Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Edible (& Kinda Healthy) Cookie Dough

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The first time I tried Chickpea Cookie Dough, I was like ehhh. The next few times I tried this, I made some changes like less peanut butter, swapping brown sugar for other sweeteners (gotta be more like Toll House, right?) and a bit more vanilla. The changes made me want to grab a spoon immediately; it’s a keeper. I personally think that it’s even better chilledddd. Serve it up on apple wedges, graham crackers or just eat it with a spoon. I personally like the good ol’ chocolate chip version, but play around with it to get your perfect edible cookie dough.

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Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Snack, Vegetarian

To Brownie or Not to Brownie?

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I didn’t want to call these brownies because I don’t think of these as a true brownies without chocolate chips, so I settled on bars. Plus, are brownies ever really healthy? Maybe, maybe not. (Deep, pondering life thoughts by Annie to be continued . . . .) Whatever I call them — Dark Chocolate Coconut Raspberry Bars — can be a dessert or double up for a snack. Made grain-free using cocoa powder and plant-based chocolate powder as the base, these bars came out darkly dense made tart with raspberries.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, Snack, Vegetarian

Cheering for Mango Chia Bowls

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Before mangos disappear forever (or at least until next summer), it’s time to try Mango Chia Pudding. Mango season may have passed, but this is such a refreshing breakfast, snack or dessert. Pick a super ripe and juicy mango and you won’t even think to add any extra sugar or sweetener. The cinnamon pairs nicely and bridges the gap between holding-on-to-summer and oh-wow-it’s-already-fall.

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Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Vegan, Vegetarian

Serving Up a Single Serving of Peach Crisp

 

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Excuse me while I go buy more peaches so I can make seconds and thirds . . . . This Single Serving Peach Crisp is BOMB. It satisfies any dessert craving and you’re not tempted to eat the whole pan. It took make maybe 5 min to whip up and then I was immediately drooling as the fragrant smells of peaches, cinnamon and coconut filled my studio. It’s low in sugar, oil and butter free and just plain good. Can’t wait to try this with apples, maybe pears, and whatever else floats my fancy.

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Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Guilt-Free Brownies (Yes!)

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I think I found my new cheat brownie recipe. These Five Ingredient Protein Brownies grain free, contains no refined sugar and has a bit o’ protein. Plus it hits the spot when you want a brownie without having a real brownie, so it’s like a guilownie — a “guilt-free brownie” obviously. I’ve really enjoyed making protein muffins lately, so I thought why not try something similar with desserts?

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Buzzing for these Blackberry Cardamom Oats

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So I may or may not have grabbed a handful of this Whole Earth Sweetener packets from Starbucks last weekend 🙈 . . . oops. They’re sitting out for the taking, so I decided why not try them? Not my fault I don’t add sugar or sweetener to my coffee. (Full disclosure: I grabbed three, which I think is a respectable “grab.”) I was grabbing spices to make Indonesian Inspired Quinoa Bowls and saw cardamom hiding out in the back of my pantry. Cardamom has such a nice citrus flavor that I wanted some oats with grapefruit on the side — but the 2.0 version. Thus, I made Blackberry Cardamom Overnight Oats with a Broiled Grapefruit. The grapefruit is amazing! This would be so good on the grill or as a dessert. I foresee myself stalking up on grapefruit during my next grocery run to make this again. Plus, the broiled grapefruit seems like a great standalone side for a brunch or the beginnings of a dessert.

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Dessert, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegetarian

Better (Butter-less) Greek Yogurt Brownies

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Confession: apparently I don’t have a square baking pan? I realize this every time I need one and never seem to remember to pick one up when I don’t. This explains as to why I baked my brownies in a pie pan and the pieces aren’t perfect squares . . . I made chocolate cookies using Greek yogurt before instead of butter and loved them. Like those, I made Greek Yogurt “Skinny” Brownies, which baked into dense, yummy brownies. These brownies are lower in sugar, low in fat (with the fat being healthier) and more nutrient packed if you use carob over cocoa powder. I tossed in some chopped walnuts and unsweetened coconut for texture. I was rationing my chocolate chips and would totally add more for next time! I’ve really wanted a true dessert versus just grabbing some dark chocolate pieces and/or some dates post dinner. I’ve been dreaming of some Halo Top ice cream on top of these brownies — stay tuned. It’s going to be amazing.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Simple, Spiced Sweet Potato Bread

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UM, YUM! I stumbled upon Izy Hossack’s recipe for this Sweet Potato Bread and I’m beyond glad I did. Her site, Top with Cinnamon, is exactly what I love with cooking and food blogs: clean, simple and straight to the point. I tweaked her recipe and used whole wheat flour, added more spice and swapped the oil base. My only compliant is the loaf came out dense and did not rise very well, but this could be because I kept it true to Izy’s original, which is vegan. Despite not very much added sugar, the agave and sweet potato add just enough sweetness that’s accentuated by the spices. The nuts give the bread a hearty crunch. I whipped up a Greek yogurt spread to serve and the tanginess was the perfect balance.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegetarian

Going Bananas for Banana Parfaits

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Who said you need to buy sweetened yogurt when you can make your own, even better, Banana Walnut Parfait? Flavored yogurt tends to have as much as 25 g of sugar PER SERVING.Don’t believe me? Check out Yogurt With More Sugar Than a Twinkie via Huffington Post. A delicious snack, light breakfast or dessert, this parfait has less added sugar using plain Greek yogurt as a base, adding only a pinch of agave nectar and plays off of the banana’s natural sweetness.

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Dairy-Free, Dessert, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

Down to Detox Winter Veggie Soup

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I made my own vegetable broth! It’s so easy thanks to Buzzfeed’s Tasty. Save veggie scraps, toss them in the freezer in a ziplock, and once the bag is full, you add the scraps, fill with water and simmer your broth to perfection. I’ve also done this in a slower cooker with a chicken carcass, carrots, onion and celery to make chicken stock — another easy 8 hr option. Plus, it’s great since you can manage how much sodium is in the broth; I added 1 teaspoon of salt for the whole batch, which is about 150 mg of sodium per cup of homemade veggie broth. I made this broth during the week while studying and I’ve been accumulating excess veggies leftover from Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken Brown Rice Bowls and Spaghetti Squash Lasagna ever since. I decided it was Soup Sunday and made a Winter Veggie Detox Soup with what I had piling up in my fridge. Winter produce that’s in season are lemons (or any citrus), kale, and sweet potatoes. I used fresh and ground spices to rev up metabolism, aid with digestion and help with inflammation. Not sure if it’s so tasty from sautéing lemon slices in fresh garlic, ginger and coconut oil or if it’s the flavors from the turmeric, cayenne and cinnamon, but for totally winging this soup, it’s pretty darn good.

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