Baby’s First Birthday Cake

Baby's 1st Birthday Cake-Mimi's Fit Foods

Okay guys!  I’m just going to do one more post related to my baby’s birthday and then I’ll get back to all the other healthy recipes.  I debated on whether I should share this, but as my little baby’s birthday approached I desperately wanted to make her something that was healthy, but still yummy.  I mean, I wanted her to dig in and go back for more (and more and more).    I figured that there might be some moms out there that are (or will be) in the same boat, so I’m sharing a baby recipe for all you moms out there.

This cake is seriously a keeper!  The great part about it, besides that it actually tastes good, is that it is made with whole wheat flour and has no sugar.  It’s sweetened with apple juice and applesauce.  The outcome tastes a lot like a healthy carrot muffin.  It’s TOTALLY edible.  Beau and I have secretly been eating the leftovers for breakfast (I guess it’s no secret anymore . . . ha, ha!).  My little baby doll has been eating the leftovers after her lunch most days.  In fact, she saw me take it out of the fridge to take a picture of it and totally cried when I put it away without giving her some.  So, her wish was granted and she got to eat her leftover cake for lunch AND dinner (and, I may have had a little bite right along with her)!

And, if that doesn’t convince you that she liked it, maybe this will!

Baby's First Birthday Cake Eat-Mimi's Fit Foods

It is baked in a 9×9 pan.  This gives you the liberty to assemble it as you wish.  I decided I wanted to make a layered cake, so I cut the finished cake in half, and then I trimmed it down to two small-ish rectangles.  I put a layer of frosting between my two rectangles/layers, frosted the entire outside, and topped it with strawberries (she LOVES strawberries and that was also the theme of her birthday party).  That all being said, you can simply cut a small piece and frost that.  Or, you can frost the entire 9×9 cake just as it is.  Or, you can get as creative as you want in any other way.

So, if you’re kind of like me and you’re trying to spare your baby from sugar as long as possible and you like to make your own baby food (I try to make my own as much as possible because I know EXACTLY what is in it . . . and it tastes way better), add this baby cake to your files.  You’ll be pleased with the tasty results as well as the pleasure your baby will get from it.

As I quick little side note:  If you haven’t introduced your baby to egg whites and wheat yet, you may want to check with your doctor to verify if it’s okay to feed this cake to your baby.  If it’s not, then you might want to save this recipe for the second birthday (or another occasion).  This is more of a precaution for allergies and such.  I will say that I didn’t get my doctor’s “official” verification, but I had tried eggs and wheat on my baby before her birthday and she didn’t show any signs of an allergic reaction.  Thus, this cake treated her just fine.

Baby’s First Birthday Cake
Adapted from “What To Expect The First Year”

1 1/4 cups shredded carrots
1 1/4 cups apple juice concentrate
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ (found near the hot cereal in grocer store)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 whole egg
2 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
Baby’s Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9×9 cake pan with parchment paper and spray the paper with cooking spray.  Set aside.

Combine the carrots with 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of the juice concentrate in a medium-size saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to medium and simmer, covered, until the carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.  Transfer the carrot mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.  Add the dried cranberries and process until finely chopped.  Set the mixture aside to cool.

Combine the flour, wheat germ, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.  Add 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons of the remaining juice concentrate, oil, whole egg, egg whites, and vanilla and beat just until well mixed.  Fold in the carrot puree and applesauce.  Pour batter into prepared cake pan, smoothing out the top with a rubber spatula.

Bake until a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 25 to 40 minutes.  Place on wire rack and let cool briefly in the pan, then turn out onto the rack to cool completely.

When cool, frost as desired with the Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below).

Store any leftovers, loosely covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Baby’s Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from “What To Expect The First Year”

4 tablespoons apple juice concentrate
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin

Set aside 1 tablespoon of the juice concentrate.  Process the remaining juice concentrate, cream cheese, vanilla, and dried cranberries in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Transfer to a mixing bowl.  Set aside.

Stir the gelatin into the reserved tablespoon of juice concentrate in a small saucepan; let stand to soften, 1 minute.  Then, heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the gelatin.

Beat the gelatin mixture into the cream cheese mixture until well blended.  Cover and refrigerate just until the frosting begins to set, 30 to 60 minutes.  Then frost the cake as desired.

Makes enough to frost one 9-inch-square cake.

Lighter Cake Pops

Lighter Cake Pops - Mimi's Fit Foods

Who would have thought I would have put a post on this blog for something like Cake Pops?  Well, here’s the thing.  My sweet, baby girl just had her first birthday.  (Where on earth does the time go!?)  So, I made these cake pops for her birthday party and they were loved by all.  I share these with you because they  are a slightly healthier version than the more popular one.  With theses, you don’t make a cake, crumble it, add that fattening, sugary cream cheese frosting and then roll them into balls.  Instead, you make a light cake batter (which has no oil or yolk in it . . . brilliant!) and actually bake the batter into balls.  This saves a ton of calories and they are still super delicious!  Keep in mind that they are still dipped in white chocolate which can add up if you eat a lot of these babies (there’s not really a great way to save calories on this step).

I snagged the recipe and idea from Gina’s Skinny Recipes.  I didn’t alter it one bit and they turned out perfectly (she has fabulous step-by-step pictures if you want to click on the link).  In order to bake these pops, you’ll need a cake pop baking pan.  I followed Gina’s advice and bought one from Target.  It turned out some beautiful, golden cake pops . . . just like she said.  She also has 48 ounces of white chocolate listed in her recipe, although you’ll never use all of that to coat your cake pops.  She mentioned this and found that she actually only used about 20 ounces of it (which is what is used to calculate the nutritional information).  That being said, I still opted to melt more than 20 ounces so that there would be room to actually dip the cake pop in the bowl/cup.

So, if you have a special occasion where you might want to make something that is sweet, trendy, and cute . . . without loading too many extra calories, I think these are a great idea.  I mean, I obviously think so because I made them for my baby’s birthday party.

I can’t believe she’s 1 year old already!  While the cake pops are delicious, I think I’ll take an extra snuggle with my darling girlie before I have one more cake pop.  She melts my heart (way more than any cake pop . . . or any treat for that matter ) ever could.

www.mimisfitfoods.com

Lighter/Skinny Cake Pops
Recipe Source:  Gina’s Skinny Recipes

1 (16.5-ounce) packaged cake mix (I used white, Gina used yellow)
6 ounces plain fat-free Greek yogurt (I used Oikos)
1 cup water
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
baking spray
48 ounces Baker’s white chocolate (20 oz. calculated in n.i.)
sprinkles (optional)
48 lollipop sticks (I used paper straws)
styrofoam block

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray the cake pop pan with baking spray.

Combine all the cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat until combined.Place the batter into a pastry bag or large ziplock bag with the tip cut off.

Pipe the batter into the prepared cake pop pan and bake about 18 minutes (I rotated the pan after 10 minutes to be sure they baked evenly). Let it rest 5 minutes before opening the pan.

Place cake balls on a wire rack and repeat with remaining batter. Using a scissor, cutthe seam off the balls.

Refrigerate the cake balls for about 45 minutes, this helps the chocolate stick to the cake.

Melt some of the chocolate in the microwave according to package directions, careful not to burn the chocolate. Insert the tip of the stick into the melted chocolate, then into the cake ball (this helps hold the stick in place).

In batches, melt remaining chocolate. Dip the cake pops into the chocolate, let the excess drip off then place stick on a styrofoam block about a minute, then add sprinkles on top if using.

Makes 48-50 balls.

Nutritional Information (Per Cake Pop)
Calories:  102.5
Protein:  1.4g
Carbs:  15g
Fat:  4g
Fiber:  0g
Sugars:  7g

Fit Granola

Oats, Almond, & Coconut Granola - Low Fat and Low Calorie

Oh, granola!  Most of us LOVE granola! Maybe that’s because granola is made with so many sweet coatings we can’t help but love it.  Unfortunately, all of those sweet coatings (honey, syrup, etc.) really help add up calories and sugars.  I can tell you that it is pretty dang hard to find ANY type of granola where the calories aren’t a bit high for the amount you can eat in a serving.  That being said . . . I knew I had to figure out how to make a granola that still had a delicious taste, but with fewer calories.

This granola is AWESOME!  Of course, the original version tastes even more awesome . . . but, I prefer this one for the fewer calories.  I was able to make a substantial reduction without sacrificing much of the flavor.  My cute husband started munching on this batch of granola and ended up telling me to put it away because it was so addicting and good.  It had a nice maple and brown sugar taste and the toasted oats, coconut, and almonds make it that much more delicious.  Oh, and the house smells incredible while it’s baking!

This stuff is DELICIOUS!  I’m warning you now . . . if you don’t have self control, then making this could ruin your diet.  It really is hard to stop eating once you start.  It’s that good!  (And, if you can afford extra calories, I love stirring in come raisins or dried cranberries.  Yum!)

Fit Granola
Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Café

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons sugar-free maple syrup
1 tablespoon molasses
3 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, coconut, and brown sugar.  In a separate bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine maple syrup, oil and salt.  Combine both mixtures by slowly pouring the liquid over the oatmeal mixture and stirring well.  Divide in half and pour onto two 11×17-inch rimmed baking sheets, spreading out into an even layer on each sheet.  Cook for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until golden.  Remove from the oven, cool slightly, and then transfer into a large bowl, slightly breaking up the clumps.

Make about 7 Cups of Granola.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/3 Cup)
Calories:  134.9
Protein:  2.9g
Carbs:  15.8g
Fat:  7.8g
Fiber:  2.2g
Sugar:  6.1g

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