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
  • 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!

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. 🙂
  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! 🙂 
  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 Struggle is Real’ Rice Pudding

Fast breakfast of Rice Pudding in a white porcelain mug on top of a dark wooden table with goji berries and a drizzle of date paste syrup.

Named accordingly, this healthy-carb’d, protein-packed, deliciously fast dish is the perfect breakfast for those mornings when you want to eat well, yet you have NO TIME to make anything that would resemble a breakfast of champions, if you eat breakfast at all! The struggle is real, right?

Well, first things first, put down that Pop Tart and Double Soy Unicorn Latte (not a good breakfast, girls!), then check this out.

Print

"The Struggle is Real" Rice Pudding

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups cooked rice (brown or black is the best!)
  • 1/4 cup milk (almond, soy, organic cow, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup egg whites or one egg
  • 1/8 tsp ghee, coconut oil or grass-fed butter

Optional Ingredients

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon, ginger, cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbl raisins or Goji berries
  • Drizzle of honey, date syrup or brown sugar; go easy if your milk is sweetened

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a microwave-safe non-plastic bowl (plastic leeches chemicals into the food when cooking).

  2. Microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes. If you prefer the stove, bring the ingredients to a boil, then simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking.

  3. Stir.

  4. If still runny, add another minute. Continue doing so until the eggs are cooked.

  5. Enjoy!

As you see, there are yummy & healthy options available to you in a pinch (particularly if you’ve been using your healthy shopping lists). All you need is a few minutes, and you’re good to go with a breakfast that will keep your brain sharp, your belly full and you at your peak. Now, THAT is a Breakfast of Champions!

As always, we love to hear your thoughts, your breakfast best practices, your tips, tricks and techniques – and so does our community! So please share them below, and if someone in your tribe, network, company needs a little morning overhaul, please feel free to share this post!

Homemade Applesauce

file_004If all the fall apple picking leaves you with more apples than you know what to do with,
put them to use with this easy, yet decadent homemade chunky applesauce. Low in sugar, but big on flavor with a hint of sweetness, you can eat it by itself, use it to top your oatmeal  (or pancakes!) or enjoy with a dollop of your favorite whipped topping. (One friend suggested using it as apple pie filling because it was so tasty!) The secret ingredients are a Granny Smith apple and … Chinese Five Spice, a blend of cinnamon, anise, fennel, cloves, and <gasp> pepper!

However you choose to indulge, you can do it without the guilt with this one!

Homemade Applesauce

Ingredients:

  • A variety of 5-6 apples, including one Granny Smith (for tang)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 1/2 Tbl. Chinese five spice
  • 3 Tbl. date sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions:

  1. Peel the apples.
  2. Core, then coarsely chop.
  3. Place all the ingredients into a pot on the stove on medium heat, cover and cook until soft (about 25 minutes).
  4. Stir occasionally to ensure the applesauce doesn’t get too hot or stick to the bottom; if it sticks, add a little more water and stir.
  5. If you want a smoother consistency, put into a food processor or blender after it cools  and blend until you reach your desired consistency. Make sure the applesauce has cooled though!
  6. Enjoy!
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So easy! Put all your ingredients in the pot.
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Voila!

A Beginner’s Grocery List for Healthy Habits

There’s something about Spring that revives enthusiasm for healthier habits, particularly around eating for vibrant, radiant health!

The sun-filled days are longer. Sundresses beckon. Bikini season is almost upon us, and of course, feeling good is important regardless of the time of year (ok, ok, bikini season is a mild motivator ;))! Like any season, though, we still only have so many hours in a day, and the biggest challenge may be eating right during the week when both time and energy wane.

The key? Keeping a well-stocked kitchen.

I have a standard grocery list of the basics that I get almost every trip, which I’d like to share with you below. Feel free to use it as a basis for creating your own list of basics that will make eating clean a quick and easy no-brainer! Although I mention organic for a few of the items, do what your budget will allow. Stressing over finances while in the frozen food section isn’t healthy for anybody, so take this list as a thought-starter, and make it your own. One helpful hint, though, is to stop on the perimeter of the grocery store for the healthiest items, with a few exceptions being the frozen food aisle for frozen fruits and veggies (which are just as healthy and nutrient-rich as fresh), and the natural food section (which, if you shop at my grocery store, is in the middle of everything – there goes the perimeter idea!) However you shop, enjoy the experience!

The SnR Basic Grocery List

  • Organic Berries.
    I use these as dessert, in smoothies and in cereal. I even like snacking on the frozen kind. Vary your colors to maximize the health benefits. An easy way to do this is by buying what’s on sale each week. Stores often rotate their promotions. Another hot tip: buy organic at Costco or Sam’s. You can get a huge bag at a great price.
  • Organic Apples + Pears.
    photo 3 (3)
    Apples! #nomnom

    I love to snack, and when you eat as many salads as I do, you need some variety. Apples and pears satisfy both!  Whether sliced with a nut/seed butter, baked as dessert, chopped and dropped into a salad, or eaten as-is, they make flavorful, crunchy additions to a meal for a surprise sweetness without too much sugar. If you’re embracing ketogenic eating or on a low-glycemic diet, tread carefully with these and the berries, too. For other tips on which fruits and veggies to buy organic, check out The Environmental Working Group’s list of the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen.

  • A Variety of Greens.
    My faves are organic spinach + baby kale blends and organic romaine. I’ll mix all of them together for a snazzy salad, or drop the spinach/kale blend into the mixer to add some superfood punch to a smoothie. Sautéed spinach and kale also add a lot to a rice bowl or taco night. (And are easy to sneak in if you have veggie-averse family members.)
  • Brown Rice + other Whole Grains.
    IMG_0285
    Rice-a-palooza!

    Where to begin! I LOVE brown rice. I eat it – and its cousins, Red, Black and Green – almost every day. From rice bowls for lunch or dinner to rice pudding for breakfast, I rely heavily on this complex carb. It’s super versatile, and you can cook a lot of it on Sunday and have a base for meals throughout the week. Mix in different sauces or salsa’s, or toss with a scrambled egg and leftover veggies, and you’ve got yourself a slew of dishes with only a little upfront effort.

  • Sweet potatoes.
    In the Varsity League of meal basics, sweet potatoes are definitely in my starting line-up. They can be a fun add-on as a hash to any dish, or roasted and used as a taco shell or base for taco salads. I’ve even been known to bake one in the microwave and eat it like an apple as my mid-morning snack. These tubers are starch, though, so if you’re on a ketogenic or low-Glycemic diet, incorporate these carefully.
  • Other Roast-Worthy Veggies.
    Roasted veggies are also a must-have for me. I love raw and sautéed, too; there is just something about roasted veggies that I can’t seem to get enough of! They are so easy and can be a great snack, side item, or main course as a base for veggie or rice bowls. My fave combo are onions, garlic (yes, garlic!), zucchini, yellow squash, and broccoli. Roasting in the oven takes about 20 minutes and adds texture and color to any salad or rice bowl! The leftovers can be used in a veggie scramble the next morning or even simply as an afternoon nosh.

    photo 3 (4)
    Roast your veggies for a fun, colorful add-on to a basic pasta dish or rice bowl.
  • Clean Protein Options.
    Wherever you fall on the meat-eating scale, getting enough protein – whether animal- or plant-based – is key. I’m a pescatarian for the most part, so the majority of my protein comes from fish, eggs, and plant-based options. With any protein source, though, the key is buying the best quality you can. There are a lot of hidden ick-factors in non-organic, non-grass-fed beef, dairy, chicken and eggs, so it’s worth the splurge to trade-up to better quality.
    Since I base so much of my diet on fish, I tend to buy frozen fish, like Mahi, Ahi Tuna, Salmon and Cod, so I can freeze it and have options without making a trip to the grocery store. I may even mix it up and use shrimp or scallops! I love using the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch app to find the most sustainable sources.
    Frozen fish is easy to defrost by moving them from the freezer to the fridge when you leave for work and sautéing or broiling for an easy dinner. Make leftovers your breakfast or lunch the next day, and you’ve saved yourself the time and energy of preparing another meal!
  • Healthy Fats.
    IMG_0076
    Salads are an easy way to add in healthy fat by adding avocado or drizzling olive oil as dressing.

    My faves are olive oil, avocados, and tahini. Those of you with few restrictions in
    your diet can also enjoy a variety of raw nuts in whole grain cereal, dropped into yogurt, added into salads, or as part of your banana bread. Enjoy fat in your diet! It’s key for brain and body vibrance and overall well-being and longevity!
    I aim for 1-2 tablespoons with every meal, which is the right portion for me to feel satiated, curb sugar cravings, and see benefits to my skin. Experiment and see what works for you!

  • Spices!
    oh my goodness, spices. I LOVE them! From basil to oregano to garlic to turmeric to cinnamon to cayenne to cardamom to black pepper, I heart spices! They are an easy way to mix up a rice dish or filet to give you a variety of epicurean experiences without too much extra work. Whether fresh or dried, sprinkle it in, and you’re good to go! (Tip: If you’re using older dried spices, you’ll need about double the quantity to equal the flavor of  the fresh.)

Herbs and spices add pizzazz and variety!

Here’s the simplified list for your printing convenience; choose the items you’d like to try, and the next visit, mix in others!

SnR Basic Grocery List

Produce

  • Berries
  • Apples + pears
  • Spinach +/or kale
  • Romaine
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Yellow squash
  • Zucchini
  • Carrots
  • Avocados

Spices

  • Basil
  • Black Pepper
  • Cardamom
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Turmeric
  • Whatever else you like!

Oils + Butters 

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Tahini
  • Peanut butter
  • Almond butter

Protein

  • Eggs
  • Frozen fish (use your app to check which are best)
  • Organic, grass-fed, beef, chicken, etc

Other items

  • Brown rice
  • Black rice
  • Green rice
  • Red rice

As always, we love hearing your feedback and what works for you (or doesn’t)! Drop us a line below with your stories and tips!

 

Need an Easy, Peasy, Gluten-Freezy Dinner for A Night In? Try this Veggie “Fried” Rice!

Quick and easy, easy dinner, eating on a budget, kid-friendly, gluten free, nut free, easy recipe, fast, vegetarian

Quick and easy, easy dinner, eating on a budget, kid-friendly, gluten free, nut free, easy recipe, fast, vegetarian

This one-pan, quick and easy, yet healthy dinner is perfect for a night in with your sweetie or as a family dinner after a long day in the office. It’s also a great way to use up some leftover brown rice and fit in some extra veggies. As with all the dishes we whip up at Sprout and Rosebud, the below measurements are flexible. Adjust to your own liking! If you would prefer to add some sort of protein, like tofu, shrimp, fish, or chicken, cook that in a separate pan before mixing together towards the end.

What You’ll Need
– 1 1/2 cups of veggies (Raw or Cooked)
– 2 raw eggs
– 2 c. of cooked rice
– 2 Tbl of your favorite oil (or a blend. I use olive oil and sesame oil)
– 1 tsp tumeric
– 1- 2 Tbl Hoisin Sauce
– 1/2 tsp garlic powder or 1/2 tsp garlic salt
– 1 tsp black pepper
– 1 tsp chili paste
– Sriracha to taste
*Serves two moderately hungry adults

What You’ll Do
1. Place the raw veggies in a pan and sauté with the oil.
You want the veggies to maintain their color and a tad of crispness. Vibrant color and crispness mean the veggies have maintained their nutrients, which is what we want. If you use carrots, pre-steam, as they take much longer than most other veggies, such as onions, peppers, zucchini and squash, to sauté. If your veggies are already cooked, add them to the pan in the oil and heat through.

2. Add your eggs and “scramble” in the pan with your veggies on Medium-High heat.

3. Once the eggs are starting to clump, but still wet, toss in your rice.

4. Cook for 5-10 minutes. You want the eggs to be cooked and the rice to be heated through, but without overcooking the veggies.

5. Add the remaining seasonings, stir through and serve.

6. Add Sriracha to taste once served and ENJOY!!

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