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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Almond-butter Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are ridiculously easy to make, and are tastier and healthier than regular peanut butter cookies!  I have been dying to try this since my neighbor told me about this recipe.  My cookies are a little crumbly, so I'm wondering if it had to do with the consistency of my almond butter.  Maybe I didn't stir it completely enough - I will try a different brand next time.

1 cup unsalted almond butter, stirred well
3/4 cup Sucanat
1 large egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 oz dark chocolate (70% or greater) chopped (I used "Theo" organic chocolate.  Try to find one without soy that is just pure chocolate)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, stir together first 5 ingredients until blended.
Stir in chocolate.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto parchment-lined baking sheets. leave 2 inches between as these spread a bit.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sprouted Wheat Banana Bread

So my sprouted flour order arrived yesterday from To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co. I ordered small, just a 2lb. bag of wheat and a 2 lb. bag of spelt. You might wonder why use sprouted flour  - sprouted grains offer a wide variety benefits over traditional flour - primarily they are easier to digest and more nutritious...which sounded GREAT to me!!! When I saw our overly ripe bananas, I knew the perfect recipe to test out my new purchase would be this healthy banana bread from Clean Eating Club.  I modified a few things to make it a little healthier and cleaner, like substituting organic applesauce (or make homemade, even better!) for the canola oil and using as many 100% organic ingredients as I could.  Here is the recipe from Clean eating club with my changes in pink. 

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour  100% Organic Sprouted Wheat Flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 slightly beaten egg whites
  • 1 c. mashed ripe bananas (3 medium or 2 large)
  • 1/2 c. agave nectar
  • 1/4 c. canola oil Organic homemade applesauce
  • A pinch of sea salt (1/16 tsp.) Celtic Sea Salt
  1. Coat an 8×4x2-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Mash bananas and set aside. In a medium bowl combine whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and sea salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine egg whites, banana, agave nectar, and oil. Once mixed well, add flour mixture all at one time to banana mixture. Stir until moistened. The batter should be lumpy. Spoon mixture into pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 to 50 minutes. Test doneness by inserting a wooden toothpick near the center of the bread. The toothpick should come out clean.
  4. Cool in pan on a wire rack for approximately 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan and cool completely on the wire rack.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Clean Healthy Brownies

I wanted to bake a dessert for my parents and my uncle who were bringing dinner over and staying to babysit so I could go to work while hubby was away.  I decided to try sneaking some healthy food by my dad.  He definitely didn't complain, and I must say these were really yummy! I will admit they probably don't fully replace the traditional gooey chocolatey brownie, dripping with sweetness - but they are really flavorful and have good sweetness and satisfy the chocolate craving.  I found this recipe on the back of my Sucanat package and modified it just a bit.  

"Marilu's Effortless Brownies" (placed on the package courtesy of Marilu Henner)
1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine (package says preferably soy, I used organic sweet cream butter)
12 ounces semi sweet baking chocolate
2 cups organic sucanat
1 T vanilla extract (used pure vanilla instead)
5 large cage-free organic eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups unbleached flour (I used whole wheat flour with 3T ground flax seed added)
1/2 t salt (used celtic sea salt)

Preheat oven to 350
Grease a 13x0 inch baking pan
In a 3 qt saucepan, melt the chocolate and butter over low heat until fully combined
Remove from heat, stir in Sucanat
Beat in the eggs and continue beating until fully combined
Stir in the flour, flax seed (if you want), and salt until just blended
Spread batter in pan.
Bake for 30 mins, until a toothpick inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean

Cool in the pan. Cut. Serve

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Clean Skillet Ginger Lime Cilantro Chicken

Another excellent recipe from Clean Eating Magazine's website.  This was really delicious! I could imagine subbing tofu for the chicken and still having some great flavors to work with. In fact, I rarely enjoy left-overs ( yes, I know it's wasteful - luckily hubby does do pretty well eating left-overs)...I reheated this for lunch today and it was fantastic! The flavors had time to ruminate, and it made a great lunch! It probably looked better when we initially ate it, but I didn't take a photo. Sorry!


  • 8 oz vermicelli or whole-wheat angel hair pasta (dry)
  • 2 tsp peanut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger (used organic ginger, grated fresh)
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces (anti-biotic free meat)
  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil (only had regular not toasted - used organic sesame oil)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice(used organic limes)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (used organic cilantro)
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions (white and green parts) (used organic scallions)
  • Lime wedges for garnish (optional)
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving ¼ cup of cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger, and cook 1 minute. Add chicken and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add reserved cooking water, soy sauce, sesame oil and lime juice. Bring to a simmer. Add pasta and cook 1 minute to heat through, stirring frequently.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro and scallions. Serve with lime wedges on the side, if desired.

  • Calories: 408
  • Total Fat: 8 g
  • Sat. Fat: 1 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 2.5 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbs: 49 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Sugars: 3 g
  • Protein: 35 g
  • Sodium: 687 mg
  • Cholesterol: 66 mg

Monday, March 8, 2010

Blackberry Wildflower Honey Ice Cream

My kids LOVE ice cream....and man is it packed with sugar.  I got  this recipe from  Nourished Kitchen.  We don't have access to raw milk, which admittedly makes me a bit nervous (I know, I know I should not be scared of it! I'm taking baby steps), but I did buy fresh creamline whole milk and used the separated cream in addition to organic heavy cream to make this! It gave me a chance to finally use the ice cream maker we got as a wedding gift six years ago! I think it was best right out of the maker as a soft serve, but we had extra so I froze it in an airtight container.  The kids thought it was super yummy!  It's far less sweet than traditional ice cream, but the honey does add some nice flavor and a hint of sweetness.

Here are my modified instructions:

Ingredients (yields approx one quart)
  • 3 Cups Organic cream
  • 1 Cup Organic whole milk (or use more cream to make a creamier ice cream)
  • ½ Cup Organic Raw Wildflower Honey
  • 4 Egg Yolks from cage-free hens
  • 1 Cup Fresh Blackberries (I couldn't find any organic)
  1. Mix cream and milk together.
  2. Rapidly whisk in the honey and continue to whisk until the honey is fully incorporated.
  3. Whisk in egg yolks and continue mixing until the entire mixture is uniform.
  4. Pour mixture into your ice cream maker.
  5. Add berries.
  6. Mix according to your ice cream maker’s instructions (this took 30 mins in my ice cream maker, it was still not really solid so I stuck in the freezer for an hour or so before dinner)
  7. Place in freezer to harden. (liked it better as soft serve but still yummy the next day as a fully frozen treat)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Homemade Pizza

My neighbor recommended this recipe.  She is an amazing cook! Unfortunately my dough didn't "rise" much - not sure if it's my yeast or what happened.  Anyhow, the crust did taste really delicious, more like a flat bread than a thick fluffy crust - but that's ok.   I subbed ground flax seed for the wheat germ.  We topped with Muir Glen Organic Tomato and Herb sauce, fresh mozzarella, fresh organic basil, and some garlic.  Hubby and I each loaded our own toppings on - mine was all veggies - tomato, black olives, mushrooms.
These were her directions which I followed (mostly, my changes in parenthesis)

1 package active dry yeast (.25 ounce)
1 c. warm water
2 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. wheat germ (I subbed ground flax here)
1 tsp. salt (used celtic sea salt)
1 tbsp. honey (used raw organic honey)

Any veggie or fruit
Organic tomato sauce, try Muir Glen or make your own
fresh mozzarella
organic fresh basil
organic/grass fed/free range meat toppings (or no meat)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place warm water in small bowl.  Add yeast.  Allow the yeast to dissolve and set aside until mixture becomes creamy (appx. 10 minutes).
In a large mixing bowl, combine wheat flour, wheat germ, and salt.  Scoop a well in the middle of the mixture and add the honey and yeast mixture.  Stir until ingredients are well combined.  Cover mixture with a dishtowel or plastic wrap and sit in a warm place and allow to raise for approximately 5 minutes.
Roll dough on a floured pizza pan.  Using a fork, poke a few holes in the dough.
Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until desired crispness (I drizzled with olive oil half way through). Top with toppings and finish baking (another 10 mins or so to melt and soften all the veggies)

Clean Chocolatey Goodness Cookies

This recipe came from Clean Eating Magazine's Web Recipes . Oh my goodness these are so yummy. I used organic dark chocolate and as many other organic ingredients as I could.  You'll have to head to a health food store for the sucanat.  Whole Foods is where I got mine, but I suspect most other health food chains will also carry it.  Amazing chocolate flavor - and NO FLOUR! I couldn't believe it.

  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 6 oz dark bittersweet chocolate, broken up
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups Sucanat, divided
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 4 1/2 tsp arrowroot powder

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly mist 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
  2. Place chocolate in a microwavable bowl and heat on high until chocolate melts, approximately 2 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gradually beat in 1 cup Sucanat and continue beating until mixture appears creamy. Add vanilla.
  4. In a separate small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup Sucanat, cocoa and arrowroot powder, then beat into egg whites on low speed.
  5. Stir in warm chocolate and continue stirring gently until mixture thickens.
  6. Place rounded tablespoons of batter onto prepared baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes. Cool on sheet pans for an additional 10 minutes before transferring to racks to cool completely.

NUTRIENTS per cookie:
  • Calories: 90
  • Total Fat: 3 g
  • Sat. Fat: 1.5 g
  • Carbs: 16 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Sugars: 14 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Sodium: 15 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Fresh Start

So this has been a long time coming. I've been meaning (and really trying since last summer - baby steps) to adjust our living style to a healthier one. This blog is just my way of keeping track of what I am doing to keep my kids and family healthy and try to make our lives a little greener.  Please be gentle, I'm newly green... but I would LOVE to get feedback from other people eating clean, growing organic, and living a healthy lifestyle.  This blog is just my way of holding myself accountable (hopefully!) and documenting what we are doing to stay on the path to a healthier family.