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An easy recipe for tender oatmeal snack cake full of sweet carrots & cozy spices. It truly tastes like the iconic dessert—for just 100 calories!

 

 
I made my first carrot cake from scratch during my senior year of high school for our Easter lunch. After looking through my family’s cookbook collection and comparing each of the recipes inside, I finally settled on the one from my personal favorite cookbook.

I carefully measured flour and spices, creamed butter and sugar, and gently folded freshly grated carrots into the batter. After spreading it into the large sheet pan (and licking the beaters for a taste test!), I popped it into the oven and set a timer.
 

 
Later, once the cake had fully cooled, I beat softened cream cheese and powdered sugar, along with a bit of vanilla, until I had a bowl of sweet and creamy frosting. I spread it on top of the sheet cake, then stepped back to look at my handiwork. My whole family admired the cake… And nearly considered skipping the honey-baked ham and side dishes!

With just six of us at our Easter dinner—the four of us, plus Mom’s cousin and her significant other—we ended up with plenty of leftover cake. With school out for Spring Break, my brother and I wandered into the kitchen multiple times over the next day to carve off a small slice for a snack… So the sheet pan was completely empty in less than two days!
 

 
But because traditional carrot cake recipes don’t exactly make for the healthiest snacks… I planned ahead this year and created this delicious recipe for a Healthy Carrot Cake Oatmeal Snack Cake!

It has the same flavors as regular carrot cakes, like lots of cozy spices and sweet carrots, along with plenty of hearty oats, and it’s really easy to make. Yet this healthy snack cake is just 100 calories—and it’s totally acceptable to eat for breakfast, too!



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When I was in elementary school, my mom bought me a book full of American Girl Doll recipes and crafts. Each doll had her own chapter, and since I owned Kirsten, the blonde-haired blue-eyed girl who lived in the 1850s on the American frontier, I started with her.

Yet I quickly moved on to Felicity and Samantha, the dolls from the colonial and Victorian eras, because I loved those historical periods. Eventually, I decided to try Samantha’s thumbprint cookies that she served during afternoon tea as my first recipe… Although Mom and I agreed on substituting afternoon apple juice for pairing instead!

I carefully beat a softened stick of butter with lots of granulated sugar, mixed in the white flour and rest of the ingredients, rolled the buttery dough between my palms, and filled the center of each cookie with jam. After the timer rang and we pulled the baking sheets out of the oven, the rest of my family and I each tried a cookie…

And then ate all four dozen over the rest of the afternoon and evening. Those cookies were that good!
 

 
Years later, I finally perfected this recipe for Healthy Thumbprint Cookies. They taste just as soft and sweet and buttery as those originals… But these contain no refined flour or refined sugar, and they’re just 46 calories!



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Learn how to make copycat Thin Mints at home with this easy recipe! Rich & crunchy mint chocolate cookies dipped in chocolate. Truly the BEST homemade version—and only 43 calories!

 

 
During the fall of 5th grade, Mom signed me up for Girl Scouts. I loved the first two meetings! In November, we painted rectangular wooden boards with an undersea scene, complete with waving kelp and a pair of goldfish, and in December, we made little snowman figurines by painting miniature terra cotta pots white, gluing Styrofoam balls on top, and pressing on googley eyes and felt for their faces and clothing.

At my third meeting in January, the troop leader handed out Girl Scout cookie sales sheets. Each sheet unfolded multiple times, until it stood half as tall as me, and contained over a hundred lines for names, addresses, and boxes ordered. Before sending us on our way, the troop leader mentioned she had extra order forms for when we completed that first one.

When I walked out the door, I felt a growing pit in my stomach, and by the time I reached Mom’s car, I was nearly in tears. As an incredibly shy child, I completely dreaded what our troop leader instructed us to do: go door-to-door through our neighborhood to ask every family, friend or stranger, to buy boxes of Girl Scout cookies.
 

 
Mom immediately reassured me the world wouldn’t end if I didn’t walk door-to-door or fill up the entire form. When I handed it back at our troop meeting the following month, I had four orders: one for each set of grandparents, one for the sweet lady across the street who loved us like her own children, and one for my family.

For our own order, Mom inked in one of every flavor, plus an extra box of Tagalongs and Samoas (my brother and my favorites!) and multiple extras of Thin Mints. She and Dad loved those the most, and my brother and I still enjoyed them too!

Every time Girl Scout cookie season comes around, I remember what Mom did and how she reassured me that she and Dad would still love me, regardless of how many boxes I sold… And how she bought enough boxes to make it look like I sold some to every family on our cul-de-sac to the other girls in my troop. Thank you Mom! ♡
 

 
Since I haven’t had any Girl Scouts knock on my door yet this year, I decided to try baking my own… And these Ultimate Healthy Homemade Thin Mints taste just as good—if not even better!—than the ones in those green cardboard boxes! They’re perfectly chocolaty and crunchy, with lots of bright peppermint flavor, and they’re just 43 calories!



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Tender homemade pound cake full of rich vanilla bean flavor—but none of the guilt! This easy recipe contains no refined flour or sugar & only 125 calories!

 

 
Last week when I stopped by the grocery store, I smiled as soon as I walked through the sliding glass doors. The supermarket strategically placed their bakery right at the very front, tempting customers with treats from the moment they entered.

A half dozen display tables stood scattered around that floor space, each holding its own dessert. Cookies, brownies, brownie bites, mini cupcakes, regular cupcakes, cake slices, cake pops, coffee cake, pies, tarts… Every sweet treat imaginable!

Of course, the store tucked away the not-so-sweet baked goods like bread, rolls, and bagels in the far corner… They knew those were far less tempting!
 

 
Last week, the bakery had added an extra long folding table display for Valentine’s Day, which looked as if it might collapse under the weight of all the products piled on top! It held packages of pre-baked sugar cookies and boxed cake mix, alongside huge tubs of sprinkles and containers of store-made buttercream frosting dyed in every color of the rainbow.

The bakery knew many people wanted to frost sugar cookies and bake cakes for their loved ones for Valentine’s Day… But those people usually lacked the time to do it all from scratch, so the bakery’s display solved that problem. Buy all of the pre-made components and just decorate at home!

As a kid, I would’ve begged my mom to let us do that… I loved store-bought frosting and treats back then! But as an adult, I’ve started to gravitate away from those overly sweet and decorated desserts towards simpler (and healthier!) options…
 

 
Like this Healthy Vanilla Bean Pound Cake! It’s so full of rich vanilla flavor that no frosting is necessary (and even the drizzle is optional!). This healthy pound cake is also really easy to make. You just need two bowls, a whisk, and a fork—no mixer!

But I saved the best for last… This healthy pound cake contains no refined flour or sugar, and it’s just 125 calories! That’s basically the definition of cake heaven in my book!
 



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A couple months after I moved into my new house last summer, I met one of my neighbors who lived a few doors down. She and her three-year-old had just returned from buying the little girl’s Halloween costume, so I asked her daughter to name her favorite candy (so I knew what to buy at the store!).

She shyly ducked behind her mom’s legs, so her mom answered instead. “Chocolate!” she laughed. “Anything with chocolate!” My eyes lit up upon hearing that. I’m a huge chocoholic too!

So now, whenever I develop a new chocolate recipe to share with you on my blog, I wrap up at least half of the treats to drop off at their house. She absolutely loved these healthy candies, these cookies, these scones, and…
 

 
These Healthy Double Chocolate Bran Muffins! They were an instant favorite because they’re so chocolaty and practically fudgy like brownies! And her mom, a personal trainer, loved that they contained lots of hearty oat bran, no refined flour or sugar, and just 128 calories!

You can watch the episode below where I show you how to make these healthy chocolate bran muffins and get my recipe directly beneath the video. And remember to subscribe to my TV show here, so you’ll be the first to know when a new episode airs each week!
 



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Homemade, completely guilt-free dark chocolate peanut butter cups with espresso in the filling! So easy to make, no added sugar & only 41 calories!

 

 
During college while working in an organic chemistry research lab on campus, many of the graduate students took a coffee break nearly every afternoon. They usually worked 10-12 hour days at least five days a week, if not more, so caffeine was practically a necessity!

The Chemistry Building sat right next to one of the main food hubs on campus, making it really easy to dash across the street to grab mid-afternoon coffees. We fondly referred to that place as “The Silo” because when the university was established in the first half of the 20th century as an agricultural school, that’s exactly what it was—a place for storing livestock’s food!
 

 
The graduate students always invited me along, and although I rarely drank coffee, I still tagged along. It felt great to get outside in the sunshine and stretch my legs… Especially since it felt like the air conditioning in our building was always turned on high!

While everyone else slowly sipped their espresso and coffee at one of the picnic tables outside, I usually nibbled on a little bit of dark chocolate. That was my preferred afternoon pick-me-up, and 15 minutes later, we all trekked back to the Chemistry Building feeling reenergized for the rest of our day’s work.
 

 
After I recently caught up with one of the graduate students, those coffee break memories started floating around my head… So I turned the flavors into these Healthy Dark Chocolate Espresso Peanut Butter Cups! They’re really rich and taste so much better than anything store-bought… And they’re just 41 calories!

So basically… They’re twice the size of brand-name peanut butter cups… For almost the same number of calories… And they contain no refined sugar or artificial ingredients. Sounds like true healthy candy bliss to me!
 



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The best chocolate mug cake you’ll ever have! It tastes supremely rich & decadent, even with no butter, eggs, flour or sugar! Only 108 calories & so easy to make!

 

 
A few days after I sent over the footage for this TV episode to my video editor, he sent me an email. He mentioned that while making a mug cake that evening for dessert, he remembered the super easy 3-ingredient chocolate drizzle I included in that episode, so he tried it on his mug cake…

And he called it magical! His kind note made my entire day, so I quickly typed out a response. Inside, I included that I had made a major mug cake break-through of my own when I started microwaving them on 30% power instead, and I shared an explanation of why that made a huge difference, along with my favorite mug cake recipes.
 

 
The following weekend, he sent me another email about how he tried my recipe and also made the same mug cake for his significant other and mom. He included a picture along with their reviews…

All three of them proclaimed my recipe as the best mug cake ever! My editor even went on to say it made his own mug cake recipe look like a sad pretender. I felt like I was on cloud nine for days—that’s such high praise!
 

 
So in honor of my incredible video editor, I’m sharing my favorite mug cake recipe with you: this Healthy Flourless Chocolate Mug Cake! It’s supremely rich and chocolaty, even with no eggs, butter, refined flour or sugar. And it’s just 108 calories!



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Although many people associate sugar cookies with Christmas, I actually connect them with Valentine’s Day first. Don’t get me wrong—I think they’re delicious cookies to enjoy all year round!—but Valentine’s Day is when Mom always bought them from the grocery store bakery for my brother and me.

Throughout our childhood, the type often varied. Sometimes she brought home the crunchy kind covered in coarse red sugar, or the Lofthouse-style thick and cakey ones with frosting and sprinkles, or the buttery and chewy type neatly decorated with festive royal icing.

Forever a chewy cookie lover, I favored the last ones above all and slowly savored every bite. As I grew older, the overly sugary icing became less appealing, and I mainly looked forward to the soft cookie underneath.

And those were the kind I had in mind when I developed this recipe for the Ultimate Healthy Sugar Cookies! They’re sweet, buttery, and chewy, just like my favorite ones from my childhood, but these are really easy to make and just 41 calories!

You can watch the episode below where I show you how to make these guilt-free sugar cookies and get my recipe directly beneath the video. And remember to subscribe to my TV show here, so you’ll be the first to know when a new episode airs each week!
 



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Low-calorie lemon muffins full of fresh juicy raspberries! This easy recipe yields the most tender & flavorful lemon muffins. And they’re just 32 calories!

 

 
Last week, my mom flew down to San Diego for multiple business meetings, and she added an extra day at the end of her trip so the two of us could spend time together. With such gorgeous sunny weather, we decided to go to…

The zoo! The San Diego Zoo is one of the best in the country, and because Mom hadn’t been since I was a little girl and I purchased a yearly membership last summer, we were both really excited to go back.
 

 
We grabbed maps at the entrance and quickly made a list of the animals we wanted to see. We ended up walking around most of the park! Koalas, penguins (my favorite!), flamingos, baboons, tigers, a one-year-old giraffe and his family, and even a four-month-old baby hippo and its mama… Just to name a few!

As we trekked up and down the steep hills (the zoo was built in a canyon!), we noticed lots of people carrying around sweet treats to cool off from the hot weather. I spotted ice cream cones, ice cream cookie sandwiches, ice cream drumsticks, and a few frozen raspberry lemonades.
 

 
That last one reminded me of my childhood trips to the zoo—Mom usually bought those for me because they were much less messy than drippy ice cream cones!—and since they were still on my mind a week later… I turned those flavors into these Healthy Raspberry Lemon Mini Muffins!

They’re sweet and tender, completely packed with bright fruity flavors! And unlike those zoo treats, these contain no refined flour or sugar… And just 32 calories!



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The BEST guilt-free red velvet cupcakes! They’re supremely tender, full of flavor & topped with sweet cream cheese frosting. Easy to make & only 124 calories!

 

 
As a huge chocoholic, even as a little girl, I always gravitated towards that cake flavor at birthdays, class parties, and other celebrations, so I tried my very first red velvet cupcake much later in life while at college. It was a gift from my law student neighbors, a thank you for all of the homemade goodies I dropped off for them throughout the year, purchased from a gourmet bakery in town.

When I tried my first bite, I felt surprise and intrigue and excitement all at the same time. Was it chocolaty vanilla? Vanilla-y chocolate? I slowly savored the dessert, a deep crimson red color with rich brown undertones, but as I licked the crumbs from my fingers, I still hadn’t figured out how to define its flavor.
 

 
I’ve tried many more red velvet cupcakes since then, and most have tasted rather flat and bland compared to that first one. Garishly red, the same hue as maraschino cherries, instead of that beautiful darker almost mahogany color; rather oily; and cavity-inducing sweet without any chocolate notes… Basically vehicles for the sugary cream cheese frosting on top, more than anything else!

So I set out to create a healthier version, one full of flavor (and not just color!). I’ve tested and tweaked and retested some more… You should see how many iterations of red velvet cupcakes are currently in my fridge and freezer!
 

 
But I finally did it with these Ultimate Healthy Red Velvet Cupcakes! They’re supremely tender with lots of chocolaty vanilla flavor (that’s the definition I finally settled on!). These cupcakes are also surprisingly simple to make and just 124 calories, including the gorgeous swirls of cream cheese frosting!
 



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