Treat yourself with these three sweet recipes!

Let's wrap this month up on a sweet note shall we?

Healthy doesn't have to mean deprivation, or totally giving up on desserts and sweets. It simply means finding better for you versions that taste great AND make you feel great. Yup, it's possible, and if you've been hanging out with me for a while you know it's something that I specialize in ;)

This week's tip: Find "upgraded" versions of your favorite sweet treats so that you can indulge with ZERO guilt (or belly aches).

Here are some easy recipes for you to start with:

- Love ice cream? Try Banana NICE Cream
- Craving a candy bar? Grab yourself a Stuffed Chocolate Date
- Cookie monster? Reach for one of these Raw PB Cookies (so healthy you can have them for breakfast!!)

Practice this: What's one treat you can "upgrade" this week? Maybe you use one of these recipes, or find one of your own, but commit to making ONE small shift this week. And let me know how it goes! Post a picture on social media or share in the comments below! I can't wait to hear how you TREAT YOURSELF!

Coconut Avocado Ice Cream

GUYS!  It's National Ice Cream day so I'm (unexpectedly) popping in with a sweet treat for you - a throwback!  This is a recipe I developed a few years ago and it is MMMMMM GOOD.  

No ice cream maker? FEAR NOT!  I used this technique for years (and still do, when I'm not feeling like pulling out the machine):  pour your mixture into ice cube trays and freeze.  Once frozen, throw into your blender or food processor and blend until soft serve consistence is achieved (you may have to add a little liquid to help the process).

Coconut Avocado Ice Cream // vegan, gluten free, soy free, refined sugar free

Ingredients: 

- 2 large Haas avocados

- 1- 14 ounce can + 1/2 cup light coconut milk*

- 1/2 cup maple syrup or agave**

- 1 tablespoon lime juice

- 1 teaspoon lime zest

- 1/2 cup flaked coconut, toasted (optional)

Instructions:

1. Make the base: Scoop the flesh from the avocados and add to your high speed blended or food processor, along with the coconut milk and sweetener of choice.  Blend until completely smooth and then stir in lime juice and zest.

2. Freeze: Transfer mixture to your ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturers instructions.  It will be more like soft-serve when its done - transfer to a container and freeze for 1-2 hours for a firmer ice cream. Top ice cream with toasted coconut when serving. 

*I've used light coconut milk and was happy with the results.  Use full fat coconut milk for a richer taste.

** Feel free to reduce the amount of sweetener if you know you like things on the less-sweet side.  This amount was slightly too sweet for me, but I find it's pleasing to most normal taste buds =)

 

Stay cool friends!  

PS.  Maybe the next recipe I post won't include avocados... maybe...
 

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

The ice cream maker finally made an appearance this past weekend.  We had a few friends over to test out the new grill, so I thought this was the perfect time to whip up a batch of something cool and sweet.  I was torn over what flavor to make, but as soon as I suggested mint chocolate chip, we were set on it.  This recipe was a huge hit - the  mint was so refreshing and cooling, a perfect end to a hot summer day!  I used no more than 1/4 cup of agave, but taste as you go and add the sweetener of your house to your liking. 

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream - Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

-2 cans coconut milk (I used 1 can full fat and 1 can light)

- 1/4 cup agave or other liquid sweetener (honey, maple syrup, etc)

- 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves

- pinch of salt

- 1/2 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in your high speed blender or food processor and blend/process until well combined.  

Add to your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions.  When ice cream is almost done, mix in the chocolate chips.  Scoop into bowls and enjoy!

My finished product got eaten up too quickly to photograph, but I did get this shot mid-churn - look at the lovely freshness the mint leaves give this! Yum!