Almond Joy Cookies

So I spent about a year off of the sugar free wagon but I’m back (for the most part). However that doesn’t change the fact that I. Love. Sugar. Chocolate to be specific, but really I don’t discriminate. In my quest to re-eliminate refined sugar from my diet I’ve been making quite a few sweets (from natural sugars). I’ve got to ease myself back into the lifestyle right?!

I recently tried to put together something as closely resembling an Almond Joy bar as I could get. I really liked the outcome so thought it would be a good one to share!

You’ll Need:

  • Maple Syrup
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • Unsweetened Coconut flakes (I used medium flakes)
  • Coconut Oil
  • 1 Banana
  • Vanilla
  • Almonds

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First off, you’ll need to make the coconut portion. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
Mash up your banana (the browner the better). I prefer to use a thawed, frozen banana. Add 1/4 tsp of vanilla to the mash and mash again. Then, you’re going to stir in 2/3 Cup of coconut to the banana/vanilla mash and Voila! You have your coconut centre.

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Pre-mixed
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Post mixed

Once everything is all nice and mixed together, spoon (about a tablespoon each) onto a cookie sheet and bake for about 11 minutes. They should be browning on the bottom a bit. Then, flip the oven over to broil and watch the cookies. Literally, plant yourself in front of the oven and don’t take your eyes off the cookies. In a minute of two they should start to brown on top. Once they do, take them out.

Sidenote: These are delicious on their own. I’ve been known to make a batch after the kids are in bed and had them all eaten by the time I go to bed.

For purposes of the Almond Joy Cookies, place an Almond on top of each and put the cookies on the sheet into the freezer. Those can hang out there while you make the chocolate.

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Now, the chocolate 🙂 This is my go to sugar free chocolate recipe courtesy of thecoconutmama.com. I think the taste is richer then regular chocolate and no refined sugar so it’s a win-win (not to mention it’s super easy to whip up).

All your going to do here is load the following into a saucepan:
1 cup coconut oil
1 cup Cocoa Powder
1/3 Cup Maple Syrup (honey works as well)
3 tsp of Vanilla

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Warm that up over medium heat (stirring frequently) until it looks like, well, chocolate sauce.

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Done!

Once this is complete, take your cookies out of the freezer (make sure they’ve been in there for at least 20 minutes). They should be easy to handle. Using a slotted spoon dunk those babies in the chocolate and put them back onto the cookie sheet. After all the coconut cookies have been dunked, put them back in the freezer.

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After they are sufficiently frozen enough to handle, please in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge or freezer (I prefer freezer but maybe that’s just me)

Wondering what to do with the leftover chocolate? Use your imagination! I’ve made chocolate chips or put mixed nuts in a pan, poured the chocolate over and froze to make a bark. It’s leftover chocolate so I’m sure you can figure it out 🙂

I think next time I’d leave out the Almonds and just do a Chocolate-Coconut cookie but depends what you’re in the mood for. Enjoy!IMG_4688

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread.

Let me preface this by saying I have about 10 jars of Peanut Butter in my basement. This isn’t out of the ordinary and frankly, it won’t even last that long. We are peanut butter addicts. We use it in baking, meals, as a dip or even on it’s own. It’s kid friendly, protein packed, filling and we love it. Add chocolate and bananas and you have a guaranteed winner.

What you’ll need:

4 bananas
4 eggs
1/2 cup natural (chunky or smooth) peanut butter
4 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (use coconut flour for a paleo option)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
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(full disclosure, I used frozen bananas that had been thawed, but the freshies look so much nicer in the photo)

  1. Grease one 9 x 5 loaf pan and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl or mixer (I’d recommend mixer), combine mashed bananas, eggs, coconut oil, vanilla and peanut butter until fully combined.

    3. Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and cocoa powder to the wet ingredients and mix well.

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4.  Pour batter into greased pan and spread evenly.
5. Bake in preheated over for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick/knife comes out    clean.
6. Remove from oven and allow to cool on wire rack for about 1/2 hour. Flip out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling and tada! delicious!

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lentil Blondies

I’ve been searching high and low for some healthy recipes to satisfy my sugar cravings. Some have been meh, most have been totally inedible. Until now. These gems from the  Ambitious Kitchen are DELICIOUS! Best part is the lentils provide some good stuff (think protein and fiber) and you can’t even taste them. I promise.

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (can use vegan chocolate chips to make recipe vegan)

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First off, In a small sauce pan, combine lentils and a cup of water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Transfer the lentils to a food processor (or in my case a baby food maker), add a few tablespoons of water, then process until the lentils are a smooth puree and set aside.

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Before
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After

Preheat over to 350 degrees, Spray a 9 x 9 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Place oats in a blender or food processor (or baby food maker) and process until finely ground and smooth like flour. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in baking soda and salt. Don’t worry if they aren’t perfect…mine looked like this:

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In a large bowl or electric mixer, mix together peanut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla until smooth. Add in lentil puree and mix until well combined.

Mix well!
Mix well!

Fold in oat mixture then, gently fold in 1/3 cup of chocolate chips. Pour batter into baking pan and sprinkle remaining chocolate chips over the top (go ahead and eat a few as well, no one will know). Bake for 20-25 minutes. If you want them to taste more fudge-like I would stick close to 20 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack, cut and serve!

Finished product!
Finished product!

Tip: You might want to bake yourself a second secret batch and stash them in the freezer. They are super yummy frozen and if your family is anything like mine, the first batch wont last long!