Raw Carmel Dip for Apples and Deserts

I would love to take credit for this amazing (and simple! and nutritious!!!) desert, but I can’t. It comes from one of my favorite sites: Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen. The author of this site is truly brilliant and I devour almost every recipe I’ve made from the site; they’re all delicious. Kids and adults alike swarm around this desert until every last apple slice has been dipped and every sticky finger has been licked clean.

1 cup raw cashews
1 cup medjool dates, pitted (about 8-10)
1/4 cup real maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
date water as needed

1) Place cashews and dates in their own separate bowls, cover with water and let soak for 2-3 hours.

2) Drain and rinse cashews and place in blender or food processor with dates, vanilla, maple syrup, and salt. Add 6-8 tbsp date soaking water and blend mixture until smooth.

3) Serve with apple slices or drizzle over yoghurt, granola, or whatever you have a hankering for!

Kale Chips

Kale chips last about as long as it takes them to cool down in my house.  It’s an incredibly effective way to eat a LOT of greens all at once! They are pretty comparable to regular chips in terms of tastiness and ‘you can’t eat just one-ness’, but you get to control how much salt goes on them and anything else you can think of.

Serves 2-3 (or 1 if you’re me)

2 bunches of kale washed and dried
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Ripe kale off the spines so that you have bite sized ‘chips’.

2. Place the chips on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil and salt.

3. Put into oven and set timer for about 12-15 minutes, checking to make sure they’re not burning. They should be crisp and a little brown on the edges.

4. Remove from oven and enjoy.

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies

Here is another great gluten-free recipe from the Gluten-free Goddess blog site.
Dry ingredients:
1 cup sorghum flour aka sweet sorghum flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/2 cup Bob`s Red Mill tapioca flour
1 tsp bakiing powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp xanthum gum
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Wet ingredients:
3/4 cup Spectrum Organic Shortening (or butter)
1 1/2 cups organic light brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 organic free-range eggs or 1 tbsp Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with 1/4 cup warm water till frothy
 3 to 3 1/2 cups Bob`s Red Mill gluten-free oats
1 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients well.
2. In a separate bowl, beat all wet ingredients to cream.
3. Add the whisked dry ingredients to the creamed brown sugar and beat to combine.
4. Combine oats; start with 3 cups oats, mixing till distributed evenly. If you’d like more in the batter, add in another half cup.
5. Lastly, stir in dark chocolate chips by hand to combine.
6. Spoon balls of dough onto lined baking sheets (parchment paper works fine) and press down a bit to make a cookie shape. If you like your cookies flat and crispy, press down a bit thinner. If not, keep them more rounded. If you’re not sure, do a test run with a single cookie if you like, to see how much the dough spreads while baking.
7. Bake for about 12 minutes until slightly golden and chewy. (Note: Longer baking time (15 minutes) creates a harder cookie, closer to packaged oatmeal cookies.)
8. Cool the baking sheets on a wire rack for 3-4 minutes; than remove the cookies onto cooling racks.
9. Wrap cooled cookies in recycled foil and freeze in freezer bags for future treats. These cookies keep better than most gluten-free cookies, due to the oats, so if you’d like to experiment, keep a few in an air-tight container. Best if eaten in a day or two.
Makes 18 large cookies or 24 medium cookies.

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Corn Bread

I have to admit that gluten-free baking is not my forte. I`ve been blessed to be tolerant of gluten, so wheat free does it for me meaning that I`ve had no need to seriously explore the world of sorghum and rice flours. Luckily, there are others out there who are very, VERY good without gluten in their larder: www.glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/. Goddess is a very appropriate word for this woman as she pumps out amazing gluten-free recipes and charm in every post she delivers. She also has somewhat of a fixation on chocolate which no one seems to be complaining about either. Enjoy this lovely bread with a hot bowl of Moroccan Yam Soup or simply by itself with a bit of butter.
3 large organic free-range eggs
1/2 cup extra light olive oil or vegetable oil
3/4 cup sweet potato puree
3/4 cup organic light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup Bob`s Red Mill gluten-free stone ground cornmeal
1 cup Pamela`s Ultimate Baking Mix – (or your own flour mix with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and a good pinch of sea salt added)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp Pumpkin Pie spice blend
Sea salt, to taste.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease the bottom of a 8-inch cake pan and dust it with cornmeal. I used a Springform pan.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until foamy; add the oil; whisk again to combine. Add in the sweet potato puree and mix well. Add the light brown sugar, and bourbon vanilla extract, and mix to combine.
4. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: cornmeal, gluten-free flour mix, baking powder, cinnamon, Pumpkin Pie Spice blend, and sea salt.
5. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, add the dry ingredients into the wet; and stir by hand just enough to make a smooth batter.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
7. Bake on a center rack in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes or so, until the cornbread is firm to the touch and golden. Check with a wooden pick, if necessary; if it emerges clean, the cornbread is done. [Remember, Dear Reader, I bake at high altitude, so please use your own tried-and-true guidelines for baking times.]
8. Cool the cornbread in the pan- on a wire rack- for ten minutes. Remove from the pan and continue to cool.
9. Serve slightly warm with a dab of your favorite butter or buttery spread.
Chickpea Pancakes with White Bean and Basil Tapenade

Chickpea Pancakes with White Bean and Basil Tapenade

This recipe is very easy to prepare and the chickpea pancake is a nice break from the regular cracker or pita that is normally served with bean dips. This would go great as a starter to a Greek or Mexican meal, or on it`s own as a light meal.

Serves 8

1 cup chickpea flour (also called garbanzo bean flour)
5 tbsp olive oil
1 cup canned or cooked cannellini beans or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp chpped fresh basil
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp sea salt, plus additional to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450°
2. Prepare pancake: pour 1 1/3 cups water into a medium bowl. Add flour to bowl slowly, whisking in until smooth. Allow mixture to stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour. When hour is complete, stir in 2 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt.
3. Heat a 10 inch cast iron or oven-safe heavy skillet on medium-high. Add 2 tbsp olive oil, pour in vatter and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the edges of the pancake begin to turn golden brown. Do not flip. Place skillet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until crisp around edges and light golden brown. Slide pancake onto a cutting board and slice into 8 wedges.
4. Prepare tapenade by placing white beans, remaining 1 tbsp olive oil, 3 tbsp water, basil, and garlic in a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Scrape mixture into a sealable container, and set aside until needed, or dollop directly onto chickpea pancakes and enjoy.

This recipe is from Clean Eating magazine.

Toad Mountain Granola

Toad Mountain Granola

We love granola at our house, it doesn’t usually last long once I unpack the groceries. Granola is a great snack and can be used for breakfast (as long as it’s not a really sweet granola). This recipe is taken from the ‘Whitewater Cooks at home’ cookbook by Shelley Adams. I have adapted it a little bit, taking out the brown sugar and increasing the honey and maple syrup to make it a little cleaner.  Enjoy Granola over yoghurt, applesauce, with almond, rice, or soy milk, or just out of the bag, by the handful!

Makes about 12 cups

5 cups large flake oats
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup white sesame seeds
1 cup whole almonds, hazelnuts, or both, roughly chopped
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 cup applesauce
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup dried cranberries, blueberries, raisins, or a little of each.

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Put everything except the dried fruit in a large mixing bowl and combine really well. Spread the mixture out onto a large 12×18 inch (30×45 cm) baking pan. Do not line the pan with parchment paper.
2. Bake for about an hour, turning the mixture over a few times during baking. You want everything to get evenly brown.
3. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool completely before adding the dried fruit.
4. Store in an airtight container.

Crispy Tofu Nuggets

Crispy Tofu Nuggets

Tofu is unfortunetly not without it’s faults as a potential health food. It is however a very good source of protein and relatively fast to prepare. I keep it on hand for the occasional quick dinner. Like anything else that isn’t completely healthy, use this food in moderation.

Serves 4

1 package (440g) firm or extra firm tofu
2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp thai sweet chili sauce
1 tbsp arrowroot powder
1 tbsp water
1/3 cup sesame seeds (untoasted)
or 1/3 cup panko or other dry breadcrumbs
2 tbsp vegetable oil for frying

1. Slice tofu into 15 rectangular pieces. Put the pieces on the bottom of a glass baking dish.
2. Mix soy sauce or tamari with sesame oil, rice vinegar and sweet chili sauce; pour this over the tofu turning the pieces over to coat. Marinade for about an hour (or longer) turning the tofu over a couple of times.
3. Mix the arrowroot powder and water together in a small bowl. Put the sesame seeds or panko bread crumbs in another bowl.
4. Remove the tofu from the marinade, (most likely, it will be all absorbed to the tofu) and dip each piece first into the arrowroot mixture and then the seeds or crumbs, pressing quite firmly to get them to stick.
5. Heat a saute pan to medium and add the vegetable oil.
6. Add the tofu nuggets to the hot pan and saute for a minute or 2 on each side until they are golden brown. Don’t try to fitr too many in the pan at one time or you’ll have trouble flipping them around.
7. Remove from the pan and set onto paper towel to soak up any extra oil, then serve right away with your favorite dipping sauces.

This recipe was taken from ‘Whitewater Cooks at home’ by Shelley Adams.

Seed Snack Attack

Seed Snack Attack

If you are someone who craves salt, then you are in for some seriously healthy snacking! Sunflower seeds are very high in vitamin E, B vitamins, and magnesium. While pumpkin seeds are well known for their zinc, iron, and vitamin K. I doubt that you’ll be thinking about that while you’re enjoying them in this tasty treat.

Makees 2 cups

  • 1 cup raw Sunflower seeds, shelled
  • 1 cup green pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons Tamari

1. Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add Sunflower seeds and roast, stirring the seeds often, being careful not to burn them. Turn the seeds out onto a large plate and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the Tamari. Stir with a spoon to coat. Set aside.
2. Next put the pumpkin seeds into the same hot pan and toast, stirring often until puffed up and slighlty browned. Pour onto the same plate and add remaining 1 teaspoon of Tamari. Toss all together until evenly coated.
3. Pour back into still-hot skillet (removed from heat source) and continue tossing until dry.
4. Cool and store in an air-tight container.

Authored By: Polly Pitchford, Full Spectrum Health™