Dessert recipes

Recipes for desserts

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Three years ago, I posted this recipe for black bean brownies.  I re-post it today with a new topping idea in time for Valentine’s Day!  I took these (the strawberry version) to a luncheon today, and was reminded how nice it is to have a delicious treat, with no headache afterward.  These are a little pudding-ish in the texture, not too rich, and pretty mellow with the deep chocolate flavor and the lightly sweet, whipped cream cheese on top.  Use a little milk (any kind) to thin the frosting enough so that it will flow out of the bag easily.  I left mine a little too thick today, so it wasn’t as controllable.  Using the berries for color adds to the “realness” of this whole-food dessert.

I’ve been on a mental rant today, I’ll fill you in on the whole conversation soon.  Just suffice it to say that, as a rule, I encourage clients to focus on adding good things to their diet instead of focusing on removing things, and over time they find that the less desirable foods will fall away.  That said, at some point you need to give your taste buds a chance to re-acclimate to real.  If you haven’t already experienced it, you’ll be amazed at how much your taste buds will “normal out” when you stop eating junk food.  But in order to do that, you have to add in the good yes, but also make a commitment at some point to leave the empty calorie, refined, artificial color and flavor, food science mish-mash alone. (Can you hear the rant coming on?)  I decided that just before Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be a fair moment to give you the whole thing!  But it’s coming!

Today, I’ll just say that I hope you’ll have a great day tomorrow treating yourself to a real food dessert…with no ornery, sugar fatigue later!

Black Bean Brownies

3 1/4 cups black beans, soaked overnight and cooked*brownies2

6 fresh, free-range eggs

2/3 cups cocoa

2 tsp. vanilla

2/3 cup melted butter

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp Real salt

3/4 cup raw honey

1/4 cup Sucanat (dehydrated cane juice)

Super easy to put together; just cream the beans and eggs together in your favorite blender/food processor.  Melt butter on low heat in a small saucepan while adding the rest of the ingredients to the bean/egg mixture.  When butter is melted, add it to the batter slowly while mixing.  Pour brownie batter into a butter 9 x 13 baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes @ 350°.

*To prepare beans, follow instructions on package for soaking and cooking beans.  (You will cover beans in water and let sit overnight, then cook on low heat for a few hours until they are soft.) This helps you avoid chemicals in canned beans and is very cost effective.  But, if canned beans are your only option, they will work as well.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8 oz. package cream cheese

3 Tbs. raw honeybrownies

1 tsp. vanilla

dash of salt

1 tsp. beet juice (for mauve color, optional)

Beat all ingredients together with a hand mixer until smooth.  Spoon into a zip lock bag or a frosting bag.  Chill in the refrigerator for an hour, to allow it to set. Then cut a small hole in one corner of the bottom of the plastic bag (or use frosting bag with decorator’s tip) and squeeze in swirls on top of small squares of brownies once the brownies are cooled.  We used black berries (cut in half length-wise) for garnish, but raspberries, blueberries, strawberries or shaved chocolate would be lovely too!

*Remember, sweet treats, even those made with real food ingredients, should be reserved for special occasions and served in small portions.  Think of it as training your taste buds to prefer foods that are less sweet, less processed and eaten after nutritious meals, and not used as snacks.  You and your family will be better off in the long run employing this healthy habit!

Banana Berry Blast


Isn’t it refreshing to have fruit for dessert?  Just cut up fruit tossed in freshly whipped cream is fun.  Or, make a gelatin salad in a plain dish or in a festive mold! This is how we make “jell-o” at our house.

Sprinkle 4 packets of unflavored gelatin, or your choice of plain gelatin, over 1 cup water and set aside for 5 minutes.  (Each packet is 2 1/2 tsp’s)

Make a pitcher of 100% whole juice (or use homemade juice). We used grape juice in this recipe. Pour 6 cups juice into 9″ X 13″ pan.

Heat gelatin and water on low for about 5 minutes until gelatin is dissolved.

Add gelatin mixture to juice and stir.

Add fruit; 1/2 cup of each, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and one sliced banana.

Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

Whip cream and add 2 Tbs honey and 1 tsp vanilla.

Spread over firm gelatin.

It’s a sweet treat that just tastes like fruit, without all the added sugar, artificial colors and artificial flavors!

Experiment with juice flavors and fruits!  Our two favorites are freshly pressed apple juice with bananas and grape juice with berries.

Hint: If you plan to use a mold, decrease the juice to 5 cups so that your salad will hold it’s shape.




Anna’s Cake




A sweet little pun’kin I know was born about the time we started making this cake, hence the name!  And we made it over and over because it is moist, chocolaty, full of protein and pretty nice to look at too.

Topped with whipped cream, shaved chocolate and fruit, I hope you’ll be as smitten with it as we are.

2 cups quinoa, cooked and cooled

4 eggs

1/3 cup milk (any kind)

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup butter or coconut or a combination

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup coconut sugar

3/4 cup cocoa

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp Real salt

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into a greased 9″x13″ pan or 2 rounds and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

This is also fun to bake in a 9 1/2″ spring pan for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  It stays a bit more moist and has the texture of a baked pudding! Today I served it with whipped cream (sweetened with honey and flavored with homemade vanilla), blueberries and a simple ganache.  So beautiful and delicious!

Have fun!



After School Cookies


I hope this finds you and your family well!  Today’s post is an extension of today’s video blog post (on the videos page).

First, a little more about rethinking the job you dread…

I mentioned that laundry was a heavy burden to me as a young mother.  It was daunting to watch it pile up through the week and a high mountain to climb come Monday morning. When I was challenged to change my system and rearrange my thinking about it, I was perplexed.  What else could be done?  I had three small children and laundry was inevitable, a necessary pain in my life.

But the magic started happening when I talked this challenge over with my husband. We brainstormed together and found that for awhile, it would work for him to help (to carry the largest part of the laundry burden in fact) on Saturday’s when he was home.  It wasn’t tiring and daunting when it was a team effort.  Later, when the Saturday option wasn’t such a good fit, one of our children was assigned to wash one load of laundry each day and with my help, make sure it was dried, folded and put away.

I found that one load at a time was something I could handle, and that from my son starting the wash to having everything put away was a fairly quick job.  And no more folded (or unfolded) laundry to move off of our bed at night!

Spending time dreading something, whether it be a household job, a time of day, or day of the week is just a waste.  Negative emotions zap our energy and bring our spirits down. We can spend our time much better by using our creative energy and rethinking the things we have perceived as difficult or undesirable.  And at the very least, we can restructure the way we think about something that needs to be done and find a better spin.

One of our favorite “working” soundtracks when the kids were growing up was from the movie Snow White, and especially the song, “Whistle While You Work.”

“…And while you sweep the room,

imagine that the broom,

is someone that you love and soon you’ll find you’re dancing to the tune!”

Ha ha, what a sweet and catchy lyric.

Isn’t it liberating to know that whatever we find challenging or even daunting can be rethought and your life can be revitalized in the process?

No more dreading Monday!

Second, I’ll offer a few more ideas on things to feed the troops when the proverbial planets align, that is, when they are really hungry and you are prepared with nutrient dense food and then to the cookie recipe!

Kale chips; carrot sticks; pepper slices; fresh carrot, apple juice; celery & peanut butter; whole food muffins; boiled eggs; apples & almond butter or cheese; green smoothies; whole food cookies; roasted cauliflower; frozen peas; frozen grapes; oranges, tangerines, mandarins; homemade granola; unsweetened yogurt with fruit and a little honey; omelette cups; homemade California rolls; raw nuts; high quality jerky; leftover soup; bananas and peanuts; cucumber coins; dip made with sour cream, real salt and dried dill or another fresh herb; homemade hummus with veggies or high quality crackers…and the list goes on!  What other creative and healthy ideas do you have?

Now for the cookies.  These were inspired by Jillayne Clement’s Gluten-Free Baking cookbook. If someone in your family requires a gluten-free diet, I recommend her work, but you certainly don’t have to need a gluten-free diet to enjoy some alternative flours!

Mint & Chocolatey Chip Cookies

3/4 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup raw honey

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup butter

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 drops high quality mint essential oil

1 cup dark teff flour*

1 1/4 cup oat flour (grind rolled oats into flour)

1 Tbs arrowroot powder

1/4 cup cocoa

1/2 tsp real salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Cream the butter, coconut oil and coconut sugar and honey then blend in eggs, vanilla and mint.  Mix dry ingredients together and incorporate into creamed mixture, then add chocolate chips.  Place on cookie sheet with small scoop and flatten a little with the back of a spoon.  Bake for 10 minutes at 375° .

*These remind me of Girl Scout Thin Mints because of the flavor of course, but also because the teff is loose and grainy and creates a texture similar to that wafer-ish cookie.

Smelling good food cooking when you come home is one of the greatest pleasures in life.  It is grounding and comforting and speaks loudly of your love, sometimes better than words can express.

I hope this helps!

Take good care.



Eclair Dessert Recipe!


Hey you Provo girls!  It was fun to be with you yesterday!  Thank you for coming to the 7 Steps to Family Wellness class.  I hope you found value in what we learned together.

Here is the recipe for the Eclair Dessert we ate that I promised to share…

It is a favorite in the Sorenson family, but as you may have guessed, I tweaked the original idea.

The crust is made from:

1 cup of water and 1 cube of butter and a dash of salt, heated in a sauce pan until the butter melts.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in a cup of *flour. Then add four eggs, one at a time, stirring each one into the dough for about a minute.  Yep, your arm may hurt.  ; )

When the eggs are blended in well, spread the dough onto a greased cookie sheet (I use coconut oil or butter for greasing) and bake in a 400° oven for ten minutes. Then let it cool.

To make the pudding:

In a saucepan, warm 2 cups of milk stirring frequently.

In a separate bowl, mix together:

2 eggs

2 Tbs cornstarch or 3 Tbs arrowroot powder

1/3 cup honey or agave

1/4 tsp salt

Add the egg mixture into the milk in the saucepan and cook on medium heat and stir until it thickens.  Remove from heat and add

1 tsp vanilla

and chill it in the refrigerator. This makes pudding for one pie or one eclair dessert.

You can make chocolate pudding by adding:

1 Tbs cocoa

To make the eclair dessert:

After the pudding thickens, mix in 8 oz. cream cheese and then chill.  When the crust is cooled, spread the pudding/cream cheese evenly over the crust.  Top that with your choice of sliced bananas, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, kiwi or whatever you like.  After the fruit, spread on a layer of freshly whipped cream (I drizzle it with agave and vanilla as it’s whipping) THEN top it all of with a crisscross pattern of chocolate sauce.

Chocolate sauce can be made from:

1/4 cup agave

1 Tbs cocoa

dash of salt

a few drops of vanilla

*I have tried several flour combinations for the eclair.  If you need gluten-free, I use

1/2 cup almond meal

1/2 cup coconut flour

It makes a stiffer crust, but just allow the pudding to soak into it for awhile and it is delicious!

If I’m using regular flour, I go for the King Arthur brand which is the highest quality I’m aware of.  You can try whole wheat, which I’m sure I’ve done, but I don’t remember the outcome.  ; )

I hope you love this recipe for special occasions.  It is beautiful and doesn’t leave you with a sugar crash later.