Opposites

caprese nobake

These two items are completely opposite in nature, and that is okay with me!

First the caprese salad, which I am currently quite taken by. It is so simple and quick to make and tastes wonderful. Tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, a drizzle of olive oil, fresh ground pepper and coarse sea salt. Yum!

The second photo shows the ‘best ever chocolate oatmeal no-bake bars’ which I found at mommysavingmom.com. Again, this recipe is quick and simple and delicious. I left out the nuts, raisins or dried cranberries, more for my kids’ sakes than my own, although I would never add raisins anyway. I think dried cranberries would be very good in this though. I did not have quite enough peanut butter, so I used half peanut butter and half almond butter. I have a child who detests peanut butter, so I am waiting with bated breath to see if he will like these bars. Of course, he also is not a big chocolate-lover, so it might not really matter. And these bars are quite chocolaty! I think that I might use even more oats and coconut in the future to cut down on some of that chocolate goodness.

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Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

cupcake

This recipe comes from a site, The Healthy Chef, that I recently discovered via Facebook. Where various options were listed, I used avocado oil, 1% milk, and raw honey. The recipe makes 12 cupcakes, but I used a mini muffin pan (baked for only 20 minutes) and almost got 24.

Once the cupcakes were cool, I sampled one. I liked it. I think my kids might like them, although one is not a big chocolate fan and one is super picky. My daughter will like them, I’m sure. Mostly.

These cupcakes are not overly sweet on their own, but I can live with that. Even with the mini size, I found eating one to be quite satisfying. If the kids don’t like them, I can always throw them in the freezer and pull one out to enjoy from time to time.

Brownie Cupcakes

 

Here is another recipe from Damy Health. I used almond butter instead of the cashew butter, but I don’t think it really made a difference.

My non-chocolate loving son tried one before I got around to making the frosting. He did not like it, which isn’t so surprising since he doesn’t really like chocolate. He said they tasted too healthy. If he only knew!

My daughter tried one without frosting and couldn’t wait for one with frosting.

These brownies are small and rich without being overly sweet. I didn’t pile on the frosting, so there was a fair bit leftover.

Double Chocolate Brownies

 

This is another wheat-free brownie recipe from Elana’s Pantry. I really enjoyed her brownie recipe that I blogged about last month, but that recipe requires an entire jar of almond butter and I am not prepared to go through that much almond butter on a regular basis.

I followed this recipe as it is written, although I would likely try substituting honey for the agave syrup and coconut oil for the grapeseed oil if I were to make it again. The only change I did make this time was to completely ignore the walnuts, because my kids tend to not like nuts in their brownies. I don’t mind nuts in my brownies, so that might be something else I would change-up in the future.

These brownies are very rich and gooey, kind of cake-like. While they are indeed delicious, I think I actually prefer the recipe with the almond butter.

Wheat-free Brownies

 

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So, my attempt at making a wheat-free shortbread did not go as hoped for. Live and learn!

On the other hand, these brownies are amazing! The recipe comes from Elana’s Pantry, which tends to be reliable when it comes to producing tasty, healthy wheat-free baking. The recipe is simple and easy to make, although it could be a little pricey because you need a lot of almond butter, like almost an entire small jar, which runs around $7-10 around here.

The good news is that this recipe fills a 9×13 pan. Also, you could play with the flavours by using different chocolate chips. I used a combination of white chocolate chips and mint chocolate chips (not exactly the healthy choice but they work well enough for me). I used honey instead of the agave syrup.

I was surprised by how high the batter rose up while baking, and I also found that the brownies required the full 40 minutes of bake time. Even then, I think I could have baked them a bit longer, but the toothpick came out clean, so I pulled them out. They sank quite a bit as they cooled, but they still taste delicious. They are chewy, gooey, and you really don’t miss the flour at all!

Cranberry Chocolate Biscotti

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I have been wanting to bake for weeks, but because of surgery I was not able to do so until now. Yesterday I made this recipe from a site I frequent often. The author follows a Paleo diet, which I do not follow; however, I like the wheat-free aspect of her recipes. This biscotti is quite tasty and easy to make. I do need to find a better way to get a hold of blanched almond flour though, because it is expensive. This recipe uses 3 cups of almond flour. The one pound box of almond flour I bought last week was on sale for $17! But, the biscotti turned out well, although a little dark, so I would probably decrease the second and third baking times.

Next I want to make shortbread, but I want to try a wheat-free flour. This might have to wait until tomorrow though, because I still need to take it easy and today has enough happening as it is.

Chocolate Ganache Cookie Dough Squares

Here is another Damy Health recipe. (Just click on the link to see it.)

Now this recipe may not be particularly clean, but it is delicious. It is made with natural, clean ingredients; however, there is a lot of coconut oil, so this is definitely a treat. This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, and no-bake, but it does require a few hours in the freezer.

Many of the recipes found on Damy Health are super easy to make. You throw most of the ingredients in your food processor and then into the baking pan. This is another one of those quick and simple recipes. However, I did find it difficult to mix in the dark chocolate chips after blending all the cookie dough ingredients together. The dough was very stiff to work with. I did add one tablespoon of water as the dough was blending, but perhaps I should have added a second tablespoon of water. I will need to try that next time I make these squares.

The recipe calls for the squares to be in the freezer for three hours, which I found to be a little too long. I pulled mine out after two and three-quarter hours, and I had a tough time cutting my pieces. After cutting, I simply put my squares into the fridge, rather than back in the freezer.

Also, the recipe states that it makes 12 squares, but I cut mine into 16. Depending on your sweet tooth, I think you could even cut them into smaller pieces. These squares are definitely delicious, but even one sixteenth of an 8×8 pan is almost too rich for me. I like sweet and rich, but I have my limits.

I have a child who does not like peanuts or anything peanut-related. He will eat almonds and some other nuts, but he will not get past the taste of peanut. This recipe uses peanuts and cashews, but I might try almonds and cashews next time. What could it hurt?