Tag Archives: sugar free

No Bake Haystack cookies – Sugar free, gluten free, simple, and delicious!

A couple of days ago I was making dinner (and it was a less than impressive dinner).  I was thinking about my youth and eating haystack cookies with Muriel (her favorite cookie, and my favorite ‘second mom’).  I was thinking it would be great to have a ‘Berrik’ friendly version of that cookie for the holiday season, although considering that cookie is literally more than 1/2 straight sugar, I wasn’t sure it would be possible.  So, while my uninspired dinner was cooking, I started mixing up some ingredients to see if I could make this cookie work.  The result was incredibly good.  Surprisingly good for a first run at it.  I took a few of them to the dance studio and shared with a couple of my dance mom besties (and a dance dad!) and they were met with approval.  Granted, the one mom was dying of hunger as she had yet to eat dinner…. but still, I think everyone thought the cookies were pretty good.  They were quickly kid approved in my house.  So I knew I was on to something good.  I wanted to try the recipe again, with a few minor adjustments though, before I posted it.  Yesterday I tried it again, made a few minor changes, and I think it’s pretty good.  My kids love the cookies, so ultimately that is always the goal for me!

You will see there are many substitution possibilities – that’s the beauty of this cookie.  The base of it is delicious, and the addition options are pretty much endless so you can adjust it to your own tastes or to accommodate food sensitivities/allergies.

The ultimate test would be for Muriel to try them and approve!  I may have to send her some.

Ingredients:

NOTE: The cocoa is not in the photo… I forgot.  But it’s the second most important ingredient. So don’t forget it.  🙂

1 cup  Date Paste

3/4 cup cocoa

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup coconut milk (or any other kind of milk you’d like to use)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups gluten free large flake oats

1 1/2 cups long flake coconut

Approximately 2/3 cup of whatever other additions you’d like to add.  I have done 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, plus 1/3 cup walnuts, and in another recipe 1/3 cup pumpkin seed plus 1/3 cup chopped peanuts.  The options are limitless.  Dried fruit would be good also  Alternatively you can add more oats or coconut if you’d prefer instead.

Directions:

Heat up the date paste, coconut milk and coconut oil over low heat until melted and mixed together. Let cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring.

Stir in cocoa, cinnamon & vanilla and continue stirring over low heat until well mixed.

Remove from heat and add oats, coconut and whatever other add ins you are using and mix well.  It should be just sticky enough to hold together.  Add more coconut and/or oats a little at a time if it seems too sticky.

NOTE: Taste the batter at this point.  If you are more accustomed to a sweeter cookie and that is your preference, add pure maple syrup or gently melted raw honey to taste.  I would start with 1/4 cup and go from there.

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Use a small cookie scoop or just roll by hand and place on parchment paper to cool.

After about an hour, put into an air tight container with parchment between the layers and refrigerate.  These freeze well also and taste really good frozen (which means that trips down to the freezer become a regular part of the day for me!)

Sugar-free Avocado Chocolate Pudding

Looking for a sweet treat and the comforting smoothness of rich chocolate pudding? Look no further!

This delicious, sugar free pudding is better than any store bought version and I prefer it to any homemade sugar filled pudding I have ever tasted. Bonus: it’s SIMPLE to make.

Ingredients:


2 ripe avocados

3/4 cup cocoa

Approx. 15 dates

1 cup brewed coffee

1/4 cup nut or seed butter (I used pumpkin seed butter)

1/4-1/2 cup of your preferred milk

1 tsp cinnamon

Optional: Fruit, nuts or seeds and coconut cream or whipped cream for garnish.

Place dates in a flat bottomed dish or directly into your blender as I do (less cleanup) and pour enough hot coffee to cover (use decaf if you’re concerned about caffeine). 

When dates have been soaking up the coffee for at least 15 minutes, put the avocado, nut/seed butter, cinnamon and cocoa into the blender with the dates and coffee and blend on high until everything is well incorporated. It may not be totally smooth yet and the consistency will likely be quite thick. (I use Blendtec. Vitamix would work the same.  With these two brands the dates only need about 15 minutes to soak. If your blender is not as effective, I would recommend soaking the dates for an hour or more to ensure your pudding ends up smooth).

Add milk slowly until pudding is desired consistency and keep blending until smooth. I used about a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of coconut milk to get a nice thick, smooth pudding.

If you prefer a sweeter pudding, you could add raw honey or pure maple syrup to taste.

Pour into small dishes or cups, cover and refrigerate for about an hour before serving.

Add fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, coconut, coconut cream or whipped cream if desired.

Would also be a delicious party dip for cut fruit!

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Coconut pumpkin seed butter macaroons. It’s practically health food. 

Berrik is headed to Grandma and Grandpa’s for the weekend. I wanted to send a treat for him to enjoy while he’s there since there are almost zero commercial ‘treats’ that Berrik can have. This doesn’t bother me one bit because I love knowing exactly what is going into his growing body.  I have been reading about the Health Benefits of Pumpkins Seeds and wanted to incorporate them into this recipe for a little extra health boost to an already healthy cookie. The immune boosting  properties of the pumpkin seed butter and honey are ideal for the ‘flu’ season! 

This recipe is (as so many of mine are) inspired by Elana’s Pantry. She has two coconut macaroon recipes on her website and they are both fantastic. I often start with one of her recipes and then adapt it to Berrik’s specific needs, or just change it up for fun. This one was a bit of both. 

The thing I love most about these cookies is how simple they are to make.  Only 5 ingredients. 

Ingredients:

2.5-3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut (start with 2.5 and add more as needed)

1/8 cup honey 

1/4 cup pumpkin seed butter

1 egg

Optional: chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, dried berries or white chocolate chips 

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. 

Mix pumpkin seed butter, honey and egg by hand until well mixed. 

Add coconut 1 cup at a time and mix until incorporated. The batter should be just sticky enough to hold together.  We added a small scoop of sugar-free stevia sweetened chocolate chips. Nuts, raisins, dried berries or white chocolate chips would also be yummy, although no other additions are necessary! 

Scoop or hand roll into small balls and place on cookie sheet. 

Put into oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. Tops should brown up nicely but watch closely as they burn relatively easily. 

Make a cup of tea and pop a few in your mouth!

Let me know how they turn out for you!!

Fall. Veggies. Comfort food. Easy.

For us here in Calgary, we have enjoyed an unseasonably warm November….until yesterday when we got a bit of transient snow, and now are sitting at about 2 degrees Celsius (just above freezing for those of you in the US!).  It’s chillier than we are used to thus far this season, and overcast.  Nothing better on a day like today than a good hearty soup!  Bonus if you can get your kids to eat it.  Lucky for me, my handsome boy thought it was pretty good.

Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower

1 head of broccoli

2 large carrots

1/2 large onion

3-4 cloves of garlic

1-2 tbsp melted coconut oil

3-4 cups of bone broth or stock

OPTIONAL: old cheddar, nuts, seeds, crackers or anything else that you think would taste good sprinkled on top!

Directions:

Chop up veggies and arrange on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with oil. I prefer to drizzle with 1-2 tbsp melted coconut oil, but you can use olive oil or any other oil of your choosing. Put these in the oven to roast at 400 F (I used convection roast on my oven).  Roast them until they are just this side of overcooked.  This really intensifies the flavor, in my opinion.  (Garlic and onion were in a different pan, but can certainly be put all in the same pan).

When veggies are roasted, put them all into your blender.  I use Blendtec…. Vitamix is essentially the same.  Alternatively you can use an immersion blender if you’re lucky enough to have one.  It’s on my Christmas list this year!  Add about 3-4 cups of stock (or bone broth), homemade if you have it. Commercial stock is fine too.  We recently roasted an organic chicken so I boiled the bones for bone broth and saved.  So good for your stomach, particularly if you have any issues with leaky gut (like my son).  You will likely need more liquid than this, but I like my soup thick so I start here and add more liquid until it’s the desired consistency.

My Blendtec has a ‘hot’ blend feature, which is perfect for this!  My veggies are hot from the oven, but the broth is not, so this helps get soup up to a good ‘eating’ temperature.

If you want a chunkier texture, stop blending before it gets smooth.  I prefer it to be smooth as silk, so I blend and add liquid until it’s like thin pudding!  Mmmmm.

The end result is a creamy, pumpkin-colored, rich flavored soup that warms the body and the soul.  Would highly recommend experimenting with veggies such as sweet potato, peppers, parsnips or potatoes, and other additions such as pesto, hot peppers or even peanut butter.

I added some extra old cheddar to the soup in chunks because I love the gooey bites of melted cheese, but you could certainly use grated cheese of any kind, or skip the dairy and sprinkle roasted nuts, sunflower seeds, pepitas or anything else that would add a bit of crunch and some fall flavor.  Enjoy!

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