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Healthier Candy Recipes

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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.

Caramel Apple Dip

I just canned 127 quarts of applesauce. Yummy but tiring! I still have more apples left. So I made caramel apple dip to have as a snack. This came from Heavenly Homemakers who I absolutely love! So the credit all goes to her. This was the easiest snack ever. It lasts a long time in the fridge too.

Caramel Apple Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sucanat
1/2 t.vanilla
Cream all ingredients together and serve with apple slices. Yum!

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!

Peanut Butter Kisses/Balls

I have a recipe that I have made for years and am recently finding different versions of it.  I called mine Peanut Butter Balls, another lady calles them kisses, which I like better. My kids love, love, love these as treats for their lunches or after school.  They are sooo easy to make and require no cooking skills!  I found this link today for Raw Cookie Dough Bites. They are very similar but they add coconut flour. I just bought some on Amazon and it hasn’t come yet. When it does I am definitely trying them.  Remember you want raw honey because any other is just like using sugar. Raw honey helps with seasonal allergies and had minerals and vitamins that your body needs.

I made the raw cookie dough bites last weekend!!! Sooo yummy!! They have a texture like raw cookie dough.  I loved the almond butter and the coconut flour really lent a great taste! Will be making these a lot!

Peanut Butter Kisses/Balls

1 c organic/all natural peanut butter
1/2 c or less honey
1 c finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 c sunflower seeds
1/2 c chia seeds
options: chocolate chips (mini work best), ground flax seed, chopped nuts, raisins,

Mix all together and roll into bite size balls and place on a cookies sheet. Put in fridge or freezer for 1/2 hour to chill. Then store in a plastic bag or bucket. Last a long time if kids don’t get to them first! And they are so healthy!

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.