Peppermint Bark Cheesecake (Sweetened With Honey)

This seasonal favorite has been given a healthier upgrade by using honey instead of white sugar. Filled with chocolate and peppermint goodness in addition to the traditional tang of a vanilla cheesecake, this dessert is a great addition to your holiday parties.

Peppermint Bark Cheesecake Sweetend with Honey -- Nourish Wild

Peppermint bark and cheesecake. If that doesn’t sound like a winning holiday combination, I don’t know what does. There’s just something about the cool peppermint, rich chocolate and tangy cream cheese flavors that feels like Christmas in a bite. It’s decadent, but this version is slightly less guilty with honey instead of white sugar.

Peppermint Bark Cheesecake Sweetend with Honey -- Nourish Wild

Christmas is only 2 days away, which means New Year’s and New Year Resolutions are creeping up quickly. If you’re like most people, your resolutions probably include some type of health upgrade. Which is awesome! Wanting to get healthier is always a good goal. Of course, the trick is making it last longer than the month of January.

If you’re looking for a free, short and sweet kickstart to a healthier lifestyle, join us on January 11th for our Free 7 Day Challenge!

7 Day Challenge Poster

Ready to join us? What do you have to lose… It’s free!

If you have any questions, you can always contact us at We hope you join us! Tell your friends, let’s do this together!

But first, finish off the year with this guy:

Peppermint Bark Cheesecake Sweetend with Honey -- Nourish Wild

Peppermint Bark Cheesecake


I used this recipe from Gluten Free On A Shoestring. I halved the recipe, then cooked it in one giant cookie. Once baked, I crumbled up the cookie into crumbs, and added about 2 Tbsp of melted butter. Of course, you can use your favorite crust recipe if this one doesn’t do it for ya.


  • 2 pounds (four 8 oz block) of grass-fed cream cheese (I use Organic Valley), softened completely to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup of unfiltered honey (Depending on the initial consistency of your honey, you may need to gently heat the honey until it is a pour-able consistency.)
  • 4 free-range eggs, room temperature
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 crushed candy canes
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life), melted
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract


  • 1 cup chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 2-3 crushed candy canes
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, and grease a 9″ springform pan (I like coconut oil for greasing pans). I also like to put a round cutout of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan for extra non-stick insurance.
  2. Press your crust mixture into the bottom of the pan. I’m not into the fancy edges. As long as it covers the bottom evenly, I’m happy.
  3. Bake the crust for about 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
  4. Prepare the filling. Use an electric mixer to beat together the cream cheese and honey in a large bowl.
  5. Add your eggs, one at a time, to the cream cheese and honey, mixing continuously at a low speed. Also add in the vanilla and 4 crushed candy canes while mixing.
  6. Stop mixing and take 1 cup of this cream cheese mixture and place it a separate, small bowl.
  7. To this small bowl of batter, add the 1/3 cup of melted chocolate, and 1 tsp of peppermint extract. You now should have one large “vanilla” cream cheese mixture, and one small “chocolate peppermint” cream cheese mixture.
  8. On top of the crust, pour all of the large “vanilla” cream cheese mixture and make sure it is evenly distributed.
  9. Using a spoon, plop dollops of the “chocolate peppermint” cream cheese mixture on top of the “vanilla” cream cheese mixture. Now all of the cream cheese batter should be in the springform pan.
  10. Use a butter knife to gently swirl the chocolate peppermint dollops with the vanilla cream cheese mixture. This will create a marbled effect, with pockets of chocolate peppermint distributed throughout the vanilla batter. Make sure to not scrape the crust while doing this.
  11. Bake the cheesecake in lower 1/3 of your oven at 325 degrees for 1 hour 30 minutes, until the middle is just barely under-cooked. (I ‘m not concerned with a water bath for this recipe since it will be topped with chocolate and cracks in the top won’t show anyway, but if it makes you feel better, you can add a pan of water in the oven as well to create a steam effect.)
  12. After 1 hr 30 minutes, turn off the oven and crack the door, leaving the cheesecake in the oven. Allow the oven to cool completely with the cheesecake still inside. Once the oven is cooled, remove the cheesecake and let it continue to cool (still in the springform pan) on the counter until close to room temperature.
  13. Create the topping by mixing the 1 cup melted chocolate chips, avocado oil and peppermint extract. Pour this mixture on top of the cooled cheesecake. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes.
  14. Refrigerate the cheesecake (still in the springform pan) overnight before serving.

Cinnamon Crunch Flatbread (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Nut-Free)

Panera’s Cinnamon Crunch Bagels were once one of my all-time favorite things. But these days, I prefer to make my own treats. This Cinnamon Crunch Flatbread is a perfect little morning or afternoon treat, and is gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, and Paleo friendly. Plus it’s quick and easy to throw together!

It’s a gloomy, gloomy day here in the RVA. Luckily, I didn’t have to work today and Andrew didn’t have to work until the afternoon, so we were able to have a lazy morning. I woke up with an intense need for cinnamon rolls. The sticky, sweet, spicy and steamy combination was calling my name. Unfortunately, I had no time or patience for such process. You know how the best ideas come from necessity, right? Cinnamon Crunch Flatbread was born under such necessity. The necessity to recreate the cinnamon roll flavors, without the process.

Gluten Free Grain Free Nut Free Cinnamon Crunch Flatbread

That spicy cinnamon that tickles your nose, that crispy crunch of the caramelized sugar, that chewy, savory flatbread… If this doesn’t say, “Good morning, let’s enjoy our time together” I don’t know what does. The flatbread base is adapted from a recipe by Savory Lotus, and the cinnamon crunch is inspired by those so-darn-delicious Panera bagels. The flatbread comes together in about 2 minutes, and only takes 12 minutes in the oven. A couple minutes under the broiler to caramelize that cinnamon sugar combo, and that’s right folks… This could be in your hand in about 15 minutes.

Grain Free Gluten Free Nut Free Cinnamon Crunch Flatbread

Cinnamon Crunch Flatbread

  • 2/3 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/3 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 (cage-free) egg
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp (grass-fed) butter, softened
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and line a rectangular cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon, coconut palm sugar, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl and using a fork to stir, combine the avocado oil, water, and egg.
  4. Sift in the tapioca starch, potato starch, and coconut flour, adding them to your wet ingredient mixture. Combine the wet and dry ingredients thoroughly with your fork. This mixture should be sticky and hold some shape.
  5. Spread this mixture onto the parchment-lined cookie sheet, evenly distributing the dough and forming a long, flat rectangular, flatbread shape. Note that this dough is super sticky, so I find it easiest to wet my hands and spread and shape the dough by hand. If the dough starts sticking to your hands, re-wet your hands.
  6. Once the dough is shaped into the rectangular shape and about 1/4″ thick, place in the preheated oven for 12 minutes.
  7. After 12 minutes, remove from the oven. Slide the flatbread off of the parchment, and straight onto the cookie sheet (I’ve found that if it gets left on the parchment paper, the bottom of the flatbread tends to get soggy. Take out the parchment and the bottom will get crispy.)
  8. Coat the top of the warm flatbread with the softened butter. Then evenly sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over top of the buttered flatbread.
  9. Place under your oven’s broiler (High, if your oven has the option) for a couple of minutes. Watch your flatbread the whole time! This can turn ugly quickly. Let the cinnamon sugar start to bubble all over. Once the sugar is bubbling over the entire flatbread, remove from the oven and let it cool and set. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Crunch Flatbread Collage

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Nut-Free)

Sometimes you just need that familiar comfort of a warm, fresh-from-the-oven, tastes-like-grandma’s chocolate chip cookie. But if you’re like us, the typical slice-and-bake kinds just don’t cut it anymore. These Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies are gluten-free, grain-free, and nut/seed-free, yet full of nostalgia. If you’re looking for a chocolate chip cookie that fulfills your comfort food needs, but doesn’t send you over the processed-food edge, look no further… you’re home.

We recently did a sugar detox for 3 weeks (foreal), and learned so much. First of all, I learned that I actually can function without sugar. Seriously, when you get to the end of your day and realize that you didn’t slip up once, and you didn’t even think about being tempted, it feels like you deserve a trophy. Sad? Yes. Reality for most Americans? Absolutely. But as we got closer to the end of the no-sugar test, I started thinking about cookies. Chocolate chip cookies. And I couldn’t stop… So guess what I made to celebrate the end of our detox? Taadaaa! The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie was born. But let me tell you the craziest part, and what tells me that our little detox was pretty successful: I ate one and was satisfied. Guys, let’s go over that again. I made awesome chocolate chip cookies after going 3 weeks without sugar, and only wanted one. Winner winner, chicken dinner! The curse is broken.

Gluten-Free Grain-Free Nut-Free Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

That certainly doesn’t mean these are any less scrumptious, of course. I based this recipe off a certain “House” recipe that many of us grew up with, and they do not disappoint. You have a choice with these as well: to Xanthan or not to Xanthan, that is the question. A lot of gluten-free bakers use xanthan gum in their recipes because it helps the goodies stick together and not crumble into a million pieces. Personally, I prefer not to use it because it is still a relatively processed ingredient, and it’s not something I would naturally use in daily life. But in the interest of science, I ended up making one batch of these cookies without xanthan (pictured) and one batch with it. There are definitely differences. Mainly, the ones with xanthan held together better and were much less delicate (expected), and they also didn’t spread out quite as prettily as the ones without xanthan did. Also, I felt like the ones with the xanthan were a little fluffier and cakier than the ones without. That being said, while the cookies without the xanthan required a more delicate touch while eating them, I will probably make them without the xanthan in the future. If you do plan on using the xanthan, I would recommend you flatten out the cookie dough a little more (don’t just roll them into balls and bake) since they don’t seem to spread out as much in the baking process.

Gluten-Free Grain-Free Nut-Free Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

What makes these cuties different, is that they are “paleo” or “primal” friendly, without using nuts. I do already have one chocolate chip cookie recipe posted, but that uses almond flour or sunflour seed meal, and these days we really try to stay away from nuts and seeds. Plus the texture of these Ultimate cookies is a lot better, and more like a “traditional” cookie I think. They do still use a good bit of butter, but you could use ghee as well. As always, please please use grass-fed butter! Contrary to popular belief and traditional thought, butter that is good quality (read: grass-fed) is actually full of good stuff.

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie

  • 1/3 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/3 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup grass-fed butter, softened to room temperature (important!) — I use Kerrygold salted
  • 2/3 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 tsp molasses
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg (free-range)
  • about 1/2-3/4 cup chocolate chips — I use Enjoy Life minis
  • optional: 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (see above for my notes)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, sift and mix the tapioca starch, potato starch, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt (and xanthan gum if using) together.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the softened butter, coconut palm sugar, molasses, vanilla, and egg with an electric mixture, until the texture is uniform.
  4. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, using the electric mixer to combine. Continue until all of the dry ingredients have been completely mixed in.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Using a 1 Tbsp scoop, place balls of dough on the parchment-lined cookie sheet. You should get about 12 balls of dough. Flatten the tops of the balls slightly (flatten a little extra if you’ve used xanthan gum).
  7. Place your cookie sheet with the dough in your fridge for 10 minutes to allow the dough to set up a little before baking. This will prevent the butter from melting too quickly so the cookies won’t spread out too much and run together.
  8. After 10 minutes in the fridge, place the cookie sheet straight into the preheated oven, and bake for about 9-11 minutes, until golden brown and cracked.
  9. Remember, if you haven’t used xanthan gum, be gentle! They should not be dry, but they might be fragile.

Gluten Free Grain Free Nut Free Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie

Hidden Veggie Muffins (Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, White Sugar-Free)

Can’t get your kids (or your spouse… or yourself) to eat their veggies? These double chocolate chip hidden veggie muffins are the perfect solution. The entire base for these muffins is a mixture of zucchini, carrots and green leaves. Not to mention they’re also gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, dairy-free and white sugar-free. Oh, and they’re pretty darn tasty… who could resist a double chocolate chip muffin for breakfast?

Hidden Veggie Muffins (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Nut-Free, White Sugar-Free). The best way to sneak in some extra veggies is with chocolate!

While I’m not a mom, I have been surrounded by kids for a long, long time. I’ve gone from working as a camp counselor, to a preschool teacher, to a nanny, and there’s one thing I know for sure: it’s hard to get kids to eat green stuff. And for the most part, if the kids won’t eat it, the moms won’t buy it. That makes for breakfasts that are filled with sugary cereals, waffles, pastries… whatever the kid will actually put in their stomach before heading out to school. You can’t let them go hungry, right? Well, I have a solution for you that will hopefully make you feel a little better before putting your kid on the bus. Or putting yourself in your cubicle for that matter. Hidden Veggie Muffins. Actually… Double Chocolate Chip Hidden Veggie Muffins to be exact. A batch of these guys have 1 zucchini, 2 carrots, and 2 big handfuls of green leaves. And I promise you, you can’t taste a single one of them. All you taste is chocolately goodness, and all you see is a kid scarfing down his/her greens without even blinking an eyelash. Oh yeah, that’s a mom win for sure.

Hidden Veggie Muffins (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Nut-Free, White Sugar-Free). The best way to sneak in some extra veggies is with chocolate!

Who could resist a chocolate muffin for breakfast? Not I.

Hidden Veggie Muffins

  • 1 small zucchini, roughly chopped
  • 2 full-sized carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 large handfuls of greens of your choice (baby spinach works great)
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup chocolate chips (I use the brand Enjoy Life as they are allergen-free)
  • 2 pasture-raised eggs
  • 2 Tbsp Grade B Maple Syrup 
  • 2 Tbsp pure cocoa powder
  • 6 Tbsp Coconut Flour
  • 1/4 cup Unmodified Potato Starch
  • 2 Tbsp Arrowroot Starch Flour
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder (note that baking powder is usually made from corn starch, omit if necessary)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, and line a standard-sized (1 dozen) muffin tin with paper liners or liberally coat the pan with coconut oil.
  2. Add your zucchini, carrots, greens, and 2 Tbsp of water to a blender, and blend until it is a puree. This may require scraping down the sides of the blender a few times to get all of the pieces incorporated. When the mixture is a consistent color and texture, it is done. It should be almost like baby food.
  3. Over a double broiler, melt your 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and your 2 Tbsp of maple syrup. Heat and stir until the chocolate chips are completely melted and the syrup is thoroughly combined.
  4. Remove your chocolate/syrup mixture from the heat, and add in your veggie puree. Stir until combined.
  5. To your chocolate/veggie mixture, add your dry ingredients (cocoa powder, coconut flour, arrowroot, potato starch, baking soda, baking powder, salt). Again, stir to combine by either hand or electric mixer. Continue until the batter is a consistent color and texture.
  6. To your batter, add your eggs, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar. Again, stir until thoroughly combined.
  7. Fold in your 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.
  8. Evenly distribute your batter into the 12 cups of your muffin tin. I got about 2 Tbsp of batter per cup.
  9. Bake your muffins for 20-22 minutes, or until the middle of the muffin springs back when touched.

Make 12 muffins

Hidden Veggie Muffins (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Nut-Free, White Sugar-Free). The best way to sneak in some extra veggies is with chocolate!


Please note that some of the links in the above post are affiliate links that will take you to an page. If you choose to purchase a product featured in this post using an affiliate link, you will be directly supporting You’re An Animal. Thanks!

Flourless (Pea)Nut Butter Blossom Cookies (White Sugar-Free)


Tis the season for Christmas cookies! I love making Christmas cookies, and when I asked Andrew what his favorite Christmas cookie is, he said “the peanut butter ones with the Hershey kiss in the middle.” Aka Peanut Butter Blossoms. Well, to be honest I’ve never made those before, so I don’t even know what the “normal” recipe is. But I do know that they often use some kind of flour, and they have a big ol’ processed chunk of chocolate in the middle. So in keeping with tradition, I used peanut butter and then subbed in coconut palm sugar to create an updated Peanut Butter Blossom. Now, that being said, we rarely (and I mean pretty much never) eat peanut butter. The main reason for this is because peanuts are highly inflammatory. The omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is off the charts. Not to mention peanuts have a reputation for harboring all kinds of mold and fungi. Yuuuu-mmy. So if you’d rather not use peanuts, you can certainly use any other kind of nut butter. Almond butter would work perfectly, and so would Sunbutter. This is your cookie, eat it the way you want! Whatever you use though, get a kind with nothing added. If possible, go to a store like Whole Foods that has it’s own peanut/almond grinder, that way you know for sure that you’re only getting the ground nut in your butter.

Oh hey, by the way, we put up our Christmas decor! Gotta love Gnomie.


Image from Instagram. Follow us at youreananimal

And also, I got a snazzy new DSLR camera for my birthday! Thanks mom and dad! I have no idea how to use it properly yet, but check out that picture quality:


Also, did I mention these cookies only have 5 ingredients? Because they do. Which makes them simple, yet scrumptious. Chewy, dense, and full of flavor. Everything you want from your Christmas cookie!


Nomz. I know Santa wouldn’t mind a big plate of these waiting for him next to the stockings. He needs some protein for all of those toy deliveries, right?


Flourless (Pea)Nut Butter Blossoms:

  • 1 cup nut butter of your choice
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Palm Sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Enjoy Life Mega Chunk chocolate chips (at least enough for 1 per cookie)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of your ingredients until one consistent texture. The dough will be sticky.
  3. Form balls of cookie dough, about 2 teaspoons of dough each. You should get close to 20 dough balls.
  4. Place each ball of dough on your parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving at least 1-2 inches of space in between.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown and cracked.
  6. Immediately after removing them from the oven, press a chocolate chunk into the middle.
  7. Allow to cool, and enjoy!

Makes about 20 cookies.



Please note that some of the links in the above post are affiliate links that will take you to an page. If you choose to purchase a product featured in this post using an affiliate link, you will be directly supporting You’re An Animal. Thanks!

Flourless Classic Brownies (Grain-Free, Nut-Free, White Sugar-Free)


These are not healthy brownies. These are sugary, delicious, albeit minimally-processed, fudgey goodness brownies. Sometimes ladies human beings are in need of some chocolately heaven, without the stipulation of being “healthy.” This is not to say I have anything against avocado brownies or other nutrient-dense fudgey desserts, but sometimes you just need that classic brownie to dive right into. On this overcast Sunday afternoon, Andrew and I are relaxing after attending a funeral yesterday and both recovering from a minor cold. And by relaxing, I mean having a brownie ice cream sundae brunch and watching a DVR’d marathon of How To Get Away With Murder. This. Is. The. Life. Adulthood, yessss.

These brownies are minimally processed in that they use coconut palm sugar and unfiltered honey for the sugar, and arrowroot starch instead of flour. But like I said, they aren’t healthy, because they are about 80% sugar. So with that knowledge, it’s probably best to either share these bad boys, or make them last several days. But hey, sometimes you just need to bake up some brownies. And these are the ones that will satisfy that craving. Dense, fudgey, chewy… just the way brownies should be if you ask me!


Sinful. But not quite as sinful as they used to be.

I adapted this recipe from Life Made Simple. You can find the original recipe here.

Flourless Classic Brownies

  1. Preheat the over to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease the bottom of an 8×8 glass baking dish with coconut oil or butter. (I learned from Betty Crocker that you should only grease the bottom of the pan when baking brownies. If you grease the sides, the brownies sink in the middle and rise on the sides, resulting in uneven brownies.)
  3. In a double broiler over medium-high heat (boiling water), melt the butter. When the butter is melted, add the coconut palm sugar and honey to the butter, still in the double broiler.
  4. Once the coconut palm sugar and honey are melted into the butter, add the chocolate chips. Stir to combine and allow the chocolate chips to melt as well. Once the chocolate chips are melted, remove the pot from the boiling water.
  5. Add the room temperature eggs (If you’re impatient like me and can’t wait for them to come up to room temperature, you can crack the eggs into a separate bowl, and temper the eggs by added a small amount of the warm chocolate mixture to the eggs, bringing up the temperature of the eggs without cooking them. Add some of the chocolate mixture, stirring each time you add more, until the eggs are no longer cold. Then pour this mixture back into the original chocolate batter.)
  6. Add the salt and vanilla to the batter.
  7. Sift in the cocoa powder and arrowroot starch, and stir until well combined.
  8. Pour the batter into the greased pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.



Please note that some of the links in the above post are affiliate links that will take you to an page. If you choose to purchase a product featured in this post using an affiliate link, you will be directly supporting You’re An Animal. Thanks!


Apple Butter Donuts (Grain-Free, Nut-Free, White Sugar-Free)


A couple weeks ago, I told you about my super-amazingly easy crockpot apple butter. The only thing about that apple butter recipe is that it makes a lot of apple butter. What’s a girl to do with alladat? Well, after making my apple butter muffins, and topping my protein pancakes with apple butter, and eating apple butter by the spoonful, I decided to go another direction… donuts. Because if apple butter donuts don’t say fall, I don’t know was does! Astute readers will notice that this recipe base is very similar to the apple butter muffins. However, there are some tweaks, which makes these a lot more donut-y than muffin-y. Mainly, they are chewier, like a donut should be! I’ve baked these in a handy dandy donut pan, but I believe you could probably shallow-fry these as well. The batter is a little runny though, so it might take some playing with. Or you could just bake them like I did… trust me, it’s divine. I didn’t add any sugar to these guys; I found the apple butter itself makes these sweet enough for my taste (since cutting back on sugar, my taste buds are a lot more sensitive to sweetness, which is amazing!) I topped off half of them with pure apple butter, and the other half with cinnamon sugar. The cinnamon sugar ones were my preference, and the apple butter ones were Andrew’s preference, so it’s up to you!


The texture is that of a chewy cake donut, and the flavor is spicy with the slightest hint of apples. Basically autumn on your taste buds.

For the cinnamon sugar topped ones, I melted a little Kerrygold grass-fed butter, dunked the tops of the donuts in the butter so the topping would stick, then swirled the donut in a combination of cinnamon and coconut palm sugar.

For the apple butter topped ones, I just spooned a little leftover apple butter on the tops. That’s it!


Apple Butter Donuts

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F, and grease your donut pan (6 donuts) liberally with butter or coconut oil.
  2. Combine your wet ingredients (apple butter, eggs, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar) in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add your dry ingredients (arrowroot, potato starch, coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices) to your wet ingredients mixture.
  4. Use an electric mixer to fully combine your batter, until it is smooth.
  5. Evenly distribute your batter in your donut pan, so each well is about 3/4 full.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 14-17 minutes, or until the donuts spring back when touched.
  7. Allow to cool completely before adding any toppings (see above post for suggestions)

Makes 6 donuts



Please note that some of the links in the above post are affiliate links that will take you to an page. If you choose to purchase a product featured in this post using an affiliate link, you will be directly supporting You’re An Animal. Thanks!


Apple Butter Muffins (Grain-Free, Nut-Free, White Sugar-Free)


First, let me apologize for being MIA for a while. I’m in the midst of a 20-day work week… aka I haven’t had a day off which means no time for recipe fun! But this morning I was determined to get something done before work. And oh, it was a gooood choice. Apple butter (for me) is something that has become as much a staple of fall as pumpkin errythang. I first discovered apple butter while living in Harrisonburg. Every fall, my friend and I would head to a Mennonite auction/market and it was there that my love affair with apple butter began. And until now, I didn’t trust any other kind aside from that Mennonite-made goodness. I was most certainly not going to buy it from the store, and I don’t have the opportunity to get to the farmers markets around here (one of the downfalls of working the Saturday morning shift). However, since we got a crockpot, I figured I’d try my hand at making me own. Whoa baby, is this stuff easy and delicious! So today, you all are getting a double whammy: Apple Butter recipe AND Apple Butter Muffins recipe! I’m going to start with the Apple Butter.

If you have never had apple butter before, it’s essentially a spiced applesauce. But it also tastes like the manifestation of autumn itself. It has almost the exact same spices as a pumpkin spice combo, so just imagine those spices with an apple background rather than a pumpkin background and YUM. You can use apple butter in a lot of ways. I used to just eat it on an english muffin, or mix it in with oatmeal. Now, I’ll probably drizzle it over ice cream (maybe even make an apple butter ice cream… hmmm), use it in these delectable muffins, or eat it by the spoonful 🙂 The possibilities are as wide as your imagination! Oh and by the way… it’s ridiculously easy to make. I don’t even peel the apples, mostly because I think it’s a waste of time. And all of the nutrients are in the peels! You end up blending it anyway, so keep those peels people!


Crockpot Apple Butter

  • 12 (organic) apples (I use Gala, because they’re my favorite)
  • 3 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • rounded 1/2 tsp ground clove
  • rounded 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup honey
  1. Core the apples, and chop into 2-3 inch chunks. No need to peel!
  2. Place in the crockpot.
  3. Add the spices and honey, and stir to combine with the apples. Doesn’t need to be perfect, just incorporate it so the spices don’t dry out/burn sitting on the top.
  4. Cook the mixture on low for 10 hours.
  5. At the end of the 10 hours, use the back of a ladle/spoon to mash the apples.
  6. Spoon the mixture into a blender (you know I love my Ninja!) and blend until smooth.
  7. Store in the fridge, and enjoy!

Makes about 48 oz, depending on the size of your apples.

Okay, now onto the muffins. I love me a good muffin. After switching to a mostly grain-free lifestyle, breakfast pastries and baked goods were definitely the things I missed the most. To me, breakfast wasn’t breakfast without some kind of sweet carb. I’ve learned to move past that, and now usually have one of my Superfood Green Smoothies for breakfast, but every once in a while I like to get that sweet treat. And since it’s fall time, I really wanted to do something with my apple butter obsession. And with that, Apple Butter Muffins were born! These muffins are fluffy, moist, and sweet. The apple butter taste is very mild, so if you want a spicier muffin*, you can add about 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp clove and 1/4 tsp nutmeg to your muffin batter. Or for lighter flavor, leave out the extra spices. It’s up to you! I also added the sweet topping, because I did not add any sugar to the muffin batter. I love a crisp, sweet topping, and it worked perfectly. However, if you don’t want the extra sugar, you can certainly leave it out. Or simply drizzle apple butter over the top. Any and all options would be delicious!



Apple Butter Muffins

  • 1 cup apple butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Coconut Flour
  • 1/4 cup Potato Starch (Unmodified)
  • 2 tbsp Arrowroot Starch Flour
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder (note that some baking powders do contain corn starch)
  • optional spices*
  • Sugar Topping:
    • 2 tbsp grass-fed butter, softened (I use Kerrygold)
    • 3 tbsp potato starch
    • 1/2 cup Coconut Palm Sugar
    • 1 tbsp apple butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a muffin tin with muffin papers, or grease the pan liberally.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the 1 cup of apple butter, eggs, and apple cider vinegar.
  4. Sift in the dry ingredients (coconut flour, potato starch, arrowroot, baking soda, baking powder, and optional spices).
  5. Mix the ingredients by hand until smooth. Do not over mix, the batter should be light and loose.
  6. Spoon the batter into your muffin tin, filling each cup about 2/3 full.
  7. In a smaller mixing bowl, use a fork to combine all of your sugar topping ingredients. The mixture should be in the consistency of wet sand.
  8. Evenly distribute the sugar topping over the muffins, pressing the topping into the batter slightly.
  9. Place the muffins in the oven, and bake for 17-19 minutes, or until the muffins have risen and spring back in the center when touched.

Makes 12 regular sized muffins.


Please note that some of the links in the above post are affiliate links that will take you to an page. If you choose to purchase a product featured in this post using an affiliate link, you will be directly supporting You’re An Animal. Thanks!

Pumpkin Bread (Grain-Free, Nut-Free)


Welcome to Part 2 of my Pumpkin Everything obsession! I expressed my love for pumpkin season (aka I’m addicted to cinnamon) in my Dairy-Free Pumpkin Ice Cream post here, and am continuing the trend with a glorious grain-free, gluten-free, nut-free, white sugar-free, paleo (ish) pumpkin bread. Well what the heck is even in it? Coconut flour and starch, my dears! Andrew and I have decided to go without nuts and seeds, at least for a little while, after realizing how much phytic acid we were eating with our nut and seed intake. I had already cut out nuts last fall after getting rashes on my legs and face, but Andrew was having a weird reaction on his tongue (almost like a Geographic Tongue), and after a lot of research we decided that it might be worth a try to cut out the nuts and seeds. And guess what… so far so good! We both feel better without the nuts and seeds, so we’re sticking with it for now. However, that makes grain-free baking increasingly more difficult, since most grain-free baking uses almond meal or sunflower seed meal as a replacement. So I began experimenting with something different: starch. Specifically potato starch and arrowroot starch. I have come to prefer potato starch for baking, as I think arrowroot starch is a little too chewy and has a stronger taste when used in larger quantities. Now, I know there are mixed feelings about potatoes (helllllo carbs… and this is also why I dubbed this “paleo-ish” since for many paleo people white potatoes are a no-no) and therefore potato starch may throw up a red flag for a lot of people, but when we went to Portland we were introduced to an interesting concept. That concept is called Resistant Starch. I’m not going to go into the details here because it is still very new to me and I am no expert, but basically resistant starch can be found in cooled starches such as white potatoes and white rice, and is very beneficial for gut flora and essentially acts as a pro-biotic. You can read more about resistant starch in this article, and this article, but I also recommend you doing your own research. It’s been very fascinating to learn about.

On another note, our little blog here hit over 100 unique visitors for the first time yesterday! Thanks to for sending people our way. I’m excited to hopefully continue to see this website grow and start reaching more people! I’m really enjoying this new hobby and creative outlet, plus I love working on it with my guy 🙂


Okay, let’s go back to this pumpkin bread. It’s everything you expect from this classic seasonal treat: moist, springy, dense, and spicy. But luckily it’s got none of the bad, guilt-driving stuff that the usual recipe contains. I added chocolate chips because chocolate makes everything better and I adore the combination of chocolate and cinnamon/spice, but that’s up to you! Last night we ate this pumpkin bread topped with my Pumpkin Ice Cream and, oh yes, it was the perfect way to welcome in Autumn. So here you go friends, pumpkin everything is in full swing!


Pumpkin Bread

  • 4 eggs (pasture-raised)
  • 1 cup (or about 1/2 of a 15 oz can) pureed pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Coconut Flour
  • 1/4 cup Unmodified Potato Starch
  • 2 Tbsp Arrowroot Starch Flour
  • 1/3 cup Grade B Maple Syrup (or unfiltered honey)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder (note that baking powder often uses corn starch, so eliminate if this is an issue for you)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp each of powdered ginger, clove and nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • optional: about 1/2 cup of chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together the wet ingredients (pumpkin, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar) in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Sift the dry ingredients (coconut flour, potato starch, arrowroot starch, baking powder, baking soda, spices) into the wet ingredients. Sifting removes any lumps in the dry ingredients, and helps lighten up the batter.
  4. Use an electric mixer to thoroughly combine the mixture, until all ingredients are incorporated and the batter is completely smooth.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips if desired.
  6. Pour the batter into a lined loaf pan (I line mine with parchment paper to ensure easy removal).
  7. Place in preheated oven, and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the top is cracked and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Please note that some of the links in the above post are affiliate links that will take you to an page. If you choose to purchase a product featured in this post using an affiliate link, you will be directly supporting You’re An Animal. Thanks!

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies (Grain-Free, Nut-Free)


In my opinion, Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookies are the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Maybe it’s my history with tub-fulls of the dough (raw and baked), but to me, that is the ultimate comfort food. But now knowing what goes into making those cookies (particularly the mounds of white sugar and white flour), my decision to break up with the Toll House was inevitable. Oh but how I miss those cookies! So I was on a mission: Create the closest flavor profile that I can, while cleaning up the ingredients. And I’ll be honest, I think I’ve come preeetty darn close. The texture is certainly different, but that’s to be expected when you change the flour from a processed, gluteny white flour to a nutrient dense seed meal. But the flavor… yeah it’s gooood. That’s good with four O’s. And the texture is pretty awesome too. Crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. Butter, vanilla, and my own creation of brown sugar meets all of my criteria for the best minimally-processed chocolate chip cookies around. For the flour, I used a combination of sunflower, pumpkin, and watermelon seeds for a protein-filled, nut-free base. However, you can certainly use almond flour as a replacement. In fact, the first batch I made of these (way too much butter, which is interesting as I was following the Nestle Toll House original recipe for inspiration… goes to show how my taste buds have changed), I used almond flour. Unfortunately, the almonds proved to get the best of me. Apparently I still haven’t gotten over my sensitivity, because for the next few days after eating (too many) cookies, my legs had red, itchy spots on them. Wahhh, I really thought a year would be enough time to recover and my body would get over it. Guess not. Back to non-almond flour recipes. Which is actually just fine, as I have grown quite fond of my seed meal anyway. Take that, almonds! I don’t need you! Even while using more natural, minimally processed ingredients, these cookies should still be considered a treat rather than a staple. Fructose and saturated fat galore… which I am actually not against by any means, but it should be on the moderation side (as with most things). That being said, every so often you definitely need to indulge and enjoy without going completely overboard (ie. whole tub of Toll House cookie dough), and this is the perfect treat to do so!


Chocolate Chip Cookies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Allow the butter to soften, coming to room temperature.
  3. Combine the coconut palm sugar with the molasses in a small bowl to create your “brown sugar.” You can use a fork, but I found it most effective just to use my fingers to combine. Combine until the molasses is completely incorporated, and the mixture is the same texture as regular brown sugar. It should be packable, like wet sand.
  4. Once the butter is softened, use a hand mixer to combine the butter, egg and brown sugar until evenly mixed.
  5. Continually mixing with the hand mixer, slowly add in the nut/seed meal and coconut flour. Add the baking powder and vanilla. Continue to mix with the hand mixer until the mixture is completely uniform. The text of the dough will be slightly less solidified than a “regular” cookie dough, but should form balls when rolled in the palms of your hands.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes, to allow the butter to re-solidify slightly.
  8. Roll the dough into balls. I got about a dozen 1 Tbsp balls from this recipe.
  9. Place each dough ball on the parchment-lined baking sheet, about 1-2 inches apart. Flatten each ball slightly so they are more of a disk shape than a sphere.
  10. Place the baking sheet in the pre-heated oven, and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown and cracked on top.


Please note that some of the links in the above post are affiliate links that will take you to an page. If you choose to purchase a product featured in this post using an affiliate link, you will be directly supporting You’re An Animal. Thanks!