One of my Christmas favorites is my grandma’s date nut bread. (She’s also responsible for that delicious cranberry recipe I shared earlier.) Although Grandma’s recipe calls for sugar, you can also substitute agave. If you’re not familiar with agave, it’s much the consistency and color of honey, and it has a lower glycemic index than sugar. Since it tastes sweet with no additional flavors, it’s a great substitute and requires only 3/4 cups agave to 1 cup of sugar.
Grandma’s Date Nut Bread
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup boiling water
1 cup cut-up dates
2 Tbs. soft butter
1 cup sugar (or 3/4 cups agave)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 cups flour
3/4 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
Pour soda and boiling water over chopped dates. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla and eggs. Beat well. Add flour and mix. Pour in date mixture (and nuts if using). Bake in a 9 x 5 greased loaf pan at 350º for 45 – 55 minutes.
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No matter how healthy I eat all year long, the holidays come along and visions of high fructose sugar plums start dancing in my head. Not that healthy! I want to enjoy the seasonal goodies, but I still want to maintain my health. I’ve been making an extra effort this year to find some recipe treasures that are still sweet, or rich, or decadent – without being bad for me and my family. I love cooking and baking with dates because they are so sweet and wonderful, and they’re healthy too. Here’s a recipe that will be added to our family Christmas recipe box: Coconut Date Balls.
2 pounds of pitted organic dates, cut in small pieces
3 tablespoons honey
¼ – ½ cup coconut oil (Using more oil gets them harder during refrigeration)
2 ½ cups organic shredded coconut
1 cup ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Some extra shredded coconut for coating
In a medium sized saucepan, cook the dates, honey and oil over low heat until they’re blended together. Turn off the heat and add the shredded coconut and ground flax seeds. Let the mixture cool.
Once cooled, stir in the vanilla extract. Place the extra coconut in a shallow bowl. Roll the date mixture into small balls (about 1 – 1/2 inches) then roll them in the shredded coconut. Eat warm or refrigerate.
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Cranberry relish one of my favorite Thanksgiving Day foods, and it’s probably one of the easiest to make! Not everyone cares for cranberries, but I do believe it’s because they just haven’t hit on the right recipe yet. This is a simple cranberry relish recipe, and it’s very adjustable. The most important trick is to have a spoon nearby and adjust the ingredients until it suits your tastes. Here’s my take on my grandma’s recipe:
1 lb. fresh washed cranberries
1 whole orange (unpeeled)
1 whole apple, core removed
Agave or sugar to taste
Chopped walnuts (optional)
Roughly chop the apple and orange into chunks your blender can tolerate. Throw them, the cranberries, some sugar or agave, and maybe 1/4 cup water into your blender. Blend, stopping to push down the fruit if necessary. If it’s too thick, add a little more water. Too sour, add more sweetener. Dump into an attractive bowl and stir in the chopped walnuts if you are adding them.
That’s it! I like to make these the day before to give the flavors a chance to marry, but it’s not necessary. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!
I’m still under the weather, so while I make what seems to me to be a “too-slow” recovery, my husband and I have been trying to find quick, easy, and (most importantly) healthy recipes. My husband has become quite a champ in the kitchen, taking over the cooking duties while I stay on the sidelines waiting to get back to speed. We have quite an array of cookbooks, but one of my favorite resources for healthy vegetarian fare has become VegWeb.com. Like many of the recipe search sites out there, I can search by category, find the latest additions, peruse photos etc. But with this site, I have a better chance of finding something that fits our family’s “mostly vegetarian” lifestyle.
Of course if you’ve been a vegetarian for any length of time, then you know you still need to watch out for unhealthy ingredients. I always try to find the ones without any canned or processed foods, low in sugar and salt, etc. But since the site has 13,000 recipes, I normally manage to find something that fits our needs and wants for a particular day. And as is my habit, I alter about every recipe I touch, but I suppose that’s what makes cooking fun for me.
I’m always looking for more healthy and vegetarian recipe sites, so if you know of any, please share! I’d love to have some more great resources. And until I get myself back in the kitchen, I have a feeling my husband would love to hear your favorite recipe spots too!
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I’ve always loved garlic bread, but all the butter and the salt can be a bit much when you’re trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. My mom turned me on to an easier and healthier approach, and we enjoy this regularly in our home.
1 loaf whole wheat or good multigrain bread
1 garlic clove with the base of the clove cut off
Place slices of bread on a cookie sheet and lightly dab with olive oil. Place cookie sheet in a preheated oven (about 350º). When bread is browned as desired, remove cookie sheet and rub the cut end of the garlic clove on each piece of toasted bread. The garlic clove will literally dissolve onto the toast. A good rubbing can create a pretty potent piece of garlic bread, so use caution! We’ve “overdone” it a few times, which frankly tasted wonderful, but not everyone enjoys so much garlicky goodness!
Serve with your favorite Italian meal!
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