Archive for April, 2012
For some reason or another, some of routine recipes never get posted. Maybe they seem too simple for me to share? Instead of just assuming that you didn’t want to see some of my favorite go-to munchies, I thought I’d share a few with you in this post.
1. Super Secret Cookie Dough- variations of this recipe have been posted at many blogs so I hadn’t bothered sharing my version until now…I’ve been making this “cookie dough” for over a year now and have made several variations (list below).
Healthified cookie dough that takes about 7-8 minutes to pull together. Plus, it’s packed with fiber, protein and healthy fats from the nut butter – this stuff is seriously addicting! I’ve even sandwiched two cookies together with this as the “filling”. Usually it doesn’t last that long and I wind up eating it with a spoon I bet it would even be yummy as frosting on a cupcake!
What is so super secret? There are chickpeas in this dessert! It sounds ridiculous and even yucky to some but I LOVEEEEEEEE this stuff! Give it a try before you judge me, ok?
Super Secret Cookie Dough
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (if you use the ones from a can, rinse thoroughly)
1/3 cup chunky OR creamy peanut butter (almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter etc can all be subbed)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp sea salt (omit if using salted nut butter)
2 Tbsp almond milk or other non-dairy milk
3-4 Tbsp coconut palm sugar, honey, agave or a combo (my favorite is 2 Tbsp powdered coconut sugar, 1 Tbsp honey and a pinch of pure stevia to round out the flavors)
2 Tbsp flaxseed meal, almond or other nut meal or oat flour (or sub your favorite flour)
chocolate chunks, chips or carob or cacao nibs (I chopped up a portion of the Lindt bar Hint of Sea Salt – my fav! )
optional: one scoop of good tasting vanilla protein powder (I use Jay Robb’s)
1. In a food processor, add chickpeas and process until finely chopped (there might still be chunks, that’s ok). Add the peanut butter, vanilla, salt and a drizzle of almond milk until smooth and creamy.
2. Add the sweetener, flax/nut meal (and protein powder if you want the extra boost – the amount of sweetener may need to be decreased if your protein is really sweet) and process until blend well. If additional sweetener is needed, add it at this time to taste. If you need another drizzle of almond milk, feel free to add a small amount at this time (I like it thick!).
3. Stir in the chocolate chips (or chopped nuts or dried fruit) and enjoy immediately or refrigerate for a couple hours. I love the flavor straight from the food processor but refrigerating the mixture helps the flavors meld and it’s even better!
2. No-Bake Coconut Macaroons - chewy coconut bites that are egg-free, grain-free and vegan! These quick yummy morsels can be whipped up in less than 5 minutes and frozen for a sweet bite-size treat. Coconutty goodness through and through
No-Bake Coconut Macaroons
2/3 rounded cup coconut flakes, slightly crushed with your fingers (could also use 2/3 cup shredded coconut)
1/4 cup almond flour or almond meal (or your favorite flour if you want nut-free)
1 Tbsp maple syrup, honey or agave (date paste, raisin paste or mashed banana would do the trick too)
dash of pure vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
3 Tbsp coconut butter, melted
Optional Mix-in ideas – mini chocolate chips, chopped dried fruit chunks, lime/lemon zest, spices
1. Line a plate or small baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and set aside.
2. In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients until well incorporated. Using a tablespoon, pack mixture firmly to form small rounds to help stick together. Plop (yes, this is a formal baking word) onto prepared plate/sheet and freeze for 30 minutes until hardened. Enjoy!
3. “The Comfort Snack”aka gluten free toast with spread of choice + chia seeds + fruit. Simple? Of course, but it’s one of my favorite quick snacks or light desserts – my favorite combination is cream cheese (I love the flavor of vegan Tofutii cream cheese but it’s a guilty pleasure) but coconut butter, nut butter, ghee, or goat cheese are all delicious!
This really doesn’t need instructions – but toast a slice of your favorite gluten free bread. Remove immediately and smear on your favorite spread (about 1 tbsp or so), sprinkle with a heaping 1/4 tsp chia seeds (or flax) and top with slices of fruit (bananas are the best!). Sometimes I will even use cottage cheese as the spread; scoop a spoonful and then toast to warm the mixture, then sprinkle with chia and add the fruit.
4. Veggie Nachos - okay, okay, I know this isn’t considered healthy but I have to include another guilty pleasure – I am a completely sucker for tortilla chips, add some vegetarian refried beans, homemade salsa or pico de gallo, shredded organic cheese and fresh cilantro and I have a salty snack that I cannot resist. Everyone deserves a little indulgence occassionally, right? The only thing I am missing here is homemade guacamole…
Indulgent Vegetarian Nachos
About 14-15 corn tortilla chips (you could also use bean and rice chips like Beanitos if corn-free
1/2 cup BPA free black or pinto vegetarian refried beans
1/4 to 1/3 cup organic shredded cheddar cheese (or Mexican blend – use dairy free for vegan)
1/3 cup salsa of choice or pico de gallo
1-2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. 2. Spread chips on the lined baking sheet with slight overlap. 3. Drop or spread refried beans onto chips. Next, sprinkle with shredded cheese and bake for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. 4. Remove from oven, spoon salsa/pico over the chips and sprinkle with cilantro. Enjoy immediately!
*For a healthier approach, add some sauteed chopped vegetables (zucchini, onion, squash, peppers) on top of the beans prior to baking.
A few of my other favorite quick snacks are:
Have you ever eaten a cherimoya? I just found this delightful fruit at Safeway the other day and couldn’t help but pick one up. I wasn’t even sure what it was since I had never seen one before – I actually thought I was buying a vegetable but turns out it was sweet!
What to look for: I could have easily “googled” this ingredient to see how to select a ripe fruit…but I was stubborn and just assumed that it was ripe if it was brown and slightly soft like an avocado. I was wrong! This fruit is ripe when the skin turns green and gives slightly (like an avocado).
What does it taste like? In my opinion, a cherimoya has a unique flavor profile – as if you were combining a pineapple, papaya, banana and a peach — so yummy! My taste buds were surprised and delightfully confused at the same time.
What to expect: The fruit is fleshy and soft, sweet, white in color, with a sherbert-like texture, which explains it’s nickname as “the custard apple”. The dark seeds as well as the skin are inedible yet the seeds are easily removed.
What is the nutritional profile? Cherimoyas are a rich source of vitamin C, calcium and niacin.
Where is it typically grown? In tropical climates with humid conditions, South Asia as well as South and Central America.
Since I was transported to the tropics after tasting my first bite of cherimoya, I decided to blend it up for a refreshing custard-like treat along with fresh lime juice. This chilled snack, breakfast or dessert is protein packed and complex in flavor for such a short ingredient list. For a dairy-free option, feel free to substitute your favorite dairy-free yogurt in this recipe.
Cherimoya Lime Custard
1 ripe cherimoya, peeled, deseeded and cubed
2/3 cup cottage cheese (for dairy-free, use plain coconut or soy yogurt)
drizzle of unsweetened vanilla almond milk or other non-dairy milk (about 2 Tbsp)
juice from 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp lime zest (use organic limes if you are using the zest)
shredded coconut, optional for garnish
1. In a small food processor or high powered blender, puree the cherimoya and the cottage cheese/yogurt until smooth. To help this along, drizzle a bit of the non-dairy milk as needed (if using yogurt, this might not be necessary).
2. Stir in the lime juice until combined. Pour into two serving vessels, sprinkle with lime zest and coconut (if desired) and serve!
You can also refrigerate the custard for a hour until chilled. I refrigerated the cherimoya prior to pureeing, as well as the addition of the chilled cottage cheese, we enjoyed this immediately!
You may be asking yourself, what are other ways to eat this fruit? Let me help!
1. Once ripe, chill the fruit and eat the flesh with a spoon – simple but delicious!
2. Blend it in a smoothie or shake
3. Cut into chunks and use it in a fruit salad
4. Use it in a parfait (my preference would be layered with granola, yogurt and chia seeds)
One of the new flavors on tap at our frozen yogurt store is Peach Mango Tart. I love this flavor, it reminds me of summer in a bowl! Playing off this flavor variation, I decided to whip up a quick and creamy smoothie that is tart yet sweet….mmmm.
This smoothie can easily be made vegan by substituting silken tofu or non-dairy yogurt for the Greek yogurt. Usually I am not a huge fan of Greek yogurt in my smoothies but the super sweet mango and ripe peach along with the coconut milk complimented the tanginess perfectly.
Peach Mango Lassi
1 ripe mango, peeled and cubed
1 ripe peach, pit removed (skin can be left on or taken off depending on your preference – I used a white peach)
2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (for vegan, feel free to sub tofu or non-dairy yogurt)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (from a carton – or other non-dairy milk)
ice cubes, optional
cubed mango or peach for garnish, optional
shredded coconut for garnish, optional
1. Add mango, peach, yogurt, coconut milk and ice to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into glasses, garnish with fruit cubes and shredded coconut and enjoy!
Recipe Notes: for different flavor variations, add a couple dashes of cinnamon or even ginger for more of an Indian flair!
I’ve seen a whole bunch of granola bar recipes floating around the internet these days. After spotting several delicious chewy versions over at In Pursuit of More and Food Doodles and TexanErin, I couldn’t get them out of my brain.
Instead of going the oat route, I decided to incorporate my new (food) love — buckwheat. Ever since I made my spiced buckwheat pudding, my cravings have multiplied for this ingredient. That being said, I hope you won’t mind upcoming posts featuring this cute little seed.
Did you ever make those bird feeders as a child with popsicle sticks, peanut butter and bird seeds? The look of these remind me of those homemade bird feeders BUT they are really yummy and made for human consumption. Crunchy yet chewy and full of protein and flavor, these bites are no-bake, nut-free, quick and filling. They are adaptable too; add your favorite dried fruit, spices, seed/nut butter and make it your own. I will be making these again asap with different mix-ins.
I even had Chris saying “Wow” on this recipe. I asked if he would take a bite and before I knew it several whole bars/cones disappeared. He won’t admit it (since it’s classified as gluten-free) but he likes buckwheat too
3/4 cup raw buckwheat groats
1/2 cup raw millet
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp flaxseeds (or flax meal or more chia – I used sprouted flaxseed)
2-3 Tbsp coconut palm sugar (more or less to taste)
1/3 cup fruit-sweetened cranberries (or cherries, apricots, raisins, blueberries or even coconut)
2 scoops of good tasting vanilla protein powder* (I used Jay Robb’s whey)
pinch of sea salt (if using salted seed/nut butter, omit)
3-4 Tbsp milk (I used coconut) — (if you prefer to use a liquid sweetener instead of coconut sugar, use 3 Tbsp and reduce milk to 1 Tbsp or until it holds together)
1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seed butter (or other nut butter – peanut butter or almond butter would be good!)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Line a loaf pan with parchment OR use silicone molds for single serving treats. (I used a silicone brownie pop mold because I was feeling frisky and wanted a dome shape). Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add dry ingredients and stir to combine (buckwheat, millet, chia, flax, coconut sugar, salt, cranberries and protein).
3. Add in remaining ingredients (start with the smaller amount of milk and then add) and stir well to combine until sticky and holds together. Use your muscles here!
4. Press firmly into molds or prepared pan to pack well to help mixture to stick together. Let chill in the refrigerator for an hour, cut into bars OR pop out of molds and enjoy!
*soy protein has a drying effect so if you use soy, you might need to increase the amount of liquid in small increments until the mixture holds together. Liquid sweetener might be best if using soy as well.
If you don’t want to use protein powder, feel free to sub finely chopped seeds or nuts in it’s place but you may want to use a liquid sweetener to help hold the mixture together better.
Makes about 10 large squares (loaf pan), 10 brownie pop molds or 13-15 mini muffin mold bites
I store these in the refrigerator, not sure how they would do at room temperature – if you give it a try let me know how it works for you!