When life gets crazy, make brownies. Life around here has definitely been crazy, you might have noticed the absence of posts. Well, to comfort myself I made a fudgy style of brownie and felt I should definitely share. Accept my chocolatey, tasty, less than guilty apology? Wait till you see the secret ingredient…don’t let it turn you off. My husband, the surly dwarf, didn’t even notice. Definitely try it.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup splenda, truvia or other sugar substitute
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup nutri flour (or unbleached flour)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 7 egg whites or 1 cup egg substitute
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened light coconut milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- Spray 13″x9″ pan, preheat oven to 350F.
- Combine sugar, cocoa, flour, and baking powder.
- Add egg whites, pumpkin, coconut milk, and vanilla. Stir until moistened.
- Fold in chocolate chips.
- Pour into pan and bake for 30 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into 24 squares.
Makes 24 brownies. Each brownie contains 58 calories, .9 gram fat, 14.5 grams carbs, .7 gram fibre, 1.8 grams protein. Yeah, I know. I had to double check, I was so surprised. Definitely a go to brownie for those chocolate comfort cravings.
I know, everyone has a chocolate chip cookie recipe. I keep getting asked how it is I make mine so healthy without sacrificing tasty classic flavour. It really is my go to cookie, I’ve made them quickly before we settle in to watch a movie, takes me less than 5 minutes. I never buy premade cookie dough, you can just freeze this stuff instead. I’ve been told by folks that they like this version far better than anything some puffy commercial icon provides. So, here is my healthy version of that good old classic cookie.
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, not packed
- 1/2 cup sugar substitute (I like either truvia or splenda, both work nicely)
- 1/2 cup light butter or light cooking margarine
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 prepared serving vegan egg substitute (you can sub an egg but it changes the values, this substitute is fat free and only 15 calories for an egg, wow.)
- 1 cup nutri-flour (this is a blend of flour and ground wheat bran, great stuff much healthier than white flour and bakes better than whole wheat in these cookies)
- 4 tbl dark chocolate chips (I use 70% when I can find them but 50% works great too, if you can find mini chips, Do IT! the coverage is great for so little)
- Cream together sugar, margarine.
- Add salt, baking powder, extracts and egg substitute. Combine until light and fluffy.
- Fold in nutri-flour.
- Add chocolate chips.
- Measure out the dough using a tsp. You can either drop them on the sheet or roll the dough out in your palms and pat to form a small disk. Depends on the look you are going for.
- Bake 350F for 10 minutes.
Makes 24 cookies. Each cookie contains 52 calories, 2.8 grams fat, 7.6 grams carbs, .7 gram fibre, .8 gram protein.
I found myself inspired by a book I received for review. The book is ‘Cooking for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet’ by Erica Kerwien. What a thorough book this was! SCD is an option for those who are trying to work with delicate digestive situations such as Crohn’s disease, IBS, Celiac disease, and ulcerative colitis to name a few. I have spoken to so many people dealing with these conditions who find themselves restricted by their guidelines, all so that what they eat does not end their day. We eat to nourish and make ourselves happy (in far too many cases for me), can you imagine what it would be like if many of the foods you ate made you want to just curl up and wish the day or in many cases, week would end? So, when this book crossed my desk I was interested. Ofcourse, this book is not just for those looking to control a condition, it has a wealth of creative recipes and basics for anyone trying to eat sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free and she even offers dairy-free alternatives.
One of the recipes that caught my eye was a sweet cashew cream, basically a whipped cream alternative for folks. My recipe is not all that similar in the end but it was an inspiration. To check out the original recipe and the many other delicious healthy dishes I suggest you check out this book. Not being a gluten-free or grain-free follower myself I am happy to say that these recipes even appealed to my grain addicted self.
- 1/2 cup ground hazelnuts (if you can’t find ground just get regular and do them up in a blender or coffee grinder, like I did)
- 1 cup fat free evaporated skim milk
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar (or icing sugar)
- 2 tbl light butter or margarine (I used the stuff with plant sterols to add extra nutrition)
- Combine ingredients in a blender until smooth.
- Refrigerate overnight (it will thicken with time and cold), stir and only serve chilled.
Makes 24 servings (about 1 tablespoon in size). Each serving contains 30 calories, 1.2 grams fat, 4 grams carbs, .2 gram fibre, and 1 gram protein. A great nutty flavoured alternative to plain old whipped cream. Amazing with chocolate cake.
I woke up one day and decided it was a day for molasses. So, so I made molasses cookies. then I got tired of rolling them out and cutting them. There must be an easy and lazy way to make these right? What about a cookie crust? My inner lazy cook offered. But what do we put in it? It can’t be too sweet. I whined. So, time was meant thinking until finally “Cherries!”…and I realized I had spent quality time talking food…with myself. Obviously, I was experiencing molasses withdrawal and needed to bake this up stat. I did…and it was delicious.
- 1/4 cup light cooking margarine or light butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses of choice
- 1 egg white
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup dried cherries (or cranberries, cherry flavoured)
- 1 cup water
- Cream margarine and sugar in a bowl until soft and fluffy.
- Add sugar, molasses, and egg. Combine until smooth.
- Sift flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in another bowl. Add slowly to the creamed mixture. Combine until a smooth dough forms.
- Press dough into a 9×9 glass pan.
- Bake at 375F for 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven. Lower heat to 350F.
- Combine the cherries and water in a saucepan.
- Heat over medium heat until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally.
- Pour mixture over the cookie crust and distribute evenly.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly before slicing into 12 bars. Serve warm or cool. Tasty either way!
Makes 12 servings. Each serving contains 134 calories, 1.9 grams fat, 29.5 grams carbs, .9 gram fibre, 1.7 grams protein. These are fabulous with a cup of chai tea.
To make dessert time easy and on track I like to make my desserts ahead of time and freeze them for the week. It makes me less likely to omnom the whole tray justifying to myself that they might go bad if I don’t. Really, who hasn’t used this excuse one time or another? After the holidays I had some leftover marshmallows, can’t let those go to waste. What does one do with marshmallows? Make rice cereal treats of course! We can’t make the same old treats around here though. After spending a bit of time fantasizing about a sushi dinner I was looking forward to I realized just what had to happen. Numminess followed.
- 4 tbl light butter or margarine
- 16 marshmallows
- 4 cups brown puffed rice cereal
- 4 tbl light peanut butter
- 2 tsp reduced sugar jam (I used my hardcore hobbit blackberry jam)
- 1 tbl honey
- Melt margarine/butter using either a microwave (10 second bursts) or in a pot on an element.
- Add marshmallows, stir and melt in micro (10 second bursts) or on the element.
- Remove from heat and add brown rice cereal. Add the treat mixture to a greased baking sheet. Press down and into edges to create a flat rectangle. Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes. It should still be pliable if you list the edges but not too tacky to the touch.
- Combine peanut butter, jam and honey in a bowl.
- Turn out the cool rice mixture onto a plastic mat or plastic wrap.
- Spread the peanut butter mixture onto the rice treat.
- Roll, using the plastic to help you keep it all together, like a sushi roll.
- Put the roll into the freezer for about 20 minutes. Slice and enjoy!
Makes 16 “dessert sushi” each one contains 155 calories, 4 grams fat, 25 grams carbs, 1 gram fibre, 2 grams protein. You can keep these in the freezer and take them out to eat immediately. A fun twist on a classic that you can customize with any filling you feel like. My husband suggests the chocolate and almond butter.
How about a tasty somewhat naughty festive treat? I was making cupcakes for a potluck that my yoga teacher training group decided to put on. I made these vegan friendly and oh my, they were tasty! The recipe below is the healthier way I would make them but I will include the recipe variation to make them vegan friendly too. They were originally going to be gluten free and vegan friendly but that challenge is going to be saved for another day. These were so tasty even my meatatarien husband has been enjoying them. For those who are curious I’m an omnomnomivore. Food is tasty.
- 2 1/2 cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 12 tbl low fat cooking margarine
- 1 1/2 cup splenda
- 10 tbl egg substitute (like egg beaters)
- 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened original
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 2 tbl orange zest, grated fine
- Juice of 1 orange (usually about 2 ounces)
- 2 1/2 cup icing sugar
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a bowl cream together the margarine, egg, almond extract and splenda.
- In another bowl combine the baking powder and flour. (yes, sometimes I’m lazy and skip this step too…it’s o.k.)
- Slowly alternate between adding the flour and the almond milk while beating the creamed mixture on low. Continue until all combined.
- Spoon batter into cup pan and bake for 20 minutes. You can tell they are done when they spring back when you touch them and are golden.
- While the cupcakes bake, combine the zest and icing sugar in a bowl.
- Slowly add the orange juice to the sugar mixture while beating on low. Once it is all combined at the desired consistency (you do not have to use all of the juice) beat for 2 minutes on high. Chill the glaze for 1 hour.
- Glaze the cupcakes when they have cooled.
Makes 16 cupcakes, each cupcake with glaze contains approximately 176 calories, 2.4 grams fat, 39 grams carbs, .9 gram fiber, and 2.2 grams protein.
To make this vegan friendly I used powdered egg substitute ( a local brand from the health store), vegan butter (earth balance buttery spread), and brown sugar instead of splenda. The nutritional info for this version is much higher of course. To make the cupcakes you just add the extra step before you cream of adding the required amount of water to the powdered egg substitute and stir. Other than that it is straight forward and the baking time is the same.
What an exciting week! I was successful at completing the first phase of my training, so I am now a certified pilates instructor. Boldly going where no geek has gone before. Now Isengard is live on LOTRO!! Woot! I myself don’t get to play yet because all this schooling means very little gaming money right now. Can’t go running off and buying it yet. Still all this exciting stuff deserves cake…it deserves hardcore hobbit cake. In the game the fruit roll is made of honey, blackberries, and barley flour. ! It also gives that boost of will power that we all need. This to me says lemon cake with a blackberry cream cheese filling. Shall we?
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup honey or splenda
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
- 1 tbl fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 blackberries, fresh or thawed
- 2 tbl light strawberry cream cheese
- Combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl. Make a well in the centre.
- In another bowl combine the eggs, water, lemon rind, lemon juice, and vanilla. Mix until all one colour. Add the honey or splenda and mix until smooth.
- Add the liquids to the well in the flour. Add the dry around the sides of the well to the liquids until smooth.
- Grease a jelly roll pan very well, for extra care line with parchment paper. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth out evenly.
- Bake at 350F for 10-15 minutes. Check with a toothpick to make sure it is done. Immediately loosen the cake from the pan and upend onto a clean tea towel. Roll the cake gently like a jelly roll using the towel. Allow to cool.
- Combine the blackberries and cream cheese. I don’t get to worried about a smooth texture. I think its more fun to have little pockets of cream cheese and berry. Unroll the cake. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the cake giving about an inch of space from the edges.
- Roll the cake back up carefully. Slice into 16 pieces and serve!
Each slice contains (with honey) 91 calories, 1 gram fat, 19.8 gram carbs, .4 gram fibre, and 1.8 grams protein. With splenda each slice contains 43 calories, 1 gram fat, 8 grams carbs, .3 gram fibre, and 1.8 grams protein. Sure you can frost this cake but with the way that cream cheese berry filling is you really don’t need the extra calories and fat to enjoy.
I have totally weirded you out but intrigued you at the same time, haven’t I? So there I was. The morning of my husband’s birthday. He was happily sleeping in and I knew I wanted to surprise him with a tasty but different breakfast in bed. When I looked in the fridge the cream cheese completely caught my eye. Do I think of making some sort of bagel with a custom flavoured cream cheese like a sane person would? No! Instead I begin pondering how a breakfast cheesecake would be done. In the morning, before coffee or tea, a cheesecake pancake is ofcourse the logical answer. Feeling a bit like a kid mixing up a possibly monstrous concoction to surprise the parents with, I get to work. Then, a miracle happened. I served it with a choice of strawberry jam or maple syrup…and it was delicious!!! Decadent yet light, and oh so filling. Cheesecake for breakfast…the world is now perfect. You are welcome, I await my nobel prize. Hehe.
- 4 oz light cream cheese
- 1/4 cup splenda or sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbl coconut flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 egg whites
- Combine the cream cheese, splenda/sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and coconut flour in a bowl.
- In a seperate bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
- Fold the egg whites into the cream cheese mixture carefully.
- Spray a pan and heat over medium low. Spoon about 1/4 cup onto the pan. Allow to cook about 2 minutes on each side achieving a golden brown. If they are a bit dark, don’t worry! It’s cheese, it remains tasty…unless you’ve completely burnt them.
Makes 4 pancakes. Each pancake contains 86 calories, 5.3 grams fat, 5.3 grams carbs, 1 gram fibre, and 6.8 grams protein. Absolutely delicious served with fruit, jam and maple syrup. I think this may even be gluten free…double check that though with your resident gluten free person, I am not a gluten free expert.
No hardcore hobbit today, but really, what hobbit would say no to pie? We had this tasty pie this weekend and I just had to share. For years I have been buying all sorts of coconut cream pies for my husband. It’s his favourite but I’ve never tried to make one because I just didn’t trust myself to get it right. Each store bought pie I got for him was a store bought disappointment. We just weren’t achieving an acceptable level of coconut flavour. So, it’s time I gave it a go. To us the best kind of coconut is toasted coconut. If making it on our own is the only way we can make this happen, then we are going to bring it! I did…and epic coconut flavour was achieved.
- 10 reduced fat oreo cookies, crushed (creamy center and all)
- 1/2 unpacked brown sugar
- 1/4 cup splenda
- 2 egg whites
- 370 ml can evaporated skim milk
- 1 tbl cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp coconut extract
- 1/4 cup toasted coconut
- Press the crushed oreos into a pie pan to from your crust.
- Mix together the cornstarch, splenda and brown sugar in a pot. Slowly add the egg whites, vanilla extract, coconut extract and milk while whisking to keep smooth.
- Heat the mixture on medium heat, whisking frequently, until it thickens.
- Stir in the toasted coconut, reserving some of it to sprinkle on top of the pie.
- Pour carefully over the crust. Top with remaining coconut and allow to cool.
- Best if left in the fridge overnight.
Serves 8. Each serving contains 147 calories, 2.5 grams fat, 30.4 grams carbs, .5 gram fibre, and 5.8 grams protein. I have figured out where they were hiding all the coconut flavour in all those store bought pies….it was in my cupboard all this time.