Monday, February 20, 2012

Healthy Fudge Brownies

Now to be honest, the first time I tried this recipe, I was pretty doubtful about the success.
Boy, was I surprised. They're great! They taste a lot like fudge and are amazingly good. The first bite is always a bit surprising for some reason, but then I can't stop eating them--yum-o!
 I especially like them with fresh strawberries.

Whip some up and enjoy the rewards. :)

Healthy Fudge Brownies
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup almond milk
1 cup peanut butter (or almond butter)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped almonds (or walnuts or pecans)
1. Begin by soaking the dates and raisins in the milk for 1/2 hour or so. This will help them chop easier.
2. In food processor, chop dates and raisins until very fine. Pour chopped mixture into a bowl and mix in remaining ingredients.
3. Press into an 8x8, lined with wax paper, glass baking dish. Refrigerate for a few hours.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Healthy Apricot and Date Cookies

These cookies were yummy! They were cakey and delicious and my kids gobbled them up. :)

1 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. old-fashioned oats
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
scant 1/2 c. brown sugar (1/3 c. might have been sufficient?)
1 egg
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbps. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. chopped dried apricots and dates

1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
2. Combine the wet ingredients in another bowl, then mix the two together.
3. Stir in the daets and apricots.
4. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake for 12-14 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Farm Girl Granola

I'm reposting this granola recipe from my other website Everyday Art. It's a great recipe, and worthy of sharing twice! :)
I've been making homemade granola for as long as I can remember, and I've tried a lot of different recipes, but this is the recipe that I've stuck with lately.  
I don't even know where I got it--it's just this random recipe in my recipe box called "Farm Girl Granola" and we all love it.

It's the perfect amount of sweetness, crunch and wholesome goodness. My second-second favorite recipe is a dry-roast granola that has much much less oil, but honestly, there's just something yummy about roasting everything in some good-quality oil. I used to always make the dry-roast variety, but lately it's been farm-girl all the way. :) 

I also really like this recipe because so far it has with-stood all my massive amounts of tweaking. I never really make it the same way twice, and somehow it always turns out yummy.

Without further ado, here is your favorite granola recipe:

Farm Girl Granola
8 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
2 c. chopped nuts and seeds (almonds, cashews, pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
1 c. flaked or shaved coconut
3/4 c. oil
3/4 to 1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. honey/molasses combination, depending on your own taste preferences
1 Tbsp. vanilla

Optional additions to add to the last 8-10 minutes of roasting:
dried fruit
wheat germ
roasted sunflower seeds
spices--cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, etc.

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Mix the oats, nuts and seeds, and the coconut together in a large bowl.
3. Mix the oil, sugar, honey/molasses, and vanilla together in a saucepan. Bring to a boil while stirring occasionally.
4. Mix the oat mixture with the oil/sugar mixture. Spread onto two large jelly-roll pans or rimmed cookie sheets.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 8-10 minutes. You may need to rotate the pans around if they are browing unevenly, or if you are lucky enough to have a convection oven, then just stir and don't bother rotating the pans.
6. Add any of the additional add-ins you wish during the last few minutes of roasting.

Hope you enjoy your granola! It really is a wonderful recipe and you really can't screw it up (as long as you don't burn it in the oven!). It's wonderful using any of the listed combinations above, but my favorite is slivered almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds along with dried cranberries. I've thought about adding some orange peel for the holidays.... 


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Strawberry Oat-Almond Bars

You know what is cool? Besides being beautiful and delicious, these babies have no sugar. Zero. Well, of course unless you want to get all technical--they have no refined sugars, only the sugars found naturally in the ingredients. As nature intended sugar to be eaten I say.
Also, they are raw. No need to turn on a hot oven on a hot day.

The crust is made by pulsing dates, almonds, and oats in a food processor (I just used my Vita Mix). Then, you press that crust into a bread pan, spread some smashed-up strawberries on top and then top that with sliced strawberries. Easy peasy. And yummy. Here's the recipe.

Strawberry Oat-Almond Bars

1 1/2 to 2 c. pitted dates
1/4 c. raw almonds
2 Tbsp. old-fashioned rolled oats
1 lb. strawberries

1. Pulse the dates, nuts, oats, and a dash of salt in a food processor until combined.
2. Press teh date mixture inot the bottom of a bread loaf pan.
3. Mash about 1 c. of the strawberris adn spread on top of the date mixture.
4. Slice the remaining strawberries. Snich a few and add the rest to the top.
5. Slice and serve.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Quinoa Pudding

I'm a big fan of quinoa, but I'd never tried it in a dessert. This was the week for that! I found that I liked the recipe a lot; I liked that my kids liked it and that it was pretty healthy for them. It made way too much for our little family though and we didn't eat all the leftovers, so if you aren't truly serving 8, I'd recommend halving it. :)

Quinoa Pudding
Serves 8

3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
4 cups skim milk (I used almond milk with good success)
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots

1.In a large saucepan, bring quinoa and 3 cups milk to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, unti tender, 12 to 14 minutes.
2.Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, honey, eggs, cardamom, and remaining cup of milk. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stirring constantly, slowly pour egg mixture into quinoa; add raisins and apricots.
3.Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour pudding into a 2-quart dish and let cool slightly. Cover surface directly with plastic and refrigerate until cook, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

Here's my version. I used dried apricots and dried cranberries.

Recipe from Whole Living Magazine

Also, if you are still looking for more recipes, I found this Quinoa Pudding recipe that looks divine--it'll be my next one to try. :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Morning Glorious Muffins

These are some of my favorite muffins!

They are loaded with carrots, shredded apples, raisins or dates and whole wheat flour. Sometimes I even add Chia seeds. :) Try them! You won't be disappointed.

Here's the recipe.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Whole-Wheat Sweet Dough

This recipe is wonderful. It is half whole-wheat flour so it is much healthier than traditional sweet doughs, but it is still light and fluffy. I've used it for cinnamon rolls and sticky pull-aparts, neither of which are healthy, but at least they are a bit healthier this way. Not only are they healthier, but also we genuinely prefer the heartier flavor. There is also a fair amount of sugar in this recipe, and I often add quite a bit less and still have good results.

1 1/2 Tbsp. yeast
1/4 c. warm water
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 c. hot milk or water
2 eggs, well beaten
2 1/2 c. white flour
2 1/2 c. whole-wheat flour

1. Place yeast into warm water to proof.
2. Mix butter, sugar and salt with the hot milk; set aside to cool.
3. Add yeast to beaten eggs and tehn add the cooled milk mixture.
4. Add flour and mix well. Knead for 5-10 minutes.
5. Form into a ball; cover and set aside to raise until doubled in size.
6. Roll out onto floured board and add desired ingredients to make many different kinds of sweet rolls.

For cinnamon rolls, I divide the dough in half, roll into a rectangle and then sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, and sometimes raisins or dried crans. Then roll up the rectangle, cut into about 1 1/2 inch slices and place into a buttered pan (9x13 or two 9-inch cake pans). Let rise again and then bake at 375 for 20 to 22 minutes. I usually put some foil over the tops to prevent them from getting too brown.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Glazed Apple Cake

This recipe is sooooo good. Dangerously good. The kind of good that is just the perfect amount of hearty and sweet that I have a really hard time staying with just one serving. Bake up some fall flavor today!
With the glaze, this recipe is an excellent cake. For a delicious snack or breakfast bread, leave off the glaze.
6 Tbsp. softened unsalted butter or butter substitute
6 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 c. molasses
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4c. applesauce
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. whole-wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
dash of ground allspice
2 apples, peeled and diced (reserve cores and skin)
1/2 c. granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 325; grease and flour a 5x9-in loaf pan.
2. Use an electric mixer to beat together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy--about 4 minutes. Add the molasses; beat. Add eggs, beating after each one. The mix in the vanilla and applesauce.
3. Next add all the dry ingredients. Stir the dry ingredients to combine, then beat into the wet ingredients.
4. Stir in the diced apples and pour into loaf pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 60 to 70 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
5. For the glaze, combine the sugar, 1/2 c. water and then apple cores and skins. Bring to a simmer and cook until syrupy, about 10 minutes.
6. Remove the cake from the pan and drizzle the glaze over the top and sides of the cooled "cake."  


Note: This recipe was adapted from a recipe in Whole Living magazine.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dairy-free dessert: Lemon Cake

Not super healthy, but dairy-free and super delicious. The cake as a great lemon flavor and is nice and rich. It's one of those cakes that are better without frosting, which definitely helps the health factor.

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. whole-wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
4 large eggs
scant 1 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. almond or soy milk
1/2 c. light olive oil
6 Tbsp. dairy-free margarine, melted
juice and zest of one large lemon

1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil one 9" cake pan. Lightly flour the pan, tapping out the excess flour, and set aside.
2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together the flours and baking powder. Set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until the mixture is pale yellow in color. Add the non-dairy milk alternative of your choice, olive oil, melted soy margarine, lemon juice and zest, whisking until well combined. Add the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. Immediately turn cake out onto a wire cooling rack and allow the cake to cool.
4. Either frost with the dairy-free frosting of your choice eat as is! a sprinkle of powder sugar looks nice on it.

Print the recipe

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fruit Icee

A perfect way to beat the heat on these last days of summer!
Chop up ice cubes in a blender or food processor. You may have to do only a few ice cubes at a time.
Transfer to a ramekin or cup.
Now for the "syrup:"
Here, I used cantaloup and a bit of honey, but the possibilities are endless--watermelon, honeydew, raspberries, strawberries, etc. Just blend it up until it has the consistency of thick juice.
Pour over your ice and enjoy!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dairy-free dessert: Blueberry Crisp

Not all together super-healthy, but I'm on a dairy-free diet since my breastfeeding baby is allergic. I've been looking for good desserts (dairy-free desserts are hard to come by!!)

This one was delicious though!

4 c. blueberries
1/3 c. flour
1/3 c. oats
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. mayo
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (I shoot for 1/3 tsp. just for consistency sake.) :)

1. Wash the blueberries and place them in the bottom of a 9x9-in casserole dish.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients, add the mayo and mix to make coarse crumbs. (The mayo replaces butter that would be found in a regular recipe).
3. Top the berries w/ the oat mixture; bake at 350 for ~35 minues until the top is golden brown.

Note: Thanks Miranda!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Jello-Filled Cantaloupe

What a fun healthy treat for kids! I took a cantaloupe, halved it, removed the seeds and then filled it with jello and strawberries. I used Knox brand gelatin and white grape juice (and followed the recipe for "Knox Blocks" on the package, using just one packet of gelatin), but dyed it red because my daughter really wanted red jello. Once the gelatin was dissolved, I added frozen sliced strawberries (which really added to the flavor). Then, before pouring the mixture into the prepared cantaloupe halves, I chopped a little off the bottom of the cantaloupe to help it stand flat. Refrigerated until set, sliced it and enjoyed a fun family treat!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Orange Coffee Cake

This coffee cake is a fun and delicious variation on the traditional coffee cake, not to mention much lower in fat and sugar. It's moist texture and mellow orange flavor make it great either for dessert or a special breakfast. We love it at our house, and I recently took it to a baby shower brunch and it was much-enjoyed by everyone.
3/4 c. regular or quick oats
scant 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 1/4 c. flour (I use ~ 1/2 whole wheat flour with great results)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 c. orange juice
2 tsp. orange zest
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
3 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
3 Tbsp. regular or quick oats
3/4 tsp. cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly coat a 9-inch-square baking dish with vegetable oil spray.
2. Whisk together the wet ingredients (egg, oil, juice, orange zest and vanilla). Add the sugar and mix well. Process the oats in a blender until a medium-fine texture. Add the processed oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the wet ingredients. Mix to combine.
3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Mix the ingredients for the streusel topping sprinkle evenly over the batter.
4. Bake until the topping is browned and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: This recipe was modified from the American Medical Association Family Health Cookbook.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Scrumptious Sweet Potato Cupcakes

My daughter wanted to make some cupcakes today, and I realized that I had never made any cupcakes before! I had an amazing recipe from a friend of mine, so today we tweaked it a bit to up the nutritional value and gave it a whirl. They were almost as good as the original and SOOOO much healthier! Further modifications could be made to make them even healthier, but this version still tasted like cupcakes. :) Here's what I tried today.

1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. applesauce
1 c. sugar
3 eggs
2 c. mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line twenty-four muffin cups with paper bake cups; set aside.
2. Cream the butter. Add the applesauce and sugar; beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about two minutes.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed between each addition until combined.
4. Add sweet potatoes and vanilla, beating until combined.
5. Add the four, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Combine.
6. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake about 20 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched. Cool on a wire rack.
7. Frost the cupcakes with this frosting. Use the variation with orange juice concentrate, cream cheese and a bit of vanilla.

ENJOY! They are mouth-wateringly delicious.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Healthy Banana Cookies

No sugar and no added fats (unless you add nuts)! AND amazingly good. I consider these an especially great treat for little kids. They are especially fun for a toddler/preschooler to help you cook because the measurements don't really matter so much. I let my 2-year-old measure EVERYTHING by herself (which she thought was wonderful) and they still turned out. Enjoy!

3 ripe bananas
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup dried fruit such as chopped dates, cranberries, raisens, chopped apricots
1/3 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
dash of cinnamon and nutmeg
Optional add-ins:
flaked coconut
wheat germ
chopped nuts
chopped apples

1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Stir in oats, dried fruit, applesauce, spices, and vanilla. Mix well, and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a cookie sheet.
3.Bake for 15-20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly brown.