Simple Sweet Potatoes

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I jut love simplicity (hence simple sweets ;). Especially when it comes to food, not only are simple foods easier, but there is something so satisfying and delicious about savoring a few, flavorful ingredients. Food doesn’t have to be made complicated–just made with care and quality, whole-food ingredients—and simple meals are perfect, because who has time to make complicated meals anymore? Hungry and tired? Sweet potatoes will save you. 

These sweet potatoes are just that–super simple, yet they are sweet, nutritious and easy to make with an amazing texture that is super satisfying and nourishing. Adding a bit of flavor enhancers complement the sweet potatoes wonderfully—the sweet from the potatoes and the maple syrup are balanced by the salty and savory nut butter. It tastes a bit like caramel topping when everything is mixed together! Although, they are quite good without toppings too! Not only are they super tasty, but they contain tons of antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, and loads of minerals—the list goes on and on. They are also anti-inflammatory, help regulate blood sugar, and are healing for the digestive system. There are endless reasons to eat sweet potatoes!

Simply set washed sweet potatoes/yams in the oven and let them slowly bake until they are sweet, soft, and oozing with their own caramel. The amount of time that they cook, and the heat level does the trick– I tried and failed many times to cook them to that delicious soft and caramely stage, but finally found a time and temp that works. The best part is that you can leave them in the oven and forget about them until they’re ready, then just add whatever toppings you like. Maple syrup and nut butter with a little bit of salt crystals are delicious—sweet and salty, yet nutritious.

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Simple Sweet Potatoes
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Ingredients
  1. 3-4 medium-sized sweet potatoes or yams
  2. 3 tbsp. nut butter of choice such as cashew butter,
  3. sesame seed butter (tahini), and almond butter
  4. 3 tbsp. maple syrup
  5. Sprinkle of unrefined salt crystals
  6. optional 1 tsp. lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash and dry sweet potatoes, then place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for around 90 minutes, for regular size potatoes, 70 minutes for smaller potatoes. After cooking, let them cool for a bit, then drizzle the nut butter and maple syrup. Sprinkle salt to taste and optional lemon juice. Enjoy!
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

Mixed Berry Muffins (GF, V)

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Blueberry muffins are wonderful. They are sweet, fluffy, and so decadent with fragrant bursts of tart berry flavor from the blueberries folded into a soft, buttery cake-like texture. These mixed berry muffins incorporate vibrant and sweet berries along with these flavors and textures.

While most muffins require loads of ingredients such as butter, milk, and eggs, these muffins are made with simple, nutritious ingredients that come together easily and are all tossed into one bowl–this makes for an easy baking method and cleanup. These mixed berry muffins are filled with healthy fats and nutrient-dense berries that create a sweet and buttery flavor. They are incredibly fluffy and moist with a subtle taste of vanilla and a crisp topping from the crunchy sugar crystals. This creates an amazing combination of a crisp top with a fluffy and moist center.

These mixed berry muffins are made with simple, plant-based ingredients. The use of coconut flour adds a rich fluffy texture to the muffin base. Almond flour can be used as a substitute to the coconut flour that also adds nutritious healthy fats and substance. The flavorful berries offer an antioxidant-packed, vitamin C rich nutritious element. Not only are these muffins tasty, but they are a balanced and nutritious snack!

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Blueberry Muffins
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Dry Ingredients
  1. 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
  2. 1/2 cup coconut flour
  3. 1/4 tsp. salt
  4. 2 tsp. baking powder
Wet Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup oil
  2. 1 cup unrefined sugar
  3. 2 tbsp. ground flaxseed + 6 tbsp. water
  4. 4 tbsp. applesauce
  5. 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  6. 1/2 cup almond milk
  7. 1/2 cup water
Add In
  1. 2 cups frozen berries
  2. Additional unrefined sugar for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare a muffin pan. Add ground flax and water to a cup, mix completely and set aside for 10 minutes. Assemble the wet ingredients into a medium-sized mixing bowl and mix, incorporating all the ingredients. Add cup of flax and water to the ingredients and mix until it is combined into the other ingredients. Add the dry ingredients on top of the wet, and mix these together until a batter if formed. Add frozen berries to the batter and mix until just combined, not thoroughly. Add batter to a muffin pan, filling the cups slightly above the line of the pan. Top with additional sugar crystals and bake for about 30 minutes.
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

Creamy Cheeseless Sauce (nut-free)

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Savory, cheesy, and garlicky, this healthy and creamy cheeseless sauce is unbelievably smooth and satisfying. It is super tasty and cheesy, yet it’s made with whole-food ingredients blended together into a delicious sauce.  Thanks to flavorful and nutrient-dense veggies and spices, this mix of ingredients transforms into a smooth and flavorful sauce that is perfect over noodles, rice, veggies, or even by itself as a soup.

Fortunately, blended sauces couldn’t be any easier.  Simply cook up all your veggies in a pot, season them with herbs and spices of choice, then blend them together into the smoothest and creamiest sauce.  There are endless versions and so many combinations of flavors and textures.  This sauce uses steamed sweet potato as its base, and herbs like garlic and oregano as flavor enhancers.  The thick and hearty texture of the sweet potato is amazing for blending into an incredibly smooth base that can be topped with these savory herbs, which add a deep Italian-herb flavor reminiscent of your favorite cream pastas–without all the heavy dairy products. This nutritious and creamy, cheeseless sauce combines fragrant garlic, turmeric, and oregano with the subtle sweetness and saltiness of the sweet potato for a deeply satisfying sauce.  Pour this sauce over noodles or rice for a comforting meal that is both warm and savory.

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Creamy Cheeseless Sauce
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Ingredients
  1. 10 oz. package of cubed sweet potato or 1 medium sweet potato, sliced
  2. 1 cup hot water*
  3. 1/4 tsp. unrefined salt
Herbs & Spices
  1. 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
  2. 1/4 tsp. basil
  3. 1/4 tsp. oregano
  4. 1/4 tsp. mustard powder
  5. 1 tbsp. tahini or sesame seeds (you can substitute other seeds for this)
  6. 6 shakes or about 1/4 tsp. of black pepper
  7. Optional 1 to 2 tbsp. oil or buttery spread of choice
Instructions
  1. Steam or boil the sweet potato over boiling water until tender, about 15 minutes if using small cubes of potato. Add the cooked sweet potato along with 1 cup of the hot water into a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend the cooked sweet potato, hot water, and salt on low, gradually increasing the speed up to high-speed and blending on high for about 20 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients into the sauce and blend on low or pulse until just incorporated. Serve fresh over cooked noodles. Garnish with additional herbs, salt & pepper.
Notes
  1. *If the amount of water is not enough for the quantity of sweet potato, slowly increase water until the blender can smoothly mix the sweet potato and water together. This depends on the type of blender/processor and amount/size of sweet potato.
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

One-Bowl Chocolate Pudding

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untitled (23 of 24)Chocolate pudding just got super simple. No more eggs, gelatin, heavy whipping cream, or beating with a mixer, which always turns into a giant mess anyway. It is time for an eggless, dairy-less and hassle-free pudding that tastes every bit as decadent.

With only two main ingredients, a spoon, and a mixing bowl, you can have a chocolatey, silky pudding in a matter of minutes! This easy chocolate pudding recipe is smooth and rich with a fudge-like taste and a hint of deep maple flavor. It’s so good you’ll want to eat it before you even get to breakfast—I’m speaking from experience. ;)
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It’s so simple and delicious. Chocolate pudding doesn’t need all the dairy or egg whites in order to taste amazing—just pure chocolate, sweetness, and lots and lots of hand mixing (food processors can help out a lot with this one)!

 

One-Bowl Chocolate Pudding
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup cacao powder
  2. 4 shakes of pink salt
  3. 4 tbsp. organic sugar
  4. 4 tbsp. maple syrup
  5. 4 tbsp. hot water
  6. Optional chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Mix only the dry ingredients together, then add the wet ingredients, saving the water for last, into this powder and mix thoroughly until it transforms into a silky pudding-like texture. This mixture can also be made in a food processor for a super quick and smooth transformation. Sprinkle with optional chocolate chips and enjoy!
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

Dusted-with-Pink Valentine Cookies (GF)

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Heart-shaped cookies are essential for Valentine’s Day–but instead of buying processed cookies, now is the chance to make easy heart cookies using just simple, natural ingredients. These dusted-with-pink cookies are a one-bowl recipe that comes together quickly. Buttery and sweet, they are crispy on the edges with a soft center that is topped with a light pink glaze that is made without food coloring or any other chemicals.

These are a natural, whole-food, sweet, and delicious option for cookies that are a perfect Valentine treat to make for a loved one or for yourself! <3 IMG_2981

Dusted-with-Pink Valentine Cookies
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Dry
  1. 1 cup coconut flour or almond flour
  2. 1/4 tsp. salt
  3. 1/4 tsp. baking soda
Wet
  1. 1/2 cup room temp safflower or melted coconut oil
  2. 3 tbsp. maple syrup
  3. 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
  4. 1/2 cup unrefined cane sugar
  5. 3/4 cup non-dairy milk
Pink Icing (optional)
  1. 2 cups powdered sugar
  2. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  3. Juice of 4 thawed, frozen or fresh red berries
  4. 1 to 2 tbsp. almond milk *
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Assemble the dry ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl. Next add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients then mix until thoroughly combined. Add heaping tablespoon-sized drops of dough onto the baking pan 2 inches away from each other. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until the edges are crispy and the center is soft. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before frosting. Enjoy! <3
Notes
  1. (slowly add liquid until the icing has reached desired consistency)
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

A Nutritious and Delicious Snack

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This post is dedicated to healthy snacks, particularly one of my favorite snacks that is perfect for an energy boost in between meals. When it comes to healthy snacks, it can be difficult to know what snacks are the best choices, and since we are busy people in an age where there are countless things to do at all times, it’s not always easy to have the right foods on hand at the right times. There are always those days when we are rushing from one thing to the next and hunger always seems to strike at such an inconvenient time. But when you are far from a warm kitchen and a hot meal, what is one to do? Eat a bunch of processed snacks that only make you feel hungrier because of their nutrition-less and empty, air-like quality? This is always a problem since most snacks just don’t have that dense, satisfying quality that we really crave. Also, they don’t supply any energy, and only deplete it, leaving you feeling drained and tired.

While snacks come in so many different varieties, here is one of my favorite go-to snacks that is filling and energy-packed. Dates. These caramel-like, bite-sized treats are a perfect snack for those times when you need a quick remedy for your empty stomach. They really are nature’s candy with a soft texture that melts in your mouth and tastes like a mix between brown sugar and caramel. Not only are they delicious, but they just so happen to be super good for you. :)

First of all, these sweet, caramel-like fruits are full of fiber and antioxidants, and keep you fully satisfied and energized. Packed with calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and many other vitamins and minerals, dates have been found to help everything from digestive disorders and anemia to aiding muscle development. This fruit has been prized for its many health benefits for centuries, and it offers a light, energizing quality that makes it a complete and delicious treat. They also supply a nice burst of energy due to their natural sugar content that will power your brain for hours–instead of leading to the all-too-common sugar crash that is cause by processed, sugary snacks.

While there are many varieties of dates, any type of date is a delicious and filling snack that is rich with nutrients and a sweet, caramel-like flavor. Although, when dates are rolled in coconut flakes, they become even better. Date-coconut rolls supply an added boost of nutrition due to the healthy fats and protein from the coconut. They taste like delicious caramel rolls dusted with powered sugar, yet they are simply made from whole, unprocessed fruit. They also couldn’t be easier to make with just 2 ingredients: dates and coconut! Just whip up a bunch of pitted medjool dates in a food processor, then roll them in coconut. Super simple and super satisfying. It’s also easy to order the ingredients online or simply order pre-made date coconut rolls. Check out nuts.com for some of my faves. This online shop is a great resource for finding healthy snacks like fresh dates and coconut. They also have a varietiy of dried fruits and nuts etc., and of course, the best gooey dates! Check out this link for a list of healthy snacks that you can find in their shop.

Crispy Salt & Pepper Potato Wedges

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Crispy and buttery on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside–the equation for a perfect potato wedge. These potato fries are transformed from whole potatoes into buttery and soft fleshed potato wedges with a crisp outer skin infused with seasonings. They are soft on the inside, yet crispy on the outside, and are coated with a buttery-herb mixture that is infused with garlic and seasoned with pepper and pink salt. Just one bite into the savory potato wedges and their herb-infused crispy outside and soft inside will win over your tastebuds! They’re so flavorful that they are even good without ketchup. As a bonus, they are free of dairy, hydrogenated oils, and preservatives–they’re simply made from the potato in its natural form and drizzled with oil and spices as the natural taste of the potatoes is better preserved by being baked in the oven instead of fried.

With a little bit of prep, crispy salt & pepper potato wedges can be created simply and quickly. There is an easy method for turning them into delicious and crispy wedges–all it requires is a little washing, slicing, and coating the potatoes with oil and the seasoning mixture. In order to coat each surface of the crispy potato wedges with savory flavor,  it is helpful to whisk the seasonings together into a powder ahead of time in order to easily coat the potatoes for maximum flavor.

 

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Crispy Salt & Pepper Potato Wedges
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Ingredients
  1. 4 pounds of gold potatoes
  2. 2 tbsp. oil
  3. 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
powder
  1. 1/4 tsp. unrefined salt
  2. generous sprinkles of cracked pepper or about 1/4 tsp. of fine pepper
  3. 1 tsp. parsley
  4. 1 tsp. oregano
  5. 1 tbsp. organic sugar
Instructions
  1. Wash and slice potatoes into wedges. Place them into a mixing bowl and set aside. Assemble powder ingredients by mixing them in a cup, then preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat the potatoes with the oil, vinegar, and the powder then mix everything together. Line the potatoes on two trays with parchment paper, and bake them for 45 minutes or until potatoes are soft on the inside and crispy on the edges. Sprinkle with additional seasonings, S&P, and enjoy!
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

White Alfredo Pizza (V & GF)

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This white Alfredo pizza is soft and crispy with a layer of savory garlic Alfredo sauce that is a delicious complement to the juicy bites of corn and sliced onions. The flavorful sauce is so creamy and satisfying that it completely makes up for any lack of cheese or meat. You can use a pre-made regular or GF crust for a quick and simple pizza recipe, but homemade crust is always delicious too. While there are endless topping options for pizza, white alfredo pizza is a refreshing twist on the traditional pizza with red sauce.

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White Alfredo Pizza
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White Sauce
  1. 4 cups frozen or fresh white corn
  2. 1/2 cup leftover cooking water
  3. 1/4 tsp. unrefined salt
  4. 3 cloves minced garlic
  5. 1 tbsp. butter or oil of choice
  6. 1 tbsp. lime or lemon juice
  7. Prepared pizza crust*
  8. Toppings: 1/4 tsp. basil and parsley, 1/2 cup corn, 5 basil leaves, 1/4 cup diced red onion, S & P, and optional sliced artichoke hearts
Instructions
  1. Start by making your pizza crust or baking the prepared crust for 9 minutes. Next, steam or boil corn, then add cooked corn to a blender or food processor with 1/2 cup of cooking water and salt. Blend on low and increase to high until mixture is very smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse or blend until the ingredients are mixed but not over-blended.
  2. Spread the sauce onto the crust and add the toppings. Bake the pizza for an additional 5 minutes or until the pizza is crispy on the edges and the toppings are warmed. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. *pizza crust cooking times will vary, but cooking it for about 3/4 through the cooking time before adding toppings will help the crust become cook without over-cooking the toppings.
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

Chocolate Peppermint Brownie Cake

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Looking for a quick and delicious holiday treat? This iced peppermint brownie cake is the recipe for you! It’s chocolatey, fudge-like, yet crisp on the outside. The dense and rich brownie cake is topped with a layer of melted chocolate and drizzled with cooling, peppermint icing. It is the perfect contrast of flavors with rich and decadent melted chocolate and just a touch of cool mint flavor.

It’s also a great treat for anyone with food allergies, celiac disease etc. as it is gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free. How could one pass up the opportunity to make such an easy, delicious, and cruelty free chocolate-peppermint brownie cake? Merry Christmas!

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Chocolate Peppermint Brownies
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Wet
  1. 8 tbsp. earth balance buttery spread, melted
  2. 1 tbsp. lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  3. 4 tbsp. water or vanilla almond milk
Dry
  1. 1 cup GF all purpose flour
  2. 1 tsp. salt
  3. 1 cup organic sugar
  4. 6 tbsp. cocoa powder
  5. 1 tsp. baking soda
Melted Chocolate layer
  1. 1 cup chocolate chips
Icing
  1. 4 cups powdered sugar
  2. 2 tbsp. almond milk or enough to make preferred icing consistency
  3. 1 tsp. mint extract (or amount to taste)
  4. Sprinkle of unrefined salt
Instructions
  1. Combine 8 TBSP of melted earth balance, sugar, and cocoa powder in a medium-sized mixing bowl until just incorporated. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until a smooth batter forms. Pour into a round baking pan lined with parchment paper then bake for around 20 minutes at 350 degrees fahrenheit (176 C) Check if it is finished by inserting a toothpick that should come out clean. While brownie cake is baking, assemble the mint frosting ingredients in a small mixing bowl until it it has reached desired mint flavor; set aside. When the brownie cake is finished, remove from the oven and top with chocolate chips. Let the chips melt, then spread to create a chocolate layer. Let cool for 15 minutes then drizzle with the icing. Top with optional crushed peppermint. Enjoy!
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

Golden Apple Crisp

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Initially I planned to post this recipe when the trees were brimming with juicy apples during the peak of apple season, but life happens and a giant pile of school work can get in the way of the recipe editing/posting schedule–but better late then never, I bring you a most delicious, golden, crumbly, and sweet apple crisp. In this nutritious yet sweet and buttery apple crisp, layers of juicy apple slices are baked to soft perfection and coated in a warm maple-butter sauce that is topped with a brown sugar and cinnamon crumble. It is sweet, buttery, slightly salty, and warming–perfect for the cold days of winter.

The recipe prep only takes a bit of apple slicing and an assembling of the topping ingredients. Bake it in the oven and enjoy the aroma as the kitchen begins to smell like everything wonderful about autumn–maple syrup, cinnamon, baked apples. It tastes as divine as its fragrant, warming aroma, and is a delicious holiday dessert.

 

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Golden Apple Crisp
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Ingredients
  1. 8 peeled and sliced apples
  2. 1 TBSP. cinnamon
  3. 1 and 1/2 cups of brown sugar
  4. 1 cup GF all-purpose flour
  5. 1/2 cup coconut oil
  6. 1/4 tsp. pink salt
  7. 1 TBSP. maple syrup + 1/2 TBSP. lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Slice apples and add to a deep baking dish. Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium-sized mixing bowl and set aside. Melt oil and add the rest of the wet ingredients. Pour the melted mixture into the dry ingredients and mix. Top the sliced apples with this crumble mixture and bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until the crumble becomes golden and apples are tender.
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/