Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pumpkin Walnut Muffins with Swerve

Today we tried to pretend that it is Fall. Outside it is a sunny 70 degrees, but in my kitchen it is smelling like Fall.  These pumpkin muffins were easily made sugar free with Swerve Sweetener.  This recipe is also free of oil and butter.  I do not feel badly at all giving a few of these muffins to the kids as a breakfast or dessert.  These rated a 9/10 from Alex.  Next recipe will be a 10/10!

Sugar Free Pumpkin Walnut Muffins
Makes 12 regular size muffins

1.5 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup Swerve sugar substitute
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup pumpkin
1 egg
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.  (Both kinds of flour, sugar substitute, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.)

Mix wet ingredient in a separate bowl. (pumpkin, egg, applesauce, milk)

Combine wet ingredients into dry ingredients.  Stir until almost blended.  Sprinkle in the walnuts.  Mix up a few more seconds.  Put batter into regular size muffin papers.  Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes. Check with a toothpick to see if it is done.  Enjoy!

A few quick notes:
*You can easily use only all purpose flour, just use 2 cups!
*You can use 1/4 cup of oil if you are not into the lower fat taste of applesauce substitute.
*You can use an egg substitute (flax or chia egg) as well as an almond milk and these will be vegan!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sugar Swerved Cookies

On to recipe #2 with my new Swerve sweetener.  Alex gave the brownies a 5/10 rating. So I was determined to try again and improve my score.  I next attempted a sugar cookie made with swerve.  Alex gave these a 7/10.  He is such a good sport that he always eats everything I make for him.  Later this week I will be making a muffin with swerve.  Hoping for an 8 or higher!

Sugar Sweve Cookies
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup Swerve Sweetener
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 T milk
1/4 cup butter, softened on the counter for a while

Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl. Stir in wet ingredients.  Make dough into small cookies.  Bake at 350 for 7-9 minutes.  Watch that they do not burn.  They will continue to firm up on the pan for the next ten minutes.  Allow to cool then eat with a glass of milk!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Swerve on in to some sugar free brownies

This past week I got an email from Mamavation that they were looking for 10 bloggers to be ambassadors for an up and coming brand called Swerve Sweeteners.
Swerve Ambassador Search with Mamavation
I read more through the email and I got really excited.  I have a 15 year old son, Alex, who has POTS Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.  Part of his recovery has been to cut out all sugar.  His terrible headaches have almost gone away completely by removing all sugar from his diet.  But 15 year old boys want to eat dessert.  Alex used to love his cookies, brownies, donuts and cake, just like his other siblings.  But over the past year, Alex has had a few sugar free candies and one sugar free cake (thanks Jane).  But the sugar free substitutes are awful.  Splenda, Malitol, Aspartame, Sucralose.  I have had no success baking with those products, and they are not healthy at all.  We have experimented with liquid stevia, but Alex is just not enjoying the results.

I applied to be one of the lucky ten bloggers who will get to represent Swerve for a month. I really feel like I will be the perfect choice.  We need to cook with this product NOW! 

Since it will be a while until the lucky bloggers are chosen,  I went to Whole Foods yesterday to look for Swerve.  I could not wait any longer to try it. Here it is on my local Whole Foods shelf.
For $9.99 I bought a 16 oz bag of granulated swerve.  It looks just like regular sugar does.  It can be substituted for sugar 1:1.  Whole Foods also had a confectioner's sugar Swerve as well, which was $10.99.  If this product tastes amazing it will be worth the price.
These brownies are in the oven right now.  They will be cool by the time Alex gets home from school.  I really hope he likes them.  Sunday I am making a brisket, and using the Swerve in place of the brown sugar. Stay tuned for more recipes!!

Sara's Swerve Brownies
2/3 cups Swerve Sweetener
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup applesauce
2 T coconut oil
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 and prepare an 8x8 pan.
In a small bowl combine swerve, cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir to combine.
In another small bowl combine applesauce, oil, egg and vanilla.  Mix well to incorporate.
Pour your wet ingredients into the dry.  Mix just until combined. Pour brownie mix into your prepared pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top feels firm.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


My son Joey (17) told me today that I had to get the app Snapchat.  He told me it would be so much fun to be able to send pictures to each other.
So not wanting to make him mad, I downloaded it.

I think I am just too old for this.
I have been trying this app all morning and I do not see the appeal.
For those of you who do not understand snapchat, you take a photo, then you have the ability to draw or write on said photo.  Then you choose who you want to send it to in your contacts (another words, other people who have the snapchat app)  BUT, here is thing that makes snapchat cool to the kids.  When the person you sent the picture to gets it, they can only open said photo and see it for three seconds.  Then poof, it disappears into thin air.  For a busy Mom like me, I would rather be cooking, playing with the kids, reading a book, or trying to finally beat level 350 in Candy Crush Saga (grrrrr).

The best part of the app is the photo editing portion. Haven't you always wanted to draw on your photos?  I cannot wait to see what pictures Diane will create when she sees this new app.

What do you think of snapchat?  I will be sitting here trying to think of something creative to send to Joey.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

What inspires you?

Kindergarten homework this weekend was to find a photo of what inspires you.  I asked Diane, what inspires you? Is it your family? Your new dog? A tv show? What? This is what she found on Google images.

That is what inspires my 5 year old.
Have a great week everyone and eat some inspiring chocolate for us!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Confession time with Quinoa Polenta and vegetables

It has been two months since I last posted on this blog of mine. Those two months are a real blur.
Let me quickly sum up the past two months:
Summer ended

School supply shopping began
School started
Lunchboxes needed to be made
Kids needed winter clothes sorted
Dogs needed to be walked
Fish and bird needed occasional food too
Bills needed paying
So here I am, embarrassed to say that it has been 2 months since my last confession, I mean posting.

Today I will share with you my go to lunch.  I make this lunch anyday where I do not have leftovers or something else planned. I could easily eat this for lunch each and everyday. It is that good.  Also, it is really healthy and makes you feel good too. 
Whatever fresh veggies you have in your fridge, chop them up and saute them. Add a little EVOO if you need to.  Just sauteing in a bit of water works for me.
Today I had mushrooms, zucchini, and broccoli.  Anything fresh or frozen works here.
The magic part of this lunch is the quinoa polenta.  I can find this at a few local stores. It is organic, pre cooked, and ready to eat.  For a generous portion it is only 80 calories!  The best part is how quick your meal is ready when you use this product.  Quick, easy and healthy and my top 3 reasons for eating lunch.
After your veggies are done to your liking, slice your quinoa polenta as thick or thin as you like.  Saute a few minutes on each side.  Serve your quinoa over your veggies and enjoy!  Soon I will try to make a soup and crumble the polenta into the soup.  Not sure how it will come out, but it is worth a try!