Category Archives: Dessert

Healthy Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cinnamon Cookies {vegan}

Does anyone else just all of a sudden get in the mood for baking sometimes?

The measuring and mixing, pouring and stirring, baking and cooling. The smells of something delicious coming together and the anticipation of taste testing. It’s therapeutic to me.

Last week as I was jotting down a bunch of things to nab at the food store and planning out what healthy snacks I’d make this week, I got bitten by the baking bug. And I didn’t feel like just following a recipe, I was in the mood for experimenting and getting creative.

Today’s recipe is a result of that baking bug. These cookies center around a few of my favorite things: the combination of chocolate + peanut butter & cinnamon.

Cinnamon is without a doubt my favorite spice. I’m constantly sprinkling some on my fruit, in my smoothies, and on my toast. It gives meals a bit of something extra, au naturel.

I also love pairing cinnamon with peanut buttery goodness. Cinnamon sprinkled on top of sliced banana, topped with peanut butter. Oats with baked apple chunks, peanut butter & cinnamon.

Continue reading

5 Healthy Valentine’s Day Desserts [All Dairy Free!]

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so today we’re chatting about healthy dessert recipes!

My hubby and I don’t get too crazy for Valentine’s Day. We’ll sometimes go on an adventurous date, like going kayaking in La Jolla as we did last year, or sometimes we’ll just have a nice dinner at home. To me, Valentine’s Day just serves as a reminder of what’s important in life. It should just be about spending time with the people you love – whether that be a spouse, your kids, your girlfriends, or even just dating yourself.

I’m not sure what we’ll be doing for V-Day this year yet, but if there’s one thing’s that for sure, it’s that I’ll be baking something fun surrounding the day of love…because I take advantage of any excuse to bake!

Baking is definitely a de-stressing activity for me, especially when I have time to get in the kitchen and just play around. As a healthy foodie, I like to substitute better-for-you ingredients into recipes to make them more wholesome. For instance, I’ll use maple syrup or coconut sugar instead of refined sugar, or I use oat flour instead of white flour. I love enjoying treats that I can feel good about eating!

I’ve rounded up 5 of my dessert recipes that would be perfect to make this Valentine’s Day, so let’s get to it!

1.) Chocolate Peanut Butter Brown Rice Crispy Squares. This healthier take on rice crispy treats has been a favorite in my household since I first posted the recipe on the blog last year. I mean, is there a better combination known to man than peanut butter + chocolate? In a word, NO! –> Get the recipe here

2.) Apple Pie Banana Bread. Made with oat flour and fresh cinnamon apple chunks, this banana bread is one of my favorite ways to use browned bananas. Sometimes I throw chocolate chips into the batter, but either way you make it, it’s delicious! –> Get the recipe here

Continue reading

Dark Chocolate Cherry Sunflower Butter Cups [vegan + gf]

Hello, hello from the east coast!

I flew in via a red eye this morning, and am looking forward to lots of holiday  fun in Jersey. Bring on the relaxing family time!

chocolate-cherry-sunflower-cups-3-copy

I have one last holiday dessert recipe to share today… and this will also be the last Foodie Loves Fitness recipe of 2016!

chocolate-cherry-sunflower-cups-10

We all have our favorite traditional holiday dessert recipes, but sometimes I think it’s nice to switch things up and add in new ones. Truth be told, I get a little tired of seeing the same cookies all around every December… so  today’s recipe is a bit of an unconventional holiday dessert, but trust me, it’s oh so good!

chocolate-cherry-sunflower-butter-cups

These sea salt dark chocolate cherry sunflower seed butter cups are a mouthful – to both eat & say out loud! We’ve got the richness of dark chocolate, sweetness of dried cherries, and the salty contrast with the inclusion of sunflower seed butter and a touch of sea salt.

Continue reading

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies {vegan}

Have you gotten bit by the holiday baking bug?

I definitely have! Last weekend I baked up a storm making treats to give to my San Diego friends and neighbors this week to spread some holiday cheer.
chocolate-chip-oatmeal-cookies-1

It was quite a festive weekend for me, because I also watched Elf and visited a neighborhood in a town called Poway nicknamed Candy Cane Lane. My friend Tiffany had told me about it, and while she probably knows about it because she’s a mom, I’m a little kid myself when it comes to the holidays…so I was thoroughly intrigued!

Processed with Snapseed.

Naturally, my hubby and I headed to Candy Cane Lane on Saturday night to check it out. You guys, it was amazing – so many gorgeous houses decorated so beautifully for the holidays! Some houses even were showing movies on projector screens and giving out hot cocoa & treats. Local readers, I definitely recommend visiting there to get into a festive holiday spirit. We may or may not have been the only ones there without children… 😉

chocolate-chip-oatmeal-cookies-2

But back to my holiday baking.

Over two days, I experimented with making chocolate peanut butter swirl cookies (came out yummy, but not visually what I wanted them to look like), mini chocolate peppermint cups, dark chocolate cherry sunflower butter cups (I’ll share that one later), peppermint snack bites, and today’s recipe: chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

oatmeal-chocolate-chip-cookies

My holiday baking goal was for things to be delicious, but also pretty healthy. I decided to make everything vegan….but am leaving that tidbit out when I give treats to my neighbor who’s always offering me plates of authentic Mexican carnivorous dishes. When sharing a plate one time, he actually said to my hubby, “You aren’t one of those vegans or anything right?”

Oh if he only knew. 

PS – He RAVED about my cookies last year! Muwahaha. (That’s my evil tricked-ya-with-my-healthy-dairy-free-treats laugh!)

chocolate-chip-oatmeal-cookies-ingredients Continue reading

Peppermint Chocolate Chip Snack Bites {vegan + gluten free}

Earlier this week, I sent out a health coaching newsletter with tips to avoid holiday weight gain (you can subscribe via the signup form on the right sidebar! –>), and one of my guidelines is to implement an 80/20 diet balance.

chocolate-peppermint-snack-bites-4

I’ve talked about this concept before, but it’s the idea that 80% of your calories are from nutritious, healthy choices, and for the other 20%, you enjoy whatever indulgences you’re in the mood for. I apply this to my diet not only during the holiday season but year-round, because I believe that moderation is what works in the long haul for a healthy, sustainable relationship with food… which brings me to today’s recipe!

chocolate-peppermint-snack-bites-square

We all know that December is ripe with food and drink indulgences. I adore baking Christmas cookies and drinking seasonal drinks like spiked warm cider, but I also balance those treats out with healthy, light meals and a very active lifestyle.

chocolate-peppermint-snack-bites-8

One way that I balance out my sweet tooth is whipping up recipes that are healthy and clean, but taste like dessert. I think that many of you frequent blog readers know that this is one of my specialties! Today’s recipe is a good example of this.

chocolate-peppermint-snack-bites-2b

Made with oats, dates, hemp hearts, and cocoa, these snack balls give you a taste of peppermint cookie goodness while being healthy, vegan and gluten + refined sugar free.   Continue reading

Healthy Apple Almond Crumble {vegan + gluten free}

Happy Friday!

I felt like this work week has gone by so fast – not quite as fast as last week’s three day work week, but still quick! I have a feeling that’s how the entire month of December is going to feel.

apple-almond-crumble-1

I don’t know about you guys, but I always get in sweet tooth + baking moods on the weekends – especially in the fall and winter when it gets cooler out. One way that I satisfy it without getting off track with my daily macro and calorie goals? Baking healthy of course!

apple-almond-crumble-ingredients-copy

A few of my healthy swaps are using fruit and cinnamon to naturally sweeten baked goods up, using oats instead of white flour, and including sweeteners like maple syrup instead of refined sugar. Today’s recipe includes all of those tricks!
apple-almond-crumble

I first made this apple almond crumble a few months ago. The next time I made it, I tweaked a few ingredients to reach baking perfection…but for some reason I’ve been sitting on the recipe for a solid month. So here I am finally sharing it today!

sliced-apples

This crumble makes for a great healthy dessert or breakfast. It’d be perfect to make for family brunches this holiday season – and with no refined sugar, no dairy, and no gluten, it’s suitable for a variety of dietary preferences!

Continue reading

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cereal Bars [gluten free]

As a traveler, I’m not usually the person that seeks out the best shopping spots in a given area. I’m not huge into shopping and my husband absolutely loathes it, so shopping is never on our vacation checklist. While I prefer making memories, taking photos, and going on adventures while traveling, I do enjoy nabbing a souvenir that reminds me of the trip and is unique to the area.

chocolate-pumpkin-cereal-bars

For instance, I picked up coasters in New Orleans that have the city’s symbolic fleur-de-lis design on them. When I put my drink on one, memories from my time there come to mind.

The last time I was in Italy, I bought a bracelet from a street vendor. Every time I wear it, I think of the magic of Venice.

wicklow-honey

During my trip to Ireland a few months ago, the souvenir that I took home was a jar of locally made honey. I nabbed it at a health food store during my excursion to the Cliffs of Moher, and every time I use some of that honey, I think of the rolling hills of Ireland. Now I wish I had bought more of it!

chocolate-pumpkin-cereal-bars-3

Recently while I was spooning my Irish honey into my green tea, I got the idea to make pumpkin spice cereal bars that are glued together with the goodness that is honey.

chocolate-pumpkin-cereal-bars-10

I’ve always been a big cereal lover. I eat it with protein powder mixed in & with banana or blueberries; sprinkle it on top of my smoothie bowls; and sometimes I eat it dry with a handful of dried cherries & chocolate chips for a healthy dessert. There’s something about chocolate with oat cereals like Cheerios that is just so yummy!

chocolate-pumpkin-cereal-bars-6 Continue reading

Apple Pie Banana Bread {vegan + gf}

Hello, hello!

Today I have what’s quickly becoming a new favorite recipe of mine to share with you guys, so let’s dive right into it!
apple-banana-bread-5

Banana bread is one of my favorite ways to use ripe bananas, and I’m sure a lot of you would agree with me on that! There’s just something so comforting and yummy about a banana bread fresh out of the oven. I like to eat a slice with a cup of hot tea.
apple-pie-banana-bread

Today’s recipe takes a twist on banana bread – a cinnamon apple twist, because hello October! This is my last recipe creation using the fruit from my apple picking excursion in Julian. There’s been lots of apple eating and baking in my kitchen over the past month!  apple-banana-bread-9 Continue reading

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies [vegan + gluten free]

Hi friends!

Hello from San Diego, where it is hot, hot, hot! We’re having a heatwave here, and today is warmer than any summer day I’ve experienced here. I’m working from my pool this afternoon after seeing that temperatures were hitting the triple digits. There’s this strong hot breeze going on and it’s pretty crazy for us spoiled San Diegans (many of whom do not have AC, myself included)!

Saturday night's sunset in Carlsbad

Saturday night’s sunset in Carlsbad

The heatwave started a few days ago, so I spent a ton of time at the beach over the weekend. Coastal walks with the pup, a burrito picnic dinner at sunset, the dog beach, watching NFL Sunday football games on my phone with my feet in the sand…. I practically lived at the beach for a few days! No complaints there! 

Harley enjoying the dog beach

Harley enjoying the dog beach

Rewinding back to two weekends ago when it was feeling more autumn-ish, I was bitten by the baking bug as I usually am when fall starts and I’ve got apple & pumpkin on my brain.

pumpkin-cookies-1

My friend Tiffany, who throws great parties where her and her hubby play movies in their backyard on a projector screen, was having a ladies’ night. I wanted to bring a seasonal dessert, so I whipped up a new pumpkin cookie recipe that I’m sharing with you guys today!

chocolate-chip-pumpkin-oatmeal-cookies Continue reading

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Cookies [vegan + gluten free]

Need a Hump Day pick-me-up? While I’m off exploring Ireland, I’ve got you covered with this vegan, gluten free no-bake cookie recipe!  

One misconception that I’ve noticed with people trying to clean up their diets is the idea that they have to give up eating anything “fun.” They reside to the idea of eating lean protein and veggies at every meal, and I am here to tell you that this idea is total crap. You can have your cake and eat it too (pun intended!), and I’m all about moderation and “healthifying” recipes.
raw choc pb cookies-8

One way that I feed my sweet tooth while still eating clean is whipping up healthier takes on dessert – and today’s recipe is a great example of that!

raw choc pb cookies-1So where did this no-bake cookie idea come from? Me not wanting to turn the oven on!

You see, my house doesn’t have air conditioning, and living here without AC is fine probably 345 days out of the year… I mean, San Diego weather is pretty heavenly. But there are a few weeks out of the year in the summer when the temperatures soar, and my house gets a little bit too hot. This was the case recently, when my house was regularly hitting 85 degrees in the afternoon. When I came up with these no-bake cookies, it wasn’t even all that hot inside, but I think I was still paranoid about my house getting too hot and therefore boycotted any oven use.

raw choc pb cookies-2So just how are these babies made? They’re full of wholesome ingredients like oats, banana, almond flour, dates and peanut butter.

Continue reading