There’s nothing like I like more than baking while stuck home during a blizzard. I found a recipe for German Chocolate Quinoa Brownies on one of my favourite websites, and by substituting sunflower butter for cashew butter, and sunflower seeds for pecan pieces, I came up with this nut-free, school-safe snack, that’s full of protein and fibre.
For the Brownies:
- 1 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sunflower butter (or peanut butter, cashew butter, almond butter, etc)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (or oil of choice)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
For the topping:
- 1 cup unsweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (or pieces of pecans, almonds, etc)
- Preheat oven to 350 and line an 8×8 glass baking dish with parchment paper
- Put all the brownie ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
- Pour the batter into the dish and bake for 30-40 minutes
- Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for the topping in a small bowl and mix well
- Allow brownies time to cool before applying the topping
- Slice and serve
After a few attempts at homemade granola bars, this will definitely be my staple. Aside from being quick (neither the oats nor the quinoa have to be pre-cooked), the great thing about this recipe is that you can play with flavours. I’ve included some suggestions below but I encourage you to experiment with your favourite dried fruit and nut combinations.
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1 cup large flake oats, uncooked
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 3/4 cup honey
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup dried fruit/nut combination
- Grease a square dish with butter & preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Combine oats and quinoa and place in dish
- Toast in oven for 8-10 minutes
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine peanut butter, honey, oil and sugar over low heat
- Stir and bring to a boil, stir and remove from heat
- Next, toss coconut and dried fruit/nut combination, as well as the toasted quinoa and oats into the saucepan to combine all ingredients
- Transfer to baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes
- Place on a wire rack to cool before cutting
You can also melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips/peanut butter chips with 1 tbsp coconut oil in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring in between until completely melted. Dip granola or spread on top of granola bar, place on parchment paper and allow to cool
Try changing the peanut butter to almond butter or sunflower seed oil to compliment your flavours.
- 1 cup diced dried figs (feature picture)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries & 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup peanuts & 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
- 1/2 cup pecans & 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds & 1/2 dried apricots
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, 1/4 cup pecans, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds & 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup dates, 1/4 cup chia seeds & 1/4 cup sliced almonds
This fudge is a delicious treat for the holidays, garnished with crushed candy canes. It’s also a great little holiday workout for your biceps as you’ll be vigorously stirring for up to 18 minutes. Makes for guilt-free indulgence!
- 14 ounces of condensed milk
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 150 grams light brown sugar
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp of sea salt
- Crushed candy canes
- Coarse decorating sugar
- Freeze-dried fruit of choice
- Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper
- Combine all ingredients except the sea salt in a small sauce pan
- Mix ingredients with a wooden spoon over medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved and the butter has melted
- Now turn up the stove to high and bring to a boil. You’ll need to reduce to heat slightly to avoid splatter while you stir the fudge constantly for 10 minutes
- Remove from heat and add sea salt and let stand for 2 minutes
- Now, stir vigorously for 5-8 minutes until the batter firms
- Transfer to baking dish and sprinkle topping of choice.
- Use a spatula to push the toppings into the fudge slightly
- Allow to cool at room temperature for 2-3 hours before cutting
Today’s my dad’s birthday – a perfect reason to indulge and bake a homemade chocolate cake from scratch. Of course, when I served this for dessert tonight my brother looked at me and in all seriousness said, “Ok, so what’s ya got in this? Spinach? Beans?” For the first time in a long time I could honestly say nothing! This cake is loaded with sugar, cocoa and butter and for that you get one incredible tasting cake. I’m a huge fan of chocolate, but I am not one for sweets if that makes sense. And I am very particular about icing. Of all the icing recipes I have tried and experimented with over the years this is hands down my favourite. It’s buttery-creamy texture is set off perfectly with a hint of coffee and avoids all that sugary-sweet taste that I loathe in icings. I hope you enjoy as much as my family did. I got this recipe from the Food Network and never changed a thing.
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Butter, for greasing the pans
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup buttermilk (1 cup milk with 1 tbsp of lemon juice), shaken
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
Chocolate Buttercream Icing
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
- 1 tsp hot tap water
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until combined.
- In medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
- Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing on medium speed with an electric mixer
- With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely
- Place chocolate in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature
- In a small bowl beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes.
- Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy.
- Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of hot tap water.
- On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don’t whip!
- Spread immediately on the cooled cake
One of my all-time favourite treats is getting an oatcake from local coffee shop. This recipe makes a delicious 300 calorie snack, breakfast alternative or mid-afternoon energy boost to get you through to supper. Oats are full of fiber, a good source of iron and are one of those foods that leave you feeling full for a while.
Serves: 4 large oatcakes Prep Time: 10 minutes Ready In: 45 minutes
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/4 cup coconut flour (or 1 cup regular flour & omit egg white)
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 cup oat bran
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and
- Combine all dry ingredients in a medium size bowl and stir
- Add egg white & milk and stir until combined
- Cut butter into small cubes and integrate into mixture using your fingers
- The batter shouldn’t be wet, but it should hold together in a firm ball. If not, add more milk
- Scoop up about 1/4-1/3 cup of the batter, roll into a ball, place on a cookie sheet and pat to 3/4″ thickness
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown
- Meanwhile, place chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe dish and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, and repeat until the mixture is smooth
- When the oatcakes come out of the oven, transfer to a cookie rack
- Using a smooth, drizzle chocolate over oatcakes and allow chocolate to firm at room temperature (15 minutes)
A refreshing snack perfect for summer! If you’re in a hurry, simply blend all ingredients and freeze. Or, to get the layered effect, follow the directions below. I found the popsicle moulds at Stokes for $5.99 and they worked great!
Serves: 8 popsicles Prep Time: 20 minutes Ready In: 1-2 hours
- 1 can coconut milk
- 5 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup water
- Combine coconut milk, 3 tbsp of the maple syrup and the vanilla extract
- Pour into the popsicle moulds and freeze for 15 minutes
- Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients, along with the 2 tbsp of maple syrup and process using an immersion blender or a blender
- Pour into the popsicle moulds and freeze approximately 30 minutes to an hour until completely frozen
I was invited to a BBQ this evening, and asked to bring a dessert. I wanted two things: no bake (anyone in NL will understand why!) and a way to use the last of my blueberries to make room for this year’s berries. I did some searching and found inspiration from Eat Good 4 Life, one of my go-to recipe blogs. There, I found Gluten-Free No Bake Blackberry Frozen Cheesecake. I made some changes, and came up with these.
Serves: 20 squares Prep Time: 15 minutes Ready In: 4 hours
- 1 cup prunes
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp almond milk
- 1 cup oats
- 1/4 cup oat flour
- 2 packages of cream cheese
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3/4 cup frozen lemonade
- 1 1/4 cup blueberries
- If you have a food processor, process all ingredients for 1-2 minutes, until well combined
- If you don’t have a food processor, or it’s temporarily unavailable (like mine) cut prunes and combine with oil and milk. Using an immersion blender, process. Add chia seeds and process again. Slowly add oats until well combined. Finally, stir in flour with hands
- Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper and transfer crust. Place in fridge while preparing filling
- Whip the cream cheese and honey using a mixer, until smooth. Then add lemonade and mix until blended.
- Transfer half the batter on top of the crust.
- Now add 1 cup of the berries and blend until fully incorporated
- Transfer this batter on top of cheesecake and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of berries
- Place in freezer for 3-4 hours
- Remove the cheesecake from the freezer at least 20 minutes prior to serving. Pull the cheesecake from the baking dish, remove parchment paper and place on a rack to partially defrost. After 20 minutes, transfer to a cutting surface and cut into squares. Keep square frozen until ready to eat.