Fixate Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls

I love desserts.  I love to bake them, look at pictures of them, and certainly eat them.  I’m always on the lookout for cleaner treats or healthier versions of desserts that I love, so when I saw that the healthy cooking show on Beachbody On Demand–Fixate–had Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls on their menu, I wanted to immediately try them!

I’ve made these several times for multiple occasions, and they are always a huge hit!  These are actually on our Advent activity list to take to my son’s school teachers.  Yum!

One important note with this recipe is to make sure that you use PURE maple syrup, not the cheap pancake syrup.  It will not taste the same, and it changes the nutrition.  Pure maple syrup is a sugar that is easier to digest and is used by the body as energy, not stored as fat like the added sugar in the cheap stuff.

These are great for a holiday potluck, simple gifts for neighbors, or when you want a nice dessert for a get-together.  Or when you want chocolate.

2 of these count as 1 yellow snack container for the Portion Fix.

Fixate Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls

1 cup natural creamy peanut butter

1 tbsp cornstarch

3/4 cup coconut flour

2 tbsp pure maple syrup

8 oz dark chocolate, chopped or chips

2 tsp coconut oil

  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Combine peanut butter, corn starch, coconut flour and maple syrup in a large bowl, food processor or stand mixer.  Blend well until it becomes a uniform dough.  Add hot water as necessary to moisten it.
  3. Using clean hands, shape dough until 1 inch balls; place a toothpick into the center of each ball. Place on baking sheet and refrigerate for 20 minutes. ***I actually just use a 1/2 tbsp measuring spoon because they have a nicer shape and don’t melt this way.
  4. While you wait for the balls to chill, put the chocolate and coconut oil in a small, microwavable bowl.
  5. Melt the chocolate and oil 30 seconds at a time in the microwave, stirring after each 30 second interval, until completely melted and smooth (this usually takes me three rounds).  Let cool slightly.
  6. Remove balls from refrigerator.  Hold a ball by the toothpick and dip it into the chocolate, swirl it to completely coat or use a spoon to pour chocolate over the top of it.  Repeat with each of the balls, returning them to the baking sheet.
  7. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until chocolate has hardened.
  8. Store in an air tight container in the fridge or freezer.



Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins

You guys.  These muffins are seriously good.  If you’re looking for a treat food that doesn’t have any weird ingredients but also isn’t terrible for you, this is a great option!  I made this last night for our church group and they are so good!  I had to share right away.  I didn’t even take a picture!

I kind of accidentally messed up the recipe, but it ended up being really great.  The original calls for plain Greek yogurt, but smart self got vanilla Greek yogurt, thinking the vanilla flavor would add some yumminess.  I didn’t even think about the fact that the vanilla flavor comes with a bunch of added sugar!  Oops.  To balance it out, I just didn’t add the brown sugar the recipe calls for.  To make this an even cleaner treat, you should use the plain yogurt and brown sugar–it’s less processed that way.  According to the mighty mind of Google, there are actually fewer grams of sugar in the vanilla yogurt I used, so if you would rather just have less sugar, that is an option.

At first I thought that half a cup of chocolate chips wouldn’t be enough for a whole batch, but they distributed pretty evenly throughout the muffins, and the melting chocolate chips makes me feel like it’s more chocolate than it actually is.  I used dark chocolate because I just prefer it (and it’s a little better for you!), but you could use any type of chocolate you wanted.

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins (slightly adapted from Running with Spoons)

2 medium bananas, ripe and mashed

2 cups oats (quick cook or old fashioned)

1 cup vanilla greek yogurt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 large eggs

1.5 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 400 F.  Line a muffin tin with paper liners and spray with coconut oil spray to prevent sticking.

Add all ingredients except for chocolate chips in a blender or food processor.  Mix on high until the oats are chopped up and all ingredients are incorporated, making a smooth batter.  You may have to scrape the sides of the processor to make sure all the oats get broken down.

Remove the blade from the processor/blender and carefully stir in chocolate chips.

Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, evenly distribute batter in lined muffin tin, filling them up about 3/4 of the way.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and muffins are cooked through.  Turn muffin tins halfway through baking.

Yields about 15 muffins.

Derby City Mom Clean Eating Thanksgiving Part 3–Pumpkin Cream Pie

One of the best parts of any holiday celebration, Thanksgiving included, is the dessert.  One of the most traditional Thanksgiving desserts is, or course, pumpkin pie.  I have never really been a pumpkin pie fan.  I guess that’s holiday blasphemy, but it’s true.  One reason for this is that I have never really found a pie crust that I really like–it’s always too dry for me.  Just give me the filling!  Another reason is that I used to not really like pumpkin.  I guess that I knew, somewhere deep in my soul, that it’s a vegetable, and my Little-Debbie-loving self just rebelled.

Fortunately, I have since seen the error of my anti-pumpkin ways and really enjoy it!  But I still didn’t like pumpkin pie–until I found this recipe from The Pioneer Woman.

OMG. It’s so good.  Graham cracker crust, homemade whipped cream, vanilla pudding cooked with pumpkin and half and half–it’s amazing.  So rich and creamy and delightful.  YUM.  I’m kind of drooling on my keyboard just thinking about it.

I knew that I wanted to make this pie for Thanksgiving, despite the fact that it’s nowhere near clean eating.  I’m all for healthy living, but moderation, people.  I’m not eating fruit for Thanksgiving dessert.

I did decide to tweak the recipe, though.  I wanted to use only real ingredients and make everything myself, including a crust, so that I knew exactly what I was eating.  Call me a hippy, but I’m not too trusting of the food industry to buy a whole lot of pre-made foods.

I’ve decided to make a real pumpkin custard instead of using the vanilla pudding packets.  I will be making this recipe for a low-carb pumpkin custard from Grass Fed Girl, a paleo blog.  I don’t eat Paleo, but I know that Paleo recipes will use real ingredients, so it’s a go-to for me when I’m looking for real food versions of recipes I love.

Lastly, I will be making this graham cracker-free Honey Graham Cracker Crust from Against All Grain.  This lowers the carb level a bit, and uses real ingredients that I have on hand.

Now, don’t be delusional–this is not a healthy pie.  It isn’t “good for you.”  It’s just a better option for me at this point in my health journey because these recipes are made from real foods instead of processed.  I am under no delusion that this will be low calorie or anything, so portion control is still in effect.

I’m very excited to make this version of a beloved dessert!  I can’t wait to report back–and even if it’s not as yummy as I hope, we’ll at least have my father-in-law’s famous banana pudding!

Derby City Mom Clean Eating Thanksgiving Part 2–Healthier Homemade Stuffing

With just a couple more weeks until my home is full of family for our Thanksgiving feast, my menu plans are finalized!  The turkey is ordered, my family is bringing different dishes, and the floor plan for seating 22 people is done!

One dish I knew I wanted to make myself was the stuffing.  When we hosted our first Thanksgiving dinner, I made a from-scratch stuffing that tasted so good!  It was just as good as the boxed stuff, but I liked knowing exactly what was going into the dish–real food that I prepared myself!  That recipe was the starting point for my stuffing plans this year.

In 2011, I made this Sausage and Bread Stuffing from Food and Wine magazine.  I’m making this recipe again this year, but with a few changes.  First, I’m using whole wheat bread instead of white, and I will reduce the amount of bread by 1/3 or 1/2 to lower the carb content and get some whole grains in there.  I’ll also be using coconut oil instead of butter, and I’ll reduce that amount by at least half.  I know it tastes good, but a whole stick of butter?  Who am I, Paula Deen?  Yikes.  Coconut oil isn’t lower in calories, but it has more health benefits than butter.  Finally, I will use chicken sausage instead of pork sausage to lower the fat content (and because I couldn’t find turkey sausage at my grocery!).

In addition to this traditional stuffing, I’m going to make a Paleo stuffing to have a bread free option.  I found a good Paleo Thanksgiving Stuffing recipe from the popular Paleo blog PaleOMG, which gets great reviews, making me more comfortable using this recipe before making a test batch first.  What makes it Paleo?  The only difference I see between the two recipes is the Paleo recipe has sweet potato instead of bread, has egg as a binder, has some fruit in cranberries and apple, and adds bacon and pecans.  The flavor profiles will be very similar between the two recipes.  I’ll use chicken sausage for this recipe too, to lower the fat content a bit.

You might be wondering–why do you need a Paleo stuffing option?  The quick answer is, you don’t.  I just want one.  Thanksgiving will be a cheat day, but I’m not planning on gaining 5 lbs of bloat in one meal.  One way to combat that is to reduce the carbs I eat.  I know for sure that I’ll be having dessert (more on that next week!), and I would rather have dessert than bread in my stuffing, you know?  A Paleo recipe ensures whole foods, no bread, and some extra veggies.  There are no weird ingredients that wouldn’t be in a non-Paleo recipe, so I feel comfortable offering it as an option for my family, whether they are concerned about their eating that day or not.

One final word–why not just use boxed stuffing?  It’s faster and it tastes pretty similar to what I’m making, so what’s the deal with that?  There are two main reasons for me–one is that I genuinely enjoy cooking, and I would rather make my own stuffing than mix it from a box.  I just enjoy it!  The second reason is that I’m really focusing on making my dishes whole, real foods.  They may not be “healthy” per se, but I want to know exactly what’s in them and control elements like salt content.  I don’t want to eat preservatives or weird, synthetic ingredients, and I’m not serving it to my family, either!  I don’t really have anything against boxed stuffing (we’ve had it every year!), but I want this year to be different as I focus on my health.

What is one dish you can focus on making healthier this year?

Missed part one of my Thanksgiving series?  Check it out here.

Derby City Mom’s Clean Eating Thanksgiving Part 1–Chipotle Maple Roasted Sweet Potato

I love hosting Thanksgiving.  It can be overwhelming and stressful, but I love planning a meal, finding recipes, cooking good food, and hosting our families in our home.  I’ve hosted Thanksgiving for 4 years now, ever since we moved from an apartment to a house.  This year, we will have 22 people in our home, including 3 toddlers.  I can’t wait!

This year, as healthy eating is really a lifestyle and a priority for me, I have found myself trying to figure out how to make healthier options for our meal.  Now, I’m not planning on making only healthy dishes–first of all, I can’t cook all the food for 22 people by myself, and second of all, not everyone in my family is committed to healthy eating all the time, especially on a holiday.  I’m not about forcing my family to eat what I think should be eaten.

While I’ve asked my family to bring some of the traditional dishes like mac and cheese and banana pudding (my father-in-law’s speciality!), I am planning on several clean eating versions of traditional recipes.  I wanted to share my plans with all of you because I know I’m not the only one struggling to find a balance between indulgence and nourishment!

The first recipe I am tweaking is for Chipotle-Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes.  I’ve made this a couple of times, and the flavor is awesome.  The pureed texture, however, just doesn’t do it for me.  For whatever reason, pureed or mashed sweet potato is gross to me.  I like the flavor, and I like roasted sweet potato, but I just can’t do pureed.  The original recipe also calls for butter and milk, which can defeat the purpose of trying to eat healthier.  While dairy isn’t necessarily unhealthy, it is unnecessary in this case and brings in extra calories and extra bloat!  No thanks.

The recipe below is my interpretation of the original, but altered for health and for roasting the sweet potato instead of mashing them.  The recipe below is for 2 sweet potatoes, which should easily serve 4-5 people.  I’m planning on 1 chipotle per potato and 1 tablespoon maple syrup per potato.


Roasted Chipotle Maple Sweet Potatoes

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced

2 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup

Pinch of salt

Heat oven to 400.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until potato is evenly coated with maple syrup and pepper.  Spread potato mixture on a large cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil and/or sprayed with coconut oil cooking spray.  Roast potatoes for 20 minutes, or until tender, stirring halfway through to prevent sticking.

Busy Mom Paleo Mexican Soup

I’ve had this pinned on my Pinterest clean eating board forever, and I finally decided to try it this week.  I’m so glad I did!  It is really flavorful and pretty easy to make, and it made a big batch that stayed tasty for days and days!  I’m including a link to the original recipe here, but I made some changes.

The original calls for boiling a whole chicken in water and then boiling the sweet potato in that water.  I opted to use a rotisserie chicken, chicken broth, and frozen roasted sweet potatoes for two reasons: 1) it’s easier and 2) it’s tastier.  It is a little more expensive my way, so if you’re looking to cut costs, the original would be more up your alley.  Just plan on using more spices to compensate for flavor!

Busy Mom Paleo Mexican Soup

1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat pulled off the bone (shredded)

3 cups organic low sodium chicken broth

1 package frozen roasted sweet potato (at Target!) or 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 white onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp olive oil

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp paprika

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 bunch cilantro

Heat the oil in a stockpot on medium heat.  Add onions, red pepper, and sweet potatoes until onions are translucent and potatoes are soft, about 10 min (YOU COULD COOK THE POTATOES IN THE MICROWAVE AND ADD THEM WHEN YOU ADD THE CHICKEN, TOO).  Add the garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add the chicken stock and stir to combine.  Add the shredded chicken, tomatoes, cilantro, and spices.  Simmer on low for at least 20 minutes, but the longer the better!