It’s finally warming up around here and my ice cream maker is running non stop!!! I absolutely love making homemade ice cream, it’s my go to sweet treat! I actually use my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker throughout the winter and love how easy it is to use.
I have been on a serious cinnamon kick!! I have really good cinnamon that I use often in treats I don’t mention on here…like sprinkling it on shredded coconut to enjoy. Cinnamon is a spice you definitely want to include in your diet, it is full of benefits. It is a great blood sugar stabilizer and source of anti-oxidants. There are many different types of cinnamon out there and you probably thought taste was the only difference…well think again and check out what kind of cinnamon you are buying. Both Ceylon and Cassia have health benefits, but if you are consuming quite a bit of it, you might want to consider buying Ceylon cinnamon!
Ceylon and cassia cinnamon are the most common commercially produced cinnamon varieties. Ceylon cinnamon is often called “true” cinnamon and comes primarily from Sri Lanka. Cassia is also called Saigon or Chinese cinnamon after the country that commonly produces this spice. Both varieties of cinnamon have similar health benefits and nutritional content. However, since cassia contains a higher level of coumarin, which may cause liver damage in high quantities, some health officials recommend Ceylon cinnamon as a healthier alternative.
Time for the recipe already!! I made this ice cream dairy free, but added melted grass-fed butter. You can omit the butter to make it dairy free, but the butter does add some extra yumminess! I actually clarify my butter to remove the milk solids so I can still get all of the benefits of butter! This just might be my favorite ice cream recipe yet. My mom said it would be good over a sopapilla…guess I better work on a grain free sopapilla recipe!
Recipe: Cinnamon Ice Cream
- 2 cans full fat coconut milk
- 2 egg yolks*
- 1/4-1/2 cup sweetener (I used Swerve for no sugar option)
- 2 tbsp grass-fed butter, melted (optional, but highly recommended, it makes this recipe!)
- 2-3 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth
- Pour mixture into Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker and follow the directions for the machine. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, this can be poured into a bread pan, cover and freeze (it just wont have that churned texture). The bread pan makes it easy to use an ice cream scoop to serve.
- Once ice cream is frozen, remove from the maker or the freezer and serve. If you used Swerve, it will harden the ice cream so you may need to let it sit out for a few minutes.
*I use farm fresh pastured eggs from Tropical Traditions so eating them raw is safe. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, read the directions for my pumpkin ice cream for an alternative option of “cooking’ the yolks. Make sure to refrigerate the mixture before pouring it into the ice cream maker since it will be warm.
I have quite a few dairy free ice cream recipes on my site that you are sure to love!!!
If you are a coconut person, these bite size treats are the perfect remedy for your sweet tooth. Most macaroon recipes are made with egg whites and can have a bit of a spongy or eggy texture that I can do without. I decided to try a different binding agent and make these egg-less.
The secret ingredient, gelatin! Gelatin can act like a binder (since it gels) in gluten free products and I plan to experiment with this more. I use Great Lakes Gelatin that is sourced from grass-fed cows (Now Foods is also a great brand of gelatin). An added bonus is all of the health benefits gelatin provides, this is a big component of bone broth. Not only is it great for skin, hair and nails, but it is great for your gut and joints. I actually add a spoonful of this to my cup of broth everyday! It is flavorless and you will never know it’s in these cookies!
Recipe: Vanilla Macaroons
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
- 2 tbsp full fat coconut milk cream (cream at top of refrigerated can)
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup granulated sweetener*
- 3/4 tsp gelatin
- 1/4 tsp vanilla beans (1-2 beans)
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until a dough forms
- With a small cookie scoop, form macaroons and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. You could also roll into balls and slightly press them down on cookie sheet
- Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes or until very slightly brown
- Let cookies cool to set up, they will fall apart when warm
- These can be stored at room temperature or for a harder cookie, store in the refrigerator
*I used Swerve (erythritol) for a low sugar option along with 2 tsp coconut palm sugar. I have not tried this with a liquid sweetener. You would need to reduce the amount to 1/4 cup or less and it may make the dough too runny. If that happens, just add more coconut until the dough is thick enough to form.
These could also be done in a food dehydrator and would turn out just as yummy!!
I have to admit, I don’t think I have ever had Nutella! It is full of ingredients that I wouldn’t want in my body. I have definitely had Justin’s Nut Butter Hazelnut Spread, but it’s certainly not cheap…especially when you can finish off a jar in a couple days!!! So, I created my own version of it and used Swerve to keep the amount of sugar down.
Recipe: Chocolate Hazelnut Butter
- 2 cups hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
- 1/2 cup granulated sweetener, powdered* (I used confectioner’s Swerve for low sugar option)
- 2 squares 100% cacao bar or unsweetened chocolate
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (I used expellor press from Tropical Traditions so it didn’t have coconut tones)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Place the hazelnuts on a cookie sheet in a single layer
- Roast the nuts at 350 for 15 minutes
- While nuts are roasting, using a double broiler, melt the chocolate chips, squares and oil
- When nuts are done, place them between paper towels or dish towels and rub to remove skins. This takes a little bit of work, but they do not need to be perfectly clean!
- Place the nuts, melted chocolate, sweetener, vanilla and sea salt in a food processor or blender and process until smooth
- Place the nut butter in an airtight container. Store in the frig for a harder spread or at room temperature for a runnier spread
*Run sweetener of choice thru a blender or coffee grinder to powder it. If you skip this step it will make the butter gritty. I think a liquid sweetener would work fine here, but add a different flavor profile and I would start with less than 1/2 a cup.
You can use any nut or combination of nuts, but I would roast the nuts to give it more flavor.
I stored this in the frig and ate it with a spoon…and it didn’t last very long!!!
Spring is here and it’s time for refreshing and fruity desserts…don’t worry, I will still include some chocolate! Lemon Bars have been on my never ending list of goodies to try to recreate. We had a family dinner this past weekend and lemon bars were the birthday girl’s favorite dessert, so the time had come!! Let me add that she is not grain free and absolutely loved these and said they taste like the real thing. The best part is that I used Swerve, (my favorite natural sugar alternative) so they were very low sugar as well!!!
Recipe: Grain Free Lemon Bars
- 3 pastured eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated sweetener (I used Swerve)
- 4 tbsp lemon juice (2 small lemons)
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest (1 lemon)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined. A mixer should work as well.
- Press the dough into a greased 8×8 baking dish
- Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until slightly golden
- Remove from heat and let cool quite a bit to set up.
- Heat the oven back to 350 and make sure it’s ready before you start mixing the ingredients. The baking powder will be affected if you wait to bake these.
- Place all ingredients EXCEPT the baking powder in a food processor and combine. A mixer will work, but lemon zest will not be ground down and unnoticeable in bars.
- Add in the baking powder and pulse one last time
- Pour the filling over the crust and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes until crust is set. It shouldn’t get brown, it will feel stiff to touch.
- Sift powdered sweetener over the top. This is optional and I don’t feel these need it. I used confectioner Swerve on a few bars only for photo purposes.
- Store in the refrigerator until serving. I prefer these chilled!
*Coconut oil that is softened should work fine as a substitution to the butter. I would use expellor pressed so there is no coconut tones! I love Tropical Traditions Oil!
Not a lemon person? Substitute the lemon juice and zest for lime.
Have you been wanting to try Swerve? It is making its way to Whole Foods Stores, but you can order online and use coupon code KATE10 for a 10% discount!!
Chocolate covered cherries may be a favorite Valentine’s treat for some of you, and if so, you will love these. You don’t have to like chocolate covered cherries to like these blondies! Blondies, what the heck is that really? Basically they are brownies without the cocoa. According to wikipedia:
A blondie (also known as a “blond[e] brownie” or “blondie bar”) is a rich, sweet dessert bar. It is made fromflour, brown sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder and vanilla and may also contain walnuts or pecans Chocolate chip blondies may contain white or dark chocolate chips. A blondie may have a taste reminiscent of butterscotch.
Blondies resemble the traditional chocolate brownie, but are based on brown sugar instead of cocoa; they are sometimes referred to as blonde brownies. They are baked in a pan in the oven similar to how traditional brownies are baked, then cut into rectangular shapes for serving.
Like brownies, blondies may include chocolate chips. They may also contain coconut, nuts, toffee, or any other chunky candy for added texture. Blondies aren’t usually frosted; the brown sugar flavor tends to be sweet enough.
Technically I think these could be called Chocolate Cherry Cookie Bars as well, but I like blondie for this recipe. Since brown sugar is an ingredient in blondies, I had to come up with an alternative. I chose to add a bit of coconut palm sugar to give it that caramel, molasses taste. Another option would be to add a bit of molasses to granulated sugar since that’s basically what brown sugar is. I used Swerve for my sweetener to keep these low sugar and added just a bit of coconut palm sugar. They turned out perfect, moist but with a crisp crackly top!
Recipe: Chocolate Cherry Blondies
- Place the softened butter/oil and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream with a hand mixer or in a stand up mixer until fluffy
- Add the egg and vanilla and continue to blend
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, soda and salt
- Slowly add the flour mixture as you continue to beat until well combined
- Fold in the chocolate chips and lastly, fold in the cherries
- Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes until slightly brown
- Let cool for 30 minutes before cutting into them (I prefer these out of the refrigerator cold)
*If you want to order Swerve, they have given my readers an extra 10% off your online order with code KATE10.
**It is almost impossible to find fresh cherries this time of year, so frozen is what you will use. They tend to be very dark in color and that is why this looks like a blueberry blondie. It is best to keep them frozen until you have added the chocolate chips so they do not melt and bleed into the dough.
As Wikipedia says above, any nut or candy can be used in blondie recipes. Use this as a base and add what ever nuts, fruits, chocolates you would like!