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Apple Pumpkin Muffins

30 Sep

So as I mentioned in my last post, it’s been all rabbit food around here. I haven’t been doing much baking at all. But yesterday I decided to make up some muffins. I got some great inspiration from these Zucchini Apple Muffins. I broke open a package of pumpkin that I had sitting in my freezer from last fall, and needed to use up the last cup of it (I made some fantastic pumpkin pancakes for my hubby with the first part of it). You can’t really even taste the pumpkin, but they were delicious all the same! Since I’m going for the health aspect of it, I altered the recipe quite a bit, and kept track of how many calories were going into it. I added some flax seed, which is completely optional. It gives them a little more of an earthy taste, but I didn’t mind it at all.

1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup AP flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 ½ – 2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of salt
1 cup pumpkin
1 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 egg whites
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp flax seed, dissolved in 4 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2  medium apples, peeled and diced (I used Michigan Ida Red)

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Peel and chop your apples. Toss them in a bowl with a couple tablespoons of flour to coat. Set aside. (Coating them with flours ensures that they won’t sink to the bottom of the muffins.)
Pour 2 tbsp of flax seed into a small bowl. Pour 4 tbsp of water on top to dissolve.
Mix together your flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Set aside
In a large bowl, whisk your egg whites just enough to break them up. Add the sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, flax, vanilla, and vegetable oil. Mix well.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Stir just until moist, try not to over mix!
Fold in the apples.
Divide into muffin tins lined with papers, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

The entire batch of muffins has 2150 calories in it. If you divide your batter into 20 muffins, that’s only 108 calories per muffin! My batch made 16 regular sized muffins, and 16 mini muffins.

When I went to make these muffins, I realized I only had about ¼ cup of AP flour, so I used that, plus 1 ¾ cups of whole wheat flour. They still turned out moist and delicious! When my husband went for these muffins, I warned him that they were healthy and that he wouldn’t like them. He ate one, and said it was pretty good, just missing the butter. lol! Not a bad compliment from him. Charlie and Emma loved them, too. Charlie devoured 2 mini muffins in minutes!

S’mores Mix

17 Aug


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What’s better in the summer than s’mores? Why limit yourself to being around a campfire to eat them? I made this tasty s’mores treat that can be enjoyed any time! And the best part is that it’s NOT messy!

Recipe:
Mini marshmallows (I used micro-mini marshmallows)
Hershey’s milk chocolate chips (or chocolate bar chopped into chunks)
Honey Graham Crackers

I tried making this a few times. It turns out marshmallows don’t stay intact very well if you broil them. They turn into a gooey mess. Which is great for some recipes! But not this one. In the end, the blow torch was the way to go.

Toast the marshmallows with a blow torch until they’re the desired result. I like mine nice and black, but decided not to char them too badly for this project (but if it was going on a s’more, it would have been TORCHED). Let the marshmallows cool and set them aside.
Break your graham crackers into bite size pieces. If you want a really nice presentation, cut the graham crackers into little squares. (If you do it this way, you can make cute little MINI s’mores!)
Mix equal parts chocolate chips, graham cracker chunks, and mini marshmallows. Toss to combine.
I think this would be a fun treat for a hiking trip, camping trip, or even a summer barbeque! And really, who can resist s’mores? It’s sure to be a hit!

Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

8 Aug


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I love experimenting with ice cream. It’s interesting to see how you need to tweak the ice cream base to accommodate for the add-ins. Sometimes you need a higher fat content to offset a high water content addition (like adding espresso to make a coffee ice cream). Sometimes you need to do a lower fat content to compensate for something rich being added, like caramel. You don’t want your ice cream to be so soft that it barely sets, or so hard that you can’t get your spoon into it. It’s important to get it right so that your ice cream has the proper mouth feel.
I absolutely love this dark chocolate ice cream. It’s so rich, with intense chocolate flavor. You’ll never need another chocolate ice cream recipe. I can’t wait to make it again, it was gone too soon!

Recipe:
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
¾ tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Warm the cream and milk on the stove in a heavy bottom sauce pan without stirring. While that’s heating up, whisk the egg yolks, salt, and sugar, until pale in color.
Once the cream is heated and bubbles start to rise around the edges (don’t boil!), slowly whisk a ladle-full at a time of the hot cream mixture into the yolk mixture. Make sure to do it slowly, so you don’t cook the eggs.
Mix the heated yolk mixture back in with the rest of the cream, and put it back on the stove on medium heat. Stir constantly, until slightly thickened. You should be able to draw your finger across the back of the spoon and have it leave a trail. Don’t over cook it!

Once the cream has started to thicken, remove from heat. Add your chopped chocolate and cocoa powder, and stir to melt. Chances are it’s not going to combine 100% smooth, so throw it in the blender and run it for a few seconds, it should get out any lumps.

Stir in the vanilla.

Chill thoroughly and freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. I prefer my ice cream best if it sets in the freezer for over 24 hours.

Skinny Caramel Frappuccino

1 Aug

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If you’re someone who enjoys your frappuccino’s as much as I do, you’ll love this recipe! I found a way to make Starbuck’s Caramel Frappuccino with half the calories! And none of the richness is sacrificed. The secret to it’s richness? Using frozen milk cubes! Instead of using ice cubes (which are terrible to try to grind up in your blender!) I use frozen milk cubes. They break up so much easier, and make such a smooth and rich frappe (with no chunks of ice that get stuck in your straw). So next time you’re about to throw out milk that’s about to expire, pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it! I like to keep a ziplock of milk cubes in my freezer at all times, so I can have a rich, creamy frappuccino at any time!

Recipe:
6- 1 oz. fat free milk cubes (a standard ice cube tray will freeze 1 oz. cubes, but you may want to measure if you’re watching your waist line!)
4.5 oz. of cold brewed coffee (or chilled coffee or espresso)
1 ½ oz. (3 tbsp) Coffeemate Fat Free Vanilla Caramel Creamer

Freeze fat free milk into 1 oz. cubes the night before.
Brew your coffee or espresso, and chill in the fridge.
Add your coffee, 6 milk cubes, and creamer to the blender and pulse until smooth.
Pour into a glass, and enjoy!

Calorie Count:
67.5 calories from the fat free milk
75 calories from the creamer
0 calories from the coffee

Compare:
Starbucks 12 oz.Caramel Frappuccino: 290 calories
My 12 oz. Skinny Caramel Frappuccino: 142.5 calories

Low Calorie Frozen Caramel Espresso Shots

30 Jul


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My Frozen Caramel Espresso Shots seemed to be a big hit! I realize though, that they’re full of sugar (and delicious caramely goodness), and some of us would like a healthier alternative. I revised my original recipe to be much lower in calories, about 10 calories per shot! Now they can be enjoyed as often as you want; guilt free.

Recipe:
4 oz. of espresso (or strong coffee)
1 ½ oz. (3 tbsp) Coffee Mate fat free vanilla caramel creamer.

Brew your espresso.
Mix in the creamer.
Pour into ice cube trays (or a silicone mold, must be flexible).
Put your filled molds into the freezer, checking on them after about an hour – hour and a half. Once the espresso shots are completely iced over, stick tooth picks in them.
Wait until they’re frozen through, at least 5 hours, preferably over night.
To unmold, gently twist your ice cube tray, and they should pop right out.
Store in an airtight bag in your freezer.
Makes 8-10 shots.

Brownie cheesecake bites

23 Jul

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I had a craving for cheesecake. I remembered this delicious no bake cheesecake that I tried last year, it was amazing! I altered the recipe quite a bit to get it right. I didn’t want to make it in a graham cracker crust, so I put it on top of brownies. Perfection! Sweet, rich, and chocolatey.

Recipe:
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz. melted chocolate

In a food processor, puree your cream cheese until it’s smooth.
Add the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla.
Scrape down the sides and run the processor for another 30 seconds.
Add the melted chocolate and run the processor again until it’s smooth.

This no bake cheesecake is delicious. It can be poured into a graham cracker crust to set, or spread on top of brownies.

Why not just eat it out of the bowl?

Raspberry Limeade

20 Jul


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This drink was inspired by Red Robin’s Raspberry Limeade. I have a feeling theirs contains far more calories than should ever be consumed in a drink! For this version, I added less sugar. It’s tart and a little sweet, with vibrant colors. Perfect for these hot summer days.

Recipe:
24 oz. lemon-lime soda (2 cans)
Juice from two limes (about 2 oz.)
1/2 cup raspberries
2-3 tsp. sugar (or more, depending on how sweet you want it)

Squeeze the juice out of two limes. Mix the sugar in and stir until dissolved.
Roughly chop 1/2 cup of raspberries.
Mix all of the ingredients together and stir to combine.
Pour over ice, and garnish with lime slices.
Makes 3-4 servings.