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TIP OF THE DAY: Better For You Snacks

A few years ago, one of our Top Picks Of The Week was a product line called Laura’s Wholesome Junk Food.

It was developed by an M.D. who treated people with illnesses caused by bad nutrition, and it engendered The Wholesome Junk Food Cookbook: More Than 100 Healthy Recipes for Everyday Snacking.

Dr. Laura Trice showed how easy it is to make snacks and sweets that are satisfying yet nutritious (you can find the cookies online).

If you’re looking for better-for-you snacks that don’t deprive you of a cookie fix, head to natural food stores or make your own.

These tasty sweets in the recipe below look like truffles, but they’re protein-packed treats made from peanut butter and whey extract, plus whole grain rolled oats. Even the sweetener, maple syrup, is better for you.

The resemblance to candy is purely intentional. The recipe is courtesy of Crofter’s, maker of organic jams and fruit spreads.

   

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Make a batch—they’re good for you! Photo courtesy Crofter’s.

 

RECIPE: SWEET TREAT PROTEIN BITES

Ingredients

  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup raspberry fruit spread
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup whey protein powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant oats)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • Optional toppings: shredded coconut, sesame seeds, vanilla protein powder
  •  

    wholesome-junk-food-cookbook-230

    Want better snacks all the time? Get this
    cookbook! Photo courtesy Running Press.

     

    Preparation

    1. MELT peanut butter, maple syrup, butter, vanilla and fruit spread in a pan over medium heat; stir to combine thoroughly.

    2. REMOVE from heat and add oats, cocoa powder, protein powder, salt and chocolate chips. Stir until chips have melted and ingredients are thoroughly combined.

    3. Form into balls and roll in topping(s) of choice. Chill in the fridge to firm before serving.
     
    It’s that easy!
     
     
    MORE HEALTHY SWEET TREATS

    For more treats like these, get a copy of The Wholeseome Junk Food Cookbook by Laura Trice, M.D. You’d be surprised at how many delicious treats are good for you!

    We also like the book as a gift for teens and tweens who want to learn to cook. Start them off making treats for themselves and their friends. You may inspire a future “Dr. Laura” in the process.

     

      

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    BOOK: Beat The Heat With The No-Cook, No-Bake Cookbook

    It’s too darn hot, wrote Cole Porter, in the days before air conditioning.

    But even if you benefit from modern cooling system, it may still be too darn hot to turn on the oven.

    Turn up the flavor—not the heat!

    Pick up a copy of The No-Cook, No-Bake Cookbook, and avoid turning on the stove or oven during the heat of summer.

    Featuring 101 good-for-you recipes—author Matthew Kadey is a registered dietitian—you can quickly assemble breakfasts, lunch and dinner mains and delectable desserts, including:

  • Applesauce Pie
  • Breakfast Prosciutto Pear Sandwiches
  • No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake With Cherry Sauce
  • No-Bake Flourless Fig Brownies
  • Peach Prosciutto Salad
  • Peanut Butter Pumpkin Bars
  • Raspberry Mint Frozen Yogurt
  • Salmon Mango Ceviche
  • Shrimp and Noodles with Sweet and Sour Sauce
  • Smoked Tofu Wraps
  • Sunflower Tomato Pâte Nori Rolls
  • Teriyaki Tofu Wraps
  • Tex-Mex Chipotle Beans
  • Very Berry Parfait Pudding
  •  

    The-No-Cook-No-Bake Cookbook-230

    Eat well without turning on the oven or stove. Photo courtesy Ulysses Press.

     

    Hungry? Get your copy at Amazon.com. If you need summer house gifts, buy extras.

      

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    BOOK: Everyday Cheesemaking

    everyday-cheesemaking-230

    Are you ready to make cheese? Photo
    courtesy Microcosm Publishing.

     

    A copy of this small paperback arrived yesterday. We picked it up and read it straight through to the end. It’s a real page-turner, and we’ve never even thought about making cheese.

    (O.K., we did make mozzarella once, from a kit, and made butter with a tabletop butter churn).

    “Everyday Cheesemaking: How to Succeed at Making Dairy and Nut Cheese at Home,” by K. Ruby Blume, is a treasure for the knowledge that it imparts, and especially the teachings on why things go wrong and how to fix them.

    Ms. Blume had purchased cheese books to teach herself how to make cheese. The problem is, unlike baking brownies, many things can go wrong in the cheesemaking process, resulting in a lot of wasted time and milk.

    So after she learned, she shared her knowledge via cheesemaking classes, and now this book. It is targeted to “everyday people” who have other jobs, and want to make cheese easily for the joy of it (or perhaps more accurately, to impress their friends and family with delicious homemade cheese). It is very clear on what can go wrong and how to avoid it.

     
    Ready, Set, Make Cheese!

    As we thumbed through page after page of how-to, we, who have never thought of it, wanted to run right out for the milk to make feta and ricotta, two cheeses we love and the easiest recipes in the book.

    The book covers a wide rage of homemade cheeses, from fresh cheeses such as chevre, halloumi, queso fresco and mozzarella to aged classics such as blue cheese, Brie and Camembert.

    In addition to cheese, you can make buttermilk, sour cream and yogurt, as well as vegan cheese, made from ingredients like nuts or soy protein.

    The book is published by Microcosm Publishing, a small publisher in Portland, Oregon. We like the book so much that we forgive them the errata that should have been caught: many missing commas, typos like “feed” instead of “fed,” and a duplication of the same paragraph.

    But these don’t get in the way of the fine writing style and the wealth of information. This is a great gift for anyone who has thought of making cheese.

    Get yours on Amazon.com.

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: No Bake Blueberry Cheesecake

    blueberry-cheesecake-mini-jennifer-bakeorbreak-colorfulharvestFB-230

    Way cool: a no bake blueberry cheesecake.
    Photo courtesy Bake Or Break | Colorful
    Harvest.

     

    As the heat soared yesterday, we turned to our tried-and-true summer recipes, including this No Bake Cheesecake from Jennifer of BakeOrBreak.com, (via Colorful Harvest).

    The crust is a simple combination of crushed vanilla wafers and melted butter. While baking the crust helps it to set more firmly, the purpose of this recipe is to keep the heat out of the kitchen.

    Similarly, the cheese filling isn’t baked, but sets in the refrigerator. Prep time is 30 minutes.

    RECIPE: NO BAKE BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKES

    Ingredients For One 8 Inch Or
    Two 4-1/2 Inch Cheesecakes

    For The Crust

  • 5 ounces finely crushed vanilla wafers* (about 40 cookies)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  •  
    For The Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries (2 to 2-1/2 cups)†
  •  
    For The Optional Garnish

  • Whipped cream
  • Fresh blueberries
  •  
    *Jennifer prefers Trader Joe’s vanilla wafers, but you can default to the ubiquitous Nabisco Nilla Wafers.

    †Set aside the nicest blueberries for the garnish.

     

    Preparation

    1. MAKE the crust: Mix together vanilla wafer crumbs and melted butter until mixture is combined and the crumbs are moistened. Divide crust mixture evenly between two 4-1/2-inch diameter springform pans or one 8-inch pan. Press into bottom and about halfway up the sides of each pan. Set pan(s) in the freezer for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

    2. MAKE the filling: Place cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until combined. Add blueberries and pulse until thoroughly mixed. Divide filling between each prepared crust (if making two cheesecakes). Cover and refrigerate overnight.

    3. REMOVE sides of pans before serving. Garnish with a dab of whipped ream and a few fresh blueberries.

     

    the-ultimate-no-bake-dessert-cookbook-230

    An entire summer’s worth of desserts. Check out the book. Photo courtesy Grand Central Life & Style.

     

    MORE NO COOK, NO BAKE RECIPES

    Imagine quick and easy no cook, no bake savory meals plus cakes, pies, ice cream cakes, cookies and more more no-bake cheesecakes. Make tasty desserts in minutes that taste like you have worked for hours. Feed your family fast, stove- and oven-free, in the heat.

    Sound good? Then check out:

  • “The No-Cook No-Bake Cookbook: 101 Delicious Recipes for When It’s Too Hot to Cook” (more information)
  • “No Bake Cookies, Bars & Pies” (more information)
  • “No Bake Makery: More Than 80 Two-Bite Treats Made with Lovin’, Not an Oven” (more information)
  • “No Bake Cookies” (more information)
  • “32 No Bake Pie Recipes” (Kindle only—more information)
  •   

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    BOOK: Kitchen Survival Guide For Men

    save-the-males-230

    Save the males: Teach them to cook for
    themselves. Photo courtesy Save The Males
    Publishing.

     

    Chef Gordon Smith has cooked for royalty, celebrities, executives, and Olympic athletes. Now, in his mission to “save the males,” he tells men what they need to know to survive on their own—by cooking good food at home instead of resorting to less-good-for-you fast food and take-out.

    His book, Save the Males: A Kitchen Survival Cookbook, is a fun gift for single men as well as husbands, significant others and other men who have to fend for themselves in the kitchen, whether full-time or on occasion. It’s a practical culinary foundation for the novice and a great refresher course for any home cook.

    (If you’re buying the book on Amazon.com, note that there’s another book named Save The Males, about relationships. Don’t let it confuse you. The one you want is co-authored by Reparata Mazzola and Gordon Smith.)

    The underlying goal of “Save the Males” is fun, as Chef Gordon teaches readers how to switch from prepared foods to foods they prepare. An empty kitchen goes from foreboding to a place fragrant with delicious meals they cook meals for themselves, family and friends.

     

    Chef Gordon Smith is a regular guy who knows from experience that cooking improves one’s health and appearance (eat better!) as well as one’s sex life (a home cooked dinner is romantic!).

    Cooking for oneself is not only empowering; it could lead to a new hobby—or at least, it could get the man in your life to prepare dinner more often.

    And that’s the reason to give copies to dads, grads, brothers, sons and friends.

     
      

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