Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Mocha Bites {The Recipe ReDux}

Rich & fudgy Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Mocha Bites are super easy to make with just a handful of wholesome ingredients. They are paleo, gluten-free, vegan and delicious enough to please any crowd!

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Mocha Bites: Healthy paleo, gluten-free & vegan dessert or snack bites

I have a pet peeve. I seriously hate when people call things “brownies” or “cookie dough” when it literally tastes like a protein bar. I’m glad you like it, and I’m sure it really is “OMG so delicious”, but let’s be real for a second: a protein bar does not taste like a brownie. It might taste like a chocolate protein bar that is so good you could enjoy it for dessert, but that does not a brownie make. Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Mocha Bites: Healthy paleo, gluten-free & vegan dessert or snack bites

So, that being said, I almost called these brownie bites. They are so ridiculously rich and fudgy that you could probably call them brownie bites and no one would call you on  it. But, at the end of the day, they do not have the flakey top, and they are more the consistency of cookie dough, so we’ll stick with Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Mocha Bites. Because I am incapable of coming up with a title less than 40 characters long. Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Mocha Bites: Healthy paleo, gluten-free & vegan dessert or snack bites

Okay so while they may not technically be “brownies” that doesn’t stop these little guys from feeling like a totally indulgent treat. In fact, they are like a totally indulgent treat that works like a snack! The ingredients are kind of all rock stars in the way they fill you up and give you energy. I found myself kind of addicted. Every time I wanted something sweet, I kept reaching in the fridge to grab an other one.

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Mocha Bites: Healthy paleo, gluten-free & vegan dessert or snack bites

I had to bring them into work because I couldn’t stop, and Steve was so upset that he only got 2. I strongly  suggest you let them sit in the fridge for a few hours. I tried one right after I made them and liked it enough, but the texture is much better cold, and the flavors are even more delicious after they’ve had some time to meld together.

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Mocha Bites: Healthy paleo, gluten-free & vegan dessert or snack bites

They are the perfect after school or pre/post workout snack, or you can even grab a couple for breakfast as you’re walking out the door, and they are without a doubt delicious enough to be eaten for dessert too!

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Mocha Bites

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: approx 16 bites

Serving Size: 1 bite

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Mocha Bites

Rich & fudgy Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Mocha Bites are super easy to make with just a handful of wholesome ingredients. They are paleo, gluten-free, vegan and delicious enough to please any crowd!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup almond butter (or any nut butter of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, softened but not melted
  • 3 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups almond meal*
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • small pinch sea salt
  • 2/3 cup mini dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together almond butter, coconut oil, honey/maple syrup and vanilla until mostly combined. Add almond meal, cocoa powder, espresso powder and sea salt. Use your hands to mix ingredients together. Once dough is mostly formed add chocolate chips and incorporate.
  2. Roll dough into 1-1 1/2" balls (or however large you'd like them). Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

*If you use maple syrup (or even a store bought honey), it will not be as thick and you may need to increase almond meal. If the mixture is still sticking to your hands/the bowl, increase almond meal by 1 tablespoon until you reach the desired texture.

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French Onion Burgers

Satisfy your craving for French onion soup in the summer time with these big, juicy beef burgers stuffed with caramelized onions, then topped with melty gruyere and even more caramelized onions. 

French Onion Burgers with tons of caramelized onions and melty gruyere

Once upon a time, I’m pretty sure I thought caramelized onions actually had caramel in them. I mean, they’re sooo sweet and delicious. I just figured they at least had buckets of sugar to get them to that point!

French Onion Burgers with tons of caramelized onions and melty gruyere

Turns out, onions are kind of magical, and you probably already know that if you let em cook on low heat for a ridiculous amount of time, they transform into the sweetest and most tender veggie you will ever eat.

French Onion Burgers with tons of caramelized onions and melty gruyere

It does take a while, but it is soooo easy. Once I get them going, I generally prep everything else I have to do for dinner and then, if dinner is super easy, sometimes I just watch Netflix and go back to the kitchen to stir them around every now and then. They are totally low maintenance.

French Onion Burgers with tons of caramelized onions and melty gruyere

As much as I love onions, ya know what really makes French onion soup for me? That thick layer of bubbly cheese on top. Bubbling cheese is like the stuff dreams are made of. Put it on top of that thick slice of bread they put on top, and your meal is pretty much guaranteed to be awesome. Bread. Cheese. Onions. Done.

French Onion Burgers with tons of caramelized onions and melty gruyere

But I have to say, it’s all even better when sitting on top of a super juicy beef burger that has even more onions hiding inside! It’s so good, you totally don’t even need the bun. In fact, I won’t eat a burger unless it’s good enough to eat bunless. It’s kind of a rule in my house because 99% of the time I toss the bun after it serves its purpose of looking cute on camera, and eat my delicious burger nekked. ;)

French Onion Burgers

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 3-4 burgers

Serving Size: 1 burger

French Onion Burgers

Satisfy your craving for French onion soup in the summer time with these big, juicy beef burgers stuffed with caramelized onions, then topped with melty gruyere and even more caramelized onions.

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • generous pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef (94-96%)
  • pinch thyme (fresh or dried)
  • pinch paprika
  • 2-4 ounces sliced or shredded gruyere cheese
  • whole grain buns for serving (if desired)

Instructions

  1. In a large pan, cook onions and garlic in olive oil and balsamic vinegar over medium-low heat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft and caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl combine ground beef, 1/4 of the caramelized onions, thyme, paprika, and an extra pinch of black pepper. Form into 3-4 even patties (depending on how big you like your burgers).
  3. Grill burgers to desired doneness. Top immediately with gruyere and allow to melt slightly then top with a generous portion of caramelized onions. Serve immediately.

Notes

For even cooking in your burgers, gently press your thumb into the center of each patty before cooking.

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Spicy Bacon Guacamole Dogs

Spicy grilled hot dogs smothered in roasted jalapeno and garlic bacon guacamole and topped with cotija cheese. These hot dogs take typical grilling to the next level with their spicy, bold flavors and perfectly contrasting textures.

Spicy Bacon Guacamole Dogs: Spicy grilled hot dogs smothered with roasted jalapeno & garlic bacon guacamole + cotija cheese

It’s not like you need a reason to make fancy, delicious, to-die-for guacamole. In fact hunger is reason enough for me, and a fork is a totally acceptable vehicle. However, a spicy sausage may be an even more delicious vehicle.

Spicy Bacon Guacamole Dogs: Spicy grilled hot dogs smothered with roasted jalapeno & garlic bacon guacamole + cotija cheese

For a while I was on the fence about hot dogs. Somewhere along the line they became one of those gross foods in my mind that you don’t eat past the age of 7. Ummm, that was a big mistake because for years I missed out on the amazingness that is hot dogs and sausages.

Spicy Bacon Guacamole Dogs: Spicy grilled hot dogs smothered with roasted jalapeno & garlic bacon guacamole + cotija cheese

I also believe that all things are better with guacamole. Even the most delicious things can become instantly more delicious when you add guacamole. Juicy burger? Add guac! Simple grilled chicken? Totally different when smothered with avocado-y goodness. A spoon the size of your face? I think you know the answer. ;)

Spicy Bacon Guacamole Dogs: Spicy grilled hot dogs smothered with roasted jalapeno & garlic bacon guacamole + cotija cheese

My friends from Fork in the Road happened to send me some of their products to try, and after absolutely loving them at BTP, I knew I was in for a treat! I ended up using the hot links which are perfect for this flavor combination, but you can  use any hot dog or sausage you like!

Spicy Bacon Guacamole Dogs

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 1 hotdog/sausage

Spicy Bacon Guacamole Dogs

Spicy grilled hot dogs smothered in roasted jalapeno and garlic bacon guacamole and topped with cotija cheese. These hot dogs take typical grilling to the next level with their spicy, bold flavors and perfectly contrasting textures.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Grill hotdogs/sausages to desired doneness, about 5 minutes. Toast buns if desired. Place hotdogs/sausages in buns or on a plate, smother with guacamole, and top with a generous pinch of cheese. Serve immediately.

Notes

Buns are totally optional. They look prettier, but I ate these bunless and they were absolutely delicious!

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Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I was supplied with free sausages from Fork in the Road, but was not in any other way compensated for this post. Recipe and opinions are my own.

Roasted Jalapeno & Garlic Bacon Guacamole

Rich, creamy guacamole with roasted jalapenos and roasted garlic loaded with crispy bacon. This guacamole is a total crowd pleaser and will take the traditional dip to a whole new level!

Roasted Jalapeno & Garlic Bacon Guacamole: Smooth, creamy and loaded with crispy bacon!

One of my favorite local restaurants is The Taco Guild, a super cute taco shop type restaurant built in an old church. They have amazing, creative tacos that you can order a la carte so you can mix and match, and they also have ridiculously good guacamole. In fact, my brother refers to it as “the place with the guacamole”.

Roasted Jalapeno & Garlic Bacon Guacamole: Smooth, creamy and loaded with crispy bacon!

Now don’t get me wrong, guacamole is one of those things that is fantastic on it’s own without any crazy add ins, but I do believe that with the right customization, traditional guac can get even better! And when is bacon ever the wrong customization? Ummm…never.

Roasted Jalapeno & Garlic Bacon Guacamole: Smooth, creamy and loaded with crispy bacon!

This actually isn’t that different than my normal guac. I used my normal recipe, but I roasted the jalapeno and garlic to bring out their flavor. I am of the opinion that almost all things are better roasted, especially garlic. I could eat cloves of roasted garlic all on their own, but I don’t think that’s quite normal. I just freakin’ love it.

Roasted Jalapeno & Garlic Bacon Guacamole: Smooth, creamy and loaded with crispy bacon!

Now let’s chat for a second about the bacon. Bacon gets a super bad rap. In fact, for a long time, I avoided it like the plague and used words like “heart-attack-inducing”. While it may not be the leanest meat on the planet, if you choose the right kind, I really don’t see it as “diet-busting”. In fact, as far as calories, fat and protein go, 2 slices of center cut bacon are about equal to a whole egg. If you love bacon and haven’t tried center cut yet, you are missing out! It is exactly what it sounds like–the center cut of the meat. It cuts out a lot of the extra fat without sacrificing any taster and texture the way turkey bacon does. I mean, turkey bacon  is okay and you can totally use it, but if you love the prefer the real stuff, center cut is the way to go.

Roasted Jalapeno & Garlic Bacon Guacamole: Smooth, creamy and loaded with crispy bacon!

With the spicy jalapeno and heavy hand of garlic mixed with the creamy avocado and crunchy bacon, this guacamole is insanely addicting with a flavor you won’t be able to stop thinking about! I like mine ultra smooth, so I use an immersion blender, but if you prefer a chunkier bacon, feel free to mash with a fork. Either way, you will want to make this stuff over and over again!

Roasted Jalapeno & Garlic Bacon Guacamole

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8-10 servings

Roasted Jalapeno & Garlic Bacon Guacamole

Rich, creamy guacamole with roasted jalapenos and roasted garlic loaded with crispy bacon. This guacamole is a total crowd pleaser and will take the traditional dip to a whole new level!

Ingredients

  • 4 large cloves garlic, roasted*
  • 1 medium jalapeno, roasted, seeds removed*
  • 3 small avocados, pitted and peeled
  • 1 small lime, zest and juice
  • small handful cilantro
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ground cumin
  • generous pinch each salt and pepper
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 slices center cut bacon, cooked and chopped

Instructions

  1. Place roasted garlic, roasted jalapeno, avocados, lime zest, lime juice, cilantro, cumin, salt and pepper in a large bowl. For smooth guacamole, blend with an immersion blender. For chunkier guacamole, finely chop garlic, jalapeno and cilantro before mixing, then mash all ingredients together with a fork. Stir in onion and bacon. Serve immediately. Leftovers may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. For best results, store with avocado pit in leftovers. This will help prevent browning.

Notes

*To roasted garlic, drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and wrap in tin foil. Bake at 400 until softened, about 30 minutes. *To roast jalapeno, drizzle with olive oil and wrap in tin foil. Bake at 400 until softened, then open tin foil and turn oven to broil. Broil just until jalapeno gets a little char on the outside. Watch very carefully! They can burn very quickly.

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Toasted Coconut Cold-brewed Iced Coffee

Ultra smooth, nutty cold-brewed iced coffee without a hint of bitterness. Literally THE BEST iced coffee I have ever tasted.

Toasted Coconut Cold-brewed Iced Coffee.: Smooth and nutty without a hint of bitterness

I think it’s safe to say I have a little coffee problem. I need it, have to have it, can’t live without it, want to swim in a big pool of it and never come out. And let me just tell you, making this cold brew has amplified that by about 1,000%.

Toasted Coconut Cold-brewed Iced Coffee.: Smooth and nutty without a hint of bitterness

So let’s chat a little bit about iced coffee. There are a few different ways to do it. When you order an iced coffee at Starbucks, they’ve taken their regular brewed hot coffee, poured it over ice and then stuck it in the refrigerator. Don’t get me wrong, I will drink the crap out of an iced coffee from Starbucks, but it doesn’t a candle to cold brew!

Toasted Coconut Cold-brewed Iced Coffee.: Smooth and nutty without a hint of bitterness

Cold brew is less acidic and bitter, and more caffeinated than drip coffee. It truly is the best of every world. Also, making a big batch means absolutely no work to get your morning coffee. Pour, add water (we’ll get to why in a moment), drink. Simple as that. And with the smooth taste and lack of bitterness, it really doesn’t need a thing. I add a little half and half–yes, the real deal–but that’s it.

Toasted Coconut Cold-brewed Iced Coffee.: Smooth and nutty without a hint of bitterness

Okay, about that coconut. It doesn’t taste like coconut. At least, not in the way you’d expect coconut to taste. Maybe it’s just me, but I almost always eat coconut in dessert, and it is the sweetness that I associate with the flavor. Have you ever eaten plain old flaked coconut? It is completely different. This means that coconut lovers and non coconut lovers alike will love this stuff!

Toasted Coconut Cold-brewed Iced Coffee.: Smooth and nutty without a hint of bitterness

So why even add the coconut? The result is a slightly nutty and creamy flavor and literally the smoothest coffee I have ever tasted. Of course, if you want some extra coconut flavor, you can add coconut extract while brewing or use coconut cream as your creamer. I’m pretty sure coconut cream in this coffee would be insanely addicting. Oh, who am I kidding, this stuff already is on its own!

Toasted Coconut Cold-brewed Iced Coffee.: Smooth and nutty without a hint of bitterness

Alright, remember when I said you have to add water? I brewed this stuff wayyyyy stronger than my other cold brew recipes, and ya know what? I like it even better! I tasted it on without adding water, and it was way too intense even for me. This recipe makes a concentrate and you really do need to add water. I used 1/3 concentrate / 2/3 water and that’s perfect for me. Silky and smooth, but not watered down because that is the worst. I recommend using coffee with a hint of cocoa for optimal flavor, but really any coffee you like will work great! Let me just say, I’m already working on batch #2 and I made triple the amount this time. ;)

Toasted Coconut Cold-brewed Iced Coffee

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 24 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: approximately 12 cups (when combined with water)

Serving Size: 1 cup (combined with water)

Toasted Coconut Cold-brewed Iced Coffee

Ultra smooth, nutty cold-brewed iced coffee without a hint of bitterness. Literally THE BEST iced coffee I have ever tasted.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces ground coffee (preferably dark roast)
  • 2 cups unsweetened toasted coconut*
  • 8 cups filtered water

Instructions

  1. Pour coffee and coconut into a large air tight container (at least 1.5 gallons or larger). Pour water on top and stir lightly to combine. Cover and store at room temperature for 24-36 hours.
  2. Scoop out as much of the grounds and coconut as possible with a fine mesh strainer. Rinse strainer, then cover with a double layer of cheesecloth. Place covered strainer over a 1 gallon jug (or desired container). Use a measuring cup to pour coffee over your covered strainer to filter any remaining grounds. If your coffee begins to have trouble filtering through, change your cheesecloth out for a fresh one.
  3. To serve, combine 1 part coffee with 2 parts water. Add any desired cream or sweetener.

Notes

*To make your own toasted coconut, just place shredded or flaked coconut on a large cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 3-5 minutes. Watch carefully because it can burn quickly.

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And to see step by step photos of how this cold brew process works, check out my post on how to make cold brewed iced coffee!