Healthy apple fritters

afitmess
January 25, 2017
A Fit Mess

You guys. I am SO excited to share this recipe with you today! I feel like I need to pat myself on the back with this one. They are that good. You see, I can talk for hours on end about fitness, my family, the-day-to-day, but when it comes to cooking, let’s just say I’m not as gifted in that department. Over the years I’ve gotten better in the kitchen and I’ve started to really enjoy baking and finding healthy alternatives for some of my favorite sweets. So I keep at it. Because when it all comes together it’s worth it.

 

Like these healthy apple fritters.

 

The stars aligned and I was able to recreate a delicious treat with a Paleo twist.

 

The result? A sweet and simple dessert you are sure to love.

These apple fritters are gluten and dairy free and oh-so-easy to whip up when you want something easy and tasty (me: always). Unlike traditional apple fritters, these don’t contain any wheat and they are baked (rather than fried). They turn out soft and chewy on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside.

 

Enjoy these alongside a steamy cup of coffee for breakfast. Or take this to the next level for dessert and pair it with a scoop of coconut milk ice cream and a drizzle of honey on top.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium apples, chopped in small chunks
  • 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/8 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tbsp of coconut sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp of honey or maple syrup

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a mini-muffin tin* with coconut oil or similar non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Chop the apples into small bite-sized pieces and set aside. I left some of the skin on for texture and taste.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (up to the cinnamon) and mix well.
  5. Add the egg, almond milk, sugar, and honey (or maple syrup).
  6. Stir in the apple pieces and mix well.
  7. Spoon a small amount of the mixture into the muffin tins.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes until crispy on the outside.
  9. Cool before removing from the tin. You’ll need to gently remove them from the pan.

* You could also bake these on a regular baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

This recipe yields a dozen small fritters. You could easily double or triple the recipe for a larger quantity. Be sure to store these in your fridge in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

 

Recipe inspired by the book, 365 Foods Kids Love to Eat.

 

 

3 guilt-free treats for toddlers

afitmess
May 19, 2016

Hi there! I have a fun post for you today. I’m excited to share the go-to treats that I make for my kids when they want something sweet. All three recipes are vegan, gluten and dairy free, and contain no added sugar. Each one is super easy to whip up and they all contain very few ingredients. The best part? They all taste amazing! Seriously, the whole family will enjoy these. You’re gonna love them!

3 guilt-free treats for toddlers (and adults!)

A Fit Mess

Let’s talk about bananas. They are jam-packed with nutrients, like potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. They are a quick energy source and an easy snack to transport. I love using them to make smoothies, pancakes and “ice cream” for the family. Blending a banana in a food processor creates the most delicious and creamy dessert ever. The girls go crazy for this peanut butter banana ice cream and I feel good knowing I’m giving something healthy.

Peanut butter banana “ice cream”

Ingredients:

  • one large frozen banana (it works better if your banana has been sliced)
  • heaping spoonful of creamy peanut butter
  • tiny splash of almond milk (no more than a tablespoon)

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Directions:

  1. Place frozen banana slices, peanut butter, and splash of milk in food processor and blend.
  2. Scrape the sides every so often until the mixture is really creamy (this may take a few minutes).
  3. Optional: toss in some fun ingredients below to make different combinations and flavors.

Add ins/toppings:

  • strawberries or raspberries
  • handful of mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life)
  • nuts
  • one tablespoon of cocoa powder
  • a few healthy shakes of cinnamon
  • shredded coconut

A Fit Mess

The combination of avocado and banana makes this an especially rich dessert. It tastes delicious and never lasts very long in our house. If you don’t want to use any nut butter, you can easily leave that ingredient out. I usually top my pudding with coconut and slivered almonds. Ohmygoshsogood!

Chocolate almond butter avocado pudding

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 large ripe banana (or 2 small ones)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (creamy)
  • splash of almond milk

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Directions:

  1. Toss everything in a food processor and blend.
  2. Scrape the sides of the bowl a few times until everything is smooth and creamy.
  3. Chill in the fridge for an hour before serving. <–we can never wait that long and usually end up eating it right away.

A Fit Mess

My kids love all things popsicles. I always make my own and hide greens and other goodies inside them. But sometimes we just want need chocolate, right? These fudgsicles are so darn simple to prepare and turn out really well. The coconut milk makes them especially creamy, but you can also use almond milk or whatever you’d like. A friend gave me these popsicle molds from Ikea and I just love them. They are perfect portions for toddlers.

Banana fudgsicles! <–these deserve an exclamation point

This recipe was slightly adapted from Everyday Reading.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 2 generous tablespoons of creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2-4 ice cubes

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Directions:

  1. Toss all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Pour into popsicle molds. I used a small mold of 6.
  4. Freeze for at least 2 hours.

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What are your go-to healthy(ish) treats? Anyone else love banana ice cream? Big fans over here!

{Recipe} No bake chocolate peanut butter pie

afitmess
February 17, 2016

I have a delicious and easy no bake dessert to share with you guys. You’re going to LOVE it. It was inspired by my favorite chocolate peanut butter fudge tart which I have made approximately 1,000 times. If you haven’t visited (never) homemaker’s blog, you need to check it out. Her vegan desserts are crazy good.

 

I would call this pie a lazy version of that tart. It was my back up sweet on Valentine’s Day because the dessert I planned to make fell through. I was going to bake a coconut cream pie, but when I opened my can of coconut milk I realized it had gone bad. Is that not the worst or what?

 

I had very few ingredients on hand, but managed to whip this together in no time and it turned out awesome!

 

Luckily, I had a premade GF graham cracker crust and the remaining items were so simple to throw together. The first (bottom) layer is a mixture of melted coconut oil and peanut butter. Side note: Crazy Richard’s is the best natural peanut butter out there. Super tasty!

 

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The top layer is the chocolatey-goodness that really makes this pie. It’s melted chocolate chips and almond milk in a 2:1 ratio.

 

This dessert took me around 15 minutes to make from start to finish. Easy peasy.

 

Monday was a snow day for us (this weather is just nuts) so I was stuck inside with.this.dessert.all.day. I kept cutting small slices every time I passed by the fridge. So, if you make this dessert just be warned that you won’t be able to stop eating it. Until it’s gone. And then you will be sad.

 

Ingredients:

  • GF graham cracker crust
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. honey (optional)
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or coconut milk, etc.)
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life because they are GF, dairy free, and soy free)

 

Instructions:

  1. Heat coconut oil, peanut butter, and honey in a saucepan over med-low heat until melted.
  2. Pour PB mixture into the pie crust.
  3. Melt chocolate chips and almond milk in a separate saucepan over med heat and stir until melted. You should probably sample it at this point.
  4. Carefully pour chocolate mixture on top of the peanut butter layer and slowly spread. No worries if some of the PB swirls show through.
  5. Place the pie in the freezer for 2 hours to set.
  6. Devour.

 

I store mine in the fridge, but you could keep it in the freezer as well.

 

Please let me know if you try this recipe!

Food cravings + Paleo treats

afitmess
January 19, 2016

Listen to your body. That’s a common phrase nowadays and can be applied to so many things: how much you push yourself during workouts, making a big decision, or even meal choices. When it comes to food, I try to make healthy choices most of the time. Doing my first Whole30 (more about that later) has made me more conscience about my food selections and has helped me understand why I gravitate toward certain items.

 

I recently learned that cravings could be your body’s way of telling you it needs something (well, something more than simply peanut M&Ms). Specifically, it’s letting you know you may be low in certain nutrients. This chart depicts some common cravings and what your body may actually need.

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For example, if you find yourself often craving chocolate then you could be low in magnesium. In fact, most people are deficient in magnesium. I supplement with magnesium (here’s the kind I often use), but it’s also found in a lot of whole foods like bananas, spinach, and seeds. Similarly, if you reach for salty foods a lot (my weakness) then it could mean you are low in chloride, which is an electrolyte needed to regulate fluids and digestion in your body. Fatty fish, like salmon, would be a good choice here.

Let’s stop for a minute. I’m not saying that if I really want chocolate at the end of the day I’m going to go eat some cauliflower. That’s crazy. In fact, dark chocolate is a great choice to satisfy a sweet tooth (and boost magnesium levels), but I do believe it’s important to look at the big picture and to try to incorporate some of the suggested whole foods or add supplements to see if that has an impact on cravings overall.

 

But what to do in the moment?

 

If I find myself having cravings and I want need something quick, I usually eat one of the following:

 

  • Nuts sauteed in butter or coconut oil: this is a great way to get in some good fats and usually combats cravings. I will also add cinnamon since it helps balance blood sugar.
  • Dates and nut butter: my go to treat most of the time. Dates are super sweet and remind me of caramels. I will usually add some almond butter, coconut flakes, cinnamon, and banana.
  • Thawed or fresh berries with whipped coconut cream: whip the cream and add a touch of vanilla and cinnamon. #heaven.
  • Banana “ice cream”: place one frozen, sliced banana with a splash of almond milk in the food processor and blend until creamy. Create new flavors by adding the following: nut butter and cocoa powder, a handful of strawberries, or vanilla and cinnamon.
  • Chocolate “pudding”:  mix one avocado, one fresh banana, a splash of vanilla, one tablespoon of cocoa powder and a bit of maple syrup (optional) in food processor and blend.
  • Nut butter: straight up with a spoon! Make sure that your nut butter is just nut butter (and maybe salt). There can be a lot of hidden ingredients in these nowadays.
  • Dark chocolate (at least 70% dark): Not Paleo but if you want chocolate then dark is the way to go. Smoother it in nut butter and we just became best friends.
  • Larabar: (let’s agree that these are the best things EVER!).

If you have more time, there are tons of great recipes online. Here are some of my favorite sites:

Elana’s Pantry
PaleoLeap
PaleOMG

 

So, tell me…what are some of your Paleo treats?

Oh, and don’t forget to follow me on Facebook for more fun!