Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes

Lemon ricotta cupcakes topped with a little light lemon cream cheese frosting, raspberry fairy dust (crushed freeze dried raspberries) and topped with a raspberry
Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes

These beautiful lemon ricotta cupcakes are so tender and moist they literally melt in your mouth.  They are bursting with bright and sunny lemon flavour.  For those of us who find lemon treats irristible this is a pretty healthy option as they have less fat and less sugar than a typical cupcake. The secrets are in some extra special ingredients: ricotta cheese and olive oil. Continue reading Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes

Triple Berry Frozen Yogurt Layer Cake


Triple Berry Frozen Yogurt Layer Cake
Triple Berry Frozen Yogurt Layer Cake

It is so exciting to make this cake, but hard to wait until it is finally set and ready to unveil.  I was anxious to see all the layers.  It is so pretty!  I love this mix of pinks and purples with bright red strawberry sauce, and just a little dark chocolate. Perfect for Valentine’s Day.

The key to creating clean layers is to freeze each layer well before pouring the next so that the colours don’t blend together.  I added some fresh raspberries and did a fun swirl pattern on the top layer by spooning drops of the strawberry sauce and using a toothpick to swirl them about. It only takes a few ingredients to make this healthy dessert: berries, yogurt, a little honey, dark chocolate and fruit spread.

Triple Berry Frozen Yogurt Layer Cake

Fruit spreads add sweetness and intensifies the fruit flavour and colour.  They are made without pectin.  Some brands are made without added sugar, and are a healthier choice than jam or jelly. Fruit spreads tend to be chunkier in texture and have a more spreadable consistency. Check the ingredient list and look for one that contains only fruit.

Dark Chocolate Heart and Flower Scribbles

To add an extra special touch to decorate the plates we made some chocolate hearts and flowers.  Melt pure dark chocolate, pour into a parchment cone, snip the end and draw your shapes onto a parchment paper covered cookie sheet.  Pop them into the freezer and they will be firm in only a couple of minutes. I saved this part for an after school activity because I know the kids love it.

Triple Berry Frozen Yogurt Layer Cake

Raspberry Layer

1 cup frozen raspberries

2 tablespoons Raspberry Spread (All Fruit)

1 cup Greek yogurt, plain, unsweetened

Blueberry Layer

1 cup frozen blueberries

2 tablespoons Blueberry Spread (All Fruit)

1 cup Greek yogurt, plain, unsweetened

Strawberry Layer

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

1 cup Greek Yogurt, plain, unsweetened

Strawberry Sauce

2 cups frozen strawberries

3/4 cups water

1 tablespoon honey (optional, depending on how sweet your strawberries are).

Directions: In a medium saucepan combine frozen fruit and water and cook covered on low until strawberries are soft and mushy.  Remove from heat and purée with an immersion blender until smooth.  Return to heat and cook down until desired consistency.  Add 1 tablespoon honey (or more or less) depending on the sweetness of the berries and your preference) and let cool.  Prepare loaf pan by lining completely with parchment paper. In food processor or blender, process frozen berries, Greek yogurt and fruit spread.  Pour info prepared pan and freeze for at least 30 minutes.  Rinse out food processor and repeat with other berries and preserves, freezing in between layers for at least 30 minutes. After the final layer, freeze until solid, about 4 hours.  Because I was adding in the strawberry swirl to the top layer I did not add as much fruit to the top layer and also did not add any of the fruit preserves.

To serve, remove from freezer and let sit out for approx 10 minutes before slicing.  Drizzle with strawberry sauce and decorate with chocolate hearts or flowers.



Natural Sprinkles for Cookies and Treats

Natural Sprinkles for Cookies and Treats
Natural Sprinkles
Everyone loves cookies and for special occasions decorated cookies are extra special.  However, if you look at the ingredient list on that jar of sprinkles and are not sure about all those colours and chemicals what other options are there? Chocolate chips, melted chocolate to dip, coarse sugar, powdered sugar, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, hemp seeds, chia seeds can all be fun.
When I tried this freeze dried fruit I noticed in the packages some of the dried fruit had become powdery – perfect for sprinkles! The fruit is very dry and crispy so simply crush up what you need. What do you use for to decorate your cookies?

Healthy Handouts for Halloween Trick or Treat

Healthy Handouts for Halloween Trick or Treat

We live in a neighbourhood where Halloween is crazy big.  The displays are awesome with the houses all dressed up, glowing jack-o-lanterns, witches, ghosts, fireworks and more. It is so much fun!  Everyone heads out and enjoys the night. Needless to say, it is a very popular area for kids and some houses report getting 500 kids come to the door to trick or treat.  To top that off the residents are very generous often handing out 2 or 3 treats to every child.  That is a lot of treats which usually means it is a lot of sugar!

With all the tempting sweet treats it is hard to not overindulge, especially when the kids have collected them.  How do we enjoy the holiday but not go overboard on sugar, calories and fat?  Luckily there are more and more healthy options to handout for this Halloween.

Healthy Handouts for Halloween Trick or Treat

Cheese sticks or strings
Mini Fruit cups (in water or juice)
Apple Sauce
Nuts, Seeds, or Trail Mix in small packages
Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate with Fruit or Nuts
What would you add to this list? 

Halloween Fun with Fruits and Vegetables

Halloween Fun with Fruits and Vegetables

With Halloween only a little over a week away, party planning is well under way!  This group of fabulously fun ideas with fruits and vegetables makes it easy to include healthy options at Halloween events. These super cute food crafts offer many nutritional benefits and would be wonderful classroom projects or family activities. Adding healthy options encourages everyone to have balance and resist the urge to over indulge at a time when sugary treats are so prevalent and abundant. Happy Halloween!


Please visit these links to check out the tutorials/recipes. 

Vegetable Skeleton from Kraft

Clementine Pumpkins and Banana Ghosts from One Little Project

Apple Bites from Oh She Glows

Cucumber Witch Hats and Celery/Carrot Broomsticks from Little Food Junction

Honeydew Bats from Shaken Together Life

Spooky Spider from Kitchen Fun with my 3 Sons

Jack-o-Lantern Peppers from Hidden Valley

Cucumber Monsters from Pop Sugar