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Apple Pudding Cake with Caramel Sauce

I haven’t typed up much cause I’m about to have a baby and haven’t been cooking or quilting or pretty much anything. I wake up get kids off to school and usually go to doctor appointments. (3 per week) Then I lay down as much as I can cause pregnancy is really hard for me.  Sunday night I had rested most of the day and my sweet hubby had done the meals and I had this burst of energy. Mind you it wasn’t a lot of energy but more than I usually get lately. I wanted to bake. I had apples that really needed to be used up. They were ugly so the kids wouldn’t eat them but they were still good. So started chopping and I had more apples than I had planned so I decided to make this yummy spicy, fall cake that my mom used to make when company was coming. It’s one of my Dad’s favorites. I haven’t made it in years because it had shortening in it and it always seemed time consuming because of the cake and the sauce and the whipped cream. But really this came together rather fast even with me making up some of it as I went along. You make the caramel sauce while the cake is baking and the whip cream while it’s cooling and it’s really not hard at all. Especially if you use a mixer.

This is still a once in a while treat but has healthier sugars and fats. So much better than the original for you. I could not tell that it was “healthified.” Neither could my family they loved it and all asked for seconds.  It’s super rich with the sauce and I could eat just the cake alone and be happy.

Apple Pudding Cake with Caramel Sauce

Mix ingredients in order:

1 c sucanat
1 c organic palm shortening(I find this at TropicalTraditions.com)
4 c raw apples (chopped)
2 pasture raised eggs
2 tsp baking soda(dissolve in 2 tsp water)
1/4 tsp salt
3 c soft white whole wheat flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1 c nuts, chopped (I used pecans)

Bake in a greased 13×9 pan @ 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.

Serve warm with caramel sauce and whipped cream or ice cream. Freezes well.

Caramel Sauce

(I found this recipe for caramel apples at thenourishinggourmet.com. I haven’t tried it over apples but I thinned it with water a bit and it was great over this cake.)

2/3 c coconut sugar or sucanat
1/2 c honey
4 T butter
dash of unrefined salt
1/4 c water
2 tsp vanilla

In a small pot combine first 5 ingredients over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Once it starts to bubble on the edges, set timer for 2 minutes and stir constantly. Take off the heat and add vanilla.  Be careful with this mixture, as it can burn badly.

Healthier Candy Recipes

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Image via Wikipedia

I came across this great post from The Nourishing Gourmet.  A bunch of candy recipes with unrefined sweeteners!! I am soooo excited! I am not a huge candy fan. I don’t even crave it usually, but I grew up making candy at Christmas time with my mom. She is seriously a professional at it. She used to give classes to ladies in our church every year. So my kids have now been raised with me making candy. Since this was a our first year of eating whole foods we were all a little worried about what I was going to do about the Christmas candy. Here is my answer!! Yeah!

1. Mock Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: I created this recipe for my then 3-year-old daughter. They were an instant hit with both her and her friends.

2. The Easiest, Healthiest, Most Scrumptious Fudge Ever: The title says it all. This fudge is so much easier to make than traditional fudge and much healthier, too. I’ve made it with the more common sweetener, honey, with great results as well.

3. Nature’s Candy Bar (pictured at top): I called these Nature’s Candy Bar because they feature dates, which are rich in natural sugar. A chocolate coating doesn’t hurt either.

4. Candy Bar: This chocolate-covered candy bar looks amazing! I would recommend simply substituting the agave syrup in this recipe and the next with the less refined sweetener, honey.

5. Mock Mounds Bar: Mounds bars used to be my favorite candy bar. Now I can have a a healthier version guilt-free.

6. Cracker Toffee (pictured above): My daughter and I made this super easy recipe last year as part of our Christmas candy platter. They are rich, delicious and so easy.

7. Old-Fashioned Caramel Corn: I adapted my husband’s favorite caramel corn recipe from his younger years to only include unrefined sweeteners (no corn syrup here!) It is a certain favorite at parties.

8. Caramel Apples: This recipe uses cream and honey to create a rich caramel coating for apples. It’s perfect for this time of year.

9. Dairy-Free Caramel Apples: This recipe doesn’t use any dairy but a combination of honey and maple syrup. How delicious does that sound?

10. Honey-Sweetened Dark Chocolate Macadamia Nuts: These make a very special gift, and very yummy snacking.

11. Maple Magic Candy: All you need for this recipe is maple syrup. If you’ve ever had maple syrup candy before, you know how amazing it is.

12. Decadent Chocolate “Larabar” Truffles: (pictured above): These truffles were inspired by Larabars, but morphed into truffles; perfect as an afternoon pick-me-up.

Mini Apple Pies

miniapplepies9smPhoto by Laura @ Heavenlyhomemakers.com

So I found this recipe at Heavenly Homemakers to use up all my apples! It didn’t use enough cause I still have 2 boxes in my garage! I think that next week I will cut and freeze them for later mini apple pies. Anyway. These were a lot of work but I think will be so wonderful to have in my freezer for later. I have to say I didn’t do her crust recipe. I had just rendered a bunch of leaf lard and wanted to use instead of butter. So here is the best pie crust recipe ever. It makes more crust than you need but if you double the apple filling it will be just right.

The “Only Pie Crust” by Amy Carter

5 c. whole wheat flour
2 c lard
2 tsp salt
2 eggyolks
1 T vinegar
rest of 1 c water

Cut lard into flour. I used my mixer. Put egg yolks and vinegar in a 1 cup measuring cup and whisk. Then fill the rest of the cup with water. Stir quickly into the flour. Try not to over mix as the whole wheat flour can get tough.  This makes 2 double crust pies and 1 single crust pie. If you are  making large pies Bake the crust @ 425 degrees till light brown about 10 minutes.

For mini apple pies, separate dough into 21-24 pieces.
Roll each piece into a little circle with a rolling pen.
Squish (or place nicely) your dough circles into MUFFIN PANS.  Using a muffin pan for these Mini Apple Pies eliminates the need to go buy 24 little mini pie pans.

 

The following directions are for Mini Apple Pies:

Crust:

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 t. sea salt
1 cup melted butter
1 cup plain yogurt

Stir ingredients together until thoroughly mixed.  Use the dough right away to create pockets or pies…or let the dough sit overnight on the countertop to break down the phytates and make the grains more digestible.  This dough is MUCH easier to work with if you work it like play dough in your hands a while before you try to roll it out.

Filling:

3 pounds of apples – about 11-12 smallish apples (any kind you like)
1/4 – 3/4 cup sucanat (your preference)
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

Peel apples and cut them into bite sized chunks. Add sucanat and cinnamon.  Stir well and cook over medium heat until apples are tender and a syrup has formed (about 10 minutes).  I didn’t do this. I forgot to cook the apples. I never do with large pies. But  my hubby ate one last night and said the apples were a little dry so this step might really help with that.  Fill each (unbaked) crust with apple pie filling.

Topping:

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
2-4 Tablespoons sucanat
3 Tablespoons melted butter

In a bowl, stir together topping ingredients until the dry ingredients are moistened.
I find that melting the butter and stirring it into the flour, oats and sucanat makes a great crumb topping…much less effort than “cutting in the butter”. Sprinkle topping all over the top of your little pies. Freeze your pies in your buttered muffin pans for a couple of hours. Remove your muffin pans from the freezer and allow them to sit on the counter for 10-15 minutes.  Use a fork to gently pry the pies out of the pan.  Place them carefully into freezer bags and put them bag into the freezer.

To bake your Mini Apple Pies:

Take desired number of pies out of the freezer and place them on a baking pan.  Bake in a 375° oven for 35-45 minutes.  You can let them thaw first if you want…but I find that the frozen pies bake just fine!

 

And now I’d like to point out that (depending on how much you use) there is about 1/2 cup of sucanatdivided by 24 little pies…making this a very healthy, very low in sugar breakfast.

Healthy Pumpkin Cookies

I was looking for a cookie recipe that my kids would love while we watch a movie tonight. I also wanted one that I was ok with feeding them. And even though it’s 90 degrees outside still, I am in the mood for fall! I hung my fall decorations today! I am a total sucker for fall things! I hate halloween but love fall. Have you gotten that I love fall by now?

So let’s eat pumpkin. About 7 years ago I got on a pumpkin kick. I made everything pumpkin I could find! I burned out on pumpkin. I think I’m ready to try pumpkin again. So Katie over at Kitchen Stewardship had this great recipe. I am going to help my kids make it tonight. My mother used to make wonderful pumpkin cookies with a glaze that are to die for. I will try to alter it to be whole food in the future and post it here.

Kitchen Stewardship’s Healthy Pumpkin Cookies

Ingredients

 

2 cups butter or coconut oil or palm shortening (see above to use some flax seed, as well)
1 1/2 c. sucanat (unrefined cane sugar)
16 oz. can pumpkin or 2 c. pumpkin puree (squash works, too!)
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
4 c. white whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp.nutmeg
½ tsp. allspice
1 tsp. salt
2 c. chocolate chips or raisins
1 c. chopped nuts

Method

Cream fat and sweetener. Add pumpkin, eggs and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour and next 6 dry ingredients. Add to batter; mix well. Stir in choc chips and nuts.

Drop rounded teaspoonfuls two inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Gingerbread Cake

I have a pregnant friend lacking in iron and I told her about this awesome cake that is full of molasses which has iron. So I promised I would post this for her today. Sorry everything is in italics and double spaced can’t seem to control wordpress today.
Upate: I soaked my flour in the warm water & butter, covered with a towel and left on the counter overnight to help decrease the phytic acid. Then added the rest of the ingredients. The cake was more moist and I liked it even better.
Gingerbread Cake

3 c whole wheat flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp soda

1 ½ tsp ginger & cinnamon each

Mix dry together.

Add:

¼ c coconut oil or melted butter

¾ c applesauce

1 c molasses

1 c water

2 eggs

Pour into a greased 13×9 pan. Bake 400 for 20-30 min. Serve warm with applesauce and whipped cream on top! Great for breakfast!

Fresh Fig Cookies

I recently received a bunch of fresh figs. Since they aren’t grown around here I don’t think I’ve ever had the opportunity to try them.  They are very different from fig newton cookies!  I have heard they are good in smoothies but haven’t tried it yet. I did try this cookie recipe from allrecipes.com last night. Here it is with my changes. I really liked them fresh although they weren’t as good the next day, a little dry.

  • 1/2 cup sucanat
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup chopped fresh figs
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
  2. Cream sugar and shortening and add beaten egg.
  3. Sift dry ingredients and blend with creamed mixture. Fold in figs and nuts.
  4. Drop by spoonfuls on greased sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.