Tag Archives: recipes for improvement

Banana Cake, Or, The Healthiest Cake There Ever Was?

14 Jun

This cake is extremely easy, quick, and … healthy?  As healthy as cake can be anyways, with no added fat and little added sugar, adapted from this recipe.  It is perfect for tea and doesn’t even really taste like banana…  so it would be a great base cake.  Just add nuts, berries, or serve topped with fruit salad to make it extra special.  Also, this would be a good recipe to make cubed cake pieces for dipping in chocolate fondue, if that’s the kind of thing you’re into ; )

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup banana, mashed (about 1 medium banana)
3 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup yogurt (I used vanilla-flavored organic yogurt)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Whisk together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Pour into a greased loaf pan.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.


Almond Biscotti

31 Mar

adapted from Joy of Baking

1 cup of almonds, chopped
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar (next time I would reduce to 2/3 cup)
3 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
dash of cinnamon (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl whisk together the eggs and vanilla.

In the bowl of a mixer, add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Mix.

While mixing, add in the egg/vanilla mixture.

While mixing, add in the almonds.  Mix until a cohesive dough forms.

Roll the dough out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Form the dough into a log.

Bake for 30-40 minutes.

Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, then slice at a diagonal into thin slices.  These will be the shape of your biscotti.

Line up on the baking sheet so that they are standing from their base.  Leave space in between the slices – you want them to “dry out”.

Put back in the oven and bake for another 15-30 minutes until they reach the desired consistency (become super crumbly).

Store in an airtight container (I wonder if these would freeze well?) or serve with tea!

**Next time I’d like to try these with 50% whole wheat, reduce sugar to 2/3 cup and maybe with some orange zest**

Simple Green Pasta Sauce

3 Dec

This is my favorite way to secretly add veggies to any pasta dish.

1.  In a food processor or hand blender, blend together any green leafy vegetable (I used kale but spinach would work too!), fresh garlic, salt and pepper, and equal parts of cream and water.  Or probably just water would work too.

2.  Once pasta is cooked and drained, add the green mixture to the empty pot and let boil for a few minutes (to get rid of the raw taste).

3.  Add in the pasta, mix, and serve.

Oat Pancakes with Blackberry Sauce

10 Aug

These are not traditional pancakes in that they aren’t fluffy and the “healthy” can be tasted, but they satisfied my pancake craving and I absolutely loved them… probably even more than traditional pancakes, which tend to leave me feeling overly full and yucky. The blackberry sauce was awesome and I can’t wait to try it out on other things!

Oat Pancakes with Blackberry Sauce

 Oat pancakes
Adapted from The Fresh Fridge

**Serves one hungry person.  This recipe was not quite enough for the two of us, so if feeding two, I’d recommend doubling the recipe.**

1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 Tbsp honey or agave
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk or milk substitute
1 tsp awesome vanilla extract your roommate made
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp oil
1 room-temperature egg

Add the flour and oats to a food processor and mix until the oats are finely ground.

Add the rest of the dry ingredients (baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon) and mix in the processor.

Whisk the egg and add it to the dry mix.  Add in the honey, milk, vanilla, and oil.  Pulse until mixed.

Heat a skillet and cook, thinly, flipping when bubbles appear and pop on the surface.  These pancakes are super easy to flip!

Serve with blackberry sauce:

Blackberry Sauce

**Makes enough for one batch of pancakes listed above**

handful of fresh or frozen blackberries
1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
small amount of water
dash of cinnamon

In a pot, add the blackberries, sugar, cinnamon and water (just enough to come halfway up to the top of he blackberries).

Heat until it boils.

While still on the stove, mash with a potato masher.

You might need to add more water if it boils out too much; use your eye to judge the consistency.

Once it has boiled for about 5 minutes, take off the heat and get a bowl and strainer.

Strain the sauce.  This is to remove the blackberry seeds (if you don’t mind the seeds and want a chunky sauce, skip this step).

Once strained, pour it over your pancakes.

Lemon Tea Cake

30 Jun


Lemon Tea Cake

Adapted from Ina Garten’s Lemon Yogurt Cake


1 and 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup sugar
3  eggs

2 lemons, zested and juiced
½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup olive oil
almond slices (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a loaf pan.

 Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl

Whisk yogurt, 1/2 cup of sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla.

Whisk the lemon batter with the dry ingredients.

Fold oil into the batter with a rubber spatula. This seems like a lot of oil, but mix it together well.

Pour batter into the loaf pan. Top with almond slices (if using them). Bake for 50 minutes or until done.

Remove from oven to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the lemon juice and 1/4 cup of sugar in a pot. Remove from the stove when the sugar is dissolved and the sauce has thickened a bit.

Remove the cake from the loaf pan. Use a toothpick to punch a few holes on top of the cake. Pour lemon glaze on top of the cake.

Let sit 10 more minutes, and eat!

**This cake makes about 8 single servings.**

Suggestions for baking in the future:  

1.  Use canola oil instead of extra virgin olive oil.  I could taste the extra virin part.
2.  Maybe replace some of the oil with applesauce, the cake was a tiny bit too oily.
3.  Add some lemon juice to the cake mix?  The inside was not lemony enough.  But the syrup on the outside was perfect.