Whole Wheat Zucchini Pancakes Recipe

Whole wheat zucchini pancakes are hearty and wholesome and include one serving of vegetables in each portion.
Whole wheat zucchini pancakes are hearty and wholesome and include one serving of vegetables in each portion. 

I’m a proponent of pancakes for supper. And it isn’t just a Shrove Tuesday thing. Some days, having breakfast for supper is just what everyone needs.

But then there is always the question of vegetables, as in “How do you pair vegetables with pancakes and syrup?” It’s a good question since suppertime is usually the only time of day that my kids eat vegetables.

Whole wheat zucchini pancakes are hearty and wholesome and include one serving of vegetables in each portion.

The solution: Whole wheat zucchini pancakes (for breakfast, brunch or supper). It’s an easy way to slip a few vegetable into a comfort food meal.

Pancakes make a great lunchbox meal too. Just cut the pancakes into bite-sized pieces and pack in a reusable container with a serving of maple syrup (or a molasses-maple syrup blend) on the side. Here’s how to make a molasses-maple syrup blend: 3 Tbsp. maple syrup and 1 Tbsp. molasses.

This recipe is adapted from the wonderful website, Pinch of Yum.

Whole Wheat Zucchini Pancakes

Serves 4 (makes 8 pancakes)

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp. flour
  • ½ cup  whole wheat or spelt flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp.  flax meal (ground flaxseed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 cup coarsely shredded zucchini

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl whisk the dry ingredients.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs then add the oil, milk and molasses.
  3. Add the wet to the dry and stir until almost incorporated.
  4. Stir in the zucchini and mix until combined.
  5. Drop by 1/3 cup measure on a medium-hot, well-greased frying pan.
  6. Flip when the batter is set and the edges lose their wet look.
  7. Keep warm until ready to eat.
  8. Drizzle with a maple syrup, or a molasses maple syrup blend (3 Tbsp. maple syrup and 1 Tbsp. molasses)

Four Favourite Zucchini Recipes: Breads, Muffins & Brownies

Four favourite zucchini recipes: muffins, brownies, classic zucchini breads and double chocolate zucchini bread

Zucchini can be a bakers’s secret ingredient.

Mild in flavour and easy to shred, zucchini adds moisture and texture to many of my favourite summer baked goods. In these four favourite zucchini recipes you’ll see how this plentiful summer vegetable can help to make simple, wholesome baked goods extra satisfying and almost decadent.

I grow zucchini in my garden  but my harvest is rarely bountiful. But as you know, there are always people willing to share their zucchini harvest.

We have had a very dry summer in New Brunswick so the zucchinis aren’t overflowing at the markets yet, but they will be soon. I’m getting ready to stock up and get a few of these lunch box snacks in the freezer.

Two of these recipes are refined sugar-free, sweetened only with molasses and honey or maple syrup (see the recipes for zucchini muffins and double chocolate zucchini bread).

Four Favourite Zucchini Recipes:

Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

Healthy Zucchini Brownies, fudgy brownies, filled with zucchini, flax and chocolate chips.

Zucchini gives these moist and decadent brownies a healthy twist. They’re fudgy, flavourful and are just over 100 calories each for a generous portion (if you’re counting).

Old-Fashioned Zucchini Muffins

zucchini muffins 3 640

These zucchini muffins are refined-sugar-free, sweetened only with honey and molasses. They have the greatest texture thanks to the oil (instead of butter) and they’re moist and beautifully spiced. The molasses-honey pairing is brilliant. Great for texture and flavour balance.

Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

zucchini bread 2

This recipe is more like an old fashioned zucchini bread. It’s on the sweeter side, nicely spiced and the recipe makes two loaves.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Double chocolate whole wheat zucchini bread

Who needs chocolate cake when you have double chocolate zucchini bread. Seriously, this is a moist and decadent bread that is refined sugar-free.

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Sweet & Spicy Molasses Mustard Chicken a 30-Minute Meal

Molasses Mustard Glazed Chicken is an easy, flavourful weeknight meal.

Molasses Mustard Chicken is an easy, flavourful weeknight meal. The chicken is baked with a tasty rub and the glaze is brushed on near the end of cooking. 

No more boring chicken.

For my kids to really enjoy chicken it needs to be very flavourful. I tend to agree. Seasoned chicken with a sticky glaze is so much better than simply cooking it with a little salt and pepper.

Molasses Mustard Glazed Chicken is an easy, flavourful weeknight meal.

This recipe is especially good for boneless, skinless cuts of chicken.

The spic rub and molasses mustard glaze help to keep the chicken from drying out and they more than compensate for the flavour that you lose when you’re cooking chicken without the bone and skin.

There’s a good chance you’ll have leftover rub and glaze, which is great. Both store well.

Molasses Mustard Glazed Chicken is an easy, flavourful weeknight meal.

Serving suggestion:

  • Serve this chicken alongside steamed green beans and boiled new potatoes or use it as a salad topper for a supper-sized salad.
  • You can also cook this chicken on the barbecue.
  • Planning ahead? Rub the spice on the chicken in the morning and let it sit, covered, in the fridge all day.

Molasses Mustard Chicken

Adapted from Carl’s Bad Cravings

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

Rub:

  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2-1 tsp. chipotle chili powder

Molasses Dijon Glaze

Instructions:

  1. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and drizzle over the Tbsp. of olive oil.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the Rub Ingredients. Sprinkle over the chicken and rub in a bit.  Place chicken on prepared baking sheet.
  3. Move oven rack to top position and broil chicken for 6 minutes on each side (12 minutes total). (Chicken could be baked instead – 375 F)
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the Molasses Dijon Sauce ingredients.
  5. Remove chicken from oven and brush top sides with sauce; broil 1-2 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  6. Brush individual servings with additional sauce and serve.

 

 

Chocolate Pecan Energy Bites a Healthy Gluten Free Treat

Pecan Chocolate Energy Bites sm

Chocolate Pecan Energy Bites make a great healthy snack. They’re gluten-free, vegan and Paleo too.

I’m always on the hunt for road trip snacks. I don’t mind stopping along the way to buy something to eat – it helps to break up the drive and relieve the kids’ boredom. But more often than not, the most satisfying road trip snacks are those that you pack from home.

Cookies are a staple for us, and hard boiled eggs, along with whatever leftovers might be in the fridge. And fruit of course, if we’re travelling within Canada. Chocolate pecan energy bites are the newest addition to my travel snack repertoire.

Chocolate Pecan Energy Bites make a great healthy snack. They're gluten-free, vegan and Paleo too.

Chocolate Pecan Energy Bites are the perfect afternoon pick-me-up for those times when you want something with staying power. 

The combination of nuts, dates, and  unsweetened cocoa powder — along with a little molasses and maple syrup to help bind everything together — creates a healthy treat with substance.

Chocolate Pecan Energy Bites are made made with no refined sugar.

This is a versatile recipe. Molasses helps to make them taste more chocolaty and you could always replace the Tbsp. of maple syrup with more molasses. Or you could use a little honey. The recipe works well with both pecans and walnuts and is especially good when made with a combination of the two. Also, I find the texture is best when I use Medjool dates.

UPDATE: I seem to be making this recipe weekly and have had delicious success with the following combinations:

  • Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and chia. Delicious as ever! The ratio is: 1/2 cup each of sunflower & pumpkin seeds and 1 Tbsp. chia.
  • All cashews.
  • Half a cup of cashews and half a cup of walnuts.

This recipe has been adapted from The Rawtarian

Chocolate Pecan Energy Bites

Makes 16 generous balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 generous cup pecans or walnuts (or a combination)
  • 1 cup pitted dates (lightly packed)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Instructions:

  1. Whir the nuts in a food processor until crumbly.
  2. Add the dates and process until nuts and dates are combined.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and process until the mixture sticks together. (Don’t let it get too smooth – you still want some texture.)
  4. Form into tablespoon-sized balls and chill.

Nutritional info: Per ball. Calories: 99, Fat: 6 g, Saturated Fat: 1.4 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 38.5 mg, Carbs: 12.4, Sugar: 8.9 g, Protein: 1.3, Fibre 2.4 g, Potassium: 157 mg, Calcium: 15.3 mg

 

 

4 Favourite Peach Recipes for Summer

Baking with Peaches: 4 Favourite Summer Recipes

Molasses and peaches are a beautiful pairing for summer.

Summer peaches are one of my favourite fruits. Tender and juicy, they are one of the true flavours of summer.

You might be surprised to discover how beautifully peaches and molasses go together. Molasses helps to keep peach desserts from being too sweet and it doesn’t overpower the flavour of this lovely golden fruit.

How to skin peaches:

  • Bring a pot of water to the boil. Slice a small “X” in the bottom of each peach and drop into the boiling water for 30 seconds.
  • Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and when cool enough to handle slide off the skins.

How to skin peaches

I only buy peaches in summer and most are eaten right out of the basket. But I always save a few peaches for summer baking. Here are my four favourite peach recipes that make the most of this luscious summer fruit.

4 Favourite Peach Recipes

Raspberry Peach Crisp:

Peaches and raspberries go together beautifully and just about every fruit suits ginger.  Together they make a deliciously simple fruit crisp.

raspberry peach crisp

Molasses Peach Tarts

These lovely peach tarts combine the beautiful texture of peaches with a flaky whole grain pastry.

peach tarts with whole wheat pastry

Blueberry Peach Cobbler

This blueberry peach cobbler recipe is a deliciously easy way to enjoy summer fruit. Also called a pudding cake, the recipe can be adapted for any fruit.

blueberry pudding pie3

Peach Gingerbread

This Peach gingerbread recipe is moist and delicious. Gently spiced with ginger (a lovely match for peaches) this cake is perfect for juicy summer fruit.

This Peach gingerbread recipe is moist and delicious. Gently spiced with ginger (a lovely match for peaches) this cake is perfect for juicy summer fruit.

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Double Ginger Caramel Swirl No Churn Ice Cream

Ginger Caramel No Churn Ice Cream: If you can whip cream and have a freezer, you can make homemade ice cream. No ice cream make required with this easy no-churn recipe

If you can whip cream and have a freezer, you can make homemade ice cream. No ice cream maker required with this easy no-churn recipe

It was my mom’s idea to combine ginger and caramel in this simple no-churn ice cream recipe. Ginger and caramel are two of her favourite flavours and favourites of mine too.

Ginger Caramel No Churn Ice Cream: If you can whip cream and have a freezer, you can make homemade ice cream. No ice cream make required with this easy no-churn recipe

Welcome to Ice cream heaven: Ginger Caramel No Churn Ice Cream

We are officially into the routine of stopping for ice cream cones when we head to our cottage for the weekend. We drive right past a country store that serves a wonderful variety of flavours and with a car full of kids it’s hard not to stop.

One of my favourite flavours is salted caramel. But when I’m eating salted caramel ice cream I can’t help but think about ginger and a homemade ginger ice cream I had on holidays years ago.

This ginger caramel  no churn ice cream is a combination of what are really my two favourite flavours of ice cream: caramel and ginger.

For this recipe I made a half batch of our Molasses Caramel Sauce but you could use store-bought caramel sauce too.

Ginger Caramel No Churn Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (300 ml) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ tsp. powdered ginger
  • ¼ cup chopped candied ginger
  • ½ cup caramel sauce

Instructions:

  1. Line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and the molasses.
  3. In a large bowl whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Drizzle in the condensed milk mixture and powdered ginger and continue to whip until all the condensed milk is incorporated into the cream and the mixture is thick.
  4. Fold in the candied ginger then drizzle over most of the caramel sauce. Stir once or twice (you want thick ribbons of the sauce to remain) then scrape mixture into the prepared pan.  Even out the top then drizzle remaining caramel sauce over top. Draw a butter knife through the mixture in a figure-eight pattern to incorporate the final drizzle of sauce.
  5. Cover and freeze for at least 6 hours.

 

No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Frog Cookies

No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Frog Cookies are quick and easy so kids can make them on their own and they don’t heat up the house on warm days.

No-bake treats are the best thing for summer. They’re quick and easy so kids can make them on their own and they don’t heat up the house on warm days.

Summers seemed to be filled with frogs and toads when I was little. We’d find toads in the yard and as we traipsed through the woods, and we’d catch frogs and pollywogs down by the brook.

Quincy with frog

Summer was filled with other kinds of frogs too – chocolate oatmeal frog cookies.

My mom had a few different recipes for no–bake cereal squares and other treats. A recipe I recently rediscovered is for no-bake cookies that we called “frogs”. Made with cocoa, rolled oats, milk, butter and not much else, they’re the quickest way I know to make a cookie when you’re craving something sweet.

Chocolate oatmeal frog cookies take less than 10 minutes to make and they’re extra easy so kids can make them on their own.

And the bonus is that they’re gluten free, so if you have friends who avoid wheat this is an easy treat to share.

No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Frog Cookies are quick and easy so kids can make them on their own and they don’t heat up the house on warm days.

Chocolate Oatmeal Frog Cookies

Makes 26-28 cookies

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 ¾ cups quick oats (GF if desired)
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine cocoa powder, rolled oats and ground flax.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment.
  3. In a medium pot, combine the sugar, milk, molasses and butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for two and a half minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and pour over the rolled oats mixture.
  5. Stir to combine and quick drop by the spoonful (or a medium cookie scoop) onto prepared pan.
  6. Let cool then store in a covered container, between layers of waxed paper or parchment.

This recipe is easy enough for kids to make on their own.

 

 

 

Simon’s Easy Soft Molasses Cookies Recipe {Cookbook Giveaway}

Simon's soft molasses cookies

Easy soft molasses cookies suit any time of year.

This easy soft molasses cookies recipe is from the new cookbook, Pantry & Palate, by writer Simon Thibault. It’s a cookbook filled with old-fashioned East Coast recipes that celebrate his Acadian roots. These are recipes that he grew up with, gathered from family members and from the Acadian community in Nova Scotia where his family is from.

Molasses was a staple in Acadian households. It was always easy to come by and was (is) suited to sweet and savoury dishes. (My grandfather, an Acadian originally from Prince Edward Island, practically considered molasses its own food group, it was so essential to his diet.)

pantry and palate

The recipes may be old time but they’re not out dated.

Pantry & Palate is an exploration of history through food. And while some recipes are not every day fare (pickled pig’s head, for example) most are perfectly suited to today’s kitchen

From chicken fricot (chicken vegetable stew) to potato pancakes, scalloped cabbage, apple cake, gingerbread and apple pie, the book is filled with everyday recipes, family-favourite sorts of recipes.

A giveaway!

Now is your chance to try more recipe from Pantry & Palate. Courtesy of Nimbus Publishing Ltd. we’re giving away a copy of the book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Simon’s easy soft molasses cookies:

This is an old fashioned soft molasses cookie recipe, made with lard. To ensure they’re tender, take care not to over-bake them. They only cook for about 8 minutes, and they might not seem cooked at that point but they’ll set once cooled. These bake in a hot oven (375 F) so the bottoms can burn easily if you leave them in too long. They’re equally wonderful baked plain or rolled in sugar.

Easy Soft Molasses Cookies Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup lard
  • 1 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • Sugar for rolling (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and lard until the sugar is no longer grainy. Beat in the molasses then the ginger.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the sugar mixture and stir until just combined.
  3. Refrigerate for an hour or overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Drop the dough by heaping tablespoonful (or a medium cookie scoop). Flatten gently with a fork. (or you can roll dough in balls & dip in sugar)
  7. Bake for 8 minutes (Take care not to over bake these cookies. You want them to be tender.)

If you love soft molasses cookies try our recipe for Aunt Marcia’s Soft Molasses Thumbprint Cookies

Ultimate Chocolate Tahini Brownies Recipe a Gluten-Free Treat

Gluten Free Chocolate Tahini Brownies Recipe: Fudgy brownies with a sweet tahini swirl.

Fudgy brownies with a sweet tahini swirl. 

A few years ago when we were exhibiting at a food show in Vancouver, a few customers introduced us to the tahini-molasses combination. What a great discovery. A school-friendly alternative to peanut butter, tahini mixed with molasses became a great sandwich option and tahini on crackers, drizzled with molasses, became an after school snack.

Gluten Free Chocolate Tahini Brownies Recipe: Fudgy brownies with a sweet tahini swirl.

Lots of reasons to enjoy tahini.

Tahini is a good source of calcium, high in B vitimins, a good source of vitimin E and high in minerals. Plus, when sweetened a bit to cut the bitterness, it has an irresistible flavour. (Those of you who are fans of halva know what I mean.)

Tahini brownies are among the best brownies I have ever tasted. Sweet tahini swirled into a thick chocolate brownie batter creates an outstanding flavour combination, an unexpected treat for the taste buds.

Gluten Free Chocolate Tahini Brownies Recipe: Fudgy brownies with a sweet tahini swirl.

A gluten-free treat.

In this gluten-free recipe, corn starch stands in for flour. And the combination of cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate contributes an intensely chocolate flavour.

 

Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit

Chocolate Tahini Brownies Recipe

Makes 16 brownies

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil
  • 4 Tbsp. tahini, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8×8″ baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk cornstarch and cocoa.
  3. In a medium pot, over low heat, melt the chocolate with the butter and 1 Tbsp. of the tahini. Stir until smooth and remove from heat.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar and brown sugar until doubled in volume.
  5. Beat in the salt and vanilla, then add the chocolate mixture.
  6. Beat in the cornstarch mixture and mix until thick and smooth.
  7. Scrape mixture into prepared pan and smooth the top.
  8. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 3 Tbsp. of tahini with the Tbsp. of molasses.
  9. Dollop all over the top of the brownies and using a toothpick or chop stick, draw the tahini mixture through the batter, making a design.
  10. Bake until  a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 20- 25 minutes.
  11. Cool before removing from pan.

Roasted Rhubarb Cornbread Cake for Breakfast or Dessert

Roasted rhubarb cornbread is wholesome and delicious. Can be made with apples too. Low sugar.

Roasted rhubarb cornbread cake, a lower-sugar, lower-fat cousin of the muffin.

When I was little, cornbread was one of my favourites. Mom called it Johnny Cake and would sometimes bake a pan to serve with supper. Because it’s a little sweeter than many dinner breads I always felt like I was eating a bit of dessert along with my soup or stew or whatever was served for our main meal.

That’s the beauty of cornbread. It can travel from breakfast to supper to dessert. Not too sweet, lower in fat than many quick breads, it feels like a treat even though it’s much healthier than most muffin recipes.

Roasted rhubarb cornbread is wholesome and delicious. Can be made with apples too. Low sugar.

One recipe, many variations.

This particular recipe was adapted from the 1932 edition of The Guide To Good Cooking, published by Five Roses Flour and edited by Jean Brodie, a popular food writer in Toronto. I have my grandmother’s copy of the cookbook. In the book, the basic recipe is for cornmeal muffins offers a slight adaptation for fruit-topped Johnny Cake.

I make my rhubarb cornbread with fine cornmeal, which is really more of a corn flour. From time to time I’ll use a medium grind, or I’ll do half-and-half.

Roasted rhubarb cornbread is wholesome and delicious. Can be made with apples too. Low sugar.

Try rhubarb cornbread with your favourite summer fruit.

As we roll through summer I plan on making this cornbread recipe with strawberries, raspberries, peaches and apples.

Let me know if you try any variations.

Roasted Rhubarb Cornbread

Serves 9

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal (fine or medium)
  • 2 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1/3 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup plus 3 Tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
  • ¾ cup cold milk
  • 1 egg white
  • 4-6 stalks of rhubarb

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line an 8″x 8″ pan with parchment paper or grease it well.*
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the washed rhubarb on top. Sprinkle over 2 Tbsp. of sugar and bake for 5-10 minutes, until the rhubarb is tender.
  3. Remove and let cool.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 375 F.
  5. In a medium bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  6. In a large bowl beat the butter and gradually add the sugar. Beat in the egg yolk then the molasses and honey or maple syrup.
  7. Mix in the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the milk (beginning and ending with the flour mixture.)
  8. Beat the egg white to stiff peaks and fold into the batter.
  9. Scrape into prepared pan and lay the soft rhubarb on top of the batter. Sprinkle over remaining Tbsp. of sugar.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and the top springs back when lightly touched. Serve warm or room temperature.

*This recipe can be baked as muffins (makes 12)

Nutritional info: Per generous piece. Calories: 194.5, Fat: 11.6 g, Saturated Fat: 7 g, Cholesterol: 50.7 mg, Sodium: 214.9 mg, Carbs: 21.9. Sugar: 17.4 g, Protein: 2 g, Fibre .5 g, Potassium: 176.4 mg, Vitamin A: 115 mg

 

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If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email..

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Healthy Zucchini Brownies a Two-Bite Treat

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Brownies, wholesome brownies, filled with zucchini, flax and chocolate chips.

Make a healthy version of an old-time favourite: Fudgy brownies, filled with zucchini, flax and whole wheat flour.

These are healthy compromise brownies. They’re sweet and fudgy but made healthier with zucchini, ground flax, whole wheat flour and much less sugar than your average brownie recipe. Molasses helps to make them taste more chocolaty and chocolate chips add nuggets of sweet and extra texture to each bite.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Brownies, wholesome brownies, filled with zucchini, flax and chocolate chips.

Lower in fat but still fudgy:

Baking with vegetables is a good way to add nutrition to your brownies, cookies and muffins, and vegetables help to keep baked goods moist. Zucchini is versatile because it is tender and doesn’t have a lot of flavour on its own. And if you like to count calories, you’ll find these zucchini brownies are filling at just 106 calories each.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Brownies, wholesome brownies, filled with zucchini, flax and chocolate chips.

Zucchini brownies are easy for kids to bake on their own:

Healthy zucchini brownies have become a school lunchbox treat for the final few weeks of school. With all of us tired of the school lunch routine (and school in general), easy treats like this create a nice diversion. They’re also easy for kids to bake on their own.

You’ll be tempted to bake them longer than 40 minutes. If you want fudgy brownies, stick to the 35-40 minute range. They’ll still be yummy if you bake them for 45 minutes, but they’ll be more cake-like.

This recipe is adapted from an earlier recipe for Zucchini Brownies posted on this website.

Heathy Zucchini Brownies

Makes 36 brownies

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup grapeseed oil or melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 5 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat or spelt flour
  • ¼ cup ground flax
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini, excess liquid squeezed out*
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp. chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Line a 9”x 9” pan with parchment paper or grease it well.
  2. Whisk together butter, sugar, vanilla and molasses. Add egg and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk flours, flax, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add this mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well.
  5. Fold in the zucchini and ½ a cup of the chocolate chips.
  6. Spread in prepared pan. Sprinkle over remaining 2 Tbsp. of chocolate chips and press them in a bit.
  7. Bake at 350 F for 35 to 40 minutes

*Grate the zucchini on the large-hole side of a box grater. A handful at a time, squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

 

Nutritional info: Per brownie (when made with butter). Calories: 106, Fat: 4 g, Saturated Fat: 2.4 g, Cholesterol: 12.4 mg, Carbs: 15.8 g, Sugar: 9.1 g, Sodium: 109 mg, Fibre: 1.4 g, Protein: 1.8 g, Potassium: 125 mg

 

 

13 Cake Recipes in a Free eBook

13 cake recipes in a free eBook

Our new Cake eBook offers a baker’s dozen of new favourite cake recipes in an easy-to-download eBook.

This new eBook is full of everyday favourites, the sort of recipes that you could whip up on a weeknight but that can also be dressed up for a weekend gathering. None is overly fancy but they’re all delicious in a wholesome sort of way.

The recipes in this eBook show that you don’t always need an occasion to bake a cake. In fact, just baking a cake can be an occasion in itself and an easy way to make an ordinary weeknight meal feel extra special.

From chocolate cake to gingerbread, carrot cake and pound cake, and more, there are enough cake recipes in our free eBook to suit each and every one of your dessert occasions.

13 Cake Recipes in a Free eBook

Chocolate Beet Cake

Low-Carb Chocolate Cake

Gingerbread for a Crowd

Orange Spice Gingerbread

Buttermilk Gingerbread

Oatmeal Brown Sugar Coffee Cake

Whole Orange Molasses Cake

Sweet Cornbread Cake

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

Doughnut-Glazed Molasses Pound Cake

Easy Pumpkin Cake

Healthier Carrot Cake

Upside-Down Apple Gingerbread

 

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10 Healthy Side Dishes for Summer

healthy side dishes for summer

Every great barbecue needs side dishes to go with it. Here are 10 healthy favourites.

Funny how I grew up thinking that the May long weekend was the start to summer. It’s funny, because I live in Southern New Brunswick where the average temperature in May is 16 degrees. Regardless of the weather, there was always the dare to get dunked in the river the Victoria Day weekend. But I also recall at least one May long weekend when there were snow flurries.

If you’re planning a barbecue, here are 10 healthy side dishes to go with what ever you plan to put on the grill.

10 Healthy Side Dishes for Summer

Quick Pickled Onions:

Quick pickled onions are mellow and tart with the fresh taste of lime juice and just a hint of savoury sweet from molasses.

sweet pickled onions 4

Molasses Roasted Onions

When cooked for a long time, onions develop a rich, savoury sweetness that complements meats, cheeses and anything spicy. The recipe calls for a little balsamic vinegar (or cider vinegar) which balances the sweet and gives the flavour a bright edge.

Oignons rôtis à la mélasse

Grilled Nectarine Salad

This salad is gorgeous, with a chipotle molasses dressing that has a great sweet-with-heat balance. The nectarines soften when they’re grilled and the sugars caramelize a bit, which makes them irresistible. Both the dressing and the nectarine flavours go beautifully with the fresh, creamy goat cheese that you nestle in beside the fruit.

Salade de nectarines grillées

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Eating this pretty salad will give your the delicious hint of summer that you’re craving.

strawberry-salad-1

Salad with Molasses Vinaigrette

This salad is sprinkled with peppered walnuts and dressed with a vinaigrette filled with fresh herbs.
black papper walnut salad with molasses vinaigrette

Marinated Tomato Salad

I grew up eating this marinated tomato salad at big family parties where the food was laid out on the dining room table and served buffet style. Nestled in among the plates of ham and potato salad this salad was stunningly beautiful and added a welcomed variety to the standard fare.

Tomatoes

Snow Peas & Red Pepper Salad

Leafy salads are great but sometimes it’s nice to have a salad with a bit more crunch and colour, which is just what this salad offers.

Snowpea-1

French Potato Salad (no mayonnaise)

The salad is also loaded with vegetables, so there is more flavour and texture than your regular potato salad. And the dressing isn’t mayonnaise-based so you don’t have the same hot weather storage worries.

French potato salad recipe is made without mayonaise. It's tossed with a mustard vinaigrette instead.

Marinated Broccoli Salad

This salad tastes especially good when it has had a chance to sit for a few hours to mellow the texture and flavour of the raw broccoli. What’s better, it can last in the fridge for a few days and maintains its crunch.

molasses marinated broccoli salad

Wild Rice & Barley Salad

The grains are tossed with an aromatic vinaigrette spiced with coriander, cumin, turmeric and cinnamon, then sprinkled with currants and toasted almonds. The salad is full of flavours and textures that are just right for fish and chicken dishes. But you could also add some cooked lentils and crumbled feta to make it more substantial.

wild rice and barley salad sm

Bonus recipe: My favourite…

Carrot Cabbage Slaw

Carrot cabbage slaw with tangy orange dressing

Every great barbecue needs healthy side dishes to round out the meal. This selection gives enough variety to keep everyone happy.

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Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Thick and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies are wholesome and satisfying.

Thick and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies are wholesome and satisfying.

When I was growing up we didn’t often get to bakeries. There was really no need since my mom baked all the time at home. When I headed off to university, home baking was hard to come by. There were often care parcels from home and to fill the gaps in between deliveries I searched out local bakeries that baked cookies that tasted homemade. And I didn’t just go for any sort of cookie.

Because I was buying food on my own dime I became a bit of an expert in cookie value. Chocolate chip cookies tended to be thin and not very filling but oatmeal raisin cookies, when made well, were thick, wholesome and satisfying. They we larger than the other cookies and would tide you over for the afternoon. That’s how my fondness for this sort of cookie grew — out of sheer practicality.

Thick and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies are wholesome and satisfying.

From there the humble oatmeal raisin cookie became a staple on camping trips. During a day of hiking or mountain biking, thick and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies provided energy and substance and if they got squashed in your backpack you could always press them into a ball without losing a crumb.

I have several oatmeal raisin cookie recipes that yield thin cookies, but it took a bit to come up with a recipe for the thick and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies I remembered from my university days. This recipe is slightly adapted from the blog Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Baking tips:

  • Chilling the dough is key to keeping the cookies thick while baking.
  • This recipe doubles well and the cookies freeze well.
  • To make these a bit more nutritious, add 1-2 Tbsp. of ground flax to the dough.

Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Makes about 18 cookies

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup + 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • ½ Tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 cup flour, spooned in
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats (not instant)
  • ½ cup raisins

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and light in colour. Beat in the egg then the vanilla and molasses.
  2. In another bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir into the creamed mixture.
  3. Add rolled oats and raisins and stir until well combined.
  4. Chill for 30 minutes to an hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Drop dough by heaping tablespoonful (or use a medium cookie scoop) onto prepared sheet, about two inches apart.
  7. Bake for 11-12 minutes, until edges are set but the middle still looks a little soft.
  8. Let cool on the pan for a bit before removing to a rack to cool.

 

 

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins a Wholesome Snack

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins: wholesome, quick and taste great smeared with peanut butter.

You can never have too many recipes for blueberry muffins.

I consider muffins the perfect snack food. They’re satisfying, not too sweet and can be filled with all sorts of healthy things. They suit breakfast, a mid morning snack, can be eaten with a slice of cheese at lunch or smeared with peanut butter for an after school snack.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins: wholesome, quick and taste great smeared with peanut butter.

This Whole wheat blueberry muffins recipe is and updated version of an old Crosby’s recipe. I simply swapped in some whole wheat flour and reduced the sugar. You can make these muffins a little richer by using whole milk, although I have always used 1% milk. I almost always make them with frozen blueberries too.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins: wholesome, quick and taste great smeared with peanut butter.

I love to bake muffins for my kids’ lunches but they really prefer to eat muffins as an after school snack, which is fine by me. When they storm into the house starving, these are an easy target. They’re wholesome, quick and taste great smeared with peanut butter.

As you’ll see, this recipe makes about 14 muffins. I use ramekins for the extra batter.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

Makes 14 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned in
  • 1 cup whole wheat or whole spelt flour, spooned in
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ¼ cup canola oil or melted butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups blueberries

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line muffin tins with papers. (Can use 2 ramekins for the extra batter)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together liquid ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl whisk dry ingredients.
  4. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients and stir gently 2-3 times.
  5. Add the berries and mix just until the flour is moistened. (Batter will be lumpy and will break into coarse globs.)
  6. Pour into muffin cups and fill to the top.
  7. Bake at once until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  8. Let muffins rest in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing them from the pan to finish cooling.

Lemon Ginger Scones for Spring Mornings

Lemon Ginger Scones: Flavoured with both powdered and candied ginger, and the zest of a lemon. Best enjoyed right out of the oven with a little butter and jam. Any leftovers can be toasted the next day.

No matter the weather, you can bring spring to your kitchen with the foods that you bake.

We awoke to snow this morning. It won’t last but that doesn’t change the wintery feeling it gives you, especially now that the crocus are up.

But spring can be a state of mind and brightly flavoured lemon ginger scones make me think of spring. They FEEL like spring. Flavoured with both powdered and candied ginger, and the zest of a lemon, they’re like a mouthful of sunshine on a weekend morning.

Lemon Ginger Scones: Flavoured with both powdered and candied ginger, and the zest of a lemon. Best enjoyed right out of the oven with a little butter and jam. Any leftovers can be toasted the next day.

Lemon ginger scones are best enjoyed right out of the oven with a little butter and jam. Any leftovers can be toasted the next day.

This is a sweet scone, lovely on its own with a cup of tea. Feel free to increase the amount of candied ginger to ¾ of a cup. The sugar can be reduced to 2 Tbsp.

This is a very slight adaptation of a recipe for Derby Scones from an old cookbook of my mom’s. (It’s the same cookbook with the Oven-Baked Ribs and Gluten-Free Oatmeal Flax Bars.)

Lemon Ginger Scones

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • ½ cup cold butter
  • ½ cup chopped candied ginger
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  •  2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 cup milk soured with 1 tsp. of lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F
  2. In a large bowl whisk the flours, salt, baking soda, sugar, cream of tartar and ginger. Cut in the butter until it’s pea-sized. Stir in the candied ginger.
  3. In a small bowl whisk the egg with the molasses and milk.
  4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid mixture. Stir with a fork until almost combined.
  5. Scrape onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead a few times until the dough comes together.
  6. Gently roll ½ “ thick and cut into rounds or pat into a circle and cut into wedges.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.

Peanut Butter Easter Eggs a Wholesome Homemade Treat

These easy peanut butter Easter eggs are a natural version of the popular Easter treat. Made with just four ingredients (natural peanut butter, molasses, coconut flour and good, dark chocolate).

These easy peanut butter Easter eggs are a natural version of the popular Easter treat. Made with just four ingredients (natural peanut butter, molasses, coconut flour and good, dark chocolate).

I love when Easter arrives a little later in April.  While the weather can be unpredictable, this year I know my kids won’t be climbing snowbanks in their pajamas for the great Easter egg hunt.

And for the first time ever, they’ll be hunting for homemade peanut butter eggs.

These easy peanut butter Easter eggs are a natural version of the popular Easter treat. Made with just four ingredients (natural peanut butter, molasses, coconut flour and good, dark chocolate).

Peanut Butter Easter Eggs are a wholesome homemade treat.

There will be store bought candy too but I like the idea that something healthy and homemade is still considered a treat.

I have made this recipe with both peanut butter and almond butter. Both were tasty but my kids preferred the peanut butter version. They devoured them all, although my daughter is still requesting a milk chocolate covered version.

These easy peanut butter Easter eggs are a natural version of the popular Easter treat. Made with just four ingredients (natural peanut butter, molasses, coconut flour and good, dark chocolate).

This recipe is slightly adapted from Ambitious Kitchen. The original recipe called for the eggs to be tablespoon sized but my kids found that to be too much of a mouthful of peanut butter.

Peanut Butter Easter Eggs

Makes about 20 eggs

  • 2/3 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1-2 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 150 g dark chocolate*
  • Sprinkles (optional)
  1. In a medium bowl blend the peanut butter, molasses and coconut flour to create a dough. It should be stiff enough that you can gather it into a ball with your hands.
  2. Using a half tablespoon measure, scoop the dough into the spoon and press it firmly until the edge is flat.  Nudge it out with your thumb, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and press one side to create an egg shape.
  3. Set in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  4. While the eggs are chilling, melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
  5. Working quickly, drop one egg at a time into the chocolate. Lift it out with a fork, flat side down, and place back on the cold baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle with decorations. (The chocolate will set quickly.)
  6. Store in the fridge or a cool place.

*You won’t use all of the chocolate but you’ll need the melted chocolate to be deep enough to dip.

Nutritional info:

Per egg. Calories: 87, Fat: 6.4 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: .2 mg, Carbs: 5.6 g, Sugar: 2.2 g, Sodium: 1.9 mg, Fibre: 1.7 g, Protein: 2.6 g

Healthier Carrot Cake Recipe for a Crowd

Healthier Carrot Cake for a Crowd is a classic carrot cake recipe that’s lower in fat than the original with less in sugar. Made in a 9"x13" pan. Extra easy.

This healthier carrot cake is a classic carrot cake recipe that’s lower in fat than the original and reduced in sugar too.

Apparently National Carrot Cake Day is in February but I think of carrot cake as a spring dessert, the kind of no-fail recipe you make around Easter. Dressed up with luscious cream cheese frosting it feels a little festive, although it really is a humble cake that is simple to make.

Healthier Carrot Cake for a Crowd is a classic carrot cake recipe that’s lower in fat than the original with less in sugar. Made in a 9"x13" pan. Extra easy.

Healthier Carrot Cake is a moist cake, made with less oil than most carrot cakes so isn’t greasy. Plus it doesn’t have pineapple in it so the crumb never feels wet. And it has just the right amount of cream cheese icing.

It’s an old Crosby’s recipe that I adapted slightly — reducing the sugar a bit and baking it in a 9”x13” pan instead of as a layer cake. And I cut the frosting recipe in half, which gives just the right amount to spread a swirling layer over the top of the cake.

Healthier Carrot Cake for a Crowd is a classic carrot cake recipe that’s lower in fat than the original with less in sugar. Made in a 9"x13" pan. Extra easy.

This is the perfect cake for an Easter crowd. It stays moist so you can make it a few days ahead and frost it on the day you plan to serve it. (You can make the frosting ahead too and leave it in the fridge until you’re ready.) Even better, a 9”x 13” cake is easy to serve and the cake can be cut into as many as 20 pieces.

Healthier carrot cake recipe

If you want to go even lower in fat try our recipe for Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Icing. Or, make our Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies.

Healthier Carrot Cake for a Crowd

Serves 15-20

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour (can use half whole wheat)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 cups packed grated carrots (about 4 large carrots)

Icing

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 2- 2 ½ cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Line a 9”x13” pan with parchment paper
  3. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  4. In a large bowl whisk the oil with the molasses and sugar. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then vanilla.
  5. Stir dry ingredients into egg mixture.
  6. Fold in carrots and walnut and mix until combined.
  7. Scrape into prepared pan and spread evenly.
  8. Bake 50-55 minutes until a tester comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached.
  9. Let cool completely before icing.

Icing:

  1. Beat together cream cheese and butter. Beat in the sugar until you reach desired stiffness. Mix in vanilla.
  2. Spread on cool cake.

 

Calorie count based on the cake being cut into 18 pieces. Nutritional count includes frosting.

Nutritional info: Per slice. Calories: 341, Fat: 17.6 g, Saturated Fat: 4.2g, Cholesterol: 56.8 mg, Carbs: 42.8 g, Sugar: 30.8 g, Sodium: 240.4 mg, Fibre: 1.5 g, Protein: 4.3 g, Potassium: 184 mg, Calcium: 35.6 g

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Korean Turkey Meatballs with Noodles

Korean turkey meatballs are highly seasoned with fresh ginger, garlic, sesame oil and a little molasses. Once cooked they're tossed with simply spiced noodles that are seasoned with gochujang.

Flavourful Korean Turkey Meatballs are seasoned with fresh ginger, garlic, pepper, sesame oil and a little molasses.

Sometimes my kids whine about supper. (Okay, often.) May be it’s a phase? They’re tired of chicken, say they don’t like turkey meatballs, don’t want to eat fish again….What I have come to discover as they get further into their teens is that more and more they love highly seasoned foods.

My kids clean their plates when I serve these tasty Korean turkey meatballs.

They love garlic and ginger and spices, loads of spices. The more I prepare ethnic foods the less they complain. Needless to say, my cupboard has been filling up with different spicy condiments, including the Korean paste-like sauce, gochujang.

Korean turkey meatballs are highly seasoned with fresh ginger, garlic, sesame oil and a little molasses. Once cooked they're tossed with simply spiced noodles that are seasoned with gochujang.

Korean turkey meatballs are highly seasoned with fresh ginger, garlic, sesame oil and a little molasses. Once cooked they’re tossed with simply spiced noodles that are seasoned with gochujang. Serve this dish with raw or lightly sauteed peppers for a bright and flavourful meal.

Korean turkey meatballs are highly seasoned with fresh ginger, garlic, sesame oil and a little molasses. Once cooked they're tossed with simply spiced noodles that are seasoned with gochujang.

This recipe is slightly adapted from New York Times Cooking.

Korean Turkey Meatballs with Noodles

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. rice or cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup chopped peeled pear or apple
  • ¼ cup minced onion
  • ½-1 Tbsp. grated ginger
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce or tamari (GF)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ⅓ cup dry bread crumbs or panko (can omit for gluten-free version)
  • 6 ounces udon, soba or linguine noodles* (GF if necessary)
  • 1 Tbsp. grape seed oil
  • 2 Tbsp. gochujang, or 2 Tbsp. ketchup seasoned with 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • 3 scallions, cut on diagonal

*Can serve meatballs with rice instead

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Place turkey in a bowl.
  3. Combine molasses, pepper, sesame oil, vinegar, pear, onion, ginger, soy sauce and two cloves of the garlic in a food processor and whirl until well minced. Scrape out of the processor and onto the turkey and stir to combine. Mix in the egg and bread crumbs. Form into 1 ½” balls and place on prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until done. (Careful not to overcook.)
  5. While the meatballs are baking, cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water before draining.
  6. When meatballs are done, warm a saute pan over medium heat. Swirl in oil and add the remaining clove of garlic. Cook for 30 seconds then whisk in the gochujang or ketchup-hot sauce mixture and ¾ of the reserved pasta water. Simmer until it starts to thicken then add noodles. Toss to coat then add meatballs. (Add remaining pasta water if necessary.)
  7. Sprinkle over the scallions and serve.

 

20 Healthy Muffin Recipes in a Free eBook

20 healthy muffin recipes in a free eBook

Healthy muffin recipes – the ideal snack food.

This is what I love about muffins: they’re a bit of a sweet treat but you can stuff them full of all sorts of healthy ingredients.

And when you bake muffins from scratch, you get to decide how healthy you want them to be. You can include whole grain flour, dried fruit, ground flax or wheat germ. You can use butter or a healthier oil, and toss in some nuts or seeds. You can add pureed or grated fruit or vegetables. (And I often throw in a handful of chocolate chips too, as an extra treat for my kids.)20 muffin recipes in a free eBook

The options for wholesome muffins are endless, as you’ll see in this collection of 20 healthy muffin recipes. Here you’ll find recipes for classic bran muffins, banana muffins, four different kinds of blueberry muffins and more. A bit of the nutritious with the delicious.

Download your Muffin eBook here:

20 Healthy Muffin Recipes in a free eBook

 

Baking tip – How to make light-textured muffins:

Everyone has their favourite way to mix up a batch of muffins. The following are a few things I have learned over the years to keep my muffins light textured.

  • Mix the batter gently and always by hand, using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  • When you add the wet ingredients to dry, mix just until barely combined. A few streaks of flour or some lumps in the batter are fine.
  • Bake your muffins as soon as the batter is combined so the leavening agent can do its work in the oven.

One more thing…

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Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Chocolate chip banana bread is a wholesome snack. Made with whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt and with the sugar reduced by almost 1/3 from the original recipe, it's a not-too-sweet treat that's perfect for lunch boxes or an afternoon snack.

Chocolate chip banana bread is a wholesome snack. Made with whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt and with the sugar reduced by almost 1/3 from the original recipe, it’s a not-too-sweet treat that’s perfect for lunch boxes or an afternoon snack. 

For my family the first week back from March Break is also the first week adjusting to the time change – a double whammy that has us all struggling through the early mornings. But when late afternoon arrives and it’s still bright and sunny, and daylight persists through dinnertime, it all feels worthwhile.

It’s a season for new lunchbox and after school snacks for my kids. Although winter isn’t quite over (hello province-wide blizzard warning for tomorrow) we’re all in the mood for snacks that feel less wintery, like this chocolate chip banana bread.

Chocolate chip banana bread is a wholesome snack. Made with whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt and with the sugar reduced by almost 1/3 from the original recipe, it's a not-too-sweet treat that's perfect for lunch boxes or an afternoon snack.

It’s a wholesome classic that hits the spot when you need a little nibble. Try it toasted with breakfast too.

Tip: If you’re using a frozen banana, thaw completely and whisk with a fork to incorporate the liquid. (This recipe made with frozen banana will take a little longer to cook.)

Eat within two days if you’re baking the bread with banana slices on top.

This recipe is adapted from Ricardo Cuisine.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup ripe banana, mashed with a fork (about 1 banana)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all­-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour or spelt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup grape seed or canola oil
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 banana, split into three sections, squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkling of white sugar (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a large loaf pan (9″ x 5″) with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the banana and sour cream. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the egg with the brown sugar, vanilla and molasses until the sugar is fully incorporated (no longer gritty).  Whisk in the oil. Stir in the dry ingredients, alternating with the mashed bananas, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
  5. If topping with banana: split the banana down the middle lengthwise, separating it into three sections. Sprinkle 1-2 sections with lemon juice then sugar. Place on top of the batter. Press into the batter slightly.
  6. Bake for 45 to 55 min.

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Low Sugar Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Low sugar oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are a wholesome and hearty lunchbox treat. They're filling, relatively low calorie and low in sugar, a good source of fibre and full of healthy stuff. The recipe contains no artificial sugar.

Low sugar oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are a wholesome and hearty lunchbox treat. They’re filling, relatively low calorie and low in sugar, a good source of fibre and full of healthy stuff. The recipe contains no artificial sugar.

March is school break month and while many families fly off to warm destinations for the week-long holiday, it’s still one of the best times for an old fashioned family road trip.

I grew up heading off to Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine for my March break. We’d pile in the car that was stuffed to the rafters with ski equipment and winter gear and drive six hours to the hill, singing all the way.

In fact, when I was growing up every road trip involved singing songs we all learned at Camp Genburn. Singing helped pass the time and kept us all distracted enough that we didn’t squabble during the long drive.

Low sugar oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are a wholesome and hearty lunchbox treat. They're filling, relatively low calorie and low in sugar, a good source of fibre and full of healthy stuff. The recipe contains no artificial sugar.

The in-car picnic lunch also helped to pass the time. (It also helped save time and money since we only had to stop for bathroom breaks between home and the hill.) In my experience, good food is one of the essentials of a successful (and memorable) road trip with a car full of kids. A healthy lunch and wholesome snacks go a long way in preventing meltdowns, in both kids and adults.

Lots of cookies and snacks are high in sugar or aren’t aren’t filling so they don’t hit the spot. Pairing these low sugar oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with a piece of fruit makes a great snack combo that will tide you over until mealtime.

If you’re planning a March Break road trip, these low sugar oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are a wholesome and hearty lunchbox treat. They have just enough chocolate chips to keep everyone in the back seat content. They’re lower in sugar and fat than most cookies, are a good source of fibre and are filled with healthy stuff.

Low Sugar Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 2 1/2 dozen

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar (can reduce to 6 Tbsp.)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax
  • 2 Tbsp. raw millet or sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats (not instant!)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar until light textured. Add egg then molasses and vanilla.
  2. Sprinkle over the flour, flax, millet (or sunflower seeds), baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine.
  3. Stir in rolled oats then chocolate chips, dried cranberries, coconut and pumpkin seeds.
  4. Drop by spoonful onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Press the tops lightly with the bottom of a glass
  5. Bake at 350 F for 12-14 minutes

 

 Nutritional info:

Per cookie. Calories: 162, Fat: 9.6 g, Saturated Fat: 4.7 g, Cholesterol: 16 mg, Carbs: 17.6 g, Sugar: 9.3 g, Sodium: 62 mg, Fibre: 2 g, Protein: 3.5 g, Potassium: 125 mg, Calcium: 17.5 g

Low Fat Chia Bran Muffins | An Old Classic Made Extra Healthy

Chia Bran Muffins are a light-textured classic made better (in a healthy sort of way) with the addition of chia.

Chia Bran Muffins are a light-textured classic made better (in a healthy sort of way) with the addition of chia. 

I’m very good at buying super healthy foods. But then they often sit in my cupboard, or at the back of the fridge, out of sight and out of mind.

I have a package of chia that has been in my cupboard for ages. I stir a spoonful into my porridge from time to time but that’s about it.  I never did get into chia pudding (I’m not wild about the texture) so my progress through the package has been slow.

That’s why this recipe for chia bran muffins caught my eye.

Chia Bran Muffins are a light-textured classic made better (in a healthy sort of way) with the addition of chia.

It’s a classic bran muffin recipe. Made with natural bran and buttermilk so the muffins have a lovely light texture. The recipe gets extra nutrition from a few tablespoons of chia seeds. These muffins are low in fat and have no refined sugar.

It goes to show that making our favourite foods a little more healthy is easier than you think.

The recipe is slightly adapted from New York Times Food.

Chia Bran Muffins

Makes 18 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 ¾ cups boiling water
  • 1 ½ cups natural bran (also called baker’s bran)
  • 3 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup canola or grape seed oil
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Place the raisins in a medium bowl and pour over the boiling water. Let sit 5 minutes, then stir in the bran and the chia. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl, beat the eggs, oil and molasses. Whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla. Stir in the raisin and bran mixture and combine well.
  4. Fold in the flour mixture and combine well. (Batter can be refrigerated overnight).
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Prepare muffin pans.
  6. Fill muffin cups and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the muffin tops feel firm to the touch and are puffed and browned.
  7. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Nutritional info: Per muffin. Calories: 165.6, Fat: 5.8 g, Saturated Fat: .7g, Cholesterol: 22.2 mg, Carbs: 25.3 g, Sugar: 7.5 g, Sodium: 202.7 mg, Fibre: 4 g, Protein: 4.8 g, Potassium: 308.2 mg, Calcium: 83.5 g

 

 

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bites

 

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bites: A wholesome, sweet treat filled with chia, flax, hemp and more.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bites: A wholesome, sweet treat filled with chia, flax, hemp and more.

Sometimes you need a sweet treat that feels wholesome. After nibbling through chocolates and ice cream on Valentine’s Day, the craving for sweets doesn’t disappear and if anything, it gets a little stronger, especially with my kids. That’s why it’s good to have sweet snacks on hand that are healthy and satisfying, like these Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bites. They hit the spot, are filling and full of good stuff. And I almost forgot – they’re gluten-free too.

My daughter, who often makes a conscious effort to complain about healthy food, devoured each and every peanut butter energy bite that I rolled in coconut. I preferred the bites rolled in cocoa powder and almond flour.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bites: A wholesome, sweet treat filled with chia, flax, hemp and more.

This recipe lends itself to endless variations. You could use different nut or seed butters and change up the quantities of chia, flax meal and hemp, all depending on what you have in the cupboard. Another option is to swap the honey for maple syrup if you’d like a brighter sweet flavour.

To make these school friendly, substitute sunflower seed butter for the peanut butter.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bites will last for a week in the fridge.

This recipe is slightly adapted from the blog Family Bites.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bites

Makes 18 balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. hemp seeds
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Shredded coconut, almond flour or cocoa powder for rolling (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor, pulsing until they come together. Scrape into a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Using a tablespoon measure, scoop the mixture and shape it into balls. Roll in your preferred coating or leave plain.
  3. Place them on the prepared baking sheet and chill for 30 minutes before serving.

Nutritional info*:

Per ball: Calories: 88.4, Fat: 4.8 g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Carbs: 10 g, Sugar: 4.8 g, Sodium: 2.3 mg, Fibre: 1.5 g, Protein: 2.6 g, Potassium: 110 mg, Calcium: 16.7 g

*This nutritional analysis is incomplete. It does not include nutritional impact of hemp seeds or any coating, if used.