Posts Tagged 'healthy'

Pipe Dream #191: To Be A Healthfully Interesting Addition – Coconut Oil Banana Bread

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Coconut oil is so cool. You can read about it here. To sum up:

The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. The benefits of the oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial properties.

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Clearly, coconut oil is multi-purpose, friends. In the case of me, I purposed it for this banana bread, replacing butter or liquid oil with a nutty, space-alien lookin’ fat. It has s super high melting point, so at any point below 76 degrees, the oil is solid.

Incidentally, do you remember that sweet magic shell ice cream topping you can buy? It’s liquid, but then when it hits the ice cream it hardens like a DQ dip cone. Because of coconut oil’s high melting point, you can create your own magic shell with just chocolate and oil! Sweet party trick.

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Maybe I should have included chocolate chips in this bread. It would have been like a banana split. With or without, this bread is subtly coconut-flavored and super dense, even after three days. Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried coconut oil in anything else; it seems like it could be a healthfully interesting addition to any number of recipes.

I want to be a healthfully interesting addition,


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Coconut Oil Banana Bread

Adapted from Chez Us

1/2 cup virgin coconut oil (or butter)
1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 medium-size bananas
1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour (or all-purpose)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the coconut oil on medium speed until soft, about 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl halfway through. Make sure to scrape down the bowl and beaters a fair amount during the whole process; I found that things weren’t getting as well-mixed as I would have liked.  Add the yogurt and continue beating on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Add the sugar and mix until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and bananas and mix until well combined.  Add the dry ingredients, mixing on medium speed until well combined, about 3 minutes.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan.  Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the top is a deep golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Check it at 30 minutes to make sure the top isn’t browning too much. If it starts to brown too much, cover with foil for the remainder of the baking time.

Pipe Dream #166: To Berry Binge on a Budget – Healthful Wild Berry Cakes

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Hi, lovely, arty amalgamation. I remember you.

I did so mean to post this post ages and years ago. Like, back in the summer. It’s cool, though, I made these with frozen berries, which are readily-available year-round. Frozen berries are actually a super good deal, money-wise. Rather than paying $8 a carton for strawberries in midwinter reserved for special occasion, you can buy huge bags of frozen berries and eat them at will. Berry-bingeing on a budget, s’what I’m all about, obviously.

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I made these for our new neighbors. And heaven knows, when one gets new neighbors, one never knows how health-conscious they are, or if they have allergies. While I stopped short of making these gluten-free, I did dial back the sugar a bit. And besides the frosting, which you can omit if you want to go the muffin-route, these are dairy-free too!

I recently decided that being lactose-intolerant would be just as disruptive in my life as being gluten-intolerant. Apparently you can still develop it in your 30s and 40s. Let’s pray that doesn’t happen. I want MELK.

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Because I was experimenting a little with the sugar in this recipe, I think they turned out a little tough. Not awful, but not the lightest cake experience I’ve ever had, or that my neighbors have likely had. It definitely could be the general recipe though. For some reason, I have trouble trusting recipes that come out of books. I think I’ve read so many food blogs that I need 100 reviews on a recipe so I know it is the best one. Ditto on old family recipes. I trust those.

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Worth a shot if you want a fun breakfast option. If you want a really good cupcake, though, I suggest these. Or these. I can say that, right?


Wild Berry Cakes

Adapted from 500 Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen mixed berries

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons berry jam

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

4 cups powdered


extra berries for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place 12 cupcakes liners in a muffin tin. If you want to go mini like me, you could try 24 or more mini cupcakes.

In a food processor, puree 1 1/2 cups of the berries. Mash the reserved berries a bit with a fork, and set aside. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and eggs, then whisk in the pureed berries. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined, then fold in the reserved mashed berries.

Spoon the batter into the liners. Bake for 20 minutes, checking for doneness at 15 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

To frost, beat butter until cream. Add powered sugar, one cup at a time, beating until well-combined. Drizzle in milk, maybe a tablespoon or two, until the desired consistency is reached. Stir in the berry jam, then spread on cooled cupcakes. Top each with a berry or two.

Pipe Dream #126: To Bake Savory – Truffled Barley Asparagus Stuffed Peppers

Hey, you know how I usually post sweet recipes? I actually do ingest salt occasionally. Today is another entry in the annals of my truffle love story. If you don’t have truffle oil, by all means use regular olive oil. I guess. If you live in Siberia. But otherwise you should just buy some. It’s a game-changer.

Bonus, these peppers are really healthy. Lots of protein from the barley, lots of veg, lots of flavor. My “vegetarian” sister even liked it.

Double bonus, they are pretty colors.

Triple bonus, they are topped with cheese.

Today is just a triple-bonus kind of day. Those only come along err so often, so eat it up friends, eat it up.


Truffled Barley Asparagus Stuffed Peppers

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
8 asparagus spears, grated
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 truffle oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup pearled barley, cooked
3 sweet bell peppers (red or yellow)

Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Cook the barley according to package directions, removing from the heat just before the barley is fully cooked. Combine the tomatoes, asparagus, cheese, oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix in the cooked barley.

Cut off the tops of the peppers as well as a small slice from the bottom to stabilize the peppers in the baking dish. Remove seeds. Place peppers in a shallow baking dish. Stuff the peppers with the barley mixture, then pour the chicken broth into the dish. Cover tightly with foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle each pepper with cheese, then bake for another 15 minutes. The peppers should be tender and the cheese browned. If you hit 10 minutes and find that the cheese is not browning, flip your oven to broil to finish ‘er off.

Remove peppers to a serving platter. Eat while hot.

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