Light Apple Crisp

Light Apple Crisp

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: Easy
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It’s apple picking time. That usually means, we have extra apples. Apples are very versatile. Nothing quite like an apple pie, or apple crumble, or apple crisp. So I went looking for a recipe that would fit the bill and not over do it on the sugar. I found a version of this (slightly modified by me) in a diabetic site.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups of diced, peeled, cored apples
  • 2 cups of unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup of flour (I use unbleached)
  • 1/4 cup of rolled oats (not the quick cooking)
  • 2 tbsp of melted light margarine
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • nonstick cooking spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Coat a 13×9 inch pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, oats, margarine, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and apple sauce. Blend with fork.
  3. Layer apples in the pan and sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly over top.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle nuts on top.

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 125
  • Fat 2.6 g
  • Sugar 19 g
  • Carbohydrates 18 g
  • Protein 0.75 g
  • Fibre 2 g

The picture I posted does not give it justice. It is quite good. I made the mistake (in the picture) to mix everything together. I had layered my apples, I poured the brown sugar mixture over it and then, oops, I stirred everything together. So mine did not have that nice “CRISP” to it. So if you follow the directions, you will be fine. I promise to redo the picture next time I make it.

You can add more nuts if you like. If calories don’t matter you can serve warm with ice cream. Or you can add a little coffee cream. Someone suggested Light Cool Whip. So as the saying goes, have fun and make it your own.

Stovetop Apple Pie Filling

Stovetop Apple Pie Filling

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Who hasn’t gone to the store and bought apples that looked so great and by the end of the week, oops, that was too many. I know I have, more than once. I hate wasting food. Too many people go hungry everyday for us to waste good food. I do my best to extend the life of food. Here is an easy recipe that is delicious, quick, and versatile.

Ingredients

  • 6-8 medium apples
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 tbsp of water
  • 2 tbsp of butter (salted)
  • 1-2 tsp of vanilla extract (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp of water and 1 tbsp of cornstarch
  • 1/2 tbsp of Cinnamon

Directions

  1. Peel, core and slice apples.
  2. Melt butter with cinnamon over medium heat.
  3. Add apples, sugar and water.
  4. Cover and cook stirring occasionally for 4-6 minutes, or until slightly softened. 
  5. In a small dish, combine cornstarch with 2 tbsp of water.
  6. Add to the pan and bring to boil and stir until thickened.
  7. Let bubble 1 minute.
  8. Let cool.

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 88
  • Fat 1.9 g
  • Sugar 16.1 g
  • Carbohydrates 18.8 g
  • Protein 0 g
  • Fibre 2.6 g

This is the equivalent of 1 can of apple pie filling. This recipe is so versatile, you will buy extra apples just to make this. You can use it as a topper on oatmeal, yogourt, ice cream, add a bit of granola and it becomes a great snack, or heck you can use it in a pie crust too. So many possibilities for you to have fun and make it your own.

Healthy Chocolate Pudding

Healthy Chocolate Pudding

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Chocolate pudding, healthy? I know right? Doesn’t sound correct. I’m expecting lots of sugar, but low and behold, that is not the case. I’ve traded a few recipes with this young man, who has the makings of one day being a great chef if he wishes, and this is one of his. His great aunt that lives with them is diabetic so he made sure to make this so she can eat this too.

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 bananas
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 6 tsp of maple syrup

Directions

  1. In a food processor put in bananas and avocado and pulse until creamy and without lumps.
  2. Add vanilla, cocoa, salt and maple syrup and pulse until well integrated.
  3. Put in ramekins and place in fridge for 30 minutes to cool.

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 166
  • Fat 6.7 g
  • Sugar 15.5 g
  • Carbohydrates 29.4 g
  • Protein 2.5 g
  • Fibre 6.3 g

As you see in the pictures I added light cool whip about a tablespoon and berries. This is where you can have fun. Top it with whatever you like. If you are not diabetic, you can shave some chocolate on top.

I asked the young man why maple syrup instead of sugar? He told me that although calories are about the same, maple syrup has a lower glycemic index and maple syrup contains some minerals. For diabetics, this is still to be taken as a treat with a lower carb and sugar meal like a nice tuna salad and this for dessert. After all it is about choices and it all starts with a bite. So make your choice on the first bite so your last one can be sweet if you like. Again have fun with this and make it your own.

Greek Yogourt Chocolate Cake

Greek Yogourt Chocolate Cake

  • Servings: 24
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Dessert is the perfect way to wrap up a good meal. The final touch. It doesn’t have to be much. For those of us with a sweet tooth, a small piece of sweetness ends the meal perfectly. We could always use more but because I indulged in the past on seconds in the dessert section, I now have to watch my portions. This cake is moist, flavourful and even gives that little extra in protein. With this portion size, even my diabetic friends can indulge in a serving.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp of instant coffee
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour, a little more for the pan
  • 1-3/4 cups of sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of plain Greek Yogourt (I use 0% fat)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Cooking spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Use cooking spray on 10-12 cup Bundt pan and flour. Set aside
  2. In a small saucepan, combine butter, cocoa powder, instant coffee, salt and water and put over medium heat. Cook until just melted and combined, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Combine flour, sugar and baking soda in a large bowl and whisk to blend. Add half of the cocoa mixture and whisk until completely combined (this will be very thick). Add remaining cocoa mixture and whisk to combine. Add one egg at a time, whisking at each step. Then whisk in yogourt and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Pour into pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. Until toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Let cool in the pan on rack for 15 minutes and then invert onto rack and let cool to room temperature.

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 141
  • Fat 4.5 g
  • Sugar 15 g
  • Carbohydrates 23.5 g
  • Protein 2.5 g
  • Fibre 0.7 g

As you can see, I did not frost this cake. You can make a glaze for it. I chose to simply sprinkle 1/16 of a tsp of icing sugar for the look. You could decorate with bright berries like raspberries or strawberries. It may not seem like much but it is enough to satisfy your sweet craving. Have fun and make it your own.

Benson’s Shortbread Cookies

Benson’s Shortbread Cookies

  • Servings: 24 cookies
  • Difficulty: Easy
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What says Christmas more than cookies. I remember there always being shortbread cookies. Oh no, I don’t have a recipe! Tried a couple that didn’t quite turn out like I wanted. While talking to my best friend, she said she had a recipe from an old box of Benson’s corn starch that her mom used to make. To this day, those cookies reminder her of her mom. Well Benson’s is no longer around, but their recipe brought a smile to a lot of young faces. This recipe is too good to go forgotten with the times.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of corn starch
  • 2 cup of icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of softened butter

Directions

  1. Sift together flour, corn starch, and icing sugar
  2. With a wooden spoon, incorporate butter until a smooth dough forms
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes
  4. Preheat oven to 300
  5. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thick and use cookie cutters for fun shapes
  6. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned
  7. Cool on wire rack

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 90
  • Sugar 2.54 g
  • Carbohydrates 8.9 g
  • Protein 0.61 g
  • Fiber 0.17 g
  • Fat 5.8 g

As you see in the picture, I added sprinkles. I did that to the dough as I was mixing the dough. (they are not counted in the nutritional facts) I’m not great at decorating. The size of your cookie cutters will determine how many cookies you get. Mine are approximately 3 inches from top to bottom. They are low enough on carbs and sugar that even diabetics can indulge in a cookie or two. Have fun and make them as festive as you like. this old recipe your own.

Buttermilk Apple Cake

Buttermilk Apple Cake

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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This is a recipe that I didn’t even alter. Thank you to Anne Lindsay on this one. This is a coffeecake-type cake that stays moist and is great for brunches, packed lunches or just plain dessert. I didn’t peel the apples because the skin is added fiber.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup soft light margarine
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 cup of buttermilk (light)
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour (I use unbleached)
  • 1 cup of whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 2-3 medium apples, cored and finely chopped (about 2.5 cups)

Topping

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Lightly grease and flour an 8″ or 9″ square cake pan
  3. In a large bowl, beat together margarine and sugar until combined; beat in buttermilk
  4. Add flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and apples; mix until combined
  5. Spread batter evenly in pan
  6. Topping: combine sugar, cinnamon and coconut; sprinkle over batter
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
  8. Let cool in pan

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 192
  • Sugar 21 g
  • Carbohydrates 35 g
  • Protein 3.9 g
  • Fiber 2.9 g
  • Fat 5 g

This is a nice moist cake. Serves great with coffee, fresh fruit, or just plain as is. Enjoy this and remember to make it your own.

Soft Pumpkin Cookies

Soft Pumpkin Cookies

  • Servings: 48 Cookies
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Cookies are made to be fun. We all know they are an indulgence. No one can say, “I will die if I don’t have a cookie” but we all know we want one. Who says that cookies can’t be good and good for you. Below is a recipe that is fun and tastes good. In the notes below you will see modifications for lighter cookies and fat free reduced cookies. I will even give you the breakdown on the nutritional value differences. The first part is the full-on recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups of all purpose flour (I use unbleached)
  • 1 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1.5 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extra
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar (icing sugar)

Directions

  1. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Beat sugar and butter with mixer on medium high speed, then blend in pumpkin, egg and vanilla until incorporated.
  3. Gradually mix in flour and dry ingredients.
  4. Refrigerate dough for 3-4 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  6. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with non stick baking spray.
  7. Scoop dough into one inch balls. (I use a small 2 ounce scoop, works well, worth the money) Roll in icing sugar, place dough balls on baking sheet.
  8. Bake for roughly 12 minutes.
  9. Remove from baking sheet to a cooling rack. When completely cool, store cookies in an airtight container. On the counter they will keep 3-4 days, in fridge for about a week.

Nutrition Per Cookie

  • Calorie 69
  • Fat 2.45 g
  • Carb 11.8 g
  • Sugar 6.4 g
  • Fiber 0.4 g
  • Protein 1.4g

That is the full version, full fat, full sugar. Still not bad 2 cookies is only 140 cals. And they are good source of vit A.

Now if you omit rolling them in icing sugar, you reduce, per cookie, the calories by 8.1, the carbs by 2.1 and the sugar by 2.1. Now for the reduced calorie and fat but leaving in the icing sugar. Omit the butter and replace with same quantity of unsweetened apple sauce. Cook for 1 minute less.

Nutrition Per Cookie

  • Calorie 53
  • Fat 0.5 g
  • Carb 11.8 g
  • Sugar 6.4 g
  • Fiber 0.4 g
  • Protein 1.4g

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake

  • Servings: 8 good size servings. Can be stretched to 12.
  • Difficulty: Easy
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I like pumpkin, I like cheesecake. Why wouldn’t they be good together? My better half doesn’t mind pumpkin as long as it’s not overwhelming. Well this recipe fits the bill. I’ve modified the original recipe to reduce calories and fat.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp of unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 packages of light cream cheese (500g total, or 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl mix the graham crackers and applesauce until well moistened. Then put in a 9’’ pie plate. Press out evenly. If you press too hard the crust will be very tough.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, blend cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Mix until well creamed.
  4. In a smaller bowl, take 1 cup of the cream cheese mixture and add pumpkin puree and cinnamon and mix well.
  5. Pour cream cheese batter into pie crust.
  6. Gently pour pumpkin batter over cream cheese batter.
  7. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes
  8. Refrigerate 3 hour or more before serving.

Nutrition Per Serving (1 out of 8 slices)

  • Calories 245
  • Sugar 21 g
  • Carbohydrates 27 g
  • Protein 5.9 g
  • Fiber 1.0 g
  • Fat 12 g

You really have to make sure that you serve this cold. This was well received. You can add a little cinnamon if you like or sub it for pumpkin spice. You can not use fat free cream cheese. It doesn’t cook as well. You can sprinkle some cinnamon on top if you like. Or if you want a little crunch, you can sprinkle brown sugar on over the top. Be careful for the calories and sugar content. If you don’t have concerns for either have fun and make it your own.

Rice Pudding Made Light

Rice Pudding Made Light

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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I love rice pudding, but with anywhere between 250-300 calories per serving, my waist was not liking rice pudding. I used a recipe from a friend and modified it to make this lighter version of her famous rice pudding.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1-3/4 cups of water
  • 1-1/2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of raisins

Directions

  1. In a small stock pot, put water and rice and salt, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, until the water is absorbed.
  2. Add 1-1/2 cups of the milk and sugar, and cook over medium low until thick and creamy. Some liquid must remain or it will be too thick. This should take about 20 minutes. Stir frequently.
  3. During that time, beat the egg and temper with the remaining 1/2 cup of warm almond milk. Add the raisins and vanilla to the mixture.
  4. Once rice is at desired consistency, add egg mixture and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Put in 8 ramkin bowls or dessert dishes that can be reheated in micro.

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 160
  • Fat 1.3 g
  • Sugar 13.5 g
  • Carbohydrates 38.2 g
  • Protein 3.9 g
  • Fiber 1.0 g

Hint: Tempering an egg is the process of beating an egg and adding a warm liquid a little at a time so the egg does not cook. If you were to drop the beaten egg right into the rice mixture you might have an omelet start to form.

Using unsweetened almond milk keeps the pudding creamy without the fat of whole milk. If you use skim milk it will be watery. Besides almond milk has less calories than skim milk. The calorie count listed is with raisins but if you don’t like raisins you can omit or sub for dried cranberries. Be careful which dried fruit you use as some are excessively high in sugar. This is best served warm.

My first attempt was way too thick so I added about a tablespoon or two of almond milk when I reheated them in the micro. For those who like something sweeter, you can serve with a 1/2 tablespoon of maple syrup but if you are counting calories remember that those are extra, put a little less raisins and you should be fine.

You can dress them up with fresh berries. You can even make this healthier by using brown rice. Have fun and make it your own.

If you want to make this into a vegetable sauce, because you have green peppers growing and need to find another use for them, you can add them, including celery, or any veggie you wish. Have fun and make it your own. If you have suggestions, let me know. I like trying new things too.

Basic French Crepes

Basic French Crepes

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Here is a basic crepe batter that is easy, tasty, and can be ready in minutes. The ingredients are usually readily available in any house. These are low in calorie, it’s up to you what you put in them

IMG_1528

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of low fat milk
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 2 tbsp of margarine

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk milk, eggs, water, butter
  2. Combine flour and salt in a small bowl
  3. Gradually add the flour to the milk mixture while whisking until smooth
  4. In a nonstick 8 inch pan over medium heat pour 1/4 cup of batter and tilt the pan in a circular motion to coat the bottom evenly with batter
  5. Cook for approximately 1-1/2 minutes until bottom is light brown and flip and cook for another 30 seconds
  6. Place each crepe on a plate separated with wax paper

Nutrition Per Serving (one crepe)

  • Calories 103
  • Sugar 1.5 g
  • Carbohydrates 13.2 g
  • Protein 3.6 g
  • Fiber 0.8 g
  • Fat 3.6 g

Now for the fun part. As a dessert, as seen in picture you can add 1/2 cup of fruit with 1/3 cup of greek vanilla yogourt and this is approximately 180 cal. That is one of my favourite ways to do this. For someone where calories and fat don’t matter you could do it with whipped cream. You could do it as a breakfast crepe where you would heat it for 20 seconds in microwave and put Nutella and bananas in it. The possibilities are endless.

Let your imagination go, have fun and make it your own