I.C. Bladder Safe Blueberry Bread (Eggless, Too!)

 

This is phenomenal blueberry bread all by itself: the texture is spot on with a bakery (even though it’s eggless!), the crust is perfectly browned, and it tastes wonderful but not sickly sweet!  What’s even more wonderful about it is it’s IC safe!  I had to edit a few ingredients and do some homework with apple juice to find one without ascorbic acid AND with added vitamin C – both IC irritants.

My husband’s allergic to eggs and I have IC (BOY are we a pair!)  So, with our combined restraints I’m pleasantly surprised and happy to find this recipe works for both of us AND is delicious.

I found this safe apple juice, without added vitamin C or ascorbic acid, at CVS.  Maybe it’s somewhere else too.

Yields: one loaf

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 8 TBSP.) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 TBSP. water
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 2/3 cup organic apple juice (check ingredients!)
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 TBSP. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (I used frozen and let them come to room temp, also increased to 1.25-1.5 cups)

 

DIRECTIONS: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350* F.
  2. Spray a 9x5x3″ loaf pan with “PAM for Baking” or a similar spray.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the melted butter, water, milk, and apple juice until thoroughly combined.  At this stage the mixture will look a little unsightly and unmixed but it WILL come together later.  Trust me!
  4. In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda with a wire whisk.
  5. Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture, and stir with a spatula until just combined.
  6. Gently fold in the blueberries, trying not to crush them.
  7. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, bake 55-60 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  (Since I added more blueberries than usual, it took me about 75-80 minutes for doneness. Don’t just rely on the golden brown crust, test it with a toothpick in center to make sure it doesn’t come out wet!)
  8. Cool completely before slicing.

Vegan Cornmeal Raspberry Muffins

 

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This is a tasty raspberry muffin recipe that adds the flavor of cornmeal to the mix!  It’s yummy and has that cornmeal crunch!  I used a mixture of fresh raspberries and frozen, but you could do all fresh or all frozen too!  It’s okay to mash the fresh raspberries a little if you want a more unified flavor.  I sprinkled the tops with Turbinado sugar.  A+!

**Vanilla almond milk works well in this recipe!  

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 And 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Cornmeal
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • Orange Zest From One Orange
  • 1 Cup fresh raspberries (Can Use Frozen too, but no not thaw them!)
  • 1 And 1/4 Cups Almond Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Turbinado sugar, or brown sugar to coat the tops before baking
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 400F for 15 minutes. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Mix together the almond milk and vinegar; set aside for a couple of minutes until it curdles.
  3. In a large bowl combine together the dry ingredients including the orange zest. Take 2 tablespoons of this mixture and
  4. combine it with the berries, in a separate bowl. This will avoid the berries from sinking to the bottom of the muffins.
  5. In another bowl whisk together the curdled milk mixture, oil and vanilla extract.
  6. Gently fold in the wet ingredients into the dry mixture. Stir in the berries. Do not over mix the batter.
  7. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins, about 2/3rds full. I got only 11 muffins for the above measurement.
  8. Sprinkle some Turbinado or brown sugar on top of the muffins.
  9. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.
  10. Transfer to a wire rack and let it cool for at least 5 minutes before removing from the pan.
TASTE:
  1. These muffins had a very nice texture from the cornmeal. The quantity of sugar mentioned in the original recipe is 1/2, which is what I used and felt that it could use some more sugar. That’s why I have increased the quantity to 3/4th cup in the recipe.
NOTES:
  1. If using frozen berries, do not thaw it.
  2. Instead of sprinkling granulated sugar on top of the muffins, using turbinado sugar would give it a much nicer look.

 

Delicious Popcorn Balls

We made these popcorn balls coincidentally around Valentine’s Day and it was serendipitous.  They come together fast and are more forgiving than Rice Krispie treats that harden faster than you can stir!  The marshmallow mixture stays pliable for a while.

We made the popcorn in our air popper and had to make two batches.

We used unflavored peanuts – just plain works well here.  No one wants garlic/onion flavored popcorn balls.  If you do, I don’t know you anymore!

You can add toasted slivered almonds as well.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • Cooking spray
  • 14 heaping cups plain popped popcorn
  • 6 TBSP. unsalted butter
  • One 10.5 oz. package mini marshmallows
  • 2 TBSP. light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped salted peanuts or toasted slivered almonds, optional but great
  • Sprinkles!  Red, blue and white for 4th of July?  Red and green for Christmas?  FUN!, optional

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Remove any un-popped kernels from the popped popcorn.  Lightly grease a large mixing bowl with cooking spray and add popcorn, set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add marshmallows, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and cook stirring, until marshmallows have melted and mixture is smooth, 4-5 minutes.
  4. Pour marshmallow mixture over popcorn, along with peanuts (or almonds), if desired.
  5. Mix with 2 lightly greased rubber spatulas until popcorn is evenly coated.
  6. Using clean, greased hands, form mixture into 2 1/2 inch balls.
  7. Eat immediately or wrap each ball tightly in plastic and keep up to 5-7 days.

Old School Rice Pudding

The photos can’t possibly do this rice pudding justice, but it’s the best I’ve ever made!  I highly recommend making this at least 6-12 hours before you are serving it, preferably a day ahead of time.  When it’s fully chilled, the flavor really deepens and becomes perfectly sweet and creamy.  Just believe me!  I use homemade vanilla and I doubled the amount of vanilla I added.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3cup medium grain rice or 34 cup long grain rice
  • 1 1cups water
  • 1teaspoon salt (heaping)
  • 4 cups whole milk (I use 2%)
  • 1cup sugar
  • 1teaspoon vanilla
  • cinnamon (optional)
  • whip cream (optional)

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring rice, water and salt to a boil over med-high heat.
  2. Simmer covered until water has been absorbed (approximately 15 minutes).
  3. Stir in milk and sugar and cook uncovered over medium heat for 30-40 minutes, stirring frequently–especially towards the end of cooking.
  4. The pudding is done when the rice and milk have amalgamated into a thick porridge-like consistency.
  5. DO NOT OVERCOOK or the pudding will be solid instead of creamy once cooled.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  7. Pour into a bowl or cups. (I use ramekins for a nice portion).
  8. You can sprinkle cinnamon on the top if you like.
  9. COVER with plastic wrap directly on surface “IF” you don’t want a skin.
  10. CHILL approx. 6 hours or more, preferably overnight for best flavor.  Serve with whip cream if desired.

Eggless Banana (Orange Or Apple) Nut Muffins

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These are tried and true banana orange nut muffins.  I’ve been making them OVER 15 YEARS so that says something!   This is a recipe from Rosemarie Emro’s cookbook “Bakin’ Without Eggs”.  This cookbook is sometimes hit or miss for me but it has produced some amazing eggless desserts (cookies and cheesecake, and waffles)!  

 

TIPS:

–Be sure to use quality plain peanuts, without added spices like onion, garlic, and flavoring.  Also, you can try a different nut like chopped cashews, etc.

–Use 100% quality orange juice, preferably not from concentrate.

–Use ripe bananas that are at the perfect mashable stage.  

–Use metal baking pans, avoid nonstick.  Yes they may cost more and are harder to find, but they will last forever and have better heat distribution.  Check Amazon.com or Williams-Sonoma.  

–Use muffin liners for the easiest cleanup ever!

 

INGREDIENTS:  (makes 12-15 muffins)

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1//4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup orange juice or apple juice
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup nuts , finely chopped (optional) <—We use plain peanuts here

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Lightly butter a 12 compartment muffin tin – Or use muffin liners like I do, for the easiest cleanup ever.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.  Stir until dry ingredients are mixed.
  4. Stir in oil, orange juice (or apple juice), mashed bananas, and nuts (if using) until smooth. (You don’t need an electric mixer for this recipe).
  5. Spoon prepared muffin batter into muffin liners, filling half full.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned on top.  Check at 15 minutes with the toothpick test, if not done, add another 5 minutes, and re-check.
  7. Remove and let cool in pan on wire rack.

Easy Banana Muffins

  

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 large bananas (ripe, preferably with brown spots)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg (or use egg-replace like “Neat Egg” like we did), slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • chopped nuts (optional, but great) —Think walnut, cashew, peanut, etc. I used cashew, it was fantastic. **
  • Chocolate chips (optional)

**Use unflavored nuts!  If you don’t check, you may purchase peanuts that have onion and garlic flavors in them.  Check your ingredient label.

Pro Tip:  if you want to save money, buy your nuts at ALDI or pay the price, literally.  I love all their nuts that I can have, but I especially love their giant, plump cashews.
DIRECTIONS:

  • Mash bananas with a fork.
  • Add sugar and the slightly beaten egg.
  • Stir in melted butter.
  • Stir in dry ingredients: baking soda, baking powder, flour, salt, nuts, and chocolate chips.
  • Put liners in your medium size muffin pans.  Spoon batter into your liners.
  • Bake approximately 20 minutes at 350* F.
  • Use a toothpick to check for doneness – also, they should be slightly golden brown.

Eggless & Milk-Free Chocolate Cupcakes — (100% Shelf Stable Ingredients!)

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Here’s a fantastic milk-free and eggless chocolate cupcake.  If I made this for you, you would not know it’s missing those two ingredients.  I prefer this to the ends of the Earth over a grocery store, chemical-laden, high-sugar, no-flavor cupcake!

Get this – all these ingredients are shelf stable!  They will last a long time so this means you can always whip up cupcakes or a cake within minutes without running to the store!

For me, it made 14 cupcakes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350* F.
  2. Mix all ingredients together until moist and well blended.
  3. Pour batter in cupcake liners, in pan, and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350* F. (For me, it took at least 25 minutes!  Make sure you bake them long enough or they won’t release from liners).
  4. Let cool and frost with your favorite icing.

If instead you want to make a layer cake, double the recipe above and evenly pour into 2 round cake pans.  Increase baking time to about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

 

Hershey’s Hot Cocoa

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We make this recipe when we want a cup of hot cocoa that a) doesn’t have preservatives, b) fake sweeteners, and c) doesn’t taste weird.  It takes a few minutes but the flavor is really worth it.

One note about this recipe, though, it states it makes three 6 oz. servings, but in reality, one recipe yields about two servings at best.  We always double this recipe for three people.  The recipe below serves approximately 2 people.  No one wants to have a small cup of hot cocoa…especially after smelling this recipe!

 

INGREDIENTS:  (for approximately 2 people)

  • 2 tablespoons Hershey’s cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup hot water (doesn’t need to be boiling)
  • 1 1/2 cup milk (any percentage is fine, I used 2%)
  • marshmallows, if desired.

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Blend the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan.
  2. Gradually add the hot water.
  3. Boil over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Add the milk and heat thoroughly, stirring occasionally.  (Do not boil).
  5. Remove from heat and whisk until foamy.
  6. Serve hot – top with marshmallows, if desired.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

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Homemade vanilla extract is something I never thought I’d make, but I am so glad I gave it a try.  I will definitely be making this again too.  With a little bottle of pure vanilla extract costing $5-10+, and with the possibility of the manufacturer putting unfortunate and fake ingredients in your vanilla, it’s a wise choice to make it yourself.  Also, it was simply fun to monitor it over the few weeks to watch (and smell) it morph from a vanilla bean inside a jar of vodka into vanilla extract.  The smell is heavenly!

Use this extract as a 1:1 replacement for store-bought extract.  This makes a great deal of vanilla extract!

For the best, most affordable deals on vanilla beans, head to Amazon or an online seller.  In the store, it’s a complete ripoff and will be a fun experiment but won’t save money.  In the store I’ve seen them ask $8 for one bean in a glass jar.  So, definitely buy online!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 vanilla beans
  • one 375-milliliter bottle of mid-grade vodka

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Using a sharp knife, split each vanilla bean in half down the middle.
  2. Add the sliced beans to the vodka bottle.
  3. Secure the lid and store the jar in your pantry for a couple of weeks, until the liquid starts to turn brown, then it’s ready to use.  (For me, this was about 6 weeks, give or take).

 

I found a bigger bottle of vodka and measured out the 375mL amount into a Mason jar and proceeded from there.  

 

Creamy Panna Cotta

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I finally made this Italian dessert that I’ve always wanted to try: panna cotta.  It’s a cold Italian custard that magically doesn’t have eggs – great for anyone but especially my egg-allergic husband.  It’s creamy, has the perfect amount of flavor, is fattening, and too delicious.  It’s self-limiting as it’s high in fat and very satisfying!  Don’t die without eating or making this yourself.  I warned you! 

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Only buy your heavy cream if it has one ingredient.  Otherwise it’s an impostor for this recipe (or any recipe).

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NOTE: Use only the highest quality ingredients for this dessert.  Do not use heavy cream that has any ingredient other than “heavy cream”.  It shouldn’t have any additives, preservatives, or carageenan etc.  DO NOT use any low fat or reduced fat ingredients.  This is not the time.  Only use full fat sour cream and unadulterated heavy cream.  No substitutes at all.  Follow the directions precisely and you will have an awesome dessert that you won’t believe.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 teaspoons gelatin sprinkled over 2 tablespoons room temperature water
  • 3 cups heavy cream (no substitutes)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup sour cream (whole fat!)
  • Fresh berries, honey, or other toppings (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a small bowl or ramekin: prinkle the gelatin in the room temp. water and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to gel up.
  2. Heat the cream, sugar, and salt until it’s very warm and steam starts to come off of it.  Do not boil it!  
  3. Turn off the heat, add the gelatin, and mix it until it’s melted.
  4. Cool for 5 minutes.
  5. While stirring with one hand, slowly pour a cup of the warm cream into the sour cream.  Mix well.
  6. Continue slowly adding the warm cream to the sour cream mixture, a cup at a time, until you’re done.
  7. Add the vanilla and stir.
  8. Pour it into 6 small, un-greased custard cups.
  9. Cover each cup with plastic wrap to avoid a skin forming.
  10. Refrigerate overnight (mandatory).
  11. I did not un-mold them, but to un-mold: run a sharp knife around the edge.  If necessary, dip the knife into hot water.

Tips: This can be served with honey, fruit syrups, or add a caramel cream.  I chose to go simple and just add fresh berries.