THE HEALTHY HAG

I COOK … I EAT … I SHARE.

APPLE PEAR CRUMBLE February 22, 2012

Good grief has it really been THAT long???  Well, I guess it has, and I’m confident with my excuse: new motherhood.  I welcomed the best thing EVER into my life last year and it’s been one hellova rollercoasster ride since.  Poopy diapers and tantrums aside, I still love love love to cook and bake.  So that’s that.

Here’s a great recipe for one of my autumnal faves … Apple Crumble.  This version is modified to be GLUTEN FREE that has a slightly almond twist and incorporates pears as well.  It’s a quick and elegant way to use up any apples or pears you just know will go if you don’t use them soon, and is super easy to prep.  Now that time is of the essence (crazy toddler running around), making food that is healthy AND ready F-A-S-T is more important than ever.

INGREDIENTS:

TOPPING

1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup almond flour (or oats)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger (this is optional)
3 tbsp butter (at room temp)

FILLING

3 tbsp almond flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger (this is optional)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 pounds apples (about 4 medium sized)
1 1/2 pounds pears (about 4 medium sized)
1/2 cup dried cranberries or craisins or raisins
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp almond or vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

1) Grease an 8″ or a 9″ square baking dish

2) Peel, core, and slice apples and pears.

FOR TOPPING:

* In a medium bowl, combine sliced almonds, flour, sugar, cinnamon and ginger

* Add butter to mixture, and combine ingredients and butter until mixture resembles loose crumbs (best to use your fingers!)

FOR FILLING:

* In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, cinnamon and ginger, then add apples and pears, cranberries, lemon juice and almond extract.

* Mix fruit with the dry ingredients to coat, being careful not to break up the fruit (again – best to gently use your fingers!)

3) Transfer FILLING (fruit mixture) to the baking dish, and sprinkle TOPPING mixture evenly over top.

4) Bake at 375° F for approx 30-35 min or until topping is starting to turn golden brown, and fruit juices bubble.

5) Cool slightly before serving

NOTES:

– you can serve with whipped cream or ice cream

– can be served warm or cold

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Creamy Avacado Sammy September 22, 2010

Holy shitballs… has it really been THAT long????  My apologies to the internets.  Why such a hiatus you ask?  Well, this hag is in the midst of cooking up her greatest creation ever … a wee bambino!  Yes, my hubster and I are multiplying.  So, I have been focusing on that rollercoaster ride for the past seven months.  Add in the fact that this foodie couldn’t eat at all for four months (the first trimester was brutal – total food aversions to everything!) and I have been slowly getting back to my regular eat eat eat self.

So with that, I want to share with you one of my latest obsessions: avacado.  I just can’t seem to get enough of this soft, delish fruit.  So so good for you and so utterly tasty.  It really couldn’t be easier …


Ingredients:
2 slices of your favorite bread or a pita
1-2 slices of your favourite cheese (I seem to be on a Edam and Swiss kick these days)
1 medium tomato, sliced thinly
1 avocado
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp onion, minced
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp lime juice
dash cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste



Directions:
1. Place cheese slice and tomato slices onto bread.
2. Combine avocado and olive oil in a small bowl and, using a fork, mash into a smooth paste.
3. Add all remaining ingredients to avocado and mix well.
4. Spread avocado mixture onto bread, toast and enjoy.
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Note: You can be as creative as you want here… I’ve added in sprouts, spinach and even omitted the cheese as well from time to time.  Mmmmmmmmmmmm!


 

Sweet and Chewy Granola Bars April 5, 2010

Always on the hunt for tasty new versions of homemade and healthy bars, I love trying newly discovered, soon-to-be classics.  These oooey-gooey-chewy sweet nuthins will dazzle your tastebuds and satisfy your sweet-tooth.  They have some great ingredients, but as with all typical granola bars, are a wee bit high on the sugar factor – so no finishing the entire batch in one sittin’ ya hear?  Well, try not too at least … and if you falter (don’t feel guilty, these things are like crack) just up the laps around the park that night, or maybe shave off a glass of vino (oh for the love of Pete why did I just say that?).

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INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup oats (not instant)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup unsalted sunflower OR pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup spelt flour (you could substitute whole wheat)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground

Pinch of nutmeg OR Allspice

1/2 cup canola OR sunflower oil OR almond oil

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup dried blueberries (or whatever your fave dried berry is)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a square baking pan with parchment paper OR simply grease pan slightly.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine oats, walnuts, sunflower seeds flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt until well combined.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl combine canola oil, brown sugar, and maple syrup until  smooth then stir in egg and vanilla extract. 
  4. Combine dry mixture with wet until it just incorporated then add in dried blueberries.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly, and bake bars until set (about 25-30 min). 
  6. Remove bars from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire, then cut into desired sizes and shapes and serve!
 

Summery Strawberry-Rhubarb Muffins February 26, 2010

It’s mid winter here and we’re being reminded that sunny days are still so far away.  All the snow and doom and gloom led me to fondly reminice about summer, about tasty strawberries and mouth watering rhubarb.  That’s when it hit me – I have both neatly frozen away in the freezer!  Locked in time at their peak by my loving mom-in-law who’s thumb must be greener than Martha’s.  Anyhoodle… after a visit to the monthly indoor farmers market (where I picked up some lovely locally made organic spelt flour) it all came together like cookies and cream.  Healthy?  YES!  Delicious?  YES!  Easy-peasy?  MAIS OUI!  100% Organic?  HELLS YES!  Get ‘er done folks!

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INGREDIENTS :

4 cups flour (I used 2 spelt and 2 whole wheat)

1 cup sugar

2 TBSP baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup sunflower oil

2 cups milk (I used 1 cup 1%, and 1 cup almond milk)

2 eggs

2-3 cups frozen fruit, defrosted and diced (I used 2 cups rhubarb, and 3/4 cup strawberries)

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DIRECTIONS:

1) Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

2) In a separate bowl, mix together all wet ingredients (but not the fruit).

3) Fold wet ingredients into dry, just combining.

4) Stir in fruit gently – do not overmix!

5) Pour batter into lined muffin trays and bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes, until golden.

6) Allow to cool and ENJOY!!!

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NOTES:

– These freeze really well, if they last.  

– You can swap in any fruit you like really.  Try blueberries, raspberries, apples or even peaches.

– Best to use whole grain flour, but works well with bleached flour if you’re in a pinch, however you’ll loose out on the nutrition though.

– I made half the batter into mini loaves, so go nuts if you don’t have a nice muffin pan.

 

Homage to Aunt Marg!! Mac’n’cheese and Buttery Raisin Scones January 28, 2010

So growing up I was lucky enough to have all 4 grandparents PLUS an extra couple of great aunts that basically were like yet another pair grandparents (all lived within a 20 min radius).  Lucky – you think?? I was super close with my Aunt Marg, and spent many a weekend and vacation with her … and she’s mostly the reason I got into cooking and baking as a young kid.  She was an old fashioned chef with the tastiest classics under her belt.  I could always expect my favaourite meal of the year on my birthday – mac ‘n’ cheese and warm buttery scones.  Don’t ask.  So, when it came time for my brothers birthday a few weeks ago, I offered to make him a tasty meal in honour of our good old Aunt Marg (she passed quite suddenly 6 years ago), and he was like a little kid he beamed with glee.  What was the result?  One banging dinner the entire fam enjoyed… beyond delish and so reminiscent of dinners with Aunt Marg we were all taken back to over-heated apartments and the soft laugh she bellowed so often.  What’s your favourite childhood meal?

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MAC’N’CHEESE

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INGREDIENTS:

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

¼ cup TBSP butter

2 ½ TBSP flour

2 cups shredded OLD cheddar cheese

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 cups milk (I used 1%)

½ cup bread crumbs (I used multigrain)

1 pinch cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

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DIRECTIONS:

1. Cook macaroni according to the package directions, then rinse with cold water, drain and set aside.

2. In a large stove-top & oven-friendly casserole pot (I use my big Le Crueset for this), melt butter over medium heat, and then sauté onion and garlic for 3-4 min until soft (not browned!), then stir in flour and combine.

3. In a separate small pot, bring milk to a steam (not boil!) then add milk slowly to onion/garlic/flour mixture, stirring constantly, and lightly simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Stir in cheeses and cayenne pepper to casserole pot, and cook over low heat until cheese is melted and the sauce is a little thick, adding salt and pepper to taste.

5. Remove from heat and add macaroni to casserole dish, and stir well, then sprinkle with bread crumbs to cover completely.

6. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes, then place under broiler for a few minutes until top is slightly browned.

7.  Allow to cool for 5-10 min before serving, and serve HOT!

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BUTTERY RAISIN SCONES

I always wanted scones with my mac’n’cheese – I still love the combo for some reason.  So buttery and so comforting, these scones are juicy with raisins, and are a semi-sweet treat you can enjoy all on their own too.  I loved to wipe up all the leftover cheese in the bottom of my bowl with these.  Oh good grief – huge cravings now!

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INGREDIENTS:

2 cups flour (use regular white if you can)

2 TBSP baking powder

2 TBSP sugar

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ tsp nutmeg

½ cup COLD butter (I then use a grater and grate the butter in for easier mixing)

¾ cup raisins

¾ cup buttermilk

1 egg white, lightly beaten OR 1 TBSP butter melted

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DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat oven to 425F, and mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg in a large bowl.

2) Grate in butter until mixture is like large crumbs, then stir in raisins and buttermilk.

3) Drop dough (using a ¼ cup measuring cup – or very large spoons) onto a greased baking sheet, brush tops with egg whites OR butter and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

4) Remove from oven and serve immediately!

 

Harvest Loaf January 17, 2010

 

I love loaves… add to that something savoury and nutritious?  I’m sold.  This little gem will impress your guests, be kind to your hips, and won’t break the bank.  Try subbing in your favourite squash or whatever you happen to have on hand.  Oh, and it’s totally dairy free so it’ll knock the socks off your dairy-freer pals.  You could even make this one vegan by using egg substitute for the 2 eggs.  Impressive, I know!!!!

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INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups flour

2/3 cup sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 cup pureed squash (I used canned organic butternut, but you could use pumpkin or even sweet potatoes!)

1/3 cup canola oil (you could use almond or any other seed oil, but I’d avoid using Olive oil)

1/2 cup raisins

handful of pumpkin seeds

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DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat oven to 350F, and grease loaf pans.

2) In a medium bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and set aside

3) In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, squash and oil with a wooden spoon, until smooth.

4) Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix to combine, then stir in raisins.

5) Pour batter into loaf pans (I used 3 mini, but you could use 1 large), sprinkle with seeds, and bake at 350F for 40 min until browned and tester stick comes out dry.

6) Allow to cool for 10 min in pans, then remove and cool on a wire rack for another 5-10 min, and serve!

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NOTE – these can be frozen and allowed to defrost at room temp.  

 

Blondie Bombshells December 16, 2009

Filed under: My bakery — healthyhag @ 8:38 pm
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It’s Christmastime and that means I morph into a bakeaholic.  My friends and family love me, but my thighs abhor me.  C’est la vie!  I can’t wait for this time of year – everyone seems a buzz with activity, regardless of denomination, and I love love love giving and making gifts.  The usual suspects will certainly make an appearance this year – my Peanut Butter Cookies, Beer bread, and Shortbread – but this year I am swapping out a few go-tos and premiering a few newbies.  With that, I present to you my version of a BLONDIE.  I am a blonde (bombshell???) myself this year, so it was bye-bye brownies and hello blondies!  This ooey-gooey-carmelly recipe couldn’t be easier: 7 ingredients people … but it does take a little patience … what delectable doesn’t????

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INGREDIENTS:

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

2 TSBP baking powder

1⁄4 tsp. salt

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 ½ cups firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk

1 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract

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DIRECTIONSl

1)      Preheat oven to 350F and line a square bake pan with parchment paper, then grease.

2)      Sift dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

3)      In a small-medium sized saucepan on medium heat, add butter and brown sugar and heat through until butter is completely melted and sugar has completely disappeared, stirring often – then continue heating for 1 more minute as the sauce bubbles but does not boil!  NOTE – ensure sauce does not come to a boil as you’ll burn it!  It just needs to form cute little bubbles.

4)      Remove saucepan from heat and allow to cool for 10-15 min.

5)      To cooled sauce, add in egg and egg yoke and mix slowly to combine well, then add in vanilla and blend.

6)      Pour wet mixture into dry misture and combine thoroughly, but do NOT overmix (turn for about 20 folds).

7)      Pour batter into prepped baking pan, and bake for 25-35 minutes until done (watch out as it may burn easily!!)

8)      Allow to cool in bake pan for 20 minutes on a wire rack, then remove and continue cooling for another 15 minutes, then slice and serve!

Notes – these little morsels go amazingly well on their own, but for a decadent treat serve warmed with a side of vanilla ice-cream.  Heaven.  They keep well frozen if really well wrapped in plastic and tinfoil.