Category Archives: Sweet Treats

eating bread

Handling the Influx of Sugar

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Hello! It is that time of year again. A huge influx of sugar has come upon us. There are sweets continuously coming in at work, schools, parties, and even within your home. The question lies in not whether or not to partake, because we all know we will be partaking in these delicious sweets, but rather being disciplined in when and how much you eat.
Note: Obviously I would recommend limiting sugar as much as possible! We don’t NEED sugar and we all know it isn’t good for our bodies, BUT if you must partake here is what I recommend. 

Here are some quick tips for limiting sugar during this season.

1) Set a goal for yourself as far as how many sweets per week you will be consuming

I see most people eating sweets as if they will never see them again. They continue to grab just one more bite in fear that the goodness will all be gone. Allowing yourself sweets is OK. Just put a cap on it. I find that I eat more sweets when they have been unavailable to me. Therefore I always keep a little stash in my pantry, fridge, or freezer for those times when you just need something sweet. This way I know that “X” number of days I can partake in sweets. Limit how many sweets you will be consuming on a weekly basis.

2) Don’t say no to all sweets it just won’t happen. Choose wisely.

Try to focus on enjoying your favorite desserts and not just anything that is laying about. There are always going to be sweets lying around this time of the year, but wouldn’t you rather have your favorite item than that two-day old brownie that has been sitting in your office kitchen? If you need to indulge do it right. You will end up eating less of the item because it will satisfy that craving. Do your best to avoid the every day sweets and hold off for the good stuff. You will feel less guilty in the end and will end up with less sugar in your system.

3) Avoid artificial sugars, diet drinks, and anything labeled lite/diet/fat-free

Just because something is “sugar free” or “fat free” doesn’t mean it is any bit healthier! Items like these have a dark side and are filled with unnecessary artificial ingredients and added carbohydrates and sweeteners to help them taste better than they actually do.
I always vote for real food and that includes desserts. Opting for real sugar, minimally processed flours, and real fats like coconut oil and butter should be your first choice. Obviously all is best in moderation, but by eating foods that contain real ingredients you will be satiated much quicker! This leads to eating less. Foods filled with empty calories such as refined white flour, vegetable oil, and artificial sweeteners will leave you unsatisfied. Just think about those 100 calorie granola bars…one is just not enough. However eating an apple with 2 TBS of peanut butter will have you filled and ready for the next task with the same amount of calories!

4) Fill up on good food first!

Before you head off to the next party, event, or even work, grab a good healthy meal or snack. Filling up on real food will help keep those cravings at bay. Focus on vegetables cooked in a good fat like butter, olive oil, or coconut oil and seasoned well. Then grab a protein source. Once your tummy is filled head off to your event. Knowing that you have had a meal will help your mind keep those cravings at bay. It is just like the idea of never going grocery shopping when you are hungry. You will pick up items more strategically when your body has what it needs. :)

 

I hope these tips were helpful for you! Enjoy the holidays and enjoy your desserts. :)

For some yummy desserts click here

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carrot cake

Carrot Cake *gluten free*

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Hello! I have been craving carrot cake for about a week now and decided to just go for it. I looked at a couple different gluten free recipes and decided to just wing it the rest of the way. This is paired perfectly with cream cheese icing. I unfortunately didn’t have enough cream cheese to do this part, but feel free to make some. The extra ingredients/directions are listed below the recipe.

Hope you enjoy this carrot cake! It took no time at all to prep and is moist, spongy, and delicious!

Gluten Free Carrot Cake

Makes 1 sheet 6×10 pan serving about 10+ depending on how much you eat. :)

Ingredients:carrot cake

  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda (gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped nuts of choice (pecans and walnuts preferred)
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 8 oz cream cheese (1 block) (room temperature)

Directions:

Do not over mix. Simply mix until well incorporated and stop.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat your sugars, eggs, and butter together until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together your flours, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla extract.
  4. Slowly add this mixture until well combined on medium-low speed.
  5. Add your cream cheese and grated carrots. Continue to mix on low to medium speed until combined.
  6. Add to a greased pan and cook for 45-1 hour depending on your oven.
  7. Top with your chopped nuts. Add as much or as little as you would like!
  8. If making muffins begin checking for doneness after 30 minutes.
    It is done when you can poke it with a toothpick and it comes out “clean”. You will need to do this step because it is the only real way to tell it is done. Cake will appear dark in color.
  9. Let cool for at least 15 minutes. It will be soft when it comes out, but will stiffen up upon cooling.

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Cream cheese icing:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (gluten free)

While cake or muffins are cooling place butter, cream cheese and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat on high until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.

_DSC0043

Perfect food for a Brunch!

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Hello!

I wanted to give you all some options to make for an Easter Brunch. _DSC0043Easter is just a week away and if you are like me nothing says Easter like some good food and family time! Holidays such as Easter is a great time to make some new recipes that are bright and colorful. This spread of food is a guarantee  crowd pleaser and will be sure to impress your guests. Feel free to try out some or all of the recipes for your next event.

Salmon (or beef) encroute

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French Toast Casserole with Lemon and Berries

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Asparagus with Hollandaise sauce and Poached Eggs

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Roasted Potatoes

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Ginger Basil Grapefruit (virgin) Mimosas

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Hope you enjoy these recipes!! Have a great Holiday and remember to check back when you have any other food needs.

 

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Ginger Basil Grapefruit (virgin) Mimosas

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Yum, Yum, Yum! I LOVED this recipe. Phew! So good. I don’t drink alcohol myself so this was a great alternative. This is a must try. Feel free to add alcohol if you would like!

GINGER BASIL GRAPEFRUIT MIMOSAS _DSC0051

  • 1 grapefruit; plus additional grapefruit for garnish
  • 2 cups of ice
  • 2 bottles of ginger beer (click here) or 3 cans of ginger ale
  • handful of fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup basil simple syrup

Juice one large grapefruit and segment additional grapefruit for garnish if preferred. Fill a pitcher half way with ice. Pour soda, fresh grapefruit juice and simple syrup. Mix well. Garnish with grapefruit slices and fresh basil.

BASIL SIMPLE SYRUP

  • 1  cup sugar
  • 1  cup water
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil

Place sugar and water in a small pan over medium heat until sugar is fully dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add the basil. Allow to steep for 15-20 minutes and strain and discard basil. Place syrup in a glass tupperware container or squeeze bottle if you have it.

This will make a good amount. Feel free to freeze the rest for later use.

Cover and chill for a couple hours.

 

That is it!

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unnamed

Yogurt: From Plain to Delicious

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HELLO!

I am a day late on this post, but that is alright…right?? First I want to say thank you for all the awesome views this week! It always makes me excited to see spikes in my viewer bar chart. :)

This week I want to chat about yogurt. As many of us know yogurt can be great for you because of the  many great bacteria and nutrients. The biggest downside I see in yogurt is all of the added sugar! PHEW there is a lot of added sugar in flavored yogurts, but they taste so delicious.

I choose my yogurts based on a couple things

  • sugar content
  • protein content
  • whole fat
  • minimal ingredients

These are the “quality” flags for me. If you are going out to buy yogurt check your ingredient list and nutrition facts. You may surprise yourself with how much sugar or unnecessary ingredients are in the packaged yogurt.

Plain yogurt:

If you are like me and don’t particularly love plain yogurt have no fear. There are so many things you can do to spruce up your yogurt.

What to add to yogurt:

  • Fruit:heat some fruit for 20 seconds in the microwave and add to yogurt
  • Honey: great antioxidant and deliciously sweet
  • Coconut sugar: taste a lot like brown sugar but with a much lower glycemic index
  • Cinnamon: Great for blood sugar control
  • Nuts: great protein and fat
  • Hemp seeds/flax/chia: add supplemental fats and proteins! great for added texture
  • Vanilla: because real vanilla trumps fake vanilla 😉

 

Here was my morning yogurt:unnamed

1 1/2 Raw milk yogurt from my local farmer

3 TBS Hemp seed

1-2 TBS Gelatin

1 TBS coconut sugar 

1 TBS cinnamon

 

Hope you enjoyed this quick tip blog post!

 

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photo

Halloween Line Up

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Hello!!

Halloween is just at the end of the week!  I wanted to post a couple of my sweet treat recipes for you in one post for easy viewing! These are all great and fun items to make! Perfect for the next party, family event, or simply for your own enjoyment.

HAVE FUN: Happy Halloween!

Homemade Butterfingers photo

 

 

 

 

 

Honey and Cream Taffyphoto 4

Pomegranate, ginger, bacon, and chocolate barkphoto-1

 

 

 

 

 

Almond Butter Freezer Fudgeimage-2

Homemade Nutella_DSC0048

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homemade Chocolate_DSC0365

Cheesecake Bitesphoto-1

 

 

 

Click on any of the above links!

 

 

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Homemade Nutella

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The day has come! Homemade Nutella by My Whole Food Life. I have resisted making nutella for a long time now, solely because I LOVE IT! However, after some research of many different recipes of homemade nutella, I came across this one. Melissa has  a  great blog that provides vegetarian and vegan recipes, among lots of other great information! Although, I don’t believe that Vegan/Vegetarian diets are sustainable, her stuff is great! Go check it out!

The first time I tasted nutella was in high school when my mom would make me peanut butter and nutella sandwiches every friday for lunch! YUMM. Then came college and after buying nutella consistently I realized that I had a problem. A nutella addiction, should you say. Plus it is pretty expensive. Anyways, I stopped purchasing it. It was just too much sugar and too tasty to resist. I had considered making my own for a while now, but feared that I would gobble it down. Then I found this great recipe! There are other ones like it, but I chose to go with Melissa’s. It is perfect! What I love most, is that it isn’t very sweet. While most recipes call for a good amount of sugar, this one doesn’t.

Try it Out! Remember, it is not as sweet at regular nutella, but gives you the same taste.

Homemade Vegan Nutella_DSC0048

  1. 1 cup hazelnuts (where to buy)
  2. 2 T maple syrup (where to buy)
  3. 2 T cocoa powder (where to buy)
  4. 2-3 T milk (Or more depending on how thick/thin you want it. I used raw milk) (Can use any dairy free “milk” also)
  5. 1 tsp ground vanilla bean (where to buy)

Preheat the oven to 375. Toast the hazelnuts for about 10 minutes. Remove shells for a smoother texture. You can easily remove them by rubbing them in between your palms. In a food processor, pulse the nuts into a powder. Then add all the remaining ingredients and mix until a _DSC0045paste forms. Feel free to add a bit more milk if you think it’s too thick. Just add a bit at a time. This recipe makes a pretty small batch so feel free to double it. Store in the fridge. I would imagine it to keep for a couple of weeks. That is, if it lasts that long!

TRY it! Great with fruit! Or maybe just on a spoon 😉

 

Living Satisfied!

 

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Sweet Potato Breakfast Cookies

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Yum Yum Yum! I love these! What a great breakfast food, especially on the go! I am always looking for items that I can simply snack on in the morning or running to do errands. These are definitely going to be a staple. The great thing about these cookies, is that you can really make them anyway! I don’t think you could really go wrong. I tried the recipe Paleo Mama had adapted. I can’t wait to try different varieties! You should definitely check out paleo Mamas site! I think I have said that many times!

 

Sweet Potato Breakfast Cookies

INGREDIENTS: _DSC0018

  • 1/2 cup of Almond Butter (where to buy)
  • 1/2 cup of pureed Sweet Potato – Roast them in the oven to soften or throw them in the microwave for 6 minutes (GASP…don’t hate me for still using my microwave!)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or raw honey (where to buy)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (where to buy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice (where to buy) or 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of real salt (where to buy)
  • 2-3 cups of mix-ins of choice*

DIRECTIONS: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a  large bowl.
  3. Drop by TB-2 TB onto a greased or silicate-lined baking sheet. Press down slightly with your palm.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Makes 12 large breakfast cookies!

***Mix-in Ideas: 

hope you enjoy!

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_DSC0455

Buttermints: Stop Sugar Cravings Now.

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Hello! I found these beauties on Empowered Sustenance’s site . I have loved looking through her site! Now this post, really weirded me out. As you all know, I love fats! I cook with them constantly. I believe that fats are a necessity and can help many ailments. However, I have never been one to grab a stick of butter and eat it. These are basically just that. :) I made these  this past week and tried them out throughout the week. They are Great!! They have greatly helped me during those periods of low blood sugar. Sometimes I accidently go a little too long before my next meal and suffer from a blood sugar crash. They babies are amazing! Best of all, one batch makes a LOT! I usually pop 3-4 before going out to exercise, or even sometimes before bed if I ate a really early dinner. They really do curb your sweet tooth!

Buttermints for sugar cravings_DSC0455

Ingredients

  • Small pinch of unrefined salt
  • Optional: 2 Tbs. cocoa powder for a chocolate version (a empowered sustenance reader’s suggestion) Might try this next batch!

Instructions

  1. Have the butter at room temperature. Stir together all ingredients then scoop it into adisposable pastry bag or zip-top bag. You can use a metal pastry tip like I did, I just stuck the metal tip into the end of a zip-top bag and then cut off a corner of the bag (see picture above). If you don’t want to use a tip, just snip of the corner of the bag.
  2. Squeeze bite-sized buttons onto a baking sheet lined with unbleached parchment paper. Place in the fridge until firm, about 2 hours, then transfer to a storage container and store in the fridge.

Notes: For a chocolate version: A reader told me she made this recipe with the addition of 2 Tbs. cocoa powder, for a chocolate version, with success. That sounds like a great idea and I wanted to share it here!

Inspired by this recipe from Shaye at The Elliot Homestead.

 

Hope you try these out!! They have changed my life!

 

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Homemade Chocolate

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Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to makes these treats!! This does not correlate with Ferment February, BUT I just have to post this! I Copied this straight from Homemade Mommy! There was honestly nothing to change in this recipe! I highly suggest you checking out her site!

Easy Homemade Chocolate Recipe _DSC0365

Ingredients

Directions

In a heat resistant pyrex or other glass bowl or measuring cup, add the coconut oil. Fill a small saucepan with a few inches of water and place the glass measuring cup in it. Heat on stove top until coconut oil is mostly melted (room temp – not hot). UPDATE: please do not skip this step and microwave your oil. You will kill the good antimicrobial properties in the oil and it also won’t blend in well with the cocoa powder. If you end up with a watery mess you heated the coconut oil up too hot! (PLEASE DON’T! My first batch my oil got a bit too warm)

While the coconut oil is coming to room temperature, add all the other ingredients to a food processor. Add the coconut oil and blend until combined in the food processor.

Place some plastic wrap or parchment paper in a loaf pan to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Pour the chocolate mixture into the loaf pan and cover with the plastic wrap (gently). Press down or tilt to even out the thickness. I like mine about 1/2 inch thick. UPDATE: I have recently just poured out the chocolate on some parchment paper on a cookie sheet or roasting pan and put the whole thing in the fridge. This avoids the plastic wrap and works just as well.

Place the loaf pan with the fudge into into the freezer and let it set for about 20 min. Remove and slice into bite sized pieces. I put these in a jar and store in the fridge. I sometimes make a double recipe and store the other half already cut up in the freezer

I put mine into a thinner dish and cut into hearts for Valentine’s Day. :) I will be making more of these!!