Tag Archives: raisins

No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Do you love cookies as much as I do? There’s nothing wrong with treats as part of a balanced diet. However, if you want to eat cookies more often, you should get more than calories, sugar, and fat in the bargain.  No-bake oatmeal raisin cookies can help you do that!

Better-for-you cookies

My idea of a delicious cookie recipe is a no-bake combination of oats, peanut butter, raisins, and pure vanilla extract. These cookies are ready in less than 10 minutes and one batch is enough to last the week.

No-bake oatmeal raisin cookies are vegan and gluten-free (especially if you use gluten-free oats). In addition, you can prepare them with no added sugar, if desired.

Can you eat cookies for breakfast?

We usually think of cookies as dessert, but they work for the morning meal, too! You eat breakfast for dinner, so why not?

Don’t like cereal, eggs, or yogurt for breakfast, or you don’t have time to eat these nutritious foods?  One no-bake oatmeal raisin cookie paired with milk or a carton of yogurt and a piece of fruit is a nutritious morning meal.

No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Breakfast Cookies

Makes 10 cookies.

2 cups raisins

1 cup chunky or creamy peanut butter (use natural peanut butter for no added sugar)

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups quick oats, toasted*

Place raisins, peanut butter, and vanilla extract in food processor. Blend on HIGH until well combined, about 45 seconds.  The mixture will resemble a paste. Place the raisin mixture in a medium bowl. Add oatmeal and combine well, using your hands, if necessary.  Form into 10 cookies or balls. Store in airtight container.

*Toasting oatmeal makes it taste even better in no-bake recipes. (You can skip this step if want.) To toast oats, preheat oven to 350˚F. Spread the oats evenly on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before using.

Per serving: 292 calories; 8 grams protein; 39 grams carbohydrate; 5 grams fiber; 14 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat); 0 milligrams cholesterol; 164 milligrams sodium; 60 milligrams calcium.

Better-for-You Chocolate Holiday Treats

I love combining chocolate with dried fruit, or nuts, or both! My friends and family seem to like the idea, too.  They’re always so appreciative when I present them with these super simple, better-for-you treats, which make great holiday gifts.

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How to make healthier holiday treats

There’s no formal recipe for my healthier holiday treats. For each batch, melt 10 ounces of dark chocolate (I use dark chocolate chips)  in a double boiler. You can also melt the chocolate in the microwave. Use a large glass bowl to make room for other ingredients.

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When the chocolate has melted, add 2 cups whole or chopped nuts, dried fruit, shredded coconut, or a combination directly to the double boiler, mix thoroughly, and drop by large tablespoons onto waxed paper.

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Top with festive sprinkles, if desired!

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My latest obsession is macadamia nuts, dried cranberries, and white chocolate. Yum!

www.betteristhenewperfect.com

I prepare several batches of treats with a variety of ingredients.

www.betteristhenewperfect.com

When I need to be mindful of nut allergy, I make the dried fruit treats first and package them up so that they don’t come into contact with nuts. These are a raisin and coconut combo:

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Dip the apricots halfway in the melted chocolate.

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Allow the treats to set for about 2 to 3 hours before packaging.

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Would it be better to forgo the chocolate and eat plain nuts and dried fruit? Yes, that would be perfect, but not nearly as much fun.  I think my friends and family would be disappointed, and so would I!

Happy holidays!

 

No Added Sugar Banana Raisin Oatmeal Muffin Cups

I love muffins, but I avoid the huge, high-calorie coffee shop and supermarket versions filled because they are filled with refined carbohydrates and not much else in the way of nutrition. I bake a batch of these simple, no-added sugar banana raisin oatmeal muffin cups on the weekend to have for breakfast and snacks all week long. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

No Added Sugar Banana Raisin Oatmeal Cups
No Added Sugar Banana Raisin Oatmeal Cups get their sweetness from fruit.

Why no added sugar banana raisin oatmeal muffin cups are better for you

Why are these “muffins” better than most?

For starters, bananas and raisins supply natural sweetness, as well as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. In addition to having no added sugar, these muffin cups use oatmeal, so they are completely whole-grain.

Walnuts add crunch, heart-healthy fat, fiber, and protein, too. And, as long as you use gluten-free oatmeal, these muffin cups won’t have any gluten.

No Added Sugar Banana Raisin Oatmeal Muffin Cups

Ripe bananas and raisins provide the sweetness in these delicious, moist, and gluten-free muffin cups! 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time18 mins
5 mins
Total Time28 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bananarecipe, glutenfree, muffins, no added sugar, wholegrain
Servings: 16
Calories: 145kcal
Author: ewardrd

Ingredients

  • 3 cups oats, uncooked
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350˚F. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. (I find this works better than lining the pan with paper liners because the muffins tend to stick to the paper.)
    In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Set aside.
    In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the mashed bananas, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract until well combined. Whisk in the milk.
    Pour the banana mixture into the oats mixture. Add the raisins. Stir well to combine. The batter has a lot of liquid in it, so it will be soupy.
    Fill the muffin cups nearly to the top with batter (a scant 1/4-cup full).
    Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until set. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack for 5 minutes, with the muffins still in the pan. Remove the muffins from the pan and allow them to cool on the wire rack. 
    Place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

Per serving (without walnuts): Calories: 145, Carbohydrate: 21 grams, Fiber: 2 grams, Protein: 4 grams, Fat: 6 grams, Saturated fat: 1 gram, Cholesterol: 28 milligrams, Sodium: 157 milligrams, Calcium: 80 milligrams.

    No Added Sugar Banana Raisin Oatmeal Cups
    No Added Sugar Banana Raisin Oatmeal Cups are better for you than store-bought muffins.
    These moist, delicious whole grain muffins sweetened only with ripe bananas and raisins are also gluten-free! Better Is the New Perfect

    No Added Sugar Fruit and Nut Bread

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    No Added Sugar Fruit and Nut Bread 

    Baking without sugar and gluten

    I love to bake, but the last thing I need is more sugar in my life. Sugary foods are my downfall, especially muffins, quick breads, and other baked goods that are often as sweet as cake! This no-added sugar fruit and nut bread satisfies my sweet tooth. What’s more, it’s perfect for nutritious meals and snacks, especially if you’re following a no added sugar diet.

    Baking with ripe bananas is a great way to cut down on added sugar without sacrificing great taste. I use raisins to provide even more natural sweetness so there’s no need for sugar, honey, or other sweeteners. And, almonds and walnuts supply protein, heart-healthy fat, fiber, and some serious crunch!

    Why carbohydrates are important

    I don’t have a problem with gluten, but I know others may. I use oat flour, which is really easy to make at home, instead of wheat flour in this recipe. As a result, this moist and delicious gluten-free bread is packed with whole grain goodness.

    The beauty of this bread is that it’s flexible. You can mix and match the types of nuts and dried fruits you use in any combination. And, you can make 12 muffins out of the batter instead of a single loaf of bread.

    There are so many ways to enjoy a slice of this tasty quick bread. For instance, top a slice with peanut butter, almond butter, or cottage cheese. Pair a slice with an egg or two or a carton of Greek yogurt for a quick meal or snack. Add a piece of fruit for a balanced meal or snack.

    I hope you enjoy this bread as much as we do in our house!

    No Added Sugar Fruit and Nut Bread

    This gluten-free quick bread gets its sweetness from ripe bananas and dried fruit – no added sugar required! 
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time30 mins
    Resting Time15 mins
    Total Time45 mins
    Course: Breakfast, Snack
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: banana, glutenfree, no added sugar, quickbread
    Servings: 12 servings
    Calories: 253kcal
    Author: ewardrd

    Ingredients

    • 2 medium ripe bananas
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/4 cup canola oil
    • 2 cups oat flour*
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 3/4 cup chopped almonds
    • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
    • 3/4 cup unsweetened dried apricots, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
    • 3/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries**

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 350˚F. 
      Coat a 1 ½-quart loaf pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
      In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas until no longer chunky. Using a whisk, add the eggs and canola oil and combine well. Add the oat flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine.
      Add almonds, walnuts, apricots, and raisins, and blend well.
      Pour the batter into the loaf pan and spread it evenly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
      Cool for 15-20 minutes out of the pan before cutting.
      * To make oat flour, place 2 cups of gluten-free one-minute or old fashioned oats in a food processor and process on high speed until oats achieve a powder-like consistency, about 1 minute.
      ** Most dried sweetened cranberries have some added sugar.

    Calories: 253, Total fat: 14 grams, Saturated fat: 1 gram, Cholesterol: 35 milligrams, Sodium: 135 milligrams, Carbohydrate: 29 grams, Dietary fiber: 4 grams, Protein: 6 grams, Calcium: 64 milligrams, Iron: 2 milligrams


      Healthier Holiday Chocolate Fruit and Nut Treats

      With so much mindless eating going on this month, it’s especially important to think about making better food choices, including holiday splurges.  My recipe for healthier goodies – dried fruits and nuts coated in chocolate – is a big hit with family and friends who get the homemade treats as gifts.

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      Dried fruits, such as apricots and raisins, provide natural sweetness as well as nutrients that help to keep you healthy.  Nuts, including peanuts, which are technically a legume, pack heart-healthy fat, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, beneficial plant compounds.  Recent studies have found that whole roasted almonds have 25% fewer calories than what is listed on food labels, while walnuts supply 21% fewer calories.

      Try these better-for-you chocolate treats and let me know what you think!

       

      Better-for-You Chocolate Holiday Treats

      I eat dark chocolate nearly every day, and especially during the holidays. Combining chocolate with fruit and nuts satisfies my cravings and improves nutrition. My friends and family seem to like the pairings, too.  They’re always so appreciative when I make these super simple, better-for-you treats as holiday gifts and for when I entertain.

      fullsizeoutput_1e2c

      How to make healthier holiday treats

      There’s no formal recipe for my healthier holiday treats. For each batch, melt 10 ounces of dark chocolate (I use dark chocolate chips)  in a double boiler. You can also melt the chocolate in the microwave. Use a large glass bowl to make room for the other ingredients.dsc_0460

      When the chocolate has melted, add 2 cups whole or chopped nuts, dried fruit, shredded coconut, or a combination directly to the double boiler, mix thoroughly, and drop by large tablespoons onto waxed paper.

      DSC_0102-2

      Top with festive sprinkles, if desired! fullsizeoutput_a79

      My latest obsession is macadamia nuts, dried cranberries, and white chocolate. Yum!

      fullsizeoutput_1e21

      I prepare several batches of treats with a variety of ingredients.dsc_0050

      When I need to be mindful of nut allergy, I make the dried fruit treats first and package them up so that they don’t come into contact with nuts. These are a raisin and coconut combo:

      DSC_0048-2

      For the apricots or other whole fruit, dip them into the chocolate half way.

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      Allow the treats to set for about 2 to 3 hours before packaging.

      fullsizeoutput_a77

      Would it be better to forgo the chocolate and eat plain nuts and dried fruit? Yes, that would be perfect, but not nearly as much fun.  And I think my friends and family would be disappointed!

      Happy holidays!

       

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