Desserts & Treats

Desserts & Treats

Easy Cherry Cheesecake
Makes 12 Mini Cakes

For those who are dairy-free and gluten-free, finding a tasty dessert, let alone a cheesecake, can seem like an impossible feat.  These little cakes will tickle your taste buds and satisfy your craving for 'cheese'cake.

Theses mini desserts turn out wonderfully, as individual cakes from lined muffin tins, and are festive enough to use in place of a traditional birthday cake. The recipe certainly looks like a lot of work, but really it is all about measuring and using a food processor.

Ingredients
For the Crust
1 cup, soft medjool dates, pitted
1 ¼ cups natural walnuts
Pinch of sea salt

For the Filling
1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
¾ cup coconut milk
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
¼ cup melted coconut oil
½ cup quality maple syrup
¼ cup pitted cherries, minced

Directions
1. Line muffin tins with festive wrappers or parchment paper circles.
2. Mix all of the crust ingredients together on a low setting in the food processor. It should be crumbly, but form into a ball.
3. Remove from food pro and press a heaping tablespoon into each muffin cup.
4. Take your soaking cashews and rinse well.
5. Do not shake the coconut milk can - skim the fatty part that has separated to the top and use this part.
6. Add them and the rest of the ingredients, less the cherries, to the food pro.
7. Allow it to blend on high, until a very creamy consistency has been achieved.
8. Taste for sweetness.
9. Separate the filling into the 12 muffin cups.
10. Spoon the cherry mixture evenly onto the tops of the mini cakes.
11. Place in the freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight.

12. Remove 10 minutes before you need them and serve with some fresh cherries on the side.

Black Bean Chia Brownies
This recipe is loaded with fibre in the black beans and the chia. You can omit the walnuts or replace with hemp seeds if you wish. Great gluten-free treat that tastes delicious.

1 15 oz can black beans (drained and rinsed)
3 large eggs
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup of raw cane sugar
1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup of walnuts, pecans or hemp seeds

Mix all but the chocolate chips and nuts together with a beater or in your high powered blender or food processor. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts. Place in an 8x8 greased pan and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

What's Christmas baking without Ginger Snaps?  Many of the recipes I found were loaded with sugar and oil, so I wanted to find a healthier recipe that would actually let the spices come through.  Healthier baking allows for a little indulgence.  These cookies fit the bill, the molasses gives them enough sweetness.
 
I have never made Gingerbread, but these little guys are a snap! The touch of sweetness comes from molasses, which is loaded with trace minerals.
 
Ginger Snaps
 
2 1/4 cups spelt flour (sifted)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
2/3 cup dark molasses
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
 
Mix together in a medium sized bowl the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves.
In a second bowl, cream together the molasses and melted coconut oil.
Fold the flour mixture into the liquid mixture a bit at a time and mix well until all the flour mixture has been added.
When mixed together, roll into balls.
Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or use a stone.
You may want to press them down with a fork.
*Tip Dip the fork in water so it won't stick to the dough.
Bake at 350 for 11-14 min.
Dee’s Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
3/4 cup whole rolled oats
1 cup whole-wheat or spelt flour
1  cup ground flax seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup raw cane sugar
 1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1 cup chocolate chips or carob chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
 

Directions:
 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray (not required if you're  using non-stick pans)
Mix oats and flour in a medium bowl. Add baking soda and salt and whisk until mixed in. Whisk in wheat germ, flax and coconut.
Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla; beat until smooth and creamy. With the mixer running, add the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips and walnut pieces using a wooden spoon or spatula. Chill the dough in a refrigerator for at least 1 hour. The dough should be firm before proceeding with step 3.
Force a spoon into the dough to remove about 2-3 tablespoonfuls per cookie, at least 1 inch apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies, until firm around the edges and golden on top, about 12 minutes. Remove baking sheets from the oven immediately and cool the cookies for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks with a spatula to cool.
 
This delightfully smooth pudding substitute is loaded with healthy fats and fibre.  Skip the sugar filled dairy options and create this masterpiece in a few minutes.
 
Blend together:
1 Raw avocado (ripe)
2-3 tbsp cocoa powder
Raw Honey or maple syrup about 1 tbsp
1 tsp vanilla
Cinnamon (optional)
2-3 tsp of water,  adding slowly while blending to create desired consistency
 
Ready to eat, or chill if you prefer.

Everyone loves cookies, and chocolate chip seems to be the popular choice.  However, if you need to avoid gluten or simply want to minimize your exposure to wheat due to sensitivities or hormone issues, then coconut flour is a viable option.  Purchasing gluten-free items in the grocery store can be costly, so if you can master a few recipes to make at home you can enjoy these treats with less processing.  I will admit, the texture of these cookies will be a bit different than you are used to.  I let these cookies cool completely on the pan before trying to remove them.  Let them set up really well before trying to move and store them.  Then, I promise you will have a nice firm cookie.  These are not as cakey as some gluten-free cookies can be.  To be dairy-free omit the butter and use coconut oil and use Enjoy Life gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate chips.  

 

Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup Butter, softened ( I used 1/2 coconut butter and 1/2 coconut oil or any nut butter)
3/4 cup raw cane sugar or coconut sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup coconut flour or more
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips (Enjoy Life is a gluten-free, dairy-free brand)

Cream the butter and sugar together, then fold in the other ingredients and mix well.
If it is too wet you can add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of coconut flour.
Roll into balls and then smoosh down. They will not spread.
Bake at 365 for about 12 minutes. Let them cool on the cookie sheet, as they will be quite crumbly till they cool.

Just last week my daughter had some friends over to celebrate her birthday.  As we were enjoying dinner, all of her friends were telling me their favourite foods that I make and what I can make for them the next time they visit.  This chocolate chip cookie is Emma's favourite, and got a resounding yes from the rest of the crowd.
 
I wanted to  attempt  a new oatmeal chocolate chip recipe and incorporate two nutrient dense foods I love, chia and hemp seeds.
Talk about a powerhouse cookie! Some might even say, GOOD FOR YOU! Good luck trying to keep them out of these cookies.  
 
Hempseed & Chia Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Ingredients:
 
1 1/3 cup of spelt flour
1 1/2 cup of rolled oats
3/4 cup of coconut
1/3 cup chia seeds (whole)
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup of chocolate chips

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 cup of coconut oil

3/4 cup of raw cane sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla


 
Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. 
In another bowl, cream the coconut oil and sugar together, then add the egg and vanilla.
  
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture.

Scoop out batter onto a greased baking sheet or use parchment or stoneware.
Press down with a fork.
  You can wet the spoon between pressing so the batter doesn't stick.
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.
 
 
I found that under cooking left the cookies crumbly. I also froze half of the batch and they turned out great! ENJOY!!!