The Dreaded Sweet Tooth

Ughh. . . I have a major sweet tooth.  My mother was a home economics major and shared the love of baking and cooking with me plus my father loved dessert, those two added together equals one bad sweet tooth.  So, to combat my sugary cravings I keep a few tricks up my sleeve.  Below are a few of the recipes I use when my dessert cravings come calling.

Great Balls of Dates & Raw Superfood Balls 

Great Balls of Dates & Raw Superfood Balls 

 

GREAT BALLS OF DATES 

A fun treat for the holidays are these "date candies." They are easy to make a perfect for little hands to help and eat! Try placing them in tins and give as gifts this Christmas. 

20 Medjool dates, seeds removed

1/2 cup almond butter

1/4 cup coconut flour

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Finely shredded coconut flakes 

In a food processor, mix together all ingredients except for the coconut flakes.  The mixture will be very thick.  Make sure it isn't chunky- should be as smooth as possible. 

Use your hands, smash together teaspoon-szie portions of the mixture. Roll into smalls balls, and then rollin the shredded coconut flakes to coat. 

 

RAW SUPERFOOD BALLS 

Here is one healthier treat for when I get a chocolate craving (which is often). These Raw Superfood Balls are vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and have no added sugar. They are packed with healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, omega-3s, fiber, and protein from the nuts, chia seeds, and maca powder. The dates and cacao powder create a sweet and chocolaty flavor while adding a ton of antioxidants. These treats will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way. I find that they make a great nutritious dessert or snack any time of day.



1/2 cup raw walnuts


1/2 cup raw almonds


1/4 cup chia seeds


1 cup pitted Medjool dates (about 10)


1/4 cup unsweetened dried coconut


1/3 cup cacao powder (sub cocoa or carob powder)


1 tsp pure vanilla extract


1/2 tsp maca powder


2 tbsp water



 Pulse in food processor. Roll into balls. Enjoy!

 

VEGAN RAW CHOCOLATE NUT-BUTTER CUPS

I found this recipe while searching for a substitute to one of my favorite treats, reese cups! Model, Karlena Haase says this recipe makes a perfect afternoon pick-me-up. Because she didn’t want to cheat on her diet with peanut butter cups she found a way to make her own. These are 100% healthy and vegan. Made with carob, cacao powder, and melted coconut oil, it couldn’t be any simpler!

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1 cup melted coconut oil

1/2 cup cacao powder

1/4 cup carob powder

2 1/2 tbsp honey

Sea salt or cacao nibs for topping

1/4 cup almond butter or peanut butter

Step 1: In a bowl, whisk the cacao and salt through the melted coconut oil and honey until there are no more clumps.

Step 2: Pour one tablespoon of chocolate mixture into cupcake liners that are placed in a muffin tin, then place in the freezer for five minutes.

Step 3: Remove them from the freezer and spoon one-half teaspoon nut butter into the center of each chocolate base, place back into freezer for five minutes.

Step 4: Top each chocolate with one tablespoon of chocolate mixture and leave to set in fridge or freezer for 25 to 30 minutes.

 

BLACK BEAN BROWNIES

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Black bean brownies that are vegan, gluten free, and require just one bowl and about 30 minutes to prepare! Healthy, easy and delicious - the best kind of dessert.

INGREDIENTS

1 15 oz. can (~ 1 3/4 cups) black beans, well rinsed and drained, I prefer to use beans from the bag as they have no sodium and are more cost effective. Follow the instructions on the bag to soak overnight and cook>   Once cooked use 1 3/4 cup of those beans.  

2 large flax eggs (2.5 T flaxseed meal + 6 T water)
3 T coconut oil, melted (I use 2T to keep the fat to a minimum) 
3/4 cup cocoa powder (the higher quality the better)

1/4 tsp sea salt (I prefer to use simply a dash of salt, again to keep sodium low)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup raw sugar, Stevia or Splenda.  If you prefer raw sugar slightly ground or pulse it in a food processor or coffee grinder for a more refined texture. 

Dash of cinnamon - Cinnamon is my absolute favorite spice and as an extra incentive to add a little to your foods is that it is a natural diuretic. 

texture
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Optional toppings: crush walnuts, pecans or semisweet chocolate chips

Cook time 25 mins

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Lightly grease a 12-slot standard size muffin pan (not mini).

  3. Prepare flax egg by combining flax and water in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse a couple times

    and then let rest for a few minutes.

  4. Add remaining ingredients (besides walnuts or other toppings) and puree - about 3 minutes - scraping

    down sides as needed. You want it pretty smooth.

  5. If the batter appears too thick, add a Tbsp or two of water and pulse again. It should be slightly less

    thick than chocolate frosting but nowhere close to runny.

  6. Evenly distribute the batter into the muffin tin and smooth the tops with a spoon or your finger.

  7. Optional: Sprinkle with crushed walnuts, pecans or chocolate chips.

  8. Bake for 20-26 minutes or until the tops are dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides. I

    found mine took about 25.

  9. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes before removing from pan. They will be tender, so

    remove gently with a fork. The insides are meant to be very fudgy, so don't be concerned if they seem too moist - that's the point. Plus, they're vegan so it doesn't really matter.

NUTRITION INFORMATION

Calories: 140 calories Fat: 6 g Carbohydrates: 22 g Sugar: 9 g Sodium: 163 mg Fiber: 7 h Protein: 5 g

 

PB&J THUMBPRINTS 

Two favorites, peanut butter and jelly and peanut butter cookies, join to make one delicious and low-calorie cookie.

SERVES: 24

PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES

COOK TIME: 10 MINUTES

 INGREDIENTS

1.5 C whole-wheat pastry flour or almond flour if you prefer gluten free

1⁄4 C old-fashioned rolled oats

1 tsp baking powder

1⁄4 tsp salt

1⁄2 cup natural creamy peanut butter (no salt added)

1 medium banana, mashed

1⁄2 light (Splenda) brown sugar

1 large egg white

1⁄4 cup all-fruit/sugar raspberry jam

instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine peanut butter, banana, sugar, and egg white until smooth with a wooden spoon or electric mixer set to medium. Add the flour mixture and beat until combined.

4. Form dough into 1-inch balls, place on baking sheet 1 inch apart, and make an indentation in the center of each cookie with your thumb. Fill each indentation with about 1⁄2 teaspoon of jam. Bake for about 10 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned and jam is just starting to bubble. Let cool 5 minutes on sheet; transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

 NUTRITION INFORMATION - 1 peanut butter cookie Calories: 90  Fat: 3g fat (0g saturated)  Carbohydrates: 14g g Sugar: 9 g Sodium: 38 mg Fiber: 2 g Protein: 3 g Calcium: 13 mg Iron: 1 mg

 NUTRITION INFORMATION - 1 peanut butter cookie

Calories: 90  Fat: 3g fat (0g saturated)  Carbohydrates: 14g g Sugar: 9 g Sodium: 38 mg Fiber: 2 g Protein: 3 g Calcium: 13 mg Iron: 1 mg