Thursday, December 18, 2014

Nutella Filled Cupcakes

Nutella Filled Cupcake
My (baby) daughter just turned six this past weekend and we celebrated with a fantastic pajama dance party at her dance school.  And since I wanted to be considerate of the dance floors and not have a bunch of frosting covered kids running around, I thought this "outside in" idea would work perfectly.  I tried out the recipe a couple of weeks ahead of time to make sure it worked, so there are two sets of photos below.  The recipe I made for my family only used organic whole wheat pastry flour, but to make them a bit more kid friendly for the party I used half organic white flour the second time.  Of course some kids complained there was "no frosting", but once they took a bite and found the inside, there were very few empty plates left. This is one of my more labor intensive baking recipes because you have to use a couple of steps to fill the muffin papers, but the result is totally worth it.  And the cupcake recipe itself is a no fail, go to recipe for "healthy" vanilla cupcakes, with or without filling.  By substituting a little bit of the fat with applesauce and yogurt, as well as the use of organic canola oil, it is not as bad as most cake recipes and 100% better than anything you could buy in a store.  They taste amazing, and this health conscious mom had no trouble eating one as part of breakfast the next day because they are that good.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Gingerbread Muffins

Nothing smells more like Christmas to me than gingerbread.  I suppose peppermint candy canes would be a close second and I will be featuring a recipe with candy canes soon, but the unmistakable aroma of gingerbread muffins, or cookies, baking in the oven is an all time favorite.  I honestly thought I had posted this recipe last year since it is such a staple in my home.  Better late than never!

As always, I use all organic whole wheat flour to add fiber and nutrients, but the real all stars in this recipe are all the spices.  Cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar and reduce inflammation, ginger is a natural pain killer and can ease stomach upset, nutmeg is good for digestion and detoxification of the body and cloves are anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and nutrient dense.  Combine those benefits with a tasty filling snack and you have a perfect holiday treat!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Chocolate Hazelnut Butter (Nutella II)

Chocolate Hazelnut Butter (Nutella II)
The last time I tried to make Homemade Nutella, I used a can of coconut milk and melted chocolate and although I enjoyed it and gobbled it up within days, I wanted to try making it again with slightly different ingredients.  This is a twist on my Chocolate Walnut Butter recipe, using hazelnuts instead and switching around the ratio of a few ingredients.  I have to admit, I think both my kids and I preferred this version, although it had been so long since I made the last one, it is a little hard to remember.  I like knowing that what goes into this yummy chocolate spread is all fairly healthy, so that I can enjoy it on toast, or a piece of fruit, or simply with a spoon, and know that I am treating myself in a responsible way.  And it tastes amazing. If you are not as big a fan of chocolate as I am, you should try the Maple Cinnamon Hazelnut Butter recipe instead.  That is definitely my son's favorite and honestly, a close second in my opinion to this one as well.