Here’s the problem...I HATE following recipes. I have concluded that it is truly impossible for me to follow a recipe to the letter. It’s an inherent compulsion. I have to play and substitute and alter! Sometimes I will do so well....get to the end of the recipe, everything by the book. It’s time to cook or bake it. And then the urge kicks in...Must.Change.Something. So I add something...maybe a little chocolate cream liqueur or vanilla rum to cakes, cookies and brownies. Maybe a dash of thyme or garlic to the meat. Maybe I’ll use wine instead of water. Maybe I’ll throw in a dash of rice vinegar or sesame oil. I just have to do something different.
Needless to say, this has led to some very, um...interesting...and uh, well, downright horrible experiments! There were the spearmint brownies (they were supposed to be peppermint, but apparently I didn’t read the extract label closely enough). Yeah, spearmint brownies=Fail! Don’t try that one. Trust me on this. There was the tofu fondue. Also a major fail. There was the slow cooker BBQ chicken that, after nearly 24-hours in the crockpot (on high...whoops!), had a nice crispy coating that was NOT part of my original plan.
The good news, is that there have also been quite a few successes! Like the healthy vegetarian chik’n pot pie, semi-healthy red hot brownies...and this one! My Healthy Berry Cobbler, which my husband and I both enjoy, despite being non-cobbler people. One of the things I love best about this recipe is its flexibility! At the end of the recipe, I’ve made suggestions for changing it up and adding your own flair!
Healthy, Easy & Awesome Berry Cobbler
- 3 c. Bisquick (I used the Heart Healthy version)
- 1/2 c. Splenda (can also use 1 c. white sugar)
- 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
- 1 1/3 c. skim milk or soy milk (I used original flavor 8th Continent soy milk and it was awesome!)
- 1 1/2 tsp. rum extract
- 1 c. fresh strawberries**
- 1 c. blackberries**
- 3/4 c. fresh blueberries**
- 3/4 c. raspberries**
- The seeds from 1/2 of a pomegranate (you can use the whole thing, but you'll end up with more fruit that you expect!)
- Preheat oven to 400
- Lightly grease an 11”x7” pan
- To prepare crust: Mix Bisquick, milk and Splenda in a medium mixing bowl. Stir until mixture is well-blended and smooth. Carefully pour in milk, continuing to stir. Add rum extract.***
- Divide crust mixture in half. Pour half of it on bottom of greased pan, making sure to coat the entire bottom of the pan.
- Spoon fruit over the first layer of crust. Cover crust evenly with fruit.
- Spoon the remaining crust mix over the fruit.
- Bake 30-35 minutes or until top layer of crust is lightly browned
- Serve warm. I’ve found that the taste of the cobbler is enhanced by a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top! ;)
* I like to mix all the filling ingredients together in a large bowl a few hours before I prepare the rest of the cobbler. I combine them in a large bowl and lightly sprinkle them with a little bit of white sugar and a couple squirts of lemon juice. The sugar spurs production of the juices and the flavors get a change to integrate before cooking.
** The original recipe actually calls for using canned fruit. I have tried it with canned fruit, and it still tastes good. I just prefer to use fresh fruit because I can control the ingredients and don’t have some of the sugary, unhealthy extras added in. You can also use frozen fruit, rather than fresh or canned fruit. I don’t recommend it, but that could just be because frozen fruit creeps me out. When it defrosts it gets all slimy and squishy. Yuck!
*** Note: there are no raw eggs used in this recipe, so feel free to sample throughout! ;)
- You can use just about any type of fruit in this. I’ve made it with just blueberries, apples and cinnamon, and peaches. The blueberries are great year-round! In the fall I sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon over the finished product, and it was delicious! I also made the apple cinnamon one in the fall. In the summer, fresh strawberries are yummy...you can add a little bit of strawberry syrup and whipped cream and it is like strawberry shortcake!
- For you lemon lovers, try mixing a little bit of lemon zest in the crust mixture prior to baking. You can also use a tablespoon of lemon juice. It gives it a fresh twist!
- Instead of using a fruit filling, just make the crust batter, sprinkle in 1 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes (check frequently as ovens vary...I usually have to cook things much longer in our crazy German oven!). If you are feeling really daring, use half semi-sweet and half white chocolate chips. Voila! You have awesome chocolate chip bread! You can also make cranberry bread in this manner. Just use approximately 2 c. fresh or dried cranberries.