Chewy Peanut Butter Cacao Brownies

 Sometimes I just get these ideas in my head.

But then, snap, they are gone in an instant.

It’s almost like when you are dreaming and wake up and say to yourself, “Wow, that was a pretty crazy dream, I better remember that,” but then you have forgotten it by the time you wake up in the morning.

Luckily, I have gotten better at making notes of my ideas.

This one was a pretty good idea.


 Then again, I’m 100% positive that peanut butter and chocolate are a great idea.


Smash-bang brownie!


These brownies were a total shot in the dark.


They turned out super chewy on the inside, with a slightly crisp top.


Plus, they are completely flour-less.


Oh, and I added a thin glaze of coconut butter.


Chewy Peanut Butter Cacao Brownies
Recipe type: Dessert, Brownies
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
A dense, flour-less, chewy peanut butter cacao brownies made without flour! Gluten-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free.
  • 8 oz. bag cacao nibs
  • 1 c. smooth peanut butter, (I used all-natural)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ c. pure maple syrup
  • ½ t. salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 in. square baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Place the cacao nibs in a large food processor and process on high until a cacao like flour forms.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, egg, vanilla, maple syrup, and salt until smooth.
  4. Stir in the cacao flour until combined.
  5. Spread the brownie mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Cut into squares and serve!



I’m pretty sure I have an allergy to almonds.

I figured this out when I gave up peanut butter for lent and started eating almond butter like I was a starved child.

Not so clever now are ya, Chels?

Anyway, the stuff gives me an itchy throat, leaves me bloated, and swollen in my stomach and legs.

What gives?

So, I took myself off of it and switched to sunflower seed butter.


Every time I think of sunflower seeds, one person comes to mind, my uncle/godfather.


The man is a sunflower seed addict.


I’m talking sunflower seed kernels on the floor board of his car.


Don’t judge him.


Being the frugal person that I am, I decided to make my own.


Because obviously there is gold inside a $12 jar of sunflower seed butter.


Oh, and I added my own “chocolate” concoction.


Only because I’m pretty awesome like that.




Oh, and because these sunflower seed butter companies need to get on my level.


Y’all…insanely creamy.


That’s all.

Chocolate Sunflower Butter
Recipe type: Snack, Spread, Seed Butter
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20
Toasted sunflower seeds get pulverized to form a creamy seed butter, swirled w/ a chocolate cacao mixture, and a hint of sea salt. Gluten-free, vegan, paleo, refined sugar-free, nut-free.
  • 2 c. raw, unsalted sunflower seeds, unshelled
  • 1 t. melted coconut oil
  • 1 t. cacao powder
  • ¼ t. pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ t. sea salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Spread the sunflower seeds evenly out on the baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden, tossing the seeds halfway through the baking process.
  4. Let the seeds cool for about 5 minutes.
  5. Place the seeds in a large food processor and process on high until the seeds begin to break down and form a creamy butter.
  6. This takes about 5-8 minutes, and you may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go.
  7. In a small bowl, combine the melted coconut oil & cacao powder, mixing until smooth.
  8. Stir the cacao mixture and sea salt into the sunflower butter mixture and mix until combined.
  9. Serve spread on a piece of toast, muffin, or drizzled over fresh fruit and yogurt.


Rest in Pancakes.

I spent half the day on Sunday mourning Paul Walker’s death.

Yes. He is a celebrity.

But he is also a human being.

Celebrity or not.

I have been watching Paul Walker movies since jr. high school.

I’m pretty sure he was my first crush, even when he played the “bro-like, obnoxious character” alongside Freddie P. Jr. in “She’s All That.”

But he was more than just an actor.

Paul was the founder of Reach Out Worldwide, a charity dedicated to helping those who have been affected by natural disasters.

As someone who is pursuing a second degree in the healthcare field, I find it absolutely heroic that any ordinary person would give their time as a first responder.

Not only was he selfless, Paul lived life to the fullest.

As much as I want to live life to the fullest, I find it an every day struggle.

I don’t necessarily make up excuses, it’s more of a “afraid to follow my true dreams” thing.

I’m sick of worrying about what other people will think.

I yearn to be care free like Paul and so many others, care free to actually draw outside the lines and be myself.

On Monday night, I watched a video of Paul’s father who spoke through tears about how brave and generous of a person his son was.

The thing that touched me most was that Paul’s father spoke about his last conversation with Paul, which didn’t focus on the film industry, but what Paul had planned for his future, his dreams, goals, and spending more time with his daughter.

In tears, I tried to understand how a person with a heart of gold could be taken from earth so soon.

I started brainstorming for ideas on what I could do to step outside of my box, to pursue my dreams.

No more worrying. Full speed ahead.

My heart is with Paul Walker, Roger Rodas, and their families in this time of grief.

Not to mention, on Monday night I also found out that my second cousin passed away from liver cancer.

It’s been a rough start to my week.

Let’s eat some feel good food.

Pancakes always make me feel better.

They are true Americana.


These are the simplest pancakes you can make.


Oh, and they are made just for one.


These are the kind of pancakes that keep you company during a “lazy, cozy, stay in your pajamas all day Sunday” spent watching a Fast and Furious marathon.


These are also the kind of pancakes that will heal an aching heart.



These pancakes are a simple delight.


Heavy amounts of butter and maple syrup are encouraged. 🙂


Buckwheat Pumpkin Pancakes w/ Cacao Nibs
Recipe type: Breakfast, Pancakes
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
Light, fluffy, pumpkin pancakes made rustic w/ the use of buckwheat flour. Sweetened w/ a touch of maple syrup and dotted w/ cacao nibs.
  • ½ c. canned pure pumpkin puree
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 t. pure maple syrup, plus more for topping
  • 2 T. buckwheat flour
  • 1 t. pumpkin pie spice
  • ⅛th t. baking soda
  • 1 T. cacao nibs, plus more for sprinkling
  1. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium low heat. Grease w/ cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together.
  3. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Drop the batter by rounded tablespoons onto the skillet.
  5. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the underside of the pancake is lightly golden, then flip and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  6. Plate and serve topped w/ extra cacao nibs and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 161.7 Fat: .3g Carbohydrates: 20.9g Sugar: 5.2g Fiber: 4.3g Protein: 12.9g


Protein Police.

I’m addicted to chips.

Kale chips, that is.

I nearly had a heart attack the other day when my local health foods store was out of my fave flavor.

I’m so pathetic I have even gone as far as to order some of my kale chips off Amazon.

I even had Whole Foods special order them from me.

A 12-bag box isn’t even enough.

I’ve also been addicted to nut butters lately…surprise, surprise.

I’m always addicted to them.

Especially peanut butter.

But lately…almond butter too.

Kill me now.

It’s good protein, right?

So, five spoons worth won’t hurt, right?

Let’s make cookies w/ this stuff.

Makes me feel a little better about my addiction.

Because somehow substituting cookies for almond butter makes sense…?!

Oh well.


You know how I feel about cookies.


You know I put some coconut up in there too.

Hello, new to me product.


This stuff is ammmmmazing. Seriously, just ground hemp seeds.

Totally paleo.


Boom chaka-laka.

Coconut Cacao Protein Cookies.


Oh yes, you know it…it’s been said…and brought.


These babies are slightly chocolatey w/ a nutty almond flavor, wrapped in coconut…


perfect pre or post-workout or “I love to sit on the couch and watch re-runs of Summerland on Youtube” snack.


But I don’t know anyone who does that. 😉

5.0 from 2 reviews
Coconut Cacao Protein Cookies
Recipe type: Snack, Cookie
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 21
Tender and slightly crispy cookies packed w/ coconut, cacao powder, almond butter, and hemp protein for the perfect snack. Paleo, gluten-free, vegan, and refined sugar-free.
  • ½ c. coconut flour
  • 2 T. hemp protein powder
  • 2 T. cacao powder
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • ½ t. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ t. salt
  • 4 packets of granulated stevia (you could also use a couple of drops of liquid stevia or about 2 t. coconut sugar)
  • 2 T. ground flaxseed meal + 4 T. water (mix together let sit for 10 minutes)
  • 2 T. unsweetened, shredded coconut (plus more for rolling)
  • 1 T. pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ c. unsalted, roasted almond butter
  • ¾ c. unsweetened, vanilla almond milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. Add in the flax mixture, coconut, vanilla, almond butter, and almond milk, stirring until a big round ball of dough forms.
  4. Using your hands, roll the dough into 1-in. round balls, roll each ball into shredded coconut, and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly golden.
  6. Let cool completely on the baking sheet.

Nutritional Facts (per cookie ball (1/21)): Calories: 55.5, Total Fat: 3.1g, Sodium: 92.5mg, Potassium: 32.3mg, Total Carb: 4.9g, Dietary Fiber: 2.8g, Sugars: 0.6g, Protein: 2g


Secret Recipe Club

It’s that time again people.

Secret Recipe Club time. MMMMMMhm.

I can’t even tell you how excited I’ve been to share this recipe with you. I made it last week, so ya know I have just been itching for this reveal.

This month’s recipe comes from Allison, or Alli, over at Alli-n-Son, mother to two sons, and a lover of all things chocolate.

I just loooooove Alli’s site…so colorful and organized! Can ya tell she was a graphic designer in her past life? Anyone need a blog design? She is your gal!

It was sooooo hard to choose from all of Alli’s delicious looking recipes. However, I noticed a trend with a few of Alli’s recipes…woman loves her Nutella. I mean, she is addicted to chocolate, so naturally, this makes sense. I am gradually becoming a chocolate lover myself and in my college years, definitely dabbled in my fair share of Nutella eating. Nothing needed…just me and a spoon…maybe a couch and some trash t.v.

I have always wanted to make my own Nutella, sooooo I figured this would be the perfect opportunity. 🙂

Enter Alli’s recipe for homemade Nutella.


I got all fancy and roasted my own hazelnuts.


Really, it was only because I couldn’t find pre-roasted hazelnuts at the store.


I fully encourage laziness when it comes to roasting nuts, however; if you can’t find them at the store…do it the old fashioned way…yourself 🙂


The hazelnut skin will literally fall right off after roasting.

So simple.


Seriously…homemade nut butter is always the best.

No matter what.


I seriously could have just eaten this stuff right out of the bowl.


Real talk.


Things only got better with the addition of all this good stuff.


This Nutella is the real deal.


It knocks the store-bought stuff out of the park.


Plus, it’s made with all of these whole some ingredients.


No additives, preservatives, etc. etc.


The etc. etc. part is usually the stuff that I can’t pronounce on the label.


Trust me, there is no turning back on this one.


I slather this stuff on anything I can get my hands on.


I might make a couple of suggestions: spread on toast and top with strawberries, a swirl in your oatmeal, as a frosting for a cupcake…? Yea, the sky is the limit.


Oh yea, it’s gluten-free,




vegan, and refined sugar-free.


Remember, all you need is a spoon. 🙂

5.0 from 1 reviews
Recipe type: Nut Butter, Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 cups
All of the things you love about Nutella, but homemade, and healthier with roasted hazelnuts, cacao powder, creamy hazelnut milk, and a touch of maple syrup for the perfect sweetness. Gluten-free/vegan/paleo/refined sugar-free.
  • 2 c. unsalted, roasted hazelnuts, skins removed
  • 4 T. raw cacao powder, or cocoa powder
  • ¼ t. fine sea salt
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ c. pure Maple syrup
  • ½ c. hazelnut milk (you can also use unsweetened, vanilla almond milk or another nut milk if preferred)
  1. Place the hazelnuts in a large food processor and process on high until smooth, about 10 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and process on high until smooth and creamy, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Devour.