Individual Apple Crisp Recipe

Individual Apple Crisp

It is the holiday season and time for entertaining! I love sharing healthier holiday recipes that my guests and I won’t feel guilty indulging in this season. This Individual Apple Crisp recipe is one of those dessert recipes made with only a few ingredients and aspartame instead of regular sugar. It is great for kids, family and friends (everyone loves getting their own individual dessert) and is also so easy to make. I receive a lot of questions about aspartame and reduced calorie sweeteners. I started using it a few years when my father was diagnosed with diabetes. Aspartame and other no-, and low- and reduced calorie sweeteners are great for people trying to reduce their sugar intake and lose weight.

If you are curious about aspartame, it is a low-calorie sweetener used to sweeten a wide variety of low calorie foods and reduced calorie foods and beverages, including low-calorie tabletop sweeteners. Aspartame is composed of two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine, as the methyl ester. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Aspartic acid and phenylalanine are also found naturally in protein containing foods, including meats, grains and dairy products. Methyl esters are also found naturally in many foods such as fruits and vegetable and their juices. Aspartame works well in cooking, but in recipes with lengthy heating or baking, a loss of sweetness can occur. It is still healthy, but it may come out less sweet. Aspartame works great in this recipe, and I used one packet of Equal sweetener for each individual serving. This post is sponsored by the Calorie Control Council, but all opinions are my own.

Here is a great chart that will help you substitute sweeteners in your cooking from About.com

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 2.51.48 PM

See below for a few more reasons why I like to use aspartame in cooking.

5 Benefits of Aspartame

1. Aspartame tastes like sugar and enhances and extends fruit flavors in foods and beverages.

2. Aspartame does not promote tooth decay.

3. Aspartame is an FDA-approved sweetening agent and is used in more than 100 countries and is the sweetener in over 6,000 food and beverage products.

4. Aspartame is helpful for those with diabetes and does does not affect short or long term blood sugar levels in diabetics.

5. Aspartame works well with weight control and can be part of a healthy diet. Researchers at Harvard Medical School concluded that aspartame “is a valuable adjunct to a comprehensive program of balanced diet, exercise and behavior modifications for losing weight.”

For more information see aspartame.org

Apple Snack Mix

apple snack mix

Are you looking for something new for an afternoon snack mix? Or how about a healthy snack your kids can take to school? This Apple Snack Mix recipe has all of my favorite ingredients, and it’s made with freshly homemade dried apples. This snack recipe has been my go-to back to school snack for the kids. This would also make a great holiday gift idea, holiday open house snack. or fun idea for holiday school parties. For the apples, you can use almost any type such as Honeycrisp, pink lady or Braeburn or Granny Smith.

8 Healthier Chocolate Cupcake Recipes

I am always in the mood for cupcakes, but I having been keeping my eye on these eight healthier Chocolate cupcake recipes below. Each has it’s own twist from Chili Chocolate Cupcakes to Milk Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Agave Frosting. I am excited to find these Flourless Chocolate cupcake recipes since Passover is only about a  month away. I am always interested to find any recipe that has been lightened up a bit. Enjoy these this just in time for spring. See my Any Occasion Chocolate Cupcake recipe (pictured above) here.

Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Meringue Frosting via Urban Baker

Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes via Martha Stewart

Milk Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Agave Frosting via The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen

Double Chocolate Cupcakes via Cooking Light

Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes via 52 Kitchen Adventures

Chocolate Cupcakes via The Healthy Chef

Chili Chocolate Cupcakes via Love Food Eat

Two Ingredient Raspberry Popsicles

When I first saw “Sparkling Ice”at a friends house, my 3 kids begged me to buy it. After taking a look at the ingredients, I thought, “Why not give it a shot.” They loved all of the flavors, but it is also great to use in cocktails and even popsicle recipes. The Black Raspberry flavor was one of their favorites, and I love how easy it is to make Two Ingredient Raspberry Popsicles. Sparkling ICE is also a great alternative sport drink beverage for people of all ages. Sparkling ICE combines fresh spring water, natural fruit juices and vitamins and antioxidants to create tasty, lightly-carbonated refreshments in assorted thirst-quenching flavors. It’s a great alternative to soft drinks. It is caffeine-free, Kosher U and free of sodium and carbohydrates. For more information, see their Facebook page or website.

Sparkling ICE retails for $1.29, or $12-$15 for a 12 pack. Flavors include Coconut Pineapple, Lemon Lime, Kiwi Strawberry, Lemonade, Orange Mango, Pomegranate Berry, Pink Grapefruit, and Black Raspberry. Sparking ICE is available at retailers nationwide, including Kroger, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Publix, Winn Dixie, Amazon and more.

No Bake Chocolate-Peanut Flaxseed Butter Bars

No Bake recipes bar cookie recipes are some of my favorite cookie/bar types of desserts, especially this time of year when I’m so busy. I quickly mixed up these up  one afternoon, and my kids told me these were a “home run” (well that was what the boys said). My daughter loved them even though she isn’t a coconut fan. These No Bake Chocolate Peanut Bars call for ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. These make a great afternoon snack, dessert (with milk) and an easy homemade gift for Christmas or Hanukkah.

Three Ingredients: Blueberry-Banana Ice

Sometimes simple is better, and recipes with only three ingredients actually can be as flavorful as if they had nine. This Blueberry-Banana Ice is one of those recipes that is almost too basic (and good) to be true just in time for July 17th “National Ice Cream Day.” Purchase ripe bananas and in season blueberries and freeze them (I used zip-top plastic bags). Remove and toss in the food processor or blender with a touch of honey, and you’re done. Feel free to experiment with other berries if you wish. This is the perfect healthy dessert for summertime, and it truly hits the spot.