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Spreading the Love

We hope everyone had a great Pancake Tuesday yesterday and ate lots of delicious pancakes, because we sure did. 🙂

Today, we’re bringing you a recipe that goes along with another special day that comes every February – Valentines Day! We say “special day” and not “holiday” because is it really a holiday when you don’t get any time off work or school? We don’t think so!

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Now we know that people often have strong feelings towards Valentines Day. Some people love it and go all-out with fancy dinners and wine, etc etc, while others hate it, saying that all it is is an excuse for card companies, chocolatiers, flower shops and restaurants to make a pretty penny few  billion dollars. That’s right – billions of dollars are spent each valentines day on jewelry  chocolate, cards, flowers, lingerie and dining out. Pretty intense, eh?

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When it comes to Valentines Day, there’s always the group who simply don’t like it because they feel lonely because they’re single, but would love it if only they had a significant other.

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We think Valentines Day is a great celebration of love, but not just the romantic kind. It’s also a fantastic reminder to show the people on your life who you care about that you love them – your parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, even teachers, co-workers or bosses who have made a difference or impact on your life. In our  busy lives today,Valentines Day is a day that reminds you to take a moment and show people that you care about them.

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Of course, what better way to show someone that you love them than with home-made, heart-shaped brownies? 🙂

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Healthy, gluten-free red velvet brownies, we might add, with a delicious pink icing to boot!

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Because like we said earlier, people spend a lot of money on valentines day on store bought chocolates and other treats, so why not save yourself a little money and make your own?

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These brownies are so fudgy and just the right amount of sweet. And if you’re not good with words, the heart-shape and pink icing will say “I love you” for you! 😉

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And for those of you who are wondering- yes, beets are making yet another appearance here- but don’t worry, you can’t taste them at all.  And if you’re going to show your love to people by baking them brownies, you might as well do them another favour and fill them with antioxidant-packed, good-for-you beets, right? 🙂

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So, if you can find absolutely no other reason to love Valentine’s day- then just think of it as an excuse to eat lots of chocolate, and make everything pink, red, and heart-shaped, because really, is there any other acceptable time of year to do that?

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

Gluten-Free Red Velvet Brownies

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Prep Time: 15 min
Bake Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/3 c. ground almonds
1 tbsp arrowroot flour
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of xanthan gum (optional)

1/4 c. diced cooked beets
1/2 c. date paste
1 egg
1/4 c. pumpkin puree*
1/4 c. yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp coconut oil (or vegetable oil)

For the Icing:

1/2 c. cashews
2 tbsp cottage cheese
1 tbsp honey
1.5 tbsp strawberry or raspberry jam
1/4 tsp diced cooked beets
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp butter extract (optional)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.  Add all the wet ingredients to your food processor or blender and blend until smooth.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. (The batter will feel a bit dry, but that’s ok).

Divide the batter evenly between 6 greased muffin tins (or heart-shaped tins!) and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the centres feel firm.  Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove the brownies from the tins and place on a wire rack to continues cooling.

For the Icing:

Add the cashews to your food processor (or high-powered blender) and blend until the cashews are smooth and buttery (this will take about 5-10 minutes)  Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.  When the brownies are cool, divide the icing between each brownie and smooth over the tops.

*If you’d prefer, you can omit the pumpkin and just use an entire cup of yogurt.

~twosaucysisters

What are your feelings toward Valentines Day?  How do you like to show your friends and family you care?

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‘Tis the Season

Here we are, 3 days into December, and we haven’t given you a Christmas recipe yet!  Blasphemy!

But we are making up for it, because we have a really good one to start off the Christmas season of baking and cooking.

And of course what meal is better to start off with than breakfast?

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Red and Green Christmas Pancakes!  It doesn’t get more festive than this, people!

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Our kitchen was a scene straight from a Christmas movie.  There was a fresh blanket of snow on the ground, we were blasting playing Christmas music, and making red and green pancakes.

Cute, right?

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So where do these lovely Christmas colours come from? Well, the red ones are basically a red velvet pancake made with beets (yes, beets!) and the green are made with none other than spinach!

Now before you go running away, here us out!  We promise you can’t taste the beets or the spinach. They just add some fabulous colour, as well as a good boost of nutrition, too!  Who doesn’t like the idea of sneaking some extra veggies into your breakfast without even tasting them? 🙂

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And between each fluffy pancake is a layer of peppermint cream.  So let’s just go over this one more time: These pancakes

– have extra veggies in them, but you can’t even taste them
– have no added sugar
– are low in fat
– have peppermint “cream” in between each one
– are red and green

Need we say more?

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If you haven’t quite gotten into the Christmas spirit yet, we suggest you make these pancakes to kick-start the season.  And if you’ve already been in the Christmas spirit since Halloween ended, well, you should probably make them, too, because they’re right up your alley 🙂

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Pancakes

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Prep time: 10 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

For the Red Pancakes:

2 tbsp diced, cooked beets
1/4 c. milk of choice
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp apple sauce (unsweetened)
1 egg white
1/8 tsp almond extract
1/3 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon

For The Green Pancakes:

1 c. spinach
1/4 c. milk of choice
1 egg white
2 tbsp apple sauce
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp honey
1/3 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

For the Peppermint Cream:

2/3 c. plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp cottage cheese
2 tsp honey
1/8 tsp peppermint extract

Directions:

For the Red Pancakes: grind dates in a high-powered blender or food processor until very finely diced.  Add all other wet ingredients and blend until smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and cocoa powder.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.  Drop spoonfuls of batter onto a hot skillet sprayed with cooking spray.  Cook until you see small bubbles begin to form on the top, then flip and cook for another few minutes, until slightly browned.

For the Green Pancakes: Combine all wet ingredients (this includes the spinach) in a high-powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.  Follow the same cooking directions as above.

For the Peppermint Cream: Add all ingredients to the blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

To make the stack: layer the pancakes alternating between red and green, spreading the peppermint cream in between each pancake.

~twosaucysisters

How do you get yourself into the Christmas spirit?  What is your favourite Christmas-themed breakfast?

And the Beet Goes On

Hey everybody!

We’re back after a totally exhausting but extremely fun week at training camp, and we can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Except we won’t be recapping it today.

Instead, we are bringing you a recipe.

We figured since we’ve been away for a few days and our posts have been a bit more sporadic, you’d be wanting one, anyways, and we have a delicious recipe that we made a couple weeks ago that we’ve been wanting to share with you!  Win-win situation in our opinions!

Before we get to that, though, we hope you enjoyed the guest posts from Michelle at Peachy Palate (she made a delicious chocolate raspberry layered smoothie) and Julia at Fit.Fresh.Food. (she made some super tasty cookies).  You should definitely check out those recipes if you haven’t already, and more importantly you should check out their blogs!  They are two fantastic girls with amazing recipes that’ll make your mouth water!

And back to this recipe.  We made pancakes. Again.

Apparently we are making it our mission to get the world to like beets.

We have given you beet cupcakes, citrusy beet and feta hummus, and now we’re bringing you beet pancakes!

Layered with vanilla protein custard, these pancakes were moist, fluffy, flavourful, and… pink!  What more could you ask for in a pancake?

Beets are one of those foods that whenever we eat them, we feel like we’re being super healthy.  We think it’s the bright red colour?

But don’t worry.  These pancakes don’t taste healthy.

And we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: if you don’t like beets, we still think you’ll love these pancakes! They don’t taste beet-y.  The beets in this recipe serve 2 purposes: colour and nutrition!

If you want to read more about the nutritional benefits of beets, go here.

And once you’ve done that, make these pancakes!

Beet Pancakes

Prep Time:5 min

Cook Time: 10 min

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1/3 c. diced, roasted beets
1/4 c. cottage cheese
1/4 c. Greek Yogurt
1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. berries (strawberries, raspberries) we used frozen
2 tbsp apple sauce
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/2 c. whole wheat flour*
1/4 c. chickpea flour*
1/4 c. oat flour*
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

Begin heating pancake griddle or frying pan.

In a food processor or blender, combine beets, cottage cheese, yogurt, milk, berries, apple sauce, honey, vanilla and egg yolk (we separated our egg and whipped the white, folding it into the batter once the wet was combined with the dry. This is not necessary, however it will make the pancakes fluffier!).

In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add wet to dry, until fully mixed, and then fold in egg whites (if doing this step).

Spoon batter onto greased pan. Once bubbles start to form on surface of the cakes, and the edges are slightly cooked, flip the pancakes.  Continue cooking until browned and fully cooked.

Our pancakes were stacked and layered with drippy vanilla protein custard (yogurt+vanilla protein powder) and topped with dried cranberries.

*This was the mix of flours we used, but feel free to use any blend of flours or just whole wheat flour.

-twosaucysisters

Are there any foods that make you feel super healthy when you eat them?

Meatless Monday – Can you feel the Beet?

Cheesy, I know. But seriously, can you?

We saw  Heather over at Better With Veggies‘s meatless Monday theme for August and couldn’t resist! We love meatless meals, vegan and vegetarian cooking is always so delicious and interesting, and often find ourselves eating sans-meat (not just on Mondays!).  When you’re done reading our post, head on over to Heather’s blog to see the rest of the meatless Monday participants! We missed last week’s special ingredient, Artichokes, because we were at Canada’s Wonderland all day, so we definitely weren’t going to miss this weeks – Beets!

We’re not going to lie, Beets are something that scared us for a long time. My family always has pickled beets on the table at any given holiday or get together, and until recently we’ve been afraid to try them. I think part of it was their bright red colour (to be honest when I was little I thought they looked like some nasty organ from an unknown animal) and the other part was their earthy scent.  When I was young I thought that no way could something that looked like it came from the inside of some bestial carnal and smelt like  those insides had been buried under the ground for a decade taste good.

Of course, since then we have both become much more adventurous with our eating habits and have learned not to judge a food based on it’s smell or appearance, or any sort of stigma surrounding it. We tried pickled beets at Christmas time, and loved them (even their slightly earthy flavour!) and since then have loved using them in recipes, especially for their bright red colour! 🙂

We love to roast them and put them in sandwiches and wraps, on salads, and even using them in cupcakes! But for today’s meatless Monday recipe, we wanted to try something that we hadn’t previously done. So we went boldly where no bean dip has gone before!

Beet and Feta Bean Dip!

Don’t you just LOVE the colour? 🙂 The feta in it is primarily there for flavour, so if you left it out it wouldn’t affect the texture much I don’t think, but you may want to adjust the amount of salt.

This dip was actually surprisingly good! Everything about it is spot on, from the flavour right down to the texture. It’s beet-y without being overly so, slightly sweet with a tad bit of salt.

We promise that with this dip, you will be feeling the “beet” in no time! 😉

Beet and Feta Bean Dip

Total time: 10min

Ingredients:

1 can of white beans (we used Navy)

1 small beet, roasted*

1/8 c. honey

1/8 c. Orange Juice

1/2 tbsp orange zest

3 sprigs of fresh rosemary

1/4 c. feta cheese

1/2 c. toasted walnuts

1 clove garlic, minced

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Chop your beet into a few pieces and put in a food processor along with all other ingredients and blend. Allow to blend for 5-7min or until smooth and creamy. Dip crackers, pitas or veggies in it, spread in on sandwiches – the possibilities are quite endless!

-twosaucysisters

Have you ever tried beets before?

Were there any foods that you didn’t like or were afraid to try when you were little that you love now?