Peach season came and went so fast I didn’t get a chance to bake any recipes with fresh peaches! But I still wanted to bake something with a peachy flavor. I thought one of the complimentary Fruit & Maple Spreads I received from Polaner® would be a great thing to try in Continue reading
I’ve never been very crazy about raw carrots. But I do like them cooked or roasted. So when I found this recipe for Cinnamon-Glazed Carrots in my review copy of No Excuses Detox, I knew I wanted to make them! As the subtitle says, this book includes 100 recipes to help you eat healthy every day.
Written by Megan Gilmore, No Excuses Detox features recipes that are quick and easy, affordable, and yummy–not the kind of recipes you’d expect to find in a “detox” cookbook. In fact, I was surprised that there are recipes for lots of comfort food-type foods with a healthy twist–like Butternut Mac n’ Cheese, Skillet Breakfast Hash, Speedy Black Bean Burgers, and even Carrot Cake Cupcakes. Lots of great recipes to choose from! But the Cinnamon-Glazed Carrots recipe was calling my name and I had just bought some organic rainbow carrots at Whole Foods, so it was the perfect time for me to try this out.
I used large carrots when I made this, but you can slice your carrots or use baby carrots and if you do, your cooking time will only be about 10 minutes. Since I used large carrots I had to cook mine a little longer. So here’s the recipe–it’s a great way to eat your carrots!
CINNAMON-GLAZED CARROTS from No Excuses Detox
The addition of cinnamon and naturally sweet maple syrup makes these carrots taste like dessert, plus they can be ready in just 15 minutes!–Megan Gilmore
Makes 4 servings
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 pound baby carrots, sliced carrot coins, or halved large carrots
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of fine sea salt
In a Dutch oven, melt the coconut oil over medium heat and saute the carrots for 2 minutes. Add the water, which should start bubbling right away, and lower the heat to a simmer. Partially cover the pot and cook the carrots for about 10 minutes, until fork-tender (note: since I used larger carrots, my cooking time was more like 15 to 18 minutes). Check the pot periodically to make sure the water doesn’t completely evaporate so the carrots don’t burn.
Once the carrots are tender, raise the heat to cook off any excess water, then stir in the maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt (adjust seasonings to taste). Serve warm. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
There are other recipes I want to try in this book. It’s always nice when you can make great-tasting food that’s good for you, too. Do you have some favorite healthy recipes of your own?
Back in October, we had a potluck at work and one of the designers, Brady, brought this wonderful apple cake that everyone loved! He said it was his grandma’s recipe. And he had baked the cake himself! It really was one of the favorite things at that potluck and everyone wanted the recipe, of course. I asked Brady if I could share the recipe here, so you have Brady and his grandma Shirley to thank for this! 🙂
I followed the cake recipe just like Brady had made it, except for using light olive oil instead of vegetable oil. I also improvised on the icing a little and used light cream (Half & Half) instead of milk and pure maple syrup instead of maple flavoring. It’s a moist, dense cake filled with lots of fresh apple chunks and the creamy maple glaze tastes great with all this apple flavor!
SHIRLEY’S APPLE CAKE from Shirley E.
Makes one 10″ bundt cake
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil (I used light olive oil but you could also use canola oil)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 cups diced apples (peel before you dice)
- 1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 10″ bundt pan; set aside.
In large bowl, mix together oil and sugar until combined, then mix in eggs and vanilla.
Add in the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Mix until everything is combined. The batter will be very thick.
Fold in diced apples and coarsely chopped walnuts (now the batter will be really thick! 🙂 ) Spoon batter into greased and floured bundt pan.
Bake for one hour, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes in pan, then remove from pan to a serving plate (invert pan onto plate) and cool completely. Top cake with Creamy Maple Icing.
Creamy Maple Icing:
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 3 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Half & Half (light cream)
- 3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
Blend ingredients together until smooth (this makes a thick, creamy icing). Spoon and drizzle over completely cooled cake.
This cake is very dense and rich. It’s a great dessert for fall and winter, or for anytime of the year if you love apple-flavored treats! Do you have a favorite apple dessert you make often?
I’ve had homemade applesauce before, but this is the first time I’ve made my own. And let me tell you, it’s so much better than store-bought! It’s not as convenient as buying it, but I think it’s worth the extra effort to make homemade applesauce if you have the time. It’s really easy to make your own–the most time-consuming part is peeling the apples. After that, it’s just a matter of mixing the ingredients in a saucepan and letting it cook for 25 minutes until the apples are soft. If you like chunky applesauce like me, you can just use a potato masher to mash those apples into applesauce. If you like your applesauce smooth, you can puree the cooled apple chunks in a blender (you may have to do that in several batches).
I like sweetening my applesauce with honey or maple syrup. If you prefer using brown sugar, you can use that instead. The cinnamon and nutmeg also give this applesauce a great flavor.
HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE (Sweetened with Honey or Maple Syrup) by NancyC
Makes about 4 servings
- 8 cups (3 pounds) apples, peeled, cored, and chopped or sliced (this would be about 8-9 medium-size apples; use your favorite variety)
- 1/2 cup apple juice or cider
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 Tablespoons honey or maple syrup (or substitute 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
In a medium-size saucepan, combine apples, juice or cider, honey or maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir ingredients together, then cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes, until apples are soft. Let apples cool, then mash them with a potato masher. Or you can puree them in a blender until smooth. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
You can serve this applesauce chilled as a side dish or snack. Or for dessert, heat it and use as a topping over ice cream. You can also serve it warm or cool at breakfast as a topping for pancakes, a bowl of oatmeal, or a cup of plain or vanilla yogurt.
Have you made homemade applesauce before?
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Homemade granola is so good–I started making it a few years ago and I guess you could say I’m hooked on homemade granola! I’ve made several granola recipes, including Vanilla Almond Granola, Pumpkin Spice Granola, and Dark Chocolate Granola Bars. I like experimenting with different variations and flavors, and I decided to try a version with some fall-inspired flavors like maple syrup, cinnamon, and raisins. There’s nothing fancy about this granola, but it has that great classic cinnamon-raisin goodness. And the maple syrup makes a wonderful natural sweetener. There’s no sugar in this, just the sweetness of the maple syrup. Which is great if you’re trying to cut back on sugar. And even if you’re not, it’s still a really good granola!
MAPLE CINNAMON RAISIN GRANOLA by NancyC
Makes about 9 cups
- 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (don’t use quick oats)
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 1 cup sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup raw shelled sunflower kernels (if you use roasted and salted kernels, add them to the mixture after baking)
- 1/2 cup raw pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds–if you use roasted and salted pepitas, add them to the mixture after baking)
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons non-GMO canola oil or light olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line a 10 x 15″ or 13 x 18″ rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
In a small bowl, blend the maple syrup, oil, salt, and ground cinnamon; set aside.
In a medium bowl, toss the oats, walnuts, pecans, coconut, sunflower kernels, pepitas, and wheat germ (you’ll be adding the raisins after the granola is done baking). Mix in the maple syrup, oil, salt, and cinnamon mixture and toss again, combining and coating all ingredients well.
Spread this mixture on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 325˚F for 20 minutes; remove pan from oven to stir and toss the mixture for even baking. Return to oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until mixture is golden.
Remove from oven and add the raisins to the mixture on the pan; toss to combine. Let mixture cool completely on pan, then store in a tightly-sealed container for up to 2 weeks.
This granola is great with milk or sprinkled over vanilla yogurt for breakfast. And it makes a great snack any time of the day. It’s not super-sweet, but everyone who tasted this for me said it was sweet enough for them.
Do you make you own granola and do you have a favorite recipe?
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