Tag Archives: raisins

No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (no added sugar, gluten-free, vegan)

No-bake no added sugar gluten-free vegan oatmeal raisin cookies on cutting board.

No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (No added sugar)

There’s nothing wrong with cookies as part of a balanced eating plan, but you should get more than calories, added sugar, and unhealthy fats when you eat them.  With 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber, No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, which have no added sugar, are vegan, and happen to be gluten-free, are a better way to satisfy your sweet tooth! 

Why You Should Make No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

My idea of a delicious cookie recipe is combination of oats, peanut butter, raisins, and pure vanilla extract.  Raisins make these cookies naturally sweet, and they need no added sugar. In addition, these cookies vegan and gluten-free when you use gluten-free oats.  


No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are also 100% whole grain and help to satisfy the suggestion from nutrition experts to eat at least three servings of whole grains daily.  


I love the ease of making these cookies. They are ready to eat in about 5 minutes, and one batch is often enough to last the week.  That’s important for busy people who can’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing healthy foods, but want to improve their eating habits. 

 

uncooked oatmeal oats

Oatmeal is a whole grain that adds fiber and other nutrients.

creamy peanut butter on a spoon

Peanut butter is packed with healthy fat and helps hold these no-bake cookies together.

plain raisins on a white background

Raisins are sweet, but they contain no added sugar!

Healthy Breakfast Cookies for Kids 

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


Cookies for breakfast are a big hit with kids, and they will love having them as snacks or desserts, too!


If you don’t like cereal, eggs, or other traditional “morning foods” for breakfast, or you don’t have time to eat before leaving the house, these cookies are for you. One No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Cookie paired with milk, fortified unsweetened soy beverage, or a carton of yogurt and a piece of fruit makes a balanced morning meal.

5 no-bake oatmeal raisin cookies on parchment paper

No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are OK to eat any time of day!

 

No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (no added sugar, gluten-free, vegan)

These cookies are ready in minutes, require no cooking, and are delicious for breakfast or snacks!
Prep Time5 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cookies, glutenfree, no added sugar, peanutbutter, raisins
Servings: 10
Calories: 292kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups California raisins
  • 1 cup peanut butter, no sugar added
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups uncooked oats, toasted*

Instructions

  • 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.

How to Toast Oats

  • 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. You can save time by skipping this step.

Notes

Per serving (1 cookie): 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.

 

No-bake oatmeal raisin cookies pinterest graphic

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, healthier and better-for-you chocolate holiday treats, which make great gifts.

bags of holiday candy wrapped with ribbon

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.

chocolate chips, almonds, raisins, dried apricots

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.

double boiler filled with melted chocolate, whole almonds, coconut

Top with festive sprinkles, if desired!

chocolate nut clusters

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

white chocolate, macadamia cranberry clusters

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

cross section of chocolate almond cluster

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:

chocolate covered raisin clusters topped with coconut

Dip the apricots halfway in the melted chocolate.

bowl of melted chocolate with hand dipping in a dried apricot

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

chocolate covered dried apricots

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

No added sugar banana raisin oatmeal muffin cups

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

No added sugar banana raisin oatmeal muffin cups are healthy

Why are these muffins a better choice than most others?

For some reason, muffins have a health halo. People often think muffins are a healthy choice, but most are loaded with ingredients you just don’t need, such as added sugar and fat. Both contribute calories that you probably want to avoid. 

Consider this comparison. At about 380 calories, a bakery blueberry muffin has more than 100 calories than a chocolate frosted donut sold at a national chain coffee shop.  The blueberry muffin contains 38 grams of added sugar (about 9 teaspoons) while the donut has about 13 grams of added sugar (about 3 teaspoons)! 

This recipe has no added sugar, and doesn’t need any. Bananas and raisins supply natural sweetness, as well as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. My muffins are made with oatmeal and no refined flour, which means they are 100% whole grain. That’s also different from many commercial muffins which contain only refined white flour. 

Walnuts add crunch, heart-healthy fat, fiber, and protein, too. You could leave out the walnuts if you or anyone in your household has a tree nut allergy, but don’t eliminate them for the calories. Each one of these muffins has just 149 calories, a far cry from commercial types. 


Use gluten-free oatmeal to be sure these muffin cups don’t contain gluten.


Why I choose dairy milk 

The recipe for No Added Sugar Banana Raisin Oatmeal Muffin Cups calls for dairy milk, and that is one of the reasons why the protein content is relatively high. Muffins are not known for their protein, but each one of these supplies 4 grams, which is remarkable considering their smaller size. In addition, each muffin provides 80 milligrams of calcium, almost as much as one-third glass of milk. 

no added sugar banana raisin oatmeal cup batter in muffin pan

Use a 1/4-cup measuring cup to fill each muffin cup.

If you’d like to replace the milk with a non-dairy alternative, I recommend unsweetened soy beverage. The protein, and calcium, content are comparable. Almond milk and other plant milks tend to be lower in protein, and may not contain added calcium and other nutrients, such as vitamin D. 

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 minutes
Cook Time18 minutes
5 minutes
Total Time28 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bananarecipe, glutenfree, muffins, no added sugar, wholegrain
Servings: 18
Calories: 149kcal
Author: ewardrd

Ingredients

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

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. 
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Notes

Per serving: Calories: 149, Carbohydrate: 21 grams, Fiber: 2 grams, Protein: 4 grams, Fat: 6 grams, Saturated fat: 1 gram, Cholesterol: 23 milligrams, Sodium: 142 milligrams, Calcium: 81 milligrams.

 

No added sugar banana raisin oatmeal cups

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Added Sugar Fruit and Nut Bread (gluten-free)

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!

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


Click on this link to find out why carbohydrates are important

 

How to Make Healthy No Added Sugar Fruit and Nut Bread 

The beauty of this healthy bread recipe is that it’s flexible. You can mix and match the types of nuts and dried fruits 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. Here are a few notes before you begin:

• 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 for about 1 minute or until oats achieve a powder-like consistency.

• The recipe calls for dried cranberries.  It’s worth noting that nearly all brands of dried cranberries contain added sugar, so use raisins if you want to limit added sugar.

• The riper the bananas, the sweeter the bread! 

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 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Resting Time15 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
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 (See Recipe Notes about how to make 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-quart loaf pan with cooking spray.
  • 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 the almonds, walnuts, apricots, and raisins, and blend well.
  • Pour the batter into the loaf pan and spread it evenly. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Cool for 5 minutes in the pan before turning out on a wire rack to cool for another 10 minutes before cutting.

Notes

Note: To make oat flour, place uncooked oats in a food processor and process into a fine, flour-like texture.
 
 
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

 

pinterest graphic and picture of no added sugar fruit and nut bread

Healthy Walnut Raisin Quick Bread

Loaf of healthy walnut raisin quick bread.

Healthy Walnut Raisin Quick Bread is delicious and good for you, too.

I love to bake, and this Healthy Walnut Raisin Quick Bread is a favorite of mine.

It took a lot of tries to get this recipe to work.  As a recipe developer, I’ve goofed by cutting back too much on one ingredient or another. You can benefit from my mistakes because I finally got it right this time!

Making Healthy Bread Without Yeast

When yeast is in short supply and when time is tight, quick breads, including muffins, scones, biscuits, and cornbread, are appealing to home bakers. Quick breads rise because they contain baking powder or baking soda (or both) and eggs.

As an impatient baker, I like to bake once, and eat twice.  Healthy Walnut Raisin Quick Bread makes two loaves (or 24 muffins), and freezes well if you don’t need all of it at once.

How to Reduce Added Sugar in Quick Breads

The problem with many quick bread recipes is that they are full of added sugar. I have a sweet tooth, and I can easily go overboard with granulated, and brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, and honey – all added sugars – but cutting back too much can be disastrous for baked goods.

This recipe is not free of added sugar. However, I’ve decreased the sugar content by using unsweetened applesauce, which also stands in for some of the oil, and raisins, which contribute natural sweetness. In addition to reducing added sugar levels, applesauce and raisins improve taste and texture, and add phytonutrients (protective plant compounds), potassium, and other nutrients.

Nuts Add Nutrition to Healthy Walnut Raisin Quick Bread 

I see a lot of quick bread recipes with chocolate chips, and, to tell the truth, my kids favor those! I’m not such a big fan, though. Even though I love chocolate, I substitute nuts.

I’m always looking for opportunities to improve nutrition without sacrificing taste. In this case, I’ve used walnuts, which supply protein, fiber, phytonutrients, and heart-healthy unsaturated fat. I love the crunch that they lend to the bread, too.

Also, to increase whole grain content, I swapped some whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour, and I added oats.  You could use even more whole wheat flour, or make other substitutions. Here’s how.

Healthy walnut raisin quick bread made into muffins.

You can make this recipe as muffins, if you like.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much I do!

Healthy Walnut Raisin Bread

Try this healthier version of a delicious quick bread!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: quickbread, raisins, walnuts
Servings: 24

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats, uncooked
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Coat two loaf pans with cooking spray or line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose and whole wheat flours, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, oatmeal, brown sugar, raisins, and walnuts. Stir until well combined.
  • Place the applesauce, canola oil, eggs, and milk in the bowl of an electric mixer. Blend on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. 
  • Add the applesauce mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Do not overmix. 
  • Fill the loaf pans with the batter, dividing it evenly between the 2 pans. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from pans and allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing. If you're making muffins, cook for 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Notes

Per slice or muffin:
219 calories,
11 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat),
228 milligrams sodium,
29 grams carbohydrate, 
6 grams added sugars,
2 grams fiber,
4 grams protein

pin for healthy walnut raisin quick bread

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