Hi, I'm Kim

Hi, I’m Kim Christensen, M.Om., Dipl.OM, L.Ac. I’m a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and owner of Constellation Acupuncture & Healing Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Back before going to school and becoming a healthcare practitioner, Affairs of Living was my creative outlet while healing from chronic health issues. There's big changes coming to the site - it will soon be the home of my new health coaching practice! Stay tuned. 

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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

Entries in Recipes: Desserts & Sweets (51)


Mexican Spice Adzuki Bean Fudge (gluten-free, dairy-free, cane sugar-free, low sugar)

Mexican Spice Adzuki Bean Fudge

Ever since coming up with my recipe for Black Bean Fudge a couple years ago, various bean fudges have been my go-to quick dessert. But surprisingly, I've never posted any other bean fudge recipes to the blog! So I decided it was time. The other day I came up with this recipe, a rich adzuki bean fudge with hints of cinnamon, chili powder, and Young Living tangerine essential oil, inspired by the flavors of Mexican chocolate.  I took the fudge to a potluck at the ceramic studio where I take classes, and everyone loved it. Only a few pieces came home with me at the end of the night!

I'm including this recipe in this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge, which features the adzuki bean (a.k.a. aduki bean or azuki bean, or red bean, the list goes on). For all the details of the challenge, check out the rules HERE, then enter your recipe in the Linky.  Ricki and I look forward to seeing all the great adzuki bean recipes you make this month!

Okay, back to the recipe at hand. For a light, alluring flavor in this fudge, I included tangerine essential oil (you could also use orange). While you could use orange extract instead, I'd highly recommend getting your hands on a bottle of these essential oils if you want to make this recipe. I use tangerine essential oil from Young Living, my favorite brand of high-quality, therapeutic grade, food grade essential oils. I use their oils everyday in cooking, in the bath, in the home, and for self-massage.  The quality is beyond compare, and unlike other brands of essential oils, all of the Young Living oils can be taken internally. They are more expensive than oils you'll find at your local health foods store, but their unsurpassed purity, superior quality, and high concentration means you'll get more bang for your buck. 

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Grain-Free Double Chocolate Cookies (gluten-free, dairy-free, cane sugar-free, low sugar)

Grain-Free Double Chocolate Cookies

Oh yeah! I made a few tweaks to my recipe for Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies and ended up with these chocolate-packed nibbles of bliss.  No flour, lots of protein, very few grams of sugar per cookie, and lots of soft fudgy goodness. Pretty great, right? 

I tried a new cocoa powder in this recipe. Last weekend I went to the Kitchen Window, a locally-owned kitchen shop that is my favorite place to shop. In addition to incredible cookware, kitchen utensils and gadgets, food items and spices, small appliances, and cookbooks, they have an impressive selection of bulk cocoa and chocolate products.  I couldn't resist indulging, and I left with Callebaut cocoa powder, Valrhona cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and unsweetened cocoa mass (along with an awesome digital kitchen scale, a mini funnel, and a ring of Spanish spicy chorizo).


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Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt Flakes (gluten-free, grain-free, cane sugar-free)


Over the weekend, Minneapolis received about a foot of snow in less than 24 hours. I woke up, saw the snowflakes, and immediately wanted to spend the day stuffing my face with food. This winter has been seriously brutal to my waistline. And my inner thighs. And the back of my arms. And my hips. Whatever.

Against my vanity and better judgement, I decided to make cookies. I was inspired by a recipe for gluten-free chocolate chip cookies that I saw in the most recent Penzeys Spices catalog that uses eggs and peanut butter for the cookie base, no grains at all!  I knew had to try an adapted version of that recipe.  Conveniently, my local co-op just started stocking duck eggs again and I had bought a couple cartons on Thursday, and I had all the other ingredients I would need. Cookie project, ACTIVATE!

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Homemade Honey Chocolate for your Honey (gluten-free, cane sugar-free)


Ah, Valentine's Day is just around the bend. I generally tend to be a bit of a cynic when it comes to Valentine's Day, but I do like the opportunity to indulge my desires for tasty chocolate treats.  This homemade chocolate is dark, rich, and wonderfully creamy, sweetened with just a touch of raw honey.  It isn't too sweet, just the way I like it.

This recipe takes only minutes to make, and then you can use it to make shaped candies, chocolate bars, fruit/nut chocolate clusters, or even to dip strawberries.  My favorite iteration of this recipe used darling little heart-shaped silicone muffin cups.  I filled each cup with about 1 Tbsp of the melted chocolate mixture, let them cool, and then had darling little hearts. 

Make it for a Valentine's Day treat for you and your honey, or, if you're anything like me, you'll make it to nibble on while watching Law & Order SVU alone on the couch.


Homemade Honey Chocolate

yield approximately 3/4 cup melted chocolate - what you do with it depends on you!

I like the combination of butter and coconut oil - the flavor is less "coconutty" and the mouth feel is creamier  than when only coconut oil is used. However, if you are vegan or do not tolerate dairy, you can substitute the ghee/butter with another 1/4 cup of coconut oil. The rest of the recipe is also quite flexible. If you can't eat cashews, try using an equal amount of another tolerated nut or seed butter.  While the flavor will change, it will still be delicious and creamy (Sunbutter tastes great). The honey could be substituted with another natural liquid sweetener like maple syrup or brown rice syrup if you do not eat honey. 

  • 1/4 cup ghee or butter (if possible, use pastured dairy)
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup raw cashew butter
  • 2-3 Tbsp raw honey
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Dagoba brand is certified GF) 
  • 1/2 tsp gluten-free pure vanilla extract (Simply Organic brand is certified GF)

Place ghee/butter, coconut oil, cashew butter, and honey in a small saucepan and heat on low, whisking constantly. Whisk until smooth, thickened, and well combined, but do not let it bubble. Remove from heat and add cocoa powder and vanilla, and whisk again until smooth. Adjust sweetness to taste.

Then, you have some options...

  • If forming chocolate in candy molds/silicone muffin cups/etc., pour desired amount of melted chocolate into molds (I used heart-shaped silicone muffin cups). Allow to cool for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator. Remove chocolate from molds. Store in the refrigerator.
  • If making chocolate bars or chunks, pour melted chocolate into a pan or dish lined with parchment or plastic wrap. Allow to cool for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator. Cut or break into chunks of desired size using a sharp knife. Store in the refrigerator. 
  • If using to make dried fruit/nut clusters or bark, mix the ingredients into the chocolate until well combined, then pour into a pan or dish lined with parchment or plastic wrap, or drop in small clusters on a lined baking sheet. Allow to cool for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator. If making as bars/bark, cut or break into chunks of desired size using a sharp knife. Store in the refrigerator.
  • To dip strawberries, dunk your strawberries into the melty chocolate, place on a lined baking sheet or tray, and let chill for a couple hours until the chocolate is firm. Serve!


Dairy-Free Coconut Milk Kefir Ice Cream with Mixed Berries, No Ice Cream-Maker Required

Perfectly pink and full of probiotics.

My housemate Mary has been making coconut milk kefir lately, and our refrigerator was rather full of the stuff. She is using these kefir grains from Cultures for Health, and process couldn't be easier. I'm not going to go into details about how to make the kefir in this post, because you can read about it on Cultures for Health's website. She uses cans of organic coconut milk, not the coconut milk beverage, adds the grains, and lets it sit. After a day or two, it's ready to go! Every so often she needs to divide the grains and innoculate them in goat's milk, just so they stay active. Her grains are mulitplying like crazy, so I am going to take some from her and get my own batch started.  

The cultured coconut milk kefir is quite lovely. As the coconut milk cultures, it thickens considerably, resulting in a rich, very thick, very creamy and tart kefir that is much thicker than any dairy kefir I have ever eaten. In fact, it is so thick that in order to strain out the kefir grains, we have to thin out the kefir considerably with water! Mary has been eating it like yogurt and adding a dollop to soups, and I've enjoyed adding it to smoothies and spreading it on muffins and bread like cream cheese.

I thought it might be fun to try making it into a frozen yogurt/ice cream type thing.  It was a breeze to make - no ice cream maker required - and tasted delicious. It tastes a lot like a strawberry malt, is very coconutty, and has just a hint of that cultured tartness on the finish. A mixture of berries, a bit of agave nectar, and some stevia liquid add just the right amount of sweetness. And let's not forget the best part - it is filled with beneficial probiotic bacteria! Could there be a better dessert to show your special someone how much you care this Valentine's Day? I think not. Nothing says I love you like happy bacteria.

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