Practical, healthful eating and living.

Gluten free chocolate almond joy bars March 2, 2013

IMG_0578More than anything, I wanted a creative outlet today. One of my favorite things is to find a recipe for something I’ve never made before, get all the ingredients, then see how it turns out. Today’s new recipe is adapted  from one of my favorite gluten free blogs, Elana’s Pantry.

One thing I like about gluten free baked goods is that there’s usually a lot of protein in the mix. That means I’m full after one or two bites! An indulgence I can’t go overboard on because a few bites is all I want and need.

Note: this bar is not as sweet as a traditional cookie or candy bar. Feel free to add an extra teaspoon or two of sugar if you have a sweet tooth.


  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup coconut milk (Coconut has healthy fats; I use regular instead of low fat. If you have any left over, it keeps well in either the fridge or freezer.)
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar (or 1/2 cup regular sugar)
  • ½ cup blanched almond flour  (Trader Joe’s is a great source)
  • ½ cup coconut flour (Buy as much or as little as you like from the bulk flour bins at your local food coop.)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (might be hard to find in a traditional grocery store. Try Whole Foods or a food coop.)
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut milk, almond extract and sugar
  2. In a smaller bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, salt and baking soda
  3. Mix dry ingredients into wet with a handheld mixer
  4. Stir in ½ cup of the chocolate chips
  5. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish
  6. Pour batter into dish, then sprinkle shredded coconut and remaining chocolate chips on top
  7. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes
  8. Cool for 1 hour
  9. Serve

Expression via Homemade Ice Cream January 4, 2010

Filed under: What I'm eating now — beansandyoga @ 7:19 pm
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I’m a big fan of ice cream.  I go through a quart every two weeks or so.  This year, I was presented with an ice cream maker.  Delight!

Here’s what I’ve discovered so far.  I like custard style (with eggs) better than Philadelphia style (without eggs).  Having long been in the habit of freezing bananas, I’ve found that they’re also perfect for ice cream.  The flavor intensifies, but they still taste fresh.

A few walnuts from the stash I keep on hand for oatmeal.  Grated chocolate from my Christmas stocking.  Voila!  Something very much akin to Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey.

I can’t wait to try an Almond Joy inspired batch, then strawberry/banana/chocolate chip, and then vanilla with butterscotch/caramel sauce and salty, crushed cashews!


What I’m eating now – Dark Chocolate Pudding February 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized,What I'm eating now — beansandyoga @ 11:39 pm
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One of my favorites.  Easy, fast, simple.


3 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I use cocoa from Penzey’s Spices.)

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Prep time: 10 minutes

In a saucepan, thoroughly combine the cornstarch, sugar, and cocoa.  Add the milk and stir until very smooth.  Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until the pudding comes to a boil.  Lower the heat and gently simmer, stirring continuously, for 3 or 4 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir in the vanilla, pour the hot pudding into a decorative serving bowl or individual custard cups, and serve warm or chill for about 2 hours, until cold and set.

Using skim milk, per 4.50 oz. serving: 4.4 g protein, .8 g fat, .4 g saturated fatty acids, 0 g polyunsaturated fatty acids, .1 g monounsaturated fatty acids

I really don’t like reading labels, but in case you’re in the habit, I wanted to show how innocent this recipe is, despite the fact that it’s a dessert.

Recipe and nutrition info from, “Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites” by the Moosewood Collective


Milk Chocolate vs. Dark Chocolate December 12, 2008

Filed under: Energy — beansandyoga @ 9:24 am
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santa-chocolates Milk chocolate keeps me going.  Dark chocolate is trendy right now, but it’s too sugary for me.

A lot of people think of chocolate as being off-limits.  But even nutritionists now say that there are health benefits to chocolate.

I keep Dove chocolates at my desk at work.  Around 10 a.m., the craving hits.  I’ll eat two or three.  Okay, more like four or five, and then I’m done.  Even if someone passes around a box of chocolates later in the day, I find I skip it.  For some reason, that one time per day is both essential – and all I need.


Good Fats, Bad Fats December 10, 2008

Avocado Food can be so complicated.  I break it down into two parts.  If it’s deep fried, don’t eat it.  Anything else is okay.

Fats I eat on a regular basis:

– Avocado
– Nuts
– Peanut Butter
– Chocolate

– Ice cream

– Butter

For more information on good fats and bad fats, see:


Party Season Game Plan December 9, 2008

frozen-rasp-120908It’s holiday party season and that means a time out from junk food bans, right?  All around us are filo dough appetizers, cheese dips and of course, cookies.

The thing is, either there are so many people crowded around the food that I can’t get to it, or I end up talking so much that I don’t get to eat, or if I do, I end up eating foods that stay with me like a hangover the next day.

Rather than take the chance of going hungry, or of filling up on foods that aren’t my favorites, anyway, I started making a point of eating BEFORE a party.

This can be a challenge, if headed straight from work.  What to do?  Here are a few snacks that have worked for me.

  • Frozen raspberry yogurt sundae. Grab a Glad or Ziploc container (about 1&3/4 cup large, or 14 oz.), add about 1/2 cup of frozen raspberries.  Sprinkle with a spoonful of sugar.  Add about a 1/2 cup of yogurt (any flavor).  Sprinkle with muesli, crumbled walnuts or slivered almonds, and a handful of dried cranberries or raisins.  Cover and take to work.  The raspberries will thaw slowly during the day; I don’t bother to put mine in the fridge.  If your office is particularly warm, you may want to refrigerate it, but I have never had any problems with it.   Eat just before you head to the party.
  • Almonds, apricots and chocolate. In a Ziploc bag, mix 1 cup of whole raw almonds, 1 cup of dried apricots, and 1 cup of wrapped Dove milk chocolates.  Yes, chocolates.  Combined with the almonds and apricots, the mix includes fast, medium and long-term energy.  It will keep you going.
  • Peanuts, raisins and M&Ms. Mix one cup of each, toss into a small plastic bag, and you’re set for work, the car, or a brief case.  By creating your own mix, you bypass the additives that come with candy bars and processed foods.  By carrying it in a Ziploc or your own container, the mix is likely to be better sealed than if store-bought.  Both the almond and this mix last a couple of weeks, maybe longer.