Posts tagged ‘snacks’
Smoothies are an everyday must-have for me…99% of the time I start my day with a large glass of blended goodness (aka energy surge in a jar), mmmm!
I find that kicking off the morning with a smoothie or fresh juice is easiest on my tummy. Not only does it rev-up my digestion for the remainder of the day, it also squelches my hunger for a couple hours when I have time to eat a more solid meal and ensures that I have at least one nutrient-packed, high-quality meal no matter what the day throws at me.
Oh you know, the days when you plan on cooking that new elaborate dish you’ve been eyeing for a while…but (after a longer day than you anticipated), you wind up eating a couple scrambled eggs over quinoa for dinner…or a bowl of popcorn and a leftover energy bar from your purse. Yep, I have had more days recently like the latter than I’d like to admit.
I also realized it had been quite some time since I had posted a drink or smoothie recipe, so when I was assigned Rebekah’s lovely blog Making Miracles for the February’s Secret Recipe Club post…I chose her Hemp Chocolate Protein Shake for this month’s reveal, I was so excited to come across this recipe!
I had a giant bag of hemp seeds from Costco in my fridge calling my name and I was craving something sweet and chocolatey, yet simple…wa-la! This shake was a delicious change from my go-to blueberry-Maca blend I’ve been making…so much so that I craved this nutty-cacao smoothie the next morning too :)
I tried to stay true to Rebekah’s recipe…I couldn’t help but add my usual handful of baby greens (kale/chard/spinach) and I wound up soaking the hemp hearts, dates and water in the fridge the night before to soften the dates a bit. The next morning all I had to do was add the remaining ingredients and blend…Breakfast on the go!
Just a few perks about Hemp Seeds in case you need a little nutritional nudge:
- REWARD YOUR TASTE BUDS: Hemp hearts are delicious, they are nutty, often compared to sunflower seed or pine nuts… only better! Sprinkle on salads, cereal, quinoa, rice, roasted veggies, yogurt, add to smoothies, muffins, breads and other recipes…or eat a spoonful straight from the bag.
- REWARD YOUR BRAIN: Your brain has many of the fatty acids found in bulk Super Hemp. Regular consumption may help improve your memory. Super Hemp seeds may also help symptoms of anxiety and depression while improving your mood.
- REWARD YOUR WEIGHT LOSS: Super Hemp is a natural appetite suppressant making you feel full longer. Adding just four tablespoons of hemp seed to your meal can reduce your food cravings significantly. You will also feel more energy which can help you power through workouts and other activities to lose weight.
- REWARD YOUR HEART AND LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE: Super Hemp seeds contain essential fatty acids that help reduce blood cholesterol. This keeps the heart healthy and also prevents plaque buildup in your arteries. Super Hemp fatty acids also reduce inflammation that can cause high blood pressure and poor blood circulation.
- REWARD YOUR DIGESTIVE TRACT: Super Hemp provides high amounts of both insoluble and soluble fibers which keep your digestive tract healthy and clean. Super Hemp contains plant sterols and antioxidants helping reduce risk of colon, breast and prostate concerns. Super Hemp does NOT contain oligosaccharides such as found in soy, which often causes stomach upset and gas.
Intrigued? Give this shake a shot!
Hemp Chocolate/Cacao Protein Shake (slightly adapted from Making Miracles)
(Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Fruit-Sweetened, Refined Sugar-free, Primal, Nut-free, Egg-free)
1 cup cold filtered water
1 cup ice cubes
1 banana, cut into chunks (or use frozen for a colder, thicker textured shake / smoothie)
1/2 cup raw hemp seeds/ hemp hearts
2-4 pitted dates, depending taste (I used two but increase if you prefer sweeter)
1-2 Tbsp raw cacao powder or cocoa powder, to taste
Handful or fresh leafy greens (such as baby spinach, kale, and/or chard), optional but for added nutrition
5 minute prep Directions
- Blend water, ice, banana, hemp seeds, dates (remove any pits), and cocoa powder together in a blender until smooth.
- Enjoy immediately, refrigerate any leftovers.
Plan-ahead soaking method Directions
- The night before, combine hemp seeds, dates and water in a jar. Refrigerate overnight.
- When you are ready to make your smoothie, add hemp/date/water mixture to blender container. Add ice, banana, cacao/cocoa powder and greens. Blend until smooth.
- Enjoy immediately, refrigerate any leftovers.
It’s nearing the end of summer…the change of seasons is something I always look forward to (especially when Fall is my favorite time of year), yet I still want to hold onto summer for the next few weeks. This recipe accomplishes just that!
Let’s celebrate fresh fruit, bright herbs and zingy balsamic vinegar in this lovely marriage of flavors – Strawberry Bruschetta…and what a bonus for versatility, this recipe is used in FOUR different ways!
1. Strawberry Bruschetta (basic recipe) – serve over lightly toasted (gluten-free) french bread or gluten-free crackers
2. Strawberry Bruschetta Avocado Boats (snack or appetizer)
3. Strawberry Bruschetta and Hemp Green Salad (side salad, light dinner or lunch)
4. Strawberry Brushetta Inspired Quinoa and Beet Salad (serve as a side or a main dish)
I was assigned Julie’s adorable blog, Confessions of a Cooking Diva this month for the Secret Recipe Club and I thoroughly enjoyed reading her spunky posts and searching through her creations from the kitchen! I bookmarked her scrumptious looking Black Bean Burgers, Spicy Chocolate Popcorn and Caribbean Jerk Salmon Tacos for later experimentation…yet I ultimately settled on a Strawberry Bruschetta recipe for several reasons — I purchased a organic strawberries at the local farmers market, I had fresh basil on hand and I had some aged balsamic vinegar from a local oil & vinegar store that I couldn’t wait to use in multiple ways. Bam…what a perfect coincidence.
The simplicity of this recipe really allows the flavors to shine and come through in each bite, and there’s nothing like fresh, quality ingredients to let the food really do the talking for you! I opted to increase the balsamic a bit because I really love acidity and I served this over these raw sourdough sunflower seed crackers for the “bruschetta” portion of this recipe (since I rarely eat bread). After making this recipe, I was inspired to use the dish in multiple ways…talk about fun! Thanks Julie :)
Grain-free option, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Vegan, Soy-free, Nut-free Option, Vegetarian, Dairy-free
1 pint of strawberries, rinsed and chopped
1 – 2 Tbsp aged balsamic vinegar (I used 2 Tbsp because I like the acidity)
¼ cup fresh basil, julienned or chopped
1 small loaf gluten free french bread, sliced into thin slices, lightly toasted OR raw grain-free, gluten-free crackers (I used these)
1. Combine the strawberries, basil and balsamic vinegar in a bowl and mix well.
2. Top each slice of bread or cracker with the strawberry-basil mix.
Makes 2 cups of strawberry-basil mixture.
Strawberry Bruschetta Avocado Boats
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Quick & Easy, Vegan, Vegetarian, Nut-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free
1 recipe of Strawberry Bruschetta (listed above)
2 ripe medium size avocados
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Extra drizzle of balsamic vinegar
Fresh squeeze of lemon or lime, optional (if you really like acidity like me and helps to prevent the avocado from browning if making ahead)
1. Slice each avocado in half and remove the pit/seed.
2. Sprinkle the avocado halves with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. Squeeze fresh lime or lemon juice over each avocado half (if desired)
4. Top each avocado half with about 1/2 cup of the strawberry bruschetta mixture and drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar and serve!
Makes 4 snacks or appetizers
Strawberry Brushetta and Hemp Green Salad
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Dairy-free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Soy-free, Nut-free
8 cups of mixed greens, baby kale or baby spinach (I use Organic Power Green blend from Costco)
1 recipe of Strawberry Bruschetta (recipe above)
1 ripe avocado, pit removed and diced into small pieces
4 Tbsp raw hemp seeds/hemp hearts (you can sub another nut or seed if desired)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Drizzle of apple cider vinegar or more balsamic vinegar and/or lemon juice
1-2 Tbsp Bragg’s liquid aminos (or coconut aminos, tamari or gluten free soy sauce)
1. Toss all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. If you like more acidity in your dressing, feel free to add more vinegar and/or lemon juice.
*If you eat meat, this salad could be served with grilled chicken or if you eat dairy, feel free to toss in some goat cheese or fresh mozzarella to bulk it up even more. To bulk it up and keep it vegan, feel free to add cooked quinoa, millet or brown rice for a green and grain salad.
Makes 2 large salads or 4 small
Strawberry Bruschetta Inspired Quinoa and Beet Salad
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Nut-free Option
1/2 recipe Strawberry Bruschetta (above)
1/2 cup cooked beets, diced (I used Love Beets)
3- 4 Tbsp chopped walnuts, pinenuts and/or pecans (or for nut-free, sunflower seeds or hemp seeds)
Aged balsamic vinegar to taste (I used 1 Tbsp)
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (I used about 1 1/2 Tbsp)
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (I used 1/2 lemon)
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Sometimes a girl just needs some bread. While I eat grain-free dishes at times and I love my veggies, nuts and protein, I certainly can’t resist a good slice of bread. Whether it’s dense and chewy or light and airy, I will take bread in any form. Of course, finding it and/or making it gluten-free can be a more laborious task.
What if I told you that you could make this bread in 20 minutes from start to finish…without using an oven? Literally. I had no excuses, I just HAD to!
It’s Secret Recipe Club reveal day again and this month I was assigned to JJ’s beautiful blog, 84th & 3rd. JJ has a captivating writing style, and when paired with inventive, healthy recipes and drool-worthy photos, I was sold on both her and her food. I have bookmarked a slew of recipes, but I was immediately drawn to her tag labeled “Crazy Creations”. I am all about experimenting with something different, and the first recipe that caught my eye was her Purple Carrot Anniversary Pie. I was set on making this dish but couldn’t locate purple carrots anywhere…while I could have used orange carrots, I thought the purple ones added to the novelty and opted to add this to my “must make list” for a later date.
I then spotted her Quinoa Buckwheat Skillet Bread, and I happened to be in the mood for bread to accompany my lentil stew I was making for dinner. Perfect timing…and it was delicious! Soft and light in the middle with a slightly firmer “crust” on the outside, this bread is versatile, super tasty…and did I mention EASY? I thoroughly enjoyed the earthy taste of the buckwheat and quinoa, and I topped a slice off with melted ghee right out of the oven…yep, food heaven.
I opted for the dairy-free version with the almond milk and lemon juice instead of yogurt. I didn’t want to “mess with” the original recipe too much but I look forward to adding in different spices, herbs and possibly other goodies…I’m thinking about a cheese and jalapeños variation! Thank you JJ for this gem of a recipe!
Quick Quinoa-Buckwheat Skillet Bread (recipe from 84th and 3rd)
Gluten-free, Nut-free, Refined Sugar-free, Dairy free, Soy-Free, Vegetarian friendly
- 1/3 cup quinoa flour
- 1/3 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1 tsp lemon juice OR 1/3 cup natural yoghurt (use non-dairy options for dairy-free)
- 1 egg, whisked
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda, sifted
- coconut oil, olive oil, butter or ghee for cooking (coconut oil is my fav!)
1. Use a fork to whisk all ingredients except baking soda. Let batter rest for 5 minutes while you preheat a small [20 cm / 8 in] skillet over medium to medium-low heat (I used medium-low because mine cooked more quickly).
2. Mix sifted baking soda into batter – it should start to bubble. Grease pre-heated pan with a bit of oil/butter, pour in all batter and shake pan slightly.
3. Cook 6-7 minutes. Run spatula around edge, flip carefully, cook 5-6 minutes. Turn out onto rack to cool.
Ideas for serving: Slather with butter/Earth Balance or your favorite nut butters and/or jam or jelly. Cut into fingers for an antipasto or cheese platter. Cut in quarters, split like a roll and fill with sandwich fillings – or really any other sandwich ingredient you could imagine.
If there is any left store in fridge until needed. It also toasts really well.
- Fancy it up: flavour with herbs like oregano and thyme to make it more savory or spices like cinnamon and cloves to sweeten it up.
- The vegan attempt: JJ tried this without an egg and it just doesn’t work the same way – proceed at your own risk…
- Make it bigger: Could you? Definitely, just keep the flours/water/yoghurt at a 1:1:1:1 ratio. You can go up to 1/2 cup of each for one egg although I’d increase the baking soda to a slightly heaped tsp. Then just multiply from there as you wish – BUT remember you still have to flip it… so try it out as is in a small skillet before you go too crazy.
Where the last two months have gone, I couldn’t tell you…I blinked and it was 2014! That being said, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year all in one to you lovely readers!
What better way to jumpstart this new year than with cookies? Easy, peasy one-bowl cookies that are good for you. They aren’t your traditional buttery cookies with a crisp edge and a gooey middle. Nope, these are light two or three-bite goodies that can triple as a light snack, healthy portable breakfast or a sweet ending to a meal when your sweet tooth hits. I’d say they are a mix between banana bread, baked oatmeal and a granola bar all in one?
These delicious oaty bites were lightly adapted from Nicole’s Trail Mix Cookies over at Colie’s Kitchen. I was thrilled to be assigned her blog this month for the first Secret Recipe Club reveal of the new year! As Nicole phrases it, her site “isn’t necessary a recipe blog, but a blog based on the views from my side of the world, or my side of the table so to speak.” I have a few more recipes I can’t wait to try, such as her Parmesan Meatloaf Muffins, Shrimp Etouffee, and Serendipity’s Frozen Hot Chocolate…yum!
I didn’t alter much; I used gluten-free oats, added a bit of flaxseed meal to the dough and decreased the milk by 1 tablespoon. I upped the “add-ins” and used a combo of both fruit and nuts for added texture and flavor. I’ll be making these again and experimenting with different combinations…these were SO easy and delicious!
Chewy Trail Mix Breakfast Cookies (lightly adapted from Colie’s Kitchen)
Gluten-free, Egg-free, Vegan, Nut-free Option, Oil-free, Soy-free, Fruit-Sweetened
1/3 cup juice sweetened dried cranberries (or other dried fruit – cherries, raisins, apricots, dates)
2. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper, silpat mat or lightly grease.
2. Scoop out dough into two tablespoon cookie scoops.
3. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before removing, otherwise they might fall apart.
Number of Servings: 20 cookies