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Archive for the ‘Snacks’ Category

Coconut Chips 3

I have no words.

Except for ‘make these’.

That’s all.

Toasted Coconut Chips
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, egg-free, five ingredients or less

3 cups wide coconut flakes
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 tbsp water

Note: Though the chips look a little toasty in the photo above, remember that coconut sugar is brown, which accounts for much of the dark colour. They are not burnt!

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Put the coconut flakes in a large bowl.

In a small pot over low heat, melt the applesauce, coconut sugar and water until it becomes syrupy.

Pour the liquid over the coconut flakes and gently toss until all the flakes are coated. Some of them may break as you stir – that’s okay.

Spread the flakes onto a prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 6 to 8 minutes or so, until the chips are dry and crispy. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

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Coconut Cacao Nibs 2

When I first sampled these culinary coconut cacao nibs by Mum’s Original in Meghan Telpner’s kitchen, I immediately fell in love.

It doesn’t get much better than chocolate dipped in coconut sugar. And the best part? Raw cacao nibs are teeming with antioxidants and valuable minerals like magnesium and iron, so they’re a health-promoting treat I can feel good about.

Coconut culinary cacao nibs are pricey, but worth every penny. Since I’m not made of money, though, they’ve become my special occasion luxury treat. When something incredibly fabulous happens to me, I don’t buy a new pair of shoes or go for a manicure – I head straight for a bag of these babies.

Then I wondered, given the simplicity of the ingredient list, could I create my own?

My version is delicious, though not as sweet, and they didn’t have the consistency of store-bought version. They’re not an exact replica, but they disappeared into my belly just as quickly.

Give these a try, please. They’re chocolate coated with a nutrient-rich sweetener. Enough said.

(Looking for healthy dessert recipes, or tips for how to eat deliciously on a budget? Then check out my e-books here.)

Coconut-Crusted Cacao Nibs
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, egg-free, five ingredients or less

1/4 cup raw cacao nibs
2 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar, ground

Grind the coconut sugar in a spice grinder until it becomes a fine powder.

In a small pot, mix one tablespoon of the coconut sugar with one tablespoon of water. Gently heat the mixture until it becomes bubbly, then stir in the cacao nibs.

Put the remaining coconut sugar in a bowl, and add the cacao nibs. Toss well to make sure all the nibs get coated with the sugar.

Spread the nibs onto a piece of parchment and allow them to dry.

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Spicy Kale Chips 1

This recipe makes a lot more chips than the meagre amount you see in the picture.

Unfortunately, I ate almost the entire batch before realizing I hadn’t snapped any photos of them. At least that’s an indication of how good they are, right?

It’s intensely satisfying to gobble an enormous bowl of chips and know that you don’t need to feel guilty, ’cause you just ate a whack of beneficial nutrients. Like antioxidants. Fibre. B vitamins. Calcium. Iron. Even omega 3 fats and protein.

Oh, and if you don’t think 1/8 of a teaspoon of cayenne constitutes ‘spicy’ (I do!) then please add more.

What are your favourite guiltless snacks?

(Looking for healthy dessert recipes, or tips for how to eat deliciously on a budget? Then check out my e-books here.)

Spicy Red Pepper Kale Chips
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, egg-free

1 small bunch of kale
1/2 cup cashews, soaked for a couple of hours and drained
3/4 cup red pepper, roughly chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
water to thin, about 1/2 cup

Tear your kale into pieces and put them in a large bowl.

In a blender, combine the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Pour the sauce over the kale and massage it all in. Put the chips on two Teflex-lined dehydrator sheets, or a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Dehydrate at 115 for about 7-8 hours, until the chips are fully dried.

If using an oven, bake at your oven’s lowest temperature until dry and crispy (times will vary depending on the oven).

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For many years, banana chips have been off my radar. Then, during a trip to Trader Joe’s a few months ago, I picked up a bag on a whim and my love for banana chips was reignited.

Store-bought banana chips, even the organic ones, are typically fried in coconut oil and contain added sugars. I wondered if I could create a healthier version using even less ingredients.

These banana chips make a great snack on their own, plus they’re the perfect addition to trail mix or granola. They’d be tasty crushed on top of ice cream, too.

I sliced mine paper-thin. A little too thin, I think. I encourage you to play around with the size of the pieces and find the exact texture you love.

You could sprinkle these with some extra coconut sugar if you want. But I’ll warn you: some mighty fine caramelization happens in the oven, so they’re very sweet just as they are.

Banana Chips
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, sugar-free, five ingredients or less

2 ripe bananas
3 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F.

With a sharp knife, cut your bananas into thin slices, about 1/4-inch thick. Spread them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat. Brush the tops with lemon juice.

Bake until the chips are dry and crispy. Times will vary depending on the oven, but it will likely take about two hours.

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Most granola bar recipes contain oats. You probably already have a few recipes that use them, so I thought I’d experiment with something a little different.

Enter buckwheat.

It works perfectly in these granola bars, plus it’s a great source of fibre, which is great for our digestive tracts, cholesterol levels and blood sugar balance.

Look for raw, untoasted buckwheat groats – they have a nice, mild nutty taste. Toasted buckwheat, called ‘kasha’, has a much stronger flavour that some people find it off-putting.

I love the combination of coconut and chocolate, but feel free to substitute any add-ins you love – raisins, pecans, almonds, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, sunflower seeds, whatever! You won’t find a fruit or nut that won’t work in here, I promise.

Have you ever tried granola bars with a grain other than oats?

(Looking for ways to eat healthy without spending a ton of cash? Check out my latest e-book about healthy eating on a budget.)

Buckwheat Granola Bars
gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, five ingredients or less

2 cups buckwheat groats (not toasted)
1/2 cup cashew butter
1/3 cup honey (or brown rice syrup for the vegans)
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup cacao nibs or chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

Put the buckwheat, coconut and cacao nibs into a large bowl and stir. In a small pot over low heat, gently melt the cashew butter and honey. When the mixture is melted, add it to the dry ingredients and mix well to ensure everything is incorporated.

Press the mixture into the prepared pan (you may want to use wet hands to press it down evenly).

Bake for 25 minutes. When the pan has cooled, stick it in the fridge for 15 minutes or so, then cut into squares or bars.

Store in the fridge.

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When I baked these granola bars last winter, I thought they were divine. No improvement needed.

Then, given how much I enjoyed them, I became determined to recreate a scaled-down version that was equally delicious.

What I came up with was not one, but two, incredible five-ingredient options that you can choose from, depending on your sweet tooth.

If you absolutely adore honey, then opt for the first version. If a nutty, creamy flavour is more your thing, go for the second one.

Can’t decide? I’m pretty sure you’ll love them both. You can’t lose. Really.

Revamped Sesame Snack Bars
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, soy-free, five ingredients or less

1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup nut butter
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups sesame seeds
1/2 tsp vanilla

OR

1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup nut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 1/2 cups sesame seeds
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Gently warm the nut butter, honey and vanilla until they are all melted together. Mix in the coconut and sesame seeds, and stir until everything is incorporated.

Press the mixture evenly into a prepared 8 x 8-inch pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

Allow the bars to cool on a wire rack, then chill them in the fridge. Cut into bars.

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Kale is all the rage these days. In case you haven’t heard, it’s the new beef.

I’ve been seeing fancy, delicate bags of flavoured kale chips cropping up in grocery stores all over town. Now, I’m usually not one to deprive health-minded companies of business, especially when they’re trying to provide a wholesome snack that gives people an alternative to the abundance of crap out there.

However, I just can’t bring myself to buy kale chips. Not when I can make amazing flavours at home for a fraction of the price.

If you can afford it, by all means – please buy kale chips. But if you’re looking to save a few dollars and have an incredibly tasty nosh, then make these at home. They don’t take a lot of effort, and the reward is delicious. (If dill pickle isn’t your flavour, perhaps I can interest you in chocolate, cheesy, or olive oil and lemon kale chips?)

How often do you buy food items you know you can make at home?

Love desserts? Me too! That’s why I wrote an e-book about how to make them healthy. Take a peek here.

Dill Pickle Kale Chips
From Making Love in the Kitchen
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, soy-free, five ingredients or less

1 head of kale
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp dill pickle brine
1 bunch of dill
1/2 cup raw cashews
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup water

Add the vinegar, brine, dill, cashews, water and salt to a blender or food processor and process until smooth and creamy.

Rip the kale into bite-sized pieces and put them in a large bowl. Add the marinade from the blender and use your hands to massage it in, until all the kale pieces are evenly coated.

If using a dehydrator, spread the kale onto two racks lined with Teflex sheets and dehydrate at 110 degrees until the chips are completely dry. This will take about 6-8 hours.

If using an oven, spread the kale onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Set your oven on its lowest temperature and bake until the chips are dry and crispy (times will vary depending on the oven).

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