Tart Cherry Fro-yo {with White & Dark Chocolate Chips}

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of the Cherry Marketing Institute.

Ultra thick and creamy tart cherry frozen yogurt loaded with dark chocolate and white chocolate chips. So decadent, you’d never guess the base is FAT FREE!

Tart Cherry Fro-yo with White & Dark Chocolate Chips: Easy, ultra creamy and healthy!

After an incredible summer in Portland, I’m back in Phoenix. Back to real work, and back to 100++ degrees. And again I’m wondering…WHY DON’T I LIVE IN PORTLAND? Well, a fantastic husband, my puppies and an entire life time of family and friends make the heat livable I suppose.

Tart Cherry Fro-yo with White & Dark Chocolate Chips: Easy, ultra creamy and healthy!

Totally unreasonable amounts of frozen yogurt don’t hurt either. ;) You may have noticed that before I left I was on a bit of an ice cream kick. I finally figured out my ice cream maker, and I just couldn’t stop. The real deal, full fat ice cream is just so hard to recreate that I was a little nervous to go back to homemade fro-yo. I mean, I am a HUGE fan of soft serve, and I will eat it any time, any day, but it is just so hard to make something at home that doesn’t turn into an icy mess.

Tart Cherry Fro-yo with White & Dark Chocolate Chips: Easy, ultra creamy and healthy!

The good news? This is by far the BEST frozen yogurt I have ever made! The base is so rich and creamy, and packed with tart cherry flavor. You may remember a little bit about the benefits of tart cherries from this Tart Cherry Lime Elixir. They are said to reduce soreness and oxidative stress, and aid in recovery. Also, they are delicious. I’ve been drinking tart cherry juice plain for the 7 Day Cherry Juice Challenge, and it is the perfect amount of sweet and tart.

Tart Cherry Juice Challenge

This challenge is great leading up to a big race or event, and it’s incredibly easy to incorporate! If you love the taste of tart cherry juice, just drink 8 ounces a day, or you can use 2 tablespoons of the concentrate as a shot–college flash backs anyone? Except I like the idea of actually feeling better the next day instead of worse (the woes of getting older)–or diluted in another beverage.

Tart Cherry Fro-yo with White & Dark Chocolate Chips: Easy, ultra creamy and healthy!

Okay, back to the fro-yo. We all know that cherries pair magically with chocolate. White chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate syrup, you name it. I went for a combination of white and dark chocolate to create more flavors, but you are free to use whatever you’d like. Or, if you’d like to keep this 100% fat free, feel free to skip the chocolate all together, and it will still be delicious!

Tart Cherry Fro-yo {with White & Dark Chocolate Chips}

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Tart Cherry Fro-yo {with White & Dark Chocolate Chips}

Ultra thick and creamy tart cherry frozen yogurt loaded with dark chocolate and white chocolate chips. So decadent, you'd never guess the base is FAT FREE!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3-1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tart cherry juice concentrate
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ tablespoon bourbon or vodka, optional
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, sugar, tart cherry juice concentrate and vanilla extract until combined and sugar is fully dissolved. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Freeze according to ice cream maker instructions. Add bourbon or vodka in the last 2-3 minutes of freezing. This is optional, but recommended—it keeps the frozen yogurt from freezing hard and icy. Fold in chocolate chips. Frozen yogurt is best served immediately, but can also be stored in a freezer safe container, just allow 10-15 minutes thawing time before scooping.
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To learn more about tart cherries and their benefits, check out ChooseCherries.com, or follow their Facebook / Twitter /Pinterest / YouTube!

 

Vanilla Bean Float

This Vanilla Bean Float is an insanely easy dessert option. 2 ingredients, and ready in minutes–it’s like the root beer float’s healthier vanilla cousin!

Vanilla Bean Float

When was the last time you had a root beer float? For me it was probably over 10 years ago! They seem like one of those childhood treats that we forget about when we get older. Or we just realize that most soda is probably the worst thing we can put into our body, and that when you combine it with ice cream, it is probably less than a “healthy” choice. I mean, I will still enjoy a diet root beer (or diet coke) and pretend that they are, in fact, the healthier option, but I’m not really fooling myself. ;)

Vanilla Bean Float: Ridiculously easy simple--like a root beer float's healthier cousin!

Still, there’s something about fizzy soda with creamy ice cream that just works in a way no other dessert can replicate! I love the creamy foam that comes to the top, and trying to sip the ice cream out through your straw, or drinking with a spoon.

Ridiculously

When I went to the Blend Retreat, we had lots of great stuff in our swag bags, but I was probably most excited about the Dry Vanilla Bean Soda. It’s less sweet than normal soda–ewww, regular soda is so syrupy sweet, I can’t even handle it–and is made from only 4 ingredients. I tasted it and immediately fell in love.

Vanilla Bean Float: Ridiculously easy simple--like a root beer float's healthier cousin!

So much love that when I was at the grocery store back home and the same soda caught my eye, I immediately grabbed two cans. Then the next time, I bought a 4 pack of the bottles.

Vanilla Bean Float: Ridiculously easy simple--like a root beer float's healthier cousin!

I started with a couple of scoops of nonfat vanilla bean frozen yogurt and paired it with the vanilla bean soda. Ummm, it was gone in seconds. In fact, it’s so easy to make, and so easy to drink that it could end up being pretty dangerous. But whatever, fro-yo is healthy(ish) and the soda is only 60 calories, so you get a pretty huge dessert for under 200 calories and zero fat! Win, win.

Of course, you can also use coconut milk ice cream or an other nondairy option if that’s your thing. And you could try chocolate ice cream for a nice combo of vanilla and chocolate, because, to be honest, this really isn’t a recipe. It’s more of a suggestion. I suggest you add this vanilla bean soda to your favorite frozen dessert and then enjoy your dessert. ;)

Vanilla Bean Float

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 2 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

Vanilla Bean Float

This Vanilla Bean Float is an insanely easy dessert option. 2 ingredients, and ready in minutes--it's like the root beer float's healthier vanilla cousin!

Ingredients

  • 2 scoops nonfat vanilla bean frozen yogurt (or coconut milk ice cream, or any alternative you desire)
  • 12 ounces Dry Vanilla Bean Soda

Instructions

  1. Place frozen yogurt in a glass, top with soda, and drink up!
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Cereal Milk Ice Cream

The sweet, starchy milk from the end of your cereal bowl in ICE CREAM form! This simple ice cream is made with only a handful of ingredients, and the best part is, you can customize with your favorite cereal and make it in a variety of flavors!

Cereal Milk Ice Cream: The best part of eating cereal meets melty, creamy ice cream!

My mom has told me on multiple occasions that if she were on death row, her last meal would be Sugar Crisp (remember that cereal???) and heavy cream. She is also, like me, a huge fan of Frosted Flakes. One year, I made her a Frosted Flake ice cream cake. It was delicious,  but the cereal absorbed the milk (like cereal does) and was a little soggy mixed into the ice cream. It had potential, but just wasn’t quite right.

Cereal Milk Ice Cream: The best part of eating cereal meets melty, creamy ice cream!

Whenever I make a bowl of cereal (Because, yes, I totally make it. From scratch…errr box…), I always pour in extra milk so that I can drink it at the end. Please tell me you do that too?? After it’s soaked up all the sugar and starch from the cereal and is creamy and lightly sweet? It’s my favorite.

Cereal Milk Ice Cream: The best part of eating cereal meets melty, creamy ice cream!

This year for Mother’s Day I decided to try cereal and ice cream together again, but this time I soaked the cereal in the milk for a couple of hours, tossed the cereal, then turned it into ICE CREAM! Do you have a favorite dessert? Mine always has and will forever be ice cream. It’s kinda tied with fro yo, but if I had the metabolism of a 16 year old boy, it would totally be ice cream. Oh and then cookies (obviously) come in that #3 slot.

Cereal Milk Ice Cream: The best part of eating cereal meets melty, creamy ice cream!

My mom took one bite and told me this was the best thing I’ve ever made. She even said she wanted it again for her birthday just a few weeks later. Smooth, creamy, soft and scoopable straight out of the freezer, this ice cream is a total winner!

Cereal Milk Ice Cream: The best part of eating cereal meets melty, creamy ice cream!

I used my current cereal obsession + some brown sugar for extra sweetness. I also added about a tablespoon of bourbon at the end, but that is totally optional. Alcohol does help the ice cream to stay soft and not over freeze, but with the vanilla extract in this one it should be fine without it. But honestly, in my house bourbon is never optional.

Also, a quick warning: This is not a healthy recipe. It is the real deal. Heavy cream and all. I’m not sorry. It’s worth it.

Cereal Milk Ice Cream

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours

Cereal Milk Ice Cream

The sweet, starchy milk from the end of your cereal bowl in ICE CREAM form! This simple ice cream is made with only a handful of ingredients, and the best part is, you can customize with your favorite cereal and make it in a variety of flavors!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups cereal (I used Honey Rice Puffins)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon (or vodka), optional

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, combine whole milk and brown sugar over medium to medium-low heat. Stir constantly until sugar is melted and combined. Remove from heat.
  2. Pour cereal in a large bowl (a shallow bowl will work best). Pour whole milk on top. Cereal should be completely submerged. Cover and chill for 1-4 hours. Longer is better, but an hour will do the trick if you're in a hurry. Stir every hour.
  3. Strain milk through a fine mesh strainer. In a large bowl, combine strained milk, cream, and extracts. Cover and chill for an additional 1-2 hours or up to over night. You want the mixture to be fully chilled before transferring to your ice cream maker.
  4. Freeze according to ice cream maker instructions. If desired, add bourbon during the last 2-3 minutes of freezing. Transfer to freezer safe container to finish freezing completely.
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Chocolate Donuts with Orange Glaze

Rich, fluffy, chocolatey donuts topped with a smooth, bright, citrusy orange glaze. The perfect flavor combination. 

Chocolate Donuts with Orange Glaze {gluten-free}

Have I ever told you about how my husband refuses to use the correct name for the cooling rack? He insists on calling it the “drying rack”, and whenever I ask him to get out the cooling rack, he corrects me. And every time I make sure I let him know that he’s wrong. The drying rack is for dirty dishes; the cooling rack is for delicious baked goods.

Chocolate Donuts with Orange Glaze {gluten-free}

At this point he (obviously) knows the difference, but I’m pretty sure finding ways to annoy me is his favorite past time. In fact, I’m pretty sure everyone who knows me gets a deep sense of joy out of getting a rise out of me. Probably because I make it so easy. I am the first one to get all fired up about things that absolutely don’t matter. I think they call that “dramatic”.

Chocolate Donuts with Orange Glaze {gluten-free}

So, this morning I made donuts. I never make things the day I post them, but this is what happens when I sign up for things. I forget all about them until, like, the day before, and then I’m like “Oh crap, I have to make donuts”. Anyway, I made donuts, argued my husband about the term for the rack where I placed the donuts, ate the donuts (totally the best part), and, well, here I am. Sharing donuts with you.

Chocolate Donuts with Orange Glaze {gluten-free}

This month’s theme for The Recipe Redux is good luck foods for the new year. Apparently, I live under a rock because I didn’t even know that was a thing, but luckily Google told me that round foods symbolize good luck, and in my opinion chocolate always means good luck, so I made you round, chocolatey good luck charms, and they are unbelievably good. They are the softest, fluffiest donuts I have ever made, and they are 10 million times better than so many of the dry, deep-fried cake donuts I’ve tasted before. Seriously, I would choose these instead any day, and I am usually one that believes the deep fryer automatically makes everything taste better. ;)

Chocolate Donuts with Orange Glaze {gluten-free}

The bright orange flavor of the glaze is the perfect contrast to the rich chocolate, and the recipe all comes together in about half an hour, so it’s easy to make at the last minute if you have guests, and want to give them a little treat. We had my family over for brunch this morning, and everyone was super impressed with these! My mom kept talking about how “professional” they were. Then my brother proceeded to eat 3. I don’t blame him.

Chocolate Donuts with Orange Glaze

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 2 dozen

Serving Size: 1 donut

Chocolate Donuts with Orange Glaze

Rich, fluffy, chocolatey donuts topped with a smooth, bright, citrusy orange glaze. The perfect flavor combination.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free baking blend (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the glaze:
  • 1 heaping cup powdered sugar
  • 4-6 tbsp fresh orange juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Spray donut pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Place dark chocolate and coconut oil in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on increments of 30 seconds stirring after each until melted. Let cool while preparing other ingredients.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine baking blend, baking soda, cornstarch and salt. In a large bowl, beat together brown sugar, egg, buttermilk, applesauce and vanilla. Slowly beat in melted chocolate, then beat in dry ingredients until just combined.
  4. Fill donut molds about 3/4 and smooth out with a spoon. Bake for 11-13 minutes until set and donut springs back when gently pressed with your finger. Place donut pan on a wire rack and cool completely. Once cooled, remove from pan.
  5. To make the glaze, place powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Slowly add orange juice 1 tbsp at a time stirring constantly until glaze reaches desired consistency. I went with a thinner glaze for this donut. Thickness will depend on liquid added. It is important to go slowly and mix thoroughly before adding more liquid. If you find you glaze is too thin, add more powdered sugar until it reaches your desired consistency. Drizzle glaze onto donuts and let set until dry, about 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Donuts will stay fresh best if you store them unglazed and glaze before serving.
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Eggnog Dark Chocolate Chunk Almond Meal Cookies

Soft, nutty almond meal cookies with bold eggnog flavor, and melty chunks of dark chocolate. Vegan, gluten-free and unlike any cookie you’ve ever tasted!

Eggnog Dark Chocolate Chunk Almond Meal Cookies {vegan + gluten-free}

How do you feel about eggnog? It seems to be one of those holiday things that people either LOVE or find totally disgusting. I never understood how anyone could dislike it, but then again, if I had it my way, I’d eat my cereal with half and half. ;) Rich, thick and creamy has never been something I turn down. In fact, in my, um…less healthy days, I could probably drink a carton of eggnog in one sitting. Okay, now that does actually gross me out now, but that’s how much I love it.

Eggnog Dark Chocolate Chunk Almond Meal Cookies {vegan + gluten-free}

But don’t worry, if drinking eggnog isn’t your thing, these cookies have got you covered in the flavor department, without that creamy texture. They also use the soy nog. I’m usually not a big fan of soy anything, but I’m also a big fan of saving calories, and it really is the lightest one around. Not to mention, it means you can share it with all your vegan and lactose intolerant friends. Or keep them all to yourself, because you probably won’t want to share. That’s where using the lowest calorie eggnog comes in handy. ;)

Eggnog Dark Chocolate Chunk Almond Meal Cookies {vegan + gluten-free}

If you’ve never had almond meal cookies, they are unlike any other cookie you will ever eat. It’s not one of those times where I’m gonna be like “I swear, it tastes exactly the same!” because it doesn’t, but not in a bad way, but in a totally unique, surprising kind of way. The almond meal gives them tons of texture without having huge chunks of nuts in your cookies. I hate that. I love nuts, but I don’t usually like them in my desserts. I like to save room for things I love more. Like chocolate, which these babies are loaded with.

Eggnog Dark Chocolate Chunk Almond Meal Cookies {vegan + gluten-free}

Okay so about the chocolate…You want to use the good stuff. I mean, don’t spend a fortune, but don’t buy one from the check out stand. I always use a salted dark chocolate. It’s my favorite. I’m a 65-75% kinda girl. Some people love their 90%, and I don’t think that’s dessert, but if you like it, more power to you! Pretty much, just use what you like because you will be the one unable to keep your hands off these little gems. On second thought, maybe you should use something you hate…

Eggnog Dark Chocolate Chunk Almond Meal Cookies {vegan + gluten-free}

A couple hints before you get started: Don’t worry if the dough seems really wet, and more like muffin batter. It will firm up a bit when it chills, but it still won’t be a traditional cookie dough. Use a scoop if you want your cookies to come out not looking like aliens. You can use a large spoon as well, but the scoop will yield much prettier and more even cookies. DO NOT try to roll them in your hands unless you like doughy fingers. Oh, and if you love these as much as I do, you have got to try this version using Baileys instead of eggnog!

Eggnog Dark Chocolate Chunk Almond Meal Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 2 dozen

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Eggnog Dark Chocolate Chunk Almond Meal Cookies

Soft, nutty almond meal cookies with bold eggnog flavor, and melty chunks of dark chocolate. Vegan, gluten-free and unlike any cookie you've ever tasted!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • dash freshly ground nutmeg
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 cup soy nog (or light eggnog)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp rum extract
  • 5 oz dark chocolate, chopped into chunks

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together almond meal, baking soda, cornstarch, brown sugar, nutmeg and salt. Add eggnog and extracts. Mix until well combined. Fold in dark chocolate. Cover and chill for 30-60 minutes
  2. Use a small cookie scoop to drop onto prepared baking pan. Bake until tops just begin to brown, about 11-14 minutes. Cool completely on cookie sheet. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
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