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!

Banana "Nice" Cream

Considering it's my favorite summertime treat, I can't believe I haven't posted the recipe for Banana "Nice" Cream here.  Well that's about to change folks... are you ready for the simplest,  yet most delicious recipe that will rock your world?  I thought so...

Banana Nice Cream // raw, vegan, gluten free

Ingredients:

- 3-4 super ripe bananas, sliced and frozen

- 2-6 tbsp liquid (almond milk, coconut milk, and water all work well!)

- Toppings of choice: chia seeds, hemp seeds, raw nuts, cacao nibs, and goji berries are my favorites; you can also blend in peanut or almond butter, cacao powder, or spirulina/greens powder (for a GREEN DREAM ice cream)

Instructions:

1. Add frozen bananas to your food processor, Vitamix, or high speed blender and process/blend until smooth.  Add liquid as needed and be patient!  It may take a little while to whirl your frozen fruit into a creamy treat.  See this blog post for a detailed photo tutorial.

2. Mix in your desired toppings and enjoy with a friend!  This makes enough for 2 people (although I have definitely eaten it all by myself... its that good!)

A few notes:  1) I've had success with many different machines.  Depending on the power of your food processor/blender, you may need to add more liquid, have more patience, or allow the bananas to defrost a bit before blending.  2) Water works just fine, but almond milk or coconut milk makes for a richer treat.  You don't need much! Start with 1-2 tbsp and add more as needed to get your blender going.  It also helps to scrape down the side of the blender or food processor as you go.  3) If you have leftovers, pour into an ice cube tray and re-freeze.  You can add these banana cubes to smoothies, or re-blend for banana nice cream another day!

 

I hope you enjoy this cool, creamy treat as much as I do!  Let me know if you try it in the comments below!

DATES

Dates are nature's candy.  And no, I don't mean the dinner-and-a-movie type, although those are sweet too.  Seriously, who can argue that a dense, gooey medjool date isn't just as good, if not better than any candy?  For those of you who don't taste the similarity, try this simple recipe.  I promise when you try these chocolate covered bites of heaven, you will swear you are eating a Snickers (with no guilt, sugar rush, or sugar crash).

Nature's Candy (Chocolate Covered Stuffed Dates)

1 TBSP coconut oil

3 TBSP natural peanut butter **Sub any seed or nut butter if you have allergies/intolerances/aversions

1 cup vegan dark chocolate (chips, bar broken into pieces, whatever you want)

10-15 medjool dates, pitted (will depend how big your dates are and how full you stuff them)

1. In a small bowl, combine the coconut oil and peanut butter. 

2. In the center of each date (where the pit used to be), spoon a small amount of the peanut butter mixture, about 1/2-1 tsp depending on the size of the date. You don't want the date overflowing with PB, but try to get as much as you can.

3. Place stuffed dates on a tray lined with parchment paper and stick in your freezer to firm up.

4. While dates are in the freezer, melt your chocolate using a double boiler (or microwave). Once chocolate is melted, remove from heat and let cool for 5-10 minutes.

5.  Remove dates from freezer.  Coat with melted chocolate and return to tray.  Once you've covered all your dates, stick the tray back in the freezer for about 30 minutes.  Then transfer your treats to a container and store in the freezer until ready to enjoy.  

These come together quickly, which is good because they will disappear quickly too!  I'm already getting ready to make my third batch... 

Shhh... Don't tell anyone I'm eating the last one!

What's your favorite healthy indulgence?