Honey Pear Muffins

image image*I used Bartlett pears, but I believe you could use any  variety. I love to use my cookie scoop to load up my muffin tins. I fill it 2/3 for mini muffins, and two full scoops for big muffins. I am the only one in my family who likes nuts in muffins, so I put 3 in between the 2 scoops of batter. Makes 24 big muffins, or 12 big and 24 mini muffins.

Honey Pear Muffins

4-5 pears, peeled, cored and grated (need 2 cups grated pear)

2/3 cup honey (you could use 3/4 cup if you want them sweeter)

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup melted butter, or oil

2 1/2 cups flour (I used 1 1/2 whole wheat and 1 white)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup walnuts or pecans (optional)

2 tablespoons coconut sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grease your muffin tins. In a small bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon, stir with a fork to combine, and set aside. Peel and core pears, then grate them, need 2 cups total. In a large bowl combine butter or oil, grated pear, eggs, honey, and vanilla, stir until well mixed. Add flour mixture and gently stir until flour disappears. Gently fold in nuts. Portion into your muffin tins, and if desired sprinkle tops with coconut sugar. Bake for 14-18 minutes for regular muffins, and 10-13 minutes for mini muffins. Remove from oven, and transfer to cooling rack. Enjoy!

This was a delicious Friday morning treat, and my kids loved them. It has been really fun to get baking with natural sweeteners, and I am excited to keep trying new recipes.

*I originally tried this recipe from smittenkitchen.com. I modified it to use honey, whole wheat flour, and adjusted some seasonings.

Green Lemonade

image*I made this in a high powered blender, if you want to use a regular blender juice the lemon and proceed as usual. You may want to blend a couple ingredients and then add the rest. This is not a sweet smoothie, adding a second apple at first is a good idea.

Green Lemonade

1 lemon, peeled

1 apple, quartered and cored

1/4 inch ginger root, peeled

1/2 cucumber, sliced

1/2 avocado

4 brussel sprouts or 1/2 zucchini, sliced (optional)

1 cup water

1 cup ice

2 large handfuls of spinach

Optional additions: vanilla protein powder, chia seeds, hemp seeds, or flax seeds, lemon and ginger essential oils, and stevia.

Put ice, water, lemon, apple, ginger, cucumber, avocado, brussel sprouts, and spinach in blender, and blend until well mixed. I love to add protein powder, seeds, and lemon and ginger oils for the nutritional benefits, and it helps me feel full until lunch. Add 4-8 drops of liquid stevia to increase sweetness if desired, or you can use a second apple.

It took a little time for me to enjoy this smoothie, now I crave it almost everyday. I have been amazed by how much my palate, and tastes have changed in the last two months. The natural sweetness in food has become more pronounced, and I feel satiated faster. It has made eating for nourishment, as well as enjoyment, satisfying.

Date Paste

imageDate Paste

2 cups date pellets*

1 cup hot water

Place date pellets in a bowl and cover with hot water. After 30 minutes drain off excess water and blend thoroughly in blender or food processor. Store in a covered container in fridge. I have kept this for up to 5 weeks in the fridge.

*I prefer to use date pellets to make date paste, because they are usually far less expensive than whole dates, and since I blend them up they work perfectly. I usually find them in bulk bins at Sprouts, or similar. I have a delicious treat using whole dates coming up soon. Can you handle the suspense?!? (haha)

Cashew Bliss Balls

imageCashew Bliss Balls

1 1/2 cups cashews, or 1 cup cashew butter

3/4 cup date paste

2 tablespoons cocoa

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, plus more for rolling

In a food processor blend cashews for several minutes, until they become cashew butter. Then add date paste, cocoa, vanilla, and coconut process until well mixed. Form into small balls and roll in additional coconut, put in a covered container and keep in refrigerator. They keep for up to 10 days.

These were my favorite treat after I quit refined sugar. I love to keep them stocked in the fridge for those nights that I am hanging out with my husband, or afternoon snacks with a smoothie or fruit.