Have you ever been reading through a magazine or newspaper and found a recipe you think looks good, so you tear it out to try later? And over time that one recipe turns into a mountain of recipes to try? This recipe comes from the dusty depths of our “to try” pile!
These chewy bites are absolutely INCREDIBLE! The pumpkin…the nut butter…the cranberries…it is like all the flavors of fall in one sweet and chewy treat. I honestly don’t know how one batch of these has lasted me all semester. So divine!
Pumpkin Goody Two Chews
- 1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp. almond butter/peanut butter
- 1/3 cup 100% pure maple syrup
- 2 egg whites
- 1 & 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 & 1/2 cups granola*
*The recipe recommends Nature’s Path “Pumpkin FlaxPlus Granola” for this recipe, however it is not gluten-free. So I substituted in a bag of Love Grown Foods “Apple Walnut Coconut Delight” granola and the chewy bites turned out just as good!
- Preheat oven to 250F. Spray or line a 12-cup muffin tin and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat together peanut butter and maple syrup on medium speed with an electric mixer. Add egg whites and spice and beat again until smooth. Stir in granola and cranberries. Mix until evenly coated.
- Divide mixture evenly between 12 muffin cups. Bake on middle rack of oven for 45 minutes (your house will smell amazing as these bake!) Remove from oven and let cool completely before removing clusters from pan. Store in an airtight container. They also freeze really well!
*Credit for this recipe goes to Janet and Greta Podleski, authors of the “Looneyspoons”, “Eat Shrink & Be Merry” and “Crazy Plates” cookbooks. Their recipes are frequently featured in Readers Digest magazine, where we found this recipe!
I am pretty confident that none of you will disagree with me when I say that there really is nothing like a slice of pizza sometimes. There’s the oozing cheese, the warm chewy crust, the mouthwatering smell…I may or may not be drooling a little just thinking about it! Mmm mmm mmm! This simple recipe puts a new twist on pizza by replacing the traditional bread crust with meat to give a more hearty pie. I admit it does sound a bit weird, but I can assure you that it still has all the pizza smell and flavour you love!
The only real disappointment is that Meatloaf Pizza definitely requires a knife and fork – there is no finger licking with this pizza!
Meatloaf Pizza freezes exceptionally well, which makes it easy to grab when time is tight, and is also great for school lunches!
- 1 cup Compliments Balance Tomato & Herbs Pasta Sauce, divided
- 1/3 cup gluten-free oats
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 lb. extra lean ground chicken/turkey
- 1 cup shredded mozarella cheese
- 2 cups your choice of assorted vegetables (e.g. red & green peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, etc.)
- Pepperoni (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Place 3 Tbsp. pasta sauce in a large bowl and add oatmeal, egg, garlic and Italian seasoning. Crumble in the beef and mix to gently combine. Press evenly onto a 12″ rimmed pizza pan.
- Spread the remaining sauce evenly over the beef. Sprinkle with cheese and top with vegetables.
- Bake on the lowest rack, for 15-20 minutes or until the pizza is set and the cheese is bubbly.
- Cut into wedges and serve!
Except for maybe five or six days, I didn’t eat breakfast all summer. Nope. I DRANK breakfast. I juiced everyday for breakfast and I loved it. It took away the whole “what to have for breakfast” dilemma and made an easy on-the-go breakfast for those early mornings. Bonus, it was delicious and healthy! What better way to start your day than with a big glass overflowing with fruit and vegetable goodness!
When it came time to leave for school, deciding whether or not to bring a juicer was hard. It was something bulky, heavy and fragile to pack and fresh produce is so darn expensive I wasn’t sure a university budget could afford the extra produce juicing requires. In the end I decided that my body wouldn’t miss it that much, so I left it at home.
That turned out to be a mistake.
One month into the semester my body was doing not-so-wonderful things to let me know that it really missed the juice. So I bit the bullet and bought myself a brand new juicer – The Compact Breville Juice Fountain – and I absolutely LOVE it!
At home we have the Jack LaLanne Power Juice Express Plus and being the only juicer I’ve ever used, I thought it was pretty awesome. Well Mr. Jack is going to have to take a backseat now, because the Breville is taking over the awesome!
- The Breville is SO much more powerful than the Jack LaLanne juicer. The first time I used it I was actually scared because it was eating my the vegetables so fast! You barely need to push the plunger down to get things moving.
- On the same note, its power and chute size mean you don’t have to cut the vegetables as much as you do for the Jack LaLanne juicer. *The JL actually says you don’t have to cut the produce at all, but from personal experience I found that you actually do have to cut them up. It just doesn’t have the power to juice whole fruits and veggies.
- I really like the “compact” design. Not that the JL is much bigger in size but whenever I juice with the JL, it feels like I’m taking over the entire kitchen just to make a juice. I feel like there is less fuss and muss with the Breville.
- I love love LOVE the shape of the juicer, specifically the pulp collector. It is SUPER easy to clean compared to the JL. There are so many nooks, crannies and corners in the JL, but the Breville is like a doughnut and completely round. No corners for pulp to get stuck in!
The only negative-ish thing I would say about the Breville is that the juices are really frothy for some reason. However, the juice jug it comes with has a special lid on it that supposedly reduces the foam but I have yet to use it, because…well, I don’t really know why. Ha. I think when I first got it, I thought that the jug wouldn’t be big enough to hold all my juice so I just use a glass measuring cup instead, like I do with the Jack LaLanne juicer. I really should try it with the jug one day and see if it makes a difference. Not that froth is a super big deal though, just means you need to stir your juice occasionally as you drink it!
Other than that, I give the Compact Breville Juice Fountain 4/4 stars (or is it 5/5 stars? I never know.) Anyways, a definite two thumbs up!
What kind of juicer do you use? Do you love it?
Read about the reasoning behind juicing here!
Read about the difference between juicing and blending here!
Feel a cold coming on with the changing season? Try this Fresh Juice for Colds & Flu!
These sweet potato oatmeal bars may seem like a strange way to eat potatoes, but I can assure you that after one whiff of their warm, spicy smell or one mouthwatering bite of their sweetness, you will forget that there are even potatoes in them!
Cut this sweet treat into smaller bars for a filling snack, or into bigger squares for a scrumptious dessert!
Sweet Potato Oatmeal Bars
- 2 cups of cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill wheat-free oats)
- 1 cup flour (Last time I made these I used coconut flour and it was seriously the best these bars have ever tasted!)
Preheat oven to 350F. Place sweet potatoes, 1/4 cup of maple syrup and 1 tsp. of cinnamon in a food processor and mix until smooth. In a medium bowl, mix oats, flour and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Mix remaining 1/4 cup of syrup, oil and water separately and add to dry. Mix until well combined. Divide dough in half.
Oil an 8×8″ baking dish and press half the dough into the bottom. Spread the sweet potato mixture over the dough evenly. Crumble the remaining half of the dough evenly over sweet potato and press gently. Bake for 20 minutes, until slightly crisp on top and golden. Let cool before serving.
*Be sure to refrigerate or freeze any leftovers!
This week at school I had a guest speaker in my nutrition class who talked about maple syrup. What he shared was really interesting so I thought I’d share it with you all!
To start with, I think it is safe to say that Canada and maple syrup are pretty much synonymous. Maple syrup is one of the first things people think of when they think of Canada. The Canadian flag even boasts the leaf of the sugar maple, which is the main tree maple syrup comes from! This makes it no surprise that Canada is the major producer of maple syrup in the world, accounting for 85% of the world’s maple syrup production. Interestingly, this production comes from only four of the ten provinces: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The other 15% of syrup production comes from the Northeastern part of the United States.
History of Maple Syrup
Maple syrup was discovered by the Native population, but there is no written history about its discovery so the belief is that it was probably discovered by accident. Today, the basic use of the tree sap is for maple syrup but back then they had no container to store such a thing, so they preserved food by either salting it or drying it.
Native settlers took the tree sap, which is composed of 98% water and 2% sugar, and boiled it to remove all the water. The end product was a hard block of maple sugar. A piece could then be broken off and boiled in water to make syrup, or simply grated to make sugar.
Making Maple Syrup Today
Maple producers today tap anywhere from 5000 to 60,000 trees each! After a day of sap running (i.e. tapping), a truck comes and takes the sap to the sugar camp (building where sap is processed). The sap is boiled until it reaches the industry standard of at least 66% sugar, but no more than 68%, otherwise sugar crystals start to form and it is no longer “syrup”. When the product is finished (determined by temperature and gravity), the sap is drained, filtered and stored in stainless steel drums. These drums then wait to be purchased from companies who can bottle the syrup and sell it to customers!
Grades of Maple Syrup
If you have ever bought real maple syrup, you may have noticed that there were different colors. These different colors are called “grades.” At the beginning of the season the sap is very light, but darkens as the season continues. This means the chemistry of the sap is different every day of the season, and thus gives the different grades of syrup.
The darker the syrup, the stronger the flavor. We got to taste three different grades of syrup: amber (dark), medium and light. Nothing like shots of maple syrup at 9am!
Other Maple Products
Turns out maple syrup is not the only thing “maple” that is made from maple sap. The guest speaker showed us a variety of other products including maple butter, maple sugar, maple coffee, and surprisingly maple wine, maple pepper and maple barbecue sauce!
Health of Maple Syrup
As noted in my Natural Sweeteners post, maple syrup is indeed a much healthier option than white refined sugar because it is a natural product. The downside, is that it is low in nutrients compared to the energy it provides, so it is basically just a flavoring and/or sweetener. There really is no nutritional value.
There are over 75 varieties of maple trees but only 2-3 that can be used to make syrup – wow! Trees also have to be 50-75 years old before they can first be tapped, however once tapped, they can be tapped again and again for over 100 years!
It has been proven that the long-term income is greater from tapping the tree, than if you were to cut it down for timber or firewood. Interesting!
If you have never had real maple syrup, you better call your nearest Canadian friend and get them to send you some pronto! Its sweet taste has nothing on Mrs. Butterworth or Aunt Jemima!
I am proud to call a country with such a divine delicacy my home!