Category Archives: Healthy Delectable Treats

Thankful for Date Nut Truffles

Have a vegan attending your Thanksgiving table? These Date Nut Truffles will not only solve your vegan dessert dilemma, but all of your guests and you will love them. They’re also gluten free…for those other guests. I think they’ll make an appearance throughout the holidays in my home. :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut, 1/4 cup set aside
  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Preparation:

If you like your nuts a little toasty, place the walnuts and pumpkin seeds in an oven at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes. Let cool, then place walnuts, pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts, and 1 cup of shredded coconut in a food processor bowl. Pulse until finely crumbed.

Food Processor 1

Add dates, coconut oil, salt and vanilla extract, and pulse again until it’s a moistened consistency.

Food Processor 2                    Food Processor 3

 

Place remaining shredded coconut and cocoa powder in a bowl. Roll about a tablespoon size into a ball and then roll it in the coconut-cocoa mixture until evenly coated. Place truffles on a tray with wax or parchment paper and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Date Nut Truffles

Take out about 10 minutes before serving. Makes about 20 truffles.

 

My New Favorite Morning Muffins

Muffin

I was attending an all weekend, all day seminar that I wasn’t too excited about. I knew I needed to prepare for my early mornings, with a quick and filling breakfast, full of fiber, protein and good grains that would give me sustained energy. And this whole grain, gluten-free, blueberry, chia seed, flax seed, walnut muffin is what I came up with. I used very little coconut sugar in it. In fact, next time, I would add in a couple of chopped dates for added sweetness. I took a basic recipe and customized it with all of these goodies. That’s sometimes a bit tricky to do with baking, because ingredient proportions need to be exact. My grade school arithmetic skills didn’t fail me this time.

Check out the recipe below:

This recipe made 6 muffins. Simply double it for a full dozen. Easy to freeze and defrost!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash cinnamon and cardamon (optional)
  • 1/4 cup oats (can use gluten free oats if you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or any of your favorite nuts)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted (can substitute with oil)
  • 1/4 cup cream (can substitute something lighter if you prefer)
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup blueberries (frozen are best, but fresh work too, and you can also use raspberries)
  • Optional: a couple of chopped dates

Directions:

  1. Place 6 muffin liners into a muffin tin. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. In a larger bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (but not the berries). Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined (do not beat). Finally, add the berries and briefly mix again.
  3. Divide the mixture between the 6 muffin liners (I like to use a big ice cream scoop to do this) and bake for 20-25 minutes until the muffins are golden brown and set in the middle (If a toothpick comes out clean, they are ready). Leave the muffins in the tin on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, and then loosen carefully with a knife before turning out to cool completely.

 

Oh Controversial Coconut Oil – Shall I Love Thee?

coconut_oil

Note: If you get to the bottom of this post, you will find a very yummy recipe!

 

 

 

 

My friend Marieke Klosse-Beeler has a wonderful company, Pamperosity, all about pampering yourself with all natural products. She asked me to share my knowledge in her blog this week about cooking with, as well as the health benefits of coconut oil. She was also kind enough to plug my blog and The Healthy Delectable Web Series, and announce the latest news, my upcoming Cookbook, that I plan to release on kindle later this Fall!

Check out Pamperosity and Marieke’s post about coconut oil HERE!

Coconut Oil went from being the “bad” oil in the 90’s to being hyped as a “cure-all” today.
So, what’s the truth about Coconut Oil?

According to a WebMD article, “Coconut oil contains an unusual blend of short and medium chain fatty acids, primarily lauric (44% ) and myristic (16.8%) acids. It is this unusual composition that may offer some health benefits.”

What does this mean? Because they are smaller, they’re absorbed intact, as opposed to long-chain fats, that have to be broken down in the small intestine.  Smaller and medium-chained fatty acids are delivered directly to the liver to be used for energy.

The other good news is, medium-chain fats don’t store in fat cells to the same extent as long-chain ones. Studies show that medium-chain fats appear to increase calorie burning in the body.

The WebMD article article also states, “Coconut oil, like all saturated fats, should be limited to 7%-10% of calories because it can increase risk for heart disease, according to the AHA and 2010 Dietary Guidelines.”

From my research, coconut oil shouldn’t be replaced with other important oils, such as extra virgin olive oil and grapeseed oils, for our diet, both of which are unsaturated.

Everyone loves a virgin, and according to a 2011 NY Times article, the key to the healthiest variety of coconut oil, is extra virgin. Generally speaking, anything that hasn’t gone through a chemical process is best, and easiest for your body to break down. The “bad fats” are trans fats, which was the proudest of food labels, before gluten free showed up on the market. The lauric acid in coconut oil, (also found in breast milk, by the by) is said to increase levels of good HDL (the good cholesterol). While researchers are skeptical, lauric acid is also said to have possible antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral properties. While there is no scientific evidence to prove it, the natural foods community believes these properties can help weight loss, treat digestive issues, skin problems, and perhaps also viruses, like H.I.V.

As for cooking with coconut oil, it has a wonderful mellow, nutty, slightly sweet flavor, and enhances sautéed and roasted veggies, has a high smoke point, and can withstand hotter temperatures, and makes an excellent substitution for baking with animal fats, such as butter and lard. As I stated in the Pamperosity post, coconut oil lends to an excellent flaky pie crust, makes baked good moist, and makes my favorite latest treat, a magic shell for ice cream sundaes (see recipe below).

It is also an excellent moisturizer for skin and hair.

Whether you air on the side of science, or keep up with the latest in the nutritional world, it seems that coconut oil is definitely good for you, in small amounts.

Homemade Two Ingredient Magic Shell magic-shell-2-james-ransom-for-food52(Recipe adapted, and photo borrowed from Food 52)

This is a simple recipe. All you need is 2 parts oil to 3 parts chocolate. So, for 1 cup of magic shell, you will need:

  • 160 grams (about 1 cup) of good quality chocolate chips
  • 100 grams of coconut oil
  • Pinch of salt (optional)

Directions:

  • Combine chocolate and oil into a microwave safe container. Microwave in 30 second intervals until the chocolate melts. Stir to combine all the flavors. (You can also combine ingredients and melt over low heat in a bowl placed over a pot of simmering water) Allow the mixture to cool slightly, and then pour onto your scoop (or scoops) of ice cream!

Enjoy (in moderation)!!

In The Name of Love

Thank you to all of you who watched The Healthy Delectables Web Series, and for your thoughtful and lovely comments!

This is from a viewer who watched Episode One of “Healthy Delectables”, Stuffed Squash Blossoms:

Hi Tamar,
Well, we have had a nice little crop in our garden this year so, since we were having a few people over yesterday, we thought it would be a good opportunity to harvest our flowers and try your recipe. Delicious!
Thanks!
Steve

Steve’s Stuffed Squash Blossoms

IN THE NAME OF LOVE

Years ago, I worked at a restaurant that was known for it’s healthy menu. However, when I consumed the food, there was something missing for me in the way of my feeling nourished; in fact, I often felt sort of empty, and not necessarily all that healthy for eating it. Meanwhile, when I lived in New York, I frequented a little Mediterranean restaurant near my apartment in the East Village, Cafe Mogador. My friends and I were treated with grace and gratitude for our frequent patronage, which was almost weekly. I recall craving their food, that was simple, delicious and irresistible. In my opinion, LOVE was the main ingredient.

The beautiful medley of Food and Love is not a new concept. It is depicted in so many of my favorite films, such as I Am Love (currently in theatres), Like Water For Chocolate, Tampopo, not to mention so many enticing scenes in last year’s films, It’s Complicated and Julie and Julia.

Over this past 4th of July weekend, I was hired to bake desserts for a newlywed party. As a guest at the party, I watched people consume the Flourless Chocolate Brownies, Lemon Lavender Cupcakes, Zucchini Ginger Cupcakes and Pistachio Cranberry Wedding Cookies. As if we weren’t drunk enough on the champagne, it seems that we were also drunk on the Love emanating from the wedding festivities.

The morning after the wedding, back in the kitchen, I think Love made it’s way into the brown sugar, floated into the Kitchen Aid mixer as I sifted flour, and cracked eggs. And then it made it’s way into people’s hearts and stomachs.

In the name of LOVE, whether you’re baking, gardening, or paying your bills, infuse your LOVE into what you’re doing. You will feel satiated, as will the people who receive it from you.

The Wows and Woes of Baking

So, as my baking business is taking off, I’m figuring out how to organize a bunch of things as they come up.

For instance, those chocolate truffles are a labor intensive job! I was so excited to come up with so many different flavors (mint, coconut, lavender, orange), but what I didn’t take into account was that each flavor – essentially – needs to be made separately. In other words, a lavender truffle cannot come from the same batch as a mint truffle. You see, I wanted to make my truffles old school, and infuse each chocolate ganache mixture with a different fresh ingredient. I cook the lavender buds or the fresh mint leaves in the cream, and then pour the infused cream over the chocolate. The end result is absolutely delicious and beautiful; but I’m going to start to have little chocolate loving helpers in the kitchen, if this keeps up! It’s all worth it. This little baking wonderland that has transpired in my kitchen has been a dream!

Truffles

Additionally, my rusty math skills have really been tested recently. I had to calculate 1/8 of a recipe here, while figuring out how many batches of cookies I needed for six separate orders. The numbers are dancing in my head like the crazy eyes in the Fantastic Mr. Fox film. (Image reference below).

Fantastic Mr. Fox Eyes

Happy Valentines Day everyone! Whether you have a significant other to snuggle up with, or a furry or feathered friend, or a warm pillow, treat yourself to some good self lovin’, and maybe a healthy delectable treat.

Healthy Treats?!?

Oh yeah! And not the un-yummy kind! These are delicious.

One day I posted on Facebook that I am selling my cookies, and the orders started coming in! Now I’ve added muffins to the yummy roster. Everything has been created out of a desire to feed people with healthy treats. So, if you’d like to hop onto the scrumptious train, I will soon create a special page for all my sweet toothed fans to stay abreast of my weekly cookie creations, and to place an order if they so choose.

Some recent feedback for the Banana Oatmeal Coconut Cookies, the Chocolate Chip Oatmeal (some with and some without Coconut) and the Zucchini Ginger Muffins:

“It’s the perfect blend of spice, sweetness and salt! Super yummy I got to try one! Ok, two!” (About the Zucchini Ginger Muffins)

Finleigh fully absorbed in eating your magical healing muffins. She wolfed down a whole one!!! I ate 2, and holy smokes i swear I started to feel better!!! Thank u for your loving muffins!!!” (Finleigh is my friend Sarah’s adorable 17 month old – also the Zucchini Ginger Muffins)

“I just want you to come cook at my house.” (A general comment I thought I’d share :))

yummy cookies! xoxo ♥ gracias” (Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Coconut Cookies)

“Those cookies from last week were the BOMB. like i told you, i ate all of them within two hours. whoops. :)” (Banana Oatmeal Coconut Cookies)

“So, I ate my DELICIOUS cookies!! They’re yummy, truly. A word I’d use to describe them is “light.” Also, they’re a nice snack size. Well done, young lady. :)” (Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies)

“I like the moist, almost cake-like texture, and the banana and coconut. Plus, they’re not too sweet, which is what normally bugs me about cookies.” (Banana Oatmeal Coconut Cookies)

And now for the mouth watering pics!

Healthy Delectable Sweet Treats

[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/healthy-delectable-sweet-treats/thumbs/thumbs_zuc_ginger_muffins.jpg]00Zucchini Ginger Muffin
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/healthy-delectable-sweet-treats/thumbs/thumbs_white_bean_blondies.jpg]00White Bean Lemon Blondies
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/healthy-delectable-sweet-treats/thumbs/thumbs_straw_donut_muffin.jpg]00Strawberry Donut Muffin
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/healthy-delectable-sweet-treats/thumbs/thumbs_straw_banana_muffin.jpg]10Strawberry Banana Muffin
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/healthy-delectable-sweet-treats/thumbs/thumbs_poppyseed_lemon_lime_thumbprint_cookies.jpg]00Poppyseed Lemon-Lime Thumbprint Cookies
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/healthy-delectable-sweet-treats/thumbs/thumbs_lemon_lavender_cupcakes.jpg]00Lemon Lavender Cupcake
Poppyseed Lemon-Lime Thumbprint Cookies
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/healthy-delectable-sweet-treats/thumbs/thumbs_hd_cookie_label.jpg]00Healthy Delectable Treats!
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/healthy-delectable-sweet-treats/thumbs/thumbs_flourless_chocolate_brownies.jpg]00Flourless Chocolate Brownie
Made with Black Beans!
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/healthy-delectable-sweet-treats/thumbs/thumbs_donut_muffin.jpg]00Donut Muffin
Nothing fried about this cinnamony-sugary treat!
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/healthy-delectable-sweet-treats/thumbs/thumbs_cranberry_sunflower_oat.jpg]00Cranberry Sunflower Oatmeal Cookies
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/healthy-delectable-sweet-treats/thumbs/thumbs_cran_pistachio_wedding_cookies.jpg]00Cranberry Pistachio Wedding Cookies
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/healthy-delectable-sweet-treats/thumbs/thumbs_coconut_macaroon.jpg]00Coconut Meringaroon
It's like a macaroon and a meringue in one!
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/healthy-delectable-sweet-treats/thumbs/thumbs_truffles.jpg]00Chocolate Truffles
Featuring Chocolate, Chocolate Lavender, Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Coconut, Chocolate Orange and more!
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/healthy-delectable-sweet-treats/thumbs/thumbs_carrot_coconut_sunflower_muffin.jpg]00Carrot Coconut Sunflower Muffin
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/healthy-delectable-sweet-treats/thumbs/thumbs_blueberry_oatbran_muffin.jpg]00Blueberry Oat Bran Muffin
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/healthy-delectable-sweet-treats/thumbs/thumbs_banana_oat_coconut.jpg]10Banana Oatmeal Coconut Cookies
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/healthy-delectable-sweet-treats/thumbs/thumbs_banana_coconut_muffins.jpg]10Banana Coconut Muffin
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/healthy-delectable-sweet-treats/thumbs/thumbs_apple_oat_muffins.jpg]20Apple Oatmeal Muffin
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/healthy-delectable-sweet-treats/thumbs/thumbs_choc_chip_oatmeal_cookies.jpg]10