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Posts Tagged ‘snack’

In the spirit of the holidays, here is another quick little holiday treat recipe that comes together in no time. Loaded with coconut, these macaroons are full of paleo goodness.

For and added twist if you’re feeling adventurous, once the macaroons have cooled, dip the top of each one into some melted 85% organic dark chocolate for a truly decadent treat.

Enjoy and all the best to you and your loved ones this holiday season.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup coconut ribbons (or 1 more cup shredded coconut if you can’t find ribbons)
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp celtic salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • In large bowl beat egg whites until stiff peaks form
  • Add salt, vanilla and maple syrup and stir until just combined
  • Stir in coconut
  • Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls on parchment line baking sheet
  • The mixture may fall apart slightly so using your finger tips, press the mixture back together into tight little mounds, creating a slight peak at the top if you can
  • Bake in preheated 325 oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned
  • Remove and cool on wire rack
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I love the holidays and growing up my family used to host a neighbourhood party where my mum would spend a solid month in the kitchen baking enough food to feed an army.  I was her little sous chef always happy to measure, stir, mix and of course tastes these delectable treats.   I think it was days spent in the kitchen with my mum where my love for cooking developed.  

More recently having switched to paleo eating and also challenged by my food allergies, many of my childhood favorite treats are no longer ones I can eat.   However with some simple substitutions and a little experimenting in the kitchen, I’ve been able to put together some paleo friendly holiday treat recipes and these cookies I have to admit are one of my favorites.  They cook up crispy on the outside with a soft chewy center and with the addition of some organic crystalized ginger they are full of flavour and 100% friend approved.  The hardest part will be stopping yourself from eating just one!! 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of almond flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 tsp gluten & corn free baking powder (you can find this at Whole Foods)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and finely minced (I used my zester)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ~ 2 tbsp organic crystalized ginger finely chopped (optional) – try to find some made with raw sugar

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • In small bowl, mix dry ingredients together (almond flour, baking powder and baking soda)
  • In large bowl, beat together egg, oil, maple syrup and vanilla until well combined
  • Add ginger, cinnamon and allspice and beat until combined
  • Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until combined
  • Stir in crystalized ginger if using and mix well. 
  • Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto parchment line baking sheet and press each cookie to flatten.  They will not spread during baking so you’ll need to form them into your desired cookie shape before baking
  • Bake in preheated 325 oven for 12-15 minutes until edges begin to brown slightly
  • Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack

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This recipe comes with a huge disclaimer – I will not be held responsible if you sit down and eat nearly the entire batch!   Honestly, this is probably some of the best stuff I have made and I am really struggling with the  whole concept of “eat in moderation”, so much so that I packed a bunch of it up and gave it away to friends.  

For a sweetener in this recipe I did use some organic raspberry blossom honey, so it is definitely a treat and should be enjoyed in moderation!  If dariy still makes its way into your diet, this granola would be excellent sprinkled over plain yogurt and fresh berries. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup each sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, ribbon coconut and chopped walnuts (really any mixture of nuts and seed will work)
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup each chopped figs and goji berries
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey (I used raspberry blossom honey)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, or more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. In saucepan over low heat combine coconut oil, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salt.  Continue stirring until heated through, but not boiling.
  2. In separate bowl, combine nuts, seeds and fruit.   Drizzle hot oil/honey mixture over nuts, stirring until well coated.
  3. Place mixture on a cookie sheet and bake in 300 degree oven for 30 minutes, turning once or twice during cooking
  4. Remove and let cool. 
  5. Break granola apart and store in air-tight container.

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Primal Protein Bars

Looking to pack a protein filled snack for my longer day adventures, I decided to add a simple twist to my primal nut ball recipe through the addition protein powder.  Using your food processor, you’ll find that these bars come together very quickly and the paste like mixture will press easily into bars making these a perfect pack and go snack.  

Ingredients:

  • 3 dates, seeds removed and roughly chopped
  • 12 dried prunes, seeds removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup organic dried apple slices, soaked for about 30 seconds in hot water and drained well
  • 1 cup roasted mixed nuts
  • 1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3 scoops “proteins+” brand vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon, or more to taste

Directions:

  1. In food processor, process nuts and coconut until roughly ground, remove and set aside
  2. Add dates, prunes and apples to food processor, and process until finely chopped
  3. Add nuts, cinnamon and protein powder and process until mixture comes together
  4. While processor is running, add maple syrup and continue processing until the mixture begins to ball
  5. Turn mixture out onto parchment paper and press into a block.   Wrap up in parchment paper and refrigerate until cold.  Cut into pieces and enjoy.

Note: If you still want nut chunks in your bars, reserve 1/2 of the ground nuts and coconut, and quickly pulse or knead it into the mix after all the other ingredients have come together.  Like in my primal nut ball recipe, flax seeds would also be a great addition to these.

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Walk through any supermarket today and the widest aisle always seems to be the one full of snack food – potato chips, popcorn, pretzels … you name it is all there.  Packaging is shiny and eye-catching words like “organic” and “all natural” seem to be popping up all over the place, but this still does not make the food any more non primal then before.  If you were asked to describe the taste of potato chips and why you like them so much, you would probably say it’s the salty flavour or crispness that you enjoy and not really the potato itself.  If you think about it, if you were to sit down with a bag of cooked unseasoned sliced potatoes would you eat the entire bag?  Probably not.  

For me, primal eating also means taking the foods we love and either modifying the ingredients to make it primal or finding another food that provides an excellent substitute.  Kale is the perfect example of this and has become one of my new favourite veggies.  Kale is an anti-inflammatory that is loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C, making it one of the most nutritious members of the Brassica (cabbage) family.  When it comes to cooking, Kale is extremely vestile and can be eaten raw in salads, steamed, added to soups, stews or stir-frys or my favourite, dried to create crispy little popcorn or chip like snacks that have impressed all my non-primal friends. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch of Green or Purple Kale, washed and dried
  • ~ 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sprinkle of cayenne pepper to taste
  • sprinkle of sea salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Remove tough stem section from kale leaves
  2. Tear leaves into larger sections – you’ll want these as big as possible as the kale shrinks considerably when dried
  3. Place torn kale in bowl, drizzle with olive oil, cayenne pepper and salt
  4. Toss well until combined
  5. Lay kale on mesh dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 135 degrees for 2-3 hours or until crispy

Oven Method:  Kale can also be dried in the oven by placing kale on a parchment lined baking sheet and baking at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.  Keep your eye on the kale to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Not a fan of spicy foods, try tossing the kale with olive oil, lemon juice and 2 freshly minced garlic cloves before dehydrating or just keep it simple with some olive oil, salt & pepper.

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Roasted Mixed Nuts

For most of us who follow a primal/paleo diet, nuts have become a daily staple as they are a quick satisfying snack that also provides us with a good dose of essential fats and minerals.  In addition, many nuts including almonds and walnuts have also been linked to reduced cardiovascular risk. 

However, having to deal with food allergies has also opened my eyes to what is really included in commercially roasted nuts.  While it’s easy to reach for the roasted nuts over the sugar laden variety in the store, roasted nuts can often contain added unfavorable oils (i.e. corn, soybean or peanut), refined sugars and/or preservatives (i.e. wheat starch), thus making these commercially prepared varieties unacceptable under the primal/paleo eating plan and also very dangerous to those with food allergies. 

Roasting raw nuts at home is an easy way to avoid these hidden dangers and also produces what I believe is a fresher tasting more flavorful product then anything you can buy in the store.  When selecting what nuts to roast keep in mind that peanuts and cashews are not considered paleo as peanuts are in fact a legume and cashews contain a poisonous toxic making them inedible when raw.   For my nut mix, I selected almonds, walnuts and pecans, all acceptable under the primal/paleo eating plan and are also of similar size making them easy to roast together. 

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of mixed nuts (I’ve used raw almonds, raw walnut pieces and raw pecans)

Let’s get Roasting

  1. Spread nuts into single layer on an aluminum baking sheet
  2. Roast in 400 degree oven for 12 minutes or until the nuts emit a fragrant aroma.  Turn once during cooking

Note:  Keep and eye on the nuts to ensure they don’t burn.  If you’re using a non-stick baking sheet, the nuts will cook much faster and will need to be turned more frequently to ensure they are evenly roasted.

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Being a Vancouver resident, and a new one at that, you can only imagine how exciting the past few weeks have been with the lead up to the Olympics, hence the lag since my last post!    This City has truly come alive and it almost surreal to believe that the Olympics is happening right in my backyard… literally!  It is only Day 5, but it has already been an unbelieveable past few days, with memories to last a life time and ones that I’ve been able to share with some great friends and family.  To kick it all of and get the party started right, I hosted a  “Go Canada Go!!!” Opening Ceremonies party.  

Seeing that I love to bake and am a huge believer that any good party is only complete when it has a great cake, I wanted to create a dish that was as primal as possible, but still a crowd pleaser for all my non-primal friends.  Like most of my baking, coconut flour forms the basis of this recipe as I prefer it to almond flour as it’s lower in fat and when sifted is of better consistency for baking cakes and muffins.   It doesn’t hurt that it is also high in fibre and very low in carbohydrates, making it an excellent primal choice.  

For the Cake:

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut flour
  • 12 eggs
  • 4 ripe bananas mashed
  • 4 tbsp grape seed oil
  • 4 tbsp coconut milk
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp gluten & corn free baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Let’s Get Cooking:

  1. In large bowl beat eggs until light and fluffy
  2. Add oil, milk and maple syrup and beat for ~ 1 min
  3. Add banana and vanilla and beat until well combined and mixture becomes a bit frothy
  4. In separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt
  5. Add flour mixture to liquid mixture and mix on low speed until well combined
  6. Stir in pecans
  7. Pour into 9 X 13 parchment paper lined baking dish and bake in 375 oven for 20 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean

Note: For a smaller cake, you can cut the recipe in half and cook it in an 8X8 square pan or alternatively, make muffins instead. 

Semi-Primal Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 250 g cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla 

Let’s Whip it Up

  1. In bowl beat whipping cream until stiff peaks appear
  2. In separate bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth
  3. Add maple syrup and vanilla to cream cheese, beat until combined
  4. Fold in whipped cream to cream cheese mixture until combined
  5. Refrigerate until ready to use

To assemble, turn cake on to plate and spread top and sides of cake with frosting.   For the leaf and rings I added a small amount of food colouring to the icing mixture and piped it onto the cake.   The cake is equally as good minus the frosting if you want to be a little bit more paleo/primal conscious. 

GO CANADA GO!!!

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