Tag Archives: dessert

Mocha Coconut Macadamia Truffles (Paleo & Grain-Free)

Mocha Coconut Macadamia Truffles | stupidesaypaleo.com

Mocha Coconut Macadamia Truffles

Y’all know I don’t do many treat recipes, but every once in a while inspiration strikes and I roll with it. Last night I was working on recipe development for the cookbook, looked over at a jar of Love Bean and a great idea popped into my head.

What’s Love Bean? It’s a fudgy spread that’s dairy-free, grain / gluten-free, vegan and totally delicious. I wouldn’t make these everyday—they are still a sweet treat even though they’re Paleo-friendly—but for a single, lush bite to take care of a sweet craving, they’re perfect.

No Love Bean? The product is a blend of coconut oil, cocoa and coconut sugar and while I have no idea what the proportions are, if you’re savvy in the kitchen you can probably figure out how to make a suitable substitute.

Ingredients for Mocha Coconut Macadamia Truffles

Makes 10 small truffles.

*Use code SEPaleo for 10% off any order

Directions for Mocha Coconut Macadamia Truffles

  1. In a medium bowl, add the coconut, Love Bean fudge, coffee, sea salt and protein powder (optional). Mix well to combine. If the mixture seems very soft, put it in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to firm up. You want it soft enough to roll but not so soft that it falls apart.
  2. Place the chopped macadamia nuts in a shallow bowl or on a plate.
  3. Get a teaspoon of the mixture and shape it into a ball. Drop the truffle into the macadamia nuts and gently roll it around until all sides are coated. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
  4. Store covered in the refrigerator or freezer.

Change It Up

  • If you’re limiting caffeine, you can use decaf coffee or omit it all together. They’re still delicious.
  • Can’t eat nuts? Roll the truffles in cocoa powder or shredded coconut. Or just leave them naked!
  • Use any other chopped nuts you prefer.

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Mocha Coconut Macadamia Truffles | stupidesaypaleo.com

Questions? Leave them in the comments below, and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

Passion Fruit Panna Cotta (Paleo & Dairy-Free)

Passion Fruit Panna Cotta (Paleo & Dairy-Free) | stupideasypaleo.com

There’s nothing better than the smell of passion fruit: tropical, sweet-tart and fragrant! (Okay, maybe the smell of bacon could compete.) I saw some delectable passion fruits at the farmer’s market last weekend and immediately wanted to make something with them. Invariably, my mind jumped to a Paleo-friendly panna cotta.

If you can’t find fresh passion fruit, you can usually find it sold as puree in the frozen foods section of the market. (If you still can’t find it, consider making my Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta recipe instead.) Depending on how sweet your passion fruit is, feel free to adjust how much honey you use. I only used a small amount because I wanted a sweet-tart flavor not unlike a lemon curd.

Serves 4.

Passion Fruit Panna Cotta (Paleo & Dairy-Free) | stupideasypaleo.com

Ingredients for Passion Fruit Panna Cotta

  • ~8 passion fruit (or 1/2 cup passion fruit puree)
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 Tablespoons high-quality gelatin (like this or this)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey, or to taste

Directions for Passion Fruit Panna Cotta

  1. If using prepared passion fruit puree, skip to step 2. If using fresh passion fruit, halve the fruit and scoop the seeds into a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Using the back of a spoon to squish the juice out from the seeds. (You can also use your hands. Definitely a slightly messy job but fun nonetheless.) I was able to get about 1/2 cup of juice from 8 passion fruit.
  2. Pour the passion fruit juice / puree into a medium saucepan. Add the coconut milk and heat the mixture on medium-low but do not allow to boil. Once the mixture is heated, whisk in the gelatin, stirring constantly until it’s dissolved.
  3. Taste the mixture and add 1 Tablespoon of honey (or less or more depending on how tart the fruit is).
  4. Pour the mixture into four small ramekins—or if you’re feeling clever, you can reuse the shells as serving cups and pour the mixture evenly into those. I used an empty egg carton to prop them up. Refrigerate the panna cotta for at least 3 hours or until completely set.

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Passion Fruit Panna Cotta (Paleo & Dairy-Free) | stupideasypaleo.com

Questions? Leave them in the comments below!

Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta (Dairy-free, Paleo)

Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta (Dairy-free, Paleo) | stupideasypaleo.com

Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta is a riff on a traditional Italian panna cotta, but mine is dairy-free. Usually panna cotta is made from a combination of milk, cream, sugar and gelatin—creamy with a slightly firm texture.

Of course, there’s no actual bread in my version, but I incorporated all my favorite French toast flavors: the butteriness from the ghee, richness from the egg yolks, warmth from cinnamon and of course a bit of sweet from maple syrup. A bit of crumbled crispy bacon on top gives a savory counterpoint to the sweetness. And of course, I used coconut milk to keep it dairy-free. Seriously delicious.

Keep in mind that this panna cotta doesn’t set up like super-firm gelatin desserts. I serve it in small Mason jars for a few small, rich bites.

Ingredients for Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta:

Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta (Dairy-free, Paleo) | stupideasypaleo.com

Directions for Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta:

  1. Pour 1/4 cup of the coconut milk into a very small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin on top and let it sit while you prepare the rest of the panna cotta.
  2. In a medium pot, whisk the remainder of the coconut milk, egg yolks, maple syrup, ghee and cinnamon until they’re combined. Warm the mixture over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, but don’t let it boil. You want to warm the mixture enough to dissolve the gelatin but not too much so that the egg yolk starts to scramble.
  3. Turn off the heat and whisk in the coconut milk / gelatin mixture from step 1 until the gelatin is dissolved. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the panna cotta into small ramekins, bowls or Mason jars. I used four 4-ounce Mason jars, like these. Refrigerate for 1–2 hours or until the panna cotta firms up. Serve with a garnish of crumbled bacon and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Change it up:

  • Use homemade almond milk instead of coconut milk.
  • Use honey instead of maple syrup.
  • Omit the ghee if desired.

*Please note that while ghee is technically derived from butter, it’s had the problematic proteins removed during processing and is only pure butterfat. Therefore, some people consider it a dairy product. I, however, don’t because most folks who react to dairy negatively do because of the protein or the carbohydrate fractions, not the fat.

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Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta (Dairy-free, Paleo) | stupideasypaleo.com

Questions? Leave a comment in the box below.

3-Ingredient Banana Pudding

3-Ingredient Banana Pudding | stupideasypaleo.com

This 3-Ingredient Banana Pudding is really simple. While I love convenience, the little cups of chia pudding goodness you can buy at the grocery store can be kind of pricey, especially if you’re watching your wallet.

The possibilities for ingredients are really endless, but this one has just three: banana, coconut milk and chia seeds.

Banana Coconut Chia Ingredients:

Banana Coconut Chia Directions:

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine the banana and coconut milk. Process until smooth.
  2. Throw in the chia seeds and pulse a few times to mix evenly.
  3. Pour into a container and chill for an hour to let the chia seeds plump up a bit. (Or if you’re like me, eat it right away because you don’t want to wait. The seeds will be crunchy, though.)

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3-Ingredient Banana Pudding | stupideasypaleo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever tried chia pudding? What’s your favorite combo?

Dark Chocolate Mint Coconut Butter Cups

Dark Chocolate Mint Coconut Butter CupsDark chocolate mint coconut butter cups are so tempting that I only make them once a year at the holidays as sweet little homemade gifts for family & friends. They’re pretty easy to make and you can put together a large batch relatively quickly. Trust me, they’re always a huge hit!

Not a fan of mint? You can leave out the peppermint extract and just use vanilla extract. They’re still good, but if you’re a fan of peppermint patties, you should give it a try. You can also buy pre-made coconut butter if you’re short on time.

Ingredients for the Dark Chocolate Mint Coconut Butter Cups: 

Dark Chocolate Mint Coconut Butter Cups

Directions for the Dark Chocolate Mint Coconut Butter Cups: 

  1. In a food processor or high speed blender, combine the coconut, vanilla and sea salt.
  2. Allow to process for several minutes (as much as 8 to 10 min in a food pro) – scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple times – until the coconut starts to become smooth. You may need to add melted coconut oil (1+ Tablespoon) to adjust the texture and make it stickier. Note: If you want truly smooth coconut butter, you’ll have to use a high powered blender such as Vitamix or Blendtec. A food processor will almost always result in a slightly grainy texture. Your other option is to buy coconut butter (manna) from the store.
  3. Optional: add the peppermint essential oil and combine well.
  4. Remove to a separate container. You may have extra coconut butter left over. Trust me, you’ll find some way to eat it…it’s really good.
  5. Break chocolate into chunks and put in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high, stirring frequently, until melted. The time completely depends on how dark the chocolate is, percent-wise and how powerful your microwave is. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. You could also use a double boiler to melt the chocolate on the stovetop (my preferred method).

Dark Chocolate Mint Coconut Butter Cups

Assembling the Dark Chocolate Mint Coconut Butter Cups: 

  • Cupcake wrappers (large or small, your choice)
  • Mint coconut butter filling from above
  1. Place a spoonful of melted chocolate into the wrapper, smoothing it out with the back of the spoon to create sides and a bottom. Refrigerate until hardened.
  2. Then, scoop a small amount of the filling into the cup and flatten until it covers the bottom. Hint: one batch of the coconut butter filling should make ~6 large cups or 10-12 small ones.
  3. Place another spoonful of melted chocolate on top and smooth out. Refrigerate to harden.
  4. Store in the refrigerator for best results. May also be kept frozen!

Dark Chocolate Mint Coconut Butter Cups

Change it Up:

Dark chocolate mint…are you a fan? Let me know in the comments below!

Dark Chocolate Mint Coconut Butter Cups

Dark Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding (Paleo and Dairy-Free)

Dark Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding | StupidEasyPaleo.com Look familiar?

This deep chocolatey, rich treat (good for an every once in a while occasion…not daily, right?!) is so easy to make. A couple months back, I posted a very similar recipe with gelatin and some folks wrote in requesting other options for thickeners. I reworked the ingredients just slightly and the result was equally tasty and simple but gelatin-, egg- and dairy-free! I served it in small dessert cups for just the perfect little bite. Tiny spoons are fun, too.

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Ingredients for Dark Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding:

Directions for Dark Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding:

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the coconut milk, chopped dark chocolate and cocoa powder.
  2. Warm the milk until the chocolate is completely melted. Turn off the heat and stir in the chia seeds and vanilla extract. [Hint: add the chia seeds while stirring continuously or else they will stick to the bottom of the pan in one big gelatinous lump. Not cool.]
  3. Stir thoroughly until the chia seeds begin to thicken the mixture a bit.
  4. Pour into small serving cups and refrigerate for at least an hour until the mixture is very thick.
  5. Top with shaved dark chocolate or coconut whipped cream.

Change It Up:

Sprinkle with cinnamon or cardamom.

Have you ever used chia seeds as a thickener?

chocolate 405 x 405

 

Paleo Strawberry Apple Parfait

DSC_0029I eat with my eyes first, so parfaits – with their repeating layers of tasty goodness – are always appealing. This one’s made with fruit and coconut and some chopped nuts for crunch (and contains no extra added sugar), so it’s perfectly nutritious.

[As an aside, I get lots of questions about whether fruit is Paleo or how much fruit is okay to eat. Know your context...if you are active and have good body composition and blood sugar regulation, there's nothing wrong with a couple servings of fruit each day. If you're battling a sugar addiction or trying to improve body comp, for example, you may want to be more wary of your fruit intake...especially dried fruit.]

I used rhubarb to counterbalance the sweetness of the apples, but if it’s out of season or not available in your area, you could leave it out. Another option is to add in some blackberries (like in my Blackberry Cinnamon Applesauce) to add some tartness…plus, the color would be stunning!

Ingredients for 2-3 parfaits:

  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and diced (optional…leave the skin on)
  • 1 large stalk of rhubarb, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk or heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped nuts, optional

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the apples and rhubarb with 1/4 cup of water. Stir frequently and cook until the apples and rhubarb are very soft and have made a thick sauce, about 20-30 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the strawberries by cutting off the green tops and quartering them. Also, mix the vanilla extract with the coconut milk.
  3. Time to make the parfait…there’s no real science here. You could make several small ones or a couple big ones, depending on your preference. I layered a tablespoon of the coconut milk at the bottom, follow by some fresh strawberries, then some of the apple-rhubarb sauce. I repeated these layers one more time, then topped it with some strawberries and a tablespoon of chopped Brazil nuts.

Get creative and let me know in the comments any variations you might use!

Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate Coconut Pudding

Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate Coconut Pudding | stupideasypaleo.com This dairy-free dark chocolate coconut pudding has 4 ingredients and is stupid-easy to make. Believe it!

Dark chocolate is one of those foods that is part of my Paleo because I know it fits in with my context, and I try to stick to soy lecithin-free, very dark (85%+), high quality stuff when I can. I wanted to use dark chocolate in an ultra simple dessert and instead of opting for a mousse – which has eggs – I incorporated coconut milk and gelatin to firm up this pudding-esque treat. It’s not very sweet because I didn’t add anything extra besides what’s in the chocolate, and it’s very rich, so I served it in tiny espresso glasses for just a couple lush bites.

If you can’t find gelatin sheets, you can probably use another form as long as it will firm up two cups of liquid – definitely check the label for directions.

Ingredients for Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate Coconut Pudding:

Directions for Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate Coconut Pudding:

  1. Prepare the gelatin by following the directions on the package. Mine required soaking the sheets in cold water for five minutes, then discarding the water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the coconut milk on medium-low in a heavy bottomed pot. You want to warm it enough to dissolve the gelatin but not boiling – that will make it harder for the gelatin to actually set.
  3. Once the coconut milk is very warm but not boiling, remove if from the heat and stir in the chopped dark chocolate until it melts. Add the vanilla extract.
  4. Then, add the softened gelatin sheets and stir thoroughly until they dissolve, 1-2 minutes.
  5. Pour into your desired glasses or cups and chill for at least 2 hours or until set.

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Blueberry Rhubarb Granita

DSC_0726 Sometimes, all the stars line up for a fantastic recipe to be born. Call it serendipity, kismet or just plain old coincidence, but when three distinct events occurred that all pointed me in the direction of this granita*, I couldn’t resist. First, I saw Paleo Cupboard’s recent post for Fresh Fruit Granita. Then, the next day I was sitting in a dingy waiting room getting my car smog checked, thumbing through an old issue of Sunset magazine when I happened upon a recipe for Rhubarb Granita. And finally, I went to the market right after the smog center and bumped into a heaped up display of summer’s most misunderstood veggie: rhubarb. Okay, Universe. You win.

I decided to make rhubarb the star but cut it down by a cup and added some blueberries for color and sweetness. If you’ve been around here long enough, you know I’m not into making tons of Paleo desserts but I’m truthfully trying to use up my entire pantry right now with a three month trip to the UK/Europe approaching in just two short weeks – plus fruit with a bit of honey is hardly a Paleo-coconut-chocolate-cookie-caramel-tart-with-brownie-crumbles-on-top.

I cut the sweetener in the Sunset recipe from 1 cup sugar to ~1/3 cup of honey. The granita is decidedly sweet-tart, but you could add a bit more honey if you wanted to. The honey didn’t negatively affect the texture at all and still resulted in nice, icy fruit flakes. It’s best to prepare this on the day you want to use it but it can be softened and eaten later on. Store tightly sealed in the freezer if keeping leftovers.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups sliced rhubarb
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup honey

Directions:

  1. Have a 13″ x 9″ glass dish ready (or two smaller 8″ x 8″ or 9″ x 9″ pans. Glass or ceramic work best because you have to scrape the granita with a fork, and it could ruin the finish of a metal pan).
  2. Wash the rhubarb, and cut it into thin slices until you have about 3 cups total. 
  3. Put the rhubarb slices, blueberries, water and honey in a medium saucepan.
  4. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Be careful because the mixture tends to bubble up. If that happens, turn the heat down a bit.
  5. Pour the fruit mixture into a fine mesh strainer over the 13″ x 9″ dish. Use a spoon to mash and stir the mixture through the strainer, catching the liquid underneath. Work it until all that remains inside the strainer is a thick pulp. Discard the pulp.
  6. You’ll have to babysit the granita a bit from here. Place the dish in the freezer and allow to harden for about 20-30 minutes. Then, scrape the dish down with a fork. Your goal is to create small icy chunks. I checked on mine about every 30 minutes after that, scraping it down further.  Eventually it’ll get firm enough to where you can scrape right across the top. DSC_0719
  7. Serve in chilled glasses. A garnish of fresh mint would be perfect here, too, or just enjoy as is. Savor it.

*When I was a kid, my grandmother used to make something similar that she called “slush”. It had booze in it so we were never allowed to have any. You could do the same if that’s up your alley.

 

Paleo Rocket Popsicles

DSC_0790 Do you remember the sound of the ice cream truck cruising around the neighborhood in summer when you were a kid? If you were like me, you conveniently didn’t hear your mom call for dinner, but you could hear that magical music from a mile away. Growing up, my siblings and I loved “rocket pops” – I looked it up and they’re officially called “Red, White and Blue Turbo Rockets” – a patriotic combination sugar and artificial food coloring in red (cherry), white (lemon) and blue (blue raspberry).

DSC_0780 While these Paleo versions have a bit of sweetness from the fruit and coconut water, they’re nothing like the sugar on a stick popsicles sold in stores. I added fruit to each layer and kicked up the flavors with citrus zest. You’ve got raspberry lime (red), coconut white peach (white) and lemon blueberry (blue). Perfect for a hot summer day! Don’t like raspberries? Use strawberries or cherries instead. You can also puree the fruit instead of slicing it.

Be creative and use your own fruit combinations or flavors. Let me know in the comments below what you tried!

[Note: I don't consider these a Paleo-ified dessert because it's essentially fruit and coconut water with no extra added sugar, but if you think you'd crack out on them, take that into consideration.]

Prep time: 15-20 min     Freeze time:  2-3 hours     Makes: 12 pops

Ingredients:

Red layer…raspberry lime

  • 2 cups coconut water*
  • 3 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon lime zest
  • 1 cup raspberries (about 6 oz), quartered

White layer…coconut white peach

  • 1 white peach, peeled and chopped [hint: squeeze lemon juice on them to prevent browning]
  • 1.5 cups full-fat coconut milk

Blue layer…lemon blueberry

  • 2 cups coconut water*
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup blueberries, halved

Equipment

  • 12 dixie cups (3 oz. size)
  • 24 plastic straws or 24 popsicle sticks

Directions:

  1. Place 12 dixie cups on a sheet tray or in a muffin tin (I used a mini muffin tray). Clear a space in the freezer that the tray will fit in.
  2. Mix the different coconut waters (coconut water + lime juice + lime zest and coconut water + lemon juice + lemon zest) in separate containers. DSC_0767 DSC_0769
  3. Build your red layer first. Equally divide the quartered berries into the cups (about 2 raspberries per cup). Add about 2 Tablespoons of the lime coconut water to each cup. Freeze until solid. DSC_0774
  4. Build the white layer next. Equally divide the chopped white peach into the cups. Add about 2 Tablespoons of coconut milk to each cup. *IMPORTANT: Only partially freeze this layer then stick the straws or popsicle sticks in! Return to the freezer until solid. DSC_0810 DSC_0812
  5. Build the blue layer last. Equally divide the halved blueberries into the cups. Add about 2 Tablespoons of lemon coconut water to each cup. Freeze until solid.
  6. Peel the paper cups away and trim the straws down to size. I like the double straw or double stick method because it makes them easier to hold.
  7. Try to eat it before it melts!

*You’ll have a bit of extra coconut water left over…drink up and enjoy.

Caramelized Figs

photo-592This is a simple way to make something that’s a bit sweet but a far cry from Paleo-ifying dessert. You could even skip the shaved dark chocolate if you wanted something Whole30-compliant.

Prep time: 5 min     Cook time: 5 min    Makes: 4 figs

Ingredients:

  • 4 fresh, ripe figs (mission, black, brown turkey, etc.)
  • 1 spoonful of ghee or coconut oil
  • Cinnamon for sprinkling
  • Good quality dark chocolate for shaving on top, optional (I used 90% dark chocolate)

Directions:

  1. Wash the figs. Cut the stem end off and then slice in half.
  2. In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt the ghee or coconut oil. When hot, cook the figs 1-2 minutes on each side or until they begin to caramelize. 
  3. Remove from the pan sprinkle with cinnamon and dark chocolate shavings.

Dairy-free Paleo Eggnog Chia Pudding

Dairy-free Paleo Eggnog Chia Pudding | stupideasypaleo.com This dairy-free eggnog pudding is based on my Coconut Chia Seed Pudding. I was in the mood for a holiday treat the other day and thought “eggnog”…but then I thought how quickly drinking it down would be over and decided to make the eggnog but add chia seeds to thicken it. I also omitted the booze but hey, if you want to add it, go ahead…you’re the captain of the ship after all. The result was thick and creamy with just a hint of sweetness. I used coconut milk instead of dairy but you could certainly use heavy cream or milk if that’s your preference.

Dairy-free Paleo Eggnog Chia Pudding | stupideasypaleo.com

You can make this eggnog chia pudding the old fashioned way by tempering the eggs first, but I just made it stupid-easy by dumping most of the ingredients in the blender and then heating it gently on the stove until it thickened. The quantities can be easily doubled / tripled or more if you want to make a larger batch.

Ingredients for Dairy-free Paleo Eggnog Chia Pudding:

Dairy-free Paleo Eggnog Chia Pudding | stupideasypaleo.com

 

Directions for Dairy-free Paleo Eggnog Chia Pudding:

  1. Place the dates in a heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 15-20 min to soften. Drain the water.
  2. Add the dates, coconut milk, egg yolks and vanilla extract to the blender.
  3. Blend on high speed until the dates are broken down (about a minute).
  4. Pour the mixture into a heavy-bottomed pot and heat on low, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens…this should only take a few minutes. Be careful! You don’t want it to curdle.
  5. Turn off the heat and add the cinnamon, nutmeg and chia seeds. Stir very well.
  6. Pour the eggnog mixture into a storage container (I like mason jars or other glass-lock containers) or serving glasses. 
  7. Allow to sit for at least an hour, preferably 2 or more, before eating. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon or nutmeg or some coconut whipped cream before serving.

Do you think you’ll try this eggnog chia pudding?

Dairy-free Paleo Eggnog Chia Pudding | stupideasypaleo.com

Coconut Butter and Almond Butter Cups

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I started making dark chocolate almond butter cups a couple of years ago for special occasions, and they’re so easy to assemble that it should be illegal. With Christmas and New Year’s right around the corner, these could be a decent alternative to traditional candies and treats but make no mistake: it’s still dessert, a treat to be savored.

IMG_3526

I was thinking of how to change up the original recipe and decided to make a coconut butter filling. Guys. Seriously, they are good. So good, in fact, that the dark chocolate coconut butter cups might just be my favorites. Sorry, almond butter. I made a small batch (12) but this recipe is easily doubled–or more. 

Ingredients for the Coconut Butter Filling: 

Directions for the Coconut Butter Filling: 

  1. In a food processor or high speed blender, combine the coconut, vanilla and sea salt.
  2. Allow to process for several minutes – scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple times – until the coconut starts to become smooth. You may need to add melted coconut oil (1+ Tablespoon) to adjust the texture and make it stickier.
  3. Remove to a separate container. You will have extra. Trust me, you’ll find some way to eat it…it’s really good.

Ingredients for the Almond Butter Filling: 

Directions for the Almond Butter Filling: 

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Mix until smooth.

Assembling the Coconut Butter Cups and Almond Butter Cups: 

  • 12 ounces (350 grams) high quality dark chocolate
  • Cupcake wrappers
  • Fillings from the above recipes
  1. Break chocolate into chunks and put in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high, stirring frequently, until melted. The time completely depends on how dark the chocolate is, percent-wise and how powerful your microwave is. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. You could also use a double boiler to melt the chocolate on the stovetop.
  2. Place a heaping spoonful of melted chocolate into the wrapper, smoothing it out with the back of the spoon to create sides and a bottom. Refrigerate until hardened.
  3. Scoop a small amount of the filling into the cup bottoms and flatten until it’s slightly bigger than the diameter of a quarter. Try to flatten the filling out so the chocolate will sit smoothly on the top. Hint: one batch of the almond butter filling should make ~6 cups.
  4. Place another spoonful of melted chocolate on top and smooth out.
  5. Garnish the almond butter cups with coarse salt (optional) and the coconut butter cups with some shredded coconut.
  6. Store in the refrigerator for best results. May also be kept frozen!

Change it Up:

Coconut Chia Pudding

photo-535

Chia seeds, high in Omega 3 fatty acids, have an interesting ability to gel up upon mixing with liquid and create an almost tapioca-like texture. I kept this version unsweetened, but you could definitely add in some honey or maple syrup to make it more dessert-like. It’s best to let the chia seeds sit for 1-2 hours to soften and absorb as much liquid as possible which will yield a nice thick texture. Feel free to experiment with different spices as well.

Ingredients:

1 cup full-fat coconut milk

3 tbsp chia seeds

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Mix the chia seeds and coconut milk together in a mason jar or other glass container.

2. Blend in the vanilla extra and spices.

3. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours (but at least 30 minutes) for best texture. Serve with shave of dark chocolate, a splash of maple syrup or just as is.

Coconut Macaroons Two Ways

Everyone with a Paleo food blog seems to have a version of coconut macaroons in their arsenal…after all, they are relatively simple to make and aside from a small amount of honey or sweetener, they are pretty innocuous. I’m definitely not a big fan of Paleo-ifying every dessert known to mankind, and gluten-free (but grain-containing) recipes have their own issues.  Sometimes though, you’ve got to have a little fun.

As I was macs4contemplating how to spice these macaroons up, I just couldn’t make up my mind between a cocoa-infused cookie and something that had a vanilla base, so I divided the batter in half and made both (I just cut the spice quantities in half). If you want to make only Cardamom-Cinnamon or only Mexican Chocolate, follow the individual recipes. I wanted something different than just a spiced option, so adding cardamom (a completely underutilized spice, in my opinion) added a great dimension of flavor (It’s one of the predominant flavors in chai tea). For the chocolate, I blended cocoa powder with a hint of chili powder to give a slightly smoky depth.

I’ll admit to being less than stoked with the incredibly fine flake of the only unsweetened coconut I could find at the market. It made the texture less chewy than I’d like. and my disher / scoop got all gummed up when I tried to portion it out. Regular shredded coconut is my preference.

Ingredients

Cardamom-Cinnamon Macaroons

2 egg whites

1/4 cup honey

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out

2 tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp cinnamon

2.5 cups shredded coconut

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Mexican Chocolate Macaroons

2 egg whites

1/4 cup honey

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp cocoa powder

1/2 tsp chili powder

2.5 cups shredded coconut

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, combine the egg whites and honey. Beat slightly until the white have lightened a bit.

3. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

4. Refrigerate the mixture for about 30 minutes.

5. Use a small scoop or spoon to portion out the macaroons. How small or large is really up to you. I used a 1.5 tbsp disher / scoop which yielded about 16 macaroons.

6. Bake for about 20 minutes or until just golden brown. Cool and enjoy!

Banana Ice Cream with Chocolate Shell

Truthfully, I’m not the paleo dessert girl. It’s not that I’m anti-dessert…well, let’s just say that it leads me down the path of too many sweets most of the time. I really wish I did paleo desserts often on the blog because, let’s face it, I’d be far more popular. But alas, sticking to what I know is what I tend to do. This is so easy it should be illegal, and it’s perfect for making in tiny batches when you want just a bit of a sweet treat. This reminds me of summers as a kid when my family would walk to the neighborhood soft-serve place…we’d get big cones and always get chocolate “dip”–the crunchy shell that you’d have to race to eat or else the ice cream would come melting out from all sides. This one has no added sugar though ;)

Ingredients for the “ice cream”:

1 frozen banana

2-3 tbsp coconut milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for the chocolate shell:

1/2 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 tbsp cocoa powder

Pinch of ground coffee (optional)

Directions:

1. Make the shell in a small bowl first by melting the coconut oil in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds. Mix in the cocoa powder and pinch of ground coffee.

2. Next, make the “ice cream”. (This is truly not an ice cream because there are no eggs/custard, but it’s a good stand-in IMO.)

3. Add the frozen banana to the food processor and break down a bit. Next drizzle in the coconut milk and vanilla extract. You may need to stop the processor and break up any big chunks. Process until smooth and creamy but not too melted.

4. Work quickly…scoop out the ice cream into a bowl and drizzle the chocolate shell on top. Immediately the coconut oil/cocoa mixture will harden up and get crunchy…mmm!

5. Eat. Enjoy. You could also top with shredded coconut, nuts or even some sliced berries to really put it over the top!