Archive for June, 2011

June 17, 2011

Dried Plum or Apricot Purée

My little Margot loves this super simple plum and/or apricot puree! Hope your little one does too! It basically the same recipe using dried plums or apricots.

Puree Ingredients
one bag of organic unsulfered dried plums or apricots
filtered water

Directions
Place the bag of dried fruit into a medium sauce pan. Pour just enough water into the pan to cover the fruit. Bring to a boil, and then lower the heat to a simmer for 5 minutes. Scoop out the fruit with a slotted spoon once cooked and puree in a food processor. You may add some of the fruit water into the puree to get the desired consistency. Let cool and pour into silicone freezer tray and place into the freezer. Once solid pop out your cubes and store in a  ziplock freezer bag.

* I use the Green Sprouts Silicone Freezer Trays found on Amazon.com. I LOVE these trays! It’s so easy to pop out your purees once frozen, even the super sticky ones like this fruit puree. Can’t recommend these enough!

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June 17, 2011

Vegan Carrot Cake

Cake Ingredients
31⁄4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1 Tbsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. allspice
1⁄2 cup dark brown sugar
1⁄2 cup agave nectar
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
3 cups shredded carrots
2 cups shredded coconut
11⁄2 cup vegetable oil
1 20-oz. can crushed pineapple in juice
2⁄3 cup water
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup dried apricots (diced)

Frosting Ingredients
1 cup vegan margarine, softened
2 1-lb. boxes powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 to 3 Tbsp. unsweetened soy milk

Cake Directions
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with vegetable oil and dust with flour. Sift all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients, thoroughly mixing until the mixture is uniform. If the batter is too thick, add one to three Tbsp. of water. Divide batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the layer centers comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely before icing. Once cool, frost between layers, and top and side with Vegan Buttercream Frosting. Cinnamon and chopped walnuts may be added for decoration.

Frosting Directions
Gradually cream margarine and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Blend in the vanilla extract and soymilk to create a lightly spreadable, but firm consistency.

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June 17, 2011

Creamy Spinach Dip

Ingredients
1 cup fat free Greek yogurt
1 (16 oz.) container fat free sour cream
1 (1.8 oz.) package dry vegetable soup mix
1 (4 oz.) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1/2 (10 ounce) package organic frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 loaf of whole wheat french bread, sliced
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
fresh ground black pepper

Directions
In a medium bowl, mix together yogurt, sour cream, dry vegetable soup mix, water chestnuts and chopped spinach. Chill in the refrigerator 6 hours, or overnight. To make the whole wheat bread rounds, placed the thinly sliced bread onto a cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the bread and season with a little bit of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Place in the oven under the broiler until golden brown.

This spinach dip is a definite crowd-pleaser and a super healthy alternative to the heavy mayo and cream cheese based spinach dips. Perfect for summer!

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June 17, 2011

Butternut-Sweet Potato Teething Rings

Teething Biscuit Ingredients
1 cup flour
1 cup dry infant rice cereal
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cube of sweet potato puree (about 1 oz)
1 cube of butternut squash puree (about 1 oz)
ice water

Preheat oven 425° F

Directions
Mix flour and cereal. Gradually stir in oil and room temperature purees. Mix a little ice water at a time (start with 1/4 cup) until dough begins to form a ball and pull away from the bowl. Roll out to the thickness of a cracker on a floured surface and cut into desired shapes*. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet 8-10 min. or until lightly brown. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

* I made my teething rings by using the cap to my olive oil as the biscuit cutter and then used a thimble to cut out the center of each ring. Margot really loved being able to put her fingers through the holes of the biscuits.

As with all solids given to babies, please supervise your children while eating these teething biscuits. Small pieces can be broken off and may prove to be a choking hazard. My daughter never tried to “eat” these teething rings. She just enjoyed chomping on them and feeling them on her gums.

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June 17, 2011

Sunshine Scones

I concocted this summery scones recipe when I found myself with a bag of oranges and a party to baked for. The result was a plate full of soft and sweet scones that left everyone with a smile on their face.

Scones Ingredients
2 C flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg (fresh ground nutmeg makes all the difference!)
1/2 C chilled butter
1 Tbsp. Grand Marnier
1 Tbsp. fresh squeezed orange juice
3 Tbsp. orange zest
3/4 C buttermilk
Sugar in the Raw

Orange Glaze
1 C confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. orange zest
3 tsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp. Grand Marnier

Directions
Sift all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and set aside. In another large mixing bowl cut your chilled butter into small chunks. In another bowl combine the buttermilk, orange juice, orange zest and Grand Marnier. Slowly add the dry mixture to the butter, alternatively adding liquid to the butter mixture as well. Continue adding the flour and wet ingredients into the butter bowl until everything is well mixed and the dough is beginning to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Roll dough out onto a floured surface into a rectangle with a 1/2 inch thickness. Cut the rectangle into 6 equal squares. Then cut the squares in half to form 12 triangles. Place triangles onto a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with Sugar in the Raw (you can use regular granulated sugar, as well – prefer Sugar in the Raw due to the large sugar granules).

Bake at 425° F for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before glazing.

Combine all glaze ingredients in a small bowl. To glaze, place scones on a wire cooling rack and drizzle each scone with a zig-zag pattern. Let the glaze set, roughly 20-30 minutes before serving.

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