Archive for ‘Desserts’


Banana-Oatmeal Cookies

Okay, so it’s been somewhat of a “bananapalooza” in my house recently. We’ve made banana pancakes, banana-almond butter sandwiches, banana gelato, you get the picture–I’m on a banana kick. And for good reason. Bananas are sweet and tasty, filling and have a large amount of potassium which you need to prevent shin splints while running (oh does that take me back to my one season of “soccer”–quotes necessary– in high school) and to help you recover quickly after a strenuous workout so you can get back out there relatively pain free. Potassium is also great for your cardiovascular system.

Now that I’ve justified my banana craze, let’s get down to the real reason I am making these cookies– they are delectable! They are a delicious version of a cakey chocolate chip cookie, but full of whole grain, low in added sugar and at only 62 calories a cookie, you don’t have to wait for a special occasion to whip up a batch. Speaking of, these cookies only take a few minutes to prepare and after I’ve baked them and let them cool, I freeze them on a sheet and store them in my baked goods freezer bin in a ziploc. They make the perfect after dinner treat for kids…and they even make you feel okay about letting them have seconds on dessert once in a while. This recipe would be easy to double as well.

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Healthy, Hearty Banana Pancakes

Jack Johnson says in his song, “We can sleep in, I’ll make you banana pancakes, and pretend it’s the weekend now.” This sentiment sums up the indulgent, over-the-top feeling I get when I sit down to a plate of pancakes.  It just feels sinful!  But, with this recipe, you can “indulge” while knowing that you are still feeding your body in a nourishing, won’t weigh you down all day, way. These pancakes are a great breakfast to eat before a day hike or training run.

Or, just because…

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Paleo Snickerdoodle Cookies

It can be hard to be on a diet, whether it’s by choice or because of allergies.  Feeling like you are missing out or that the choice of what you eat is not under your control, can be very difficult.  I also believe that this restriction can make you crave things strongly…even things you don’t normally enjoy that much… or maybe have never even tried!  So as the last few days of January, and therefore the paleo challenge, linger cruelly, I thought I would try to curb one of those cravings with a batch of snickerdoodles. Mind you, this is a grain-free, vegan, no sugar added version of the cookie, but it’s also guilt free and can be adjusted to make them a little more indulgent and to fit a variety of diets.

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Banana “Gelato”

I was recently reminded of this healthy and delicious dessert by my brother–thanks, Jordan!  It is amazing in its simplicity and how closely it resembles gelato in texture.  Yet, it is as healthy as eating whole bananas and therefore doesn’t have to be reserved for special occasions. It does taste like bananas (not a bad thing in my book), but if you prefer to disguise the flavor a bit, add your favorite extract or fruit to the bananas.

Bananas are a go-to food for me.  Not only do they taste great and go well with peanut butter, but they also offer a serious punch of energy and potassium which helps me recover from workouts faster and get back out there!

This “gelato” is delicious plain, but playing around with different add-ins keeps the dessert fresh and offers a little more room for those times when you truly want to indulge.  Banana gelato is on my list as a top pick when I get a dessert craving!

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Oatmeal Trailmix Cookies

I love Denver.

But, when the weekend comes, I also love packing up and getting out of the city and gaining some elevation.  The close proximity to the mountains and nature is one of the main reasons I chose to move to Denver in the first place.  But, being active a few hours outside of civilization presents some challenges when it comes to fueling up. Not only do my treats need to travel well, but they need to have a little more fat and sugar than my normal diet to help me maintain my energy level.

And, preparing for my next hike gives me a good excuse to bake!

With the nuts, dried fruit and a bit of chocolate, these Oatmeal Trail mix Cookies fit the bill perfectly.  Although not low-fat, they are healthier than some cookies with lots of whole grains from rolled oats and whole wheat pastry flour and a protein kick from the nuts and almond meal.

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Cornmeal Cake with Fresh Corn and Berries

It’s an understatement to say that this hasn’t been a good year for corn farmers!  However, if you can still find good sweet corn in your grocery store or at the farmers’ market, this cake is a great way to celebrate the harvest!  I first found the recipe in a cookbook given to me as a gift (thanks, Cara) called “Farmers’ Market Desserts Cookbook“.

As written, the recipe makes a delicious dessert.  Not too sweet and great for picnics.  But, after a few substitutions, I feel much more comfortable serving this cake beside eggs at brunch, as an afternoon snack with coffee or I’ll top it with some ice cream to create an indulgent-tasting dessert.  the substitutions I made not only made the cake a bit healthier, but they have the added bonus of creating a much more moist cake.

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Ganache Peanut Butter Cookie Tart “healthified”

As we are officially in Valentine’s Day season, it seems like love is in the air..

Or maybe it’s just Chocolate I’ve been smelling.  The two are pretty much one-in-the-same in my opinion.

Either way, as we get closer to this holiday, as someone with a strong chocolate addiction, it seems more difficult to curb my sweet tooth with a mere chocolate chip or two.

A friend recently asked me what my idea was of a perfect dessert which got me thinking…

it would be something that combined both rich, dark chocolate AND peanut butter.

It was that initial question and my gnawing need for something sinfully rich and indulgent that led me to put this recipe together.  Although I felt the need to indulge, I didn’t want to feel too guilty about it so I altered the recipes I used to make them a bit healthi-er.

Whether you make this for your valentine, or for yourself, for a special dinner party, or for a weekday afternoon snack, I hope it hits the spot for those self-diagnosed (but non-recovering) chocolate addicts out there.

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And so it begins… with almost-no-work Apple Butter

I’ve been pouring over my folder of recipes for a week now looking for the “perfect” one to start off my blog.  I was sure that I wanted my first recipe to be something special that really shows who I am as a cook.

And then I realized something… maybe it doesn’t matter what the recipe is as much as it matters that I just start (my father’s advice on life might be sinking in).

Perhaps the first recipe holds less weight than I originally thought… That doesn’t mean, however, that it is any less delicious than the other recipes I plan to share in future posts.

Much to the contrary, this recipe is amazing, much more than the sum of its parts and, best of all, it’s extremely easy!!!

I first made this apple butter when I was transitioning to a diet that didn’t include a lot of added and refined sugar.  I wanted something to go on peanut butter toast or on my yogurt in the morning. I scoured the internet for a good recipe, but was discouraged by all the sugar added to a fruit that is already so sweet!  So, I ditched what I had found and made my own.  I think that this recipe puts store-bought, sugar added apple butter to shame!  Give it a shot and I think you’ll agree.

Not only does this apple butter recipe fulfill the above requirements, it has become my go-to sweet sauce that I use for everything from an oatmeal topping in the morning to a substitute for oil in baked goods to a decadent sauce on top of cake, ice cream and once, even cheesecake (the last three items are all occasional, decadent treats themselves–no need to add more sugar).  I keep it on hand at all times! It helps that it’s easy to prepare in big batches and it keeps in the fridge for about a month.

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