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15
Sep 14

Blueberry Lemon Custard Bars

healthy lemon custard recipe

It was almost 5 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon. I was having friends over that night and had just put to rest a miserably failed recipe. I had just used up my last block of chocolate and was low on eggs… so the big question: what to make?

sugarfree lemon blueberry bar recipes

When you are invited to my house, I try to make sure food is involved. It’s the polite thing to do. Above all, I try not to waste any opportunities for soliciting recipe taste testing. I was determined to come up with something.  I was in luck when I remembered I had a carton of fresh blueberries, lemons, 2 eggs and approximately 2 hours. That would do!

blueberry lemon custard bars

These bars are a cross between lemon bars and a blueberry crumble pie. They have a similar custard filling to lemon bars with just enough blueberries and oats for added texture. These bars took inspiration from these fruit pie bars, yet these bars really make use of the word “custard” here. Each bar has a good amount of lemon filling and they are delicately baked to produce an ultra soft bite without much crisp. There isn’t enough blueberries to overpower the lemon, nor fruit to up sell the buttery crust.

sugar free healthy lemon blueberry bars

They are best served chilled, but they can be enjoyed right out of the oven or at room temperature. Packed with whole food ingredients and all natural sweeteners, these have the purest, freshest flavor! These Blueberry Lemon Bars have just enough spark to be perfect served anytime, anywhere!

healthy blueberry lemon bars

 

Blueberry Lemon Custard Bars (dairy-free)
Print Recipe

Crust:
3/4 cup Earth Balance Butter
2/3 cup Powdered Honey or Maple Sugar
1 1/2 cups White Spelt Flour
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 1/4 teaspoon Lemon Zest, divided
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon Oats
1 dash Cinnamon
2 Tablespoons Xylitol or Erythritol

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Adjust baking rack to the middle position in the oven. Line a 7 x 11 or 9 x 9 baking dish with parchment paper and slightly grease.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the earth balance butter, sweeteners, flour, salt and 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Mix until ingredients are combined but chunks of butter remain. Reserve about 1/3 of dough for the top. Take the remaining  2/3 amount of dough and press gently into the prepared baking dish. Place in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, until baked but not golden.

To the 1/3 portion of dough, add the oats, 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, cinnamon and xylitol. Mix until incorporated. Prepare the filling.

Filling:
2 Large Organic Eggs
1/3 cup Powdered Honey
1/3 cup Erythritol or Xylitol
1/3 cup White Spelt Flour
1/2 cup Plain Coconut Yogurt
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
2 tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
¼ teaspoon Sea Salt
1 cup Blueberries (washed and patted dry)

In a small mixing bowl, combine eggs, sweeteners, flour, yogurt, vanilla, lemon juice and salt. Mix until incorporated. Pour blueberries over the baked crust. Gently pour the lemon filling over berries. Crumble dough topping over the filling. Some will sink into the filling, that’s okay! Change the oven rack to the top third position in the oven. Place the bars back in the oven for another 20-22 minutes or until the middle is no longer wiggly. Turn oven to broil and broil for about 30 seconds until the tops are lightly golden.  Remove bars from oven and allow bars to cool in the fridge for about 1 hour. Slice into squares and serve.

Makes 9-12 bars

Adapted from Joy The Baker


08
Sep 14

The Cheesecake Factory’s Sweet Tamale Corn Cakes

healthy sweet tamale corn cakes

One of the best vegetarian dishes at The Cheesecake Factory are their Sweet Tamale Corn Cakes. They are technically under their appetizer selection, but I always order them for my meal. They are that delicious! Sweet, soft corn cakes are piled with sour cream, fresh avocado and tomatoes and are then drizzled with an amazing spicy sweet sauce. Divine! I know I am not the only one who loves these cakes. Everyone adores them, right?

cheesecake factory corn cakes

I won’t pretend that the corn cakes at The Cheesecake Factory are the healthiest dish out there… truth be told, the real cakes probably have at least a cup of sugar in them. They also have butter, white flour and probably more sodium than I care to know about. Yet, we all still love the taste. So I’m sure everyone will appreciate a healthier version of these cakes! This recipe is simplified from the true corn cakes recipe but still tastes just as yummy.

healthy corn cakes

Sweet Tamale Corn Cakes are possible to remake without the unhealthy ingredients. These cakes are sugar-free, gluten-free, can be made dairy-free and have a pretty simple ingredient list! Some people are against corn, but organic non-GMO corn eaten on occasion actually has some great health benefits. What you might love the most about these cakes is how versatile they are. They are easy enough for a week night dinner but pretty enough for a party. They can be eaten as an appetizer, lunch, dinner or a late night snack. Serve on a healthy bed of greens, layer on the southwestern sauce and enjoy this healthy remake!

Healthy Sweet Tamale Corn Cakes (gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free option)
Print Recipe

Corn Cakes:
2 cups Organic Frozen Corn, slightly thawed but still damp
1 cup Organic Corn Meal
1 cup Brown Rice Flour
2 Large Organic Eggs
1/2 teaspoon Liquid Stevia
1/3 cup Grape Seed Oil or Melted Butter
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Salt (or 1/4 teaspoon Pink Salt and 1/16 teaspoon Garlic Powder)
2 Tablespoons Grape Seed Oil or Olive Oil, for cooking

In a food processor or blender, process the corn meal until a rough flour. Some brands of organic corn meal are super grainy and crunchy, so you want to process the meal until more fine so the texture of the cakes are not super crunchy.  If the brand you buy isn’t grainy, you can omit this step.

In a small bowl, combine the corn, corn meal/flour and rice flour. Add the rest of the ingredients except cooking oil. The mixture will be moist. If the cakes are not able to mash together well, add a bit of water. Divide into 10 equal cake disks about 3/4 inch thick. Pour 2 tablespoons oil on cooking pan or non-stick griddle and heat to 350 degrees. Cook for 1 minute, then flip cakes to cook the other side. Reduce heat to 325 degrees, cover cakes and cook for another 2-4 minutes, until the cakes are completely hot.

Sweet Southwestern Sauce
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise (can use dairy-free or vegan versions)
1 teaspoon Water
2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup Xylitol or Eyrthritol
1 teaspoon Liquid Stevia
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/8 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/16 teaspoon Lemon Pepper

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over corn cakes and top with the following toppings:

Toppings:
1 Large Ripe Avocado, chopped
2 Medium Tomatos, chopped
1/4 cup chopped Cilantro
1/2 cup Sour Cream (can use vegan sour cream)

Makes 10 small corn cakes or serves 4-5

Adapted from food.com


02
Sep 14

Non-Alcoholic Freshly Juiced Sangria

healthy sangria

Welcome back from a nice long weekend! If you didn’t max out your Labor Day holiday as much as you’d have liked, things are now looking up.

When Williams-Sonoma contacted us about sharing a sangria recipe, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Williams-Sonoma is taking on a juicing challenge – they want to spread the word about the amazing health benefits of juicing and they are doing it with healthy sangria recipes! They’ve requested fun and fruity drinks from all over the blogsphere to inspire more juicing. We’ve shared our love of fresh juices before so we couldn’t wait to be involved. Drinks like sangrias utilize the health benefits of fresh juice in a super delicious way. With the heat of summer cooling, it’s the season for fall entertaining – let’s start with freshly juiced sangrias!

sugarfree sangria drink recipe

Williams-Sonoma asked us to create a homemade sangria recipe with our own twist but also keeping the fresh juice requirement. Sangrias are sweet juice wines that happen to be one of the most popular adult beverages of all time.  Sangrias originated from Spain but recipes come in all forms. You can find any flavored sangria recipe under the sun so anything goes!

healthysangriarecipe

Of course the first thing on our list was to make this sangria sugar-free! Real fresh fruit makes this drink just as sweet as the sugar-filled cocktails but much healthier for you. Besides just making a sugar-free sangria recipe, we decided to make it available to everyone by omitting the alcohol. Young kids to the elderly, expecting mothers to single ladies, Sunday brunches to evening parties can all enjoy this sangria!

sangriarecipe

Williams-Sonoma wanted recipes that use fresh ingredients (mainly fresh juices and fruit) for maximum health benefits and fresh flavor! Mocktails are easy to make with fresh, pure produce. If you are on the lookout for great juicers, Williams-Sonoma has lots of options. But no worries if you are without a juicer because this drink recipe uses fresh juice… but there is no need for a juicer!  Freshly squeezed orange juice creates the base for this sweet drink for ease. Splashes of fresh coconut water and lime finish it off with a taste of the tropics. If you want a punch of flavor but don’t need the alcohol, turn to this beverage. The slightly sour notes from the lemon and club soda balance out the sweetness perfectly for all of your late summer entertaining.  Enjoy!

Healthy Non-Alcoholic Freshly Juiced Sangria (vegan, sugar-free. gluten-free)
Print Recipe

1 1/2 cups Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
1 cup Fresh Coconut Water (about 1-2 Young Coconuts)
Juice 1 Large Lemon
1 1/2 cups large chopped Pineapple (about 3/4″ cubes)
3 Kiwis, peeled and chopped
5 Large Strawberries, sliced
1 1/2 cups Club Soda (or Sparkling Water for a sweeter drink)
1/4 cup Xylitol for coated glass rim, optional

Juice the oranges, cut into the coconut, drain the coconut water and juice the lemon. Pour liquids into a large pitcher. Add the chopped pineapple, chopped kiwi and sliced strawberries. Pour 1 cup soda over the mixture. Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Remove from refrigerator and add an additional 1/2 cup club soda for fresh carbonation. Pour xylitol in a shallow dish. Take a slice of orange and wet the rims of all glasses. Dip the wet glass edge in the xylitol to coat. Pour juice into glasses over ice. Enjoy!

Serves 4

 

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