Gluten-Free Chocolate Protein Muffins

Hi everyone! Today I want to share with you my latest recipe for Gluten-Free Chocolate Protein Muffins. They’re perfect for when you want something sweet, yet low in sugar and high in protein. Enjoy them anytime of day from a healthy breakfast to a pre-workout snack, or even dessert!

A Note on Gluten

Another nice thing about this recipe is that it uses oat flour instead of wheat, making them gluten-free! Personally, I do eat gluten, but since there are so many who can’t, I like to make some recipes gluten free, but still enjoyable for anyone. However, it’s important to use certified gluten free oats if it’s a concern for you or someone you’re baking for. Although oats on their own are gluten free, they are often cross-contaminated in the processing plants.

While we’re talking about gluten, I think it would also be an appropriate time for my little soap box speech on “allergy” vs “interolance/sensitivity”. There are so many misconceptions on this topic which is a serious issue.

gluten-free chocolate protein muffins

Gluten and wheat are not synonymous. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barely, and rye. A wheat allergy is not the same as gluten intolerance. It is a major pet-peeve of mine when people talk about “gluten allergies”. That’s not a thing! When someone has an allergic reaction to wheat it is due to an immune system response. The body sees the wheat as an antigen and tries to attack it, sometimes leading to an anaphylactic reaction. Gluten intolerance, on the other hand, is kind of a spectrum, ranging from severe celiac disease to a mild sensitivity. With celiac, the gluten damages the small intestine, so it is critical to avoid. If the sensitivity is not due to celiac, people typically have some GI upset without long-lasting damage.

The bottom line is that gluten is a component of wheat, but they are not the same. Gluten intolerance/sensitivity can range from celiac disease to minor GI upset. On the other hand, a true food allergy is an immune response to the protein and can lead to anaphylactic shock.

gluten-free chocolate protein muffins

Ingredients

One of the major components of Gluten-Free Chocolate Protein Muffins is the protein powder. So many powders have artificial sweeteners and tons of ingredients. I was so excited to discover ICONIC because they use only the simplest ingredients. Their chocolate truffle powder only has five ingredients: milk protein isolate, cocoa, natural flavors, salt, and monk fruit extract. The milk protein isolate comes from grass-fed cows. Use promo code RACHEL15 for 15% off any order–not just your first!

I also prefer using Organic Valley milk because it’s local, organic, and I can be sure the cows are well cared for! You could use their Ultra milk for extra protein and less sugar or their Grassmilk which comes from grass-fed cows.

Other Muffin Recipes to Try

gluten-free chocolate protein muffins

Gluten-Free Chocolate Protein Muffins

Packed with 11 grams of protein and zero refined sugar, these healthy muffins make for the perfect healthy treat!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: banana, chocolate, egg free, gluten free, muffin, oatmeal, protein powder
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories: 173kcal
Author: Rachel Alexandra

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats divided
  • 1 cup ICONIC Chocolate Truffle protein powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup mashed bananas about two
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 6 Tbsp hot water
  • 1 cup Organic Valley milk
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin tin with 12 liners.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the hot water with the ground flax seed to make the "egg". Set aside.
  • Take one cup of oats and place in a food processor. Grind for about 1 minute, until it forms a flour.
  • Sift the oat flour with the protein powder, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a medium bowl, add the mashed banana, milk, maple syrup, and the flax mixture. Whisk until well combined.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold in the other cup of oats and chocolate chips.
  • Evenly distribute the batter between the muffin cups. Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Advertisements

Gluten Free Medjool Cheesecake

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to share this new cheesecake recipe with you, inspired by Feasting with Fruit! I made this last weekend for Easter instead of my usual Lemon Curd Cheesecake. Like the lemon curd, most of my other cheesecakes follow a pretty similar format, with slight modifications for each one. However, Gluten Free Medjool Cheesecake is totally different and a lot healthier! It’s 100% Medjool date sweetened and doesn’t even use cream cheese!

The gluten free crust is simple and delicious. It’s definitely something I want to try on my other cheesecakes. Instead of using melted butter and sugar-filled cookie crumbs like I used to, I blended Joolie’s Medjool dates with oat flour and coconut oil to create a delicious, sweet, crumbly crust. You’d never think it’s gluten free!

Gluten Free Medjool Cheesecake

The filling is even more surprising–like I said, no cream cheese! Instead I used non-fat Greek yogurt mixed with heavy cream. The yogurt adds the classic cheesecake tang and contributes protein rather than fat! Also, the dates are so sweet and caramelly that I didn’t have to add ANY additional sweeteners!

Personally, I’m a huge fan of warm spices, so I tossed in my favorite combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Feel free to experiment with any of your favorites. Finally, to top off my Gluten Free Medjool Cheesecake, I made some fresh whipped cream. You could also try fresh fruit or a drizzle of ganache as well! Enjoy!

Gluten Free Medjool Cheesecake

Other Cheesecakes to Try

Gluten Free Medjool Cheesecake

Gluten Free Medjool Cheesecake

This cheesecake is utterly delicious, with a crumbly date crust and rich, creamy filling. Free of refined sugar and higher in protein, this is the perfect healthy-ish dessert!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake, cheesecake, cinnamon, dates, healthy, medjool, overnight oats, refined sugar free
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8 slices
Author Rachel Alexandra

Ingredients

Crust

  • 6 Joolie's Medjool dates pitted
  • cup coconut oil melted
  • 1 ¼ cup old fashioned rolled oats gluten free
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt

Filling

  • 12 Joolie's Medjool dates pitted
  • cup water
  • 1 ½ cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt unsweetened
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp arrowroot starch
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼-½ cups powdered sugar
  • ¾ tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Take a 9-inch spring form pan and lay a piece of parchment paper on the bottom before clamping on the sides. Cut off most of the excess parchment (leave about an inch all around) and grease the sides of the pan.
  • Place the rolled oats in a food processor and blend until it forms a coarse flour. Remove the oats and set aside.
  • Add the dates and coconut oil to the food processor and blend until the dates are in small pieces.
  • Add the ground oats along with the salt and cinnamon and process until the mixture comes together. Scrape down the sides periodically to make sure everything is getting incorporated.
  • Press the mixture into the bottom of the spring form pan, just barely going up the sides.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 325°.

Filling

  • In a small pot, add the dates and water. Bring to a boil before reducing heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Removed from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  • Add the dates and water to the food processor and blend until it forms a thick paste. Again, scrape down the sides as needed.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the date paste along with the yogurt, cream, vanilla, arrowroot, salt, and spices. Mix on low speed until all the ingredients come together smoothly. Do not over mix.
  • Pour the filling onto the pre-baked crust and smooth with an offset spatula.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes at 325°, being sure not to open the oven during that time. The edges should be slightly golden when done.
  • Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack before chilling in the refrigerator. Chill for at least three hours before serving.
  • When the cheesecake has set up, release the sides of the pan. Using the edges of the parchment paper, pick up the cheesecake and move it to a cake stand or plate for slicing.

Whipped Cream

  • Using a hand or stand mixer, start by whipping the cream.
  • As it starts to stiffen, add the powdered sugar and vanilla.
  • Continue to whip until stiff peaks form. If needed, add more powdered sugar.

Vegan No-Bake Energy Bites

Lately my life has been pretty busy, between school, work, and everything else. Considering all the places I have to be in a given day, I find myself eating on the go throughout the day. However, I won’t take my busy lifestyle as an excuse to eat convenience foods. Instead, I adapted a delicious recipe from Gimme Some Oven to fit my personal taste. These Vegan No-Bake Energy Bites have a balance or fat, protein, and carbohydrates and contain no refined sugar! Don’t worry if you’re not a culinary expert, as assembling these energy bites is extremely easy!

One of the critical components of this recipes is “natural” peanut butter. However, the word natural does not have a legal definition from any regulatory agency in the U.S. Even though they don’t contain hydrogenated oils, many so-called natural peanut butters are ridden with added sugar, salt, and palm-oil. That’s why I choose Crazy Richard’s Peanut Butter–it only contains peanuts, just as it should.

vegan no-bake energy bites

To make Vegan No-Bake Energy Bites, start by mixing all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl with a spatula or spoon. When everything is well combined, let the mixture chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to make the assembly easier.

vegan no-bake energy bites

Once the mixture is chilled, take a small handful and begin shaping it into a ball. (Don’t be afraid to get a little sticky!)

vegan no-bake energy bites

Keep rolling until the dough is gone–there will probably be about 20-25 balls. Store the bites in the refrigerator or freezer. I prefer having them frozen, but they will be just fine in the fridge if you want them softer. Enjoy!

vegan no-bake energy bites

Other recipes to try:

Advertisements

Vegan No-Bake Energy Bites

Vegan No-Bake Energy Bites are easy, healthy, on-the- go snacks to give you a boost of plant-based protein throughout the day!
Prep Time15 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: clean eating, energy bite, no bake, oatmeal, peanut butter, plant based, vegan, vegetarian
Author: Rachel Alexandra

Ingredients

  • ½ cup old fashioned rolled oats gluten free
  • cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup ground flax seed
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbs Crazy Richard's Peanut Butter
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup unsweetened dried fruit

Instructions

  • Mix all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
  • Let the mixture chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to make them easier to roll.
  • Remove from fridge and roll the dough into balls, about one inch in diameter. If you are having a hard time getting them to stick, add some extra peanut butter.
  • Store the bites in the refrigerator or in the freezer for longer term storage. (Personally, I prefer eating them frozen.) Enjoy!

Notes

Any nut or seed butter can be used in place of peanut butter.
If you’re not vegan, raw, local honey works in place of maple syrup.

Spinach & Sweet Potato Curry

Happy Saturday, everyone! This morning I want to share my latest recipe with you all–Spinach & Sweet Potato Curry. I’ve been making a lot of curry dishes lately because they’re so flavorful and a great way to get a meal full of veggies and whole grains. I also haven’t been eating meat for the past month, and curries make for a satisfying vegetarian meal. However, if you do want some meat, it would be really easy to saute some chicken and add that in as well.

Spinach & Sweet Potato Curry

Speaking of adding chicken, the thing I love about this Spinach & Sweet Potato Curry is how easy it is to customize. My recipe is adapted from one I found from Healthy Nibbles, but I swapped out some ingredients and spices to make it my own. I used sweet potato instead of squash, garam masala and turmeric instead of plain coriander, quinoa instead of rice, and added some chickpeas. I also played around with consistency and ended up adding some arrowroot starch to thicken the sauce. Also, if you don’t have spinach, you could try any other leafy green vegetable you like, such as collard greens, Swiss chard, or even kale! I encourage you to experiment with spices, veggies, and grains to find what you like best. Let me know in the comments below!

Spinach & Sweet Potato Curry

Other Recipes to Try

Spinach & Sweet Potato Curry

Rachel Alexandra
Spinach & Sweet Potato curry is the perfect solution when you need a healthy dinner on a busy weeknight. It's full of veggies, spices, and plant-based fats and proteins.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ red onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tbsp ginger root minced
  • 2-3 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 large sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 14 oz chickpeas
  • 14 oz fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut cream
  • 1/3 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4-5 cups spinach
  • 1 cup quinoa dry
  • 2 cups water

Instructions
 

  • In a large saucepan, melt the coconut oil.
  • Add the onion and saute for about 3 minutes on medium high heat, until they begin to soften and turn translucent.
  • Add the garlic and ginger and saute for another minute or two.
  • Add the spices and mix the ingredients until everything is well coated.
  • Add the sweet potato, tomatoes, coconut milk, broth or water, and salt.
  • Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the sweet potato is tender, about 15 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, add the chickpeas.
  • Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa and add to a medium pot with two cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium low and simmer until all the water is absorbed.
  • When the sweet potato is tender, remove from heat and stir in the spinach. Serve with quinoa.

Notes

Brown rice your favorite grain can be used in place of quinoa.
The arrowroot starch is used for thickening. If you prefer a thinner curry, it can be omitted. You could also eliminate the broth altogether if you don’t want as much sauce.
Keyword chickpeas, clean eating, coconut, curry, healthy dinner, spices, spinach, sweet potato, tomatoes, vegan, vegetarian

Peanut Butter Chocolate Overnight-Oats

Having a low sugar and high protein breakfast is critical to staying satiated throughout the day. This is especially challenging for me because I can’t have eggs or tree nuts and choose not to eat meat. My protein sources? Dairy and legumes. This recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Overnight-Oats incorporates some great sources of complete proteins with no added sugar!

Protein Powder

I recently discovered ICONIC protein powder. Up until now, I’ve been very skeptical of such things, but ICONIC only uses milk protein isolate, cocoa powder, natural flavor, monk fruit extract, and sea salt. One scoop has 20 grams of protein, no sugar, and 90 calories. It is sweetened with monk fruit which is a natural , no calorie sweetener that won’t affect blood sugar levels. ICONIC is the perfect addition to Peanut Butter Chocolate Overnight-Oats! Use promo code RACHEL15 for 15% off your order!

Milk

Another new discovery is Organic Valley’s Ultra Filtered Milk. Because of the filtering process, it contains 13 grams of protein and 6 grams of sugar, and no lactose! (Regular milk has 8 grams of protein and 12 grams of sugar.) Not only that, but it contains no antibiotics, synthetic hormones, GMOs, or toxic pesticides–plus it tastes amazing! Other lactose-free milks taste sickeningly sweet from overcompensation for the lactose, but Ultra Milk isn’t like that at all.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Overnight Oats

Peanut Butter

“Natural” peanut butter is critical for this recipe, but the word natural is not defined by any regulatory agency in the U.S. Even though they don’t contain hydrogenated oils, many so-called natural peanut butters are ridden with added sugar, salt, and palm-oil. That’s why I choose Crazy Richard’s Peanut Butter–it only contains peanuts, just as it should.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Overnight Oats

Related Recipes

Peanut Butter Chocolate Overnight-Oats

Rachel Alexandra
These overnight oats are packed with protein and low in sugar to keep you satiated all day!
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats gluten free
  • 1 cup Organic Valley Ultra Milk
  • ¼ cup ICONIC Chocolate Truffle Protein Powder
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp Crazy Richard's Peanut Butter

Instructions
 

  • Mix all the ingredients in a pint sized jar.
  • Let stand for about eight hours or overnight.
  • Stir and enjoy!
Keyword chocolate, meal prep, oatmeal, overnight oats, peanut butter, protein powder

Recycling Veggies into Broth

The Food We Take for Granted

“Food–so much food–and people to share it with,” wrote one church member as we gathered on Thanksgiving to consider various examples of the “evidence of God’s grace” in our lives. Isn’t that the truth? Many of us are blessed with such an abundance of food. Just look at the photo–not everyone can say they were able to take a 15 minute drive into town to shop at the local food co-op and bring home a plethora of organic fruits and veggies. That’s something I need to remember never to take for granted. It’s also why I want to reduce waste by recycling veggies into broth.

I just finished reading the book Grocery Story by Jon Steinman (definitely a must-read for anyone who consumes food). At one point, he mentions a statistic on produce waste. I can’t remember if it was a global or regional figure, but it was along the lines of half of all produce getting wasted. HALF. That’s completely outrageous. A lot of it has to do with the industry standards of “perfect” produce. Everything must look identical and be free of the harmless blemishes we find on homegrown garden food. But the corrupted food industry isn’t to blame for all of it. So is everyone who consumes food–including me.

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

Compost as a Way of Life

When you live in the country, composting is really simple. Throw produce scraps in a bucket, empty it outside in the compost bin, let it ferment for a while, and back in the garden it goes. I never thought twice about it as a kid. It was ingrained in me to never throw produce scraps in the garbage. When I moved to town, composting became a lot more difficult. At my first apartment, my roommates liked to keep a container for food waste in the kitchen and they would regularly take it to one of the drop-off bins on their way to class. The trouble is, now I don’t live within biking distance of a compost drop-off. Technically, I could find a way to make it work, but not without it being very inconvenient. But I still feel bad about throwing food waste down the garbage disposal.

Recycling Veggies into Broth

Last night, I took a trip to the co-op to get a nice haul of organic veggies for Lentil & Yam Coconut Curry (stay tuned for a recipe 🙂 ) Thinking about how much produce waste would come from peels, stems, and seeds, I thought back to volunteering at Healthy Community Kitchen. We would often reserve some veggies from the regular compost to make immune broth for the clients.

Making some of this nourishing broth is incredibly simple. As you’re cooking throw all your veggie scraps in a big bowl. I used onion, garlic, lemon, ginger, cilantro, carrots, peppers, and sweet potato. Most any vegetable will work, but steer clear of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels, sprouts, kale, and cauliflower. They are known to make broth bitter. For extra flavor, toss in a bay leaf and add other spices and herbs.

Put all the veggies you want to use in a large pot and fill with water until the veggies are covered. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour or until the broth reaches the flavor concentration you’re looking for. Add salt to taste.

When the broth is ready, drain the liquid into a pitcher and dispose of the scraps when cool. Pour the broth into jars. If you allow space at the top for expansion, they can be either be frozen or stored in the fridge for more immediate use. To make the broth shelf stable, sanitize the jars and lids in boiling water. Then fill them with broth and put on the lid. Place the jars in a bath of boiling water to pressure seal them. When removed from the water, the lids will pop as they seal. This will allow the jars to be shelf stable.

Notes

Sometimes, you may not have enough veggie scraps to make a whole batch of broth, but that’s okay too. As you go about your daily cooking, keep a container of veggie “waste” in the freezer. Keep adding to it until you’re ready for some fresh broth!

Recycling veggies into broth makes for a really versatile ingredient. Try using it to replace the water in Chicken & Brown Rice Soup!


Vegetarian Tikka Masala

Finally, here it is! Proof that I actually make food other than desserts! As you’ve probably noticed when browsing around my site, my so-called clean eating blog as been featuring a LOT of sweets lately. Even though they’re all made from scratch and often lacking refined sugar, I still wouldn’t classify such recipes as health food. So since in reality I also like to make wholesome dinners, here’s the latest recipe we tried this week: Vegetarian Tikka Masala.

Vegetarian tikka masala

I slightly adapted the recipe from Food with Feeling (I highly recommend checking out her blog!) and we also cooked up some chicken on the side which makes it super adaptable for households with a mix of vegetarians and omnivores. I tend to prefer more plant based foods while Daniel really likes meat and needs more protein, so this worked really well!

If on the other hand, you need a fully vegan recipe, simply swap out the Greek yogurt for one made with coconut milk, omit the optional meat, and there you have it!

Vegetarian Tikka Masala

Vegetarian Tikka Masala is a really easy recipe and the only special kitchen equipment you’ll need is a food processor. This is also great way to sneak in some extra veggies. I used cauliflower, carrots, peppers, and peas, but you could also experiment with other things like zucchini, broccoli, eggplant, or whatever is in season. No one says you have to make a recipe the same way twice! 🙂

Other Recipes to Try:

Vegetarian Tikka Masala

Rachel Alexandra
Vegetarian Tikka Masala is dish loaded with flavor and a variety of vegetables. Toss in some chicken if not vegetarian, or use coconut yogurt to make it totally vegan!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 8 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 large red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 inch ginger root peeled
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp garam masala
  • 14 oz whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • 5 oz plain Greek yogurt or coconut yogurt if vegan
  • 15 oz coconut cream
  • 1 head organic cauliflower chopped
  • 3 small sweet potatoes peeled and diced
  • 3 organic, large carrots sliced
  • 1 organic bell pepper chopped
  • 1-2 cans garbanzo beans
  • 1-2 cups frozen peas
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot starch optional
  • Hot sauce to taste

Instructions
 

  • Place half the onion, garlic, ginger, cilantro, and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a food processor and pulse until well combined.
  • In a large skillet, sauté the remaining onion, garlic, ginger, and olive oil with the spices until the onions soften and become translucent.
  • Add the San Marzano tomatoes (with liquid), tomato sauce, Greek yogurt, food-processed mixture, and half of the coconut milk.
  • After about 5 minutes on medium heat, add the cauliflower, sweet potato carrots, and peppers. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • When the veggies are mostly softened, add the garbanzo beans, frozen peas, and the rest of the coconut milk. Continue cooking until the peas are thawed and heated through. If desired, add two tablespoons of arrowroot starch as a thickener.

Notes

Be sure to use full fat coconut cream instead of reduced fat or coconut milk beverage. The full fat is analogous to heavy cream, whereas reduced fat resembles half and half and coconut beverage is the consistency of regular milk. In this case, the full fat consistency will help everything thicken.
Also, it’s important to shake or stir the can first, as some of the cream may be solidified because it’s so temperature sensitive.
If vegan, you can substitute Greek yogurt with coconut yogurt.
If hot sauce isn’t spicy enough, try adding some gochujang, a fermented, Korean red pepper paste.
Keyword curry, dinner, easy, healthy, vegan, vegetarian

Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffles

I filled my bowl with peanut butter, powdered sugar, and butter and turned on the mixer. As I folded in some crisp rice cereal, the aroma of Christmastime wafted around the kitchen. Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffles only seem to come around once a year, but I think I need to change that 😉

After all, these truffles are basically a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup except a zillion times better. I’m talking rich peanut butter filling with a crispy crunch, submerged in decadent semisweet chocolate. Plus they don’t have all the added preservatives and funky oils you get in processed candy bars. So naturally Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffles will top anything found in a store.

I’m all about clean eating, but that doesn’t mean I’m anti-dessert. I just use the highest quality, most minimally processed ingredients and cut no corners cooking from scratch. For these truffles, I made sure to use Crazy Richard’s peanut butter which only has one ingredient–peanuts! Just like it should be. I didn’t want to use anything with added sugars or hydrogenated oils found in most conventional peanut butter. However, even among “natural” peanut butters, you find unnecessary ingredients when all you really need is peanuts and maybe salt.

Overall, these Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffles are super easy to make. The only challenge I encounter is getting them to look as good as my mom’s! The first few always look the best, but toward the end it becomes nearly impossible to have a perfectly smooth chocolate coating. Either way, they still taste amazing! Plus, you can always pick and choose the best ones to give away or serve at a gathering. If you want them all to look perfect though, you can always melt some extra chocolate. My other tip is to make sure the peanut butter balls are rolled into perfect little spheres. The smoother they are, the smoother the chocolate coating will look.

If you love Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffles, give these a try:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffles

Rachel Alexandra
Natural peanut butter filling with a crispy crunch, dipped in smooth, rich chocolate–the perfect holiday truffle!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cooling Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 40 truffles

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ cups crisp rice cereal
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup Crazy Richard's peanut butter
  • ¼ cup salted butter softened
  • Pinch of salt
  • 12 oz semisweet baking chocolate

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, peanut butter, and salt. Using a hand or stand mixer, mix the ingredients until everything is evenly combined.
  • Gently fold in crisp rice cereal.
  • Form the dough into 1 tablespoon-sized balls. Roll them until spherical and place on a sheet of wax paper.
  • Melt the chocolate using a double boiler or in the microwave. To use the double boiler, add one inch of water to the bottom and melt the chocolate on top. Stir often and be sure not to let any moisture in the chocolate (it will alter the consistency). If using a microwave, go in short intervals and stir often to avoid scorching the chocolate.
  • Individually, place the peanut butter balls in the chocolate. Roll each one around until it is totally covered. Carefully removed with a fork and place on wax paper to cool.
  • When all the truffles are made, they can be placed in the refrigerator for faster cooling time and they can be stored in an airtight container there or in the freezer.
Keyword chocolate, confectionery, peanut butter, truffle

Sweet, crunchy granola over smooth, tangy yogurt

Vegan Nut-Free Granola

For those of us with food allergies, it can be really hard to find a nut-free granola. And if you’re avoiding animal products too, a vegan nut-free granola can be even tougher! Most anything on the store shelves, aside from a few “allergen free” brands is full of all sorts of tree nuts. Then again, when I look at the ingredient lists, I can’t help but think that maybe I’m better off not being able to have it at all. Although marketed as “health food”, granola is often chock full of sweeteners that hide in the labels. Things like brown rice syrup, tapioca syrup, barley malt syrup, and agave are all refined sugars, not to mention straight up cane sugar, brown sugar, and molasses.

nut-free granola

When I set out to make this Vegan Nut-Free Granola, my top two criteria were no nuts and no refined sugar. Nuts are easily substituted with seeds and for sweeteners, I only use raw honey or pure maple syrup. (Of course if your goal is to avoid animal products, skip the honey and go with syrup instead.) Yes, these are still forms of sugar and should be used in moderation, but as far as sweeteners go, honey and maple syrup are natural and unrefined.

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it is super adaptable! The ingredients I use are:

  • Rolled oats
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Shredded coconut
  • Maple syrup
  • Coconut oil
  • Raisins

That being said, there are so many ways to mix it up based on what you have in the pantry. Other seed options would be flax or chia seeds. For dried fruit, you could substitute cherries or blueberries, or anything else without added sugar. (That’s why I don’t recommend dried cranberries, but if you don’t mind the sugar or have some without, they’d work great too.) Spices can be adjusted or swapped according to your flavor preferences and once the granola is cool, you could even add in a few mini dark chocolate chips. So go ahead, make it your own, and enjoy!

A perfect breakfast of nut-free granola with plain Greek yogurt

Similar Recipes You May Like:

No-Bake Energy Bites

Nut-Free Granola Bars

Sweet, crunchy granola over smooth, tangy yogurt

Vegan Nut-Free Granola

Rachel Alexandra
Vegan nut-free granola is sweet, crunchy and free of refined sugars, nuts, and animal products. It pairs wonderfully with a tangy bowl of (vegan) yogurt!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 1 1/4 cup scoops
Calories 165 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats gluten free
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp raw sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup raw flax seeds
  • ¼ cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup raw honey or pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup unsweetened dried fruit

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl mix the oats, spices, and salt. Then add the seeds and coconut. When the dry ingredients are well combined, add the honey or syrup and coconut oil.
  • Spread the granola evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Take out the pan and gently turn over the granola with a wooden spoon. At this time, you can add the dried fruit.
  • Bake for another 15 minutes, then remove from oven allow it cool and harden. Break up any big pieces and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Enjoy!
Keyword breakfast, gluten free, granola, low sugar, nut free, vegan

Lemon Garlic Salmon & Asparagus

Today I want to share a new recipe for Lemon Garlic Salmon & Asparagus that’s perfect for this time of year when asparagus is in season! This is also a great option for Friday night if you’re craving fish, but want a heart-healthy option instead of beer-battered fish fry. It’s a very simple recipe, super quick, but loaded with flavor! If you want to work ahead and get even more flavor, you could try marinating the salmon with the lemon and garlic beforehand.

Serves 4

Ingredients

Asparagus

1 bunch fresh asparagus

1 clove garlic

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Salmon

2 large wild caught salmon fillets (or four small ones)

2 cloves garlic

1 small lemon

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Slice asparagus into 4 inch spears and arrange on a baking sheet. Mince one clove of garlic and sprinkle on the asparagus. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 30-40 minutes, rotating the pieces every 15 minutes. Cooking time varies based on the size of asparagus.

While the asparagus is roasting, prepare the salmon. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (if not non-stick) and lightly grease with olive oil. Mince two cloves of garlic and zest the lemon. Place salmon fillets in the pan skin down. Sprinkle with garlic and lemon zest. Then squeeze the lemon juice on the salmon and add salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste. Bake for 15-20 minutes. The fillets should be opaque and flaky when done. Enjoy!


Baked Spinach Asparagus Risotto

You can always tell when it’s spring in my family because that’s when we have the first Baked Spinach Asparagus Risotto. In fact there’s fresh, wild asparagus incorporated into nearly every dish. Asparagus was never something we would buy at the store when I was growing up since we always had so much of it growing around our property. Because of that, we only ate it seasonally, but we sure made the most out of asparagus season!

Sometimes we would just have it grilled or steamed with melted butter on top. Other times we would puree it into asparagus soup or add it to my mom’s famous veggie lasagna . But one of my favorite spring dishes has always been this Baked Spinach Asparagus Risotto.

Baked Spinach Asparagus Risotto

During my time volunteering at Healthy Community Kitchens, I learned how to make authentic risotto. It was only then that I realized that this recipe technically isn’t true risotto. Risotto is actually one of those dishes that has to be very precise and takes some time to master. Last night I actually made a real risotto with spinach and mushroom so stay tuned for that recipe! For now, enjoy this simpler baked version that’s perfect for rushed weeknight dinners! Enjoy it as a main meal or side dish for fish with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Baked Spinach Asparagus Risotto

Rachel Alexandra
This risotto makes for the perfect dinner on a busy weeknight. It's quick, easy, and full of seasonal veggies and flavor!
Cook Time 41 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup Arborio rice uncooked
  • 8 cups spinach leaves about 4 oz
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg optional
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan divided
  • 1 ½ cup asparagus diagonally sliced in 1 inch pieces

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook 4 minutes or until tender. Add rice and mix well. Stir in spinach, broth, salt, and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer and cook for 7 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese.
  • Cover and bake for 15 minutes. Stir in asparagus and sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until liquid is almost absorbed.

Notes

Find out how to make your own veggie broth here!
Try substituting half of the asparagus for peas as pictured.
Keyword asparagus, clean eating, gluten free, healthy dinner, Parmesan, peas, rice, risotto, spinach

3 Ingredient Butternut Squash

Fall is finally here which means back to school as well as lots of opportunities for fall baking. I’ve been settling into apartment life for the past month and now that classes have started again, it’s hard to find time to actually cook wholesome meals. Thankfully I had yesterday morning free to do a little meal prep, including making this 3 Ingredient Butternut Squash from my grandpa’s garden. It makes a perfect side with pretty much anything. This recipe is extremely simple and easy too (only three ingredients), so it’s perfect for this busy time of year. Enjoy!

3 Ingredient Butternut Squash

Ingredients:

1 Butternut squash

2 Tbs. butter

2 Tbs. brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut squash into halves vertically and scoop out seeds to discard. Place the squash skin side down in a glass baking dish.
  3. Make three slices in each half of the squash, being sure not to cut all the way through. (See above photos.) This will allow the butter and brown sugar to flavor more of the squash.
  4. Spread the butter evenly on both halves and sprinkle with brown sugar.
  5. Bake skin side up for approximately 30 minutes or until the squash is soft a fork can be inserted easily.
  6. Squash can be eaten as is or scooped out of the skins and mashed. Enjoy!

Avocado Feta Chickpea Salad

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to share my all time favorite salad. This avocado salad is my go-to lunch whether I’m at home or on the go. It’s so absolutely delicious, simple, and satisfying. The avocado is full of unsaturated fats and the lime juice gives it some pizzazz. The chickpeas and cheese provide a great vegetarian source of protein, too! Enjoy!

Blog.jpg

Avocado Feta Chickpea Salad

Rachel Alexandra
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 1

Ingredients
  

  • 1 avocado diced
  • ¼ cup chickpeas
  • 2 Tbsp feta cheese crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro chopped
  • 1 Tbsp scallions chopped
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Combine avocado, chickpeas, and feta in a bowl.
  • Toss with lime juice.
  • Garnish with cilantro and scallions.
  • Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
Keyword avocado, chickpeas, cilantro lime, feta, garbanzo beans, gluten free, salad