On A Spoon

The family I work with belongs to a local co-op, but with everything going on in life, they were not able to use all the apples. They generously offered them to me, and I a gratefully replied, “Thank you. Sure, I’ll take a few.” The mother then handed me a huge bag of assorted apples and Asian pears.

So what to do with all these apples? Apple chips? Apple pie? Apple dumpling? Apple jam?

Apple Pie JamWP_008125

makes 16 oz (approx 32 Tbsp)

  • 2 cups apples, finely chopped (almost minced), skin on or off
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup granulated Splenda
  • 1 tsp Splenda brown sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp no sugar needed pectin
  • 2/3 cup water

Place the minced apples and 2 Tbsp water in a microwave-safe container, cover with plastic/saran wrap, and microwave for 2 minutes. Transfer contents of bowl to food processor, and process apples as much as possible before you create applesauce. This will require scraping down the sides and then processing. Combine the processed apples and remaining ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to boil, stirring continuously for 1-2 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat, transfer mixture to clean jar(s). To seal jar(s), tighten the lids to a finger-tightness. If you have a canner, now is the time to use it… If not? Follow along:

In a large pot, place the sealed jars, and fill the pot with enough water to cover the top(s) of the jar(s). Bring to a boil. Check on the jar(s) every few minutes. Use a utensil to poke the center of the lid(s). If the lid dips when pressure is applied, continue to boil, rechecking the lid(s) every few minutes. Once the lid(s) are solid and no longer “pop,” turn off the heat, and carefully remove the jar(s), using tongs, and allow the jar(s) to cool at room temp. Then you can refrigerate.

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Nutrition (per tablespoon):

Calories:6, Fat: 0g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 0mg, Carbs: 2g, Fiber: 0g, Sugars: 1g, Protein: 0g

This stuff tastes amazing on anything! Toast, graham crackers, with nut butters…

** I made another batch, tweaking it a bit: substitute 2/3c water for 2/3c diet cranberry juice, 2Tbsp pectin, 1/2 tsp Splenda brown sugar, and sub lime juice for lemon juice.**

Heck, even just on a spoon!

Two In One

I really could go on and on about my love of different fruits. Today is National Blueberry Pie Day so I wanted to do something with blueberries to celebrate. Ever since Barry and I started dating, my love of all things blueberries keeps growing. One thing that hasn’t changed is my love of bananas, as you well remember Walnana!

You know when you but fruit, thinking it will be gone in no time, and suddenly realize “Oh darn! Its mushy”? Well, thats what was happening with the bowl of bananas on the counter. Almost completely black! Which, of course is perfect for baking!

Blueberry Banana Muffins!

make 16 cupcakes (12 muffins)

  • 1 cup mashed bananaWP_005748
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp sugar free syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup flax milk
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup granulated Splenda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 to 2 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine the bananas through Splenda. In a separate bowl, combine cinnamon through oats. Fold in the blueberries and optional chia seeds. Divide amongst lined cupcake or muffin tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the centers come out clean.

Allow the muffins to cool for at least 10 minutes and dig in.

Nutrition (1/16 with 1/2Tbsp chia):

Calories: 74, Fat: 0.5g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 162mg, Carbs: 15.7g, Fiber: 1.7g, Sugar: 2.5g, Protein: 1.9g

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You will not regret the aromas that travel throughout your home! Heavenly!

For the sake of the blog, I cut each muffin in half, and experimented with toppings. So far, I can vouch for plain muffin, sweetened cream cheese (fat free cream cheese with a sprinkle of Splenda, smashed banana, and, of course, nut butter!

Bursting Berries

Probably one of my things about cooking with fresh berries is when they are heated. They BURST! Today is National Blueberry Pancake Day! Rather than sharing another pancake recipe, I wanted to share a recipes bursting with the blue stuff!

I found a huge tray of blueberries on the discount produce rack and snatched them up! At first, I made Hungry-girl’s Blueberry scones, but the end result reminded me of baked blueberry oatmeal fritters… Nothing wrong with that…

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Well I couldn’t sleep that night, and decided to utilize the remaining berries to play around with scones. My brain wouldn’t stop coming up with proportions for ingredients until I got up to bake! The end result was beautiful and tempting! After two attempts, and the improving results, I gave it the “third times the charm.” Yum! But, nonetheless, there was still improvements to be made and on the four shot, I fell in love!

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Bursting Blueberry Scones

makes 6 scones

  • 2 1/2 Tbsp light buttery spread, like Blue Bonnet light
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup Heart Smart BisquickWP_005233
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp Splenda Brown Sugar, divided
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 packet Splenda
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free French Vanilla powdered coffee creamer, more if desired
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 2 Tbsp flax milk
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

Spread the buttery spread on a piece of wax or parchment paper to a 1/4 in thickness and freeze for 2 hours, at minimum.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a bowl, combine the oats, pastry flour, Bisquick, 1 Tbsp Splenda brown sugar, cinnamon, Splenda packet, baking powder, and salt. In a separate, small bowl or cup, whisk the vanilla, powdered creamer, milk, and egg substitute until powdered creamer has completely dissolved.

Using a fork, break up the frozen butter into smaller pieces and quickly and thoroughly mash butter into the flour mix, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the applesauce, and whisked milk mix. Fold in the blueberries.

Transfer the dough to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Form into a circle, about 7 inches in diameter and flatten the top. Bake for 5 minutes and remove from the oven. Using a large, sharp knife, slice the pastry into 6 sections. Sprinkle the last 1 tsp of Splenda brown sugar over the top of the crusty dough. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, slice along the previous cuts, and let cool.

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Nutrition: 1 scone (1/6 recipe)

Calories: 135, Fat: 3.5g, sat. Fat: 0.8g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 202mg, Carbs: 23.6g, Fiber: 2.1g, Sugar: 4.6g, Protein: 2.4g

Enjoy! If your feeling adventurous, top it with a glaze!

I loved pulling the scones out of the oven and seeing the skin of the blueberries thinning, fighting back, not to explode the berry goodness everywhere. I found myself sneaking warm blueberries off the scones! No, Sammy, if you eat out all the blueberries, they would be blueberry scones, anymore! They were packed solid with blueberries! Plus, the little sweetness from the brown sugar crust just accentuated the berries!

Benefits of Blueberries:

  • They contain more antioxidants than any other fruit, and are also good sources of vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium.
  • 1 cup of blueberries contains 5g Fiber.
  • The pterostilbene in blueberries enhance immune function when combined with vitamin D, according to a study by Oregon State University.
  • “Blueberries contain plant pigments called anthocyanins, and these compounds have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, according to a study published in the April 14, 2010, “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.” These anthocyanins also help increase brain signals and memory function.” ~Livestrong.com
  • Also helps fight depression!

Cheater Cheater, Pumpkin Eater

After trying Hungry Girls recipe for Gingerbread cookies, and utilizing prepared cookie mix another recipe last week, I am really digging, what I affectionately call, “Cheater Cookies.”

With today being National Bake Cookies Day, have at it!

WP_004945Cheater Chip Cookies

makes 28 cookies

  • 1 snack size (7.5 oz) package Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie mix
  • 2 Tbsp rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp  cup pure pumpkin
  •  2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Splenda Brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 to 375 F.  Place the rolled oats in a food processor and allow the oats to be finely shredded, about 2 1/2 minutes in the processor. Meanwhile, sift the prepared cookie mix into a large bowl, reserving the chocolate chips. Add all the remaining ingredients, including oats, excluding reserved chips.

Place the chocolate chips in the processor and briefly chop the chips, about 10 to 15 seconds in the processor. Add the chocolate shreds to the batter and fold in.

Using a 1/2 Tbsp measuring spoon, spoon the dough onto parchment paper- lined baking pans and bake about 9 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and just try to resist.

These were delicious!!! I’m warning you, though, its hard to stop eating them. The day I baked them, I ate like 6! These are probably in my top 3 faves from this year’s baking!

While baking, Frank said, “I want sugar cookies.” He had the pouty lip and everything!

I cheated, again, with Betty Crocker’s Sugar Cookie mix…

Sugar CheatersWP_004943

  • 1  (17.5 oz) bag Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix
  • 1/4 cup, plus 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp light buttery spread, like Blue Bonnet Light
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • jimmies or sprinkles, if desired

Preheat oven t0 375 F. Thoroughly combine all ingredients and divided among parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. If desired, top with jimmies/sprinkles. Bake for 9 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and dig in! 

For other Cheater Cookies, check out December 17th’s Maple specials