Nut Butter Chocolate Truffles With Sea Salt

I always crave sweets right after Halloween, but instead of grabbing a Snickers (which are so delicious), I decided to make nut butter chocolate truffles with no sugar. They turned out absolutely delicious and I highly recommend making them. SO GOOD. Plus, once you make them, you put them in your freezer so you can have a stash for a long time!

 

TRUFFLES! Healthy ones!

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Raspberry Crisp

This summer, we have gone to lots of local Oregon farms to pick our own fruit. The best trip was to the raspberry farm, when we came home with 9 pounds.  I wanted to make a raspberry crisp but couldn’t find a recipe anywhere, so I improvised and made my own! It was so good that I made not one, not two, but THREE!  This recipe is low sugar, tart, but oh-so-good.

 

First, you pick.

 

Toosh is officially my picking partner and could stay all day picking the fruit. She never wants to leave when we decide we are done.

Toosh is officially my picking partner.  She never wants to leave.

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Ellenos Greek Yogurt

Last week when I was at the grocery store (my favorite hobby –> grocery shopping), I came across a new-t0-me product, Ellenos Greek Yogurt. It looked delicious and I liked the packaging, so I decided to buy one to try. At checkout, the clerk said to me “This stuff is crack. I have never done crack, but this stuff is what I imagine crack to be like, and once you start, you cannot stop.” I giggled and moved on.

 

Well what do you know, this stuff REALLY IS CRACK AND I CANT STOP EATING IT.  Addictive, rich, amazing, delicious, and smooth. Currently, it is only sold at Whole Foods and random locations on the West Coast, but mark my word, this stuff will soon be sold everywhere in the United States — guaranteed. It is unlike any other yogurt I have ever tasted and really feels like a dessert more than anything.

 

Why buy one flavor when you can buy four?

Why buy one flavor when you can buy four?

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Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

Thanks to Instagram, I saw a recipe for a peanut butter pretzel truffle from Minimalist Baker and knew I had to make it. The recipe is simple, easy, and a huge win.

 

How good does this look?

How good does this look?

 

Ingredients:

* 1/2 cup pitted medjool  dates, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes then drained

* 1/2 cup salted natural peanut butter

* 3/4 cup raw almonds

* 1/2 cup mini pretzels

* 1.25 cup chocolate chips

* 1 tsp coconut oil

 

Directions:

 

Before and after dipped. I DIP YOU DIP WE DIP

Before and after dipped. I DIP YOU DIP WE DIP

 

* Place almonds in the food processor and process until you reach the consistency of a meal.

 

* Then add in pretzels and  soaked dates in the food processor and process until small bits remain and/or it forms into a ball.

 

* Next, add the peanut butter and mix until well combined. You don”t have to do this in a food processor, and can really just mix it in with a spoon.

 

* Once you have a dough that’s easy to form into balls, scoop out 1 Tablespoon amounts and roll/carefully form into balls. Set on parchment paper and place in freezer to chill.

 

*  In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and add the coconut oil (which helps thin out the chocolate).

 

* Remove truffles from freezer and, one at a time, dip them into the melted chocolate. Transfer back onto parchment paper and place in to the freezer.

 

* Store them in the freezer until you eat them (or else they will melt — they will still be delicious, but they will melt).

 

They will not last long, mainly because you will eat them because they are so good.

They will not last long, mainly because you will want to eat them right away.

 

Happy weekend! Spring here we are, thank goodness!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Rawmantic Chocolate

Happy Friday! Before I post an indulging (yet delicious) food item, I want everyone to read the article written by our good friend, Sasha Blair-Goldensohn. Eight years ago, Sasha was hit by a tree in Central Park, and is wheelchair bound. His op-ed in the NYTimes from Wednesday is an eye opener, so please do so. I also highly recommend watching the video that accompanies it. Thanks in advance for reading it.

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I am constantly on the search for a “healthy” dessert.  While I am well aware of the effects of sugar …..I still love nibbling on something sweet at the end of my meals. Call it an addiction, or a vice, but it is a habit that I can’t stop. So these raw chocolate energy bars are perfect. Raw chocolate, sweet, nutty, gooey, and great.

 

Romantic rawmantic.

Romantic rawmantic, yes, handcrafted with love.

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Mint Malt Balls

One of the best desserts / gifts / party favors I have in my little “rolodex of presents” is the Mint Malt Balls first introduced to me by event planner extraordinaire, David Monn. He put them in our hotel goodie bags for our wedding (10 years ago) and since then I have been a big fan. Yet, one can only hoard so much candy, so I eventually forgot about them. Fast forward to David Monn’s Book Party, and there they were. Green malt balls in little containers on every table throughout the entire New York Public Library. BINGO, sold, addicted all over again.

 

Pretty green, perfect sphere, DELICIOUSNESS

Pretty green, perfect sphere, DELICIOUSNESS

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Superhero Muffins

As I mentioned last week, my new favorite cookbook is “Run Fast Eat Slow” by Olympian Shalane Flanagan — I literally can’t get enough of it.  My most recent obsession is the “Superhero muffins,” as I have made four batches in the past two weeks (no joke). They are moist, filling, sweet, delicious, and healthy. And refined-sugar and gluten free.  And they make you feel like a superhero.

 

Run Fast. Eat Slow. (Not Run Slow, Eat Fast).

Run Fast. Eat Slow. (Not Run Slow, Eat Fast). Basically, all you need in life is a stick of butter and some veggies.

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Blueberry Hazelnut Crisp

With a flat of blueberries in our house from our local CSA, I went on a hunt to find the best blueberry pie recipe. That said, searching “best blueberry pie” on the internet does not necessarily lead to the best blueberry pie, especially when I add words such as “low sugar” or “healthy.” So instead, I went the old fashioned route and asked a friend for a recipe. Needless to say, this much more experienced baker (read ‘older’) instantly emailed me her go-to-blueberry crisp recipe. So I made it (but of course, with some minor adjustments) and IT IS SO DELICIOUS.

 

The result.

The result.

 

Ingredients for Crumb Crust and Topping:

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Ice Cream Flower Pots

One of my dearest friends from Ken’s Stanford Business School class, Katie, is someone I have always looked up to. Not only is she brilliant (obviously), fun (best dancer ever), smiley, honest, and real, but she also has the best homemaker skills of anyone I know. Yes –  totally sounds sexist, but when I met her when I was 25 years old, I didn’t know anyone who sewed their own curtains, made their own scalloped potatoes for dinner parties, and hosted lavish, extravagant sit down dinners with all homemade dishes.  So I am thrilled to have Katie guest blog today on “Ice Cream Flower Pots.” Thanks so much, Katie. Love you dearly.

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My mom first made these “ice cream flower pots” for my 10th birthday party which was a joint party with my dear friend Carrie who had a birthday the same week as mine.  We themed the party “Pink and Purple” so all our friends wore everything pink and purple, as did our moms and my older sister who was the “helper”. The party was afternoon backyard games and a BBQ at Carrie’s house, and then a slumber party at my house.  The ten or so girls in attendance are still some of my closest friends, and to this day, everyone remembers the “ice cream flower pots” that thrilled us all when they were revealed as dessert.  They embody the creative and festive flair that my mom was known for bringing to everything she did.  She passed away 6 years ago and I miss her every day, but making treats like this on a lovely summer day for the ones I love makes her feel close in my heart again.

 

Beautiful flowers....but wait, it's a delicious dessert!

Beautiful flowers….but wait, it’s a delicious dessert!

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No Bake Chocolate Deliciousness To The Max

If you have a free 15 minutes, then you need to make these cookies. Doesn’t matter if you are running to the next appointment / pick up / drop off / or work, if you have the time, then you must make these. DELICIOUSNESS TO THE MAX TIMES INFINITY. (Sorry for the limited amount of pictures — my iphone was in the Apple Store #FML due to a cracked screen, so I did what I could do….and I needed you to have this recipe for the long weekend, so sorry!)

 

This is the end result. It tastes better than it looks. And the smell is divine, too.

This is the end result. It tastes better than it looks. And the smell is divine, too.

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Salted Almond Butter Freezer Fudge

Add salt.

 

I am a devout nut-butter eater and like devouring nut butters in ANY form. So when I came across this Salted Almond Butter Freezer Fudge recipe, I instantly ran to the kitchen to make it. I love love them, and I so shared them with a fellow friend / parent from Cruzzie’s school. Later that day, I received three text messages from three other moms, requesting the recipe (friend #1 shared with friends #2-4). They are loved by all!  Enjoy!

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Sweet Potato Pudding

Ever since January 6th, I have been trying to decrease my sugar intake. I must admit (pat on my back) that I have done a very good job for the most part, with only some small slips here and there. Recently, I developed a recipe for sweet potato pudding that I can’t stop making and eating. Warning: there is some maple syrup in it — so while  sugar-cane free, there is still some (a very small amount) of sugar.

 

Yam / sweet potato. (Tomato / Tomat-oh)

Yam / sweet potato. (Tomato / Tomat-oh)

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Raw Brownies

Four years ago, I posted (yep, been writing this blog for over 4 years …. no major breakout new blogger award, but happy to still be posting, promoting Natori, and contributing to the world wide web) the recipe for Raw Brownies. Since many of you readers have not been reading since Day 1 (thank you to my parents and college girlfriends), I decided it was time to share this wonder of a recipe again! 4 ingredients, no refined sugar, super delicious, easy to make, no baking, holy ka-bomb done done done.

 

Rich, delicious, decadent and NO guilt!

Rich, delicious, decadent and NO guilt!

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Gwyneth Paltrow Candy Bars

Readers know that I love Gwyneth Paltrow as much as I love my kids (#joking #notjoking). So here is yet another recipe from her cookbook, “It’s All Good.”  Candy Bars! Hellooooooo healthy-ish Halloween treats! (way better than M&Ms). They are gluten-free and refined-sugar-free…  but heavy duty sweet.   But still healthier than a typical candy bar…..so go for it!
THICK GOOEY AWESOME

THICK GOOEY AWESOME

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The Forest Feast Peanut Butter Coconut Balls

yum

 

One of the things I love most about spending my summers in Oregon with my parents is my mother’s cooking *AND* her collection of cookbooks. She literally could open up a cookbook library.  This past week, I came across a cookbook, The Forest Feast, given last year to my mother by my bestie. This cookbook is not only beautiful, but the vegetarian recipes are healthy, easy, and simple.   Here is my first find: peanut butter – coconut – no bake balls!  SO DELICIOUS!

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Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

Sugar, dairy and fat heaven! Ice Cream Sandwich Cake! Oh my, worth every single bite. Based off of the following recipes from: Mommy’s Kitchen, All Recipes, and A Free Recipe. This is truly the easiest homemade dessert, perfect for parties and summer BBQs. (Also, be sure to read through the whole post for info on a special promotion!)

 

Ice cream cakes!

Ice cream cakes!

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Mah Ze Dahr Nutella Hand Pies

Hello friends! I am so happy to write about Mah Ze Dahr once again! This past winter, the amazing online bakery founded by former Goldman Sachs executive Umber Ahmad was written up in the NY Times as having the best doughnuts in the city. As a loyal fan, I couldn’t wait to taste the doughnuts, so I went online to buy. And yet, instead of following my plan, I indulged in half a dozen of the Nutella Hand Pies. AND OH MY, they are amazing. True perfection. The New York Times needs to review THEM!

 

Bundle of deliciousness

Bundle of deliciousness

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Ample Hills Creamery

Even in sub-freezing temperatures, nothing is better than Ample Hills Ice Cream. Sold at three different Brooklyn locations and as of YESTERDAY, at the Gotham West Market in Manhattan, this ice cream is like no other. More like a pot of 24K gold in comparison to bronze.  Not only does it taste delicious, but it is the only ice cream parlor in New York City that makes ice cream completely from scratch on the premises. It gets its eggs and dairy from local farms, and each aspect of the ice cream is handmade with premium ingredients. Holy cow.

 

The store

The Gowanus Ice Cream Parlor on a recent cold, snowy, freezing weekend afternoon. Check out the roof deck up top. I want to have a party up there — for lazy people who don’t want to come to my party in Brooklyn, they will not know what they are missing. It is simply amazing.

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Healthy Banana Coconut Cookies

The right size.

 

For the past couple of months, I have been more into *real* desserts than *healthy* desserts. But now that it is the start of a new, clean, fresh year, I am back to loving / craving / wanting / needing healthy desserts. And this dessert is the perfect one — incredibly healthy, no refined sugar, no wheat, real ingredients, easy to make, and super delicious. WIN WIN WIN — almost like digging into an overflowing ice cream hot fudge sundae. This recipe is from 101 Cookbooks, one of my all-time favorite food blogs. Check it out! And make these cookies! They are part banana bread — part oatmeal — part macaroon. All in one deliciousness!

 

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Saltine Cookies

Top

For those of you who have been reading the blog for a long time (first, huge THANK YOU!), then you have already seen this post. But I can’t help myself and need to include it again because these holiday treats are SO VERY DELICIOUS and addictive. And if you are new to the blog (welcome, and thank you!), enjoy the very best cookie / goodie / chocolate heaven / salty-sweet-thang. Hands down, the best holiday treat. And because you will not be able to stop at just one cookie (or ten of them), better get started on your holiday workout.

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Jacques Genin Chocolate

Even though I am done with marathon training (well, for NYC 2014…not forever….I am hooked), I still am hungry all the time. Especially for chocolates. Specifically, French chocolates. Recommended by a friend on our recent trip to Paris, we stopped by Jacques Genin, a well known French chocolate and caramel maker in the Marais. And let me tell you, it is worth the hype. At first, I thought that all high-end chocolate tastes the same — good, delicious, and decadent. But once I polished off the box of Jacques Genin’s, I realized that it was HIS chocolate that was oh-s0-flipping-good. He opened up his own chocolate store / tea house in the Marais neighborhood in 2008. It is beautiful and chic — an Hermes version of chocolate.

 

Damn straight

Damn straight

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Karlie’s Kookies

So, apparently when you follow supermodels on instagram, you start to think that you yourself are IN FACT a supermodel. Yep, that is right. I strut like one, dress similarly, resemble one, and I am a model now. OK.  Not really, but I *do* eat Karlie’s Kookies which most supermodels boast about chomping down on instagram.  So that makes us similar, right? What is a Karlie’s Kookie? Well, all the celebrities and fashionistas eat them (and post them on instagram), so they must be healthy AND delicious at the same time. And what do you know? They really are. Cross my heart, swear to god, these little cookies are made out of healthy ingredients and are so tasty good, too.

 

My goodie bag.

My goodie bag.

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