Chocolate and caramel are such a great combination! And I’m very partial to dark chocolate so I love these Dark Chocolate Caramel Bars! This is a really good and easy recipe—it uses cake mix as part of the ingredients for the yummy chocolatey crust, so it’s simple to put together. I usually prefer making things from scratch, but sometimes a mix comes in handy if you’re in a time crunch. And these bars are so good you may not mind that they’re made with cake mix!Continue reading
These cookies were my first try at using instant pudding mix in a cookie. I’ve heard that adding pudding mix to cookie dough keeps the cookies soft, but I wasn’t crazy about the idea of adding pudding mix with artificial flavors, dyes, and other things. Continue reading
I’ve noticed lots and lots of recipes for overnight oats in the last few years and have been wanting to try making some. I finally got around to doing that after receiving some complimentary breakfast coffees from Community Coffee. They sent me one of their new products, Amber Sunrise Blend, along with their tried-and-true Breakfast Blend.
Amber Sunrise Blend has a smooth, bright, pleasant flavor and smells wonderful as you’re brewing it. As one of my friends said, “It’s a coffee you want to wake up to.” The light roast Breakfast Blend also has a nice smooth, mild flavor–a great coffee to start your day with.
So what do overnight oats and coffee have in common? Well, I came across an overnight oats recipe on the blog at the Community Coffee site that includes coffee as one of the ingredients–along with oats, cocoa powder, banana slices, and other yummy ingredients. I made a few tweaks to the recipe and added some chopped dark chocolate on top. It’s a special mocha-flavored treat for breakfast–or you can have it later in the day as a healthy snack!
MOCHA BANANA PECAN OVERNIGHT OATS by NancyC, adapted from Community Coffee
Makes 1 serving
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (or substitute the same amount of milk)
- 1/4 cup strong brewed Community Coffee (I used the Amber Sunrise blend)
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 banana, sliced
- 1 Tablespoon chopped pecans (toasted or untoasted)
- 1/2 Tablespoon chopped dark chocolate (72% Cacao works well in this)
In small jar or bowl with tight-fitting lid, combine oats, yogurt or milk, coffee, honey, cocoa powder, vanilla, and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Top with banana, chopped pecans, and chopped dark chocolate just before serving.
I used 72% Cacao dark chocolate when I made these overnight oats–it gives the oats a good rich cocoa flavor without making it too sweet. I can see now why overnight oats are such a popular breakfast item–they’re so easy and convenient to make! Have you tried making overnight oats yet?
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?
I’ve been in a chocolate chip mood lately! I recently posted a recipe for some Chocolate Chip Scones and then I thought I’d make some breakfast-type cookies, but with chocolate chips in them, too–I call them Dark Chocolate Chip Granola Cookies. A cookie made with ingredients that I usually put in granola, like honey, coconut flakes, old-fashioned oats, wheat germ, ground flaxseed, chopped nuts, raisins or dried cranberries, and a good amount of dark chocolate chips!
These cookies brown a little more around the edges because of the honey, I think. I read somewhere that baked goods made with honey brown faster, so that’s true of these cookies. They’re a good, slightly chewy cookies that make a great snack or quick breakfast if you like sweet things for breakfast!
DARK CHOCOLATE CHIP GRANOLA COOKIES by NancyC
Makes about 26 cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2/3 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups sweetened coconut flakes
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed (you can substitute wheat bran or oat bran for the wheat germ or flaxseed)
- 1 cup golden raisins, dark raisins, or dried cranberries (or a mix of 2 or 3 of these)
- 1 1/4 cups dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In large bowl, cream butter and sugar, until smooth, then add honey, vanilla, and eggs, blending well.
In medium size bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add this mixture, half of it at a time, to the butter/sugar mixture; mix until everything is blended, but don’t overmix.
Fold in, a few ingredients at a time, the coconut flakes, oats, wheat germ, flaxseed, raisins or cranberries, chocolate chips, and nuts, stirring to blend everything evenly into the batter (batter will be thick).
Using a measuring cup, drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls, 2 inches apart, onto parchment-lined cookie sheets (you should be able to fit 6 cookies per sheet). Bake at 350˚F for 12 to 13 minutes or until edges are browned. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 to 3 minutes, then move to wire rack to cool completely.
It’s nice eating cookies that have some healthy ingredients in them–I guess it helps justify eating cookies, right? 🙂 Do you have any healthier cookie recipes you like to make?