Archive for June, 2011

Fruit Popsicles

Jun 30 2011 by | Comments (0)
FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

When does summer official begin?  June 21st?  NOPE!  Summer officially begins the moment you sit down after a long day of outdoor play and enjoy a popsicle.  Ask any kid and they’ll confirm this!  Too bad the popsicles you’ll find at your local grocery store are filled with sugars (LOTS of it), artificial flavors and modified chemicals.  Just the kind of stuff that our kids should be eating, huh?!  Seriously, have you looked at the ingredients list for popsicles?  It’s not pretty!  One of my favorite popsicles used to be the famous Firecracker Popsicles.

Firecracker Popsicle - Image from popsicle.com

The box boasts that they are fat free and have vitamin C and fruit juice.  That’s not all it has!  Firecracker popsicles contain water, pear juice (from concentrate), liquid sugar (sugar and water), high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup (cause we didn’t get enough corn syrup yet!), lemon, raspberry and cherry juice (all from concentrate), citric acid, guar gum, malic acid, modified cellulose, natural and artificial flavors, locust bean gum, ascorbic acid, red 40 and blue 1.

Scary stuff huh?!  The truly sad part is that even the regular flavor popsicle (cherry, strawberry, orange, etc) all have ingredient lists just like the one above.  Fruit is naturally fat free, high in vitamin c and brace yourself, contains fruit juice!  Why mess with what nature made?!  This recipe is hardly a recipe, more of an inspiration for you to mix and match your favorite flavors to come up with some truly delicious popsicles!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • Fruit (any kind, pits, stems and skins removed if necessary and washed)

Preparation:

  1. Add your fruit to a blender and process until you have a pourable liquid.
  2. Pour into popsicle molds or plastic cups.
  3. Place into the freezer for about 4 hours or until completely frozen. (If you’re using plastic cups don’t forget to go back and insert a popsicle stick 30-40 minutes after you place the popsicles in the freezer)
  4. Remove from the freezer and ENJOY!

Nutritional Info:

Nutritional info will vary depending on the type of fruits that are used.

Notes:

You can also make these popsicles using 100% PURE NOT FROM CONCENTRATE Fruit Juice (the ingredients should list be fruit and fruit ONLY).  My daughter wanted to make an apricot/mango flavored popsicle and I could not find organic apricots at the store.  Instead we picked up some apricot juice and added that to the blender with the mango.  As long as the fruit juice or nectar contains only fruit (no water, no concentrates, no acids) then it’s perfectly healthy and great to use when you can’t get fresh fruit.

No-Sugar Sugar Cone Bowls

Jun 29 2011 by | Comments (0)
FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

You know that smell that hits you when you walk up to a fair or festival?  The one that’s sweet and buttery and draws you to it like a magnet?  That’s the smell of sugar cones (or waffle cones) being made and waiting to be filled with rich and creamy ice cream.  Why am I torturing you like this you ask?  That isn’t healthy food!  It is now with these No-Sugar Sugar Cone Bowls.  Even healthy eaters can now enjoy the taste of those special summertime treats.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp unsalted pasture butter, melted
  • 2-3 tbsp 2% or whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • oil to brush skillet

Preparation:

  1. In a medium size bowl whisk the eggs and syrup until well blended.
  2. Whisk in the melted butter, milk and vanilla.
  3. Add the flour and salt and whisk until the batter is smooth. The batter should be very thin so add a little more milk if too thick.
  4. Heat a small skillet over medium heat and coat lightly with oil (I put a little oil on a paper towel and rub it in the pan).

    Pour the batter into a heated skillet and swirl to form a thin crepe

  5. Pour a scant 1/4 cup of batter into the skillet and swirl around to form a thin circle (like making crepes).
  6. Turn heat to low and cook until you can see the edges and bottom turn golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Don’t rush, let them cook slowly on low heat so they get crispy when removed.
  7. Flip and cook the other side until browned.

    Place the cooked crepe over a small bowl and hold a few seconds to mold

  8. Remove the crepe and arrange it over a small heat safe bowl. Hold the crepe down over the bowl for a few seconds until it holds into place. Be careful it will be hot. The crepe will harden and turn crispy as it cools.
  9. Fill with Frozen Custard or your favorite ice cream and enjoy the taste of summer.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 8 bowls.

Serving size 1 bowl.

Nutrients per serving: Calories: 181, Cal. from Fat: 63, Total Fat: 7g, Sat. Fat: 4g, Carbs: 21g, Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 13g, Protein: 3g, Sodium: 68mg, Chol: 68mg

Notes:

The bowls are best eaten right after making. They will soften after a few hours. I have found that you can re-crisp them by placing the softened bowl on a heated dry skillet (it will flatten back out), heat through and then place back onto a mold to harden again.

Frozen Custard

Jun 28 2011 by | Comments (0)
FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

I love custard. I was determined that just because I wanted to eat healthy there was no reason why I couldn’t find a way to make custard with whole, unprocessed ingredients. I have come up with several different ways to make it, all healthy I’m happy to say. This frozen version is just perfect for hot summer days. I’m just going to say that you might want to save it for special occasions where there are lots of others around to share it with because it is not a thing to be taken lightly. It will lure you to it and break down your will to eat just one serving….or maybe that’s just me. Enjoy!

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/3 cups raw honey
  • 1 whole vanilla bean, scraped or 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt

Preparation:

  1. In a heavy saucepan combine the skim milk, 1 cup cream, eggs, honey and salt.

    Heat mixture over medium low heat stirring constantly until thickened

  2. Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Be patient, this will take about 20 minutes and you really must stir constantly. Don’t boil the mixture, turn the heat lower if it is heating too quickly.
  3. After the mixture has thickened turn off the heat and let cool for a few minutes.

    Pour into a metal pan and freeze to a soft frozen consistancy

  4. Pour into a 13 x 9 pan (metal is best) and place in the freezer until it is a soft frozen consistancy. This should take about 2 hours. The sides freeze faster so after about an hour run a spatula around the edges and blend together.
  5. When the mixture is the right consistancy pour the remaining cream and vanilla into a large bowl and beat until soft peaks form.
  6. Remove the frozen mixture from the freezer, stir gently and then spoon it into the bowl of whipped cream.
  7. Fold together until completely blended.
  8. Spoon the custard back into the pan and place in the freezer for another 2 hours or until firm.
  9. Serve in No-Sugar Sugar Cone Bowls or with your favorite fruit topping.

Nutritional Info:

Makes approximately 6 cups.

Serving size 1/2 cup.

Nutrients per serving: Calories: 379.5, Cal. from Fat: 222, Total Fat: 26.5g, Sat. Fat: 16.5g, Carbs: 32g, Fiber: 0g, Sugars: 32g, Protein: 4g, Sodium: 87mg, Chol: 205.5mg

Notes:

Leftover custard should be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Summer Peach-sicle

Jun 27 2011 by | Comments (0)
FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

Orange creamsicles…are they still around?  I still remember eating away all the orange outside to get to the creamy ice cream inside – YUM!  Too bad they are seriously NOT HEALTHY!  For this cleaned up version of a creamsicle I decided to use peaches because what says summer better than ripe peaches?!  My daughter and I loved the results (my son and hubby are not fans of peaches).  They were just the creamy treat I was craving and perfect for summer!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 5 ripe peaches, pitted and skin removed
  • 1 ripe banana, peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (non fat, low fat or even regular will work – just don’t use greek yogurt)
  • 2 – 4 tbsp raw honey (I used 2 tbsp but if you’re going for a rich creamy flavor use 4 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice

Preparation:

  1. Place all the ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.

    Pour into 5 ounce plastic cups or traditional popsicle molds

  2. Pour into 5 ounces plastic cups or traditional popsicle molds.
  3. Freeze for 45 minutes, insert popsicle sticks, and continue to freeze until popsicles are set.
  4. To serve, make a small incision in the lip of the plastic cup and tear off.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 10 (4 ounce) servings.

Serving size 1 peach-sicle.

Nutrients per serving: Calories: 73, Cal. from Fat: 2, Total Fat: 0g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 16g, Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 14g, Protein: 2.5g, Sodium: 28.5mg, Chol: .5mg

Notes:

Leftover peach-sicles will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Grilled Potato Salad

Jun 25 2011 by | Comments (0)
FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

This weeks “market special” recipe is Grilled Potato Salad but the special wasn’t potatoes. It was pattypan squash, but who am I kidding? I would have gotten these cute little babies even if they weren’t this weeks special. They are just so darn cute! I decided to use them in this recipe because they grill up nicely and blend well with the bright and tangy dressing. If you can’t find them or don’t want to use them you can make the salad with just potatoes. Also, if you don’t grill you can roast the vegetables in the oven, you just won’t get that smokey outdoor grill flavor. Either way it’s a delicious change from the standard fare mayonnaise covered potato salad.

Kristy

Potatoes and Pattypan Squash

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 medium all purpose potatoes, skins on,cut into chunks (make sure the chunks are large enough that they won’t fall through your grill rack)
  • 3-4 pattypan squash, cut into chunks (or summer squash )
  • 3-4 green onions, bottoms trimmed
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • sea salt to taste (I used 1/2 tsp on the vegetables and 1/2 tsp in the dressing)
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Preheat grill to medium-hot.
  2. Parboil the potatoes by putting the cut potatoes in a saucepan and fill with enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a light boil.
  3. Boil only until the outside is tender but the center is still raw and firm. This should take about 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the potato chunks.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat, drain the water and fill immediately with cold water to stop the potatoes from cooking any further.
  5. Drain the water and add the squash and green onions to the pan along with 2 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt. Toss to coat all the vegetables.
  6. Place the vegetables on the grill and grill until golden. Turn as needed.
  7. In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, honey and thyme. Slowly whisk in the remaining olive oil until completely mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste.

    Remove grilled vegetables from grill

  8. Remove the vegetables from the grill when done. Cut the onion into bite size pieces and place all the vegetables in a serving bowl. Pour the dressing over them and toss to coat.
  9. Serve while warm.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 4 servings.

Serving size about 1/2 cup.

Nutrients per serving: Calories: 348, Cal. from Fat: 153, Total Fat: 17g, Sat. Fat: 2.5g, Carbs: 59g, Fiber: 5g, Sugars: 6.5g, Protein: 5g, Sodium: 511mg, Chol: 0mg

Notes:

Leftover salad should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Honey Nut Snack Mix

Jun 24 2011 by | Comments (1)
FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

My kids and I created this fun recipe during a math lesson one day.  I homeschool both of my children and we were learning about measurements and what better way to learn measurements than by using them to make a delicious snack.  We had a blast filling the bowl with nuts using all different sizes of measuring cups and after our snack was done cooling we measured out 1/2 cup servings into snack baggies for an easy grab and go treat.  While this is a tasty treat it’s not one that I recommend you make often.  Nuts themselves are a healthy treat but this recipe has added sugar (natural and clean but still sugar) that shouldn’t be eaten on a daily basis.  Enjoy this recipe as a special treat and make sure to share! : )

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups unsalted nuts of your choice (I used peanuts, almonds and cashews – the ratio is up to you, you can’t go wrong)
  • 1 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup pretzels of your choice
  • 2 tbsp raw coconut crystals or date sugar (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or non stick foil.
  2. Add nuts to a large bowl and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan heat the oil and honey on medium low heat.  Once the oil is completely melted, stir a few times and then pour the mixture over the nuts.

    Spread nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet

  4. Stir well until the nuts are completely covered by the honey mixture and then transfer the coated nuts to the baking sheet and spead in a single, even layer.
  5. Bake for 5 minutes, remove from oven, stir once and place back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Remove baking sheet from oven and let cool slightly (about 3-4 minutes). Transfer the nuts to a large mixing bowl, add the coconut crystals (if using) and toss to coat.
  7. Add pretzels and stir to combine. Let cool completely and ENJOY!

Nutritional Info:

Makes approximately 7 servings.

Serving size 1/2 cup.

Nutritional info based on recipe using 1 cup almonds, 3/4 cup cashews, 3/4 cup peanuts and coconut crystals.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 329.5, Cal. from Fat: 222, Total Fat: 25g, Sat. Fat: 3.5g, Carbs: 18.5g, Fiber: 4.5g, Sugars: 6g, Protein: 11g, Sodium: 40mg, Chol: 0mg

Notes:

Store the leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks (not that it will last that long!)

Honey Nut Snack Mix

Pork Satay with Dipping Sauce

Jun 23 2011 by | Comments (2)
FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

Satay is basically any meat that is marinated, skewered and then grilled. It is said to have originated in Indonesia. I don’t know where it first came from but summer is not summer without it. The first time I had Pork Satay was at a summer food festival in Grand Rapids, MI. The marinade was peanuty, sweet, spicy and oh-oh-oh so good.  I was lucky enough to be given the recipe. That was many years ago and before I started eating healthy. This healthy version is just as good as the original, maybe even better.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
  • 1/2 cup low sodium organic tamari or soy sauce (if you follow a gluten free diet make sure to use a gluten free sauce)
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter, thicker is better
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 1 – 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut the tenderloin in half and then cut into 1 inch strips (you should end up with strips that are about 1″ x 5″)

Preparation:

  1. Place all of the ingredients, except the pork into a food processor and process until smooth.

    Reserve 1/2 cup marinade mixture and place the remainder in a resealable bag with the pork strips

  2. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the marinade in a small bowl and place in the refrigerator until later.
  3. Pour the remainder of the marinade into a large resealable plastic bag along with the pork strips.
  4. Squeeze out the air and seal well. Shake gently to cover the pork completely with the marinade.
  5. Place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or up to 2 days.
  6. Heat your grill to high or follow the instructions for your particular grill.
  7. Thread the pork onto metal skewers or bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water. Discard marinade used for the pork.
  8. Place the skewers on the grill and grill to an internal temperature of 145 degrees or about 5 minutes or so on each side. Let rest about 3 minutes before serving.
  9. Use the reserved marinade as a dipping sauce and enjoy.

Nutritional Info:

1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin makes 6 skewers.

Serving size 1 skewer.

Nutritional info is not available as exact measurements are not possible.  In other words, we have no idea how much marinade actually stays on the pork to get an accurate overall nutritional measurement.

Notes:

Any leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Cheesecake Stuffed Raspberries

Jun 22 2011 by | Comments (0)
FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

Tell the truth – I had ya at cheesecake didn’t I?!  The inspiration for this recipe actually goes to my 4 year old daughter Keegan.  Keegan loves fruit A LOT!  She would be very happy to eat just fruit, all day, everyday.  At dinner one night she was having raspberries and looked at them funny then said “These look like a cup and you should put something in them”.  I thought that sounded like a really good idea!  I thought about doing something with lemon since I really like raspberry lemonade but I wanted something more kid friendly.  Even my son who isn’t a big fan of raspberries ate these up!  Keegan and I polished off a whole pint. Leftovers – yeah right,  I honestly have no idea how these keep or if they are still good the next day!  I made a second batch hoping that we would have some to keep overnight and no such luck!  They really are THAT good!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces neufchatel cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries

Preparation:

  1. Wash your raspberries under cold water and set out to dry for about 10 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the Neufchatel cheese, honey, vanilla and cinnamon.  The mixture should be smooth and spreadable.

    Piping bag with various size tips

  3. Fill a piping bag (you can also use a plastic bag and simply cut the corner off) with the cream cheese mixture and using a small decorative tip fill each raspberry with the cream cheese filling.
  4. Place the stuffed raspberries in a bowl or on a plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes (I realize it’s evil to ask you to wait 30 minutes before eating these but they really are better once the cheesecake ‘sets’.)
  5. Remove from the fridge and ENJOY!

Nutritional Info:

Makes 4 servings.

Serving size 1/2 cup.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 122,5, Cal. from Fat: 64, Total Fat: 7g, Sat. Fat: 4g, Carbs: 12g, Fiber: 5g, Sugars: 6.5g, Protein: 3.5g, Sodium: 114mg, Chol: 22mg

Notes:

These are best when you eat them within 24 hours.  The cream cheese filling will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge so fill only the raspberries you can eat within the 24 hour time period.

Sesame Ginger Green Beans

Jun 21 2011 by | Comments (0)
FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

In my continued effort to prepare and eat the fresh and local produce that is offered at the markets in my area I present this delicious recipe for this weeks special….green beans. Green beans are the infamous ingredient for the holiday favorite Green Bean Casserole but they are often overlooked the rest of the year. That’s unfortunate because they are full of wonderful things like iron, vitamin A, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Check out your local market and pick up some fresh green beans so you can try this simple and easy side dish with your next meal.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces or split in half lengthwise
  • 4 ounces shitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces sliced water chestnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil (try toasted sesame oil for a more intense flavor)
  • 2 tbsp organic low sodium tamari or soy sauce (if you follow a gluten free diet make sure to use a gluten free sauce)
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

Preparation:

  1. Fill a large bowl with ice water.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the green beans and blanch for 2-3 minutes. The beans should still be slightly crisp.
  3. Drain and immediately place the beans into the bowl of ice water. Let cool a minute and then drain.
  4. In a large skillet heat the olive oil and sesame oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for about 1 minute.

    Saute mushroom with garlic and ginger until soft

  5. Add the mushrooms and saute until soft, about 3-4 minutes.

    Add green beans, water chestnuts, tamari and mirin. Heat through.

  6. Add the green beans, water chestnuts, tamari, and mirin.
  7. Stir constantly until the beans and chestnuts are heated through.
  8. Serve garnished with toasted sesame seeds.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 4 servings.

Serving size about 1 cup.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 191, Cal. from Fat: 82, Total Fat: 9g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 25.5g, Fiber: 5.5g, Sugars: 6g, Protein: 5g, Sodium: 427.5mg, Chol: 0mg

Notes:

Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Wehani Rice Salad

Jun 20 2011 by | Comments (0)
FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

I love making Wehani rice.  Your whole house smells like popcorn while it’s cooking.  My son came into the kitchen and asked where the popcorn was.  I told him I was cooking rice and not popcorn.  He told me he could smell the popcorn and it wasn’t very nice of me to hide it and not share!  Gotta love the logic of a 5 year old!  He did however devour the rice for dinner that night and I threw together this delicious rice salad with the rest.  I had some fresh asparagus on hand and a delicious asian dressing I wanted to try.  I had this dish as my main meal but it would be excellent as a side dish too!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Easy Oven Baked Wehani Rice
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus, washed with ends removed, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 tbsp organic low sodium soy sauce or tamari (if you follow a gluten free diet make sure to use a gluten free sauce)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp brown rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 green onion, very finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup crumbed goat cheese (optional)

Preparation:

  1. In a small bowl mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, ginger, garlic and onion.  Stir until thoroughly combined.
  2. Using a steamer bag (or a pot of boiling water) and cook the asparagus until just tender.
  3. In a large bowl add rice and asparagus.  Pour dressing over top and gently toss to evenly coat.
  4. Divide salad evenly among 4 plates and top each with a tbsp of crumbled goat cheese (if using).

Nutritional Info:

Makes approximately 4 cups.

Serving size 1 cup.

Nutrients per serving: Calories: 195, Cal. from Fat: 25, Total Fat: 2.5g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 42g, Fiber:  3g, Sugars: 1g, Protein: 4g, Sodium: 700mg, Chol: 0mg

Notes:

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.