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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Carrot & beet layer cake with goat cheese frosting

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I admit  I am not the best baker, usually I leave all sweet baking to my husband who eyes the oven like a hawk and always turns out perfect cookies and brownies. Today however I had carrots and beets that needed to be used and a craving for creamy frosting that needed to be satisfied.

Carrot cake is one of my favorite treats but people usually pump it full of sugars and crap and take away from the natural sweetness of the carrots, the very reason I love carrot cake to begin with. I decided to make a simple, honey sweetened cake and for some reason thought it would be a good idea to get all fancy and make it a layered cake. Thankfully I did not butcher it ( this time) and the cake came out quite pretty.

This cake is super moist and sweet without the junk and a good way to trick your kids into eating veggies. You can substitute cream cheese for the frosting but I assure you goat cheese frosting is the bees knees and you wont be sorry if you try it!

 

What you need

Carrot layer:

  •  5 shredded carrots
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 1/2 c yogurt, I used honey Greek from Nancy’s
  • 2.5 c white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 c oil of choice, I used melted coconut but any veggie oil worls
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Beet layer

  •  2 shredded medium sized beets or 3 small
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 1/2 c yogurt, I used honey Greek from Nancy’s
  • 2.5 c white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 c oil of choice, I used melted coconut but any veggie oil worls
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Frosting

  • 8 oz goat cheese ( or cream cheese if you prefer)
  • 1/4 c Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 c honey

How to make it

Cakes

  • oil and flour your baking pan
  • preheat oven to 350
  • In a food processor or by hand whisk together yogurt, eggs, honey, oil
  • In   a bowl mix flour, baking soda and powder ,salt and cinnamon
  • add shredded veggie to flour and toss until coated
  • fold in wet ingredients
  • bake at 350 for 20 minutes until fork comes out clean from the middle

Frosting

  • Whip together goat cheese ( or cream cheese) , honey and yogurt until light and fluffy

Healthy peanut butter & jam cookie sandwiches (sugar/flour free)

peanut butter and jelly cookie sandwich

The other day I went to a “meet the producers” event to learn more about local farmers, ranchers and foodie companies around me. The e co center was packed full of people and I got to try tons of amazing cheeses, soups, desserts, breads, produce and jams.

One of the companies at the event was one I have had a foodie crush on for a while. Butcher’s bunches is a great company and  not just because of their delicious jams and cool flavor combos. Butcher’s uses only local and sustainably grown  produce  and absolutely no sugar or yucky sugar substitutes.

While I was at the ‘meet the producers’ event I got to meet the founder and she gave me 2 of their jams to try and best off all they are going to give one of you readers a jar as well (giveaway at end of post).  I have been wanting to make a peanut butter and jam cookie sandwich for a while but was waiting for the perfect jam, after  trying a spoonful of each I knew Butcher’s was a match.

These jams are naturally sweet and taste just like fresh picked fruit. I tried the raspberry and blackberry jams and both were like jars of fresh berries both tart and sweet and oh so addicting. This recipe is  a classic childhood favorite disguised as a guilty treat and if you use organic protein powder it becomes a healthy protein rich power food.  I hope you enjoy it!

What you need

How to make it

  • preheat oven to 275
  • blend together peanut butter and honey, make sure its  well blended
  • mix in egg
  • add protein powder or dry ingredient of choice
  • mix well
  • roll into balls and place on cookie sheet a couple inches apart
  • press balls down with the bottom of a jar or cup to flatten
  • bake in oven for around 8 minutes until edges are slightly darker brown
  • cookies will be soft but firm up as they cool
  • when cool spread jam on the bottom of one cookie and top with another
  • let sit for 5 minutes (if you can resist) to let jam soak into the cookie a bit.
  • gobble up!

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Chocolate hazelnut milk & banana ‘ice cream’

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It’s been warm and sunny lately and there is nothing better than sitting on the porch on a warm day eating ice cream. It’s been a long winter so as soon as the snow started to melt I threw some bananas in the freezer  for ice cream. The other day Pacific foods sent me some chocolate hazelnut milk to try, and after one blissful sip of the best chocolate milk I’ve ever tasted, I knew I needed to freeze some for ice cream before it was all devoured.

A few days later  I was wearing a sundress and  baking on the front lawn and after a few minutes of sweating my daughter and I gave each other a knowing look….ice cream. This recipe is super easy and came out so wonderful. It was quite warm so it kept melting but I put it in the freezer and a few hours later it was just like a store bought frozen treat.

The best part of this recipe is that your kids can eat it up  and not bounce off the walls, drive you bonkers and crash. It stays fresh in the freezer and after a couple of days was still scoopable  and creamy and did I mention delicious?

This hazelnut milk is the creamiest non dairy milk I have ever tasted and it was thick like real milk as well. I am usually a fan of hemp milk but I think I might have just been converted.  I am sure you can use any chocolate milk for this recipe but if you can I suggest giving hazelnut milk a try.

What you need

  • 1.5  cups frozen chocolate hazelnut milk 
  • 1/2 c cold chocolate hazelnut milk
  • 4 frozen bananas
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 c honey

How to make it

  • The night before or at least 4 hours prior freeze your bananas and 1.5 c hazelnut milk in Ziploc bags
  • put everything in a blender
  • puree until smooth
  • serve as soft serve or put in freezer for a couple of hours for firm ice cream

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.

Easy & healthy gummy fruit snacks

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I have seen several home-made fruit snacks on pinterest and decided it was about time I gave it a try. My daughter loves Gummy fruit snacks and even though I only  buy the all natural kind I knew it  could be healthier and it had to be cheaper than 50 cents a bag for just a handful.

I let my daughter choose the flavor and  after studying the fruit bowl for half an hour she finally picked out 2 oranges, 1 lemon and  handful of strawberries. This recipe is so easy and took  just a few minutes to prepare, I just wish I made more since they were gone just as quickly as they were made.

These are a great treat for kids to help prepare so let them join in the fun! Enjoy and let me know if you try it, I’d love to see your results!

BeFunky_DSC09683.jpgWhat you need

  • 1 cup of berries ( we used strawberries)
  • 1 1/2 C of all natural fruit juice   and at last 1/2 c of citrus, ( we used fresh squezed orange and lemon)
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 5 packages of gelatin , the more you use the firmer it will  be, ours were firm but still jiggled a bit. Next time I will use 6 packs.

How to make it

  • heat berries on the stove with honey until honey is melted
  • Pour juice  in food processor
  • Add gelatin to food processor and pulse until mixed
  • Add berry/honey mix and process until smooth
  • Pour onto a baking sheet lined in parchment paper or plastic
  • Stick in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes until it is firm, longer if you can wait…we couldn’t 🙂
  • Remove from fridge and cut into  preferred shapes, I couldn’t find my mini heart cutters so I just cut into squares.
  • Eat up!

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