healthy treats

Recipe of the Week - Amazing Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Our family has been on a grain free journey and sadly the ONE thing I had not been able to create without good-ole-fashioned FLOUR was a solid chocolate chip cookie. Until now. These cookies from Amee's Savory Dish were incredibly simple to throw together (even toddler helper friendly). And the taste is incredible. Incredible. They are not chalky, since there is no flour substitute at all, just the nut butter and shredded coconut working magic.

Make them. You will thank me. Well, maybe not after you have eaten all two dozen...

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  Almond Butter Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies from Amee's Savory Dish Adapted From Fast Paleo


  • 1 cup almond butter (love Barney Butter smooth!)
  • 1/3 cup honey (can sub real maple syrup)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Tbsp. almond extract (or can use all vanilla extract) - (Lauren note: I would use all vanilla next time)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (*only add the salt if you are using unsalted almond butter)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2/3 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life brand)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Oil baking sheets or line with parchment paper. 3. Stir together first 7 ingredients. Mix well. Make sure honey is fully incorporated. 4. Add coconut and chocolate chips and mix until well combined. 5. Scoop with a cookie scoop onto cookie sheets. Bake 9-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
Yield: about 20 cookies with a level 2 Tbsp. cookie scoop (Lauren note: I got 24!)

Recipe of the Week - Sweet Potato Brownies


This yummy recipe has been sweeping the internet lately. Who doesn't love a guilt-free brownie?!

Sweet Potato Brownies Prep time: 35 mins Cook time: 30 mins Total time: 1 hour 5 mins Serves: 5-8

Ingredients 1 sweet potato 3 eggs, whisked 1/4 cup Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil, melted 1/3 cup raw honey 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips 3 tablespoons Coconut Flour 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon pinch of salt

Instructions Time to bake that sweet potato. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, use a fork to puncture holes all around it, then throw in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Once your sweet potato is soft and cooked through, peel off the skin and mash it up in a bowl. And turn your oven down to 350 degrees. Now add your wet ingredients: coconut oil, honey, vanilla, and whisked eggs to the bowl and mix together. Then add your dry ingredients: coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and chocolate chips. Mix well to incorporate. Pour into an 8×8 glass baking dish Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let rest to cool a bit.

Recipe originally posted at:

Recipe of the Week - "You'll Never Go Back to Anything Else" Black Bean Cupcakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes {Gluten-free}

Black Bean Cupcakes

Our family went "grain-free" about a year ago, and I stumbled upon this amazing recipe when preparing for my daughter's 2nd Birthday! It is incredible, and  you will truly NEVER go back to dry boring cupcakes. Our leadership team at The Motherhood Collective© requests them for every gathering.

The original recipe is by Caroline Edwards of Chocolate & Carrots . You MUST visit her site for other delicious recipes! (The actual recipe can be found here: {Secret Ingredient} Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake)


  • 1 (15.5 oz) can of reduced sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, or coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup cane sugar
  • 5 tablespoons special dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350° Line a 12 cup muffin pan and SPRAY with cooking spray. (Spraying truly helps!)

Blend the beans, 2 eggs, vanilla and sugar in the blender on high until completely blended. In a large bowl, beat the butter/coconut oil until fluffy, then add the remaining two eggs, beating well after each. Add in the bean mixture. Sift in the cocoa powder, baking powder and backing soda. Beat for 1-2 minutes, or until well combined.

Pour batter into your prepared muffin pan, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until your cupcakes look like Caroline's beautiful photo below. I chill in freezer until firm and cool before icing.


Peanut Butter Frosting

Recipe can be found here: Something Shiny

This frosting is seriously my "go-to" frosting for everything currently.... thank you Caroline. Thank you.


  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup whipping cream (heavy cream)
  • 12 miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Beat the peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar until combined. Add in the whipping cream and beat until light and fluffy, being careful not to under-beat or over-beat. Put in a ziplock bag, cut a hole, and decorate the cupcakes OR use a piping bag with your favorite decorating tip and decorate the cupcakes OR use a knife and spread to decorate the cupcakes. Finish with a mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

Recipe of the Week - Baked Oatmeal

Looking back to my engagement, I think the recipe exchange was my favorite part of bridal showers.  I loved getting to see what each friend brought as a tried-and-true family recipe that should be shared with a new couple starting off.  Of course, some were okay, some were just weird, and some became instant favorites. This baked oatmeal quickly filled the latter.  Amazing.  We will eat it any time of day, and you just might see it on the dessert menu as well. Baked Oatmeal Ingredients: 3 cups oatmeal 2/3-1 cup sucanat (or other sweetener) 2 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. salt 1 cup milk (I use almond or coconut) ½ cup melted butter (or other oil) 2 eggs, beaten Fruit, optional—I LOVE adding mashed bananas.  Peaches also taste heavenly!


Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.  Pour milk, eggs, and butter in and mix well.  Spoon into a greased 9” pan.  Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes.

It’s great warm out of the oven.  You can add extra fruit, pour milk over it…yum.

Recipe of the Week - Gluten Free Sweet Potato Brownies

This is a FAVORITE in our house. Maybe even once a week...shh...don't tell!
The original recipe is from

Sweet Potato Brownies

Prep time:  35 mins
Cook time:  30 mins
Total time:  1 hour 5 mins
Serves: 5-8
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
  • 3 tablespoons Coconut Flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  1. Time to bake that sweet potato. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, use a fork to puncture holes all around it, then throw in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
  2. Once your sweet potato is soft and cooked through, peel off the skin and mash it up in a bowl. And turn your oven down to 350 degrees.
  3. Now add your wet ingredients: coconut oil, honey, vanilla, and whisked eggs to the bowl and mix together.
  4. Then add your dry ingredients: coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and chocolate chips.
  5. Mix well to incorporate all that goodness.
  6. Pour into an 8x8 glass baking dish
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  8. Let rest to cool a bit.
Recipe by PaleOMG - Paleo Recipes at

Recipe of the Week - Energy Fudgies

One year ago, I went off all dairy, cold turkey, in hopes of solving my health issues.  It was hard, and I was desperate.  I always wanted something sweet, but I wasn’t yet adept at substitutions.  My “Go Dairy Free” book arrived in the mail, and this was the first thing I made out of it.  It was delicious, healthy, simple, and I always have the ingredients on hand.  This is a great energy boost for the afternoon, filled with protein, healthy fat, and a small dose of calcium.  It is also great when you’re entertaining others with allergies, as it is grain, egg, and milk free! Carob Fudgies:  yields 20 bite-sized snacks

½ cup creamy almond, peanut, or sunflower butter (I love the almond the best) ½ cup agave nectar, honey, or light corn syrup (I do ¼ each of honey and agave) ½ cup sifted carob or cocoa powder (sift then measure) ½ cup sesame seeds ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

In a small saucepan, combine the nut butter and the sweetener.  Stir over medium-low heat until the two are melted together, about 2-3 minutes.  Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the carob/cocoa powder, followed by the sesame seeds, until everything is well combined.  Place the mixture in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to set up.  Place the coconut in a small dish.  Remove mixture from the fridge, and using a small spoon, scoop up some fudge.  Roll it into a 1 inch ball, and roll it in the coconut.  Repeat with remaining fudge.  Store them in the refrigerator. Energy Fudgies

If you want them to set up more, place them in the freezer.

Recipe of the Week - Bananas Soft Serve with Chocolate Sauce

My new absolute favorite “I can’t believe this is healthy” treat to make is Bananas Soft Serve with Agave Chocolate Sauce.  Seriously.  You will not be disappointed!  The best thing about these recipes is they’re very allergen conscious.Banana Soft Serve Bananas Soft Serve:  this has the consistency of ice cream which pretty much makes it amazing!  I love it by itself and a la mode style.

Ingredients: Bananas

Directions: Peel and break bananas into thirds.  Place in Ziploc bag and freeze.  Blend in your food processor for about 5 minutes.  It takes a while but after a few minutes they will turn into ooey-gooey consistency.

Agave Chocolate Sauce:  tastes amazing and is so healthy!  Again, allergen conscious.

Ingredients: 1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder 2 Tbsp. agave nectar

Mix the two together and pour over Bananas Soft Serve!

Recipes taken from:

Recipe of the Week - Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

I have recently been intrigued by desserts based on pureed chickpeas. They taste good, they're relatively healthy and my kids like them. My husband likes them, too, especially if I don't say anything before he eats them! This recipe does require a food processor, but other than that, it's easier to do than a typical cookie recipe. They do have a slightly soft texture, but really do taste delicious. You could also use this unbaked for "truffles" or cookie dough dip!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies 1 can chickpeas, rinsed 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons natural peanut butter 1/4 - 1/3 cup honey (I used brown sugar for a more traditional taste. Plus I hoard my honey for tea and toast.) 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Place all ingredients except chocolate chips into the food processor.  Pulse until everything is smooth (about two minutes).  It will be very thick.  At this point I removed the dough to a bowl and folded in the chocolate chips.  You can also add the chocolate chips to the food processor and pulse a couple times.

Scoop teaspoonfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  (I didn't line my baking sheet.  They stuck a little, but not so much that I couldn't get them off.  I immediately removed them to a cooling rack.)

Makes about 16 cookies.

Adapted from

Reducing the Sugar Rush During the Holiday Rush

Last month our writers shared some of their holiday traditions and plans for the upcoming season. In November, we continue our conversation about holidays. How do we juggle visitors, travel with small children, eat well amidst all that delicious food and most importantly, take time to just BREATHE? This time of year can very quickly become stressful, so we hope our writers' words this month will give you a few moments to slow down, think about how you're spending your energy and encourage you during this busy, but wonderful time of year. ~TMC Simple Sugars The newest change to our eating philosophy has been a different approach to sugars, and it’s just in time for the holidays!  A couple years ago we made a point to cut out all high-fructose corn syrup, and I highly suggest this as a great “first step” if you’re considering a healthier food intake.  I still couldn’t shake myself of good old cane sugar—you know, every girl’s first love.  Even with wanting a healthier lifestyle, I’ve still tried to hold on to two points that I think are very important with how we view food in our house.

1.  Food is meant to keep us alive. 

Shocking, I know.  I just feel like too many foodies view what they eat (and what our society eats) as something that is killing them and not sustaining them.  True, the wrong kind of food should be avoided, but…it’s still food.  Something to be thankful for, first and foremost.

2.  Food is meant to be enjoyed.

Enough of the self-martyred, suffering vegan (spoken from a vegan 3 days out of the week).  Enjoy feasting!  Especially during the holiday season.  (Stepping down from soap box…)  All that to say, I was afraid that if I cut the sugar, we would cease to employ point number 2—enjoying food.

Slowly, we have made a few changes, and I haven’t bought sugar for a few months now, and we don’t feel like we’re missing anything!

The first thing I did was start to use fruit purees instead of eggs when making sweets/fruit breads.  The fruit adds natural sweetness which then helps you lessen the amount of added sugar.  Here are some easy conversions:

Applesauce, Mashed Bananas, and Pumpkin Puree—work well in sweetened baked goods, just make sure the flavor would be compatible with other flavors, as the fruit will likely shine through a bit.  1 egg=1/4 cup fruit puree (one medium mashed banana will normally substitute for 2 eggs)

Prune Puree—since stronger in flavor, works well with dense desserts such as brownies.  1 egg=1/4 cup fruit puree

After sweetening with fruit, I started cutting the amount of sugar.  Stat with using ¾ of the amount called for, and then cut back to half.  If you’re having company, offer frosting or honey to be added if someone has more of a sweet tooth.  I promise, you will get used to it over time, and the more you cut out, the less often your brain will send sugar signals.

I also read this awesome article about decoding sweeteners—there are just so many out there!  We now use mostly honey, agave, and molasses for sweetening.  We keep some stevia and sucanat on hand, and we occasionally buy maple syrup.  These are all sugars, but they’re not nearly as refined as white sugar or hfcs (high fructose corn syrup) and they do not raise the glycemic level as much.

Conversions:  for honey and agave, use ¾ cup for 1 cup of sugar the recipe calls for, reduce liquids by ½ cup for every cup of honey you add, and reduce oven temp. by 25 degrees to prevent browning.  For sucanat—equal amounts as sugar.

I am a little timid about this holiday season, as this will be my first one completely dairy free, mostly corn free, as well as (six days out of the week) ovo-vegetarian (no meat or dairy products, but I still love me some eggs!).  I know…there go all my dinner invitations!  My way of coping so far when I go to parties is either eat a lot beforehand so I’m not tempted, or, better yet, always take a dish with me so I have something to enjoy with friends.  Whether or not you have allergy/dietary restrictions, I would suggest offering to bring food.  If you’re opting for a healthier holiday season, prepare a sweet dish with less sugar, or an appetizer that’s homemade, and that way you will get to enjoy the food—and have it too.

How do you cope with allergy and special diet restrictions during the holidays?

Recipe of the Week - "Lauren" Bars


Confession. I’m in love with Lara Bars. Too much. Too much for my pocket book, that is. So I was thrilled when I stumbled upon this ultra simple recipe of my favorite treat. I’ve played with all of the proportions, and I can guarantee you that you really cannot mess them up! I’ll throw in a few of my alterations at the bottom: Ingredients: •1/3 cup nuts (cashews, almonds, etc) •1/4 cup whole dates (remove pits)-about 3 large dates (more if dried) •1/4 cup raisins (or more dates) •dash of cinnamon (optional) Directions: 1. Put nuts into food processor and chop until in small pieces. Remove and put in bowl. 2. Put dates and raisins (any combination of the two that equals 1/2 cup total) into the food processor and pulse until play dough consistency. It will start to clump together when it is done. 3. Mix the two ingredients by hand until well incorporated and the consistency of stiff playdough or cookie dough. (You can do this all in the food processor also) 4. Roll between two sheets of wax paper to a 1/2 inch thickness and cut into bars. (Or make it really easy and just roll into energy balls!) 5. Wrap in wax paper, plastic wrap or snack size ziploc bags (or glass containers if you aren’t giving to kids) and store in fridge until ready to use. Enjoy!

Ok, a few of my favorite variations with APROXIMATE measurements (I did most to taste):

Cinnamon Raisin Cookie:Granola Bars •1/2 cup almonds •15 dried dates •1/2 cup raisins •1 T. (or more) cinnamon

Apple Pie: •1/2 cup almonds •15 dried dates •1/2 dried apple slices •1 T. (or more) cinnamon •½ t. nutmeg

Cashew Cookie: •1/2 cup cashews •15 dried dates

Cherry Pie: •1/2 cup almonds •15 dried dates •1/2 dried cherries •1 t. (or more) cinnamon •½ t. nutmeg

Original source –

Please share some of your experiments with us!


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Recipe of the Week - Carrot or Zucchini Pineapple Bread


The last six months have been quite a journey for me and my kitchen. I discovered that I am allergic to dairy, and that even the smallest hint of casein, lactose, and whey will give me side effects. I did not realize quite how big the mountain before me was. But scale it I did! I could not have done this without Alisa Marie Fleming’s “Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living.” You can also visit her website: The great thing about her recipes is that so many of them come with alterations that can take other allergies into account. For instance, I always make this bread with the banana instead of the eggs or yogurt. One, it’s cheaper. Two, it makes this bread vegan (which just impresses people when they bite into it).

This bread recipe has been one of my favorites. If I invite you to my house, you will probably eat it. I’ve made this with both the Carrot and Zucchini, and love both in their own ways. I included the recipe for the glaze, but I’ve personally always found it so moist that I never felt it needed it. There is also a pretty small amount of sugar for the type of bread it is, and the fruit adds such good sweetness that I’m going to start experimenting without the sugar. I’ll let you know the end result. Enjoy!

Carrot or Zucchini-Pineapple Bread

Bread: 2 cups all-purpose flour, or whole wheat pastry flour 1 tsp. cinnamon ¼ tsp. allspice 1 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. baking soda ½ tsp. salt ¾ light brown sugar, firmly packed ½ cup grapeseed, canola or vegetable oil or dairy-free margarine, softened (or regular butter) 1 cup grated zucchini or carrot 1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple with juice (do not drain!) 2 eggs, ½ cup unsweetened applesauce, or mashed ripe banana (about 1 medium), or 1/3 cup plain diary-free yogurt (or regular yogurt) ½ cup chopped raisins (omit if using zucchini) ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Optional Glaze:

1 Tablespoon pineapple juice (reserved from crushed pineapple) ½ cup powdered sugar 1 tsp. agave nectar or corn syrup (I would probably use honey) ¼ tsp. cinnamon

Preheat over to 350 and grease the bottom of a 9x5 loaf pan. In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, allspice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a large bowl, blend the brown sugar, oil, eggs (or yogurt, applesauce, or banana) until smooth and creamy. Stir in the rest of the pineapple (reserve 1 tbsp if making glaze) and carrot or zucchini. Add flour mixture to your mixing bowl and stir just to combine. Be careful not to over-mix, a few lumps are okay. Gently fold in the raisins and nuts, if using. Pour batter into loaf pan. Bake for 45-55 min. or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow bread to cool for 10 min. before removing it from the pan.

To make the glaze, combine pineapple juice with powdered sugar, syrup, and ¼ tsp. cinnamon. Mix until smooth, and spoon over the warm loaf. For an extra-moist loaf, poke holes in the top of the loaf before pouring on the glaze. Allow the bread to cool completely, wrap, and store in refrigerator.


If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share with our readers, please submit it here or email us at


The Motherhood Collective is on Facebook. Like us, then comment on our giveaway post for a chance to win a family photo shoot from Adam Barnes Photography. Our contest ends when we hit 500 Likes!