Today is Applesauce Cake Day

Last month was Blueberry Cheesecake Day, and because of all the recipes I investigated in order to create a healthful recipe had too much sugar, I made a blueberry parfait with only the natural sweetness of the berries.

Similarly, when I investigated applesauce cakes in my natural foods cookbooks and recipes online, I could not find one that did not use too much sugar. One used honey, but more than I would like; one used multiple spices, which I did like; another used raisins, which meant I could cut back on sugar; and one included rolled oats, which I thought was a good idea except I had no rolled oats anymore, since I used them up the week before.

So I took the simplest one I could find called Amish Applesauce Cake from and changed it to suit my needs. Less sugar, more spices, with currants and pecans instead of raisins and walnuts. I also decided to make them into muffins so I could take half of them to my Full Circle group tomorrow and down to the pool today. No need for knives and plates.

Hope you like my less sugar breakfast version!

P.S. Thanx to friend Rhoda who noted I listed eggs twice!!


Applesauce Breakfast Muffins
(I call them breakfast muffins because they are barely sweet, less like a dessert and more like a morning muffin.)

Utensils: Two bowls (small and large), one small pot, whisk, and spatula, measuring cups and measuring spoons, soup spoon, muffin tin(s), brush or paper towel for oiling pans, baking tester stick, serving platter. (I used one 12-muffin pan and one mini-muffin pan)
Prep. Time: About 15 minutes
Baking Time: About 20 minutes
Categories: Vegetarian; can be vegan with vegan egg substitute


Wet items:
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup+
2 free-range eggs or egg substitute
1 tsp. (real) vanilla or almond extract
one cup unsweetened ,organic applesauce

Dry items:
2 cups organic unbleached white flour*
1 tsp. cinnamon powder, 1/2 tsp. each cardamom
cloves, and nutmeg powder
1  tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Final additions:
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup organic currants (or raisins)

(Extra coconut oil for muffin pans)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Oil muffin holders with coconut oil or line with muffin papers and just brush a little oil into the bottoms.
  2. In a small pot warm the coconut oil. Remove from heat into the larger bowl and let cool a couple of minutes. (While waiting, you can crack 2 eggs and whisk in the smaller bowl.)
  3. Add cooled oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and applesauce to eggs in the smaller bowl. Mix well. Set aside.
  4. In another (larger) bowl, measure out and mix all dry ingredients together.
  5. Add wet ingredients from smaller bowl to dry ingredients in the larger bowl and mix with a spatula. Add currants and nuts.
  6. Fill muffin pans 3/4 full. (I could have used my 12-muffin mini-pan instead of the one with only 9 muffin spaces.) Fill regular-sized muffin pan first and place in preheated oven while filling mini-muffin pan. I used a soup spoon to fill pans.
  7. Set time for 15 minutes. Test with baking tester (I used a wooden skewer.) They may need another five minues, depending on how full you made the muffin pans. (Mini-muffins may come out after 15 minutes if not overfilled, as I did!)
  8. Remove muffins from oven. Cool enough to remove from pans and place on a serving platter. Great alone or with fruit only jam or Coco Whip, a non-dairy coconut based topping.  Enjoy!* If you roast the flour while theovcenis preheating, it will sweeten the final taste.
    +If you want a sweeter muffin, use 1/2 cup maple syrup and add 1/4 cup more flour or 1/4 cup less applesauce.

Winter Solstice Soiree*

*I lookled up the definition of soiree and found that it is derived from the French word for evening (soir) and means an evening party or gathering, typically in a private house for conversation or music. Perfect description for our party, except no mention of food!


(The little red car is actually our car that happened to be parked near the tree. A fitting snow covered tree for a winter solstice.)

Since today is also the first day of winter, I took a picture of the tree outside our living room window, which was snow covered from the brief snow we had last Saturday morning.

Inside we were warm, enjoying the conversation and the food. Here are some photos of the items we served: Hoomus from sprouted chick peas (recipe when I do sprouts again), guacamole, salsa, raw veggies, cheese & crackers, shrimp, tortilla chips, pita bread made into pita chips in the oven, plus beverages, melted chocolate fondue with fresh, organic strawberries for dipping, and cookies (My thanks to my daughter Basha for the recipe at the end of the photos below.)


~A perfect night for candles~


~Organic raw veggies & dips~


~Chocolate Fondue with Red, Ripe Organic Strawberries~


Recipe below for my daughter’s Cranberry Cookies (pretzel stars were a house gift.)

~Sweet & Tart Crunchy Cookies~ 
by Basha Starr

My mother always made too much oatmeal. She would make either oatmeal pancakes or oatmeal cookies from the leftover oatmeal. I loved these cookies and decided to give them a festive flavor by adding cranberries and walnuts. The unique combination of maple syrup with cranberries and walnuts results in a delicious blend of pleasantly sweet, crunchy and tart cookies. The whole cranberries make each bite have a little burst of tartness and the red from the cranberries gives these cookies a distinctive holiday look. 

Ingredients (I made some alternate or updated suggestions in italics.)

one egg
1/4 cup Land ‘O Lakes butter (or coconut oil)
3/4 cups maple syrup (1/2 cup)
1 cup cooked oatmeal (I used regular, not quick oats. es)
1 cup dry, rolled oats (same as above)
1 cup unbleached white flour (I used organic flour)
1 Tbl. double-acting baking powder
1 1/4 cups raw, whole cranberries, rinsed with stems removed
(Since I cut back on the maple syrup I reduced the amount here to one cup. es)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (or pecans)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix egg, melted butter (or coconut oil) and maple syrup.
  3. In a larger bowl, combine cooked oatmeal, uncooked oatmeal, and baking powder.
  4. Pour egg mixture from smaller bowl into oat mixture into larger bowl and mix well.
  5. Finally, gently stir in rinsed cranberries and chopped walnuts. Drop by tablespoons onto cookie sheet sprayed with a no-stick spray (I used silicon liners on my cookie sheets) and bake 20-25 minutes, until tops and bottoms are slightly golden.

Yield: 2 1/2 dozen sweet ‘n tart crunchy cookies


solsticetree1Enjoy the solstice. Now the days will get longer!!!

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