No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookie Bites

Cookie bites? Eh. We like ’em okay. ;)

Because we all like healthy snacks and we absolutely love easy recipes – let us take a moment to review the previous no-bake cookie bite recipes shared here:

One idea turned into another, and now we have No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookie Bites to add to the list!

No-Bake Cookie Bites - Easy Recipes!

With a few ingredient tweaks, a Peanut Butter Cookie Bite came about. Of course, a peanut butter cookie bite must be gently pressed with a fork like the real deal, don’t you think? These taste so much like Peanut Butter Cookies, we couldn’t believe it. But instead of being an actual cookie full of sugar – they are a high protein, high fiber, low sugar snack. But hey, call it a cookie since it still tastes like one. Healthy treats are so exciting!

Peanut Butter Cookie Bites - No Bake!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookie Bites Yum

No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookie Bites
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coconut flour
Instructions
  1. Mix the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined.
  2. Roll the mixture into teaspoon-sized (or whatever sized) balls.
  3. Press down gently, criss-cross, with a fork.
  4. Refrigerate before serving.

It really is that easy.

(Here are my homemade peanut butter instructions.)

No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookie Bites

Where to get Coconut Flour:

Many have asked about Coconut Flour. I order it from Tropical Traditions or Amazon. A little bit goes a long way, so don’t let the price-tag scare you. Coconut flour is naturally gluten free, high in fiber, and high in protein. I love it for its nutritional value!

Ways to enjoy these No-Bake Cookie Bites:

  • Packed in a lunch
  • As a snack/pick-me-up
  • Before or after a work-out
  • On the road during a trip
  • In a box, on a train, with a fox, in a tree (thank you, Sam I Am) – Do you really need any more reasons to love these? Eat them any where for any reason!

Lovin’ these No-Bake Cookie Bites!

Give me more cookie flavor ideas to play with!! What would you like to see here?

No-Bake Snickerdoodle Bites – A Quick and Easy Low Sugar Treat

I’ve been making a treat similar to this recipe for several years (found over at TheNourishingHome.com). I’ve tweaked it here and there…then sort of forgotten all about this great treat. Last week I decided I needed a lightly sweetened snack. Not salty. Not desserty. Not meaty. Just something filling and lightly sweetened. These Snickerdoodle Bites are perfect.

snickerdoodle bites2

I’ve kept these Snickerdoodle Bites in my fridge, grabbing one in the afternoon when I need a little something to get me through until dinner. Because these are made with coconut flour, they are filling and nourishing. And did I mention that they are lightly sweetened to perfection? Like, if they were produced in mass and put into a box, the box would definitely say, “Lightly sweetened…to perfection.” Yep, that’s what it would say.

No-Bake Snickerdoodle BitesYum

No-Bake Snickerdoodle Bites - A Quick and Easy Low Sugar Treat
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup creamy almond butter or peanut butter (almond butter is my fav for these)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup coconut flour
Instructions
  1. Mix the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined.
  2. Roll the mixture into teaspoon-sized (or whatever sized) balls.
  3. Refrigerate before serving - or just start eating because who can wait?

Do feel free to add more honey if you prefer – although then these might be slightly more than lightly sweetened, thus ruining my description. But I’ll never know, so it won’t matter, and truly – we want these to be perfectly sweetened for your family’s delight.

No-Bake Snickerdoodle Bites - a quick and easy low sugar treat

Coconut flour is naturally gluten free – a great option for those of you who must avoid gluten. Our family doesn’t not need to avoid gluten – however we like coconut flour because it is so rich in nutrients! “Coconut flour is the fiber from coconut meat after most of the oil has been extracted to make coconut oil.” (source: Tropical Traditions) Adding protein and fiber to our (lightly sweetened) snacks? Yes please!

Where do I get coconut flour? I either order it from Tropical Traditions or Amazon. (Right now, this coconut flour at Amazon is a wonderful price!) Here are some of my other coconut flour recipes:

But right now, these lightly sweetened No-Bake Snickerdoodle Bites are my favorite coconut flour recipe. It’s probably because they only take 5 minutes to prepare and don’t require baking. And also because they are lightly sweetened to perfection.

Are you a fan of coconut flour? How do you use it at your house? 

This post includes affiliate links

So You Wanted a Low Sugar Chocolate Frosting for your Low Sugar Chocolate Cake?

When I shared this Low Sugar Super Moist Chocolate Cake recipe and told you that I’d adapted it from a Texas Sheet Cake recipe, several asked if I could come up with a low sugar chocolate frosting to go with it. I mean, the Cream Cheese Frosting is great, but sometimes we just need some chocolate with our chocolate, yes?

Low Sugar Super Moist Chocolate Cake

Creating a chocolate frosting for this cake was a little bit tricky. See, low sugar chocolate can turn out quite bitter if you’re not a dark chocolate fan (um, or even if you are). Plus, powdered sugar is typically what gives frosting its bulk. That’s why I’ve been using cream cheese frosting. The cream cheese and whipped cream provided the bulk, then the stevia provided the sweetness and we were good to go. (More about stevia here.)

Here’s what I learned through this trial and error process: Making chocolate frosting with stevia is not so good. Spread on top of the cake it was so-so, but wow, the bitterness had too much of a bite, even for me – the one who loves dark-dark chocolate.

So here’s the solution I came up with: I used honey. This frosting is really more of a glaze, because there’s not much in it to make it thick and creamy. But a thin chocolate glaze on a chocolate cake like this? Just right.

Find the Super Moist Chocolate Cake recipe here.

Low Sugar Chocolate FrostingYum

1/2 cup butter
4 Tablespoons cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons milk
2-4 Tablespoons honey (sweeten this to your taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small saucepan combine butter, cocoa, milk, and honey. Cook and stir over low heat until ingredients are well combined and mixture begins to thicken slightly. Removed from heat. Stir in vanilla. Spread over cooled cake.

Honey Sweetened Chocolate Frosting

We really liked this cake with whipped cream on top. I simply whipped the cream, then added a few drops of stevia.

Low Sugar Chocolate Cake with Honey Sweetened Frosting

I continue to be fascinated by the fact that we can take so much of the sugar out of recipes and still turn out a delicious treat.

And guess what??!! Coming up next week…Low Sugar Carrot Cake with Maple Frosting recipe. YES!! I played with a recipe and my family loved it! I’ll get it typed up to share with you soon.

Do you have any low sugar treat requests for me to play with? I won’t make any promises on being able to create what you want, but I bet I’ll have fun trying. :)

Cranberry Almond Bread with Orange Glaze

XmasBrunch2011

Welcome to our first brunch recipe of 2014!  You’re going to love this one.  It’s great with a cup of coffee.  <— You know, this time last year I was just beginning to realize how awesome coffee is.  Oh how far I’ve come in a year.  Mmmmm, coffee with cream during my Bible time each morning.  How I love it.

This bread is also great with a cup of hot tea, hot chocolate, Warm Vanilla Soother, or a cold glass of milk.  Pretty much it’s great with anything you like to drink.  It’s also very easy to make, and can be baked ahead of time if you’d like to wake up on Christmas morning to a delicious ready-made breakfast.

cranberry bread 3

Cranberry Almond Bread with Orange GlazeYum

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (regular whole wheat works okay, but pastry flour is perfection in this!)
¾ cups sucanat
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
1 ½ cups milk
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons almond extract
3 eggs
1 cup melted butter or coconut oil
1 cup fresh or dried cranberries

Mix flour, sucanat, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs, milk, extracts, and oil.  Mix well.  Fold in cranberries.  Pour batter into 2 well-buttered loaf pans (or six small loaf pans). Bake 45-60 minutes at 350°. Makes two loaves.

Orange Glaze

¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup honey
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Heat orange juice and honey in a small saucepan.  Remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla and almond extracts.  Pour mixture over loaves of cranberry bread about 3 minutes after they have been removed from the oven, but before removing the loaves from the baking pans.

Cranberry Bread with Orange Glaze

 Be sure to leave a comment on this post for a chance to win one of five $10 gift certificates to our Heavenly Homemakers Shop!

Switching to Whole Food Sweeteners Without Breaking the Bank

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While switching from processed food to nourishing food doesn’t have to be terribly expensive, there’s no way around this one:  White and brown sugar are cheap. Sucanat, real maple syrup, muscovado, honey, and stevia are not cheap. I can get a 2-pound bag of brown sugar at the store for $1.78. Sucanat, on the other hand, is usually $5.00 for 1.5 pounds. Ouch! It’s worth it to buy the good stuff, but it isn’t fun to pay for.

While I don’t have any earth shattering advice about finding fantastic deals on these wholesome sweeteners, I do have some suggestions based on what works for me.

Switching to Whole Food Sweeteners Without Breaking the Bank

1. Stop eating so many sugary desserts.

I know. You’re rolling your eyes. I feel your pain on this one because I’m a recovering sugar addict. Pray about this and let God’s power be your will-power. You don’t have to cut out desserts altogether (unless you feel called to). You simply need to keep sugary foods a treat instead of pouring on the sugar like it’s a food group. You’ll be amazed at how much money you save on sucanat, honey, and maple syrup when you stop eating so much.

2. Cut the sugar in half.

When baking muffins, quick breads, and breakfast bars, I find that half the sugar called for in many recipes (even mine!) works just fine. The baked goods are still sweet and tasty. This saves quite a bit of money on wholesome sugars!

3. Drizzle your syrup.

Dousing your pancakes or waffles in real maple syrup? That’s an expensive breakfast! A little drizzle of rich, flavorful maple syrup goes a long way. It’s also fun to pour a tiny quarter-sized bit of syrup onto your plate, then dip the corner of each bite to sweeten it just a touch.

4. Pull out the cheap stuff when feeding a crowd.

If I’m feeding 40 teenagers, I leave my sucanat in the pantry and pull out the cheap brown sugar. There’s no need to use $6 worth of sucanat when I can use $1.50 worth of brown sugar for a big group of kids who really don’t care about whether or not the brownies were made with organic sugar or not. I certainly don’t mind sharing “the good stuff” with company occasionally, but it just really isn’t worth spending extra money when three pans of dessert are going to be devoured in two minutes. I never compromise on using real butter (instead of margarine), and I always use my freshly ground flour (no one can even tell) – but compromising on sugar? At least it’s actual sugar instead of artificial sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Which leads me to…

At the end of the day…

It’s all sugar.  Sucanat is healthier because it’s processed very little and still contains nutrients. Real maple syrup is straight from the tree. Honey is made by bees and is as natural as it comes. But to our bodies? It’s all sugar. Read this post about Breaking Free of Sugar Addiction for more of my thoughts on this.

This means you may decide that switching to sucanat (and paying the higher price tag) is just not worth it.

I believe the bigger focus needs to be on cutting back on sugar (in all its forms). Focus on filling up on fruits and vegetables instead. You’ll be amazed at how sweet your fruits and vegetables taste when your palate isn’t coated with a cookie.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Which sugars do you choose to purchase and use for your family?

Easy, Healthy, Delicious ~ Zucchini Recipes

Zucchini Recipes - Easy, Healthy, Delicious

We never plant zucchini in our garden any more. Why? Because about this time of year, friends, family, and people we’ve never met are begging us to please take 3 or 4 or 19 extra zucchini off their hands. Everyone who has zucchini growing in their garden seems to have more than they need. We save our garden space for other great produce, and are happy to “help” others by taking some of their excess fresh zucchini. Servant-hearted, that’s what we are. ;)

If you are someone who has lots of zucchini in your garden, or someone who lovingly takes zucchini from other people’s gardens – here are some of our favorite zucchini recipes:

1. Easy Fried Zucchini

Simply slice zucchini, and lightly stir-fry it in a little olive oil, coconut oil, or palm shortening. Cook until lightly brown, salt, and serve. Unbelievably delicious!

2. Zucchini Brownies

Yes, brownies with zucchini. Does life get any better?

3. Cheeseburger Zucchini Boats

These are easy to make and fun to eat. Perfection.

4. Zucchini Cake

With cream cheese frosting. You’re welcome.

5. Whole Wheat and Honey Zucchini Bread and Muffins

This is what we always think of when we have extra zucchini, right? Made with whole wheat and honey, this is super moist and wholesome at the same time.

6. Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies and Bars

No one even knows these have zucchini in them. :)

7. Easy Noodle Stir-Fry

This is one of our favorite “throw-together” meals. You can add any veggie you want, so why not zucchini? You won’t believe how delicious this is.

8. Teriyaki Chicken and Veggies

This is tangy and full of flavor, perfect for fresh zucchini.

9. Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

It doesn’t get any better than chocolate muffins that have a hidden vegetable inside! :)

zucchini muffins

What are your favorite ways to eat zucchini? Do you grow zucchini in your garden, or cheerfully take extra zucchini from friends?

Free Shipping at Tropical Traditions This Weekend ~ Plus Sales on Raw Honey, Blueberries, and More

tropical traditions free shipping

Through Monday, February 24, you’ll get free shipping on your Tropical Traditions order when you use the code 24214. Orders must be $12.99 or higher to qualify. I love free shipping weekends paired with sales they are offering!

The best sale I found is on their delicious Organic Raw Honey. This stuff spreads like cream and tastes like a dream. Mmm, so good! It’s 50% off right now, so it’s just $10.49.

Their Freeze Dried Blueberries are on sale for $4.89. I love using these in my Whole Wheat Blueberry Streusel Muffins and Homemade Instant Oatmeal. They’re also great to snack on all by themselves. Hey – just for fun, type the word “blueberry” into the new Heavenly Homemaker’s Ingredients Search Box over at the top of my sidebar. You’ll see quite a few great recipes that are great with these Freeze Dried Blueberries. I am loving that new search box!

tropical traditions blueberries

Many of us have been waiting for Palm Shortening to go on sale during a free shipping weekend! I have seen lower prices, but at least it is discounted to $30.65 for a one gallon bucket! It’s costly to ship something that heavy, so take advantage of the free shipping deal with this!

New customers – Tropical Traditions will automatically include a free copy of their wonderful Virgin Coconut Oil Book if you purchase through any of the referral links in this post. It’s a great bonus!

This post contains affiliate links.

Delicious Candy You Can Make Yourself (with healthier ingredients)

As you all know, I don’t mind the occasional healthy food compromise, especially on special occasions. Christmas qualifies as one of the most special occasions of all, doncha think? But when I turn over a package and see that the yummy contents therein contain hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup – I just can’t do it. (I know, I know. It’s best not to even read the label. Wait. What?)

What I love is trying to re-create some our favorite treats so that we can have our Christmas candy and eat it too. These treats are best shared and in moderation though, because they are full of sugar! (I know, I know. It’s best not to even think about how much sugar is in them. Wait. What?)

Here are some goodies I make every once in a while for a very special treat:

Homemade Peppermint Patties

These call for none other than mashed potatoes. Weird, but true. And they also have tons of powdered sugar in them. Better than high fructose corn syrup, but wowza. You’ll be amazed at how much these taste like the “real thing.”

Peppermint Patties 2

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

This is my husband’s favorite. It’s super fun to make these for him every once in a while. We think they taste better than the packaged variety. It’s amazing how good peanut butter tastes when it’s only made with peanuts.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate Caramel Cups

These are ooey-gooey messy. But having a drop of caramel resting on one’s chin never hurt anyone.

Chocolate Caramel Cups

Peanut Butter Truffles and Chocolate Caramel Truffles

Making these truffles is easier than you would think. And the result? Amazing.

Delicious Homemade Truffles

Peanut Butter Honey Fudge

This is the easiest fudge you’ll ever make. It contains only three ingredients – peanut butter, honey, and chocolate chips. So good!

Peanut Butter Honey Fudge

What’s your favorite Christmas candy? Ever tried making your own?

Whole Wheat Quick Mix Honey Cinnamon Muffins

Simple. Tasty. Fast. Isn’t that what we want in all of our recipes? This muffin recipe is all of that and healthy too!

See? I told you this Whole Wheat Quick Mix has been a life saver!

Quick Mix Honey Cinnamon MuffinsYum

2 cups Quick Mix
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup honey
½ cup milk
1 egg

Mix all ingredients until just combined. (Do not over-stir.)  Scoop batter into 9 paper lined muffin cups. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until muffins are golden brown.

Honey_Cinnamon_Muffins_2

Easy Homemade Granola

I didn’t really plan it this way, but what better way to follow up a post about not soaking grains than by giving you a recipe which includes unsoaked grains. Do with this what you wish. :)

This recipe works great as a snack or for a quick breakfast, especially if you’ve made it ahead of time. We like to put it in a bowl and add dried fruit and milk or cream. A friend of mine even adds applesauce to this granola for a sort of “apple crisp” taste. Her kids love it that way!

Easy Homemade GranolaYum

4 cups rolled oats
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup sunflower nuts
1/2 cup sesame seeds
3/4 cup honey
1 cup coconut oil

In a small sauce pan, melt together coconut oil and honey. Stir all remaining ingredients together in a large bowl. Drizzle on the honey/coconut oil mixture and stir well.  Pour mixture onto a large, parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake at 300° for 35 minutes, stirring after the first 20 minutes. Store granola in an air tight container.

granola_2

Are you granola eaters at your house?