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