Food & Recipes

  • Sweet Tidings

    Walk into Mani’s,a popular Los Angeles bakery, and the chocolate-filled cookies, rich brownies, and cakes might have you mentally kissing your healthy eating habits good-bye. But stick around long enough and you’ll discover that the delicious-looking sweets lining the cases in front of you don’t have a bit of refined sugar in them.

    You can avoid sugar and still indulge with these all-natural alternatives.
    By Wendy McMillan
  • Chocolate-Orange Sauce

    1/2 cup cocoa powder
    1/2 cup agave nectar
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    1 cup evaporated skim milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 teaspoons grated orange zest

    Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan, mixing well. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously. Serve as a dip for fruit.

    Nutrition info per serving (4): 146 calories; 2 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 3 mg cholesterol; 7 g protein; 31 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 76 mg sodium

  • Molasses Cutout Cookies

    1 1/4 cup flour, plus extra for dusting
    1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
    6 tablespoons butter, softened
    1/2 cup molasses
    1/4 cup date sugar
    1 large egg
    2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 cup ground walnuts
    1 tablespoon fruit-only preserve

    (TIP: To substitute agave nectar for date sugar, increase regular flour by 1/4 to 1/2 cup—enough to make dough less sticky.)

    1. Whisk flours, baking soda, and spices in a bowl, and set aside.
    2. Beat butter, molasses, and date sugar with a mixer until fluffy. Reduce speed, and add egg, orange juice, and vanilla.
    3. Gradually stir in flour mixture until combined. Shape into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate an hour or more.
    4. Roll out dough on a floured surface, and cut as desired. Place on baking sheets, and bake at 350 degrees for 7 to 8 minutes.
    5. Decorate with nuts and preserves.

    Nutrition info per serving (1 cookie): 67 calories; 2 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 10 mg cholesterol; 1 g protein; 12 g carbohydrates; 0 g fiber; 6 mg sodium

  • Cranberry-Almond Bread Pudding

    4 cups cubed, day-old whole-wheat bread
    1 cup cranberries, chopped
    1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds
    2 eggs
    2 egg whites
    2 cups evaporated skim milk
    3 tablespoons butter, melted
    1/2 cup agave nectar
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 teaspoon almond extract

    1. In a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray, mix bread cubes, cranberries, and almonds.
    2. In a bowl, beat together eggs, egg whites, milk, butter, agave nectar, vanilla, and almond extract. Pour over bread mixture.
    3. Cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour (or overnight). Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

    Nutrition info per serving (12): 220 calories; 6 g fat; 3 g saturated fat; 10 mg cholesterol; 5 g protein; 52 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 414 mg sodium

  • Maple-Ginger Pumpkin Pie

    Crust
    1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
    1/4 cup hazelnut meal or ground nuts
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    6 tablespoons butter, softened
    6 tablespoons cold orange juice or water
    Optional: 1 tablespoon date sugar

    Filling
    1 15-ounce can pumpkin
    1/4 cup molasses
    1/2 cup pure maple syrup
    1 teaspoon each cinnamon and ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
    2 eggs, lightly beaten
    1 cup evaporated fat-free milk
    2 tablespoons flour
    1 teaspoon finely grated, peeled gingerroot

    1. In a food processor, pulse together flour, nut meal, spices, and butter to form crumbs. Pour mixture into a bowl, and gradually add orange juice or water to form dough. Press into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. If desired, sprinkle with date sugar. Bake at 325 degrees for 8 to10 minutes. Remove from oven, and allow to cool.
    2. In a mixing bowl, combine filling ingredients through evaporated milk, blending well. Stir in flour and gingerroot pieces.
    3. Bake at 375 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes. Cool or chill before serving.

    Nutrition info per serving (10): 174 calories; 8 g fat; 4 g saturated fat; 52 mg cholesterol; 6 g protein; 46 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 57 mg sodium

  • Fight Cavities With ... Candy?

    It’s true! A Swedish study reports that eating gummy bears containing xylitol, a natural sugar found in the white birch tree, helps prevent cavity-causing plaque buildup. “Xylitol also reduces levels of bacteria in the mouth that break down tooth enamel and can lead to cavities,” says Harold Katz, DDS, in Los Angeles.

    By Nicole Duncan
  • Go Nuts

    Turns out it might not be an apple a day that keeps the doc away: A new study in the Journal of Nutrition reports that eating a handful of nuts five or more times a week can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Reach for almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, and walnuts, says Sari Greaves, RD, a nutritionist in Bedminster, New Jersey.

    By Nicole Duncan
  • Fabulous Fungi

    Grow up in a household where Mom used mushrooms only one way, if at all—chopping up the white, button variety and tossing the bits into a casserole? It’s time to branch out if you haven’t already.

    Mushrooms work like magic when it comes to warding off disease.
    By Matthew Kadey, RD
  • 5 Ways to Save on Organic Food

    The price of food may be soaring, but buying conventional produce rather than organic may end up costing more in the long run. “Eating organic now could save you from expensive health problems down the line,” says John A. McDougall, MD, author of The McDougall Plan: 12 Days to Dynamic Health (Plume Publishing).

    By Bryce Edmonds
  • In Season: Spaghetti Squash

    With more than 145 percent of the daily value of vitamin A per cup and loads of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and manganese, this seasonal favorite should make frequent appearances at your fall table.

    By Wendy McMillan