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Tag Archives: naturally sweetened

Chocolate-Glazed Honey Macaroons

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Once upon a time I entered some honey macaroons into the Kansas state fair and won a  blue ribbon for them.  Then I promised you I would share the recipe.  Well I may be a bit slow, but a promise is a promise!  I thought this was the perfect time since I’m giving away a gallon of coconut oil and this recipe has some in it.  I figured one of you guys would need a lot of ways to use up that coconut oil once the giveaway was over.  (I’m still packing just in case the winner agrees to let me move in until the oil is gone. hehehe)

We have a special honey class in our state fair baking competition and I won for the cookies last year.  I had never entered the honey cookies category before, but knew from looking at past year’s cookies what I wasn’t going to do, which was a flour-based cookie.  I wanted to do something different that the other bakers hadn’t.  I did lots of brainstorming and finally decided that a honey coconut macaroon might be nice.  Luckily I found a great recipe at Gourmande in the Kitchen and all I had to do was create a glaze for them.

Less heavy than a normal macaroon, these are light, sweet, tender, and very moist.  And the coconut-flavored chocolate just puts them over the top.  I love these cookies because not only are they tasty, they also are allergy friendly (gluten-free, dairy-free) and healthy (good fat & naturally sweetened).  I do hope you enjoy them!

For more coconut oil recipes, check out my Coconut Oil Coffee, Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Vegan Gluten-Free Mounds Cake, Dairy-Free White Cupcakes, Homemade Magic Shell, and Vegan Dark Chocolate Cake Pops.

Honey Coconut Macaroons

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Printable recipe with picture

Cookies
2 ¼ cups (180 g) unsweetened shredded coconut
2 large egg whites
¼ cup (60 g) raw local honey
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of fine sea salt

Honey & Coconut Chocolate Glaze
¼ cup dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1 teaspoon local raw honey

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Process the coconut in a food processor until very fine.  Whisk together egg whites, honey, vanilla, and salt until combined, then stir in the coconut until completely moistened.  Using a small cookie scoop, portion out the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.

Bake until pale golden in spots, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Make the Glaze: Place the chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds at 50% power.  Stir, then repeat. Stir until residual heats melts the chocolate completely, then stir in the coconut oil and honey. Drizzle over the cooled macaroons and serve immediately, or allow to set before storing.  It takes this glaze several hours to set up, but the cookies are so moist they will  not suffer for being left out.

Recipe source: adapted from Gourmande in the Kitchen

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Oatmeal Peanut Butter Dog Treats


It has been way too long since I’ve shared a recipe for our furry friends!  This recipe is similar to the other biscuit recipe I have on my blog, except the liquid is chicken broth instead of milk, and it bakes up a bit softer, even if you go the route of leaving them in the oven overnight to dry out, and perhaps it is both those reasons combined that my Jessie loves them even more than the Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits.

These bake up soft like cookies, but you can leave them in the oven overnight to make them crunchy.

Full disclosure: I totally tried one of these in the soft-baked state, and I even thought it was pretty tasty! :)

Another advantage, at least for those of us with…shall we say “husky” dogs, is that there is less than half as much peanut butter in this recipe, therefore it is lower in calories.  There are also more oats (more fiber) and less sweetener, which helps the calories as well. A treat that Jessie loves, and that is lower in calories than her former beloved treats is a win-win in our house.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dog Treats

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Printable recipe with picture

1 cup whole wheat flour (I used WW pastry flour)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup quick oats
¼ cup wheat germ
2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder, such as Rumford
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup peanut butter
¼ cup honey
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line two large cookie sheets with parchment. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, oats, wheat germ, and baking powder. In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, peanut butter, honey, and olive oil. Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture until incorporated. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes or up to an hour. This gives the flour and oats time to absorb moisture and it will become thicker and easier to work with as it stands. Roll out to ¼ inch thick on a floured surface and cut into shapes. Place treats on prepared baking sheet. You can pop the first one in the oven as you cut out shapes and place them on the second sheet. Bake cookies for 15 minutes.

If your dog prefers softer cookie-type treats, cool the treats at this point and package in airtight containers. If you want to bake them into hard biscuits, which stores better and has the added benefit of helping clean your dog’s teeth, simply turn off the oven with the cookies still inside and leave them in overnight, or until the oven is cool. If you bake them in batches, remove each tray as they finish, and let them sit on the sheet until all the batches are baked, then turn off the oven and return all baking sheets to the oven to sit overnight, or until the oven is cool.

Recipe source: Shared Sugar

So I’m trying not to use my voice right now, and Dennis is loving it.  I’m recovering from the flu (yeah, that’s what I get for bragging on Friday night that I’ve never had it before…guess what I woke up with?) and my throat hurts too much to talk any more, so I am communicating mainly in gestures.  He helped me choose the photos for this blog in the usual way, except that I asked him to help me with pointing and shoulder shrugging to indicate I couldn’t decide between two photos.  Since I couldn’t argue vocally with his choice, I did a lot of fist-shaking and going back to the one that I preferred and he just laughed and asserted that his choice was the right one.  Well, I went with the one I liked, the one right before the recipe, but I’ll let you guys decide.  He like this fancier one.  But I liked the former because it was easier to read and more simple. But  now you get them both since I had to share our antics with you. :)

Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

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I’m atoning for my sins of last week: fattening, nitrate-filled chili-cheese dog casserole, decadent red velvet cake with a pound of butter and over a pound of cream cheese in it, and beef roast slathered with high-sodium cream of mushroom soup and onion soup mix.  I felt I owed myself, and you, a healthy reprieve.

I usually don’t like labeling my recipes “healthy” or unhealthy” in the title (although I have been known to do so) because that’s not how I want you to think of them.  If something is healthy, I want you to think about how delicious it is, not how healthy it is.  And if something is unhealthy, I don’t want you to focus on that either, I just want you do enjoy your splurge.  So, I’m not labeling this as “healthy” in the title, but I am telling you right now it’s pretty darn healthy.

First of all, it’s naturally sweetened from three sources: apple cider, maple syrup, and honey (because it’s sweeter and because I was running low on maple syrup).  Second, it’s packed with fiber from the pumpkin and the oats.  It’s even got a little protein from the eggs (and the oats)!  I did use a smidgen of butter, but I’m not one who thinks of butter as unhealthy, especially in meager amounts.  It could easily be left out if you want to reduce the fat.

Now let’s talk about the important stuff: the taste.  It’s all well and good to eat healthy foods, but who wants to eat them if they taste terrible?  Not me, and there’s no reason to when healthy food can (and should) be just as delicious as unhealthy food.  These baked oats are perfectly sweet, with a great spiced pumpkin taste, very soft and creamy, with a nice nutty crunch from the pecans.  Served with a drizzle of maple syrup over the top, it is a breakfast treat that is good enough to make your mouth so happy that you forget that you’re doing your body good as well.

Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

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Printable recipe with picture

1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup apple cider
2 eggs
½ cup milk (any kind)
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ¾ cups rolled oats
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a deep-dish pie plate or a casserole dish with oil; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, apple cider, eggs, milk, honey, maple syrup, butter, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the oats, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.

Pour into prepared dish and sprinkle with pecans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until set. Serve hot with maple syrup or honey.

Recipe source: adapted from The Other Side of Fifty, as seen on Betcha Can’t Eat Just One and Little Bit of Everything (this one’s really making the rounds!)

If you have leftovers, they will slice a lot nicer and will resemble a piece of pie more when served. You can even serve this cold, though I do like it better hot! If you want the oatmeal to be more firm so that you can slice it like pie after removing it from the oven, you’ll have to do some tweaking to reduce the amount of liquid and maybe add another egg.

Honey Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

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My Dad used to make what I thought was one of the most delicious meals ever out of torn Ezekiel bread pieces, a sliced banana, and natural peanut butter all mixed up in a bowl together and drizzled with honey.  Sweets were a rarity in our home so when he let me try this, I was thrilled because I felt like I was eating dessert.  This was how I was introduced to the trifecta of banana, peanut butter and honey and I’ve been a fan ever since.

I first made these muffins in miniature form almost a year ago when I had a single overripe banana and wanted to use it in something before it started growing white stuff.  (I’ll include that recipe too for those interested.)  It was only natural for me to reach for the peanut butter and honey, and I was really pleased with the result.  I’ve made many subsequent batches, adapting it on a larger scale to make the standard dozen since the small batch doesn’t last long enough to suit us.

This is a straightforward recipe, no fancy ingredients, naturally sweetened, and it’s all mashed and mixed together in one bowl using a single fork.  The result is a moist and flavorful muffin with the perfect balance of banana, peanut butter and honey.

By the way, these healthy, low-sugar muffins are dog tested and approved!  My Jessie is such a treat snob that when she approves something I’ve made, you can bet your pup will most likely dig it too.  For doggies, you can bake them up in mini-muffin tins, depending on the dog’s size.  Or just share yours, which is what I like to do.  That way I feel justified when I reach for a second one, since I didn’t eat all of the first.  :)

Honey Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

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3 medium overripe bananas
¾ cup peanut butter
¼ cup honey
½ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons chopped nuts (for topping)

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with papers or spray with oil.

Peel bananas and place in a large mixing bowl. Mash with a fork (you should have about 1 ¼ cups of mashed banana), then mix in the peanut butter with your fork until well blended. Next mix in the honey and once the mixture is uniform in color, stir in the milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Measure in the flour and baking soda, and stir with your fork just until mixed. The batter will be thick but try not to overwork it to get it mixed. It’s OK if a few lumps remain. Using an ice cream scoop, divide batter between muffin cups, filling 3/4 full. Sprinkle nuts in the middle of each muffin (nuts will spread out as the muffins bake). Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean, and remove to cooling rack. Leave in tin for five minutes, then remove to cool completely.

Makes 12 muffins

Per muffin: 196 calories; 9 g fat; 26 g carbohydrates; 2.4 g fiber; 6 g protein; 5 Points Plus

Secret Recipe Club

Honey Banana Peanut Butter Bites


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Printable recipe with picture

1 medium overripe banana
¼ cup chunky peanut butter
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
¼ cup buttermilk
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 12 mini muffin cups.

Mash the banana in a medium bowl an stir in the peanut butter, honey, and buttermilk. Stir in the remaining ingredients just until moistened. Divide between muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes (or until done) and remove to cooling rack. Leave in tin for five minutes, then remove to cool completely.

Makes 12 mini muffins.

Nutrition Info (per muffin): 66 calories; 3 g fat; 84 mg sodium; 77 mg potassium; 9 carb; 1 g fiber; 2 g protein; 2 Points Plus

Recipes by Veronica Miller

**Veronica’s note: to make these into vegan muffins, replace the honey with agave nectar, the buttermilk with non-dairy milk, and the baking soda with baking powder.  I have done this and they are equally delicious, though I do prefer the honey flavor with banana and peanut butter.**

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