Dessert Recipes

Lemon Meringue Cookies

Lemon Meringue Cookies

Why buy your cookies when you can very easily make your own? It’s super easy to make these sugar-free lemon meringue cookies! This recipe uses a powdered sugar substitute (see recommendation in recipe notes). It’s important for it to be powdered, otherwise the end result will be gritty. It may work to just powder a different sweetener in a food processor, as long as you can get it to a very fine consistency.

In comparison to the regular, sugar-filled version, the end result is only slightly different with sugar-free meringue cookies. They are almost indistinguishable.  The only difference you may notice is that it’s a little more difficult for the beaten egg whites to hold their stiff peaks without that sugar. Basically, that means you get less definition in your meringue design when piping. But, hey–it’s worth it to have the low-carb, sugar-free version, right?

If lemon flavor is not your thing and you prefer vanilla, you can modify this recipe by simply skipping the lemon zest and folding in about 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  You’ll want to keep the lemon juice as a stabilizer, or you can use cream of tartar instead. Either way, they will not taste lemon-y without the zest in there.

As far as storage, just place them in an airtight container and keep them in the pantry or cupboard. Room temperature works best.  The only caveat is that the cookies can soften by absorbing water vapor from the air. You want to keep them away from heat and moisture.  If they get soft on you anyway, you can crisp them up again. Just place them in the oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes.

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Lemon Meringue Cookies
Diet Level:5
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Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 2 Hours
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 2 Hours
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Diet Level:5
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Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the egg whites into a large bowl. Beat using a hand mixer at medium speed, until the whites get opaque and frothy.
  3. Add the lemon juice. Increase mixer speed to high. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
  4. Gradually add the powdered sweetener, a tablespoon at a time, beating more as you go.
  5. Gently fold in the lemon zest.
  6. Carefully transfer the mixture into a piping bag. Pipe cookies onto the lined baking sheet, about a teaspoon each, spaced about an inch apart.
  7. Bake for 1-2 hours. (Time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your meringues.) The meringues are done when they are firm and release easily from the parchment paper, but before they turn brown.
  8. When they are done, turn off the oven and prop the door open with a wooden spoon. Leave the meringues in the oven this way for at least an hour, until dry and crisp.
Recipe Notes

Powdered sugar substitute. Click on image for purchase link.

Swerve Sugar Replacement


 

Pumpkin Protein Cookies (Soft Baked)

Pumpkin Protein Cookies (Soft Baked)

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Pumpkin Protein Cookies (Soft Baked)
Diet Level:4
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Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 10 Minutes
Servings
Cookies
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 10 Minutes
Servings
Cookies
Ingredients
Diet Level:4
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray (or line with parchment paper). Set aside.
  2. In one small bowl, mix together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together wet ingredients. Combine the wet and dry, and mix until well combined.
  3. Scoop 1/8 cup (or 2 tbsp) worth of dough onto baking sheet per cookie, (you may want to mold into shape you want them to be, as they don't spread much). Sprinkle with a few chocolate chips if desired before baking.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until set.
Recipe Notes

To make oat flour, take 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats and grind in a blender or food processor until it reaches a flour consistency.

Pumpkin Pie Protein Bites (No Bake)

Pumpkin Pie Protein Bites (No Bake)

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Pumpkin Pie Protein Bites (No Bake)
Diet Level:5
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Prep Time 10 Minutes
Servings
Balls
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Servings
Balls
Ingredients
Diet Level:5
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Instructions
  1. Mix everything together in a large bowl until well combined. Add the pumpkin last, adding a little less or more as needed, just until a dough forms. You want the dough more dry than wet because, once it becomes too wet, it becomes sticky.
  2. Scoop 1/8 cup mixture into hands and roll into a ball. Continue until batter is gone.
  3. Place protein cookie dough balls in a plastic container and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mug Cake

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mug Cake

What could be better than pumpkin cake with chocolate chips? AND, this Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mug Cake has 16 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber, is gluten and grain free!

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mug Cake
Diet Level:5
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Prep Time 5 Minutes
Cook Time 10 Minutes
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 Minutes
Cook Time 10 Minutes
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Diet Level:5
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Instructions
  1. In a small mixing bowl, add all ingredients, except for chocolate chips. Mix until smooth. Top with chocolate chips.
  2. Spray 2 microwave-safe bowls with cooking spray and scoop cake batter into prepared bowls, dividing evenly.
  3. Microwave each bowl separately for 2 minutes, or until cake is set.
Recipe Notes

Note: If you want to use the oven rather than microwave, simply bake the cakes in 2 small ramekins (baking them together), for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Pumpkin Muffins with Honey

Pumpkin Muffins with Honey

Of course, the title gives it away—this is a Diet Level 6 Recipe—honey…1/2 cup, no less!! It’s clean eating all the way, though!!! These are so easy to make and they taste delish! Just remember portion control!!! ALWAYS!!

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Pumpkin Muffins with Honey
Diet Level:6
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Diet Level 6: Clean Eating
fueled for GOD 40 Day Challenge
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 25 Minutes
Servings
Muffins
Ingredients
Diet Level 6: Clean Eating
fueled for GOD 40 Day Challenge
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 25 Minutes
Servings
Muffins
Ingredients
Diet Level:6
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Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with liners or oil lightly.
  2. Stir together flours, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, stir together eggs, pumpkin, mayonnaise, honey, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add pumpkin mixture to dry ingredients and mix until just blended.
  5. Stir in pecans, then divide among muffin liners so each is about ¾ full (about ¼ cup each).
  6. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center tests clean. Cool muffin tin for 5 minutes on a wire rack, then run a thin knife around each indent and turn muffins out; cool completely before eating.
Pumpkin No Bake Energy Bites

Pumpkin No Bake Energy Bites

Recipes like this can double as breakfast, a snack or even a quick dessert! These “bites” are super easy to make, are packed with protein and lots of ingredients you can feel great about putting into your body!

The recipe not only calls for pumpkin spices and some pumpkin puree, but also toasted pumpkin seeds!  If you don’t have any on hand, you’re welcome to substitute in any other nuts or seeds.  But the “pepitas” really add an extra crunch and flavor to these bites.  They are the perfect mixture of sweet and slightly salty.

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Pumpkin No Bake Energy Bites
Diet Level:6
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Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 10 Minutes
Servings
1-Inch Balls
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 10 Minutes
Servings
1-Inch Balls
Ingredients
Diet Level:6
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Instructions
  1. Combine the dates, honey, pumpkin puree, chia (or flax) seeds, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt in a food processor, and pulse until smooth and combined.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, and stir in the oats, coconut flakes and pepitas until evenly combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Once the mixture is cool (and easier to work with), use a spoon or cookie scoop to shape it into your desired size of energy balls (about 1-inch in diameter). Alternatively, you can line a small baking pan with parchment paper, and press the mixture evenly into the pan, let it cool, and then cut into bars.
Recipe Notes

Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. (Storing them in the refrigerator especially helps the energy bites hold their shape.)

If you feel like adding a little extra sweetness, these would also be great with some Lily's, stevia-sweetened chocolate chips tossed in.  See the CHALLENGED APPROVED FOODS PAGE for purchase recommendations.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake

It’s PUMPKIN TIME! This cheesecake is sugar-free and no-bake and all pumpkin!  Moreover, it’s even healthy with all the dates and nuts included in this recipe!!!

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Pumpkin Cheesecake
Diet Level:5
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Prep Time 20 Minutes
Cook Time 5 Hours
Servings
6" Cake
Ingredients
Crust ingredients:
White Layer Ingredients:
Pumpkin Layer Ingredients:
Prep Time 20 Minutes
Cook Time 5 Hours
Servings
6" Cake
Ingredients
Crust ingredients:
White Layer Ingredients:
Pumpkin Layer Ingredients:
Diet Level:5
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Instructions
  1. Place all crust ingredients into a food processor and process into a sticky crumble. Transfer into a 6″ spring form pan and shape into a crust {either by flattening it entirely to the bottom, or pushing it up the sides a little for a taller crust effect}. Set aside.
  2. Place all white layer ingredients into a high-speed blender and process until mixture is smooth. Scoop out about ¾ cup of this mixture into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Add pumpkin layer ingredients to the blender to the remaining mixture and blend until mixture is smooth and uniform.
  4. Pour pumpkin cheesecake mixture into the crust in the spring form pan. Smooth out the mixture a little using a spatula. Pour white layer ingredients (that were set aside earlier) on top of the pumpkin layer, being careful not to mix the two layers in the process {it helps to freeze the pumpkin layer for about 20 minutes first to help it firm up, which makes adding the white layer without having the two layers mix up a lot easier}. Gently smooth out the surface.
  5. Freeze the cheesecake for 4-5 hours {or overnight} to set, and then transfer and store in the fridge until ready to serve. You can also have it straight out of the freezer as a pumpkin ice-cream cake, but when you have it out of the fridge it has the consistency, texture, and flavor of a real cheesecake.
Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

These cookies are SUPER easy to make. No fancy mixers, just a large spoon. Add the dry ingredients with wet ingredients, stick them in the fridge for about 10 minutes, form them into small balls, and dip them into a cinnamon mixture. You will want the balls to be about the size of a ping-pong ball. They are YUMMY. Now, these have coconut sugar in them, so they are only for those DIET LEVEL 6-er’s out there!!

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Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies
Diet Level:6
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Diet Level 6: Clean Eating
fueled for GOD 40 Day Challenge
Prep Time 5 Minutes
Cook Time 12 Minutes
Servings
Cookies
Ingredients
Diet Level 6: Clean Eating
fueled for GOD 40 Day Challenge
Prep Time 5 Minutes
Cook Time 12 Minutes
Servings
Cookies
Ingredients
Diet Level:6
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Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together almond flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. In a separate, small bowl, whisk together coconut oil, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix together until wet and sticky. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes (this allows the dough to get a little more sticky and firm).
  5. In a small bowl, mix cinnamon and coconut sugar.
  6. Form dough balls that are about 1.5 inches in diameter. Roll dough into cinnamon mixture. Place on a cookie sheet. Using a jar or glass, flatten cookies to about ½ inch thick.
  7. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes (depending on oven and thickness of cookies). Cookies should feel firm on the top, but may be soft in the middle. They will continue to get firmer once out of the oven.
  8. Cool completely on the cookie sheet.
Date Sweetened Cookies

Date Sweetened Cookies

This is a great Diet Level 4 cookie recipe, although it also fits nicely into DL’s 1, 2, 3, and 6 (NOT DL 5, due to the inclusion of oats, so not grain-free). They are crispy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside cookies. You can make these as chunky or smooth as you want, depending on how long you let the blender or food processor machine go. These cookies are made with raisins, but you could also substitute Lily’s chocolate chips (see image below), which are made with stevia and you would still be in the “sugar-free” diet-level realm! You can find them at HEB with all the other baking chocolate chips.

Lilys Baking Chips No Sugar Added

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Date Sweetened Cookies
Diet Level:4
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Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 30 Minutes
Servings
Cookies
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 30 Minutes
Servings
Cookies
Ingredients
Diet Level:4
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place dates and vanilla in a food processor or high-speed blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Add almonds until smooth, another minute or so.
  3. Add in the oats, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, and oil, and process for another few minutes. You might need to stop periodically to scrape the sides in order to get the mixture to blend evenly. Add in the banana for 10 seconds.
  4. Stir in the raisins.
  5. Shape dough with a spoon into 20 cookies on 2 lightly greased cookie sheets and flatten slightly with a spatula.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are lightly brown.
  7. Place on a cooling rack and store uneaten cookies in an airtight container.
Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

I mean, come on…who doesn’t LOVE peanut butter cups, right??? Okay, maybe there’s one or two people on this here planet that might not like them…maybe. I’m DEFINITELY NOT one of those two people!!! I haven’t made these yet, because I am currently on Diet Level 4, but I’m sure going to!!! They are NOT sugar-free, due to the honey in them. So, they are a Diet Level 6 Recipe. They are really very “clean” eating…just use your portion control sense!!

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Chocolate Almond Butter Cups
Diet Level:6
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Prep Time 35 Minutes
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 35 Minutes
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Diet Level:6
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Instructions
  1. Place almond butter, coconut, coconut oil, honey and salt in a food processor and puree until smooth and well combined.
  2. Add a spoonful of the mixture into 8-10 mini muffin tins, then pour melted chocolate on top of each spoonful. (You don't need to grease the tins.)
  3. Place in freezer for 30 or more minutes until set. After set, use a sharp knife to pop out each almond butter cup.
  4. Store in freezer and remove 5 minutes before eating to help soften the chocolate.
Recipe Notes

HEB in Boerne carries the following products. (While you may feel that these products can be a little pricey at the outset, you will use them time and time again AND they go really far, so you won't be repurchasing for some time):

MaraNatha Natural Creamy & Raw Almond Butter
Bob's Red Mill Unsweetened Medium Shredded Coconut
Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Good Flow Honey Company Raw Wildflower Honey
Lily's Baking Chips No Sugar Added (Sweetened with Stevia)

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