Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Indulge in pumpkin pie goodness without the guilt! This recipe is easy, creamy, and refreshingly chilly. The pumpkin is rich in potassium and beta carotene, while the greek yogurt delivers a good dose of protein!

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Ingredients:
1/3 cup frozen pumpkin purée (freeze in ice cube tray or ziplock bag)
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 packets stevia
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg, clove, and ginger (optional)
For topping: Crushed graham cracker and whipped cream (optional)

1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth, split between two glasses, and top with whipped cream and crushed graham cracker!

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Persimmon Sorbet

Have you ever tried persimmons? They look like tomatoes, but have a honey-like sweetness. This fruit is in season in the fall and tastes great in breads, pies, puddings, and in the raw. I decided to use my persimmons in a fresh sorbet with black tea. It’s very easy to make and tastes refreshing!

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Ingredients:
5 or 6 large persimmons
1 cup strong black tea
1/4 cup sugar (optional)

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1. Peel the persimmons by placing them in boiling water for 30 seconds, then running under cold water to peel.
2. Place the peeled persimmons, tea, and sugar in a high powered blender. Blend until smooth.
3. Pour the purée into a Pyrex dish and freeze for at least 2 hours.
4. Scoop the frozen purée back into the blender and re-blend until smooth. Serve with pomegranate seed sprinkles!

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Biscuit Bread Pudding

I was so excited to make lemon ricotta muffins with blackberries last night! I found a highly rated recipe online and decided to follow it exactly, quieting my urge to make healthy swaps. I let the butter sit out at room temperature to soften, had fresh blackberries from my bountiful basket, and ricotta from Trader Joe’s. The plan was to celebrate Colby getting sworn in as an attorney with these muffins. I’m so proud of him!

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To my dismay, the five-star recipe I followed was less than stellar. The “muffins” turned out to be biscuits, and I don’t like biscuits! Colby was sweet and still ate a couple of them with about 3 glasses of milk to get the dryness out of his mouth. He even said he’d continue to eat them if I would put them in his lunch for work, but I can’t put him through that. I wound up eating the blackberries off the top of all the biscuits and going to bed irritated. That’s the last time I trust a recipe as is! I’m going with my gut from now on.

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This morning I woke up with a great idea. Instead of freezing or tossing out the leftovers, why not use them to make bread pudding? Leftover biscuits are perfect for bread pudding! The moisture from the milk and eggs solves the dryness problem I have with grainy biscuits.
Ingredients:
6-8 leftover biscuits (any kind)
1/3 cup egg whites
1 cup milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbs vanilla extract
1/2 cup of sugar or several packets of stevia (if not using sweet biscuits)

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Crumble biscuits into a large Pyrex dish (9×13″).

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2. In a medium bowl, whisk together all remaining ingredients. Pour the mixture over the crumbled biscuits and allow to soak for 10-20 minutes.
3. Press your fingers into the crumbles to make sure they are all moist. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until the top of the pudding is golden.
4. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream!

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So tasty!! If you want to make the same lemon ricotta biscuits I used, follow the recipe here. Try one, and then make this :)

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Barley Protein Pudding

Do you love rice pudding? If you do, you’ll enjoy this healthy twist on the classic dessert! Barley is chewy and packed with protein and fiber. Coupled with the creaminess of milk and nutmeg, this pudding is a winner!

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ingredients:
1 cup dry barley
2.5 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups lowfat milk (or soy milk)
1 scoop vanilla whey isolate
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
2 tsp brown sugar
Stevia to taste

1. Bring water and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the barley and reduce to a simmer. Cook covered for about 30 minutes. (You can do this step in a rice cooker)

2. Add milk and all remaining ingredients to the saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Stir frequently for about 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.

3. Remove the cinnamon stick and serve! Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition per serving:

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Enjoy this pudding as a hearty breakfast cereal or comforting dessert.

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Simple Apple Galette

My sister is stopping by for dinner after work today! Instead of cooking dinner, though, I baked a tasty apple galette. You should make this too! It’s a very simple and delicious dessert- flaky, buttery, lightly sweet, and tart!

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ingredients:
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
1 cup all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 packet of stevia
6 tbs softened unsalted butter + 1 more tbs
3 tbs cold water
2 tbs raw sugar

1. In a stand mixer, combine 2 tbs butter with flour, stevia, and salt. Blend until crumbly. Add remaining butter and continue to blend until the dough looks like this:

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2. Add the water in gradually. Mix the dough with a spoon or spatula to pick up the dry bits of flour in the bowl. Once all the water is mixed in, the dough should look like this:

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3. Use your hands to form a ball out of the dough. Flatten it into a thick disc and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.

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4. While the dough is chilling, chop the apples in half and cut them into thin slices.
5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until about 1/8″ thick and 14″ diameter.
6. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased baking sheet. Place apple slices in the middle, leaving 2″ all around the edge. Fold the edges of the dough in over the apples, pinching the dough every inch or so.
7. Brush the dough and apples with 1 tbs melted butter using a pastry brush. Sprinkle the buttered surface with 2 tbs sugar.
8. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, turning every 15 minutes. The galette is done when the edges are golden and crisp. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!

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Paleo Mocha Pound Cake

Remember the watermelon cake I made a few days ago? The coconut whipped cream I frosted the cake with was sooo good! I didn’t want to throw the leftover whipped cream away, so I set my mind to baking a coconut flour cake to go with it! The inspiration came from Paleo Spirit. My cake is not nearly as beautiful or quite as “paleo.” The changes I made include swapping 2 eggs for egg whites, the maple syrup for stevia, and 1/2 cup coconut oil for applesauce and plain greek yogurt. I’m glad the cake still turned out rich, moist, and delicious!

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Ingredients:
2/3 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
20 packets stevia
4 eggs
6 tbs egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c coconut oil, melted
1/4 c plain greek yogurt
1/4 c unsweetened applesauce

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.

2. Whisk eggs and egg whites in a stand mixer. Add remaining wet ingredients to the eggs and mix to combine.

3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and combine on low speed. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Whip the batter on high speed for 1 minute to make it fluffy.

4. Pour the batter into two greased loaf pans. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

5. Allow to cool and frost with coconut whipped cream.

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It’s yummy unfrosted too!

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Enjoy with a cup of coffee! 1/4 of a loaf (1/8 of total recipe) is 166 calories, 9 g protein, and 5 g fiber when served unfrosted.

Watermelon Birthday Cake

One of my friends at work celebrated his 25th birthday this week! To celebrate, we had a potluck in his honor. As an avid Crossfitter, he follows a paleo diet pretty consistently. The paleo party we threw was pretty great! There were bowls of fruit, a veggie tray, rotisserie chicken, guacamole, butternut squash soup, and CAKE!

What would a birthday be without cake? Make this beautiful dessert for the healthy eater in your life.

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Ingredients:
1 large seedless watermelon
Assorted fruits and nuts for decorating
1 can coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
2-3 tbs powdered sugar (powdered coconut sugar or maple syrup if you’re going for strict paleo)

1. Cut the top and bottom off the watermelon. Carve the remaining rind off to be left with a cylindrical birthday cake shape.

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2. Pat the watermelon down with paper towels and place on a plate lined with additional paper towels to soak up excess moisture. Chill in fridge.

3. While the watermelon is chilling, make the frosting. Scoop the cream off the top of the refrigerated coconut milk and place in a stand mixer. Discard the liquid portion below the cream.

4. Whip the cream in the stand mixer until fluffy. Add sugar or maple syrup and mix again to incorporate. Begin with 1 tbs of sweetener and add more as needed.

5. Frost the top of the watermelon with a butter knife or rubber spatula and then the sides. Decorate with additional fruit and chill until it’s time to serve the cake!

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Cheesecake in a Cup Recipe

This recipe is genius and delicious! All you need are fat free ricotta cheese and lemon curd to throw together a delightful lemon “cheesecake” snack. Ricotta cheesecake is lighter and fluffier than New York style cheesecake. I think it’s much more delicious than the super dense cream-cheesy New York style.

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All you need to do is stir together 1 tablespoon of good lemon curd and about 3/4 cup of fat free ricotta cheese.

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This cheesecake snack tastes much more indulgent than yogurt, but boasts the same high protein content! What a treat :)

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Plantain Chips: Sweet and Salty Style

I started out making regular plantain chips, but the plantain I used was a little too ripe. What a fortunate mistake! I ended up thinking of this delicious twist on the salty snack.

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Ingredients:
1 plantain, preferably yellow
Salt
Peanut butter
Chocolate chips
Coconut oil cooking spray (Trader Joe’s)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and thinly slice plantain. Place slices on a baking sheet lined aluminum foil and sprayed with coconut oil cooking spray.

2. Most the plantain slices with coconut oil spray and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 8 minutes, flip, and bake for 5-8 minutes more or until they are golden.

3. While still warm, place one chocolate chip on each plantain slice and smear a tiny bit of peanut butter to each one.

Oh.My.Goodness! These were an unexpectedly tasty treat. It’s hard to beat the flavor combination of chocolate, peanut butter, and salt on plantain!

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