Goji Cacao Bites

I know you’ve missed me. I’m sorry I’ve been spending very little time with you lately, it’s just I’ve gotten so busy with work and other obligations…I know, a pathetic excuse. The only way left to show you how sorry I am is with chocolate.

All is forgiven? Fantastic! I knew you couldn’t stay mad at me for long.

I’ll get the cons of this recipe out of the way, if you want to call them that. The first thing you should know is that these little guys need to stored in the fridge or freezer, or this happens:

Granted, these were sitting outside in 95 degree temperatures for several minutes while I took pictures. They won’t melt like that in your house (unless your house is 95 degrees, and I’ve been there…), but they will definitely soften. Coconut oil is not to be trusted and will melt at just above room temperature, so these must be cold. The great part is that they don’t taste or feel very cold, even if stored in the freezer. Even when “frozen” they’re still soft quite an enjoyably edible texture, almost just like a cool, firm but melty inside of Lindt chocolate truffle, only…different. Apparently it’s all very hard for me to describe accurately, so it’s probably best if you try it out for yourself.

Second “con” of this recipe: ingredients. If you want these to be superfood chocolate bites, you need to have actual superfoods on hand. And they’re not cheap, either. Organic raw cacao powder, organic dried goji berries, and raw, unfiltered, local honey are all classified as superfoods, meaning they’re chock-full of crazy nutritional power! However, their inexpensive, processed alternatives (baking cocoa powder, dried cranberries, processed honey) are on the opposite end of the superfood spectrum and contain little or no nutritional benefits. I don’t know about you, but I want the power! That’s the whole point of these babies! Coconut oil is irreplaceable, too (and full of health benefits). If you don’t believe me, try using olive oil and you’ll see what I mean.

It’s all pros after that. These will satisfy any chocolate craving and are just bursting with all kinds of amazing nutrients. If you’ve already invested in some of these superfoods and were wondering what to do with them, well, it’s Becky to the rescue! And did I mention that these are super simple to whip up? I think you’ll agree that it feels great to feed your sweet tooth (or chocoholism) with something so wonderfully healthy!

Don’t believe that chocolate can be so incredibly good for you? Check out some the health benefits of raw honey, raw cacao, and goji berries. And though not technically a superfood, cashews are mighty good for you, too!

Let the chocolate-eating commence.

 Goji Cacao Bites

1/3 cup virgin coconut oil
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
2 T raw, local honey
3 T chopped raw cashews (I love them salted for this recipe)
3 T chopped dried goji berries
1/4 t pure vanilla extract
1/8 t pure stevia powder (or more, for added sweetness. If you don’t have stevia, add more honey if it’s not sweet enough for you)
1 T raw coconut butter (optional, keeps it from getting melty longer)
A few cranks of sea salt (optional – a must for me!)

Heat the coconut oil and coconut butter (if using) in the microwave until just melted. Stir in the cacao powder, honey, vanilla, stevia and sea salt until smooth. Pour into some sort of mold – I used an ice cube tray for the first batch and mini cupcake liners for the second (you may notice a lack of cashews in the second batch because, unfortunately, I ran out). I also poured some into a plastic dish shaped like a candy bar and now have a big ol’ chocolate bar in the fridge. Awesome. Sprinkle on the goji berries and cashews, put them in the freezer, and let harden for at least an hour. You now have a week’s worth of healthy chocolate for whenever the craving hits! JOY!

The plan is the get back to our regularly scheduled programming around here. As I mentioned, both Elesha and I have been insanely busy lately, and something very exciting has happened: I got a new job! What’s even more exciting about it is that Elesha is the one who informed me about the job opening and we now both work at the same law firm! It’s awesome to work for the same company, even if we are in different cities. We talk and email constantly and see each other at least once a week – it’s great! We’ll keep you posted on what’s going on behind the scenes. We’re apologize for our absence and hope you’ll stick around – there’s more to come! In the meantime, be healthy and eat your chocolate. 🙂

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

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Double Chocolate Truffle Muffins

This muffin idea struck me in the brain this morning while I was eating a vegan chocolate truffle for breakfast. I was pondering two equally puzzling questions, first “how could this possibly get any more delicious?”, and second, “how can I convince people it’s acceptable to eat truffles for breakfast?” Turns out muffins was the answer to both.

You see, if you want something to be more delicious, you simply add more chocolate. The amount of deliciousness is equivalent to the amount of chocolate: more chocolate, more delicious. The only thing better than chocolate is chocolate within chocolate. Double chocolate.

I’ve already made Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies. I’m fearful this whole ‘chocolate within chocolate’ idea could get out of control and I’ll wind up with some outrageous dessert called the Quadruple Chocolate Chip Chunk Brownie Cake Pie Mousse Muffin Cupcake Ice Cream Bar. With chocolate sauce. Wow, seriously, that actually sounds crazy good. It’d be like Inception, chocolate style. Once you get to a fourth level of chocolate it’s just complete chaos.

The great thing about these muffins is that they don’t contain butter, white flour, white sugar, or eggs, but you knew that, right? They’re completely vegan and not something you have to feel guilty about eating. While I do consider them dessert, I’d describe them as more bread-like than cake-like, and they’re not overly sweet. The only thing I’ll change when I make these again is that I’ll make them smaller; they were simply massive!

Double Chocolate Truffle Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

1/2 cup warm water
3 T ground flax meal
2/3 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup sucanat (if you don’t have any, substitute with another dry sweetener)
1 t pure stevia powder (I use Stevita)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 T + 1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup strong coffee
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
12 2-inch Vegan Chocolate Truffles (recipe found here)

Instructions:

First, make your truffles but don’t cover them in any toppings. Leave them plain and put them in the freezer to set. Combine the ground flax meal with the warm water, whisk thoroughly, and put in the fridge. Combine the milk and vinegar and let them mingle for a while until they’re good and curdled. Appetizing!

While those set, combine the dry ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add the hot coffee to the milk and vinegar and whisk furiously for about 30 seconds. Then add the melted coconut oil, vanilla, applesauce, and flax egg mixture and stir vigorously again. Now add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and beat with all your might for as long as your arm will allow, at least 1 – 2 minutes. This allows the batter to aerate and the muffins to rise well.

Spray your muffin pans with oil and scoop some batter into the bottom of each section. Set a truffle in the center and cover with batter.

Truffles covered in chocolate batter…yeah, it’s up to you whether or not you want to keep going at this point. I mean, I could honestly call it a day and be in heaven just eating this stuff with a spoon. Batter lovers, unite! Bakers, keep reading.

Put your muffins in the oven and let them bake for about 35 minutes. Oh my, look how puffy! And all without eggs. It’s a miracle!

I liked that cute one with the mohawk. However, I promptly gave him a haircut…with my teeth.

Let them cool for about 10 minutes, then top with whipped or coconut cream while the muffins are still warm so everything gets all melty and drippy and delicious. Sprinkle with some more cocoa powder for ultimate truffliness (I realize I’ve been creating words left and right; clearly, it’s one of my many gifts). Good grief, just look at them. You know you wanna slurp that up. I certainly did and was just the right amount of sticky and happy when the photo shoot was over. Then I sliced one of those bad boys open and poured hot coffee on it. It was a great idea. Apparently today is a great day for ideas.

Oh, gooey truffle center, you make my heart all a-flutter. I’m now certain that truffles were made to go inside muffins, we just never knew it until now. You’re welcome.

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

Vegan Chocolate Truffles

I’m a girl who worships chocolate, enjoys fancy dinners, and is head-over-heels in love. Funny thing is, I couldn’t care less about Valentine’s Day.

No, really!

When I want chocolate, I eat it. When I want a fancy dinner, I make it. And when I want to celebrate love, well…I do. Every day of my life is a celebration of love in one way or another.

However, this Valentine’s Day is different. Special. Because this year I have a new love: you! That’s right, I wanted to make you guys something really special this year to show you how much I appreciate you as readers. Something chocolate. And creamy.

Fine, I’m totally lying. It sounded nice and everything, but who am I kidding? This is my Valentine’s Day gift to me! Sure, you guys get a recipe, but it’s really only a couple of pictures and words on a page; I’m the one with truffles in my freezer! Twelve of them, to be exact (originally 14), and I’m going to eat every single one all by myself. The hubs will never know they’re in there. In his experience, the freezer only holds boring things like vegetable stock and edamame beans. He’s got no need for those things, meaning he won’t open the freezer, meaning these smooth, silky, chocolately, melt-in-your-mouth truffles are all mine!

I love Valentine’s Day.

Vegan Chocolate Truffles
Makes 12 – 14 2-inch truffles

4 squares (4 ounces) unsweetened baker’s chocolate
The thick top half of a can of full-fat coconut milk
3 T agave (or more if desired)
1/2 t vanilla
1 T coconut oil
Few grinds of sea salt, to tase
Shredded coconut/chopped nuts/cocoa powder

Important Note: Only use full-fat canned coconut milk that has been sitting, unmoved, untouched, and unshaken for several days. I recommend a week or so. I had great results with this recipe, but two friends both ended up with super melty chocolate that never hardened. The difference was that they had just bought theirs, while mine had been sitting in the cabinet for 2 weeks! This time allows the thick cream to separate from thin milk. When adding the cream to the recipe, scoop it out of the can, do NOT pour (you don’t want to mix in any of the thin milk).

Other note: You can use 4 ounces of semi-sweet or 60% chocolate chips, though the chocolate flavor will not be as intense as the unsweetened baking squares and there will also be added sugar, so keep that in mind. As written, the chocolate taste is quite strong, so if you’re not a fan of strong chocolate you may even want to use milk chocolate.

1. Melt the chocolate squares in a pan on the stovetop on very low heat. When the chocolate is completely melted, scoop out the top half of the can of coconut milk into the pan and stir gently until completely mixed.

2. Add the agave, vanilla, coconut oil, and salt and stir thoroughly. Continue to stir over low heat until completely smooth. Scrape the chocolate into a bowl and put in the freezer for 3o minutes.

3. Remove the chocolate from the freezer – it will be hard enough to form into a ball and soft enough to, well, form into a ball! If you leave it out for too long it may start to stick to your hands, in which case you can put it back in the freezer for a few minutes. Form the chocolate into balls, approximately 2 inches in diameter.

 4. Fill a bowl with shredded coconut, nuts, or cocoa powder. Roll the balls of chocolate in the coconut or other toppings until completely covered.

You’re done! Store the truffles in the freezer – I promise they will stay soft and creamy! And despite all of the coconut ingredients, the chocolate itselft has no coconut flavor whatsoever, so you can cover your truffles with whatever toppings you like. I chose shredded coconut because a. I’m an addict, and b. that’s pretty much all I had in the house.

Enjoy an intense chocolate experience! You may even feel generous enough to share these with a loved one. I definitely encourage the truffle-sharing; these are made with whole, healthy ingredients but they SHO AIN’T low calorie. Indulge in one or two but don’t get carried away. I am all about love on Valentines Day, but not love handles.

Have a great holiday, folks! Don’t forget to share the love!

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

December is the best month of the year, hands down.

To kick things off, we celebrate a very important birth – mine. Yep, I celebrated my 25th birthday on the first! The hubs threw me a surprise party so wonderful that I actually cried with joy. I’ve always heard that as you age you become more emotional, and so far it seems to be true. I cried while watching a Shirley Temple movie this weekend. Seriously?

Me and the hubs on my birthday.

When all the birthday hooplah ends, the Christmas hooplah begins, full swing! FedEx started delivering the holiday goodies to the office this week. First, Creme Brulee Almonds!

The next day we got a gingerbread cake. This was not just any old cake. This cake made all my molasses dreams come true. I hadn’t even realized I had molasses dreams. I also hadn’t realized how delicious gingerbread can be. This cake is incredible. Amazing. It’s magic cake.

As with most cake, the magic is made with refined sugar and flour, so I thought it best to eat just a small piece. Fine, two small pieces. Okay, three! Three small pieces! Thankfully, there are other people in the office to eat the rest because I probably would just eat it all by myself.

I’m really hoping FedEx brings cheese next week. Hey, we got some last year – it could happen! If not, another gingerbread cake would be acceptable.

The hubs and I have been doing a lot of juicing to offset all the holiday indulgence.

Besides some almonds and three small pieces of cake, the holiday indulgence I speak of is mostly cookies. I become cookie monster at Christmastime. Me want cookie…like, every day. And pluralize that cookie; me want 3 or 4. One of my favorite things in the world is snuggling up with a hot cup of somethin’ and warm cookies from the oven to watch a christmas movie in my fleece pajamas. Life can’t get any better that that.

Baking cookies every night is a great idea if your goal this holiday season is to put on ten pounds. That’s not my personal goal, but I still have trouble quenching the cookie monster within, so I did some experimenting with recipes and substituted the white, sugary stuff with healthier sweeteners and whole wheat. Success! I can now silence the cookie monster within without gaining ten pounds! Please remember that while these are a healthier alternative to regular cookies, they’re still cookies and should be considered a treat! During December, however, treats are permissible at least once a day, so you may want to stock up on flax seeds.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from this recipe, makes a batch of 12 cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup cocoa (regular or dark; I used a combo)
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup butter or substitute, nearly melted (I use Smart Balance Lite)
1/3 – 1/2 cup brown sugar (if you don’t have either sweetener listed below, go with 1/2 cup)
1/4 t stevia (optional)
1 T raw sugar (optional for added sweetness or if you don’t have stevia)
1/2 t vanilla
1 flax egg (or 1 regular egg)
1/2 cup chocolate chips or chunks (I use 60% cacao bittersweet chips – low in sugar)
1/3 cup walnuts (optional, but definitely make the cookies nice and “chunky”!)

(For those of you who have never made a flax egg before, click here for step-by-step instructions. Easy peasey, lemon squeezy!)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If using a flax egg, make it following the instructions provided in the link above and put it in the fridge to set for at least 15 minutes.

2. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter, sugars, stevia, and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl until creamy. Beat in the flax egg. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto an ungreased baking sheet and spread the dough into a flat cookie shape (these cookies will not melt or spread, so they will bake in their pre-baked shape or a little bit puffier).

3. Bake for 9 minutes or until cookies are puffed and centers are set but still soft. Remove from cookie sheet immediately (so they don’t continue to bake) and let cool.

I like gooey cookies and these did not disappoint. I made two batches; one with a regular egg and one with a flax egg. The batch with the regular egg came out a bit too dry or “bread-like” for my taste (actually, those are the ones pictured), and I preferred the flax egg batch, which was much more gooey. I did notice that even the flax egg cookies had dried out a bit by the next day, so I recommend either making a smaller flax egg or eating the cookies the same day as you bake them. Also, if eating the cookies more than a day after baking them, I like to heat them in the microwave for 8 – 10 seconds.

So go ahead, feed your chocolate craving and enjoy the holidays!

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

Cheesecake Hot Chocolate

The predicted temperature today was 80 degrees; it hasn’t reached 60 all day long.  This feels pretty cold when you live in Texas and just experienced a record-breaking scorcher of a summer.  I am absolutely ready for winter; I can’t seem to stop shopping for boots, coats, and sweaters.  One of the greatest things (I said one of the greatest things; there are many more I can think of) about cold weather is curling up in a cozy blanket with a good book and preferably with a steaming cup of hot chocolate, make that cheesecake hot chocolate.

The first thing you will need to do is make your cheesecake mixture.  Now it may seem silly to make an entire cheesecake batter just to make hot chocolate, but trust me, it will not go to waste.  This batter is great for making fruit parfaits and for eating entire spoonfuls right out of the bowl.  This batter is also destined to be featured in future cheesecake recipes and also in an upcoming post for cream puffs. 

Cheesecake Batter

  •  1 package Mori-Nu silken tofu (you can find this on Amazon or at your local health food store)
  • 1 package/container neufchatel cheese or vegan cream cheese
  • Juice from one lemon or lime
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup agave nectar/honey/maple syrup (or combination)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 Blend all ingredients in food processor until smooth, eat a large spoonful. 

Now it’s time to make magic.

Cheesecake Hot Chocolate

  • 2 cups unsweetened milk (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1/2 cup cheesecake batter
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder

Bring milk and cheesecake batter to a boil.

 Add in vanilla, cinnamon, and cocoa powder.  Keep at a boil, stirring constantly, until completely blended.

 Grab your cozy blanket, book (or Kindle), and enjoy this extra creamy chocolate delight.

 ~Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

Chocolate Mousse Pie

Hi, my name is Becky and I’m a recovering chocoholic. I once had a collection of about 50 Hershey’s milk chocolate bar wrappers that I made into a giant frame for my bedroom wall. It was serious.

I still have a deep love for all things chocolate (except for chocolate cake, which is strange, right?), but I’ve developed an even deeper love for healthy living. While Hershey bars don’t exactly fit into a healthy lifestyle, that doesn’t mean I have to give up chocolate! In fact, dark chocolate actually has health benefits, which is why I’m perfectly comfortable indulging my chocolate addiction with a piece of chocolate mousse pie.

Okay, two pieces.

Of course, even dark chocolate should be eaten in moderation. If this pie was all chocolate it would be super high-calorie, which is fine if you only want a small slice of pie. But really, is one tiny slice of pie satisfying? I want two big slices! That’s why we’re adding tofu. A whole block of it. Don’t freak out, you won’t even notice it’s there!

Tofu never ceases to amaze me. It can take on any form and any flavor with ease. It’s the chameleon of the food kingdom. It can be  the highlight of a meal, like in this asian-inspired glazed tofu recipe, or it can be a completely hidden ingredient, like in this chocolate mousse pie. Tofu not only makes this pie a perfect balance of firm and creamy, but adds a ton of protein. Add the nut crust and you’ve practically got yourself a protein pie!

This recipe is taken from Chocolate-Covered Katie, a great source for healthy dessert recipes. Check her out!

Chocolate Mousse Pie with Nut Crust
Adapted from this recipe, makes one 8-serving pie

Ingredients
For mousse:
1 box Mori-Nu lite firm silken tofu (available at health food stores or amazon)
1 and 1/3 cups chocolate chips (NOT unsweetened; I like Ghiradelli semi-sweet or 60%)
2 T cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp nondairy milk
Dash or two of salt
2 – 3 T agave or honey (optional, depending on desired sweetness)

For crust:
(Note: you can use a pre-made graham cracker or granola crust, which is easier and less expensive, but also less healthy and less delicious!)
1.5 cups nuts 
3 T vegan butter substitute
1 – 2 T sweetener of choice

Instructions

Step 1: Pulse the nuts in the food processor until finely ground. You can use whatever nuts you have – I use a combination of walnuts, almonds, and pecans, which taste excellent! Add the butter and sweetener (I used a stevia blend) and pulse again until well mixed.


Step 2: Press the nut mixture into a 9″ pie plate and bake at 325 for 10 minutes, until golden brown.

Step 3: Put all pie ingredients into the food processor except for the chocolate chips. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, then use a rubber spatula to scoop the chocolate into the food processor. It’s fine if you lick the spatula clean. We all do it.

Step 4: Blend mousse ingredients until smooth, pour into nut crust, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. 


Step 5: Serve with fresh strawberries, raspberries, chocolate shavings, or coconut whipped cream (easily made by refrigerating canned full-fat coconut milk until thick)…or all of the above!


Bet you didn’t expect tofu to make all your chocolate mousse dreams come true! I suggest buying quite a few boxes of tofu, because this pie will immediately beocome a household favorite that you’ll want to make again and again. And then probably again a third time. Besides that, you may or may not need a box for an upcoming recipe that involves cheesecake and brownies…

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

A Skinnyfat Halloween: Pumpkins, Monsters, and Homemade Candy

Happy Halloween! We’ve already had a partially Halloween themed post already, but now it’s time for the full-fledged version.

Earlier this week, Becky and I had one of our weekly Beckesha fun fests.  I drove out to her neck of the woods and we had basil mozzarella avocado paninis and pumpkin spice gelato at Pinocchio’s, a cute little cafe we’ve grown to love. After that, we decided to stop by the store to buy supplies to make our very own homemade peanut butter cups and peppermint patties.  It just so happened that located at the front of the store were the cutest pumpkins ever.  We couldn’t resist.

Once we got back to Becky’s place we began to set in motion what turned out to be quite an adventurous, and at times terrifying, evening.

First, we mixed together the ingredients for the chocolate layers (cocoa powder, coconut oil, vanilla, honey, and agave nectar).  Then we poured the first thin layer of chocolate in the the mini muffin cups.

We put them in the freezer to harden and decorated our pumpkins. They’re probably the cutest couple I’ve ever seen.

I was amazed at how fast the chocolate solidified; it seemed like barely 10 minutes and they were ready for the next layer. The peanut butter layer consists of peanut butter (hello, obvious) and agave nectar.  The mint layer is coconut oil (solid, not melted), stevia, and mint extract.  It sounds too simple doesn’t it?  Use your fingers or a spoon to spread the mint layer onto your mint chocolate cups and the peanut butter layer to your peanut butter cups.

As you can see, we used melted coconut oil, which turned out to be a big hassle. Trust me, use solid coconut oil and save yourself some trouble. We put them back into the freezer and Becky made us each a cup of chai tea.  While I was enjoying the first sips of my tea, I heard a blood curdling scream from behind me.

Becky had her hands over her mouth in horror.  When I went to see what she was looking at, I saw the most terrifying sight.  There, waving his evil claws, was the scariest scorpion I have ever seen!

Of course, at this point I, too, began jumping up and down and shrieking in horror.  Chai tea, peanut butter cups, and mint chocolate cups forgotten, Becky and I attempted to calm ourselves down enough to formulate a plan to destroy the evil in our midst.  I have had great success in the past in killing evil insects by throwing phone books at them (seriously), but we didn’t have a phone book.  The next idea was to try to scare him from out of the oven burner and smash him with a shoe.  This idea was quickly vetoed as neither Becky or I had the nerve to try to chase him down.  Then I had the brilliant idea to cover the burner with a pot to prevent his escape and to fry him.  Maybe we were not in our right minds, but frying seemed like the best option at this point.

Pot in place, we cranked the burner up as high as it would go on until we smelled burning. We turned the oven off and each of us tried to build up the nerve to lift the pot, expecting to see a black, crispy scorpion.  We were still terrified and persuaded Becky’s hubby to lift the pot.

Our nemesis was nowhere to be found.

He’d disappeared. Vanished into thin air.  Becky and I stood frozen in shock and fear for a few minutes until we regained some of our composure. We reasoned that he must have fled into the stovetop the moment things got uncomfortably warm and there was nothing else we could do. We agreed to try and forget about the monster for the time being and got back to our chocolates.

We took them out of the freezer, poured the last layer of chocolate on top, and put them back in the freezer to harden the final layer. We finished our chai while discussing the very real possibility of the giant scorpion taking up permanent residence in Becky’s stovetop. After about 10 minutes, the last chocolate layer had solidified and we bit into the most decadent and wonderful chocolate candies ever! Any fear or unhappiness caused by demon scorpion was forgotten and replaced with blissful chocolate pleasure.

They even have creepy spikey edges.  If this isn’t the perfect Halloween treat, I don’t know what is.

Here is the recipe so that you can make these treats too.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups and Peppermint Patties
Adapted from this recipe
Note: we doubled this recipe and ended up with about 25 cups

Chocolate Layer:
1/3 c  coconut oil
1/4 c cocoa powder (we used dark)
2 T agave (or honey, we used a combo)
1/2 t vanilla (do NOT omit)
Pinch sea salt

Peanut Butter Layer:
Combine peanut butter and agave (or honey) until you like how it tastes. Really, it’s that easy.

Mint Layer:
1/3 cup solid coconut oil
1 T stevia blend (or sweeten to taste)
1/4 t mint extract (or more, if you really like  mint!)

Instructions: To make the chocolate, melt the coconut oil in the microwave and mix thoroughly with all other ingredients. Stir frequently, as the agave tends to settle to the bottom. Pour a thin chocolate layer into the bottoms of mini muffin cups. Freeze for about 10 minutes, until solid. Remove and cover with a peanut butter or mint layer. Freeze for about 20 – 40 minutes, until solid. Remove and cover with a final layer of chocolate and freeze until solid, about 10 more minutes. Remove and enjoy! Store in the freezer.

(NOTE: Although these are technically “frozen”, they do not taste like a frozen treat. You’ll be able to eat them like regular peanut butter cups or peppermint patties, but remember that if you leave them out for too long they’ll get melty).

In case you were wondering, the monster did not reappear before I left. He’s still out there, biding his time, plotting his revenge.  I know I’ll be watching my back, and Becky sleeps with one eye open.  He’s sly, this one.

~Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Okay, so by now you may have noticed that I rarely title my post by the recipe I’m making.  I like to think about it as a way to lure you in without quite knowing what you’re being lured into.  I’m just sneaky like that.  However, as you can see, I did use the name of the recipe as a title for this post.  Am I suffering from multiple personality disorder?  Well, you never know, but that’s not why I chose this title.  I have a sneaky suspicion that just the words “mint chocolate chip” combined with “cupcake” is all the creativity I need to attract you to this post.  However, if that still doesn’t do it for you, what about this?

So now that I have your attention, I’m just going to dive right in and tell you how to make these.

The Recipe

  • 2.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or oat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 2 tablespoon oil (I used canola)
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Begin by combining the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl.

Then measure out 1/4 cup of the mint leaves.

You can set aside some of the prettiest mint leaves to use later to garnish the cupcakes.

Then you can measure out your fresh spinach leaves in a measuring cup, no this ingredient is not a joke and I didn’t have the idea first either.  Check out Katie’s mint chocolate chip ice cream.  Is anyone else thinking mint chocolate chip ice cream and mint chocolate cupcakes just may be the perfect pairing?

Combine the spinach, mint leaves, agave nectar, applesauce, milk, and oil in your blender and puree until there are no green specks and then mix the puree into your dry ingredients.

See how beautiful and green the batter is?

The last step, of course, is to add your chocolate chips.  I chose to melt down unsweetened baking chocolate and sweeten it with stevia and agave nectar.  I chilled the chocolate in the fridge and once it was firm, I made it into chocolate shavings.

Does this not look like the ice cream? 

Then separate the batter into your muffin tin and bake at 350 until the tops of the cupcakes are no longer wet.  Don’t overcook these, the cupcakes will be moist and perfect if you remove them when they are just barely cooked through. 

My camera doesn’t quite do these cupcakes justice, but they are absolutely divine!

The perfect frosting without powdered sugar is still a work in progress, so I won’t post the recipe to the icing in the picture (even if it does look pretty, if I do say so myself).  Until then, I recommend that you use the dark chocolate ganache I made in this recipe.  Or just eat them sans frosting, trust me they’re just as delicious solo.

You know one of the best parts about these cupcakes?  My husband doesn’t like mint and chocolate together which means that I get to keep these all to myself.  I don’t know about you, but as for me I am going to slip away into a mint chocolate heaven for awhile.

~Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

Trick and Treat

My mother is a master of disguise.  Sure, she looks innocent enough, but underneath it all she is one of the most cunning women I know. 

From beans and sprouts in her homemade bread, chick peas in her smoothies, the extent to which she snuck healthy food into our favorite treats, my siblings and I will never know.  She was always devising new ways to get us to eat healthy things.  I guess I inherited something from her after all.  So in honor of the queen of nutrition camouflage herself, I give you…

Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Bars with Orange Whipped Cream

Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Bars

  • 2.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
  • 1.5 cups carrots
  • Dark chocolate chunks or chips

Mix all of your dry ingredients together.  Then blend the honey, agave nectar, butter, pumpkin puree, and carrots. (hold the chocolate chunks until the end)

Once it becomes a nice puree add it into your dry ingredients, then mix in the chocolate chunks.

Spread the batter into an oiled casserole dish or separate into muffin tins.  Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes until baked through.

While your pumpkin bars are baking, you can make your orange whipped cream!

  • 1 can chilled coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar (add a little more if it’s not sweet enough)
  • Carrots (add until you’ve achieved desired shade of orange)

Blend all ingredients until smooth.  The carrots can give the cream a gritty texture, just keep blending until that goes away.

The cream won’t be quite as thick as whipped cream at first, but if you let it chill in the fridge it will thicken right up.

These pumpkin bars and orange whipped cream come together for a wonderful fall treat.  Perfect for Halloween or anytime! 

My mom will be so proud.

~Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

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