Tag Archives: dessert

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!


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


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!


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.

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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!

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.

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

San Diego Spotlight on Elizabethan Desserts

Hi there!

Today I’m switching gears a bit, as I thought it’d be fun to start a new series where I highlight an eatery, bar, or winery that I love within San Diego County. There are so many great places in my area, so I figured I’d share some of my favorites with this post series!

Elizabethan Desserts

Today the spotlight is on a place that’s sort of like heaven on earth for those with a sweet tooth called Elizabethan Desserts. Located in the town of Encinitas in North County, this bakery became my favorite joint to satisfy a dessert craving upon moving to the area.

I’m usually a take-it-or-leave-it kind of girl when it comes to regular cupcakes, but moist, decadent gourmet cupcakes are another story. You can keep the plain old Betty Crocker vanilla cupcake with store bought chocolate frosting, I’ll take Elizabethan Desserts’ “Grasshopper” cupcake instead – a chocolate cupcake topped with mint buttercream and hand dipped in dark chocolate. Drool.

Photo cred to Elizabethan Desserts

Photo cred to Elizabethan Desserts

The bakery offers a variety of other mouthwatering flavors, including the Beeze-kneeze: a chocolate cake frosted with honey buttercream, hand dipped in milk chocolate topped with a sweet sugar bee…

Photo cred to Elizabethan Desserts

Photo cred to Elizabethan Desserts

…the Churro Cupcake: a cinnamon spiced cake with cinnamon cream cheese icing and crunchy cinnamon sugar, finished with house-made churrito…

Churro cupcake

Photo cred to Elizabethan Desserts

….and the Chocolate Toffee cupcake, which is a chocolate cake with caramel buttercream, dipped in milk chocolate and sprinkled with homemade toffee.

(Photo cred to Elizabethan Desserts)

Photo cred to Elizabethan Desserts

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Throwback Thursday: Wine Baked Peaches with Vanilla Fro Yo

Hi friends!

While it’s rare that I publish posts on Thursdays, I’m posting one today to linkup with my friend Britt‘s Throwback Thursday blog party. It’s 8 PM on the west coast already, but better late than never right?!


Now that I’ve had a healthy living blog for a couple of years, I think it’s fun to look back at posts I wrote 1 or 2 years ago in the same month, or even week or day. Today’s throwback post is on a yummy topic: wine baked peaches!


This post was originally published 2 years ago, when we were living in the San Fran Bay area down the road from a gorgeous little winery. I decided to repost this recipe because I’ve been eating some nectarines and peaches, and I think it’s time I make some wine baked peaches for dessert! Here I baked the peaches in sweet white wine from our favorite area winery at the time, but any sweet white or even red will work just fine. With only 5 ingredients – including the vanilla ice cream – this dessert is easy to make but seems like a fancy treat. Let’s get to it!


This week my favorite nearby winery, Clos LaChance, was having a sale on a bunch of their wines. Naturally, I felt the need to stop by the winery yesterday to nab a couple of bottles on my way to the gym. Can’t let a sale of yummy local wine pass me by!

Besides buying bottles of grenache and pinot noir, I also got a bottle of their sweet late harvest semillon nectar white wine with one thing in mind: dessert last night.


I had a couple of ripe peaches hanging out in my fruit basket ready to be eaten, and had the brilliant idea of baking them with some of the nectar wine, sugar, and cinnamon – because I love to sprinkle cinnamon on nearly everything – then pairing them with vanilla frozen yogurt.

wine baked peaches

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Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Cookie Dough Pretzel Dip

Hi friends!

Happy Memorial Day weekend to all of my readers in the U.S.! I am really looking forward to a couple of days home with my hubby. We don’t have too much on the agenda, which is great since last weekend we were away in Palm Springs, and next weekend I’ll be in Miami celebrating my best friend’s bachelorette party (can’t wait!), so I’m hoping to have some fun out and about in San Diego and a pretty low-key holiday weekend.

I had planned on doing a last recap of my DietBet today, but then I realized that it’s almost Memorial Day and I had shot a recipe on red, white & blue dishware earlier this week that would be great to whip up for a small holiday gathering…

cookie dough pretzel dip-2

…so, this deliciousness seemed more appropriate today instead! Plus, Fridays seem like the best days to gush over desserts, do you agree?

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Mint Chocolate Chip Date Balls

Hey friends, how’s it going?

Greetings from the east coast — my parents’ house in Jersey to be exact. Things around here are pretty up and down. As I talked about in my last post, I flew here because my sweet little grandma is really sick. When I’m not at the hospital or working, I’ve been trying to do things that soothe my soul a bit and help me keep it together. This includes fitting in an at-home workout this morning, going for a long walk with my brother’s girlfriend and their newborn baby yesterday, and having brunch with a close girlfriend today.

Yesterday after being at the hospital, I wanted to try to take my mind off of my grandma for a bit, so I decided to spend time in the kitchen whipping up some snacks and dinner for my family. My mom got a food processor last year that she had yet to open, so I unwrapped the packaging and broke it in.

food processor

My mom’s new kitchen gadget

Baking and cooking is such a stress soother for me. And as you probably know by now, I love to make food for people, and though my hubby is a happy eater of my creations, being at my parents’ gives me many more than willing tasters in my family members.

kitchen creations

My creations from top left clockwise: a roasted red pepper hummus platter, mint chocolate chip date balls, rosti potatoes with goat cheese and arugula (recipe here), cinnamon raisin flaxseed granola (recipe here), and a mixed green salad with blueberries, goat cheese, & honeyed walnut -n- hemp seed clusters (recipe here).

In preparation for making this food, I made a stop at the food store, and while I was there I  spotted mint chocolate chips. I love chocolate and I love mint, so I had to give these babies a try. Immediately what popped into my mind was to make date balls.

date balls-1

date balls-4

Date balls make such fun healthy dessert-like snacks. Next time I may put a few drops of peppermint extract into the date ball dough to make it have even more of a peppermint flavor, and I would have if I had some on-hand. However, they turned out tasty as is. Everyone enjoyed them and my sister said that these babies taste like Girl Scout cookies!

date balls-2

date balls-5

Mint Chocolate Chip Date Balls
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 12 Medjool dates, pitted
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • 2 TBSP brown rice syrup (honey or agave syrup would also work)
  • 2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup mint chocolate chips
  • Pinch of salt
  1. In a food processor, combine the dates, almonds, brown rice syrup, cocoa powder and salt. Pulse until it forms into a sticky ball. You may need to scrape down the sides once or twice to get everything mixed together well.
  2. Mix in the chocolate chips, and stir with a spoon to mix them in there evenly.
  3. With moistened hands, roll the dough into 8 even balls.
  4. You can stick them in the fridge to harden a bit, or enjoy them a little softer as is.
*You can also add in a few drops of peppermint extract for an extra minty flavor.*


Date balls – love em, hate em, never had em?

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies [Gluten Free & Vegan]

Hi friends!

I am super excited because I’m heading to Lake Tahoe tomorrow for a getaway with my hubby! I’ve never gone skiing before, so wish me luck. We’re also planning on trying snowshoeing, and I found a bunch of restaurants that are my style — including a couple of vegan and gluten free specific eateries that I’m looking forward to trying out. I’ll certainly be recapping my trip next week, but today, let’s talk about another fun topic: cookies, specifically dark chocolate peanut butter banana oatmeal cookies. How’s that for a mouthful?


There are a few kitchen creations that are my go-to recipes when I’m in the mood for something specific. When I get into what I think of as a cookie monster mode, this is definitely one of my no brainers to make. When I felt the need to make them last week, I realized that I had yet to post the recipe on here…so I actually measured ingredients out and wrote them down as I was whipping them up this time so that I could share it with you. You’re welcome.


One of these days, I may try to sub some apple sauce for the oil, but every time I go to make these cookies, I decide that they’re just so yummy and perfectly fine the way they are. Due to my gluten free diet this month, I subbed my usual regular whole wheat flour for gluten free all purpose baking flour (made with garbanzo flour) and used certified gluten free oats this time. If you’re a fan of cookies, I highly suggest that you try these babies out!

4.0 from 1 reviews
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies [Gluten Free & Vegan]
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
  • 2 cups gluten free old fashioned oats
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • ¼ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 TBSP gluten free all purpose baking flour
  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 1 flax egg: 1 TBSP ground flaxseed plus 3 TBSP water
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (vegan) dark chocolate chips
  • ½ TSP vanilla extract
  • ½ TSP salt
  • 1 TSP baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine banana, peanut butter, vegetable oil, flax egg and vanilla. Mix together well until mostly smooth.
  3. In another bowl, stir together oats, flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and stir with a wooden spoon until combined well. Add chocolate chips and stir until evenly incorporated.
  5. Place spoonfuls of batter onto a large, greased baking sheet. Form 18 cookies.
  6. Cook for about 12 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom. Allow to slightly cool on a cooling rack before enjoying (if you can wait a few minutes!).
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cookie, Calories: 107, Fat: 5 g, Saturated fat: 1 g, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Sugar: 8 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 2 g


Question: If you’re a fan of cookies, what is your favorite kind?

PS – Don’t forget to enter my Cocogo electrolyte drink giveaway!

Healthy “Ice Cream” Treats: Arctic Zero Frozen Desserts

It’s no secret that I have a sweet tooth that I indulge often. I think that life is too short to not enjoy some dessert here and there. One kind of dessert that I most definitely am a fan of is ice cream.

Recently, Arctic Zero reached out to me to see if I’d like to try some of their frozen desserts. I was intrigued by their products because they’re:

  • Gluten and fat free
  • Non-GMO
  • Made with whey protein
  • Free from artificial sweeteners or flavors
  • Sweetened with monk fruit and organic cane sugar
  • 150 calories per PINT

Arctic Zero Pints copy

I immediately knew that I had to try these desserts. I mostly eat fro yo or light ice cream to avoid the excess fat and calories in real ice cream, but Arctic Zero appeared to take guilt-free desserts to a whole new healthy level. When I came home to my fun Arctic Zero package, my dog was very interested in Arctic Zero too.

Arctic Zero-1

I love how the nutrition lists are made up of short, easily identifiable ingredients. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been taste testing Arctic Zero’s products. The frozen dessert pints are made in the following flavors: chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, coffee, cookies & cream, mint chocolate, strawberry and vanilla maple. They also make frozen dessert bars, which are chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, or orange cream ice cream coated in chocolate.

My overall verdict is that I really like Arctic Zero’s treats. I like that it allows me to feel like I’m eating an ice cream-like treat, yet I don’t have to worry about measuring out a serving. In fact, I can (and did) eat the whole pint in one sitting and feel fine about it. Keep in mind, at 37 calories in a half-cup serving, it can’t be expected that Arctic Zero will taste as creamy and rich as real ice cream. It’s good stuff, but it’s not a miracle food.

Arctic Zero-2

My favorite pint flavors were cookies & cream and mint chocolate. I also really liked the dessert bars, particularly the strawberry and chocolate flavors. At only 85 calories a pop, the bars tasted more like a conventional ice cream treat. My only qualm with the bars is that the chocolate coating easily falls off of the ice cream, but that wouldn’t stop me from buying the bars at the store.

Besides eating my Arctic Zero treats all on their own, I played around with eating the ice cream flavors in different ways. Here are my 3 favorite ways to eat Arctic Zero’s pint flavors thus far:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake

Arctic Zero-Choc Shake

After tasting it, you’d seriously never guess that this shake is under 200 calories and has 12 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber. It has lots of chocolate peanut butter flavor without tons of calories or fat!

Chocolate Mint Pancakes Topped with Arctic Zero Chocolate Mint Ice Cream

Choc Mint Pancakes

I got a little chocolate mint crazy one evening and made these pancakes for dinner. These healthy pancakes are made with ground flaxseed, banana, rolled oats and protein powder. Topped with Arctic Zero chocolate mint and dark chocolate chips, the meal doubled as dessert. I kid you not, I devoured them and can’t wait to make them again!

Strawberry Banana Milkshake

Arctic Zero-Smoothie

Adding Arctic Zero strawberry ice cream into my standard strawberry banana protein smoothie made the drink creamier and more dessert-like.

The possibilities are endless in adding Arctic Zero frozen treats to recipes for extra flavor without lots of added calories. I am certainly planning on experimenting more with their flavors!

If you’re interested in trying Arctic Zero treats, the good news is that they’re now sold in all 50 states. You can check out their store locator to find out where Arctic Zero is sold near you. The recipes for my pancakes and shakes are below!

Tell me…

Have you ever tried Arctic Zero’s products?

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

Strawberry Banana Milkshake
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • ½ frozen banana
  • ½ cup Arctic Zero strawberry ice cream
  • ½ scoop vanilla protein powder
  • ¼ TSP vanilla extract
  • Ice
  1. Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth, then enjoy.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 235, Fat: 5 g, Carbohydrates: 43 g, Sugar: 16 g, Fiber: 10 g, Protein: 15 g

Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
  • 1 cup chocolate almond milk
  • 2 TBSP PB 2 powdered peanut butter
  • ½ frozen banana
  • ½ cup Arctic Zero chocolate peanut butter ice cream
  • 1 TBSP cocoa powder
  • 1 packet Stevia sweetener
  • Ice
  1. Pulse all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into a glass, and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 shake, Calories: 190, Fat: 6 g, Carbohydrates: 30 g, Sugar: 13 g, Fiber: 9 g, Protein: 12 g

Chocolate Mint Pancakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
  • ½ cup whole grain rolled oats
  • ½ scoop chocolate protein powder
  • ½ cup chocolate almond milk
  • 2 TBSP ground flaxseed meal
  • ½ banana
  • ¼ TSP peppermint extract
  • 1 cup Arctic Zero chocolate mint ice cream
  • 1 TBSP cocoa powder
  • 1 TBSP dark chocolate chips
  • 1 packet Stevia sweetener
  • 1 TSP baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Blend banana, almond milk, flaxseed, cocoa, stevia, mint extract, oats, protein powder, baking powder and pinch of salt in a blender until mostly smooth.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Coat with baking spray.
  3. Spoon the pancake batter onto pan to make 3 pancakes. Place a few chocolate chips into each pancake, using about half of them. Cook until lightly browned on each side, then place on a plate.
  4. Top pancakes with remaining chocolate chips and Arctic Zero ice cream. Eat immediately.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 490, Fat: 15 g, Carbohydrates: 72 g, Sugar: 25 g, Fiber: 17 g, Protein: 27 g

Banana Pumpkin Muffins with a Cinnamon Brown Sugar Topping

Hi everyone, happy Sunday!

I have a few updates for you all on the blog front. I’ve updated my recipe pages to include all of my latest kitchen creations. I also updated my workout page, which now includes a new section for my hiking spot posts. Lastly, I added a ‘travel & fun’ page so that all of my travel posts, restaurant and winery experiences, as well as random adventures are in one place. Fun stuff! And now onto food – banana pumpkin muffins to be precise…

ban pumpkin muffins-4

After a morning yoga session, running errands, and going hiking with my hubby and puppy yesterday, I came home and decided that a bit of baking was in order.

ban pumpkin muffins-1

Since I had an open can of pumpkin and some ripe bananas ready to be eaten in my fruit basket, and I’ve been loving muffins lately, I whipped up some tasty banana pumpkin muffins.

ban pumpkin muffins-2

As usual, Harley “helped” me by being underneath my feet the entire time in hopes of catching a good bite of something. 😉


Pumpkin & banana really compliment each other well. I sprinkled a cinnamon & brown sugar topping onto the muffin batter to give it that extra flavor oomph. At only 135 calories per muffin, these babies are perfect as a snack or part of breakfast or lunch.

ban pumpkin muffins-3

Banana Pumpkin Muffins with a Cinnamon Brown Sugar Topping
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1 cup whole wheat all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup white all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup softened butter
  • ½ cup vanilla almond milk
  • 2 TBSP light brown sugar
  • 1 TSP vanilla extract
  • 2 TSP cinnamon
  • 1 TSP salt
  • ½ TBSP baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 muffin pan tin with muffin cups.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flours, 1 TSP cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
  3. In another bowl, beat the banana, pumpkin, vanilla extract, honey, butter and almond milk with an electric mixer until smooth.
  4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together and stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
  5. Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin cups.
  6. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1 TSP cinnamon with 2 TBSP light brown sugar. Spoon the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly onto each muffin cup.
  7. Bake until a toothpick comes out of muffin center clean, around 20 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 muffin, Calories: 135, Fat: 2 g, Carbohydrates: 28 g, Sugar: 15 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 2 g


Hope that you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Honey Baked Pear with an Oat, Date and Almond Topping

Guess whose a happy girl?


After a week of wearing the dreaded cone, Harley’s rash has healed and I was able to take the cone off of her. In true Harley style, having the cone on was anything but easy. Besides her being generally miserable and refusing to eat for the first couple of days, there were 2 particularly annoying parts of the cone:

1.) The first night she had it on, Harley walked around whining and pacing my bedroom the entire night. You’d think she would tire herself out, which she would for 20-30 minutes at at time, but then she’d be back at it. It.sucked.

2.) While driving with her in my backseat, I had the window cracked for her. Harley took it upon herself to put it all the way down (yes, she just pushes the button), and just as I was telling her to get her head back in the car so I could put it up, Harley’s cone got stuck in the window. She panicked and frantically backed out of it, and with that, her cone, collar, and leash all went flying out of my window and onto the busy road. After having a mild heart attack watching cars dodge it, I was able to run into the middle of the road and recover her gear! This obviously did not phase Harley, and after I put the cone back on, she kept crying for me to open the window again.


She’s nuts!

We celebrated her cone freedom by going for a lunchtime hike today. It was cooler but nice out, and as usual around here, the views were pretty!



Moving onto food, this morning’s breakfast was a good one. I had a pear that was passing its prime and needed to be used ASAP (Anyone else feel like pears go from being underripe to being overripe in like half a day??), and I was feeling a little creative, so I came up with the idea to bake it with some honey, oats, cinnamon & date yumminess.

baked pear-1

baked pear-4

First I sliced my pear and layered it in a small baking dish.

baked pear-2

Next I combined a few dates, old fashioned oats, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt in my food processor, then I spooned it over the pears. I drizzled honey over top and sprinkled honey slivered almonds evenly around.

baked pear-3

After baking it for about 20 minutes, I practically inhaled my bowl of warm gooey pear. It turned out to be a healthy sweet tooth satisfier – at 9 am! Sometimes I eat things that pass as a meal but could really also be a dessert. No complaints here! 🙂

baked pear-5

Honey Baked Pear with an Oat, Date & Almond Topping
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
  • 1 ripe Bosc pear
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 2 TBSP (honey) slivered almonds
  • 3 pitted dates
  • ¼ cup old fashioned oats, dry
  • ¼ TSP cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Coat a small baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Slice the pear, then layer in the baking dish.
  3. Combine the oats, dates, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor, and pulse until oats are fine and dates are chopped into pieces. Spoon on top of pear slices.
  4. Add almonds and drizzle honey over pear.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until pear is tender and almonds are lightly browned.
  6. Transfer to a bowl or plate, and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 390, Fat: 8 g, Saturated fat: 1 g, Carbohydrates: 77 g, Fiber: 11 g, Protein: 7 g


Question: Do you ever eat dessert-like meals or nosh on snack foods/meals as a nighttime dessert?

I sometimes eat a Greek yogurt, granola bar or chocolate protein bar for a late night treat. And I would definitely make this pear dish as dessert sometime!