Archive for September, 2013

Whole wheat apple coconut sunrise muffins

Apples and coconut? Oh yeah! The sweet, tart flavor of grated apples meld perfectly with chewy coconut. Plus, this recipe is a fun one to make with kiddos.

Apple coconut muffinsRecipe

*Tweaked from King Arthur Morning Glory Muffins

 

Servings: 16 regular-sized muffins

Prep time: 15 minutes

 

Ingredients

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup brown sugar

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg (opt.)

1/4 tsp. ginger (opt.)Child grating apples

1/2 tsp. salt

2 cups grated apple (about 2-3 large apples)

1/2 cup shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened

1/3 cup sunflower seeds or wheat germ (opt.)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

3 large eggs

2/3 cup vegetable oil (I used melted coconut oil)

2 tsp. vanilla

1/4 cup apple or orange juice

 

 Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 12-cup muffin tin. I usually have enough batter to make 16 muffins. You can either work in batches or if you have a second muffin pan you’re good to go.
  2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, spices, and salt.
  3. Stir in apple, coconut, nuts, and wheat germ (if using). A note on grating apples: My youngest daughter took care of this task. She had fun but you need to watch closely so there’s no inadvertent finger grating. She gripped the apple with a clean wash cloth to keep some distance between her fingers and the grater. When the apple got close to the grater we just ate the extras. Also, it’s up to you but you don’t have to skin the apple first–just shred away!
  4. In another bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and juice.
  5. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined.
  6. Place batter into muffin papers. Top with extra coconut.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Whole wheat apple coconut muffins

 

 

 

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Coconut oil whole wheat chocolate chip cookies

Coconut oil whole wheat chocolate chip cookiesShould you be swapping out butter and other fats in recipes for coconut oil in the name of healthier sweets? I love the idea that you can instantly healthify cookies simply by mixing in coconut oil for butter. If only it were that simple. After reading about the benefits of coconut oil on Snack Girl I thought I had to give it a try.

The smooth, nutty flavor of coconut oil soaks in the cocoa and amps up the flavor of the chocolate chips. It’s pure coconut-chocolate bliss. But is it healthier? Well, I’d like to think it is. Virgin, unprocessed coconut oil is thought to be healthier than some other fats–yup, we’re talking about you, butter–but it’s not quite outranked olive oil. And it’s not like you’ve nixed the fat entirely as you would when subbing apple sauce for oil (which sadly leads to smooshy sweets). My advice? Moderation in all things–with the exception of this weekend where I had to make a few batches of these to figure out if 100% coconut oil cookies are better. Yes, yes they do.

I tweaked my favorite King Arthur recipe for 100% whole wheat cookies to come up with this chewy version.

Recipe

Prep time: 15 minutes + baking

Servings: Around 20 cookies

Ingredients

1/3 cup coconut oil (melt it in the microwave for 30 seconds)Cookies with coconut oil

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 cup dark brown sugar

3 tbsp. honey

1 tsp. black onyx powder or dark cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 egg

2 tsp. vanilla

2 cups whole wheat flour (I like King Arthur’s white whole wheat)

1/2 cup chocolate chips, Ghirardelli preferred

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Directions

  1. Beat together coconut oil, sugars, dark cocoa powder, honey, and vanilla.
  2. Mix in the vinegar, egg, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. Next, beat in flour, chocolate chips, and walnuts.
  4. Refrigerate the dough for an hour then bake in batches at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Coconut oil chocolate chip cookies close up

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Italian lemon ice

Italian Lemon IceOur temps reached into the 90s this week proving there’s still some summer left before the leaves start turning. Celebrate sunshine with this recipe for Italian lemon ice from Dr. Jessie Voigts, the force behind Wandering Educators.

 

My husband remembers heading to New York City when he was young, to visit relatives. Every block, he said, he’d see an Italian lemon ice cart and beg his mother for one. And, in his memory, he did NOT receive a delicious lemon ice every block. Now we know that memories can be faulty, but I have a feeling she bought him plenty of lemon ices.

 

Recently, I found a recipe for Philadelphia Lemon Water Ice on Gourmet. I miss that magazine, and am so grateful that there is still Gourmet goodness pouring through online. I’ve tweaked it a bit, and we make it often – my husband savoring every spoonful, remembering hot afternoons in New York City, and now enjoying an abundance of Lemon Ice. We’ve also tried Lime Ice – delicious! Just switch out half the lemons for limes.

Lemon ice recipe

Ingredients

 

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest from 4 lemons
  • fresh lemon juice from 4 lemons

 

Directions

Heat the water, sugar, and lemon zest until sugar is dissolved. Pour into a glass container with the lemon juice (I use a 4 cup measuring cup), and refrigerate for at least 4 hours – 6+ is better (but who thinks of things that early?).  Put into your ice cream maker and freeze. The cool thing is that it starts out as liquid, and then forms little balls, and THEN turns into lemon ice. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, then you can make lemon shaved ice – pour it in a loaf pan, and then when it is frozen, shave off what you’d like to eat.

Mixing lemon ice

 

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