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 🙂
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
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 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons lukewarm water
2 teaspoons cacao nibs or semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.
Soften the butter by heating on the stove at low temp or in the microwave at 60% for 15-second intervals until soft.
Blend the oats, butter, sugars, cacao, baking soda, egg and vanilla extract.
Add the gluten-free flour and chocolate pieces until combined into the dough mixture.
Add the water gradually until the dough is chunky, but not crumbly.
Drop two teaspoons of dough for each cookie, placing 1 1/2 inches apart on the cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes or until cookies are set in the center.
Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
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!
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
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
Cut apples into rough 1/2-inch chunks.
Add to a two-quart pot or larger.
Add all ingredients to pot.
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.
Remove from heat and let cool.
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!
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!
Wow, this smoothie. It’s so good, it can easily be misconstrued for dessert! Particularly if you freeze it and serve it as such 🙂 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
1/2 cup milk or milk alternative
1/2 cup ice
1/4 cup frozen, pitted cherries
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
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!
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!
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 😉 )
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
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
Slice the strawberries into the glass.
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.
Pour the seltzer to the desired level.
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!
You guys know that I use the kitchen as an apothecary of sorts, particularly favoring smoothies. Smoothies provide a slew of nutrition – particularly antioxidants, veggies and superfoods – with 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
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
Optional add-in’s: turmeric, chia seeds, flax seeds or flax oil, goji berries, whatever else you choose!
Except for the banana, blend all ingredients in a blender.
Slice banana on top.
If you opt for chia seeds, stir them into the smoothie once blending is complete.
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.
We interrupt your regularly scheduled program of The Job Front & Delegation to bring you this recipe – perfect for your July 4th picnic!
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 😉 #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
One pre-made Gluten Free Graham Cracker Crust
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
1 tsp vanilla extract
For fruit topping:
One package of organic strawberries
Two Tbl Sugar or or Stevia/Sugar Blend
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
Let the cream cheese get to room temperature, then beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
Add the two eggs and vanilla extract.
Pour into the crust and bake for 40 minutes or until slightly brown on top.
For the filling, rinse, hull and slice the strawberries in a bowl with the sugar. Let sit until they get syrupy.
Once the cheesecake has cooled, slice and serve with the strawberries and syrup on the top.
*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!
You may be familiar with a Tortilla Espanola, or Spanish Omelette, a delicious dish from Spain consisting of eggs, potatoes and onions and perhaps a few spices, like chives. Having studied Spanish cuisine and culture for years, I was immediately inspired to create a unique recipe for a similar dish with an Italian flair when things went a little awry while preparing Italian “Fried” Cauliflower. As with many creations throughout history, some of our best ideas come about when amidst a total mess 🙂
Instead of thinly sliced, layered potatoes, the S&R Roman Omelette includes slices of cauliflower, mixed with sliced onion and covered by an egg solution, chockfull of the herbs and spices to give it that Italian flavor we know and love.
Get a load of this! Not only is it rich with Vitamin C (move over, oranges!), a slew of B Vitamins (including Folate, important for women!), and Vitamin K (good for strong bones and preventing heart disease), but Cauliflower is also a powerhouse of phytochemicals and antioxidants. In fact, the National Foundation for Cancer Research considers it a cancer-curbing cruciferous veggie! Sounds like eating a delicious dish full of this superfood is una buona idea to me, Paisan!
Spray or grease a large pie pan or casserole dish.
Slice the head of cauliflower parallel to the base into half-inch steaks. If florets or pieces fall off, you can include them, too!
Layer the cauliflower steaks and the onions in your pie pan or casserole dish.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the herbs.
Once fully beaten, pour over the vegetables in the pie pan or casserole dish.
Bake for ~45 minutes or until the eggs have finished cooking and the top is slightly golden.
Another delight about Italian living is the slow pace of mealtime and the enjoyment of the people with whom you share it, so share this dish (or recipe) with your loved ones, and enjoy each moment as you savor each bite!