refined sugar free

EXPO WEST! My Top 5 Favorite New Discoveries!

This past weekend, I finally got to experience all the amazing madness that is Natural Products Expo West otherwise referred to as Expo West.

It’s a four day convention at the Anaheim convention center where just about every natural product line comes to showcase their products and debut new ones to wholesalers, health practitioners, retailers, bloggers/influencers, press, distributors etc.
Now, imagine Disneyland on the most crowded day where it’s packed with people but instead of children excited to meet Mickey & Minnie, it’s grown ups excited to EAT.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread With Coffee Cake Crumble (Paleo, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free)

I love chocolate chip banana bread.

I also love chocolate chip coffee cake.

(Yes, I know, there’s an obvious common denominator here)

This morning after being out of town for a few days I saw we had a few bananas that were too brown to eat and just enough eggs to make banana bread.

So I whipped up an easy batch and then thought, you know what would be good?  a delicious chocolate chip coffee cake crumble for the top!

Dark Chocolate Custard Pie With A Chocolate Chip Cookie Crust (Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free & Paleo)

I’ve been on a Christmas movie watching, cozy robe wearing, what-new-thing-can-I-bake today kick and I’m not mad at it.

Ever since I made a replica of Rachel’s Thanksgiving Trifle for Thanksgiving this year, I’ve been thinking about how to make a paleo custard that is satisfying but not full of refined sugar.

I loved the idea of a chocolate chip cookie pie crust and a dark chocolate custard filling for the ultimate treat! So I figured, why not try it? At the very least,  it had to be better than putting meat in a trifle right?!

Simple and Not Too Sweet Acai Bowl (Paleo + Vegan)

I love me a good Acai bowl! They are filling and often filled with good for you ingredients.

BUT a lot of the ones you can get at smoothie shops are PACKED with sugar. And while fruit is delicious, fructose has a very similar effect on your blood sugar that regular sugar does, so a bowl made with fruit and then topped with more fruit will still give you that blood sugar spike and crash!

Pumpkin Chocolate Marbled Freezer Fudge (Paleo + Vegan)

Yes, I’m posting two fudge recipes back to back.

and I’m not mad about it. I don’t think you will be either.

After finishing off a batch of the chocolate freezer fudge during last weeks heat wave AND simultaneously seeing the rest of the country posting pumpkin recipes and photos allll over the place, I found myself both craving the freezer fudge AND all things pumpkin.

I had a lone can of pumpkin left in my pantry another batch of freezer fudge with pumpkin was really the obvious choice.

PB&J Overnight Oats (Gluten, Dairy + Refined Sugar Free)

One of my biggest regrets in life might just be that I never truly appreciated Peanut Butter & Jelly as a kid. When my mom would pack it in my lunch it was always met with an “Ugh not PB&J!!!”

What was I thinking?!
Peanut Butter & Jelly is like chocolate and coffee. Or like chocolate & pb. Or like me being serenaded by Backstreet Boys. All WINNING combinations.

Now that I’m a total grown up I’ll take that PB&J combo wherever I can get it, thankyouverymuch. In a smoothie, a classic sandwich and now, these overnight oats.

I’m way way way behind on the overnight oats train, I know. The truth is, I’ve thought about making them for years but oats are generally something we just don’t keep on hand and so overnight oats haven’t been made!

But recently, my husband tried a store-bought version of overnight oats at work and he raved about

Coffee Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream (Dairy + Refined Sugar Free!)

There are few treats that I like more than Coffee Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.

Actually now that I’m really thinking about it,  there is no treat I like more than Coffee Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.

My mom said she ate a LOT of Haagen Dazs Java Chip ice cream when she was pregnant with me and I’m pretty sure that’s why I’ve had a life long affinity for chocolate and coffee (I remember being in like 4th grade at dance class and helping myself to the coffee pot that was left out for the dance moms… so there’s that.)

And of course, a lifelong love for coffee chocolate chip ice cream.

Dark Chocolate Covered Mixed Berry Pops! (Dairy + Refined Sugar Free!)

I’ve hit a turning point.

I’ve never been much of a frozen fruit dessert person. Even when I was a kid with strep throat, the idea of a popsicle never really thrilled me. When it comes to frozen treats, I’ve always been an ice cream kind of girl. Be it in a pint, on a cone or even on a stick, I prefer the creamy to the frozen fruity.

Until now!

I was recently on vacation with my husbands family in Huntington Beach, California and stumbled upon PopBar at the mall up the street from our hotel. Just writing the name of the place makes me sad that there isn’t one near me in LA.

It’s this GEM of a place where they have tons of popsicle options, yogurt based, gelato based  and fruit based. You then pick what kind of chocolate you want it in (milk, white, dark, mint etc) and what toppings (mostly chopped nuts, sprinkles, or crumbled

Frozen Mocha Chip Coffee! (Dairy Free + Collagen!)

It’s been So HOT. So Hot In Herre.

Sorry I can’t help myself.

I just came back from running errands around my neighborhood and even though I’ve lived here for just over 5 years now, I have yet to fully grasp that people drive EVERYWHERE (like they will get in their car to drive a block only to spend 15 minutes trying to find parking) I still have that Chicago mentality so I spent the last couple of hours bopping around West Hollywood and I think I finally understand why people drive such short distances.

If you could see my frizzy hair and incredibly sweaty self at this very moment, you’d get it, too.

So I needed something to cool me down and fill me up. Iced coffee in the afternoon on a hot day (so like, every day here for the past 5 years)  is always my go to but today I needed something a little more. I love