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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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!
 

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.  

 

Healthy Peach Muffins August 27, 2009

It’s that time of year again where the fruit basket on the counter and the top shelf in my fridge is overrun with peaches.  Glorious, mouth-watering, chin dripping fresh Ontario Peaches.  Unfortunately, there are only so many I can eat in a day, and so I have had to find creative ways of using them all up.  Enter baking!  These are a healthy alternative to the usually fat-laden muffin realm, and if you’re feeling like you’re not in the peach zone, you could easily swap any berry of your choice here.  The fat here is replaced mostly with yogurt, so it’s a bit friendlier to your hips and tummy.  This batch was even 100% kid approved by my discerning neighbours, 8 and 5 respectively, and by my Grandpa, 89.  Now if that’s not an endorsement, I really don’t know what is.

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INGREDIENTS:

2 cups flour (I used 1 cup rye flour, and 1 cup all purpose – but you could use rice or chickpea flour to make this Gluten-free)

1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 cup low-fat plain yogurt (you could use full fat or even peach flavoured if you want)

1/4 cup 1% or skim milk

2 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup salted butter, melted

1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (or even almonds)

2 cups fresh peaches, cut into very small pieces (skin on)

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DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat oven to 350°F, and place paper baking cups in muffin pans (or lightly grease pans).

2) Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon; set aside.

3) In a separate bowl, combine milk and yogurt; set aside.

4) Beat eggs and sugar at high speed for about 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy, then add melted butter and vanilla and beat until well blended, about 1 minute.

5) Add flour mixture alternately with milk mixture (start and finish with flour mixture), mixing only to completely combine, then stir in chopped nuts and peaches. DO NOT OVERMIX!

6) Spoon batter into prepared muffin pans, and bake on centre rack for 25-30 minutes (or until cake tester comes out clean).

7) Remove finished muffins from pans immediately, and cool on wire rack.

peach-muffin

 

Out-of-this-world Oatmeal PB Bars July 23, 2009

I am always on the hunt for new and exciting tasty treats that are soy-free and healthy.  I’ve experimented with dozens of batches and have adjusted my good ol’ taste buds to accommodate a lot of pasty and good-for-you-but-not-good-tasting snacks.  I was hankering for something oatmealy, healthy and transportable and came up with what according to my hubster, is by far the best thing I’ve ever made.  It’ll be tough to follow up this one with something comparable, but I love a challenge.  These bars are a great way to grab a brekkie on the go or to feast upon with a cuppa java.  They’re also dairy-free so that’s another unexpected perk too!  The batch I made yesterday has been reduced to one bar in less than 24 hours – and there’s only 2 of us to blame.  YUMMERS!

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INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

1 tsp wheat bran

1 tbsp ground flax seed

1/2 cup natural-style smooth peanut butter (my absolute favourite right now is PB & Co … LOVE their stuff!)

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar or sugar in the raw

1/3 cup honey

2 eggs

2 tbsp canola oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup dried cranberries, raisins, dates or apricots (or any other dried fruit you like)

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or almonds (or your favourite nut)

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DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray (I used a bit of oil smudged about with a brush, as all the spray oils I’ve seen have soy).

2. Mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, wheat germ, and ground flax in a medium bowl and set aside.

3. Thoroughly mix peanut butter, sugar, and honey in a large mixing bowl until blended, then blend in egg, oil and vanilla and beat until smooth.

4. Add reserved flour mixture to wet mixture and combine, then mix in oats, dried fruit, and nuts.

5. Scrape batter into the prepared baking dish and bake fro 20-25 min until lightly browned and firm to the touch.

6. Let cool completely in the pan on a rack before cutting into bars (about 30 min minimum).

oatmeal-peanut-butter-trail-bars-af

 

Roasted Veg with Rice Soup July 22, 2009

As mentioned about a trillion times before, I LOVE making soup.  Love Love Love.  It’s so easy and so cheap, and uses up all the veggies in the fridge that otherwise might have had to head to the green bin.  That said, I hit the fridge last night and raided the crisper for anything less than fresh.  Enter sweet potatoes, some sprouting garlic, an assortment of mushrooms and some frozen veggie stock.  Three hours later, the house smelled delectable, only bad spots sat resting in the green bin and I was left with enough soup for dinner and lunches for two days.

INGREDIENTS:

1 extra large sweet potato, chopped into small cubes (I left the skin on, but you could peel it if you wish)

2 cups of mushrooms, chopped (your choice – I used button and crimini)

1 medium onion, chopped

3 garlic gloves, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp kosher salt

6 cups vegetable stock

½ cup uncooked wild or brown rice

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp of allspice

Pepper

DIRECTIONS:

1)      Set oven to 375F and place chopped vegetables on a baking tray.

2)      Pour olive oil over vegetables, sprinkle with salt and bake for 20-30 min until browned.

3)      Bring a large pot with the stock to a boil, and carefully add in cooked vegetables.

4)      Return to a boil, add in rice and remaining spices, and simmer on low for approximately 45 min.

5)      Serve with crusty bread or your favourite crackers!

NOTES:

You can be as creative as you want here!  Swap in or out your favourite veggies, or use barley instead of rice, and maybe even add in some beans of your choice.  This would go nicely with some freshly grated cheese too.

mushroom-soup-de

 

Blueberry Buckle August 13, 2008

An old-fashioned dessert with a modern VEGAN twist. This goes amazingly with ice-cream or a dollup of home-made whip cream (obviously not vegan at that point then). Use spelt or rice flower to make nice with your gluten free friends.

INGREDIENTS:

TOPPING –

3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or spelt flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

5-6 tbsp canola oil

CAKE –

1 cup whole wheat pastry or spelt flour

1 cup regular flour

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup canola oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

4 cups fresh blueberries, washed and dried

DIRECTIONS:
1) Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9-inch spring-form pan ( you can also wrap bottom with foil for easier removal).

2) Topping: Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in bowl and stir in oil 1 tbsp at a time until mixture looks crumbly (you may not need all the oil).

3) Cake: Sift flours and baking powder into bowl, and in a separate bowl whisk together syrup, oil, vanilla and salt.

4) Stir syrup mixture into flour mixture, then gently fold in berries.

5) Pour cake batter in prepared pan, then sprinkle topping over top.

6) Bake for 70 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

7) Cool for at least 30 minutes on wire rack, then unmold, and serve.

NOTES:
– dash a few blueberries around the ‘buckle’ when plating
– drizzle a few drops of maple syrup or honey over top for that really sweet tooth of yours
– can be re-heated slightly in the micorwave
– freezes well ONLY if cooled completely, then securely wrapped in plastic (but only for a few weeks tops)