I was too lazy to make apple pie today but I needed an apple pie fix, so I made some healthier and easier apple pie bars. My simple recipe uses an easy oil crust and two pounds of apples and bakes in an 8 by 8-inch square pan so it makes nine servings. These did not last nine days, or even four days. Somebody around here thinks it’s okay to have one with breakfast because it has… you know… fruit.
To me, Granny Smith are still the best baking apples but I also use them because they are available almost everywhere. I use extra light olive oil or non-GMO canola oil for the crust so this recipe has not butter. This time I lined the pan with parchment paper so I could lift the whole thing out and cut it into bars on a platter. You’ll never miss the butter with these easy apple bars. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
If you like baking without butter, this marble cake is one to try. It’s not too sweet with lots of dark chocolate swirls. With all the controversy about butter being good or bad for you, I still bake mostly without butter just in case they are wrong again. And I don’t miss the butter in this moist and light cake.
A marble loaf never looks the same twice and when you slice it you never know what the swirl will look like. I always hope it will have an even mix of white and chocolate just like this…
My baking cocoa of choice is Dutch process, which produces a rich dark color and is less bitter than regular powdered cocoa. You can find Droste brand at World Market. I also really enjoy adding some fresh orange zest to this pound cake because chocolate and orange go great together. Plain or with orange, you won’t find a marble loaf this good at any store. Try it for dessert or afternoon tea, or serve it when you have company and wait for the raves. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
I love all desserts made with apples so I try to make them as healthy as I can and still be delicious. I did it with this easy homemade apple crisp. It’s made with 100% whole grains, no butter, and not too much sugar. You can use butter if you like but you’ll be using a lot less butter than most other recipes.
There’s not much cleanup here either – basically just one bowl and a cutting board. I combine the apples in a plastic bag and you don’t even need a mixer. I use granny smith apples, which are always available, but make sure you slice them thinly so they cook up nice and soft.
Considering the ingredients (rolled oats, whole wheat pastry flour, lots of apples) I thought, “Why can’t I have this for breakfast?” If you can have oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, well that’s what’s in my apple crisp. I even put it in the breakfast category because compared to some breakfasts, like a bagel with cream cheese (no fiber/no fruit), this is a healthier choice. And more fun. Sometimes my breakfast is a hard boiled egg, toast, and apple crisp for dessert. Yum!
Oh, and you can add nuts to the topping if you like (more protein if it’s breakfast!). Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
This is my Christmas Wreath Bread made into a braided loaf. I used the same recipe, braided it, and just tucked in the ends and baked it as a loaf. I love it so much! It’s beautifully sweet, has no butter, and it’s ready in about 2 hours. I make this braided raisin egg bread throughout the year, sometimes with just a little glaze…
Sometimes, I leave it plain for toasting…
I also made a whole wheat version, substituting one cup of whole wheat flour for one cup of white flour.
It’s not quite as soft but still delicious and healthier.
So it’s not just for the holidays. My Christmas Wreath Bread recipe is so versatile, you can make it all year, in different shapes, and even whole wheat. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Somebody needs to stop me from eating my third slice of this delicious sweet bread! I’m happy to share my easy recipe for cinnamon swirl raisin bread and there are a few reasons why I think you’ll like it. First, it’s good! Second, it’s easy to make compared to most other recipes. Third, it’s a faster, one-rise recipe so the bread is ready to eat in 90 minutes. I use a mix of yellow and red raisins because I like the two different colors and textures.
Swirled loaves often wind up with gaps inside the loaf and it happens to me too. One day it’s perfectly tight and the next time I make it I get gaps but even with a gap, this cinnamon bread is still fantastic. I made the one below the exact same way as the one above, and it developed some small gaps but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. With or without gaps, it’s the best cinnamon raisin bread I’ve ever had.
If you’re tempted to spread butter on it before adding the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture, I do not recommend it because when I tried it, the loaf did not hold together as well. In fact, this bread has no butter at all – I make it with extra light olive oil and it’s delicious! I hope you’ll try this recipe, follow it exactly, and let me know how yours turned out. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Here’s a simple chocolate cake recipe that works equally well using whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose flour. In fact, it’s hard to tell the difference so I prefer making it whole wheat. It’s like a chocolate pound cake but healthier because it’s 100% whole grain but you can make it with all purpose flour if you like. And instead of butter I use extra light olive oil. What sends it over the moon is adding dark chocolate chips and toasted nuts.
The only cocoa I use for my baking is Dutch process because it’s never bitter and the result is a beautiful, dark chocolate cake. I can always find it (Droste brand) at World Market. Pound cakes tend to be heavy and dense but by beating the egg whites separately, it makes the cake lighter and taller. My loaf pan measures 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches.
If you’re a chocolate lover like I am, I hope you like this moist and delicious, easy chocolate loaf cake. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
If you’re like me and your favorite part of the muffin is the top, you will love these easy breakfast muffins. The crunchy tops are made with nuts, brown sugar, and a little vegetable oil, but you can use melted butter instead. I always try baking without butter so I use oil in the topping. A lot of muffins like this use walnuts but I think pecans have a lot more flavor so that’s what I use, and I toast them first. Toasted nuts just taste way better than raw.
The reason I only make six is because the tops won’t be crunchy the next day and also, they are so filling, you only need to eat one. Make them with all purpose flour or a mix of all purpose and whole wheat pastry flour for some extra fiber. And keep in mind that the riper the banana, the sweeter it will be. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
I love this! It’s a healthy dessert full of fiber and dark chocolate. It’s made with no white flour, no butter, and it’s a super easy one-bowl recipe. And if you line your pan with foil, there’s almost no cleanup. You can use walnuts but I find that pecans, especially when they are toasted first, have so much more flavor so they are my nuts of choice for most baking. In fact, I toast one bag at a time and keep them refrigerated for all my baking.
Now about the chocolate: Using a 70% dark chocolate bar is the healthiest choice and I like to use the 72% bar from World Market but you do have to chop it up so chocolate chips are definitely easier. I recently discovered Ghirardelli 60% dark chocolate chips and they are great but bigger than most so I did not like the result when I added them whole. So I chopped them into smaller pieces and an added benefit was there was more chocolate in every bite.
These are the chocolate chips I used, but I chopped them up first:
And here is what the World Market bar looks like:
My favorite thing, besides the delicious, chewy taste of this healthy dessert bar, is how incredibly easy it is. One bowl, no mixer, just mix it all up and bake. These healthy oatmeal chocolate chip bars are not just dessert – I must confess I also have them with breakfast. For a healthy dessert or a chewy oatmeal breakfast bar, just click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Here’s a closeup of my Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are big! These are the ones made with 100% whole grains and no butter. Before baking you press them flat with a fork and they spread even more when they bake and come out super thin and crispy. I made them last night and the recipe makes twelve. There are five left. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
I really enjoy this moist buttermilk cake, especially because it’s another one of my easy, one-bowl recipes. The combination of spices in the cake along with a mild cream cheese frosting really works for me and I always like any frosting I can make without butter, but it’s also good with chocolate frosting. (You can use the frosting from my zucchini chocolate cake.) It may not be a fancy special occasion cake but my favorite cakes are quick and easy so I mostly bake and frost in the same pan. However, it’s easy to transfer this cake onto a plate and frost the sides as well, like in my photo.
I kept the recipe simple using just all purpose flour but it’s hard to tell the difference between the 100% all purpose and the one made with half whole wheat pastry flour. This recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups of flour so I use 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour with 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of whole wheat pastry flour. If you like desserts without butter like I do, you should try this easy spice cake. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones