Zucchini Brownies

zucchinibrownies

What?! Zucchini Brownies? It doesn’t sound appetizing but I can tell you that it is very good. It’s moist, rich, super dark, not too sweet, and yes, guilt-free (gluten-free, no refined sugar, no butter or oil, nut-free, and wheat-free). My 9-year old daughter loves them. My 4-year old son won’t try anything with the word “zucchini” it in no matter how chocolatey it is. If you’re lucky, it’s a great way to get veggies in your child or husband’s diet. 🙂 Perfect for dessert or a snack.

The recipe is from cookingalamel.com but I made my own changes because I want it EXTRA DARK!

RECIPE

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup Peet’s unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup plain Fage Greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t liquid stevia (or 1/2 cup more coconut sugar, added to the dry ingredients)
  • 2-3 zucchini squash, shredded
  • One (1) 3.5 oz. of 85% or higher dark chocolate bar, roughly chopped
  • Optional: 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or line an 8″x 8″ pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the almond meal, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and coconut sugar.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the yogurt, eggs, vanilla, and liquid stevia together, until smooth.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients until fully incorporated.
  5. Fold in the shredded zucchini, chocolate pieces, and nuts.
  6. Pour into a greased 8×8 baking dish.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before cutting.
Advertisements

Dark Chocolate Chip Chocolate Cupcakes

dkchoc_choc_chip_cupcakeNeed a super-duper-chocolate fix? Try these Dark Chocolate Chip Chocolate Cupcakes on for size! They’re rich and sweet just by themselves, but my kids wanted ice cream with it so I scooped out the center and placed a little scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream. Caps-Lock-O-M-G! Now that’s a guilt-free, gluten-free dessert enough to push you over the edge!

RECIPE

  • 1/2 cup almond flour or almond meal
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of baking soda
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 cup of coconut palm nectar or agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla
  • 1 bar of 70+% dark chocolate, rough chopped
  1. Preheat oven at 350˚F. Line muffin pan with 12 paper cups.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the wet ingredients.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Put 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin cup.
  7. Bake for 18-22 minutes and let cool.
  8. Serve warm. (If you need to reheat, microwave for about 7-10 seconds per cupcake.)

Stormy Chocolate

stormy_hotchocA very good friend of mine shared this dairy-free, gluten-free Stormy Chocolate drink by Stormy Large. It sounded so good (and hilariously written) that when I read it on her Facebook page I had to try and see if it was true AND if I wanted to punch somebody. 🙂

RECIPE

  • 2 Tbsp Pure cacao powder
  • 1 tsp of your sweetener of choice (Stevia, Xylitol, Agave Nectar, etc.)
  • Cinnamon
  • Cayenne
  • Coconut Milk
  1. Place two heaping tablespoons of cacao powder in a mug.
  2. Sprinkle generously with cayenne and cinnamon.
  3. Add 1/4 cup boiling water to make a hot chocolatey paste.
  4. Add sweetener and then slowly add hot coconut milk “until you want to punch somebody. It’s so freaking delicious.”

Yes, it was so deliciously creamy and rich that I forgot it was guilt-free. So perfect on a rainy morning with breakfast or a cold day out camping.

 

Brazilian Chocolate Truffles

braziliantruffles I saw this post on FastPaleo.com, and although I have no idea what Brazilian Chocolate Truffles are, I was already intrigued when I saw the words “Chocolate Truffles.” 🙂 What perfect timing since Valentine’s Day is almost here. Enjoy this gluten-free, refined sugar-free, lower-carb (and can be dairy-free) dessert with your Valentine!

The recipe seemed simple enough, just lengthy since you have to make your own guilt-free condensed milk (JACKPOT!) and that takes two hours. But don’t be discouraged. The end result is totally worth it! Even the condensed milk alone is a winner. I followed the method that was posted but it didn’t turn out right, so I had to improvise. No worries because the truffles came out perfectly! (I love it when that happens.)

RECIPE

  • 1 can coconut cream or milk
  • 3 tbsp agave nectar or coconut palm nectar
  • 4 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbs butter (or coconut oil for dairy-free option)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Mix the coconut cream/milk, vanilla and the nectar in a sauce pan.
  2. Stir under medium heat until simmering.
  3. Lower the heat as low as it goes and let it cook for 2 hours. Stir every few minutes and keep an eye on it that it doesn’t boil over. You’ll know it’s ready when it has the consistency of condensed milk (thick and syrupy).
  4. Add the butter/coconut oil and half of the cocoa powder under medium heat.
  5. Stir and add the remaining cocoa powder. Keep stirring until liquid separates from the chocolate mixture. Remove from heat.
  6. Drain and toss the liquid.
  7. Cool the chocolate (while in the pan) in the fridge for about 2 hours. It is important it is cool before you roll it. It should have a similar consistency as clay.
  8. Line your hands with coconut oil and start rolling the chocolate into balls. You might need to add more oil to your hands in between a few rolls.
  9. Cover each ball in cocoa powder (or cocoa powder and cinnamon), shredded coconut or chopped nuts. You can also hide a whole hazelnut or almond in the middle for a surprise crunch.

Creamy Chocolate Ice Cream

creamy_choc_icecream

I love custard-based ice cream. This Creamy Chocolate Ice Cream has become one of my favorites because it’s luscious and decadent. So good, so good! I feel like I’m cheating.

RECIPE

  • 2 cans coconut cream (full-fat)
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 bar of 72% (or higher) dark chocolate, rough-chopped
  • 4 egg yolks
  1. In a pot, combine the coconut cream, agave nectar, butter and vanilla extract. Stir until boiling.
  2. Lower the heat, then slowly add in the chocolate pieces.
  3. Whisk in one egg yolk at a time until the mixture is creamy, almost like pudding. (We do not want cooked scrambled egg.)
  4. Take it off the heat and cool the pot in a bowl of ice-cold water to stop it from cooking. Continue to cool the mixture in the refrigerator for a couple hours.
  5. Transfer ice cream mix to an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s directions.
  6. Enjoy!

You can store your ice cream in a freezer-safe container. It keeps for about 2 weeks.

Chocolate Cheddar Cheese

Look what I saw at Trader Joe’s??? Chocolate Cheddar Cheese. What an interesting combination of flavors! The cheddar is sharp and the chocolate is dark. I thought it would be horrible but it actually tastes pretty good. Not sure if I’d buy it again but definitely worth a try. Probably something I’d serve as an appetizer / snack / conversation starter at my next gathering at home.

Caveman Crunch Cereal

I have been avoiding eating breakfast cereal for years since there’s always too many carbs in them and it’s always sweetened with sugar. Well, breakfast came alive again for me when I found this recipe called Caveman Crunch Cereal on fastpaleo.com. (I made a couple of adjustments so I’m not sure how “paleo” this is now.) This cereal is full of nuts and fiber, and lightly sweetened with agave nectar so it’s guilt-free for me. Best part… My kitchen smelled delicious while this was baking in the oven. I couldn’t wait to eat some topped with coconut milk! So not only is this the perfect cereal, it’s also a great snack when you want something chocolately for your sweet tooth.

RECIPE

  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2 cups slivered or sliced almond (or 1 cup almonds and 1 cup old-fashioned oats)
  • 1/4 cup of flaxseed
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil (or any other oil)
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325˚ F.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl with a spatula.
  3. Mix all the wet ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, coating the nuts thoroughly.
  5. Spread mixture evenly on to a tinfoil lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes then pull it out and mix it up with a fork. Then bake for another 5 minutes.
  7. Let the pan cool which allows it to get crunchy. Break it all up as you remove it from the foil and store in an airtight container.
  8. Enjoy with your favorite type of milk or eat as is.