Slightly Sweet – Lemon and Matcha Pudding

Here’s another dessert that is not over the top sweet. In fact this one contains silken tofu so not only does it satisfy a sweet craving, it will satisfy appetite!

Lemon and Matcha Tofu Pudding
(makes 4 servings)
1 package silken tofu
3-4 Tbs powdered sugar, divided
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs almond milk
2-3 tsp matcha tea powder
2-3 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp vanilla
honey to taste

Drain the tofu and place half of it in a blender. Dissolve the matcha and one tablespoon of the powdered sugar in the almond milk. Once both are dissolved add the mixture to the blender. Blend until it smooth, scraping down the sides. Once the mixture is smooth either put it in your serving dishes or place it aside. Rinse the blender parts. Place the other half of the tofu in the blender. Combine 2 tablespoons of the sugar with the lemon juice. Add this mixture, the vanilla, and the lemon zest to the blender. Blend until smooth.

With one tablespoon of sugar in the matcha batch it is not going to be very sweet. Since I like the flavors of honey and matcha together, I like to drizzle a little honey over each matcha layer. The two colors make for a great presentation, layer them into clear serving dishes and garnish. They are ready to eat right away, or refrigerate for later. I think they are a little better if they sit for an hour. Not all silken tofu is the same consistency. This is a very forgiving recipe. If you want it sweeter, and more sugar or honey, if you don’t like a thick pudding add a little more almond milk. Then sit back and enjoy this dessert that isn’t overwhelming you with sugar!

Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

Lemon Bundt Cake – On the Light Side

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This lemon bundt cake with a light, airy texture and a crisp outside won’t stand a chance! Especially when you top it with a blueberry glaze.

Light Lemon Bundt Cake:
1.5 cups flour
2 tbs baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbs poppy seeds (optional)
2 tsp lemon zest
3 eggs
1 5 oz container of greek yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup apple sauce

Combine the dry ingredients, combine the wet ingredients, then combine. Spoon the batter into a prepared bunt pan and bake at 350 degrees fro 20-25 minutes.

Blueberry Glaze:
In a small blender combine blueberries, powdered sugar and lemon juice from the lemons you used for zest. Blend the ingredients. The amount of sugar you use depends on your preference. I used two cups of blueberries to a half cup of powdered sugar.

Serve the cake fresh from the oven with glaze and extra blueberries.

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Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

 

Eat Dessert Like You Mean It

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So did you make a resolution to eat better this year? to cut the sweets out of your diet? That just doesn’t work for me. Life is too short to deprive myself of all things sweet. So here’s an alternative. Make a dessert that is more of a meal, with low sugar and protein, this dessert will leave your sweet tooth satisfied and your appetite satiated!

This is tofu pudding, yes tofu. Mori-Nu makes a great tofu pudding mix. All you do is place tofu in a blender with a little water and blend it until it’s smooth. Then add the pudding packet and continue to blend.  I like to add a little Kahlua or Frangelico too! Scrape down the sides and blend until well combined.

Spoon the pudding into dessert cups and refrigerate. To add a little decadence I like to add fresh berries and nuts to mine. You don’t have to give up desserts this year. In fact you can skip lunch all together and just have dessert!

You can accomplish the same thing with your own sugar and cocoa combination added to the tofu, melted chocolate works too. But until you get the hang of it, go easy on yourself, start with the packet.

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

Hit the Trail

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Have you ever wished your trail mix had almonds instead of peanuts, or apricots instead of raisins? Try making your own to get your trail mix just how you want it. To speed things up, start with a granola that is packaged for breakfast.

For this week’s mix I used a scoop of cherry vanilla granola and a scoop of honey raisin granola.

In a large mixing bowl I combined the granola, cashews, semi-sweet chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, walnuts, shredded coconut, a few chopped prunes, and a few chopped dried apricots. Stir it up and package it in single serving bags or jars.

My trail mix is never exactly the same! I like to alternate what I add, some of my favorites are dried pineapple, dried papaya, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, and dried apples. I also like to use yogurt covered raisins when I want to make a really sweet mix. In a pinch you can even pour milk over a small bowl of the trail mix and call it cereal. I also like to sprinkle it on a hot bowl of cream of wheat!

What’s in your trail mix?

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

Pumpkin Butter

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Pumpkin Butter… what a misnomer! Pumpkin Butter is vegan, there is no butter in it. It’s sort of like a jam, and it can be sweet or spicy depending on how you make it. We seem to always end up with an extra pumpkin or two. So every year I make a batch of pumpkin butter. It’s fairly light, freezes well, and it can be used on toast, to flavor oatmeal or as an addition to baked goods.

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This year I used this warty pumpkin. After cutting it in half I removed the seeds and roasted it in the oven, cut side down, at 350 degrees until it softened. It took about an hour for this size of a pumpkin but the time can vary greatly so just check them frequently.

After it cooled I removed the skin and put chunks of the flesh in the slow cooker with 1/4 cup molasses (hence the dark color of my Pumpkin Butter), 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, and some nutmeg. I let this simmer for about 8 hours, stirring about every hour. The smell was divine! After it cooled I put it in a food processor and processed it until it was smooth.

Easy isn’t it?! Adjust the sugar and spices to fit your palate and enjoy a true taste of the season.

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

Pumpkin Peaks with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Fosting

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Frosted or not, these pumpkin cookies are a delicious, seasonal treat. They have a light texture and come out of the oven with a wonderful crispness.

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Pumpkin Peaks
Using an electric mixture, combine the following:
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup soft butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract

In a separate bowl combine:
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger

With the mixer running at a slow speed, slowly add the flour mixture  to the batter. You may want to finish by mixing it with a spoon as it will begin to stiffen. Shape the dough into balls, slightly smaller than golf balls, and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes in the top half of the oven.

Remove them from the baking sheet and let them cool.

While the cookies are cooling prepare the White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:
Using an electric mixture whip together the following:
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar

With the mixer running slowly add 1/4 cup melted white chocolate chips.

When the cookies are cool dip them in the frosting and set them in a platter in the refrigerator to cool, allowing the frosting to set. Or just eat them while they are fresh! Keep uneaten cookies in a single layer in the refrigerator, taking them out just before serving.

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

Pumpkin Pie Puffs

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I enjoy a good pumpkin pie once in a while, once every few years. Maybe I overdosed on them as a child. I do enjoy pumpkin pie like desserts though. Using puff pastry makes this one is about as simple and quick as fresh baked can be.

This recipe makes six puffs, just enough to satisfy but not so many that you get tired of eating them. Increase as needed.

For the pumpkin filling thoroughly combine the following:
1 egg
1/2 cup pumpkin puree, preferable fresh
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
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Defrost a single sheet of puff pastry and cut it into 6 pieces. Place the pieces in the bottom of a muffin pan, making cups. Spoon the filling into the cups and bake at 400 degrees until they are puffed an browned, about 15-20 minutes.

Remove the puffs and serve warm, room temperature, or chilled, however you prefer them. For a more adult version try topping them with marscapone instead of whipped cream. Or whip fresh cream and go easy on the sugar. The flavor is subtle and if your topping is too sweet it will overpower the filling.

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

 

What’s the Point of Pomegranates?

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Recently I was gifted a pomegranate, what would I do with it? I’ve eaten them before, mostly as a child, and while I like them…. I don’t love them. Especially considering the amount of work it takes to extract the fruit. I decided to test one of my flavor theories – you can make a cookie out of any fruit. Therefore, I created oatmeal cookies with pomegranate and white chocolate, under a grapefruit cream cheese drizzle.

In a mixer cream the following:
1/2 cup + 2 tbsps butter
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda

Scrape down the sides as needed.
Once those ingredients are combined continue mixing and add:
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup oats

Using a large spoon or spatula, stir in:
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Shape the cookies in to balls, this size batch will make about 24 cookies. Place them on a greased sheet and bake them for 10 – 11 minutes. After they’ve cooled drizzle them with the grapefruit glaze.

For the glaze whip together:
8 oz cream cheese
5 oz Greek yogurt
1/4 cup powdered sugar (adjust to your preference)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1 tbsp grapefruit zest

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I wonder how that glaze would be on carrot cake!

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!