Low Sugar No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

One day when I was nibbling on a little piece of lightly sweetened and buttery Shortbread, it occurred to me: This would make a fantastic cheesecake crust.  Then one day when I was baking a pumpkin, it occurred to me:  I should use that pumpkin to make pumpkin cheesecake.  These were both very, very good ideas, if I do say so myself.

Why a shortbread crust?  I’m not sure why, but making a graham cracker crust for cheesecakes always seems like too much work to me.  Probably because that was always my job when I was growing up, so now I have deep-seated graham cracker crust baggage from my past.  That, and I never have graham crackers on hand and I don’t want to make a batch of homemade Graham Crackers only to crush them for a crust.  Seriously, who knew a graham cracker crust could be such cause for discussion that it would take up an entire paragraph when I could just be sharing this great recipe with you?

So Shortbread Crust.  I highly recommend it.  Stir the three ingredients together, press them onto the bottom of a dish, and bake.  You can’t go wrong, especially because this recipe includes lots of butter.  That, of course, makes it amazing.

No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

Shortbread Crust:

3 cups whole wheat flour (I use freshly ground hard white wheat for this)
1/2 cup sucanat (or brown sugar if you prefer)
1 1/2 cups melted butter

Stir flour and sucanat together in a bowl.  Add melted butter, combining well.  Press mixture into a 9×13 inch baking pan.  Bake in a 350° oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:

2 8-ounce packages softened cream cheese
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups pureed pumpkin 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Real maple syrup or liquid stevia to taste (I used 4 droppers full of stevia)

Blend all ingredients together until smooth.  Pour over prepared shortbread crust.  Spread until smooth.  Chill in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.

No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

My system doesn’t handle much sugar any more (which seriously limits my cheesecake eating opportunities, woe is me).  Making this simple cheesecake with stevia (a natural sweetener, not a sugar or an artificial sweetener) is a fantastic option.  This treat is not super sweet, although you can make it as sweet as you like by simply adding more stevia, maple syrup, or even sugar if you like. Now that I know that stevia makes a cheesecake and shortbread makes a great crust, my cheesecake lovin’ self is happy and my graham cracker crust anxt is minimized.

What is your relationship with the graham cracker crust?  You should join me in loving a shortbread crust.  Easy, delicious, and full o’ buttah!

Like This? Bless Others By Sharing!
Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest20Tweet about this on Twitter1Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn0Print this page

Pumpkin Breakfast Cake with Stevia Sweetened Cream Cheese Frosting

If it’s made with whole grain, is low in sugar, includes an entire cup of healthy fat, has 4 eggs, and one of its main ingredients is a vegetable - you can use the words “cake” and “breakfast” in the same title.  Of course, nothing is stopping you from using the word “birthday” and “cake” in the same title for this very recipe.  After all, who says birthday treats have to be loaded with sugar?  I just love that this recipe is healthy and filling enough to be a great breakfast option.  I serve this with a side of applesauce and my family loves it!

You might look at this recipe and think that it is surprisingly similar to my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe.  That’s because it is.  ;)  I took the recipe, and made it into a cake with a stevia sweetened Cream Cheese Frosting.  See?  It’s not so hard to be creative in the kitchen.

Pumpkin Breakfast Cake2

Pumpkin Breakfast Cake

3 cups whole wheat flour (I used freshly ground hard white wheat)
1/2 cup sucanat
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 eggs
2 cups pureed pumpkin (or one 16 ounce can)
1 cup melted coconut oil (or butter)

Stir together flour, sucanat, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.  Add eggs, pumpkin, and melted coconut oil.  Spread batter into a 9×13 inch baking pan.  Bake in a 350° oven for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Allow cake to cook before frosting.

Stevia Sweetened Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces softened cream cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Liquid stevia to taste (I use 2 droppers full)

Whip ingredients together until smooth.  Spread over cooled Pumpkin Cake.  Store in the refrigerator.

As you can imagine, I will be adding some pureed spinach to this cake next time I make it.  Why not, right?

Here’s another Breakfast Cake recipe our family loves.  Now tell me: What will your family say when you tell them you’re having cake for breakfast?!

Like This? Bless Others By Sharing!
Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest1Tweet about this on Twitter1Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn0Print this page

Salted Caramel Apple Crisp

You know how I talk about my Apple Crisp recipe being so healthy you can eat it for breakfast?  This particular version tips the scale from could be breakfast to definitely dessert.   This is because of the fantastic caramel sauce drizzled all over the lightly sugared apple crisp, which makes this treat become very sugary and of course, more delicious than ever.

Let us pause right here to smack me in the forehead.  How dare I tell you on Monday to cut back on sugar, then post a sugary recipe on Wednesday?  I have no explanation or excuse.  It’s fall, I have lots of apples, I took this recipe idea to our church fall festival and everyone loved it, this idea is a very easy one to execute, um, um…  <— that was me, not giving explanation or excuses.  I’m stumbling all over myself here.

Well, do cut back on sugar.  But if you have apples, need to make a fantastic dessert to share with others, and want something easy to make, here is a recipe for you.  And if you are being a good girl (or boy) and cutting back on sugar like that one lady once encouraged (I have such a sheepish look on my face right now) – just take a couple nibbles of this and hand the rest over to….  See.  I can not even finish writing this.

Here’s a naughty recipe for you.  I am so, so sorry for posting this.

Salted Caramel Apple Crisp

Salted Caramel Apple Crisp

5 cups sliced apples
2 Tablespoons sucanat or brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinammon

Stir the fruit together with the sucanat and cinnamon.  Place mixture in a small baking dish (8×8 inch).

Crumb Topping

1/2 cup rolled oats
2 Tablespoons sucanat or brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

Mix together oats, sucanat, and melted butter.  Sprinkle crumb topping over fruit mixture.  Bake in a 375° for 30-35 minutes or until fruit is tender and topping is golden brown.

Caramel Drizzle

1/2 cup sucanat or brown sugar
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons cream (heavy whipping cream)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place sucanat, butter, and cream in a small saucepan.  Stir over medium heat until butter is melted and ingredients are well combined.  Remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla.  Drizzle hot caramel sauce over baked Apple Crisp.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Serve warm.

This dessert is super easy, especially if you happen to already have Caramel Sauce made.  When I made this last week, I had a jar of caramel sauce in the fridge, so I just warmed it up and drizzled it over the top of my fruit crisp.  Easy and awesome!

Forget you ever saw this recipe.  We’re supposed to be cutting down on sugar.  C’mon now.

Like This? Bless Others By Sharing!
Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest100Tweet about this on Twitter2Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn0Print this page

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Donuts

After months of trial, illness, starvation, exhaustion, and many other forms of misery (encouraging post so far, Laura) – the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags came together for a great feast on what is now known as The First Thanksgiving.  These incredible people had much to celebrate, no doubt.

On their table there was an abundance of lobster, rabbit, chicken, squash, chestnuts, hickory nuts, onions, leeks, dried fruits, radishes, and cabbage – all of the traditional foods you and I always serve to our families on Thanksgiving, right?  (I always tear up a little during the carving of our traditional Thanksgiving Lobster.)

Quick question: How did the above First Thanksgiving menu give way to boxed stuffing and canned cranberry sauce that plops out onto a plate?  Don’t answer that.  But what I do what to know is this:  Where have these Whole Wheat Pumpkin Donuts been all my life?  These need to be added to everyone’s Thanksgiving menu: turkey, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, relish tray, mashed potatoes and gravy, homemade rolls with butter, and a big, huge platter of Pumpkin Donuts.  Oh, and don’t forget the Lobster.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Donuts with Glaze

These Pumpkin Donuts scream, “Fall is here!  Be thankful!  Inhale deeply the scent of cinnamon spice!  Eat me already!”  This is a fall treat that ranks right up there with all things amazing.  This donut recipe stirs up quickly, rolls out easily, and fries up into fantastic goodies that might make you pass out.  They are great with a cup of coffee or apple cider.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Donuts (adapted from this recipe)

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I use freshly ground hard white wheat)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup sucanat (or brown sugar)
2 Tablespoons melted butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup pumpkin puree
Oil for frying (I recommend coconut oil or palm shortening for healthy frying)

Stir together whole wheat flour, baking powder, sea salt, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and sucanat.  Add melted butter, eggs, vanilla, buttermilk, and pumpkin puree – mixing until all ingredients are well combined.  Roll dough on a well-floured surface.  Cut out donuts and donut holes (makes about 30 of each).

Fry dough in hot oil for about 3 minutes or until donuts are golden brown.  Drizzle with glaze and serve.

Buttermilk Glaze

2 cups powdered sugar (I use unbleached powdered sugar)
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk ingredients together and drizzle over warm donuts before serving.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Donuts

What are your family’s traditional Thanksgiving foods that are a little different from the norm?  I have to admit, not only have I never had a Thanksgiving Lobster on my table, I’m not sure I’ve ever actually eaten lobster, period.  I’m a Kansas girl turned Nebraska girl.  What can I say?

Like This? Bless Others By Sharing!
Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest98Tweet about this on Twitter2Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn0Print this page

Apple Nachos ~ Quick and Easy!

Apple Nachos - Easy!

There aren’t even words to describe this treat.  But not to worry.  I can always come up with plenty of words (just ask my family full of men).  Let me see if I can come up with something…

Simple, fast, deliciously sweet, a little bit tart, sticky, drippy, caramely, chocolaty, the perfect fall treat.  There.

If you’re questioning whether or not caramely is a word or not, I declare that it definitely is.  The dictionary just doesn’t know it yet.  Don’t trust everything you don’t read.  (I don’t get paid to make sense.)  I figure, if chocolaty is a word, caramely should be too.  Also, I like to say words that get my point across whether they are real or not.  So don’t get all grammary and English languagey on me.  After all, you really want to know how to make these Apple Nachos.

How to Make Apple Nachos

Slice apples and lay them on a plate.  If you like, you can sprinkle them with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.  Drizzle warm Homemade Caramel Sauce over the apple slices.  Sprinkle mini chocolate chips over the warm caramel sauce.  Serve immediately.

The result is a chocolaty, caramely plate of amazingness.

apple nachos

I think we can all agree that caramely should be a real adjective found in the dictionary, as should the word soccery.  What?  I used that word just yesterday to describe how our front closet almost made me pass out.  I innocently opened the closet door to throw in a pair of shoes and was met with a blast of stink that is typical in our home during soccer season.  Sweaty shin guards and wet soccer cleats, along with all the other gear - ah, the lovely scent of autumn.  I threw in the shoes and quickly slammed the door closed proclaiming, “Whoa-oh, gag me.  It smells completely soccery in there.”  Why take time to say real words in full sentences like, “The inside of this closet appears to be thick with the aroma of unpleasant apparel associated with this particular sport season in which we are all participating.”

No.  It just smells soccery.  It’s as simple as that.  When basketball season comes, the closet will become basketbally.  That’s just the truth of it.

I’m suddenly very aware that this is a terrible thing to talk about when writing a food post.  I apologize.  Sometimes, I get a little too real lifey when I write, forgetting that good food and sweaty footware should never be discussed in the same conversation.  How terribly nonproper-ish of me.

I now take your attention back to the wonderful Apple Nachos idea, whose caramely goodness brought us all here to this unlikely point of conversation.  Make these Apple Nachos.  They’ll make us all use the word caramely so much that the dictionary will have no choice but to include it.

You heard it here first.

Like This? Bless Others By Sharing!
Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest2Tweet about this on Twitter2Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn0Print this page

Hot Chocolate Souffle ~ A Recipe That Just So Happens To Naturally Be Grain Free and Dairy Free

hot chocolate souffle 2

Elias, our 12 year old, is my cookbook buddy.  Just like me, he enjoys looking through new recipes, getting food ideas, looking at the food pictures.  He’s my right hand man when it comes to finding new recipe ideas to play with.

During our past few trips to the library, Elias and I have picked up different cookbooks to look through and get ideas from.  This Hot Chocolate Soufflé is one he found recently.  He liked the look of the dessert and figured we could adapt it with our healthier ingredients pretty easily.  Obviously, he cares so much about using healthier ingredients, just like all normal 12 year old boys.  Ha. Haha. Ha. Ha.  Well, at least he knows his mom cares, and he sort of understands why.  Really, all he was concerned about was that this recipe looked like a yummy chocolate dessert.  What else matters, right?

Here’s what’s fun about this Hot Chocolate Soufflé recipe:

  • It’s very easy to make
  • It only has 4 ingredients
  • It can be made for those who need to avoid gluten and/or dairy

Hot Chocolate Soufflé

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup sucanat powdered sugar
5 eggs, separated
pinch of sea salt

Separate eggs – whites and yolks – into two separate bowls.  Stir sucanat powdered sugar into the egg yolks until smooth.  In a small saucepan, melt the chocolate, stirring constantly and removing from heat immediately after chocolate has melted.  Stir melted chocolate into egg yolks and sucanat mixture.  Beat egg whites and sea salt until stiff peaks form.  Fold chocolate mixture into the egg whites until barely mixed.  Pour mixture into a 8×8 inch baking pan.  Bake in a 400° oven for about 15 minutes or until done through and through.

Grain Free, Dairy Free Hot Chocolate Souffle

These would be great for your Make-Ahead Lunch Box.  Also, I looked into where you can purchase allergy free dark chocolate chips.  Here’s what I found:

Do you like looking through cookbooks and recipes?  (Hope so – this site is full of ‘em!)

This post contains affiliate links.

Like This? Bless Others By Sharing!
Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest0Tweet about this on Twitter1Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn0Print this page

Raspberry Lemon Cream Cups ~ Perfect For Your Make-Ahead Lunch Box

The Make-Ahead Lunch Box

Allow me to introduce you to my new love, the Raspberry Lemon Cream Cup ~ Five simple ingredients, easy to make, and perfect to make ahead of time to pull out for your lunch box or table.  Add this one to our High Five Recipes collection.  Put this on your list of side dishes to go with lunch.  Hope and pray it stays in the fridge long enough to actually serve for lunch.

Yeah, I’m just saying that it may not last that long.  My first batch disappeared about 10 minutes after I made it.  Time to triple the recipe, maybe Laura?  Yes, I think so.

Raspberry Lemon Cream Cups

1 cup raspberries
20 drops stevia or 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sour cream
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

In a bowl, smash raspberries with a fork.  Stir in sweetener of choice, lemon juice, and sour cream.  Set aside.  In another bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form.  Fold raspberry mixture into the whipped cream.  Pour into individual serving containers and chill for at least 2 hours.  (Or for 10 minutes if you are my family and can’t wait 2 incredibly long hours.)  This recipe makes 4-6 servings.

I love this side dish idea for make-ahead lunches!  If you pack lunches for work or school, this can easily be prepared in bulk and packaged for a filling treat to go with the main dish.  Pucker up – this recipe is a tart one.  That’s what makes it so good.  :)

Raspberry Lemon Cream Cups

You know what else is good?  Subbing a different variety of fruit for the raspberries.  Since we liked the Raspberry Lemon Cream Cups so much (and ate them so quickly), the following day I blended up nectarines to stir into this treat.  I can’t decide which one I like more.

Nectarine Cream Cups

1 cup pureed nectarines
20 drops stevia or 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup sour cream
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Stir pureed nectarines, sweetener of choice, and sour cream together and set aside.  In another bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form.  Fold nectarine mixture into the whipped cream.  Pour into individual serving containers and chill for at least 2 hours.  This recipe makes 4-6 servings.

nectarine cream cups

These fruit cream cups are healthy, filling, and a perfect side dish to go with other Make-Ahead Lunch Box recipes like Ham and Cheese Pasta Salad or Whole Wheat Pizza Swirls.

What other fruit should we try blending into in these cream cups?

Like This? Bless Others By Sharing!
Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest100Tweet about this on Twitter1Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn0Print this page

Orange Creamsicle Recipe

Did you like the Strawberry Creamsicle recipe I shared?  How about an Orange Creamsicle recipe to add some variety?  For that matter, you can sub just about any fruit you like to make creamsicles.  Such a refreshing treat!

Orange Creamsicle Recipe

2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup orange juice concentrate
1 Tablespoon real maple syrup (or about 10 drops liquid stevia)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy.  Pour mixture into popsicle molds or 3-ounce cups.  If using 3-ounce cups, place a popsicle stick into the middle of each after these have been in the freezer for about 30 minutes.  Freeze for about 2 hours before serving.  Makes about 12 small creamsicles.

Orange Creamsicles

Like This? Bless Others By Sharing!
Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest198Tweet about this on Twitter1Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn0Print this page

7-Minute Strawberry Ice Cream ~ Dairy Free Option

Healthy food always takes a long time to make, right?  Not at my house.  Healthy food always tastes like “health food,” right?  Oh, for real.  Healthy food always costs a lot of money, right?  Not if I can help it. 

Most of the guests I feed at my house don’t even suspect that I’m serving them healthy food.  In fact, I fed this simple Strawberry Ice Cream to someone last week, and all he knew was that I was handing him a dish full of homemade ice cream.  All he knew was that it tasted delicious, he loved it, and he asked for seconds.  He was impressed that I had “taken the time” to actually make homemade ice cream.  He had no idea it was made in 7 little minutes.  He had no idea the dessert didn’t have any added sugar (I used stevia).  He had no idea the health benefits of what he was eating.  He just thought he was eating really good ice cream.  Boom.  Score one for healthy food that doesn’t appear to be health food.

Yes, from start to finish, this ice cream just takes about seven minutes to make.  No ice cream freezer necessary – all you need is a strong blender or food processor.  By the way – those seven minutes it takes to make this treat?  Well, it’s not like it takes 7 minutes of work on my part.  I just put the ingredients into the food processor and walk away.  God bless the person who invented food processors so that I can check email while I’m making ice cream.

7-Minute Strawberry Ice Cream

4 cups (give or take) frozen strawberries
1 can (13.5 ounces) chilled coconut milk or 1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 drops liquid stevia or 1 Tablespoon real maple syrup or 1 Tablespoon honey

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy.  Serve right away.  Makes 4-8 servings.

7-Minute Dairy Free Strawberry Ice Cream

Have you tried the Cool Pineapple Cream Dessert recipe yet?  This is pretty much the same recipe, except for the obvious switch from pineapple to strawberries.  I found that when using pineapple, I didn’t need to add anything else to sweeten the treat.  Strawberries are a little more tart, so adding a tiny bit of stevia made this perfect.

Next I plan to make this treat using frozen peaches.  Then maybe frozen blueberries.  Then frozen raspberries.

Health food?  You can keep your rice cakes.  I’m having ice cream.

What’s your favorite “healthy food” to serve that doesn’t appear to be health food?

Like This? Bless Others By Sharing!
Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest396Tweet about this on Twitter1Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn0Print this page

Strawberry Creamsicle Recipe

Strawberry Creamsicles in Muffin Tins

Tis the season to enjoy cold, sweet treats.  Tis the season to find refreshment in a frozen snack after a hard day of work or play.  Tis the season to drip syrupy red or blue food dye down the chin, staining the teeth, the tongue, and the swim shirt in the process.

No, wait.  Not that last one.  Let’s skip the food dye and syrupy fake sweetness of high fructose corn syrup, and instead enjoy a real food treat.  Although do feel free to let this Strawberry Creamsicle melt and drip down your chin.  After all, what’s summer without messy, sticky chins and swim suits?  Seriously, you should watch me eat a slice a watermelon.  It’s like I’m a three year old, slurping and grinning and ignoring the watermelon juice as it runs all the way down my neck while I stand at the kitchen sink taking bite after bite.  Hey, there’s no shame in enjoying a treat while ignoring the napkin.

Sometimes you just really don’t know what to say or do with the things I tell you about myself, do you?  Oh c’mon.  Live a little.  Grab some watermelon and make some Strawberry Creamsicles.  Grin and slurp.  Be a kid again.

Strawberry Creamsicles

2 cups frozen strawberries
2 cups whole milk (or coconut milk)
2 Tablespoons real maple syrup (or about 10 drops liquid stevia)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy.  Pour mixture into popsicle molds or 3-ounce cups.  If using 3-ounce cups, place a popsicle stick into the middle of each.  Freeze for about 2 hours before serving.

Strawberry Creamsicles

Nothing fake – all natural sweetness, just perfect for a summer treat!  I can’t think of anything I’d rather have running down my chin.

#whoneedsnapkins  #lifestooshort  #grinandslurp

Like This? Bless Others By Sharing!
Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest294Tweet about this on Twitter4Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn0Print this page