Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Pie

Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Pie 05

 

I’m not typically a pie person.  I mean, I love a good pie if it’s made well and the ingredients are fresh but I’m much more likely to bake a cake.  That’s why I haven’t experimented much with GF and paleo pie crusts.  We all have our thing right?  Until very recentIy I didn’t even own a fancy pie dish!  It was actually when I was trying to come up with this recipe that I realized I needed a pie dish.  I have the standard pyrex pie dish that comes in those pyrex tupperware sets, but I wanted something pretty that would photograph well.  I’m such a sucker for cute serving dishes anyway so it didn’t take me long to convince myself that I “needed” to go pick out a pie dish!

We were having the family over a few days after my pie dish purchase and I figured why not try out the new recipe on my relatives.  My sister is on a paleo diet and it seems like the whole family is trying to eat healthy these days so I’m always experimenting with paleo desserts when we get together so that there is something for everyone.  Plus that gives me a house full of judges who can let me know if its a “woohoo” or a “try again”.  We all love chocolate, the flavor of hazelnuts, and how stinkin’ amazing they taste when you pair them up.  Chocolate and hazelnuts are like the dynamic duo, you just can’t go wrong.  So I attempted this chocolate hazelnut cream pie to serve when everyone was over, but the crust didn’t taste quite right.  It had a sort of burnt flavor that came on a little strong.  Most of the pie was eaten up anyhow, and the only people who really noticed the flavor being a little off were my sister and I which was enough for me.  The filling however was heavenly so we ended up just spooning the rest of it right out of the dish.  Yup just her and I later that night, with wine I believe.  I have been meaning to give the recipe another go and I think I nailed it this time!

Hazelnuts have an amazing flavor but they are potent so you have to be careful not to over do it.  I had originally included hazelnuts in the crust and I think that’s what gave it such a harsh flavor.  I left them out of the crust this time and it lightened up the flavor making for a slightly crunchy crust that’s not too sweet.  Perfect!  You don’t know how hard it was not to just dig into this thing once it was done!  After I photographed it and cut into it though, I totally licked that spatula clean!  My 10 year old and 5 year old really liked it too.  They finished up the mixture for the filling from the vitamix after the pie dish was filled.  Couldn’t keep their little fingers out of there!  Considering it’s made of completely wholesome ingredients and no processed sugars, I was not about to stop them!

 

Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Pie 02

 

 

Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Pie 03

 

Ingredients

For the Crust

1 cup almond meal

3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

4 Tbs honey

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 tsp baking soda

 

For the Cream Filling

1 14oz can coconut cream

7 dates, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes

1/4 cup hazelnuts

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

 

Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Pie 04

 

Method

Grease a 9 inch pie dish or baking pan and preheat your oven to 350*F.  Starting with the first ingredient for the pie crust, place all the ingredients in a food processor.  Process until completely combined.  It should feel like a grainy dough.  Press the dough for the crust into the greased dish until it’s evenly spread out.  Place the crust in the oven for 10 minutes or until slightly browned.

Once you have removed your pie crust from the oven, let it cool for about 20 minutes.  Somewhere in that 20 minutes you can blend up the ingredients for the cream filling.  Starting with the coconut cream, add all of the ingredient for the cream filling to your blender.  Blend together until well combined and you can no longer see pieces of the dates or hazelnuts.

Now you’re ready to pour the mixture for the filling into the pie crust.  After you do that refrigerate it for at least an hour so the cream can set.  Once that’s done, grab a spoon and dig in!

 

 

 

 

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AB&J Protein Smoothie

AB&J Smoothie 02

AB&J Smoothie 02

 

 

First of all I want to apologize for going MIA on you.  It’s been over a month since my last post!  I’m still new to this blogging thing and getting used to organizing my time, and well life happens.  Oh and there has been a whole lotta LIFE happening in my world!  Between family and our recent India trip which you’ll hear all about soon, it’s been all kinds of cray-cray! I’ts a horrible excuse I know but I’m working on it and trying to get better at posting regularly regardless of what is going on in the rest of the universe.

Now without further ado, I bring you the best smoothie ever!  This is my all time favorite go-to smoothie.  If you are a Nekter junkie like I am then you are familiar with the PB bowl.  The PB Bowl is an acai bowl that literally tastes like PB&J in a bowl accept I always sub out the PB for almond butter so I have dubbed it the AB&J bowl.  At Nekter they include frozen bananas in the mix and top it with amazing stuff like strawberries and granola.  I love the bowl so much that I set out to concoct my own smoothie version!

I rarely eat bananas.  I don’t know why, but I tend to overlook them so I left them out.  Frozen cherries just taste really good in smoothies so I threw those in for the “jam” effect and a little frozen pineapple to sweeten things up.  You can add vanilla or a flavorless protein of your choice and you have yourself a fabulous protein smoothie!  It’s so stinkin’ good!  I make bowls with it too and top them with shredded coconut, cocao nibs, berries, and all that yummy stuff.  The protein powder and almond butter make it a pretty filling smoothie, perfect when you’re on the go.

I usually whip one up after a workout or to take along to soccer practice because this mama needs her protein if I’m going to keep going and going and going and basically never stop!  Especially if you work out on a regular basis replenishing your protein is a must and this smoothie makes for a healthy snack that you can feel good about.  Lately I’ve been using the Vega Sport vanilla protein powder.  I’m not vegan and my body is okay with whey protein but I don’t like all of the artificial sweeteners and unnecessary additives that a lot of companies put in their protein powder.  Vega is an entirely vegan, all natural brand, and their sport line is great for muscle recovery.  I sometimes use an unflavored whey protein, however if you’re trying to keep it vegan or paleo hemp protein is a great add in too.  Whatever protein you go with or if you choose to leave it out entirely, you’re going to loooooove this smoothie!

 

AB&J Smoothie 01

 

 

AB&J Smoothie 03

 

 

Ingredients

3/4 cup almond milk

1/2 cup frozen cherries (about 9 cherries)

1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks

3 Tbs almond meal

2 Tbs almond butter

1 cup vanilla or unflavored protein powder

 

Method

Starting with the almond milk, put all the ingredients, in the order they are listed, in a blender.  Blend together until all the fruit and everything else it completely blended.  Place in a cup or just scoop it out of the blender if you can’t wait! :)  I really do take a spoon to my vitamix after I’ve poured most of it into a cup.  There’s all that yumminess still left in there that you can’t totally get out and I don’t want to waste it!

Have a great week everyone!

 

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Peruvian Style Pesto

Peruvian Style Pesto

 

I have mentioned in a couple of posts that I come from a multicultural family which makes things pretty amazing where food is concerned.  My dad is from Peru but because he left at such a young age, we weren’t taught a whole lot about the culture.  He has always been proud of his heritage and there are a few traditions that he carried on.  One of them being the food! There were a hand full of Peruvian dishes that my dad would make at home and we all loved it when he did.

One of those dishes is Tallarin Verde; spaghetti tossed in a basil based sauce.  In our house it was always called green spaghetti. I never even knew it was called Tallarin Verde until I started going to Peruvian restaurants! This dish is usually served with a big old steak on top.  So good!  My dad stopped cooking years ago and then my mom would make it from time to time.  We even switched the noodles to gluten free once we could find ones that tasted good and then my sister went paleo and I went semi paleo and my mom gave up!  The sauce is basically a pesto so it does call for cheese.  My dad would use like a quarter pound of feta cheese in his sauce!

My dad was so funny when he would cook too.  The whole kitchen had to be left to him.  He didn’t want anyone is his way and then there was the mess afterwards!  Once my mom was out and my dad was making green spaghetti for dinner.  He was mixing up the sauce in the blender and had left the lid off!  There was green sauce all over the kitchen and the ceiling! Thinking about it cracks me up.  I think of it almost every time I use my blender which makes me triple check that I put the lid on!

Obviously there are a lot of memories around green spaghetti, but the flavor is all in the sauce.  Since I try to stay away from cheese and don’t eat much pasta nowadays I decided to paloe-ify my dad’s Peruvian style pesto.  I’ve seen many recipes that include pine nuts like a traditional pesto but he never used any of that.  I did need to add a bit of nuttiness to replace the flavor of the cheese though.  I tried a few different combinations and they were all good, but I think this one tastes the most like my dad’s sauce.  It is super simple to whip up in a blender or food processor and you can use it on just about anything!  I love it on veggies, spaghetti squash, sandwiches, and meat too.

 

Peruvian Style Pesto 02

 

Peruvian Style Pesto 01

 

Ingredients

1/2 tsp vegetable oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/3 cup olive oil

3 cups fresh basil

1 heaping cup baby spinach

1/4 cup undalted cashews

1/4 cup walnuts

1 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

 

Method

Pour vegetable oil into a pan and heat the pan on medium heat.  Add the chopped garlic to the pan and cook on medium/low heat until the garlic turns golden.  Remove from heat.

Add the garlic and the rest of the ingredients to a food processor or blender.  I use my vitamix.  Blend until it becomes a thick creamy sauce.  Enjoy it on some avocado toast or meat and veggies.  The sauce freezes well too so you can always freeze it for later.  I had mine on spaghetti squash this time and loved it!  I hope my dad’s Peruvian style pesto brings you guys as many sweet memories as it has brought me!

 

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Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies

Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies 02

 

A year ago I would have breakfast around noon and eat like 2 meals a day thinking I was doing myself a favor.  I could not have been more wrong!  There is no way I could do that now.  I wake up starving and some days I even need a light snack before bed.  The problem with breakfast though is finding the time to make it and eat it before you have to run out the door.  I usually go with some form of eggs because I love them and they’re quick and packed with protein.  I can’t believe I’m saying this but sometimes I need a break from eggs.

To relieve my breakfast boredom I will have almond meal some days or chia seed pudding and fruit.  Then there are the days where I have to take my brekkie to go.  What am I supposed to do then?  I have actually eaten scrambled eggs in the car while driving.  It was not my finest moment. I usually end up spilling stuff all over myself plus I don’t think eating and driving are the safest option.  When you have to rush like that it takes all the joy out of the meal.  You don’t even taste anything, it’s just to fill up so you’re not passing out later.  I don’t know about you but this girl likes to enjoy her food!

I was looking into some make ahead breakfast recipes and I found a Breakfast Cookie recipe from Against All Grain.  I had all of the main ingredients at home so my five year old and I whipped up a batch.  I made a couple minor changes, but the base of the recipe stayed the same.  They were fantastic!  The recipe called for cinnamon and I love cinnamon so I thought it needed more.  I replaced the currants with cranberries because I didn’t have any currants on hand.  These cookies freeze really well but this first batch did not even make it to the freezer.  They went so fast!  My daughters love them and I gobbled them up so obviously I needed to make another batch and another.  I kept switching up the ingredients to keep things exciting and this last batch resulted in carrot cake breakfast cookies!  Lightly sweetened soft cookies with the yummy flavor of carrot cake and the light crunch of chopped pecans.  I really do love cinnamon though so there is quite a bit in there.  If you’re not a huge cinnamon fan, add 1/2 Tbs instead.

 

Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookie 01s

 

 

**Inspired by the Breakfast Cookies recipe from Against All Grain

Ingredients

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup almond butter

5 pitted dried dates, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes

1/3 cups shredded coconut

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 medium eggs (or 2 flax eggs)

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup grated carrots

2 tbs chopped pecans

 

Method

Preheat oven to 350* F. If you are planning to use flax eggs prepare them about 10 minutes beforehand so they have a chance to set.

In a food processor, combine the coconut flour, almond butter, and dates. Process until well combined.  Next add the shredded coconut, applesauce, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and baking soda.  Mix until a pretty wet batter forms.  This takes about 30 seconds.  Add in the last few ingredients and stir just enough to mix everything together so that you still have some crunchy bits of pecan in there.

Scoop spoonfuls of the dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  You can use a large spoon or a ice cream scoop for this or go old school like I did and use two small spoons.  They pretty much stay the same shape after they are baked so make sure they look how you want them too before they go in the oven.  If you want to flatten them you can do so with a wet spatula.  I like mine kind of lumpy and muffin top looking so I just scoop them into the pan and put them in the oven as is.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the bottoms have browned a bit.

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Butternut Squash & Lentil Soup

Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

 

I must have mentioned about a zillion times that I love soup but I’ll say it again, I love soup! It is the most comforting meal for me.  Creamy soups are my favorite, but anything warm and full of flavor works too.  Plus it’s fall, so that means festive herbs and spices and lots of different types of squash.  I think my very first recipe on this site was a butternut squash recipe.  When it’s in season I include it in my meals at least a couple times a week.  I pick up the pre-cut bags of butternut squash from Trader Joe’s and keep them in the fridge.

In my kitchen butternut squash gets pureed, chopped, steamed, roasted, and just plain cooked a lot.  Most of the time I like to steam it and add olive oil and a little Parmesan cheese or I’ll pour a pasta sauce over it with chicken on the side.  Butternut squash is filling which is nice, however doesn’t make you feel like you’re having a heavy meal.  The only thing is that I’m the only one in the house that will eat butternut squash any which way.  My girls and my husband prefer it oven roasted with lots of garlic.  Not that I can blame them!

Last week the hubby was traveling which meant I didn’t have to worry about making something he would want to eat.  I know that sounds horrible, but I’m sure some of you can empathize!  Anyhow, I wanted soup so I made soup.  There needed to be some protein in there and it was veggie Monday, so that’s where the lentils came in.  The soup still looked a little bare with just the butternut squash and lentils so in went the spinach.  After the garlic and herbs and spices were added in, it was delicious!  All of the fabulous flavors of fall!

 

Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup 01

 

*Makes about 4 servings

Ingredients

1 cup water

1 15oz bag butternut squash, cut into pieces

1/4 cup lentils

2 cups chopped spinach

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp oregano

1/2 cup almond milk

salt and pepper to taste

 

Method

The bags of cut butternut squash are great, but the pieces are pretty big so sometimes I cut them into smaller pieces. For this soup I cut each chunk into 2 or 3 pieces because I wanted them to be small enough to get picked up in a spoon.  It cooks a lot quicker this way too!

After you’ve cut the butternut squash and rinsed your lentils add 1 cup water, butternut squash, lentils, spinach, thyme, and oregano to a medium sized pot and bring to a boil on high heat.  Once it starts to boil, turn the stove down to medium/low heat and let the ingredients simmer until the squash and lentils are cooked.  This takes about 20 minutes.

Stir in the almond milk salt and pepper.  Leave the lid off the pot and let it simmer another 5 minutes to let it soak up the almond milk.  Scoop into a nice big soup bowl and eat away!

 

 

 

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Yellow Squash & Carrot Soup

Yellow Squash and Carrot Soup

In most of the country the leaves on the trees are turning the wonderfully warm colors of orange, golden yellow, red, and brown.  The mornings are brisk and fireplaces are being lit in the evening.  Here in southern California however, it’s still 90 degrees!  We wake up sweating in the morning and go to bed with the AC on.  I’m not complaining but I would not mind some soup and sweater weather.  Soup is my favorite!  As soon as the weather cools down I’ll be making soup a few times a week.  That’s the main reason I wanted a vitamix.

Fall is my favorite season!  The leaves falling from the trees, the cooler weather, all the comfort food!  It’s the best!  It’s beautiful on the east coast, but fall has it’s charm in California too.  There’s Thanksgiving and all the cinnamon and nutmeg, an array of pumpkins and squash, and I get to bust out all my sweaters and long sleeves.  It’s really mostly about the food!  Isn’t everything??

I am obviously ready for fall, and I didn’t want to wait for the weather to catch up so soup started making an appearance in my kitchen when it was literally 100 degrees outside.  It started with some butternut squash and apple soup and then some coconut curry soup.  This last time though I had some yellow squash in the fridge and added some carrots in the pot just because it sounded good.  I make yellow squash soup a lot in the fall and winter but not usually with carrots.  Carrots are just so pretty and orange and they add a lovely sweet flavor to things.

Everything said and done, the yellow squash and carrot soup was delicious!  Creamy with lovely flavor and just a touch of sweetness.  I had the left overs with some sauteed mushrooms and chicken sausage that you’ll see in some of the pictures.  Bacon and sausage are always a welcome topping to a sweet and savory soup!

 

Yellow Squash and Carrot Soup 03

 

Yello Squash and carrot soup 04

 

Ingredients

1 cup water

2 organic yellow squash, cut into slices

1 cup organic baby carrots, sliced in half

1 onion, cut into four pieces

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 cup almond milk

salt and pepper to taste

 

Method

Pour 1 cup water, the yellow squash, baby carrots, and onion pieces into a medium sized pot.  Place the lid on top and bring it to a boil on medium/high heat.  Once the water starts to boil, turn the temperature down to low heat and let it lightly boil for 20 minutes.

Remove the pot from heat and let it cool to about room temperature.  Once it has cooled, pour the cooked vegetables into a blender.  Keep the pot you used to cook the veggies handy though.  Add the cumin and almond milk and blend until it’s nice and creamy.  Add salt and pepper to taste and return the soup to the pot you used earlier to reheat it for serving.  Heat on medium heat until it starts to boil then turn off the heat.  It’s ready to be served when you are!

Whether it’s crazy hot outside where you are or crisp and cool, I hope you enjoy this cozy squash and carrot soup!

 

Yellow Squash and Carrot Soup 02

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Spicy Cashews (paleo, vegan, & gluten free)

Spicy Cahews

 

The Indian market has these super spicy cashews that the husband is in love with however they are literally dripping with oil.  They make them in house and I’m not sure why they are so greasy!

As I was leaving for my usual Trader Joe’s run on Monday, I asked the hubby if there was anything in particular he wanted.  He asked for some snacks and then he got this sad look on his face and said he really wanted spicy cashews from the Indian market.  Then he went on about how oily they are and basically talked himself out of it.

My mom always roasts and seasons her own almonds and things so I figured I could just spice up some cashews at home.  I’m always buying cashews anyway!  I take them everywhere with me.  There’s a bag in my car at all times and some at home.  I usually buy the roasted and unsalted ones from Trader Joe’s because I like the way they taste.  I had to think about the flavors of the spicy cashews before I got started.  They are not garlicky and don’t have a lot of herbs.  They’re just flat out spicy!  I played with the amount of heat and for us they came out just right.  I gave my mom some and she said they were a little too spicy, so if a lot of heat isn’t your thing I would recommend 1/2 tsp chili powder.

I think I’ll be whipping up a batch of these a couple times a week.  We go through almonds, walnuts, and cashews pretty quick around these parts.  Now that we have not just cashews but spicy cashews, between the hubby and I they are going to disappear!

Spicy Cashews 3

 

 

Ingredients

2 cups unsalted cashews

1/2 Tbs avocado oil

3/4 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp sea salt

 

Method

Heat a pan on medium heat.  Add oil and cashews to the pan and give them a toss in order to coat the cashews.  Sprinkle in the rest of the ingredients and stir it all together for about 30 seconds or until everything all of the cashews are covered in those yummy spices.  Keep on heat for about 2 minutes and remove from heat.  Let them cool and you can put them in bowl or in a Ziploc bag for later.  In less than 5 minutes you’ve got a healthy and tasty snack.  Enjoy your spicy cashews!

 

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Blueberry Protein Smoothie (paleo, gluten free, & vegan option)

Blueberry Protein Smoothie (2)

Protein, protein, protein!  Must have more protein! This has been my mantra of late.  After recovering from a nasty broken tailbone, I am back on the fitness train.  I enjoy being active and full of energy.  Exercising on a regular basis really helps with all of that. It also relieves stress like no other!  I always struggle with the food part though and I don’t mean that I eat unhealthy.  I actually do not eat enough.  It sounds crazy, but in order to increase muscle and cut fat you actually need to intake a lot of protein.  I get so caught up in running around doing five hundred things that I forget to have a snack in between meals and sometimes I miss meals, and then I’m this crazy hungry person.  I’ve been really good the past few months though.  I pack snacks to take along and I never skip breakfast because I am always hungry.  Always!  Apparently, working out regularly will do that to you.

In an attempt to boost my protein, I have a protein shake at least once a day.  I used to mix the protein powder with water, but I got a Vitamix for my birthday last month and it’s been smoothie palooza ever since! Even the hubs is making smoothies.  We just throw a bunch of fruit in, give it a whirl, and viola!  Last week he added protein powder to one of the smoothies and it tasted awesome!  I’ve actually tried protein powder in my smoothies before and I never liked it, but this was so good.  It didn’t have that chalk like after taste that protein powder always has.

I have a protein smoothie every day now.  Loaded with spinach and frozen fruit it makes a perfect snack and it’s pretty filling.  Today I made one and put it in a to go cup so I could drink it while I was picking up the little ones.  We make a few variations of this smoothie and this is the one that I make most often.  Once I get the measurements figured out, I’ll post some of the others as well.  Trying out some paleo protein powders too so I’ll let you know how those are!

Blueberry Protein Smoothie 4

 

*Makes one smoothie

Ingredients

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 banana

1 cup spinach

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

2 Tbs almond meal

1 scoop protein powder (vanilla or chocolate)

**For a vegan version use vegan protein powder.

 

Method

Place ingredients in the order they are listed into a blender or bullet of some sort and blend really well.  If you are using a Vitamix, just use the Smoothie setting.  If you are using a bullet or another blender, let it run for a minute.  Pour into a nice tall glass or to go cup and you’ve got a perfect afternoon or mid-morning snack.  It’s a little sweet too which helps get rid of that afternoon sugar craving!

 

 

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Mango & Pineapple Parfait (vegan, paleo, & gluten free)

Mango Pinapple Pargait 01

 

My birthday was last month and the whole family came over for dinner.  I have a rule I follow which states that I do not bake my own birthday cake.  It’s the principle of it really.  It’s my birthday, bring me a cake people!  My mom sweetly volunteered to make my cake, but crazy me just couldn’t not make a dessert of any sort since everyone was coming to our place.  I had to make something!

I also had those who are vegan and lactose intolerant in mind because I was pretty sure that my mother’s lovely cake would contain both.  We had a bunch of mangoes in the fridge and I thought how awesome would mangoes taste with coconut cream?! I started salivating just thinking about it, so I ran to the pantry to grab a can of coconut cream and put it in the freezer for a couple of hours.

When making a batch of coconut whipped cream, I usually refrigerate my coconut cream over night.  It just works better that way, but when in a pinch an hour or two in the freezer is workable too.  I didn’t want to add a lot of sugar, so I made a mango puree in the nutribullet and folded it into the coconut whipped cream.  Just those two things together were amazing!  I could have spooned the whole bowl myself, but sharing is caring so I started putting the dessert together.  While I was at it, I decided to make it paleo and use a tad of coconut sugar to sweeten it.

The pineapple chunks I used were frozen and I thawed them for an hour and gave them a pat with a paper towel before adding them to the bowl.  Now, when I made this for my birthday dinner I had added white nectarines as the bottom layer of the trifle dish, but the nectarines were deemed unworthy by some of the relatives so I left them out the second time I made the parfait.  I actually enjoyed the nectarines, but pineapples and mangoes do taste pretty perfect together!

 

Mango Pinapple Parfait 02

 

 

Ingredients

3 mangoes

2 cups pineapple chunks (fresh or frozen)

1 12 oz can coconut cream

2 Tbs coconut sugar

 

Method

Cut two mangoes into little chunks and thaw your pineapple ahead of time if necessary.

Puree one of the mangoes in a bullet, blender, or food processor. Place the mango puree in the fridge.  You would usually just use the cream part of the coconut cream and leave out the water that is left at the bottom of the can, but since this becomes almost mousse like I used all of it. Pour the coconut cream and coconut sugar into the bowl of your mixer.  Mix on medium speed until the cream starts to thicken, then mix on high speed until light and fluffy. About 2 minutes.  Remove the mango puree from the fridge and gently fold it into the coconut whipped cream.

Now you can assemble your parfait starting with the mangoes.  Whether you’re layering it in one big bowl or placing the mango pineapple parfait into individual bowls start with the mangoes.  Then add a layer of the mango coconut cream, a layer of pineapples, another layer of coconut cream, and top it with mango pieces.

Place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.

If by chance you end up with leftovers, pour it into popsicle molds and freeze for 3 hours or more.  The chunks of fruit and coconut cream made delish popsicles!

Mango Pinapple Parfait

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Coconut Mocha Cream Pops (paleo, vegan, & gluten free)

Coconut Mocha Cream Pops

Summer days are here again, and there is nothing better than an ice cold treat on a hot summer day!  My girls have been enjoying their ice cream while I just stare and drool.  Now let me explain why I’m not eating spoonfuls of ice cream and sharing in the brain freezes with them. My doctor told me a few months ago that I need to intake more protein and that my cholesterol was a tad high.

That caught me off guard, since I don’t really eat anything high in fat.  Well, other than cheese.  I’m basically a mouse, so I decided that must be what’s causing it.  I have stopped eating cheese for the most part as apposed to having it on top of everything I eat, and cut out other dairy items that are high in fat.  My last test results showed a much lower level of bad cholesterol or LDL.

I love ice cream though, always have.  In my college days I would order dessert before I had dinner just to make sure that I had room for it.  I know, it was a problem.  I realized years later that my body was probably not very happy with me. Growing up in a house where you hardly ever found anything artificial or super sweet, it wasn’t that difficult for me to return to the old ways.  It has taken some inner strength to not give in to ice cream though!   I’ll have a spoon now and then but nothing crazy!

Luckily I recently discovered banana ice cream, which we like to call “nana cream”.  That has saved me from attacking a tub of ice cream more than once!  I really wanted something a little different a few weeks back, something coffee flavored and creamy.  I know, that’s a very specific craving, but I wanted it!  I was pondering how to make such a thing, and then I remembered the Donut House Coconut Mocha Kcups that my bestie got me hooked on last summer.  There is always coconut cream in my cabinet, so I grabbed it and in the blender it went.

I added some cocoa powder, instant coffee, vanilla extract, and sweetened it with coconut sugar.  I don’t like my coffee that sweet so go ahead and add more sugar if you need to.  I had to blend it and taste it a couple of times before the mixture seemed right, but 4 hours later I had these Coconut Mocha Cream Pops.  Needless to say, I was very happy!  They taste exactly like the Coconut Mocha Kcups! There’s a couple in my freezer at the moment actually.  I may just have to bust one out a little later!

Coconut Mocha Cream Pops 02

 

Ingredients

13oz can coconut cream

1 tsp cocoa powder

3 1/2 tsp instant coffee

1 Tbs coconut sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

 

Method

Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor.  I used my Nutribullet since it’s always on my kitchen counter.  Blend it all up until it is completely mixed together then poor the mixture into popsicle molds.  It should fill 5 or 6 regular size popsicle molds.  I only had four, so I poured the rest of the mixture into silicone ice cube molds.  That worked out really well too.  Pop them into the freezer for 4 hours or more, and you have yourself a super tasty cool summer treat!

 

 

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