100% Sugar Free PB Fudge Balls {Gluten-free, Vegan}

Energy balls are the best! They are super easy to make, satisfy your sweet tooth, and can fuel your body with a healthy, energizing snack without the crash.  But a ton of these energy ball recipes are based with dates, or add a ton of maple syrup/honey to sweeten them. While I love these natural forms of sugar (in moderation), sometimes your body needs a totally sugar-free treat.IMG_8499

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These bites are super rich and creamy from the cashews and peanut butter, you don’t even notice the missing sugar! The Chia seeds give you a boost of energy while the fats from the nuts and coconut will keep you satisfied.

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Lots of recipe requests on Instagram – so here it is! Make sure to follow me for more recipes!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Cup Raw Cashews
  • 1 T Chia seeds
  • 1/2 Cup Chunky peanut butter – all natural and liquidy
  • 1/2 Cup oats (GF if needed)
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract or vanilla powder*
  • Cinnamon, to taste

*Make sure you are using pure Vanilla Extract, and not imitation Vanilla Flavor/extract, which is often full of additives and unwanted ingredients such as Corn Syrup and Sugar.
The McCormick Premium Imitation Vanilla Extract ingredients are: Water, Alcohol (26%), Natural Flavorings (Including Extractives Of Cocoa And Extractives Of Tea), Vanillin And Other Artificial Flavorings, Corn Syrup, And Caramel Color.

Recipe:

  1. Put everything except for cacao nibs in food processor and process for ~1- 2 minutes. It should go from something resembling rice to something more sticky
  2. Add in cacao nibs and pulse again.
  3. Roll into bite size balls and pop in the freezer/fridge to firm up. If you put them in freezer, let them thaw for about 1 minute before enjoying!
  4. Post a photo of yours on Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @thegranoladiaries and use #thegranoladiaries so I can see your creations!

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Healthified Carrot Cake {Gluten Free, Refined-Sugar Free}

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You don’t need to carrot all about eating half this cake – its made with all real, whole ingredients, refined-sugar free (and low sugar), ans has a ton of healthy nutrients from superfoods like oats, Greek yogurt, and CARROTS, of course!

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I did not expect the outpouring of messages I got when I posted a photo of this cake on my Instagram. Almost immediately, I got a ton of messages and comments asking for the recipe – so here it is, sooner than I planned, but I don’t want to keep anyone waiting from this delicious cake!!!

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Robbie is a serious Carrot Cake fan and had kept mentioning his cravings for it. I looked up “healthy” carrot cake recipes and still found the recipes either had white flour, a good amount of brown/refined sugar, or on the other end, some super-niche healthified baking ingredients, which most people do not have.

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So I set out to create a carrot cake with all ingredients I had in my house at that moment. And it turned out pretttty, prettty darn well! I am shocked at how easy it actually was.

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So without yapping your ears off anymore (or typing your eyes off?), here is the simple ingredient list.

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 4 large carrots
  • 1/4 C Almond milk

DRY:

  • 1.5 C  Oat flour* (simply grind oats in blender/food processor, measure AFTER blending)
  •  1.5 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice**
  • generous dash of salt

WET:

  • 1 large egg (or flax egg: 1 Tbsp. ground flax + 2 Tbsp warm water, set for 10 min)
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted and cooled (measured when liquid)
  • 1/4 C Greek Yogurt, 2% or Full fat (I would not recommend non-fat) (Or sub: coconut yogurt)
  • 1/2 C Maple Syrup***

* If you do not have oat flour, simply grind oats in blender/food processor for a few seconds until it resembles a flour. Measure AFTER blending.
**Can sub with nutmeg, cloves, or more cinnamon.
***You can cut this down to 1/4 C if you want even lower sugar, but may need to add a splash more Almond milk, to keep everything moist.

Recipe:

  1. Oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9″ cake pan with coconut oil.
  2. Scrub + rinse your carrots and leave on a cutting board or plate to air dry.
  3. In a medium bowl, add all dry ingredients and mix – oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, salt.
  4.  In a large bowl, add egg, coconut oil, and vanilla. Give it a good whisk, you should see little bubbles on the top.
  5. Add Greek yogurt and maple syrup to the egg mixture and give another light whisk, until there are no more clumps. Do not over-whisk!
  6. Cut the carrots into 1 – 2 inch pieces and add to food processor. Its OK if they are still a little wet, as you want your cake to be moist! Pulse a few times until carrots resemble rice-like shapes.
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones. For best results, use this method:
    • Add about 1/3 of the dry mixture into the wet mixture, folding as you pour.
    • Then, add about half the almond milk (1/8 C).
    • Add the next 1/3 of the dry mixture. Repeat until all the oat flour and milk have been incorporated. Mixture should be liquidy but not TOO runny.
  8. Add in the carrots, 1/2 C at a time, folding them into the batter. I ended up using about 1.5 – 2 C of carrots, but you can add more/less, depending on your preference, and how the cake mixture looks. It should be fairly thick, but still run off a spoon.
  9. Add the cake to the pan and bake in the oven. Check on it after 26 minutes; it should be done (fork comes out clean). If it needs more time, check on it in 2 minute increments.  Let it cool for at least 10 minutes, then enjoy warm, or bring it to room temperature to frost!

Make sure to tag me in your creations and use #thegranoladiaries so I can see your creations!

UPDATE: A note on icing: For my icing, I simply whisked some Greek yogurt, vanilla, and honey to taste. It tastes more like a vanilla/yogurt icing than a cream cheese icing, but I like it. If you prefer a more traditional cream cheese icing, I would recommend throwing some room temperature cream cheese in the mix too. Simply play with the proportions and mix to your taste!

For a healthy vegan twist on “creamcheese” icing using cashews and coconut cream, check out this recipe by Paleo Running Momma.

NOTES:

  • I personally do not think its necessary to peel the carrots, but you can if that is your preference.
  • When measuring oat flour, its best to spoon the flour into the measuring cup, rather than scooping it up.
  • For VEGAN option, use Flax Egg and Coconut Yogurt or other non-dairy yogurt

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One Bowl Baked Banana Bread/Oatmeal {Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free, Nut-free}

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The perfect make ahead breakfast or snack!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. Ground Flax seeds (can sub Chia)
  • 2.5 Medium ripe bananas (or 2 large), plus 1/2 for topping
  • 3/4 C Almond milk
  • 2 – 4 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
  • 1 Cup Oats*
  • 1 Cup Oat Flour**
  • 1/4 C unsweetened desiccated coconut (optional, for my coconut-hating fam members!)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Optional add-ins: chopped walnuts, almonds, pepitas, chocolate chips, cacao nibs, nut butter drizzle (highly recommend!)

*Use certified Gluten-free if necessary
**Simply grind oats in your blender or food processor until resembles a flour.

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Recipe:

  1. Oven to 350 and grease a 9 inch cake pan or skillet with coconut oil or cooking spray.
  2. Make flax eggs: mix 2 tbsp ground flax + 6 tbsp warm water. Stir and let sit in fridge for 10 minutes while you prep.
  3. Mash bananas in a bowl with the back of your fork until you get liquid-y texture.
  4. Add almond milk, maple syrup, and flax egg (once ready), and whisk.
  5. Now add oats, oat flour, cinnamon, coconut and baking powder on top. Try to give the dry ingredients a mix with each other before folding into the banana mixture. Fold in any other add-ins of your choice
  6. Pour batter into pan, top with additional banana slices and toppings of your choice, and bake for 30 – 35 min, depending how “mushy” you like it.

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