Tag Archives: yogurt

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Green Pistachio Smoothie

ncGreenPistachSmthienm Because of St. Patrick’s Day, I’ve been seeing lots of green when it comes to recipes the last few weeks! A lot of them have pistachios as an ingredient, and I love pistachios! So I thought I’d try them in a smoothie. A green smoothie, of course, with a healthy blend of milk, yogurt, honey, frozen banana, baby spinach leaves, and pistachios. It’s a lightly sweet, creamy smoothie that doesn’t taste super-spinachy. If you’re put off by green smoothies, you might want to give this one a try–it has less of a veggie taste than others I’ve had. You do have to do a wee bit of planning ahead to make this by putting a banana (or half of a banana) in the freezer the night before you make it, but otherwise this is super quick and easy to make!

GREEN PISTACHIO SMOOTHIE by NancyC Makes 1 (10-ounce)  serving

  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup low-fat milk (or use soy milk; use 1/3 cup if you want a thicker smoothie)
  • 1/3 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt (or use soy yogurt)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 medium frozen banana, broken into chunks
  • 1/2 cup well-packed baby spinach leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped pistachios (plus a little more for sprinkling on top)

In a high-speed blender or food processor, add all ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into a glass, top with a light sprinkling of pistachios, and serve. Makes about 10 ounces.

Have you made any green smoothies? Do you have a favorite recipe for one? Hope you are having a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Linked to Let’s Get Real Friday, Inspire Me Monday, Sunday Showcase, Full Plate Thursday.

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7 Anti-Aging Foods

I saw an article at Sharecare.com about seven foods they refer to as “anti-aging powerhouses.” These foods may also help cut your risk of heart disease and cancer when incorporated into a healthy diet. So if you’re interested, here’s a condensed list of the seven foods–you can visit Sharecare.com for more details!

  1. Berries–They lower your disease risks and also help prevent memory loss. Eat 1 cup of any kind of berries, fresh or frozen, at least 3 times a week.
  2. Salmon–A good source of omega-3 fatty acids, it helps fight heart disease and is also good for your skin. The article recommends having two 3-ounce servings per week.
  3. Nuts–Although they’re high in fat, it’s heart-healthy fat; and nuts are also good sources of protein, magnesium, and B and E vitamins. Eat a 1/4 cup serving of almonds, cashews, walnuts, or pecans up to 5 times per week.
  4. Dark Leafy Greens–Spinach, romaine lettuce, collard greens, kale, and chard are good sources of fiber, vitamins C and K, folic acid and lutein. They also contain lots of vitamin A which helps keep your skin soft and supple. Two servings per day are recommended–and a serving is 1 cup cooked greens or 2 cups raw greens.
  5. Whole Grains–Referred to by Sharecare as a “nutritional powerhouse,” whole grains–like brown rice and quinoa, to name a few–can help prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and hypertension. Try for 3 to 6 servings a day. A serving might be one slice of whole-grain bread, 1/2 cup cooked grains, or 1 cup whole-grain cereal.
  6. Yellow and Orange Vegetables–Think carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and other deep yellow and orange veggies. They can lower your cancer risk and help protect you from colds, infections, and sun damage to your skin. Two 1/2 cup servings a day are recommended.
  7. Yogurt–Plain, low-fat, or nonfat…all are good sources of B vitamins, protein, and calcium. Look for yogurt with active cultures–probiotics–which also help fight against disease-causing germs. Have at least 4 cups a week if yogurt is your main source of dairy.

Hope this is a helpful reminder for you to work these into your diet! I like all the foods on this list, so I just need to remember to eat enough of them each week. Do you eat many of these healthy foods already?

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Blueberry-Honeydew Smoothie

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It’s really been warm lately, so I’ve been making lots of smoothies–they just taste so good on a hot day! One fruit that I really love but haven’t used that much in smoothies is honeydew melon. They’ve always been a little challenging for me to cut because I don’t have the greatest cutlery (watermelon is the same problem, but I usually don’t buy a whole watermelon; I buy the ones that are already cut). But my melon-cutting problems were over when I received two samples from the Gunter Wilhelm™ Executive Chef™ Cutlery Collection. I received an 8″ Chef Knife and a 3.5″ Paring Knife to try out, and I decided to put them to the melon test!

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I bought quite a large honeydew melon, which would have been really hard to cut with my old knives. I used the 8″ Chef Knife to cut the melon in half and it worked like a dream! It cut so smoothly and was really easy to handle. The Paring Knife worked great for cutting the melon into smaller chunks. I read that these knives have an ergonomic handle which is especially nice when you have recipes that require a lot of chopping. And this cutlery is made with high-carbon stainless steel that won’t wear out–in fact, it has a lifetime warranty.

So I decided to use my chunks of honeydew melon in a smoothie with some frozen blueberries, and it tasted great! The frozen blueberries make the smoothie nice and cool, and there’s some banana and yogurt in this that make it creamy. Here’s the recipe…

BLUEBERRY-HONEYDEW SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative

Makes 2 (8-ounce) servings

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup honeydew melon (cut melon into small chunks–you can substitute cantaloupe if you want)
  • 1/2 medium or large size banana, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2  to 1 Tablespoon honey
  • Optional: 1/2 Tablespoon ground flaxseed

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (if you want extra fiber, add the ground flaxseed into the blender, too). Pour into two glasses and serve immediately. Makes 2 (8-ounce) servings.

Cutting and chopping fruits and veggies is so much easier with this cutlery. Do you have a favorite set of knives you like to use, or have you ever tried the Gunter Wilhelm™ brand?

Linked to Full Plate Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things.

Creamy Salsa Yogurt Dip

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With all the sports games on TV, and with the Super Bowl coming up, you may be looking for some different dip recipes to snack on as you’re watching! It’s always nice to have some healthier options and this is a yummy dip that’s a little more on the healthy side. It’s made with yogurt, salsa, a little bit of light mayo, and some seasoning. Shredded cheese is optional, but I really like it with the cheese, even though it’s not quite as healthy that way! The dip shown here is made with Pepper Jack cheese, which gives it a little extra spice. So, keep this in mind for the games!

CREAMY SALSA YOGURT DIP by NancyCreative, adapted from Food.com

Makes about 2 cups of dip

  • 1 cup plain yogurt (use a thicker yogurt–I used Redwood Hill Farm Goat Milk Yogurt; you can also use Greek yogurt)
  • 2/3 cup chunky-style Salsa (use your favorite brand)
  • 2 Tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Ranch Dip Mix
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • Optional: 1 cup shredded Cheddar or Pepper Jack cheese

Combine yogurt, salsa, mayonnaise, Ranch seasoning, and chili powder in a medium size bowl, stirring until smooth. Add in cheese, if using, and blend well. Cover and chill for at least one hour or as long as one day before serving. Serve with assorted veggies (carrots, cucumber slices, sugar snap peas, cauliflower, broccoli) or tortilla chips.

What types of healthy snacks do you like to make?

Cranberry Orange Banana Smoothie

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I usually have a few bags of frozen cranberries in my freezer this time of year. During the holidays, I buy a some extra bags of fresh cranberries and freeze them so I can use them later–for recipes that I come across like this one, which I found at Williams-Sonoma. The cranberry-orange flavors in this smoothie are so good together and I used honey to sweeten it (you can also use agave nectar). It has just the right amount of sweetness and if you like cranberries, I’m sure you will love this smoothie!

yogurt-24_vanillaI like using thicker, creamy yogurts in my smoothies, like Greek yogurt, but in this smoothie I used Green Valley Organics Lactose Free Vanilla Yogurt. I had received a complimentary sample to try out, and I really liked it. This yogurt has a thick, creamy texture–perfect for smoothies! In addition to being organic and lactose free (which is important for those of you who are lactose intolerant), it’s also gluten free and has less sugar than other yogurts, so it’s very healthy!

Hope you get to try out this yummy winter smoothie–perfect for a quick, easy breakfast. Maybe not in zero-degree weather, but great for a warmer winter day!:)

CRANBERRY ORANGE BANANA SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative, adapted from Williams-Sonoma

Makes about 20 ounces, or 2 (10-ounce) servings

Add all ingredients to your blender and blend on high speed until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

It feels good to eat a little healthier after all that holiday food! Are you trying to eat healthier after the holidays too?

Linked to Tidy Mom–I’m Lovin’ It.

Frosted Yogurt Sugar Cookie Squares

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I wasn’t quite sure what to call these when I got done making them. My goal was to make sugar cookies, but to make it easier and quicker, I decided to spread the batter in a 10 x 15″ pan and make sugar cookie bars. But after I cut some of them into squares and took a bite, it kind of tasted like a sugar cookie sheet cake. I put the rest in the refrigerator, and the next day I finished cutting them into squares. Guess what? After these were refrigerated, they tasted more like sugar cookies–very thick sugar cookies! They’re actually good both ways. I thought it would be safe to call these “sugar cookie squares” because that name fits either way–whether you think it’s a cake or a cookie!

YOG6ozPLAIN_RHF_JUL2013-300x280And you probably noticed that “yogurt” is also part of the name of these squares. I used Redwood Hill Farm Goat Milk Yogurt in this recipe–in both the dough and the frosting. This yogurt is smooth, thick, and so creamy–if you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend it! I thought it gave these sugar cookie squares a great chewy texture and made the frosting extra creamy. Just add some sprinkles on top and you have a yummy treat to enjoy for the holidays!

FROSTED YOGURT SUGAR COOKIE SQUARES by NancyCreative

Makes a 10 x 15″ pan

  • 1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt (I used Redwood Hill Farm Goat Milk Yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups unbleached flour

Yogurt Frosting:

  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons plain or vanilla yogurt

Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Line a 10 x 15″ baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.

In small bowl, mix plain yogurt and baking soda; set aside.

In large bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix well. Blend in cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and yogurt mixture from small bowl. Gradually add in flour, a cup at a time, beating well after each addition.

Spread cookie dough evenly into lined 10 x 15″ pan. Bake at 350˚F  for 25 to 28 minutes, until just very lightly golden at edges and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cookies cool completely in pan.

Remove from pan by carefully lifting up with edges of parchment paper. Set on kitchen counter or table and spread frosting over uncut cookies, then add colorful sprinkles. Let frosting set, then cut into squares.

To make frosting: Put yogurt into a medium size bowl, then add powdered sugar a cup at a time, blending well. The mixture will be thick! If you want it thinner, just use less powdered sugar.

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Do you use Goat Milk Yogurt or any other kind of yogurt in your baking or cooking?

I received some complimentary Redwood Hill Farm Goat Milk products to use in my holiday baking, but the opinions expressed about the product are entirely my own. 

 

Orange Creamsicle Muffins

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Are you a fan of Orange Creamsicles? I used to eat those a lot when I was a kid! If you like that orangey, creamy taste, you’ll probably enjoy these pretty and puffy rounded-top muffins. They have a great orange flavor and the white baking morsels give them an extra creaminess. They’re finished off with a yummy orange glaze and more of those creamy white baking morsels, coarsely chopped up. This recipe makes about 14 to 15 regular-size muffins.

ORANGE CREAMSICLE MUFFINS by NancyC

Makes 14 to 15 muffins

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 1/2 cup milk or Half & Half
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup orange juice concentrate, thawed and undiluted
  • 1/2 Tablespoon orange zest (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 cup white (vanilla) baking morsels (aka white chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a regular-size muffin pan with paper liners. In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; blend together and set aside. In medium bowl, mix sugar and oil together, blending well; then mix in milk (or Half & Half), egg, yogurt, orange juice concentrate, orange zest, and orange extract; mix until well blended. Add this mixture, half at a time, to flour mixture and stir until blended, but don’t overmix! Fold in the white baking morsels. Spoon batter (the batter will be thick) into muffin cups, filling them between 2/3 and 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean (muffins will be lightly browned on top). Cool 5-10 minutes and remove from pan, then cool completely on a wire rack. While waiting for the muffins to cool, you can mix the glaze…

ORANGE GLAZE

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons orange juice concentrate, thawed and undiluted
  • 1/2 Tablespoon milk or half & half
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons white (vanilla) baking morsels, coarsely chopped, for garnish

Mix powdered sugar, orange juice concentrate, and milk together in small bowl and blend well, until sugar is dissolved. This will be a thicker glaze. Spoon over muffins and sprinkle some coarsely chopped white baking morsels on top. Let glaze set for at least 10 to 15 minutes, then serve.

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I think orange is a great muffin flavor! Do you have a favorite orange muffin recipe?

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Strawberry Citrus Flax Smoothie

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Smoothies are a summer staple for me–they’re so refreshing in the hot weather! Here’s a great strawberry smoothie recipe I like to make. I love strawberries in just about anything. And I especially like this smoothie because it has healthy flaxseed in it.

LinwoodRecently, I received some samples of different healthy flaxseed superfood blends to try out from Linwoods. The items I’m trying are:

  • Flaxseed & Goji Berries
  • Flaxseed, Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Walnuts, & Q10
  • Flaxseed Cocoa & Berries
  • Flax, Sunflower, Pumpkin & Sesame Seeds & Goji Berries

I also received some Shelled Hemp, which I had never tried before, but it was great mixed into some Greek yogurt for breakfast! You can use it just as you would use flaxseed meal.

I’m sprinkling these blends over cereal and oatmeal, and mixing them into smoothies, for an extra healthy dose of fiber and nutrients. You could add these blends to many other foods, too, for a healthy boost–like salads, soups, casseroles, pasta, and stir fry. Or try mixing into your baked goods to make them a little healthier! I really like the variety of the Linwood blends and all the healthy ingredients that are combined with their flaxseed. These blends are available at Whole Foods; Bed, Bath, and Beyond; Fresh Market and other select stores.

I used the Linwood Flaxseed and Goji Berries blend in this smoothie, but you can use any type of ground flaxseed that you prefer. It’s a super healthy way to start your day!

STRAWBERRY-FLAX SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative

Makes about two 10-oz. servings

  • 1 heaping cup frozen strawberries
  • 3/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt (I like using Greek yogurt)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup orange juice or grapefruit juice (use smaller amount if you want it a little thicker)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • 1 banana
  • 3 ice cubes

Place all the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and frothy.

This smoothie makes a great breakfast or healthy snack during the hot summer months! Have you tried mixing in flaxseed or other types of fiber to your smoothies?

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Pineapple Mango Green Smoothie

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Yesterday was just too hot to cook! So I thought I’d make a smoothie. I’ve seen lots of healthy green smoothie recipes on the web and decided to try making my own. I was particularly inspired by some of the recipes I found at Green Smoothies Rule. The recipes I looked at had spinach in them–I’ve never made one with spinach, so I was curious to see how it would taste. I really did like it, and all the ingredients are so healthy and good for you! I read that spinach is a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, B-complex vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium and other good things. So if you want to make something cool, yummy, and healthy, you’ll want to try this out! There is a very slight spinach taste to this, so if you want less of that, use two bananas in this recipe instead of one (I’m noting that in the recipe, too).

PINEAPPLE MANGO GREEN SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative

Makes about 28 ounces, or 2 to 3 servings

  • 3/4 to 1 cup well-packed baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup small chunks of fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup small chunks of fresh mango
  • 1 banana (use 2 bananas if you want to mask the slight spinach flavor more)
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt or soy yogurt
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk or soy milk (if you want a thinner smoothie, use 3/4 cup)
  • 2 Tablespoons honey

Put all ingredients in a blender and mix until well-blended (you may have to help stir the mixture along with a spoon at first). Serve immediately. Makes 2 to 3 servings.

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VARIATIONS: You can substitute other fruits for the pineapple and mango: green grapes, apples, pears, peaches, and/or cantaloupe. You could also add 1/4 to 1/2 of an avocado to make the smoothie really creamy.

This is a great, healthy way to start the day or give you some energy in the afternoon!

Have you made any green smoothies yet? Do you have a favorite recipe for one?

Very Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

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I realized I hadn’t made anything chocolate in awhile! I found this recipe from Savoring Time in the Kitchen last year, so I thought it was about time I tried it out!:) The original recipe is for chocolate zucchini bread, but I decided to make muffins instead and made a few small changes…like using canola oil instead of vegetable oil and Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. I also added a little more chocolate chips to the batter. The recipe makes almost 2 dozen (22 to 23) really good, moist, chocolatey muffins–or you can make four mini-loaves instead (baking time will be longer). These muffins are moist yet cakey, too, and they have nice rounded tops. They’re a very yummy way to use that zucchini from your garden this summer!

VERY CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI MUFFINS by NancyCreative, adapted from Savoring Time in the Kitchen

Makes 22 to 23 muffins (or 4 mini loaves)

  • 2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate (two 1-ounce squares)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light olive oil or non-GMO canola oil
  • 1/4 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt (or lite sour cream)
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup semi-sweet mini or regular chocolate chips (I prefer using the mini’s)
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with paper liners (if making mini-loaves, grease and flour 4 mini-loaf pans).

In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave baking chocolate until melted. Stir occasionally until chocolate is smooth.

In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil, yogurt, grated zucchini, vanilla, and melted chocolate; blend well. Stir in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon (optional), and cocoa powder. Then fold in the chocolate chips and nuts, if desired. Spoon into lined muffin cups or 4 mini-loaf pans.

Bake muffins at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. If making mini-loaves, the original recipe says to bake those for 45 minutes. You might want to check the loaves around 40 minutes, just to be on the safe side…especially if your oven tends to run hot!

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Zucchini always makes baked goods so nice and moist. What do you like to bake with zucchini?