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Foodie, Recipe, Snacks

Homemade Fruit Snacks

February 17, 2014

homemade-fruit-snacks

I’ve always been a bit of a fruit snack addict.

Now that I’m older, my teeth cannot handle all the sticky sugar (and my body can’t handle the junk).

A good friend made a batch of these in the summer and they totally blew my mind. So simple, and so tasty.

I used to use the standard Knox gelatin, but I recently switched to Green Lakes brand (which is a high quality gelatin made from grass-fed animals). I made the switch because I wanted to get the full benefit that gelatin has to offer, without any added junk (or even low quality ingredients).

Gelatin has NUMEROUS health benefits (I highly recommend a quick Google search on the matter); joint health, collagen boosting, immunity boosting, etc.

homemade-fruit-snacks

If you want gelatin, skip the yucky stuff that’s in Jell-O, and just make your own using fruit and juice!

Here’s What You’ll Need:

-1 cup of juice (I use pomegranate juice)

-3 cups of frozen berries

-5-6 tablespoons of gelatin (I use Green Lakes gelatin)

-coconut oil for greasing your dish/mold

In a medium saucepan, add the juice and berries. Heat for several minutes; until the berries soften. Add to a blender and purée until mixture is a smooth consistency. Add the powdered gelatin and blend for 15-30 seconds until it is fully incorporated in the fruit purée. Pour into greased dish and let chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Once the gel has set, cut into pieces or with a shaped cutter. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.


homemade-fruit-snacks

 

Foodie, Snacks

Chips and Dip (plus a review of Food Should Taste Good)

December 20, 2013
Chipped

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Back in September, the awesome company Food Should Taste Good sent me a box of their products to try and review. This delivery just happened to coincide with early labor and everything since then has been a big blur of baby-related happenings. I finally found time this week to write up my thoughts on their chips!

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First off, I was already a fan of their chips prior to that big box of FSTG swag that arrived on my door step. The ingredients are real (and pronounceable), the chips are amazingly unique in flavor, AND they are really really yummy.

Food Should Taste Good sent me a bag of Kimchi, Olive, Sweet Potato, and Cantina tortilla chips. All superbly different. All delicious. My favorites were the Olive (my usual “go to” FSTG purchase) and the Kimchi (totally new to me, but WOW!).

These chips called for great (and unique) dips to pair with the unique flavor of each style. For the Kimchi tortilla chips (again, WOW!), I made a spicy white bean dip (an asian inspired hummus of sorts). For the Olive tortilla chips, my palate immediately wanted tapenade.

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Spicy White Bean Dip

-1 can of cannelloni beans; drained and rinsed

-1 tbs Siracha hot sauce

-1 tbs low sodium soy sauce

-juice from 1 lime

-1 tbs olive oil

-1/2 tsp onion powder

-1/2 tsp garlic powder

-salt and pepper

In a food processor, add drained beans. Process until paste-like. Add remaining ingredients, and process until smooth (like hummus). Serve with Kimchi chips from Food Should Taste Good. Boom! Done.

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Artichoke-Olive Tapenade

-1 cup marinated artichoke hearts

-1/2 cup of pitted olives (I used a mix of kalamata and green olives).

-1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

-1 tbs olive oil

-1/2 tsp garlic powder

Add ingredients to food processor. Blend until mixture is a thick paste-like consistency (ala tapenade). Serve with Olive tortilla chips from Food Should Taste Good. Pow! Enjoy!

Eat dips right away, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

**Food Should Taste Good was kind enough to send me their products to review. However, everything in this post is 100% my own thoughts and opinions. Thanks again, FSTG! You guys rock!**

Foodie, Recipe, Snacks, Sweets

Chocolate Avocado Fruit Dip

August 7, 2013


Chocolate Fruit Dip
This is a recipe that I posted in 2011 under the title Raw Chocolate Mousse. It’s a really amazing and super versatile recipe, so I’ve decided to re-post it with a bit of a facelift.

I was asked to submit a kid-friendly summer dip recipe to a local magazine and this was the first thing that popped in my head.

Chocolate Fruit Dip

Although, we often call this “pudding” in our house; it has also become my go-to “dessert dip” for parties, potlucks, and picnics.

Chocolate Fruit Dip

With ingredients like avocados, dates, and ZERO refined sugars you simply cannot go wrong with this recipe! It is the perfect sweet treat to serve to kids and grown-ups alike (and for the more skeptical eaters, just call it Chocolate Fruit Dip and they’ll be none the wiser).

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Here’s What You’ll Need:

-4 ripe avocados; halved, with the pits removed and green flesh scooped out

-1 cups of dates (about 20 dates)

-2 tbs pure maple syrup (you can also use raw honey)

-1 tsp pure vanilla extract vanilla

-1 bag of high quality semi-sweet chocolate chips: melted

-1-2 cups of unsweetened vanilla almond milk

First, soak the dates in a small bowl of water (with enough water to just cover the dates. About a cup). I usually let mine soak for an hour, the softer they are, the easier it is to puree them.

In a large food processor, add the soaked dates (and the water they soaked in) and puree them until they form a nice paste. Next, add the avocados, maple syrup, vanilla, 1 cup of almond milk, and the melted chocolate. Process until  the mixture is smooth in consistency. If it looks too thick, add 1/2 cup of almond milk (up to another full cup of almond milk). The finished product should be thick and creamy, but not so thick that you couldn’t dip fruit in it.

Transfer to a lidded bowl and let “set up” in the fridge for about an hour. Stir before serving. Use within 5 days….but there’s no way it’ll last that long.

Chocolate Fruit Dip

Preferred “Dippables”:

-Strawberries

-Apple Slices

-Pineapple

-Any other “strong” fruit (that won’t break off into the dip)

Serves a crowd.

Chocolate Fruit Dip
Other uses for this recipe:
-chocolate pudding
-filling for layer cakes
-frosting for cupcakes or brownies
-the base for a chocolate cream pie (just add to a pie shell and top with homemade whipped cream…either dairy-based or coconut-milk based)
**During this photo session, I had a very eager toddler patiently waiting for me to finish so she could eat the strawberries and dip. It’s really hard to not touch or eat chocolate pudding at 10am…especially when you’re “weely weely hungwy”. (also note all the bug bites on her hands, face, and arms. the mosquitos are absolutely awful this year! Poor JBird.)**
Chocolate Fruit Dip
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Foodie, Recipe, Snacks, Sweets

Whole Wheat Lemon Scones

July 5, 2013



Lemon Scones


After I made my Raw Chia Jam, I immediately craved fresh scones.

Lemon Scones

Crazily enough, I have never made scones before! Turns out, they are ridiculously easy to make!

Lemon Scones

The lemon flavor is subtle, but very “real” tasting (not like a lemon extract taste that can be a bit overpowering….although I do love it in lemon poppy seed muffins). These are definitely NOT your typical overly sugary-sweet scones. They are mildly sweet and pair beautifully with sweet homemade jams. The perfect tea party treat!

Here’s What You’ll Need:

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/4 cup raw cane sugar (or raw honey)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) of cold butter (I used salted butter and skipped the additional salt); cut into pieces

1/2 cup sour milk (I used whole milk and added the juice of 1 lemon to allow the milk to sour)

the zest of 1 whole lemon

additional cane sugar for sprinkling over top of the scones (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350°.

In a food processor (using the dough blade), add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pulse several times to mix your dry ingredients. Next, add the cold butter pieces and process until the “dough” starts to come together. Add the milk, sugar, and lemon zest and process on “low” until a slightly sticky dough forms.

Lemons Scones

On a parchment lined baking sheet, scoop out the dough and form into a bowl. Press the ball into a circle; about 1/2 inch thick.

Lemon Scones

Cut the dough into 12 pieces; but don’t cut all the way through. You’ll be able to cut the scones apart easier this way once they are done baking.

Sprinkle the top with additional sugar (about 1 tablespoon). Bake for 20-25 minutes

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days (ours lasted 5 days without getting too dried out).

Makes 8 scones. Serve with fresh jam and tea. (goes GREAT with a Raw Strawberry Chia Jam. Perfect flavor combos).

Lemon Scones

 

Adapted from Taste of Home.

 

Foodie, Recipe, Snacks, Sweets

Raw Strawberry Chia Jam

July 3, 2013

 

Raw Chia JamOur lovely neighbors surprised us with a pint of hand picked strawberries last week. The berries were super juicy and ripe! Several of the berries were too soft to just eat by hand, so I figured it was as good a time as any to test out this raw jam recipe that I’d been curious about for some time. The result: a healthy and tasty strawberry spread that goes great on just about anything! I will definitely be making this on a regular basis over the summer.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

2 cups of fresh strawberries(overly ripe works best)

2 tbs chia seeds

2 tbs water

1 tbs raw honey

In a mixing bowl, mash the strawberries. I used a fork and it worked just fine. You can also use a blender or food processor, but the berries end up too frothy if you aren’t careful.

Once the berries are a jam-like consistency, add the chia seeds, water, and honey. Stir until everything is combined.

Transfer jam to a lidded bowl or jar (Mason jars work best).

Allow 1 hour to “set up” in the fridge. The longer it sits, the better it tastes.

Store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Serve with fresh scones, on toast, on pancakes, over ice cream, in yogurt, as strawberry sauce for strawberry shortcake, or straight out of the jar!

Adapted from Nature’s Nurture

Foodie, Recipe, Snacks

Monster Bites

January 21, 2013

monster_bites_2013

Coming up with fun and healthy snack ideas for a picky toddler has become a true test of my creativity, intelligence, and patience.

In JBird’s ideal world, I would feed her nothing but cheese and products that contained cheese (preferably cheese in cracker form). Umm, no.

On a daily basis, not only am I trying to appease the demands of my impossibly picky toddler, but I am also trying to cram as much nutrients into her little body to make up for all the crackers, cheese, and lollipops that somehow keep showing up in her mouth (Where did you find those crackers?! I have not bought crackers in nearly 2 weeks?!)

Enter: Monster Bites.

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Part Cookie. Part Granola Bar. Part Supplement Aisle at the co-op.

All Deliciousness.

I call them Monster Bites because:

a)They are green..like monsters (right?)

b)They are chock full of “monster” nutrients

c) If you were to eat one in a single bite…that would be one monster bite.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

-1 cup nut butter (I used unsalted peanut butter)

-1 cup of raw sunflower seeds

-1 cup of raw oats

-1/2 cup raw honey (I added more like 3/4 cup of honey…because I couldn’t justify leaving 1/4 cup of honey in the jar)

-1/2 cup chia seeds

-1/2 cup hemp protein powder

-1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

-1/2 cup dried cranberries

-1/2 cup dried apricots; chopped

-1/2 cup raw walnuts; chopped

-1 tbs pure maple syrup

-1 tbs vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, combine all of your ingredients and stir until everything is well mixed. **It is going to be STICKY…use a strong spoon*.

Form into bite-sized squares (or balls). Place squares in a parchment lined dish. Refrigerate for at least an hour to “set up”.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

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These little snack bites are great for kids and grown-ups alike! They are a “clean” snack that will give you a protein boost (and raise blood sugar in the late afternoon…without having a sugar crash).

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We enjoy ours with some herbal tea; perfect for chilly winter days 🙂





Foodie, Main Eats, Snacks, Sweets

Mountain Man Apple Muffins

April 30, 2012

This recipe comes courtesy of my husband; The Mountain Man. He’s spent the past year planning out the perfect breakfast muffin recipe; and you know what…he totally nailed it with these muffins. They are Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Oil Free, and just spectacular. He eats one for breakfast…and I eat about 4 (because I have the appetite of a lumberjack).

These muffins are super moist, and packed with lots of great protein to keep you full until lunch time. These are also super easy to make Gluten-Free (just switch the Spelt Flour with Quinoa, Coconut, Almond, or another type of gluten-free flour).

We bake a double batch of these bad boys twice a week…because they’re THAT good.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

1 cup rolled oats; ground in a food mill or processor

1/2 cup spelt flour

1/2 cup almond flour

2 tbs hemp protein powder

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

1 tbs chia seeds; soaked in 3 tbs water for 5 minutes

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 small apples; peeled, cored, and chopped (we use Gala apples)

1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (you could substitute carob chips or cocoa nibs)

 

Preheat the oven to 350° and grease a muffin tin (or line with paper liners). In a large mixing bowl, combine ground oats, flours, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and hemp protein powder. Stir and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the honey, soaked chia seeds, vanilla, and almond milk. Add the “wet ingredients” to the “dry ingredients”; stir until well combined. Fold in the chopped apples, walnuts, and chocolate chips to the batter. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin (don’t be shy with your spoonfuls, the muffins won’t rise much).

Bake for 25 minutes; or until they pass the age old toothpick test. Let cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Makes 12 muffins

Foodie, Recipe, Snacks

Scallion Pancakes

January 18, 2012

 

These pancakes have become our new weekend “go-to” lunch.

So simple and so easy to throw together.

If you love dumplings, then you’ll love these scallion pancakes.

What You’ll Need:

-1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (full disclosure: I used bread flour; it’s the only flour I had on hand and it worked beautifully.)

-3/4 cup hot water

-1/2 tsp salt

-1 bunch of scallions; chopped

-sunflower oil (you could also use sesame oil or canola oil too)

In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, salt, and hot water . Stir until dough starts to form. Knead the warm dough until it’s smooth and slightly elastic. Cover with a dish towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

Now,  step-by-step visual instructions on how to make these scallion pancakes:

First: Let your dough rest for 30 minutes

Cut dough into 8 equal pieces

Roll the pieces into dough balls

Using a rolling pin, flatten a dough ball

sprinkle 1/8 of the chopped scallions onto the flatten dough round

Roll

Keep Rolling! (until it’s a scallion filled dough tube)

Now, roll it up (again); until it resembles a snail’s shell (are you still with me?)

Using the palm of your hand, flatten the rolled dough tube

Use a rolling pin to flatten the pancake into a 4″ round. Repeat these steps 7 more times; layering each completed pancake between pieces of parchment.

In a cast iron skillet, heat several tablespoons of oil until HOT. Carefully place pancakes in the hot oil. Turning after a minute or two (until either side is barely browned). Place on paper-towel lined plate (or a wire rack) to cool while you finish frying the rest.

Serve with soy sauce. Enjoy.

Makes 2-4 servings

 

Foodie, Snacks, Sweets

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Shake

December 8, 2011

 

Sometimes you just need a milk shake.

However, sometimes you don’t have ice cream (wah wah).

But if you’re anything like me, you ALWAYS have at least one frozen banana hanging out in your freezer (overripe banana sitting on your counter? Throw it in the freezer for later!)

Did you know: frozen bananas are a great alternative to ice cream. You can even mix a frozen banana with just cocoa powder and it tastes (and looks) like Chocolate Banana Ice Cream! Craziness, right?!

These shakes are absolutely amazing and so incredibly easy to make. Plus, they’re dairy free!

3 steps….Boom, you’re done.

 **these shakes are brought to you by Trader Joes**

What you’ll Need:

-1-2 frozen bananas; peeled

-1-2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk 

-1 tbs peanut butter (almond butter works really well too)

-1-2 tbs cocoa powder

 

In a blender, combine your ingredients. **I start with 1 cup of almond milk, then add more if I need to**

Blend until you have a desired consistency.

Pour, Sip and Savor.

Makes 1 Serving