Healthy Star Crunch Cookies

Feeling nostalgic? Try these Healthy Star Crunch cookies – a nourishing and gluten-free, dairy-free take on everyone’s favorite chewy caramel chocolate covered cookie!

 

Healthy Star Crunch Cookies - Gluten Free and Dairy Free - Grazed and Enthused

 

I recently asked on Instagram what Little Debbies nostalgic 90s treat everyone missed the most. An overwhelming majority said Star Crunch, so I had to get to work to create a gluten-free, dairy-free Healthy Star Crunch Cookie everyone could enjoy.

 

Before I got started attempting this recipe, I checked out the ingredient list for the boxed Star Crunch Cookies. Oh em gee – not surprisingly – a lot of processed, nutrient poor chemicals stuffed into one delicious little chocolate caramel cookie.

 

I just can’t get behind about 97% of those ingredients – especially polysorbate, high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, soy flour and the first ingredient being SUGAR. Ha! No wonder they taste so good.


I adapted my Healthy Rice Krispie Treats recipe for this Star Crunch Cookie recipe but changed up a couple ingredients and the ratios. The end result is a dense, chewy, no-bake chocolate-coated caramel rice cookie, and I seriously couldn’t stop going back for more bites.

 

Healthy Star Crunch Cookies - Grazed and Enthused - Gluten Free and Dairy Free

 

Ingredients in Healthy Star Crunch Cookies:

  • Organic, sprouted crisp rice cereal: I use the One Degree Organics brand which has less than 1 g of sugar per serving and uses organic, sprouted rice. It’s quite possibly the most consciously made cereal I can find.

  • Unsalted tahini: the neutral tasting base for the quick caramel. You can sub cashew butter, if needed.

  • Maple syrup: I choose organic maple syrup which is quite rich in minerals and has a natural golden caramel taste. Quality matters here!

  • Coconut oil: Helps the cookies firm up in the fridge and replaces the rancid oils in the original recipe.

  • Collagen peptides: Collagen adds to the stickiness and thickness of the caramel, so do not leave it out. You can grab collagen peptides at many healthy grocery stores or on Amazon or Thrive Market.

  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips: I use Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Mini Chips for this recipe. You could use dark chocolate, but they won’t be as reminiscent of your childhood favorite (which uses milk chocolate).

  • Shredded Coconut: This gives the cookies more of that chewy texture. I prefer unsweetened since the maple and chocolate provides plenty of sweetness.

  • Vanilla extract and sea salt

 

The only cooking materials you need for this recipe are a small saucepan, a mixing bowl and a parchment lined cookie sheet. To create perfectly round Star Crunch Cookies without a sticky mess, I highly recommend using a 2-inch Biscuit Cutter. I use to make my yummy Gluten Free Protein Breakfast Cookies as well.

 

 

Tips for making Homemade Star Crunch Cookies:

  1. Use a stainless steel saucepan for even and quick heating and continuously stir your tahini caramel mixture so it does not have a chance to burn.

  2. Remove your caramel from the heat if it starts to foam or separate. You don’t want the fats separating prior to mixing in your crisp rice cereal.

  3. Use a rubber spatula to scrape every last bit of caramel from the saucepan. This is a smart way to make sure you get all your wet ingredients (tahini, maple and coconut oil) out of their measuring cups too.

  4. When forming the cookies, use the back of a spoon or clean hands to firmly compact the mixture together in the biscuit cutter. This is how you’ll get denser, chewier cookies.

  5. Make sure your cookies have set completely before gently dipping in the melted chocolate, or they could fall apart.

  6. Melt your chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave – just make sure when you’re dipping the cookies that you’re using a shallow bowl.

 

I hope this recipe satisfies those nostalgic cravings for an after school 90s treat. Maybe you can throw on a little Animaniacs while listening to 98 Degrees and really take a journey back into a much simpler time. We all need that right now.

 
[simple-recipe:9542a]
 

 

Healthy Star Crunch Cookies

Allergen Friendly Cookie Mix – Preorder Now!

You can now pre-order my Allergen Friendly Cookie Mix – my first collaboration with Legit Bread Company! Get this AIP, Paleo, Nut-Free and Grain-Free Cookie Mix delivered to your door. Pre-order now to save your bag!

AIP Gluten Free Cookie Mix

The cookie mix you’ve been waiting for: Allergen Friendly Cookie Mix! If you’re familiar with Grazed & Enthused, you’ve likely tried my popular Tigernut Chocolate Chip Cookies! They quickly became a fan favorite because they taste like the real deal – like Nestle Tollhouse Real Deal but without any grains, nuts, or eggs with dairy-free options.

 

Legit Bread and I partnered up to bring you those Tigernut Chocolate Chip Cookies in a convenient bagged mix. No rushing to the store the next time you have a cookie hankering or placing an order on Amazon for tigernut flour. It’ll already be waiting for you in your pantry. Just add a few ingredients and you’ll have a tray (or two) of cookies ready within minutes!

 

 

Tigernut Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

In this mix you will find NO –

-Nuts

-Grain

-Gluten

-Eggs

-Dairy

-Seeds

-Nightshades

-Refined Sugar

The Allergen Friendly Cookie Mix includes:

  • Tigernut Flour: a nut-free flour made from tigernuts (tubers) is nutrient dense and a good source of fiber

  • Cassava Flour: the closest white flour option for Paleo baked goods made from the cassava root

  • Baking Soda: to help your cookies rise without eggs

  • Sea Salt

 

It makes between 24 and 28 cookies and there are instructions for making the full bag or a half batch (12 to 14 cookies).

 

Tigernut Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

You simply add your wet ingredients to the mix, scoop onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake!

  • Powdered gelatin: makes these egg-free cookies soft and helps hold them together without eggs

  • Ghee, palm shortening or coconut oil: depending on your dietary preference, you’ll add melted and slightly cooled fat to your mix

  • Extra virgin olive oil: combining solid fat with extra virgin olive oil gives these cookies a more delicate texture, crispy edges and soft insides

  • Maple syrup: to lightly sweeten these cookies – you only need 1/2 cup for over two dozen cookies!

  • Vanilla extract: you can’t call it a cookie without adding a little vanilla extract.

  • Mix ins of your choice: anything goes! Dark chocolate chips, ground cinnamon, raisins, toasted coconut, whatever your heart and body desires!

 

and get the mix shipped to you when it launches at the end of June!

 

 

 

While you’re at it, grab Legit Bread’s other grain-free and allergen friendly mixes including the new Dairy-Free Cheese Cracker Mix and Dairy-Free Cheese Mix (by The Curious Coconut)!

 

 

Allergen Friendly Cookie Mix

 

 

Want to review the mix? Please leave your comment and review below!

 

Tigernut Chocolate Chip Cookies (Coconut-Free)

 

Tigernut Chocolate Chip Cookies | Paleo Nut Free Egg Free

 

These Tigernut Chocolate Chip Cookies have been called “the best gluten-free and Paleo cookies” by many readers! They taste very similar to Nestle Tollhouse Cookies but without any grains, gluten, nuts, or eggs!

 

Um… I don’t think these Coconut-Free Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies made with tigernut flour need much of an introduction. They’re basically the chupacabra of grain-free chocolate chip cookies. Coconut-free, egg-free, nut-free, and not loaded with sweeteners or sugar!

 

Well, first, I’m disappointed in myself for shying away from tigernut flour for so long. The price and my inexperience with it intimidated me. I had tried sliced tigernuts once and didn’t care for the tooth-breaking texture.

 

Little did I know Organic Gemini Tigernut Flour is the best thing that has ever happened to my sub-par baking skills. It’s light, fluffy, a little grain-y like almond meal + has a nice “whole wheat” flavor with a bit of sweetness. PS: Not sponsored. Just impressed!

Why I’m Loving Tigernut Flour Right Now

— Tigernuts are renowned for their high content of prebiotic fiber which helps good gut guys flourish

Organic Gemini’s Tigernut Flour is organic, non-gmo & made in a dedicated gluten-free facility

— The sweet, nutty flavor of the product replaced almond flour for nut-free baking

— It makes a nut-free alternative to baked goods for school events

 

 

My goal with these Tigernut Chocolate Chip Cookies was to make coconut-free. That’s right – nary a teaspoon of coconut oil in sight. But what’s better than coconut oil for baking? GHEE. Specifically 4th & Heart Vanilla Bean Ghee.

 

My Tigernut Chocolate Chip Cookies taste like the real deal (my husband brought them to a work Thanksgiving + they disappeared before all the other desserts). The combination of the 4th & Heart Vanilla Bean Ghee with the richness of the extra-virgin olive oil takes these next level.

 

Why olive oil? The monounsaturated fat in olive oil makes for the perfect (in my opinion) cookie texture when combined with Vanilla Bean Ghee. Soft yet crisp, well-formed but with a fine crumb. Straight out of the oven, these will blow your mind, and you’ll always think “salad dressing + chocolate chip cookies” = good decision.

 

 

 

I’ve only made these cookies as directed below, so I can’t make firm recommendations on substitutions but here are some ideas. I’ll say it once: you cannot replace the Tigernut Flour with coconut flour.

 

Substitution Theories

— You should be able to replace the cassava flour 1:1 with arrowroot starch for similar results (not exact of course). I haven’t tried this – I’m just assuming based on my past experiences working with the two flours.

— Yes you can use a plain ghee instead of Vanilla Bean. Just don’t use Garlic Ghee. You can probably use softened butter too. This is only a theory.

 

Okay without further ado friends… ENJOY! And Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

59 reviews

Tigernut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time 00:15 Cook Time :10 Serves approx 14 2-inch cookies


Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a light-colored cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients until incorporated. Stir in the ghee, olive oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until you achieve a smooth dough. Stir in chocolate chips. 
  3. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto parchment paper, leaving 2 inches in between each cookie. Using the palm of your hand, gently flatten the cookie to about 1/2-inch high. 
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, watching closely, until the edges are a light golden brown. Do not overcook or they will turn out too crunchy. Let cool (or burn your mouth on hot chocolate like I do) slightly before serving. 

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Recipe Notes


 

 

Tigernut Chocolate Chip Cookies- nut-free, egg-free

 

 

AIP "Chocolate" Fudge – Two Ways! (AIP/Low-Sugar)

My husband and I celebrated Valentine’s early this year. We were supposed to go to one of my good childhood friend’s wedding, but Grace decided that this weekend was a mighty fine time to cut her first tooth. On Friday evening, she was screaming at the top of her lungs and I couldn’t figure out why. I looked in her mouth once she calmed down, and that poor little tooth was just breaking through! This explains why last week was so difficult.

 

It also explains why I ate more than my fair share of this fudge. We women sure do love to stress eat on some chocolate. I wonder why men don’t do that. It must be some sort of biological mechanism… like when our brain perceives we’re stressed it doesn’t want us to shut down and make fertility a non-priority, so it makes us crave fatty sweet things? Making this up as I type by the way. But if you know why, please share. 

 

We went to the farmer’s market Saturday morning. Our new city has this really amazing produce stand of dozens of vegetables for a good price. They’re all organic and locally grown and fresh as fuhhhh…dge. So I made us grilled local grass-fed flank steak with chimichurri sauce, steamed artichokes with lemon oil, a big salad of baby lettuce and olives, and roasted broccoli with Primal Palate’s new Garam Masala spice blend. Then we drank too much white wine, tried to watch Secret Life of Pets but I fell asleep with my very sexy blue-light blocker safety goggles on. Then my husband texted a picture of me to his friend. Sensual per usual. 

 

Spiced Maple Caramelized Sweet Plantains + Garam Masala Plantains and Apples using Primal Palate Garam Masala blend!

 

So I’m freakin’ obsessed with that spice blend and the Chinese Five Spice blend that are in their new Taste of Asia 3-pack. Those two are both nightshade-free and the accompanying Curry blend has cayenne in it, so I’ll be saving that one for my husband. Their spices are way, way, way better than anything you’ll try from the grocery store. You really need to try them + they’re on Amazon Prime now so no excuses. Prime Up Your Life. I use them everyday, pretty much on every meal. We used the Garam Masala for macaroons, rice, a pork and veggie skillet and this plantain and apple side dish I’m sending out to my newsletter subscribers only. Then the next day I made Spiced Maple Caramelized Sweet Plantains. Holy tropical starch balls, those were good. 

 

FUN FUDGE IDEAS

Strawberry or Raspberry Crust: Crush freeze-dried raspberries or strawberries and press the crushed mixture into the mold once its been filled and before it’s been refrigerated.

Peppermint Fudge: Add 8 to 10 drops (or to taste) of peppermint oil to fudge mixture before setting.

Toasted Coconut Fudge: Refrigerate fudge until hardened and then use your hands to quickly roll fudge into round truffles. Roll in toasted shredded coconut. 

1 review

AIP

Prep Time 00:10 Cook Time 00:05 Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream
  • 1/2 cup carob powder
  • 1 small ripe Haas avocado, chopped
  • 3 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides (optional but recommended*)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil, maple, and coconut milk  together over medium-low heat. Whisk in carob powder until combined. Remove from heat for a few minutes before transferring the still-warm mixture to a food processor.
  2. Add avocado, collagen,  and salt to food processor and blend until you achieve a silky chocolate fudge. Add in the arrowroot and blend briefly until combined.
  3. Spoon fudge mixture into desired silicone molds and place in refrigerator until set (2 to 3 hours). Remove from molds prior to serving. Store in fridge. You may also use the warm fudge as a topping for coconut milk ice cream or fruit.

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Chocolate-Covered Power Balls

Chocolate Covered Balls

I’m baaaaaaack. [titillating pause, I know]

I took the last month off to do some thinking about … well a lot of things. Big things. Like continuing my maternity leave from occupational therapy. What to do about the blog. How to get into a routine with Grace that was respectful of both of us individuals. Where to set boundaries in parenthood + beyond. Whether or not I should take the leap with some business ideas. I needed clarity.And clarity is what I got.

 

I decided on a few things:

  • I’m going to set limits on how often I post + always post with purpose. I will be posting 2 to 3 times a week. Likely one recipe + one to two articles. This ensures high quality content for you guys and less burn-out for me.
  • I’m going to shift the focus of the blog slightly from simply an AIP recipe blog to a real food [mostly AIP] + lifestyle + motherhood blog that incorporates my passion for non-toxic beauty, outdoor living, & baby-everything. 
  • I’ve started working as a Consultant for Beautycounter. After using their skincare + makeup every day for the last 6 months, I’m in love. My skin has never looked better + I’ve finally found the beauty solution for lowering my toxin load while still getting the benefits of anti-aging formulas, skin-brightening creams + gorgeous make up that fulfills the hole in my heart that Sephora left. I’ll be sharing product reviews, make-up tutorials + the skin care routine that has this new mom looking bright-eyed + bushy-tailed every morning! Hint: It’s the Rejuvenating Night Cream!
  • I’ll be starting a segment on Nourishing Littles, including how/when to introduce foods + the best foods for optimal cognitive and neurodevelopment.As a WELCOME BACK offer, I’m partnering with Power Balls … my #1 AIP Purse Snack of Choice. Each pack contains two balls and 12 grams each of protein, fat and carbs… making it a perfectly balanced snack or treat. My favorite flavors? Vanilla (tastes like cake), Orange Cranberry (tastes like a Starbucks scone) + Snickerdoodle (tastes like a snickerdoodle, duh)

 

Chocolate-Covered Power Balls

Prep Time 00:15 Cook Time 00:00 Serves 2

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Freeze Power Balls for 20 minutes until solid.
  2. Mix coconut oil, cocoa and honey in small bowl til smooth. Dip and roll Power Balls in chocolate until well coated. Place on parchment lined plate and return to freezer until solid. Repeat this step  until all chocolate is used up (2 to 3 coatings), sprinkling with flaked sea salt after the last dipping!
  3. Store in refrigerator and enjoy.

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Recipe Notes

I prefer using the Snickerdoodle, Carob, Chocolate or Vanilla Power Balls for this recipe!

Chocolate Cherry Gummy Bears (Paleo/AIP-Adaptable)

Gah, how cute are these kid and adult friendly gummy bears? I bought THESE gummy molds recently, since I’m already starting to scheme fun ways to get gut-healing gelatin and collagen into Grace when she’s old enough to eat these.
These gummy bears are about half the size of a typical store-bought gummy bear, so if you do want to make them for your smaller kiddos, they are much less likely to present a choking hazard. Nothing like opening up a blog post with a choking hazard warning, but I always think it’s best to be safe than sorry when feeding our littles’ and their less than sophisticated chewing skills.
Kiddos past the age of 3 would probably do best with this recipe! If you don’t have cutie pie molds and just want to make this into a gummy jiggler, you can do that too. They’re like super healthy chocolate fudge jiggles!

Chocolate Cherry Gummy Bears are a fun way for kids AND adults to get more gut-healing gelatin in their diet!

1 review

Chocolate Cherry Gummy Bears

Prep Time 00:15 Cook Time 00:05

Ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen pitted sweet cherries
  • 1 cup tart cherry juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup gelatin powder
  • pinch sea salt

Directions

  1. Place your gummy molds on a flat transportable surface like a cutting board. Clear out a flat space in your freezer that you can place the molds without them tipping over.
  2. Heat cherries over medium heat in a small saucepan until they burst, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree. Return to saucepan.
  3. Add cherry and honey to saucepan and whisk to combine with the cherry puree. Bring mixture to a low boil and immediately whisk in cocoa powder until combined.
  4. Remove saucepan from heat and let sit for 1 minute.
  5. Slowly, slowly, slowly (I repeat, slowly) sprinkle in a small amount of gelatin at a time (1 to 2 teaspoons) and whisk until no clumps remain. If you add too much at the same time, you risk getting clumps. Stir in the sea salt.
  6. If using these gummy bear molds, use the dropper to distribute gummy liquid into each individual mold. If you have leftover liquid, pour into a parchment lined glass container (the smaller the container, the thicker the gummy bites will be).
  7. Place molds and glass container (if it was needed) in the freezer to set the gummies. Bears should be set in about 20 minutes and the bars will likely take a bit longer.

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Macadamia Cinnamon Cookie Ice Cream (Paleo, Vegan)

 

 

Oh man, this dairy-free macadamia nut ice cream is SO DREAMY. I actually had a dream about it the night after I ate it/finished it.

 

Last year when I received my Whynter Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker, it inspired me to create an ice cream cookbook. Well, that never happened. Not because I didn’t want it to, but I got busy with other projects. And realized writing an ice cream recipe book would not help me fit into my pants any easier post-partum. It may still be in the works though as a free community resource!

 

In fact, even with my healthy diet and daily exercise, weight loss after baby has not been easy. Actually I haven’t lost any poundage since two days after I got home from the hospital and have even gained some since then! Breastfeeding clearly does not burn as much energy as people say it does!

 

And it makes you so dang hungry, and I’m not one to let myself go hungry. Especially when it could compromise my baby’s health. Rather than focus heavily on still not fitting into my old clothes, I am focusing on how I’ve maintained and increased my strength so much the last 3 months! 

 

I’ve started back at group fitness classes, and let me brag for a second… I am just as strong as I was before I became pregnant! It’s less my competitive spirit and more my self-respect that ignites this pride. Exercise and fitness have been so integral to my being for so many years, and it feels amazing to be able to push myself again, if only for 20 minutes at a time!

 

I was very active during pregnancy, hiking many miles a week, jogging, and doing bodyweight and moderate weight circuits in my garage.

 

And it really served me well. I have rebounded physically from pregnancy and am pleasantly surprised with my energy levels (although I wish they were better some days!), mood, and strength.

 

I really encourage any pregnant or soon-to-be pregnant women out there to do the same – so many people told me I was the happiest pregnant woman they had ever met! I definitely owe that to all the time I spent outdoors taking care of my body and getting fresh air.

 

I haven’t been doing too many sweets lately, since I noticed both sweets and coffee were triggering fatigue, mood swings, and upset tummies that I usually don’t have. The poison is in the dose for me and caffeine, and I really wish I could eat it every day but it’s effects catch up with me quick!

 

I’m allowing myself a cup or two a week, and that seems to be a good balance. I really wish I was someone with a higher caffeine (and alcohol) tolerance. I still need to treat myself to a little something each day though, so I’ve been having bowls of frozen berries with coconut milk. The coconut milk hardens into a thin little shell – it’s so damn good! I had two giant bowls of frozen blueberries and cherries with coconut milk last night and went to bed a very happy girl.

 

I’ve figured out how to make super creamy macadamia nut ice cream and the trick is sweet potato as the emulsifier!

 

macadamia nut ice cream

 

 

When pureed into coconut milk they make the fluffiest, creamiest ice cream! You can leave them out to make the recipe AIP, but it will just be a cinnamon-flavored ice cream! That’s why I’ve also included starchy white sweet potato in this recipe… to increase the creaminess, especially if you choose to leave out the macs!

 

 

This creamy, dreamy dairy-free macadamia ice cream will blow you away! Top with chocolate chips & treat yo self good!

 

 

 

1 review

Macadamia Cinnamon Cookie Ice Cream

Prep Time 00:10 Cook Time 00:00 Serves 4

Ingredients

Directions

Blend all ingredients together in a blender on high speed until smooth. Transfer mixture to your ice cream maker per the manufacturer's directions and churn until smooth and creamy. Avoid over-churning so you do not end up with hardened ice cream. Serve with additional macadamia nuts and chocolate chips, if desired!

*I use this electric Whynter model which sits on my kitchen cart and simply needs to be plugged in! No freezing overnight required! I never let it run the full 60 minutes to prevent hardening and always scrape down the sides after 20 minutes or so. 

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Paleo Dark Chocolate Covered Wafers (Sugar-Free)

 

 

I asked my husband to cook dinner for me tonight and he said Yes! That’s better than telling me I’m special or taking me shoe shopping. How many nights a week do I wish I had a personal chef, I cannot tell you. After 2 1/2 years on an elimination diet and cooking 95% of my meals at home, the thought of getting in the kitchen and making dishes loses its appeal. But I must eat, and eat I will. And cook I have to. Such is life. [Side note: Halfway through he took a phone call, and I had to finish cooking dinner.]

 

I do enjoy cooking and if I go a day without it, I actually crave getting into the kitchen. My favorite days before Grace were the ones where I was home alone for a morning or afternoon and could just play in the kitchen. I must have at least one creative outlet going at all times. Cooking tends to be my main squeeze, but when I was working pre-baby in pediatric occupational therapy, I got to use a ton of creative juice too.

 

I really enjoyed creating The Healing Kitchen for this reason because it gave me a distraction from my master’s program and stressful clinical rotations. Looking back, I took on way too much at one time though, so if I ever do another cookbook, I am for sure going to make it a singular goal. My husband and I have a new goal together at the mo’! We are looking into becoming first-time home buyers on the west coast of Florida come winter of this year. We are moving back there to be closer to my family so we can get some help with Grace, and I can go back to work part-time while her grandmother watches her. Anyone in the Tampa/St.Pete area!? I am going to try to start a monthly AIP dinner when I get settled in there. I have friends there but not in the Paleo community. I also want to start a mommy morning bootcamp. One thing at a time, Alaena, you crazy kid. 

 

So I made these on day 4 of #cutthesugar . I have been eating a lot more sweet post-partum than I typically do, and I finally reached the point where I promised myself to get back to the basics. I never replace nutrient-dense foods with treats, but I had one too many squares of dark chocolate sprankled throughout my day.

 

They are such a delish energy boost though! So now I’ve replaced all my treats/snacks with a fourth meal. It’s keeping my energy levels steadier and I’m getting in even more nutrients than usual. Baby Grace noticed because she doubled her weight in just 2 months and I swear her cheeks have tripled in size since I started!

 

How awesome is that!? I’m planning on doing a 1 to 2 month reset without sugar to promote immune regulation and hormone balance. A recent food allergy exposure unfortunately made my thyroid antibodies flare, so I’m working to get those back down to normal. I’ve been having broth once or twice a day (which is why there are so many soup recipes up right now even though it’s summer!)

 

This recipe was really only made possible by my generous friend Laura from Sweet Treats. Laura is a trained pastry chef who is not only an incredible baker but also has some of my favorite savory AIP recipes like her popular Turmeric Pork Skillet (I CRAVE IT!)  and Spaghetti Squash Carbonara. She just rocks. Laura brought me chicken soup when I got stitches on my wrist when I was in my third trimester and was one-handed for a couple weeks and couldn’t cook, my favorite stuff from Whole Foods after I had Grace, and most recently a bag of Yucan Crunch from Bay Area-based restaurant Mission Heirloom (you can order it online via the link above).

 

It is absolutely to-die-for smeared with avocado, lemon juice, and truffle salt, and I also had it with sugar-free strawberry preserves and melted coconut butter (very berries n’ cream on toast-y). It’s so incredibly crispy, crunchy (and 100% AIP, grain-free, etc) , I had to find a way to coat it in sugar-free chocolate and smokey sea salt to make a tasty afternoon snack.

 

My batch only lasted me two days! If you want more than 8 pieces, simple double the recipe. It would be a fun recipe to make for a party, but if you’re making it for non-Paleo people, you may want to try melting some dark chocolate with a teaspoon or two of coconut oil to make little wafers.

 

Not everyone goes for the bitter, rich taste of true 100% dark chocolate like used in this recipe. I find coconut butter/manna super sweet on it’s own so it becomes the “sweetener” in this easy, no-bake treat recipe. Carob powder, if using for AIP, is much sweeter naturally than cocoa powder.

 

If you have introduced chocolate but still want a sweeter treat, mix in 1 or 2 teaspoons honey or replace 1 tablespoon cocoa with carob powder!


 

Paleo Sugar-Free Dark Chocolate Covered Wafers

Prep Time 00:10 Cook Time 00:00 Serves 8 pieces

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Line a flat portable surface such as a cutting board or flat plate with parchment paper. pan>

  2. In a medium size bowl, combine coconut butter, cacao/cocoa powder, and melted coconut oil until smooth. pan>

  3. Dip Yucan Crunch pieces into melted dark chocolate one at a time, using a spoon to assist you in coating all sides of the cracker. Let excess chocolate drip off and lay on parchment paper. Continue until all pieces are coated. pan>

  4. Sprinkle lightly with smoked sea salt. pan>

  5. Freeze for 15 to 20 minutes until the chocolate has solidified. Store covered in refrigerator.pan>

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Salted Tahini-Date Fudge with Bacon & Sunflower

salted tahini fudge

 

 

I don’t often buy seed or nut butters – really only when the craving hits (like it did when I bought this tahini for my Twice-Baked Tahini Mashed Sweet Potatoes) or I’m planning on making a recipe that features them.

 

In a past Paleo life, almond butter was a dangerous rabbit hole for me. If I were to do a Whole30, I would not be allowed to eat almond butter because it would qualify as a SWYPO (sex with your pants on) no-no. When I first entered Paleo-land, I was seriously malnourished from gut disorders and you couldn’t feed me enough. I used to eat Lara Bars spread heavily with fresh ground almond butter on the daily. I was a titch obsessed. That would be SUCH a treat for me now if that were to ever happen.

 

I really like to keep my treats very basic which prevents me from ever over-doing it. I enjoy dark chocolate (85% and higher) frequently but it never becomes an issue of overindulgence like if I were to make brownies or cookies (I hate baking, so rarely). I also have been enjoying coconut milk ice cream since the beginning of my pregnancy. It adds such an important quality of life factor. Ice cream has always been one of my happy foods, along with more nutrient dense foods like steak, salad, avocados, soup and salmon. I don’t believe in deprivation for the sake of deprivation but rather include these happy foods in my life in ways that support my positive relationship with food and body image.

 

I get a LOT of questions on social media when I post photos of my meals containing any sweetener, rice, or Paleo convenience food. It seems incredulous to some that I could possibly promote the AIP while still consuming white rice with my bone broth or dark chocolate several days a week. Here’s my take on it… it’s a plain, simple, and common sense approach to food that seems to get lost in the real food movement at times. I eat for three reasons: healing, happiness, and hunger. In that order. I’ve worked extremely hard the last 5 years to get to the place where I am today, where I’m able to enjoy foods that may not fit into someone else’s definition of a healthy diet. There was a time when I was limited to less than TEN foods for months because of my chronic histamine intolerance, leaky gut, and food allergies. If you’ve lived that life as a person who loves food, you appreciate the variety and freedom in each meal thereafter. I really urge anyone following an elimination diet to get out of the mindset that this is forever. I used to think that too, and I will forever incorporate the principles of AIP (namely nutrient density at every chance I get) but I won’t do it at the expense of my happiness. Thankfully, steak, salad, salmon, soup and avocado are my OTHER happy foods besides chocolate, yes!?

 

All of that being said, I bring you a new treat recipe that in it’s own right meets all 3 of my requirements for a food. I’ve recently fallen into heart-eyes with dates. At the end of my pregnancy, it was recommended I eat 6 a day to shorten my labor. I think I started too late, and I could never eat more than 2 a day, because my labor was 90 excruciating hours long. As 2010 said, “Epic Fail”. They historically have been an incredibly vital food for my ancestors and are a nice source of fiber, potassium, copper, magnesium, and B6. They can be a delicious way to ease digestion and elimination and are fairly low on the glycemic index compared to other Paleo sweeteners like honey and maple syrup which are actually quite high compared to most of our diet. Sunflower seeds are a wonderful source of iron, magnesium and B6 as well and tahini contains thiamin, magnesium, and calcium too! Bacon is there just for the pure deliciousness that is bacon combined with chocolate and sea salt.

 

 

See? Even my treats can meet all 3 of my edible criteria: healing, happiness, and hunger (I woke up from a nap starving before I ate a couple of these fudge squares!) So here’s a rare treat recipe for Grazed & Enthused. No, it’s not AIP-compliant, but it is Paleo and contains no added sweeteners plus a nice dose of health-promoting fruit and seeds. Just don’t throw caution to the win with these babies (which aren’t overly sweet really) and keep your serving to 1 to 2 squares per day.They’re chewy, salty, crunchy, and satisfying in a savory-sweet type of way that will make your bacon & chocolate loving heart flutter.

 

This is quite possibly the tastiest sweet & savory dairy-free fudge out there!

 

Salted Tahini Date Fudge with Bacon

Prep Time 1:15 Cook Time 00:00 Serves 16

Ingredients

  • 12 soft Medjool dates, pitted*
  • 1/2 cup organic tahini
  • 2.5-ounce 85% (or higher) dark chocolate, melted
  • 2 tablespoons softened coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • sea salt
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons roasted and salted sunflower seeds
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Directions

  1. In a food processor, combine dates, tahini, chocolate, coconut oil, vanilla, and 2 generous pinches sea salt until a smooth ball forms.

  2. Pulse coconut and sunflower seeds into the mixture briefly until distributed evenly.

  3. Using a rubber spatula, scrape mixture in a parchment-lined glass rectangular container such as a 3-cup Pyrex container. Smooth fudge into a rectangle about 1-inch thick.

  4. Press bacon crumbles evenly into surface. Freeze for 1 hour until solidified.

  5. Slice and serve directly from freezer as the fudge softens at room temperature due to the coconut oil.

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Recipe Notes

*Dates must be very soft before you puree them. If you do not purchase high-quality soft dates, you must soak your dates in warm water for 30 minutes prior to adding to the food processor.

 

Crunch Bar Freezer Fudge (Paleo, Vegan)

 

 

I am more than just a little obsessed with this freezer fudge. It never lasts me more than 24 hours. I don’t suggest eating the whole batch in that short of a time frame, but I also will not judge you if you do. I despise baking (that’s why a lot of my treats here are no-bake) because it’s messy, expensive, and I don’t need a whole tray of cookies. I need a whole small personal-sized container of crispy freezer fudge that reminds me of Crunch bars though. Are you thinking that many chocolate chips does not constitute a recipe as personal-sized? I think I will change your mind. 

 

So, I had an emotional  affair between the years 1994 and 1997 with Crunch bars. Halloween we especially became close, and my greedy little fingers often dug through candy baskets for the last remaining royal blue package that fit perfectly in my pocket, so my mother never knew I was carrying chocolate contraband with me at all times. I haven’t thought much of candy bars in the last decade of my life especially because the majority of my teenage years and twenties were spent being incredibly annoying about my food choices and I missed out on way too many years of eating good food just so I could keep my figure. Well, screw that, I say. It’s time to eat chocolate and make up for years of chicken breast, lettuce, and low-fat cheese. Chocolate > Chicken.

 

So the trick with this stupid easy recipe is to use a high quality raw sunflower seed butter that has been lightly sweetened. The butter needs to be finely chunky, almost like wet sand. I know, appetizing. I have terrible analogies. Sunbutter is NOT going to cut it here, unless you want some second-rate yuckfest in your freezer. Frankie V’s is a company in Dallas, Texas that makes the best sunflower seed butter you can find anywhere. You can buy it on Amazon and stores around Texas (not sure if they sell outside of Texas).

 

If you are unwilling to place such an order through Amazon, then you will have to make your own sunflower seed butter. Here is a picture of Frankie V from his website. Poodles are my favorite dog, so obviously I really like Frankie due to his poodle hair do and delicious products. So, if you want to make your own chunky sunflower seed butter, get out your food processor. Grind up several cups of raw sunflower seeds in your food processor with a tablespoon of coconut oil and 2 tablespoons coconut sugar. Keep that puppy running until you get a wet sandy sunflower seed butter. Puts me in the mood for the beach!

 

​I made this fudge when I was pregnant ALL THE TIME. Enough said!

 

 

Crunch Bar Freezer Fudge

Prep Time 01:05 Cook Time 00:00 Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients

  • 1 heaping cup dark chocolate chips
  • 6 ounces lightly sweetened raw sunflower seed butter (chunky version for
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

Directions

1. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth and shiny. pan>

2. Stir in sunflower seed butter and coconut oil until a chunky mixture forms. The chunky sunflower seed butter should clump up into small pieces throughout the mixture and once frozen will create delicious crispy pieces in the fudge. pan>

3. Pour into a 3''x6'' glass tupperware container that has been lined with parchment paper. pan>

4. Freeze until solid, about 30 to 60 minutes. Slice into chunks and keep in the freezer until ready to serve. pan>

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