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November 29, 2012

Single-Serving Pumpkin Quinoa Flake Microwave Muffin

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For over a year now, I have wanted to make Leanne's Quinoa Flake Bakes.  They are super simple, healthy, require very few ingredients and serve only one person--you!  So when I was looking over my Recipes to Try bookmarks, I was really shocked to see that I haven't made any of them yet.

I decided to resolve that issue.


But I had to make a few changes.  First, the recipe had to be "baked" in the microwave.  After two weeks straight of eating microwave chocolate cake and microwave pumpkin cake, I didn't have the patience to wait for the oven to heat up or bake something for 20-30 minutes.  Second, I used ground flax instead of chia, and almond milk instead of apple juice.  I also used apple pie spice instead of pumpkin pie spice (since I despise ginger)


The result?  An incredibly satisfying, moist and flavorful Pumpkin Muffin.  Not too dense, not dry at all, and certainly not boring.  Just close your eyes and enjoy the warmth of the cinnamon and nutmeg.  No need to worry about excess sugar, butter or all purpose flour.  This microwave muffin is 100% natural, healthy and guilt-free.

November 27, 2012

Single-Serving Pumpkin Microwave Cake

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It's November, nearing December.  I should be pumping out pumpkin recipes like this is our last November.

But the pumpkin can wait, because to me, chocolate always comes first.  Um, I've been a little busy with chocolate lately (aka, Chocolate Microwave Cakes have been flying in and out of my microwave all week long...  I'm obsessed)

When I walked to my pantry to retrieve my last jar of applesauce, I saw the 9 cans of pumpkin lined up right beside it  (I guess I should use that instead, huh?)


That's when a Pumpkin Microwave Cake popped into my head.  I Googled "pumpkin microwave cake" and got over 6 million results.  While I only looked through a couple dozen, I got the gist of what those 6 million would include:

     -processed flour
     -refined sugar
     -excess oil
     -eggs

While I have nothing against eggs (they are healthy in moderation), I am slightly sensitive to them and wanted to make a recipe suitable for vegans.  However I do have something against processed flour, refined sugar and too much oil.  A single-serving cake should not have white flour, 1/4 cup of sugar and 20g of fat!


I based this recipe off the Chocolate Buckwheat version but made a few changes to make the recipe easier to make.  Not many people have buckwheat flour in their pantries, but most people have oats.  Oh, and everyone should have pumpkin, right?


This cake is absolutely delicious!  It's sweet, it's pumpkin-y, it's moist, it's filling and it's healthy.  It's whole grain, sugar free, oil-free and eggless.  Suitable for vegans, but perfect for everyone  :)

November 23, 2012

Banoffee Pie

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Last month, a lovely reader by the name of Anne requested that I healthify Banoffee Pie.  I have never heard of, let alone tasted, Banoffee Pie, but from what showed up on my internet search, I seriously wondered why that was.

     Bananas...

     Toffee...

     Cream...

     and a bunch of SUGAR.

Sounds delicious right?  Well, it does until you see the calorie count or think about the repercussions (sugar rush, sugar crash, paralyzing guilt, etc).  This pie desperately needed a healthy makeover.  No butter, no condensed milk, no heavy cream, and so on.  Despite how much of a challenge this sounded, I couldn't wait to make my own version!


Surprisingly, this pie was a success on the first go (woohoo, we can skip the trial-and-error talk!).  The crust was thick and full of flavor, the filling was smooth and creamy with the perfect amount of banana, and the whipped "cream" was fluffy and light.  I would have loved an extra layer of banana coins on the bottom of the pie but ran out of bananas.  And the grated chocolate over top compensated for that  ;)

November 20, 2012

Graham Crackers [gluten free & vegan version]

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So I made vegan/whole wheat graham crackers, and then I made non-vegan/gluten-free graham crackers...  it was time to make vegan and gluten free graham crackers!

I based this recipe off the GF version but replaced the egg with a flax egg.  I also removed the xanthan gum, since many people don't have that ingredient in their pantry, so I was expecting the crackers to crumble and fall apart after baking.  To my surprise, these crackers were just as sturdy as the previous versions!


November 16, 2012

Single-Serving Chocolate Buckwheat Microwave Cake

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You know those times when you just want some cake?  But you're all alone with no one to share it with, or you're afraid of downing the entire thing in one sitting, or you simply don't have the time to get a batter together...

Edit: you don't have the patience to stand in front of the oven for 30 minutes and wait...

I get ya.  So here's the solution:


A single-serving cake that you can feel good about eating that takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish.

Prayers.  Answered.

Despite how different this may look from a typical chocolate cake, it sure tastes a lot alike!  This microwave cake is soft and moist and sweet and chocolatey... but it's also satisfying and filling because it's surprisingly healthy!

November 13, 2012

Vegan Maple Pecan Pie

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That (totally awesome) Maple Pecan Pie was loved by all... except for my vegan friends.  I'm sure they would have loved it if they had tasted it, but for them, eggs are a no-no.

I could sense the torture I was putting them through.  Imagine smelling that pie baking in the oven and not being able to taste it?  I would have a meltdown and curl up in the fetal position force myself to leave the premises...  ;)

To make sure my vegans still loved me, I made them a pie they could eat.

That's right.  I made a (seriously, totally awesome) Maple Pecan Pie... vegan!

November 8, 2012

Chocolate Buckwheat Protein Pancakes

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Pancakes are taking over my life!!

Juuust kidding, but I kind of wish they were...  ever since I made my first successful batch I've wanted to eat pancakes all day long.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I know I'm not alone on that one  ;)

Pancakes are so simple to make at home, there is no reason to buy those processed storebought mixes.  These homemade pancakes are healthy, fast and nutritionally balanced, just take a look at the nutrition label:


I'm not an enthusiast for low-fat recipes, but I try to keep certain ones on the low end for two reasons: one, everyone has their preferences, and two, I like to top my desserts with an insane amount of toppings.  You know, peanut butter, chocolate almond butter, maple syrup, fruit, jam, etc...

But you see that stack of pancakes below?  Think:  sugar free, high fiber, high protein, filling, healthy, guilt free awesomeness...  because that's what these pancakes are!


November 6, 2012

Orange Velvet Pumpkin Layer Cake with a Special Chocolate Frosting

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I really don't want to disclose the length of time I've spent trying to perfect a healthy Red Velvet Cake recipe, so let's just leave it at... okay, okay... it's been a year and a half.

Phew.

Now that's off my chest I can get on with the post.  So, my first trial went surprisingly well (surprise surprise!).  I based the recipe off my Citrus Pound Cake recipe, since that is the recipe most requested by friends and family.  However, the red velvet cake didn't have much flavor (it needed more cocoa and I accidentally left out the vanilla), wasn't bright red, and the frosting was terr-i-ble.

The second trial was horrendously embarrassing, and I don't really want to talk about the third trial either.  However, I should mention that trial #3 was gluten-/dairy-/soy-free due to my allergies.  I tried out a new type of natural food coloring but it ended up turning the cake a faded burgundy color... gross.  The fourth trial was close to perfection, however I ran out of food coloring after 1.5 tablespoons.  Seriously.  Why must everything go wrong?  Why is the universe preventing me from perfecting this darn Red Velvet Cake recipe?  Ugh.


That's when I peered out the window and looked at the trees.  The leaves were green, yellow, orange, red... it was beautiful.  I glanced down at my Red Velvet recipe and realized I should simply modify it to suit the season.  Instead of applesauce, I used pumpkin...  instead of red food coloring, I used orange...  and then I tossed in some apple pie spice.  The batter was vibrant and beautiful, like those orange leaves scattered around the yard.


This cake was delicious!  While I would have preferred an extra hint of cinnamon (say, 1/2 teaspoon?), my taste-testers adored the cake as is.  It was dense and a tad bit fudgy in the center, kind of like chocolate cake.  It tasted like it was full of butter, egg yolks and unhealthy stuff when it was comprised of whole grains and natural sweeteners.  The frosting is light and fluffy, which contrasts the cake in the most perfect way, making the cake satisfying with every guilt-free bite!

November 2, 2012

Thin & Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Cookies

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I'm still on my quest for a healthy, thick and chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe, but on that quest, I made this amazing recipe.  Thin, yet chewy cookies that were adored by all.

My family was amazed and had a hard time believing these cookies were free of butter and cups and cups of brown sugar.  My father even brought some to work for his coworkers which were [obviously] gobbled up within minutes  ;)


Don't be fooled by the healthy ingredient list, these cookies taste beyond unhealthy... they taste like they're from a bakery... they taste like they're packed with butter and sugar... they taste like sin.  They seem way too good to be true, like, "No waaaayy this can be good for me!"

But it is.  Pinch yourself.

These cookies are perfectly sweet, decadently moist and buttery rich, with the perfect amount of chew to satisfy your cookie cravings.

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