Simple Substitutions

We’ve all been there…you’re in the middle of making dinner or baking a pie and, Oopsie Daisy… we’re stuck without a much needed ingredient.  Have no fear, here’s a few simple substitutions you can use (instead) hehe, of the ingredient called for in the recipe…

When in Doubt…Opt for Greek plain yogurt when you need:

Soup Base: 2 Tbsp. Rice Flour and 1 cup Greek plain yogurt

Cream Cheese: Strain plain Greek yogurt in cheesecloth; cover and place into the fridge for 24 hours.

Sour Cream: Plain Greek yogurt and 1 tsp. baking soda added to your dry ingredients

Mayonnaise: 1 cup Greek plain yogurt, sea salt, pepper, 1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard

Other Substitutions

1 clove Garlic: 1/6 tsp. garlic powder

1 Tbsp. Fresh Herbs: 2 Tbsp. dried herbs

1 tsp. All Spice: 1/4 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1 cup honey: 1 cup agave nectar or 1-1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup warm water

1 tsp. Lemon juice: 1/2 tsp. White vinegar

1 cup Dry Bread Crumbs: 1 cup crushed crackers, cereal, corn chips, rice chips

OR

1 cup Dry Bread Crumbs: 2 slices of bread, toasted in the oven, then crumbled or sliced into cubes

1 oz. Baking chocolate: 1 oz. raw cacao nibs

OR

1 oz. Baking chocolate: 3 Tbsp. cocoa and 2 tsp. butter or ghee

1 cup Buttermilk: 1 cup milk (or 1 cup Greek plain yogurt) mixed with 1 Tbp. white vinegar; let sit for 20 minutes.

1 cup Self-Raising Flour: 1 cup all purpose flour mixed with 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. Arrowroot: 1 Tbsp. Flour and 1-1/2 tsp. cornstarch

1 Tbsp. Flour for thickening: 1-1/2 tsp. cornstarch or arrowroot

1 tsp. Baking powder: 1/3 tsp. baking soda and 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

Whole Eggs: Two egg whites for each whole egg and 1 Tbsp. oil

In The News This Week…

Salt-Loving May Seeks to Trim it from NYC Diets

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Celestial Seasonings Explores Facebook “PossibiliTEAS”

Online Programs Can Boost Fruit and Vegetable Intake

Soda Fountains Contained Fecal Bacteria, Study Found

All Fibers May Not Be Created Equal

Target, Giada DeLaurentiis Launch Line of Cooking, Food Products

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Gingerbread Cookies

How adorable are these cute little gingerbread men and women? I couldn’t resist…as with every year I have to make my special gingerbread people.  It’s a fun, festive ritual that I take part in and enjoy every second of the process from grading cutting shapes with my cookie cutters to decorating the clothes and features on the gingerbread people.  Here is a wonderfully delicious gingerbread recipe that will surely compliment your gingerbread house this season.

I was so excited to make these gingerbread guys and gals because I used two of my new Open Sky products, my Winco Aluminum Rolling Pin, which was fabulous and created an even and smooth surface for my cookie cutters and my Copper Bowl, which was perfect for mixing my ingredients to create the gingerbread dough.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • ½ tsp. cloves
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. wheat germ
  • ¼ cup ground flax seeds
  • 1 stick butter, unsalted and softened
  • 1 tsp. honey or agave nectar
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar or stevia
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat several baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, flax seeds, wheat germ and salt; mix well. Beat butter, honey, oil and sugar in another large bowl with an electric mixer until it forms a creamy texture.
  • Add egg, molasses and balsamic vinegar; beat until combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Divide the dough into 4 equal portions, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • On a floured surface, roll each portion separately to create a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut cookies using cookie festive cutters. Combine scraps and roll dough again to make additional cookies.
  • Place cookies on baking sheets.
  • Bake the cookies, about 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • Decorate with icing and personalize each gingerbread man and woman.

In The News…

95% Celiac Disease Sufferers Go Undiagnosed

Companies Fall Short in Advertising Health Foods To Children

2010 Predicted Food Trends

Coffee and Tea May Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Try a One Size Fits All Dinner for Vegetarians and Meat Eaters

Chef Creates Healthy Pizza

Zucchini and Dark Chocolate Banana Bread

I have recently been contacted by Stonyfield to create some tasty recipes using their delicious yogurt.  I am a huge fan of Stonyfield’s Oikos Greek yogurt and my family loves the Stonyfield plain yogurt, as well.  Over the next week, I will be posting 5 of my favorite Stonyfield yogurt recipes…they’re perfect for this holiday season and a sure taste-bud pleaser so be sure to keep checking in over the next two weeks for my tasty and healthy Stonyfield recipes.

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup Stonyfield plain yogurt
  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 large ripe zucchini, shaved

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla and Stonyfield yogurt; mix well.
  • Slowly add in dry ingredients.  Add zucchini shavings and mashed banana; mix well.
  • Slowly fold in dark chocolate chips; stir until completely mixed.
  • Bake for 45-60 minutes or until golden brown and firm in the center.

Goin’ Gluten-Free…and $25 Gift-Certificate Giveaway

Avoiding gluten, the protein found in wheat as well as grains rye and barley can be a challenge, but there’s no need to wave goodbye to your favorite foods.  If you suffer from gluten intolerance or Celiac disease, you can build your diet from vegetables, rice, corn, legumes, fruit and other tasty gluten-free foods.


Vegetables, Fruits, Seeds and Nuts

All fresh vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts are gluten-free.  Be aware of packaged, processed vegetables and fruits such as jellies, preserves, soups, nut butters and processed, pre-made meals, which may contain gluten.  You can easily prepare homemade soups, salsa, smoothies, dressings, marinades, parfaits, casseroles, salads, chutneys and nut or seed butters using fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts in their natural state.  Green, leafy veggies such as kale, collards, chard and spinach are great options steamed as a side dish or tossed into a green smoothie.  Hearty veggies such as carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, squashes, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower and legumes are perfect for making chili or stew, while artichokes, avocado, asparagus, celery, Brussels sprouts, corn, peas and peppers are tasty in a stir-fry or stuffing.  As for fruits: apples, oranges, grapefruit, berries, melons, bananas, pears and peaches are a flavorsome addition to smoothies, desserts or parfaits with yogurt and nuts.  Try freezing grapes for a satisfying, refreshing treat and create a homemade trail mix using nuts, seeds and dried fruit for a convenient snack.  Looking for flavor? Fresh herbs add a powerful aroma and zesty taste to any dish; toss rosemary into marinades or cilantro into gazpacho.

Dairy, Eggs, Meat

Eggs and meats are gluten-free, however, be sure to read the ingredient list for processed meats such as luncheon meats, breaded variations and sausage, which may contain traces of gluten.  Dairy is gluten-free, as well, however processed dairy such as ice creams, yogurts and butters may contain gluten.  Enjoy any of the following in their natural state: chicken, beef, bison, ham, turkey, eggs, seafood, lamb, fish and wild game.

Flours and Grains

All forms of wheat, barley and rye contain gluten; however, there is a vast array of naturally gluten-free flours available, which are created from beans, seeds or nuts.  Oats are naturally gluten-free, however, cross-contamination may occur during processing, therefore purchase oats with the certified gluten-free label.  The following gluten-free flours and grains can be enjoyed guilt-free: rice, buckwheat, teff, corn flour, corn meal, lentils, flax seed, potato, polenta, millet, soy flour, tapioca, quinoa, amaranth, almond meal, arrowroot and gluten-free flour blends.  These gluten-free options require easy prep and can be used to create a hot breakfast, casserole, stir-fry or dessert.  If you have trouble adjusting to gluten-free varieties, try adding fruit puree such as canned pumpkin or prune to moisten and add flavor.

As a rule of thumb, steer clear of processed foods and reach for foods as close to the original source as possible.  Using fresh ingredients rather than pre-made, processed options is a safe way to ensure a gluten-free lifestyle.  Your best bet is to prepare meals at home so you have control over the ingredients and ensure there is no cross-contamination with gluten.


Regarding my $25 Give Certificate, the nice folks over at Open Sky are offering a limited time $25 Gift Certificate Promotion…so head on over to Open Sky and check out my fabulous products to use your $25 free gift certificate.   Here’s the information you’ll need to get shoppin’ at Open Sky and receive your $25 certificate:

The Healthy Apple’s coupon code is: talli2509

Rules:
–          $25 off coupon
–          Good for any OpenSky item
–          No minimum purchase
–          Free shipping
–          Limit one per customer
–          Starts: Monday, November 30, 2009

Pumpkin Bran Cookies

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Earlier this week I was in the mood for some serious pumpkin…it must be the fall foliage and autumn breeze that spark my yearning for harvest foods.  These are the days when Central Park is remarkably beautiful; the leaves turning beautiful shades of auburn and rust…reminds me of pumpkins and produce-packed cornucopias.  It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is next month, although we still have time to enjoy these October days I’m eager to whip up new tasty seasonal recipes.  And what better ingredient to use than good ‘ol pumpkin?

For this particular recipe I used canned pumpkin, which can easily be found in your food store.  Be sure not to purchase ‘Pumpkin Pie Mix’ because the can looks quite similar to regular ‘Pumpkin’.  I always reach for Libby’s canned pumpkin as it has a delectable taste and is incredibly delicious eaten directly out of the can (Yes, you caught me…I have been known to scoop a few spoonfuls of Libby’s right into my mouth).  In this case, try not to eat all of the pumpkin as you’ll need 1/3 cup for the recipe.  I do recommend, however, purchasing another can of Libby’s pumpkin as it is incredibly inexpensive and is wonderful when mixed with a dollop of Greek yogurt and cinnamon for a tasty treat.

I have yet to test this recipe with fresh pumpkin, however, I will be experimenting soon and I’ll be sure to fill you in on the recipe.  For this particular case, canned pumpkin is a perfect option for a quick and easy way to create these healthy treats.  When I’m short on time, but desire flavor I reach for canned pumpkin and it always does the trick.

As for the bran crumbs, they can also be found in your food store…just take a peak down the baking aisle and you’ll be amazed to see numerous boxes, all of which are perfect suited for this delectable recipe. Bran crumbs are a fantastic way to enrich your recipes with a hearty crunch and a dose of heart-healthy fiber.

Not only are these cookies incredibly tasty, but they’re chock full of fiber and pack scores of beta carotene, as well.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg (or egg substitute)
  • 1/2 cup rice milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup butter (or butter substitute), melted
  • 2 cups bran crumbs or (stale bread mashed into crumbs)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp. dried basil

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Sift together dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Combine wet ingredients, then add to dry mixture.
  • Slowly add melted butter and bran crumbs; mix well until it forms a cookie dough consistency.
  • Drop teaspoon sized spoonfuls of cookie dough onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until done.

There are ways to enjoy these fiber-ific pumpkin cookies.  Here are some of my favorites:

  • Pumpkin Cookies crumbled and sprinkled atop morning oatmeal, Greek yogurt and fruit parfait, applesauce or whipped banana pudding.
  • Frozen Greek yogurt sandwiched between 2 Pumpkin Cookies, then rolled in chopped nuts to make ‘Flying Saucers’.
  • Add soft baked Pumpkin Cookies (cut into quarters) to your trail mix or popcorn for a harvest taste.

What is your favorite way to enjoy fiber-rich cookies?