Helping families eat healthier for less

Helping families eat healthier for less

Saturday, December 21, 2013

For Good Luck in 2014, Try Baked Brown Rice Pudding

Baked Rice Pudding Brings Good Luck


The theme this month for recipe Redux is “Good Luck Foods.” We were asked what we will be serving to get the New Year started with a little luck? For some, it might be it black eyed peas and greens, or Chinese noodles or even a special family recipe. For me, it is pudding. Yes, pudding.  Many years ago when I was doing my dietetic internship in Minneapolis, I was invited to a friend’s house for New Year’s. This family was of Swedish descent. Their tradition was to serve a large bowl of rice pudding and the person who got the whole almond in their bowl was the bearer of good luck for the year. I was the one who got the almond. I don’t remember of my following year was especially lucky, but I have never forgotten that prize.

 

I have learned since then that many cultures, in addition to Sweden, treasure almonds as a symbol of good luck, good health and good fortune. One story I read said that the person who finds the almond is said to get married in the coming year. That didn’t happen to me.

 


Here is the recipe for Baked Brown Rice Pudding.

Inspiration for this recipe came from: All Recipes. Made with some modifications, mainly using brown rice for white rice.
 

Ingredients:

 
Non-stick cooking spray

2 large eggs, beaten

3-1/2 cups 1% milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup uncooked jasmine brown rice

1 tablespoon light butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 whole almond

 
Directions:

 
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spray 2-quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

 
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and milk. Stir in sugar, rice, butter, extracts, and nutmeg. Pour into prepared pan. Stir in one almond.

 
Bake for 2 to 2-1/2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes during the first hour.

 
Makes  6 servings.

 
Nutrition Information per Serving:

216 calories, 4 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 69 mg cholesterol, g dietary fiber, 8 g protein, and 102 mg sodium. One serving of this low cost recipe provides an excellent source of riboflavin and vitamin D and a good source of protein, vitamin B-12, and calcium.

 
Cost per Serving: $0.50

Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices.
Click here to download and print a copy of this recipe.

Be sure to check out these other “good luck” foods from fellow Recipe Reduxers.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Monk Fruit In The Raw Perfect for Cranberry Apple Clafouti

Cranberry Apple Clafouti



I received free samples from Cumberland Packing Corp., maker of Monk Fruit In The Raw. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Cumberland Packing Corp. and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Monk Fruit In The Raw is a new sugar alternative. It is made from vine-ripened monk fruit and has zero calories, yet tastes like sugar. Each one teaspoon serving contains less than 2 calories, which the FDA considers “zero.” Monk fruit extract is combined with maltodextrin so that cooks can create the perfectly sweet taste that measures cup for cup like granulated sugar. Here's a photo of the package of Monk Fruit In  The Raw Bakers Bag.
Monk Fruit In The Raw Bakers Bag

The package indicates that cooks can use Monk Fruit In The Raw for all of the sugar in drinks, like lemonade or tea, and most sauces and dressings. They recommend that you replace only half of the regular sugar in baked goods, as granulated sugar is important for moisture, browning, and rising in most baked goods. Another tip they offer is to check for doneness of baked goods a little earlier than given in the recipe to ensure the finished product is moist.  For many more tips from Monk Fruit In The Raw, click here. This site includes information on how to convert recipes made with sugar and other sweeteners, how to use it in beverages, equivalents when working with Monk Fruit In The Raw packets, how to use it in frozen dessert, breakfast items, and baked desserts, as well as non-baked desserts.

Cranberries are one of my  favorite holiday foods. I love the taste and color and they add such a festive note to holiday meals. I usually make homemade cranberry sauce. And, I love cranberry desserts.

Cranberries are tart and require a fair amount of sugar to make them tolerable. So, when I decided to test Monk Fruit In The Raw Bakers Bag, I thought its use in a cranberry dish would be perfect. It would counter the tartness of the cranberries, without adding all the calories that comes with granulated sugar.

Clafouti, pronounced clah-foo-tee, is a dessert typically found in parts of rural France. I have seen the word spelled with and without an “s” at the end. Clafouti is often made with fresh cherries. Clafouti takes its name from clafir, a dialect French word meaning “to fill.” It’s a cross between a puff pancake (or Dutch baby) and a custard. Julia Child has a wonderful recipe for a cherry clafoutis that can be found here.

In this recipe, I used Monk Fruit In The Raw for all of the sugar that is combined with the cranberries, as the purpose is generally to counter the tartness of the cranberries. Then I used granulated sugar in the batter mixture, as the sugar is needed to help with browning and rising of the custard mixture of the clafouti.

Here is the full recipe.
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Cranberry Apple Clafouti

Ingredients:

Non-stick cooking spray

1 cup + 2 tablespoons Monk Fruit In The Raw Baker’s Bag, divided

1/4 cup orange juice

1 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel

2 cups fresh or frozen whole cranberries

1 large apple, cored, peeled and sliced into very thin wedges

3 large eggs

1 cup nonfat milk

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 9-inch round baking dish with cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan combine one cup of Monk Fruit Sugar In The Raw with orange juice and peel; cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring constantly. Add the cranberries. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes or until cranberries pop, stirring frequently. Pour cranberry mixture into bottom of prepared baking dish. Top cranberry mixture with apple slices, arranged in a single layer, slightly fanned out.

Combine eggs, milk, flour, granulated sugar, flour, and vanilla extract in a blender; blend until smooth. Pour slowly over apples in baking dish.

Bake until clafouti is puffed, light brown, and firm to the touch, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes on wire rack. Dust the top with 2 tablespoons Monk Fruit In The Raw. Serve warm.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Information per Serving:

170 calories, 3 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 94 mg cholesterol, 2 g dietary fiber, 6 g protein, and 54 mg sodium. One serving of this low cost recipe provides an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of riboflavin.

Cost per Serving: $0.89

Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices except cranberries which were on sale for $2.50 per 12-ounce bag. Monk Fruit in the Raw can be purchased online at www.intheraw.com.
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Here are some prep photos:
Prep Photos
 
Be sure to check out these other recipes that use Monk Fruit In The Raw.
 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Black Bean Soup Mix in a Jar

Black bean soup mix, recipe, and bowl showing final product

The theme for this month's Recipe Redux is "Adding merriment to mixes," or to create a recipe gift in a jar.  Eons ago, I made and gave away a spiced tea mixture in a jar that contained Tang and other ingredients. (Boy, does this date me.)  So the theme this month was for me to come up with something more contemporary.

I love soups in the winter and I've seen a number of recipes for bean soups in a jar. I decided to make a black bean soup where all the seasonings are in a separate plastic bag. The recipient simply needs to add onion, turkey bacon, and a can of no salt added diced tomatoes.




Of course, you have to include the recipe so the person can see what to do with it. I found a few free (as long as you don't sell them) recipe cards with a winter theme on the internet.





Here are a few additional photos:
Black Bean Soup Mix


Wrap it up with a nice bow

Here is the complete instructions and recipe:


Black Bean Soup Mix in a Jar

 

Bean Soup Mix
1-1/2 cups black beans, rinsed, dried and picked through

Seasoning Mix
2 tablespoons dried sweet pepper flakes
1 tablespoon low sodium chicken bouillon granules
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried celery flakes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (or to taste)
1 bay leaf

Assembly Directions:
Fill glass jar with beans. Combine seasoning ingredients in resealable plastic bag. Place seasoning packet inside jar, on top of bean. Cover. Tie with bow. Attach the recipe for preparation.

 
Attach these instructions to the jar:

Black Bean Soup

1 jar Black Bean Soup Mix in a jar (with seasoning packet)
6 cups water
8 slices lower sodium turkey bacon, diced
1 large sweet onion, peeled and diced
1 (14.5 ounce) can no salt added diced tomatoes
1/2 medium avocado, peeled and sliced into 6 thin slices (for garnish)
2 tablespoons white cheese, such as Mexican Queso or feta (for garnish)
Fresh cilantro leaves (for garnish)

 Place beans in large bowl and add enough water to cover beans by one inch. Let soak overnight. Drain beans and place in Dutch oven. Add 6 cups water, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer about one hour, or until beans are almost tender. Set aside.



Cook turkey bacon in large frying pan until crisp. Remove bacon from pan. Add onion to skillet and cook over medium heat until soft, about 6 minutes.  Add onion, bacon, and canned tomatoes to beans in Dutch oven. Stir in seasoning packet. Bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat, and simmer 30 minutes, or until beans are tender and soup thickens. Remove bay leaf.  Divide soup into 6 bowls. Top each serving with a slice of avocado, a teaspoon of crumbled cheese and cilantro sprig.  

 
 Makes 6 servings (about 1-1/2 cups each).

Nutrition Information per Serving:

279 calories, 7 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 22 mg cholesterol, 10 g dietary fiber, 16 g protein, and 471 mg sodium. One serving of this low cost recipe provides an excellent source of fiber, protein, folate and thiamine and a good source of vitamin C and calcium.

 

Click here to download and print a copy of this recipe.

Be sure to check out these other gifts in a jar, just in time for the holidays.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pumpkin Butter in a Crockpot


Pumpkin "Butter" made in a crockpot
 
The theme for this month’s Recipe Redux is to share a recipe that uses a crockpot. Crockpots are used today more than ever by busy families. The NPD Group, a market research firm, found that in 2008 usage of slow cookers had reached an all-time high with 12% of households using them. Although I haven’t seen recent figures, I venture to guess that number is much higher today as our lives continue to get busier and busier.

I love fall and one of the reasons I do is because I love pumpkins. I love pumpkin pie, pumpkin breads, pumpkin soups, even pumpkin chili. So when I saw the challenge for this month, I decided to do something with pumpkins. I wanted to see if a slow cooker could be used to make pumpkin butter.

Pumpkin butter is a little misleading as there really is no butter in the recipe. It is really a spread. The traditional way to make pumpkin butter is to cook the pumpkin and other ingredients on a range top. However, the pumpkin splatters and can make a mess. With a crockpot there is no splattering and no mess.

I found baby pumpkins at a nearby garden center.


Because the outer layer of the raw baby pumpkin was difficult to cut with a knife, I started by roasting the pumpkin whole, on a baking sheet for an hour.

Roast whole pumpkin on baking sheet

Once the pumpkin comes out of the oven, let it cool. Then cut in half. Scoop out seeds and guts.

Scoop out seeds and guts


Mix roasted pumpkin pulp with other ingredients
 

Then transfer the pulp to a crockpot. Add other ingredients and mix well. Cover and let cook on low power for about 4 hours.

So now that you’ve made the pumpkin butter, what do you do with it? My favorite way is to spread it on whole grain toast. Yum. You could use it on pancakes or waffles. You could stir it to cooked oatmeal. You could make a parfait, alternating rows of pumpkin butter, slightly sweetened Greek-style vanilla yogurt, and granola. You can dip fresh fruit into it, such as apples, Asian pears, or banana slices.

Pumpkin Butter will keep in refrigerator for 2-3 weeks
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Here is the complete recipe:

Pumpkin “Butter”

Ingredients:

1 pumpkin (about 3-1/2 lbs)

Non-stick cooking spray

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp lemon juice

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place whole pumpkin on baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake whole pumpkin for 60 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes.

Remove stem from cooked pumpkin and slice pumpkin in half. With large spoon, remove seeds, guts, and strings. (Seeds can be washed and roasted, if desired.) Scoop out cooked pumpkin flesh with spoon and place into crockpot. Mash. Stir in maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla; stir well. Cover and cook over low heat for about 4 hours, depending on desired thickness of pumpkin butter. Turn off heat. Stir in lemon juice. Serve. Keep refrigerated.

Makes 2-3/4 cups (or 22 2-tablespoon servings).

Nutrition Information per Serving (2 tablespoons):

28 calories, 0 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g dietary fiber, 0 g protein, and  1 mg sodium. One serving of this low cost recipe provides an excellent source of vitamin A.

Cost per Serving: $0.33

Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices except pumpkin which was featured for $2.50 each.

 Be sure to check out these other crockpot favorites.

 

 

 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Sweetpotato Oatmeal Cookies Sure to Please

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 Oatmeal Cookies

Although I now live in the Northeast, I grew up in California. I never knew California grew sweetpotatoes. So, I was excited when I learned of the sweetpotato recipe contest by the California Sweetpotato Council.

I learned that California sweetpotatoes prefer to use one word (not sweet potatoes) to differentiate themselves from other sweet potatoes. As part of this contest, I was sent a box of sweetpotatoes that I have to tell you were the most beautiful sweetpotatoes I have ever seen. They were clean, had no scars or scratches and came in three beautiful colors, orange, tan, and red (see below). Here is a brief description of the three varieties:

     • Orange (Covington): rose colored skin and super sweet orange flesh; a favorite for mashing or roasting.
     • Tan (O’Henry): has a pale copper skin and white flesh; ideal for soups and stews.
     • Red (Diane): has red skin and deep orange flesh; perfect for sweetpotato fries or to add color to dishes.


California Sweetpotatoes are Colorful and Beautiful

I learned that California sweetpotatoes are grown in soft sand and are hand sorted to minimize scarring and scratching, resulting in a better looking sweetpotato (a huge difference from the typical sweet potatoes I see in my local supermarket). One medium California sweetpotato provides 105 calories, 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, a good source of vitamin C, and more than a day’s worth of vitamin A.

Many people mistakenly think sweetpotatoes are yams. Sweetpotatoes are sweet and moist. In contrast, yams are dry and starchy and, surprisingly, are not readily available in this country. Adding to the confusion over whether it is a sweetpotato or yam, there are varieties of yams called sweet potatoes. Also just to be clear, sweetpotatoes are not members of the white potato family.

For this contest, I experimented with several recipes. I made some hash brown sweetpotato patties using shredded sweetpotatoes, onion and egg. I thought about making sweetpotato mini donuts. Or a breakfast burrito with shredded sweetpotatoes, egg, and cheese. Or, cut them into them slices, season them, and bake them for chips. Sweetpotatoes are so versatile. They can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, or dessert.

But I finally decided to make an oatmeal cookie, to see if I could substitute mashed cooked sweetpotato for applesauce in recipes. It works. Many recipes seem to suggest using applesauce to cut down or eliminate some of the butter or fat in recipes. Well, now it appears that pureed sweetpotatoes work in much the same way as applesauce. These oatmeal cookies are loaded with good nutrition. One cookie provides 141 calories, 2 grams each of fiber and protein, and an excellent source of vitamin A. Here is the complete recipe. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sweetpotato Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1-1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup mashed cooked California Sweetpotato
4 Tbsp unsalted stick butter-margarine blend, melted
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

 In medium mixing bowl, wish together oats, flour, baking soda and powder, cinnamon, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, combine sweetpotato, butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla. Mix to combine. Stir dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir just until blended. Gently stir in raisins, nuts, and chocolate chips.

Drop dough by heaping tablespoons, 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheets. Flatten cookies with hand or back of large spoon. Bake cookies until golden brown and just set, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack and let cool completely.

Makes 20 cookies.

Nutrition Information per Cookie: 141 calories, 5 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 12 mg cholesterol, 2 g dietary fiber, 2 g protein, and 78 mg sodium. One cookie provides an excellent source of vitamin A.

Cost per Cookie: $0.19 Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices.

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Be sure to check out these other sweetpotato-inspired recipes from fellow Recipe Reduxers.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Honey Bunches of Oat Squares a Healthier No Bake Snack or Dessert

Honey Bunches of Oat Squares


I confess. I like rice krispie bars - yes, the ones with butter and marshmallows. When I think of no-bake desserts or snacks, that is the first thing that pops into my head. The theme this month for Recipe Redux is no cook desserts.

So, I think everyone has a recipe for rice krispie bars. So, I decided to come up with a recipe that makes these bars a little healthier. But, I also wanted to keep it easy.

With only 3 ingredients this recipe goes together in a snap. The recipe makes 9 bars. Each bar is 199 calories, provides a good source of several vitamins, and costs about 34 cents each. Instead of the Post brand of Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds, I bought the "knock-off" product made by Malto Meal at Walmart where you can buy a large, 32-ounce bag for under $5.00.


Here is the full recipe.

Honey Bunches of Oat Squares
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
Non-stick cooking spray
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup almond butter
3 cups lightly sweetened corn & whole wheat flake cereal with granola & sliced almonds (Post Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds)

Directions:
Spray 8x8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
Combine honey and almond butter in large pot over medium-low heat until melted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in cereal. Mixture will be sticky. Press into prepared dish. May want to use waxed paper under hands to press down hard to spread mixture evenly in dish. Let cool. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Cut into 9 squares.

Makes 9 servings.

Nutrition Information per Serving: 199 calories, 9 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 g dietary fiber, 4 g protein, and 92 mg sodium. One serving of this low cost recipe provides an excellent source of folate and a good source of riboflavin, niacin and vitamin E.

Cost per Serving: $0.34 Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices.


Be sure to check out these other no bake favorites.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Corn Chowder with Wild Rice and Grapes


Disclaimer: By posting this recipe, I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Table Grape commission and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Grapes. Red, green, black. I love them all.

Grapes from California are in season May through January. They are in season long past the summer season for peaches, apricots, and nectarines.

Grapes of all colors - red, black, and green- are a natural source of beneficial antioxidants and other polyphenols. A serving of grapes (3/4 cup or about 25 grapes) is just 90 calories, has no fat, cholesterol and virtually no sodium and provide potassium and are a good source of vitamin K. Exciting research has been and is being done to examine the beneficial properties of the antioxidants and other chemicals found in grapes. Grapes appear to support a healthy heart, blood pressure, colon, eyes, brain, prostate, and bladder. Click here to download and read more about grapes and health.

Keep grapes refrigerated. Store them unwashed and avoid storing them next to onions or leeks or anything with a strong odor. Like most berries, grapes tend to absorb odors. Rinse them just before eating them or using them in a recipe.

I am pleased to share that with this posting I am entering the "Fall in Love with Grapes” recipe contest. When deciding what to create for this contest, I looked at the various recipe categories and realized that I have never used grapes in a soup before. This sounded to me like an interesting challenge. Make a soup recipe using fresh grapes. Just a few days ago one of my girlfriends told me about a soup she made using fresh corn and wild rice. This inspired me to create a similar recipe, adding red grapes to the dish. Of course, green or black grapes could be used in place of the red grapes I used in this recipe.

This is a fairly hearty soup, but only has 250 calories for a large bowl. Although I used fresh corn on the cob, you can easily use frozen corn, allowing you to make this dish anytime this fall or winter. For the wild rice in this soup, I found a package of precooked wild rice manufactured by Fall River Wild Rice for only $3.39 for a 10.5 oz package (2 cups cooked), making this a relatively fast dish to assemble and serve.

Here’s a picture of the wild rice package:
Wild Rice Used in Corn Chowder Recipe

Here’s the full recipe:

Corn Chowder with Wild Rice and Grapes

Ingredients:
6 slices lower sodium turkey bacon
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 medium sweet onion, peeled and diced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tsp fresh or dried rosemary, minced
4 cups fresh or frozen corn, thawed if frozen
5 cups lower sodium chicken broth
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 cups cooked wild rice
1 cup seedless red or green grapes, halved

Directions:
Cook bacon in Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, turning as needed. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

Add oil to Dutch oven. Add onion and sweet potato and cook over medium-low heat, covered and stirring occasionally, until onion and sweet potato soften, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and rosemary and cook for 1 minute. Add corn, chicken broth, and pepper and bring to a simmer.

Carefully transfer half of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Add pureed mixture back to Dutch oven. Stir in wild rice and grapes and heat just until warm throughout. Ladle into soup bowls. Garnish each bowl with 1 strip of crumbled turkey bacon.

Makes 6 servings (about 1-2/3 cups each or 10 cups total)

Nutrition Information per Serving: 250 calories, 6 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 4g dietary fiber, 9 g protein, and 415 mg sodium. One serving of this low cost recipe provides a good source of protein, fiber, B-6 folate, and vitamin C.

Cost per Serving: $1.78
Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices except grapes were on sale for $0.99 per pound and corn was on sale, 5 ears for $1.99.

Click here to download and print a copy of this Corn Chowder with Wild Rice and Grapes recipe.
Be sure to check out these other California Grape contest entries.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Breaking Bad

There is a cool article on the food and colors associated with Breaking Bad. Check this out at http://wp.me/p3Mwkj-qY

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Refrigerator Zucchini Pickles


Refrigerator Zucchini Pickles
Raising the Bar on food in a jar is the Recipe Redux theme for August.

I have an abundance of zucchini. I only planted one zucchini plant in my own vegetable garden, but also get zucchini in my weekly CSA package. So when I learned about the theme of this month’s Recipe Redux, I decided to make zucchini pickles.
I did some web surfing and came across a recipe from McCormick for refrigerator bread and butter pickles. I started with this recipe for my inspiration because it seemed easier than “traditional” pickle recipes. You simply put thinly sliced cucumbers (zucchini in my case) in a canning jar, heat a mixture of white vinegar, sugar and spices and pour it over the cuke slices. Then you put the jar in the refrigerator and shake it once a day for 3 to 5 days. No real canning involved. However, this means the jar must be kept refrigerated, but it is good for up to 2 months.
Here are photos of the preparation
Preparation of Refrigerator Zucchini Pickles
 
I was very pleased with the way the zucchini pickles came out. A new way to enjoy zucchini!
 
Here is the complete recipe:

                   Refrigerator Zucchini Pickles


Ingredients:

2 pounds zucchini, trimmed

2/3 cup agave syrup or honey

3 cups distilled white vinegar

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

2 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp mixed pickling spice

2 tsp mustard seed

2 tsp ground turmeric

2 tsp dried dill weed

 
Directions:

 Using mandolin or knife, carefully slice zucchini into 1/16th-inch slices. Divide sliced zucchini equally between two clean quart size canning jars. Mix remaining ingredients in medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Reduce to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour vinegar mixture over zucchini in jars, leaving at least 1/4-inch headspace. Let cool. Screw on metal lids and shake to distribute contents. Refrigerate pickles. Shake jars once a day for 3 to 5 days to redistribute seasonings. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 months.

 
Makes 2 quarts (16 servings).

 Nutrition Information per Serving (1/16th of recipe):
66 calories,0 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g dietary fiber, 1 g protein, and 274 mg sodium. One serving of this low cost recipe provides a good source of vitamin C.

Cost per Serving: $0.39

Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices.
 
Click here to download and print a copy of this recipe.
 
Be sure to check out these other canned favorites from fellow Recipe Reduxers.

 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Nothing Says Summer Like Popsicles - Avocado Raspberry Popsicles

 


Avocado Raspberry Popsicles

Disclaimer: I received free samples of California Avocado mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Avocado and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
 
I grew up in Southern California where Hass avocados are widely available. My brother used to rent a house that had several avocado trees  on the property and he’d let me pick as many as I could carry in a large grocery paper bag. What great memories I have from those days.

There are many reasons to love avocados. I love their taste and creamy texture. They’re also loaded with “good” monounsaturated fats, the predominant type of fat found in Mediterranean-style diets. A one-ounce serving, or 1/5 of a medium avocado provides 3 grams of monounsaturated fat and 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat. Contrary to some beliefs, one serving of avocado is only 50 calories, provides 2 grams of fiber, and has no sodium or cholesterol.

California avocados are in peak season from March through September, making them perfect for summer gatherings.

Because avocados provide “healthy” fats, they are a good substitute for unhealthy saturated fats. So, for instance, try spreading avocado on your toast or bagel in the morning instead of butter, or use mashed avocado instead of mayonnaise on your sandwich bread, or dip raw veggies into guacamole instead of a sour cream-based dip. Although I haven’t yet tried this, I’ve read that avocado can be substituted for butter or oil in baked good recipes, such as cookies, cakes or muffins. “Though the result may vary slightly by recipe, you can use a one-to-one substitution of avocado for butter, however when substituting avocado for oil it may be necessary to add another liquid to balance the recipe and "thin out" thicker batters or mixes.”[1]

To me, nothing says summer better than popsicles. Here is a recipe for cool and creamy Avocado Popsicles.  I don’t have any fancy popsicle molds, so I simply use 5-ounce Dixie cups with a wooden stick. Foil over the top of the cup helps to hold the sticks upright while freezing. This recipe takes about 10 minutes to prepare. I love the combination  of raspberries and avocados in a green salad, so I used those two flavors in this popsicle recipe. It’s so easy, but looks impressive. One popsicle is only 129 calories and provides a good source of protein, fiber, and vitamin C.
Step one is to blend together one ripe peeled and seeded California Avocado in a blender with honey and an individual container of coconut vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt and pour into cups (or a popsicle mold.  Cover with foil, insert wooden stick and freeze for 2 hours.
 



 
Step One

Step two is to blend together fresh or frozen raspberries with an individual container of raspberry nonfat Greek yogurt and then spoon this mixture over the top of the frozen avocado mixture. Top with foil and freeze for 2 hours.
 
Step Two
 
Here is the complete recipe.

Avocado Raspberry Popsicles

Prep Time: about 10 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes

 

Ingredients:

1 ripe Fresh California Avocado, seeded and peeled

1 tablespoon honey

1 5.3-ounce container toasted coconut vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt

1 5.3-ounce container raspberry or strawberry nonfat Greek yogurt

1 cup fresh or frozen red raspberries

4 5-ounce paper cups

4 flat wooden sticks

 

Instructions:


Step One:

 
Combine avocado, coconut vanilla yogurt, and honey in blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Divide mixture evenly among paper cups. Tap cups gently on counter to make avocado mixture even within cups and to eliminate any air pockets. Cover cups with foil and insert stick into center of each cup. Freeze for 2 hours or until completely frozen.


Step Two:

 
When first layer is frozen, remove foil from pops. Combine strawberry yogurt and raspberries in blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Spoon mixture into each cup over the frozen avocado layer. Again cover cups with foil with sticks poking through center. Freeze until completely frozen, about 2 hours.

 
To eat, peel off paper cups. Enjoy.

 
Serves: 4

 

Nutrition Information per serving:

 
129 calories, 5 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 3 g monounsaturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 28 mg sodium, 302 mg potassium, 14 g total carbohydrates, 4 g dietary fiber, 9 g total sugars, 9 g protein, 1.2% DV vitamin A, 18.5% DV vitamin C, 8.7% DV calcium, 2.5% DV iron, 0 % DV vitamin D, 9.2% DV folate, and 0.04 g omega 3 fatty acids.

Click here to download and print a copy of this recipe.

Check out these other avocado summer delights.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

EZ Bean Brownies A Favorite for Travel

EZ Bean Brownies Great for Snacking


The theme for Recipe Redux this month is “Have Snacks. Will Travel.” Thanks to Karmen Meyer @Nutrition Adventures for this month’s inspiration!

 

 

For me, my definition of a good travel snack is a snack you can eat with one hand, not need tons of napkins to eat it, and is best if it has dark chocolate in it.

 

 

One of my favorite snacks is brownies but I don’t just prepare a packaged mix as directed. I substitute a can of rinsed black beans for the oil. By substituting canned beans for the oil normally called for on the package, this recipe saves 20 calories and 4.3 g of fat per brownie and adds additional fiber and protein. And it costs only $0.18 per serving.

 

 

Here’s the EZ Bean Brownie recipe:

 

E-Z Bean Brownies

Ingredients:

 

 

1 15 oz. can cooked beans, drained and rinsed well (I use black beans or dark red kidney beans)

 

2 large eggs

 

¼ cup water

 

1 19-1/2 oz. package chocolate fudge brownie mix

 

1/4 cup bittersweet 60% cocoa chocolate chips

 

 

 

 

 

Directions:

 

 

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9 X 9-inch baking pan with foil; then spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Place the drained beans in the bowl of a food processor; process until smooth and creamy.  In a large bowl combine the pureed beans, eggs, water, and brownie mix; stir just until smooth, about 50 strokes.  Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the edges start to pull away from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Top cooked brownies with chocolate chips as soon as remove from oven. Spread in even layer with spatula. Let cool completely. Lift out of pan and cut into squares.

 

 

 

Makes 20 Servings

 

 

 

Nutrition Information per Serving (1/20 of recipe):

 

150 calories, 3.8 g total fat, 0.6 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1.6 g dietary fiber, 3.0 g protein, and 134 mg sodium.

 

 

 

Cost per Serving (1/20 recipe): $0.18

 

Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices except for the brownie mix (on sale for $1.50 a box).


 
Plate of EZ Bean Brownies

Click here to download and print a copy of this recipe.

 

Be sure to check out these other healthier snack recipes from fellow dietitians.