NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTH

TL JULY IS NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTHOne of the best things about summer is an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.  July is National Blueberries Month!  Join me as I search for the best blueberry recipes available.  As a general rule, fruits are off-limits or should be eaten sparingly when you’re diabetic.  Blueberries are fortunately one of the lower carbohydrate fruits.  One half cup of fresh blueberries is only 9 grams of carbohydrates!  It’s also 2 grams of fiber and 42 calories.  One half cup of unsweetened unthawed frozen blueberries is only 7 grams of carbohydrates!  It’s also 2 grams of fiber and 40 calories.

I’ll be sharing a low-carb blueberry recipe every day for the next 6 days, so we can all enjoy some yummy food without feeling guilty about it!  Yay!  I’m on board, how about you?

I love to eat a blueberry scone with a nice hot cup of cinnamon tea.  When I saw how many carbohydrates a regular scone made with traditional ingredients was, it broke my heart!  This recipe uses a combination of almond and coconut flour instead of all-purpose flour.  When I saw this recipe, I wondered about the use of molasses, but it’s only 1/2 teaspoon.  It didn’t appear to raise my blood sugar at all.

LOW CARB BLUEBERRY SCONES

Makes 12 scones, 5g carbohydrates each

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 C. almond flour

1/2 C. coconut flour

1/4 C. Splenda

1 Tbs. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 C. butter, chilled

1 C. blueberries, fresh or frozen

1/2 tsp. molasses

1/3 C. heavy cream

1/3 C. unsweetened almond milk

2 eggs

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix flours, Splenda, baking powder and salt.  Cut butter into dry mix.  Add blueberries and stir to coat berries.  In separate bowl, whip together molasses, cream, almond milk and eggs.  Slowly pour wet mix into dry mix.  Stir until dough forms.  Divide dough in half.  Roll each half into a ball and flatten into a circle.  Cut each dough circle into 6 triangles.  Bake triangles for about 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees.

Sometimes I just get a craving for scones and tea.  With this recipe, I can satisfy that craving and still keep my carbohydrates in check.  Works for me!  🙂

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL PECAN MONTH

NATIONAL PECAN MONTHWhen I think of pecans, my mind goes to our Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson, KS.  There’s one building in particular that smells positively divine from the moment you enter – with the scent of warm candied pecans!  To be honest, that is my favorite way to eat pecans!

To me pecans taste like childhood,
They fell from the family tree.
Sticky leaves, crackling branch wood
Hulling and cracking, we three—
Siblings, nuts in varied degree.
– Terri Guillemets

Pecans pack a punch with dense calories and high fat, but as we all know by now, it’s the good kind of fat.  Just one ounce is a hefty 104 calories!  That’s a point and a half if you’re counting points like me.

The apples and pears in the grocery store look especially good right now.  This recipe for Apple-Pear Crisp is a real crowd pleaser at potluck dinners.  I leave the peel on the fruit, but you can peel it if you want to.  🙂

Apple-Pear Crisp (makes 9 servings, 5 points per serving)

Ingredients: filling

Cooking spray

1 lb. Granny Smith apples, cored, cut into 1″ thick slices

1 lb. Bartlett pears, cored, cut into 1″ thick slices

2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

4 Tbs. Splenda brown sugar

Ingredients: topping

1 large egg

6 Tbs. Splenda brown sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 c. uncooked rolled oats

6 Tbs. butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Coat a 9×9 glass baking dish with cooking spray.  Place fruit slices in medium bowl.  Toss with lemon juice and Splenda.  Set aside.

To make topping – in another medium bowl, beat egg.  Add Splenda, salt and cinnamon.  Mix to combine.  Add oats and mix well.

Spoon fruit into prepared baking dish and evenly sprinkle oat mix on top; drizzle with melted butter.  Bake until fruit starts to bubble and topping starts to brown, about 45-50 minutes.

Allow crisp to cool for a minimum of 2 hours.  Cut into 9 pieces.

Enjoy!  🙂

 

OREO COOKIE DAY

LET IT SNOWWe only have a few more days of winter, at least according to the calendar.  Mother Nature may have other plans, as we here in Kansas know all too well.  In any case, today is Oreo Cookie Day!  How will you enjoy these sweet treats?  A favorite, of course, is a big glass of milk for dunking – or how about a large cup of coffee for dunking?  That sounds good!  🙂

Not to put a damper on the day, but a friend on facebook mentioned that Nabisco is moving to Mexico and it made me so sad.  I really hope our economy turns around to the point where they bring Nabisco and many other companies back to America, don’t you?

Through the years Nabisco has come up with SEVEN varieties of Oreo cookies:

  • Oreo Chocolate
  • Oreo Fudge Cremes
  • Oreo Chocolate Birthday Cake Flavor Cremes
  • Oreo Double Stuf Chocolate
  • Oreo Lemon Cremes
  • Oreo Double Stuf Golden
  • Oreo Double Stuf Heads or Tails

There’s a perfect Oreo for every mood you find yourself in – and let’s face it, variety really IS the spice of life!

How about adding a few Oreos to your favorite brownie mix?

OREO BROWNIE TREATS (makes 24 brownies)

Ingredients:

1 pkg. (19-21 oz) brownie mix (for a 9×13 pan)

15 Oreo Chocolate Cookies, coarsely chopped

Instructions:

Stir chopped cookies into batter.  Prepare pan and pour batter in pan.  Bake as directed on package.

Note:  When baking in a glass baking dish instead of a metal pan, always reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees.

Per Brownie:

170 calories

8 g fat

2.5 g saturated fat

20 mg cholesterol

125 mg sodium

25 g carbohydrates

1 g fiber

16 g sugar

2 g protein

To lower the carbohydrates and sugar content, I use Pillsbury Sugar Free brownie mix – but it takes two boxes to make 9×13 size.  Adding Oreo pieces does add a bit of sugar and carbohydrate back into the brownie, but it’s not enough per brownie to matter.  🙂  Now, if you sit and eat the whole 9×13 pan of brownies – remember you’re adding 15 cookies!  Then you have to count them!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

God gave His very BEST to us and for us…  this truly is the season of giving…  how many ways can we give this year?  Does it take a large budget to give?  No – not a large budget – just a creative mind and an intent of heart that bends toward giving.

Click image to enlarge

We just enjoyed a lovely celebration of Advent at church and are feeling the true meaning of Christmas – and the Spirit that comes with it.  I have an idea…  since today is Monday and a bit of an anti-climax of sorts, to put it mildly…  why not take snacks to work without being asked???

One of the perks of being part of the workforce is the Monday morning you walk in and there are homemade goodies setting on the conference room table for anyone to indulge in.  Oh yeah – it’s like a big score to begin the week!

COOKIES AND CAROLS

You don’t have to spend hours making these goodies either – and you don’t have to hire a professional baker or pay a high price at the bakery.  There are tons of quick and easy recipes that turn out great every time and will be sure to please your co-workers.  Whether you sing Christmas Carols as you serve them…  well, that’s up to you!  😉

Here’s one of my favorites:

ALMOND-CHOCOLATE-CHERRY COOKIES

Makes 24 cookies

11 g. carbohydrates per cookies / 81 calories / 6 g. sugar

INGREDIENTS:

6 Tbs. butter, softened

3/4 c. Splenda

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1 tsp. vanilla

1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted & cooled slightly

1 1/3 c. flour

1/2 c. dried cherries

1/3 c. sliced almonds

1 recipe Chocolate-Almond Glaze

DIRECTIONS:

  1.  In a medium bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, about 2 minutes or until smooth.  Add Splenda, beating until creamy.  Beat in egg, egg yolk and vanilla until combined.  Stir in melted chocolate.  Stir in flour.  Fold in dried cherries and almonds.  Cover and chill dough for one hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside.  Shape dough into one inch balls.  Place balls about one inch apart on prepared cookie sheets.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until centers are set.  Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool completely.
  3. Drizzle Chocolate-Almond Glaze over cooled cookies.  Let stand until glaze is set.  To store, layer cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container.  Cover.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

CHOCOLATE-ALMOND GLAZE

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

1 1/2 tsp. butter

1/2 c. powdered sugar

1 Tbs. fat-free milk

Dash almond extract

DIRECTIONS:

In small saucepan, combine chocolate and butter.  Heat and stir over low heat until melted and smooth.  Remove from heat.  Stir in powdered sugar, milk and almond extract until smooth.

As cookies go, these are the most healthy and tasty ones I’ve had.  I can actually eat a couple of these without causing my blood glucose to raise too high.  So, while everyone else is bringing in goodies that you know you need to stay away from – you can bake these up and know that everyone will enjoy them – and not wreck their health.  Wink!  😉

NATIONAL BUNDT PAN DAY

TL 11-15 NATIONAL BUNDT PAN DAY

Some of my favorite food comes from a Bundt pan!  I worked with a sweet lady who brought monkey bread for every special occasion.  I think we made up special occasions just so we could eat monkey bread!

Of course, that was before I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1994.  Things have changed in my diet significantly since then!  But I can still write about monkey bread and all sorts of goodies without my blood glucose being affected – and that’s a good thing!

I like what Lucinda has to say about monkey bread – for sure!  🙂

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Don’t you particularly appreciate the last stanza of her poem?  I sure do!  I’m so thankful that God sticks close by my side and that His angels watch over us as we live our everyday lives.  It’s great to know that He has every life situation under control – even when we wonder if it is under control – ya know?  😉

Here’s a traditional recipe for monkey bread – ooey gooey and sticky good!

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pillsbury.com%2Frecipes%2Fpumpkin-spice-monkey-bread-with-caramel-sauce%2F23feb2bf-d28d-48db-b57f-077fc47c0dcb&h=OAQEaHsOb

Here’s an alternate recipe that cuts a whopping 300 calories per serving and saves on sodium as well – I think you’ll like it.  One note I will add – I never use sugar, as you know.  I always use Splenda and Splenda brown sugar.  You can use it cup for cup – just use it as you would sugar.

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/monkey-bread-0

For 234 calories per serving, you can afford to splurge a bit today!  I would guess it would be even fewer calories if you use the Splenda sugars.

You know, one thing my mother taught me was that when we bake for someone, we’re really showing them love!  There are so many ways of telling someone you love them – and that’s why we call comfort food – well…  comfort food!  Share some monkey bread with a friend or loved one today – along with God’s love!

Hopefully you will have an opportunity to make one of these great recipes today – and use that Bundt pan that’s been setting in the cupboard for such a long time – feeling all neglected and sad.  😦

 

 

NATIONAL FIG WEEK

TL NOVEMBER 1-7 IS NATIONAL FIG WEEK

I searched the internet for a healthier fig cookie recipe – and I found it!  If you want a Fig Newton without the preservatives and added stuff that does not nourish your body – here ya go!  You’re welcome!

Today I want to humbly remind us – yes – US – not just you…  we really ARE what we eat.  🙂

HEALTHY HOMEMADE FIG NEWTON COOKIES

(makes about 16 cookies)

INGREDIENTS:

For the cookie

2 C. white whole wheat flour

2 flax eggs (see video below for tutorial)

1/3 C. coconut oil

1/3 C. maple syrup

1 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

2 Tbs. almond milk

2 Tbs. unsweetened applesauce

For the filling

15-20 figs

1 Tbs. maple syrup

water

INSTRUCTIONS:

For the filling

In a food processor, grind up the figs, 1 Tbs. maple syrup and a bit of water.  You want the figs to be the consistency of peanut butter so only add a bit of water.  You won’t need more than about a Tablespoon.

Blend into a paste.  Set aside.

For the cookie

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In one bowl, mix all dry ingredients.

In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients.

Add dry to wet and mix only until combined.  Be careful not to over-mix.  The dough will be sticky and a bit wet.

Gather it in a ball and wrap it.

Put the dough in the fridge for about an hour to firm up.

Once firm, roll the dough onto a floured surface.  Roll it as square as possible if you want your cookies to look like Fig Newtons.

Once the dough is rolled out, spread the fig mixture onto half of the dough.

Fold 1/2 of the dough onto the other and cut into 2 x 2 squares with a pizza cutter.

Place on lined baking sheet and bake for about 12-15 minutes.

They will last a couple of weeks, but you can refrigerate them to make them last longer.

Here’s a tutorial on how to make flax eggs:

https://youtu.be/Zvus6_PLedo

Have fun!  🙂