Category: Bars&Squares

Healthy Date Squares (Gluten Free/ Dairy Free/ Vegan/ Refined Sugar Free/ Nut Free)

As some of you know, my mom moved in with us a few months ago. She is french Canadian and one of her favorite treats are date squares. Well, I couldn’t have her first Christmas in her new home to be without. Here are some good old Canadian date squares with a healthier twist!

Hope you enjoy them as much as my mom!!

Healthy Date Squares (Gluten Free/ Dairy Free/ Vegan/ Refined Sugar Free/ Nut Free)


4 c. dates pitted and chopped

1 3/4 c. water

1/4 c. lemon juice

1/4 c. palm sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. vanilla (I use mine)

Base and topping:

2 c. gluten free flour mix

1 c. gluten free oats

3/4 tsp. xanthan gum

3/4 c. palm sugar

1 c. coconut oil (soften if hard)


Add chopped dates, water, lemon juice and palm sugar to sauce pan. Bring to a boil on medium heat. Stir in baking soda and lower heat to simmer for five minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Let cool.


In a medium size bowl, stir together flour mix, oats, xanthan gum and palm sugar. Mix in coconut oil thoroughly.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a 9″ by 13″ baking pan with parchment paper. Press half the base mixture onto the bottom of the pan. Spread cooled filling over evenly, Spread remaining base mixture over top pressing down slightly. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown.

Let cool completely. Cut into squares. Can be stored in a covered container on the counter for up to three days. Freezes beautifully.

Shared On: Allergy Free Thursdays, Healthy Vegan Fridays

Chocolate Energy Balls (Nut Free/ Vegan/ Grain Free/ Gluten Free/ Dairy Free/ Paleo/ Refined Sugar Free)

It is just too hot to bake. I’m tired. I have no energy. I want brownies. Well I want a brownie type thing. I also want a treat that is way more healthy than a brownie. I need energy…

Do any of these statements work for you? Every one of them works for me!!

Chocolate Energy Balls

These energy balls are so delicious that your mouth will think that you are having a loaded brownie. You know those ones that you could buy in your old life that were full of nuts and coconut and all that stuff you now can’t have. These chocolate balls are also packed with protein, so you’ll get energy!

They are absolutely decadent, with no baking and best of all, NO Guilt!! 聽Enjoy!!

Chocolate Energy Balls

Chocolate Energy Balls (Nut Free/ Vegan/ Grain Free/ Gluten Free/ Dairy Free/ Paleo/ Refined Sugar Free)

1 1/2 c. dates

1/4 c. sunflower seed butter (or desired type)

1 tsp. vanilla (I use mine)

3/4 c. pumpkin seeds

1/2 c. hemp hearts

1/2 c. unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 c. raw cacao (or cocoa)

1/4 tsp. sea salt

Place dates into food processor and pulse until they form a ball. Spread them back out and add sunflower seed butter and vanilla. Pulse until mixed. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until mixed.

Spoon out mixture and form into one inch balls.I wet my hands to roll balls to make it easier. Store in the fridge in a covered container for up to a week. Freezes well. Makes approximately 24 balls.

Shared On: Allergy Free Wednesday, Healthy Vegan Fridays,

Graham Crackers (Gluten Free/ Dairy Free/ Vegan/ Nut Free)

Summer is coming up fast! May marks the unofficial start of summer with both the Victoria Day and Memorial Day long weekends later this month. Summer also means camping, bon fires and smores. Yes I said smores!

How can you have summer without roasting marshmallows and making smores?

Graham Crackers

For the past few years I have bought the delicious commercially made graham crackers that are out there. I have also said to myself for the past few years that I would come up with my own recipe. Well a few of weeks ago I started playing with ingredients. The first couple of times, albeit delicious they were definitely not the proper consistency. Too runny. Then I finally got it down pat. Yes I would be making my own graham crackers this year!

Graham Crackers

My brilliant daughter came up with another suggestion. Melt chocolate ( I use Enjoy Life) and cover one side of the crackers. That way, when you are making smores you already have your chocolate!! Yes I said she was brilliant. Now it depends on how chocolatey you like your smores, as to whether you cover your whole batch or just half.

Graham Crackers

Now, you too can enjoy your own homemade smores!! Maybe next year I’ll make my own marshmallows. 馃檪

Graham Crackers (Gluten Free/ Dairy Free/ Vegan/ Nut Free)

1 1/2 c. gluten free flour mix

3/4 tsp. xanthan gum

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 c. coconut oil

3 Tbsp. maple syrup (honey if not vegan)

1/2 c. palm sugar

In a small bowl, whisk together flour mix, xanthan gum, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside.聽In a medium size bowl, beat together coconut oil, maple syrup and palm sugar. When smooth mix in flour mixture. Your mixture will seem to dry. Don’t let it fool you. It will stick together.

Put mixture on top of a 9″ by 13″ piece of parchment paper. Press mixture together. Cover with another piece of parchment paper. Roll mixture out to between 1/4-1/8 of an inch thick. I push the extra bits back where they are needed. Cut your dough into 2″ by 2″ squares. I made 20.聽Put your dough into the fridge to set for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove dough from the fridge. Cut your crackers apart so that they will bake as individual crackers. Bake for 9 minutes for 1/8″ and 10 minutes for 1/4″. 聽Let cool completely.

If you’d like to, melt dairy free chocolate and cover tops of half or all of your crackers to be smore ready!

These freeze well! They can also stay in a sealed container on the counter for up to 2 weeks.

Shared On: Healthy Vegan Fridays, Savoring Saturdays,, Allergy Free Wednesday.Sunday Fitness and Food.

Magic Bars (Paleo/ Vegan/ Gluten Free/ Dairy Free)







Do you remember in your old life when you ate everything? Well I do. I cooked and baked all the time, not unlike now. Although then, I didn’t need to worry about substitutions. Everyone could eat everything… I used to make Magic Bars all the time! My daughter and her friends would love to come over and eat them. I had been thinking about them recently. First I had to make the sweetened condensed milk. After a couple of tries, I was able to get that to work. The rest was actually very easy!

Now these are not exactly the same as my old ones, but if I do say so myself, they are a fantastic substitution!

Paleo Magic Bars

Magic Bars (Paleo/ Vegan/ Gluten Free/ Dairy Free)

2 c. almond flour

1/2 c. dates (pitted)

1/4 c. coconut oil

1 batch sweetened condensed coconut milk

1 c. unsweetened shredded coconut

1 c. chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

1 c. dairy free dark chocolate -chopped (I used Enjoy Life)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Soak dates in boiling water for 5 minutes to soften them. Drain dates and add them as well as the almond flour and coconut oil to the food processor. Pulse until mixed thoroughly. 聽Press mixture into a parchment paper lined 9″ by 13″ pan. Top with sweetened condensed milk, then coconut, nuts, and chocolate.

Paleo Magic Bars

Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool completely, then cut into squares. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week. Freezes well.


Shared On: Tasty Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Waste Not Want Not, Allergy Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Fridays, Foodie Friends Friday, Healthy Vegan Fridays, Savoring Saturdays

Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk (Paleo/ Vegan/ Dairy Free/ Refined Sugar Free)

Hmm, I needed sweetened condensed milk to make my Paleo Magic Bars. I know that I will now use this recipe for many other recipes, but they are the first… Enjoy!

Dairy Free Sweetened Condensed Milk

Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk (Paleo/ Vegan/ Dairy Free/ Refined Sugar Free)

1-400 ml. can of coconut milk (I’ve used various strengths of fat content with the same results)

1/2 c. maple syrup (or raw honey if not vegan)

2 tsp. vanilla

In a small 聽sauce pan, stir together coconut milk and maple syrup. Put on medium heat and bring to a rolling boil, stirring frequently. Turn down to medium low and stir frequently. Keep on a low boil for 20-30 minutes. Milk will start to thicken, then remove from heat and stir in vanilla. 聽Let cool and use for whatever recipe calls for sweetened condensed milk. After cooling can be stored in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to five days.

Shared On: Fat Tuesday, Waste Not Want Not, Allergy Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Fridays, Healthy Vegan Fridays, Savoring Saturdays

Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies (Vegan/ Gluten Free/ Dairy Free/ Refined Sugar Free)

May is Celiac Awareness Month.聽CatelliGluten Free Pasta has been,聽as voted by consumers, a 2015 Best New Product Award winner.聽

In celebration Catelli put out a challenge to Canadian food bloggers to come up with an “Out of the Box” type of recipe to be made with their pasta. I think that this recipe is completely out of the box and different. No one would ever think that there is puree pasta in this delicious fudge brownie recipe. Believe me, of all my various taste testers, no one thought there was pasta in them.

Double Fudge Brownies-Gluten Free

I love using Catelli Gluten Free Pasta because it tastes the closest to regular pasta, out of all the pastas that 聽I have tried.

In addition to the bloggers challenge, you as consumers, can聽create and post your own original gluten free pasta recipe on Catelli鈥檚 Facebook page, and provide you with a linkso you can access a discount product coupon here. A separate Gluten Free Pastabilities Challenge will be held for the public from May 4-31, 2015, and the three people whose recipes get selected and have the highest number of likes on Catelli鈥檚 Facebook page will receive a year鈥檚 supply of gluten free pasta, courtesy of Catelli.

Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies (Vegan/ Gluten Free/ Dairy Free/ Refined Sugar Free)

1 c. uncooked聽Gluten Free Catelli Penne Pasta

1- 540 g. (19 oz.) can black beans (rinsed and drained)

3/4 c. coconut palm sugar聽(or desired granular sugar)

1/2 c. cocoa or raw cacao

1/2 c. unsweetened apple sauce

1/4 c. coconut oil (or butter if not vegan or dairy free)

2 tsp. gluten free vanilla extract

1 tsp. gluten free baking powder

1/4 ts. sea salt

1 c. dairy free semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cook pasta according to Catelli’s manufactures instructions.

Drain and put cooked pasta into food processor. Add in remaining ingredients, except chocolate chips. Pulse the ingredients in food processor until smooth.

Add in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and pulse until just blended in.

Pour batter in a 9′ X 9″ baking pan that is lined with parchment paper.

Top with remaining chocolate chips.

For fudge like texture bake for 30-32 minutes or until sides of brownie just start to crack. If you like more firm brownies, bake an additional 5 minutes.

Catelli-Double Chocolate Fudge Browmies

Let cool completely, until chocolate chips are no longer melted. Cut into 16 squares. Freezes well.

About Catelli Gluten Free pasta

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Made from a unique four-grain blend of white rice, brown rice, corn and quinoa.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Available in Spaghetti, Fusilli, Penne and Macaroni (photo attached).

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Delicious taste, smooth texture.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Voted the Best New Gluten Free Pasta by Consumers.*

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Rated extremely high** by consumers in blind taste tests for taste, texture, colour and appearance.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Produced in a dedicated gluten free facility.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Certified by the Canadian Celiac Association鈥檚 Gluten-Free Certification Program.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Made with ingredients that are declared GMO free: white rice flour, brown rice flour, corn flour, quinoa flour, monoglycerides (from vegetable/palm oil).

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 310 calories, 2 grams of fat per serving (85 g) of pasta.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Low in sodium (0 mg), source of fibre (3 g) per serving (85 g) of pasta.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Cholesterol and preservative free.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Easy to digest, with the great taste and texture of regular pasta.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Available at all major retailers across Canada, in the pasta aisle.

Shared On: Real Food Recipes, Mix It Up Monday, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays, Waste Not Want Not, Allergy Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free Fridays, Healthy Vegan Fridays

Over 30 Holiday Treats (Gluten Free/ Dairy Free/ Refined Sugar Free)

Christmas is fast approaching and so are all the parties, family gatherings and unexpected guests.

Over 30 Gluten Free Treats

I always bake a wide variety because I love to eat a wide variety of goodies.

Here are many great recipes for your gatherings:

Over 30 Holiday Treats (Gluten Free/ Dairy Free/ Refined Sugar Free)


Simple Shortbread-also egg free

Almond Cookies– also paleo

Spritz Cookies

Grain Free Spice Cookies– also paleo

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Cut Out “Sugar” Cookies– also egg free

Gingerbread Cookies– also egg free

Fudgy Mud Clusters– also egg free, no-bake


Raspberry Jam Squares– also egg free

Butter Tart Squares

Almond Toffee Bites– also egg free

Turtle Brownies

Decadent Double Chocolate Bites

Salted Cashew Chewy Bars– also paleo, egg free

Chocolate Walnut Squares

Cakes and Cupcakes:

The Best Chocolate Cake

Almond Cake

Caramel Kissed Flourless Chocolate Cake– also grain free

Pumpkin Cake with Cashew Icing

Chocolate Yule Cake

Black Forest Triffle

Cinnamon Swirl Cake

Apple Spice Cake– also egg free


Chocolate Cream Pie– also egg free, grain free

Lemon Meringue Pie

Shortbread Crust Apple Pie– also egg free

Caramel Apple Flan

Extra Treats:

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp– also egg free, paleo

Easy Truffles– also egg free

Apple Crisp– also egg free

Chocolate Caramel Cups– also egg free

Holiday Treats

Shared On: The Southern Special,聽Mix It Up Monday, Gluten Free Holiday Fix, Allergy Free Wednesday, Allergy Free Thursdays,



Coconut Cranberry Delight (Gluten Free/ Grain Free/ Dairy Free/ Vegan/ Refined Sugar Free/ Paleo/ Egg Free)

With Christmas coming, you might be looking for a special dessert to serve to your guests. This combines the flavours of coconut, the sweetness of maple syrup as well as the tartness of cranberries for not only a delicious but yet healthy dessert.

Coconut Cranberry Delight- Paleo

Coconut Cranberry Delight (Gluten Free/ Grain Free/ Dairy Free/ Vegan/ Refined Sugar Free/ Paleo/ Egg Free)


1 c. dates- pitted

1 1/2 c. almond meal

1/3 c. coconut oil

1 Tbsp. coconut flour


2 c. cranberries

1/2 maple syrup

2 tsp. coconut flour

1/2 c. unsweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Soak dates in boiling water for 10 minutes. Set aside.

In a food processor, put in drained dates, almond meal, coconut oil and 1 Tbsp. coconut flour. Pulse until combined. Press into greased 9″ by 9″ baking dish leaving some up the sides to hold in filling.

Then in the food processor, add cranberries, maple syrup and 2 tsp. coconut flour. Pulse until just combined. Pour into base. Top with coconut.

Coconut-Cranberry Delight

Bake for 40 minutes. Serve warm or cold. For an special dessert top with Whipped Coconut Cream聽or Vanilla Ice Cream.

Shared On: Real Food Recipes, Mostly Homemade Mondays, Tasty Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Fridays, Foodie Friends Friday

No-Bake Nut Free Energy Bars (Gluten Free/ Dairy Free/ Refined Sugar Free/ Paleo)

When Sunny asked if anyone wanted to participate in her Healthy Lunchbox 2014 series, I jumped at it.Check out Sunny’s series at And Love It Too-Gluten Free and Dairy Free Living.

I wanted to make a nut free version of my No-Bake Chocolate Energy Squares. This way, kids can take them to school and have no worries at all.

No-Bake Nut Free Energy Bars

Check out the recipe at聽No-Bake Nut Free Energy Bars (Gluten Free/ Dairy Free/ Refined Sugar Free/ Paleo)

No-Bake Chocolate Energy Squares (Paleo/ Vegan/ Gluten Free/ Grain Free/ Dairy Free/ Refined Sugar Free)

The temperatures are getting warmer and I don’t like using my oven as much. I like to keep the house as cool as possible without needing to use the A.C. With the price of hydro these days, it gets really expensive. So to help keep the house cool, I like to make no-bake treats when possible.

No Bake Energy-Squares

As most of you know by now, I love chocolate! 馃榾 These are not only chocolatey, but are great for you! Naturally sweetened with dates and add in the seeds, nuts, flax and raw cacao, you are getting filled with antioxidants as well as healthy fats.

You can have them plain or top with chocolate chips, melted chocolate, unsweetened coconut or anything else you can think of. Mix up the nuts and seeds to make these bars your own great flavour!

No-Bake Chocolate Energy Squares


No-Bake Chocolate Energy Bars (Paleo/ Vegan/ Gluten Free/ Grain Free/ Dairy Free/ Refined Sugar Free)

1 1/2 c. dates- soaked in boiling water for ten minutes

1/2 c. almonds

1/2 c. sunflower seeds

1/3 c. pistachios-shelled

1/3 c. ground flax

1/3 c. raw cacao or cocoa

1/2 c. almond butter (or desired nut butter)

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. sea salt- optional

1/2 optional toppings- unsweetened coconut, chocolate chips, melted dark chocolate

Soak dates and set them aside. Put nuts, seeds, and flax into food processor and pulse until chopped or ground(the texture is up to you).

Drain dates and add to the food processor. Also add in cocoa, almond butter, vanilla and sea salt. Pulse processor scraping sides frequently, until completely mixed.

Press mixture into an 8″ x 8″ dish. If using optional toppings, add now. For everything except the melted chocolate, press into bar mixture.

No-Bake Energy Squares


Let harden in the fridge. Cut into 2″ x 2″ squares. Keep refrigerated or frozen.

Shared On: Real Food Recipe Round Up, Motivational Monday, Mix it up Monday, Fat Tuesday, Waste Not Want Not, Gluten Free Tuesday, The Yuck Stops Here, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Wellness Wednesday, Gluten Free Fridays, Real Food Fridays, Foodie Friends Friday, Get Him Fed, Savory Saturdays


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