6 Paleo-Friendly Desserts to Enjoy on Labor Day

Whether you’re spending Labor Day at home or on the road, the holiday is always that much better with the flavors of homemade desserts. Although the standard Labor Day menu makes it a challenge to stay true to your diet plan, it is possible to keep your Paleo streak intact without sacrificing the taste of your favorite desserts. These 6 Paleo-friendly recipes employ a variety of useful tricks to help dieters maintain their nutritional regimen but are just as delicious for non-dieters to enjoy.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

1. Chocolate-Hazelnut Thumbprints

Chocolate and hazelnut create a sinfully delicious combination, and these thumbprint cookies are a great way to work their rich flavors into an all-star Paleo dish. These cookies are easy to prepare and make a simple and tasty Labor Day snack. This recipe from Cave Girl in the City takes about 45 minutes to complete and yields around 10 cookies.

Ingredients:

Cookies

  • 1 cup hazelnut flour
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅓ cup pure maple sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

Topping (optional)

  • 2 ounces dark chocolate
  • ⅓ cup almond butter
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil

Directions: For cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Combine hazelnut flour, coconut flour, coco powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Add in maple sugar, egg, and coconut oil, and mix (using a hand mixer) until there are no lumps. Roll a tablespoon of dough in your hands and place onto baking sheet (about 2 inches apart). Press your thumb into each cookie to make a imprint.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes and then cool on cookie tray for 5 minutes.

For topping, combine the dark chocolate, almond butter, and coconut oil in a small saucepan. Heat on low just until melted. Whisk until combined and smooth. Let cool in refrigerator for about an hour. Place about a teaspoon of filling in each cookie.

Source: iStock

2. Paleo Blueberry and Blackberry Crumble

Enjoy the sweet and tart taste of seasonal blueberries and blackberries while they’re at their ripest. This is a relatively healthy summer dessert offering, with fresh fruits, nuts, and spices providing it with a rich, complex flavor. This crumble from Cupcakes to Crossfit takes 50 minutes to complete and serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  • Juice from a fresh lemon
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • 4 pitted dried dates
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the berries in a 9-by-9-inch baking dish. Squeeze juice from half of the lemon over and mix. Press the fruit gently into place and rest at room temperature.

In a food processor, combine the almond flour, dates, walnuts, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse until combined. Add in the coconut oil and process on high for 5 to 10 seconds, or until throughly combined.

Pour topping into a bowl and mix in the sliced almonds. Sprinkle topping over the berries and lightly press into the fruit with a spoon. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until browned.

Rolf Haid/AFP/Getty Images

3. Paleo Strawberry Banana Sorbet

This strawberry banana sorbet is a healthy, flavorful alternative to sugar-loaded ice creams and store-bought sorbets. On top of that, it’s a simple recipe that will afford you ample time to enjoy the Labor Day celebrations. This dish from Freckled Italian takes 10 minutes to prepare and should be left to chill in the freezer overnight. The recipe yields 3 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2½ cups of fresh, ripe strawberries
  • 1 ripe banana
  • ½ cup of (canned) coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar

Directions: Combine ingredients in a food processor or a blender. Pour the mixture in a container freeze overnight.

Take it out when it’s solid, but not completely frozen. Garnish with a strawberry and eat while it’s still mostly frozen.

Source: iStock

4. Apple Pie Cupcakes With Cinnamon Frosting

Moist and sweet, these apple cupcakes are a delicious, cakey treat and are made even better with the addition of sweet and spiced cinnamon frosting. Honey and applesauce offer this dessert its sweet flavor and ideal consistency. They’re a great, simple recipe to include on your holiday picnic menu. This recipe from Paleo Cupboard takes 40 minutes to complete and yields 12 cupcakes.

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ½ cup raw honey, melted
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1¼ cups almond flour
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

Frosting

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Dash sea salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin pan with baking cups. Combine all wet ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Beat on medium with a hand mixer for about 30 seconds. Combine all dry ingredients in another medium-sized bowl. Mix together with a fork to break apart any clumps.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat for about 20 seconds. Make sure all ingredients are combined.  Fill each lined muffin tin about ¾ of the way full. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean in the center.

Take the cupcakes out of the oven and set aside to cool completely — all the way cooled! But feel free to sneak one to nibble on while the rest cool off.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, make the frosting. Combine all of the ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds until well combined. Ice the cupcakes and enjoy.

Source: Thinkstock

5. Paleo Brownies

Fulfill your guests’ chocolate-loving fantasies with this rich, dairy-free, and cocoa-based recipe. The addition of dates lends these brownies a complex and sweet character. This dish from Elana’s Pantry makes 16 brownies and takes 45 minutes to complete. Serve with some ice-cold coconut milk and wish summer farewell with this sweet treat!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup blanched almond flour
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 ounces baking chocolate (100 percent cacao)
  • 7 Medjool dates (⅓ to ⅔ cup), pits removed
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla stevia

Directions: In a food processor, pulse together almond flour, salt, and baking soda. Pulse in squares of dark chocolate until the texture of coarse sand. Pulse in dates until the texture of coarse sand. Pulse in eggs. Add coconut oil and stevia until mixture is smooth.

Transfer mixture to a greased 8-by-8-inch baking dish. Mixture will be very thick; smooth with a spatula. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 18 to 22 minutes. Cool for 2 hours, then serve.

Source: iStock

6. Tiramisu Cheesecake

This Paleo Tiramisu Cheesecake is a rich blend of lady fingers, espresso rum, cognac, and a ghee-and-nut-based filling. It packs an impressive and flavorful punch while playing on the flavors of classic Italian tiramisu. Coconut cream gives this cheesecake its rich, irresistibly “cheesy” flavor and texture. This recipe from Paleo Fondue is somewhat involved, but is worth the time: It takes 10 hours, including soak and chill time, and yields 6 servings.

Ingredients:

For the lady finger cookie layer

  • 6 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 3 tablespoons palm shortening
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar

For the Paleo cheesecake

  • 2¾ cups raw cashews
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup coconut cream
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup ghee, room temperature; substitute coconut oil for dairy free
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar

For the coffee syrup

  • ½ cup strong coffee or espresso
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 tablespoon cognac
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder for garnish

Directions: For the lady finger cookie layer, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Blend all the cookie layer ingredients together.

Transfer the cookie dough to a piping bag and make 3-inch logs with the dough (about 1 inch thick). Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely on the sheet at least 30 minutes before assembly.

For the Paleo cheesecake layer, soak the cashews for 4 to 6 hours in water. Measure out 3 cups’ worth and dry with a paper towel. Blend the cashews in a food processor for about 1 to 2 minutes, until creamy.

Add the coconut cream, maple syrup, almond extract, and lemon juice. Blend until uniform. Blend in the ghee and coconut sugar.

Assembly: Combine the ingredients for the coffee syrup. Take a lady finger cookie and dip one at a time into the syrup for about 5 seconds, or until 50 percent saturated. Arrange the soaked cookies at the bottom of the pan. Layer half of the Paleo cheesecake on top of the cookies. Repeat the previous two steps to finish the tiramisu cheesecake.

Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. Sprinkle with a blend of cocoa powder (about 2 tablespoons) and espresso powder (about 1 teaspoon).

More from Life Cheat Sheet: