Friday, February 24, 2017

Cini-Bars


Like the Mini-Bars but no chocolate and less sugar.

Equipment needed: one Medium to Large Bowl, two 1/2 cup Measuring Cups, two tablespoon Measuring Spoons, one Large Spoon and one Small Spoon, one Silicone Mold (Mini-Muffin or other), Dehydrator or Oven

In a bowl:

1/2 cup Raw Almond Butter
1 tbl Ground Cinnamon

Stir until well mixed. The dual spoons help in cleaning one off with the other during this process.

Add:

1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
1/2 cup Pumpkin Seeds

Stir until well mixed. Taste and decide if you want sugar. I found the taste good - without sugar - as a more savory treat.

Optional add:

1 tbl Sugar

Taste and decide if you want more sugar.

Spoon into silicone mini-muffin molds and tamp down. Fills ~16 molds.

I tried to just put these in the refrigerator, but the dry ingredients (cinnamon and sugar) reduced the sticky factor and they never quite set. It's possible using a liquid sweetener like maple syrup would negate the need for baking.

Dehydrate at 125 degrees for 90 minutes, and then place in the refrigerator for several hours. Pop out of the molds and serve.

See the Mini-Bars recipe for more information on alternatives to dehydrating.

These will need to be kept in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Mini-Bars


Driving home from work, thinking about the palm kernel oil in the snack bars I had been buying, and I came up with the following combination of ingredients. I wanted dark chocolate/raspberry, but had to go with what was in the house. Still turned out very tasty.

Equipment needed: one Medium to Large Bowl, two 1/4 cup and one 1/2 cup Measuring Cups, one Large Spoon and one Small Spoon, one Silicone Mold (Mini-Muffin or other), optional Dehydrator or Oven

In a bowl:

1/4 cup Raw Almond Butter
1/4 cup Apricot Jam

Stir until well mixed. The dual spoons help in cleaning one off with the other during this process.

Add:

1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
1/2 cup Pumpkin Seeds
1 cup Dark Chocolate Chips (sweetened)

Stir until well mixed. If you're not a huge chocolate fan, 1/2 cup will be fine.

Spoon into silicone mini-muffin molds and tamp down. Fills ~21 molds. Dehydrate on 125 deg for 90 minutes, then place in the refrigerator for several hours. Pop out of the molds and serve.

If you don't have a dehydrator and want to heat them up, try baking at 150 degrees or set the oven on warm if it has that setting.

The dehydrator/oven bit might not be needed. If you really need them to not be sticky, then maybe dehydrate/bake for longer to reduce that aspect of them. They turned out to be a little sticky. Heating them up also softened the seeds a little. Next batch will go straight to the refrigerator, and I'll see how they turn out.

These will need to be kept in the refrigerator.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Bacon-ish Bits


For use as a salad or pasta topper, or as a snack

Equipment needed:
1/2 cup measuring cup, covered bowl, baking dish with sides (9"x13" or thereabouts), spatula or spoon, oven, optional strainer

In the bowl:

12 oz raw, shelled, unsalted Sunflower Seeds
1 cup low (or reduced) sodium Tamari
1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

Tamari is a wheat-free version of soy sauce. If you're avoiding soy but not sulfites, use 1 1/2 cups of balsamic vinegar as the liquid. Or use whatever marinade you like.

Either stir the contents of the bowl with a spoon or cover and shake them. Be sure no seeds are stuck above the liquid. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours - overnight might be best.

Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees

Rough strain the liquid - this can be done by holding the lid against the top of the bowl but not quite sealed so the liquid can drain out or by using a strainer. You don't have to get it all, just most. Pour the remaining contents into the baking dish.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Almond Date Cookies - Part II


For those who wish to have different flavors and perhaps a bit less fiber in their cookies, this is a triple batch of the Almond Date Cookies recipe with some slight alterations.

In the Vita-Mix or blender:
15 pitted dates
3 cups water
1/4 cup chia seeds

Blend until well mixed. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees (A departure from the original. This will keep the temperature constant throughout the baking process)

Add:
5-6 cups of almond meal (can be nut-free with something like quinoa flour)

Stir often and see if the batter is thick enough after 5 cups. If not, add the 6th.

Scoop 2 cups of the mixture into a second bowl and add 2 tsps of ground cinnamon. Stir well. Spread this out on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake 25 minutes before flipping and baking another 25 minutes.

Scoop 2 cups of the mixture into a second bowl and add 1 1/2 tsps of ground ginger. Stir well. Spread this out on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake 25 minutes before flipping and baking another 25 minutes.

The rest can be baked as is, or add your own desired flavor - like maybe 1/2 bag of chocolate chips.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Almond Date Cookies


A friend at work gave me some dates from his cousin's farm (www.sundateusa.com), so I came home and made a quick batch of cookies.

Equipment needed:
Vita-Mix with the dry container, large bowl, 1 cup and 1/4 cup measuring cups, fork or spoon for stirring, spatula, cookie sheet, parchment paper, oven, and a knife for scoring (optional)

In the Vita-Mix:
5 pitted dates
1 cup water

Blend until the dates are liquified. Using a blender and having small chunks of dates is fine, too. Pour this into the bowl. Add:

2 cups almond meal
1/4 cup chia seeds

Stir until well mixed. Place in the refrigerator to allow the chia seeds to gel. I think I only gave it 15 minutes. I usually allow an hour.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place parchment paper on the cookie sheet and empty the contents of the bowl in the middle. Spread into a rectangle about 1/2" thick. Score with a knife to the desired size for each cookie.

Bake for 25 minutes. Flip and remove the parchment paper. If you're feeling lucky, use an oven glove, get under the cookies on the parchment paper and flip that onto the cookie sheet. If you're not feeling lucky, use a second cookie sheet. I did the oven glove trick and it went well. The rectangle is fairly small and that makes it easier to maneuver.

Separate along the score lines. Turn the oven down to 200 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes.

Your baking time may vary depending on your oven, the thickness of the cookies, etc. I apparently didn't get the thickness even throughout and some baked faster than others.