Grandma’s Crescent Cookies

Growing up my grandmother used to make these deliciously buttery and crumbly crescent cookies around the winter holidays, when the days reached their darkest. They were a favorite Christmastime treat of mine, but since I had to change my diet, I wasn’t able to enjoy them anymore. This year, I created a grain-free version that rivals the originals, crumbles and all!

While this recipe does use butter (I’m working on developing a vegan version), I replaced the white sugar and powdered sugar with monk fruit, a sugar-free fruit sweetener, to keep it paleo (you can also use coconut sugar). Hope you enjoy these delectable cookies this holiday!

Candied Pecan Sweet Potatoes

This recipe is an adaptation of my grandmother’s famously sweet and buttery mashed sweet potato dish that she used to make for Thanksgiving–true to her Southern roots! Since I try to avoid most dairy and refined sugar, I substituted vegan butter for dairy butter and coconut sugar for brown sugar, but it still packs a punch. It’s so sweet and creamy, you might just think about forgoing the pumpkin pie… This dish has become a Thanksgiving favorite and staple of mine and my family’s; it just might become one for yours too!

Snickerdoodle Cookies (Vegan, Grain-free)

There is a lot to love about these cookies starting with the fact that they are super light and chewy. They’re also vegan, grain-free, and oil-free. They aren’t considered paleo because I use white sugar to maintain their pale color, but substituting for coconut sugar will do the trick. I often make them when I’m dying for a sweet fix after dinner but don’t have a lot of time to make something time-intensive because they are super easy to whip up.

Scoop-n-Bake Cookies

These cookies hit every diet category and the easiest cookie recipe I’ve ever created. Playing off the break-n-bake cookies you can buy at the store, these are scoop-n-bake: they only take 10 minutes to whip up and another 10 to bake! I often make these cookies when I’m dying for a sweet fix after dinner but don’t have a lot of time to make something time-intensive. This recipe includes chocolate chips, but you could replace the chocolate chips with chopped nuts or raisins. Try them out and let me know what you think! 

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Most puddings are laden with artificial flavors and refined sugars. Not to mention many contain gelatin, milk, or egg yolks, which is not appropriate for vegans. Well, this version is vegan and doesn’t contain any of the processed ingredients normally found in store-bought versions or mixes. The rich, creamy texture and mouthfeel comes from the avocado and banana, while the sweetness is derived solely from the banana and dates! Since this rich, filling pudding has a high healthy fat content, it’s best served in 6 to 8 oz glasses and shared. 

Blueberry & Lemon Donuts with Mint

My favorite donut growing up was the blueberry cake donut from Dunkin’ Donuts! Since then, I’ve had to alter my diet significantly and therefore was determined to come up with my own gluten-free version. This recipe features blueberries paired with sour lemon and fresh mint, which helps moderate the sweetness. Currently, it’s as close to the cake-style donut as I can come up with, but this post will be amended with any additional improvements I discover. Since I use powdered sugar for the frosting, it cannot be considered paleo (see my suggestion below). But if you are going to, this would be the recipe to splurge on!

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Fudge

Fudge has always been a favorite treat of mine. Whenever I pass one of those boutique chocolate shops making fudge in the window I can’t help but stop. Smell. And go in and buy some! In recent years, my diet has prompted me to create my own. What’s unique about this recipe is that all sugar comes in the form of dates! Using rich, dark unsweetened chocolate cuts out the refined sugars and milk products. Go on, have several fudge squares!

Gingerbread Cookies

Growing up, gingerbread and gingersnap cookies were my favorite Christmas treats! This year, I finally attempted my own and I’m pleased to say the first cookie batch exceeded my expectations. In fact, the photos shown here are taken of that first batch!