Raw Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars

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I am a little obsessed with cookie dough, I have to admit… Growing up, I used to make cookies just to eat the raw dough. Nothing has changed! I made this recipe using just 7 raw ingredients. You don’t need any special equipment such as a food processor or blender to make this recipe. These cookie dough bars are high in protein and gluten free. I love that they are minimally processed. I used my favorite protein powder in them from LivWell nutrition. It’s raw and contains 17g of plant based protein per scoop. These bars contain the right amount of fat to keep you going for hours. They’re great as a dessert, snack, breakfast, or pre-workout fuel. They taste like peanut butter and chocolate chip cookie dough and melt in your mouth. They almost remind me of fudge. Almond flour is great because it still tastes good even when it’s not baked. I used Bob’s Red Mill natural almond flour which is made from whole almonds with the skin on. That’s what gives these bars their speckled color. Peanut butter and chocolate is one of my all time favorite combinations but you could substitute almond butter or your favorite nut butter instead. I lined my pan with parchment so that I could easily lift the bars out. If you don’t have a loaf pan handy, you can easily shape the dough into energy balls of any size before freezing. These were so good that I had to give most of them away! They are truly crave-worthy and so easy to make. This is a recipe I will keep making time and time again. If you decide to try it make sure you Pin It on Pinterest or tag me when you share on Instagram or Facebook @thefriendlyepicurean.

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I lined my pan with parchment to easily lift them bars out after cutting.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup almond flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill natural almond flour brand)
  • 3 tbs coconut oil (solid)
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup raw vanilla protein powder (such as LivWell Nutrition brand)
  • 3 tbs creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life brand)

Directions

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients with a spatula or your hands until well combined. Press into a 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan and freeze for 10-15 minutes. Cut into 10 squares to serve. Keep refrigerated. May store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Nutrition Information:

  • Approximate calories per bar: 240 cal
  • Approximate protein per bar: 6 grams

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Cherry Chocolate Chip Nice Cream

It’s ‘nice’ cream season! Long, hot summer days are always better with a cold, sweet treat. In case you haven’t heard of it, ‘nice cream’ is a plant based frozen dessert made primarily from bananas. It tastes a lot like ice cream but the texture is somewhat different. It’s a little harder to scoop, not super creamy, and should be thawed for a few minutes before serving. It’s typically vegan and gluten free depending on the toppings. I love fresh cherries but bought way too many this season! Since I hate wasting food, I pitted and froze the cherries to use later in desserts like nice cream or in smoothie bowls (I made cherry pie filling with the rest of my cherries). This dessert reminds me of Ben and Jerry’s ‘Cherry Garcia’ ice cream. I love cherry with chocolate together but walnuts would also be great in this recipe. It takes only 15 minutes to prepare and can conveniently be made ahead. I froze mine in a loaf pan but you can use any freezer safe container. This nice cream is bursting with fresh flavors and isn’t too sweet. I used dark chocolate chips to complement the banana and cherry and also add some antioxidants. Cherry and dark chocolate are SO good together. If you’re looking for a recipe to use up your cherries, this one is perfect! If you make it, make sure to tag @thefriendlyepicurean or Pin It!

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Cherry Chocolate Chip Nice Cream

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups pitted cherries (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 bananas, peeled and cut into 1 inch slices
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup
  • 1/2 cup mini, vegan chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life brand)
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

Place all ingredients except chocolate chips in a high powered blender (such as Vitamix) or a food processor and blend until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into a freezer safe container and freeze for at least 4 to 6 hours or overnight. Let thaw for 5-10 minutes before serving. May store in the freezer for up to 5 days.

Nutrition Information:

  • Approximate calories per 1/6 recipe: 260 cal

 

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Vegan Zucchini Walnut Bread


Quick breads are a universal favorite because they are so delicious and easy to make. They’re a great way to make use of your over-ripe fruit and vegetables. I hate throwing away fresh fruit and vegetables so I often make quick bread and muffins from it or freeze it for later. Quick bread makes a great snack or a scrumptious breakfast. This one took a few tries to perfect. The applesauce in this zucchini bread keeps it from being dry and the almond flour adds a rich, nutty flavor without adding too much fat. Using applesauce in baked goods is a great way to reduce the amount of added oil. The nutmeg and cinnamon add depth, warmth, and make the entire house smell wonderful! Zucchini is loaded with vitamins and walnuts are full of antioxidants. It’s tough to have just one slice of this bread! It’s rich enough that you can skip the butter. It’s hard to believe this healthy treat is dairy free! For a delicious variation, add some grated coconut. Lemon zest or orange zest would also add a wonderful pop of flavor. Vegan zucchini walnut bread is the perfect brunch treat and great for a crowd. If you make it make sure to pin the recipe on Pinterest or tag @thefriendlyepicurean on Instagram and Facebook!

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Vegan Zucchini Walnut Bread

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 flax eggs (mix 2 tbs flaxseed powder in 6 tbs water and let sit for 10 minutes)
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • vegan butter to grease pan
  • toppings (optional):
  • 2 tbs chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbs turbinado sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with vegan butter and set aside. Prepare flax egg by mixing together 2 tbs flaxseed powder and 6 tbs water in a small bowl. In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together oil and flax egg for 1 minute on medium speed. Next, add zucchini, vanilla extract, and sugar and mix again about a minute on medium speed. Add all purpose flour and mix again until combined. Then add almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon and mix for another 1-2 minutes until combined, scraping downs sided of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Last, stir in chopped walnuts. Pour mixture into loaf pan, sprinkle with toppings (optional), and bake for 1 hr. and 7 minutes to 1 hr. and 10 minutes. Edges will start to separate from the sides of the pan and turn golden brown when finished. Allow bread to cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting and serving. May store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

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Nutrition Information:

  • Approximate calories per 1/10 of zucchini bread: 249 cal

Raw Chocolate Tart (vegan, gluten free)

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Lately I’ve been craving chocolate. Whether it’s dark chocolate bars or cacao nibs in my smoothie bowl, I can’t get enough of it! No bake desserts are great this time of year because they don’t require turning on the oven on a hot summer day. This dessert is easy and quick and can be prepared ahead. The best part of it is that it’s raw, vegan, gluten free, and contains no soy or refined sugar! It’s also full of “good fat” from the avocado and anti-oxidants from the cocoa. Somehow, I just don’t feel as guilty enjoying a dessert that’s minimally processed and raw. This tart is not too sweet and has a deep, smooth, chocolaty flavor. The velvety texture is complemented by the chewy, nutty crust. It looks beautiful no matter how much or how little you decorate it! You can change it up by adding a 1/4 cup of your favorite berries to the filling prior to blending. It helps to have a pie pan with a removable bottom, but if you don’t have one, a piece of parchment paper underneath makes it super easy to lift the tart out of the pie pan. In case you’re not familiar with aquafaba – it’s the water that chickpeas and other beans are canned in. Instead of discarding it, pour it into a container with a lid and refrigerate it to use in vegan desserts as an egg replacer! This dessert is best served very cold out of the freezer and goes well with coconut whipped cream or non-dairy ice cream. I prefer mine with fruit and a cappuccino or espresso. If you make it let me know by tagging @thefriendlyepicurean on Facebook or Instagram or Pin It on Pinterest!

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Press the crust into the pie pan and freeze for 20 minutes prior to filling
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The tart before freezing and decorating

Raw Chocolate Tart (vegan, gluten free)

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

    For the filling:
  • 3/4 cup aquafaba
  • 5 oz coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup agave syrup
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • For the crust:
  • 10 large medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tbs coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbs cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • For the topping (optional):
  • shaved dark chocolate
  • coconut chips
  • raspberries
  • blueberries
  • mint leaves

Directions

To prepare the crust: Place all ingredients for the crust in a high powered blender or food processor and blend until forms a semi-smooth paste. Press crust into a 9 inch pie pan and freeze for 20 minutes prior to filling. To prepare the filling: Place all ingredients for the filling in a high powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour filling into pie crust and smooth out the top. Freeze tart overnight. Let thaw for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving. May store leftovers in the freezer for up to 2 days.

Nutrition Information:

  • Approximate calories per 1/6 tart: 303 cal

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Vegan Sea Salt Brownies

I’m a big fan of sea salt with chocolate. There’s something irresistable about the combination. The layering of the sweet and salty flavor inside and out makes these brownies crave-worthy! This simple, delicious recipe contains only ten ingredients. It’s great for when you need to make dessert quickly with what you have in your pantry. One of the ingredients in this recipe is aquafaba – the liquid used to can chickpeas and other legumes. This magical liquid has properties similar to egg whites. It works wonderfully as an egg substitute in vegan baked goods. It can also be used to make vegan chocolate mousse as well as meringue. I always save the aquafaba from my chickpeas and other canned beans and store it in the refrigerator in case I want to make brownies or other vegan treats. If you prefer thicker brownies, you can easily double this recipe. And if you’re not a fan of sea salt with your brownies you can sprinkle organic powdered sugar on them instead. They’re delicious with a scoop of vegan ice cream or a cold glass of almond milk. I also think they taste best warm out of the oven. These brownies are fudgy and decadent like traditional brownies, minus the eggs and cow’s milk. If you make them be sure to take a pic and tag @thefriendlyepicurean on Instagram and Facebook or Pin It on Pinterest!

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Vegan Sea Salt Brownies

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup aquafaba
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbs agave syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9 x 9 inch brownie pan with vegan butter or coconut oil and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer or medium sized mixing bowl, mix together coconut oil, aquafaba, almond milk, agave syrup, vanilla extract, and coconut sugar until well combined. Next add cocoa powder 1/2 cup at a time, baking powder, and salt. Finally, add flour 1/2 cup at a time. Mix on low speed until well combined, using a spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl as needed. Pour mixture evenly into greased pan and bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving. Brownies are best consumed immediately but may be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 day. Makes 16 small brownies.

Nutrition Information:

  • Approximate Calories per Brownie: 127 cal

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Mocha Superfood Popsicles

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We had our first day of warmer weather and sunshine this weekend. I love that first day of spring-like weather after a long winter. It’s finally time to put the patio furniture out, clean the grill, and open the windows to let the fresh air in. The warm weather inspired me to make these popsicles. The hardest part was waiting for them to freeze! I also had a hard time narrowing down the ingredients. The choices are endless for homemade popsicles but I wanted to keep it simple and healthy. I’m a coffee and espresso lover and have two coffee makers at home (one for espresso and one for drip coffee), so making a mocha pop was a no-brainer! I actually used decaf espresso for these so that I could have them at night and not stay up. The decaf version also makes them kid friendly. These popsicles are creamy, chocolate-y, and taste similar to a mocha drink you would order in a coffee shop. They will satisfy your craving for a mocha drink with about a third of the calories. These pops aren’t too sweet and contain no refined sugar. They also contain flax seed and chia seeds which add some fiber and antioxidants. This is just the beginning of my spring/summer popsicle making and I’m still learning how to photograph them without having them melt before my eyes! If you are looking for a tasty, easy, healthy treat then these are perfect. I used Polar Pops brand popsicle molds but also like the Zoku brand (both can be found on Amazon.com). Tag us on Instagram or Facebook @thefriendlyepicurean with pictures!

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Mocha Superfood Popsicles

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup espresso (or coffee)
  • 1 tbs almond butter
  • 6 pitted dates
  • 2 tbs agave syrup
  • 2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp flax powder

Directions


Place all ingredients in a high powered blender (such as Vitamix) and blend on medium speed until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze overnight.

Nutrition Information:

  • Approximate Calories per Popsicle: 71 cal

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Polar Pops Popsicle Molds Set (Traditional Paddle Style) – Homemade Ice Treat Maker for Toddlers, Kids and Adults – BPA Free, Stainless Steel – Dishwasher Safe


Zoku Classic Pop Molds