Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chocolate Avocado Fondue (Calli's Recipe)

1 tablespoon butter (or coconut oil)
1/2 cup avocado puree (I used 1 avocado)
1/4 cup carrot puree (I used 2 small carrots)
1 cup powdered sugar (I used 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
OR 1/2 cup quality dark chocolate pieces
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add purees. Whisk in powdered sugar. Add chocolate and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Serve warm.

Now I went over for dinner to my friend, Calli's house.  She made amazing grilled salmon and steaks (for the men)... and a huge bowl of Moroccan couscous with a flavorful salad on the side.  For dessert, she served this recipe from Deceptively Delicious (Jessica Seinfeld).  This was very yummy and I couldn't stop dipping my bananas and pretzels in it.  My husband, who is very hard to convince, didn't even notice he was being deceived :)!

I haven't actually made this yet, but I told Calli that I had to post it on my blog for all of you to see!  Of course, I am already thinking how I can make this recipe a little "cleaner".  The confectioner/powdered sugar is getting to me.  Even just the other day, I was watching the Cooking Channel and Tyler Florence (Food 911) mentioned that this kind of sugar usually has added cornstarch--apparently it keeps the powdered sugar from caking... With that said, I think I would try brown rice syrup/honey. If this compromises the flavor (for my husband), I would try to grind organic sugar even more in a food processor (when mine gets fixed) or seek out an organic powdered sugar made with tapioca starch.

Bran Flax Muffins (fiber and nutrient rich)

1 1/2 cups oat bran
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup ground flax seed
1 cup bran
3/4 cup to 1 cup brown rice syrup (or honey)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup raisins
1 1/4 cups of mashed fruit (whatever you have--bananas, applesauce, berries..etc)
1 cup buttermilk (milk soured with 1 tsp vinegar)

Mix dry ingredients together. Add wet. Bake about 18-20 minutes at 375 degrees.  Makes 18 muffins-- Make sure to grease well.

This recipe was inspired by my mother-in-law's orange muffins... which are still yummy, but her recipe calls for use of a food processor and mine is broken.  Anyway, I also cut out the eggs and oil since I replaced the brown sugar with brown rice syrup (liquidy) and the bananas and flax work as binders (replacing the eggs).  Her recipe has a nice orange flavor, but the raisins seem to be a little too much--some can taste a little charred/bitter, so that is why I cut back on the raisins in my recipe.  The raisins add a nice flavor so don't get rid of them completely. Her recipe is:

Orange Bran Flax Muffins
1 1/2 cups oat bran
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup ground flax seed
1 cup bran
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups raisins
2 oranges-washed & cut into small pieces to grind in the food processor
1 cup buttermilk ( milk soured with 1 tsp vinegar)
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs

Mix dry ingredients together. Add wet ones.  Bake 20 minutes at 375 degrees.  Makes 18 to 24 muffins.  Make sure to grease well.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Apple Oat Bran Muffins with Dried Apricots

So, on August 21st, I delivered twin boys naturally...  It was a much better experience than my first.  I only pushed for 2.5 hours---and had a 45 minute break in between! :) I am working breastfeeding both twins now--and it takes a lot out of me.  For one thing, I am just plain tired... but I swear my appetite is so much bigger than it was when I was pregnant!  This brings me to my point of posting this recipe.  Originally, I wanted to post my mother-in-law's Orange Muffin recipe--so full of healthy goodness (i.e. flax, oat bran, wheat bran, oat bran...etc), but I can't find the recipe.  As an alternative, I made these Apple Oat Bran Muffins with Dried Apricots inspired by "Moosewood Restaurant: Cooking For Health" version (p.52)..  It is nice to have an easy, on the go snack between meals, feeding twins and an working with an active toddler!

1/2 cup of plain non-fat yogurt (Stoneyfield is my favorite)
1 mashed banana
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp of black-strap molasses
1/2 to 3/4 cup of finely chopped dried apricots
2 cups of chunky applesauce (mine was homemade, but store bought pureed should be fine or just finely cut up peeled apples)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon (or more-my fav)
1/4 rolled oats
2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375.  Lightly oil a 12 muffin tin. Stir together yogurt, banana, vanilla, and molasses in a mixing bowl.  Then stir in the apricots, oat bran, and applesauce.  In another bowl, bring together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and stir in the oats, walnuts, and flax.  Fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture just until combined.  Spoon into muffin tins and bake for about 15-20 minutes.

Fresh out of the oven, I could not resist... I ate them warm and with a little spread of natural peanut butter.  Talk about melt in your mouth!  Now if I am a little hungry amidst the chaos and can't think of what to eat... I just grab a healthy muffin. :)