Magical Coconut Cookies

Happy Valentine’s Day . . . well, almost!  In honor of the sweet holiday, I thought I would share with you a recipe for a low-calorie treat.  Albeit, it still has sugar and such, but it’s a MUCH better option than several of the other Valentine’s treats out there!

I had to tag “magical” in the name of this recipe because I thought these coconut cookies were magical.  When I first saw the recipe I thought it was strange and wondered how it really came together to offer a crisp, yet chewy texture.  They seemed more like a meringue cookie to me.   After reading several of the 5-star reviews on how fabulous the cookies were, I just had to try them.  I was amazed!  They really were crisp, yet chewy, and I loved the flavor of them!  Magical I tell you, simply magical!

Guess what else I L.O.V.E. about them.  They are only 40 calories a cookie.  Now, that is something sweet!

Magical Coconut Cookies
Adapted from Allrecipes.com & skinnytaste.com

3 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
3/4 cup cornflake crumbs
(from 2 cups cornflakes crushed almost to powder)

Preheat oven to 350°. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpats.

Whip the eggs whites, cream of tartar and sugar into a meringue until you form to form thick soft peaks, about 8 – 10 minutes.

Fold in the coconut and cornflake crumbs. (I throw the cornflakes into my food processor and process until fine crumbs are resembled.)

Drop by spoonful (I used a cookie scoop) onto parchment lined cookie sheets.  Bake for about 18 minutes or until golden.

Makes about 30 cookies (depending on the size).

Serves 30.

Nutritional Information (Per Cookie)
Calories:  40.1
Protein:  0.7g
Carbs:  7.7g
Fat:  0.8g
Fiber:  0.2g
Sugar:  5.8g

Pineapple Bliss Cupcakes

Photo by Josie Fox Photography

Guess what!?  We have a birthday in our house today so I cannot resist in giving you a recipe for a sweet treat today!  My sweet and handsome husband is turning one year older today and we both love these cupcakes!  We had a small family BBQ for him the other day to celebrate his big day and I asked him if he wanted chocolate cupcakes or pineapple cupcakes and he didn’t even hesitate to say pineapple.  Once you try these, you may find them irresistible too!

Here’s why I find them so utterly awesome:  a) they taste delicious, b) they taste like summer (and we know how much I LOVE summertime), c) they are SUPER, DUPER easy (only 2 ingredients), and d) they are only 100 calories!

If I had kids, I would “trick” them with these all the time when they desired a sweet treat.  Oh, wait!  I’ve made them for extended family (kids and adults) and I don’t tell them the “trick” until they all try them and shower me with praises because they taste so good.  After that, I let them in on the secret.

SO . . . what ever reason you decide to make these (birthday, after school snacks, dessert for Sunday dinner, or just because), may you enjoy the pleasure of little-to-no work with a great tasting reward!

Until then . . . I ‘ll be celebrating my hubby’s big day today!  Happy Birthday to Beau!
(Thanks again to Josie for the pics!)

Photo by Josie Fox Photography

Pineapple Bliss Cupcakes
Adapted from Gina’s Skinny Recipes

18.25 oz box yellow cake mix
20 oz can crushed pineapple in juice  (do not drain)

Combine both ingredients in large bowl.
Mix on medium speed with electric mixer.
Pour into lined cupcake tins about 2/3 full.
Bake in accordance with cake mix directions or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

Pineapple Fluff  Frosting

20 oz can pineapple in pineapple juice, completely drained of any liquid
1 tub Light Cool Whip

Fold crushed pineapple into Cool Whip.
Spread on cooled cupcakes and refrigerate until ready to eat.
(I usually make this right before serving and then frost them as we eat them, or let my guests frost them as they wish.   The kids LOVE to do their own and they think it’s so cool that I even let them.)

Nutritional Information (1 Cupcake no Frosting)
Calories:  100
Protein:  0.9g
Carbs:  20g
Fat:  2g (0.5g = Sat)
Fiber:  0.3g

Nutritional Information (1 Cupcake with Frosting)
Calories:  136
Protein:  1g
Carbs:  27g
Fat:  3.1g (1.6g = Sat)
Fiber:  0.5g

Grilled Pineapple

Here is a sweet little treat that won’t pack on the calories!  I am totally guilty of loving the grilled pineapple at various Brazilian restaurants, so I’m happy to provide a recipe that resembles the tasty stuff.  We made this for our Independence Day BBQ, and I’m pretty sure the entire family loved it.  It’s a cinch to throw together (literally took a couple of minutes) and it can quickly become the favorite part of any meal.  It’s even a tasty dessert if you ask me (and it goes great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream . . . but I didn’t tell you that!).  I’m pretty sure the biggest trick is trying to have only one slice!

Grilled Pineapple

2 Tbsp. agave nectar
1 tsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 ripe pineapple, cut into 8 ½-inch thick slices

In a small bowl, combine the agave nectar, olive oil, lime juice, and brown sugar and whisk to blend. Set aside.

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill. Lightly coat the grill rack with cooking spray. Position the cooking rack 4 to 6 inches from the flame.

Lightly brush the pineapple with the marinade. Grill or broil, turning once and basting once or twice with the remaining marinade, until tender and golden, about 3-5 minutes on each side.  Serve warm.

Serves 8.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 Slice)
Calories:  49.5
Protein:  0.2g
Carbs:  11.8h
Fat:  0.8g (0.1g = Sat.)
Fiber:  0.7g
Sugars:  10.5g

Strawberry Topping

This is a great little topping that I love putting in my hot cereals.  It adds a lot of flavor and sweetness, yet not a lot of calories.  I like to make a batch of this and then keep it in my refrigerator for easy access each morning when I heat up my hot cereal.  This topping is also great on pancakes, waffles, and french toast and is a great alternative to syrup.  This would also be yummy on top of ice cream if you’re having an indulgent moment. This recipe comes straight out of one of my favorite cookbooks . . . America’s Test Kitchen rarely lets me down!

Strawberry Topping
Source:  The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled & sliced thin
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Toss 2 cups of the strawberries, the sugar, and salt together in a large bowl and let sit, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries have released their juice and the sugar has dissolved, about 30 minutes.  Transfer the mixture, including all of the liquid, to a small saucepan and stir in the remaining strawberries.  Cook over medium heat until the juice has thickened into a sauce, about 6 minutes.  Off heat, stir in the lemon juice.  Let cool 1 hour before serving.

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/3 Cup)
Calories:  50
Protein:  1g
Carbs:  14g
Fat:  0g
Fiber:  2g