Salted Chocolate-Covered Caramels (Clean)

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Has anyone noticed that it’s been way too long since I last posted a recipe involving chocolate? Seriously – the last chocolate-focused recipe I’ve posted is the unbelievably healthy beetroot chocolate microwave cake over a month ago (gasp)! That was a damn good recipe, but then again, that’s no excuse for the lack of chocolate on this blog these days.

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So – although not completely chocolate-focused (ok I’ll try to make my next post ridiculously chocolate-y), these are salted chocolate-covered caramel bites, and they are so goodNot to mention refined sugar-free, oil-free, gluten-free, and vegan! Not to mention that you only need 6 main ingredients; 4 if you’re not making chocolate coating from scratch!

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Remember that 2-ingredient date caramel I made a while back? Yeah, this is pretty much a fancied-up version of that. I love the date caramel, but I gotta admit, this recipe kicks it’s ass.

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You know what’s really good? Chocolate. You know what else is really good? Caramel. You know what’s really really good? Salted chocolate AND salted caramel! How could you not be excited about that?? And it’s pretty much naturally sweetened? And like pretty good for you? Are you feeling me here?

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Don’t you even try to tell me that dates aren’t like caramel. Ok, if you just pop a date in your mouth, it doesn’t scream caramel, but when you blend it all up and it gets all sticky – trust me. You’ll be fooling everyone, including yourself.

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Salted Chocolate-Covered Caramels

Ingredients

  • 15 medjool dates (approx. 130g without pits)
  • 1 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon + 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted*
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder*
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)*
  • Flaky sea salt

*You can also melt dark chocolate over a double boiler or melt it in the microwave at 15-second intervals

Method

  1. Soak the dates in the boiling water for 20-60 minutes until softened. Remove the dates from the water, but don’t dispose the water
  2. Pit the dates if they haven’t already be pitted, and place them in a food processor with 1/4 cup of water and 1 tbsp of coconut oil and combine until smooth. The mixture should be relatively sticky
  3. Roll the mixture into truffle-sized balls, about a heaped tablespoon at a time. Transfer the caramels onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in fridge for at least 30 minutes while preparing the chocolate coating
  4. Whisk together the 1/2 cup coconut oil, cacao powder, and maple syrup until well-combined
  5. Remove the caramels from the fridge, and use a fork to dip them individually into the chocolate coating mixture. Place them back onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper for the chocolate coating to set. Before the chocolate coating sets completely, sprinkle a little bit of flaky sea salt over it. Repeat with the rest of the caramels
  6. Allow the chocolate coating to set. Store in fridge or freezer.
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White Chocolate Dipped Cherries (Clean/Cheat)

Here it is: the last post of 2015.

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I know I should probably be all like “The year flew by so quickly!” and all, but truthfully, it hasn’t. I’m not saying it wasn’t a good year, but man, it sure has been one unique and memorable year. In 2015, I’ve truly accomplished things that I never thought that I would – or could. Granted, there were plenty of low moments, but those bad moments are essential for balance.

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As I sit here typing in the comfort of my house with my little pup fast asleep beside me, I’m realizing that damn, it really has been quite a year. The two main things that come to mind when I think Greatest Accomplishments 2015 is a grade that I got at the end of grade 10, and the fact that two of my recipes have been featured on Buzzfeed. In that sense, it’s been a lame year, especially in comparison to the fact that the workload and stress is piling up with the IB and that my brother’s gone for college, but that’s that.

Enough about last year, let’s talk next year.

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I can’t help but continue to think about an artificial, man-made idea that has collared humankind and taken control of: Time. We created time, yet it burdens us. It’s stresses us and presses us to no end. New Year’s is one of the few times when we truly celebrate time. We celebrate a “new year” when in reality, January 1 00:01 is no different from December 31 11:59, yet everyone strongly insists that it’s a new year and things can and will be better when any changes will be completely dependent on the individual as opposed to time. Time is a weird thing, and I could sit here and just be all philosophical about time for hours, but moving on to the part that you actually came here for: CHERRIES!

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I’m sure all of you guys will be having some sort of New Year’s celebration, whether it be a party with a hundred people or just a fancy dinner with your family. Either way, chocolate-dipped fruit should be a go-to when it comes to light bites. You can leave these around as you chat and appreciate 2015, or serve them for dessert alongside some fancy vanilla pots de creme or something (which would actually be such a fancy and aesthetically pleasing dessert with minimal effort).

Furthermore, these white chocolate dipped cherries look gorgeous and they’re so easy to make. If you’re out of cherries, any fruit will do! Well, maybe not like durian or avocado, but you know, blueberries, strawberries, banana… whatever you have.

White Chocolate Dipped Cherries

Makes 20-30 cherries

Ingredients

  • Approx. 100g high quality white chocolate
  • Approx. 20-30 cherries with stems, rinsed and dried
  • Toppings: Edible glitter, sprinkles, sugar pearls etc. (optional)

Method

  1. Line a plate or tray with baking paper and place in fridge*
  2. In a bowl, melt the white chocolate in a double boiler (or a bowl over a pan of simmering water) or in the microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring at each interval until fully melted
  3. Remove plate/tray from fridge
  4. Dip the cherries one by one into the white chocolate, and roll in toppings of choice or sprinkle toppings on the chocolate before it sets and place onto the plate/tray to set
  5. Repeat step 4 with the rest of the cherries
  6. Serve!

*If you’re using high quality white chocolate and you melt it gently enough, you won’t need to place anything in the fridge as the white chocolate should set at room temperature

Chocolate Oreo Ice Cream Cups (v) (Clean)

As the summer days turn to fall, I do have one last ice cream recipe to share with you.

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Unlike the 3-ingredient no-churn cookies and cream ice cream, or the no-churn biscoff cookie butter ice cream, this one’s guilt-free, healthy, and nutritious.

Sure there’s still the black forest nice cream and the chocolate-covered mint avocado banana ie cream squares that you could indulge in without guilt, but neither of those have oreos, now, do they?

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Disregarding the oreos, this recipe is pretty good for you. As for the oreos, there’s plenty of recipes for homemade healthy oreos out there, so you could use those if you want. If not, (and only if you’re reaaalllyyyy picky), then you could omit the oreos, but come on. It’s one oreo per ice cream cup, and it really makes it so much better, so just accept oreos, alright?

Moving on.

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The base of these ice cream cups is the classic date-and-nut crust with a bit of cacao for the bonus flavor and antioxidants. The crust is soft and chewy thanks to the dates, but the nuts bring in an opposing, firm-to-the-bite texture. Throw in some cacao powder and you’ve got yourself a winning, healthy-as-f— crust.

The filling is made from coconut milk and raw chocolate. The mixture is combined and cooked at a low temperature, thus preserving all the nutrients in both ingredients.

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 Chocolate Oreo Ice Cream Cups

Makes 12 ice cream cups

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2 cups soft dates, pitted (approx. 300g prior to pitting)
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Filling

  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk (approx. 400ml or 2 cups)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100g raw chocolate
  • 12 whole oreo cookies

Method

  1. Place the ingredients for the crust (dates, almond, cashews, cacao powder, vanilla extract, and salt) in a food processor and process until well combined. If you have a weaker food processor, process the dates until smooth before adding the other ingredients
  2. Press the mixture into silicon/flexible mini cake tins or into the bottom of a cupcake pan lined with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  3. For the filling, in a medium saucepan, heat the coconut milk until just boiling.
  4. Remove the coconut milk from heat, and add in the salt and raw chocolate, broken up into small pieces. Stir until smooth.
  5. Place a full oreo in the center of each crust
  6. Pour the coconut chocolate mixture over each oreo until the oreo is fully covered
  7. Freeze for 6 hours/overnight, until firm. Store in freezer.

Best Ever Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies (Clean)

~ These one-bowl, best ever healthy chocolate chip cookies are utterly perfect. You’ll never believe that they’re healthy! Gluten-free, flourless, no white sugar, no butter. ~

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I didn’t think that chocolate chip cookies could be so healthy and so delicious at the same time. These cookies gave me so much reassurance that you can have a baked good taste amazing even with the absence of white flour, white/brown sugar, and butter. In addition to that, they’re ridiculously easy to make. You just need one bowl, and you don’t even need an electric mixer of any sort!

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I keep track of all my recipes on Stickies, and under each one, I usually write a little comment. Sometimes it’ll be ‘sub stevia?’ or ‘too sweet/too dry – but worth adapting’ etc. For this recipe – and I kid you not – I simply wrote, ‘utterly perfect’. I intend to make these cookies countless more times in the years to come and I do not intend to change a single component of the recipe. DSC_0459.

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Best Ever Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Makes 10 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1 and 1/2 cups oat flour*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

*To make oat flour at home, simply process rolled/old fashioned or quick oats in a food processor until the consistency resembles flour

Method

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the vanilla extract, egg, coconut sugar, and coconut oil until combined
  2. Stir in the oat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt until just combined
  3. Fold in the dark chocolate chips
  4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel and place in the fridge for at least an hour
  5. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  6. Using a cookie or ice cream scooper, scoop out balls of the chilled dough and press them together (otherwise the cookies will come out too crumbly), before placing them onto a lined baking sheet. Make sure that the cookie dough hasn’t warmed up too much, and if they have, then place them back in the fridge for 10 minutes before baking
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the cookies are beginning to brown around the edges
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet, or transfer them onto a wire rack after 5 minutes to cool fully. They taste amazing fresh out of the oven, but they won’t hold their shape very well.
  9. Enjoy. Keep the cookies stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you want a warm cookie, you can microwave a cookie for 10 seconds before eating. I quite liked the cookies chilled, but that’s up to you.

4-Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles (Clean)

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Someone take movies away from me, I beg you. It’s been a week of summer vacation, and I’ve watched too many movies already. 7, to be exact. In no particular order: Pitch Perfect 2, Whatever It Takes, Knocked Up, The Boy Next Door, The Loft, Jurassic World, Inception. I’ve got Jurassic Park sitting in my “to-watch” movies folder now, so that’ll make 8 by the end of today. I’m no movie critic, but 2 of the 7 have me going crazy with thoughts (guess which ones?) while 1 of the 7 has me fangirling over Chris Pratt (guess which one?).

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Anyways, these lil’ truffles have been a perfect movie snack. They’re the ultimate food to cure hunger and cravings at the same time.

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I have a small list of favorite snacks. They’ve gotta be small; easy to grab and go. They’ve gotta curb hunger. They should have chocolate. They should taste good.

These chocolate chip cookie dough truffles meet all the requirements, kinda like these skinny fudgy-cakey beetroot brownie bites.

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And obviously, you can’t beat a recipe that only requires 4 ingredients.

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4-Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Ingredients

  • 1 (400g) can white beans or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, crunchy or smooth
  • 2 tbsp honey or agave syrup
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Method

  1. In a food processor, process the beans, peanut butter, honey, and vanilla extract until fully combined and smooth
  2. Stir in the chocolate chips
  3. Roll about 1 heaped teaspoon (you can make them smaller/larger if you want) of the dough into a ball. Eat them! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Skinny Fudgy-Cakey Beetroot Brownie Bites (Cheat)

Summer vacation is my favorite time of year. If you’re not on vacation right now, I am so sorry.

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What have I been doing this summer? Partying – in my kitchen. I did watch Jurassic World the other day, though. Chris Pratt is lyfe ❤

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About the title – because this recipe does have butter and flour and whatnot, I couldn’t classify it as a ‘clean’ recipe, but it is a lightened-up version and each brownie is small, making it a perfect small snack that wouldn’t fatten anyone up – hence the ‘skinny’ part. Each brownie bite is less than 100 calories, too! Nutrition info is at the end of this post.

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Let’s talk brownies. I’d say that most people like fudgy brownies as opposed to cakey brownies. When someone asks me, I say fudgy, but personally, I don’t think that brownies fall under two simple categories.

I used to associate “cakey brownies” with the texture of chocolate cake, which I assume a lot of people do, and I’d associate “fudgy brownies” with just the average brownie. As much as I love sweets, some brownie recipes out there make me cringe at how insanely fudgy they are, with a single bite having enough calories to last the day.

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So let me try to describe these brownies. They’re soft, fluffy, moist, flavorful, and bite-sized. They are neither “fudgy” nor “cakey”, but a delicious hybrid of both.

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*This recipe is vegan-ize-able. Replace the butter with Earth Balance and the egg with a chia/flax egg

**To make the beetroot purée, just stick the beetroots (unpeeled) in a big pot of boiling water until they’re soft, peel them, and purée them in a food processor. If you have leftovers, you can use it to naturally dye all your food pretty and pink, or use it to make my many recipes that use beetroot purée

Fudgy-Cakey Beetroot Brownie Bites

Adapted from Boards and Knives

Makes 36 bite-sized brownies

Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons (120g) unsalted butter*
  • 150g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 cup beetroot purée**
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg*
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Powdered sugar (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a double boiler, microwave (at intervals), or directly in a saucepan, melt the butter
  3. Gently stir the chocolate pieces into the bowl/saucepan with the butter until melted
  4. Remove from heat if using double boiler or saucepan, and stir in the beetroot purée, vanilla extract, sugar, and salt. When the mixture has mostly cooled, stir in the egg as well
  5. Fold in the flour and baking powder until combined. Do not over-mix
  6. Transfer the mixture into a greased or lined 8×8 (inch) cake tin and spread the batter so that it fills the cake tin properly
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into bite-sized pieces and sifting on powdered sugar if desired
Nutrition Facts
Servings 36.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 87
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4 g 7 %
Saturated Fat 3 g 14 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 12 mg 4 %
Sodium 145 mg 6 %
Potassium 19 mg 1 %
Total Carbohydrate 11 g 4 %
Dietary Fiber 0 g 2 %
Sugars 7 g
Protein 1 g 2 %
Vitamin A 2 %
Vitamin C 0 %
Calcium 1 %
Iron 1 %

Sugar-free Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies (Clean)

Holy moly, these are amazing. The best part? They’re 100% sweetened with dates. I’ve always doubted date-sweetened recipes. I’ve never been the biggest fan of dates. While everyone else was raving on about dates being the most delicious snack, I sat back and enjoyed my bananas and almonds. Anyways, if you take a closer look at the ingredients, you’ll notice that this recipe is gluten-free and vegan as well. Win!

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(C’mon, you can’t go wrong with this cookie dough look-alike!)

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By the way, this recipe is absolutely PERFECT if you want to try making my two-ingredient vegan meringues. Both recipes require a can of chickpeas. However, to make this recipe, you’ll need the chickpeas. For the meringues, you’ll need the water from the can (don’t believe me? Go see for yourself!). So yeah, no waste. Win! (Again!)

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If you’re wondering what I did with the meringue mixture here, I simply didn’t bake the meringue batter. In my meringue recipe, I stated to bake the meringue. However, in this case, if you want to eat the meringue and blondies together, then just don’t bake the mixture (there’s no egg whites, so it’s safe!) and pipe the mixture onto the blondies. It’s kinda like a marshmallow fluff and it’s so yummy!

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I swear, this recipe couldn’t get much more perfect. They don’t look like they’re insanely delicious, but they are. My mom didn’t eat any on the day that I made them. The next day, she had one, and she couldn’t stop eating them (same with me). They’re incredibly addicting and super snack-able.

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Caramel Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies

Adapted from Nadia’s Healthy Kitchen

Makes 15 blondies

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (400g) chickpeas, drained (SAVE THE WATER IN THE CAN!)
  • 1 cup (165g) medjool dates (or other dates, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes and drained)
  • 1/4 (4 tbsp) cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 (55g) cup oat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup (55g) chocolate chips
  • Vegan meringue (you can pipe this onto the blondies instead of baking them, so it acts as marshmallow fluff as opposed to baked meringues)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a food processor, process the chickpeas, dates, coconut oil, and vanilla extract
  3. Add in the oat flour, baking powder, and salt, and pulse to combine until the dough resembles a cookie dough
  4. Transfer the mixture into a bowl and stir in the chocolate chips
  5. Press the mixture into a lined or greased baking pan (approx. 8 inches)
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes
  7. Allow to cool, and pipe on your marshmallow fluff!