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Nutritional Blog

Nutrition for Healthy Living

Holiday Baking, Part II
Written by LiveAnew   
Monday, 10 February 2014 12:06


Holiday Baking, Part II

In light of the recommendations on the previous Holiday Baking blog, I thought it would be helpful to provide a couple of simple, yet delicious recipes to begin practicing these new healthy suggestions!


Festive Holiday Bark


  • 1 cup almonds, pecans or walnuts
  • 1 pound dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dried fruit, such as cranberries, raisins or sour cherries


1.) Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread nuts evenly on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 10 minutes. Coarsely chop nuts and set aside.

2.) Line same baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Place half of chocolate in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until melted. Remove from heat, add remaining chocolate and stir occasionally until smooth.

3.) Stir nuts and fruit into chocolate and then pour mixture onto paper on baking sheet, spreading 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Let cool at room temperature until set, about 2 hours. (You can refrigerate chocolate to speed process, but chocolate may discolor.)

4.) Break bark into large, jagged pieces and store in an airtight container.


*This is a great gift you can wrap in boxes or cellophane.


Pumpkin Muffins

Yield: 18 servings (serving size: 1 muffin)



  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used oat bran and rice flour)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (I used ¾ c xylitol)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup fat-free sour cream (I used soy yogurt)
  • 1/3 cup fat-free milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used unsweetened applesauce)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon  granulated sugar (I used xylitol)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons  brown sugar



1.) Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through salt) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture.

2.) Combine pumpkin and next 6 ingredients (pumpkin through egg white); add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon the batter into 18 muffin cups coated with cooking spray.

3.) Combine 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and brown sugar; sprinkle over muffins.

Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pans immediately; cool on a wire rack.



Fudgy Brownies


  • 1 c flour (your choice)
  • ½ c. unsweetened cocoa
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/3 c butter
  • 2 oz dark choc., chopped
  • 1 c. sugar (try ¾ cup xylitol and ¼ cup honey)
  • ¼ c. milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg


1.) Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour, cocoa, and salt in medium bowl, stir with a whisk.

2.) In the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, melt the unsweetened chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Cool to room temperature.

3.) Add 1 c. sugar, milk, vanilla, egg yolks, and egg; stir with a whisk to combine. Add butter mixture to flour mixture, stirring until combined. Pour batter into 8-inch square metal baking pan coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 350 for 20 min or until toothpick comes out clean.

**To make these more festive, add ½ tsp. peppermint extract to the recipe. Then, once toothpick comes out clean, arrange thin, dark chocolate squares (like GhirardelliTM chocolate squares) on top in one layer and return the brownies to the oven until they are just melted, about 1 minute. Evenly spread the chocolate with a spatula and sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Cool completely before cutting into 2-inch squares.


Yield: 16 squares

Holiday Baking, Part I
Written by Leah Schitter   
Monday, 29 November 2010 17:06

The holidays are upon us, and as we all know, the season brings endless baked goodies and sweet treats! As you attend holiday gatherings and enjoy some fun holiday baking yourself, keep in mind that there are healthy, yet delectable ways to enjoy these goodies.

You Can’t Beat a Beet
Written by Kimberly Williams   
Tuesday, 09 March 2010 12:40

Truly one of nature’s super foods, the beet, although not that pretty to look at, has been credited with aiding in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Beets are also high in folate, a B vitamin, which is directly related to preventing birth defects during pregnancy.


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