Friday, 23 November 2012

Pumpkin, Carrot Chocolate Chip Muffins

I love pumpkin. I love carrots. I love chocolate. So that's how my pumpkin, carrot, chocolate chip muffins came to be!
Here's the recipe and it's very low fat and not too bad on the calorie count either!

1/2 cup of maple syrup or agave nectar. (I used part of one and part of the other and then a pinch or stevia. Add more sweetener if you wish up to a half cup more.)
1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce. (I buy mine in a jar, then freeze the rest in ice cube trays and put in ziplocks for future use)
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree (or fresh pumpkin if you're energetic. I'm not) (Again, I freeze leftover pumpkin but in muffin tins)
1 large carrot, peeled and grated.
1 1/2 cups of flour
3/4 tea. baking powder
1/2 tea. baking soda
1 tea. cinnamon (you can use some ground gloves but just cut your cinnamon in half and use 1/4 tea to 1/2 tea. of the ground cloves)
1/4 tea. salt
1/4 tea. nutmeg
1/2 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate of choice

Pre-heat oven to 400F. Grease muffin tin.
 Mix all wet ingredients until well blended.
Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl and mix well, then mix with wet ingredients until well blended.
Fill cups about 2/3 full. Bake in pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes. If making mini muffins, cut back on time to about 15 minutes or so. Check after about 12 minutes for minis.
btw, they may not look great but they taste REALLY good!!!

Sunday, 4 November 2012



2 Ripe  Avocados
2 med. Bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla (I’ll increase that to two next time)
2 Tablespoons maple syrup (or agave nectar or sweetener of choice)
½ teaspoon cinnamon (I’ll increase that to about 1 tea. next time)
3 heaping Tablespoons of pure cocoa ( I used the Epicure). If you use regular cocoa, then adjust to taste and how deep you want the colour to be.
¼- ½ cup of chocolate chips or pure chocolate from a bar ( 90% cocoa level or of choice)
OOPS!!! My bad! Cat food WAS NOT used in this recipe.

That's better!

Process avocados, bananas till smooth. You may have to scrape the sides every so often. Once smooth, add everything else except the chocolate chips.
Once smooth and blended well, add chocolate chips and process until chocolate is in smaller pieces or until desired. You can skip the processing altogether of the cc and just have them as chips.
The pudding will be quite thick, so carefully spoon into prepared shell of choice (I used a Corn Flake crust recipe that I made up myself). Find below.
Carefully spread pudding over all the crust area and pie plate (I used a 9 inch).
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to firm up more although this pie is ready to eat as soon as it’s finished!

1 ¼ cups Corn Flakes (110 calories)
1 Tablespoon almost melted coconut oil (120 calories)
25 gr. Dates (85 calories)
Process Corn Flakes for a few seconds, then add dates and process until it’s a fine crumb mixture. Add melted coconut oil while processing. Carefully spoon into pie plate and pat down with a spatula until bottom of plate is covered. If you want to also have the sides covered in the crust, increase your amounts by half again. The crust as I made it will be about 315 calories. Divide by 8 servings will be about 40 calories for the crust portion only.
Total for pie as I made it is about 120-130 calories per serving with 8 servings per pie. If you add lite Cool Whip, add those extra calories for each serving. Or you can arrange sliced banana to top off the pie.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies

1 can (540mls) of chick peas, drained well and rinsed very well. Allow to air dry for 10 minutes or so or hand dry with paper towel.
¼ cup honey (I used regular but you can use raw)
½ cup peanut butter (I used regular pb so I only used 1/4 cup honey. If using natural pb, use ½ cup honey)
2 tea. vanilla (I use clear but it doesn’t matter what kind you use)
1-2 Tablespoon ground flax (I use a coffee grinder but a blender might do the job as well)
½ tea. baking powder
1/3 cup chocolate chips (or carob chips or cut up raw chocolate)
I threw in a bit of oats as well as a like oats in everything :-)
Put all ingredients in food processor EXCEPT the chocolate chips. Process until blended very well. I just stopped a couple of times and scraped the sides down. Once it has that “unbaked cookie dough” look, add chocolate and process just a bit if using the chips or more if you are using the processor to chop up the chocolate chunks.
I use a cookie scoop (see pic) to form balls and place on greased cookie sheet. Flatten down a bit with a spatula or as I did, with your fingers. Don’t’ worry about spacing, just as long as they’re not touching each other. Allow to cool on cookies sheet as they will be very soft at first but will firm up as they cool. Then transfer to a cooling rack, get your Almond Silk or soy milk ready and enjoy!!!.......great with a cup of tea too :-)

Bake at 350F. for 15-20 minutes.

Here are the cookies on the cooling rack.The underside will be a bit on the brown side but not overdone. I also used a convection oven so had mine in for only 15 minutes. 
The pic at the very bottom is my cookie dough scoop and on the tray with the cookies are some black bean brownies I made :-)

Saturday, 15 September 2012


Today I had a hanker ‘in for guacamole. I had ¾ of an avocado left but no sour cream, which is what I had always made my guacamole with. Lately however, dairy and I have not been getting along lately and I’ve been avoiding eating ice-cream, sour cream, yogurt, and very little cheese.

I did however, have some soft tofu in the fridge along with my partial avocado so I whipped them up in the processor with some onion, garlic, salsa, red pepper and bit of lime juice and some mixed cheese (cheddar, mozzarella).  Just omit the cheese for a true dairy-free/vegan version.  I can eat a small amount of cheese so I didn’t add much. You can add some other favs like peppers, chili or other spices to your liking. Be careful not to over process the ingredients as it’ll just be soupy.
I used the soft tofu as that’s all I had in my fridge but next time I’ll use a firm tofu to make the guacamole thicker.Excuse the pics as the lighting made the guacamole look a bit pale.
Fyi: the avocado I used was a couple of days old as I made a Panini with some of it the other day. Last week someone told me that to keep an avocado longer once it’s been cut open, just leave the pit in one half and sprinkle a bit of lemon or lime juice in  a zip bag along with the cut avocado. It worked! The few slices that were not part of the pit half were a tiny bit brown but still very much edible. And guess what?
This guacamole ROCKS!!! It’s the best I’ve ever tasted!  

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

DOCTOR, DOCTOR...Give me the News!

 Picture if you will, a beautiful, tranquil, peaceful, seaside town where the water views are great one day and spectacular the next. A town where the people are friendly, the sea food is way above excellent and where your life’s work is appreciated at every turn. Where you will be respected and admired for the job you do. What’s the name of this place? Glad you asked.
It’s Shelburne Nova Scotia, Canada; a town on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. It’s a picture postcard moment throughout this seaside gem with great beaches nearby, kayaking & boating, fishing galore (either fresh or saltwater), and lots of activities & festivals throughout the year with the whole town participating. As an example, this past July, Shelburne hosted The Tall Ships as Shelburne has one of the largest, natural, deep water harbours in the world. Throughout the summer months, there’s a festival or activity every week. Lot’s to do for all ages.
However, Shelburne is a town in desperate need of family physicians. They have a stellar hospital with an exceptional out patients (people come from an hour or more away to go to their out patients even though they may be from a larger town with their own hospital). 
Case in point. My daughter, son-in-law and their two children (age 2 & 4 months) moved to Shelburen in June 2012. They are #70 on the wait list for the nurse practitioner, let alone a physician's wait list. My two year old grand-daughter was diagnosed with Juvinile Arthritus and she can only go to the out patients for any emergencies or check-ups. That goes for immunizations shots for both my grand-daughters as well.
Your work will be appreciated and you will be thanked for what you do. Please consider making Shelburne Nova Scotia your home by the sea.
 Check out the town’s Facebook and web site: 

Monday, 10 September 2012


I love to eat sweets. I always look at the dessert menu in a restaurant before I order my main dish. That way I can judge how small and what kind of a main I’m going to have to justify that scrumptious, decadent dessert!
Now at home, we don’t serve dessert with our Supper meal. It’s not expected, nor wanted (by our waistlines). We do serve dessert if we have company over and for Thanksgiving, Christmas and of course, birthdays.
However, I’m trying to be more mindful of what we put into our bodies for health and weight reasons. In comes the “SNEAKY SNACKS”! Why are they sneaky? Glad you asked.
Yesterday, I was at a spice party. I won’t say the name of the company but they do put out some really great spices, cookware, dips etc. It’s one of the home party deals. I went knowing what I wanted to purchase (I needed some more spinach and herb, herb and garlic and I also purchased their cinnamon and their mango curry.)
Now at this party, there was a plethora of foods prepared with the spices, dips etc. I was really impressed with the quality of each food item. However, the wheels were turning inside my head (the wheels don’t turn as quickly as they used to, so I was slow-going at this), and as I sampled each dip or food, I thought, “I can make this with fresh fruit/veggies/herbs etc.
Example: there was a mocha, cheese ball at the party and it was Devine!! I thought,”cheese+chocolate=YUM! So today I made my own version using my lactose-free cottage cheese, cocoa and some vanilla.
Now in all fairness I was making a dip rather than a ball (I would just use a light cream cheese or very firm tofu for a ball). I didn’t measure any of the ingredients but just added as I was processing. I processed the cottage cheese first, then slowly added about a teaspoon of cocoa and then a little less than a tea. again. Then a splash of vanilla and un voila! Yummy, semi-healthy fruit dip!!! The kids will love you for giving them such a decadent after-school snack as they dip their apple slices,bananas and strawberries into their dip!
My next venture is going to be cauliflower brownies so stay tuned for that at a later blog.
Check out some of my other sneaky snacks on my blog and also has some REALLY great recipes that will give you lots of sneaky snacks for the kiddos (and the adults too!). Also go to The Sneaky Chef. There’s great sneaky recipes that’ll keep you in healthy recipes for a long while.
Happy Snacking!!