Gluten Free Chocolate Bar

Wax Orchards - Choc Bar - Plated

I enjoy finding healthier ingredients to cook with and sharing those products with you.  Anytime we can reduce sugar, the happier our bodies are.  Wax Orchards is a company out of  the beautiful state of Washington and they have found a way to cook down three fruits (pears, pineapple and peaches) to a honey consistency.  Their products are rock stars.

Wax Orchards - Products

They use the Fruit Sweet product to make other products like these amazing fudge products.  

Now back to the recipe –  Hmm?   What to do?…What to do?  My soon-to-be daughter-in-law passed on a gluten free recipe; and I modified it to utilize the products.  It took me a couple of tries to get it where I wanted but it has been triple family-approved by my husband, daughter and 2-1/2 year-old grandson and that’s enough for me.

Gluten Free Chocolate Bars
Yields 30
With the exception of the chocolate, this treat is sweetened with fruit juice.
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Cook Time
40 min
Cook Time
40 min
  1. 2 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  2. 1 cup peanut, almond, or your favorite nut butter (no sugar added)
  3. 1/2 cup Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet
  4. 1/2 cup Wax Orchards Classic Fudge or Peppermint Fudge
  5. 3 cage-free eggs
  6. 4 tsp of pure vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
  7. 1 tsp salt
  8. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  9. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  10. 3/4 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  11. Sea salt for sprinkling
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Coat a 9 x 12 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Rinse and drain garbanzo beans.
  4. If using a vanilla bean, slice down the center and remove the paste by scraping a spoon down the length of the bean. Set aside.
  5. Place garbanzo beans into a food processor and pulse 7-10 times, scraping occasionally until they start to break down.
  6. Add all other ingredients except the chocolate chips and blend until smooth.
  7. Add in half of the chocolate chips and pulse until chocolate is your desired consistency.
  8. Pour and smooth batter into prepared pan.
  9. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top of batter.
  10. Place in oven for approximately 35-40 minutes, depending on how your oven cooks. A toothpick should come out clean.
  11. Take out of oven. At this point you can leave the chocolate chips as is or using a small flat spatial or butter knife spread the hot chocolate on top (acts almost like a frosting).
  12. Now is the hard part - you have to let this cool completely. It's going to be hard because the smell says Eat me Now.
  13. Cut into squares - these freeze well.
Adapted from The Comfort of Cooking
Deliciously Inspired
Wax Orchard - Choc Bar - Ingredients
Gather the ingredients

Wax Orchard - Choc Bar - baked
This is the hard part – letting it cool completely before cutting into bars

These are delicious as is but here are a few more ideas on how to plate them:
Wax Orchards - Choc Bar - Plated IC and Strawberries
Fresh Strawberries and an Ice Cream made entirely with frozen bananas in a food processor

Wax Orchards - Choc Bar - Plated with Banana IC and Coconut Cream
Banana Ice Cream and Coconut Cream



Cinnamon Cake

Early in our marriage I used to purchase a Pillsbury mix that made a cinnamon swirl bundt cake.  For many reasons (wheat sensitivities, looking for reduced sugar alternatives and an increased knowledge of using unprocessed products, etc) I no longer use the mixes. However, I saw a recipe from Taste of Home and took it to the kitchen to see if I could make something similar to what I remembered with a healthier slant.

Cinnamon Cake - baked

I am happy to say my family feels I’ve been successful.  I have included the original link to the recipe I modified.  But here are the changes I implemented.  I cut the sugar way back and even used a small amount of pure maple syrup to add sweetness.  I substituted the sour cream for 2% plain yogurt which added additional protein into the cake.


I’ve said it before and I’ll encourage once again – don’t skimp on the type of cinnamon you use.  I am a believer in Vietnamese cinnamon. I purchase mine at SurLaTable Kitchen Store by it can also be found on Amazon.  

This cake isn’t too sweet and is very versatile for breakfast, brunch, a snack or dessert.  I can see several variations – add a small scoop of ice cream, fresh berries or a light layer of your favorite 100% fruit spread on top of a slice.

Don’t want an entire cake around?  Cut a portion and wrap and give to neighbor, friend, coworkers or cut in slices, wrap individually and place in the freezer for a future treat.  I shared a portion with my daughter’s family (aka:  The Workout Mama) and she gave it a two thumbs up.

Cinnamon Cake
A cinnamon swirl coffee cake
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  1. 1 cup butter, softened
  2. 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
  3. 4 eggs
  4. 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  5. 3 cups of flour - I used white spelt flour
  6. 1 tsp baking soda
  7. 1 tsp salt
  8. 2 cups 2% plain Fage yogurt
  9. 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
  10. 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  11. Glaze (if desired)
  12. 1/3 cup of powdered sugar
  13. 1 Tbsp milk (your choice) - I used almond milk.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and 1 cup of sugar until light fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  3. Place yogurt and syrup in a small bowl and mix together.
  4. Combine flour, baking soda and salt and sift together. Add alternately with yogurt mixture, beating just enough after each addition to keep batter smooth.
  5. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon together in small bowl.
  6. Grease a bundt pan.
  7. Spoon and spread a third of batter into greased pan. Sprinkle a third of cinnamon and sugar mixture over batter in pan. Repeat layers two more times. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack or baking dish to cool completely.
  8. If glaze is desired - mix a little milk at a time into powdered sugar and drizzle over cooled cake. Yield: 16-20 servings.
Adapted from Taste of Home
Adapted from Taste of Home
Deliciously Inspired
Cinnamon Cake2

Cinnamon Cake-slice

Cinnamon Cake1

As we enter the holiday season, the reality is that we will eat a treat of two. As much as possible let’s intentionally choose treats that have sound ingredients in them to help nourish our bodies.


Did Someone Say Date?

The word date can mean so many things – we can make something yummy with dates, we can make a jar to save our change and go out with someone special or we can have fun with a little person in the kitchen.   

Date Bar Sliced

First up – I made these amazing date bars from Elizabeth Finch – You can find the recipe HERE  They are made with good clean ingredients – almond flour, dates, honey, egg, nuts, etc. and are gluten free.  

I didn’t have pecans so I used a mixture of raw almonds, cashews and unsweetened coconut for the top.  I’m going to warn you that you’ll want to double this recipe because they are so yummy.  I found that after cutting into bars, wrapping in syran wrap and placing them in the freezer on a cookie sheet for about an hour.  Then I place all the wrapped up little presents in a large Ziplock bag to store in the freezer.  They can be eaten as a bar or sliced once you are ready to enjoy. 

I knew this was the recipe I wanted to try my new Vietnamese Cinnamon in – oh this was so worth the $8.00 – purchased at Sur la Table.

Date Bar Squares


 Idea 2 – Buy a dozen canning jars and make some of these Date Night Jars for Christmas Gifts – Click HERE to find out how. 

Date Jar

Then my favorite -a  cooking date with my grandson.  This weekend we made some biscuits – Recipe can be found HERE  

AME - Heart Biscuits

10-10-14 Caden - Biscuit Making

Isn’t he so adorable?

Thanks for letting me share 3 of my favorite “date” ideas.