THE HEALTHY HAG

I COOK … I EAT … I SHARE.

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!
 

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.

 

Peanut Butter Choco-Chip Squares August 6, 2009

I live and breathe peanut butter!!  I swear, if I ever get a nut allergy I am doomed.  Every day for as long as I can remember, I’ve had nuts in some shape or another.  Nothing makes me instantly cheerful like a big spoonful of my fave PB (okay, maybe a glass of wine, but that’s another story).  These bars are not only delectable, they are packed with good-for-you ingredients that you most likely already have on hand.  If you are looking to cut back on some calories, you can use Splenda, but I prefer the real thing.  To make these dairy-free, sub in ALMOND or RICE milk and use dairy-free ‘chips’ as I’ve done.


Ingredients:

¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour

¾ tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

1 cup natural peanut butter (smooth or crunchy – your call)

1/3 cup regular brown sugar (or Splenda Brown Sugar Blend if you are calorie counting)

1 egg, beaten

½ cup skim milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life chips – which are dairy and soy free! Yay!)


Directions:

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F, and coat an 8″ x 8″ baking dish and lightly brush with oil (coat with cooking spray).

2) In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt, and gently stir with a fork.

3) In a separate mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, sugar, and egg and stir vigorously until creamy, then add milk and vanilla and stir until smooth.

4) Add the flour mixture to wet mixture, stirring until well combined, then mix in the chips.

5) Place dough into prepared baking dish and pat top lightly until smooth, then bake for about 15 min, or until slightly puffy and very lightly browned at the edges.

6) Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 min before cutting.

NOTE – you can add in oatmeal, raisins, coconut flakes, etc if you wish … totally up to you!pb

 

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

 

Black Bean Burgers with Fried Eggs and Avocado-creme June 18, 2009

Brunch just got better … here’s a Tex-Mex-influenced addition to your breakfast table (or dinner table for that matter).  You can even make everything a day in advance and just reheat (well, except for the fried eggs), assemble, and serve!  Don’t forget to put out the hot sauce too, for an extra kick.

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INGREDIENTS:

Black bean cakes:
1/4 cup finely ground cornmeal
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
4 tsp hot sauce
4 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil (canola or vegetable work best)

Avocado-creme:
1 avocado, cut in half lengthwise, peel and pit removed
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sour cream
2 TBSP lime juice

Additional:
6 fried eggs

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DIRECTIONS:

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Black bean cakes:

1. Heat oven to 300°F and arrange rack in the middle, then place cornmeal in a shallow dish and set aside

2. Place beans, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, cilantro, onion, hot sauce, and salt in food processor, pulse about 15 times until incorporated and beans are broken down (but some whole beans remain).

3. Form 6 patties and dust each patty on both sides with cornmeal, and
place on baking sheet or plate.

4. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes, then place 3 patties in pan and fry until golden (about 3 to 5 minutes per side – but watch out they don’t burn!).

5. Transfer fried patties on baking sheet and place in oven to keep warm (and then repeat with remaining patties).

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Avocado-creme:
* Place all ingredients into food processor and process until smooth, then season with salt.

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Put it all together:
* Place bean cakes on serving plates and top each with a fried egg and 2 TBSP of avocado-creme!!

.blackbean

 

The Un-Meat Burger June 2, 2009

These “meaty” burgers are made with lentils, and are not only healthy and low-fat, but exceptionally delicious on their own or with all your favourite fixings. Surprised? Try them and see. They’re a breeze to make, especially if you use a can of lentils instead of cooking dried ones. Substitute rice or chickpea flour for the bread crumbs for a gluten-free version!

 

INGREDIENTS:

* 1 cup dry lentils, well rinsed

* 2½ cups water

* ½ tsp salt

* 1 TBSP olive oil

* ½ medium onion, diced

* 1 medium zuchinni, diced

* ½ tsp pepper

* ¾ cup rolled oats, finely ground

* ¾ cup bread crumbs

* 1 egg

 

DIRECTIONS:

1) Place the lentils, water, and salt in saucepan, bring to a boil, lower heat, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes, until water is nearly gone and lentils are very soft, with splitting skins (or use 1 can of ready to eat lentils).

2) Sauté the onion and carrot in oil until soft, about 5 minutes.

3) Mix the lentils, onions, zychinni, pepper, and optional spices in the large bowl, then mix in the ground oats and bread crumbs, followed lastly by the egg.

4) While still warm, form the lentil mixture into patties, which can now be frozen, refrigerated (for up to 5 days), or cooked immediately.

 

Cooking (2 possibilities):

A. In a frying pan, heat a bit of oil, place a burger on top, and fry until brown, about 2 minutes. Repeat on other side and serve. *These taste great on their own, or the same way traditional meat burgers are served.

OR

B. In a 400ºF oven, bake the burgers on a greased baking sheet until light brown, about 15 minutes (turning once midway through).

VBURG

 

Quinoa Egg Bake March 26, 2009

For all you quiche lovers that just can’t handle regular crust – here’s the answer to your prayers!  The quinoa in this recipe gets baked in the oven so it doesn’t even need to be precooked. It just settles into the bottom of the pan and creates a moist, crunchy crust.  Lots of protein and spinachy-goodness make this a super-healthy meal that takes no time to prep … that’s 100% gluten-free!


INGREDIENTS:

1 tsp butter

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

6-7 eggs

1 1/4 cups milk

1 tbsp chopped garlic (about 3 large cloves)

1 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 cups packed baby spinach, roughly chopped

1 cup finely shredded Parmesan or old cheddar cheese


DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat oven to 350°F, and grease an 8 x 8 in. glass (or a Le Crueset – my personal fave dish ever – see image) baking dish with butter; set aside.

2) Place quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and rinse until cold running water until water runs clear, then drain well.

3) In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and quinoa, stir in chopped spinach, then pour mixture into prepared dish.

4) Cover dish tightly with foil then gently pound or jiggle dish from side to side so that quinoa settles on the bottom in an even layer.

5) Bake until j

ust set, about 40 minutes.

6) Remove foil, sprinkle top evenly with cheese, then return to oven and bake, uncovered, until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes more.

7) Set aside to let cool briefly, then slice and serve.

le-creuset1