Category Archives: Healthy Snacks

Sprouted Buckwheat Granola with Cinnamon, Dates and Maple

Happy New Year Food Book Followers! Hope you all had a nice break and got lots of time with loved ones. I had a wonderful last couple weeks of 2014 and am looking forward to what 2015 brings. Only one more day and I will be back to my reality of crazy busyness.  Unfortunately I will continue to likely be too busy to create much of anything new and post between now and April but, I do have a few new recipes from the past few months jotted down to share and will do my best to get them out.

wpid-20141208_171530.jpgEach year I have created  healthier versions of holiday baking classics and posted but this year, with my time limitations and being in the midst of exams until mid December, I had to do something a little different.  I actually didn’t do ANY  baking this holiday – gasp!  I did however make massive quantities of my sprouted buckwheat granola and jarred that for my friends and family.

wpid-20141206_230925.jpgI have meant to post this simple recipe for a while now, the main reason I haven’t is because I never measure what I put into it.  Now, I am giving you measurements but I encourage you to splash, sprinkle and pinch to your own liking rather than just following the recipe. I prefer my granola lightly sweetened, for the purposes of gifting and this recipe I made it a bit sweeter.  Its nothing like you’d find in a store bought version as far as sweetness goes so if you prefer little sweetness too the measurement I provide is probably sufficient. You can always adjust if you wish on your next batch.

To sprout buckwheat, or any grain for that matter, all you do is soak, rinse and repeat until the grain cracks.  With buckwheat this usually takes about 3 days.  If you look closely you will be able to see some tiny sprouting tails. Buckwheat groats give off a really goopyness while soaking, just keep it covered with fresh water on your counter for 3 or so days, rinsing it and covering with new water each day.   When it is done soaking and just sprouting, rinse well and strain well.  Sprouting is so great.  The health benefits are numerous, it can turn a hard-to-digest whole buckwheat kernel into a light, nutrient-dense whole grain. All grains contain certain anti-nutrients inherent in the seed. These anti-nutrients preserve the seed until it has a chance to germinate and grow. By soaking and sprouting you reduce anti-nutrients and make the grain more readily available and digestible.  That’s all I’m going to write about sprouting benefits right now, if you are looking for more, Google has it covered. But whatever you do, DO NOT skip this part for this recipe!  Oh yes, and use raw buckwheat groats, toasted will not sprout, and, use all organic, quality ingredients!

wpid-20141208_171541.jpgThis recipe is dehydrated in the oven, I have posted before about using your oven for dehydrating.  If your oven sets as low then you are good to go at about 150 degrees, just set it and keep an eye on the dryness over the next couple days.  If your oven only goes as low as 170 or so degrees as my current oven does, it is still totally doable, just use a metal spoon or utensil to keep the door cracked open which allows moisture and extra heat to escape.  This recipe usually takes about 48 hours to dry out.  If you do a double batch, (which I often do) it might take longer but just keep an eye on it.

2       large baking sheets lined with parchment paper
6       cups Sprouted Buckwheat Groats (about 4 cups pre-soaking)
1        cup Hemp Seeds
1        cup Chia Seeds
1/2   cup Dates, chopped
1/4   cup Cinnamon
1/4   cup Maple Syrup
3-4   tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted
1        teaspoon Himalayan Mineral Salt

Combine buckwheat, melted oil, maple, cinnamon, and sea salt then divide on two parchment paper lined baking sheets to dehydrate in your oven for 24 to 48 hours. (I love cinnamon and always sprinkle extra on top before putting into the oven).  When done drying combine with the hemp and chia seeds and chopped dates.

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Crackers – Gluten-free, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly and Healthy!

Finally…..Crackers! Gluten free, healthy, easy, delicious CRACKERS!   I’ve been working on this post for a while, (going a little cracker crazy as of late) I always make my own crackers by throwing what I know works together but not always so good at writing down what I’ve done.  Below is a few different versions and variations I have managed to keep track of, they have been tried, re-tried, tested and are now ready to share as I’d say some of my fav’s! These recipes are for almond flour and pulp crackers, juice pulp crackers, nut and oat crackers. Check back for more recipes to follow later as new versions get tried and please, get creative, I’d love to hear of your versions!

Almond Pulp Crackers

These crackers made with almond flour or almond milk pulp (more on that in a minute) are highly nutritious, gluten and flour free and very tasty.  They’re addicting so you might want to double your batches.

The first recipe is made with Almond Pulp after making Almond Milk.  You can find that recipe HERE.  These are actually my personal favourite of all the crackers I’ve made below, I love that the pulp isn’t being wasted and the texture of the cracker is perfect!  They are dehydrated in the over.  Of course, if you have a dehydrator please use it but if you oven goes as low as 130 degrees you can use it just the same.

Savoury Herbed Almond Pulp Crackers

Oven to 130 degrees
Baking Sheet lined with parchment paper
Large Mixing bowl
3               cup almond pulp (packed full)
¼             cup Chia Seed, ground (or flax seed meal or both)
¼             cup Oil – Olive, Grapeseed, Sunflower or Coconut
1                teaspoon Sea Salt
¼              cup Nutritional Yeast (or more to taste)
3                tablespoons Mixed Herbs: Thyme, Basil, Parsley, Marjoram, Oregano, Savory

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  Roll into a ball and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet then use your hands to flatten into ¼ inch thickness.  Score desired cracker shape lines.

Dehydrate at 130 degrees for approximately 12 hours or till desired consistency is reached (Softer or crunchier cracker).

Grain-Free Cheesy Herb Cracker Recipe

Oven to 350 degrees
Baking Sheet lined with parchment paper
Large Mixing bowl

2              cups Almond Flour (or pulp from making Almond Milk)
1              teaspoon Baking Soda
1              teaspoon Roasted Garlic, minced
1              teaspoon of Dried Onion, minced
2              teaspoons Italian Herbs: Basil, Marjoram, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Savory, Oregano
1/2         teaspoon Turmeric or Paprika (flavour, health and colour)
1              teaspoon of fine Mineral Salt
1              teaspoon Coconut Sugar
1              cup 12 Month Manchego Sheep Cheese, very finely grated (I used a microplane grater)
2              tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4              tablespoons Water
1               Egg White, beaten

Combine the ingredients in bowl and stir until a moist, sticky dough forms. Use water and/or oil as needed.

Taste test to adjust your seasonings, I always do!

Roll out dough between parchment paper to desired thickness or ¼ inch thick.

Transfer to baking sheet and make cut lines with a knife or pizza cutter for your crackers shapes.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the dough is set and golden.

Remove and cool. When the dough has cooled, finish the cutting or break apart if possible.

The crackers will be tender and breakable while they are warm. Allow them to cool completely before handling.

These crackers are not super crisp, kind of like a flat bread almost, if you want a drier cracker, use the oven as a dehydrator for 4-6 hours.

Toasted Onion and Garlic Sesame Crackers

Large baking sheet lined with parchment paper
Large bowl
Medium bowl
1 ½        cups Almond Flour
1              teaspoons  Sea Salt
1              tablespoon Onion Powder
1              tablespoon Garlic Powder
½            cup Sesame Seeds
1              tablespoon Grapeseed Oil
Few dashes of Toasted Sesame Oil
1              Egg, whisked until frothy

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and stir.

In a small bowl whisk together oil and egg then add to dry, mix well.

Press and roll dough to 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick between parchment paper.

Using a knife or pizza cutter, shape your crackers and transfer to lined baking sheet.

Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.  If a crisper cracker is desired follow with drying in the oven at low temp of 130 until crisper, approximately 4-6 hours.

Rosemary Fig Crackers

1 ½         cups Almond Flour
½            teaspoon Himalayan Sea Salt
1               tablespoon Rosemary, minced
4              dried Black Figs, chopped
1               Egg
1               tablespoon Olive Oil

In a large bowl stir together almond flour, salt, rosemary and figs.

In a small bowl mix egg and olive oil until well combined then add to medium bowl.  Mix well.

Roll out dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper until approximately 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick.

Cut dough with a knife or pizza cutter into desired crack shape and size.

Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. If a crisper cracker is desired follow with drying in the oven at low temp of 130 until crisper, approximately 4-6 hours

Cranberry Orange Pecan Crackers

1 ½         cups Almond Flour
¼             cup Pecans, chopped
¼             cup dried Juice Sweetened Cranberries
1               Orange, zested
½             teaspoon Himalayan Sea Salt
1               teaspoon fresh ground Black Pepper
1               Egg
1               tablespoon Olive Oil

In a large bowl stir together everything except the egg and oil.

In a small bowl mix egg and olive oil until well combined then add to medium bowl.  Mix well.

Roll out dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper until approximately 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick.

Cut dough with a knife or pizza cutter into desired crack shape and size.

Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. If a crisper cracker is desired follow with drying in the oven at low temp of 130 until crisper, approximately 4-6 hours

Juicer Pulp Crackers

These crackers are made from the pulp left over from juicing.  It’s nice to use some of that fibrous cast off rather than throwing it to the worms all the time.

3              cups Juice Pulp from juicing (carrot, beet, celery, cucumber, spinach, kale, parsley ect)
½             cup ground Flaxseed and Chia seeds (either or both)
¼             cup Nutritional Yeast
¼             cup fresh chopped herb like Cilantro, Parsley or Basil
1               teaspoon Sea Salt
½             teaspoon Paprika
½             teaspoon Onion Powder
½             teaspoon Garlic Powder
*Optional Chilli Pepper spice to taste

Mix all ingredients well in a food processor.  You can do this by hand instead. Add water if needed; I usually find that I don’t need any especially with cucumber and celery pulp, which is moist but if the mixture isn’t sticking together at add water.

Spread mixture on a parchment paper lined baking sheet about a 1/4 inch thickness. Score into cracker-sized squares, and dehydrate at 130 degrees for a couple hours.  Check and break apart, flip and return to finish. Probably another two hours or so but keep flipped every so often to get even drying.

Oat Crackers

These are my take on the old Scotch Oat Cakes, they are nice with jam or a nut butter and honey on top and go great with a tea!

Oven to 350
Food Processor
Medium Bowl
Small Pot
2              cup GF Oats, pulsed in a food processor until coarsely ground (or use quick oats)
1/2         cup Steel Cut Oats, pulsed in a food processor until coarsely ground
1/2         cup Oat Flour
1/4         teaspoon Baking soda
1/4         teaspoon Sea Salt
3/4         cup Water
1               tablespoon Butter
1               tablespoon Maple Syrup or Honey

Combine oatmeal, baking soda, and salt in bowl.

Heat water and butter until butter melts, remove from heat and add maple.

Pour into the center of the oatmeal mix and mix well.

Drop dough on a piece of parchment paper and roll out to about ¼ – 1/8 inch thick.  You can do this between two pieces of parchment paper or with a dusting of oat flour.

Now cut or use a cutter to make desired cracker shape and size.  I used a small jar.

Place crackers on parchment paper lined baking sheet (I just used the same sheet I had for rolling).

Dust with Sea Salt.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping them over every five minutes or so to ensure even baking.

When done, they’ll be crisp and just barely turning golden.   Note: They will continue to firm up as they cool.

Multi- Nut and Seed Crackers

½             cup Almond Flour
½             cup Macadamia Nuts
¼             cup Pumpkin Seeds
2               tablespoons Sunflower Seeds
2               tablespoons Sesame Seeds
2               tablespoons Hemp Seeds
1               tablespoon Golden Flaxmeal
1               tablespoon Chia, ground
½             teaspoon Mineral Salt
1               tablespoon Oil
¼             cup Water

In a food processor, pulse almond flour and macadamias until ground then add in

seeds, flax meal, ground chia and salt until almost fully ground but not to a fine flour.

Add oil and then water gradually until dough ball forms in the food processor.

Roll out dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper to ¼ inch (or desired) thickness then score into desired cracker shapes.

Bake at 275° for 25 to 30 minutes or dehydrate at 130 degrees for 6-8 hours (until crisp).

Moose Jerky

wpid-20140213_081005.jpgGot some moose meat given to me this weekend! Better than flowers to this women =)  So many things I could do with it but with this round I decided to turn it into jerky.  Good jerky with healthy simple ingredients and no crap added is tough to find and often expensive.  I’ve posted a Salmon Jerky (oven dried) before so I figured it be good to do a red meat one too.  I’ve used ingredients I have on hand in my kitchen for a basic marinade which is really just healthier versions of traditional products and the jerky turned out perfect.  Not too salty,  just the right amount of sweet, smoke and spice.  If you like it more sweet or spice, simply add more!

2             lbs Moose, Rump Roast or Top Round
1             cup Braggs Liquid Aminos
1             cup Gluten-Free Tamari
¼           cup of Gluten-Free Worcestershire Sauce
1             cup Coconut Sugar
2             tablespoons Smoked Paprika
1/2        cup Teriyaki BBQ Sauce (I use an organic one that contains pineapple juice)
1             teaspoon of Chili Peppers or Coarse Black Pepper to taste

20140212_163322Slice roast into slabs approximately 1/4 inch thick strips.

In a large sealable container, combine the marinade ingredients, stir well then add strips of meat. Close or cover and refrigerate for minimum 2 hours, up to 12 hours.

Place strips on dehydrator racks, without overlapping. Dry at 140-160F. for the first 3-4 hours. The temperature may be reduced to as low as 130 after 4 hours to finish drying (total hours 12-20)  all depending on how dry you like your jerky.  If necessary, occasionally blot the jerky with paper towels as it dries to remove beads of oil. Test jerky for dryness by cooling a piece. When sufficiently dry, cooled jerky will crack (but not break in two) when bent. There should be no moist spots.

TIP: If jerky is too brittle, brush on a little Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce to soften it.

No food dehydrator? …..

jerkyYou can use your oven!  Hang the strips on skewers on one end of the oven.  Some ovens can be set low, in this case follow the same temperature instructions as above.  If not, set your oven to its lowest (probably 150 or 160) and dry for 4 to 5 hours with the door slightly cracked open, use a metal spoon or something heat safe to hold it open.

Cut cool jerky into 2 to 4″ pieces before storing. Jerky containing salt and cured without a commercial curing preparation may be stored at room temperature for 1 to 2 months. If air humidity is low, the container should have a loose-fitting lid or one with holes punched in it. Good air circulation keeps the flavour fresher. If the humidity of the air is more than 30%, store jerky in an airtight container. Jerky may be refrigerated or frozen to increase shelf life and maintain flavour.

Don’t waste that left over marinade either, pour into a pot and bring to a boil for 3-5 minutes then cool and store to use as a BBQ sauce for chicken or something later.

Chia Buckwheat Seed Flat Bread

Hello!

Well I’ve just been too busy to create or post any recipes,  I moved from an apartment into a house with a huge yard and besides that being a ton of work in itself I planted a huge vegetable garden, very exciting and having my own organic fresh veg, fruit and herbs to work with is awesome. I am off today to my family cabin for most of August so I was up late last night blending my green smoothies for freezing and making breads and crackers.  The recipe below is one I created from gluten-free bread and cracker recipes, it’s kind of a cross between a cracker and a bread. Very filling and nutritious, loaded with protein, healthy fats and fibre.  I used my fresh herbs but you can use dried if that’s what you’ve got and feel free to experiment with different herbs or flavours.   You can top these gems with most anything, I love them plain or avocado spread on top. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Chia-flatbread-2Chia Buckwheat Seed Flat Bread

 

Oven 350 degrees
Coconut Oiled Baking Sheet
Food Processor

1        cup Gluten-free Oats
1/2  cup Raw Buckwheat Groats
1       cup Chia Seeds
1       cup Pumpkin Seeds
1       cup Sunflower Seeds
1/2  cup Hemp Seeds
2       teaspoon Coconut Sugar
2       teaspoons Oregano, chopped
1       teaspoon Thyme, chopped
1       teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2  teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2   teaspoon Onion Powder
2       cups Water

Grind your oats and buckwheat in a high powered blender or food processor until you get a flour.  Move to a large bowl, add remaining ingredients and  mix well.

Transfer to a coconut oil greased baking sheet and use a spatula to spread and flatten.  Sprinkle with some more sea salt and bake for approximately 25 minutes or till firm to the touch.

All to cool for a 5-10 minutes then cut and transfer to cooling rack.

Store in the fridge for a few days or freeze.

Home Made Almond Milk

*Addendum :  You can make quick nut milks (no soaking required)  with just a Nut-Milk-Bag_1024x1024nut bag and a good blender.  Creamy nuts like Cashews and Macadamias make great milk for coffee, tea, granola or smoothies.  Don’t be afraid to experiment either, I like  Cashew Almond or Macadamia and Toasted Coconut,  simply toss 1/2 – a full cup of nuts with  equal parts water (less or DIY-Coconut-Milk-All-Sorts-of-Pretty6more depending on the thickness you desire), a pinch of sea salt, flavour if you like: vanilla or cinnamon and/or sweetener like honey or stevia and blend until smooth.  Sheeze through the nut milk bag and you’re done!

 

I’ve been meaning to post these simple instructions on how to make your own nut milk for years, if you Google almond milk recipes you’ll find pretty much the same instructions, its super easy and much healthier and tastes fresh. You can make any sort of nut milk you like, Hazelnut is awesome, Walnut for an another example, Pecan, Brazil Nut, Macadamia, Cashew, the list goes on, or, mix more than one nut together like Almond Hazelnut! Yum! Beware this is raw, natural food so it will only keep for 3-4 days (as real food should). I used to make my nut milks with layered cheese cloth, its super cheap, you can buy it at a hardware store but eventually I bucked up and bought a re-usable nut bag, and honestly it’s well worth it. Look for future posts on using the left over nut pulp!

Makes 32 oz.
High powdered blender
Nut bag or Layers of Cheese Cloth
Pitcher or large bowl
2     cups Raw Almonds
4     cups Fresh, Spring or Filtered Water
Pinch of Sea Salt
Optional:
1    teaspoon Vanilla
Healthy Sweetener of your choice: stevia, coconut sugar, honey, maple or add dates to the soaking nuts and blend too.

Soak the almond in the filtered water over night or for 8-12 hours. Rinsing and replacing the water at least once is a good idea.

Drain and rinse your soaked almonds then blend with 4 cups of fresh water and sea salt on high for 2 minutes. If using a regular blender (not heavy duty, like a VitaMix) you may need to do two batches, blending 1/2 at a time.

Strain the milk from the pulp using your nut milk bag by squeezing as much of the milk out as possible. Add vanilla and sweeten to taste if you desire.

Reserve and store the pulp in the freezer to make other delicious recipes like crackers, cookies or bread.

Variations:

Chocolate Milk
32 oz    Almond Milk
1             tablespoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4       cup Honey or Dark Agave
1            teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Blend.

Chai Milk

32 oz     Almond Milk
1/4        cup Honey, Maple Syrup or Dark Agave
1             teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1             teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2       teaspoon Garam Masala
1/4       teaspoon Nutmeg
Blend.

Gluten-free Blueberry Chia Muffins

20130224_101748Put this little recipe together this morning when I woke craving a muffin, kinda random but I take it as a challenge, plus, I bought a container of Organic Blueberries this weekend that were super tasty and would be perfect addition to a muffin recipe.  I like the challenge of using what I’ve got kicking around to create new recipes and I also have some Almond pulp/grinds left over from making almond milk (a recipe I will also post) to use.  You can sub in fresh ground almonds if you like, in fact, the muffin will probably taste even better, fine grind though!  I used a frozen banana in this recipe but you could sub in sweet potato puree or apple sauce if you have that instead.  I’m going to make these next time with fresh cranberries and orange next time. Have fun, and enjoy!

Oven 350 degrees

12 pan muffin tin, greased
Large bowl:
1 1/2      cups Gluten-free Flours, I made a mix of brown rice, white rice and sorghum
1              cup Almond Pulp/Grinds
1              teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1              tablespoon Chia Seeds
2              teaspoons Baking Soda
1/2         teaspoon Sea Salt
Medium bowl:
1              Banana, from frozen or ½ cup Sweet Potato Puree or Apple Sauce
1              large Egg
1/2         cup Maple Syrup
1/2         cup Coconut Oil or other oil like Sunflower or if you must room temp. unsalted butter
1              tablespoon Vanilla Extract
Juice and Zest from half a Lemon
1/2         cup fresh Blueberries

Combine dry ingredients.  Mix wet ingredients.

Fold wet ingredients into dry. Scoop batter into muffin pan and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Home-Made Protein Bars

 

860717_10151248562646780_840883433_oThis weekend I went snowshoeing with my boyfriend and decided to make him some protein bars for the trip. I used my tried and tested granola bar recipe and worked on a new creation raw bar from researching other recipes I found online. I love the home made granola bar, it is such a flexible recipe, you can really change the flavour every time you make them and they are really nice a crunchy. You can add your favourite protein powder and a little extra coconut oil or leave them the way they are. They are much healthier than store bought ones and really easy to make.
The raw/uncooked protein bar is nice and easy to make too and tastes surprisingly good! Perfect post workout or as a meal replacement to go.


granola barsCrunchy Granola Bars

Oven 325 degrees
9×9 pan lined with parchment paper
You can shift around these ingredients depending on what you have or prefer. Add 1/4 cup of protein powder with an extra tablespoon of oil for a protein granola bar.

Medium pot:
1/4      cup Nut Butter of your choice: Almond, Cashew, Sunflower, Peanut ect.
1           tablespoon Coconut Oil
3           tablespoon Honey or Maple Syrup
3 1/2   tablespoon Brown Rice Syrup or Molasses
1            tablespoon Vanilla
1            tablespoon Coconut Sugar

Mix in a bowl 3 cups total of:
1 1/2    cups Puffed Rice/Kamut/Quinoa
1/2       cup Kamut or Rye Flakes
1 1/2    cups Rolled Oats
1/3       cup dried juice sweetened Cranberries or other dried fruit like goji berries, blueberries, cherries, pineapple, apricots or raisins
1/4       cup raw Pumpkin Seeds
1/3       cup raw or toasted Sunflower Seeds
1            teaspoon Cinnamon *optional

Warm nut butter, honey, brown rice syrup, vanilla, and coconut sugar until sugar has melted.

Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

Pour warm onto op the dry and mix well.

Once well coated, spread the mixture into your pan. Press down with a spatula or oiled hands then bake for about 25 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before removing to cut. Bars will crisp up over a few hours.
Note: Mix up your ingredients! Add coconut ribbons or chopped up banana chips for different flavours.

Raw Protein Bars

1/2      cup Chopped Pistachios
1/2      cup Pumpkin Seeds
1/2      cup Coconut Flour
1/4      cup Vanilla Protein Powder
2           tablespoon Hemp Seeds
2           tablespoon Chia Seeds
1/3      cup Goji Berries
1/3      cup Coconut Flakes
1           Vanilla Bean or 1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/3      cup Almond or Hemp Milk
1/3      cup Coconut Oil
1/4      cup Honey
2          teaspoon Cinnamon
Pinch of Sea Salt

Mix all ingredients together and press into a square pan. Chill in refrigerator for approximately 1 hour. Slice into desired sized bar.

Store in the refrigerator or freezer until the day you plan to eat one.