Chai Baked Apples with Honey Yogurt

Nothing smells like fall to me more than chai and baked apples, so why not bring the two together?

Let me first tell you my thought process as I was in the spice aisle to get what I needed for the chai spices. I was there for like 15 minutes I’m sure. You might be able to find a blend of chai spices, but I was unable to find anything unless I ordered it. Or if I did find it, it was with black tea or had a sweetener, etc. Not just the spices to make chai spice.

Chai spice blend usually consists of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, and black or white pepper – which gives it the kick. Sometimes nutmeg makes it in there, sometimes not.

Some of these spices I use a lot as a dried spice like cinnamon and black pepper. But cloves very rarely, and nutmeg only with pumpkin pie usually, and ginger I get fresh ginger root, not necessarily powdered. So I didn’t want to buy all of these individual spices and then have them go bad and take up room in my spice cabinet. And the fact that good spices are expensive when you’re buying more than just a few, was not appealing to me, but I really wanted to try my idea out.

Then I had a revelation. (By the way, I thought this was perfectly accurate of what happened in the spice aisle. Revelation: a surprising and previously unknown fact, especially one that is made known in a dramatic way.) Pumpkin Spice that you can find EVERYWHERE is cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and ginger. All I had to do was add cardamom and if I wanted the heat, black pepper. Easy peasy. I was telling my husband, my mom, and now ya’ll about this fact, which I’m sure might not be a new idea for some of ya’ll, but it is for me.

I’m sure some of the ratios might be off, and if you have all of the spices needed to make your own chai spice, then be my guest! But this was a simple solution to what I needed. So basically these “chai” baked apples, is pumpkin spice + cardamom. I’m sure to all the chai spice lovers this is a huge “no-no”, but I’m simple and I got the flavor I’m looking for. So why not?

Now – onto the recipe! I paired this with unsweetened yogurt and a little honey. Since I’m not a huge sweet fan and baked apples are sweet enough, having the cool tart yogurt with it was perfect for me, but if you want a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, go for it, but I like the plain unsweetened yogurt with mine.

Enjoy!

Chai Baked Apples with Honey Yogurt

  • Servings: 6-8 servings
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Ingredients

  • 6-7 medium apples, mix and match, sliced evenly
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 3 T arrow root or corn starch
  • Sprinkle of salt if desired
  • 1 cup unsweetened yogurt of choice
  • 1/4 cup honey

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to bake at 350 degrees F. Coat the inside of a 9×13 pan with a small amount of vegetable oil.
  2. Put sliced apples, lemon juice, vegetable oil, brown sugar, pumpkin spice, cardamom, arrowroot or corn starch, and salt in a gallon size bag. Toss until apples are evenly coated.
  3. Throw the apples in the baking pan and cover. Bake for 45 minutes.
  4. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes.
  5. Take the yogurt and drizzle with honey, or mix in the honey with the yogurt.
  6. Let apples cool for 5-10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Avocado Key Lime Popsicles

So a little history about this recipe… The original-original inspiration was a recipe from a blog called The Salty Tomato. It was a Avocado Key Lime pie with the traditional graham cracker crust. Dairy free and delicious! I had made it years ago.

Since then I had made my own rendition of it as single serving size “pies” with a pecan and date crust. Dairy free, gluten free, and delicious! This different take on the recipe was my Frozen Avocado Key Lime Pies. Aren’t they cute?!

This year I have been loving my popsicle molds I bought and have been making popsicles at least once a month. Here are my other popsicles I’ve made so far in 2020…

So now my next popsicle that I’m making will be the next rendition of the Avocado Key Lime recipe. Now – I’ve made this recipe with key lime juice, and also straight lime juice when I couldn’t find key lime juice. The key lime juice will have a milder and sweeter taste. However, regular lime juice will work, but know it will be more tart.

Additionally, I decided to try out a coating of toasted coconut shreds and crushed graham crackers. Depending on your diet and your likes and dislikes, this does not make or break this recipe. Use the coating or not, this recipe is still delicious! Have fun with it! Hope you are all having a great summer!

Avocado Key Lime Popsicles with Toasted Coconut and Graham Crackers

  • Servings: 8 small popsicles, or 4 large
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Ingredients

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice (you can use lime juice but it will be more tart/sour)
  • 1/4 cup dark agave
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 1/4 cup coconut shreds
  • 1 sheet graham crackers

Directions

  1. In a blender, toss the avocado flesh of 2 avocados, key lime juice, dark agave, and coconut oil. Blend until smooth. Pour into bowl.
  2. Stir in the lime zest so there are flakes of the zest throughout the mixture.
  3. Pour into popsicles molds and freeze for at least 4 hours.
  4. Meanwhile, you can get the coating ready. Put one graham cracker in a ziplock bag and pound of roll over with a rolling pin until it is crumbs. In a small skillet, heat over medium heat and add the coconut shreds. Continuously toss. When the shreds start to brown it will not take long. Keep tossing until all shreds are golden. Turn off heat, add to small bowl. Mix in graham cracker crumbs.
  5. When the popsicles are frozen, take out of the freezer and let defrost 1-2 minutes. Take out of molds and coat with the coconut/crumb mixture. Put on or in container and put back in the freezer for a few minutes to refreeze before serving.

Cantaloupe Cream Pops

I interrupt your regularly scheduled posts to add a few recipes I’ve thrown together over the past few weeks. I’ve shared these recipes on my Instagram. If you don’t already follow me, you can check me out @differentbeetnutrition.

The next few days I’ll be posting a few simple recipes here and there that have slipped in to have them posted on the blog, and to share it with my blog family. These are not originally something I had planned to post, and usually I will be only posting twice a month since I know that is something I can consistently do. These next few posts might be light, but I hope you enjoy them none-the-less.

Let’s get to it! Cantaloupe is my favorite melon, and something I love having in the summer is cold, juicy, cantaloupe. So I decided to make them even colder and freeze them as fruit pops! Even better, these popsicles have no added sugar. I’m not a huge sweet fan, so these are sweet enough for me, but you can always add some sweetener to it if you’d like to the mixture.

Hope you’re enjoying your summer!

Cantaloupe Cream Pops

  • Servings: 8 small popsicles, or 4 large
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cantaloupe
  • 1/3-1/2 cup coconut cream from can
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. Blend all ingredients together in blender until smooth.
  2. Add mixture to molds and freeze overnight.
  3. Enjoy!”

Strawberry Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

One of my favorite spring/summer desserts to make! It’s easy just requires chopping and patiently waiting for the chips to bake if you choose to make them. Now the chips are not necessarily nutritious but the salsa part can be used in different ways. Top your favorite pancakes instead of syrup, eat it by itself, healthy topping for ice cream or “nice” cream, or use with your yogurt or chia pudding in the morning. However you want to eat this, go for it! It does make a lot, so make sure you have other options on how to eat it or make it for a group of people.

Let me first share with you the cinnamon chips. Feel free to only use cinnamon instead of cinnamon sugar, and if you have a better way to making chips like in an air fryer, by all means do it! But this is how I made mine. It is dessert after all.

Cinnamon Chips

  • Servings: 10 servings, 4 chips each
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Ingredients


– 10 flour tortillas
– 3 tbsp cinnamon
– 6 tbsp granulated sugar
– 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Directions


1. Preheat the oven to bake at 350 degrees F.
2. Take the tortillas and cut them into quarters so that there are four pieces per tortilla. Add them to a gallon size ziplock bag and add the oil. You may need 1 more tbsp of oil. Toss the bag to coat all the tortillas. This may take a few minutes.
3. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar.
3. Lay the chips out evenly on a baking sheet or two. You may have to do more than one batch to bake all of them.
4. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture.
5. Bake for 10-15 minutes or to desired crispiness.
6. Continue with the other tortillas until all are cooked.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving (about 4 chips)… unfortunately

192 calories | 5 g total fat | 1.1 g polyunsaturated fat | 2.0 monounsaturated fat | 1.7 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fats | 0 mg cholesterol | 364 mg sodium | 33.5 g carbohydrates | 2.4 g fiber | 8.8 g sugar | 4 g protein

 

And now for the Strawberry Salsa! This is an antioxidant and vitamin C rich dessert so don’t feel guilty digging in!

Strawberry Salsa

  • Servings: 6-8 servings, about 1 cup each
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Ingredients

  • 16 oz strawberries, diced
  • 6 oz blueberries, cut in half
  • 2 kiwis, diced
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 3/4 orange juice
  • 1 tbsp strawberry jam

Directions

  1. Combine all the fruit together, add lime and orange juice and mix. Add in jam and combine until dissolved.
  2. Cover and place in fridge until ready to eat. It’s good to let it sit for about 10-20 minutes.

Nutritional Information

1 cup serving

93 calories | 0.6 g total fat | 0.3 g polyunsaturated fat | 0.1 g monounsaturated fat | 0.04 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fats | 0 g cholesterol | 2 mg sodium | 22.6 g carbohydrates | 4 g fiber | 16 g sugar | 1.6 g protein

Apple, Pear & Cranberry Cobbler

Fall and winter scream for baked desserts. Having some of my favorites like pumpkin pie, apple dumplings, cinnamon rolls, and so much more, are always on the list once the weather gets cooler, but you don’t always have to have a dessert that is all that bad for you. I was shocked, and so was the rest of my family, about how delicious and rich this was. After a serving of this we were all satisfied and full. Let’s first talk about the main ingredients in most desserts – sugar, flour, and fat – and see how this dessert, although still being calorie dense, is changed for the healthier.

The Sweetener

Sugar is sugar, is sugar is sugar. Juice, maple syrup, honey, agave, turbinado sugar, date sugar, refined sugar – it’s sugar. However, using unrefined sources for a sweetener like maple syrup, honey, and orange juice still adds sugar but is not from highly processed sources.

With that in mind, in this dessert some of the sugar is from the broken down apples and pears. They are full of natural sugar and by keeping the peels on, you also keep the fiber in the dessert. When cooking there will be a loss of nutrients, but fiber pretty much stays the same which is good when we are talking about a dessert with sugar. Fiber allows the sugar to be absorbed at a slower rate so having something sweet with fiber (like fruit naturally has) does help your body absorb sugar at a slower pace and has more time to use it for energy instead of immediately being dosed with it and storing right away because of the overload. Not to mention the blood sugar spike.

The Flour

This recipe doesn’t use any flour. I only uses oats to create a crunchy topping. So if you are gluten free, make sure to use gluten-free oats. Using oats you can keep it whole food and nothing has been processed and stripped of anything. Plus to fact that we still keep that fiber in there as well.

The Fat

As you may know there are the “good” fats and the “bad” fats. An easy rule of thumb to tell the difference is if the fat/oil is solid at room temperature.

  • For instance butter and shortening is soft, but is still solid at room temperature. This means it is saturated fat or “bad” fat. This is fat that is easily stored and is known to increase LDL cholesterol.
  • Unsaturated fat is liquid at room temperature like olive oil, vegetable oil, and canola oil. These oils are known as the “good” fats. They are easily used in the body and can have some nutritional value because of Omega fatty acids. For instance, olive oil, has been known to decrease “bad” LDL cholesterol when replacing unsaturated fats.

In this recipe I use either canola or vegetable oil in the oat mixture to make sure it doesn’t burn and also creates a crunchy top. You’ll find that all in all, for a baked dessert, there is not a lot of oil added.

 

Apple Pear Cranberry Cobbler
  • Unprocessed source of sugar & is partly from the broken down cooked fruit
  • Oats only, no flour to keep it whole food
  • Unsaturated “good” fat, no “bad” fats

This is still a dessert and calorie dense, but it’s so worth it! Plus the added facts of it being a whole food dessert, easy, low-sodium, and the fat is good unsaturated fats. Enjoy!

Apple, Pear, & Cranberry Cobbler

  • Servings: 12 servings, about 1 cup each
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Ingredients

  • 3 apples, chopped, I use honey crisp apples
  • 2 pears, chopped
  • 12 oz. bag cranberries
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 cup Grade A maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 4 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • OAT CRISP
  • 2 1/2 cups old fashion oats *See note
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp nutmeg

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Chop your apples and pears and add to a 9×13 baking pan. No need to prepare the pan with oil or butter before adding anything, leave it dry. Whisk together the corn starch or arrowroot with the water in a small bowl until starch is dissolved. Add to the starch mixture the maple syrup, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Whisk together. Pour over fruit and gently mix to coat with the wet mixture.
  3. In a medium bowl add oats, honey, canola oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg and stir together. Once mixed together, pour lightly over top of the fruit and spread around to cover the top.
  4. Bake on 350 degrees F for 50-55 minutes or until oats start to brown and the fruit is bubbling on the sides. Your house will smell wonderful!
  5. Let cool for about 5 minutes after taking it out of the oven and serve!

If you are gluten free, make sure to buy gluten free oats. I was not aware of this until a friend had told me about how oats can easily be cross-contaminated with other things that include gluten. Make sure to find gluten-free oats.

Nutritional Information

About 1 cup serving

405 calories | 11.9 g fat | 1.2 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fat | 0 mg cholesterol | 7.5 mg sodium | 70 g carbohydrates | 7 g fiber | 37 g sugar | 4.5 g protein

Macro Sources

69% Carbohydrates | 26% Fat | 5% Protein

Dietary Servings per Portion
  • 1.2 Fruit
  • 1.8 Grain