Showing posts with label sweet treats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sweet treats. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Neapolitan Smoothie Pops

It is freezing cold outside currently and while I usually want soups and stews, occasionally I want to pretend I am in a warmer place and want summery January. I know.

Like many foods, popsicles have the opportunity to be a nutritional boon or a calorie bomb. I wanted to make something that tasted delicious and wouldn't set me back a zillion calories. I decided to make a popsicle that was mostly yogurt and fruit based - like a smoothie!

Yogurt, too, can be a high-sugar dessert or a healthy part of your day. Chobani is one brand of plain Greek yogurt I buy because of the very short and simple ingredient list. The only sugar in the product is there naturally from the cow.

Neapolitan Smoothie Pops

  • 2 large bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Chobani Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
Supplies: popsicle molds, or small cups and popsicle sticks
  1. In a blender, puree the bananas and 1 cup of the greek yogurt with honey. Pour about one cup of the mixture into each of two small bowls. This should use up most, but not all of the mixture. 
  2. To one bowl,add the cocoa powder and stir until evenly mixed. To the other bowl, stir inthe vanilla extract.
  3. To the remaining mixture in the blender, add the remaining 1/2 cup of yogurt and frozen strawberries. Blend until smooth. 
  4. Divide the chocolate mixture between your popsicle molds or small cups, filling each no more than 1/3 full. Freeze for an hour or so, until firm enough to hold the popsicle sticks. 
  5. Add the vanilla layer and freeze until solid. Top with strawberry layer and freeze again until firm. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sweet Treats: Maple + Bourbon Chocolate Mousse

This. Is. Delicious. And it has a mystery ingredient. It is a dessert that almost everyone can enjoy - there isn't any dairy or gluten, just loads of chocolaty good flavor :)

This sweet treat has a mystery ingredient...but you'd never guess it from the flavor!

Maple Bourbon Chocolate Mousse
Serves 4
  • 2 ripe avocadoes
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave or over a double boiler - your call.
  2. Pop all of the ingredients into your food processor or blender and blend until very smooth. If you can stand it, let it chill in the fridge for a few hours. 
Do you have any unusual ways to use avocado? 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sweet Treats: Whole Grain Maple Oat Scones

It is kind of strange how often folks hear that I'm a dietitian and immediately get a look of guilt or fear, as though they have suddenly been arrested by the food police.  Far from it. I became a dietitian because I like to eat. We do feel better when we eat well, but everyone enjoys a good treat now and again. I found this great recipe that I adapted from Eggs On Sunday for a weekend treat. The original recipe said that it made 8 scones. Since scones are all about the butter texture and flavor, I didn't actually want to mess with fat lowering substitutions. Instead, I focused on portion control and made 16 instead. They were still quite large and satisfying. Very crumbly and delicious. 

These scones are made only with whole grain oats and so are gluten free. I do not need to choose gluten free, and so when I was rolling out the scones, I used wheat flour. If you do need to avoid gluten, grind up some extra oat flour and set it aside.

Whole Grain Maple Oat Scones
  • 3 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking), divided
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
For garnish:
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp oats
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add lemon juice to milk and set aside. If you have buttermilk, feel free to use that, I never do so I use this mixture as a substitute.
  3. Place 2 cups of oats into food processor and grind until fine powder - you should have 1 1/3 cups oat flour. If you don't have a food processor, you'll need to buy oat flour. Use 1 1/3 cups. If you need to avoid gluten, grind some extra oats into flour and set aside for when you roll out the dough.
  4. Add remaining 1 1/3 cups oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda.  and pulse food processor a few times. Having the more coarsely ground oats gives the scones great texture.
  5. Add butter pieces and pulse a few more time to chop butter.
  6. Add milk and maple syrup and run food processor until dough is mixed. It will be sticky.
  7. Place half of dough onto a board and roll into a circle. Use flour to prevent sticking. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 wedges and place wedges onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with other half of dough.
  8. Mix milk and maple syrup and brush tops of scones using a pastry brush. Or, soak a paper towel or clean napkin. Sprinkle with a few more oats for flair and pop into the oven. bake for about 12-15 minutes or until browned on the edges and puffed up.
Note: I store baked goods in a pot to minimize use of plastic wrap.
Gather your ingredients
Action shot! Grinding the oats into flour
The course meal of ground oats, with the sugar and cinnamon added.
Add cold butter

Half of the dough, ready to roll out

Cut into cute wedges

Brush top with mixture of milk and maple syrup

Sprinkle with oats and pop into the oven
Ready to eat! Enjoy :)

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sweet treats: Chocolate zucchini cupcakes

Since you're a dietitian, you probably never eat sweets, right? 
Chocolate zucchini cupcakes

Oh wrong baby, wrong.

I get asked versions of that question all the time. Or, if I am meeting someone at a dinner, they'll usually look at their dinner with a guilty expression and then back at me as though I'm the food police. Far from it! I love food, and my passion for all things food are what fueled my interest in becoming a dietitian. I am a dietitian because I LOVE to eat...that includes all things chocolate and sweet potato fries too!

Being a healthy human is about balance. We need to base our usual foods on produce, fruits and vegetables galore, we need some healthy fats and protein as well as fiber and water, but there are so many "right" ways to do it, and there is wiggle room for treats too! Here is the trick: when eating, slow down, eat at the table and pay attention to the food. This is called eating mindfully and applies not just to the treats, but to the main event too. When we slow down and focus, we're more satisfied and eat less.

I received this cookbook from my sweet roommate and his fiance (maybe it was a hint to do some more baking!) and tried this recipe first because I had a zucchini I needed to use. Now, let's not fool ourselves; just because there is a vegetable in these cupcakes, they aren't suddenly a miracle health food. My carrot cake recipe has enough calories to sink the Titanic. However, this cookbook was written in England and it seems that their sweets run a little lower in the sugar and oil department. They're sweet, but the sugar level doesn't sock you in the face.

Side note: most American recipes would try to be sneaky and call these "muffins" to make them sound healthier...I am going to stick with the cupcake labeling assigned on the other side of the pond.
Chocolate zucchini cupcakes
Makes 10
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 3 oz dark chocolate
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup flour plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray muffin tins with non-stick spray or line with paper liners.
  2. Mix oil, brown sugar and eggs in bowl using a whisk.
  3. Sprinkle flour over top of wet ingredients and then sprinkle baking powder and baking soda on top of flour - this is my "cheater" method to avoid sifting dry ingredients together. Stir just a few times to wet the flour. If you keep stirring a lot, you'll over develop the gluten and have tough (not tender) muffins.
  4. Melt chocolate in the microwave by nuking for 10-20 second intervals and stirring in between until melted. Add chocolate, zucchini and pecans to batter and mix until just combined.
  5. Divide batter evenly between 10 muffin cups and bake for about 25 minutes or until firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
Gather your ingredients

Whisk oil, eggs and brown sugar
Melt chocolate

Add dry ingredients
Add grated zucchini, melted chocolate and nuts
Even batter portions means each cupcake will bake evenly too

Yum! Sweet treats with hidden zucchini!
 I like using a box grater because it stands up on its own; it makes it easier to grate vegetables and cheese without it slipping around. A stable grater also makes it safer if you have kids helping you in the kitchen.

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