Tag Archives: maple syrup

Crispy Coconut Bacon

5 Oct

If you enjoy bacon but not the part about it coming from a pig, you are in luck because there are various tasty alternatives available (one such version is my Tofaken). The latest craze, however, is coconut bacon. People go cuckoo for this stuff and I can understand why. While coconut flakes pack a lot of calories and fat, they are also low in carbohydrates and high in fiber (source).

To further boost the nutritional value of this coconut bacon, these crispy little guys are seasoned with liquid aminos (which boasts 16 different amino acids) and practically melt in your mouth. They make an excellent addition to nearly any salad, sandwich or wrap, and can even be enjoyed by themselves. Enjoy!

Coconut Bacon

Crispy Coconut Bacon
Yields 1 cup

1/4 cup liquid aminos
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 cup dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
oil for the pan

Place first three ingredients in a small bowl and mix until combined. Add coconut flakes and stir to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 300° F. Grease a large baking sheet with oil.

Evenly spread marinated coconut flakes on prepared baking sheet and spray with oil. Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until desired crispness is achieved. Remove and allow to cool before consuming.

Carrot Cake Smoothie

19 May

It’s no secret that a great deal if us have what we lovingly refer to as a sweet tooth. We crave sugar, which is a carbohydrate that our bodies convert into energy. The most beneficial forms of sugar to consume are unrefined sugars that occur naturally, such as in fruits, sweet vegetables, and liquid sweeteners such as raw maple syrup.

Cake happens to be one of my favorite desserts. With its sweet flavor and moist, soft texture, I find myself craving it…and often. When I want cake but not the guilt, I typically choose something like carrot cake; this way I am getting a serving of vegetables. One medium-size carrot contains approximately 2.9g sugar, which is a little over 1/2 teaspoon (source). With their low glycemic index, carrots are excellent for those who are watching their blood sugar levels. For more information on the health benefits of carrots, check out my Whole Wheat Carrot Zucchini Muffins post.

Below is a recipe for a healthier carrot cake in smoothie form. Made with pecans for a hearty texture and sweetened with maple syrup, this smoothie can be enjoyed any time of day, especially as an after-dinner treat. Enjoy!

Carrot Cake Smoothie

Carrot Cake Smoothie
Yields approximately 2 servings

1-1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
3 tablespoons maple syrup, or to taste
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 (16-ounce) bag carrots, peeled and sliced with ends discarded
2/3 cup whole pecans
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender* and puree until smooth.

*If you do not own a high-speed blender (i.e. Blendtec or Vitamix), first process carrots and pecans in the bowl of a food processor until finely chopped. Pour mixture into a blender and add remaining ingredients, pureeing until smooth. Add extra almond milk for a more liquid consistency.

Cinnamon Banana Muffins with Candied Pistachios

30 Dec

Pistachios are becoming an increasingly popular snack. Not only are they delicious, they provide many vitamins and minerals. One cup dry-roasted pistachios provides approximately 35% DV Potassium, 48% Dietary Fiber, 52% Protein, 13% Calcium, 27% Iron, 70% Vitamin B6 and 33% Magnesium (source).

A member of the cashew family, the pistachio, or Pistacia vera, is grown in various countries around the world and is said to have been first cultivated in Western Asia. Consumed as far back as 6750 BC, the pistachio is a desert plant that can thrive in a wide range of temperatures, though it does not respond well in humid climates or those which provide too much water. Each tree produces approximately 50,000 nuts every two years (source).

Try these green-colored beauties atop some Cinnamon Banana Muffins. If you prefer, pistachios can be replaced with the nut of your choice.

Cinnamon Banana Muffins with Candied Pistachios

Cinnamon-Banana Muffins with Candied Pistachios
Yields 12 muffins

Topping:
3/4 cup roasted and shelled pistachios (or different nut of choice)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Muffins:
4 teaspoons flax meal
8 teaspoons warm water
1/3 cup solid vegetable shortening
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 ripe mashed bananas
1/4 cup regular almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350º F. Lightly grease a muffin pan or line with paper/silicone baking cups; set aside.

For the topping, combine the pistachios, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add maple syrup and stir until pistachios are evenly coated; set aside.

For the muffins, combine flax meal and warm water in a small bowl, mix, and set aside, allowing to thicken.

Next, in a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt, and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together shortening and sugar. Add the bananas, almond milk and flax mixture, and mix until combined. Slowly add dry mixture to wet mixture and stir just until combined. Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin pan, topping with pistachio mixture.

Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Mint-Infused Watermelon Fizzer

27 Jul

Watermelon contains approximately 91% water by weight and is a very good source of Vitamins A and C, as well as a good source of Potassium (source). These vitamins and minerals assist with various ailments including anxiety, stress, and heart and kidney disorders, in addition to helping blood pressure and eye health, boosting immunity, preventing cell damage, helping promote healthy teeth and gums, and aiding metabolism and the nervous system (source).

Also having a higher concentration of lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable, watermelon can help fight heart disease and various types of cancer (source).

Whether you are relaxing at the beach, by the pool, or simply hanging out at home, this healthy and refreshing Mint-Infused Watermelon Fizzer is perfect for a hot summer day.

Mint-Infused Watermelon Fizzer

Mint-Infused Watermelon Fizzer
Yields 6-8 servings

1 cup water
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 (1-ounce) package fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
1 small seedless watermelon, approximately 6-7 inches in diameter
1 (1-liter) bottle club soda
ice

Combine water and maple syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once mixture boils, turn off heat and add mint. Place in the refrigerator for 25-30 minutes, or until cool.

Meanwhile, slice watermelon and discard green rind. Cut red flesh of watermelon into pieces and place in a blender. Purée for approximately 60 seconds, yielding approximately 5 cups juice. Using a large mesh strainer, strain mixture over a large bowl, discarding any solid pieces.

Remove mint from cooled maple syrup mixture and discard. Combine maple syrup mixture and watermelon juice.

Fill 6-8 large glasses with ice. Split club soda and watermelon mixture evenly among each. Mix and serve.

Coconut Peanut Butter Granola

14 Apr

My love for coconut and peanut butter is no secret since I’ve used them together before in these Moist Coconut Peanut Butter Muffins. Coupling the two ingredients creates a magical combination of deliciousness. This easy recipe for Coconut Peanut Butter Granola is a favorite of mine and is delicious by itself, eaten as cereal, or even enjoyed with fruit and yogurt as a parfait. Use your imagination and enjoy!

Coconut Peanut Butter Granola

Coconut Peanut Butter Granola
Yields approximately 6 cups

3 cups uncooked oatmeal
1/2 cup flax meal (ground flax seed)
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil (using refined will provide less of a coconut flavor)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 225º F.

Combine all ingredients and spread out onto a large ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool before eating.

Coconut Peanut Butter Granola

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