Healthy treats from The Food Effect

Healthy treats from The Food Effect

Oatmeal Cranberry Biscotti

If you’re looking for a sweet-treat that’s guilt-free – these biscotti are the perfect solution. There’s no oil, butter or margarine in my recipe, making them completely fat-free! These crunchy biscotti are a great accompaniment with tea or coffee.

Cranberries (including dried) are rich in anti-oxidants & renowned for their anti-inflammatory action in the prevention of urinary tract infections. Oats provide soluble fibre & lower the glycaemic index of these sweet treats – promoting steady blood sugar levels.


2 ¼ cups plain flour

½ cup porridge oats

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup light brown sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

¾ tsp. cinnamon

½ cup dried cranberries

Beat the eggs, sugars & vanilla with a hand-beater or in a stand-mixer on medium speed, until mixture is light & smooth. Combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt & cinnamon. Gradually add the flour mixture & dried cranberries to the egg mixture, mixing until well-combined. (Expect a very sticky dough).

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Using wet hands, form the dough into two loaves on a lined baking tray (leaving plenty space between the two loaves, or use two separate baking trays). Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool slightly. Slice into ½ – 1 inch thick slices. Lay cut side down on baking tray & bake for another 7-9 minutes.

Carrot & Courgette Muffins

You won’t believe these delicious muffins are completely fat-free!

Store-bought muffins can contain over 500 calories, with 30 to 35 grams of fat! By preparing your own, you can drastically cut fat and save calories. I’ve used unsweetened applesauce in place of any oil or butter, and the grated courgette & carrot adds extra moisture (not to mention fibre, vitamins & minerals).


2 cups whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup Splenda (or brown sugar)

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1/2 cup natural apple sauce (unsweetened)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup grated courgette (around 1 large courgette)

1 cup grated carrots

1/2 cup chopped walnuts OR dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Lightly grease a muffin pan with non-stick baking spray, or line with paper muffin cases.
In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, Splenda, baking powder, baking soda, salt and walnuts or chocolate chips. In a small bowl, beat the eggs until they are foamy. Then add apple sauce and vanilla extract.
Combine the two mixtures; add in the zucchini and carrots. Stir until it is just combined. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling them about 3/4 full.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until firm to touch and golden. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from the pan to a wire rack, and allow to cool completely before storing (in an airtight container at room temperature) – these muffins also freeze well!

High-Fibre Peanut Butter Raisin Bars

These bars are a “healthified” version of the famous Rice Krispie treats. I’ve cut out any butter, margarine, corn syrup or refined sugars. Honey and raisins provide natural sweetness. Using All-Bran cereal in combination with peanut butter, make these a high-fibre, filling snack with a boost of protein and healthy fat – enhancing satiety and keeping you fuller for longer! They’re also spiked with cinnamon which has been proven to maintain healthy blood-sugar levels and cut the risk of diabetes.



2 cups Kellogg’s All-Bran Original cereal

2/3 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1/2 cup honey

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Stir together All-Bran cereal, raisins and nuts. Set aside.
In a medium size pot, combine peanut butter and honey. Stir over medium heat until mixture is well blended. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla, cinnamon and cereal mixture.
Press mixture (firmly down) into a 9 x 9 inch square baking pan coated with non-stick baking spray. Allow to cool completely, before cutting into 16 bars (4×4).  Store in the fridge in an airtight container.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies (Gluten Free)

I’ve tried many versions of peanut butter cookies, yet have never been entirely satisfied (too thin, too crispy, tastes more like butter/ margarine, etc.) – until this adaption, which is pure peanut butter perfection! Even better, these couldn’t be easier and are suitable for those on a gluten-free diet.

Whilst these cookies are not low in calories, all the fat is in the form of healthy mono-unsaturated fat, with no saturated or trans-fats that most biscuits are loaded with. These healthy mono-unsaturated fats (found in nuts, seeds, nut butters, avocado and olive oil) should be included in your daily diet; they are proven to lower the risk of heart disease and aid the body in absorption of vitamins and minerals. Eating good fat will help keep you full and satisfied, reduce sugar cravings, increase energy levels and is also the key to brain health. Kids will also love these and you’d much rather they eat these than store-bought, trans-fat laden packaged biscuits (and the same applies to adults!).


1 cup sugar (OR ½ cup white sugar + ½ cup brown sugar)

1 cup Natural peanut butter (salted)

1 egg

½ tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a bowl (with electric hand-beater or by hand with a spoon).

Form into 2-inch size balls (measures ~ 2 Tablespoons full) and place onto prepared (lined/ sprayed) baking tray.

Bake at 180ºC for 10-15 minutes or until just browned. These cookies do not spread much; slightly press down on the baked cookies with the back of a spoon when you’ve removed them from the oven. Allow to cool for several minutes on the baking tray. Transfer to a wire rack. Let cool completely.

Makes: 12-15 cookies (recipe can be doubled)


  • Add dark chocolate chips or salted peanuts (or both!) to the dough
  • Use crunchy peanut butter




All recipes © The Food Effect 2012

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