Italian Seitan Sausages

If you’ve been hesitant about experimenting with homemade veggie meat thus far, I suggest you take the plunge and give this recipe a try. It’s delicious and you won’t believe how easily and quickly it all comes together. Super simple – great for beginners. And it’s really tough to screw up seitan, so you’re practically guaranteed success. These are spicy, flavorful, and the hubs goes bonkers over them. You’re gonna love ’em, too.

This recipe is taken from Post Punk Kitchen, a great vegan recipe resource. I left out the beans because I didn’t have any cooked, but I’m anxious to add them and amp up the nutritional value. I simply subbed extra vital wheat gluten and nutritional yeast for the beans and it worked perfectly. I also took out the fennel seed because I’m not a fan. These are going to be wrapped in foil and steamed, so you’ll need some sort of steaming apparatus. I have a rice maker/steamer that works really well.

Italian Seitan Sausages
Original recipe found here

Ingredients

1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce (I use Bragg’s liquid aminos)
1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Several dashes fresh black pepper

Instructions

First, get your steamer ready by bringing the water to a full boil.

Have ready 4 square sheets of tin foil. In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients together. In another bowl, stir together the broth, olive oil, and soy sauce and mix with the dry ingredients. Divide dough into 4 even parts (an easy way to do this: split the dough in half and then into quarters). Place one part of dough into tin foil and mold into about a 5 inch log.

I realize the resemblance to dog vomit here is unmistakable. I won’t deny that (unfortunately, I’ve seen my fair share of the stuff lately). But don’t let that deter you! When they’re done they’ll be perfectly cute sausages. Wrap dough in tin foil, like a tootsie roll.

Place wrapped sausages in steamer and steam for 40 minutes. That’s it! You can unwrap and enjoy immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

Vegan Chocolate Truffles

I’m a girl who worships chocolate, enjoys fancy dinners, and is head-over-heels in love. Funny thing is, I couldn’t care less about Valentine’s Day.

No, really!

When I want chocolate, I eat it. When I want a fancy dinner, I make it. And when I want to celebrate love, well…I do. Every day of my life is a celebration of love in one way or another.

However, this Valentine’s Day is different. Special. Because this year I have a new love: you! That’s right, I wanted to make you guys something really special this year to show you how much I appreciate you as readers. Something chocolate. And creamy.

Fine, I’m totally lying. It sounded nice and everything, but who am I kidding? This is my Valentine’s Day gift to me! Sure, you guys get a recipe, but it’s really only a couple of pictures and words on a page; I’m the one with truffles in my freezer! Twelve of them, to be exact (originally 14), and I’m going to eat every single one all by myself. The hubs will never know they’re in there. In his experience, the freezer only holds boring things like vegetable stock and edamame beans. He’s got no need for those things, meaning he won’t open the freezer, meaning these smooth, silky, chocolately, melt-in-your-mouth truffles are all mine!

I love Valentine’s Day.

Vegan Chocolate Truffles
Makes 12 – 14 2-inch truffles

4 squares (4 ounces) unsweetened baker’s chocolate
The thick top half of a can of full-fat coconut milk
3 T agave (or more if desired)
1/2 t vanilla
1 T coconut oil
Few grinds of sea salt, to tase
Shredded coconut/chopped nuts/cocoa powder

Important Note: Only use full-fat canned coconut milk that has been sitting, unmoved, untouched, and unshaken for several days. I recommend a week or so. I had great results with this recipe, but two friends both ended up with super melty chocolate that never hardened. The difference was that they had just bought theirs, while mine had been sitting in the cabinet for 2 weeks! This time allows the thick cream to separate from thin milk. When adding the cream to the recipe, scoop it out of the can, do NOT pour (you don’t want to mix in any of the thin milk).

Other note: You can use 4 ounces of semi-sweet or 60% chocolate chips, though the chocolate flavor will not be as intense as the unsweetened baking squares and there will also be added sugar, so keep that in mind. As written, the chocolate taste is quite strong, so if you’re not a fan of strong chocolate you may even want to use milk chocolate.

1. Melt the chocolate squares in a pan on the stovetop on very low heat. When the chocolate is completely melted, scoop out the top half of the can of coconut milk into the pan and stir gently until completely mixed.

2. Add the agave, vanilla, coconut oil, and salt and stir thoroughly. Continue to stir over low heat until completely smooth. Scrape the chocolate into a bowl and put in the freezer for 3o minutes.

3. Remove the chocolate from the freezer – it will be hard enough to form into a ball and soft enough to, well, form into a ball! If you leave it out for too long it may start to stick to your hands, in which case you can put it back in the freezer for a few minutes. Form the chocolate into balls, approximately 2 inches in diameter.

 4. Fill a bowl with shredded coconut, nuts, or cocoa powder. Roll the balls of chocolate in the coconut or other toppings until completely covered.

You’re done! Store the truffles in the freezer – I promise they will stay soft and creamy! And despite all of the coconut ingredients, the chocolate itselft has no coconut flavor whatsoever, so you can cover your truffles with whatever toppings you like. I chose shredded coconut because a. I’m an addict, and b. that’s pretty much all I had in the house.

Enjoy an intense chocolate experience! You may even feel generous enough to share these with a loved one. I definitely encourage the truffle-sharing; these are made with whole, healthy ingredients but they SHO AIN’T low calorie. Indulge in one or two but don’t get carried away. I am all about love on Valentines Day, but not love handles.

Have a great holiday, folks! Don’t forget to share the love!

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

Crunchy Pecan Granola

Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed the holidays as much as I did. I’ve definitely got a bad case of the after-Christmas blues, especially after taking down my tree today. Well, technically I just moved it, fully lit and decorated, out of the living room and into the second bathroom that we never EVER use. Why spend hours taking a tree apart and putting it back together? When Christmas rolls around again, decorating will be a cinch! I think it’s a brilliant plan. Plus, if ever I’m in a bad mood I can simply draw up a hot bath in the old bathroom, plug in the tree, and listen to “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”. It’ll be Christmas all year round in there!

Has everyone made their resolutions? I have quite a few, so I’ll just share a couple of them. More than anything, I want to continue to live a healthy lifestyle and be more committed to nutrition and daily exercise. Some others: Learn to drive stick. Develop lots of new recipes. Learn how to use my camera. Practice calligraphy. Learn to sew. Figure out what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. Blog more. Buy a bicycle. Oh yes, and stop hanging every darn thing on the refrigerator! It’s getting ridiculous.

Oh, and lastly, eat more waffles. My mom got me a Belgian waffle maker for Christmas, so look out; I’ve already named 2012 ‘The Year of the Waffle’. We’ve had them for breakfast twice already this year and it’s only January 2. I would hate for the world to end and have the regret of not eating enough waffles. I promise to post my recipe once I perfect it. Yesterday’s waffles weren’t so great, but today’s….mmm boy! They’re whole wheat, vegan, and use soy milk curdled with apple cider vinegar! Doesn’t that sound tasty? 😉

Now, about this granola: it’s without a doubt the best granola I’ve ever tasted. I gave it to some friends for Christmas and they all loved it, too. My husband says we could sell the stuff. I got the recipe from one of my dearest friends, who got it from her sister, who adapted it from a recipe she found…somewhere. The only trouble I see with it is that some of the ingredients, namely the coconut oil, pecans, and coconut palm sugar, are rather expensive and may not be something you have on hand or want to splurge on. While I do suggest sticking to the recipe if possible (because it’s perfection), you can make substitutions if necessary: other nuts of your choice for the pecans, butter, a butter alternative, or canola oil for the coconut oil, and a darker sweetener (such as brown sugar or sucanat) for the coconut palm sugar. Also note that the wheat germ can be omitted if you don’t have any, and oat bran is easily made by blending rolled oats into a coarse flour in a coffee grinder or food processor.

Crunchy Pecan Granola

Ingredients:
6 cups rolled oats
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup oat bran
1/4 cup ground flax meal
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (optional, I love them!)
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup molasses, honey, or agave

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients together.

 2. Whisk the oil and molasses together and add to the oat mixture. Mix well.

3. Divide the oat mixture onto two baking sheets and spread evenly. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, stirring all the way down to the bottom of the pan every 10 minutes or so. Bake longer if you prefer darker, crunchier granola. Let cool and serve.

Granola is one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast (besides waffles). I especially love it with Greek yogurt and chopped fruit for a delicious and healthy breakfast parfait. If eating healthy is one of your resolutions this year, make sure to eat breakfast; it’s the most important meal of the day!

I topped this parfait with banana, shredded coconut, and homemade blackberry sauce. What tasty additions do you put on your parfait?

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

Cheesecake Hot Chocolate

The predicted temperature today was 80 degrees; it hasn’t reached 60 all day long.  This feels pretty cold when you live in Texas and just experienced a record-breaking scorcher of a summer.  I am absolutely ready for winter; I can’t seem to stop shopping for boots, coats, and sweaters.  One of the greatest things (I said one of the greatest things; there are many more I can think of) about cold weather is curling up in a cozy blanket with a good book and preferably with a steaming cup of hot chocolate, make that cheesecake hot chocolate.

The first thing you will need to do is make your cheesecake mixture.  Now it may seem silly to make an entire cheesecake batter just to make hot chocolate, but trust me, it will not go to waste.  This batter is great for making fruit parfaits and for eating entire spoonfuls right out of the bowl.  This batter is also destined to be featured in future cheesecake recipes and also in an upcoming post for cream puffs. 

Cheesecake Batter

  •  1 package Mori-Nu silken tofu (you can find this on Amazon or at your local health food store)
  • 1 package/container neufchatel cheese or vegan cream cheese
  • Juice from one lemon or lime
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup agave nectar/honey/maple syrup (or combination)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 Blend all ingredients in food processor until smooth, eat a large spoonful. 

Now it’s time to make magic.

Cheesecake Hot Chocolate

  • 2 cups unsweetened milk (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1/2 cup cheesecake batter
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder

Bring milk and cheesecake batter to a boil.

 Add in vanilla, cinnamon, and cocoa powder.  Keep at a boil, stirring constantly, until completely blended.

 Grab your cozy blanket, book (or Kindle), and enjoy this extra creamy chocolate delight.

 ~Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

Chocolate Mousse Pie

Hi, my name is Becky and I’m a recovering chocoholic. I once had a collection of about 50 Hershey’s milk chocolate bar wrappers that I made into a giant frame for my bedroom wall. It was serious.

I still have a deep love for all things chocolate (except for chocolate cake, which is strange, right?), but I’ve developed an even deeper love for healthy living. While Hershey bars don’t exactly fit into a healthy lifestyle, that doesn’t mean I have to give up chocolate! In fact, dark chocolate actually has health benefits, which is why I’m perfectly comfortable indulging my chocolate addiction with a piece of chocolate mousse pie.

Okay, two pieces.

Of course, even dark chocolate should be eaten in moderation. If this pie was all chocolate it would be super high-calorie, which is fine if you only want a small slice of pie. But really, is one tiny slice of pie satisfying? I want two big slices! That’s why we’re adding tofu. A whole block of it. Don’t freak out, you won’t even notice it’s there!

Tofu never ceases to amaze me. It can take on any form and any flavor with ease. It’s the chameleon of the food kingdom. It can be  the highlight of a meal, like in this asian-inspired glazed tofu recipe, or it can be a completely hidden ingredient, like in this chocolate mousse pie. Tofu not only makes this pie a perfect balance of firm and creamy, but adds a ton of protein. Add the nut crust and you’ve practically got yourself a protein pie!

This recipe is taken from Chocolate-Covered Katie, a great source for healthy dessert recipes. Check her out!

Chocolate Mousse Pie with Nut Crust
Adapted from this recipe, makes one 8-serving pie

Ingredients
For mousse:
1 box Mori-Nu lite firm silken tofu (available at health food stores or amazon)
1 and 1/3 cups chocolate chips (NOT unsweetened; I like Ghiradelli semi-sweet or 60%)
2 T cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp nondairy milk
Dash or two of salt
2 – 3 T agave or honey (optional, depending on desired sweetness)

For crust:
(Note: you can use a pre-made graham cracker or granola crust, which is easier and less expensive, but also less healthy and less delicious!)
1.5 cups nuts 
3 T vegan butter substitute
1 – 2 T sweetener of choice

Instructions

Step 1: Pulse the nuts in the food processor until finely ground. You can use whatever nuts you have – I use a combination of walnuts, almonds, and pecans, which taste excellent! Add the butter and sweetener (I used a stevia blend) and pulse again until well mixed.


Step 2: Press the nut mixture into a 9″ pie plate and bake at 325 for 10 minutes, until golden brown.

Step 3: Put all pie ingredients into the food processor except for the chocolate chips. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, then use a rubber spatula to scoop the chocolate into the food processor. It’s fine if you lick the spatula clean. We all do it.

Step 4: Blend mousse ingredients until smooth, pour into nut crust, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. 


Step 5: Serve with fresh strawberries, raspberries, chocolate shavings, or coconut whipped cream (easily made by refrigerating canned full-fat coconut milk until thick)…or all of the above!


Bet you didn’t expect tofu to make all your chocolate mousse dreams come true! I suggest buying quite a few boxes of tofu, because this pie will immediately beocome a household favorite that you’ll want to make again and again. And then probably again a third time. Besides that, you may or may not need a box for an upcoming recipe that involves cheesecake and brownies…

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

Potato Corn Chowder

Last weekend I traveled to Michigan to visit some dear friends. My life has been a whirlwind ever since, so I’m glad to finally be able to relax and have time to post (and cook!). I put together a little collage to share some of the highlights of my trip.

We were the elements for Halloween – earth, fire, wind, and water – and went out to eat looking all glamorous and sparkly. I’m still finding glitter on my face a week later. My flight was out of Chicago the next day, and before I left we ate in the city at our favorite place in the world, Friends Sushi. They have the best vegetarian sushi on the planet. It was a marvelous weekend, but it’s nice to be back; there’s nothing quite so comfortable as coming home and sleeping in one’s own bed, except for maybe a bowl of hot soup.

I grew up in New England, chowder capital of the world – namely, clam. My family didn’t eat clams, but my mom made a mean corn or fish chowder. Chowder nights were an exciting event, and I remember many exclamations of “Mom’s making corn chowder for dinner!”

I’ve shared my enthusiasm about soup season before. Once the air has even the slightest hint of a chill to it, I’m ready for soup of every kind, every day of the week! However, at least in my biased, Massachusetts opinion, no soup will ever be as comforting and delicious as corn chowder. Chowder wears the crown.

So here’s my own personal recipe for thick, creamy potato corn chowder, no heavy cream or butter required.

Potato Corn Chowder
Makes approximately 8 servings

8 cups vegetable stock
3 lbs red potatoes, washed and chopped
1 large white or yellow onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 t olive oil (to saute onions)
2 cups corn (or 2 small cans)
1 cup Silk creamer, unsweetened
1 – 2 T Smart Balance Lite (optional, for buttery flavor)
Dried herbs (optional: parsley, oregano, basil, bay leaves)
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
1 T fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Thinly sliced green onions and/or chopped basil, for garnish

Step 1: Bring vegetable stock to a simmer in a large pot. At the same time, saute the diced onion and crushed garlic in olive oil in a pan over medium low heat.


Step 2: While your broth simmers and your onions saute, chop your potatoes into bite-size pieces. I realize it sounds like I’m asking you to be a crazy multi-tasker here, but I promise it’s not as stressful as it sounds.

Step 3: When the onions are clear and tender, add them to the broth. Stir in optional dried herbs and butter substitute. You don’t have to be precise – I added a few generous shakes of the herbs listed above, but you can add more or less or omit entirely depending what you like. Add the potatoes, and let simmer until soft.

Step 4: Strain out 2 – 3 cups of softened potatoes into the blender (or fill the blender until it’s about 2/3 full). Pour the silk creamer on top of the potatoes in the blender and blend thoroughly until smooth. If it’s too thick, add a little broth so it will blend more easily. It should be very thick and creamy (and hot, so be careful!). Pour the blender contents back into the soup.

Step 5: Add the corn and fresh herbs. Fresh parsley and basil play a huge role in the flavor of this chowder. While you can use dried substitutes, the results will not be nearly as satisfying. Use the fresh stuff – corn chowder deserves the best! 🙂

Step 6: Finally, bring to a very light simmer while stirring and at the first sign of a tiny bubble, turn off the burner. Add salt and pepper to taste until your tastebuds dance with delight. Garnish with more fresh herbs and green onions and serve!

Aah, there’s nothing like a belly full of hot chowder on a cold November evening!

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Okay, so by now you may have noticed that I rarely title my post by the recipe I’m making.  I like to think about it as a way to lure you in without quite knowing what you’re being lured into.  I’m just sneaky like that.  However, as you can see, I did use the name of the recipe as a title for this post.  Am I suffering from multiple personality disorder?  Well, you never know, but that’s not why I chose this title.  I have a sneaky suspicion that just the words “mint chocolate chip” combined with “cupcake” is all the creativity I need to attract you to this post.  However, if that still doesn’t do it for you, what about this?

So now that I have your attention, I’m just going to dive right in and tell you how to make these.

The Recipe

  • 2.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or oat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 2 tablespoon oil (I used canola)
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Begin by combining the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl.

Then measure out 1/4 cup of the mint leaves.

You can set aside some of the prettiest mint leaves to use later to garnish the cupcakes.

Then you can measure out your fresh spinach leaves in a measuring cup, no this ingredient is not a joke and I didn’t have the idea first either.  Check out Katie’s mint chocolate chip ice cream.  Is anyone else thinking mint chocolate chip ice cream and mint chocolate cupcakes just may be the perfect pairing?

Combine the spinach, mint leaves, agave nectar, applesauce, milk, and oil in your blender and puree until there are no green specks and then mix the puree into your dry ingredients.

See how beautiful and green the batter is?

The last step, of course, is to add your chocolate chips.  I chose to melt down unsweetened baking chocolate and sweeten it with stevia and agave nectar.  I chilled the chocolate in the fridge and once it was firm, I made it into chocolate shavings.

Does this not look like the ice cream? 

Then separate the batter into your muffin tin and bake at 350 until the tops of the cupcakes are no longer wet.  Don’t overcook these, the cupcakes will be moist and perfect if you remove them when they are just barely cooked through. 

My camera doesn’t quite do these cupcakes justice, but they are absolutely divine!

The perfect frosting without powdered sugar is still a work in progress, so I won’t post the recipe to the icing in the picture (even if it does look pretty, if I do say so myself).  Until then, I recommend that you use the dark chocolate ganache I made in this recipe.  Or just eat them sans frosting, trust me they’re just as delicious solo.

You know one of the best parts about these cupcakes?  My husband doesn’t like mint and chocolate together which means that I get to keep these all to myself.  I don’t know about you, but as for me I am going to slip away into a mint chocolate heaven for awhile.

~Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

Accidental Genius

Red velvet pancakes.  They sound brilliant, right?  I certainly thought they would be a good idea.  Of course, it would be completely un-skinnyfat of me to use food coloring, so I decided to use beets.  Now from the internet research I did, it seemed like using beets to make red velvet cake is pretty much a hit or miss, with more people missing than hitting.  I figured I’d still give it a shot.

Yeah, my red velvet pancakes were not so red and not so pretty. 

However, my complete failure at producing beautiful, naturally scarlet pancakes, were a near stroke of genius.  These pancakes were so soft, so fluffy, so delicious.  I knew I was on to something.  My next version of the pancakes were, in a word, divine.

Oh, So Fluffy Pancakes (No Buttermilk Needed)

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons stevia (or 1 packet)
  • 3/4 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (I used pomegranate vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon butter or healthy substitute
  • 1 small yellow squash, chopped or sliced

To begin with, mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. 

Check out my humongous bag of whole wheat pastry flour!  It’s so big, the laundry room is the only place it fits in my apartment.  I love Amazon! 

Okay, ignore my rant and keep mixing the dry ingredients.

Then slice the squash.

Blend the squash along with the butter, milk, and vinegar.

Mix wet and dry ingredients together.

Preheat your frying pan to medium heat.  Once the pan is heated, then you can pour and form your pancakes on the pan.  I always like to transfer my pancake batter into my liquid measuring cup or blender, it helps me to pour the batter more easily. 

Your pancakes should be ready to flip when they get fluffy and bubbly, like this:

See how pretty?

I used pumpkin puree, cinnamon, peanut butter, and maple syrup to make the perfect pancake stack.

The cream at the top is coconut whipped cream.  You can find Katie’s version of it here

I had these pancakes for lunch  the past two days.  Yes, I have no shame in eating pancakes for lunch.  If it’s good for breakfast, it’s also good for lunch and supper.  I think I have my new mantra. 

Until next time, try pancakes for lunch.

~Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

Zucchini (and Friends) Bread

Now that it’s fall, I go weak in the knees for all things baked. So when I came across this easy (and adorably written) recipe, I knew I had found a quick cure for my bread craving.

After devouring a thick slice with melty butter (Smart Balance, really), I was satisfied…momentarily. I wanted more bread, but not the simple, yeasty bread I’d just baked. I wanted dense, sweet, gooey bread. Zucchini bread.

The recipe I used was really just a guideline. You won’t believe the nutritious goodies I’ve added! Besides zucchini, this bread will fuel you with banana, flax seed, applesauce, coconut, walnuts, and wheatgrass. Yes, wheatgrass.

Poor wheatgrass. It ain’t easy being green. One of the superest of superfoods, hardly eaten by the average American. And even then, it’s usually only consumed in green juice or powdered capsule form. Why are we such grass haters? Grass has rights, too. Give grass a chance.

I realize I sound like a hippy, but I promise I’m still talking about wheatgrass.

I saw a small bottle of wheatgrass capsules in the store last week for $28.99. No, no, no! It was all wrong! Instead, I bought a container of the fresh stuff in my local health food store for $1.89. Better, right? The fresh stuff has more of the good stuff in it, anyway. I think the reason people don’t buy wheatgrass is because they think “You want me to eat grass? Ew! Nasty!”. Well, think again, people, because this recipe allows you to reap the health benefits of wheatgrass and not even realize you’re eating it. No more excuses!

Zucchini (and Friends) Bread
Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients:

3 cups flour (I used half white whole wheat, half whole wheat pastry)
2 t cinnamon
1.5 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/4 cup ground flax
1/4 cup finely chopped wheatgrass
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 cup coconut meal (I have lots left from making milk)
1 very ripe mashed banana
1/2 cup milk of choice (I used coconut)
1/2 cup canola oil (or oil of your choice)
2 t vanilla
1/2 cup raw sugar (or other dry sweetener, or 1/4 cup stevia)
2 T agave (or other liquid sweetener)
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

NOTE: I realize you may not have every single one of these ingredients on hand. No worries, you can omit the wheatgrass, applesauce, coconut meal, banana, or walnuts if you don’t have them. You can even substitute other nutrient-dense foods in their place: carrots, squash, oats – get creative!

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the dry ingredients (the first six) in a large bowl.

Step 2: Mix the rest of the ingredients except for the zucchini and walnuts in a separate bowl. When mixed thoroughly, add the zucchini and walnuts.

Step 3: Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix thoroughly.

Oh YUM - look at the green bits!

 Step 4: Scoop mixture into a well-oiled bread pan.

Step 5:  Try not to eat too much of the delicious batter. I failed miserably at this step.

Step 6: Let bake for 1 hour or until you can put a butterknife in the center and it comes out clean. Let it cool. When I cut a slice a few minutes after taking the loaf out of the oven, it just fell apart. It tasted wonderful but it was just crumbs. I was devastated and thought I’d have to start all over. NOT THE CASE! 2 hours later I wanted another piece and it had magically bound together! Let it cool. Still, it’s very soft, so be sure to cut through it carefully so it doesn’t fall apart.

Pretty simple, right? The only hard part is all the waiting, but I promise you – it’s well worth it!

Hopefully all this bread will silence the baking monster within me for a few days. After that, I’ve got a couple cans of pumpkin in the cabinet begging to be put into Elesha’s pumpkin bar recipe, a pie, or maybe even brownies.

Fall is the best.

~Becky, a skinnyfatgirl

Trick and Treat

My mother is a master of disguise.  Sure, she looks innocent enough, but underneath it all she is one of the most cunning women I know. 

From beans and sprouts in her homemade bread, chick peas in her smoothies, the extent to which she snuck healthy food into our favorite treats, my siblings and I will never know.  She was always devising new ways to get us to eat healthy things.  I guess I inherited something from her after all.  So in honor of the queen of nutrition camouflage herself, I give you…

Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Bars with Orange Whipped Cream

Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Bars

  • 2.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
  • 1.5 cups carrots
  • Dark chocolate chunks or chips

Mix all of your dry ingredients together.  Then blend the honey, agave nectar, butter, pumpkin puree, and carrots. (hold the chocolate chunks until the end)

Once it becomes a nice puree add it into your dry ingredients, then mix in the chocolate chunks.

Spread the batter into an oiled casserole dish or separate into muffin tins.  Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes until baked through.

While your pumpkin bars are baking, you can make your orange whipped cream!

  • 1 can chilled coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar (add a little more if it’s not sweet enough)
  • Carrots (add until you’ve achieved desired shade of orange)

Blend all ingredients until smooth.  The carrots can give the cream a gritty texture, just keep blending until that goes away.

The cream won’t be quite as thick as whipped cream at first, but if you let it chill in the fridge it will thicken right up.

These pumpkin bars and orange whipped cream come together for a wonderful fall treat.  Perfect for Halloween or anytime! 

My mom will be so proud.

~Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

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