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Peanut butter is hands-down one of my comfort foods, but you add chocolate to the mix and it’s a soul-soother through and through. There’s no denying that sweets are the first thing I will reach for when I am stressed, tired, or sad so portion control is a huge win while whipping up something quick to satisfy my craving.
Enter this chocolate chip cookie cake..it was incredibly quick with melty dark chocolate chips and a hearty peanut butter punch, and I was transported to my foodie world where I found a little peace amongst the current chaos. While my world is changing in my personal life, job and my environment, I returned to the kitchen to find a little solace and peace. Chocolate and cookies have some magical healing powers 🙂
For this month’s reveal for the Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned Rachel’s blog The Avid Appetite. She describes herself as “an avid food lover, pop culture fanatic, & jersey city enthusiast” while rockin’ a job and being a full-time mom and wife. I was set on making her Greek Layer Dip but couldn’t resist this Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie Cake for One when dessert was on my brain. I’ll soon be trying this layered dip along with her drool-worthy Caramelized Potato and Parsnip Tart when cooler weather arrives and Gooey Chocolate Marshmallow Oat Bars that are reminiscent of indoor s’mores. Delish!
This cookie is very filling from the nut butter and oats and can be adjusted to suit your dietary preferences if needed, so there’s bonus points for adaptability! I made a few swaps to suit my allergies by using oat flour instead of wheat, coconut palm sugar for the Splenda and vanilla powder in lieu of extract. I threw in a pinch of sea salt and reduced the baking powder to 1/8 tsp as well. What a treat, I loved this cookie cake, thanks Rachel!
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie for One (lightly adapted from the Avid Appetite)
Gluten-free, Grain-free option, Dairy-free, Refined-sugar free, Quick, Vegetarian, Vegan Option, Nut-free Option
1/2 Tbsp oat flour (or your favorite gluten-free blend or for grain-free/paleo substitute nut or seed flour)
1 Tbsp coconut palm sugar (or your favorite granulated sweetener)
2 Tbsp nut or seed butter* (I used crunchy peanut butter)
1 tbsp liquid egg whites or 3/4 tsp Ener-G egg replacer + 1 Tbsp water for egg-free (I have yet to try a chia or flax egg)
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp vanilla extract or 1/8 tsp vanilla powder
Tiny pinch of sea salt
1 Tbsp non-dairy dark chocolate chips or chocolate chunks
coconut oil for greasing
1. In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for chocolate chips/chunks.
2. Mix with a rubber spatula or spoon until well combined.
3. Gently stir in the chocolate chips and form a little mound with the dough.
4. On a microwave-safe dish, grease with coconut oil. Transfer the dough ball onto the dish and flatten into a patty. Microwave for 40-45 seconds depending on your microwave. Enjoy!
*I used crunchy peanut butter for the nut butter but you can use almond butter, cashew butter or hazelnut butter for paleo or substitute sunflower seed butter if you have a nut-allergy.
Smoothies are an everyday must-have for me…99% of the time I start my day with a large glass of blended goodness (aka energy surge in a jar), mmmm!
I find that kicking off the morning with a smoothie or fresh juice is easiest on my tummy. Not only does it rev-up my digestion for the remainder of the day, it also squelches my hunger for a couple hours when I have time to eat a more solid meal and ensures that I have at least one nutrient-packed, high-quality meal no matter what the day throws at me.
Oh you know, the days when you plan on cooking that new elaborate dish you’ve been eyeing for a while…but (after a longer day than you anticipated), you wind up eating a couple scrambled eggs over quinoa for dinner…or a bowl of popcorn and a leftover energy bar from your purse. Yep, I have had more days recently like the latter than I’d like to admit.
I also realized it had been quite some time since I had posted a drink or smoothie recipe, so when I was assigned Rebekah’s lovely blog Making Miracles for the February’s Secret Recipe Club post…I chose her Hemp Chocolate Protein Shake for this month’s reveal, I was so excited to come across this recipe!
I had a giant bag of hemp seeds from Costco in my fridge calling my name and I was craving something sweet and chocolatey, yet simple…wa-la! This shake was a delicious change from my go-to blueberry-Maca blend I’ve been making…so much so that I craved this nutty-cacao smoothie the next morning too 🙂
I tried to stay true to Rebekah’s recipe…I couldn’t help but add my usual handful of baby greens (kale/chard/spinach) and I wound up soaking the hemp hearts, dates and water in the fridge the night before to soften the dates a bit. The next morning all I had to do was add the remaining ingredients and blend…Breakfast on the go!
Just a few perks about Hemp Seeds in case you need a little nutritional nudge:
- REWARD YOUR TASTE BUDS: Hemp hearts are delicious, they are nutty, often compared to sunflower seed or pine nuts… only better! Sprinkle on salads, cereal, quinoa, rice, roasted veggies, yogurt, add to smoothies, muffins, breads and other recipes…or eat a spoonful straight from the bag.
- REWARD YOUR BRAIN: Your brain has many of the fatty acids found in bulk Super Hemp. Regular consumption may help improve your memory. Super Hemp seeds may also help symptoms of anxiety and depression while improving your mood.
- REWARD YOUR WEIGHT LOSS: Super Hemp is a natural appetite suppressant making you feel full longer. Adding just four tablespoons of hemp seed to your meal can reduce your food cravings significantly. You will also feel more energy which can help you power through workouts and other activities to lose weight.
- REWARD YOUR HEART AND LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE: Super Hemp seeds contain essential fatty acids that help reduce blood cholesterol. This keeps the heart healthy and also prevents plaque buildup in your arteries. Super Hemp fatty acids also reduce inflammation that can cause high blood pressure and poor blood circulation.
- REWARD YOUR DIGESTIVE TRACT: Super Hemp provides high amounts of both insoluble and soluble fibers which keep your digestive tract healthy and clean. Super Hemp contains plant sterols and antioxidants helping reduce risk of colon, breast and prostate concerns. Super Hemp does NOT contain oligosaccharides such as found in soy, which often causes stomach upset and gas.
Intrigued? Give this shake a shot!
Hemp Chocolate/Cacao Protein Shake (slightly adapted from Making Miracles)
(Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Fruit-Sweetened, Refined Sugar-free, Primal, Nut-free, Egg-free)
1 cup cold filtered water
1 cup ice cubes
1 banana, cut into chunks (or use frozen for a colder, thicker textured shake / smoothie)
1/2 cup raw hemp seeds/ hemp hearts
2-4 pitted dates, depending taste (I used two but increase if you prefer sweeter)
1-2 Tbsp raw cacao powder or cocoa powder, to taste
Handful or fresh leafy greens (such as baby spinach, kale, and/or chard), optional but for added nutrition
5 minute prep Directions
- Blend water, ice, banana, hemp seeds, dates (remove any pits), and cocoa powder together in a blender until smooth.
- Enjoy immediately, refrigerate any leftovers.
Plan-ahead soaking method Directions
- The night before, combine hemp seeds, dates and water in a jar. Refrigerate overnight.
- When you are ready to make your smoothie, add hemp/date/water mixture to blender container. Add ice, banana, cacao/cocoa powder and greens. Blend until smooth.
- Enjoy immediately, refrigerate any leftovers.
To start, I would like to thank the beautiful Kammie over at Sensual Appeal for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award! I am thrilled and completely honored to be listed amongst many other fabulous blogs. If I could, I would nominate Kammie right back, she has an amazing new blog with tons of gorgeous photos and healthy recipes, go check her out! 🙂
You may be asking, what is the Versatile Blogger Award? I hadn’t heard of it until yesterday and discovered ”It is a great way to introduce different bloggers to each other and to promote quality blogs that awardees and their readers may not have discovered otherwise.”
Ever since I started Natural Noshing, I’ve come across tons of amazing blogs and the incredible people behind them. The following 15 are ones I follow on a regular basis and can’t wait to see they are about to post next. So here we go, in no particular order the following are blogs that I am nominating are:
- TexanErin Baking – Erin’s blog is gorgeous, her photos are impeccable and she seems so sweet that I want to giver her a giant hug. Her blog is packed with amazing recipes and while not all are gluten free, they are either whole grain or health-ified in some way.
- Fork and Beans – I can’t say enough about this spunky and super fun blog and the amazing woman behind the creativity. If you’ve followed me for awhile, it’s no doubt you have seen her name before…Cara’s blog focuses on gluten free and vegan goodies and will make you feel like a kid again while encouraging you to play with your food. Not to mention she is one of the most inspiring, kind and real people I’ve ever met.
- Food Doodles – first off, I love the name of Heidi’s blog and it completely fits her site and all her creative recipes! Heidi aims at making healthy food for her two kiddos while encouraging her hubby to eat more veggies along the way. While not all recipes are gluten free, most are easily adaptable for my needs and Im constantly drooling over her recipes and photos!
- The Healthy Foodie – If I could live in one person’s mind for a week (scary thought?), it would be Sonia’s – she is extremely talented with her innovative, healthy recipes and her photos will knock your socks off. Talk about food porn, this blog has that description written all over it and she constantly inspires me in the kitchen.
- SpaBettie – Kristina is the master of “clean eating and fun movement balanced with the right amount of indulgence” as her blog so perfectly states. She comes up with chef-worthy concoctions that always leave me wanting more, plus most are gluten free and/or vegan. I am not a veggie but she might just convince me that I could give up meat.
- Cravings Gone Clean – I’m always excited to see what enticing yet clean recipes Lauren will come up with next. Lauren is a personal trainer and studying to be a nutritionist too so she shares healthy AND yummy recipes that won’t make you feel deprived!
- Chockohlawtay – talk about tempting, healthy desserts, Jessica’s blog will make you want to eat dessert all day long! Fantastic photos accompany healthy and higher protein desserts, and many are gluten free.
- Healthful Pursuit – Leanne is a rockstar in the kitchen and she’s no stranger to the blogosphere. Her blog includes beautiful photos of all her allergen-free recipes plus she has a ton of knowledge as a holistic nutritionist so she explains her food choices. I’d love to pick her creative brain — I would eat at her house every day if she’d let me.
- Pinch of Yum – The name says it all. I love the humor in Lindsay’s blog and I can only imagine she is as fun in person as she is through her posts. Another 100% drool-worthy blog that has both indulgent and lighter choices depending on her mood…her photos are flawless. And she loves pugs.
- Tasty Yummies – Beth’s blog is full of healthy gluten free and vegetarian recipes – all of her stuff looks so good!
- Vanilla and Spice – I came across Genevieve’s blog a couple months ago and couldn’t stop looking through her vegetarian recipes – innovative, clean and delicious! My eyes glazed over when I saw all her gorgeous recipes, plus one of her favorite ingredients is peanut butter (my food love).
- Fridge Scrapings – Lou’s blog is full of surprises, wit and creative recipes. She comes up with delicious concoctions in the kitchen while feeding her family on a budget. I bet she is a blast to hang out with too.
- Colourful Palate – Charissa’s sweet nature shines through on her blog, not to mention she has a passion for fitness, health and delicious recipes. I love her tagline, ” To me, balanced living is chocolate on whole wheat toast”. Too cute.
- In Pursuit of More – Shira’s blog looks and sounds like a book of poetry – it’s soothing, lovely and a breath of fresh air. She describes herself as a “I’m just a girl on a journey. A journey to finding more with less.” Simply but beautiful put, just like her recipes and photos.
- The Vegan Chickpea – I discovered Caitlin’s blog a few months ago and really enjoy it! She is always coming up with amazing vegan and gluten free recipes that make me want to jump in the kitchen.
Now, here are some fun facts about me:
- I am adopted and was on a plane when I was only a couple days old.
- If I could wear exercise pants/capris for the rest of my life, I totally would.
- BBQ chips are my nemesis – I got sick in middle school at a sleepover and to this day I can’t stand the smell, yet I do love BBQ cuisine.
- I would love to backpack the whole Appalachian Trail. I’ve only hiked one 1-week section and it was incredible.
- My first car was a yellow Ford Escape. I still miss that car to this day.
- I don’t like to shower (don’t worry I do, I just don’t like to)
- I consume handfuls AND spoonfuls of nuts and nut butter daily – giant servings still don’t satisfy my cravings
According to VBA, I must repost the “official rules” for those of you I’ve mentioned if you haven’t already been nominated!
- Thank the person who gave you this award.
- Include a link to their blog.
- Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
- Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
- Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.
- In the same post, include this set of rules.
- Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs
I had to steal that tagline from my dad, he always comes up with funny sayings and I couldn’t help but use it 🙂
It’s been awhile since I have given you an update our our new frozen yogurt store and I apologize for that –duty calls and I have been a bit pre-occupied! I have to admit, I have seriously missed blogging, creating new recipes and of course, all of you lovely readers but I haven’t exactly had much time to think about much else than our little business 🙂
The Frozen Moose officially opened on Valentine’s Day. We passed the health inspection the day before and rushed to get the dining area ready, the kitchen stocked and the machines full of yogurt for opening day.
The last two weeks have been a blur to say the least but I do not have one regret. I have never eaten so much frozen yogurt in my life, never worked so hard for anything and never been so proud of how far we have come. Though the first two weeks have been pedal-to-the-metal, fast-paced and very sleep deprived, our business is flourishing, yogurt is being sold and we are receiving positive feedback on our Facebook page! I am more than thrilled with the support from our families, the fabulous community of Helena and my hard-working employees. Without a doubt, Chris and I are convinced that Helena is the perfect place for our store and we know deep down that this is where we are supposed to be. That’s a good feeling 🙂
Business was slow the first few days but picked up gradually until we hit full speed last weekend! We encountered a few minor hiccups such as running out of change in the register and machines running slow and running extremely low on yogurt but overall the first week went fairly smoothly.
Here are a few more photos of the store….