Hazelnut Peanut Butter Bites

Well that didn’t take long ….after I made Hazelnut milk I didn’t want to throw out the nut pulp that is for sure!

So I came up with this quick recipe for Hazelnut Peanut Butter bites.  Fantastic way to use up your pulp after making any nut milk.

The possibilities are endless really.  See what you have in your pantry and get creative.  These would also be great rolled in coconut, I just didn’t have any  😉

Kid approved and a healthy tasty treat!

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Ingredients:

1 Cup Nut Pulp (fresh)

1/2 cup dates (soaked for about 20 minutes to soften them up)

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 Heaping Tbsp Natural Peanut Butter

Pinch of Sea Salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until it starts to come together and easily sticks together when pressed in between your fingers.

Roll into small balls in the palms of your hands and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Put in the freezer for about 10 minutes just to firm them up.  After that you can store them in the fridge separating layers with parchment paper to avoid sticking. (That is if they make it to the fridge).

And there you have it, fresh hazelnut milk AND a tasty treat all in one day!

No Bake Cereal Bars

When I bought Angela Liddon’s “Oh She Glows” cookbook I made her bars, and ever since I’ve been making variations of them for my family.

My kids are always wanting snacks…it’s a phrase my oldest son uses probably 10 times a day, and I know for my own peace of mind and their well being that I want to have healthy options available for them.  Some days I feel like I am running out of ideas!  But if I’m lucky to have made a batch of these, we can grab them when we are running out the door so they can have a snack in the car.

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You can totally play around with the butter, nut and seed variations in this recipe, just to try to keep the amounts the same and the finished product should turn out fine.

For a nut free version for example , try using sunflower seed butter (Try Superbutter from Costco!) instead of peanut butter and pepita seeds instead of pecans.  For this bar, I used the following….

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Chopped pecans

1 1/2 cups Rolled Oats

1/2  cup rice Crisp Cereal

1 cup Crushed Cereal Flakes (I use Nature’s Path Brand)

1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds

1/4 cup Dried cranberries

1 Tbsp Cacao nibs

1 Tbsp Hemp seeds

1/2 cup Brown Rice Syrup

1/4 cup Natural Peanut Butter

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Add the first 8 ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.  In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the peanut butter, brown rice syrup and vanilla extract.  Heat stirring occasionally until it bubbles a little bit.  Remove from pan and add vanilla.  Poor this mixture over your cereal mixture and mix with a spoon to completely combine so everything is coated.

Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap and poor the mixture on top.  Push the mixture into one side of the pan and into the corners to form a rectangle.  Make sure to press very firm (wet your hands so it doesn’t stick to YOU) making it all stick together very well, otherwise it will crumble.  See below…

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Put baking sheet with mixture in the freezer for about 15 minutes.  Remove from freezer and lift the entire piece off the baking sheet using the plastic wrap onto a cutting board.  Use a very sharp knife and cut into bars.  Store in the fridge in a container….bet they won’t last the week!

Hummus – Your Way

Chickpeas/Garbanzo beans are low in calories, low in fat, a good complex carbohydrate, fairly high in fiber and a good protein source.

If you enjoy hummus and pesto, you may want to try out this recipe!  I used a “Corriander & Cashew” pesto, but you can use any pesto you like (think sun-dried tomato, basil, red pepper, etc).  There are so many new variations out there to try.  I also used canned chickpeas for this recipe.

Try it out with the kids too as a dip for veggies, toasted pita, plain tortilla chips or as a spread for wraps or crackers.

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Although a little time consuming, a good tip when making hummus is to remove the skins from the chickpeas before processing to make a smoother hummus.  Simply pinch the skin and remove.  It will work either way, so if you don’t have the time don’t worry about it.  But I actually find it quite therapeutic myself, and your kiddos may even help (distraction? yes please!)   😉

Ingredients:

1 large garlic clove

1 can (540 ml) of chick peas drained and rinsed (skin’s removed – optional)

Juice from 1 lemon

1 Tbsp Tahini

1 tsp pesto

Pinch of sea salt

1/3 cup – 3/4 cup water

In a food processor, process the garlic until minced.  Add all remaining ingredients plus 1/3 cup of water.  Process and check the consistency.  If it’s not smooth enough add more water until desired consistency is achieved.

Store for up to a few days in the fridge.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Whipped Coco-Berry Icing

Using coconut milk to make icing has been all over the web.  I decided to do my own take on it and made this fresh, light and fruity icing that is NOT loaded with refined sugar.  The only sugar in it is a bit of maple syrup and natural sugar from mixed frozen berries.   Talk about a nice alternative especially for kids to use on cupcakes (it would be perfect for a kids birthday party!).  If you wanted blue icing you could just add blueberries by themselves  😉  Just remember that the icing needs to stay refrigerated until you are ready to use it.  Also, you’ll need a hand mixer for this one.

Use this whipped topping for cupcakes, muffins or even in a parfait.

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Ingredients:

1 can full fat coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen Brand)

2 Tbsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 heaping Tbsp frozen mixed berries (thawed)

You’ll need to plan at least the day before to make this icing since you need to put the can of coconut milk in the fridge and let it sit overnight.  This will separate the coconut milk from the coconut cream.

About 1 hour before you are going to make your icing put a bowl in the freezer to chill.

In the morning, take the can of coconut milk out of the fridge, flip it upside down and open it.  The coconut milk will be on top….. you can pour that off (don’t put it down the sink!  Save it to throw in a smoothie if you like!).  Then once the liquid is gone you will be left with the coconut cream in the bottom of the can.  Scoop this out into your chilled bowl.

Add the maple syrup and vanilla and then mix on low until smooth and creamy.   Add in your mixed berries and mix again on low until combined.

You have just made a healthy alternative to conventional icing  🙂   Spread on, or use a piping gun to decorate cupcakes.

Yum.

 

Amaranth “Popcorn” & Greek Yogurt

Looking for a crunch to top off that greek yogurt?  Have you heard of Amaranth?  It’s great for the whole family.  If I haven’t mentioned it before, I have a bit of an obsession with the organic/whole foods isle in grocery stores and I always love finding new items to try.  Amaranth is a grain that is high in protein and iron and also contains calcium, b vitamins and other minerals.  It can be cooked whole as a breakfast cereal (like oatmeal) or served with vegetables or other foods for lunch or dinner.  It can be ground into a flour for baking and can be a substitute for wheat and other grains.

It can also be toasted, and popped looking like teeny tiny pieces of popcorn!  It has a nutty flavour when toasted and is perfect to throw on yogurt, cereal, salads….anything you want to add a little crunch (and nutrients) to.

To toast/pop Amaranth, heat a pan on high (it has to be high for the Amaranth to pop) and add a Tbsp of Amaranth grains.  You will need to constantly move the Amaranth around so it does not burn (I use a flat wooden spatula).  It will probably take a few times to perfect your skill.  I have only done it once and found that about half of the grains toasted, and half of them popped like popcorn.  Either way they are still yummy!

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You should be able to find Amaranth in whole foods stores or whole food isles of your grocery store, or head to the Bulk Barn!

Chocolate Hazelnut Bites

Here’s another great family friendly snack to keep chilled in the fridge for that afternoon craving (or morning…. or night…..   )   😉

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup Shredded Coconut (plus some for rolling)

6 Medjool dates

3/4 cup Hazelnuts

1/4 cup Hemp Seeds

1/4 cup Honey

4 tsp Cacao Powder

1 tsp Vanilla

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil

Blend all ingredients in a food processor.  Squeeze together and roll into bite size balls.  Roll in coconut and store in the fridge in an airtight container.

Vanilla Cranberry Muffins

A while back I was in the grocery store and came across whole vanilla beans.  Yum!  They smell so delicious so I had to grab some while I was there.  I was thinking to myself today, I haven’t made muffins in a while and we used to always have them ready to go in the fridge for breakfast or a snack.

I came across an old bran muffin recipe I had and decided to modify it, using spelt flour instead and adding a few other ingredients like greek yogurt and apple sauce to moisten them up.  Of course I also had to throw in some freshly scrapped vanilla from a whole vanilla bean.

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Here’s the recipe…..

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups Spelt Flour

1 Tsp Baking Soda

1 Tsp Baking Powder

1/2 Dried Cranberries

1 Vanilla Bean

3/4 Cup Milk

1/2 cup Honey

2 Tbsp Avocado or Grapeseed Oil

1 Egg

1/3 cup Apple Sauce

1/2 cup Greek Yogurt

Hemp Seeds (For sprinkling on top)

To Make:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl and set aside.  Cut your vanilla bean in half and scrape out the vanilla (you can use the tip of a spoon) into a separate bowl.  Add remaining wet ingredients to this bowl and whisk to combine.   Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring to combine.

Lightly grease a muffin tray with coconut oil, or line with muffin cups.  Scoop batter by the heaping tablespoon to make 12 muffins.  Sprinkle with hemp seeds.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  You can place a piece of aluminum foil on top of the muffins 3/4 of the way through the cooking time to prevent them from getting too brown.

Remove, cool and enjoy with a little butter, or homemade jam or whatever your heart desires!

I couldn’t keep my 1 year old’s hands off these!  Quick, get them before they do!

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Roasted Chick Peas

This is a great snack for little ones !  Simple and nutritious.  Open a can of chick peas, drain, rinse and spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Drizzle olive oil over them and use your hands to coat  them.  Sprinkle with sea salt or your own creation of spices. Sweet?  Savory?  Whatever you or your little ones fancy….

Roast at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, moving them around half way through.  They will be nice and golden brown when done.

They are best eaten right out of the oven when cooled down a bit, but can be stored in an airtight container for a few days.

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Easter Parfait

Do you have any little ones that you may want to surprise on Easter morning with a special treat?!

Easter is not that far off and I wanted to create a parfait for my little one on Easter morning.  Yes that’s right ….this can even be eaten for breakfast (it is EASTER after all!), and this treat is not loaded with refined sugar but actual nutrients those little bodies can use.

Potassium, Vitamin C, Fibre, Iron, Magnesium, Antioxidants and Omega 3’s are just some of the nutrients found in this parfait.

It starts with a banana chocolate pudding on the bottom, followed by a mango chia pudding, topped with strawberries, coconut and of course I had to put a little speckled chocolate egg on top…..

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Ingredients:  The parfait is featured here in one large jar.  However this amount will make two small jars (2 servings) for the little ones in your family.  Simply layer the ingredients between two jars as you are assembling them.

The banana chocolate pudding…..

2 Bananas (more on the ripe side)

3 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder

1 Tsp Vanilla

1 Tbsp honey

Pinch of Sea Salt

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.  Pour mixture into jar.

The Mango Chia Seed Pudding….

1/2 Cup Frozen Mango

1/2 Cup Coconut Milk

1 1/2 Tbsp Chia Seeds (you can use black or white)

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.  Layer mango chia pudding on top of chocolate pudding.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Remove from fridge and top with chopped strawberries (these organic strawberries are so beautiful and deep red in colour!!) or favourite fruit, some shredded coconut and a little surprise on top of your choice.

Have a fantastic Easter !!!!!! 

Snack Bars

These are a definite go to in our house!  They are perfect for a morning or afternoon snack and full of nutrients for little ones and the whole family.

They are great to store in the fridge and are my kind of “grab and go” snack.  They have a lot of ingredients but are easy to make with a food processor, and once they’re made you’re covered for the week!

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Ingredients: (Makes about 10-12 squares)

1 cup Toasted Almonds

1 1/2 cups Pitted Dates

1/4 cup Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds

2 Tsp Hemp Seeds

2 Tsp Sesame Seeds

1/4 cup Dried Cranberries

1 Tsp Cinnamon

1/4 Tsp Sea Salt

1/4 cup Maple Syrup

1 cup Rice Crisps (I use Nature’s Path)

1 1/2 cups Rolled Oats

To Make:

In a saucepan over medium heat, toast the almonds moving them around so as not to burn them.  Put them in the food processer and process until broken down into tiny pieces.  Add the dates by small handfuls pulsing the processor after each addition until combined.  Slowly add all of the remaining ingredients processing for about 5-10 seconds after each addition.  Process at the end until everything looks well combined, but do not overprocess.

Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap covering the edges. (I use 2 separate pieces).  Lay the mixture out on the baking sheet pushing it all to one end of the baking sheet. Press firmly into the corners and press down making it even.  Be sure to push it down very firm so it sticks together well (You can use a rolling pin to go over it too).

This is how you want it to look…..

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Put in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm it up.  Remove from the freezer and lift the mixture off by the plastic wrap onto a cutting board.  Cut into squares/bars with a sharp knife and store in the fridge for a week or more.