Chocolate-ginger granola bars

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I’m calling these granola bars, but a more appropriate name might be chocolate-ginger cookies.  Despite the fact they have no butter or flour, these bars taste almost shortbread-esq, making them the perfect midday or post-meal treat.  However, I’ve also been having them for breakfast!

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Ginger Cookies

Since Thanksgiving there’s been an onslaught of sweets in my life and just general overall food decadence.  I’ve been bombarded with sweet treats at work, tempted by holiday goodies at the grocery store and I find myself craving heartier, heavier meals.  It’s winter and I want all the yummy foods that come with the season.  Ginger is one of my favorite year-round flavors, especially in my morning smoothie, but ginger cookies are another story.  I love them!  These cookies are gluten and dairy free so you can indulge without the guilt!

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Superfood cacao nut bars

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It has been a busy transition from Winter to Spring and now it feels like it’s nearly Summer.  Where does time go?  Since January, I started a new job, moved into a new apartment, have begun making wonderful new friends and have been eating at lots of new, great Southern restaurants.  I’m still staying true to my mostly healthy self and feel best when I eat a mainly plant-based diet with protein from non-animal sources.  These bars will fill you up, and possibly even satiate a sweet-tooth!  Never too busy for that.

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These superfood cacao nut bars are essentially nuts and seeds, bound together by the natural sweetness in raisins and dates and by the yumminess of raw cacao powder and coconut oil.  Perfection filled superfood!

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I recently treated myself — aka SPLURGED unnecessarily — on a lovely Cuisinart Food Processor.  I’m in love.  For these bars, a processor is prime to get the nuts, seeds, and dried fruit to the right consistency.  However, you could use a powerful blender or get back-to-basics with a sharp knife and cutting board!

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Reese’s Redux

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Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are a sort of heaven for me.  The decadent candies have long been my favorite mix-in for ice cream; the Cheesecake Factory’s Reese’s Cheesecake always stole my heart. But, the truth is, Reese’s are highly processed and full of ingredients I’d rather not put in my body. The extremely good news is that we can make our own, even better!

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These are Almond Butter Balls. They are gluten free, dairy free and absolutely yummy, without the post-consumption guilt. The recipe is inspired by Oh She Glows’ “Peanut Better Balls.” I used almond butter, which is much healthier and just as satisfying.

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Teapot Butter Cookies with Perfect Icing

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Christmastime is my favorite time. I share mostly healthy recipes with you, but this is not one of them. These are a holiday staple in my house and my mom has been making Teapot Butter Cookies as long as I can remember.

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The recipe for these cookies is on an old 3×5 index card. It’s just flour, sugar, vanilla, butter and an egg. If you plan to double the recipe, make each batch separately.

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The dough for these cookies can be made in one bowl, which makes for easy clean up! Hallelujah!

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Carrot Banana Granola Balls

I am a snacker.  I like to “graze” throughout the day, filling my belly with tasty, sweet things that also are healthy-ish.  Food gives us fuel, sure, but truthfully, I just like eating.  I like tasting something that removes me from the moment, and (hopefully) enhances it!

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The base of these yummy granola balls are carrots and bananas.  Hello, health!  Both give a great texture to the mix that almost gives these treats a cake-like consistency.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten & dairy free)

 

It is just a fact.  Chocolate chip cookies, preferably warm, are one of the best things that exist.  I’ve long been a cookie connoisseur, working to perfect even the “best” chocolate chip cookie recipes.  My fascination started before I could do long division, but now as an adult and in a world surrounded by a plethora of flours and butter alternatives, I decided to try something that really is different from the typical two-sticks-of-butter chocolate chip cookie.

 

These cookies are many things, but vegan is not one of them.  A room temperature egg binds our cookie together and the coconut palm sugar creates the traditional brown sugar flavor.  

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The great thing (one of them, at least!) about this recipe: ONE BOWL!  It takes just one bowl to blend first the wet, then add in all the dry ingredients before blending again.  That’s a combination of almond meal and coconut flour.  I also used Celtic Sea Salt, which gives the cookies a salty-sweet flavor.  Unbelievable! 

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Watermelon Mint Spritzer

Watermelon is a summer staple.  It reminds me of childhood barbecues and the smell of chlorine.  As an adult, I realize how absolutely refreshing watermelon is, especially when paired with a little mint and agave like we’re doing today.

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Make sure your watermelon is ripe and seedless for this recipe. I used one medium-small sized melon.

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blueberry-apricot popsicles with vanilla + maple

It is summer.  It’s hot.  More than hot in some places.  In Arizona this week, temperatures have been hotter than they’ve been in years.  Triple digits are here to stay, and in other parts of the country, humidity makes high temps feel even worse.  I am a baby when it comes to heat, but I love the sweet treats of summer.  Case in point: grown-up popsicles.

These popsicles are made with simple, whole ingredients like organic Greek yogurt, whole apricot jam, berries and sweetness from vanilla and maple.

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The vanilla + maple combination provides a perfect richness to match the creaminess of the Greek yogurt.  You also could use honey or agave instead of the syrup.

I like the subtle tartness of the apricot jam, but you can put absolutely any type in!  Strawberry, raspberry, even lemon would be great, especially with fresh blueberries.  Popsicles are easy, and all about adding in what you want.

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Coconut strawberry cream tartlets

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By now you know two things about me based on this blog: 1) I have a fairly large sweet tooth and 2) I am overall a healthful eater. The best is when 1) and 2) come together for healthful desserts, like those vegan brownies we made and that yummy avocado chocolate mousse. Both are delicious!

This dessert uses whole ingredients like fresh strawberries (Hello, summer!) and raw cashews.

The “cream” is very easy to make because a blender or food processor does pretty much everything.

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