Tag Archives: healthy dessert

Cashew Cake Batter Fruit Dip {Vegan + Gluten Free}

With the summer produce starting to pop up in markets around town, I’ve been loving all of the fruit lately. Sweet cherries, strawberries, and peaches have been my favorite. Nature’s candy is the best!

A strawberry banana protein smoothie bowl topped with locally grown cherries, shredded coconut, mini chocolate chips & cinnamon oat granola clusters

So naturally with all of my fruit consumption in recent weeks, I had to make fruit dip. Dipping fruit into a decadent tasting dip is one of my favorite desserts, especially when it’s healthy like today’s recipe!

I’ve been making a lot of cake batter recipes lately, including a few batches of energy bites, smoothies, and now, this fruit dip. I also think that cake batter cookies may be in my baking future.

To get that cake batter flavor, I combined cashew butter with shredded coconut, maple syrup, vanilla dairy-free yogurt, vanilla extract and cashew milk.

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Chocolate Pistachio Energy Bites [gluten free]

I’m such a sucker for any kind of place where high-quality food is the focus. Farmers’ markets. Gourmet food shops. Italian markets. Bakeries. I love it all. It’s no secret that I love experimenting in the kitchen, and finding new foods and ingredients gives me inspiration to try new recipes… plus I just love eating food, obviously.

A few weeks ago, I was walking to a Starbucks to work for awhile before meeting a friend for dinner, when I passed by a spice shop. I’ve seen it before when it was closed for the day, but this time it was open.

Naturally, I walked in the shop and moseyed around smelling and tasting things. I wound up leaving with some goodies – all that were new to me, with the exception of local cinnamon infused honey (I pretty much buy that whenever I see it!).

For San Diego area locals, the shop is called Savory Spice in Encinitas, and it’s super fun to pop into if you’re a spice nut like I am!

One new-to-me thing that I bought was pistachio extract. I’m a fan of pistachios, but for some reason they’re a forgotten nut to me sometimes. I’m constantly all about peanut butter, almonds + almond butter, cashews + cashew butter… but pistachios seem to fall by the wayside. Then I make something with them and am reminded that I dig em.

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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.

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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.


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!


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!

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!


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!

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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.


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.


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!


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.


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!

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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.


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!

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Chocolate Thin Mint Protein Smoothie

Happy Hump Day!

I’m still on the east coast, and it has been nice and toasty in Jersey with temperatures in the low to mid 90s. So naturally today I want to talk about smoothies – more specifically, what has been probably my favorite smoothie for all of 2015 thus far.  
Thin Mint Smoothie-5

I first came up with this Chocolate “Thin Mint” Smoothie when it was Girl Scout cookie season and I kept craving chocolate + mint. Since then I’ve made it countless times – minimum once a week all year long. It’s the perfect post-nighttime workout meal because it doubles as a healthy dose of protein and goodness plus dessert in one…. and we all know that I’m all about things that taste like dessert but are secretly healthy. 
Thin Mint Smoothie-2

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5 Yummy Dessert Ideas Under 200 Calories

Hi there!

I’m blogging today as I take a lunch break and sip on a yummy smoothie, and speaking of eats, today I want to talk about some low-cal dessert options that I’m loving!

Thin Mint Smoothie

While some people are totally against counting calories, for me, it’s what works and keeps me on track. Being mindful of the calories I’m taking in and planning my meals so that my macros and calories hover around a certain range for the day helps me stay balanced. I’ve been tracking it for years now and it’s just a part of my healthy diet and approach to eating in a way that I make sure I’m getting the nutrition I need in my food, while also enjoying it…. because food is too good to not enjoy!

With that being said, sometimes I want a snack or dessert at night, but I also want to keep it under 200 calories. Below are some of my current favorite low-cal snack ideas!

Halo Top with strawberries

#1 – Halo Top vanilla bean with fresh strawberries 

You guys, I’ve been obsessed with Halo Top for the last couple of months. It’s the best low-cal/high protein ice cream I’ve ever had, and I even make special stops to random grocery stores that I don’t frequent just to stock up on some pints! Since I’m always and forever obsessed with fruit, it only makes sense that I’d pair Halo Top with some strawberries. While I’m normally a chocolate person, strawberries pair awesomely with vanilla bean ice cream.

A cup of Halo Top with a cup of sliced strawberries totals just 170 calories.

cashew butter apple

(The image also shows pieces of a chocolate brownie Pure Bar on top of the apple slices.)

#2 – Apple with cashew butter and cinnamon

Cashew butter and apples have both been on my list of nearly daily eats for awhile now. There’s just something so good about a crunchy apple with a smear of creamy cashew butter and my all-time favorite spice, cinnamon that makes for a satisfying, healthy dessert or snack.

An apple + a TBSP of cashew butter + as much cinnamon as your heart desires come in around 180 calories.

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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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ProYo High Protein Frozen Yogurt Review

Pretty much everyone that knows me know that I have a sweet tooth. I have an extensive array of chocolate treats in my kitchen pantry at any given time, and it’s nearly impossible for me to walk past a bakery full of yummy looking sweets without letting out an, “Ooooh! Look at those ______ (cupcakes/caramel apples/cookies/brownies/etc).” 

While I definitely indulge in sweets here and there, I also have plenty of recipes and go-to eats that satisfy my sweet tooth while still packing a nutritious punch. I’m always on the lookout for new products that can pass for dessert, but are also healthy enough to be a pre-workout snack or remedy for midday munchies. That’s why when the folks at ProYo reached out to me and asked if I wanted to try their high protein frozen yogurt tubes, I was immediately on board.
ProYo Review

So what’s ProYo? 

ProYo is a high protein frozen yogurt that comes in 4 oz tubes and is offered in 4 flavors: vanilla bean, banana vanilla, Dutch chocolate and blueberry pomegranate.

What’s in ProYo fro yo?

ProYo’s frozen yogurt tubes each contain about 140 calories, 2 grams of fat, 16 g of carbs, 13 g of sugar, and the best part? 20 grams of protein! They contain rBST-free & rBGH-free whey protein, probiotics, and are sweetened with pure sugar and stevia.

ProYo dutch chocolate

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