6/08/2012

Cocoa Flavored Puffed Millet Crispy Treats

Rice crispy treats are probably one of my favorite desserts ever!  I love how their sticky, crunchy, and gooey textures blend together in perfect harmony.  But there are two downsides to them: sugar and carbs.  I decided to do a little google-ing, to figure out how I could pull off a lower carb, no sugar rice crispy treat.  I ended up discovering that puffed millet cereal possesses zero sugar and only 6 grams of net carbs per cup.  I later went to a blog called The Comfy Belly and found a rice crispy recipe made with puffed rice and honey.  I substituted raw agave nectar for the honey, which is low glycemic, less calories, and lower carbs.  I also replaced puffed rice with puffed millet.  After that, I began to experiment and have fun with the foundation of the recipe by adding raw cacao powder, to give it a chocolate-y taste.  

I hope this recipe helps you to continue your road to a healthier lifestyle :) .

Puffed Millet Crispy Treats
(Adapted from The Comfy Belly Blog)

Ingredients
1/2 cup raw agave nectar
4 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 rounded tbsp raw cacao powder, or cocoa powder
3 cups puffed millet cereal

Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Toast the puffed millet cereal on a cookie sheet in the oven for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat agave nectar, cacao powder, salt, and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.  Let it simmer for 5 minutes, being careful not to let it burn.
  3. Cool agave nectar mix for a few minutes, then add the toasted puffed millet and stir.
  4. Scoop the mix into a baking dish and smooth the top with a spoon.
  5. Let it cool for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Slice it into squares, or any other shapes, and enjoy!



Fun Fact

Millet is one of the most nutritious whole grains you can eat!  It contains rich amounts of iron, B-vitamins, and fiber, which are all essential for a healthy lifestyle.  It also contains two times the amount of protein found in rice, and a large amount of magnesium, a vitally important mineral that keeps your nerves and muscles functioning properly. 

Dearest Annemarie


Annemarie has become such a big girl.  She's now officially crawling!  It seems like just yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital, swaddled in her soft pink blanket.  Now all she wants to do is move around, which makes me sad, because she wiggles out of my arms when I hold her.  

Here's a few pictures of what a big girl she's becoming :) .

She's crawling!

Somebody's having a bad hair day:)






6/07/2012

Healthy, Lower Carb Carrot Cake

Yummy Carrot Cake!!!

Cake Ingredients
1 cup pecans, chopped
3/4 cup coconut flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup granulated xylitol
3 cups finely shredded carrots
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
6 eggs
3/4 cup raw agave nectar, or sugar free maple syrup
1 tsp lemon zest

Frosting Ingredients
16 oz cream cheese, or neufch√Ętel
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp maple extract
1 1/2 cups thinly shredded carrots
1 1/2-2 tsp NuNaturals stevia extract powder


Cake Preparation


Preheat oven for 350 degrees F.  Grease two cake pans and set aside.

  1. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in one bowl.
  2. Beat eggs in a small bowl.  Mix applesauce, agave nectar, and lemon zest into the egg mixture.
  3. After the ingredients in both bowls are completely mixed, pour the liquid mixture over the dry one.
  4. Mix the two together on medium-high speed.
  5. Once thoroughly combined, pour the mixture into two greased cake pans, and slide in the oven.
  6. Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees, or until you can stick a toothpick in the center and have it come out clean.
  7. Once the cakes are finished. lay them out on two cookie racks or two cutting boards, and let them cool for an hour or so.
Frosting Preparation
  1. With a hand mixer on high, beat the cream cheese and butter until they are thoroughly combined.
  2. Slowly pour the maple extract in, as the mixer continues to to blend the butter and cream cheese.
  3. Reduce the mixer's speed to low, and sprinkle the stevia in.
  4. After all of the ingredients are combined, set the mix aside.

You can honestly use this recipe for so many more desserts than just a two layered carrot cake.  You could make muffins, cupcakes, carrot bread, or anything else that comes to mind :) .  I decided to make mine into a layered carrot cake, garnished with unsweetened shredded coconut and agave nectar drizzle.

One of the reasons I love carrot cake is because of its nutrients.  We all know how healthy carrots are for us.  Carrots contain a high amount of beta-carotene, which helps to activate the thymus gland. This gland triggers and stimulates the immune system to fight off bad bacteria and viruses.  It also plays a key role in  healthy skin and eyesight.  One thing I found interesting about beta-carotene is that that the amount in carrots increases when you cook them. 

Another ingredient in carrot cake that has significant health benefits is cinnamon.  Cinnamon stabilizes blood sugar and speeds up your metabolism.  Both are benefits that make your journey to losing weight and becoming healthier possible.