Monday, October 11, 2010

Guiltless Treats

I know, I know... Pies again... but I promise this is my last post on this flakey treat for a while. This week I'd like to introduce you to a formula for healthy but very yummy pastries. Why you might ask... well, thanks for asking... 1/3 of all Americans are obese (a rather frightening statistic). Approximately 80 MILLION Americans go on a diet each year. That means at least one of your Holiday guests will be watching what they eat this year... you may even be monitoring your consumption. You should definately not be penalized with boring and tasteless food just because you want to be healthier. Rather, you should include tasty but healthful dessert choices into your diet. Everyone knows that "absence makes the heart grow fonder", and artificial, sugary snacks are not the healthiest cravings to give in to. That is why I am going to share 3 awesome pastry dough recipes - 1 whole grain - 1 gluten free - 1 Vegan and 3 fantastic and fresh fruit fillings. I hope you take advantage of them. Until next time... Happy Cooking

Whole Grain
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup ground oatmeal
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water

Combine the flour, oatmeal and salt in a bowl. Blend in the oil, then add the water

Gluten Free
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup spelt
1/2 cup rice flour
4 tbsp cold water

Cut shortening into flour until a crumb like texture forms.
Add water.
Work dough with hands until soft and form into ball.

1 cup spelt flour
1 cup almond flour
3/4 cup coconut oil
¼ teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons ice water

Chill all the ingredients in the freezer. (Do not allow the water to freeze.)
Mix the flour and salt.
Cut the solid coconut oil into the flour and salt mixture. The dough should be crumbly with crumbs the size of small peas.

Cranberry Apple Pie Filling
1 cup chopped cranberries
1 1/2 cups chopped apples
1/2 cup honey
1 Tbs Whole Wheat Flour
dash salt

Combine cranberries, apples, honey, and salt; cover and let stand 2 hours.
Pour into a 9-inch pie shell.
Cover with top crust, seal, and crimp edges.
Cut small vents in top of pie.
Bake at 450° for 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350° and bake 30 minutes longer, until nicely browned.

Cherry Rhubarb Pie Filling
1/2 cup agave
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 pound fresh rhubarb, chopped (1/2 inch slices)
2 pints fresh cherries (seeded and cut in half)
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons white sugar

In a large bowl, mix flour and agave.
Add strawberries and chopped rhubarb.
Toss fruit with agave and flour and let stand for 30 minutes.
Pour filling into pie crust.
Dot top with butter, and cover with top crust.
Seal edges of top and bottom crust with water.
Apply yolk to top of pie, using a pastry brush. Sprinkle with sugar.
Cut small holes in top to let steam escape.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly and brown.
Cool on rack

Cheesy Chocolatey Pumpkin
1 cup low fat cream cheese
1/2 cup agave
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon, clove, nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate, chopped

Place cream cheese in food processor; blend until smooth. Add agave, pumpkin puree, eggs, flour, spice, and salt; process until combined.
Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave in 30-second increments, stirring between each, until melted.
Add to pumpkin mixture
Pour in pie shell
Bake at 350F until set but jiggles slightly when gently shaken, 40 to 50 minutes.
Cool in pan at least 2 hours


Chef Heather
The Chocolate Mousse

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