Last week, I desparately needed to unwind. Between back-to-back birthdays, sick kids and trying to get ready for Christmas, I realized I hadn’t had a conversation that didn’t involve Batman or Elsa in far too long. My amazing friend suggested we get together and do some baking. Sweet treats and adult conversation were exactly what […]
Apple cider is fabulous for many reasons. I love to use it in bbq recipes, it makes the house smell great while it’s cooking and it’s so fun to drink on a cold day. Sadly, most apple ciders, homemade or bottled are packed with sugar. This is one of my pet peeves [Warning: Rant ahead]. Why do we always need to add sugar into fruit. Fruit is nature’s sugar. It’s naturally sweet. It doesn’t need sugar! [Rant complete… for now].
This apple cider combines all the things that make apple cider so delicious, without the added sugar. Plus it’s a slow cooker recipe so you can let it brew all day and come home to amazing smells.
Add the apple juice to a small slow cooker. We like Motts Tots. It has half the sugar of other apple juices, which makes this even lower in sugar than it would otherwise. But use your favorite apple juice, as long as it’s 100% juice.
Slice the orange and add it to the slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients. Now just let it simmer on low for at least 4 hours. If we want it the next morning, Waking up to that smell makes life better, no matter what else happens the rest of the day.
It’s Fall!! The air is crisp, the leaves are red, the occasional sweater makes an appearance and the best part of the season shows its lovely orange face: PUMPKIN! I firmly believe pumpkin should be a part of everything I eat whenever possible from October 1 to December 31. It just feels right. Basically, this is me:
The problem is, a lot of those delicious, gooey pumpkin desserts are chock full of refined sugars, processed flours and hydrogenated oils. Because I am not willing to give up my pumpkin desserts, I needed to come up with a healthy pumpkin pie. And not just a normal pie, but a CHEESECAKE! Now listen. Eating healthy doesn’t mean eating “healthy” treats every day. And to me, it doesn’t mean depriving myself of treats for the rest of my life, because that sounds like the worst life possible. What it does mean is eating healthier treats in moderation. We have dessert every Sunday night. We had this last Sunday and the whole family gave it two thumbs up, including my son with sensory eating issues. That’s always a huge win in our household.
I started with this coconut cookie pie crust by Plated with Style. I’ve made this crust for several pies and love it. Why reinvent the wheel, right? I left the crust raw and baked the filling and crust together with great results. I used a regular pie dish and greased it with coconut oil, which I highly recommend.
This cheesecake easily comes together in a stand mixer. If you don’t have a stand mixer, use hand beaters.
I’ve heard of several clean-eating cheesecakes that require soaking cashews and then blending them…. I just stick with cream cheese for this. The sweetness comes from maple syrup, vanilla and fall spices like cinnamon.
The batter will be very thick, so don’t worry it’s wrong if it’s not really pour-able.
The pie bakes for 30-35 minutes. The middle should be a bit jiggly, but not sloshy. I’m not ashamed to say, I teared up a bit pulling this out of the oven because it smelled SOOOO good. It’s like a perfect package of fall.
Once it reaches this state, let it cool before refrigerating at least four hours. I made this on a Saturday night for a Sunday dinner and left it in the fridge overnight.
You can eat this plain or top it with whipped coconut cream. Happy pumpkin season!!!
For the most part, a healthy lifestyle is easy to maintain. The hardest part is when people are eating dessert. I can usually resist, but there’s always part of me that wants to grab the milkshake out of their hands and chug it down. But then I remember how horrible I feel after I binge on sugar and talk myself down. Rather than cheat and feel like death after, I try to come up with ways to have a treat without loading my body with processed, sugary crap. This healthy take on a classic milk shake was a huge success.
I bring this all together with my immersion blender. This is one of my favorite tools because it creates way less cleanup than using a blender.
Combine coconut milk, a frozen banana, protein powder and peanut butter with an immersion blender. I use this protein powder. It tastes great and doesn’t have all the bad stuff some protein powders do.
This is so thick you’ll need a spoon. See! Eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t indulge.