Don’t give up on dessert. It is one of life’s little pleasures. Show your sweet tooth some love with these treats that are delicious, guilt free and good for you….A delightful trifecta.
Sea Salt Pumpkin Butter Cups
Lexiscleankitchen.com offers this awesomely tasty take on a classic. Only 5 ingredients and you’re on your way to delicious, swoon worthy goodness.
2 cups dark chocolate1/3 cup crunchy almond butter3 tablespoons pumpkin puree1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice1 teaspoon honeyCoarse sea salt, for sprinkling on top
Melt chocolate as desired (stovetop or microwave).Place mini cup molds on a baking sheet.In a bowl combine almond butter, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and honey.Place 1/2 tablespoon of chocolate into each of the molds.Drop in 1 teaspoon of almond-pumpkin mixture into the center of the chocolate.Cover with remaining chocolate. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.Place in refrigerator or freezer until cups harden.
Carrot Oatmeal Cookies
Amyshealthybaking.com offers these golden nuggets that are sure to be a hit in your home or at the bake sale. Here’s her recipe:
1 cup (100g) instant oats(measured like this and gluten-free if necessary)¾ cup (90g) whole wheat or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)1 ½ tsp baking powder1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon⅛ tsp salt2 tbsp. (28g) coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly1 large egg, room temperature1 tsp vanilla extract½ cup (120mL) pure maple syrup¾ cup (68g) grated carrots (about 1 smallish medium)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg, and vanilla. Stir in the maple syrup until thoroughly incorporated. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Fold in the carrots. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. (If chilling longer, cover with plastic wrap, ensuring it touches the entire surface of the cookie dough.)
Preheat the oven to 325°F, and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Drop the cookie dough into 15 rounded scoops on the baking sheet. (If chilled longer than 1.5 hours, flatten slightly.) Bake at 325°F for 12-15 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for at least 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
Notes and tips from Amy: It’s incredibly important to measure both the oats and flour correctly, using a kitchen scale or the spoon-and-level method described in the link above. If scooped from the container using the measuring cup, you’ll end up with 1.5 times as much, which will dry out your cookies and make them crumbly.
To make your own instant oats, pulse 1 cup of old-fashioned oats in a food processor 5-8 times.
For the gluten-free flour, I used as follows: ½ c (60g) millet flour, 2 tablespoons (17g) brown rice flour, 2 tablespoons (15g) tapioca flour, and ½ tsp (1g) xanthan gum.
Melted margarine may be substituted for the coconut oil or butter. Regardless of which is used, be sure that the egg is at room temperature before whisking it in. A cold egg added straight from the fridge would rapidly cool the fat source, resulting in small blobs of semi-solid coconut oil, butter, or margarine.
Honey or agave may be substituted in place of the pure maple syrup.
Amy’s final piece of advice…
If the cookies are still really flimsy after cooling on the baking sheet for 15 minutes and threaten to break apart, let them cool completely on the baking sheet. That won’t let them crisp up too much, and they’ll still stay soft for an entire week!
Blackberry Merlot Granita
Light, refreshing and oh so tasty. This recipe from Cooking Light gets high marks for pairing delicious with nutritious.
4 cups fresh blackberries3/4 cup water1/2 cup sugar1/2 cup merlot1 tablespoon lemon juice1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes.
Strain the mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl, reserving soaking liquid (do not press berries or the mixture will be cloudy). Reserve berries for another use. Pour mixture into an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish. Cover and freeze until partially frozen (about 2 hours). Scrape mixture with a fork, crushing any lumps. Freeze for 3 hours or until completely frozen, scraping with a fork every hour. Remove from freezer; scrape mixture with a fork until fluffy.
Who says dessert can’t be tasty and guilt free? These good for you treats are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth and help you stay on track to meet your health goals. Enjoy!