We are so privileged to live in a land of plenty, yet we can find ourselves griping and complaining about things. It’s easy to get caught up in negative thinking and negative talk. This attitude and disposition servesRead More
Usually when one thinks of "crisp," crunchy oats topped with lots of brown sugar come to mind. With that traditional method, comes a high fat and sugar content. This versionRead More
Have you heard of the concept “eating raw”? What is eating raw? If you are like me, you are thinking salads, smoothies, or a veggie tray with dip. Many of us are already eating some raw. We enjoy slaws, fruit and salads. There are some who subscribe that the benefits of only eating raw foods are worth the extra effort, which mean the microwave, cook top and oven get a break. This sounds pretty good, right? No cooking? That should be a snap. Well, not really. Eating raw actually requires more cooking skills while utilizing small appliances. The practice of preparing foods with blenders, food processors, and dehydrators can be a bit overwhelming at first. Why would anyone what to create more work? Well, one of the main benefits of raw eating is the belief that cooking the foods kill the enzymes and nutrients our bodies need, and that causes health problems.
Recently, I purchased a book on eating raw. I was interested because I had heard that people who were diagnosed with cancer often could turn things around by eating “raw” or “juicing.” While there is no scientific evidence that supports this, there are survivors who swear it’s made a difference for them. So who am I to contradict that? They are alive when the doctor told them there were no other medical treatments left. I do believe in healthy skepticism. I don’t believe that there is only ONE way to eat, or only ONE diet plan to follow. But, maybe I can work in a little raw during the week that would benefit me and my family. Most Americans don’t get their daily allowance of fruits and vegetables anyway. So if I can trick my family into eating raw, especially desserts, then maybe they would be game. At least it’s a place to start.
According to my own research, eating raw could give the body a good energy boost and a good place to start for good health. It can lower the risk of certain cancers like, breast and colon. Eating raw means eating “clean” and I’ve heard a lot of people talking about wanting to eat “clean.” Having only tried a few of the recipes, I can tell you that what I made was surprisingly good. Even my skeptical husband liked the brownies I made. As a matter of fact, he finished the pan.
The down side is it can be expensive to eat raw, at least the desserts. The recipes I've tried contain dates, nuts, raw cashews, and pure maple syrup. While a better choice than their refined counterparts, I believe the cost is worth the consequence. I’m leaving you the recipe for the brownies our family enjoyed. This week, I plan to experiment more with raw. I’ll keep you posted.
The Ultimate Unbaked Brownies
- 2 ½ cups loosely packed pitted dates
- 1 ½ cups walnuts
- ½ cup plus 2 TBSP cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 TBSP melted coconut oil or vegetable oil
- Combine dates, walnuts, 6 TBSP cacao powder, 1 ½ tsp vanilla, 2 tsp. water and salt in a food processor. Process until completely smooth.
- Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish, or line a dish with parchment or waxed paper. Transfer dough to dish. Press dough very firmly into dish with your hands until dough is evenly distributed.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine remaining ¼ cup cacao powder, remaining ½ tsp vanilla, maple syrup and oil. Stir until mixture forms a paste (this is the frosting). Spread paste evenly over dough in baking dish. Refrigerate brownies for at least 2 hours to set, and then cut into squares. Refrigerate any leftovers in a covered container for up to 2 weeks or freeze up to 2 months.
Nutrition information per serving (1 brownie)
207 calories, 10g fat (2g sat), 0mg cholesterol, 5g fiber, 4g protein, 29g carb., 63mg sodium, 3mg iron, 39mg calcium.
, by Gena Hamshaw
When my youngest daughter was small, she would ask for "bikini" bread! My mother was always kind enough to accommdate this small request and enjoyed declious, sweet bread. Most sweet bread recipes call for a lot of oil, which turns me off in baking this type of bread for my family. However, because of the addition of applesauce in the recipe, the fat is marginal in this moist dessert. The chocolate satisfies those cravings for those of us who need a little chocolate from time to time. Enjoy!
Low Fat Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 TBSP vegetable
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup applesauce
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa
- 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups finely shredded zucchini
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Place first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at low speed until well blended. Stir in applesauce.
- Combine flour and the next 4 ingredients (through salt), stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, beating until just moist. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips. Spoon batter into a 9x5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350º for 1 hour or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean.
- Cool before serving.
Thankfully cranberries last a long time in the refrigerator. During the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, I do a lot of cooking and baking. There are quite a few desserts that call for fresh cranberries and duing this time of year, they are easily found in the grocery stores. Any leftovers can be frozen and added to recipes later. Using unsweetened applesauce eliminates the need for added fat. Instead of refined sugar, I have replaced it with honey. Using almond milk will further cut out calories and making this treat dairy-free. Hint: use foil-lined cups to prevent sticking.
Low-Fat Cranberry and Blueberry Muffins
3/4 cup almond milk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed
1/2 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen, thawed
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, except berries. Once combined, stir in berries. Pour into prepared muffin tin. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until lightly brown.
Yield: 12 muffins