Fudge Brownies

In case you missed it, here is my amazing simple recipe for Healthy Fudge Brownies.

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Brownies are probably my favorite dessert. My regular unhealthy recipe for brownies are obviously delicious, but they leave me feeling heavy and with stomach pains, not to mention help with weight gain. I began to try several different recipes for brownies, but never had luck making a batch that i’d be proud to give to guests or share with you all. That has finally changed! This recipe is not only healthy, but it is super delicious, rich and fudgy. They melt in your mouth and are really hard to stop at just one. Good thing is, you don’t need to feel guilty if you have two. Yay! So next time you are craving chocolate or just want a treat, bake these! You won’t want to go back to your old brownie recipe, believe me.

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Fudge Brownies
Adapted from Jillian Michaels

1/3 cup honey, can also use agave
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, use 1/3 cup for a lesser rich chocolate flavor 

a few drops of liquid stevia*
2 egg whites
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 Tb melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup oat flour*
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 8×8 pan with olive oil.

Whisk together the first 7 ingredients. Then add in the last 4 and mix again till smooth. You can add some chopped walnuts in if you’d like or chocolate chips, but it will go up in calories. Pour into pan and bake for 25 minutes. Let cool and place in fridge. Once it is cold, cut into squares and enjoy. These taste best cold so store them in the fridge.

*To make oat flour all you need to do is blend oats in a blender till powder consistency. I make a lot at a time and store in a bag for later use.

*Each brand of liquid stevia is different therefore you may need to taste the batter a bit to see if it is sweet enough for you. My brand was a bit weaker in sweetness so I used about 1 full dropper for the recipe.

These make about 12 squares depending on the way you cut them.

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Top with peanut butter for even more deliciousness
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I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Amazing Butternut Squash Red Lentil Soup

Fall is here and that means it’s time for some yummy comfort style dishes! Recipes using pumpkin and squash are amazing this time of year. This soup is not only super healthy, but it is hearty and you can serve it for dinner with a nice salad on the side. My picky 2 year old actually loves it and my 11 month old who basically loves everything also gobbles this up. It has enough flavor in it that you don’t need any soup mixes or junk like that added in. Just some good ol’ veggies and lentils. Delicious!

Oh and did I mention that it also has a super spice?” Yup, Turmeric is actually really good for you. Studies have shown that it can help prevent/reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, heart attacks, strokes, colds, flu, indigestion, and assist in weight loss. Sounds pretty good to me! And even if it wasn’t for any of these reasons, it makes this soup taste pretty darn good.


Butternut Squash Red Lentil Soup
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup dry red lentils
2 medium butternut squash
6-8 cups water
A pinch of each: dried oregano, black pepper, salt (two pinches), garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric. {Note: do not use your fingers to actually put in a pinch of turmeric or it will leave your hand and anything you touch yellow. My kids kept asking why I colored on my face 🙂 Lesson learned! }

Cut the butternut squash in half. Scoop out seeds, pierce with knife and bake in the oven uncovered till the middle is soft. Should take about 30 minutes. Scoop out and smash a bit, not puree, but not big chunks. OR you could just cut of the squash and add it to the soup with the lentils at the beginning (no pre-baking) but I like it better with the squash blended and it is much easier than peeling and cutting up.

Heat oil in a large soup pot and saute the onion, carrots and garlic about 5 minutes till onions are soft. Add lentils and 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Then add the mashed butternut squash and seasonings. Stir and let simmer 30 minutes.

The soup may get very thick so you might want to add a cup or two more of water and stir again. If you like it thick, keep as is.

Before Baking
After baking
After being mashed up
Baby Enjoying!
I hope you give this a try and report back!

Tip Tuesday #6- Frozen Spinach

Where I live, it is not so easy to find spinach. Obviously, that is horrible for us green smoothie lovers. I sometimes find frozen spinach and use that for my smoothies. The other day I went to the store to get more spinach as I was all out. I was so upset to see there was none in the freezer section! This was super depressing for me. Luckily, a few days later I went to a small fruit and vegetable store and found in the fridge section a bag of fresh spinach. Yay!
This isn’t the first time I found fresh spinach and I really enjoy using it in my smoothies, but the spinach goes bad if it isn’t used fast enough and I end up wasting most of the bag.
This time I went home, washed it, dried it, and picked off some of the stems. Then I took big handfuls and placed each handful into a plastic sandwich bag. Squeeze out the air and tie a knot to close. This gave me 12 bags at about 1 to 1.5 ounces. I then placed all the bags in one ziplock freezer bag and placed the whole thing in my freezer.

Now I have my spinach portioned out so I can grab and add to my smoothies easily. I also really enjoy the frozen spinach as it makes the smoothie even colder which I love.

Now that you have your spinach all ready to go, try my Super Green Smoothie.

Oh So Yummy, Eggy Oats

This may sound really strange, but stay with me here. I’ve seen many recipes for oats mixed with egg whites or a whole egg. It adds creaminess and protein so I figured i’d give it a try. First I tried to make it on the stove top. That took way too long and the oats were still hard after all that time stirring the pot! We all know I like fast recipes. Then I thought i’d do the same, but in the microwave. Result? Really mushy. The texture was just off. I wasn’t sure when to add the egg white and if I should put it back in the microwave to cook more.

Then I thought of another plan of action and it was just amazing! It is my new favorite breakfast or lunch -savory eggy oats. It is perfect. It might not look like a 5 star dish and may sound strange, but i’m telling you- try it!!! It’s high in protein and super filling. And even better than that, it’s done in under 2 minutes!

Savory Eggy Oats

1/4 cup dry quick oats
1/2 cup water
Stir together in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 50 seconds.
Take out of microwave and top with 1-2 eggs or 1 egg and 1-2 egg whites. You don’t need to, but I make a little crack in the yolk with a knife.
Place back into microwave for another 60-70 seconds till egg is cooked to your liking.
I like to then break and mix the whole thing together a bit and sprinkle with some sea salt and black pepper.
Then add 1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese on top.
The cold cottage cheese makes the whole thing really creamy and perfect.

Cooked Oats
Add your eggs
After eggs are done
Mix it up
Top with cottage cheese and spices
Devour!

Enjoy!

Honey Cake (Refined Sugar Free, Whole Wheat, Low Fat!)

When the Jewish new year comes around one of the most popular things to make is honey cake. The only recipe I’ve ever used and loved is my mother’s recipe. It is just perfect. But of course, like many other cake recipes, it has a nice amount of oil and sugar. I’ve even seen recipes with over 1.5 cups of sugar in it. Isn’t this a honey cake? So I figured why not make a cake without all that sugar and use honey as the only thing to sweeten it. The results were too good not to share.

Real Honey Cake
Yields 2 small loaf pans

1/2 cup honey
1/2 Tb instant coffee mixed with 1/4 cup hot water to dissolve
1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 cup coconut oil, in liquid form/melted
1 egg
1/2 cup rice milk
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Spray 2 small loaf pans with oil.
Mix together the first 6 ingredients in order. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix. I used a large whisk. The batter won’t be very thick, more liquidy. Pour half batter in each pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
Once the cakes have cooled slightly poke holes in the top with a skewer and brush the tops with extra honey. This cake tastes best as it sits and the flavors come together.

Notes:
I have not tried this with any other oil, but you can definitely try.
I used rice milk since that is what I had on hand and it is also naturally sweet. I’m sure you can try another milk, juice or even water.
The whole wheat flour I used was 80% whole wheat, which means it is less grainy than regular 100% flour, but it does not have any added white flour to it. I think it may be similar to white whole wheat flour. Again, try 100% whole wheat if you’d like, but the results may vary.
Feel free to double this recipe to yield more servings or bake in a different size pan.

That’s all folks!
I hope you give this recipe a try and come back to tell me how you liked it!

Do you have any classic recipes you wish were healthy? Let me know below and I will work on it.

Have a SWEET New Year!


To My Readers

Sorry, no recipe today. I have been very busy cooking and baking away these past few days. Why? Well, my Jewish readers will definitely know! Tonight starts the new year in the Jewish calendar, Rosh Hashanah. We spend time praying and being with family and friends around a table with lots of great food. Apples, honey, pomegranate, and dates are just some of the foods we enjoy to start off the year sweet. It can be hard for those of us who are trying to watch what we eat. The best tip I can give is don’t deprive yourself, but just eat in moderation. Try to pick healthier options if there are.

So to all my amazing readers, Jewish or not, have a great new year/weekend. Let’s go into the year/week with a renewed view on our life. Let’s make the most of it and work on ourselves to be better than we were before. Remember, there is MUCH MORE to life than your weight and looks. We will be remembered for our good hearts and good deeds, not our dress size.
Shana TovaHave a Sweet New Year!
Rena
P.S.- If you need a last minute dessert- Apple Pie is perfect