The Better Cinnamon Apple Loaf

Nita Sharda, Carrots and Cake

I’ve been working hard at mastering this recipe; I think I’ve finally nailed it (man, what a good feeling)! The original recipe came from my colleague; she brought her version into work and wow’d everyone. The next day, multiple copies of the recipe floated around my workplace. Eager to make it myself, I grabbed a copy and began making a few tweaks.

And then, the “Dietitian” in me came out.

The original recipe called for only white all-purpose flour and ½ cup of butter. In an effort to increase the fibre content of the loaf I opted to use a bit of whole-wheat flour. Secondly, instead of butter, I used a combination of applesauce and canola oil. But really, you could use the butter if you love that flavor and want to boost the fat content a bit. It really is a versatile recipe.

Note: if you use butter; be sure to really cream it into a smooth consistency for a good quality product.

4.0 from 1 reviews
The Better Cinnamon Apple Loaf
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup canola oil (or any oil you prefer)
  • ¼ cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup milk (or milk alternative)
  • 1 apple, chopped (I used Granny Smith for tartness)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease your loaf pan.
  2. Mix brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon in a small bowl, set aside.
  3. In another medium sized bowl beat white sugar, applesauce and oil using a hand blender or beater. Beat until smooth and then one by one add in the eggs and vanilla.
  4. In a large bowl, blend flours, baking powder and baking soda.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Your batter should be smooth, and wet. It won’t look like a whole lot but that’s okay. Don’t over mix!
  6. Pour ½ the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Next, add ½ the apples and ½ the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture.
  7. Lightly pat the apples into the batter
  8. Pour remaining batter of the apple layer, top with remaining apples and finish off with the sugar and cinnamon topping.
  9. Bake in your oven for approximately 30 – 40 minutes, or, until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

After it’s done, hide it somewhere special so your husband doesn’t gobble it down (sorry babe, xoxo). It’s that good.

Nita Sharda, Carrots and CakeNita Sharda, Carrots and Cake

– With Love, Carrots and Cake,

Carrots and Cake Nita Sharda

Nita’s Breakfast Muffin

Nita Sharda, Carrots and Cake

Whole wheat. Fruit. Veggies. Nuts. What more?

It’s the holiday season. In a short few weeks Santa will be here, the turkey will be roasting, lights will be glimmering and families will be celebrating. How do you celebrate with food during this season? I have fond memories of watching the women in my family cook stacks and stacks of fresh roti. All of us kids would line up for the buffet of fresh Indian cuisine. Nope, no turkey for us. But I didn’t mind this so much; my mom was creating her own tradition in the way that she knew best.

Now here I am. In my twenty something, married and trying to create my own traditions. On the morning of Boxing Day, my friends and I gather around for brunch. These are special moments as so many of us live in other provinces and even in other countries. It is expected that each guest bring something. What do I bring? My infamous Breakfast Muffins pictured above (and below).

While you’re in the kitchen prepping to bake yummy goodies for the holiday season, try your hand at these muffins. You’ll love them. I promise.

These muffins are nothing short of being healthy and oh so nutritious. Loaded with fibre, bursts of flavor and great texture, they are seriously to die for. Now really, you don’t HAVE to eat them only at breakfast time. They make for a great dessert and a yummy snack too. Oh, did I mention they are toddler approved? My little niece loves them.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Nita's Breakfast Muffin
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ⅓ tsp salt
  • 2 cups grated carrot (about two medium sized carrots)
  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut, shredded
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • ¾ cup apple sauce
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or liners.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, dried cranberries, walnuts and coconut.
  4. In a bowl, blend the banana, carrots, eggs, canola oil, applesauce, vanilla and milk.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined. Divide among muffin tins. I always like to load mine up to the top for bigger muffins.
  6. Bake until toothpick comes out clean—approx 23 – 25 minutes. Cool, and enjoy!

This recipe was adapted from a variety of “Morning Glory” recipes I came across. With my own personal substitutions and additions, this is what I came up with! If you like this muffin, you’ll probably also love my Pumpkin Pecan Muffins.

Nita Sharda, Carrots and Cake

Up, close and personal.

Nita Sharda, Carrots and Cake 

– With Love, Carrots and Cake,

Carrots and Cake Nita Sharda

Lentil and Yogurt Spread

Nita Sharda, Carrots and Cake

If you’re in need of changing your usual deli-meat lunch sandwich for something a bit different (and likely less sodium packed), then this recipe post was meant for you.  The protein comes double packed all thanks to the Greek Yogurt and lovely lentils used in this spread. I opted to use this mixture on a fresh loaf of the “Health Bread” which can be purchased at a local Main Street bakery called A L’Epi De Ble (attention Winnipegger’s: you have not yet visited this gem of a place, you must). But really, you can enjoy this spread by the spoonful, wrapped in lettuce, with whole grain crackers or even with baked pita slices.

This spread speaks “health” – I mean, take a look at the short list of ingredients. Each, so simple on its own, but when combined they come together magically to create a satisfying and drool worthy concoction. Give it a try and let me know what you think. The original source of this recipe came from a beautifully crafted food blog I love to follow, 101 Cookbooks.

*note: instead of using a plain olive oil, I used a sample of chilli infused Prairie Oil – the olive oils are infused, packaged and sold right here in Manitoba. Local loving made easy!

Lentil and Yogurt Spread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 3-5
Ingredients
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts *preferably toasted
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp liquid honey
  • Pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, shaved
Instructions
  1. Gently chop the spinach and basil leaves, trying hard to not bruise them.
  2. Place the lentils in a bowl and mix in the spinach, basil, parsley, and garlic.
  3. Squeeze the lemon into the lentils. Mix to combine, and then fold in the yogurt gently to prevent the lentils from mushing up.
  4. Drizzle in the olive oil and honey. Fold in the toasted walnuts. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
  5. When assembled on toast, or if enjoyed alongside a salad simply garnish with Parmesan.

Nita Sharda, Carrots and CakeNita Sharda, Carrots and Cake

 

                 – With Love, Carrots and Cake,

Carrots and Cake Nita Sharda

GNI Feature: Easy, Fancy, Grown Up (but not really) Party Snack Ideas

 

Nita Sharda, Carrots and Cake

Pretty spices.

This post will mark the finale of the Girls Night In feature that was running on the Carrots and Cake blog over the past few weeks. As we bid farewell to what was a short but sweet summer, I’m hoping I can look forward to the fall season with open arms and that I can introduce you to some of my favorite fall recipes.

If you’ve ever hosted a girls night or any form of entertaining you know that multitasking is a skill you’ll need to really hone in on. Preparing in advance will save you from feeling overwhelmed and what I want to talk to you about is selecting a few quick n’ easy munchies that you can whip up in minutes!

The Cheese Plate

Putting together a cheese plate takes very little time and effort. It’s a great way to serve a dairy product in a sophisticated way for guests to enjoy or nibble on while the rest of your items are getting prepped. Cheese often gets a bad rap for its high fat content but people forget how rich it can be in nutrients like calcium, vitamin B12 and protein. For my girls night, I served up a variety of cheeses generously donated by Bothwell Cheese – the finest cheese makers in Manitoba! I take great pleasure in sourcing local food products. My favorite is the classic marble cheese but when I’m feeling adventurous I enjoy snacking on the Jalapeno Pepper Jack

I often pair my cheese plate with whole grain crackers such as Mary’s Gone crackers but you can also utilize a crusty baguette, raisin bread, sourdough or pumpernickel. Just remember the idea is not to overwhelm the taste of the cheese – check out the Dairy Goodness site for more information on entertaining with cheese. It’s also fun to pair cheese plates with pickles, roasted garlic, dark chocolate, nuts and dried fruit. What’s your favorite way to enjoy cheese?

Nita Sharda, Carrots and Cake

Thanks again Bothwell Cheese.

Parmesan Popcorn 

Popcorn isn’t just for the movies–you can pop a modest portion and top it with unique ingredients to create fun flavours. I’m a big believer that popcorn is the most versatile food out there. Popcorn is a totally unprocessed whole grain that also contains fibre. You can enjoy it sweet or savoury. Nix the pre-packaged microwave, store-bought, and movie theater varieties which are usually laced with a ton of additives, fat and salt. Instead, air-pop a handful of kernels in a dab of fat such as butter, olive oil or even coconut oil. The Food Network has an easy microwave method if that’s the route you’d like to take or you can pop it on the stovetop.

I had a guest who brought over a super-duper-awesome popcorn maker which made it really easy to prepare popcorn. It’s not necessary to buy a fancy popcorn maker but if you’re interested, they can be purchased for extremely affordable prices, usually less than $20.00. I packaged the popcorn into cute little sandwhich bags and topped the mixture with cayenne pepper and Bothwell Cheese Smoked Parmesan.

As far as toppings, here are a few that I personally enjoy, but the list could be endless:

  • Nutritional yeast
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Cinnamon + Vanilla extract
  • Garlic powder
  • Parmesan Cheese

CnC_gni popcorn Carrots and Cake, Nita Sharda

p.s. If you haven’t already checked it out, this is a short snippet of what my #gni looked like. Enjoy!

 

 

                 – With Love, Carrots and Cake,

 
 Carrots and Cake Nita Sharda

 

GNI Feature: Almond Crusted Salmon with Gourmet Inspirations

 

Nita Sharda, Carrots and Cake

Thanks to Gourmet Inspiration!

For the girls night in I hosted, I had my foodie friend Peter Fehr of Gourmet Inspirations help me serve up a few appetizers using his handmade finishing sauce, Strawberry Balsamic with Basil. Let me tell you, if anything was a hit that night, it was this baby right here. Perfectly cooked, crunchy and flavorful is exactly what this dish was. But, to be honest–I wouldn’t expect anything short of perfection from Peter. I’m excited for him to continue sharing his product with the world and wish him all the success (don’t worry, more to come with Peter in future posts)!

Salmon is loaded with a bounty of nutrients. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids it offer a TON of anti-inflammatory properties for our body. It also serves as a source of vitamin D and is an excellent choice for lean protein. There are so many ways to cook up salmon–you can grill it, poach it, pan-fry it, bake it or even steam it. For this recipe, we created a crunchy crust by processing almonds and submerging the salmon into it. I wouldn’t have had it any other way! For the purpose of serving this dish “appie style” we opted to slice the salmon into strips and just before serving, Peter arranged them beautifully into bite size pieces.

Thank you Peter for lending a hand, sharing your passion and getting us inspired. Recipe below: 
GNI Feature: Almond Crusted Salmon with Gourmet Inspiration
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 2 salmon filets, skinned
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • All purpose flour as needed (approx ½ cup)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup sliced raw almonds (or slightly pulsed), spread on a shallow plate
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp. Gourmet Inspirations’ Strawberry Balsamic with Basil Sauce
  • 2 fresh strawberries for garnish
Instructions
  1. Season salmon with salt and pepper
  2. Dredge one side of salmon in flour
  3. Dip that same side in the beaten egg
  4. Press salmon with sliced almonds (on the egg/floured side only)
  5. Flash fry in olive oil on a shallow pan, set to medium-high heat (approximately 2 minutes)
  6. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes or until salmon is cooked through
  7. Top salmon with strawberry balsamic sauce
  8. Garnish with a fresh sliced strawberry
Carrots and Cake, Nita Sharda

Visit http://gourmetinspirations.ca/ to find out how you can get your hand on this finishing sauce.

GNI_Salmon_peterGNI_Salmon_closeup

Photo credit goes to my friends at Samba Joy – Photo & Art. They-da-bomb!

p.s. If you haven’t already checked it out, this is a short snippet of what my #gni looked like. Enjoy!

 

                 – With Love, Carrots and Cake,

Carrots and Cake Nita Sharda

GNI Feature: Jalapeno Spiced Hummus

Carrots and Cake, Nita Sharda

Perfectly spiked and ready to enjoy.

Today I’m thrilled to share the first of a recipe series from the girls-night-in (GNI) I hosted a few weeks back. The recipe below is for hummus which is often used as a spread or dip. The main ingredient is chickpeas and often most recipes contain tahini. Because tahini isn’t a staple in my home, I opted to create a hummus spread without it. The base of this recipe came from my glob-trotting, foodie-extraordinaire, yogi friend (also a fellow Dietitian), Allie of Balanced with Allie.  It’s the kind of recipe you can spike with multiple flavors: chilli, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic or caramelized onion–yum! The options are endless.

I’m particularly fond of hummus because unlike many commercial spreads and dips, it’s not loaded with starches, sodium, fat or cheap ingredients. It’s also a great way to incorporate more beans and legumes into your lifestyle if these aren’t foods you typically cook with. Not to mention, it’s super easy to put together. All you need is a blending device or an immersion blender! Hummus also freezes well – yaay for batch cooking!

Enjoy!

Jalapeno Spiced Hummus
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 15oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 - 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • paprika (optional)
  • cilantro (optional)
  • 1 pickled jalapeno
  • 1 - 2 tbsp picked jalapeno juice
Instructions
  1. Drain and rinse garbanzo beans.
  2. Combine all ingredients into food processor and blend until consistency is smooth.
  3. Add additional water or lemon juice as needed.
  4. Serve with veggies, pretzels, wholegrain crackers or use as a spread on wraps, sandwiches or even as a "pizza sauce" (yes, it's yummy)!

Oh, and just incase you missed the magical video that my friends at Samba Joy created for me, see below!

A few more photos, snapped by the talented Samba Joy

Carrots and Cake, Nita ShardaCarrots and Cake, Nita ShardaCarrots and Cake, Nita Sharda

                 – With Love, Carrots and Cake,

Carrots and Cake Nita Sharda

Sharing Stories: Summer, with Ice Cream

Nita Sharda, Carrots and Cake

Just when you thought it might not come, it did. Summer came to Winnipeg.

I rang in the start of my favorite season by driving to a local grocer, picking up a pale of ice cream, chopping a few juicy strawberries and enjoying a modest portion of Cornell Crème’s Natural Vanilla Bean ice cream.  Yes people, I, Nita Sharda, Registered Dietitian eat full fat ice cream #aintnoshame.  For me, eating ice cream or any “treat” is a proclamation of how content I am with my physical body, and I’d also like to think it reflects the control I have over my personal health and well being.

You may not spot me licking ice cream on a daily basis, but when the occasion calls for it, I’m all in. I’ve bid farewell to the days of feeling “guilty” after inhaling a high-sugar high-fat food item. Instead of being bogged down by treats, I allow them to elevate me and remind myself that yes, I am in control. Besides, life is short and fine-tuning that balance is something we all struggle with as we work through life.

Okay, okay, I’m done with my venting.

What I’m really excited to share is some briefing notes from a cyber chit-chat I had with Lisa Dyck, owner of Cornell Crème ice cream which is taking over Manitoba. Similar to when I shared my personal food philosophy, Lisa feels it’s important to know where her food comes from, to become well versed in reading nutrition labels and to understand ingredient lists. As an ice cream producer herself, she admits that life is about balance: “eat a balanced diet; treat yourself in moderation”.

Nita Sharda Carrots and Cake

Lisa Dyck, Cornell Creme

Cornell Crème is sold across Manitoba with several retailers’ right in Winnipeg. For more information on where you can make your purchase, click here. Also keep your eyes open for Dan, the ‘Cornell Creme Bike Man’. He can be spotted at local jams, festivals and hot spots in the city. I’ve spotted him myself around Osbourne Village offering up a mini serving of ice cream to local folks. Here’s more from Lisa:

How did the birth of Cornell Crème come to be?
Cornell Creme evolved over time; from making a natural, good tasting ice cream at home for my family to wanting to develop a real-deal product made from our milk.

We wanted to make the best tasting ice cream from our farm’s milk. We support ethical ideals such as sourcing ingredients from local suppliers, Fair Trade, Non-GMO and Kosher. Every ingredient we use is sourced with thought and effort. We want to make sure we feel good about the product we are making as well as contributing to an ethically sound environment.

Do you promote the use of preservatives in your ice cream?  
No. I try to let our ingredient list speak for itself. All natural with no preservatives. This means we only use cream, milk, sugar, egg yolks and extracts that are either organic or kosher certified.

How do you raise your cows?
To a dairy farmer the health of his or her cows is number one.  Farmers work very hard to make sure their cows are fed top quality feed and that they receive the best care. We are very serious about our cows and their care, health and happiness comes first on our farm. Our cows are in a free-stall/free-roaming barn. They have access to nutritious feed three times a day with liters upon liters of fresh water. If the cows are happy, then farmer is happy.

Let’s talk about the flavors. Malty Ale Pale—how the heck did you dream of this one?
*insert giggles* A friend of mine who happens to be a chef suggested the beer flavor. We went with it and never looked back.

Where do you find inspiration for your flavors? They certainly are unique, not to mention mouth-watering.
Most flavor inspirations are derived from what goes on in my brain. I try to base selections on what I like and what is popular with consumers. My family, friends and fellow tweeters also offer up suggestions. If it will fit our production method, we consider it.

How is Cornell Crème Ice Cream different from those that are mass produced?
We use fresh milk straight from our farm to plant. We stick to the five basic ingredients. Being a local producer, we try our best to source local ingredients within our networks. Our ice cream also has a very low overrun. Overrun means the amount of air that is pumped into ice cream. So, if the overrun is high (lighter ice cream) you will be paying for more air in the product. You do get what you pay for but we believe when comparing prices you may actually be getting a little more than you are paying for with our ice cream.

We also went with high butterfat content because taste is carried through fat as the medium in (many) foods. When your body/palate craves “fat”, you can actually eat very little of our ice cream and your brain will register it has had enough. With lower fat ice cream you may need to eat more of the product to feel the satisfaction. Ice cream is meant to be a decadent treat not a meal replacement.

A part of being an entrepreneur is preparing yourself for more and more growth. How do you plan to grow Cornell Crème? Would you consider selling across to other provinces?
We make the ice cream at a CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) approved facility. This ultimately means we can sell nationally across Canada. If we move from our current plant (our plan this year) we have the opportunity to upscale production.  If we get sales in other provinces, yes, we will consider it! We are trying to grow one step at a time ensuring we are making the right decision for our family and for Cornell Crème. We certainly do not want to grow too big, too fast.

And for the grand finale, last question (enter drum roll): What is your favorite flavor?
Hands down, without a doubt: Vanilla Bean!

Thank you again, Lisa, for spending some time with Carrots and Cake. I’m humbled to have met you and wish you and Cornell Crème nothing but the best!

If you want get to know Cornell Crème a bit more, follow their blog here. You can also follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Nita Sharda

Lisa’s favorite, Natural Vanilla Bean

The opinions contained within this blog post are solely my own (unless otherwise stated) and are intended purely for educational and sharing purposes. The purpose of the above post is not to display advertisement. Carrots and Cake did not and will not accept reimbursement for the above post.

                                – With Love, Carrots and Cake,

Carrots and Cake Nita Sharda

 

 

 

Baked Oatmeal with Apple & Cinnamon

Carrots and Cake, Nita Sharda

Quick n’ easy.

Breakfast. The most important meal of the day. No, it’s not an old wives tale or a myth. It’s a fact folks. In my practice I meet a lot of clients that just can’t stomach the idea of having a meal first thing in the morning. I always explain the benefits of breakfast very briefly, but also offer new and novel ideas. Some people have just over-killed “breakfasty foods” – you know the toast, cereal, porridge, eggs and sausages, the list goes on. I get it, it gets boring. But heck, think outside the box. I don’t care if you have a sandwich for breakfast or even leftover lasagna. Just have something that is balanced (aim for 3 food groups)! If breakfast for dinner is appropriate, why can’t we have “dinner” for breakfast? Sometimes, years of eating cereal or oatmeal the traditional way can get boring.

There’s also no harm is postponing breakfast either: such as, waiting until you’ve gotten to your office or had some time to really “wake up”.

–    Breakfast. The Most important meal of the day.    –

Other clients express that their morning is often really busy and they simply “have no time”. Being a rather busy-body myself, I can fully sympathize with this one. So what do I tell people? I encourage them to prepare breakfast the night before as they would for lunch. HERE is where this recipe comes handy. It’s a staple in our home and quickly devoured.

This recipe is a version of oatmeal, but baked. You can prepare it in advance and it will offer you 4-6 servings over the week. You can feel free to munch on it as a bar, or pour warm milk over it. Sometimes I like to throw in nuts, fresh berries, coconut or even a mashed banana to change it up. The ideas are truly endless. If you’re making this to serve a large group, you can easily double the recipe and bake into a 13″ x 9″ dish. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Baked Oatmeal with Apples & Cinnamon
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds or walnuts
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries (optional: or add in shredded coconut, raisins etc)
  • 1 Apple, chopped
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 cups milk or milk alternative
  • 2 tsp Ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8" (2L) baking dish
  2. In a medium size bowl, combine oats, nuts, cranberries, chopped apple, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  3. Once blended together, pour in milk. Mix well.
  4. Pour contents into the greased pan and bake until oats are softened and milk has absorbed. It usually takes about 45 - 60 minutes.
  5. Serve hot or cold.

Nita Sharda, Carrots and Cake

Nita Sharda

            – With Love, Carrots and Cake,

Carrots and Cake Nita Sharda

 

Spicy Honey Roasted Chickpeas

Carrots and Cake, Nita Sharda

Seasoned and roasted to perfection!

As you can likely tell from the few posts I’ve had since the birth of this blog, I’m a HUGE proponent of sourcing plant based foods as a source of protein. Where do I begin? Beans, legumes, lentils and nuts are packed with protein and heart healthy nutrients to keep your ticker in top shape!

This particular recipe for roasted chickpeas is ridiculously easy and incredibly tasty. What more do you want out of a recipe,  like really? If you’re new to beans, you can purchase them dry and boil until tender. Inspect your dried chickpeas before cooking, throwing out those that are shriveled or have broken skin. You might find some pebbles or twigs which can be discarded. For every cup of chickpeas, soak with 3 cups water. Chickpeas need to be soaked for at least four hours or preferably for 8 hours. To keep things easy, soak them overnight. Throw out the soaking water by putting chickpeas into a strainer and rinsing them well. This washes away the carbohydrates and sugars that cause gas. For more information on chickpeas, check out this article from Eat Right Ontario.

Or, you can easily find canned versions. If you’re going this route, be sure to rinse them thoroughly. Either way, ensure you allow enough time for the chickpeas to completely dry out, otherwise they may not roast nicely for this recipe.

I typically stash these in an airtight container in the fridge and nibble on the chickpeas a little bit at a time. Another way to enjoy this recipe is by tossing them onto a salad. They offer an added “kick” to any salad and a pretty awesome crunch.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Spicy Honey Roasted Chickpeas
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 28oz can chickpeas
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp honey (or agave nectar)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Drain, rinse and dry the chickpeas. You can also use a salad spinner to help them dry a bit faster.
  3. Mix the cumin, paprika, garlic powder and black pepper into the oil. Stir honey into this mixture.
  4. Toss this dressing onto the chickpeas until evenly coated.
  5. Spread the chickpeas in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 30 to 40 minutes. Check up on your chickpeas every 10 minutes and roll them around with a spatula.
  6. And, enjoy!

 

Carrots and Cake, Nita ShardaCarrots and Cake, Nita Sharda

            – With Love, Carrots and Cake,

Carrots and Cake Nita Sharda

Pumpkin Pecan Muffins

Carrots and Cake Nita Sharda

We all know pumpkins are seasonal in the fall, but when you’re craving that rich flavor with hints of cinnamon, it’s hard to resist baking a batch of muffins that feature this squash. These Pumpkin Pecan Muffins are moist and taste best when served fresh. Don’t be alarmed by the ratio of whole wheat flour to all purpose flour. The muffins don’t come out dense; instead, they are light and fluffy. If you’re whipping up a batch of these feel free to add in dried cranberries instead or even a handful of dark chocolate chips. Have fun with it, and own it!

Oh and a tip…

Sour milk can be used instead of buttermilk. To prepare, combine 2 tsp (10 mL) lemon juice or vinegar with 1 cup (250 mL) milk and let stand for 5 minutes. See, I gotchu’ covered. And what’s even better? These muffins freeze really well, SO double up! 

Recipe was adapted from this Pumpkin Raisin Muffin.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pumpkin Pecan Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: as many or as few as you'd like
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tbsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • ½ can (7 oz/200 mL) pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk (see tip below)
  • 2 eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt and raisins
  3. In a separate bowl, blend together pumpkin, oil, buttermilk and eggs.
  4. Make a large well in center of dry ingredients; pour in wet ingredients all at once. Gently fold together until just combined.
  5. Spoon batter into muffin tins. Sprinkle each muffin lightly with brown sugar.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until firm to the touch.

Nita Sharda, Carrots and Cake

Nita Sharda, Carrots and Cake

Yeah, that’s real butter.

Recipe adapted from Dietitian’s of Canada website:
http://www.dietitians.ca/Recipes/Pumpkin-Raisin-Muffins.aspx

Carrots and Cake Nita Sharda