Yogurt & Oat Pancakes

SAM_4844

Sweet breakfasts can be so good. Berry-filled crepes, French toast, pastry tarts. All of which can be healthy. All of which I’ve posted on this blog.

SAM_4847

But what I dislike about sweet breakfasts (only slightly…) is that they aren’t the most filling. Normally, I have to add a little peanut butter for protein and lots of fruit for fiber.

This recipe, however, is a sweet but stick-to-your-ribs kind of breakfast. The Greek yogurt and the hearty oats that can be mixed in make it very filling, enough to power you through any morning.

Ingredients

1/4 cup + 1 t whole-wheat flourSAM_4851

1 T rolled or steel-cut oats

1/4 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt (sub for coconut or almond varieties if you like)

2 T water (more or less depending on how runny/ thin you like your cakes)

1 t stevia

dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powderSAM_4841

splash of vanilla

Directions

Heat your griddle to med-low setting. Lightly coat with cooking spray. Allow to warm.

-In a small bowl, mix all dry ingredients well. Then slowly add in yogurt, then vanilla, and then water as you like. For thicker cakes, use less water. For a few more cakes that are thinner, add more water.

-Pour pancake batter on griddle to the size of pancake you like. They will probably spread a bit. At this point, if you’d like to add in other ingredients, such as berries or chocolate chips, you can drop them on top while the bottom side of the cakes cook.SAM_4849

-When the edges begin to firm up a bit and bubbles are popping up through the top side, the cakes should be solid enough to flip. Do so carefully. They should be golden brown on each side.

Topping Ideas?

Yes, I always have lots of these! For this recipe, I mixed 1 T all-natural peanut butter with 1 T yogurt and a dash of honey. Fresh apples were chopped and added, too. Berries and honey would also be delicious.SAM_4847

Enjoy!

Chocolate-Covered Pomegranate Clusters

2013-02-14 20.55.07

This past Valentine’s Day was spent making…SAM_4978

Wait for it! You’ll never guess what.

Making desserts, of course!

You know me too well by now. I recommend, however, getting to know this incredibly easy recipe for chocolate-covered pomegranate candies. Normally melting chocolate and waiting for it to harden is a cooking task I avoid. I don’t like the mess and the fast-moving pace of melted chocolate, but this one is so easy. It’s almost too good to be true. SAM_4989

Ingredients

1 cup pomegranate arils

6 oz. dark chocolate

Directions

Lay a dry paper towel across a ceramic plate (light-colored plastic ones may stain due to the dark color of the pomegranate juice). Spread arils across this and let them “dry off” for an hour or so.SAM_4987

Once they’re dry enough–and let them be as dry as possible because moisture causes chocolate to seize, leading to ugly candies, uglier messes–start working on the chocolate.

To prepare the chocolate, you can try a double-broiler technique. I’m always in a hurry, though, so what I did was break the chocolate into smaller pieces.

Microwave on high for about 45 seconds. Stir. Microwave another 15-20 seconds. You’ll know the chocolate is melted enough when there are a few chunks left that can be stirred out. This is a good consistency to achieve since chocolate that melts entirely in the microwave may start to burn.

Now you have to move fast! In the chocolate bowl, gently fold in arils until mostly covered. Take a spoon and begin scooping them out in clusters and transferring to a wax-paper-covered cookie sheet. When all the arils have been scooped out. I recommend transferring them to the freezer for about fifteen minutes.

I like them served chilled, but gnosh on this dripping-in-chocolate delicious fruit candy however you please.

 

Mint-Chip Ice Cream

Turning green with envy?

Or green with disgust?

Hopefully, it’s the former. This pretty little green ice cream–pretty by my standards, at least–might turn some away in disgust, but true lovers of the mint-chocolate combo will crave.

And feel free to crave away, because your craving need not be accompanied by guilt. Why?

It’s made with bananas! And the green coloring doesn’t require food dye, although you’re welcome to use that if you like.

Makes one big serving of mint-chip ice cream

Ingredients

1 large, frozen banana, chopped into small rounds

1/4 cup frozen spinach (or food coloring)

2-3 drops peppermint extract

splash of vanilla

dash of stevia

1-2 T dark chocolate chips

Directions

In a small blender, mix banana rounds, spinach, extract, vanilla, and stevia ’til smooth cream forms.

Remove from blender. Shape into ice cream if need be and top with chips.

If any of the banana melts down or gets too runny, simply freeze for a few minutes.

Would you have ever guessed those were bananas just by looking at them? I certainly wouldn’t.

Hope you think this recipe is as cool as I do… and find it as tasty, too!

Instant Deep-Dish Oatmeal Cookie

SAM_4886

A lot of you say you read my recipes but never actually try them because it looks like they take too long to make. I often get told, “Yes, that sounds healthy and delicious, but why would I want to make just one? I’d make a whole batch instead… I don’t like getting all those ingredients for one little treat… Too much work… I’m tired…”SAM_4890

I’m not going to say those are excuses in my book, but I will give you a no-excuses recipe I think you’ll like. But first, a few reasons:

1. Do it for your bank account! Single servings save you money.

2. Do it because few leftovers are ever as good as their original selves.

3. Do it to save resources. How much of the materials and ingredients used to make multiple-serving recipes just end up stale and in the trash?SAM_4483

4. Do it for portion control. The one Americans understand the least.

5. Do it because it’s fun! I love to experiment with cooking/ baking, and single-serving recipes let me try lots of new types of cuisine. Some fail. Some are delicious.

On to the super simple deep-dish cookie…

Ready for this?

IngredientsSAM_4493

1 packet of oatmeal

1-2 T almond milk (or regular milk or yogurt)

optional: dash of baking powder, vanilla

and whatever mix-ins you like (I like cinnamon + peanut butter, and chocolate chips on top)

Directions

Empty out the oatmeal into a microwave-safe dish. Mix in milk or other substitute (you should add in about half of whatever the oatmeal directions specify so it’s not runny.SAM_4888

Mix well, but again, make sure it stays firm and wet, not soupy. If you’re not feeling too lazy, you can add in the dash of baking powder and vanilla. Top with whatever mix-ins you like. Microwave as directed. If not completely firmed up like a cookie, press sides together with the side of a spoon and microwave a tad longer or pop it into the broiler for a crispier finish.

It’s essentially like some of my baked oatmeal recipes and it’s delicious.

So, no excuses! Try it. I dare your lazy bones… 😉

“Nutz Over Chocolate” Copycat Candies

Luna bars are pretty good. They claim to be the very best nutrition bar for women, and they’re certainly not bad considering they’re packed with vitamins and minerals.

But what if you could just make your own? And do so using a lot less sugar.

The thought came to me when I was perched up in the engineering complex quad, munching on a promotional Luna bar, “Nutz Over Chocolate,” to be exact.

I thought to myself, “I can make this. Easy!” With Chocolate-Covered Katie’s copycat recipe as a guide, I went to work. Changed a few ingredients around. Scaled back to a single serving.

And then decided that a candy ball was more fun than a regular bar.

I’m not going to hold anything back. I’m just going to say it: This recipe is SO MUCH BETTER than the Luna bar I had for lunch today. So much.

Thank goodness for pleasant surprises.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup rice crispies (brown rice works great!)
  • 1 t coconut flour
  • dash of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 T all-natural, salt-free peanut butter
  • 1 t sticky sweetener, such as agave or brown rice syrup (I used agave)
  • optional: 1-2 t protein powder
  • dark chocolate chips

Directions

-Preheat oven to 330 degrees. Lightly grease a baking dish. I used a cake balls tray for this candy-like version, but you can use a regular ramekin.

-In small bowl, toss crispies and flour together. Place nut butter, sweetener, and vanilla on top. Microwave for a few seconds (7-9) just to warm up the mix.

-Mix well. Smash the crispies for a tighter crisp, and to keep all ingredients stuck together better.

-Press into your dish. Evenly distribute chocolate chips on top. I used two per candy.

-Bake for only 2-3 minutes. This is just long enough to let some of the ingredients fuse and melt the chocolate on top.

-Remove from oven. Smear the chocolate around for a bottom coating. Let cool in the freezer. Pop out and serve.

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chunk Gingerbread Cookies

SAM_4502
SAM_4511

 

SAM_4508SAM_4503

Santa’s going to eat a lot of cookies this evening, right? Why not treat him to something totally different? Don’t get me wrong; we all love the classic choc-chip cookie, but maybe Santa wants a cookie with a little more protein every once in a while. Or antioxidant-packed dark chocolate and ginger…

This cookie recipe for one (one Santa or one lucky snacker) is nothing but helpful and yields quite a few cookies. It features some seasonal flavors–ginger and molasses–plus some chocolate and peanut butter for richness. I adapted it a bit from Chocolate-Covered Katie’s group-sized version.

Hope it brings you some holiday cheer!

Makes 6 small or 4 good-sized cookies.

Ingredients

  • 2 T peanut butter
  • 2 t stevia
  • dash of baking soda
  • heaping dash of powdered ginger
  • 1 T molasses
  • 3 T flour
  • optional: pinch of salt if desired (I omitted.)
  • 2 T applesauce (cakier cookie) or 1 T coconut oil (chewier cookie)
  • splash of pure vanilla extract
  • dark-chocolate chips

Directions

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Set aside.

-In a small bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Push to one side. Add in applesauce; then vanilla. Mix in remaining wet ingredients (molasses and peanut butter).

-Optional: refrigerate for 30 minutes for a better cookie.

-Roll dough into small bowls. (I was able to make six!) Press the dark-chocolate chips into the tops of the cookie. You could try a crushed candy bar or a Hershey’s kiss, too. Bake for about 7-9 minutes or until cookies are baked but still soft. Remove from oven and let stand for a few minutes. Top with a peanut-butter cream frosting if you want to find a little something extra under your Christmas tree.

You can gobble them up while they’re still warm or wait for the big man to come down the chimney. Either way, you won’t be let down.

Secret Ingredient Cookie Dough Dip

Santa can’t be getting enough nutrients eating cookies all the time. Maybe the big guy should try some fiber and protein in his cookies for a change…

If you’re on Pinterest, you’ve seen this recipe. Everyone and their brother has added it to their token food boards.

And one can understand why. Chocolate-Covered Katie, my all-time favorite healthy dessert blogger, never fails to impress.

This recipe is pretty good. It reminded me a lot of her other bean-based cookies I’ve tried on this site.

But there’s something less appealing to me about this dip for some reason. It’s not the unconventional ingredient or the fact that everyone pins it over and over again. I think, instead, well… Just read through my single-serving version and when you get to the end you’ll see how I ate this instead.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chickpeas or white beans, drained and rinsed
  • pinch of salt and baking soda
  • splash of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 T nut butter or vanilla yogurt (depending on which you’d prefer a scant taste of
  • 1 T nondairy milk
  • 1 T stevia
  • 2 T oats
  • as many chocolate chips as you like
  • optional: dash of cinnamon
 Directions
-In a blender, puree the chickpeas. Then add in the remaining ingredients, except the chocolate chips.
-Blend once more until smooth dip forms. Once finished, whip up the dip in a cute bowl, and prepare whatever dipping sticks you’d like.
I actually ended up treating my dip more like a dough and baking it into cookies, but you can dip banana rounds, apple slices, large nuts, whole-grain graham crackers…
Maybe even actual cookies!?
Or you could really take yourself on a culinary trip and serve atop a chocolate cake…
Oh, the possibilities. Cooking is always better when it’s creative.

Snow-Powdered Brownie Softies

SAM_4478

Oh, the weather outside is frightful,SAM_4468

but a powdered brownie would be delightful.

Since we’ve know place to go,

let us bake, let us bake with a new dough…

Brownie cookies. Need I say more?

Have fun decorating these however you like. You can press the dough balls into the chips. You could also try this with another candy or coconut flakes would be delicious. Because I was serving these at a potluck, I tossed mine in powdered sugar for a sweet snowy effect.SAM_4476

Ingredients

  • 2 T spelt flour (or whole-wheat white flour)
  • 1 T cocoa powder
  • tiniest dash of  baking powder, salt, baking soda, pure vanilla extract
  • 1 T stevia
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 T + 1 t almond milk
  • optional: dark-chocolate chips

DirectionsSAM_4465

-Combine all dry ingredients; blend in wet, but don’t overmix. Shape into dough balls and refrigerate for half an hour.

-Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Set aside.

-Bake cookies for about 8 minutes. They should come out gooey. They’ll stiffen up a bit after baking. Let cool. (Or if you’re like me, gobble them up while they’re still warm and soft!).

Deep Dish Mug Cookie for One

I’ve made lots of things in mugs…

Into the microwave!

Carrot Cake in a Mug,

Muffins in a Mug,

even Macaroni in a Mug!

But it’s time for a cookie.

A deep dish cookie–perfect for the holiday season.

Ingredients

  • 1 t vegan butter, at room temperature
  • 3 T spelt or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 T stevia
  • pinch of cinnamon, baking soda, & salt
  • 1 Tbsp beaten egg, preferably organic
  • splash pure vanilla extract
  • 1 T non-dairy milk
  • 1 T dark chocolate or karob chips

Directions

How can something so delicious be baked in a microwave?

-In a small mug or ramekin, mix the dry ingredients. Cut in butter, and then mix in vanilla, milk, and egg. Fold in chips.

-You can bake in the same bowl if you like. Or you can transfer to a new dish, one that is lightly greased for easy removal.

-Microwave for about 45 seconds. Let cool a bit, and enjoy!

“Raisin Hell Good” Dark Chocolate Cookies

What started as a raw cookie took a turn for the worse.

And the better.

This raw cookie ball recipe from Chocolate-Covered Katie went straight to H-E-double hockey sticks. I switched it up with applesauce, and it became too gooey.

So I baked it, and guess what? I liked it even better. What came out of the oven was a divinely delicious disaster.

I made cookies so gooey, so sweet and rich, you’ll think you sinned.

The surprise is that they aren’t sinful at all, but they do have one little secret: raisins! Hence the name, “Raisin Hell Good.”

Ingredients

1 T peanuts

3 T raisins

pinch of stevia and salt

1 T cocoa powder

splash of vanilla

1 T peanut butter

1 T appleasauce

Directions

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Set aside.

-In your blender, pulse raisins and peanuts with salt and stevia a few times. Then add in all remaining ingredients and blend ’til wet dough forms.

-Transfer to cookie sheet. Form into balls. Top with chocolate chips if you like.

-Bake for about 10-12 minutes.