This is a recipe my mom used to make occasionally, and I asked her for the recipe last year upon remembering how much I liked it. Not sure where she got it, but it’s super easy and really tasty. Since, as I’ve said, I’m not much of a pumpkin person, it’s nice to have an alternative fall baking option using apples (which I love). I’m not a huge fan of baked/cooked fruit—I much prefer it raw, crisp, and crunchy. However, in this cake, the apple is grated and becomes an almost seamless part of the cake. .
The recipe wasn’t too bad to begin with, healthwise—after all, the batter is about 65% fresh apple, so how bad could it be? It does use some oil, which I prefer not to use in baking (or at least use as little of it as I can). I substituted most of the oil with unsweetened applesauce, which is a fine substitute in any recipe, but it works especially well here considering it’s apple cake. I’ve also made this before with white whole wheat flour, but it does affect the taste and appearance a bit, so I opted for all-purpose this time. I cut down the sugar because when you’re working with sweet apples, you don’t really need mass amounts of added sugar. If you’re using a more tart apple, you might want to add a bit more sugar. .
Speaking of apples, there are lots of things to consider when picking baking apples. In this case, I went with Macintosh apples. They’re fairly soft, sweet, and juicy. If you can avoid it, don’t use a really crisp, tart apple for this. You want something that will integrate smoothly with the batter, and you certainly don’t want a crunchy cake. Choose your apples wisely!
Last week I got an intense oatmeal craving. But I didn’t want just any oatmeal. I don’t remember when, where, or why I had baked oatmeal before, but I suddenly remembered having it years ago and suddenly my mind could think of nothing else. I found a basic recipe online and doctored it up to make it healthy and delicious, just the way I like it. It came out wonderfully! If you’re an oatmeal fan, you’ll love this stuff. .
The secret to this oatmeal is that it soaks overnight in the fridge. You can bake it right away, but I imagine the texture would be much different. After soaking it overnight and then baking it, the texture is like a soft oatmeal cookie inside with a crispy, crunchy crust. It isn’t goopy and soggy like prepackaged oatmeals and it isn’t fibrous and chewy like others. It’s slightly sweet, but not overly so, and the cinnamon and nutmeg add a wonderful fall spice to it. I also added some walnuts for extra protein and crunch. Served with milk fresh from the oven, this oatmeal makes a delicious, hearty, and healthy breakfast. . Continue reading →
Before I begin, I wanted to say thanks so much for all the love for my Butterbeer Cupcakes! I love that so many Harry Potter fans and food bloggers have Tweeted, re-Tweeted, Tumbl’d, Stumbled, blogged, and re-blogged about the recipe. Keep it going! Onto the muffins. . Confession: I’ve never really liked anything pumpkin. Not pumpkin pie, not pumpkin bread, not pumpkin cookies, nothin’. However, my boyfriend is kind of obsessed with all things pumpkin. He was going to make pumpkin bread from a boxed mix, but I forbade him to do so and told him I’d bake some pumpkin muffins (from scratch, of course). I fully intended to not have any, because I’m not a pumpkin lover. However, I thought I’d try them, and I’m glad I did! .
These are so yummy, and the perfect thing to bake on a fall weekend such as this one. The recipe is super easy to throw together—you don’t even need a mixer. It’s also really healthy. A few simple swaps I made to the already light recipe made it even better (and better for you). These are incredibly moist, light, fluffy, not too sweet, and not overwhelmingly pumpkin-y. I might be a pumpkin believer now. Let’s make ‘em! . Continue reading →
I saw this recipe online a few days ago and I’ve been obsessed with the idea of these muffins ever since. I’m usually not a fan of fruit muffins, but I love strawberries, so I had an inkling I would love these muffins. I was right! They actually came out better than I even expected. They taste super fresh, bright, and summery, and the texture is light and fluffy—just as a muffin should be, of course. .
Baking something like this is also a great way to use up less-than-stellar strawberries. All summer, I’ve been checking weekly for strawberries and I’ve been endlessly disappointed. I love firm, crisp, sweet strawberries and all I’ve found are mushy or bitter blobs. I waited all winter for strawberry season to come around, but when it did, it was more than a little disappointing. With the low-quality strawberries that seem to be ubiquitous this year, you can’t very well eat them plain without being a little underwhelmed, so baking them into muffins is an easy fix. When you blend them into the batter, the texture is no longer an issue. Problem solved! Read on for the recipe. You’ll love it! . Continue reading →
Up until last October (when I started “dieting”), you could say I liked my chicken strips. And that’s putting it mildly. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I was a very picky eater before and not especially adventurous. I loved bland food. Most of the time, to me, going out to eat meant ordering chicken strips. They’re one thing I’ve always loved and are pretty universally similar and bland—no surprises, no matter where you get them. .
Unfortunately, chicken strips are fried in copious amounts of oil, usually drenched in thick batter, and sometimes coated with breading. Add that on top of the fact that they’re generally served with fries and you don’t exactly have the most nutrient-dense meal. This version is baked and has a low-calorie, spicy, fiber-fortified breading. Because of the buttermilk marinade, the chicken is so tender and juicy and has a ton of flavor. It’s a healthy way to enjoy chicken strips, which is pretty much the best thing ever for me. For the record, even though they were once my favorite food, I haven’t ordered chicken strips in a restaurant since October 2009. Go me!
Hi all! Sorry for the brief hiatus. I took a little vacation back home to Denver. It was much-needed and I had an amazing time. So amazing, in fact, that I forgot to blog! Imagine that. I’m back now and will be blogging regularly once again. However, I didn’t forget completely—I made some yummy food while I was home and I stole my mom’s camera to document them just for you (sorry mom). .
If you’ve been reading my blog, you may have noticed that I’m on a teensy bit of a pesto kick. It might be better described as an obsession. I love it! I’ve wanted to try making my own for a while, but buying basil at the store is so expensive so I avoided it. And I have no backyard and little to no natural light in my house, so inside growing is a no-go. Luckily, my mom knew of my desire to make fresh pesto, and just happened to have an insane abundance of basil plants flourishing on our back porch.
When I put effort into cooking, I’m usually cooking for at least two. However, my boyfriend is out of town this week, so I’ve been looking for quick and easy meals to make for myself that don’t require making room in the fridge for 17 leftover Tupperwares. .
Breakfast for dinner is possibly one of my favorite food concepts ever—in fact, I think I might prefer breakfast for dinner over breakfast for breakfast. Tonight I was thinking about eggs all day, but when I got home, I decided to mix it up a little instead of just having plain ol’ eggs. This recipe involves literally three ingredients (salt and pepper don’t count!) and it’s just stupid easy. If you’re looking for a dinner (or breakfast…or lunch) that requires almost no effort that’s healthy and hearty, look no further. . Continue reading →
I’ve been seeing chia pudding everywhere lately, and tonight I finally tried it. What are chia seeds, you ask? No, I’m not asking you to eat a Chia Pet, which is a different conversation entirely. Chia seeds are actually kind of a miracle food. They have tons of health and nutrition benefits—to name a few: .
Fiber. Chia seeds are packed with fiber (one tablespoon has 3 grams!). A small amount keeps you full for a long time, and they bulk up in your intestines because they can absorb so much liquid. They essentially clean house in your digestive system. The carbohydrates are cancelled out by the fiber, too (3 grams of fiber, 3 grams of carbs), which helps stabilize your blood sugar instead of spiking it. The carbohydrates are released very slowly instead of flooding your system, which is really beneficial for people with blood sugar issues such as diabetes. .
Calcium and boron, which are both essential to bone health. These seeds have five times the amount of calcium that milk has! .
Omega-3. Chia seeds are the richest source—over 60%—of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for lots of reasons, but especially heart health. .
Hydration. Chia seeds prolong hydration and retain electrolytes. If you add chia seeds to your water bottle during a workout, it’ll keep you from getting dehydrated. .
Plus many more! And they’re incredibly versatile. Read more about them here. You can mix them into almost anything to increase its nutritional value. They’re pretty much tasteless and extremely low-calorie, so you can add a big nutritional punch without altering the flavor. Some suggestions: yogurt, cereal, bread, in salads, smoothies, shakes, etc. They absorb liquid and become really soft, so they blend super easily with anything that has liquid in it. . Continue reading →
This has been an exhausting week, and it’s only Wednesday! I totally wish I had one of these sandwiches for dinner tonight—they’re super hearty and homey. Comfort food—at its healthiest. I found this recipe at Cooking Light (where else?) and thought it looked pretty awesome. It’s a great recipe for people who are phasing out meat or trying to eat less meat on a daily basis. As I’ve said, I’m not a vegetarian, but I probably only have a meat-based dish a couple times a week. If you’re trying to cut back for health reasons (or environmental or social reasons), a good way to do it is to start replacing some of the meat in your diet with other forms of protein or veggies. .
Regular Sloppy Joes are made of regular ground beef, which is pretty fatty. Of course, you could try replacing it with lean ground beef or ground turkey, but if you’re really trying to eat less meat, this recipe actually uses beans as the main component of the sandwich filling. Let’s not kid ourselves—these aren’t an exact replica of the Sloppy Joes you remember from your childhood, but they are a delicious, healthy substitute that’s just as easy to make. . Continue reading →
This little trick has been floating around the food blogosphere for a little while now, and this weekend I just had to try it. It’s a way of making a healthy substitute for ice cream…out of bananas! All you need is a food processor and a few frozen bananas. There’s no added sugar, no added fat, no weird chemicals or preservatives that you’ll find in store bought ice cream, and of course, it’s just bananas, so it’s a great way to get in a serving or two of fruit while feeling like you’re eating dessert. .
Did I mention that I live in Savannah, Georgia? It’s kind of disgusting here in the summer. Most days are about 95 degrees and 1000% humidity. All I want to eat these days is cold cereal and ice cream. While I have no issue with eating cereal for meals, it is kind of a problem when I want ice cream for meals. Even low-fat ice cream has a ton of added sugar and gross chemicals, so this is a great trick. (Also a great way to get kids to eat their fruit—just tell them it’s ice cream and they’ll never know the difference!) The great thing about this “ice cream” is that it really has the thickness and creaminess of full-fat ice cream. It successfully mimics the mouth-feel of real ice cream, and that’s important when you’re trying to fool yourself into thinking it’s a treat. . Continue reading →