Sweet Snacks

Sweet Snacks/Desserts

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

From the kitchen of Chef Melissa Velez, visit www.chefmelvel.com
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar 
  • 1 cup vegetable oil 
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Pure vanilla extract (vanilla bean paste-makes ALL the difference!)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s, you can also use a dark chocolate cocoa powder)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups grated zucchini, slightly drained
  • 1 bag semi sweet chocolate chips (also can use dark/milk/white chocolate!

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F, convection bake. Spray muffin pan well with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper liners (easy clean up!) Grate zucchini and squeeze out some liquid into a fine strainer over a bowl. You don’t need to squeeze out every last drop- the liquid from the squash will make the cake nice and moist but too much liquid and the cake won’t set (read: soggy mess).

In a large bowl (a mixer will make life much easier, hand or stand), beat together the sugars, oil, eggs, and vanilla until thoroughly combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, & baking soda (I like to whisk instead of sift, less mess!)

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet sugar mixture with a rubber spatula and mix until combined. I like to add the chocolate chips and zucchini before thoroughly combined as the chips help break up any dry lumps and the zucchini is more evenly distributed. Be careful not to OVER MIX as this will result in a dense cake.

Using a large cookie scoop, distribute batter evenly into muffin cups ( about 3/4 of the way, do not fill to top as muffins rise slightly). If desired, sprinkle some chocolate chips on top.

Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes, until cake is set and toothpick comes out clean from batter (there may be some melted chocolate, but our priority is that the batter has set).

Enjoy and share the love!

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Photo Courtesy of Cooking Light

Fall is the season for apples but sometimes apple pie gets too boring! This is a great breakfast item or dessert that will feel fresh yet familiar on a cold day!

Ingredients: 

Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup peeled, diced Granny Smith apple (about 1 apple)
  • Cooking spray

Streusel Topping

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into pieces 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. To prepare cake, lightly spoon 1 1/2 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine milk, melted butter, vanilla, and egg, stirring with a whisk; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Fold in apple. Pour batter into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray.
  3. To prepare streusel, combine brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle streusel evenly over batter. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack before serving. Serve warm.

To Freeze:

  1. To prepare ahead, cool completely, wrap (still in the pan) in foil, and leave out at room temperature for up to one day, or freeze for up to three months. To reheat thawed cake, unwrap and bake at 250° for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. The recipe and photo featured in this post were provided by Cooking Light. To read the original recipe please click here.

Pumpkin-Applesauce Muffins

Photo Courtesy of Mel's Kitchen Cafe

From the kitchen of Christie Caggiani, RDN, LDN, CEDRD

Serve with a glass of milk or Greek yogurt, and banana or other fruit for a quick breakfast or snack!  These are even better the next day, and they’re a super way to jazz up your kids’ palate when you mix-in some fruits and veggies.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • ¼ cup chopped raisins (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped nuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease 12 muffin cups, or line the cups with paper muffin liners.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice; set aside.  Combine the brown sugar, oil, applesauce, pumpkin, buttermilk, and beaten eggs and mix until well blended.  Pour the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until combined.  Fold in the raisins and nuts, if desired
  3. Divide the batter evenly in the prepared muffin pans.  Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool the muffin pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes before removing the muffins from the pan.

 

Other mix-in options: dried cranberries, granola, apple pieces, chocolate chips, pumpkin or sesame seeds, shredded carrots or zucchini, peanut butter….or get creative and try something new!

Banana Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients: 

Yields ~15 muffins

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup shredded (or made into noodles and then chopped*) zucchini
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ¾ medium ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F, and grease or line muffin tin. In medium bowl, combine dry ingredients of flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

  2.  In a separate large bowl, mix beaten egg, oil, milk, mashed banana, lemon juice and vanilla extract.

  3. Stir wet ingredients into dry until incorporated and moistened.

  4. Prepare zucchini using a shredder or by spiralizing into thin noodles and then chopping into ¼ inch pieces, for similar effect. Measure your 1 cup of zucchini now. Wrap measured zucchini into paper towel and squeeze out excess water–there will be a lot of it.

  5. Fold zucchini and chocolate chips into rest of mixture.

  6. Pour to fill muffin tins 2/3 of the way.

  7. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

Enjoy!

Cranberry Walnut Granola Cookies

Photo from Food Network
Our original recipe using KIND granola clusters.  We mixed some of our favorite things into one cookie – cranberries, walnuts, and of course KIND clusters granola!
 
Yields 24 cookies
 
Ingredients: 
 
½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups Oats and Honey Clusters Kind Granola
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt (dry ingredients).
  3. Slowly mix in vanilla, egg, and butter (wet ingredients).
  4. Mix dry and wet ingredients well.
  5. Add in Oats and Honey Clusters Kind Granola, chopped walnuts, and dried cranberries.  Mix well.
  6. On an ungreased cookie sheet, drop 1-1 ½ inch balls 3 inches apart.
  7. Bake cookies at 375°F for 12-15 minutes.

Enjoy!

Double Chocolate Cupcakes

Courtesy of Cooking Light
Get your dose of love by baking these yummy cupcakes with your kids.  Try these delicious double chocolate cupcakes as a sweet snack! Ingredients: 
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼  cup butter, softened
  • ½  cup egg substitute
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½  cup buttermilk
  • 1 ¼  ounces dark (70 % cocoa) chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir with a whisk.
  3. Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined (about 3 minutes).
  4. Add egg substitute and vanilla, beating well. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to granulated sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  5. Fold in chocolate.
  6. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups lined with muffin cup liners.
  7. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Remove from pan; cool completely on a wire rack.
  9. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Courtesy of Simply Recipes

With the holidays just around the corner, we wanted to share one of Laura’s recipes. These make a great addition to a holiday party or cookie exchange. 

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • 1 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup toasted chopped walnuts
  • 1½ cups wheat germ
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup powdered fat-free milk

Directions: 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Line 2 large baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the canola oil, honey, eggs, vanilla extract, raisins, chopped walnuts, wheat germ, and rolled oats.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and powdered milk.
  • Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ones until well-combined.
  • Scoop out spoonfuls of the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Cookies will not spread much, so you don’t need to leave a lot of room between them.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until dry around the edges.
  • Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Lavender Cookies

As summer comes to a close, that doesn’t mean extra family time has to come to an end! My boys & I made these fun & tasty lavender shortbread cookies! A great way to get us all in the kitchen and to learn about and try a new food.  An added bonus, your kitchen will smell wonderful! We used the recipe from Joy The Baker, here.

 Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp dried lavender blossoms
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp raw or granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
  • extra sugar for sprinkling on top
 

Directions: 

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk flour and salt together. Set aside.
  2. In a small spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind 1 tbsp lavender and 1 tbsp sugar.
  3. In another bowl, that can be used with electric mixer with paddle attachment, add butter, ground lavender mixture, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar.  Cream ingredients on medium speed until slightly more pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  It’s okay if there are still some sugar bits at this point.  Add the flour and mix on low speed until the dough comes together.  The dough will have a crumbly texture, but will come together as you continue mixing.
  4. Dump dough mixture out onto a clean surface and form into a ball with your hands.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Line cookies sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  6. Divide refrigerated dough into quarters. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness.  Use a 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter to cut cookies, or a pizza cutter to slice into squares.  Use a fork to prick the cookies.
  7. Brush the cookies very lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.  Make sure your oven is preheated to 350 degrees F and refrigerate cookies while oven preheats.
  8. Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven.  When oven is preheated, bake cookies for 8-11 minutes, until just browned on the edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet for about 10 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

There’s nothing much better for breakfast than a hot fluffy muffin right out of the oven. The only thing that can make it better, is baking them with your children! With Mother’s Day coming this Sunday, we wanted to help you get the day off to a fun start with family time in the kitchen. For a twist, top each muffin with a dried banana chip for that extra special touch.  We’re sure that everyone will love these Whole Wheat Banana Muffins.

 

Photo Courtesy of Cooking Light
Photo Courtesy of Cooking Light

 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 dried banana chips, optional

 

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F; mist a standard 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper or foil liners. In a large bowl, combine both types of flour with baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix bananas with eggs, sugar, milk, butter and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Fold banana mixture into flour mixture just until combined and batter forms; do not overmix.
  3. Spoon batter into muffin cups; place a banana chip on top of each one, if desired. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely.

Easter Egg Cookies

     Besides your traditional Easter egg hunt and dying of Easter eggs, what do you have planned?  Have you ever thought about starting a new tradition with your family in the kitchen?  Don’t just create Easter eggs with your family this Easter, establish the new custom of designing your own Easter egg cookies!  Let your imagine go wild with the unique designs and vibrant colors of spring.  Share your creations with us on Facebook or Twitter!

Photo Courtesy of Cooking Light
Photo Courtesy of Cooking Light

Ingredients:

Cookie:

  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour (about 6 ½ ounces)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
Icing:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Food Coloring Optional

Preparation:

1. To prepare cookies, spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.

2. Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla and egg. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended.

3. Place dough between two sheets of plastic wrap. Roll dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Chill 1 hour.

4. Preheat oven to 375°F.

5. Cut dough with a 2 ¼ inch egg-shaped cutter. Place cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375°F for 8 minutes or until edges of cookies are browned. Cool cookies 1 minute on pan. Remove cookies from parchment; cool completely on a wire rack.

6. To prepare icing, combine powdered sugar, milk, and ¼ teaspoon vanilla; stir until smooth. Add food coloring, if desired. Stir well. Spread or pipe icing onto cookies.

Peanut Butter-Banana

 Spirals

We love these peanut butter-banana spirals as a mid morning or afternoon snack.  It’s the perfect recipe to get your little chefs involved in the kitchen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Cooking Light

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup of vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of orange juice
  • 2 ripe bananas, sliced
  • 4 (8 inch) whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons of honey-crunch wheat germ
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preparation

1.  Combine peanut butter and yogurt, stirring until smooth.

2. Drizzle orange juice over banans, toss gently to coat.

3. Spread about 3 teaspoons of peanut butter mixture over each tortilla, leaving 1/2 border.

4. Arrange 1/3 cup of banana slices in single layer over peanut butter mixture.

5. Combine wheat germ and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over banana slices.

6. Roll up tortillas and slice each roll into six pieces.

The recipe and photo used in this post were courtesy of Cooking Light.

Litehouse Foods’ Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes

Halloween is fast approaching. Get ready with this festive recipe courtesy of our friends at Litehouse Foods!

 

Photo courtesy of Litehouse Foods
 

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • ½ c. vegetable oil
  • ½ c. plain yogurt or applesauce
  • 15 oz. pure pumpkin puree (from 1 can)
  • 2/3 c. apple juice or water
  • 3 c. sugar
  • 2 ½ c. flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. ground clove
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 c. butter (2 sticks) at room temperature
  • 2 2lb. bags powdered sugar
  • 1 16oz. tub Litehouse® Butterscotch Caramel Dip  plus more for decorating
  • 6 Tbsp. heavy cream

 

Preparation:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, oil, yogurt, pumpkin puree, juice, and sugar.
  4. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk until just combined.
  6. Pour ¼ c. of batter into each cupcake liner.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, remove from pan and allow to cool completely.
  8. Repeat with remaining batter, makes 3 dozen cupcakes.
  9. In the bowl of a standing mixer whip the butter and Litehouse Butterscotch Caramel Dip until light and fluffy.
  10. With the mixer on low speed add the powdered sugar ½ a bag at a time, adding 1 Tbsp. of the cream after each sugar addition.
  11. Mix until fully combine before adding the next ½ bag of powdered sugar.
  12. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of cream and mix on high speed until light and fluffy.
  13. Decorate cupcakes!

Rice Pudding

If you and your family like rice pudding, then we highly suggest trying out this recipe. Get your little chefs ready to help you make this tasty dessert!

 

Photo Credit: arsheffield via Compfight cc

Ingredients:

  • 2 quart 1% or 2% milk
  • ¾ cup white rice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • Optional toppings: almonds, pumpkin seeds, fresh blueberries, fresh strawberries

Method:

  1. Put milk, rice, vanilla, sugar, salt, and raisins into an enamel stockpot.
  2. Cook stockpot over medium flame, stirring constantly.
  3. When mixture thickens (approximately 45 minutes), mix in beaten egg.
  4. Pour mixture into serving dish and chill in refrigerator.
  5. Sprinkle cinnamon over top and serve.

Coconut Macaroons with a Chocolate-y Drizzle

 

Photo Credit: anna.xie via Compfight cc

Coconut Macaroons with a Chocolatey Drizzle

With Passover right around the corner, we had the idea of trying out some Kosher for Passover recipes. While this recipe makes a delicious macaroon, it also allows you the opportunity to get your kids helping in the kitchen and to teach them the traditions of Passover.  Make these delectable desserts with your little ones and share with family and friends at your next gathering!

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 3 ½ cups of shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp of salt

Optional:

½ cup of semisweet chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  2. Combine the egg whites, coconut, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt into a bowl.
  3. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water.  Do not let the bowl and the pot touch.
  4. Stir the ingredients until the sugar has melted, roughly 5 minutes.
  5. When the mixture is slightly thick and begins to appear opaque, remove the bowl from the heat.
  6. On parchment paper or a non-stick baking sheet, spoon out 2 tbsp of the batter for each cookie.  Leaving approximately 2 inches of space between each cookie.
  7. Bake for 5 minutes.
  8. Lower the temperature to 325˚F and bake for another 10 minutes so that the outside is a deep golden brown.
  9. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool before serving.
  10. (Optional)- Melt the chocolate chips in a small saucepan over low heat.  With a fork dipped into the chocolate, drizzle the chocolate over the macaroons.
  11. (Optional)- Let the cookies sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes until the chocolate has cooled.

St. Patrick’s Day Brown Soda Bread

Less than 4 days until St. Patrick’s day, folks! To celebrate the joyous occasion we wanted to share a traditional Irish soda bread recipe with you. This recipe is from Cooking Light’s Global Kitchen cookbook, written by David Joachim, which features 150 nutrition-packed recipes from around the globe. So, check out the tasty recipe below and be sure to tweet us pictures of your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations/recipes at @MomDishesItOut!

 

Photo courtesy of Cooking Light’s Global Kitchen

Brown Soda Bread
Serves 12

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray (we use canola oil spray)
  • 2.5 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 0.5 cups steel-cut oats
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp wheat germ
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 325˚F.
  2. Coat a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or line pan with parchment paper, and coat with cooking spray.
  3. Combine flours with the remaining dry ingredients. Combine egg and buttermilk in separate bowl, mix and add to flour mixture. Stir just until combined.
  4. Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Invert bread onto a wire rack; cool completely. Remove parchment (if used), and slice bread into 12 slices.

Nutrition Info (1 slice): 160 calories, 1.8g fat (0.5g sat. fat), 7.2g protein, 30.8g carbs, 4g fiber, 18mg cholesterol, 17mg iron, 286mg sodium, 86mg calcium

Homemade Banana Cake

 

Photo Credit: Acquired Life via Compfight cc

Do you ever get stuck with a bunch of overripe bananas? This happens to us every now and again. We go a little crazy at the grocery store and by a batch of bananas that go ripe too quickly and we find ourselves scrambling to eat them before they go to waste. Some great options are slicing them and freezing them for smoothies, or a classic is making banana bread. Well we have another option for you. Check out Mama Mariean’s delicious Homemade banana cake recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick, room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 very ripe smashed bananas
  • 2 cups flour (can be gluten-free if needed)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup milk

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients (not including the flour) with a wooden spoon. Add eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, and milk. Mix thoroughly. Add the bananas and mix. Add flour slowly and mix until fully incorporated.
  3. Grease and flour 9 x 11 pan. Pour in the batter and bake at 375˚F for 25-30 minutes. Test with a toothpick.
  4. While the cake is still warm, cover with powdered sugar. Allow to cool and serve!

Optional: slice a banana and other fruit of choice to garnish the cake. (We love to use kiwi and strawberry slices!)

Spiced Carrot & Apple Mini Muffins

 

Photo courtesy of Feeding Audrey

     I recently attended the Citibabes’ Holiday Shopping event and had the pleasure of meeting the brains behind Feeding Audrey, a wonderful blog portraying the story of the journey through motherhood. I left the event with some beautiful recipe cards and wanted to share this delicious recipe. I hope you enjoy!

Spiced Carrot & Apple Mini Muffins 30 mini muffins Ingredients:

  • 2 flax eggs (see below)
  • 1.25 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour blend
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free oats
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • 1.25 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 red apples, grated (Fuji, Gala, or Pink Lady)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and grated

Method: To make flax eggs, combine 6 tbsp of water with 2 tbsp of flax meal. Stir well and place in fridge to set for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 375˚F and line mini muffin pan with liners or spray with cooking spray. Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together applesauce, oil, vanilla, and flax eggs. Slowly stir the wet ingredients into dry ingredient, fold in the grated apples and carrots. Place 1 tbsp of batter into muffin pans. Bake for 25 minutes or until center comes out dry on a toothpick. Cool on a wire rack.

This recipe and photograph are courtesy of www.FeedingAudrey.com

PB&J Cookies

We’ve been searching for great gifts to give to our coworkers, friends, and families this holiday season. We love the idea of making gifts in place of purchasing gifts. And sometimes all you need is a batch of freshly baked cookies to make a great gift. We found this wonderful recipe for PB&J Cookies from our friends over at Cooking Light and we can’t wait to wrap them up in festive holiday gift bags and send them on their merry way!

                                     Photo Courtesy of Cooking Light

PB&J Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (feel free to substitute for gluten-free flour, if needed)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • cooking spray
  • 7 tbsp preserves of choice (we used grape!)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed

Method:

  1. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and salt, stirring well with a whisk; set aside.
  2. Place sugars, nut butter, and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture, beating on low speed just until combined.
  3. Lightly coat hands with cooking spray. Shape dough into 36 balls (~2.5 tsp each). Place balls 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Press thumb into center of each dough ball, leaving an indentation. Cover and chill 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  5. Uncover dough. Bake at 350˚F for 14 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove cookies from pans, and cool on a wire rack.
  6. Place preserves in a small microwave-safe bowl, and microwave at high for 20 seconds, stirring once. Add the lemon juice, stirring until smooth. Spoon about 1/2 tsp preserves into  the center of each cookie.
  7. Serve or wrap for a holiday gift!

Recipe and photo courtesy of Cooking Light.

Zucchini Bread with a Twist

There’s nothing like a warm piece of homemade bread on a cold autumn day. Thanks to our friend Ann Grunberg, for allowing us to share her wonderful homemade Zucchini Bread recipe! 

Zucchini Bread with a Twist

 

                        Photo Credit: prideandvegudice via Compfight cc

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups coarsely grated zucchini
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar

Optional:

  • handful of raisins
  • handful of crushed coconut
  • grated carrots

 

Directions:

  1. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans.
  2. Beat eggs until fluffy.
  3. Add sugar and oil.
  4. Beat until the color turns lemon-yellow.
  5. Add vanilla, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, zucchini, nuts, salt and optional ingredients.
  6. Bake at 350˚F for 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

Remove from oven. Allow to cool. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Ann Grunberg.

Homemade Apple Butter

I don’t know about you, but we have a LOT of apples left from our family apple picking in October. We’ve been racking our brains for ideas on how to use up these fresh and delicious apples. Then we came across this Overnight Apple Butter recipe from Cooking Light. What a perfect way to use up these apples!

 

Photo courtesy of Cooking Light.

Overnight Apple Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 10 medium apples, peeled and chopped into small pieces

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 10 hours (we suggest starting it before you go to bed or as soon as you wake up if you’re concerned leaving it unattended all night).
  2. Once apples are tender, transfer a spoonful into a fine-meshed colander. Press the mixture using a large spoon until you are left with the apple pulp. You can throw away the pulp.
  3. Repeat until finished with the apples.
  4. Return the apple mixture to the slow cooker and continue to cook for 1.5 more hours. Stir occasionally until the mixture becomes thick.
  5. Store in an air-tight container or jar for one week. Enjoy!

Tip: using multiple varieties of apples can add to the overall texture and taste of the apple butter.

Recipe and photograph courtesy of Cooking Light.

Lemon Cake

 

 

INGREDIENTS
Cake:
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 cup nonfat buttermilk
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Icing:
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon rind
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Lemon rind strips (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. To prepare cake, coat 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray; line bottoms of pans with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray. Dust pans with 2 tablespoons flour, and set aside.

3. Lightly spoon 2 cups flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.

4. Place granulated sugar and 1/2 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and nonfat buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat in 2 tablespoons lemon rind and 2 tablespoons lemon juice.

5. Pour batter into prepared pans; sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 32 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack; remove wax paper from cake layers.

6. To prepare icing, combine powdered sugar and the remaining ingredients (except lemon rind strips) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk until smooth. Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread half of icing on top of cake. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining half of icing over top of cake. Garnish with lemon rind strips, if desired. Store cake loosely covered in the refrigerator.

Rosh Hashanah Roasted Apples

Happy Rosh Hashanah! A Delicious Holiday Recipe

Rosh Hashanah has a number of delicious and traditional recipes. We did our research and found one that is both tasty and has a great message behind it. The use of apples and honey are a traditional food pairing served during Rosh Hashanah. It is believed that dipping apples in honey will bring a sweet new year. We love the symbolism and chose this recipe with the idea of having the kids join in on the preparation. So round up the kids, prepare this scrumptious dish together, and enjoy a Shana Tova (good year)!

 

Photo Curtesy of Epicurious

Rosh Hashanah Roasted Apples

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups 100% apple cider, we like to use Langers, but any brand will suffice
  • 5 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp organic honey
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 6 medium yellow onions, cut into wedges
  • 6 tsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 6 medium apples, preferably of the red variety, cored and cut into wedges

 DIRECTIONS

  • Boil apple cider in pan for about 28 minutes, or until it has significantly reduced. Add applesauce and honey, whisk until incorporated. Add salt. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Butter 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Toss onion wedges in large bowl with 2 teaspoons oregano and 3 tablespoons apple cider mixture. Arrange in single layer on 1 sheet. Toss apples in 2 teaspoons oregano and 3 tablespoons apple cider mixture. Arrange in single layer on second sheet. Sprinkle both with pepper.
  • Roast onions for 10 minutes. Roast apples for 20 minutes.
  • Remove both sheets from oven. Drizzle remaining apple cider mixture evenly over onions and apples. Roast for an additional 20 minutes.
  • Increase the temperature to 475°F. Roast onions and apples for about 10 minutes, until tender and lightly browned. Sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons of oregano.
  • Serve and enjoy!

This recipe makes a great pair to this traditional Honey Cake Recipe. We here at MDIO want to wish you all a safe and celebratory Rosh Hashanah!

Nutritional Content (1 serving): 156 calories, 0.3g fat, 0.0g saturated fat, 157.5mg sodium, 39.2g carbohydrates, 4.3g fiber, 30.3g sugar, 0.9g protein.

 

Recipe adapted from Epicurious.

Banana Walnut Yogurt Parfait

 

 

INGREDIENTS (Makes 1 serving)

  • 6 oz plain, non-fat Greek yogurt like Chobani
  • 1/2 cup sliced bananas
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

Layer Greek yogurt, sliced bananas, and walnuts in a glass cup. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

 

Lemon & Olive Oil Polenta Cake

 

INGREDIENTS

1 ¼ cup polenta, dry

½ cup ground almond flour (Another healthy option is to grind whole unsalted almonds yourself)

½ tsp salt

1 ½ tsp baking powder

3 eggs, (at room temperature)

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/3 cup olive oil

2 large lemons, zested and juiced

1 tsp vanilla extract

Optional garnish: thinly sliced lemon wedges, plain non-fat Greek yogurt or dust lightly with powdered sugar

Special Equipment: One 24′ cm loose bottom cake pan and help from your little ones!

DIRECTIONS

     Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly coat a loose bottom cake pan with olive oil.  In a large bowl, sift the polenta, almond flour, salt and baking powder. In another large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, vanilla, olive oil and lemon zest. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and fold in the lemon juice. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool. Garnish with thin lemon wedges if desired and serve with a dollop of plain, non-fat Greek yogurt.

     The result? After helping me measure olive oil, sift flour and whisk all the ingredients together, the outcome was more than just a delicious cake—My little baker was super proud of his work!! 

Vegan Blueberry-Banana Muffins

 

     In general, many pastries, muffins and baked goods contain eggs or dairy products. So when people hear the word “vegan,” often they’re not sure what to expect. When it comes to baking, the appropriate type of ingredients and proportions are key to creating a delicious baked good. This recipe uses applesauce to substitute for eggs, and vegan butter was used instead of regular butter. By cutting the amount of butter and sugar used in a typical recipe, this muffin recipe is slightly healthier..but still just as delicious. Made with healthy and wholesome ingredients, these muffins are so tasty, even you might not believe it’s vegan!

INGREDIENTS


     Makes 12 muffins (if you like the tops to overflow, it will make more like 8 big muffins)

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup vegan butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1.5 cups fresh blueberries (or frozen) 

DIRECTIONS

     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. (Do not melt the butter in the microwave, it makes a difference! The muffins will be lighter if the butter stays at room temperature.) Add the applesauce, bananas, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and vanilla. Mix in the flour but be careful not to overmix. Small clumps are OK. Gently fold in the blueberries. 

     Line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners. Distribute batter evenly, about 3 tbsp in each cupcake liner. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown. To check if it is done, stick a toothpick in the center and if it comes out clean, it’s ready.

May be refrigerated or frozen.

Gluten-Free Lemon Meringue Pie

 

Meringue Pie Crust  (one 9-inch crust)

2 large egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 tsp teaspoon salt
½ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

METHOD

     Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray.

     In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is very stiff and glossy. Rub a little of the mixture between your thumb and forefinger and see if the mixture feels gritty, if so continue to beat until smooth, this will mean the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the vanilla extract and mix in well.

     Spread mixture into the prepared pan forming a shell by spreading the mixture up the sides of the pie plate. Bake for 50 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the meringue crust in the oven for another hour. Remove from oven and allow it to cool completely.

 

Lemon Filling

1 ¼ cup sugar

1/3 cup corn starch

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 ¼ cup water

½ cup lemon juice, fresh

zest of 4 lemons

4 egg yolks

2 tbsp butter

4 egg whites, at room temperature

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

½ cup of powdered sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

METHOD

     Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Whisk the sugar, corn starch, and salt together.  Whisk in the water, lemon juice, and zest.  Whisk the egg yolks until no streaks remain and then add to the lemon mixture.  Place the filling mixture in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the butter.  Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.  Let cook for an additional minute.  Filling should be very thick.  Pour the filling into the warm crust and lay plastic wrap down onto the filling.  Beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy.  Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.  Add the sugar very gradually, then beat on high until the peaks are stiff and glossy, but not dry.  Add the vanilla extract and beat for another few seconds.

     Pour the thickened lemon mixture onto the meringue crust. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Cool to cut.

Red Velvet Cake Bites with Fresh Raspberries

 

 Photo courtesy of The Pioneer Woman

 

INGREDIENTS (Makes 30-35 bites)

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup  unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¾ cup lowfat buttermilk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp red food coloring
  • 2 ¼ cup whole-wheat flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa
METHOD
  1. Cream butter and sugar.  Add applesauce and egg and mix well.  Blend in vanilla, buttermilk, lemon juice, lemon zest and food coloring.  Mix well.
  2. Combine dry ingredients and add slowly to mixture, stirring well.  Pour batter into pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.  Spread batter to a depth of only ½ or ¾ inch thick.  Bake in 350 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes.
  3. Allow to cool before frosting.  Set on a flat surface while preparing topping.

Toppings:

  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • Fresh raspberries

METHOD

  1. Melt chocolate in microwave or using double boiler.
  2. Using a knife, spread a thin layer of chocolate on top of cake, then set raspberries in straight rows (so that there will be 1 raspberry at the center of each cake bite.)
  3. Cut into small squares and serve!
 

70 calories, 1.5g fat, 5.6g sugar, 12.9g carbohydrates, 1.4g protein

Gingerbread Cookies

     Keep the spirit of the holidays alive while making traditional recipes a bit healthier!

Gingerbread Cookies


Each of these low-fat cookies has 50 calories, 0.5g fat, 12g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 1g protein, and 4g sugar. Yield: 30-36 cookies.

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup honey
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
⅓ cup dark molasses
1½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1½ cups unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Preparation:

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, honey, and applesauce until smooth.
  • Add the egg and molasses, mixing well.
  • In another large bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, and spices. Add to sugar and molasses mixture, stirring well.
  • Divide the dough into two flat balls; cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Generously dust the surface of your working area with flour before rolling out the dough. Work with one ball of dough at a time, keeping the other portion refrigerated. Roll out the dough to ¼- to ⅛-inch thickness; sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough if it’s sticky. Cut the gingerbread with cookie cutters of your choice.
  • Place the cookies 1 to 2 inches apart on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Perfect Yogurt Pancakes

 

Photo Courtesy of Chobani’s Perfect Pancakes

Adapted from Chobani’s Perfect Pancake recipe, this Mom’s swapped in some whole-wheat flour and a touch of flax seeds for a healthful kick!

INGREDIENTS (Makes 4 servings)


1/2 cup Chobani Simply 100 Vanilla Greek Yogurt
1/2 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c whole-wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp flax seeds
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¾ c skim milk
Nonstick pan spray
Driscolls berries and organic honey, for serving

 

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large bowl combine all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, flax seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a smaller bowl, gently whisk egg, Greek yogurt and milk.

2. Add wet ingredient mixture to flour mixture and gently mix.

3. In a nonstick skillet, spray a light coat of cooking spray over medium heat. Pour about ¼ cup batter onto pan for each pancake, leaving space between pancakes. Cook for bout 2 minutes, until bubbles appear on surface. Flip once to brown other side. Transfer to a large plate and repeat with remaining batter.

4. Serve warm with organic honey and berries.

While you’re at it, be sure to check out our Chobani giveaway! Mom Dishes It Out will be giving away one customized case of Chobani Greek Yogurt, with winner’s choice of favorite flavors. ENTER FOR GIVEAWAY HERE!

Vanilla Chia Pudding

 

Vanilla Chia Pudding

     Looking for a healthier dessert option? Try this chia seed recipe for an nutrient packed dessert, topped with fresh berries! 

     Chia seeds are a great endurance food, providing essential omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, antioxidants, protein and fiber. If you’re new to chia seeds, you can always add 1 tbsp into smoothies or sprinkle over yogurts to begin with.  However, if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, this creamy chia pudding recipe is not only a healthier dessert option for you and your family,  but it is so delicious that you may just forget how healthy and nutrient-dense it really is!


Ingredients
 (Makes 4-6 servings)

½ cup chia seeds
2 1/2 cup almond milk
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon, or to taste

 Directions:

1. Place chia seeds in a medium size mixing bowl and set aside.
2. In a medium container or large bowl, add chia seeds, milk and honey. Let mixture sit for 10 to 15 minutes, whisking every few minutes to prevent chia seeds from clumping, pudding will thicken fast. Place in the fridge and chill for 1 or more hours.
3. Remove from fridge, whisk to remove clumps. Serve chilled topped with berries. To store, keep covered in a sealed container in the fridge.

It is delicious served with fresh berries like Driscolls, sliced almonds and/or finely chopped dark chocolate. This pudding can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 5 days.

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