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!!!
Have you tried my Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls (almond butter option), if you haven’t, you really should!! There is even added protein in the recipe to make them that much better! This Pumpkin Truffle recipe is similar and perfect for a fall chocolate fix! I don’t think I have ever enjoyed or made a pumpkin recipe with chocolate, but I have to say, I like these two hanging out together!!
The inside, what I am calling the pumpkin butter, was scrumptious on it’s own. Feel free to skip the chocolate altogether and use it as a spread or dip. Another option, if you want to leave out the chocolate, (I think you’re crazy) is to roll the balls in coconut instead of dipping them. Lots of variations here!!!
Recipe: Pumpkin Butter Truffles
- Combine the pumpkin, almond butter, syrup and oil in a bowl
- In a different mixing bowl, combine the flour, protein powder, lucuma, spices and salt
- Add the wet to the dry and mix well
- Place the mixture in the freezer for a couple hours until it has hardened a bit and can be formed into balls
- Once mixture is hard enough to handle, form inch in diameter size balls and place them on a cookie sheet or plate lined with parchment and place back in the freezer for 30 minutes
- While those are in the freezer, add the chocolate chips and cacao butter/oil to a small mixing bowl that has been placed over a small pan of boiling water. This is to get the chocolate to melt without burning it. Once water is boiling, turn down to a simmer
- With a spoon or a toothpick, place each ball into the chocolate and coat
- Return each truffle back to the parchment paper and put back in the freezer to let the chocolate set, about 15 minutes
- Store in the refrigerator or freezer
*Any nut or seed butter would work here. Coconut butter would be an option as well.
*I used a Xylitol Maple Syrup for less sugar, so I added a couple teaspoons of Swerve (my favorite all natural sweetener).
If you prefer to roll these in shredded coconut, once you form the balls, they should be soft enough and sticky to roll at that time. I would throw them back in the freezer to set for about 30 minutes. Store these in the refrigerator or freezer as well.
Let me know what other combinations you guys try!
It could reach 90 degrees tomorrow in Denver and it’s still April! When it’s that hot, ice cream is on the menu around here!!! Its only going to get warmer, so there will be plenty of cold treat recipes coming your way!!
I have so many ice cream ideas and wasn’t sure what to try first! The challenge is that to make it dairy free, the main ingredient is full fat coconut milk. Coconut milk tends to have a coconut taste to it and I want to hide that in most of the flavors. It’s a hard thing to do and most of you will still taste a bit of it.
This Dairy Free Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream recipe was VERY well received by my mom’s husband…who I would consider an ice cream addict! He said he could easily eat it in place of the real deal. It’s not as creamy, but don’t you worry, I have plans to make some of the other flavors a bit creamier tasting. Besides, once you add all the goodies, like the chocolate chips, nuts, nut butters or fruit, you have forgotten it’s dairy free and realize how good it really is!!
I bought an ice cream maker last year and love it!! I have the Cuisinart ICE-21 that can be used for ice cream, sorbet, and frozen yogurt. It’s so easy and quick to use! It can be found online or at Bed, Bath and Beyond for a very reasonable price, plus you can use a 20% off coupon on it! It’s worth it! I used it for this recipe but I think you can just freeze this in a bowl and have a similar experience!
Recipe: Dairy Free Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut or almond milk from carton
- 10 oz bag frozen cherries
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 tsp vanilla beans
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips or broken chocolate bar pieces or Enjoy Life Dairy Free Chips for complete dairy free option
- Combine all of the ingredients except chocolate in a Vitamix or high powered blender
- Blend until completely smooth
- Transfer mixture to ice cream maker and follow the machines instructions. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour into an airtight container
- Add in the chocolate pieces when there’s about 5 minutes left in the process or stir into mixture before freezing if you do not have an ice cream maker
Ice cream will be like soft serve from the ice cream maker. If you want it harder, place in the freezer until desired consistency is reached. Store in an airtight container and let it sit out for about 15 minutes before serving.
I thought this was a perfect recipe to post on a cold wintery day like today! I love when they say we are expecting an inch over night and you wake up to 6 inches of snow! I actually do like it since it means I get to spend the day in the kitchen!!!
As I have stated before, I loooove marshmallows. All of us girls in the family tend to go through a bag of them in no time. I saw a recipe for homemade marshmallows using honey and knew I had to try it. I have to give Jenni at The Urban Poser credit for the marshmallow recipe, but I’ll take credit for the cocoa recipe!
The marshmallows need some time to dry out so plan to make them a day ahead of time. It is a pretty straight forward recipe, but I learned a few things while I was making them. First, use a large saucepan to boil the honey and water. You will never reach 240 degrees unless the mixture is boiling rapidly and a small saucepan will not allow for that! I learned the hard way and watched it boil over and then watched the temp standstill for what seemed like an hour because I couldn’t turn it up without it boiling over. It should only take 7-8 minutes to get hot enough. Second, wet your hands slightly when trying handle and cut them. They are extremely sticky until you can get them cut and the sides can dry out. It works well to use kitchen scissors to cut them into desired shape and size.
Follow this recipe and video for the marshmallows. She also gives some yummy suggestions of what to coated them in for an additional treat. It makes quite a few large marshmallows.
I make my own nut milks and used that in this recipe. You can certainly used boxed non-dairy milks instead. Make sure to read my notes under variations if you use boxed milks. The cocoa recipe makes one cup so feel free to double it like I do so it fills my venti size mug!
Recipe: Hot Cocoa
- Combine all of the ingredients in a Vitamix or blender and blend until combined. This mixes it best and makes it a bit frothy.
- Pour mixture into a sauce pan and bring it to just about a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for a couple minutes, stir it while it simmers.
- Pour into a mug, top with marshmallows and enjoy!
*I make my own almond and cashew milk to use in recipes. You can certainly use a boxed almond or coconut milk. If you use a vanilla flavored milk, you may want to omit the vanilla extract and reduce the sweetener.
*Remember that the marshmallows will add additional sweetness.
You could add any extracts besides vanilla for a different flavor. I would suggest almond, peppermint, coconut, orange or hazelnut. You may need to add a smaller amount, especially with peppermint!
For a higher protein drink, add some vanilla egg white protein or vanilla whey if you can tolerate dairy. Blend it with all the other ingredients. Some brands may clump when you heat it, add the hot mixture back into the blender before serving.
Let me know how you choose to flavor it!!!
Happy Valentine’s Day! I’ll keep it short and sweet today. Here’s what I will be treating myself to and not feeling the least bit guilty about! It’s the last day of chocolate recipes for a bit, so enjoy!!!
Recipe: Nutty Fudge
- 2 cups of raw nuts (I use almonds and cashews)
- 3/4 cup nut butter (I use fresh grind almond butter)
- 2/3 cup virgin or refined coconut oil
- 1/2 cup cocoa or cacao powder
- 2/3 cups dark chocolate chips or broken chocolate bar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 – 2/3 cup powdered Swerve, Wholesome Sweeteners or coconut palm sugar
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp sea salt (omit if using a salted nut butter)
- In a food processor, chop the nuts until they are in small pieces
- In a bowl placed over a pan of simmering water, melt the coconut oil, cocoa powder and chocolate chips
- Add chocolate mixture, nut butter, vanilla, salt and sugar to food processor and mix well
- Pour mixture into chocolate molds or into a pan. Size of pan can vary depending on how thick you want the fudge to be
- Place in the freezer to set. Best to store in the freezer too
Run whatever sugar you choose to use through a blender or spice/coffee grinder to powder it. If you choose not to, it will result in grainy fudge. Liquid sweetener would probably work fine in this too.
Wishing you all lots of love today and everyday!
I promise I will tone it down a bit with the chocolate after Valentine’s Day. Chocolate just makes everything better and is so fun to work with.
I created these to be very low in sugar with a bit of added protein. There are numerous variations to this recipe so feel free to experiment.
Recipe: Coconut Truffles
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate
- 1 tbsp cacao butter* or virgin coconut oil
- 2 tbsp finely ground coconut (optional)
- Place all of the ingredients (except chocolate coating) in a food processor and pulse until well combined
- Form into 1 inch round balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet or plate
- Place in the freezer for an hour
- Place a mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water and melt the chocolate and cacao butter or coconut oil
- Roll each ball in the chocolate and remove using a spoon
- Sprinkle the finely shredded coconut on each ball as soon as you take them out of the chocolate
- Return the balls to the freezer for the chocolate to set
- Store the truffles in the refrigerator so the inside is soft
*Run whatever dry sweetener you choose through a blender to powder it. If you don’t, it will create a grainy texture.
*Cacao Butter is what gives these there smooth hard coating. Coconut oil works too, just not as smooth looking
You could leave the protein out but will need to add more coconut to absorb some of the moisture.
You might be able to use a liquid sweetener but will need to add more coconut or you could add some almond flour. This will create a different taste but still might be good.
You could stick one whole almond into each ball and create an Almond Joy Truffle.
Let us know what variations you create!
How can you go wrong when you mix chocolate and peanut butter, you can’t! I typically don’t eat peanut butter since it is a legume not a nut. I did however have one of these and there is something about peanut butter that’s just a little bit tastier than almond butter. An exception would be Justin’s Nut Butter Maple and Vanilla Almond Butter. Those would be ridiculously good in this recipe! These could certainly be made with any kind of nut butter or sunflower seed butter (which is awesome! I prefer Marantha brand over any of the others) if you have nut allergies. I will be creating a coconut butter truffle in the near future as well.
These little guys are packed with protein from the peanut butter and the added vanilla egg white protein powder. It adds a little bit of vanilla flavor and is so hidden in there, no one would know they were eating it! I imagine it can be replaced with a vanilla whey protein powder if you can handle dairy (whey is typically not the issue for people, it’s the casein that is found in dairy products such as cheese, milk, yogurt, etc.) It could also be left out completely but I suggest taking advantage of the additional protein content!
I used Cacao butter (literally the pure oil of the cacao bean, which comes directly from the cacao tree, and is what white chocolate is made of) and dark chocolate chips for the chocolate coating. The butter is what gives it the smooth hard texture. Cacao butter has no sugar in it and is full of nutrients! Cacao Butter, Cacao Beans, Cacao Powder, Cacao Nibs and Cacao Paste are packed with minerals and antioxidants, including polyphenols, catechins and epicatechins that help to fight off free radicals, giving you a healthy, complete superfood. In addition, flavonols help the body produce Nitric Oxide, a compound essential for proper heart function. So enjoy these treats knowing you are eating something with great health benefits instead of eating a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup!!
Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls
- 1 cup natural peanut butter (I prefer fresh grind from Whole Foods or Vitamin Cottage)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 Tbsp refined coconut oil, melted (virgin if you want a coconut taste to it)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (1 1/2 tsp if you are not adding vanilla flavored protein powder)
- 1/2 cup almond flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1/4 cup vanilla egg white protein (use 1/4 cup more almond flour if you don’t add this in)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt (omit if using jarred peanut butter with added salt)
- 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 tbsp cacao butter (refined coconut oil will work)
- Mix all of the ingredients (except chocolate coating) in a bowl
- Roll the mixture into one inch balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes
- In a double broiler or in a sauce pan over a pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate chips and cacao butter. Let cool for a few minutes
- Dip the balls into the chocolate with a spoon and place back on the cookie sheet
- Return the balls to the freezer until chocolate hardens
- Store in the frig or freezer in an airtight container
This makes about 16 balls. Whole Foods sells single serve packets of the Jay Robb Vanilla Egg White Protein if you don’t want to buy an entire container. The packet is 1/4 cup.
If you want to decrease the sugar in the recipe, I suggest using Nature’s Hollow Honey made with Xylitol.
Enjoy! Amber I am counting on you to try this with Justin’s Maple Almond Butter!!
It’s February 1st and Valentine’s Day is only a few weeks away! I have lots of chocolate recipes for you in the next couple of weeks. I have eaten more chocolate in the past month than I probably ever have! I love baking and cooking, but testing recipes numerous times is bound to start showing up on me soon!!! I think it’s time to start focusing on main dishes and vegetables for awhile!
So I have another confession besides telling you about all my chocolate consumption, I’m addicted to Pinterest! Just one more thing to waste time on, but it is pretty cool. There are tons of grain free recipes on Pinterest that I want to try or healthify to share with you. I have seen a recipe for yogurt covered frozen strawberries a couple of times now and decided I needed to create something similar. I thought now was the perfect time with Valentine’s Day just around the corner. Chocolate covered strawberries are always a hit, but I wanted to try something different. Yogurt is not an option for me so I came up with my own treat. If you can make chocolate covered strawberries, this should be no problem! I did however have a problem with the chocolate drizzle. I need to practice making that prettier!
Recipe: Coconut Covered Frozen Strawberries
- 12-15 fresh strawberries
- 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
- 1/3 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1/4 cup coconut butter/creme
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder
- 2 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
- Wash and dry strawberries and set aside
- In a double broiler (or in a mixing bowl over simmering water) melt the oil, milk and butter
- Remove from heat and add in the vanilla and honey, mix well
- Depending on how hot your mixture got, stick the bowl in the frig until it thickens up
- Dip the strawberries in mixture once it is thick enough to coat strawberries without completely running off of them
- Place them on a plate or cookie sheet and put in the freezer for about an hour
- To make the Chocolate drizzle, use a double boiler or bowl method to melt the oil, cocoa and syrup until well combined
- Once it has cooled, place mixture in a ziploc bag and poke a very small hole in the corner.
- Drizzle the chocolate over the frozen berries and place back in the freezer
- Remove about 10 minutes prior to serving to allow the strawberries to soften up just a bit
If these are left out for a long time, the coconut coating may start to melt a little.
I think the frozen aspect makes these different and unique to just chocolate covered strawberries. These are great without the chocolate, I just wanted to make them even prettier!
I highly suggest organic strawberries. Strawberries are one of the dirtiest foods in terms of pesticides.
I thought about letting the coating freeze just slightly and rolling them in finely shredded coconut. Or you could roll them in ground up nuts too. Another idea is to use this as a fruit dip or drizzle over a bowl of strawberries or other berries. Let me know what you think!!!