The Foodie Blogroll

When Good Ideas Go Healthy.

Yesterday was a perfect example of a healthy dessert. Despite the fact of me not liking it due to the bitter sour grapefruit, it is simple enough to switch around the undesired citrus fruit with something tasty; an orange for example. An orange, smeared with amaretto agave nectar, chopped almonds and a hint of vanilla sugar would be exquisite.

The reason I am saying this is because this time of year, not really January per se but after the holidays when people are interested in turning over a new leaf, trying to eat barely any or no sugar, more working out, and eating healthier meals it is nice to have healthy dessert options. I mean, it's nice to see some dessert recipes here and there, but I've been trying to not make or post any. I still had some sweets left that I could have posted from what I made over the holidays but I decided against it. I decided that, because looking at healthier options, in my opinion means that I may not give into those sweets that are tempting me. I mean, February, the month of love is just around the corner. However, once New Years was over, our creative blogger friends were already posting and creating cute cookies shaped as hearts, red velvet cupcakes with the biggest and cutest icing, cakes endorsed with heart sprinkles, pink fondant and beautiful buttercream's interlaced through out. I figured, since I am really going to try and not join the "Valentines Day food cult" that I am going to use January as practice. Practice to get off the sweets (even though I pretty much have gotten off of that... have only had ice cream once this month, and haven't given into the temptations of using artificial powders as juice substitutes once, which is a big deal for me). Instead I've been flavouring my water with lemon and lime juice.

I've been eating fruit and bonbons for snacks and desserts. I'm going to use this post as somewhat of a dummy-guide for some of us who have a hard time coming up with healthy yet still very tasty dessert options :)! I hope this helps and motivates you to try and not give into the month of love's temptations.

Plain Yoghurt Dressed Up with Clementines, Pistachios and Carob Chips.

I am not a fan of plain yoghurt, however, I know it is very healthy for you. I have tried it before and made them into brownies since I didn't like the taste. I decided however, to pick up a large container and to make myself like it. Did I succeed? Yes. Despite it still being tart I found a way.

Plain yoghurt + 1 tsp amaretto agave nectar + 1 heaping tbsp pistachios, chopped, 1 carob chip finely grated (I know I went all out there) + 1 clementine + clementine zest = perfection.

It was light. It was zest. It was salt. It was sweet. It was refreshing. It was divine. I loved it, and literally scraped my bowl clean.

All I did was mix the yoghurt, and agave nectar. Topped it with the clementine, pistachios then added the carob and clementine zest. It was simple to make, pretty to look at, and great to the palette. Not only that, it was a healthy snack/dessert as opposed to two chocolate chip cookies, a piece of cake, or a bowl of ice cream.

Seaweed Sesame Bars

Recipe slightly adapted from here

I absolutely love Anja's blog. Anytime I want a healthy snack, or healthy yet delicious dinner I go to her blog. It is fantastic. One recipe that recently stood out to me was a recipe for Seaweed Sesame Squares. I love seaweed. When I go out for sushi and order handrolls, it doesn't really matter what it's filled with as long as there is a giant excess of seaweed sticking out. I love the taste, and I love how crunchy it is. Therefore, when I saw this I knew I had to make it. This is perfect, because if you're on the go it's a quick little bar you can shove in your purse. It's sweet, nutty, salty, and tasty, plus it's compact. It reminded me of those sesame seed bars my mom used to buy my brother and I as a child, I can't remember the name of it, but it had a similar taste to it. This was so simple to put together and resulted in something fantastic.

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup white sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped to size of sunflower seeds
  • 1 1/2 sheets Nori seaweed, cut into almond size slivers
  • 1/4 cup amaretto agave nectar
Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degree F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine all seeds and the chopped almonds in bowl. In a large dry pan over medium-low heat, roast seeds and nuts for 5-7 minutes, or until fragrant. Stir regularly to provide even roasting. Transfer back to bowl. Stir in Nori slivers.

Pour agave nectar/maple syrup over the seaweed seed mixture and stir until mixture is evenly coated and sticky.

Use the prepared baking sheet as surface and fill large cookie cutters with the batter. Press down the batter. with a teaspoon or your fingers. Gently remove the cutter to keep the bars in shape. Repeat until all batter is used up.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cool a little on baking sheet. Then carefully remove bars from the parchment paper. They might still be sticky underneath. Transfer to cooling rack, or simply turn bars upside down to coll and dry completely.

Yields 8-10 bars.

Frozen Banana Protein "Soft Serve"

Read about a similar recipes ages ago and did so accordingly to what I wanted.

Last year I had come across a recipe for banana "ice cream". It was one of my favourite go-to tricks/snacks when I was craving something sweet, and similar to ice cream. It is just as smoothe, and seriously tricks you into believing it is ice cream. However, it is soooo much healthier for you and tastes' just as delicious, especially when topped or mixed in with your favourite flavour combination.

Lately I have been making this soft serve with my protein powder for an pre-workout snack.

All I did was this.

1 frozen banana + 1/2 scoop peanut butter whey protein powder (any protein powder would work) + 4 or 5 frozen strawberries + 2 tbsp soy milk... whirl it in the food processor until well incorporated.

Takes no time at all, is refreshing, healthy, and a great pre-workout snack.

Pineapple Dressed-Up

I love pineapple. Really, when it comes down to it, I love anything tropical. The thing is, I never think to "dress-up" my fruit really because I love their beautiful and distinct flavours by themselves. However, I often times forget how their flavours can be enhanced by something equally as great. I eat between one-two pineapples (by myself) a week... sometimes one in one sitting, but I've been trying not to that lately. I just love pineapples. I decided to try this little combination the other day when I had a lime sitting on my cupboard and was cutting my pineapple. I decided to mix them together with a touch of agave and va-va-voom instant satisfaction! I mean, I really couldn't be unsatisfied no matter what the outcome is, because it's all flavours I love, but this certainly was great. It was sweet, refreshing, and simple. I made this a few times over the last week sometimes, changing it up with different flavoured agave nectars, different citrus zests, or even throwing some different citrus juices in the mix. Excellent each and every time!

Ingredients:
  • Pineapple - cubed
  • Raspberry agave nectar
  • Lime zest
Directions:

Mix everything together, and voila!

Mixed Berry Yoghurt Parfait

Delicious. Refreshing. So easy and so delicious. Perfect afternoon snack, or a nice light dessert after your dinner. You can sweeten it with agave, or zest some carob chips on top, yum!

Ingredients:
  • Plain yoghurt
  • Granola
  • Mixed berries
Directions:

Evenly layer your yoghurt, granola, and berries, then do so again.

Chia Chai Pudding

Recipe taken from here

Pudding and I have never been the best of friends, well pistachio pudding and I tight, however, butterscotch, chocolate, vanilla etc, no way Jose. There is just something about the texture that weirds me out. This however, was different. It was tasty, delicious even, and the texture was more of a hearty smoothie perhaps. It was very good, however, next time I would definitely make it with soy milk to make it even heartier than it was. It was incredibly delicious, and surprisingly filling.

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup water (start with 3/4 cup — add more if you want the pudding thinner)
  • 2 pitted dates
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp corn starch
Directions:

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender till very smooth. Adjust the texture by adding more water or (for the opposite effect) more corn starch.

Devour.

With bananas or mixed berries, if you like.

I know that this is a super long post, with many many ideas, but I thought the more ideas the healthier your dessert/snack choices could be, the easier it is to keep your new years resolution, in a fun and easy way!

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