Crustless Blueberry Lemon Cheesecakes

Recently, I entered a contest for the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council recipe contest.  According to the rules, you must create a recipe using blueberries (of course!) and only 5 ingredients! So I really wanted to think out of the box to a dessert that my family loves and is individually portioned.  So came up with these crustless blueberry lemon cheesecakes! Who need the crust when you have this luscious filling!  This recipe is low in fat and sugar, using the naturally sweet taste of bluberries to boost flavor and nutrition!  Give it a try and let me know if you think it’s a winning recipe 🙂

Ingredients:
2-8oz packages of light cream cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 eggs
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2) line a muffin tin with liners and set tin on a baking sheet filled half with water
3) In a blender, combine cream cheese, vanilla, lemon juice and zest and blend on high speed for about 1 minute
4) Add 1 egg at a time and continue blending until combined
5) Fold in blueberries
6) Fill muffin liners with batter and bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean
7) Allow to cool and enjoy!

Cream of Wheat & Lentils with Dried Cranberries and Almonds

When I went to #FNCE, I stopped by the @lentils booth and tried one of my favorite dishes there! Cream of Wheat with Lentils.  So I honestly haven’t eaten Cream of Wheat for ages.  Eating it at FNCE really reminded me of being a kid and enjoying this for breakfast.  Yes, lentils combined with Cream of Wheat is an unlikely pairing but when you mix in a touch of agave, dried cranberries, cinnamon and vanilla, the flavors are incredible! Not to mention you get a boost of fiber and protein from the lentils!

So I re-created this dish at home and used agave instead of maple syrup.  You can also use pumpkin seeds instead of sliced almonds! The variety of toppings are endless but you really must try this!  After making this combo, I’ll be experimenting more with lentils, especially in dishes for my kids.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

1 tablespoon agave sweetener, divided (or maple syrup)

2 cups of unsweetened coconut, soy or almond milk

1/4 cup Cream of Wheat

1/4 cup split red lentils

1/2 apple, finely chopped

1 cup of water

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the lentils and water.
  2. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, in a small bowl combine the apple, almonds and 1 teaspoon of the agave. Set aside.
  4. Pour milk into a medium saucepan, bring to a light boil and whisk in cream of wheat.
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the cranberries, vanilla, cinnamon and 2 teaspoons of agave.  Whisk to combine.
  6. Once lentils are cooked and soft, pour into a mesh strainer and use a whisk or spoon to extract any excess liquid from the lentils.
  7. Pour lentils into the cream of wheat mixture and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes.
  8. Portion out mixture into individual bowls and top with the apple and almond mixture.  Serve warm.

 

 

 

 

Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash, Cranberries and Toasted Almonds

By now, you’ve probably tasted quinoa, but did you know that quinoa has the perfect balance of all nine essential amino acids for human health? With gorgeous red and green colors in this dish scream holiday! I’m totally experimenting with more quinoa salad recipes so stay tuned!  This dish can be eaten warm or cold.

Ingredients

Salad

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well

2 cups water

1 cup butternut squash, cubed

½ cup baby spinach, chopped

¼ cup slivered almonds

1/3 cup dried cranberries

 

Dressing

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

¼ teaspoon oregano

salt and black pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Place butternut squash on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for about 30-40 minutes or until fork tender.
  • While squash is roasting, get started on the quinoa. Rinse quinoa thoroughly under cold water in a fine mesh strainer
  • In a saucepan, bring 2 cups water and quinoa to a boil and then cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove the pot from heat, cover, and let the quinoa steam for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
  • In the meantime, heat a skillet over medium heat and sauté almonds for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Remove and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, almonds, cranberries, spinach and butternut squash
  • In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, vinegar, oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle dressing over quinoa and toss to combine.

 

 

 

Gluten-Free Mini Chocolate Brownies

These rich, chocolate brownies are low sugar, gluten free, low fat and super delicious! My kids gobbled these up and my husband and I enjoyed them warm with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt.  Totally guilt free!  I’ve baked these for my son’s class and they were a huge hit!  It feels great to bring them a homemade goodie that is healthy and you feel good giving them!  You  can use 1/4 cup of mashed avocado instead of coconut oil, but either way tastes incredible.

Ingredients

1/2 cup oat flour

1/4t baking powder

1/3c unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4t salt

1/3c coconut sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup coconut oil or mashed avocado

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs and add in coconut oil (or avocado if using), vanilla and applesauce.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the oat flour, salt, baking powder, cocoa powder and sugar.  Whisk well.  
  4. Add liquid to dry ingredients and mix to combine.
  5. Pour batter in an 8×8 baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
  6. Sprinkle 2T of mini chocolate chips on top.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool before cutting.

Flourless Blueberry Pancakes

These 4-ingredient flourless blueberry pancakes are easy to make, full of flavor and include simple ingredients.  Gluten-free, low carb, no added sugar, what’s not to love?!  The blueberries provide a natural sweetness without the need for added sugar.  Make it a fun breakfast and create faces on the pancakes with other fruits! Studies have shown that kids are more likely to try a food if it looks fun an appealing.  Oh and when making these, the most important thing is being very careful when flipping since they can break easily!  

Ingredients

1 1/2 very ripe bananas mashed

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs whisked

1/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1/4 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients and whisk well.
  2. Heat a griddle with a bit of unsalted butter or coconut oil.
  3. Pour on batter and stick with silver dollar pancake size, easier to flip.
  4. Wait about 1-2 minutes or until edges start to set and then flip and cook until golden. 

Fresh Banana, Blueberry Oat & Flax Scones

I absolutely loves scones and there is one restaurant in the city that was my go-to spot for scones until I started baking my own healthier version!  I played around with the ingredients in this recipe for a while until finally achieving this fantastic consistency and flavor minus a bunch of added sugar and glazes.  I was also excited to find that these scones were just as perfect using gluten-free all purpose flour, making totally gluten free!

My baked scones are perfect for breakfast including heart healthy flax and oats, potassium rich bananas and antioxidant loaded blueberries! Not only are these scones low sugar but they get a protein boost with the addition of greek yogurt. Does it get any better? Give this recipe a try and your taste buds will not be disappointed.

Ingredients

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats

1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour

1/4 cup finely ground flaxseed

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons of brown sugar

6 ½ tablespoons of cold butter

¾ cup 2% Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 medium banana, sliced

1/3 cup frozen or fresh blueberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine oats, all purpose flour, finely ground flaxseed, 2 teaspoons baking powder, salt and brown sugar
  3. Mix well and add in cold butter in pieces
  4. Using a pastry blender, or your hands, cut in the butter until flour resembles course crumbs
  5. In a separate bowl, combine Greek yogurt and vanilla extract
  6. Add liquid to the dry ingredients and blend until combined but do not overmix. Fold in the blueberries and bananas
  7. Turn onto a floured work surface and knead about five times. Pat into a 7-inch circle about ½-3/4 inch thick
  8. Cut into 8 triangles and place dough on a parchment lined baking sheet
  9. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown
  10. These freeze very well and tastes just as fresh once thawed

Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash, Cranberries and Toasted Almonds

By now, you’ve probably tasted quinoa, but did you know that quinoa has the perfect balance of all nine essential amino acids for human health? With gorgeous red and green colors in this dish scream holiday! Can be eaten warm or cold.

Ingredients

Salad

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well

2 cups water

1 cup butternut squash, cubed

½ cup baby spinach, chopped

¼ cup slivered almonds

1/3 cup dried cranberries

Dressing

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

¼ teaspoon oregano

salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Place butternut squash on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for about 30-40 minutes or until fork tender.
  • While squash is roasting, get started on the quinoa. Rinse quinoa thoroughly under cold water in a fine mesh strainer
  • In a saucepan, bring 2 cups water and quinoa to a boil and then cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove the pot from heat, cover, and let the quinoa steam for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
  • In the meantime, heat a skillet over medium heat and sauté almonds for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Remove and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, almonds, cranberries, spinach and butternut squash
  • In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, vinegar, oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle dressing over quinoa and toss to combine.