.  I was in heaven.  It wasn’t until just about a month ago when I decided to experiment with goat cheese in my own ice cream.  I’ll just pretend like I’m cool enough to have my own ice cream shop.Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream, with Creamy Goat Cheese (Thrifty Thursday)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. strawberries (organic preferred)
  • 3 ounce Fromage Blanc goat cheese
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 cup 1% milk **
  • 2 cups chilled half and half **
  • 5 cups animal crackers, crumbled **

Instructions

  1. Blend the strawberries (with stems removed), goat cheese, sugar and milk in a blender until the sugar is almost fully dissolved.
  2. Pour the contents into a medium bowl and mix with the 1% milk.  Whisk together for about 30 seconds.
  3. Pour into a prepared ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions. Once it’s finished, add the animal crackers and incorporate well.

Notes

** If you are following a low FODMAPs diet, be aware that this recipe contains lactose.  However, most people who are lactose intolerant will be able to tolerate the small amount of lactose found in this recipe.  It also helps that there is some fat to slow down the absorption (and protein).  Also, the animal crackers aren’t wheat free, but the small amount found in this recipe should be tolerated by most.  If you are really sensitive to wheat (wheat contains oligosaccharides, or the “O” in FODMAPs) substitute your favorite gluten-free cookie.

How did I make this ice cream so cheap? I shop at the right place.  Where I shop they will give me whatever amount of cheese I would like.  So, while fromage blanc (an extra creamy goat cheese) isn’t necessarily cheap, I was able to buy it in the amount I wanted; 3 ounces.  This saved me $2 because they normally sell it in amounts of 5 ounces or more.  Also, I bought the smaller version of half and half and 1% milk.  Lastly, I walked on over to the bulk section to find a good cracker to use in the ice cream to act as the cheesecake “crust”. Animal Crackers seemed perfect.  Rather than buying an entire box, I paid $.14 for 1.5 cups.

Licking the ice cream churner is more fun than liking any cake or cooke batter spoon. Trust me.

Estimated Nutrition Facts with 1/2 cup
Source: CalorieCount.com

Nutrition Highlights:  Under 150 calories per serving, excellent source of vitamin C (thanks to the strawberries) and really not too high in sugar (15 grams is pretty stellar).

 I think I might just have to experiment with blue cheese next time. What do you think?  We sell gelato at the supermarket where I work (made in house) and they made a blueberry blue cheese gelato the other day that tasted fantastic.  Yeah, I might just have to come up with something like that….. on the opportunities are endless.

QUESTION:  What’s the craziest ice cream flavor you’ve ever tried??

Enjoy your Thursday everyone!  I’ll be back tomorrow with a low FODMAPs and gluten free granola, made with millet (a new favorite whole grain, have you tried it?)

Categories
Desserts & Ice Creams

Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Quinoa Bars

I’m still on a quest to try all the different grains in our bulk department at work.  Obviously I’ve tried quinoa before, but I’d never tried it in a baking recipe, until now.  Prior to making these bars I’d only had quinoa in salads or casseroles.  Why have I waited so long to use it in a sweet recipe?!  Shame on me.  I’ve been missing out.  I’ll have to make up for lost time now…..

Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Quinoa Bars

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups cooked quinoa (this is a little less than ~3/4 cup dry, be sure to measure after it’s cooked. You will have some leftover.)
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup skim milk or unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Allow your cooked quinoa to cool before starting to make this recipe. In a large bowl mix dry ingredients (cooked quinoa through chia seeds). In a separate smaller bowl, mix wet ingredients (milk through vanilla), except for the chocolate chips.
  3. Add wet to dry, stirring gently until mixed. Add in chocolate chips and mix.
  4. Poor batter into a greased baking pan (I used a square pan, about 2-inches deep)
  5. Pop it in the oven and bake about 28 minutes- fork check to make sure they are done.
  6. ENJOY!

Notes

**NOTE: If you follow a low FODMAPs diet you’ll be pleased to know these are low-FODMAPs!The day I made these Nick was at work.  I couldn’t wait for him to walk in the door and smell these so he would beg for a taste.  Sadly, he never did.  Yeah, he walked in the house and didn’t even notice the smell of chocolate and brown sugar emanating through the house.  So of course I marched downstairs and forced him to try these delicacies.  He took one bite and wanted the rest.  Muahaha.  Trying to ignore my wonderful baking talent?!  Not so fast buddy.  And he says he “hates quinoa”.

Estimated Nutrition Facts for 1/10th of recipe
Source: CalorieCount.com

Nutrition Highlights:  Good source of protein, fiber, and iron

I packed these in both Nick and my lunches for about a week after making these.  They were just so filling and easy to pack in a work lunch.  They tasted great without heating, but even better popped in the microwave for about 15 seconds to bring back some flavors.  Please make these today, you won’t be sorry (and make a double batch so you can have plenty for lunches!).