Creamsicles, Puppy Chow, & Strawberry Shortcake. Happy 4th of July!

ImageRight now, I’m busy traveling and playing outside… but I don’t want you to forget that it’s time to bask in the sun, embrace your summer dessert nostalgia, and dig into one of these delicious (and perfect for your 4th of July party I might add) desserts. All have healthy ingredients swapped in (with a short ditty on why some ingredients are better than others), but I promise they definitely don’t lack deliciousness and your guests (and more importantly your taste buds) will never know. And for those of you below the equator – just put a sweater on if you try the creamsicles.

Some of my summer favorites just for you…

 

 

ImageStrawberry Shortcake

This is a 4th of July must in my books. A) The colors scream Independence Day! B) The taste will blow your mind. C) There is real whipped cream (just not the same kind you probably are thinking of).  I served these at a recent private soiree and the ladies went crazy over them – promise this is one recipe worth turning your oven on for this summer. Serve the biscuits with whipped cream and fresh berries for dessert, breakfast, or whenever you simply feel like it.

Biscuit Recipe Makes 4 biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 c. almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 egg (free-range, organic)
  • 2 T. coconut oil
  • 2 T. raw honey
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl (almond flour, sea salt, baking soda). Then add in wet ingredients and stir until well mixed (no dry clumps remain).
  3. Divide dough evenly into 4. Scoop each quarter out and form into a rough ball. Drop onto baking sheet, about 2-3 inches apart. Repeat with remaining dough quarters. Bake for 17-18 minutes or until slightly golden on top.
  4. Remove from oven. Serve warm or cooled. Keep in sealed container for 2-3 days.

Whipped cream recipe Makes 1 cup

Ingredients:Image

  • 1 can coconut milk (full fat)
  • 1-2 T. pure maple syrup or raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Directions:
  1. Chill can of coconut milk in the fridge, upside down, for at least 6 hours (overnight makes it easy).
  2. Chill a metal mixing bowl in the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes (you want all equipment to be chilled so that the cream stays thick and stiff).
  3. Remove coconut milk from fridge. Turn the can right side up and gently open the top of the can. Pour off the coconut juice (opaque in color and liquid like juice) into a separate cup or bowl (use for smoothies, popsicles, etc.). The remaining white liquid is your cream.
  4. Scoop the white cream into your chilled mixing bowl, add the maple syrup or honey and the vanilla extract. Beat with an electric mixer on medium-low for 3-5 minutes until peaks form. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve (you may have to whip it again for 30 seconds to get the peaks to reform).

Strawberry Creamsicle

Makes 4-6Image

This is a summer staple in my book. I don’t remember a single summer growing up without orange creamsicles, bomb pops, and ice cream sandwiches {daily}. I substituted strawberries for the orange in this recipe as they are more in season now, but any frozen fruit (including oranges) work great in this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. frozen strawberries (or any frozen fruit)
  • Optional: 1/4 banana, frozen (makes it sweeter and creamier, but there is a banana flavor)
  • 1/2 c. coconut milk, full fat
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • water (as needed)
  • stevia or raw honey (to taste)
  • Optional: 6 strawberries, chopped (or 1/3 c. of any fruit, chopped)

Directions:

  1. Combine strawberries, banana, coconut milk, and vanilla extract in blender and puree until smooth (adding 1 T. water at a time so that blender keeps moving).
  2. Add sweetener to taste (may not need any).
  3. Add chopped fresh fruit to pureed mixture and stir gently.
  4. Pour into popsicle molds, leaving a little room at the top for the sicle to expand, and freeze until solid.
  5. Remove 3-4 hours later and enjoy. When removing, if you find it difficult to get the popsicle out of the mold, run the desired popsicle mold under hot water for 5-10 seconds and it will easily loosen.

Puppy Chow (or called Muddy Buddies)Image

This was hands down the #1 dessert/snack at every slumber party growing up. The perfect mixture of sweet, salty, crunchy, and chocolate peanut buttery goodness is so hard to pass up it should seriously be considered a drug. BUT there is always a way to make a terrible-for-you-favorite into a so-good-for-you-people-will-ask-what-you-are-doing-good-for-you-favorite….

Ingredients:

  • 10 c. Brown Rice Squares (or Rice Chex if you must)
  • 1/4 c. unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/4 c. raw honey
  • 1/4 c. raw cacao
  • 1/2 c. almond butter, sunflower butter, or organic peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. raw coconut sugar

Directions:

  1. Pour rice squares into large mixing bowl and put to the side.
  2. In a sauce pan, combine coconut oil, honey, cacao, almond butter (or nut butter of choice), and vanilla extract. Warm over low heat on stove until all ingredients are combined and smooth. Remove from heat.
  3. Pour cacao sauce evenly over the top of the rice squares, stirring gently until all squares are evenly coated (or as best as they can be).
  4. Place 1/2 c. coconut sugar in blender or food processor and blend for 20-30 seconds until sugar becomes powder. (Note you can do this with regular sugar to turn it into powdered sugar, but the nutritional value for regular sugar is zilch).
  5. Sprinkle powdered coconut sugar over the chocolate coated rice squares, stirring gently until evenly coated. (Another option is to place the chocolate covered squares into a large zip lock bag. Add the powdered coconut sugar to the bag, close tightly, and shake until all squares are evenly coated.
  6. Store in sealed container for 1-2 weeks.

Optional: for more of a milk chocolate taste, instead of dark chocolate taste, use 3 T. raw cacao powder and 1 T. carob powder instead of 1/4 c. raw cacao. 

WHY this recipe is better for you:

  • Raw cacao raw cacao (cocoa powder that hasn’t been heated to high temps) has almost 4x as many antioxidants as cocoa (i.e. powder, chocolate bars, or chips that have been heated to high temps), and retains the nutrient benefits such as high magnesium, iron, and B vitamins. Meaning better digestion, energy, and skin.
  • Raw honeyraw honey is anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, contains minerals, improves your immune system, and can reduce seasonal allergies (if sourced from beehives locally). It is one of the few sweeteners that helps to rebuild the healthy bacteria in your digestive tract (what all these probiotic pills, yogurts, etc. are trying to achieve).
  • (unrefined) coconut oil – Speeds up your metabolism, improves brain function, decreases bad bacteria in the gut, and makes your skin glow (whether you consume it or lather it on, it helps).
  • Raw coconut sugar – Lower glycemic load than most sugars out there (aside from stevia and xylitol), lower fructose content than agave (which is one reason I’m not a fan of agave), it’s the most sustainable sugar in the world, and it has some beneficial nutrients. I still choose raw honey, maple syrup, and stevia over all other sugars, but when you need the powder sugar texture and taste for a nostalgic recipe like this… raw coconut sugar is a great go-to.
  • Almond butter & sunflower butter – Both are great substitutes for peanut butter as PB is a very common food sensitivity that most people don’t realize they have.   AB & SB add a great deal of nutritional value and give you protein to keep your blood sugar balanced (i.e. no cravings, hunger pangs, or dips in mood/energy)  as there is some sugar in this snack. IF you are going to use peanut butter, PLEASE make sure you get organic as PB is one of the most heavily pesticide sprayed crops.

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