Archive for the Sweet Category

Egg-Free Banana, Corn, & Pumpkin Baked Treats

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All out of eggs?  Allergic to eggs?  Choose not to eat eggs?

You might already have an egg substitute, such as banana or ground flaxseed, in your kitchen!

Years ago, I learned that mashed banana could be used as an egg substitute from the Vegetarian Times’ Egg-Free Chocolate-Banana Loaf recipe. Try it; this bread is a real treat!


Check out the recipe at

I also discovered that 1 Tbsp. of ground flaxseed plus 3 Tbsp. of water could be used to replace 1 egg. I have successfully used this mixture in cornbread  and pumpkin cookie recipes. Bits of flax are visible in these baked goods, but barely impart a nutty flavor.

I usually enjoy a not-so-sweet corn bread made with 2 Tbsp. of granulated sugar, but the recipe below is for those who love their sweets. The recipe for vegan pumpkin cookies also follows.

Sweet Corn-Studded Corn Bread

  •  One 8-inch square bread

1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed

3 Tbsp. water

1 cup stone-ground cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

2½ tsp. baking powder

½ cup granulated sugar

¾ tsp. salt

1/4 cup canola oil

1 cup milk

1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed

Preheat oven to 425°F and grease an 8-inch square pan. In a large bowl, whisk together ground flaxseed and water until mixture thickens. In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. To the large bowl containing the flaxseed mixture, add canola oil, milk, and half of the corn kernels. Stir dry mixture into wet ingredients until just mixed. Pour batter into pan and gently push the remaining corn kernels into the batter. Bake bread for 25 minutes.

Vegan Pumpkin Cookies

  • Makes 29 cookies

1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed

3 Tbsp. water

1¼ cup all-purpose flour

½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

¼ tsp. allspice

¼ tsp. salt

¼ cup canola oil

¾ cup granulated sugar

½ cup pumpkin puree

½ tsp. vanilla extract

Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease two cookie sheets. In a small bowl, whisk together ground flaxseed and water until mixture thickens. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. In a large bowl, mix together oil, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla extract, and flaxseed mixture until smooth. Mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Drop flat tablespoonfuls of cookie dough on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 20 minutes and allow cookies to cool. Lightly dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Note: Fore more egg replacers and other vegetarian substitutes visit

Apple Betty

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We’re only 5 days into autumn and I’ve already made 2 apple crisps, 2 versions of apple betty, and 1 apple strudel. I’ve been getting lots of apples from my fruit share since August! So far, my mom’s favorite apple dessert is the Apple Betty from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book (1996). Their version of this old-fashioned, baked fruit dessert uses soft bread cubes instead of dry breadcrumbs. My mom loves the crunchy bread topping!

Apple Betty is fun and easy to put together; my mom may even make it with her pre-school class. The children will definitely enjoy tearing the bread into pieces, slicing the apples under adult supervision, and measuring the other ingredients. Sounds like a great lesson!      

Looks like stuffing, but it’s dessert!

Apple Betty

  • Serves 6

5 cups peeled, cored, and sliced cooking apples (5 medium)

½ cup sugar

1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

5 cups white bread cubes (about 7 slices)

3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted

whipped cream (optional)

1. (Preheat the oven to 375°F.) For filling, in a large mixing bowl combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Add apples; toss to coat. Add 2 cups of the bread cubes; toss gently till combined. Transfer filling into an ungreased 2-quart square baking dish.

2. For topping, place remaining bread cubes in a medium mixing bowl. Drizzle with melted butter or margarine; toss to coat. Sprinkle topping over fruit filling. Bake in a 375° oven about 30 minutes or till fruit is tender and topping is golden. If desired, serve warm with whipped cream.

Note: I used Italian semolina bread instead of white bread in this recipe with excellent results. Feel free to use any bread that you have on hand.

Spiced Watermelon Fig Popsicles

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My summer was way too short, so I’m holding on to the season with the last watermelons and figs that I can find. Last Saturday, I bought the very last watermelon that the farmer’s market had in my neighborhood and it was delicious! This week, my nearby Stop and Shop has watermelons on sale, so let’s enjoy them before they’re all gone.

Watermelon is an amazing fruit that is made up of 91% water plus vitamins A and C, potassium, and lycopene. One cup of watermelon has almost 2x the amount of lycopene in 1 fresh tomato! Figs are a great source of potassium, calcium, and iron. Since iron absorption is increased by vitamin C, the watermelon, lemon juice, and white grape juice in this recipe aid in the absorption of iron from the figs.

The flavor of Spiced Watermelon Fig Popsicles bridges the end of summer with the beginning of fall. If you’ve already had enough popsicles for the season, you might enjoy this recipe as a smoothie instead!

Spiced Watermelon Fig Popsicles

  • Makes 6

1½ cups watermelon cut into about ½ inch chunks

1 cup fresh figs cut in quarters (about 6 large)

1 Tbsp. honey*

1 tsp. lemon juice

3 shakes cinnamon

2 shakes nutmeg

100% white grape juice (about ½ cup)

Blend first 6 ingredients until smooth and add enough grape juice to bring the total to 2¼ cups. Blend once more to mix in juice and pour into popsicle molds.

*Adjust honey according to sweetness of the watermelon. Also, remember not to introduce honey to children less than 1 year of age.

Freshly Picked Blueberries

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Last week, I enjoyed the simple pleasure of blueberry picking with friends.

I brought home a little more than 1.5 lbs with the thought that I would use some to make a blueberry galette and simply add the rest to pancakes, cereal, and yogurt. I tried to save 3 cups of blueberries for the galette, but I’ve eaten almost all of the blueberries up. I especially apprecited Fresh Blueberries added to Greek Maple Yogurt! You can make Greek Maple Yogurt by mixing at least 1 Tbsp. maple syrup into a 6 oz. container of non-fat Greek yogurt.

You might even be able to buy Greek Maple Yogurt at your supermarket. Sometimes, I buy Green Mountain Creamery’s yogurt made with only 2 ingredients: cultured pasteurized nonfat milk and maple syrup, as it should be made!

TLC & Baked Banana Oatmeal

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According to the Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) program, consumption of 5-10 grams (g) of soluble fiber on a daily basis can help reduce “bad” cholesterol by 3-5%. Soluble fiber blocks the absorption of cholesterol and fats through the wall of the small intestines into the bloodstream.

To get 5 g of soluble fiber in the diet, one can consume: ½ cup of cooked oatmeal (1 g), one medium orange (2 g), and one medium pear (2 g).

To obtain 10 g of soluble fiber, a person can add on: 1/2 cup cooked brussels sprouts (3 g), ½ cup cooked barley (1 g), and ½ cup cooked lentils (1 g).

For much more information about the TLC program check out:

Baked Banana Oatmeal is an old recipe that my sister has recently revived to add some great-tasting soluble fiber to my dad’s diet and to give his heart some tender, loving care. It’s perfect for breakfast or an any-time snack.

Study Break

Baked Banana Oatmeal

  • Serves 4 to 6

1 3/4 cups traditional oats

1/4 to 1/3 cup brown sugar*

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 cup craisins

1 1/3 cups skim milk

1 egg or 2 egg whites, beaten

1 large ripe banana, mashed

Canola oil, for coating pan

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine next two ingredients in another bowl. Stir milk mixture into the oat mixture and pour into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with a small amount of canola oil. Top with chopped nuts. Bake for 18 minutes and broil for 1-2 minutes to toast the nuts. Now it’s time to enjoy a portion of baked oatmeal straight out of the pan or in  a bowl with a little bit of milk mixed in!

*Adjust sugar according to the sweetness of the banana.

Frozen Yogurt Cookies

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Frozen Yogurt Cookies were born after a friend of mine was disappointed that my last blog entry didn’t include a recipe. These are easy to make and add a special finishing touch to any meal.

Raspberry Lemon & Lemon Spice

Choose thin, yet sturdy cookies to carry a spoonful of yogurt. A sturdy cookie is important, so that the yogurt’s moisture doesn’t soak through it. Sprinkle chopped walnuts on top of the yogurt and freeze the assembled cookies on an uncovered tray. They’ll be ready to eat in about 1 ½ hours.


Yogurt Praise!

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So, I’ve been extremely busy for the last 4 months as a dietetic intern. My experience working in the hospital has been wonderful so far, but my culinary creativity has suffered somewhat. I realized that my cooking is mostly inspired by the people I love, but they are home in NYC. Grocery shopping here is also not as great as it is in NYC. I miss the overflowing variety! But today, I found a fairly new grocery store that made me feel more like I was at home. There was an assortment of foods at this market that made me feel that I might discover something exciting and new.

Cascade Fresh yogurt grabbed my attention at 89 cents for every 6 oz. cup. After looking over the ingredients and nutrition facts, I happily welcomed the yogurt into my shopping basket.  I applaud Cascade Fresh for making yogurt with only about 16g sugar per container of fat free yogurt. They use fruit juice to sweeten their yogurt and are able to create a product with much less sugar than most yogurts, which have about 26g sugar.

The first flavor that I’ve enjoyed has been Green Apple Pie. If Cascade Fresh is not available where you shop, but you also want to lower your intake of added sugar from yogurt, try mixing plain yogurt with flavored yogurt. I was doing that for years. For more information, check out


Tres Leches Cake

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A jewel from a small Mexican Bakery in Ridgewood, Queens!

My birthday cake was perfectly moistened with three milks: evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk or cream and filled with a layer of whipped cream, strawberries and peaches.

Pumpkin Bread

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Do you remember that pumpkin I bought in October? It’s been sitting on my kitchen counter for 5 months. This past weekend, I finally cooked, pureed, and froze it for future use. However, I did set aside one cup of puree to make pumpkin bread. March is definitely not the season for pumpkin bread, but that didn’t stop me from baking one of my favorite autumnal treats. I love the warm flavors of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in pumpkin bread, but I decided to use less of these spices because it’s springtime!

This pumpkin bread is so delicious and moist; no one would ever know there was whole wheat flour and flax seed meal in the mix! If you don’t have whole wheat flour and flax seed meal, just use 1½ cups all-purpose flour and 6 tablespoons of canola oil. However, this is a good recipe to start introducing fiber-rich whole wheat flour and omega-3-full flax seed meal into your diet.

Pumpkin Bread

¾ cup white whole wheat flour

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground ginger

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

pinch of ground cloves

1/3 cup milk

½ tsp. vanilla

5 Tbsp. canola oil

3 Tbsp. flax seed meal

1¼ cup

2 large eggs

1 cup pumpkin puree

½ cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together first 9 ingredients. In a small bowl, combine milk and vanilla.

2. In a large bowl, beat canola oil, flax seed meal, and sugar until mixed well. Beat in one egg at a time and then mix in pumpkin puree. After each addition: one third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the milk mixture, another third of the flour, the remaining milk, and the remaining flour mixture, beat on low speed until just combined and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Fold in ¼ cup raisins.

3. Pour into the loaf pan, sprinkle the remaining raisins on top, and gently press raisins down while spreading the batter evenly. Bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before taking it out and cooling completely on the rack.

Simply Delicious: Chocolate Oatmeal

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“Simply Delicious” signifies a recipe that uses only 3 to 5 main ingredients. 

Chocolate Oatmeal is a breakfast that my mother made often when I was growing up. Her inspiration was Filipino chocolate rice porridge, champorado. She made her oatmeal with spoonfuls of Nesquik chocolate powder, but I make mine with a packet of hot cocoa.  

Chocolate Oatmeal

  • Serves 2

1 ¾ cup water or milk, plus warm milk for pouring

1 cup old fashioned oats

1 packet of hot cocoa mix (preferably without hydrogenated oils)

In a medium saucepan, bring water or milk to a boil over high heat. Add the oats and hot cocoa mix. Stir until hot cocoa mix dissolves and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with warm milk for pouring over the top.    

 Enjoy it plain for a quick breakfast.

Have a little more time? Add toppings.

Try adding chopped semi-sweet chocolate, toasted almonds, and strawberries. I think it’s a perfectly tasty and healthy breakfast for this coming Monday — Valentine’s Day!