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Old 07-07-2008, 12:07 PM   #33
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Woodland, CA
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Height: 5' 8"

Default Amanda's (Fairly) Low Cal Desserts

Apple Spice Cake with Caramel Drizzle

A fabulous Fall cake with healthy fruit and whole wheat flour. The caramel drizzle, though fairly high on the calorie scale, elevates this from your standard lowfat fare to something spectacular.

For the Cake:

2½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar (a sugar substitute may be used to replace ⅔ of the sugar in this recipe)
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp salt
3 cups unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp vanilla extract
1½ cups diced tart apple (such as Granny Smith)

For the Caramel Drizzle:

⅓ cup brown sugar, packed
¼ cup dark corn syrup
¼ cup butter or margarine

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the pastry flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Stir to combine. Add in the applesauce and vanilla extract, and mix until barely combined. Fold in the diced apple and oats. Spray a 9 inch round cake pan with cooking spray, and spread the batter evenly in the pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the batter comes out cleanly. Cool on a wire rack.

While the cake cools, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the brown sugar and corn syrup and stir constantly. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue stirring for 4-5 minutes, until the mixture is visibly thickened and starts to string slightly on the bottom of the pan. Immediately remove from heat and drizzle over the cake.

Yields: 12 slices

Arborio Rice Pudding

½ cup arborio rice
3 cups filtered water
Zest of one orange, peeled in wide strips
½ cup fat free half and half, plus 2 tbsp
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 vanilla bean, split, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup Splenda or other sugar substitute (note: real sugar may be used if desired, but the dish will be higher calorie)
¼ cup raisins

In a large saucepan, bring the three cups of water to a boil. Add the orange peel and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer at least 5-10 minutes before proceeding.

In a small measuring cup, warm the fat free half and half in the microwave until nearly simmering. Scrape the vanilla bean. Add the seeds to the warmed half and half, along with the scraped pods, and allow to sit while you prepare the rice.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the rice and 1 cup of the simmering orange water. Stir. Cook the rice, stirring constantly, until all of the liquid is absorbed. Add an additional ¾ cup of the liquid and continue to cook. Repeat with additional liquid until rice is cooked and liquid is thick and starchy.

Stir in the half and half with vanilla, sugar substitute, cinnamon, and raisins. Bring back to a simmer and stir constantly until the liquid is once again absorbed. Remove to a serving dish, cover, and chill at least 2 hours to allow flavors to meld.

The pudding may be served warm or cold.

Yields: 4 generous servings

Pumpkin Chocolate Spice Cake
½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp baking powder
⅛ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ cup sugar, plus 2 tsp
½ cup canned pumpkin (not pie mix)
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp semisweet chocolate chips
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and ¼ cup of the sugar (sugar substitute may be used to replace the ¼ cup of sugar as desired). Stir to combine.

Add the canned pumpkin and vanilla extract and stir until just mixed. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Spray two 8-10 oz ramekins with cooking spray, and divide the batter equally between them. Sprinkle the top of each with a tsp of granulated sugar (optional).

Bake at 375 degrees 15-18 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the cake comes out clean. Remove from ramekin and serve warm.

Yields: 2 individual cakes

Peach Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

This frozen yogurt is adaptable to all kinds of fruits. Our favorite combinations are blueberry lemon, raspberry-apricot, and blackberry. Just use about 2 cups of fruit (to equal about 1½ cups fruit puree).

1½ cups strawberries
4 small peaches, peeled, pitted, and diced
2 tsp good quality vanilla extract
2 cups reduced fat greek-style yogurt
½ cup fat free half and half
⅛ cup white sugar
¼ cup Splenda (or equivalent)

Thoroughly puree the peaches and 1 cup of the strawberries in a food processor. Press the mixture through a sieve to remove any lumps, and pour the puree into a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the fat free half and half, sugar, splenda, and vanilla and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add the yogurt and stir until all lumps have been removed. Mix the yogurt/half and half mixture with the fruit puree and stir to combine.

Finely chop the remaining half cup of strawberries and fold into the mixture. Chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours or until very cold, then freeze in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer directions.

Stuffed Baked Peaches

2 peaches, washed and cut in half lengthwise, pits removed
⅓ cup quick cooking oats
2 tbsp brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp white sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter or margarine, melted
Pinch of salt
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine the oats, sugars, cinnamon, and pinch of salt. Add the melted butter and stir to combine.

Pack ¼ of the oat mixture into the top of each peach, filling the cavity that used to hold the pit. Press down lightly.

Place each peach half, skin side down, in a glass baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Bake until the stuffing is crisp on top and the peach is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Serve warm.

Yields: 4 Peach Halves

This pineapple is almost too good to be true - decadent and caramelized, but with no more calories than the fruit itself. The foil packet can also be cooked on the grill, making this great for summer cookouts. Served warm or cold, it’s great with ice cream, with cheeses, or as an unusual component to a fruit salad. As an added bonus, the leftover vanilla beans pieces can be placed in a small jar of sugar, and in a few weeks, you’ll get vanilla-pineapple flavored sugar.

Roasted Vanilla Cinnamon Pineapple

1 large pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 vanilla bean, split (if you don’t have vanilla beans, use 1 tbsp vanilla bean extract)
2 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
Pinch salt

Heat oven to 425 degrees

Place the pineapple chunks on a piece of foil, large enough to create a packet that will completely enclose the fruit. Scrape the seeds from inside the vanilla bean and toss well with the pineapple chunks, making sure the specks are evenly distributed. Scatter the cinnamon stick pieces over the pineapple, sprinkle with the pinch of salt, and toss to combine.

Seal the foil packet tightly (you may want to add another layer of foil to keep the packet from leaking into your oven). Place the packet on a baking sheet and in the preheated oven.

Roast for 40-45 minutes, or until the pineapple smells caramelized. Allow packet to sit at least 10 minutes, then open the packet and serve, or allow to cool and chill.

Yields: About 2 Cups
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