Chocolate Cheesecake Parfait

Chocolate Cheesecake Parfait | Life Healthfully LivedValentine’s Day needs chocolate.  It’s just a fact of life.  I mean every day needs chocolate, but Valentine’s Day needs the fancy chocolate.  Enter this dessert.

Valentine’s Day is on Sunday this year which is just weird.  I don’t know why, but it is.  If you’ve completely forgotten about Valentine’s, don’t worry because this dessert can be whipped up super fast and it tastes super indulgent.

Can you believe I was actually going to post a pizza recipe today?  I know, what was I thinking?  I mean pizza is good and deserves its time in the spotlight, but not right now.  Today, it’s going to be all about the chocolate.  Even better, it’s going to be about healthy chocolate.  I used an old trick to make the chocolate pudding part of this recipe and while it might seem weird and totally gross, go with me on this one.  Avocados make the chocolate pudding layer rich, thick, creamy, and full of good for you fat and nutrients.Chocolate Cheesecake Parfait | Life Healthfully Lived

What better way to tell that special someone you love them?! I love you, now enjoy some good fat chocolate.  Music to my ears.  Guys, if you want to impress your lady (or yourself, I won’t judge) make this parfait.   You don’t need to do anything fancy, just blend each layer and put it in a glass. Voila! Done.

I hope you have a great weekend and your Valentine’s Day is full of love and chocolate! 🙂

Chocolate Cheesecake Pudding ParfaitChocolate Cheesecake Parfait | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 1 batch of my cream cheese frosting (sub in almond milk for the water)
  • 1 large avocado, very ripe (you want a soft avocado so it blends nice and smooth)
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup, honey, agave or any liquid sweetener
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs, optional for sprinkling
  1. Blend up the cream cheese frosting and place in the fridge while you make the chocolate pudding
  2. Place the rest of the ingredients into a blender and blend until completely smooth.  Taste to see if you need more sweetener.
  3. Chill the pudding for at least 30 minutes before serving.  Place into a glass in layers and then sprinkle with chocolate chips or cacao nibs right before serving.Chocolate Cheesecake Parfait | Life Healthfully Lived

Chocolate PB Bars and Superbowl Snacks

Chocolate PB Bars and Superbowl Snacks | Life Healthfully LivedWhile I don’t take a HUGE interest in football, kind of hard when your team is the Bears…. but I do enjoy watching games and I really like watching the big game.  Ok, ok, I’m mostly watching for the commercials and the halftime performance, BUT I still like to watch.

I’m also in it for the food.  Come on, does that one shock you?  Chips and dip, pizza, wings, snacks of all shapes and size, the Superbowl isn’t just super because of the football players.  The Superbowl comes right at a time when you have been working hard to make eating healthy a habit.  It feels like it’s there to test your willpower and you’re a horrible human being if you slip up and eat a chicken wing…. or fifty.Chocolate PB Bars and Superbowl Snacks | Life Healthfully Lived

You should never feel guilty for eating food, even if it isn’t the healthiest.  You made a choice and that’s fine.  Eat the food and move on.  To help yourself feel a little better of eating a super bowl during the Superbowl (see what I did there?), try making real food snacks and appetizers for your party.  Instead of buying your chips and dip, make your own.  Create a build your own pizza bar and provide plenty of fresh vegetables for toppings.  Or do a taco bar!  Mmmmmm tacos….. There are plenty of ways that you can make your party food taste indulgent and healthy.

Which is why I made this treat for you guys!  I love my salted caramel chocolate swirl bars from Christmas and I wanted to see if I could make something with my favorite combo: chocolate and peanut butter.  I mean really, is there anything better than chocolate and peanut butter?  No.  The answer is no.  Chocolate PB Bars and Superbowl Snacks | Life Healthfully Lived

These are gluten, dairy, and egg free so they can cover a variety of diets, allergies, and intolerances.  If you can’t or don’t do peanut butter just sub in your favorite nut or seed butter, crunchy almond butter works really well!  You can also make these a few days in advance and that is one less thing you have to prepare.

So make these and be the hit of the party and enjoy the comm… I mean the game!

Chocolate PB BarsChocolate PB Bars and Superbowl Snacks | Life Healthfully Lived

Chocolate Cookie Crust

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 6 tbsp solid coconut oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350.  If your coconut oil isn’t solid, measure it out and then stick it in the freezer for a few minutes.  Meanwhile, combine the rest of the ingredients in a blender and pulse until fully combined.
  2. Add in the coconut oil and pulse until the mixture is all crumbly.  Lightly oil an 8 x 8 pan with some coconut oil and line with parchment paper with a little hanging over the sides.  Press the cookie crust into the bottom of the pan and bake for 10 minutes.  It will look like it isn’t set, but don’t freak out. It will all be ok!
  3. Once it’s done let it cool for a few minutes and then place it in the freezer to harden while you get the filling together.

Peanut Butter Filling

  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seed and 3 tbsp water mixed together)
  • 1 tsp baking soda combined with 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp chunky peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut shreds
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips/chunks
  1. In a medium bowl, mix flax egg, baking soda mixture, peanut butter, vanilla, and coconut sugar together.  Make sure it is really well combined.
  2. Stir in the coconut shreds and spread the filling on the cookie crust.  Bake for about 8 minutes.
  3. Pull it out and sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and then bake for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and let it cool completely before you cut them into bars.  The bars may seem a little gooey, but they will firm up as they cool.  Keep them stored in the fridge or the freezer until you’re ready to eat them.  Chocolate PB Bars and Superbowl Snacks | Life Healthfully Lived

DIY Wednesday: Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache

AfterDIY Wednesday: Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache a week off, DIY Wednesday is back!  I know you missed it and were totally lost without a fun DIY to fill your Wednesday.  At least that’s what I would like to think.

I’m SUPER excited about this DIY because I didn’t think it was going to work and it did and it is amazing.  If you don’t know what a ganache is, then you obviously don’t spend enough time in bakeries or watching the Food Network.  A ganache is a glaze, sauce, icing, or filling that is typically made with cream and chocolate.  It can be used for cakes, cupcakes, truffles, or donuts.  Basically, anything that is delicious can be made even more delicious with ganache.DIY Wednesday: Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache | Life Healthfully Lived

Ganache used to be one of my favorite things.  It isn’t super heavy or super sweet like typical frostings and it really lets the chocolate flavor shine through.  And let’s face it, chocolate is the reason many of us get up in the morning.  Wait, is that just me?  Oh well, it’s true and I ain’t ashamed of that.

So you can imagine how excited I was when I was able to make it without dairy but still just as delicious.  I figured I would share this one with you right as the holiday season is upon us because this will definitely come in handy for all your baking needs.  You can use it as a frosting or icing for you cooking, as a decadent hot chocolate drink, as a filling for pastries or sweet breads, or stick it in the fridge for a rich and creamy mousse and a simple dessert.  The possibilities are endless and with just a few ingredients you can have this on hand at all times.  That is a very good thing!

Dairy-Free Chocolate GanacheDIY Wednesday: Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk, unsweetened
  • 2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate (I used Baker’s brand)
  • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup, honey, molasses, whatever liquid sweetener you have on handDIY Wednesday: Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache | Life Healthfully Lived


  1. Using a microplane or fine grater, grate the 2 oz of chocolate into a medium bowl until you have a little pile of chocolate shreds.  Set bowl aside.
  2. Get a small to medium saucepan and pour the coconut milk in.  Heat the milk over medium heat and whisk frequently.  You don’t want the milk to boil or scald.  Whisk in the maple syrup or other sweetener and whisking until you get a light simmer.  This should take about 10 minutes
  3. Remove the milk from the heat and get your bowl with chocolate shreds.  Slowly pour in the sweetened warm milk, whisking the whole time.  Keep whisking until the chocolate is completely melted and everything is smooth.
  4. You can use the ganache right away or you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.DIY Wednesday: Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache | Life Healthfully Lived

5 Things That Have Found Their Way Into My Kitchen

It might come as a shock to you, but sometimes I get stuck in food ruts.  I usually make the same thing for dinner during the week so that I can keep Adam and I on track with healthy meals and I can keep our food costs down.  But the other reason is that I can get lazy.  Sometimes the idea of coming up with something new and delicious just makes me tired.  So it’s easy to rely on the same old favorites in the kitchen and not venture into new territory.

While there is nothing wrong with preparing the same food that you know you like and you know is healthy and works for your body, it does get a little boring after awhile.  Boredom, as least for me, only leads to bad things in the area of food.  Soon I start eating more and more to feel satisfied because the meals I’m eating are the same old same old.  When that happens I know it’s time to switch things up and throw some new tricks into my old routine.

Here are some things that I have added to my kitchen and pantry in hopes of shaking things up and keeping my meals healthy and fun!

P.A.N- Pre-cooked White Corn Meal5 Things That Have Found Their Way Into My Kitchen | Life Healthfully Lived

If you follow me on Instagram (which you should, I’m fun), then you have heard me rave about this.  Actually you have heard me rave about arepas which are made from pre-cooked corn meal.  I have seen arepas on other bloggers feeds and seen them on shows like Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.  Every time I see them being made, I’m like, “Those look amazing, I need to try them myself.”  So I finally got this flour to make my own arepas.  Yes, you have to use pre-cooked corn meal not regular corn meal.  This was the brand that was recommended everywhere I looked, and I found it on Amazon for like $2.  Expect an arepa recipe soon because not only is it delicious, it is way easier to make than you would think.


5 Things That Have Found Their Way Into My Kitchen | Life Healthfully Lived

This is another thing that I constantly see on social media and yet I have never tried them.  Well, I have never tried fresh figs.  I have had dried figs and fig newtons if you can count those as actual figs.  But the fresh version was never on my radar. They have a very short season and I just happened to see them on sale at my Jewel so I picked some up on a whim.  They are really good!  I think I might have to try making some fig jam with them so I can enjoy them just a little bit longer.

Canned Coconut Milk5 Things That Have Found Their Way Into My Kitchen | Life Healthfully Lived

Ok, this isn’t a new one for me, but I had forgotten about it for awhile.  I used to get a couple of cans of coconut milk a week and use them in soups and stews and oatmeal and baked goods.  It’s really nice and creamy, so it works great as a substitute for things like heavy cream or whole milk.  My favorite thing to do with it lately is make creamy herb dressings/sauces, which I used on my pasta salad recipe last week and which leads me to the next thing….

Fresh Herbs5 Things That Have Found Their Way Into My Kitchen | Life Healthfully Lived

Another one that isn’t new, but that I had put on the back burner.  I usually pick up a bunch of cilantro each week, but one stand at my farmer’s market sells every fresh herb known to man.  I have started getting fresh basil, dill, parsley, cilantro, and lemon grass and using them in all the things.  Seriously, go get some fresh herbs and put them in your meals.  They enhance the flavor and bring a wonderful freshness to boring old dishes.  Throw some basil into a frittata or blend in some parsley with meat/lentil loaf.  It will up your dinner game and everyone will think you’re a culinary whiz.  You can also freeze, turn them into oil, or sauces to have them on hand for the winter months.

Trader Joes5 Things That Have Found Their Way Into My Kitchen | Life Healthfully Lived

We have a Trader Joes in our neighborhood, but I always forget about it because it isn’t in my usual rotation of grocery stores.  That needs to change because I went there on Friday to find shaved brussels sprouts (another Instagram phenom) and remembered why I love Trader Joes.  They have good food for a decent price.  Plus I found these dark chocolate covered espresso beans for Adam that he has become obsessed with at work.  Brussels sprouts and chocolate.  Yup, good combo.5 Things That Have Found Their Way Into My Kitchen | Life Healthfully Lived

Long story short, don’t be afraid to branch out of your food comfort zone.  It can get so easy to make the same things over and over and over… but even just a little change can add some pizzazz and flavor back into your meals.  Plus there are plenty of healthy options out there to make dinnertime tasty and nutritious.

What are some things that have turned your kitchen game around?

DIY Wednesday: Chocolate Caramel Candy

SometimesChocolate Caramel Candy | Life Healthfully Lived you just need something sweet, preferably covered in chocolate.  There are days that a piece of fruit is just not going to satisfy your sweet tooth.  I used to think that I had to fight that sweet craving because it was a sign of my weakness.  I would ignore it and tell myself that I was making my willpower stronger.  I was really just making myself miserable.

Having a craving for sweet stuff doesn’t mean that you are weak, it means that you are human.  Indulging in a sweet treat every once in a while is totally fine and better for your sanity in the long run.  You just have to do it the right way.  If you find yourself reaching for a candy bar multiple times throughout the day, then maybe you need a little sugar detox. But if you’re looking for a little bite every now and then, this DIY is just for you.

Homemade food is always going to trump store bought because you are in control of the ingredients.  That is especially true for this candy.  It’s only two simple ingredients, but will still satisfy that craving for a little something decadent.  You can even add nuts or seeds for a little crunch and texture.  Make a batch and keep them on hand for whenever you need a little bite of chocolatey caramel-y goodness!

Chocolate Caramel Candy

Chocolate Caramel Candy | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 10 Medjool dates, pitted and sliced in half (you could also use prunes)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (read notes for another substitution)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • peanuts, cashews, hazelnuts, almonds (optional)
  1. Place pitted and sliced dates into a bowl and cover with hot water.  Let dates soak for 10 to 15 minutes until very soft
  2. Drain the dates and place them into a blender with the pinch of salt.  Blend until everything is completely smooth.
  3. Spoon about a teaspoon or so of the date caramel mix into a silicone mold.  You could also put them on a parchment lined cookie tray.  If you’re using nuts, press one into each caramel now.  Freeze for 30 to 45 minutes.
  4. Melt the 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips and 1 tbsp coconut oil.  You can do this in the microwave in 20-second intervals stirring until all the chips are melted and it’s smooth.  Or you could melt the chips in a double broiler.
  5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Remove the frozen date caramel and pop them out of the molds.  Using a fork, dip the caramel into the chocolate and place onto the cookie sheet, working quickly. Place the sheet into the freezer once they’re all covered
  6. Freeze for 15 minutes then enjoy!  Keep the candy in a container in the freezer so they don’t melt.

Chocolate Caramel Candy | Life Healthfully Lived

*Note* You can also use baking chocolate for the coating. Use 100% cacao and melt in a double broiler with 1 tablespoon coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or honey.  Stir constantly until completely smooth.