Healthy Labor Day Recipes (Paleo & Gluten-Free)

Savor the last long weekend of the Summer with these gluten free and paleo healthy labor day recipes to make at home or bring with you on-the-go!

Healthy Labor Day Recipes

Healthy Labor Day Recipes

Labor Day Weekend is bittersweet! It’s the last long weekend of the Summer where everyone gets a chance to soak in the last of the sun with final beach days, BBQ’s, and the chance to make all of those summer recipes you’ve been pinning and saving. I’ve rounded up some favorite appetizers, side dishes, main dishes, and treats to satisfy every person at your home this weekend with these healthy labor day recipes!


Labor Day Appetizers

These late summer appetizers are perfect to make at home or to share!


Labor Day Pasta Salads and Sides

Sometimes the salads are the BEST part of a BBQ


Labor Day Cocktails

Make them as cocktails or mocktails!


Labor Day BBQ Ideas

Get that grill lit up, because we need to fire up the end of summer!


Labor Day Desserts

A sweet finish to the end of summer!

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

This Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Bread is the perfect way to use up all the zucchini that summer brings, while also sneaking in some veggies in a healthy treat. This zucchini bread is so moist and decadent while still being nutrient-dense, Paleo-friendly and dairy-free!

Close up shot of gluten free chocolate zucchini breadGluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Bread

This Zucchini Bread is a delicious treat that nobody will even think there is zucchini added to it! This bread is decadent while still being healthy and will be sure to become a staple every summer in your house. This healthy Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini bread is made with almond flour and so dang delicious! It’s easily made in 1-bowl and is paleo friendly and dairy-free. The zucchini adds just the right amount of moisture to the bread and we of course love the added nutrition!

Profile shot of gluten free zucchini breadHere is what you need to make it:

  • Almond Flour
  • Coconut Flour
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Espresso Powder
  • Baking Powder
  • Sea Salt
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Zucchini
  • Eggs
  • Avocado Oil
  • Unsweetened Apple Sauce
  • Maple Syrup
  • Vanilla Extract

Gluten free chocolate zucchini bread slices

Can you leave out the Espresso Powder?

Yes! Espresso powder just enhances the chocolate flavor. It’s a minimal amount, but if you want to avoid any caffeine feel free to omit this ingredient.

Why Apple Sauce?

You won’t taste it at all! Apple sauce is a great ingredient to use to add moisture to a bread without needed to add lots of oil. While there is still oil in here, I like to use apple sauce in combination with it to get the right texture.

How to Store this Paleo Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Store this bread in the refrigerator or freezer after it has been cooled. In the refrigerator it will last a couple of days. You can leave it at room temperature for a few hours to take the chill off if desired. It will last up to 1 month in the freezer. Let it sit at room temperature uncovered to defrost. 

paleo chocolate zucchini bread

If you like this zucchini recipe, check out these others:

If you like this gluten-free baking recipe, check out these others:

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Prep Time 00:15 Cook Time 00:50 Total Time 01:05 Serves 8-10

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease and line a 9" x 5" (1.5 quart) loaf pan with parchment paper. 
  2. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, oil, apple sauce, maple syrup, coconut sugar and vanilla extract until well combined.
  3. To the bowl add almond flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, espresso, baking powder, and sea salt and mix very well until fully combined.
  4. Fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips.
  5. Place in the loaf pan and smooth down the top.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the oven is clean with just a few moist crumbs.

Recipe Notes

This recipe was originally published in 2016, and republished in 2019 with new photos.

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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

How to Make Coconut Whipped Cream

Knowing How to Make Coconut Whipped Cream is essential for making delicious, dairy free whipped cream! This healthy alternative is more nutritious and tastes amazing! It’s made with three ingredients, and aside from chilling time, comes together within 5 minutes!

How to Make Coconut Whipped Cream

This dairy free Coconut Whipped Cream is a great recipe to have on hand for when you want an alternative to regular whipped cream that still tastes great! Even if you don’t need to be dairy-free, this coconut whipped cream is so good! It’s creamy with a hint of vanilla and perfect with so many different dishes. We’re dishing all the details on what you need to know on how to make!

Here is what you need to make it:

Tips for Making Coconut Whipped Cream

  1. Look for coconut cream instead of coconut milk. It will give you more of the solid part of the coconut milk the that you need to whip up. If you can’t find it, you can use regular coconut milk, but you may need about 2 cans to get enough of the solid part of the coconut milk.
  2. You absolutely must refrigerate your coconut cream. We recommend doing so for 24 hours. However, if you are in a pinch 8 hours will work.
  3. Use powdered sugar as a sweetener. It helps thicken the consistency of the coconut cream. If you were avoiding refined sugar you could use honey, but it will be a bit thinner.
  4. Add vanilla extract to give it an extra flavor boost!
  5. Serve immediately. You can make it up to 4 hours ahead of time, but it hardens back up in the refrigerator if stored for much longer.
  6. If it does stiffen up too much in the refrigerator, you can rewhip it again to get it to a consistency you desire.

Coconut Whipped Cream in a bowl

Ways to Use It

Use coconut whipped cream in place of many of your favorite uses for regular whipped cream! Just know that it is very susceptible to warm temperatures so it will not hold up as long as traditional whipped cream does. 

Coconut whipped cream is delicious with:

Berries with Coconut Whipped Cream

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How to Make Coconut Whipped Cream

Prep Time 00:05 Inactive Time 08:00 Total Time 08:05 Yields 1-1/2 cups

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Refrigerate the coconut cream for at least 8 hours, but preferably 24 hours.
  2. Scoop out the solid part of the coconut cream and add to the bowl of an electric mixer (or you can use a hand mixer). Leave behind any of the thin watery coconut milk, reserving for another use.
  3. Whip the cold coconut cream with the whisk attachment until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and whip for an additional minute.
  4. Use immediately or store for up to 4 hours.

Recipe Notes

  1. You can use honey to sweeten this, but the whipped coconut cream will have a looser texture to it and won't be as stable.
  2. If you anticipate using this recipe often, always leave a can of coconut cream in your refrigerator!
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Gluten-Free Cherry Pie Bars

These gluten-free cherry pie bars have all the deliciousness of a cherry pie without the time needed to actually making one! It uses nutrient-dense almond flour to make the crust and the crumble on top and is packed with fresh cherry flavor. These bars are gluten-free, dairy-free friendly, and the ultimate summer dessert!

A gluten free cherry pie bar on a plateGluten-Free Cherry Pie Bars

There is nothing better than an awesome summer dessert that is easy-to-make and made healthier using simple wholesome ingredients. These gluten-free cherry pie bars are just so delicious and so quick to put together! The crust is made out of almond flour and the filling is jam-packed with cherries that are sweetened just the right amount.

We use the same mixture for the crust as well as the crumble topping, and precook the cherry filling on the stove top so that it’s just the right texture with minimal baking time!

Let’s talk cherries

We tested this with two different types of cherries: fresh sour cherries and frozen sweet cherries. They do result in slightly different flavors and textures but both are equally delicious. The fresh cherries are of course, a bit less sweet and have a firmer texture. The frozen cherries are sweeter and are a bit more juicy. The photographs shown in this article are the frozen sweet cherries and they have a darker color, but the video features fresh cherries. You can use whatever is available to you whether it be fresh or frozen cherries.

Top view of gluten-free cherry pie bars

What you need to make these cherry pie bars:

  • Almond flour
  • Tapioca flour
  • Coconut oil or butter
  • Maple syrup
  • Vanilla
  • Sea salt
  • Cherries, fresh or frozen
  • Maple sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • Arrowroot

Here are the kitchen tools you need:

gluten free cherry pie bars

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Watch the video:


Gluten Free Cherry Pie Bars

Prep Time 00:15 Cook Time 00:30 Total Time 00:45 Yields 12

Ingredients

For crumble crust and topping

For Cherry Filling

  • 4 cups pitted cherries, halved (see note)
  • 1/3 cup maple sugar
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and line an 8x8 baking dish with a parchment paper sling.
  2. In a large bowl add almond flour, tapioca, coconut oil (or butter), maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt and mix well until it turns into large crumbles. Place ⅔ of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and press down evenly.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile make cherry filling: in a medium saucepan add cherries, maple sugar, arrowroot and vanilla and mix well. Cook on medium heat, stirring often, until filling becomes thick, about 5 minutes.
  5. Pour cherry mixture into parbaked crust and sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture on top and bake for 20 minutes. 
  6. Let cool completely before cutting.
  7. Store in refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

  1. Do not substitute the maple syrup in the crust/topping with another sweetener, it will alter the recipe.
  2. You can substitute the maple sugar in the cherry mixture for coconut sugar if you wish.
  3. You can use frozen cherries here if you don't have fresh.
  4. Recipe and photos updated 5/16/19
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Gluten-Free Key Lime Tart

This gluten-free Key Lime Tart is made using honey and coconut milk for a rich, tangy and smooth filling! It’s simple to prepare and can be optionally topped with a honey meringue for a showstopper dessert. It’s gluten-free and made without any refined sugars.

Key Lime Tart

This Key Lime Tart is the perfect (and beautiful) dessert to roll out in both hot and cold weather. This simple tart is made using our favorite gluten-free pie crust, filled with a tangy and smooth key lime filling and optionally topped with a delicious honey meringue that you can either leave as is or toast it!

Key Lime Tart Ingredients:

Can I use regular limes in place of key limes?

What makes a key lime pie a key lime pie is, you guessed it: key limes. But they are only available certain times of the year and they are much smaller than regular limes (known as Persian limes) so they take a bit more work to get the total amount of juice needed. And while there might be slight difference in taste (key limes have a bit heavier taste of “lime” with higher acidity), it is perfectly acceptable to use regular limes!

Can I bake this in a pie tin?

Technically yes you can. But depending on the size pie tin you are using, the filling might be a little low, as this is meant for a 9″ in tart.

Topping Options

  • Honey meringue (you can either pipe a pretty border, or cover the entire tart)! Toasting is optional but a nice touch.
  • Coconut whipped cream
  • Regular whipped cream

If you like this tart recipe, check out these others:

Key Lime Pie Tarts
Serves 2
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Tart Crust
  1. 1 cup almond flour
  2. 1 cup tapioca flour
  3. 1/2 cup grass-fed butter
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1/2 tsp fine pink salt
  6. 1 tsp raw honey
Key Lime Filling
  1. 3 egg yolks
  2. 3 tbsp full-fat coconut milk
  3. 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 5-6 limes)
  4. 1 tsp lime zest
  5. 2 tbsp raw honey
  6. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  7. Optional: 2 drops essential oil lime oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a food processor combine almond flour, tapioca flour, cold butter, and sea salt
  3. Add in honey and eggs and process until dough combines
  4. Transfer dough to refrigerator for 1-4 hours, up to overnight
  5. Remove and separate into two balls (for mini tarts) or one large ball for regular size tart
  6. Grease tart pans or one large tart pan and gently press dough into the center, filling up the sides and the bottom
  7. Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden brown
  8. While cooking, blend together key lime filling ingredients
  9. Once the shells are cooked, pour in filling and cook for a remaining 15-20 minutes, until filling is firm to touch
  10. Top with coconut whipped cream or meringue, garnish with lime zest, and serve.
Lexi's Clean Kitchen https://lexiscleankitchen.com/

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie (Nut-Free, Too!)

This Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie is smooth and creamy (without any cream) with just the right note of spice. It’s made using our nut-free and gluten-free crust that is so simple to put together! It’s the quintessential fall pie, destined to be the star of your holiday dessert table!

Gluten free pumpkin pie on a plate

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving is coming and I think you’d be hard pressed to find a Thanksgiving dessert table without a Pumpkin Pie on it. We’re excited to share our Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie recipe with you today, introducing our new NUT-FREE crust that so many of you have been asking for. If you don’t need to be nut-free and would rather avoid oats, feel free to use our classic pie dough, found here. The pie filling is dairy-free (but the crust isn’t as we use butter, but we offer a few subs in the notes) and the pumpkin flavor really shines through in the filling!

Whole gluten free pumpkin pie

How to Make Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

Typically our crust recipe, featured in our Gluten Free Apple Pie recipe, among others, uses almond flour as the base. So many of you have reached out to ask for a replacement because of nut allergies so we worked hard bringing you this nut-free crust. You may have noticed that we don’t develop a lot of recipes that use gluten-free mixes and flour blends because we love to be able to control what is added to our food. While they certainly have their place in the gluten-free world, here at LCK we would rather start with one type of gluten-free flour and build a recipe off of that to minimize what is added to our food.

Usually, that is almond flour first and foremost, so we really had our work cut out for us when we began developing a nut free crust for you. We started working on nut-free recipes by switching over the Best Paleo Bread to the best Nut-Free Bread using a 1-1 sub with store-bought oat flour. It worked so well we knew we wanted to start there.

After we got the proportions down, we needed to adjust the moisture level since oat flour can suck liquid up (like oatmeal does). For this recipe we found that adding in the right level of salt, maple syrup, and egg and a touch of water did the trick. In the future we are going to experiment with adding in different spices and flavors with this crust to see if it works in other recipes, but for now we are super happy with how this works for our Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie.

Gluten free pie dough in the food processor

How To Make Gluten-Free Pie Crust

The best part about this crust is that it is SO EASY to put together. The dough comes together in a food processor in a few minutes. Just make sure that you don’t overprocess the dough: Once it has come together stop running the processor. After it’s made you CAN roll out the dough right away, which we love. This is unusual for pie crusts, that usually need to wait to rest and firm up. We found it easiest to roll the dough between two sheets of plastic. Normally we shy away from plastics, but in this crust it really is easiest if you use that vs. parchment paper. But if you don’t keep plastic in your home (we get it!), parchment will do in a bind!

We really loved working with this dough and found it simple. It should look similar to the photo above. We worked with this dough over a dozen times and have always found it super simple to work with, but we’ve gotten some feedback that some people making the dough found it wet. After testing it some more, while we never have been able to accidentally make a wet dough when following the recipe,  we’ve discovered that oat flour is a bit difficult to measure out properly in the cup measurement because sometimes it is more densely packed in the bag than others. For fool proof measuring you can weigh out the oat flour instead. If you find your dough a bit more wet than the above photo add in oat flour a tablespoon at a time until it feels workable.

Blind Baking the Pie Crust

Once the dough is rolled out, invert into the pie pan right way and parbake the crust to ensure no soggy bottoms! If you’d rather wait to roll the crust you can store the pastry, wrapped in plastic,  in the refrigerator for two days, but let it warm up a tiny bit before rolling (about 5-10 minutes depending on how warm your kitchen is). Once you have par-baked the pie you MUST bake it with the filling immediately after. If you wait in between par-baking and filling the shell there is a chance the crust can crack a bit. It’s not the end of the world if it does, as the pie will still bake up alright, but it’s an easy mistake to avoid by making sure you par-bake the crust and bake the filling together without waiting in between those two steps. If it does crack a bit, which we did see happen in testing if we waited in between par-baking and filling, the slight cracks magically came back together the next day.

Blind baking gluten free pie dough

Tips for Rolling Out Dough and Baking

  1. Don’t overwork the dough in the food processor! Once it “comes together” stop! Take it out.
  2. You can roll the dough right away! The oat flour crust works best when it is made, rolled and baked all at the same time. Luckily it really doesn’t take too much time! If you need to make the pie in steps it is better to make the dough ahead of time (up to 2 days) and then let it warm up a bit before rolling. But you must par-bake and bake the filling all at once.
  3. Don’t over whip the eggs in the filling. Whisk the eggs until they are combined with the filling. One classic mistake people make when baking pumpkin pie is to over whisk the eggs. This creates air in the custard and can lead to the custard rising too quick and then falling or cracking.
  4. Want to avoid a big crack in the filling? Don’t overbake the pie! Your pumpkin filling (or custard) should be just starting to set up when you take it out of the oven. The edges of the filling should be slightly puffy, but the center should still wiggle. The pie will continue cooking after it has come out of the oven and sets up in the refrigerator. Don’t worry if you do get a crack, it won’t affect the flavor but it is prettier without it.
  5. Cool the pie completely before placing in the refrigerator, and then let it set up completely in the refrigerator before slicing, at least 3 hours.

Slice of gluten free pumpkin pie

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Watch the video:


Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

Prep Time 00:25 Cook Time 01:00 Total Time 01:25 Serves 8

Ingredients

For the Nut-Free Gluten-Free Crust

For the Pumpkin Pie

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a food processor combine oat flour, tapioca flour, salt, and cold butter and pulse until the butter is broken down into pea-sized pieces.
  3. In a small bowl whisk egg, water and maple syrup together. With the food processor running, add egg mixture and process until the dough just comes together.
  4. Roll out your dough immediately: Place dough on a large piece of plastic wrap and top with another piece of plastic wrap. Roll out into a 12" circle and take off the top piece of plastic. Invert into a 9" pie pan and crimp the edges. If desired, brush with egg wash for a more golden crust, but this is not necessary.
  5. Par-bake the pie crust by placing a piece of parchment inside the crust and fill with pie weights (or dried beans or rice). Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile make the filling by combing all the filling ingredients and whisk to combine.
  7. Once par-baked remove the pie weights and parchment paper and pour the filling into the shell and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 minutes, or until the filling is set on the edges but still slightly wobbly in the middle (see note). If crust is browning too quickly cover it with foil.
  8. Let cool briefly, about 1 hour before placing in the refrigerator to continue to set for another 3 hours.

Recipe Notes

  1. Make sure to read over the posts for tips and tricks on how to make the BEST Pumpkin Pie.
  2. We tested this with homemade oat flour made in a high-speed blender and do not recommend using this. We had much better results using store-bought (gluten-free) oat flour.
  3. If you find that your pastry is on the wetter side, add in a bit more oat flour until it feels workable. Oat flour can be a bit tricky to measure out because sometimes it is densely packed in the container, and sometimes not. For a foolproof way to measure weigh it out instead of using a cup measurement.
  4. Take care not to overcook the pie. The edges of the pie filling should be set and barely puffy until about 3" in and the rest of the pie will still be wobbly. It will continue to cook and set as it cools. If the pie is overcooked it will crack, which is not the end of the world, but would be visually more appealing without it.
  5. We decorated this Pumpkin Pie with some leaf cut-outs. If you'd like to do this too you will need to make a second batch of dough. Simply double the ingredients and make the same way in a large food processor. Roll out on a sheet of parchment and using a cookie cutter, cut out the leaves and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake separately while parbaking the crust.
  6. If you don't tolerate oats, check out are classic pie crust recipe here.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!