Browsing Tag

healthy dessert

Food & Recipes

Chocolate Chia Mousse

June 22, 2015

Chocolate Chia Mousse (2)When Ainsley was first born I realized very quickly that if I was going to be sleep-deprived, overwhelmed with new experiences and exhausted, then I better focus on eating well. I mean food is, at its core, all about fuel, so what better way to care for my body than to be mindful about what I was eating. A lot of people talk about the 80/20 rule when it comes to eating healthfully; I strive for that, too, but I’m working on getting back in the game after a season where I gave myself a little more permission to indulge than when I wasn’t pregnant.

Sweets have always, always been my nemesis. Sugar doesn’t make me feel good. In fact sugar makes me feel really crummy and sluggish most every time I eat it. So to satisfy my craving for a little something sweet at the end of the day without the crash, I’ve been trying to get a little more creative.  Continue Reading…

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Bran Snack Cake

April 3, 2014

Bran Snack Cake 1 | Espresso and Cream
I know, I know. The whole “bran cake” probably doesn’t have you dashing to the kitchen to make this recipe, does it? Hang with me for a moment and let me explain. I’ve undoubtedly mentioned before how much I love hearty, healthier, one-bowl cake that doesn’t require a lot of fuss. This cake is all that and more.

Growing up I remember buying the most amazing bran muffins at the local grocery store. They were made by the local Dutch bakery (we grew up in a very Dutch town) and were pretty much the best things on the planet. They were huge muffins, not in paper liners, and the bottoms of the muffins were gooey and covered in some sort of caramel glaze that soaked into the muffins and kept them moist. At the time, I thought I was eating something healthy. I mean, they’re bran muffins for crying out loud. Now I realize they were more than likely loaded with sugar and butter and calories only being disguised by the bran as a better-for-you treat.

Bran Snack Cake 2 | Espresso and Cream
So last week when the urge to bake hit me hard I decided to try and recreate those muffins with a healthier twist. This bran cake is made in an 8- or 9-inch square cake pan, though you could certainly use a round cake pan if that’s what you happen to own. Instead of being loaded with sugar and butter and all those bad-for-you ingredients, I made a light glaze to go on the cake and drizzled the cake with a couple tablespoons of honey right after it came out of the oven.

Joe, who is not one for healthy desserts and cakes, was a huge fan of this cake! Although I had to warn him about portion control. One slice of cake a day is really all you should think about eating, if you know what I mean. We’re talking about bran, after all.

Bran Snack Cake 3 | Espresso and Cream

Bran Snack Cake
Recipe type: Breakfast, Brunch, Snack
Serves: 9 to 12
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups 100% bran cereal (such as All Bran)
  • 1¼ cups milk (I used 2% but you can use whatever you prefer)
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 8-inch square (or 8-inch round) cake pan with cooking spray. In small bowl, melt butter. Add brown sugar to butter and stir until well combined. Pour mixture into bottom of pan.
  2. In large bowl, combine all-purpose and whole wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt until well combined. In second bowl, combine bran cereal, milk, egg, oil and sugar until well combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour mixture into prepared baking pan.
  3. Bake 22 to 26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Run a knife around the edge of the cake. Invert cake immediately onto serving platter. Drizzle with the honey. Cut into squares to serve. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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Healthier Peanut Butter & Banana Cookies

May 8, 2013

PB_Banana_Cookies_1

Once upon a time I used to be someone who said that they only wanted to enjoy baked goods in their real, sugary, buttery form. If I was going to have a piece of cake, then gosh darn make it a real decadent piece. Just not too often and only as a special treat. However, Joe and I have found our taste buds changing lately. Joe has never been the one with a sweet tooth (that would be me) but lately I’ve found my sweet tooth fading and my ability to enjoy a super sugary dessert is long gone.

I didn’t talk all that favorably about our cleanse, and I’m afraid that I only highlighted the things that I didn’t enjoy about the experience. However, one of the best things about the cleanse was the removal of all sugar (other that natural sources) from our daily routine. At first I really missed my nightly dark chocolate, but after a couple weeks, I found that healthier treats, like tofu pudding or a little whipped coconut milk with fresh berries was more than enough to satisfy my craving. In fact, after the cleanse ended I went out to buy dark chocolate. But the dark chocolate has sat unopened since I bought it. I just don’t crave it like I once did.

These cookies fall squarely into the “less sweet” dessert classification. I’m not sure they can relaly be called healthy since they do contain their fair share of butter and some regular old sugar, too. But they are not nearly as sweet as a traditional cookie and contain a whole host of good-for-you ingredients like banana, almond meal, oat bran and whole wheat flour. They have a soft, cake-like texture that Joe and I loved and they stay soft and moist for days after baking, similar to banana bread.

I’ve been putting one of these cookies in Joe’s lunch as a treat each day this week and enjoying one after dinner now and again. They also taste great crumbled atop yogurt if you’re looking for a little something special at breakast.

PB_Banana_Cookies_2

Healthier Peanut Butter & Banana Cookies
Makes 18 cookies

Ingredients
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter (I used creamy natural from Trader Joe’s)
1 egg
1 medium ripe banana, mashed
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon banking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup oat bran
1 cup whole wheat flour

Directions
Heat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, peanut butter, egg, banana, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and vanilla. Stir until well combined and smooth. Stir in the almond meal, oat bran and whole wheat flour until well combined.

Spoon dough by heaping tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheet. Press down in a criss-cross pattern with a fork. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and puffed up. Cool 10 minutes on baking sheet. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Happy Baking!
Madison

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Healthy Chocolate-Tofu Pudding (gluten-free and vegan)

May 2, 2013

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Friends, I have great news for you. You can enjoy a huge chocolate pudding parfait for a little more than 100 calories per serving. Sound like a dream? I had to do a double take myself when I finally discovered a dessert that was vegan, gluten-free and had no added sugar.

For those of you who don’t like tofu, or hate the idea of eating tofu in sweet form, I can promise you that you won’t know the tofu is in this dish. The key to getting creamy pudding-like texture without the tofu taste is to find silken firm tofu, which is different than regular firm tofu. The silken variety has a milder taste and blends more seamlessly into this dish. I made the mistake of using regular firm tofu the first time around and just barely managed to swallow each bite.

I have found silken firm tofu in the non refrigerated section of my local Trader Joe’s, but have seen it in other stores as well.

So, while this might not take the place of a cookie when you are truly craving something decadent, it will totally hit the spot on a regular weeknight when you are looking for a dessert that is tasty but totally healthy. And packed with protein, too!

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Chocolate-Tofu Pudding Parfaits with Raspberries
Makes 2 servings
1 block silken firm tofu
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 to 3 tablespoons non-dairy milk (can use cow’s milk if desired)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 packets stevia (can use sugar if desired)
Frozen thawed raspberries or fresh raspberries

Directions
Combine all the ingredients except the raspberries in a food processor. Process until completely smooth, scraping down the edges as necessary. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to eat. To serve, layer the pudding with the raspberries.

Happy cooking!
Madison

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