Mango Sorbet and Berries

All I can say is YUM! Choices for vegan, gluten-free desserts are usually quite slim…often just fruit. This simple-to-assemble dessert is a staple at our house. I always make sure to have Trader Joe’s Mango Sorbet, Limoncello and fresh berries on hand. (frozen will work, in a pinch) This dessert makes any dinner end on a special note. (you could leave out the limoncello, if you don’t care for adding alcohol)

Now, some of my viewers may think this isn’t really a recipe…and you’re right! It’s more of an idea but I just had to share it with you.

The dish you use can make all the difference; I love fancy!

I just start with a generous scoop of the sorbet, a handful of the berries (I prefer raspberries and blueberries) and a splash of the limoncello over the top…it kind of makes little crystals…really cool texture! You can play around with toppings but in the years that I’ve been making this little gem, I have to say this combination is my favorite!

Apart from the small amount of alcohol in the limoncello and sugar in the sorbet, this dessert carries many health benefits! Berries, mangos and lemons are such power-houses.

I’ve written about mango and lemons in past seaons so let’s focus on berries. They are one of the most nutrient foods on the planet.

Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, called anthocyanins, that may help keep memory sharp as you age, and raspberries contain ellagic acid, a compound with anti-cancer properties. All berries are great sources of fiber, a nutrient important for a healthy digestive system. But if you need more reasons to dig into summer’s sun-kissed little fruits, look no further than two new studies, which suggest that berries may be good for your heart and your bones as well.

In a study of 72 middle-age people published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating just under a cup of mixed berries daily for eight weeks was associated with increased levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and lowered blood pressure, two positives when it comes to heart health.

Polyphenols like ellagic acid and anthocyanins may increase levels of nitric oxide, a molecule that produces a number of heart-healthy effects. One is helping to relax blood vessels, which subsequently results in lowered blood pressure. Polyphenols may also help preserve bone density after menopause, according to new research in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. More research is needed but the data suggest that eating even a small amount of blueberries each day—perhaps as little as 1/4 cup—could be good for anyone’s bones. (source: www.eatingwell.com)

Silky Smooth Pure Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients

  1. 3 medium bananas
  2. 1/2 avocado
  3. 1/4 C Heidi Ho Pure Ne Chevre
  4. 4 tbsp cacao powder, + more to taste
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract + more to taste
  6. pinch of sea salt
    Optional Toppings
  1. Coconut whipped cream
  2. 1/4 C almonds, slivered and toasted
  3. 1 tbsp raspberry jam

Instructions

Mix all pudding ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down sides and adjusting the cacao and vanilla as necessary.

Blend mixture until silky smooth and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Transfer to serving bowls and enjoy!

I’ve tasted lots of faux puddings over the years…especially ones with avocados…they have all been TERRIBLE! This one is NOT!! So delicious! Possibly my favorite recipe of all my Cook With Joy episodes. I definitely recommend the “extras” coconut whipped cream, almonds and raspberry jam…so good. Let’s talk about the health benefits: Avocados, bananas, and cacao powder…3 super foods for a “super dessert”! You gotta try this!!!!

Black Bean Brownies (Vegan & Gluten Free)

From my friend and Fitness Professional, Beth Eisele

Black Bean Brownies (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Ingredients

  1. 15 oz can of TJ brand black beans
  2. 2 large flax eggs or other egg replacement
  3. 3T melted coconut oil (or any oil you prefer)
  4. ¾ c cocoa powder
  5. ¼ t sea salt
  6. 1 t vanilla
  7. ½ c sugar
  8. 1 ½ t baking powder
  9. (optional: nuts, coconut, chocolate chips for topping)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Lightly grease muffin pans, full size or mini: my favorite… I like using TJ’s olive oil spray

Rinse and drain beans

Follow instructions for egg replacement using food processor

Add remaining ingredients to food processor (not toppings, of course)

Puree until smooth, continuing to scrape down sides

Fill muffin tins and add optional topping(s)

Bake for 20-25 minutes, less for mini (sides should pull away from pan)

Allow to cool in pan for 30 minutes then gently remove…they will be soft.

Store in air tight container and refrigerate for longer storage.

I’m not a huge dessert person but my friend, Beth, is and she swears by this recipe. She runs a bootcamp program and likes being able to give her students some options for healthy treats. I love that this recipe is pretty simple and doesn’t need any adaptation to make it vegan and gluten free.

Anytime I can get beans into my diet, I’m happy…this recipe does that! Black beans give us an excellent source of protein and fiber and, unlike other types of beans, have a significant amount of Omega 3’s.

Joy’s Ice “Cream”

Joy’s Ice “Cream”

Ingredients

  1. Frozen Fruit
  2. Dried Fruit
  3. Non-Dairy Milk (Coconut is my favorite, almond, soy, etc)
  4. Optional flavorings like Vanilla extract, Cocoa Powder, Cinnamon, etc.

Instructions

Use a powerful blender to pulverize the frozen and dried fruit, adding liquid slowly, to get the desired consistency. Served right away, it will have a softer consistency but freeze a bit to get more of the “scooped” ice cream feel. This would be delicious with fresh berries on top.

In this episode, I used frozen and dried mango, coconut flakes and coconut milk but yo should experiment to get the flavor and consistency you desire. Many folks like to use frozen bananas as a base for their creamy texture that gives an end product more similar to ice cream. Adding citrus (lemon, lime, orange, etc.) will give more of a sorbet taste and feel.

“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!”

Oh, my gosh! I grew up with that little ditty as a REAL thing…every day! Although we didn’t have much money growing up, we always seemed to have one of those giant plastic buckets with vanilla ice cream in the freezer and I had a big bowl of ice cream almost every day!

Maybe you also have an ice cream habit and even though you eat a pretty healthy diet, this is your one weakness. And you probably like “really good” ice cream, right? Not the stuff in the plastic bucket. Can’t be that bad for me, right?

Well, consider this: half a cup of premium ice cream contains between 17 and 25 grams of fat, depending on the flavor and brand you choose. 1 slice of cooked bacon contains between 3 and 4 grams of fat. That means when you have ½ c of ice cream, you are basically eating the equivalent of up to 6 slices of bacon. And lets get real: who stops at ½ a cup? Most of us consider the little pint-sized containers it comes in to be 1-2 servings…. you do the math!

This is a super easy recipe to make, especially if you have a high-powered blender, which I recommend for every well-equipped kitchen. I personally like Vita-Mix but there are several good ones out there.

Try your own version of this simple recipe and get your friends and family involved. Find your favorite twist and adopt a whole new “ice cream” habit!

No Bake Brownies

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Ingredients

  1. 10-pitted Medjool dates
  2. ¾ cup raw almonds or nuts of choice
  3. 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder (or JP+ Complete Chocolate Powder)
  4. 2 tablespoons almond butter or nut butter of choice
  5. 1-tablespoon maple syrup

Instructions

Place the dates and almonds in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade.

Process on high until it resembles a crumbly, sandy texture.

Add in the remaining ingredients and process until a dough begins to form.

Take 1-2 tablespoons of dough in your hands, gently roll the mixture into balls.

Repeat with the remaining dough.

Enjoy immediately or store in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer.

Note: These can also be made into bars by pressing the dough into a square baking pan lined with parchment paper, then placing the pan in the fridge to set for about 30 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and slice the mixture into bars. Again, store these in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

Makes 12-14 bites

Many of us CRAVE treats! Many of us CRAVE chocolate! This recipe is so great because it satisfies AND is actually good for us! There are several different variations of this recipe, some involve grains, seeds, etc. I will probably feature them in the future…stay tuned!

All of the ingredients in this treat is PACKED with health benefits. We have talked about nuts and nut butters in the past so:

The Benefits:

Let’s talk about Dates!

A Summary Of Dates Health Benefits: Dates Are Great For:

  • Weight loss
  • Relieving constipation, supporting regular bowel movements
  • Promoting heart health, reducing heart disease risk
  • Diarrhea
  • Iron-deficiency anemia
  • Reducing blood pressure
  • Impotence
  • Promoting respiratory and digestive health
  • Pregnancy deliveries
  • Hemorrhoid prevention
  • Chronic conditions such as arthritis
  • Reducing colitis risk
  • Preventing colon cancer

Now How About Chocolate?

There are actually many health benefits associated with chocolate! Aren’t you glad? The secret is to not get all the other stuff many chocolate candies include.

5 Benefits of Raw Organic Cacao

  • 40 Times the Antioxidants of Blueberries.
  • Highest Plant-Based Source of Iron.
  • Full of Magnesium for a Healthy Heart & Brain.
  • More Calcium Than Cow’s Milk
  • A Natural Mood Elevator and Anti-Depressant.