Clean Black Forest Cupcakes

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Today is my Dad’s birthday and we are getting together to celebrate! I love birthdays! I love taking one special day a year to stop and remember all of the things you love and appreciate about a person. I think it’s really important to take the chance to make someone feel loved and cared for! Birthdays are also special to me because they are steeped in tradition and I LOVE tradition! I love taking the time to select the perfect thoughtful gift, I love decorating with balloons and streamers, and I LOVE eating birthday cake!

My Dad happens to favour the exceptionally delicious flavour of Black Forest Cake. I know that at least once a year I will get to indulge in this cherry chocolatey goodness.

This year however, I am smack in the middle of “The 8 Week Challenge”. The challenge requires the participants to abstain from sugar of any kind for at least 8 weeks! (longer if you so wish) I’ve talked about my love for this program before in previous posts. Although I’ve been feeling awesome on the program with little to no sugar cravings, I have been thinking about that Black Forest Cake!

I began imagining myself at the party gnawing on a celery stick while the rest of my family indulged in the delicious Black Forest Cake!

Then…..I had an idea! Maybe I could try to make my own “Clean” Black Forest Cake! I started to search online for healthy versions of this delectable dessert without much luck. I went over to my favourite clean eating website: Against All Grain, and wouldn’t you know, she had a recipe for this very dessert! Danielle, you’ve come through for me again! 🙂 I did make one substitution in her original recipe. She calls for honey, but honey is not permitted on the challenge so I substituted it for date butter and it turned out great!

Ingredients:

4 Large eggs
1/4 Cup date butter
1 Tsp vanilla
1/4 Cup melted coconut butter
1/4 Cup coconut milk
1/4 Cup coconut flour
1/4 Cup almond flour
1/4 Cup cacao powder
1 Tsp baking soda
1/2 Tsp sea salt
1/2 Cup red cherries, pitted

Cherry Filling:
3/4 Cup red cherries, pitted
2 Tbsp date butter

Icing:
(In the original recipe, Danielle uses coconut whipped cream which is delicious. However, coconut whipped cream must be consumed almost immediately after it is made or it starts to melt. I needed these cupcakes to be able to last for a 30 minute car ride. I came up with this alternate icing recipe. It’s not the traditional “whipped cream” icing found on most Black Forest Cakes but it is delicious none the less!

My Icing:
(This icing has a rich, dark chocolate flavour. If you don’t like the flavour of dark chocolate you may want to stick with the whipped cream recipe)
2 Cups dates (soften in hot water if they are not fresh)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp melted coconut oil

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender.   Blend really well.  You don’t want this to be chunky!

Whipped Cream Icing:

2 Cans coconut milk refrigerated for at least 24 hours

Place a glass bowl in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so the bowl is cold.  Scrape off only the cream that has risen to the top of the can.  Try to avoid getting the liquid.  Beat on high until peaks form.  Serve immediately.

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners. In a food processor or blender combine all wet ingredients. Slowly add the coconut flour, cacao powder, baking soda and salt and process well. Add the whole cherries and pulse 2-3 times until they are roughly chopped. Pour the batter into the cupcake papers filling each 3/4 full.

Put ingredients of cherry filling in a small pan and simmer for 15 minutes on medium heat. The cherries will be soft and much of the liquid will have evaporated.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Once they cupcakes have cooled use an apple corer or just a pairing knife to remove a quarter size piece from the middle of the cupcake. Fill each cupcake with the cherry filling and then pipe icing on top.

These cupcakes are as good as they look! I am so so so pleased with the way they turned out! This recipe is the perfect proof that eating “clean” doesn’t mean going without your favourite treats!

I hope you love these cupcakes!!

XO, Pam
http://www.cleanlifehappywife.com

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Clean Fudgsicles

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We usually take a yearly family trip to Disney each year. One thing that I look forward to the most are these delicious Mickey Head Ice Creams on a stick! Oh man! They are sooo yummy! The problem is that once you start eating them it’s so hard to stop! I was pretty proud of myself this year, I didn’t have even one!

The thing I miss the most when eating clean is a good refreshing frozen dessert! I love frozen treats in the summer! I love ice cream, ice cream sandwiches and most of all fudgsicles. If you read the ingredients on the back of the box of your favourite frozen treats you may be a little disappointed with all of the added unhealthy ingredients.

I came up with this recipe to help fill the fudgsicle void in my life! 🙂 These fudgsicles are AHHHH_MA_ZING! It’s so hard to eat just one!

Ingredients: (makes a 6 pack popsicle)

1 Can coconut milk

1/2 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 Cup dates

1 1/2 Tsp vanilla

Directions:
Combine all ingredients together in a blender and blend on high. Blend well until you have a smooth consistency! You don’t want this one to be chunky! 😉 Pour into a plastic popsicle maker and freeze overnight.

****Important Tip*** To get the popsicles out, run the frozen popsicle container under warm water to loosen it. If you skip this step you will likely pull the stick right out of the popsicle. 🙂

Enjoy!

XO, Pam
http://www.cleanlifehappywife.com

Clean Pina Colada Smoothie

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One of my favourites things about summer is having a deliciously refreshing cold drink on the deck on a hot afternoon! Hmmm I love lemonade and iced tea and especially pina coladas! Although these drinks are delicious, they are often packed with refined sugars! This smoothie recipe will hit the spot when you are craving a cool treat! I make a big batch of this and make the rest into freezies or popsicles.

Last year I ordered these awesome “make your own” freezie bags! My kids had delicious and healthy freezies all summer long! The bags are called “zipsicles” and you can order them by clicking the link below! 🙂

http://zipzicles.com
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Ingredients:

1 Can pineapple or 1 & 1/2 cups fresh pineapple

4 Cups unsweetened coconut milk

1 Tbsp shredded coconut

1 Tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp coconut oil

2 Cups ice cubes

Directions:

Simply mix all ingredients together in blender and mix on high! 🙂

Clean Fudge and Oat Bars

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I’ve been on the search for a dessert to bring on the go to friends houses and family get togethers. These bars are easy to make, easy to cut, and easy to transport! And the best part- they are really tasty too! 🙂

Ingredients:  

2 Cups Oats

1 Cup raw almonds

1 Cup packed dates

1/4 Cup melted coconut oil

1/2 Tsp Almond extract 

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350oF.
Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.
In a food processor, process almonds, oats, almond extract, and salt until lightly ground. Add in the dates and pulse until crumbly. Add in the melted coconut oil and process until the mixture comes together.

Remove oat mixture from the processor. Set aside 3/4 cup for topping and then press the remaining into the bottom of the pan.
Bake the crust for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes take it out of the oven and let it set for 15 minutes. While it is setting make the fudge.

Fudge Ingredients:

1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup date butter
1 tsp coconut oil melted
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt

Place all of the ingredients together in a high speed blender for 30 seconds on high.

Spread the fudge over the cooked oat bar and sprinkle the remaining oat topping all over the top. Put it back in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Take pan out of the oven and place it on the counter to cool for 30 minutes.

These bars really hit the spot when you are craving a sweet treat!

XO, Pam

http://www.cleanlifehappywife.com

Clean French Toast Casserole

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I saw a similar recipe in a cookbook and thought this looked delicious! I decided to “clean it up” and see how it turned out! This yummy dish did not disappoint! It is so delicious you will surely be able to fool your kid’s into thinking they are having an unhealthy treat! 🙂 It can double as either a breakfast dish, dessert, or both! The best part is, it was pretty simple to make! I made mine the night before and just popped it into the oven in the morning! Can I get an “amen” for easy, no fuss breakfast options?!
I hope you enjoy this as much as our family did! 🙂

Ingredients:

2 Eggs, plus 4 egg yolks
1 Cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 Cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 Cup date butter or apple butter
1/2 Tsp cinnamon
1/4 Tsp nutmeg
Coconut oil
1 Cup blueberries
1 Loaf cinnamon raisin ezekiel bread

Directions:

Cut bread into cubes and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.

Combine eggs, milk, date butter, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. Mix well with a whisk.

Grease a casserole dish with coconut oil and fill with bread crumbs. Sprinkle blueberries on top and pour the custard mix overtop. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325F

Fill a large pan with 1 inch water. Place the baking dish with the french toast in the water bath. Cover with foil, cut a few holes for venting and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and back for a additional 40 minutes.

This is an awesome clean family favourite to incorporate for special events such as birthdays and holidays!

I hope this delicious casserole helps to start your morning off right!
Pam

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http://www.cleanlifehappywife.com

Clean Lemon Bars

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I love the flavour of lemon! Lemon meringue pie, lemonade,lemon tea…I love it all!! These lemon bars are no exception! These bars take a few steps to get them right, and are not a “quick” dessert to make. BUT, they are well worth it!!

Ingredients:

2 Lemons
2 1/2 Cups walnuts
3/4 Cups pitted dates
Juice from one lemon
1 Cup oats
1 Cup kamut flour
1/4 Cup butter (room temperature)
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 Egg
Grated rind from 2 lemons

Directions:

Step 1- Mix together the butter, oats, egg and flour in a bowl. Mix together with your hands and then split the dough into 2 equal parts. Line the bottom of a square pan with parchment paper and half of the dough, forming it into a crust. Bake it in the oven at 350F for 25 minutes. Pull out the parchment paper with cooked dough on it and set aside. Repeat this step again with the second portion of dough.

Step 2- In a good blender or food processor combine the lemon juice, dates, nuts and rind from lemons. Blend REALLY well! The “smoother” the consistency the better it will turn out.

Step 3- In a pan on the stove top heat the coconut oil. Add the coconut flakes and warm until the flakes turn golden brown. Once they are browned remove them from the pan immediately or they will continue to turn darker.

Once you have all 3 parts completed, you can start to build your squares!! Spread half of the lemon mixture over the crust that is still in the pan. Place the second layer of crust on top. Spread the remaining lemon mixture on top of the crust, sprinkle with coconut and set in the fridge for 2 hours. Cut into squares and serve!

I can’t wait to have one of these for dessert tonight! 🙂
Hope you enjoy these as well!
Pam

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http://www.cleanlifehappywife.com

Clean Apple Crisp

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My mother in law makes a killer apple crisp! When we were dating my husband often talked about his mother’s apple crisp and how much he loved it. I enjoyed the odd piece of apple crisp, but i wouldn’t call myself a “fan” of it. That is, until the day I tried a piece of my mother in law’s famous apple crisp! Let me tell you, it totally lived up to all of the hype! It was FANTASTIC! Sooooo buttery and crispy and yummy! I’ve been experimenting to create a “clean” version of apple crisp to satisfy the cravings for my mother in law’s (which is definitely NOT clean!) 🙂 Now this recipe is by no means an exact clean replica of hers, but it is delicious in it’s own right. This dessert hits the spot if you are craving a warm, cinnamon-y treat! I hope you like it!

Ingredients:

1 Bag organic apples
1 Cups spelt flour
1 Cups oats
1 Tsp vanilla
2 TBSP orange juice
5 Pitted dates
1/2 Cup un-sweetend apple sauce
3 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 Tsp baking soda
1/2 Cup butter
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Nutmeg

Directions:
Peel and slice the bag off apples and put into a large bowl. In a blender or food processor add dates, orange juice, lemon juice, and apple sauce. Mix on on high until all blends into a very smooth consistency. Poor the contents of the blender or food processor over the apples, add the cinnamon and nutmeg and stir until all of the apples are fully coated. Pour the apple mixture into a square pan.

In a separate dish, mix together the flour, oats, 1/2 cup butter and vanilla. Mix well with your hands until a crumble forms. Sprinkle the crumble on top of the apple mixture. Put the dish in the oven at 400F for 45 minutes.

This dish is best enjoyed warm! I hope you love it!
Pam

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http://www.cleanlifehappywife.com

Clean No Bake Blueberry Bars

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As far as desserts go, I really love squares!  I love dates squares, lemon squares, coconut squares- pretty much any type of square! 🙂 I love the combination of crunchy oats and sweet fruit! My friend Rochelle made these clean fruit squares and I could NOT stop eating them!  I’ve had some “clean” squares before and they were “ok” but you could really tell that they were “healthy”.  THESE were INCREDIBLE!! Are they still healthy if you eat half the pan? Yikes! The great thing about this recipe is that you can make them into whatever type of fruit bar you like best.  The ones I did were a mixed summer berry, but you could do blueberry, strawberry rhubarb, etc.  In this recipe I will call for “fruit jam of choice” or “fresh fruit of choice” so that you can get creative and make them with your favourite fruit!  You are going to LOVE these!  Good luck eating just one! 😉 

Ingredients:  

2 Cups Oats

1 Cup raw almonds

1 Cup packed dates

1/4 Cup melted coconut oil

1/2 Tsp Almond extract 

1 Jar of “no sugar added” jam of your choice.

1 Cup fresh fruit of your choice. 

Directions:
Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.
In a food processor, process almonds, oats, and salt until lightly ground. Add in the dates and pulse until crumbly. Add in the melted coconut oil and process until the mixture comes together.

Remove oat mixture from the processor. Set aside 3/4 cup for topping and then press the remaining into the bottom of the pan.

Rinse out the food processor and then combine the jam, fresh fruit and almond extract and pulse until mixed well.

Spoon the fruit mixture evenly over the crust in the pan. Sprinkle the remaining crumble on the top.

**TIP** Don’t be afraid to play around with the crust mixture. If it seems too mushy, just add a little more of the dry ingredients and if it seems to crumbly just add a little more coconut oil! Play with it until you get a consistency that is easy to work with!

Chill in the fridge for at least one hour prior to serving. Serve immediately out of the fridge as the squares will start to get soft when left out.

Enjoy! http://www.cleanlifehappywife.com

Clean Chocolate Filled Strawberries

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Stop the train!!  These are CRAZY!!!!  Is there a better combo than chocolate and strawberries?  I think not!  The very best part about these is that they are totally guilt free because they are gluten free, sugar free and dairy free! Once you look over the ingredients list, don’t get scared!  😉 These are delicious! I promise! 

Ingredients:  

1 Ripe avocado (make sure it’s not black inside)

4 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 

8-10 Pitted dates

1/4 Cup water 

1Tsp vanilla 

Directions:  

Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Make sure you take your time and blend well, being sure to scrape the sides down.  If there are any chunks in this mixture, it will not be good so being sure it is mixed well is very important.  

Fill a piping bag with the chocolate pudding mixture and fill in hollowed out strawberries.  

Apple Coconut Bites

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If you love apple pie,apple crumble, or any apple dessert, you are going to love these! They are the perfect sweet treat to satisfy your cravings
The best part is that they are super easy to make and only require 4 ingredients! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

6-8 Apples (depending on size)

1 Cup pitted dates (let soak in water to soften)

1 Cup un-sweetend shredded coconut

1 Tsp cinnamon

Slice the apples and spread out onto a baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
Once the apples are cooked, combine apples, dates and cinnamon in your blender or food processor and blend well. The mixture will have the consistency of thick apple sauce. Once the mixture is blended, stir in the coconut by hand. Form the mixture into small balls, rolling in the palm of your hand. The balls will feel a little mushy at this point, but will harden up once they are refrigerated. Set balls on a cookie sheet and refrigerate over night for best results, or for a minimum of one hour.

***TIP*** These can be a little tricky to roll out as they are quite mushy! If you are really struggling you can add a little more coconut. They will really harden up once they sit in the fridge for a while.

Try not to eat the whole pan! 😉