Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I have never been a doughnut person.  In general, I am not a fan of anything overly sweet in the morning.  Or even more so, anything that has been bathed in grease.  These healthier doughnuts have made me reconsider this popular breakfast choice.  The fact that they are baked and not loaded with sugar and enriched flour makes a huge difference.  No gut rot.  I even ate two of them immediately preceding Combat and had an amazing workout!

I tweaked this recipe from Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook, Deceptively Delicious.  Instead of powdered sugar, I made a simple chocolate glaze and finished them off with sprinkles.  Let's face it, who can resist sprinkles?

Here's what has led me to have second thoughts about doughnuts...
Baked Doughnuts
(from Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious)
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar (I used sucanat)
1/2 c. canned pumpkin puree (I used 1 cup of pumpkin)
1/2 c. sweet potato puree  (I omitted this)
1/2 c. low fat buttermilk  (I used almond milk)
1 large egg white (I used one flax egg)
1 T. trans-fat free soft tub margarine spread, melted (I used Earth Balance)
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 c. confectioners' sugar (I used chocolate glaze and sprinkles instead)

Preheat oven to 350. Coat a doughnut mold with cooking spray. In a large bowl beat together the sugar, pumpkin and sweet potato purees, milk, egg white (or substitute), margarine (or substitute), and vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon, and mix until completely incorporated. Pour the batter into a gallon-sized plastic bag and cut the bottom tip off of one side of the bag. Squeeze the batter through, into the doughnut mold. Bake until the tops are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn the doughnuts out onto a rack to cool. When cool, dust with confectioners' sugar. (See below for glaze recipe.) Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or freeze for us to 1 month.

Okay, here is what I came up with for a glaze.  I thought it was the perfect consistency for dipping.  I also love using dark cocoa; it has an intense, rich flavor. 

1/4 cup organic sugar
2 T coconut oil
1 T almond milk
1 T dark cocoa
1 t vanilla

Bring the first four ingredients to a boil and stir for several minutes until bubbly.  Remove from heat, add the vanilla and stir until it cools just a bit.  Dip the doughnuts in the glaze and immediately add sprinkles.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Nut butter

I recently received my dividend check in the mail from New Pioneer.  I knew I would likely regret it, but I could not resist doing the math to see how much I spent there over the last year.  Yeah, could have survived without knowing that information.  BUT, will it affect future purchases?  Not likely.  John always tells me I should only be buying things that are investments.  I argue that everything I buy there is an investment.  He isn't entirely convinced, but knows he needs to keep his opinions to himself about certain things!

Of all my purchases at the co-op, I think I may spend the most on their fresh ground nut butters, as well as the nuts in bulk.  Naturally, I've been putting these nuts to good use, with the help of my food processor, whose permanent home these days has become the counter.  I have experimented with several combinations and have found that it is hard to mess it up.  My favorite part about making my own nut butter is eating it just minutes out of the oven when it's still warm. 

Here is a basic recipe that anyone would love.  

1 cup nuts/seeds (I used 1/2 cup raw almonds, 1/4 cup raw cashews and 1/4 salted pepitas)
1 T chia seeds
1/2 T sunflower oil
1.5 T maple syrup
1 t vanilla
additional 1/2 T sunflower oil

Mix nuts and seeds together and drizzle with the oil.  Roast on a cookie sheet at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes. 

Process the roasted nuts for a couple of minutes and add the maple syrup, vanilla and oil.  It takes about 10 minutes (and a lot of patience) to get the right consistency.

I stored it in the refrigerator for the two whole days it lasted. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Chocolate french toast

So I know this french toast looks burnt, but it's not!  I was out of regular almond milk so I tried chocolate soy milk instead.  Why had I never thought of this?  I mixed about a cup of it with 2 flax eggs (2 T flax mixed with 6 T water), a bit of cocoa and a teaspoon of almond extract.  I topped them off with a few strawberries and a teeny bit of maple syrup.  Sooo good.
Harper fell in love as I shoveled the first bite into her mouth.  Notice she is on the table. 

I've slacked on posting lately because we've been deep into some projects at home.  This has included lots of painting and new flooring in our entire upstairs.  For weeks we were dodging tack strips and navigating the obstacle course of stacked furniture in our main room.  Everything was finally back in order about an hour before thirty guests arrived at our house to celebrate Easter last weekend.  Not the best planning.

Since I've been absent Harper also had a make-over.  We decided to do away with the mullet....

Much better.