To Make Almond Butter Cups

 

     Hi there! I love a healthy and mostly clean dessert that I can prep and have at the ready for a week or so, just so that I have a good option available when I'm craving a candy bar or other less-than healthy desserts. If you ask my parents, they will tell you that my favorite candy has always been Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and that is still true to this day. It's something about the salty-sweet combo of the peanut butter and the chocolate that gets me, and I know I'm not alone. This is why I settled on the much healthier Almond Butter Cups to have around, and while the almond butter has a different taste than peanut butter, it's still good, just different. These are made without any refined sugar, and are just as tasty as the original candy. Also, Bailey devours these any chance she gets, and I don't have to worry about all of that extra sugar because she definitely doesn't need it, so they get the toddler stamp of approval. Get the recipe below!

Ingredients: yields 6 treats

- 3/4 cup of coconut oil

- 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

- 1/2 cup of honey

- 2 tsp. of vanilla

- 1/3 cup of almond butter

Directions:

Step 1 - Combine all ingredients, except the almond butter, in a medium size pot and whisk together over medium-high heat until a smooth, glossy chocolate sauce is formed.

Step 2 - Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners, and pour a small amount of the chocolate into each liner, just enough to form the bottom layer of each cup. Freeze for 15 minutes.

Step 3 - Spoon a small amount of almond butter into each cup on top of your bottom layer of chocolate. Freeze again for 15 minutes. Then pour the last of your chocolate on top of each cup and freeze for at least an hour.

Step 4 - Store in the freezer. To serve, set the cups in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Gracious Pantry.

To Make Pomegranate Cups

 

     Attempting to make candy has always been on my cooking skills to-do list. I also have been trying to eat seasonally. Enter: dark chocolate pomegranate cups! These helped me check off the candy from my list, and stayed within my clean eating, seasonal food philosophy. They are delicious, to top it off. Although, I've never tried anything covered in dark chocolate that wasn't amazing, so that was expected. Any candy making process has always been a little intimidating to me, mostly because of my lack of experience with it. This one in particular was only a little scary, because of its specific instructions that the pomegranate arils had to be completely dry. The chocolate wouldn't adhere properly if there was a speck of moisture. It turned out to be an exaggeration, in that after patting the arils dry a few times, they were perfectly fine. I didn't end up needing to leave them out to dry for hours like suggested, thank god! I don't have time for that, and I don't know anyone else who has time for that either. Thankfully, everything went fine and the chocolate hardened perfectly. Bailey ended up loving these as well, so I split one with her anytime I have one. It is adorable to see her face covered in chocolate! :) See the recipe below, and don't be afraid of ending up with your face covered in chocolate too. These are so worth it.

Ingredients: yields 6 regular cups

- 6 cupcake liners

- 1 cup of dark chocolate chips

- half a pomegranate

Directions:

Step one: Halve your pomegranate half and soak in room temp. water for about 5 minutes. Once soaked, break apart pomegranate in the water and remove every part except for the arils. Drain the arils with a colander and pat dry until dry to the touch.

Step two: Melt chocolate in a double boiler over medium high heat until smooth. Spoon chocolate into cupcake liners, one at a time. Add arils to cups and then top with more chocolate. Let set and harden in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Enjoy!