Chocolate zucchini cupcakes & chocolate bacon frosting

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAToday we got a taste of spring sunshine and I was really in the mood for a picnic. Sadly it was still too cold to actually sit outside so my daughters and I had an indoor tea party with all of their little Russian dolls and these yummy chocolate zucchini cupcakes.

The best part of zucchini cupcakes  ( besides being delicious) is of course getting a little extra veggies in the kiddos diet without a fuss. Luckily my kids love veggies but even they can be stubborn about eating sometimes.  These are lightly sweet and oh so yummy and the frosting has a hint of salty bacon in it making them a little extra special.

What you need

Cupcakes

  • 1 medium-large zucchini
  • 1/2 c coconut oil
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of salt

Frosting

 

  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of bacon grease ( you can use chopped cooked bacon for ‘sprinkles’!)
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • A few drops of water as needed

 

How to make it

Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • in one bowl mix flour, cocoa powder,  baking powder & soda and salt together and set aside
  • Grate zucchini finely
  • in a bowl mix zucchini, eggs and honey
  • Melt coconut oil
  • Add coconut oil to dry ingredients and mix well
  • add zucchini mixture to flour mixture and mix well
  • add batter to a greased muffin tin
  • reduce oven to 300 and bake for 15 minutes or until done

Frosting

 

  • In a kitchen aid or in a bowl with a mixer whisk together cocoa powder and corn starch until fully blended
  • add coconut oil and honey slowly and whisk in
  • whisk in bacon grease
  • add a few drops of water if needed until consistency is like frosting
  • Place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes
  • (coconut oil may clump together once cooled, just whisk again to blend or not if you don’t care )

 

 

 

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Chocolate, coffee crunch bars

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When you need chocolate you NEED chocolate so it’s always a good idea to store some for those days when the craving hits hard. This is one of those recipes born out of desperation, during a particularly fierce chocolate craving I gathered up some baking supplies and whipped this up. To my surprise ( and relief) these bars came out amazing and are now my new favorite treat.

This recipe makes quite a lot especially if you cut them into  2 inch squares. Store them in a bag in the freezer for emergencies  but remember to hide them behind the veggies so no one else eats them.
What you need

  • 1 c dark chocolate chips ( Or carob to make this vegan!) plus a handful for good luck
  • 1/2 c coconut oil
  • 6 cups rice krispies cereal, you can get it in bulk at Winco for so cheap!
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of fine ground coffee, espresso grind is best
  • coarse sea salt

How to make it

  • Melt chocolate and coconut oil together
  • in a big bowl mix together  rice krispies , ground coffee and melted chocolate mix until mostly coated
  • throw in your handful of chocolate chips for good luck
  • press into a baking dish lines with wax paper.  I used a deep baking pan for bars but you can do a baking dish for thicker slices.
  • Using a sheet of wax paper, press your bars into the dish gently to help it all stay together
  • sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt
  • put into the freezer for half hour to an hour until hardened
  • cut into pieces and devour!

Coconut, Chocolate & Chia Pudding

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When a chocolate craving hits, it really hits and now amount of  fruit or honey will satisfy. The other day I was home sick and suddenly had an intense craving for chocolate and no way to run to the store.  I looked in my fridge and cupboards and gathered up any sweet treat supplies I could find and whipped up what is probably the most delicious dessert I have had in ages.

This pudding is light and fluffy and full of coconut deliciousness, it reminds me of a pudding version of a chocolate macaroon.  The best part is, eating this is 100% guilt free since there are no sugars  and when you use raw cacao and chia it adds even more goodness. If you are like my kiddo and  the texture of shredded coconut gives you the heebeegeebeez then you can omit it for a creamy version.

What you need

  • sugar-free shredded coconut
  • raw cacao powder or dutch cocoa powder although the cocoa will not have the same health benefits
  • 1/4 c raw honey
  • 1 can coconut milk, frozen ( pour it into a bag and then freeze to make it easier)
  • 1/4 c chia seeds
  • 1/4 milk of choice, use non frozen coconut milk or almond milk

How to make it

  • in a bowl soak chia seeds in milk of choice for half hour
  • in the blender puree  frozen coconut milk, honey and cacao powder
  • fold in shredded coconut (optional)  and chia seeds
  • let sit in the fridge for at least an hour
  • Enjoy!

 

 

 

Almond & flax meal chocolate macaron

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I was having a baked sweet treat craving, I wanted cupcakes or cake or pie or something warm out the oven…and then I realized I used the last of the flour to make baked donuts the other day. I tried eating a spoonful of honey but it didn’t do any good, I needed to bake and I needed to bake now.

Thanks to Google I found one treat I could make without flour, macarons! But, of course I only had a handful of almonds, could this baking misadventure get any worse. Finally I stopped pouting, put on my apron, and got to work. After a bit of experimenting I made these scrumptious almond & flax meal macarons with a yummy chocolate cream cheese filling.

These may not be the most beautiful designer macarons but when something tastes this good, you don’t need perfection. Perfect as a light snack or midnight sugar craving or really any time of the day…do you need an excuse for chocolate?

What you need:

  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 1 cup + 4 tbsp of powdered sugar for filling ( make it yourself it’s easy!  sugar + corn starch  in blender voila!)
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder + 2 tbsp coco powder for filling
  • 2 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tbsp regular sugar
  • 1/4 c cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp milk

How to make it

cookie

  • Put almonds and flax meal in a blender, blend until fine
  • add powdered sugar  and cocoa ,  blend for a few minutes until nice and fine like flour
  • In a mixer or with a hand blender beat the egg whites until they rise and get fluffy and stiff
  • beat in the regular sugar
  • gently fold in the flour/sugar/cocoa mix
  • fold until there are no egg white streaks
  • put into a pasty bag or zip lock bag
  • pipe the macarons onto  a baking sheet lined in parchment paper, about a tbsp per cookie
  • tap the baking pan to remove bubbles and flatten
  • bake at 300 for for about 15 minutes
  • remove from baking sheet right away so it wont overcook

Filling

  • In a bowl mix together cream cheese, cocoa, milk and powdered sugar with a hand mixer until light and fluffy
  • spread onto a cookie and top with another
  • enjoy!

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Raw lavender chocolate cream pie

Raw chocolate lavender cream pie

Spring has sprung and lavender is all I crave lately. I have been going to my neighborhood cafe frequently for lavender mocha and lavender Italian sodas galore and the other day I finally remembered to soak some cashews and almonds to make my favorite raw pie.

There is nothing quite like laying on  a blanket under newly green trees with a giant glass of lemon ice water and a slice of cold raw pie, oh spring how I love you.

This pie is quite simple to make and besides  having to soak the nuts overnight it is pretty quick as well. When I make it I usually make it first thing in the morning so I can have it for afternoon picnics or for dessert. Try it with raw banana ice cream mmmmmmmmm!

What you need

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 2 c raw cashews
  • 1/2  c raw hazelnuts
  • 1/2 c raw honey
  • 1 cup dates chopped
  • 1/4 c raw cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp dried or fresh lavender
  • 2 tbsp water

How to make it 

  • The night before or at least 3 hours prior soak the almonds and cashews in separate bowls of water, drain when done
  • in a food processor or blender process almonds, hazelnuts  and dates until pasty, the nuts will still be a bit chunky when done
  • press almond “crust”  into a pie pan that has been greased with coconut oil
  • in a food processor or blender puree cashews, honey,lavender,  coconut oil, cacao powder, coconut oil and a couple tbsp water until smooth
  • put puree in pie dish and smooth over
  • tap pie on counter to release air bubbles
  • cover in plastic wrap and put in the freezer for a few hours or overnight.
  • enjoy!

Curry honey, chocolate & hazelnut baklava

curry honey hazelnut chocolate baklava

My absolute favorite chocolate bar of all time is definitely Theo’s coconut curry bar , it is sweet and spicy and creamy  and just perfect. I wanted to make baklava but I also wanted that sweet spicy combo and  suddenly it came to me…why don;t I just add curry and chocolate  to my baklava? After harassing all of my friends to see if this was a good idea or a horrifying idea I finally decided to make it.

I really wanted  to add coconut  to this but my daughter recently decided that coconut is gross and refuses to eat it, I suppose I could have added it anyway  so I could hoard all the treats to myself but  I decided that might be mean. Next time however I am adding coconut and little miss can just  start liking coconut like the rest of the universe or miss out on yum.

These came out so yummy which sadly meant that they were gone in 10 minutes. As I am writing this post I am desperately craving a bite and there isn’t anymore phyllo in the house…le sigh. These are wonderful with coconut bliss ice cream or coffee!

Makes a 9 x 9 pan of  9 pieces of baklava

What you need

  • 1 package of phyllo dough sheets or home-made if you are feeling awesome
  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • about 1/4 c chocolate I used Newmans own organics dark chocolate bar
  • 1 c honey
  • 2 tbsp curry
  • 1/4 c melted coconut oil

How to make it

  • cut phyllo sheets to size of dish
  • grind hazelnuts in processor just a tad, don’t grind to powder
  • chop chocolate into pieces
  • layer 8 slices of phyllo, brushing coconut oil between each slice
  • sprinkle chocolate & hazelnut on phyllo
  • layer 8 sliced, repeat until the pan is filled
  • mix honey & curry
  • cut baklava into squares and pour half the honey over it
  • bake at 300 until brown on top
  • pour rest of honey over top

Peanut butter & chocolate surprise treats (sugar free)

peanut butter and chocolate surprise treats

I love sweet treats but I hate sugar, a real dilemma I know. It isn’t that I think sugar is terrible to eat, it’s that I know if I do eat it I will have to share with my daughter and one bite of sugar in her system and she’s bouncing off the walls for days. Today my chocolate craving hit HARD and I needed a sweet treat to get me through.

I found a few sugar-free chocolate  recipes on pinterest  but I wanted something  more than just chocolate. I thought it would be fun to add a surprise inside  chocolate peanut butter treats and my daughter agreed it was an awesome idea. I had sunflower seeds, raisins, dried cranberries, frozen banana and apple slices on hand  and some cute mini cupcake liners to make this fun recipe.

This is a great late night sugar craving snack, a good treat to reward a kiddo or a fun treat for a picnic or party. Let me know what you think and show me your results!

What you need

  • 1 1/3 C organic peanut butter
  • 1/4 c sugar free cocoa powder
  • 1/2 C coconut oil, I used Tropical traditions
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • treats to go inside: fresh, dried or frozen fruit or nuts… I used dried cranberries, apple slices, raisins, frozen banana and sunflower seeds
  • Mini cupcake or candy paper liners like these,ooh pretty!

How to make it

  • melt coconut oil and add to food processor or blender with peanut butter, cocoa powder and honey until blended
  • line a baking sheet with cupcake liners
  • Put treats in bottom of cupcake liners
  • pour mixture into liners until 3/4 full
  • put in freezer for at least an hour, overnight is best
  • store in a freezer bag in the fridge or freezer
  • enjoy!

**full disclosure: I was given a sample of a product used in this recipe. I was in no way obligated to use the product or review it. I only use products I love, trust  and have tested.