So, there’s a thing. Here’s the thing: I work part-time in a grocery store. I actually love working there, because I have some pretty awesome co-workers AND I’m surrounded by food. A majority of the customers are great, too. Half of the customers are people who I end up having some really interesting conversations with about food, and I’d have to say that that’s probably one of my favourite things about working there…
With all the greatness that comes with enjoying a part-time job, there is one downfall… Some customers buy really, really tasty and tempting bad foods. I lose count of how many people buy packs of cookies. On one day a few weeks ago, it seemed that every customer that came through the check-out had peanut butter cookies. Then, one customer who didn’t have cookies was buying all of the ingredients to make peanut butter cookies. I couldn’t take it anymore! After my shift was over, I rushed home to make some myself! Though I skipped on some of the more common ingredients, and made a healthy little alternative! Chocolate also happens to be a big weakness of mine, but I’ve gotten really into carob as a replacement for chocolate. (I still eat chocolate…)
Anyways, that’s the end of my story… So here’s a tasty, soft, and chewy twist on a basic peanut butter cookie! Enjoy! I sure did… 🙂
Peanut Butter & Carob Chip Cookies
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup peanut butter
pinch of salt
2 egg whites
1/4 cup turbinado sugar (you can replace this with whatever type of sugar you have on hand, however I really enjoy the flavour of turbinado sugar)
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup carob chips
Pre heat your oven to 350.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat, and set aside.
Add all dry ingredients into a bowl.
Add all wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
Mix all until combined.
Spoon out about 2 tbsp of dough per cookies on the baking sheet. Press together with your fingers if it starts to fall apart.
Flatten the tops slightly with a fork, keeping the cookies about 3/4 of an inch thick.
If you like, sprinkle with a little more turbinado sugar.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edges are LIGHTLY browned. Don’t bake for longer than 20 minutes, otherwise they will dry out.
I’ve made these a few times now, and have enjoyed them each time. As the title says, these are mini lemon meringue pies with a macaroon crust. I find that the light taste of coconut really compliments the lemon curd used in this recipe.
For these little guys, I`ve found a way to make them just a bit healthier than the traditional lemon meringue pie. Taking away the traditional pie crust and replacing it with a tasty macaroon crust, removing egg yolks from the lemon curd recipe and increasing the amount of flavour with a few tweaks, and decreasing the amount of sugar in everything, allowed me to turn this into a dessert that`s a bit friendlier to those trying to eat healthy. Although, all treats should be enjoyed in moderation… But with these, it`s okay to have more than one… 😉
This recipe makes 8 minis. Enjoy! 🙂
Lemon Meringue Pie Minis with a Macaroon Crust
Macaroon Crust Cups Ingredients:
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (fine is best, but you can use larger flakes too)
1/4 cup sugar (I like to use turbinado sugar for this)
3 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg white
Lemon Curd Ingredients:
1 cup fine white sugar (I usually try to avoid white sugar, but it just works really well for lemon curd…)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups cold water
2 tbsp corn starch (this is being used in place of the egg yolk)
grated rind from 1 large lemon
juice from 1 large lemon (about 1/4 cup)
1 tbsp butter (again, I try to avoid butter at all costs… However, it gives the curd a bit of a creamy texture just by adding in the smallest amount. You can omit the butter if you wish!)
1/8 tsp orange extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 egg whites (room temperature)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cream of tartar (you may need a pinch more if you have troubles getting your meringue to stiff peaks!)
4-5 tbsp fine white sugar (less or more, judge by your own taste! Try to keep it under 6 tbsp though, otherwise you may have trouble with the egg whites…)
Pre heat the oven to 350.
***Make the macaroon crust cups:
Mix all macaroon ingredients in a bowl.
Divide the mixture evenly into 8 paper muffin cups (about 2 tbsp per cup)
Dip your thumbs in a bit of water, and press the mixture into the bottoms of the muffin cups, and a half way up the sides. Make sure the mixture is smooth.
Once you’ve done this with all of the cups, bake in the oven for 15 minutes. The edges should be golden brown.
Note: check the cups half way through. If they start to puff up in the middles, you will need to use a wet spoon to press the middles down.
Once done, remove from the oven, and set aside to cool while you make the lemon curd. Keep the oven on.
***Make the lemon curd:
In a sauce pan, combine the 1 cup of sugar with the 1/4 cup of corn starch.
Set the sauce pan over medium heat, and slowly add the water while whisking until everything is smooth and combined.
Whisk in the 2 tbsp of corn starch.
Continue to whisk over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. This may take 10-15 minutes. Just keep whisking!
Once you’ve reached a boil, continue to whisk and boil for about 1 minute. If you stop whisking, the mixture will burn. Once the mixture has become thick, you can remove it from the heat.
Add in the rest of the lemon curd ingredients, and stir until combined.
Spoon the lemon curd into the macaroon crust cups. (About 2 tbsp per cup. You will have curd left over, so if you like you can put it in a glass jar once it cools and use it for another recipe!)
Set the filled cups aside in the fridge to cool while you make the meringue.
***Make the meringue:
Put the egg whites into a clean bowl that has not come into contact with anything greasy. Grease/fat is an enemy of whipping egg whites into meringue.
Add the cream of tartar and vanilla extract, and using a hand mixer on a medium-high speed, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. When pulling the whisk away from the egg whites, soft peaks will pretty much look like a bird’s beak at first, but then the egg white falls back into itself. The egg whites won’t hold their shape fully, and won’t be that glossy. I also talk a bit more about meringue here, so check it out if you like!
Once the egg whites are at the soft peak stage, you can slowly add the sugar while whisking. Set the speed on the mixer to high now.
Continue to whisk until the egg whites are at stiff peaks. When pulling the whisk away from the egg whites, stiff peaks will maintain that “bird beak” shape. Also, when you hold the bowl upside down, the egg whites will stay where they are. (Although, you may not want to use that as a method to test what stage the egg whites are at…)
***Prepare the cups for baking:
Once the egg whites are at the stiff peak stage, remove the filled macaroon crust cups from the fridge, and top each cup with 2-3 tbsp of the meringue. What you want is a nice puffy “cloud” of meringue on top of each cup. Using a spoon, you can spread the meringue on each cup to make sure the meringue covers the whole top of each cup.
Sprinkle the tops of each cup with some flaked coconut, and bake in the middle rack of the oven (which is still at 350) for 10-15 minutes.
When they are done, the meringue will be lightly browned at the edges, the coconut flakes will be lightly browned, and when you touch the meringue it won’t stick to your finger.
Allow to cool completely before eating.
These can be stored in the fridge over night, but should be eaten within 2 days.
I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to be updating this blog, but I”ll have more to post soon! 🙂 For now, this is going to be an entry that’s short and sweet, just like these cookies! If you’re into eating clean, these are the perfect little things to snack on and not compromise on nutrition. Enjoy! 🙂
Clean Chocolate-Coconut Oatmeal Cookies
1/2 cup rolled oats (quick cooking)
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 scoop carob powder (you can use cocoa powder if you like, but carob powder is naturally sweeter! So no need to add any extra sugar… 😉 This scoop should be the same size as the scoop of protein powder.)
2 tbsp almond butter
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 egg whites (or egg replacer)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Pre heat oven to 350.
Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
Roll into 12 balls, and place each ball on the prepared baking sheet.
Press your thumb lightly into each ball, but keep the cookies thick!
Bake for 10-14 minutes.
Remove from oven, allow to cool for a few minutes, and enjoy minus the guilt! 🙂
I really like granola bars because they’re a quick snack that you can have on the go. As much as I enjoy those chocolate dipped peanut butter granola bars, they’re really not that healthy. I’ve made granola bars before, but there’s just something about these ones that stand out above the rest. This recipe makes anywhere from 6-9 granola bars/cookies depending on how big you make them. Enjoy! 🙂
Easy Cocoa Protein Granola Bars
1 cup rolled oats
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup protein powder (I used Bodylogix Vanilla Protein Powder)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/4 cup cocoa powder
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup natural peanut butter (or any nut butter of your choice)
3 tbsp vanilla almond milk (or any milk of your choice)
1 tsp vanilla extract
about 1/4 cup of your favourite dark chocolate (try to keep it above 70%)
Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper, or a non-stick baking mat. Set aside.
Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl, and set aside.
In another bowl, mix all wet ingredients, and microwave for about 25 seconds.
Stir all wet ingredients together until incorporated. The peanut butter and almond milk may separate a little bit, but that’s okay! If everything isn’t completely melted and in liquid form, just microwave it for a few more seconds.
Add all dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients, and stir until a dough forms.
Form a small handful of dough (about 1/3 of a cup) into either a bar or a cookie shape, and place on the prepared baking sheet.
Repeat this with all of the dough until you have used it all.
Place baking sheet in the fridge for about 20 minutes to allow the bars to firm up, and then they’re ready to eat!
Bars can be kept in the fridge for up to a week in an air tight container, however the quantities of this recipe are small enough where the bars can easily be finished within a couple of days! 😉
One of my favourite things about smoothies is that you can make them taste like dessert. Orange creamsicle smoothies, banana cream pie smoothies, pumpkin pie smoothies, and the list really can go on and on and on… They’re so versatile. As with alcoholic shots/drinks, you can also make the smoothie in layers so that it’s more pleasing to the eye… Today I decided to play around with my smoothie, and came up with a parfait smoothie! The version I made today is a bit of an “adult smoothie”, however you can omit the alcohol all together if you want to make it more kid/non-alcohol drinker friendly. The best part is how simple it is to make!
Strawberry Banana Parfait Smoothie
Bottom Layer Ingredients:
1/4 cup frozen strawberries
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 shot of vodka
Top Layer Ingredients:
1 chopped up frozen banana
1/4 cup vanilla almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1/2 shot Galliano Smooth Vanilla
Blend all bottom layer ingredients together, and pour into a tall glass.
Blend all top layer ingredients together, and pour on top of the bottom layer.
Sprinkle the top with a bit of vanilla sugar, and serve with a straw or a stick to stir it all together with!
Well, for some reason, WordPress is giving me a hard time when I try to format my posts. So today, you all get to see the picture of the finished recipe before reading the actual recipe. Which I don`t quite like, but that`s okay. Either way, here`s my post!
Before I share this recipe, it should be noted that these are not meant to replace meat burgers. They don’t taste like, or look like, meat burgers. One of the things that threw me off of not eating meat was that when I tried to eat things in the place of meat, I often expected those things to taste so similar to meat that I wouldn’t notice a difference. This recipe is much closer to a falafel than anything else, and is just as tasty! However, if you are looking for a veggie burger that tastes like a meat-less burger, you could easily stick this between to halves of a bun. I really enjoy eating these over a bed of lettuce, or on a wrap. This recipe makes anywhere from 8-12 patties.
Also: If you have more raw food in your diet than cooked, this recipe can also be eaten raw. I have actually saved some of the recipe pre-mushing to eat as a meal on its own. It tastes wonderful raw, and I suggest you try it with some salad! 🙂
Spicy Lentil Veggie Burgers
1 can of lentils, drained and rinsed well
6 cloves of garlic pressed through a garlic press
2 stalks of celery, finely diced
8 green onions (green and white parts), finely diced
3 tbsp tomato sauce (any type works really, or you can cut up 1 whole tomato into small pieces)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp curry powder
1 cup whole grain couscous (prepare by combining 1 cup each of couscous and boiling water in a bowl. Stir with a fork, and allow to stand for a couple of minutes.)
Light cooking spray
Pre heat oven to 375 F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together and mush with your hands until everything has a mushy (raw ground meat) consistency.
Form the mixture into balls of whichever size you like, and carefully press each ball into a patty about 1 inch thick.
Set the patties aside.
Spray a pan with cooking spray, and place on the stove with medium heat. Allow to heat up fully for a minute or two. (Applying food to a preheated pan prevents the food from sticking to the pan.)
Cook a few patties at a time so that pan isn’t crowded. To cook each patty, simply place them on the pan and allow to cook for about 3 minutes. Then carefully flip them over, and allow to cook for 3 minutes on the other size. Set aside on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat this until all of the patties are done.
Now cook the patties in the oven for 20 minutes total. (10 minutes, flip over, 10 more minutes.)
After making apple butter so many times, I decided I wanted to try some other fruit spreads. I wish I would have known how messy this jam was going to be… So be warned: this will splatter while cooking! Luckily the taste more than makes up for the mess… 😀
The dates add a thickness to the jam that makes it taste quite rich, with a sweetness that isn’t too much to handle. The lemon zest and spices add a little “something else” that you won’t find in many other jams. I love fruit spreads, and find this to be pretty unique when compared to other ones I’ve had. I enjoyed some of this jam on some whole wheat bread with goat’s milk cheese, but you could really put it on anything!
This recipe filled one 310 ml jam jar. Enjoy! 🙂
Strawberry & Date Jam
2 cups strawberries, cleaned with the tops cut off
1/2 cup pitted honey dates, finely chopped
Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup sugar (you can add more if you like, but I found this to make the jam pretty sweet!)
2 tbsp liquid honey
In a deep pot (trust me, it splashes…), place all ingredients and stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, puree the contents of the pot, and adjust the temperature to high heat.
It will come to a rolling boil pretty quickly, so you need to keep stirring or the bottom will burn. If you have a heavy bottom pot, use that.
Continue to stir the mixture for 20-25 minutes. I don’t use a thermometer, I judge it by eye. When the mixture is thick, it’s ready to come off the stove. A good way to judge the right thickness is to pull the spoon through the middle of the mixture. Once it’s at a perfect thickness, the mixture will fall back together quite slowly. Also, when you scoop some of it up on the spoon, and tip the spoon upside down, it will “glob” off of the spoon instead of pour off nicely. For me, with the quantities of ingredients I used, it was good to remove from the heat after 25 minutes exactly. Once it’s done, remove from heat and stir a few more times until it’s cooled slightly.
I didn’t make a recipe for preserving, and haven’t attempted to do so yet, however if stored in a sterile glass jar (old jam jars are great), or in a clean and sterile container, you can keep this in your fridge for up to 1 week. If you like, you can also freeze this for however long you’d keep jam in the freezer, but I’ve never really been a fan of freezer jam in the past. If you do preserve jams, you can preserve this and store for as long as you normally would any other jam.
Mmmmmmm!!!!!!!! It tastes best after having sat in the fridge over night... So fruity...
I feel a little strange calling this frozen yogurt, because it’s not very similar to that stuff you get at the grocery store. It’s not soft and mushy like ice cream… It’s actually closer to an Italian ice in texture, or even similar to a strawberry sorbet… Somewhat… Regardless, it’s still technically “frozen yogurt”, as there is dairy (yogurt) involved as a main ingredient. (Italian ice doesn’t have any dairy.)
This tastes pretty great, and I can imagine that in the hotter summer months ahead, it will be quite an enjoyable form of refreshment. Also, using non-fat yogurt cuts the fat almost completely! If you prefer using another liquid sweetener over honey, you can and I’m sure it will taste just as good! 🙂 Here’s the recipe, enjoy! 🙂
Strawberry Chocolate-Chip Frozen Yogurt
2 cups non-fat plain yogurt
1-2 cups frozen strawberries (this varies depending on how much strawberry flavour you want!)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp liquid honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
Roughly chopped dark chocolate (I used about 4 squares of a large Lindtt dark chocolate bar)
In a blender (or with an immersion blender), blend all ingredients except the chopped dark chocolate. Blend until smooth.
Stir in the chopped dark chocolate, and then pour into a couple semi-shallow plastic dishes (I used two Glad containers, about 2 inches deep)
Place in the freezer, and allow to harden for about 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, remove the containers and stir contents until smooth.
Repeat this process (freezing, and removing every 45 minutes to stir) until the desired consistency is reached.
The frozen yogurt can be stored in these containers, or you can scoop it back into the original yogurt container. Make sure it’s covered with a lid after the whole “freeze-then-stir” process is finished.
Note: You can store this for many weeks in the freezer. After it’s been frozen for a day or two, it will be rock solid. Simply allow the frozen yogurt to soften slightly on the counter for 5 minutes or so prior to serving. To serve, you can also shave pieces of the frozen yogurt off of the top in layers if it doesn’t come off in one big scoop.
I’m on a bit of a strawberry kick obsession it seems, but can you blame me? They’re so good! I’ve been dealing with frozen strawberries all winter, so I’m pretty anxious for strawberry season to visit us all here in Ontario.
When making things like smoothies or juice, frozen strawberries are actually a pretty good substitute. Not only are they picked and frozen at their freshest point, but they (like other frozen fruit) take the place of ice cubes without watering down your drink. That’s pretty awesome.
To get back on topic here, I usually don’t like things like lemonade to be honest. I’d much rather have a tall glass of water with a few slices of fresh lemon to provide just a hint of lemon flavour. However, there are times where I just want a glass of something sweet. I don’t like store-bought lemonade because it’s usually way too sweet, so I decided to make my own. 🙂 Here’s my recipe for some strawberry lemonade! Enjoy! 🙂
3 big lemons
1 cup frozen strawberries
3 cups cold filtered water
sugar to taste (I only put about 4 tbsp of sugar into my lemonade because I don’t like it that sweet)
Roll the lemons between your hands and the counter a few times before squeezing the juice from them. (This softens the lemons a bit, allowing the juice to be squeezed out much easier. I also keep my lemons in the fridge, so if you do too, take them out of the fridge about 20 minutes prior to making this.)
Squeeze the juice from each lemon with a juicer (I just have a simple citrus-juicer, and it works great!), and pour the lemon juice into a juice jug.
Add all other ingredients into the jug, and with an immersion blender simply blend everything together until smooth. (If you just have a regular blender, you can use that too!)
Pour into a glass, and enjoy!
Note 1: You may need to shake/stir the juice a bit before serving as juice tends to settle when sitting for a while. Not that it will be an issue, 😉 but try to consume within a few days of making the juice.
Note 2: Try it with other frozen fruit! Melon, blueberries, raspberries, banana… And for something really interesting, toss in a few cinnamon sticks and a few drops of vanilla extract. There are so many options! 🙂