Posts Tagged ‘cloves’


There are few spice blends that I use more than Pumpkin Pie. It’s so good in everything – from my Pumpkin Protein Shake, to Greek-style yogurt, cheesecake, quick breads, spice cookies, sprinkled on oatmeal…the list goes on and on.

The one that you can buy is good in a pinch…but nothing beats the hand-picked cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, high-quality ginger and all the LOVE that goes into making your own!

I know there are higher-end places you can buy spices, but I love Penzey’s. They are super fresh and affordable, and have a big variety.

Making your own blend means you can choose the flavors you love to dominate, add just a touch of this or that and go heavy on something else. This recipe is the ratios that I love – add, subtract…use a stronger or milder cinnamon – whatever makes you happy in your heart!
For the standard, Libby’s-everybody-loves-it pumpkin pie recipe (two pie-big can) I use 3 1/2 teaspoons of the mix.
12 teaspoons China Cassia cinnamon (this is my fave, but any will work)
6 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 rounded teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg  (makes a huge difference!)
Combine all and store in an airtight container.  Keeps at least six months.






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Portion control.  IF you can control yourself and eat just one!

I love cheesecake – and it’s so easy to make sugar free.  Tastes fabulous (gets better as it sits at least a day in the fridge) and takes no time to whip up a batch of these little beauties.

Took a simple vanilla recipe and added some Autumn spices – a crust of crushed sugar free cookies and butter…toasted pecans on the top.  A great dessert to nibble at with a cup of decaf on a windy, chilly evening.




1 1/3 cups crushed sugar free ginger snaps, if you can find them OR graham cracker crumbs

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup melted butter

Two 8-ounce packages reduced fat cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons Splenda Granular

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon cloves

2 eggs (to reduce the fat, use 1/2 cup EggBeaters.  It won’t be the exact same texture, but will still be great.)

Toasted pecans, to sprinkle, optional


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a 12-regular sized muffin pan with cupcake liners.  Spray lightly with vegetable cooking spray.  (I like the foil ones – they are pretty and seem to hold up better.)

In a medium bowl combine the graham or cookie crumbs, cinnamon, and melted butter.  Divide and press into each lined cup.

In a large bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Beat in the Splenda, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and cloves.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, just until incorporated.  Divide batter evenly amongst the cups.  (You can fill them to the top.)  Sprinkle on toasted pecans, if desired.

Bake for 15-20 minutes – or JUST until they are almost set.  Should still be slightly jiggly.  (They will continue cooking for a minute or two out of the oven.)  Allow to cool completely and remove from the pan.  Chill for at least several hours, or preferably overnight.  Makes 12 mini cheesecakes.

Per Cheesecake: Calories 218; Protein 7 g; Fat 14 g; Carbs 16 g; Fiber 1 g; Sugar 3 g; Sodium 218 mg

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There is not much more comforting than the silky, velvety, creamy, decadent feel of old-fashioned baked custard!

These are so good…spicy and not too sweet.  I love them warm, but chilling seems to accent the flavors.  Breakfast, dessert, midnight-snack – you can enjoy  a guilt-free  little cup of love anytime.





4 eggs

Pinch of salt

3/4 cups 2% milk

One 12-ounce can evaporated skim milk

1/4 cup DaVinci or Torani sugar free Gingerbread syrup OR 2 tablespoons molasses

1/2 cup Splenda Granular

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Cinnamon to sprinkle
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place six 4-ounce custard cups/ramekins in a 9×13 baking pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, salt, milk, evaporated milk, syrup, Splenda, vanilla, ginger, and cloves. Pour, through a fine mesh sieve, into the custard cups.  Sprinkle liberally with the cinnamon.

Pour very hot (not boiling) water into the baking pan coming halfway up the cups. Bake for 25-45 minutes. The time will vary depending on the humidity, altitude. They should jiggle slightly, but a sharp knife inserted into the middle comes out clean and nothing oozes out of the cut when gently pressed.

Remove from the water bath and allow to cool on a wire rack.  Makes 6 servings.

Per Serving (with molasses): 121 Calories; 7 g Protein; 5 g Tot Fat; 10 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 5 g Sugar; 111 mg Sodium

Per Serving (with sf syrup): 100 Calories; 7 g Protein; 5 g Tot Fat; 5 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 2 g Sugar; 109 mg Sodium


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A photo guide!

This has to be one of the most gorgeous things you can eat…if you love garlic!  Sweet, fragrant, creamy-smooth, rich, and intense…slow roasted to golden perfection.  Fabulous!

So many uses – blended into butter or emulsified with olive oil.  Spread, alone, on steak, chicken, or fish.  Folded into hummus or cream cheese for an out-of-this-world dip.

Or just as aromatherapy!!




Start with 1-1000 whole heads of garlic.

(Hello!  It’s not anymore work to make lots!)



Cut off the pointy end just enough to expose all the cloves…



Lay in a baking dish, or on a heavy-duty piece of foil.

Drizzle with a few teaspoons of olive oil per head,

letting it soak into the nooks and crannies.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper if you wish…



Wrap tightly and place into a preheated, 400 degree oven for an hour

or more…however long it takes to get very soft and golden.

When you squeeze the bulb the pulp of the cloves will squish out.

The longer you roast it, the sweeter and creamier it gets.


Store in an airtight container in the fridge.  DON’T throw away the oil!  It’s wonderful in so many ways…salad dressing, to fry or roast veggies in, or baste for the grill…drizzled over popcorn…

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So smooth, full of pumpkin and spice flavor and no-sugar-added…how can you go wrong?!

Stir into your Greek-style yogurt, or whip with fat free cream cheese for a fabulous apple dip – drop a spoonful into your protein shake or on a crepe…wow!

Takes awhile to cook down, but the results are soooooo worth it!




One 15-ounce can 100% pure pumpkin puree

2/3 cup Splenda Granular

1/4 cup sugar free maple pancake syrup OR 1/4 cup Whey Low Gold

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cloves

Dash freshly grated nutmeg

Pinch of salt

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the pumpkin, Splenda, syrup or Gold, lemon juice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

Reduce heat to low, and allow to cook – stirring frequently – for 1 hour, or until thick and dark.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Serving size is 2 tablespoons.

Per Serving: Calories 29; Protein 1 g; Fat 0 g; Carbs 7 g; Sugar 2 g; Sodium 103 mg


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These little pancakes are not overly sweet and go great with the Ginger-Pear Butter.   A 1/4 cup Greek-style yogurt on top and you’ve got a filling breakfast that should keep the cravings at bay.

Even if you just make the butter – wow!




1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup almond flour
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
2 eggs
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup skim milk
1 1/2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons Splenda (sugar)
1 teaspoon instant coffee crystals

In a small bowl combine four, almond flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together eggs, ricotta, milk, molasses, Splenda, and coffee crystals. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture just until combined. Heat a large frying pan or griddle over medium heat. Spray with vegetable cooking spray. Drop batter by rounded tablespoons onto hot pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook until set, another 2 minutes or so. Makes 9 servings, 2 pancakes each.

Per Serving: 130 Cal; 6 g Protein; 5 g Tot Fat; 15 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; 6 g Sugar; 116 mg Sodium



Two 14-ounce cans pears in juice
Zest and juice of one lemon
1/3 – 1/2 cup Splenda (sugar)
1 vanilla bean, split OR 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon ginger

Drain pears and puree in blender or food processor. In a small saucepan place the pear puree, lemon zest and juice, Splenda (sugar), vanilla bean, salt, cardamom, cloves, and ginger. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Continue to cook for 1-1 1/2 hours or until reduced and thickened. Stir occasionally. Allow to cool and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.



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