Chocolate. Cherry. Gluten Free AND Healthy. Almost too good to be true!
Many brilliant recipes arise out of sheer necessity, and these Gluten Free Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Bars (“CCO Bars”) are no exception!
Over the past few weeks, my morning routine has included many more early-morning Client calls, workouts and workshops, which forced my all-time-favorite protein pancakes to fall out of rotation. (I’ll choose sleep over pancakes, thank you very much!)
I had to find other options to fuel myself to fuel and energize others.
To quote Top Gun, I had a need for speed… speedy breakfast options, that is, and I was tired of relying solely on hardboiled eggs, pre-made bars or to-go cups of homemade protein drinks that I shook like a martini on my way out the door.
CCO Bars were the perfect solve and complemented the on-the-go, early morning hardboiled eggs or leftover salmon!
Low sugar, high fiber, packed with antioxidants and straight-up delish, these are now a staple in my breakfast routine!
In fact, these CCO Bars received the “ravest” of reviews among my go-to baked goods by a very discerning group of taste testers 🙂
Believe me when I say, you can eat healthy, gluten free desserts without any added sugar and still enjoy a dish of decadence! Say sayonara to feeling deprived when you’re watching your weight or cleaning up your diet!
The rich flavor of the cacao mixed with the hint of coffee is a mouth-watering combo, and provides an antioxidant, free-radical fighting along with the … eggplant! Stay with us; it’s delicious, and you don’t even taste it. It even impressed the very picky meat-and-potatoes-minded dinner guests!
The sweetness of the pitted dates (aka no sugar!) and the maca come together, and you’ve got yourself quite a sweet treat to boost your mood and your body.
PS. These also freeze beautifully, and can be used for on-the-go breakfasts & snacks!
Too Good to Be True Cake
1 small to medium eggplant, or 1/2 cup steamed eggplant, once squeezed
1 bar of dark chocolate – 70% or higher is best; we used 88%
2 tbsp ghee, olive oil, coconut oil or a blend of all three
3 tbsp cacao powder
1 1/2 tsp fresh ground coffee
8-10 medjool dates, pitted
1 cup gluten free flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp sea salt
Note: you can make this recipe vegan by omitting eggs and relying on oil instead of butter or ghee. For Paleo, sub your gluten-free flour with almond flour. If steering clear of nightshades, omit the eggplant, keep the eggs, and you’ve still got yourself a rich antioxidant infused dessert!
Chop eggplant into large chunks and steam.
Pre-heat oven 400F.
Once eggplant is mushy, peel off the skin, if desired, and squeeze as much of the liquid out as you can.
It will be a mess! If you have kids, now’s the time to get their help because it’s a lot of fun, and also kind of gross. 🙂
Place lump of eggplant in food processor with dates, eggs, cacao, ground coffee, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Break up the bar of dark chocolate into chunks (lessens melting time) and on medium-low heat, melt along with the oil or butter until liquid, stirring constantly to prevent burning or sticking.
Pour into food processor.
Add gluten free flour to processor, and blend until well combined, scraping down the sides when needed.
Pour mixture into pre-greased baking tin.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until an inserted fork comes out almost clean.
(Sometimes, with gluten free baking, the goods will get dry if baked fully, like traditional baked goods. Either way, if the texture is not perfectly to your liking, slice some fruit on it, drizzle tahini or frost with an icing of your choice, and neither you, nor your guests, will be able to tell! 🙂
Remove from oven, leave to cool for a few minutes, then flip onto a wire cooling rack until ready to serve.
Serve & enjoy!
As always, we love hearing how you take these recipes and further customize and create ones that are yours! Share your creations with us on social media or leave us a comment below!
Spruce up your salad this summer with an unexpected twist and a deliciously fresh vinaigrette!
Pamplemousse Greens is one of my favorite summer salads! It’s simple, yet refreshing and impresses every time. It makes a beautiful side salad for a poolside BBQ or as a stunning main dish with salmon. Although your friends may love it for it’s tang, sweetness and crunch, you’ll love it for its heavy-hitting nutrients like vitamin C, lycopene and a slew of other antioxidants and minerals that revive the skin, detox the bod and hydrate, too. It’s so good, you may not even want to share!
Is there any wonder this salad is one of the S&R summer staples!?
Pamplemousse Greens Salad + Vinaigrette Fraiche
6 cups baby kale, spinach or both
1.5 large grapefruit, peeled
1/2 grapefruit peeled
1/4 c. chopped yellow or white onion
1/4 c. EVOO
2 Tbl. red wine vinegar
1 Tbl. water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp sesame seeds
1/4 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp black pepper
If greens are not yet washed, rinse, then dry using a salad spinner or a dish towel.
Divide the grapefruit into sections, then tear or slice into bite-sized pieces; you’ll use 1 1/2 of the grapefruit for the salad. The other half you’ll use in the dressing.
Slice the avocado into moderately thin slices.
Slice the cucumber thinly.
Create a bed of the clean greens, then place the remaining ingredients on top.
Tear the remaining grapefruit into bite-sized pieces, if you have not already, and squeeze all the juice into the a sealable jar or plastic container (Gladware, Tupperware, etc.). Leave the fruit sections intact and include them in the jar, if desired.
Add all of the remaining ingredients.
Tightly close the container to ensure no spillage
Once all the ingredients are fully combined, the Vinaigrette Fraiche dressing is done!
Plate your salad and lightly pour the dressing over it, and enjoy!