Matzav Mazon: Healthy Snacks



Holiday seasons tend to run our schedules and our diets on overdrive. I think the most commonly searched recipes in the last few weeks  were anything with the word “light” in front of it. I like to cook light but have been focusing more on healthy than light. Healthy food is filling, full of vitamins and minerals, fiber and great taste. Light recipes often use artificial flavorings like splenda to keep them sweet. So in an effort to improve overall health and still enjoy all of our food including dessert, I came up with a challenge, change one ingredient that will improve health and maintain the same great taste of a dish. You won’t believe the results! Seriously good food, no hint of anything missing, and improved health…now, you cannot beat that! These three sweet treats are great for snacks, dessert or even with a cup of coffee in the morning.

bananabread7Pumpkin Bread Sweetened with Bananas

Serves 8

Bananas are naturally sweet and serve as a good, non-processed sugar substitute in baking. They are full of fiber (sugar has none) Calorie-wise, you save BIG for this swap: 1 cup mashed banana is 73 kcal, for 1 cup sugar at 775 kcal.

They also contain resistant starch, which has been linked to burning fat. But because they contain more moisture than sugar does, make sure you use less milk or water when baking with bananas (about 3 tablespoons less for each banana).

1 banana, mashed (this is in place of 1 cup sugar)

2 eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil (or coconut oil!)

1/3 cup water or soymilk

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree

1 3/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Beat eggs and mix with banana (or sugar), oil, water, and pumpkin.

In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.

Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients until just blended

Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes.

fudgy-triple-chocolate-avocado-browniesChocolate Avocado Brownies

Serves 10

The substitution of avocado in baked goods helps increase their nutritional value by contributing nearly 20 vitamins and minerals.

Over 75 percent of the fat in avocados is unsaturated (heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats), making them a great substitute for foods or ingredients high in saturated fat. For avocado brownies

2 avocados, mashed

8 ounces dark chocolate, melted

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons coconut oil, or canola oil

3/4 cup flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon chile powder (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; spray 9-inch square pan with non-stick spray.

In bowl, mix mashed avocado and melted chocolate; mix in sugar, then eggs, vanilla extract, and oil.

Add in flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and chile powder until combined.

Spread batter in pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until cooked through middle.

Equivalency note:

½ cup mashed avocado is equivalent to ¼ of a large avocado.

Almond Butter Bites

Makes 2 dozens

2 cups almond butter

1-1/2 cups coconut (or other raw) sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt (if your almond butter is salted – mine is not, be careful about adding too much salt)

6 ounces chocolate chips (I used a full bag of chocolate chips ☺

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Drop by the rounded teaspoon/tablespoon onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a silpat mat. Bake for about 8 – 10 minutes They should be JUST baked (no longer raw, but not at all dry)

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