Friday, June 30, 2017

Berryful Freezer Pops Coming Right Up!

These berryful freezer pops are a perfect treat for Canada Day or the 4th of July celebrations... especially if it is a hot sunny day in your neighborhood.  I first made them a few years ago when I won some new freezer pop molds in a giveaway from spabettie and wanted to try them out with something special and new.  I have used the molds a lot since then, but this recipe is still one of our favorites.  It is a great way to cool down on a hot Summer day.

They do take a few hours to set up so if you can, make them the day before you want to eat them.

These molds hold a total of 3 cups.  If you plan to make some pops for yourself, you will want to measure your molds and then adjust the amounts of the ingredients accordingly.  When I made them, I didn’t put enough water in the food processor, so I just added some more to the mixture once it was in the molds and then stirred it a bit.

Berryful Freezer Pops

Berryful Freezer Pops

  • 2 cups frozen berry mixture (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries)
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • bit of Stevia (this is optional of course)
  1. Place water and berries into a heavy-duty blender and process until smooth and thick.
  2. Pour into freezer pop molds and freeze overnight.
Mine came out to about 23 calories each… and of course they are zero Smart Points for my Weight Watchers buddies. 

Of course you could use any fresh berries that you find in your local markets instead of frozen. I know there are still strawberries and raspberries and blueberries in my area.

How do you celebrate your national holiday?

Friday, May 19, 2017

Oat Scones... I Still Love Them

No matter what new food plan I set out to try, I always come back to an old favorite... tried and true... from Weight Watchers. It has gone through several evolutions, but for many years now, has been called the Simply Filling Technique.

In its simplest form, it involves eating from a comprehensive list of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins including meat and dairy, whole grains, and healthy oils.  It is based on whole, real foods.  Easy. Simple. Nutritious, and yes, filling.  Whole, real food fill you up and keep you satisfied. It is true.

I like the plan as I naturally gravitate to these kinds of foods and like to shop and prepare my meals at home, whether I am going to eat there or pack them along with me to have out.  I am a big fan of park bench and beachside picnics and snacks.

The plan does allow for occasion off-list indulgences, so I can still get in some nut butters and dried fruit, and the occasional glass of wine, too. No deprivation here.

Now, I admit, I don't eat a lot of grains. I prefer to get my carbs from fruits and veggies... I will occasionally eat some rice when I have sushi but for the most part, even quinoa only makes a rare appearance on my plate.... usually when I make a bowl-style lunch.  I cannot recall the last time I cooked oatmeal at breakfast.

But I was looking through some old posts and this recipe for Oat Scones piqued my interest. I had completely forgotten about it.  They really appealed to me, I decided to make them up and add them to my week's menu.  And I am happy to say they were as good as I remember.

I  have learned over the years that weighing dry foods on a scale, rather than measuring with cups is a more accurate way to calculate nutritional values. My original recipe, which you can find here, calls for 1-1/2 cups of oats. The package shows that 40g is equal to 1/2 cup so I weighed out 120g of oats instead of measuring 1-1/2 cups.  When I compare them, the 120g is less for sure.   I also weighed the oat bran.  I used 95g instead of measuring out 1 cup.

Do I need to even mention I use gluten free oats?

And I chose a rectangular cake pan because I currently do not own a pie plate. The cake pan is about 8 inches X 11 inches.  I cooked the scones for 40 minutes and made sure to let them rest for 15 minutes before I cut them into 8 pieces and tested them.  That waiting was hard!

I have been enjoying them all week... my favorite way is to make up a bit of PB2 and slather that all over the top.

Oat Scones by @WeCanBegin2Feed

Nope, PB2 is not part of the Simply Filling Technique... you have to count 1 Smart Point for it.  And nope, I do not usually use a fork to eat it either!

I have since learned that if I cut the scone in half horizontally, it lasts twice as long... and half a scone is actually sometimes all I want!  Imagine.

So, if you follow the Simply Filling Technique, these Oat Scones are a no-count food.  If you top them with something not on the list, just count those Smart Points.  And if you are a Weight Watcher who counts Smart Points, here is the pertinent nutritional information for you.

Per serving of 1 scone or 1/8th recipe
Weight Watchers SP = 4.
Calories 122
Saturated Fat .5g
Sugar 3g
Protein 6g

Is oatmeal part of your food plan?  What is your favorite way to enjoy it?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Coloring Easter Eggs with Natural Dyes

It is that time of year again... getting ready to color Easter eggs for The Captain. They are hard boiled and have cooled nicely so getting ready to dye them all kinds of lovely colors.

If your are a newbie at coloring eggs, you can read about how to get started with hardboiling them and using food coloring for dying them here...  and you can read about coloring the insides of the eggs here.

As for me, I am doing something a bit different again this year.

Instead of using the little dye tablets that you can pick up in coloring kits, or even food coloring, I am going to use some natural dyes... and I am going to be dying our eggs with foodstuffs that I have on hand in my kitchen.

I recently received some fun and intriguing information about just how to do go about doing this and want to share it with you so that you can join in and dye your own eggs with natural dyes, too.

For example, did you know that using frozen blueberries color dye your eggs a lovely blue-purple? Or that using paprika will color your eggs a sunny golden-orange?

Have a look at this pretty infograpic, and if you are interested, click on it to see the full how-to article.

Natural Egg Dyes

Do you color eggs for Easter?

Have you tried any of these natural egg dyes yourself?