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July 14, 2011

Pistachio Snacking Cake & Citrus Glaze

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Many of you probably know how challenging it is to get kids to eat their veggies, right?  Well, with some adults, it can be just as difficult.  Someone very close to me--aka, my dad!--has despised veggies for the majority of his life (he even refuses to drink my green monsters because of their green color)

Old habits die hard right?  Well, I sure got him with this Pistachio "Hidden Veggie" Snacking Cake!

One day, my family and I went grocery shopping. As we passed by the bakery section, I saw a neon green muffin with a label below it:  Pistachio Muffin.  I showed my dad and he said it "looked cool."  I was a little shocked. He hates the color of my fruit smoothies but likes the look of a totally artificial muffin? A muffin! Of all things...

Anyways, as I thought of ways to sneak vegetables to my veggie-starved family, those "cool"-looking Pistachio Muffins from the store came to mind. Maybe I could bake those?  Hmmm...

I will sneak spinach in it!!!

It's green anyways, right? I looked for some Pistachio Muffin recipes, but like most others, they contained loads of sugar and tons of butter.  Because I didn't want to formulate a whole new recipe, I cheated and copied my Lemon Pound Cake recipe.  I changed a few ingredients and crossed my fingers hoping for the best.

     These bars remind me a little of sponge cake.  Spongey, firm, moist, sweet... but green.

Pistachio "Hidden Veggie" Snacking Cake:  [low fat/sugar, high fiber/protein]
(makes 9 bars)

    1 cup Spinach, packed
    182g (2/5 of package) Lite Silken Tofu
    123g (1/2 cup) Unsweetened Applesauce
    113g (1/2 cup) Plain, Nonfat Greek Yogurt
    42g (2 tbs) Honey
    28g (2 tbs) Coconut Oil
    2 tsp Stevia Extract
    1 tsp Green Tea (optional)
    1 tsp Vanilla Extract
    1 tsp Hazelnut Extract (or more vanilla)
    1/2 tsp Lemon Flavor

    180g (1+1/2 cups) Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
    60g (3/4 cup) Whey Protein Concentrate
    48g (1/4 cup) Sucanat (or dry sweetener of choice)
    24g (3 tbs) Arrowroot Starch
    1+1/2 tsp Baking Powder
    1/2 tsp Baking Soda
    1/4 tsp Sea Salt

    30g (1/4 cup) Pistachios*, chopped

1. The night before, put the spinach, tofu, applesauce, yogurt, honey, oil, stevia, tea and extracts into a blender and liquify until the spinach is completely liquified.  Refrigerate overnight (for the green tea, just cut open a teabag of green tea and measure out 1 tsp of the leaves)
2. The next day, take the blender mixture out of the fridge an hour before baking.
3. An hour later, preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a brownie pan with cooking spray, set aside.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
5. Chop the pistachios and put into a small bowl.
6. Pour the blender mixture into the large mixing bowl with the dry ingredients and fold.  Pour the batter into the prepared brownie pan, sprinkle with the chopped pistachios, and bake for ~30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and edges should pull away from the pan.

*I only used the pistachios to trick the eye. Personally, I don't like the flavor of pistachios, but if you do add 1/4 cup more pistachios into the batter

Citrus Glaze:
   84g (1/4 cup) Honey
   1 tbs Orange Juice
   1/4 tsp Lemon Zest
   1/4 tsp Orange Zest

1. Zest the lemon and orange and put into a small bowl, then add the honey
2. Cover with plastic wrap and leave overnight at room temperature
3. When bars are done baking and cooling, add the orange juice to the honey mixture and stir
4. Drop a teaspoon over every Pistachio Snack Cake

^^ I was trying to make a pretty picture
but dropped the handle into the glaze instead of the spoon...

^^ 2 things...
1... put the pan in the center of the oven otherwise you will a cake that looks like this!
2... like my cake tester? it works pretty well too :)

Here are the nutrition facts for 1 cake square with  the pistachio topping:

     As a reference, this Pistachio Snacking Cake is similar to Clif Bars, only fresh, healthy and lower sugar!  Without adding vitamins, these bars are already high in Vitamin A, Calcium and Iron.

Aren't these naturally green bars so much better than those artificial, neon-colored muffins at the grocery store?

Yes, they are.  So bake them soon!


  1. That is awesome:-) Powerpacked..healthy bar!!
    Am loving it!!!

  2. Love the color of this. I am a pistachio fan so these look even better to me but the fact that they have spinach in them - so cool! Love the green tea too and the citrus, these sound so yummy :)

  3. This looks so good. I love pistachios and I love healthy treats. Is there anything I can substitute the whey protein concentrate for?

  4. Kat,
    Dried nonfat milk powder can take place of the whey protein concentrate.

  5. haha my dad is grossed out by green monsters too, c'mon dads, aren't you supposed to be glad we're eating our veggies?

    these bars look delicious.

  6. amazing.. pistachio , hidden spinach.. annd that protein.. total energy bar!

    Richa @ Hobby And More Food Blog
    Hobby And More on Facebook


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