I love to treat myself in sweets, but I also have found a love for fitness and the happy medium between the two: my true balance. There are many in the world, like myself, who have spent months and years counting calories, workouts, food choices, etc. to find the balance, and yet I always end up hangry, disappointed and failing to achieve the results I want. When I stopped doing this and focused on making the right decision for my body based on feeling and instinct, I found my point of content. I no longer think about the grams of fat, carbs, or calories, and change my outlook on food and healthiness to asking myself “is this good for my mind, body and soul?”
There’s nothing in the world and in my heart that feels more home than chocolate. This sweet treat gives warmth and comfort, and it helps to keep me in my true balance. On the other hand, I love feeling the burn of my muscles after a great session at the gym because I’m making my wholistic picture better. Just like one of my favorite shows says, sometimes you just have to “treat yo’ self” to balance out the stress and hustle of the day-to-day grind.
To spread the joy and to help you find your warmth and comfort in the kitchen to balance out your daily body exhaustion, enjoy my two favorite recipes for delicious chocolate chunk peanut butter cookies and healthy berry cheesecake.
Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (bleached or unbleached)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (kosher or table salt)
- 8 ounces chocolate, chopped in chunks
- 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt (optional)
- In a large bowl with a hand mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter until creamy. Add peanut butter and vanilla – beat until smooth (approximately 2 minutes). Add in both sugar, beat until fluffy, scraping sides as needed. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
- Turn the mixer off, adding flour, baking soda, baking powder and kosher/table salt and mix. Use a spatula to fold in chocolate chunks.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 days. When refrigerating more than 30 minutes, bring dough back to room temperature before baking.
- Preheat over to 350 degrees (F). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop two tablespoon mounds of dough and role into a ball. Place on sheet leaving a few inches between each ball. Bake for 12-14 minutes until edges are golden and centers are set. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cookie rack.
- Lightly sprinkle sea salt on top (optional) before cooling.
Healthy Berry Cheesecake
- 8 ounces of cream cheese, softened (for healthier option, choose low-fat cream cheese)
- 1 cup powdered sugar (can substitute for finely ground coconut sugar or stevia)
- 8 ounces of whipping cream or Cool Whip (sugar-free or non-fat for healthier option)
- 11/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 10-inch graham cracker pie crust (you may opt for a gluten-free crust for a healthier option)
- Assorted berries (blueberries and strawberries work well)
- In a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar together slowly until combined. Add vanilla extract and mix.
- Add whipping cream and beat or fold in Cool Whip with a spatula until mixed and fluffy.
- Pour mixture into pie crust. Top with berry assortment in quantity desired.
- Refrigerate for 3 hours or until set. Overnight is preferred. Serve as is or with sauce (caramel, chocolate, strawberry, etc.)