People will ask me, “When can I have a cheat meal?” and my answer is always this: Once a week. This is not a cheat day or a cheat weekend. One Cheat Meal. You decided when, where and how is best for you. I will often have my cheat meal on Friday at lunchtime. Why? Because some other moms and I typically get together for lunch on Friday. We take turns hosting the lunch in our homes. The host makes the main dish and the other people bring something to contribute to the meal. Our kids all play together and us moms sit and gab around the table. This is a fun day to try new recipes and bring something fun to share with friends.
This last Friday I was asked to bring the dessert. Typically my dessert is some Greek yogurt with granola and handful of berries tossed in. But I wanted to try a new recipe and incorporate some of my clean eating principles into a dessert everyone would love.
Just because it was my cheat meal didn’t mean I wanted to totally abandon my habits. I still try to choose healthier options and use cleaner ingredients. It may not seem like “cheating” when you make it “healthy”, but it sure tasted as if I was!
I made these Gingerbread Brownies and they were a huge hit!
- 13 dates, pitted
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- 3 eggs, whisked
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 2 teaspoons powdered ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- extra coconut oil, for greasing pan
- Coconut Bliss Vanilla Island Ice Cream or PaleOMG Vanilla Ice Cream (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Place 13 pitted dates in a food processor and pulse until the dates begin to bind and clump together
- Add coconut oil, eggs, molasses, and vanilla extract to the food process and puree until smooth
- Add cocoa powder, coconut flour, powder ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves, baking soda and baking powder along with a pinch of salt and puree until completely combined and smooth
- Grease an 8×8 glass baking dish with extra coconut oil and then pour the brownie mixture into the baking dish and smooth out
- Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.
- Cut brownies into 9-12 brownies then top with ice cream (if desired).
If you want to browse more clean, vegan, paleo, and gluten free dessert options, iFOODreal has a great index of desserts to get you started!