Tag Archives: Dessert

The Healthiest Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

healthiest chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing | almost getting it together

One year ago today (I’m writing this on Sunday morning) I sat down and wrote my first blog post on Almost Getting it Together. I also ran the Montour Run Half-Marathon (which I ran this year, I’ll recap tomorrow – today is for celebration) and discussed running a half-marathon unprepared (foreshadowing?). I wrote a few posts, bit the bullet and bought my domain name, then six months later began working with my designer to make my blog look more professional and moved to self-hosting (which I am thankful for every day).

healthiest chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing | almost getting it together

It’s not a Blogiversary without sprinkles.

One of the biggest things blogging has taught me is to be patient. I used to have no patience whatsoever. I used to have a fear that if something didn’t happen within a certain time frame, the world was going to end. I’ll let you in on a little secret – I’ve ruined a good number of relationships, recipes and belongings by not being patient. I’m learning how to not feel the need for instant gratification. My mantra currently is “Patience, Pisone”. Yes, there are times I’m ready to give up on whatever it is because I just want it now but what is that going to serve me? I’m not going to get what I want because I gave up, so was it really worth it to not be patient?

healthiest chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing | almost getting it together

Fun fact: I almost accidentally made this photo title the President of WVU’s Twitter handle.

As far as patience with blogging goes, I couldn’t come out of the gate and be Sincerely, Jules or Cupcakes and Cashmere or Edible Perspective. It’s been a lot of hard work to grow my blog, a lot of time and even more passion. If you ever need a reality check on what it’s like to grow as a blogger, go look at the very first posts bloggers have written. Would I love to blog full-time some day? Yes. But that isn’t going to happen overnight.

healthiest chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing | almost getting it together

One thing that still needs patience and work? My food photography skills.

Angela asked if I was going to make a special recipe for my Blogiversary. I honestly didn’t plan on it until she mentioned it. I actually considered going all out and making a recipe with real butter and sugar and all of those things, but Almost Getting it Together started because I made a pan of black bean brownies once that were insanely delicious and everyone at work told me to start a blog for my recipes. (I am capable – and willing – to make those things, just for the record.) I had to stay true to my roots! (I should have recreated those brownies for my Blogiversary but I wanted something with sprinkles.)

healthiest chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing | almost getting it together

Note the icing on my finger. I couldn’t wait to try these.

This is to thank everyone for coming to my blog. Almost Getting it Together finally gave me the creative outlet I wasn’t getting anywhere else. I look forward to reading your comments every day. I’ve made friends who have talked me through some crazy shit (Davida talking me down at 2 pm on a weekday over FaceTime with a glass of wine or Erin standing on the street in Oakland with me, telling me I’m making the right decision, even if it feels so hard.) It makes my entire day when someone has tried my recipe and loved it or someone in my life tells me they like my blog (dove love to all my sorority sisters at homecoming last year who told me they loved my blog!).

Sooo… real quick let’s chat about these cupcakes. Gluten free, refined sugar free, oil free… and I still want to eat the entire pan. The texture isn’t super cake-y, more devil’s food cake-y thanks to the egg whites. There are 82 calories in each of these cupcakes… and 4 grams of protein. I know, I’m pretty talented. That means you can have a couple of these and a glass of champagne and not feel guilty. You’re welcome.

healthiest chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing | almost getting it together

The Healthiest Chocolate Cupcake with Peanut Butter Frosting

The Healthiest Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
 
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82 calorie chocolate cupcakes with less than 7 grams of sugar and 4 grams of protein! Refined sugar free, gluten free and oil free!
Author:
Recipe type: Gluten Free
Cuisine: Dessert
Serves: 18
Ingredients
Cupcakes
  • 1 large zucchini, shredded
  • 1 cup Gluten Free Baking Flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 egg + 2 egg whites
  • ⅔ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ⅛ tsp salt
Peanut Butter Frosting
  • 8 oz plain 0% Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp cottage cheese
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners or spray with coconut oil.
  3. Mix gluten free flour blend, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
  4. In a medium size bowl, mix egg, applesauce, vanilla, and honey together.
  5. Make a well in dry ingredients and add wet ingredients and mix until well combined.
  6. Add shredded zucchini and continue mixing until well combined.
  7. Pour batter into prepared tins, filling ⅔ of the way full.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes until a fork inserted comes out clean.
  9. Let cool completely.
  10. While muffins are cooling, mix Greek Yogurt and peanut butter in a food processor until well combined.
  11. Add cottage cheese, maple syrup and vanilla and continue mixing.
  12. Once cupcakes are completely cooled, frost with peanut butter frosting.
  13. Top with sprinkles and enjoy guilt-free!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cupcake Calories: 82 Fat: 2.4 g Saturated fat: 0.7 g Carbohydrates: 12.1 g Sugar: 6.7 g Sodium: 72 mg Fiber: 1.5 g Protein: 4.0 g

Chat with me:
What do you love most about Almost Getting it Together? What do you want to see more of? Less of?

Coconut Oil, Honey and Sea Salt Popcorn

coconut oil, honey and sea salt popcorn | almost getting it together

Last summer I learned about popping popcorn in a microwave with just a brown paper bag from Angela. It took me another year until I actually tried it myself. I love making homemade popcorn (and honestly, making it on the stove is best) but sometimes runger takes over and I just need something sweet, salty and that I can have in just a few minutes.

coconut oil, honey and sea salt popcorn | almost getting it together

Coconut Oil, Honey and Sea Salt Popcorn.

The microwave popcorn you buy in the store is absolutely awful for you. It’s full of gross preservatives and fake flavors. I’ll never touch it again. I mean, I love the idea of it, but I also don’t like the idea of just casually eating carcinogens. Plus, as you know, this is gluten free and if you’re vegan, sub out the honey for maple syrup (or agave, but honestly, agave is awful for you, don’t eat it).

coconut oil, honey and sea salt popcorn | almost getting it together

Drizzle a little extra honey on top!

I also have a large fond spot in my heart for kettle corn, but kettle corn is mostly sugar. Think of this coconut oil, honey and sea salt popcorn as a healthier version to kettle corn. (If you do want a decently healthy store kettle corn, Trader Joe’s Lite Kettle Corn is relatively low in sugar and is popped with sunflower oil.)

My coconut oil, honey and sea salt is one of my favorite things to eat on Saturdays after long runs because then I can get in sugar (honey) and salt, as well as a surprisingly good amount of protein (and a ton of fiber but popcorn – duh). If you want, you can make this on the stove, too. Just use coconut oil to cook it!

Coconut Oil, Honey and Sea Salt Popcorn
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Gluten Free, Paleo
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp popcorn kernels
  • 1 tsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1½ tsp honey
  • ⅛ tsp pink Himalyan sea salt
Instructions
  1. Place popcorn kernels in a brown paper bag and fold top over.
  2. Place bag in microwave and microwave for 3-5 minutes, listening closely and stopping the microwave once there is 1-2 second between popping.
  3. Remove bag from microwave and open to allow heat out.
  4. Place coconut oil, honey and sea salt in bag of popped popcorn kernels and shake well to combine.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: entire recipe Calories: 221 Fat: 5.3 g Saturated fat: 3.9 g Carbohydrates: 44.6 g Sugar: 8.6 g Sodium: 234 mg Fiber: 9.0 g Protein: 6.0 g

Chat with me:
What is your favorite sweet & salty combo? Do you always get popcorn at movies? What is your guilty snack pleasure?

Grilled Strawberry Parfait

gluten free grilled strawberry parfait | almost getting it together

I promised a two-part recipe and I will deliver. As I’ve mentioned, I’m secretly super nerdy and listen to podcasts when I run. My favorite is Dinner Party Download, which is supposed to help you “win your dinner parties”.  Actually, this recipe for a grilled strawberry parfait will help you win your dinner party.

Grilling – and roasting – fruits and vegetables brings out their natural sweetness. Strawberries are one of the fruits lower on the sugar scale, so sometimes they can be a little tart. Grilling them makes them succulent and extra sweet which makes for a quick, fancy and super-healthy dessert.

gluten free grilled strawberry parfait | almost getting it together

Measuring hedges make another appearance.

gluten free grilled strawberry parfait | almost getting it together

Win your dinner party with this grilled strawberry parfait.

gluten free grilled strawberry parfait | almost getting it together

Drop the Dairy Queen blizzard and enjoy real food.

My dad did the actual grilling and now wants to have his own grilling feature on the blog. I honestly can’t compare any grilled food at a restaurant to my dad’s because his will win. Blame that on part of the reason I enjoy eating at home so much. Also maybe why I live at home… I tried grilling chicken once and was sorely disappointed. What will I do if I ever leave? #ItalianGirlProblems

5.0 from 2 reviews
Grilled Strawberry Parfait
 
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Impress your guests with this grilled strawberry parfait.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Gluten Free
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Soak wooden kabob skewers in water for fifteen minutes.
  2. Heat up your grill.
  3. Thread strawberries on skewer, leaving about 1" at each end.
  4. Put skewers directly on the grill, turning after one minute.
  5. Strawberries are done once grill marks show.

Chat with me:
What is your favorite summertime dessert? Do you ever grill fruit? Is it super lame I’m 25 and moved back home (again) and love it? I swear I’ll be on my own in the next few months!

Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding

Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding purely elizabeth granola | almost getting it together

One of my favorite desserts is banana bread pudding but I always forget about it. I think it’s a really Southern dessert and is much more prevalent on menus there than it is in Pittsburgh. I make a seriously decadent banana pudding, full of sugar and gluten and dairy, that used to last maybe a day or two at my house in college – and we are talking huge glass dish of banana pudding. (Once again, and I wondered why I was a size 6-8 in college… multiple banana pudding servings per day.)

Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding purely elizabeth granola | almost getting it together

Banana pudding + chia seeds + granola = love.

I always crave a dessert with a little substance – it needs to have fruit, a sweet-ish base and lately, a crunch. My friends at Purely Elizabeth sent me a few over their granolas to try and I realized as I was eating granola with yogurt and banana that it would be the perfect substitute to vanilla wafers.

Davida is my brunette, Canadian twin for yet another reason – I, like her, cannot be trusted alone in a house with granola. I don’t want to talk about how long it took me to get through a bag of Purely Elizabeth granola because it is shameful. I took solace in the fact that I was eating all sorts of ancient grains so I was probably getting some long-lost nutrient I had forgotten about.

Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding purely elizabeth granola | almost getting it together

Vegan and gluten free banana pudding.

As soon as I was done photographing this, I was getting ready to put it away into a container to eat later and I put a little in a bow then I accidentally ate the entire thing. In about 30 seconds. Try to savor yours a little longer than I did.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding
 
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Gluten free and vegan banana pudding, full of fiber and protein - great for breakfast or dessert!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves: 4
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place 1 banana, chia seeds, almond milk, vanilla and nuttzo in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour mixture into container and put into fridge, covered, at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Layer chia seed mixture with sliced banana and top with granola.
  4. Repeat until container is topped.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4 Calories: 212 Fat: 8.5 Saturated fat: 2 Unsaturated fat: 0 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 31.7 Sugar: 13 Sodium: 85 Fiber: 7.5 Protein: 5.4 Cholesterol: 0

My friends at Purely Elizabeth want you to have the chance to try their granola, too! They’re giving away a sampler including their Original Oatmeal, 6-Grain Hot Cereal, Pumpkin Fig Granola & Original Granola. You can enter now through midnight on Thursday, April 24th.

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Check out my other recipe featuring Purely Elizabeth, the Superfood Smoothie Bowl.

Chat with me:
Does anyone know what’s in a vanilla wafer? What is your favorite dessert that you always forget about?

Gluten Free & Vegan Chocolate Chip NuttZo Blondies (and a Giveaway!)

gluten free vegan chocolate chip nuttzo blondies | almost getting it together

My name is Cassie and I’m addicted to nut butter. Nuttzo, almond butter, peanut butter, chocolate peanut butter… you name it, it’s probably in my pantry and I’ve probably eaten a spoonful of it already today. I went so far as to buy mini-packets of Justin’s Almond Butter and Wildfriends Chocolate Sunflower Butter to take with me to Nicaragua so I wouldn’t have a day without nut butter. (Plus I needed the healthy fats and protein for a long day of surfing, right?)

Speaking of NuttZo… My friends at NuttZo are giving away a jar to a lucky American (sorry guys!) resident. Enter now through Thursday, April 17th at midnight. I’ll announce the winner on here Friday. C’mon, go use my Rafflecopter now that I can embed it.

Anyway, I had been craving blondies and the one time I made black bean brownies (if only I had written down the recipe!), they were the ultimate hit so I decided I could definitely create a blondie recipe with chickpeas. And what is better than a blondie? A blondie with nut butter and chocolate chips of course.

gluten free vegan chocolate chip nuttzo blondies | almost getting it together

Can you believe these beauties are gluten free AND vegan?

The best part of baking with chickpeas is that you don’t need eggs to hold anything together, so they are great for gluten free and vegan baking. If you’re hesitant of a bean-based baked good – don’t be. You’ll have no idea they are fudge-y bars of protein and fiber.

gluten free vegan chocolate chip nuttzo blondies | almost getting it together

No one will ever know your secret legume ingredient…

On another note, I’m going to attribute these to my hairstylist telling me my hair was the healthiest it’s been in four years, due to all the healthy fats and protein.

gluten free vegan chocolate chip nuttzo blondies | almost getting it together

Chocolate chip goodness.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Gluten Free & Vegan Nuttzo Blondies (and a Giveaway!)
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 banana
  • ⅓ cup almond meal
  • 3 tbsp Nuttzo
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ⅛ tsp baking soda
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put chickpeas and banana in food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Add almond meal, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder and continue blending.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Pour into greased pan.
  6. Lightly pour Nuttzo onto batter. Use a knife to swirl into blondies.
  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until tops begin to brown and a fork inserted comes out clean.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 blondie Calories: 143 Fat: 5.3 Saturated fat: .8 Carbohydrates: 19.3 Sugar: 4.4 Sodium: 21 Fiber: 6.4 Protein: 5.5

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Chat with me:
What’s your all-time favorite nut butter?

Salted Caramel Chia Pudding

salted caramel chia pudding gluten free vegan | almost getting it together

Chia seeds are having a real moment. I personally love chia seeds, mainly because I have a fear of not getting enough omega-3s or fiber, and also a tablespoon of them can turn 1/2 cup of oatmeal into like 3 cups of oatmeal if you do it right. (Okay, maybe 2. Just add double the water). If you want to learn more about chia seeds (and seeds in general), Davida at The Healthy Maven had a great round-up of all thing seed.

Yes, if you live under the superfood rock, chia seeds are what makes chia pets. Also most things you should eat are plants so I don’t know why that scares you. Chia seeds also make pudding, without all the milk and sugar and crap JELL-O sticks in theirs (sorry, Bill Cosby). I’ve been seeing chia pudding everywhere and started craving it. I had a failed pumpkin chia pudding recipe… and then decided I wanted salted caramel pudding. I’ve been craving caramel pudding since I saw it on a post on Running with Spoons, but unfortunately caramel pudding does not exist in the US (or at least not in the greater Pittsburgh metro area grocery stores).

Even though this recipe looks time intensive, it seriously takes five minutes total. It’s kind of an overnight plus the whole next day sitting around waiting time, so start it before you go to bed (soaking the dates and almonds) then blend it all before you go to work/school/have a fulfilling life that doesn’t involve either of those (and then I’m extra jealous of your life and the fact you will be enjoying this delicious chia pudding). Make it for your next dinner party because it’s vegan, gluten free, paleo, raw – whatever, everyone can eat it unless they’re allergic to almonds.

salted caramel chia pudding gluten free vegan | almost getting it together

Topped with a little cocoa powder because life is short.

Salted Caramel Chia Pudding
 
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Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup almond milk, separated into ½ cups
  • ¼ cup raw almonds
  • ¼ cup dates, pitted
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • ½ tsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp pink Himalayan sea salt (or normal sea salt)
Instructions
  1. Put almonds and dates in a small container and cover with water. Let sit overnight.
  2. The next morning, drain water from almonds and dates.
  3. Put almonds, dates, ½ cup almond milk and lemon juice into blender or food processor and combine until a liquid and no small parts remain.
  4. Put chia seeds in a container. Poor almond-date-almond milk mixture over chia seeds. Add remaining ½ cup almond milk. Cover and shake to combine.
  5. Let mixture sit at least 4 hours, or until chia seeds absorb all the liquid.
  6. Top pudding with sea salt and enjoy.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4 Calories: 98 Fat: 5.5 Carbohydrates: 12.3 Sugar: 7.4 Sodium: 163 Fiber: 3.7 Protein: 2.9

 

Chat with me:
What’s your favorite superfood? How do you like to eat it?