Easy Peasy Gluten-Free Lemon Bars

Gluten Free Lemon Bars, gluten free dessert, lemon bar, easy dessert

Perhaps due to the recent glimpses of spring or maybe there’s an internal lightening and brightening occurring as I shake off the winter season, but the past few weeks, more so than usual, I have delighted in bright colors. Bold ensembles, taste-the-rainbow bowls of greens and grains, you name it.

I’ve have been drawn to lemon everything. Sliced lemons in my water, as decor for my tablescape, in my essential oil diffuser, and in my desserts!

Ever since I was a kid, I have L*O*V*E*D lemon bars! For me, it was like bright lemony sunshine in a dessert. The tangy sweetness has always been my favorite flavor profile, but lemon bars have not been amongst my adult baked goods.

I (mistakenly) thought they would be too much work, the crust in particular. After embracing a gluten-free, low sugar lifestyle, I favored muffins and breads as my creative comfort zone until a recently-inspired excursion to the grocery store.

During this spark of epicurean insight, I decided I would not be outwitted by a made-from-scratch gluten-free crust. I bought one ūüôā Storebought gluten-free¬†crusts can be just as delicious as homemade and a heckuva lot easier!

After preparing the crust as its instructions directed, I poured in the lemon filling, baked for a quick 20, and enjoyed for days! Low sugar and refreshing offering just the right tanginess and perfect as a stand-alone dessert or topped with whipped cream or coconut cream, it’s become a daily staple! Try it out, make it your own, and share your style with us!

Easy Peasy Gluten-Free Lemon Bars

Yields 4-6 squares

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2¬†cups monk fruit extract granules, sugar or sweetener of your choice
  • 1/2¬†cup¬†lemon juice (or the juice of ~4 lemons)
  • 2¬†tablespoons¬†lemon peel¬†grated
    Pro tip: Grate the lemons before you juice them.
  • 4¬†eggs¬†lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbl gluten-free flour
    I have accidentally forgotten the flour, and they still turned out well. If you’re going grain-free with your crust, you can skip the flour and still have a delectable dessert!

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Spray a 9×9 baking dish with nonstick spray.
  3. Press the glutenfree crust into the baking tin or baking dish of your choice, shaping a little bit of the crust up the sides.
  4. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
  5. In a mixing bowl, stir together all of the filling ingredients until smooth.
  6. Pour mixture over the crust and bake for 20-25 minutes or until set in the middle. It may split like a pumpkin pie does, or you can insert a fork or knife to check. When the utensil comes out clean, you’re ready to go!
  7. Let cool on the counter for one to two hours, or as long as your self-control allows ūüôā
  8. Cut into squares and top with powdered sugar, whipped cream or coconut ice cream, if desired.
  9. Best to store the squares in the fridge if you’re not immediately serving or plan to have leftovers.
  10. Enjoy!

We love seeing how you make our recipes your own. Share with us on social media or share this recipe with a friend looking for a light, healthy treat!

All the best for your health and happiness,

 

 

 

Gluten Free Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Bars

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 ūüôā

Gluten Free Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Bars

Yields 8 two-inch bars

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. gluten free flour of your choice (My fave is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour)
  • 1/2 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar OR 1/2 c. monk fruit sweetener OR heaping 1/2 c. date sugar
  • 1/4 c. olive oil OR half-stick of butter OR 1/4 c. ghee
  • 1/4 c. milk (cow’s, nut, pea, etc.)
  • 1/4 c. dried dark cherries (unsweetened or otherwise without added sugar)
  • 2 Tbl. cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Optional: 1/3 c. chocolate chips, couple of handfuls walnuts, a tablespoon of chia seeds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F degrees.
  2. Blend all ingredients except for GF Flour and cherries.
  3. Once blended, stir in flour and cherries. DO NOT OVERMIX.
  4. Pour into greased 8 x 8 pan.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until almost fully baked (you want the fork to come out with a little bit of batter still on. GF baked goods are easy to overbake, then they become dry or dense).
  6. Remove from heat, let cool, cut into 2-inch bars and enjoy!

If you have a go-to healthy breakfast, I’d love to hear about it, and if you have a friend who would enjoy this healthy take on chocolate and cherries, share this article!

 

 

 

Gluten Free Chocolate Caramel Cookies

Gluten Free Chocolate Caramel Cookies, Holiday Recipe, Cookies, Easy Recipe for Cookies

Rich and decadent without the dose of guilt, these Gluten Free Chocolate Carmel Cookies are the perfect cookie for any occasion, including a holiday cookie swap! Less than thirty minutes from start to mouthwatering deliciousness make them an even-sweeter holiday favorite!

Gluten Free Chocolate Caramel Cookies

Yields 12 cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 oz dark chocolate caramel bar, broken or chopped (our favorite are these)
  • 2 ¬†1/2 ¬†tablespoons butter (include¬†1/2 teaspoon kosher salt if butter is unsalted)
  • 3/4 ¬†cups all purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 ¬†cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 ¬†cup monk fruit extract, date sugar or other sugar substitute
  • 1/4 ¬†cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ¬†1/2 ¬†teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 ¬†teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 ¬†teaspoons lukewarm water
  • 2 ¬†teaspoons cacao nibs or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to¬†325¬įF.
  2. Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.
  3. Soften the butter by heating on the stove at low temp or in the microwave at 60% for 15-second intervals until soft.
  4. Blend the oats, butter, sugars, cacao, baking soda, egg and vanilla extract.
  5. Add the gluten-free flour and chocolate pieces until combined into the dough mixture.
  6. Add the water gradually until the dough is chunky, but not crumbly.
  7. Drop two teaspoons of dough for each cookie, placing 1 1/2 inches apart on the cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes or until cookies are set in the center.
  9. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
  10. Serve, indulge and enjoy!

What are your favorite cookies for the Holidays? Do you make any substitutions to skip the guilt? Share them with us below!

Choose a Smarter Snack! Sweet, Spicy, Homemade Applesauce

gluten-free, low sugar, high fiber, homemade applesauce

Fall brings many seasonal delights, like PSL’s (OK, pumpkin spice ANYTHING!), hay mazes, apple picking and delicious spiced sweets and treats.

A better way to snack (and use the fruits of the apple picking outing) is our *NEW* All-Natural Homemade Applesauce! Low in sugar, yet naturally sweet, this chunky applesauce is a smart snack with fewer calories and more nutrients than other ubiquitous fall sweet treats like cookies and pies! With seasonal spices, like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, you can indulge in the season without overindulging!

Sweet & Spicy Applesauce

Serves 4 heartily

Ingredients

  • 4 medium apples of any variety (preferably also organic), peeled
  • 1 medium apple of any variety (preferably also organic), unpeeled
  • 1/3 c water (more if needed)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • Optional: 2 Tbl brown sugar, maple syrup, date syrup, etc

Directions

  1. Cut apples into rough 1/2-inch chunks.
  2. Add to a two-quart pot or larger.
  3. Add all ingredients to pot.
  4. Bring to a low boil, stirring occasionally to avoid burning or sticking.
    Note: If you added any sort of sugar, you will need to stir every few minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool.
  6. Serve!

As many of our dishes, this treat can be served for breakfast as a stand-alone dish or atop oatmeal or yogurt or as a snack! (We have a couple of clients who add a small dollop of Cool Whip and call it dessert!)¬†Anytime you choose to enjoy, it’s a bowl of deliciousness!

How do you satisfy your sweet tooth with healthy sweets? Share your ideas with us below!

Too Good to Be True | A Gluten Free, No Sugar AND Decadent Dessert!

glutenfree, dairyfree, nutfree chocolate muffins or coffee cake with added antioxidants

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!

If it sounds too good to be true, we thought so, too, until we discovered¬†Chef Danielle Shine’s Vegan Sweet & Healthy Chocolate (Eggplant) Muffins.¬†After adding a little Sprout and Rosebud sparkle, we must say, of all our veggified recipes, this one takes the cake!

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

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 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
  • 2 eggs
  • 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
  • ¬ľ 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!

Directions

  1. Chop eggplant into large chunks and steam.
  2. Pre-heat oven 400F.
  3. 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. ūüôā
  4. Place lump of eggplant in food processor with dates, eggs, cacao, ground coffee, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  5. 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.
  6. Pour into food processor. 
  7. Add gluten free flour to processor, and blend until well combined, scraping down the sides when needed.
  8. Pour mixture into pre-greased baking tin.
  9. 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! ūüôā¬†
  10. Remove from oven, leave to cool for a few minutes, then flip onto a wire cooling rack until ready to serve.
  11. 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!

Cheers to decadent gluten-free goodness!

The Cherry Cordial Smoothie | A Delicious Recipe!

gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegan protein smoothie with cherries and coffee

Wow, this smoothie. It’s so good, it can easily be misconstrued for dessert! Particularly if you freeze it and serve it as such ūüôā Nothing like a delicious finish to a meal that also packs a punch of antioxidant goodness for your whole body! The coffee and sweetness of the cherries offer a richness to the flavor that is satiating and indulgent. Enjoy for breakfast, lunch, or even dessert!

Cherry Cordial Smoothie

Serves 1-2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup milk or milk alternative
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1/4 cup frozen, pitted cherries
  • 1/4 banana
  • 1/4 cup brewed coffee, cooled
  • 1 scoop protein powder of choice
  • 2 Tbl of avocado
  • Optional: cacao powder, maca, ground flax seeds
  • Toppings: chia seeds, granola, seeds, etc. Go nuts! #punny

Directions

  1. Blend.
  2. Serve.
  3. Enjoy!

Tell us about your favorite smoothie! Share your ideas below on how you improve your desserts to get a gentle sweetness without a sugar overload!

Wishing you a life of greens, grace and gluten-free goodness!

Goes-With-Everything Peachiarry Compote

peach, chia, berry compote - perfect for dessert, breakfast, and dinner

The perfect complement to just about everything from chia seed pudding to biscuits, yogurt, oatmeal, pancakes, salmon, chicken is our Peachiarry Compote! This delicious blend of peaches, chia seeds, and raspberry (ahem, “peachiarry”) with just a tad of natural sweetener adds flavor and tang and rounds out any dinner, side dish or dessert. It’s low-glycemic-index, particularly if you use stevia or monk fruit, gluten-free, dairy-free, and freezable.

Our favorite part about this recipe? It takes just minutes in the kitchen to prepare, it’s full of superfoods, like chia seeds, and the leftovers taste even better than on the first day!

Try it at your next soiree!

Peachiarry Compote

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cans sliced peaches in pear juice
  • 1/3 cup frozen organic raspberries
  • 1 tbsp natural sweetener of choice
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Instructions

  1. Drain most of the juice from the cans of peaches, leaving a few tablespoons of liquid.

  2. Stir peaches, juice, raspberries, chia seeds and sweetener together in a bowl.

  3. Let sit for ~10 minutes until chia seeds form a gel around them.

  4. Top dish or dessert, and serve!

We love hearing how you take these delicious, gluten-free recipes and make them your own! Tag us in your social post of your Peachiarry reveal, so we can see your creative and healthy choices!

S&R’s Strawberry Mint Spritzer | Summer’s Most Versatile Mocktail

glass wine glass of strawberries and mint with club soda

 

Summer is the perfect time to get your hydration habits up to par. From the heat and humidity to the outdoor sweat sessions, you need enough water and other non-caffeinated, non-sugary beverages to replenish what you lose over the course of the day. So many health benefits stem from getting enough H2O, least of all being clear, plump skin & weight management!

S&R’s Strawberry Mint Spritzer is the perfect bev for summer with its refreshing mint, tangy strawberries and crisp carbonation. It’s pleasing to the eye and the waist line, and it’s perfect for a brunch, bridal shower or cocktail party (good for the non-drinkers or as a mixer ūüėČ )

If you want to kick it up another notch, serve it in wine glasses for a little pep and pizzazz. Even in the office! It makes for a great conversation starter and puts a little more style in your day.

S&R Strawberry Mint Spritzer

Serves 1-2

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. lemon-flavored seltzer (La Croix, Perrier, etc; if you prefer, use a flavor you enjoy!)
  • Two strawberries sliced
  • Two sprigs of sweet mint
    You can find this packaged or as a living herb in the produce section or at a local nursery where you can grow it yourself

Directions

  1. Slice the strawberries into the glass.
  2. Place the leaves of the sprig into the glass; for aesthetic, pull the lower leaves on the stem and place the sprig into the glass as a garnish.
  3. Pour the seltzer to the desired level.
  4. Add ice, if desired.

We love to hear how you put your own spin on our recipes! Leave a comment below or tag us in a social post from your next party when you serve up this favorite!

Wishing you a week of greens and grace, lovelies!

 

 

 

After The Party Smoothie

chocolate-cherry smoothie bowl with banana slices and chia seeds, easy smoothies

You guys know that I use the kitchen as an apothecary of sorts, particularly favoring smoothies. Smoothies provide a slew of nutrition Рparticularly antioxidants, veggies and superfoods Рwith little work and minimal prep time, which makes my life easier. With little effort and maximum benefits, smoothies are a go-to meal or snack for any busy bee.

You’ve heard it before that a healthy lifestyle is made of small, consistent choices that benefit you over the long-haul. Mental, emotional, or physical, these small changes made over time compound to bring about lasting ease in your body! Swap that pack of Skittles or BLT with fries for a nutrient-packed smoothie once or twice a week and you will see results.

To get you started, here’s a powerhouse packed with antioxidants to fight free radicals & inflammation (which could present as joint pain, redness in the skin, brain fog) and veggies, healthy fat, and protein to stabilize blood sugar and give you a lasting feeling of fullness. This one is particularly helpful after a night on the town or weekend girls’ trip!

After The Party Smoothie

Serves 1-2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. frozen cherries
  • 1/2 c. ice
  • 1/2 nut or seed milk
  • 1 c. H2O
  • 1/3 c. raw cauliflower
  • 1-2 scoops protein powder; this one¬†in vanilla is our fave these days!
  • 1 tbl cacao powder
  • 1 tbl avocado
  • 1 tsp maca
  • 1/3 banana
  • Optional add-in’s: turmeric, chia seeds, flax seeds or flax oil, goji berries, whatever else you choose!

Directions:

  1. Except for the banana, blend all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Slice banana on top.
  3. If you opt for chia seeds, stir them into the smoothie once blending is complete.
  4. Try it out, make it your own and tell us all about it!

We love hearing how you incorporate healthy recipes and habits into your lifestyle, then share those tips with those around you. A rising tide lifts all ships, and together, we can help shape a healthier, happier world! Share this recipe with anyone on social media or in real life who might enjoy it, or better yet make it together! Cheers to your health.

Sprout and Rosebud Dairy-free Cheesecake

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program of The Job Front & Delegation to bring you this recipe – perfect for your July 4th picnic!
slice of cheesecake covered with syrupy strawberries
Lighter than traditional cheesecake and more like flan, S&R Cheesecake is a healthier option and friendly to those with gluten, dairy and nut aversions.

I have not had cheesecake in YEARS since the ingredients – cream cheese, graham crackers and sometimes almonds – were found to wreak such havoc on my body. ¬†Although, like many of you, I’ve gotten used to a cheesecake-free life, I’ve been curious to see if a Sprout & Rosebud option could replicate that taste and texture. … or at least¬†something¬†similar to offer to the roulette wheel of desserts in our house!

The rules were simple: no gluten in the crust, no dairy in the filling, and no nuts anywhere. If possible, less sugar, too (after reading Dr. Mark Hyman’s The Blood Sugar Solution, you’d cut back STAT, as well). I decided to go with a pre-made crust and found Mi-Del’s at the local grocery story. The challenge would be to recreate that rich, almost tart taste of the full-fat cream cheese traditionally used. Let’s be honest right up front that tofu or coconut options are highly unlikely to satisfy that texture and taste.

Coconut was out because of my sensitivities, so I went with Tofutti Cream Cheese, which I had enjoyed over the years as a bagel shmear.*

Only in the most fortunate of parallel universes would cream cheese made from tofu be equivalent to real cream cheese, and I definitely sensed that I may have bitten off more than I could chew, as they say ūüėČ #punintended

The final product was like the love child of cheesecake and flan.

Delicious, though different than “normal” cheesecake. Lighter, less saccharine sweet and without the after-effect of bloating and guilt. Definitely a treat I wouldn’t mind putting into rotation for Client recipes, dinner parties and the like. The cherry on top was the positive review and second serving by my taste tester, who fancies himself a Chicago cheesecake connossieur with a refined palette and borderline sugar addiction!

The Sprout & Rosebud Cheesecake

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

One pre-made Gluten Free Graham Cracker Crust

For filling:

  • Two 8 oz. tubs of Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese (or cream cheese sub of your choice)
  • 2/3 cups of Stevia, Stevia/Sugar blend¬†or sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For fruit topping:

  • One package of organic strawberries
  • Two Tbl Sugar or or Stevia/Sugar Blend

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Let the cream cheese get to room temperature, then beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
  3. Add the two eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour into the crust and bake for 40 minutes or until slightly brown on top.
  5. For the filling, rinse, hull and slice the strawberries in a bowl with the sugar. Let sit until they get syrupy.
  6. Once the cheesecake has cooled, slice and serve with the strawberries and syrup on the top.
Pre-oven, the crust is filled with the S&R filling (which, PS, tasted great) ūüôā
Voila!
Topped and ready to serve!

*Note: Although Tofutti’s “Better than Cream Cheese” does contain partially hydrogenated soybean oil (which I strictly avoid), this option was preferable from a food-allergen standpoint, so I went with it. As always, choose what’s the best for YOU and aligns with your health goals and priorities.¬†

We love hearing how you customize this recipe to make it your own. Share your thoughts with us below, or send us a note!