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30
Oct 14

Happy Birthday, Annie!

Happy Birthday to the Queen of Natural Sweet Recipes! Annie’s birthday is today! She is the one who makes this blog awesome and who inspires the whole family with her hard work and dedication to the beautiful foods and healthy recipes found here. Our mom (The Queen of Birthdays) couldn’t resist joining today’s celebration and creating this recipe especially for Annie.

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Besides being creatively-gifted, Annie is an amazing friend and sister. She is thoughtful, kind, funny and patient. She is devoted to her faith, her husband and family, and of course, her little (big) dog Enzo. She also knows how to have a good time and is probably the person I’ve laughed with (and at, ha ha) the most in my whole life. And she’s absolutely beautiful, inside and out.

Without further adieu, let’s get to the delicious treat we have for you today. As you all know, we love recreating favorite desserts to make them sugar-free and hopefully healthier. These coconut blueberry cordials are no exception. They are easy to make but fancy enough to wow people at any holiday gathering.

Close Up

The Queen Anne brand of chocolates has been around for over 60 years, and we certainly aren’t trying to compete. But we couldn’t resist gifting OUR Queen Anne with a box of healthier chocolates, wrapped in Queen Anne candy packaging.

Queen Anne

Happy, Happy Birthday, to our Queen Anne!!

Coconut Blueberry Cordials (gluten-free

Yields: 10 cordials

1 cup Coconut Butter
1/2 cup Freeze-dried Blueberries
4 tablespoons of Maple Syrup
2 tablespoons of Honey
2 tablespoons of Vanilla flavored Protein Powder
1 3.5 ounce Chocolate Bar

Pulse freeze-dried blueberries in a blender until they become a fine powder. Transfer the blueberry powder to a food processor and add coconut butter, maple syrup, honey, and protein powder. Mix everything together until well incorporated. Use hands or a 1-inch scoop to form 10 1-inch balls and set on a plate. Refrigerate balls for 30 minutes to set. Melt the chocolate bar over low heat on the stove or in the microwave, stirring often. Once chocolate is melted, dip refrigerated balls into the chocolate and roll until well covered. Set on parchment or wax paper and return to the refrigerator to set up.

And in case you want to see a few more #tbt photos:

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27
Oct 14

Behind The Scenes

Healthy Kitchen

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to blog? What about when THREE girls are behind one blog?  Today, Natural Sweet Recipes is participating in the Behind the Scenes Blog Tour!

We were invited by Kelly from Hidden Fruits and Veggies to be apart of this little project. We love Kelly’s vegetarian blog and we really loved reading about her process. We thought it would be fun to participate! After we share how we work, we’ll nominate 3 other bloggers to participate next. Let’s get started!

1: What are we working on?

Right now, we are suuuuper excited for all the Fall and Christmas goodies we can get our hands on. Especially pie. You’re probably thinking, “Duh, it’s Thanksgiving soon”. We are working on a very special post for a pie recipe that is going to be deliciously different from apple or pecan or pumpkin. We shoot recipes in our own kitchens/dining rooms/living rooms and we’ll often be on speaker phone with each other while making or photographing recipes! We get dessert ideas on a daily basis so there is literally never a lack of blog “work” to be working on!

Natural Sweet Recipes

2) How does our work differ from others of its genre?

First off, we’re not nutritionists, we’re not dietitians. We’re just hungry for sweets all. the. time. With our busy lives, we want recipes that can be made all the time. We also have a passion for healthy eating and nutrition. Most desserts do not associate with that at all, but that’s our goal here!

Second, our site is about natural sweeteners and whole foods in general. We don’t JUST share desserts that are sugar-free. We focus on replacing sugar and other unhealthy ingredients (like white flour or butter) in all types of recipes like main dishes, breakfasts and salads.

3) Why do we write/create what we do?

We could eat desserts all the time! So when we were diagnosed with Candida, we needed to make some changes. After we took care of the Candida, we needed a way to maintain this new relationship with sugar and a way to stay motivated to live a healthy lifestyle. What better way to do this than to have support from your best friends (i.e. sisters) and ALWAYS ensure you have healthy treats around than to blog about those treats? What’s more, we are so thrilled when family, friends and readers are benefiting from our naturally sweetened desserts. When people tell us they loved a recipe and the ingredients we use – well, there’s nothing better!

4) How does your writing/creating process work?

Natural Sweet Recipes Kitchen

Our creative process can change from post to post depending on our schedules! With three sisters, and three different schedules we have to have good communication and flexibility. We have a Queen Bee (Annie) who manages most everything on the blog and what needs to be done. With Chelsea in Brazil right now and Holly running after three kids, it’s often when things are posted entirely by Annie. Whenever possible, we collaborate, make, photograph and write recipes when we are together and love it! We love working in Holly’s big kitchen best (photo above)! Sadly, we usually aren’t together so there are a lot of recipes that were done by one person or are a collaboration of all our work. For example, Chelsea will come up with the recipe, Annie will photograph it and Holly will write up the post. Our Healthy First Birthday Cake is a great example of all of our help in making, photographing, writing and editing a recipe.

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To make it more fun, our mom also loves creating healthy desserts and will send us a recipe or will help with writing and editing. With full-time jobs, families, church work and travels, it’s really nice to have each others help and makes the blogging process more fun!

Here are the next three bloggers that we have nominated for next Monday!

 

Needs salt

Abbie at Needs Salt

Needs Salt is an incredible blog devoted to natural foods, starring pink salt! We love that Abbie chooses whole foods in her recipes as well as natural sweeteners. She has a great selection of recipes and everything she posts is mouth-watering.  Abbie even guest posted for us a few weeks ago with some amazing doughnuts! What’s even more impressive about Abbie is that she runs her blog while being in High School – she’s only 17!

 

PENTAX ImageSusan at Bright Bold and Beautiful Food

Susan isn’t just a blogger friend – Annie and Susan went to High School together in D.C. This picture is from their senior year at prom! Susan shares beautiful recipes! She incorporates fresh produce and the best ingredients she can get her hands on. Her approach to cooking is simple but elegant. It’s the prefect balance from our overly sweetened blog and if you are new to cooking or just need some culinary inspiration – her blog is perfect!

 

desserts with benefitsJessica at Desserts with Benefits

We love Desserts with Benefits! Jessica shares our passion for sugar-free, healthy desserts and her blog is packed full of them! What is different about Jessica’s blog is that as a student studying nutrition, she takes the term “healthy” in her recipes seriously and doesn’t use a lot of traditional ingredients like butter, white flour or eggs in her baking.. but everything you’ll see on her site looks completely delicious!

We can’t wait to see what these bloggers come up with for their tour! Thanks for participating guys and thanks for reading!


21
Oct 14

Peanut Butter Acorn Candies

Look how adorable these little acorn candies are!

Healthy Peanut Butter Acorn Candies

It’s the beginning of the many holiday celebrations at my house. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are the biggies in my family, but to add to the chaos, ehem, I mean magic, all three of my girls’ birthdays are also tucked nicely into the next three months as well. Oh and also my birthday. And my wedding anniversary. And a hundred extended family birthdays! And this year, my daughter’s baptism as well! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE having a reason to celebrate every. single. week. for almost 3 solid months. But it just makes me a tiny bit crazy when I get the notice from the school that TOMORROW my child needs a festive treat to share with their class for a Book Publishing Party, my husband needs one for a work event, and preschool would also love a treat donation for snack time in the coming week.

Those things were not on my To Do List. If you mess with my To Do List between October 14 and January 7. . .well, just don’t. Has this ever sounded familiar to anyone?

Healthy Peanut Butter Acorns

I may be exaggerating a tiny bit, however, the picture I have painted is pretty accurate for our Fall/Winter schedules. I am always in need of something quick, something easy, and something resembling a healthy snack to quickly whip up when an “emergency” holiday treat is required. (If it’’s 10 pm and you want to run out for Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwiches, that also constitutes an emergency).

These truffles are a creative spin on peanut butter buckeyes. We loved the taste of these bites because they have all the  flavors of buckeyes with some special added texture!

We can’t take full credit for these candies because it was our mom who saw the idea somewhere. She created a healthy recipe, sent us some to try and when we fell in love with them, they needed to be on the blog! These are the treats to try this year for any and all emergency and non-emergancy treat requests. They whip up so fast and are great for little fingers to roll, shape and dip.

Healthy Peanut Butter Acorns

Most importantly, they have all the spirit of fall to get you in the festive mood amidst the chaos! What we LOVE about these acorns is that they are perfect for autumn and not limited to one holiday. You can start September off with a bucket full of these and go until Thanksgiving. Seriously, how adorable would these be as a fall treat for your child’s class or decorating your Thanksgiving table? Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Acorn Candies  (gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan)
Print Recipe

1 1/4 cup Unsalted Roasted Peanuts, divided
1/4 cup Vanilla Protein Powder
2 Tablespoon Raw Honey or Maple Syrup
2 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
Dash Sea Salt
1 ounce Dark Chocolate, melted
Mini Pretzels, broken into about ½ inch curved sticks

Grind 1 cup of peanuts in a high powdered blender until smooth. We use a Blendtec. Place the remaining 1/4 cup peanuts in a shallow bowl.

Scoop out the peanut butter into a large bowl. Mix in protein powder, honey, maple syrup and salt.

Form 15 1″ balls, gently pinching one end of the balls to form an acorn shape.  Dip the un-pinched large side of the acorns into the melted chocolate. Dip in chopped peanuts. Stick a pretzel piece in the center. Serve!

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