Classic Strawberry Shortcake

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Valentines day is tomorrow! And what better way to celebrate valentines day than with a classic strawberry shortcake? This cute and easy dessert is the perfect way to show someone that you care. Hope that you all have a wonderful day and that you are with people you love.

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Strawberry shortcake is by far one of my favorite desserts. The soft biscuit paired with fresh cream and sweet strawberries is just such a perfect combination. Strawberry shortcake isn’t really considered a winter dessert but it’s just so delicious, why limit it to only one season? These biscuits are great as a strawberry shortcake but are also great as morning biscuits with some butter and jam.

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Strawberry Shortcake (serves 3)

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 and ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  •  tsp salt
  • ½ stick cold butter cut into pieces
  •  cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 pint of strawberries, sliced

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Sift flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add butter and rub together with your fingers until the mixture resembles a course crumb. If the butter starts to melt or feel sticky, run your hands under cold water to cool them down.

Make a dent in the center of the mixture and add ⅓ of a cup of the cream and ½ of a teaspoon of the vanilla extract. Mix until dough begins to come together and resembles a ball. Do not over mix. If mixture is not coming together, add about another tablespoon of cream. Let rest in fridge for a ½ hour.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll out to ½ inch thickness. Cut circles out of dough using a cup and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 min.

While biscuits bake, put remaining heavy cream into a bowl. Beat cream until soft peaks form then add in powdered sugar and the remaining ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract. Beat to combine.

To assemble just sandwich the strawberries and cream between the biscuits.

enjoy

Apple Sauce Bread

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This recipe for apple sauce bread is super easy and delicious. I know, apple sauce bread? Sounds a little odd, but I promise the apple sauce just adds a little extra moisture to the bread giving it a soft, cake like texture. It pairs great with some after dinner tea or coffee and never last long in my house. Feel free to experiment with the ingredients. The chocolate chips and pecans can easily be substituted for other mix ins if you prefer.IMG_3592

This recipe makes 1 large loaf or you can split the batter between two mini 5 1/2″ x 3″ loaf pans like I’ve done. I line my loaf pans with parchment paper leaving a little extra to hang off the edges so that I can easily pull out the loafs once they’re baked.

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Apple Sauce Bread (makes 1 loaf)

you will need:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup bran flakes
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup chunky apple sauce
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the over to 350° and grease an 8″x4″ loaf pan.

Combine flour, bran flakes, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.

Beat egg until frothy in a small bowl. then stir in oil, apple sauce and banana.

Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir. Mixture should be thick and lumpy.

Gently stir pecans and chocolate chips into the batter. Don’t over mix.

Pour batter into the pan and cook for 40-50 min. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.

Cool before slicing.

Enjoy!

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Healthy Breakfast Smoothie

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This smoothie is so delicious, it’s super easy to make, and it’s healthy! It’s a staple in my home and definitely a crowd pleaser. It’s an easy breakfast on the go and this recipe is very forgiving to substituting ingredients.

General smoothie tips:

  • Don’t use ice. Ice ends up diluting your smoothies and you lose a lot of potential flavor. Instead of ice, try using frozen fruit or make flavored ice cubes. Some liquids that make great flavored ice are coconut water, almond milk, or green tea.
  • Use natural sweeteners. Leave out products containing cane sugar, food dye, and corn syrup. If you’re really craving a sweet smoothie try adding some agave nectar, dates, or maple syrup.
  • Avoid chunky smoothies. To make the smoothest smoothie possible, put in the harder ingredients like frozen fruits and nuts in first, followed by softer ingredients like fresh fruits and vegetables. Powders should go in next so that they won’t get trapped under the blades of the blender followed by liquids last to avoid excess splashing.
  • Extra health boosts. If you want to add a little extra health bonus to your smoothie, try adding one of the following ingredients: acai berries, camu berries, chia seeds, flaxseeds, goji berries, mulberries, pomegranate, or my favorite maqui berries.
  • Add some green. Adding in a few greens to your smoothie will boost its health benefits and the great thing is that they won’t change the smoothie’s taste. Spinach, kale, or romaine are great additions to a smoothie.

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Healthy Breakfast Smoothie (serves 2)

Nutrition info per serving:  260 calories, 4.5 g fat, 47 g carbohydrate, 9 g protein

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon of maqui berry powder
  • 3 cups of frozen berries (I use blueberries and raspberries but any berry will work)
  • 1/2 cup of plain greek non fat yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons raw sliced almonds
  • 3 cups of spinach
  • agave nectar (to sweeten)

Put all your ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Sweeten with agave nectar and serve immediately. For a thinner smoothie you can add more almond milk. For a thicker smoothie you can use frozen bananas. Experiment a bit and see what works best for you. You can easily make a single serving by cutting the ingredients in half.

Enjoy!

Healthy Advice From a Foodie

non-fat greek yogurt with honey, granola, and berries

non-fat greek yogurt with honey, granola, and berries

i love food. i connect deeply with the new weight watchers commercial which states the solution to any mood problem is to have a snack. i really do try to stay as healthy as i can but there’s no escaping the fact; i love my food. i was the girl who grew up reading cookbooks instead of fairy tales. i’m not joking, i used to ask my mother to read me a recipe before going to bed instead of a story. so it made sense that at a young age, i started cooking. even to this day, i still have a fascination over food but because of my recent loss of my childhood metabolism, i’ve had to readjust my habits.

here are a few of my favorite tricks to staying more or less healthy despite lacking any form of self-control when it comes to eating.

  1. if you don’t buy it, you won’t eat it. this is probably the most important step to eating healthier and the one i struggle with the most, but if you’re anything like me and can’t resist snacking at random times in the day, keeping your kitchen junk food free is a good first step to healthier eating. if you find yourself too tempted to buy junk food in the store, try shopping with a grocery list. if you’re shopping for specific items that you need, you’ll be less likely to indulge on the unneeded items that you want.
  2. rethink your snacks. instead of munching on a bag of chips try getting in the habit of snacking on vegetables. one of my favorite snacks is frozen peas. i know it sounds strange but they’re oddly satisfying. if this doesn’t appeal to you, try some of the more typical snacks like carrots or celery with a bit of peanut butter or hummus.
  3. know what’s in your food. with all the processed food and prepared meals in food markets today it can be hard to know what’s actually going into your body. buying organic food is great but can get expensive. another way to know what’s in your food is to simply make it yourself. by doing this you can make small changes to recipes by substituting in healthier options.
  4. use a small plate. it’s a small change but by using a smaller plate, you’ll be able to avoid accidentally eating oversized portions and you’ll naturally start eating less.
  5. drink water. try to avoid drinking your calories through sodas and juices. if you get bored with plain water try flavored sparkling water or tea.

growing up i really didn’t see the benefits of a healthy lifestyle but now i look back in horror at some of the meals i would eat as a kid. maintaining healthy eating habits has not only improved my health but has also improved my mentality. i’m able to do more than i was ever able to do before. leading a healthier life style has definitely been rewarding for me and i hope you will find it rewarding as well.

good luck!