Tuesday, July 31, 2012

No-Bake Bars

This recipe is courtesy of my cousin, Anna. I tried them out one day when I was having a serious sugar craving and LOVED them! They are just like haystacks (no bake cookies), and I think they taste like eatmore bars (although that might just be because it's been years since I've had one...).

Anyway these are worth a try! They're easy, you don't have to turn on the oven, and sugar free! I use rolled oats in my baking, just because they are less processed, but you will notice it makes these a lot more chewy than quick oats will. You decide which oats to use!

No-Bake Bars

3 cups oats
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
5 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup butter

1. Boil honey and butter for 1 minute. Add vanilla and peanut butter, stir til smooth.
2. Add oats, coconut and cocoa and stir til combined.
3. Press into a 9x9" pan.
4. Refridgerate.

Bran Muffins

Apparently I'm not going to be one of those 'post every day' type bloggers. Sorry! Life somehow always seems to get busy.

I make the muffins frequently and eat them for my snack during my break at work, I really enjoy them and it's a bit of a relief to enjoy some baking of my own in the midst of all the baking I'm surrounded by at work! I make a big batch and freeze them. Even my husband gives these his stamp of approval!

Carrot Bran Muffins

1 1/2 cups bran
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup applesauce
1 egg
1/3 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup carrots
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

1. Mix the bran and buttermilk together. Let stand 10 minutes.
2. Beat applesauce, egg, honey and vanilla.
3. Add to bran mixture.
4. Mix dry ingredients.
5. Combine with wet ingredients.Mix just until it comes together.
6. Fold in carrots and raisins.
7. Line 12 muffins cups and divide batter equally.
8. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Watch them and take them out as soon as they spring back or they will be dry!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pineapple Mango Pops or Smoothies

Last week we were elbow deep into kitchen renovations, this week it's 30 degrees plus outside! Needless to say, I have not been baking. I desperately want to be, but right now the stove is off limits and all cooking is happening on the BBQ (which I can't complain about, grilled zucchini is amazing!). So until I can get back to my oven, I have to share what I made yesterday. I had a mango I really needed to use in my fridge and pieces of pineapple in my freezer, components to a smoothie I had found a recipe for. Of course I couldn't find the recipe when I decided to make it, but it's so simple it's not really necessary. Once it was all in the blender I realized it was going to be too much for my snack and happened to see my popsicle mold sitting nearby. So yep, I poured the rest into the molds and waited and waited til this afternoon to try it! Both versions = superb!

A yummy, healthy way to cool off and if I think really hard I can imagine it's mango ice cream I'm eating off my popsicle stick!

Pineapple Mango Mix

1 cup frozen pineapple
1 ripe mango
About 1 cup milk
1 cup ice (if wanted)

1. Throw everything in a blender and mix til smooth.
2. For just a smoothie, add ice to make it thicker if you want.
3. For the popsicles don't use ice and the pineapple doesn't really need to be frozen.


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mocha Date Balls

I have to confess, I've had a bad week. One of those weeks where, when I am writing down on my daily chart what I've all eaten, I sigh and think to myself, "It's ok, you can start again tomorrow." Even though sugar hurts to eat, I still cheat once in a while. Or more than once in a while, as is the case this week (seriously, why do I work in a bakery?!). By the end of the week my self esteem is down, my stomach hurts and I'm mad at myself for not having more self control. This is how much I like my sweets.

A positive to all of this? It gives me more incentive to experiment so I actually have snacking options around that aren't so bad. I can't say that they're completely healthy, let's face it, carrot sticks are healthy. Dates on the other hand aren't bad but they definitely aren't low calorie either! Whatever, show me a girl that can go long term snacking on carrot sticks and never have a sugar craving and I'll show you a liar! This is for those of us that want to live a healthier lifestyle and be realistic about it! That being said, if you try this recipe and eat the whole batch, you'll be hurting...and probably not any closer to meeting any of your goals :)
So, in moderation, please enjoy!

Mocha Date Balls

150g dates
1 tbsp coconut
1/4 cup pecans
1 1/2 tsp instant coffee
2 tsp cocoa

1. Throw all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it all looks uniform.
2. Press into balls (it will look crumbly, but it will hold together nicely).
3. Refrigerate.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Little Energy Bites

There are days when the last thing I want to do is eat healthy. I don't help my cravings by creating an imaginary world in my head where I can eat all the things I want in a place that resembles Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Cake, cookies, pop...all the things I used to shrug off that I now try not to eat, and I definitely try to keep OUT of arms length! I realize some people don't struggle with food addiction or allergies and therefore don't understand how hard it can be, but if you're anything like me you will understand this post! During my grocery shop today I lingered through the aisle after aisle, hoping I would find a treat to munch on during my movie tonight. Each time I picked something up I put it back with a disappointed sigh.

No sugar added fruit pops - too many ingredients.
Skinny cow ice cream - still all the wrong ingredients.
All natural sweet potato chips - the first ingredient was corn (really???)

I left empty handed. I chose sushi for supper instead of McDonalds. I ate watermelon when I wanted a popsicle. Yet I could only think about something sweet for dessert. So I gave in and whipped up a small batch of energy bites!

I can't take credit for this recipe, I don't remember where on earth I got it and there are so many of these recipes floating around online! I've slightly customized it to my taste and I have to recommend it. It vaguely reminds me of haystacks, those yummy no-bake cookies I used to gobble up as a kid! And when I'm desperate to 'treat' myself like I was tonight, I don't even bother rolling it into balls, I'll eat it with a spoon. Unfortunately it's sweet enough for me now that I can only eat a few before my stomach is a little grouchy with me. Worth it anyway. Enjoy!

Little Energy Bites

1 cup oats
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp wheat germ

1. Throw everything in a bowl and mix it really well. (a mixer makes it easier!)
2. With wet hands roll into balls (about 40).
3. Store in the fridge.

I sometimes toss in cocoa to make them chocolate, or you could add raisins or nuts.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Frozen Chocolate Peanut Butter Parfaits!

Today was hot! It was only a little windy, the sun was blazing, and while my version of hot is maybe not others (ahem, 24 degrees), for us in northern (ish) Canada, it's not too shabby! All this to say it felt like summer and I went for a run for my exercise today to enjoy the weather. I got back 40 minutes later red in the face with sweat dripping everywhere, desperately wanting something cold and yummy. Luckily, yesterday I picked up a box of pixie cups and plastic spoons for just that purpose! I had seen a recipe for something like I wanted, except it was comprised of ice cream and peanut brittle, not ingredients I had any intention of using. I also have made a Peanut Butter Toblerone Cheesecake more times than I can count (at work and at home!) and I wanted THAT taste without all of those ingredients. I think I got pretty close and I am SO excited about sharing this recipe! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. After I took the picture I ate it before I even thought about posting...good thing there's 3 more in the freezer!

Just a note...I will put up non peanut butter recipes eventually! Apparently I just really like peanut butter!

 Frozen Chocolate Peanut Butter Parfaits

1 cup Liberte non-fat plain greek yogurt
4 tbsp natural peanut butter
2 tbsp honey

1 tsp coconut oil
60g dark chocolate (I used 70% Lindt Chocolate)
1/4 cup finely chopped peanuts

1. Mix yogurt with peanut butter and honey til smooth. If your peanut butter is pretty solid, warm it up in the microwave a bit first.
2. Melt coconut oil and dark chocolate together.
3. Chop peanuts and mix in with the chocolate.
4. Layer yogurt mixture with chocolate mixture in dixie cups. End with yogurt and stick a plastic fork through the center. This recipe makes 4.
5. Freeze til done! About 2 hours if you're desperate for them!

**I am particular about my yogurt, I eat this kind every day and I don't think this recipe would turn out the same with just regular plain yogurt, it would be too runny. So please try to find this brand, it's worth it! (No seriously, trust me, I've tried the no-name brand...shudder!)

**I'm also particular about my chocolate, it might be more expensive but it's worth it! It is very dark, and I'm used to the slightly bitter taste but I think in this combination you shouldn't find it too dark even if you aren't used to it!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Peanut Butter Gingersnaps

I think there needs to be at least one recipe on here! This was the first cookie recipe I experimented with and I was happy with how it turned out. Later I will post about how to make it more of a crunchy, snap kind of cookie, but these are more like gingerbread. (which I prefer!) In fact I think I'm going to go make another batch right now!

Peanut Butter Gingersnaps

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp allspice
1/2  cup honey
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 egg
1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Beat peanut butter and honey together til smooth.
2. Add in egg, molasses and vanilla til combined.
3. Add all dry ingredients. Mix until well combined. It will be sticky!
4. Use a mini scoop to drop onto a lined cookie sheet.
5. Convection bake at 325 for 6-8 minutes.

This recipe makes 21 mini cookies. Store in a container. Overnight they get really dense and soft!