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Tag: healthy treats

Spiced Pumpkin Chocolate Bread

September 9, 2019

Pumpkin Bread

  • 1¼ cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • ½ teaspoon powdered cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup extra light olive oil
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts
  • ½ cup chopped dark chocolate

Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt into a medium bowl, set aside. Lightly brush a 9X5X3 inches loaf pan with butter. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add one egg at a time mixing in between. Add 1 cup pumpkin puree and mix for about 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer.
With a rubber spatula, mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the nuts and chocolate and transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Cool the bread in the pan for 5 minutes before taking it out. Cool completely before serving.

Pumpkin Bread 1

Brownies with Black Beans- For Passover…

March 25, 2018

Brownies with Black Beans1










  • One 15 ½ ounce can black beans- strain and rinse well
  • ¼ cup extra light olive oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup evaporated cane sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate- grated

Coat an 8 X 8 baking pan with some oil and keep aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Add the beans to a large food processor and add the oil. Process till smooth. Add the eggs, cane sugar, cocoa, vanilla extract. almond extract, baking powder and salt. Process till everything is incorporated and smooth. Take the bowl off the processor and add the grated chocolate and mix with a spatula. Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes till knife comes out clean.

Brownies with Black Beans

Pumpkin Duffins with Cream Cheese

October 30, 2014

Here is another version of our favorite healthy dessert- duffins. I wanted to make something for Halloween and the first thing I think of – is pumpkin. When I think of pumpkin, cream cheese frosting comes to mind- it really is a match made in heaven.

So, in order to make duffins, I decided to invert the two and use the cream cheese as a filling in the middle.

The result was delicious- well, eventually. I made one batch and had a few friends taste test for me and give me some critical analysis. My daughter is the most honest taste tester I have- she has no qualms about telling me when things are not right. She told me the duffins didn’t have enough pumpkin flavor and the filling tasted too much like cream cheese and not like a frosting. She was right- I had forgotten to add vanilla extract in the cream cheese mixture.

The second batch included more spiced including cinnamon, ginger and cloves. It also included the missing vanilla extract. The result was delicious.

Make these for halloween…

  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1½ cups white whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup extra light olive oil
  • ¾ cup 1% milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger


  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Keep aside.


  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • ½ cup fine raw sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Lightly grease a 12 muffin tin with a bit of oil in each cup.
In a large bowl, beat together sugar and egg till light and fluffy. Pour in vegetable oil, milk and pumpkin puree. Mix to combine.
In a small bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger. Pour into the egg mixture and stir well.
Add a quarter cup batter in each cup. Add a teaspoon of cream cheese on top. Top each cup with the rest of the batter to cover the filling.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
While muffins are baking, melt butter in a small bowl. Pour ½ cup sugar into another small bowl.

Once the muffins are done, lightly brush the top with melted butter, remove from the pan and roll in the sugar, coating all parts of the duffin.

Amaretto Cherry Brownies

February 8, 2011

Amaretto Cherry Brownies1

Delicious brownies for Valentines Day…

This is yet another version of the quick brownies I have made in the past. I don’t make them very often as this treat has two cups of sugar. Even though I use turbinado sugar, it is still a lot.

Once in a while I do get in the mood and make them- they are very sinful. I modified them by using dried, tart cherries. As I was thinking of complementing flavors, amaretto and almonds came to mind. So, I added both to the mix- why not- the more the merrier.

I thought of adding toasted almonds but then I wasn’t sure if anyone who might be eating the brownies is allergic to them- so I avoided them. I do think they will be delicious with the nuts.

While the brownie pan was in the oven, the house smelled divine. My daughter came back from school and her nose lead her to the kitchen and like a little puppy, she sniffed her way to the brownies.

I wasn’t sure if she will like the treat with tart cherries and the almond flavor- but she clearly had no problem . She loved it and so did my husband. I have to say, they were delicious- a bit dangerous to have in the house. I kept munching on them all day and it is especially bad for me since I am in the kitchen practically the whole day- it was not good.

The good news is they are delicious- the bad news is they are delicious and you will eat them all…
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Brownie Bites with Peppermint Bark Icing

December 14, 2010

Brownie Bites with Peppermint Bark Icing I have used the same recipe for the brownie bites as before. The difference is that I used extra light olive oil instead of butter (I wanted to make it healthier), and I have used a small cupcake container to make these delicious tiny bites for the holiday season.

Peppermint definitely comes to mind when I think of this time of year. One of the things I like to do when I am at the mall is to visit Williams Sonoma. They always have some kind of sample- especially this time of year. I love eating their peppermint bark- it is simply delicious. I have never bought it since it is quite expensive but I do eat lots of samples while I am at the store.

When Trader Joes opened up in Millburn, I was of course ecstatic. During the holiday season they have a variety of treats and chocolates.

While I was thinking about making these treats, I was envisioning icing with crushed peppermint sticks. So, when I went shopping at Trader Joes for my ingredients, and I didn’t find the sticks, I decided to buy the peppermint bark instead. It was much cheaper than the one I sample in Williams Sonoma.

I brought it home and tried it- well, it was delicious as well! I crushed it in a food processor and added it to the icing. These bite sized brownies are delicious and ideal to make for the holidays- enjoy!

  • 2 cups evaporated cane juice
  • 1 cup extra light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1½ cups white whole-wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Line a small 24 cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, blend the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla extract well. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. Slowly add the dry ingredients mixing well in between. Pour the batter evenly into each small cupcake liner. Bake for 12 minutes if you like gooey brownies- a few minutes more if you like them more cake-like.

Peppermint Bark Icing

  • ½ cup (4 oz) low fat cream cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • ½ cup crushed peppermint bark

In a mixer, add the cream cheese and begin beating until smooth. Sprinkle the powdered sugar and add the peppermint extract. Beat till the icing is smooth. Take out and add the peppermint bark. With a knife cover the top of each brownie bite.

Brownie Bites

Apple Orange Duffins

August 9, 2010

Apple Orange Duffins Here is another version of one of our favorite treats in our house. My daughter can’t get enough of these and asks me to make them all the time. Her favorite are the jelly filled ones but she will eat any kind I make.

For these particular ones, I decided to do a yummy filling in the middle with apples and oranges. It is amazing how well the two flavors complement each other. I zested and juiced a navel orange and used the zest for the actual batter and the juice for the filling. I cut up my favorite apples- pink lady into chunks and added some sugar, cinnamon and lemon zest. I let the mixture sit for a while for the flavors to marinate.

I then made the usual batter and added just a bit of the filling in the middle of each duffin. Of course I coated them with the yummy sugar mixture and they were a hit. My daughter loved them.

Try the apple orange duffins- they are delicious.
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Duffins- Healthy Donuts

March 21, 2010

Duffins2 I wrote about these healthy donuts on the New York Times, The Local blog. This is the new favorite in our house. I have made many batches of these muffins/donuts.

I first had them at a bakery, Brownie Points at the Mall at Short hills. They were oblong shaped muffins, covered with sugar. When we tasted them, we were hooked immediately. They tasted fresh and light and not too sweet.

After finding out the bakery was not there anymore I got obsessed with making them at home. It was quite difficult to find the recipe on the Internet but I was able to get something and tweaked it to my taste.

The great thing about this treat is that it is healthy. I have used white whole wheat flour, extra light olive oil and turbinado sugar.

My daughter loves it and has one everyday for a snack after school. She washed it down with a glass of milk and then has some fruit. I have already made duffins with apples as well as jelly filled ones. My husband has one in the morning as well.

Try the duffins- you will love them!
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