Snacks/Treats

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Donuts 

Growing up I loved me some donuts! A few times a week I would treat myself to them and one time I think I even ate a half dozen in 1 sitting! #Truth! I kid you not when I say I have a sweet tooth - although it's not as intense as it once was. I honestly don't care for 'those' types of donuts anymore but I thought why not try to make my own version so I can enjoy this childhood fav once again! 


This time of year I stock up on cans of pumpkin so there is always leftover in the fridge. Then I start to think of recipes! Pancakesbread, barsenergy bites.....so many ideas and then...DONUTS!!!  I finally bought myself a donut pan (this one here) and right away knew how to use up that leftover pumpkin! 


Sticking with My Fit Life principles of not using refined flour or sugar I went with gluten-free flour (love Bob's Red Mill or Trader Joes) and sweetened it with honey (pure maple syrup if vegan). The chocolate came in as an afterthought so I added in 1 tbsp of cocoa powder (and of course the chocolate drizzle at the end for added chocolateness!) 


These were super easy to make, as you know I like recipes to be simple and easy! I try to bake with ingredients that I already have on hand too so when inspiration strikes I can go for it! Now that I have an actual donut pan you have been warned that more donut recipes will appear! Especially as my kids enjoy donuts too! By the way, these were a hit with them!  Score! They do like them warmed up a bit before eating and I agree! 


Be sure to share with me when you make these! I love to see your creations! Tag me on Instagram or comment below and give suggestions! Always looking for feedback on what you like or don't like so I can create better recipes to share! 


Ingredients:

1.5 cups gluten-free flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp pumpkin spice
3 tbsp coconut oil (liquid)
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup honey

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F 
2. Mix wet ingredients (coconut oil, eggs, pumpkin & honey) well to combine.
3. Add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix well.
4. Spoon batter into greased donut pan, filling 3/4 way.
5. Bake for 15 minutes
6. Let cool completely (option to drizzle melted chocolate on top)
7. Store in the fridge for 3 days or freeze individually. 

 Protein Chocolate Pumpkin Bread


I say it's always a good time for pumpkin bread - especially during pumpkin season! You can find numerous recipes for pumpkin bread made all different ways. Right here you can find No Flour Banana Pumpkin Bread and Pumpkin Almond Oatmeal Bars or Pumpkin Fall Balls. I stuck with my almond/coconut flours, no refined sugar combo like all of my baked goods. No refined flours or sugars in My Fit Life! 

Just real ingredients with chocolate chunks (look at those beauties!) and this time I added in my chocolate protein powder from Garden of Life. Their protein powder is plant based with superfood ingredients that I can pronounce!  If I can add a little protein and superfoods into my pumpkin bread I am all for it! Be sure to use good quality chocolate - it makes a big difference! I used Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks and they were delish! 


I am thinking next time to add a cinnamon crumble on top! Yum! But for now, this bread will more than suffice as it was the right mix of chocolate and pumpkin and good for you protein! Be sure to use pure pumpkin, I usually get mine at Trader Joes or Whole Foods. Right now they are everywhere so it shouldn't be too hard to find. With the leftover pumpkin, you can add it to your protein shake or make my Pumpkin Fall Balls

When you make this pumpkin deliciousness be sure to tag me on Instagram so I can see your creation! A great dessert option just in time for the holidays! 


Ingredients:

2 cups almond flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
4 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp liquid coconut oil
3 tbsp honey or maple syrup
3 eggs
1/4 cup almond butter (or other nut butter of choice)
1 cup pure pumpkin 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chunks

Ingredients:

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease loaf pan well with coconut oil.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients; almond flour, coconut flour, pumpkin pie spice, ground ginger, and baking soda.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients. 
4. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry until mixed well together.
5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
6. Pour batter into greased bread pan, sprinkle additional chocolate chunks on top if desired.
7. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Check with toothpick for doneness.
8. Let cool completely then slice. Can be wrapped and frozen for later enjoyment! 

Pumpkin Fall Balls

Yes, I am your typical Jersey girl that loves everything pumpkin! Plus everything bite-sized! I have made several recipes that are bite-sized so they are easy to grab and go snacks - as we are all always on the go these days! So I upgraded my fit bites to add in pumpkin to make......Pumpkin Fall Balls! 


Just a few simple ingredients are all that is needed for these quick energy bites. Which are perfect for pre/post workout snacks or anytime snacks really. If you bake with me often here is all you need;

Rolled oats

Almond butter

Pumpkin Puree

Honey

Coconut flakes

Chocolate chips

Hemp/Chia seeds

Of course you can switch up the ingredients to your liking, think flax seeds, other nut butter, pumpkin seeds......  you get the drift! 


Make sure you get pumpkin puree and not pie filling - big difference! I like to stock up on pumpkin puree as many recipes strike this season with it! You can add it to your smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes, pumpkin breads....I have several recipes for that too like;





Depending on the size of the balls that you make you can get up to 14 - be mindful of the size for as these are calorie dense - but still a healthy treat! I keep them in the fridge and we all grab and eat them as we feel the need to. I throw them in my kid's lunch box too! 

If you try my Pumpkin Fall Balls don't forget to tag me on Instagram or connect with me in my private FB group My Fit Life Tribe 


Ingredients:

1.5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup fav nut butter (I used Wild Friends Pumpkin Spice)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp pure maple syrup or honey
1/2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tbsp hemp seeds
1/4 cup coconut flakes
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
sprinkle of sea salt

Instructions:

1. Mix all ingredients in one bowl.

2. Option to place mixture in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes to firm up.

3. Roll into balls and keep in the fridge for a few days.


Tahini Brownies

Have you jumped on the tahini bandwagon yet? Ever since I started incorporating more plant-based recipes into my diet I jumped on the tahini wagon. I never bought a jar of it in my life before and now I love it! From dressings to baked goods tahini is a good staple to have in the house! If you are not sure what tahini is, it is simply ground up sesame seeds. Which also has a lot of vitamins & minerals. Read up on the benefits if tahini here!


First I started by making a tahini dressing for my lunch salads, then I added it into my Chickpea Salad Sandwich then made a Spicy Sweet Potatoe Dip with it. But recently I have been seeing my fav bloggers bake with it - brownies, cookies....and at first, I was hesitant. Not too sure how tahini would taste in my baked goods? But hey, it was coming up constantly in my IG feed so I figured why not give it a whirl?! 


When Rachl Mansfield posted a dark chocolate tahini blondie recipe I was all over that! She makes the most AH-mazing drool-worthy recipes so I knew remaking hers would be a winner! And it was! Plus the recipe called for a flax egg (basically flax seeds mixed with water to sub an egg) which I never tried before either! I was super excited!  LOL! (ok that is the foodie geek in me!)

Other ingredients needed are applesauce, coconut oil, oat flour (just put your rolled oats in a blender and pulse into flour) dark chocolate and of course tahini!
I am thinking next time to get creative and add in my fav super seeds and maybe white chocolate chips? 


Be sure to check out her full recipe on her blog - you can also print it below too! I kept mine in the fridge for a few days and froze some too for later enjoyment!

Don't forget to tag me on Instagram or connect with me in my private FB group My Fit Life Tribe to share your tahini creation and let me know your thoughts on it too! 


Ingredients:

2 flax eggs (2 tbsp flax meal and 5 tbs water)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup tahini
2 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 cups oat flour (ground rolled oats into flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup chopped dark chocolate (use a good quality brand like Hu Chocolate or chocolate chips)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease 8x8 baking dish well.

2. Mix flax egg in small bowl and set aside in fridge to firm.

3. In a large bowl mix in coconut oil, maple syrup, applesauce, tahini, vanilla, and flax egg.

4. Mix in oat flour and baking soda. Then add in chocolate.

5. Pour into baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes.

6. Cool & enjoy! 

My Fit Life Energy Balls

I can't seem to stop making bite-sized snacks at the moment! With so much going on with back to school and sports I feel the need to have snacks ready to go at any moment, who feels me?! LOL! 





I have introduced you to other bite-sized treats like my Chocolate Energy Balls,

The Best Energy Bites and Pumpkin Energy Bites so why not add in another one to the family? These balls come simply to make with ingredients you may already have on hand if you bake with my recipes often. Plus, you could easily get all of them from Trader Joe's too! 

I like to use their old fashioned gluten free oats for all my recipes. These are great to have on hand and not just for this recipe but for many others. Plus you can use them to make oat flour or for actual oatmeal! Also in this recipe are unsweetened coconut flakes, nut butter (can sub seed butter) flax meal, hemp seeds, honey (can sub maple syrup), chocolate chips (can sub cacao nibs too!) vanilla and a touch of salt to bring out all the yummy flavors. 


I also like to add a tsp of water into the mix to help everything stick together well.  It may be just me but they tend to fall apart for me and I don't want to add more ingredients to drive up the calories so I tested with water and voila! It worked beautifully! AND the best thing about this recipe is that you can mix up and use what you like - cater it to your liking, or your kids, family, friends whoever! 

Think, raisins, dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin (def using that in the Fall!) Possibilities are endless but be sure to keep it simple so they don't become too calorie dense. I got about 20 balls from this batch but it all depends on how big you make them. These should be kept in the fridge as you consume them. It's been over a week and we are still enjoying them.  Great for pre/post workout too! Oh, you can even add in protein powder!  See, endless possibilities!   

Don't forget to tag me on Instagram or connect with me in my private FB group My Fit Life Tribe to show me your Fit Life Energy Ball creations!  I love to see what you are up to! 


Ingredients:

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (GF)
2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup nut or seed butter of choice
1 tbs flax seed
1 tbs hemp seeds
1/4 cup chocolate chips (more if desired)
1/2 cup honey or pure maple syrup
sprinkle of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp water as needed

Instructions:

1. Place oats and coconut flakes in blender or food processor and pulse until ground well.

2. Add remaining ingredients except for water and mix again until blended well together.

3. Start to roll into balls. If the mix is too dry or crumbly this is when you start to add in the water and blend again. 

4. Roll into 20-24 balls and freeze for 30 minutes.

5. Keep in fridge or freezer and enjoy! 

Healthy Mini Muffins

School is back in session and the abundance of snacks are too!  Honestly, there are always snacks in our house though!  My kids have had those infamous mini bite muffins in the past (before I realized what reading ingredients meant lol!) and of course, when they see them in the store they try to sneak them into the cart! They know I will no longer buy them but they like to mess with me! 


While I have been experimenting with different back to school snacks I thought why not make my own mini muffins?!  I have many recipes with full-size muffins like my Superfood Chocolate Chip Muffins, Fresh Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins,  or my Healthy Banana Apple Muffins. But nothing mini?! I know these will be easier to just pop in and eat for the kids so mini's were created! 


You know I like to keep it simple, especially with baking as it is not my strength (I am just not one to follow precise recipes - with cooking you can eyeball almost anything!) So this recipe just calls for GF rolled oats (I use TJ brand), coconut flour, eggs, bananas, almond milk and maple syrup for sweetening. (You could literally get all your ingredients from Trader Joes!) And of course, I added in my secret superfoods of hemp seeds and flax - these are my secret ingredients in mainly all my baked goods!


I wanted to take advantage of the last berries of the season (before full on pumpkin mode begins!) so I went with mixed berries - I used frozen ones that I had on hand and just placed them on top. Side note, you can mix them in the batter for a more even berry flavor. But this way worked just fine too since they are mini. Made a healthy batch of 24 - could have squeezed a few more out of the batter too-just depends on how much you fill your pan. 


I have them stored in an airtight container in the fridge for now, but I will separate them into mini baggies so they can take them to school. You can definitely freeze them too! Just reheat in the microwave - they are super moist from the bananas! So Yum!

Be sure to comment below or tag me on Instagram to share your creation - feel free to mix up your mix-ins too!  I know pumpkin is next for these! 


Ingredients:

2 cups rolled oats 
2 bananas, ripe
3 organic or farm fresh eggs (trust me on this one)
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk (regular milk is fine too)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup (could sub honey)
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/5 tsp baking powder
1 cup mixed berries
1 tbsp hemp and flax (optional)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350f and line a mini muffin pan with liners or grease well (I used coconut oil)

2. Mash bananas in a large bowl. Then add the remaining wet ingredients (eggs, milk, maple syrup, vanilla) Whisk well together.

3. Fold in the dry ingredients and mix well together. 

4. Pour evenly into muffin tin and bake for 20minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

5. Let cool completely before storing in airtight container in the fridge. You can sprinkle with cinnamon or almond butter too! 
3. Fold in the dry ingredients and berries (unless placing on top)

Super-Food Chocolate Chip Muffins (GF)

Here it is, the end of August and already there is chatter about back to school. My kids don't want to hear it! LOL! While I start to see all the back to school snacks lining the supermarket aisles this is when I start to think of creating my own. 


My daughter is going to be super busy with HS and back to back gymnastics so she will need to refuel in between. Yes, there are some great protein bar options out there that I do like (RX Bars, Lara Bars) but I love to make my own healthy snack options. This way I know exactly what is going into it and I control the ingredients. My daughter may be more on the 'pickier' side so I started off with these superfood packed chocolate chip muffins adapted from one of my fav bloggers...Minimalist Baker. Chocolate she doesn't say no to!


If you bake with me often then you should have most ingredients on hand already. To make these gluten free I used a mix of gluten-free flourgluten-free oats, and almond flour. Sweetened with applesauce, coconut sugar, and maple syrup - so you do not find any refined sugars or flours here! Being the mom I am, I of course sneak in my fav superfoods - flax meal and hemp seeds. Both provide great sources of omega 3's, fiber, iron and plant protein. Giving my daughter a nutritional boost in an easy grab and go snack - plus the dark cocoa has protein and carbs as well!  It's a win-win! 



This batch made about 10 muffins. I froze most of them so we can switch up her snacks throughout the week. These are super yummy right out of the oven with a dab of nut butter or grass-fed butter too! I am thinking of adding them to my yogurt bowls too! So many possibilities with these superfood muffins! Feel free to play around and add your own mix-ins. This is just one of the many more back to school snacks I will be taste testing this month! Keep an eye out for more to come that you can share with your kiddos - or for yourself too! 

Also, check out my Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins if you like bananas! These are GF too! 

Don't forget to tag me on Instagram when you give them a try!!  Love seeing what you are up to!  It makes me smile!  Happy Snacking!

xo, cherise 

Super-Food Chocolate Chip Muffins
Recipe Here

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup GF flour 
1/4 cup GF oat flour (put oats in a blender to blend into a fine powder)
1/3 cup almond flour
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
sprinkle sea salt
1 Tbsp flax meal (or seeds)
1 Tbsp hemp seeds
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/3 cup chocolate chips
2 eggs
1/4 unsweetened almond milk
3/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup maple syrup

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375f. Grease a muffin tin or use liners

2. In a large bowl add eggs, applesauce, maple syrup, coconut sugar,
baking soda & powder, and sea salt. Whisk well. Then add in coconut oil & almond milk.

3. Add cocoa powder, GF flour, oat flour, almond flour, flax and hemp seeds and whisk until blended well.

4. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter evenly among muffin tins. I filled them 3/4 up. Add more chips if desired. 

5. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. 

6. Let cool and enjoy! Will keep in the fridge for a few days or individually freeze. 

Chocolate Energy Balls

I am a big fan of grab and go snacks - especially in the bite-size form! Not just for me but for my kids too - great to throw in their lunch box or for in between sports or after school - ok really for anytime & anywhere! Adapted from one of my fav bloggers, Pinch of Yum, these are going to be great! 


With back to school just around the corner for us, I see all the back the school snacks lining the aisles and I start to think of ways to make my own healthy snacks. Bites, balls, bars, muffins....my mind is going with so many ideas! I always have a few staple ingredients on hand so making these on the fly gets easy!  A few pantry staples I suggest having (I mainly get all mine from Trader Joe's - best price around!)

Hemp Seeds - a great source of plant protein

Flax Seeds/Meal - a great source of ALA  

Chia Seeds - a great source of Omega 3's and Fiber

Pumpkin Seeds - a great source of plant protein and Omega's

Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (Gluten Free) - Trader Joe's

Assorted mixed nuts such as almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans....

Dates, honey, pure maple syrup - a great alternate sweetener

A mixture of dried fruits

Coconut flakes 


Chocolate chips - I love Enjoy Life

Coconut Sugar - alternate to brown sugar

Applesauce - alternate to butter

.....I could literally write a whole blog post about healthy baking alternatives!  LOL!  Hmmm....be on the lookout for that! Ok back to the balls....


Not perfect in shape (but who/what is?!) These whip up super fast and easy with just a few pantry ingredients (from above). My initial thought was to make them into bars (daughters request) but let's just say I failed at that attempt so balls were made!  Just as yummy and I like that I can just pop them and go! I have been eating these before my early morning workouts or after. 2 is sufficed as they are calorie dense - so be mindful of the size when you are making them.

You can see the super seeds in there along with the walnut chunks & oats. As with most of my recipes you can get as creative as you want with adding in other superfoods or switching up your nut variety. You could possibly make this nut-free by swapping in sunflower seeds, although I have not tried this yet. I got about 24 balls with this recipe and have kept them in the fridge as with the chocolate they will get soft and melty. You could possibly freeze them for longer storage time as well. 


I say add these to your rotation of back to school snacks or anytime snacks that you can feel good about! No funny ingredients and you know exactly what is in them!  That's how I like to fuel my body!  Also, check out my Fruit & Nut Bars, Super Food Chocolate Chip Muffins, Pumpkin Energy Bites and Banana Bread Bars for more healthy snacking options! 


Remember to tag me on Instagram and connect with me over on my private FB group just for My Fit Life Tribe! 


Ingredients:

1.5 cups walnuts (or nut of choice)
1.5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 tbs flax meal
1 tbs hemp seeds
8 dates (softened in warm water for a few minutes)
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

Chocolate Mix:

1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup honey

Instructions:

1. Add the first half of the ingredients (not the chocolate mix) to a food processor and blend until a sticky mixture is born. Pour into a large bowl.

2. Whisk the chocolate ingredients together. Pour into the bowl with other ingredients and mix well so the chocolate is all incorporated.

3. Roll into bite-sized balls - if the dough starts to fall apart wet hands.

4. Place on parchment lined pan and freeze for 30 minutes.

5. Can be stored in the fridge for a few days or frozen.

Chocolate  Zucchini Bread (GF)

It's Zucchini Season!  While mine did not grow this year (total fail!) I am blessed to have family who grows amazing gardens to share theirs! Plus they are in abundance at the farmers market and regular food stores too! From zoodles to bread the possibilities are endless with zucchini season! 


I decided to go for the sweet version and finally try making zucchini bread! And I added in chocolate! everything is better with chocolate! I always see tons of recipes on zucchini bread and muffins but the grating part is what has deterred me. I knew it was going to be labor intensive and a good arm workout grating the zucchini! But I finally gave in and did it! Yes, my arm was worked for sure! 


But when the final product is this chocolate looking bad boy, I can say it was worth it! I also made it gluten free by using Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Flour , honey for the sweetness, chopped mixed nuts (totally optional) and Enjoy Life chocolate chips to sprinkle on top. I went with almond milk to keep it dairy free as well. 

I thought the chocolate would win my kids over but they saw me working with the zucchini and are hesitant to try it now! So be careful your kids are not watching if don't want them to know at first! LOL! 


I love seeing the chunks of nuts throughout the bread, it gives it a nice crunch. I sliced the loaf and individually wrapped each piece for easy grab and go enjoyment. I froze half of them to enjoy another time too! Great on its own but even better when heated up with butter or peanut butter! And no you don't even taste the zucchini. I used only 1 cup and squeezed out the excess water too - don't want your bread coming out soggy! 


Give it try and be sure to tag me on Instagram - I love to see what you are up to! 

xo, cherise 


Ingredients:

1 cup grated zucchini (squeeze out any extra moisture)
1 3/4 cups gluten-free flour 
1/3 cup liquid coconut oil
1/2 cup honey (or pure maple syrup)
1/2 cup almond milk
2 eggs (room temperature) 
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
Sprinkle of salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg (more if you like it!)
3/4 cup chocolate chips (more if you like!)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375f and grease a loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl whisk together the coconut oil and honey. Then whisk in eggs and milk.
3. Add in baking soda, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg. Mix well.
4. Use a big spoon to add in zucchini and slowly add in flour. Some zucchini lumps are ok.
5. Add in mixed nuts (optional) and mix in 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips and sprinkle the rest on top. 
6. Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
7. Cool completely before slicing and enjoying.
8. Store in fridge for a few days or freeze for up to 3 months. 


Vegan Dog Treats

I don't know why I haven't thought of this one sooner as I have a loyal and crazy boxer who we go out of our way for to make sure he has the best ingredient dog bones (& food!) You know dogs can get all the same illnesses that we can get if you don't feed them right? Don't skimp on cheap dog food or give them too much (if any) table food. Not all the food that we enjoy they can handle. Insert these simple healthy vegan dog treats for your pup!


They look like regular cookies right?!  LOL! You could technically eat them yourself as they are made with all natural ingredients. I just blended up 1 cup of gluten-free oats, added in 1/2 cup quinoa flour from Pereg Gourmet, mashed 2 ripe bananas and added in 1/4 cup organic peanut butter (the only ingredient is peanut butter). Plus I added in flax meal and mint for that dog breath! You could try it with chia seeds too - maybe check with your vet first to see if your pup is ok with it?


The dough is super sticky so I made them into rounded cookies. You could try using a dog bone cookie cutter - maybe you will have more luck than me! The cookie shape worked great though. I kept half of them in the fridge and froze the other half for another time. They are treats so keep them to a minimum, you know like we do with our treats LOL!


Please share your doggie enjoying these treats with me on Instagram!  I love seeing your furry friends!  

xo, cherise


Ingredients:

1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour
2 mashed bananas
1/4 cup organic or all natural peanut butter
1 tsp flax meal
A handful of chopped mint

Instructions:

1. Mash bananas in a large bowl with the peanut butter until blended well.
2. Add in the oat flour and combine slowly. Repeat with the quinoa flour.
3. Blend well and form into a dough ball. Put in fridge for about 20-30 minutes to firm up.
4. Preheat oven to 325f.
5. Grease a baking sheet for use parchment paper.
6. Scoop out rounded balls of dough and flatten on the baking sheet.
7. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
8. Remove and let completely cool then transfer for an airtight container.
9. Leave in the fridge for a few days and freeze extra. 

Grain-Free Fruit & Nut Bars

Snacking is my thang!  I am always looking for the best quality on the go bars or how to recreate one. Most of the time they include oats which I always have on hand and are gluten-free. But I was looking for an energy bar without grains. Don't get me wrong, grains are fine! I just try to limit them as I know how my body processes them.


I was looking for them to have energy lasting power that would sustain for a good pre or post workout snack or any time snack really!  So while in Trader Joe's I came across the dried fruit section that I usually stay away from (added sugar ugh!) but I remember how much I used to love dried apricots in my homemade trail mix and then I saw the dried cherries too, yum!  Both with no sugar added and literally the only ingredients were their fruit! Score! 



Next, I came across the mixed bag of unsalted nuts that I like to have on hand and Viola!!  I thought of my next energy bar!  Dried fruit and nuts!  Ok, maybe not a scientific breakthrough but for me it was genius! LOL! These are super versatile too as you can use any dried fruit that you like and nuts too! I just used a mixture of nuts since I like them all! Also added in pumpkin seeds and coconute flakes - I mean why not?!



Patience is needed with these in the blender to form a nice paste so grab a spatula and keep scraping down the sides. Once the paste is formed press the mix into an 8x8 pan and refrigerate for at least an hour to firm up. BUT...before doing that I decided to grab my peanut butter Cocoa Bar in a Jar and drizzle it on top! Now that's genius!  Then I refrigerated everything and it created a hard chocolate shell on top - Yum! 

I have been creating recipes with Cocoa Bar in a Jar for a few months now and they have a special code just for my readers too!  CHERISE10 and get 10% off your own jar!  Trust me, you want to check them out! Here are the other recipes you can make too....

Healthy Thin Mint Bars

Healthy Peanut Butter Cups

Dreamy Tahini PB Cups

I was able to get 9 bars that I individually wrapped and kept in the fridge to snack on all week. They are soft so caution when eating but they are really good!  I am thinking to roll them into balls for quick back to school snacks when September rolls around! Stay Tuned!

As always be sure to tag me on Instagram or use the #cheriseeats so I can see your creations! 

xo, cherise

Grain-Free Fruit & Nut Bars
Recipe Here

Ingredients:

3/4 cup dried apricots (no sugar added)
3/4 cup dried cherries (no sugar added)
1.5 cups fav nuts (I used cashews, almonds, pistachios, pecans)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Instructions:

1. Grease an 8x8 baking dish and set aside.
2. Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender or food processor reserving 1/2 cup of the nuts.
3. Once it becomes thick and pasty, add in the remaining nuts and blend until slightly broken down (leave some chunks for texture)
4. Press mix into the pan and then drizzle with Cocoa Bar in a Jar. Refrigerate for about an hour.
5. Cut into 9 squares. Keep leftovers in fridge or freezer. 

Fresh Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

It's Summer and berry season so I am on my farmer's market kick!!  I love shopping at my local farmers market in town called Dreyer's Farm. If you are ever in the Cranford, NJ area definitely check them out!  They have so many goodies ranging from farm fresh eggs, milk, pies, sauce, fruit, donuts and even wine! 


My latest visit had me grabbing a big ol' batch of fresh picked blueberries! I love me some bloobs and I eat them all year round. Some of the benefits of them include high in antioxidants, help fight cancer, amp up weight loss, promote heart health and lower in sugar than most fruit. Those are some great reasons to add them to muffins!  LOL!

This is a remake of an older recipe that I had. The only difference is that I added in farm fresh blueberries along with hemp and flax seeds for added superfood power! I kept it gluten-free with GF oats and refined sugar-free sweetened with bananas & honey. Oh and plain greek yogurt that made it super moist! Yum! 


The blueberries gravitated towards the bottom as they were big and juicy! You can see here all the pretty purpleness going on at the bottom! Right before they went in the oven I sprinkled them with cinnamon and oh boy did the house smell AH-mazing!

Made 12 muffins and kept them in the fridge for a few days as great grab and go snacks or to pair with breakfast.  They can be individually frozen too for later consumption. Another tasty healthy treat!  Be sure to tag me on Instagram if you give them a try! I love to see your creations! 

Fresh Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

Ingredients

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 large ripe bananas - cut into chunks 2 large eggs
1 cup plain greek yogurt
3 Tbsp honey
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1.5 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (or any berry)
½ tsp hemp seeds (optional)
½ tsp flax or chia seeds (optional)
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
2. Lightly spray or add muffin liners to 12 cup muffin tin
3. Add oats, yogurt, bananas, eggs, honey, extract, hemp/flax/chia seeds, baking powder and soda, salt to a blender and blend until smooth
4. Fold in blueberries
5. Divide batter into prepared muffin tin
6. Bake 20-25 minutes (check with toothpick)
7. Set out to cool
8. Refrigerate for a few days or freeze individually.

Banana Bread Bars


I must say that bananas are one of my favorite fruits!  I literally have one everyday!  Either as a pre-workout snack with almond butter before my trainings or frozen and blended in my protein smoothie or topped in my oats in a jar or in my many muffin and bread recipes that I have shared here with you!  



Made with minimal ingredients besides the mashed bananas I used banana flour (yes this is a thing now!) I feel the baking companies have come to realize how much we love making our healthy versions of banana bread and muffins and said 'HEY, let's make banana flour!' Genius if you ask me! I received my banana bread plus other baking flours from Pereg Naturals and I love it!  The only ingredient is 100% Banana Flour! 

All in one bowl and 1 pan. No mixer needed-just you and your arm strength! Right into an 8x8 pan and in less than 30 minutes you have yourself a treat! 


Extra bonus is that your house will smell AH-mazing!!  With the sweet smell of the bananas and cinnamon, it brought my son running down the stairs asking - 'Are You Baking?!' He is my best critic as he always tries my baked goods first and gives me his honest feedback - I mean he is 10 so no filter there!  LOL!

Sprinkled with cinnamon, coconut sugar and touch of sea salt at the end to top it all off - these bars are moist and yummo! Definitly great for when that sweet tooth kicks in! To make sure I didn't eat them in one sitting I individually wrapped and froze them so we can enjoy them at a later date too - just defrost at room temp or pop in the microwave for a bit.  They are delish warmed up too! 

Be sure to comment or share with me on Instagram if you make your own batch! Love seeing what you are up to in the kitchen! 


Ingredients:

3 mashed bananas (the riper they are the sweeter)
1/3 cup almond milk
1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
2 cups banana flour
2 tbsp flax meal
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Sea Salt & Coconut Sugar to sprinkle on top

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Peel and mash bananas in large mixing first.
2. Then add remaining ingredients and mix until well blended then pour into a greased 8x8 pan.
3. Sprinkle coconut sugar & sea salt on top (plus more cinnamon if desired)
4. Cook for about 25 minutes. Check with Toothpick.
5. Let cool completely before cutting into even squares.
6. Can individually wrap and fridge/freeze leftovers.

Healthy Thin Mint Bars

When girl scout season rolls around I often get nostalgic for their infamous Thin Mints. You start to see thin mint shakes, ice cream and other treats to mimic the ever so popular cookie. But...I look to healthify things a bit! 


So when I received CocoaBar in a Jar's Thin Mint coconut butter this month I knew this would be the best recreation ever! (Did you catch last months PB Cups?!) You can easily just spread this yumminess on toast, drizzle over fruit, in oatmeal, eat from a spoon - whichever way you choose it is good!  What I love is that since it is made with coconut oil it will harden when cold but soften when heated - so you can just pop it in the microwave to melt and drizzle it over...anything! Infused with peppermint oil this will take you take you back to those Thin Mint Days! 


I melted a cup of the thin mint coconut butter in the microwave for a bit just to make it easy to blend with. I then added in creamy almond butter, chopped pecans (use any nut you like!) and unsweetened shredded coconut flakes. Just look at those pecan chunks! Once I combined everything together I poured the mixture into a 5x7 glass pan (you can spray the bottom or use parchment paper if you like) then I sprinkled the top with pink sea salt. OMG!!!


Let it chill in the freezer for about an hour. Remember, it is made with coconut oil so it will harden right up for that perfect square chocolate treat! Let it sit to soften a little - just so it is easy to cut into squares. I then wrapped each bar individually and stored them back in the freezer in a ziplock bag. 

This way they are portion controlled and easy to grab and throw in my lunch bag or really just easy to grab and EAT! Savor the moment and let these blissful bites melt slowly - they are something to really enjoy! 

Check out their website to grab your own jar! AND...just for my readers you will get 10% off when you use code CHERISE10 - how cool is that?!

When you get your jar tag me on Instagram and show me your creation - even if it is just from your spoon!  LOL! 


Ingredients:

1 cup Cocoa Jar in a Bar Thin Mint
2 tbsp all natural almond butter
1 tbsp chopped pecans
1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
Sprinkle of Sea Salt

Instructions:

1. Heat up the Cocoa Jar in a Bar for few seconds until blendable but not fully melted. (I put everything in a measuring cup)
2. Add in the almond butter and blend well. Then add the chopped pecans and coconut flakes. Combine well.
3. Pour into a 5x7 glass pan and sprinkle with sea salt.
4. Chill in freezer for about an hour.
5. Let soften a bit before slicing into 12 squares.
6. Can individually wrap and freeze for later consumption.
Enjoy! 

Peanut Butter Jelly Bread Time! 


Ok, I know what you are thinking, another banana bread recipe!  Yup!  But stick with me as I have recreated an all-time childhood (and still adulthood fav!) here! Along with the banana's and peanut butter comes the other half of this equation and that is the jelly! 

I have long stayed away from jelly as they are mostly filled with sugar and other questionable ingredients but once I figured how to make it myself (super simple) it was a game changer! Just heat up some berries and mash them with a bit of honey - Bam!  There is your jelly! 


I was honored to be given several samples of baking flour from Pereg Gourmet to test out and I had to go with the banana flour first! There is also quinoa flour, plantain flour, almond, coconut, buckwheat, chickpea, & teff!  Lot's of recipes coming at cha soon with all these goodies!  

I love that they have roots dating back to the early 1900's and are family owned.  Their products do not include any preservatives, MSG, additives, fillers or food coloring. Plus they are kosher, NON-GMO, gluten-free and vegan! Basically everything I strive to cook/bake with and share with you! 


The basic ingredients besides the banana flour are also oat flour, ground flax, almond milk, peanut butter (or nut butter of choice), bananas, and jelly. You can add as much or little as you like the jelly but make sure to layer it throughout for the best tasting results! Next time I think I will add more! 

Thank you Pereg Gourmet for providing your delicious products for me to try out - it means a lot to work with brands I trust and believe in! 

Be sure to check out Pereg Gourmet and see what other products they carry! Plus if you sign up you will receive 15% off your first order! 

Remember to tag me on Instagram and comment below with your recreations! Cuz that makes me smile! 

xo-cherise


Ingredients:

1.5 cups of Pereg banana flour
1/2 cup oat flour (can blend oats)
3 ripe bananas (save some slices for the topping - optional)
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
Sprinkle of salt
2 tbsp ground flax
1/3 cup almond milk
1/3 cup natural peanut butter (or other nut butter)
3 tbsp jelly

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 and grease a bread pan.
2. Add the dry ingredients (banana flour, oat flour, baking soda + powder, salt) to a large bowl and combine well.
3. Add the remaining wet ingredients (except jelly) to a separate bowl and mix well to combine.
4. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and blend well.
5. Layer half of the mixture into the loaf pan. Swirl half of the jelly on top. Layer with remaining batter and jelly. Feel free to swirl in more jelly and/or peanut butter. 
6. Layer with banana slices & sprinkle with cinnamon (optional)
7. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
8. Cool completely. Slice and keep in the fridge for individually wrap and freeze.

Healthy Peanut Butter Cups

I think the title and the pic below about sum this one up and it is one you are going to want to try for yourself!  I came across this awesome company Cocoa Bar in a Jar that had a chocolate peanut butter flavor made with coconut butter. 


Let's also mention that it is vegan, gluten-free and contains no soy! I knew I had to try some!  I hate to say it but move over Nutella!  lol! Not only is this one healthier but it truly tastes AH-mazing! 


This recipe is super simple too as all I did was measure 1 tbsp of Cocoa Bar in a Jar in a muffin pan (with a liner) froze for 10 minutes, added 1 tbsp of Trader Joes Chia & Flax peanut butter (feel free to sub any nut butter you like!), froze for 10 minutes, then topped with another 1 tbsp of Cocoa Bar in a Jar sprinkled a little sea salt and froze another 10 minutes. Bam! Such a delicious no-guilt treat!


Just look at those layers of goodness!  I made 6 and am keeping them in the freezer for whenever the mood strikes!  I am shocked they are still in there as of now!  I wanted to make sure that you are able to try this product too so I reached out to the company and they offered my subscribers 10% your next purchase!  Check them out and use code CHERISE10 at checkout and get your own jar ASAP!  I can't wait to try their thin mint one next!  

When you get your jar be sure to let me know what you think and what creation you made yourself!  (straight from the jar is not judged!  lol!) Tag me on Instagram and use #cheriseeats so I can see!!  


Ingredients:

2 Tbsp Cocoa Bar in a Jar
1 Tbsp nut butter of choice
Muffin pan liner
Sea Salt

Instructions:

1. Add 1 tbsp Cocoa Bar in a Jar to bottom of muffin liner, freeze 10 minutes.
2. Add 1 tbsp nut butter of choice, freeze 10 minutes.
3. Add 1 tbsp Cocoa Bar in a Jar on top, sprinkle with sea salt and freeze another 10 minutes.
4. Keep frozen until ready to eat.

Healthy Banana Oatmeal Cookies

I love these cookies when looking for a healthy treat - especially for the kiddos! With only a few ingredients (that you may have on hand too!) these are super simple to whip up real quick and great for an after-school treat for your kids and friends! 


With 1 cup of old fashioned gluten free oats, 2 ripe bananas (don't throw those brown ones away!!) and some yummy add in's!  I went with chopped almonds, hemp seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of sea salt. Feel free to use your fav mix in's from mixed nuts, dried fruit, and other super seeds.


These are super moist so best kept in the fridge. They will last a few days in there if they aren't gone first! Once all the ingredients are combined, measure out 1 tbs onto a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. That's it! Super simple and healthy! That's how I like it! 


Don't forget to share with me on Instagram or comment below if you give them a try!  Would love to hear from you! 


Ingredients:

2 ripe bananas
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/2 tsp hemp seeds
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
Sprinkle Sea Salt

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375f
2. Spray baking sheet 
3. Mash bananas in the bowl first
4. Add in remaining ingredients, combine well
5. Drop 1 tbs of batter onto baking sheet, flatten slightly with the back of a fork
5. Bake for 15 minutes or until firm.


Pumpkin Energy Bites

Just because it is not Fall doesn't mean we stop the Pumpkin Madness!  Pumpkin can be found all year round in the canned puree form. (stay away from pie filling as it contains added sugar, yuck!)  Pick some up as it is a great addition to smoothies, pancakes & baked goods!  

You know I like to talk about the benefits of the foods I use so with pumpkin you get dietary fiber (feel fuller longer), vitamin A (good for vision), potassium (positive effect on blood pressure) and antioxidants! Whoo! Hoo!  Sign me up!



If you know me by now I like to add in superfoods whenever possible. Hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds...you name it I am sneaking it in - even in my kids' pancakes, sshh...

These energy bites are no different as they have hemp & chia seeds in them. I was out of raw pumpkin seeds but next batch they are going in for sure! Sweetened with maple syrup, hazelnut extract, and dates they are almost like a dessert! 



Option to roll some in coconut flakes or even add some cacao nibs? As always, the healthy opt-in's are endless! I love using dates to make alternative healthy energy bites or bars.  Sweetened naturally they are a great addition to your pantry staples. To make dates soft for blending I cover them in warm water for about 10 minutes first - this way they break down easier.  I do keep some chunks in there, but that is just my preference.



Make a batch and keep them in the fridge for a quick grab and go snack or sweet treat.  I have added them to my plain yogurt this week and it was delish! They are a bit sticky from the pumpkin puree so you can grab a utensil and enjoy them or just lick the goodness off your fingers! No Judgement here! 

Feel free to share with me your creations on Instagram or my Facebook page - it makes me smile!!! 

Pumpkin Energy Bites
Recipe here

Ingredients:

1/3 cup 100% pure pumpkin puree
1 cup pitted dates (covered in warm water)
1/2 cup raw mixed nuts of choice
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tsp hazelnut extract
1 tsp pure maple syrup
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Sprinkle of sea salt

Instructions:

1. Measure 1 cup dates and cover with warm water for 10 minutes.
2. Place mixed nuts n food processor and pulse until ground finely.
3. Drain dates and add to processor with remaining ingredients.
4. Pour into a bowl and set in the fridge for about an hour to firm up.
5. With clean hand roll into tablespoon-sized bites (sprinkle with coconut if desired)
6. Keep in an air-tight container in the fridge

Vegan GF Granola Cups

These fun size granola cups were created by the idea to liven up my daily afternoon yogurt snack. Yes, I am a creature of habit and have a yogurt in the later afternoon almost every day. I find it holds me over until dinner so I am not ravenous and eating everything in sight when I get home from work! LOL! 


I have tried my fair share of yogurts and find that I gravitate towards the thicker ones like greek or sky. To keep this vegan I went with Kite Hills new greek blend which is mighty delish! Otherwise, my go-to yogurts are Sigg's or Skyr Icelandic brands. Both are super thick and so creamy plus have a fair amount of protein in them! I like to keep the flavor plain as it contains the least amount of sugar and I add my own toppings such as maple syrup (to keep it vegan) or honey. Along with cinnamon, nutmeg, hemp or chia seeds and sometimes mixed nuts. All great additions to keep you satisfied until dinner. 


Of course, topping them with fruit is a no-brainer! Pick your fav and pile it on. I keep them in an airtight container in the fridge and pull them out as needed. Whether its one for my mid-afternoon snack attack or maybe 2 for a quick breakfast. Heating them up for a few seconds in the microwave makes them even yummier! You can eat them by hand but if your toppings are fierce like mine tend to be you are better off on a plate with a fork. Either way, these are sure to please! 


You are all of 5 ingredients and a muffin tin away from these sweet and savory baked granola cups. I got 10 cups with this batch and have been enjoying them all week as has my son. Made with Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oats (which are my fav!) along with maple syrup (vegan) or honey, ripe banana, vanilla, salt & cinnamon. You can get creative and add in superfoods like hemp, chia, flax or pumpkin seeds too! Totally cater them to your liking! 

Be sure to tag me on Instagram when you bake them and show off your fillings! 

xo-cherise


Ingredients:

1 ripe banana 
1/4 cup maple syrup (vegan) or honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1.5 cups gluten-free oats

Instructions:

1. Mash banana in a large bowl until creamy consistency.
2. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
3. Spoon mixture into muffin pan (can use cupcake liners)
4. Make cup shapes in the muffin pan and refrigerate for 1 hour to firm up.
5. Preheat oven to 350f and bake for 30 minutes.
6. Let cool completely before storing in airtight container in the fridge.
7. Will last 4-5 days. May be able to freeze - personally haven't tried that yet! 

Spicy Sweet Potato Dip

I love a good veggie tray with all the rainbows!  It has actually become accustomed in our house to have out raw veggies and dip while dinner is cooking so we all have something to munch on. My daughter goes for ranch while the rest of us go for hummus or sometimes no dip at all! I love the way fresh cut carrots taste (no we don't buy the pre-cut ones sitting in water-they just don't taste the same to us!)


To switch things up a bit I tried a sweet potato dip for my veggie tray for Easter dinner. I have always loved sweet potatoes as they are just that...sweet! They are so versatile too from roasted to baked to mashed and now.... a dip! 

Of course, I have to share some the many benefits of them too!  Great source of vitamin A, C, B6, Fiber, Potassium, and Niacin just to name a few! Dip in the veggies and you are in for a healthy nutritious snack! 


All you need for this dip is;

1 baked sweet potato

Tahini

Lemon Juice

Cayenne (for the heat!)

Cumin

Garlic

Scrape out the baked sweet potato and add to a food processor or blender along with the other ingredients and blend well.  Taste test (of course!) and then serve along with a rainbow platter of veggies.  I also added quinoa crackers. Yum!


If you have leftovers store them in the fridge and use throughout the week like I am!  I have put it on top of my veggie burger at lunch, dipped all the veggies this week and have even thought of making sweet potato toast with it!  This dip is really tasty and can be used for more than just as a condiment.

Be sure to whip some up for your next dinner party or just for yourself to enjoy! Share with me your creation on Instagram - I would love more ideas on how to enjoy this one! 


Ingredients:

1 baked sweet potato
1/4 cup tahini
3 tbs lemon juice
4 garlic cloves
Sprinkle with salt to taste
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you like it spicy)

Instructions:

1. Scoop out the sweet potato and add to food processor and blend until a puree.
2. Add in remaining ingredients and blend together until creamy.
3. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
4. Can be stored in fridge for 1 week. 

Orange Infused Bread w/ Dark Chocolate Glaze

We just celebrated Easter weekend and I while I did not host I love to contribute to the food table! First thing I thought of was dessert, of course!  A fellow blogger that I follow posted this orange-infused bread with chocolate glaze and I knew I had to try it! 


Did I mention how this is gluten-free and free of refined sugar?!  oh yea!  Squeezing in the juice of the fresh orange and then zesting it over the top makes this bread stand out from the rest! It really brightens up the flavor and is an unexpected delight! 


Yes, when baking with almond and coconut flours your baked goods tend to come out denser but they are still yummy and with healthier ingredients so I call it a win! Now let's talk about that gooey dark chocolate glaze!  I love using Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips as they are soy and dairy free & just taste really good too! (I even use these for my kid's pancakes!) 

Just melted in the microwave for a few seconds and then spread over the top. The finisher is the zest of the orange that you just juiced for the batter. The smell alone is amazing! 


Before I sliced them I put the loaf in the fridge so the chocolate could harden a bit. Then I sliced into 10 servings and froze half of the slices for later enjoyment!  Great treat when you are craving something sweet - heated up for a few seconds and the chocolate will melt just enough for a satisfying treat! 


A great dessert option to bring to family & friends or just for yourself to enjoy! No worries, we won't tell!  

If you give it a try remember to share with me on Instagram - it makes me smile!  

xo-cherise 

Orange Infused Bread w/ Dark Chocolate Glaze
Recipe Here

Ingredients:

1.5 cups almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
Sprinkle of salt
2 eggs (room temp)
1/4 cup melted and cooled coconut oil
1/3 cup pure maple syrup or honey
1 medium orange fresh squeezed (save for zest)
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (Enjoy Life)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray an 8x4 loaf pan liberally.
2. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients (through salt)
3. In a separate bowl blend together the wet ingredients (through almond milk)
4. Add dry to wet and mix well to combine. Pour batter into loaf pan.
5. Bake 40-45 minutes and check with a toothpick.
6. Let it cool completely.
7. Make the chocolate glaze by putting the chocolate chips in a microwavable bowl and set at 30-second increments until melted. 
8. Spread over cooled loaf and zest orange over the top. 
9. Slice and enjoy or freeze individually for later enjoyment! 

Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Muffins

What goes better together than chocolate and bananas? Or really chocolate and anything for that matter!  LOL! I love finding creative ways to make muffins a little bit healthier to enjoy. Especially for the kids as they make great grab & go snacks. Plus it is super easy to sneak in superfoods like chia and hemp seeds...hehe!  


As you may know, I stay away from white refined flours and sugars when baking as they lack nutrients and have a high glycemic level - meaning they spike your blood sugar levels only to come crashing down fast and you find yourself hungry again. Ugh! Almond and coconut flour are my go to's along with bananas and honey or pure maple syrup to sweeten them up. While this batch is really no different I found that using gluten-free flour alongside almond flour makes them fluffy! Score!!  


Well at least fluffier than when using almond/coconut flour alone.  While I still love other treats this way, they do make for a denser muffin or bread. But these bad boys are light and fluffy!  Yum! Next time I am thinking of adding in chia or hemp seeds for an extra nutrition bonus - and the kids will never know! (insert evil laugh!) All you need for this recipe is;

Gluten Free Flour  I use this one

Almond Flour

Cacao Powder

Bananas

Coconut Flour

Non-Dairy Milk

Eggs

Cinnamon, Vanilla Extract & Salt


The beauty of these is that you can wrap & freeze them too for later enjoyment! Enjoy them heated up with some almond butter or jelly or just as it - trust me they are just as good!  My son has been throwing them into his lunch box this past week!  Luckily I stashed some in the freezer for myself!  Hey, a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do!  I hope you enjoy these chocolate banana muffins soon and don't forget to share with me on Instagram

xo-cherise



Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup almond flour
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Flour
3 ripe bananas
2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp pure maple syrup or honey
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup cacao powder
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond)
2 eggs

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 325F
2. Line cupcake pan with muffin liners or grease the pan well.
3. Mix the dry ingredients together (GF flour, almond flour, baking soda, salt & cinnamon)
4. In a separate bowl or mixer, mash the bananas and mix until smooth and liquidy.
5. Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl (eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, coconut sugar & non-dairy milk)
6. Add the bananas to the wet ingredients and mix well.
7. Then fold in the dry ingredients and blend well - but do not over mix. 
8. Pour evenly into muffin tin and add a slice of banana on top (optional)
9. Bake for 20 minutes -check with a toothpick for doneness
10. can be stored in airtight container in the fridge for a few days or wrapped individually and frozen for a few months.

Blender Bombs are the BOMB!!!

I was given the opportunity to try out Hushup + Hustle Blender Bombs created by the lovely Helen Hall!  Once I checked out her site Hushup+Hustle I knew that we shared the same values with clean eating and fitness. I had to try out her Blender Bombs to see for myself what all the rage was about!  Her team was super nice in sending me out a sample of their Cacao Almond Butter Coffee Bombs - and they are well.....THE BOMB.COM!!! 


As you can see the ingredients are simple and nutritious! Plus the gang is all here from chia seeds to hemp seeds to bee pollen - free of grains & dairy! I am loving this plant powdered protein that fits well with my plant-based lifestyle now. There are so many ways to enjoy them too!  (confession: I am eating one now as I write this lol!) Grab one for a quick snack, blend them into a post-workout smoothie or what I did here...a smoothie bowl!  Great for lunch!!  


Mixed one blender bomb with spinach for that lovely green color, unsweetened almond milk, frozen banana, and ice. Then topped with coconut flakes, cacao nibs, and granola - I don't need to explain just how yummy this was but it was like dessert in a bowl!  I might have licked the bowl too!  Don't judge!!  lol! 


I love to support other women entrepreneurs and Helen Hall has something amazing going on here with her nutritious and tasty Blender Bombs!  Be sure to check out her website & social media sites and grab a bag for yourself! There are tons of recipe ideas to check out too! Even subscription offers so you never run out! 

Check out the recipe below for my Blender Bomb bowl smoothie! 


Ingredients:

Blender Bomb (flavor of choice)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk of choice)
1 handful fresh spinach leaves
1 frozen banana (makes it thicker)

Optional Toppings:
unsweetened coconut flakes
cacao nibs
granola 

Instructions:

1. Add all ingredients into a high powered blender and blend well together.
2. Pour into a bowl and add optional toppings.
3. Enjoy and the lick the bowl like no one is watching! 

xo-cherise 

Homemade Almond Butter

There is no secret that I have a love affair of all nut butters...especially almond!  I have tried numerous brands and you can often find me browsing the nut butter aisle in awe....just looking to see if there is any I have not tried yet!  

The only downfall is often the price tag that accompanies them.  You can score a good deal at Trader Joes for their almond butter at $6.99 but most are at an upwards of $10-$12!!  So I got to thinking...why not attempt to make my own!!??

The bulk bins will be your most economical option as I picked up some raw almonds for a few dollars to bring home that would transform into my very first homemade almond butter creation!  


After roasting them for a few minutes I added them to my food processor and starting pulsing away. 
It starts to look like an almond meal for a while! Patience is key here my friends.  As I stopped to scrape down the sides a few times, I all but lost hope and thought, nope I am destined to buy $12 jars of almond butter forever!  Then the magic happened and it truned into a smooth and creamy masterpeice! 


Oh, yea!! It is then at this point, and only at this point is when you add in the fun stuff.  I went with sea salt, vanilla, and honey. You can get so creative here and add other mixes in - I am thinking chocolate chips next time as everything is so warm from all the blending they will melt beautifully. Maybe different extracts like coffee or hazelnut?!  The possibilities are endless and totally in your control - even with other nut varieties you can try this out! 


It does come out thicker but I like it that way. You can always add some good quality oil to thin it out.  Totally optional! I stored mine in a mason jar in the fridge and grab a spoonful every day. Not a day goes by that I don't have a spoonful of some sort of nut butter!!  This is one love affair I don't plan on breaking up with anytime soon! 

Let me know if you give it a try!  I promise super easy - just be patient as it does it magic!  Be sure to tag me on Instagram when you do!  


Ingredients:

3 cups raw almonds (or another nut of choice)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs honey or pure maple syrup

Instructions:

1. Roast almonds in oven at 350F for about 5-7 minutes. Make sure they do not burn.

2. Let them cool for a few minutes so they are warm and not hot.

3. Pour into a food processor or blender and patiently blend until creamy and smooth.  Stop to scrape down sides often. If the blender gets too hot, pause and let it cool a minute before continuing on.

4. Once the magic happens and it is smooth and creamy then add the mix-ins. 

5. Blend again so everything is mixed well together. Let cool and store in airtight jar in the fridge for a week or 2 (if it lasts that long!)

6. Check for spoilage if kept longer.

xo, cherise

Gluten Free Brownies

I like to live life by the 80/20 rule.  You know, eat healthy 80% of the time and the other 20% indulge and live a little!  To me, this is the balance. I feel that balance is key to maintaining your health & fitness goals otherwise we get fed up if we can't enjoy those cheat meals.  Then we fall off the diet wagon, drag it into the woods, set it on fire and use the insurance money to buy brownies!! lol!

Ok maybe not that drastic but you know what I mean!  So speaking of brownies these bad boys right here are a perfect way to enjoy a healthy cheat treat. 



Free of refined sugars and flour but not on taste these delicious brownies are sure to hit the spot when you are craving something sweet - which for me is often! You can really cater this recipe to your liking with what chocolate you use.  I went with one dark chocolate bar and one milk chocolate to balance out the taste. Plus this way I knew my kids would enjoy it too - too much dark chocolate and they turn away!

The key is to use good quality chocolate but also one that you enjoy eating by itself. I love Alter Ego as it is free of soy, non-GMO, gluten-free and organic - and of course tastes great! Keeping it gluten free called for almond flour and coconut sugar.  These are staples in my house for baking.


They cook up in less than 30 minutes and your house will smell like a chocolate wonderland! You're welcome! Once cooled I cut them into 16 squares to keep the portion sizes in check.  While they are a healthier version - calories still add up here! Get creative and add whatever topping you choose!  I went with almond butter and I think jelly on top would go perfectly!  My kids had them over ice cream and made their own brownie sundaes! They raved about how good they tasted!

A bonus is that you can wrap them individually and keep them in the freezer for a quick treat at a later date! Let's look at them one more time....




Ok so now the question is, what will you pair them with?! Don't forget to tag me on Instagram if you give them a try or comment below!

xo-cherise






Ingredients:



2/3 cup almond flour

1 Tbs cacao powder

2 bars of your favorite chocolate

1/2 cup coconut oil

3/4 cup coconut sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

Sea Salt to sprinkle

1/2 cup chocolate chips (I love Enjoy Life)



Instructions:



1. Preheat oven to 375F

2. Grease an 8x8 pan well (or use parchment paper)

3. Add almond flour & cocoa powder together in a bowl with a sprinkle of sea salt.

4. Add the chocolate bars pieces and coconut oil to a microwave safe bowl and heat in increments of 30 seconds until completely melted and blended together.

5. Add the coconut sugar and blend well. 
6. Add the eggs to the same mixture of the chocolate and mix well along with the vanilla extract. Just mix until well combined
7. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold in chocolate chips with a spatula.
8. Pour into 8x8 pan and bake for 25-30 minutes (depending on your oven).
9. Insert a toothpick to check for doneness.
10. Let cool completely before cutting into 16 squares. Add topping before consuming. 
11. Will stay good in a closed container in the fridge for a few days or individually wrap and freeze for a few months.
12. Enjoy! 

Avocado Pudding

Should I even begin with how healthy avocado's are for you? Don't be scared of the fat - the good fat that is! Which is what avocado's are most known for. Coming in with 15 grams of healthy fats, only 2 net carbs, vitamins such as K, C, B%, B6, E, folate, and potassium makes it a powerhouse of fruit - yes it is technically a fruit! 


It is truly a magical day when you open your avocado and it looks like this! So buttery and creamy!  A perfect companion for this chocolate pudding recipe without all the dairy and added sugar. The key is to use the right chocolate - one that you love to begin with. I always go for Enjoy Life chocolate chips as they are dairy & soy free and the mini chips can be used in anything requiring chocolate in my book! 

Unsweetened cocoa is a staple in my pantry for all things baking with chocolate. I also added in chia seeds for another nutritional boost - I mean why not! With just a touch of sweetness from honey or stevia, this is a yummy alternative to it's counterpart.  


I like to add a few chocolate chips on top before serving or you can shave some chocolate from a bar that you have stashed away (I like to believe that we all do somewhere!)

I am trying to pass this off to my kids as regular chocolate pudding but they know too well that I would never serve regular treats in the house.  I always have a healthy twist to them - but they taste just as good if not better! 

Make a batch and portion them out into mini mason jars and enjoy them when that sweet tooth kicks in or just as a healthy snack - I mean you are getting in healthy fats and vitamins! 


Be sure to comment or tag me in Instagram when you give this a go! 


Ingredients:

1. 1 ripe avocado
2. 1/2 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips (plus extra for topping)
3. 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
4. 2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
5. 1 tsp chia seeds
6. 1 tsp vanilla extract
7. 1 tsp honey 

Instructions:

1. Scoop avocado into a food processor or high power blender.
2. Add remaining ingredients.
3. Blend well - scraping sides in between.
4. Portion into 4 mini jars or containers.
5. Keep fresh in the fridge for a few days.
6. Sprinkle a few chocolate chips & Enjoy! 

The Best Energy Bites

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to hang with a bunch of awesome ladies in upstate NY to go snowshoeing, enjoy a farm to table cooking class and mixology class - so cool, right?! Before our day started we were given little goodie bags with snacks to keep up fueled up for the day in between our adventures.  One of the healthy treats were the energy bites which I thought were just so delish!  I ate them both at once (oops..was I supposed to save one for later?!) No mess and I just popped them in my mouth and enjoyed the sweet and savory taste they gave me!  I knew I was ready to tackle snowshoeing shortly after!  lol! 


I was super excited when the recipe was shared with us after our adventure!  You know I got to it & recreated right away! These little bites are super easy with some simple pantry staples. Think old fashioned oats, honey, nut butter, superpower seeds such as chia, flax & hemp. Roll them into bite-size balls and enjoy on the go. Great for kids lunch boxes too as my son shared them with me all week...score!  

I literally used all my ingredients from one of my favorite store's Trader Joes! Old fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free), chia seeds, hemp seeds (great source of plant protein), honey or agave if vegan, I used Trader Joes nut butter, however, any nut butter you fancy will suffice, coconut flakes and chocolate chips or in this case I had cacao nibs on hand (as always!)



All that it requires is to mix all the ingredients together in a bowl thoroughly, cover and let them chill in the fridge for about an hour. I lined a sheet pan with tin foil and sprayed it liberally. A slipmat would work perfectly here! Roll them into bite-size balls - do be careful of the size so you keep them as snack portions and not enough calories for a full meal! Using a tablespoon scooper can help with guidance.  

Tip: I found them to fall apart as I was trying to roll them. To help with this I wet my fingers frequently while finger rolling them. No worries, it did not affect the taste or make them soggy in any way. 

I then put them back on the sheet pan and let them chill another hour before putting them in an airtight container. From here, I either grabbed one or 2 as a snack while home or I portioned them into snack size bags (2 each) and took them to work. I also threw them in my kid's lunch bag (ok really just my son as my daughter is not an oatmeal fan!) 



These are great as a pre/post workout snack too! Get creative and swap other seeds such as pumpkin or flax. 




Not only was it an AH-mazing day trying out new adventures and making new friends but I got to recreate these incredibly tasty treats to keep in my recipe box for a great go-to snack!  Would love to hear if you make them so please share and tag me on IG so I can see! 



Ingredients:

1 cup dry old fashioned oatmeal
2/3 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup nut butter
1 tbs chia seeds
1 tbs hemp seeds
1 tbs pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup honey or agave
1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

1. Stir all ingredients together in a blow, blend well.
2. Chill in the fridge for about an hour.
3. Lay parchment/tin foil on a baking sheet (sprayed liberally).
4. Roll into bite-size balls (wet fingers as necessary to keep bound together)
5. Chill back in the fridge for about an hour and then add to an airtight container.
6. You can portion out into baggies - will keep in the fridge for about a week. 
7. Enjoy!!


 Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins


File this under the many things I like to eat that contain bananas!  I love bananas and seriously have a half one every morning with almond butter before I start my workout as it is an instant energy booster. Bananas also have a high fiber content which means they will keep you fuller longer and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. 

They are also a powerhouse of nutrients containing manganese, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and B6. These all contribute to the proper functioning of the body and keeping you healthy. Potassium to help regulate your heart rate and blood pressure and iron to help with anemia...just to name a few awesome reasons why you should bananas! 

The beauty of this recipe is that it all goes into the blender - yup only need 1 mixing tool so easy cleanup! I used a food processor but I am sure a blender will do too. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides. You can fold in the chocolate chips at the end or mix them in all together either way works I believe. After they are well blended just pour the batter into a well-greased muffin tin or you can use liners as well.


Now while these muffins are healthier, of course, they will taste a bit different than what you may find the store.  They are not as big (fewer calories there) not as sweet (but the chocolate chips are still abundant) and not as fluffy since they are made with greek yogurt and other natural ingredients.  But just think of how much better you will feel physically & mentally after eating 1 or 2 of these versus a huge store bought one that can range from 500-800 calories!

These are great for a quick grab and go snack or treat after dinner.  My son packs them in his lunchbox for school - score!  I also individually wrapped them and froze some for later consumption. I would recommend keeping them in the fridge to stay fresh as there are no preservatives in them to keep them from spoiling on the counter - this is a good thing! If you like them warm just heat them up for few seconds in the microwave. 

Check out the recipe below and don't forget to tag me on IG and share with your friends! 


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 large very ripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sprinkle salt
  • 1 Tbs chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life)
Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease muffin pan well or use liners. 
2. Place all of the above ingredients into the blender (unless adding in chocolate chips after) Blend well - scraping sides as needed. Some oats may stay whole - this is ok as it adds to the texture.
3. After chocolate chips are added in - divide batter into muffin tin evenly.
4. Bake for 15-17 minutes.  Check with a toothpick to see if done.
5. Cool completely on wire rack before storing.
6. Enjoy! 

Lemony Blueberry Bread

I  know I am not alone when my sweet tooth kicks in, right?  I truly love chocolate and all things peanut butter and there used to be a doughnut or cupcake I would never say no to! (Now it's just a healthier version and in moderation!) While on my health and fitness journey I don't like to deprive myself just because I am choosing healthier options.  I still indulge in the occasional pizza, I enjoy my wine on the weekends and when that sweet tooth strikes I am armed with several recipes of how to handle it in the healthiest way possible. 


My go-to is usually an almond butter banana combo (like my banana oat muffins or almond butter energy bars) but this time I opted for some fruit and since our lemon tree is finally sprouting lemons (a long several months later!) I came across a recipe for lemony blueberry bread. 


Super simple to make right in a loaf pan and then topped with almond slices for a nice crunch on top. This bread came out moist and that extra lemon flavor from the lemon extract really takes your taste buds over the top!

Instead of white flour, I used almond flour, honey to sweeten in place of sugar and fresh blueberries.  You can use ghee or oil in place of butter - I used coconut oil.  I am sure any berry would go delish or any other nut topping or coconut flakes too!  That is the beauty of baking sometimes - swapping what you want as your fav's! 


But I will say those fresh blueberries look & taste so yummy - I sliced it up and wrapped them individually.  I kept some in the fridge to snack on (along with my son who loves them - he is my best critic!) and I froze the rest to enjoy at a later date when my craving for something sweet and cake-like kicks in! 

Would love to hear if you make this too!  Comment and share with me on my IG page! 

Enjoy!
xo-cherise


Ingredients:

2 cups almond flour
1 tsp baking soda
Sprinkle of salt
1/4 cup tapioca flour
3 eggs (room temp)
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
3 Tbs lemon juice (freshly squeezed if possible)
1 tsp almond or hazelnut extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract (that flavor boost option!)
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray liberally a medium loaf pan.
2. Mix almond flour, tapioca flour, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl.
3. In a separate bowl (I just used a measuring cup) add the wet ingredients and mix well. (eggs, oil, honey, lemon juice, and extracts)
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix well to combine.
5. Add blueberries or any other fruit you are using.
6. Pour batter into loaf pan and sprinkle almond slices on top.
7. Bake for about 20 minutes uncovered and then cover for an additional 20 - this will prevent it from browning too much. 
8. Use the toothpick method to check doneness.
9. I let it cool completely before taking it out of the pan.
10. Slice and enjoy! 

Almond Butter Fudge! 


Yea finally a healthier way to enjoy fudge around the holidays - or really any time! I love me some fudge and used to make it every year and allow myself to indulge and gain 5-10 pounds because well....'it was the holidays!' Now I still let myself indulge just a little bit more responsibly. 

Gluten-free & vegan too! For the coconut milk look for the full-fat kind in a can.  I like Thai organic coconut milk.  I had on hand Hershey Cacao Powder from my daughters baking supplies (sshh..don't tell her lol!) and this time I used Nut Butter from Trader Joes - everything but peanuts in it and it is sooo creamy and easy to pour in the pan so it worked beautifully! I mean look at those layers! Yum! 


The sprinkle of Himalayan Pink Sea Salt really adds the tastiest touch at the end.  I cut them into squares after they froze and wrapped them individually to stash in my freezer as a special treat!  Of course, you can make these and bring to your holiday party to share with friends and family - maybe cut them smaller so they are little indulgent treats! As you can see mine are a bit larger.  

Tip: Use a bread pan to make them a little thicker and parchment paper lined on the bottom for easy lift off and clean up. 

Either way, they are good! Would love to hear if you give them a try and how you liked them! 


Ingredients:

Chocolate:
3/4 C coconut oil
1 C cacao powder
2 TBS full fat coconut milk

Almond Butter Layer:
1 C creamy almond butter (or nut butter of choice)
1/3 C coconut oil
2 TBS full fat coconut milk
Sea Salt to sprinkle

Directions:

1. Put parchment paper in the bottom of the bread pan.
2. Mix coconut oil and cacao powder in a small pan over low heat and stir until melted.
3. Pour the chocolate into the bottom of the parchment lined pan and distribute evenly. Add to freezer
4. Next, mix together almond butter, melted coconut oil, and coconut milk until well blended.
5. Take pan out of freezer and top with almond butter mixture - distribute evenly.
6. Sprinkle with sea salt and freeze for an hour or longer.
7. Lift up parchment paper and slice into desired pieces.
8. Wrap individually and freeze for later use or keep in freezer until ready to serve.

*recipe adapted from rachlmansfield.com

Healthy Banana Apple Muffins


If you are looking for some healthy after-school treats or a quick grab and go breakfast (or just healthy tasty treats in general! lol) these muffins make the cut! 

No Sugar or oils either! A few simple ingredients (some you may even have on hand - like that old banana that you are thinking throwing away!) I added apples in mine but get creative and add whatever fruit you like or have available.  Think blueberries, strawberries, pear.....

I also sprinkled a bit of cinnamon on top - yum!  If there is a nut allergy in the house swap the almond flour for whole wheat flour or even gluten-free flour. I have not personally tried it that way but I am sure it will be just as delicious! Also, you can make your own almond flour by processing 1 cup of almonds in your food processor (but do so in intervals to avoid making almond butter.)  1 cup of almonds will give you about 1 cup of almond flour. 

If you make them please let me know or tag me on IG @cherisemazur.

Happy Healthy Eating! 



Banana Apple Muffins

Healthy after-school snack for kids or Adults! Great for a quick grab and go breakfast too!

prep time: 20 MINS cook time: 20 MINS total time: 40 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas, smashed with a fork
  • 2 large eggs - beaten
  • 1 Tbs grass-fed butter, melted (I use Kerrygold)
  • 1.5 cups of almond flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • Sprinkle of Sea Salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped apple (or other fruit)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Line 9 muffin cups with liners
  3. Combine beaten eggs, mashed bananas & melted butter in a bowl.
  4. Combine almond flour, baking soda & salt in a separate bowl
  5. Add dry mixture to wet mixture until well blended
  6. Add apple (or fruit of choice)
  7. Divide batter evenly among muffin liners & sprinkle with cinnamon
  8. Bake 15-20 minutes or until brown on top
  9. Insert the toothpick to check for doneness
  10. Cool on rack and enjoy!

*recipe adapted from Fixate

Homemade Energy Bars


*This is an updated version of my original post

Protein bars!  We all love the convenience of them,m right?!  In a hurry and need something portable for on the go - protein bar to the rescue! Right?!

I will say that during my fitness journey I have learned to read the ingredient lists in pretty much everything – so as I started to really look into what was in these convenient bars I started to question what I was really putting into my body.


I try to stay away from soy, sucrose & anything I cannot pronounce.  I was into a certain protein bar kick for a while with only eating 2 flavors that didn’t have sucrose in them. Then I saw ‘corn fiber’ listed on the infamous pumpkin bar..huh? So I did a little research and found out that it is basically corn syrup that is a GMO (insert frown emoji)

Ok so now what?!  Well, I decided to search and make my own homemade energy bars.  I wrap them individually myself for my own convenience too!

They are not perfect like the commercial packaging from the big name brands but I can pronounce all the ingredients and I have most of them already in my pantry (peanut butter, oats, honey & vanilla extract to start!)  Plus I love the fact that I made them in my kitchen so I know exactly what is going in them.




(Great snacks for the kids too as my son ate one right away!)

You can always swap out the peanut butter for any nut butter too!

In this recipe I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free OatsWild Friends chocolate coconut peanut butter (yummy!) and Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips as these are dairy, gluten and soy free)

 All you need to do it combine all the ingredients together and mix them well.  Once mixed, add to a 9×13 pan and put in the freezer for about an hour to set.

Then cut into bar size pieces (I got 16 bars).  I wrapped them in saran wrap and put them in the fridge.  Voila!  Perfect convenient snack on the go! These also freeze well! 

In this updated version I added in 1 tbs of hemp seeds and sprinkled the top of them with cinnamon - definitely a step up in taste!  

-1 1/3 cups coconut flakes
-1 cup peanut butter (or any favorite nut butter)
-1 cup flax seeds (or chia seeds)
-1 tbs hemp seeds (optional)
-3/4 cup chocolate chips
-2/3 cup raw honey
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
a sprinkle of cinnamon on top

Instructions:

-Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well
-Spread mixture firmly and evenly into a 9×13 pan
-Place in freezer for about 1 hour
-Slice into 16 bars
-Wrap individually or place in an airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator

*recipe adapted from www.cleanfoodcrush.com

Banana Bread Healthy Style


Not only do I love bananas but I love banana bread!  Recently at a family party, there was homemade banana bread and it was delicious!  However, just thinking about the butter, sugar, and flour made me run to my Insanity DVD’s lol!  Thankfully, I stumbled upon a healthier version that is also paleo friendly (I believe?).

Instead of butter and flour, I substituted coconut flour and coconut oil.  I used all natural peanut butter but you can use any nut butter. Confession: my son helped me out and he added some Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips – these are vegan, soy & dairy free so I still count it as healthy!  You can leave them out if you wish but they do make a good addition!

My little helper!






The bread came out so moist that the bottom stuck a little to the pan.  It may not look picture perfect but it was delicious!!  Everyone loved it!  Freezing some for later too!







Banana Bread Healthy Style

Recipe here

Ingredients

 *4 ripe bananas
*4 Eggs
*1/2 cup natural nut butter
*4 Tbs coconut oil, melted (organic refined if possible)
*1/2 cup coconut flour (or almond flour)
*1 Tbs cinnamon
*1 tsp baking soda
*1 tsp baking powder
*1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

* Preheat Oven to 350
*Mix the bananas, eggs and nut butter.  Add coconut oil and blend together well in a blender.
*Add in coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and blend together.
*Pour the batter into a loaf pan (I sprayed mine with coconut oil spray) and bake for 35-40 minutes.  Insert a toothpick into the center to see if it comes out clean.
* Let cool then flip your pan over onto a cooling rack.
*Enjoy!!  Taste’s even better warm!

Paleo Style Corn Bread




When eating soups it’s always nice to accompany it with some sort of bread to dip in or soak up the last drops in the bowl, right?! We have a love of cornbread in this house especially in the cooler months when pairing it with soups and chili. I often cringe when I look at the ingredients on the back of the packages….usually HFCS, cornmeal that is possibly GMO, flour, sugar….I know I am such a buzz kill lol! So I went on a quest to find a cleaner version that I felt comfortable serving to my family and myself.

What’s in it?
In true paleo fashion, I substituted regular white flour for almond and coconut flour.  Added in coconut oil (good fats), eggs, almond milk and while true paleo eaters would use Ghee (clarified butter from the milk of a cow or buffalo, popular in Indian cooking) I stick with my Kerrygold Grass Fed butter (plus it’s what I had already!) That’s it. Almond flour and coconut flour are easy to find these days as they are becoming more popular to cook with as a healthier alternative to white flour.  Trader Joe’s sells them at a reasonable price I have even found them at Target (I know everyone has Target near them!)

Secret Shortcuts
Since this is more of a baking recipe my secret shortcuts are limited here. Basically, I had everything on hand already which is always nice.  There are a few pantry staples that I like to have on hand which include almond and coconut flour, honey, coconut oil, baking soda, cocoa powder, nut butter, chia/flax seeds and old-fashioned oatmeal.  These are usually my basic ingredients when baking as I don’t do it often so when I do I try to make it as healthy as I can.

These turned out tasting just like cornbread with a touch of sweetness to them.  I didn’t even need to add butter to them! Warm them up first before eating as they taste delicious that way – I also froze some for later consumption! You can bake them in an 8×8 glass pan (lined with parchment paper) or make them into muffins or I use a mini meatloaf pan.  The possibilities are endless!
Enjoy!


Ingredients

 ½ cup Almond Flour
 ¼ cup Coconut Flour
 ½ tsp Sea Salt
 ½ tsp Baking Soda
 3 eggs
 2 Tbsp butter (grass fed if possible) melted
 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil, melted
 2 Tbsp Honey
 ½ cup Unsweetened Almond Milk

Directions

1 Preheat the oven to 325F.
2 Grease an 8x8 baking pan (or cupcake pan) or line with parchment paper
3 Blend all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
4 Add all the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and blend well. (a hand whisk works just fine)
5 Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes (do the toothpick test)
6 Let cool on a wire rack
7 Slice & Serve


Pumpkin Almond Oatmeal Bars



With pumpkin season well underway I can't help but bake with it any chance I get! Full of vitamins and so creamy they go great in these energy bars! Plus I have a major sweet tooth and these definitely help!  You can always swap out the almond butter for any nut butter or sunflower butter.  These are also great for a pre-workout snack! If you try it with another substitute be sure to comment and let me know how they taste! Warm and gooey come to my mind! 


Pumpkin Almond Butter Oat Bars

Ingredients

2 cups oats
1 cup pumpkin purée (I used canned organic pumpkin)
1/2 cup almond butter 1/2 cup honey (organic raw)
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 c chocolate chips (I use enjoy life they are vegan)

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl & mix until smooth & combined.
3. Press into a greased 8x8 pan & bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.




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