OLD FASHIONED PUMPKIN PIE OR HOLIDAY EGGNOG OATMEAL

Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

OLD FASHIONED PUMPKIN PIE OATMEAL
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 7 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cup unsweetened almond or 1% milk
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked steel-cut oats
  • 1 TB ground flaxseed
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¾ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ cup raisins
  • Garnishes: chopped walnuts or pecans, brown sugar or honey to sweeten
Instructions
  1. Place all of the above ingredients, except for the garnishes in a 3-1/2 quart slow cooker. Stir well to combine ingredients. Cook on low heat for approximately 3 hours or longer until the oats are cooked and softened. Spoon the oatmeal in bowls and add the chopped nuts. If desired, sweeten with brown sugar, molasses, honey or Stevia.
  2. HOLIDAY OLD FASHIONED EGGNOG OATMEAL: Omit pumpkin, maple syrup and cinnamon and substitute eggnog in place of the milk in the recipe Use the regular or "lite" egg nog in your recipe.. Add ½ tsp almond extract to the recipe also. Serve with chopped nuts and sweeten as needed by adding honey, sugar or Stevia.
Notes
If desired, substitute 1 tsp maple flavoring or almond extract in place of the maple syrup. This will reduce the calorie and carbohydrate content.Calories per ¾ cup serving are 153 and carbohydrate content is 28 grams.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¾ cup Calories: 183 Fat: 0 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 36 grams Sodium: 65 mg Fiber: 4.5 grams Protein: 5 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg

We experienced our first official snowstorm here in Minnesota. It is right on time, four days after Thanksgiving. This is the time of year that I enjoy waking up to a piping hot bowl of old fashioned pumpkin pie oatmeal prepared in advance in my crock pot. I woke up very early to place the recipe ingredients in the crock pot, gave it a quick stir and went back to bed for a few more hours, awakening to the sweet aroma of this favorite fall breakfast. It sure warms you up on those cold Minnesota winter mornings too.  I love pumpkin treats like pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin bread and of course pumpkin pie oatmeal this time of year. It is so easy to prepare and my husband loves it too so this recipe is definitely a keeper!

Serve Old Fashioned Eggnog or Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal at your Holiday brunch

BECKY’S BEST OATMEAL MOLASSES MUFFINS

Monday was such a cool and cloudy day. The temperature reached a high of 40 degrees so I cranked up the heat and decided it was a good night for baking. Last Friday was a warm beautiful day with temperatures rising to a balmy 77 degrees. It was so warm that I put on my new sleeveless blouse and turned on the car air conditioner as I drove to visit an old friend for a day of girl talk and adventure! Minnesota does tend to have these temperature fluctuations-just wait a day and the temperature will change and be sure to keep your jean jacket and winter jacket next to each other in the front coat closet.

Becky’s Best Oatmeal Molasses Muffins

 

BECKY'S BEST OATMEAL MOLASSES MUFFINS
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 muffins
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1⅓ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup dark molasses
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup hot water
  • ½ cup nonfat plain yogurt or Greek nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ⅔ cup raisins
Instructions
  1. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Stir well. Add egg to a mixing bowl and beat well, Add the hot water and soda mixture, molasses, brown sugar and yogurt and beat well with the mixer. Combine the oats, whole wheat flour and spices in a separate bowl and then stir together well with a spoon. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients and mix in until combined. Oil a muffin pan or spay well with a non-stick spray. Add the batter to muffin pan and bake in a preheated 350 degrees F. for 22 minutes. Cool off muffins and remove from the muffin pan.
Notes
1 muffin counts as 2 carbohydrate choices. You may also replace the ⅓ cup brown sugar with 14 packets of Stevia to lower the carbohydrate and calorie content of the recipe further.

This food blog is not intended to provided medical advice. Consult your personal medical provider for your individual health and medical advice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 muffin Calories: 156 Fat: 4.7 g Trans fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 27 g Sodium: 15 mg Fiber: 3 grams Protein: 5 g Cholesterol: 16 mg

 

As I paged through the copy of my of my small town cookbook, I came across a recipe for gingerbread. I decided that I would like to do a recipe rehab and turn this ginerbread into a higher fiber and healthier version and make muffins in place of quick bread. I like to make muffins since they are so good for a breakfast on the go, snack or great to pack into a brown bag lunch. I just freeze any extra and take them individually out of the freezer and reheat in the microwave as needed. My original recipe called for 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour and I swapped this out and used 1 cup of old fashioned oatmeal and 1 1/3 cup of whole wheat flour. In place of 1/2 cup of margarine, I used 1/2 cup on nonfat plain yogurt. Greek yogurt could also be used in the recipe.  I also omitted the 1/2 tsp of salt in the recipe and added two additional ingredients, chopped walnuts and raisins for some extra flavor, fiber and nutritional value.

Moist Delicious Oatmeal Molasses Muffins

 

WELCOME TO MY COZY KITCHEN!

 

Oatmeal is so versitil and can replace part of your flour in your recipes. If desired, blend the oatmeal in your blender or food procersser to make oat flour. So many people are on the gluten free or Paleo diets, so they can use the oat flour in place of gluten containing flour. You can purchase the certified gluten free oats to ensure the oats  were not processed with any gluten containing ingredients. If you are on a dairy free or Paleo  diet, you can substitute the almond or soy yogurt, plain or vanilla flavor or unsweetened applesauce in place of the regular yogurt in the recipe.

Yogurt is such a good source of probiotics, protein and calcium and a great resource in my recipes. I use it in place of cool whip in many of my recipes, including fruit salads. The molasses and raisins in this recipe provide an excellent source of iron. Molasses is also a good source of magnesium and copper. My husband loves to add molasses, honey, walnuts and raisins to his oatmeal. He will also pour in some half and half just to be a little decadent!

Walnuts have s anti-inflammatory properties and are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, protein and fiber. They add a crunchy texture to muffins, quick breads, hot cereals and salads. Two tablespoons of walnuts or other nuts are a great afternoon pick me up snack

This recipe is heart healthy and diabetes friendly as well. These muffins also make tasty after school snacks for your children and teenagers. Serve the warm muffins with a glass of cold milk for a tasty , filling and healthy treat. They also are an easy to prepare and nutritious choice for your office and church potlucks Bon appetit!

 

BANANA OATMEAL MUFFINS

March is National Nutrition Month and this years theme is “Bite into a healthy Lifestyle”. It is easy to bite into a healthy lifestyle by sinking your teeth into these tasty and nutritious banana oatmeal muffins. These muffins are a nutritional superstar and are chocked full of healthy and flavorful ingredients such as bananas, yogurt, oatmeal, flaxseed and raisins. I found the original banana muffin recipe in an old cookbook and decided to do a nutritional makeover by swapping out the 2 cups of all purpose flour for 1 cup of whole wheat flour and one cup of oatmeal. I reduced the sugar from 1 cup to just one half cup and decided to add some flaxseed and raisins to ensure a crunchier taste and some extra texture and fiber too. I lightened up on the fat in the recipe also by swapping out 1/2 cup of shortening and replaced this with 1 tablespoon of heart healthy olive oil and 1/2 cup of plain non-fat yogurt.

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

BANANA OATMEAL MUFFINS
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 13 muffins
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • ½ cup plain non-fat yogurt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 TB ground flaxseed
Instructions
  1. Combine dry ingredients-oatmeal, flour, baking soda and flaxseed in a small bowl. Stir together and set aside. Place eggs, bananas, olive oil and yogurt in a mixing bowl and beat ingredients together with a mixer until well combined. Add sugar and beat well. Next add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir in until well combined. Add raisins and stir in. Spray muffin pan with non-stick spray or paper muffin cups. Spoon into muffin pans. Place muffin pans in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F. and bake for 20 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 muffin Calories: 140 Fat: 2 grams Saturated fat: 0.5 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 28 grams Sodium: 68 mg Fiber: 3 grams Protein: 4 grams Cholesterol: 42 mg

These muffins are a great source of potassium since they contain both bananas and raisins. Potassium is beneficial for lowering blood pressure and it plays a role in controlling your heart beat as well as causing your muscles to contract and relax. The oatmeal is a great source of soluble fiber which is responsible for lowering the LDL or “bad” cholesterol which is linked to heart disease in some medical studies. Oatmeal has a very filling effect and has found to be beneficial in controlling blood sugar in several medical studies. Flaxseed provides a rich source of alpha-linoleic acid, also known as ALA or Omega 3 fatty acids which are very beneficial to the heart and may also play a role in reducing the incidence of cancer and diabetes.The whole wheat flour provides iron and is a good source of magnesium and B vitamins including folic acid. The yogurt adds a creamy texture and is a great source of calcium, vitamin D and probiotics. Each muffin provides 3 grams of fiber to benefit your digestive track and keep you satisfied and full long after after you eat it.

Serve your muffins with fresh fruit and kefir as part of a healthy breakfast or plan to serve them for an after school healthy snack for the kids or teenagers in your life. They are also easy to carry along to work to eat as part of your brown bag lunch or during your coffee break!  For extra fun, plan a spring tea party and serve along with fresh berries for an afternoon delight!

 

Tea Party featuring Muffins and Fruit

 

HEART SMART BERRY SMOOTHIE

In honor of February, National Heart Health month, I wanted to feature a heart healthy smoothie for my blog. Plan to serve the love of your life this smoothie on Valentines Day this Saturday as well!

Heart Smart Berry Smoothie

This heart smart smoothie features a favorite red valentine fruit, raspberries. Raspberries are so delicious and juicy, yet low in calorie content and very high in dietary fiber.Raspberries and other berries such as strawberries, blackberries and blueberries contain antioxidants which help to protect our bodies by neutralizing free radicals.Free radicals can cause cell damage and contribute to disease. Several scientific studies have shown that the antioxidant compounds in berries may help to prevent disease such as cancer, reduce inflammation and delay aging. Raspberries are an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamins A and C. They also are provide quercetin in the diet, which works both as an anti-carcinogen and an antioxidant, protecting against cancer and heart disease.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day. Celebrate with a Heart Smart Berry Smoothie and some dark chocolate!

 

 

 

This smoothie recipe also calls for fresh spinach and you may substitute kale if you would prefer this. The dark green color of spinach and kale leaves indicates that they contain ligh levels of chlorophyll, and health promoting carotenoids (beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin). These phyto (plant) chemicals fight both inflammation and cancer and are very beneficial for eyesight, since they help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. If you are around my age, you may remember Popeye, the cartoon character ate lots of spinach to keep him strong. It must have been the iron in his spinach that kept him so strong. Spinach is also an excellent source of Vitamins A, C, K and folic acid.

Yogurt and milk are both excellent sources of protein, calcium and Vitamin D. Calcium and Vitamin D are beneficial for bone health and calcium has also been shown to be helpful for controlling blood pressure levels as well. If you prefer to use almond or soy milk in the recipe, check the label well and purchase a brand that if fortified with calcium and Vitamin D.

Our heart healthy smoothie also contains ground flaxseed. Choose ground flaxseed, rather than whole flaxseed because the ground form is easier for your body to digest.Whole flaxseed may pass through your intestines undigested and you will not be able to reap the benefit of the flaxseed that way. Flaxseed is also a good source of  fiber and omega 3 fatty acids.  One tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains only 30 calories and provides 2 grams of dietary fiber as well as 3 grams of protein. It has a very filling effect is beneficial for preventing and relieving constipation.  Flaxseed may also help lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels, which can help prevent coronary artery disease. Flaxseed also contains lignins which bind with circulating substances that might promote unchecked cell growth. According to Dr. Andrew Weils’s Lowering Breast Cancer Risk website, lignins contained in flax may have a protective effect against breast cancer. Flaxseed have a nutty taste and can be added to cereals, smoothies, yogurt and baked goods such as quick breads.

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day and be good to your heart!

 

 

 

HEART SMART BERRY SMOOTHIE
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces non-fat yogurt (substitute Greek yogurt if desired)
  • 4 ounces skim milk
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 TB ground flaxseed
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh spinach or kale
  • 2 packets Stevia
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, nutri-bullet or food processor. and process until well blender.
  2. Garnish with fresh berries and serve immediately.
Notes
The information in this food blog is not intended to provide medical advice. Please contact your personal health care provider for medical advice regarding your health.

Nutritional information was calculated using Spark People Recipe Calculator.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ recipe Calories: 137 Fat: 1 gram Saturated fat: 0 grams Unsaturated fat: 0 grmas Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 20 grams Sodium: 132 mg Fiber: 4 grams Protein: 8 grams Cholesterol: 7 mg

GLUTEN FREE CRANBERRY BREAD

Well it is a countdown to Christmas now and I am busy with my holiday menu planning and baking. Gluten free cranberry bread is on my menu since some of my family members are consuming a gluten free, dairy free Paleo friendly diet for health reasons. My niece Maria and her family are and she prepares some delicious gluten free recipes in her kitchen. I talked with my sister Tricia on the phone tonight and she and Maria are baking some gluten free Christmas cut out cookies this weekend. I sampled some last year and they were so good!

Cranberry orange walnut bread is an old family favorite at our house and I remember my sister and I helping my mother prepare this as well as Christmas cut out cookies in the shape of santa, reindeer, snowmen and stars when I was growing up. It is great how family traditions are passed down to the next generation. I was searching for a good gluten free cranberry bread recipe and came upon one by Ocean Spray and I modified the recipe slightly by reducing the sugar from 1 cup to 3/4 cup, reduced the salt from 1 tsp to 1/2 tsp and substituted 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in place of the shortening. Butter or coconut oil could also replace the shortening in the recipe. I prepared  the recipe and my husband and I were pleased how it turned out when we taste tested it and then froze the remainder of the loaf for Christmas. I also tried a recipe using almond flour, coconut oil and agave nectar but I was not very impressed with the taste so I will go back to my test kitchen again to find a recipe for cranberry bread using almond flour. If you have a good one, please forward it to me!

Gluten Free Cranberry Bread

GLUTEN FREE CRANBERRY BREAD
Recipe type: Quick Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, cut in half
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 TB grated orange peel
  • 2 cups all purpose gluten free flour
  • ¾ cup sugar, regular or organic cane sugar
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 TB canola or olive oil (or butter or coconut oil)
  • ¾ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed or other version
  • 1 egg, well beaten or 2 egg whites
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil and flour a loaf pan. Combine cranberries, nuts and orange peel in a bowl and set aside. Mix together dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine egg, juice and vegetable oil and mix with a spoon or use an electric beater. Add dry ingredients to juice mixture and stir or beat until combined. Fold in the nut, orange peel and cranberry mixture. Place in prepared loaf pan and bake 50-60 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. You can make muffins from the recipe as well. Oil muffin tins well and will make 12 muffins. Bake muffins for 15-18 minutes.
Notes
count as 1 carbohydrate choice If you would like to reduce the carbohydrate (sugar) content further, you can substitute 12 packets Stevia in place of ½ cup of sugar.
If you would prefer to, you can substitute honey or agave nectar in place of the sugar. Use 50% less honey or agave nectar than sugar in your recipe.

Cool down the bread completely and let sit on thecounter for 1-2 hours before slicing to prevent crumbling.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/ 12 loaf Calories: 105 Fat: 4 grams Saturated fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 13 grams Sodium: 193 mg Fiber: 1 gram Protein: 1 gram Cholesterol: 16 mg

Food is an important part of our holiday festivities. The last thing most of us want however is to get on the scale January 2 and see the scale go up five pounds or for our jeans to be so tight we can’t squeeze into them! Maintaining your weight over the season is a good goal to shoot for. Practice moderation in your eating over the holiday season. These suggestions will help. Use a smaller plate and eat slowly. Fill your plate with 50% fruits and vegetables, 25 % lean protein and 25% whole grain or gluten free grain. Try to limit yourself to one small portion of dessert ( or two half pieces) after your meal. You can always sample more later. I find taking half a piece helps. Bring a raw vegetable platter with a lower fat sour cream and non-fat greek yogurt dip or hummus if you are on a dairy free and gluten free diet. Fresh sliced seasonal fruit such as grapes, apples, clementines and pears are also a favorite and go fast at a party. Fresh shrimp with a low fat or fat free sauce is also a low calorie, high protein food you can bring to a holiday party. It also helps to take a small plate of food and don’t stand right by the food or buffet table and mingle. Walk across the room or take a seat elsewhere. Drink plenty of water or herbal tea as well. If you are drinking wine, add 50% seltzer or mineral water to reduce your alcohol and calorie intake. Keep up your regular exercise routine and all that mall walking while you shop helps too. Have yourself a very Merry Christmas or Hannukkah this year and a very prosperous and Happy New Year!

CRANBERRY ORANGE NUTBREAD

I am officially starting my Christmas baking today. I am preparing an old favorite family recipe, Cranberry Orange Nut Bread. I remember helping my mother prepare this when I was growing up. It will be on my Christmas menu and I plan to bring a loaf to my women’s bible study Christmas party next week. This bread is not only delicious but very healthy and  moderately low in calorie, fat, sodium and cholesterol content.. It can be adjusted into a carbohydrate controlled meal plan for diabetes or weight loss also. I have also made a gluten free version of this for my niece and her family since they are following a gluten and dairy free diet. I will feature that recipe in a future blog next week.

This quick bread is delicious for breakfast, snack time or served at a holiday celebration.

I enjoy Christmas baking but I like to “tweak” or modify many recipes to lower the calorie, saturated fat, cholesterol and carbohydrate content of the recipe for a couple of simple reasons. I do not want to gain extra weight over the holiday season and I enjoy eating healthy foods. I still want my recipe to taste good so I won’t modify my recipes to the point where they don’t taste good. Of course, I do enjoy sampling other people’s holiday foods and if they are higher in saturated fat or calorie content, I enjoy them in moderation. For example, my brother in law Al makes buckeyes from peanut butter and chocolate. They are out of this world in good taste so I try to limit myself to a couple of these! I am also in my fifties and realize that I do not have the metabolism of a twenty five year old anymore since the rate of metabolism decreases approximately 3 to 5 percent or more each decade as we age. I try to offset that by burning calories with walking on a regular basis. Unfortunately, I have had a cast or splint on my leg now for 6 weeks so walking is out for awhile but I do have some three pound arm weights that I lift each day as well as doing leg lifts with a three pound ankle weight from my recliner. Soon I will have my cast off and be able to resume my walking once again! I may have to mall walk or walk with my Leslie Sansome walking DVDsince it is chilly up here in the northland! I will share some of my favorite recipe swaps with you below.

 

 

Cranberry Orange Nutbread

5.0 from 1 reviews
CRANBERRY ORANGE NUTBREAD
Author: 
Recipe type: quick bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 loaf (16 slices)
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, minus 2 TB
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • 1 TB grated orange peel
  • 2 TB canola oil, regular or expeller pressed
  • 1 egg or 2 egg whites well beaten
  • 1½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cups chopped walnuts
  • 2 TB ground flaxseed
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with non-stick spray or grease with oil to prevent sticking. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and flaxseed. Stir until well combined. Add orange juice, orange peel, oil and egg and stir in well. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Spread mixture evenly in a loaf pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of loaf comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool down completely before slicing. Makes one loaf. (16 slices)
Notes
Count 1/16 of a loaf as 2 carbohydrate choices
Since I am using 2 TB of ground flax seed, I am reducing the flour in the recipe by 2 TB.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice Calories: 175 Fat: 6 grams Saturated fat: 0 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 27 grams Sodium: 156 mg Fiber: 1 gram Protein: 3 grams Cholesterol: 18 mg

The recipe that my mother used to make was on the Ocean Spray cranberry bag and although it was delicious, I modified the recipe by reducing the sugar to 3/4 cup from 1 cup, reducing the salt to 1/2 tsp from 1 tsp. I substituted canola oil in place of the 2 TB shortening called for in the original recipe to reduce the saturated fat content of the recipe.  I also added 2 TB ground flaxseed to the recipe. This recipe swap reduces the calories per slice by 36, carbohydrates are reduced by 10 grams and the sodium is cut by 157 mg. If you choose to use 2 egg whites in place of 1 egg, the cholesterol content is now zero. Some of you may want to use a sugar substitute such as stevia in place of some of the sugar also. Twelve packets of stevia are equal to 1/2 cup of sugar in a recipe.

 

RECIPE SWAPS

Ingredient                                         Substitution                                                                                                  

 

1 cup sugar                                        1/2 cup sugar                                                                                                                                 

1 cup vegetable oil                           1/2 cup vegetable oil and 1/2 cup applesauce                                         

1 cup sour cream                             1 cup reduced fat sour cream                                                                      

1 egg                                                   2 egg whites                                                                                                        

1/2 cup mayonnaise                        1/2 cup reduced fat mayonnaise                                                                                                                      

You will save 385 calories by reducing your sugar by 50% in the example above. The simple recipe swap using half oil and half applesauce in the example will save you 884 calories and 20 tsp of fat. Using your reduced fat sour cream save you 160 calories and 3 tsp of fat in your recipe. If you substitute the egg whites in place of one egg, you will save 45 calories, 1 tsp of saturated fat and 278 mg of cholesterol per egg. Lastly, by using the reduced fat mayonnaise, you will save 360 calories and 18 tsp of fat in your recipe. It all adds up!

You can also increase the fiber content of your recipes by using all whole wheat flour or 50% white four and 50% whole wheat flour. If you are baking gluten free, use the brown rice flour instead of the white rice flour to boost fiber and nutritional content. You can also purchase gluten free flour from ground legumes such as black bean flour. Almond flour  is made from whole ground blanched almonds. It is a good source of protein, fiber, Vitamin E and magnesium. Almond and coconut flour are higher in fat content than gluten containing flours, but they are a healthier form of fat. They are also lower in carbohydrate content than gluten containing  flours.

Ground flaxseed is a nutritional star! Each tablespoon is rich in fiber, omega 3 fatty acids and essential nutrients like copper, magnesium and thiamine. Grind the whole flaxseed so that you receive the nutritional benefits. The ground flaxseed is much easier for your body to digest.Ground flaxseed has a high concentration of healthy oils so it can be used as an egg replacement when baking or use in baked goods as a replacement for some of the flour. Use  1 tablespoon ground flaxseed  with 3 tablespoons of water or other type of liquid to replace each egg in cakes, cookies, muffins or pancakes. You may substitute ground flaxseed for the oil, butter or margarine in a baked good recipe in a 3-to-one ratio. For every 1/3 cup of fat called for, use one cup of ground flaxseed or flaxseed flour instead. For every one tablespoon of fat, use 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed or flaxseed flour. You can replace some of the flour in your recipe with ground flaxseed also. Replace up to 15% of the white or wheat flour in your baked goods with ground flaxseed. If this is a yeast bread, use 25% more yeast than the recipe calls for. If you are preparing an egg based yeast bread, avoid using ground flaxseed as an egg replacement.

 

Take time to enjoy the Christmas season with family and friends. My niece has planned an advent calender to share with her two young sons Luke and Matt. You can read about this more at her Maria makes Muffins blog. Other families prepare an advent wreath and light one candle each week before Christmas and enjoy a family dinner or snack at this time. A hot chocolate and Christmas cookie party sounds like fun or an eggnog and dark chocolate covered pretzel holiday party would work too!  On the lighter side, you could prepare some Cranberry Spritzers by combining equal part of cranberry juice, white grape juice and black cherry flavored sparkling water. This makes a refreshing punch. Serve this with a platter of fresh fruit and cream cheese or yogurt based fruit dip as well as some hummus, whole grain crackers, raw veggies and cranberry orange nutbread. It is never too late to start a new holiday tradition. Enjoy this magical time of year and  also remember Jesus is the reason for the season!

                         

                                                        

PUMPKIN ‘N SPICE LATTE

Pumpkin ‘N Spice Latte

Brrrr, it sure is cold outside here in Minnesota or should I say Minnesnowta! We have had unseasonably chilling temperatures and early snowfall this November for the last two weeks. The normal daytime high this time of year is 35-40 degrees and it hasn’t got above 10 degrees on some days. The picture below shows that my pumpkin lawn ornament sure looks lonely and out of place in our snow bank in the back yard!

Pumpkin Ornament is snowed in MN.

To warm up on these cold days, plan to prepare a Pumpkin ‘N spice Latte. You can enjoy a mug of this delightful latte at home in your kitchen as you read the morning paper. It is also the perfect afternoon beverage at your desk at work  or home. If you work, bring the combined ingredients in a covered container and refrigerate until serving time and then microwave. This is also the perfect drink to sip on in your three season porch as you look out the window on our wonderful fall or winter like scenery.

One serving of my recipe for Pumpkin ‘N Spice Latte contains only 115 calories, 3 grams of fat, 79 mg sodium and 13 grams of carbohydrate if you use the Stevia sweetener. If you use sugar or the Organic Blue Agave sweetener, the recipe would contain 175 calories and 28 grams of carbohydrate and all other values are the same.The cost per serving for this recipe is 48 cents per serving using sugar, 58 cents per serving using the Stevia and 68 cents per serving using the Organic Blue agave sweetener. I purchased my groceries for the recipe at Walmart so I am using their prices when calculating the cost per serving.  I purchased the Organic Blue Agave sweetener at Trader Joes since it was not available at my local Walmart grocery store. If you prefer to use organic products you can substitute the organic coffee, milk, vanilla, pumpkin and spices from your local food coop, health section of Hy Vee grocery stores, Whole foods or Trader Joe’s grocery stores.

 

You can save quite a bit of money and ensure that more wholesome ingredients are in your Pumpkin Spice Latte by preparing this at home. This recipe has no additives or preservatives added. Pumpkin Spice Lattes purchased at fast food restaurants such as Duncan Donuts, Mc Donalds and Starbucks may have additional additives and preservatives added, so if you are concerned about this you can contact the company for a list of ingredients or google this information on your smart phone or computer. There are also some allegations that some of the commercial Pumpkin Spice Lattes sold at fast food restaurants do not actually contain any pumpkin!  A nutritional comparison reveals that a Starbucks 12 oz tall Pumpkin Spice Latte using non-fat milk and two tablespoons of added whip cream contains 200 calories, 6 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fats, 30 mg of cholesterol, 170 mg of sodium. 40 grams of carbohydrate and 11 grams of protein. If you decide to splurge and order the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks with whole milk and 2 TB of whipped cream, this creamier version contains 330 calories, 14 grams fat, 9 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 50 mg of cholesterol, 40 grams of carbohydrates and 11 grams of protein.  You can decide if it is really worth it! One hour of walking burns approximately 300-400 calories. The cost per 12 oz serving of the Starbucks version is $4.00. I know that they have a great atmosphere and free wifi at Starbucks but you are going to pay a quite a bit extra for these amenities than if you stayed at home and prepared it. A similar sized Pumpkin Spice Latte at Mc Donalds and Duncan Donuts will cost you approximately $3.00 per serving.

 

Pumpkin has a very healthy profile as well. One half cup of pumpkin contains only 50 calories, 5 mg of sodium and 10 grams of carbohydrate. One half cup also provides you with 3 grams of fiber which has a very filling effect, since the fiber content slows digestion time. Pumpkin is also a rich source of nutrients. One half of a cup provides 200% of the Percent Daily Value for Vitamin A, 70% of which is beta-carotene and 4% of the DV for Vitamin C. Beta-carotene is great for our eyes and skin and may also fight against some forms of cancer such as prostate and lung cancer according to some research studies. Vitamin A and C act as a cell defense  squad since they are both antioxidants and act as shields for your cells against cancer-causing free radicals.

The milk in the latte recipe provides us with bone building and protecting calcium and Vitamin D, as well as vitamin A, Vitamin B12 and is a good source of protein. If you choose to substitute soy or almond milk in place of cow’s milk in the recipe, be sure to check your food label to be sure that they are fortified with calcium and Vitamin D.

My recipe also includes the spice cinnamon. Cinnamon has been consumed since 2000 BC in ancient Egypt where it was considered to be very precious and they used it among other things to treat sore throats, coughs and arthritis. Modern research also indicates that this spice may have some very beneficial properties. There are two main types of cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon which is most commonly used in the western world and Cassia or Chinese cinnamon which originates from southern China and is less expensive than the Ceylon cinnamon. Cinnamon may also help control blood sugar and lipid (cholesterol) levels according to a study published in Diabetes Care magazine. Cinnamon may also help prevent Alzheimer’s disease according to research done at Tel Aviv University in Israel. An extract found in cinnamon bark called CEppt contains important properties that may actually inhibit the development of the disease. Cinnamon may also help stop the destructive neurological process in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) according to studies done at Rush University Medical Center. The National Institutes of Health research studies have also found that a compound found in Cassia cinnamon may help fight fungal and bacterial infections.Cinnamon can be added to latte and cappuccino coffee drinks, hot cereals such as oatmeal, muffins, cakes, scones. apple pie, sweet potatoes, squash, cakes and fruit crisps.

 

Pumpkin ‘N Spice Latte at my cozy kitchen table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PUMPKIN 'N SPICE LATTE
Author: 
Recipe type: beverage
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 serving
 
Ingredients
  • 6 oz 1% milk or almond or soy milk
  • 2 TB fresh pureed or canned pumpkin
  • 2 tsp real vanilla extract (not imitation)
  • 1 TB sugar ( or 2 if you want a sweeter drink) or Organic Blue Agave sweetener or 2 packets Stevia sweetener
  • ⅛ tsp cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 4 oz of brewed coffee, regular or decaffinated, or ¼ cup expresso
  • Topping:
  • 2 TB Reddi Whip topping or non-dairy whipped topping or real whip cream
Instructions
  1. Place milk, pumpkin, vanilla extract, sugar or Agave sweetener or Stevia, cinnamon and nutmeg in a 11-12 oz coffee mug. Whisk together until well combined with a small whisk or similar utensil. Microwave for 50 seconds. Add coffee and microwave again for approximately one minute or until well heated. Stir. Spray Reddi Whip topping on the beverage and sprinkle with nutmeg. Serve immediately.
  2. If you would like to double or triple the recipe or make an even larger quantity for a crowd, combine all of the ingredients except for the whipped topping in a crockpot, Whisk together ingredients and heat on the high setting for 1-2 hours or until hot. Pour into coffee mugs and spray on the Reddi Whip or add whip cream or non-dairy whipped topping, sprinkle with nutmeg and serve immediately.
Notes
Recipe's nutrition information for fat, saturated fat and cholesterol content was calculated using the Reddi Whip topping. Nutritional information for the recipes in HoneydewsKitchen.com blog are calculated using http://nutrition.self.com/facts/recipes If you use the sugar or Agave sweetener in the recipe, the calorie content per serving is 175, 28 grams of carbohydrate, 2 carbohydrate choices and other values are the same as listed in the nutrition information. Nutrition information above is calculated using the Stevia sweetener. When using Stevia, count as 1 carbohydrate choice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 serving (10-11 oz) Calories: 115 Fat: 3 grams Saturated fat: 1.5 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 13 grams Sodium: 79 mg Protein: 6 grams Cholesterol: 8 mg