Monday, February 21, 2011

Low Fat Blueberry Oat Loaf Cake

I've written several posts about my love affair with oatmeal and my continuing efforts to get more oats in my diet. So of course when I came across this recipe, I immediately bookmarked it. Not only does this cake have oatmeal in it but blueberries, yogurt, and cinnamon too. Because the cake contains no oil or butter, it's a fairly low fat dessert. That makes it health food, right?? Great for Heart Health month!

Low Fat Blueberry Oat Loaf Cake
Source: Diana Rattray, Guide (slightly adapted)
printable recipe
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
cinnamon sugar for topping

Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.
Combine the blueberries with flour, oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and sugar.
In another bowl, whisk yogurt with lemon juice; whisk in the milk and eggs. Pour yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until blended. Spoon into the prepared pan; sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture (about 3 teaspoons sugar to 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.). Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
The oats give the cake a dense but very moist texture, more like the texture of muffin or quick bread than a cake, but very tasty. The recipe is quick and easy to prepare and so versatile as well. Throw in some chopped nuts and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg.  Shredded coconut would be delicious too. Use your imagination!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Strawberry Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta is on of my favorite desserts, so when I saw this recipe for strawberry panna cotta, I had to give it a try. Strawberries and panna cotta sounded like the perfect combo. Not only is it a wonderful dessert, but it's pink too!  What better to celebrate Valentine's day with your sweetheart with than a creamy, delicious, pink panna cotta.
Panna cotta can be placed in ramekins and unmolded, or for an even simpler but elegant presentation, simply pour the mixture into a martini glasses or other glassware. 
Strawberry Panna  Cotta
(Printable recipe) 
source: Gourmet  | May 2002
3 cups sliced strawberries (1 pound)
1 3/4 cups well-shaken low-fat buttermilk
6 tablespoons sugar* (or more according to taste)
2 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin, from less than 2 (1/4-oz) envelopes
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream

Blend strawberries, buttermilk, and sugar in a blender until very smooth, then pour through a very fine sieve into a medium bowl, pressing hard on solids. Discard solids.
Sprinkle gelatin over milk in a small bowl and let stand 1 minute to soften. Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add gelatin mixture, stirring until dissolved. Whisk cream mixture into strawberry purée and pour into molds or glasses. Chill, covered, until firm, at least 8 hours.To unmold, dip molds in a small bowl of hot water 2 or 3 seconds, then invert panna cottas onto dessert plates and remove molds. If you don't want to unmold the panna cotta, just serve if you them in whatever you chilled them in.
I topped mine with a little bit of whipped cream and shaved chocolate.
 * Note: I added 2 extra tablespoons of sugar. I tasted the base and it was a little too tart for my taste.
My sweetie pie is still in Iraq, so I guess I'll have to make it again when he gets home.

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Celebrate World Nutella day with Nutella Truffles

We all have our favorite days of the year, be it Christmas, Thanksgiving, your birthday, whatever. Well February 5th would have to be would have to high on my list. Want to know why? It just so happens to be World Nutella Day! Yes that's right an entire day set aside to celebrate Nutella and all the wonderful ways you can use it. I usually just stick a spoon in the jar and eat it straight from the spoon, but in honor of World Nutella day, I thought I'd put in a little more effort. Although these are a little more effort that just licking Nutella from a spoon, these truffles are super easy and sooo delicious.

Two of my favorite bloggers Sara of Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle of Bleeding Espresso came up with the idea for World Nutella Day 5 years ago. Check out their blogs for more mouthwatering Nutella recipes. Happy World Nutella Day!!

Nutella Truffles
Printable recipe

1 (12-oz.) package semisweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup Nutella
3/4 cup finely chopped, toasted hazelnuts
Wax paper or parchment paper
Microwave first 3 ingredients in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Let cool 10 minutes.
Beat chocolate mixture at medium speed with an electric mixer 1 to 2 minutes or until whipped and smooth. Cover and chill 2 hours or until firm.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread chopped hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast in oven for about 5 minutes or until the nuts start to turn a golden brown. Keep a close eye on the nuts because they will burn quickly. Remove from oven and allow them to cool completely.
Shape chocolate mixture into 1-inch balls, using a small ice-cream scoop. Roll in chopped toasted hazelnuts. If chocolate mixture becomes too soft to shape, refrigerate until firm. Place on wax/parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Chill 1 hour before serving. Truffles can be stored up to 5 days in an airtight container.