MORE Low-sugar desserts!

Healthy Homemade Popsicles

BuzzNutrition Commentary: Supermarket popsicles are also known as frozen toxin sticks. They usually contain high fructose corn syrup, food colorings and preservatives. If Star Wars were set in your grocery store freezer, Darth Vader would fight with a Popsicle Saber from the supermarket, whereas Luke Skywalker would use a homemade one.

If these treats are for adults, consider adding a dash of rum. This will change the consistency since alcohol doesn’t freeze hard like water. But you can always enjoy it as a slushie!

http://inhabitat.com/how-to-make-homemade-healthy-organic-popsicles/

Every homemade popsicle recipe has a few basic ingredients: fruit (or veggies), sugar, and water. Many recipes get an added flavor boost from extras like salt, chili, herbs (like mint or basil), and lemon or lime juice for an extra zing.

Summer Strawberry Popsicles

  • 4 cups of fresh strawberries (Preferably organic and not gigantic supermarket frankenberries)
  • 1/8 cup of sweetener
  • 2-4 tablespoons of fresh-squeezed lemon juice (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup of water

Preparation

  • Toss all ingredients into the blender and flip the switch. You want to create something that is smoothie-like in texture, for the richest, most flavorful popsicle. Your mixture should be just thin enough to pour, but not too thin so that it has a runny, watery consistency. Adding water to the point of a “runny” consistency will thin your concoction, which will yield a larger batch of blander popsicles.
  • Pour to the top of each mold, and don’t spill. Make sure to wipe up any spills on the molds or tray before you put the tray into the freezer.
  • Freeze for 2-3 hours.
  • When your popsicles are completely frozen, you will be able to tell by pulling on the stick. If the stick comes out by itself, your popsicle is not completely frozen. If the stick stays fast, your popsicle is frozen. When your popsicles are ready to eat, run hot water from the tap over the tip of the mold for about 1 minute. After 30-seconds to a minute of the hot water treatment, your mouth-wateringly delicious popsicle should pop right out with a little tug. Enjoy!

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Low-Sugar BBQ Sauce

Better Barbeque Sauce

Better Barbeque Sauce Recipe

  • 1 tbsp. unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 cup minced fresh onion
  • 1 tbsp. naturally-fermented soy sauce
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/3 tsp. ground chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp. dry basil
  • 1 tsp. dry oregano
  • 1 6oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 1/4 cups homemade beef broth
  • 2 tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. stevia
  • 1 tbsp. honey

1. Heat oil in a 1 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and stir until tender, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. Bring to a low boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring periodically until mixture thickens, 20 to 30 minutes.

2. Pour into wide-mouth glass jar; allow to cool. Cover and refrigerate. Use within 2 weeks or freeze.

Patty Goodness

Mix this stuff up, smack it into a patty and bake it! Freeze for a to-go snack/lunch that will defrost while you work.

Salmon, Chick Pea and Mint Patties

Canned salmon is a convenient source of omega-3 fatty acids and calcium (the bones in canned salmon are soft enough to eat). Alternatively, use left-over baked salmon.

1 can (14.75 oz.) chick peas, rinsed and drained (or 2 cups soaked and boiled)

1 small red onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons medium curry powder

1 medium red chili, deseeded and minced

Handful of fresh mint leaves

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1-2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

All-purpose flour or corn meal, for dusting (optional)

Coconut oil or lard, for frying

  1. Place all ingredients in blender. Blend together for a few seconds. Do not over-blend.
  2. Shape mixture into 18 balls; flatten into patties. Dust lightly with flour or cornmeal.
  3. Heat coconut oil or lard in a large frying pan and gently fry patties for about 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
  4. Serve with Coriander Dip (combine 1 cup full-fat yogurt with 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro)

Low-sugar desserts!

BuzzNutrition Commentary in italics!

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Cocoa-Date Truffles

Though a natural form, dates are still sugar! Experiment with using fewer dates to achieve minimum necessary sweetness.

Source: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2012/06/cocoa-date-truffles

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 1 1/2 cups Medjool dates, pitted
  • 3 tablespoons (or more) unsweetened shredded coconut or quick-cooking oats
  • Pinch of sea salt

Flavoring Options (choose one)

  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

Coating Options (mix and match)

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup crushed lightly toasted pistachios
  • 1/2 cup crushed lightly toasted hazelnuts

Preparation

  • Purée cacao powder, dates, 3 Tbsp. coconut, and salt in a food processor until almost smooth, adding water by teaspoonfuls if too dry and crumbly and coconut by teaspoonfuls if too wet and sticky. Add desired flavoring and pulse to combine.
  • Scoop date purée by the tablespoonful and roll into 1″ balls. DO AHEADCan be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill.
  • Roll truffles in desired coatings to cover.

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Strawberry Tarts with Ginger-Nut Crust

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2012/06/strawberry-tarts-with-ginger-nut-crust

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted, plus more for pan
  • 2 cups pecans, walnuts, or almonds
  • 3 tablespoons sweetener (sugar/raw honey/dates)
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • Special Equipment

    A 12-cup muffin pan

Preparation

  • Lightly brush muffin cups with coconut oil. Set aside. Pulse nuts in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add 3 Tbsp. sugar/honey/date, flour, ginger, salt, and 2 tsp. coconut oil. Process until coarse dough forms. Gather into a ball. Press 1 heaping Tbsp. dough firmly onto bottom and up sides of each muffin cup. Chill for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Bake crusts until firm and golden around edges, 8–10 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before removing. DO AHEADCan be made 1 day ahead. Let cool completely; store airtight at room temperature.
  • Place strawberries, lemon juice, and 1 tbsp. raw honey in a medium bowl; scrape in vanilla seeds (save bean for another use). Stir well, crushing a few berries to release their juices.
  • Using a spatula or butter knife, remove tart shells from pan and fill with strawberry mixture. Serve immediately.

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Easy chocolate pudding

Easy Chocolate Pudding Recipe

BuzzNutrition changes to original recipe are in italics.

  • 1/3 c. local raw honey (*Honey = sugar! Use as little as possible and make up the volume with coconut milk)
  • 4 tbsp. arrowroot powder (or organic corn starch)
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 2 c. whole milk (or coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. butter (if using coconut milk, omit this)

1. In a glass measuring cup, whisk together arrowroot powder, cocoa, and milk until relatively smooth. In a small saucepan, combine the honey and the milk mixture over low heat (best not to heat honey or milk too high). Cook until thickened, stirring constantly.

2. Once thickened, remove from heat, stir in vanilla and butter until evenly distributed.

3. Serves 4-6. Enjoy your tasty, warm, gooey, relatively healthy, and definitely easy chocolate pudding!

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Easy Honey Nut Creme Fraiche Dessert

  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche or cultured sour cream (both taste divine!)
  • 1 Tbsp raw nut butter (we’ve used cashew, peanut, and almond)
  • 1 tsp raw honey

To make a single serving: plop in a dollop of creme fraiche or cultured sour cream, add a dollop of nut butter, add a drizzle of honey. Stir. Eat!

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Dairy-free sorbet (depending on dairy content of chocolate)

This has 1 cup of sugar, which is surely MUCH less than most commercial ice creams. But all the same, you may try starting with 1/2 cup and seeing how it goes:

Source: http://www.food52.com/articles/3680_david_lebovitzs_chocolate_sorbet

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Fruit Parfait

  • 2 peaches or bananas, sliced, or 2 cups berries
  • 1 cup granola (ideally no vegetable oil)*
  • 1 recipe of favorite pudding (see below)

In parfait glass, layer fruit, granola and then pudding. Repeat. Enjoy immediately!

Source: Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen by Ani Phyo

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Luscious Lemon Pudding

  • 2 cups almonds
  • 1/2 cups pitted dates (try for less- dates=sugar!)
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons psyllium powder (this sounds kinda gross, but it’s better than corn starch!)

Blend the almonds, dates, lemon juice and water until smooth. Add psyllium and blend well.

Will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge.

Source: Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen by Ani Phyo

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Cashew Coconut Pudding

  • 2 cups cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup pitted dates (try for fewer because dates = sugar!)
  • 1/2 cup shredded dried coconut

Blend the cashews and water until smooth. Add the dates and coconut. Blend until smooth.

Will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge.

Source: Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen by Ani Phyo

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Chocolate Ricotta Pudding:

slightly labor-intensive, but well worth it for a special occasion!

3/4 pound ricotta

2 hard cooked egg yolks, strained

4 tablespoons sugar

1 jigger rum

2 tablespoons grated cooking chocolate

1/8 pound shelled, blanched almonds, chopped

2 egg whites, beaten stiff

Cream ricotta, add strained egg yolks, sugar, rum, chocolate and almonds and mix very well. Blend in egg whites. Butter 1-quart tube mold, pour in mixture and place in pan of water in moderate oven (375F) and bake 1 hour. This is better served warm but may also be served cold.

Fruit- and Veg-Infused water in mason jars

http://www.inhabitots.com/how-to-make-fruit-and-vegetable-infused-water-in-mason-jars/

By making these beverages in mason jars, you can store a lot of them in the fridge and your child can easily grab a fruit-infused cooler anytime. They aren’t filled with sugar like fruit juice, but still provide enough flavor to please kids.

What you will need:

  • Fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs
  • Water
  • Mason Jars
  • Reusable Straws

Fruits and vegetables to use:

I prefer goodies straight from the garden or farmer’s market. You can choose any fruit or veggie your child likes to infuse your water with, but here are a few of my favorites.

  • orange
  • lemon
  • lime
  • grapefruit
  • cucumber
  • mint
  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • blackberries

Recipe #1: Citrus Infused Water

Slice the orange, grapefruit, lemon and lime into slices. Add the slices to a mason jar and fill to the top with fresh, filtered water. Securely screw on the lid and store in the refrigerator until ready to drink.

Recipe #2: Cucumber-Mint Infused Water

Slice the cucumber into slices and rinse the mint leaves. Add the slices and mint leaves to a mason jar and fill to the top with fresh, filtered water. Securely screw on the lid and store in the refrigerator until ready to drink.

Recipe #3: Berry Infused Water

Add the fresh, rinsed berries to a mason jar. Fill to the top with fresh, filtered water and securely screw on the lid and store in the refrigerator until ready to drink.

Tip: For last minute drinks, I like to add frozen fruit chunks to water. These are great for impromptu guests or if you forget to make a fresh batch of fruit infused water.

Make your own Vitamin C

Source: mizar5.com/Make_Your_Own_Vitamin_C.html

Vitamin C is much more than just “ascorbic acid”. Citrus fruits have rutin, hesperidin, bioflavonoids, monoterpenes and limonene essential oils in their pulp and peel.

  • Use organic citrus fruits (grapefruit, tangerines, oranges, lemons, limes)- consuming concentrated pesticides is a BAD idea…
  • Cut the peels into thin strips; lay out on cheesecloth with none of the peels touching each other. Let dry for a couple of days. Alternatively dry in a dehydrator.
  • Grind in coffee grinder or VitaMix to make a powder. Add to drinks or food. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Start slow. If you take too much, you’ll get diarrhea… no one wants that. Use 1/4-1/2 teaspoon max.

*Info provided for educational purposes only!

Natural Mouthwash

Source: frugallysustainable.com/2012/02/antiseptic-homemade-mouthwash-recipe/

Basic Mouthwash: 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 3 drops peppermint essential oils. Mix all ingredients in a glass jar and shake well. Swish in mouth, then spit out. Store on bathroom counter.

Old-Fashioned Disinfectant Mouthwash: 1 cup water and 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar. Combine ingredients and store in a glass jar. Shake well prior to use. Swish mixture in mouth, then spit out. Will keep indefinitely on the counter.

Hydrogen Peroxide Mouthwash: 1 part hydrogen peroxide mixed with 1 part water. Swish mouthwash in mouth, then spit out. Mix enough for single use and discard extra solution.

Lemon Whitening Mouthwash: Not really a mouthwash, but you can rub a piece of lemon on stained teeth for a whitening effect.

Herbal Mouthwash: Create an herbal infusion by steeping 2 cups of boiling water, 1/2 ounce of whole cloves, 1 ounce of Oregon grape root, and 1 ounce of rosemary in a pint-sized glass mason jar, overnight. In the morning strain the infusion using a piece of cheesecloth. Swish in mouth, the spit out. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. Will keep for 1 week.

Simple Essential Oil Mouthwash: To 1 cup of water add 20 drops of either cinnamon, clove, wintergreen, or tea tree oil. Combine all ingredients in a glass jar. Shake well prior to each use in order to distribute the essential oils. Will keep on the bathroom counter indefinitely.

Antiseptic Homemade Mouthwash: 

Combine all ingredients in a pint-sized glass mason jar and shake well.

  • 5 ounces Rum or Vodka
  • 4 ounces water
  • 1/2 ounce vegetable glycerin
  • 1/2 ounce powdered myrrh gum
  • 5 drops essential oils of cinnamon
  • 5 drops essential oils of clove

*Due to the alcohol content, can have a drying effect. Don’t use every day. Shake well prior to use. Swish in mouth, then spit out. Will store in glass jar on bathroom counter indefinitely.

Tooth Powder

The usual tube of toothpaste presents many hazards. Sodium lauryl sulfate is irritating to gums, fluoride is NOT all it’s cracked up to be (and quite a challenge for the body to handle in large amounts), artificial colors/flavors, unpronounce-able chemicals and some toothpaste contains sugar (?!).

Try these recipes for Tooth Powder! They’re cheap and will make you feel quite exotic:

BASE POWDER:

  • 3 parts Baking Soda
  • 1 part course grind sea salt (Real Salt or Celtic Sea Salt)
  • Optional: montmorillonite (french) clay (helps scrub and reduce stains)

MEDICINAL BITS

  • Clove essential oil: gum healing properties
  • Tea tree oil: germ-killing
  • Myrr powder: germs-killing

FLAVORINGS:

  • Essential oils: peppermint, cinnamon, fennel, basil… anything you like
  • Stevia

SAMPLE DIRECTIONS (your method and ingredients will vary according to your unique tastes)

  • Fill a jar 3/4 of the way full with baking soda.
  • Add salt to almost fill the jar.
  • Add a half teaspoon of clay (optional).
  • Pour into a larger jar, add 8 drops cloves and 3-5 drops tea tree.
  • Shake!
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-4 parts bentonite clay
-1 part baking soda
-1/2 part myrrh gum powder
-1/2 part ground cloves
-1/2 part ground stevia
-essential oils of cloves and cinnamon

Directions

1. Add all ingredients to a mason jar. Tightly close the lid and shake jar until well combined.
2. To use, apply a small amount of tooth powder to your tooth brush with a spoon and brush as you normally would.

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SOURCES:

Freezable Foods

Source: www.simpleorganizedliving.com/2011/02/10/freezable-foods/#ixzz1v8R7DMgN 

Baked Goods & Baking Supplies

  • Breads, Buns, Muffins, and Rolls: Double-bag to prevent freezer burn; should be fine for several months
  • Granola: freeze it in mason jars or zip-top bags.
  • Chocolate: they keep for much longer this way and taste “fresher”.
  • Nuts: Freezing keeps oils from going rancid.
  • Flour and Sugar: Great in the summer when weather is more humid.

Dairy: most dairy products should keep for at least 6 months

  • Butter/Margarine: Just stick the whole package in the freezer and remove when you’re ready to use.
  • Block Cheese: Slice and shred it before you freeze it, otherwise it will crumble.
  • Cream Cheese: Might be a bit “lumpy” after it defrosts but it still tastes the same.
  • Milk: Might be helpful before a vacation. Pour about 1 cup of milk out before freezing because it will expand.
  • Yogurt: Let it defrost a bit before eating so it’s really creamy.

FruitBefore freezing fruit, make sure it’s washed, dried, and divided up into smaller portions. This will make it easy to quickly grab what you need without defrosting the entire batch. Fruits should keep for up to a year if properly sealed.

  • All Fruits: You can pretty much freeze any fruit you plan to use in smoothies because it will get mashed up anyway, however, don’t plan on freezing fruit simply for eating — it will be really soggy.
  • Berries: great for pancakes and smoothies. 2-cup containers of crushed berries can be used for making jam, ice-cream toppings or, for berry shortcake.
  • Bananas: Peel rotten bananas and put 4 in a bag or freezer container {most recipes call for 3-5 bananas}
  • Jams and Jellies: Freezer jam is a much easier way to go.

Herbs: Freeze fresh herbs in ice-cube trays to use for soups, stews, and casseroles later in the year. Here’s a free Herb Reference Sheet that explains how you can use and preserve different herbs.

Veggies: List of 20 different vegetables and how to freeze them: Vegetable Freezing Worksheet

Meals
  • Soups, Stews, and Broths: Divide into 1 or 2 cup portions so they defrost quicker.
  • Casseroles: Lasagna, fajitas,enchiladas, chicken dishes… Make sure all the ingredients are fully cooked before you freeze. Just defrost and bake as normal.
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Meat: You can freeze cooked meat, raw meat, ground meat, shredded meat, “whole” meat, etc. Just make sure it’s properly sealed to prevent freezer burn.