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

Excuse My Buckeyes (But They’re Champions)

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Ok, I admit that these buckeyes look slightly horrifying — like I made them while sleepwalking or maybe even blindfolded. The real story? It was snowing today, so  I had to go skiing with on a Monday. (If you don’t believe me, see below.) The skiing was better than either of us anticipated and we stayed a wee bit too long. Hence why my healthy buckeyes were clearly made in haste, but don’t let these sloppy looks deceive you. They taste like a Reese’s for those of you, who have never had them. As both my parents are from Ohio and both OSU alums, we made buckeyes for every Thanksgiving when I was little. While they normally call for lots of butter and sugar, I lightened them up with dates instead. We needed some healthy buckeyes in time for the Ohio Oregon kick-off. (I promise to make new, more photogenic ones when I have ample time.) I’d like to think that my Healthy Buckeyes imperfection gave some perfection to Ohio State.

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

Moose Have Chocolate Avocado Mousse

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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.

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