I am a huge fan of 4th of July. The sparklers, fireworks, bbq Foods, beach, sun, swimming, and desserts; all wonderful things that come even better with good company. I’ve always been a fan of spending the whole day and night celebrating and having a good time. This year however, I don’t want all the crazy added sugar. So, I decided to recreate some of my favorites with less sugar, better-for-you ingredients, and of course gluten-free ingredients. These desserts might not please every diet, so just keep that in mind! They can also be made to fit the need of other holidays by using different colors and themes! Personalization is a choice.
White Chocolate Covered Fruit
I love chocolate covered fruit. It is seriously one of my all time favorite things to eat and I don’t think that will ever change. I like the fact that something natural and nutritious can easily be made into a dessert. So, how did I transform this into a better-for-you dessert? I used all-natural white chocolate from the brand SunSpire Fair Trade. This allowed me to be in control of what ingredients I added to the fruit. If I am being 100% honest, the sprinkles are NOT anything special. They are regular ol’ sprinkles, and that’s okay! I decided to make white chocolate covered strawberries, bananas, and blueberries. My family approved and I cannot wait to take them with me for 4th of July festivities.
- 1 package of SunSpire Fair Trade All-Natural White Chocolate Chips
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- Red and blue sprinkles
- Any fruit you wish to cover in chocolate
- Wash and dry your fruit. Make sure it is completely dry so you don’t get any water in the chocolate.
- Cut your bananas into thirds and store all the fruit in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes. This is so the chocolate has an easier time hardening because the fruit is cold.
- In a microwaveable bowl, add 1/2 your chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Microwave for about 30 seconds, and mix ingredients together.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. As you dip your fruit in the chocolate, line up on the baking sheet carefully. I suggest not doing too much at one time to avoid the chocolate hardening before you can put the sprinkles on.
- There are different ways to add sprinkles and I think you should be as creative as you want!
- Let chill in the freezer for at least 1 hour before serving. So yummy!
Simple GF Blueberry Loaf Cake
Again, all about honesty here, this did not turn out the way I had planned. However, it came out so delicious that I couldn’t help but share the success with you all. The original plan was to use blue berries and beets to create a swirl in the bread, but I just didn’t use enough! I could have easily used food coloring, but I wanted to make this cake as all natural as possible…and the blueberries added a little color without too much blueberry flavor which was the goal. My family has already finished the half I set aside for them!! So, how did I make a cake healthier but still moist and delicious? I used 100% pure maple syrup and a little bit of stevia. I also used gluten-free flour and coconut oil in place of butter. These simple switches can help make eating cake a little less of a guilty pleasure.
- 2 cups gluten-free flour
- 3 whole eggs
- 1/4 cup All-natural maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons stevia
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup blueberries (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350 °F. Then, line a loaf mold with parchment paper.
- With a hand mixer, combine your dry ingredients. Then slowly add your wet ingredients. Very simple and easy.
- Set aside 1/4 cup of batter. Pour the rest in your loaf mold.
- On medium high heat, break down the blueberries with 1 tablespoon water. Drain 4 tablespoons of the liquid into a cup and save the rest of the mix in an air tight container for oatmeal in the morning (trust me it’s delicious.)
- Mix the batter left aside with the blueberry liquid. Drizzle on top of the plain loaf and use a toothpick to create swirls.
- Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
- Remove, serve, and enjoy!
What if I told you that just because you are trying to stick to a healthy lifestyle does not mean you have to give up cookie dough? I’m not talking about eating cookie dough in moderation (although this is absolutely okay too.) I am talking about getting some healthy fats, protein, and satisfaction from cookie dough that you can eat everyday. Sounds crazy, right? My friend Ryan thought so too after I told him what I was eating as a late night sweet treat that would not harm my body.
If you learn to cook with ingredients that do not harm your body, you can create a variety of different recipes that satisfy certain cravings. We all diet or eat healthy for different reasons. Some are trying to lose weight, some are trying to gain healthy weight, some are trying maintain their weight, some are trying to gain muscle, some just want to be healthy, and if you’re like me, you are trying to fight a chronic condition naturally (to learn more about mine, click here.) All of these reasons are absolutely valid, and you deserve to still indulge, but if you can have an indulging treat that actually had benefits, wouldn’t you take that? I know I would, and I do! So, what are some of these ingredients that are used to make cookie dough balls that have benefits?
- Coconut Oil: Yes, coconut oil is high in fat, but the fat it is high in is healthy! It actually has the power to turn bad cholesterol into good cholesterol helping aid in digestion, weightless, and curbing your appetite. It is also a powerful brain food that improves memory and brain function. And my favorite benefit? It actually helps fight off unwanted bacteria via lauric acid. Lauric acid is great at killing bacteria and viruses both internally and externally. I once had poison oak, and I was told if I put coconut oil on the spots, it would improve the condition quickly. I actually woke up the next morning and it was almost gone! I personally use Vita Coco Coconut Oil that runs for about $8 at Target…and it is sometimes on sale for only $6! I find it to have the best flavor and scent.
- Almond Flour: As my readers know by now, I am gluten-free. Almond flour has been a great way for me to be gluten-free without the extra carbs that come from rice and corn flour. Almond flour is actually paleo friendly as well! Not to mention, the high amounts of protein that are in the flour itself. In just 1/4 cup, you can find up to 6 grams of protein! I buy a large bag (3lbs) for $10 at Costco. You can find it elsewhere, but this is a great price!
- 100% Pure Maple Syrup (all natural and organic): This is not the same as Mrs. Butterworth, or even Sugar-Free Syrup. Pure Maple Syrup is a perfect alternative to sugar. It is lower on the glycemic score, and effects your blood sugar way less drastically than regular cane sugar. It also contains natural antioxidants and vitamins, helps fight inflammation, and improves your digestion. Maple Syrup, like everything else, should be consumed in moderation. However, it is a perfect sweetener to start using in your baking! You can buy an expensive brand, but the one I use is actually from Target for only about $4!
So, have I convinced you to look at my Cookie Dough Ball recipe yet? I made them chocolate chip flavor for this recipe, but in the past I have also made Snickerdoodle, Peanut Butter, and Double-Chocolate Chip. If you’d like the recipe to these flavors as well, let me know in the comments below!
All Natural, Low Carb Cookie Dough Balls Recipe
This recipe yields 8-10 balls depending on the size. Now you can share them, or you can store leftovers in the fridge…or consume all at once. Remember, no judgement here (;
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 4 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup (honey is a great alternative as well)
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1/4 cup almond or coconut milk
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- optional: 2 tablespoons 100% pure vanilla extract
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine your coconut oil, almond or coconut milk, vanilla, and maple syrup.
- Slowly add your almond flour and mix well by hand.
- Gently fold in your dark chocolate chips.
- Take about a tablespoon of dough and roll into balls. Place on a plate or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes until solid.
Not pictured: the two cookie dough balls I instantly consumed to make sure this recipe was delicious x2. Sometimes recipe testing does that to you (; And yes, I used a plate because my fridge has limited room! This clearly works just as well as a cookie sheet!
Being gluten-free isn’t easy, especially when dairy-restricted and certain-foods-cause-my-body-extreme-pain are also part of the deal. Something that I’ve had to adjust to is bringing my own food on trips, to parties, friends houses, work meetings…you name it! Lately, I’ve been trying to bring food that I create (a great excuse for recipe testing) so I can share it with others and give them the experience of eating the way I do. Whether it be a platter with specific cheeses, crackers, dips, and meats or something like brownies, I want everyone to understand that just because I do have a restricted diet does not mean what I eat is any less delicious. That’s where this recipe came in.
I was going to a party at my best friend’s house and I knew I needed to bring something to munch on. I was already going to be bringing my own gluten-free pizza, but I wanted to bring something to share as well. I was in the mood for brownies, and I figured it was the perfect time to create something new, healthy, and adapted to what I can eat. I made this based off of my love for dark chocolate and desire to eat all the peanut butter in the world. Now, I am sure this would taste amazing if you made it with almond butter or even sun butter instead, but I absolutely love peanut butter with dark chocolate.
I am not yet a ghee user, hence why I used coconut oil instead. Ghee would work deliciously, but I love the toasted, nutty flavor you get from using coconut oil, and so did my friends and family! They were also surprised that almond flour tasted great and is so much lower in carbs (after all, it’s just almonds!) Speaking of my consumers, they were all shocked that there were no non-natural ingredients in these brownies. No one would have guessed that these brownies weren’t just really great normal brownies. I had so many people asking me to make them a batch, or share my recipe…so here it is!
The Fudging Best Brownies Recipe
- 2 tablespoons solid coconut oil
- ½ cup organic, pure maple syrup
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 tablespoons organic, natural peanut butter
- ½ cup of almond milk
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ¼ tablespoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ cup organic mini dark chocolate chips
- Crushed peanuts and mini dark chocolate chips to garnish
- Preheat your oven to 350 °F.
- Using a mixer, combine coconut oil and maple syrup in a large mixing bowl. Blend in eggs, almond milk, vanilla, and peanut butter.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together almond flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, sea salt, and baking powder. Make sure there are no lumps, and check around the bottom edges of the bowl for any flour build up.
- Slowly incorporate your dry ingredients to your coconut oil/peanut butter mixture. Add your dark chocolate chips.
- Line an 8” X 8” baking pan with parchment paper and if desired, spray a coat of coconut oil cooking spray for less sticking. Pour batter into the baking pan and spread evenly. Garnish with crushed peanuts and more dark chocolate chips (optional).
- Bake for about 30-35 minutes. Mine personally took 35 minutes, but it does depend on your oven!
- Remove from oven and allow to set and cool before slicing into squares.
- Enjoy with family, friends, or coffee!