no bake raspberry cheesecake

This decadent treat only takes minutes to prepare and satisfies sweet cravings in a healthy way.
cream cheese (you can use low fat but is it really worth it :)
mascarpone cheese
fresh or frozen (thawed) raspberries
stevia or raw honey to taste
dash of vanilla extract

crumbled graham cracker (optional). I used this homemade version

1. Blend together equal parts cream cheese and mascarpone with desired sweetener and vanilla. Add a generous amount of raspberries and blend until creamy. That's it! Serve right away or chill.

red white and blueberry popsicles

Here is a fun recipe I happened upon when searching for good 4th of July recipes. A fun and healthy treat to celebrate our nations birth! It only requires a few ingredients and some patience. Adapted from the view from great island

makes about 10 popsicles


1 heaping cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup yogurt (I made a honey vanilla Greek Yogurt)
honey (optional)

popsicle molds
popsicle sticks
funnel and measuring spoons

1. Puree raspberries and blueberries (separately), thinning with a little water so they pourable. You can also thin the blueberries with yogurt to brighten up the color*. Add a bit of honey if the berries are too tart.
2. Puree yogurt with vanilla and honey if desired. Thin with a little water if needed.
3. Using a funnel and tablespoon, carefully pour 1-2 tablespoons of blueberry puree into the bottom of each mold. If there is some dripping along the sides use a popsicle stick to scrape it down. Let it freeze until firm, about an hour.
4. Pour in about 2 teaspoons of the yogurt through the funnel for the next layer. Cover with foil and add the popsicle sticks, pushing down a little into the blueberry layer, and allow to freeze.
5. Now add about 2 teaspoons of raspberry puree with the funnel for the next stripe. Put in freezer until solid.
6. Continue alternating yogurt and raspberry puree until you have filled the mold. If you are short on time you can do a single stripe of each color: blueberry then yogurt then raspberry.
7. Un-mold the pops by turning upside down and running under warm water or by immersing the mold in a sink full of hot water for 30 seconds.

* if the blueberry puree is too purple you can add your own blue food coloring made from red cabbage and baking soda. Instructions are here. It's pretty cool.


red white and blue parfaits with honey shortcake

These patriotic treats are simple to make and quite healthy for a dessert


shortcake: (adapted from
1/3 cup whole grain flour (I used half kamut and half spelt or you could use a gluten free mix)
1 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk (could use a nut milk as well)

lightly sweetened whipping cream (I added vanilla and coconut sugar) or whipped coconut cream (chill 2 cans overnight, scoop out cream from top, add vanilla, desired sweetener and a pinch of sea salt and whip)

1. Mix together flour and baking powder
2. Combine eggs, honey, oil, vanilla, and milk
3. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix well. Pour into well greased 8x8" baking pan.
4. Bake at 350º for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool
5. Whip cream
6. Assemble: 
a. cut out shortcake into small pieces or cut into circles with cookie cutter or glass or whatever you can find that is the right size :) Place in the bottom of a glass
b. add blueberries
c. top with whipped cream
d. finish with raspberries

"skinny" chocolate

What could be better than chocolate that is 100% good for you? It is called skinny because it is slimming as long as it is eaten without carbs. What's more it is also a treasure for those who thought they had to renounce chocolate forever due to sugar. Sweetened with stevia and packed with health benefits this superfood is a staple in my house. It only requires a few ingredients and takes just a few minutes to make. Plus there are so many variations on the basic recipe that you can enjoy whatever kind you are in the mood for: sweet, salty, fruity, spicy; it is up to you.  Adapted from Trim, Healthy Mama


1 cup coconut oil, heated just until it liquifies
1/2 cup cocoa powder
dash vanilla
stevia to taste (I use 2 packets of stevia in the raw)
optional: almond or peanut butter, nuts, coconut, dried fruit, mint or fruit extract, spice

Stir ingredients together. Pour onto wax paper lined plate or pan (I use an 8 x 8 baking pan). Chill in refrigerator or freezer. Snap pieces off as needed. It's that simple.

fruit pops

Tasty and colorful without any harmful food dyes, these fruit popsicles are super easy to make and fun to eat. Use as much organic fruit as possible. Recipe adapted from the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook.


3 cups watermelon puree (about 1/4-1/2 of a melon) or another type of melon puree
about 2 1/2 cups of fresh fruit. Here is one of the many options (mango is also a delicious addition):
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1-2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
1 peach or nectarine


1. Cut the watermelon into chunks and puree in blender until smooth. strain out seeds if any.
2. Set out about 12 popsicle molds (you may need more or less depending on the size).
3. Fill each halfway with the fruit mixture then pour in the watermelon puree until filled. Place a popsicle stick in each and freeze for  6-8 hours.
4. To serve, run molds under warm water until the popsicles release.

better butter tart

Who says that eating a delicious treat has to be unhealthy? If you have had a butter tart you know how unbelievably tasty and addicting they are; melt in your mouth buttery crust with a sweet gooey mouth-watering center with plump raisins. The problem is that they are not even remotely healthy (well, except for the raisins). These better for you butter tarts are made with naturally processed sweeteners oats and brown rice flour instead of white flour and sugar. Recipe adapted from

I think that what we put in our bodies should be wholesome fuel. What are we giving our bodies when we fill it with highly processed, artificial "junk"? Not to say that we can never indulge in an occasional unhealthy treat but those times should be balanced with a majority of wise, health conscious choices. When we are aware of what is in our food and how it affects our bodies it will be easier to choose foods that give instead of take. That being said, despite the challenge, eating well can be so fun. What could be better than something being delicious and nutritious? OK, there is my little spiel :) Now for a little explanation:

Sweeteners like white sugar and corn syrup aren't that great, nor is white flour. Why is that? God created food the way it is for a reason. Our bodies thrive on "whole" foods. When foods are processed they are stripped of important minerals and other nutrients. Obviously they aren't adding anything beneficial. Also, when we eat these things they draw out the necessary minerals for digestion from our cells and bones. Kind of not so good. 
For those that are trying to maintain or loose weight empty carbs and sugars are enemies. Our bodies are made to handle only so much blood glucose so the insulin secreted to store everything in our cells is overworked and deposits excess blood glucose in our fat cells (which are never picky and always hungry for leftovers).

What is different about whole grains and unprocessed sweeteners? Obviously our bodies aren't made to fill up on only grains and sweets, even if they are the natural and unprocessed kinds. As a special treat these are great (not as an overindulgence...sigh). Brown rice syrup and barley malt are grain-based sweeteners which are naturally made from fermented grains. They are made of 50% maltose which is 1/3 as sweet as sugar and at least half of their content are the nutrients found in the original whole grains. These are complex sugars which take longer to digest than processed sweeteners so blood sugar levels don't dip and soar but maintain a healthy balance.

Now, finally on to making these treats...

makes 12 large or 24 small tarts


2 cups rolled oats
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 tsp. sea salt
6 Tbsp brown rice syrup
5 Tbsp. coconut oil

1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup barley malt powder*
2 Tbsp. arrowroot powder (this thickens without making the filling cloudy)
2 Tbsp. baking powder
2-3 Tbsp unsalted butter or ghee, melted (coconut oil works too, but you loose the buttery taste)
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (plus 1 tsp. vanilla extract)
1/4 tsp. baking powder
sea salt, couple pinches
1/3 cup raisins (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 325º.
2. Make the crust: in blender or food processor process rolled oats until you have a rough flour. In a large mixing bowl combine the oat flour with brown rice flour and salt. In a small saucepan melt the coconut oil and brown rice syrup together. Pour over dry ingredients and mix/kneed with your hands.
3. In a standard size (or mini) muffin pan, press golf ball sized amount of dough firmly into each cup, pressing up the sides as well until you have a thin even crust. 
4. Bake for 10 minutes until just turning a light golden color on the edges. Remove from oven.
5. While shells are baking, make the filling: melt the butter (or ghee or coconut oil) in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the vanilla seeds and vanilla.
6. In a medium bowl, pour in brown rice syrup and barley malt. Pour in the melted butter and whisk to combine. Sift in arrowroot and baking powder, add salt and whisk until smooth. Fold in raisins.
7. Divide filling between all shells, keeping filling below rim of crust. Place in oven for about 20 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and browning around the edges. Remove from oven and cool, then place in refrigerator until completely chilled. This will crystallize the sugars and will make it easy to pop them out.
8. Using a small sharp knife, insert the tip down the side of each tart to break the sugar seal. You can keep them at room temperature in a tightly sealed container. Warm them up before serving if you like them nice and gooey.

*this is the only ingredient not currently available from the Green Barn. If enough people request it then  they will most likely carry it. If you want to try it I will let you borrow some :)

chocolate turtles

These chocolate turtles are a delicious and fairly healthy indulgence when you are in the mood for something sweet. You can substitute pecans for the almonds if you like.
recipe adapted from (and photo courtesy of)

1/4 cup cocoa powder

4 Tbsp. coconut oil

3 Tbsp brown rice syrup

1 Tbsp honey (raw if possible)

72-84 raw almonds (6-7 almonds per turtle)

1. Add cocoa powder to melted coconut oil. Stir until smooth. Add brown rice syrup and honey and stir until smooth.

2. On a sheet of wax or parchment paper, arrange almonds in a turtle shape: head, legs, middle, and tail.  Spoon a dollop of chocolate over each cluster, rearranging pieces as needed and smoothing chocolate with fingers if you want a neater finish. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Store in refrigerator.

It doesn't take much imagination to see these as turtles. Kids will love them too.

strawberry-blueberry coconut popsicles

this tasty popsicle recipe is super easy and very healthy too!

makes about 12 popsicles

1 cup fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 can coconut milk
1 cup apple juice
1/2 cup honey

5 oz Dixie cups
wooden popsicle sticks

1. Add strawberries, blueberries, coconut milk, apple juice and honey to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour mixture into cups, filling 2/3 of the way. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
2. Insert sticks and continue to freeze until the popsicles are completely frozen, about 6 hours.

when you are ready to enjoy, cut or tear the Dixie cups off the popsicles.

I am pretty sure that this recipe would be equally good substituting raspberries or blackberries for either of the other fruits.

strawberry shortcake popsicles

these yummy layered treats are fun to make and eat with the kids (or by yourself)

makes 12 popsicles

2 cups fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
1/2 cup crushed Nilla wafers
2 cups plain whole milk yogurt
1/3 cup honey (more if desired)
12 5 oz Dixie cups
12 wooden popsicle sticks

1. In a medium bowl, combine the crushed Nilla wafers, yogurt, and honey. Fill each Dixie cup with 2 Tbsp of the yogurt mixture. Set in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes.
2. In a blender or food processor, puree the berries. Add a little honey if the berries are not sweet enough. Divide among the 12 cups and freeze for another 30 minutes.
3. Divide the remaining yogurt mixture among the cups, add a popsicle stick to each one, and chill completely (several hours).
To serve, just cut or tear the cup off.

FRIDAY, JUNE 17, 2011

Grilled Peaches With Honey Nut Cream

So easy to make and so delicious!
3 peaches, halved and pitted (make sure they are nice and ripe)
1 Tbsp oil
sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling
4 oz cream cheese
1 Tbsp honey (plus extra for drizzling)
2-3 Tbsp chopped pecans

1. Preheat the grill for medium heat.
2. Brush peaches with a light coating of oil. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
3. Mix cream cheese with honey and nuts.
4 Grill peaches cut side down for about 5 minutes or until they have nice grill marks. Turn over and place a dollop of the cream cheese where the pit was. Grill for another 2 minutes. Drizzle with honey and serve immediately.

makes 6 small servings

MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2011

Mango and Berry Tarts

These were so good and were actually pretty easy to make. The dough can be made a couple days ahead of time which I did, though unintentionally. Due to a busy week (my husband's baby brother just got married!), I didn't get around to putting the tarts together until Sunday, which was just as well because we had family over :)
These are very versatile; you can do all tropical fruits or just berries or a combination.

For the pastry:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 and 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces 
1/4-1/2 cup ice water

Filling (suggestion):
1/2-1 mango, thinly sliced
1 small banana, sliced
8 medium strawberries, chopped
24 (or thereabouts) blueberries
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
sugar, for sprinkling

whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for serving.

1. Make the pastry. In a food processor or blender, pulse the flour and salt. Add the butter and pulse until it is the size of small peas. Sprinkle the ice water over the mixture and pulse until the pastry starts to come together. Transfer to a work surface and knead gently a few times until thoroughly blended. Divide pastry in half and flatten into disks, Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about an hour.  (if you chill it like I did for almost 3 days, you will need to let it sit at room temp for at least a half hour or soften in the microwave for a few seconds).
2. Preheat the oven to 400. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the disks 1/8 inch thick. Using a 5-inch plate (I found a plastic lid about the right size) as a guide, cut out 3 rounds and transfer to the baking sheet. Repeat with rest of the pastry. Refrigerate until firm, about 10 minutes.
3. Make the filling. Arrange the mango, banana, strawberries and blueberries (or whatever fruit you have chosen) on top. Bring the pastry edges up and around the fruit, pinching firmly to firm a pleated rim on each tart. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 35 minutes, until pastry is golden brown and fruit is bubbling. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipping cream or ice cream.

makes 6 servings

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