Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Healthy junk food

I saw this saying in my daughter's school this morning "A brain is only as healthy as the body it is in." That is so true! Eating is one of the most important things we do each day and so many of us, including me, do it mindlessly. What I mean by this is that we eat and eat and eat without paying attention to what and how much.

I can easily avoid the junk food out there but when it comes to desserts... now that's another story! Since I don't want to go completely green in my eating, I thought I'd post some healthy desserts that we can enjoy without having to repent after eating. Now don't let the word healthy fool you, remember everything in moderation!

Dr. Oz's Puffed Brown Rice Treats

7 cups puffed brown rice (breakfast cereal)
1 1/2 cups crunchy organic peanut butter (no sugar or salt)
2/3 cup agave nectar (raw, if you can find it)
1 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract  (organic, no alcohol)

Prepare a 9 x 9 pan by crisscrossing wax paper with a 5 inch overlap on each side.

Pour the puffed rice into a large bowl, set aside. Melt the peanut butter and agave nectar over low heat (or microwave 1-2 minutes) until liquid. Stir together well then add the vanilla extract. Continue stirring until all ingredients are well incorporated.

Combine the peanut butter mixture with the puffed rice and mix well (until the rice is well coated). Pour into the prepared pan. Fold over the wax paper overhang and press down hard to firm up the treats.

Refrigerate treats for a few hours before cutting into squares.

30/30 Smoothie
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup almonds
½ cup berries

Add Greek yogurt, almonds and berries to a blender. Blend until smooth. 

50 Calorie Carrot Cup Cakes
Makes 24 mini cupcakes
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp all-natural unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup clover honey
2 small eggs
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup freshly, finely grated carrots (carrots can be substituted with grated apple to make apple cupcakes instead).
1 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tbsp fat-free cream cheese
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Pre-heat your oven to 350° F and line cupcake pan with 24 mini paper baking cups.

Sift together all of the dry ingredients and set aside.

Mix together the applesauce and honey using a stand mixer on medium speed. Beat eggs, and add them to mixer on low speed.

Add half of the dry ingredients followed by half of the water to stand mixer on low speed. Add remaining dry ingredients and water and mix slowly. Add in grated carrots.

Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop all of the batter into each baking cup so that each baking cup is equally full.

Bake at 350° F for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean.

Place butter, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in stand mixer, and mix together for 3-5 minutes, until frosting is light and airy.

Dip each cupcake in the frosting to cover each cupcake with a thin layer of frosting.

Decadent Chocolate Fix
6 dates
1/2 avocado
4 tbsp high quality cocoa
1-2 tsp water (optional)

Place all ingredients in a food processor and purée until smooth. Add 1-2 tsp of water if mixture is not blending.

Strawberry Layer Cake
Makes 12 Servings
1 1/2 lbs strawberries, hulled and sliced (about 6 cups)  
1/2 cup sugar  
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice  
1/2 tsp table salt  
12 oz store bought angel food cake, cut into 1/4-inch slices  
4 cup fat-free vanilla frozen yogurt  

To make strawberry sauce, combine strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and salt in a saucepan, stirring over medium heat until the sugar melts and the liquid comes to a simmer. Simmer 15 minutes. Use the back of a wooden spoon to mash about half the berries against the side of the pan. Cool to room temperature and use immediately or refrigerate, covered, up to 2 days.

Spoon the frozen yogurt into a large bowl and mash it with the back of a wooden spoon until soft and spreadable.

Line the bottom of a 9-inch round springform pan with one third of the cake slices, cutting any slices to fit the shape of the pan. Top with half the frozen yogurt, spreading it to the sides. Spread 2/3 cup strawberry sauce over the frozen yogurt, then top with half the remaining cake slices, again cutting any to fit. Spread the remainder of the frozen yogurt over the cake, top with 2/3 cup strawberry sauce, and finally seal the top with the remaining cake slices. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze at least 6 hours or up to 3 days. Let the cake stand at room temperature 10 minutes before unmolding. Slice into 12 pieces and serve. Yields 1 piece per serving.

Thank you to the Dr Oz Show for this wonderful recipe collection. Just one more thing: don't knock it till you try it!

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