Skip to main content

Winter is here, which can influence people to be less active. The snowy roads and darker days (at least in Chicago) make it difficult to have the motivation to get up to go to the gym. With less exposure to the sun and nature, it can seem almost impossible to get back into balance. When people are feeling salty, they tend to crave sweet foods. It is easy to grab a quick pick-me-up snack because there are advertisements for sugar around every corner. It’s also a quick and sneaky way to pack on the pounds without nearly the amount of exercise done in the warmer months. 

By having weekend take-out/Netflix binge sessions, it can wreak havoc on their bodies. Then, add in dessert after a hearty meal. Typically, the ingredients are never read. Ignorance is bliss, right? Not in this case. Standard desserts like cakes and/or pies seen at a local supermarket can contain more ingredients than necessary. Don't be fooled by the fancy labels. 

In an article by Foodbabe, Vani Hari stated:

"You move on to Costco where the ingredient list is so long I literally had trouble keeping count – but it’s close to 80 ingredients! The majority of them are fake chemical fillers and food-like substances that are obviously not real food. When I found the page labeled “bakery goods free from trans fat” (which had only a very small subset of a large amount of bakery goods in the book) I was deflated, to say the least. Again, most of their cakes had propylene glycol too and lots of other preservatives."  

fresh market chocolate cake

Ditch the store-bought desserts and try 6 of these homemade treats courtesy of Redefining All Diets. The best part is that these are 100% gluten-free AND dairy-free. That’s right. People can enjoy all-time favorites without the ginormous amounts of ingredients. Check these out!

1) Pumpkin Spice Mini Donuts

Starting with the little bites first is the pumpkin spice mini donuts. These were a great treat for trick – or – treaters instead of having a piece of candy. With no added sugars, these are a much lighter treat for the kiddos.


For the wet ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon ground flax meal
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup unsweetened pumpkin purée
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar, brown sugar or turbinado sugar (could sub maple syrup here to make this sugar free)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour (or could use coconut flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

For the Coating:

2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
1.5 tablespoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil  


1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Spray 3 regular sized muffin tins with cooking spray. Set aside.
3) Combine coconut oil and sugar (or maple syrup).
4) Add your flax egg (1 tbsp. flax meal with 3 tbsp. water) and vanilla extract.
5) Mix all of the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
6) Add all of your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and mix well until everything is combined.
7) Add the pumpkin puree and stir until dry ingredients are mixed through.
8) Roll into tablespoon size balls and place into the muffin tins.
9) Cook for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean (I cooked mine for 18 minutes)
10) Take the mini donuts out of the oven and let cool for a few minutes. In the meantime, combine all coconut sugar and cinnamon for the coating. Keep the coconut oil separate.
11) In one hand, dip the donuts into the coconut oil and then roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture.  

pumpkin spice mini donuts 2

2) Double Chocolate Muffins

Chocolate can be a weakness for some. If cravings are high, try these decadent muffins. They are dangerously delicious.


  • 2 Cups almond flour (or almond meal)
  • 1/4 Cup unsweetened cocoa (I use Rodelle)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 Cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 Cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 Large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup gluten-free, dairy-free dark chocolate baking morsel's (I used homemade paleo chocolate as morsels)
  • Top with granola ** optional


1) Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a cupcake pan with 12 paper liners; set aside.
2) In a large mixing bowl, whisk almond flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda.
3) In a separate medium mixing bowl, whisk coconut oil, maple syrup, and eggs.

4) Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
5) Stir in the chocolate chips.
6) Spoon batter evenly into your paper liners.
7) Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the center is set.
8) Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Note: Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Double Chocolate Muffins

3) PBJ Muffins

Next up, these are Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins. Why have a sandwich when you can have a muffin like this instead? What a great breakfast! With a healthy twist of chickpea flour and no eggs used, this light treat can be enjoyed at any time of the day.


  • 1 Cup chickpea flour                                                                                 
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 Tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp salt
  • 1 Flax seed egg ** see directions
  • 1 Applesauce carton, unsweetened (104 mL)
  • 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1.5 Cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • Top each muffin with peanut butter and granola


1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with 6 liners.
2) To make flax seed egg, combine 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds and 3 tablespoons of water. Let sit for 5-10 minutes in order to mimic the texture of an egg.
3) Combine dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and whisk together.                             4) In a separate bowl, add the wet ingredients together (except the blueberries and flax egg)
5) Combine the dry ingredient bowl into the wet ingredient bowl and stir until mixed through.
6) Fold in the blueberries and add the flax seed egg.
7) Fill each liner with the batter. Top with the desired amount of peanut butter and granola if you choose. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the tops are browned and a toothpick comes out clean.
8) Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!

PBJ Muffins

4) Double Chocolate Ice Cream

I scream, You scream, We all scream for ice cream! This one has a twist of using coconut milk instead of heavy cream. For those who are lactose intolerant, now there is an ice cream to enjoy! Make sure to have an ice cream maker for this recipe.


  • 3/4 Cup almond milk
  • 1 Can full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream (the thicker the cream, the better)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 2/3 cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 6 Ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped (~1 cup chopped) ** See Notes
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Toppings: chopped nuts or fruit work great!

**Notes: Recipe for homemade chocolate


1) The day before, add your ice cream churning bowl to the freezer to properly chill.
2) The same day, prepare your base. Add the almond milk, maple syrup, coconut milk, cocoa powder, and salt in a large saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat, whisking frequently. Once it reaches a low boil, continue cooking and whisking for 1 minute.
3) Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and vanilla. Whisk until melted.
To remove any graininess, add to a blender and blend for 30 seconds on high. 4) Then transfer to a mixing bowl and chill thoroughly overnight.
4) The next day, add your chilled base to the ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions - about 30 minutes or until it looks like soft serve (see photo).
5) Enjoy as soft serve, or transfer to a parchment-lined dish or loaf pan, cover securely, and freeze for 4-6 hours, or until firm.
Let thaw 10-15 minutes before serving to soften. Use a hop scoop to ease scooping. Enjoy within 7-10 days. Top with desired toppings!

ice cream

5) Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins

Pumpkin season might be over, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be enjoyed. With these muffins, they are fantastic all year round. Be careful not to eat them all or let your friends take all of them.


For the wet ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup unsweetened pumpkin purée
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or turbinado sugar 
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses

For the dry ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cups almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Heaping 1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with large paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the chia seeds and water. Set aside for a few minutes to thicken for 5-10 minutes. (these will act like your eggs)
3. In the same bowl, add the rest of the wet ingredients to your chia mixture. Whisk together until smooth.
4. Add the dry ingredients to your wet mixture and whisk until no patches of flour remain.
5. Divide the batter equally between the 12 muffin liners. Typically, these will fill about 3/4 full. Top with more walnuts if you would like.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
6. Cool the muffins for 5-10 minutes and transfer them to a cooling rack (or plate) until completely cool. Enjoy with almond milk or a nice cup of coffee!

Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins

6) Vegan Chocolate Pie

This pie is the best recipe saved for last! Love chocolate, but don’t want all of the sugar? Try this pie with no added sugar except maple syrup. With extra added protein from the nut butter and crust, it will be plenty filling without the need to go for seconds.


For the Chocolate Filling:

  • 1/2 cup (ideally grass-fed) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup almond, peanut or sunflower butter
  • 1 cup cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon1 cup almond milk

For the Crust:

  • 4 cups blanched almond flour
  • 6 tbsp water (add more if needed)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 4 tbsp grass-fed and dairy free butter


1) Make sure your butter is at room temperature for the crust and chocolate. Mix all of the ingredients except for the almond milk for the chocolate in one bowl.
2) Put the chocolate on parchment paper. Then, flatten it out with another piece of parchment paper. Freeze for an hour.
3) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all of the ingredients for the crust except the water in a separate bowl.
4) Slowly add water one tablespoon at a time. Keep adding a tablespoon until all of the flour is mixed in and your crust is doughy. Form it into a ball.
5) Put the crust on a pie dish and make sure to incorporate it around all of the edges. Place into the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.
6) Remove crust from the oven and let cool.
7) When the chocolate is set, remove it from the freezer.
8) Put chocolate and almond milk in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
9) Pour the chocolate filling onto the pie crust. Cover with parchment paper loosely and let it set for 2 hours.
10) Once the pie is set, uncover pie and enjoy! :) Serve with whipped cream if you wish!

Vegan Chocolate Pie

H/T: FoodbabeOh She GlowsMinimalist BakerKrista ButlerPurely ElizabethGluten Free Palate