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Coming up with five ingredient recipes can be really challenging as a Recipe Developer, especially when it comes to desserts. I love warm desserts such as cobblers and crisps. A crisp is a dessert of fruit that is topped with a crumbly pastry mixture, usually oats, brown sugar and butter. Using low-fat granola is a great way to cut down on the amount of ingredients. This recipe is very simple, low-fat, great for kids, and it works well in individual baking dishes, such as this clover for St. Patrick’s Day. 

 

Pear-Cranberry Crisp

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 35 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

4 very ripe pears such as Bartlett, Anjou, or Seckel pears, peeled, cored, and chopped  

1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries

1/21 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 cup low-fat granola (I used Udi’s original)

Preparation

1. Saute pears over medium heat in a large saute pan coated with cooking spray  7 to 9 minutes or until slightly softened; stir in cinnamon.

2. Transfer to a lightly greased 11/2-quart baking dish. Stir in cranberries and honey, stirring well.  Bake at 375F 20 to 25 minutes. Top with granola and cook 5 to 10 minutes more or until granola is lightly browned.

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Since Saint Patrick’s Day is one week away, here’s a quick and easy dip that is sure to be a party pleaser. This low-fat, low-calorie delight is perfect for spring. It’s filled with fresh dill and fresh basil. Guests won’t believe that this dip is low-fat, and don’t tell them it took only 10 minutes to prepare.

 

Low-Fat Fresh Herb Dip

Prep: 10 minutes

Yield: 31/2 cups

Ingredients

1 (16-ounce) container light sour cream

1 cup low-fat mayonnaise

2 cloves garlic

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Fresh vegetables, crackers

Preparation

1. Combine all ingredients in a container of a food processor; pulse until combine. Cover and chill. Serve with fresh vegetables or crackers.

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We love making muffins at my house, and this recipe is completely simple. With only 109 calories and 3.5 grams of fat per serving, you won’t feel guilty eating these muffins. The combination of rapspberry and almond go so well together, but for those of you who prefer blueberries, feel free to substitute blueberry preserves. 


Raspberry Almond Mini-Muffins

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Yield: 24 muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter or margarine

2/3 cup milk

1 egg

3/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 cup raspberry preserves

Powdered sugar (optional)

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in Classic Batter Bowl. Stir melted butter, milk, egg and almond extract into dry ingredients, mixing until well combined.

2.  Spray Deluxe Mini-Muffin Pan with nonstick cooking spray. Fill prepared muffin cups using Medium Scoop (1 scoop per muffin cup). Press approximately 1/2 teaspoon raspberry preserves into top of muffin batter. Gently fold batter over most of preserves.

3.  Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown or Cake Tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 5 minutes. Carefully remove from pan; serve warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle with powdered sugar using Flour/Sugar Shaker, if desired.

Banana-Apricot Bread from Real Simple

I love to make quick bread, which in food terms, means “bread that is quick to make because it requires no kneading or rising time”. And whether you have 3 kids or not, time is everything. Using dried apricots and bananas creates a wonderful flavor combination. You can also add red or golden raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries and flaked coconut if you wish. I like it how it is below, and it’s perfect to have on hand for the weekend (except for the fact that it goes so fast). Please share with me some of your favorite quick bread recipes when you get some open time. Thanks, Alison

 

Apricot-Banana Bread

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 1 hour

Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients

3  cups all-purpose flour

1  cup  granulated sugar

2  teaspoons baking powder

1  teaspoon baking soda

1  teaspoon ground cinnamon

4  tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces

1  cup chopped dried apricots

1/2  cup chopped pecans (optional)

2  large, very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed

1  cup nonfat buttermilk

2  eggs, beaten

Preparation

1. Heat oven to 350º F. Lightly coat a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan with vegetable cooking spray. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Using your fingertips or a pastry blender, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it looks like coarse crumbs. Mix in apricots and pecans, if desired. Stir in the bananas, buttermilk, and eggs until well blended. Pour into pan.

2. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn onto a wire rack.

Healthy Organic Trail Mix

February 18, 2009

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When I am on the go (which is all of the time), I like a quick healthy snack. This trail mix is perfect because it has the combination of a sweet and salty crunch made with some of my favorite ingredients. Today, I am taping 4 different cooking segments for a new local NBC show, “Daytime Alabama”. I can’t begin to explain what it’s like to prepare for 4 different cooking shows (I thought 1 show was difficult). Don’t get me wrong, it’s really fun. I would like to give thanks to my friend Alacia who helped me prepare for these television segments. 

 

Organic Trail Mix

Prep: 5 minutes

Yield:  6 cups

Ingredients

21/2 cups Oatmeal Squares

2 cups granola

1 cup peanut-butter filled pretzels

2 (10-ounce) package Harvest blend trail mix (I used Back to Nature)

1 (5.2-ounce) dried strawberries

1 (5.2-ounce) dried blueberries

1 (8.3-ounce) yogurt covered raisins

Preparation

1. Combine all ingredients in a airtight container and store at room temperature.

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It’s amazing to have all the great response from friends and fans of my blog. I really appreciate it, and I am so glad that so many kids, high schoolers and college students who have tried my recipes. Today, I thank Jackson, a 12-year-old friend of my son’s, who took time to write a comment on my blog. With that in mind, I decided to share a breakfast treat and snack that’s very popular at my home with my 3 children. With only 170 calories and 4 grams of fat, you won’t feel guilty eating homemade blueberry muffins. These are super easy to make, and the touch of oats, buttermilk and cinnamon give them a wonderful flavor and texture without adding any oil.  

 

Low-Fat Blueberry Muffins

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Yield: 15 servings

Ingredients

1/4  cup regular oats

2  tablespoons brown sugar

1  teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided

1/4  cup  butter, softened

1  cup  granulated sugar

1/2  cup  egg substitute

1  teaspoon  vanilla extract

2  cups all-purpose flour

1  teaspoon  baking soda

1/2  teaspoon  baking powder

1/2  teaspoon  salt

1 1/4  cups  fat-free buttermilk

1  cup  fresh blueberries

Vegetable cooking spray

Preparation

1. Stir together oats, brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; set aside.

2. Beat butter and granulated sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg substitute, beating until blended. Stir in vanilla.

3. Combine all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, ending with flour mixture. Gently stir in blueberries. Spoon batter into muffin pans coated with cooking spray, filling two-thirds full. Sprinkle evenly with oat mixture.

4. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until tops are golden. Cool muffins in pans 5 minutes; remove from pans, and cool on wire racks.

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With just 4 ingredients and about 20 minutes, you can prepare these homemade candies for your favorite Valentine. These are so easy and fabulous! Be sure to butter the pans good to prevent sticking and use wax paper after the candy has been dipped in chocolate. They disappeared in a matter of minutes at my house so I hope you will love them too! Also, thanks to http://www.tipnut.com for recommending my Valentine ideas.

 

Chocolate-Dipped Caramels

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 10 minutes

Yield: 24 candies

Ingredients

1 (14-ounce) package caramels, unwrapped

2 tablespoons skim milk

2 cups chopped pecans

1 cup semisweet chocolate

Preparation

1. Combine caramels and milk in a heavy saucepan; cook mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Stir in pecans, and drip by tablespoonfuls onto buttered baking sheets. Let stand until firm.

2. Microwave chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 minute or until melted, stirring once.

3. Dip caramel candies into melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip; place on wax paper. let stand until firm.