I’ll admit I was a huge skeptic when I saw this recipe in Giada De Laurentiis‘s cookbook, Giada’s Feel Good Food. My mom, who had also given me this cookbook, gave it rave reviews. Still, I was hesitant to make this, just like I was to try that quite green tasting kale smoothie. Won’t it just taste like a bunch of avocados poorly disguised as a dessert? Boy was I wrong. Made free from any gluten or dairy, it’s a universal, yet elegant dessert for the holiday season. Best with extremely ripe avocados to obtain that silky smooth consistency (how to find ripe avocados here). Admittedly, I must be in the mood to indulge in this dessert, but the Avocado Chocolate Mousse is decadently creamy, somehow both light and dense all in one bite, and utterly delicious. Top with some fresh fruit and mmmm, so good.
For all you chocolate lovers out there, this Chocolate Chai Oatmeal tastes like chocolatey cinnamon heaven. I added the chia seeds for some extra fiber, protein, antioxidants and omega-3’s. I honestly forgot I added them to the oatmeal at all because they blended in so well. The chocolate chips melt into the oatmeal, creating a luxuriously decadent flavor. The end product doesn’t appear too dark or chocolatey because I reduced the amount of cocoa powder since I added chocolate chips as well. Trust me — all the flavor is there. The cinnamon in the chai tea compliments the chocolate, and the fresh raspberries contribute a tartness to the oatmeal’s sweetness. Sometimes you just need a little chocolate for breakfast.
These aren’t your typical Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Squares, but they’re still delicious. I taste-tested these on my dad, the king of desserts. He not only approved, but asked me to bake more, so I’m thinking these must be good. I recently acquired coconut oil, coconut flour and coconut sugar and have been waiting for the right recipe to give these ingredients a try. I made the pumpkin squares two ways: one with coconut flour (for a gluten-free option) and the other one with whole-wheat flour. Based on the flavor and consistency, I enjoyed the ones made with whole-wheat flour more; they were more cake-like and true to the pumpkin spice flavor. Neither has a strong pumpkin flavor, but then again, we associate that “pumpkin flavor” with rich, sweet, decadent pumpkin pie. Either way, these pumpkin squares are a bite-size dessert!
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Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Granola with Craisins is the perfect easy and delicious snack. I’ve never made granola with hazelnuts before, but the hazelnuts came out wonderfully toasted; chopped walnuts also work quite well, and are usually my go-t0 nut to add in. The mini dark chocolate chips gives you just enough of your chocolate fix without being overwhelming. With some many options for nuts, dried fruit and spices, you can experiment with what works best with the season or for you. I made this last fall and have been hooked ever since. You can make the granola in bulk and be happily snacking for the rest of the week!
This “cookie” recipe was a great find this year. Someone in my program at Cornell made these “cookies” for a get-together, and I was immediately intrigued. All I could think was, “Just bananas and oats? Are you sure?” They seemed like a trick; the “cookies” seemed too simple, so there had to be a catch, right? I always buy too many bananas, and they end up overly ripe on my counter. Now, I purposefully buy too many bananas just to make these cookies or freeze for smoothies. The mashed banana is a natural glue to bind the oats and whatever else you decide to throw in. Simply and delicious — the perfect guilt-free dessert or snack!