Every since we started back at the gym a few weeks back my cravings for sweets have been out of control. In an attempt to keep my calorie and fat intake in check and still allow for the occasion indulgence, I’ve been working on low fat and low calorie recipes. These muffins are the first of many to come. The use of non-dairy yogurt replaces a good portion of the fat that would usually be found in a muffin recipe allowing these little gems to have only 3 tablespoons of oil for the entire batch of a dozen muffins. The addition of lemon keeps these taste bright and fresh. Coming in at just slightly over 160 calories, you may find yourself reaching for more than one…
Lemon Raspberry Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
- 1 6-ounce container of vanilla or raspberry non-dairy yogurt
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- Juice of one lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 1 1/4 cups fresh raspberries
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the yogurt, milk, lemon juice, canola oil and lemon zest until smooth.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Add the dry mixture to the yogurt mixture and fold just to combine.
Add the fresh raspberries and gently fold to incorporate into the batter.
Using a large ice cream scoop or spoon evenly distribute the batter among the lined muffin cups.
Bake for 20-25 minutes on the center rack until lightly golden and a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Once cooled, store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Nutritional Information: (per muffin) 161.1 Calories (kcal); 4.1g Total Fat; 3g Protein; 28.5g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 171.6mg Sodium; 1.6g Fiber.
Sinfully Chocolatey Banana Bread
Makes 2 loaves (approximately 8 servings per loaf)
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon flax seeds, ground
- 1 tablespoon wheat germ, toasted
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup almond milk, or other non-dairy milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 medium)
- 6 tablespoons hot espresso, freshly brewed *see note
- 1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease or line 2 standard sized loaf pans with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl combine mashed bananas, canola oil, brown sugar, almond milk, salt, and vanilla and stir to combine.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, flax seed, and wheat germ. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and gently stir just to combine, there should still be some visible streaks of the flour mixture. Gently fold in the hot espresso and chocolate chips until even distributed and the batter is smooth.
Divide the batter evenly among the two prepared loaf pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until a toothpick/cake tester inserted into the center comes our clean. Baking times my vary slight depending on the type of pan used so be sure to plan accordingly (see note).
Allow the loaves to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before un-molding and transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Tightly wrapped loaves will keep at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.
A note about the espresso, if you’re worried that it will make your banana bread taste like coffee, rest assured it won’t The quantity of espresso is far too small to lend any distinct flavor. What it does do however is help balance out the flavor of the chocolate, the same way a dash of salt will round out the flavors in baking, the same is true for coffee in regards to chocolate. Coffee compliments chocolate beautifully while accentuating the flavor without really lending any flavor of its own. If you’re still not convinced, the coffee can be replaced by an equal measure of hot water.
A note about baking pans. The pan use choose will definitly impact the cooking time of your loaves. Metal which has the thinest walls and conducts heat the fastest will have a shorter baking time as opposed to glass. Stone on the other hand, my personal favorite, will have the greatest baking time of all three. Stone does however offer the advantage that it is harder to burn your baked goods. Also worth noting is that stoneware pans also promote even browning and also baked goods to retain more of their moisture. Regardless of the pan you choose, always start with the shortest baking and then check periodically with a toothpick or cake tester.
Makes about 96 bars
- 10 ounces (scant 2 cups) dried Black Mission figs, finely chopped
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups quick-cooking oats, uncooked
- 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 2/3 cup dark molasses
- 6 tablespoons Earth Balance (or other non-dairy margarine)
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup wheat germ, lightly toasted
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin-pie spice (recipe below)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 cups walnut halves, finely chopped
Hard Sauce Glaze
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons warm water
Prepare Figgy Bars: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 13″ by 9″ baking pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line pans with parchment paper, extending paper 2 inches over short sides of pans; coat paper lightly with spray.
In 4-quart saucepan, combine figs and water; heat to boiling over high heat. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in oats. Stir sugar, molasses, and Earth Balance into fig mixture until blended. Stir in applesauce. Add flour, wheat germ, pumpkin-pie spice, salt, baking soda, and baking powder, and stir until combined. Stir in walnuts. Divide batter equally between prepared pans; spread evenly.
Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 23 to 26 minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare Hard Sauce Glaze: In small bowl, stir confectioners’ sugar, brandy, vanilla, and water until blended.
Remove bars from pans by lifting edges of foil; transfer on foil to racks. Brush hot pastries with glaze. Cool completely.
When cool, cut each lengthwise into 4 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 6 rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally in half to make 96 triangles. Store in tightly sealed container, with waxed paper between layers, at room temperature up to 1 week or in refrigerator up to 1 month.
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Combine spices in a small bowl mix thoroughly to combine. Store in an air tight container in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.
Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti
Makes about 2 dozen
- 1/4 cup almond, or other nondairy milk
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skins removed, and chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the milk and flax seeds until smooth. Add the oil, sugar, and vanilla and mix to combine.
Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Stir to form a smooth dough, and then knead in the chocolate chips and hazelnuts, pushing any pieces that pop out back into the dough.
Form a log about 10-inches long by 4-inches wide on the baking sheet, using a rubber spatula to even the edges and flatten the ends. Bake for 30 minutes until the log in firm and puffed. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack, turn off the oven and allow the log to cool for at least 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Very carefully slide the cooled log off the lined baking sheet and onto a cutting board. With a sharp, heavy serrated knife cut the log into 1/2-inch thick slices, using one quick and firm motion, pressing down into the log.
Very gentled move the slices back to the baking sheet, standing them on their bottom edge if possible. Bake the slices for 26 to 28 minutes. The slices should appear dry and any visible nut pieces should appear lightly toasted. Allow the biscotti to cool for 15 minutes on the backing sheet and then carefully more to wire racks to cool completely.
Once cooled store in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months.
Makes about 3 pints
- 4 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and diced into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup warm water
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together brown sugar, lemon juice, ground cinnamon and 3/4 cup of hot water to combine. Add chopped apples and gently stir to coat the apples in the sugar mixture.
Place the apple mixture on prepared baking sheet and distribute into a single layer.
Bake for 40 minutes or until the apples are tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
In the bowl of a food processor combine the roasted apples with the agave nectar. With the food processor running, slowly add the warm water through the feed tube until the fixture is smooth and the desired consistency. You may find that you don’t need to use all the water, depending on the variety of apples used. The mixture should be loose and smooth but not runny.
The apple sauce can be stored in the refrigerator in airtight containers for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 6 months.
Chocolate Chai Donuts
Makes about 15-18 donuts
- 1/3 cup canola oil, plus more for brushing the donut trays
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- 1 1/4 cups + 2 teaspoons unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons hot chai infusion (see below)
Preheat oven to 325°F and brush 3 six-mold donut trays with canola oil and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa power, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the apple sauce, canola oil, vanilla, and hot chai infusion and mix with a rubber spatula just until the ingredients are combined.
Using a small scoop or tablespoon fill each donut mold with 2 1/2 tablespoons of batter and spread evenly.
Bake for 16 minutes rotating the trays halfway through the baking time.
If you plan on coating your donuts in powder or granulated sugar let them cool in the mold for 5 minutes. If you plan on dipping or glazing your donuts let them cool in the molds for 5 minutes before un-molding and transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely, about 15 minutes longer.
Once dipped in the glaze, allow the the glaze to set for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Glazed donuts will keep at room temperature in an airtight container separated with layers of parchment paper for up to three days.
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 chai tea bags
Place the tea bags and boiling water in a small bowl and allow to steep for 10-15 minutes depending on the strength of the tea being used. Set aside and reheat when ready to add to the donut batter.
Chocolate Chai Glaze
- 1 1/2 cups of powdered (icing) sugar
- 3-5 tablespoons chai infusion
- 2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder (unsweetened)
Combine the sugar, 3 tablespoons of the chai infusion, and cocoa powder in a small bowl and whisk to combine. If the glaze is too thick, add half a tablespoon of the remaining chai infusion at a time until the desired thickness is reached. If the glaze is too thin, add a 1/4 cup additional sugar at a time until the desired thickness is reached. Glaze can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to three days.
- 12 ounces vanilla soy milk
- 1/4 teaspoon arrowroot power (optional)
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
- 2 green cardamon pods
- 4 black peppercorns
- 3/4 inch piece of fresh ginger, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons evaporated cane juice, Turbinado sugar, or agave
- 1-2 sachets of organic whole leaf black tea (See note)
- 1-2 ounces of espresso (See note)
In a small sauce pan, whisk together the soy milk and arrowroot, set stove to medium heat and bring the mixture to a very gentle simmer.
Using a mortar and pestle lightly crush the cardamon pods and black peppercorns, add to the soy mixture along with the cinnamon stick, ginger and sugar. Simmer for about eight minutes stirring often.
Remove from the heat and add the tea sachet(s) and steep for 5 minutes.
Strain out the tea sachets and spices, reheat if necessary. Pour into warmed mug(s) and top off with espresso. Adjust sweetness according to taste and enjoy.
Tip: If you’d like to dress it up a little, once the soy milk mixtures is done steeping and has been strained it can be refrigerated for up to a day and then steamed with an espresso machines to make it extra frothy and delicious.