strawberry smoothie

Strawberry Vanilla Smoothie

We are still about five weeks away from peak strawberry season, but I bought a package at Safeway this past week that was pretty good. Otherwise, to get our strawberry fix, we rely on frozen organic strawberries. We purchase the big bag at Costco unless we are fortunate to still have some Oregon strawberries in the freezer. When the season hits, check out this handy guide to freezing your local strawberry harvest.

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low sugar pumpkin muffin

Low Sugar Pumpkin Muffins

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In my never-ending quest to enjoy more baked goods with fewer consequences, I’m happy to report I have found an ally in monk fruit sweetener. It is the only zero-calorie sugar substitute I’ve tried that sweetens without a terrible aftertaste, and, so far, I find it works well in muffins, cakes, soft cookies, syrups, hot cocoa mix, and freezer jam. I have not had as much luck with things that need to have a crispy or chewy texture, like some cookies and brownies, but I’ll keep trying and let you know when I come up with more recipes that work.

I also used coconut sugar to add a little more complex flavor in this pumpkin muffin recipe, as brown sugar or molasses might bring, but it is optional. One thing to watch for when baking with the monk fruit sweetener is that it can brown quickly, so, for example, the muffins’ edges might burn faster than normal. Just make sure you keep a close eye on them.

Try substituting an all-purpose gluten-free flour or oat flour if you are avoiding wheat.

 

 


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hot cocoa mix

Hot Cocoa Mix and The Power of Intentional Nurturing

We’re on our third snow day here in Bend so I thought it would be a good time to finally post this super simple hot cocoa mix recipe in case you run out of store-bought stuff. I wrote what follows a few weeks ago but I had no pictures to go along with it as hot cocoa is usually made spur of the moment and consumed quickly around here.

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crustless spinach and tomato quiche

Crustless Spinach and Tomato Quiche

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Okay, so quiche isn’t very Valentine-y or Mardi Gras-y or whatever else you might be celebrating this week but it’s what I’ve got. At least it’s very brunch-y and Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday this year. Also, Mardi Gras is actually over and, for some, it’s the first day of lent which means there are only 46 days to plan Easter brunch. On second thought, this should be quite a timely post. Good for me.

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