Almond Milk Ice-Cream Sandwiches

Almond Milk Ice-Cream Sandwich

 

 

 

Spring-Fling-Dairy-Free-Recipe-ContestLast week after making a luscious orange cream sauce with cashew milk called “Nothin’ Says Spring Better ‘n Berries ‘n Cream,” I decided to present one more recipe for the Spring Fling dairy free recipe contest sponsored byby ®So Delicious.

You may remember that back in March I made some flourless cashew butter chocolate chip cookies that I was raving about. Well, I really wanted to try the Vanilla Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert made from almond milk by ®So Delicious, in an ice-cream sandwich. This time I made cookies with almonds. They are they same delicious dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free and vegan cookies, as the cashew butter cookies I made, but these are made with almonds. Until I started making flourless cookies I would never in my lifetime have imagined that flourless cookies could taste so good! But why not? Macaroons are good, and these are similar to macaroons—with egg, sugar and almonds. And by the way, if you have never tried a macaroon you must put that on your bucket list.

Another reason that these cookies are particularly good on these dairy-free cream sandwiches is that they are soft and chewy, perfect for biting into. From the time you sink your teeth into the cookie it’s a smooth ride down to the delicious frozen almond milk and then that pleasing thought comes to mind: ”Yeah, that’s what I wanted.”

If you’ve never had a dairy-free frozen dessert, or “ice-cream,” let me assure you that frozen almond milk, which I refer to as ice-cream, really hits the spot! I had some friends over when I made the ice-cream sandwiches and they couldn’t believe that they tasted so good; they asked for seconds. Later on, my son invited his friend to have one, and his eyes just about popped out when he found out it was dairy-free. “Cool,” he said.

Winter is over and spring is here! Forget the pies, hot puddings, cakes, porridges, buckles and cobblers and bring on the dairy-free almond milk ice-cream sandwiches. They are so delicious!

 

Almond Milk Ice-Cream Sandwiches

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: (26) 2-1/2 inch cookies; 8 ice-cream sandwiches

Serving: 1 ice-cream sandwich

Almond Milk Ice-Cream Sandwiches

Ingredients:

    For the Cookies:
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups almonds
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, flax seed oil, or avocado oil
  • ½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  • For the Ice-Cream:
  • 1 pint Vanilla Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert made with almond milk, by ®So Delicious

Procedure:

    For the Cookies
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°
  2. Place 1-1/2 cup of almonds in the food processor with 1 teaspoon olive oil and process until the nuts are mealy like sand. Separate out ½ cup to save for later.
  3. Continue to process the remaining nuts until they are fully blended and creamy like peanut butter, but this will be firmer than store bought nut butter.
  4. In a mixing bowl place the sugar, salt and baking soda and stir well. Whisk in the egg and and then add the nut butter and stir until the nut butter and the egg are well incorporated. I use a large balloon whisk to mix.
  5. Stir in the reserved nut meal (ground nuts) and add the chocolate chips and mix until they are well incorporated.
  6. Use a small ice-cream scoop to measure out the cookies and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. (The ice-cream scoop should measure, or have a diameter of 1-inch from side to side.)
  7. Press the cookie dough balls with the palm of your hand until they have a 1-3/4 inch diameter.
  8. Bake for no longer than 10 minutes. They will be puffy when they come out of the oven and they will fall as they cool. Allow them to rest about 5 minutes before transferring them to a cookie rack to cool.
  9. To Make the Ice-Cream sandwich.
  10. Find a 1/4-cup measurer, or 1/3-cup measurer and line it with plastic. Fill the cup with ¼-cup So Delicious Vanilla non-dairy frozen dessert. Pat it down with a spoon so it forms a disc.
  11. Lift the plastic with the ice-cream out of the measuring cup and turn over onto the bottom side of a cookie. Remove the plastic and top with a second cookie, bottom side facing the ice-cream.

**Note - you will have extra cookies

http://www.myhealthyeatinghabits.com/2014/04/30/almond-milk-ice-cream-sandwiches/

 

Almond Milk Ice-Cream Sandwiches 2

This recipe is also posted at Hearth and SoulSimpleSupperTuesday, and Totally Talented Tuesdays

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Nothin’ Says Spring Better ‘n Berries ‘n Cream!

Berries 'n Cream

 

 

 

Who doesn’t love spring? It’s when we start to see green plants, bushes, and trees, colorful flowers of all types, birds singing, and children out playing. It’s also when we start to see spring foods coming into season. The clearest sign to me that the season has changed is when the early tasty strawberries and blueberries line the shelves at my neighborhood grocery store. It’s the time when I start switching from eating lots of apples and oranges to eating lots of berries.

Spring-Fling-Dairy-Free-Recipe-ContestThis month the So Delicious company is sponsoring a Spring Fling Dairy Free Recipe Contest. The recipe, as you can probably imagine must in some way say ‘spring’, and it must be dairy free, too. I could thing of nothing more that means spring to me than berries and cream. Though the recipe does not use real cream, the idea of cream goes back to this time of the year when cows are out grazing in the pasture, delivering offspring, and mother cows are lactating. The idea of cream is associated with spring, but not necessarily with dairy products.

Cashew milk is a wonderful alternative for those who like cream in coffee, tea, baked goods and desserts, but who for one reason or another avoid dairy products, be they religious and cultural reasons, health, conviction, or simply for the taste. Cashew milk is mild in flavor compared to almond or coconut milk. Like cashew milk, soy milk is also light in flavor but cashew milk tastes closer to real cream. For this recipe I made a variation of crème anglaise, a classic French sauce typically used for custards, ice-cream, crème brulee, or as a sauce served over cake. The cream is flavored with orange peel and vanilla bean and tastes luscious over fresh berries.

This dessert is very nutritious, too. My nephew in Spain was a very poor eater and his mother, who was very concerned about his health, always made sure that he ate a custard or flan to finish off a meal. He didn’t fight eating these desserts and his eating them ensured her that he was getting some nutrition. So go ahead and enjoy this nutritious dairy-free and gluten-free dessert. It’s good for you and nothin’ says spring better ‘n berries ‘n cream! 

Nothin’ Says Spring Better ‘n Berries and Cream!

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: about 3-1/2 cups

Servings: makes 8 or 9 1/2-cup servings

Nothin’ Says Spring Better ‘n Berries and Cream!

Nothin’ says spring better ‘n berries ‘n cream parfait is a variation of a tasty orange crème Anglaise. The light flavor of the cashew milk is the perfect substitute for dairy milk and cream because the flavor doesn’t interfere with the sauce as other nut and soy milks do.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups, plus 2 tablespoons cashew milk (So Delicious brand)
  • 5 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • Peel of 1 orange, the white pithy underside removed and discarded
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 to 8 strips of orange peel 1-1/2-inchs long by ¼ inch wide
  • 2 pints strawberries
  • 2 6-ounce containers of blueberries

Procedure:

    For the Cream:
  1. Begin to heat the cashew milk with the sugar and the vanilla bean. Stir often.
  2. Place the egg yolks and the cornstarch into a mixing bowl and stir with a whisk until they are well combined.
  3. When the temperature of the milk reaches 160° very slowly add it to the egg yolks. Add a couple of teaspoons at first, count 5 slow seconds, and then add a couple more teaspoons. Next, add a tablespoon at a time counting 5 seconds between each addition. Do this about 4 times. Next, add a quarter cup at a time, stirring well after each addition and 5 second wait. (The idea is to get the hot milk mixed with the eggs without cooking the eggs. You want a the consistency of a smooth sauce—not scrambled eggs.)
  4. Pour the egg and milk mixture back to the pot on the stove and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the temperature reaches 175° and the milk has thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon. To test if it is ready run your finger over the back of the spoon. If the sauce leave a path that does not close up or run, it is ready. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the cream to cool. It will thicken up more as it cools.
  5. Remove the orange peel and the vanilla bean from the pot. Make a lengthwise slit down the length of the bean. Use the edge of a paring knife to scrape out the bean paste. Add the paste to the custard sauce and whisk it in until it is well combined.
  6. Stir the cream every 5 minutes for the first 20 minutes, and then every 15 minutes until the cream is cool. This is to prevent the cream from forming a skin on top.
  7. For the Parfait:
  8. When the cream reaches room temperature you can start to layer the parfait.
  9. Wash the fruit and cut out the stems of the strawberries and discard them, and then slice the berries in half.
  10. Place a layer of strawberries in the serving glass, and then follow with a layer of cream sauce. Cover the sauce with a layer of blueberries, followed with a mixture of strawberries and blueberries. Cover with a tablespoon of sauce, or as much as is needed to make the parfait look attractive and show the fruit. Top with a mint leave and a twist of orange.
  11. Chill in the refrigerator 4 hours before serving.

**Notes: The dessert takes about 20 minutes to make, but the additional hour is cooling time. The sauce should be stirred from time to time to help it cool down quicker and to prevent a skin from developing on top.

http://www.myhealthyeatinghabits.com/2014/04/24/nothin-says-spring-better-n-berries-n-cream/
Berries 'n Cream 2 This recipe is also posted at Hearth and SoulSimpleSupperTuesday, and Totally Talented Tuesdays

Apple Tart with No-Roll Crust

Apple Tart with No-Roll Crust

Apple Tart with No-Roll Crust. It’s so good and so easy!

 

I’ve made a recipe for apple tart with no-roll crust, because it’s time again for Ina First Friday, when a group of bloggers get together and blog a recipe they were inspired to make after seeing one of Ina Garten’s recipes. Each month the type of dish is rotated: appetizers; soup/salad/sides; main course; and desserts/other. This week it’s desserts.

Perplexed is the adjective I’d choose to describe how I feel when it comes to choosing a dessert to make. Some of you who have read my posts since I started blogging might remember that I made desserts without added sugar (anti-oxidant fruit salad, sugarplums, crepes with bananas an blackberries); but I began to add an occasional recipe low in sugar and fat when I realized that many of my readers want that type of recipe.

On the one hand, I feel like I’m caving in by not sticking to the principal that no sugar is the best policy, and that a person should enjoy natural sugars coming from foods like dates, raisins, dried apricots, etc. At least with these sweet foods you are getting fiber and nutrients. On the other hand, by providing tasty recipes reduced in fat and sugar, I feel like I’m being of service.

Today I am helping dessert lovers by posting this recipe for apple tart with no-roll crust. Inspired by Ina’s apple tart on Food Network—her food is great!—, I thought I could make a tart just as tasty using with a lot less sugar and reducing some of the butter and flour. So how did I do it? I reduced the amount of sugar by nearly 3/4, the butter by 1/3, and the flour by 1/5. You really don’t need to use as much sugar and butter as many desserts call for. And guess what? It’s delicious!

 

Apple Tart with No-Roll Crust

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

6 servings

Apple Tart with No-Roll Crust

This is an easy apple tart that is low in sugar and fat, and you don't have to roll the crust!

Ingredients:

  • For the pastry:
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat pasty flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons cane sugar, or palm sugar
  • 7 ounces tablespoons (1 stick minus 1 tablespoon) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 egg
  • For the apples:
  • 3 crisp apples,
  • 3 tablespoons apple jelly or warm sieved apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoons brand, rum, or water

Procedure:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375° and place a rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients for the pasty, and then use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour mixture. The flour mixed with the butter should resemble coarse sand.
  3. Break the egg into a bowl about the size of a cereal bowl, and use a fork or a small whisk to beat it about 20 seconds. Use your fingers stir the egg into the flour mixture, breaking up any areas where it clumps together.
  4. Place the flour mixture in the bottom of a 10-inch spring-form pan, and spread it out to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Do not press it down! The dough will compress during the baking.
  5. Peel 3 apples and slice them in half from top to bottom. Use a small cookie scoop, if you have one, to core the seeds. Cut each half into quarters, and then cut each quarter into quarters.
  6. Arrange the apple slices in a spiral pattern along the outer edge of the pan. Follow with a second row covering the ends of the first row. The second row may be a little challenging keeping the apples in place, but do your best to arrange them. Sometimes its easier if you cut a little off the tip of the apple slice. Cut out a circular apple piece for the center. The apple will shrink so use a larger than it looks like you need.
  7. Bake the tart for 50 to 55 minutes. When the tart is done remove it from the oven and place it on a cookie rack to cool. Heat the apple jelly in a small saucepan along with 1 tablespoon of brandy, rum or water. Stir the apple jelly and bring it to a boil. When the apple jelly has melted use a pastry brush and spread the jelly over the apple slices, taking care not to move the apple slices out of place. Allow the tart to cool.
http://www.myhealthyeatinghabits.com/2013/11/01/apple-tart-with-no-roll-crust/

 

Visit these other great cooks to see what they have dished up!

Alyce –@ moretimeatthetable.blogspot.com,

  Barbara –movablefeastscookbook.blogspot.com,

Nancy – mypicadillo.com, Veronica – mycatholickitchen.com,

Chaya – bizzybakes.blogspot.com, Ansh – spiceroots.com,

Bhavna – justagirlfromaamchimumbai.com, Peggy – pantryrevisited.blogspot.com

B. from therockymountainwoman.com, Linda – There and Back Again,

Linda – TumbleweedContessa.com,

 This recipe is also posted at Slightly Indulgent TuesdaysFull Plate ThursdayFoodie Friday, Tasty Thursdays and Wednesday Fresh Foods

Tofu Pumpkin Pie with Yogurt Topping

Tofu Pumpkin Pie with Yogurt Topping

Tofu Pumpkin Pie with Yogurt Topping

 

Did you know that April is Soyfoods Month? I didn’t know this until just recently. The Soy Association of North America (SANA) chose my blog and sent me box of samples so I could try them and let my readers know what I think about soyfood products; that’s where the tofu pumpkin pie with yogurt topping comes in. You might remember that I do like soy products as shown by these delicious recipes: zesty lemon tempeh, scrambled tofu, spicy marinated tofu, and miso soup with vegetables. But, it’s my impression that there are still many people out there that think tofu, tempeh, and miso are for vegetarians. As part of my healthy eating habits I aim to eat a variety of foods and soy products are a part of that mix. Though I eat little meat, I’m not a vegetarian. I eat soy products because they are high in protein and calcium, and low in fat and cholesterol. And as far as tofu tasting bland, well…there is a remedy for that—it’s called marinade.  Look for organic tofu and tempeh. All organic products are non-GMO, but not all non-GMO products are organic (Wildwood Foods); they might still be sprayed with pesticides. If you’re not sure about a product you can check the verified foods on the Non-GMO Project website.DSC06646

So you’re probably wondering what goodies SANA sent me. I got a small box with Soyjoy bars, Nutz (honey toasted soy nuts), and coupon for a Wildwood soy product—which I picked up at Whole Foods Market.  I’m not the best judge of bars since I prefer to eat foods with minimal processing, but my husband liked the chocolate cherry bar. The family favorite was the Nutz. These roasted soybeans make a nice little snack to take along in your lunchbox. The baked tofu tasted great in a whole wheat sandwich I made with roasted bell peppers, avocado and Miso Mayo. To test out the Wildwood Sproutofu, I decided on a tofu pumpkin pie with a yogurt topping.

Cut the pie with a professional look

Cut the pie with a professional look

About the recipe – The recipe below will give you a dense pumpkin pie. If you prefer a more custardy pie omit the firm tofu and use firm silken tofu in its place. The yogurt topping is optional if you prefer a dairy-free pie, buy I like it because it tastes like pumpkin cheesecake. For a vegan pie use a butter alternative in the graham cracker crust and omit the yogurt topping.

Kitchen Tip – I recommend cutting this pie into small pieces. For a professional look when cutting, press a 2 to 2-1/2 round cookie cutter in the center of the pie. Next cut the outer cake into quarters, and then cut each of the quarters into 3 pieces. This will provide you with 13 servings and no straggly tips at the end of each piece. After cutting the pie remove the cookie cutter from the center.

 

[amd-recipeseo-recipe:2]

References:

http://www.soyfoods.org/

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=111

http://www.wildwoodfoods.com/articles/the-natural-life-article/scoop-gmos/5917

 

 

Sweet Almond Biscotti with Chocolate Chips

Sweet Almond Biscotti with Chocolate Chips

Sweet Almond Biscotti with Chocolate Chips

 

Sweet Almond Biscotti with Chocolate Chips

When it comes to food, what is your ideal smell of something heavenly? For me, other than freshly baked bread, it is toasted almonds—and I’m sure there is a perfume company out there that has already bottled that scent. This week the 38 Power Foods blog group is talking about almonds. There are two varieties of almonds, sweet and bitter. The bitter almonds are used to make facial scrubs, lotions, and fragrances, and the sweet almonds are used in cooking and baking desserts and delicious savory foods.

I knew a man some years ago whose diet was heavily based on nuts and raw vegetables, and he attributed his clear healthy skin to all the nuts he ate, especially almonds. It seems that almonds may also be good for helping overweight people to lose weight and keep the weight off. Studies show that “eating almonds with high glycemic index food significantly lowers the glycemic index of the meal and lessens the rise in blood sugar after eating” (World’s Healthiest Foods). And the polyunsaturated fats help lower unwanted LDL cholesterol.

Nuts are an important source of protein too. Just one-quarter cup of almonds has 7.62 grams of protein, 44.8% of daily vitamin E needs, and 45% of manganese. Even though the recipe below calls for peeled almonds, it is best to snack on almonds that have the skin on because it’s full of polynutrients that fight disease and aid immunity. Are nuts and almonds an important part of your healthy eating habits?

 

Servings: 32                 Prep Time: 15 minutes            Baking Time: 33 minutes

*Note – Next time I make this recipe for Sweet Almond Biscotti with Chocolate Chips, I will add an extra ½ cup of almonds and use dried cranberries instead of chocolate chips, or maybe even in addition to them.

 

Ingredients:

Wet ingredients:

2 eggs

½ cup brown rice syrup (I use Lundberg’s Organic “Sweet Dreams Brown Rice Syrup”)

1/3 cup cane sugar, or coconut palm sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon pure almond extract

Dry Ingredients:

2-½ cups whole wheat pastry flour

¾ teaspoon baking powder

¾ teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Extras:

½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup almonds, toasted

 

Procedure:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350° and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Peel and toast the almonds – to do this, put a cup of water in a small pot and bring the water to a boil, and then add the almonds to the pot and turn off the heat. Let the almonds soak for a minute, and then remove a few almonds from the pot at a time. One by one pinch the almonds from the rounded end to squeeze it through the pointed end. Place the almonds on a cookie sheet and bake at 350° about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes. When the almonds are lightly toasted, remove them from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 375 °.

3. Mix the wet ingredients in a medium bowl.

4. Mix the dry ingredients in a medium-large bowl.

5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir well, and then add the extras: the almonds and the chocolate chips.

6. Form the dough into logs. This is a wet dough so first throw about a tablespoon of flour on the counter and place ½ of the dough on top of it. Sprinkle another little bit of flour on top of the dough so your hands don’t stick to it, and shape the dough into a log about 8×4 inches. Place the log lengthwise on one side of the sheet pan, and then shape it longer and narrower, about 14 x 2 ½. Repeat with the other half of the dough and place it on the other half of the sheet pan.

7. Bake the logs at 375° about 23 minutes, and then remove them from the oven and slice them at a slight angle—about ½-inch thick. Bake the sliced cookies 5 minutes on each side.

 

References:

Power Foods: 150 delicious recipes with the 38 healthiest ingredients

The World’s Healthiest Foods

If you are a blogger and would like to take part in our group blogging about Power Foods: 150 Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients, (from the editors at Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine) we’d love to have your company. Contact: Mireya(at)myhealthyeatinghabits.com for details.

 

 

Check out what these other bloggers have cooked up!  Alyce – More Time at the Table, Ansh – Spice Roots,  Casey –SweetSav  Jeanette – Jeanette’s Healthy Living,  Martha – Simple-Nourished-Living, Minnie – The Lady 8 Home, Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits

This posted can be seen at  Whole Foods WednesdayFull Plate Thursday and Pennywise Platter

 

 

 

 

Sugar-plums: Recipe for a Traditional Christmas Sweet Delight

Sugarplums

sugar-plums

 

 

Quite some years ago, I entered my mother’s kitchen as a chemist would enter a laboratory to mix up a healthy sugar-free concoction that would satisfy my sweet tooth. I gathered a variety of mixed fruits and nuts, put them in the food processor, pressed the on switch and… eureka! I found something so easy, so tasty, and with enough intensity to satisfy my sweet tooth. My father walked into the kitchen and saw the balls rolled in coconut, picked one up, bit into it and said—much to my disappointment, “Oh, a sugar-plum. Wow, that’s really good!” Oh yeah, I was thrilled that his taste buds were delighted with the results of my experimentation, but I was little saddened to know that my creation had a name; I hadn’t come up with a new culinary delight—the sugar-plum was already known. Many people have heard of the sugar-plum, eternalized in the poem “The Night Before Christmas” written either by Major Henry Livingston Jr., or Clement Clarke Moore; there seems to be some dispute over the authorship.  Maybe you know it too:

 

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

 

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.

 

You know the sugarplum has to be good when children are dreaming of it.

Years after making my first sugar-plum I learned that the sugar in dried fruit affects your body’s blood sugar levels in the same ways as processed sugar; but, if you’re going to eat something sweet, dried fruit is good choice. Dried fruit is gluten-free, it is a good source of vitamins and minerals, it is high in fiber, and it has cancer fighting anti-oxidants. Processed sugar has none of that. During the upcoming holidays, you may want to place some dried fruit or sugar-plum on the table, and a few less cookies. Your body will thank you for the healthy choice.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Holidays!

 

Mireya

 

*Note – In the recipe below I process the fruit separately to insure an even dice, and then I mix the fruit and nuts together and roll the mixture into balls. If you prefer to get the job done faster and you don’t mind the pasty filling, you could first process the nuts and then add the other fruits and process it all it together, as Alton Brown does in his recipe. If you like, you may also want to add spices, as he does.

 

Prep Time: 45 minutes             Servings: 28              Yield: 25 to 28 1-inch balls

Recipe:

1-1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

1 cup almonds, or hazelnuts, or walnuts

1 cup pitted dates

1 cup dried apricots

1 cup raisins

¼ cup cocoa powder (optional for rolling)

 

Procedure:

Diced Dried Fruit

Diced Dried Fruit and Nuts

1. Place the coconut in a food processor and process until the coconut is much finer. (It will not resemble flour because the processing will release the oil in the coconut and it will start to clump up. Stop processing at this point when it starts to clump.)

2. Remove the almond skins – to do this, put a cup of water in a small pot and bring the water to a boil, and then add the almonds to the pot and turn off the heat. Let the almonds soak for a couple of minutes, and then remove a few almonds from the pot and then one by one pinch the almond from the rounded end to squeeze it through the pointed end.

3. Pat the almonds dry, place them in a food processor and process until they are mealy, but not too fine.

4. Process the fruit separately and place them in bowls, or one large bowl, until all of the fruit is processed. The idea is to mince the fruit, not make a paste of it.

5. Mix the fruit together well, shape it into tight 1-inch balls, and then roll them in the coconut. Store in an airtight container.

 

References:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/sugarplums-recipe/index.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/25/twas-the-night-before-christmas_n_801194.html

 

This recipe is also posted at Slightly Indulgent TuesdayFull Plate Thursday and Pennywise Platter

Coconut and Brown Rice Pudding

Coconut and Brown Rice Pudding

Coconut and Brown Rice Pudding

 

Yay, this week my Power Foods blog group is looking at Brown Rice. Several years ago I made changes to my diet for health reasons. I had rheumatoid arthritis and no longer wanted to take strong medicines. I stopped eating white sugar and switched to occasional natural sugars, cut way back on dairy by 90%, reduced meat intake, began eating more vegetables, but one of the best changes was to switch entirely to whole grain bread and pasta, and whole grain rice. Brown rice is a super food and I’m so glad the authors of Power Foods: 150 delicious recipes with the 38 healthiest ingredients included it in their book! I credit much of my health improvement whole grain brown rice.

Brown Rice takes longer to cook than white rice, but the flavor and the benefits that you get from it make it well worth the wait. Brown rice has 3.5 times the fiber as white rice, it’s loaded with B vitamins, and it’s very high in manganese. It’s also a good source of magnesium, selenium, tryptophan, and the antioxidant vitamin E. When you eat brown rice, you’re likely to eat less too, because you fill up faster and it keeps you feeling satisfied longer. It is also good for lowering cholesterol, lowering risk for type 2 diabetes, and protecting against heart disease. Studies show that women who eat whole wheat bread and brown rice weigh less than women who eat white bread and rice, and they are less likely to gain weight. Eating brown rice is a great healthy habit to get into.

** I have slightly adapted Mark Bittman’s recipe for coconut and brown rice pudding from “The Food Matters Cookbook.” You will see the changes in italics. Find the recipe with more optional additions on his website. Bitttman cooks the rice 2-1/2 to 3 hours, which makes a dense pudding. As I prefer a creamier pudding, next time I make it I would only bake it 1-1/2 hours.

 

Recipe

Makes: 4 servings  Prep Time: 4 minutes  Baking Time: About 2 1⁄2 hours, largely unattended

To make a really luscious brown rice pudding you have to break the grains up a bit in the food processor so they’ll release their thickening starches; it works. I use coconut milk here, but you can substitute cow’s milk for some or all of the liquid. If you want a thicker pudding, veer toward the high end of the rice quantities listed below.

Ingredients:

1⁄3 to 1⁄2 cup long-grain brown rice (I used 1/3 cup and still found the pudding thick)

Two 14-ounce cans coconut milk

1⁄2 brown sugar (I used coconut palm sugar)

Pinch of salt

A cinnamon stick, a few cardamom pods, a split vanilla bean, a pinch of saffron, or other flavoring, optional

Procedure:

1. Heat the oven to 300°F. Put the rice in a food processor and pulse a few times to break the grains up a bit and scratch their hulls; don’t overdo it, or you’ll pulverize them.

2. Put all the ingredients in a 2-quart ovenproof pot or Dutch oven. Stir a couple of times and put the pan in the oven, uncovered. (I also added 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut.) Cook for 45 minutes, and then stir. Cook for 45 minutes more, and stir again. At this point the milk will have darkened a bit and should be bubbling, and the rice will have begun to swell.

3. Cook for 30 minutes more. The milk will be even darker, and the pudding will start to look more like rice than milk. It’s almost done. Return the mixture to the oven and check every 10 minutes, stirring gently each time you check.

4. It might (but probably won’t) take as long as 30 minutes more for the pudding to be ready. Just trust your instincts and remove the pudding from the oven when it is still soupy; it will thicken a lot as it cools. (If you overcook the pudding, it will become fairly hard though still quite good to eat.) Remove the whole spices if you used them. Serve the pudding warm, at room temperature, or cold, alone or with your favorite topping. (I topped it with fresh chopped banana, and cinnamon.)

References:

Power Foods: 150 delicious recipes with the 38 healthiest ingredients

The World’s Healthiest Foods 

 

If you are a blogger and would like to take part in our group blogging about Power Foods: 150 Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients, (from the editors at Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine) we’d love to have your company. Contact: Mireya(at)myhealthyeatinghabits.com for details.

 

 

Check out what these other bloggers have cooked up!  Alyce – More Time at the Table, Ansh – Spice Roots,  Casey –SweetSav  Jeanette – Jeanette’s Healthy Living,  Martha – Simple-Nourished-Living, Minnie – The Lady 8 Home, Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits

This posted can be seen at  Full Plate Thursday and Pennywise Platter

Anti-Oxidant Fruit Salad – 50 Women Game Changers – Nigella Lawson#44

 

Anti-Oxidant Fruit Salad

Anti-Oxidant Fruit Salad

 

If you’ve been following along with me, each week we’ve been learning about one of the “50 Women Game Changers,” touted about on Gourmet Online. We’ve met a variety of women with quite a range of personalities and cooking styles. This week’s personality is England’s own, Nigella Lawson

According to AskMen.com, Nigella says of herself, “I am not a chef. I am not even a trained or professional cook. My qualification is as an eater.” She is known as the flirtatious cook with the curves, and she seems to have resonated with both men and women alike. She gives people permission to feel unapologetic about food: loving it, eating it, and relishing it. She licks her fingers, smacks her lips, and seductively opens her mouth to slide food in.

Nigella’s yarn is far from being the rags to riches story like Paula Dean’s. She is Nigel Lawson’s daughter, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer, responsible for economic and financial matters in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet; and she was daughter of Vanessa Salmon, deceased, heiress and socialite. But. Nigella’s success came by her own labor. Though she earned a degree in Medieval and Modern Languages, she went into journalism. At 23,  she went to work at The Spectator writing book reviews; and in 1985, she became a restaurant critic. She moved on to be the deputy literary critic a The Sunday Times, but she didn’t like that role, so she became a freelance author. Her first husband, John Diamond, now deceased, encouraged her and stood behind her, even suggested that she write a book. That book was, How to Eat: Pleasures and Principles of Good Food (1998). She has numerous other books and television shows. See Wikipedia for a list of her shows and awards.

The recipe below is my own recipe for an anti-oxidant fruit salad, inspired by Nigella’s recipe. I selected the following fruits because the all fit into the top 10 category for their anti-oxidant punch. This was determined by researchers at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. They figured this by measuring various fruits for their ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) Here are their respective ratings: #3 blueberries, #4 blackberries, #5 Strawberries, and #8 oranges.

Hope you enjoy!

 

Servings: 2-3

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2 cups

Ingredients:

1 orange, and the juice
½ cup blueberries
¼ cup blackberries
½ cup strawberries

Procedure:

1) Wash the strawberries, blackberries, and the blueberries.

2) Section the orange. (View this post to see how to section an orange.)

3) Slice the strawberries and arrange them on a plate with the orange sections,

the blueberries, and the blackberries. Pour the orange juice over the top.

 

This recipe is also posted at  Full Plate Thursday

Check out what these other great cooks have come up with:

Val – More Than Burnt Toast, Joanne – Eats Well With Others, Taryn – Have Kitchen Will Feed, Susan – The Spice Garden, Heather – Girlichef, Miranda – Mangoes and Chutney, Jeanette – Healthy Living,  Mary – One Perfect Bite, Kathleen –Bake Away with Me  Sue – The View from Great Island, Barbara – Movable Feasts, Kathleen – Gonna Want Seconds,   Linda A – There and Back Again  Nancy – Picadillo, Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits,  Veronica – My Catholic Kitchen,  Annie Most Lovely Things , Claudia –Journey of an Italian Cook,  Amrit Beetles Kitchen Escapades, Alyce – More Time at the Table, Martha – Simple-Nourished-Living, Jill – Saucy Cooks, Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink

Recipe: Sizzling Summer Fruit Salad

 

Sizzling Summer Fruit Salad

Sizzling Summer Fruit Salad

May to early July is my favorite time of year for fruit salad because some of my favorite fruits are in season: watermelon, strawberries, blueberries and bananas. Each of these fruits are delicious on their own, but in combination…WOW! In late spring and early summer in Arizona the weather is already sizzling, and these fruits make a delicious sizzling summer fruit salad. Why would you want to make cakes, cookies, or pastries when nature offers you the best in terms of color, texture, flavor, and sweetness?

Fresh Fruit

Fresh Fruit

Some people are confused about the amount of fruit and vegetables they should eat. On Thursday, May 1st, the US government is replacing the food pyramid a symbol of a plate. According to this new guide, recommendations regarding the amount of fruit and vegetables you need to eat will now depend on your age, weight, and amount of physical activity you do. At http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov you can calculate the amount of fruits and vegetables you should be eating, according to government standards.

The CDC uses a new plate symbol, compared to the old food pyramid, because the agency has established that it leads to less confusion. Personally, I like Dr. Andrew Weil’s pyramid guide, which recommends 7-9 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables. What does your plate look like?

Servings: 4

Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 of a small watermelon

Liquer

Liquer

2 cups strawberries

1 cup blueberries

1 ½ bananas

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 ½ tablespoons Triple Sec

1 ½ tablespoons Grand Marnier

1 ½ teaspoons mint, finely chopped

Garnish: a sprig of mint

 

Procedure:

1)  Wash the watermelon and cut  slices about ¾ inch thick, and then cube the sliced melon into ¾ squares. Repeat the process if necessary until you have about 1 ½ to 1 ¾ cups of cubed watermelon. Place it in large round serving bowl. You want to use a bowl that allows for a lot of room so that when you stir the salad you don’t the break up the fruit.

2)  Wash the strawberries and then hull them. You will cut into the strawberry and cut around the green leaf top to remove it. Discard the green top and then slice the berry in half. If the berry is large you many need to slice it several times for bite size pieces. Add the berries to the bowl.

3)  Wash the blueberries, discarding any bad berries. Add them to the bowl.

4)  Slice the bananas to ¼ inch thickness. Add them to the salad.

5)  In a measuring cup or glass, mix together the lime juice, Triple Sec and Grand Marnier.

6)  Pour the liquid over the salad and lightly toss. Serve on plates or in bowls and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Enjoy!

Mireya

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This recipe is also posted at Simply Indulgent TuesdaysSimple Lives Thursday,

Dr. Laura’s Tasty Tuesday, and Fresh Bites Friday.

 

Recipe: Banana and Blackberry Whole Wheat Crepes

 

Dessert Crepe

Banana and Blackberry Whole Wheat Crepe

“Where’s the sugar?” This is what you may by wondering if you’ve been following this blog for the past four months. You’ve probably noticed that they conspicuously absent. Well, here’s the thing, sugary foods is everywhere —I mean EVERYWHERE! My dream is that people would quit thinking about sweets, desserts, sugar, pastries, trifles, ice-cream, tarts, torts, sodas, shakes, puddings, cheesecakes, cakes, brownies, cookies… and  stop putting these, and other refined sweets in their bodies.

But…this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t ever enjoy a little sweetness, it just means that we should be making better choices about what we’re putting in our bodies. Fruit is tasty, sweet, and has fiber and vitamins that our necessary for our health.

Today I offer my recipe for banana and blackberry topped whole wheat crepes, that are good served for breakfast, brunch or dessert. Chef Michael Stroot has a wonderful crepe batter recipe, that I have adapted from his book The Golden Door Cooks Light and Easy. It uses very little oil and no cream, and I came up with a variation to make it even better for an anti-inflammation diet by changing the milk to soymilk and using egg white instead of whole egg. These no added sugar crepes taste surprisingly good, and you don’t have to feel guilty about eating them.

Servings: 5

Total cooking and prep time:  1 hour and 30 minutes (includes one hour refrigeration time)

Ingredients:

¾ cup soymilk

¼ cup egg whites

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon olive oil

½ teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon lemon zest

1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 cup unbleached white flour

For Filling and Topping:

2 ½ bananas (1/2 per crepe)

Fresh Blackberries – 8 ounces

Fresh mint garnish

Optional –  pomegranate seeds and orange segments

 

Procedure:

1.)  Mix the liquids together in a bowl.

2.)  Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

3.)  Whisk the liquid ingredients in with the dry and mix until the batter is smooth. Refrigerate the batter at least an hour but not more than two. (This is what Michael Stroot says. I refrigerated the it overnight and the crepes turned out beautifully. I just let the batter warm up a little at room temperature before using)

4.)  Heat your grill to medium-high. Spray the grill with oil, or wiped it on with a paper towel. Pour 2 tablespoons ob batter onto the grill and use a cake spreader to quickly spread the batter into a 7-inch circle. Cook it for one minute and then use your clean cake spreader to lift it and flip it over. Cook for another 40 seconds or so.

5.)  Pre-heat the oven on to 350°. Place your plates in the oven to warm them. Assemble the crepes by filling the crepes with ½ banana, which you have previously sliced. Roll and place a platter. Warm the crepes in the oven for three to four minutes and then place them on the serving plates and decorate with the fresh berries and mint.

Mireya

Related articles: 10 Good Reasons to Eliminate Sugar, or 10 Tips for Healthy Eating Habits

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This recipe is posted at Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Simple Lives Thursday