Sweet Potato & Walnut Brownie Bites

Trying to establish some self control and this is a start. Instead of baking the sweet potatoes in a pan, I figure if I bake it in cupcakes, I’d be less likely to eat them all. So far so good, I’ve only had one (but I’ll probably cave soon and eat the rest). 

I got the recipe from PaleOMG, as with most of my recipes. (Is there any recipes of hers that aren’t delicious and so tempting to try?!)

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Follow the instructions through. However, since it’s in a cupcake tin, bake at 350 for 15 minutes instead of 30 in the baking dish. 

I made a little oopsie – left out one tablespoon of coconut flour so it was moister than it should have been. And forgot the chocolate chips in the batter so I sprinkled them in on top. Still delicious. Plus the walnuts, with the extra crunch. Yum. Help. I’m about to cave and eat another as I’m remembering the brownie and writing this post. 

Homemade Coconut Lara Bars

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Love these. Ever since I reviewed the product, I’ve been making these as my go to pre-workout snack. It’s great to grab on the go and eat on my way to the gym if I’m in a rush. So simple and you can do so much with it.

As for the recipe, I typically throw in the equal amounts pitted Medjool dates (I buy them in bulk at Costco) and pecans/walnuts (buy them in bulk at Costco as well). Then I’ll throw in unsweetened shredded coconut flakes with the dates and nuts in a food processor. Mix it up and then form into balls/bars/squares to keep. I recommend storing them in parchment paper because I’ve used ziploc bags previously and the natural oils seep out of the ziploc and create a mess.

I love this because you can throw in almost any type of nuts you like – cashew, almonds, etc. with anything that blends well flavor wise. For example – apple pie flavor, Lara Bar’s cashew cookie (just cashews and dates). Easy and quick. Best of both worlds. 

Paleo Fig Newtons

Wow wow wow. This recipe. What a winner. I’m obsessed with these homemade fig newtons, I could eat the whole thing in one sitting. But then again, what isn’t there that I can’t uncontrollably eat?

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So the recipe. Most importantly, found here. It says it makes roughly 40 fig newtons, but I made half the batter and only made 8. Am I doing something wrong here?!

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Anyways, now that my schedule has picked up again with classes, this will definitely be made every weekend for a quick midday snack. So perfect.

Almond Flour Waffles

I cheated today. But it was for something special – the cronut! Not one of those imposters that everyone’s been trying to recreate. It was the original. Woke up at 5:15 this morning to head to the bakery. Got there around 6 and waited until 8 for the bakery to open. Thought it would be quick from there. Nope. Waited for another hour or so since the line moved so slowly. Then after a LONG wait, I finally got my coveted cronut. I ran home and indulged (yes, cronut at 9 am for breakfast) This months was coconut so I just had to get it before the end of the month. Boy was it sweet. I haven’t had sugar like this in a while so the coconut icing seemed super sweet to me. It was an interesting contrast from the coconut cream filling in the middle because it wasn’t sweet at all, a bit lacking in sweetness, reminding me of something along the lines of condensed milk. The croissant part of the cronut itself wasn’t as soft and flaky like a regular croissant as I expected. I assume the deep frying (I think that’s how its made?) is what caused the dough to be a bit more tough. So with that adventure accomplished and now able to cross it off my list, I have to say I’m not sure if it was worth the wait. I had huge expectations given all the hype in the media. 

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Moving onto the waffles. I recently picked up a waffle maker from Bed Bath and Beyond – $30 by Cuisinart to tackle some of the waffle recipes. I followed the recipe from PaleOMG here (as I get most of my recipes)

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I topped it off a mixed berry compote. Really easy – just heat up some blueberries and strawberries in a saucepan for about 5-8 minutes. 

Banana Chocolate Chip & Walnut Bread

Someone help me before I eat this whole loaf. I’m already 1/4 into it and am so stuffed but can’t stop eating!! I need help. Stat.

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This is what I’m about to stuff my whole body with. It’s absolutely amazing. It’s not over banana-flavored which sometimes is overwhelming. It’s the perfect amount and then the chocolate chips and walnut pieces mixed in, YUM!! SO much better than the previous banana bread recipe I posted a while back. That recipe has nothing on this one. So let me get to the recipe. I came across it on chowstalker, which brought me to here.

I changed the ingredients a bit, so here’s the list according to how I tweaked it:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand) or a bit more depending on your preference
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 well ripened banana (the riper the better)

Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl (almond flour, baking powder, salt, walnuts, chocolate chips). Mix the wet ingredients in another (whisked egg, mashed bananas). Fold the wet ingredients into the large bowl of dry ingredients. Transfer it to a loaf pan and bake for roughly 30 minutes at 350 F.

Side story: I almost burnt down my new apartment for this banana bread and it was SO worth it. Ok maybe I didn’t exactly burn it down. But the oven started smoking during preheat and I wasn’t sure why. Apparently new ovens have to run a while to burn off the oil that is on it. So slight mishap and delay that almost made me give up this recipe. But I’m glad I didn’t and was worth all the trouble I had to go through (fanning the apartment out with all the smoke for a while). Seriously. Try it.

 

Larabars Product Review

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Stacy at Larabar was kind enough to send me a few of the products to sample and review! Larabars are made from mostly dates and nuts. They are soy free, dairy free, and gluten free. I love these as a pre-yoga snack because it gives me the perfect amount of energy without making me feel bloated. They come in many different flavors, more than the four flavors that were sent – they can be found on the website here – http://www.larabar.com/products

As for a review of the product, my least favorite out of the ones sent to me was Lemon Bar. The lemon flavoring was added through natural lemon flavor and lemon juice concentrate. To me it wasn’t natural enough and had a dull lemon flavor – not the tangy and very distinct taste that you get when added to certain dishes. The lemon flavor also overpowered the dates, cashews, and almonds, which were the remaining ingredients of the bar. It just tasted like a mush of dates, cashews, and almonds that were lemon flavored. Not a fan of this.

Next was the apple pie. This was better, but not as good as expected since I LOVE everything apple. Although the apple flavoring is added through unsweetened apple, I felt like the apple flavoring wasn’t brought out enough. It was overshadowed by the other ingredients – raisins, almonds, walnuts, dates, and cinnamon. I would have loved it more if the apple flavor was more prominent.

The coconut cream pie was my favorite. Simple – dates, unsweetened coconut, almonds, cashews, and extra virgin coconut oil. I love the shredded coconut pieces in the bar because it gives the perfect amount of coconut flavor. The date and coconut flavors were also well balanced, which was something that lacked in the others.

Lastly, the cashew cookie was also one of my favorites. Just two ingredients – cashews and dates. Not much to it since it is just two ingredients mixed together, but the simplicity itself is part of what makes the greatness. 

I have to get around trying the other flavored ones..but be careful. There are several flavors containing peanuts – Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter & Jelly, which are not paleo.

Mango Lassi

Earlier this year, I was traveling around Europe when I had this AMAZING meal at an family-run Indian restaurant in Barcelona, Spain (you’re wondering good Indian in Spain? I thought the same thing too. But seriously, it was THE best Indian food I’ve ever had, even my friend with me who’s Indian said so as well – Swagatam is the restaurant’s name in case any of you are ever in Barcelona to check it out). So about that, at the restaurant I had an amazing mango lassi on the house from the owner who constantly made conversation with us and everyone else dining at the restaurant. All I can remember to this day about Barcelona is that mango lassi. Absolutely amazing, I had a second glass that night and even went back the day after for another meal. So craving that mango lassi ever since, I decided to make one today on this sweltering hot day.

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The color of this is a little off..maybe due to the lighting? But I promise you this was amazing. Even better due to the weather.

For a single serving (8 ounces or so):

  • 1 cup frozen mangos
  • 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk (from Whole Foods – Native Forest brand), but I actually used a bit less than 1/4 cup and diluted it with some water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Mixed all the ingredients in my Blendtec blender and was good to go. Was reminiscing of my trip to Barcelona as I was enjoying my mango lassi. For sure will be making this many times throughout the summer for a nice cool down drink.

Bare Fruit Apple Chips Review & Giveaway!

So the people at Bare Fruit were kind enough to send me a bag of Cinnamon Apple Chips to sample, as well as sponsor a giveaway for one of you guys to sample!

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These chips are 100% organic, bake dried, gluten-free with only two ingredients – organic apples and organic cinnamon. These cinnamon apple chips are crunchy enough that you wont even miss a potato chip anymore! I would pick these over a bag of potato chips any day.  The flavor of the apple is well complimented by the cinnamon spices. A whole apple gets messy sometimes to eat, but these make an easy and convenient on-the-go snack in a ziploc bag. The hardest thing to deal with about these chips are stopping yourself from eating the whole bag in one sitting! These are so addictive I can’t stop! (I’m munching away on these chips as I’m writing this review)

You can purchase these online at barefruitsnacks.com. Bare Fruit Snacks also makes several other flavored apple chips – Granny Smith, Fuji Red, as well as other dried fruits such as mangos, pear, and apricots.

So moving onto the giveaway. The giveaway will start today and end in a week from today on July 15th. You can click here for your chance to enter by clicking on the like button. 

Or you can scan this QR code for your chance to win as well. (I don’t know why the QR image is strange but works fine when you click on it – if anyone knows how to fix that, let me know)

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Reblog this post, follow my blog, share the Facebook link!

The winner will receive a bag of these delicious apple cinnamon chips to sample! I will contact the winner at the end of the giveaway.

Caveman Cookies – Review

I received a package of Caveman Cookies yesterday to sample the product. These cookies are all natural & gluten-free, dairy-free and most importantly chewy & delicious! The ingredients made of berries, nuts, and honey make it the perfect paleo snack.

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They come individually packed and each one is around 60-75 calories in each cookie, depending on the flavor. 

They come in 5 different flavors: 

  • Original (honey, almond meal, walnuts, raisins, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon) – Not too huge on the nutmeg/ginger flavor which stands out a bit more. 
  • New World (maple syrup, honey, almond meal, pecan meal, dried cranberries (cranberries, apple juice concentrate, sunflower oil), pumpkin seeds, spices) – Big fan of this one. The flavors go great together, and love the added crunch from the pumpkin seeds.
  • Tropical (almond meal, honey, unsulfured coconut, macadamia nuts, ginger) – Probably my favorite. Love the coconut taste.
  • Rainforest (honey, almond meal, brazil nut meal, chopped almonds, dried cherries (cherries, sunflower oil), nutmeg, cayenne pepper) – Really like the dried cherries in this. Goes great with the crunch from the chopped almonds (something about the crunch with the chewiness really speaks to me). Big fan of this as well. 
  • Alpine (honey, hazelnut meal, almond meal, toasted ground carob) – It was tasty, but the dried fruit in the others one appealed more to me than this flavor.

These cookies are sold on the website in boxes of 8 cookies ($6.25), packs of 3 (24 cookies – $17.95), or cases of 12 boxes which is 96 cookies ($67.50). Also individual flavors come in sample sizes of 3 cookies for $2.85. The price isn’t too bad in comparison with the other paleo snacks on the market – (those bars get expensive!)

They’re a great on-the-go snack and are perfectly portioned controlled in individual packets (exactly what I need or I would eat the whole box). It’s size is pretty deceiving because they are pretty filling. I sampled these cookies post workout and was so full that all I had for lunch was a fruit salad. I will definitely be ordering some more tropical cookies for those busy days.