Sunday, July 31, 2011 you mean gelatin?

Is that a typo? Do I mean gelatin? Nope.

Yelatin is a combination of jello (which contains gelatin) and yogurt. Ergo, yelatin! I came across a new blog last night, GreenLiteBites. It is an addictive blog for someone like me with a crazy healthy eating obsession. I am eager to try many recipes but one of the simplest and most attractive recipes to me was yelatin. Like I said earlier, it is essentially jello with the addition of yogurt. The yogurt gives an complexity to jello by incorporating a creaminess to the jello. After I found this recipe, I ran to my pantry to grab some yogurt and whipped up a batch immediately. I had to wait for it to setup but it was worth the wait.

The end product is a satisfying dessert or snack. I added extra gelatin to give the yelatin a firmer texture (I prefer firmer gelatin products). This is a dessert without the guilt. I made four servings from a box of jello, each coming out to be a measly 60 calories. I must say that's not too bad for a dessert. If you want to reduce the calories to 35-50, use sugar-free jello. I prefer full-sugar jello but if you have dietary restrictions or do not mind the taste of sugarless jello, you can save a few calories. The only thing missing was a dollop of whip cream on the top! It's not necessary but it would have made the dessert a little more elegant and tastier.

Raspberry yelatin!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Buttermilk Whole Wheat Pancakes

Pancakes are one of my favorite breakfast foods! Not the ones that come from a box or a bag, but the ones made from scratch! I believe there is a huge different in the taste, texture, and overall satisfaction when it comes to homemade pancakes. The great thing about pancakes is that they are super easy to make! Also, you can add any type of flavoring, whether it's vanilla, cinnamon, almond, chocolate, fruit, butter, or syrup. So versatile, so delicious, and so satisfying! I like this recipe because the pancakes are flavorful. There is a great balance of flavors from the wheat flour, vanilla, and buttermilk. Additionally, these pancakes are healthier than other pancake recipes but you won't even not notice which means you can eat a little more without guilt.

How are these pancakes, exactly? Well, here I go on my healthy rant. These pancakes incorporate many healthy components like whole wheat flour, buttermilk, and egg whites. I am not saying adding whole wheat flour makes everything healthy but it is a factor in making these pancakes healthier. As deceptive as the name sounds, buttermilk is relatively healthy ingredient. Yes, it has fat but most of the fat is removed to make butter. Also, it is lower in calories than whole, 2%, and 1% milk. Buttermilk also helps to create light and fluffly pancakes. Lastly, this recipe uses one egg and one egg white. The fat of an egg comes from the yolk so using the egg whites of one egg significantly reduces fat and calories in the pancakes.

Got to have my ingredient list!


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Chocolate Flourless Cake

I feel so accomplished this week! One of the many things I did was bake a chocolate flourless cake which just happens to be on my 2011 To-Bake List! Yes, this was my first attempt at a chocolate flourless cake...not too shabby for my first time. This is probably a skewed thinking but I gauged my success on this recipe on whether the cake ended up looking like the picture from the recipe I retrieved the recipe from. I'd say it's pretty close!

What is a chocolate flourless cake? Think of a chocolate custard fluffed with egg whites. The result? Rich and dense chocolate goodness. This is a gluten-free dessert because like the name describes, this recipe is flourless! It's a great dessert because it requires four simple ingredients you usually have on hand. The most difficult part of this recipe is whipping egg whites and folding it in the batter. Don't worry, I use to have a fear of egg whites too. My two cents: practice! The more you practice whipping and folding egg whites, the more you see what the wrong and right ways look like. Also, videos on how to whip and fold egg whites are helpful. I watched several videos on how to fold egg whites and saw significant improvements in my egg whipped baked goods!

This recipe creates a rich chocolate dessert with just enough sweetness to satisfy your sweet chocolate craving. I am curious to alter the recipe a little and play around with the amount of sugar. While this recipe is awesome, it is not as sweet as other chocolate flourless cakes I've had and sometimes I'm all about making life a little sweeter!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Decadent and Healthy? Low-Fat Fudge Chocolate Chip Muffins

 A few months ago, I wrote a Y-U-M-Blurb on Wildflower's Low-Fat Chocolate Muffin and how absolutely tasty, moist, and flavorful a healthy muffin can be. Also, my dad told me about a muffin he had in Portland that was low fat and delicious as well. Both incidents inspired me to pursue a version of my own. Although this version is not insanely moist as Wildflower's, it is still a satisfying and guilt-free chocolate muffin. This recipe is from Bethenny Frankel, a natural food chef. Although she doesn't have a big recipe repertoire on her website, this recipe caught my eye as something healthy and delicious. I like this recipe because each ingredient is intentional and really packs flavor into the muffin without adding an excessive amount of calories. Frankel's recipe calls for oat flour which I didn't have so I experimented with a combination of white flour, wheat flour, and oat bran. On a side note, use oat flour if you don't want the texture of the oat bran in your muffins. I like the texture of oat bran (which you probably already knew) so I didn't mind but if you do, simply grind the oat bran with a food process until it is the same consistency as flour.

How do these muffins differ from Wildflower's? Wildflower's muffins were moist and flavorful but didn't have a strong chocolate flavor. These muffins were chocolately and had a great balance of chocolate and sweetness which is just enough to satisfy your sweet tooth without, like I said earlier, adding on more calories. Seriously, you would eat one of these muffins and not know that it ranged somewhere between 140-190 calories and 5% of your total fat intake. The muffins essentially have no fat in them except for the chocolate chips so it is important to not overbake to ensure moist muffins I cooked mine slightly under because of the carry over baking that occurs. Not bad for a healthy muffin, right?

These muffins and muffins in general are great because it's a quick breakfast or snack on the go. Additionally, muffins freeze really well. I made a big batch of these muffins and froze them individual to give me the option to grab one and go in the morning for a quick breakfast or a snack at work.

Easy to make,
easy to store,
easy to eat,
and delicious!

I can't ask for anything more!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Buttermilk Dinner Rolls

Congratulations to my cousin on getting married this past weekend. Due to my limited diet, I was only able to eat certain items at dinner. Luckily it was buffet style so I was able to pick and choose. The best thing I ate at dinner was surprisingly...the dinner rolls! The rolls were warm, sweet, buttery, and pillowy soft. You know what that means...I fell weak at the knees. Too bad I discovered how amazing they were after I ate half a plate worth of rich mashed potatoes and a chicken cutlet. It may not sound like a lot but it is when the plate is bigger than the size of my head...and probably yours too! Anyways, the dinner rolls were my inspiration for this blog entry.

As I savored each bite of the dinner rolls, I began pondering how I could reproduce this at home. After hypothesizing what makes these rolls so delicious, random ingredients starting popping into my head like buttermilk.  I did some research on the internet to find a buttermilk dinner roll recipe that incorporated butter and sugar to see if my prediction was correct.

The buttermilk dinner rolls turned out deliciously fabulous! Granted it wasn't identical to the ones I had at the wedding but they were pretty close. Usually when I make bread, it's more of the crustier type of bread, which I don't mind but I always wondered how to make soft dinner rolls. I finally discovered the secret...buttermilk! The rolls were soft and fluffy because of the buttermilk and I was surprised how soft and fluffy the rolls remained the next day. The rolls had great subtle flavors (my preference) but my family added butter or cream cheese to the rolls for more flavor. While I like the recipe, I am going to make some adjustments the next time to emulate the "wedding rolls" by adding more sugar, salt, and butter so the rolls are even more scrumptious. I'm sure you'll hear about that adventure...until then, enjoy these rolls!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Chocolate Chip Coffee Pound Cake Cupcakes


I am so excited to share this recipe with you! Before I do, I have a question to ask: do you believe in such a thing called healthier pound cake or is it an oxymoron? I guess that's debatable but if there is such as a healthier pound cake, this is the recipe. When I say healthier, I mean in a good way of course!

What do I mean exactly? Well, I anticipated these pound cake cupcakes to have a rich buttrery taste that pound cake is notorious for was different. Before I eat any of my baked goods, I always analyze how it looks and smell before I taste. So while I could smell and taste the butter, there were many other things going on in my mouth. First, I got a taste of the melted chocolate and then the ever-present coffee flavor (but not overwhelming). Lastly, I tasted wheat...yes, from the wheat flour! This is what made the cupcakes seem healthier. The taste was reminiscent of my Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Oat Bran Muffins. Whether that's a good thing (that's your discretion), it made the pound cake cupcake less guilty to eat. It you're skeptical about the legitimacy of this recipe because of the "healthy" factor, I inhaled down my cupcake in two seconds without thinking about the amount of butter in it. That's how good I thought it was.

I began questioning whether this recipe I found was indeed a "pound cake" recipe and after comparing with other pound cake recipes, I confirmed this recipe to be a pound just uses less butter than most  recipes. I found this recipe on Passionate About Baking which I followed; however, I made a slight change in the amount of butter (by one tablespoon) and I made it into cupcakes. Check out Passionate About Baking for pretty pictures of Chocolate Chip Coffee Pound Cake (cake version).

Overall, I love this recipe. Even though it did not come out how I expected in terms of taste, it turned out to be better! Bored of plain pound cake? Give this recipe a try. Writing this has gotten me a little hungry. I think I know what will satisfy this sudden hunger urge I have (Hint: see picture below)! One for me for you!

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