Today is a guest post recipe from another fabulous blogger friend of mine. She was kind enough to give me this amazing recipe to post and I hope you enjoy it too! Happy Holidays!!!
Ahhh December- the season of deserts and sweet treats every day. It’s never too early to bite into a Christmas treat this month- one of the best parts of this time of year. I adore the variety of baked goods all around, and the delightful smell fresh baked items bring. Behind each crafted desert is somebody who dedicated time and attention to make these sweet holiday treats. Speaking of deserts and baking, when I think about my baking, it has evolved greatly over the years. Where I once spent time baking Reese’s Bars from a box, today my baking has morphed into something much different.
All starting from a 40-day elimination…
Every year come lent, I challenge myself to give something up. 6 years back, I remember lent quite well, as for the first time ever I gave up sweets. Let me say- this was a true challenge for me, as my sweet tooth was in overdrive! I was addicted to sweets- most sweets in sight.
At the time, I had 3 candy addictions: Dots, Candy Corn, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I have many memories eating handfuls of these items throughout many days- and even after dinner at night. It was not out of the ordinary for my body to experience the standard sugar high….then not long after that the sugar crash. Bouncing back and forth, I finally decided I would take a temporary break from sweets (little did I know that temporary break would be one step in a life diet change).
After about 40 days sweet free, I surprised myself when Easter hit and I didn’t want to eat any candy…sugar alone wasn’t something my body “needed” anymore. It was at this moment, I experienced one step towards my clean-eating lifestyle. I knew I still wanted to eat sweet foods, but in a healthy way. Inspired by many people around me, my research began. I read book after book, and was intrigued to learn more about how bodies metabolize sugar, and even how to craft all sorts of healthy recipes (using real & raw ingredients, but still are packed with powerful taste). It was right around this time somewhere 6 years ago in which my healthy recipe and food obsession was born. I quickly learned I CAN still eat sweet- and darn good sweets- cookies, cakes, doughnuts- that are actually healthy for you (yes, healthy).
Baked goods are my favorite staple holiday treats- this season wouldn’t be what it is today without loads of fresh baked items everywhere! My go to recipe lately (including this Christmas season) has been Cheesecake Berry Bites. I find these delightful treats to be a nice mix in the traditional baked goods bunch, and the color to match the holiday. Each bite is actually healthy, and in total, take about 15 minutes to make. Perfect!
Paleo Cheesecake Bites (serves approximately 12)
- 2 cups almonds
- 2 cups dates
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted) — we use this kind
- 4 cups cashews
- 1/4 cup real maple syrup or honey
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
- 1 container of strawberries
- Lightly coat a muffin tin pan with coconut oil and set aside. (note: you can use a 12-cup muffin tin, or a mini muffin tin for smaller deserts)
- To make your crust: mix all of the crust ingredients into a food processor. Once mixed together finely, spread into the muffin tin (I use my hands to do this)
- To make the filling: mix together the cashews, agave, and coconut oil in a food processor. Once mixed, add in the strawberries. Once all mixed, spread on top of the crust
- Place sliced strawberries on the top. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes
- Serve and enjoy!
(note: keep stored in the refrigerator. OPTIONAL: you can add a small amount of peppermint extract– to the filling mixture to give a seasonal flavor.)
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