Pumpkin Spice Dark Chocolate Truffles

I have a confession. I don’t understand the Pumpkin Spice obsession. Before you discredit my true affection for all things food and fall, let me justify my stance. For one, I don’t drink coffee so the #PSL rage has never been on my radar. Secondly, I’m no fair weather pumpkin lover. I eat it for breakfast year round, so to me, it’s just as commonplace as a box of cereal. So to get all giddy on September 1 (when it’s socially justifiable) to consume large amounts of all things pumpkin seems a bit disingenuous.

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But these. These Pumpkin Spice Dark Chocolate Truffles have won me over as THE treat that will make a believer out of anyone who is judgy toward the beloved pumpkin spice. These Paleo bites have the perfect blend of cakey center with hard dark chocolate shell, and perfectly sized for losing control of portions. They’re so easy to make, my 2-year old mixed everything into the food processor and pulsed it until I told him to stop. Then I took over to roll the truffles before my kitchen got destroyed by willing but unable hands.

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Pumpkin Spice Dark Chocolate Truffles

  • Servings: 32
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

Truffle Center:

  • 2 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 15oz can solid packed pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Shell:

  • 1 12oz bag of dark chocolate chunks
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Directions

In a food processor, combine all ingredients for the center and pulse until a doughy, cakey consistency is achieved. It should be soft but malleable. Form into 1″ balls and place on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. Pop these in the freezer or fridge while you begin to prepare the chocolate shell.

In a small saucepan, melt the dark chocolate chips and coconut oil together until smooth. Remove the truffles from the freezer and roll them one at a time in the melted chocolate using a spoon to coat all surfaces. Before the chocolate sets, sprinkle with pecan crumbs or sprinkle of cinnamon to garnish.  Keep cold until you’re ready to serve!

Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2018


Raw Peaches and Cream Tart

Most raw desserts are a guilt-free treat because of their fresh, unprocessed, and low-sugar contents. Hearing the word “raw” may evoke thoughts of food borne illness spread from uncooked meat, but in this context, it’s simply implying the ingredients haven’t been baked or cooked. Raw desserts are great summer foods because you don’t have to fire up the oven to satisfy your sweet tooth. The great thing about many raw desserts is once you find a base you like, you can use that same recipe in many different contexts. For example, the base in this tart could easily be converted to a lemon pie crust, pear tartlets, or granola bar base.

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Here in the south it’s still in the mid-90s this time of year, and the Georgia peach truck just rolled through town. My mom and I split a 20 pound box of juicy Georgia peaches, and this is one of the outcomes of that purchase.

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Raw Peaches and Cream Tart

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Ingredients

Crust:

  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 7 pitted medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Cream:

  • 1 can full fat coconut cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons gelatin

Topping:

  • 2 peaches, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Directions

In a food processor, combine all ingredients for the crust and pulse until a doughy, thick consistency is achieved. It should be soft but malleable. Form this crust into your desired shape and size. This recipes makes approximately a 9″ circle x 1″ thick. Slip this crust into the freezer while you make the cream filling. For the coconut cream, use a high speed food processor or stand mixer. Blend together the can of full fat coconut milk, vanilla, and gelatin for approximately 5 minutes or until a whipped cream consistency is achieved. Top the cold crust with the filling, and fan thinly sliced peaches. Garnish with lemon zest. Keep cold until you’re ready to serve!

Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2018


Carrot Cake Protein Balls

I’m a grazer. I’d be just as happy grazing snick-snacks all day than eating three square meals. These little balls of joy fit the bill for the perfect no-guilt grazing snack. There are a lot of variations I’ve seen for protein balls like these online, like adding applesauce, cashews, flaxseeds, nutmeg, cream cheese, almond bark (almond bark? that just became dessert), but I don’t think you can go wrong any way you spin it based on your personal preferences. Protein balls, or peanut butter balls seem to be some of the most forgiving experiments in the kitchen because they always seem to turn out tasty!

Carrot Cake Protein Balls 1

This particular recipe is a stand out in that it contains fresh carrots where most protein ball recipes are sticky conglomerations of shelf-stable foods. These will last up to a week sealed in your fridge, or 6-9 months in a freezer.  They’re packed with protein and low in sugar so they’re good enough for breakfast, snack, or dessert, and have the perfect level of sweetness for little mouths too.

Carrot Cake Protein Balls

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

    • • 1 cup shredded carrots
      • 5 medjool dates
      • ¼ cup raisins
      • 1 tsp ground ginger
      • ¼ tsp nutmeg
      • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
      • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, divided for rolling
      • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
      • 3 Tbsp flaxseed
      • 1 serving vanilla protein powder
      • Extra water as needed

Directions

Start by chopping the carrots and dates together in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until finely chopped. Roll into 1 inch balls and coat with unsweetened coconut and cinnamon mixture.

Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2018


Sausage Stuffed Apples

I’ve entered a local cooking contest a few years in a row now, and this gem of a recipe happens to be an award-winner for the main entree category. The glorious scent of apples baking with maple syrup will give you all the fall feels, so get out your favorite football hoodie and start coring some apples. It is ideal for dinner, but the maple syrup flavor makes left overs suitable for breakfast too.

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Sausage Stuffed Apples

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Ingredients

  • 6 crisp apples, cored and hollowed (discard the seeds, save the flesh!)
  • 1 1/2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp sage
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1/2 lb organic pasture-raised mild pork sausage
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup crushed walnuts

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Using an apple corer or grapefruit spoon, hallow out the flesh of 6 apples, discarding the seed and core, and setting aside the remaining white flesh. Brown sausage in a large skillet along with celery, onion, sage, oregano, and reserved apple flesh. Cook until tender. Add maple syrup and walnuts to the skillet and mix thoroughly. Stuff sausage mix into the hollowed apples and bake for 45 minutes or until the apples are tender.

Left with extra sausage stuffing? Load up an egg crepe or top a scrambled egg with the mixture for a re-purposed breakfast!

Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2018


Lemon Poppyseed Chickpea Muffins

I’m a sucker for all things lemon. I feel like I can conquer the world when I start the day with a glass of lemon water and lemon desserts transport me a summery state of mind. If you’re with me on the lemon love, you have to try these muffins- and don’t let the chickpeas send you running! The chickpeas replace flour, nuts, or milk in traditional muffins, so by default these bad boys are gluten free, nut free, and dairy free. The peas also give these muffins the most perfectly moist center, somewhat reminiscent of (don’t laugh…) birthday cake. Add two cans of chickpeas to your grocery list right now and plan to make these ASAP.

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Let’s talk blood sugar balance really quick. If you’re one of those people who suffers from hanger (and if so, I shamelessly identify with you),  this is a perfect snack to hush that hanger. In most cases of hanger, or hungry anger, your brain chemistry is sending signals to crave high sugar foods, because it knows that glucose or sugar is what will give your brain the most immediate source of energy. With chickpeas being the primary ingredient, they add fiber, complex carbohydrates, and protein which will slow the rate these are digested and absorbed into the blood stream, as opposed to a refined cupcake for example, keeping your blood sugar stable longer (translation; no blood sugar roller coaster to send you into a sour mood). The fiber/protein combo will keep your appetite suppressed, helping you eat less throughout the day, also making it less likely you’ll reach for a high sugar snack which usually perpetuates the sugar-craving-hanger cycle all the more.

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Lemon Poppyseed Chickpea Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy Peasy
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Ingredients

  • large eggs
  • tablespoons coconut oil
  • 15-oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • lemons; zested peel of both, and juice of both*
  • teaspoons vanilla
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum** (optional, but recommended)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons poppyseeds

Notes:

*I use this microplane grater to make quick work of zesting citrus, and just about anything else that needs finely grated. I also recommend using organic lemons if you are going to grate the peel since all the pesticides reside in the peel of citrus fruits. Juice both lemons once the skin is zested, for about 8 tablespoons, or about 1/2 cup of lemon juice.

**I realize most people don’t keep a stash of xanthan gum in their pantry. I recently bought a small bag at Kroger for $5.99 and I think it has revolutionized gluten-free baking for me. Xanthan gum acts as a binder and thickener, and is a very common and safe food additive (you’ll see it on everything from toothpaste and salad dressing to soups and ice cream). It’s produced by fermenting a sugar, usually lactose, sucrose, or glucose. If you are looking to up your game of gluten-free goodies, I highly recommend this small investment.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard-size muffin baking tray with paper baking cups or spray with a non-stick spray.
  2. In a high-speed blender, add all ingredients, except for the poppyseeds. Blend until a smooth consistency is created, then add in the poppyseeds and pulse just enough to incorporate.
  3. Pour the batter into prepared muffin tray. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
  4. Remove from tray and let cool. Refrigerate or freeze or eat them up as they can spoil easily. (If refrigerated, you can heat them in the microwave for 15 seconds or so. Longer if frozen, obviously.)

Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2018


Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl

I used to be a cereal lover. No, fanatic is probably the better word. In college, I could have survived on cereal for three meals a day. About a year ago, I swapped my high-carb, high-sugar cereal for high-fat and high-protein breakfasts and have never missed it. We don’t even keep cereal in the house anymore. One of my go-to brekkies these days has been this Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl. I’ve eaten it a LOT during this pregnancy. I’ve even used canned pumpkin as a quick replacement if my sweet potato stash got low. Pregnant women need 40% more plant based Vitamin A which helps with cell differentiation for the fetus. Sweet potatoes fit the bill, and a dollop of cashew butter gives just enough protein to keep me full longer than 10 minutes like a bowl of cereal would do.

My secret weapon for batch cooking these is plopping the unpeeled potatoes right into my pressure cooker. I usually do 6-7 sweet potatoes at a time, which translates to a weeks worth of breakfasts. It takes about 12-15 minutes in the pressure cooker, or until my thermapen reads 200 degrees. The skins peel right off, so you save a lot of time from peeling them at the start!

Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato (or 1/2 can pumpkin puree)
  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter
  • 4 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk, divided
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

Wash and cut ends of sweet potatoes. In large pressure cooker, cook sweet potatoes to 200 degrees F, or approximately 12-15 minutes. Allow these to cool on a cooling rack before peeling skins off. In a stand mixer, blend with cashew butter, half of the coconut milk, and cinnamon. Top bowl with your favorite toppings, however I’ve found blueberries, pepitas, walnuts, coconut milk, and even a drizzle of flax oil is a perfect combination.

Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2018


Lemon Zest Custard Cups

Repeat after me: There is no fear in fat. Egg yolks are good. Saturated fat from coconut is healthy. Your body needs it for fuel, and is the preferred fuel for optimal brain function. The great thing about this recipe is the addition of gelatin which supplies collagen, the structural protein that improves hair, skin, and gut health.  I’ve given a few batches of these to a friend with stage 4 pancreatic cancer who didn’t have a taste for much at the beginning of her chemo treatments, and this was one of the few things she could tolerate. 

This version was adapted from Meghan Telpner’s Dairy-Free Maple Cream Custard Cups, but the lemon zest has been a huge hit.

Lemon Zest Custard Cups

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Ingredients

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons gelatin
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

Directions

  • Whisk together egg yolks in small bowl and set aside. Heat coconut milk, honey, vanilla, and nutmeg in a saucepan on medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add about a half cup of the hot coconut milk mixture to the egg yolks to thin, so that when the yolks are added to the saucepan, they don’t immediately curdle.
  • Pour the egg yolk and coconut mixture into the sauce pan and whisk until combined. Wisk until the mixture starts to thicken, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the warm mixture to your high speed blender, THEN add the fresh lemon juice and gelatin right before blending. I’ve found if I add the lemon juice into the saucepan to go through the heating process, it tastes tinny.
  • Pour blended mixture into ramekins or small mason jars and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or until set. These also freeze well.

Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2018


Strawberry Quinoa Pancakes

Who doesn’t love fat stacks of…pancakes. Oh, you thought I was going to say cash? Most people like that too, but these flapjacks are equally as satisfying thanks to the protein in the quinoa.  These freeze up nicely, so what I like doing with pancakes is making large batches, wrapping 4-5 in folds of parchment paper, then putting multiple pouches in a gallon ziplock bag. When morning comes, simply pull out one stack from your ziplock bag and microwave it to thaw.

Strawberry Quinoa Pancakes

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa (I used tri-color)
  • 1 cup all purpose gluten-free flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup diced strawberries
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Cook quinoa according to instructions on package.  In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together wet ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in cooled quinoa and mix both bowls together until incorporated. Drop 1/4 cup servings of batter into a non-stick skillet coated with coconut oil. Flip pancakes once bubbles form around the edges.

Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2018


Breakaway Salad

I’ve eaten my weight in this salad over the last few weeks, but I suppose there are worse things I could over-indulge in. This salad takes me back to the days, weeks, months I spent filling in as the temporary onsite health coach for The Breakers in Palm Beach. I would look forward to lunch in the employee cafeteria, The Breakaway Cafe, where their custom salads were the highlight of most days. They were always colorful, filling, and it was the first time in my life I ever had watermelon on a salad. It was revolutionary, and this salad has become my breakaway from reality years later.

Although I’m not in Palm Beach anymore, I still have mint-a-plenty in my backyard garden, and a fridge overflowing with watermelon and blueberries. And do you see these colors? More colors = more phytochemicals, so you know this is brimming with nutrition. The mint brings out a coolness that can’t be explained, and the healthy fats from the avocado, pepitas, hemp seeds, and flax oil help absorb the fat soluable vitamins and leave you satiatied.

Breakaway Salad

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1/2 cup watermelon
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon hemp seeds
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Drizzle with flax oil

Directions

Chop greens to form the base, layer with all remaining ingredients and drizzle with flax oil on top. Enjoy immediately!

Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2018


Spicy Thai Peanut Dip

A little sweet and a little spicy, this dip is a guaranteed way to get even the most reluctant vegetable eaters to eat their veggies. Henry loves peanut butter, and we’re constantly finding ways to increase his calorie intake throughout the day, otherwise he ends up waking up at night wanting a snack! The healthy oils (EVOO and Sesame Oil) give it another dose of good fat, and if Henry can eat it by the spoon, so can you!

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Spicy Thai Peanut Dip

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons coconut aminos or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger root
  • 2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Directions

Stir together all ingredients in a medium bowl until incorporated. Sprinkle with additional crushed red pepper flakes. Use as a dip for a veggie and cracker tray or pour over your favorite Asian inspired salad.

Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2018