Strawberry Nectarine Crumble



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Does everyone love crumbles as much as I do?  Sweet, warm fruit topped with a buttery streusel topping, really nothing gets much better.  And this crumble is honestly the best I’ve ever made…possibly the best I’ve ever had, which I don’t say lightly.  I come from a family of crumbles.  Strawberry and rhubarb in the spring, apple and cranberry in the fall, really whatever fruit is in season is free game.  Today when I told my mom about the wonderful strawberries and nectarines that were on sale in Greensboro, her first thought was “Oh, are you going to make a crumble?!”  Best. Idea. Ever.  The fruit is so ripe and sweet it verges on jammy, and the topping is the best complement.  Thanks, Mom, you were right again!

Strawberry Nectarine Crumble

-1 lb strawberries, hulled and quartered

-3-4 nectarines, sliced into wedges

-Zest of ½ lemon

-1 tsp vanilla extract

-3 Tbsp dark brown sugar, divided

-1/2 c flour

-1/2 c old fashioned oats

-3/4 tsp baking powder

-4 Tbsp cold butter

-Pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 375⁰.  Mix the fruit, lemon zest, vanilla, and 1 Tbsp brown sugar in an 8 inch pan.  If your fruit is already super sweet, feel free to leave out the sugar in this step.  In a separate bowl, add all other ingredients and combine with your fingers.  Don’t go too far here—you still want to have a few clumps of butter.  I suggest letting the flour mixture sit in the fridge for half an hour (or up to a day) before you top the fruit with it.  This will give the butter time to get hard again and will give you better crumbles.  Top your fruit and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until everything is nice and golden brown.  Enjoy!

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Coconut Macaroon Easter Nests

I’m going to my in laws for Easter and wanted to make a festive and easy treat to take for the weekend. Julia and I brainstormed for a bit and decided upon coconut macroons. These were quick, easy, and inexpensive plus gluten and dairy free to boot! (If you need completely dairy free just substitute the chocolate eggs for jelly beans)

♥Hippity Hoppity Easter’s On It’s Way♥


Coconut Macaroon Nests

-4 c sweetened shredded coconut

-4 egg whites

-1/2 c sugar

-1/2 tsp vanilla extract

-1/4 tsp almond extract

-parchment or non-stick spray

-Cadbury mini eggs for decoration

Preheat your oven to 350º and toast the coconut on a baking sheet for 5-7 minutes or until very slightly golden. Let the coconut cool while you prepare your egg whites.  Whisk them for 1-2 minutes or until frothy; then add the sugar and vanilla and almond extracts and whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 5 more minutes.

Place parchment or cooking spray (we used coconut oil spray) on your baking sheet and then spoon the coconut mixture on using about 2 tablespoons per nest.  Don’t worry too much about the shape of them now–we’ll take care of that later!  Bake them for 8 minutes and then remove from the oven.  At this point, use a spoon or your fingers to first form the clumps into little circles and then press in an indention for the nests.  Return it to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the coconut is nicely toasted.  Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before decorating with the chocolate eggs.  Enjoy!



Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

My husband just came home from the grocery store having picked up just one item:  peanut butter.  I instantly knew what he was thinking:  peanut butter cookies please!  There is absolutely no way to turn down a request like this.  I mean, it doesn’t get better than gluten and dairy free chocolate chip peanut butter cookies!

I am fully aware that most gluten free products just aren’t as good as the real thing, but these cookies are the exception.  They are a gift from God.


Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

-1 16 oz jar of creamy peanut butter

-2 eggs

-1 c white sugar

-1 c brown sugar

-2 tsp baking soda

-1/2 tsp salt

-1 c mini chocolate chips (dairy free and gluten free if need be)

Step 1.  Add the first 6 ingredients to a bowl and stir until well combined.


Step 2.  Next add the chocolate chips and stir.


Step 3.  Place tablespoon balls of cookie dough on an un-greased baking sheet and bake at 350º for 9-12 minutes.  Don’t try to take the cookies off the baking sheet until they are completely cool-they will essentially turn to mush if you try.


Step 4.  Once cooled, try to resist immediately making a second batch.  Enjoy!


Vegan Chocolate Truffles


Ok stick with me here.  I’ve been dabbling in vegan cooking and baking lately.  I’m still definitely eating meat, but my main goal is really focusing on eating a lot more whole foods, especially fruits and veggies.  But it’s Valentine’s Day!  And you know I’m all about celebrating holidays with lots of festive foods, so I had to make some chocolates.

I’ve heard a lot about date “caramel” lately and decided to try it out for the first time last weekend.  My expectations were extremely low, but it turned out amazing!  I kind of can’t stop eating it with apple slices.  Yum.  This time I’m venturing in a little deeper and making some date caramel truffles coated in chocolate.  I decided to add shredded coconut and peanut butter to some of them because it sounded good.  Spoiler alert:  it was.  It’s hard to describe just how awesome these are.  Suffice it to say, it will be a miracle if any of them actually make it all the way to Valentine’s Day.

Date Truffles

-1 heaping cup pitted dates

-1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

-1/2 tsp vanilla extract

-Pinch of salt

-Optional: peanut butter and shredded coconut

First let your dates soften up in very hot water for about 20 minutes.  Drain and add them to a food processor with the coconut oil, vanilla, and salt.  Blend everything together until a ball forms.  Depending on your food processor this can take a few minutes.  Just be patient and scrape down the sides often.  Once you have a nice, smooth texture, place it in a bowl and put it into the freezer for about 10 minutes or until it’s firm enough to roll into small balls.  You can make these any size you want, but I made mine a little smaller than a walnut.  If you’re so inclined, roll some of them in the coconut and flatten the others out a bit and topped them with a little dollop of peanut butter.  Throw everything back in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.


Chocolate Sauce

-1/2 c cocoa powder

-1/2 c coconut oil, melted

-1/4 c maple syrup

Whisk all ingredients together.  Finally drop the date balls into the chocolate sauce and set back onto the sheet tray.  The chocolate will start to set up immediately since the date mixture is so cold.  Dunk them back into the chocolate a second time, and then, you guessed it, back to the freezer just until the chocolate sets.  Store them in either the freezer or the fridge and enjoy!


Peppermint Bark ‘Puppy Chow’

Ok, I know we’re focusing on our healthy winter recipes right now, but hey, it’s the weekend!  Everyone I know loves the chocolatey/peanut buttery deliciousness that is puppy chow, but this recipe puts a peppermint bark spin on it for the holidays.  A word of warning:  be prepared to love this so much that you’re tempted to eat the whole thing.

 Peppermint Bark ‘Puppy Chow’

-8 c. corn Chex cereal

-14 oz. bag of peppermints

-12 oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (dairy and gluten free options are out there!)

-2 Tbsp butter or Earth Balance

-1 1/2 c. powdered sugar


-Place peppermints in a food processor and pulse until they’re turned to powder.  A few larger pieces are fine and that little crunch tastes wonderful

-Mix together the peppermint dust and powdered sugar and place in a large Ziploc bag

-Combine the chocolate chips and butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until they’re melted (about a minute and a half), stirring every 15 seconds to avoid burning

-In a large bowl combine the Chex cereal and chocolate mixture, stirring until the Chex are evenly coated

-Transfer the chocolatey Chex into the Ziploc and shake until powdery peppermint and sugar mixture has covered all of the cereal mixture.