Berry Strudel

Berry Strudel

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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I was asked if I had a recipe that was low in sugar and looked good. Went digging and this is what I came up with.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of berries (I used raspberries)
  • 2 tbsp of instant tapioca
  • 1 tsp of grated lemon zest
  • 5 sheets of phyllo dough thawed 12 x 17 inches
  • 2 tbsp of unsalted butter melted
  • 2 tbsp of crushed walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of greek plain yogourt
  • 1 tsp of brown sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Mix berries, tapioca and lemon zest and let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Place a parchemin paper on your work surface, as this is what you will use in your baking sheet.
  4. Place one sheet of phyllo dough and lightly butter it. (Make sure to place a damp towel on the remaining four sheets so they don’t dry out)
  5. Spread 1/2 tbsp of crushed walnuts on the sheet.
  6. Repeat three times.
  7. Place the last sheet over the four others.
  8. Spread the fruit mixture on a horizontal line approximately 2 inches from the edge and from the ends.
  9. Gently roll and fold the ends under.
  10. Place the roll with the parchemin paper on the baking sheet.
  11. Place the baking sheet on the lowest rack.
  12. Cook for 18 minutes until golden brown. If it browns too quickly place a piece of foil over the top and continue baking.
  13. Once cooked let cool for approximately 20 minutes, serve luke warm.
  14. In the meantime, mix yogourt with brown sugar.
  15. Cut into 8 pieces and serve with yogourt on the side.

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 124
  • Fat 7.6 g
  • Sugar 2.9 g
  • Carbohydrates 12.1 g
  • Protein 2.5 g
  • Fibre 3.2 g

This is a refreshing dessert. It looks great (for a fancier look, lightly sprinkle some icing sugar over the top). It is low in sugar, a great dessert for diabetics. You can vary the fruits inside. Berries work great as they don’t need extra sugar. Like I always say, have fun and make it your own.

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

  • Servings: 8 1 cup portions
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Is there ever a wrong time for pumpkin? What you will find here is a soup that is great as is, or can be used as a base. The puree I used was one I froze from a pumpkin I cooked, you can use canned puree (just be sure not to use pie filling)

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 4 cups of pumpkin puree
  • 6 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp of cajun spice
  • 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat
  2. Add onion and cook until tender.
  3. Add garlic cook for approximately 2 minutes.
  4. Add puree, broth and spices.
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 60 minutes.
  6. You can either serve or if you want smoother, use your blender to puree it even more.

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 107
  • Fat 1.8 g
  • Sugar 3 g
  • Carbohydrates 11.6 g
  • Protein 5.1 g
  • Fibre 3.3 g

This is an easy soup that is both nutritious and low calorie. It can be served as an appetizer or as a main course. As a main course, use two servings. You can serve it with a nice sunflower and flax seed bread (see recipe), white bread (see recipe) or country biscuits (see recipe). You can use this as a base for a vegetable soup. You can thicken it with a little flour and use it as a sauce. So basically, have fun and make it your own.

No Bake Bumpy Peanut Butter Nuggets

No Bake Bumpy Peanut Butter Nuggets

  • Servings: 30 small balls
  • Difficulty: Easy
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These are easy to make and quick. You feel to dress up a bowl of sugar free jello, this is a great option. Straight, they are good too.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup of nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened orange juice concentrate

Directions

  1. Combine peanut butter, milk powder, and coconut in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Stir in oats, ground cinnamon, wheat germ and orange juice concentrate until thoroughly combined.
  3. Shape into 1 inch balls, chill thoroughly before serving, store remaining nuggets in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 46
  • Fat 2.9 g
  • Sugar 1.8 g
  • Carbohydrates 3.8 g
  • Protein 1.9 g
  • Fibre 0.7 g

A healthy serving could be three balls. I think they are great as an add on. Any concentrate can be used. Watch the sugars. You could add a little unsweetened cocoa, would add 1 cal per ball. Can you see it, a chocolatey ball over a light white chocolate sugar free pudding? Possibilities are endless, so have fun and make it your own.

Egg Cups

Egg Cups

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 250 ml of egg whites (8 ounces)
  • 1 tbsp of milk
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cooked turkey or chicken chopped
  • 1 cup chopped raw spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk 3 eggs, egg whites and milk along with the salt and pepper. In another bowl mix your other ingredients. Your turkey with cilantro and sundried tomatoes. (or variation you like).
  3. Spray muffin tin with non stick cooking spray (I used silicon muffin inserts and he used a silicon muffin pan).
  4. Arrange your ingredients at the bottom of each muffin tin.
  5. Using a soup ladle, put your egg mixture into each tin on top of the other ingredients.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the tops of the egg cups get big and fluffy and slightly golden brown on top.
  7. Let cool for a few minutes before popping them out of the muffin tin.

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 90
  • Fat 4.9 g
  • Sugar 0.8 g
  • Carbohydrates 2.4 g
  • Protein 6.6 g
  • Fibre 1.2 g

A young chef came to me with this. What he loved about this was the versatility. He has done this at home over a dozen times and each time he uses what he has in the fridge. When he asked if we could do this together he reminded me that depending what I used, this was low in fat, low in cholesterol, with high protein. They can be used as part of breakfast, a protein snack, or as an hors d’oevres.

The prep time includes cooking your chicken or turkey or saussage. The versatility is fun. He has one version he calls Tex-Mex which is 1 avocado diced, 1 diced bell pepper, a little jalapeño and a little cilantro. I tried mine with hot italian sausage. I will say, careful what you use. Mine made this a little oily. If you use something that is fatty, make sure you remove as much of the fat as possible. You can have so much fun with this and make them your own.

Hamburger Soup

Hamburger Soup

  • Servings: 10 of 1 cup
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Cold weather is upon us. Comfort food is a must. I love seeing the leaves turning colours, cooler nights for sleep, but salads get pushed aside for cozier foods. Here is one of them.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves or 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 19 ounce can (540ml) of chopped tomatoes
  • 10 oz can (284 ml) tomato soup (preferably sodium reduced)
  • 1 tsp worchestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups of low sodium beef broth (I use campbell)
  • 3 medium carrots peeled and sliced (relatively thin)
  • 1 cup chopped cabbage

Directions

  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, brown the meat and drain off excess fat.
  2. Add onions and garlic and cook on low heat until onions are tender.
  3. Add tomatoes, tomato soup, worchestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and broth.
  4. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Add the vegetables and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 122
  • Fat 4.8 g
  • Sugar 5 g
  • Carbohydrates 8.5 g
  • Protein 11.2 g
  • Fibre 1.7 g

This is an easy soup that is both nutritious and low calorie. It can be served as an appetizer or as a main course. We had it as a main course and it made 6 bowls. You can serve it with a nice sunflower and flax seed bread (see recipe), white bread (see recipe) or country biscuits (see recipe).

Overall, it was a nice comfort food for a cooler night. If you want it spicy, you can add a little cayenne pepper to taste. You can add extra veggies like frozen corn. Possibilities are endless, so have fun and make it your own.

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.

Skinny Banana Bread Muffins

Skinny Banana Bread Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Skinny muffins that are flavourful and moist. Wait, that doesn’t sound right. Well, it is and they are healthier than most. These banana muffins have no oil, low sugar and are only 130 calories. I apologize to the store bought or coffee house muffins.

Ingredients

  • 4 bananas mashed (about 1-1/3 cup)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 cup all purpose flour (whole wheat makes them a little more dense)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tin with paper liners or silicon liners.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mash bananas, add egg, vanilla, sugars, and cinnamon and stir well to combine.
  3. In a larger bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add banana mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Gently stir in melted butter. Don’t over-mix the batter as the muffins will be tougher.
  5. Spoon into muffin tin and bake for 18-25 minutes.

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 130
  • Fat 2 g
  • Sugar 9 g
  • Carbohydrates 23 g
  • Protein 2 g
  • Fibre 2 g

Note: You can freeze these for up to 2 months in a freezer safe ziplock bag. Make sure that they are completely cooled and get as much of the air out of the bag first.

If calories or sugar are not of concern, you can add walnuts, raisins, cranberries, or even peanut butter (if you add peanut butter, you will need to add an equal amount of flour). This makes the possibilities endless. Remember to have fun and make it your own.

Orange Chiffon Cake

Orange Chiffon Cake

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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I was asked for a recipe that is light not only in calories but also in texture. Something that felt like summer. This is what I came up with. Hope you like it.

This cake is refreshing. It is low caloric and sweet. First time I made a chiffon cake. I had fun and made it my own. Your turn to do the same.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of cake flour (if you don’t have any, all purpose flour will do, minus 2 tbsp and add 2 tbsp of cornstarch)
  • 8 tbsp of a mixture of sucralose and sugar. (if you want to use sugar only that’s ok just remember to add that to the calories and sugar content per serving)
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp of grated orange zest (approx 2 oranges)
  • 3/4 cup of orange juice freshly pressed
  • 1/4 cup of canola oil
  • 1 tsp of brandy or orange liquor (optional)
  • 6 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar
  • 2 oz of semi-sweet chocolate
  • Cooking spray or butter and margarine and 1-2 tbsp of flour to coat pan

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, 6 tbsp of the sucralose-sugar mixture, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, add eggs, oil, zest, orange juice, brandy to the flour mixture and mix until smooth.
  4. In a large bowl, using clean blades on medium, beat egg whites and cream of tartare until soft peaks. Bring speed up to high and add remaining sucralose-sugar until it forms stiff peaks.
  5. Using a spatula, slowly fold in the egg mixture to the flour mixture until blended.
  6. Pour into a very lightly greased and floured bundt pan. Cook for 50-55 min or until cake tester comes out clean. (Make sure not to open oven door during first 45 minutes)
  7. Reverse onto a parchemin covered plate after cooled completely.
  8. Cut chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl that goes in the microwave. Stir every 30 seconds until completely melted.
  9. Pour over cooled cake and cut and serve.

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 165
  • Fat 7 g
  • Sugar 15 g
  • Carbohydrates 22 g
  • Protein 4.0 g
  • Fibre 1.0 g

Note: if you are using a nonstick pan, some people recommend not greasing and flouring others say it’s imperative. First time I did it, I didn’t flour the pan just greased it and it stuck. Also make sure to let it cool completely before unmolding or else it will break.

Instead of melted chocolate, you can always add your favourite coulis. Remember have fun 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.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are always a hot subject. How much should I have, how much shouldn’t I have? Which foods are high in carbs, which aren’t? Some diets tell you no carbs, some say high carbs. I don’t claim to be a doctor nor am I a nutritionist or dietician. I won’t tell you how many carbs you should or should not be eating. I’ve personally never believed that any food should be omitted from one’s diet unless there is an allergy or you are told to by a physician. Everything in moderation. 

Here a few functions of carbs and the primary one is to provide your body with energy. Most of the carbs in foods you eat are digested and broken down into glucose. Glucose goes through your blood stream to produce fuel for your body. 

Glucose in your muscles is vital for long periods of high intensity exercise. In circumstances where your body has all the glucose it needs, it will convert it and store it as fat.

If you lack glucose in your body, muscle can be broken down into amino acids and converted into glucose to generate energy. Obviously this is not an ideal scenario. 

In carbs, fibre is also included. Fibre promotes good digestive health and reduces the risk of digestive track diseases. Eating plenty of dietary fibre can benefit your heart and blood sugar levels thus reducing your risk of diabetes.

Bottom line, carbohydrates serve several key functions in the body. They provide energy for daily tasks and are the primary fuel source for your brain’s high energy demands. The fibre in carbs help promote good digestion and reduce your risk of heart diseases and diabetes.

I’ve included a list I found on the internet that lists all sorts of products and their carb content. This is just a quick reference guide when you are making choices like, do I have a bagel or a 2 inch cube of corn bread. This guide has helped me plan some of the meals to make sure that I have a controlled amount of carbs to my diet. This can also be helpful to all you diabetics out there. 

Carbohydrate Content of Foods

So, the above is just my opinion. I believe we need to have a little of everything in our diets. It helps keep it interesting, less cravings, and I believe, healthier. We’ve all done diets that remove a food from the lineup and guess what, first day, most of us crave that food. Tell me I can’t have chocolate and guess what I crave it. Even if I haven’t had chocolate in weeks, all of in a sudden, I just have to have it. But that is just me. 

Above all make sensible choices, stay healthy and if you need help, seek advise from a nutritionist or dietician.