Tag Archives: gluten free

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Classic Candy with a Healthy Twist

If you hear the words “peanut butter cup”, I am sure you think of that certain candy with an orange wrapper, AKA chocolate-coated-peanut-buttery-goodness. Ah yes. They are certainly delicious, but those candies have 16 grams (8 per cup) of sugar! I’m sure you know by now that I have a huge sweet tooth [monster], and I’m definitely a fan of the classic peanut butter/chocolate pairing. Before I discovered the effects of sugar on my anxiety, I could gobble up 2 orange packages (32 grams of sugar!) without batting an eye…then, when I was lying in bed wide awake at 2 AM, I would wonder why my chest was tight and my heart was racing. *face palm*

For Zemirah’s stocking this Christmas I…I mean, Santa…decided to make refined sugar free candies, and peanut butter cups were first on the list! I made them again for her birthday, and they were a hit! If you ask me, these peanut butter cups taste even better than the ones with the orange wrapper; they are vegan, no bake, gluten free, can be made paleo, and the best part (to me) is that they are refined sugar free! Sweetened only with maple syrup, these peanut butter cups will give you the nostalgia of opening one of those orange packages, with an even better taste, and won’t send your blood sugar soaring! These little treats would be the perfect things to pack in your kiddo’s lunch box for their Valentine’s Day treat; they will love them, and you will love knowing they will still be able to focus in school without a sugar crash! Chocolate-coated-peanut-buttery-refined-sugar-free-goodness for the win!

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Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Makes 6 large peanut butter cups. Could easily be doubled.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Line 6 muffin tins with parchment paper cupcake liners
  • In a microwave safe bowl, combine the baking chocolate and 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil
  • Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until completely melted and smooth
  • Combine peanut butter, maple syrup, salt, and coconut flour in a separate bowl
  • Fill each liner about 1/5 of the way with chocolate
  • Scoop a large spoonful of the peanut butter mixture on top of each, flatten with a spoon
  • Cover each peanut butter scoop with remaining chocolate
  • Chill in refrigerator for about an hour, until firm
  • Keep leftovers covered, in fridge, for 5-7 days (though they will be gone in 2!)

For more nut butter/chocolate goodness, check out my Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie BarsTwo Layer Paleo FudgePeanut Butter and Chocolate Overnight Oats, and Wholesome Chocolate Chunk Cookies. And for more no bake desserts (is there anything better?!) check out my Microwave Molten Lava CakeNo Bake Chocolate Date Cake, and Chocolate Banana “Nice” Cream. I hope you find a treat you love for this Love Day, and don’t forget to pin it (at the bottom of the page) so you can keep coming back to it! Celebrate this Valentine’s Day with some refined sugar free chocolate, keep your sugar monster silenced, your blood sugar regular…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you; just a small pantry fund for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Microwave Molten Lava Cake

Chocolate Love

It’s February: the month of love, flowers, and, most importantly, chocolate. Some people love candies and cookies, but cake, namely chocolate cake, is my favorite dessert; if anyone wanted to speak my love language (gifts), you should gift me with some homemade chocolate cake, and we would probably be BFFLs.

But this isn’t about me. This is about you and your special someone celebrating Valentine’s Day together. Making a cake is always a great way to celebrate! Unfortunately, making a cake is usually time consuming, it’s usually chock full of butter and white sugar, and a whole cake seems kind of daunting sitting on your counter. You may already have a stomach ache, but you don’t want to waste this gorgeous cake. *sigh*

However, this cake is the solution to all of those problems! It is dairy free, flour free, refined sugar free, the perfect size for two lovebirds to share, and it cooks in about two minutes in your microwave! If you are celebrating Valentine’s Day solo this year (which was me 5/7 years my husband and I have been together), never fear! You can totally make this cake just for you, eat the whole thing, or save the other half. Whether you are single, happily coupled, or celebrating with your pals, Microwave Molten Lava Cake is the perfect guilt-free chocolate indulgence!

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Microwave Molten Lava Cake

Serves two.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Melt two ounces of dark chocolate in a large microwavable bowl, heat 30 seconds, stir, heat another 30, then stir again
  • Add all other ingredients except egg
  • Stir until combined
  • Let cool for a couple minutes before adding egg…otherwise your cake will be streaked with scrambled egg. Not that I speak from experience or anything…
  • Beat and combine egg well (again, you don’t want scrambled egg cake)
  • Press the other ounce of dark chocolate down into the center of the batter
  • Microwave for 1.5 minutes
  • Top with desired toppings
  • Let cool for a few minutes
  • Dive in

I don’t think desserts get much easier than this! If you are looking for another Love Day dessert that’s actually baked in an oven, check out my Wholesome Chocolate Chunk CookiesChocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie Bars, or Dark Chocolate Paleo Brownies. If no-bake treats are your thing, I’ve got you covered with my Chocolate Banana “Nice” CreamTwo Layer Paleo Fudge, or my No Bake Chocolate Date Cake.

Go to my “Desserts” menu and use the drop down arrow to see what else I have for you! I am sure you will find something special for this special holiday! Love your family, friends, and chocolate…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

Oven Baked Fries

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Delicious AND Nutritious

It’s not often that the words “fries” and “nutritious” are used in the same sentence, but in this case, they are! These fries are baked, not fried (should I call them French Bakes?), and only have one tablespoon of olive oil used, so they aren’t dripping unhealthy grease everywhere. I have said before (here and here) that potatoes aren’t the villains they’re made out to be. No, in fact, they are the hero’s (the hero being vegetables, of course) side kick, a little quiet and plain, but with the right amount of healthy attention, flourishes and compliments the hero quite nicely!

Okay, weird super hero analogies aside, potatoes actually are good for you! They contain plenty of fiber and protein, and sweet potatoes have lots of vitamins A and C in them, which you can read about here. And, I mean, who wouldn’t want to eat a hot, salty, crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside french fry?! Dunk it in some homemade or store bought ranch or ketchup and you’ve got the perfect side dish or snack. Let me just wipe the drool off my keyboard and get to the recipe now…

Oven Baked Fries

Serves about 5, but could easily be doubled.

Ingredients:

  • Two large potatoes, russet or sweet, or a combo, cut into fry shaped strips (quick tutorial on my Instagram)
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of dried parsley
  • 1 tsp of nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp of black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp of paprika

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • Prepare a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Place sliced potatoes on prepared baking sheet
  • Drizzle with oil of choice
  • Evenly sprinkle seasonings
  • Using your hands, mix potato slices so they are all evenly coated with oil and seasonings
  • Arrange the potatoes in an even layer, so that each slice is on the tray
  • Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes
  • Remove from oven and flip each fry
  • Return to oven and bake for another 15-25 minutes, depending on your desired crispy-ness
  • Eat hot with sauces
  • Leftovers will keep covered in fridge for 5-7 days, I suggest reheating in the oven or in a hot skillet

For other potato sides, be sure to check out my Creamy Whole30 Mashed Potatoes, Mustard Potato Salad, or Roasted Potatoes, and for main dish potato recipes, I have Taco Stuffed Potatoes with Avocado Chipotle Ranch or Slow Cooker Potato and Kale Soup; all of which I’m sure you will love! After all, who doesn’t love a super hero sidekick?!

I hope your family, kiddos included, love these fries as much as mine does, and that they can become a weeknight staple for you. Fries that don’t leave you feeling greasy and regretful – woo! Go on, dunk away…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Slow Cooker Meatballs

App Attack!

For Christmas Eve, I made meatballs in the Crock-Pot, and thought it would be the perfect appetizer to serve at a New Year’s Eve party! Growing up, we always would eat tons of appetizers and finger foods on New Year’s Eve. It was so fun getting to stay up until midnight eating snacks, drinking sparkling cider, and waiting for the ball to drop! Our most common appetizer we would have on New Year’s Eve would be spicy cheese dip…made with a block of soft maybe-not-real cheese. Always a delicious crowd pleaser, but not the most healthy. And now that I know how my body reacts to copious amounts of dairy, I generally steer clear.

So I went a little healthier (and dairy free!) this year. These meatballs are tender, cooked in a flavorful tomato sauce, and so easy to make! Simply make the meat mixture, and toss it all in the slow cooker! I hope your 2019 is a wonderfully blessed year…and I hope you ring in the new year with these Slow Cooker Meatballs!

Slow Cooker Meatballs

Makes about 30-35 meatballs.

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

  • 2 lbs of ground beef
  • 1/2 cup of almond flour 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp of Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp of dried basil
  • 2 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley
  • Optional toppings:
    • Parmesan
    • fresh basil

For the sauce:

  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes (no salt or sugar added)
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes (no salt or sugar added)
  • 15 oz tomato sauce (no salt or sugar added)
  • 10 oz tomato paste (no salt or sugar added)
  • 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 8 oz of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp of dried basil

Directions:

  • Combine all sauce ingredients in a large slow cooker (lined with these for easy cleanup!)
  • Combine all meatball ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  • Using your hands, make sure all ingredients are well incorporated
  • Shape about 2 tbsp worth of meat mixture into balls
  • Place meatballs into sauce, making sure they’re covered by sauce
  • Cover and cook on high for 3 hours
  • Serve warm, with sauce and optional toppings
  • Keep leftovers covered in the fridge for a week

For other appetizers, check out my Spicy Garlic Salsa, which is delicious with plantain chips, or my Classic Garlic Hummus…do you think I like garlic? 😛

For a beautiful centerpiece for your New Year’s Day dinner, take a look at my Ghee, Garlic, and Herb Turkey with GravySheet Pan SalmonCelebration Steaks with Pan Sauce, or my Roasted Chicken with Carrots; all are simple and delicious!

And for sides or desserts, there are so many options, including my ABC Brussels SproutsRoasted PotatoesTwo Layer Paleo FudgeDark Chocolate Paleo Brownies, or Wholesome Chocolate Chunk Cookies to name a few!

Let me know what your New Year’s Eve/Day traditions are! Whatever you may be doing, I pray for blessings on your new year, with lots of healthy and good food. Celebrate the new year…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links, it is of no cost to you, just a small pantry fund for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Two Layer Paleo Fudge

This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small pantry fund for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

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Oh Fudge!

I made a big mistake this week. As I’ve written before, sugar greatly increases my anxiety and insomnia; however, for some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to eat some sugar-y, albeit tasty, treats literally right before bed. *eye roll* I woke up from a nightmare (which I never have) at 3 AM with a pounding heart, and couldn’t fall back asleep until 5 AM. Ugh! Why must my sugar monster haunt me so?! Especially at Christmas time…all the candies, cookies, sweet drinks, snacks, and fudge.

Growing up, fudge was always in ample supply at my house around the holidays; my sisters and I would always fight over who got to lick the spoon after my mom made it. To be honest, I will most likely enjoy some traditional fudge this season…but I will make sure it is not too close to bed time, and because I know how my body reacts to refined sugar, I will eat it sparingly. However, I won’t feel deprived because I’ll have my own vegan and refined sugar free fudge, too! This fudge is sweetened with maple syrup, which is high in antioxidants and nutrients, there is protein from the nut butter and dark chocolate, and plenty of healthy fats from the coconut milk and oil. I can eat a few pieces of this healthier fudge without feeling guilty… and it doesn’t hurt that it has a chewy and rich bottom layer topped with a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate layer. What can I say? I’m trying to stay healthy!

Two Layer Paleo Fudge

Makes one 8×8 pan.

Ingredients:

Bottom Layer:

Top Layer:

  • 4 oz dark baking chocolate (or you could combine baking chocolate with coco powder, but straight coco powder will make it lumpy…not that I speak from experience…)
  • 4 tbsp full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Optional: flaky sea salt for topping

Directions:

Bottom Layer:

  • Grease an 8×8 baking pan
  • Combine all bottom layer ingredients in a small mixing bowl
  • Stir together until well combined
  • Using a rubber spatula, spread almond butter layer out evenly in the pan

Top Layer:

  • Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl
  • Heat for 30 seconds, stir
  • Heat an additional 15-30 seconds if needed and stir again
  • Once combined, the chocolate mixture should look like thick batter
  • Using a rubber spatula, spread the chocolate layer on top of the almond butter layer
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours
  • Top with flaky sea salt, if desired, before slicing
  • Store, covered, in fridge for a week

For more nut butter/chocolate combinations, check out my Peanut Butter and Chocolate Overnight OatsChocolate Banana “Nice” CreamWholesome Chocolate Chunk Cookies, and Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie Bars. And for more Christmas-time recipes, I recently posted my Molasses Cookies, and Death by Hot Chocolate. It doesn’t get more Christmas-y than fudge, and this fudge is dangerously simple, but since it’s basically a chocolate coated vitamin, there’s nothing to worry about! 😉 I hope your home is full of family, love, and all the warmth that this season brings. Oh, and treats! Eat all the treats…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

 

Death by Hot Chocolate

This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small pantry fund for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

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Hot, hot, hot! Hot Chocolate!

This is the song from the sweet movie The Polar Express; where Tom Hanks secretly voices nearly every character and the songs make you feel nostalgic and teary-eyed. I specifically remember the “Hot Chocolate” song because the coco the kids were given by the singing and dancing servers looked amazingly luxurious, like pure melted chocolate, and left them lounging with whipped cream mustaches in a chocolate stupor.

Tomorrow is December 1st, kicking off the Christmas season, and I want to end pretty much every day in a chocolate stupor, but I don’t want to end every day with sugar-induced anxiety and headaches. Thankfully, I have a refined sugar free and dairy free hot chocolate that will get you chocolate wasted in record time all while warming your belly, and putting a smile on your face this Christmas season.

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Death by Hot Chocolate

Serves 4-6 depending on mug size.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients, except coconut cream, in a medium pot
  • If making the whipped coconut cream, simply whip the cream (you could add in vanilla or peppermint oil if desired) until fluffy, and keep in fridge while you make the hot chocolate
  • Turn burner on medium low
  • Let simmer until steaming, and bubbles start to form on the outside, whisking constantly
  • Carefully pour into mugs, and top with whipped coconut cream if desired
  • Let cool a little bit so you don’t burn your tongue…it’s hard to be patient 😛
  • If there are leftovers, store covered in fridge, and reheat on the stove

If, like me, you have a major sweet tooth [monster], you probably need a cookie…or two…to go with your coco. These go splendidly with my Wholesome Chocolate Chunk Cookies; my husband dunked his right into the coco, and you could also try it with my Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie Bars. I have a lot of fun holiday recipes that I’m excited to share with you all this coming month! Let me know what your favorite holiday drink is, and let me know on Instagram and/or Facebook (links found on the bottom of the page) if you make this Death by Hot Chocolate. Good luck with your Christmas shopping…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

No Bake Pumpkin Pie

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you; just a small pantry fund for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy! 

Tradition!

Thinking of the title for this first section, all I could think/sing was “Tradition” from Fiddler on the Roof…which then brought back a flood of old choreography from my college production and memories of my hot college boyfriend (now husband) playing Perchick. But that’s beside the point. The actual point is that at this time of year there are so many wonderful family traditions, and, unfortunately, some unhealthy food traditions.

One of the big Thanksgiving traditions is, of course, pumpkin pie, and it is honestly one of my favorites, but, wow, it is packed with sugar! I did a little research on a certain chain grocery store’s website and found that their bakery’s pumpkin pie contains 29 grams of sugar for a 4 ounce slice! Not only that, but the ingredients list was a cornucopia (see what I did there?) of artificial flavorings, science-y words I can’t pronounce, and, everyone’s favorite, high fructose corn syrup. Pumpkin pie may be tradition, but that tradition shouldn’t include mood swings and anxiety brought on by imbalanced blood sugar.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have your *pie* and eat it, too, because I have the solution! What I have is a vegan, no bake (can it get any easier?!), refined sugar free, and gluten free pumpkin pie. It is simple, sweet, spiced, and the main ingredient is *surprise* pumpkin, so it’s basically a vegetable side 😉 I hope you shake up the tradition of sugar crashes and bring this delicious pie to the Thanksgiving table!

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No Bake Pumpkin Pie

Makes one standard 9 inch pie.

Ingredients:

For the crust:

For the filling:

Directions:

For the crust:

  • Grease a 9 inch pie pan
  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor (psst…great Christmas gift 😉 ) or blender
  • Pulse until combined, mixture should be balled up and sticky
  • Press out in prepared pan, it will be thin
  • Place in freezer while you prepare the filling

For the filling:

  • Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl
  • Beat together until smooth
  • Spread filling into chilled pie crust
  • Cover and let chill overnight
  • Slice and serve cold with whipped cream, if desired
    • I should mention here that I attempted whipped cream with coconut milk (probably would have been better with coconut cream), but it did not turn out, so it was more of a delicious drizzle!

For more pumpkin goodness, check out my Pumpkin Bread with Crumb ToppingPumpkin Pie Coffee Creamer, and Pumpkin Spice Cake!

If no bake desserts are your thing, I also have No Bake Chocolate Date Cake and Chocolate Banana “Nice” Cream!

And if you need some ideas for healthy side dishes this Thanksgiving, I’ve got you covered with Roasted PotatoesCreamy Whole30 Mashed Potatoes, and Crispy Brussels Sprouts! I wish I could have done a turkey recipe this year, but due to our move to Texas, I just didn’t have the time; however, you can use the same recipe from my Roasted Chicken with Carrots and simply adjust the time and temperature for your turkey (about 15 minutes per pound at 325 F).

Turn traditional pumpkin pie healthier, have a happy Thanksgiving…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

 

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