Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Saturday Market Muffins

I'm so excited about this new muffin! I have been really looking forward to making them.  I call them Saturday Market Muffins, because they are full of a variety of healthy ingredients.

Cut these muffins open and you can see all the yummy carrots, apples, nuts and raisins. But what you can't see is the oat bran and flaxseed they are full of as well.

No added fat in this recipe. Your teeth will sink into a tender muffin just bursting with flavor.
Weight watcher points are 4 for each muffin.

Saturday Market Muffins
Prepare muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.
Preheat your oven to 350.          Recipe will make about 20 muffins.
1 1/2 cups flour (gluten free if needed) I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Flour
3/4 cup flaxseed meal
3/4 cup oat bran
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
*1 tsp xanthan gum if gluten free flour was used
1 1/2 cups peeled and grated carrots
1 medium peeled and grated apple
1 medium peeled and chopped apple
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts
3/4 cup milk (or milk substitute)
2 eggs (or egg substitutes)
1 tsp vanilla

In a large mixing bowl add flour, flaxseed meal, oat bran, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and xanthan gum (if needed).  Mix well.
In a small bowl add milk, (or milk substitute) eggs, (or egg substitute) and vanilla. Mix well.
Add grated and chopped carrots and apples, raisins, and nuts to dry ingredients. Stir together. This will  be very thick.
Add liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and stir. Be careful not to over mix.
Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes.
Cool on wire racks.  Enjoy.  They get better as the day goes on, so save some for later!


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Fat Free Hummus

I'm never buying hummus again! And I'm eating it without any added fat.
I would much rather save my fat for dessert anyway!

This took just a few minutes to make. It's great with crackers, veggies, and on sandwiches.

My favorite type of cracker to dip into hummus is a baked salt and pepper flavor.  I also use these crackers crunched up on my salad instead of high fat croutons.

For those counting weight watcher points you might like to know these tasty baked crackers only have 3 points for 22 crackers. 

This awesome recipe is from the book, The Engine 2 Diet, written by Rip Esselstyn. Love it! I actually have all his books, every recipe I have tried is yummy.

Fat Free Hummus
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tsp minced garlic
2-3 Tbsp fresh or bottled lemon juice
1 tsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos or Soy Sauce (I used gluten free San-J Organic Tamari)
3 Tbsp water or vegetable broth (I use water)

Place all ingredients in a food processor. I just used my small one. Whip it all up and grab something to dip!   Store this hummus in the refrigerator for up to a week.
I make a batch every week so I have a good quality snack all ready.

You can see here all ingredients are added at once in a food processor.

Whip it all up, maybe scrape the edges once or twice.

And it's ready for veggies, crackers, chips or to go on a sandwich.

For weight watcher points, this entire recipe has 11 points. Divide as you like to figure out the points for your serving. I would probably have about 1/4 cup for a serving.

Here are some other variations:
2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 jalapeƱo, seeded and chopped
1 roasted, seeded, and chopped red bell pepper
1 cup dark or Kalamata olives
1 bunch fresh mint
1 cup fresh spinach
1 cup cooked eggplant

I love the original recipe so well, I haven't tried any other flavors.....maybe you will!


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

GF Date N' Honey Muffins

Inside these golden, honey muffins are dates, carrots, and pecans.

GF Date N' Honey Muffins                  Makes 24 muffins
2 3/4 cups Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix - gluten free (or another favorite GF blend) or try my GF Self Rising Flour Blend on this previous post.
2 Tbsp Chia seeds
2 eggs, or Ener-G Egg Replacer
1/2 cup milk, or non dairy milk substitute
2/3 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup grated carrots
2/3 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Spray muffin tin with a non stick cooking spray.
Mix eggs or replacer, milk or substitute, honey, and  vanilla together.  Stir in carrots. Add flour and chia seeds, mix with a spoon. Fold in Pecans and dates. Spoon into muffin tin.
Bake for  20-22 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
Store a couple days in an air tight container or freeze.

These are sweet & delicious.


Monday, January 9, 2017

The Best Navy Bean Soup

This is hands down one of the best soups I have ever made.  It is so simple and any left over ham will work, spiral, honey, or smoked...it makes no difference.

There are two ways to prepare the beans before cooking. Quick Soak Method or Overnight Soak Method.

Quick Soak Method:
Rinse beans and place in a large pot.  For every 1 pound of beans (or two cups) add 6-8 cups hot water to the pot. Bring the water to a boil and continue to boil for 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat and cover. Let sit for 1 hour. Drain water from the beans and they are ready to cook.

Overnight Soak Method:
Rinse beans and place in a large pot. For every 1 pound of beans (or two cups) add 6-8 cups cold water. Let sit overnight or 6-8 hours. Drain water from the beans and they are ready to cook.

The Best Navy Bean Soup
2 cups or 2 lb pkg navy beans
any  form of ham cut in cubes (amount depends on preference, my husband likes a lot)
7-8 cups chicken broth (bouillon)
1 cup onion chopped
1/2 cup carrots chopped
1/2 cup celery diced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 bay leaf
black pepper and salt to taste

The night before you plan on making soup, place beans in a saucepan and cover beans with water. Soak overnight. (or use the quick soak method) The next morning drain the water and place the beans in a large soup pot or large slow cooker.
In a medium frying pan saute vegetables in a little broth for about 5 minutes. Add to beans. Add all other ingredients and mix well. Cover and bring to a boil, then let simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally. Remove bay leaf and serve.

If using a slow cooker set to low and let cook all day 9-10 hours, or on high 5-6 hours.


Friday, December 23, 2016

GF Sun Butter & Chocolate Chip Snack Bars

I love simple recipes for weekdays and this one is just that!  I actually think these taste better several hours after making them and even better the next day.   I used sunflower seed butter, but peanut butter or any other nut butter is optional as well. 

GF Sun Butter & Chocolate Chip Snack Bars                                       Makes about 10 bars
1/2 ripe medium or large banana, mashed
1/4 cup agave syrup (honey is optional)
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sun-butter (sunflower seed butter)
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups gluten free old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, I used an allergy friendly brand.

Line a 8" x 8" square baking pan with foil. Preheat oven to 350.
In a large mixing bowl add mashed banana, agave syrup, sun butter, and vanilla. Mix well.
Stir in all remaining ingredients. 
When mixture is thoroughly mixed,  press into prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
Cool to room temperature. Cut into preferred sized bars.
Store in an airtight container or freeze.

Weight watcher followers might want to cut these in half. Total points for each full size bar is 9.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Deluxe Sandwich Sugar Cookies

This is the most tender and delicious sugar cookie recipe I have ever made. They stay fresh in a tightly sealed container for days and they freeze well too (even frosted).  We have also shipped them easily.  See note at bottom of page for gluten free ideas.

Of course they don't have to be made as a sandwich cookie. We make them every year as both single and sandwich cookies!

Deluxe Sandwich Sugar Cookies  
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
Chocolate chips for melting

In a large mixing bowl cream butter, egg, vanilla and almond extract.
In a small mixing bowl stir together flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
Add flour mixture to creamed mixture. Don't over mix, as this will cause tough cookies.
Refrigerate about 2-3 hours.
Heat oven to 375. Roll out some dough on a floured pastry cloth and cut out shapes.
Bake for 7-8 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet. Cool completely on wire racks.
Make sandwiches with any flavor of frosting you like. Frost tops to decorate or dip one half in melted chocolate and top with colorful sprinkles. Let cool before storing.

To melt the chocolate for dipping we just melt a cup or two of chocolate chips in the microwave on low. Be careful because chocolate scorches easily.

Cookies ready to dip in chocolate or frost on top.
Note: For gluten free individuals I would not hesitate making these gluten free by substituting Pamela's Gluten Free Baking & Pancake Mix. I always have great success with this product. I myself have not tried this recipe gluten free, but I feel like it would be delicious as well.  There are always my yummy gluten free sugar cookies I have posted previously that make great holiday cutouts.

Enjoy and have fun!!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

"Mrs. Rogers" Famous Popcorn Cake

Here is a sweet & salty treat that is festive and fun to eat!

This is kind of crazy...but you slice it up just like a cake. 

If you were one of my mom's students in the 25 years she taught elementary school, you have probably had a slice of this famous cake. In fact, some of her past students who are now parents, have contacted me for this recipe.

This cake is loads of fun, and will make you smile because it is just so silly. Well, okay....it's really good too, and kids love it. No forks or spoons needed, just hands.

Chewy gumdrops, salty peanuts, and melted marshmallows all mixed up with popcorn.

Then pressed into a cake pan.

This is a fun treat for kids or adults when you are in the mood for something a little different.

My mom always sliced her popcorn cake after molding it in an angel food cake pan, but there are lots of things you could use this recipe for. Of course you could make balls and wrap them in plastic wrap with a colorful ribbon.

You could press some in muffin tins....
Then set on them on a plate for people to grab and snack on.  Great finger food for parties.

You could also press some in mini loaf pans for holiday gifts.

Today I am going to share with you the way my mom liked to serve it, pressed into an angel food pan and sliced.

"Mrs. Rogers" Famous Popcorn Cake       
1 pkg gumdrops (not spice flavor) I had trouble finding these so I bought large ones and cut them.
57 large marshmallows
1 can of salted peanuts
1 cube butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
24 cups popped popcorn (about 1 1/2 cups kernels)

Grease angel food cake pan.
Pop kernels, making sure to take out ones that did not pop.
I use a large kettle to mix the cake. Put gumdrops, peanuts and popcorn in a huge mixing bowl or large kettle.
Melt butter and marshmallows with oil in a saucepan on medium to low heat.  Stir often and be careful not to burn mixture.
Pour over popcorn mixture and mix well, making sure to get all the goodies on the bottom.
Press firmly in prepared cake pan.
Let sit for an hour or so. You want to make sure it takes the form. I let mine sit for at least 2 hours.
Go around edge of cake with a knife to free up edges. Turn over onto a large plate and slice.
Cut into slices with a bread knife or a type of serrated knife. You may need to clean knife a couple times during slicing, as it can get sticky.

As you can see it's a nice tall cake.

Every slice is full of fun treats and color.

Have fun making and eating this bright and cheery cake!