Tag Archives: Healthy dessert

Finals: Survival Mode

First of all, I just want to thank you all for the sweet comments on my last post. Y’all are truly the best.

*

You know that biochemistry lab I have been bitching about for the last 9 weeks? Well, it is finally over. Completely. No more labs. No more lab reports. No more mid-protein-assay break downs. No more quizzes. And no more final.

I had so much anxiety about the final that it caused me to stress eat. Stress eating is something that I think is very common amongst women (especially school-aged), and is even more prevalent around midterms and finals. However, I usually don’t have much of a problem with it. I’ve found that if you fill up on mostly balanced and nutritious foods during the day, you don’t really have all that much room to cram in froyo, cookies, and brownie bars. But this lab final bypassed all that logic and sensibility and had me scouring our kitchen for anything with a 6 carbon chain and a hydroxyl group on the end. (AKA sugaaaaaa.) After a day or two of that, enough was enough. I decided to make something that was sweet, but actually satisfying and healthy to boot. And thus, the personal blueberry pie was born.

Comfort food at its best

This little pie is sugar free, made from whole grains, and packs a punch of antioxidants. Sweet and delicious. Best of all, it can be made in under 5 minutes flat, if you want. The blubes burst in the microwave (or oven) and soak the granola and coconut in sweet blueberry juice. [Since it is sugar free, all you bloggers who are doing Alex's sugar free challenge can feel free to imbibe in this lil' beauty!]

5 ingredients – say whattt?!

Personal Vanilla Blueberry Pie

suga free and supa easy.

Recipe: Serves 1

3/4 cup blueberries (I am obsessed with Rhythm and Blueberries, if you’re local!)

2 tbsp plain greek yogurt

4-5 drops vanilla NuNaturals stevia (or regular stevia + a few drops vanilla extract)

2 tbsp Love Grown Granola + 2 tbsp high fiber cereal (I used Fiber One Honey Clusters)

1-2 tbsp unsweetened coconut shreds

pinch salt

Directions – In a bowl, combine the blueberries, greek yogurt, stevia, and salt. Mix well. Scrape into a small ramekin. Top with granola, cereal, and coconut. To cook, either microwave for 1 minute (or until the blueberries have burst) or bake at 350 for about 8-10 minutes. Enjoy with a dollop of whipped cream!

my precious… 

Benefits:

Blueberries * have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of all fruits and veggies. Their anthocyanidins counteract free radicals, which damage cells and tissues. One study demonstrated that blueberries improve memory and learning capacity in aging animals. They also protect against all forms of cancer, especially colon and ovarian cancer.

Oats * A prime source of soluble fiber which has been proven to help lower total cholesterol levels. They also contain a unique antioxidant called avenanthramides which prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. This is good because the oxidation of LDL cholesterol is part of the atherosclerosis process. Basically, oats help prevent heart disease. They also contain selenium, potassium, phosphorous, pantothenic acid, and magnesium.

[source]

I have been meaning to do a review of Love Grown Food’s granola for ages now. They kindly sent me two flavors: Raisin Almond Crunch and Sweet Cranberry Pecan. Honestly, both were so good that this was the only recipe I was able to make with them before my housemates polished it all off! I am not usually a big granola fan, but Love Grown’s texture is really different – in a great way. It is very crunchy and light. And they don’t skimp on the goods, which is both rare and awesome. There are giant coconut flakes in every bite and each flavor had plenty of cranberries, raisins, and nuts. To top it all off, they don’t add any artificial flavors, HFCS or hydrogenated fats (blech) to their products. Definitely a fabulous granola.

I invented a cookie.

I have an obsession with all things vanilla bean. Vanilla bean gelato. Vanilla bean yogurt. Vanilla bean creme brulee. Cake. Oatmeal. Pudding. Vanilla bean infused buerre blanc. (Yes, I have had it, and it was too good for this Earth.)

I also have phases of being obsessed with tahini. I love how rich and savory it is! It goes extremely well on salads, veggies, eggs, oatmeal, basically anything.

One day about two weeks ago, genius slapped me in the face and screamed WHY HAVE YOU NEVER COMBINED TAHINI AND VANILLA BEAN BEFORE?

And thus, Vanilla Bean Tahini Cookies were born.

After I made these, I googled the name to see if anything came up. Nothing did.

THIS IS THE ONLY PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE YOU CAN GET THIS RECIPE!

Cookies made from whole wheat flour, tahini, and vanilla bean infused sugar and rolled in sesame seeds.

Over the last two weeks, I have made 4 batches of these cookies and basically have 2 very similar versions of the recipe. One is for a denser, more rich cookie (that I preferred) and one is for a more fluffy cookie (all the pictures). I recommend going for the more rich and dense version unless you really prefer fluffier, lighter cookies. I love them. They satisfy my sweet, savory, buttery, and nutty cravings all at once. When I gave the girls in my sorority some to try, they were a hit!

My victims:

Amanda, Sydnie, Marena, Me, Megan, Abby – Michelle, Sarah

(Hi Sydnie and Megan!)

DG approved. ;)

Recipe: Makes 8 cookies

(I am posting the denser version with the fluffy alterations in parenthesis)

Wet ingredients – 

1 tbsp butter, melted    (1/2 tbsp butter, melted)

3 tbsp tahini  (2 1/2 tbsp tahini)

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

Dry ingredients – 

1/4 cup vanilla bean infused sugar + plus extra for rolling in

1/2 cup white whole wheat flour

1/8 tsp salt

no baking soda (fluffy uses 1/8 tsp baking soda)

1/4 cup sesame seeds (to roll in)

Directions – Preheat the oven to 350. Combine all the wet ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add in the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until well combined. Next, take out a plate and spread the sesame seeds over it. Sprinkle in some extra vanilla bean sugar and salt (if you love it like I do). Take a spoonful of dough and roll into a ball. Roll in the sesame seed/sugar/salt mixture and lightly flatten onto cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes (1o max). Don’t overcook!

If you don’t have vanilla sugar: scrape the seeds from half a vanilla bean into the wet ingredients and use regular sugar.

If you don’t have vanilla beans: Buy some. Or… if you must, add an extra 2 tsp of vanilla extract

How to make vanilla bean sugar:

Method 1: Take 4 vanilla beans and scrape seeds into 1 pound of sugar. Chop up the bean pods and throw into a food processor with the sugar. Let process until the vanilla bean pods are a homogenous part of the sugar. Store in an air tight container and let flavors meld for 1-2 weeks, if possible.

Method 2: Scrape seeds from 1 vanilla bean into 1-2 cups of sugar. Place the empty bean pod and sugar in a jar and let flavors meld for 1-2 weeks, if possible.

Words and photos can’t do justice. 


Benefits – HELL YES COOKIES HAVE BENEFITS:

Tahini * a good source of essential unsaturated fatty acids, copper, iron, calcium, fiber and B vitamins. Copper is good for treating some of the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Magnesium can help lower blood pressure and help women going through menopause maintain normal sleeping patterns.

Sesame seeds * have the highest content of phytosterols of all nutsPhytosterols look similar to cholesterol and are believed to lower cholesterol levels, aid in immunity and decrease the risk of some cancers!

Whole wheat flour * unlike refined flour, whole wheat flour has more B vitamins, fiber, folic acid, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, copper, and iron. Whole grains reduce your risk for diabetes and have also been linked to weight loss and maintaining a lower BMI.

Anddd a Nina photo to get you through today:

my little shoe destroyer

And a weekend photo to get you through to Friday:

Spring formal! Me, Sara, Erin, Noelle, Danielle…and sketchy couple?

(Make the cookies.)

Inspired #1: Sunflower butter cookies & crustless pumpkin pie!

This is the first post of a sporadic series of my creations inspired by other bloggers. I have been following Lori for almost a year now; she was one of my firsts! ;) As soon as I saw her sunflower butter cookies and crustless pumpkin pie, I bookmarked them under “Must. Make.”

A light, feel good dessert.

To a whole other level of delicious.

Lori’s Crustless Pumpkin Pie (with my alterations)

Recipe: Serves 2

2 cups 1 cup canned pumpkin

3 1 egg

3 tbsp date syrup 3 tbsp maple syrup (you can use Joseph’s sugar free maple syrup!)

1 tsp vanilla extract

cinnamon

10 drops stevia pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp himalayan sea salt 1/4 tsp baking powder

Directions – Mix all ingredients together and pour into a greased mini loaf dish. Drizzle some extra syrup on top for a pretty effect. Bake at 365 for 35-45 minutes.

No justice.

The cookies are high fiber, low carb, and healthy fat packed! In addition to delicious, of course. I love the texture; chewy and soft with a crisp outer ring. They need to be eaten warm for maximal mmmmmm factor.

I changed up the recipe quite a bit, but the original can be found here.

Sunflower Butter Cookies

Recipe: Makes 5-6 cookies

¼ cup whole wheat white flour

¼ cup ground flax

2 tsp vanilla

¼ cup maple syrup

2 tbsp sunflower butter

Directions – Mix all of the ingredients together. Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 for 10 minutes.

Make these cookies. You wont regret it.

Benefits:

Sunflower butter * extremely high in vitamin E, B1, manganese, magnesium, copper, tryptophan (relaxing!), and selenium. It is mainly composed of the polyunsaturated fats, which are good for raising HDL and lowering LDL levels! Also contain phytosterols which help lower cholesterol.

Flax * contains lots of fiber and more omega 3′s (the healthy fats) than anygrain! Omega 3′s (specifically alpha linolenic acid) which can reduce inflammation and are used to prevent blood clots, lower cholesterol, and increase cell plasticity (which can help diabetics). Also high in B vitamins and magnesium.

Pumpkin * An impressive source of vitamins A and C and iron, manganese, and riboflavin! Also is high in fiber.

Whole wheat flour * The outer bran layer in whole grains is where the fiber, vitamins, and minerals are, which is why you should ditch the white.