Desserts! Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Oh My!

When your life feels too rigid, do you ever find that you turn to food that makes you feel even crappier?

With our recent move I’ve totally been treating myself to more sweets (hello hazelnut gelato!) to counter the stress.

But these “treats” lead to a case of the crankies and leave me feeling even worse.

Sound familiar?

While I’m phasing out of this gelato bender, I don’t want to completely swear off sweets – that would be sad.

That’s why I’m sharing some of my favorite (easy) treats that will delight you Paleo-freaks, Vegans, and Dairy-and-Processed Sugar-avoiders alike!

Chia Seed Pudding (Two Ways!)

First up, check out this tasty Chia Seed Pudding I made on Channel 3’s Better Connecticut last month. The Vanilla-Lemon version could be great even for breakfast while the Chocolate version is more decadent for dessert.

HPG Better CT May Segment Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are the coolest little secret weapon. Not only is this superfood an amazing source of fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium, and antioxidants – they also absorb about 10 times their weight in liquid. So stick them in almond milk and you have a super healthy and energizing “pudding” or tapioca!

Recipe: Lemon-Vanilla Chia Pudding

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract (you can skip if using vanilla almond milk)
1/2 cup chia seeds
1 tsp grated lemon zest

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl or jar, combine almond milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  2. Stir or cover and shake the jar to combine.
  3. Add chia seeds and lemon zest to the jar, mix well to combine.
  4. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours (or overnight is best) stirring occasionally.
  5. Serve alone or top with chopped toasted nuts, sliced fresh fruit, or dried fruit like raisins.

Chocolate Chia Pudding

Recipe: Chocolate Chia Pudding

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract (you can skip if using vanilla almond milk)
1/2 cup chia seeds
2 tbsp cocoa powder

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl or jar, combine almond milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  2. Stir or cover and shake the jar to combine.
  3. Add chia seeds and cocoa powder and stir with a whisk until the clumps of cocoa get broken up.
  4. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours (or overnight is best) stirring occasionally.

Enjoy!

Next up…

Raw Carrot Cake with Cashew Cream Frosting

Second, my dad love’s carrot cake so for this birthday this year I made him this amazing raw vegan carrot cake with cashew cream frosting — tastes just as delicious without the anxiety from a sugar high.

I snagged this recipe from The Sweet Life – this chick has some pretty amazing Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-Free and raw dessert recipes so make sure you check out her site and prepare to drool. Her recipe for Raw Mint Oreo Cookies is next on my list – they look ridiculous.

Vegan Carrot Cake Cashew Cream Frosing

Recipe: Raw Carrot Cake with Cashew Cream Frosting

Check it out here on thesweetlifeonline.com.

And finally…

Vegan Chocolate-Banana “Ice Cream”

An oldie but a goodie: Banana “Ice Cream”.   This is always a hit at my cooking classes because people can’t believe this ice-creamy consistency is just bananas.

It’s bananas!

Vegan Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

Recipe: Vegan Chocolate-Banana “Ice Cream”

Ingredients

1 banana
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp peanut butter or almond butter, optional

Directions

  1. Peel banana and place it in the freezer in a plastic bag or in plastic wrap for at least a few hours).
  2. When you’re ready for your “ice cream”, take out the frozen banana and slice into thick slices.
  3. Place frozen banana slices in a blender or food processor and puree until the banana gets smooth and creamy, like soft serve.
  4. Add cocoa powder and gently blend until all mixed in. (You could also add a tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter here too!)
  5. Serve alone or with chopped nuts, chocolate chips, shredded coconut, or fresh berries.

Whelp, hope you enjoy these sweet treats that are easier on your tummy and your mood.

What do you turn to when you want something sweet but don’t want to feel like crap?  Leave a comment and let me know!

Remember those hazelnuts from a few weeks ago?

Stay tuned for a new episode next week, I’ll be sharing the most delicious veggie recipe using those toasted hazelnuts and I can’t wait!

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8 Responses to Desserts! Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Oh My!

  1. Chia seeds are back on my shopping list! Cant wait to make the chocolate one! Thanks Heather. And loved your TV segment #rockstar

  2. What do chia seeds taste of? Do they make a rice pudding consistency? And could I use chocolate oat drinks too? (I really like chocolate oatly)!

    • Chia seeds don’t really have a taste – it’s more about the consistency! The pudding is kind of like a tapioca. And chocolate oat drinks – I’ve never heard of them! But knock yourself out, it’s chocolate – you have nothing to lose!

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