Archives for December 2014

Banana Date Yogurt Parfait

Ok y’all.

Here we are on the last day of the year.

I hope you have written your New Year resolutions.

I don’t even want to attempt the gym at the moment because I will see about 40000 people I have never seen before committing to a two week stint of cardio and weight lifting until they are burnt out.

One thing that I always vow to do in the new year is to continue eating a healthy diet.

Eating real food just makes me feel better.

Plus, I’m pretty sure it keeps me looking young too! 😉

My morning routine always begins with Greek yogurt and fruit.

I just love it.

That’s where Chobani comes in to play.


I was thrilled when I got asked to participate in Chobani’s #MadewithChobani campaign.

Basically, all I did was create a healthy recipe using Chobani Greek Yogurt.

Pretty simple, right?

Sometimes I like to eat it plain, or with a scoop of peanut butter mixed in.

Other times I like to dress it up.


All we are going to do is puree banana, dates, and Chobani together until smooth.


Then we do a little layering magic w/ homemade granola (or your fave store bought…I totally don’t judge).


Then we layer on some berry jam.




This is breakfast.


I mean, serrrrriously.


Tangy, creamy, sweet, crunchy, and light…


in each and every bite.


So, go pick up some Chobani and get in the kitchen and whip up this healthy breakfast treat.


Feel free to share some of your New Year resolutions in the comment section below!



Banana Date Yogurt Parfait
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
Sweet dates pureed with tangy, thick, Greek yogurt, layered w/ crunchy nut granola and berry jam. Gluten-free, paleo option, vegan option.
  • 6 dates, pitted, soaked in warm water overnight
  • 1 large banana, cut in half
  • ¼ c. Chobani plain Greek yogurt ( I used non-fat) (for a vegan and/or paleo option use coconut milk yogurt or full-fat coconut milk)
  • ¼ c. no sugar-added berry jam
  • ⅓ c. of your favorite granola ( I use my own homemade version, see the body of this text for the links)
  1. Using a blender or magic bullet, blend together the dates, ½ of the banana, and the yogurt until smooth.
  2. Use a small, stemless wine glass or small mason jar to begin the layering process.
  3. Place a layer of the granola at the bottom of the jar.
  4. Layer the granola with a layer of the berry jam.
  5. Layer the berry jam with the banana date yogurt.
  6. Repeat the layering process beginning with granola and ending with the yogurt until the glass is almost filled.
  7. Slice the remaining banana half and place on top of the parfait.
  8. Sprinkle with remaining granola.


Sand Tarts

From as early as I can remember, Christmas has always been a holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus around the table with family.

One of my most cherished memories is learning how to make Christmas cookies with my grandma, my “Mamaw.”

She has a bullet list of Christmas cookies that she makes each year, including Rum Balls, Spritz Cookies, and my all time favorite….Sand Tarts.

Or wait….Sand Tarts can also be called Italian Wedding Cookies, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, Butterballs and/or Snow Balls.

Whatever the name you prefer, don’t worry…the cookie is exactly the same.


Basically, it’s a crisp cookie shaped into a little ball, made w/ powdered sugar & pecans, baked, and covered in more powdered sugar.


They are absolutely sinful.


Plus, they are a perfect addition to your Christmas dessert table.


Go make them now!



Sand Tarts
Recipe type: Cookies/Christmas Cookies
Cuisine: American/Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18-20
Cookies baked until crispy, made with powdered sugar & studded with pecans, and rolled into additional powdered sugar for a melt in your mouth sweet treat. Gluten-free, vegan.
  • ½ c. coconut oil, at room temperature
  • ⅓ c. powdered sugar, sifted, plus more for rolling
  • ½ t. pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ c. oat flour, sifted
  • 1 T. coconut flour
  • 2 T. arrowroot powder
  • a good pinch of salt
  • ½ c. pecan pieces
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted w/ a paddle attachment, cream together the coconut oil and powdered sugar until well combined.
  3. Add vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. Add in the oat flour, coconut flour, arrowroot, and salt and mix until just combined, making sure not to over mix.
  5. Fold in the pecan pieces using a spatula.
  6. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop the dough into small balls and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake 15-17 minutes, or until the cookie is lightly golden brown.
  8. Let the cookies cool slightly on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.
  9. Roll each cookie in sifted powdered sugar. Let the cookies sit for 20 minutes and then roll them into the powdered sugar again.
  10. Devour.


Double Toasted Coconut Butter Cups

Guess who finished their Christmas shopping yesterday?

Guess who banged their Christmas shopping out in one day and still managed to buy a pretty shirt for herself?

This guuuuuuurl right here.

Every year I wait until the last minute to buy for the most important person…my mom.

She always puts so much into Christmas and I feel like she deserves the world.

The world will have to wait because all I can afford is a few gift certificates 😉

Anyway, I cannot wait for Christmas Day, my entire Italian family is getting together for a big shin-dig at my parents house.

It’s going to be so much fun.

Not to mention, there is going to be a ton of food.

Oh, and let’s not even mention the mile long dessert table.

Sometimes people just want something light for dessert.


That’s where these little sweet treats come into play.


Can you say clean eating?


Y’all know my favorite thing is coconut.


Let’s double the coconut fun, shall we?


Basically, it’s a layer of coconut butter


topped with a layer of toasted coconut butter + maple syrup.


It’s just that simple.


Maybe you need something this simple to snack on while you are cooking your Christmas feast.


I can always just send you some via mail, but seriously…


so simple.

Double Toasted Coconut Butter Cups
Recipe type: Snack, Healthy Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
Toasted coconut, maple syrup, and creamy coconut butter come together to make the perfect healthy sweet treat. Gluten-free, paleo, nut-free, and vegan.
  • ¾ c. coconut butter, slightly melted
  • 1 packet of Truvia sugar substitute or 1 t. granulate stevia
  • 1 c. unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 T. pure maple syrup
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut butter and truvia until smooth.
  2. Line a 12 cup mini muffin tin with silicone non-stick liners.
  3. Fill the bottom of each mini muffin cups with the coconut butter mixture, filling ½ full.
  4. Place the cups in the freezer for 10 minutes or until hardened.
  5. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Place the coconut flakes on the baking sheet and bake for 5-6 minutes or until toasted.
  7. Let the coconut cool slightly.
  8. Place the toasted coconut into a large food processor and process until a silky, smooth butter forms. The mixture should be pretty drippy in texture. This takes about 3-4 minutes.
  9. Stir in the maple syrup.
  10. Take the cups out of the freezer and top the remaining half of each cup with the toasted coconut butter mixture.
  11. Freeze for an additional 10 minutes or until hardened.
  12. Serve at room temperature.


Jalapeno Cornbread & the Essential Paleo Cookbook

Happy Wednesday y’all!

Christmas is fast approaching.

I hope you have all of your Christmas shopping nearly finished.

If you’re like me, you have a big P for procrastination written across your forehead.

One thing I do have under control is my Christmas menu.

Bring on the pies, turkey, meatballs, pasta, stuffing, etc. etc.

Enough about me…check out this guest post from Louise at

I’m pretty sure you are going to love this recipe.  Louise also just released her new cookbook, which comes with some amazing recipes and a bunch of awesome bonuses – click here to check it out! Let’s just say I’m pretty stoked about all of the delicious recipes in her book, oh, and the recipe featured here.

Here’s Louise…

One time, before Jeremy (my husband) and I were Paleo, we were in Georgia visiting Jeremy’s mom. We decided to make cornbread that day, and we made a “Mexican” version that we found in a recipe online. It was the best cornbread we’d ever had.

So if you’re wondering why anybody made a Paleo Jalapeño Corn Bread Recipe, now you know.

We’ve made this recipe several times since then, mostly when we’re having someone over for dinner, and it’s pretty much always the dish that empties first.

If you are anything like me or Louise, there is always room for cornbread on the table. You should probably make it to go with your Christmas feat.

Period. End.

Jalapeno Corn Bread 

Jalapeño Corn Bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins

Serving Size: 2 muffins


  • ¾ cup (90 g) almond flour
  • ¼ cup (30 g) coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons (9 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
  • 2 Tablespoons (42 g) raw honey
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup (120 ml) coconut milk
  • 3 jalapeño peppers, diced


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (177 C).
  2. Grease muffin pan with coconut oil or use muffin liners or silicone muffin pan.
  3. Mix together all ingredients well in a large bowl.
  4. Pour the batter into the muffin pan.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.


  • Almond milk can be used instead of coconut milk.
  • Another Paleo sugar can be used instead of raw honey.

About Louise Hendon

Louise is the co-founder of and author of the Essential Paleo Cookbook.  Apart from cooking a little too often, she really loves hiking and playing with her Shih Tzu named Karma.


Gingerbread Spice Cookies and The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

Happy Monday y’all.

How was the weekend?

It’s pretty much been like 70 degrees here everyday.


I need snow, I need hot chocolate, I need coffee w/ whipped cream, Christmas cookies, and Christmas carols without 90% humidity.

Ok, glad I got that out of my system.

Let’s talk coooooookies.

Once again, I have participated in the annual The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap hosted by Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil and Julie of The Little Kitchen.


This year I gave and received cookies from three special food bloggers, Alyssa from Simply Quinoa, Stacy from Paleo Gone Sassy , and Wendy from Around My Family Table.

I just love participating in this cookie swap.

It’s extremely old-fashioned, and I love keeping holiday traditions alive.

It also gives me the chance to discover new food blogging friends.

The cookie swap makes me feel apart of a big family as I’m able to share my recipes with others, as well as receive some scrumptious cookies.

I mean seriously, it really gets me into the Christmas spirit.

Oh, not to mention the best part, every participant in the cookie swap donates $5 to Cookies for Kids’Cancer.

So, not only do you get to eat delicious cookies, but you get to help sick children, which is the ultimate reward.

Pretty awesome, right?

My first batch of cookies was from Stacy, who sent me Rum Cookies, filled w/ dried fruit and spiced with all the flavors of Christmas.


My second package was from Alyssa, who fittingly sent me the best Chocolate Brownie Quinoa Cookies, they were super fudge-like, and had a bit of crispiness to the center, with each bite.


Last, but not least, Wendy must have read my mind because she sent me her Fudgy Peanut Butter Cookies…ummmm she had me at peanut butter.


Now, let’s talk about the cookies that I made.


I’m all about that gingerbread, people!


Y’all…this gingerbread train is one that you want to get it.


These cookies are made with a silky, deep, thick, sticky dark molasses and spiced with ginger, cinnamon, and…


and all the flavors of Christmas.


Then, to top them off…


a vanilla bean frosting.


Did I mention that these cookies are nut-free (with an option to use a nut butter if you wish), made with coconut butter?

Oh, and they are gluten-free, paleo, and vegan!


Now, that’s a Christmas cookie that everyone can enjoy.



Gingerbread Spice Cookies w/ Vanilla Bean Frosting
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
Crispy edges, with a chewy center, these gingerbread spice cookies are perfect for the holiday season. Top with a vanilla bean coconut butter glaze and devour! Gluten-free, paleo, vegan, nut-free.
  • For the cookies:
  • 1 flax egg (1 T. ground flaxseed meal + 3 T. water) (if you don't want vegan cookies, replace with 1 large egg, at room temperature)
  • ¾ c. coconut butter, slightly melted (you could also use your choice of nut/seed butter)
  • 1 T. coconut oil, at room temperature
  • 3 T. molasses
  • ½ c. coconut sugar
  • ½ t. pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ t. ground cinnamon
  • ½ t. ground ginger
  • ¼ t. ground cloves
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • ¾ t. salt
  • For the vanilla bean frosting:
  • 2 T. coconut butter, melted
  • 1 T. pure maple syrup
  • 1 t. coconut oil
  • ½ t. vanilla bean paste
  1. For the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flaxseed meal + water and let sit for 5 minutes to thicken.
  4. Stir in the coconut butter, coconut oil, molasses, coconut sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
  5. Add in the spices, baking powder, and salt and mix until just combined.
  6. Using a small cookie scoop, drop the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 9-11 minutes, or until lightly golden.
  7. Let the cookies cool completely.
  8. For the frosting, mix together all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl until smooth.
  9. Top each cookie with about 1 teaspoon of the frosting and spread over the cookie evenly.