26 January 2016

5 of Our Favorite Desserts (Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Hello to you -

The one who says, "I love to eat healthy, but I could never give up my desserts."

Ha.

I have good news for you.

You can have your cake and eat it too.

Here are some DELICIOUS desserts we've found. They're all made of whole ingredients - with no white sugar crack, no gluten, and no dairy. These recipes are SOOOO DANG GOOOOD that we do not even miss regular desserts and chocolate bars AT ALL.

Great side benefits: Flatter bellies (due to no bloating), no sugar addictions, no headaches, no sickness, no hormones going through the roof, no guilt or shame, no acne, no fatigue, no need for naps, no added inflammation, and very happy brains.

So have at it....here are 5 of our very top favorites:


7 Ingredient Vegan Key Lime Pies


These little key lime numbers are so good you would think you were at Cheesecake Factory. And after eating them, you just won't believe the ingredients.

Get the brilliant recipe HERE from Minimalist Baker. (We love this food blog in general.)

Tips From Us:
  • We use raw honey instead of agave and it works great. (Mostly because it's hard to find Agave where we live.) It's beneficial to go local on the honey! And really, really confirm that it is 100% pure, w/o corn syrup or additives.
  • Reduce the sweetener: I add slightly less than 1/3 cup honey, instead of the full 1/2 cup. (I try to reduce the sweetener on just about every recipe we make.)
  • Ditch the wasteful cupcake liners! Please, please get a silicon cupcake pan that will allow you to EASILY pop the tarts out. They will look like perfection. I can't recommend getting one of these pans enough. Say good-bye to chemicals from non-stick, paper waste and recurrent purchases of liners, Pam sprays, or muffins or cupcakes that stick on the pan. Also, her method of getting the tarts out of the metal pan did not work for us. 
  • In the recipe, Minimalist Baker links to a crust that is Gluten Free. This is the crust we use. It is so good it might as well be caramel but it only has two ingredients. 
  • We make our own coconut milk from fresh coconuts (one perk of Ecuador which we will miss when we leave). If you use canned coconut milk, watch out for BPA in the can or additives in the ingredients. The best CAN sources are Natural Value or Arroy D or as they don't contain guar gums, BPA, or chemicals. The links are from Amazon, but you can also find them at Asian grocery stores. 


Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies



We've made these cookies LOADS of times. And we both love them a lot. We've made them for people before, too, and everyone always seems quite pleased. Danny especially loves the cookie dough. :)

Get the recipe HERE from Elana's Pantry. (We love her food blog in general.)

Tips From Us:
  • This is our ALL TIME FAVORITE almond flour. It's more fine than Bob's Red Mill. 
  • I typically use raw honey as the sweetener in these as agave is harder to get in Ecuador. It's beneficial to go local on the honey.
  • I cut the honey to 1/3 cup instead of 1/2 cup and they taste great.
  • Instead of semi-sweet chocolate chips, we use unsweetened raw chocolate chopped up. 
  • If I'm short on Grapeseed Oil, I use Coconut Oil and it works just fine. 
  • This is the BEST, most mineral rich sea salt, and it's the one recommended for the recipe. Salts have different concentrations, so I always use this one every time I make these cookies.


Sticky Ooey Gooey Paleo Cinnamon Rolls


Traditional cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning? Nah. Seriously don't need it. These Sticky, Ooey, Gooey Paleo Cinnamon Rolls are THE BOMB. The flours used are nutty and full of protein and vitamins. Also approved by our 19-year nephew who visited us for Thanksgiving.

Get the Sticky, Ooey Gooey Paleo Cinnamon Roll recipe HERE from Paleo Grubs.

Tips From Us:
  • Again, this is our ALL TIME FAVORITE almond flour. Better than Bob's Red Mill. 
  • We buy Coconut Oil from Costco. 
  • It's beneficial to go local on the raw honey! And really, really confirm that it is 100% pure, w/o corn syrup or additives.
  • We make our own coconut milk from fresh coconuts (one perk of Ecuador which we will miss when we leave). If you use canned coconut milk, watch out for BPA in the can or additives in the ingredients. The best CAN sources are Natural Value or Arroy D or as they don't contain guar gums, BPA, or chemicals. The links are from Amazon, but you can also find them at Asian grocery stores. 


Decadent Chocolate Chia "Milk Shake" 


This shake makes me so happy I don't feel left out at NYC's Shake Shack one bit. It's everything you'd dream a shake to be. And there is only 1/2 T honey per serving!!! Combine with a Netflix movie night and ENJOY. We do this quite often. :)

Get the brilliant recipe HERE from The Spunky Coconut.

Tips From Us:
  • For stevia, we go to Trader Joe's.
  • If you'd like to eliminate the honey, you can do so easily with a banana. We've done that many times.
  • We make our own coconut milk from fresh coconuts (one perk of Ecuador which we will miss when we leave). If you use canned coconut milk, watch out for BPA in the can or additives in the ingredients. The best CAN sources are Natural Value or Arroy D or as they don't contain guar gums, BPA, or chemicals. The links are from Amazon, but you can also find them at Asian grocery stores. 

Paleo Pumpkin Pie


This pie is so harmless that we eat it for breakfast with no shame. Last fall I happened to make this pie. By coincidence, some American Mormon missionaries stopped by. I think they were very happy about the timing.  :) 

Get the brilliant recipe HERE from Elana's Pantry.

Tips From Us:
  • We make the pumpkin puree from scratch using fresh pumpkins. Here are the instructions. It's so easy.
  • We strictly use farmhouse, organic, free-range eggs. No more factory, hormone induced eggs.
  • I reduce the honey to 1/3 cup. 
  • We make our own coconut milk from fresh coconuts (one perk of Ecuador which we will miss when we leave). If you use canned coconut milk, watch out for BPA in the can or additives in the ingredients. The best CAN sources are Natural Value or Arroy D or as they don't contain guar gums, BPA, or chemicals. The links are from Amazon, but you can also find them at Asian grocery stores. 
  • We serve it with fresh, solidified coconut cream and it's AMAZING. (No sweetener needed. I promise. It's that good.)

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do. Please come back & report.  :) :)

Mara

For the month of January, mentoring sessions booked are Two-for-One. Book a session HERE. Here are some words from someone who did some sessions with us:

"The very best money I have ever spent on myself. 2016 looks brighter than I could have ever imagined because of Mara and Danny!"


22 comments:

  1. This seems like a useful post, but I'm bothered by the title. I associate this blog with body-positive health content, not with shaming terms like "flat belly." I know this partly relates to bloating, but it also refers to traditional and harmful ideas about women's bodies and how they should and should not look. I've read your blog long enough to know that you're not about that, so it's probably an oversight. I thought I'd bring it your attention in case you hadn't thought about it.

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    1. Yikes, I agree! So much shame attached to a rounder belly...and for many many women, a flat belly doesnt happen at any weight. This made me cringe a bit ...it's not the message I expect here and so I'm inclined to believe it's an oversight as well. I sure hope so!

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    2. YES! I am so glad I'm not the only one who thought it. First, I think there are a lot of good reasons to eat this way instead of "standard" desserts beyond body image.

      Secondly, flat bellies, for a majority of women, are not really physically reasonable. I think we can celebrate healthiness without shaming women with curves. This title seems so unlike Danny or Mara and puts such a stigma on women who don't have those types of bodies, regardless of effort.

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    3. Mara listed many benefits of eating these desserts, not just flat bellies. Why does "flat belly" have to mean shame? When she says it helps with acne, do we feel shame if we have acne?

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    4. Hi ladies ! I've been around town and unable to get into the comments until now. The last thing I want to do is make someone feel bad about a round belly so I changed the title from 5 Flat Belly Desserts. Thanks for caring about not shaming people. I care about not shaming people, too.

      But the truth is, most people out there get bloating due to eating inflammatory foods like sugar, gluten, and dairy. When you eliminate those foods from your lifestyle, no matter what your body type (skinny, curvy, post pregnancy, etc), the bloating most likely goes away (unless there are additional allergies at play) and one's belly will indeed very, very likely get flatter than it was before. That is just a side effect of removing inflammatory foods. (And obviously to remove bloating - one's lifestyle needs to include more than eliminating inflammatories just in desserts-but across the board.) Removing bloating is NOT just to fit into smaller clothes size or meet some size expectation of society (gag). Bloating is an indication that SOMETHING IS NOT WELL with your body and your gut and it will lead to disease if ignored! Not only that, it's uncomfortable and leads to sounds and grumbles, indigestion, etc. I'm passionate about women empowering themselves through food - and so many other things. This is not about shaming women. This is about EMPOWERING women to achieve better health.

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    5. Thanks for the response, Mara! And for changing the title of the post. I think talking about "flat bellies", even in regards to bloating and inflammation is still pretty problematic. In May, I switched to a paleo diet...no grains, no sugar. I lost 60 pounds. I'm not sure bloating itself was ever a problem, and inflammation isn't something easily measured, but it doesn't matter. I feel great! But guess what? I still don't have a flat stomach. I'm not even sure I'd call it "flatter"...smaller maybe? There's still a good bit of fat there, and I'm okay with that, because I'm at a healthy bmi, eating very well and moving lots. On my body, a flat belly is not a marker of health, and I'd be pretty discouraged if it were.

      The idea that eating well will very likely lead to a flatter belly is true for only a subset of women. Namely, women who are already pretty thin elsewhere.

      In general, I'd like us to stop talking about body size at ALL when it comes to health. It's just not that simple, nor is it empowering.

      Anyway, I appreciate where you're coming from on this and appreciate the dialogue. I just think this stuff is a bit more complicated, especially for those of us who've never had naturally flat stomachs to begin with.

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    6. Thanks for the response, Mara! And for changing the title of the post. I think talking about "flat bellies", even in regards to bloating and inflammation is still pretty problematic. In May, I switched to a paleo diet...no grains, no sugar. I lost 60 pounds. I'm not sure bloating itself was ever a problem, and inflammation isn't something easily measured, but it doesn't matter. I feel great! But guess what? I still don't have a flat stomach. I'm not even sure I'd call it "flatter"...smaller maybe? There's still a good bit of fat there, and I'm okay with that, because I'm at a healthy bmi, eating very well and moving lots. On my body, a flat belly is not a marker of health, and I'd be pretty discouraged if it were.

      The idea that eating well will very likely lead to a flatter belly is true for only a subset of women. Namely, women who are already pretty thin elsewhere.

      In general, I'd like us to stop talking about body size at ALL when it comes to health. It's just not that simple, nor is it empowering.

      Anyway, I appreciate where you're coming from on this and appreciate the dialogue. I just think this stuff is a bit more complicated, especially for those of us who've never had naturally flat stomachs to begin with.

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    7. Angela - yes, I appreciate the dialogue, too. And thanks for your very good comments, your insights, and passion.

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    8. Angela nailed it! "Great Side benefits: no bloating, no sugar addictions....." would make the read more healthy. Some people don't have the goal to have a "flat belly." Health rises above that, and one definitely does not mean the other. Great comments. I completely agree.

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  2. Thanks Mara! I will save these as they are great ideas for when having guests over, or when needing to bring something to a potluck. But that milkshake sounds great just for 2 adults + Netflix :)

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  3. Thanks for sharing these! I look forward to giving some of them a try. We have been mostly off of white sugar for a couple years now and are growing a little tired of our go-to desserts. Love your blog and how you connect health and happiness!

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  4. Thank you for sharing these! I always love when you share about the food you eat because I eat the same way. I love the raw brownie bites you shared with us last year! Can't wait to try these new recommendations!

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  5. Ohhhh, thank you for these recipes!!! They all look delicious and I'm in need of healthier dessert options!
    About the title of the post---I just thought of no bloated stomach, but a flatter stomach (and therefore smaller waistline) is considered healthier than a large waistline, so that's beneficial to all!

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    1. Let's focus on our own health and leave body image out of the equation. You can be healthy without having a particularly flat stomach (and you can have a flat stomach and still be unhealthy). Study after study has also shown that criticizing people about how their body looks does nothing to motivate them to be healthier. There are certainly worse examples than this post, but I feel like ABAL is such a friendly place generally it feels out of place.

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  6. These all sound really yummy! Thanks for passing them along! I recently learned that coconut actually isn't super healthy even though it's regarded as such. For example, 1 cup of coconut milk has 500 calories and 250% DV of saturated fat. Of course, that's not bad when it's spread out through a recipe.

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    1. I think if you don't eat desserts often, and you are avoiding the damaging effects of refined sugar, extra calories aren't harmful. Calories in and of themselves aren't inherently bad, nor is fat. But yes, if you were to eat that much coconut on a regular basis it would not be nutritious.

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    2. Thanks for the response. I agree!

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  7. Here is another one to try. I've made it several times, SO tasty. It's great with fresh fruit or nuts on top. And only three ingredients. (Four if you add vanilla.)
    http://vegan-magic.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/chocolate-mousse-no-added-sugar.html

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    Replies
    1. I just made this this weekend...so good! Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Hey Mara! In addition to Netflix, have u tried vidangel? Movies with filters you control! We are in love over here and have had the best time snuggling on the couch for movie night!

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  9. Mara! I just saw this video and immediately thought of this post. I've recently gone vegan (and feel amazing!) and I had NOOO idea that most refined sugar isn't vegan from a processing standpoint because it is filtered through the charred bones of cows. Whaaaaat?! I know. Take a look. Just another reason to avoid it all together. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcbeJEUnii4

    Fascinating right??

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  10. You know what one of my favorite desserts is? Slices of banana fried in a little olive oil until theycarmelize a little on the edges. So yummy. I'm sure you have lots of great ananas down there. Thanks for the post!

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