To kick off November I am sharing a tasty snack recipe that I like making a variation of at least once a month. These date based energy bites are relatively quick to make and the spicy ginger and molasses flavours are fitting for the wintery season we’re edging in to.
Am going to keep the chatter on this post short but I do want to let you know that you should totally make these and bring them to your next pot-luck event or office as a surprise treat for your co-workers (those that I work with may be getting a taste of these soon... just sayin').
Gingerbread Energy Bites Recipe
250 g soaked dates (at least an hour or more if they are quite dry)
1 tsp freshly grated ginger root
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp each cloves, nutmeg & salt
1 tbsp molasses
⅓ C each sprouted raw pumpkin seeds, chopped cashews, buckwheat groats, and rolled oats
Blend all in food processor (scraping down the sides however many time you need to get this texture). Makes about 18 small rounds.
I'm apparently in love with chia seeds at the moment as I currently have both black and white whole seeds in my fridge as well as a package of pre-ground chia! So there may be a few more chia recipes coming... and why the heck not, right?! They are tiny powerhouses of nutrients, a whole source of plant based protein and full of awesome omegas.
Although I have made chia jams in the past and the flavours have been fine I never really liked the texture of the whole seeds in the jams. I don't know why I never thought to use ground chia instead but now that I have a package to use it became so obvious!
Last night, I wanted to celebrate my first sale of Tonish Concepts wreaths (check them out on Instagram @tonishconceptsyyc - hopefully will figure out a website soon!) with a few new recipes. I remembered watching a YouTube video from French Guy Cooking (he's awesome and oh so Parisian adorable ;)) for different ways of using rice paper wrappers with one way being apple pie rolls. Brilliant! I had all the ingredients so figured I'd gave it a shot. While in the process of starting to prep the apples I got the idea of making a dipping sauce for the rolls and a chia jam seemed like a good idea!
The apple pie rolls didn't quite turn out as I had hoped (I think I needed to soak the rice papers a bit longer...) but that just means I get to try again! However, the jam turned out REALLY good... so needed to share right away.
But... how would I photograph the jam without making it look like a blob of unknown content? Make some bread to showcase the goodness of course! So this morning I made a quick loaf of Traditional Irish Soda Bread (thanks to Gemma Stafford over at Bigger Bolder Baking for sharing her Mom's recipe!). I used chilled coconut oil instead of butter and rye flour instead of whole wheat (it's what I had). I likely could've baked the loaf for a few more minutes as it is just the slightest bit doughy in the bottom quarter of the loaf but I suspect it's a necessary elevation adjustment (Calgary is over 1,000 m above sea-level and all...) but it turned out pretty great otherwise and was the perfect pairing for this chia jam :))
Mixed Fruit Chia Jam
2 cups mixed fruit (I used mostly frozen (thawed though) and added about a half a chopped Granny Smith apple as well)
1-2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil
2-3 tbsp ground chia seeds
1 - In a skillet on medium heat add coconut oil and once melted add in mixed fruit. Stir the fruit and coconut oil together and once the mixture reaches a gentle simmer, reduce the heat to maintain the low simmer and start squishing a few of the fruit pieces to help make the mixture a bit more jammy (real word?) with the back of the spoon.
Note - My fruit mixture had whole strawberries. I removed them and quickly puréed them in the Magic Bullet (could just use a blender or simple mash them in the pan) so there weren't huge chunks of fruit in the final product.
2 - After about 2-3 minutes of gentle simmering add in a tablespoon of maple syrup and stir through fruit mixture. Now is the time to taste for sweetness. Everyone's fruit mix could be different so start with less added sweetener and adjust as needed.
3 - Turn off the heat and sprinkle two tablespoons of ground chia and stir in to the fruit mix. Depending on the liquid content of your fruit mix you may need to add the third tablespoon of ground chia. The mixture should start to thicken relatively quickly and will thicken even more as it cools. If it's still runny after cooling just add a bit more ground chia until it's the right consistency for you.
4 - Pour the fresh made jam in to a mason jar or reused jam/peanut butter glass jar. It's really great warm but wait until it's cooled a bit before adding a lid and refrigerating. Should keep for a week or so... however, fresh jam rarely lasts that long in my kitchen with a fresh loaf of bread. Haha!
It's that simple! Now you need to make some quick chia jam and share your pictures with me :) I'd love to see what fruit mix you use and what you use it on!
1 - It's delicious. Granted I will eat nearly anything. However, these little seeds are excellent vehicles of flavour since they themselves have no flavour so this allows for creative flavour combos... although, I usually lean towards the slightly sweet for the puddings.
2 - It's a portable and make-ahead friendly! A few tablespoons in a mason jar with some almond milk and any extra flavour add-ins and you are on your way to pudding goodness. I usually make a few jars on Sunday night and leave them in the fridge for quick morning breakfasts, a midday snack or a tasty dessert if any last until the end of the week.
3 - Nutrient dense super food! These little seeds have a lot packed in to their tiny packaging. High in protein, fiber, omega-3, iron, magnesium and plenty more. Top off with add-ins like fresh or dried fruits, nuts and seeds and you've got yourself a really great combination of energetic fuel!
4 - They make an excellent egg replacer for baking! Just combine 1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water, let sit for 5-10 minutes and you now have an egg replacer for cakes, cookies, muffins, pancakes, or sweet breads! Sometimes I combine ground chia and flax seeds for an ultra nutrient dense egg replacer for baking too.
5 - They can be used to make a jams that do not require commercially produced pectin and the ridiculous amount of sugar needed to make the pectin work. Just berries of your choosing, a bit of sweetner (I like maple syrup or local honey) and chia seeds! Here's one of my favourite recipes from Oh She Glows :)
This is how I make my chia puddings:
Chocolate Chia Pudding
4 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
1 tsp camu camu*
1 tsp non-gmo soy lecithin**
1/4 tsp vanilla powder (or vanilla extract)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of Himalayan salt (or sea salt)
1/2 cup almond milk (or any milk you prefer)
1 tbsp maple syrup (honey or agave works too)
Toppings: sliced fruits, chopped nuts, seeds, coconut flakes, etc.
1 - Combine first six ingredients in a straight sided mason jar. Screw on lid and give it a good shake to mix all the dry ingredients together.
2 - Add milk and sweetener, replace lid and shake well.
3 - Remove lid and using a spoon or small spatula scrape down the sides of the jar to ensure everything is on the liquid.
4 - Replace lid again and let sit for 30 minutes or place in fridge and use within 5 days.
5 - When ready to eat just remove lid and place whatever toppings you'd like on top, mix and chow down. Or pour in to a bowl for added pretty presentation points ;)
*Camu camu is totally optional. I've recently been adding this to my chia puddings for additional vitamin C and antioxidants. Found it at The Light Cellar here in Calgary.
**Non-GMO soy lecithin is also totally optional. However, adding a lecithin add-in is something you may want to consider as a neurotransmitter it aids in memory retention (among many other benefits)! Another great find from The Light Cellar here in Calgary.
Do you include chia seeds in your daily/weekly diet routine? How about baking with it? If you haven't tried it before do you think you may give it a shot? Let me know in the comments or send me a direct message if you have any questions! Enjoy :)
Although it's been a while since I've posted, this blog is always on my mind. So many ideas swirling around in the ol' noggin that it can be hard to just sit and write when trying new things can be so much more fun.
It's been a month since becoming an Alberta redundancy statistic (aka got laid off) and experiencing a subsequent downward spiral of my overall health. I'm happy to report that working with excellent health professionals and actually doing the daily homework of prescribed functional activities along with plenty of rest and fully embracing this transition in my life has done wonders. There is still plenty of work to do (mustn't become stagnant, right?!) I'm feeling like it's time to get back on the blogging horse and in doing so let's kick it off with a sweet treat of Chocolate & Peanut Butter Fudge.
Now these are not quite like any sort of traditional fudge and that's the point. However, they are tasty and maybe a little bit healthier... well that's what I'm telling myself. Try these at your own risk ;)
Chocolate & Peanut Butter Fudge
1 cup chocolate chips (I use this variety which is sadly not available through Amazon.ca but use whatever you prefer)
1 can organic coconut milk
3 tbsp coconut flour
3 tbsp almond flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla powder (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
Couple pinches of sea salt
~1/4 peanut butter (or any other nut butter you prefer)
1 - Line a 8x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
2 - In a double-boiler, melt chocolate chips and coconut milk together. Stirring occasionally until all well combined.
3 - Add in coconut and almond flours as well as the cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Stir well to ensure all is incorporated.
4 - Pour in to parchment lined pan and spread out to the edges and smooth out the surface. It doesn't have to be perfect just try to get it relatively even.
5 - Place pan in fridge and let cool for at least 20 minutes.
6 - Meanwhile, if you use natural peanut butter (or whatever other nut butter you may use) like me and store it in the fridge now is the time to take it out and leave on the counter so it can come to room temperature.
7 - After the fudge has cooled in fridge for at least 20 minutes take the pan out and grab a spoon to drizzle the now softened peanut butter over the surface of the fudge. I ended up using about two hearty soup spoons but use however much you'd like. Then, take a butter knife and swirl the peanut butter in to the surface of the fudge.
8 - Return the pan to the fridge, lick all utensils of the chocolate-peanut butter goodness and wait for at least 2 hours before cutting in to the fudge.
That's it! Simple, relatively quick and super tasty. Great to prepare ahead for parties and perhaps could be good for gifts since we're entering holiday season!
Think you'll try this? Will you make any changes? Let me know in the comments as I would love to hear from you!
P.S. Going forward most of my blog posts will contain affilitated links. I will also only link through to products that I actually use myself. If you purchase anything through these links I will receive a small percentage of commission from the sale. These pennies add up and can help support me to create and share more! Thank you in advance for your click-through :)
This week's installment of the weekly pulse brings you a sweet treat that looks like traditional cookie dough but is completely safe to eat (as there are no raw eggs), is full of filling fiber (thanks to white beans and flax!), and it tastes great smeared on apples, crackers or simply eaten off a spoon!
I love these kinds of recipes that trick you in to eating healthy when you want to do is eat all the carbs and chocolate you can find. It happens...
Did you know that white beans (aka Navy Beans) are Canada's largest crop of bean and that they are primarily grown in Manitoba and Ontario?!? Check your labels and see if you're supporting Canadian producers!
For anyone concerned about the dietary effects of increasing consumption of beans in their diets the Pulse Canada website offers a few tips:
So without further ado here is the recipe:
White Bean Cookie Dough Dip
1 1/2 cups white beans (canned or cooked from dried)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp vanilla powder (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1/4 cup nut butter of choice (I used peanut butter because it’s what I had on hand)
1/4 cup milk of choice (I used almond milk)
1 tbsp honey or maple syrup (or more depending on sweetness level desired)
2 tbsp Ground flax seed
1/3 cup chocolate chips
Adorable and ready for snack attacks for the week!
So off to you - have you tried a bean/pulse cookie dough adaption? Think you'll give this a shot?! I hope you do and let me know what you think of it :)
**I adapted this recipe from Chocolate Covered Kate who has a great website and was at the epicenter of the healthy cookie dough craze of 2015. Thanks for the inspiration CCK :)