Wholly Healthy Momma

A site meant to share healthy versions of delicious food so that more people can enjoy living a healthier lifestyle!

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Bars

I was opening a package of butter the other day and the recipe printed on the inside caught my eye.  This, of course, happens frequently.  Normally, I clip it and squirrel it away in some location, never to be seen again.  These poor recipes never seem to find their way out of the dark abyss once they’ve been clipped.  But this recipe looked so good that I had to make it. Now I am so happy I did; they are so good! So, without further ado…

The original recipe came from a Land O Lakes package and can be found here 

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Bars 

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Bars

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Bars

Crust

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
7/8 cup honey plus 1/8 cup molasses
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups pecan halves

Caramel Layer

2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup honey plus 1 Tbsp molasses

Chocolate

1 cup chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

Heat oven to 350°F.

  1. Combine all crust ingredients except pecans in food processor. Beat at medium speed until well combined.
  2. Press onto bottom of a 13×9-inch baking pan.  Spread pecans evenly over unbaked crust.  Bake about 5 minutes.
  3. Start the caramel layer. Combine caramel ingredients in 1-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until entire surface of mixture comes to a boil. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove crust from oven and pour caramel evenly over pecans and crust.
  4. Bake 18-22 minutes or until entire caramel layer is bubbly. (Do not overbake.) Remove from oven. Immediately sprinkle with chips; allow to melt slightly. 
  5. Cool completely; cut into bars.
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Microwave Banana Bread

My daughter’s class is trying different foods for Thanksgiving.  Last week they were making microwave banana bread and homemade butter.  The teacher asked if I would send a piece of bread so that she would not feel left out at snack time.  I thought, microwave banana bread doesn’t sound too hard let’s make some of our own!  So I looked it up.  I modified the recipe that I found at http://www.cooks.com/recipe/kz9zu1gv/microwave-banana-bread.html, which took hardly any time at all and sent her with her own piece of healthy banana bread for snack.  This recipe was simple and came out great.  Plus, she got the benefit of making it twice!

I always keep bananas in the freezer – they make great ice cream or can be made into other treats.  if The bananas get a little over ripe I just peel them and stick them in a freezer bag.  This way there’s no waste, and they are ready to use any time!  This worked perfectly for making this quick recipe, once the banana started to thaw it easily mashed up in the batter.

 

1/2 c. Whole wheat flour
1/4.c Whole wheat pastry flour
3/8 c. honey
1/4 c. plus 1 tbsp. soft butter
1/3 c. milk
1 eggs
1 med. banana, sliced or mashed
1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. nuts (1/8 cup plus 1/8 cup)
(optional) 1/4 c chocolate chips
Combine ingredients in order given, except for 1/8 cup of the nuts. Mix well. Lightly butter a microwave safe loaf pan. Sprinkle 1/4 cup nuts over the bottom of the pan. Pour batter over nuts. Cook for 6 to 9 minutes on full power or until done. I tested mine with a toothpick about 6 minutes in and it was perfect.  Let stand 5 minutes before turning out of pan.
Makes 1 loaf
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Um Ali – Egyptian bread pudding and Puff Pastry

We often feed the missionaries for our church… When we fed them a few weeks ago my husband began bragging that I make foods from many different cultures and asked them if there was anything they wanted us to make for them when they came again.  This is a typical question for us to ask but it is rare to get any particular requests.  This time, however was different.  One of the sisters responded that she loves a particular desert that she had eaten while growing up in Saudi Arabia.  I will admit that I was a little nervous as I had no clue what I was getting into… but I was up for the challenge and found a recipe on line, which, of course, had to be fixed so that I could eat it too (find the original and read about it’s interesting history at http://honestcooking.com/um-ali-egyptian-bread-pudding/ ).  And set to work… It turned out to be really quite simple and tasted great – and of course was approved by the most important critic, our missionary sister, who said it was exactly what she remembered and seemed to enjoy it very much.  In addition, I had to learn how to make whole wheat puff pastry in order to make this dish, which is something I have wanted to try but has seemed very intimidating to me in the past.  I was surprised to find that it was actually quite simple and turned out really good!  We even got a bonus desert out of the deal – Pain au chocolat- because I had to see how the puff pastry turned out before I could serve it to a guest.  These came out fabulous as well and were gone WAY too quickly!
Um Ali - Egyptian Bread Pudding

Um Ali

Ingredients
  • 1 pack (10 small square slices) puff pastry
  • 4 1/2 cups milk
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup pistachios
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut
Instructions
  1. Take the puff pastry out of the freezer 2 hours before using them and allow to defrost
  2. preheat heat oven to 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit
  3. Place the puff pastry slices on a baking sheet and then place them into the oven for 5-10 minutes (you want them to be puffed up and golden brown).
  4. Take them out of the oven and allow to cool
  5. Combine the milk, whipped cream, honey and spices in a pan and allow to come to a gentle simmer.
  6. take off the heat and add vanilla
  7. Break the puff pastry into small pieces and place half the amount in a baking dish
  8. Later the nuts raisins and coconut
  9. Top with the other half of puff pastry crumbs
  10. Slowly add the milk mixture,one ladle at a time to the dish with puff pastry and nuts until the milk fully covers the puff pastry
  11. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes so that the puff pastry absorbs some of the milk. Add milk again until it covers the puff pastry
  12. Bake on the central rack for 15 minutes at 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit, until thickened and milk is absorbed into the pastry

 

Puff Pastry

2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups cold butter

1/4 cup cold water

  1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Roughly break the butter in small chunks, add them to the bowl and rub them in loosely. You need to see bits of butter.
  2. Make a well in the bowl and pour in the cold water, mixing until you have a firm rough dough adding extra water if needed. Cover with Saran Wrap and put in fridge for 20 min.
  3. Turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead gently and form into a smooth rectangle. Roll the dough in one direction only, until 3 times the width.  Don’t overwork the butter streaks; you should have a marbled effect.
  4. Fold the top third down to the center, then the bottom third up and over that. Turn the dough a quarter turn and roll out again to three times the length. Fold as before, cover with Saran Wrap and chill for at least 20 mins.  Roll it out one last time before using.

This freezes very well.

see the original at http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2403/roughpuff-pastry-

 

Pain au Chocolat

Pain au Chocolat

Raspberry Pain Au Chocolat

Ingredients:

Puff Pastry cut into approximately 5 inch squares

6 Tbsp Almond butter

3 Tbsp cocoa powder

2 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp milk

4 Tbsp raspberry all fruit jam

(optional – 1 beaten egg for brushing over the pastry to get a nice golden brown top)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix the Almond butter, cocoa powder, honey and milk together to make a chocolate almond spread. Please note that all the measurements are approximate, taste it, observe it and adjust it as necessary to meet your tastes and consistency desires.
  3. Spread some of the hazelnut spread onto the center third of each square to within 1/2 inch of the outer edges. Spread about 1/2 teaspoon of the raspberry jam over the hazelnut spread. Fold the two outer sections over one another to enclose the filling. Press the  open edges firmly to seal. Repeat the process with the remaining squares. Use a sharp knife to cut 5 slits across the top of each pastry, and place them on baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. Cool on racks.

 

we are also going to try this with a cream cheese spread and apricot jam… YUM!  So… have fun, experiment and feel free to share your ideas!

 

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Goldfish Crackers

My oldest daughter loves goldfish crackers… but of course I’m not thrilled with the ingredients.  So, I promised her that I would make her some… This really was a labor of love, first I learned to make cheez it’s, which are actually VERY simple.  I found a great  recipe on the internet that was perfect.  See it here: http://www.time2saveworkshops.com/homemade-cheez-its-only-6-ingredients-healthier-version/), then I figured out how to make mini cookie cutters (I looked around to buy premade ones but couldn’t find anything. Finally, I was able to make the goldfish as promised.  Both the girls really enjoyed  them but it sure took a lot of work to cut out all those little fish.  So… with love for my daughters, here it is…

Goldfish Crackers Goldfish Crackers before bakingGoldfish Crackers

Ingredients:

8 oz block extra sharp cheese (or your favorite flavor)

1 cup whole wheat flour

4 tablespoons butter

2-4 tablespoons ice water

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon paprika

6-8 drops yellow food coloring (optional)

3-4 drops red food coloring (optional)

Instructions

Chop cheese into cubes

Put cheese, flour,butter, salt and Paprika and food coloring in a food processor. Process until combined. Will look like coarse crumbs.

add water 1 Tablespoon at a time until dough sticks together

remove from food processor, form into a ball and wrap ball of dough in plastic wrap. refrigerate for 30 min.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut about 1/4 of the dough off, roll on a floured surfaced until about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into shapes. Transfer to a cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes or until puffed and crispy.  Watch them closely or they will burn.

 

To make cheez it’s – cut into squares using a rolling cutter, transfer the entire sheet to a cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes.  The crackers break apart easily after they are baked.

 

How to make the cookie cutters

this was a lot of work but actually pretty fun – I love a challenge and I love to learn new things so this was right up my alley!

 

Mini Goldfish Cookie Cutters Mini Goldfish Cookie Cutters

I started with a soda can which I rinsed and dried.

Next, I used metal shears to cut off the top and bottom of the can and cut it down one side to get a flat sheet of aluminum.

Then, I marked the can in even strips with a sharpie and a straight edge and cut these into strips along the marked lines (about 1 inch wide)

Next, I folded the strips in half because I did not want to use the sharp aluminum edge and rolled it through a pasta  press to make the fold nice and crisp.

Then I made a model fish out of cardboard which I glued together to make a template which I could mold the aluminum around.

For each cookie cutter, I wrapped the aluminum around the mold to form it into the proper shape.

I then tucked the ends together to get my final cookie cutter.

Since these were so small and I did not want to cut each one by hand I decided to design a rolling cutter, I found a tube to place the fish on, lined them up and threaded a wire through the front and back ends of each fish, this served to hold them together and to anchor them to the tube.  I wrapped the tube in clay, positioned the fish and baked it until the clay was solid.

Tada! one rolling goldfish cookie cutter – It worked pretty well, But I would suggest making sure all the cutters are even in height as some do not cut because they cannot reach the dough.

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Green Chili Cheese Ball

A friend of mine would frequently supply my coworkers and I with the most fabulous cheese ball ever… I got the recipe and was surprised to find that this delicious appetizer is deceptively simple.  Now we frequently find ourselves fulfilling requests for this party staple.

The following recipe is how we most commonly prepare it however it is delicious in many ways.  We have tried it with sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and basil.  Or how about some crispy bacon, ham, or pepperoni… Get creative and make up your own recipe – what would you put in your cheese ball?

Green Chili Cheese Ball

Green Chili Cheese Ball

Green Chili Cheese Ball

1 Block Cream Cheese

1 Can black olives – chopped

1/4 cup chopped green chili

1 cup fiesta blend cheese

1/8 tsp garlic powder (optional)

1/2 cup pecans

 

1. Combine all ingredients except pecans in a bowl.  Mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed through cream cheese.

2. Shape into a ball

3. Spread pecans over a flat surface.

4. Roll ball over pecans, making sure to cover entire surface.

5. Serve with triscuits or other favorite crackers, chips or pretzels.

 

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Raspberry lemonade Jell-o Cake

As I was preparing for the baby’s first birthday party I started considering what cake to make.  My husband’s all time favorite is Jell-o cake and I thought it would be fun to try it.  I also made it a pink camo cake which was fun too!  The cake turned out awesome, Grammy touted it as the best cake I’ve made yet and my sister even asked to take a piece home to her fiancee.  This just doesn’t happen because my deserts are usually considered too healthy…

I started with the white cake recipe from an earlier blog post and changed it slightly, it came out so much fluffier than the original recipe that I updated that recipe.  You can find the improved version here:  white cake recipe

In order to make the cake camo colored I added red food coloring to the batter and mixed it well. I scooped dolops of the batter randomly around the pan and changed the color in the remaining batter.  I repeated this process about four times, using 3 shades of pink and 2 shades of purple until I had covered the pan and used all the batter.  I also used this process with the whipped topping to make the frosting camo colored.

 

Raspberry Lemonade Jello Cake

Raspberry Lemonade Jello Cake


Raspberry Lemonade Jell-o Cake

1. Make white cake  according to the recipe.

2. add 1 tsp of raspberry flavoring to the cake batter.

3. baked it following the recipe directions, remove it from the oven to cool.

4.  poke holes all over the top using a fork.

5. prepare the “Jell-o”

6. Spoon liquid over the baked cake, making sure to get it into the holes.  Chill in refrigerator.

7. Prepare whipped topping, mix in 1/2 tsp raspberry extract and 1/2 tsp lemon extract

8. Spread topping over cake, chill and serve.

 

Homemade Jell-o

1 cup 100% fruit  juice of choice – I used white grape raspberry

1 package gellatin

 

directions:

1. pour juice into a pan

2. Sprinkle Gellatin over cold juice.  Mix well

3. bring to a boil, stirring frequently

for regular Jell-o this can be poured into cups and chilled in the refrigerator.

 

Whipped Topping (replacement for cool-whip)

2 Cups Heavy Whipping cream

1/4 Cup Honey (or to taste)

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

directions

1. Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form

2. Add honey and vanilla. Mix well

 

Easy Vanilla Ice cream

2 C heavy cream

1 C milk

1/2 c honey

1/8 c stevia (cup for cup like sugar)

1 Tbsp vanilla

1 tsp almond extract

Directions:

put all ingredients in ice cream maker and churn according to machine directions

or

mix ingredients together then freeze flat in a gallon size baggie.  Once frozen break up and put into food processor, blend until smooth. YUM!

This recipe was adapted from a recipe I found on allrecipes.com see the original recipe here

 

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Guacamalsa

This is my sister-in-law’s recipe and it is oh so good!  It is a cross between guacamole and salsa, thus we named it Guacamalsa.  You can either make it as I have explained or mash the avocado like you would when making guacamole.  Since a friend requested the recipe I thought I would go ahead and share it with the world.  Enjoy!

Guacamalsa

6 avacados
1 roma tomato
1 small jalapeno
3 green onions
1/2 lime
cilantro, garlic salt, salt, pepper – to taste
1 can rotel
14 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 white onion
2 cloves minced garlic
blend rotel and stewed tomatoes in a food processor
chop all remaining ingredients
Mix all ingredients together – serve
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Cinnamon Almond Popcorn Treat

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At church a couple of weeks ago they gave all the ladies caramel corn.  Knowing I couldn’t eat it, I was given a separate bag of plain popcorn.  Of course I was very grateful that they had considered my needs in preparing this special treat.  I was even more grateful a few days later when my friend told me she had made herself a popcorn treat using only honey and butter.  Of course I got the recipe!  After this my head started swimming with ideas on how I could make this even better.  I would add nuts and possibly drizzle melted chocolate over it (we were addicted to Dale and Thomas popcorn at one time.  But, as with so many other things, it had to go.)  when I told my husband my plan he said “You could add cinnamon too!” so here’s what we ended up with…

Cinnamon Almond Popcorn Treat

5-6 cups popped popcorn

1 Cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup peanuts

2 Tbsp butter, melted

1/2 Cup Honey

2 Tbsp cinnamon

Sprinkle of nutmeg

Mix the popcorn and nuts together, spread into large baking pan.  Mix the honey into the melted butter.  Sprinkle Cinnamon and nutmeg over the popcorn and nut mixture.  Drizzle honey mixture over popcorn mixture.  Stir the mixture to coat it with the honey.  Bake in a 275 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.  Stir the mixture and bake an additional 10-15 minutes.  Remove from oven, stir again and let cool.

I loved this just the way it was and have already eaten most of it!  Next time maybe I’ll add the chocolate.  My plan for this is to melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler, put the melted chocolate into a cake decorating bag with a writing tip and drizzle the popcorn with chocolate as it cools in the pan.  I think that it will be even more fabulous this way!

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Granola

A friend of mine gave me this granola as a Christmas gift.  It was wonderful so I made sure to get the recipe!

Granola

Granola

2 1/2 Cups oatmeal

1/2 Cup Wheat Germ

1/2 Cup sunflower seeds

1/2 Cup slivered almonds

1 Cup Coconut

1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil

1/2 Cup Honey

Mix all ingredients together and bake at 275 degrees fo 45-50 minutes.  Pour into another pan to cool, so it doesn’t stick.

I usually mix this  into plain yogurt and add some fruit and honey but it is good all by its self!

Also, I was missing ingredients and so I substituted things – it still turned out great.  I replaced the wheat germ with whole wheat flour, and added pumpkin seeds.

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Nanna’s Peanut Butter Bars

When I told Nanna about my blog she said: “you don’t have my peanut butter bars recipe on it!”  After she began eating like me she said she would not be able to do it if she didn’t have sweets.  so we converted grandmas cookie recipe and we found this recipe in “Whole Foods For the Whole Family” but Nanna made much better! So… here’s her recipe:

Nanna’s Peanut Butter Bars

1 cup rolled oats (I like to blend them first)

1 cup very hot water

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup honey

2 eggs

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 heaping cup peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla

1 bag sunspire grain sweetened chocolate chips (I use 1/2 bag)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Soak oats in hot water in a bowl. Cream butter, honey and egg in another bowl.  Add oats and next 4  ingredients to butter mixture, mix well.  Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips.  Spread in greased 9×13 baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.  Cool on wire rack; cut into bars.  (These freeze well, simply separate individual bars wrap in foil and freeze)

Enjoy!

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