Depending on where you live, blueberry season may be here already or getting close. Baking with fresh blueberries is the best, and that’s why I chose to try a recipe called Continue reading
This is such an easy and healthy recipe for breakfast, a snack, or dessert! it’s from a new book called The SirtFood Diet. Before I received my review copy, I had never heart of “Sirtfoods.” In a nutshell, what I read in this book was that polyphenol nutrients from certain plants are good for us. And plants that have “noteworthy amounts” of sirtuin-activating polyphenols are called “Sirtfoods.” I know this sounds pretty technical, but the book gives a good explanation about all this. It also provides information about the top 20 Sirtfoods, along with other foods that are beneficial. I found that I actually like a lot of these foods, which include Arugula, Garlic, Green Tea, and even Cocoa!
This book explains that Sirtfoods, rich in special nutrients that help activate the same “skinny genes” in our bodies that fasting triggers, can help in effective weight loss–and so the Sirtfood Diet was created by nutritionists Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten. I haven’t tried the diet, so I can’t endorse it, but I’m sharing what the book says about it. The diet includes a plan for losing 7 pounds in seven days, along with keeping the weight off. There’s a recipe section that includes a good variety of healthy dishes–some even include chicken and beef. The authors also recommend having a good juicer to get the most benefits from this diet.
After looking through the recipe section, I decided to try this yogurt recipe because I loved all the ingredients and it was so simple to make. Simple as it is though, I actually made this recipe the wrong way! I put the berries over the yogurt instead of the yogurt over the berries! it does work better to put the yogurt over the berries as the recipe says, so be sure to layer the ingredients right! Even though I made this wrong, it does look pretty, doesn’t it? 🙂
YOGURT WITH MIXED BERRIES, CHOPPED WALNUTS, AND DARK CHOCOLATE from the SirtFood Diet
Makes 1 serving
- 1 1/3 cups mixed berries (I used some organic fresh strawberries and frozen blueberries)
- 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (or vegan alternative, such as soy or coconut yogurt)
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons dark chocolate (85 percent cocoa solids), grated
Add the mixed berries to a bowl and top with the yogurt. Sprinkle with the walnuts and chocolate.
That’s all there is to it! I’m so glad dark chocolate is good for you, even if it’s the 85% cocoa solid kind; I actually like the really, really dark chocolate better than the sweeter varieties.
Are you a healthy eater and have you heart of Sirtfoods?
This fall, I knew one recipe I wanted to try was pumpkin bread pudding. I had made it a few years ago, and thought it was okay, but I really wanted to see if I could improve upon it. I do like this new version so much better! It’s dense and moist, with lots of pumpkin and spice flavor. I really like this bread pudding with additional maple syrup drizzled over it, but you could also top it with caramel sauce or whipped cream.
I made this pumpkin bread pudding with some wonderful bread that I received from BFree. BFree offers a great selection of bread products that are gluten free. BFree products are actually wheat, dairy, egg, nut, and soy free, which makes them free of all major allergens–and suitable for vegans, too. They are high fiber, low in fat, and low in calories. And they taste really, really good. I was able to try samples of their whole product line–their Brown Seeded Sandwich and Soft White Sandwich loaves, Brown Seeded and Soft White Rolls and Hot Dog Buns, Multiseed and Plain Bagels, Multigrain and Quinoa and Chia Seed Wraps, and Pita Bread. I loved all of their products, and if I hadn’t already known they were gluten free, I probably would have thought they were made with wheat. I think my favorite were the rolls–they were so soft and fresh and tasted like homemade!
So I decided to use some of the BFree Soft White Sandwich Loaf in this bread pudding, and it was really tasty! This makes a wonderful fall dessert. Some of my friends said it tasted like pumpkin pie–they didn’t realize it was bread pudding! Hope you get a chance to try it out!
PUMPKIN MAPLE BREAD PUDDING by NancyC
Makes a 9×9″ pan
- 6 cups cubed white or wheat bread, cut into 1″ squares (I used BFree Soft White Bread)
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins
- 2 cups Half & Half (light cream)
- 1 (15-ounce) canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- maple syrup for drizzling on top, about 3 to 4 Tablespoons
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 9-inch baking pan; set aside.
Combine cubed bread and dried cranberries in large bowl; set aside.
In a medium size bowl, combine Half & Half, pumpkin, eggs, vanilla extract, brown sugar, spices, and salt; blend everything well. Pour mixture over bread/cranberry mixture and stir, coating all the bread cubes. Spoon this mixture into your greased baking pan and let stand for 10 minutes.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle chopped pecans over mixture during the last 10-15 minutes of baking time.
When bread pudding is done, remove from oven and drizzle the top with maple syrup. Let cool 10 minutes and cut into squares. Serve warm with more maple syrup drizzled very lightly over each piece if desired.
Are you a fan of bread pudding? If you are, I think you’ll really like this Pumpkin Maple Bread Pudding! What other kinds of desserts do you like making with pumpkin?
I don’t make ice cream sodas or floats often, but I really like them. I was inspired to make this fruity-tasting float after I saw a recipe in a recent issue of Better Homes and Gardens. This is float is made with raspberry sorbet and grape soda. Just use your favorite brand of grape soda and raspberry sorbet–and if you can’t find raspberry sorbet in your grocery store, you can substitute raspberry sherbet. I tried it both ways and it’s good with both sorbet and sherbet. I was a little disappointed because my grape soda seemed a little flat, so the float wasn’t quite so bubbly as I had hoped it would be. One other thing I tried was substituting sparkling red grape juice for the grape soda, and I really liked that, too. Since I don’t drink a lot of soda pop because of all the sugar, using the sparking grape juice is a good less-sugary option!
Here’s a helpful float-making tip I read in Better Homes and Gardens: “Keep everything cold, cold, cold. Prescoop ice cream (or sorbet, or sherbet) and freeze on a tray. Add it to chilled glasses and pour cold soda for a float that stands up to sunny afternoons.”
RASPBERRY-GRAPE FLOAT by NancyC, adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
Makes 1 serving
- 2 to 3 scoops of raspberry sorbet or sherbet (depending on the glass size you’re using)
- Your favorite brand of grape soda (or substitute sparkling red grape juice)
- Chilled glass (I like using vintage sundae/soda glasses!)
- Optional: frozen raspberries for garnish
Add scoops of sorbet or sherbet to your chilled glass, then pour grape soda (or sparkling grape juice) in until glass is full. Add some frozen raspberries on top for a garnish, if desired. Serve immediately.
The raspberry and grape flavors taste great together! You’ll have to try this out next the time you want a cool, fizzy treat!
We’ve had especially hot weather this past week–very hot and humid! Not the greatest weather for mowing your lawn, but perfect for eating cool desserts like ice cream. I usually buy my ice cream, but I had the chance to review a new cookbook, No-Churn Ice Cream–and I discovered how easy it is to make homemade. This book has over 100 recipes for ice cream and other frozen treats like gelato, sorbet, and sherbet. And no ice cream maker is needed to make any of these recipes! Some of the flavors you can make include: Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream, Meyer Lemon Ice Cream, Apple-Spice Ice Cream, Sweet Potato-Marshmallow Swirl Ice Cream, Espresso Gelato, Mango Sorbet, Blood Orange Sherbet…and lots more. I choose to make the Mint Chip Ice Cream, since mint chocolate chip is one of my favorite ice cream flavors. It was very easy to make and the ice cream had a smooth, creamy texture and tasted really good. The only downside was that most of the mini chocolate chips sunk to the bottom as the mixture was setting in the freezer–I’m thinking that happened because I may not have whipped my heavy cream long enough. But other than that, the mixture froze up nicely and the light minty flavor was refreshing. You’ll need a shallow, freezable container to freeze the ice cream in–I used two plastic food storage containers and that worked out well. If you want to try making some, here’s the recipe:
MINT CHIP ICE CREAM from No -Churn Ice Cream Makes about 1 quart
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup milk
- 2 to 3 drops peppermint extract (I used about 1/4 teaspoon and the flavor was slightly minty; use a little more for a stronger mint flavor)
- 1 to 2 drops green food coloring (optional)
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup chopped dark chocolate or mini chocolate chips
In a large bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, milk, peppermint extract, food coloring (if desired), lemon juice, and salt. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until it reaches soft peak. Fold in the mint mixture, add the chocolate, then transfer to a shallow freezable container. Cover with plastic wrap or waxed paper pressed directly on the surface of the ice cream, and place in the freezer for 6 hours. Scoop and serve with chocolate sauce.
Ice cream on a hot summer day sure hits the spot! Have you tried any no-churn ice cream recipes?