Simple, Rustic Apple Galette – i.e. Lazy Cook’s Pie!

Simple, Rustic Apple Galette – i.e. Lazy Cook’s Pie!

We went to the apple orchard Saturday – which was a fantastic day, but now I have a LOT of apples to use.  We can eat them plain of course (and will), but still . . . lots.of.apples. So, while making dinner last night, I threw together a simple, rustic apple galette – kids loved it! Never heard of a galette?  It’s basically a lazy cook’s pie.  Perfect, right? Rustic Apple Galette Crust: 1 cup white whole wheat flour 3 T organic butter, diced 1 t. sugar sprinkle of sea salt ice water Filling: 3 – 4 peeled and sliced apples 1 T. sugar or honey (or a bit more depending upon the sweetness of your apples) sprinkle cinnamon sprinkle nutmeg lemon half Step one:  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Make up the pie crust.  I use my food processor – works every time with no effort.  I simply put the flour and butter in the bowl, sprinkle a bit of salt and sugar on top, pulse until it resembles small peas and then drizzle a bit of ice water until it comes together.  SIMPLE!!! Step two:  Roll out your crust – don’t worry about making a perfect circle – this is RUSTIC, remember?  I like to roll it out to about 1/4 inch. Step three:  Place your apples on top and then sprinkle with sugar or honey, cinnamon, nutmeg and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Use your hands to kinda mix it all up. Step four:  Pinch the sides of the crust up around the filling – most of it will show – don’t worry about how it...
Chocolate Coconut Bites – a healthy alternative to a Mounds bar!

Chocolate Coconut Bites – a healthy alternative to a Mounds bar!

Ready for our last chocolate recipe of the month?  It’s another simple and tasty one – just four basic ingredients and a few minutes of hands on time. Chocolate Coconut Bites makes about 6, double or triple if you’d like more 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut 1/2 to 1 T. honey 1 t. coconut oil 1/2 cup good quality chocolate chips Step one:  Mix coconut, honey and coconut oil.   Will be sticky, but should hold together – add a bit more coconut oil if it doesn’t. Step two:  Shape into small balls (about 1-inch).  Place on a piece of wax paper and place in the fridge for a half an hour or more. Step three:   Melt chocolate and pour a spoonful over each coconut ball.  Place in fridge for an hour or more until chocolate has hardened.  Store in fridge. These are super tasty and a nice alternative to a typical candy bar.  You could also add a nut to each one to bump up the protein (Almond Joy anyone?).  A fun dessert idea would be a plate of these coconut bites, some banana bites and some fruit dipped in chocolate.  Simple, pretty and a much better choice versus a heavy chocolate cake! Wonder why you should add coconut to your diet?  Raw coconut contains several healthy fats (including caprylic, capric and lauric fatty acids) which are antibacterial and antiviral and help boost your immune system.   Coconut is high in fiber, and also contains monolaurin which may be particularly useful for combating viruses. Ready to start each day off feeling GREAT?  Get your FREE copy of my 3-day e-course...
Go Bananas for THESE Chocolate Treats!

Go Bananas for THESE Chocolate Treats!

Okay, here is another seriously simple and surprisingly delicious little chocolate treat. Plus, you get some bonus health benefits (that’s my kinda treat!). If you don’t care about the benefits, skip on down to the recipe. Last week we talked a bit about chocolate, so I won’t go into that except to recommend you use the best quality for this recipe you can get your hands on – it will taste better AND be better for you.  By including some peanut butter, you’ll add a little healthy fat and protein to this treat – plus they will fill you up, so you won’t be reaching for another snack right away.  But the star of this recipe is the banana.  Even if you aren’t a huge banana fan, I encourage you to give these a shot.  The chocolate and peanut butter enhance the sweetness of the banana and mask a bit of the strong taste.   Plus, bananas are high in potassium, provide energy, are a natural antacid (so they counteract some of the acid formed from the chocolate), are high in iron, AND high in dietary fiber.  Whew, that’s a lot of goodness in one simple fruit! Chocolate and Peanut Butter Banana Bites 1 banana 1/4 cup good quality chocolate chips (or equivalent chocolate from a high quality chocolate bar) 1 T organic peanut butter (make sure there are only two ingredients – peanuts and salt) Step one:  Melt the chocolate and peanut butter in the microwave or double boiler (or do what I do and use a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water). Step two:  Cut...
How to Make REAL Whipped Cream in just a few minutes!

How to Make REAL Whipped Cream in just a few minutes!

So this month I’ll be sharing quite a few chocolate recipes.  Key to several of them (and to life in general) is whipped cream.  But I’m not talking about that fake stuff in a can.  I’m talking about REAL whipped cream.  Luckily, it’s amazingly simple to make, and can be made with all real ingredients. Homemade Whipped Cream 1 cup heavy whipping cream (organic preferably) 1 – 2 T pure maple syrup (grade B organic preferably) 1/2 t. vanilla (organic preferably) Step one:  Pour the cream into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Using a whipping blade (see picture below), start mixer on top speed. Step two:  Add the maple syrup and vanilla.  Walk away and let the mixer do its thing. Step three:  Once it looks like whipped cream, taste it to make sure it tastes great – add more syrup and/or vanilla as needed. You can use this right away, or store it in the fridge for a few days in a glass bowl. Simple, delicious and decadent.  Enjoy! Isn’t it great how easy this is? Want more ideas for things that make a crazy life easier and better? Check out my list of favorite things for more great time-savers, products, and services. Shared on Friendship...
What everybody ought to know about CHOCOLATE!

What everybody ought to know about CHOCOLATE!

Yum.  Chocolate.  Most of us love it, right?  And we’ve all heard about how “healthy” it is.  Today I thought I’d dive into that a bit and discover the best way for us to enjoy this delicious treat. And let me tell you, it was rough going – testing out all this chocolate – the things I do for you, right? Without a doubt, dark chocolate is your best bet.  And by dark chocolate, I’m talking about chocolate labeled at least 70% dark.  Any less and the benefits start to diminish. Most people have a preference dark versus milk, but even if you prefer milk chocolate you can learn to love dark too – the taste is definitely more bitter, but it is still sweet and satisfying.  Just start with 60% dark, move to 65%, then 70%, etc.  Eventually, you’ll enjoy it all. The biggest differences between dark and milk chocolate are that dark chocolate contains more cocoa (and milk typically contains milk or milk products).  Pretty simple.  Some of the benefits of dark chocolate: can lower blood pressure full of antioxidants (which gobble up free radicals in your body) contains flavonoids (epicatechin specifically) which help keep cholesterol from gathering in your blood vessels) tastes heavenly Knowing that dark chocolate is best, what should a quality bar contain?  The best brands simply contain cocoa and some form of sweetener. Many brands also contain an ingredient called soy lecithin.  Soy lecithin is an emulsifier (a by-product of soybean oil) often added to chocolate to help the cocoa and the cocoa butter stick together.  Is it bad?  Well, if you can...

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