dark chocolate + almond butter cups

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dark chocolate + almond butter cups

This recipe puts a healthy spin on a childhood favorite, peanut butter cups. I replaced peanut butter with raw almond butter and mixed in a cocoa superfood green juice powder for added nutrients.  These sweets are great to eat anytime of year, but adding edible flowers to the top, makes them particularly "spring-esque".  

I used Aloha's daily good chocolate flavored superfood powder which you can find here. I particularly love it because it is vegan, non-GMO, doesn't include artificial flavors or sweeteners and worked very well with the almond butter. Aloha's blog, Aloha Magazine, is also a fantastic resource for expert advice on healthy recipes and wellness tips.

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DARK CHOCOLATE AND ALMOND BUTTER CUPS  // makes 12

by brunchpants

prep time: 20 minutes // cook time: 15 minutes // TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • dark chocolate chips
  • 1 pack - aloha cocoa superfood powder
  • crunchy almond butter
  • maple syrup
  • edible flowers ( optional )
  • 1 cup water
  • 12 - 1" silicone baking cups

METHOD:

  1. Mix almond butter, maple syrup and Aloha cocoa superfood until well blended.  Set Aside. 

  2. Fill a small saucepan with water and place a glass bowl on top of the sauce pan

  3. On a half-size baking tray, layout your silicone baking cups. Set Aside.

  4. Fill the glass bowl with the chocolate chips.

  5. Over low heat, bring the water to simmer, gently melting the chocolate, making sure to constantly stir. 

  6. With a small spoon, place a dap of melted chocolate at the bottom of your baking cup.

  7. Use a chopstick or toothpick to spread out the chocolate on the bottom so it doesn't sit too high in the baking cup.

  8. Place the baking cups with the chocolate in the fridge for a few minutes to chill.

  9. Take 1 tsp. of almond butter and roll into a flattened balls. Repeat this 12 times.

  10. Place the rolled almond butter into the silicone cups on centered on top of the chocolate drops

  11. Fill a gallon size ziploc bag with the remainder of the chocolate and when ready to fill the chocolate cups, snip a small corner ( about 1/8" ) off one of the corners.

  12. Fill the chocolate cups, making sure to cover the almond butter completely with chocolate.

  13. Tap the sides of the baking sheet to level out the melted chocolate, creating a smooth even surface.

  14. Place an edible flower on top of each chocolate cup.

  15. Place the chocolate cups in the fridge to set for about 10 minutes or until chocolate is firm.

 

 

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gluten-free blueberry banana muffins

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gluten-free blueberry banana muffins

blueberrymuffin_brunchpants

A great breakfast recipe made even better using summer blueberries!

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GLUTEN FREE BLUEBERRY BANANA MUFFINS // serves 10

by brunchpants

prep time: 10 minutes // cook time: 12 - 15 minutes

 

MUFFIN INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup smooth almond butter
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flower
  • 1/4 cup almond flour / meal
  • 2 tbsp. ground flaxseeds
  • 2 tbsp. hemp seeds
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cups small wild blueberries ( fresh or frozen ) 
  • 1/8 cup white chia seeds

METHOD:

  1. Pre-heat over to 375' 

  2. Put all of the ingredients listed above ( except for the blueberries and chia seeds ) into a blender.

  3. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed. 

  4. Mix in the blueberries into the batter.

  5. Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 of the way to the top. 

  6. sprinkle the tops of the muffins with chia seeds.

  7. Cook for 12 -15 minutes or until a knife comes out smooth when inserted into the center of the cupcake. 

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gluten free banana & peanut butter "breakfast cupcakes"

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gluten free banana & peanut butter "breakfast cupcakes"

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Who wouldn't want a cupcake for breakfast?  This healthy recipe is the closest thing to indulging in cake minus the expected sugar crash an hour later.  The best part about these cupcakes is that they use edible flowers from one of the best farm stands, Windfall Farms, as "sprinkles." This recipe was developed for The Chalkboard Magazine, one of my favorite lifestyle and wellness blogs. Hope you ENJOY!

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A jewel box of a farm located in Montgomery, NY, Windfall Farms focuses on micro-greens, salads and specialty seasonal produce like edible flowers. Their philosophy is to sell poison-free food, free of pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and chemical fertilizers that are unfortunately commonly used in conventionally grown produce. The higher standards used for Windfall’s farming practices is one of the reasons the quality of this farm stand is widely known among some of the best restaurants in New York City.

On the greenmarket days, I make sure to head over to Windfall’s stand early so I can grab edible flowers before they sell out.  Edible flowers are not only versatile but nutritious, with most of them containing potassium, phytonutrients, and vitamin C.  I like to use these flowers to decorate desserts, freeze into ice cubes for summer cocktails, add to salads or layer into a sandwich for an unexpected element.

You can find Windfall Farms in New York City at the Union Square Farmers Market ( union square west and 16th street ) on Wednesday and Saturday from 8:00am until they are sold out or every Sunday at the 79th Street greenmarket ( Columbus Avenue between 78th and 79th streets ) from 9am until sold out. 

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GLUTEN FREE BANANA & PEANUT BUTTER "BREAKFAST CUPCAKES" WITH HONEY YOGURT FROSTING // serves 10

by brunchpants

prep time: 10 minutes // cook time: 12 - 15 minutes

 

CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter ( or almond butter ) 
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flower
  • 1/4 cup almond flour / meal
  • 2 tbsp. ground flaxseeds
  • 2 tbsp. hemp seeds
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup almond milk

METHOD:

  1. Pre-heat over to 375' 

  2. Put all of the ingredients listed above into a blender.

  3. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed. 

  4. Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 of the way to the top. 

  5. Cook for 12 -15 minutes or until a knife comes out smooth when inserted into the center of the cupcake. 

YOGURT HONEY FROSTING INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups organic greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. of honey
  • edible flowers ( optional ) 

METHOD:

  1. In a small bowl, stir the honey and yogurt until blended.

  2. Transfer the yogurt mixture into a ziploc bag.

  3. Cut a small triangle off one of the corners of the bag.

  4. Frost the top of the cupcakes by starting at the outside edge of the cupcake and working your way towards the center, in a circular pattern. 

  5. Decorate the frosted cupcakes with the edible flowers.

NOTES:

  • You can add more honey if you want a sweeter frosting.
  • A Vitamix blender works the best especially if you are using whole flaxseeds.
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raspberry mini-donuts with pistachio and grey sea salt caramel

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raspberry mini-donuts with pistachio and grey sea salt caramel

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A gluten-free indulgence, these miniature sized cake donuts use grey sea salt caramel from CCmade, a small batch artisanal caramel company based in Berkeley, California.  I was introduced to this sugary heaven through Hatchery, a subscription service that sends you a monthly "tasting box" with interesting and delicious artisan made food products.   

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RASPBERRY MINI-DONUTS WITH PISTACHIO AND CARAMEL  // serves 12

by brunchpants

prep time: 20 minutes // cook time: 15 minutes // TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. xantham gum
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed overripe bananas ( about three small ) 
  • 3/4 cup frozen raspberries
  • coconut oil spray
  • CCmade grey sea salt caramel
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachio

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. In a small food processor, pulse the pistachio's until they are evenly broken into smaller pieces.  Make sure to not over process or the nuts will be too powdery. Set aside.

  3. In a large mixing bowl whisk together gluten-free flour, almond flour baking powder, baking soda, xantham gum, salt and cinnamon.

  4. In a separate large mixing bowl, use a hand or stand mixer to whip together butter and coconut sugar until cream and fluffy.

  5. Mix in eggs one at a time into the butter mixture, until well combined.

  6. Add mashed bananas and raspberries to the butter mixture, mixing until well combined. 

  7. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until well blended.

  8. Pour the batter into a gallon-size, freezer bag.

  9. Snip of a small corner of the freezer bag, creating a piping bag that will help you easily squeeze the batter into a donut pan. 

  10. Generously spray your donut pan with coconut oil.

  11. Fill each donut 3/4 of the way to the top.

  12. Bake for about 15 minutes or until a knife or toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

  13. Allow the donuts to cool slightly before you add the topping.

  14. While the donuts are cooling, add the caramel to a small pot and gently heat on low until the caramel becomes soft and liquid.  If you would like your topping to be more liquid, you can add a small amount of milk and stir to get the consistency you want. 

  15. Generously pour the caramel sauce in a circular motion over the top of the donuts, allowing the sauce to drip down the sides.

  16. Sprinkle the pistachio topping while the caramel is still warm.

NOTES:

  • I used a 3" donut pan, however any size will work as long as you adjust the cooking time accordingly.

  • Store the donuts in an airtight container.

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how to make apple roses

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how to make apple roses

Apples and peanut butter have always been one of my favorite go-to snacks.  This Valentine's day, I wanted to create a dessert that was healthy and also had a romantic edge to it.  These apple roses are very easy to make and look beautiful on a table.  

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APPLE ROSES  // serves 2

by brunchpants

prep time: 15 minutes // assembly: 15 minutes // TOTAL TIME: 30 min

 

TOOLS & INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 small apples
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 - 4 tbsp. peanut butter ( cashew and almond butter also work ) 
  • mandoline or ceramic slicer
  • bowl for soaking apple "petals"
  • 2 small shallow glass bowls

METHOD:

  1. Fill a small glass bowl with cold water and squeeze 1/2 lemon into it and set aside. 

  2. Place 1 - 2 tbsp. of peanut butter in a small shallow dish, filling it only 2/3 of the way up.

  3. Using your finger, make three indents in a triangle pattern in the peanut butter, to allow easier placement of the apple rose.

  4. Thinly slice the apples with the mandoline to make the "petals", making sure you slice both halves of the apple evenly to get full circle slices.

  5. Soak the petals in the water and lemon juice bowl.

  6. Remove the petals and dry them on a paper towel to remove excess water.

  7. To start the rose, use one of the smaller apple slices, roll the bottom sides towards each other and hold it with your thumb and index finger.

  8. Add the outside "petals" one at a time, staggering the placement clockwise, holding the base of the rose together with your fingers. 

  9. Once you have finished the first apple rose, gently place it into one of the indents in the peanut butter, pushing the base down so the petals stay in place. ( Note, the first apple rose will expand slightly until there are more apple roses to hold it in place ) 

  10. repeat steps 7 - 9 to create more apple roses, using three roses per bowl.

NOTES:

  • The apple "petals" are soaked in water and lemon juice so the apple slices do not turn brown.
  • Use firm, fresh apples for the best results.
  • Slide in extra apple "petals" to create a more finished and polished look.
  • Some of your petals will crack, which are easy to slide out at the end. 
brunchpantsapplerosesbowl

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