Sunday, 28 September 2014

Baked Apples (no added sugars!)

This dessert contains no added sugars!  I used Royal Galas, which are a naturally sweet variety of apples, and pitted dates to provide sweetness.  I used natural peanut butter and coconut oil for the fat component (instead of butter), but you can use any nut butter of your choice.  Almond or cashew butter would provide a more mild flavour.  This dessert is mildly sweet, so you could adjust your spices (I used cinnamon only, but nutmeg, ground ginger, or pumpkin pie spice would also make great additions) to add more flavour without adding sugar.

You can use your slow cooker or bake them in the oven, the preparation is the same.

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 Royal Gala apples
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
6 pitted dates
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp coconut oil, divided
1/2 cup water

Directions

With a paring knife, slice a small circle around the stem of the apple, cutting about 3/4 of the way down.  Using a small spoon (I used a 1/4 tsp measuring spoon), scoop out the stem and hollow out the apple core, leaving the bottom of the apple intact.  Discard the core, and repeat with three remaining apples.

In a food processor, combine oats, peanut butter, dates, cinnamon and 2 tsp of coconut oil.  Pulse until dates are blended.

Scoop oat mixture into each apple and place the apples upright in the slow cooker/roasting pan.  Drizzle remaining 1 tsp of coconut oil on top of oat mixture portion that is overflowing from the apples (1/4 tsp on each apple).

Slow Cooker:
Pour water into bottom of slow cooker to surround the apples.  Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook for 2 hours on high, or 4 hours on low.

Oven:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Pour water into bottom of roasting pan to surround the apples.  Bake for 30 minutes, until apples are tender.

Nutrition

Calories 273
Fat 11.9g
Carbohydrates 41.1g
Fibre 6.9g
Sugars 28.4g
Protein 5.0g

Slow Cooker Chicken Burritos Over Rice

Mucho Burrito is my favourite fast food (I'm told it is similar to Chipotle, but Ottawa doesn't have one of those, so I've never tried it).  This slow cooker recipe can either be used to stuff a tortilla to achieve a similar flavour to Mucho, or it can be served over brown rice and topped with shredded cheddar, salsa, guacamole or sour cream.  When choosing canned vegetables, I recommend 'no salt added' varieties to keep sodium content down.  Chopped green chilies can be found in the Mexican section of the grocery store.  I used Old El Paso brand chilies.

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
14 oz canned diced tomatoes, drained
19 oz canned black beans, drained
1 can chopped green chilies
1 cup frozen corn
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 cup chicken broth (no salt added)
Black pepper, to taste

Directions

Drain black beans and diced tomatoes and place in slow cooker pot.  Add green chilies and corn.  On top, layer chicken breasts and then season chicken with chili powder, cumin and black pepper.  Pour broth in and place lid on for four hours on high.  When four hours is complete, remove lid and break up chicken into chunks using a wooden spoon.

Serve over brown rice or on a tortilla and top with cheese, salsa, guacamole or sour cream.

Nutrition (including 2/3 cup cooked brown rice per serving)

Calories 428
Fat 5.5g
Carbohydrates 52.3g
Fibre 5.2g
Sugars 2.3g
Protein 41.8g

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Toasted Oat Granola Bars

It has been awhile since my last post. I've been busy, but I've also tried a couple new recipes that just weren't very good, so I didn't bother posting them.  These granola bars are easy to make and can be stored in the freezer to maintain freshness.  I've tried making no bake bars with oats before and I disliked the chalkiness of the uncooked oats, so toasted oats seemed to be the solution to this problem.

Makes 16 bars

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups large flaked oats
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup sliced almonds, roasted and unsalted
1/4 cup natural peanut butter (or sub any nut butter of your choice)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Pour oats evenly across a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until oats are lightly toasted.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

In a food processor, chop the dates until a paste forms.  Pour paste into a large mixing bowl.  Add toasted oats, sliced almonds and chocolate chips to the bowl and mix.

In a small saucepan, combine peanut butter and maple syrup and set to low heat, stirring frequently.  When mixture is uniform in appearance, pour into mixing bowl and stir to coat oat mixture.

Line a 7x9 or 8x8 inch pan with waxed paper.  Pour contents of mixing bowl into lined pan and press contents down firmly.  Use an additional sheet of waxed paper to place over top to press down to flatten.  Freeze for one hour, carefully remove contents from pan and slice into bars.

Nutrition

Calories 143
Fat 6.2g
Carbohydrates 20.6g
Fibre 2.6g
Sugars 12.0g
Protein 3.7g