Healthy-ish Sausage Balls

Healthy-ish Sausage Balls

NO Bisquick!

No Unnecessary Fillers!

First of all: Happy 2014!!!

Let’s start the New Year off right by eliminating unnecessary CRAP from our diet.  It all starts at home with YOU and your choice of ingredients.  Some choose to take the easy way out….but little do they know how simple the healthier version is.  Healthy doesn’t always mean more difficult.  I’ll prove that to you, just wait and see….

Cheddar Sausage Balls

Cheddar Sausage Balls with Mustard Dipping Sauce

These are super tasty and at least a little guilt free!  Adding in a bit of Whole Wheat Flour and using herbs and spices really makes the flavors POP!  And the guilt-free mustard dipping sauce is a super healthy addition and really adds some zing.  When I got these off the baking sheets, they were virtually grease free.  I was super impressed….as were all the people enjoying them!!!

Gather Your Ingredients

Gather Your Ingredients

So, here is what I started with:

  • Flour (1 Cup Whole Wheat King Arthur Flour & 1 Cup Whole Wheat White King Arthur Flour)
  • Baking Powder
  • Fresh Grated Cheddar (please grate your own…this is a simple step that most people use a shortcut for….you WILL be able to tell a difference in the end result….trust me)
  • 2-3 cloves minced Garlic (can use garlic powder)
  • Dry Mustard
  • Onion Powder (not pictured)
  • 1 lb Nesse’s Sausage (original, hot or extra sage are all delicious!)
  • Champagne with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice.  This helps, I promise!!! (this is for YOU, not the recipe…in case there is any confusion)

TIP: You can also use Turkey or Chicken Sausage as well….it just needs a little extra fat, so be sure to add in a couple Tbs of melted butter or oil so your sausage balls won’t dry out.  I’m also wondering if you could use applesauce……hummm…might try that next and let you know how it turns out. Probably would be good with Chicken Sausage and maybe some apples and fontina cheese…..

Herb and Spice Additions

Herb and Spice Additions

That’s when I realized I didn’t buy the HOT sausage, so I needed to spice it up some with:

  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Dry Mustard
  • Coarse Black Pepper
  • Rubbed Sage
  • Salt

*Add as much or as little of these as you’d like.  You can add anything you want to change the taste of these!

Dry Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

Put all your dry ingredients into a large Mixing Bowl.  Flour, Baking Powder, Garlic,  Onion Powder, Dry Mustard, Red Pepper Flakes, Sage, Salt & Pepper.  Mix to Combine.

Add Cheese

Add Cheese

Add Grated Cheddar Cheese to Dry Mixture and toss to combine and coat the cheese.

Add Sausage

Add Sausage

Next, add the UNCOOKED sausage to the mixture. Use your hands and really get in there!!! Don’t be scared.  You need to break up the sausage and make sure it is all mixed in together.

Binder Time

Binder Time

You’ll notice it is not binding completely together. You need a little liquid to help this.  Add 2-4 TBS 2% Milk until just moist.  Add it in a little at a time so you don’t overdo it!!! I’m also going to experiment and use beer next time!  It should look like this and shape into a ball easily!

Get Ready to Bake!

Get Ready to Bake!

Roll them into Bite-sized Balls and place them on a cookie sheet.  I had enough to fill 2 full cookie sheets (24 on each) and most of a 3rd cookie sheet.  I made about 67.  So you should get anywhere from 55-70 depending on the size of your balls.

Little Bites of Heaven

Little Bites of Heaven

Pop them in the Oven on 350 for 15-20 mins or until browned and sausage is fully cooked.

Browned and Delicious

Browned and Delicious

Tasty little morsels right out of the oven!!!

Let em cool

Let em cool

So. Darn. Good

So. Darn. Good

Cheddar Sausage Balls

Cheddar Sausage Balls

ENJOY & DEVOUR!!!

This recipe is basic and can be changed up in so many ways.  I’ll also post another flavor change up for you, but here is the Basic Cheddar Sausage Ball Recipe:

Healthy-ish Cheddar Sausage Balls

  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour (King Arthur)
  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat White Flour (King Arthur)
  • 1 1/2 TBS Baking Powder
  • 4-6 oz. Freshly Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 lb Nesse’s Sausage
  • 2-4 TBS 2% Milk (2 Tbs at a time)

TIP: Above is the BASIC recipe.  You can change/add any herbs/spices from here on!

  • 1 TBS Rubbed Sage
  • 1 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Dry Mustard
  • 1-2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2-3 Cloves Minced Garlic (or 1 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder)
  • 1/2 tsp Fresh Coarse Ground Black Pepper
  • Pinch Salt

Mix all ingredients (flours, baking powder, herbs & spices) to combine EXCEPT the Cheese, Sausage & Milk.  Next add grated cheese to dry ingredients and toss to coat cheese.  Then, with your hands, crumble the sausage into the mixture…breaking it up and incorporating it into the mixture.  Do not overwork!!! Add enough milk to moisten the mixture, 2 TBS at a time.  (Tip: if you used turkey or chicken sausage, it might take a little bit more!!!)  Roll into bite sized balls.  Bake 350 for 15-20 mins until browned and sausage is cooked through.

Mustard Dipping Sauces:

* Combine equal parts, or 2-3 heaping TBS, Creole Mustard and Dijon Mustard.  Mix.

* Combine equal parts Yellow, Dijon & Whole Grain Mustard with a dash of Worcestershire. Mix.

* Combine 2 TBS Whole Grain Mustard & Dijon Mustard, 1 TBS Mayonaise, Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt.  Mix.

And there you have it, folks.  Probably one of my husband’s favs.  I hope you enjoy the sausage balls as much as my family does.  I’m also going to quickly share a flavor change up for you!  Here goes:

Cheddar Jalapeño Sausage Balls

Cheddar Jalapeño Sausage Balls

These are out of this world!!! But, careful, the pack quite a kick!!!

Basic Dry Ingredients

Basic Dry Ingredients

Here I used the same dry ingredients in my basic recipe, but added in 2 TBS dried jalapeño bits. These bad boys are SUPER spicy!!! You could also substitute fresh jalapeño.  Depending on your spice preference, one should do the trick…or even half if you don’t like heat.  I also omitted the fresh garlic and red pepper flakes.

  • 2 TBS Dried Jalapeño Bits
  • 1 TBS Rubbed Sage
  • 1 TBS Dry Ground Mustard
  • Fresh Black Pepper & Salt
Cheddar & Scallions

Cheddar & Scallions

Next add in your freshly grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese and 3 diced Scallions. (whites and green parts)  Toss to combine and coat in dry mixture.  Add the sausage.  Mix with hands.  Add a bit of milk until moistened.

Pop in the Oven

Pop in the Oven

Roll into Bite Sized Balls and Pop into the Oven.

350 for 15-20 mins.

Dee-damn-licious

Dee-damn-licious

These are super tasty and bursting with flavor!!!

Careful if you don't care for Spicy Sausage Balls

Careful if you don’t care for Spicy Sausage Balls

If you don’t like spice, or heat, just stick to the regular basic recipe!

So Yummy!

So Yummy!

Moist and Delicious because no one likes dry Sausage Balls!!!

Enjoy!

Happy 2014!

Cheers!!!

eat.drink.be Kari

Healthy Organic Whole Wheat Ginger-Pumpkin Chia Bread

Also good drizzled with Local Honey or Warmed with Cream Cheese

Delicious drizzled with Local Honey or Warmed with Cream Cheese

Healthy Organic Whole Wheat Ginger-Pumpkin Chia Bread

1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour (King Arthurs)

3 T Chia Seeds

2 Eggs

1/2 Cup Applesauce (I used Cinnamon)

1/3 Cup Honey

1/3 Cup Coconut Sugar (or Brown Sugar)

2 T Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean Paste (or Vanilla Extract)

2 t Cinnamon

1 t Fresh Grated Ginger or Ground Ginger

1/2 t Fresh Grated Nutmeg

1/8 t Ground Cloves

Pinch Salt

Dash Cayenne

Chopped Crystalized Ginger (awesome addition if you have on hand)

1 t Baking Soda

1/4 t Baking Powder

1 can Pumpkin

Combine Dry Ingredients in large bowl (Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Salt, Cinnamon, Ground Ginger, Nutmeg, Cloves, Cayenne).  Mix to Combine.  Create a Well in the Center.  Add Wet Ingredients (Eggs, Applesauce, Honey, Vanilla, Fresh Grated Ginger).  Mix.  Stir in Pumpkin and Chia Seeds. Bake 325-350, in prepared Loaf Pan lined with Parchment, 35 mins to an hour. 18-20 mins for Muffins.

Wet Ingredients in the Well

Wet Ingredients in the Well

Bake in Prepared Loaf Pan or make Muffins!

Bake in Prepared Loaf Pan or make Muffins!

<3

Quickly Devoured with a dab of Local Homemade Butter

Moist & Delicious

Moist with Pumpkiney Goodness

This is definitely a recipe that can be easily adjusted to your tastes.  If you don’t care for a quiet kick, OMIT THE CAYENNE.

If you hate Cloves…LEAVE ‘EM OUT.

I used Fresh, Ground AND Crystalized Ginger.  How’s that for taking it up a notch?!?!  Most people will probably not have all 3 on hand.  No worries.  Just use the one you have.  A little goes a long way, but my family really loves the spice.  If you are not sure, Start with only 1 tsp of GROUND Ginger.  Add in from there for the next loaf.  Ginger packs a good little spicy kick, and you might want to see the amount that you prefer.

Also, if you don’t have any Applesauce, you can substitute 1/3 cup Oil (vegetable, safflower, canola…something light).  I was just trying to keep it on the healthy side by omitting all oil.  TIP: You can sub in applesauce for oil in baking most every time!!!  Keep the measurement the same and it should swap right out for ya!

If you don’t have a Whole Nutmeg to grate, you can use ground nutmeg.

Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean Paste.  Wow, oh wow.  You really need to buy this stuff.  It is AMAZING.  Seriously.  The flecks of the Vanilla Bean are just simply sinful.  Devine.  You can use a GOOD QUALITY Vanilla as well.

As for the Sugar…You can sweeten it a tad more with this or you can just use a 1/2 cup of honey total.  I am in love with Organic Coconut Sugar right now and am using it in everything (coffee, baking, etc).  You can always use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar.

And, as always, use Organic Ingredients when possible.  And, be sure all your other ingredients are of the highest, most natural quality you can find.  Remember:  Your Food Is Only As Good As Your Ingredients!

eat.drink.be

Kari

Even the Kids will LOVE it!!!

Even the Kids will LOVE it!!!

eat.drink.be

Kari

@eatdrinkbeKari

www.eatdrinkbe.com

Organic Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Bars with Chia Seeds

Organic Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Bars with Chia Seeds20130923-170445.jpg

Do these look delicious or what?!? Chocolatey, Moist & At Least A Little Bit Healthy.  Umm…….Yes, Please!

 

They key to these Bars are:

 

1. Chop your own GOOD QUALITY Bittersweet Chocolate

20130923-162410.jpg

 

 

2. Use only the FINEST INGREDIENTS

20130923-162456.jpg

 

 

3. Let Bars COOL COMPLETELY before cutting (Yes, this is gonna be difficult!!!)

Here's How to Make These Bad Boys

Here’s How to Make These Bad Boys

 

Organic Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Bars with Chia Seeds

3/4 cup Unsalted Butter
3/4 cup Organic Sugar
3/4 cup Organic Dark Brown Sugar
1 cup Organic Whole Wheat Flour
2 1/2 cups Organic Rolled Oats
2 Eggs
1/2  tsp Organic Cinnamon (Saigon or Ceylon)
1 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
2 tspMadagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean Paste(to DIE FOR!!!) OR Substitute 2 T Good Quality Vanilla Extract
2 T Organic Chia Seeds
1 cup Bittersweet Chocolate Chunks..maybe a tad over 1 cup!

Preheat Oven to 325.  (between 300 and 350 depending on your oven and pan size).

Line Pan with Parchment Paper (8×8, 9×9, 9×13 depending how thick you want your bars)

Cream Butter and Sugars until LIGHT AND FLUFFY.

Add in Eggs ONE AT A TIME.  Mix In Completely Each Time!

In Separate Bowl Combine Dry Ingredients: Flour, Oats, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Cinnamon, Salt.

Mix Dry Ingredients into Wet Ingredients bit by bit.  Lightly Mix to combine.

Now, Switch to a Spatula!

Fold In Chocolate Chunks, Vanilla Bean Paste & Chia Seeds

 

Fold In LIghtly

Lightly Stir

Mix to Combine and Press into Prepared Pan.

Bake 15-25 Minutes until the top and edges are turning a golden brown.

COOL COMPLETELY before slicing into squares.  I know, this is hard to resist….it smells so good….Oh, what the heck!??!?!  Slice off a little teeny corner for a taste.  Just don’t fear, it will crumble something awful….LET IT COOL and the texture is perfect!  But that itty bitty taste sure was good, eh?!?!?!

ENJOY!

ENJOY!

And, of course, as always, try and use all the highest quality ORGANIC ingredients… it will show in your end results!

eat.drink.be

Kari

@eatdrinkbeKari

www.eatdrinkbe.com