I received free samples of SPLENDA® Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by SPLENDA® Sweeteners and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
I know it’s a little early to starting thinking about the holidays, but several years ago I developed a habit that has served me well. I start a list right after Labor Day with gift ideas for everyone in my family, and jot down some possible menu options for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I usually don’t do any shopping until after Halloween, but making a list and some notes way ahead of time helps keep me organized so that when that panicky – oh no, the holidays are right around the corner – feeling strikes, I’m a little less stressed out. This year I got a head start thanks to the SPLENDA® Sweeteners Recipe Redux Sponsored Contest. I was initially stumped at what to make for this contest, but as luck would have it, one day I opened my spare freezer and there, staring me right in the face, were two bags of fresh/frozen cranberries with a “best by” date of December 2017. This was my cue to do a healthy remake of traditional cranberry sauce. This Low Sugar Gingerbread Cranberry Sauce is not only yummy, with substantially less sugar than store-bought cranberry sauce, but is hands-down the easiest cranberry sauce you’ll ever make. I plan to give it away as a gift to all those miscellaneous, but important people in my life that I like to thank or acknowledge during the holidays. (I’ve provided printable labels and links to some of the supplies at the end of this post if you’d like to do the same.) (more…)
Make a special Valentine’s Day breakfast for your loved ones!
Valentine’s Day comes at a cruel time of year for some. Anyone who has successfully stuck to their New Year’s resolution to lose weight or eat healthier is probably pretty proud of themselves by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around. Then, all of the sudden, chocolate is everywhere! It takes a lot of willpower to resist so many decadent holiday treats, but if you’re determined not to given in to temptation, you can still celebrate in the most delicious way with Valentine Prosciutto Egg Cups. They’re not chocolate, but they’re unique, adorable, and super easy to make. (more…)
Use a standard bundt pan to make this fun, festive, and slightly healthier holiday dessert with classic Yuletide flavor!
This Peppermint Black Bean Brownie Wreath is a fun holiday dessert and not at all complicated to make. With all the super indulgent treats that surround us this time of year, it’s nice to offer one that is a tad healthier but still delicious and festive. If you haven’t tried black bean brownies yet you might be skeptical – I was too. All I can say is that it’s truly amazing how pureed black beans can be transformed into something that tastes like a chocolate truffle. Let’s not kid ourselves though, this is still a decadent dessert, and I’ve decorated it with peppermint candy canes and Twizzlers Twists so it’s definitely not health food! Having said that, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any dessert this good that contain 6 grams of fiber per serving, which is nearly ¼ of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of fiber. (more…)
Healthy Pecan Pie Cups are amazing, no-bake, mini desserts that are a great alternative to traditional pecan pie.
Thanksgiving is a time to embrace family, friends, and of course food. There is simply no better meal on earth than a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, so if there was ever a time to indulge this is the day. Throw caution to the wind and delight in all the wonderful food this holiday has to offer. And that includes the pies, because let’s face it – Thanksgiving is all about the pies! Having said that, I think it’s entirely possible to fully indulge while still making some wise food/serving choices. (more…)
By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Wild Blueberries and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
Appetizers made with wild blueberries are not very common, but I promise you, this one is a gem! Wild Blueberry Pecan Baked Brie with Holiday Spices uses frozen wild blueberries that are mixed with sugar and gingerbread spices, then poured over a pecan studded wheel of brie and baked until soft and bubbly. Served with gluten-free crackers, it makes an easy, delicious, and festive holiday appetizer. (more…)
Dates, peanuts, and flaxseed combine to make a mock caramel coating for apples. Gluten-free, dairy free, and vegan with no refined sugar.
Pumpkins and cider doughnuts are top on the list of foods we associate with fall, but not far behind are caramel apples – those decadent, candy coated apples that are so gooey and chewy they’re actually a little tough to eat. Well, here’s a healthier version of this beloved autumn goody that won’t make your jaw work so hard or get stuck in your teeth. Healthy Caramel Apples is a recipe that uses dates, peanuts, and flaxseed to produce a sticky dough that mimics the taste of caramel. This soft and pliable mixture is rolled out and used as a coating, resulting in a delicious, naturally sweet treat that looks, and tastes, a lot like a traditional caramel apple. (more…)
Here’s a fun and festive breakfast you can serve to your loved ones on July Fourth or any other patriotic holiday – Berry Patriotic Yogurt Parfait. These parfaits are super healthy and so easy to make. They’re similar to fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt but without all the added sugar and with a hefty helping of fresh berries on top. You might be tempted to use store-bought jam to make these parfaits but I urge you not to, as it takes less than two minutes to prep the raspberry chia jam and you will be rewarded with the most delicious, sweet, tart, jam you’ve ever tasted! (The method for making this jam works with frozen blueberries too.) (more…)
If you have no time for decorating Easter eggs this year then try making Easter Peeps in a Nest instead. The whole process (excluding the time needed for them to set) takes no more than 15 or 20 minutes. I had plans to decorate eggs and cookies this year but got so busy with work that I couldn’t fit it in. It left me feeling nostalgic for the times when my girls were little and we devoted an entire afternoon to decorating eggs and cookies. When I saw the idea for these Easter Peeps in a Nest on The Today Show the other morning, I thought they looked simple and quick and that making them would fill the little hole I had in my heart for days gone by. I searched and searched on-line for the recipe but couldn’t find it so I decided to just wing it. I think they came out pretty cute! (more…)
Valentine’s Day is coming up so I thought it would be fun to make gluten free heart-shaped crackers. Before making these crackers I had never used red lentils but I’d heard about them and thought they might produce a cracker in honor of Valentine’s Day that was some shade of red. Well, it turns out red lentils are not red at all, but more orange in color. I thought I could fix this by adding some beets and was encouraged when the dough mixed up to a beautiful deep, ruby-red color – perfect for Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately the crackers lose that beautiful deep red color when baked. I was going to rework the recipe to omit the beets but they give the crackers an earthy quality that would be lacking without them and, more importantly, everyone that tried the crackers said they were delicious as is and that I shouldn’t change a thing.
I love Christmas cookies decorated with royal icing but they’re an absolute pain to make. You have to mix up several batches of icing for all the different colors you want, fit multiple pastry bags with tips, and then carefully fill each bag with icing. All that before you even start decorating! It’s very time consuming and the clean up is no fun either. These stunning Christmas cookies are much less work but no less beautiful. The idea for these cookies comes from the The New York Times. Their recipe calls for a linzer cookie dough but I opted for a classic sugar cookie dough because I thought the paler color of the dough would highlight the red raspberry jam better. Plus, I already had a batch of sugar cookie dough in my freezer just waiting to be transformed into Yuletide goodness! (more…)