Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Few RSF Baking Tips

I wanted to jot down some of the things I've leaned over the last seven months baking without refined sugar.

1. ALWAYS taste your batter! If it doesn't taste sweet enough add some additional sweetner, the final product will actually always be less sweet than the batter. This step can help save you from throwing away a ton of money in a flop.

2. Lower fat foods don't need to be cooked as long. When using a "vegan" recipe or applesauce instead of oil, cook until the toothpick comes out mostly clean. Overcook this type of recipe and you end up with a hockey puck.

3. If you find a "vegan" recipe (often RSF too) too dense, just add an egg or two the next time you make it. It will lighten your treat.

4. Cinnamon makes things taste sweeter. Add it too cookies, pies, cakes and muffins to enhance the sweetner.

5. Mixing sweeteners will help avoid a strong taste. For example, if a recipe call for 1 cup sugar, you could substitute with 1/3 cup coconut sugar, 1/3 cup honey and 1/3 cup maple syrup. This way you just taste sweet, not honey etc. Play with the recipes to what combo you like and then you can make a lot of your favorite recipes.

6. If in doubt add some grain-sweetened chocolate chips. They make anything taste better.

Don't give up, keep baking and email or message one of us if you have a recipe success. We would love to feature you on our blog. Thanks for reading. Pumpkin pie/everything season is almost here...happy baking!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Courtney's Banana Muffins

My college roommate sent me this recipe this morning. I am posting it without trying it, but I trust her completely when she says they were yummy.

(Okay, so I finally made these and they were so tasty. I added some grain-sweetened chocolate chips, about 1/2 cup and used almond milk to cut some of the dairy. I stirred in half the nuts to the second batch of muffins only so my littles would eat them. They turned out great! Thanks for the recipe Courtney)
Happy Sunday!

Banana (Nut) Muffins

yields 12 muffins or 3 mini-loaves

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 eggs
1 cup mashed banana (about three small bananas)
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped nuts

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a muffin tin with paper wrappers (or grease) and set on a silicone lined sheet. Set aside.

In a mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat until combined. Add bananas, milk, lemon and vanilla and mix until combined. Add dry ingredients (sift if you're feeling motivated) and gently mix in. Mix in nuts (or reserve to sprinkle on top). Use a medium ice cream scoop to portion batter into muffin tins (about 2/3 full). Bake for 20-25 minutes (35-40 for mini loaves), let cool, and enjo

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Retro Day...Carrot Cake Muffins

My mom's carrot cake covered in cream cheese frosting was always one of my favorite desserts. Combine that with my love of pumpkin pie (one of my friend's pregnancy cravings) and these little babies were born. (pun intended)

Here is the healthy inspiration recipe if you want to see how I tweaked it:

Ode to Mom Carrot Cake Muffins

2 cups of grated carrots, tightly packed
Juice of one orange
Zest of one orange (zest before you juice so you don't kill your fingers!)
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup of organic raw agave syrup
1/2 cup honey
1/2 heaping cup of pineapple tidbits in 100% juice, drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all these ingredients together well. I added the zest to add more flavor and swapped out agave for some of the honey to lighten the sweetener taste and the results are tasty!

In a separate bowl combine:

1 cup unbleached white flour
1 1/2 cups wheat flour (or just use all white if you don't have any wheat on hand, all wheat would make a very heavy muffin)
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
3/4 cup of chopped walnuts (I only added this to half the batch so my littles would eat the muffins)

Add dry to wet and stir until just combined. The spice combo is the pumpkin pie inspiration and me wanting it to be fall and not 110 outside. Scoop into prepared muffin tins and bake. Mine made about 20 muffins. Bake for about 16-20 min or until springy to the touch. Depends on your oven.

If you are concerned about your waistline just make some herbal tea, sit back and enjoy the fall goodness for a snack or part of breakfast. If you are craving desert continue to the next step...

Cream Cheese Glaze

3 oz cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp of raw organic evaporated cane sugar (you will need to put this in the food processor until it resembles tan colored powdered sugar)
3 Tbsp of milk (for non-dairy readers, coconut milk would be great!)

Whisk together and drizzle over cooled muffins. Garnish with additional chopped walnuts. Enjoy your veggies, omega 3s and good fats all packaged up in a tasty treat.

Leave a comment with your favorite back to school/fall treat.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Freezer Friendly "Uncrustables"

Sometimes easy is the most nutritious option in the morning! Pampered Chef (and I'm sure a lot of other places) make a Press and Seal sandwich maker. This way you can use your own bread and fillers. If you put some almond butter or natural peanut butter and all fruit jelly you have an "Uncrustables" sandwich that is RSF. Mass produce these babies and put them in baggies in the freezer, pull one out in the morning and your off!  My kids love the meat/cheese/mayo combo the best.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Homemade Lunchable

My kiddos loved this homemade lunchable today.  When I made the RSF rolls earlier in the week I used some dough to make mini pizza crusts to freeze for later.  You could cut the crusts into shapes and add veggies or meat to put on their pizza.  Super easy, cheap and healthy!

Monday, August 1, 2011

True Food Kale Salad

If you've never tried Kale, this is the recipe that will convert you! It is straight from the True Food website and amazing. I skipped the breadcrumbs and used Parm and it was great. Enjoy one of the best greens for your body
Tuscan Kale Salad Recipe

Tuscan Kale Salad Ingredients
  • 4-6 cups Kale, loosely packed, sliced leaves
    of Italian black (Lacinato, “dinosaur,” cavolo nero)
    midribs removed
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 3-4 T Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, mashed
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Hot Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
  • 2/3 cup grated Pecorino Toscano cheese
    (Rosselino variety if you can find it) or other
    flavorful grating cheese such as
    Asiago or Parmesan
  • ½ cup freshly made Bread Crumbs from
    lightly toasted bread
Tuscan Kale Salad Directions

Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper, and a generous pinch (or more to taste) of hot red pepper flakes. Pour over kale in serving bowl and toss well. Add 2/3 of the cheese and toss again. Let kale sit for at least 5 minutes. Add bread crumbs, toss again, and top with remaining cheese.

Back to School Lunches RSF

We have started the new school year with homemade lunches that are nearly RSF (Refined Sugar Free).
Every now and again we will snap a pic and upload it so you can have some ideas.
I have a six year old girl (somewhat choosy) and an eight year old boy with a bottomless stomach.  They have come home every day with a good report and envious lunch buddies.

 Fruit kabobs, red pepper sticks, baked pretzel thin crackers with a healthy PB and whole fruit jelly cutout sandwich

Blueberries, blackberries, carrots, homemade roll with ham and honey mustard sandwich, natural Oreo's (Sprouts), Z bar and organic apple slices

 Sorry about the lame photo!  This one is just slightly different with baby tomatoes and a Cascade Farms granola bar (Fry's on sale with a coupon)

We got the CHEAP Bento boxes online with these little cute stick picks that my kids LOVE.