Healthy Gifts from the Kitchen

By admin
November 12, 2012

Healthy Gifts from the Kitchen

Nothing says you care like a gift from the kitchen, and, it’s a great way to remember a special friend or family member with a tasty treat that also happens to be healthy and nutritious. Following are just a few easy recipes that make great holiday gifts. To keep your gift giving long after the last crumb is gone, include the recipe on the back of your gift enclosure card.


Vegan Banana Bread

3 medium-small bananas, mashed

1 cup unrefined sweetener such as Rapadura (organic whole sugar)

1/2 cup oil

1-1/2 cups whole wheat or spelt pastry flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional but highly recommended)

1/2 cup raisins or chopped dates (optional)

In a bowl, mix sweetener, mashed bananas and oil. In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients and stir well. Mix dry and wet batter together. Add walnuts and raisins. Mix again. Pour into an oiled and floured loaf or cake pan. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350° for 45–60 minutes, or until a paring knife/ toothpick comes out dry. Yield: 1 loaf



Golden Pumpkin Loaf

1/3 c. plain fat-free yogurt

2 c. pumpkin puree

1 Tbsp. no-fat sour cream

3 eggs or egg substitute

¼ c. canola oil

2-1/2 c. all-purpose flour

3/4 c. Splenda Granular

1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. baking powder

1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 c. raisins

¼ c. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350o. Spray two 9 X 5 inch loaf pans with butter-flavored cooking spray. Set aside. Blend first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add flour, Splenda, baking powder, and pumpkin spice. Stir well. Add raisins and walnuts. Sir until just blended. Spread batter into prepared pans. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and cut each loaf into eight thick slices. Yield: 2 loaves, 16 servings.


Caramel Corn Crunch

1 (3 oz.) pkg. reduced-fat microwave popcorn

2/3 c. packed brown sugar

6 Tbsp. reduced calorie margarine

6 Tbsp. reduced-calorie maple-flavored syrup

1 tsp. vanilla extract

¼ tsp. baking soda

Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 250o. Cook popcorn according to package directions. Place popped corn in a large bowl; set aside. Combine sugar, margarine, and syrup in a 2-quart saucepan; place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook 5 minutes, without stirring, or until candy thermometer registers 250o. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and baking soda. Pour syrup mixture over popcorn; stir until evenly coated. Spread mixture onto flat cookie-type sheet with 1” sides coated with cooking spray. Bake at 250o for 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture is crisp. Cool in pans on wire racks; break into small pieces. Store in airtight containers. Yield 14 cups.


Oatmeal Applesauce Cookies

½ c. flour ½ tsp. baking soda

1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground allspice

¼ tsp salt

¼ c. canola oil

1 large egg

½ c. unsweetened applesauce

½ c. rolled oats

½ c. golden raisins

Preheat oven to 375o. Lightly grease cookie sheets. Combine flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. In a large bowl, beat the oil and egg together. Beat in the applesauce. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Stir in the oats and raisins. Drop by spoonfuls 1-1/2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly colored. Transfer to wire racks to cool.


Super Trail Mix

½ c. raisins

½ c. craisins

¼ c. dried cherries

½ c. dried apricots

½ c. walnuts

½ c. almonds

½ c. sunflower seeds, roasted or raw

¼ c. soy nuts, roasted

¼ c. pumpkin seeds

Mix ingredients in a large bowl and then put into sealable containers for storing. Yield: About 4 cups.

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