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Archive | October, 2013

Pumpkin French Toast

14 Oct

One thing I think we all had when at least once growing up, French Toast. But what I bet you haven’t had before is this kind. One that’s filled with the sweet, cinnamon flavor mixed with the savory taste of pumpkin.

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Got your attention yet?

Well I took something that’s not usually known to be healthy, like French toast, filled it with protein and nutrient dense ingredients, and came up with my recipe for Pumpkin French Toast :) I love it because it’s a decadent breakfast made in only a few minutes. Yes, something you don’t have to spend the whole morning toiling over! And in case you are wondering, no, I promise not every one of my posts will have pumpkin in it…but I must admit, it is one of my favorite foods. Plus, it has so many health benefits :)

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Pumpkin French Toast

-2 egg whites
-1/4 cup pumpkin
-1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 T  agave/honey/stevia/sugar
-2 slices of Ezekiel bread
-Optional Toppings: pumpkin butter, banana, peanut butter, agave, coconut whipped topping

Directions: Combine first 5 ingredients together in bowl. Soak bread in mixture on both sides. Fry on stove in pan until browned on both sides. Serve with desired toppings and enjoy!

Coconut Whipped Topping

*Refrigerate a can of coconut milk overnight. Open can and scoop off the thick part on top. Beat with electric mixers until a cream has formed. Simple and delicious!

 

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Sweetpotato Brownies with Sweetpotato Cream Swirl

12 Oct

Yet another California sweetpotato recipe! Don’t be too sad, but this will be the last for at least a little :) After getting a whole box shipped to me for free though, you can’t blame me for all of these recipes lately! These unique California sweetpotatoes are so delicious. Whether eating them just simply baked, or making them the focus of a meal/dessert, these sweetpotatoes create a yummy taste!

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In case you’ve missed my last THREE posts using California sweetpotatoes ( sweetpotato pizza crust, sweetpotato gingerbread cookie dip, and sweetpotato pumpkin nut muffins), here is a brief synopsis of why these California sweetpotatoes are worth your while!

What I used here in this recipe is not just your typical sweet potato. No, these are California sweetpotatoes! What’s unique about California sweetpotatoes is that they are grown in soft sand and are hand sorted during harvest to minimize scarring and scratching. The result is a visually, higher quality sweetpotato. California sweetpotatoes are a “nutrition bang for the calorie buck” with 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, a good source of vitamin C and more than a day’s worth of vitamin A, all for 105 calories per serving. Plus, they are available year-round.

 

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I love chocolate. Chocolate is one thing I will never pass up. After coming home yesterday from college for the weekend, I wanted to make a yummy dessert for our family dinner. When my chocolate love took over and I knew I wanted to make healthy brownies, I was happy to remember that I brought some California sweetpotatoes home with me. Why? Because I knew the sweet, creamy texture of these sweetpotatoes would lend the taste I was looking for, while keeping the fat and sugar low :)

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But then I wanted to make it look a little festive as well. So I thought, cream cheese swirls are always fun! However, cream cheese is not very healthy. So what did I do? Well, I guess you’ll have to look at the recipe for that one! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my whole family did!

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Sweetpotato Brownies with Sweetpotato Cream Swirl
Makes 16 brownies
For Brownies:
-1 large California Sweetpotato, baked
-1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour (or Oat Flour)
-1/4 cup Coconut Flour
-1/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
-1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
-1/2 cup Brewed Coffee (enhances chocolate flavor)
-2 Egg Whites
-1 Egg
-1/3 cup Natural Honey (increase to 1/2 cup if having a sweet tooth)
-1/2 cup Baking Stevia or other Sugar of choice
-2 teaspoons Baking Powder
-1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
-1 teaspoon Cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
-1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt

Cream Swirl
-1/4 cup Cottage Cheese
-1 tablespoon Sweetpotato, mashed
-1 tablespoon Honey

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place sweetpotato and egg/eggwhites in blender, and blend until the sweetpotato looks like puree. In large bowl, place all of the dry ingredients, and mix until combined. Add blended sweetpotato and other wet ingredients to bowl, and mix until smooth (but do not overmix). With nonstick spray, spray an 8×8 glass pan, and pour batter into glass. Place the cottage cheese, pumpkin, and honey in blender an blend until cottage cheese is smooth. Pour cream mixture in three equidistant lines across the brownie batter in the glass. With knife, “cut” the batter up and down without picking up the knife until you have created a “swirl look”. Place in oven and cook for 25 minutes. Remove and allow to cool before cutting.

Sweetpotato Benefits
1) High in vitamin B6
2) Good source of vitamin C
3) Contain vitamin D
4) Contain iron
5) Good source of magnesium
6) High in fiber
7) Rich in vitamin A

Cocoa Benefits
1)Decreases blood pressure
2)Improves cholesterol levels
3)Prevents heart disease
4)Rich in flavonoids, an antioxidant

Raw Honey Benefits
1) Alkaline-forming food that contains natural vitamins, enzymes, and powerful antioxidants
2)Anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fingal properties
3)Promotes body and digestive health
4)Strengthens immune system
5)Eliminates allergies
6)Excellent remedy for skin wounds and infections
7)Stabilizes blood pressure
8)Relieves pain
9)Calm nerves

Coffee Benefits:
1) It may lower risk of death according to studies performed
2) Lowers risk of cancer in the reproductive system
3) Lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
4) Help protect your brain
5) Great for skin/decreases skin cancer due to caffeine
6) Reduces risk of oral cancer
7) Strengthens muscles: studies show caffeine has similar effect to DNA molecules in muscles muscles of exercise

 

I received free samples of California sweetpotatoes mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Sweetpotato Council and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Sweetpotato Pumpkin Nut Muffins [GF, DF, V]

11 Oct

By this time you know I love pumpkin.

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But now thanks to Recipe Redux putting on this Sweetpotato Contest, I have rediscovered my love of them as well. Simply baked in the oven, cooked in a savory meal, or used in dessert, these sweetpotatoes provide such a delicious flavor and also a very moist texture :)

Recap for anyone who has missed my last couple posts and is confused as to why I’m spelling sweetpotatoes without a space:  What I used here in this recipe is not just your typical sweet potato. No, these are California sweetpotatoes! What’s unique about California sweetpotatoes is that they are grown in soft sand and are hand sorted during harvest to minimize scarring and scratching. The result is a visually, higher quality sweetpotato. California sweetpotatoes are a “nutrition bang for the calorie buck” with 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, a good source of vitamin C and more than a day’s worth of vitamin A, all for 105 calories per serving. Plus, they are available year-round.

Now that we’re all caught up, let’s talk about these muffins. Can you say scrumptious? The flavors of sweetpotato, pumpkin, and almonds all in one mini muffin. What a great way to kick off the Fall season! I love this time of year, because guess what?! Pumpkin and squashes are everywhere! I can now post many pumpkin and squash recipes without seeming completely insane :)

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I made these muffins for all of my friends the other night, and didn’t know what to expect. But they loved them! I’m not a big baker when it comes to cakes and muffins, so I didn’t know if I would come out with the right ratio of everything, but thankfully I did and these muffins were a great success. And they’re gluten free, dairy free, and vegetarian friendly! So dive on in to this tasty recipe.

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Want a little taste of Fall? Or a small bite of heaven? Try this recipe with your very own sweetpotatoes today!

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Sweetpotato Pumpkin Nut Muffins
Makes 18 mini muffins

–    1 cup oats
–    1/4 cup California sweet potato, mashed
–    1/4 cup pumpkin puree
–    1/4 cup applesauce
–    3T egg white
–    6 dates
–    3T agave
–    1T coconut oil
–    1 tsp vanilla
–    1 tsp cinnamon
–    1/2 tsp ginger
–    1 tsp baking powder
–    1/4 tsp butter and almond extract
–    1/4 tsp sea salt
–    Optional: 1/4 cup crushed nuts or mini chocolate chips

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farhenheit. Combine oats and dates in food processor and blend until it forms a crumbly mixture. Add in all other dry ingredients and blend until well incorporated. In small bowl, mix together all wet ingredients. Pour wet into dry, and blend until mixed well. Stir in almonds or chocolate chips if desired. Spray mini muffin liners with nonstick spray. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of batter into each mold. Top with extra crushed almonds or chocolate chips if desired. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes, or until done. For an extra moist muffins, take out before toothpick comes out clean (for me, about 8-10 minutes). Enjoy.

Sweetpotato Benefits
1) High in vitamin B6
2) Good source of vitamin C
3) Contain vitamin D
4) Contain iron
5) Good source of magnesium
6) High in fiber
7) Rich in vitamin A

Pumpkin Benefits:
1) High in Vitamin aid which aids in eyesight
2) High in fiber to keep you satisfied
3) Rich in Beta Carotene with plays a role in cancer prevention and benefit your skin
4) More potassium than a banana (great post workout food!)
5) Rich in Vitamin C to keep you fit and healthy

Almond Benefits
1) Reduce Heart Attack Risk
2) Lower Bad Cholesterol
3) Protect artery walls from damage
4) Build strong bones and teeth
5) Provide healthy fats and aid in weight loss
6) Lower rise in blood sugar after meals
7) Alkalize the body

 

I received free samples of California sweetpotatoes mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Sweetpotato Council and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

 

Sweetpotato Pizza Crust with Sweetpotato Curry Sauce

9 Oct

In case you didn’t see my Sweetpotato Cookie Dough Dip, let me tell you a little something special. Why did I spell  “sweetpotato” as one word you may ask? What I used here in this recipe is not just your typical sweet potato. No, these are California sweetpotatoes! The recipe Redux community is having a California sweetpotato contest, and of course, I had to participate! What’s unique about California sweetpotatoes is that they are grown in soft sand and are hand sorted during harvest to minimize scarring and scratching. The result is a visually, higher quality sweetpotato. California sweetpotatoes are a “nutrition bang for the calorie buck” with 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, a good source of vitamin C and more than a day’s worth of vitamin A, all for 105 calories per serving. Plus, they are available year-round.

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Many that are striving to live a healthy lifestyle avoid pizza at all costs because of thinking it is so bad. But when a recipe like this is created, the fear of pizza can disappear!

Made with gluten free rolled oats and sweetpotato, this pizza crust is far from the typical unhealthy crust. You can now have your pizza and eat it too!

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Sweetpotatoes are so versatile in the fact that they are not only delicious plain, baked in the oven like other potatoes, but they also turn out great in recipes! Whether a savory or sweet dish, these sweetpotatoes raise the bar on any typical recipe. In this unique pizza crust recipe, it added such a great taste and texture.

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My boyfriend (who is skeptical sometimes about my healthy food) loved it! That is proof that it is a tasty recipe. Want a pizza night soon but also don’t want to ruin your hard work in healthy living? Make this recipe for a great night with family or friends. I decided to make two mini pizzas. I topped one with a sweetpotato curry sauce (see below crust recipe) and veggies, and the other one with regular pizza sauce, veggies, and chicken. The sky is the limit with a delicious crust like this!

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Sweetpotato Pizza Crust
Makes 2 mini pizzas or 1 medium pizza

–    1/2 cup California Sweetpotato, cooked (about 1 medium sweetpotato)
–    1/2 cup Oat Flour (1 cup Rolled Oats, blended to flour)
–    1 whole Egg
–    2 tablespoons Chia Seeds (or flaxseeds)
–    1/2 teaspoon Coconut Oil
–    1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt, Cayenne Pepper, and Garlic Salt
–    1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place sweetpotato, flour, and egg into high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add in other ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Cover a pizza tray with parchment paper. Spray parchment paper with nonstick spray and place pizza dough on it. Spread out to desired thinness (may need roller). Place into oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove and add desired toppings. Bake in oven for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven, cut into slices, and enjoy.

Optional Sweet Potato Sauce
–    1/2 cup sweetpotato, cooked
–    3 tablespoons Canned Coconut Milk
–    1/2 teaspoon Crushed Garlic
–    2 teaspoons Curry Powder
–    1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
–    1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Directions: Blend all ingredients together in high speed blender. Use as a topping for sweetpotato pizza crust above if desired.

Sweetpotato Benefits
1) High in vitamin B6
2) Good source of vitamin C
3) Contain vitamin D
4) Contain iron
5) Good source of magnesium
6) High in fiber
7) Rich in vitamin A

Chia Seeds
1) Combats Diabetes: with its gelatinous coating it can prevent blood sugar spikes, and is also slow digesting which has lead to it being a possible treatment for diabetes
2) High in fiber: just 1 oz. has 1/3 of daily needed amount
3) Packed with Omega 3 Fatty Acids
4) Supports Bone and Teeth Health: packed with calcium
5) High in Manganese: an essential mineral for your bones
6) Rich in Phosphorous: aids body in synthesizing protein for cell and also maintaining healthy bones
7) High in protein: great source for vegetarians
8) Fights Belly Fat: it’s stabilizing affect on blood sugar also fights insulin resistance which is tied to an increase of belly fat
9) Contain tryptophan: also found in turkey, it is responsible for regulating appetite and improving sleep
10) Improves heart health

I received free samples
of California sweetpotatoes
mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am
entering a recipe contest sponsored by
the California Sweetpotato Council
and am eligible to win prizes
associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time

Sweetpotato Gingerbread Cookie Dough Dip

5 Oct

If we’re honest with ourselves, I think we can all agree that the dough is always better than the baked cookies themselves.

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But first things first. Why did I spell  “sweetpotato” as one word you may ask? What I used here in this recipe is not just your typical sweet potato. No, these are California sweetpotatoes! What’s unique about California sweetpotatoes is that they are grown in soft sand and are hand sorted during harvest to minimize scarring and scratching. The result is a visually, higher quality sweetpotato. California sweetpotatoes are a “nutrition bang for the calorie buck” with 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, a good source of vitamin C and more than a day’s worth of vitamin A, all for 105 calories per serving. Plus, they are available year-round.

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Now that you know why these sweetpotatoes are so special and a great buy, let me tell you a little bit about this recipe. Recipe Redux is putting on a California sweetpotato contest in which we were asked to make unique recipes for. So, this is my first of the week!

Cookie Dough Dip. Not one thing about that sounds healthy. But guess what? It is so very healthy! No flour, white sugar, or butter! Higher in protein and fiber than your regular cookie dough dip, this recipe is sure to keep that weight off your waistline during the holiday season.

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Can you guess the secret ingredient to this delightful dip? I’ll give you a hint: it has a hidden vegetable in it other than sweetpotatoes!

You would never be able to recognize that this dip is any different than the fattening, unhealthy typical cookie dough dip when having a taste. This is why I love these sweetpotatoes. They are so versatile! Not only are they delicious in savory dishes and baked as a side, but also in sweet! They have such a great taste and texture to them, that they raise the bar on any typical recipe.

Serve as a dip with apple slices, cookies, or crackers, or add a little baking powder to them and bake as cookies, this dip is sure to be a hit in your kitchen. Don’t like molasses? Switch it out for honey! Either way, you will not regret trying out this unbelievably healthy yet delicious sweetpotato recipe.

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Sweetpotato Gingerbread Cookie Dough Dip

–    1 can Chick Peas, drained and rinsed well, and deskinned
–    1/2 cup California Sweetpotato, cooked and mashed (about 1 medium sweetpotato)
–    1/2 cup Rolled Oats
–    1/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
–    1/4 cup Molasses
–    4 packets Stevia
–    1 T Chia Seeds (can omit)
– 1 T Coconut Oil (or any nut butter)
–    1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract, Ginger and Cinnamon
–    Pinch of Sea Salt and Baking Powder

Directions: Place well-rinsed and deskinned chick peas into food processor with sweet potato, oats, milk, and molasses. Blend until completely smooth. Add in other ingredients and blend until well mixed together. Remove from food processor, transfer to sealed container, and refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve as a dip, or scoop out and bake in oven for actual cookies! Store dip in refrigerator.

Note: Just wanting the plain sweetpotato flavor? Substitute the molasses for honey, and omit the ginger!
Note: To deskin chickpeas: Put the chickpeas in a bowl of water, and rub them gently with your fingers to take off the skins. The skins float up to the top. It’s much quicker than peeling them one at a time. It lends to a smoother texture and tastes the chickpea taste away more, but you can leave them on if the texture doesn’t bother you.

Sweetpotato Benefits
1) High in vitamin B6
2) Good source of vitamin C
3) Contain vitamin D
4) Contain iron
5) Good source of magnesium
6) High in fiber
7) Rich in vitamin A

Chickpea Benefits
1) Great source of protein and fiber ( 1 cup has 10g fiber and 12g protein)
2) Rich in calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc
3) Can improve your circulatory and heart health
4) Fiber aids in a healthy digestive system and lower cholesterol

I received free samples
of California sweetpotatoes
mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am
entering a recipe contest sponsored by
the California Sweetpotato Council
and am eligible to win prizes
associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time

Pumpkin Pie Frozen Yogurt

4 Oct

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Yes. It happened. In my kitchen. Today.

Why?? Well last night I went out with my boyfriend and found this at our local frozen yogurt place in Gainesville.

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After eating a huge cup of their heavenly pumpkin frozen yogurt, I knew I had to make my own! And of course, healthier :)

Yes, frozen yogurt is already very healthy for you compared to regular ice cream, but this frozen yogurt recipe I’m about to share is made with Greek yogurt, which makes it very high in protein compared to your typical frozen yogurt :)

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Want a bite?

And the best part? No ice cream maker needed if you don’t have one! Once you make the base recipe, you can either pour it into a maker if you already have one, but if not, just pour it into a shallow container and place into the freezer! Stir every 30 minutes until the right consistency is achieved, and wallllah!

Try it. You will be happy you did :)

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Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt
–    1 cup 2% Greek Yogurt
–    1 cup Pumpkin Puree
–    1/2 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
–    1/4 cup Maple Syrup or Raw Honey or Agave
–    4 packets Stevia (or another 1/4 cup of sweetener above)
–    1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
–    1 tablespoon Cinnamon
–    1/2 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice (or 1/8 tsp each: nutmeg, ginger, cloves)
– Pinch of Sea Salt
– Optional Toppings: Crushed Graham Cracker, Sprinkles, Cinnamon, Chocolate Chips

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until all ingredients are evenly incorporated. Pour into ice cream maker according to directions on maker, or pour into a shallow container and place into freezer. If not using an ice cream maker, you will need to check mixture every 30 minutes to an hour and stir, in order to break up any huge crystals from forming, until the desired “frozen yogurt texture” is achieved. This will not produce as good as results as an ice-cream maker, but will still taste just as great. Serve in bowls. Top with any desired toppings!

Pumpkin Benefits:
1) High in Vitamin aid which aids in eyesight
2) High in fiber to keep you satisfied
3) Rich in Beta Carotene with plays a role in cancer prevention and benefit your skin
4) More potassium than a banana (great post workout food!)
5) Rich in Vitamin C to keep you fit and healthy

Greek Yogurt
1) Help fight tummy fat
2) Contains good-for-you bacteria
3) Loaded with vitamins such as potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, iodine, zinc, B12 and B5
4) Great recovery after workouts: high source of protein
5) High in calcium
6) Prevents high blood pressure
7) Fights off colds and flus: healthy bacteria fights off the bad and boosts the immune system
8) Protects your teeth: lactic acid in yogurt protects your gums
9) High in protein, about 18-24 grams per serving

Raw Honey Benefits
1) Alkaline-forming food that contains natural vitamins, enzymes, and powerful antioxidants
2)Anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fingal properties
3)Promotes body and digestive health
4)Strengthens immune system
5)Eliminates allergies
6)Excellent remedy for skin wounds and infections
7)Stabilizes blood pressure
8)Relieves pain
9)Calm nerves