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.

Pots de Creme (Chocolate Mousse)

OMG! If I ever have to choose my last dessert while living, this would be it: Pots de Creme (based on healthyindulgences.net’s Chocolate Mousse recipe). I don’t even care if it is guilt-free, gluten-free and with no refined sugar. This baby is to DIE FOR! It’s rich, smooth, creamy and luscious… I’m going to run out of adjectives. Just make it! And what’s fun is using little tiny containers like espresso cups or even shot glasses. I used a shot glass from my wedding. Too cute!

RECIPE

  • 1/4 cup brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 ounces of cream cheese*

(*For dairy-free options, replace the cream with coconut cream, and replace the cream cheese with 2 tbsp of coconut cream and 2 tbsp of coconut oil.)

  1. Microwave the coffee and cream in a mug for about 50 seconds, or until it starts to bubble.
  2. Place heated coffee mixture, agave nectar, chocolate and vanilla in a blender. Blend for one minute or until chocolate is melted.
  3. Add eggs and cream cheese, and blend until smooth.
  4. Pour from blender into ramekins, shot glasses, tiny cups, tea cups, etc.
  5. Chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours to set.
  6. Serve. Top with sugar-free sweetened heavy cream or a few berries.

Chocolate Walnut-Banana Bread

Banana bread always reminds me of Christmas because I had an aunt who always made banana bread and would give a loaf to everyone in the family. It was moist and delicious, and sure beat fruitcake’s butt. 🙂 I thought now that I’ve changed my eating habits that I would never be able to partake in good banana bread. But lo and behold, Comfy Belly saves the holidays! (She never disappoints.) Her recipe is so delightful. Talk about moist! So I took her recipe, altered it a bit and made it more decadent so that I can give you a guilt-free (gluten-free, dairy-free, no refined sugar, lower in carbs) Chocolate Walnut-Banana Bread. Perfect as a snack, dessert or even breakfast!

RECIPE

  • 1/4 cup of agave nectar
  • 3 tbsp of coconut oil (or butter, shortening, ghee)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2-1/2 cups of almond flour or almond meal
  • 1 bar of 72% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  1. Preheat over to 325˚F
  2. In a bowl, mix agave, oil/butter, eggs and bananas until well-blended.
  3. Add baking soda, salt and almond flour and mix well.
  4. Add chocolate and nuts.
  5. Pour batter into a bread loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. (If you’re using a muffin pan, cut the time to 20 minutes.)
  7. Cool and serve as is or with a scoop of chocolate banana ice cream or another guilt-free ice cream.
  8. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Cacao Bliss Cookies

Ever since I made these Paleo Chocolate Macadamia Nut Butter Cups I’ve become hooked on coconut butter, Artisana Coconut Butter to be exact. There’s something about the taste and texture of it that I can’t describe. It’s addicting! So I went online to check out other products they make, then I discovered Cacao Bliss. It’s coconut AND chocolate all mixed in a jar and sweetened with a touch of agave nectar. OMG! No wonder it’s called Cacao Bliss. So how do you eat Cacao Bliss? You can dig in the jar with a spoon and hide in your bedroom. Or you can make these gluten-free, low in sugar Cacao Bliss Cookies and share them with friends. (Or you can eat the whole batch to yourself and still hide in your bedroom.)

RECIPE

  • 1/2 cup of almond butter
  • 1 cup of peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup of Artisana Cacao Bliss
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of coconut palm sugar
  • Optional: 1 bar of dark chocolate (72% cocoa or greater), chopped
  • Optional: 1/2 cup of chopped pecans or other nuts
  • Optional: 1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together first 7 “non-optional” ingredients until well-blended. Stir in optional ingredients: chocolate, nuts, and coconut.
  3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined or greased cookie sheets.
  4. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes.
  5. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool for 15 more minutes.
  6. Store in the refrigerator.

Macadamia Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies

Inspired by Hawaii, maybe because I really wanted to go to Hawaii or perhaps I had too many macadamia nuts in the pantry, I mixed up a batch of crispy, chewy Macadamia Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies. These are—by far—the chewiest guilt-free cookies I’ve ever eaten! And depending on how much and how big your macadamia nuts are, you get a mouthful of crunch that makes these cookies so sinfully good that it’s hard to believe they’re guilt-free!

RECIPE

  • 2 cups of almond butter
  • 1/2 cup of coconut palm sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 bar of dark chocolate (72% cocoa or greater), chopped
  • 1/2 cup of macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together first 5 ingredients until blended. Stir in chocolate, nuts and coconut.
  3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined or greased cookie sheets.
  4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  5. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool for 15 more minutes.
  6. Store in the refrigerator.

“Compost” Cookies


I went to the beach with some friends and was inspired by these cookies my friend, Kim, baked for the kids. She called them Compost Cookies. “Did I hear you right? Did you say compost cookies?” I’ve never heard of them but they looked good. It’s basically a cookie base with a mishmash of random ingredients tossed in: chocolate chips, raisins, potato chips, pretzels, corn flakes, etc. I had to try a little bite so that I knew what I’m dealing with here. Wow! It was an explosion of sweet vs. salt having a party in my mouth. So I had to come up with my own guilt-free version.

RECIPE

  • 2 cups of any nut butter (I used peanut butter and almond butter.)
  • 1/2 cup of coconut palm sugar or 3 tbsp of Stevia powder
  • 2 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 bar of dark chocolate (72% cocoa or greater), chopped
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pecans or other nuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup of rolled oatmeal
  • and anything else you’d like.
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together first 5 ingredients until blended. Stir in chocolate, nuts, coconut, oatmeal, etc.
  3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined or greased cookie sheets and flatten to form cookie shape . (I chose to make hamburger-patty sizes!)
  4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  5. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool for 15 more minutes.
  6. Store in the refrigerator.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I wanted to make Almond Butter Chocolate Chip cookies one day but I ran out of almond butter. Thankfully I had a jar of peanut butter and whipped up a batch of Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies instead. Same chewy, crispy texture just made with peanut butter. Still guilt-free (gluten-free, lower-carb, low-glycemic, dairy-free) and yummy-licious!

RECIPE

  • 1 cup all-natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup of coconut palm sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 bar of dark chocolate (72% cocoa or greater), chopped
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pecans or other nuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together first 5 ingredients until blended. Stir in chocolate.
  3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
  4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  5. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool for 15 more minutes.