Nourish Your Body. Feed Your Soul. Shine Your Light.

Tag: dessert

Chocolate Hazelnut “Ferrero Rocher” Truffles {Gluten-Free}

Last weekend I went to a Christmas party with a group of friends and shared these tasty sweet treats for the first time. They went over REALLY well!

I actually made a version of this recipe two years ago but wanted to come up with a new and improved version that was more authentic and closer to the real thing.

If you’ve ever had one of those fancy, gold-wrapped hazelnut chocolates by the brand Ferrero Rocher, you’ll see where the inspiration for today’s treats comes from. I’ve always been unsure how to pronounce the brand, and apparently I’m not alone. Over 20,000 people have watched the YouTube video for how to pronounce “Ferrero Rocher.”

This recipe takes a few more steps than a typical recipe I make, but I can assure you it will be worth every minute! Try these at home, and bring them to an upcoming holiday party or event.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we did 🙂

Yield: 21-24 truffles

Ingredients

24 hazelnuts, lightly toasted
1 cup raw hazelnuts
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
1 cup Medjool dates, pits removed
1 tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown rice crisps
3/4 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
1 tsp coconut oil

Directions

  1. Set the toasted hazelnuts aside in a bowl. Then, grind 1 cup hazelnuts, cacao powder and salt in a food processor until it reaches the texture of a fine meal.
  2. Add dates, maple syrup, and vanilla and process until a dough starts to form. Pour brown rice crisps into the food processor feed tube or hole while the processor is still running, just until crisps are incorporated (you still want pieces of the crisps to be visible).
  3. Turn off food processor, remove dough and shape it into a large ball. Remove 1-inch pieces of dough and shape into smaller balls. Wrap each ball around one of the toasted hazelnuts and press with your fingers to seal. Set balls aside on parchment-lined baking sheet or small cutting board.
  4. In a double boiler (glass pyrex bowl positioned over a small saucepan filled with 1-2 inches of water over medium heat), melt chocolate chips and coconut oil, stirring until smooth and silky. Turn off heat and allow steam to continue warming the chocolate. Roll balls, one at a time, in the chocolate and remove using a toothpick. Place chocolate-coated balls on parchment paper.
  5. Once all balls have been coated in chocolate, put them in the freezer to set, about 30 minutes. Store in your fridge or freezer.

Tropical Mango Lime Coconut Balls {Vegan, Paleo}

Of all the recipes I create, this kale salad, this sweet potato and egg casserole and these no-bake bites and balls are the most popular.

I love the no-bake bites because they’re packed with an energy-boosting combination of protein, fiber and healthy fats, and the possibilities for flavor combinations are endless! I’ve made about a dozen different versions of these little bites, but I wanted to try something different with this recipe.

mango-bite-ingredients

Because of the warm weather, I’d been enjoying this Caribbean Island Breeze smoothie with frozen mango and was inspired to make a no-bake bite using some of the same ingredients.

I’ve taste-tested these little gems with over a dozen people, and they’ve been a hit each time! With sweet mango, tart lime, creamy coconut, and a zing of ginger, these bites are full of flavor and fun to eat.

You’re going to love them 🙂 

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Tropical Mango Lime Coconut Balls

Yield: 32-36 balls

Ingredients

1 cup raw cashews
2 cups + 1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup hemp seeds
1/4 tsp + pinch fine grain sea salt
1/2 tsp grated ginger root
1/2 cup dried mango, softened slightly in warm water for about 10 minutes, patted dry with a paper towel, then coarsely chopped
1/2 cup Medjool dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
zest of 1 lime

Directions

  1. Put cashews, 2 cups shredded coconut, hemp seeds and sea salt in the food processor and process (about 30 seconds) until it reaches a coarse meal.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to food processor and process until evenly combined. You may need to scrape down the sides a few times.
  3. Roll into 1-inch balls and roll in shredded coconut. Freeze or refrigerate in a glass container.

Easy Apple Pie Bites

I’m SO happy to be back in my kitchen!

After spending two weeks in upstate New York and the Pacific Northwest for vacation, Bill and I were both looking forward to being home.

We hadn’t been home for 48 hours before I was busy experimenting with new recipes. This one turned out to be a big hit with my husband’s men’s softball team (and their fans!).

apple-pie-bites

I’ve made about dozen different recipes for no-bake energy bites, so I was trying to come up with a flavor combo I hadn’t tried before.

Sooo, I tried apple pie in August…why not? 🙂

Our friend, Matt, said these were the best things I’ve ever made, so I knew I had to share the recipe with all of you…and the quick video for how to make it. My husband, Bill, has been a BIG help making techie things like this happen.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla powder
  • 1/2 cup apple, peeled and chopped (Granny Smith works best)
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup Medjool dates, pitted (DON’T use deglet dates…they’re not as chewy!)
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)

Directions

  1. Add oats, walnuts, almonds, spices, and salt to the food processor and process for about 20-25 seconds or until it reaches a coarse meal.
  2. Add the vanilla, apples, raisins, and dates, and process until it forms a ball. You may have to stop the processor, break apart the dough chunks and process again a few times to blend it all together.
  3. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll in shredded coconut. Store in fridge or freezer.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares {Paleo, Vegan}

As we’ve been gearing up for Thanksgiving and experimenting with different dishes, I’ve been trying some new desserts.

Inspired by the textures of Meghan Telpner’s Rawmazing Key Lime Pie, I thought I’d infuse the flavors of fall into a melt-in-your-mouth, coat-your-tongue, creamy, no-bake cheesecake.

And I wanted an excuse to use pumpkin.

Pumpkin

Because I love pumpkin.

All things pumpkin.

Especially when it’s mixed with sweet maple syrup, creamy cashews, and warming cinnamon and ginger.

It’s my new go-to for a Thanksgiving dessert.

Cheesecake StackPSquare Closeup

Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares.

I’m going to keep it short and sweet here today because this recipe is that good, but all you need to know is it’s easy to make, doesn’t require baking, and is so addictive you’ll want to eat multiple squares at a time.

The creaminess comes from the raw cashews (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it), and the slight hint of tartness we’d usually get from cheese comes from a spoonful of lemon juice.

Happy Thanksgiving!

cheesecake banner

Ingredients

Base

  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted (make sure they’re soft)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch fine grain sea salt

Filling

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water 2-4 hours then drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Put all the crust ingredients into a food processor, and process until the ingredients stick together. Stop and scrape down the sides as needed. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of a square baking dish.
  2. Put all filling ingredients in your blender or food processor (high-speed blenders like a Vitamix or Blendtec work best) and blend until smooth and creamy. You may have to stop to scrape down the sides. I had to use the tamper for my Vitamix to get it to be smooth and creamy.
  3. Pour the filling evenly over the base and smooth with a spatula. Cover the dish and place it in the freezer to set for 4-6 hours.
  4. Let the dish sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes and then cut into squares. I sprinkled a thin layer of cinnamon on top before serving.

Mint Chocolate Chip Bliss Balls {Paleo, Vegan}

Whenever I think of my birthday, I remember the mint chocolate chip ice cream cake I had EVERY YEAR growing up. I looked forward to it as much as the presents.

From the creamy, minty ice cream that instantly coated and cooled my tongue to the chocolate crunchies layer in the middle of the ice cream bliss, that cake was the BEST.

Since removing dairy from my diet a few years ago once I learned how it was triggering health issues, I’ve had to find other ways to recreate a similar experience.

Hence these little mint chocolatey bliss balls 🙂

Mint Chocolate Chip Bliss BallsMint Choco Balls Aerial

They’re a serious upgrade to my Carvel cake and are full of superfoods like raw cacao powder, cacao nibs and hemp seeds. Check out just a few of the awesome benefits of these foods:

Raw Cacao Powder & Nibs: This is chocolate at its best…raw. When we hear people talk about chocolate being good for us, THIS is the stuff they’re talking about. In its raw form (cacao), chocolate is packed with anti-aging and disease-fighting antioxidants along with mood-boosting and anti-inflammatory compounds. It’s a food we can enjoy every day. Lots of my sweet treat recipes are made with raw cacao, so check them out!

Hemp Seeds: Don’t worry – in case it’s crossing your mind – these hemp seeds won’t give you the “high” you’re thinking of, but they DO have lots of other benefits. They’re a great source of plant-based protein, high in healthy fats that naturally balance hormones and promote heart health, and rich in soluble and insoluble fiber to keep us feeling full and satisfied. For more benefits of hemp seeds, click here.

So, not only are these ingredients really good for us, but these bliss balls taste aaaamazing!

You should have seen my husband Bill’s face the first time he bit into one of these. He was in heaven! 🙂

Mint Choco Chip Bday Balls

Yields: 16-18 balls

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds, divided
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 1/2 cups Medjool dates, pitted (about 15 dates)
  • 5 drops therapeutic grade peppermint essential oil (a little goes a long way!…or 1/2 tsp peppermint extract)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla powder
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs

Directions

  1. Combine walnuts, 1/4 cup hemp seeds, cacao powder and sea salt in a food processor and process until finely ground, about 15-20 seconds.
  2. Add dates, peppermint oil and vanilla and process until combined.
  3. Add raw cacao nibs and pulse a few more times until everything is incorporated. Then, remove dough from the food processor and roll it into one big dough ball.
  4. Pinch off one chunk at a time to make 1-inch fudge balls. Roll balls in hemp seeds and store in the fridge, so they can firm up. After that,