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Posts Tagged ‘sugar free’

After discovering the Oatmeal Replacement, which consists mainly of applesauce, I decided that it was time for me to try to make my own applesauce.  As you probably know, there are a wealth of options at the grocery store…strawberry applesauce, cinnamon applesauce, apple butter…the list goes on.  I was able (after a lot of label reading) to find a version from Mott’s with no sugar added, but I went through it so quickly that I found myself without any on hand and I was curious if homemade would be better.   Since I always have apples and pears on hand, I decided to give it a whirl.  To say it was delicious would be the understatement of the year.  Every bite got better and better.

I should also say that before starting Paleo, one of my favorite desserts to make was this pear syrup over vanilla ice cream.  I would just slice up a pear and cook it on the stove with a little brown sugar and cinnamon and in no time I would have a tasty topping.  This gave me the idea of trying to add a few pears to the applesauce mix.

I surfed around for a good sugar-free recipe and I stumbled across this one on Paleoparents.com.  I like it because they give you suggestions for what types of apples to use.  Unfortunately, all I had on hand were a couple of Honeycrisps and some Bosc pears, but I figured they would have to work in a pinch.

Guys, this is a hard one to mess up and you may never go back to the store bought stuff!  Now, if anybody knows if I could jar this and store it so I always have my own on hand – let me know…that is not yet my area of expertise!

This made about 3 cups – maybe a tad more.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Here’s what I used:

  • 2 large Honeycrisp Apples, peeled, cored and cut into large chunks
  • 1 Bosc Pear, peeled, cored, and cut into large chunks
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon, approximately – I really just sprinkled it on
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, approximately
  • A 9×13 inch glass baking dish
  • tinfoil
Toss the apple and pear chunks with the cinnamon and nutmeg and put in the glass baking dish.  Cover the dish with foil and cook for one hour or until soft.  Mash with a fork – you can do it as chunky or smooth as you would like it, but the whole mashing process took me about 30 seconds because the apples/pears were so soft.
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I know, I know, it’s been a long time since I have posted anything.  I’ve been busy traveling and having company and a lot has happened that has kept me away from cooking for a while (or at least finding time to write about any interesting recipes).  But fear not, I have been sticking mostly to my Paleo diet and feeling great.  There has been a good deal of cheating on the weekend, but I try to minimize it as much as possible by finding ways to tweak recipes to make them fit my diet better.

Weekend before last, we went over to a CrossFit reopening event where everyone brought something that was as close to Paleo as possible.  One of the recipes that came along were these delicious lemon bars with a crust that was somehow slightly crumbly and slightly chewy, a perfect combination with the lemon curd topping.  Of course I had to try this myself.

Crust before going in the oven

Crust after coming out of the oven

After looking through a variety of recipes, I landed on a couple different ones that I combined and altered a bit to make my own.  For the crust, I followed this lemon bar recipe and for the filling I most closely followed this recipe (props to her for the creative and hilarious name of the website).  Clearly, if you look at the recipe for the filling, I decided to add a little dairy into my Paleo dessert.  I am lucky enough that dairy doesn’t affect me to strongly, so while I still use it in moderation, I do occasionally pop it into recipes – typically via cheese.

The flavor of the filling of this was great and the hint of almond from the almond extra was perfect.  I think you could cut the crust recipe in half and have a much thinner crust based on preference.

**As a side note, I found (by accident) that if you bake the crust, let it cool, then pour in the filling, you can put in the fridge and bake it off at a later time if necessary.  Just be sure to let the baking dish come back to room temp after taking out of the fridge before putting it into a hot oven if using a fragile dish like the one I used.  I also think a little cinnamon in the crust would be fantastic, but haven’t tried it yet so didn’t want to post it.
Crust:
2 cups nuts (I used 1 cup almonds, 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, 1/4 cup walnuts, 1/4 cup pecans)
2 eggs
1/4 cup grapeseed oil (I’ve also heard that coconut oil works well)
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp salt
Filling:
8 oz (1 package) reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 c honey
3 tbsp lemon juice
Zest of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 large eggs
1/2 pint blueberries (fresh or frozen is fine)
For the crust:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Process nuts in food processor until ground, but not too finely, I like a few bigger chunks.  Combine nuts, eggs, honey, oil, salt and pour into a greased round pie dish (I used a 12 inch diameter deep dish pie dish).  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Set aside to cool.
For the filling:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Using a hand mixer, blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Pour on top of crust and sprinkle the blueberries over top.  Bake for 25 -35 minutes or until top is just starting to get golden around the edges.

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