What if you woke up one morning and suddenly ice cream and donuts were healthy? Actually, they are – thanks to my new Sneaky Blends!
Blend (blend) noun : A mixture of different qualities.
My blends start with a combination of superfoods—like blueberries, kale, white beans and sweet potatoes -- that are pureed down into concentrated form (imagine the consistency of hummus). They’re delicious enough to eat on their own, but also designed to be added to recipes—to make everything you eat vastly better for you, while also taking down the calories in the dish. Think of them as condensed nutrition. They’re the magical ingredient that transforms your favorite comfort foods into healthy ones.
Even the best intentions to give up all desserts and all our favorite foods tend to be short-lived since no one wants to be deprived forever just to fit into their skinny jeans. Here’s a way to have your donut and eat it too – with delicious satisfying sweets that are made from nutrient-dense ingredients instead of empty refined sugars and carbs….enjoy and let health sneak up on you!
Skinny Sweet Potato Donut Bites
Makes 6 servings - Serving size: 4 donut bites (or 2 mini muffin bites)
Donuts can be equally satisfying when baked, not deep fried! Mine use sweet potatoes and carrots which make them tender and moist, and added to the maple syrup, they’re deliciously sweet without a hint of refined sugar.
For the donuts
Nonstick cooking spray
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole grain pastry flour
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup canola or light olive oil
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 large egg
2 tablespoons plain low-fat Greek yogurt
½ cup Carrot–Sweet Potato Base Blend (below)
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For dusting the tops
1 tablespoon organic sugar (optional)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously mist a mini donut or mini muffin tin with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, maple syrup, egg, yogurt, the blend, and the vanilla. Stir the dry mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Spoon the batter into the baking tin, filling each individual well about three-quarters full. Bake for 16 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. To dust the tops: Mix the sugar (if using), cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Allow the donuts to cool or dive in while they’re warm. Lightly mist the tops of the donuts with cooking spray and dust with the sugar mixture.
Nutrition facts (per serving): 191 calories; 11 g fat; 385 mg sodium; 22 g carbs; 2 g fiber; 11 g sugar; 3 g protein
Carrot-Sweet Potato Blend
Makes about 4 ½ cups
2 large sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and rough chopped
6 large carrots, peeled and rough chopped
Place a steamer basket into a large pot, pour in a few inches of water (make sure the water is below the bottom of the basket) and set it over high heat. Add the sweet potatoes and carrots and steam, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, until fork tender. Blend veggies with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and until smooth, adding more water as necessary. Keeps for 3 days in fridge, 3 months in freezer.
Mint Chocolate Chip Gelato
Makes 4 servings - Serving size: ½ cup
Who needs nasty—and unhealthy—food coloring when you can get a beautiful green color naturally? The mint hue in this gelato comes from avocado and spinach—which you’ll never taste—and the real mint adds a coolness and pop of flavor that the faux stuff could never deliver.
2 frozen bananas, chopped (about 2 cups)
¼ ripe avocado
¼ cup baby spinach
¼ cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk (or low-fat milk)
A few sprigs of fresh mint
1 to 2 teaspoons raw honey
1 to 2 tablespoons cocoa nibs
Puree the first 6 ingredients until smooth. (Use a smaller amount of milk if you want a thicker soft-serve consistency.) Stir in the cocoa nibs. If you want a firmer gelato, freeze the mixture for at least 1 hour before scooping.
Nutrition facts (per serving): 104 calories; 4 g fat; 22 mg sodium; 20 g carbs; 3 g fiber; 12 g sugar; 1 g protein
Cinnamon-Oat Truffle Treats
Makes 16 servings - Serving size: 2 truffles
Gluten free and vegan. These treats, which are part of my Blends Cleanse, deliver a satisfying cold sweet richness. People are obsessed with these, myself included. I have them in my freezer at all times. Freezing them makes the truffle treats even better, and forces you to slow down and savor them longer—so they seem even more satisfying.
6 tablespoons White Bean Base Blend (below)
½ cup almond butter (or Sneaky Chef No-Nut Butter)
1 tablespoon 100% fruit, no-sugar-added jam
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal
½ cup finely ground rolled oats, divided (or gluten free oats)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
On a plate , mix the blend, almond butter, jam, flaxseed, and 2 tablespoons of the oats until well combined. On another plate, mix the remaining oats with the cinnamon and salt. Use a melon baller or measuring spoon to make tablespoon-size balls of the blend mixture. Roll the truffles in the cinnamon-oat mixture. Serve right away, or place the truffles in a container and freeze for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Nutrition facts (per serving): 144 calories; 11 g fat; 6 mg sodium; 11 g carbs; 2 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 4 g protein
White Bean Blend
Makes about 2 ¼ cups
2 15-ounce cans white beans, drained and rinsed* (Great Northern, navy, butter, or cannellini)
Blend the beans along with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until smooth, adding more water as necessary. Keeps for 3 days in fridge, 3 months in freezer.
*Note: If you prefer to use dried beans, soak them overnight and cook as directed.
Missy Chase Lapine is the NYT bestselling author and creator of the Sneaky Chef cookbooks and foods. Her new book, Sneaky Blends, comes out in September 2016. For more info, visit http://www.thesneakychef.com