Carrot Cake Loaf

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Since finding out about my own personal struggle with insulin resistance and PCOS, I am on a mission to get my body where it needs to be. Weight loss is never an easy journey, pair that with crazy hormones, it’s been quite a ride.

I am working so hard at breaking this vicious cycle for myself, but in doing so, I can’t and will not give up my love for cooking and baking. Because none of us need to do that!

I have had so much fun in the kitchen, trying new recipes and making our old favorite recipes more low carb friendly for us, and ultimately for you!

I do not believe my joy for food will ever go away, because I can talk, read, write, browse, eat…. all day long. I have made a choice to put the right foods in my body, to make it work the best it can. I have also made a choice to indulge in healthy treats from time to time, that don’t derail me from my goals.

Life is definitely all about moderation, and if you can make your treats healthy for you, you aren’t cheating. You are living!

There are some things you can say that life is not worth living without, if I was dramatic I would say this Carrot Cake Loaf! I personally feel happier knowing I have found a slightly sweet bread that I can put together really fast, that gives me a tasty snack with delicious carrot cake flavor! Carrot cake is one of my favorites, and this did not disappoint! I hope you try it!

Carrot Cake Loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup carrots, grated
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup swerve sweetener {or 1/2 cup sugar, honey, etc}
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together. {almond flour, coconut flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon}

In a mixing bowl, add eggs and swerve sweetener. Mix to combine, then adding coconut oil, unsweetened applesauce and vanilla extract.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in mixing bowl and combine.

Then add grated carrot to batter.

Grease a bread/loaf pan with nonstick spray {butter or coconut oil} and pour batter into pan, spreading evenly.

Place in oven and bake for 30-32 minutes until top is browned and inserted toothpick comes out clean.

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Remove from oven and allow to cool.

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Then it’s time to slice it up and serve!

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It is moist, delicious and just subtly sweet- making it the perfect bread to eat as is, put a little butter on it, or make it into french toast! I think next time, I’ll even drizzle a little cream cheese frosting over it!

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Happy eating!!

Do you have a favorite loaf or bread recipe?

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Healthier Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

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Oh sweet tooth, you are at it again.

Forcing me to research, brainstorm and create a recipe just so you can enjoy one of life’s greatest creations….brownies.

Rich chocolate, fudgey, mouth watering brownies….that don’t cause your body to jump into sugar shock only to retreat into a carb induced coma.

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One of my greatest joys with experimenting in the kitchen, is when my chef husband loves what I’ve made. While he isn’t a tough critic in the sense that he is a food snob, his opinion and years of experience mean something to me. Ratings of 10/10 in anything I make, seriously make me feel proud of what I’m doing.

I think the best creations in the kitchen come from your heart. When you are passionate about what you are doing, it is always going to be a success. The recipe itself may take some tweaking but what is a passion without trying for your own standard of perfection.

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With that being said, this is not suppose to be comparable to a real brownie made out of sugar and flour (which are delicious, I might add). This is something different, and to me….better. I have no guilt eating this as a treat. I don’t think you will either. Its rich, dense and full of chocolate flavor.

Healthier Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

Makes 16 Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil or butter
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips {can use sugar free chocolate}
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup swerve sweetener {or 1/2 cup coconut sugar, honey, agave, sugar}
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium microwave safe bowl, add coconut oil (or butter), dark chocolate, and peanut butter. Microwave for 2 minutes until mixture is melted and smooth. Put aside.

In another bowl add eggs, swerve sweetener (or sweetener of choice) and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. Add coconut flour, unsweetened cocoa powder and salt.

When fully combined, add in peanut butter chocolate mixture.

Spray a 8X8 pan with nonstick spray or use parchment paper for easy clean up.

Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out batter. Place into oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until set and inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to fully cool.

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Cut into 16 squares and enjoy!

Happy Eating!

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Low Carb Magic Bars

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Is there anything you distinctly remember about your childhood? Something that when one of your senses is heightened, it brings back instant nostalgia? I have many and I am so grateful that our brains do the involuntary magic that they do.

While a lot of my memories are of things we did, places we went and who we enjoyed these moments with, it is no surprise that some of them completely involve food. Because food = life, right?

My mom always use to make seven layer bars when we were growing up. Ooey, gooey, chocolate, coconut filled mounds of delicious joy. It’s been so long since I’ve had one, but I still recall the kitchen I grew up with, the counter where all the treats sat and the warmth my mom always provided us with. Whether it be her love, her cooking, or her thoughtfulness, she has always been the best mom. We are very grateful for her and her seven layer bars.

For they inspired these….

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I am a firm believer in ending the day with a little something sweet and with changes to my diet over the past few years, I have loved experimenting with new sweet treats that everyone can enjoy!

Low Carb Magic Bars

Makes 16 servings

Ingredients

Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup of full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup swerve sweetener
  • 1/4 coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Magic Bars

  • 3/4 cup coconut flour (measured to 66 grams), sifted
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, room temperature
  • 3 tbsp of swerve sweetener
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup slivered or chopped almonds
  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips, chopped

Directions

To make the caramel sauce, place coconut milk, swerve sweetener, coconut sugar and salt into a sauce pan. Heat slowly and bring to a simmer on medium low heat. Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes until the caramel is a nice golden color and has started to thicken. The sauce will thicken more as you remove it from heat and allow to cool. Add vanilla extract when you have removed pan from heat. (I doubled the caramel sauce recipe and saved half in the refrigerator for future use, which meant another batch, haha)

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, add the coconut oil and 3 tbsp of swerve sweetener and mix well. Add the sifted coconut flour and mix until fully combined. You will have a wet dough.

Take an 8X8 baking dish (or comparable dish) and line with parchment paper for nonstick and easy clean up. Pour dough into dish and press evenly throughout. It will be a thin crust, but don’t worry.

Place into oven and bake for 7-8 minutes until the edges are starting to get golden brown. The dough will still be somewhat soft.

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Next, you will place the almonds and pecans on top of crust. Press down softly so that the nuts are slight pushed into the crust. Add the chocolate chips evenly, then the coconut flakes.

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Last, pour the caramel sauce over all the delicious ingredients. Gently shake the pan so that the caramel sauce can sink between the layers.

Place into oven and bake for 27-28 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

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Place the bars into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

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When ready, cut into bars and enjoy!

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The first time I made these, I brought them to a family birthday party and they were a hit!

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Just look at the layers of delicious goodness.

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Try to stop at just one, because it’s not possible.

Happy Eating!

A Weekend in Boston- Day 2

A Weekend in Boston – Day 1 – if you missed it!

Day two started bright and early, thanks in part to an internal clock that thinks we are always going to work! Since there was no work to be had, we got ready and met our travel buddies downstairs to explore!

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Our first stop was to get some delicious coffee at Thinking Cup. They do an awesome job living up to their personal philosophy to provide delicious coffee, pastries and food in a cozy and enjoyable environment. I could get use to starting my day this way!

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After feeding our bellies with some fuel, we decided to start walking the Freedom Trail, went to Quincy and enjoyed the sunshine on our faces! Nothing makes me happier than being around family, having sun on my face and just feeling content. There is something spectacular to be said for just going away for the weekend. Leaving all your responsibilities for a few days, and soaking up life! Life is fleeting, you need to truly enjoy it while you can!

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After some browsing in shops, we ventured to the North End, Boston’s Little Italy. We went to Europe for the first time last year, and what I loved about this part of Boston, was it gave you such a nostalgic feeling. With its perfect old character paired with modern accents, the beautiful cobblestone streets and most importantly, the local older Italian men who sat on the sidewalks barking at each other from across the street, it was just a joy to experience.

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At the recommendation of a family member, we decided to have lunch at Antico Forno. It was one of the our best dining experiences of the weekend and in the future, we would definitely go back for dinner!

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Their entire menu looks delicious but true to this Italian girls heart, I just can’t pass up chicken parmigiana!

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Parmigiana di pollo- breaded chicken, fontina cheese, basil, San Marzano tomato sauce with a mixed green salad

I should have asked for no bread, but I took it off and a lovely mister in the our party decided to take it off my hands, the perks of family!

The hubby had one of his favorites as well!

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Polpette- homemade meatballs, parmigiana cheese, roasted peppers, basil, San Marzano tomato sauce with a mixed green salad

After a fantastic lunch it was back to walking around our favorite city, and no good day in the books ever forgets dessert.

We stopped to get gelato and honestly, I just can’t stop with the coconut. I want it every day, all the time, in everything. Yum!

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Then we retired to our hotel rooms for a mid-day break to get ready for our night activities!

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When we were ready in our evening fancy attire, we stopped at the bar to get a drink. I just love my sister! Baby blues forever!

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Then we walked down to where the theater was and stopped into an awesome restaurant/bar which I have no recollection of the name. I will find it though, because it is the coolest atmosphere. I felt like such a modern-day woman in that place!

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After a few drinks and an appetizer we headed to the Charles Playhouse to see The Blue Man Group!

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That was so much fun! I love going to shows and creating new experiences, so it was definitely one of my favorite moments! If you haven’t seen them yet, find a show and enjoy it!

When the show was over we headed back to where our hotel was and stopped into The Beantown Pub for a drink and some grub. What is a weekend away without good eats?! Nothing, absolutely nothing.

We couldn’t have asked for a better day or travel buddies than these! It was a great little trip and I am so looking forward to our next adventure. Where will that be?!

Boston, we miss you already- but you are only a hop, skip and a jump away. So until next time, much love!

Low Carb Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

 

How is it July already?! The time is sure flying and we are embracing our summer as much as we can! I hope you are too!

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There have been holidays, weekend projects, parties, concerts and lots of fun filling these days. It is no wonder that I haven’t taken the time to share a new and delicious dessert for you all to try! You will have to wait no longer, well maybe a little….

I hope you all were able to enjoy the 4th of July with the ones you love, doing something that made your heart happy. That is what life is about. Living it to the fullest every day you can and embracing as many moments possible.

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I was blessed with a lovely five day weekend over the 4th and I cannot put into words how wonderful it was! It was full of family, friends, good food, laughter and another home project to put down in the books. We redid our front porch! It still needs railings put on, but that will hopefully happen this weekend! I am loving it so far!

I will not hold you in suspense any longer! Here is what I’d describe as delicious, soft, pillows of chocolate chip cookie that will leave you asking for just one more. They are easy to make and worth every minute of the small effort. Happy baking!

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Low Carb Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes 18 cookies

Ingredients

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  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup swerve sweetener (or sweetener of choice)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 3 oz of dark chocolate, cut into pieces

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl or stand up mixer, combine eggs, sweetener, and vanilla. Then add coconut oil.

 

Add the peanut butter to the wet ingredients and combine.

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In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine dry ingredients- almond flour, coconut flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Combine well, breaking up any big lumps from the almond flour.

Next add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients, mixing on medium speed until combined.

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Then add your dark chocolate.

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Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (for non stick and easy clean up)

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Using a spoon or a cookie scooper, make 18 cookies and place spread out evenly on baking sheet.

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Bake in oven for 15-17 minutes until edges golden brown.

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Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for at least 10 minutes.

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Then enjoy!

 

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Just the right amount of sweet chocolate, coconut and peanut butter. My favorite flavors married together to make the perfect cookie, with no guilt. If that isn’t winning, I don’t know what is.

Until next time! Happy eating!

Low Carb Pudding Parfaits

I don’t know about you guys, but some of my favorite sweet treats include cake, chocolate and pudding. If only I could eat my favorites everyday…. okay maybe that’s a little too indulgent.

What if we all could enjoy our favorites knowing that they aren’t as bad for you? That is my mission in this life and I truly enjoy sharing these creations with you.

A few months ago, I was craving my favorite chocolate cake. Costco’s chocolate cake, to be more specific. Layers of rich, dark, moist chocolate cake with sweet, creamy and decadent chocolate frosting, covered in delicious chocolate shavings. That is really what dreams are made of. I never looked up how much sugar is in that cake, although I know it’s probably right on the label. I didn’t want to cry after eating it.

So instead of venturing out to buy a huge cake that would leave me with a million servings (exaggerating, it’s probably more like 30ish), I tried my best to make a lower carb chocolate dessert that would kick the craving and leave our stomachs happy.

That’s when these were born. Yummy, healthier, chocolate, delicious parfaits. Layers of low carb chocolate cake, sugar-free pudding and whipped cream have completed my life. A dessert that is very versatile, for you can mix it with whatever flavors you like.

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In the words of Guy Fieri, “this is money”.

Low Carb Pudding Parfaits

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Ingredients for Cake

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup swerve sweetener**
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup water

**You can substitute your favorite sweetener- 1/2 cup swerve = 1/2 cup of regular sugar. So use according to that ratio.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together, breaking up any lumps in the flour.

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In a mixing bowl, add eggs, sweetener and vanilla. Mix together until combined.

Add dry ingredients into the egg mixture. You will have a thick batter at this point.

Mix in cocoa powder.

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Add melted butter and water, allowing for all ingredients to blend and batter to thin out.

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Pour batter into a 8 X 8 inch baking pan either greased or with covered with parchment paper. Spread evenly into pan.

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Bake for approximately 22 minutes or until the top is set, but cake feels moist. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

 

You could stop here, top with your favorite frosting, whipped topping, ice cream…the possibilities are endless. I took it a step further.

Ingredients for Parfait

  • Chocolate cake, recipe above
  • 1 box of sugar-free instant pudding (or regular pudding), any flavor
  • 2 cups of preferred milk (skim, whole, almond, coconut, cream etc)
  • 1 large container of cool whip (or make your own)

Directions

In a bowl, if using instant pudding, mix milk and pudding for 2 minutes using a whisk. Place into refrigerator for at least 5 minutes to allow to set.

Cut the chocolate cake into cubes.

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Using whichever cup, dish or bowl that you prefer, being to layer your parfaits.

First add cake, then pudding, then whipped topping, making three layers.

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Try not to put spoonfuls of pudding or cool whip into your mouth during this process. It can be difficult.

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You can make ahead and place back into refrigerator or enjoy right away!

 

Happy eating!

Disclaimer: This cake is meant to be light and easily crumbles for this parfait. If you are looking for a more dense cake, come back when I create that *wink wink*

A Chocolate Chip Blondie Snow Day

It’s the beginning of April, and spring is here! The birds will be chirping, sun shining and our plants sprouting! Well, that’s what we all thought.

Mother Nature had quite a spring surprise, covering us with her humor and quite a dusting of powdered sugar, also known as snow. Cold, wet, unwanted but pretty snow. Everywhere. All day long.

While I was fortunate enough to be home enjoying a day inside with my pups and a warm fire, I definitely would have preferred sunshine on my face and an iced coffee in hand. That was not the day that was meant to be had, but I hope to see some in the future!

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Despite that, I am grateful for the day that I was given. I cleaned, organized and rearranged furniture all day long. I lit the most wonderfully scented candles, drank hot coffee, and enjoyed being enclosed in my little nest. Cozy, warm, blessed and happy would be words I would use to describe today. The only thing that would have made today better is having my mister home with me.

Since he wasn’t, I decided to make him something delicious and sweet for when he got home. Sweets for my sweetie! Too corny? Moving on…

These Blondies are full of flavor, yet healthy for you! They will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth craving without making you feel guilty. In my book that equals perfection!

Paleo/Low Carb Chocolate Chip Blondies

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup any nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew, sunflower)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sweetener of choice (honey, agave, maple syrup, coconut sugar or swerve)
  • 4 oz of your favorite chocolate (dark, milk, white, sugar-free, etc)

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Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper, spray with nonstick spray and put aside.

In a bowl, mix together nut butter, egg, coconut oil, vanilla and sweetener.

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Then add almond flour, baking soda and salt. When fully combined,  fold in your chocolate.

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Spread evenly into prepared baking dish. Place into oven, bake for 20 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

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Remove from oven and allow to cool. Then cut into 16 squares.

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Happy eating!!