“Reese’s” Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

“Reese’s” Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

It’s the holiday season, and no matter where you look, you’re in a society filled with sugar and candy. Why not make your own, and know exactly what ingredients go into what you’re eating? I’ve got the perfect recipe to satisfy your sweet cravings. These Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter bars are essentially homemade Reese’s.

These are grain-free, paleo, and vegan, and no bake!

When you’re shopping for the chocolate chips, just make sure you’re looking for over 50% cacao, and that the ingredients list does NOT say, “contains milk.” When selecting peanut butter, find a brand that has one ingredient – PEANUTS! Many stores grind up pb themselves and sell it.

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“Reese’s” Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
Makes 20 bars

Ingredients:

1 c + ½ c natural, unsalted peanut butter
½ c pure maple syrup
½ c coconut flour
1 c (8 oz) dairy-free chocolate chips
1 tbsp wildflower honey
1 tbsp coconut oil

Directions:
1. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.
2. Combine 1 cup of peanut butter, coconut flour, and maple syrup. Spread even layer of pb mixture in pan. Place in freezer for ten minutes.
3. Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in saucepan over low heat. Stir in honey and mix well.
4. Remove pb pan from freezer, and pour chocolate mixture on top. Spread evenly.
5. Place in fridge for at least an hour.

These last up to two weeks in the fridge!

-xoxo, Amber

 

 

 

Paleo Pumpkin Pie Bites

Paleo Pumpkin Pie Bites

Lately, I have been FEELING the sweet tooth… it’s very annoying. I’ve been seeing a personal trainer since the end of July, and obviously he discourages me from consuming what I like to call “naughty” foods. Added sugar is definitely a naughty, naughty food! Ugh. I really wish I hated chocolate – that is my kryptonite.

If you love fall foods, specifically pumpkin pie, and dark chocolate, this recipe will be a winner for you. Pumpkin pie bites dipped in dark chocolate, or “truffles”, if you will. And let me tell you… they are DELICIOUS (and addicting).

Perfect for all your Halloween, Thanksgiving and other holiday get-togethers this season! Oh, and did I mention they’re paleo and grain-free? 🙂

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Paleo Pumpkin Pie Bites
Makes 12 bites

Ingredients:
1 cup pumpkin puree
3/5 cup maple syrup
4 tbsp coconut flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
12 oz dark chocolate chips
1-2 tbsp coconut oil
cinnamon (for sprinkling on top)

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients (minus the chocolate chips and coconut oil) and mix well. I suggest whipping it with a fork.
2. Line a baking sheet or plate with parchment paper. With an ice cream scoop, make balls from your pumpkin mixture. My bites were roughly the size of golf balls, but you can make them smaller if you want to have more bites.
3. Spread balls out evenly on pan, and freeze for one hour.
4. Melt dark chocolate and 1 tbsp coconut oil in saucepan on LOW. If the heat is too high, it will scorch the chocolate.
5. After chocolate has melted, begin dipping your frozen pumpkin bites one at a time. I found that using a spoon and rolling it around was the most efficient. Set bites out to dry on baking sheet or other surface of your choice.
6. Let bites dry 10-15 minutes.
7. You should still have some chocolate left. Drizzle a small amount of chocolate on top of each bite, and immediately sprinkle with cinnamon.
8. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes (or at the very least let them dry!)

-xoxo, Amber

IMG_2253.JPGRecipe adapted from Shockingly Healthy.

Paleo Peanut Butter Cookies

Paleo Peanut Butter Cookies

Given the choice over savory and sweet, I always choose savory. But sometimes, a girl needs a damn cookie. These peanut butter cookies are full of flavor, but made with only FIVE ingredients! They pair quite nicely with peaches (drizzled with honey and cinnamon), and pecans. They’re dairy-free, grain-free, and paleo!

I like to buy the kind of peanut butter that is strictly made from crushed up peanuts. Whole Foods has a Honey Roasted PB and it is DIVINE. I used regular PB for this recipe.

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Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes: 12-14 cookies

For the cookies:
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup almond flour
1/2 cup of honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 egg whites

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix dry ingredients together, and then add in honey and egg whites. Mix well. Grease baking sheet or lay down parchment paper. Form cookie balls and place 1 inch apart on cookie sheet. Flatten the top of each cookie with a fork into a crisscross pattern (to prevent dough from sticking to your fork, spray the fork with baking spray). Bake for 7-9 minutes (note: it could take longer depending how thick your cookies are). Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Spicy Strawberry Mint Popsicles

Spicy Strawberry Mint Popsicles

We all need a sweet treat now and then, even those who eat clean and are loyal to their diets. Why not treat yourself and your body with something nutritious? Forget the Ben & Jerry’s, forget those sugar-y fruit pops you think are healthy, and make your own!

These popsicles are interesting, because they are obviously refreshing and cold, but the jalapeno definitely gives it a kick. The mint helps cool down the spiciness of the pepper. If you aren’t feeling the spicy vibe, omit the jalapenos.

These make great treats for party guests or for yourself when you’re craving that late night snack.

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Spicy Strawberry Mint Popsicles
Serves: 4

For the popsicles:
8 strawberries
1/8 cup honey
Handful of fresh mint leaves
1/4 jalapeno, seeded
jalapeno slices, thinly sliced

Directions:
Wash strawberries, and then add whole strawberries to blender with honey, and puree. Add in your 1/4 jalapeno and mint a little at a time until all is well blended. Add more strawberries if you like or feel like 8 wasn’t enough.

Carefully place jalapeno slices one at a time in each popsicle mold. I wouldn’t recommend more than 2-3 per pop, because they are already spicy! For each pop, place one slice in, pour some of your mixture, place another slice, and so on. This is to ensure your slice shows up on the outside of the popsicle.

Chill for one hour in the freezer, and then place your popsicle sticks in each mold. And, voila!

xoxo – Amber

 

Piña Colada Smoothie Bowl

Piña Colada Smoothie Bowl

Just because I’ve been lacking on my posting doesn’t mean I haven’t been slaying it in the kitchen or at the gym (or in mother nature… who says you’re limited to working out just at the gym?!). For the past month I’ve been working out at least 3 times a week (one week I worked out five times), and I have been busy cooking in the kitchen… I’ve got several recipes coming your way!

Many of you know I was leaving Los Angeles this time last week – and I did not want to come home. I spent my days by my family’s pool, grilled out for the 4th, hiked up to an overlook of the city that night and watched people all across the LA city skyline shoot off illegal fireworks (lol), went to Disneyland (I met freaking Princess Aurora), went to my uncle’s movie pre-screening, “Bad Moms,” and it is HILARIOUS (go see it July 29th!),  saw a friend I studied abroad with, and so much more. I was in Los Angeles the majority of the week, but was able to drive down to San Diego to see a friend from high school for 2 nights and experience a small slice of the city and beach (WE SAW SEALS UP CLOSE AND IT WAS CUTE AF).

On my drive back to LA, I made an impromptu stop at Laguna Beach – yes, that was a show on MTV back in the day and Stephen was hot af…. You can bet I took a Snapchat of the beach with Hilary Duff’s “Coming Clean” playing in the background. In all seriousness, that beach was BEAUTIFUL. It’s almost sinful that I had to come back to Nashville… Don’t get me wrong, I love my city, but it’s so humid and hot right now and we don’t even have a damn beach to help ease the pain.

Being on the beach put me in the mood… Ya know, for fruity drinks with cute umbrellas. So, I concocted this smoothie bowl! It’s delicious, but I did not add rum to it. ;(

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Herbalife Piña Colada Smoothie Bowl

For the smoothie:
8oz of Coconut Almond Milk Blend
2 scoops of Herbalife Piña Colada Meal Replacement Mix
1 scoop of Herbalife Vanilla PDM Protein Powder
1/2 of a banana
6 ice cubes (or more)

Toppings:
Pineapple
Kiwi (I used a whole one)
Half a Banana
Chia Seeds
Granola
Coconut Flakes
Marcishmo Cherry

Directions:
Combine your almond milk, powders, half of a banana, and puree. Add one ice cube at a time until your smoothie is the consistency you want. Pour into a bowl, and top with your favorite ingredients! Easy peezy. Garnish with your toothpick umbrella, close your eyes, and play some Jimmy Buffet to ease those “I’m not at the beach” woes.

xoxo –  Amber

The Best Key Lime Pie Ever

The Best Key Lime Pie Ever

As much as I love making healthy recipes, I LOVE making pies, especially key lime. When I first started making key lime, I researched what an authentic version consisted of, and what not to do. For instance, a real key lime pie is not green!

After trying many recipes, I came up with my own and it is pretty darn great. Eventually, I’m going to test out the waters and make a grain-free, paleo pie.

If you’re having a difficult time finding key limes, don’t worry – it tastes great even with regular limes. I’m in Los Angeles this week, and we couldn’t find key limes anywhere, which is so baffling. I can find them in Nashville and not L.A?! Everyone still loved the pie, including my uncle who has had mine before with key limes, so do not fret! I just called it, “California Lime Pie,” instead. 😉

Please do not try and skimp on time by purchasing a pre-made crust. The crust is one of the best parts about this pie, and every time I’ve made it, people rave about the crust’s deliciousness – do. not. skip. it.

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The Best Key Lime Pie Ever
Serves: 8

For the crust:
1/2 sleeve of honey graham crackers (about 18 squares)
1/2 stick of unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar

For the pie filling:
2 cans of 14oz sweetened condensed milk
1 lb of key limes or 15 limes (if you use regular limes, taste your batter before you cook it)
2 whole eggs

For the topping:
1 cup sour cream
2.5 tbsp powdered sugar
Lime Zest

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, crush graham crackers until all are completely crushed. Combine cracker dust, melted butter, and sugar. Press evenly into pie pan and bake 15 minutes. Check crust – with so much butter, the crust tends to sink down into the pan. With a fork, press crust down evenly and bake another 5 minutes.

Turn oven down to 325. For the filling, mix condensed milk, eggs and squeezed lime juice into mixing bowl. Mix well, and pour into your crust pie shell. Bake for 20 minutes.

Once pie is finished baking, remove from oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix sour cream and powdered sugar until combine. Once pie is cooled, spread topping on evenly. Zest lime on top of your pie topping. Chill for at least 1 hour, and voila!

xoxo – Amber

key lime