Food Trickery and Healthier Sweet Potato Brownies

Yum, the sweet potato.  A Native American root vegetable packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and potassium.  In my quest to fill our plates with colorful and unprocessed food, we eat sweet potatoes.  A LOT of them.  I like them plain, I like them with sea salt, I like them in chicken pot pie, I like them as a sauce on noodles.  I like them period.  So when I saw a recipe for sweet potato brownies a few weeks ago, I had to enlist my little baker to help me make these almost healthy brownies.  (I mean sugar is still sugar…)

We didn’t have all the ingredients readily available, so I used the recipe I found at Deliciously Ella as a starting off point and winged it.  I didn’t get a picture because we were rushing out the door and by the next day they were gone they were so good!  Here is a picture of Deliciously Ella’s brownies.  Mine looked very similar in texture and size.

Sweet Potato Brownies

Ingredients

Yields 20 brownies

  • 3 cups sweet potato (about 5 small potatoes already baked)
  • 3/4 cup almond or cashew butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup almond meal flour
  • 1/4 honey
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • sprinkling of cacao nibs or dairy free chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 flax egg (1T flaxmeal mixed with 1T water let to sit for 2 minutes before pouring into batter)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • Sea Salt to taste (for the top)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper, or lightly grease with coconut oil.

2. In a large bowl, mix together sweet potato, coconut oil, honey, almond milk, vanilla and the egg.

3. Then combine the cocoa, almond flour, cacao nibs/chocolate chips, cinnamon, and baking soda.

4. Add the cocoa mixture to the wet ingredients. Blend thoroughly. Pour brownie batter into baking pan. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes.

5. Enjoy!

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A Healthy(er) Take on Mac n Cheese

Sweet potatoes are the main ingredient in this creamy version of every kids’ favorite meal, macaroni and cheese.  I would  like to state that I see nothing wrong with the real deal.  It’s creamy, delicious, and comfort food in every sense of the word…but this meal is filled with veggies and is dairy free so it’s a double win right now!  Jack has been chowing down on this since he was a year old and he loves it!

mac n cheese

Directions:
Bake 4 medium sized sweet potatoes.  Remove skins and place in blender while potatoes are still hot.  Blend the potato and add plain almond milk (you can use regular too ) until you get the consistency you are looking for. Probably about a cup.  It should look like a thick alfredo.
Then, add 1tsp worchestire, 1T rosemary or Herbs de Provence (i use whatever I have on hand), 1tsp sea salt, 1T dijon mustard.  Blend again and pour over cooked noodles.  You can use any kind of noodles.  I usually use brown rice macaroni, veggie spirals, or some other fun shaped pasta.
Enjoy!

{Recipes} Lemon Chicken Rice Soup

We came down with a nasty bug four days before the first day of Spring.  A far cry from our January and February last year.  That winter brought us so many bugs it resulted in tubes for J man.  This time around it was runny noses, sore throats, and little coughs.  In hopes to make us feel a little less snotty and achy, I made “super power soup”.  A combo of lemon, broth, egg, and chicken to help make the feel better process a little quicker.  Welcome welcome spring!!

Lemon Chicken Rice Soup (adapted from Good Life Eats)

https://i1.wp.com/distilleryimage9.ak.instagram.com/d7849528b06911e3bb0e1278ed1a3b5d_8.jpg

Ingredients:

Roasted Chicken (picked)- you can buy this from the store or roast your own.

1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 cup pinto grigio (any white wine will do)
5 carrots, sliced
8 cups chicken broth (2 boxes)
1 cup jasmine rice (uncooked)
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
3 large handfuls of fresh baby spinach, chopped

Directions:

Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large dutch oven. Saute the onion over medium-high heat until translucent. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute more.

Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the broth and carrot. Bring to a boil. Whisk the egg yolks and lemon together in a separate bowl. Add 1 cup of hot broth from the dutch oven very slowly to the egg yolk mixture, whisking as you pour. Be careful here.  If you add the hot water too fast you will scramble the eggs.  Then, transfer the mixture to the dutch oven. Stir in the rice and chicken.

Continue cooking over medium-low until the rice puffs up and the carrots are tender. Just before serving, season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the thyme, parsley, and spinach. Serve and enjoy.

Yummy Holiday Cranberry Bread

The holiday season is upon us.  I’ve been baking up a storm with my little helper.  We’ve made a lot of pumpkin bread in the past few weeks.  Some for the neighbors, some for family get togethers, and more than I should have made for us for breakfast.  And now I’m sick of all things pumpkin…except my pumpkin creamer which I haven’t had my fill of yet since I can’t eat dairy right now 😦  Anyways, it’s finally time for my favorite holiday bread recipe, cranberry bread!  My Mom has been baking this bread for years and every year I look forward to it.  This year I finally attempted it.  It’s super easy and amazingly sweet and tart at the same time.

*Sorry I have no food porn for you.  I neglected to take a picture of my little helper’s work after he put the bowl (with some of the dough in it still) on his head and said “I’m a pirate mommy, look at my Captain Hook hand” (a whisk).  So you get the recipe only.

Holiday Cranberry Bread

Ingredients

2 C Flour

1 C Sugar

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 C Butter (I substituted olive oil here since I’m not doing dairy)

1 Egg

Zest of 1 Orange

3/4 C Orange Juice

3 C Cranberries (chopped)

1/2 C Chopped Walnuts (optional)

Directions

Oil and flour your loaf pans.  Get out your food processor for those cranberries!  One 12 ounce bag of cranberries should give you about 3 Cups after they’ve been through the food processor.  My mom’s recipe has an order of when to mix things, but I just threw everything in and it turned out fine so I suggest you save yourself some time (and from dirtying an extra bowl) and do the same.

Mix everything together.   Fill loaf pans about half way and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Enjoy!

*Only make this when the cranberries are in season during late fall and early winter or it won’t be good (according to my Mom)

Fall Apple Recipes: Crock Pot Apple Butter & Apple Cranberry Crisp

Holding a newborn while closely watching your 2 year old crank an apple corer with weapon like sharp prongs is really not conducive to picture taking…so sorry only 1 pic of the cuteness that happened in our kitchen on Sunday (um i mean 5 weeks ago…this post has been in draft mode for too long!)

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We made apple butter and apple cranberry crisp!!

Easy Crock Pot Apple Butter

  • Apples- enough to fill your crock pot  I used about 8
  • 3 Cups of brown sugar
  • 3 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup water

Peel, core, and slice your apples.  I used this nifty gadget that my Nana always used on her apples to make her amazing apple pies.   Fill your crockpot with the sliced apples.  Mix the water, sugar, and spices together and pour over the apples.  Cook on low overnight.  I cooked it about 18 hours.  For a smooth consistency pour it into the blender and let it blend for a minute.  This makes a great fall gift if you pour it into mason jars and tie a cute ribbon around it.  Again, no pictures of my cute mason jars because watching a toddler, holding a newborn, and making apple butter does not make for many photo ops.

Emeril’s Apple Cranberry Crisp

This is my favorite fall treat!  I love this crisp recipe.  I don’t think I’ll ever try another it’s so good.  The trick here is to slice your apples really thin.  The apple corer I have is perfect for that (no they did not pay me to say it… it’s that awesome)

Apple Cranberry Crisp Filling

  • Unsalted butter, for baking dish
  • 2 1/2 – 3 pounds sweet, firm apples, such as Gala or Braeburn, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 12 ounces cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

Slice your apples, butter your baking dish, and throw all the above ingredients in.

Apple Cranberry Crisp Topping

  • 6 tablespoons butter, (i melt mine in the microwave
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix together all ingredients and top your crisp filling with it evenly.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 for about an hour,  removing the foil for the last 15 minutes.

The Falling Leaves, The Chilly Breeze, The Fresh Picked Apples Mean…

It’s time for pumpkin patches and hayrides.  It’s time for Halloween!  (I unfortunately did not come up with that little rhyme… it’s from one of Jack’s books that I have completely memorized)

Let’s focus on the The Fresh Picked Apples.  YUM!  We went apple picking a few days ago and came back with (excuse my french but there is no other way to describe this) a shitload of apples!  We had tons of fun and it was beautiful out.  We have so many apples I think I’ll be able to make more than a few bread, apple butter, and pie recipes in the coming weeks!

Apple Recipe #1 Cream Cheese Apple Bread~ Courtesy of Kim at Today’s Creative Blog (found on pinterest)

Cream Cheese apple bread recipe

Ingredients

Cream Cheese Apple Bread

For the Bread

  • 2 Apples
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/3 Cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice seasoning (or cinnamon & nutmeg)

Cream Cheese Topping

  • 6 oz cream cheese (I used 8 because you can never have too much cream cheese…) *apparently you can have too much… Use the 6 instead of the 8.  It was very cheesecake and I wasn’t a fan (but dave really liked that part!)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
  2. Chop your apples into small pieces or grate. I peeled my apples, and pureed 1 apple and sliced the other.  Place into a large mixing bowl Add wet ingredients and mix, then add dry ingredients and mix.
  3. Combine cream cheese, sugar and egg either with a fork or mixer. Pour over the top of the batter. Using a fork or knife, gently swirl the two layers together.
  4. Bake for 30 min with a loosely covered tin foil tent. Remove foil and continue to bake an additional 15-20 min until a toothpick inserted into bread comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing

Cherry Carrot Orange Muffins

I had some carrots and oranges that were about to go bad last week so I decided to get creative and make some muffins!  I didn’t follow a recipe so I was unsure of how these would turn out, but they ended up being great.  They taste and look like early fall to me and Jack loved them too (Dave not so much…)

I know it seems like an odd flavor combo but if you like citrus and tart fruit make these!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 C Flour

1 C Brown Sugar

1 Egg

1 Cup shredded Carrots

Zest of 2 oranges

1/2 C Orange Juice

1/2-1 C Chopped dried Cherries (trader joes has very tart delicious ones!)

2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds (can substitute for poppy seeds or leave them out completely)

Topping:

1/2 C Rolled Oats

2 Tablespoons Melted Butter

Brown Sugar (I eyeballed it just make sure that the mixture is thick and not running)

Directions:

1.  Preheat Oven to 350

2.  Mix all ingredients together

3.  Pour into Muffin Tins

4.  (optional) sprinkle top of unbaked muffins with topping

5.  Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes (mini muffins)  Bake longer if you’re using a standard sized muffin tin.