Pecan Orange Chocolate Cookie Bars

If you love toasted pecans in cookies, you’ll love this. A light pecan treat with just a hint of orange chocolate to give it a unique and delightful flavor.

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2cup butter, cubed
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons whipping cream or milk

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease bottom and sides of a 13- x 9-inch baking dish or pan.

2. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.

3. Mix flour, maple syrup, and 1/2 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Press mixture on bottom of prepared pan.

4. Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven.

5. Bring honey, other 1/2 cup of butter, and whipping cream or milk to a boil in a 3-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in toasted pecans, and spoon hot filling onto prepared crust.

6.) Shave or grate the chocolate bar over the top.

6. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 30 minutes). Cut into square cookie bars.

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Fried Apple Rings

When you have about 2-3 apples you just want to use up, this is a quick way to do it. These taste like apple donuts. Great as a snack/treat or for breakfast with some scrambled eggs and orange juice.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup flour

2 eggs

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

2 Tbsp honey

3 Tbsp butter

Olive oil for frying.

DIRECTIONS:

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix well or whisk. Melt the butter in a microwave. Remove and add honey to butter while it’s hot so honey is easier to mix into batter.

Add eggs to dry ingredients, then butter and honey and whisk out all the lumps.

If you have an apple slicer/corer this next step is super easy. Core and slice the apples (peeling them is optional). Pour about 2 cups of olive oil in a deep frying pan and wait until it is hot enough to sizzle the dough when a bit is dropped into the oil.

Dip the apples slices into the batter coating them evenly on both sides. They fry in the oil until browned. Remove to a plate with paper toweling on it to soak up excess oil.

Dip the fried apple rings in sugar/cinnamon mixture, powdered sugar, or drizzle a little maple syrup on them.

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Stop Apples from Turning Brown

How to Stop Fruit like Apples, Bananas from Turning Brown.

When making apple dishes or preserving apples, the first challenge is how do you stop them from turning brown and preserve their nice, white color. A very simple and easy technique will keep your apple preserves, salads and other desserts looking as fresh as when the apples were just sliced.

As you can see by our photo, apples will turn brown the minute air hits them. The apple core on the corer is already turning brown seconds after we sliced an apple. However, the slices in the bowl with the secret ingredient are nice and white and even after we put them on the dehydrator, the flesh is still nice and white. And it will stay that way indefinitely. The secret ingredient? Vitamin C powder.

Vitamin C powder and ascorbic acid are the same thing, and is used as a preservative in many commercial foods. When canning and making any kind of preserves, it is invaluable for preserving the color of foods that turn brown; not just apples, but bananas and any food that turns brown when exposed to air.

dehydrating applesHow to use Vitamin C as a preservative to prevent fruit from browning.

If you can buy Vitamin C in powder form, do what I do and keep it in a jar with a lid in your cupboard and use it just for such occasions as canning, dehydrating and making desserts. It doesn’t take much vitamin C powder to do the trick. If you can’t get it in powder form, you can crush up vitamin C supplements into a powder and use it that way. It’s not as convenient as the powder when you are making large batches of fruit for canning purposes, but it works just as well.

For Dehydrated Apple and Banana Chips:

Mix 1/2 tsp Vitamin C powder in about 2 cups of water in a bowl. Dip each piece of fruit into the C water for a second, coat both sides well, shake off lightly and use according to recipes or place on your dehydrator racks as is.

If your apples have already started to brown, sometimes just dunking them in this vitamin C wash will reverse it. No kidding.

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Pumpkin Pecan Muffins

It’s that time again: fall. And you will be looking for creative things to do with pumpkin. Here’s one you can make any time, you don’t have to wait for the holidays, just the pumpkin to be ready at the farmer’s markets.


Makes 12.

1/4 cup butter

1/3 cup honey, or 2/3 cup evaporated cane juice or sugar, or 1/2 tsp stevia

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1 egg, beaten

2 2/3 cup flour ( Can substitute 2/3 cup of buckwheat or

whole wheat flour for more nutritional value.)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 cup fresh, cooked pumpkin

pumpkin muffins up close

DIRECTIONS: 

Cream the butter and sweetener. Beat in egg. Add flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder, mix well.

Add pumpkin and stir in. Mixing the pumpkin with the flour mix before adding the milk will absorb some of the water from the pumpkin.

Add milk and mix well with a spoon. Add pecans.

Fill baking cups 3/4 full and bake in a preheated 350º oven for 35-38 minutes until toothpick inserted in muffins come out clean. These are best fresh-baked but if your family cannot eat 12 muffins at once, you can bake 6 muffins and put the rest of the dough in the refrigerator and bake the rest the next day or later in the week. Or, bake them all and freeze what you don’t eat right away.

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Basic Hummus Recipe

Not everybody is a fan of hummus; and that may be because there are a lot of unusual things added to it to give it flavor when it doesn’t really need all that. You can add many different things to hummus to give it flavor, or you can keep it simple like this recipe. Whatever your family likes, you can always start with this basic recipe and get creative later.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup garbanzo beans, cooked until soft

3 Tbsp grapeseed oil

3 Tbsp water

salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Cook the garbanzo beans until soft in enough water to cover them by about 1 inch. Add a couple shakes of salt to the water. It usually takes the beans about 30-45 minutes to get soft.

Drain the beans and put them in a blender with the water and grapeseed oil. Grind until smooth adding more water and oil if necessary to get the consistency of a paste or spread. Add salt and pepper to taste. Hummus is good on our veggie crackers with tomato and avocado.

Variations: Add onions or garlic to the blender while blending the beans. Mix chopped chives in after blending. Add ground chipotle pepper.

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Super Easy Chicken Molé

Nothing like a dish that has a little different flair to it. Get a hint of the Caribbean Aztec flavor in a very easy to make dish. Best served with homemade tortillas to sop up the flavorful gravy this dish makes.

Ingredients:

2 lbs skinned, boned chicken thighs

15 oz chipotle flavored salsa (Muir Glen makes a good organic one.)

1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, cut into small chunks

salt and pepper to taste

Optional: Diced red peppers and onions.

Directions:

Brown chicken lightly in a skillet with a lid. Add salsa, salt and pepper and sweet potatoes. Cover and simmer until sweet potatoes and chicken are tender; about 45 minutes. Serve with fresh homemade tortillas. Can’t be easier or quicker than that!

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Sweet Potato Chips

My family looooves sweet potato chips and they are so easy to make. If you have a slicer, make a large batch because they are sure to go quickly.

Ingredients:

2-3 large yams or sweet potatoes. (orange or purple yams are higher in vitamins than actual sweet potatoes which have yellow or white flesh.)

Instructions:

Scrub the sweet potatoes and cut off any bad spots. Do not peel; that is where all the nutrition is. Slice very thin with a sharp knife or a vegetable or meat slicer.

Very lightly grease 2-3 cookie sheets. Place the sweet potato slices on the greased cookie sheets so they are not touching or overlapping.

Bake at 250º for 30 minutes, then flip with a spatula and bake another 30 minutes  or until crunchy and very lightly browned. Do not over-brown them or they will not taste as good. Just to the crispy stage is tasty.

That’s it! So easy to make a highly nutritious snack that is so much better for your family than junk food.

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Veggie Crackers

Making your own crackers is not as daunting as it seems. This recipe is actually quite quick to make if you have a food processor. These crackers taste great with cheese, dips and spreads.

Veggie Crackers Recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

2-3 veggies finely chopped in food processor. Some good veggie choices are onions, spinach, kale, broccoli, carrots, beets, herbs. You want to make sure the veggies you choose do not contain to much water or they may mold.

2 cups organic white flour

1 cup ground buckwheat or buckwheat flour, or rye flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup olive or grapeseed oil

1/4 cup butter

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

Enough water to form a dry dough that sticks together enough to roll it out (about 1/4 cup)

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Add all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the chopped veggies and mix well. Add the oil and cut it in well so there are no pieces bigger than the size of a pea.

Melt the butter and cut in well.

Add just enough water to get the ingredients to start forming a dough that sticks together. The less water you use the quicker the baking time.

Cut the dough in half. Grease two cookie sheets. Roll out each piece of dough to fit a cookie sheet. Cut the dough on the cookie sheets into about the size of the crackers you want. You don’t have to cut through the dough all the way, you can just score it and break it apart later. Cutting it up before you bake it allows the crackers to dry quicker.

Bake at 325º for 35 minutes or until crackers are crispy and lightly browned. Let cool, break apart, and place in a glass jar with a lid, like a cookie jar. That’s it!

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Homemade Rose Hip Iced Tea – Tastes just like Lipton’s

Nothing says summer like iced tea. Some herbal teas are not that refreshing, but this one will quench your thirst because of the lemon and rose hips. And…we kid you not, this tea recipe tastes just like Lipton’s instant iced tea – only slightly better and without all the preservatives and processing.

Most people never think of making anything out of rose hips, but they should. They taste better than they sound when used in certain things, such as teas. If you like the taste of hibiscus, you will like the taste of rose hips; they are very similar. A light, tangy, citrus flavor. Makes excellent sun tea as well.

rose hips4 Tbsp dreid rosehips

2 slices fresh lemon, remove rind

4-5 Tbsp honey

2 cups boiling water -preferably filtered or distilled

2 cups cold water – filtered or distilled (or can use ice cubes)

Pour the 2 cups boiling water over the ingredients in a large jar with a lid. Let steep for several hours or overnight. When ready to serve, the mixture will be like a thick syrup, so thin it out with the remaining cold water or add ice cubes to your glass and pour this refreshing iced tea over the top.

You can purchased dried rosehips in bulk from may herbal resellers online or in some health stores. It is best if they are fresh, and if you are lucky enough to grow enough of your own roses, any rosehips will work. Pick them in the fall, dry them, then grind them in a coffee grinder and keep for hot or cold tea. Yummy and full of vitamin C, natural collagen and flavor.

THIS RECIPE SPONSORED BY:

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Oatmeal Bread

Oatmeal bread is my absolute favorite bread because it is so moist, nutritious and delicious.

Makes 1 loaf.

2 cups warm water

1 package (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast

1 Tbsp honey

2 eggs

1 Tbsp grape seed or olive oil

1 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups flour

1 cup oatmeal

Heat 1  cup water to boiling and pour just enough over the oatmeal in a small bowl to cover the flakes. Let is sit for about 10 minutes to soften the oatmeal and cool down to room temp for the yeast.

Once the oatmeal and water has cooled down so it is just warm to the touch, heat the remaining 1 cup of water to luke warm, pour it into a mixing bowl, add the honey. Stir the honey to dissolve it, sprinkle yeast on top and let it proof for about a minute.

In a mixer with a dough hook or a bread machine (or do it the old-fashioned way in a bowl and kneed it later) mix in the eggs, salt and oil until mixed well. Gradually add the flour in 1 cup amounts at a time mixing well in between each addition. Add oatmeal last and mix thoroughly.

Turn dough out on a floured surface and kneed untilwell mixed. Most dough machines do not mix the dough well enough to avoid having to kneed it by hand altogether. Formthe dough into a loaf and place it in a lightly greased bread pan, cover with a light cloth and let rise in a warm place (atleast 70º) for an hour.

After an hour when the bread has risen, bake at 350º for 20-25 minutes until lightly brown on top. Remove to a wire rack and leave the bread in the pan for about 15 minutes before you try to remove it from the pan or it will stick.

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THIS RECIPE SPONSORED BY:

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