Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut Butter Cups

Recipes

Peanut Butter Cups were always my Halloween go-to growing up. They were the one candy that I would protect and hide from my father who had a tendency to try and steal some of my Halloween haul. (We had to start buying him his own stash so that he wouldn’t take mine or what was meant for other kids!)

I think it’s the salty-sweet flavour profile of this combination that I loved the most. I use to bite around the edges first to get rid of the extra chocolate and improve the final chocolate to peanut butter ratio.

But ever since starting to make these “healthier” versions of my own at home, I’m totally hooked! I don’t even like the original store-bought any more. I far prefer my own quality dark chocolate and simple ingredients. Plus they’re so easy to make, and probably work out cheaper overall than what you’d get in-store.

What’s great is if you can’t have peanut butter, it’s really easy to substitute with any other sort of nut butter. Or even a sunflower seed butter if you need to stay away from nuts entirely.

What was your favourite Halloween candy growing up? Drop a comment below!


Peanut Butter Cups

Prep Time1 hr
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 8 cups

Ingredients

  • 200 g Dark chocolate
  • 1/4 cup Peanut butter or other nut butter

Instructions

  • Line a muffin tray with 8 liners or use a silicon tray.
  • In a bain-marie over low heat, slowly melt the chocolate, stirring continuously.
  • Once the chocolate is fully melted, pour 1-1.5 tbsp into each of the 8 muffin liners, spreading to completely cover the base. Set aside remaining chocolate.
  • Place tray in freezer for 10 minutes to set.
  • If your nut butter is fairly firm, warm slightly in a second bain-marie over a low heat until it becomes soft, stirring continuously. Do not overheat! It should be soft but not liquid-like.
  • Pour nut butter equally into the 8 cups over the chocolate base. Return tray to freeze for 10 minutes to set.
  • If needed, reheat the chocolate in the bain-marie. Pour remaining chocolate equally over the peanut butter layer.
  • Return tray to freezer for 30 minutes to fully set.
  • Once completely set, remove from tray and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Notes

A bain-marie is a method of cooking using one pot filled slightly with water with a second pot layered on top. The water should not reach the second pot, but the steam will gently heat it and allow the ingredients in the second pot to slowly melt with less chance of burning. If you don't have a nested pot like this, you can use a glass bowl that's base fits in the first, water holding pot.

Bounty Bites

Bounty Bites

Recipes

Bounty chocolate bars were definitely one of my favourite afternoon treats from the vending machine while I was working in my corporate life.

Too bad that consistent afternoon dip was actually a sign from my body that I wasn’t fuelling it properly!

But now that I have these bounty energy bites in my life, I have an easy snack replacement that will give me more energy without the crash that my previous Diet Coke and chocolate bar used to!

The great thing about making these yourself is that you get to control how much sugar goes in for sweetening the bites. I prefer dark chocolate, so I try to keep the extra sugar on the lower side. But if you need little bit more, then make the adjustment!

Just keep in mind that your sweet tooth might be getting boosted by a less than balanced diet. The less your body is used to having overly sweet foods, the sweeter your palate will find foods naturally.

Curious about more ways to fuel your body with proper nutrition for more abundant and consistent energy? 

Join me on Wednesday, November 6th for a free webinar all about fuelling for energy! Click the button below for more info and to register.


Bounty Bites

Chocolate and coconut based enegry balls
Prep Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Servings: 8 balls

Equipment

  • Food Processor or Blender

Ingredients

  • 80 g Cashews
  • 1 cup Shredded coconut
  • 110 g Chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup Coconut oil melted
  • 2 tbsp Cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp Honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Shredded coconut for garnish

Instructions

  • In a food processor or blender start by blending the cashews until a flour is formed.
  • Add remaining ingredients (except 1/4 cup of shredded coconut for garnish) and blend well until a smooth dough is formed.
  • Cover dough and set in fridge for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from fridge and roll into 12 equal-sized balls.
  • Spread the remaining 1/4 cup of shredded coconut in a shallow bowl or plate. Roll the balls in the shredded coconut to coat.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or up to a month in the freezer. Enjoy!

Favourite Healthy Autumn Recipes

Favourite Healthy Autumn Recipes

Recipes

It’s officially fall! The temperatures are dropping, and I don’t know about you but the heat has started to come on in our house in the mornings.

This is hands down my favourite season (and also the time I miss Canada the most – the autumn is just spectacular). I love the crisp mornings but warmer days, the colours of the trees, and even the occassionally rainy day!

Sometimes we head to the southern part of Belgium during this time of the year where nature is a little bit more similar to Canada. More forests with all the changing colours of the leaves that are so peaceful to walk through on a weekend hike. Unfortunately, where we live there just aren’t as many colours once the leaves begin to change.

I love the cozy menus that pop up in restaurants this time of year, as my digestion is definitely craving more warm, filling meals like soups and stews.

It’s time to cozy up with some warm drinks, wholesome food, while still getting to take advantage of loads of fresh, seasonal produce from the market.

(Do you have my free seasonal produce guide already? If not, click here to grab it!)

To help you get started with the season, I’m sharing my favourite autumn recipes from the blog. Whether you’re looking for breakfast, dinner, or just a side dish, I’ve got you covered.

Click on the images below to go straight to the recipe, and enjoy!

Apple Oatmeal Squares

Pancakes with Apple Compote

Breakfast Carrot Cake

Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts

Cauliflower Rice

Cranberry Sauce

Golden Milk Latte

Hassleback Potatoes

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

Spiced Red Cabbage with Apple

Belgian Stoemp with Leek

Breakfast Carrot Cake

Breakfast Carrot Cake

Recipes

Growing up, carrot cake was my absolute favourite type of cake whether it was for birthdays or other celebrations. Except somehow I usually ended up getting chocolate cake, and the carrot cake seemed saved for my mom’s birthday instead. Can’t really complain too much about that, though! (I mean, cake is cake, right?!)

We always used a well-loved cookbook for our carrot cake recipe, and even though I’m not a huge fan of pineapple, it was a not-to-miss ingredient in our cake. Even now I love the twist that it adds to the recipe, giving it an extra bit of moisture and sweetness without the extra oils and added sugar.

I decided I wanted to have carrot cake for breakfast (it seemed like one of those things you just should do), so I needed to refine our family recipe to something a little more balanced – and I’m so happy with the results!

This oatmeal cake variation is everything that is amazing about carrot cake, but you can still happily eat it all week for breakfast. That’s a win for me! The oats make it quite filling so that you don’t need a huge portion, and it will stay with you all morning. Or just have a smaller slice as a snack!

I topped mine with plain cream cheese rather than creating a sugar-filled icing, but you can do whichever you prefer. I’m sure if you google “cream cheese icing” you’ll find plenty of possibilities.

Breakfast Carrot Cake

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Servings: 8

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 1/4 cup oat flour or oats ground using food processor
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
  • 3 eggs large, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups grated carrots packed
  • 3/4 cup pineapple diced
  • 3/4 cup walnuts chopped

Optional

  • 200 g cheese cheese skip for dairy-free

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 160C / 320F. Line a 23x23cm (9x9") baking pan with parchment paper (cut two strips so that the paper continues up the sides of the pan).
  • In a medium bowl, add all the dry ingredients and whisk until well combined.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the maple syrup, coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla until well combined. If you have just melted your coconut oil, allow it to cool before using to ensure you don't cook your eggs!
  • Add in the grated carrots to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix well.
  • Fold in the diced pineapple and chopped walnuts.
  • Pour batter into the baking pan and spread out evenly in the pan.
  • Bake for 40 minutes. (If you test with a toothpick it should come away clean.)
  • Allow to cool, then remove from pan. "Ice" with the cream cheese. Cut into 8 slices and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!
  • You could also skip the creamcheese and freeze the bars instead, only icing them once defrosted and prior to eating.
Vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognese

Vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognese

Recipes

Spaghetti Bolognese is one of those classic dishes that is on a pretty consistent rotation at our house. So in an effort to switch it up, I decided to test out the recipe using lentils instead of ground meat.

Whether you’re vegetarian or just looking to increase plant-based recipes in your repertoire, this one is a winner! 

To be honest you don’t even need to have this with pasta – it’s great on its own like a stew, over roasted broccoli or cauliflower, or with sauteed greens. You could even just swap out the traditional pasta for zucchini noodles instead.

Sometime we steer clear of lentils because of the impression that they take a long time to cook – but these little green ones only need around 25 minutes, which pairs perfectly with the time needed to cook the sauce.

Enjoy!

Vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognese

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Keyword: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 240 g Green Lentils
  • 1 L Vegetable Broth (or chicken broth if not strict vegetarian)
  • 1 large Onion diced
  • 2 large Carrots diced
  • 3 stalks Celery diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil extra virgin
  • 500 mL Tomato Puree
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 400 g Pasta of choice
  • Parmesan Cheese optional, for garnish
  • Fresh Basil optional, for garnish

Instructions

  • Put lentils and broth in a medium sized pot, keeping around 80mL (1/3 cup) of the broth aside. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for around 25 minutes.
  • While the lentils are cooking, in a large frying pan over medium heat warm the olive oil. Add in the onions and cook for several minutes until fragrent.
  • Add the carrots, celery, and garlic to the pan with the onions. Cook, covered, until vegetables are soft, stirring occassionally, around 20-25 minutes.
  • When lentils are cooked, drain, then add to the frying pan with the vegetable mixture.
  • Add the tomato puree and remaining broth to the pan and mix well. Reduce heat to low and let cook, covered, stirring often, while preparing the pasta.
  • Cook pasta following package instructions. When draining, save some of the leftover pasta water.
  • If the sauce is too thick for your liking, stir in the pasta water, 30mL at a time until thin enough (generally no more than 120mL otherwise it could become too diluted).
  • Served with fresh, grated parmesan or fresh basil leaves. Enjoy!

Notes

This dish would be great with zucchini noodles! If using regular pasta be careful not to go overboard with the serving size as, thanks to the lentils, the sauce is very filling.
Summer Garden Salad

Summer Garden Salad

Recipes

This salad is pretty straightforward and simple. I wanted to show you just how easy it can be to throw together a delicious, flavourful salad with easy ingredients that you probably have in your fridge, or maybe even in your garden!

Right now this produce is all in season, and as you may have heard from me before, eating in season means having produce that is more nutrious and full of flavour than its off-season counterparts.

So whether you get your ingredients out of your garden, from the farmers’ market, or the grocery store, I hope you enjoy the fresh taste of summer!

Summer Garden Salad

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Main Course, Salad
Keyword: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Paleo, Salad, Vegetarian
Servings: 2 people

Ingredients

  • 100 g Mixed Greens
  • 1 large Tomato chopped
  • 1/2 Cucumber chopped
  • 12 Raw Green Peas
  • 1 Peach halved, pit removed
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil extra virgin
  • 50 g Goat Cheese
  • 2 portions Protein of Choice salmon, grilled chicken, egg, etc.

Dressing

  • 3 tbsp Olive OIl extra virgin
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • Sea Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Cook your choice of protein. This could be done in advance or while assembling the rest of the salad. (For salmon, season with a dash of sea salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes in a lined baking dish in an oven pre-heated to 180C/360F.)
  • Warm a grill-pan over medium-high heat and brush with olive oil. Grill peach, cut-side down, for 3-5 minutes.
  • In a bowl or airtight jar, combine all dressing ingredients and mix (or shake) well until fully combined.
  • Assemble all salad ingredients over a bed of mixed greens. Top each with 1-2 tbsp of salad dressing. Enjoy!

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