Naturally Sweet Treats

There are endless topics we as humans will forever disagree on: politics, diets, sports, weather and the list goes on. We can all agree on one thing: we love sweets! 

One of the biggest complaints our families have been having about their new healthier, plant-based, lifestyle is missing the sweets they were accustomed to eating. With a mission to transform everyday cravings into opportunities to squeeze in more nutrients in our diets, we headed to the kitchen. 

We came up with three simple, tasty and naturally sweet recipes that are sure to hit the spot. They were a hit on last night's Groceryships meeting as the families 'mmmm' their way to second servings! 

Here are the recipes in case you want to try them our or wanted to use as inspiration. The Applesauce makes for a great snack and we used it in the Banana Oatmeal bread which we served right out of the oven. What made it even tastier? we spread a bit of the Date Sauce on the bread. Yum!  If you decided to give them a try, would you share your results with us?

 

Tasty Applesauce (Serves 6­-8)
Ingredients
●6 apples, peeled, cored and chopped 
●3/4 – 1 cup water 
●1 tbsp lemon juice        
●1⁄2 cup raisins
●1 tbsp ground cinnamon, optional  
●1/2 tsp vanilla extract, optional
 
Instructions:
 
1. Place 3/4 cup water in a pot and bring to a boil before adding in all the other ingredients, and cover with a lid. 
2. Allow to simmer for about 5­-10 minutes, or until the apples are tender. 
3.You can either mash it all together with a fork and let cool before serving it, or blend. 
4.Add the remaining 1/4 cup water if necessary to get the smooth creamy consistency.
This makes a great apple marmalade, topping for toast, pancakes and more!
 
Oatmeal Banana Bread (Serves 10­-12 ) 
Ingredients
●Cooking spray 
●1 1/2 cup mashed banana 
●1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce 
●1 tablespoon vanilla 
●3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk 
●1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
●1 cup rolled oats
●1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
●3/4 teaspoon baking soda 
●1/4 teaspoon salt 
1⁄2 cup walnuts 
●1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 
Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
2. Spray 9-­inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. 
3.In large bowl combine mashed banana, applesauce, almond milk and vanilla until well combined and creamy. 
4.In separate medium bowl whisk together whole wheat flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. 
5.Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined (don’t overmix!). 
6.Pour into prepared loaf pan, sprinkle oats over top (if desired), and bake for 60­70 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean with a few crumbs attached. 
7.Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool completely. 
8.Cut into 12 slices and enjoy! Keep bread tightly wrapped to maintain moisture. Top with more applesauce if desired.
 
Date Sauce
Ingredients
1 Cup Pitted dates 
1⁄2 cup warm water 
1 tsp vanilla extract
 
Instructions:
1. Soak dates warm water for an hour 
2. Blend in Vitamix for 30­45 seconds until smooth, add vanilla. 
3. Store in refrigerator for about a week 
4. Use for sweetening oatmeal, porridge, smoothies, breads...anything!