Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Healthy Mocha Caramel Frappucinos

My friend & co-worker, Lana's, birthday is today. She & I share a love of mocha caramel frappucinos from Starbucks. But we are both trying to eat healthy so we have not had one in several months. I decided to try to make her a low fat, low sugar, healthy frap for her birthday. I found a caramel sauce made with Splenda. It has a few more ingredients than what I like, but since I was only going to use a teaspoon or 2, I went with it. But, could not find a low calorie, low sugar chocolate sauce without aspartame. So, I made my own.

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Agave nectar
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons of Splenda
Just mix all ingredients together & put in covered container in refrigerator. It's really thin at first, but thickens up a little after sitting in refrigerator several hours. I tried it without the Splenda, but Kevin didn't think it was sweet enough, so I added the Splenda & he liked it better. He has a major sweet tooth. I think it would be even better with Truvia. I will try it & let you know.

I took a couple of cups of strong coffee, a couple of cups of Braum's skim milk, about 1/4 cup of homemade chocoate syrup, 2 tsps of caramel sauce, 2-3 tsps Splenda, added a couple of cups of ice & blended away. I had to throw out 3 pitchers before I finally got it right. But, it was worth it. Lana & I got our frappucinos & don't have to worry about the fat & sugar.

I'm not having a lot of luck cooking with Agave. It takes a LOT of it to get things sweet enough for Kevin & it's pretty expensive to have to use so much. So, I'm going to start trying to use Truvia. It is all natural & is supposed to be easier to cook with & is low glycemic.

A little info about milk. I know that some doctors in this area are recommending their patients drink only Braum's milk. Braum's cows are not injected with hormones & antibiotics, so their milk is much cleaner & healthier than other milk. I read an article a couple of weeks ago that was saying that they didn't start injecting cows with hormones until the mid-90's. AND that the United States in the ONLY country that injects hormones in their cows. Other countries refuse because they don't think it is safe for their citizens. But the good ole USA & FDA just see $$$. When they give the cows hormones, the get sores that get infected, so they have to inject them with antibiotics. Then our children are drinking milk loaded with hormones & antibiotics. Since the USA began doing that girls in the USA now get their periods sooner & more people are getting resistant to antibiotics. I buy as much groceries as I can at Braum's. I feel their products are safer & healthier & it is an Oklahoma based company. I use their milk, butter, cheese, etc. Also, their eggs are from free range hormone free chickens. Most of their products are actually cheaper than what you buy at the grocery store.

Thank you for reading. Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Salmon Ceasar Salad and Spinach Dip

July 4th was different since it is so dry in Oklahoma that we couldn't do fireworks. My husband & our friend, John, look forward to blowing things up every year. But we still got together and had good food & good company.

Let's talk food!! One of my new favorite dishes is salmon ceasar salad. I take Romaine lettuce & if I have spinach or red leaf lettuce, I add some of that also. Chop or tear up the lettuce into a medium size bowl. Crumble 1/2 pouch of salmon over lettuce. Add walnuts, pecans, almonds, raisins, sunflower seeds, whatever else you want. Sprinkle grated parmesan & romano cheese on salad. Marzetti's has a light all natural ceasar dressing that is really good. I also like Kraft's Catalina Light Done Right. Of course a vinegarette of any kind is always best calorie wise. I can't get enough of this salad. I absolutely love it! I hope you will try it & let me know what you think.

I was going to make spinach dip the other day & was shopping for sour cream. I was reading the labels of the different brands and found that the "store" brand had 6+ ingredients, BUT, Daisy brand had only 2 (cultured cream & salt). The store brand was only 20 cents less than Daisy. Isn't that crazy! I paid the extra 20 cents & got REAL sour cream and not fake chemicals & preservatives.

Here's a recipe for the BEST Spinach Dip you will ever eat.
1 box frozen chopped spinach (thawed & excess water squeezed out)
1 - 24 ounce container of DAISY Light sour cream (ingredients are only cream & salt)
1 pkg Lipton Garlic & Herb soup mix (adds great flavor to so many things)
1 can water chestnuts (chopped)

Mix all ingredients together and serve with crackers or chips of your choice. Also great with carrot sticks, yellow squash sticks or zuchini sticks.

Stay cool and pray for rain. God bless all who takes the time to read this. And if you have any tips or recipes to share, I always enjoy learning & trying new things.