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October 25, 2011

Butterscotch Pumpkin Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Cinnamon-Spiced Icing and Pecans

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Besides that Spiced Pumpkin Maple Ice Cream I made last month, I have never had much luck with pumpkin.  I won't get into the details, but I recall having four failed recipes using pumpkin ...  within the last two months ...  so sad.

But let's get to the good part (where I finally struck luck with pumpkin):  this cake!  *points to picture above*

After making the Apple Cinnamon Butterscotch Cake, I've been dying to make something else with butterscotch extract.  And so, I gave pumpkin another try.

A very good decision!  Technically, I gave pumpkin two tries.  I mean, could you really see me--of all bakers--making a perfectly good cake in my first trial?  Um, no.  For a cake to taste this good, it is bound to have a dark past  (aka, a failed brother or sister recipe, or, was baked by someone struck with an unlucky "pumpkin curse")

One of the problems I always seem to have with pumpkin, is that the end product always turns out bland.  Since this recipe uses oats, another bland ingredient, I had to try extra hard to squeeze in more flavor without ruining the texture of the cake.  That's what I thought I did in the first trial, but what did I get?  A giant bundt cake with no flavor whatsoever, and along with that, it was much too moist with an almost mushy texture.  Not something I look forward to in a cake!

So along came the second trial.

For a better texture, I removed some of the oat flour and added in whole oats instead, omitted the applesauce and egg replacer, used pureed tofu instead of greek yogurt, and added one teaspoon of baking soda.

For a better flavor, I doubled the cinnamon, nutmeg and butterscotch extract, and added sucanat and maple sugar.  I also added the spiced icing because it felt like the cake was missing something ...  or maybe I just wanted some icing ...

And just look at what it adds to the cake!  Better looks and better taste!  This makes for a happy baker.  This cake was super moist, but not too moist like the first trial, and struck a perfect balance between soft and firm, something every bundt cake should have.  The icing (obviously) completed the cake, hands down.  It added even more sweetness and deliciousness.  It was simply scrumptious.  I was quite surprised as to how little I tasted the pumpkin, though, since I used a whole can of it!  But this is a good thing for me as I am not a pumpkin fan--I appreciate pumpkin flavor, I just don't love it.  The pumpkin may be more prominent without the icing, but, would anyone sacrifice the icing for more pumpkin flavor?  I certainly hope not!

Butterscotch Pumpkin Gingerbread Bundt Cake:  [low fat, high fiber/protein, GF]
(makes one large bundt cake)
      144g (1+1/2 cups) Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, blended to a flour (GF if you like)
      144g (1+1/2 cups) Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, left whole
      160g (1 cup) Brown Rice Flour
      120g (1+1/2 cups) Whey Protein Concentrate
      96g (1/2 cup) Sucanat
      36g (1/4 cup) Pure Maple Sugar
      13g (2 tbs) Ground Flaxseed
      2 tbs Cinnamon
      1/16 tsp Nutmeg
      1 tbs Baking Powder
      2 tsp Baking Soda
      1/2 tsp Salt
      255g (3/5 package) Firm Tofu, drained
      1 cup 100% Apple Juice
      56g (1/4 cup) Grapeseed Oil
      one 15oz can 100% Pure Pumpkin Puree
      84g (1/4 cup) Pure Maple Syrup
      84g (1/4 cup) Molasses
      1 tbs + 2 tsp Butterscotch Extract
      1 tbs + 2 tsp Stevia Extract
      2 tsp Vanilla Extract
      1 tsp Butter Extract (or more butterscotch)
      1 tsp Maple Flavor
      1/4 tsp Lemon Flavor
      1 tbs Apple Cider Vinegar

*NOTE:  this is a high altitude recipe (for about 2,500 feet), so if you live at sea level don't attempt this recipe without making your own adjustments to the liquid and moisture level!

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and thoroughly spray your bundt pan with cooking spray.
2.  In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
3.  In a blender, puree the tofu and apple juice, and pour into a separate large bowl (the larger the better).  Whisk in the rest of the wet ingredients.
4.  Slowly add in the dry to wet, big scoop by big scoop, folding to combine.  Once all the dry has been added, quickly stir the batter for 20 seconds to break up any flour chunks.  Pour into the prepared pan and bake for ~55-60 minutes, or until the surface is firm to touch.
5.  Flip cake onto a plate and leave uncovered for about 30 minutes.  Cover with the cake with the bundt pan and leave it like that overnight (the flavors develop around each other and taste 1293487x better . . . and no, that isn't an exaggeration).  The next day, make the Cinnamon-Spiced Icing (recipe below)

Cinnamon-Spiced Icing:
   112g (5 tbs + 1 tsp) Honey
   14g (2 tsp) Molasses
   40g (1/2 cup) Whey Protein Concentrate
   1/4 tsp Cinnamon
   1-2 tbs Chopped Pecans, for topping

1.  Warm the honey and molasses for about 10-15 seconds in the microwave, or until it is runny and not too hot
2.  Stir in the whey protein concentrate and cinnamon until evenly distributed and scoop over cake.  I had to spread mine with a knife, but very carefully, as it doesn't want to stick to the cake!  It does eventually stick if you go slowly, though.
3.  Press pecans onto icing, then slice and serve.  Do not let anything (like plastic wrap or foil) touch the surface of the cake otherwise the icing will come off.

PS: the lucky winner of the brand new baker's scale is commenter #41:  Audrey from Just Audrey!

October 23, 2011

Coconut Key Lime Pie

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This is not your typical key lime pie . . . this is sweet instead of tart, and healthy instead of unhealthy!

You know me.  I like sweet things, not tart things!  I guess that's why I've never liked restaurants' key lime pies ...  along with cranberry juice, lemons, and certain apples.  Sugary sweets bring smiles to faces--smiles that reach from ear to ear.  While tart and mouth-puckering foods crumple foreheads and squeeze eyebrows together.

I vote for ... the sugary sweets!  And, if you're like me, then you will love this healthified key lime pie.

Can you guess what makes this pie green?

Hint #1:  it isn't food coloring
Hint #2:  it isn't key lime zest
Hint #3:  it isn't ...

Okay, I can't hold it in any longer,  it's spinach!  Please don't be grossed out, you don't taste it at all!  Spinach leaves are kind of like blueberries,  the smallest amount will provide ample color in a dish.

Perfectly smooth and deliciously creamy--other than that, this key lime pie isn't like any other key lime pie.  Apart from being sweet and healthy, this pie is airy instead of dense  (probably due to the fact that it uses egg whites rather than egg yolks)  It has a mild flavor, with coconut and key lime undertones--neither flavor smacks you in the face with an overpowering bite.

The filling is like a mixture of mousse, jello, "restaurant" key lime pie, and whipped cream.  I usually don't like gelatin in pies, but it wasn't bad in this pie.  It wasn't bouncy or jiggly, it was just like a firmer mousse, if you will.  It just melts in your mouth!  If you are the type of person who likes tart pies, roll the crust a little bit thinner than pictured and you will get more of the key lime flavor rather than graham cracker flavor.

What I am really excited about is the "graham cracker" crust, which is made without graham crackers!  The texture is like a very soft and moist cookie, or, a harder, dryer cookie dough.  There was some leftover after lining the pie pan, so I just reserved it for later (of course).  And boy, am I glad I did!  It's like eating gingersnap or graham cracker cookie dough!

One thing to note about the crust is that it uses protein powder.  When the filling is put on top of it, the protein powder's natural tendency is to liquify.  Don't worry, the crust wasn't soggy or slippery, there was just a discrepancy between the crust and filling once the pie had firmed in the refrigerator.  I know this isn't protocol when eating pies, but I would recommend eating this with a fork and knife, sort of like how you would cut a steak (bad comparison, I know, but it's the only one I can think of).  You can see what I'm talking about in the picture below, where the pie and crust separate a little:

But honestly, this was not a problem for me and my other happy taste-testers!  The pie will only separate when accompanied with one fork and a serious appetite (which I apparently had).

Coconut Key Lime Pie:  [high fiber, high protein, GF]
(makes one large, deep-dish pie)

    "Graham Cracker" Crust:
         192g (2 cups) Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (GF if you like)
         48g (1/4 cup) Sucanat (or dry sweetener of choice)
         124g (4 scoops) Vanilla Protein Powder
         1/4 tsp Cinnamon
         1/2 tsp Salt
         112g (1/2 cup) Coconut Butter
         294g (1 cup - 2 tbs) Honey
         28g (1 tbs + 1 tsp) Molasses

         one 12oz can Evaporated Fat Free Milk
         1 cup Baby Spinach (optional, this is just for color)
         3/4 tsp Coconut Extract
         3/4 tsp Stevia Extract
         48g (1/4 cup) Coconut Sugar (or dry sweetener of choice)
         32g (1 scoop) Vanilla Protein Powder
         56g (1/4 cup) Coconut Butter
         one 8oz tub Fat Free Cream Cheese
         7 Large Egg Whites (use pasteurized/Egg Beaters if you like)
         1/2 cup Key Lime Juice
         126g (6 tbs) Honey, separated
         2 packets Knox Unflavored Gelatin

Directions (for the crust):
1.  Blend the oats and sucanat in blender until it becomes a fine flour, put into a large bowl.  Stir in the protein powder, cinnamon and salt.
2.  Warm the coconut butter, honey and molasses in the microwave at 15-second intervals, stirring in between each one until coconut butter is melted.  Pour over the dry ingredients and stir until mixture is even.
3.  Dust a flat surface and rolling pin with (GF) flour of choice and roll out the dough until it is even in height (I like thick crusts, so I didn't roll too much)
4.  Spray your deep-dish pie pan (at least 2" deep) with cooking spray and dust with more flour.  Place the crust into the pan and press into the edges (reserve any extra dough for snacking).  Refrigerate while you make the filling.

Directions (for the filling):
1.  Put the evaporated milk, spinach and extracts into a blender and process until smooth.  Add the coconut sugar, protein powder and salt and blend again.
2.  Warm the coconut butter and 2 tbs of the honey in the microwave at 15-second intervals, stirring between each one, until butter is melted.
3.  In a large bowl, whip together the cream cheese and microwaved mixture.  Whisk in the blender mixture.  Refrigerate while you complete the next steps.
4.  Put the egg whites into a bowl and the key lime juice in a separate bowl.
5.  Add the rest of the honey to a pot and sprinkle with the gelatin.  Let sit for a couple minutes.  Place over low heat and whisk.  Once gelatin has dissolved, add the egg whites.  Constantly whisk the mixture, but not vigorously.  When mixture becomes thick (took me about 18 minutes) take off the heat.
6.  Very slowly, whisk in the heated mixture into the refrigerated mixture.  Do not pour it in all at once.  Pour this into the pie pan over the crust and refrigerate overnight.  The next day, slice and serve.

Best eaten the day after overnight refrigeration.

This was my first trial (used less spinach for this one, and I kind of like the color better too):

If you would like to make a Key Lime Tart as pictured above, you will need three 4.25"x13.75" tart pans and you will need to double the crust recipe (and roll it out lengthwise rather than into a circle).

I would call this pie a success, and now I can cross it off my Recipe Wishlist!

October 21, 2011

White Chocolate Coconut Petit Fours

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Okay, so I guess these aren't technically petit fours, but these coconutty bites sure are scrumptious and,
you know, cube-ish like petit fours.  And they're sweet and rich, also like petit fours.

They actually taste like fudge--chewy, coconutty fudge.
and they also taste like cookie dough--soft, coconutty cookie dough.

This "fudge-meets-cookie-dough" hybrid is totally delicious on its own, but after it has been dipped in some white chocolate (oh my) it becomes the most creamy, sweet, decadent and divine gift of all.

Or at least that's how my friends described it  (they're my taste-testers, who gladly volunteered after one whiff of these fragrant coconut cubes!)

Yum, yum, yum . . . yum, yum, yum!
It was calling my name!
And it kept calling!
And then it ...  stopped calling.  What can I say?  I'm a taste-tester too!

White Chocolate Coconut Petit Fours:  [high fiber/protein, GF, vegan]
(makes 18 one-inch petit fours)
     48g (1/2 cup) Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, blended to a flour (GF if you like)
     93g (3 scoops) Vanilla Protein Powder
     30g (1/2 cup) Reduced Fat Shredded Coconut
     1/8 tsp Salt
     126g (1/4 cup + 2 tbs) Brown Rice Syrup
     126g (1/4 cup + 2 tbs) Honey or Agave
     56g (1/4 cup) Coconut Butter
     1/2 tsp Vanilla Paste
     3/4 tsp Coconut Extract
     1/2 tsp Hazelnut Extract (or more vanilla paste)
     1/2 tsp Chocolate Extract
     1/2 tsp Stevia Extract
     1/4 tsp Butter Extract (optional)
     2.5oz White Chocolate (vegans, use vegan white chocolate)

1.  Blend the oats into a flour and pour into a large bowl along with the rest of the dry ingredients and whisk.
2.  Warm the brown rice syrup, honey and coconut butter in the microwave at 10-second intervals, stirring between each one, until runny.  Stir in the vanilla paste and extracts.
3.  Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and fold together with a spatula
4.  Cover your fingers with plastic wrap or a plastic bag and press the mixture into a mold of your choice--I used one with 24 individual, 1" cubes (the mixture filled 18).  If you don't have a mold like this, line a brownie pan with parchment paper and flatten the mixture with a pastry roller or your plastic-wrapped hands until flat and even.
5.  If using a mold, place in the freezer for 30 minutes.  If using a brownie pan, refrigerate for an hour.
6.  While you wait, melt the white chocolate.  Microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring between each one, until melted.
7.  Pop the petit fours out onto a plate.  If using a brownie pan, remove the parchment paper from the pan and slice into cubes of desired size.  Dip one face of the petit four into the white chocolate and let it firm on a piece of parchment paper.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and serve.

I am sensing that these will be made again in the near future!  Aka, next week.

October 20, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Butterscotch Cake (and a Giveaway)

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I was going to add to the post's title, "and a 'Blogiversary,' " because it has already been six months since my first post ever  (woohoo!) ...  I mean, if a lovey dovey couple can celebrate their two-month anniversary with balloons, a dinner and loads of chocolate, I can celebrate my six month relationship to this blog and you with a tasty recipe and awesome baker's scale giveaway, right?

6 months of happy blogging, 36 delicious recipes, and nearly 100,000 views so far!  This is a happy day.

Isn't it strange reuniting with something?  In mere seconds, you realize how much you've missed it and how long you've been apart.  No, I'm not talking about a boyfriend, I'm talking about my dorm's oven.  I'm not a freak, I swear.  Okay, I half swear.  I never knew how much I loved that old thing until I baked this cake.  All of these no-bake treats recently have given me cravings to open a door leading to 375 degrees of pure, warm love.  I missed setting my kitchen timer.  I missed using my oven mitts.  I missed my adorable little cake tester!

I think I might be suffering from "baker's withdrawal."  I know that exists.  I swear it does . . . or is that the addiction talking?  Anyhow, that totally awesome addiction led me to this recipe (a recipe that required four trials to perfect).  Here is a visual representation of my baking trials:

Trial #1:
     Mmmm, this smelled so delicious while in the oven!  The cinnamon and the oats made it feel like the season was really here (despite the fact that it's still in the 90s here in Arizona!).  As I brought the cake out of the oven, it looked even better.  When I cut into it, it was moist!  What a surprise right?  I wanted to gobble it all up right then and there, but I had to wait until breakfast since it was 11 at night.  By the time the sun came up, I giddily hopped out of bed and ripped the foil off the cake.  Ah, good ... the aroma was still there.  I took a giant fork and demolished about a third of the cake in one swoop, then, chomp.  Hmm, a little bland, but not unbearable.  A few more bites in, I realized the cake was a little on the doughy side.  When I got around to the corner piece, I was saddened to see that it was tough and dry, but that was easily fixed with a drizzle of honey.  After glancing through my pantry, I asked myself, "Why am I making a basic applesauce cake when I have ALL of these extracts?!?"  I have a lot, by the way.  They were the perfect going-away gift for my sophomore year in college.  I have vanilla, maple, almond, hazelnut, chocolate, butter, butterscotch, lemon, orange, coconut, mint and peppermint.  I feel like I'm missing one . . . anyways, what matches well with apple?  I don't know about you, but butterscotch definitely stuck out to me.

Trial #2:
     As soon as I opened the bottle of butterscotch extract, me and my roommate were mesmerized by its fantastic scent.  While the cake was baking in the oven, passerby's stuck there heads in with wide eyes and said, "Whooaa, smells good!"
It made me happy to know that college students could be attracted to a low sugar, low fat, whole grain cake.  And the flavor?  Insanely good, especially compared to the first trial.  It was soft and moist, not tough and dry, but still needed some work.

Trial #3:
     Finally, the perfected recipe!  Even though this is my blog's first, half-birthday, I felt like it was my own since I was the one eating the cake!
Oh, right.  You're are probably wondering how the cake was.  It was deeeelicious!  :D  So moist and packed with cinnamon and butterscotch flavor, not boring and dry like trial #1.  The flavors worked so well together.  And do you know how to make this cake even better?  Leave it overnight!  I don't know how and I don't know why, but something happens to the cake and it becomes even more moist and even more butterscotchey.

*NOTE:  I am so very sorry to those who live at sea-level, I truly am, because this is a high altitude recipe made at about 2,500 feet (and don't attempt to make this unless you change the moisture level!  Otherwise you will get a pile of mush--take it from me, I tried it once)

Apple Cinnamon Butterscotch Cake:  [low fat/sugar, high fiber/protein, GF]
(makes one 8x8" cake)

       192g (2 cups) Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, blended to a flour (GF if you like... or ~1.5 cups oat flour)
       48g (1/2 cup) Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, left whole
       80g (1 cup) Whey Protein Concentrate
       2+1/2 tsp Cinnamon
       1+1/2 tsp Baking Powder
       1/2 tsp Baking Soda
       1/4 tsp Salt

       1/2 cup Unsweetened Soymilk
       369g (1+1/2 cup) Unsweetened Applesauce
       84g (1/4 cup) Honey
       42g (3 tbs) Grapeseed Oil (or any other neutral oil)
       21g (1 tbs) Molasses
       1+1/2 tsp Butterscotch Extract
       1+1/4 tsp Stevia Extract
       1 tsp Vanilla Extract
       2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and spray your pan with cooking spray.
2.  In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients.
3.  In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the wet ingredients and let sit for a few minutes.  Pour over the dry ingredients and fold together.  Whisk the batter vigorously for about 20 seconds to break up any flour clumps.
4.  Pour batter into the pan and bake for ~40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

To make this even more decadent, top with my Classic White Icing!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

TIME FOR THE GIVEAWAY!!!  And what is more fitting than a baker's scale?  Small, delicate and slim . . . the size of a Kindle, a small book, or a spread out hand.


These are my scales . . . mama scale, baby scale.

This is my little beauty.  So clean, so easy to use, and so helpful!  I bought two scales, one black, one white.  I got first pick, of course, and chose black.  First come first serve!  hehe

^^ weighing the oats before blending

Why am I giving away a baker's scale?  Because I always make my desserts with one (especially the baked goods) and for three reasons:
  1. Baking is a very precise practice.  For example, flour is a very temperamental ingredient.  One cup of flour will weigh a certain amount on a humid day and a different amount on a dry day.  The weighing of ingredients allows the results I get in my kitchen to be almost identical to the results you will get in your kitchen.
  2. It uses less material (mixing bowls, measuring cups, measuring spoons, utensils, etc).  Measuring three tablespoon of honey can be a pain.  You have to spray the measuring spoon with PAM, and even then not all of it comes out fully.  With a scale, you just squeeze the honey into the mixing bowl, no spoons needed and there is less dish-washing to do.
  3. It allows you to make accurate nutrition labels.  Many nutrition labels are not accurate, for example, 1/4 cup of cocoa powder will weigh 32g on my scale rather than 20g they say it is supposed to weigh.  Now, you can add up the exact number of calories, fat, fiber, protein, etc)
And healthy baking is a difficult thing to do.  Some of my recipes, like the Lemon Pound Cake and Dark Chocolate Coconut Cake are touchy recipes--a few grams off of flour could ruin the end result!  That is why I am giving away a baker's scale.  There is nothing worse than seeing pictures of a delicious cake on a blog, and then when you finally bake it, it doesn't turn out as expected.

How to Enter the Baker's Scale Giveaway:
1.  Leave a comment
Yup, that's it!  You don't need to follow me on facebook, twitter, the blog, etc.  But, if you are interested in my healthy recipes, simply follow or sign up for an email subscription on the righthand side bar.
Giveaway Rules:
-one (1) comment (and one only!) per person
-US residents only
Giveaway starts now and ends Monday, October 24th at midnight.  I will use a program that will randomly choose a winner, and will announce the lucky individual on Tuesday, October 25th, so make sure to check back on that date to see if you won!

Again, if you're at sea-level and can't enjoy this cake, I am very sorry . . . but now you have an even better excuse to enter the giveaway and treat yourself!  And to those at 2,500 foot altitude, start baking!  :D

October 14, 2011

Chocolate "Muscle Milk"

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Okay, I admit it.  I used to drink Muscle Milk.  You know, those ready-to-drink shakes advertising 20 grams of protein, vitamins and minerals?

Yeah, they have protein, and yeah, they have some added nutrients, but are they 100% healthy?  No, they are artificially flavored and contain quite a bit of that fake sugar, sucralose.  So, naturally, I made a healthy replacement!  And did I mention that this is 100% healthy?

A thick and creamy shake that is . . . wait, what did you say?  Low-carb?!?

Yup!  For the first time on Chockohlawtay, a low-carb recipe  :D  So you can drink this luscious chocolate drink and not have to worry about added sugars (or fake sugars)

Is it just me, or is that a bite of delicious chocolate staring you down?
And how lovely, it's within arms reach  ...  from ME!

Hah, sorry to torture you, maybe you can try grabbing it from the screen?  Okay, okay, I'll stop.  This isn't one of Willy Wonka's inventions!  Ah, if only Wonkavision did exist . . .

So, what's better than that small square of chocolate  that I gobbled up just now?  A chocolate smoothie that can be made in just a couple minutes, with only 5 ingredients (unlike Muscle Milk, which has a whopping 40 ingredients!)

Chocolate "Muscle Milk":  [low carb/sugar, high fiber/protein, vegan]
(serves 2)
   2 cups Unsweetened Soymilk
   1 scoop Chocolate Protein Powder (no sugar added)
   2 tbs Regular Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
   13-16 drops Stevia Extract (to taste)
   1/16 tsp Xanthan Gum (optional, if you want that thick, creamy texture like store-bought Muscle Milk has)

1.  Put soymilk in the blender, then add the chocolate protein powder, cocoa powder and xanthan gum.  Blend for 30 seconds or until the powdery chunks are gone
2.  Add 13 drops of stevia extract, blend again, and taste.  Does it need more?  If so, add it and blend again, if it doesn't, chug, chug, chug!

Just kidding, you should probably drink it slowly and calmy.  Only if you can resist the urge, though, just like I did!

Says the girl with the chocolate mustache . . .

Compared to Chocolate Muscle Milk Light, this recipe contains:
    -3 less grams of carbohydrate
    -2 more grams of fiber
    -2 more grams of protein
    -much more healthy goodness!

Optional low-carb add-ins:
    -1 tbs Dried Egg Whites
    -2 tbs Natural Peanut Butter (no sugar added)
    -1/4 cup Silken Tofu (you will need more stevia and cocoa though)

I'm not gonna lie to you guys, I used to think that drinking Muscle Milk would give me some nice, toned arms . . . and boy, was I wrong!  You only get results with hard work and good nutrition, and however much effort you give is how much you will appreciate the outcome (aka, those nice, toned arms!)

So drink this shake and flex those muscles!

October 11, 2011

Peanut Butter & Banana Uncrustables

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You've seen the Peanut Butter and Jelly Uncrustablesnow it's time for the super stuffed, PB Banana version!

Peanut Butter and Banana Uncrustables:
(makes 3 uncrustables)
   6 slices Whole Grain Bread (for gluten free, just use GF bread... for vegan, use vegan bread)
   ~6 tbs Natural Peanut Butter (no sugar/salt/oil added)
   1 small Banana
   Honey or Agave (to taste)

1.  Scoop peanut butter (generously, of course) onto the bread.  Top with banana coins and a drizzle of honey (or agave).
2.  Top with another slice of bread, place the press over the mound, and smoosh!
3.  Stare.  Gawk.  Adore.  Love as your own.
4.  Demolish.
Gooey, gooey goodness . . .

As you can see, I probably used 1/4 cup of PB in just one uncrustable... best moment of my life!

October 6, 2011

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

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It's my birthday!  :D

Sadly though, I have an exam today  :(  Oh yeah, and it's in my least favorite class.

Why does this always happen to me?  Last year today, I had a Biology exam (ugh), and now it's on the history of the middle east.  Thank goodness that my history class is the last one I have to endure for the rest of my college career!  After this semester, I can finally get to the good stuff:  Nutrition, Metabolism, Food Service, Anatomy, Physics, etc.

And don't worry, I studied for the test so I'm not procrastinating by blogging or anything . . .

Okay, maybe I am, but it is for a good cause.  I mean, vanilla bean ice cream is a classic, and now it's healthy! Of course the recipe needs to be shared asap.  And I worked pretty darn hard on the recipe (aka, it required three trials to perfect--why is it always three?)

Plus, shouldn't I get some free time on my b-day?

Well, I think so.

Free time with ice cream is a great time.
Free time with deliciously creamy, very vanilla-y and oh so sweet ice cream, is a perfect time.

Delectable by itself, sandwiched in between two Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies, on top of a warm slice of Pound Cake, or added to a smoothie to transform it into a milkshake!

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream:  [low fat, low sugar, high protein]
(makes ~4 cups)
   one 8oz tub Fat Free Cream Cheese
   84g (1/4 cup) Brown Rice Syrup
   42g (3 tbs) Grapeseed Oil (or any neutral oil)
   2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
   1 tsp Stevia Extract
   1/16 tsp Salt
   1 Vanilla Bean, scraped
   two 12oz cans Evaporated Fat Free Milk (fortified with vitamin D)
   64g (2 scoops) Vanilla Protein Powder

1.  With a hand mixer or stand mixer and a large bowl, whip the cream cheese with the brown rice syrup until it has an even consistency
2.  Add the oil, extracts, salt and vanilla beans, then whip again (for a tutorial on getting the beans out of the vanilla pod, click here)
3.  Add the evaporated milk and protein powder and whisk on low until incorporated.  Refrigerate the mixture for 2 hours or overnight
4.  Follow your ice cream maker's instructions and then enjoy!

-Chocolate Chip Ice Cream:  add 1/2 cup mini dark chocolate chips
-Apple Pie Ice Cream:  add 2 Apple Pie Larabars, chopped into small chunks

Even though this ice cream needs to sit on the counter for a bit to thaw, you will be glad you waited--it turns into the perfectly scoopable ice cream that is exactly like store-bought kinds.  It wasn't too hard to scoop, it wasn't half melted, it was perfectly soft, sweet and delicious.

Just a few more hours til my exam . . . what a great way to spend my 19th birthday, right?!  :D

That was sarcasm.

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