Recipes, Seasonal
Chocolate covered strawberries are one of my absolute favorite treats!  Not only for Valentine’s Day but really any time of the year.  And I have a pretty good idea that you may also love a deliciously dipped strawberry into sweet dark chocolate with fun different toppings sprinkled on top!  So, of course, I wanted to share How to Easily Make Healthy Chocolate Covered Strawberries with the Prettiest Toppings just in time for this love-inspired holiday. Not only are they delicious, they are simple to make and much healthier than the chocolate strawberries you buy at the store or bakery. 

Chocolate strawberry with cashews Chocolate covered strawberries with dried rose petals Chocolate covered strawberry with candied ginger

I have two different recipes for you to choose from, both are vegan, dairy-free and great options.  One is a bit easier I would say than the other, and the other one you’re making your own superfood chocolate!  The choice is yours – you can’t go wrong with either one!

Homemade Chocolate Covered Strawberries with toppings

Recipe One

(easier option in my opinion; plus the chocolate remains smoother)

Ingredients:

Toppings:

  • Coconut flakes
  • Crushed raw cashews
  • Mini vegan chocolate chips
  • Organic pastel sprinkles (purchased at Whole Foods)
  • Pomegranate powder
  • Dried culinary + edible rose petals (you can find at a local spice shop or order online)
  • Peanut Butter (sugar and oil free)
  • Candied ginger pieces

Directions:

  1. Wash strawberries and allow to thoroughly dry before dipping.
  2. Using a double boiler, melt chocolate over the stove until it becomes a smooth consistency.
  3. Stir often.
  4. Add in sea salt and cinnamon and stir well.
  5. Remove pot to another burner, and begin dipping your strawberries.
  6. Make sure to add your toppings quickly as the chocolate will begin to harden.
  7. I listed all the different toppings I used, but feel free to use any that sound fun to you!
  8. Place dipped strawberries on a cutting board (make sure will fit nicely in the fridge) with parchment paper on top and place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!  And share with your loved one or sweet friends and family!
Healthy Chocolate Covered Strawberries Chocolate Covered Strawberry with Pomegranate Powder

Recipe Two

(instead of melting chocolate chips, you’re making your own superfood chocolate!)
Homemade and Healthy Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Toppings

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup raw cacao powder
  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
  • optional: 1 tbsp Madagascar Vanilla Bean ghee butter (from Fourth & Heart)

Toppings:

  • Coconut flakes
  • Crushed raw cashews
  • Mini vegan chocolate chips
  • Organic pastel sprinkles (purchased at Whole Foods)
  • Pomegranate powder
  • Dried culinary + edible rose petals (you can find at a local spice shop or order online)
  • Peanut Butter (sugar and oil free)
  • Candied ginger pieces

Directions:

  1. Wash strawberries and allow to thoroughly dry before dipping.
  2. Over medium heat, melt coconut oil.
  3. Stir in the cacao powder, syrup, vanilla, sea salt and ghee.
  4. Continue stirring until all combined into a nice chocolate consistency.
  5. Remove pot to another burner, and begin dipping your strawberries.
  6. Add a variety of your favorite toppings.
  7. Place dipped strawberries on a cutting board (make sure will fit nicely in the fridge) with parchment paper on top and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!  And share with your loved one or sweet friends and family!
Hope you have the sweetest Valentine’s Day! Lots of love!
xoxo signature-silver
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Recipes, Seasonal
Pumpkin flavored everything all day, every day.  It’s one of the best things about fall!  Pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkin pies, and now Gluten-Free Mini Pumpkin Donuts! Who doesn’t love pumpkin, donuts and anything mini?  

These donuts are not only cute, delicious and full of fall flavor, they are also gluten-free and dairy-free making them allergy-friendly.  Not to mention they are made with healthier ingredients and are refined sugar free.  No post-donut guilt here!  Plus, we can’t forget about the dark chocolate drizzle on top!  So yum! 

Detail photo of Gluten-Free Mini Pumpkin Donuts

They are super easy to make, we promise you can make them in a snap! (must see video for reference;) These are perfect to make on a fall Sunday morning to enjoy with a cup of coffee, bring to a holiday dinner or party, or to make as a sweet surprise for a sweet friend. Also, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, making them a fun Thanksgiving breakfast option or a tasty treat to enjoy over the long holiday weekend! I collaborated with an oh-so-talented friend of mine, Peyton Frank, to create a video for this recipe.  Here’s our fun video on how to make these Gluten-Free Mini Pumpkin Donuts!  (Make sure to watch until the end!  It’s the best part!)

Gluten-free Mini Pumpkin Donuts with Kara Stout from Peyton Anne Frank.

Makes 42 mini donuts.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut flour or almond flour
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1 15oz can organic pumpkin
  • 2 eggs (whisked)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2½ tbsp coconut oil (melted)
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips

Ingredients for Gluten-Free Mini Pumpkin Donuts Cinnamon and pumpkin for Mini Pumpkin Donuts Almond flour with gold measuring spoon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt, and mix well.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk eggs.
  4. Add almond milk, whisked eggs, melted coconut oil, and pumpkin to dry ingredients, and mix well until completely combined.
  5. Grease each mold in mini donut pan with coconut oil.
  6. Add dough to each donut mold.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes.  Oven times may vary.  Do the clean toothpick test to make sure they are done.
  8. While donuts are cooling, melt chocolate chips using a double boiler or a makeshift double boiler (just a small saucepan filled about halfway with water and a heat-safe glass bowl on top.) First, bring water to a boil, turn down to a simmer, place glass bowl on top, add chocolate chips to bowl and stir while chips are melting so it becomes a smooth consistency.
  9. Drizzle melted chocolate on donuts.
  10. Enjoy right away or place in the fridge to harden chocolate.
  11. Store in airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. They taste awesome right out of the fridge too with the hardened chocolate!
Baked Gluten-Free Mini Pumpkin Donuts in baking pan
Gluten-Free Mini Pumpkin Donuts in baking pan with orange and white pumpins Closeup of Gluten-Free Mini Pumpkin Donuts with chocolate Detail of Gluten-Free Mini Pumpkin Donuts with chocolate drizzle
Video by: Peyton Frank
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Recipes, Seasonal
I’ve been obsessed with making homemade, healthier ice cream the past several summers, and now with the addition of my new ice cream maker (it’s only $59 too!), it has been even more fun creating unique ice cream flavors. Plus, these hot summer Texas days have me craving ice cream on the regular! What inspired this Cherry Rose Dairy-Free Ice Cream was a beautiful photo on the cover of Food & Wine Magazine, the June edition. It looked absolutely delicious. I adapted the recipe to be dairy-free, refined sugar free, less ingredients, plus added in the unique flavor of rose water with dried rose petals sprinkled on top. 

Cherries and Roses

If you’re not familiar with rose water, it’s a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking, but we really should include it more in our recipes as it adds such a beautiful, floral flavor. Now, I must warn you to not use a lot. A little goes a long way! You really just want a delicate hint. You can find rose water at your local Mediterranean/Middle Eastern markets (I love the one in Plano for those of you who live in the Texas area. It’s called Shandiz Mediterranean Grill & Market, located at Coit & Parker.) You can also try health food stores or natural grocers, and if you don’t find it right away, ask someone to help you locate it if they carry it. Rose water is usually stocked in the “ethnic food” section. You can order online as well.

Cortas Rose Water

I also want to encourage you to still make this recipe regardless if you have an ice cream maker or not. You definitely don’t need one! I explain what to do in the directions if you don’t have one. It does make it a lot faster (and more fun!) with an ice cream maker, but it is not a necessity.

Cherry rose ice cream in glass bowls

Cherry Rose Dairy-Free Ice Cream Recipe

Makes 5 scoops

Ingredients:

  • 1 heaping cup unsweetened organic coconut cream (1 to 2 cans)
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 – 1½ tsp rose water
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ – ¾ cup fresh organic pitted & halved cherries
  • 3 tbsp shelled raw pistachios
  • Optional: sprinkle dried edible rose petals on top

Detail photo of Cherry Rose Dairy-Free Ice Cream

Directions:

  1. For the coconut cream, you want to choose an organic, full-fat unsweetened coconut milk in the can. Place the can in the fridge and leave for at least 24 hours. One can of coconut milk may provide enough cream for 1 cup. If not, use a second can.
  2. The cream and water will separate in the can, so be sure not to shake the can because you just want the cream that is on top.
  3. Open can gently and scoop out the cream into a measuring cup. Stop when you begin to see the watery liquid.
  4. Blend coconut cream, maple syrup, rose water, vanilla and cinnamon in blender. Blend well.
  5. Transfer to mixing bowl and whisk.
  6. Fold in cherry halves and pistachios.
  7. Scoop mix into ice cream maker and churn for approximately 20 minutes.
  8. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, that’s fine. You can simply place in the freezer for at least 2 to 4 hours or overnight, and it should still give you a good ice cream consistency. You may have to let it thaw a bit if you leave it in overnight.
  9. Scoop ice cream into bowl or ice cream cone, and enjoy!
  10. Fun option alert: Sprinkle dried edible rose petals on top!
Cherry Rose Ice Cream Dairy-Free Ice Cream

Cherry Rose Dairy-Free Ice Cream with flowers and cherries in bowl


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Here’s to delicious homemade cherry rose ice cream and to savoring every last moment of summer! xoxo signature-silver
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Recipes
If you’ve been reading along for a bit or following me on instagram, it’s probably pretty clear that: 1. I love breakfast foods + desserts. 2. I love chia seed pudding {which can be either a breakfast or a dessert!}. 3. I love blood oranges. I play around a lot with different flavors of chia pudding and different fun toppings, and I encourage you to do the same! It’s a great way to experiment and figure out your favorite combos. I have several favorites, like my Blackberry Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding and now this pretty Blood Orange Chia Seed Pudding. 

Blood Orange Chia Seed Pudding with coconut and pomegranate seeds

Adding blood oranges to anything brings your dish to a whole other level, and adding them to a chia pudding makes this treat beautiful, classy and sophisticated. Aside from being pretty, it’s also healthy! Yay for healthy and beautiful foods! Blood oranges are high in antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Eating these boosts your immune system, reduces cancer risk, and assists your body in absorbing iron. Not to mention how great vitamin C is for our skin, keeping it clear, young and glowing.

Blood Orange Chia Seed Pudding with pomegranate seeds

Okay, so here’s the not so great news – blood oranges can be difficult to find. I usually find them at Whole Foods. So, make sure to keep an eye out for these and snag them when you can! Here’s the good news though – they are still in season until May! If it’s too difficult to find them, you can use regular oranges to still get that sweet, citrus taste. This chia pudding is full of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and fiber.  It’s a perfect breakfast to keep you full and give you plenty of energy!  It’s also dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan.

Blood Oranges with flowers on Chia Seed Pudding

Blood Orange Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk {Here is my favorite brand!}
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 heaping teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1.5 tablespoons pure maple syrup grade B
  • 1 blood orange

Toppings:

  • Extra fresh blood orange juice
  • Blood orange slices
  • Coconut flakes
  • Pomegranate seeds
* * You may not be able to find pomegranates now, so top with any of your favorite berries or fruit.

Blood Orange Chia Seed Pudding Detail photo

Directions:

  1. Combine almond milk, chia seeds, vanilla and maple syrup into a mixing bowl and stir well.
  2. Juice blood orange in juicer or use a handheld juicer.
  3. Stir in orange juice.
  4. Cover the bowl with Saran Wrap.
  5. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
  6. In the morning, take out your chia pudding and top with a little extra fresh blood orange juice (I just hand squeezed several drops), orange slices, coconut flakes and pomegranate seeds.
Blood Orange, Pomegranate, coconut flakes on  Chia Seed Pudding xoxo signature-silver
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Recipes, Seasonal
Pumpkin spiced popcorn Excited to share this post with you for two main reasons!  One, it’s National Popcorn Popping Month, did you know?!  Haha, I’m guessing probably not!  I recently found out myself.  And two, because like everyone else, I love pumpkin spiced everything!  So, I thought why not create a fun, simple Halloween treat that is, of course, healthier than most caramelized or sugar popcorn snacks.  keep reading
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