Paleo Almond Butter Cups

Missing out on peanut butter cups? Then try this recipe - quick and simple almond butter cups.

Mix up the coconut oil, honey and cocoa powder.
Use half the cocoa mixture to cover the bottoms of 6 cupcake papers
Freeze for 15 minutes
Put a small spoonful of almond butter in each cupcake paper and cover with the remaining cocoa mixture.
Freeze 15 more minutes

Pineapple Candy Chips

Seriously tastes like an awesomely flavorful, chewy, full-of-sugar candy. I am so excited to have discovered these treasures. My kids took them to school today and all their friends were jealous, so they look appealing too! Pineapple is a super sweet fruit and dehydrating concentrates the sugars, so it would be really easy to eat too many. They are an excellent substitute for candy, but if candy is your weakness, these will be too, fair warning.

Cut off the top and the bottom with a sharp knife and carefully trim around the sides. These slide through a madoline really well, but you could also slice the rounds with a knife. I used three mm slice, but am going to try some seven mm as well. I laid them out on dehydrator sheets and dehydrated for 12 hours on 130 degrees. You could also lay them on cooling racks and lay out in the sun on a hot, dry day. Oven temperatures do not typically get low enough for fruit.

Blackstrap Molasses Taffy

Have you ever been to a “taffy pull?” When I was a youngster, this was a beloved party activity, and let me tell you, now I know WHY we did it at parties. Today I did it ALONE. Not the most intelligent choice I ever made, but it worked out in the end. Blackstrap molasses is incredibly rich in minerals. You will feel good about giving this delicious candy to your children!

Butter a Pyrex 9 x 13 inch pan.
In a heavy-bottomed, 3 quart stainless saucepan, combine the molasses, Sucanat, butter and vinegar.
Stir constantly and over medium heat, bring to a boil.
Attach a candy thermometer to the pan, and stirring, continue to cook until the temperature reaches 260 degrees F.
Remove from heat and stir in the black walnut extract.
Pour the mass into the buttered pan.
Stir around gently with a fork as it cools to bring the outer parts to the center.
When the taffy is cool enough to handle, generously butter your hands and then begin “pulling” the taffee. (This is where it is good to have helpers.) This just means you stretch it, and fold it back on itself over and over. (Please check the pictures on my blog post.)
Continue pulling the taffy until it has lightened somewhat in color and it becomes almost firm enough that you cannot pull it any longer.
Pull it into a long rope and lay it out on waxed paper to cool.
Cut into small pieces with some sturdy scissors and wrap each one in a small piece of waxed paper.
This will make about 1 pound of candy.

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Mmmmmm. Such a delicious treat that can hardly be deemed as a “treat.” It is packed with nutrition, from the iron, complete protein, calcium, fiber, and antioxidants of the chia seeds to the good fat in the peanut butter to the antifungal properties, healthy fat, and lauric acid of the coconut oil. I used coconut sugar, which is low on the glycemic index so it doesn’t spike your blood sugar and there is only a very small amount in the recipe. The chocolate gives it a rich flavor and is what makes this a treat. Go make these…they are delicious and you don’t have to feel any guilt when eating them!

Combine everything but the chocolate chips and milk over low heat, stirring occasionally until smooth. In a separate pot, melt the chocolate chips slowly over very low heat and mix in the milk. Remove when the mixture is smooth.
Line mini muffin tins with paper liners. Fill each muffin tin about halfway to three-fourths of the way full with the peanut butter mixture (it will seem very runny). Next, scoop a bit of chocolate and top each liner with chocolate mixture. Place muffin tins in freezer until firm (this only took 15-20 minutes for me). Enjoy these “treats” straight from the freezer! Store either in the freezer or the refrigerator…they will become a puddle if you leave them out (especially in Arizona!).
*Tip: Place muffin tins with just the peanut butter mixture in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before scooping on the chocolate layer to avoid the chocolate sinking to the bottom of the mixture.

Coconut Butter Chocolates

More coconut oil creates a more smooth chocolate and also pours into the molds better for a better appearance with less air bubbles, but has to be kept in the refrigerate because they melt more readily. Less oil will make them more firm, but not worth it to me for it sacrifices creamy texture. Less cocoa powder makes a milk chocolate like flavor, while more is like dark chocolate. You will want to taste the mixture for sweetness, our sweet sensors are ultra sensitive since we have been eating minimal sugars, so a little goes a long way for us.

Place coconut and oil in vita-mix and blend on high for one minute. Scrape down sides and blend for another minute. Check for creaminess, you may want to blend for a third minute. Add honey, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla and any other flavoring and blend thoroughly. Pour into molds and set up in refrigerator for 20 minutes. If you don’t have a mold, you could pour mixture into a bowl and let set up slightly, then scoop out like truffles.

Gluten-free Cocoa Nut Balls

Rich Chocolate. Gooey, Chewy crunchiness. Gluten-free and flour-less. Easy and fast to make. I love these balls! 🙂 I have included the instructions for soaking the nuts to remove phytates at the beginning of the instructions. Omit if you don’t choose to soak your nuts (they are much easier for your body to digest that way though!).

Soak and dehydrate nuts and seeds
Place almonds in a jar. Add 1 t. of sea salt. Fill with water and soak for 7 hours or overnight. Place sunflower seeds in jar. Add 1/4 t. sea salt. Cover with water and soak for 7 hours or overnight. Drain all nuts and dehydrate with dehydrator for 12-24 hours.
Assemble Nut Balls
Place sunflower seeds and almonds in blender and grind until coarse. Add raisins and grind until the raisins are in small pieces. Slowly add honey, melted butter and 1/2 cup cocoa while blending. It may get too thick to blend. In that case remove from blender and stir vigorously by hand. In clean blender, grind the sucanat until it is powder. Mix with the rest of the cocoa powder and pour into a bowl. Shape “dough” into 1″ balls and roll in sucanat/cocoa mixture. Place on cookie sheet. Refrigerate until serving.

Raw Peppermint Coconut Oil Fudge

Chocolate and peppermint is one of my favorite flavor combinations. If I want a quick, still somewhat nourishing, treat, this is what I whip up. No artificial anything, no standing over a stove to cook to softball stage and plenty of metabolic enhancing coconut oil. Did I mention that it’s all raw?

Prepare 2 small loaf pans or 1 large loaf pan (if using 1 large, fudge layer may be thinner) by lining the bottom and sides with parchment paper. This will make the fudge easy to remove later.
Heat about an inch or so of water in a saucepan. Place a glass mixing bowl on top of the simmering water and combine the cacao powder, coconut oil and honey. Stir until just combined. Try not to allow the mixture to heat. You want to keep everything raw, if possible. The melted mixture should be cool to the touch. Remove from the heat occasionally as you stir if you’re afraid it’s getting too hot. All we want to do is melt the coconut oil and honey enough for them to combine.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and peppermint oil.
Pour your fudge mixture into the prepared loaf pans and allow to cool in the refrigerator. You can place in the freezer to speed things up.
When cooled, remove from the pans and cut into small squares. If difficult to cut without cracking, allow to sit at room temperature a few minutes before cutting.
Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator or freezer. Makes great gifts!

Salted Toffee Popcorn

A sweet and salty combination that you won’t be able to stop eating!

Butter a very large bowl.
Pop 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels using an air popper.
In a medium saucepan combine the sucanat, butter, pure vanilla extract and 3 tablespoons of water.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat stirring constantly to prevent burning.
Bring to 260 degrees.
Immediately pour the toffee over the popcorn and stir a few times.
Sprinkle the salt over the popcorn and stir until the popcorn is evenly coated.
Let cool completely, break up and eat.

English Toffee

The original recipe came from my grandmother and has been handed down through the family. I grew up watching my mom make this every Christmas and learned how to make it as a teenager.

Butter a large, rimmed cookie sheet or use a silicone baking mat on the cookie sheet.
Combine the butter, sucanat, water and vanilla in a large sauce pot. I use a 6 quart sauce pot because it has a larger surface area and cooks more evenly.
Over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, bring the mixture to a full boil.
Insert a candy thermometer into the mixture, and stirring constantly, scrapping the sides and edges of the pan as well, bring to 260 degrees (sucanat cooks differently than white sugar and does not need to be heated to as high a temperature to reach the proper consistency). This takes about 20 minutes.
Immediately pour onto the prepared cookie sheet.
Using the spoon, spread the toffee out as thinly as you want it. You can also tip the pan from side to side to thin it out.
Wait 5 minutes, until the toffee is set but still hot, and then put the chocolate chips on top of the toffee.
Once the chocolate is melted, spread it evenly over the top of the toffee.
Let this sit for several hours or overnight for the chocolate to set.**
Using a table knife, break up into pieces.
Store at room temperature in a sealed container.
** You can making the cooling process go faster by putting it in the refrigerator, but the chocolate will have a whitish cast to it.

Homemade Chocolate Chunks

These homemade chocolate chips work beautifully in recipes! They taste especially good in grain-free baked goods. SweetLeaf brand makes flavored stevia, and you can experiment with different flavors for these chips (mint, orange, chocolate-raspberry, etc.)

Place chocolate and stevia in the top of a double boiler over simmering water and stir until smooth. Pour onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper until solid. Either cut with a sharp knife into desired size chunks or break apart with your hands. Have fun with these!

Chocolate Covered Bacon

I’d been wanting to know how to make chocolate covered bacon for a long time. This is a great recipe and is a lot of fun.

Cut the bacon in half.
Fry the bacon in a cast iron skillet. It is best to keep the bacon a little bit chewy as it produces a better final product.
Let the bacon cool.
In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips and butter. You can add additional flavors at this time as well, such as maple or toffee. Mix well and make sure that it is thoroughly melted.
Cover the bacon in chocolate by dipping it. You will no doubt also need to manipulate the chocolate with a spatula to some extent as well. You may also choose to leave one end of the chocolate covered bacon uncoated so that it is less messy to eat.
Place the chocolate covered bacon on wax paper and put them in the freezer to cure.