No Bake Berry Pie

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We’re in the midst of a minor heat wave here in Ohio. Today I was craving some berry pie but didn’t want to heat up my kitchen baking a traditional one. I whipped up some quick no-sugar added pie filling in my microwave and spread it in a graham cracker crust. This pie can also be made with sugar. I used stevia that measures cup for cup like sugar. If stevia is used, this pie has just 5 grams of added sugar per slice from the graham cracker crust.

I used frozen mixed berries because I had some on hand. This pie can also be made with all blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries.

This recipe has instructions for the microwave. The pie filling step can also be prepared on the stove top by stirring the mixture over medium until the sauce is transparent and bubbling.

No Bake Berry Pie

8 servings

  • 6 cups fresh or frozen mixed berries
  • 1 cup stevia for baking (the type that measures like sugar; sugar can be used instead in the same amount)
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • dash salt
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 9 in graham cracker pie crust

Toss berries, sweetener, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl that is microwave safe. Microwave on high for 10 minutes or until transparent and bubbling, stopping every two minutes to stir the mixture. Stir in lemon juice and pour into graham cracker crust. Chill for an hour or until firm enough to slice.

Easy Root Beer Ice Cream

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Today I discovered that simple ice cream can be made from a combination of milk, sweetener, and flavorings. This version is root beer and vanilla flavored. My daughter thinks this treat tastes very much like a root beer float.

Easy Root Beer Ice Cream

Makes 6 1/2 cup servings

3 cups 2% milk (lactose free milk may be used instead)

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 t root beer flavoring (I used LorAnn brand, available in craft stores)

3/4 t vanilla extract

Whisk all ingredients until sugar is dissolved. Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s recommendations. Since this ice cream is low fat without thickeners, I recommend enjoying it soft-serve style, right after churning is done.

We Made Red Hot Cinnamon Cupcakes

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Today my daughter and I tried out the Red Hot Cinnamon Cupcakes recipe from The Domestic Rebel, and we were both delighted with the end result. This was the very first time we decorated cupcakes with a frosting tip, too.

For a baked good with bold flavor, this was a simple and super clever recipe. It involves adding cinnamon extract and crushed Red Hot candies to a boxed cake mix and the homemade icing that tops it.

Now that we’ve ventured into using a frosting tip, other cupcake ideas are rising to the surface of my mind. I think we might try redoing this recipe with Jolly Rancher candies and lemon extract, provided the process of crushing those larger candies doesn’t traumatize my blender.

Coconut Mint Ice Cream, Dairy Free with Banana Base

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I continue to experiment with the banana-based ice cream genre so well described at That Clean Life. With summer looming, I highly recommend this technique to anyone who has a blender or food processor and can tolerate bananas. This fruit has an opposite reaction to freezing compared to grapes, whose flavor amplifies with dropping temperature. Frozen pureed bananas have a neutral flavor that fades into the other ingredients mixed with it. Its pectin and fructose can lend the muscle of sugar and fat to an ice cream, and its masquerade is convincing. Deeply frozen, it melts like a full-fat ice cream on the tongue.

In this recipe, I found a tasty purpose for my leftover mint and shredded coconut.

Coconut Mint Ice Cream, Dairy Free with Banana Base

Makes 2 servings

2 medium sliced bananas, frozen

1/3 cup fresh mint

1/2 t vanilla extract

1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Put bananas, mint, and vanilla extract in blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth, scraping down sides of container periodically. Empty into freezer container and stir in coconut. Harden in the freezer for an hour, scoop into bowls, and enjoy.

Mixed Berry Sorbet, No Sugar Added

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I used to think that blueberries were the milquetoast of the fruit world, a token bit of wild to justify uninspired pancakes or muffins. My first taste of blueberry sorbet disrupted this boredom. I ordered it because its deep jewel tone seemed so unexpected for this fruit. I think I needed to taste it to make sure it was really just blueberry and not a port wine granita. That blueberry sorbet had a perfect balance of tart and sweet. It was sophisticated yet could have guest starred as a limited Starburst flavor.

Sometime soon I will make a treat in which blueberries are the only fruit, but today I had a frozen blend of mixed berries that sufficed for the task of make a fruit puree (diet) sorbet. This blend had equal parts blueberry, raspberry, and blackberry.

The finished treat made two servings with 80 calories each, 8 grams of fiber, and no added sugar.

Mixed Berry Sorbet

Serves 2

2 cups mixed frozen berries

2 T water

2 packets Stevia (sweetens like 1/4 cup sugar)

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Scoop into small bowls and enjoy.