Salted Caramel Sesame Skinny Chocolate

Trim Healthy Mama Salted Caramel Sesame Skinny Chocolate

There are so many crazy expensive super foods available at health food stores these days. Recently, I’ve been looking around for ingredients with super food health profiles that are still cheap and widely available. Sesame seeds fit nicely in that category. They’re sold at all grocery stores and a large bag rarely costs more than $5. According to this study, sesame seeds can help lower cholesterol levels and prevent high blood pressure. They’re antibacterial, high in antioxidants, and they can help fight cancer cells. Natural foods are incredible.

Trim Healthy Mama Skinny Chocolate Variation

For this recipe, I added nutty toasted sesame seeds, caramel extract, and pink Himayalan sea salt to my favorite skinny chocolate recipe. Skinny chocolate is just coconut oil, cocoa powder, and a sweetener – it’s the easiest way for me to work extra virgin coconut oil into my diet, which I especially try to do while breastfeeding (find out why here).

THM S Sesame Skinny Chocolate Recipe

This is my new favorite version of skinny chocolate (although I think I say that every time I publish a new recipe!). The sesame seeds add an awesome crunchy factor and the salt + caramel flavor combo is predictably delicious.

What’s Making Me Happy This Week:

Yogipreneur Radio! This is a podcast I recently discovered that’s designed for yoga teachers. I’m starting a 200-hour yoga teacher training program in three weeks (ugh! so excited – I’ve been waiting for this to come together for nearly three years now) and I’ve been doing a lot of research on yoga teaching and specifically the business-related aspects of the job. This podcast is by far the most helpful resource I’ve found so far. Even if you’re just considering yoga teaching as a possible job, this is worth a listen.

Salted Caramel Sesame Skinny Chocolate Notes: 

  • This recipe is vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and Trim Healthy Mama “S” (for more on this diet, check out this infographic). 
  • If you already have a favorite “base recipe” for skinny chocolate, feel free to use it instead of mine.
  • I used DIY Gentle Sweet as my sweetener. Other great choices would be Trim Healthy Mama Gentle Sweet, Truvia, or Swerve.
  • If you prefer to use chocolate molds or just a baking pan for your skinny chocolate, go for that – you certainly don’t need a mini muffin tin.

Salted Caramel Sesame Skinny Chocolate

Prep Time: 10 minutes

10 minutes

Yield: 12 chocolates

Serving Size: 1 chocolate

Sesame seeds, pink Himalayan sea salt, and caramel extract jazz up the traditional Trim Healthy Mama skinny chocolate recipe for a crunchy, healthy treat.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • Pink himalayan sea salt, for sprinkling
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder (I used extra dark)
  • 1/4 cup low-carb sweetener of choice (see Notes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon caramel extract

Instructions

  1. Place 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds into each of a mini muffin tin's cups. Stir together remaining ingredients in a liquid measuring cup. Divide chocolate mixture among muffin tins - they should be about full.
  2. Place tin in freezer until chocolates are set, approximately 30 minutes. Pop them out with the tip of a sharp knife and store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to two months.
http://www.margeauxvittoria.com/salted-caramel-sesame-skinny-chocolate/

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Banana Berry Ginger “Nice” Cream

Trim Healthy Mama Banana Ice Cream Recipe

“Nice” cream is a nickname for frozen bananas blended into a sort of soft serve – here’s my Trim Healthy Mama take on this tasty concept.

Trim Healthy Mama Berry Banana Ginger Nice Cream

It’s made with 1/2 a banana + frozen berries to keep the carbs under control, and includes Greek yogurt for a protein boost. Fresh ginger adds a tart, fresh touch that I love with the sweet banana flavor.

Trim Healthy Mama Breakfast Nice Cream Recipe

This recipe makes a fresh and energizing breakfast, dessert, or snack during this last busy summer month! And it’s toddler-approved (Miles was convinced it was real ice cream).

What’s Making Me Happy This Week: 

The North Face Endurance Challenge! I’m running my second trail half marathon in a little over a month and I’m starting to get really excited. It helps that the weather’s taken an autumnal turn and my training runs on Wisconsin’s Ice Age trail are so scenic. The race weekend includes a panel/meet-up featuring some of the nation’s most notable trail runners and I’m looking forward to that too. It was an amazing experience last year.

Banana Berry Ginger “Nice” Cream Recipe Notes: 

  • This recipe is sugar-free, fat-free, and THM-E. 
  • This post contains affiliate links, which means I might receive minimal compensation if you make a purchase using the product links throughout the post.
  • Feel free to omit the ginger if that’s not your thing – lemon or lime juice or lemon essential oil makes for a delicious substitute.
  • If carbs aren’t of concern to you, use a whole banana for a creamier texture. If fat isn’t an issue, use full-fat coconut oil in lieu of the cashew milk for enhanced texture and flavor.

Banana Berry Ginger "Nice" Cream

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

Serving Size: 1 batch

This refreshing banana- and yogurt-based ice cream is pink, sweet, and perfectly ginger-y! A great late-summer breakfast or snack.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 banana, frozen
  • 1 cup mixed frozen berries (I used raspberries and strawberries)
  • 1 5.3 oz. container Oikos Triple Zero yogurt (I used Mixed Berry)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cashewmilk
  • Small chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and diced

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Eat immediately for place in the freezer for 10-20 minutes for a more ice cream-like texture.
http://www.margeauxvittoria.com/banana-berry-ginger-nice-cream/

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Super Simple Coconut Fudge Pudding

Trim Healthy Mama S Pudding Recipe

This recipe has two lovely things going for it: It can be made with just ingredients from your pantry, and there’s very little measuring involved.

Healthy Coconut Fudge Pudding

Life has been busy at our place. All at once, we are buying a house, I’m going to yoga teacher training, and some freelance writing work I’ve been investing in is working out. All wonderful things, but much less time for recipe development (or cooking and baking in general).

Low-Carb Dairy-Free Sugar-Free Pudding

That means I’m focusing even more than usual on quick and simple recipes – I think that’s probably what most of you are looking for anyway. It’s enough work to try to consistently eat healthy, without adding complex recipes into the mix. This pudding is rich and decadent, but it can be made in 15 minutes and it’s sugar-free, dairy-free, and low-carb. Plus, it keeps well in the fridge and travels well too!

Trim Healthy Mama Chocolate Coconut Pudding

What’s Making Me Happy This Week: 

I’m really, really, really looking forward to having a dedicated craft room in the house I mentioned we’re buying (still pretty surreal!). For the last couple years my sewing machines have been in our bedroom and my sewing supplies have been nearly unaccessible. I’ve found other creative outlets, but I’ve really missed being able to spread a project out and work on it as I can without having to put everything away.

I’ve been pinning lots of new projects I want to sew, as well as craft room set-up ideas. My Pinterest is here. I should probably start thinking about all the other aspects of moving/home ownership….

Coconut Milk Fudge Pudding

Super Simple Coconut Fudge Pudding Notes: 

  • This recipe is sugar-free, dairy-free, low-carb, gluten-free, vegan, and THM-S. 
  • This post contains affiliate links, which means I might receive minimal compensation if you make a purchase using the product links throughout the post.
  • I topped my pudding with coconut whipped cream and fresh raspberries. Feel free to use any toppings you like! This would make a great tart or pie filling as well.
  • You can use any type of container for the pudding – I used mason jars, but small glass bowls or even coffee mugs would work just as well. It’s very rich, so half a jar was plenty for me.

Super Simple Coconut Fudge Pudding

Prep Time: 15 minutes

15 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 1/6 recipe

The simplest of dairy-free, sugar-free puddings. Use high-quality gelatin for an added health boost.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup low-carb sweetener of choice (increase to 1/2 cup if you prefer a sweeter chocolate flavor)
  • 1 13.5 oz. can full-fat coconut milk
  • 4 ounces high quality unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons gelatin
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, warm sweetener and coconut milk over medium heat until sweetener dissolves and milk is hot but not boiling.
  2. Add chocolate and heat, undisturbed, for 30 seconds. Whisk mixture gently from the center outwards, combining melted chocolate with milk. Reduce heat to lowest setting.
  3. Stir in gelatin a tiny bit at a time (I like to "dust" the gelatin over the surface of the pudding while whisking constantly). Once fully combined, stir in the vanilla.
  4. Pour pudding into small glass containers or cups. Cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of four hours, or until pudding is chilled and set.
  5. Enjoy with coconut whipped cream, real whipped cream, Greek yogurt and/or fresh berries.
http://www.margeauxvittoria.com/super-simple-coconut-fudge-pudding/

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High Fiber Tropical Coconut Macadamia Nut Cookies

High Fiber Tropical Coconut Macadamia Nut Cookies
I’ve been brainstorming ways to make my recipes more accessible to my readers. Especially those of you who MIGHT not necessarily feel like whipping up the DIY flour blend I often use (not to mention ordering the ingredients online in the first place, since many of them aren’t available in most grocery stores). So, when Benefiber® Healthy Shape Dietary Fiber supplement approached me about creating a recipe incorporating their product, it seemed like an ideal solution!
Benefiber® Healthy Shape is a fiber supplement product that fits well into Trim Healthy Mama-type recipes. It’s gluten-free, flavorless, colorless, and dissolves instantly in water. It’s perfect for adding to low- or reduced-carb baking recipes (which often tend to be calorie-dense due to the generous use of nut flours, coconut flours, and fats) without sacrificing flavor or texture.
Sugar-Free Oat Flour Cookie Recipe
Oat flour, coconut flour, and Benefiber® Healthy Shape create the “flour” component of this recipe. All of these ingredients are affordable and available at most grocery stores. Mission accomplished!
Trim Healthy Mama Tropical Coconut Macadamia Cookies
I added coconut flakes, macadamia nuts, and dark chocolate chunks for a crunchy-chewy tropical flavor combination.
Tropical Coconut Macadamia Cookies
In lieu of my usual “What’s Making Me Happy This Week” section, I’m sharing 5 healthy living tips in this post to complement Benefiber® Healthy Shape’s emphasis on cultivating a healthy lifestyle.

Five Ways to Make Healthy Choices at Summer Events

  1. Bring a salad and/or healthy dessert. At social events, the side dishes and desserts are often the unhealthiest part of the meal. Bring a fresh vegetable salad or a healthy dessert to share to round out your meal without feeling left out.
  2. Try a new recipe. Get-togethers offer the perfect opportunity to try a new recipe you might not otherwise make. Experiment with unique ingredients, seasonal produce, and other inspirations to create something that you and your friends can enjoy and discuss.
  3. Be kind to yourself and don’t expect perfection. Don’t miss the purpose of social events – quality time with family and friends. Let go of rules and expectations and focus on mindfulness and enjoyment. Don’t miss the opportunities summer presents to simply enjoy the company of yourself and your loved ones.
  4. Bring your reusable water bottle and stay hydrated. When it’s hot out it’s especially important to pay attention to your water intake. Drinking enough water can help suppress hunger. (source) You could even add some Benefiber® Healthy Shape to your bottle to increase satiety!
  5. Incorporate physical activity into your social events. Whether it’s playing kickball with your kids, trying stand-up paddleboarding with your friends, or going for a walk along a lake or beach, summer events are most fun when they include physical activity. I find I bond with others more easily when we have something engaging to do together.

High Fiber Tropical Coconut Macadamia Nut Cookies Notes: 

  • This recipe is sugar-free, gluten-free (if you use gluten-free oats), reduced-carb, dairy-free, and THM-CO.
  • You can use store-bought oat flour or simply grind rolled oats into a flour using a high-powered blender or food processor.
  • Add some coconut extract if you want to amp up the coconut flavor!
  • If you replaced the chocolate with dried papaya or pineapple chunks these would make great breakfast cookies for busy mornings (or you can just eat chocolate in the morning – I won’t tell).
  • Use your favorite low-carb sweetener – Truvia, Swerve, erythritol (like I used), Gentle Sweet, or DIY Gentle Sweet would all work well.

High Fiber Tropical Coconut Macadamia Nut Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 24 cookies

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 4 rounded tablespoons of Benefiber® Healthy Shape Dietary Fiber Supplement
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup low-carb sweetener of choice (I used erythritol)
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Spray a baking sheet with coconut oil baking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Stir in eggs, coconut oil, and vanilla until thoroughly combined.
  3. Scoop dough by the heaping tablespoonful onto prepared pan. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating pan if necessary, until cookies are lightly browned and just set in the set center. Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
http://www.margeauxvittoria.com/high-fiber-tropical-coconut-macadamia-nut-cookies/

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Have you tried any new recipes for summer events this year? Let me know if you’ve found a winner! Your comment will enter you to win a $100 Visa gift card!

Clinical studies show benefits with regular use. A weight management program should include a healthy diet and regular exercise. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Benefiber® Healthy Shape Trademark is owned by GSK Group of companies.  

This post contains affiliate links, which means I might receive minimal compensation if you make a purchase using the product links mentioned above.

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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the [email protected] email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

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Summer 2016 Half Marathon Training

PicMonkey CollageI have a special new cookie recipe that I’ll be publishing Monday, but in the meantime I want to share what I’ve been doing workout-wise recently! I haven’t talked about yoga or running (my two main fitness pursuits) here in a while, mainly because I was sidelined by injuries shortly after my half marathon in April. This sadly ended my plan to run my first marathon this fall.

The good news is, I’ve recovered and I’m running again. I’m training for a trail half marathon in September and taking a new approach to my running, working to prevent injuries before they begin. This approach is based on a 10 week training plan from Runner’s World that emphasizes cross-training and schedules only 3-4 runs per week. I’m four weeks in and so far, so good (other than a nasty cold I dealt with last week).

For cross-training, I joined a challenge at the hot yoga studio where I work – participants attend class 3X a week for 10 weeks in order to be entered into a drawing to win prizes. I did this last summer too and it was a great experience. To increase my cardio fitness without re-aggravating my injuries, I’ve also been doing SkyFit cycling workouts on our stationary bike. I enjoy these more than I thought I would (cycling has bored me to death in the past).

Today I sat down and assessed what I’ve done so far and made some goals for the remaining 6 weeks of training. I find it helpful to see how other runners train so I figured I would share what I’m doing as well. I wish I’d done this last summer when I was training for this same half marathon – I’d love to be able to refer back to what I did!

WEEK 1 (JULY 10-16)

Runs (12 miles total):

  • 4 miles on pavement with 4 strides
  • 3 miles on pavement with 4 strides
  • 5 miles on the trails

Yoga:

  • 3 hot yoga classes

Cross-training:

  • Walk with Miles in the stroller most days
  • 1 30 min. interval cycling workout from SkyFit

WEEK 2  (JULY 17-23)

Runs (10 miles total):

  • 4 miles on pavement with 4 strides
  • 6 miles on the trails

Yoga:

  • 3 hot yoga classes

Cross-training:

  • 2 30 min. interval cycling workouts from SkyFit
  • Walks with Miles

WEEK 3 (JULY 24-30)

This is the week I got sick, so I didn’t do much. I’m fairly sure Miles caught the bug from church childcare. However, running weakens the immune system significantly and I don’t think I respected that fact enough while starting out with this plan. I’ve since begun to prioritize sleep more, drink more water, and generally live less of a wild and crazy off-season lifestyle 😉 

Runs (0 miles total):

  • Nada

Yoga:

  • 1 hot yoga class
  • Sporadic self-led “sick yoga” at home (I always feel like stretching when I’m sick)

Cross-training:

  • Did a little walking with Miles (mainly because he needed his time at the park) but that’s it

WEEK 4 (July 31 – August 6): 

Runs (16 miles total):

  • 4 miles on the pavement with strides
  • 7 miles on the trail
  • 5 miles on the pavement with some speed work

Yoga:

  • 4 hot yoga classes
  • 2 home practices (15-30 minutes long – I typically use videos from YogaGlo.com)

Cross-training: 

  • Walks with Miles

My goals for the remainder of this training cycle include:

  • Two cycling workouts per week
  • Run 4X/week and keep weekly mileage over 15 miles
  • Go to bed by 10 PM each night
  • Finish yoga challenge
  • Continue to practice yoga daily (I recommitted to a daily practice last week and I’ve been enjoying it so much)
  • Stay well and injury-free! (For me this entails foam rolling, taking supplements, vitamins, and collagen daily, icing my IT band and foot regularly, avoiding too much sugar and alcohol, and minimizing stress)

Are you running any races this year? What workouts are you enjoying this summer? 

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Easy Trim Healthy Mama Iced Coffee

Trim Healthy Mama Perfect Iced Coffee

I’ve officially given in to my afternoon coffee habit. For years I’ve tried to avoid drinking caffeinated beverages after lunch, but many days I end up in the coffee shop drive-through around 3 PM anyway. It’s just a necessary tactic in surviving the gap between the end of Miles’ nap-time and when Zach gets home. I figured I could at least make iced coffee at home sometimes instead of dropping $2-$3 on the daily (and probably drinking way more half & half/heavy cream than I need).

If you follow the Trim Healthy Mama diet, you’re probably all about your drinks and smoothies. That’s an aspect of the THM plan that I have a love/hate relationship with. While I enjoy the flavors of most of the drinks I’ve tried from the cookbook, I can’t hack the 10+ ingredient lists, the fiddly measurements, the multiple blendings, and the disaster my kitchen becomes after I make something that isn’t even a meal. When I’m tired and hungry and have a fussy toddler on my hands, it just isn’t happening.

Homemade Trim Healthy Mama Iced Coffee

Enter this coffee. It has 4 ingredients, uses 1 measuring spoon, and can be made in a blender or shaken up in a lidded mason jar. Zero to coffee in under a minute. My kind of afternoon treat. Sometimes I use my single-serve Ninja blender cup because I like the way it creates foam and completely integrates the collagen. However, it’s not necessary.

Low-Carb Sugar-Free Iced Coffee

Zach, who is a self-confessed Dunkin’ Donuts addict, is a fan of this recipe too!

Easy Healthy Iced Coffee

The Cast of Characters:

  • Starbucks unsweetened iced coffee. You can use any brand of pre-made iced coffee that you like, but this is available at most grocery stores and doesn’t have to be diluted. This recipe is all about easy!
  • Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate. Trim Healthy Mamas of course know all the benefits of including collagen in your diet, but if you’re looking for more info check out this helpful article.
  • Truvia packets. Again, this recipe is all about avoiding dishes, measuring, and unnecessary steps. Truvia packets are the simplest way to add sugar-free sweetness to a drink.
  • Half & half. You could use heavy cream or a nondairy nut milk if you prefer. Half & half is what I use in my coffee on a daily basis though and I think it’s perfect in this recipe.

Healthy Iced Coffee Ingredients

Optional Add-Ins:

  • Nutri-Dyn Dynamic Fruits & Greens – Espresso Flavor. I’m not being paid or compensated to promote this brand. However, my husband, who’s a chiropractor, starting distributing this brand earlier this year and I’ve been really impressed with all of their products. This supplement has a nice chocolate/coffee flavor and it’s sweetened with stevia. The ingredient list is impressive too. you can buy it here and it makes a nice addition to iced coffee.
  • Cocoa powder. Take this recipe in a mocha direction with 1-3 teaspoons of cocoa powder. You may need to add more sweetener to make up for the bitterness of the chocolate.

What’s Making Me Happy This Week: 

Yoga (but what’s new). I’ve decided to recommit to a daily yoga practice after a brief break and I created an Instagram hashtag (#MargeauxPracticesDaily) to help keep me accountable. I’m already loving the added structure and discipline! If you follow me here I’d love to be Instagram friends too. I post about yoga and running in addition to my recipes.

Easy Trim Healthy Mama Iced Coffee

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

Quick, easy, and refreshing, this is the ideal Trim Healthy Mama summer drink!

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces unsweetened iced coffee
  • 2 tablespoons half and half
  • 2-4 packets of Truvia, depending on your sweet tooth
  • 1 tablespoon collagen
  • Ice, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder or 1 scoop Nutri-Dyn Dynamic Greens, optional

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients together in a blender and pour over lots of ice. You can also add all the ingredients plus ice to a lidded mansion jar and shake well. Enjoy immediately.
http://www.margeauxvittoria.com/easy-trim-healthy-mama-iced-coffee/

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No-Bake Coconut Peanut Butter Fudge Bars

No-Bake Trim Healthy Mama Coconut Fudge Bars - MargeauxVittoria.com

Yesterday Miles stopped mid-activity and told me he was “hungry” (he’s twenty months old and this was his first time spontaneously using the word). He then went to the pantry, grabbed a container of cocoa powder, and said “chocolate”. The baby books were right – children learn by example!

Trim Healthy Mama Coconut Peanut Butter Fudge Bars - MargeauxVittoria.com

For these no-bake bars I combined our family’s favorite ingredient (chocolate, needless to say) with toasted shredded coconut, walnuts, peanut butter, and coconut oil. Once Miles is old enough to help with kitchen projects I think we’ll make this recipe together. It’s super easy and comes together quickly – with tasty results.

THM Chewy No-Bake Oatmeal Fudge Bars

They’re almost like dessert granola bars. If you used almonds and almond butter, I’m sure they’d taste like Almond Joy. I need to do that next time.

Low-Carb Coconut Fudge Bars

The obligatory bite/hand shot 😉

Low-Carb Sugar-Free Coconut Fudge Bars

What’s Making Me Happy This Week: 

You! My reader feedback has been awesome over the past few days. I’ve been getting some extra traffic on my website this week due to a couple big Pinterest/Facebook referrals, and I’m blown away by your sweet comments and recipe reviews. Welcome to new followers – please say hello!

No Bake Coconut Peanut Butter Fudge Bars Notes:

  • This recipe is low-carb, sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, and THM-S. 
  • Use any type of nuts and/or nut butter you prefer.
  • I use DIY Gentle Sweet in my recipes. You could also use Trim Healthy Mama Gentle Sweet, Swerve, Truvia, erythritol, xylitol, coconut sugar, or regular old sugar. Your preference!
  • This post contains affiliate links, which means I might receive minimal compensation if you make a purchase using a product link found below. It all goes toward ingredients for recipe testing!

No-Bake Coconut Peanut Butter Fudge Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 16 bars

Serving Size: 1 bar

Ingredients

    For the bars:
  • 1 3/4 cups unsweetened toasted coconut
  • 1 cup finely chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, cashews, peanuts, or any combination)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup low-carb sweetener of choice
  • 6 tablespoons peanut butter
  • For the fudge:
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup low-carb sweetener of choice
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Line an 8" square baking pan with foil.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together all of the bar ingredients. They'll form a crumbly dough. Press 1/3 of this mixture into pan and freeze for 10 minutes.
  3. While the crust is in the freezer, make the fudge. Stir together all ingredients, microwaving for 10 seconds if necessary to melt the peanut butter and coconut oil.
  4. Remove crust from freezer, pour fudge overtop, and sprinkle remaining bar mixture evenly over fudge. Refrigerate or freeze until firm.
  5. Using the foil as "handles", remove the bars from the pan and cut into 16 squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to two months.
http://www.margeauxvittoria.com/no-bake-coconut-peanut-butter-fudge-bars/

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Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Cookie Bars

Trim Healthy Mama Lemon Cheesecake

It’s been so hot this week that even chocolate sounds too rich. All I want is fresh fruit and lemon-flavored things. For these bars I paired a cookie crust with a lemon-flavored ricotta and mascarpone cheesecake filling. The ricotta/mascarpone combination is a light alternative to cream cheese and I think I actually prefer it flavor-wise.

Low-Carb Sugar-Free Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Bars

Next time I make these I think I’ll add a blueberry or raspberry sauce. The bars remind me of fruit pizza (which I loved when I was a kid) and fruit would accentuate that.

THM Lemon Cheesecake Bars

They’re lightly lemony, just sweet enough, and a delicious end to a sweltering summer day.

What’s Making Me Happy This Week:

This homemade eye makeup remover. I’ve been slowly transitioning to more natural beauty products this summer and this eye makeup remover is one of my favorite discoveries. It’s made with witch hazel, sweet almond oil, vitamin E, and lavender essential oil. Not only does it actually work in terms of removing makeup, I’ve also noticed a decrease in dryness and irritation around my eyes. I got the ingredients from our health food store and Amazon.

Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Cookie Bars Notes: 

  • This recipe is gluten-free, sugar-free, low-carb, and THM-S.
  • This post contains affiliate links, which means I might receive minimal compensation if you make a purchase using a product link found below. It all goes toward ingredients for recipe testing!
  • You have a few options when it comes to the Baking Blend in this recipe. You could buy the Trim Healthy Mama product, use the recipe I’ve developed, or use Raye’s Place recipe (I found this via @trimandhealthyfoodie on Instagram, a great account to follow if you’re looking for meal inspiration). I used the latter for these bars because I felt like trying something new. However, I omitted the baking power and salt.
  • For the sweetener, use whatever low-carb sweetener you prefer. Gentle Sweet, DIY Gentle Sweet, Swerve, erythritol, xylitol, or Truvia would all work great.

Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Cookie Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 12 bars

Serving Size: 1 bar

Ingredients

    For the cookie crust:
  • 3/4 cup Baking Blend (see above notes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup low-carb sweetener of choice (see above notes)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For the cheesecake filling:
  • 1 lb. ricotta cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 lb. mascarpone, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup low-carb sweetener of choice
  • 3 eggs + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Line 9" square baking pan with foil and spray foil generously with coconut oil baking spray.
  2. Combine all crust ingredients in a large bowl. Press dough evenly across bottom of prepared pan and pre-bake for 10 minutes.
  3. While crust is baking, beat cheeses and sweetener together with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, zest, and vanilla and beat again.
  4. Remove crust from oven, spread cheesecake filling evenly overtop, and bake for 10 minutes at 350º F. Reduce heat to 300º F and bake for 30-40 minutes longer, or until outer edges are browned and the center is just set. Cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate for 3-4 hours before eating. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or the freezer for up to two months.
http://www.margeauxvittoria.com/blueberry-ricotta-cheesecake-bars/

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Three-Ingredient Chocolate Covered Strawberry Popsicles

Three ingredient chocolate strawberry popsicles

My mother-in-law gave me popsicle molds last summer and I finally got around to putting them to use this week!

Low-Carb chocolate covered strawberry popsicles

These pops couldn’t be simpler – they’re just frozen strawberry puree dipped in a mixture of melted coconut oil and chocolate. The combination is both refreshing and indulgent. We’re having a heat wave here in WI and these popsicles are the perfect afternoon treat when the temperature gets muggy.

Trim Healthy Mama Popsicles

Next time I might try to dip them entirely in chocolate 🙂

THM S Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Popsicles

5 Things I’m Obsessed With Today: 

  1. Halloumi cheese. I was reading about this grill-able sheep’s milk cheese from Cypress in the book I Quit Sugar, and it happened to be the sample item at Trader Joe’s when I visited the store later that day. Fate. It’s really really delicious. I’ve been enjoying it on top of Wasa crackers or with fried eggs.
  2. Performance artists. I was first exposed to the world of performance art through my obsession with Shia LaBeouf. The more I read about it the more I feel like it’s potentially what I “want to be when I grow up”. This article about Ana Medieta is fascinating.
  3. Chickpeas. We’ve been enjoying chickpea lettuce wraps and chickpea stirfrys for dinner recently. They’re really versatile and I love the creamy, nutty texture!
  4. Christina Tosi (as always). Christina Tosi, the endlessly innovative pastry chef at the acclaimed Momufuku Milk Bar in NYC, is one of my idols. I recently tried her chocolate chip cookie recipe from the new-ish cookbook Milk Bar Life and it did not disappoint. Her work is both cutting edge and accessible and her career is meteoric. Also “what I want to be when I grow up”.
  5. Reusable produce bags. About a month ago I turned some t-shirts into reusable produce bags (to replace the plastic ones that come off a roll at grocery stores). My main goal was to reduce my plastic use, but I’m finding that I really enjoy using the bags for other reasons. I’ve been storing my produce in them in the fridge and the veggies stay fresh much longer since the fabric is more breathable than plastic. Also, since the bags are a little more unusual than eco-friendly grocery bags, they’ve been inspiring interesting conversations with the cashiers at the stores I shop. I love anything that deviates from the usual mindless small talk during my daily routine.

Three-Ingredient Chocolate Covered Strawberry Popsicles Notes: 

  • This recipe is low-carb, potentially sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan, and THM-S. 
  • I think this would probably work better with more traditional popsicle molds (like those linked in the Buy section below) – however, I just used the molds I had on hand and they worked fine.
  • These taste best if allowed to thaw slightly before eating.
  • If you have a big sweet tooth, feel free to add some low-carb sweetener to the strawberry puree, the chocolate coating, or both.
  • I didn’t put quantities in the recipe because they will vary according to the size and number of your popsicles molds. I personally used 2 lbs. of strawberries and 4.5 oz. each of chocolate and coconut oil to make approximately 10 popsicles.

Three Ingredient Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Popsicles

Ingredients

  • Fresh whole strawberries, cored
  • 85% chocolate or sugar-free chocolate, chips or chunks
  • Coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Set your popsicle molds up on a cookie sheet and make sure you have room for them to stand upright in your freezer.
  2. Blend strawberries in blender or food processor on high until liquified. Pour mixture into prepared popsicle molds, filling them just to the top. Position sticks in popsicles and freeze until solid, 2-4 hours.
  3. When ready to dip popsicles, line a cookie sheet with foil and place it in your freezer. Combine equal parts chocolate and coconut oil (by the ounce is easiest if you have a food scale; otherwise use a measuring cup and don't worry too much about precision) in a microwave safe coffee mug. Microwave until melted, then let cool slightly.
  4. Run popsicle mold under hot water to loosen pops. Dip each pop two times in chocolate mixture - it will set almost immediately, so you won't have to wait between dips. Place dipped pops on prepared cookie sheet in freezer. Freeze for twenty minutes. Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container or zip top bag in the freezer for up to a month.
http://www.margeauxvittoria.com/three-ingredient-chocolate-covered-strawberry-popsicles/

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Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies

This is the perfect little cookie to enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea. Crumbly, rich, and toothsome, they have a more complex flavor than a traditional peanut butter cookie thanks to the addition of almond flour and extra-dark chocolate.

Easy Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

As an added bonus, they keep well and remain soft long after baking. I think they taste best frozen, perfect for hot summer days and the upcoming 4th of July weekend.

Low-Carb Peanut Butter Cookies

My original goal was to make ice cream sandwiches out of them but I decided I liked them all on their own. Don’t let that stop you from doing it if you feel so inclined though 🙂

Quick and Easy Low-Carb Peanut Butter Cookies

This is my first baked recipe in a while that isn’t made with my baking blend. It feels nice to keep things a little simpler and more accessible. I was first introduced to low-carb baking through the use of almond flour and it’s a product I really love.

Sugar-Free Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

I’ve decided to include 5 things I’m currently interested in with each recipe post. Let me know what you think! 

5 Things I’m Obsessed With Today: 

  1. Documentaries on Netflix. Miles and I have watched Vegucated, Super Size Me, and Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead over the past couple weeks during that period from 5 PM to 7 PM when we’re basically just waiting for Zach to get home so we can eat dinner. The ideal documentary is one with cartoon interludes like those listed so that Miles isn’t completely bored.
  2. Spending journals. I’ve been keeping track of all the money I spend recently and it’s an eye-opening experience. I tend to be pretty frugal but it’s a little shocking to note how quickly all the coffees and coconut waters and extra grocery store trips add up.
  3. Hollow-body drills. At a yoga handstand workshop I attended a few weeks ago the instructor talked about the hollow-body concept. I wasn’t familiar with it but I knew my core wasn’t active enough in handstands. I’ve since been researching and working on hollow-body drills and they’re already making a big difference in my practice.
  4. Propagating succulents. A few of my succulents and cacti had really gotten out of control over the winter so I’m working on propagating them right now. It’s been a semi-scary process because my plants feel like my friends and I don’t want to destroy them, but I’m learning a lot through experimentation and so far we don’t have any casualties 🙂
  5. Cakes. I am making desserts for a couple weddings later this summer and talking to the brides about their plans has reignited my interest in cake decorating. I’ve saved some of my recent favorite designs to this pin board.

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies Notes: 

  • For the chocolate on these cookies, I recommend using 85% dark chocolate. If you’re having trouble finding it, I like to mix equal parts unsweetened chocolate and 68% chocolate chips. You’ll need about 3 ounces of chocolate total for this recipe.
  • It’s important to freeze the cookies before dipping them – like “traditional” peanut butter cookies, they have a crumbly/chewy texture and break easily during dipping if not frozen (I learned this the hard way).
  • This post contains affiliate links, which means I might receive minimal compensation if you make a purchase using a product link found below. It all goes toward ingredients for recipe testing!

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

40 minutes

Yield: 16 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered peanut butter (such as PB2)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup low-carb sweetener of choice (THM Gentle Sweet, DIY Gentle Sweet, Truvia, Pyure, Swerve, or similiar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dark chocolate, for dipping (see Notes)
  • Salted roasted peanuts, finely chopped, for coating

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F and spray two baking sheets with coconut oil baking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except chocolate and peanuts and mix thoroughly until a thick dough forms.
  3. Use a tablespoon-size cookie scoop to portion out 16 cookies and divide them evenly between the two prepared baking sheets.
  4. Bake cookies for 10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through, or until cookies are lightly browned and almost set. They will continue baking on the pans.
  5. Transfer pans to cooling racks and completely cool cookies on pans. Once cooled, freeze cookies for a minimum of one hour.
  6. When ready to dip frozen cookies, melt chocolate in a shallow bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dip each cookie in chocolate and sprinkle with peanuts. Place cookies on parchment-lined sheet and freeze until chocolate is solid.
  7. Store cookies in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in freezer for up to 2 months.
http://www.margeauxvittoria.com/chocolate-dipped-peanut-butter-cookies/

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