Sunday, April 29, 2012

Honey Yogurt Cheesecake

A few days ago I found a whole bunch of greek yogurt about to expire sitting in the back of the fridge, so I decided to make some use of it rather than just tossing it! And what better use than cheesecake? This cheesecake is creamy with an unusual sweetness from the honey, which matches perfectly with the tanginess of the greek yogurt. Yum!

Honey Greek Yogurt Cheeseecake

1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup pecans
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons honey
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3 cups plain greek yogurt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup honey
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom of a 10 inch springform pan.
2. Combine all the crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse until if comes together in a ball, forming kind of a dough.
3. Spread the crust into the bottom of the pan, using your fingers and the bottom of a measuring cup or glass to pat it down evenly.
4. Bake the crust for 8 minutes, then allow to cool while you prepare the filling.
5. In a large bowl, mix together all the filling ingredients until well combined.
6. Pour the filling into the pan and bake for about 45 minutes, until the center of the cheesecake is set.
7. Allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature and then put it in the fridge to chill for several hours, preferably overnight. The finished cake will keep in the fridge for several days.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Nut and Seed Granola

After hoarding pumpkin seeds in the pantry for months, I decided it was finally time to put them to good use, and I came up with the idea of making a grain-free granola. I guess it could be called more of a nut-cluster kind of thing, but it's close enough to granola, so that's what I'm calling it! This stuff is actually really, really good, and I think I may like it even better than the traditional granolas I make. It has a nice crispy texture and forms clusters really well (my favorite part).

Nut and Seed Granola
2 cups unsalted pumpkin seeds
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup chopped raw almonds
1 cup chopped raw walnuts
1/2 cup ground almonds (almond meal)
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt

1. Heat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
2. Spread the nuts and seeds out on the baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes, to toast lightly.
3. Combine the nuts and seeds with all the other ingredients in a large bowl.
4. Sprinkle the mixture onto the baking sheet and bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown. Don't worry if the clusters aren't super crispy at this point, they will crisp up as they cool.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

White Bean and Yogurt Dip

We have a TON of veggies sitting around our house right now, and I always wish I was more inclined to eat them as a snack instead of all the handfuls of various things I grab when I'm hungry afterschool. I've found, however, that if I just suck it up and cook or cut up everything at once, I'm much more likely to eat it right away. A pound of raw broccoli sitting in the fridge could stare me in the face for weeks, but a pound of roasted broccoli is gone in a matter of hours. Whole peppers sit there, sliced or roasted peppers--gone.

 Another thing that always encourages me to eat veggies...DIP! If I have a dip sitting there in the fridge, I won't even think twice about chopping up the broccoli or slicing the peppers or whatever I need to do to get some of that dip. So anyway, if you have loads of veggies in your fridge awaiting the moment that you say "Hey I am really in the mood for raw vegetables...yummm!" try out this dip and you'll get a nice protein boost, too!

White Bean and Yogurt Dip
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
6 oz plain greek yogurt (1 individual container)
zest of 1/2 a lemon
2 sprigs fresh thyme (just use the leaves from the sprigs)
1/4 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cornmeal Cake with Blueberry Sauce

This honey-sweetened cake makes a great summery dessert and would be fantastic topped with some vanilla frozen yogurt and fresh berries or even as a decadent breakfast treat. Enjoy!

Cornmeal Cake with Blueberry Sauce
Cake Ingredients:
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
6 tablespoons hot water
2/3 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup chickpea flour
1/3 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup almond milk
6 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup canola oil

Sauce ingredients:
2 cups frozen blueberries
1/4 cup raspberry preserves
1 teaspoon cornstarch

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F, line an 8-inch round cake pan with parchment paper and grease.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the ground flaxseed with the hot water and let sit for a few minutes.
3. In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flours, almond meal, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt.
4. Add the almond milk, honey, and oil to the flaxseed mixture and stir into the dry ingredients.
5. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Cool in the pan for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce:
1. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until syrupy. Serve over cake.