Claudia and Hans Make Stuff

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First try apple pie

While my favorite pie is raspberry pie, Hans loves apple pie. I had been planning to try to bake apple pie for a while now and it seemed only fitting to bake it yesterday. Apparently Utah observes a State holiday called Pie and Beer Day (I mean Pioneer Day).
So we enjoyed a beer from our favorite brewery with dinner (https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/fresh-tomato-and-asparagus-gnocchi/) and I decided to bake my first-ever apple pie.

I had always used a dry pie crust baking mix but was determined to bake the pie from scratch this time. Another requirement, I wanted the pie to be somewhat lower in calories than the traditional recipes. So I spent quite some time online reading several recipes and creating my own.

Once we enjoy the pie later today I will provide more feedback =)
My next try will have doublecrust though, so that the apples cook in their own juice.
YES!!! Definitely making this recipes again but NEXT TIME double-crust. Stay tuned!!!

Ingredients for single pie crust:
1/3 cup olive oil (when making this I was reminded how disappointed I was about the quality of the midrange olive oil, I may just use canola oil next time or more expensive olive oil)
1 1/4 cup organic flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup ice water
1 tablespoon organic raw sugar, optional (I added sugar to “balance” out the olive oil)

Preparation of pie crust:
1. Make sure that the oil and water is ice-cold. This will make the dough flakier.
2. Add all ingredients together to make a smooth dough. I ended up hand-mixing the dough. Once the dough is done, place it in the refrigerator for one hour.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out dough on a floured surface and place into greased pie baking dish. Bake for 7-10 minutes to allow pie crust to set for filling.

Pie crust before baking

Pie crust before baking

Meanwhile you can prepare the pie filling.
Ingredients for the pie filling:
3 tablespoons raw sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons organic flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
5-6 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

Preparation of pie filling:
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and bake at 350 degrees F for 30-45 minutes, or until golden brown and apples are tender.

Frist try apple pie_small


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Energiehappen (“Energy bites” recipe in German)

Manchmal habe ich Appetit und moechte etwas essen, dass meine Energie erhoeht. Kennst Du dieses Gefuehl?
Nun, anstelle einer handful von Gummibaeren oder Schokis, habe ich angefangen Energiehappen zu machen. Diese kleinen bissgrossen Happen sind suess, super lecker, und naehrreich.

Zutaten (Das naechste Mal werde ich zaehlen wie viele Happen dieses Rezept macht) :
1 Tasse Haferflocken
1/2 Tasse kleine Stückchen von dunkler Schokolade
1/2 Tasse Erdnussbutter (oder andere Nussbutter)
1/2 Tasse gemahlener Leinsamen
1/3 Tasse Honig
1 Teelöffel Vanilleextrakt

Zubereitung:
1. Vermische alle Zutaten. Ich fange gerne mit dem Honig, der Erdnussbutter, und den Haferflocken an. Dann gebe ich das Vanilleextrakt, den Leinsamen, und die Schokoladenstueckchen hinzu. Es ist normal, dass die Mischung klebrig ist.
2. Nimm eine kleine Portion der Mischung und rolle es in die Form eines kleinen Balles (so grass wie eine grosse Kirche).
3. Iss es wenn Du ins Mittagsloch gefallen bist, als einen Energiehappen vor einer Wanderung, als einen Energiehappen nach einer Wanderung, etc. Ich bin mir sicher, dass Euch viele Gelegenheiten einfallen werden diese leckeren Happen zu verzehren.

Yummy bite-sized pieces of energy

Yummy bite-sized pieces of energy


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Energy bites

At times I have a craving to eat something sweet to increase my level of energy. Do you know that feeling?
Well, instead of reaching to eat a handful of gummy bears or a reese’s peanut butter cup, I have started to make energy bites. These little flavorful bite-size pieces are sweet, delicious, and best of all very nutritious.

Ingredients (Next time I make them I count how many “bites” this recipe makes):
1 cup rolling oats
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I always use dark chocolate chips)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation:
1. Combine all the ingredients and mix well. I like to start with mixing the peanut butter and honey with the rolling oats. Then I add the vanilla extract, flax seed, and chocolate chip. Note that this mixture is rather sticky.
2. Take small portions of the mixture and shape them into small balls, approximately the size of a large cherry.
3. Eat as mid-afternoon-pick-me up, as a pre-hike-quick-energy boost, as a post-hike-recovery-energy boost, etc. I am sure you will be able to come up with plenty opportunities to enjoy this nutritious and delicious snack.

Note: Ground flax seed work better than whole flax seed, as they tend to get stuck in my teeth. Also you can easily replace the flax seed with chia seed (make sure they are ground). Or you could use half flax seed and half chia seed.

Yummy bite-sized pieces of energy

Yummy bite-sized pieces of energy

Nutritional benefits:
* Honey has traces of potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus, unlike white sugar. Furthermore, honey contains more complex carbohydrates in addition to glucose and fructose. Therefore, it takes longer to break these carbohydrates down than glucose and fructose.
* Oats contain vitamin B and E, iron, calcium, magnesium, and fiber. They may be able to reduce blood cholesterol, ease constipation, and help to stabilize blood sugar levels.
* Flax seed are a good source of omega-3-fatty acids, vitamin E, iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. These little seeds are one of the best vegetarian sources of omega-3-fatty acids.
* Peanut butter is a great source of protein. It is also packed with healthy fat (unsaturated fats). It also contains fiber and magnesium.
* Dark chocolate may increase the blood flow to the heart and the brain. It also helps to control blood sugar levels and is rich in antioxidants, potassium, copper, magnesium, and iron.


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Rhabarberkuchen (“Rhubarb almond cake” recipe in German)

Wir haben eine riessige Rhabarberpflanze in unserem Garten, also war es bloss eine Frage der Zeit bis ich ein neues Rezept mit Rhabarber ausprobieren wuerde. Als ich klein war, hat es oft Rhabarberkompot und Rhabarberkuchen gegeben, aber die Erinnerung an den Kuchen ist etwas verstaubt. Glücklicher Weise habe ich ein Rezept gefunden, welches ich etwas verändert habe…und es hat zu ganz leckerem Rhabarberkuchen geführt.

Zutaten:
300 g Rhabarber, gesäubert und geschnitten
3 Eier
175 g Zucker
1 Esslöffel Vanille Extrakt
1 Prise Salz
200 g Mehl
2 Teelöffel Backpulver
50 g Mandel, gerieben
100 g Quark
Puderzucker und Mandelblättchen als Dekoration

Zubereitung:
1. Säubere den Rhabarber und entferne die ‘harte Schale”. Schneide die Stengel in kleine Stückchen (ungefähr 2-3 cm in Länge).
2. Vermische die Butter, Zucker, und Eier. Gebe das Vanille Extrakt, Salz, und Backpulver hinzu. Gebe das Mehl langsam hinzu und dann füge die geriebenen Mandeln und den Rhabarber hinzu.
3. Fülle den Teig in eine gefettete Springform und backe den Kuchen im vorgeheizten Backhofen (180 Grad Celcius) für 25-30 Minutes (oder bis Teig völlig gebacken ist).

Birthday cake does not need to have frosting =)

Birthday cake does not need to have frosting =)

Rhubarb cake_1_small Rhubarb cake_2_small Rhubarb cake_3_small

 

 

 

Rhabarber und seine Vorteile fuer die Gesundheit:
* Rhabarber hat auf natürliche Art geringe Kalorien, aber ist reichhaltig an Balaststoffen und Antioxidantien.
* Rhabarber ist auch reichhaltig an Vitaminen des B-Komplexes, wie Folate, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine), Thiamin, and Pantothensaeure. Die Vitamine des B-Komplexes spielen unter anderen eine Role für die Gesundheit des Nervensystems, den Muskeln, und dem Herz.
* Rhabarber hat auch eine hohe Menge von Vitamin K. Vitamin K fördert die Knochenformung und Knochenstränge. Ausreichende Mengen des Vitamin K helfen auch das Gehirn von Schaden zu schützen.

Modifiziert von http://www.chefkoch.de/rezepte/1874061304582310/Rhabarber-Mandel-Tarte.html


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Rhubarb almond cake

We have a giant rhubarb plant in our garden, so it was just a matter of time that I needed to try out a new recipe using rhubarb from the garden. Growing up, my mom often made rhubarb compote and baked rhubarb cake.  My memory of the cake is a bit cloudy, but I found a recipe that I modified a bit to bake rhubarb cake which is simply delicious.

Ingredients:
300 g rhubarb, cleaned and diced
150 g butter
3 eggs
175 g organic sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
200 g organic flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
50 g almonds, finely chopped
100 g quark (see note below)
powdered sugar and sliced almonds for decoration

Preparation:
1. Clean the rhubarb and peel the tough skin. Cut the rhubarb stalks into cubes (approximately 2-3 cm in length).
2. Combine the butter, sugar, and eggs. Add the vanilla extract and add the salt as well as backing powder. Add the flour. Add the quark and the chopped almonds. Lastly, add the rhubarb pieces.
3. Pour the batter in a greased spring form. Bake in preheated oven at 360 degrees for 25-30 minutes (or until wooden stick inserted comes out clean). Once the cake is fully cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar and sliced almonds.

Note: Quark is a dairy product that you may be able to find at Whole Foods. Alternatively, you can try to substitute quark with plain organic yogurt.

Birthday cake does not need to have frosting =)

Birthday cake does not need to have frosting =)

Rhubarb cake_1_small Rhubarb cake_2_small Rhubarb cake_3_small

 

 

 

 

Health benefits:
* Rhubarb stalks are naturally low in calories, while providing a lot of dietary fiber and anti-oxidants.
* The stalks are also rich in several B-complex vitamins such as folates, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid.
* Rhubarb stalks also provide good amounts of vitamin K. Vitamin K promotes bone formation and strengthening. Adequate vitamin K levels help limit neuronal damage in the brain.
* While I sometimes replace eggs with ground flax seed or egg substitute in recipes, eggs actually have great health benefits. They are rich in iron, vitamins B, A, and E, selenium, and zinc. In addition, they are a good source of protein. Therefore, eggs provide antiaxidant wualities that may help to protect against some forms of cancer. Futhermore, it is one of a few sources of vitamin B12, an essential vitamin for the nervous system, for vegetarians.


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Homemade strawberry ice cream

Strawberries are ready to be picked out of the garden! And while I enjoy stuffing my face with hot, sun baked strawberries right off the plant; they are pretty good in ice cream too!

Easy recipe!
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 pint milk (I use vitamin D)
1/2 cup sugar (I like turbinado or organic sugar)
1 egg white (can skip this if you really want)
2 cups sliced or puréed or more strawberries from your garden

Add everything but strawberries to a pot and simmer on low on the stove. This will make a custard. Cook it until it coats the back of a spoon and then remove from heat. Lay plastic wrap on the surface of the custard to keep a skin from forming and place in fridge.

Once cooled, pull the plastic off and pour in a traditional ice cream machine/freezer. Add strawberries to the machine in whatever form you chose and follow the traditional instructions for use.

After it has mixed in the machine, transfer to a freezable container and it can harden overnight. Or if you can’t wait, eat it right away! Fresh ice cream out of the machine is very close to Italian ice cream! (So I heard, I haven’t been yet…)

20140615-230214.jpg

Health benefits:
* While this may not the healthiest of recipes, it is healthier and yummier than store-bought strawberry ice cream. Most store-bought ice creams will contain corn syrup, molasses, and likely other ingredients such as xanthan gum.
* Another benefit are the organic strawberries. Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, which helps the body absorb iron and maintains healthy skin, teeth, and bones. Vitamin C also serves as antioxidant that strengthens the immune systme and helps fight infection.


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Oatmeal chocolate chip walnut cookies

Not sure why I hadn’t posted this recipe yet. This is my absolute favorite cookie recipe. I used to make them almost weekly to take to Ultimate Frisbee. Everybody loved them, especially since I made them bite-sized =)

The key to making bite-size pieces of heavenly deliciousness is mixing the batter by hand to avoid the butter to become too warm, and in turn, too soft.

Not only are these cookies delicious, they are also loaded with brain-boosting walnuts (which are loaded with omega-3 fats), anti-cancer properties of oats, as well as semi-sweet chocolate, which is loaded with anti-oxidants.
In addition, with a couple modifications, these cookies make super-delicious vegan cookies.

Ingredients (Make more cookies than I ever counted):
1½ cups raw sugar
1 cup butter, softened (can be replaced by vegan butter for vegan cookie option)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg (can be replaced by flax seed for vegan cookie option, see below)
2 cups rolled oats
1½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation:
1. Heat oven to 350° F. In large bowl, mix sugar, butter, vanilla, and egg by using spoon or fork, until well-blended. Add oats, baking soda, and salt. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

2. On cookie sheets lined with parchment, drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart. (I like to form mini round discs by hand.) Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.

Oatmeal chocolate chip walnut cookies

Oatmeal chocolate chip walnut cookies

 

Note: For vegan option replace butter with vegan butter and replace eggs. May need to add water. 1 egg = 1 tablespoon flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water (well-mixed and heated)

Vegan oatmeal chocolate chip walnut cookie

Vegan oatmeal chocolate chip walnut cookie