Behold! Banana Bread

For as much as I love to bake, there has been one item that never seems to turn out the way I want, and it’s name…. Banana Bread.

I’ve tried tons of recipes, with minor tweaks to fit my lifestyle, and they have all been less than par.

Can’t a girl just get herself some banana bread where she tastes more banana than refined sugar?!

I took a leap and tried a recipe a bit outside of my comfort zone, making my adjustments, and I’m never going back.

Banana Love Boat

Adapted from FatGirlTrappedInASkinnyBody
Serves 16
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2/3 cup granulated Splenda
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar or white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Splenda brown sugar (or ¼ light brown sugar)
  • 4 egg whites16522258_10158176838340228_2136179329_o
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed banana (about 3 medium bananas)
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (unless using another flavor profile)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease, or non-stick cooking spray (I love Baker’s Joy), a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan* and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the applesauce, Splenda and sugar. Add the egg whites, one at a time, beating after each addition, and then the vanilla and almond extract.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture, alternating with mashed banana and coconut milk.

Mix until just combined. Stir in the flaked coconut. Pour the batter to the prepared baking pan.

Bake for 45min to 1 hour and 15 minutes, when a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, depending on your oven, elevation, and type of pans used.

Let completely cool before slicing.

*OR 4 mini loaf pans (45min) OR bundt pan (45min) OR muffins (45min)

Nutrition (1/16): (does not include add-ins)

Calories: 129, Fat: 2.6g, Sat. Fat: 2.3g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 138.3mg, Carbs: 23.6g, Fiber: 1.5g, Sugars: 7.1g, Protein: 3g

The shredded coconut added this extra texture not typically found in banana bread (and I’m a texture girl). But I think its the coconut milk that really adds that extra umph of richness and flavor.

Since the first batch six months or so ago, I have continued to utilize this recipe to make tons of flavor profiles: peanut butter chocolate cinnamon chip, pumpkin spice butterscotch, Chinese 5 Spice, and even lavender. Yes, lavender! (You all know I need as much help in the “chill” department as I can get).

The photo above is a 50/50 bread of peanut butter chocolate cinnamon chip and pumpkin spice butterscotch, I omitted the original cinnamon in the recipe, above, and divided the batter in two.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cinnamon Chip20170205_152113

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp peanut butter baking chips
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon baking chips
  • 1 Tbsp mini semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Add the following to the above nutritional facts: Calories: 47, Fat: 2.1g, Sat. Fat: 1.5g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 14.1mg, Carbs: 6g, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugars: 5.3g, Protein: 0.8g

Pumpkin Spice Butterscotch20170205_151222

  • 1 1/5 Tbsp pumpkin spice baking morsels
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butterscotch baking morsels
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp toffee bits (also in the baking section)
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice

Add the following to the above nutritional facts: Calories: 51, Fat: 2.5g, Sat. Fat: 1.7g, Cholesterol: 0.9mg, Sodium: 12.3mg, Carbs: 6.9g, Fiber: 0g, Sugars: 4.9g, Protein: 0g

Using a chopping knife, chop through the baking chips/morsels (they start to look more like shavings).* Add them, along with the spice, to their appropriate bowls. Fold them into the batter, pour it into the prepared pan and bake.

*I like this method because I get flavor in every bite rather than just those with a whole morsel in it.

**Keep in mind these measurements are for half of the batter. If you choose to make the entire banana bread one flavor profile, please double the measurements.**

More recently, I made Strawberry Banana Muffins, and, yes, they taste as good as they sound.

I am ahead of my assignments at the moment, so I want to take what time I can to check in with everyone. This blog has been such a staple in my recovery process. There is no way I am forgetting about it or you.

Look for follow-up posts with the recipes to make more of those flavor combos I mentioned above.

God Bless and thank you for always welcoming me back!

 

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Newsfeed Gold

Most of the time, you’re scrolling down your facebook feed, repost animal videos or ‘liking’ a status, or bitching about that damn snow plow creating a 5 foot wall so you can’t get to you car…

(yeah, we got our first big snow storm)

Sometimes, you stumble upon an excellent Buzzfeed vid… But I owe this one to TipHero…

Turkey & Swiss Pinwheels with Dijon Poppy Glaze

serves 820160123_170734

Inspired By TipHero

The Base:

  • 1 can refrigerated Pizza Dough
  • 1/2 lb deli smokeed turkey, thinly sliced
  • 10 slices fat free Swiss cheese

The Glaze:20160123_165258.jpg

  • 3 Tbsp light buttery spread
  • 1/2 Tbsp Splenda brown sugar blend
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 TBSP Dijonaisse
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp chia seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. On a silicone mat or lightly floured cutting board, roll out your pizza dough until it’s about 12 x 18 inches.

Break your slices of cheese into quarters and evenly distribute on the dough. Then distribute the turkey.

Gently, but some-what tightly, roll up the dough. Cut the roll into eight equal slices and lay them in a baking dish.

In a bowl, combine the buttery spread, Splenda, worcestershire sauce, dijonaisse and poppy and chia seeds. Microwave 2- to 25 seconds. Stir until butter and sugar are completely melted. Spoon the glaze over the tops of the pinwheels. Bake for 25 minutes.

Bam, Baby!

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You’re Welcome.

Let’s make it a bit more lean by substituting turkey for ham, and add a bit of fiber but maintain the nuttiness but tossing some chia seeds in with the poppy seeds. We also were able to seriously cut back on the butter by using dijionaise.

The best part?

Of course the bubbly melted cheese! But, no! That;s just a bonus! The real shining star is this glaze! Oh my goodness! I want it on everything!!! Just sweet enough, just tangy enough!

Mom has a mild obsession with Pillsbury Buttery biscuits and she had two dough patties left that didn’t fit on her baking sheet. I wound up making her mini versions using her black forest ham. “I want your cheese,” she says. Usually when she refers to MY food, shes being sarcastic, but this time she wasn’t. “It’s fat free Swiss,” I replied. “What? Really! I don’t even like Swiss.” So there ya go, folks, trick your parents to better their health and expand their palate…

Lady Orange Marmalade

Come on… I can not be the only one who thinks of “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi” whenever I read the word marmalade.

Oh well… its a great song, and this recipe makes do a happy dance just as much as my girl Patti LaBelle does!

The other morning, I saw a lonesome orange in the fridge and, running late for work, grabbed that to go. As I sat at the table, devouring this sweet and juicy navel orange, I began to think about the remaining orange rind. If I were home, the rind would go into a compost pile, but at work… Well, I just feel sort of guilty throwing it away… I put it in a baggy, and then it hit me… marmalade!!

Orange marmalade, when I was a young kid, sort of put me off since, up to that point, I was always taught not to eat my orange peels, and now, your spreading it on my toast! Does anyone remember being a little kid out to breakfast playing with the little Smuckers jams and jellies in the brown holder next to the salt, pepper, and sugar?

Anyway, with the last of my oranges now in my stomach, I quickly devised a plan. Its easier than an marmalade recipe yo’ll find out there!

(Lady) Orange Marmalade

makes a 16oz jarWP_008639

  • 1 navel orange peel
  • 1 can Libby’s (skinny fruits) mandarin orange slices
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup granulated Splenda
  • 2 Tbsp no sugar needed pectin

Drain the can of mandarin oranges, reserving the juice (approximately 2 cups of juice or so). Transfer the drained oranges to a food processor and puree. Pour the juice into a small saucepan.

Using a pearing knife, or another fine knife, cut the pith from the orange rind, as best as possible. Once only the orange rind remains, finely slice the peel into strips. Then mince these strips. Transfer chopped peel to the pot with the juice, and bring to a boil. (I suppose you could simply zest an orange, bu that sounds like a hand cramp to me… plus, I really like the authenticity of the peel in the jelly).

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While awaiting a boil, add the cinnamon and vanilla to the pureed oranges and briefly pulse until incorporated. Once the juice has come to a boil, add the pureed spiced oranges and stir. Keep pot at a boil, and quickly whisk in the pectin and Splenda. Turn off heat, continuing to whisk, to blend as  well as release some heat.

Pour the mixture into you prepared mason jar. 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 jar, and fill the pot with enough water to cover the top of the jar. Bring the water to a boil. Check on the jar every few minutes. Use a utensil to poke the center of the lid. If the lid dips when pressure is applied, continue to boil, rechecking the lid every few minutes. Once the lid are solid and no longer “pops,” turn off the heat, and carefully remove the jar, using tongs, and allow the jar to cool at room temp. Then you can refrigerate.

Nutrition (per tablespoon):

Calories:10, Fat: 0g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 0mg, Carbs: 3g, Fiber: 0g, Sugars: 2g, Protein: 0g

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The right amount of citrus blended with the right amount of sweetness, paired with that refreshing bite and texture of the orange zest! I won’t lie… I have eaten this off the spoon.

Pin-tresting

Apples and cheese are a classic fondue pairing. So on Pintrest, it really doesn’t surprise me that there are so many apple-cheddar pies. Some put the cheese in the crust, others in the pie, and others on top. And it didn’t just stop at cheddar and pie. There was Brie, and gallettes, and hand pies, soups, and dips.

You all know my experimentality and how much I adore playing in the kitchen. Needless to say, Pintrest got my gears turning… Some food combos just taste odd together, like this grapefruit protein shake I made one time (not a good post, Pintrest)… But lets face it… bacon goes with EVERYTHING!

Apple-Cheddar-Bacon Pie

serves 8

  • 11 slices thin slice turkey bacon (2 slice for 35 calories)
  • 3 apples (enough to yield 4 cups)
  • 1 medium onion (about 2 1/2 in diameter), finely diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely choppedWP_008337
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 tsp ground sage
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp thyme, to taste
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Splenda Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp granulated Splenda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, apple pie spice, or pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cup fat free shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup Fiber One bran cereal
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • salt and pepper, to top

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-in pie pan with nonstick cooking spray and weave 8 slices of turkey bacon. Line the last three slices of bacon around the walls of the pie pan to create the crust. I found that making a little tear in the middle of those three slices helps keep the bacon from rolling down the sides of the pan. Bake for 20 min.

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In the meantime, core and thinly slice the apples. Then, cut your slices in half and measure 4 cups. Combine the apples, celery, and onion in a large skillet on medium heat with 1/2 cup of water. Cover with a lid for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and sprinkle with thyme, sage, garlic, Splendas, cinnamon, salt, pepper, vanilla, and lemon juice. Toss the mixture. Whisk the cornstarch with cold water until dissolved and pour over apple mix. Recover with the lid until bacon crust finishes baking.

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Meanwhile, in a food processor, chop 3/4 cup shredded cheddar. Set aside. Next, process the cereal until extremely fine. Add the remaining 3/4 cup cheddar to the processor, and blend until evenly distributed.

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Stir just the processed cheese into the apple mix, and transfer mix to the baked bacon, spreading the cheesy blend evenly over crust. Return to the 350 F oven for 15 minutes.

Lastly, add the unsweetened applesauce to the processor of cheese and Fiber One crumbs and blend until a crumble is created. Get messy, and use your hands to crumble on top of the warm pie. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and return to the oven for a final 25 minutes. Let it cool for about 10 minutes, while you make the optional sauce.

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What really is the icing on the pie is this sweetened thyme yogurt sauce!

Thyme Yogurt Sauce

  • 1/4 cup plain non fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free syrup
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme

Blend and dollop!

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Rather than sticking with the sweet/tart, salty feel, I wanted something a little more savory. I was really impressed that the bacon crust stayed perfectly together when the pie was sliced. I was  even more impressed by the the afterthought of dressing up some yogurt. Thank goodness for that afterthought, too, because it tied all the sweet and savory flavors if the pie together.

Nutrition: (1/8 of pie and 1/2 Tbsp sauce)

Calories:119, Fat: 2g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 14mg, Sodium: 391mg, Carbs: 17g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 9g, Protein: 10g

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I would imagine that this could also be served with an over-easy egg, where the yolk would act as the yogurt sauce.

I’ve sort of rediscovered my love for apples recently so you may see another apple pie riff sooner that you think.

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!

Chocolate Angel

mass prodYes. I’ll admit it. I’m most definitely one of those Valentine’s Day cynics that think it was solely invented for the chocolate and greeting card companies. Actually, I feel about Valentine’s Day the way I feel about Christmas: once a day to be remembered, now corrupted and scewed by humans and selfishness. It’s technically the Feast Day of St. Valentine. Today, its a day that we tell everyone we love them, give candy, flowers, and cards, and overexert ourselves to impress someone else. Today is the day we persecute ourselves if we don’t have a date. But why just today? Shouldn’t we be telling those dear to us how much we love them everyday? Are we really any better or worse, with or without a date? Why just today? Shouldn’t we be performing random acts a kindness everyday, rather than picking one day a year to blow too much money on a dozen roses and a box of gourmet chocolates, that will die in a week and we know we will regret eating, anyway?

choc penis

With this lovey-dovey, Hallmark/Russel Stovers-centered week, coming to a close, I did begin to think about what I’d like to find in a partner. I guess you could call it my Match.com ideas:

I think a lot about the future. I know I’m 23. I’m young. I’m still a baby in this world, but my hopes and dreams are that far beyond my age. I want something real. A family man. An honest, hard worker. An animal and music lover, who appreciates black and white pictures and musicals. Who knows who Abbott and Costello, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, and the Rat Pack are. Someone who can dig The Twilight Zone. Someone who lets me cook for them. Someone who supports me, understands me, comforts me, and loves me despite how incredibly screwed up I am. Show me. Show me something real. That we are a team. That we can do anything, achieve anything. Be the people we want to be. Be successful, pay our bills, smile, laugh, cry, dance, sing, never go to be angry, go to Church, visit our families, and so, so much more…

Moving on and stepping off this soapbox, lets get to the goods… every channel I turn on is doing a million specials on chocolate. (Apparently, Valentine’s Day is the only day people consume chocolate.) So, in this chocolate theme, I give you a low calorie chocolate angel food cake and mixed berry compote. Sweet enough to get at those cravings but light enough to eat your feelings on V-Day and not feel guilty.

Chocolate Angel Food Cake with Mixed Berry Compote

based off Trisha Yearwood’s recipe.

serves 12

CakeWP_007684

  • 2/3 cup cake flour (measure after sifting)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated Splenda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 12 egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Tbsp powdered sugar

Compote

  • 2 1/2 cups frozen mixed berries
  • 1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp granulated Splenda (how sweet do you want it?)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Sift the cake flour, cocoa powder, and 3/4 cup of Splenda. Set aside.

WP_007683Using an electric mixer, with the whisk, beat the egg whites with the salt until foamy. Sprinkle the cream of tartar over the egg whites and whip on high until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the remaining 3/4 cup Splenda, about 2 tablespoons at a time.

Using a spatula, gradually fold in the flour mix, about 1/4 cup at a time, into the peaked egg whites. Pour the batter into an ungreased 9-inch angel food cake pan and bake about 30 minutes. Let cool for 1 hour. While the cake os cooling, combine all compote ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, continually stirring, for 2-3 minutes. This makes about 1 1/4 cup of compote. Set aside to thicken and cool.

Once cooled, loosen the cake from the sides and center of the pan with a knife and remove cake from the pan. Sift the powdered sugar over the cooled cake. Slice into 12. Top each piece with 2 Tbsp of compote and dig into a light, yet decadent treat sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

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The pairing of a slice and the compote comes to about 75 calories! I can dig that. In fact, I think I’ll dig in!

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!

A Blue Goat?

If you weren’t sure, I am a huge Triple D fan! Barry and I were watching one night and I was so intrigued when I saw one chef make a pie using goat cheese and blueberries… Does that even go together? Oh yeah, and there was basil in it, too!

minion

I know, right?

Anyway, I was super intrigued and immediately had to play with the concept. As I googled, I was lucky enough to find the recipe on foodnetwork.com! The owner of 3 Sister’s Cafe, on my “Too Visit and Eat” List, gave their recipe! Thanks, Moira Sommers, for the recipe and inspiration!

After review, I did my normal brainstorming and created my version: A calorie, fat, and sugar slashing torte-like pie that can be eaten as breakfast, brunch, or dessert. I warn you, though, its pretty damn delicious!

Basil and Blue Goat Torte

serves 12

Crust:

  • 1 cup Fiber One bran cereal
  • 2 sheets (8 crackers) cinnamon graham crackers, low fat
  • 3 Tbsp Splenda, granulated
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • zest of 1 lemonWP_005579
  • 1/4 cup soft buttery spread, like Blue Bonnet Light
  • 2-3 Tbsp water

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup Chavrie sweet basil goat cheese*
  • 1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1 Tbsp basil, fresh, finely chopped*
  • 5 cups blueberries

Streusel:

  • 1/2 cup almonds, whole
  • 1/4 cup Splenda, granulated
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp, plus 1/2 tsp unsweetened applesauce

* If unable to find goat cheese with basil, simply use plain chavrie and add an extra tablespoon if chopped basil.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine cereal, graham crackers, Splenda, cinnamon, and 1/2 the lemon zest in a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are a crumb consistency. Melt the butter spread. Add 2 Tbsp water to butter (add extra tablespoon of water, if needed), and pour butter mixture onto crumbs. Using your hands, combine the mixture and press onto a ceramic torte dish, that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Once the crust has been pressed, bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the goat cheese, yogurt, liquid egg substitute, Splenda brown sugar, salt, the remaining lemon zest, and flour. Once combined, fold in the basil and blueberries.Set aside until crust has baked. Once the crust has baked, transfer the blueberry cream into the crust. Side aside while making the topping.

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Place the whole almonds in the food processor and pulse until the almonds have crumbled, but not the point of utter pulverization. Combine the remaining streusel ingredients. Using your fingers, sprinkle the topping over the settled pie. Don’t be afraid to get your fingers dirty and evenly spread the topping. Return the pie to the oven and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Turn the pie 180 degrees and bake for another 10-12 minutes.

Allow the pie to cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting.

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As I took my first bight, my mom couldn’t take her eyes off me. Words began to stumble out, as I continued to put more of this dish in my mouth. MMMMM, savory, tart, sweet, delicious, MMMM… “What is wrong with you?” Oh man! It’s just so good!

I was dazzled by its beauty! The way the yogurt and goat cheese firmed up marbled the pie through the blueberries! And the crust and the almond streusel that sandwiched that tart torte! Oh man! Just, wow!

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Nutrition: (per slice, 1/12 recipe)

Calories: 154, Fat: 5.7g, Sat. Fat: 1.4g, Cholesterol: 7.1mg, Sodium: 116g, Carbs: 23.4g, Fiber: 4.8g, Sugar: 11.5g, Protein: 4.5g

I hope you all enjoy as much I do!

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.

WP_005232

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