But Sugar is Sweeter

Posts tagged “Healthy

Apple Cider Muffins with Browned Butter Glaze

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So, you know my previous obsession with California?  Well, because we’ve had the most amazing weather for the last month,  I’m starting to realize that Ohio is pretty awesome!   The leaves are starting to change, there is fog over the valleys when I drive to work, and the sun has that autumn  glow.   It’s wonderful!  Although you will surely need to remind me of this come February, when I cannot wait for winter to be over! To keep my California dream alive, my best friend from like the fourth grade just landed a coveted fellowship spot at UCLA, so  I’m quite sure my love will be rekindled when I go to visit.  But for now, I’m loving Ohio.

Now about these muffins.  Obviously, they totally go with October, but they would be equally perfect for Thanksgiving breakfast. They are actually pretty healthy – chunks of apple and apple sauce keep them very moist without much fat.  Then of course you add this browned butter glaze, which sort of ruins the healthy aspect, but  you absolutely cannot leave it off.  It is amazing. Together, these were best apple muffins I’ve ever had.

A few technical points….  First, you precook the apple with a bit of sugar and spice.  This step gives the apples a pie-like texture, instead of the dehydrated apple you find in some baked goods.  Additionally, I found out the hard way that there are so many liquid components to these, that they will seep if allowed to sit in an air tight container.  I’m quite sure this didn’t make the best presentation when John brought them into class, but apparently they were still well loved. To avoid this, go a little lighter on the amount of apple in the batter, and store with a rack underneath. These muffins are just hearty enough that you can call them breakfast without too much guilt.IMG_5512

Apple Cider Muffins with Browned Butter Glaze

  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 -2 ½ honeycrisp apples, peeled and diced
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup apple cider

For the Glaze: 

  • 4 tablespoons browned butter, melted and cooled*
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

Begin by melting the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Continue to cook, swirling occasionally until the butter turns a deep golden brown.  Be careful not to burn. *Repeat this step for the browned butter in the glaze.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat and add diced apples with 3 tablespoons apple cider, and a pinch of cinnamon and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft and caramely, about 8-10 minutes. In a bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside. Line a muffin tin with liners.

In a large bowl, whisk egg and brown sugar together until smooth and no lumps remain. Add in vanilla extract, butter, apple sauce and apple cider, whisking again until smooth. Gradually add in dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Fold in diced apples. Do not overmix. Fill each muffin liner 3/4 full to scantly full.

Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until tops slightly golden. When cool enough to handle, transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Brown Butter Apple Cider Glaze
In a medium bowl,  combine browned butter, vanilla extract and powdered sugar. Whisk until the mixture comes together then add in 1 tablespoon of apple cider, continuing to mix.  If it still doesn’t appear glaze-like, add in cider 1/2 tablespoon at a time and mix again. Don’t worry if it becomes too liquidy – just add a tiny bit of powdered sugar until you get the desired consistency. Spoon glaze on warm muffins or dip each top in the glaze, then serve.

Slightly Adapted from How Sweet It Is

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Black Bean Patties with Corn Relish and Avocado Cream Sauce

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You know the saying, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person?”  Well in the past month, I have found that this saying is pretty much spot on.  Somehow when I was working 10-12 hour days, studying for shelf exams, running, being a wife, and taking care of a puppy, I had time to post all these new things I made.  Then second semester fourth year happened, and  for the first time since I can remember, I have a lot of free time, yet  I have posted almost nothing on this blog! It’s really true, when you are busy, you just get more done!  That being said, it’s not like I haven’t been in the kitchen.  I have been trying out lots of fun recipes – everything from making my own greek yogurt, tiramisu cupcakes, shrimp enchiladas and the very delicious but dangerous blackberry pie bars– I just didn’t get any pictures! So finally, here’s a new recipe just in time for the summer-like weather.

I loved this dinner because it’s healthy enough that you feel good about eating it, but the avocado cream sauce gives it just a touch of sass that still makes you feel like  your cheating.  And if you really feel like being rebellious,   I think it would go great with these cookies. 

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Black Bean Patties with Corn Relish and Avocado Cream Sauce

– Makes about 18 patties

For the patties:

  • 2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed,  divided in half
  • 2 roasted red bell peppers*, divided in half
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2/3 cup cornmeal or panko (plus more, as needed)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Canola or vegetable oil

For the corn relish:

  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the avocado cream sauce:

  • 1 avocado, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup greek yogurt or light sour cream
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

*To Roast the Red Peppers: Preheat oven to 475°.  Line a baking pan with aluminum foil Coat the outside of each pepper with olive oil.  Cook the peppers for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until the skin is lightly browned.  Remove from oven and pull aluminum foil around the peppers.  Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes, then peel of skin and remove seeds. Can be done several days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

1. To make the bean patties, place half of the beans in the bowl of a food processor with 1 coarsely chopped bell pepper, the eggs, oregano, cumin, and chipotle.  Process until smooth.  Finely chop the remaining bell pepper.  In a large bowl, lightly mash the remaining beans.  Stir in the bell pepper, onion, and smooth bean mixture.  Season to taste with salt and pepper

2. Stir in the cornmeal or panko, a bit at time, mixing lightly just until the mixture firms up.  (Pick up a bit and see if it can be easily molded into a ball.  If it is too sticky, add a little more. I ended up needing at least 1 cup).  Chill the mixture for 30 minutes.

3. While the bean mixture is chilling, make the corn relish.  Heat the canola oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the corn to the pan and sauté briefly until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and jalapeño and cook just until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Transfer the mixture to a bowl.  Stir in the tomato, lime juice, and cilantro.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. To make the avocado cream sauce, combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or blender.  Process until completely smooth.

5. Form the bean mixture into patties approximately 3½ inches in diameter.  Heat about 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the patties in batches, cooking until lightly browned and firm, about 3-4 minutes per side.  Serve the patties warm topped with the corn relish and drizzled with the avocado cream sauce.

Source: Annie’s Eats 


Blueberry Yogurt Multigrain Pancakes

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While I don’t really consider myself a breakfast person, getting up before 5 AM has a way of turning anyone into a breakfast person.  I’ve found that after 10 weeks of surgery, my ability to sleep in past 10 am on the weekends has seriously diminished.  When you’re used to waking up at 4:45, suddenly 8 am becomes a reasonable sleep in and when you find yourself with a whole morning to fill with weekend fun,  it doesn’t get much better than a morning run followed by breakfast.

One of my biggest qualms with normal brunch food is that I feel like it sets me up for a day of feeling stuffed, tired and overall unhealthy.  Breakfast is the one meal of the day where I always try to have some protein, fiber and fruit – and pancakes with syrup doesn’t really fit the bill.  But these pancakes. These pancakes are an entirely different story.  Multigrain = fiber.  Blueberries = fruit .  Yogurt = protein (and calcium!).  And to make it even better, I think my favorite part about these pancakes is that they are divine with a dollop of yogurt and a slight drizzle of honey  – no butter or syrup needed.   I had actually gotten the butter dish out, just in case, and had to laugh out loud when John goes “Why did you even get the butter out for these pancakes?”  If you understand John’s obsession with butter, you will understand how shocking this statement was.

These are also quite simple to make, and I’ve made them several weekends in a row.  I tried them with some chopped frozen rasberries, and the combination of raspberries + lemon is also really out of this world.  If you are looking for something fun, easy and festive to make for Mother’s Day, look no further.  I’m pretty sure all Mom’s will appreciate something that is both delicious and healthy for breakfast.

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Blueberry Yogurt Multigrain Pancakes

Makes about 6-8 large pancakes (Feeds 3-4)

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt, (fat free, low fat or greek yogurt are fine)
  • 2 -3  tablespoons milk, plus more depending on preference
  • 3 tablespoons butter, plus extra for buttering skillet
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup  whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup  barley or rye flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup blueberries, frozen, or rinsed and dried
  • Yogurt and Honey for serving

Melt half of butter. Remove from heat and stir in second tablespoon of butter until melted. This helps to cool the butter to room temperature before adding it to the other ingredients.

Whisk egg and yogurt together in the bottom of a medium/large bowl.  Add in 2-3 Tablespoons milk.. If you’re using a thick yogurt, 1-2 more Tablespoons of milk. Whisk in melted butter, zest and vanilla extract. In a separate, small bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir dry ingredients into wet only until dry ingredients are moistened. A few remaining lumps is fine.  Batter will be thick.

Preheat your oven to 200°F and have a baking sheet ready (to keep pancakes warm). Heat your skillet or saute pan to medium.  Melt a pat of butter in the bottom and ladle 1/3 – 1/2 cup of batter at a time. Press a few berries into the top of each pancake. The batter is on the thick side, so you will want to use your spoon or spatula to gently nudge it flat, or you may find that pressing down on the berries does enough to spread the batter.   When a few bubbles on the pancakes rise to the surface and pop, (about 3-4 minutes),  flip them and cook for another 3 minutes, until golden underneath. . Transfer pancakes to warm oven as they are done cooking, where you can leave them there until you’re ready to serve them.

Serve in a big stack, with yogurt and honey.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Baked Oatmeal with Fruit

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You can really ask anyone who knows me – I’m not much of a breakfast person.  It used to be the standing joke that John would go out to breakfast  with our friend Amanda and order and entire platter of biscuits plus other breakfast monstrosities, while I would go on a 20 mile run. It’s not that I don’t love breakfast food, I just don’t like eating it in the morning.  Sometimes I wish that people went out to brunch for dinner.  I would most certainly order a plate full of pecan waffles, slather them with syrup and not feel guilty at all about eating what is basically a dessert and counting it as dinner.  However, I just don’t like doing this for breakfast.

On any given weekday, I’m franticly trying to get out the door, half dressed and planning to put my makeup on at stoplights on my way to school.  Breakfast is usually a granola bar I grab as I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off.  So the fact that I have eaten a warm breakfast everyday for the last 2 weeks must tell you that something is up.  I don’t want to go so far as to say this oatmeal has changed my life, but after all they do say a good breakfast is the start to a good day and I have had a very good past 2 weeks.

This dish has taken the reigns as the best oatmeal I have ever eaten, and this is coming from someone who usually eats oatmeal all winter.    It’s moist, flavorful and filled with fruit.  The flavor of the toasted pecans really come through, so don’t try to save yourself a step by tossing them in un-toasted.  It’s a well balanced meal and it keeps you full a lot longer than a granola bar.    I think that perhaps the best thing about this oatmeal is that you can make a batch and easily reheat it for breakfast for the rest of the week.  Since I have no desire to get up earlier than necessary to make myself food, I have made this on Sunday night the last 2 weeks and then reheated it throughout the week.  I ate it 5 days later and it still tasted great.  I plan on making this many more times as the weather gets colder, and I can’t wait to experiment with an apple or pumpkin flavor.  I’ll be sure to share those  with you as soon as I’ve got the recipe down :-)!

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Baked Oatmeal with Fruit

– Make a 1 & 1/2 quart casserole (4-6 servings)

  •  1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup pecans, light toasted then chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 T. butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe bananas, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup blueberries and/or raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 375°.  Grease a 1 & 1/2 quart casserole with butter or cooking spray.

2. In a medium bowl toss together oats, pecans, baking powder cinnamon and salt (dry ingredients).

3. In a small bowl whisk together the liquid ingredients reserving 1 T. of butter (maple syrup, milk, egg, 1 T. butter and vanilla).

4. Line the bottom of the baking dish wish sliced bananas.  Then top with about 2/3 of the blueberries and/or raspberries.

5.  Spread the oat mixture over the fruit.  Drizzle the milk mixture over the oats, trying to distribute as evenly as possible.

6.  Bake the oatmeal for 35-45 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with remaining 1 T. of butter.

7. Dish can be served straight from the oven and topped with additional toppings if desired. (I didn’t find this necessary).  Alternatively, this can be made, refrigerated and individual pieces can be reheated in the microwave for about 1 – 1 1/2 minutes.

Slightly Adapted from The  Curvy Carrot, originally from Super Natural Everyday by Heidi Swanson