Pumpkin Apple Bread

Pumpkin Apple Bread

It’s full blown holiday season where plenty of time is dedicated to eating!  I’m assuming you love to eat as much as I do.  So, I have two goals for you and I.  First, our waists and thighs will not increase with the holiday spirit because of my recipes.  And second, our mouths and stomachs will not be punished for not wanting our waists and thighs to increase!  I definitely achieved both with this easy, moist Pumpkin Apple Bread.  If you want to skip the apple, check out my very popular Pumpkin Bread recipe.     I checked out the ingredients on a couple popular apple and pumpkin bread recipes.  Most had 2 to 3 cups of sugar!  I have a sugar rush just thinking about it.  There is no need for that much sugar.  There are plenty of healthy substitutes that will keep your bread sweet and satisfying besides sugar.  My favorite sweeteners are honey, agave, maple syrup, bananas, and applesauce.  I do use brown sugar in this recipe, but only 1/2 cup.  Brown sugar is a combination of molasses and sugar which is still slightly better than straight sugar.  With my combination of healthy sweeteners, you won’t miss the bucket of sugar that is used for other pumpkin apple bread recipes.     Have you ever tried Bob’s Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour?  I’m hooked!  I no longer bake with any other flour.  Regular whole wheat flour can leave your baked goods more like baked bricks.  WW pastry flour keeps your breads, muffins, waffles, and everything else light and fluffy without removing the health benefits.  I...
Chocolate Cranberry Muffins

Chocolate Cranberry Muffins

I love the anticipation of Christmas Day!  A day focused on our Savior, spending time with family, exchanging gifts, AND absolutely fabulous food.  No wonder we all still feel giddy like children when waiting for Christmas to arrive. Even though we love Christmas, you’re probably still a little bit stressed about all the preparations like me (if you’re not, DO share your secrets on how you’re so chill!)  Well, you at least won’t have to stress about what you’re making for breakfast on Christmas morning… or every breakfast for the rest of the year!  You and your family are going to quickly become addicted to these Chocolate Cranberry Muffins! Yes… the batter is incredible.  I may or may not have eaten a whole spoonful. Remember my confession of not liking chocolate (I know… I know…)?  Well, I think I’m being converted with this organic cocoa powder.  I do love everything about the ingredients (organic cocoa from Dominican Republic), BUT that’s not the only thing I’m loving.  Other cocoa powders taste almost bitter and burnt to me.  This cocoa powder is rich, creamy, and not overpowering.   Need a neighbor Christmas gift or a hostess gift?  Make a gift basket with a few ingredients (organic cocoa powder, whole wheat pastry flour, and fresh cranberries) AND add a copy of this recipe.  Quick, simple, and they’ll love you for introducing you to these cranberry chocolate muffins. PrintChocolate Cranberry Muffins Ingredients2 cups whole wheat pastry flour 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 3 to 4 Tbs organic Cocoa powder 1/4 tsp salt 1/2 cup applesauce 1/2 cup honey or organic agave 1/2 cup olive oil...
Gluten-Free Christmas Sugar Cookies

Gluten-Free Christmas Sugar Cookies

It’s not Christmas without sugar cookies.  Several of you have a sensitivity to gluten.  That doesn’t mean you need to miss out on chewy, soft, and crumbly cookies!  I’ve tried, tested, and failed a few times, but I finally created the perfect flourless sugar cookie recipe.     The key and secret ingredient are garbanzo beans!  I’m OBSESSED with using garbanzo beans in my cookies because they’re mild in flavor, have a great binding quality (so they don’t completely crumble apart), add fiber and protein, keep cookies moist, and perfect for gluten-free cookies!   They also eliminate the need for xanthum gum, flaxseed, or other gluten substitutes.  Love them!     It took me a few experimental failures before I figured out less ingredients is MORE with these sugar cookies.  I once again put them to the test with my husband (and even his brother this time too).  They were a hit!  My brother-in-law thought they were soft and chewy (I’m not sure whether or not he meant that as a plus or negative), BUT he quickly ate another one.  So… I’m feeling pretty confident it was a good thing.   PrintGluten-free Sugar Cookies Ingredients2 tsp pure vanilla extract 1/2 cup honey or organic agave 1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, rinsed well 2 tsp baking powder 2 cups oat flour or ground oats (possibly up to 1 additional cup) 1/2 cup sugarInstructionsPreheat oven to 375 F. In a Vitamix blender, add vanilla, honey/agave, garbanzo beans, and baking powder. Blend until smooth. Transfer blender contents to medium-sized bowl. Add oat flour and sugar. Stir well. If dough is still very...
Classic Christmas Movie Night

Classic Christmas Movie Night

My friend Briton from Rad Mom Cool Kid is sharing one of her favorite Christmas family traditions!  She’s fabulous… so, I’ll let her take it from here.   I’m so happy to post at No Diets Allowed and get to know some of you today! A bit about me- I’m from Oklahoma (seriously), I have 3 kids, and I love to travel, eat, and snuggle up on the couch with my husband to catch up on our shows. I believe in FAMILY and working hard to build a safe and stable one.   Traditions that are healthy and meaningful are a great way to bond with loved ones and build a sense of belonging and pride. Today, I’m letting you peek in on one of our funnest annual traditions- our Classic Christmas Movie Night.       Each year we gather with siblings and cousins to watch a classic holiday movie and soak up the magic of Christmastime. We have lots of small children so we keep the movies kid friendly- Polar Express, Home Alone, and Elf are some of our favorites. (Our not at all kid friendly favorite being Just Friends. Mariahhhh Careeeeey!)   The best part of our party is that it is totally low-key and relaxing. Jammies are required, we eat breakfast for dinner, and we drink homemade hot cocoa as the movie plays. The kids make the floor into a giant pit of blankets and pillows and we all just lounge around.   Also, this year my baby developed a taste for egg nog and hot cocoa and the big kids taught her to chant,...
Fresh Fruit Cake

Fresh Fruit Cake

  This Fresh Fruit Cake is NOTHING like the horrible, fruit-from-a-can fruit cake you’ve had in the past.  I’ve had horrible experiences with nasty fruit cake too.  I’m here to transform it from the ‘worst’ to the ‘best’ Christmas tradition.     Just like my Cranberry Orange Muffins, this cake is bursting with flavor.  It’s tangy, citrus, sweet, and packed with some of my most beloved fruits.  Fresh cranberries are quickly becoming one of my favorites to bake with.  They turn from tart to slightly sour.  Oooh, I love them!   My sweet neighbor always brings us something fresh from the oven on Christmas Day morning (love her!).  I’m planning on returning the favor this year with this fruit cake.  I’m going to bake and give it to her in this silicon bundt pan or this awesome loaf pan. PrintFresh Fruit Cake Ingredients2 and 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour 2 Tbs ground or whole flax seed (optional) 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1/4 tsp salt 1 small orange, peeled and pureed 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce 1/2 cup honey 1/4 cup olive oil 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 1 large green tart apple, peeled and coarsely chopped 1 cup fresh cranberries, washed and coarsely chopped 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberriesInstructionsPreheat oven to 375 F. In a large bowl, combine and stir flour, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In Vitamix blender, blend orange until smooth. Add applesauce, honey, oil, and vanilla. Blend on low until mixed. Pour orange mixture into dry ingredients and stir. In blender, place quartered...
Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry Orange Muffins

One word for these muffins… RIDICULOUS!  I knew the combination of orange and cranberry would be over-the-top superb, but I wasn’t prepare for the firecracker of flavor.  POP! Citrus, acidic orange.  BAM! Tart and tangy cranberry. POW! Sweet, moist, and honeyed muffin.  These Cranberry Orange Muffins are ridiculously flavorful.     Like I mentioned in my Blueberry Banana Muffins, I’ve tried baking with several different whole wheat flours.  The flour you bake with will either leave your muffins hard and dense or soft and moist.  Here’s the whole wheat pastry flour that I’ve grown to love and use when baking anything with flour.   PrintCranberry Orange Muffins Ingredients2 cups whole wheat pastry flour 2 Tbs flax seed or flaxseed meal 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt 2 oranges, peeled and pureed 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce 1/2 cup honey or agave 1/4 cup olive oil 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 1 cup frozen or fresh cranberries, coarsely choppedInstructionsPreheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine flour, flax seed, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir well. In a Vitamix blender, blend oranges until smooth. Add applesauce, honey, oil, and vanilla. Blend on low until mixed well. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir just until blended. Fold in cranberries. Lightly spray muffin pan with olive oil cooking spray or use muffin cups. Scoop about 1/4 cup of batter into each cup. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly touched. 3.1http://www.nodietsallowed.com/cranberry-orange-muffins/     If you’re a muffin fan like I am, try...

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